March 31, 2004

Local News Update

I was among the may skeptics who laughed when they said they would have I95 in Bridgeport CT re-opened in three weeks. I was sort of right. Three weeks was not accurate. The highway is open - in SIX DAYS.(registration required)

Chris Cooper, spokesman for the DOT, said the three lanes were opened about 3:30 a.m. Crews had worked Tuesday and throughout the night to pave over a section of temporary bridge brought in to replace the overpass, destroyed after the accident in which a tanker truck carrying heating oil struck a concrete barrier and burst into flames.

The northbound lanes of the bridge were repaired and reopened Sunday night.

Officials initially had said it might take weeks to repair the bridge, but have worked round-the-clock to reopen the interstate, the main route between New York and Boston. Over 120 thousand cars a day normally travel the one-mile stretch of roadway.

Workers on Monday evening began installing a temporary bridge to replace the overpass. The bridge's steel deck was in place Tuesday morning, and crews were paving it Tuesday evening.

Later, construction workers will create a temporary road in the highway median. Traffic will be shifted to the temporary road while permanent repairs are made to the overpass.

Count me as amazed, impressed, and because I have to drive that stretch of road - very grateful.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:19 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


March 30, 2004

All Hands On Deck

Bill Whittle has posted chapter 2 of his new series: Its A Trap. He actually goes so far as to suggest we put down our theories of the world and look at reality.

I will go so far as to agree and strongly recommend that the whole thing be read - twice.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:24 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


March 29, 2004

Remembering

I was busily thrashing away on Google earlier this evening trying to find confirmation for something I had hear on the radio on the way home. If it pans out it could be the most startling example of Richard Clarke's Kerryism to date. According to the report I heard, it would seem that Clarke refused to testify before a senate committee on Y2K citing the same executive privilege for which he has recently criticized Condoleeza Rice. But I was interrupted and I no longer care.

In fact I no longer give a damn about Richard Clarke, his book, or the 9/11 commission. At this moment it all seems like a tremendous amount of fuss and bluster about nothing. That we are in the midst of congressional hearings to answer what are essentially rhetorical questions seems ridiculous.

Did the Clinton administration do enough to fight terrorism over its eight years? Did the Bush administration do enough in the 8 months prior to 9/11? Well, 9/11 did happen so the answer to both questions is clearly no. Could 9/11 have been prevented if both administrations had done things differently? I suppose it's possible. If Clinton did this and that, and Bush did the other thing And Then A Miracle Occurs and 9/11 doesn't happen.

But there was no this, that or the other thing. There was no miracle.

The interruption I mentioned before, my wife asked me to record a movie on TV. I grabbed a blank tape from a box recently brought in from storage in the garage. Half way through rewinding it I wondered if after spending a summer and a winter in the garage if the tape was still any good. I stopped it and hit play.

The tape had been used to record a documentary that ran just after 9/11. I happened to stop the tape just moments before the first tower collapsed. I was unprepared for this. The shock and surprise were almost as brutal as they were on that day. When they pulled back to a wide shot of Manhattan shrouded in smoke the anger came back too.

That a serious candidate for president thinks that the solution to the problem of terrorism is law enforcement action is deplorable. Kerry also wants to increase the number of first responders to deal with terrorism after it happens. The bulk of the footage I watched tonight was shot by a cameraman who was at the scene with firefighters in the Trade Center when the first tower collapsed and escaped with those firefighters moments before the second tower came down. More first responders are not the answer. If there had been a 1000 more first responders on the scene at Ground Zero, the only difference it would have made is that there would have been more dead firefighters.

The solution to bringing an end to terrorism and to preventing another 9/11 it to bring a swift and merciless end to the terrorists.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:49 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


The Sky is Falling!

What do you get when you combine unproven pseudo-scientific conjecture, Hollywood liberal hysteria and a massive special effects budget? You get The Day After Tomorrow

In Independence Day Roland Emmerich brought you the near destruction of the earth by aliens. Now, in The Day After Tomorrow the enemy is an even more devastating force: nature itself. Tornados rip Los Angeles; a massive snow storm pounds New Delhi; hail the size of grapefruit batters Tokyo; and in New York City, the temperature swings from sweltering to freezing in one day. In this special-effects packed, highly anticipated event motion picture, an abrupt climate change has cataclysmic consequences for the entire planet.
This movie is the result of taking what a series of questionable computer models predict could happen in a century, exaggerating it by about 500% and shortening the time span to about 2 hours. It is a shameless exploitation of uninformed fear that would probably make the people who made The Day After blush.

Break out the Popcorn and the Gummi Bears, its the end of the world coming to a theater near you.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:23 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


March 28, 2004

More MuNu for Your Money

The only thing growing faster than the list of Munuvains is the stack of John Kerry's waffles. Here is the list of the latest additions. I bid them welcome and in the MuNu tradition, a hearty Yay!

Read My Lips
G'Day Mate
Miss Apropos
Little Miss Attila
Triticale
Backstage
Um's Musings
Seven links added to the sidebar with only one error!!!

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:04 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


The New Silent Spring

Can you imagine a time in which the policies of virtually every government on the planet result in the illness of billions and the deaths of millions and all you hear from the world media is silence. There is no need to imagine it. You're living in it.

Here is how it all got started.

In April 1972, after seven months of testimony, EPA Administrative Law Judge Edmund Sweeney stated that “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man. ... The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. ... The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.”*

Two months later, EPA head [and Environmental Defense Fund member/fundraiser] William Ruckelshaus - who had never attended a single day’s session in the seven months of EPA hearings, and who admittedly had not even read the transcript of the hearings - overturned Judge Sweeney’s decision. Ruckelshaus declared that DDT was a “potential human carcinogen” and banned it for virtually all uses.**

The U.S. ban on DDT was adopted around the globe and the results have been disasterous. Junk Science has a running Malaria Clock that you should spend a few frightening moment staring at. And while you do, think for a moment about the motives behind the people who made this happen, and allow it to continue in silence. more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


March 27, 2004

In Local News

One of the worst commutes in the country just got a whole lot worse. An accident Thursday night involving a tractor trailer carrying 12,000 gallons of home heating oil resulted in a spectacular fire. Heat from the blaze melted a recently built overpass, shutting down both sides of the highway for and optimistically estimated 2-3 weeks.

Official estimates are that the damaged section of highway is used by 120,000 vehicles a day - including mine twice, on the way to and from work.

On a typical day during rush hour traffic through the Bridgeport stretch of I95 is three lanes packed solid and moving at an average 3 mph. (I tend to laugh at this as I commute in the opposite direction of the rush typically at about 70 mph.)

If you want to get a full picture of the impact this is having just imagine 120,000 vehicles searching for an alternate route through city streets. The official detour was hell and not really much of an option. 3 lanes of rush hour traffic shuffled onto 1 city street.

WNBC has a great slide show of the disaster complete with captions and descriptions. Or if you just want pictures I copied some of the better ones into the extended entry. more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:26 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


The State of the Mayonnaise

I've been spending some time the last few days reading my own blog. On the surface this probably sounds only slightly better than spending an afternoon Googling yourself, but I see it as a valuable exercise. It helps me to understand where the site is actually going compared to where I wanted to to go when I started.

I have noticed a couple of things I am going to have to try to fix. The content seems to be suffering the side effects of a couple of periphery obsessions. Specifically, the little calendar at the top of the sidebar and readership statistics. (I can't blame the last one solely on SiteMeter any more since since I now have stats from five different sources)

The effect of the calendar is the occassional pointless post like this one. It has this effect because any day that I don't post something, the date stays grey. If I post, the number turns blue. A grey day in the middle of a month full of blue days is like a huge zit in the end of my nose the day of a big meeting. I really need to get over that. This month I am four days away from what may be the first month of blue days in the short history of Hold The Mayo. I will post something on each of those days, and some of may be complete crap just to have a blue month. After that, I will not post for the calendar. I will post when I have something to post. Which from looking back on the days before I had the calendar thing was pretty close to every day anyway.

The effect of readership statistics is more subtle. I find myself occasionally taking intellectual shortcuts and not putting the effort of thought into topics that they deserve. And I have at times drifted between but Den Beste calls Linkers and Thinkers. I started this blog with the intention of being a thinker.

This was brought into sharper focus yesterday when I wrote a post about the U.N. and its efforts to gain control over certain aspects of internet technology. When I reading it, I thought - this is a more serious post I should put it at eTalkinghead. This thought bothered me because it is the kind of post I started this site for. There are clearly things here that don't belong there, but there should be nothing there that doesn't belong here.

This does not mean that I think every post has be written in an attempt to change the world. I had great fun chronicling my attempts to score a cheap iPod on Ebay. But I do think Hold The Mayo has become more "bloggy" than I originally wanted it to be.

In an earlier round of blog navel gazing I grouped by posts into to basic categories: This Amuses Me, and This Pisses Me Off. Looking at the State of the Mayonnaise now, I would have to ad, This Takes Up Space.

After I fill up the rest of the space of this month, this catgegory goes away. Space is not a bad thing to have. It is room to think.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:39 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


March 26, 2004

eTalkinghead Post

eTalkinghead editor Dustin Frelich reports that since the listing of the site on Google News there has been a significant increase in traffic. So head on over and check out my post on the U.N. Internet Takeover

Special thanks to Linda for blogging a story I missed.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:40 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


March 25, 2004

It's All About Dick

If you are a news and commentary junkie, as I proudly am, then you are painfully aware that virtually everything you read see or hear these days is about Dick. I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I've had about all the Dick I can stand.

Richard Clarke may have broken new ground in the art of taking both sides of an issue. Testifying before the 9/11 Commission, Dick even tried to out do John Kerry's statement that he voted for funding operations in Iraq and Afghanistan before he voted against it. Referring to a transcript of a press briefing given by Dick that directly contradicts his book and his testimony, Commission member Jim Thompson asked

We have your book and we have your press briefing of August 2002. Which is true?"

Both, Clarke answered.

For Mr. Clarke everything is about Dick. Mostly about selling books for Dick.

What I don't understand is this. (Actually I do understand it but bear with me I'm going to try to make a point here) The Bush campaign ran a 30 second commercial that contained about 2 seconds of footage from 9/11, and the outcry was instantaneous. Here is a man who is clearly playing fast and loose politics with the facts of 9/11 so he can sell more books. Where are the indignant spokespeople from September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:45 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


Waffles and Ketchup

Found at Little Green Footballs. This piece by Evan Coyne Malone is well worth the trouble to download even if you're on a really slow dial-up.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:23 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


March 24, 2004

From The IT Department

Number of viruses intercepted by our internet gateway for January 2004, 38,208. For the first quarter of 2004, 84,917. Number of internal infections for the quarter 678.

Number of infected Macintosh systems 0.

Heh.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


March 23, 2004

Lost at Sea

I made brief mention the other day of something called the LOST treaty. It is a reference to the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty. The treaty in its original form was rejected By Ronald Reagan in 1982. Portions of the treaty were re-negotiated and it was submitted to congress by President Clinton where it languished under the study of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee until 2000 when the committee sent it back to the president. In 2003 the State Department asked the Foreign Relations Committee to take another look at the treaty.

The only significant change in the intervening years was the replacement of Jessie Helms ac committee chairman with Richard Lugar. That apparently was all the change needed to vote the treaty out of the committee. Nine people were called to testify before the committee in favor of the treaty - there was no commentary from those opposed. The committee voted unanimously to send the treaty to the full Senate with the objective of holding a non roll call voice vote. Thus allowing the treaty to be voted without debate.

This in and of itself is not a good thing. A treaty sign by the president and ratified by the Senate is codified in the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Such things should not be entered into lightly and without debate. It the case of The Lost, this is a particularly egregious dereliction of Senatorial duty.

One of the larger drawbacks of LOST is its establishment of the International Seabed Authority. The ISA would have the authority to regulate the use of seven-tenths of the earth's surface as well as the authority to tax via the collection of permit fees. ISA permits at cost of $250,000 would be required for any activity affecting the seabed. This would include drilling, and undersea cables.

In addition to fee collection the ISA can require the submission of detailed information about any technology used. This information can be shared by the Seabed Authority with member nations with total disregard for intellectual property rights.

There is a good deal more wrong with this treaty documented here.

It is frightening to think that there are some in the Senate who wanted to ratify this treaty with an un-debated voice vote. It is the result of the efforts of numerous conservative talk show hosts, and columnists that spurred a massive grassroots campaign that this treaty will be looked at further - and debated on its merits.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


March 22, 2004

eTalkinghead Post

Link from Baldilocks to this a Washington Post Op-Ed written by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in response to Richard Clarke's assertions about Bush administration failings in dealing with Al Quiada before 9/11.

Read it here.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:14 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Presidential Failure Attacks Bush & Blair

Peanut farmer, gaseous windbag, pretentious wiener, oh and useless former president, Jimmy Carter has in the words of jacques Chirac missed another great opportunity to keep his mouth shut. In an interview with The Independent, Carter used the occasion of the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to lash out at President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair

There was no reason for us to become involved in Iraq recently. That was a war based on lies and misinterpretations from London and from Washington, claiming falsely that Saddam Hussein was responsible for [the] 9/11 attacks, claiming falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And I think that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair probably knew that many of the allegations were based on uncertain intelligence.
Carter has taken to the Bush lied meme to whole new level. Break out the tinfoil hats folks, it's conspiracy time. This is the first I have read of an accusation that Bush and Blair conspired to lie to the world about Iraq outside of the looney bin called the Democratic Underground. This form a man who's anti-terrorism policies as president are remarkable only for the fact that they were actually less effective than Bill Clinton's.

Carter then goes on to assert that Bush was merely trying to finish daddy's war and that he basically lead Blair like a puppy on a leash.

I think the basic reason was made not in London but in Washington. I think that Bush Jnr was inclined to finish a war that his father had precipitated against Iraq. I think it was that commitment of Bush that prevailed over, I think, the better judgement of Tony Blair and Tony Blair became an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush policy
The Independent went on to observe
Mr Carter's criticisms coincided with damaging claims yesterday from a former White House anti-terrorism co-ordinator.
I have a distinctly hard time swallowing the idea that the timing of Carter's remarks with those of Richard Clark is a coincidence. I think it would have been a good deal more accurate if they had written, "Mr Carter's criticisms WERE COORDINATED with damaging claims yesterday from a former White House anti-terrorism co-ordinator."
Side note: The Independent also took note that "Over the weekend millions of anti-war protesters poured on to the streets of cities around the world to call for the withdrawal of US-led troops from Iraq." See example below.
The gap between reality and the world Mr. Carter inhabits is wide and deep. A fact not included in this story is that Harvey, the large white rabbit that once pursued Carter was last seen at a Kerry $2,000 a plate luncheon fundraiser with a group of unnamed foreign leaders.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:26 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


March 21, 2004

"Some Who Live Deserve Death"

A reader at LGF posted a series of photos from am anti-war demonstration in San Francisco. As disgusting and angering as some of the protestor's signs were. Nothing tops the walking pile of rotting feces pictured below.

117-1743_IMG.jpg

In one of the Die Hard movies - I think it was 3 - the Bruce Willis character is made walk through a predominantly black neighborhood wearing a blatantly racist sign. I would like to find this worthless piece of shit and stick him and his sign on any street corner in Manhattan.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:17 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Random Discoveries

I did a little semi-random blog exploration and came across Captain's Quarter's Blog, where there is a rousing John Kerry photo caption contest. I have my entry in. Do you think you can do better?

When you're finished submitting your non-winning caption, check out the rest of this excellent site.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


The Parade of the Waffle King

The Times of India (where are the U.S. media on this?) takes an in depth look at John Kerry's economic posturing. In addition to the fairly widely reported fact of the 57 overseas factories of H.J. Heinz (source of the Kerry-Heinz Heinz-Kerry fortune), there are these facts:

Campaign finance reports reviewed by the Congressional publication, The Hill, reveal that executives at 25 companies identified by CNN's Lou Dobbs as prime outsourcers have contributed more than $370,000 to Kerry's presidential campaign. Among them are executives of Citigroup (who contributed $68,250 to Kerry), Morgan Stanley (gave $38,000) and Goldman Sachs (gave $50,300).
If these are indeed executives of "Benedict Arnold Corporations" what does that say about the character of a man who accepts their campaign contributions? It says what has been obvious to anyone who has taken a serious objective look at John Kerry. That he has no character.

If all that isn't enough to make all but the blindly committed question Kerry, consider also this

Direct investments and trusts controlled by Kerry list assets of $124,026 to $636,000 in companies that outsource jobs, according to his financial disclosures. Trusts held by Teresa Heinz Kerry hold at least $8.5 million in outsourcing companies. Among them are General Electric, IBM and AIG which have big operations in India and China.
There is of course nothing wrong with a company outsourcing jobs to maintain or increase profitability. There are even a number of companies such as BMW, Honda and Toyota that outsource jobs to the U.S. There is also nothing wrong with accepting campaign contributions from executives who work for companies that outsource jobs. There is nothing wrong with investing in companies that do whatever it takes to remain competitive and profitable - in fact it makes good business sense .

There is, however, a good deal wrong with doing that while you are running a campaign vilifying companies that outsource as the scourge of the economy. John Kerry's position seems to be that outsourcing is bad for the country, bad for the economy, but good for John Kerry. Once again, the Waffle King has positioned himself on both sides of an issue.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:41 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


March 20, 2004

Is it Beal or Just Saturday

I am beginning to regret that I did both the Cheddar X and the Friday five yesterday. That means if I want to post today I have to think up something on my own. With John Kerry on vacation, this is proving to be tough.

A lot of things are of interest to me, but I can't seem to turn off the mental cruise control enough to deal with any of it in a meaningful way.

Henry Lamb has a good column at World Net Daily about the LOST treaty. If you don't know what the LOST Treaty is, that is a big part of the problem.

The Pakistanis are doing a terrific job trying to make up for selling nuclear technology to a lot of people who shouldn't be anywhere near nukes. The ongoing fighting on the Afghan border has resulted in a lot of dead and captured Al Quida. They still have a long way to go before their penance is done.

Having the endorsement actual flesh and blood foreign leaders might not be as god as the imaginary kind. Kerry has moved to quickly reject the endorsement of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Locally we are doing our part to help defeat Kerry by trying to keep the economy strong. An architect was put on retainer today to draw up plans to ad a bedroom the second floor. Costs aren't in yet but we're budgeting about $20k (more debt!). Also we are getting a new puppy tomorrow (bringing the dog total to 3). The new pet, a King Charles Spaniel will be called either Bogart, or Willoughby. We'll decide when we meet him.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:03 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


March 19, 2004

Fives and Tens

Pixie says the cure for Beal is the CheddarX. But it being the end of the week there is also the Friday Five. For a serious case of Beal, the only cure may be take them both.

Friday Five
If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Asian. I love Asian food. There would need to be about 7 or 8 different dining rooms in my restaurant each with their own cuisine. Currently I would probably eat most often in the Thai room.
2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?
Clues. There seem to be a lot of people who don't have one so the market should be great.
3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?
Political Fiction. I figure I could double sales by cross marketing it under campaign management.
4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?
Logic and Philosophy. Although I understand that the success of the school would be really bad for business in the store.
5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?
Other people's music. Because no one wants to hear me.

The Cheddar X

When I say:
Olympics, you say? = Waste of cash
Politics = Lying for fun and profit
John Kerry = See Politics
George Bush = Strong leader - see Politics
Osama = Not a form of death slow and painful enough
Same-sex marriage = whatever
Todd Bertuzzi = Todd is a nice name
Barry Bonds = Poster boy for steroids
The Passion of the Christ = yawn
Beach = babes
Britney Spears = gives pop sluts a bad name
Paris Hilton = why is she anything?
Microsoft = never touch the stuff
France = I couldn't care less
Hans Blix = Inspector Clusuea
Linux = the anti-microsoft
MTV = what does the M stand for?
Outsource = having someone else mow my lawn
Hummer H2 = what's the point?
Honor = a rare gem
Love = a rarer gem
Courteney Love = trying desperately to hang on the 15 minutes of undeserved fame she got from her husband's shotgun act.

That was fun.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:24 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


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