Lucky me

I went out to the driveway this afternoon, fear and trepidation in my heart. I was sure the car wouldn’t start, simply because it hadn’t been driven long enough after I got it jumped last night.

I was wrong. It started right up and purred along as though it had never run down. Phew.

How did I do that?

A neighbor came over with some apple bananas from her backyard tree and advised me that my car tail lights were on. I can’t understand how they got left on, but since she came over at 7:30pm and I got home and out of the car around 1:30pm, the battery was well and truly run down. I had to beg help from her to get the thing recharged.

That was fairly amusing. Her husband has a new car and he hasn’t had to open the hood yet, nor is he sure where the battery is in it. So we borrowed his wife’s car and then tried to figure out how to open the hood on my Mini. I finally found the lever under the bonnet (not hood, mind you; British car, remember?) and then had to remove the battery cover to get at the posts to attach the clips.

We got that done and it started. I let it run for about ten minutes and then drove up and down the hill. When I parked it I turned it off and restarted it without trouble; we’ll see if it works in the morning. Fortunately I have no major errands to run or doctors to visit tomorrow.

Fun, yeah? When I got back I got to clean up the kitchen from dinner, too, which I’d neglected while dealing with the car crisis. What an evening!


Israel equating Hamas’s rockets to the IDF’s air strikes is the purest form of sophistry: “a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.”

There have been at least 145 Palestinian deaths since this all began on Tuesday. There have been zero Israeli deaths.

Who the hell are the Israelis trying to kid? Themselves?

Cleveland? Really?

I don’t ordinarily pay much attention to the NBA, but the news today that LeBron James has decided to return to Cleveland to play for his hometown (and first professional) team was unavoidable.

I admit to being astonished. It’s not often a superstar leaves the place where he’s had the most success (James won two championships and made four Finals appearances in Miami) to go to a city which hasn’t had much success in recent decades in sports or anything else. I wish him and the Cavaliers luck.

Oh man, these guys are dumb

We all know that state legislatures are often the stepping stones for ambitious pols who want to go work at the Capitol Building in DC (3 of 7 Democrats running this year for US District One in Honolulu are State Senators or Representatives; another 3 are City Councilmembers). It’s often useful to point out how absolutely insane some of the junior varsity at the state level is.

For example, a Republican state senator in Kentucky recently said this:

“As you sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that,” said the senator in a video posted by the weekly publication. “Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

As several people have pointed out, there’s so much wrong with this it’s hilarious. First off, no, the temperatures on the two planets are greatly different (Earth: average 58 degrees Fahrenheit; Mars: average minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Then, despite his “in academia we” statement, he’s not an academic. He got a BA in political science from the U of Kentucky in 1991 and put it to work owning a mining company called Mohawk Energy. The coal mine business has to do, I think, with the evidence that burning coal increases greenhouse gases and thus raises global warming, but “MARS isn’t warming and it doesn’t have coal mines” or something.

This guy just might want to run for US Representative one day, so keep his idiocy in mind.

World Cup semifinals

Could there have been two more opposite games in one tournament? Yesterday the Germans destroyed the Brazilians 7-1, while today the Argentines had to win on penalty kicks after the match ended in a scoreless tie.

I don’t know much about South American politics, but I imagine that the idea of Argentina playing for the championship on Brazilian territory can’t please the host country or its citizens very much. World War 2 buffs should be amused that the Argentines’ opponent will be Germany, given the post-war emigration of several major Nazis to the South American country (see Odessa). The game is Sunday at 9:00AM ET.

Him? Really?

Remember neo-cons Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz from the early days of the Iraq War debate? Perle was chair of the Defense Policy Board and used that position to push hard for war, advocating for Ahmad Chalabi’s installation as the new President of Iraq after the US toppled Saddam Hussein. Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary of Defense during the period, and famously said about Iraq “We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

Well, they’ve surfaced and they are still advocating for Chalabi. This despite his prior record of selling American political leadership a bill of goods about Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction,” which never existed, not to mention the millions of dollars he siphoned from the CIA to pay for his Iraq National Congress, a faction of Iraq’s politics which now has one member: himself.

Decent members of society should shun all these bastards, particularly if they show up in green rooms prior to appearing on television. Decent folk would say to talk-show bookers, “do you ever have any neocons on this show and do you allow them to spew their lies without criticism? If so, don’t call me to appear on the show.”