Monday, July 25, 2005

The Peace Bus - Coming to a Town Near You.

Well respected for her opinions on foreign relations and the use of military force, Jane Fonda intends to take a cross-country bus tour to call for an end to U.S. military operations in Iraq."

Why not take the tour to Iraq?

More Biker Gang Sightings

Yesterday on my way to church, a pair of tandem biker couples, side by side, just chatting away, were slowly moving on a curvy backroad in Buckhead. Single file people. MY momma taught me to ride my bike carefully in the street and keep to the side when traffic appears. Must be that biker martyr complex.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Crazy Cynthia Circus is Back!

On the day President George W. Bush visited Atlanta to promote alternatives to the Social Security pyramid scam, Cynthis McKinney - the Representative from Decatur, GA - revisits claims that the Bush administration was complicit in the Sept. 11 attacks.

She was voted out of office in 2002 after she first claimed the administration's involvement soon after the attacks. She seems to either be attempting to build political clout among her constituents, among the most liberal in Atlanta, or lookging for more face time on TV. This woman after all is famous for camping out early for a prime seat in all presidential address to Congress and the nation from which she is easily seen on TV in her brilliantly plumed attire. But is that really it?

The eight-hour hearing, timed to mark the first anniversary of the release of the Sept. 11 commission's report on the attacks, drew dozens of contrarians and conspiracy theorists who
suggest President Bush purposely ignored warnings or may even have had a hand in the attack — claims participants said the commission ignored.

The timing of the hearing was more than symbolic. By holding the hearing on the day of a visit by the president to Atlanta, she guaranteed minimal coverage of her statements in press outlets that would easily reach her district.

McKinney also wisely avoided leaving damaging soundbites to be used against her back home.

She rebuffed a reporter's repeated attempts to ask her why she would so boldly embrace the same claims that led to her downfall.

... she left the testimony and questioning of panelists to others, McKinney was the main attraction, presiding over more than two dozen participants...

The main gist of the panel was that the administration "ignored numerous warnings from the CIA, the Federal Aviation Administration, foreign governments and others who told him [Pres. G.W.Bush] before 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack the United States and that terrorists were likely to use hijacked airliners as weapons."

I'm gonna have to find it on the internet, but I believe that the first warnings we had of this sort of terrorist plan first arose during the previous administration's tenure. Something about a computer being recovered from a terrorist in the Phillipines I believe.

Putting all blame aside, except for that which rightfully rests with islamic terrorists, intelligence gathering and analysis is an art. Not a science. You are trying to predict human behavior and emotion and as a result, errors and misjudgments are expected. If they really wanted to prevent another 9/11, Cynthia and her minions would best be served by helping us infiltrate, contain and elminate the terrorist threats. Instead, they just have an axe to grind.

Biker Gangs

Atlanta has a biker problem and it's likely to only get worse.

Packs of marauding biker gangs prowl the back streets of Atlanta, looking for action and building their street cred. I've noticed them blatantly running red lights/stop signs, using our roads to race each other and generally ignoring their own safety on the road. It's gotten so bad that I avoid them like the plague.

I'm talking about cyclists mind you. The spandex wearing, road laws only apply to motorists, self preservation be damned kind.

I've got no problem sharing asphalt with these guys. I am courteous and give them a wide berth. I've got good friends who are cyclists. Some of whom were even part of Team in Training.

I almost killed a careless one the other day. Pulled up to a stop sign at a typically dangerous intersection. It's a four way stop with a twist - instead of a classic "t" intersection, it becomes sort of a 5 way intersection with my road split into two one way streets. There was a car coming from my left who stopped and was waiting to make the turn. I'm also waiting for traffic to clear allowing me to turn left and then make a quick right. As traffic clears I release the brake and start to pull into the intersection when a biker doing about 30 squeezes between the stationary SUV on my left and the curb. I did everything but run him over. My car edged into the intersection and the blur of unrecognized motion to my left caused me to hit the brakes, narrowly avoiding a nasty scratch to my front end - and needless to say one dead as dirt, careless biker, and a lawsuit with my name on it.

These guys run red lights and stop signs at their convenience. They travel in wide packs uphill on the windy back streets making it impossible for cars to pass safely. Even local munincipality Berkeley Lake was considering licensing cyclists.

Get with it guys. I'll very nicely share the road with you. Always have. But you can't have it both ways. Help me out. You are not as visible as a vehicle and you will squeeze your bike into places where I'm unable or not likely to see you approach. Going up hill, please thin the pack out and stick to the right. And at least get some cheapy lights while you're at it too. They can make a world of difference visibility wise. I'm surprised we haven't had more incidents.

Atlanta is getting better. Fifteen years ago, there was nothing here for cyclists. Now we've got some - largely unused mind you - bike lanes around and in the city. Cobb County has miles of the Silver Comet Trail, which starts at Cumberland Mall in NW and heads west. Also, every year, Bike Ride Across Georgia is run. Things are improving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ edit ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Go figure. Just this evening I pull up to the 3-way red light just outside my subdivision. A biker from the right decides to run the red light as we enter the intersection on green. I almost ran her off into the house across the street. If I wasn't watching, she would have been a tree ornament.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Reality TV

My idea of reality TV?

Sports, The History Channel, TLC, Discovery and the news.

I'm just not fond of TV media's new obsession. I understand it. It's relatively cheap, none or very little actors fees, viewers seem to be eating it up. I see enough of it watching over my wife's shoulder. I rather be stalking the internet, playing games, cleaning house, cooking dinner, etc...

It's just not me. Granted, like watching an imminent train wreck, I'll find myself watching the spoiled brats sent off to wilderness camp or whatever else the Mrs. has on. Speaking of the aforementioned city-fied brats shanghaied to the western scrub lands, basically mom and dad have pimped their children off to the network in exchange for free wilderness counseling sessions, right?

If I had to chose one reality based show to watch, it'd have to be The Amazing Race on CBS. More competition and less drama I guess.

Unfortunately, even the cable channels, usually owned by a broadcast network nowadays, are getting into the act. My once beloved A&E has gotten into the new fad with such programming as Dog the Bounty Hunter, Growing Up Gotti and Family Plots. A&E used to be a refuge for me when I was looking for cerebral stimulation like Nero Wolfe, Biography or the like. No wonder I'm watching less TV programming.

USA to the Gold Cup Finals!

I'm an unapologetic soccer fan folks. The US Men's National Soccer team defeated Honduras in the semi-finals of the US hosted Gold Cup by scoring two goals in the game's final seven minutes. I'm a happy man tonight. And starting for the US tonight was Georgia's own Josh Wolfe.

The team got off to a poor start in my opinion, keep in mind I was dodging thunderstorms and missed much of the first half. It just didn't look like we were anticipating the flow of play offensively. Not to mention that Honduras appeared to 'out hustle' the US. But the guys have learned to keep at it and make their own luck by creating opportunities. John O'Brien was in the right place at the right time to redirect a clearance by a Honduran defender into their net to tie up the game. Then in extra time, Oguchi Onyewu scored the game winner with a well placed header on a free kick from Landon Donovan. Nice come from behind victory guys!

Welcome Time Travelers!

Just wanted to welcome all of you folks who've traveled back in time to see how this once humble blog got its start. Please introduce yourselves and let me know how you came to find this wonderful diversion and what your best experiences were.

And in case you aren't a time traveler and are reading this for the first time, "Welcome!"

And I gotta give props to cyber-daddy 'Harvey' over at Bad Example for getting me interested in at least giving this a try. Sorry it took so long Harv, just couldn't decide on a name till now.