Saturday, November 23, 2002

Hoot of the Day!
The Misanthropyst has the cure for Islamofascism. (Via Whacking Day)
Wackiness from all over (some via Fark)
The Sunday Times (free registration required) is on a roll with Russians used EU aid to make vodka and US universities compete for sexiest scholars in academe:
"Ten years ago black and Asian scholars were at a premium as colleges tried to catch up with changing times. Now it’s brilliant young women teaching sexy subjects."
Even worse, Tim Blair reports that England is now under Taliban rule, and in a similar vein, I was shocked to read 'Porn' party girl sacked.

That might want to make you leave the Olde Countrie, but I'd skip Peru after reading the Sun story, Bug was living in my back. Ewwww! But there's apparently still fun to be had in Canada, according to Girls at elite school go on rampage. In the Antipodes they are having their own brand of fun in New Zealand:
A wild and woolly adventure for two Dunedin police constables ended with one of them handcuffing a sheep after it assaulted his colleague yesterday. If the officers weren't feeling sheepish enough, the incident went from bad to worse when they discovered the key to the handcuffs was missing.
Meanwhile in Australia, two German tourists sadly didn't quit while they were ahead.

And of course, the good ole USA has its own animal stories. Since it is deer season, how about Wounded deer gives hunter the fight of his life? Indeed, things are different in the Upper Peninsula.

Of course, some of the animals are two-legged. From South Africa, the Independent Online reports that:
The police in Sedgefield are closely monitoring a man with the rather odd habit of throwing rotten fish at people.
No, it wasn't Al Gore on his book tour. Speaking of geniuses, one in South Carolina was indicted
... for allegedly trying to extort $3 million by falsely claiming to be the kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart.

Walter Kenneth Holloway, of Charleston, S.C., allegedly sent more than three dozen e-mails claiming he was the kidnapper and demanding ransom.

Smart, then 14, disappeared from her bedroom June 5. The case remains unsolved.
The FBI found Holloway, who was using the screen name "Elizabethsmartkidnapper," by serving his Internet service provider with a subpoena for account information.
Finally for you bike riding gentlemen - A study of bike-riding cops found high rates of erectile dysfunction and groin numbness. Uh Oh!
Open cookie jar, insert hand
Bill O'Reilly has a nice summary of the hijinks of Bill Moyers:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR, has an annual budget of about $2.2 billion. More than $300 million of that comes from the American taxpayer, according to the CPB Web site (

Moyers' production company, Public Affairs Television, gets paid by PBS, but it is unclear how much since PBS will not say. In return for the compensation, he does a weekly commentary program and some documentaries.

But here's the rub, according to an article by Stephen Hayes in "The Weekly Standard," Moyers owns the documentaries, and after they are broadcast on PBS, he sells the videocassettes, keeping the proceeds. So, in effect, you and I are partially funding Bill's TV projects, which he is personally profiting from. Do you have a problem with that? I do.

And there's more. Mr. Moyers receives $200,000 a year as the president of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, which has assets of close to $100 million! Moyers gives $2 million of that to his son John to run a left-wing Website called Tom OK, fine, he's a good dad.

But Moyers also gives grant money to PBS and National Public Radio. PBS in turn pays his production company. Uh-oh. Can you say conflict of interest? According to public records, the Florence and John Schumann foundation donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to PBS and NPR in the '90s.
Maybe I am being a bit unfair to Bill Moyers, but I have tried to get his side of the story. However, he will never come to the phone when I call. I am beginning to take it personally, and perhaps I should. In a speech shortly after September 11, Moyers called me a warmonger, or some such, for advocating strong military action against Afghanistan. And I will cop to that. While Moyers might have given them grant money, I wanted to pound those that protected the Taliban into the pavement, that is if there is any pavement over there.

But my problem with Moyers is not ideological. I applaud him for speaking out on the issues of the day. I just don't want to subsidize him. Call me crazy, but I believe that Bill Moyers should not be profiting from taxpayer money.
More details from several articles in the Weekly Standard:
PBS's Televangelist: Bill Moyers preaches on . . . and on.

Bill Moyers Responds: With a rejoinder from Stephen F. Hayes.

Moyers Gets the Hook: It seems that Bill Moyers has even managed to spook some PBS executives with his radical show. (Oh, and he throws an elbow at The Factor, too.)

TAPs for a Magazine: In an effort to squeeze every last bit of fun out of liberalism, the Schumann Foundation starts to disassemble the American Prospect.
Perhaps the Schumann Foundation wants to cut costs so that it can continue to shower largesse on (Executive Director, John Moyers, Bill's son). The sole function of that collection of summer soldiers seems to be buying ads in the New York Times that read: "Uncle oSAMa Says: I Want YOU To Invade Iraq." These ads threaten Americans--in the name of al Qaeda--with dire consequences, should the United States invade.
Preaching to the Choir: It wouldn't be a Republican victory without a dyspeptic attack from Bill Moyers. Paid for, in part, by you.
If you have a really strong stomach head on over to and watch them bite heads off chickens. Don't tell 'em I sent you.
Goron Alert!
Michael Kelly does the honors in The Unbearable Lightness of Gore
What is much more interesting lies in the "serious" realm. Here a new Gore really is emerging, or re-emerging. This is not the Vice President Gore of the centrist-positioning Clinton White House, not the reinventor of government. This is the Gore of "Earth in the Balance": Gore the thinker of big thoughts, Gore the visionary, Gore the radical, Gore the bold man of the left.
So this, apparently, is where Gore thinks he's going: Full speed ahead into the waters of cultural wars that no one else (including George W. Bush) is interested in fighting, in support of a left-radical redefinition of family values at considerable variance with available evidence and general opinion.

You go, Al.
And take Tipper with you.
Woof Woof!
The San Francisco Examiner barks up the wrong tree with Fido -- my friend, my brother:
San Francisco supervisors are set to strike references to "dumb" animals and to replace references to pet "owner" with "owner/guardian" in the Health Code.

The rhetorical change, said Rob Eshelman of Supervisor Matt Gonzalez's office, is "aimed at improving relationship between pet owners/guardians and their pets."

About a dozen speakers praised the proposal at the Board of Supervisors' Health and Human Services Committee meeting on Thursday.

The City's Animal Control and Welfare Commission proposed the change three years ago, to great outcry from breeders and pet owners who thought it would lead to alimony and health benefits for animals, Eshelman said.

Since then, the cities of Boulder, Colo., West Hollywood and Berkeley, among others, and the state of Rhode Island have made the linguistic leap without rolling down a slippery slope, Eshelman said.

"Changing the language is about recognizing the relationship," said Sherri Franklin, of the animal commission. She compared the leap to changes in the status of slaves and women.
Add another to the list of issues that roil this Great Republic.

Friday, November 22, 2002

South of the border, down Mexico way
Hmm, where to start. How about Report Says Migrants Repatriated $23 Billion to Latin America, Caribbean in 2001.
Immigrants who helped send $23 billion home to Latin America and the Caribbean last year say the transactions are too costly and put undocumented workers in danger of arrest.
Gee, too bad. And the headline writers need to look up repatriate. The money isn't being repatriated, but we wish the illegal migrants were.
Only 9 percent of 302 U.S. immigrants interviewed for the study use banks to send money home, according to the study by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Inter-American Development Bank. Seventy-eight percent still use wire transfer companies, and the remaining 8 percent send money home by courier or family member, according to the study released Friday by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Ah - illegal money flows! The coppers are on to them and arrests are imminent?
The center and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the development bank conducted the research to gauge how immigrants are responding to the changing money-transfer industry and to spur financial institutions to enter the market.
Nope, it's market research for banks on the burgeoning illegal alien market. What a business opportunity!

Speaking of which, Newsmax reports that Border Patrol Advertises for Illegal Aliens:
Get this: The U.S. Border Patrol is using your tax money to advertise its "rescue beacons" to abet illegal aliens.

The one-minute commercial is expected to be broadcast next year on TV stations in Mexico and in the border city of Yuma, Ariz.

"Officials want to reach viewers in the interior parts of Mexico, where potential border crossers may know little about the treacherous terrain and nothing about the beacons," the Associated Press reported.

"A strobe light directs the illegal immigrants [sic; an 'immigrant,' of course, is someone who has entered the nation legally] to the beacons at night. During the day, a reflective mirror guides the crossers."

The feds have already bought eight of the beacons with your money and plan to add plenty more - six just in the area south of Yuma - to help criminals invade the country.
Hey, more bank customers!

But they need to drive, so DMV Worker Charged With Taking Bribes:
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A license examiner with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has been charged with receiving thousands of dollars in bribes to issue fake driver's licenses.

Marvin Alphonso Brinkley, 34, of Littleton, was charged with two felony counts of fraudulent acceptance of money for licenses, the DMV reported.

So far, 63 warrants have been drawn up in connection with the case, said Wayne Hurder, director of the driver's license section of the DMV.

The bribes averaged between $350 and $500, court records show.
Brinkley has been accused of conspiring with Carlos Mauricio-Garcia Berganza, 24, "to omit to perform an official act in the written and road test," according to the arrest warrants.

Berganza was jailed Wednesday and charged with one count of felony conspiracy and 20 counts of offering bribes, court records.

But don't worry, there's a change of heart in the Mexican government:
Something very unusual happened this week in Mexico, a country long known for its fiery nationalistic demagoguery:

Foreign Minister Jorge G. Castaneda said it's time for his nation to stop being anti-American.
Thanks, Jorge. What's the catch?
Speaking in Mexico City at a book presentation before Wednesday's celebration of the 92nd anniversary of the 1910-17 Mexican Revolution, Castaneda - a former leftist intellectual who has become one of President Vicente Fox's most trusted Cabinet members - said Mexico's current clash between pro-American sentiment and anti-American rhetoric is creating a bad case of "political schizophrenia."

Mexico's nationalism and anti-Americanism made sense in the 19th and 20th centuries, Castaneda said.
But what's happening today?" Castaneda asked. "These two theses should not only be considered outdated and be phased out, but are unsustainable in today's world.

"One can't continue defining Mexico's national identity, or any other country's national identity, primarily through nationalism."

Why? Not only because we live in a globalized world, in which countries depend more on exchanges of goods, services and people than at any time in recent history, but because Mexico in particular depends more than most countries on good relations with the United States.

Consider: About 90 percent of Mexico's trade, nearly 90 percent of Mexico's foreign tourism, more than 75 percent of foreign investment and more than 95 percent of the remittances of Mexican workers living overseas - which have become the country's third-largest source of income - come from the United States.

In addition, 25 percent of Mexico's economically active labor force works in the United States.
I get it now! Nationalism is obsolete because we might notice the giant lamprey attached to our southern border.
Carlos Monsivais, a prominent writer and one of the most brilliant minds of Mexico's democratic left, is somewhat more optimistic.

"Mexican society has long ceased to be nationalistic: It's a post-nationalistic society," Monsivais said.

"Nobody that I know of is demanding an anti-American war or anything like that. What it is asking is that Mexico demand the end of racist U.S. anti-immigration policies and other issues that affect us."
Interesting world these "brilliant minds" live in. A big national policy issue is that it they want it to be easier to dump their citizens across the border.

Hey, I don't mind because there is geeky fun involved! Wired says Geek 'Vigilantes' Monitor Border:
A group of tech-savvy ranchers in Arizona is using military technology to monitor and apprehend illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico into the United States.

Members of the group have spiked their land with thousands of motion sensors. They also use infrared tracking devices, global positioning systems, night vision goggles, radar and other gear to survey movement near the border.

ABP member Roger Barnett has $30,000 worth of sensors on his land and receivers in his ranch house and trucks. The ranch receiver produces a continuous printout of sensor hits.

"Roger can generally tell from the location of the sensor if a given hit is good or not," Spencer said. "When I was there two weeks ago, two hits led to the discovery of 40 illegal aliens."

When human presence is detected by one of the devices, the ranchers said they attempt to apprehend illegal immigrants and turn them over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

ABP members are further aided by portable battlefield radar units once used by Special Forces reconnaissance teams to protect their camps.
Spencer said he is opening a test center for security technology, and welcomes any company that wants to conduct field trials of its products. The patrol documents their operations on a website.

When suspected illegal border crossers are found, patrol members typically e-mail the GPS coordinates (longitude and latitude) of their location to Spencer, as well as digital pictures or videos. The information is then uploaded to the group's website.

Spencer said a new website, to launch in February, will automatically produce and update maps from the e-mailed reports.

Visitors to the site will see real-time tracking information on people who are attempting to cross the border. Flashing icons will indicate the current "hot spots" where visitors can click to zoom in and watch live video feeds of the patrol's activities.
Betty Lou get the popcorn! It's illegal alien TV!

But I thought the government was supposed to be patrolling the borders?
Kyoto plan like 'lipstick on a pig'
From the National Post (Canada):
OTTAWA and EDMONTON - Provincial politicians and business leaders were more than skeptical yesterday toward Ottawa's updated Kyoto plan, slamming a strategy they say was cooked up secretly and sprung on them through the media.

"It's a clear breach of trust," Lorne Taylor, Alberta's Environment Minister, said, describing the plan as "lipstick on a pig."

"They're not working in collaboration with the provinces when they release to the press and the public without even discussing it [with the provinces]."

Federal officials, who spoke on background yesterday, said the new plan will limit the burden on large companies that are the main source of industrial greenhouse gases. It will also ask individual citizens to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by a tonne a year.
Canadians can forget about eating beans.
The federal officials said the plan would mean only a 0.4% decline in gross domestic product and by 2010 would cost about 60,000 jobs.
Such a deal! And of course, it won't make any appreciable difference in the amount of "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere.
More Crap From Space Alert!
The BBC asks Did quark matter strike Earth?:
A group of researchers have identified two seismic events that they think provide the first evidence of a previously undetected form of matter passing through the Earth.

The so-called strange quark matter is so dense that a piece the size of a human cell would weigh a tonne.

The two events under study both took place in 1993.
One event occurred on 22 October, 1993, when, according to the researchers, something entered the Earth off Antarctica and left it south of India 0.73 of a second later.

The other occurred on 24 November, 1993, when an object entered south of Australia and exited the Earth near Antarctica 0.15 of a second later.
He calculated that strange quark particles would dash through Earth with dramatic effect: a one-tonne spec would release the energy of a 50-kilotonne nuclear bomb, spread along its entire path through the Earth.
Even spread out, that could put a crimp in your day!
Don't try this at home alert ... with a twist
The Sydney Morning Herald astounds with Unit bomb 'capable of destroying entire block':
A blind man who blew up his kitchen with a home-made bomb had enough chemicals, fertiliser and other components to destroy his entire unit block, a court was told yesterday.

Andrew James Neems, 24, downloaded information on bomb-making from the State Library internet archives which he converted to braille, police claim. He then bought the materials which he needed from several hardware stores.
Sergeant Murray said Neems had constructed a smaller incendiary device which he detonated with a match at 3pm after attempts to trigger it with a shockwave failed.

But when Neems failed to douse the ensuing fire on the floor of his kitchen with towels he was forced to call the fire brigade for help.

It was then that firefighters and police discovered the cache of chemicals and fertilisers.
He alleged Neems admitted when detained at Redfern Police Station to a "desire for revenge against other members of the community".

However, Neems's solicitor, David Carroll, described the police submission as far from "dramatic" and a "fantasy" that Neems set out to harm his neighbours or had terrorist ideals.

Mr Carroll said Neems, who the court was told had undergone a medical assessment while in custody and was found not to be mentally ill, had only caused a small fire in his kitchen with magnesium jelly which he lit with a match.
Sounds harmless to me.
The Decline of the West
(Via the Group Captain.) The Spectator (UK) has a revealing report - Why I quit the army: Gordon Bourne has resigned his commission in despair of a profession destroyed by red tape:
The government’s obsession with political correctness has been applied to the military with such relish that at times it seems almost insane. I have lost count of the number of forms I have had to fill in giving details of my ethnic origin. These forms used to be anonymous, but the last one I had to complete carried my name, rank and service number. Perhaps this was a reaction to an earlier (anonymous) form, which had revealed that in our all-male unit there was a huge number of Bangladeshi single mothers! There was always a great reluctance to fill in these forms, the fear being that anonymity had been removed so that the government could check how many members of ethnic minorities were being promoted. In response, the military chain of command offered soldiers an inducement: if they did not complete the forms, correctly, without jokes, on a Friday afternoon, they would remain in barracks for the weekend and fill them in at their leisure. No doubt that’s what New Labour means when it talks about being ‘Investors in People’.
One of the unfortunate side-effects of this civilianisation of the military is the need for the government to ensure that they are legally protected from soldiers - past and present - who seek to take advantage of the current blame-and-compensation culture. This is what is behind applying health-and-safety legislation to the military. The Royal Marines endurance course is one of the most admired and gruelling in the world, but it is apparently too tough for the big girls’ blouses in Whitehall. Health-and-safety inspectors are blamed for recommending that chlorine be introduced into the underwater tunnel, in case some poor Commando picks up a bit of dysentery or a sore throat as a result of wading through dirty water. The steep ravines worn into the slopes that recruits had to run up and down at various points on the seven-mile course were also contrary to all sorts of well-meaning legislation. The recommendation was for proper steps and handrails to be installed - just like the ones you find in the mountains of Afghanistan or the wadis of Iraq. Anybody even half-interested in ensuring that, when troops are deployed on operations, as many come home as possible must see that this sort of interference can only make an already perilously long jump from training to reality even longer.
Follow the link for much more. And lest you think that only the cousins have a problem, check out my post from on July on what the Ecoweenies have done to US armed forces training.

The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things in an orderly and proficient manner, and it is a minor miracle that they are able to do so despite crappy pay and the horde of bureacrats and lawyers afflicting them. How long before the tinkerers manage to screw that up?
No excrement, Sherlock!
(Via the Curmudgeon.) The Media Research Center catches a priceless moment with Phil Donahue and Andy Rooney:
Appearing on Donahue’s MSNBC show on Tuesday night, to Donahue’s dismay, Rooney agreed with Bernard Goldberg’s contention that most journalists view the world from the left: "I think most news people I know tend towards the liberal direction, yes." When Donahue disagreed, Rooney was taken aback: "You don’t think that’s true? Come on, Phil."
Dogs Bite Men!
Muslim activist won't apologize to evangelists:
The spokesman for a prominent U.S. Muslim group, who regularly demands contrition from critics of Islam, will not apologize for comparing some conservative evangelical leaders to Osama bin Laden and saying they would kill Muslims given the chance.
London Sheik Threatens U.S.:
A terrorist-loving Muslim cleric claimed yesterday that al Qaeda would likely stage a major attack against the United States and Britain if they launch a war on Iraq.

"If Britain and the United States attack Iraq, they will suffer heavy casualties back home," said Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad. "If they fire their missiles on Iraq, an attack against Britain is inevitable," he told Reuters.
Justice teams unable to find nearly 2,000 immigrants:
Justice Department investigators could not locate for questioning nearly half of 4,112 aliens in America they believed had information on would-be terrorists, because U.S. immigration officials didn't know where to find them, the General Accounting Office said yesterday.

The GAO said 1,851 aliens could not be found by anti-terrorism investigators because the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service lacked current or reliable address information, according to a report to Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration.

INS made little or no effort to tell aliens they were required to notify the agency of their current address, the GAO said, and there was no INS enforcement of existing penalties for noncompliance. The accounting office said INS "does not appear to have enforced the removal penalty for noncompliance since the early 1970s."
Chuckie Schumer Alert!
The NY Daily News reports Chuck: Trouble on the Street:
Calling a new Wall Street disaster plan a "dagger pointed at the heart of New York," Sen. Chuck Schumer urged federal regulators yesterday to scrap it and start from scratch.

The plan recommends that financial firms build backup facilities as far as 300 miles out of town - and move thousands of jobs with them.

It "could spell big trouble for downtown and big trouble for New York City, as well as for our country," Schumer said outside Federal Hall on Wall St. "This is not going to fly - we're going to stop this report in its tracks."
The plan, released in August, was created by the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission and Office of the Controller of the Currency and billed as a way to protect the financial markets from another terror attack.

The agencies urged 15 to 20 major banks, and five to 10 major securities firms - many of which have base operations in the city - to consider creating backup sites.
Schumer said Wall Street's relatively quick reopening after the Sept. 11 attacks should dispel any notion that backups need to be far away.

"If they start playing with fire and doing that, we're not sure that companies would stay in New York State or even the U.S.," he said.
Why not next door to the main site, eh Chuckles? Someone ought to explain to Chuckles how disaster recovery works. You want your backup site to be out of range of the disaster. 9/11 was relatively localized - not all forseeable disasters (manmade and otherwise) would be.

To be fair to Schumer, the article says Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg are similarly clueless.
Well, we still have music, movies, and fast pizza delivery
From the San Jose Mercury News, Report: Oracle to move software development to India from California, Sydney, Dublin:
The California software giant Oracle Corp. has picked India as the main development center for its global software initiatives, the Business Standard newspaper reported Friday.

Oracle is moving a large portion of its developmental work from its three developmental centers in California, Sydney and Dublin, the paper said. It quoted Keith Budge, Oracle's regional managing director for South Asia.

``The benefit of moving work from our other international centers to India is not only in terms of cost but also because of the superior quality of services we get,'' the paper quoted Budge as saying.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

That's Gotta Hurt Alert!
The Sydney Morning Herald reveals a modern hazard in Laptop burns boffin's penis:
Doctors are warning that laptop computers may inflict a burn even through clothed skin, after the bizarre case of a Swedish scientist who scorched his penis and testicles while writing a report in his armchair.

The unnamed 50-year-old father of two had balanced the computer on his lap while he wrote the report at home, taking about an hour to do it, according to a letter published in the next issue of the British medical weekly The Lancet.

The following day, he started to develop painful blisters on his foreskin and scrotum, which became infected but eventually cleared up without the need for antibiotics.
And he didn't notice that things were getting hot? There's more here than meets the eye!
Uh Oh! They're on to us!
John Little predicts:
There's a new Democrat boogeyman looming on the horizon. One I predict they will be talking about within a year. The conservative Blogosphere. We're gaining more traction in the "real" media daily. We're exposing the deep-rooted anti-Americanism prevalent in so many of their coalitions. We're finding the tripe they publish online for the faithful and exposing it to a shocked America.

If they think Rush Limbaugh is a pain in the ass its just because they aren't yet familiar with Rachel, John, Michele, Charles, Lee, Jay, and countless others.
Tiny Tommy Alert!
Frank J. at IMAO opines:
Serial whiny bitch Daschle says he's been getting threats because people are saying mean things about him. Rush Limbaugh and others in talk radio have been pointing out what a slimy weasel Daschle is, and he claims this lead to threats against him and his family - though he wouldn't elaborate. So let’s never criticize Daschle about his politics again, because he may get scared and cry, okay? Seriously, my guess is that it's from other Democrats upset about the losses, but what would a threat from a Democrat sound like? "Resign now or I'll slap you silly!" Then again, which of you aren’t thinking of punching Daschle right now? Be honest. That’s right; after hearing him whine like this, about everyone wants to smack him. It’s just a natural, human response.
More soothing words by following the link. (Via the Rottweiler.)
What You Mean 'We,' Kemo Sabe?
Jed Babbin rocks in the American Prowler:
Now that we've bound ourselves to let the U.N. weapons inspectors play out another round of the Saddam Charade -- delaying our inevitable military action -- our betters again have time enough to instruct us on the errors of our ways. Our moral and intellectual superiors in Europe and the U.N. would be better off taking the time to learn that they don't define the word "we" the same way America does.

Last week the frustrations of his job boiled over for U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The endless meetings, the banquets, and that awful, unreasonable Mr. Bush. The last straw came when His Excellency found it necessary to instruct the press on the pronunciation of his name. He said it's "Kofi, which rhymes with Sophie" and "Annan, which rhymes with cannon." Walking out of the White House after a meeting with Dubya, Sophie chose his host's front lawn to lecture him about what might constitute proper grounds for taking out Saddam.
Sophie Cannon? You can't make this stuff up!
Sophie thinks that not just any material breach will do, meaning that the frequent Iraqi firings at U.S. and British aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones aren't reason enough. "Whatever reason we decide ? to go to war must be seen as reasonable and credible, and not contrived." Ms. Cannon also lectured Dubya that "We need to be patient and give the inspectors time and space to do their work. We should not be seen as rushing the process and impatiently moving on to the next phase." Someone needs to tell him -- again -- that America's patience with the Iraqi dictator has run out.
I wonder if Sophie would consider it contrived if his own aircraft got hit with a little triple A? I suspect he would get right testy.
Dubya didn't need to answer Sophie's pious lecture because Chief Inspector Hans Blix unintentionally did it for him. Blix said he couldn't guarantee that his inspectors wouldn't tip off the Iraqis on where inspectors were headed, giving the Saddamites time to hide their WMD. He did, however, guarantee that the inspections would be "tactful" and that he and his crew wouldn't be "aggressive." "Aggressive is an American quality," Blix said. "Aggression is prohibited under the U.N. charter and, as a European, I would rather use the words 'dynamic' and 'effective.'"
Note to self - time for a post on this Inspector Clouseau imitator. In the meantime: Hey Hans, how about a "dynamic" and "effective" boot in the ass? It's the American way.
The dynamic and effective Mr. Blix, who gave the Iraqis a clean bill of health on nuclear weapons almost ten years ago, is hiring inspectors who have little or no qualifications, and are most likely to be in cahoots with the Iraqis. Years ago, the Clintonoids agreed that all U.N. inspectors had to be full-time U.N. employees. Aside from excluding almost everyone who is qualified, the U.N. has no room for Americans under its diversity-based hiring policy. Blix will include Arab inspectors in his group to accommodate the demands of the Arab League. But don't worry. Saddam swears he has no weapons of mass destruction.

The new U.N. resolution requires Saddam to provide an inventory of all of his WMD by December 8. A false declaration would be a violation of the resolution, but Saddam will certainly say, "If you say I have 'em, prove it." Blix and his crew will then spend months searching everywhere the WMD aren't. We can look forward to another period of weeks or months before Dubya says the hell with it, and we do what we should have done on Wednesday, November 6.
Amen brother!
Saddam knows it's coming, even if Sophie Cannon thinks he can stall it forever. Last week, Saddam reportedly sent Chemical Ali to Libya to buy a refuge for himself and his family. Ali Hasan a-Majid (known as "Chemical Ali" for engineering a chemical weapon attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988, which killed hundreds) may have offered Libyan Dictator Muammar Qaddafi several billion dollars to provide shelter for Saddam when the balloon goes up. Qaddafi may not take Saddam in. He knows that Saddam should be charged as a war criminal for attacks like the Halabja slaughter. Qaddafi -- whose involvement in terrorism was interrupted when the Gipper sent a few F-111s to visit -- may not want to risk it.

More goodness in the full article.
NY Times wins the pond scum award two days in a row!
Ann Coulter does the honors:
I did not realize how devastating the midterm elections were to liberals until seeing the Great Gray Lady reduced to starting a catfight with Fox News Channel. It has come to this. The New York Times was in high dudgeon this week upon discovering that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes sent a letter to the Bush White House nine days after Sept. 11. As the corpses of thousands of his fellow Americans lay in smoldering heaps, Ailes evidently recommended getting rough with the terrorists.


I assume it's superfluous to mention that there is nothing illegal about Ailes giving advice to the president - though admittedly, I have not consulted the "living Constitution" in the past 24 hours to see if a new penumbra specifically about Fox News has sprouted. But the Times was a monument of self-righteous indignation because hard news men are supposed to stay neutral between America and terrorism.

Of course, the Times hasn't been reticent in giving the president advice on the war. (Surrender now!)


But this was more than the media's usual insane point that they - the least impartial industry in America - must maintain absolute neutrality between George Bush and the terrorists. The Times went further to imply that by supporting his own country in the war on terrorism, Ailes had unmistakably marked himself as a "partisan conservative."

If Ailes had written a letter recommending a tax hike, blathering on and on about Ailes' conservative bias wouldn't have made sense. Instead, he had recommended the harshest measures possible against the terrorists. As far as the Times was concerned, this was the smoking gun of partisanship. The paper railed that Ailes purports to be an "unbiased journalist, not a conservative spokesman." Fox News is "the self-proclaimed fair and balanced news channel." But now the Times had caught him red-handed, pursuing "an undisguised ideological agenda." Ailes is secretly rooting for America!
Rooting for America! The horror!
It's that wacky Kim Jong Il again!
Reuters reveals that N. Korea Says U.S. Oil Cutoff Ends Nuclear Pact:
North Korea said on Thursday the United States had nullified a landmark nuclear pact with the decision last week to cut oil supplies to Pyongyang over its atomic weapons program.

On November 14, Washington and its allies decided to stop vital fuel oil aid to penalize North Korea for breaking a series of nuclear non-proliferation pledges, including the 1994 Agreed Framework, with a covert uranium enrichment program which Pyongyang confessed last month to operating.

The isolated communist state's first response to the decision said the oil cutoff meant "it is high time to decide upon who is to blame for the collapse of the Framework."
Maybe they'll report back if they get a clue.

Approaching the Vanishing Point
The PR News Wire is carrying Salon to Trade on OTC Market Beginning Thursday, Nov. 21, 2002:
Salon Media Group, Inc. announced today that NASDAQ has provided it notice that it will be moved from the SmallCap Market, where it currently trades, to the over-the-counter (OTC) market effective Nov. 21, 2002. The OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) is a regulated quotation service that displays real-time quotes, last-sale prices and volume information for approximately 3,700 companies.

"While we valued the prestige of a NASDAQ listing, this move to the OTC market should not affect our core business. Our focus has been and will continue to be on the fundamentals -- growing our business by subscription revenues and delivering compelling advertising solutions for our customers," said Michael O'Donnell, Salon's president and chief executive officer.
Nice to know what they claim their core business is. I always thought it was propagation of DNC talking points plus related cultural absurdities.

Salon has also provided a FAQ on this:
Why was Salon delisted from Nasdaq?

Nasdaq has continued listing standards. To remain on the market, Salon had to show compliance with the $1 million market value of publicly held shares requirement on November 11, 2002 and with the minimum bid price of $1.00 per share requirement in February 2003. Nasdaq determined that the company was not in compliance with the $1 million market value of publicly held shares requirement on November 11, 2002 and the company was delisted.
See ya 'round the quad.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Berry Bites the Dust
The NY Post has an editorial on Mary Berry's Failed Coup:
The U.S. Supreme Court has finally put an end to the year-long misuse of public funds by the notorious Mary Frances Berry, head of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights.

Without comment, the court yesterday declined to review a unanimous ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals that forbade Berry from blocking President Bush's appointment of Peter Kirsanow to sit on the commission.

Bush named Kirsanow last Nov. 29 to replace Victoria Wilson; she'd been appointed to fill out the term of Leon Higgenbotham following his death.

Then-President Clinton explicitly stated that Wilson's term was temporary, but Commission Chairman Berry and her left-wing allies later insisted that she'd been given a new six-year term. They even refused to allow Kirsanow to sit in on meetings, pending the legal outcome.

Now the Supreme Court has put an end to that nonsense.
Couldn't happen to a more deserving wingnut. While Mary usually gets attention for her egregious pronouncements on civil rights, my favorite Berry factoid is that she and the replaced Victoria Wilson claim to be "independents" to get around the rule that no more than four members of the 8 person commission can be of one political party. Until Wilson got the boot it was 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, and 2 "independents".
Qomolangma Alert
Yesterday, I mentioned a Communist Chinese press release that exhorted Westerners to stop calling the mountain Mt. Everest. Now the Hindustan Times puts it in perspective with Beijing campaigns to rename Mt Everest as Mt Qomolangma:
China has launched an intensive campaign to make the west in particular stop calling the world’s highest peak as Mount Everest and instead refer to it by its Chinese name Mount Qomolangma. It says that the mountain is very sacred to the Tibetans.

The campaign was officially launched on Monday in all the newspapers. The Chinese Daily accused "British colonialists" of "ignorance and arrogance" in persisting with references to Mt Everest. "British colonialists raped the sacred mountain of the Tibetans by giving it a false name."

"Until today the world is still persistently humiliating Mt Qomolangma with English-language hegemonism," says the article in the China Daily.

The name Everest was given to the mountain in 1865 in honour of Sir George Everest who was then surveyor-general of India. He mapped the peak in 1852. But China claims the peak was first mapped in 1717 by Qing dynasty officials. It justifies its occupation of Tibet on the basis of this claim, says a Daily Telegraph report.
More names for Mt. Everest by following the link.
Today's Hoot
The Raleigh News and Observer mentions that North Carolina's boy Senator, John Edwards, got an 7 page spread in GQ.
Though generally positive, the article contains a description of Edwards stumping in New Hampshire that probably won't show up in future campaign literature.

"It is a slight shock," author Robert Draper writes of him, "when one's eyes apprehend [Edwards] ... with his Dennis the Menace hairdo, clutching a Diet Coke and grinning like a jackass eating bees."
Pond Scum
Would-be press lord Arthur Sulzberger Jr, and his familiar, Howell Raines, made the scene at a Berkeley soiree:
In a public discussion about their editorial process, The New York Times' top decision-makers answered critics about the paper's coverage of the Middle East and the possible war against Iraq.

The Times has sought to ensure an open and honest political debate takes place before the nation decides whether to wage war, Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told a forum at the University of California, Berkeley on Monday.

"That's our job," said Sulzberger, who appeared with Howell Raines, the Times' executive editor, in a dialogue moderated by Orville Schell, the dean of Berkeley's graduate school of journalism, and Mark Danner, a professor at the school who also is a staff writer for the New Yorker.

Raines said the Times will work hard to get reporters and photographers into the war zone, as it did in Afghanistan, despite any Bush administration efforts to control the media in a press pool.

Danner noted that conservatives have accused the paper of campaigning against using military action to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Raines said the paper is merely reporting on the political process.

"If there's an absence of debate in the country, if Congress is not standing up to the administration in an adversarial way, that's a news story," Raines said.
Around here we have to buy fancy equipment to spread this stuff around, but these guys can do it effortlessly!
Naked Swedish Nurse Alert!
More female activists threaten to remove clothes!
Home-help nurses in Sweden are threatening to go to work in the nude.

The nurses in Orebro are preparing for the naked protest if their bosses fail to help them them pay for new uniforms.

According to the Nya Orebro-Kuriren newspaper, they are demanding a financial contribution to get new working clothes.

They will reportedly make the naked protest if they don't get help.

Around 30 employees have vented their anger in a postcard campaign aimed at the administration of elderly care.
That ought to get the old gents' hearts started!

I know it's not big news, but think what a title like this will do for my search engine hit rate!
To Protect and Serve
The AP shocks with Police Cars May Feature Advertising:
"I don't want my officers driving around in a car that says, `Trojan: Ribbed for extra pleasure'"...

The deal works like this: A police department agrees to put ads on its patrol cars, usually on the hoods or on the side and rear. In return, Government Acquisitions provides new patrol cars to the department for $1, and replaces them every three years. The company keeps the ad revenue. ...

"I'll be happy to slap someone's name on our municipal building if they give us enough money," North Brunswick Mayor David Spaulding said. ...

Michael Moriarty, North Brunswick's public safety director, said officers from other communities find the idea hilarious. They have been calling up, pretending to be from Hooters and offering to sponsor a car.
Time to think outside the box - how about the City Council members wearing advertising tee shirts during the Council meetings? And how about garbage trucks?
It's Jumping Jim Jeffords!
From the Washington Times:
So what's an opportunist to do?

Rejoin the Republicans. According to a senior Senate leadership source, the election results were barely in before Mr. Jeffords' office put out feelers to his former party's leaders. The message? That the Vermonter would be happy to caucus with the GOP - so long as he retained his committee chairmanship. Republican leaders rightly rolled their eyes.
Payback's a bitch.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

It's time for the West Wing!
According to Tony Auth.
Trial Lawyers Alert!
The Newhouse News Service reports Gaming Industry Could Be Next Target of a Big Tobacco-Type Lawsuit:
It could be a slots-to-suits story for the nation's casinos.

From legal and academic scholars to social activists, a growing number of industry experts say gaming's deep pockets could be the next target for the kind of mega-lawsuits filed against Big Tobacco.

Gambling opponents have long charged that casinos fuel addiction and say the states that welcome casinos don't do enough to battle what they argue is a burgeoning public health crisis. But casino executives and even addiction counselors have said casinos don't cause compulsive gambling. They maintain, rather, that a certain percentage of the population is predisposed to addiction.

While it is unclear what effect such lawsuits could have, as no such action has been filed, casino companies are taking threats of litigation seriously and are watching two ongoing cases in Ontario and Indiana.
I wonder how the Indians are going to take this? And what happened to the junk food lawsuits? Dang, it's hard to keep up!
News you can use!
It must have been a slow news day as the Xinhua News Agency (Communist China) put everyone to sleep with No longer Everest: Westerners urged to recognize original name of world's highest peak.
Though the Chinese marked the location of Mount Qomolangma. the world's highest peak, on their map more than 280 years ago, Westerners today continue to refer to the peak as Mount Everest, rather than Tibetans' Goddess Qomolangma, the peak's original name.

It is time, say scholars and Tibetans, for the world to rectify the error made by British colonialists over a century ago.

"In an era when colonialism has long been past, it is high time for the Western world to respect us Tibetans by recognizing the highest peak on earth in its Tibetan name, Qomolangma," Gelek, a Tibetan scholar with China's Tibetology Center in Beijing, said.
In a paper published in 1958, Lin Chao, a late prestigious expert on geographic history and topography with Beijing University, noted that the British man did not deserve the honor, as it was Tibetans themselves who first discovered the peak.

According to Lin's research, the Manchurian and Han (or Chinese)languages in names of Qomolangma first appeared in different editions of the Atlas of the Whole Imperial Territory in 1719 and 1721 respectively during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The survey and marking of Qomolangma on the map by Chinese people preceded the British colonists' mapping by more than 130 years, Lin said.
"The British colonists gave the name only because they thought it had no name," Prof. Chen Qingying, an expert with the Tibetology Center, said. "It was very cocky and blind of the British to believe that they could make discoveries everywhere and pose themselves as discoverers."

Basang Cering, a Tibetology major from Shigatse of Tibet studies in the Central University for Ethnic Minorities, said he was convinced that no Tibetans could accept the British name for the world's highest peak.

"How could they name our goddess after a foreign man?" he said."The sound is disharmonious with the legends about the holy peak we Tibetans have known from generation to generation. This is a disrespect and discrimination against our Tibetan culture."

Prof. Losang Tenzin, working at Basang Cering's university, said, "It's not simply a question of the name. The name, as well as the peak, holds dear and remains very important to us, it has become part of the Tibetan culture."

Xu Tiebing, a professor of international relations at the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, noted that the name given by the indigenous people should be fully respected in compliance with the norms governing international relations.

"It was excusable for Westerners to call the peak 'Everest' because of their ignorance of its Tibetan name," Xu said. "But now so many years have passed and it is really a high time for them to rectify the error."

Gelek said it is also the duty of the international Tibetology community to use Tibetan names for Tibetan things.

"When Qomolangma becomes the only word the people worldwide use to refer to the highest peak on earth, I, as a Tibetan, will then feel at ease and very contented."

Surely, Gelek said, the goddess Qomolangma, too, will feel relieved when that day comes.
Qomolangma? Sorry turkeys, but some whining from party approved "Tibetans" isn't going to cut it. Is this what you do when you aren't terrorizing the real Tibetans?

And I still think the tags at Wal-Mart should say "Made in Communist China".
Eat dust, Ecoweenies!
The San Jose Mercury News (CA) reports that Hummer H2 is hot in the valley:
Silicon Valley's newest status symbol needs a big parking space.

The Hummer H2, the huge sport-utility shaped like a brick on wheels, is a surprise hit. In October, it outsold all other models in its class, including SUVs from BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln and Lexus.

Silicon Valley's two Hummer dealers can barely keep the $50,000 behemoths in stock. Putnam Hummer in Burlingame and Los Gatos Hummer are planning expansions so they can sell more. And both dealerships have been surprised by the number of female buyers.

``You're up high. You feel very safe,'' said Sharon Andres, who works for the San Jose Unified School District. She bought a sunset orange H2 two weeks ago. After previously driving a Ford Explorer, she was looking for something bigger.

``It's fun to drive. It's fun to be in. It makes people smile,'' she said.
The new H2, which is taller and wider than Ford's 20-foot-long, 3.5-ton Excursion but several feet shorter, has such a distinctive, block-like silhouette that it's unmistakable coming down the road. Or in your rear-view mirror.

The only thing like it is the original Hummer, now dubbed the H1. That's the made-for-the-military Humvee that joined civilian ranks in 1992. Now selling for more than $100,000, the H1 was never more than a specialty vehicle.

In the past six months, Hummer dealers have sold more than 11,000 H2s. That's more than the combined total sales of the H1 in 10 years on the market.
Sorry, but I want one of the originals with some of the extra cost options. That'll get me a parking space!

Hmmm, and I thought the pickup was the answer to What Would Jesus Drive!
Today's Hoot
Peter Finn in the Washington Post relates that Hit Song Taxes German's Patience: Parody Mocks Schroeder on Economy .
He may not be No. 1 at the White House, what with the Iraq thing and all, but Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is burning up the German charts.

A spoof of Schroeder supposedly singing a doctored version of the hugely successful "The Ketchup Song" has raced to the top of Germany's music charts. But the chancellor, who has placed in the Top 10 before, is not toasting the hit. "It is a fair assumption that Schroeder is not pleased with this song," a government spokesman said when asked to comment on a song that debuted at No. 1 this week.

"Der Steuersong" ("The Tax Song") mocks the chancellor as a relentless, amoral, conniving taxer. "I am as beloved as athlete's foot, and I want the best from you, your money!" sings Elmar Brandt, Germany's leading impersonator of Schroeder's sometimes folksy speech. "Dog tax, tobacco tax, car and environmental tax," goes the song, which rhymes in German. "Did you really believe there wouldn't be more?"

The accompanying video is brutal: A puppet of a cigar-smoking Schroeder depicts the leader stealing from a Red Cross collection tin, taking medicine from the sick and stashing money in a safe before the safe falls on him.


Schroeder has remained silent about the new song, but news reports here suggest he may sue Brandt. That seems unlikely, however, given the derision that greeted his decision to sue a news agency that reported he dyed his hair.

"Can the chancellor be mocked like this?" asked the indignant tabloid Bild in an editorial. "Does the chancellor puppet really have to end up under a safe at the end of the video?"

"There is nothing wrong with the video at all," TV personality Gaby Koester told Bild. "Nothing wrong happens to the safe."
The BBC has the lyrics. The Chorus goes:
I raise your taxes. A cast vote is a vote cast, you can't fire me anymore. That's the cool thing about democracy.

I dig deeply in your pockets. Every single one of you has got some dough tucked away. And I'll get it, I'll find it - doesn't matter where it is.

I'll strip you bare, you losers. You'll be astounded, I'll manage to surprise you. There is no tax that I can't come up with.
Moving Day Alert!
Over on Free Republic, Registered posted a picture of Senator "Jumping" Jim Jeffords' new office, now that Republicans are in the majority.

One of the wags suggested that Hillary's new office is in the basement.
Shiny Chapeau Alert!
American RealPolitik finds just the gift for your Leftist pals.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Wussification Alert!
WPVI in Philadelphia relates the sad state of childhood in the Garden State in Schools Ban Tag, Dodge Ball and Other Games:
Tag, dodge ball and other playground favorites are coming under more scrutiny at many New Jersey schools, as the threat of injuries and lawsuits spurs more districts to ban the games.

In Long Hill, a ban on tag was part of a code of conduct signed by pupils at one of the Morris County district's elementary schools this year. Instead, a modified version of the game is played indoors with plenty of supervision.

"The idea of loosely running around and chasing each other is not safe," Long Hill Superintendent Arthur DiBenedetto told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Monday's editions.
This just in! Death toll rising from tag game on the 200 block of Maple Street!

Somehow I avoided signing a "code of conduct" when I was in elementary school. I must have been recovering from my injuries.
Tag is not the only game that has been targeted. Dodge ball, also known as bombardment, was banned at several schools in New Jersey and other states because officials feared that some students were being singled out as targets by bullies.

"There's potential for some victimization," said Mary Beth Klotz, a psychologist with the National Association of School Psychologists. "Tag may look OK socially, but it can be a double standard because kids can use it to bully a certain student."
No truth to the rumor that Ms. Klotz was the recipient of numerous noogies in her youth.
Too much cheese alert!
Agence France-Presse astounds with We invented cricket, say French:
A Former president of the French cricket federation has revived claims that his country invented a sport widely regarded as the embodiment of Englishness.

Didier Marchois, who plays for Chauny, northern France, told Britain's Sunday Express newspaper that medieval documents referred to matches near the battlefields of Crecy and Agincourt during the Hundred Years War.

"They leave no room for doubt," Marchois said. "Cricket was born in the north of France and taken across the Channel by English soldiers who picked it up from us during truce periods in the Hundred Years War."
I find it hard to believe that the French army had time for cricket at Crecy and Agincourt as they were kept rather busy plucking arrows out of their butts.
Bobby Mugabe Alert
The Daily News (Zimbabwe) alarms with Public faces arrest for talking or pointing at Mugabe's motorcade:
Government has legislated that Zimbabweans will not be allowed to utter any words, or make any movement or gesture that might be construed to be offensive to President Mugabe or any member of his escort, when the presidential motorcade passes.
Hey Bobby, this is for you!

I wonder what the betting is on how long before someone shows this thug the business end of an RPG?
Buddy, can you spare a riyal?
The Arab News claims that Beggary up 50% in Ramadan:
The number of beggars in the Kingdom increases by 50 percent during Ramadan, according to Awadh Al-Radadi, deputy minister of labor and social affairs. He told Al-Watan daily that 80 percent of beggars are non-Saudis.

"The beggars use different methods to draw the attention and sympathy of philanthropists. They often display medical bills and house rent agreements and tell sob stories of their sufferings to win sympathy," he said.

The beggars use modern telecommunication methods such as mobiles to inform one another about the arrival of anti-beggary squads.
What happened to "washing windshields" at stop lights?
The increasing irrelevance of the Church of England
In the Telegraph (UK), Jonathan Petre reports that Church backs raves to bring in young people:
The Church of England gave its official blessing to alternative forms of youth worship such as "raves in the nave" yesterday as part of its efforts to attract young people into church.

Against a backdrop of declining churchgoing among children and teenagers, the General Synod supported a new "national youth strategy" and a new fund designed to encourage greater participation by the under-30s.

During the debate speakers commended the types of services that would have aroused the wrath of many liturgical traditionalists.

Youth services range from those organised by Soul Survivor, which feature rock bands or Christian disc jockeys, to those that favour "post-modern symbolism", from surreal video images with ambient music to offerings of salt or sunflower seeds.

The most notorious of recent times was the "nine o'clock service" in Sheffield, which was closed down after allegations of improper relations between the clergyman and female members of the congregation.
How about a keg party?
That'll ruin your day!
KMBC-TV reports that Raw Sewage Spews Into Calif. Homes Like Volcano:
PASADENA, Calif. -- Raw waste rushing through a city sewer line backed up into homes, blowing open toilet lids, filling bathtubs and damaging at least seven homes.

Waste began rushing into toilets and drains at about noon Saturday after city workers unblocked a clogged sewer line, city Street Supervisor Leo Alamillo said.

"It was like a volcano out of the commode," Mario Duenas told the Pasadena Star-News.

His wife, Janice, said she ran into the bathroom and held down the toilet lid, but her legs were still covered with sewage. The couple estimated it would cost more than $5,000 to clean up their home.

In another house, sewage soaked carpets and nearly filled an 18-inch-deep bathroom tub.
I deserve at least a minor award for not making even one play on words involving the 4 letter euphemism for excrement.
Yep, It's Bubba
The American Prowler chortles over You Pay, You Lose:
But Hawaii had a tight gubernatorial race going, with Republican former Maui Mayor Linda Lingle running neck and neck with Democratic Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono. This left the Hawaii Government Employees Association worried that their traditionally Democratic state was shifting. So they invited Clinton to rally the troops. The HGEA covered all of the expenses for Clinton and his entourage.

"It was classic Clinton," says a DNC staffer. "He hit Honolulu, did his usual shtick and then bolted."

In all, HGEA staffers estimate that Clinton campaigned for Democrats for about four hours, while he played better than a day's worth of golf, also on the HGEA's dime. What bang did it get for its buck? Republican Lingle beat Democrat Hirono by five percentage points.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Who'd Have Thunk It?
The Independent (UK) says Expelled asylum-seekers head back towards Calais:
Many of the asylum-seekers expelled from a Calais church on Thursday, and shipped by police to other parts of France, are already making their way back to the Channel coast, it emerged yesterday.

Although most have agreed verbally to seek asylum in France, abandoning all right to do so in Britain, very few have actually done so.

In a typical incident, 29 refugees, mostly Iraqi Kurds, arrived by train in the small town of Joué-les-Tours, on the Loire near Tours, 350 miles from Calais, on Thursday afternoon. They were taken to a refugee shelter in the town.

Thirteen left the shelter immediately, saying that they were going "shopping". They did not return, and are believed to have taken trains, or hitch-hiked, back to the Channel coast. The remaining 16 had not yet made formal asylum requests yesterday. The same pattern was reported from 15 other towns which received 250 refugees expelled from Calais on Thursday and Friday ? including 96 who had been expelled from the Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul church.

It was becoming clear that the French authorities and refugees were engaged in a giant game of cat and mouse. Refugees are being systematically swept from the streets of Calais and taken hundreds of miles away, but most are immediately setting out again for the north. Others have set up makeshift camps in the countryside around Calais, from which they attempt to make the increasingly difficult, illegal journey to Britain.
I'll skip my usual lecture about "The Camp of the Saints" and instead go for the best anecdote in the article:
Meanwhile, camp lists have turned up some anomalies: one resident for the past two years turns out to be a homeless 35-year-old British man known only as Chris L. Asked why he's there, he replies: "Because this is the place you find the best Afghan shit [cannabis]."
As Scooby Doo would say, "Ruh Oh!"
KYW radio in Philadelphia says Meteor Storm Coming:
People along the east coast, including in the Philadelphia region, are in for an astronomical spectacle Monday night into Tuesday morning. Forecasters are predicting not the annual Leonid meteor shower, but a meteor storm.

At the peak of a meteor shower you can usually see about 10 meteors an hour racing across the dark sky. But during a meteor storm, Wayne Adams, a sky watcher with the Bucks Mont Astronomical Association, says you see many, many more:

"This year they're predicting that we can see anywhere between three to five thousand meteors per hour at the peak."
Over at Free Republic, BenLurkin says:
Yikes! I know what happens next. The people who watch the meteors all go blind. . .and then the meteors deposit seeds that grow into trees . . . only the trees eat the blind people . . AND . . .these trees can pull up their roots and chase people down. . . it will be horrible . . .

Wait, that's the
Triffids not the Leonids . . .

Never mind.
As usual...
It's Sunday at Blogspot and the permalinks are uneasy....
Debbie Does Dallas ... the musical?
In NY, the Jane Street Theatre proudly presents the musical version of Debbie Does Dallas:
The folks who brought Urinetown to Broadway have mined the New York International Fringe Festival yet again, and this time they're bringing Debbie Does Dallas to the mainstream. This show was the hit of the 2001 FringeNYC (though not well-reviewed at all); the Araca Group has engaged Erica Schmidt to revise the script and restage the show and now we'll see what they've come up [with]. The show is a musical version of the famous porn film, in which ambitious Debbie will stop at nothing for a shot at a Dallas Cowboys cheerleading job.
But don't get too excited, Michael Criscuolo starts his review with:
Okay, let's get the important stuff out of the way first. The new Off-Broadway production of the porn classic Debbie Does Dallas does not contain any nudity or sex. Adapter/director Erica Schmidt and composer Andrew Sherman have put musical numbers in place of all the film's sex scenes.
My curiosity was insufficient for the task of investigating Urinetown.
Secret Handshake Alert!
Mary Landrieu is on Meet the Press this morning spouting her usual line of blather, but the interesting thing is that she is sporting the pin of the Democrat Sisters elite:

If you don't mind wearing something that looks like Rodan hatching an egg, you can now pick up the cheap version from Ann Hand for $100. Be there or be square!

Hmmm, I'm not sure it would look chic on my overalls.
Fly in the Smart Growth Ointment
The Berkeley Daily Planet reports that Californians want a single-family home:
For the second straight year, an overwhelming number of Californians told pollsters they prefer to drive alone to work and live in a single-family home, two desires that often confound lawmakers trying to steer growth back into cities.

While residents of the San Francisco Bay Area are the state’s most comfortable with a high-density urban lifestyle, 86 percent of 2,010 adults interviewed in a new growth survey by the Public Policy Institute of California said they want a house with a yard.
Advocates of more mixed development say Californians haven’t seen enough good examples of compact urban living that emphasizes walking over driving.
"When we talk to the policy makers and some of them try to move us in a different direction, my standard statement is when you’re in business to build a product and sell it, you really want to give people what they want. And that’s what they want," said Robert Rivinius, chief executive officer of the California Building Industry Association.

Such resounding opinion also counters the so-called "smart growth" favored by three wealthy California foundations that commissioned the survey. They’ve seeded the emerging, but often embattled, development trend with millions of dollars, emphasizing transit, townhouses and apartments above stores to slow suburban growth in a state that loses 50,000 acres of irrigated farmland every year to development.
"To me, it says there is going to be resistance to smart growth - and there is," said Baldassare, a longtime monitor of California’s public opinion. "I don’t think the public has been provided with a vision that makes them feel comfortable with doing things differently than we have in the past 50, 60 years."

But the Irvine foundation is not deterred, spokesman David Shaw said. "We still believe there’s an untapped market of people who are looking for alternatives, whether that’s a townhouse near transit or apartments in the suburbs."
Keep spinning fellas. We've seen your vision and aren't enthused.
How Terrible!
Newsday reports on a protest march in New York City in Post-9/11 Immigrant Treatment Protested:
About 200 people marched yesterday in lower Manhattan against the government's post-Sept. 11 treatment of immigrants, in a short-lived rally that quickly melted in the cold rain.
All the usual suspects were there, but the highlight of the show was:
But speakers - representing several ethnicities - said rights are consistently violated.

"I've been discriminated [against] a great deal," said Debbie Almontaser, a Brooklyn member of Justice for Detainees, who traces her lineage to Yemen. Before Sept. 11, Almontaser wore her hijab - head scarf - without problems. But now passersby "look at my face, and look at my head, and I can sense that people are thinking of things, and making connections of the fact that I'm Muslim, and that Islam has been connected to terrorism - so-called terrorism."
Kind of says it all doesn't it?
You Can't Make This Stuff Up!
The Memphis (Tennessee) Commercial Appeal astounds with Rename Civil War parks? It's time, says Bailey:
Many Memphians viewed last summer's heavyweight championship fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson as one of the city's crowning moments.
Sounds like "many Memphians" have a rather limited worldview.
But for County Commission chairman Walter Bailey, the event also highlighted a major civic embarrassment.

Bailey said Lewis's attorney and some HBO officials were driving through downtown and spotted a monument dedicated to Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

"They thought that was a bit unbecoming," Bailey recalled. "That was sort of an awakening call."

That uncomfortable experience has prompted Bailey to begin some informal discussions about changing the names of three city parks dedicated to the Civil War: Confederate Park, where the Davis monument is located, nearby Jefferson Davis Park and Forrest Park in the medical center area.
Memphis must really be in great shape otherwise, if a "major civic embarassment" is the names of the town parks. And it certainly is swell that Mr. Bailey's guides to local civic matters are some out-of-town boxing riffraff.
So far, Bailey said he's met only with a few city leaders to gauge support for the potentially controversial idea.

Bailey said a public discussion of park renaming is probably premature, so he talked about it only reluctantly.
He's afraid of being called an asshat.
But he said the goal would be to remove some symbols of an era many Memphians would rather forget.

"Changes would be consistent with our efforts to become a world-class city," Bailey said. "These monuments are offensive to some people."
Ah a "world-class" city - what a goal! Gosh, does being "world-class" mean you get more boxing matches? As for being "offensive to some people", Mr. Bailey undoubtedly offends more people when he breaks wind in a crowded elevator.

But here's a thought, have people and organizations pay to get their name on the parks. How about Mike Tyson Park? Or Sex and the City Park? Or maybe Bailey can cough up the cake himself for Shameless Political Whore Park.
More UK News!
Reuters reports that Thousands come forward to road test condoms
The winners will be required to perform what the firm called "rigorous pleasure tests" on its entire range and fill in a detailed questionnaire on their reactions.

"The response has been phenomenal," marketing manager Victoria Wells said on Friday. "It is quite surprising how much detail some people go into when answering intimate questions."
while Sky News reveals that down on the farm:
Posh, Camilla, Madonna and Kylie are popular new names for cows according to a new survey of farmers.

The National Farmers' Union study, found that rather than using traditional names, farmers are naming their herd after stars of pop, film, sports and royalty
Fidel Home Videos Again
I previously mentioned that some of Fidel Castro's Funniest Home Videos were soon to hit the small screen. Well the FARKers have worked up their own versions of the Fidel Show.
Banned in Beijing!
Testing via Real-Time Testing of Internet Filtering in China reveals that:
Testing complete for Result:
Reported as inaccessible in China
How did they know I was selling Wong Wei souvenir photos?

(Link via Glenn Frazier, via Cato the Youngest, via Blogs of War.)
Hey, no Peugeot jokes!
Kim Wisher in the Telegraph (UK) amuses with Peugeot 'space cake' causes a high in production:
Supervisors at a Peugeot car parts factory believed they were levitating, experienced uncontrollable urges to laugh and had to be taken to hospital after a junior employee brought a cake laced with cannabis to work, a court was told last week.

The man, named only as Bruno by a magistrates court in Vesoul, eastern France, was charged with possession, use of cannabis and causing "involuntary injury" to his colleagues, which included three of his shopfloor supervisors. He admitted possessing cannabis and adding it to the cake, but said he had taken it to work by mistake.

Bruno told the court that he had baked four chocolate cakes on the evening before his 24th birthday on January 8 this year. One was for his own consumption and he had added eight grams of finely grated cannabis resin to the ingredients. The amount was said to be enough to fill five joints a day for a week for a heavy cannabis smoker.

Bruno, to periodic eruptions of laughter from the public gallery, said that he had baked his so-called "space cake" on two or three previous occasions following a recipe he had found on the internet. "It [cannabis] enables me to escape, to think of other things," he said.

He told the court that on his birthday he rose at dawn to start the 6am shift on the production line at the Peugeot factory in Vesoul and he picked up the drugged cake by mistake.

He put the "space cake", along with a second "harmless" gâteau, on a table in the staff room to be shared during the morning break.
And hilarity ensued.

What did people do before the Internet? Wait - don't tell me!