Filed Under (News, Politics) by Justin on 2007-07-28

I guess I really need to create a new category for “stories you won’t hear a lot about elsewhere” as it seems I’ve been posting quite a few of them lately. On RightNation.us this morning I found this: U.S. troop deaths show sharp decline.

The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq has dropped sharply so far in July after reaching record levels in recent months, a possible sign that militants are weakening, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq said Thursday.

“This is what we thought would happen once we took control of the safe havens” used by insurgents and militias, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno said Thursday. “We’ve now taken control of those areas.”

Though he called the drop in U.S. deaths an “initial positive sign,” Odierno cautioned, “I need a bit more time to see if it’s a true trend or not.”

The Pentagon has reported 61 U.S. troop deaths in combat and non-combat incidents from July 1 through Thursday — a rate that projects to a death toll of 70-80 troops by the end of the month.

That would signal a return to average casualty levels seen prior to April, May and June, when an average of 110 troops died per month in the deadliest three-month stretch of the entire war.

I too realize it takes more than one month to show a true trend, but it’s still positive news out of Iraq, and I can almost guarantee you won’t hear about it on CNN.

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Filed Under (Humor, Politics) by Justin on 2007-07-23

Shortly after my post about RightNation last week, Brandon emailed me a note to check out Free Republic. I’d heard of FR before, but never really checked it out. I got a really good chuckle this morning when I hopped over there and found this headline: Bush Proposes Sending Transformers™ to Iraq:

July 17, 2007 – Increasingly frustrated by the Iraqi government’s failure to meet a series of defined benchmarks, President George W. Bush today proposed sending a group of giant robots known as the Transformers™ to Iraq.

Aides to the president were vague as to when Mr. Bush arrived at his new Transformers™ strategy. But sources say that he devised the plan last week, shortly after a surprise visit to a multiplex in Bethesda, Md.

It links to a Newsweek satire piece, which is pretty enjoyable to someone like myself who really enjoys a well-written piece of satire. We all owe Brandon a big thanks for directing me towards FR.

All together now: “THANKS BRANDON!”

Hat tip: Brandon

PS: Does that make it better, Pookie?

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Filed Under (News, Sports) by Justin on 2007-07-19

Over the past year or so, I’ve become a big fan of RightNation.US, “first and foremost a community of people who generally share conservative principles and values.” It’s basically like Digg or Slashdot, except with more of a general news angle rather than being targeted specifically at the technical crowd. It really is a great site to bookmark if you have any remote interest in national news and politics. I tend to shy away from “automated” news aggregating sites like Google News (and yes Brandon, those are the “mocking quotes”) in favor of RightNation, if for no other reason than the community built around it. It’s always interesting and thought provoking for me to read other people’s commentary on the stories.

The story that brings this all up today is none other than the Michael Vick indictment. I’ve never, ever liked Vick. He’s always been way too cocky of a football player with only slightly above-average talent. Yes, he can run really fast and dodge a lot of defenders, but seriously, in my personal opinion, at best, he’s either a) a solid running back, b) a mediocre quarterback, or c) overhyped. Why don’t we look at some numbers to see if it’s purely a personal opinion or if there’s any proof to backup my theory? Let’s compare Vick to Jake Delhomme. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would compare Delhomme to Dan Marino or Brett Favre, right? Right. Jake himself, is at best, a good all-around QB (at least most of the time… stay with me Brandon…), but here is his profile and here is Mike Vick’s. Open those up side by side and compare the numbers. Minus the rushing figures, Delhomme is a better QB on paper. I don’t mean for this to be a scientifically or statistically accurate analysis, but I do think it mostly proves my point – option C from above – Vick is overhyped!

The indictment has been a long time coming. Vick was questioned or arrested sometime last year for similar circumstances if I recall, but was never charged. I honestly believe the fighting dogs is the absolute cruelest thing anyone could do to them. I’m in agreement with tilly’s comment: “put Vick and anyone who has anything to do with this in a pit with their arms and legs tied together and let a few dogs have a go at them. If that does not finish them off then we string them up and electricute them with some battery cables or perhaps body slaming them, drowning…” However, thanks to our justice system, we know that won’t happen, so best case scenario for me is that I hope to see him on a future episode of Animal Cops getting himself some new bling around his wrists – the silver kind that takes a key to remove.

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Filed Under (Geekspeak, Work) by Justin on 2007-07-17

Does anyone have any advice or tips on upgrading an Active Directory environment to Windows Server 2003 from Windows Server 2000? It’s a single domain controller. I’d like to think that it’s as simple as setting up a new machine running Server 2k3 and promoting it to a Primary role, but I’m not so sure from all the things I’ve read. Just something I’ve been wondering about. If you know, please advise.

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Filed Under (church) by Justin on 2007-07-05

Bonnie and myself, along with eight others from Crestview leave early tomorrow morning for a seven day mission trip to Madison, Wisconsin. Our team from Crestview is a part of a larger team from our association that is going to work with a struggling baptist association in order to help them increase their membership and allow them to reach more people in their area. Some of the things we’ll be doing are demolition, construction, landscaping, sponsoring block parties, and hosting a VBS just to name a few.

I’m planning to try and post some photos each day, more than likely to my personal Flickr account (which I never use) but maybe also to the Crestview Photo Gallery (they’ll be under the “Missions” group).

We’ll be home late next Friday, or in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Please remember to pray for us and our entire team as we attempt to reach out to the people of southern Wisconsin.

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Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2007-07-03

Mark has posted a link to one of the coolest things I’ve seen heard in a while: Virtual Barber Shop. You must use headphones to achieve the desired effect, which really will just blow you away, at least it did me.

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Filed Under (Humor, News) by Justin on 2007-07-02

Pearls Before Swine has returned to the internet after a brief hiatus. If Eric’s hypothesis was anywhere near correct, Pastis surely isn’t showing signs of backing down with today’s strip.

Whatever the reason was, I’m glad it’s back.

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Filed Under (Humor, News) by Justin on 2007-07-01

Eric has already posted about Pearls Before Swine being mysteriously absent from the internet, but I wanted to mention it here too since I know I’ve heralded the strip in the past. Eric seems to think it may be a legal issue over some recent strips parodying The National Enquirer, but that might be a bit of a stretch considering it’s just that – a parody. I was hoping that someone might have known something and posted it on the Pearls Before Swine Wikipedia page, but as of this moment, still nothing to be found anywhere on the internet.

Hopefully we will know soon, I miss my Pearls.

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