Saturday, November 27, 2004

It used to be NIMBY (Not In My Backyard)

Now it's NWMPP - Not Where My Pooch Poops:
At the east end of Forty-second Street, there's a patch of Manhattan real estate that serves as a reminder of the way the world should be. To black, white, yellow, brown and every colour in between, it's hallowed ground, a place where anger is restrained by reason and, when needed, the just application of superior force. Equality prevails, corruption is unknown, favouritism unthinkable. It is a sanctuary of freedom.

No, not the United Nations, which is on the opposite side of the street. In the light of the world body's recent crop of scandals, it clearly doesn't match the above description to even an incidental degree.

What we're talking about here is the dog run in Robert Moses Park, an undeveloped plot that somehow, years ago, escaped the developers' bulldozers and has remained ever since a mecca for East Side mutts. For the dogs, it's a place to shed the leash and do what comes naturally - a rare treat in a city where it is the lot of man's best friends to spend most of every day alone inside the high-rise kennels that are their owners' plush apartments.
But the United Nations wants to build a big building on the dog run as part of its grand remodeling plan. Shall we guess the reaction to that?
"Have you signed the petition to stop this land grab?" a woman who belongs to a bulldog asked last week when I arrived with my spaniel. "Those corrupt bastards," said another dog owner. "They're not going to get away with it."
Put the hammer down! But hold on a sec...
Maybe you had to have spent the past year or so in Manhattan to appreciate the irony. Over that time, on those rare occasions when dog-run talk ran to politics, the presidency of George Bush and his invasion of Iraq were the subjects of no small amounts of ridicule and derision. This is Manhattan, after all, where John Kerry trounced the President by a four-to-one margin.

The invasion would have been above-board, a woman with a golden retriever told me a few months ago, if the Security Council had only bestowed its blessing on the campaign. Last week, however, while no more fond of Bush, she was suddenly up to speed about the UN's eruption of scandals, not to mention the institution's "ethical bankruptcy".
When the UN was condemning Bush, none of those ethical inconsistencies raised an eyebrow among the dog lovers in Robert Moses Park.

Now? Well it's a different story, as a Yorkie-owning, Bush-hating corporate headhunter called Sue made clear, albeit with unintentional irony. "How can the UN pre-emptively seize our park?" she wondered.
Bwahaha! Welcome to the party, Sue!

Biscuits and Gravy - Nov. 27, 2004

Just a small helping today, since I have to head out to the lower forty to work off the pumpkin pie:

Annan's Son Took Payments Through 2004 - The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Heroes of Turtle Bay
The New York State Legislature has come in for quite a lot of brickbats lately, most of them deserved. But no one can accuse them of equating Zionism with racism, nor making excuses for bloody tyrants, nor looking the other way during genocide. Or, for that matter, taking bribes from Saddam Hussein. This is why it warms our hearts to see those battered Albany pols questioning the continued utility of the welcome mat that New York has extended this past half-century to the United Nations.
and related - Anti-U.N. Drive Is Spreading in Legislature
"I intend ... to get up on the floor and to speak out as strongly as I possibly can against this cesspool called the United Nations," Mr. Hikind said. "I intend to speak on the subject and to do everything humanly possible to stir things up and get people excited. I don't want to do anything to help the United Nations."

"I do believe in international cooperation," he said. "I do believe in a perfect world where nations would work together. ...But that's not what the United Nations is all about. ...On principle, I want to do everything to make their life miserable."
Congress threatens to cut aid in fight over criminal court whines the Guardian:
The US Congress has launched a fresh attack on the international criminal court at The Hague, threatening to cut off development aid to countries who refuse to guarantee immunity from prosecution for Americans at the tribunal.
Gosh, it sounds like a win-win to me!

Foreign aid subject to parking fine deductions
Frustrated by deadbeat foreign diplomats, the U.S. Congress has voted to cut aid to their countries by about the sum they owe in unpaid parking tickets.

At the urging of New York lawmakers, Congress tucked the measure -- to cut aid to countries next year by 110 percent of the amount their diplomats owe in parking tickets and penalties -- into the huge $388 billion spending bill lawmakers approved over the weekend.

New York City, which houses the United Nations, would stand to recover about $195 million from about 200 countries, New York's senators said.
They only quote Schumer, but senators implies Hillary!

Move America Forward has new TV ads for "U.N. Out of U.S. " Of course, I'd like "U.S. Out of U.N." too.

As they're sprung from prison, job-seeking New York-area ex-cons are being advised in a manual given them by parole officers to fill that questionable gap on their résumés by lying about the time they've done, The Post has learned.

An ex-prisoners' manual, published by the New York Public Library under a state contract, is filled with useful tips on how to cook up whoppers to explain time spent in the big house — such as saying you freelanced, worked for a bankrupt company or were self-employed.
Or you could just say you worked at the United Nations.

The continuing irrelevance of Bill O'Reilly

The pompous one wants us to know that Guilt no longer needs proof:
The ordeal of Dan Rather goes far beyond the man himself. It speaks to the presumption of guilt that now rules the day in America. Because of a ruthless and callow media, no citizen, much less one who achieves fame, is given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to allegations or personal attacks. The smearing of America is in full bloom.
Rather was found guilty without a fair hearing. Charges that he intentionally approved bogus documents that made President Bush look bad were leveled and widely believed. It was chilling.
Er, Bill, Captain Dan got caught reporting an egregious fraud as fact. He did it just before the election when ordinarily it would have been hard to refute in a timely fashion. When caught red-handed he tried to stonewall. The "ruthless and callow media" presumed he was innocent until the obviousness of the fraud was manifest, although some are still in denial. Dan got a fairer "hearing" than he was providing to President Bush. The verdict went against him. End of story.

Of course, Bill may have another axe to grind:
All famous and successful Americans are now targets. Unscrupulous people know that any accusation can be dumped on the Internet and within hours the mainstream media will pick it up. A click of the Internet mouse can wipe out a lifetime of honor and hard work. Just the accusation or allegation can be ruinous. Let me ask you something: In the future, do you think potential public servants and social crusaders are going to risk being attacked within this insane system? I don't. I think many good people are simply going to walk away from the public arena.
Somehow, I don't think he's really talking about Dan Rather or President Bush. Someone get the lad a loofah. (Beldar has a detailed analysis of ole Bill's settlement of his loofah problems.)

Friday, November 26, 2004

Christmas shopping alert!

Head on down to Burlington Coat Factory to scoop up those fashion statement Che t-shirts for the whole family before they're all gone! Val Prieto also tells us how we can send Fidel Castro a "get well" message! I have a message for Fidel, but it would have to be delivered in person.

And I almost forgot about Buy Nothing Day!

Thanksgiving Leftovers and Christmas Cheer!

Tim Blair spots some more of those pesky plastic turkeys that are so beloved of the real variety.

Ask the imam about Thanksgiving
We have studied the background of Thanksgiving day- to express gratitude to
the favours of the natives of the 16th century. IN principal to express
gratefulness and gratitude for favours rendered is encouraged. However,
Thanksgiving being a national holiday express its salient position in the
American culture, which has many unislamic values and principles.
Celebrating Thanksgiving purposefully or subordinately is an expression of
accepting the general American Culture. It is not celebrated independent of
the American Culture. In view of the above it is not permissible to
celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Maryland Renames Thanksgiving 'Lucky Thursday'
Faced with the constitutional prohibition against teaching about the Christian origins of Thanksgiving in public schools, the Maryland State Department of Education has rewritten its curriculum, and renamed the holiday 'Lucky Thursday'.

Starting in 2005, 'Lucky Thursday' lessons in public schools will instruct children in the random, yet fortuitous, events which led a band of deranged religious fanatics (called Pilgrims) to beach their boat on an unexpected continent where the native people stumbled upon, then rescued them.

"The Pilgrims jumped on a boat, spun the wheel of fortune, and whammo...they ended up here," said an unnamed professor at the University of Maryland who directed the curriculum adjustment project. "Then they knelt in the sand and thanked their lucky stars."
Less whimsically, Conservative, Liberal Lawyers Resume Christmas Clashes
Often referred to as the "Christmas Tree wars," the annual clashes are about to resume between lawyers from pro-Christian groups on one side and attorneys determined to keep any religious references out of public life on the other side.

The conservative Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) reports that it has notified more than 3,600 school districts nationwide about the rules regarding the school-sponsored celebration of Christmas. It's part of the ADF's Christmas Project, initiated last year.

Seven hundred attorneys will be available "to combat any attempts to censor the celebration of Christmas in schools and on public property," according to an ADF release.
"The bottom line," according to the pamphlet, is that, "It's okay to say 'Merry Christmas,' regardless of the legal threats from the ACLU and its allies."
Forget about Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
A school district's long-standing policy banning Christmas songs with religious references is under scrutiny after officials clarified that it includes the prohibition of the performance of instrumental numbers without lyrics.

Instead of tunes about Jesus, and even Santa Claus, the 40-member Columbia High School brass ensemble will be limited for the first time to seasonal selections such as "Winter Wonderland" and "Frosty the Snowman," the Newark Star-Ledger reported.
Meanwhile in Winnipeg, a 'Holiday tree' travesty
What do you call a 40-foot spruce tree decorated with Christmas lights on display in a public place over the Christmas season? A "holiday tree" of course.
So why put up a Christmas tree at all? We had the same problem a few years ago at the Manitoba Legislature when they started calling the Christmas tree there a "multicultural tree."
Meanwhile in the UK, it's "Time of Gifts" (original link has expired)
BOSSES at the Eden Project tourist attraction have banned the word Christmas. They do not want any mention of what they call the C-Word because they are worried it will offend followers of other faiths.

Management have renamed Christmas “Time of Gifts” — claiming this will appeal to everyone at the domed eco project in Cornwall which gets millions of pounds in funding each year from taxpayers.

A gift shop at the site has been re-named the Great Gift Grotto.

Staff have been told to stop visitors saying Christmas.

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Mudville Gazette: (click picture for full size)

The Hill:
When Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented Grateful Nation Awards last week to six young members of the U.S. military for their outstanding service in the war on terrorism, many of those attending the ceremony were taken aback by their youthful appearance.

Each of the soldiers, sailors, and Marines who were honored at a dinner sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs was cited for bravery in combat conditions in the Persian Gulf region. Some, like Marine Cpl. Gary Spangler, looked as if they could not have been over 18 years old.

They are conspicuous but not atypical examples of the selfless and courageous young men and women who are putting their lives on the line daily in Iraq and Afghanistan as American and coalition forces battle the Islamic nihilists who want to prevent democracy from taking hold in the Middle East.

As Americans pause this week for a day of national thanksgiving, they should keep in mind the sacrifices being made by our military personnel as they confront violent insurgents in Fallujah and other cities and begin the massive reconstruction efforts aimed at beefing up security to allow Iraqis to hold a national election on Jan. 30.
The Federalist Patriot
Which is the quintessential American holiday? The Fourth of July, our nation's recognized birthday? No, a typical Independence Day celebration now turns more toward recreation than to original customs of patriotic reflection on the debt we owe both to our Founding Fathers and our Heavenly Father. But Thanksgiving...this holiday, more than any other commemorated in our country, has retained -- even if in attenuated form -- the sentiments present from its first celebration on our shores. On Thanksgiving, we still stop to give thanks for our blessings; we still take pause to hold our family and friends dearest in our hearts; and we still acknowledge, expressly or implicitly, the Author of life and liberty who has heaped bounties on us beyond our deserving.
President Bush:
This Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to our dedicated firefighters and police officers who help keep our homeland safe. We are grateful to the homeland security and intelligence personnel who spend long hours on faithful watch. And we give thanks for the Americans in our Armed Forces who are serving around the world to secure our country and advance the cause of freedom. These brave men and women make our entire Nation proud, and we thank them and their families for their sacrifice.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank God for His blessings and ask Him to continue to guide and watch over our Nation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday spirit alert!

Iowahawk provides excerpts from the new CBS Holiday Classic - It's a Dan-derful Life:
Clarence shows Dan what the world would be like without him. No longer Black Rock Falls, the town has become Bloggersville – a vulgar parade of sleazy conservative websites, FoxNews billboards, and talk radio. They stop in at Le Circe. Once a friendly watering hole for network journalists, it is rougher, seedier.

DAN: I’ll have my regular table, Jean-Claude.

JEAN-CLAUDE: Do I know you, sir?

DAN: Why, it’s me, Jean-Claude – Dan, Dan Rather!

CLARENCE: He can’t know you, Dan. Don’t you remember? You’ve never been born.

DAN: Is this some sort of joke, doggone it? It’s me, I tell ya! Turn on the TV, it’s 10 PM Wednesday! I’m on CBS!

Jean-Claude turns on the bar TV.

TV VOICE: Welcome to 60 Minutes II. I’m your host, Rush Limbaugh.

DAN: Aaaaaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!!
Hmmm, that's not quite how I remember the story! Much more by following the link.

Biscuits and Gravy - Nov. 24, 2004

"Someone sounds desperate"
A new statement by the leading terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, sounds a desperate tone as he lashes out at Muslim intelligentsia for not supporting his gang of butchers. According to the AP, Zarqawi also sounds pretty pessimistic these days
Zarqawi obviously doesn't read the New York Times or watch CBS News.
I was excited to see my Congresswoman Barbara Lee had issued a dramatic new press release 'Barbara Lee Blasts Administration Plans to Delay Grants for Global AIDS Funding'. HOWEVER - when I clicked the link, I went to an old press release called 'Barbara Lee Rails at HUD Secretary's Statement that Being Poor Is State of Mind'.

I like Barbara's press releases because clearly she attended a workshop where they stressed the importance of ACTION VERBS...
BUTT- and mind-numbing, Oliver Stone's three-hour "Alexander," like the equally silly "Troy," underscores just what an accomplishment "Gladiator" was four years ago.

It's tough to get contemporary audiences involved in a sand-and-sandals epic even if they have great battle scenes - especially if your leading man looks foolish and he spouts howlers in almost every other scene.
The chief offender is Angelina Jolie, over the top even by her extravagant standards, as Alexander's mother, Olympias, who welcomes him as a youngster (Connor Paolo) into her bed - along with a bevy of snakes.

The frequently risible script by Stone, Christopher Kyle and Laeta Kalogridis suggests Alexander conquered the world primarily to get away from his Mommie Dearest.

"What have I done to make you hate me so?" Olympia asks a teenage Alexander (Farrell looking even more ridiculous with Jolie, who is only one year older than him) in the film's funniest speech - delivered in a Bela Lugosi accent.
'Alexander': A Crying Shame
He's much less interesting, except as a basket case, than Richard Burton's Alexander of far less enlightened times -- 1956 -- in Robert Rossen's "Alexander the Great." Burton got Alexander's dissipation, but also his martial spirit; this was, after all, one of the great light-cavalry commanders of all time and a general who fought by leading his troops, sword in hand, not directing them from some safe hill. But in this one you think: Teri Hatcher could kick this twerp's butt.
A filmmaker is murdered, and Hollywood loudmouths say nothing.
One would think that in the name of artistic freedom, the creative community would take a stand against filmmakers being sent into hiding à la Salman Rushdie, or left bleeding in the street. Yet we've heard nary a peep from Hollywood about the van Gogh slaying. Indeed Hollywood has long walked on eggshells regarding the topic of Islamic fundamentalism. The film version of Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears" changed Palestinian terrorists to neo-Nazis out a desire to avoid offending Arabs or Muslims. The war on terror is a Tinsel Town taboo, even though a Hollywood Reporter poll showed that roughly two-thirds of filmgoers surveyed would pay to see a film on the topic.
Looking back on the Empress with Susan Estrich
Some people, outside the campaign anyway, actually thought she might prove to be a hidden asset to the campaign, someone who would connect with women voters in a way that stereotypical political wives don't necessarily do.

It was not to be.

There were two problems with her speech at the Democratic convention in Boston. The first and most obvious one was that it was all about her, literally not mentioning her husband at all, which prompted my colleague Chris Wallace of Fox News to dub her "Evita Peron."

The second and more serious problem was that no one from the campaign would ever have approved a speech that didn't talk about John Kerry, and what a great husband and father he was.
That's the way it's supposed to work, Brainiac
WINSTON-SALEM -- Greensboro lawyer Manlin Chee pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by submitting false paperwork on behalf of immigrant clients.
One approached Chee in the spring of 2003 wanting lawful immigration status any way possible. She helped arrange a sham marriage between him and Cassandra Poteat of Greensboro, who got $7,000 in the deal. Chee filed various immigration documents containing false information about the couple's shared residence and relationship. An alien who marries a citizen can obtain citizenship.

For the second informant, Chee invented a reason why he needed political asylum from his homeland: that he was homosexual and would be killed or persecuted if he returned to Egypt. To prove it, she enlisted the help of Henry Center Jr. of Greensboro, who signed a false affidavit in exchange for $1,500. The affidavit indicated that Center had a homosexual relationship with the man.

Meetings relating to both schemes were recorded by authorities, some with both audio and video.
Chee's supporters said Tuesday that they believe the government's persistence in going after Chee is having a chilling effect on other immigration lawyers and the entire local immigrant community.
As always, read "illegal alien" wherever it says "immigrant."

But we shouldn't strain anything patting ourselves on the back
Immigration enforcement efforts actually have become more lax since the September 11 attacks and have had "no meaningful impact" on the growing number of immigrants now in the United States — which has reached a record high of 34 million, according to a report released yesterday.
As always, read "illegal alien" wherever it says "immigrant."

Stranger Than Fact: The PESTy Election
One might be forgiven for thinking that the first suit against the Republican Party for Post Election Selection Trauma (PEST) would have been filed in Palm Beach County, but a 38-year-old from Manhattan’s West Side has beaten her Floridian fellow victims to the punch.

Barbi Weiner, a third grade teacher currently on disability, is suing the Republican party for having taken an active role in returning George Bush to the White House, a circumstance that resulted in Ms. Weiner suffering a nervous collapse last Nov.8th as she crossed West 72nd Street.

"I looked up and saw the WestSideWaffle! sign with its big red 'W’s,'" she says. "And I realized it was true – he won. Then I started thinking about my life and I realized that I couldn’t go on living in a country where a war-mongering baby-killer holds the highest office in the land. I guess I lost it."
The day after the election Ms. Weiner was unable to go to work, believing that any minute the election would be called for Mr. Kerry. But once he conceded she went into a deep depression. "He just gave up. Just like that. No fight, no lawsuits, no dimpled chads, no recounts, nothing. It was the lowest moment of my life."
This one isn't satire
But, as the Shirelles reminded us, the darkest hour is just before dawn. So it’s time to review the stages of post-Kerry-defeat grief so we can heal ourselves and, indeed, move on.
FRENCH RESISTANCE: Teens hunt U.S. troops in Iraq. Now the dead enders are real dead.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Nancy Pelosi Bellies Up to the Trough

Pelosi delivers funds for projects aplenty:
The $388 billion spending bill soon to be sent to President Bush was a particularly rich one for Rep. Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco constituency, including several new cultural, educational and governmental institutions that are either under construction, want to expand or are a gleam in their planners' eyes.

Using her power as House minority leader, Pelosi tucked a long list of spending provisions for projects in her district into the bill that combined nine of the federal government's usual 13 spending bills into one 2-foot stack of paper presented to House and Senate members just hours before they voted on it Saturday.
In San Francisco, the list of nongovernmental recipients of Pelosi- provided largesse was topped by the University of San Francisco, which got $2.09 million to upgrade environmental studies and management programs. USF spokesman Greg McDonald said the money will go to improve science buildings and equipment. "It's excellent news for us,'' said McDonald, "and it's a happy coincidence,'' since USF is starting a new private campaign to raise capital.
Why does a Congressional spending bill have a line item grant direct to the University of San Francisco? Not to mention why the taxpayers are paying the tab in the first place.
Last year, USF got $1 million through Pelosi to help a new think tank on public service set up by former Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy, Pelosi's longtime adviser and campaign treasurer.
I'm sure there was a crying need for another think tank. But this is the semi-legitimate stuff. How about:
Pelosi also got $591,000 for the proposed International Museum of Women at Pier 26. Backers of the $120 million project are trying to raise funds and hope the museum can open in 2008.

The Filipino Cultural Center that is planned for the new Bloomingdale's project at Fifth and Market streets got $388,000, and the effort to convert the Old Mint at Fifth and Mission streets into a city history museum received $300,000.
So what did Nancy say as she made off with the loot?
The long list of projects she brought home to San Francisco didn't stop Pelosi from criticizing the bill, mainly because the Republican majority didn't manage to bring up individual spending bills and debate them after members could analyze them.
What a crock. She just wants to debate 9 bills instead of 1, not the thousands of separate pork dishes. How about an debate on each of these line items? Aside from the pleasing sound of Nancy's whine when the debate got to the "proposed" International Museum of Women, the whole deal would take 8 months and keep the usual suspects out of circulation.
"This omnibus spending bill is unwieldy and not reflective of the aspirations and needs of the American people. Sadly, for the fourth time in the last five years, a massive omnibus bill is also the only option left on the table to fund the government for the next year,'' she said. "As such, it will have my reluctant support.''
I'm sure she was really sobbing her heart out.
Other Bay Area House members also got money for their districts, although nothing like Pelosi's long list.
Gosh, too bad!

Until direct grants to nongovernmental institutions are prohibited in spending bills, the gluttony will continue. Of course, then they'll find another way to raid the public purse.

Buh Bye, Captain Dan!

Now that he is retiring, Dan is planning to hit the comedy club circuit:
"I have always been and remain a 'hard news' investigative reporter at heart," he said. "I now look forward to pouring my heart into that kind of reporting full time."
While Dan's departure is nice, the problem is that it's not nearly good enough.

Today's Hoot!

Leslie Morris at ChronWatch provides Canada Busy Sending Back Bush-Dodgers:
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.

The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly.

Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.

''I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,'' said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.

''He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?''
In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers.

''If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age,'' an official said.

Biscuits and Gravy - Nov. 23, 2004

I'm sure glad they didn't make 'em wear panties on their heads!
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The United Nations is investigating about 150 allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. civilian staff and soldiers in the Congo, some of them recorded on videotape, a senior U.N. official said on Monday.

The accusations include pedophilia, rape and prostitution, said Jane Holl Lute, an assistant secretary-general in the peacekeeping department.
The heartbreak of terminal flatulence
PRESIDENT Bush proved in his first term that he had a talent for provoking fits of madness in the brains of liberals who disagree with him. It appears his second four years will be no different. For a week now, you see, authoritative Washington pundit-types have been making a very serious and deeply reasoned argument about the president's new Cabinet choices for which there is only one possible word:

They claim, in all seriousness, that Bush is exceeding his political, executive and electoral authority by nominating experienced administration officials to serve in his Cabinet. These choices are bad, they say, because — get this — the president is daring to appoint people who are a) loyal to him (horrors!) and b) don't disagree with him enough (meanie).
"It's pork for Thanksgiving in Congress" A couple of the choice dishes:
$25,000: Curriculum development for the study of mariachi music, Clark County School Distinct, Nev., Labor-HHS.
$250,000: Sidewalks, street furniture, and facade improvements. Boca Raton, Fla., VA/HUD
RWN's Top 25 Favorite Ann Coulter Quotes
16) "(Sheryl) Crow explained that the 'best way to solve problems is to not have enemies.' War solves that problem too: We won't have any enemies because we're going to kill them. Crow warned of 'huge karmic retributions that will follow.' She seemed not to understand that America going to war is huge karmic retribution. They killed three thousand Americans and now they're going to die."
12) "Democrats always assure us that deterrence will work, but when the time comes to deter, they're against it."
Break out the teenage prostitutes, it's Sweeps Month!
Miami's ABC affiliate (WPLG) in an undercover operation coincidentally timed with ratings sweeps finds the shocking truth about porn - it's all acting!
That'll get 'em a liberal education
According to reports, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in New Delhi is pushing - somewhat tentatively - India's Human Resource Development Ministry and Minorities Commission to set up new madrassas (seminaries) in India. The same reports claim the Saudi royal family has cleared plans to construct 4,500 madrassas in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka at a cost of US$35 million, to promote "modern and liberal education with Islamic values".

The House of Saud sees the setting up of madrassas as an exercise to correct the distorted worldwide image of Islam.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Artiste alert!

Christo to Wrap Central Park in Fabric:
NEW YORK - For two weeks in February, walkways in Central Park will be festooned with 23 miles of saffron-colored fabric gates by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in a public art project they have sought to do for 23 years.
I'm so excited!
The artists had unsuccessfully been trying for years to win city approval for the piece, titled "The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979 to 2005," until Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is a patron of the arts, agreed to it.
Ole Mike is quite a few things.
Beginning next month, 7,500 16-foot metal frames designed to hold the fabric will be erected throughout the park at 15-foot intervals. The fabric will be installed on Feb. 12, 2005, the artists said, and will remain until Feb. 27.
The artistes' own rendering makes it look like a succession of clotheslines with a yellow sheet on each.
"All our work is about freedom," the artists said Monday in a statement, addressing the impermanence of their work. "Nobody can buy our projects, nobody can sell tickets to experience our projects.

"Freedom is the enemy of possession and possession is equal to permanence. That is why our projects cannot remain and must go away forever. Our projects are 'once-in-a-lifetime' and 'once upon a time.'"
Kind of like my Monster Thickburger wrapper?

But I will give 'em credit for one thing:
The artists, who have previously wrapped the German Reichstag and the Pont Neuf in Paris in fabric and surrounded part of Australia's coast in sand-colored cloth, will pay for the costs related to the project and donate $3 million to the city.
Dang! Maybe they'd like to wrap my barn! Or even the dog house. And why can't we work out a deal like that with some of the usual culture vultures that the taxpayers end up funding?

It was only a matter of time

What's a leftoid whine without naked protesters?

(Hat tip: FR)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Fifth Column, er Fourth Estate

Jack Kelly - Victory in Fallujah:
"That kill ratio would be phenomenal in any [kind of] battle, but in an urban environment, it's revolutionary," said retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, perhaps America's most respected writer on military strategy. "The rule has been that [in urban combat] the attacking force would suffer between a quarter and a third of its strength in casualties."

The victory in Fallujah was also remarkable for its speed, Peters said. Speed was necessary, he said, "because you are fighting not just the terrorists, but a hostile global media."

Fallujah ranks up there with Iwo Jima, Inchon and Hue as one of the greatest triumphs of American arms, though you'd have a hard time discerning that from what you read in the newspapers.

The swift capture of Fallujah is taxing the imagination of Arab journalists and -- sadly -- our own. How does one portray a remarkable American victory as if it were of little consequence, or even a defeat?
They'll find a way.

Today's Biscuits and Gravy

Bernie Slattery doesn't hold back in Despicable Cretin (Australian variety):

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has shown she is worthless scum who takes the side of fascist murdering barbarians over the leader of this country. Using the soon to be removed leftist majority in the Senate, ugly stick victim Nettle moved a motion of condolence for the father of modern terrorism, blood-thirsty thief, Yasser Arafat. Bad enough, but appeaser Nettle stooped to a new low by paying out on John Howard's criticism that Arafat failed to grasp peace when he had the opportunity. A fact that no one disputes, except perhaps brain-dead piles of putrescence like Nettle.
Pretty scary, eh kids?
For Democrats, this new phenomenon on Election Day felt like some kind of horror movie, with conservative voters rising up out of the hills and condo communities in numbers the Kerry forces never knew existed.
Bill Could Criminalize Fast-Forwarding DVD Ads, Trailers. I guess they'll really be pissed if you hit it with a couple loads of double ought buckshot.

Tragic Wrinkle: (today's Ewwwww! Award)

Dr. Daniel Serrano made heaps of cash pandering to the vanity of Beverly Hills ladies like Larry King's wife Shawn, Lionel Richie's wife Diane, TV chef Carrie Wiatt, and stylist to the stars Vivian Turner.

His alleged tool of choice was Artecoll, a permanent wrinkle filler that's all the rage from Paris to Beijing.
Kind of like facial spackle I guess. Or maybe caulk.

But "Dr. Dan" is no man of medicine — at least not on this side of the equator, authorities say.

What was worse, Artecoll is illegal in the United States.

Now the alleged fake doc is in an L.A. federal jail on charges of importing and distributing an unapproved medical device.
So Turner, assuming the doctor was on the up-and-up, brought Serrano to Larry King's house, where he worked on the CNN star's wife Shawn.

After being injected by Serrano on six separate occasions — in her lips, cheeks, temples, ears and other areas — Shawn King developed an "aesthetically displeasing bump" on her lower lip, she told investigators.

Now she has trouble speaking and drinking from cups and glasses. King says she's seen two doctors in hopes of fixing her disfigurement.

Such problems arise when Artecoll is improperly injected, experts say.

"It's made of little plastic beads that belong in Beanie Babies, not people," said Dr. Ava Shamban, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA and resident skin expert on ABC's "Extreme Makeover."

"The body looks at it as a foreign substance and sometimes tries to spit it out. That can lead to the formation of hard lumps — called granulomas — which can grow to the size of a golf ball," Shamban told The Post.
Should have used real spackle.

Or maybe you can get a haircut that will cover it up:
The entire process lasted about 80 minutes. And each minute cost about $10: Mr. Pita charges $800 for a haircut.
"And anyone who pays that much money to go to the meatpacking district to have their hair done is a meathead," he added. (Mr. Battelle charges $155, and does not accept tips.)
A burning issue:
It's a burning issue for some hot-pepper lovers: Whatever possessed Kevin M. Crosby to create the mild habanero?

For Dr. Crosby, a plant geneticist at the Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station here near the Mexican border, the answer is simple: "I'm not going to take away the regular habanero. You can still grow and eat that, if you want to kill yourself."