Saturday, October 15, 2005

An affair to remember

Schroeder has farewell dinner with Chirac:
A stoic atmosphere prevailed Friday at outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's farewell dinner with French President Jacques Chirac, one of his closest allies on issues ranging from Europe's future to the Iraq war.

"Let's not be too sentimental or else we'll have to get out our handkerchiefs," Schroeder said before dinner at the Elysee Palace.
Every six weeks, Chirac and Schroeder have got together for informal dinners, harmonizing their policies. They hugged warmly as Schroeder got out of the car Friday.

Through Chirac, "I have learned to know and love the French," Schroeder told reporters.
Sniff, I may start blubbering!

Sometimes you just need to take the hint

A man getting a "Last Rites" tattoo etched into his arm in a Brooklyn shop yesterday felt dizzy, fainted and fell head-first into a glass display case - slitting his throat and killing him, police said.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Up the Creek: Out to Embarrass Bush Over Alleged Video Stunt, Today Gets Caught in Stunt of Its Own:
Today's timing couldn't have been worse. A preceding segment focused on the incessant rains and ensuing flooding in the northeast. For days now, beautiful, blonde - and one senses highly ambitious - young reporter Michelle Kosinski has been on the scene for Today in New Jersey, working the story. In an apparent effort to draw attention to herself, in yesterday's segment she turned up in hip waders, standing thigh-deep in the flood waters.

Taking her act one step further, this morning she appeared on a suburban street . . . paddling a canoe. There was one small problem. Just as the segment came on the air, two men waded in front of Kosinki . . . and the water barely covered their shoe tops! That's right, Kosinski's canoe was in no more than four to six inches of water!
Nice snap and the video by following the link.

Friday Funnies

Brothers Judd:
Why not just stop pussy-footing around and give the thing to Saddam? He's an author too.
IowaHawk has another missive from Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, Senior VP, Al-Qaeda In Iraq, who has been on a corporate team building retreat:
Anyway, after tea break we shuffled back to the conference room for Session 3 (“Caliphate? Let’s Motivate!”) and I swear, that shit was so bad it made me wish I was back in the morning session. First up was this middle aged infidel chick Cindy, who droned about how she came to support the jihad after we killed her crusader kid. I mean, this is supposed to be inspirational? We finally get one kaffir mom on our side, and she turns out to be a lunatic hippie egomaniac who won't shut up, and with a voice like nails on a chalkboard. Jeesh.

I guess the high point of the day is when the PR department showed some of our network media coverage from Satanland. That was hella cool, but then they had to follow it with fan mail from the some of the infidel websites, which was a complete buzz kill. Come on, man. Hitler had his Mussolini. The ‘Cong had their Khmer Rouge. Us? We get Michael Moore and a clown car of dipshits from Kos and DU.

Nobody really said anything, but at this point I think everybody was kind of depressed. If anything, the mood got even worse at the “Reward and Recognition Dinner” that night. Due to budget cuts, they didn’t even have gift cards this year – just some cheesy ‘I (Heart) Jihad’ coffee cups and Successories posters. The after-dinner speaker? Good ol’ blowhard George Galloway, like always. I’d been through that movie before, so I sneaked out and went back to my hotel room. I thought about ordering some porn on SpectraVision, but that stuff ends up on your credit card and I'm already in the doghouse with Fatima and the other wives as it is.
Usama bin Laden, the wealthy Islamic theologian, today dispatched hundreds of trained social workers to earthquake-stricken regions in Pakistan and Kashmir, and promised to match U.S. aid contributions "dollar for dollar."
Loads of al Qaeda 'relief munitions' are already in transit, Mr. bin Laden said, and soon thousands of quake victims will each receive a copy of the Koran and "a medical vest that relieves pain almost immediately."

Now there are two

Envoys admit taking oil payoffs:
TWO former French ambassadors have admitted earning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of oil that Iraq had assigned to them under the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme.

The disclosure tarnished France’s moral stand against the invasion of Iraq, and its Foreign Ministry scrambled to distance itself from the alleged illicit activities of Serge Boidevaix, a former director of the ministry, and of Jean-Bernard Mérimée, a former French Ambassador to the UN. Both are facing corruption charges.

Jean-Baptiste Mattei, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said: “There is no link . . . with the decision of France not to participate in the Iraq war. This stemmed from our concept of international law.”
Gosh! I thought it was just the usual asshattery!
Prosecution proceedings have been opened against both men on charges of influence peddling and corruptly acting for a foreign power. Le Monde reported that M Mérimée, 68, who served as UN Ambassador in the early 1990s, told Philippe Courroye, the investigating judge, that he had made $150,000 (£85,800) from two million barrels of oil that had been assigned to him in 2001.

Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, had given him the oil vouchers as thanks for his lobbying efforts on behalf of Iraq, Le Monde said. He was serving at the time as a special adviser to Kofi Annan, the UN SecretaryGeneral. M Boidevaix, 77, told investigators that he had received 29 million barrels between 1998 and 2003 in reward for lobbying on Iraq’s behalf against the international oil embargo, Le Monde said. According to the investigators, M Boidevaix had made $250,000 from selling on the vouchers.

He told Judge Courroye that he had kept the Foreign Ministry informed of his activities and the payments made to him after 1997. This appeared to conflict with the ministry’s assertion that it had no knowledge of the activities of the two ambassadors. The ministry also appeared to contradict itself, saying that in 2001 it had warned both men to observe caution in view of their status as former representatives of France. Last year, when US investigators reported evidence of French beneficiaries of the Iraqi oil handout, the ministry reacted indignantly.
I see London, I see France! I see ... well you get the idea.
Judge Courroye is investigating 11 French-based officials, business figures, politicians and a journalist who are alleged to have benefited from Baghdad’s largesse during the seven-year programme, which ended in 2003. Six have been told that they face charges. M Boidevaix told the judge that he believed that Senator Charles Pasqua, a former Gaullist Interior Minister, and others had enjoyed favours from Baghdad “because they lobbied hard for it with the Iraqis”.

The French media deplored the apparent involvement of senior state officials in corrupt dealings with the regime of Saddam Hussein. Le Monde said the image of France was at stake. Le Figaro said that “French diplomacy has been stained by ‘Oil for Food’.”
And here I thought it merely burnished the well deserved reputation of French diplomacy! But I have to say that Judge Courroye certainly gets results. Too bad he can't investigate that pondscum, Georgie Galloway.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Spending too much time in the lab alert!

Musical breast implants:
Computer chips that store music could soon be built into a woman's breast implants.

One boob could hold an MP3 player and the other the person's whole music collection.
BT Laboratories' analyst Ian Pearson said flexible plastic electronics would sit inside the breast. A signal would be relayed to headphones, while the device would be controlled by Bluetooth using a panel on the wrist.
Thankfully, there was no word on what the equivalent would be for men.
According to The Sun he said: "It is now very hard for me to thing of breast implants as just decorative. If a woman has something implanted permanently, it might as well do something useful."
Ian needs to get out a little! The Sun doesn't have the full article online, but they do have a picture. Looks like a lot of gigabytes to me!

Gosh, I wonder how that happened?

Many new Arizona moms English-deficient:
One in seven children born in Arizona is to a mother who speaks little or no English, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Statistics being released today also show that one-fifth of new births are to women who are not U.S. citizens.

Both figures are far above the national average of one in 12 mothers who speak little or no English and one in seven noncitizens.
And the term "illegal alien" never rears its non-PC head.

Guess who invented blogging!

Yep, it was the Russkies:
Ask a Russian where television, fashion shows, hip-hop or hieroglyphs were invented and you will no doubt hear — in Russia. Believing in the Russian genius is an essential feature of the Russian mentality. That is why no Russian was surprised when we found out with the help of the Internet in general, and blogging in particular, was, if not invented, at least predicted by a Russian back in 1837.

Prince Vladimir Odoevsky, 1803-1869, was a gifted man. Apart from writing philosophical books, stories for children and composing pieces of music, he also wrote science fiction, trying to imagine what his country would look like in 2,500 years, in 4338.
Odoevsky suggested in future there would be a kind of connection between houses that would allow people to communicate quickly and easily, the way they do now via the Internet.

“Houses are connected by means of magnetic telegraphs that allow people who live far from each other to communicate,” Odoevsky wrote.

Even more interestingly, Odoevsky suggested every household would publish a kind of daily journal or newsletter and distribute it among selected acquaintances, a habit which Russian bloggers immediately recognized as blogging.
“The thing is that many households here publish such journals that replace common correspondence. Such journals usually provide information about the hosts’ good or bad health, family news, different thoughts and comments, small inventions, invitations to receptions.”

However, Odoevsky, a prince and a wealthy man, could not imagine people taking so much bother to keep their acquaintances updated on their daily affairs. He suggested the job would be carried out by the butler.
I forgive 'em - they also invented vodka. Now where'd that darn Jeeves get to?

(Hat tip: iBLOGthere4iM)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A farce in innumerable acts

Third World Wide Web
(Hat tip: Sacred Cow Burgers)

Last week's Internet Wankfest is over and the folks at the Guardian have apparently rethought their belief that "there is little the US government can do but acquiesce" to United Nations control of the Internet. Now they're getting ready for the big expense account swindle in Tunisia in November by leading the preparatory handwringing brigade - EU says internet could fall apart:
A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding to maintain a key role in the network it helped create and other countries demanding more control.

The European commission is warning that if a deal cannot be reached at a meeting in Tunisia next month the internet will split apart.
Just before the meeting in Tunis, there will be a three-day gathering of bureaucrats to try to thrash out a deal on internet governance. Getting the parties - especially the US - to agree to anything looks like a near impossible task but Mrs Reding believes it is crucial to find common ground or see the global communication network disintegrate.
Do tell!
Viviane Reding, European IT commissioner, says that if a multilateral approach cannot be agreed, countries such as China, Russia, Brazil and some Arab states could start operating their own versions of the internet and the ubiquity that has made it such a success will disappear.
Stop, you're breaking my heart! Hmm, a couple of SpamNets, a HackerNet, and MoNet get split off the real Internet. What's not to like?

There's some further bleating about an "EU Compromise," but I'll spare you the blather in favor of a snip from Wind Rider at Silent Running after the previous Guardian foolishness:
There is no way in hell that we’re going to turn them over to the likes of The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Robert Mugabe, The Mullahs in Tehran, Kim Jong”Poofy-hair” Il, Fidel, Hugo, nor the rest of the “assorted meat packing glitterati”. And if they think that we will just because they hold a circle jerk, then nod at themselves approvingly, they can, to put it politely without too fine an edge, go pound sand. Neither will any amount of nuanced Europiffle about ‘compromise’ or ‘accommodation’ somehow change this fact. They can stomp their feet and be as disdainful as a French waiter with ‘roids after getting no tip, to no avail.

Kofi can wring his hands and look dismayed till Kojo has grandkids. The EU can discuss it at the Hague until Haley’s comet comes back. ‘Important’ MSM hardcopy and broadcast media can tut-tut with as much seriousness as Dan Rather standing by a fax machine. In fact, they can suck snot out of a dead dog’s nose till they taste earwax, for good measure.

Any US politician or functionary that slips in the tub, cracks their head, and suddenly thinks this is an item worthy of serious discussion other than “NO” should be tarred, feathered, given a swift kick in the ass, and sent off packing to East Jimbuki for an extended rest, recuperation, and witness protection hiatus.
'nuff said.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Gosh! More pesky angst!

Its already a Great Society!
It's already a Great Society!

(Via Brothers Judd) A plaintive whine from the Times - Liberal Hopes Ebb in Post-Storm Poverty Debate:
As Hurricane Katrina put the issue of poverty onto the national agenda, many liberal advocates wondered whether the floods offered a glimmer of opportunity. The issues they most cared about - health care, housing, jobs, race - were suddenly staples of the news, with President Bush pledged to "bold action."

But what looked like a chance to talk up new programs is fast becoming a scramble to save the old ones.

Conservatives have already used the storm for causes of their own, like suspending requirements that federal contractors have affirmative action plans and pay locally prevailing wages. And with federal costs for rebuilding the Gulf Coast estimated at up to $200 billion, Congressional Republican leaders are pushing for spending cuts, with programs like Medicaid and food stamps especially vulnerable.

"We've had a stunning reversal in just a few weeks," said Robert Greenstein, director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal advocacy group in Washington. "We've gone from a situation in which we might have a long-overdue debate on deep poverty to the possibility, perhaps even the likelihood, that low-income people will be asked to bear the costs. I would find it unimaginable if it wasn't actually happening."
I guess these folks weren't paying attention to the real images that people were seeing on their TV screens. By the way, the translation of "low-income people will be asked to bear the costs" is "professional poverty pimps won't get all the dough they demand."
But many conservatives see logic, not irony, at work. If the storm exposed great poverty, they say, it also exposed the problems of the very policies that liberals have supported.

"This is not the time to expand the programs that were failing anyway," said Stuart M. Butler, a vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and advocacy group influential on Capitol Hill.

While the right has proposed alternatives including tax-free zones for businesses and school vouchers for students, Mr. Butler said, "the left has just talked up the old paradigm: 'let's expand what's failed before.' "
Those darn taxpayers never seem to dig deep enough to satisfy 'em, I guess.

Monday, October 10, 2005

In the UK, it's Blackadder versus Nanny

Blackadder's revenge hits the hate bill:
THEY are calling it the revenge of Rowan Atkinson, the comedian famous for his role as the scheming Blackadder.

This week members of the House of Lords are set to clash with the government over its proposed Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, vociferously opposed by Atkinson and many others as a threat to freedom of speech.

“We are hoping the peers will give the bill even more of a trashing than Blackadder gives Baldrick,” said one campaigner. Government sources fear that Labour peers will join an alliance of Tories, Liberal Democrats and cross-benchers.

The bill, which extends current laws against incitement to racial hatred to protect people of all faiths, has already been defeated in parliament three times. Opponents say it could potentially be used to prosecute anyone criticising or mocking a religion.
Atkinson has said: “A law which attempts to say that you can ridicule ideas, as long as they are not religious ideas, is a very peculiar law indeed.”
The implications for comedians are serious. Lord Garel-Jones, the Tory peer, pointed to Monty Python’s satire on Jesus, The Life of Brian.

Under the proposed law, if someone accused the makers of inciting religious hatred, they might face prosecution.

“I want us to be able to make things like that,” said Garel-Jones. “I want not to lose the ability to make a similar film about Mohammed. That’s where my line lies.”
"The Life of Moe!" I can hardly wait.

Today's Hoot!

(Via Ace) UNICEF Smurfs The Smurfs To Smurfdom:
Huge thanks to the Digital Brownshirt for sending me the oddest story of the weekend by far:
The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.

The short but chilling film is the work of Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, and is to be broadcast on national television next week as a campaign advertisement.
Chilling? Are they kidding? I've been waiting my entire life for someone to get the nerve up to wax the Smurfs.
I'm glad to see that UNICEF continues spending their loot on important stuff when they take time out from supplying 3rd world thugs:
Greg Kelly: Supplies from UNICEF found at Uday's house

OMG.......he took the Halloween money??????
Trick or treat!