Don't Spank The Brass Monkey

From a dedicated reader...

It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the
cannon on old war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about
the deck was the problem. The best storage method devised was to
stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting
on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of
30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the
cannon. There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom
layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a
metal plate with 16 round indentations, called a Monkey. But if this
plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it.
The solution to the rusting problem was to make Brass Monkeys.

Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much
faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature
dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that
the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was
quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
And all this time, you thought that was a vulgar expression, didn't
you? You must send this fabulous bit of historical knowledge to at
least a few & unsuspecting friends.


74 Days Left...

Evidently the tide is turning the Presidential race. McCain is unable to name how many house he owns. This makes my wife very happy today. She is still bitching about the Obama Nation book and says it is all a pack of lies. I think she heard this on Air America radio. About the only practical news she has lifted from this 2008 campaign season is to constantly reminded me to check the air in my tires. That sets her off on the McCain campaign quip about Obama's energy plan is to have people check the air in their tires. It think it would be a good idea for the Obama campaign to give out tire gauges with the slogan "Saving Energy Is Everybody's Job -- Vote For Obama." Of course the anti-corporate greed heeds working the BO campaigns would charge us $25 for the tire gauges. It think it's $10 for a yard sign.

I don't actually get into the yard sign display partisanship. I prefer to walk about town at night and swap Republican and Democratic yards signs. I'm never there to see if CPR is required when the offended neighbors see my dirty deed in the morning. I'm guessing they probably drink decaffeinated coffee that day.

I'm still pissed at Jerome Corsi for stilling my phrase "Obama Nation." I came up with that way back in the primary season. On the other hand, I have yet to hear back from the Obama campaign about my slogan suggestion:

Change Is Good But Folding Cash Is Better

It think it's a slogan the ups the anty. I'm sure the McCains can understand the message. With more houses than they can could, you think they might donate one our two to the suffering middle class. Maybe turn them into time shares so we have a place to go in the winter.

One bit of notoriety I'm been receiving this campaign season is that people say I look a lot like McCain. Since McCain is 20 years older than me, I usually accidental dump my beer on them after they say this. My wife, who shaves my head, is now making sure that she shaves it down every two weeks to keep my resemblance to McCain down. She did say I would look more like McCain, if I stuff a couple of dog turds in my left cheek. I told her that isn't a nice thing to say. She told me to shut up and deal the cards.

The wife says we will be spending the weekend stuffing effigies of Bush for protests at the upcoming GOPee convention in St. Paul.

I'm bummed this presidential election year, because I won't get to put a "Lick Bush" bumper sticker on my car. With one exception -- 1996 -- I've had one on since 1988.

That's it for today. I have to go listen to KTLK and hear if Mark Levine is still calling McCain a communist. He was doing that in the primary -- before McCain became the only show in town for true conservatives.

Stay tune. I will be giving daily reports on my blog from both the Democratic and GOPee conventions.


None Dare Call It Bullshit

Jerome R. Corsi's Obama Nation is the #1 best seller on the New York Times book list. The author stands by what he wrote in the book. He said it has hundreds of primary sources (many from right-wing blogs, white supremacists, etc.) and it has nearly 700 footnotes. If the author tells that, if must be true...

Here's what the conservative critics are saying:

"[T]here is one enormous problem with Jerome Corsi: he's a habitually dishonest buffoon who will say absolutely anything to make a buck. He's the Rights's Michael Moore, except that Michael Moore has much more talent -- and certain boundaries beyond which, even he won't go." ...

"Keep in mind, folks, this is the same lunatic who has been running around for years telling people that George Bush is going to somehow personally merge the US, Canada, and Mexico over the objections of the American people and Congress. In other words: Jerome Corsi is a conspiracy nut whose credibility level is zero." Hawkins added sarcastically, "Oh yeah, let's put this embarrassing nutjob on point in the attack against Barack Obama -- what could go wrong?"

John Hawkins of rightwingnews.com

"It isn't just that Corsi himself is a conspiracy theorist and a crank, or that his best-selling farrago of innuendo and outright smears exemplifies everything that's wrong with a certain sort of right-wing publishing, or that David Freddoso's The Case Against Barack Obama demonstrates that it's perfectly possible to write an anti-Obama book without descending into the fever swamps. It's that this is an election where conservatives need to be very, very conscious about the importance of line-drawing: If the Right is going to resist the ongoing attempts by Obamaphiles to define various sorts of normal political elbow-throwing (cutting ads making fun of Barack Obama's political style, calling attention to the controversial public utterances of Michelle Obama and Jeremiah Wright, etc.) as inherently racist and hatemongering, conservatives need to be very clear about where the line actually is, and what sort of attacks are actually beyond the pale and worth condemning."

The Atlantic Monthly

"Corsi's approach to politics is both destructive and self-destructive. If Senator Obama loses, he should lose on the merits: his record in public life and his political philosophy. And while it's legitimate to take into account Obama's past associations with people like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright -- especially for someone like Obama, about whom relatively little is known -- it's wrong and reckless to throw out unsubstantiated charges and smears against Senator Obama.

"Conservatism has been an intellectual home to people like Burke and Buckley. The GOP is the party that gave us Lincoln and Reagan. It seems to me that its leaders ought to make it clear that they find what Dr. Corsi is doing to be both wrong and repellent. To have their movement and their party associated with such a figure would be a terrible thing and it will only help the cause of those who hold both the GOP and the conservative movement in contempt."

A former White House Aid


Check out this analysis by the Young Turk on Larry King interview with the author:

I college I learned about a researching technic that gets used in books like this. It's called "circular referencing."

Wikipedia says: A circular reference happens when a person tries to explain or prove something based on what it is they are already talking about. For example, a person trying to prove the reliability of what is written in a book by referencing something written elsewhere in the same book.

Example: The Bible is truth. How do I know the Bible is true? Because the Bible says it is so.

In some cases, circular references can be found in technical documentations and dictionaries. This leads to confusions and sometimes also lower productivity in solving the problem at hand than not having the documentation as circular reference.


Keep Calm My Children

"Everywhere I go, people have told me, 'I'm getting nervous. The Republicans, they're so mean. They're going to Swift-boat you. They're doing things to you. What are you going to do?' I have to just remind people that it is true that, just as John McCain has embraced George Bush's policies, he's embraced his politics. And the same people who brought you George Bush are now trying to package John McCain."

Barack Obama


McCain and the Hillary Strategy

Hillary Clinton must be feeling John McCain's pain. For months and months she battled against Obamamania -- the lofty rhetoric, the swooning girls, the giant crowds and the massive turnout of young people. She tried to mock and belittle his language. (Who can forget the cringe-inducing "Change you can Xerox"?) She tried to raise doubts with the " 3 a.m." ad about Barack Obama's readiness to serve as commander in chief. But in the end she lost. Now McCain is trying his hand, using some of the very same arguments.

His Celebrity ad and a subsequent one dubbed the "Fan Club" go straight at Obama's mass-movement popularity. His message, not unlike Clinton's, is clear: Obama is very cool but he is not presidential material. And he goes one step further: that Obama's "celebrity" status has rendered him clueless to the concerns (e.g., $4 gas) of average Americans.

And on the 3 a.m. front, McCain has made the most of international developments -- the success of the surge and his own warnings about Vladimir Putin's imperialistic ambitions -- to make the argument that his opponent lacks the experience and judgment to lead in dangerous times. McCain's polling numbers show that he leads Obama by a considerable margin on Iraq, national security and the war on terror.

Still, McCain trails in the national polls, albeit narrowly. And it is worth asking whether the very themes that Clinton used can be successfully recycled by McCain in the general election. McCain holds out hope on several fronts.

by Jennifer Rubin
New York Observer



Don't Worry, Go Negative

Why would the election of 2008 be any different? At work, there's a saying that gets uttered once and awhile: If you want to go up you have to go down.

Looks like the McCain train is digging deep...

David Brody: Let me ask you a little about some of these ads that John McCain has been running not just on television, but on the web. Let's face it, let's call a spade a spade, there has been some Messianic references, there's been some antichrist stuff going on, the celebrity, they're trying to pigeonhole you a certain way. Do you believe this is being done on purpose?

Barack Obama: Well of course it's being done on purpose. They're not spending a whole bunch of money to make me out as a good guy. They're engaging in the kind of politics that I think we've become accustomed to which is you try to tear your opponents down and you engage in sort of slash and burn tactics. And very personal sort of personal character attacks. And one of the challenges for us in this campaign is how do you make sure those attacks are answered quickly and forcefully, but also truthfully and that we don't fall into that same kind of tactic.

Read the entire interview @ CBN News.


Crude Talk

"We have to drill offshore. we have to do this. Oil executives say in a couple years we could be seeing results from it. So why not do it? We need to do it."

John McCain

"John McCain's support of the moratorium on offshore drilling during his first presidential campaign was certainly laudable, but his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades.

"Much like his gas tax gimmick that would leave consumers with pennies in savings, opening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3% of the world's oil. It's another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil.

Instead of giving oil executives another way to boost their record profits, I believe we should put in place a windfall profits tax that will help to ease the burden of higher energy costs on working families, and we should invest in the affordable, renewable sources of energy that Senator McCain has opposed in the past."

Barack Obama