Saturday, April 24, 2004

Naughty Lurch!

Kerry's SUV habit fuels a `trust' gap
Now we've truly heard it all. Rising gas prices are the latest John Kerry campaign theme, so naturally the senator was asked this week about his personal vehicle usage.

Kerry insisted, ``I don't own an SUV.''

When pressed about a Chevrolet Suburban, the mother of all SUVs, kept at the Heinz Kerry abode in Idaho, Kerry said: ``The family has it. I don't have it.''

Kerry has now closed the distance between nuance and flat-out deception.
You mean "nuance" doesn't mean "lying through your teeth"? Who knew?
And that's without mentioning the other gas-guzzlers this candidate and his family enjoy, all the while posturing about reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and fuel efficiency.

At last count, there were eight ``family'' cars and SUVs, including the 1995 Suburban (15 mpg highway, 12 mpg city), a 1993 Land Rover Defender (12 mpg highway, 10 mpg city), a 1989 Jeep Cherokee (20 mpg highway, 16 mpg city), a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee (20 mpg highway, 15 mpg city), a 2001 Audi Allroad (21 mpg highway, 15 mpg city), a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser (25 mpg highway, 20 mpg city), a 1985 Dodge 600 Convertible (26 mpg highway, 23 mpg city), and a 2002 Chrysler 300M (26 mpg highway, 18 mpg city). Kerry, however, only owns up to the latter two.

Then there's the 2002 Harley Davidson (his), two powerboats (one his, one hers), a power inflatable 2001 Novurania (his), and a Gulfstream II private jet (hers).

President Kerry would have to open his own pipeline in Saudi Arabia just to meet family fuel demand.
Yeehaw! And you learn something new every day - there's a car with worse gas mileage than a Suburban.
Yet there he was yammering on to reporters Thursday about making a hybrid (powered by gas and electricity) his ``campaign car.''
Dang, the High Bogon Flux alarm just went off!
It's probably not politically correct to refer to the senator as the head of the Heinz Kerry family.
Probably not accurate either.
But last we checked, he is a part of it, no? Kerry's prevarication is trivial in the context of terrorism, the war in Iraq, the economy and all the serious issues this country - and its next president - will confront.

But if voters can't trust John Kerry to play it straight on the little things, how can they trust him on the big things?
Bzzzt, thanks for playing, Lurch!
Georgie Porgie Alert!

George Galloway-Saddam's butt boy

Saddam's butt boy, former Labor MP George Galloway, is on the list of folks getting oil vouchers under the UN's "Oil for Crooks" program. He famously claims he's never seen a barrel of oil. The folks at the Sun decided to broaden his horizons - Galloway rolls out barrel:
SADDAM-supporting MP George Galloway blew his top yesterday after The Sun sent him a barrel of OIL.

Mr Galloway claims he has never seen one — so we arranged for him to have his own 200-litre drum.

It came as the Glasgow Kelvin MP fiercely denied pocketing £1million from Iraqi tyrant Saddam.

His name was on a list of people allegedly rewarded by the dictator with vouchers for millions of barrels of oil.

We delivered our drum, complete with Sun logos to the front door of his £500,000 home in South London.

It sat in his drive for three hours before he dragged it away and hid it from view in an 8ft privet hedge.

One passer-by applauded our gesture and said: “Good on the Sun for sticking it to Galloway. He’s so oily.”
Several different adjectives come to mind.
When we asked if he would comment on why his name had appeared on the list put before the US congress, he said: “I don’t have to explain myself to The Sun. I’m not going to talk to you. Why talk to guttersnipes?”

Shall we take that as a No then, George?
Georgie sounds a tad bitter that there's no check from Saddam in the mail! Nice snaps of Georgie with his oil barrel by following the link.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Even the New York Times!

It's a cold day in Hell!

In a typically smarmy editorial yesterday, even the NY Times says that Teresa should release her tax returns. Of course, that was before today's news.
Good news for Earth Guy!

From ScrappleFace - Kerry Gets Permission to Drive 'Family' SUV:
Just hours after telling reporters that he doesn't own an SUV but his family does, Sen. John Forbes Kerry announced today that he had gained permission from his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, to drive the family's Chevy Suburban on brief trips to the grocery store or dry cleaner.

"I didn't ask to take it on the campaign trail because it gets lousy gas mileage which is bad for the environment," said Mr. Kerry. "But I was excited when Teresa told me that I could run out to the Piggly-Wiggly in the big rig."

Mr. Kerry's spokesman later explained that, "the family calls the SUV 'the big rig', not Senator Kerry, because it's not his vehicle, so he doesn't need a nickname for it.
More by following the link.
Here's a good scam!

Heinz Kerry delays filing 2003 tax forms:
Teresa Heinz Kerry has filed for an extension on her 2003 US income tax forms, giving her husband John F. Kerry's presidential campaign until mid-August to decide whether to make her tax records public, as some Republicans and newspaper editorial boards have demanded.
According to the Internal Revenue Service website, the automatic extension is for four months, which would mean that Heinz Kerry could file her returns anytime between now and mid-August. If she waits until then, it would be after the Democratic National Convention, in late July, and at a time when many Americans will be tuning into the televised 2004 Summer Olympic Games or are possibly on vacation.
I'm sure that Teresa is just burning the midnight oil with a calculator and a bunch of sharp pencils trying to get 'em done too! C'mon Teresa, the accountants are on retainer anyhow - tell' em to work faster!

And by the way, here is her latest excuse for not releasing the eventual returns:
Speaking to reporters in Beverly Hills, Calif., yesterday, Heinz Kerry said she did not want to make her tax returns public because it would violate the privacy of her three sons. "If some god of taxes would want to come in and look at all of my portfolio, I'd let them," she said. "But I don't think I have the right to put my children's privacy out into the open."
Somehow I don't think ole Teresa is just worried about the tykes finding out whether she correctly counted her dependents. Can you say "Trust Fund Babies"? I guess that wouldn't fit in with the "Man of the People" story line.

Also being the Boston Globe, they have to bring in an "expert" dismissal from a "pundit":
One political analyst, Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia, dismissed the matter as a silly distraction from key issues like national and economic security.

"Her tax returns are of interest to a very limited group of people -- almost entirely people backing Bush already," Sabato said. "Whether Teresa Heinz Kerry owns three-quarters of Japan, it just doesn't matter in this election."
Three-quarters of Japan would be unimportant? I wonder what Larry would consider to be important? How about campaign law violations by funneling money to her husband's campaign? How about illicit support of left wing political groups? How about a "rich and shameless" lifestyle replete with tax loopholes while her hubby is going for the wallets of regular people who work for a living? Naw, Larry probably wouldn't consider those important either.

UPDATE: Maybe this is why Teresa is so shy about her taxes - Teresa Heinz-Kerry Loses Fortune and Senatorial Sleeping Privileges:
Teresa Heinz-Kerry, wife of Democrat presidential frontrunner Senator John Kerry and the widow of the late Senator John Heinz, has lost her estimated $600 million fortune due to speculation in commodities futures, according to a report to be published tomorrow in The Wall Street Journal. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Minority Leader Tom Daschle have issued a joint communiqué in which they state that Ms. Heinz-Kerry will no longer be afforded sleeping privileges with senators from either party.
Senator Kerry told reporters covering his campaign that, while it is regrettable about the $600 million loss, he took a vow to stand by his wife “for richer or poorer” and intends to do so. The Senator also announced that for the next several weeks he will be campaigning exclusively in Las Vegas.
Hoist with their own petard

From Rantingprofs - Which Cliche to Choose?:
Honestly, the mind races. How about, "charity begins at home"? or maybe, "what comes around goes around"? Nah. That gets us dangerously close to "well the chickens have certainly have come home to roost." But it is a little hard to avoid at least thinking about that one looking at this marvelous headline from today's Times, "Saudis Support a Jihad in Iraq, Not Back Home." Gee, really sorry that hasn't worked out y'all. Guess it's dangerous to grab a tiger by the tail. (Oops! There goes another one!) But apparently what's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander. All right, all right, I'll stop. But you tell me if that isn't exactly what this means:
In Saudi Arabia, a strategic ally of the United States, violence against the occupation in Iraq is seen by many as jihad, or a holy struggle, but virtually no one accepts violence as jihad when it unrolls here at home, in the heart of what is supposed to be the most Muslim of countries.
If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
The Empire Strikes Back!

Emperor Kofi I flaps his gums - U.N. Chief Rebuts Critics of the Iraq 'Oil for Food' Program:
Secretary General Kofi Annan struck back Thursday at critics of the United Nations and his leadership, saying they were treating unproven charges as facts and ignoring the good that the "oil for food" program brought Iraqis despite its scandal-ridden management.
I guess as long as ALL the money wasn't stolen, it was a good deal! I feel so much better.

But the big news is the answer to my question yesterday, "Where's Bennie?." It seems he's back from the fleshpots - U.N. Big Still Denies Oil Rig: Annan:
The head of the scandal-scarred U.N. oil-for-food program was back at his Manhattan office after more than a month in hiding yesterday and is continuing to deny he took oil bribes from Saddam Hussein, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said yesterday.

Annan revealed to reporters that he met Wednesday, with his longtime friend Benon Sevan, the Cypriot undersecretary-general of the U.N, who had dropped out of sight for more than a month after his name appeared on an Iraq Oil Ministry list of figures who received sweetheart oil deals from Saddam's regime.
Sevan is due to retire soon, but Annan said he "should and will be available" to answer questions in the investigation being headed by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker.

"Benon has stated quite clearly that he is innocent, but that doesn't mean he will not cooperate with the investigation, and he has indicated he will cooperate, as I expect all other staff members to cooperate," Annan said.
Fer sure, dude! No word on how fuzzy ole Bennie's memory is. Hey, he's a busy guy and may have forgotten little details! Like where his millions of Saddam bucks went.
Richard Gere disproves rumors!

In a NY Daily News gossip column, we find Gere slams Bush for runaway pride. Egotistical delusions of a room temperature IQ by following the link. But at least Richard has finally laid to rest all the stories about his intimate relationship with gerbils. With his head up his butt, there isn't room for anything else.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

That Lurch is a real Earth Guy!

In the Guardian, no less - Kerry Says His 'Family' Owns SUV, Not He. And a Chevy Suburban to boot! Afraid that they might revoke his Birkenstocks, Lurch claimed it was Teresa's. Hmm, the Boston palace is half his and the Adam Willaerts painting was a quarter his. I guess the car wasn't part of his allowance.

But wait a minute! I thought Teresa was a big ecoweenie too! After all, she first hooked up with Lurch at an Earth Summit. I guess this is one of those Barbra Streisand clothesline deals - the little people should do as the bigwigs say, not as they do.
Today's Hoot

help help helpJames Taranto points to a beauty from Lurch:
"He thinks that empty slogans like the 'Clear Skies' initiative and the 'Healthy Forest' initiative -- that somehow names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer -- that those names will make people forget what is really happening in our country."

Almost on cue, a dolphin slipped through the water. "There he is over there," Kerry said. "He says, 'help, help, help."'
Better look again, Lurch!

Actually, the caption to the "original" snap was pretty good too:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry speaks to a gathering of local fishermen during a tour of coastal waterways at Shell Beach, Louisiana April 21, 2004. The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet is a long way from the Mekong Delta, but it brought back memories for the Vietnam vet.
How's that? Were there some war crimes going on?

Senator's Wife Gone Wild! or Earth Day Rage!

(Via FR) Senator's Wife Charged With Assault

Sources: Dispute Started With Garden Mulch
Now I've heard it all. Mulch rage!
WASHINGTON -- The wife of a U.S. senator is in trouble with the law.

Wanda Baucus is the wife of Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. She is accused of assaulting a woman Tuesday at Johnson's Garden Center on Van Ness Street, Northwest.

Mrs. Baucus was released Wednesday afternoon after an appearance in D.C. Superior Court. She was officially charged with assault in court.

The incident happened in the parking lot of the garden center.

Sources told News4 that Mrs. Baucus was upset because another customer was getting help with mulch ahead of her.

Sources told News4's Pat Collins that Mrs. Baucus dropped a bag of mulch under the woman's car, then struck the woman in the body and face a number of times.

Collins reported that Mrs. Baucus drove from the scene, and returned a while later with her husband.
You can view snaps of the couple by following the link. And if you don't remember Wanda, take a trip down memory lane:
In his reelection campaign last year in conservative Montana, Sen. Max Baucus did everything possible to associate himself with President Bush and fudge his identity as a Democrat. Now that U.S. soldiers are dying and bombs are falling on Baghdad, the 62-year-old five-term senator "believes strongly that Saddam Hussein and his regime must be disarmed and removed from power," his chief of staff, Zak Andersen, told us yesterday through a spokesman.

So we were surprised to learn that there's an antiwar poster being prominently displayed in the window of Baucus's Georgetown house. The sign features the message "Peace is Patriotic" over the image of an American flag sporting doves instead of stars.

We wondered if Baucus is talking one way in the Senate, where he has voted to support Bush's anti-Hussein policies, and another way at home.

"Is that so unusual -- being for peace? I thought we all wanted peace," Wanda Baucus, the senator's wife of 20 years, told us yesterday.
Except where mulch is concerned, I guess.
She said it was she, not her husband, who put up the sign.

While Isaac, her bichon frise, barked in the background, Baucus confided that she has been watching television with growing distress and having trouble sleeping -- though she's not worried about the prospect of terrorism in the United States. "I never think about it," she said.
Don't break your streak, Wanda!
"I don't think we have any business being in a preemptive war against Iraq," she said. "Anytime you drop bombs, there are going to be a lot of innocent people hurt. A billion Muslims all over the world are in pain to see their brothers losing their homes and their families losing the stability of their civilization."
Not to mention seeing their mulch scattered!
She added: "Baghdad is where the beginning of civilization occurred, literally where the wheel was invented, where the very first city was built, where writing began, and it has a very deep and profoundly beautiful history -- which we should never take lightly, no matter who the existing president is."

Even if it's Saddam? "I think he is very proud of the history of his country. I think it's we Americans who don't know the facts about what anthropologists call 'the cradle of civilization.' When we watch the bombing on television, we really don't seem to understand or appreciate that some of these places are sacred. . . . I disagree with those who say that Saddam Hussein doesn't think about this. He cares about these places and their people."
And their mulch!

Where's Bennie?

As mentioned in an ABC report on Tuesday, Benon Sevan, the former head scammer of the United Nations "Oil for Crooks" program is on an extended holiday out of the public eye:
As for Sevan, when news of the scandal first broke earlier this year, he took a long vacation to Australia.

He declined to answer questions when ABCNEWS found him last week staying at a luxury casino resort.
The news reports all seem to be rather coy about the identity of the "luxury casino resort," but c'mon, us little people want to know where the big wigs hide out after they get caught with their meat hooks in the cookie jar! Is it the Crown Towers or the Burswood or somewhere else? Some holiday snaps of Bennie by the pool or at the roulette table would really be nice!
Tsk, tsk!

Tim Blair alerts us to the current dustup Down Under over opposition leader Mark Latham plagiarizing a speech by Bubba Clinton:
Clinton: "Every 12-year-old must be able to log on to the internet."

Latham: "Every 10-year-old must be able to log on to the internet and manage information."

Clinton: "Every 18-year-old must be able to go to college."

Latham: "Every 17-year-old must be ready to extend their education into post-secondary qualifications."

Clinton: "Every adult American must be able to keep on learning for a lifetime."

Latham: "We want every adult to keep on learning for the rest of their lives."
Lots of potential there, mate!
Clinton: Every world leader needs a fat hottie to bring him a pizza and show him her thong.

Latham: Every world leader needs a fat, er ... Damn!
Earth Day Alert! (I don't want to know their position on toilet paper)

Diaperless Babies Seen As Earth-Friendly Solution
As environmentalists celebrate the 34th annual Earth Day, some in the green movement are now advocating "diaper-free" babies to help save the planet.

Citing concerns about plastic disposable diapers clogging landfills and the amount of washing and detergents that cloth diapers require, many environmentalists are taking a page from tribal cultures and seeking to eliminate the use of the baby diapers altogether.

The green movement is now promoting diaperless babies as a "retro, cutting-edge, environmentally friendly scheme" to mothers throughout the industrialized world.
Er, enquiring minds want to know, "What's the alternative plan?"
"There is a way to have a baby and NOT use diapers," says one website advocating diaperless babies. Parents are urged to get in tune with their infant's body signals and hold babies over toilets, buckets and shrubbery or any other convenient receptacle when nature calls.
An appealing prospect for passersby. Hmm, I wonder if they are obligated to scoop afterwards as many cities require after one's dog makes a deposit?
One advocate suggests bringing a "tight-lidded bucket" along to serve as a waste receptacle when mothers take their babies out in public.
Hmm, another appealing idea!

More than you want to know by following the link, but here's a sample:
Scott Noelle, editor of the Continuum Concept website and a father, explained why he eventually stopped using diapers on his infant daughter Olivia, in a web essay titled "Going Diaperless."

"In my mind, diapers became the symbol of the Evil Empire of Western Parenting in which babies must suffer to accommodate the needs of their parents' broken-continuum culture: a controlled, sterile, odorless, wall-to-wall carpeted fortress in which to live with the illusion of dominion over nature," wrote Noelle, on the website

Despite his concerns, Noelle continued to use diapers on his daughter, despite the fact that he "felt like a monster and a fraud."

Noelle finally chose to go diaperless and looked to traditional cultures for inspiration. "How I longed for a simple, dirt-floored, baby-friendly hut like that of a Yequana family," he wrote.
Keep banging the rocks together, Scott!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"Oh Jiang, me love you long time!"

Jiang and Jong

From the caption contest over at FR.
Now the party can get started!

Ireland On-Line reports Streisand to join Kerry's election campaign
Barbra Streisand is planning a huge fundraiser to support US Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry.
Does Babs s**t in the woods?
She’s reportedly hoping to sing herself at the event, if she can overcome her fear of performing in front of crowds.
The greatest hits from Yentl? Don't strain yourself, Babs!
The star, who has made no secret of her contempt for the policies of the Bush administration, is apparently pulling out all the stops and has persuaded her Hollywood friends and colleagues to pitch in to make it a massive success.
Hey, hey, it's Hollyweird!
It is likely to take place at the star’s Malibu estate early next year.
They seem to have an imperfect grasp of American electoral scheduling over in Ireland. Either that, or Babs does. But speaking of the estate, Babs had better watch out because someone else wants a sizeable contribution.
Today's Hoot!

James Lileks - Regarding the Kerry Plan to Restore America's Place in the World:
At least now we know where John Kerry is meeting these unnamed foreign luminaries: "I mean, you can go to New York City and you can be in a restaurant and you can meet a foreign leader," he said on "Meet the Press."

Happens to us all, you know; one moment you're at Denny's garnishing your hamburger, and the next you have the Guatemalan undersecretary for bauxite slapping you on the back and expressing a fervent desire for your victory. You nod, you smile, you play along. And he goes on and on about Kyoto until you note that while you're all for fighting global warming, your meal is growing cold. If you don't mind? Gracias.
Dang, I wondered who that feller was down to the barbeque shack last Saturday!
In the same interview, Kerry repeated his constant campaign theme: his intention to drop to one knee, Jolson-style, in the United Nations General Assembly and beg for forgiveness. "Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world."
It plays to the base. The left is terribly worried about what the popular kids are saying about them in the United Nations.
Bwahaha! The United Nations is more like remedial art class. All of which says something about Truffle Boy. And what it says isn't too nice.

It's good work if you can find it

Brian Ross at ABC has an update on the United Nations "Oil for Crooks" scandal in Monumental Rip-Off? but I was entranced by the part involving ole Benon Sevan, the head scammer, er head of the program.
In an interview with ABCNEWS last year, Sevan denied any wrongdoing.

"Well, I can tell you there have been no allegations about me," he said. "Maybe you can try to dig it out." And in a Feb. 10 statement, Sevan challenged those making the allegations to "come forward and provide the necessary documentary evidence" and present it to U.N. investigators.
Be careful what you wish for, Bennie!
But documents have surfaced in Baghdad, in the files of the former Iraqi Oil Ministry, allegedly linking Sevan to a pay-off scheme in which some 270 prominent foreign officials received the right to trade in Iraqi oil at cut-rate prices.

"It's almost like having coupons of bonds or shares. You can sell those coupons to other people who are normal oil traders," said Claude Hankes-Drielsma, a British adviser to the Iraq Governing Council.

Investigators say the smoking gun is a letter to former Iraqi oil minister Amer Mohammed Rasheed, obtained by ABCNEWS and not yet in the hands of the United Nations.

In the letter, dated Aug. 10, 1998, an Iraqi oil executive mentions a request by a Panama-based company, African Middle East Petroleum Co., to buy Iraqi oil — along with a suggestion that Sevan had a role in the deal. "Mr. Muwafaq Ayoub of the Iraqi mission in New York informed us by telephone that the abovementioned company is the company that Mr. Sevan cited to you during his last trip to Baghdad," the executive wrote in Arabic.

A handwritten note indicated that permission for the oil purchase was granted by "the Vice President of the Republic" on Aug. 15, 1998.

The second page of the letter contains a table titled "Quantity of Oil Allocated and Given to Mr. Benon Sevan." The table lists a total of 7.3 million barrels of oil as the "quantity executed" — an amount that, if true, would have generated an illegal profit of as much as $3.5 million.

"Somebody who is running the Oil-for-Food program for the United Nations should not be receiving any benefit of any kind from a rogue dictator who was perpetuating terror in his country," said Hankes-Drielsma.
Ya think? So where's ole Bennie now?
As for Sevan, when news of the scandal first broke earlier this year, he took a long vacation to Australia.

He declined to answer questions when ABCNEWS found him last week staying at a luxury casino resort.

A U.N. spokesman says Sevan, who makes $186,000 a year, has submitted his retirement papers, effective May 21. The spokesman said Sevan would remain on full salary through the course of the U.N. investigation, which is expected to last at least three months.
I'm sure the American taxpayers are pleased that they are giving this guy walking around money. Of course for a prolonged stay at a "luxury casino resort," he's probably dipping into his oil bucks too. It's nice that he has a nest egg for his old age.
Mass hysteria alert!

Here's a triple shock since it comes from from the AP via the SF Chronicle! Colleges perfect milieu for hate crime hoaxes:
More than 20 hate crime hoaxes have been suspected or confirmed at college campuses nationwide in the past seven years as students draw on the socially conscious atmosphere of a college campus to perpetrate their fraud.
What a surprise! All along I thought that college campuses were hotbeds of hate!
"A person who is a victim of a hate crime can probably expect to get almost universal sympathy on a college campus. Out in the world at large, that's not necessarily true," said Mark Potok, who has researched hate crime for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Southern Poverty Law Center! It's a quadruple shock!
"But on a college campus, you are very likely to get the support of the administration, the faculty and virtually all the students. It tends to put you in the limelight very quickly."
It doesn't hurt that most campus leftoids think that any disagreement with them is a "hate crime."

More by following the link, but here's my fave:
Sometimes hoaxes are staged for what seem like relatively trivial reasons. A San Francisco State student, Allison Jackson, now 21, reported to police in September that someone wrote a racial slur on a dorm room door.

After being confronted with a handwriting analysis, Jackson said she faked the incident, according to a campus police report, because she wanted "a roommate change" and housing officials were taking too long to respond.
At least she didn't burn down the dorm!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Don't let the garage door hit ya on the butt!

Middle Earth Exodus: For many, New Zealand is the new utopia
If California was where people migrate to reinvent their lives, the Bay Area was the mecca for doing it according to a wild utopian vision. Coming here offered the politics of eternal liberation, a culture of uniqueness, a nature of staggering beauty and a hell of a lot of hype. But now that the Gap and Starbucks rule the landscape and other places have embraced queer politics, environmentalism and alternative you-name-it, the Bay Area can no longer claim to corner the market on cultural idiosyncrasies. Nor can it claim to be the most beautiful metropolitan area, now that the nature has been partially ravaged by sprawl, traffic and an abundance of Superfund sites. Most of all, real estate prices have made living here so difficult, well, let's just say the hype has piped down.

For some, however, New Zealand has become the new land of milk and honey.

Recently, my niece announced her plans in response to the new world disorder: "If Bush wins, I'm moving to New Zealand."
Don't forget to tell all your chums!
Woodley adds that many factors -- political as well as economic -- have contributed to the surge in interest. "Since Sept. 11, foreigners have increasingly seen New Zealand as a safe haven," he says. And New Zealand's culture is especially appealing to left-leaning coastal Californians such as my niece: The government there opposed the war in Iraq and maintains a no-nukes policy. Home to many utopian eco-villages, the country has a powerful environmental tradition. And its gender politics have more in common with San Francisco than with Des Moines -- the Kiwis voted a transsexual into Parliament and have elected two female prime ministers in a row.
Yeehaw, break out your Birkenstocks!
On, a Web site for recent and future immigrants to New Zealand, a discussion by Californians moving to New Zealand centers on escaping the state's increasingly conservative political climate. "Now that the Terminator is in charge, I'm afraid that's what he'll do to the Golden State!" writes one Californian who plans a move this spring. "That's why NZ is soooo appealing ... reminds me of CA about 30 years ago, with even fewer people!"
Dumb and dumber. Arnold is only conservative to barking moonbats and 30 years ago a real conservative, Ronald Reagan, was Governor of California.
Last October, the Los Angeles Times Magazine reported on the phenomena that Californians are moving to New Zealand in search of a better, um, California. Seeing the affinity between the two cultures, the New Zealand government has even begun actively recruiting denizens of our West Coast. A new immigration point system that gives special weight to highly skilled professionals benefits middle-class Californians, and New Zealand's prime minister, Helen Clark, is bullish about the influx of new immigrants from the Golden State.
Hmm, I thought ole Helen was super politically correct? Why isn't she busy recruiting folks from the usual 3rd world pestholes? Maybe because they don't have the cash to drive up real estate prices as the rest of the article relates.

Frankly, this is swell! But couldn't they take some of their illegal aliens with them? I'm sure Helen Clark wouldn't mind.
I don't know art, but I know what I'd like!

And that's some Mozambique wingnut throwing walking around money at me! I knew it wouldn't be long until the art world chatterboxes started talking about Lurch's Great Investment and here's the first installment from the Boston Globe - John Kerry cashes in on art:
How unsurprising that the John Kerry campaign isn't eager to provide additional details about the senator's second-largest source of income in 2003: the $145,000 capital gain from the sale of his one-quarter ownership of a famous Dutch masterpiece, Adam Willaerts's "The Arrival of Frederick and Elizabeth, Prince and Princess of the Palatinate, at Flushing, 29th April 1613." Is selling 17th-century artwork for profit perhaps too . . . aristocratic for the friend-of-the-people image our junior senator would like to project?
Heck no, us little folks are always dealing in fancy pitchers! We get 'em off eBay! And actually, it's his largest source of income - the reduction for other losses comes later.
In his 2003 tax filing, released last week, Kerry reported $147,000 of income from his day job in the US Senate and the hefty capital gain from the sale of the Willaerts. The form indicated that his share of the painting was acquired by Kerry in 1996. The facts are even more complicated. Teresa Heinz Kerry was a one-half owner of the painting, with art dealer Peter Tillou, when she assigned one half of her interest to Kerry, whom she married in 1995.
No word if the ink is still drying on the "assignment".
"She and I bought it in London about 10 years ago," says Tillou, whose base of operations is now in Litchfield, Conn. "We're very good friends, and she said, `Peter, let's buy it together.' It was an investment for her." The painting never hung in any of Kerry's or Heinz Kerry's domiciles in Boston, Pittsburgh, or Washington, D.C. Tillou kept it in Litchfield or in New York, or showed it at exhibitions, like one held at the Chrysler Museum in Virginia four years ago.

Tillou says he contacted Heinz about buying back the painting, with an eye to reselling it, a few years ago. Over time, he reimbursed her $1 million, her original one-half stake in the purchase price. When he sold it last year to a private collector for $2.7 million, he shared the $700,000 profit with her. One-quarter of the profit, or $175,000, showed up on Senator Kerry's tax return as a capital gain. Kerry reduced the reported gain to $145,000 using offsetting losses.
Here's the net: Teresa gave Lurch $500,000 which turned into $675,000 when it was sold. I guess we now know about the hidden assets Lurch is going to use to pay off the $6.4 million mortgage he took out on the Boston mansion in which Teresa also gave him a half interest. But not to worry folks, Teresa isn't using her fortune to support ole Lurch's campaign! Much.
French eye for the stiff guy!

John Kerry gets in touch with his inner FrenchLast Friday, Best of the Web pointed to this gem in the New Yorker:
Alain de Chalvron, the Washington bureau chief for France 2, the French equivalent of the BBC, hasn’t had an easy time since he came to America, last fall. ... So when John Kerry became the front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination de Chalvron and other French journalists in Washington were understandably excited. They knew about Kerry: he went to a Swiss boarding school, he has a cousin who ran for the French Presidency, and he supposedly wooed Teresa Heinz by impressing her with his fluent French.

For a time, Kerry seemed equally enthusiastic about the French reporters covering his campaign. “He was quite accessible in Iowa and New Hampshire,” de Chalvron said the other day, in his office in Washington. “He understands French very well. His words are correct and sometimes even sophisticated. I asked him, ‘How can you have this life? It must be terrible, crisscrossing the country.’ Kerry answered, ‘C’est affreux’—‘It’s awful.’” De Chalvron’s voice rose with admiration. “Affreux, it’s not a very usual word. It’s something a French person can use easily, but Kerry could have said, ‘Yes, it’s terrible,’ instead of going to pick a more difficult word.”
Woohoo, he must be one of them sophisticated fellers! But here's the bad news:
Everything changed, though, when, in recent months, Republicans started intimating that Kerry was too Continental.
Suddenly, Kerry appeared to develop linguistic amnesia. “During a press conference, I asked Kerry a question, on Iraq,” de Chalvron recalled. “He didn’t answer. In front of the American journalists, he didn’t want to take a question that was not in English.” Loïck Berrou, the United States bureau chief for de Chalvron’s competitor, TF1, has been having similar problems. Berrou chatted in French with Kerry on a commercial flight last year; the Senator reminisced about his family’s country house in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, a village in Brittany, where Kerry’s cousin is the mayor. “We’ve pushed hard to get an interview with him, and no answer,” Berrou says.
The English-only rule doesn’t seem to hold when Kerry is speaking off the record. On his campaign plane recently, he carried on a lively conversation with de Chalvron in French. The other day, in his office, de Chalvron showed footage of Kerry bringing hot towels to foreign journalists in the back of the plane and bantering with Parisian reporters about his chances. De Chalvron was perplexed. “For us, to speak any other language and have an open view of the world, for a President, should be a plus,” he said.
Fer sure, Alain! I think it would really, really help if you gave ole Lurch a French makeover! The home folks could really get into that. As you can see from the snap, Sacred Cow Burgers already has made a start on it!

And Alain, you really ought to show the Towel Boy video around - it'll be hot!
They're savages, but then we knew that

Officer's body burnt in 'Islamic revenge'
The body of a police special forces officer who died when Islamic terrorists blew themselves up in Madrid was taken from its grave, mutilated and burnt yesterday.

The coffin and body of special agent Francisco Javier Torronteras were pulled from the tomb in Madrid Sur cemetery in Carabanchel and pushed 1,000 yards in a wheelbarrow before being doused with petrol and set alight.

The body was found with a pick driven into its head and a spade dug into its chest.

What's wrong with these pictures?

In Arlington, Virginia - Day-Laborer Site Runs Into Trouble:
County officials say that the taxpayer-funded “pavilion” for day laborers, which opened in Shirlington late last year to complaints that it was an incentive for illegal immigrants to congregate, has already shot past its anticipated budget and is facing problems of unruly behavior at the site.
Lots of angst in the story including the difficulty in hiring county employees to keep order in the joint.
“We don’t have any police powers, and we don’t want any,” Tobar said. “Every morning, we’re dealing with 50 to 80 guys that might not have seen work in weeks or even months – we need more than a bouncer, we need someone to facilitate discussion.”
Not to mention leading the choruses of Kumbaya.

In Searcy, Arkansas - Illegal aliens suspected of fraud go free:
Four illegal aliens suspected of felony crimes walked free from White County Sheriff's offices Wednesday after federal immigration officials explained the U.S. government cannot automatically expel the men just because they are illegal.

The four men, all Mexican nationals, were arrested by Sheriff's detectives Tuesday on misdemeanor offenses and later found to be in possession of suspected fraudulent identification documents.

In addition, following interviews of the subjects, detectives suspect the four men may be involved in an ongoing case of check fraud involving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I had to hand this guy his car keys and allow him to walk out the door," Detective Randy Rudisill said. "He is not even supposed to be in this country, and he admitted he was here illegally, but we can't do a thing about it. Our hands are tied."
Once it was determined the men were illegal aliens one of the subjects told Rudisil, "You can send me back but it will be only for a visit to my family. I'll be back in two weeks."
And from Houston, Texas there's the latest meme in the fever swamps - Immigrants' voting rights becoming a major issue
"It's always interesting. The genesis of these proposals seems to be there are people on the city council who see a lot of people in their communities who would probably vote for them but aren't citizens," Stein said. "That's a heck of a reason to dilute the concept of citizenship."
It's a "major issue" among the lowest form of politician.
Meanwhile, down at the United Nations the manure is piling up

Pete Du Pont at the WSJ - Oil Is Not Well: Kofi Annan can run, but he can't Hyde:
"The U.N.'s mechanisms for controlling Oil-for-Food contracts were inadequate, transparency went by the wayside, and effective internal review of the program did not occur. . . . If the United Nations cannot be trusted to run a humanitarian program, its other activities, including peacekeeping, arms inspection regimes or development projects may be called into question."

--Sen. Richard Lugar, April 7

More than called into question. The United Nations' administration of the Oil-for-Food program was so ineffective, inadequate and corrupt that, in the words of OpinionJournal columnist Claudia Rosett, the U.N. "is an institution that should never be trusted to carry out missions requiring integrity or responsibility."

So should the U.N. be given control over Iraq's transition to a free and democratic nation, as John Kerry has demanded and President Bush is being politically pressured to do?
Hell, no.

Latest on the slush fund debacle by following the link, but my favorite is:
Most stunning is Benon Sevan, the U.N.'s assistant secretary-general, whom his boss, Kofi Annan, designated to run the Oil-for-Food program. Mr. Sevan was allocated 14 million barrels of oil and disposed of 7 million of them.
Hmm, lots of perks in being a UN drone I guess.

And the net?
As all this information became public over the past year or so, U.N. lawyers refused to allow identification of the kickback firms; it was, they said, "privileged information which could not be made public." Mr. Annan then suggested "an independent high-level inquiry" to clean up the U.N.'s sordid image. Absolutely not, said France's U.N. ambassador, Jean-Marc de la Sabiliere, for the U.N. Iraqi accounts were managed by a French company, BNP Paribas. The Russians didn't much like the idea of an investigation either. Last Friday the they blocked a Security Council resolution giving an investigating commission headed by Paul Volcker authority to conduct a complete investigation. All of which may explain why France and Russia so vigorously opposed the liberation of Iraq a year ago: They didn't want their very lucrative and very illegal kickback scheme to come to an end.

The Oil-for-Food program involves U.N. oversight of about $15 billion a year, by far the largest program it administers and more than five times the U.N.'s annual core budget. So the $10 billion at issue is not small time-graft, but big-time corruption.

Why, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and had been repulsed by U.S. and allied forces, would the U.N. have given him the power to manage the oil sale program, choose the agents, prevent the U.N. from viewing the agents' contracts, and set the price of oil? Perhaps because the French and Russians insisted upon it?

And why would the U.N. forbid Mr. Sevan to discuss the program he was responsible for running? He says there was no need for an investigation because nothing was wrong, and--incredibly--that it was not his responsibility to hold the Iraqi regime responsible for running an honest program because "we take our marching orders from the Security Council."

So why would any American think the U.N. should now run Iraq? Most Democrats and some Republicans are for it, the establishment media is for it, and Mr. Kerry wants a U.N. resolution to "turn the authority over to them."
Maybe because those folks love the idea of the UN so much that they don't notice the dirty reality?

Monday, April 19, 2004

Ruh Oh!

Spoons startles us with a Confession:
For some reason which is quite unfathomable to me, certain sections of the blogosphere are all abuzz over the question of whether coed blogger, "Hot Abercrombie Chick," might really be a a dude.

I'm not sure why this really matters,, but since it apparently does to some people, I feel I owe my readers a confession. I'm not actually a 32-year-old cranky male lawyer in central Illinois. I'm actually a 65-year-old widow and retired plus-size lingerie model from Butte, Montana.
More than you want to know by following the link. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to confess that I'm not actually from around here.
There's good news....

Which Nations Will Go Forth and Multiply?
When asked how long it will take for the world's population to double, nearly half of all Americans say 20 years or less. That's hardly surprising, given the crowding many of us encounter in everyday life and the reports we hear of teeming Third World megacities. Yet forecasts by the United Nations and others show that world population, currently at a little over six billion, is unlikely to double—ever. Indeed, demographers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, a nongovernmental research organization in Laxenburg, Austria, predict that world population will peak at nine billion within the lifetime of today's Gen Xers and then start shrinking. Meanwhile, the average age of the world's citizens will advance dramatically. This aging will happen fastest not in the developed world, where we are used to fretting about the graying of society, but, astonishingly, in the Middle East and other underdeveloped regions. By the end of this century, even sub-Saharan Africa will probably grow older than Europe is today.

These predictions come with considerable certainty. The primary reason, confirmed in late March by a U.S. Census Bureau report, is a fall in fertility rates over the last generation that is spreading to every corner of the globe. In nations rich and poor, under all forms of government, a broad social trend is absolutely clear: As more and more of the population moves to urban areas in which children offer little or no economic reward to their parents, and as women gain in economic opportunity and reproductive control, people are producing fewer and fewer children.
Of course the bad news is that they'll all be in the USA to fill those "jobs no American will do" and take advantage of free medical care and schooling. Hmmm, maybe they would like Europe better? More seriously, hit the link for the factual details and make what you can of the philosophizing at the end.
Naughty Kofi Alert!

Claudia Rosett says it wasn't all high living in Oil-for-Terror?
Beyond the billions in graft, smuggling, and lavish living for Saddam Hussein that were the hallmarks of the United Nations Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, there is one more penny yet to drop.

It's time to talk about Oil-for-Terror.

Especially with the U.N.'s own investigation into Oil-for-Food now taking shape, and more congressional hearings in the works, it is high time to focus on the likelihood that Saddam may have fiddled Oil-for-Food contracts not only to pad his own pockets, buy pals, and acquire clandestine arms — but also to fund terrorist groups, quite possibly including al Qaeda.

There are at least two links documented already. Both involve oil buyers picked by Saddam and approved by the U.N. One was a firm with close ties to a Liechtenstein trust that has since been designated by the U.N. itself as "belonging to or affiliated with Al Qaeda." The other was a Swiss-registered subsidiary of a Saudi oil firm that had close dealings with the Taliban during Osama bin Laden's 1990's heyday in Afghanistan.
And then there's ordinary garden variety thuggery too - Killer Got U.N. Oil Reward:
In a sinister oil-for-murder plot, Saddam Hussein used the scandal-plagued U.N. oil-for-food program to set up the assassination of a prominent Iraqi exile politician, the slain man's family has charged.

A mysterious George Tarkhaynan appears on an Iraqi Oil Ministry list, published by a Baghdad newspaper, of 270 politicians and businessmen who received sweetheart oil deals under the U.N. humanitarian program.
Tarkhaynan and three Iraqi diplomats in Beirut spent two years in jail for murdering the 64-year old al-Souhail, who had helped organize an unsuccessful 1993 coup against Saddam.

Although media reports at the time said Lebanese prosecutors had solid evidence against them, including coded messages from Baghdad, they were released in 1996 and sent to Iraq as part of a controversial deal to reopen economic ties between the two countries.

Tarkhaynan was later allocated vouchers enabling him to buy up to 7 million barrels of Iraqi oil at below-market prices that could be resold at profits of between 25 and 50 cents a barrel.

That means he was slated to receive up to $3.5 million in oil profits.
Just call him "Kofi the Bagman."
He gave at the office!

Last week, Viking Pundit was curious about John Kerry's missing Massachusetts state tax return:
Massachusetts has an “optional tax rate” of 5.85% instead of the normal 5.3%; thus, if you are “blessed to be wealthy” you may feel compelled to voluntarily increase your tax burden to help out the state.

Raising taxes on Americans making more than $200,000 has been the cornerstone of John Kerry’s so-called economic policy. Does he practice the noblesse oblige he preaches or did he pay the lower tax rate? Let’s see the MA state tax return, Senator.
Well it looks like Howie Carr found the answer as he relates in A Flying Squirrel:
Weary of liberals always clamoring for higher taxes on other people, an anti-tax group managed to place a line on the tax form giving Bay Staters the option of paying at the old, since-repealed 5.85 percent rate, rather than at the current 5.3 percent rate.

For two years now, John Kerry has had the opportunity to pay his "fair share." But like some Benedict Arnold CEO, the Democratic Party candidate for president has taken the money and ran.

"Why do you even call asking about this?" his spokesman, Michael Meehan, said Saturday morning. "He has made the same decision as 99.9 percent of his fellow Massachusetts residents."

Actually, it's more like 99.97 percent. Of 2,104,326 Massachusetts state returns filed by April 15, exactly 624 taxpayers had opted to pay at the higher rate, a very small number indeed, considering that in a statewide referendum, 1,055,181 good liberals voted against cutting the income tax rate.

Kerry claimed income last year of $395,338, which means had he decided to assist the "most vulnerable members of society" etc., he would have owed an additional $2,174 - chump change, considering that his second wife is the 391st richest American, according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune of at least $550 million.
C'mon, Long John! Practice what you preach!

Lots more laughs by following the link. Like:
You can learn a lot about a politician by studying his tax returns. In John Kerry's case, one thing you can quickly figure out is what years his name actually appears on the ballot. If it's an election year, he makes charitable contributions. Last week, for example, he claimed $43,735 in charitable donations for 2003, more than he'd given in the prior two years combined.
Maybe, like Bubba, he had a load of used underwear he'd been saving up to donate to charity?

But the best stuff is missing until Teresa's returns are released. Until then, Howie dug through some other sources to come up with some gems. How about a list of the Kerry palaces (in the USA at least) which included:
On Nantucket Island, for a $9.1 million beachfront "cottage," technically owned by Windy Point Trust, she pays $23,552.09 a year in property taxes.
Hey, isn't everyone's $9M beachront palace owned by a trust? And saving the best for last:
Less noticed has been Teresa's much more expensive plaything - a Gulfstream V private jet. It's named the Flying Squirrel, not after Bulwinkle's pal Rocky, but after her favorite ski run in Sun Valley.

Aviation industry sources say the Flying Squirrel is worth about $35 million. It's the deluxe model .

"To charter a Gulfstream V costs $5,000 to $6,000 an hour," says one pilot. "Hers has everything - plasma TV, two bathrooms, fancy mahogany and burlwood paneling, gold-plated fixtures."

The only possible aviation upgrade, in other words, would be Air Force One. Which would certainly reduce the Widow Heinz's household expenses.

Maybe then her husband could afford to pay his "fair share" of state income taxes.
Darn, I thought she had named it after Lurch!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Jaime says she didn't have sex with that woman!

I was going to say something unkind about Jaime Gorelick's self-aggrandizing whine in the Washington Post, but Big Trunk has already handled it at Power Line in The Clinton Shuffle. A brief excerpt:
Jamie Gorelick purports to tell "The truth about the wall" in a column for the Washinton Post this morning. The column performs an exercise in bobbing and weaving that recalls the glory days of the Clinton administration and that can stand as a lesson to spinmeiesters everywhere.

The column addresses the controversy raised by Gorelick's 1995 memo on the investigations and prosecutions related to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The ground rules dividing intelligence gathering from law enforcement derive from the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Act, as Gorelick correctly notes; she is not herself the mother of "the wall."

However, Gorelick simply omits reference to the statement in her 1995 memo that straightforwardly describes the instructions set forth in her memo as "go[ing] beyond what is legally required" in order to avoid the appearance that the Justice Department was seeking to evade FISA. Why does Gorelick omit mention of this self-explanatory statement? Gorelick's maneuvers show that Gorelick has learned from the president she served but whose name she also omits to mention in the column.
Why was Jaime on the commission in the first place? And why is she still there?
Latest SPECTRE News!

In SPECTRE it's tough not being Number 1 like Ernst Blofeld, er, George Soros. I mean he gets to run his own international organization with tentacles around the world and is always in the news for trying to overthrow some government or other. If you're not number 1, all you get to do is sit around the conference table in the obligatory SPECTRE executive meetings and occasionally get to participate in an op with the big boy.

That's why I thought it was really swell of the Atlanta Journal Constitution to do a profile on one of SPECTRE's USA honchos, Peter Lewis - Pot fan puts up cash to help defeat Bush:
A chief contributor to a Democratic shadow campaign to defeat President Bush is a 70-year-old marijuana enthusiast who made a fortune selling car insurance to so-so drivers.

Peter Lewis now spends much of his time cruising international waters in a $16 million converted oceangoing tugboat named "The Lone Ranger."
Be still my heart!
He is also:

• A fitness fanatic who barely slowed his regimen of swimming and weightlifting after losing part of a leg to a circulation ailment.

• A former chief executive who tolerated office romances and admitted indulging in such affairs himself.

• A generous patron with an estimated worth of more than $1 billion whose interests include liberal politics, modern art and his alma mater, Princeton University.
Lewis, the retired head of the Progressive group of insurance companies, has given about $3 million to America Coming Together and pledged $10 million to the anti-Bush organization, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that studies money in politics.
"His two big issues are getting Bush out of office and regulating marijuana," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a group dedicated to decriminalizing adult pot use and placing it under regulations. Lewis has given $340,000 to the organization, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
"Based on the experience I've had with Scotch whisky, which is plenty, and the experience I've had with marijuana, which is plenty, I think it should be regulated the same way alcohol is," Lewis told The Princetonian, the student newspaper of his alma mater.

According to Kampia, Lewis believes "there is no downside to regulating marijuana. If you want to improve the world, it's the easy way to go. No one is going to get hurt."
Woohoo! Don't bogart that joint, Peter!

But saving the best for last:
Meanwhile, he cruises the world's waters on "The Lone Ranger,' attended by a crew of 18.

"You have no idea how easy and luxurious it is," Lewis told The Plain Dealer. "Because these 18 people on the boat have only one objective: To make me happy."
And he'll be even happier after he and the rest of SPECTRE buy this country.
Dog bites man!

Assassination violates law: Annan
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan today condemned Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Abdelaziz Rantissi, calling on the Israeli government to "immediately end" the practice of "extrajudicial killings".

Such killings, Annan said in a statement issued by his spokesman, "are violations of international law".
No word on retard suicide bombers.

And speaking of retards, here's some more UN news from the always unintentionally amusing St. Peterburg Times - Man's vision could put wheels on U.N. ideals:
When he was a schoolboy from the Bronx, Malcolm Taaffe took a field trip to the United Nations in New York City. Inside, he saw mementos from countries from around the world, like a gas mask used in wartime.

He got goose bumps.

"It just did something to me," said Taaffe, now 46. "I was in awe."

In 1999, more than 30 years later, Taaffe returned to the United Nations and saw the same displays. Nothing had changed. His goose bumps returned.
Some folks are easily amused I guess. So what to do, eh Malcolm?
With the endorsement of the United Nations, Taaffe is raising money to bring the world peace-keeping organization to schoolchildren around America.
Be still my heart!
The senior vice president of Morgan Stanley in Tampa wants to raise $1.5-million from corporations and private donors to build and send a 53-foot mobile classroom on tour by September.

"A lot of people will never get the chance to see the United Nations and to learn about its mission," Taaffe said. "I want to change that."

He says the perception by some that the United Nations is "a waste of space," is due to a lack of education.

That's why he wants to create a tourist attraction that will also serve as an educational tool.
They misspelled propaganda.
Plans for the truck, called the United Nations Mobile Education Centre, are on the drawing board.

Inside, a theater that seats 30 will highlight the U.N.'s accomplishments and explain its charge. On the screen, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan will talk about peace-keeping in today's world.

Students will be given passports to move between kiosks that will detail the six organs of the U.N.: the International Court of Justice, Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council and Secretariat.
I can think of a few more "organs" starting with ventral orifice Kofi Annan, but frankly this sounds like a real snoozefest.
Recently, Taaffe applied for a patent on a machine that will blow a puff of smoke in the shape of a peace sign from atop the vehicle every five minutes.
Woohoo! I certainly wouldn't want to miss that! The only thing better would be a troupe of naked peace protestors!
Someone needs a new hobby!

Activist accused of smuggling 2 into U.S.
A high-profile Latina activist upset over a series of deportations involving young, undocumented Phoenix residents was caught Thursday trying to smuggle two of them back into the United States from Mexico in the trunk of her car, officials said.

Ana Lizabeth Roman de Harvey, 40, of Phoenix, was charged Friday with felony alien smuggling and a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to make illegal entry, according to Roger Mair, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection in Tucson.
Ramon de Harvey was upset after a tense meeting with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, city officials and other Latino leaders Monday about a March 28 incident in which at least eight juveniles were sent back to Mexico because they could not prove they were living in the United States legally. The students were dropped at the border in Nogales and sent across to Mexico after they were questioned by immigration agents outside a party in the Palomino neighborhood, a largely Mexican immigrant enclave in northeast Phoenix.
It's not clear how they can be characterized as "students," but let's hear more about these unfortunate tykes:
Since then, 19 youths, including 14 minors, have been sent back to Mexico after they were found living in Phoenix without papers, said Russell Ahr, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ahr said all of the youths had gang ties and were removed as part of ongoing efforts to deport undocumented gang members
Mair said Roman de Harvey appeared nervous when she pulled up to the Grand Avenue Port of Entry in Nogales so U.S. Customs officials asked her to pull over so they could inspect her car. When they opened the trunk, they found two brothers, a 20-year-old and a juvenile, Mair said.

The 20-year-old was identified in court papers as Carlos Morales-Vera. He is being held as a material witness. The juvenile was turned over to officials from the Mexican Consulate to be returned to Mexico, Mair said..
Ah yes. Well, we wouldn't want to have a shortage of gang members. And how about ole Ana herself?
Ramon de Harvey came to the United States illegally in her late teens and became a citizen in 1993. Her work with LULAC and the Phoenix Police Department's Hispanic advisory board has made the native of El Salvador a well-known face in the immigrant community and on the political scene. She has worked to solicit input from the Latino community on public safety issues and to tear down cultural barriers, friends said.
A heartmarming story of an illegal alien making good, I guess. In the old days "making good" meant building a business or becoming respected in a profession. Nowadays it means noisily sucking at the taxpayers' teats.
Look what's under this rock!

(Via On the Third Hand) Jack Kelly: Iran around
Much more is happening in Iraq right now than most of us realize. The peril is greater than most of us imagine. Things are likely to get very much better -- or very much worse -- very soon.

Jack Kelly is national security writer for the Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio (, 412-263-1476).

Iran and Syria have committed acts of war against the United States, even if their aggression isn't acknowledged by the Bush administration, or noticed by news media.

Ralph Peters, a retired military intelligence officer, reported from northern Iraq that on April 10, Iranian agents ambushed an American convoy on the road between Mosul and Akre. "The attack did not go as planned," Peters noted in his April 12 New York Post column. "Our troops responded sharply, killing two Iranians, wounding a third and capturing two more. They were carrying their identity documents."

The revolt by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr was largely financed by Iran. An Iranian defector told the London-based Arabic daily al Sharq al-Awsat that Iran has been spending $70 million a month on activities in Iraq, and has set up three training camps just across the border from Iraq for members of al Sadr's militia, the "Mehdi Army."
Much more by following the link. And don't forget the boy dictator of Syria:
Meanwhile, the Marines report that many of the "insurgents" they have killed in Fallujah are in fact Syrian. Though Iran's mullahs are militant Shiites, and Syria's Baathist regime is secular in a predominantly Sunni country, there has long been strategic cooperation between them. They jointly sponsor and succor the terrorist group Hezbollah, which operates primarily out of (Syrian-controlled) southern Lebanon.

The recent rash of kidnappings in Iraq are eerily similar to the kidnappings orchestrated by Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s.
It's time to cut the heads off these snakes too.