Saturday, August 16, 2003

California Campaign Pics!
It's the Dynamic Duo in a joint appearance - Gary Coleman and Mary Carey. This one is rather fetching, but this one is a sentimental favorite. Of course, Mary, an "adult film actress," is a dynamic duo all by herself.
Breck Boy to declare Presidential candidacy
The AP stuns with Edwards To Formally Announce Presidential Candidacy In Hometown:
ROBBINS, N.C. -- Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, said Friday that he will formally announce his candidacy for president Sept. 16 in Robbins, where he grew up.

"Robbins is a very special place for me," Edwards said. "It's where I grew up. It's home to my family. And it's where I learned the values of hard work, responsibility and fairness that made country this great."
One can't help but ask what the heck he's been doing running around the country this year then. But it's really cool that he's going to hold a kickoff in his humble home town for the little people to flock around his greatness. It would be even cooler if he invited them to his home on Figure Eight Island, "an exclusive, private island off of Wrightsville Beach". From a real estate brochure:
With only 406 other homes on the island and no commercial enterprises allowed, Figure Eight is last bastion of unspoiled island living along the North Carolina coast.

Access to the island is via a security gate crossing the only privately owned bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Ulps, I guess it's not the right spot to invite the little people. Must be great to be a man of the people!

Friday, August 15, 2003

Her Heinous Chimes In
"When my husband was in office, the power grid was like new," said Sen. Clinton. "But right after he left, the grid got all rusty and some form of mechanical progeria. But President Bush was so distracted by the war on Iraq that he has tragically inconvenienced 50 million people."
Is it real or is it ScrappleFace?
And speaking of the Cruzer
He isn't just a fussy looking fat guy with a funny mustache - read what Lowell Ponte has to say in Bustamante: The Racist in the Race?
Bustamante began attending Fresno State University, where he also failed to graduate but immersed himself in local and student politics, including the racial activism of MEChA, a group whose name is an acronym for "Moviemiento Estudiantil Chicano de AZTLAN," the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan.

"I wasn't the most radical Mechista," says Bustamante nowadays. Perhaps not, but he was a member of MEChA and has refused all requests that he dissociate himself from its values and ideas.

As its critics might argue, to say you were not "the most radical Mechista" is a bit like saying you were not "the most radical Nazi." Just to have been a Nazi, however "moderate," is radical, socialist and evil enough to warrant condemnation.

Like Nazism, MEChA has acquired more than a tinge of racism. In their tactics to advance Latinos and "La Raza," many of its activists have directed racist attacks against not only white-skinned Anglos but also against blacks, Asian-Americans and Jews - in fact, against every non-Latino group.
On February 9, 2001, during a Black History Month speech before 400 members of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Bustamante casually referred to an African-American labor organization as the "Nigger" labor organization, using the evil "N" word and continuing obliviously with his speech for another 10 minutes while up to 100 outraged listeners rose and left the room.

"You don't make a slip like that," said audience member Gwendalyn Bello, "unless it is something you say normally."

"What was troublesome to a lot of people," said San Francisco labor organizer and state president of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute James Bryant, "was that the word came out very naturally."

Perhaps Mr. Bryant did not know that Bustamante had formed his ideas about race as a Mechista.
Well, well. Looks like the Cruzer has a problem.
The "A" in MEChA stands for "Aztlan," their word for the entire southwestern United States from Texas to California and from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, lost in war or sold by Mexico to the U.S. Mechistas aim to reclaim all this land for Mexico in a new reconquista, a "reconquest" like the re-taking of Spain from Moorish Muslims by Roman Catholics that was completed in 1492.
Woohoo! A huge honking big problem.

But here's the best part: (emphasis mine)
With the recall movement against his ally Governor Gray Davis on the verge of success, Bustamante shocked fellow Democrats by proposing that he would allow a statewide vote to recall the Governor - but, by ignoring what the state constitution clearly requires, would forbid any vote to replace Davis.

By this de facto coup d'etat, boasted Bustamante, the Governor's office would become vacant and he as Lt. Governor then would automatically become the new Governor. All that would be needed to guarantee continued Democratic control of this office, said Bustamante, was approval by an obscure, Democrat-dominated panel called the Commission on the Governorship.

Fellow Democrats apparently sat Bustamante down and explained that California was not yet Mexico, that the voters would not accept such an obvious banana republic coup d'etat or his shredding and burning of the constitution in front of their eyes. What he advocated was blatantly illegal, much like Gray Davis' demand that his name be allowed on the ballot of candidates who could succeed him.
Hey, the Cruzer knows what the people really need. Him.
Today's hoot
Some pranksters grabbed the domain name and put up Californians (Davis Cronies) Against the Costly Recall. There's lots of good japery, but I like the "Unofficial Ballot Statement". It starts out:
It has been my honor to serve my state and country for many years, as an Army Captain in Vietnam, State Controller, Lieutenant Governor, Governor and now as a robotic Gumby look-a-like attempting to save his job.

California voters are simple-minded. I trust them to believe every lie I tell. I believe I can con them into believing they are doing the right thing on October 7, because I have the utmost faith in the results achieved by my highly paid pollsters.
But back on the real recall election front - California Democrats Give Davis Two Weeks:
A new statewide Field Poll released Friday shows that 58 percent of Californian voters now favor recalling Democratic Gov. Gray Davis (search), a seven point increase over the last Field Poll in July.

The news sent Democrats across the state into panic and deepened disillusionment with Davis' continued demands that party donors and special interest groups stick with him in his drive to defeat the Oct. 7 recall.

"It's really, really bad for him," a top statewide Democratic strategist told Fox News. "Because he's been leaning on people all week saying polls showing him in trouble are wrong. Well, what's he going to say now when almost every newspaper in the state on Friday will carry this poll?"

The Field Poll says 58 percent of California voters support recalling Davis while 37 percent oppose the recall.
Er, maybe he can say they added up the numbers wrong? In any case:
Several top Democratic sources told Fox News that Davis has been warned that if he does not reverse his sagging poll numbers by Labor Day, the party will have to abandon him and put virtually all of its financial and political resources squarely behind Bustamante.

"He's been given about two weeks," a Democratic strategist familiar with the situation said. "Until then, the party will stick with the same strategy. If things don't change, a different assessment will be made."

But another top Democrat told Fox News that Davis may not have that long.

"I can't see big party players holding back much longer than next week," the source said. "But the problem is that running against a sitting governor is very difficult for donors and interest groups. Nobody is comfortable with it."
Well, no one wants the donors and interest groups not to be comfy. Except perhaps the electorate.
Surprise, surprise!
Ipse Dixit on the blackout - When The Lights Go Down In Nantucket:
Perhaps Cheney's warnings would not have gone unheeded had he suggested something a little more acceptable to liberals - like a wind farm in the Northeast, maybe? Oh, wait....
Blackout alert!
Bloggers Among Hardest Hit by Massive Blackout. Who knew?

However, amongst the unintentionally humorous was everyone's favorite talking hairdo, Dan Rather. Ole Dan is apparently still pining for the days of the meaningless gesture pioneered by Jimmy Carter:
According to a transcript provided by the Media Research Center, Rather asked CBS reporter Bill Plante, "Any serious thought given to the president canceling his appearance at that big fundraising, campaign fundraising dinner tonight, given the fact that so many millions of people are going through this in the Northeast?"
Jeez, Dan, why didn't you suggest that everyone in America stop what they were doing and turn out all their lights in a gesture of solidarity?
The Media Research Center noted that if CBS were so concerned about the blackout, maybe it could have cancelled some of its prime time line-up.

According to MRC, While the other TV networks were airing President Bush's remarks about 8:54 p.m. EDT, "CBS continued with the program Amazing Race 4. Then at 9 p.m. EDT, Rather cut in with a one-minute update that included a Bush soundbite. Afterward, it was on to CSI and Without a Trace," MRC said.
Hmm, guess not. Well folks, as Dan would say, "Courage!"

UPDATE: More of the usual suspects were spotted bloviating on the blackout by Tim Graham at The Corner. My favorite, though, was this:
Thanks to the blackout, we got to see the real Diane Sawyer, Paula Zahn and Elizabeth Vargas sans benefit of blow drying their hair.
Now that is scary!

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Was there a memo to the NY Times staff to write about Blogs?
First it was MoDo bashing boring politcal blogs. Now it's Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell on school blogs. Predictably, they aren't too exciting either.
You learn something new every day!
Apparently at least one of the Olsen twins has no navel.
That Zsa Zsa is quite a gal!
The Curmudgeon alerts us to a report in the LA Times that Huffington Paid Little Income Tax:
TV commentator and author Arianna Huffington, who launched her campaign for governor with criticism of "fat cats" who fail to shoulder a fair share of taxes, paid no individual state income tax and just $771 in federal taxes during the last two years, her tax returns show.

Huffington, who released her tax returns for the last two years to The Times, lives in an 8,000-square-foot home in Brentwood above Sunset Boulevard that is valued at about $7 million. She socializes with many wealthy and prominent people.

But the returns show that at least for the last two years, her income was far outweighed by losses that she reported were incurred by Christabella Inc., the private corporation she owns and uses to manage her writing and lecturing business.
On her 2002 tax returns, Huffington reported Christabella's gross receipts of $183,000. But the corporation also reported expenses of $410,363, which the corporation was allowed to take as a deduction. The corporate tax returns show payments of $800 in state taxes in each of the last two years and no federal taxes during the same period.

The corporate expenses include the costs of research for Huffington's books and speeches as well as for travel, entertainment and rent. The corporation lists the Brentwood house as its address.
The net loss from the corporation — $259,549 — appears as an offset on Huffington's personal tax return. In addition, she carried over corporate losses from previous years of $2.49 million.

Beyond the losses generated by Christabella, the personal tax return for 2002 also shows wages and salary income of $79,866 and dividends and interest of $189. Set against that are deductions of $120,832. About half of that is for mortgage interest payments. Also included are $19,209 in medical expenses.

The net result was an adjusted gross income of negative $2.67 million last year, the returns show. She owed no federal income tax beyond the self-employment tax paid to Social Security — $771 over the two-year period.
"The average guy isn't able to wipe out the taxes on his wage income because he doesn't have millions of dollars in losses" from a private corporation, said Phil Holthouse, a partner in a Los Angeles certified public accounting firm.
For those in the know, owning your own business and taking the full measure of deductions can be very lucrative tax-wise. The only difficulty is that the Feds may decide you aren't really serious about running it as a profit making endeavor if you keep showing losses year after year. But things are looking up for Zsa Zsa, if not for the taxman:
She said 2003 will be much different, thanks to the publication of her bestselling "Pigs at the Trough," which criticizes corporate greed [nice touch! - CBP] and political corruption. In addition, she recently signed a contract to write a book about what she said is fanatical leadership in the Democratic and Republican parties. Under the contract she will receive at least $700,000 and could earn as much as $1 million.

Given the losses on Huffington's returns, however, Holthouse said she is unlikely to pay any significant taxes in the next few years even if her income increases substantially.
Chutzpah, thy name is Zsa Zsa.

There's much more by following the link, including ex-hubby Michael Huffington claiming she's using his sizeable child-support payments to subsidize her business.
Today's Hoot!
Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner - Just Showing Up:
Arnold Schwarzenegger:

"There comes a point when the people must demand more of our elected officials than just showing up."

The response from one Texan (suffering through the spectacle of his elected representatives holed up in New Mexico and Oklahoma).

“Oh, dare to dream.”
The distinction, of course, is that members of the "party of the people" will never show up if there is no taxpayer provided largesse in the offing.
Snarky whine alert!
The Register, the online gossip mag for geeks, has an article by Andrew Orlowski with the winsome title of Webloggers deal Harvard blog-bores a black eye:
"Who is Dave Winer?" asks weblogger Atrios, echoing the concerns of dozens of mystified progressive and pro-Democrat bloggers this week.
Ah yes, Atrios and Dave Winer in one sentence - time to don the biohazard suit AND the tinfoil beanie. It seems that Winer is trying to put together a blogging convention at Harvard and wants to charge the participants $500 to attend. This doesn't sit well with the leftoid blog elite, nor does the presence of the Instapundit as one of the scheduled speakers. See Winer's goofy letter of invitation here.

The best part though, is that it appears that the leftoid bloggers quoted in the article don't know that Dave Winer is a Kumbaya Kool Aid drinker just like themselves. I'm sure he thought he was doing the "progressive" cause a favor by inviting the usual suspects. Hey, confusion to the enemy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

News of the absurd
(Both via FreeRepublic) IMDb stuns with Marlon Brando Is Courtney Love's Grandfather?
Veteran actor Marlon Brando has been revealed as the unexpected grandfather of wild rocker Courtney Love in a new book. The singer's mother, psychologist Linda Carroll, claims she has taken DNA tests to confirm she is the Godfather star's daughter. Love, former wife of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, says, "I am incredibly shocked by this news. I have heard Mr. Brando has more than 30 children so I can't imagine how many cousins I have." The link is Linda's mother, novelist Paula Fox. She met Brando in the 1940's through famed drama teacher Stella Adler, and the two enjoyed a brief liaison.
Does this reduce the six degrees of separation?

Then there's Man on Motorized Bar Stool Pulled Over:
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Police pulled over a man on a bar stool - after a slow-speed pursuit on one of Reno's busier streets.

It started Monday when an officer saw a man riding the motorized bar stool at 35 mph. He was being followed closely by a woman in a Mustang.

Both driver and rider were pulled over.

The woman told police she had been on the phone with a dispatcher reporting the bar stool stolen.
How'd you like to take that 911 call?
[The guy on the bar stool] faces Reno charges of possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and numerous traffic violations.

Sparks police are handling the stolen vehicle report.
At least he wasn't drinking!
The Left devours itself (for dessert)
The Viking Pundit calls attention to the arrival of a pie on the gritty visage of Ralph Nader at a campaign event yesterday. I did a little digging and here's a report with a picture - Ralph Nader Gets Pie In Face At SF Event:
Ralph Nader got a pie in the face at an event today with one of the people running for California governor.

The former Green Party presidential candidate was in San Francisco to endorse Peter Camejo, who's one of six declared Greens running in the recall election.

At the end of a news conference, a man ran into the room, shoved a pie in Nader's face, and ran out.

Nader threw some of the pie at the unidentified man as he took off, but the police didn't catch him.

Later, Camejo said he thought the Democrats were behind the pie throwing.
Anyone seen Howard Dean?
And speaking of the blatherers
Joe Hagan in the NY Observer has the skinny on Big Weird Al's Gore-TV in Hand-Picked Gore Producer Plans Network: ‘TV Should Be Gray, Not Black and White’:
It’s easy to see why Al Gore latched onto Steve Rosenbaum, the 42-year-old president of documentary production company Camera Planet, for the TV network he’s developing. When Mr. Rosenbaum starts talking, he sounds like the sort of Starbucks-powered pitch man you found shilling "killer apps" in Silicon Valley five years ago.

"Imagine you were on the earth when the pencil was invented," said Mr. Rosenbaum on a recent evening. "And imagine the world pre-pencil and post-pencil. Digital video is a pencil. People always say it’s like a Xerox machine—not even close. It’s a fundamental creative tool that didn’t exist a few years ago and that exists today. It’s a big fucking deal."

If Mr. Rosenbaum’s spiel on the power of handheld cameras had a late-period dot-com flavor to it, he was speaking Mr. Gore’s language; it was just the sort of thing to win over the technophile former Vice President. Mr. Rosenbaum is now a consultant to the incipient network that Mr. Gore is building with the entrepreneur and Democratic fund-raiser Joel Hyatt. Mr. Rosenbaum’s vision is this: He believes regular people wielding digital cameras—the kind you pick up at Circuit City for $1,000—can supply great utopian television that does things like build community, foster dialogue and upend old-school media—a People’s Republic of Tubedom, in which the video viewpoints of average schlubs, packaged by producers, can tear down the battlement walls of television, topple the statue of, oh, say Fox News chief Roger Ailes and sing a Whitmanian Video Song of Themselves.

Mr. Rosenbaum calls it an "open-source framework."
This guy and Big Weird Al are made for each other! As they say around here, neither of them needs to buy fertilizer.

I almost hate to tell them that someone already had this idea.
Fun for all
I must have missed the fact that there is a Cincinnati boycott. Peter Bronson in The Cincinnati Enquirer illuminates with Hannity shows the other side of the boycott story.
Sean Hannity should be listed on the New York Stock Exchange: SeanInc. He's a one-man opinion industry, with products in every media grocery aisle: TV, Internet, talk radio and a best-seller in print, Let Freedom Ring.

He says he now reaches as many as 18 million people a week. And it felt like all of them were packed into Cintas Center to hear him Friday night.

Hannity is riding a Banzai Pipeline wave of anger at the media. His success is fueled by a growing national appetite for the "other side" of the story from a conservative point of view.
Hey, why not? Sometimes the blatherers do get a tad tedious.
In an interview and during his speech at Cintas Center, he described the epic battle for America's future as an all-out ideological war. "The Democrats are on the run," he said to reverberating cheers from fans of his syndicated show on 550 WKRC-AM.

A well-dressed, middle-aged woman stood up during the Q&A and asked him, "When are you going to get Hillary on your show and grill her like the pork chop she is?" The sell-out crowd of 4,000 erupted.

It was feeding time at the zoo, and liberals were the raw meat being broiled by Hannity and his guest, author Ann Coulter.

Welcome to Cincinnati, where conservatives are the majority, and know how to act like it. They were young and old, from all over town, having a rowdy "booya" good time.
Well Yeehaw! Although I can think of better analogies for Her Heinous than a pork chop.
When Hannity asked for a head-count of liberals in the crowd, one guy raised his hand. One.

That's not counting the eight who picketed outdoors, the last stragglers in the slow, ragtag retreat of the increasingly disoriented Cincinnati boycott.

Hannity had asked their leader, Nate Livingston, to come on stage and have his say, uninterrupted. Livingston chose instead to stand outside with a bullhorn as protesters shouted racist slurs and profanities at the departing crowd.

"Liberals are on the wrong side of history," Hannity said.

And there was the proof, standing outside in the rain behind a line of cops, waving soggy cardboard signs, screaming insults and obscenities at men, women and children who chose to defy a boycott enforced by a tiny handful of misguided extremists.
Sounds like the charmers we know and love.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

How to tell you're getting old
I'm fairly inured to the process by which pop songs of earlier eras get turned into "elevator music" and commercial jingles. Songs from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and countless others have gone through it, losing whatever context they had when they were topping the charts. Well, last night while surfing the satellite TV channels, I witnessed a "homemaker" dancing around dusting a house with a Swiffer to the tune of Devo's "Whip it." The marketeers injunction is to "Swiff it." Indeed.

Speaking of which, one of the virtues of living in the sticks is that the only television reception is via satellite, which means that none of the regular broadcast networks are available. This means that one is completely out of touch with recent "must see" TV trends. As a result, it occurred to me that, although I am familiar with the concept, I have never seen a "reality" TV show. Of course, I would likely be able to say that even if I could tune in the broadcast networks.
Left Coast Fun Alert!
Rich Lowry at - First terminate the unions:
If you were to distill all that is worst about American politics into one man, he would have perfectly combed hair and he would answer to "Gray." A cautious political hack whose only strength is selling out to unions and trial lawyers, Gov. Gray Davis is Bill Clinton without the conscience, Al Gore without the charm.
It would be a mistake, however, to overpersonalize his failings. The populist upheaval in California is the result of a chapter in state government that will be compared to the robber baron era. It is a tale of how unions and trial lawyers can ruin a state's economy with assistance from a very willing governor.
And despite the recall, it's going to get worse before it gets better as Davis starts pandering to anyone who might get him enough votes to save his job. Matt Welch in the Los Angeles Daily News - Desperate Davis rekindles long-smoldering debate:
The campaign to recall Gray Davis has proven to be a godsend for an unlikely group: illegal immigrants who drive illegally.

In mid-July, even before the special Oct. 7 election was called, our hated governor caved into Latino politicians' single biggest legislative demand: to support a new version of a bill he vetoed just last year that would give undocumented aliens the special privilege of obtaining a California driver's license.

"My expectation is we'll get a bill this year," sponsor Gil Cedillo, a state senator representing parts of East Los Angeles and Pasadena, told La Opinion.

Cedillo, whose relationship with Gov. Davis soured after last year's veto, has discovered impressive new enthusiasm for fighting the recall. "This is a movement put together by extremists in the state who want to set back government," he told the Spanish-language daily. "It's disruptive, and it's a bad precedent. We have to commit ourselves to fight it."
Now there's a surprise! I wonder if illegal aliens have to get auto insurance too?

But while we're having fun, check this out - Dem. Candidates Blast Republicans Over California:
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidates blasted California's recall campaign against Gov. Gray Davis on Monday, calling it part of a larger Republican assault on the U.S. electoral process.

At a political forum near the Liberty Bell, seven of the nine Democrats vying for the right to oppose President Bush in 2004 said California was being swept by the same right-wing tactics used against Democrats in Florida and Texas and during the impeachment of former President Clinton.

"This is an attack on the institutions of our government. That's what Republicans do," U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri told hundreds of union leaders at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center.
More political Tourette's syndrome from little Dick, but it's interesting to see the others join in. The funny part is that the recall and initiatives/referenda processes used to be touted as sterling examples of reforms in the electoral process brought on by the American Progressive movement of the first part of the 20th century. The idea was to let citizens take back government from worthless politicians beholden to special interests. I guess it all depends on which worthless politicians and which special interests are in danger of losing their stranglehold on government.

Can you say two-faced pond scum? I knew you could.

Monday, August 11, 2003

I'm in the wrong business
I should have been a "researcher" like the ones from the University of Minnesota who just figured out that Teasing (is) Tough On Overweight Kids' Emotions: Many Overweight Children Teased By Peers, Family Members. Ya think?

But here's the gig I really want - Druids cut death toll with divine intervention:
Druids have been brought in to reduce the number of accidents on Austria's worst stretches of autobahn.

The Druids have put up huge roadside monoliths to restore the natural flow of "earth energy". After the massive pillars of white quartz were put up beside a notorious stretch of road during a secret two-year trial, the number of fatal accidents fell from an average of six a year to zero.

Gerald Knobloch, who describes himself as an archdruid, used a divining rod to inspect the 300-yard stretch of the A9 in Styria and restore "earth energy lines". "I located dangerous elements that had disrupted the energy flow," he told The Telegraph.

"The worst was a river which human interference had forced to flow against its natural direction. By erecting two stones of quartz each weighing more than a ton at the side of the road the energy lines were restored."

... the motorway authorities are extending the Druids' role across the country, paying them about £2,500 for each investigation - a fraction of the cost of resurfacing a road.
Sign me up! Just as long as they don't put up the monoliths by hand.
Sounds familiar
I was sent a link to an interesting article by Perry Biddiscombe titled Minutemen of the Third Reich (history of the Nazi Werewolf guerilla movement) which is apparently a rendition of an article at ($ registration required) and a brief version of Biddiscombe's two books, "Werwolf!: The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement, 1944-1946"; and "The Last Nazis". Some excerpts:
A case in point is the Nazi Werewolf guerrilla movement founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1044 (sic), which fought the occupying forces of Britain, America and Russia until at least 1047 (sic).

The Werewolves were originally organised by the SS and the Hitler Youth as a diversionary operation on the fringes of the Third Reich, which were occupied by the Western Allies and the Soviets in the autumn of 1944. Some 5,000 -- 6,000 recruits were raised by the winter of 1944-45, but numbers rose considerably in the following spring when the Nazi Party and the Propaganda Ministry launched a popular call to arms, beseeching everybody in the occupied areas -- even women and children -- to launch themselves upon the enemy. In typical Nazi fashion, this expansion was not co-ordinated by the relevant bodies, which were instead involved in a bureaucratic war among themselves over control of the project. The result was that the movement functioned on two largely unrelated levels: the first as a real force of specially trained SS, Hitler Youth and Nazi Party guerrillas; the second as an outlet for casual violence by fanatics.

The Werewolves specialised in ambushes and sniping, and took the lives of many Allied and Soviet soldiers and officers -- perhaps even that of the first Soviet commandant of Berlin, General N.E. Berzarin, who was rumoured to have been waylaid in Charlottenburg during an incident in June 1945. Buildings housing Allied and Soviet staffs were favourite targets for Werewolf bombings; an explosion in the Bremen police headquarters, also in June 1945, killed five Americans and thirty-nine Germans. Techniques for harassing the occupiers were given widespread publicity through Werewolf leaflets and radio propaganda, and long after May 1945 the sabotage methods promoted by the Werewolves were still being used against the occupying powers.

Although the Werewolves originally limited themselves to guerrilla warfare with the invading armies, they soon began to undertake scorched-earth measures and vigilante actions against German `collaborators' or `defeatists'. They damaged Germany's economic infrastructure, already battered by Allied bombing and ground fighting, and tried to prevent anything of value from falling into enemy hands. Attempts to blow up factories, power plants or waterworks occasionally provoked melees between Werewolves and desperate German workers trying to save the physical basis of their employment, particularly in the Ruhr and Upper Silesia.
Much more by following the link and presumably a lot more in the books.

Good thing those simplistic Americans of the 1940's had never heard of quagmires.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Blogger Sunday Update
The folks at Blogger have outdone themselves today. Not only did we blogspot denizens get the permalinks for today broken (as happens every Sunday), but all the archives are inaccessible and no amount of republishing fixes the problem. Actually, it isn't a publishing problem - all the files are on the server and I can see them when I ftp to it. However, for some obscure reason blogspot does not directly address any of the pages in a user's archives. They are served up by an intermediary process which inexplicably remaps the addresses. It's this process that has broken down for the last 40 Sundays or so. Time for me to think seriously about joining the exodus.

UPDATE: 12:54 AM on 8/11. And now it is all working again. Beats the heck out of me.
There's another issue in the California election
We will hear constantly about the Gray Davis recall/replacement election on October 7, but there is also another issue on the ballot as Jim Sanders reports for the Sacramento Bee - Racial data battle line drawn:
Four decades after Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his dream for a society that doesn't judge people by the color of their skin, a first-of-its-kind California ballot initiative is sparking fierce new debate over how best to accomplish that.

Ward Connerly's new initiative, Proposition 54, is based on the notion that society will never be colorblind as long as government continues to collect, dissect, analyze and fight over racial statistics.

The measure, set for a vote during the Oct. 7 recall election, would ban California government from classifying people according to race, ethnicity, color or national origin, with certain exceptions, such as for medical research or to meet court decrees and federal requirements.

"It's a measured step to have the government see every citizen equally," said Diane Schachterle, Connerly's campaign coordinator. "Society becoming colorblind is something that we, ourselves, have to do -- and government sets the tone."
Needless to say, those with a vested interest in racism have their panties in a knot.
Kentucky Officials Say Whiskey Warehouse Fire Caused Dead Fish in Nearby Creek
WEST POINT, Ky. (AP) - Nearly all of the fish in a creek near a whiskey warehouse have died since fire destroyed the building and spilled its contents last week, and state officials have cited owner Jim Beam.

Lightning set the warehouse on fire on Aug. 4, and more than 800,000 gallons of burning bourbon flowed into a retaining pond and then into the creek.
The thought of 800,000 gallons of burning Jim Beam boggles the mind. Can you imagine what it smelled like?
It's all our fault again!
The Guardian astounds with US lifestyles blamed for obesity epidemic sweeping Mexico. Somebody tell Sally Struthers!

The Guardian is also leading the Euro whinefest about global warming:
Given that the US refuses to limit its output, as does Russia, the chances of halting global temperature rises look remote.
How about popping some virgins into the volcano to appease the weather gods?
The Radical Tinkerers are at it again
Ellen Barry reports in the Boston Globe that Broader, varied SAT advocated. It's the usual blather about a kinder, gentler test which will obfuscate the inability of the school system to teach students to read, write, and do arithmetic without a calculator. There are, however, sample questions! Since I love a quiz, here goes:
Q. What would you do if you had already eaten lunch when you realized you didn't have the cash to pay for it?

A. Pretend to go to the john and then run out the front door.

Q. What would you do if you walked into a party where you didn't know anyone?

A. Drink all the booze, proposition all the women, and then collapse behind the couch.

Q. How would you ask a professor you didn't know well to write you a recommendation?

A. Hey Gramps! You owe it to me!

Q. Write a story entitled ''The Octopus's Shoes.''

A. They don't need shoes. They have suckers, sucker!
Do I get into Harvard?
News you can use
Older women urged to become lesbians
AUSTRALIA'S leading relationship counselling body is urging lonely older single women to become lesbians.

Relationships Australia spokesman Jack Carney said men's shorter life spans, and their pursuit of much younger women, meant women in their twilight years were often forced to turn to other women for love and companionship.

Mr Carney said the government-funded support group encouraged older women to explore lesbian relationships, which were seen as more nurturing and emotionally supportive.
To paraphrase one of James Taranto's favorite lines, what would we do without government funded experts?

Sea salvage to keep cars off used lots
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- Smit Salvage has been besieged with calls ever since a Norwegian-registered ship with thousands of luxury cars on board sank late last year in the English Channel.

The callers -- used car salesmen, junkyard dealers and modern-day treasure hunters -- guessed correctly that the Rotterdam company was the likeliest candidate to raise the sunken ship, the Tricolor, and its cargo of 2,871 BMWs, Volvos and Saabs, worth about $40 million.

What they did not fully consider was the corrosive effect of spending eight months in salt water.
What makes the author think so?

Expert: Cuban economy on brink of collapse
Under a ''catastrophic debt burden'' and unable to pay its creditors, Cuba is teetering on the precipice of economic collapse, an international finance expert said Thursday.

''In the last couple of years, Cuba has spiraled out of control in not meeting its obligations. It's a sign the wheels are coming off the bus,'' said Dennis Flannery, executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank. He spoke to reporters in Coral Gables after addressing the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy.

Cuba had its lowest sugar harvest this year since the Great Depression, and the country is largely floated on income from the tourism industry and money sent to the island in remittances. The government has used that money in part to buy food -- in cash -- from U.S. farmers, while avoiding its bills to other foreign governments.

Cuba's foreign debt is so high -- it owes $12 billion in hard currency, plus Russia claims it is owed another $20 billion, Flannery said, citing the State Department -- that a credit agency has listed the Caribbean nation among the world's riskiest investments, along with Iraq and Angola, a nation to which Cuba once sent military and economic aid.
Guess those Fidel Savings Bonds won't be a good investment. How long before the usual suspects in the Democrat party call for a bailout?

How killers in state stay untouchable: Mexican court scraps extradition treaty -- frustrated California D.A.s won't cut deals
After a months-long search, Santa Cruz County investigators found the man accused of a brutal attack in which he allegedly slashed a girl's throat and then raped her friend.

Trouble is, the only way to get him is to cut a deal.

Suspect Miguel Loza is behind bars in a Mexico City jail. But Mexican authorities refuse to send him to the United States to stand trial unless he is guaranteed parole.

The dilemma facing Santa Cruz prosecutors -- whether to reduce charges for a heinous crime or risk leaving a suspected killer, rapist and child molester on the loose -- has become increasingly common for district attorneys throughout the state since October 2001. That was when Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that life in prison, or any term without guaranteed parole, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under Mexico's constitution.
As for Loza, the pending charges of homicide, sodomy, assault with a deadly weapon and forcible sex assault on a child would have to be reduced to the level of manslaughter before Mexico would allow extradition.
First, they wouldn't extradite if there was a possibility of a death sentence. Now they won't extradite if there is a possibility of a life sentence. Next, they won't extradite if there are no guarantees of doilies.

And speaking of people with obscure hobbies
It's another Blogspot Sunday - permalinks are broken. Based on past experience, they will recover sometime this afternoon.

UPDATE: It gets better, all archives are casters up, not just this week's.
"Kicked some serious Aussie booby"
Meredith May and Charles Burress of the San Francisco Chronicle report on the latest issue roiling Berkeley in Berkeley breast-feeders beat lactating Aussies:
Berkeley, the world champion of mass lactation, defended its crown Saturday against the upstart Australians in what has become something of a transpacific nursing grudge match.

On the count of, "One, two, three, latch!" nearly 700 moms suckled their babes in the Berkeley Community Theatre. Although the final head count was a bit shy of the 1,130 women who brought the title home to Berkeley last year, it still, to quote the master of ceremonies, "kicked some serious Aussie booby."
I, for one, am always interested in news of people with obscure hobbies. Zzzzzzzzz.