Saturday, July 19, 2003

And speaking of asshats
Freeper Chesterbelloc created the following for our pal, Fortney.

More nuts than the psycho ward!  Not to mention the fruit!

In case you missed out on the story, here's a hint:
According to the stenographer's transcript, the room then broke out in laughter, at which point Stark raged, "You little fruitcake, you little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake."
Inappropriate behaviour alert!
The Curmudgeon alerts us to a startling new use of technology. But is it really possible to "sanitize" a cell phone? And good thing the thief wasn't a guy!
Fish-faced pundit alert!
Eric Alterman continues to amaze with this snippy comment about violent anti-Semitism in France:
And if it’s a really big concern of yours, by the way, the best way to ameliorate it would be for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank.
Roger Simon has collected some well reasoned criticisms, but I tend to think of it, not as a problem, but as an opportunity!

All who are interested can now feel free to kick Eric's ass. If he complains about the imprint of a steel-toed work boot on his derriere, just tell him:
If it’s a really big concern of yours, the best way to ameliorate it would be for Michael Moore to stop passing off fictional films as documentaries.
He'll understand.
Bon appetit!
France Assigns New Terms for 'Email' and 'Spam':
The French Ministry of Culture today officially banned the use of the terms 'email' and 'spam' from government documents and web sites. The ruling aims to slow the epidemic of American words which have invaded the French lexicon.
The term 'spam' which comes from the American packaged meat products industry, will be replaced with the term "snausages," which the Culture Ministry says is "evocative, with a very French sound."

A ministry spokesman acknowledged that the term resembles the name of the American dog snack, but it's pronounced differently.

"In any case," said the unnamed source, "the pet treat Snausages is manufactured by Heinz, and so we have a delightful connection with one of your French-looking Senators, who is married to Teresa Heinz. We think of John Kerry as one of our own. He's even a veteran of a war in one of our former colonies."
It's ScrappleFace.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Wotta country!
Mark Steyn on the wonders of the USA:
Thursday, the front page of my local newspaper had a story about whether New Hampshire's 1791 adultery law applies to extramarital gay sex: a guy from Hanover, New Hampshire, has accused his wife of having an affair with a woman from Vermont, and the woman's defence is that lesbian sex isn't covered by the adultery prohibition as the New Hampshire legislature didn't have gay sex in mind back in the 18th century. On the other hand, a Boston-based gay group has filed a brief arguing that "gay and lesbian relationships are as significant as non-gay ones" and therefore it's discriminatory not to subject gays to the strictures of the adultery law.

What a great country, I thought, where the question of whether or not I can seek relief from the courts for a lesbian seducing my wife depends on what side of the state line I'm on.
In-depth education alert!
(Via Best of the Web) High times at the Democrats' "educational" branch - NEA board member had license suspended:
A Vermont teacher recently elected to the executive board of the nation’s largest teachers union had his license suspended earlier this year for having sex with a colleague in his classroom.

However, officials with the National Education Association said Wayne Nadeau’s disciplinary problems are behind him and won’t affect his ability to serve in a leadership role.
The colleague was a "female paraprofessional". Whew! I'm relieved on two counts then.
Fortney wants to fondle a fruitcake!
There were hijinks in the House of Representatives today. It seems that the Democrats objected to a pension bill and staged a walkout from a committee meeting. But they left Congressman Fortney Pete Stark (D-California, born 1931) behind. And the old boy was apparently feeling frisky:

Fortney Pete Stark - the surly senior citizen
The committee reporter captured the essence of Stark's less-than-soaring rhetoric, read on the House floor by Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo.

"'Oh, you think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come over here and make me. I dare you,'" Hulshof recited.

According to the stenographer's transcript, the room then broke out in laughter, at which point Stark raged, "You little fruitcake, you little fruitcake. I said you are a fruitcake."
Obviously a candidate for taxpayer funded prescription drugs. Wait, he's been a Congressman for 30 years - he's already got 'em.

Fortney was previously famous for telling black Health and Human Services Secretary (in the first Bush Administration) Louis Sullivan in 1990 that he was "a disgrace to his race". Uh oh! Sounds like Fortney is diversity challenged!

And what was in the pension bill that got the surly senior citizen's Depends in a twist?
The measure before the committee would make a number of changes to the nation's pension and retirement-saving system, including acceleration of increases in various contribution limits enacted in 2001 and scheduled to be phased in over the next five years. Under it, individuals would be able to contribute an annual maximum to $15,000 to a 401(k) plan and $5,000 to an IRA, beginning next year. People aged 50 and over could contribute even more.
You see, individuals saving for their retirement instead of being dependent on government payments doesn't fit in with Democrat plans.
How low can they go?
Despite the Rev. Al's axe handle, there weren't any real fireworks when the Demo presidential candidates showed up at the NAACP convention. However, that didn't mean there weren't moments of hilarity. As Noel from Sharp Knife observed in the comments to this post, "The best part was when they started arguing about who had done the most jail-time." As reported in the Washington Post:
The forum also featured the unusual spectacle of candidates competing to boast of their jail records. During a discussion about restoring the voting rights of felons who have served their time, Sharpton said he was the only candidate who had been in jail, saying he served a "redemptive" sentence. But Kerry interjected, saying that he too had been to jail. A spokesman later said Kerry spent a night in jail after a Vietnam War protest.
Woo hoo!

But the best was yet to come. After NAACP honchos excoriated the candidates who didn't show up at the whinefest, Smilin' Joe Lieberman showed up on hands and knees to beg forgiveness:
After offering the NAACP another apology for skipping the candidates' forum and then ticking off his own civil rights credentials, Lieberman praised the NAACP for its work during the Florida recount. That's when things became absurd. "We didn't realize at the time, Al Gore and I, that we not only needed Kweisi Mfume fighting for justice here in Florida counting votes," Lieberman said, "we need him on the Supreme Court where the votes really counted. Maybe that'll happen some day."
Let's see, aside from never attending law school, Kweisi is most famous for fathering several illegitimate children by different mothers. Or as Thomas Lipscomb engagingly puts it:
Kweisi Mfume's list of illegitimate children makes [Jesse] Jackson look in serious need of Viagra
Maybe instead of comparing their stays in the hoosegow, they could have talked about their kids!

No wonder Howard Kurtz is referring to the 9 Dwarves as the Pander Bears and actually calls on Bubba for behavior lessons:
On June 13, 1992, candidate Bill Clinton went before Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition and said:

"You had a rap singer here last night named Sister Souljah. . . . Her comments before and after Los Angeles [meaning the riots] were filled with a kind of hatred that you do not honor today and tonight. Just listen to this, what she said: She told The Washington Post about a month ago, and I quote, 'If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people? . . . So if you're a gang member and you would normally be killing somebody, why not kill a white person?' . . .

"If you took the words 'white' and 'black' and reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech."

That encounter -- what journalists have dubbed "pulling a Sister Souljah" -- showed that Clinton was willing to stand up to one of his party's interest groups. It is the sort of moment that has conspicuously been missing this year as the Democratic candidates have moved from one conference to another (abortion rights advocates, blacks, gays) pledging their support.
When Bubba can be held up as a good example, things are getting pretty bad.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

The Professor is rocking and rolling!
Things are hopping at the Billabong with a takedown of the asshats who vandalized the Sydney Opera House and the Professor catching Phatty Adams cribbing his column again - this time from the New York Review of Books. (Tim Blair has converted it into a Phatty Quiz). But the item that really struck my fancy was this:
In a remarkable missive entitled "Materialism is Damaging Western Sydney", a fellow called Darren Magennis provides the latest left-brained example of correct thinking. If the Professor wasn't so determined to impress Mrs. Bunyip with his desire to be more Tim [Mooncalf Dunlop - ed.]-like, he'd laugh out loud.

The damaging impact of materialist influences is readily obvious to those with knowledge of the economics of development. In South America and Africa it is apparently not uncommon to find starving families consuming expensive luxury products marketed by American multinational firms.
Not French companies or German ones, just the unspeakable American variety.

I have personally witnessed a similar effect in several Western Sydney households. It is not at all uncommon to find a family surviving on a Salvation Army food hamper with a $20,000 home entertainment system, Nike shoes and designer clothes. Even more ubiquitous are the unemployed single people with massive wardrobes of expensive designer clothes and shoes. It is very common for such people to go without food for several days, or to be unable to afford essential university textbooks, due to their insatiable desire for designer-wear.

If the Professor wasn't trying to get into Mrs. Bunyip's good books, he'd note that the Salvation Army should be ashamed of itself for soliciting donations to feed those who could quite easily sustain themselves by pawning their entertainment systems which, in all liklihood, the taxpayers underwrote in the first place. But no, apparently that would be too harsh, because idle and irresponsible spendthrifts can't to be held accountable for being idle and irresponsible spendthrifts:

Poor people cannot be criticised for this behaviour. It may even be the best possible course of action for a person faced with a strongly materialistic culture.
Then there's this unintentionally illuminating bit on haute couture, ALP-style:

At least one female acquaintance of mine claims she was "snubbed", at a Labor-left function, by another female friend of mine, because her clothing was not suitably elaborate! A reasonable standard of dress is obviously required to achieve social acceptance even in otherwise open-minded forums.
Good heavens, but doesn't that make the mind boggle! What could "suitably elaborate" mean in this context? As far as the Professor has ever noticed, today's Labor women appear to believe that the first obligation is to honour their party's proletarian heritage by masquerading as the battered old bags in which Australia's workingmen carried lunch and overalls until the Salvation Army encouraged them to sleep late and play with their graphic equalisers. Do the suitably elaborate ones sport red ribbons in their underarm thickets?
Much more by following the link.
Results just in!
From the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest that is - It was a bland and twisty cheese:
A lizard lover from Alabama won an annual contest celebrating bad writing with a ghastly simile comparing doomed romance to processed cheese. Mariann Simms of Wetumpka, Ala., won $250 in the 22nd Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a parody honoring the writer of the worst beginning to an imaginary novel.

"They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white ... Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently," Simms wrote.

The contest, sponsored by San Jose State University, is named after the oft-mocked British novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" began, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Simms, 42, who purchased an Australian Bearded Dragon from a reptile breeder last weekend, took a break from feeding crickets to the juvenile lizard, named Zippo, to discuss the epiphany behind her winning entry -- which, like the majority of pathetic ramblings submitted to the contest, was characterized by ridiculous whipsawing between unrelated concepts, as well as a profundity of commas and an extreme verbosity, which manifested itself in sentences frequently exceeding 50 words, many with multiple restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses.

"My kids eat twisted cheese, and I don't want the cheese people to sue me for this, but basically the white part and the orange parts just don't taste any differently, and that got me to thinking about lovers entwined," said Simms, an amateur comedy writer who has won four T-shirts in David Letterman contests.
The winner wasn't bad but check out the complete list. There were some that I thought better like:
Colin grabbed the switchgear and slammed the spritely Vauxhall Vixen into a lower gear as he screamed through the roundabout heading toward the familiar pink rowhouse in Puking-On-The-Wold, his mind filled with the image of his comely Olive, dressed in some lacy underthing, waiting on the couch with only a smile and a cucumber sandwich, hoping that his lunch hour would provide sufficient time for both a naughty little romp and a digestive biscuit.

- or -

Had Dorothy known Duncan was a psychopath who would seduce, then brutally murder her, and that her best friend Dana, a forensic pathologist would investigate her death and also fall in love with him, but be saved just in time by Dwayne, her much maligned colleague, perhaps she wouldn't have bought him that Screwdriver.
Then there is the Purple Prose category:
The sun rose over the horizon like a great big radioactive baby's head with a bad sunburn but then again it might just have been that Lisa was always cranky this early in the morning.

- or -

The rhythmic breathing of my companion was interrupted violently by a fit of coughing, causing the peace of the early morning to be ripped from me as if Richard Simmons had charged into my bedroom in his be-sequined health fervor and started Sweating to the Oldies on the end of my bed.
Some folks are really scary!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

And while we're on the subject
One puzzling aspect of the Niger uranium bunfight is why Joe Wilson, retired member of the State Department goof troup and former Clinton National Security Council official, was sent to Niger by the CIA to do a comedic turn as a "spy". I mean, the British are laughing at him:
"He seems to have asked a few people if it was true and when they said 'no' he accepted it all," one official said.
which was pretty much his own description in his NY Times piece. Why send this tea party warrior to do a real job?

Terrence Jeffrey explains it in Our Man in Niger:
So, who is this Wilson? He's our man in Niger.

Well, almost. Wilson is a retired State Department official. As charge d'affaires in Iraq in 1990, he was the last American diplomat to meet with Saddam. Later, he served as ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe. His most important credential for this controversy dates to the mid-1970s, when he served as a diplomat in Niger. In the late 1990s, as an official with President Clinton's National Security Council, he made a return visit to Niger.

These experiences apparently made Wilson America's greatest expert on Nigerien uranium exports.
Uh oh, I see it coming.
But the real scandal isn't whether the British were right or wrong about Iraq's interest in buying Nigerien uranium (the British stand by their conclusion). The real scandal is why the CIA had to rely on a retired State Department official to travel to Niger to double-check British intelligence about Niger's uranium.

If proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a significant security risk to the United States, then mines in Africa that produce uranium that can be used in weapons of mass destruction should be significant targets of U.S. intelligence gathering.

They haven't been.

After a July 15 press conference, in the presence of other reporters, I asked House Intelligence Chairman Porter Goss, R-Fla., if the diminution of CIA personnel in Africa in the 1990s hurt our ability to track Niger's uranium industry.

"Yes, that's part of the problem," Goss said.

Jeffrey: "Part of the problem is that we diminished our CIA presence in Africa?"

Goss: "Yes, that is absolutely accurate."

Jeffrey: "During the Clinton years?"

Goss: "Yes. It happened to be in those years when he was the president. That is correct."
Well, golly! Maybe they needed more manpower tracking down potential playmates for the Pres.
Let's not forget the real culprits
Aside from the predictable whining from Democrat party bloviators, Brent Bozell reminds us who is getting the most mileage out of the African uranium "story" in Manufacturing the 'daily drumbeat'. Yep, it's the flies around the butt of the Democrat party - the American media:
The public gets two kinds of news. There is the unpredictable erupting event, from the great (Berlin Wall falls) to the small (a child goes missing). Then there's the more common type of news, the everyday assembly-line product of press conferences and public events. Some call this "manufactured news," since public figures at the center of the news can orchestrate their spin. But there's a subcategory of "manufactured news," in which the media create a story based on a political agenda. Welcome to the so-called Bush speech "controversy."

Last week, the Democrats decided to inflate 10 words out of President Bush's State of the Union address into a toxic mix of Watergate, lying and, just for fun, Daddy's broken tax pledge. "Read His Lips," they chided with a new TV ad, because "America deserves the truth." Like clockwork, the so-called objective media responded with an avalanche of sympathetic coverage that begged this question: Why buy an ad when you've got several networks and news magazines that will carry your message for free?
This whole charade is brought to you by the true clowns of false intelligence, the ones who went on television and predicted massive casualties, massive resistance by regular Iraqi citizens, chemical weapons attacks on our forces, a military "quagmire" without dislodging Saddam. Who are these people to criticize others for failing to report the whole picture with crystal-clear perfection?
It's easy if you just remember, "If it's Katie Couric, you know it's bullshit".
It's our old pal Fidel
You may remember an item from last Thursday about the mysterious jamming of US satellite feeds to Iran. There was some suspicion that the jamming was coming from the Caribbean, but that it would take some time to pinpoint it. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise - Castro regime jamming U.S. broadcasts into Iran:
The Cuban government has been jamming all U.S. broadcasts into Iran since the Voice of America began beaming new Farsi-language programming into that country earlier this month, according to U.S. officials and electronics experts outside the government.
"Cuba is obviously doing this at the behest of the mullahs in Iran," said Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the VOA Board of Governors. For technological reasons, he said, "Iran needed someone in this hemisphere to do its dirty work."

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican, suggested Cuba was doing the jamming in exchange for a favorable deal on Iranian oil, on which Cuba is becoming increasingly dependent.

"There is an intimate relationship between Iran and Cuba," he said. "It is clear the relationship is becoming deeper and more pronounced."
Joe Garcia, spokesman for the the Cuban American National Foundation, said, "Cuba is a rogue state, involved in narcoterrorism, narcotrafficking, kidnapping, foreign incursions around the world, arms sales and harboring criminals. Jamming a television signal is normal. They are doing it for Iranian oil."
Hey, the Axis of Evil team is short a player these days. How about bringing Fidel up from the minors?
Today's hoot (from Down Under)
Tim Blair's column in The Bulletin reveals the latest turmoil in leftoid circles in Australia:
The trial of Adelaide kangaroo boner turned Muslim mystery man David Hicks is "of fundamental importance to all Australians", according to Malcolm Fraser. Especially those many planning to join a hostile foreign power dedicated to the West's overthrow. Which, apart from certain radical members of the Muslim kangaroo-boning community, is virtually none of us.
Same here Tim, but the usual suspects have their panties tightly knotted.

I almost forgot - Tim's blog is banned at the Sydney Morning Herald. Now there's a real recommendation!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

And speaking of the 9, er actually 6 dwarves
The Rev, as expected, turned out to be the category killer. Watch out for beavers, Al!
Whining Moonbat Alert!
There's the Democrat senators:
"The president's statement that Iraq was attempting to acquire African uranium was not a mistake. It was not inadvertent. It was not a slip," charged Armed Services Committee ranking member Carl Levin...

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (search) of South Dakota said the uranium flap had created such a controversy that it had "gone beyond a matter of intelligence."
Off Capitol Hill, Sen. Ted Kennedy (search), D-Mass., said the president's use of bad intelligence to make the case for war against Iraq had "undermined America's prestige and credibility."
Then there's the 9 dwarves (er, the 6 that showed up):
In their most unified indictment yet of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq, most of the Democratic candidates for president told the NAACP's annual convention Monday that the president misled the public to justify the war.
There's just one problem. What the President said was:
The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
It was true and it still is true:
British officials admitted that the country was Niger but insisted that the intelligence behind it was genuine and had nothing to do with the fake documents. It was convincing and they were sticking with it, the officials said.

They dismissed a report from a former US diplomat who was sent to Niger to investigate the claims and rejected them. "He seems to have asked a few people if it was true and when they said 'no' he accepted it all," one official said. "We see no reason at all to change our assessment."
That plus the fact that most of the American people rightly thought Saddam was a nasty piece of work who deserved much more than he got.

As Glenn Reynolds notes:
There are lots of real issues (hey, I'm giving 'em away for free here, every day) that they could use, but they're running with this one because they hate Bush more than they care about the truth.
Shhh, Glenn. Don't tell 'em. Being kind to the clueless is one thing, but these are Democrats!

Monday, July 14, 2003

Where's the air freshener alert!
Dead Body Found Under Motel Bed
Kansas City, MO -- People check out of motels everyday but not usually because they smell a dead body. But, police say it happened Sunday morning. A customer checked out of the Capri Motel on Independence Avenue after he complained numerous times of a foul odor. Police say the Motel's cleaning crew discovered the body of an adult male underneath the bed.
Does Dick Gephardt have political Tourette's Syndrome?
A few weeks ago, Gephardt revealed that if he were president, he would overturn Supreme Court decisions with executive orders. Now according to Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner:
I paraphrase, from Dick Gephardt in Iowa today, shown on C-SPAN tonight: You know in grade school, that part of the report card where it says "plays well with others?" This president didn't get a good grade there. I did.
What a wuss! Why do I get the feeling that the other kids gave little Dick noogies and put icicles down the back of his jacket?

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Here's a moneymaker!
Bus Driver Snared in Prostitution Sting:
CICERO, Ill. - A Chicago bus driver's unscheduled stop in suburban Cicero is proving very costly.

The Chicago Transit Authority had to shell out more than $1,200 to get the bus back after the driver pulled over Friday night, allegedly to connect with a woman he thought was a prostitute.

She was actually a Cicero police officer. The driver was arrested and other officers impounded the bus.
I bet they were laughing their butts off when they impounded it.

Steel cage match alert!
Well, it would be a steel cage match, but some of the Democrat presidential contenders are AWOL:
The NAACP's top leadership lashed out Saturday at several of the major Democratic candidates for president, calling their intention to skip Monday's candidate forum an ''affront'' to the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

As many as four of the nine candidates have refused to participate in the forum, expressing reluctance to appear on stage with their rivals in a debate format, NAACP officials said.

As of late Saturday, Sens. John Edwards of North Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Reps. Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio were not expected to attend. Sen. Bob Graham of Florida was scheduled to attend, along with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry plans to go to the convention, but his campaign is pressing for a change in the debate format.
Since people who listen to the NAACP tend to march in lockstep to the polls to vote for Democrats, this must be serious!
The flap between the Democratic candidates and the leaders of one of the party's most important interest groups underscored a brewing conflict within the campaigns on the need to court critical black votes but avoid potentially risky events where the candidates cannot control the circumstances.

At other forums, including last month's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition event hosted by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the major candidates have been largely overshadowed by the more animated Sharpton.
Woohoo! They're hiding out from the Rev!
Or, as in South Carolina in May, the event was dominated by snippy exchanges between Dean and Kerry.
Hiding from Howie too? What a bunch of wimps.
The candidates recently signed an agreement with the Democratic National Committee establishing six officially sanctioned joint appearances before the primary elections begin in January.

Campaign officials argue that the agreement limits them to the six joint appearances.
Well that's really boring! And somehow, I don't think "an agreement" is going to carry much weight with the Kool-Aid drinkers. On the other hand, Al and Howie won't have anyone to kick around but each other. Should be amusing.
Pretty damn weird
(Via Geek Press whose permalinks are bloggered too) After seeing this photo, I've decided it's time to head for the lower 40 and get some exercise.

I'll be back in time for the full moon, but that reminds me - Teddy Rall started the howling early. Which begs the question, when does he stop being a whining guttersnipe and become merely an unmedicated nutcase?
Pfahhh - it's Sunday
And like swallows coming back to Capistrano, the permalinks for today are bloggered. It should clear up this afternoon.
All the usual suspects
Andres Oppenheimer in The Miami Herald - Cuba, Iran seek global Internet censorship rules:
If you are outraged by the fact that Libya has been elected president of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, get this: Cuba and Iran -- among the world's worst dictatorships -- are playing a major role in drafting new U.N.-backed rules on the worldwide use of the Internet.

Not surprisingly, these repressive regimes are proposing rules that, if adopted by an upcoming U.N. Summit on the Information Society, would not only allow but encourage widespread censorship of the Internet, as well as growing state controls of TV and radio stations.

The World Summit on the Information Society, scheduled for December in Geneva, is organized by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the International Telecommunication Union, another U.N. affiliate.
It's another UN Summit and all the totalitarians are trying on their party duds.