Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Friday, July 30, 2004
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:54 PM | permalink
Acidman has added me to his blogroll. He's been on mine ever since a heartfelt rant of his was widely misinterpreted and panned as racist. I figured it'd be a good time to take up the slack, since I liked what I saw for the most part.Comments
I don't do much in the way of solicitation of links. I just think that's kinda tacky. So when someone does add me to their roll, I consider it something of an honor, especially when it is one of the more widely read blogs.
It is significant too, that Acidman is known for his dislike of cats.
I should also note that Sondra K also added me recently.
Thanks folks! Really, I appreciate it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:56 PM | permalink
Pakistan Battle Snares Top Al-Qaeda OperativeComments
Capture of suspected embassy bomber may weaken al-Qaeda - Global Terrorism - www.smh.com.au
The arrest in Pakistan of a key al-Qaeda suspect in the 1998 East Africa US embassy bombings may hamper the terror network's activities even if it failed to bring Osama bin Laden hunters any closer to their prey, analysts said yesterday.
This was one of the big-'uns. The war against Al-Qaeda continues to pluck off Bin Laden's top lieutenants. Abu Zubaydah was captured in Punjab in March 2002, Ramzi bin Al-Shaibh was captured in Karachi in September 2002, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in March 2003. Osama Bin Laden and deputy Ayman al-Zawahri are still believed to be hiding in the tribal areas along the Afghan border.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:11 AM | permalink
Thursday, July 29, 2004Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:19 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:37 PM | permalink
Monday, July 26, 2004
AlterNet: DrugReporter: This Is Kerry on DrugsComments
For those who oppose the federal government's disastrous war on drugs, there are many things to dislike about the Bush Administration, not the least of which is its shameless -- and dangerous -- use of the war on terror to prop up the failed drug war and the accompanying $18 billion dollar bureaucracy. And there is no indication that four more years of a Bush presidency will offer anything but more of the same.
Not that I would vote for Kerry even if he promised to scale back the war on drugs (though it would be tempting), but I've been talking with some folks who love to bash Bush on the drug war, while remaining oblivious to the fact that Kerry would be no better. Now we know.
Thanks to Mistafatty at Tokeup
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:41 PM | permalink
Friday, July 23, 2004
Three surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed.Comments
One of them said, "I'm the best surgeon in Massachusetts. A concert pianist lost 7 fingers in an accident. I reattached them and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England!"
The next one said, "That's nothing. A young man lost both arms and legs in an accident. I reattached them and 2 years later he won a gold medal in field events in the Olympics."
The third surgeon said, "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a fellow who was high on pot and alcohol rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the horse's ass and a large nose. Now John Kerry is running for president of the United States."
Thanks to DadCat
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:17 PM | permalink
Louie T. writes in response to this post:Comments
"I stumbled on your blog while researching AWAI. I am designer in the Architectural field and after 20 years have found myself on the same path as yourself. "I enjoy my work but see no real future." I have said this many times in the last couple of years. I am seriously considering the AWAI course and appreciate any feed back that you can provide.
I actually sat on the decision for about six months. I got their ad in the mail and re-read it from time to time over the next few months. I know these direct mail pieces urge you to "act now", but I don't typically respond to them. Something about this piece made me hold on to it.
In fact I realize now that it was because it was an exceptionally well-written marketing piece. That in itself has lent me some after-the-fact confirmation that these people know what they are talking about.
To the best of my ability to discern, the materials are top-notch. I am just now starting on actually writing an advertising piece for a hypothetical product. But I am able to readily pick out a well-written letter from one put together by someone who really did not know what they were doing. The difference is pretty remarkable. The former pulls you along, not letting you go until you've turned the last page. The latter makes you toss it in the trash after the first paragraph. (You'd be surprised at how many advertising letters are actually quite poorly written!) And I have become convinced that I will be able to write the former by the time I am done with this course.
Whether it is right for you is something only you can decide.
For me it was appealing in several ways. I felt pretty confident that I could write decently when I put my mind to it. Second, there would be no bridges to burn. If I could find a few hours a week to work on the course, I could learn to write these types of letters. Third, there is no reason to burn the bridges even once I'm through the course. It seems likely that I ought to be able to handle writing assignments in the evenings and weekends, until I feel confident I can make a go of it. And finally they promise some awfully attractive income ranges for this kind of writing. I'm not sure I want to believe some of their upper end numbers, but I'd be happy to replace my current income for starters.
I am not at the point where I can provide feedback on this part, but it appears to me that AWAI is strongly interested in helping their students hook up with the people who need their writing services, once they are done with the course. That's important. I can only imagine how many people would throw up their hands in despair if they were left on their own at that point. Their "Golden Thread" e-mail newsletter regularly lists companies looking for copywriters, and they have a one-on-one mentoring program (for an additional fee, of course) designed to help kick-start your career.
Hope that helps!
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:54 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
I've noticed I'm getting a number of hits from folks looking for information about the American Writers and Artists Institute. I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago here:Comments
Desert Cat's Musings
I have no complaints about them so far as I said. But hey, maybe I shouldn't be talking them up so, eh? If more of you all sign up for their courses, that just means more competition for me when I finish the courses I'm studying.
But check them out if you must. The material appears to me to be top-notch, professionally written and legitimate.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:30 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 17, 2004
For those of you too young to remember, the photo is the evacuation of the American embassy in Saigon in 1975. This was a direct result of the Democrat-controlled Congress' refusal to minimally fund the efforts necessary to avoid this shameful debacle. And Kerry's involvement in the events leading up to this moment are well documented elsewhere.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:38 PM | permalink
Friday, July 16, 2004
baldilocks: Throwing Away The CrutchesComments
Things a white cat can't say. But I can point and say, "what SHE said!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:47 PM | permalink
That would be Arthur Laffer, for whom the Laffer Curve is named, which is one of the foundational concepts of Supply Side Economics.Comments
The Bush tax cuts have taken full effect over the last year, with the accelerated depreciation rules having their biggest impact just recently.
Doesn't that mean that federal tax receipts should be dropping?
Doesn't that mean that the deficit should be widening?
Of course not! Because once again it is proven that the best way to raise federal revenues is to cut taxes!
U.S. posts higher-than-expected June budget surplus
Higher business tax receipts?! Corporations paid 38% MORE?!
How can that be? Didn't Bush cut taxes for EEEEVIL corporations?
He sure did! And they got right to work earning even more money with the money they saved on taxes. As a result of all this new economic activity, the government ended up collecting more taxes after all!
(Somewhere in Rio Linda I hear a lefty's synapses frying...)
Ain't it great?
Link via Dean Esmay
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:15 PM | permalink
...asks Rush, "Sharon Stone?"Comments
The Rugged Elegance Inspiration Network: Actress Sharon Stone Nominated For An Emmy
Sharon Stone at 46: AP / Rolling Stone Photo Credit: Tony Duran
Dang. Not bad for 46.
I've said it before: the older I get, the wider the field of beautiful women gets.
Update: Sorry Googlers. This photo is no longer available. I'm being hammered by hundreds of hits a day. No more. Check the link above for the photo in question.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:27 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 15, 2004
...I oughta be feeling pretty good...Comments
At least it's a functional antidote. Click and take your medicine:
Drivin' People Crazy
Link via SondraK.com
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:08 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Tarzan's Tiger KilledComments
Newsday.com - National News
'I told them, `Please do not go out there without me,'' said a tearful Sipek, who was smeared with blood after cradling the body of his pet. 'They promised.'
This makes me so angry! The tiger was declawed fer crying out loud!
"They just shot him cold in the bushes where he slept all day," Sipek said.
It just makes me ill. He had a Heart of Gold
WHERE do these officers get their training? What kind of jackasses do they have on the force down there? Murderers with a badge?! It was totally unnecessary. They had a dart gun on the way. They should have let Sipek recover his pet. This officer should not have been carrying a rifle in the first place!
"Went out tiger hunting with his elephant and gun...
"But he felt threatened!" Right. Tigers are scary. I would have bared my teeth too if someone was pointing a gun at me. You know why I think this officer's account is bogus? If the tiger is close enough to be a danger to you, you don't have time to fire off FIVE SHOTS from your rifle, UNLESS you were already aiming and had intent to shoot. What's the cat going to do, swat you to death? He just wanted to be a big f***ing hero! "Hey Ma! Guess what? I shot me a TIGGER today!"
"Hey Bungalow Bill, what did you kill, Bungalow Bill...?"
Yeah, my claws are unsheathed Big Time. You see the same kind of crap in the drug war when innocents are shot by "task force" officers. Same kind of crap that happens when innocents are murdered at places like Ruby Ridge and Waco. Same justifications given every damn time and no one ever pays!
No one is ever held acountable!
Why aren't officers held to the same standards as an ordinary citizen who might shoot an intruder? Sometimes a charge of murder is justified. I'm not talking about borderline cases either, but overzealous, trigger happy agents blasting away as if in some kind of "free-fire zone". Most officers are decent human beings, trying to do their job. But there are enough incidents like this involving innocent human death, like the task force agents that murdered a 14 year old girl because agents thought she might be acting suspicious, (then altered the crime scene while the neighbors looked on)**, that I am no longer as wholeheartedly supportive as I once was. Between a few bad apples on local forces and the existence of highly militarized "task forces" designed to be deployed against CITIZENS in this stupid, dangerous, useless war on (some) drugs, a whole lot of goodwill is soured.
**Via Drug War Rant, the murder of Ashley Villareal
(Before you fire off an angry e-mail or comment to me, I want you to read Ashley's story.)
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:58 AM | permalink
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
This absolutely hilarious! It takes a while to load...be patient, it's worth it!
link via Frank J
Update: I can't stop watching it...my ribs hurt! Omigawd this is funny!
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:19 PM | permalink
The Onion | NationComments
WASHINGTON, DC—According to a study released Monday by the Hammond Political Research Group, many of the nation's liberals are suffering from a vastly diminished sense of outrage.
Click the link above for the rest.
Link via Sondra K
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:46 PM | permalink
I am grinning ear-to-ear.Comments
It is always a treat to listen to Rush Limbaugh speak with Bill Buckley.
Bill Buckley has a new book out, "Miles Gone By", which he calls his literary autobiography. I'm not much for this kind of reading, but I might have to give it a read anyway. I mean, Mr. Buckley is as responsible as any single person could be for the growth and strengthening of the conservative movement, from its genesis in the late 50's and early 60's, up through the election of Ronald Reagan and the beginning of the Era of Limbaugh in the mid 80's. Someone of that stature is worth learning more about.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:47 AM | permalink
Monday, July 12, 2004
For future perusal:Comments
Secret Wisdom -- A weblog by Allen Says
It's a weblog, but not the usual. Lots of interesting stuff.
Titled "Money. Power. Romance. A Daily Dose of Freedom!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:27 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 11, 2004
...all in bad taste. Democrats, do NOT click on this link:Comments
MOORE IS FAT
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:13 PM | permalink
Yahoo! News - FREE WEEDSComments
The following are some excerpts. Click the link for the whole text.
Link via DrugWarRant
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:00 PM | permalink
Yeh, I know it's a couple days old now. But since I'm a diehard Frank J fan, I have to make the link anyway.
Daisycat took a gander at his pic and was greatly disappointed that he wasn't some 40+ hunk. Her quote (more or less), "How can some little wet-behind-the-ears pup possibly have such strong opinions and write so well? I'm really disappointed..."
"WTF??" sez I. "Would you be disappointed to know Superman started his career in his teens?"
AGH! I give up.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:53 AM | permalink
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Via Mister Green, I find this gem buried deeply in the comments of a long post at Assymetrical Information. Mister Green thought it improper to quote it in full, but the effort I had to expend to locate this gem in the pile of hooey it was buried in, indicates to me that it needs some fresh air and further exposure.Comments
So with all due credit to the author and links back to the origin, here is this nicely stated encapsulation of just what's at stake in this conflict:
Will Allen -- mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Berry, I agree with much of your thrust, but differ in the details. Sharia is not going to arrive the U.S., under any circumstances. However, what will happen absent rapid, revolutionary, change in the Persian Gulf despotisms, is rather hideous.
UPDATE: Another post from the same thread, same weblog, by a person calling himself "Average Joe". I thought it a fascinating analysis of why liberals react the way they do when their political views are challenged:
I have a theory about this asymmetry which seems to fit many observation I have made. The theory is that for many, but not all, left-leaning people their politics is a part of their self-esteem. To put it another way, they believe that their left-wing views are part of the reason that they are good people. On the other hand, for most, but not all, right-leaning people their politics is their opinion and is not strongly tied to their self-esteem. If this theory is correct, then this asymmetry can be explained. It occurs because left-leaning people tend to perceive right-wing views as attacks on their person. Expression, and sometimes even the presence of right-wing politics calls into question the reasons they think of themselves as good human beings. For these reasons left-leaning people often have difficulty socializing with people with whom they diagree on politics. To them, such a person must be either stupid or evil, or they must call their own self-esteem into question.
Methinks I should add this blog to the sidebar, if gems like this can be found on a regular basis...
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:54 PM | permalink
Some strange and funny stuff here...Comments
StupidBull.com - Where Else?
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:43 AM | permalink
Monday, July 05, 2004
I mentioned a while ago that I am working on a writing course. Actually I am working on three courses simultaneously. This is not writing in the sense of "I want to write a novel...". Nor is it writing articles for publication. There is very little money in that kind of writing. Rather this is writing that has immediate commercial value--value that can be measured and quantified by your customers. And the rewards are commensurate with that value.Comments
I know a few of my fellow bloggers stop by from time to time. This may interest some of you. As bloggers you have a natural attraction to writing. Would you like to turn that interest into something that can make you a nice sideline income, or possibly even a full time career? Check out the link below to the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI).
There are a number of writing opportunities AWAI provides training for. The most lucrative of these is copywriting. This is also the most time-consuming to learn. "Copywriting" is writing advertising copy, more specifically writing direct response sales letters. It is a writing style all its own. You don't learn this kind of writing in college, even if you major in marketing. As a result there is a pretty strong demand for people who can write effective direct response advertising copy. But it's not really that difficult. As I am learning, if you can write in a straghtforward, conversational style, you can learn to write good copy. That describes most of the good bloggers I know.
At the other end of the spectrum in terms of time and effort required to get started, is resume writing. AWAI promises you can get up and running in a sideline business in a matter of weeks. I'm working my way through the copywriting course, the graphic design for direct marketing course, and the travel writers course.
Yes, I am currently an Engineer. And I've got a nice job doing stuff I pretty much enjoy doing. But to be honest, I'm not seeing a great deal of future for me in Engineering. I am at the top of where I want to be--higher up means getting into management, and outward into the consulting world is a whole different game that doesn't hold much appeal to me.
I am looking at trying out this kind writing as a sideline until I retire from my engineering position. Or if it turns out to be as lucrative as promised, I might just retire early and write full time!
Take a look!
Career training in copywriting from AWAI - American Writers & Artists Institute
If my posts are not as frequent as they have been, it's because I'm spending more time on this course. I'll try to make up quantity with quality, and endeavor to put up at least a few items of interest each week.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:41 PM | permalink
Friday, July 02, 2004
Powell does "The Village People" in Jakarta, Indonesia:Comments
Yahoo! News - It's Fun for Powell at the 'YMCA'
It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
They have everything for you men to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys ...
You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal,
You can do what about you feel ...
Young man, there's a place you can go.
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.
Y-m-c-a ... just go to the y-m-c-a.
:D :D :D I am dying...
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:07 PM | permalink
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