Friday, November 18, 2005

Birthday Gal

Happy 5th Birthday to my baby girl.

Gracie, by Ben Folds

You can’t fool me
I saw you when you came out
You've got your mamma’s taste
But you got my mouth
And you will always have a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see
Gracie girl

With your cards to your chest
Walking on your toes
What you got in the box
Only Gracie knows
And I would never try to make you be
Anything you didn’t really want to be
Gracie girl

Life flies by in seconds
You’re not a baby
Gracie, you're my friend
You’ll be a lady soon
But until then
You gotta do what I say

And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever going to see but you and me
My little girl
My Gracie girl

You nodded off in my arms watching TV
I won’t move you an inch even though my arm’s asleep
One day you’re gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
Gracie girl

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Soccer for Peace

From today's New York Times:

"For months, the military has stormed towns in Anbar Province with hundreds of troops, who have moved from block to block, breaking into homes, detaining people suspected of being insurgents and searching belongings for evidence.

Once the mission was completed, however, the forces would withdraw, leaving insufficient numbers to prevent the insurgents from returning. This happened in Ubaydi in May, when marines last pressed a fight here.

But immediately after recent offensives in Haditha, Barwana, Haqlaniya and Sadaa, the American military established garrisons in those towns. Work on temporary bases in Husayba and Karabila began the day those sweeps ended last week. And on Wednesday, marines in Ubaydi were converting a neglected youth center into their post, ordering a perimeter of barricades and discussing the possibility of starting a soccer league for children."


I love that last sentence. It captures something that the media often overlook about the US efforts in Iraq.

On a related note, Stars & Stripes, the military's newspaper, has an online photo page of pictures taken by troops. Captures how they see the work being done over there.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Media Make Me Laugh

NBC Nightly News has a new feature called "Making a Difference", a direct response, according to anchor Brian Williams, of the numerous email and letters they get from viewers asking "Where is the good news?" This is funny on a number of levels to me:

1. Williams said something in the intro to the effect that "most nights there is more bad than good news." But why does that have to be? Why are you only choosing BAD news? Is it only "news" if it is bad? The best story on the national news tonight, aside from this Making a Difference segment, was about a parish in New Orleans which is opening school this week - and doing it even though FEMA and the state haven't given the OK. They just did it. Really cool story. But that was it. Just those two stories could be considered positive and uplifting.

2. That the media, in this case NBC, think the solution to viewers cries for more positive news is to create a special segment! Oh, no, we mustn't change the way we choose news, we'll just placate them with a special "happy news" segment.

3. This my favorite part: at the end, after a great story about a Masai tribesman who attended Harvard and has returned to Kenya to "make a difference" (more below), Williams said that the "Making a Difference" segment would run all week, and then after that it would be an OCCAISIONAL feature. Occaisional?!? So they can't even pull off making it a regular feature??

The story was really cool. After graduating from Harvard, the man became a social studies teacher at a private school in New England. His students raised money to buy cows to help the man's tribe, but instead of just sending the money, the kids went to Kenya to deliver them and learn about the Masai. Cool story. Too bad NBC thinks it can only "occaisionally" find stories like this.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What Is Sports Coming To?

Top news over the past two days in the professional sports world:

Cheerleaders Fired by Panthers

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - North Carolina's pro football team got rid of two cheerleaders who were arrested at a bar where witnesses told police the women were having sex with each other in a restroom stall. STORY


Urbina Charged With Attempted Murder

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ugueth Urbina was arrested as Venezuelan authorities sought to charge him with attempted murder for an assault on several employees last month, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Last month, Urbina and a group of men allegedly attacked five workers with machetes and poured gasoline on them in an attempt to set them on fire. All five were injured, some of them with cuts and one with burns on the back and right arm, police said. STORY

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Physics

I might have taken physics in high school or college if we had studied this. Discover magazine may turn a whole new generation of males onto the subject.

Asterisk

"In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America." Editorial in Milwaukee Journal, Nov. 1, 2005.

Once again, as a Scot-Irish-English-Swedish Protestant American I am not sure anyone represents my "mainstream" views based on this logic. Is Justice Kennedy protestant? Because Kennedy is an Irish name, right?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Random Thoughts on Alito

1. Alito, a 15-year veteran of the Court of Appeals, was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate for that post. It would be interesting to know how many of those Senators are still serving;

2. Justice Antonin Scalia was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate for his post on the Supreme Court (1986). It would be interesting to know how many of those Senators are still serving;

3. I used to work in a pub in Beaverton with a guy who grew up as the next door neighbor to Scalia and his wife, who used to babysit my co-worker when he was young. OK, not related to Alito, but interesting nonetheless!

4. Alito has more judicial experience than any nominee for the Supreme Court in the past 70 years;

5. According to a 2003 Gallup Poll, when asked "Do you favor or oppose ... A law requiring that the husband of a married woman be notified if she decides to have an abortion?" 72% of Americans favored such a law. Democrats and liberal interest groups have already begun criticizing Alito for a ruling supporting this position (To be fair to his dissent in the case, which I've read, the reasoning isn't based at all on the merits of such a law but rather on Supreme Court precendents many of which were in opinions written by Sandra Day O'Conner).

6. As a Scot-Irish-English-Swedish-German Protestant American, I am considering opposing the Alito nomination because he's an Italian Catholic and thus not representative of me.