Saturday, November 16, 2002

Mr. Grecian Formula has a problem
The Sunday Times (UK - registration required) reports that Schröder piles on taxes to fill black hole:
DURING the campaign for the September general election that returned Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to power, he was asked in a television interview about the parlous state of the German economy.

Schröder had spent the summer concentrating on themes calculated to work in his favour, such as his popular opposition to war in Iraq and his purposeful handling of the floods that devastated the east of the country. Unwilling to be diverted into less comfortable territory, he gave his interviewer a categoric answer.

"Tax rises in the present economic situation are economically senseless," he assured millions of viewers.

The promise - one of many similar such pledges during the campaign - has come back to haunt him in a week of bad news that has further deepened the country’s sense of economic gloom.

Since the election victory of his ruling Social Democratic party (SPD), Schröder has piled on the misery with a series of tax increases that has been condemned by the Bundesbank and the heads of leading companies. A satirical song lampooning him as a robber baron has turned into an unexpected Christmas hit.

German journalists have referred to their country as "the star ship No Enterprise, boldly going where no leader has gone before".

One political commentator said: "It is unbelievable that Schröder - who was so trusted by the electorate, who was regarded as a national saviour after the floods in the east - should now betray them in a callous fashion. He won the election single-handed and has thrown it all away."
More tales of woe by following the link.

It's tough when your con game falls apart.
Today's Hoot!
John Leo in US News provides a modern day glossary, Put on a sappy face:
There's a problem in Florida's Panhandle. Some residents think their area's name leaves the impression that panhandling is the major local activity. So they want their area to be known as "Florida's Great Northwest." Why not? Many accountants are unhappy with their name, too. They prefer "cognitors," even though this sounds like a herd at Jurassic Park. In football, some fans think a long and desperate last-second pass should not be called a "Hail Mary" play because of the religious reference. They think it should be called, well, a long and desperate last-second pass. Yes, America effortlessly churns out euphemisms and upscale name changes. Here are some current ones:
Follow the link for the full list, but here are a few of my favorites.
Tribal chief: swarthy, non-English-speaking leader you admire

Warlord: swarthy, non-English-speaking leader you do not admire

Self-sacrifice bombers: suicide bombers

Intercommunal coexistence (from a program at Brandeis): getting along

Mainstreaming (journalese): quoting one member of every race, gender, orientation, and ethnic group in all news reports, even ones about ailing turtles, bad weather, or Martha Stewart
Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
Mary Lord reports in US News about Remaking history: The latest skirmish in the Texas textbooks wars could decide what kids will read across the nation
What would you call a history textbook that highlights the bravery of African-American sailor Dorie Miller at Pearl Harbor but leaves out Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen? How about an economics text whose cover shows the male statues atop the New York Stock Exchange looking remarkably, er, clothed? Texas has a word for them: approved. And books like these could be coming soon to a classroom near you.

Last week, after months of line-by-line scrutiny and impassioned public debate, the state board of education selected the history and social studies texts it would buy for its 4.2 million public-school pupils. Because Texas accounts for a hefty 8 percent of America's $4.5 billion textbook market, whatever flies in the Lone Star State usually lands on desks nationwide. Winning Texas "is the first step to becoming a bestseller," says Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, a New York-based nonprofit research group. Only California, largest of the 22 "adoption states" (where textbooks are approved on a statewide rather than local basis), spends more, but it doesn't vote on books for the crucial high school market.

Critics say the heated politics behind the Texas textbook wars end up shortchanging American schoolchildren. Top sellers don't necessarily make riveting reading. That's because the selection process too often forces publishers to sanitize content and avoid words or concepts that might offend "a score of heavy-duty, aggressive special-interest groups," contends Sewall.

...for subjects like social studies; 4 in 5 of the nation's middle and high school social studies teachers neither majored nor minored in history. No wonder American students score lower on history tests than in any other subject?including math. Fewer than half of high school seniors demonstrated even basic knowledge of U.S. history on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress. Now there's a fact for the textbook warriors to chew on.
It's been so successful so far, let's do more of the same!
The Bent One Does Marin County!
Ken Willmann of Chron Watch reports on "Rebuilding My Legacy.'' Bill Clinton Speaks in Marin:
Former President Bill Clinton brought his 2002 ''Rebuilding My Legacy'' Tour to San Rafael this past Thursday, as part of the Marin Speaker Series.

From the reactions of many in Marin County to his arrival, one would have thought the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia had come back to life for one final concert. The impeached ex-president’s appearance had been billed by the local press as the ''hot ticket.'' The series had been sold out for months, yet event officials said they had received many calls from people desperately seeking tickets.

Even so, some subscribers had no luck getting in. From the accounts of some, the event had been apparently overbooked. As a result, a closed-circuit television was placed outside the Marin Veterans Auditorium for those who did not get in to hear his speech.

Some of the attendees had paid $275 to attend a pre-speech reception. In addition, a select few were allowed the opportunity to be photographed with him for $75. Although I did not see him arrive, I witnessed the long queue waiting to get into the auditorium.
No word on whether he got "up close and personal" with the local strippers.
Dog bites man!
CNN is running with Reporter says al Qaeda issued new threat:
A statement attributed to al-Qaeda threatened more attacks in New York and Washington unless America stops supporting Israel and converts to Islam, an Arab TV reporter who received the unsigned document said Saturday.
I guess they haven't been paying attention to current events. Hey fellas, how about "someone claiming to be al Qaeda reiterates the usual threats"?
Cry Me A River Alert!
Phil Long in the Miami Herald reports that Governor schedules two executions for December. Amongst all the legal maneuvering is
Bottoson was condemned for the 1979 kidnapping and slaying of Eatonville postmistress Catherine Alexander, 74. He stabbed the woman 16 times then ran over her head several times with a car. The jury's death recommendation was 10-2.

Pinkard (defense lawyer) said that Bottoson is mentally retarded and should not be executed.

Abe Bonowitz, director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty issued a written statement after today's announcement, saying: ``Florida's death penalty system is broken. We lead the nation in wrongful convictions and the governor is in denial that Florida needs a time out on executions.''
One can't help but wonder if Pinkard and Bonowitz have had their heads run over "several times". Or maybe they're just retarded.
Betty Lou! Where's the tin foil?

Crabwood Farm House formation at Crop Circle Connector
UK Food Fight!
Jim McBeth tells us more than we really want to know in a article in the Scotsman, The Scotch pie shows its upper crust:
DRIVEN by desire, surrounded by golden pastry encasing meaty concoctions you knew would never contain cow lips or eye lashes, Brian Monteith, the MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife, revealed his secret.

He runs a pie club. As confessions go, it is not in the class of, for example, the average Royal butler, but this is no ordinary pie club.

This is the Scottish Parliamentary Pie Club, a little-known, but important adjunct to the governance of Scotland.

It meets once a month in an Edinburgh pub on the Royal Mile, where the Conservative MSP and chums gather to deliberate, cogitate and digest copious amounts of pies.

"Winning bakers get a certificate," said Mr Monteith, who added: "Pies are wonderful food; I have no time for food fascists who say otherwise."

The MSP’s unique insight led him to Glasgow yesterday, where he was empanelled as a judge in the 4th World Scotch Pie Championship at the Glasgow College of Food Technology.

The title is somewhat of a misnomer.

A Scotch pie was traditionally made with mutton, but, today, the preferred ingredient is beef, particularly meat from Aberdeen.

Furthermore, the competition is not open to the bakers of the world.

The government’s "food fascists" will not allow savouries to be imported, which is perhaps just as well.

It would be awful if a Japanese baker or somebody won it, but, even worse, there are entries from ... further south.
That's OK, the folks "further south" have their culinary preferences elsewhere:
The man who introduced The Beatles to Americans is finally bringing a U.S. export back to the U.K. - the hot doughnut.

Veteran television presenter Dick Clark, who is widely credited with giving The Beatles their first U.S. break on his American Bandstand show, is part of a partnership that plans to open 25 Krispy Kreme doughnut and coffee outlets in the U.K.

Fans of the Fab Four will argue the Liverpudlian group are worth slightly more than a sweet-flavored ring of dough, but Clark and his partners figure Krispy Kreme's variety of glazed and filled delicacies will prove just as much of a hit with Britons. After all, each year British people eat about one-quarter of Europe's sugar products and almost one-third of its chocolate.
Gad! What's next? North Carolina Barbecue?
College Hijinks Alert!
Kyle Woodley in the The Ohio State University Lantern, reveals that Pulled gentlemen's club ad costs university $8,000, many work hours:
University Relations has been making last-minute changes to the 2002-2003 Ohio State Faculty and Staff Directory since Nov. 8, removing by hand a strip-club advertisement from each of 10,700 directories which had not yet been distributed.

Dockside Dolls, a gentlemen's club, ran three advertisements in the directories. The removed ad was a stand-out page reading "Need Tuition?" at the top, with a picture of a blonde woman and employment information listed below.

OSU spokeswoman Elizabeth Conlisk said the advertisement "crossed the line."

"It invites our students to advance their college careers in a manner inconsistent with our mission," Conlisk said.

The two Dockside advertisements still included in the directory are located in the employment and consumer sections and have a pictures of a blonde and a brunette woman, as well as information on gimmick nights such as amateur night and lingerie night.

Johnny Basinger, director of operations for Dockside's 12-club chain, was upset at University Relations' move and defended the content of the retracted ad.

"The ad does not mention anything about dancing," Basinger said.

He said in addition to dancers, each club employs about 25 waitresses, a door woman and a hostess. Also, three-fourths of the bartending staff of each club is female.
Considering the characters that are almost certainly among OSU's "faculty and staff", I don't think a few strippers are going to cause much turmoil. Ooops, I forgot the feminazis - well, just tell 'em it's an ad for "Sex Workers" - that usually passes muster.

I also think it is discriminatory to presume that only the students would be interested in the job. Aren't there any "hotties" on the faculty who could use some extra cash? Er, sorry - I need more coffee.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Yep, It Happened in Marin County
The Point Reyes Light astounds with West Marin women strip for peace:
MAKING THEIR BODIES FIGURES OF SPEECH - West Marin women are serious enough about PEACE to spell it out. Wearing nothing but afternoon rain, 50 determined women lay down on Love Field near the Green Bridge Tuesday afternoon to literally embody PEACE and "show solidarity with the people of Iraq," said the organizers. "Women from all ages and walks of life took off their clothes, not because they are exhibitionists but because they felt it was imperative to do so," the organizers added. "They wanted to unveil the truth about the horrors of war, to commune in their nudity with the vulnerability of Iraqi innocents, and to shock a seemingly indifferent Bush Administration into paying attention."
Here's the photo. More details in the full story including a full plate of Marin wingnuttery:
Marshall resident Donna Sheehan, who organized the group called "Unreasonable Women" for the photo, said she’s been pondering for four years a way women can "be heard on a very deep level."
Afterward, organizer Sheehan said the day had proved to be a beautiful and powerful experience for all involved. "I think it’s going to a make a mark in the political and art world," she said.
No clues were spotted anywhere in the vicinity.
Are You a Yob?
You scored 12
You work hard and play hard, and manage to keep your anti-social behaviour in check most of the time.
I'm so ashamed!
Sure, Doc!
The Denver Channel has a Temple Psychiatrist Looks At The Gloved One's Behavior:
Temple University psychiatrist Dr. Edward Volkman said Michael is not nuts. Volkman says we all care about our appearance, but Michael's behavior is an extreme version of normal.
Note to self - stay the hell away from someone the Doc thinks is really nuts.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkey Alert!
Jay Nordlinger has a giggle with:
In the category of "too perfect": Helen Thomas has written the introduction for Susan McDougal’s new book. It shows, as perhaps nothing else could, where this important and prominent journalist’s heart is.
It's a song lyric: "Her heart belongs to Bubba when Yasser's not in town."

But Jay, "important and prominent" is rather rich - we're talking about the comic relief of the White House Press Corps.
And never forget this about McDougal: Despite what she and the Clintonites say, no one was ever pressuring her to "rat" on the president. She had an obligation to testify - even to give Clinton a perfectly clean bill of health. It was the fact of the testimony, not the content of the testimony, that was at issue.

But no one - in the media and without - on the Clinton side wants you to know that.
Well don't that beat all! Bubba and his pals lied again. After Suzie's book flops maybe she'll be in boxing matches with Tonya Harding.
First Pelosi, now this!
Michael Moore In 2004:
It’s time for a wake up call in America, and we believe that you are just the person to sound that alarm. We have watched you on television and read your books and we have cried, raged and laughed beside you. We believe that you are one of very few crusaders of truth in a world where truth is swiftly becoming a lacking element. We hope that you will consider putting your words and ideas into action by running in the 2004 election.
It appears that the VRWC has already spotted this target rich environment.
Your Tax Dollars at Work!
Cybercast News Services shocks with University Hosts Sex Festival Activities:
In Arizona, a public university and a state-funded arts council are co-sponsoring a "Sex Workers Arts Festival," which celebrates the cultural heritage of America's "erotic pioneers."

Beginning on Thursday, Nov. 14, the festival will provide University of Arizona students and faculty with the opportunity to attend an educational workshop co-hosted by Porsche Lynn, a professional dominatrix and former porn star. The workshop -- entitled "The Sacred Prostitute" -- will explore "spiritual sexuality in therapeutic practice." The workshop is taking place in the university's Steward Observatory Auditorium.

Across campus, a panel will discuss the topic "Sex Slaves and the Truth about Trafficking" in the university's modern languages building.

That event will be led by former prostitute Carol Leigh, who currently teaches "Prostitution 101" at San Francisco's Harvey Milk Institute, and Dr. Penelope Saunders, a former prostitute-turned-research-fellow at Columbia University's School of Public Health.

While university-hosted festival events are limited to panel discussions and lectures, off-campus events will include live demonstrations at various locations throughout the city of Tucson.

Las Sinfronteras, a community-based feminist arts organization, will host Tucson's "first ever" fisting workshop. Sex educator Merryl Sloane hopes her free seminar on "pleasuring your partner with your hands" will promote safe sex awareness to all who attend.

Sloane will also present an "educational" BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) workshop where those attending will receive basic instruction on the concepts and terms of "less-traditional sexualities." The event, which is open to those willing to buy a $20 ticket, will also feature live demonstrations of "rope bondage and flogging, paddling, and other kinds of controlled pain."
More hijinks by following the link.
As usual ...
Permalinks on Blogspot are a tad screwy today.
Take my mother in-law .... please!
The Skeptical Curmudgeon suspects that the Osama Yo Mama recording is actually a Vegas lounge act. The NY Times does too. Unless the USA has developed a super secret type of neutron bomb that only destroys video cameras, I do too.

Sorry boys, but Video Killed the Radio Star.
Here's a new one
John Iwasaki reports in the Seattle P-I that Deportations of five Somali men postponed.
Five Seattle men who were scheduled to be deported today to Somalia, an African nation torn by a decade-old civil war, received a temporary reprieve yesterday
The five Somali men, who range in age from 22 to 38, entered the United States between 1992 and 1997. The youngest and one of the oldest -- a community college student studying psychology and an AT&T employee -- had outstanding warrants for deportation.

They were "charged with lying to the INS and ordered deported," said Karol Brown, one of three Perkins Coie attorneys working the case pro bono, or without compensation.

The other three Somalis -- ages 24, 25 and 38 -- were convicted of drug charges, drunken driving and assault, she said. All had served their time and were eligible for deportation.
OK, what's the problem other than the usual runaround in the "immigration" court system?
Some of their supporters said sending them home would be tantamount to a death sentence, given the lawlessness in Somalia.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service also is failing to abide by a federal law that requires the INS to have acceptance from the government of the receiving country before deporting someone to that country, the lawyers contended.

Somalia does not have a functioning government.
A Somali man who is friends with one of the five men, most of whom have been held for the past week, said the scheduled deportation is causing fear to sweep through the local Somali community.

The lives of those deported are "at risk 100 percent for so many reasons" because of anarchy in Somalia, said the man, who did not want his name published. "People ask for money. (If) they don't have any, they will be killed."

Somalis also face danger if they come across those from a different tribe, he said.

The man has heard thirdhand from Somalis in Seattle that their relatives faced injury or death after being deported.

The instability of the country makes communication difficult and such anecdotes difficult to confirm.
No kidding! These gents reached young adulthood in the same place they are "afraid" to go back to.

The bottom line is that the USA cannot take in every citizen of benighted 3rd world countries - because most of them are benighted. The difference between Somalia and Zimbabwe is only one of degree. Being an citizen of one is not a free pass to the USA, the local community college, and a job at AT&T, not to mention the local drug trade.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Things are fairly sick out
I expect most people have seen today's photo of Michael Jackson testifying. It's hard to remember that he was once a nice looking kid in an entertaining family singing act.

Before he went as crazy as a rabid rat on crack.
Minitrue Alert!
George Orwell's body reaches 3600 RPM as the BBC reports that Hate crime police raid 150 homes:
Police investigating allegations of racism, homophobia and domestic violence have raided about 150 addresses across London.

At least 83 people have been arrested after officers from the Metropolitan Police's community safety unit took part in the dawn raids on Wednesday.
The raids signal the start of a day of police action against "hate crime" - offences against people on the grounds of their race, faith, religion, disability, or sexuality.
Commander Cressida Dick, director of the Diversity Directorate, denied the operation was simply a publicity stunt.
"Hate crimes" are another worthless innovation by the PC crowd. Any "hate crime" that was not already illegal under the ordinary criminal code is more than likely merely free speech. But this is the UK we're talking about. My thanks to the USA's Founding Fathers for the 1st Amendment. And the 2nd.

And it's nice to know that a Dick is running the Diversity Directorate.

Zzzz ... it's those Kennedys again
Howie Carr in the Boston Herald says RFK Jr. has plenty of material for magazine gig:
So Bobby Kennedy Jr. is going to become a celebrity magazine writer, and his first assignment is a 14,000-word defense of his cousin, tubby alcoholic layabout and now convicted murderer Michael Skakel.

Can't wait to read it. After all, Bobby's a very distinguished lawyer. He passed the bar exam on his third try - that's seven fewer times than it took the Kennedy family's handpicked candidate for Barnstable County district attorney last week.

Now Bobby sues pig farms, he endorses Hillary, he's against the Navy shelling of Vieques, not to mention he's a regular on the Kennedy-trial circuit, appearing whenever and wherever a Kennedy finds himself on trial for allegedly raping or murdering ``some girl,'' as his Uncle Ted once put it.

So this magazine gig is a good career move, combining vocation and avocation, family and business.

But this . . . this could be much bigger. Talk about a new genre just waiting to be exploited. Bobby is 48 years old. He could spend the rest of his working life writing real-life whodunits about how his family members were framed.

His uncles, his brothers, his cousins, his grand-dad, even his late father - all have been accused of various sundry high crimes and misdemeanors. Surely Bobby Jr. could pound out a quick 10,000 words for Vanity Fair proving beyond a reasonable doubt that his father did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Marilyn Monroe.
When I spotted "tubby alcoholic layabout", I thought it was going to be about Teddy!
Today's hoot!
Martin Walker from UPI reports on the American View of Europe:
You want to know what I really think of the Europeans?" asked the senior State Department official. "I think they have been wrong on just about every major international issue for the past 20 years."

"They told us they could fix the Bosnian mess all on their own. Wrong."

"They told us the Russians would never accept NATO enlargement. Wrong."

"They told us that the Russians would never accept National Missile Defense. Wrong."

"They told us that if we withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 the whole structure of international arms control agreements would come crashing down. Wrong."

"They told us that the Kyoto Protocol was a good and worthwhile treaty, more than just cosmetics. Wrong."

"They told us that the European Union's new common security and defense policy would improve the military abilities of the NATO allies in Europe. Wrong."

"These were also the people who were wrong about Ronald Reagan and the Evil Empire, the same 'friends' who helped vote us off the United Nations Human Rights Commission. These are the people who whine about our Farm Bill when they are the world's prime protectionists. They are not just repeatedly wrong; they are also a bunch of hypocrites. So why should we pay attention to a single thing they say?"


"One more thing," he added. "Whenever I use the word Europeans, I don't mean the Brits."
The best part is the glimmer of hope that there are people in the State Department who can recognize a clue when they trip over one.
Pond Scum
The SF Chronicle revolts with Hearing for SLA fugitive in S. Africa - Unrattled Kilgore regarded there as champion of poor:
Cape Town, South Africa -- In California, he's James Kilgore, wanted on murder and explosives charges, but to the packed courtroom in Cape Town he was John Pape, "CHAMPION OF (THE) POOR," as the local paper headlined him just before he appeared at an extradition hearing Monday.

He walked into court almost as a celebrity, applauded by dozens of friends and relatives, and it was difficult to tell whether Kilgore's new predicament seemed to worry him or anyone else.

Unlike court appearances in Sacramento involving his former Symbionese Liberation Army cohorts, where the courthouse bristled with armed deputies, and one of the defendants -- Sara Jane Olson -- was dripping with manacles and waist chains, the Wynberg Magistrate's Court here exuded an atmosphere so relaxed that Kilgore looked more like someone coming in to discuss a parking ticket than murder and bombs.

Kilgore entered the courtroom from a basement holding cell by way of a staircase rising into the center of the room. As soon as his bald head appeared in the stairwell, many in the audience applauded and cheered him. He turned, smiled, waved and then gave a big thumbs-up to his supporters, who were of many races and ages.

Dressed in a short-sleeve blue button-down shirt and blue cotton pants, he was neither shackled nor handcuffed. He gave his wife, Terri Barnes, a big hug,
then he walked into the defendant's box. Suddenly someone shouted out, "Viva John!" The bailiffs, who didn't appeared to be armed, stood by.
He may not be too keen on reporters, and it appeared Monday he wasn't the only one. Many of his supporters said they were surprised to read newspaper accounts of Kilgore's past life. To them, that was old and irrelevant news.
Just like their murder of Myrna Opsahl was to the SLA:
"Oh, she's dead, but it really doesn't matter. She was a bourgeois pig anyway. Her husband is a doctor. He was at the hospital where they brought her."
Maybe all the SLA terrorist thugs and their supporters could get together for a reunion in an out of the way spot? Dudes, this Hellfire is for you! So Long Assholes.
It's those wacky Reuters guys!
Reuters fills us in on the latest missive from "Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden". No word on exactly what one has to do to graduate from "dissident" to "terrorist".
Professional grade
Tim Blair is in rare form today. When you visit, don't miss:
In Australia, MoDo did not miss John Ashcroft.

Make up your own lyrics

All blogging is rape and the going rate for crap
Tim also links this special "day after election" front page of the NY Times.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

WWW Squeegee Woman Alert!
From CNN, Web panhandler pays off $20,000 debt:
After an 18-month bacchanal buying Manolo Blahnik, Gucci and Prada, Karyn Bosnak found herself unemployed and more than $20,000 in credit card debt.

When the 29-year-old spotted a sign in a supermarket with an odd request -- "Wanted: $7,000 To Pay Off Debt" -- it made perfect sense. The television producer launched a similar appeal to a much larger audience: the World Wide Web.

Internet panhandling was born.

Now, more than 31/2 months after launching, Bosnak has received more than $13,300 from hundreds of donors worldwide. Coupled with the online auction of the high-ticket items that drove her into debt, plus earnings from a new job, she's finally broken even.
At least she didn't spray something on my monitor!

Monday, November 11, 2002

Break out the popcorn, the Fidel show is on!
Variety drops the bowl with Fidel's Funniest Home Videos to Air in U.S.:
Just days after Steven Spielberg's warm and fuzzy summit with Fidel Castro in Havana, a set of smuggled home videos of the Cuban leader could sour his take on Hollywood.

Starting Monday, Spanish-language newscast Noticias 41 will begin airing "The Secret Life of Castro," a 10-part series that offers the first-ever glimpse into the carefully guarded life of Cuba's president and perpetual revolutionary.
The videos were reportedly shot by Castro's own adult children and fell into the hands of an estranged girlfriend of Fidel's son, Antonio Castro Soto del Valle. The girlfriend, Dashiell Torralba, arranged for Univision to get the tapes after she left Cuba, claiming that the broadcast is a way to even the score with Castro's wife and Antonio's disapproving mother.

A casually attired Castro (the signature military fatigues are evidently for official appearances only) is shown to keep his family in relative comfort and privilege. The family home, Punto Cero, features a wine cellar with individual bottles worth up to $400. The videos are intercut with interviews with Torralba and other former members of Castro's inner circle, including sister Juanita Castro and daughter Alina Fernandez.
While I think it would be cool to see Fidel hit in the groin by the family dog while wearing golf-style "casual clothes" in bold primary colors, it sounds like the real winner would be a Ozzy-style family reality show.
The Prince of F*&%ing Darkness and his family are back for all-new episodes!
To spice things up, they can always do a prison tour.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

All dressed up and no place to go!
The Ocala (Florida) Star-Banner reports the local election results in Crashed Party. Most of it is fairly predictable stuff, but one of the unsuccessful Democrat candidates is a tad cranky:
Democrat Darlene Weesner, who lost her bid for county commissioner on Tuesday, said "Republican-controlled" gated retirement communities didn't allow her inside to get her message to them.

"Marion County is now under siege by the Gestapo, and the Fuhrer is the leader of the Republican Party," said Weesner, referring to Harris. "All I can tell you is the community is missing out on the wonderful plans I had in store for all of us."
That's OK Darlene, we'll take a rain check. And don't miss the photo of Darlene.
Today's hoot
William Tucker tells us how he came over from the Dark Side in the NY Post:
I always trace my conversion to an old girlfriend of mine who was in some Women's Consciousness-Raising Group that was trying to open a restaurant. They met for months on end without ever accomplishing anything. One day she got fed up and said, "To hell with this. I'm going to open the damned thing myself."

Within a month, she had the restaurant up and running. It became very successful.

To a person such as myself weaned on group "activism," it was a stunning revelation. After all, business people were supposed to be the selfish exploiters of the working class. Yet I suddenly realized that starting your own business is an act of courage and initiative. I also recognized there's a certain cowardice in the group-think that says you always have to be surrounded by people just like yourself.

Thus began the unraveling of my "class consciousness." I realized that nothing truly creative ever gets done except by individuals. At best, group effort only leeches off what other people have created.

The economy we live in is not a natural object. It was constructed piece-by-piece by inventive individuals and is upheld every day by people doing hard, fruitful labor. No one gets by simply by making strident demands on others. People who feel entitled to things don't understand how the world works.

Unfortunately, most Democratic politics centers around "entitlements." The elderly are entitled to Social Security, even if it turns out to be a Ponzi scheme. Women are entitled to special treatment because of past discrimination. Blacks are entitled to reparations because of slavery. Illegal immigrants are entitled the full rights of citizens. Children are entitled to abortions, even if their parents don't approve. The only group that isn't entitled to anything is adult white males, and they can probably come up with something if they think about it long enough.

Trial lawyers - now the most powerful constituency in the Democratic Party - are the Ultra-Democrats. They believe everybody is entitled to everything. Scratch your finger and you're entitled to a million dollars. The "class action" is the perfect Democratic metaphor - a million people get $12 apiece and the lawyers walk off with the other $12 million.
Ah, to be young and in love a trial lawyer.
Plain brown wrapper alert!
Linda Stasi in the NY Post:
$perm solution

Spurred on by a feasibility study, workers at a Romanian car factory last week came up with a scheme to relieve their company’s $20 million debt. Their solution? One thousand of them volunteered to become sperm donors at $50 a pop. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, for those involved, it would take 20,000 donations per worker to pay off the whole (I can’t help myself) nut. Since the average wage is only $150 a month, why they don’t just quit the factory and turn pro I don’t know. An every-other-day visit to the fertility clinic could increase a guy’s monthly salary, not to mention his fantasy life, by five times. And he’d never have to crank another ratchet.
Uh Oh!
From the Sunday Times (UK) - German euro rebels flock to town that marks time:
The rest of Germany may be stuck in the economic doldrums but Kropp, a small town in the north, is enjoying a mini-boom following the reintroduction of the D-mark.

More than 90 shops and businesses that serve the 6,500 inhabitants of Kropp, in Schleswig-Holstein, have started accepting marks again in a startlingly successful attempt to cash in on an estimated £5.66 billion of the defunct currency still in circulation.

Since the experiment began earlier this month, people have been flocking to Kropp in a display of affection for the mark, which, according to one recent poll, two-thirds of Germans wish they had never given up. The scheme was planned to end on December 31 but has been extended indefinitely.
There's less here than meets the eye, since it seems to be mostly a collection scheme for the old currency, but the opinion poll is interesting. On the other hand:
Not everyone in Kropp is happy to see the return of the mark, though. Many young people insist that its days have passed. "I have a European identity now and that is reflected by the euro," said Karen Schröder, 27, who works in the bakery. "The D-mark belongs to history, just like those who want to bring it back."
No word on Karen's clue search.
The party of the "people"
Julia Gorin discusses American Politics, Soviet Style.
So where did the Democrats go wrong? Not even all the dead people getting out the vote nor absentee ballots from the jailed folks who killed them helped. Nor did the two- and three-time voters or the roving buses of voters going precinct to precinct and casting ballots in place of less zealous voters. Where o where is Mayor Daley when you need him?

The Democrats worked so hard. They made such a concerted effort. They sent people unsolicited absentee ballots in Iowa. County officials in Arizona helped illegal aliens vote. In Wisconsin, campaign workers for Democratic Governor Jim Doyle gave out pastries, soda and quarters to the mentally disabled in a bingo game, then directed them to absentee ballots in the next room. In the 163-strong Minnesota town of Coates, 94 voter registration forms had addresses that matched Jake's Strip Club. The NAACP in Florida held a registration drive at the Duval County jail to register felons, who then requested and in some cases cast absentee ballots at the risk of committing a felony. (And one wonders why Democrats are against the death penalty.) In Marion County, Indiana, voters seem to have misspelled their names on applications for absentee ballots and used correction fluid to get their addresses right, but couldn't always match their on-file signatures.
More by following the link. And the beat goes on....
Another Sunday at blogspot
Permalinks will be wacky for a while. They will work eventually.
I've got bad news
Sun's rays to roast Earth as poles flip
and good news
No one is blaming the USA.