Saturday, August 03, 2002

Aren't They Pesky Little Rascals!
New California Media files a report from Outer Space:
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the "dean" of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), said the Black legislators "are all opposed to any proposed invasion of Iraq" that is being pursued by the Bush administration.

He also said the group would welcome a briefing by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on findings from his recently completed Peace Mission to the Middle East and Africa, including a visit to Iraq.

"We don't have a policy to articulate to you," Rep. Conyers said July 20, referring to lack of a united statement by the CBC on Iraq, "but we oppose any extension of war on terror" that operates outside the parameters of the U.S. Constitution, Rep. Conyers said, adding that only Congress can declare war against a nation.

Rep. Conyers made the statement to reporters during a press conference at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters at the start of the organization's 5-day annual convention, which will include a speech by former President Bill Clinton. Reps. Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson Jr., both Chicago Democrats, flanked Rep. Conyers.

"Minister Louis Farrakhan should be in before the Congressional Black Caucus to give a briefing on his trip to share information from an Iraqi perspective of what's taking place in the Middle East," Rep. Jackson told The Final Call.

"He should be seeking a meeting with (Rep.) Dennis Hassert (D-Ill.) and (Rep. Dick) Gephart (D-Mo.) for they are policymakers in Congress. [Min. Farrakhan] can be very helpful to our government at this time," Rep. Jackson said.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) put her position more bluntly.

"The U.S. has a schizophrenic policy toward Iraq," she said, adding that the U.S. international policy is "completely destructive."

"We have to work with the world community to build bridges, not walls," she said. "We should be looking for different ways to show a better face."


For the past 11 years, the tiny Muslim nation has been under strict no-fly zones along its northern and southern borders. With the UN embargo and sanctions still in place, the country cannot purchase or build conventional arms to secure its own sovereign airspace.
The last bon mot was thrown in by James Muhammad, the author of this screed. But back to the main players: John Conyer is a truly diverse fellow - his official website is available in Arabic as well as English and Spanish. By the way, if the Democrats win the House, he will be the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Marcy is just a knee jerk white liberal and would lead the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Jesse Jr. apparently has other fish to fry - he does not even have an official House of Representatives web site, but does have . I was astonished that a Jackson would pass up a government freebie, until I noticed that having his own site outside allows him to run commercial ads including the Jesse Jackson Jr. Book Club (via an Amazon affiliation). Check it out!

I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.
This Sucks!
The Sacremento Bee titillates with "Berkeley event to try for mass breast-feeding record"
Breast-feeding advocate Ellen Sirbu wants to create a lactation sensation.

Sirbu and other city officials have invited hundreds of mothers and their babies to Berkeley on Saturday to try for a world record in simultaneous suckling.
One of the more benign Berkeley events.
A Novel Approach
The National Post has the skinny on how they handle illegal immigrants in Malaysia:
Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants descended on Malaysia's ports yesterday, looking for a ship back home to Indonesia and the Philippines to avoid tough new immigration laws.

Under harsh legislation that took effect yesterday, foreigners caught working without a permit in Malaysia could face fines of US$2,600, mandatory jail terms of five years and six lashes of a rattan cane.

Anyone who employs or houses an illegal migrant is subject to the same penalties.


Immigration laws introduced in March gave illegal immigrants an amnesty, which lasted until yesterday, to give them time to leave the country without fear of being arrested.


There are about 750,000 legal migrant workers, but anywhere between 600,000 and two million illegal immigrants as well.

Two-thirds of the illegal foreign workers are thought to be Indonesian. Most of the rest come from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

They frequently live outside the law in a constant game of hide and seek with the police after overstaying their work permits or entering Malaysia without them.

In the five years since Asia's economic meltdown in 1997, the demand for foreign workers has slowed, while unemployment in Malaysia has soared to its highest level in 10 years, about 3.7%.

With its small population and relatively prosperous economy, Malaysia has long been a magnet for people from its poorer neighbours.
Sounds familiar right? (Except that the illegal immigrants are actually leaving.) Well, hang on for the whining:
But some Malaysians are unhappy with the immigration crackdown. Many employers say they rely on the illegal immigrants to fill menial and low-paying jobs Malaysians refuse to do. Now, they say, the country's export-driven economy will suffer.

Indonesians have been the backbone of Malaysia's construction industry, accounting for up to 70% of the unskilled workers on job sites. Tens of thousands of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis also work as low-cost labour on rubber and tea plantations.

Large numbers of Filipinos have been attracted to Sabah, the Malaysian sector of the island of Borneo, which lies close to the southern Philippines, to work as domestic help.

The sudden expulsion of so many workers could destabilize Malaysia's neighbours, placing a strain on local governments and families that have relied on the money they sent home.
It's deja vu all over again.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Can I Get A Witness?
The Houston Chronicle reveals a tawdry tale:
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tony Sanchez today fired a staff member who issued a casting call looking for black actors for background and white actors to criticize Republican Gov. Rick Perry in a commercial.

John Robert Wright, who posted an ad through the STAGE Web site for Dallas/Fort Worth-area actors, was fired from the campaign shortly after reporters started asking questions about it.

"What we had was an overzealous employee who has been dismissed from the campaign," said Sanchez spokesman Mark Sanders.

The casting call said the campaign needed "a couple of African Americans to help with a shot with Tony." They would be "background/customers" while Sanchez read a script in a TV commercial to be filmed in a body shop.

It also sought 10-15 people "who are willing to do testimonials on camera. I need a mix of people, with emphasis on Caucasian. They need to be willing to say something like `I am sick of Perry's negative attacks. Why won't he talk about issues that effect people like me?'"

It also said the campaign was looking for a "middle class neighborhood with a sidewalk for Tony to walk in and a friendly house for him to stage in."
That's what I like - authenticity!
Dissent Stifled Again!
Bill Moyers, left wing poster boy, has been busted for drunk driving:
ARLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Journalist Bill Moyers was charged with drunken driving after he left a friend's birthday party, but has denied the accusation and vows to fight it.

"I intend to contest the charges," Moyers said in a statement faxed Thursday to the Bennington Banner, which first reported the arrest.

"Not only was I observing the speed limit, but my companions - my wife and two friends - testified they had detected no signs of any problem with my driving, and that I appeared to be in full control of my faculties, as indeed I was."
Yeah, but...
Moyers said he had just left a friend's birthday party about 10 p.m., and admitted to the arresting officer he had drunk a glass of champagne and "a small amount of wine."

According to Trooper Travis Kline, Moyers, who said he was staying at a hotel in Manchester, was stopped after he swerved repeatedly across the centerline of the road and had trouble negotiating a curve.

A roadside breath test showed Moyers' blood-alcohol level at .10. The legal limit is .08. A follow-up test 90 minutes later showed Moyers' blood-alcohol level had dropped to .079, which is within the legal limit.
That's all she wrote, Bill. If I were one of your smarmy pals, I could always call you a white-knuckle drunk. But instead I'll offer advice. Why don't you just tuck it up and pay the fine like any normal citizen? I know, that's for the little people.

Standby for another "chilling effect" brought to you by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
Racism Alert!
Shocking news from Bakersfield, CA:
Two Bakersfield City council members, at odds for almost a month over a doll, are now on better terms.

At Wednesday night's meeting, Vice Mayor Mark Salvaggio apologized to councilwoman Irma Carson.

Last month, Salvaggio displayed a singing James Brown doll during a meeting. Carson complained it was culturally insensitive.

Salvaggio claims he was just having fun, saying if he had a Buck Owens doll, he would have used that.
Since when is a singing statue of the Godfather of Soul culturally insensitive? On the other hand, who brings a singing doll to a City Council meeting? Billy Bass maybe, but never a singing doll.
And that's the least of it
The LA Times (via Drudge) is running with "White House says Sept. 11 skyjacker had met Iraqi agent", apparently based on an interview with "a senior Bush administration official ". I'm glad someone finally noticed.
Terrorist Gossip
Alan Cullison and Andrew Higgins dish the dirt on the uneasy relationship between Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar:
A relationship that appeared smooth and even symbiotic to the outside world was rent by disillusionment, anger and petty one-upmanship. A country the U.S. considered a terrorists' paradise was, in the view of many of the terrorists who arrived there from other lands, more like a hell: They couldn't trust the locals, the food was bad, they considered the Taliban leader a bumpkin, and their work was stymied by the near-medieval backwardness of the place.


The Taliban, in turn, grumbled that Mr. bin Laden was arrogant, publicity-seeking and disrespectful. The rift ran so deep that some of his entourage of Arab revolutionaries expected to get booted out of Afghanistan, as they had been earlier from Sudan. Indeed, by the summer of 1998, according to a former Saudi intelligence chief, Mullah Omar had agreed to send Mr. bin Laden packing.

But then came the 1998 lethal bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, to which the U.S. replied by raining down cruise missiles on a bin Laden camp in Afghanistan. The retaliation had fateful consequences. It turned Mr. bin Laden into a cult figure among Islamic radicals, made Afghanistan a rallying point for defiance of America and shut off Taliban discussion of expelling the militants. It also helped convince Mr. bin Laden that goading America to anger could help his cause, not hurt it.
It's a nice tale, constructed from interviews (some dubious) and letters found on captured PC's, but all political/military "tell all" pieces overemphasize discord. Despite the family squabbles, they still managed to be very lethal thugs.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Pond Scum Alert
John Bradley, failed Henry James scholar and now Islamist brown nose, stamps his dainty feet in Arab News:
Arab News has received e-mails from many American readers who were so disgusted when they visited after reading the article about Taranto that, as a result, they have promised to cancel their subscription to the print edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Many others have promised to register their complaints and outrage about Taranto with the newspaper's main editor in chief.

Arab News is today alerting the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Muslim Alliance and the National Association of Muslim Journalists to the anti-Arab drive behind Taranto's website.


To what depths will this vile Arab-hater have to sink before the decent-minded readers of The Wall Street Journal finally wake up and, by resurrecting the voice of American reason and decency, insist that this newspaper get rid of the unethical Taranto once and for all?
My, my ... this boy sure does fuss a lot. Not to mention writing like he has a pipe up his ventral orifice. Whatever happened to the scintillating sentences like:
Just as in his life James resisted being labelled categorically 'a homosexual' in a way that would have neatly (and falsely) summed him up, nothing now could be more objectionable that an approach to James that had as its goal the crude summing up: 'It's all about his being queer!' However, it is important that gay and lesbian themes and characters are focused on in isolation because hitherto overlooked or deliberately ignored aspects of the fiction can then be brought clearly to the fore. In the essays that follow, homosexuality in the novels and stories is explored as a crucial aspect of fictional worlds in which both heterosexuality and homosexuality find (or fail to find) their proper place, which is to say alongside the many other to which they are intimately related, James will be seen, not to have been more narrowly focused and therefore easily understood - as certain hostile Jameseans would appear to fear is the inevitable outcome of a gay approach to James's fiction - but as an even more extraordinarily expansive, subtle and curious author than has previously been recognised.
Come to think of it - what does he say to his pals at Arab News when they ask him about his prior work?

UPDATE: Hop on over to Little Green Footballs where they are having a nut roast.
Kill Them All
John Derbyshire (link via LGF):
These savages are laughing at us. We should put the fear of Almighty God into them. Then, we should kill them all, along with everyone known to have shaken hands with them or given them a light for a cigarette. If we don't have the guts to do this--to avenge our own slaughtered citizens--let's engage proxies to do it for us. Yes, I am mad. Are we ever going to deal with these scum, these murderers of Americans? Do we actually have any plan to do so?
Because that's what they do. That's all they do. And they'll keep doing it until they're dead.

And laughing boy is at the top of the list.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Is that a cobra in your pocket?
(via FreeRepublic) RTE News astounds with:
A passenger caused panic at an airport in Saudi Arabia after hundreds of live poisonous snakes escaped from his luggage.

It is reported that the cobras escaped from the man's suitcases after customs officers insisted the luggage was opened for a search.

Eyewitnesses estimate that around 300 snakes escaped before being killed by the authorities.
I wonder what part the Islamic judges cut off as punishment for smuggling poisonous snakes?
Drone World
The United Nations blessed us on Monday with an introduction to the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
Mr. Vieira de Mello, who was introduced at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told reporters that he would try to build upon the legacy of his two predecessors, Mary Robinson and José Ayala-Lasso, and to foster an integrated approach to human rights.

"I'll do my best ... to transform [the issue] into what governments and non-state actors should see as bonus and not just as an onus on them, and something that is truly consubstantial with our lives and individuals and societies and not something extraneous to our lives, which it is not," he stressed.
Makes no sense, but I like the rhyme.
For his part, the Secretary-General paid tribute to Mrs. Robinson, who will complete her tenure in September, and said that she had done much for the UN and the cause of human rights. "Hers is going to be a tough act to follow, but I'm sure Sergio will not let us down," Mr. Annan said.
Thanks Kofi. We hope Mary won't let the garage door hit her on the butt on her way out and look forward to wishing much the same to Sergio.


And y'all don't forget the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug. 26 - Sept. 4.
Dog Bites Man
The Miami Herald reveals a startling story:
Rafael Velasquez, a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, voted twice in the 1990s, even though he didn't become a U.S. citizen until last year.

A simple mistake by a new immigrant, Velasquez says.

A felony, says Florida election law.

Velasquez, a Democrat, is challenging the Republican incumbent Gustavo Barreiro in House District 107, which includes parts of Miami Beach and Little Havana.


When initially asked by The Herald if he'd ever voted since his move to the United States in 1993, Velasquez repeatedly said no. But when told about the voting records The Herald had seen in the elections office, Velasquez admitted that he had voted. ''I think I did. . . . I did vote,'' Velasquez said.

He described it as a mistake he made as a new immigrant. His explanation: ``I registered as a resident and they sent me something, so I registered. I think it must have been a misunderstanding.''
Well, at least he wasn't dead.
A Million Pound March!
From the Great White North:
A woman from Guelph, Ont., is organizing a "million pound march" on Parliament Hill to express concern over the affect funding cuts will have on the weight-loss surgery she says saved her life and could save the lives of other obese people.

"When Parliament reconvenes in the fall, we're planning a million pound march on Ottawa. We think that will be a pretty big wake-up call when Ottawa sees a million pounds sitting on their doorstep," said Moira Barber, founder of Weight Loss Surgery Advocacy Ontario.
That's pretty scary, eh kids?

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Clueless Losers
The Times (UK) shocks with "UN drive to turn Arabs away from terror":
The United Nations is launching a campaign in the Arab world that it hopes will dissuade disaffected local populations from embracing terrorism.

The proposal is contained in an internal report produced by a high-level UN working group which is looking at the organisation's role in combating terror in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

"In its public pronouncements, the UN should project a clear and principled message underscoring the unacceptability of terrorism, highlighting the organisation's role in addressing and preventing it and ensuring that the fight against terrorism does not obscure the core work of the UN," the report says. "These messages must be targeted to key audiences, particularly to achieve a greater impact in dissuading would-be supporters of terrorism."
Dumber than a bag of hammers. Or maybe not - notice the sly line about "ensuring that the fight against terrorism does not obscure the core work of the UN".
The Miracle of Modern Public Education
The Tampa Tribune enlightens us with:
The days of just rolling out of bed and rolling into class are coming to an end.

Pajamas, the preferred attire of some sleepy and study-weary students, are no longer allowed in Hillsborough County schools.

"I think as long as you don't look like a hootchy mama, you should be able to wear whatever," said Nevena Novakovic, 17, a junior at Robinson High School in Tampa.
Bubba the Bloviator
From the Toronto Sun (via Best of the Web):
Clinton addressed 350 supporters of the Toronto Hadassah-WIZO children's charity at a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Markham mansion of Allan Fenwick.

Clinton delighted the crowd by playing sax with the band before dinner and telling them that "If the Iraqi army crossed the Jordan River, I would personally grab a rifle and fight, and die."

The 56-year-old former president, popular on the speaking circuit, reportedly earns $125,000 US per appearance.
It's hard to describe how contemptible Bubba is. But at least his act doesn't involve biting the heads off chickens. Yet.
The Enemy Within
Jane Chastain kicks butt and takes names in an article in FrontPage Magazine titled: Radical Environmentalists Cut Army Down To Size
The most important hearing of the year was held on Capitol Hill last week on a critical issue this country faces today. No, you didn't hear about it because there was no press coverage.

The information that was presented was so damaging to the left that a petty squabble occurred over the ground rules. This kept the fate of this hearing in doubt until one minute before the witnesses were to be seated. As a result, the press was never alerted, which may have been the point. It was the Democrats' only avenue to prevent this information from getting out.

The hearing, on July 9, before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works was on military readiness. More specifically, it dealt with the impact our environmental laws are having on the military's ability to prepare our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines for the battlefield. General John Keane, vice chief of staff of the Army, said the problems created by these laws are "formidable."

He used Ft. Bragg, where our Special Forces and paratroopers are trained, as an example of the nonsense that now is bringing the military to its knees. At Ft. Bragg, the Army has been ordered to protect all the trees, in which birds might have or want to build a nest. In effect, every tree - and trees cover the majority of Ft. Bragg's 130,000 acres.

"We have a 250 foot buffer around each tree," Gen. Keane explained. "There can be no bivouacking or occupation for more than two hours at a time, no use of camouflage, no weapons fired other than 7.62 and 50 caliber blank ammunition, no use of generators or riot agents, no use of smoke grenades, no digging - that's tough on an army - and no vehicles closer than 50 feet."
Jesus H. Christ on a crutch!. Were doilies compulsory too? Did we declare a croquet tournament when I wasn't looking?
Keane told those assembled how hard it is to face soldiers dealing with the reality of that impact on them. "They are in places that they wouldn't normally be or at a time they normally would not be there, because you can't make noise in order to protect the [nesting] cavities." We are talking about birds and trees here! The soldiers can't make noise because it might offend the birds. Let's get real!

The problems related by Keane are not unique to the Army. Each one of the vice-chiefs of staff had made himself available for this hearing. Each echoed Keane's concerns and told his own horror stories.
Now who would be stupid enough to support this stuff? Can you say Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Bob Graham, D-Fla., Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Slippery Jim Jeffords?
Then their lackey, chairman Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., simply stalled the hearing on this critical issue until the full Senate passed the Defense authorization bill without these important measures. Jeffords' all-Democrat staff even pulled off those last-minute shenanigans to keep the hearing in doubt until the last minute. When the hearing finally was held, not a single Democrat senator even bothered to show up.


This not only was an affront to the vice chiefs of staff, it was an affront to everyone who wears the uniform of the United States military. It was an affront to the parents of those young solders who will die needlessly in the war on terrorism because they will be sent into battle without the kind of training they will need to survive.

I know why those Democrat senators didn't show. They didn't want to admit that they consider trees, tortoises, snails, seagulls - even microscopic shrimp - more important than the lives of the men we are sending into battle to protect us.
Pond scum is too polite a term.

Bobby Mugabe Update!
Apparently having left his tin foil beanie at home, Bobby waxed lyrical this weekend:
Robert Mugabe has accused Britain of "stealing" doctors and nurses from Zimbabwe after hundreds of medical personnel went on strike for pay rises to make up for triple-digit inflation.

Most government hospitals were paralysed yesterday, with hundreds of state-employed doctors staying away from work and describing their salaries as "pitiful".

At a nurses' conference at the weekend, Mr Mugabe said: "We have created the environment that allows that upliftment of nurses. That's why even Britain comes in the dead of night to steal our people. They are recruiting pharmacists, doctors and nurses."

Dr Howard Mutsando, 26, chairman of the Hospital Doctors' Association, said: "No one is stealing us. We don't want to leave home. We are forced to leave Zimbabwe to earn enough money to live. Many of us try to go to Britain because our studies were based on British standards."

He said the strike had been called because a pay rise promised four months ago had not materialised. "Nothing will happen if we don't take drastic action. We are worried about our patients and want to return to work.

"You have to be really committed to work in a Zimbabwe government hospital because basic materials are missing, like gloves and nasal tubes."
Not being satisfied:
Mr Mugabe, his wife, Grace, and a large retinue of officials left for Malaysia yesterday on what the state press said was an official visit.

The president has returned from previous trips to Kuala Lumpur claiming to have secured trade agreements, particularly for Zimbabwean agricultural exports. None can be fulfilled as Zimbabwean farming has been devastated by land seizures.
Sounds like some power shopping. What a guy!
When Leftists Fall Out
The "Center for Science in the Public Interest" unloads on Ben & Jerry's:
WASHINGTON, July 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Ben & Jerry's misleads
customers by falsely claiming that some of its ice cream and frozen
yogurt products are "All Natural," when they contain artificial
flavors, hydrogenated oils, or other factory-made substances,
according to a complaint filed today by the nonprofit Center for
Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The group wants the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) to take enforcement action against
the company, a unit of the multinational food conglomerate

"Ben & Jerry's enjoys a carefully-cultivated public image as an
eco-friendly, worker-friendly brand -- the kind of company whose
label claims should be truthful," CSPI executive director Michael
F. Jacobson said. "So it's sad that Ben & Jerry's is trying to
pass off products laden with these factory-spun ingredients as
'natural,' when there's little natural about them. These
ingredients are man-made and simply don't occur in nature."
Who cares about artificial ingredients? I want my Mumia Melt!

Monday, July 29, 2002

What's Your Demographic?
I must confess that I don't really get into those ubiquitous Web quizzes like
So here's an alternative - what do marketeers think of where you live? What's Your Demographic?

For the Country Store:
Dominant ACORN: 7E (Small Town Working Families)
This is small-town America. With multigenerational families, this market is less ethnically diverse than the U.S. as a whole. Active in their communities, they are top-ranked for buying preschool toys and reading Country Home magazine. Their lifestyle includes a bit of country living (hunting and fishing), but they also like the conveniences of today, fast food and take-out, and shopping at malls.
Shopping at malls means a trip to the "big city" (unless they mean Wal-Mart), but otherwise fairly accurate, at least for the town where the Post Office is.
Little Tommy Daschle Pulls a Fast One
A tasty item I forgot to mention last week. The Washington Times reports:
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle quietly slipped into a spending bill language exempting his home state of South Dakota from environmental regulations and lawsuits, in order to allow logging in an effort to prevent forest fires.

The move discovered yesterday by fellow lawmakers angered Western legislators whose states were forced to obey those same rules as they battled catastrophic wildfires.

"What's good for the Black Hills should be good for every forest in the United States," said Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho Republican and chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.


The language was tucked inside the defense supplemental spending bill, which passed the House last night by a 397-32 vote. The overall measure, which spends $29 billion, will be taken up by the Senate today.

The provision says that "due to extraordinary circumstances," timber activities will be exempt from the National Forest Management Act and National Environmental Policy Act, is not subject to notice, comment or appeal requirements under the Appeals Reform Act, and is not subject to judicial review by any U.S. court.

More than 20 lawsuits, appeals or reviews are blocking timber projects to remove fuel from the Black Hills ? some bottled up in bureaucracy since 1985, say Republican aides.

"After hearing all the hand-wringing from environmentalists downplaying the impact of appeals and litigation, it's nice to see that the highest-ranking Democrat in the nation agrees that these frivolous challenges have totally crippled forest managers," said Rep. Scott McInnis, Colorado Republican and chairman of the House Resources subcommittee on forests and forest health.

Mr. Daschle said his measure is the "fastest and most effective way to get the forest thinned."

"To be effective, any piece of legislation must be crafted in a way that avoids more time-consuming litigation, and this deal should meet that critical test," Mr. Daschle said.
It must be tough, being so sleazy. I wonder what L'il Tommy sees when he looks in the mirror?
Things Seem Fairly Sick Out
From Houma, Louisiana:
Police are investigating a wild night at a Houma bar where an MTV entertainer exposed himself, audience members lined up to get kicked in the groin and a 19-year-old wound up in the hospital after a man slammed him head-first to the ground.

The club's owner and manager have already been arrested, and at least three more people face criminal charges after authorities viewed a videotape of a July 11 performance at The Abyss.
Let's do stupid stuff and videotape it!
Authorities say Steve-O, an actor from the MTV-sponsored show "Jackass," broke the state's obscenity law when he pulled down his pants in front of the crowd at the Monarch Drive bar.

His genitals were exposed for about five minutes while he used a staple gun to tack his scrotum to his upper thigh.

The stunt was one of several outrageous and sometimes-painful acts that Steve-O performed. Others included setting his hair and the stage on fire, slitting his tongue with broken glass and stapling women's underwear to his bare chest.
Now that sounds like a good time! Maybe next time he could play Russian Roulette with a shotgun.

Bubba and His IRS Thugs
Robert Novak relates the lastest Clinton truffle to see daylight:
The mystery surrounding Internal Revenue Service tax audits against critics of President Bill Clinton during his administration has been cracked. A smoking gun has just been released by the IRS. The unmistakable evidence is that the supposedly nonpolitical tax agency responds to complaints by prominent politicians.

The IRS, perhaps unknowingly, incriminated itself July 8 with a 1,500-page document dump answering to four years of freedom of information requests by the watchdog organization Judicial Watch. The material shows that the IRS audit of Judicial Watch was preceded by written complaints from the White House and prominent Democratic members of Congress. Furthermore, existence of supposedly secret audits was unsealed thanks to a Justice Department tax litigator who is, implausibly, active in local Democratic politics.
I'm just waiting for all the big media editorials about "stifling of dissent".
Hard Times for Ziff-Davis
(via Drudge) Rumors abound that Ziff-Davis will declare bankruptcy by the end of the week.
The company recently closed Yahoo Internet Life, a 1.1 million circulation magazine that lost $30 million in its seven years of existence, according to the trade magazine Mediaweek. Ad pages dropped 50 percent in each of the last two years.

Six of the company's 15 magazines have been shut in the last six months, including Family PC, Expedia Travels, Interactive Week and eShopper The company reduced Smart Business to a newsletter and laid off most of its staff. The company still publishes PC Magazine, which has a circulation of 1.23 million, three controlled circulation magazines in the technology sector, and five game magazines, including the recently introduced Xbox Nation.

Willis Stein & Partners paid $780 million for the company during the bull market in technology in a deal that closed in April 2000. The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are projected to be $6.5 million in 2002, according to security filings, and then are expected to rise to $34.4 million in 2003 if the restructuring goes as planned.

Savings will be gained from the closing of money-losing magazines and the layoff of 700 of the company's 1,150 employees the last year. With its remaining employees, Ziff Davis is trying to diversify out of the technology sector by starting additional computer-game magazines and by tapping into the youth enthusiast markets, like skateboarding magazines, although no specific magazines are in the works.
My belief, wholly without any objective evidence, is that the Web has killed the market for computer technology magazines and probably other genres as well. On the other hand, the Web doesn't beat a real paper and ink magazine for accompaniment on a "porcelain cruise".
You Can't Make This Stuff Up II!
Ananova reports that Pope to be met by 25 mile Mexican wave:
More than 250,000 people will attempt the world's biggest ever Mexican wave when the Pope visits Mexico.

The 25-mile Mexican wave will be performed along the route that Pope John Paul ll will take when he visits Mexico City.

It is hoped to make the Guinness Book of Records which currently lists a three mile Mexican wave by 3,222 people on the South Downs as the biggest.


The Mexican wave was first made popular by fans of Seattle Marines baseball team but got its name when it was picked up by football fans at the 1986 Mexcio World Cup.
Whew! When I first read the headline, I thought things were getting even worse at the border. It's OK though, we have the Seattle Marines on patrol.
You Can't Make This Stuff Up!
From Reuters:

This undated photo shows an advertisement featuring funeral home director Bill Huber who runs the Huber-Moore Funeral Home in Bordentown, New Jersey, and is also a part-time Shrine clown. Huber, who does not wear the costume to funerals, hopes the photo showing him as a Shrine clown, will help show the human side of the funeral business.
I'm really relieved to know that he doesn't wear the clown duds to funerals.
Bobby Mugabe Again
After managing to bring starvation to the "Breadbasket of Africa", Bobby and his thugs are now playing lethal politics with emergency food aid. According to the BBC:
As aid agencies warn of the growing threat of starvation to millions of people in Zimbabwe, the BBC has uncovered evidence of widespread political interference in the distribution of food by President Robert Mugabe's supporters.

Food aid has been blocked in some areas which voted against Mr Mugabe during elections in March.

Opposition supporters have also been prevented from buying commercial stocks of grain.
Looks like Bobby has been studying Papa Joe's technique in the Ukraine.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Don't Go to Church for Investment Advice
The Sunday Times (registration required or try the Oz version) is reporting that
The Church of England is faced with having to cut clergy and sell some of its most valuable treasures after losing almost £1 billion on disastrous stock market investments.

Rowan Williams, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, may have to institute a radical restructuring of the church after he takes office next year.

Almost a quarter of the church's £4.4 billion estate is understood to have been wiped out by the recent stock market crash, with £500m lost in the past six months.

The church has relied extensively on profits from stock market transactions to fund its activities and this income has collapsed. The church also invested heavily in telecoms, technology and pharmaceutical companies that do not tend to pay generous dividends. During 2001, income earned from shares dropped by £7m and sharper falls are expected this year alongside the deep fall in capital values.


The losses are particularly embarrassing for the Church Commissioners, who manage the church's assets, as they decided to move most of its investments into the stock market after losing £800m in the property crash of the late 1980s and early 1990s.


The church is now expected to press ahead with the controversial sale of a £20m collection of paintings by the 17th-century Spanish master Francisco de Zurbaran hanging in Auckland Castle, home of Michael Turnbull, the Bishop of Durham.
I suspect I am hopelessly out of date, but since when have endowments been invested for capital gains instead of income?
Womyn Bites Dog!
Michigan NOW endorses Peters (link from FreeRepublic).

What can I say? I should be down on the lower 40 doing some mowing before it gets too hot. But the human comedy is irresistable. And with liberals around there is so much of it!
Assorted Wierdness
Police chase ends when suspect's prosthetic leg falls off
"He only made it as far as the back yard as he had a prosthetic leg, which came off when he was running and decreased his mobility."

Are handstands really a danger to children?
They have been favourite childhood pastimes for generations. Now, handstands, games such as tag and even daisy chain making are vanishing from Britain's playgrounds as safety-obsessed schools and councils declare them "too dangerous" for today's children.

Decline in Nudists Threatens Tourist Attraction
The naked sunbathers who once filled Munich's central park on warm summer days are turning their backs on Germany's famous open-air celebration to nudity.

Officials worried that the new-found prudery will damage the international reputation of the park and cause a drop in tourism to the Bavarian city have appealed to local sun-lovers to come back and leave their clothes behind.

Lawyers target theme parks
First, it was high-dive boards at public swimming pools - effectively banned as a result of the threat of possible litigation. Are theme parks and roller coasters America's next "health crisis?" Or just the next target of opportunity for cash-hungry personal-injury lawyers?
Dancing Pygmies Draw Protest
An exhibit featuring singing and dancing pygmies in a small Belgian town has enraged African immigrants and sparked a protest involving some 100 people, local media has reported.

Some 10 pygmies were flown in from Cameroon by a man who swears to be trying to improve their lot, but the display in the southwestern town of Yvoir has drawn criticism as a "scandalous" exploitation of human beings.

"This exhibit is scandalous," Joseph Anganda, a coordinator of the New Immigrants Movement, an activists group, told local RTBF television on Saturday while protesting outside the park where the exhibition was set up.

"It's a mistreatment of humans. It's a hostage-taking."

...Leon Raets, the exhibit's coordinator, insists that he is only trying to raise people's awareness of the plight of the pygmies in Cameroon and raise money for humanitarian projects.

At least one pygmy, Melanie Ebate, appeared to have a pretty good idea of what she was doing there. "We came to show," she told RTBF.

Asked what her reaction would be if she and her colleagues were told to stop performing and go back home, she replied: "We would be angry."
Using Toes for Target Practice
The Hindustan Times (India) reveals a clever plan:
For the digerati here's some bad news. The country's Internet service providers - ISPs, the guys who link you up to cyberspace - are toying with the idea of blocking popular Internet sites such as Hotmail, Yahoo and e-Bay. Their gameplan: force these websites to give them a share of revenues. Or else, they'll pull the plug.

The bright idea is the brainchild of the Rajasthan-based ISP, Data Infosys. The company - which shares no pedigree with Infosys - mooted a proposal at a recent meeting of the Internet Service Providers Association of India's (ISPAI's) executive committee, which says: "In order to increase revenue streams ... we should ask them (the portals) to pay if they want traffic on their sites from India."

It seems like a desperate move by the ISPs, which have been losing money steadily.
Don't worry, guys! The check is in the mail.