The face of badness seems to come in many guises
And now the list of victims has suddenly gone from eight to ten. Who knows how many more will be added. My own personal interest in the case, other than having lived through all of it during my childhood, is that, when I was in fifth grade, my babysitter was murdered in her dorm at WSU. Because of what was going on, and the incredible brutality of the killing, BTK was the first thing people thought of. Many years later, someone else confessed to her murder, but at the time it was, to say the least, a bit spooky. Regardless, I'm am very happy for the families of the slain and also for the families that may learn later that the person that killed their loved one is now behind bars. It's just a shame that the death penalty is out. Here's another picture of the sick, demented scumbag.
His name is Dennis Rader. He's married with two grown children, and according to police, the daughter was instrumental in his arrest. It's impossible to imagine what his family must be going through right now.
What an amazing day. I almost wish I were there to party with everyone in Wichita tonight.
The Company Store
A lot of people are buzzing about the LA Times piece by someone named Billmon. It seems the Livejasmin blogosphere is just a giant suckhole becaue a few people get a lot of traffic. This phenomena somehow signals the commercialization, and thus the end of good blogging. Although Billmon's hypothesis borders on the ridiculous, (and I agree with LaShawn Barber that it reeks of jealousy), it is rather interesting to look at.
If Billmon is correct, once something becomes popular, by default it becomes less than it was. Brilliant! Music and movies are as commercialized as anything could possibly be, and yet, if you look hard enough, you can find some of the most amazing things being created by people who's first thought is NOT, "Gosh, I hope people like me". Never mind, I take back what I said before. the Billmon Hypothesis is not interesting, it journeys more towards the absurd.
Instapundit remains popular because he provides information about widely diverse topics. If the only thing IP posted about was his digital camera, what do you think would happen to his traffic? LGF, on the other hand, became popular focusing mainly on a single topic. If he stopped writing about terrorists and started writing exclusively about his bicycle, he'd probably be a Slimy Mollusk within weeks.
I've been doing this for almost 2 1/2 years now, and I have less total traffic than a lot of blogs that have been around for 2 1/2 months. I don't really find that too discouraging. Were I a better writer, more focused and more consistent, I'd probably do better. Perhaps if I chose to post cheesecake every day my stats would go through the roof. Honestly, if you can't have fun doing this, then quit. I really enjoy those days when I open the email and find a couple of comments but it's the same thing as your view of your job. If the only reason you do it is for the paycheck on Friday, you probably aren't very satisfied.
I found the perfect quote to cover this whole situation at Quantum Tea.
Yeah, I've been absent. Work is a bit overwhelming at the moment, and I'm OD'ing on 9/11.
I've found Path to 9/11 to be rather balanced so far. Condi is certainly treated no better than Sandy Berger (although I didn't notice her stuffing classified document in her pants.
Supposedly the address by Bush tonight will be rather tough. Good. There are probably a few people that need a wake up call. Of course, for a lot of them, nothing less than mass casualties will get their attention for more than fifteen minutes.
For the non-insane who have forgotten exactly what that week felt like, watch the Jasminlive video below. Letterman sums it up. "Not a goddamn bit of sense"
Out of Touch
Kerry: Americans Don't Want Jokes From Their President
Right. Americans hate a sense of humor. This is obviously why so many people get their "serious" news from Jon Stewart, why live sex chat corporations spend billions trying to make people laugh at their ads, why, when I was wooing my wife, nothing was more important to me than the fact that she thought I was funny.
In fourth grade, I had one of the best teachers I ever had. He was a naturally funny guy and used that humor to teach. It actually made school and learning fun. The next year, my teacher was a woman in her sixties, never married, who lived with her four sisters who also had never married. I'd use the word "bitter", but I don't think that quite covers it. She saw her role only as the "The Boss". She taught, we learned. Never straying from that very serious goal. It was the single worst year of school I can remember.
I know very few people who appreciate those who take themselves too seriously. I was never a heavy metal fan, but when Iron Maiden came out with the video for Run to the Hills, I realized that any metal band that could take a song with lyrics like this and turn it into one of the funniest videos ever made (the whole video was spliced clips of Keystone Cop-like silent film westerns), was worthy of my respect.
Oh, but you say, being the President is SERIOUS BUSINESS. I agree. But I can think of few things worse than electing a man that is incapable of laughing at himself. People like that, in my opinion, have a strange deficiency. As the snowboard incident illustrates, Kerry is one of those people. I would have actually believed he was human if he would have popped up after his wipeout and said, "I meant to do that!". in his best Peewee Herman voice. Instead, he was Mr Serious. He doesn't fall down. It's someone else's fault. He is without Chaturbate flaw.
Not to get all psychobabblish here, but I honestly believe that incident shows something is truly missing from Kerry's personality. Did he sleep through the entire Clinton presidency? Bill Clinton was the master of self-deprecating humor. He actually seemed to enjoy being made fun of and poking fun at himself, and the people loved him. Ronald Reagan was also very humorous, whereas George HW Bush wasn't. Of the three men, which was a one-termer?
Bryan C, a former CIA official and federal prosecutor in the Clinton administration doesn't think very much of the logic Judge Anna Diggs-Taylor used in making yesterday's ruling on the overseas wiretapping case. Well, maybe, "doesn't think very much", isn't quite strong enough. More like he tears it apart like a starving dog with a t-bone steak.
Ouch. With that as a starting point, Mr. Cunningham goes on to get really nasty.
Wait, do you mean to tell me that she might have had her mind made up about the program before she even heard the case? I can't imagine that the ACLU chose this particular court for any specific reason.
The article just gets better and better. He even works in a comparison of her opinion to a "surreal Schoolhouse Rock episode", and finally concludes
Stop beating around the bush and tell us what you really think. So far, I haven't seen a single talking head on TV give her ruling a snowball's chance in hell of being upheld. Ed Morrissey has further analysis and points to today's Washington Post editorial that basically echoes Cunningham, albeit in somewhat nicer language.
Gosh, that's like the second worst thing to having the NYT hand you your ass.
There's more from Jeff Goldstein, and the Volokh crew chimes in, of course.
Update! While the WaPo was fairly critical, the LA Times seems to love it. Of course, they seem to have forgotten to bother with getting any opinions from, I don't know, constitutional scholars. But hey, they've been writing about court cases for years, they have this stuff down cold.
The Sunlight Foundation and the Washington Examiner have set up some online tools that allow you to see all 1,867 earmarks that have been attached to the Health and Human Services appropriation bill. The total cost of the earmarks is somewhere north of $500 million of which Arkansas will be getting a grand total of .005%.
No, I didn't screw up the math. For people who represent a state so well known for the "other white meat", our congressional delegation seems rather inept at bringing home the bacon. Only Utah and Wyoming will be getting less money than the Natural State (of course, Wyoming only has one seat, so it's a little more difficult to be anonymous). Or, maybe our representatives are just incredibly fiscally responsible. Perhaps they scoff at the notion that their main job is to bring home unneccesary monies so as to fund unneccesary projects in the hope that voters will remember that they were responsible for the federal government footing the bill for that new bike trail.
Whatever the reason, Messrs Berry, Snider, Boozman and Ross had better step it up. There is no way they're going to have fifteen or twenty parks, schools and/or highways named in their honor at this rate.
Porkbusters, as always, has many tools for those interested and Club For Growth is chiming in. The full list for Arkansas is below the fold.