Saturday, June 07, 2003

"It's rock hard, it doesn't smell and it's certainly not squishy"
The BBC sets our minds at ease with Experts to repair 'faeces fossil':
Archaeologists are carrying out one of their most delicate projects to date - the careful restoration of 1200-year-old human faeces.

Measuring 20cm by 5cm, the exhibit is thought to be the largest fossilised human excrement ever found.

But despite surviving for well over 1,000 years, the Viking relic was broken into three pieces during a recent school visit to its home, the Archaeological Resource Centre (Arc) in York.
OK, who let the tykes play with the poop!
Museum chiefs are desperate to see their star exhibit glued back together because it is popular with the schoolchildren that make up a large percentage of their visitors.

"The kids loved it," Ms Snape added.

"We've even had thank you letters saying 'thank you for showing us the poo'."

After it is delicately glued back together, Ms Snape said the fossil would be mounted on perspex for visitors to "fully appreciate its glory as the centrepiece of the Arc".

And she had a message for anyone who doubted the impressive stature of the item, which was discovered in 1972 on land now occupied by Lloyds TSB Bank in York.

"It's huge - and bear in mind it's shrunk since it was deposited," she added.
20cm by 5cm is roughly 8" by 2".
Hitchens Alert!
(Via The Corner) Ludovic Hunter-Tilney profiles the unique Christopher Hitchens in the Financial Times (!) - The Preacher: Christopher Hitchens. It's all worth reading, but here's a snip about the Vichy Chicks:
At the debate a few hours earlier, he lost his temper when someone asked about country band the Dixie Chicks and the flak they copped for criticising George W. Bush's Iraq policy.

"Each day they dig up dead bodies in personal death camps run by a Caligula dictator," Hitchens shouted, "and I'm being asked to worry about these fucking fat slags - do me a favour!" The debate broke up soon after.
"The reason I like P.G. Wodehouse and Oscar Wilde is that they teach you to take frivolous things seriously and serious things frivolously," Hitchens replies. "It's all a complete farce, you understand, we're born into a losing struggle. In the meantime, I think, I must show some contempt and defiance and the best means of doing that that I know are irony and obscenity."

Laughter, applause. "Which is why it was a mistake for that man to ask me about those slut Dixie Chicks," he adds.
Bwahahaha! I may have to change the quote in the blog header.
Today's Hoot!
Al Batt remembers Skinny Dipping in The Country Today:
"There is no one else around," said Deputy Doug in a pleading sort of a way.

"Yeah? Well, I can't help you. What do you need help for anyway?"

"I need a witness. There are three young women a few years older than you, skinny dipping down by the beach. I need you to be a witness to my proper behavior while I arrest them. We need to nip this kind of activity in the bud!"

"Young women skinny dipping? Well, why didn't you say it was a national emergency?" I said while hanging the "Closed" sign on the door. "Let's get going before those criminals are able to make their escape."

I ran to Deputy Doug's old pickup and honked the horn to encourage him to hurry.

"Come on, come on!" I begged. "We can't let those scofflaws get away with this."

We drove to the beach. Deputy Doug was nearly hyperventilating. We got out of the truck and walked toward the three young women swimming in their birthday suits.

"Get out of that water right now so I can arrest you!" hollered Deputy Doug in a statement severely lacking in tact. He was sorely lacking in the area of people skills. The women responded with cries of derision.

I watched the proceedings intently, looking for clues.
The full story by following the link.
Such a deal!
Nathan Gorenstein reveals all in the Philadelphia Inquirer - Milton Street lands contract:
Mayor Street's brother, T. Milton Street Sr., has been given a contract worth more than $1 million a year for equipment maintenance at Philadelphia International Airport.

He also has been given a trained staff to perform the work. And he won't be held financially responsible for the work or how it gets done day by day.

That was the agreement reached between the city managers of the airport and a private firm, Philadelphia Airport Services, that hired Milton Street and that will set the former street vendor up in business.
Mark Pesce, a spokesman for the city airport, said Philadelphia Airport Services subcontracted the work to Notlim (Milton spelled backwards) in part to expand minority participation in airport businesses.
Asked whether Notlim had any experience maintaining airport equipment, Pesce said, "Not to my knowledge. The experience is with the workforce.

"[Philadelphia Airport Services] will retain full management responsibility," Pesce said. "The employees will remain under direct supervision of [Philadelphia Airport Services, which] will provide day-to-day supervision."
Asked how hiring Notlim could be considered a real expansion of minority business, given the extensive responsibilities remaining with Philadelphia Airport Services, Pesce said, "Notlim is the actual company that employs these individuals to provide the services, and it is a minority-approved company. They have all the qualifications that are necessary from the city."
Wow, quite a promotion for a hot dog vendor:
Like the man in the blue suit, the kids walk away with a bad taste in their mouths, even though they hadn't ingested any of Milton's death rods.

"Man, I thought this stuff was free," says one.

"Why'd they say the event will include refreshments?" asks another, learning an early and unfortunate lesson about politics American-style.

There really is no such thing as a free lunch.

But there is such a thing as a profitable lunch.

If you know the right people.

Milton Street, the man once fired from his $30,000-a-year traffic court job for failing to pay $2,000 in parking tickets, is one of those people.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Even more naughty bits!
Time for more highbrow culture - this time from Australia! Howard Shapiro astounds in the Philadelphia Inquirer with Art from down under - literally:
One of the most bizarre shows popping up on main stages around the world will premiere in Philadelphia next month. Puppetry of the Penis - whose name defines the show precisely - will compete head-on for audiences with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Evita, and other vaunted cultural attractions.

Given its track record in other cities, the show will probably hold its own. Puppetry of the Penis features two men who contort their privates into different items, without strings, props or costumes, amid a flurry of comic patter. The show's handlers call the performance "the ancient Australian art of genital origami," although it is clearly more original than aboriginal.

"We're very, very excited to finally bring Puppetry of the Penis to Philadelphia," producer David Foster told a roomful of reporters and other guests yesterday at 32º, a club on Second Street where two highly flexible puppeteers held a revealing news conference to demonstrate the routine.
Uh Oh!
The origin of the show is a heartwarming family story, sort of. Morley is one of four brothers, the youngest of whom figured out, in childhood, how to make his penis and testicles look like a hamburger sandwich - one of the staples of the current show's menu.

Morley got the hang of it, and so did his other two brothers. All four boys were soon competing with one another for the best shtick. What to do with all these discoveries? Morley took matters into his own hands and put out an artsy calendar, a gesticulation for every month.

He then teamed with Friend, who, according to the show's material, "began his current career in the bath and developed his skills further when he discovered beer at university." The two opened their show in Australia in 1998, and when they took their "installations" - their term for each puppet trick - to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2000, they became huge.
Howard is extracting full value on this one. More japery by following the link, but here's the closer:
The logistics leading to yesterday's news conference were, in themselves, a drama. It had been scheduled for the Hotel Sofitel, near Rittenhouse Square, but was nixed. It could not be held at the most logical place, the Wilma, because the theater's current production, Red, was scheduled for a Wednesday matinee; those who ambled in early for a play about a Chinese American novelist and the Red Guard would not necessarily expect to see two men pulling their penises every which way to make a point.
But these guys would have fit right in at the "Take Back America" conference in the previous post.
The Kool-Aid drinkers have a hoedown!
Marc Morano at Cybercast News Service amuses with Right Wing Radio 'Drunks' Decried by Liberal Activists
Washington ( - Talk radio and cable news outlets were blasted by liberal activists during a seminar in Washington, D.C. Thursday, with one speaker describing the followers of conservative-dominated radio programs as "drunks."

The three-day "Take Back America" conference is being sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future, which states as its goal pushing the Democratic Party to the left. Several Democratic presidential candidates addressed the group Thursday - but noticeably absent was Connecticut U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who is trying to appear more moderate than his rivals for the party's 2004 nomination.

Activists pulled no punches in attacking not only conservative-dominated media outlets, but also the Bush administration.

Jeff Faux, distinguished fellow at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, lashed out at the culture of talk radio during a panel discussion entitled "Shrubbed: The Radical Project of George Bush."

"I turn on the radio, and I hear these talk shows with right wing drunks calling in, and I ask myself, where are our drunks?" Faux said. But, he added: "The advantage of being a progressive is that you don't have to get drunk to make your speech."
Apparently an IQ above room temperature isn't required either. Following the link for more whines.
Naughty bits alert!
Anatomy of a penis pill swindle:
Giving Americans a first glimpse of an industry flourishing at the intersection of larceny and libido, authorities in Arizona are seizing the assets of a Scottsdale company that sold more than $74 million worth of pills that it claimed would enlarge penises or breasts, make the consumer taller or hairier — even sharpen his or her golf game. But despite such audacious claims, the company — C.P. Direct — would likely still be gouging the gullible if its founders hadn’t decided to also illegally charge consumers’ credit cards, industry insiders say.
I'm in the wrong business. Follow the link for more than you want to know about the "enlargement" industry.

Viagra Madonna:
Madonna is in talks to make a film based on the town in Ireland which manufactures the member-straightening drug Viagra. Her company, Maverick Films, wants to make a film based on a true story of locals in the small town of Ringaskiddy, County Cork, made famous by Pfizer, the company that makes Viagra. Provisionally entitled Something In The Air, the film will be about locals going sex mad after breathing in fumes from the factory.
Not too much butter on the popcorn, thanks!

Freeway flasher: 'I felt neglected by my wife':
EASTON (Pennsylvania) -- Richard James Clader felt neglected by his mother and wife, and Tuesday in Northampton County Court, he admitted he had an unusual way of dealing with those feelings.

Police said the 38-year-old Wilson Borough man repeatedly drove on Routes 22 and 33 blaring his horn so other drivers would see him masturbate while he drove.
Perhaps he drove past a Pfizer factory, although the contortions necessary to drive and provide such a show for other drivers would seem rather difficult.

No real naughty bits, but Police hunt failed pants thief:
"He was not the most well-prepared robber we have come across," said a spokeswoman for South Wales Police.

"He walked into the shop with a pair of underpants over his head - but he could see through two eyeholes.

"But at the crucial moment they slipped down so he couldn't see a thing."

The pants were described as blue and white.
And undoubtedly lent a festive air to the proceedings!

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Like, Scott Ritter never had a chance
Phuong Ly at the Washington Post amuses with Teens tutor FBI in cyber-slang:
As undercover assignments go, posing as a teenage girl online to catch pedophiles has its share of challenges for the typical FBI agent. Should he ever capitalize words in instant messages? Is it okay to say you buy your clothes at 5-7-9? And what about Justin Timberlake? Is he still hot or is he so two years ago?

For those investigative details, the FBI calls on Karen, Mary and Kristin — Howard County eighth-graders and best friends.

During the past year, the three have been teaching agents across the country how to communicate just like teenage girls, complete with written quizzes on celebrity gossip and clothing trends and assigned reading in Teen People and YM magazines. The first time the girls gave a quiz, all the agents failed.

“They, like, don’t know anything,” said Mary, 14, giggling.

“They’re, like, do you like Michael Jackson?” said Karen, 14, rolling her eyes at just how out of it adults can be.
The girls were recruited after one of their fathers, an agent involved in the pedophile investigations, watched her instant messaging a friend and couldn’t understand what she was typing. He realized that FBI training wasn’t enough.
One agent kept insisting that he was right when he answered on a quiz that Justin Timberlake was more popular than Destiny’s Child. Another was miffed when the girls told the class that Led Zeppelin was just not cool. Some kept wondering why “l2m” in instant messaging couldn’t be “love to meet,” instead of “listen to music.”

And the younger female FBI agents assumed that teenage girls would think actor George Clooney is cute.

“We’re, like, no,” said Mary, making a face.

“He’s, like, 50,” Karen exclaimed.
More pop culture by following the link. All of which reminds me of an item I saw on Gizmodo - Teenagers, cellphones, and the new digital divide:
Incredibly obvious story in Wired News about a new study on how teenagers, surprise, surprise, are using cellphones as yet another way to form cliques and exclude the uncool.
It's the same as what's happening with AOL Instant Messenger, which is a huge part of how teens socialize after school. If you aren't on AIM, you're probably not going to be a part of the social world of a teen who spends their afternoons that way.
Whatever happened to the malt shop?
I didn't break it!
Comments will be turned off until Squawkbox recovers from its "casters up" condition.
And speaking of crying towels
Bill Zecker in the Chicago Sun Times asks Did liberal-bashers cost Garofalo her sitcom? Bill mispelled "idiotarian-bashers", but let's see what else he had to say:
Is the ghost of Sen. Joe McCarthy alive and well in Hollywood? That is certainly on the minds of many outspoken liberals in Tinsel-town these days. The latest conspiracy theory focuses on the just-announced axing by ABC of very vocal anti-Iraq war activist Janeane Garofalo's new sitcom, ''Slice o' Life.''

Though the alphabet network had given Garofalo and Universal Television a thumbs up on the show for next season, network execs changed their minds, telling Daily Variety and other industry outlets it was ''the direction of the series story line'' that led to the dumping of ''Slice''--just days before the show's pilot was scheduled to be taped in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A source close to Garofalo tells this column the actress and comedian was furious by the last-minute change and believes it's yet another example ''of a network bowing to the perceived power of the Bush administration. ... Janeane is convinced her politics and all the hate mail the right-wing lobby stirred up during the war is what is behind all this.''

An ABC spokeswoman denies that, saying this was a decision based strictly on the artistic merits (or lack thereof) of the show--with Garofalo's politics ''never coming into the decision-making process whatsoever.''

For the pilot, Garofalo would have played an unwilling segment producer assigned to come up with corny feature pieces to run at the end of a TV newsmagazine show.
Oh yeah - that would have been "must see TV." As for the VRWC, grab yer tin foil beanies, kids, it's going to be a noisy one!

Hmm, wasn't it Janie who recently waxed lyrical
"Boycotters are welcome to keep giving me tons of publicity," she dared before reiterating, "There will be no apologies."
Just trying to help ya out, Janie!
It's Chief Moose again!
Chief Moose's wife: Give us book deal, we need 'antiques'!
ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose's wife complained about a lack of household "antiques" in trying to sway the county ethics board here to let her husband profit from a major book deal he signed after the Beltway sniper case, a transcript of her closed-door testimony reveals.

Sandy Herman-Moose argued that her husband, who led the sniper investigation, was entitled to a special exemption to ethics rules against county officials profiting from the prestige of their office, because he has "served the public for 20 some years," sacrificing private gain.
His wife, a civil-rights activist, suggested at the hearing that the chief, who is black, was being discriminated against.

"He has served in organizations that's [sic] full of institutionalized racism beyond anything you can imagine," Sandy Herman-Moose said.

"And he is asking a fully white group to give him the permission to make some money," she added.

After the panel ruled against her husband, she compared him to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and other civil-rights leaders who "stood for principle."
Earning more than $160,000 a year, his client (Chief Moose) is the highest-paid official in the county, and the highest-paid police chief in the state.
Sorry, I'm fresh out of crying towels.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

eBay alert!
Well here's something for the family room - Missing Sputnik may be for sale on eBay:
As with so many things Russian, the sale, offered online by and eBay Inc. for a starting auction price of $25,000, presents a riddle wrapped in a mystery, for no one is able to say how many authentic Sputniks actually exist.
Hmm, $25,000 ought to more than cover some silver spray paint, a Weber grill, some Radio Shack antennas, miscellaneous hardware, some old circuit boards, and my time slapping it together and forging, er documenting its provenance. See ya on eBay!

Actually, here's what I really want - Riot control vehicle for sale on Ebay:
Are the natives revolting round your yard? Fear not, equipped with the Talon Riot Control vehicle, up for sale on Ebay, you can give the local trots a taste of their own medicine.

And speaking of the French...
Singing MP baffles Paris parliament:
French deputy Jean Lassalle stood up and broke into song on Tuesday in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament in Paris.

The bizarre musical interlude came as Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy began to speak on decentralisation during government question time.

"It's a very nice song from the Pyrenees, a love song, a song of friendship, a song of peace," the deputy from the southwest told France 3 television later.
I'd make fun of him, but here in the USA we have Robert Byrd.

UPDATE: But wait, there's more - French lawyer cleared of indecorous accordeon-playing:
BORDEAUX (AFP) - A French lawyer and accordeon player who was suspended from the bar association for busking in the streets of southwestern France has successfully appealed against the decision.

Valerie Faure, from the town of Bergerac in the southwestern Dordogne region, was suspended in November after two colleagues spotted her playing accordeon to a street audience, with her case laid open on the floor for tips.
Lawyers picking up some cash as street performers! It's a sight I'd love to see in the USA. Here's a snap of Val and her accoutrements.
Le Bulge Alert!
Reuters' Toni Vorobyova amuses with Croissant-Loving French Need to Measure Up:
PARIS (Reuters) - The love of buttery croissants and entrecotes in creamy sauces has finally caught up with French waistlines, sending the fashion-conscious nation back to the changing room for a wardrobe refitting.

Adult obesity has almost doubled in France since the 1980s, with almost one in 10 adults considered clinically overweight.

So, armed with $1.2 million of state cash and two high-tech cabins, the French Institute of Textiles and Clothes (IFTH) has set about sizing up thousands of people -- from little boys to grannies -- to pin down the shape of the nation.

"People have become bigger, particularly in the legs...and maybe a bit fatter," said Professor Regis Mollard of the Applied Anthropology Laboratory, who helped design the campaign.
I wonder if they're going to measure their heads?

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Tall Tale Time!
Calvin Woodward and Siobhan McDonough of the AP have an advance copy of Hillary's book. She says she didn't have the faintest idea that Bubba was actually fooling around with Monica. When she found out, she was really, really shocked. Since Bubba humped the leg of just about every female he ran into, I'm getting suspicious about Hillary being the smartest woman in America. Of course, there's another possibility.

Lying bitch!

Image from happydogdesign on Free Republic.
Modern "education" in the USA
I can't begin to summarize Marc Epstein's article Security Detail at Education Next about life at Jamaica High School in Queens, New York, but here's a snippet:
In another instance, a learning-disabled student in a mainstream class asked a teacher for a hall pass. When the teacher refused to give it to him, the student called the teacher, who had badly injured her hand in a car accident, a “crippled bitch” and threw an object at her. A security agent who had witnessed the event removed the student. The superintendent was informed, and the student’s home was contacted. The next day I confiscated the hand of a store mannequin that the student was carrying around with him. He said he wanted to show the teacher that “he had a hand like hers.” At 16 years of age, the student had earned just one of the 40 credits needed to graduate.
At the next hearing, the “grandfather” asked the teacher, “Do you consider yourself crippled, because if you do, then you are in fact a ‘crippled bitch,’ and the charges should be dropped.” The hearing officer did not agree and found in the school’s favor. However, the student fell under the protections of the federal special-education law because of his diagnosed learning disability. As such, he was allowed to return to the school premises immediately. After several more suspensions, school authorities were finally able to get him transferred to one of the school system’s “second opportunity schools,” or “SOS” for short.

Multiply this case by thousands, and you will have some notion of the problem of maintaining safety in the city’s schools.
Not only the teachers but also frequently the parents of disruptive students are shocked by the laxity of the school system. My first superintendent’s suspension hearing involved a freshman accused of threatening a female teacher who simply asked him to take his seat and stop cursing. He responded by overturning a desk as he walked toward her, stating he was “going to f--- her up.” He was charged with threatening and menacing. The charges against him were sustained, and afterward his mother decided to return him to Trinidad, where the young man was from. When she returned to school to retrieve his records, she informed me that in Trinidad, her son would never have dared to threaten a teacher, and if he did . . . She did not complete the sentence. I would experience this sentiment time and again. Parental disbelief at the level of tolerance for this kind of behavior is palpable. Yet the only response from policymakers and the courts has been the erection of a costly system of adjudicating, tolerating, excusing, and ultimately ignoring deviant behavior.
And finally:
Those strolling past the library at Jamaica High School can view the plaques honoring the school’s alumni who gave their lives for their country during World War II. Pictures of students, faculty, and athletic teams also adorn the walls. The picture-taking stops sometime during the mid-1970s though. It is as if a geological age had been preserved in a stratified layer of sediment. There was a time, it seems, when the school had a culture and a sense of spirit that invited displays of unity and pride. Something quite meaningful appears to have been lost in the decades since.

Statistically, Jamaica High School falls squarely in the middle of the school system. Learning takes place, and good kids get educated by good teachers, but the presence of a permanent class of “students” who cannot function in this setting continually destabilizes the learning environment, tempts marginal students to behave badly, and squanders untold treasure for no good reason.
Much more by following the link.
Speaking of hands in our pockets
Phil Kent editorializes in the Washington Times:
In a two-pronged assault by the open-borders lobby, there is a move in Congress and activity in a dozen states to actually grant in-state college tuition to immigrants who have snuck into this country illegally. It is incredible that Congress and various state legislatures are wasting time and money on considering such undeserved generosity — but the fact they are emphasizes how bold this radical lobby has become even in the post-September 11 era.

Under a 1996 federal immigration law, states cannot offer in-state tuition to illegals unless it is offered to all legal U.S. residents, regardless of where they come from. But Texas, California, New York, Oregon, Washington and Utah are trying to circumvent the law by basing their in-state tuition policy for undocumented students on whether they've graduated from a state high school after a certain number of years of attendance.
I thought the states were all facing budget shortfalls. How come some of them are trying to implement their own foreign aid programs?

But the best is yet to come:
Furthermore, illegal aliens are beginning to get tuition breaks by stealth; that is, some liberal college presidents are simply implementing the practice on their own. At least three Georgia colleges give acknowledged law-breakers "presidential waivers" on out-of-state tuition fees. The amounts vary but consider the fees at just one of these schools, Dalton State. In-state tuition there is $666 per semester for a full-time student, compared with $2,664 for out-of-state residents.
Hey, why not? It's not their money. Maybe we should start deducting the fees from the salaries of the relevant bureaucrats.
Uh Oh! The bureaucrats smell money!
Global tax on guns? Brazil, France propose international levy on arms sales to eliminate world hunger:
Some world leaders at the G8 summit meeting are floating the idea of a global tax on arms sales, including – at French President Jacques Chirac's suggestion – a tax on gun purchases by individuals.

In a speech at the annual meeting of the "Group of Eight," or G8, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pushed the arms-sales tax as a scheme whereby the world's wealthiest nations could fund efforts to eliminate world hunger, reports Bloomberg News.

The "Group of Eight" includes the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia.

Citing the Brazilian paper Folha de S. Paulo, Bloomberg reports Lula said such taxes would create "a global fund capable of giving food to those who are hungry and for creating the conditions to end the causes of hunger."

Calling the Brazilian leader's proposal "forceful and convincing," Chirac was reluctant to back a levy on weapons manufacturers in France and elsewhere, but suggested a global tax on firearms purchases made by individuals, said the report.
Lula's merely a wingnut. Chirac is rather worse.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Obligatory naked protestor pics!
What would a protest be without naked wingnuts? This one is somewhat more aesthetic.

Meanwhile, catch the grin on the British policeman after they cracked down on nude picnickers in Hyde Park.
Today's Hoot!
Tim Funk in the Charlotte Observer - Talkin' to a country boy candidate:
Last week, Sen. John Edwards flew to Iowa to lay out his plan to revive rural America. He talked about growing up in tiny Robbins, N.C., where his father was a mill worker. But I wondered: How much of a country boy is Johnny Edwards today? So I turned on my tape recorder in Ottumwa, and asked the ex-trial lawyer, now senator-turned-presidential-candidate, some questions.

Q. Have you done any farming yourself?

A. No ... I shouldn't say never: When I was a young kid, we'd go sometimes to pull tobacco and stuff. But I've never done any serious farming.

Q. Would you call yourself a NASCAR fan?

A. I would call myself somebody who's interested in NASCAR, yeah.

Q. You don't follow the weekly races?

A. No, but I don't follow anything except politicking.

Q. Do you hunt?

A. I used to hunt a lot. Haven't hunted in years.

Q. Fish?

A. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I haven't fished in years either. Just (whispers) no time.

Q. Do you own a gun?

A. Not today. I have in the past.

I continued the interview in Washington, after "Tar Heel Thursday," Edwards' weekly meeting with constituents who happen to be in Our Nation's Capital.

Q. Are you a country music fan?

A. (Laughs) I have in the past been a country music fan.

Q. You said you had a gun in the past. How long ago was that?

A. When I was growing up. I haven't had a gun in -- you mean personally? -- in years. I'd have to figure out when ...

Q. What kind of gun was it?

A. Get out of here (laughs).

Q. People want to know these things ...

A. Yeah, I know. You want to know these things. (Laughter from his staff as Edwards departs to return to the Senate).
What the ...? Sounds like a trial lawyer to me.

Well, at least he didn't tell us about putting Astroturf in his pickup truck so he could entertain the ladies.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

He's got the answer!
Ted Byfield in the Edmonton Sun - I'm starting to think PM is senile:
The odds changed last week in Canada's "Explain Chretien" contest. What might be called the Alzheimer explanation is now ahead in the running. There are, of course, three favoured ways of accounting for the prime minister's increasingly bizarre conduct:

First, the "world statesman" explanation. Chretien is establishing himself as a valiantly outspoken critic of the Americans and a born-again social spender to secure Third World support in his campaign to become secretary-general of the United Nations.

Second, the "get Martin" explanation. Chretien, having been cheated by Paul Martin out of a chance to become the only Canadian prime minister ever to win four straight majorities, is zealously making sure that when he retires the country has been rendered virtually ungovernable.

Third, the "dementia" explanation (otherwise known as "the Alzheimer"). Ever since they forced him to quit, Chretien has been steadily slipping into senility, so that now what we're hearing from him amounts to mere raving.

Now, as readers know, I've heretofore held to the world statesman thesis. While everything he says becomes more and more - as Joe Clark put it last week - "just plain dumb," the man aches for one last hurrah, and the UN job would be it. True, he has little hope of achieving this, but he also had little hope achieving nearly all the things he's already achieved.

However, I admit that last week's developments sharply strengthen the Alzheimer theory.
Follow the link for more fun with the Cretin.
What a shock!
The AP informs us that in Utah, Immigration chief says rousting undocumented immigrants not a priority:
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah's top immigration official says a newly created agency in the Department of Homeland Security won't focus on workplace roundups of undocumented immigrants.

Steve Branch, head of the state's office of the federal Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, said that his agency could go out every day and find illegal workers, but ''it's not our priority.''

Even if an employer is found to have workers with fraudulent documents, Branch said, a raid is not necessarily imminent.

''We're not going to go pick up those workers. We're not going to detain them or even put them in proceedings,'' Branch said during a Homeland Security outreach meeting Friday at the Salt Lake City main library.
I wonder how much the taxpayers are forced to cough up for Steve's "services"?

And a "outreach meeting"? Who was Steve reaching out to? Based on his comments, it seems to be illegal aliens.
Branch said that the immigration and customs bureau could never round up the estimated 75,000 illegal immigrants living in Utah. Yet he often hears allegations that his agents are plotting raids.
Yep that must be it, if he gets his panties in a knot over "allegations" that he is "plotting" to do his job.
What do you call a Dictatorship of Bureaucrats?
We'll need a snappy term soon for the Euroweenies as Daniel Hannan reveals in the Telegraph - Back in the USSR for the EU's latest members:
What would it take to convince you that the EU is anti-democratic? It has brushed aside "no" votes in Denmark and Ireland. It has refused to accept the result of an Austrian general election. Now it is proposing legislation which could bar Eurosceptic parties from the European Parliament.

For several weeks, I and my fellow members of the constitutional affairs committee have been chewing over a draft "Statute of European Political Parties". The establishment of state-funded pan-European parties is something that federalists desperately want. After all, they say, we are about to adopt a new constitution, turning the EU into a unitary state. It would hardly be appropriate to carry on with hundreds of little parties, each fighting a self-contained "regional" campaign.

To qualify for recognition, a party would need to secure representation in at least one quarter of the member states. It would have to fight elections on a common and binding manifesto across Europe (bye-bye UKIP). It would need to accept the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights (bye-bye Tories). And - most sinister of all - it would have to satisfy the other parties. If a majority of MEPs were to decide that a party was not abiding by their definition of human rights and democratic values, it would be debarred.

"This is exactly what our communists did," said a Polish MP as he read the text. "They did not ban elections: we had elections all the time. They did not even ban opposition movements, at least not by the late Seventies. All they did was to ban the dissidents from contesting the elections."

The federalists rushed to reassure him. The measure was not aimed at mainstream parties, they said, only at nasty ones, such as Le Pen's National Front in France. The Pole was too polite to press the point. But afterwards he told me that this was precisely the ruse used across the Warsaw Pact. Parties were initially proscribed on grounds of being fascist, he said, and, before long, this definition came to apply to everyone except the communists and their Peasant Party allies.
Maybe it's time to stop being so polite?