February 28, 2006


Looks like Gerard is on to something here. Fatwaland has some really cool attractions, including my personal favorite, Splode Mountain.

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Giving mouth to mouth to your old PC

If, like me, you have an old PC lying around the house gathering dust, but you can't quite bring yourself to junk it yet, I have a suggestion that can extend the life of the PC: use Linux. Joe Brockmeier put a Pentium II 233 MHz machine with 64 Mb RAM through the paces using several Linux variants. Excerpt:

Microsoft lately has been challenging Linux's suitability for older hardware, so it seems like a good time to look at Linux distributions that can run on older machines. I took six distributions for a test run on an old machine, and also tried software that turns old hardware into a thin client. The bottom line: Linux is still quite suitable for older hardware. It might not turn your aging PC into a powerhouse, but it will extend its lifespan considerably.

For these tests, I dug out Igor, an old PC that had been collecting dust in my closet. Igor is a Pentium II 233MHz machine with 64MB of RAM, an 8x CD-ROM drive, a 3GB hard drive, and an integrated ATI 3D Rage Pro video card with 4MB of video RAM. You can run Linux on older and slower machines, but this is the most under-powered machine I had available.

Next, I selected a handful of lightweight Linux distributions that looked promising, and started downloading. The distributions ranged from popular "mainstream" distros such as Slackware and Debian to distros that are specifically developed for lightweight machines, such as Damn Small Linux (DSL). I apologize in advance if your favorite lightweight distro is not represented here.
While Linux is good for bringing new life to old hardware, users may need to make some concessions for really old machines. Most applications aren't written with older machines in mind. If you want to use a desktop environment on a machine that's nearly 10 years old, it will probably require some patience on your part. If you don't mind waiting 20 or 30 seconds for an application to start up, older machines will probably suit you just fine.

You may also run into limitations in terms of what devices you can use with the hardware. For instance, my test machine doesn't have USB ports. Sometimes older hardware can be advantageous, though -- finding drivers for cutting-edge hardware is sometimes difficult, but that four-year old video card should be well-supported by now.

If you want or need to keep using hardware past its expected life span, it should be obvious that it isn't going to keep up with today's hardware. Whether you're using Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, or something else, most of the applications being written for these platforms require additional resources with each release.

That said, many lightweight open source application alternatives exist for users who want to use older hardware. KDE and GNOME may not be suitable for older hardware, but Fluxbox, Xfce, FVWM, IceWM, and other window managers are just fine. Lightweight GUI applications and console apps also shine on older hardware. OpenOffice.org may be sluggish on older machines, but AbiWord runs well on less robust hardware, as does Siag Office -- and it's hard to notice a difference at all when you're using Vim or Mutt. Older machines also make excellent file servers, firewalls, and routers.

I have an old 400 MHz machine sitting in a corner of my office at home which, I believe, is dying to be used again. And I don't think that it will mind too much when I remove Windows from the hard drive.

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February 27, 2006

This just in

Actually, it isn't, but I just got around to noticing it: our good old Suburban mistress is expecting a new playmate for Spiderman.

I'll offer the following as an excuse: when a favorite blogger stops posting for a while, I'll stop by the site weekly for a while, then I'll simply forget to check in, assuming that life happens and that hey, I'll check in again. Of course, I then forget to check in again. It seems that I've missed a couple of months of posts. Whoops. Anyway, go and wish her well, especially with her newfound food cravings. I vividly remember my wife's second pregnancy, so I can empathize with two words: ice cream. All you men out there with pregnant wives would be well advised to remember those words.

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February 25, 2006

Very cool

It turns out that the city of my birth held a pro-Denmark rally today.

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February 24, 2006

ACC press release

Yeah, I'm a Duke fan, but this is pretty darned funny:

Greensboro, NC: Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today that a foul is tentatively scheduled to be called against Duke sometime in the first half of their game with UNC in Chapel Hill, next Tuesday, February 7th.

In a joint press conference with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and ACC Director of Officials John Clougherty, Swofford said an agreement had been reached for a touch foul to be whistled on as-yet-to-be-determined Blue Devil player around the 7:00 minute mark during the first half of the game at the Smith Center.

"We are very excited to arrange something that hasn't been seen in our
conference since 1998," said Swofford. "I want to personally commend Mike {Krzyzewski} for agreeing to this uncoventional deal. We all know how reluctant he has been to allow any calls to go against his team."

Krzyzewski insisted that this move was purely a gesture of generosity aimed at rehabilitating his public image in light of recent lip-synching fiascos during several nationally televised games. "The camera did not catch me really uttering the BS-word during my argument with the official the other night. Those really were my lips moving but I wasn't really yelling the word. I'm sure our fans will understand."

"Mike is being a really good sport about this," noted UNC coach Roy Williams. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play them with a
foul being called against their squad, and to have it happen here in front of the home crowd will be especially enjoyable for our fans."

Clougherty says that unless unforeseen intimidation happens during the game, that the scheduled foul should occur without a hitch. "It all depends on whether Coach K holds up his end of the bargain and promises not to harrass our crew that evening."

Clougherty also said not to expect any more fouls to be called against Duke this season, but did not rule out the possibility of another one being called in an exhibition game in November 2006. "The Duke AD told me that they are trying to schedule Marathon Oil for a pre-season game next year and we are in discussions about perhaps calling another foul against Duke in that match-up if everyone can come to terms."

The officiating crew for the Duke vs. UNC game will not be announced publicly prior to the game in order to protect their privacy. Swofford said he anticipated a media barrage and did not want the referees to be distracted from their big task at hand. "This is a big deal and a momentous occasion for the league. We need our employees to remain focused so that they can complete their jobs in what could end up being a very difficult situation."

Game Notes: If the foul occurs on February 7th, it will be the 27th foul called against the Blue Devils in their basketball history...........

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Public Service Announcement

Police are warning all men who frequent clubs, parties and local pubs to be alert and stay cautious when offered a drink from any woman. Many females use a date rape drug on the market called "Beer."

The drug is found in liquid form and is available anywhere. It comes in bottles, cans, or from taps and in large "kegs". Beer is used by female sexual predators at parties and bars to persuade their male victims to go home and sleep with them. A woman needs only to get a guy to consume a few units of Beer and then simply ask him home for no strings attached sex.

Men are rendered helpless against this approach. After several beers, men will often succumb to the desires to sleep with horrific looking women whom they would never normally be attracted. After drinking beer, men often awaken with only hazy memories of exactly what happened to them the night before, often with just a vague feeling that "something bad" occurred.

At other times these unfortunate men are swindled out of their life’s savings, in a familiar scam known as "a relationship." In extreme cases, the female may even be shrewd enough to entrap the unsuspecting male into a longer term form of servitude and punishment referred to as "marriage." Men are much more susceptible to this scam after beer is administered and sex is offered by the predatory females.

Please! Forward this warning to every male you know. If you fall victim to this "Beer" scam and the women administering it, there are male support groups where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter with similarly victimized men. For the support group nearest you, just look up "Golf Courses" in the phone book.

Check out this video to see how beer works.

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February 22, 2006

This is certainly good news

Annie, via Jennifer and Cassandra, posted her answer to this question: "What was the #1 song in the U.S.A. the day you were born?" It turns out that my song is "Walk Like a Man". I'm justnot certain whether the title was prescient(I've been upright for years) or merely suggestive. After all, many women have accused me of dragging my knuckles, so it's not too off base.

What was your #1 song?

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Puppy love part deux

If you're in the market for a ridiculously small Linux distro, I'd like to recommend Puppy Linux v.1.08. I mentioned the first release back here.

Puppy's claim to fame is that it has a small footprint yet is full-featured, including all sorts of configuration and application installation wizards. Puppy boots into a 64MB ramdisk and the whole OS is small enough to run directly from system RAM. The result is that all applications start quickly and respond to user input instantly. Another advantage is that Puppy can often be a great choice for old, under-powered hardware.

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February 18, 2006

Alternatives for Windows' programs

One of the reasons that people hesitate when switching from Windows to some other OS is that they don't want to lose their favorite applications. Well, here are some alternatives that you might not have heard of:

By a good margin, Adobe Photoshop is the one application that most people want ported to Linux, Morris said. Free and open-source software (FOSS) already available for Linux that have similar feature sets to Photoshop include:

* Pixel Image Editor
* The GIMP
* Krita (Part of Koffice)
* Photoshop also works with WINE

"So, if you're looking to get Photoshop ported to Linux, you might give these suggestions a try [in the meantime]," Morris said.

Many suggestions were listed as replacements for Autodesk AutoCAD, including:

* VariCAD, which has a version specifically designed for SUSE Linux
* LinuxCAD
* arcad
* Cycas
* Synergy

"After checking these applications out a little, some of them look pretty slick. If you need a CAD app, check these out," Morris said.

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Continental bean soup

I posted a soup recipe last week and it seems like a good theme what with snow coming down right now. Here is a recipe that I used to make back my kitchen days:

Navy beans 1 lb.
kidney beans 1 lb.
lentils 12 oz.

1) Wash beans and lentils. Soak overnight in cold water. Drain.

bacon fat 8 oz.(or vegetable oil, if you prefer)
garlic 1 clove
onions, chopped 8 oz.
celery diced, 1/4 inch 8 oz.
carrots, diced, 1/4 inch 8 oz.

2) Melt fat. Cook vegetables in fat until transparent.

flour 4 oz.

3) Add flour and blend well.

chicken stock 2 1/2 gal.(canned or from boullion)
bacon rind 3 lb.

4) Add water. Mix well. Add beans, lentils and bacon rind. Cover. Simmer 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

raw potatoes, diced 1/4 inch 1 lb. 8 oz.
pepper 1/2 tsp.

5) Add potatoes and pepper. Simmer another 1/2 hour or until potatoes are done.

***Note: You can speed up this step by using diced pre-cooked potatoes

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February 16, 2006

I took some steps, too

Harvey started something with this post, wherein he asks people to tell him the very first word in his or her first blog post. My first post pretty much sucked; things went downhill from there. Be that as it may, here is the first blog body word from my very first post: "Well"

What was your's?

FYI: Read quickly, as you will be auto-forwarded back to this blog in about 30 seconds.

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February 15, 2006

Xena in space!

Or something like that. Lucy Lawless becomes a full-time cast member on BSG when season 3 kicks off. Cool.

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February 14, 2006

Roller coaster mania

Dear old mom sent me the following images for the ginormous Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point in Ohio:

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I'm a bit surprised

I really thought that DS9 would be #1:

You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5). The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesnâ??t matter, because no matter what you have your friends and youâ??ll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Serenity (Firefly)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Moya (Farscape)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

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February 13, 2006

Open letter to Ann Coulter


The first time I ever heard of you was back in the day on Politically Incorrect with Bill Mahrer. You earned an enormous number of brownie points back then for repeatedly poking Bill in the eye. Sure, you were a bit snarky, but you were at least funny. Here, I thought, was a great spokesperson for the right. Smart, attractive, witty and more than able to hold her own against the shrill leftists. There were times when I thought you went a tad overboard as a polemicist, but still I defended you. After all: poking Bill Maher in the eye, repeatedly.

I read Slander, which I thought provided great detail on the hypocrisy of the left and its proponents repeated attacks on conservatives. It was funny. Harsh, at times, but rightfully so in most cases. Again, when you appeared to step over the line: poking Bill Mahrer in the eye.

Then you released Treason. That's where you started to lose me. Essentially, you painted all liberals as treasonous bastards. Listen up, Ann: I'm as big a critic of the JFK administration as anyone, but when you use a brush wide enough to paint that president, as flawed as he was, as a traitor, you've gone off the deep end. While you made many valid points in the book, they were pretty much lost in the white noise of the crap. The whole Bill Mahrer eye thing isn't providing the necessary balance anymore. Still, you did, at times, at least seem funny in your criticisms, so I decided to give you another chance.

I guess that we all have to live with our mistakes. Thanks for making mine so painfull:

She referred to Muslims as "ragheads." She went farther than calling for Justice John Paul Stevens to be poisoned. Muhammad is depicted as a historic law-giver on one of the court's frieses. Coulter wanted Muslims informed so they would burn down the Supreme Court. But just before that happened someone would call Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy.

Ann, I have to ask you: when did you stop trying to be funny and just become mean? The whole "I hope your daughter is raped to death-JUST KIDDING!" schtick is something that I expect from my political opponents, and then only from the frothing at the mouth crazy ones. Reasonable people simply don't talk that way. If I haven't made myself clear to this point, that means that I've ceased to think of you as reasonable in any way, shape, or form. And I'm willing to bet most of my allies in the center or on the right feel the same way. Face it, Ann: you've lost us. You're now nothing more than the Right's version of the posters at the Daily Kos. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but hey, life is tough.

Here's a little advice that I'm certain you won't follow: apologize. Admit that you screwed up royally and that you've seen the error of your ways. No one would expect you to stop being a smartass. Heck, it's part of your appeal, especially to a smartass like me. But we'd like you to think a little bit more about what you say, before you say it.

I know what you're thinking. Yes, apologizing would give the left a bigger cudgel to beat you around the head and shoulders with. Frankly, though, you deserve it this time. At least being genuinely sorry could bring some of your former supporters like me back around. I have to tell you, though, that you're facing an uphill battle this time. So apologize. Be sincere. Accept the rhetorical beatings to follow. It's what a grownup would do, so of course I don't expect you to listen.


A former, saddened supporter.

Update: I see that Dean was already at this point long ago. Hey, some of us have to learn the hard way.

Update: Ace thinks that it's time for an intervention.

Update: And it's the last; this topic weries me. Jeff Harrell is spot on in his criticism:

There are those out there who think that controversial speech should be controlled by the government. There are those who think that saying things like what Ann Coulter said -- or publishing editorial cartoons deemed by some to be sacriligious -- should be against the law. These people clearly have the wrong idea. But just because Ann Coulter should be allowed, by law, to say whatever she wants to whichever audience chooses to invite her, so also should she be held responsible for saying things that do more harm than good. And calling people "ragheads" to resounding applause certainly does more harm than good. Harm to the conservative cause, harm to east-west relations and harm to the national discourse.

Ann, seriously. From now on, just stay off our side.

Update: I lied. Michelle Malkin has collection of links to conservatives ragging on Ann.

See how easy that was Ann? I used the word "rag" in a non-pejorative fashion. You idiot.

Really, the final update: John Hawkins has been a huge Coulter fan for a long time. If memory serves, he even had an interview with her once on his blog. And now she's losing his support. Money quote:

But, if she can't tone it down a few notches and stop being so deliberately outrageous (and yes, it's all deliberate), she's going to be written off like Pat Robertson by a lot of conservatives sooner, rather than later (It's worth noting that a lot of conservatives have already said good-bye to Ann).

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February 12, 2006

Carnival of the Recipes #78

Welcome to COTR #78! I've compiled a list of mouth-watering recipes submitted from blogs around the globe which are guaranteed to tame that might beast hunger in all us.

First up, over at Aussie Wife, Amanda has a recipe for Pasta with tomato, basil and chevre sauce. How can you go wrong with two cloves of freshly minced garlic?

David Gillies posts a recipe for fried pork wontons at Daily Pundit. I'm definitely making them soon.

Dave at The Glittering Eye posts a recipe that I remember fondly from my childhood: Porcupine Balls. I'm guessing that the porcupines are somewhat less fond of this recipe. Just a guess, though.

This recipe over at In the Headlights is quite a mouthful: Chicken-noodle-bacon-um-potato-onion soup. In addition to being a winning Scrabble word, it looks mighty tasty. Be sure to thank Riannan when you make it.

The instructions that CalTech Girl lists with her recipe for Pork Chops Stuffed with Smoked Gouda and Bacon includes directions for cooking on the grill. Sure, you can cook them in the oven, too, but why would you?

Speaking of grilling, everyone needs a recipe for good homemade barbecue sauce, and Grill Maestro helps out with his recipe for Really Cheap Coca Cola BBQ Sauce. I'm still not certain where I can find a 20 cent can of Coke, though. I must shop at the wrong stores.

Dubious Wonder posts a recipe to help take the chill off during winter: Cauliflower Cheese Soup.

Shawn Lea of Everything and Nothing weighs in with a soup recipe, too, and it looks quite robust: Shrimp and Corn Soup.

The next recipe comes from a blog down under, Keewee's Corner. Jennifer's recipe for Chicken Chow Bake looks both easy and delicious, two things that appeal to me.

Elisson, of Blog d'Ellison fame, posts a recipe for Duck Confit. It's not a throw it together in 30 minutes meal, but it looks well worth the effort.

The Ziggurat of Doom live blogs the making of his Anchor Leg Chili. It looks like a great way to spend an afternoon.

Over at Seriously Good, Kevin offers his recipe for some tasty Pork Ribs.

Matthew at OUPblog weighs in with a recipe from Lizzie Collingham's Curry: Green Coriander Chutney. My wife will ove it.

The Headmistress at The Common Room weighs in with her recipe for Florentine Beef Pinwheel. Cool. I love a good recipe for meatloaf.

Next on the menu is this recipe for Beef, Pineapple and Red Pepper Kabobs, courtesy of Marsha over at A Weight Lifted. A recipe that includes 3 of my favorite foods HAS to be good.

Bothenook at A Geezer's Corner spices up his recipe for Chicken, Spanish Olives and Saffron Rice with some food porn. You know that you want to look.

Have trouble getting your children to eat? Mom at Raising4boys.com offers up her recipe for Bananas ala Kid. I think that you might want to make one for yourself, too.

Muse at Me-ander presents for your inspection her variation of a recipe for a traditional Kewish food, In the Kishkes. It looks like it would go great with some latkas. Muse also offers up a recipe for Diet Killer Crumble. Like I need more diet-killing recipes.

If, like me, you really enjoy eating, you've probably fallen prey to the sin covered in this recipe for Gluttony: Potstickers over at 7 Deadly Sins. So go and sin a little bit.

Anna at bunny? gives us a taste tempting recipe for Roasted Salmon with Rosemary Crust.

Kim at Life in a shoe is this first entry this week that includes both an a entree AND a dessert. Go check out Mexican Chicken Chowder w/Peach Cobbler. What's that you say? It's a soup and not an entree? Good chowder IS a meal. So give it a try.

Anthony unveils the secret behind the making of paneer in his recipe for Paneer masala with green peas and potatoes. Now that you know, you'll have to make some.

My entry this week is a recipe for Chili Soup, which I think that you'll enjoy.

Taleena of Sun Comprehending Glass gets us off on the right sweet tooth foot with her recipe for Strawberry Tarts and Clotted Cream. Here's where I do my best Homer Simpson impression: ::drool::. Hey, I didn't say that it was a GOOD impression.

Mensa Barbie continues in the dessert genre of cooking with her recipe for Ginger-danish Ice Cream. Looks like the ice cream maker I got for Christmas is going to get a workout.

Cathy of CFO: Chief Family Officer gives us her recipe for Key Lime Bars. I dunno if my children like limes, but I think that I'm going to find out soon. Yum.

I hope that you enjoyed this week's collection of recipes from around the blogosphere. Be sure to visit Carnival #79 next week, hosted at The Ministry of Minor Perfidy. And if you're interested in hosting the COTR, send an email to Recipe (dot) Carnival (at) Gmail (dot) com and be sure to include the word "host" in the subject line.

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February 11, 2006

Chili soup

This is a recipe that I used to make when I worked in a commercial kitchen: chili soup. Don't mistake it for chili that's been diluted with water; it's really, really not.

Kidney beans, dried*** 2 lb.

1) Weigh beans before washing. Wash beans. Soak overnight in cold water. Drain.

Margarine 6 oz.
ground beef ""
green pepper, chopped 10 oz.
onion, chopped 1lb.6oz.
chili powder 1/2 oz.
curry powder 1 Tbsp.
garlic, crushed 1 clove

2) Cook beef, pepper, onion, chili powder, curry powder and garlic in margarine until meat is browned.

Beef stock 1-1/2 gal.
tomato puree 2 qt.
salt 1/2 oz.
pepper 1/4 tsp.
sugar 2 oz.
worcestershire 1 Tbsp.

3) Add stock, drained kidney beans, tomato puree and remaining seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hrs.

flour 6 oz.
cold water 3 cup

4) Mix flour and water. Add to soup. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from direct heat.

***3 lb. drained, canned kidney beans may be substituted for each 1 lb. of dried kidney beans.

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February 10, 2006

COTR update

In response to several questions, no, there isn't a specific theme for recipes this week. Submit any and all recipes.

FWIW, I plan to post the Carnival late Saturday evening.

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February 08, 2006


I've got your honor killing right here, assholes.

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Not surprising

So Democrats use the Correta Scott King funeral as a platform to bash President Bush. If anyone- and I mean anyone- is surprised by this turn of events, I pity you. Your naivte is endearing in a pathetic sort of way, but it's still pathetic.

My wife is essentially an apolitical person. Add in the fact that she's one of the most sensitive persons I've ever met(no, I don't know how I lucked into her either) and you end up with someone who can't understand how anyone would be a bbig enough dick to do what the Dem's did yesterday. Me? I was expecting it. I'm fairly certain that our current president was, too. The only thing did surprise me was the fact that no one started screaming CHIMPY MCSMIRKY BUSHITLER!!! Then again, maybe I stopped watching too soon.

As you might expect, yesterday's reprehensible grandstanding at the funeral has everyone buzzing. First up, the Anchoress:

My best friend, who was watching the funeral, called me up and said, “exactly when did the Democrats utterly revise history and co-opt the civil rights movement? Why does the world forget that it was Democrat Bull Connor putting the hoses and the dogs on the marchers, and the Republicans standing up for civil rights? Why doesn’t anyone mention that Bobby Kennedy was wiretapping King

History got revised because of the US press, and two men - Lyndon Johnson (the Great Society) and Bobby Kennedy, who did indeed wiretap Dr. King in an attempt to ruin him. But Bobby Kennedy went to the poor in Appalachia, and he went to the poor in the South, and he ended every speech with “now, let’s sing the song,” and joined hands and sang “We Shall Overcome,” and it moved people to see a man born into unimaginable privilege find common cause with the under-represented. It made it easy to forget that he’d tried to get dirt on Dr. King. I remember it like it was yesterday. Kennedy then single-handedly and forever put the “Democrats=Civil Rights” equation together when he, upon hearing of the assassination of Martin Luther King, extemporaneously and movingly called for calm and gave tribute to King. You can read or listen to the speech here.

In the issue of Civil Rights, I think it’s pointless to carry on about revised history. It’s done. The warp of history and the woof of of hype will never be untangled. Let it be. People believe what they want to believe, anyway, as we see daily.

And Glenn Reynolds delivers a total bitchslap, in his usual understated manner:

The problem with today's Democrats is that they try to invest the naked hunger for power with the dignity of the civil rights movement, a dignity that they no longer possess because it was based on a self-discipline that they no longer possess.

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