Friday, December 17, 2004

Biscuits and Gravy - Dec. 17, 2004

Osama - another whining leftie
Osama's pre-American election tape already sounded like a promo for "Fahrenheit 9/11", with its carefully scripted list of MoveOn-esque grievances. Now, in his latest production aimed at the House of Saud, bin Laden is moving one step further along the path of the great ideological - or at least rhetorical - convergence between the angry left and the angry Islamofascism:
"The speaker on the tape accused the regime of 'injustices against the people'. The Saudi Royal Family had misspent public money while 'millions of people are suffering from poverty and deprivation', he said."
And thus Osama becomes yet another billionaire complaining about the growing gap between the rich and the poor, a sort of George Soros with a Closed Society Institute, and a Peter Lewis, who instead of insuring cars blows them up.
Google Brings 'Thrill of Public Library' to Your Desktop
If the project succeeds, the source said, public libraries could dispose of their collections of flammable dust-magnets (trade jargon for 'books') and could finally focus on their primary mission -- reheating homeless people while they surf the net at broadband speeds.
Top prize for fiction
IT'S as natural as mung beans that the worst finding of bias to rock the ABC involves a report that was too pro-green.

Just as natural is that the very same Four Corners program that the ABC's own judges this week conceded was inaccurate, emotive, unfair, misleading and seriously lacking in balance also won Australia's top award for environmental journalism.

Here's proof that no creed biases the judgment of journalists as badly as the green religion -- and no bias is more likely to be honoured as a sign of integrity.

Remember that the next time you read another breathless report that man is hotting up the world to hell, the Murray is dying or GM food will turn your children into mutants.
Schools prohibit Christmas colors: District targeted with lawsuit after officials require white-only supplies for 'winter' party
First it was schools that banned the singing of Christmas carols.

Then another banned carols played only by instruments with no lyrics being presented.

Now a school district has banned the colors red and green from a "Winter Break Party," requiring parents to bring only white plates and napkins.
He says parents have been verbally told the reason for the color restriction was to shun traditional Christmas red and green. Last week, a note went home with students asking parents to bring certain items for the party. Two items listed that some were asked to supply were: "One package small white plates" and "One package white napkins."

Food being requested included a dozen sugar cookies and a bag of Hersey's kisses. Liberty Legal Institute says the parents were told not to include any colored icing on the cookies, while Alliance Defense Fund reports children were told not to wear red and green clothing to the party.
Commenting on the white-only policy for party supplies, Shackeford quipped, "I guess nobody has told them white could symbolize the purity of Christ. They'd probably ban white!"
Then they could require clear stuff. Ooops, Jesus walked on the water - no clear utensils either! Maybe they could eat with their fingers?

Scouts' sales tactic outside ACLU becomes pop smash
A friendly jab at the American Civil Liberties Union has turned into a financial bonanza for a tiny nine-member Boy Scout troop from Chesterfield County.

Troop 828, with an unexpected boost on Wednesday from nationally syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck, watched its struggling popcorn sales explode.
The windfall came after Beck got wind of the Scouts' decision to set up a booth near the ACLU's Virginia headquarters in downtown Richmond.
Sales were initially poor Wednesday morning.

"We had two customers between 10 and 10:30, and the guys were just about ready to call it quits," he said.

But after an unsolicited plug from Beck, a well-known conservative talk show host who airs on WRVA (1140 AM), hundreds of people from across the country began ordering popcorn from the Chesterfield Scouts.

As of yesterday afternoon, the troop had topped $22,700 in sales from 586 people ordering online from the Boy Scouts' national popcorn distributor, local scout officials said. Beck put a link to the company on his Web site.

But that wasn't all. Richmonders flocked to the Scouts' booth at Seventh and Main, buying about $4,200 more, Carpenter said.
Said Carpenter: "Things just went nuts. It didn't slow down until about 3:30, 4 o'clock. We had cars pulling off and lots of people honking the horn, we had a couple of police officers stop by and buy popcorn. We had fire trucks going by and tooting their horns. It was incredible."
Blue State Party
ALL OF THIS MAY SOUND bitter and divisive, but the Wilton Democrats have come around and are now planning to celebrate the upcoming inaugural alongside the Red State ruffians. From the group's "Action" page -- also known as, "Things You Can Do to Make a Difference" -- here are selections from ""Some Things to Do Before the Inaugural":

Get that abortion you've always wanted.

Admittedly, this is not the most egalitarian way to kick things off, and crude to boot. I wasn't aware there were people out there, even among the most earnestly pro-choice factions, who "always wanted" an abortion. Will these abortions be done strictly in the name of snubbing George W. Bush, or will there be other mitigating circumstances?

Drink a nice clean glass of water.

Um, all right. Done. What's next?

Visit Syria, or any foreign country for that matter.

Syria? Syria!? That's your post-election plan? "Have a glass of water and go to Syria"? As a virulently anti-Semitic state sponsor of terrorism, Syria is not usually a hot vacation destination. I'm not going to drop a dime and ring up John Ashcroft or anything, but I have to say on the face of it, that's some pretty sketchy stuff. Why not visit someplace less extreme instead, like Libya or Saudi Arabia?
If you're white, marry a black person, if you're black, marry a white person.

Here's a novel idea: Why don't we just marry the person we love? If that's not possible, can I keep the Jew I just married, or do I have to trade her in for something more politically correct?
There's more.

The long goodbye by the soreheads
Bumper sticker in Beverly Hills
Here's One Use Of U.S. Power Jacques Can't Stop
We see where a curator at France's Pompidou Center says his museum is opening a branch in Hong Kong, because "U.S. culture is too strong" there, and "we need to have a presence in Asia to counterbalance the American influence." With the Pompidou Center?

"American influence" is the great white whale of the 21st century, and Jacques Chirac is the Ahab chasing her with a three-masted schooner.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

It's Barney Time!

No, I don't mean the Purple Peril. I mean Barney, the White House pooch:
The White House unveiled its latest secret project yesterday: Barney III.

It is the third holiday video featuring the first family's Scottish terrier, Barney. The black terrier is shown scampering past the elaborate Christmas trees and other seasonal decor at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

This year's version, which includes scenes of President Bush and his dog in the Oval Office, is entitled ``Where in the White House is Miss Beazley?''

Miss Beazley is the puppy that first lady Laura Bush was given last month by her husband as a birthday gift.

The plot isn't likely to show up on an Oscar list anytime soon.
Along the way, the presidential pup encounters Bush political strategist Karl Rove pulling blue ornaments off a Christmas tree and replacing them with red ones - instructing the dog to check Ohio in the search for Miss Beazley.
Bwahaha! We need a pool for the first wingnut to spot a nefarious plot in this modest japery. Anyhow the video is linked off the White House home page.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cranky Crown Prince Alert!

Kojo relentlessly pursuing freight to inspect

CNN gets a letter from Crown Prince Kojo of the United Nations and he's a cranky lad:
Kojo Annan, in his first public comment on the subject, told CNN in a written statement: "I have never participated directly or indirectly in any business related to the United Nations."

Annan, 31, who lives in Lagos, once worked for Cotecna, a Switzerland-based company that inspects commercial freight shipments. It employs 4,000 people in 100 countries.
I'm sure the Crown Prince spent a lot of time opening crates.
"I feel the whole issue has been a witchhunt from day one as part of a broader Republican political agenda," Annan said in his statement to CNN.
Deny, deny, deny and and claim it was a frame-up. Not a bad plan, but he better polish it up a little since just last week it was revealed that he was turning in expense reports for things like:
Kojo Annan, 29, claimed fees and expenses for eight days' work in July 1998, including six days in Abuja "during my father's visit to Nigeria". On another, he claimed expenses and $500 a day for a 15-day trip to New York and the UN General Assembly in September 1998 for meetings on "special projects".
Sounds like United Nations business to me. But gosh, he has plausible deniability - his company got a juicy contract from Emperor Kofi, but he wasn't really involved because he was collecting some nice fees for doing something else. Of course, that brings up the difficult question of what exactly he was doing:
What appears missing from documents seen so far is any indication of what Kojo Annan's employment either on staff, or as a consultant, actually delivered in the way of results for Cotecna; or what services he was providing for which he submitted expenses during the noncompete period following his employment.
I believe the technical term is "no show job." But it wasn't no work and no play for Kojo:
On November 17, 1997, one Cotecna official based in Niger, where Kojo Annan was staying at a company guest house, sent an email in French to Mr. Pruniaux in Geneva, noting, "It's important that KA respect the hours and rules of the liaison office" because "laxity on his/our part" would lead the local staff, given his background, to ask, "Why him and not us?"
Woohoo! Anyhow, those evil Republican congressmen want to help Kojo get his message out:
"We'd be happy to hear from him under oath if he has things to contribute to the investigations," said Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.).
Silly fellow! Royalty doesn't have to answer questions from the commoners.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Electoral hijinks alert!

Is there a problem with Democrats being incapable of voting without screwing it up? Blue vote for Edwards a shock to Minnesota electors (annoying free registration required):
Defeated Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry likely is going to get one less electoral vote nationally than he should have -- 251 instead of 252 -- because of an apparent mistake Monday by one of Minnesota's 10 DFL electors.

One of the 10 handwritten ballots cast for president carried the name of vice presidential candidate John Edwards (actually spelled "Ewards" on the ballot) rather than Kerry.
There was stunned silence after the announcement that Edwards had gotten a vote for president, but none of the 10 electors volunteered that they voted for Edwards as a protest, nor did anyone step forward to admit an error.

"It was perhaps a senior moment," said elector Michael Meuers, 60, a Bemidji marketing consultant for a health care firm, the second-youngest member of the Minnesota delegation to the Electoral College.

Meuers said he was certain that the Edwards ballot wasn't his, but he noted that "both the candidates were named John, and the ballots looked pretty much alike."
That sounds familiar - bwahaha!

And shades of Theresa Lepore (the Democrat Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County in 2000) - Democrats sue Washington's biggest county over provisional ballots:
Washington state Democrats, fearful their candidate for governor might narrowly lose because of disputed ballots, sued election officials Friday in the state's largest county.

The lawsuit would block election officials in King County, home to Seattle, from discarding about 900 provisional ballots. Party officials hoped they could get a decision later in the day.
Thus far, the county has declined to count about 900 provisional ballots because they did not include a proper signature.
King County is run by a particularly virulent breed of Donk wingnut. But I guess they didn't do a good enough job "interpreting" the ballots.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Emergency Monster Thickburger Alert!

Saddam's on a hunger strike for one of these... without the bacon

Saddam, aides on hunger strike. Probably wouldn't even have to take the bacon off.

Gosh, I hope we don't have to see that Rich bitch again!

Billionaire Marc Rich has emerged as a central figure in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal and is under investigation for brokering deals in which scores of international politicians and businessmen cashed in on sweetheart oil deals with Saddam Hussein, The Post has learned.

Rich, the fugitive Swiss-based commodities trader who received a controversial pardon from President Bill Clinton in January 2001, is a primary target of criminal probes under way in the U.S. attorney's office in New York and by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, sources said.

"We think he was a major player in this — a central figure," a senior law-enforcement official told The Post.
Ruh Oh! I have a question though.
Investigators are looking into a series of deals that took place in the months after his pardon from Clinton. If criminal wrongdoing is established in these deals, he could be subject to prosecution.
That answers it.
Investigators say they have received information that Rich and Ben Pollner, a New York-based oil trader who heads Taurus Oil, set up a series of companies in Liechtenstein and other countries that they used to put together deals between Saddam and his international supporters in the controversial oil-voucher scheme — which the dictator designed to win international support against U.S. sanctions at the United Nations.

Under the scam, hundreds of international political and financial figures from France, Russia and other countries were awarded middleman vouchers allowing them to purchase set quantities of Iraqi oil at discount rates.
Investigators now believe Rich and Pollner brokered many of the deals by finding buyers for the oil allocated to people who were bribed by Saddam. The discount Iraqi oil would be resold to major oil companies at higher prices and Rich and Pollner would pocket percentages of the profits, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, sources said.
Sounds like ole Marc really reformed, eh Bubba? Based on his past history, I'm sure Marc isn't going anywhere near the long arm of the US law, but you never know.
So intense is the interest of prosecutors in the Rich connection that Pollner was recently "grabbed" and questioned by investigators from Morgenthau's office as he was on his way to Kennedy Airport for an overseas trip, a law-enforcement official told The Post.

In an angry confrontation that followed, Pollner told the New York investigators that they had no jurisdiction over oil deals that took place outside the United States and refused to cooperate, an official familiar with the interrogation said.
Air drop him over Kurdish or Shiite territory. I'm sure they have jurisdiction.

Or just threaten to - think how cool it would be if Rich and his pal copped a plea by turning in Bubba!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A tad strange

While I am a fan of Roald Dahl's book and the original movie (which are two different things), the new trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory seems rather more odd than expected. Probably a Tim Burton effect.

Today's Hoot!

Michael Moore not poisoned with dioxin! It was something else.

Over in the UK, the inmates are in charge of the asylum

Ha ha! You can’t insult Islam but I can
Here’s a short Christmas quiz. Let me rephrase that. It’s a short Winterval quiz. I would not wish to frighten or alienate any Sunday Times readers by waving Jesus Christ in their faces.

Anyway, the first question is this. One of the two statements below may soon be illegal; the other will still be within the law. You have to decide which is which and explain, with the aid of a diagram, the logic behind the new provision. a) Stoning women to death for adultery is barbaric. b) People who believe it is right to stone women to death for adultery are barbaric.

The answer is that a) should be fine and b) may land you in court charged with inciting religious hatred against Islam, under new provisions in David Blunkett’s Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill. He’s been a busy bee of late, hasn’t he.
Not exactly the insect I would have chosen.
The comedian Rowan Atkinson said this: “For telling a good and incisive joke (about religion), you should be praised. For telling a bad one, you should be ridiculed and reviled. The idea that you could be prosecuted for the telling of either is quite fantastic.”

Exactly — and Mr Blunkett was swift to respond. Apparently, comedians were to be exempt from the law. So, if I sail a little close to the wind in this article, please assume that I’m wearing a red nose.
Whew, what a relief! I can always claim to be a comedian and they'll let me visit.
But if I said people who believed in something that was stupid were themselves therefore stupid, would that land me in the dock? “Um. Not sure. Possibly. I just don’t know at this stage. It has to go to the attorney-general first. I suppose, if it were likely to incite people to hate Muslims.” Then the press officer said this. “There are no definitive answers.”

That strikes me as a problem, because the police and the CPS and the judiciary, when they’re attempting to bring a prosecution or trying a case, have a penchant for definitive answers.

Later the press officer rang back. “It’s all about context,” she said. “If you wrote something in your column about Islam the CPS might not be interested, but if the same thing was said by Nick Griffin (the British National party leader) in a pub in Bradford, they might well be.”

So I’m exempt too. Mr Blunkett, or his office, has bestowed upon me an honorary red nose, for which many thanks. But Nick Griffin isn’t exempt. Doesn’t that strike you as a tad unfair, a shade undemocratic? Can you imagine the court case against him? And his defence? Would it be okay if he’d said it in a pub in Droitwich, or Diss? I quite like the idea of person-specific crimes, mind. Perhaps we could devise an offence for which only, say, Robert Kilroy-Silk or Ainsley Harriott were prosecutable.
Maybe there should be special provision by their National Health Service for the clue impaired.