Monday, March 26, 2007

"Dear Pajamas Media ..."

... As you know, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president two weeks ago.

Why, then, is Rep. Paul's name not listed in your on-line straw poll?

You claim your poll only includes names that "have achieved at least one percent in the most recent Gallup Poll." But it is my understanding that the Gallup/USA Today poll doesn't even include Ron Paul on their list! Seems to me that you're simply aping the mainstream media, rather than providing an alternative to them.

And besides, intentionally ignoring an officially-announced candidate certainly seems to defeat the purpose of a straw poll in the first place.

In sincerest anticipation of your reply,
Frank [lastname]
Phoenix, AZ
And be sure not to miss Vox Day's "Ron Paul and the naked Pajamas Media."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Beginner's luck

Last December, a little bird told me that my friend Mike would really enjoy "a nice single malt scotch" for Christmas. (Okay, the little bird was Mike ...)

Not being terribly knowledgeable of the world of distilled beverages, I asked, "Single malt? As opposed to what, a double or triple malt?" Perhaps these double or triple malt scotches cost more, and he was just trying to be considerate of my pocketbook.

"No, single malt as opposed to a blend. Blended scotches are generally cheaper." So much for his concern for my pocketbook.

So I called our pastor, who knows about these things. "What can you recommend?" I asked.

"One scotch I enjoy is Glenmorangie. And it's not terribly expensive." I thanked him and hit the internet. Found the Glenmorangie website and learned a few things. They age many of their scotches in casks that have previously held various wines, which imparts the flavors of those wines to the scotch.

I also learned that Glenmorangie rhymes with "then ORangy," not "then more TANgy." (I later passed that tidbit on to Pastor Jeff; he seemed appreciative.)

Then I stumbled across, found a "ratings" link, and printed the list to take shopping with me.

Fry's Marketplace, Christmas Eve. Man, what a variety of scotches for a chain grocery store! The liquors are shelved by price: Top-notch stuff up high — some of it even cable-locked to the shelf — and the gun-cleaner grade down near the floor.

They had the Glenmorangie alright, but sixty smackers (on sale) just wasn't in the budget. The ScotchDrinkers list indicated several bottles that seemed to strike a reasonable balance between price and quality, so I chose a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood 12-year-old that was on sale for $42. The bottle said it was aged in two different casks — first a traditional oak whiskey cask, then an oak sherry cask. (I later learned from Balvenie's website that it's pronounced "Bal-VENNY.")

Mike received the gift with no small appreciation on Christmas Day. Being that he's rather new to scotch himself, he wasn't familiar with the Balvenie. But his anticipation of giving it a taste was certainly evident.

A couple of weeks later, we happened to have Mike and Pastor Jeff and his family over for Sunday dinner — and Mike brought the as-yet-unopened Balvenie!

Later in the evening he popped it open for a taste.

At first blush, it was good ... I guess. To me, it tasted just like whiskey. Which is to say, it tasted pretty much what I remembered Jim Beam tasting like some 25 years ago, when I was in the Air Force, which was probably the last time I'd had straight whiskey.

But both Jeff and Mike professed great enjoyment. They couldn't stop raving about it, which made my night!

I've since picked up a bottle and begun to explore and enjoy it — sometimes alongside Knob Creek, a higher-end bourbon, for comparison's sake. The Knob Creek certainly ain't gun cleaner, but I'm really beginning to appreciate the Balvenie better. And tonight, based on some advice from Mike and another "online connoisseur," I'm going to compare 12-year-old Glenlivet with the Balvenie Doublewood — at my friend Dirk's house. (He tried the Balvenie at our place a few weeks ago ... and also fell in love with it!)

Maybe I'll get around to sharing my impressions here in a few days ... Slainté!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What if Ron Paul does win?

I believe that Ron Paul will scare the living daylights out of the powers-that-be and has a better chance of winning than most pundits think. The amusement factor alone from an 18-month spectacle of political debate between a principled man committed to liberty and the other fakes and frauds is likely to be worth the price of admission. ...

... The main question to consider is not “Can he win?” but “What if he does win?” The potential to slow the inevitable collapse of the state into bankruptcy may do more harm than good in the long run by giving people false hope that “the system can work,” if only for a short time. Hopefully, I am wrong and he really can clean up government, ending the naked exploitation of what remains of free society by the well-connected few. This, however, is tilting at windmills.

The self-delusion isn’t that he could maybe win the election, it’s that he could do anything of substance if he actually did win. After Leviathan steamrolls him ... along with every good man who ever went to Washington, D.C. on a white horse, then President Ron Paul being “in-charge” (of the continuing expansion of state control and intervention leading to said collapse) should prove once and for all to anybody with a smidgen of analytical ability that our political problems are systemic and not due to personnel issues.

So I do hope he runs and wins. Not because I think that he will strike through the root of evil, but because I know that he can’t. The naïve notion that the Constitution is a cage for politicians, and that a brave politician-tamer can just push them back into that cage and close the door makes windmills look like giants. This illusion should be shattered by a President Ron Paul Administration. George Will was right; Ron Paul is an anachronism, because Will knows exactly how the system works with or without Ron Paul.

~ Mark Davis, "Ron Quixote"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Let's see now ...

... I'm wanting to get some rabbit-themed graphic onto this page, preferably as a background in the header.

Maybe something like this, since spring has sprung here in the Sonoran Desert ...