Wednesday, August 31, 2005

MIDWEEK SAMPLER

Here is a list of posts:

KATRINA AND THE WAVES

I will sign up for the Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Day on Thursday, September 1, at the The Truth Laid Bear's Katrina relief aggregator page. [Via InstaPundit.] Please give a suggestion on a charity.

In the news:

German Environmental Minister Jürgen Trittin remains stolid in his assertion that Hurricane Katrina is linked to global warming and America's refusal to reduce emissions. (Spiegel.de, 08/31/05.)


Yesterday I had a post on Wi-Fi. You could get free of charge Wi-Fi Internet service available at T-Mobile HotSpot locations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Related: My post, OPEN THREAD: WEATHER.

Katrina's Wake


Technorati tags: , .

UPDATE 09/01/05:

Thanks to Gus Van Horn for the suggestion of donating to the Armed Forces Retirement Home. [Editor's note: I can send a small donation, if someone on the list could accept payments via PayPal. I have added a symbolic contribution of $1 to the contribution logging page at TTLB.]

For updates on the situation, read N.Z. Bear's post, Hurricane Katrina: Blog Relief Day Begins, and go to the TTLB Katrina topic page. Glenn Reynolds has posted the first blogburst installment.

Monday, August 29, 2005

VISITOR LOG FOR EGO

Here is another visitor log for EGO. [Found via NoodleFood.] The visitor is "pinned down" on a Google map. The service is created by gVisit.com. Read Wayne Hurlbert's post, Visitor logs: Don't worry about them.

DEUTSCHE WELLE WEBLOG AWARDS 2005

You could start sending nominations to the Best of the Blogs awards on September 1. [Via Bordbuch.]

The BOBs - BEST OF THE BLOGS - Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards 2005

UPDATE 09/01/05:

I have nominated Cox & Forkum. Please note the comment on BOB's site.

Die Website fällt unter den Ausschluß für menschenverachtenden und verhetzenden Content. Bitte einfach nur mal durchblättern, dann ist es offensichtlich. TH - 01.09.2005 15:00

PAJAMAS MEDIA IS MOVING ON

Pajamas Media has added another contributor profile: Sissy Willis (Sisu). [Editor's note to Kalle: I agree it would be great with a RSS feed. How about a permalink to every profile?]

MISSING CATS AND CAPITALISTS AT THE CARNIVALS

It looks like that my entries to the carnival of cats and to the carnival of capitalists are lost in cyberspace... [Editor's note to Elizabeth: If you find Morris "flying" around, please give me a call. ;)] As always, check out the Reason Roundup at the Charlotte Capitalist.

OPEN THREAD POST: WEATHER

You are welcome to send reports on the Hurricane Katrina. I am glad that it wasn't stormy weather at Lake Balaton. Please be safe out there and keep in touch! This kind of climate gives me second thoughts regarding my future home... I remember the scary situation with the tornado passing through Xenia, Ohio, in 2000. Where is the "safest" place in America?


Lake Balaton

Sunday, August 28, 2005

RON PISATURO

Ron Pisaturo has informed me that he has a new URL - www.RonPisaturo.com.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE: AD CHANGES AND NEW CATEGORY

I have removed LinkShare, ValueClick, BlogKits, BlogSnob, and eTray. It could well happen that I bring back a few of these affiliate advertising programs sometime in the future.

I have added the posts by my guest bloggers in a new category called Guest Posts.

INTERESTING ARTICLES IN THE ECONOMIST

Going through my snail post, I found two interesting articles in the Economist (August 20 - 26).

EGO TOOLBAR

You could now add the EGO toolbar to your browser. I am thinking of adding an online radio button when I start my podcasting show. The toolbar is powered by EffectiveBrand.


an EffectiveBrand toolbar

HUNGARIAN CATS

I saw several cats during my vacation in Hungary.


Cat at a winery.


It is hard to see, but it is a cat in the vineyard.


Cat in a garden.


Cat checking out a car in Sopron.


Morris is giving me a warm welcome.


Morris is "reading" a book on Sopron.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI

Did you see the interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the program Agenda? She said that it is important to fight against multiculturalism and the view that all cultures are equal. Read Ayann Hirsi Ali's weblog and her article, Unfree Under Islam. Shariah endangers women's rights, from Iraq to Canada.

PRIVATIZATION OF THE AVIATION INDUSTRY IN HUNGARY

Malev Hungarian Airlines did a good job on transporting me between Budapest and Gothenburg. It was an enjoyable flight with good service and food (sandwich, raisin bun, and a snack bar). I am glad that I will not fly with British Airways to the philosophy conference in London in September. I hope that the privatization initiatives are continuing to proceed in Hungary and Malev will become a private company in the near future. The business deal has become a hot political issue.

The airport in Budapest is also up for sale. Here is an excerpt from Kevin Done and Chris Condon's article, Five bidders on short list for Hungary airport.

The privatisation of Budapest airport is likely to be one of the biggest airport sell-offs completed globally this year.

The airport has been growing rapidly since the entry of Hungary into the European Union, which has opened the way for the arrival of several low-cost airlines, which have turned Budapest into one of their main gateways into central Europe. Passenger numbers rose by 28.6 per cent last year to 6.5m. (News.FT.com, 08/27/05.)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE: ADS AND BLOG STATS

This is a short note to say that I am back in Gothenburg. I had a jolly good time in Hungary. I will create an online photo album later on. Right now I have to catch up with e-mail messages and some other stuff.



I will continue to work on the layout of the blog. At the moment I am looking at some changes regarding the advertising. Issues on the layout and design will come up in future open thread posts. Talking about advertising, Henry Copeland of Blogads wants a new logotype, and Pajamas Media has added new content to its site.

I found out via Small Business Trends that Site Meter has added a new feature called world map.

Friday, August 26, 2005

ADVENTURES OF MORRIS FINALE

Morris finally found the cave containing the Transdanubian Cave Creatures who he thought abducted Martin from Sweden.

“Hello,” he said as he bravely entered the cave.
“I am here to save Martin from you ravenous Cave Creatures!”
In the Cave
“We are not monsters and we did not abduct Martin.”
“He phoned from the café 30 minutes ago and wants you to return home immediately and he will bring you back a treat from Hungary.

“Thank you,” Morris said with relief.
He returned to his plane and flew home to Sweden where he watched through the window for Martin to return with a Hungarian treat that will not reek of raspberries and catfish.
Morris at Home

Final note from Elizabeth -
Thanks for the comments Gus and Eric.
It's been fun playing around with images Martin has posted of Morris. I especially like the last image of Morris as the color is vibrant and it portrays a sense of peace and tranquility. (note Morris lost the tie - couldn't bring myself to add it on this one)

The other two cats in the cave with Morris are my cats, Miss Nana and Mr. Chubbus.
My son Nicholas helped me create a short and silly story line. :)


It's been fun co-guest blogging on EGO! And I can't wait to hear about the amazing adventures of Martin after he returns to Sweden.
Take care EGO readers! ~E


- Adventures of Morris III
- Adventures of Morris II
- Adventures of Morris I

GLOBE-TROTTING BLOGGERS

This post has been bumped down so the grand finale of the Adventures of Morris keeps its rightful place at the top of the heap. I have also posted it on my own blog.

This turned out to be an unexpectedly busy week all the way up until yesterday, when I had the pleasure of meeting two fellow bloggers who were visiting Houston, and of renewing my acquaintance with their host, who resides here. We met for dinner at my favorite Greek restaurant, Niko Niko's and then adjourned to The Ginger Man for a round of drinks and good conversation.

This was the first time for me to meet anyone in person through my blog and it was very strange at first. I blog under a pseudonym partly to keep my work life and my blogging life neatly separated and I found that I'd gotten so good at walling off the "blogging world" that I had a little trouble remembering the names of some people I know through blogging when they came up in conversation! Other than that small difficulty, I had a great time. Felipe, David, and Tom are really good people and I enjoyed meeting them. The only drawback was that it wasn't a Saturday, so they missed going on a tour of the St. Arnold's brewery.

I understand that the last time Martin visited Houston, he made the same omission. Here's hoping that his travels take him this way again so he can rectify that problem. (And that goes for David and Felipe, too.)

And on that note, I thank Martin, who will be returning from his travels shortly, for letting me guest blog during his absence. At first, I thought his choice to use the handful of guest bloggers was simply a way to spread the load so no one or two people would end up doing all the work. And maybe I was right, but during his absence, I noticed that each member of the team of guest-bloggers contributed a unique dimension to the blog. (Elizabeth's posts on the Adventures of Morris were my favorites.) The sum ended up reminding me quite a bit of Martin's usual blogging, though it isn't really Ego without Lindeskog at the helm. I enjoyed posting here and reading the other guest bloggers, but, like Morris, I'll be glad to see Martin himself back.

Welcome home, Martin!

-- CAV

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

WINDMILLS, ANYONE?

As oil continues to trade in the mid-sixties, peak-oilers are having a field day, salivating at the prospect of "the world running out of oil" and gushing all kinds of doomy and gloomy predictions about "the global economy collapsing," SUVs becoming extinct, and the sky generally falling.


But they are in for a crude awakening, should they make a discovery of an inflation-adjusted chart that shows how oil has climbed to much higher peaks before:


and Pierre Lemieux's accompanying article, where we learn that
The relative price of oil (in terms of other goods) has fallen by perhaps as much as two-thirds between the 1860s and today. During the same period, the price of oil in terms of salaries has decreased by more than 90%

and that
the history of the oil industry is replete with exaggerated demand forecasts, pessimistic supply limitations and sky-high prices. The median forecast of experts polled by the International Energy Workshop in January 1986 was for crude oil prices of $240 by 2005 (in today’s dollars). Four years earlier, the median forecast for 2000 was $400.

Of course, these environmentally concerned ladies and gentlemen have many subtle and refined methods for producing a sustainable growth in gas prices. "Make your choice: it's your car, or your caribou!" Thomas Sowell writes:
Today production is being held back, not by price controls, but by political hysteria whenever anyone suggests actually producing more oil ourselves. Organized nature cults go ballistic at the thought that we might drill for oil in some remote part of Alaska that 99 percent of Americans will never see, including 99 percent of the nature cultists.

People used to ask whether there is any sound if a tree falls in an empty forest. Today, there are deafening political sounds over oil-drilling in an empty wilderness.


Having taken care of American oil production, our peakmongering friends have their answer to imports as well, in the form of Islamic and Communist dictatorships protected by demands of "no blood!" Dr. Sowell comments,
Many of the same people who cry "No blood for oil!" also want higher gas mileage standards for cars. But higher mileage standards have meant lighter and more flimsy cars, leading to more injuries and deaths in accidents -- in other words, trading blood for oil.

So what can we do? Dr. Sowell thinks:
Apparently the only things we can do are the things in vogue among nature cultists and the politicians that cater to them, such as windmills[...]

But that is yesteryear's fashion, blown away by the wind the moment somebody actually wanted to build a windmill. See The Wall Street Journal:
First, critics declared the spinning turbines a menace to avian culture since they might chop up migrating birds. They also saw a threat to the habitat of dolphins and seals, since the windmills would rattle the seabed [...] On its Web site, one antiwindmill group listed among the side effects of renewable power the potential for dreaded "turbine glint."

So there you have it, the Left's own Axis of Evil is complete: urban sprawl, turban shots, and turbine glint!

ADVENTURES OF MORRIS III

Morris over Golden Gate Bridge
Morris flew west over San Francisco, crossed the Pacific Ocean and landed in China.

Here he toured the Great Wall of China and had Tang, the Tour Guide, take a picture of him standing among Xian Warriors.
Morris in China
He drank a quick cup of tea, climbed back in to the cockpit and continued to sputter west to rescue his dear friend Martin from the Transdanubian Cave Creatures who he imagined were ravenous monsters that reeked of raspberries and catfish.

- Adventures of Morris II
- Adventures of Morris I

Monday, August 22, 2005

OPEN THREAD POST: WINE


Let's talk about wine! I will be back in full swing next week! Thanks again to my guest bloggers who are doing a great job on keeping this blog going! Cheers!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

AUGUST 20 FIREWORKS

Now Sopron may be a nice place, but Martin missed the real action tonight: the spectacular, multi-million-forint, 30-minute fireworks over the Danube against the backdrop of a full Moon,



organized by our government on the occasion of Hungary's national holiday and paid for by you have guessed whom!



This is one of the few uses of my tax forints that I might actually agree to voluntarily if the government hadn't already been so kind as to make the expenditure on my behalf.



I'm meeting Martin in Sopron tomorrow, and I'm sure y'alls will be hearing from him soon as well.

ADVENTURES OF MORRIS II

Morris decided to take matters in to his own hands on his rescue mission of Martin from the Transdanubian Cave Creatures.

He rented a small plane for his mission.
Morris Flies

“Here I am to save the day,” he sang as he flew west toward the afternoon sun not knowing where to find the faraway land called Hungary where he would save Martin from the Transdanubian Cave Creatures.

West and west he flew across the great blue pond called the Atlantic Ocean.

Morris did not stop until he reached the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

There he gassed up the plane and had Bob, the Park Ranger, take a picture of him standing on the Continental Divide.
Morris in Colorado

Then he drank a quick cup of coffee, climbed back in to the cockpit and continued to sputter west to rescue his dear friend Martin from the Transdanubian Cave Creatures who he imagined were ravenous monsters that reeked of raspberries and catfish.

-Adventures of Morris I

Thursday, August 18, 2005

BLOGGING TRENDS -- GOOD AND BAD

The blogosphere -- that name we give to the nebulous and loose community of individuals who blog -- is changing fast. Are you prepared for the changes?

People talk about the growth of blogs with some awe. According to one count, there are 70 million blogs worldwide.

What does that growth really mean to the individual blogger or the person trying to find blogs? Both good and bad.

First, the bad:
  • If you are just now starting to blog, it's going to be harder to get noticed by other bloggers and have your voice stand out. It just stands to reason. It's harder to stand out of 70 million blogs than it was to stand out from a few thousand blogs in 2000 or even a few hundred thousand blogs in 2001.

    The newer bloggers who want to get noticed will have to work harder. They will have to visit established blogs, comment regularly, write good content and let other bloggers know about that content by sending emails to friendly bloggers. They will have to participate in as many blog directories as they can find and participate in legitimate traffic generating initiatives such as BlogExplosion.


  • The early pioneers will have to adjust to the new faces entering the blogosphere and the new ideas about blogging they bring with them. Not everyone sees eye to eye. For instance, some bloggers are purists and do not agree with advertising on blogs or using blogs for commercial purposes. Whereas, for some of the more recent entrants the potential to monetize a blog or promote a business or gain good search engine position are primary motivations. According to a recent survey, 46% of bloggers have financial motives at least in part.

    I read with amusement recently a blogger suggesting that the blogosphere is now -- finally -- starting to address the issue of bloggers being paid to write about products. What I don't think he realized is, that train has left the station, and bloggers are well on their way to promoting products on blogs. It is no longer discussed -- it just happens. Company blogs are proliferating, and naturally on those blogs they are writing about their own products. Blogging jobs and freelance blogging contracts are relatively common. And, it is rarer and rarer to run across blogs without at least some Google AdSense or affiliate links on them. Indeed, another recent survey found that 73% of bloggers felt it was OK to at least include affiliate links in their blogs, to make a few bucks.


  • The smell of money has led to gaming of the system. New inexpensive software tools and the potential to earn Google AdSense revenue have resulted in an explosion in spam blogs in 2005. You've probably run into some auto-generated blogs that were created using these software packages to scrape content from sites or from RSS feeds. The results are nonsensical sites that vaguely resemble blogs. Yuk.

    Just as bad are the unscrupulous types who will set up a blog and write in it for a few months and wheedle links from legitimate bloggers, only to turn around and convert their site into a spam blog or link farm as soon as they have Google Page Rank. And dare I mention comment and trackback spam?


  • Worse, the explosion in spam blogs is having another negative effect: in my view it is undermining the effectiveness of keyword searches that form the basis of the major search engines like Google. Of what benefit is a keyword search if it turns up spam blogs ahead of legitimate sites? The potential for spam sites has always existed, but the problem is an order of magnitude greater now, because the cost of setting up blogs is free or nearly free. Let's hope the search engine companies can get this problem under control.


  • Then there is the Hype Cycle. The Hype Cycle is a phenomenon identified by Gartner Research concerning adoption of a new technology. The Hype Cycle says that initially there is a period of irrational exuberance with wildly raised expectations. Then sentiment lunges into the trough of disillusionment for a period as the unrealistically high expectations cannot be met, before evening out and achieving a positive growth pace once again. We will go through the Hype Cycle and the trough of disillusionment with blogging, before it evens out.
OK, now that I have thoroughly depressed you, by listing problems, let me show the positive side of things. There is a sun behind those dark clouds.
  • First, blogs have started a revolution in personal publishing and self-expression. Never in history has it been easier for the average person to set up a site, publish regularly, and have their words be read around the world. No matter what changes we go through, this revolution will never be undone. It will only pick up steam and grow. What power individuals are armed with now!


  • Blogging software and associated technologies like RSS will be vastly improved. As much as I love blogs for their freshness and simplicity and genuineness, I'll be the first to admit that most blogging software makes for rather primitive sites. The navigation is rudimentary; it can be hard to find anything in the archives of many blogs due to lack of categories or integrated search; adding additional non-blog pages can be challenging; and blogs are filled with techno-lingo that make them unintelligible gibberish to the uninitiated (exhibit A: "trackbacks"). Mind you, I'm not just finger-pointing at other people's blogs -- the same goes for my own blogs. But I look forward to getting improved blogging software.


  • Certain blogging customs that made sense when the blogosphere was a sort of underground phenomenon will have to change as blogs become mainstream. Take, for instance, the concept of blogrolling. Blogrolls made sense when there were few tools to find other blogs -- blogrolls were a word of mouth method to keep track. But anyone who has been blogging for a long time eventually reaches a point where to link to every interesting or useful blog you encounter becomes impossible. The home pages of some blogs have gotten untenably long, some of them with a couple hundred outbound links between the blogrolls and posts.

    Luckily there are alternatives. We've seen vast improvements during 2005 in specialty blog and RSS search engines, such as Technorati, Bloglines, IceRocket and BlogPulse to name a few. As these search engines get better, they can take the place of blogrolls for finding blogs. Of course, we also need to get better blog directories, so that people can search for blogs by topic rather than just by keyword. That way if you want to locate all the business blogs, you can -- something keyword searches are not much help for.
We can expect many changes as the blogosphere matures. I have confidence that these changes will ultimately lead to a more exciting landscape of sites. It will be a landscape where individuals and small businesses can easily set up and maintain sites where it is easy to express themselves -- in text, voice or video. And that's exciting.

CINDY SHEEHAN UPDATE

Might the Cindy Sheehan spectacle backfire? I think so. While the media alternate between pretending it's the Vietnam era again and taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other, everyone else is busy seeing through all their hype.

James Lileks
hits the nail on the head when he says:
Some people think that any time you argue back, you're Stifling Dissent. For them, merely discussing Ms. Sheehan's views is the rhetorical equivalent of sending her to Abu Ghraib.
Of this piece in National Review, Robert Tracinski of TIA Daily offered the following commentary.
This report shows how anti-war rallies are dominated by anti-American types who oppose any defense of this country, even the overthrow of the Taliban. But the most important detail reveals the conventional morality that makes these protests possible: Christ's injunction to "love thine enemy"--a slogan whose significance this author, writing for the religious-right National Review, chooses not to analyze.
The following, by a pro-war father grieving for his fallen son, was mentioned in today's RealClear Politics.
I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.
Christopher Hitchens drops a bombshell at the end of this column.
I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? (a claim that has brought David Duke flying to Ms. Sheehan's side.) This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.
In the end, all this could backfire (via TIA Daily).
For Bush, a reinvigorated protest movement presents obvious dangers as he struggles to bolster flagging public support for the mission in Iraq. But such a challenge could present opportunities for the White House.

If a revived antiwar movement promotes alternative policies that the public resists -- such as the immediate withdrawal of all American troops, which Sheehan favors -- Bush could garner support for his course, some analysts say.

"If it's a message that he is able to portray … as a fringe opposition group, I think he can use that as a foil," said Christopher Gelpi, a Duke University political scientist who studies public opinion during wartime. "On the other hand, if the movement's [message] is picked up by other politicians or prominent opinion leaders, that could be very damaging to him."
For a good roundup of earlier news, please visit Cox and Forkum at the link below. -- CAV

Show of Grief

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I MUST RETURN TO BELGIUM!

Can a snark do pundit-blogging? Here's my first attempt to emulate Martin's blogging style! Perhaps the result will be an interesting hybrid.... Enjoy!

Will Martin return from Hungary with unfinished business? I hope not. As for me, my one and only trip to Belgium was marked by a serious omission: I failed to spend some time in Brussels!

[Editor's note: The author of this post is pictured here just after his return from Belgium.]

A couple of years ago, I merrily embarked on the long journey from beer snob to beer connoisseur. This journey goes straight through Belgium, but my last trip to Europe five years ago occurred before I knew what a great beer country it is! (What rock did I live under? BudMiller.) I am particularly interested in sampling beers of the lambic style. (Note: You may find that the style is an acquired taste. My advice: Acquire it!) Famed beer critic Michael Jackson describes the style below.

The winiest of all the world's beers, and specific to the Brussels area. There are several possible explanations for the odd name (which is spelled in a variety of ways), but its most likely origin is the small town of Lembeek ("Lime Creek"), to the immediate southwest of Brussels, in the heart of the producing area. A handful of breweries around Lembeek, Beersel and Schepdaal, all in the valley of the river Zenne, have persisted with techniques that pre-date the culturing of yeasts. Their brews are of the type seen in Bruegel's paintings, and represent the oldest style of beer readily found in the developed world. Lambic beers gain their tartness from a content of at least 30 per cent raw wheat in addition to the more usual malted barley, but their defining characteristic is the use of wild yeast. This "wild," or "spontaneous," fermentation imparts the distinctive acidity.

It may be a long time before I have the opportunity to make a beer tour of Brussels and vicinity. But then, if I attempt to brew a lambic style beer myself, the wait may be comparable! Until then, I can at least find Lindeman's at Spec's and The Ginger Man.

-- CAV

IT'S NOT ROCKIN', BUT IT IS ROLLIN'

[editor's note: I have posted this one at my blog also. This seemed to be more of a Martin-type post than my usual style, so in his absence...]

So what is the great American pop song? Pop song meaning "popular" and not the narrower current meaning. Here is your first hint. It's not a rocker, but it is a roller:

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
Though the streams are swollin'


And it covers the two most important parts of your life. One, is productive work:

Keep them doggies rollin'
Rain and wind and weather
Hellbent for leather


And two, the girl:

Wishin' my gal was by my side
All the things I'm missin'
Good vittals, love and kissin'
Are waiting at the end of my ride


And there is nothing more American than the cowboy:

Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Rawhide
Count 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, count 'em out
Count 'em out, ride 'em in
Rawhide

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them doggies movin'
Rawhide
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope 'em, pull and brand 'em
Soon we'll be living high and wide
My hearts calculatin'
My true love will be waitin'
Be waitin' at the end of my ride


Says Dr. Andy Bernstein of the cowboy:

What we honor about the cowboy of the Old West is his willingness to stand up to evil and to do it alone, if necessary. The cowboy is a symbol of the crucial virtues of courage and independence.

The original cowboys were hard-working ranchers and settlers who tamed a vast wilderness. In the process, they had to contend with violent outlaws as well as warlike Indian tribes. The honest men on the frontier did not wring their hands in fear, uncertainty and moral paralysis; they stood up to evil men and defeated them.


Read the whole thing. The song "Rawhide" provides for me a vivid mental image of the great American cowboy.

The USS New York

LPD 21, the U.S. Navy's fifth LPD 17 San Antonio-class ship, will be the tenth in American history to carry the name New York (the first one served on Lake Champlain during the War of Independence), and there is something else that is special about it:

From rubble to avenging angel: The U.S. Navy is using steel from the World Trade Center in a new ship [...] Ten tons of steel from the World Trade Center’s twin towers will be used in the construction of the USS New York[.]



Secretary of the Navy Gordon England is quoted as saying,
"This new class of ships will project American power to the far corners of the Earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century. From the war for independence through the war on terrorism, which we wage today, the courage and heroism of the people of New York has been an inspiration. USS New York will play an important role in our Navy's future and will be a fitting tribute to the people of the Empire State."

According to the Navy's fact sheet, the New York
will be used to transport and land Marines [...and...] support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions throughout the first half of the 21st Century.

What better way to honor the victims of 9/11 than to resurrect the place they worked at in the form of a warship that brings justice to their murderers. The Navy is already doing its part--now it will be up to the Commander-in-Chief to do his.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

ADVENTURES OF MORRIS I

“Martin has been abducted by Transdanubian Cave Creatures and taken to a land called Hungary. I will mail myself to this faraway land and rescue him.”

Morris

After a grueling night stuffed in the box, Morris climbed out when all was quiet. He realized he’d been returned home and the box was stamped Insufficient Postage.

“How was I to know?”

A note from Elizabeth…
While Martin is away, I will add three more posts about the Adventures of Morris. (Martin’s cat)
Hopefully I will not frighten away his regular readers by being off the wall, and like this post from Andy, I count on the excellent writing abilities of the other guest bloggers to keep it interesting.
:)

Take care EGO readers and have a terrific August!

Monday, August 15, 2005

BLOG-SITTING FOR MARTIN

Jeez. One conversation over Skype and next thing I know, I am blog-sitting for Martin. I am toooo easy. Well, at least I am not cat-sitting. Changing a litter box in Sweden is a bit out of my regular routine.

For you Morris fans, you will have to amuse yourself with the past.

The best I can do is offer you Skate:



and the newly acquired Peaches:




Australian Cattle Dogs in North Carolina on a Swedish blog. Ok, this international blogging stuff is fun after all!

OPEN POST THREAD: TRAVEL

This post is a farewell remark. So long & cheerio! See you! One (Gus Van Horn) of my guest bloggers are already gearing up for the task... It is probably a good time for recharging the batteries and taking a break...

Martin Lindeskog must be at his wit's end, THE FINAL STRAW... (Carnival Of The Cats #73, MindOfMog.net, 08/14/05.)


How about comment on travel issues? You could list your favorite places to visit, write about a journey, etc.

PAPRIKA PLANTS

Sunday, August 14, 2005

OBJECTIVIST CONFERENCE SPECIAL

Have you signed up for the Objectivist conference in London yet? Check out the Objectivist conference special by SJC Gold & Silver Handicrafts.

EATING PIZZA IN A DEFENSIVE FIGHTING POSITION

Pesto Pizza

Adventurous and hedonistic.
You live for new experiences and tastes
And you're not the type to have your pizza the same way twice
If they can put it on pizza, you're up for trying it!
[Editor's note to Jay of Accidental Verbosity: Do you like Swedish meatballs?]

I look forward to eat a pizza in a "defensive fighting position"... Sopron has a great restaurant called Rókalyuk ("Foxhole"). Maybe I should test a pizza with "libamájpástétom" ("foie gras")?

Did you know that Kim Jong-il likes pizza? [Via Gongol.]

Talking about foxholes, have you been at the Atheists in foxholes monument in Alabama? [Hat tip to Blair of the Secular Foxhole.]

[Editor's note to the guest bloggers: Feel free to send entries to the next week's edition of the Carnival of the Recipes.]

THE FINAL STRAW...

MORRIS

[Editor's note to the guest bloggers: This post is submitted to the next week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats . If you have a pet, you are welcome to send entries to the next Friday Ark at the Modulator and to the Carnival of the Cats.]

ADIDAS IS SNEAKING UP ON NIKE

Will Adidas give Nike a run for its money? From the article, Just doing it:

Nike is unlikely to launch a rival bid for Reebok because of likely antitrust objections from regulators in America. But it could be tempted to buy Puma, another German rival. Both Adidas and Puma were set up by the Dassler family. Adidas takes its name from Adolf, or "Adi", Dassler, whose brother, Rudolf, founded Puma. Both are based in Herzogenaurach, a small town in southern Germany. And both may soon have an American partner. (Economist.com, 08/04/05.)


[Editor's comment: Do you say sneakers, trainers, tennis shoes, gym shoes, or kicks? You could say "rubber shoes" ("gummiskor") in Swedish.]

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[Editor's note to the guest bloggers: I have submitted this post to next week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists. Please talk to each other if you want to submit one entry for week 34. You could use the form at Gongol.]

UPDATE: How about the Capitalist shoe by Medium Design Group? [Hat tip to J.S.]

Saturday, August 13, 2005

UNCLE SAM TOUR: IRAN XX/XX/05

In the news: Bush: Force Could Be an Option Against Iran's Nuclear Aspirations - Voice of America.

Have you voted yet? Scroll down the page and look in the right column for the EGO Poll - "Which Country Should Be Next?"

YARON BROOK ON C-SPAN RADIO

From Betsy Speicher's CyberNet:

Tomorrow, Sunday, August 14, 2005, at 10AM ET (7AM PT), C-SPAN Radio is scheduled to broadcast a talk given by Dr. Yaron Brook at the 2005 Objectivist Summer Conference "The Neo-Conservatives-Friends or Foes?"

Friday, August 12, 2005

SEPTEMBER 11 RECORDS BY THE FIRE DEPARTMENT

In the news:


Read my post, SEPTEMBER 11 RECOLLECTION.

DAN SAVAGE AND ANN COULTER

Here is an excerpt from Dan Savage's post, Who's That Standing To Ann Coulter's Right?, at Andrew Sullivan's blog.

Unlike Coulter, though, I wasn't in favor of converting "them" to Christianity; replacing one idiotic fairy tale with another doesn't seem like a net gain to me. But I was--and still am--in favor of the West remaking the Middle East--AKA invading their countries and deposing their leaders. Like Ann Coulter, I felt that what we witnessed on September 11 wasn't just about Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and Afghanistan. Islamo-fascism is a regional problem, like European fascism--and the Middle East would have to be remade just as Europe was remade. (AndrewSullivan.com, 08/12/05.)


I recommend Dan Savage to read the following:


Related: My post, THE BATTLE OF IDEAS: CHICKENHAWKS VERSUS PACIFICISTS.

ISRAELI HAWKS AND EUROPEAN DOVES

I am glad that not every politician is sitting at the negotiating table... Here is an excerpt from Tim Butcher's article, Israeli hawks circle Iran's N-plants.

As long as international negotiators are taking the lead, Israel is happy to stay on the sidelines.

And there is one important factor at play: it is one of the Middle East's worst kept secrets that Israel has the nuclear bomb. Iran certainly knows this and it will have a clear deterrent effect.

The result is that Israel might not need to take pre-emptive military action against Iran - if only because Teheran would never use a nuclear weapon against Israel for fear of itself being attacked, and annihilated, by the Jewish state's nuclear arsenal. (Telegraph.co.uk, 08/12/05.)


Table for None

CARNIVAL OF THE RECIPES AT BLONDE SAGACITY

The anniversy edition of the Carnival of the Recipes is hosted by Blonde Sagacity™. The menu looks very tasty...

CAT STAR AND STRIPES

Be careful, Morris could "give you the bomb"... He is in contact with Felix the Cat.

MORRIS

Morris needs a new collar. I wonder if I could find the Stars & Stripes breakaway cat collar in Sweden. For more animal pictures, check out Friday Ark at the Modulator.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

HUNGARIAN MACARONI

This recipe is taken from Gundel's Hungarian Cookbook (recipe #38, page 37).

Hungarian Macaroni

Ingredients:
  • 80 g (3 slices) smoked bacon.
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) lard. [Editor's comment: Could you find lard at your place?]
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) onion.
  • 15 g (1 tbs) paprika.
  • 500 g (3 1/2 cups) veal, cut in small pieces.
  • Salt and garlic.
  • 140 g (1 cup) diced green pepper.
  • 60 g (1 small) tomato.
  • 600 g (5 cups) macaroni.
  • 120 g (1 cup) grated cheese.

Directions:

  1. Fry the bacon, add the chopped onion and fry until it is light brown.
  2. Add the paprika, then the meat.
  3. Add salt and little garlic. Add a small amount of water if needed.
  4. Add the green peppers and tomato cubes when the meat is almost done. Let it simmer.
  5. Cook the macaroni and add to the meat.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on the top and put the dish in the oven for a few minutes. [Editor's comment:Temperature?]

For examples on my culinary experiences in Hungary, read my posts, EATING SHARK AT COLUMBUS RESTAURANT and STRATEGIC SUPPORT BRANCH AND WINE AT PENTAGON.

By the way: I have updated last week's entry with a couple of photos of the cheyenne chile pepper poppers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

BOOK REVIEW IN THE NEW YORK SUN

I hope some of the readers of the New York Sun will find my post, GARY HULL ON BOOK TV. [Editor's comment: The reviewer is guest blogging at InstaPundit at the moment.]

YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO

Richard Salsman, President and Chief Market Strategist of InterMarket Forecasting, will appear on Fox News at 4 PM EST. [Hat tip to Betsy Speicher's CyberNet.]

TECH TUESDAY: VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL

This week's tech post is on Voice over IP. As a Linux user, I wonder if the Gizmo Project or the Skype add-on program by Pamela Systems could provide me with a solution for recording phone conversation in the near future...

In the news:


Related: My post, VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL.

Monday, August 8, 2005

CAPITALISTS AT VIEW FROM A HEIGHT

This week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by Joshua Sharf of View From a Height. [Editor's comment: Why is Denver called the Mile-High City?]

OPEN THREAD POST: INSTALANCHE, TRIP, GUEST BLOGGERS

Click on the link at the bottom of the post for a short audio clip including a quiz and instructions on how to become a guest blogger.

Will my web traffic increase very much after the recent InstaLanche? I don't think so, but I am glad to get the opportunity to "expose" my blog for new potential readers. Go to Politburo Diktat and read Commissar's post, Revolution - Beyond Instalanche. Sissy Willis gave this witty response in her post, "There is a grandeur in this view of life".

Update: Speaking of "grandeur in this view of life," we've been naturally selected by the Professor for a lovely Instalanche. There IS an intelligent designer. (Sisu.typepad.com, 08/06/05.)


Talking about linking, here is a "commercial break" from my "sponsor":

[Editor's note to Z.C.: I am still waiting on my "Zionist check"...]


If everything goes as planned, I will take a short trip to Magyarország in the near future. I have got a taste for certain parts of Hungary. I need to have blogging assistance if I am going on a trip. I will contact a couple of fellow bloggers and ask them if they want become guests at the virtual residence of EGO. If you feel the urge to become a guest blogger, listen to the audio clip for instructions.

And now over to the quiz! Who is the person in the picture and where is the plaque located? Listen to the audio clip for the rules and information on the great prize!



Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit is also taking vacation.

TOMORROW will be InstaPundit's fourth bloggiversary. (Click here to see what I was writing about back when it started).

How has the blog changed? You may have a clearer sense of that than I do. I think it's become a bit less opinionated -- the older entries were mostly opinion; now I'm more likely to link to somone's actual reporting, or to an item of news without commenting on it much. I tend to express my longer opinion-oriented takes elsewhere, at TechCentralStation or GlennReynolds.com, rather than here at the blog. ...

The other thing I've learned: To take a vacation from blogging now and then. (Instapundit.com, 08/07/05.)


Go to Wayne Hurlbert's Blog Business World and read his post, Blogging goals: Thinking about reasons, for more thoughts on the evolution of blogging.

The important thing is to examine your blog and see if your blogging goals have shifted. If they have, and that is a highly likely event, then your posting topics might require some tweaking as well.

You may even find that your readership has shifted over time, from one group of visitors, to an entirely different one. If your visitors are different from your original traffic, it's important to write posts that appeal to your newer readership. If you want some previous readers to return, perhaps a few posts of interest to them might be in order. (BlogBusinessWorld.blogspot.com, 08/06/05.)


I make a quick comment in the audio clip on one word in Wayne Hurlbert's post. I value the exchangee of ideas and thoughts with fellow bloggers and readers, due to the fact that ideas in action have consequences on your life. If you are interested in this topic, I recommend you to study the branch of philosophy called epistemology and the mental exercise of concept formation.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

GAZA PULLOUT

In the news: Netanyahu quits over Gaza pullout - BBC.

Here is Scott Holleran's commentary on Binyamin Netanyahu's article, The litmus test for authentic 'freedom fighters'.

CRIER COMMENT: We did not win -- we are no more likely to win now -- and it must be noted that Mr. Netanyahu's sanction of Israel's steady march toward extinction (through constant appeasement of her enemies) puts his resignation in perspective. Every time he's been in power, in office, in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu chooses to compromise with the appeasers, which makes his resignation an empty, meaningless gesture. (ConcordCrier.com, Israel Turmoil, 08/07/05.)


Pullout Poster

MORRIS SENDS A GREETING TO CATS IN ISRAEL

Oops! Morris has overslept this week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats. He is sending a greeting to the cats in Israel.

MORRIS

If you want to give a Moral Defense of Israel, read my post, THE WAR ON TERROR.

MARILYN MONROE

In the news: Marilyn Monroe 'was not suicidal' - BBC.

You could read John W. Miner's transcript of the "Monroe tapes," in the Los Angeles Times. Joe Gandelman has covered the story in his post, Marilyn Monroe Transcripts Don't Pass The Confirmation Test. I have to go back to Donald Spoto's book, Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, and read certain passages.

Here is an excerpt from my interview with Dwayne Bell of Body in Mind.

EGO: Have you read Ayn Rand's column, Through Your Most Grievous Fault, on Marilyn Monroe?

Bell: Yes. It's my proof that female beauty is indeed the representation of values. You see I never cared for Marilyn Monroe much until I read Rand's article on the reason she died.

Rand explains that it was precisely for her courage, her beauty, her happiness, her innocence, her sexuality, and her benevolence that she was despised, and eventually killed herself. I had never made that connection before. I'd never connected her to my values, but once I did I started to find her physically attractive. That's the power values in female beauty. (EGO, 04/07/04.)


UPDATE:

Roger L. Simon is blogging from:

the very spot where Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe slept for most of their brief marrige. Yes, my office was once their bedroom and my desk is exactly where their bed would have been. (More Monroe, RogerLSimon.com, 08/06/05.)

Saturday, August 6, 2005

VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY

The video game industry is trying to target new markets, including minorities and older people. Here is an excerpt from the article, Chasing the dream.

The gaming industry is trying to address the generational divide. It is producing games designed to appeal to non-gamers and encouraging casual gamers (who may occasionally play simple web-based games, or games on mobile phones) to play more. This has led to the development of games with a wider appeal. Some of them replace the usual control pad with novel input devices: microphones for singing games, cameras for dancing and action games, and even drums. In addition, the industry has started to cater more to women, who seem to prefer social simulation games such as "The Sims", and to older people, who (if they play games at all) often prefer computerised versions of card games and board games. Other promising avenues include portable gaming, mobile gaming and online downloads of simple games. Many people enjoy gaming, but do not necessarily want to commit themselves to an epic quest that will take dozens of hours to complete. (Economist.com, 08/04/05.)

I bet that the Carnival of Gamers will follow the future of the video game industry.

Related: My post, HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT A GAMER.

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UPDATE 08/07/05:

[Editor's note: Welcome InstaPundit readers!]

If you are interested in the gaming industry (pachinko) in Japan, read the article, Not technically considered gambling, video-game-like slot machines are a booming industry in Japan.

YA NO MAS!

From my post, INDEPENDENT LIBRARIES OF CUBA.

Do you think it is possible to start a freedom project in Cuba similar to the Spirit of America's campaign in Iraq and Afghanistan? Isn't time to get rid of Fidel Castro, once for all? I want to smoke a Havana cigar soon! (EGO, 03/06/05.)

George Moneo of Babalu Blog has started a meme with the slogan: ¡Ya no mas! – "I've had enough!" [Via Publius Pundit.]

Everything around us, that is created by man, was once just a thought. The power of the mind to create reality is beyond dispute. These words can empower the people of Cuba with the spirit of liberty. Despite all that the government can do to them, they can still say them and they can still think them. I hope they pass the meme along, paint the words on buildings, write them on the sidewalk, write them in their ration books. All they have to do is to believe them. (BabaluBlog.com, 08/04/05.)




Maybe John Cox could create a Newsmaker Caricature of Fidel Castro? I guess that Hugo Chávez's "oily" revolution will be covered in Gus Van Horn's next Chinamerica Threat Roundup.

We have plenty of Castro supporters here in the "socialist paradise of Sweden." The Swedish-Cuban Association sent a greeting to the "Palestine solidarity conference" in Gothenburg. Revolutionary Communist Youth in Sweden posted the message on their website:

Through their revolution 1959 the Cubans won state power for the country's progressive people's forces. This Cuban state power is used consequently by the people to struggle for social justice and peace in the world. We see it by the way Cuba works so hard in International organisations, for instance in the United Nations. Through its principled work and bravery Cuba is amongst those in the lead against the illegal Zionist wall, against the apartheid policy of the Israeli state, and for the application of international law in support of the rights of the Palestinian People. (RKU.nu)


Will Elián González grow up as a free man, like Walter Polovchak?

A few years ago, he even traveled to Miami to support Elian Gonzalez's American relatives in their efforts to keep the young boy in the U.S. He saw Elian just days before he was returned to Cuba, something he calls an invasion. (NBC5.com, 08/01/05.)


Related: My post, ELIAN GONZALEZ HAS BEEN IN PRISON FOR FIVE YEARS.

Friday, August 5, 2005

ENOLA GAY

Read the Ayn Rand Institute's press release, No Apologies for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I think it would be a great idea to fully restore Enola Gay and install a permanent exhibition of the bomb plane. Here is an excerpt from the article, Sixty years on, Americans support Hiroshima bombing.

The Smithsonian began restoring what was a rotting Enola Gay in the 1980s and planned to feature it an exhibition in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the war's end.

But the display was canceled after a firestorm of criticism from veterans and members of Congress, who argued that Smithsonian historians had revised history to portray Japan as the victim and U.S. soldiers in a negative light. (AlertNet.org, 08/05/05.)


Do you remember Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's song Enola Gay? On a related note, I saw the movie, Enigma, on television this evening.

UPDATE 08/06/05:

One thing I will always remember from school is when our teacher in history said: "It was necessary to bomb Japan." He gave a very good argument on why America had to use atomic weapons against the enemy. I bet today's teachers are not allowed to utter this kind of statement.

Here is an excerpt from Matt Krupnick's article, Nuclear threat persists.

"It's not clear where all those weapons are going to end up," said Gregory Jones, a researcher with the RAND Corp. "Pakistan seems like al-Qaida central these days. I'm worried about the next event in Manhattan being a nuclear explosion." (ContraCostaTimes.com, 08/06/05.)


From the Reason Roundup at the Charlotte Capitalist:

Dr. Hurd on Iran's nuclear weapons:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, admitted that the problem of Iran's growing nuclear weapons capability has to be "dealt with." She didn't say exactly how or when, but later on in the interview she did comment, "there has to be a strong, united international front that says to the Iranians you cannot seek a nuclear weapon and be a member of the international community."

He has more. My view is that if we can't display the Enola Gay, (see above) let's use it again. (CharlotteCapitalist.com, 08/06/05.)

GORE TV IS OUT OF DATE

Have you watched Al Gore's TV network? Here is an excerpt from Dana Stevens's article, Invasion of the Pod People - Current TV is youth culture as imagined by Al Gore.

Grandiose rhetoric about technological frontiers, of course, has always been Al Gore's specialty—he'll never live down his much-ridiculed boast to Wolf Blitzer on CNN, when he claimed that, as a US congressman, he "took the initiative in creating the Internet." But in the case of Current, Gore's entrepreneurial ambitions had to be seriously downsized. (Slate.msn.com, 08/03/05.)


Talking about real "technological frontiers," check out documentary:BLOG.