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07/01 Direct Link

Squirrel Wars!

Squirrels got into our house on Cape Cod a few years ago. We found their emaciated remains when we arrived to open things up for the summer. Before they died they had torn the place apart in search of a way out -- as if their lives depended on it! A complete remodeling job was necessary to repair the damage.

Now we have an anti-squirrel contraption on the chimney to avoid a repeat performance – but we still have to pay-off the chipmunks and raccoons with cash for protection.

Raccoons are carjackers too and one swiped my cell phone.

07/02 Direct Link

"John Lennon and Paul McCartney were good friends; they really loved one another. And they shared a modest little childhood ambition: they were going to conquer the world. You could, though, almost touch the rivalry between them; it was so intense and so real. No sooner would John come up with an outstanding song evoking, say, his own childhood, like ‘Strawberry Fields Forever', than Paul answered him straight back with a winner in the same vein: ‘Penny Lane'. That was typical of the way they worked. The rivalry kept them climbing individually – and kept The Beatles on top."
– George Martin

07/03 Direct Link

What's The Frequency Kenneth?

A man continually repeated, "What's the frequency Kenneth" while he attacked Dan Rather on a sidewalk in Manhattan on October 4, 1986. The perpetrator, a loon, was eventually arrested in 1997 for murder. Following his arrest he confessed to the Rather attack as well as the murder. He said he twice drove to New York City to "take care" of the television networks, which had been out to get him for 20 years. His name is William Tager. Now he's doing 25 years for the '97 slaying of an NBC technician in front of Rockefeller Center.

07/04 Direct Link

Told You So!!!

1. "Since President Bush will be judged largely on the performance of the American economy over the next 18 months, why not give him the opportunity to implement the economic and tax policies that he believes in? It makes no sense to tie his hands and cripple his initiatives only to turn around next year and scream, ‘Failed economy. Bush stinks. We told you so!' -- which is exactly what the Bush bashers plan to do." – Ambassador Duck Nelson, V.I.P.

2. "The Beatles were four fascinating, impossible, enormously talented, infuriating, adorable young men, who changed all our lives." – George Martin

07/05 Direct Link

National Security Council, October 20, 2001

The President: "Tommy, how are you?"

General Tommy Franks: "Sir, I'm finer than the hair on a frog's back."

Deputy Secretary Armitage: "Mr. President, this diplomat is meaner than rust and tougher than woodpecker lips."

The President: "Tommy?"

General Franks: "Sir, I think exactly what the Secretary of Defense thinks, what he's ever thought, what he will ever think, or whatever he thought he might think."


Footnotes: Franks uses an informal network of former military officers to circumvent Rumsfeld and keep Powell informed. Armitage also passes intelligence and gossip to Powell ("feeding the beast").

07/06 Direct Link

Abject Capitulation . . .

1. "I am constantly surprised by how much I hear racism talked about and how little I actually see it." –Dinesh D'Souza

2. "Sgt. Pepper isn't the best thing The Beatles ever did. But it is arguably the most important." – George Martin

3. "There is something to be said for letting two obstinate warring nations beat the pulp out of each other until the loser is completely annihilated or succumbs in abject capitulation. Then a single victor survives and they, and the rest of the world, will be done with the problem once and for all." – Ambassador Duck

07/07 Direct Link

A Clintonian Masterpiece Of Fine Craft & Beauty...

Hillary Clinton is not going to target a banal number like $775 or $850 million when she can almost as easily ratchet up the ante to a nice big beautiful $1,000,000,000! And given who she is, who her husband is, where she's coming from, certain considerations owed to her and "Pardon Me Bill", plus the fund raising advantage of knowing she will be the Democratic choice eight years in advance; given all that: Why would she aim for anything less than a jackpot so large it's virtually enough to buy the office outright?

07/08 Direct Link

If I had to live life with access to only one musical artist I would grumble in protest, and snatch up The Beatles in a heartbeat. If I had to live with only 100 CDs, my collection would surely include (in alphabetic order):

Chris Baum
The Beatles
Ludwig van Beethoven
James Brown
Solomon Burke

Johnny Cash
Eric Clapton
Patsy Cline

Bill Dickson
Willie Dixon
The Doors

Jimi Hendrix

John Lennon

Joni Mitchell
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Alexander Rastopchin
The Rolling Stones
The Rousers

Steely Dan
Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel)

The Velvet Underground
Antonio Vivaldi

Tom Waits
Hank Williams

Neil Young

07/09 Direct Link

HAVE WE BEEN HAD?

If humans were designed by superior beings, and thus, were not a product of evolution by natural selection on Earth, there might have been a good reason from the designer's point of view, to genetically engineer a deliberate comprehension and reasoning limitation into the intellectual potential of the human brain.

Such a handicap could have been specifically intended to dampen our ability to comprehend certain complex and important aspects of nature -- to permanently advantage themselves over us. Consequently, human beings as a species might be forever incapable of understanding certain natural properties of the universe.

07/10 Direct Link

A Place For The Bullshit And Other Sacred Thumb Suckers -- Not...

1. "How strange that before we started bombing, we were told that Afghanistan was too formidable to attack – and then after we obliterated much of the Taliban we were suddenly ‘bullying' an ‘asset-poor' country." – Duck after Victor

2. "Anyone who claims to remember the Sixties couldn't actually have been there." – Beatles producer George Martin

3. "Money's a coward." – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

4. "Islamic fundamentalists don't just object to the excesses of American liberty: they object to liberty itself." – Dinesh D'Souza

5. "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests." – Henry Kissinger

07/11 Direct Link

No Wonder We're All Exhausted!

"The total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made of positive energy. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces far apart. This is because you have to expend energy to separate them. You have to pull against the gravitational force attracting them together. Thus, the gravitational field has negative energy. For the whole universe, this negative energy exactly cancels the positive energy of the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero."

-- Stephen W. Hawking

07/12 Direct Link

Ultimate Free Lunch...

"If the universe doubles in size; the positive matter energy and the negative gravitational energy both double, so the total energy remains zero. Twice zero is zero. People say there is no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch." – Stephen W. Hawking

"Seems to me the universe is the ultimate everything else too!" – Ambassador Duck

***********************

"If you meet someone from another planet and he holds out his left hand, don't shake it. He might be made of anti-matter. You would both disappear in a tremendous flash of light!" – Stephen Hawking

07/13 Direct Link

It is a testament to the greatness of the United States of America that millions of Americans would be proud, even eager to defend the nation at arms. But I can think of few things less American than telling people that they have to, no matter how willing they are to be so told. Conscription is slavery. Not racial slavery, but slavery nonetheless. When you force people to work for less than their market wage, and deny them the opportunity to determine for themselves how they are best deployed, you have enslaved them. No cause on earth justifies human slavery.

07/14 Direct Link

Lame-Ass Obfuscations – Not!

1. "In order to win, Americans need to believe that they are on the side of the angels. The good news is that they usually are." – Dinesh D'Souza

2. "When I'm sixty-four I hope Yoko and I are a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland, or something like that – looking at our scrapbook of madness." – John Lennon (Born October 9, 1940)

3. "It makes no sense to formulate public policy based solely on the behavior of society's losers. Which is what our nation is currently doing with respect to recreational pharmaceuticals." – Ambassador Duck Nelson

07/15 Direct Link

Value Thwarting For Profit & Pleasure – Not...

"The freedom to worship, the rule of law, the right to question religion and government, the existence of a voting middle class, the opportunity to own property and pursue profit – all these are mostly Western ideas and, to the degree they are followed, they permit a people prosperity and happiness. If such values are thwarted by either religion, tribalism, statism, or sheer anarchy, far too frequently and unnecessarily men and women get sick, kill each other, die early, and live in squalor." – Victor Davis Hanson

So don't do that! Stick with the program.

07/16 Direct Link

The Illusive Nature Of Truth...

1. "There ought to be a law that no new law shall be enacted until at least two previously existing laws are repealed; and double that for tax laws." – Ambassador Duck Nelson

2. "A rose is rose unless the President says otherwise." – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

3. "Sir Joseph Lockwood, head of EMI, took one look at the proposed Sgt. Pepper cover and said, ‘This is nonsense; we're not having this.'

‘We will have it,' replied The Beatles, who by this time were quite aware of their vast power." – George Martin

07/17 Direct Link


More Favorite Excuses...

1. You drove me to it.
2. C.I.A.
3. You're putting the worst possible spin on it.

4. I function on a different wavelength.
5. I don't understand daylight savings time.
6. I just did.

7. I'm on a mission from God.
8. He/she/they deserved it.
9. I'm passive/aggressive intolerant.

10. You're being judgmental.
11. Another communist plot.
12. Your thinking is too limited.

13. You never told me not to.
14. She dared me.
15. I live in the real world.

16. Kurt Cobain.
17. A slushy froze my brain.
18. I forgot my gun.

19. I didn't want to seem too perfect.
20. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

07/18 Direct Link

Soviet Satellites (Of Love)...

1. "The closer a state's former ties with the Soviet Union – whether it be Syria, Saddam's Iraq, Egypt, the Palestine Authority, or Libya – the greater propensity it displays for censorship, fabrication, an intrusive Big Brother government, and ‘Baghdad Bob' style propaganda." – Victor & Duck

2. "What was in Iraq is going to turn up in Israel or the United States with a great big bang, but it won't effect the stock market." – Duck after Ben Stein

3. "Ta-ta ticky ta, ticky tick ta ta. Ta-ta ticky ta, ticky tick ta ta. Ta-ta ticky ta, ticky tick ta ta." – George Harrison

07/19 Direct Link

"It's important to recognize that no market is truly unregulated. The self-interest of market participants generates private market regulation. Thus, the question is not whether a market should be regulated. The question is whether government intervention strengthens or weakens private regulation. If incentives for private regulation are weak or if market participants lack the capabilities to pursue their interests effectively, then government regulation may improve regulation. But if private market regulation is effective, then, government regulation is at best unnecessary. At worst, government regulation may weaken regulatory effectiveness if the government is ineffective or undermines private market regulation."
-- Alan Greenspan

07/20 Direct Link

Muzzle That Bird Man...

1. "It's time for America to muzzle this pompous blowhard. He rants like a bad Shakespearean actor reciting aimless dribble, painful to listen to, pathetic to watch. Do you get the impression I have no use for the sorry waste of an otherwise perfectly good Senate seat? I say toss him; make him be gone." – Ambassador Duck on Senator Robert Bird

2. "I was regarded as very old indeed by The Beatles, although in 1967 I was only forty-one." – George Martin

3. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

07/21 Direct Link


I WON'T BACK DOWN
By Tom Petty

I WON'T BACK DOWN.
No, I WON'T BACK DOWN.
You can stand me up at the Gates Of Hell,
But I WON'T BACK DOWN.

Gonna stand my ground,
Won't be turned around.
I'll keep this world from draggin' me down.
Gonna stand my ground.
I WON'T BACK DOWN.

Hey Baby,
There ain't no easy way out.
Hey, I will stand my ground.
I WON'T BACK DOWN.

Well I know what's right.
I got just one life.
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around,
I'll stand my ground.
I WON'T BACK DOWN.

07/22 Direct Link

How To Breed Resentment For Success...

1. "I had nothing to do with helping Saddam Hussein and his regime against Iran. We had, I think, one or two meetings. The United States then did provide intelligence information, as I understand it – but I was back in private business by that time. I know nothing. I wasn't there. It wasn't me, and it wasn't my job." -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

2. "The wonderful thing was that power. As long as the five of us (The Beatles and I) agreed, everyone else could go hang!" – George Martin

3. "Nothing breeds resentment like success." – Duck

07/23 Direct Link

Duck Sez:

1. Money is to a political campaign as military force (troops and weaponry) is to a war.

2. The government should never do anything that can be handled by the private sector with equal or greater efficiency.

3. Some people say I'm crazy, but only I know how correct they are.

4. Curiosity is a beast to reckon with – a driving inspiration and a pathological obsession, all rolled into one seemingly innocuous personality trait.

5. When I run rings around you logically I'm sure that can be intimidating.

6. Saddam's legacy: All those big metal boxes stuffed with cash, yet so little pet food.

07/24 Direct Link

Totally Random Rants & Raves...

1. "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." – Mark Twain

2. "When your enemy beats you, you won't like it." – Washington PR Consultant

3. "During the International Year of Peace in 1986 a global commission of experts concluded that war was unnatural and humans themselves unwarlike! Unfortunately, innocent people get killed by that kind of naïve thinking." – Victor Davis Hanson

4. "Every time a computer stores a record in memory, the total amount of disorder in the universe increases." – Stephen Hawking

07/25 Direct Link

Without Apology...

"Overwhelming military force must be coupled with humane considerations and straight talk. All people born onto this planet seek freedom and security, and since the Western paradigm alone provides man a chance to realize these innate aspirations, it is the duty of Americans to be neither cynical nor insensitive in their approach to the Islamic world, but rather with confidence and without apology to support democratic revolutions and legitimate elected governments wherever possible." – Ambassador Duck Nelson after Victor Davis Hanson

"Disorder increases with time because we measure time in the direction in which disorder increases." – Stephen W. Hawking

07/26 Direct Link

Why Show Up At All?

1. "Eighty percent of success is showing up." – Woody Allen

2. "Ninety percent of life is showing up." – Former President George H. W. Bush

3. "Most of life is just a matter of showing up." – Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo

*********************

Q: Know any lefties who have made a big hop to the right lately?

Duck: No "big hops", but maybe some perceptible nudging toward reality. Still, the parties in question may in fact just be tired of arguing with me. It's hard to tell. Opinion suppression seems a lot more common than opinion revision.

07/27 Direct Link

(Not Even) Five Easy Pieces...

1. "All rights flow out of the right to security." – Amnesty International

2. "Qatar is doing some very interesting stuff. If they'd jettison Al-Jezeera they might even become respectable!" – Ambassador Duck Nelson

3. "If you want to get something done, you go one-on-one privately, never publicly." – Alan Greenspan

4. "Throughout the crisis the predictable protesters have had real trouble hitting the keys to the usual five easy pieces of fashionable anti-Americanism. Some sounded so shrill and dissonant – and silly – that the rest of the symphony simply threw away their usual sheet music, and quit playing altogether." – Victor Davis Hanson

07/28 Direct Link


The Killer Shrews!

So bad it's fun to make fun of how bad it is. The "shrews" are plainly standard-size French poodles that need haircuts, with sticks and twigs duct-taped to their legs to render a bizarrely stupid looking image that the director evidently thought looked like bloodthirsty, flesh gnawing, man-eating, mutant weasels. It's available on DVD from Amazon for $8. It's SOOOOOOOOooooooooo bad, I put it on my wish list!

From Amazon's Killer Shrew page:
Private Island, Wacky Scientists, Gorgeous Blonde Daughter, Handsome Sea Captain, Jealous Drunkard, Hurricane, PLUS...MUTANT GIANT POISONOUS BONE KNAWING SHREWS...Equal one disaster of a flick!

07/29 Direct Link

The Slippery Nature Of Lies...

1. "Terrorists are killing innocent men, women and children, and we don't like it one bit!" – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

2. "With the Islamofascists you get what you see – a return to the 13th century and all its darkness." – Victor Davis Hanson

3. "It does little good to "carry a big stick" if every critter in the forest is convinced we're too emotionally paralyzed to even dare poke them with it. Next time we whack 'em in the face with a nuclear tire-iron so hard and fast their apocalyptic teeth break off at the gums!" -- Barf Vulgarian

07/30 Direct Link

The Slippery Nature Of Truth...

1. "When Brian Epstein and I first met, on a February day in 1962, the future of the band hung by a hair. Brian was a Liverpudlian record store manager with strange dreams at his wits' end flogging a dead horse called The Beatles." – George Martin

2. "If employed in a non-oligopolistic industry, free of local intra-industry collusion, dissatisfied workers will always be far better served through a combination of their word-processing capable personal computers, the Internet, and a basic resume composition tutorial than they'll ever be served by any union." – Ambassador Duck Nelson, V.I.P.

07/31 Direct Link

We're not fighting for domination. We're not fighting for an American world, though we want a world in which America is at ease. We're not fighting for Christianity, but against religious fanaticism of all kinds. We are fighting for the inalienable right of humankind…to be free – free to raise a family in love and hope; free to earn a living and be rewarded by your own efforts; free not to bend your knee to any man in fear; free to be you, so long as being you does not impair the freedom of others.
– Prime Minister Tony Blair, M.P.