Thursday, December 05, 2002

Today's Hoot!
(Via Whacking Day) To avoid messy keyboard accidents, please finish your morning coffee (or whatever you're drinking in your timezone) before paying a visit to Some excerpts from Pimped by the Etiquette Queen
By the way, a really snotty, trashy paralegal got me fired from my first clerking job, and her husband is on the state's sexual predator site, which is real. I have no idea what he did wrong, apart from marrying beneath him. I heard some story about him lunging at a babysitter, but if his wife's picture was also on the predator site, you might understand the temptation.
All right, you know my friend Claudia. We take salsa lessons together, and we take martial arts classes where we straddle each other and practice applying pressure to each other's forbidden regions and basically do everything Ann Landers says not to do in her dating guide for teens. Well, Claudia has a friend whose name I am not allowed to mention, because I plan to use this column to rip her an assortment of new ones. I'll just call her "Weezy," because her only goal in life is "Movin' on Up."

Weezy runs an etiquette school in Coral Gables. You don't realize how funny that is, because you have never been exposed to her astounding lack of breeding. Claudia's mother forced her to attend classes, in a futile effort to tame her.

Like a lot of nouveau riche social climbing weasels, Weezy has pals over at Vizcaya, and the pals were planning a fund-raiser. The idea went like this: invite 700 really pretentious, fairly well-off people to Vizcaya, charge them $500 each for rubber chicken and Ketel One, and then hit them up for even more money before the buzz wears off.

Weezy called Claudia a month or two ago and asked her if she wanted to go to a big party at Vizcaya. Claudia likes parties, and she likes meeting rich men almost as much as I like meeting easy women, so she accepted. Fine, said Weezy, having set the hook, but you'll have to spend part of the time working as a volunteer, greeting the stiffs as they waddle into the building to be plucked. No problem.

A couple of weeks before the party, Claudia invited me. As I understood it, she needed an escort so she wouldn't end up standing around talking to the plants. Apart from that, all I heard were the words "booze," "food," and "free," so I agreed to go. I was the natural choice, since I was the only man Claudia knew who owned a Tux and knew how to tie a bowtie.
Kim and Weezy led us around and started telling us what they needed us to do. I thought Kim was a volunteer, too, but more about that later. Apparently, we were supposed to spend like AN HOUR AND A HALF greeting the pigeons, and we would have to STAND. My feeling about standing is that you should only do it during armed robberies and prostate exams. Then we'd have to hover by the stairs leading to the dessert table, to prevent the by-then plastered cash cows from falling and injuring their check-writing hands.
Things went downhill from there.
No kidding alert!
The NY Daily News continues the proud tradition of tabloid headline writers. (Via Common Sense)

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Must be hunting season in Delaware
Woman Wrecks Car With Naked Husband On Roof
A high five for Italy
(Via Wog Blog) Reuters reports No charges in Italy's G8 riot death - prosecutor
Italian prosecutors investigating the killing of an anti-capitalist protester at last year's G8 Genoa summit, said on Monday the policeman who fired the fatal bullet had acted in self-defence and should not be charged.

Officer Mario Placanica shot dead 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani as the demonstrator tried to throw a fire extinguisher into a police jeep on July 20, the first day of the 2001 summit of leaders from the world's industrialised powers.

''The policeman couldn't have acted differently because the aggression was violent and virulent. Placanica was justified in thinking his life was in danger,'' prosecutor Silvio Franz said in a 36-page report.
During the three-day meeting hundreds of demonstrators were injured, some seriously, in pitched street battles with police who used tear gas and water cannon to keep them away from the main G8 venue. About 300 people were arrested.

The rioting left the northern port city looking like a war zone, with burnt out cars littering the streets.
Carlo was one of a 30-strong group which attacked a Carabinieri paramilitary police van with stones and iron bars.

Placanica, a trainee policeman at the time of the riot-ridden summit, fired two shots and was placed under investigation for manslaughter. But wrapping up a 16-month probe, prosecutors said they saw no reason to press charges.
You get what you ask for.

But it won't satisfy the whiners who think leftist protestors have some special immunity for their thuggish behavior.
Lawyers for the Giuliani family said they would urge the presiding judge not to accept the prosecutor's recommendation, while the victim's father denounced the report as ''a joke.''

''I don't want revenge, just the truth. Neither a 30-year sentence nor a 30-minute sentence is going to bring Carlo back,'' Giuliano Giuliani told reporters.
Here's a clue, Guiliano. Your punk son was part of a violent mob and tried to kill a policeman. He got shot. No too bright was he?

And more.
After the summit, Italian security forces were heavily criticised for their handling of the violence, with some opposition politicians asking why an inexperienced, 21-year-old officer had ended up trapped in the middle of a riot.
Maybe because the good guys were outnumbered by the thugs? What would would an experienced officer have done? Let the thug hit him?
They didn't have things like this when I was a tad
Reuters titillates with Aussie women to bare it all for rain:
Hundreds of women from drought-ravaged southern Australia plan to bare it all to the heavens in a bid to make it rain.

Inspired by a Nepalese drought-breaking tradition, the women from Ouyen in the far northwest of Victoria state will carry out a naked rain dance in the barren outback in early March, just ahead of the planting season for the next crop.

"We'll invite all the families from all the communities around in the Mallee (region) who are suffering from the drought, we'll all get together and have food and entertainment all day," said organiser Lynne Healy of the Ouyen Inc community group.

"And the women will get on buses and discreetly go out to a secret location and we will do our dance or our whatever," Healy told Reuters on Wednesday.
They claim the media will not be invited.
Bubba is back alert!
In the NY Post, Deborah Orin reveals that Bill: ‘MIA' Dems Are Weak On War Issue:
Former President Bill Clinton yesterday broke his silence on this year's Democratic disaster on Election Day, saying Democrats lost because they were "missing in action on national security" and looked weak.

But Clinton, who effusively painted his own time in office as a lost golden era, offered few specifics for how Democrats can bounce back and suggested his party's main problem was marketing and tactics rather than its ideas.
Sounds like Bubba.
He added: "So we lost a couple of elections - big deal."

Clinton took issue with President Bush on the war on terror and taxes, but the most talented Democratic politician of his generation spoke mostly in terms that other Democrats used this fall - without notable success.

He also complained, echoing recent comments from his own vice president, Al Gore, that there is a "bellicose conservative press" while the rest of the press is "increasingly docile" in its coverage of Bush.
Their favorite fantasy.
Clinton seemed especially angry at his party for failing to defend its leaders against Republican attacks last fall and groused publicly about a TV attack ad that featured his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as a silly bobblehead doll saying no to Bush.

"I'll never forget the little puppets of [Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle] and Hillary in all those ads - they got away with it," he fumed.
Gee, that's really harsh, Bubba! He must have forgotten about the 2000 election.

Out damn italics!
While viewing the Country Store on some other PC's, I was struck by how poorly italics were rendered. Yes, there are options for font smoothing (particularly on Windows XP) that make the rendition closer to what I see on my main machine, but I hate web sites that say "for optimum viewing, change your settings......". So no more de facto italics for quoted material - just the indentation. Until I change my mind again.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Welcome the new neighbors alert!
The Philadelphia Inquirer warms the heart with Regional center planned to aid recent immigrants:
The presence of immigrants has increased sharply over the last decade in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and an effort is under way to establish a regional office to help foreigners settle into the community and find jobs.
Dang! That's right nice of them!

But what's this?
A suburban group with roots in advocating on behalf of illegal Irish workers is pursuing the money and political clout to set up a resource center that would, among its main functions, focus on immigrant labor.
The office would help documented and undocumented immigrants find jobs, help employers who hire them, and serve as a one-stop referral site for more than 100 agencies providing assistance to the foreign-born.
By year's end, the group will know whether the state has approved its request for $900,000 over three years, O'Callaghan said.
State money for aiding and abetting illegal aliens and inevitably, immigration fraud. I'm shocked! But let's hear what the usual suspects say:
Sam Katz, chief executive officer of Greater Philadelphia First, met with O'Callaghan during the fall. Katz supports the center, because the group he leads - a consortium of chief executive officers - seeks to boost economic competitiveness in the region.

Katz said immigrants brought "great assets" to the places where they settle. "It's an expansion of the talent pool that companies get to draw on for their workforce," said Katz, a former Republican mayoral candidate.
Organized labor has long criticized immigration - mainly undocumented workers - for driving down wages. But several major union leaders are on the new group's board.

Among them is Pat Gillespie, business manager of the Building Trades Council. Gillespie said he supported the center's mission, including efforts to grease the pipeline between employers and immigrant workers.

"Undocumented workers are going to work someplace," Gillespie said. "I'd rather have them work union."
Apparently as long as the illegal aliens work cheap and pay union dues, all the local swells are happy.
Hard cheese for Mr. Grecian Formula!
The Financial Times reports that Schröder team may face probe:
Germany's opposition Christian Democrats and the CSU, their ally in Bavaria, decided yesterday to demand a parliamentary investigation into whether Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's government suppressed embarrassing information on the economy prior to winning September's general election.

The call, by the parties' national executive committees, was expected to be ratified by their parliamentary groups last night. That would make establishing an investigative committee almost certain, given such a move only requires support from 25 per cent of members of parliament.
Not much is expected to come out of it other than more embarassment for Gerhard, but it's the thought that counts. Hey, maybe we could have a investigation in the US of how the Clinton administration cooked the books before the 2000 election?
A musical interlude
I had a radio playing the local station while doing some outside work last weekend. The Christmas songs have started and I was reminded that since the Swiss say the tape is a fake, it's still appropriate to play one of my favorites from last year.

And seeing the latest episodes of "weapons inspector" highjinks reminded me of another golden oldie (courtesy of Rusty Humphries). Catchy tune, eh?
Stiff upper lip and icy reserve alert!
Reuters shocks with a story from London - 'Tis the season for behaving badly:
Around 2.3 million people will do something embarrassing at their office Christmas party, from being sick in public, being rude to the boss or "snogging" a colleague, a research group says.

Over 13 million people, nearly half the nation's working population, will attend their office Christmas party although a fifth of the workforce said their company wouldn't be having a party at all this year, according to Momentum Financial Services.

But of those who will be letting their hair down, 18 percent admitted to behaving badly last year.

Nearly one million (44 percent) said they had danced inappropriately, while 722,000 (31 percent) said they had enjoyed a passionate kiss with a colleague.

About one fifth confessed to breaking something in the office because of drunken behaviour, and the same number said they were either sick in public or rude to the boss. Four percent, or 92,000 partygoers, said they had photocopied parts of their anatomy.

"And that's only those who admitted to doing something," Lindsay Vetch, a spokeswoman for Momentum, said on Monday.
Stand Back! Bureaucrats at work!
Ezra Levant has a gaseous effusion report in the Calgary Sun - Musical cows: Federal fart-catchers track livestock emissions
Possibly the least popular assignment in Canada's Agriculture Department these days is euphemistically called the "belching and flatulence" directorate.

That's where civil servants spend countless hours - and tax dollars - capturing and analysing animal burps and farts.

To cut down on the giggling, departmental staff, including the Minister, refer to these as "livestock emissions," but there's no getting around it: Our government believes that in order to meet our Kyoto obligations, we have to make cattle and sheep toot less.

It's no small thing - according to the government, emissions from animals and their manure make up 20 megatonnes of greenhouse gases each year - fully one-twelfth the amount Canada must cut back to meet Kyoto's targets.

To aid in this utopian quest, Ottawa has sponsored many creative initiatives.

ManureNet, for example, is an official government website tackling this sensitive subject in both official languages. No word yet as to how many cows have made the site their Internet home page.
One desperate study, done in Manitoba and posted on ManureNet, suggests that cattle should take drugs to stop farting. According to this study, dairy cows that had an additive called monensin mixed into their diets farted up to 28% less, according to scientists, who claim to have actually measured. Trouble is, "the impact has not been (as) long lasting," as scientists had hoped.
I can see it now - a tank truck filled with beano.
Other ideas suggested by scientists include pumping cattle full of anti-farting hormones, such as Bovine somatotropin, which cut down on methane emissions by 9%.

But even the most ardent anti-farting scientists on the Kyoto payroll are skeptical about jacking up cattle on hormones, just to make them more polite.

Ottawa's high-stakes race to solve the problem of musical cattle - reminiscent of the grandeur of John Kennedy's Apollo project, or the search for a polio vaccine - has electrified the country. It has also polarized the electorate, with pro- and anti-farting factions making themselves heard.

On the anti-farting side proudly stands Environmental Defence Canada, an eco-activist group dedicated to fart-free living. In October 2002, they released a scathing 37-page report called It's Hitting the Fan - pointing out that cattle and pigs nearly outnumber people in Canada, and all of those animals are farting - creating "foul odours," "toxic vapours" and even cause "headaches."

Who could argue with that?
I've got a headache, but it's caused by the ecoweenies. I'll skip more of the hilarity and cut to the chase.
Five months before the Kyoto conference in 1997, the U.S. Senate did something Canada's House of Commons did not do.

They actually had a real debate - and then a vote.
But in July of 1997, Senator Byrd introduced a resolution that forbade the U.S. from agreeing to the Kyoto protocol, unless developing countries were required to do so too, or if Kyoto "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States."

What's more, Byrd's resolution required that any treaty, even if it met his two criteria, would have to be "accompanied by a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement the protocol ... and should also be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States which would be incurred by the implementation of the protocol."

Senator Byrd's resolution was approved unanimously, 95- 0. Sixty-four senators liked the resolution so much they asked to be "co-sponsors" - so they could take credit for it back home in their states.

Barbara Boxer, the ultra-liberal Democrat from California, joined with Sen. Jesse Helms, the arch-conservative Republican from North Carolina.

Even Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts signed.

So did the late Paul Wellstone, the environmentalist from Minnesota.
Enough said, but you know they will keep on trying.

Follow the link for parts 2 and 3 of the article including an interesting profile of the éminence grise of Kyoto-itis in Canada, the USA, and the world - Maurice Strong.
Strong, naturally, is on the board of the World Economic Forum. "What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?...

In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?"

That’s Strong talking, but those are Blofeld’s words coming out. But this is no fictitious Bond movie villain speaking - it is the man who chaired the Rio Earth Summit and who is Kofi Annan’s senior adviser.
The BBC reporter asked him what discipline and control people could expect - would it include legal limits on the number of children that a family could have?

Strong explained: "Licences to have babies incidentally is something that I got in trouble for some years ago for suggesting even in Canada that this might be necessary at some point, at least some restriction on the right to have a child."

But, if the world didn’t follow his instructions - if governments didn’t heed the warnings of the doomsayers - then "this is one of the possible courses that society would have to seriously consider."

Strong himself has five children.
He knows how he is viewed by opponents to his radical environmentalism, or his promotion of a UN government with taxation and enforcement powers that trump national governments. And he seems to rather enjoy being described as a man at the centre of secretive power-brokering.
Maurice Strong: A Dr. Evil-style strategist. Owner of a 200,000-acre New Age Zen colony. Designer of a proposal to "consider" requiring licences to have babies.

The architect of the Kyoto Protocol.
Hot Damn! We're talking prime wingnut here!

Monday, December 02, 2002

The Professor's Back!
And in fine form. Two samples:
John Howard's kind promise to cauterise some of the nastier pustules of terrorist pestilence in the sovereign territory of our less democratically adept neighbours has been met with alarm and dismay. This was to be expected. As Corporal Jones famously noted in relation to an earlier outbreak of intemperate Islamic enthusiasms, "They don't like cold steel up 'em!"


At full prenatal dilation, the typical cervix is a good deal more capacious than an economy class Qantas seat -- so much so that, when the Professor awoke fevered and confused from his mid-ocean slumbers, he briefly mistook the headphones clamped upon his sweaty temples for the forceps that drew him so many years ago into this wide world of woe. Fortunately, reality trumped instinct before he could cry, "Mama!" and suckle on the hostess -- thus avoiding a sure case of food poisoning and denying the weekend papers a lively tale of aerial assault.
English Exam Alert!
BusinessDay (South Africa) reports English exam paper offends religious groups:
Religious groups have expressed outrage about this year's Gauteng English Comprehension exam, claiming it had "sexually offensive" content.

The question paper consists of newspaper and magazine articles on images of men and their portrayal as sex objects in advertisements and magazine covers.

Pupils were asked to read the text and answer questions such as "why gay men were found to be more vulnerable to body image pressures".

Cyril Harris, chief rabbi of the SA Jewish community, described the examination paper as "bordering on pornographic" and questioned its logic at a time when government was urging moral regeneration.
The general secretary of the Council of Muslim Theologians, Ebrahim Bham, said the content of the paper "went against the teachings of religion, including those of Islam". Bham said the council was unable to make a formal complaint because of the tight schedule of the Ramadan holy month. The matter would be addressed after Ramadan.

Harris said a meeting was subsequently held with Prem Govender, the department's senior manager for exams and assessment. Harris said Govender explained that the exam intended "to deal with issues relevant and pertinent to the youth of today".
One can't help but wonder what "relevant and pertinent" subject Prem will come up with for next year.
It's our fault again!
The Boston Globe reports Muslims in Kenya fault US, Israel:
While publicly condemning Thursday's bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel, leaders in Mombasa's Muslim community also condemn the United States and Israel, which they say created the conditions for the attacks.
Kerry Campaign Time!
I mentioned a little background on Sen. Kerry last Wednesday, but seeing him on the tube after he announced his presidential "exploration" creeped me out. This photo comparison stolen from a poster at Free Republic doesn't even begin to show how close the resemblance is, since he now seems to use a lot (and I mean a lot) of makeup:

If that isn't weird enough, check out this WaPo article from June on Mrs. 57 Varieties. It starts off:
Teresa Heinz is getting up a full head of rage while her husband, Sen. John Kerry, fidgets.

They are in the living room of their Georgetown home, where Heinz has lived ever since her late first husband, John Heinz, came to Washington in 1971 as a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania. In the front entrance, the first things a visitor sees are two framed photos of Teresa Heinz cuddled with tall, smiling men with big heads of brown hair: In one is John Kerry, in the other John Heinz.

She still calls John Heinz "my husband" and doesn't always correct herself -- "my late husband" -- even when Kerry is around. She still wears the blue sapphire engagement ring that Heinz gave her.

But John Heinz's enduring presence in Teresa's life is best revealed when someone slights his memory. Which, at least indirectly, is why she and Kerry are now in mid-bicker.
UPDATE (via Instapundit): Mickey Kaus weighs in with:
Kerry Mystery Challenge: What is it that makes so many people, myself included, intensely dislike Sen. John Kerry? This is the great mystery surrounding his 2004 presidential campaign. I don't think "aloof and arrogant," the traditional Kerry negatives, are exactly it -- he may be aloof and arrogant, but there are plenty of aloof and arrogant people I don't rule out instantly due to their gross characterological deficiency, which is what I do with Kerry. It's not just his "long record of opportunism," though again that's part of it. ... I say we harness the power of the Web to solve the mystery!
Plus the way his equally ambitious supporters call him "JFK." It's creepy. The man's an animatronic Lincoln. There's a metal plate in the back of his head -- under all the glued-on "hair" -- that they open up and stick screwdrivers in when he gets back to his office.... There, that's my best shot. But I'm not sure it's quite there. I know you can do better!.
UPDATE 2: (via Instapundit again) Mullings has some photos of Kerry during the Sunday Meet the Press appearance. The one on the left is what he looked like, the other - well, I'll let Mullings explain it. Nothing like an electronic tan.
Too clever by half!
Reuters astonishes with Near-Naked Women Won't Be Drafted in Colombian War:
Busty, bikini-clad models won't be air-dropped into Colombia's combat zones, after all.

The war-torn Andean nation's first female defense minister, Marta Lucia Ramirez, canceled the army's campaign to seduce Marxist rebel defectors with pictures of near-naked women.

In the thousands of pocket-sized portraits already printed, and waiting to be air-dropped over battlefields, the voluptuous vixens were presented as a perk for desertion.

"Desert! And obtain benefits," read one pamphlet, depicting a brunette stretching provocatively in a striped bikini.

An army officer, who declined to be named, said the portraits were taken from an Internet porn site.

"I, as a woman, add myself to this protest. I also don't like these calendars," said Ramirez, herself a former teenage covergirl, who modeled fully dressed for a glossy Colombian magazine while she was in college.

Ramirez told local press the posters did not fit within the government's concept of "rehabilitating these boys, re-socializing them, and making them useful to society."

Of Colombia's more than 20,000 Marxist rebels, about 70 percent are men -- stacking the odds against the male fighters, many of whom are still in their teens.

To have sexual relations with a female rebel, male guerrillas must first ask permission from higher-ranking officers. The rules of engagement are painstakingly detailed on the Web site,, of the country's largest rebel army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Rules of engagement for the battle of the sexes? What a hoot! However, is now defunct so we can't get the details.
Antlers in the Tree Alert!
(Via Free Republic) WMTW in Portland, Maine reports that Driver wants compensation for moose killed by her car:
A York County woman wants to be paid for the moose that was killed by her car but given away by police.

Lisa Pierce of Acton said a York County sheriff's deputy may have thought he was doing her a favor because she's a woman -- but he was wrong. And now Pierce wants to be compensated for the moose meat that she says is hers.

Pierce hit the moose with her car on Nov. 5. State law says a big-game animal killed by a car goes to the person who hit it -- as long as police are called and the vehicle is damaged.

Pierce said she knew about the law but lost track of the moose when three children riding with her were being treated for injuries in the accident.
In related news, those clever Swedes even have a moose crash test for cars. Hitting that has got to hurt!

If that's not enough, there is a drunken moose alert in Norway - it seems that some of them may be mean drunks.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Our pals again!
Melbourne Truth reveals "Actor John Howard joining hands with the man who claimed that Jews were "the underlying cause of all wars" and that they 'use sex and abominable acts of buggery to control the world'. "

Meanwhile, LGF links to this report on the Muslim riots in Antwerp.
Abou Jahjah rejects assimilation, demanding segregated schools and self-governing, Arab-speaking ghettos.
Charles also links the Swedes giving terrorist apologist Hanan Ashwari a prize and offering political asylum to Palestinians (no, not because of chief thug Arafat); plus the usual killings in Kashmir.

And of course there's the ongoing investigation of the Kenyan atrocity on which Spartacus has some interesting statistics.
Unintended Comedy Alert!
Dave Murphy has a list of What not to say at interviews. I liked:
-- "My resume might make it look like I'm a job hopper. But I want you to know that I never left any of those jobs voluntarily."

-- "Sorry for yawning. I usually sleep until my soap operas are on."
Inspector Clouseau Alert!
UN admits tipping off Iraq for arms inspection:
Serious doubts surfaced over the surprise nature of new arms inspections in Iraq when a United Nations spokesman admitted the head of a suspected weapons site had been given advance warning of the visit by the UN experts to his facility on Saturday.

They have a cunning plan...
The Boston Globe amuses with Busted city has groovy idea: build a, like, huge lava lamp:
SOAP LAKE, Wash. - This economically depressed city on the arid plains of eastern Washington has been searching for something to bring back its glory days, when tourists were drawn by the lake's purported healing qualities.

Now Soap Lake's leaders are hoping a vision that came to a local design consultant as he returned from an economic development conference can revitalize this community that considers itself a haven for artists. They're thinking big. They're thinking 1970s.

''I just for some reason thought of this lava lamp,'' Brent Blake recalled. ''It just seemed one of those kind of funny ideas, then I went out and bought one and started putting some little people around it. And then I started taking it more seriously.''

The City Council is also taking it seriously. In October the council voted in support of building a working 60-foot-tall lava lamp on Main Street to draw tourists and help local businesses.

''Wouldn't you stop to see a lava lamp?'' asked Councilwoman Leslie Slough. ''A great big one?''
Another Blogspot Sunday
Permalinks will be wacky for a while until Blogspot recovers.
You can't make this stuff up!
Samizdata links to a BBC report that a UK elementary school head teacher, one Ms. Sue Stokes, has banned parents' video cameras and digital still cameras at the school nativity play for fear the images will fall into the hands of paedophiles. No word from Ms. Stokes on the picture of a school nativity play that accompanies the article.