Archive for January, 2006
29 Jan 2006

Bite-the-Alligator Award Story

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Tom Stienstra, the SF Chronicle’s Outdoor columnist, tells the story of this guy who was scared to death of bears.

But he was going to Bear Valley, and anyplace with a name like that would require some bear repellent, he figured…

He was tortured with the nightmare of a pack of bears surrounding him, slapping him around for fun, and then jumping on him, slobbering in his face. So he bought a canister of bear pepper spray, which is similar to mace. That is, if attacked, you spray it on the attacker’s face.

The outfitters from Alaska I know told me the hardest thing about administering pepper spray is that it hurts like heck when the bear stuffs the can down your throat.

Well, as the story goes, this guy in hysterics came running into the Bear Valley fire house.

“He was in great pain and wanted first-aid,” Jung said. “He thought pepper spray was like mosquito repellent and had sprayed it all over himself.”

That’s right, the guy sprayed himself with pepper spray.

In honor of this excruciating encounter, I hereby award Bear Repellent Bill the Bite-The-Alligator Award that I occasionally bestow.

This award is in honor of a small poodle dog in Florida that yapped at the alligator that climbed out of the canal, nipped it in the tail, whereupon the alligator whipped around and promptly ate it.


Of course, there is also the famous alleged Glacier National Park advisory sign:


In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear encounters, the Montana Department of Fish and Game advises hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and to stay alert for bears while in the field.

It is advised that outdoorsmen wear small bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren’t expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear.

Additionally, it is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should be able recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear sign.

Black bear excrement is smaller, and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur.

Grizzly bear excrement has lots of little bells in it, and smells like pepper.

29 Jan 2006

Lost in America

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Garrison Keillor debunk‘s Bernard-Henri Lévy’s recent attempt to redo Tocqueville:

It is the classic Freaks, Fatties, Fanatics & Faux Culture Excursion beloved of European journalists for the past 50 years, with stops at Las Vegas to visit a lap-dancing club and a brothel; Beverly Hills; Dealey Plaza in Dallas; Bourbon Street in New Orleans; Graceland; a gun show in Fort Worth; a “partner-swapping club” in San Francisco with a drag queen with mammoth silicone breasts; the Iowa State Fair (“a festival of American kitsch”); Sun City (“gilded apartheid for the old”);a stock car race; the Mall of America; Mount Rushmore; a couple of evangelical megachurches; the Mormons of Salt Lake; some Amish; the 2004 national political conventions; Alcatraz – you get the idea. (For some reason he missed the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the adult video awards, the grave site of Warren G. Harding and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.) You meet Sharon Stone and John Kerry and a woman who once weighed 488 pounds and an obese couple carrying rifles, but there’s nobody here whom you recognize. In more than 300 pages, nobody tells a joke. Nobody does much work. Nobody sits and eats and enjoys their food. You’ve lived all your life in America, never attended a megachurch or a brothel… and it dawns on you that this is a book about the French. There’s no reason for it to exist in English, except as evidence that travel need not be broadening and one should be wary of books with Tocqueville in the title…

…every 10 pages or so, Lévy walks into a wall. About Old Glory, for example. Someone has told him about the rules for proper handling of the flag, and from these (the flag must not be allowed to touch the ground, must be disposed of by burning) he has invented an American flag fetish, a national obsession, a cult of flag worship. Somebody forgot to tell him that to those of us not currently enrolled in the Boy Scouts, these rules aren’t a big part of everyday life.

29 Jan 2006

How to be a Left-Wing Blogger

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We were just discussing the noisy demands of the leftwing blogosphere that democrat senators hold their breaths until they turn blue to prevent the confirmation of Samuel Alito. James Lileks says these rules are for making a fool of yourself, but I’d say he has really just identified several of the characteristic features of the customary literary style of the leftwing blogosphere. It always amazes me that anybody can take the ravings of those foulmouthed trolls seriously:

Make Up Funny Names. If a right-wing figure’s name starts with K, like Kate, by all means call her KKKate. Everyone on the right probably shares the values of the Klan, anyway. Especially if they’re against affirmative action and don’t believe in judging people on the color of their skin. (This goes for the other side, too: Hillary Clinton is so much funnier as “Hitlery.” Wanting single-payer health insurance, wishing to enslave Europe under Aryan yoke — what’s the diff?) Remember: Boil down the object of your hate to a single phrase that betrays your incomprehension of the fundamental issues, but lets others know where you stand right away.

Swear angrily. Not just the classics, but the ones relating to excretion and genitalia. Nothing shows you’re a serious thinker like a torrent of obscenities. It’s the reason Courtney Love is invited to speak to the U.N. so often. Added bonus: Lots of cursing means no one will suspect you’re a Christian. If you are a Christian, you’ll be one of the cool ones who listens to Howard Stern spank lesbian midget strippers. Which automatically means you’re pro-choice, so whatever with the G-d thing.

Hyperbolize everything. Granted, everyone punches a little too hard sometimes; everyone throws too deep. Feisty debate is energizing. Nothing is more boring than the torpid droning you get in the Senate, where solons are duty-bound to call each other “my good friend” even if they were stabbing each other with Bic pens in the cloakroom five minutes before. But the pestilential keyboard pounders had best realize they’re just screaming to the choir. Persuading the middle means acknowledging that the opposition is not composed of subhuman Moorlocks who hope global warming drowns coastal-dwelling gay stem-cell researchers. People on the right may be wrong, but it’s quite possible they don’t actually want a fascistic corporate state where the elite tour the country in giant hovercraft, vaporizing Wal-Mart labor organizers with microwave rays. You could treat them like fellow human beings. But where’s the fun in that?

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

28 Jan 2006

Dick Posner on Electronic Surveillance

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Posner brings lucidity and skepticism to the NSA electronic surveillance brouhaha in New Republic.

28 Jan 2006

What Liberals can Learn from George W. Bush

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Vasko Kohlmayer explains What Liberals can Learn from George W. Bush.

A relative few presidents in this country’s history have endured the kind of vicious and spurious attacks that have been leveled against George Bush. Completely abandoning any sense of decorum or statesmanship, some of the highest officials in the Democratic Party have repeatedly called him a liar, a loser, an election-thief, an airhead, and a fraud. Regularly likened to Hitler, there have been books discussing his assassination. Recently he was even dubbed the world’s greatest terrorist by one of America’s once-prominent entertainers . There are just a few of examples. Sadly, such views are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream liberal outlook.

But no matter how malicious they have been, George Bush has always faced his critics with affability and goodwill.

28 Jan 2006

Why the Democrat Party is Doomed

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Even the Washington Post can see the Democrat Party’s leftwing activist base functions as an albatross around its neck, assuring that it will never get back into power. Fighting the Alito nomination is futile, but the looney-tune left is spoiling for a fight anyway, and the war-drums of the leftwing blogosphere are beating loudly as the vote approaches:

Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience.

These activists — spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns — have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush’s upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts…

“The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. “The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left.”

For a fine example of moonbat reasoning, written by an author who would never dream of imagining that her political opponents have a point of view representing anything beyond insensate malice, incapable of understanding or respecting any form of process, try Angelica’s If not now, then when? rant.

28 Jan 2006

New GOP Ad

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We Killed the Patriot Act! declares Harry Reid.

28 Jan 2006

Ted Kennedy Reviewed

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John Lofton notes some of the ironies of Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts sitting in judgement on Samuel Alito’s ethics and integrity:

Kennedy among other things:

— Was suspended from Harvard because of cheating when he was caught getting another student to take a Spanish test for him.

— Had his father get his Army duty changed to two years from the four years he signed up for. He ended up a guard at NATO headquarters in Paris rather than in Korea where a war was going on.

— Was turned down by Harvard Law School because of poor grades.

— Was arrested four times, while a student at the University of Virginia, for reckless driving, racing with a cop to avoid arrest and for operating a vehicle without a license.

MARY JO KOPECHNE might have been saved if help summoned immediately, according to underwater diver who retrieved her body— Killed a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, by driving her off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969. Following this “accident,” which was, arguably, negligent homicide, Kennedy made 17 credit card phone calls. But it was not until the 18th phone call, nine hours after his car ran off this bridge, that Kennedy reported this “accident.” The frogman who retrieved the dead girl’s body said that he believed she might have been saved if help had been summoned immediately. Kennedy received a two-month suspended sentence, serving no time in jail.

28 Jan 2006

Religion of Peace Rag


28 Jan 2006

Captain Nemo, Watch Out!


A 45 kg. (99 lb. — but who exactly weighed him?) Giant Pacific Octopus last November became annoyed, and was filmed attacking a $200,000 remote controlled submarine being used for salmon research off the west coast of Vancouver Island.


The aggressor would have been Enteroctopus dofleini, a species which can be much bigger. The Giant Pacific Octopus is rumored to reach 30 feet (9.1 m) across and be capable of weighing more than 600 pounds (272 kg), the record specimen actually weighed 400 pounds (182 kg) and had an arm span of 25 feet (7.6 m).

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

27 Jan 2006

High Culture’s Revenge

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Actor’s Studio James Lipton delivers a dramatic reading of the lyrics of rapper Kevin Federline’s PopoZow.

27 Jan 2006

My Preferred Approach

Flight Safety.

Hat tip to Joe N.

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