Saturday, October 04, 2003

Knotted Knickers Alert!

Fresh-Mex Restaurant Chains Get Grilled:
Football-Sized Burritos at Fast-Food Mexican Restaurants Pack Caloric Punch.
Yikes, football sized burritos! Don't tell Nao Bustamante or she'll strain something strapping one on!
With slogans that tout how their oversized burritos are so big that they beep when they back up, perhaps the popular "fresh-Mex" fast-food chains should have seen the food police salivating.
Just like death and taxes, the whiners always show up when it looks like someone might possibly be having fun.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the group that blew the whistle on the fat content of movie theater popcorn, Chinese food, and other fast-food restaurant fare, has now set its sights on the mushrooming Tex-Mex and fresh-Mex food chains, such as Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Rubio's, and La Salsa.
Hit the link for all the details, but here's the net: football sized burritos have a lot of calories, fat, and salt.

Who would have suspected that?
Hey, hey, it's Bollywood!

Mallika of kisses to entice Bill Clinton? Hold on a sec, it's not what it seems:
'Khwahish' girl Mallika Sherawat could soon be getting hot and steamy with no less than William Jefferson Clinton. Or at least an actor playing the former American President in Govind Menon's latest sex drama.

Menon, who had earlier cast Sherawat for his 'Double Attraction', reportedly decided to adapt Clinton's Oval Office sexcapade with intern Monica Lewinsky into a quickie while waiting for the bigger budget film to happen.
The term "quickie" is somewhat unfortunate.
With titillating bits of the sordid affair now common knowledge, Sherawat isn't afraid of taking the challenge head on.
Hmmm, that could have been alternatively phrased too.
According to her: "... While I am willing to get as realistic about my role as possible, it is up to the censor board to decide what is finally allowed."
Well now that's a relief!
733T Hax0rz for Kuku Alert! Hacked:
The struggling presidential campaign of Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich got a brief boost from an unidentified hacker Friday when a pro-Kucinich advertisement took over

The Kucinich campaign denied involvement.

At around 9:30 a.m. a page bearing the Kucinich campaign logo appeared in place of the homepage.

The screen automatically shifted to a page playing a 30-minute video called "This Is The Moment," in which the liberal congressman — aided by the likes of actor Ed Asner — outlines his philosophy.

"According to the most recent CBSnews/nytimes poll (sic), 77% of Democrats do not know enough about Dennis Kucinich. Since we can not expect the media to provide this information I decided to help them out," the hacker page read. "Please watch this video and listen to the man who has inspired me into taking this rash action."
Inspired by Kuku? He must be easily amused.
The poll to which the hacker referred, published Thursday, revealed Kucinich running 10th in the field of 10 seeking the Democratic nomination with support from 1 percent of respondents.

When voters were asked who has the best chance of beating President Bush, Kucinich was the only candidate with 0 percent. Five percent of respondents have a favorable view of him, 8 percent had an unfavorable view, and 86 percent hadn't heard of him — making Kucinich the least-known candidate.
0 percent and running behind Graham and Moseley Braun? Don't anyone flush the toilet!

Friday, October 03, 2003

Who knew? (part 2)

The BBC says Australia's brothels ready to ruck:
Australia's brothels are gearing up for a steep rise in business around the Rugby World Cup.

With tens of thousands of foreign visitors expected for the month-long tournament, brothel owners are planning special events to lure fans of different nationalities.
Special events? But here's the shocker:
Robbie Swan, Media Director of The Eros Association, the trade body for Australia's adult entertainment industry, said brothels were gearing up after being surprised by demand during previous big get-togethers.

He said the 1994 World Council of Churches meeting in Canberra saw business increase by 250%.
Well yeehaw! I guess it's not all liberation theology and no play over at the WCC.

Who knew?

Nigeria tops happiness survey:
A new study of more than 65 countries published in the UK's New Scientist magazine suggests that the happiest people in the world live in Nigeria - and the least happy, in Romania.
Nigeria has the highest percentage of happy people followed by Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador and Puerto Rico, while Russia, Armenia and Romania have the fewest.
The survey is a worldwide investigation of socio-cultural and political change conducted about every four years by an international network of social scientists.

It includes questions about how happy people are and how satisfied they are with their lives.
Hmm, sounds like my kind of gig - a happiness tester scientist.
Although such surveys are not new, they are being increasingly taken into account by policy makers, the magazine says.
Now that's a scary thought.
Green knickers in a twist alert!

(Via Brazos de Dios Cantina) Over at The Edge of England's Sword, Iain Murray says those pesky Rooskies have put the hammer down on the tree huggers:
One of the reasons I've been so busy is the current World Climate Conference in Russia. It's probably the biggest story in the world right now, but is being ignored in favor of local ephemera. Basically, Kyoto is dead and the claim of 'scientific consensus' about anthropogenic climate change lies in ruins. BBC environment correspondent Tim Hirsch is one of the few reporters to realize its significance:
Taken together with a succession of Russian scientists using this conference to cast doubt on the science of global warming, the event is proving something of a nightmare for supporters of worldwide action to combat climate change.
Russians, chess players all, delight in outflanking maneuvers they term "the knight's move." They've completely bamboozled the enviros here, who thought that this would be another grim worryfest like the IPCC meetings
Dang, I was counting on a ring side seat when the Greenies started throwing virgins in the volcanoes to placate the earth gods!

Best line:
Instead, you have the spectacle of the head of the Russian Academy of Scientists ... saying that the only people who would be affected by the abandonment of Kyoto "would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming"
Bwahahaha! But being a Russian, he forgot the professional Ecoweenies in the West.
Tax dollars at work alert!

(Via Best of the Web) Fish Hobbyists Warned Not to Flush Pets:
As the American summer blockbuster "Finding Nemo" surfaces on European movie screens, conservationists are beseeching fish hobbyists: Don't flush!

Inspired by the adventures of the animated clownfish character -- including his unlikely escape down a dentist's spit sink -- conservationists say hundreds of children have flushed their pet fish down the toilet, hoping to free them.

The United Nations Environment Programme and its partners want to discourage the innocent practice, while using the film's Friday opening in the United Kingdom to highlight a new report that tallies exotic fish losses and habitat damage caused by the growing pet trade.

"Parents who already have aquariums need to explain to their children that the fish will not survive if they are flushed," says Paul Holthus, president of the Marine Aquarium Council, a nonprofit conservation group based in Hawaii.
What would we do without the UN?
If it's October, it must be time for a surprise!

October is the traditional month that the Democrat party, and famously the California Democrat party, drop a load of manure on opposing candidates just before election day with the help of their comrades in the press. You may well remember Lawrence Walsh's bogus indictment of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger just before the 1992 presidential election or the big "revelation" of President Bush's DUI before the 2000 election. However, you have likely forgotten some of the California goodies like Barbara Boxer's opponent in 1992 visiting a "strip club" with his wife; her opponent in 1998 supporting an "ultra conservative" group; or Diane Feinstein's 1994 opponent Michael Huffington (Zsa Zsa's ex) having an illegal alien nanny. No, the "illegal alien nanny" wasn't Zsa Zsa.

Anyhow, the term for this ploy is "October surprise". And serendipitously, the California recall election is October 7 so the California Democrats can have an October surprise this year without even changing the name! Those in the know, like Mickey Kaus, had been forecasting its arrival, so it was no shock when Gray Davis' buttboys at the LA Times showed up this week with the Arnold groping story.

But a funny thing happened as Bill Bradley reports in the LA Weekly - Connecting the Dots: The long tentacles of the get-Arnold campaign:
The L.A. Times dumped its long-anticipated negative research story on the gubernatorial front-runner on Thursday morning. Three reporters, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, labored the better part of two months and came up with a less salacious sequel to a notorious Premiere magazine story of 2001. It was all about Arnold, as you don’t want to know him, talking crudely to women, unwantedly touching women. Six women, over a course of 30 years, four of them anonymous. It was less than anticipated given the buildup, but troubling.

And, by coincidence, of course, it was a bad start for Schwarzenegger at the very moment he launches his big statewide bus tour of California.

So Schwarzenegger, at the kickoff rally in San Diego at the early hour of 9 a.m., does the unexpected. He apologizes.

The assembled traveling press corps of 200 is surprised. If he is not going to be defensive, it is hard to see where the story goes.
Well, that does ruin the party!
So here is where coincidence cascades on coincidence. With the Times story failing to destroy Schwarzenegger, the Democrats hold a press conference call to re-ignite things, protesters who say they are organized by HERE come down from L.A. to Costa Mesa, and a woman who says she is a HERE member surfaces to say she, too, was a victim 25 years ago of Schwarzenegger’s crude behavior.

HERE is run in L.A. by Maria Durazo, who is married to L.A. Labor Fed chief Miguel Contreras, who serves on the executive committee of Gray Davis’ anti-recall campaign.

Remarkable coincidences abound in politics. It is that time of the campaign.
But wait there's more!
How does the press respond, you ask? With some befuddlement. The charge is wild and hard to evaluate. And few know of the coincidental link to Davis. CNN won’t air it. Friday’s newspapers will be interesting, but the attack seems likely to fall short.

Look for more such coincidences on what may be the last Friday of Gray’s last campaign.
Bradley is prescient - there is now a new story that Arnold is a Nazi being retailed by Gray's flying monkeys as Kaus reports. But proving that what is goosestep for the gander is also good for the silly goose, Tom Roberts over at Winds of Change.NET dug up a tale of Gray Davis repeatedly abusing his staff. Sheesh, that must be like being threatened by the White Rabbbit!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Weasley's not just an empty brass hat
Let's tune in as he shows up to smooch Gray Davis:
Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark hailed Gov. Gray Davis as "a real-life action hero" ...
I must have missed the movie. Or maybe it was just a comic book.
"I'm here to support the efforts of Californians to retain the highest standards of democracy," Clark told the Hollywood crowd.
Surely he jests.
"I spent three years helping Eastern Europe achieve democracy," Clark said. "I can't tell you how awful it was to see people trying to count ballots in Florida, being intimidated by an angry mob, gesticulating and pounding on the windows and shaking their fists. That's not American democracy."
Nope, the brass hat is an ass hat.

But not just Davis' fans got the benefit of Weasley's WisdomTM:
Unlike most of the big-name Democrats campaigning for Davis, Clark also made an appearance on behalf of Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante
Appearing later with Bustamante in Century City, Clark repeated that he regards the recall as an abuse of the democratic process.
I'd say the progressives of the early 20th century had these leeches pegged.
"I also believe in something that I learned in the military, which is contingency planning or parallel-track planning," Clark said. "And I believe that every Californian that votes no on the recall also ought to vote on Cruz Bustamante."
That West Point education comes through!

But he's not an empty brass hat - he's full of more crap than a Christmas goose.
Cruz News
Major Garrett reports:
"We're not getting out, there's no thought of doing that," Bustamante adviser Tony Coelho told Fox News. "We think we can still win this. Our internal polls show the race with Arnold very close. There's no reason at all to get out."

Several top Democratic strategists, however, said it appeared Bustamante's campaign has already effectively shut down. Bustamante has appeared in public only once since Saturday before making an about-face on Tuesday and attending a hand-shaking event in Los Angeles.

"He's not doing any campaigning, he's pulling ads off the air, he sees his poll numbers dipping and it looks like he's doing the bare minimum," Democratic strategist Harvey Englander told Fox News.

Coelho said Bustamante was "working the phones" to raise money, activity Coelho told Fox News was far more important "than appearing in public in front of you guys."
Hmm, so what's the Cruzer doing with the loot? Nominally, he's buying TV ads, but since campaign events provide free publicity it does make one wonder.
Terrorist Scum Roundup
Christian Lowe at the Weekly Standard reveals how US, British, and Australian Special Forces bagged 250 terrorists including a couple dozen al Qaeda in Iraq. I'm sure we'll be reading all about it in the big media soon.

Meanwhile, Linda Robinson at US News and World Report has a review of terrorist news related to our old pal in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Besides importing Cuban thugs into the Venezuelan infrastructure and supporting the narco-terrorist Colombian rebels, he's also got chums in the Middle East:
Middle Eastern terrorist groups are operating support cells in Venezuela and other locations in the Andean region. A two-month review by U.S. News, including interviews with dozens of U.S. and Latin American sources, confirms the terrorist activity. In particular, the magazine has learned that thousands of Venezuelan identity documents are being distributed to foreigners from Middle Eastern nations, including Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, and Lebanon.
If the CIA was on the ball, Hugo would be an accident waiting to happen. But don't tell the State Department, they might get their knickers knotted.
Our pals at Foggy Bottom
Joel Mowbray, who has a new book out on the asshats in the US State Department, has excerpts from it this week at Today's has this gem:
Particularly revealing about State’s attitudes toward those literally risking their lives to protest for the freedoms that Americans enjoy was Boucher’s initial, cavalier response to the question at the July 8 press briefing. This was the exchange:

Question: Scheduled for tomorrow, there are supposedly going to be major demonstrations in Tehran. Does the State Department have a message for the demonstrators, given U.S. interest in this recently?

Mr. Boucher: No.

Question: You have no message?

Mr. Boucher: We don’t. We don’t.

Question: It’s supposed to be a really big demonstration.

Mr. Boucher: Cool. (Laughter)
Pond scum.
A real class act
Over at UPI they are really a classy bunch - Feature: dead pope will not be hammered. Sheesh! This is apparently in reference to:
As soon as the pope dies, the Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church -- a senior Vatican cardinal -- takes over. Usually referred to by the Italian title of 'Camerlengo' (chamberlain), he is the official who must ascertain that the pope is dead.

As recently as 40 years ago, the Camerlengo did this by tapping the pope's head three times with a small hammer and shouting his family name close to his ear, but that colorful ritual is not mentioned in the 1996 revisions made by Pope John Paul II to streamline the process ...
The whole article seems to be background on the procedures for selecting a new pope since John Paul II is in ill health. But they seem to be rushing things a tad:
There's a bit of a cliffhanger here. If the pope dies before Oct. 16, the number of cardinal-electors (cardinals who have not reached the age of 80) will number 109. That is the date when the pope is scheduled to hold his consistory, the solemn papal ceremony in St. Peter's that actually creates the new cardinals he named last week.
I wonder if the pope will accomodate UPI's news deadline?
'Dem' Clark Hasn't Gotten Around to Joining the Party - and that's not all:
October 2, 2003 -- WASHINGTON - Wesley Clark was registered as a lobbyist when he jumped into the presidential race, but he has yet to actually register as a presidential candidate - or even enroll as a Democrat.

Clark has yet to change his voter registration in his home state of Arkansas from independent to Democrat, BusinessWeek reported yesterday.
The Federal Election Commission also said yesterday it still hasn't received a statement of Clark's candidacy, although the rules say a candidate must file a declaration within 15 days of spending or raising $5,000.

Clark announced his candidacy Sept. 17 - exactly 15 days ago - and his aides say they've already raised more than $2 million.

Clark's opponents were having a field day yesterday with the retired general's gaffes.

"The only question is whether he is a Democratic lobbyist or a Republican lobbyist," scoffed Erik Smith, spokesman for Rep. Richard Gephardt (Mo.).

"I cannot believe that this party is even considering nominating someone who's not only not a Democrat, but is a registered Washington lobbyist," said Jano Cabrera, spokesman for Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.).

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Important United Nations News Alert!
Russia, Costa Rica Want to Keep on Smoking at UN:
Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke too soon in trying to ban smoking from U.N. headquarters with several fuming diplomats on Tuesday trying to find ways around the prohibition.

At a meeting of the General Assembly's committee on budget and administration, several delegates, led by Costa Rica and Russia, questioned the legal basis for Annan to put out such an order without a vote from member states.

In the end, the panel, which includes all 191 U.N. members, decided to ask Annan to explain the legal basis for his decision before taking any further action.

"It is the sort of issue that can catch fire, as it were," said one Western delegate, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It can get pretty disgusting in the basement where there are no windows but some delegates are spoiling for a fight and want to smoke."
Based on the UN's track record, they'll sort this out in a decade or so.
More proof for the heredity theory
Man charged with attempted murder:
PINSON, Ala. -- A Pinson man was charged with attempted murder for holding a gun to his son's head and pulling the trigger in the midst of a tantrum after Alabama's double overtime loss to Arkansas Saturday.
The man apparently wasn't a crack shot - the kid dodged. But what brought on this hostility?
According to the police report, Joseph Logan had been drinking alcohol and began slamming doors, tossing boxes and throwing dishes in the sink after the Crimson Tide lost its football game to Arkansas 34-31 in double overtime Saturday.

While Joseph Logan was throwing the tantrum, Seth Logan asked for a new car.
The request upset Joseph Logan because his son has already wrecked several vehicles, Logan told investigators.
Great timing, kid.
It's pop quiz time, kids!
Suppose you're a trial lawyer and the citizens pass a state constitutional amendment that seems likely to diminish your disposable income. What do you do?
A Real Surprise!
Lt. Smash is the Indepundit. And now Citizen Smash.

Explanation by following the link.
Davis and Bustamante get crusty over who is toast
Tensions couldn't be higher as the two-minute warning sounds in the recall game -- and true to form, the Democrats have reacted by breaking out in a locker-room fistfight.

In a nutshell: Gov. Gray Davis' folks say their polls show Democratic "fallback" candidate Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante is toast -- and will never overcome Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Worse, the Davis folks say Bustamante's continued presence in the race is drawing votes from the governor's bid to hold onto his job, by giving disaffected Democrats the "false hope" they will be able to replace Davis with another Democrat.
The Davis camp says polls indicate that Bustamante has dropped so far in the public's eye that he might even come in third, behind both Schwarzenegger and Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock.

"And that would mean the end of Cruz ever running for another office," one Davis operative said.
Not to worry, Cruzer! Maybe your sister can get you a gig as a "performance artist".

The Bustamante camp, on the other hand, says that if anyone is toast it's Davis, and that Bustamante is the only hope Democrats have of retaining the governor's chair.
And the Davis camp's concerns that Bustamante might damage himself by staying in the race?

Ross had only two words: "How thoughtful."
They certainly are a warm bunch - always thinking of others!
"They are against food"
Dan Weintraub tells about our increasingly desperate pal, Cruz Bustamante, playing the race card. As always read "illegal alien" every time the Cruzer says "immigrant":
Cruz has played the race card -- in an interview in Spanish on the Univision Television Network. The network has translated the interview and sent a transcript to reporters covering the campaign:
The lieutenant governor had strong words for his Republican opponents in the recall race. "People who are on the ballot - people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock - want Proposition 187 once again. They don't want driver's licenses for immigrants. They are against food. They are against access to colleges and access to schools. They are against the opportunity to organize labor unions. They are against so many of the values we have in our community. I think it's important to see who the enemy is... It's the Republican legislators, candidates, and officials who say that they don't want to solve our community's problems. That they don't want children to go to school. That they don't want driver's licenses. All of those are Republicans, they're not Democrats."

The gubernatorial candidate spoke out repeatedly on his support for immigrants, and expressed his hope that they would support him in the upcoming elections: "If every person in the immigrant communities went out and voted, I could succeed just with their votes."
Kewl! The graveyard vote will be next.

And just one look at the Cruzer's chubby cheeks tells you he isn't against food.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I'm damn diverse
Over at Best of the Web, James Taranto spots a beauty:
Writing in National Review Online, Peter Wood advises prospective college students how to game the system by taking advantage of higher education's "diversity" fetish. Some schools now require applicants to write "diversity essays," which according to Wood is "a coy device that I believe was first introduced by law schools as an indirect way of asking students about their racial and ethnic identities."

Wood outlines three different "diversity deep truths," or DDTs, around which students can build their essays. Then he gives some hilarious sample openings:
"I don't look like my friend Mohammed . . ."

"I didn't know what would happen the night before the big game when my friend Mike decided to tell the other guys on the football team that she was transgendered . . ."

More by following the link and much more at the original article which is here. My favorite is
"I never thought that it would be Daryll, who has Down's Syndrome, who would teach me the most important lesson in life."
Natalie Maines continues to amaze
Oh hang on just a second, you won't believe this…P. Didddy and Eminem just instant messaged me at the exact same time. I didn't even know that was possible. Let me just IM them back that I will have to talk to them later. O.K. sorry about that. Now where was I? Oh right Ozzy. Do you know what he told me to do? Well, I don't really know either. I couldn't really understand him. But he did say something at the end that was very profound. He said "f*** it."
Fat, stupid, and high is a heck of a way to go through life. Full details here.
Naked Protestor News!
Although I guess it really doesn't count since it was Berkeley and just a minor part of the hijinks:
Dancing lobsters, singing sea bass, naked people and grandmothers for peace—Bezerkeley came out in full force yesterday during the annual parade showcasing the city's zaniness.

About 10,000 people participated in the "How Berkeley Can You Be?" Parade and Festival, marching along California Street and University Avenue, and around Shattuck Avenue and Center Street to see their favorite cultural, ethnic and political groups.

With the smell of marijuana smoke in the air, spectators from around the country sported tie-dye T-shirts, listened to Hari Krishna music and partook in the fruit-flavored hooka tobacco located on mobile couches.

"It's kinda trippy," said an Oakland resident who declined to give his name.

As the parade passed by, parents shielded their children's eyes as the X-Plicit Players strutted by, fully naked.

A group of women representing the Pagan Lounge Ensemble, clad in leather miniskirts, fish-net stockings and sheer blouses, chanted "make martinis, not war" while playing stringed instruments.

Meanwhile, members of People for Ethical Treatment of Mosquitos (PET'M) squirted onlookers with water imitating insect repellent.

"I love the political commentary," said Bea Weicker, parade supporter of five years. "It's sophisticated."

Sorry, no photos. Probably just as well.
Zsa Zsa Bugout Alert!
Independent commentator Arianna Huffington said Monday she is strongly considering leaving the recall race, signaling a growing fear among the political left that Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger stands a good chance of becoming California's next governor.
"I'm talking to a lot of supporters and people who are part of the campaign. I'm going to make a decision later this week," she told reporters.
So what did all three of them say?
What a concept!
Tim Blair is challenging readers to come up with a slogan or graphic for a new news network:
France will launch an international news network to compete with CNN and the BBC, Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin announced today. “This channel will promote a French vision that is more necessary than ever in today's world," he said.
I'm rather partial to this:

How about lunch?
Who Knew II
England was originally Muslim!
Who knew?
Dirty Den's return sparks surge on national grid:
Dirty Den's dramatic return to EastEnders sparked a 560 megawatts power surge on Britain's national grid.
The Group Captain knew.

Monday, September 29, 2003

All in the Family
Prestopundit has the goods on Nao Bustamante, sister of the Cruzer. Let's just say she's a "performance artist" which seems to mean she loses her clothes while doing silly things. Then there's
Strapping on burrito-dildos, upon which white males feast in an absolution ceremony for 500 years of colonial guilt.
She must be the life of the party!
Today's hoot!
James Taranto takes a trip down memory lane at Best of the Web:
In the 1980s, when we were young, we'd occasionally go to visit our friend David Burkhart, then an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego. Just for laughs, we'd usually pay a visit to a campus establishment called Groundworks Books, a student-run "collective" that sold communist literature.
A few years later, in 1989, we were in California visiting our parents for Christmas, and we drove down to see Dave on Dec. 26. We paid our usual visit to Groundworks, and this time the cashier was a middle-aged man with a ponytail. As we browsed the shelves, looking at monographs with translated speeches of the Albanian Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha (no joke), it suddenly dawned on us that the hippie cashier had the store stereo on and was listening to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." Playing loud enough that everyone in the store could hear it was a report on the previous day's big news--the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu, communist dictator of Romania.

It was a magical moment, and thinking of it never fails to warm our heart and restore our faith in human progress. Thanks for the memories, you communist scum.
Sheesh, Enver Hoxha. Even for the Kool Aid drinkers, that must have been a sure cure for insomnia.
Here's a fun prank, kids!
Vasectomy talk fells train driver:
LONDON, England -- Travelers on London's creaky Underground railway are used to delays -- but not one caused by their drivers' choice of conversation in the cab.

Tube officials said Monday they were investigating reports that Circle Line services had been disrupted when a trainee driver fell from his cab after fainting while two colleagues discussed a vasectomy operation.
Ruh Oh!
Howard Dean finally noticed - Dean calls Clark a Beltway puppet

And the Frenchies are holding a pity party - France writes itself off as arrogant failure. No, it isn't ScrappleFace. Read the whole thing, but here's one factoid that amazed:
Britons pay 45 per cent of their income to the state in taxes, compared with 75 per cent for the French.
That sounds like a fun shortage fer sure!
Dog bites man alert!
Nigerian Satellite Blasts Into Orbit:
A Nigerian satellite blasted into orbit Saturday aboard a Russian rocket, propelling one of the poorest nations on earth into space for the first time.
Good to know they are spending their oil bucks on the important stuff! Hmm, how did they manage to build a satellite in the first place?
The NigeriaSat-1 was produced by British-based company, Surrey Satellite Technology, with the help of Nigerian technicians trained in Britain, Olaniyi said.
Indeed. And what's it going to be used for?
The government plans to use the $13 million satellite to monitor water resources, soil erosion, deforestation and disasters, space agency spokesman Solomon Olaniyi told The Associated Press.

It will be used to watch military facilities and the country's oil pipelines and infrastructure. Nigeria is one of the world's largest exporters of oil, but thieves siphon off hundreds of thousands of barrels everyday.
And the cops will go roaring down the dirt roads to catch some villagers with cans of gas? What a plan!
Time for a house cleaning
Daniel Pipes points out that it is time to clean house:
THE news last week that two Muslim military personnel, James Yee and Ahmad al-Halabi, had been arrested on suspicion of aiding Al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantnamo Bay (with another three Muslim servicemen under watch) seemed to prompt much surprise. It should not have.

It has been obvious for months that Islamists who despise America have penetrated U.S. prisons, law enforcement, and armed forces.
And he suggests some simple measures to fix the problem. Stand by for the whines from the PC Police.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Naked Protestors Alert!
No, not the usual crew of leftoids that showed up in a few urban areas this weekend - they seemed to be into funny hats (1, 2). The stripping off was in Mexico on Friday.
Room temperature IQ alert!
What's in a name, ask US dads. Actually, I suspect it isn't always the dads:
At the age of three, Timberland is too young to be embarrassed about being named after a best-selling brand of footwear, but his mother cringes. "His daddy insisted on it because Timberlands were the pride of his wardrobe. The alternative was Reebok," said the 32-year-old nurse, who is now divorced. "I wanted Kevin."

The boy is not alone: five other Americans were named Timberland in 2000, according to social security records.

A trend for naming children after favourite possessions is accelerating in brand-driven America. The records show that 49 children were named Canon in 2000, followed by 11 Bentleys, five Jaguars and a Xerox. There is also a Gouda and a Bologna, who are named after the cheese and the sausage rather than the places.

Foreign brands are regarded as increasingly chic: Chanel is popular among doting mothers and several boys have been named after a Japanese family car called Camry.
I thought Bentley the name preceded Bentley the car, but you get the idea.
The number of American parents spurning traditional Anglo-Saxon first names is rising sharply. According to the most recent census, least 10,000 different names are now in use, two thirds of which were largely unknown before the second world war.
As I have mentioned previously, you can do your own searching at the SSA.
Fun, fun, fun until Chairman Mao takes the T-bird away
Japanese orgy of 900 angers China:
An orgy involving 400 Japanese tourists and 500 Chinese prostitutes triggered a new outpouring of antipathy in China towards its historic rival yesterday.

The Japanese party took over the five-star International Convention Centre Hotel in Zhuhai, on the Pearl River delta near Hong Kong.

The nightclub manager provided girls for their entertainment. Prostitution is technically illegal in China but it has become a growth industry. However, the scale and the involvement of the Japanese has inflamed feelings.

The three-day visit ended on September 18, the anniversary of the Japanese invasion of China in 1931. According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the group's visit was arranged by the hotel's marketing department. When one local asked a Japanese man why he was there, he was told: "We came to play with Chinese girls."
Ruh Oh!
Still playing that same old tune
Nina Bernstein files a think piece in the NY Times - For Americans, It's French Sissies Versus German He-Men. But she didn't think too hard:
It was on display again last week, that old double standard. On camera, Germany's chancellor got a muscular handshake from America's president and a meeting that let bygones be bygones. France's president got the official cold shoulder and columnists' heated denunciations.

... an obvious explanation comes to mind: in the American imagination, France is a woman, and Germany is just another guy.

The French themselves depict La Belle France as a bare-breasted "Marianne" on the barricades. They export high fashion, cosmetics, fine food — delicacies traditionally linked to a woman's pleasure, if not her boudoir. And French has always been Hollywood's language of love.

Germany, meanwhile, is the Fatherland, its spike helmets retooled into the sleek insignia of cars like the Mercedes and BMW. It also exports heavy machinery and strong beer — products linked to manliness. And notwithstanding Goethe, Schiller and Franka Potente, German is Hollywood's language of war, barked to the beat of combat boots in half a century of movies.
I wonder if Nina was a psych major?
American officials have long used sexist stereotyping as diplomatic strategy. Franklin Roosevelt once declared that Charles de Gaulle knew no more about economics "than a woman knows about a carburetor." In 1953, Life magazine likened the French government to "a big can-can chorus" and France itself to a showgirl slipping a billion-dollar bill's worth of American aid into her stocking.
Oh no! Not sexual stereotyping!

Hey baby!

Er, Nina, the French government has been the guiding light of Euroweenie obstructionism since heck was a pup. Unless you support the proposition that this is typical female behavior, save it for your next bull session at the dorm.
Here's good news!
Remittances are Mexico's biggest source of income, says Fox:
Money sent from Mexican workers in the United States to their families back home has reached a record $12 billion in 2003, Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday.

Remittances "are our biggest source of foreign income, bigger than oil, tourism or foreign investment," Fox told reporters after a meeting with Mexican-American businessmen.
No report on how much is from illegal aliens, but I think we can, as a rough estimate, say it's a huge honking lot.
Fox said the money transfers grew after Mexican consulates started giving identity cards to their citizens in the United States.

"The cards are working. All doubts have been cleared up," Fox said. "Almost 2.5 million people have them, and we want all Mexicans to have them."
So they can all sneak over the border I guess.

You really have to wonder about a political leadership whose economic development plan seems to be to sneak as many of its citizens as possible over the border of a big doofy neighbor and have them send back cash.
Sadie Hawkins Day Alert!
Rahul Bedi in the Chicago Sun Times - Indians desperate for husbands try kidnapping:
It is a big mistake to venture out at night if you are young, male and unmarried in India's Bihar state.

Subhash Kumar, a bank clerk in Patna, let his guard down and paid the price by being kidnapped.

Four days after being carried off by a gang of thugs, manacled to a bed, starved and severely beaten, Kumar found himself married to a girl he had never seen before.

His tears and offers to pay ransom led to beatings, at least until the nuptials were complete. To his horror, even the household's women joined in, wielding slippers and brooms whenever he begged to be freed.

During the marriage ceremony a rope was tied around Kumar's waist in case he disgraced the bride's family by trying to flee. But by then, the resistance had been beaten out of him.

In those dark hours, all he wanted was for the nightmare to end, even if it meant being married to a complete stranger. The next day a sullen Kumar took his wife home, vowing vengeance against his in-laws.
That must lead to a tense atmosphere at family reunions!