News Flash: Jimmy Hoffa is dead and so is Elvis

BREAKING NEWS ... Jimmy Hoffa is dead, and thirty years later, almost everyone who could have been involved is probably ... well ... DEAD!!!

Or if anyone involved is still alive, since it's been thirty plus years, they soon will be dead, or at least they're serving life prison sentences.

Either that, or he's so far gone into hiding that he'll never be found. In any event, shortly after his disappearance, he was probably feeding the fish somewhere.

But if you'd like, you can buy some Jimmy Hoffa cupcakes, according to Sploid, an online magazine.

Time to move on, guys. Stop digging, stop looking.

And if, like Elvis, he happens to be on Mars, or working third-shift at a 7-Eleven in Montana, then he wants to be left alone. The guy served his time, and whether he's serving customers or feeding fish, as they might say, "forget about it".
TODAY'S MEAN PRANK IDEA ... call the FBI and in your best Italian mob-boss voice, tell 'em that Jimmy Hoffa is bured in the backyard of someone you don't like whose lot was cleared and house built before Hoffa vanished (it wouldn't work in a new subdivision). See if they tear the house up.

May we always remember, and never forget


This weekend, on the way back from visiting the Cowpens National Battlefield, I stopped at this well-decorated sign at the north end of the Veterans Parkway (I-85 Business Loop) in Spartanburg County, where it forks off of I-85 southbound.

Let us remember that no matter how much we agree or disagree, both here and in many of the other free nations which followed the founding of our Republic, our right to do so was paid for by the courage and sacrifice of millions of Americans over the course of the last 230 years, for which I am truly grateful.

I hope you're grateful as well.

Break Point in Iraq?

Some excellent thinking on Iraq, from George Friedman at Strategic Forecasting:

In other words, the United States has become, to a great extent, a bystander. Washington can make whatever guarantees it wants, but the calculus by all sides now is whether they can secure their interests with their own resources. At this point, the United States is growing less and less relevant to the outcome in Iraq, though it remains urgently interested in what that outcome will be.

If we had to guess, we would say that the political arrangement should work, more or less. But we don't have to guess. It is now nearly Memorial Day. The violence in Iraq will surge, but by July 4 there either will be clear signs that the Sunnis are controlling the insurgency -- or there won't. If they are controlling the insurgency, the United States will begin withdrawing troops in earnest. If they are not controlling the insurgency, the United States will begin withdrawing troops in earnest. Regardless of whether the deal holds, the U.S. war in Iraq is going to end: U.S. troops either will not be needed, or will not be useful.

The U.S. may be at the end of its rope in Iraq, but by taking action in Iraq, has set in motion a number of significant shifts in the region, including:
  • Saddam Hussein and his sons will no longer pose any threat to the region, and any ruling power in Baghdad will pose fare less of a threat to the region.
  • The Syrians, forced to shift forces to confront the United States, lost control over Lebanon.
  • Increased media interest in the region forced progress on the Palestinian issue.
  • Ghadafi, fearing Libya would be next in line for "regime change", suddenly turned over its WMD program, along with considerable intelligence about weapons development by other nations and groups.

If we left now, the region is far better off than it was in 2001, and certainly 1991. Not perfect by any means, but then again, it never was.

In the end, it may turn out that Iraq was a flawed and unworkable entity, established by arbitrary post-World War I Britain and France, that like Cold War-era Yugoslavia, could only be held together by brute force. Or the three groups that make up Iraq will gradually come to the realization that was reached in Lebanon in recent years - co-existence is a reality, so it may as well be a peaceful and cooperative one.

Who knows? In any event, it is a decision that only the people of Iraq can make.

Damnocracy: New Hope for Rock?


Ted Nugent ... Scott Ian ... Sebastian Bach ... in the same band?!?!?

Yes, a rock and roll line-up with the passion, imagination, frantic energy and raw power to end Western Civilization as we know it ... and maybe even save Rock music ... is coming together in a new supergroup known as Damnocracy.

The band lineup is five serious hard rock and roll veterans ... Sebastian Bach, Jason Bonham, Scott Ian, Ted Nugent and Evan Seinfeld who are now together collaborating on what has to be some great rock and roll. The world hasn't seen such a powerful and dangerous collection of minds since Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, and Patton were a'plotting in back in 1944.

If these guys don't kill each other first, I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Oh yeah, the gateway page flash animation, where they eliminate the enemies of rock music: boy bands, easy listening, and bubblegum pop, is a hoot. Go check them out!

How to get elected Governor in South Carolina?

Wayne Washington with The State, has an interesting article on the long, winding, and difficult path to the governor's mansion:

Get elected to statewide office. Avoid scandal. Use your new-found name recognition as a springboard to a successful run for governor of South Carolina.

That seems like a solid strategy. It might even explain the expensive scramble for so-called down-ballot offices like lieutenant governor, treasurer or superintendent of education.

But there’s only one problem with the strategy of using the offices as a platform to win the governorship: It doesn’t work, at least not anymore.

He brings up a good point.

There have been numerous statewide officeholders who've attempted to move up to the Governor's office. In 2002, three down-ballot officers tried it (Condon, Miles, Peeler). In 1994, it was Theodore and Medlock. In 1986, it was Lt. Governor Mike Daniel. In five elections, three Lt. Governors, two Attorneys General, and one Secretary of State. All six of them lost their bids, and four of them didn't even clear the primary. Condon and Miles didn't even make their party's run-off.

This cannot be encouraging for those who see winning statewide office as a stepping stone. Especially since two incumbents, Andre Bauer and Henry McMaster, are certainly considered contenders for the crown in 2010. Ditto for Mike Campbell, should he upset Bauer for the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor.

However, two former members of Congress, Campbell and Sanford, with geographic bases in their respective metros, and two state legislators from rural districts far from any of the state's major metros, Beasley and Hodges, WERE elected governors during that time. Before then, Jim Edwards and Dick Riley were also legislators.

What does THAT say about how to succeed in the arena of South Carolina politics?

Iron Maiden's Powerslave album - 20 years later, it still ROCKS!!!

Right about now, some of ya'll who've been visiting me for information on Eastern Christian theology and insights on media are probably wondering: "Iron Maiden ... what the *&#@ is THAT all about?"

Well, twenty years ago, after two really big hit albums, when most bands put out a flop and begin to fade away, only to reappear on VH1's "Behind the Music", Iron Maiden released their "Powerslave" album. This was one of at least a half dozen hit albums they released before their frontman, Bruce Dickinson, temporarily left the band in the early 90s, and the one that showed metal that these guys had real head-bangin' staying power like few other metal bands.

Two great songs on the album that made it into radio play and MTV (when it played nothing more than MUSIC VIDEOS) were Aces High and Two Minutes to Midnight. Aces High, one of many songs they did which explored famous moments in English history or literature, paid tribute to those who took part in the Battle of Britain.
Two Minutes to Midnight was a critique of global geopolitics and the international arms trade.

Other great songs on the album ... the title track, Powerslave, in which an Egyptian pharoah faces his mortality as he struggles to understand how, in spite of believing himself to be a god, he, like his subjects, must face death, and the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner, based upon the famous work of English literature by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Those of you who want to check out Maiden definitely need this album, and those who think metal is infested by those who have little to say and less to think about ... think again.

Get this album. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

A little time off & cool CofC pictures

At last, spring semester is over. I'm worn out and need to unplug for a little while.

Since January, I've written two papers, totalling almost 80 pages, and am looking forward to taking a couple of weeks off from school before I jump into a summer independent study research project on Managerial Communication.

As some of ya'll have noticed, my blog posting volume has decreased for a while, and probably will until events and/or my studies stir my crock pot of a brain some.

It's not like I haven't put up a lot of stuff for ya'll to browse through, so no complaining!

Speaking of the colllege, this guy's got some really great pics of the CofC campus. Go check 'em out!

Happy Mothers' Day

HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY!

Through another blog's eyes ...

Postscripts, a Charleston Post and Courier blog on blogs, run by Dan and Janet Conover, ran the following description of my blogsite:

The Blogland of Earl Capps. Earl is from Summerville, a grown man in the construction business, and he writes about things like roadway construction safety (he's for it) and Judas Priest (he likes it). But read a little bit deeper, and you find a guy who not only talks about politics and government waste, he goes out and does some reporting. When Earl found a report about a push-poll aimed at Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, he wrote to two of Bauer's opponents to ask if they were behind the poll. One wrote back, the other didn't, and Earl put it out there for people to see. Good on you, Earl.

... but I wouldn't consider myself grown up, nor do my kids!

I'm not sure if this is how I'd have described myself or my blog, but I appreciate the plug and seeing how someone else sees my blog. For their nice write-up, they're now part of my Blogroll.

If you're a contributor and want your blog listed, just let me know. I'm always looking for a couple more to add to the listings!

On the menu at the Capps household today

Due to a lot of ongoing obligations pressing down, the mental well has run a little dry around here. For those of you who tuned in, expecting something more thoughtful ... sorry.

In the absence of substantive thought and discussion, I thought I'd share today's lunch menu at the Capps household with ya'll:

- Grilled salmon,
- Very buttery corn,
- Sesame garlic rice.

Sounds yummy, doesn't it? That's because it is.

This is the kind of stuff they charge 12-19 bucks a plate for a lot less at those nice-but-painfully-prissy restaurants. My cost ... a lot less, and i get the benefit of having it my way.

Of course, i had to make a concession to my 7 year-old in the menu (she LOVES my salmon) by having chocolate milk to drink. But that's one the nice things about having a good meal at home - you can have it exactly the way you want it, and everyone is happy with what they get.

If that's got ya'll drooling, or kicking your husbands in the tail, demanding they learn to cook, feel free to speak up.

Al-Zarqawi - today's Loser

This video is absolutely hilarious.

It seems as if Mr. Al-Zarqawi, the bad boy terrorist leader in Iraq, all full of big talk, and hatred for America and Shiite Muslims, is far less a trooper than he would like us to know.

A recent video which attempted to portray him as a master soldier, firing a machine gun and challenging Americans and Iraqi authorities, was actually an edited version of a video which more resembled Keystone Cops than masters of guerilla warfare. Intended to look intimidating and inspire acts of violence, the unedited original version includes all sorts of interesting moments, including:
  • He is unable to operate the weapon in full-auto mode,
  • He is firing a weapon which is intended to be fired from a prone position standing up,
  • The weapon jams and he is unable to clear it, and
  • He hands the weapon, which has a large and rather obvious handle, to a fellow thug, who stupidly grabs the hot barrell (goes to show how little experience any of them have).
Yes, the masterminds of terror, who organize, finance, and inspire acts of armed violence against the Iraqi government and the soldiers of nations who are there to support that democratically-elected government, don't even know how to operate weapons.

What kind of chicken ... salad ... team IS this bunch? Geeeeeezzzzzzzz ...

Max Headroom: Who is THAT?!?

Seriously, I know who Max Headroom is. But do YOU?

In my academic downtime, I've been been watching a set of the episodes from this 80s-era sci-fi cyberpunk televison series. It's SO nice to be able to veg out and just have to worry about work and kids for a change.

Well, only for a couple of weeks before my summer class.

Max Headroom was a "ghost in the machine". An experiment at artificial intelligence that escaped into the computer network of a major global television network, Max would show up on the tube at unpredictable moments, making unpredictable statements which often challenged the leading network's efforts to dumb down its audiences through bland programming.

Interestingly enough, the creator of Max Headroom was recently linked to a hoax video of an alien autopsy.

Leighton ryhmes with Satan, who allegedly deep-fries kittens, linked Max to new White House spokesperson Tony Snow AND the BS-arteest who stars in those cheesy Enzyte commercials.

Work Zone Safety: Please SLOW DOWN & do your part

Today's Orangeburg Times and Democrat covers a serious problem with work zone safety on one of my company's highway projects on US 321 in Orangeburg County. Two collisions in one afternoon involving a total of seven cars, one 18-wheeler and one pregnant lady.

The second occurred literally minutes after the first one. By some small miracle, no motorists or construction workers were hurt.

These spectacular pictures show what a little speed and a lot of inattention caused. That the truck driver walked away with his head attached is amazing.

Needless to say, we've asked for increased law enforcement patrols. When it comes to choosing between increased danger to workers and motorists or traffic fines and higher insurance, what choice do we have?

Many people who drive through work zones don't think much about it, in part because they don't know someone who may be working there.

Guess what? Now you do know someone who does.

I may work mostly in an office, but I get out on jobsites from Beaufort to Florence, Newberry to Charleston, and I've seen the near-misses, been on sites of fatalities involving vehicles. I've had to jump out of the way of cars, so I know firsthand how dangerous these work zones are.

By some small miracle, my company has had zero serious injuries or fatalities. However, many other companies have plenty of sad stories to tell. These work zone safety facts from the S.C. DOT are sobering.

When driving through work zones, you can do your part to help us by following these ten Work Zone Safe Driving tips will help us greatly.

Our lives are in YOUR hands. Please help us.

Rising in the East: Judas Priest on DVD ... ROCK AND ROLL!!!

I just (finally) got this DVD of Judas Priest in concert, Rising in the East, recorded in Japan on their 2005 tour. I know I've already raved about their concert performance in Atlanta the summer of last year in a previous blog posting, but I still can't say enough about that once-in-a-lifetime concert experience.

In the winter of 1983, their Defenders of the Faith album did ten times more than any album or band to make me a hard-core metal maniac, and that concert took me back to that overwhelming, transforming experience. Watching it brought back a lot of the awe-inspiring experience that I had last year.

These guys are a lot older than their breakthrough days in the late 70s and early 80s, but Halford and the gang, finally reunited, still rock like most bands never did during their prime.

For those of you who are Priest fans but missed out on their tour last year (how could you?!?), all I can say is get the DVD, even if it's the only DVD you buy all year.

P.S: No, Mike, I am still not going to talk about Faster Pussycat. Unless you wanna buy me the CD, and let me keep it if I like it.

Pot meet Kettle: State House vs. SCRG?

For a long time, I swore I'd try to stay above the fray (or Jerry Springer show) that is South Carolina politics, but lately, it's getting hard not to find some worthwhile points to make.

This evening's thoughts are about the ruckus stirred by the SCRG: South Carolinians for Responsible Government. Having entered the political fray a couple of years in an effort to pass school choice legislation, they've now jumped full-tilt into this year's GOP primary battles.

We find the State House GOP caucus leadership crying foul:
"These House members are good Republicans who've worked hard and have represented their district with solid conservative values," Harrell said. "These groups come prepared with misleading names, and they want you to think they represent South Carolina's values. The reality is these organizations come from places like New York and Washington, D.C."

Charleston Post and Courier, 4/21/06
This is just weeks after their recent appeal for support for their incumbents who face primary challenges, and criticism of PACs by House leaders which are raising big bucks to promote their own agendas. One example is cited by the Greenville News:

Harrell has more than $262,000 in his Palmetto Leadership Council PAC account.

Harrell said the organization is dedicated to improving the state's business climate.

It "is an effort to get business folks more involved in the process," Harrell said. Harrell's PAC spends its money helping pro-business candidates.

"We created this organization for the purpose of electing legislators who think in terms of growing South Carolina's economy" he said.

Greenville News, 4/16/06

Really, Bobby, just where does all of this money come from? If it's all South Carolina greenbacks, I'm David Wilkins.

Harrell may be upset that House members are being challenged, but time and time again, challengers get steamrollered by incumbents. The money being spent on legislative races is skyrocketing, and House GOP incumbents are continuing to run ahead of the pack, according to fundraising reports from the watchdog resource at FollowTheMoney.org.

So the playing field is being leveled by a few inches? Challengers are getting a helping hand? Is having to run on their records and work for re-election too much to ask of the Harrell and his colleagues? I hope not.

To be fair, I'm bothered by the decision of the SCRG to not follow state ethics laws. Maybe they don't have to, but they are involved in the electoral process. If they're big enough to play in the ring, they ought to have enough respect to play by the rules.

This claim by the SCRG is a little hard to buy:
The organization's leaders have refused to provide more financial information, saying that its supporters need to be protected because they are taking on the government.

Charleston Post and Courier, 4/21/06
The SCRG and groups like them should respect the spirit of the law by disclosing, and Harrell and others can have enough respect for the truth to admit the deck is well-stacked in favor of their incuments, no matter what SCRG does, or where their money comes from. Then, they should go out to the voters, support their candidates, present their arguments, and let the best candidate win.

Who wants to put money on THAT happening?

As always, your opinions are welcomed and encouraged.

Kudos to the Laurin Line and Palmetto Voice for their discussion of issues related to this posting.

Operation Pork and Barrel

Kenneth, what is the frequency?

Kent, I'm talking to you. Operation Pork and Barrel to commence.

Popcorn station delivery targets for 1200 ALPHA MARY. Triangulate coordinates 35.1298603318/-81.5498618573, 34.4984596722/-79.3096900408, and 33.3518878523/-80.6845704619.

Decipher for resolution.