Thursday, March 29, 2007

PrestoPundit found someone who has the goods on Fred Thompson:

Michael Barone slams the charlatan from Tennessee.

No wait. It's an attack on Al Gore, talking about all his imperfections and not mentioning those of his opponents.

Don of Liberally Conservative seems to accuse me of libel in the comment he left on the post before last. I don't know if he would care to repeat that on his blog. It is unconstitutional to convict Ms. Goodling of a crime based on her taking the fifth, or use it as evidence towards such a conviction. It is not unconstitutional for people not involved in such a trial to discuss it and form opinions.

Our troops are stretched in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there is danger from Iran. How should we deal with Saudi Arabia? J.J Jackson of The American Conservative Daily has a plan.

Keep talking. We’re reloading.

I think you fellas over there with your turbans and your robes and your camels better watch it. Remember we know all about those radical Madrasahs that you guys are running and turning out little jihadis.

I wonder how Arabs from non-Saudi countries will respond - including those with whom Bush is currently trying to work.

Liberally Conservative is liberally confused about the fifth amendment.

The big LC quotes:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


“I have read public remarks by members of both the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary in which those members have drawn conclusions about the subject matter and the testimony now under investigation by the Committee.”


Ms. Goodling is being asked to testify before congress about certain matters - not being tried in court for a crime. Is LC saying she should be on trial in criminal court? He should contact a public prosecutor.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I hope this turns out to be much more literally true than Karol Sheinin intends.

*It's a bad idea to say anything even marginally insulting about Fred Thompson right now. He's steak and conservatives are starving.

It's possible he's not a bad guy, but he's a pretty smooth operator. A bunch of starving conservatives ripping him to shreds and chewing him up might do him a world of good.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The weather has turned beautiful where I am all of the sudden. One day it was in the fifties, the next day I leave my jacket at work when going out for lunch. March came in like a lion and went out like a lambchop.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Welcome to the March 27, 2007 edition of Carnival of Americans with Neteller.

It was my own experiences with Neteller that made me think of starting this carnival. Before doing so, I wondered how to decide which posts to include. By my most recent count, zero posts were submitted by bloggers other than myself. Something's got to be left out, so I'll leave out a few of the interesting links I found - but post some of the others.

This announcement from Neteller may not be quite as good as it sounds at first glance.

When will US customers get their money back?

The recent agreements between NETELLER, Navigant Consulting, and the US Attorney’s Office (USAO)
represent an important step in the process of an orderly distribution
of funds to US customers. These agreements outline the terms and atimeline under which NETELLER
will work toward distributing the funds. As a result, the Group
anticipates that within the next 75 days it will be able to announce
the plan by which the funds will be distributed to US customers.

'Important step', 'anticipates'? In 75 days they will not have paid or even begin paying, but announce a plan. Ah well.

It appears you may be able to do non peer to peer transfers to non gambling sites - maybe. From their questions and answers:

"Why has my NETELLER account been closed? Can I do peer-to-peer transfers?

If you recently performed a Peer-to-Peer transfer, your account may have
been temporarily closed. Your account should be automatically re-opened
within a few weeks, but you will no longer be able to perform
Peer-to-Peer transfers."

None of the links below were actually sent to the carnival - I'm just linking to things that might be of interest.

Big Poker blogs didn't send this to the carnival, but it will make most of
us feel better about the amount of our potential losses.

Isaac Haxton Stuck $800k in Neteller Shakedown

Isaac Haxton finishes second in the Caribeen Poker Adventure on January 10, 2007 and banks $861,789. PokerStars then dumps his winnings into his online poker account. The very next day Neteller's founders are arrested and soon after Neteller
freezes U.S. accounts, which they eventually admit were seized as
evidence by the U.S. Government to the tune of $55 million, $800k of
which isHaxton's. We'd say he's fired up about being stuck huge by the U.S. government in this video interview with, but he's not, strangely enough.

Click through for the video.

Hopefully the Neteller info in Lou Krieger's post is now outdated - but I don't know for sure. Just in case, let's see what some customers are doing.

Neteller Customers Form Coalition and Contemplate Legal Action
More than 250 frustrated Neteller customers organized into a group called the Neteller Customer Coalition. Members of that group are furious over Neteller’s decision to deny US customers access to their funds.

According to the group’s Eric Goldstein, “more and more people are losing patience every day, and these people better hear some good news from Neteller very soon.” The group is been considering initiating legal action against Neteller as early as March 19.According to Goldstein, the group has grown quickly since its inception back in late February, with an average of 30-40 new members daily.

What happens to those with overseas addresses? This is only for Americans, right? Let's ask Bill Rini:

February 4, 2007 @ 1:15 am · Filed under Poker, Online Poker

I recently wrote about the process I’ve been going through to get my Neteller account changed to my overseas residence. This is a follow up.

I sent them my bank account statement to prove that I wasn’t
somebody trying to pull a fast one on them but I never heard back. I
called them this weekend to find out what the status was as I had been
previously told that I should have heard back by now. I was put on the
phone with some guy namedWai who was clueless. At first he started to
tell me that I need to set up a new account. I told him I already did
that and then he told me that I needed to send over documents that
indicated I lived overseas. When I told him that I’ve already done the
previous two steps he said that he saw that noted in my file. Now why
the hell would you tell me to do the previous two steps if you already
know that I’ve done them?!?

I immediately ask to speak to a
supervisor and he puts me on hold. He comes back and tells me that I
have to send a request to some special email address atNeteller . I ask
why since he already has my request sitting right in front of him. He
insists that I send the email. I ask to speak to his supervisor again
and he tells me that they’re going to tell me the same thing. EveryCSR
says that so I insist again. He says that the supervisors don’t wish to
speak to me! We go back and forth a bit and then I lay down an
ultimatum on him. I tell him to either put me through to a supervisor
or hang up on me. He goes silent on the phone. I can hear other
activity in the background and I can hear him breathing so I know he’s
still on the line. This goes on for about 5 minutes. Literally for five
whole minutes there’s nothing on the line but silence. Finally I hear
the hold music and a few minutes later he comes back on and thanks me
for holding and puts his supervisor on the line.

Click through for the rest.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Carnival of Americans with Neteller using the links in the upper right hand corner of this post.
Technorati tags:

, .

Once in awhile I've learned about genuine errors in the media from Countercolumn, but it's important to be careful. Jason did the wrong search here. Anyone can make an error, but when you consider the bile I've heard him pour on the New York Times for their errors (not always real errors) he should he glad they're too busy to write about him.

Corporal Jason Dunham, the first Marine to have recieved the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq, will have a destroyer named after him.

The New York Times never wrote a story on him.

As I commented in his comment section, he should have searched for Jason L. Dunham. Jason of Countercolumn left out the L, although he had the same clue I did - Jason links to something that refers to the Congressional Medal of Honor winner that way.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fred Thompson is the Republican presidential candidate the Religious Right loves to love - and he hasn't even said he's running.

Here are a couple of comments I happened on at No Silence Here.


Senator Thompson would destroy the Republican field in the primaries and annihialate whomever the democrats nominate. Please run, Senator. And let me know how to contribute.
Posted by: Edward McNally at March 23, 2007 01:08 PM

How can an average American let Fred Thompson know how strongly he would be supported by the average Republican who is scared to death by all of the other Republican candidates? I want him to know that he is not just the ONLY choice for Republicans at this time - but the BEST choice for our entire NATION. I want to let him know how I (and many other conservatives) feel about this.
Posted by: David at March 23, 2007 04:31 PM


Please run for the Republican Nomination.

The county needs a Strong Leader and no one else in either party comes close to your qualifications.

Sign me up as a volunteer.

Jay F Jones
Posted by: Jay F Jones at March 23, 2007 10:09 PM

We need and want Fred Thompson to run!!!!
Run, Fred, Run!!!
Posted by: Donna Dallman at March 24, 2007 01:02 AM

If you want to let Fred Thompson know you support him go to and leave a comment on a couple of the blogs there. one is Fred Thompson should run for President. The other is Update on Fred Thompson.
Posted by: Ginny at March 24, 2007 09:06 AM

I have admired Fred for a long time he is a great American and I will gladly volunteer to help him to become president of this great country. I am a conservative living in New England where we have a one party system (liberal Democrats) and would like nothing better than to help put Fred and the Republican party back in the majority to help stop the lunacy that we are seeing in the Congress.
Posted by: Eric Carroll at March 24, 2007 09:07 AM

Fred should definitely run. He'll make a great president.
Posted by: spacemonkey at March 24, 2007 09:45 AM

Please run for President Senator Thompson, the country needs you.
Posted by: Robert at March 24, 2007 09:47 AM

Please run for President Senator Thompson, the country needs you.
Posted by: Robert at March 24, 2007 09:48 AM

Sign me up as a volunteer.
Posted by: William Casey at March 24, 2007 10:17 AM

Under the circumstances, I think it's worthwhile trying to learn what makes him tick.

Here's some campaign contribution data from OpenSecrets.Org for his 1996 senatorial campaign cycle. This isn't everyone whose supported him by any mean, but I think it's a good snapshot and a good start. The campaign and the examination has begun - many of the donors don't ring a bell ... yet. I'll just talk about a few that mean something to me.

The first category listed is Agriculture: Crop Production. I see a lot of sugar companies and some Florida based agriculture, in addition to more general names that are less revealing. Whether you agree or disagree with the Cuban embargo, some of the biggest supporters are in the Florida sugar industry - because they had property confiscated by Castro, and just possibly because it helps keep sugar prices high.

Ten donors in the tobacco industry. Plenty of people have written about the tobacco lobby already.

Lots of agriculture and food processing generally. Not necessarily a bad thing, though supports meant for small farmers seem to gravitate towards big industries.

Fifteen donors in foresty and forest products. I'm not sure how much the president will be involved in that, but we still have a few patches of very old redwoods left.

Lots of donors in the entertainment industry - natural enough for an actor. Liberal Hollywood doesn't seem to have taken a dislike to him. I wonder what he's done for them.

There's a huge block of donors in the construction industry. I wonder what that means.

Some defense industry, not an extraordinary amount. I guess most Senators have at least as much.

Most of his energy donors seem to be in the oil and gas industry - and there's a large block of them. Most big electric generators don't burn oil nowadays, and Detroit may be a bigger obstacle to better fuel economy than the oil industry, which known prices are high enough to destabalize a good thing already. This may mean nothing worse than a few more government subsidies to the oil industry. On the other hand, remember some big royalty problems? It could cost more than we realize.

Lots of Banks, investment, insurance and real estate donors. If we are in a real estate bubble, and reforms are required to prevent it from happening again, he may listen closely to their opinion.

A huge block of health care industry and some pharmacy. I wonder how they'll lobby on any health care reforms in the pipeline.

Look at all those law firms! Someone should compare him with John Edwards. I think the right had something to say about that when he was the recipient. Then again, I haven't analyzed any of his donors. If anyone sees that anywhere please leave a comment.

There's a page or so of auto industry donors. This man will probably find it hard to impove fuel economy. These donors may mean more in that regard than the oil companies above.

He's got support from twelve labor unions - might not be terrible for the working person, although he has some much bigger blocks of donors elsewhere. Six are public sector unions, interestingly enough.

There's a lot of PAC's worth investigating in the ideology/single issue section, but NRA and Free Cuba are obvious enough. I'm not sure if those pro Isreal PAC's are all in Isreal's interest - or if some of them get us to support hawkish policies which don't help them in the long run.

He does have some civil servant and education donors.

There's one heck of a lot to study in here - I'll probably have to leave the other candidates to other people. I guess I'll need help with Fred too, but you gotta start somewhere.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I used to feel bad sometimes about playing poker online, not because I lost but because I won. I played for low stakes, and probably earned less than minimum wage, but I won more than I lost. I did it mostly by playing at tables where one or several players were really careless.

I still don't know how many if any of the people I encountered were compulsive gamblers. There were people who were nasty to other people in order to get them upset and make them lose money - I never did this but I saw it. There were other people who were nasty to people already losing money merely to pump up their own egos. This drove me crazy - it was not only nasty, but cost both of us money. I never actually complimented the people losing money - I wouldn't encourage someone who might or might not be a compulsive gambler.

Now the Feds have kindly taken all this out of my hands, to the best of their ability. Instead of being grateful, I wonder how many of the people in the smoky government owned off track betting parlours are compulsive gamblers. Their website (compulsive gamblers don't click this) offers betting by phone and credit card transfers. I think the money is supposed to go to education, but they show much less return on capital than most bookies, perhaps due to policial appointees in many jobs. They seem to advertise rather aggressively sometimes.

Now what I want to know is, can I do something with my Neteller account? The government has seized some bank accounts. Even though Neteller can't let Americans withdraw, they seem to be letting them spend their money - but not at gambling sites, or on person to person transfers. This web designer seems to take Neteller, but I haven't tried them yet. I might. I'm looking into bidding the money on Yahoo Auctions, I'm not sure if it's still possible.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fox now has a new top video up:

"As Gore gets set to testify, hometown paper exposes zinc mine on his property!"

Funny thing though, there was an editorial in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago. Maybe a little misleading though, they don't make it clear if Gore has any power over those already sold mineral rights, and he sure doesn't over the rest of the Zinc company.

Al Gore, Environmentalist and Zinc Miner
By Micah Morrison
The Wall Street Journal

That's right buddy. The Chinese don't do it in Tibet, and the Russians don't do it in Chechenya. People in either country could get a call from the police if they did it in the press. Which of the three (including us) would you rather live in? I've made my choice. Funny thing, you blame Americans first, but not America, huh? Or just those who aren't your type of American.

"They always blame America first." That was Jeane Kirkpatrick, describing the "San Francisco Democrats" in 1984. But it could be said about a lot of Americans, especially highly educated Americans, today.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Does the second amendment really mean that anyone can carry any arm they want under any circumstances?

After reading some ideas that seemed odd to me, I used google. I wasn't sure of the bias of the pages I was reading, so I eventually visited wikipedia, which is attacked by conservatives more often than it is by liberals.

It took a long time for me to become convinced that the clause 'a well regulated militia' wasn't intended to allow the federal government to keep certain people from having guns, or certain guns, or restrict the circumstances under which they might have them. I couldn't find any federal gun control laws predating 1934. Would the founding fathers have really inserted this clause to allow such laws, then forgot to pass the laws? Maybe they didn't consider them needed at the time, but knew machine guns might be invented in a few hundred years, and ...

Not even when pigs fly. Live pigs may be shipped by airplane tomorrow, but that still won't make any sense.

It seems my informant,

Published: Aug 1, 2001 Author: Vin Suprynowicz
Posted on 08/01/2001 20:37:44 PDT by athiestwithagun

is correct. Whatever else well regulated may mean, it can't mean regulated by the government, or the founding fathers violated the document they had just written by failing to regulate gun ownership.

So what about nuclear weapons? My informant gives a closely reasoned response, which you may want to reread (previous link) to check my summary.

Either the American people have the right to nuclear weapons or they don't. If they don't, they can't delegate what they don't have to their government, which had better get rid of all nukes immediately. If they do, the government 'shall not infringe the right to bear arms'.

How seductive is the old siren song: "Come on, prove you're REASONABLE; admit you don't have any NEED for a nuclear warhead."

But once we start down that road, won't they also wheedle and cajole and nag us into stipulating that we don't really "need" a tank ... a howitzer ... a shoulder-launched missile ... a machine gun ... a semi-automatic rifle ... anything, finally, beyond an unloaded black-powder ceremonial flintlock with a plugged barrel that we're allowed to take out of the police locker only long enough to carry in the Fourth of July parade?

I follow the logic, but come to a different conclusion. The constitution is not a suicide pact. By agreeing we expect our government to prevent people from building and keeping nukes (whether they are portable enough to 'bear' or not) we acknowledge that the constitution is a living document. Anyone who insists gun registration is unconstitutional is on a slippery slope that might undermine the government's ability to protect us from terrorism.

Or you could make a case that the government had better get rid of all it's nukes, that it has the right to protect us from nukes, but not to possess them itself.

Plenty of nuclear weapons ARE possessed by all kinds of people, including the kind that wear turbans. Government "safeguards" are a joke. Think no hijacker could get past the Fred & Ethel Mertz Security System down at the local airport if they really tried? It took Capt. Marcinko only a matter of minutes to penetrate the supposedly ironclad "security" at the American embassy in London -- right through to its ultra-secure "code room." He simply sent a man in a Marine uniform, carrying a clipboard, walking boldly in the side "smokers' door." Last week, the Justice Department revealed that the FBI has lost 449 sidearms and submachine guns -- one of which was even used in a homicide. But we're supposed to believe they've NEVER lost enough plutonium to make a bomb? Noooo. After all, they're not mere fallible mortals. They're "the government." We can "trust" them.

Remember the date near the top of the post. Pre 9/11, so lets try to be fair. Does anyone really think Osama wouldn't have nuked us already if not for preventative measures?

I do detect a few weaknesses here and there. He fails to ask if Waco was a case of rebellion, does not compare it to Shay's rebellion and others. On the other hand, he's right about gun owners needing nukes if they claim they can fight government abuse of power. I haven't seen any that could stand up to a swat team yet.

Friday, March 16, 2007

With Fred Thompson in the running for GOP nominee, this 1996 article from the Washington Monthly may be old enough to be current again. Thanks you Google and for bringing it to me.

This lack of a central passion could pose a problem if the GOP plans to cast Thompson in the role of president. "Reagan was passionate about defense," notes Kopp. "Even if you disagreed with his military spending, you knew it stemmed from his core passion of wanting to protect our country. Thompson doesn't seem passionate about anything except being Ol' Erred. If he wants to hold national office and be another Ronald Reagan Republican, he's got to find a core"

Such criticism is ironic, considering that Thompson makes this exact observation about Richard Nixon in At That Point In Time: "[In Nixon,] I could find no underlying philosophy by which all things could be measured. In the end, I think that this, more than any other factor, caused his undoing. There was no anchor there; there were no roots"

Assuming Thompson can define his philosophy, he still lacks one other vital asset for a presidential candidate: a wife. In this age of family values, the GOP would have a hard time painting a single divorce as the epitome of Norman Rockwell Americana. And word has it Thompson's charm works as well on the ladies as it does with the voters. A friend of his notes that "there's been a long line of women" in the decade since Thompson's divorce, including a semi-serious relationship with country music singer Lorrie Morgan. Says Sen. Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Judiciary Committee on which Thompson sits, "Really lovely women just seem to like Fred"

I didn't see the film, but this review is so odd I had to comment on it. More than half the review talks about the history of global warming science and insinuates this disproves the existence of man made global warming, before even a shred of alleged evidence is discussed.


Monday, March 12, 2007

On Tradesport the prediction that Fred Thompson will be the GOP nominee for President is trading between 7 and 7.2 out of 100. Considering the fact that he hasn't even said for certain he's running yet ...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My wife is getting over a bad cold right now. I hope I'm not coming down with it. I seem to have shaken it off so far.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Instapundit seems to think this is good news.

Commander of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Rahim Safavi, on Wednesday warned the Iraqi Kurd authorities to expel the armed bandits and counterrevolutionaries, linked to the foreigners, from their territories, Fars news agency reported.

"Otherwise, the IRGC forces are ready to sacrifice their lives and defend their country in pursuit of the counterrevolutionary bandits across the border and wipe them out," the IRGC Commander has been quoted as saying.

He made the remarks in a commemoration service held in Orumiyeh, West Azarbaijan Province, for a number of IRGC forces who were martyred in a helicopter crash last week in the area.

He said that members of counterrevolutionary terrorist groups in northwestern Iran are now being surrounded by the Iranian armed forces.

Three commanders of PEJAK terrorist group were killed in Sero region in Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan Province, by the Islamic Republic armed forces Tuesday, he said.

according to the report, the IRGC Commander said that the US is funding the terrorists groups to act against Iran and the Zionists are training the Iranian counterrevolutionary bandits in northern Iraq.

Before this I was hoping our new General and Defense Secretary might be up to the job. Iraq couldn't let people attacking across their border alone even if they wanted to - and after our words about regime change, they won't trust us enough to work with us either.

Many Democrats are wildly overoptimistic about what will happen when we leave Iraq - to America's reputaion among other things, blue states and red alike. But if the middle east is going up in flames, the people who say there is nothing we can do may be right.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bill Maher's little dance has gotten me thinking. I always used to shrug off talk about the 'angry left'. I always figured that there was a lot more violence from the right then the left, especially when you counted abortion bombers and doctor shootings, and gay bashing. It seemed it only stood to reason. What else defines the history of the Iraq war if not a willingness to believe overwhelming force would lead to an easy and quick victory, as soon as the 'sleeping giant' was woken?

Maher may be slicker than Coulter, but I'm not sure it's a virtue. I've always believed that Coulter's most outrageous remarks said something not merely about Coulter, but the people who fawned on her. How can I fail to wonder the same about Maher? If Ann Coulter's 'lame joke' was calculated to people who dare not fully admit certain fears even to themselves, what about Maher?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bill Maher tells us how he didn't wish Cheney dead. If you follow his links to his own transcript, you can see how closely he flirted with it. If that transcript is too long for you, this doesn't quote out of context.

Plenty of Cheney fans will be criticizing this post, but I do it from the perspective that the administration has done badly and are in danger of continuing to do so, although there is hope that Gates and Petraeus will be an improvement.

Maher: I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.

Apart from how close he came to saying the world would be better if our vice president were assasinated, what kind of fact is that? How would the Bush administration have responded to the assasination of a sitting vice president? Has Maher figured out who would replace Cheney, not as VP but as war advisor to the President?