Saturday, May 03, 2003

Auf Wiedersehen
Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal:
We'd like to help you, really we would, but let's be honest, Germany. You've been distant lately. Like when you said all those mean things about our president. You don't have to spell it out for us; we know you want to break it off. And we're cool with it.

We've had some great times in the past but there comes a point when a country's just got to move on. We're sure you can find another superpower to move into those bases. You're a great catch.
Today's Hoot - Looting breaks out at the United Nations!
(Via Drudge) Stuart Stogel at Time amazes:
Food Fight
When the Food Workers Union stages an impromptu walkout at the U.N., the diplomats start looting for lunch and booze

Hunger pains can apparently turn even the most upstanding diplomat into a looter. At noon on Friday, food workers at the U.N. headquarters walked off their jobs, calling a wildcat strike. The result: none of the U.N.'s five restaurants and bars was staffed. The walkout left thousands of U.N. employees scrounging for lunch - eventually, the masses stripped the cafeterias of everything, including the silverware.
Hmmm, not much different than their usual activities. Here's the dirty details:
Kofi Annan, who had a private lunch previously scheduled with the members of the Security Council in the Delegates Dining Room, found they were only served the main course. After that, they were on their own - no desserts, no cleanup, no coffee for Kofi. And the service was no better for anyone else at the U.N. But as tensions grew and stomachs growled, a high-ranking U.N. official boldly ordered that all the cafeterias open their doors for business even without staff. The restaurants had been locked shut by security until about 1:00 pm when the doors flung open.

The decision to make the cafeterias into "no pay zones" spread through the 40-acre complex like wildfire. Soon, the hungry patrons came running. "It was chaos, wild, something out of a war scene," said one Aramark executive who was present. "They took everything, even the silverware," she said. Another witness from U.N. security said the cafeteria was "stripped bare." And another told TIME that the cafeteria raid was "unbelievable, crowds of people just taking everything in sight; they stripped the place bare." And yet another astonished witness said that "chickens, turkeys, souffles, casseroles all went out the door (unpaid)."

The mob then moved on to the Viennese Café, a popular snack bar in the U.N.'s conference room facility. It was also stripped bare. The takers included some well-known diplomats who finished off the raid with free drinks at the lounge for delegates. When asked how much liquor was lifted from the U.N. bar, one U.S. diplomat responded: "I stopped counting the bottles." He then excused himself and headed towards the men's room.
Too bad there wasn't a camera crew on hand!

And Stuart, while "no coffee for Kofi" is a good try, the big cheese himself says his name rhymes with "Sophie Cannon".
We're polite and refined - let's have a literary tea!
Today we are going to discuss Evita's Hillary Rodham Clinton's new book:

I'll get you, my pretty! And your little dog, too!

Well, dang! While she whipped the ghost writers into getting it out for an early June launch, we don't actually have a copy of the amnesiac's memoirs to discuss. But there's still fun to be had. Drop by Amazon's customer advice page for this weighty tome and you'll see that the internet wags have been at work:
Top customer recommendations in addition to Living History
1. Getting in Touch With Your Inner Bitch
2. The Case Against Hillary Clinton
3. Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Endangered America's Long-Term National Security
4. Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton
5. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
See the full top ten lists of customer recommended complements and subsitutions by following the link.

Hey, my favorite, Everyone Poops, didn't make the list! But The Great Puke-Off (Pollari, Pat. Barf-O-Rama, No. 1.) and Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch : Tales from a Bad Neighborhood do open up new horizons.

The Flight
Mark Steyn in the Telegraph - What counts is what a guy does when he's not talking:
Speaking as a third-rate hack, I'd say articulacy is greatly overrated. Watching the President fly in, I envied a guy who can control an S-3B Viking. I've been in enough Piper Cubs to figure I'd have a sporting chance if the bad guy shot the pilot and I had to pull the plane out of a tailspin and save me and Pussy Galore.

But if it was an F102 Delta Dagger, like Bush flew in the 1960s, me and Pussy would be in big trouble. If Bush, who got a National Guard deferment for Vietnam, is a draft dodger like Clinton (as the Lefties charge), he's a dodger of a different order.

I shall say no more because I sense a touch of the Rageh Omaars coming on. Like the BBC's squealing schoolgirl giving the full Monica to a Saddamite bureaucrat ("Once you have tasted the waters of the Tigris, you can never forget Baghdad!!!"), I feel the urge to lapse into orgasmic multiple exclamations: Man, you are way cool!!!! That flight was, like, totally awesome!!!!!

The chaps who dismiss Bush as a moron forget that what counts is what a guy does when he's not talking. It's true that he didn't know the name of the leader of Wackistan before he became president. But one advantage of that is that he isn't the prisoner of his past the way, say, Chirac, Schröder and Putin are. Chirac the sleazy deal-maker, Schröder the 1960s anti-American peacenik and Putin the KGB hardman seem incapable of rising above their CVs.
While a truly "strong, silent type" wouldn't last a minute in politics, extraordinary times have allowed the President to rise above the perpetual blathering. And that drives the chattering classes barking mad.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Down with imperialism!
The NY Daily News reports Riot at Vieques navy base:
VIEQUES, Puerto Rico - Hundreds of protesters broke through a fence at the Vieques bombing range, destroying Navy vehicles and burning the American flag as they marked the end to nearly 60 years of U.S. bombing exercises.

The militants stole Navy vehicles and smashed the lights and windows with sledgehammers. They turned over a Humvee towing a boat and set them ablaze, and burned two American flags.

"Get out, Navy!" they shouted.

Vieques Mayor Damaso Serrano blasted the vandalism and pointed out that the damaged vehicles had been donated to the municipality by the Navy.

But the more I think about it, why not make a really clean break of it - grant Puerto Rico its independence and tell its citizens they have 30 days to get out of the US? Nah, it'll never work - the NY Democrat party needs the votes.
Today's Hoot!
From Anita Vogel at Fox News:
Snowman? No more. Melt that image and replace with Snowperson. Want to sail away on a yacht? No, again. It’s too elitist.

And if you think grandpa is a senior citizen, guess what? You’re wrong. That’s demeaning, according to the new standards. He is now simply an "older person."

The laundry list of words and images banned or considered offensive is not a short one. The word "jungle" has been replaced with "rain forest." The word "devil" has disappeared entirely, with no replacement.

Many of the changes seem to represent a direct assault on historical accuracy. For example, the new guidelines dictate American Indians should not be depicted with long braids, in rural settings or on reservations. There are no suggestions on how they should be depicted, however.
Er, wait a minute ... it looks like the laugh is on us!
A textbook review process taking place in states across the country has changed or eliminated references to everything from the Founding Fathers to hot dogs, leaving many to charge educators with distorting history in the name of political correctness.

The review process, which is routinely done in many states, is meant to eliminate or replace outdated words or phrases. But what’s happening has a lot of people wondering - quite literally - "Where’s the beef?"

That’s because many textbooks will no longer feature pictures of hot dogs, sodas, cakes, butter and other kinds of food that are not considered nutritious. Nor will the books contain any phrases judged to be sexist or politically insensitive.

The Founding Fathers, for instance, are now referred to as "The Framers," in an apparent effort to make them sound less male-dominant. And there will be no more reading about Mount Rushmore, where the faces of four U.S. presidents are carved into stone, because it appears to offend some American-Indian groups.
"I think our textbooks should, to our greatest capacity, be free of any type of stereotyping," said Sue Stickel, deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the California Department of Education.
Content too, eh Sue?
Dang, I hate an unfused vertebra
From Glen Johnson in the Boston Globe:
Dean, the former governor of Vermont, has been Kerry's most persistent critic among the nine candidates for the Democratic nomination. He regularly criticizes him for granting President Bush authority to wage war in Iraq, as well as for voting for the administration's ''leave no child behind'' education act.

Dean did not serve in the military during the Vietnam War because he received a medical deferment for an unfused vertebra in his back. Several articles in the last year have noted that after his deferment, Dean spent 80 days skiing in Aspen, Colo. ''It was a great time to be a kid and do something relatively fun,'' the Aspen Times quoted Dean as saying last August.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Don we now our tin foil beanies!
Elle 'lined baby's cot with lead':
Supermodel Elle Macpherson has reportedly lined her baby's cot with lead to shield him from cosmic rays on planes.

Macpherson, 40, allegedly also used foil blankets to shield herself and sons Flynn, five, and Aurelius, 12 weeks, from radiation, British newspaper The Sun said yesterday.

The lingerie designer is said to have spent thousands of pounds on the custom-built cot, which Macpherson's partner Arpad Busson carried aboard a British Airways flight from the Bahamas to London recently.
Hmm, how much lead is enough? 1/4 inch thick or one inch or more? Don't tell Elle or Arpad will have a hernia in his future.

Another bizarre cult raises concern:
Japanese police said yesterday they were ready to crack down on a bizarre "white-costume" cult which has stirred unease among local people by occupying a public road and shrouding the surrounding area with mysterious white screens.

Police started questioning white-clad members of the Pana Wave Laboratory cult who, since last Friday have been occupying a 200-metre stretch of a mountain road with a caravan of 15 white-shrouded cars and vans in Gifu, about 300 kilometres west of Tokyo.

The local authority on Wednesday issued an expulsion order to the cult, which claims the earth is in danger because of electromagnetic waves used with evil intent by communists, according to its website.
Sounds like a pretty fair description of CNN.

Traffic ticket leads to 9-hour jury trial. It's not as mundane as it sounds:
Diewald, who identifies himself as ''The Rev. Chu Bbakka,'' was stopped by Plemons in Sheffield Township on Sept. 28 for non-working brake lights, according to a police report, and he failed to show a valid Ohio driver's license.

Instead, Plemons said, he pulled out a homemade ''international driver's license'' provided by his organization, ''The Sovereign Nation of Earth.''

Diewald testified yesterday in front of Judge Mark Mihok that his organization helps the homeless and he has no allegiance to ''any geo-political entity.''

''You can't play by society's laws, so you make up your own?'' countered Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Szabo.

''Their society doesn't want me,'' Diewald said.

Diewald called several members of his organization to the stand, including one of the ''founding fathers'' of the Sovereign Nation of Earth, James Bisso, and the secretary and treasurer of the nation, Mary Francis Cummings.
Szabo cross-examined Bisso, asking him where the Sovereign Nation of Earth is located.

''According to Chewy, it encompasses the whole earth,'' Bisso said.
Some people just shouldn't be allowed to watch Star Wars!
Hmm, how much did this cost?
Amazing gov't discovery: Junk e-mail is usually junk:
The FTC studied a random sample of 1,000 unsolicited e-mails taken from a pool of more than 11 million pieces of spam it has collected. The agency looked for deceptive claims in a message’s text or the "from" or "subject" lines.

"In one way or another, a great deal of it appears to contain important information that is false or deceptive," said Eileen Harrington, the FTC’s director of marketing practices.
Forward mine to Jay Bookman (post immediately below), thanks. He's worried about the goverment not having enough money to provide "services" and needs something to take his mind off it. Some mail offering "hot singles" and "penis enlargers" might do the trick.
Invincible Ignorance Alert!
Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a brainwave - Tax cut woos Greediest Generation:
The president's proposed $726 billion tax cut is not an economic policy. It is a crass appeal to greed, pitched to a nation conditioned to believe that greed is not a vice but a downright virtue.

And that's just the beginning of the deceptions and distortions being used to sell this policy.

The money that the tax cut would allegedly "return" to the taxpayer never came from the taxpayer in the first place.
I wonder it says on ole Jay's W2 form? But, Jay 'splains it all:
Every penny that taxpayers send to the federal government is spent by the federal government.

So how is it possible to "return" what has already been spent? The same dollar cannot be spent twice. The myth of "return" is a fiction, a cover story, concocted to soothe what little conscience we have left about such matters.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Jay to suggest reduced spending.

While the Nobel Economics Prize committee has your number, Jay, I wouldn't hang out by the phone.
You don't see too many of those around here
Bryan Smith in the Chicago Sun-Times astounds with Tongue-splitting ban slices its way through Legislature:
David Miller, the state representative from Calumet City and a practicing dentist, is serious when he talks about recent legislation he's introduced.

Miller, a Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would all but ban what has become the latest craze in "body modification"--slicing the tongue in half to create a reptilian appearance.
More than you want to know by following the link.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

They're having a hootenanny! (But not everyone is invited.)
This Saturday in South Carolina, the presidential contenders from the Democrat party are having a nationally televised debate. There will be lots of good wingnuttery on display with Carol Moseley Braun, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and the Rev. Al leading the hijinks. But it looks like there's a forgotten wingnut:
Perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche asked South Carolina Democratic leaders Monday to allow him to participate in Saturday's presidential debate.

But state Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said there would be no invitation.

"I'm not inviting him," Harpootlian said. "I think LaRouche is not a credible Democratic candidate. He's not going to participate in our process this weekend."
Hmmm, whatever happened to the "politics of inclusion?" Admittedly, Lyndon's off the wall, but look at some of the other "candidates".
LaRouche's campaign released an open letter to the state party signed by eight South Carolina legislators, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Theo Mitchell and several members of the state party's executive committee.

It also was signed by lawmakers from 11 other states and former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders.

"The attempt to limit the nominating process to an agreed upon number of candidates, as designated by the news media and a handful of people in the national party, is discriminatory," the letter said.

"Now is the time for fair and open debate on the critical issues facing our nation and our party," said the letter, which noted LaRouche is a registered candidate.

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, LaRouche has raised $3.7 million this election cycle.
Here's a copy of the letter which aside from the blather, has this telling phrase:
According to the FEC, he now ranks fourth in total contributions raised and first in total contributors, among all major Democratic candidates.
The latter is not surprising given how addicted the "party of the people" is to big money contributors. So what's the deal? Why can't Lyndon play with the other kids? Hey, at least he filed his reports with the FEC.

Besides, someone who believes in a vast international conspiracy run by the British Royal Family would raise the intellectual level of what the "credible candidates" will be putting on display.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

"Eanie meanie, cheery beanie - the spirits are about to speak"
Sky News breathlessly informs us that SADDAM WILL SPEAK:
Saddam Hussein is to deliver a message in the next three days, it has been reported

The claim was made by a previously unknown Iraqi group opposed to the US presence in Iraq.
The claim was made in a letter to the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
Hmm, selling bin Laden pronouncements must have maxed out. On to greener pastures - see y'all on eBay!
Gives new meaning to "He couldn't even get himself arrested"
Alex Spillius in the Telegraph amuses with Comical Ali even fails to surrender:
During the war he was the oddball public face of America's enemy Iraq, but now there are claims that Mohammad Said Sahaf, the former information minister, cannot get himself arrested.

The minister, nicknamed "Comical Ali" for his eccentric denials that Iraqi forces were being overrun, is said to have tried to turn himself in to the Americans. But they refused, as he was not on their list of the 55 most wanted members of Saddam Hussein's regime.

A senior Kurdish official said that Sahaf had been holed up at a relative's house in central Baghdad for a week near a street patrolled every day by American armoured vehicles.

Adel Murad, of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, told the London-based Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat: "He sent some of his relatives to inform them of his wish to surrender, but they turned him down. Negotiations are still going on to hand him over."
Sounds like an old Henny Youngman joke: "Take my brother-in-law. Please!"
Gorgeous George Alert!
James Taranto notices a discrepancy in Georgie Galloway's accounts:
Pennies for Mariam
The father of Mariam Hamza, the Iraqi leukemia patient who is supposed to be the beneficiary of a charity set up by scandal-plagued pro-Saddam British parliamentarian George Galloway, "said [Thursday] that he was worried his daughter's life was in danger because funds promised by the Scottish MP's Mariam Appeal had failed to arrive," Friday's Telegraph reports:
Hamza Abd Mittab said that the monthly allowance of £65 that the family of seven has received for three years from the appeal, to pay for Mariam's food and travel expenses, had last been paid in January. Speaking at the family home in Baghdad yesterday, he said: "Mariam's drugs are almost finished now and my daughter will die if she doesn't receive assistance."
Sixty-five pounds is the equivalent of just over $100, so the charity's annual payment to Mariam amounts to barely more than $1,200. But as today's Telegraph makes clear, Galloway isn't so niggardly with everyone. The paper reports Galloway has acknowledged the Mariam Appeal "spent more than £800,000 on political campaigns and expenses"--including an £18,000 salary for Galloway's Palestinian Arab wife. That's more than 23 times the annual payment to young Mariam.
When you send Geogie a contribution, don't forget to include extra for handling - he loves to handle it.

I love to handle it!
The latest episode of "The Rev"
Things were looking bad for The Rev yesterday:
April 29, 2003 -- WASHINGTON - The Rev. Al Sharpton was having a tough time last night meeting his deadline to file a presidential campaign finance report.

Sharpton's campaign claimed a computer glitch made it impossible to file his presidential papers electronically with the Federal Election Commission by the 5:30 p.m. deadline.

The FEC warned earlier this month that Sharpton risked a fine for failing to file timely presidential papers. Sharpton's campaign subsequently vowed to file with the FEC by yesterday.
I told you the dog ate it! But he apparently got something out to reporters:
The Rev. Al Sharpton officially entered the presidential race yesterday by filing documents showing some of the nation's leading black businessmen are bankrolling his candidacy.

In his first finance report of the 2004 race, Sharpton said he has collected $114,456 and spent $54,456, a fraction of the million-dollar fund-raising and spending tallies reported by the five leading Democratic candidates for President.
Only one problem - The Rev and his entourage have been flying around the country for months but only claim $54 K in expenditures?
Sharpton's report did not fully itemize expenditures, so it was not immediately clear how he was able to spend so little compared with his rivals while crisscrossing the country for months.

His campaign compliance attorney, Stanley Schlein, did not return calls seeking comment.
Well, he's mastered the essence of the reporting rules - it's more important to file than it is to be factual.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Only in America!
Gary Delsohn in the Sacramento Bee reports State is suing ex-dry cleaners:
CHICO -- Vart Vartabedian is 93 years old, and he's being sued for $1.4 million by the California attorney general's office.

His wife, Jean, who is in her late 80s, isn't named in the suit, but she's worried that her two sons, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren could be stuck with the bills after she and her husband are gone.

And the Vartabedians aren't alone.

Their longtime friends Bob and Inez Heidinger -- he's 87, has Alzheimer's disease and is blind in one eye; she's 83, has bone marrow cancer and needs shoulder surgery -- also are being sued.

So are Betty Rollag, a Chico widow, and about a half-dozen other retired and elderly residents of this college town who the state says are responsible for poisoning much of the city's water.
Also named in the suit are the city of Chico, whose sewers in the contaminated area are cracked and leaking, and Paul Tullius, a 57-year-old retired Air Force pilot, and his wife, Vicki, who own a warehouse that last housed a dry cleaner in 1972 -- 16 years before they bought the building without knowing its entire history.

"This is the most draconian law you could ever imagine," said Tullius, who's worried his children might somehow wind up with the responsibility to pay some of the costs. "I fought in two wars. I thought I've done everything right and now -- can you imagine getting a bill like this for something we had absolutely nothing to do with? Can you imagine what that does to your life? I'm sort of thinking this isn't the country I thought it was."
You got that right, Paul. More on the old folks in the article, but let's just consider Mr. Tullius:
Tullius bought a warehouse in downtown Chico in 1988 to store old cars he used to collect. He said he had no idea it had housed a dry cleaner from 1964 until 1972, and even if he had, he wouldn't have thought much of it.

But because his name is on the title to the building, which he's leasing to a Chico homeless shelter, he's been told that he and his wife are liable, too.

Tullius has filed a few court motions with the help of a lawyer friend, but he said he refuses to spend the estimated $75,000 to $100,000 he figures it would cost to hire an attorney for the long, drawn-out litigation.

As for the man who sold him the building 15 years ago, Tullius said: "He's sort of become a friend, but I'm going to have to sue him, and I suppose he'll have to sue the person he bought it from."
And more on that theme:
The lawsuits have done something else the defendants find difficult to live with: They've pitted longtime friends against one another.

Bob Heidinger and Vartabedian used to be close. When the men were single, Vartabedian said, they "ran around together."

But the Superfund statute has a civil law provision called "joint and several" liability.

It allows an injured plaintiff, in this case the state, to recover damages from one or more of a combination of defendants -- even if one or more defendants can't pay and if it's impossible to prove exactly how much each defendant contributed to the pollution.

So, to protect themselves against the possibility of being stuck with all the costs, defendants in such suits typically sue one another.

"I'm not unsympathetic to anyone in this suit," said attorney Johnson. "It's just a symptom of our industrial age that we're not competently dealing with. It's just one of those things you find yourself in. You do the best you can and end up feeling bad for everybody."
That's not quite how I would describe the feeling it gives me.
"Holy Hans Blix! Look Who's Sixty-Six."
Saddam Hussein celebrated his 66th birthday today with the traditional cake and ice cream with friends and family.

The surprise party, organized by one of his wives, came as quite a shock to Mr. Hussein.

"When we jumped out from behind the chemical drums and shouted 'Surprise!', Saddam just fainted dead away," said an unnamed wife.
It's ScrappleFace.
I speak Korean!
'North Korea will disarm if the US drops its hostile attitude'

Translation: We would deal you some rounds of 3 Card Monte if you send tons of cash and ask nicely. Also send a big electric train set for Kim Jong-Il.

Where's the peanut farmer? This sounds like his kind of deal!
Don't snort anthrax alert!
Egyptian sailor dies in Brazil from anthrax-police:
BRASILIA, Brazil, April 28 (Reuters) - A crew member of an Egyptian merchant ship has died in northern Brazil, almost certainly from anthrax, after opening a suitcase suspected of containing the substance which he was taking to Canada.

A spokesman for Brazilian federal police in the Amazon state of Para said on Monday an autopsy of the Egyptian man, whom he named as Ibrahim Saved Soliman Ibrahim, showed that he had died after vomiting, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.
Castro said Ibrahim had been given the suitcase in Cairo by an unidentified person and was due to deliver it to somebody in Canada. But he doubted Ibrahim knew what the content of the bag was otherwise he most likely would not have opened it.

"He opened it because he was curious," Castro said.
Modulo it's Brazil and the story might change tomorrow, it sounds like our little pals are up to more tricks.
Wafting on the breeze
Mass. Meeting to Have Scent-Free Zones:
SHUTESBURY, Mass. - People who attend Shutesbury's upcoming town meeting will be segregated by scent to avoid disturbing those hypersensitive to chemicals and odors.

Splitting the meeting hall into three sections May 3 is part of a two-year-long effort that also has produced "fragrance-free" hours at the library.

One section of the room will be reserved for people who never use perfumes or scented deodorants, detergents or other products. The second will be for those who sometimes wear fragrance but not on the day of the meeting, and the third will be labeled, "Seating for those who forgot and used cologne and perfume."

Using fragrances in public is similar to smoking, said Town Administrator David Ames, who is also responsible for making the town compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He said the Massachusetts Office of Disabilities recommended establishing the fragrance zones.
Hmmm, where's the section for people who eat beans?

UPDATE: Wait, there's more! Check out this screed by Ziporah Hildebrandt, Chair, ADA Committee for the Town of Shutesbury. (That's Americans with Disabilities Act to you civilians.)
Q: Why do we have to bother with being fragrance free?

A: Fragrance free is a civil rights issue. ...

Q: What if I am already contaminated with terrible smells but I have to go somewhere that is Fragrance Free?

A: If you can, shower beforehand using baking soda instead of soap and shampoo. ...
And to top it off:
Recent visitors to the Spear Library on Monday mornings have seen a new sign announcing Fragrance Free Hours.

This sign lists products that are strictly barred from the library from 10:30-noon, so that patrons disabled with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) can enter the building. These community members can be seriously affected with severe pain, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, respiratory distress and other symptoms from just one whiff of many chemicals?even "natural" products.

The ADA Committee requests that the community offer maximum support from patrons who use the library at this time. Strict adherence to the requirements of the Fragrance Free Hours are necessary for the health and safety of disabled residents of Shutesbury, and their right to access library services.

If Fragrance Free Hours do not receive the voluntary cooperation of every patron, other measures (translation: expensive accommodations) will be necessary to ensure that disabled people have access to library services.
Oh yeah, Ziporah thinks she suffers from MCS herself. What a surprise!

Remember library patrons - no farting in the stacks!

Soon to be on the remainder table at a bookstore near you
Hillary Clinton's Memoirs to Hit Stores:
WASHINGTON - After laying out a seven-figure advance for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoirs, her publishers are counting on seven-figure sales.

The account of her years in the White House will have a first printing of 1 million copies, her lawyer told The Associated Press. The 576-page book, entitled "Living History," is scheduled for release June 9. An audio version, read by Clinton, will be released the same day.
The book, which took two years to write, will be billed as a "complete and candid" accounting of her years in the White House, from the health care debate to impeachment to the launching of her own political campaign in 2000.
"Complete and candid" - tell me another one!

Here's an "improved" snap of the front cover:

Don't cry for me, Argentina!

Dang, that's scary!

Sunday, April 27, 2003

More fun than a barrel of monkeys!
Don't worry Teresa, it's not about John. We're just following Tim Blair (hyperlinks are bloggered, go here and search the page for Face for Peace) to . And he's found the mother lode of wingnuttery. Check out Kaushalya, catalyst for change, for a sample. Or kate who opines "i have been involved in peace and social justice since before i can remember."

But the best part is that you can submit a face! After filling out a questionnaire and uploading a picture, you'll get a URL you can send to all your friends. But it's a transitory pleasure - they seem to be censoring the "faces" that are actually linked in the main "rally" to guarantee peacenik proclivities. The URLs for "faces" that don't make the grade start returning a 500 - Internal Server Error after they catch on. Good coding, goofballs.

Hmm, I wonder how long before the parody boys, Parrott and Treacher make the scene?
Something stinks!
(Via Instapundit) Stephen F. Hayes has an interesting expose of journalists and others who were taking Saddam's Cash. I can't even begin to summarize the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:
Some of the transactions were straightforward cash payments, often in U.S. dollars, handed out from Iraqi embassies in Arab capitals--luxury cars delivered to top editors, Toyotas for less influential journalists. "This was not secret," says Salama Nimat, a Jordanian journalist who was jailed briefly in 1995 in that nation for highlighting the corruption. "Most of it was done out in the open."

Other transactions were surreptitious or deliberately complex--coveted Iraqi export licenses for family members of politicians, oil kickbacks through third parties, elaborate "scholarship" arrangements. In a region where leaders count their fortunes by the billion and workers by the penny, such payoffs are common. The Saudis, of course, have financed public works throughout the Middle East and Africa. But no one played the game like Saddam Hussein.
"To lots of people, Saddam Hussein and his regime was a godsend," says a Washington-based columnist for a prominent Arabic-language newspaper. "Only a few journalists [in the Arab world] didn't take money from him."
But it wasn't just non-Iraqi Arabs. How about Saddam's US "friend", Shakir al-Khafaji?
Al-Khafaji first came to public notice after revelations that he gave former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter $400,000 to produce a film that criticized the United States for its role in the inspection process.
On October 25, McDermott received a check for $5,000 from Shakir al-Khafaji. The money, first reported by Amy Keller in Roll Call, had been deposited in an account for the McDermott Legal Expense Trust, a fund the congressman set up to pay legal bills in a lawsuit brought against him by Rep. John Boehner. (In 1996, McDermott had released to the media the transcript of a phone conversation between Boehner and Newt Gingrich, taped by a Florida couple.)

No one has accused McDermott of being a mouthpiece for Saddam Hussein simply for financial reasons. Indeed, McDermott has been saying stupid things for years with no evidence anyone has paid him to do so. A spokesman for McDermott says he "doesn't know off the top of [his] head" whether McDermott has plans to return the money.
Short Eyes Scotty and Baghdad Jim! It's the dynamic duo!

But here's the best part:
Still, Bush administration sources say they have recovered enough Iraqi government and Baath party documents to fill 100 semi-trailers. "We're overwhelmed with information," says one Pentagon official. "It's going to take a long time to go through it all."

That process is just now beginning--a fact that is surely rattling nerves around the world.
The fun's just getting started.
Meme Alert!
The Dixie Chicks' "explanation" for their nude pose on the cover of Entertainment Weekly merely served to demonstrate once again that they are quite a few fries short of a Happy Meal:
"It's not about the nakedness," said Maguire. "It's about clothes getting in the way of labels."
Say what? But it certainly has struck a responsive chord. No surprise that the Farkers jumped on it (my fave), and Registered weighed in with this beauty. However, the mainstream is on the case as well - Gary Varvel in the Indianapolis Star:

It's about clothes getting in the way of labels!
I was wondering about that
One hears so many outrageous tales of hijinkery that one tends to become jaded. I had forgotten about the Rev. Al's latest until I spotted this NY Post editorial today - The Rules Apply to Rev. Al:
April 27, 2003 -- Rev. Al Sharpton "officially" became a presidential candidate last week.

What's that you say? Hasn't he been running for weeks, participating in presidential debates and referring to himself as a candidate?

The answer is yes.

Which is why the Federal Election Commission thought it a little odd that - of all the nine announced Democratic candidates for the presidency - only Sharpton had failed to file the legally required campaign-finance statements.
Maybe his dog ate them?
Sharpton's campaign tried to contend that he wasn't really a candidate yet: He was still in the "exploratory" mode.

Until last week's announcement.

This was - to be polite - baloney.

FEC rules state that an individual has crossed the line from exploration to running when he "makes or authorizes written or oral statements that refer to him or her as a candidate for a particular office."

Which Sharpton had done by attending the candidate forums and referring to himself as a "Democratic presidential candidate."

So, was it sloth or deceit that caused Sharpton to delay filing?
I tend never to ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence, but we're talking the Rev. Al here.
The fact is, anyone who has been watching Al Sharpton for the last 20 years is hardly surprised by any of these shenanigans.

Sharpton has never been candid about where his personal money comes from - particularly when he was fighting the Tawana Brawley-related defamation lawsuit from former prosecutor Steven Pagones.

Sharpton hasn't even been candid as to where he lives - is it New Jersey or Brooklyn?

Previous runs for office have ended with suspicious fires in his campaign office just before he was supposed to make public his financial information.

(That changed this year - the fire broke out at Sharpton HQ at the beginning of the campaign.)
The real question is whether the FEC will really do anything about this chisler. And it will be interesting to see if any of the other Democrat candidates have enough gumption to even mention it. Stay tuned for the next episode in the Rev. Al show - he claims that he will be releasing a financial statement tomorrow.

Hmm, maybe it will be written in crayon on a Big Chief tablet?