Saturday, January 28, 2006

Twenty years ago, on the morning of January 28, 1986, a faulty O-ring seal in one of the Space Shuttle Challenger's booster rockets started a chain reaction that ended seventy-three seconds later in the loss of the shuttle and the deaths of all seven of its crewmembers. I didn't like Reagan much (obviously), but the speech he gave following the shuttle explosion is one of the greatest political speeches of the past several decades. To wit:

There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
The quoted lines reference a poem written in 1941 by a nineteen-year-old Spitfire pilot named John Magee. Magee died a few months later, prompting his father to forward the poem to the Library of Congress, where it was included in an exhibition in 1942. And from thence to fame. (To this day, "High Flight" remains the official poem [who knew there were such things?] of both the Royal Canadian Air Force [for whom Magee flew] and the Royal Air Force [at whose base he was killed].)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Recipe o' the Day!

1 tbsp Ted Nugent
1 tbsp Tara Reid
1 tsp Rush Limbaugh
1 pint Grey Goose
½ oz. cocaine
4-5 FHM photo shoots
Salt to taste

Combine ingredients and stir until smooth.

Yield: 1 Anna Benson.

Serving suggestion (to quote her letter to PETA):

I also love to eat meat. I eat meat twice a day because I need the protein and soy gives me painful gas. Besides, I love a really big, really rare steak that's still mooing on my plate. Moooo - yum. I like fish too. I especially like to catch fish, cut off their little heads, and eat them. And I guess Chickens are okay... I liked that movie Chicken Run, but I would ring one of their little chicken necks in about two seconds if I was hungry. But what I'd really like to know is what the fuck is PETA gonna do about it?

According to Peter Bergen (by way of Rush and Molloy [by way of Wake-Up Call]), Osama bin Laden is "a Larry King fan." Stephen Colbert, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

In the LA Times, Joel Stein admits:

I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.

I'm sure I'd like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you're wandering into a recruiter's office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.


But I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.


I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn't so much as served on jury duty for his country. But it's really not that easy to say because anyone remotely affiliated with the military could easily beat me up, and I'm listed in the phone book.

I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.

Super Mario turns over the reins. And then1 gets off his horse, goes into his house, changes into pajama pants and a bathrobe, and then sits on his couch and throws things at the television while the Penguins get utterly pounded. Every night.

And in Steeler news, a high school teacher humiliates a student for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey.

Let's go Bucs!

1 - Because friends don't let friends use bad metaphors without hammering them (the metaphors) into the ground.

Tim Kaine, fresh off a few months of Kilgore-whompin', tries to mend some fences:

Marty H. Kilgore is returning to her former job as executive director of a foundation that oversees Virginia's youth-smoking prevention campaign.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, announced the appointment yesterday. Last August, Kilgore left the job she held since 2001 to help her husband, Republican Jerry W. Kilgore, campaign for governor.