Saturday, December 31, 2005

I'll get ya some cheap!

Pricey coffee good to the last dropping:
Would you pay $175 for a pound of coffee beans which had passed through the backside of a furry mammal in Indonesia?

Apparently, some coffee lovers wanting to treat themselves to something special are lapping it up.

Kopi Luwak beans from Indonesia are rare and expensive, thanks to a unique taste and aroma enhanced by the digestive system of palm civets, nocturnal tree-climbing creatures about the size of a large house cat.
Despite being carnivorous, civets eat ripe coffee cherries for treats. The coffee beans, which are found inside of the cherries, remain intact after passing through the animal.

Civet droppings are found on the forest floor near coffee plantations.
That must be an interesting job - rather like reading the NY Times.
Once carefully cleaned and roasted, the beans are sold to specialty buyers.
Glad to hear about the "carefully cleaned and roasted" part.
Indonesia produces only about 500 kilograms, or roughly 1,100 pounds, of the coffee each year, making it extremely expensive and difficult to find.
As with all rare commodities, I'm sure some er, "indistinguishable substitutes" will enter the market. I'll be ready with my offering as soon I transfer it from the Walmart bags.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Steve Jobs Movie Poster Fun!

Mike Davidson:
iPod Giveaway #7: Design a Steve Jobs Movie Poster

Ok, so it’s the day after Christmas and you didn’t get that iPod you wanted. Now’s your opportunity to take matters into your own hands and win one.

The theme of the final Mike Industries iPod Creativity Competition of 2005 is to design a movie poster featuring Steve Jobs. Like all competitions before it, the rules here are loose. Just feature the man we all know and love in a cinematic role, keep your image exactly 418 pixels wide, and insert your entry inline in the comments of this post. Please also give photo credit when appropriate.

There’s a decent chance The Steve will actually see this blog entry so please keep it clean and respectful. Anything overtly offensive will be removed.
Click through for the entries so far, but don't worry about that wimpy last part because it looks like mildly offensive is fine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Break out the tinfoil and call your broker

Overstock shares fade as CEO warns of 'drugs or dead body' caper: CEO Patrick Byrne continues to break new ground as the head of a publicly traded company. In a single TV interview last week, he shocked investors by revealing that holiday sales were far below expectations, perplexed the financial crowd by talking about drugs and dead bodies being found in his trunk and initiated a verbal war with billionaire blogger Mark Cuban. This latest round of gaffes adds to a tradition for Byrne that includes admitting that he lied about being gay and a coke-head to financial analysts and initiating a program to uncover a "Sith Lord" seeking to ruin Overstock.

You can't make this stuff up.
Apparently ole Pat can. Hit the link for all the details.

I'm sure he really meant Quakers

Philadelphia School District Lawyer Calls Jurors 'Crackers':
Attorney Carl Singley has lost his role as lead counsel in a school district discrimination case after allegations that he called several white jurors "crackers" after their verdict.

The jury had awarded about $3 million in damages to four white plaintiffs who contended that their boss in the Philadelphia School District's purchasing department had fired them in 2003 for racial reasons.

Singley, who is black, was accused of making the comment to jurors in a courthouse elevator after last week's verdict. He soon found himself back in the courtroom before U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III.
Where he had his hand slapped for an excess of irony. Nope, no discrimination around there.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to All!

From all the folks at the Country Store:

(Hat tip: various places around the web)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I know why Kofi Annan is so shy about his Mercedes!

It's no so much that Kofi got a really great deal on his Mercedes, it's that he doesn't want folks to know how he pimped his ride:

Kofi Annan's pimped out Mercedes
What, no flame job?

Today's Photo Hoot!

Check it out. I'm still waiting for someone to explain why Valerie Plame is wearing her jammies in the original and this is as good an explanation as any. Ole lying Joe always looks half bagged anyhow, although the weepy look is a nice touch.

I guess they call it servicing the customer

Engadget (Via Michelle Malkin):
Canadian telecom service provider Rogers Communications has been the victim of numerous number-cloning operations by the terrorist group Hezbollah — in which even the phone number of CEO Ted Rogers was “borrowed” — but steadfastly refused to address consumer complaints about the problem, insisting that customers were liable for outsized bills.
The best part is that law professor Susan Drummond ("who was stuck with a bill for over $10,000 for calls to countries such as Libya, Pakistan, Russia and Syria") nailed Rogers in court. Maybe they should just put a Hezbollah surcharge on all the bills?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What's more fun than New Jersey?

Tourist slogan search bars sarcasm:
New Jersey, trying to overcome its reputation for corruption, traffic and toxic waste dumps, has rejected dozens of sardonic and sarcastic entries in a contest for a new tourist slogan.

A list of five possible slogans released on Wednesday leaves out "New Jersey: We can always use another relative on the payroll," and "Come to New Jersey: It's not as bad as it smells."
So much for truth in advertising.
Voters get to pick the winner in the competition launched after Gov. Richard Codey nixed "New Jersey: We'll Win You Over," created by a consultant who was paid $260,000.
They could have flipped me a couple of Franklins and I would have done better than that! And better than the list the benighted citizens get to choose from:
The five finalists are: "New Jersey: Expect the Unexpected," "New Jersey: Love at First Sight," "New Jersey: Come See for Yourself," "New Jersey: The Real Deal" and "New Jersey: The Best Kept Secret."
It's a joke, right?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Bono gets Time to forgive subscriber debt:
Bono, the rock singer named as one of Time magazine’s Persons of the Year for his success at getting the developed world to give up on collecting billions in third-world debt, today said he had pressured Time’s parent company into forgiving the debts of its magazine and cable subscribers, as well as those who have purchased anything with “just three easy payments.”
Bono said he’s still negotiating with Time Warner’s major shareholders in an effort to get them to forgive company executives for the disastrous merger with AOL.
It's ScrappleFace, but is "Bono" a tool or what? And while we're on the subject, author Paul Theroux had some fun with the poseur last Thursday in the NY Times - The Rock Star's Burden:
There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can't think of one at the moment. If Christmas, season of sob stories, has turned me into Scrooge, I recognize the Dickensian counterpart of Paul Hewson - who calls himself "Bono" - as Mrs. Jellyby in "Bleak House." Harping incessantly on her adopted village of Borrioboola-Gha "on the left bank of the River Niger," Mrs. Jellyby tries to save the Africans by financing them in coffee growing and encouraging schemes "to turn pianoforte legs and establish an export trade," all the while badgering people for money.

It seems to have been Africa's fate to become a theater of empty talk and public gestures. But the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help - not to mention celebrities and charity concerts - is a destructive and misleading conceit. Those of us who committed ourselves to being Peace Corps teachers in rural Malawi more than 40 years ago are dismayed by what we see on our return visits and by all the news that has been reported recently from that unlucky, drought-stricken country. But we are more appalled by most of the proposed solutions.
When Malawi's minister of education was accused of stealing millions of dollars from the education budget in 2000, and the Zambian president was charged with stealing from the treasury, and Nigeria squandered its oil wealth, what happened? The simplifiers of Africa's problems kept calling for debt relief and more aid. I got a dusty reception lecturing at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation when I pointed out the successes of responsible policies in Botswana, compared with the kleptomania of its neighbors. Donors enable embezzlement by turning a blind eye to bad governance, rigged elections and the deeper reasons these countries are failing.
Much more by following the link. You can see why the three amigos would appeal to the crapweasels at Time for "Man of the Year."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A heartwarming Christmas tale for movie fans!

It's a Wonderful Internet! Al Gore even makes a brief appearance.

Where do old media whores go?

Media whore Cindy Sheehan goes to Europe

On the road, of course! Cindy Sheehan got her Stalinist booking agents to set her up with a European tour to revitalize her flagging career in media whoring. So far, not so good:
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan led a small protest Saturday outside the U.S. Embassy to denounce the war in Iraq.

About 100 protesters carried banners criticizing President Bush.
Sheesh, it was just the local party comrades and not very many of them. Of course, it's how many presstitutes show up that counts. And by the way, Cindy, when they book you in Tijuana - be very wary of "animal acts." Or not, as your tastes dictate.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I wonder if Mike stands on corners in a spandex outfit?

Germany loses big if Iran faces sanctions:
Germany has more to lose from any economic sanctions on Iran than other Western countries as it is the world's biggest exporter to the Islamic republic, a leading German industry group said on Thursday.

"Our exports of goods and services to Iran are worth around 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion)," Michael Pfeiffer, a foreign trade expert at the German Chamber of Industry and Trade (DIHK), told Reuters. That was up from some 3.6 billion euros in 2004.
Pfeiffer said a Western embargo would be disastrous for Germany, struggling with a double-digit unemployment rate and sluggish economic growth. "With our unemployment problem and weak economy, this wouldn't be good at all," Pfeiffer said.
Pfeiffer said sanctions were generally not an effective weapon. "We saw that in Iraq," he said, adding: "One must remain in dialogue with a country like Iran".
There's no slut like a dumb slut.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shove it, Louise


It's quite the day for rectal insertions at the United Nations. Besides their usual cranial rectal insertions, of course. From The Copenhagen Post - Prophet cartoons worry UN commissioner:
Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten's twelve cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed are causing ripples across the world and worries at the Office of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.

National daily Berlingske Tidende reported on Wednesday that Arbour had written a letter to the Organisation of Islamic Conferences (OIC), an international organisation of 56 Muslim states, which had complained over the cartoons.

In September, Jyllands-Posten called for and printed the cartoons by various Danish illustrators, after reports that artists were refusing to illustrate works about Islam, out of fear of fundamendalist retribution. The newspaper said it printed the cartoons as a test of whether Muslim fundamentalists had begun affecting the freedom of expression in Denmark.
I guess we know the answer to that one.
Muslims in Denmark and abroad have protested against the newspaper, calling the caricatures blasphemous and a deliberate attempt to provoke and insult their religious sensitivities.
Is that the world's tiniest violin I hear playing?
Arbour said she understood their concerns.
I'll bet she's real sensitive.
Berlingske Tidende reported that it held a copy of the letter, which stated that Arbour had appointed t(w)o UN experts in the areas of religious freedom and racism to investigate the matter.

'I'm confident that they will take action in an adequate manner,' Arbour said in her letter to the 56 governments, which have requested the UN to address the issue with Denmark.
United Nations action? There's an oxymoron. You think she was just conning the rubes or is she delusional?
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was aware of the letter, but had no comments about it. He has previously refused to meet with the ambassadors of some of the Muslim countries who wanted to discuss the cartoons, saying he had no power over the national media's actions.
Way to go, Anders! All the Christians, Hindus, and Jews being butchered by fundamentalist Islamic nutjobs and she's going to investigate cartoons. Well, I'll do my bit to keep Louise employed - I've got one of the cartoons at the top of this post with an added caption so there won't be any confusion. Hat tip for the story to Newspaperindex which has them all posted.

Shove it, Kofi

Ultimately, only you as a people can move Iraq forward. I am pleased that the United Nations was able to support you at every step of this process, including through our assistance throughout the year to the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq. Irrespective of the outcome of the election, the United Nations will continue to do all it can to help all Iraqis succeed in building a new Iraq.
Hey, maybe he'll return all the loot stolen by the United Nations bureaucrats and their pals!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Whatever happened to Al TV?

Earlier today, I was getting a laugh out of the blathering associated with Microsoft and MTV announcing an online music service called "URGE."
"With our new service, we will be able to satisfy music lovers' urges for all things music. In many ways, URGE will serve as a 'psychic concierge', introducing fans to new artists and helping them to develop a deeper connection to old favorites," explained Van Toffler, the sun-kissed 46-year old MTV Networks' Music Group president who oversees the world's largest organized frat party.
He wishes. Anyhow, it occurred to me that I hadn't heard such purple prose about TV since Al Gore dreamed up his TV channel. Well the big launch was July 31 and I don't know about you, but I haven't heard a peep since. Doing a little Googling, I was shocked to discover that the Wall Street Journal is running a series on "Do It Yourself Media" and today scooped AL TV into the bag:
Today's article describes Al Gore's Current TV, which is helping to fill its 24 hours of daily programming with films made by viewers. Subsequent articles will look at how advertisers are soliciting ad ideas from their consumers, how cable operators are asking viewers to contribute material for dating services and real-estate channels and how phone companies are encouraging contributions to video logs.
I guess December is a slow news month at the WSJ.
"The Internet is a welcome breath of fresh air which re-establishes a highly interactive participatory medium that has even lower barriers to entry than the print medium," said Mr. Gore in an interview. He added that a "growing number of talented young people in their 20s...have videocameras and laptop editing systems and are increasingly conversant with how to express themselves in the television medium."
See, what did I tell you! When you parse Al's prose though, you have to wonder why he didn't start up on the Internet instead of regular TV. And how's Al TV really doing?
They are now working to make it widely available: Current can be seen in only about 20 million homes, whereas most major cable channels are available in 80 million.

The channel isn't yet rated by Nielsen Media Research, which makes it a tougher sell for advertisers.
It'll be even tougher when they find out only Al and Tipper are watching.
While Current has had some luck getting distribution with Time Warner Inc. and satellite-TV company DirecTV Group Inc., it hasn't yet won over Comcast Corp., the biggest cable operator. To put pressure on Comcast, Current held a rally outside Comcast headquarters in Philadelphia.
Sheesh. What Al needs to do is to recruit some MSM cheerleaders like Air America's stable of luscious lovelies.

Today's Hoot!

Stratego for Democrats

Got a whiney liberal on your "holiday" gift list? Head on over to Six Meat Buffet and check out Stratego for Democrats.
Well, we’ve got the new Stratego for Democrats - fight the War on Terror in the Dim-O-Crack tradition of undercutting, faux “supporting the troops” and a turncoat mainstream press! It worked in Vietnam, it can work in the War on Terror!
Of course, it's not too much fun unless you play the Terrorists' side, but good "progressives" won't mind a bit! Of course, you could always get them a lump of coal instead.

Dog dreams of biting men

IN THE MAIL: Ana Marie Cox's new novel, Dog Days. I'm expecting it to contain a lot of sex.
Sounds more like an autobiography detailing her rich full fantasy life complete with, er, a number of approaches from the rear.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Look who just volunteered for camp follower!

Sniveling would-be revolutionary Cary Butthead Trainer

One of the many reasons why Salon Media is on life support, nominal sex advice columnist Cary Trainer says it's time for a revolution. What's not clear is whether he plans to serve in the kitchen or the brothel.

Nice neon!

Sleazy ads for MSNBC - Keith Olbermann in drag

Let's see if I have this right. MSNBC has made the biggest ever buy of BlogAds featuring the neon outline of an apparently "clothes challenged" woman and when you click on the ad, it takes you to the usual MSNBC TV homepage. Ace had an even more festive version with the neon caption, "WELCOME TO PORN VALLEY MSNBC 12-14-05." It's a joke right? I guess when you're the least watched cable news network, you have to do something to rope in the marks. Keith Olbermann biting the heads off chickens was getting kind of old.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Looks like Weasel Boy got taken to the woodshed for saying what the Donk leadership really believes - Dean: Did I Say The War Was Unwinnable? That's Just Crazy-Talk, That's What That Is:
Howard Dean, the Sage of Montpelier, now reverses himself and decides heck, maybe this war is winnable after all.

We just need a "new plan." That's all we need. That's what he meant to say when he deemed it a crazy notion that the war was winnable -- just that we needed a "new plan" and everything would then go just swimmingly.
The "plan" consists of two parts: Stage One, "tell the truth," and Stage Two, "don't be a bully."

Stage Three? "Always bring enough cup-cakes to share with the Sunni insurgents."
No joke! Other than Howie and the Democrat party.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Today's Wall Street Hoot!

I know it sounds as funny as an accountant, but for some reason has comedian Jeff Kreisler write a column and today's provides this quip:
Speaking of Hef, Playboy is offering downloadable podcasts. The videos will be rated PG and include Hef's advice and Playmates telling jokes. Why? Why? Why? If Playboy is going hi-tech, it should exploit its core competency, which includes neither old men nor women wearing clothes. If you want poorly delivered jokes by someone in jeans, I'm right here.
Blonde jokes?

Friday, December 09, 2005

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail

100 buck Negroponte laptop solution for poverty

The big United Nations clambake last month in Tunis was lacking in fireworks (other than in the local fleshpots, I suppose) since the USA tossed the Third World thugs, UN bureaucrats, and limp-wristed Euroweenies a sop - they can have a talk shop to whine about the US control of the Internet rootservers. It's more than they deserve, but they'll whine anyhow so what's the difference?

The festivities weren't without amusement however. MIT's Nicholas Negroponte trotted out his solution for Third World development problems which was a brightly colored, laptop computer shaped object:
Even if the prototype $100 laptop computer unveiled by Nicholas Negroponte late Wednesday in Tunis had a couple of hiccups, the MIT Media Lab chairman was visibly excited about the prospect of placing the device in the hands of millions of schoolchildren around the globe.

A slightly embarrassed Kofi Annan, general secretary of the United Nations, twisted off the computer's crank handle at the unveiling event, and the screen locked as Negroponte later tried to demonstrate the display. But after a few tweaks here and there, everything worked.
One can only hope that few of the millions of school kids have Kofi's level of manual dexterity or use it to hit their little brothers. So what is this modern miracle?
The hand-cranked laptop, shown for the first time at the U.N.-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), operates at 500MHz, or about half the speed of commercial laptops. It features a low-power display that can be switched from color to black and white to allow viewing in bright sunlight. Many children in developing countries have school outside, Negroponte said.

The machine can be folded in different ways to serve as a computer, electronic book or media player. "We designed the device to perform many roles," said Negroponte, who also heads the One Laptop Per Child nonprofit group. "Learning should be seamless."

The computer will run "Linux or some other open-source operating system," Negroponte said.

Applications will also be open-source based, and available in "every single language that people want," Negroponte said. The MIT professor said he expects the open source community to jump at the opportunity to pitch in with this effort.

The computers will be free to schoolchildren. "Ownership of the computer is absolutely essential," Negroponte said, pointing out that people generally take better care of things they own. "Have you ever washed a rental car?" he asked.

Choosing the colors -- the body is lime green and the crank yellow -- was one of the hardest decisions the group had to make, Negroponte said. The colors should convey "a message of playfulness," he said.
Governments must buy 1 million laptops to participate in the program, according to Negroponte said. "That's their entry ticket," he said.
Since the governments concerned are always whining that they have no money, I expect that means the developed nations are supposed to pony up for this gizmo, so it's worth pondering what the tykes can actually do with it. Frankly, since the computer education programs in American schools seem designed to babysit illiterate and innumerate kids via Internet surfing while the teachers have a smoke, maybe that's the plan here too. Here's some more specs:
The device is a stripped-down affair, with an electricity-generating crank and a swiveling seven-inch screen, for basic word-processing, Internet and communications. It has no hard drive, instead using flash memory like that in a digital camera. The processor, from AMD, runs at a pokey 500 megahertz.

Each laptop will include a Wi-Fi radio transmitter designed to knit machines into a wireless "mesh" so they can share a Net connection, passing it from one computer to the next. Though there is a power cord, that cool crank can provide roughly ten minutes of juice for each minute of turning.
The impediments, needless to say, are numerous and daunting. "Most schools in the developing world don't even have textbooks," says Allen Hammond of the World Resources Institute. "How the heck are they going to pay for Internet access?"
I guess Internet surfing is out - maybe they can become expert Tetris players? As long as they keep Kofi away from it and keep cranking. But what the heck do I know - let's ask some of the erstwhile recipients:
One of the advantages of the Laptop for a country like Nigeria is that many of the school children will know what a laptop looks like in the first instance. Many of them, especially in the rural areas could barely distinguish a television set from a computer monitor for now. Showing them a laptop will make them know the difference between one, and what he might suppose is a 'modern' briefcase. It will definitely aid computer literacy.
They do want a laptop shaped object! This seems like a really good plan, particularly after the crank comes off.
An argument that had come up with the emergence of the Laptop is that it is still too expensive at $100 or the more realistic price of $115 for most African and Nigerian families. That many families could barely live on $200 per annum and spending half that amount on a laptop just won't work.

But the same rural dwellers had embraced the cell phone wholeheartedly. The use of cell phone costs them each minute they use it. Even when they receive calls, someone was paying for it at the other end. The use of Laptop would not carry that everyday overhead.
I can't even begin to explain how they can afford cell phones, but nobody is expecting them to pay for the laptop shaped object.
But even if the acquisition were on the high side, what do we have governments for? Since the reports came out, how many state governments are already liaising with the federal government on the possibility of buying the Laptop and flooding the state public schools with it?
Any state governor who buys these laptops and bring them to the state public schools would have made a name for himself even after the expiration of his tenure. It won't be a bad idea to be referred to thereafter as "the governor who brought computers," or the shorter form, "the computer governor."
Now there's a plan I can't wait to contribute to.

Anyhow, if you have waded through to this point, the cherry on top this sundae of delight is Intel CEO Craig Barrett's statement today:
"Mr. Negroponte has called it a $100 laptop -- I think a more realistic title should be 'the $100 gadget'," Barrett, chairman of the world's largest chip maker, told a press conference in Sri Lanka. "The problem is that gadgets have not been successful."
But Barrett said similar schemes in the past elsewhere in the world had failed and users would not be satisfied with the new machine's limited range of programs.

"It turns out what people are looking for is something is something that has the full functionality of a PC," he said. "Reprogrammable to run all the applications of a grown up PC... not dependent on servers in the sky to deliver content and capability to them, not dependent for hand cranks for power."

Barrett said Intel was committed to delivering IT access to the developing world -- and is helping Sri Lanka Telecom (SLTL.CM) set up south Asia's first long-range WIMAX wireless network -- but would not produce a cut-price product like MIT's computer.

"We work in the are of low cost affordable PCs, but full function PCs," he said. "Not handheld devices and not gadgets."

He said Intel was also expanding an IT teacher training scheme it says has already reached three million schoolteachers worldwide to Sri Lanka, and praised local projects aimed at producing computer literacy. Some 90 percent of Sri Lankans were literate but only 10 percent computer literate, he said.
He's undoubtedly right, but he really needs a political correctness consultant because the Kumbaya crowd is going to be all over him. Look, it has already started:
But we think the real crux of Barrett’s argument — that the world’s poor want a full-featured PC — is ridiculously flawed. Why? Because the OLPC is intended for populaces so impoverished that the majority have probably never even used a full-featured PC before. But hey, we certainly do get a kick out of a multi-millionaire businessmen yammering on about what the world’s poor really want from a computer while the competition is, um, hanging out with Kofi Annan and garnering UN support.
Gosh, hanging out with Kofi! Be still, my heart!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Everyone's having a party!

Surrender - the Democrats favorite fantasy

No, not the pond scum fantasy celebration above, but the Freepers who are all excited at the news reported by Drudge that the GOP might actually mount an counterattack on the America Last party. Er, the party of defeat, desertion, and dereliction. Er, you know who I mean - the party symbol is an ass and so is their chairman.

(Graphic hat tip: dead)

I wonder how well it takes birdshot?

Just what I don't need. An alarm clock that when the appointed time arrives, sends up a flying unit to hover over your head making annoying noises until you get up and grab it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Cold Fury:
There are strange and wonderful creatures at large in this old world of ours, like unicorns, jackalopes, snipes, and moderate Muslims—all elusive beasts indeed, and quite possibly mythological. But none can hold a candle to that rara avis, that phantasmagorical will o’ the wisp, the Moderate Democrat.
I think that when Scoop Jackson died, they became extinct.

Someone please pull his string

Howard Dean the terrorist bomber

Howard Dean demonstrates how he supports the troops.

Up to their same old tricks

Good ole Traitor John Kerry.

Democrats stab American soldiers in the back

I guess Lurch is just nostalgic for the old days!

John Kerry stabs American soldiers in the back

(Hat Tip: Sacred Cow Burgers and 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Games need BLUE SKIES! Games need BRIGHT YELLOW SUNS! Games need RED AND BLUE THINGS in them! We want to play in a HAPPY PRETEND LAND, not a sh*t version of an American slum full of mixed-race gangsters wearing licensed sportswear!

We want to COLLECT BANANAS FROM MAGIC CASTLES not earn respect from fictional gang leaders! We want to stun enemies with BOUNCE ATTACKS, not shoot them in unrealistic and shoddy drive-bys!
We want to restore our health by COLLECTING ROAST CHICKEN, not by syringing drugs into the only vein we can still find! Games have gone SH*T and DARK and RUBBISH and WE WANT THEM BACK!
More by following the link and yeah it's a joke, but as Chris Kohler observes:
This is so utterly true it makes me cry. Politically incorrect video game humor site UK Resistance has launched the Blue Sky in Games movement, and though of course its message will be roundly ignored it's worth a read.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I guess they couldn't think of anything else to do with our money

GOP Congress Earmarks $4 Million for Leftist Pro-Illegal Alien Group:
Thanks to a congressional earmark, an open-borders advocacy group that pushes for driver’s licenses, free in-state tuition and healthcare for illegal aliens and bilingual requirements for state agencies and ballots is slated to get $4 million in new taxpayer money to add to the more than $30 million it has received from various federal agencies since 1996.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Spanish for “the race,” will get its latest grant through an appropriations bill passed by Congress on November 18. The Joint Explanatory Statement of HR 3058, available on the House’s Rules Committee website lists 1,100 plus earmarks in the bill, including La Raza’s grant under the Housing and Urban Development Department’s Self-Help and Assisted Ownership Programs. Under this account La Raza will receive four times as much as the Special Olympics, which won a $1-million earmark.
The best part is that no one can figure out who requested the dough - even the head wingnut at NCLR was surprised. As for the other 1,100 earmarks, why do I suspect that they're a target rich environment?

Friday, December 02, 2005

What's next? David Duke TV?

I mean if you've seen one racist, you've seen 'em all, so this looks rather foreboding - Al Sharpton wants his own sitcom:
He has led civil rights marches, scolded the nation's leaders and even run for president, but the Rev. Al Sharpton now wants to do something completely different -- star in his own television sitcom.

Sharpton, in an interview with Reuters on Friday, confirmed a report in Daily Variety that he would soon be filming a pilot for a family show called "Al in the Family" that would revolve around his larger-than-life personality.

"I don't know if I am a good actor or not but I will be playing myself and I have been practicing that for 51 years," the New York Democrat and civil rights leader said.
And he's been doing a really lucrative job of mau-mauing the limousine liberals in the Democrat party. Which reminds me - did you notice that the first paragraph is missing a few things from Al's resume. Just an oversight I'm sure.
A pilot episode for a series would be produced early next year by Paramount Network Television for CBS. Both are units of Viacom Inc.
Glad to see it's still the "Tiffany network." Maybe Dan Rather can stop by for a few laughs or Tawana Brawley can demonstrate the application of dog poop body wash.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Today's Hoot!

If an Air America show is cancelled, does anybody know it?

News you can use!

Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network wants you to know:
On Saturday, December 3, 2005 at 11 a.m. EST, Washington-area global warming advocates will hold the First Annual Hybrid Car Parade around the White House.
"Global warming advocates"? Sounds like they're in favor of it!
45 hybrid cars will circle 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as advocates demand real solutions to the problem of global warming.
Now you know what a Prius is good for. I hope the ecoweenies won't strain their vehicles by carrying more than 2 small people or going over 5 MPH.

(Hat tip: American Digest)

I can't wait!

New .eu domain 'as important as .com':
European Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said on Thursday that she expected “several hundreds of thousands” of companies to apply to use the new .eu domain name.

Reding spoke at a press conference in Brussels to announce the start of the “sunrise” period on Dec. 7, during which trademark holders and public bodies can apply to register .eu names.

The Commissioner said the .eu domain name would become “as important for European businesses as .com addresses.” It would give European businesses the tools to protect themselves under European Union law and help make them more visible, while giving a unique European dimension to their image, she said.
Actually, it's mostly an annoyance that businesses have to register all their domains with yet another extension (and pay a fee to a EU bureaucracy) in order to keep squatters from confusing the surfers. But I'm digressing from the really important stuff which is that I hope no one beats me to!
To deter cybersquatting, the applications submitted before April 7 [2006] will be examined to ensure that those applying actually own the rights to the name, brand or trademark for which they are applying.
Hey, who would claim the rights to "pee"?
Non-E.U. companies will be able to apply for .eu addresses if they have a registered office in the E.U.
Darn! Another great idea bites the dust!
The domain name will be available only in its English version, as opposed to the French spelling ".ue" for Union européenne. Asked if this was an admission of the dominance of English in cyberspace, Reding said the E.U. was using the Latin name "europa." “It is nothing to do with France or England,” she said.
I'll bet the Eurocrats burned a lot of midnight oil coming up with that one!
The E.U.’s institutions will start using a .eu name for their Web sites from next week, and email addresses for E.U. civil servants will end in .eu from next year.
And if the citizens are lucky, the "institutions" and "civil servants" will be incommunicado for months.

At least they still have weather "girls"

A reader observes that when the French CNN is launched, we'll all be able to enjoy Gallic forecasts:

Today's forecast for France

Both title AND line of the day!

Orrin Judd titles his post on chessboxing (where four minutes of chess alternate with two minutes of boxing): FISCHER'S ALREADY TAKEN TOO MANY BLOWS TO THE HEAD and the punchline is:
Get supermodels to play it in a tub of Jell-o and you've got an ESPN franchise.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I thought CNN was already French!

"French CNN" seen operational by end of 2006:
France's government gave the green light on Wednesday for an international TV news channel to start broadcasting in French by the end of next year, with the aim of spreading the country's vision to the world.
Be still my heart!
The brainchild of President Jacques Chirac, the 24-hour news channel is expected to beam into homes, hotels and newsrooms in much the same way as U.S.-owned CNN, Britain's BBC World and more recently Qatar's Arabic-language al-Jazeera.
Sounds like perfect company, but competition for "journalism" awards in the pond scum category will be fierce.
"France must ... be on the front line in the global battle of TV pictures," a spokesman quoted Chirac as telling the cabinet, which approved the establishment of a company to run the French International News Channel.
The acronym should be FINC which seems appropriate, but apparently in French it is CFII.
"The aim is to bring France's values and its vision of the world to everywhere in the world," he said.
Possible highlights:

"Throw another Renault on the barbie"
"We surrender"
"Time to discuss the amount of the bribe"

Today's Hoot!

Harry Reid may be running around telling everyone that Osama bin Laden is dead, but Osama's spirit lives on:

Nacy Pelosi in her bomb belt
"Does it make my butt look big?"

(Hit tip: Freeper USAConstitution)

Monday, November 28, 2005

More New Orleans Hijinks!

The Democrats are coming to town!
The Democratic National Committee will bring about 400 people to New Orleans for its first meeting of 2006 to help rebuild the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina, chairman Howard Dean said Monday.
They're each going to hold a shovel for a photo op, I guess. Of course, Howie can bring his regular manure shovel.
The meeting will be April 20-22, the weekend of the French Quarter Festival.
Looks some R&R, er, supporting the local economy, too!

Of course, there's really no shortage of Democrats in the vicinity. Check this out - Political moves quietly cleared way for controversial trailer deal:
When Bourget's of the South, the politically connected River Ridge custom motorcycle shop that's won almost $108 million in federal trailer contracts, started looking for trailers to sell after Hurricane Katrina, it encountered two problems, records show.

The first was Bourget's lack of a license to sell new trailers. The second was Bourget's lack of a franchise agreement -- an accord between manufacturers and dealers to sell specific brands of trailers.
I guess not too many custom chopper shoppers also want a travel trailer.
In Louisiana, state law requires recreational vehicle dealers to possess one state license to sell new trailers and a franchise agreement from the manufacturer to sell its products. But in a matter of weeks, after contracts between Bourget's, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and trailer manufacturers already had been signed, the state commission charged with regulating the market solved both obstacles for Bourget's.
Funny how that worked out.
First, the Recreational and Used Motor Vehicle Commission granted a state sales license in October to Bourget's, even though at least two established Louisiana recreational vehicle dealers already had filed complaints with the commission about the outfit's September contract with FEMA. Then, in an undated memorandum revealed to a surprised commission at its meeting last week and sent to most Louisiana dealers this week, the commission's executive director, Jack Torrance, suspended the franchise agreement law.
Real funny! But here's the punchline:
Torrance's unusual move is the latest twist in the tale of Bourget's of the South and its lucrative series of FEMA trailer contracts. Since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast, the high-end bike shop, owned by the father and an uncle of state Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco, has landed three separate contracts to provide more than 6,400 new travel trailers, a product with which Bourget's had no sales experience before the storm. A handful of other Louisiana RV dealers, all of whom said they have yet to ink a FEMA deal or have squeezed out only a small contract after weeks of wrangling, cried foul over Bourget's bonanza, which includes some $10 million in Louisiana business and another $98 million in Alabama, FEMA records show.

Glen Smith, one of Bourget's owners, the state representative's uncle and the appointed president of the Louisiana Airport Authority, insists there is nothing amiss in his dealings with FEMA, and asked why his competitors are so focused on his contracts when out-of-state dealers have deals with the feds that are two or three times as big as Bourget's.

"If we had a two-hour class we could show these guys how to sell some travel trailers to FEMA," Smith said.
It'd be like School for Scoundrels, I guess. More laughs by following the link including why the memo was undated and:
As the dealers began to absorb the memo, two aspects of it struck them as curious, several said. One was that it applies only to FEMA deals; the other is that it is applicable only to dealers with no stock. Both aspects seem tailor-made for Bourget's, because Bourget's has deals only with FEMA and -- with the exception of Steve's RV of Chalmette, whose dealership was wrecked by Katrina -- the only shop with no existing stock would have been Bourget's because previously it did not sell trailers, according to several dealers.
Howard Dean might be able to pick up a few tricks while he's in town!

I always wanted to be a researcher!

Boffins quantify beer goggles phenomenon:
Researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered that the legendary "beer goggles" effect, by which previously-monstrous members of the opposite sex become strangely attractive after a skinful of lager, is not just down to the sheer volume of booze consumed.

Light levels in the establishment in which the beer is being consumed, the beholder's eyesight, atmospheric smokiness and proximity to the object of desire all play a part, too.

Accordingly, the research team formulated a beer goggle scale (from 0 to 100+) to measure this sinister effect, as follows:
Less than one: No effect
1-50: Person you would normally find unattractive appears less "visually offensive"
51-100: Non-appealing person becomes suddenly attractive
More than 100: Someone not considered attractive looks like a super model
Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester, told the BBC: "For example, someone with normal vision, who has consumed five pints of beer and views a person 1.5 metres away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room, will score 55, which means they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect."
Warning: experiments like this are for trained researchers. Don't try this at the neighborhood watering hole!

For some research with less potentially disastrous effects, how about The Locks O' Truth?
My friend DVDTracker, sent me an IM on and asked, "OP, I wonder how difficult it is to shoot a lock off? I've seen it done on TV and in movies, but wonder if it is as easy as they show it to be. How about if I send you some funds to buy some locks. Will you shoot them and report back?"

The only answer was, "Sure! Why not?"
Full results and photos of the experiments by following the link. Spoiler: Use a shotgun with slugs.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I missed the big book signing in Crawford!

But then so did everybody else:

Moonbat Cindy Sheehan contemplates the end of her media whoring career
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan waits for people to show up at her book signing
near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 in Crawford, Texas.

Sheehan found herself addressing a crowd of only about 100 Saturday afternoon. The large tent where supporters had erected a stage hung with the banner "Speak Truth to Power" was only partially full. In the morning Sheehan signed copies of her new book, being published this week, for an even smaller crowd.
Sheesh, the Stalinists usually orchestrate things better for their pets like Cindy. I wonder why they didn't run a bunch of shills through the line ten times?
Ann Wright, a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in protest of the war and now organizes antiwar events in Crawford, said many of those who support the cause are in New Orleans, helping to lead efforts to clean up the city after Hurricane Katrina.
Sure, Ann. We believe ya!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Line of the Day

Great. Now in addition to raccoons and the neighborhood dog, I have to worry about garbage hippies.

Today's Hoot!

Jay Reiner in The Hollywood Reporter:
What is it like to pal around with Bill Clinton? Rick Cleveland gives us the skinny in "My Buddy Bill," a fascinating and finely executed one-man show based on Cleveland's friendship with the former president.

The friendship is over now, for reasons that become clear in the evening's most revealing episode. But no matter what you might have thought of Clinton going in, you're going to understand him much better on the way out.
Ruh Oh!
Cleveland's stories are chock-full of intimate details and amusing enough to tickle the most demanding funnybone. There was the time he was invited to Arkansas and winds up jamming, drinking beer and playing Trivial Pursuit with Clinton, his strange brother Roger and Billy Bob Thornton.
Hmmm, wasn't that one of the scenes in Deliverance?
We're also told about a trip to Amsterdam where Clinton, Christopher Walken and Cleveland smoke some very good hash in a stoner bar and Bill, perhaps under the influence because he definitely inhales, has some intriguing things to say about Monica Lewinsky, Sharon Stone, Ann Coulter and other topics of interest.
Spare me. But it gets better:
But of all the people we meet, including Clinton, no one is quite so ... um, commanding as Hillary. We first meet Hillary at an Italian restaurant in Santa Monica where Bill and Rick are double-dating with their respective wives. The Clintons arrive late and obviously have been fighting on the way over, so the dinner has the feel of low-level warfare with lots of sniping and an occasional ambush. One thing is crystal clear: Bill Clinton is not the same person with Hillary around that he is when she's not around.
Ya think?
Hillary, it seems, is not only "watching me like a hawk," as Bill puts it at one point, but she has someone else watching her fun-loving husband. Based on what happens next, one is forced to conclude that one, Bill Clinton would not have become president if not for Hillary; two, Bill Clinton would not have continued to be president if not for Hillary; and three, Bill Clinton owes Hillary Rodham big time for what she has done for him, and she has her own ways and reasons for collecting on that debt, not all of them pretty.
That's what we're afraid of.

More by following the link including speculation as to whether this is all fact or fiction. Since Cleveland's previous career was as one of the writers on The West Wing, I hope he has some non-Hollywood jobs lined up for the future, because he certainly isn't going to be welcome again in Hill and Bill's biggest fan club.

Someone explain Black Friday to me!

At the NY Times, Michael Barbaro tries:
Five minutes after midnight today, moments into the earliest store opening on the first shopping day of the season, the beleaguered employees at CompUSA on 57th Street in Manhattan laid down some ground rules: no more pushing, no more grabbing, and no more stealing other customers' $9.99 wireless PC cards.
What about biting and eye-gouging?
Across the country, millions of Americans mobbed discount stores, raced into suburban malls and swarmed downtown shopping districts in a retail ritual whose outlandishness - and sleeplessness - seems to grow with every season.

Merchants, fearful that shoppers might be scared off by higher fuel costs, opened even earlier than last year - by an hour (Wal-Mart), six hours (CompUSA), and in one case, even a day (Kmart).

Retailers are putting a greater emphasis on the day after Thanksgiving because they find it strongly influences decisions about where to shop for the rest of the holiday season. Deep discounts, in particular, they say, create the impression that a retailer is offering better values than competitors. "If we don't have the right door busters we don't have a good Christmas," said Ron Gregory, district manager for Sears in Chicago.
So if you don't have a riot on the premises in the cold dark of the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, people are going to ignore you for the rest of their Christmas shopping? I sure don't want to meet the folks in the focus groups that rendered that conclusion. They must have been a rough bunch!

Anyhow, Black Friday is over and now it's time for Cyber Monday:
"Cyber Monday," the term coined for the Monday after Thanksgiving, comes on the heels of the busy "Black Friday" shopping day when many brick-and-mortar retailers begin turning a profit.

The good news for online shoppers this year, is that "Cyber Monday" is becoming the Web shopping equivalent to "Black Friday" when retailers launch major sales and discounts to drive traffic, analysts said.
OK, but why Monday?
"Most people who shop online do it at work, not at home," despite rising rates of high-speed home Internet connections, said Jay McIntosh, Americas director of retail and consumer products at Ernst & Young. Work connections tend to be faster than those at home, he said.
And Monday is their first day back "at work." Well, at least you won't get stepped on - unless the boss catches you.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Something else to be thankful for

Deuce Four at The Punishers Ball

When I itemize my list of things I'm thankful for, one of them is men like those of the Deuce Four.

On a related note, Christopher Hitchens:
I once grabbed a plate of what was quite possibly turkey, but which certainly involved processed cranberry and pumpkin, in a U.S. Army position in the desert on the frontier of Iraq. It was the worst meal--by far the worst meal--I have ever eaten. But in all directions from the chow-hall, I could see Americans of every conceivable stripe and confession, cheerfully asserting their connection, in awful heat, with a fall of long ago. And this in a holiday that in no way could divide them. May this always be so, and may one give some modest thanks for it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fun with prize prat Laurie David

Laurie David, Swamp Killer

Not only has Laurie David, ("Seinfeld" creator) Larry David's wife, been active in organizing the creative community against President Bush, she is an enviro-wacko who " lectures others about the evils of SUVS and the redemptive power of energy saving light bulbs." While it's become commonplace to discover how hypocritical these Hollywood nincompoops invariably are, it's nevertheless a delicious snack.
Details here, but the tastiest part is that the reason that Laurie and Larry got in all sorts of ecoweenie trouble was that they were spiffing up their mansion for the visit "of a VIP guest, National Resources Defense Council champion Robert Kennedy Jr.—the man who first introduced Laurie David to environmental activism at an L.A. breakfast seminar in 1997." Sheesh, all you need to do to host that goofball is just lay in a little smack and hide the breakables.

Today's Hoot!

Michael Moore to Hire Terminated GM Workers:
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore today announced he would immediately hire the 30,000 autoworkers that General Motors cuts as it closes all or part of 12 manufacturing plants.

About half of the former autoworkers will be trained to “edit news footage in ways that make people look stupid or evil,” Mr. Moore said, the rest will provide catering services.
Mr. Moore said his work for the Democrat party, including his 2004 opus ‘Fahrenheit 9/11‘, has made him “bigger than the Beatles…bigger than GM...
Well he is rather on the large side.

Yeah, it's ScrappleFace, but c'mon Mikey - put your money where your gaping maw is!

Be careful what portion of your anatomy you reveal at a Taser fight

Naked Fla. Man Shocked In Genitals By Taser:
A naked man was accidentally shocked in the genitals by a Taser after he was found breaking windows and asking women to touch him inappropriately, police said.
Guess he got an even bigger thrill.
Jeremy J. Miljour, 26, of Bonita Springs, attempted to run when approached by Lee County sheriff's deputies Saturday. When he ignored requested to stop, Deputy Daniel Hollywood shot Miljour with a Taser.

One of the Taser prongs accidentally hit Miljour's genitals and got stuck, said Cpl. Matt Chitwood.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Margaret Thatcher Threatened to Use Nukes During Falkland Islands War. But only on Francois Mitterand. Just kidding - here's the real story:
French President Francois Mitterrand made a stunning claim to his psychoanalyst during Britain’s Falkland Islands war with Argentina in the early 1980s:

Margaret Thatcher threatened to use nuclear weapons unless Mitterrand gave the British the "deactivate" codes used by anti-ship missiles that France had sold to Argentina!

That never-before-revealed scenario is disclosed in the new book "Rendez-vous: The Psychoanalysis of Francois Mitterrand,” written by Ali Magoudi, who was the French president’s psychoanalyst from 1982 to 1993.
A French-made Exocet missile struck the ship, killing 20 crewmembers and injuring 24. The destroyer was scuttled and British naval officials feared that the Exocet was so effective that it jeopardized the entire operation to dislodge Argentine occupiers from the Falklands.

Shortly after that, according to Magoudi’s unsubstantiated disclosures, Mitterrand told him during one of their sessions: "What an impossible woman, that Thatcher. With her four nuclear submarines on mission in the southern Atlantic, she threatens to launch the atomic weapon against Argentina – unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentinians.”

Magoudi said Mitterrand told him that he had ordered the Exocet codes to be handed over to the British at Thatcher’s insistence: "She has them now, the codes. If our customers find out that the French wreck the weapons they sell, it’s not going to reflect well on our exports.”
He needn't have worried, his successors discovered the oil business.
Mitterrand then complained to Magoudi: "To provoke a nuclear war for small islands inhabited by three sheep who are as hairy as they are frozen! Fortunately I yielded. Otherwise, I assure you, the metallic index finger of the lady would press the button.”
Maggie clearly knows how to bargain with weasels.
But then Mitterrand vowed to get revenge on Britain and its feisty prime minister – with a tunnel under the English Channel.

"I will have the last word,” Magoudi said Mitterrand told him. "Her island, it’s me who will destroy it. Her island, I swear that soon it will no longer be one. I will take my revenge. I will tie England to Europe, despite its natural tendency for isolation. I will build a tunnel under the Channel.”
And I thought it was just to ship along the illegal aliens.

All work and no play would make Ray Nagin a dull boy

New Orleans looking to strengthen relations with Jamaica:
Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, says as his city rebuilds in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it would be moving to strengthen economic ties with Jamaica. "As we look to rebuild New Orleans, we are also looking to rebuild relationships and the first place that we are looking to rebuild and strengthen relationships is Jamaica," said Nagin.
Hmm, that's a puzzler.
The New Orleans mayor who is vacationing in the island with his wife Seletha and three children, at a private villa owned by Sandals chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, was speaking to reporters in Montego Bay at a brief ceremony hosted by Sandals Resorts, shortly after his arrival at the Sangster International Airport on Friday.
Ah, it wasn't a puzzle at all.

Just yell "Sooey" if you want Hillary

Our favorite little porker has got a new plan for tax refunds for people who don't pay taxes:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has sponsored a tax refund for Puerto Rico residents that could pay out more than $50 million over the next 10 years.

She's the sole sponsor of a bill letting some Puerto Rico residents — who pay no federal income tax — get child-credit refunds on their Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Clinton's camp declined yesterday to say why the former first lady wrote the legislation, but politicos say the move is obvious: Puerto Rican support is crucial to her re-election — and a potential White House run in 2008. Puerto Ricans are born American citizens, ready-made voters when they move to the United States.

Curiously, Clinton has stayed mum on the bill. When she filed it recently, her staff did not put out a press release.
I guess some folks just don't stay bribed.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

His departure is long overdue

Annan must go:
A former top aide to Secretary- General Kofi Annan has become the first United Nations figure to admit that he pocketed money from Saddam Hussein in connection with the scandal-wracked Oil-for-Food program.
Jean-Bernard Merimee, France's former U.N. ambassador, who holds the title of "ambassador for life," was Annan's senior advisor for European issues when he took $156,000 from Baghdad after deciding to go into business "on my own behalf" — though he now says he regrets having done so.

Merimee used the loot to renovate a home he owns in southern Morocco, he recently told a French judge.

It was hardly surprising that Merimee would be involved in the scandal.

Besides his position as one of Annan's most senior aides, he was a vocal opponent of international sanctions against Saddam — and, significantly, had worked at the U.N. to limit them.
It;s just another day among the kleptocrats, but wait there's more!
And news of Merimee's dramatic admission comes as Annan issued a new report on the world body's proposed headquarters renovation in which the cost has soared more that 50 percent — from an initial $1.2 billion to nearly $2 billion, with no end in sight.

And though an initial scheme to finance the renovation with a congressional loan has since been abandoned, it remains likely that much of that work will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
I thrilled about that fer sure!
As the scandal draws closer and closer, and rampant mismanagement continues unabated, when will it become clear that Annan and his corrupt crew have got to go?
Why don't they renovate UN HQ by tearing it down and then having "construction delays"?

Spot the fifth columnists

It isn't hard:
After my return from Iraq I received phone calls and emails from military friends as they either came back to the US on leave or finished their tours and re-deployed “Stateside.” The typical phone call went like this: “I’m back. It’s great to be home. What’s up? How are you doing?” Then, the conversation quickly moved on to: “What’s with the press and Iraq?” The press usually meant television. On tv Iraq looked like it was going to Hell in a handbasket of flame and brutality; however, the images of carnage didn’t square with the troops’ experience.
Much more by following the link. I'd like to think they were just presstitutes going for cheap ink or even apologists for Islamic extremism, but it's more like they hate the Western world in general and the USA in particular.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Nancy Pelosi waves the white flag

But that's what limousine liberals do best. Ignore the pathetic MSM whining and go for the good stuff:
House Republicans maneuvered for swift rejection Friday of any notion of immediately pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, sparking a nasty, sometimes personal debate over the war and a Democratic lawmaker's own call for withdrawal.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent word to the rank-and-file to vote - with the Republicans - against immediate withdrawal of American troops.
Gee I wonder what got into Plastic Puss. This ought to be a dream come true for her!
By forcing the issue to a vote, Republicans placed many Democrats in a politically unappealing position - whether to side with Murtha and expose themselves to criticism, or to oppose him and risk angering the voters that polls show want an end to the conflict.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the AP to parse that beauty.
The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.

"He asked me to send Congress a message - stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message - that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.

Democrats booed and shouted her down - causing the House to come to a standstill.

Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that it was an uncalled for personal attack. "You guys are pathetic. Pathetic," yelled Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass.
Hey, Harold can we feel your muscle? Good thing the Marine wasn't there in person or some pansy ass would likely have been kicked.
"I won't stand for the swift-boating of Jack Murtha," said Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004.
As he stamped his expensively shod foot, no doubt. No worries there, Lurch, Murtha earned his medals and didn't denounce his buddies with bogus war crimes stories. It's just that he's gone squishy soft now that he's entered his 70's and there's nothing wrong with calling him on it.

More Wilson family fun!

Joe Wilson recomends the CIA trough, er cafeteria
Pig recommends trough

Now that "crack" prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has concluded his "big" investigation, folks he missed who knew that bloviating Joe Wilson's airbrained spouse was feeding at the CIA trough are coming out of the woodwork. Last week we had Patrick Fitzgerald Ignored Witnesses who Contradicted Wilson:
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's Leakgate investigation is coming unraveled, as witness after witness steps forward to challenge a key premise of his controversial probe.
The number of witnesses now saying "No" has climbed to four - and none of them have apparently been interviewed by Fitzgerald's investigators.

On Wednesday, Wayne Simmons, a 27-year veteran at the CIA, told Fox News Radio: "As most people now know, [Plame] was traipsed all over Washington many years ago by Joe Wilson and introduced at embassies and other parties as 'my CIA wife.'"
In fact, rumors now swirl around Washington that Plame used to take her friends to lunch at the CIA's cafeteria.
More following the link, but that was before Bob Woodward added his name to the list, which really has bloviating Joe in a tizzy. Cut to the always dyspeptic Wesley Pruden at the Washington Times:
Mortuary Bob became a Washington legend for cultivating sources among both the quick and the dead, and he's guilty so far of no known crime. Well, except the crime of not taking seriously the game of who outed Valerie Plame, Washington's most famous airhead, as a covert operative of the CIA. That "crime" may yet get him "terminated" with extreme prejudice.

The husband of the airhead yesterday demanded the pursuit of Mortuary Bob by the famous special prosecutor from Chicago who has spent $20 million in vain pursuit of a crime, and could only manage to indict Scooter Libby for not remembering who told him about something that didn't happen.

Somebody even now is writing a play about the Plame game, and it's a musical comedy. It's easy to see why. We can only hope the music will be better than the words. Mortuary Bob wrote the best review of what's happened so far, when he told an interviewer for NPR that "when all the facts come out in this case it's going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great."

The consequences, great or not, are likely to fall hardest on the head of Patrick Fitzgerald. The big wind from Chicago has seen his case against Scooter fall apart over the last 48 hours. Scooter stands charged with perjury, a serious crime that rarely yields a conviction, because he said he learned of Valerie Plame's supposed status as a covert CIA agent from Tim Russert of NBC News, and not from a government official, which would have made it a violation of the law. Mr. Russert says that's not how he remembers it.

Even if Scooter was telling a lie, and not merely misremembering something from a long time ago, this is pretty thin soup on which to go to a grand jury. But if you're a special prosecutor who has just blown $20 million, even if merely taxpayer money, you're likely to be in a mild panic to come up with any old bone to throw into the pot.

But now comes Mortuary Bob with his story that he talked to Scooter before Tim did, and his notes reflect that he wanted to talk about "yellowcake" and "Joe Wilson's wife." This suggests that a lot of people in town knew about Val and Joe, who covert or not devote a lot of their time trying to get their overt pictures in the papers. If Scooter, who talks to a lot of reporters, all of whom look alike in the dark, got Tim and Mortuary Bob confused who could blame him? Probably not a jury, unless it's a jury packed with diehard Democrats eager to nail a Republican hide to the barn door. Where but the District of Columbia could you find a jury like that?
More japery by following the link.

Think of it as the "Kennedy Plan"

Island jail fit for a prince: Posh prison digs offer cable TV, sunset view:
EDGARTOWN, MA – Lawyers for the Saudi prince who pleaded guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor charge – homicide by motor vehicle while operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor – were recently granted a guided tour of the ritzy Colonial house that serves as the Martha’s Vineyard jail so they could determine if it was fit for royalty.

Dukes Sheriff Michael A. McCormack said a defense attorney for Bader Al-Saud contacted him, saying the prince’s confinement – which began yesterday – was a “special case.”

His lawyers asked for, and received, a tour of the Dukes County Jail and House of Correction. The jail is a handsome clapboard house built in 1873 and ringed by a white picket fence.

The wind carries a sweet sea breeze to the prison yard, which boasts a full weight set that Al-Saud, 23, can use to bulk up his frame.

Inmates can take in the brilliant sunsets from their windows – which are framed with wooden shutters and decorated with understated iron bars. Cons wear their own clothes and can order their food from an in-house chef, said former inmate Alan Thistle, 53.

Cells are outfitted with 13-inch, remote-controlled cable TVs that inmates can hook up Nintendo game systems to, Thistle said.

“I got better treatment in there than I do at some hotels. I’m telling you, it was picturesque,” said Thistle, who served an 18-month sentence on drug charges.
No word on whether they have a bar and let the inmates drive.
John S. Alley, chairman of the county commissioners, said he was “flabbergasted” a defendant who confessed to mowing down a man in a drunken stupor would be housed in a jail built for nonviolent offenders.
Actually, this is more like "Kennedy Plan B." Plan A is to come up with a preposterous story and then buy your way out of trouble.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It may not be a hoot, but it sure merits a snicker

Bloggers Break Sony:
Sony made an unpopular product decision and got its reputation incinerated by waves of flaming bloggers. That's a lesson for other companies.
If you haven't been following this one, the article has a nice summary. Best part:
Alan Scott, chief marketing office at business information service Factiva, said, "I think that we're in an entirely new world from a marketing perspective. The rules of the game have changed dramatically. The old way of doing things by ignoring issues, or with giving the canned PR spin response within the blogosphere, it just doesn't work."

Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG's Global Digital Business President, attempted to do just that by dismissing the online protests. "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" he said in a November 4 interview on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.
Bzzzt, game over! Thanks for playing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I missed out on the hot party action again!

James Shmoo Wolcott

I mean what's better than Vanity Fair flouncer, James "Shmoo" Wolcott? Kinda like the boar at full bore. Or is it the bore at full bore? Whatever, Protein Wisdom has all the details.

We don't see much of that around here

Fraters Libertas astounds with the news that the Mayor of Minneapolis is undergoing surgery for an injury he received "diving off the Gay Men's Chorus float in the Pride parade."

Someone 'splain this to me

Either I'm an old fogey or Microsoft should seriously consider hiring a new ad agency. Check out these Xbox 360 commercials (big bandwidth warning): Jump Rope and Water Balloons. Of course, they're building off a base of Xbox ads like Life's Short. I doubt I'm in the Xbox target demographic, but these make me wonder about those who are.

Update: A reader points me to two more that have a higher amusement content: Uncle Randy and German Plane Race.

Today's computer tip

Don't send your printer out for repair when it's jammed with counterfeit currency you were printing.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Here's a cool Euro solution!

EC declared us mad so it could sack us, claim staff:
The European Commission has been accused of trying to have troublesome staff declared mentally ill in order to provide an excuse for giving them the sack.

Critics claim that the commission has resorted to tactics "worthy of the KGB" by pronouncing staff unfit for work after grillings from psychiatrists.
Er, why not just fire them?
The practice is alleged to have developed unofficially because the commission's generous employment terms make it all but impossible to dismiss staff. In the past, employees who have had run-ins with the commission, or simply underperformed, have generally had to be persuaded to leave by offers of expensive early retirement packages.
Silly me! Of course it had to be a Euroweenie solution.
Mr Sequeira, who worked in the commission's ministry for development, says he was astonished to read personnel reports which said his behaviour "sowed doubt regarding the state of his mental health".

He was put on permanent sick leave after tests found he suffered "verbal hyper-productivity" and a "lack of conceptual content" in his speech.
"Verbal hyper-productivity" and a "lack of conceptual content" in his speech? Sheesh, that should make him a standout performer in EU circles!
Mr Sequeira, a career diplomat first employed by the commission in 1987, claims that his relationship with his superiors soured when they became wrongly convinced that he was planning to blow the whistle on an internal fraud scandal.
Ruh oh! That would fray kleptocratic nerves!
To prove that he was of sound mind Mr Sequeira underwent psychiatric tests at four different hospitals, seen by the Sunday Telegraph, all of which found nothing wrong with him. Their findings were declared inadmissible by the commission as it would accept testimony from only its own accredited medical list.
He's got the perfect medical excuse - he's too well to work at the European Commission. More by following the link.

Good suggestion

Mr. Kurtz, please try this on for size: "Senior officials were trying to explain how an unqualified, recently dismissed Foreign Service officer was sent on a sensitive intelligence mission and left free to publicize it in the New York Times."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fun from all over!

Pat McNeil, administrator of the Underrepresented Fellowships Office at Southern Illinois University: “I’ll be upfront with you – no white male will get this award.”
Unless he's wearing a dress, presumably.

"'Hell, if the last two world wars are any indication, I would expect France to surrender any day now,' said Bush. Joint Chiefs head, Gen. Peter Pace, warned the President that it might be necessary to send up to 5 Marines to get things under control. The general admitted that 5 Marines may be overkill, but he wanted to get this thing under control within 24 hours of arriving on the scene."
(Via LGF) He's shocked, I tell ya!:
I'm an anti-Bush guy, and I know Mary Mapes a little. She's a neighbor. But I hope you'll stick with me even if you're at the other end of the spectrum. Listen, some of my favorite neighbors are pro-Bush, and they're surprisingly decent people.
(Via Wizbang) Texas Grannies with Large Caliber Weapons

What part of "Bite me" don't they understand?:
“We do believe that the church has a visionary role for reconciliation beyond that of any government,” one of the authors, Bishop Richard Harries of Oxford, told BBC Radio.

That role involves what the report called “truth and reconciliation” meetings with Muslim leaders that would give Christian counterparts the opportunity to perform a “public act of institutional penance” for the West’s “long litany of errors” in dealing with Iraq, including the 2003 war.
Sheesh, the wingnuts are coming out of the woodwork: Car-b-q excitement grips Greek anarchists. And now there's a musical version!
It’s great to be part of the UN… the EU’s a marvelous thing…
In our little cloister the world is our oyster…
‘cuz – we – get – to – pull – all - the - striiiiings!
Jumping over a lot of good stuff...

When Mahmooooud is in the Notre Dame
And prayer rugs line Versailles
Then this will please the Prophet
We'll get hot chicks in Paradise!

This is the dawning of the Age of Eurabia!
Age of Eurabiaaaaa!
Eu-ra-bi-AH! Eu-RA-bi-ah!
Hmmm, some of the songs seem a trifle derivative.

Don't tell the United Nations weenies - they'll probably instituitionalize it: Sex for fuel.

(Via Microsoft News Tracker) The best geek PR stunt that never happened:
"By November, 1996, St. John had spent $2 million of Microsoft's money to rent an abandoned hangar at California's Alameda Naval Air Station and have Swiss design artists H.R. Giger conceive an interior mock-up of a spacecraft like the one he had created for the movie "Alien." St. John's plan was to hold a computer-game developers conference at a nearby hotel. During the last session, "armed" G-men would storm in, herd all the unsuspecting attendees at gunpoint into buses, and car them to a hangar called, of course, Area 51."

There would be about 3,000 guests who would walk through a "misty, tracheal tube dripping with slime and emerge inside the spaceship. "At the far end of the elaborate, football-field-sized exposition hall would be a stage, where a videotaped Bill Gates would appear." Gates would talk about technology and then rip off a mask to reveal a bug-eyed alien.
And you thought Mary Mapes was bad?
"Politics in France is heading to the right and I don't want rightwing politicians back in second, or even first place because we showed burning cars on television," Mr Dassier told an audience of broadcasters at the News Xchange conference in Amsterdam today.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remember 'em all on Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2005

Happy birthday, Jarheads

Yesterday, November 10.

"Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed"

The Ballad of Jed Clampett:
Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
With all due respect to the Beverly Hillbillies, it turns out there is oil (and natural gas) in Appalachia:
The Appalachian mountains are buzzing with the sounds of oil drilling.

Most of the 900 or so wells drilled in Kentucky this year won't produce more than a barrel or two of oil a day. But with prices around 60 dollars a barrel, those little wells are pulling in big profits, especially when they also pump natural gas.
But for Kentucky cattle farmer Billy Carroll, 70, who has two oil and natural gas wells on his property that he leased out in exchange for an eighth of the profits, it means retirement is a lot easier than he had expected.

"The gas well sure has been good to me because I don't have to feed it," he said as he leaned against his truck parked beneath a mountain speckled with fall colors. "I don't do anything. Just get the check."

Two of Carroll's sons also have wells on their farms and many of his neighbors would like to get in on the boom. The problem is there aren't enough rigs to drill them.

"There could be more wells being drilled in Kentucky but because the industry has been depressed for so long there has been a lack of drilling rigs and a lack of skilled labor," said Brandon Nutall, a geologist with the Kentucky Geological Survey, a state agency charged with analyzing and cataloguing natural resources.

Nestled among Kentucky's famed coal mines are about five billion barrels of oil reserves, Nutall said. Most of the oil is in small fields that sit relatively close to the surface which makes for cheap drilling and long production cycles.
Ole Jed really could have started the oil bubbling on his land with a shotgun blast!
The fields are too small to interest big oil companies, but that hasn't stopped nearly 2,000 small ones from registering to operate in the state.

Drilling is hard in the mountains and the atmosphere can be reminiscent of a Wild West gold rush atmosphere, especially since many companies don't make it through the bust periods, Nutall said.

"The drillers are hardworking guys. They don't mind getting dirty. They play hard -- you'll hear a lot of cursing," he said. "Most of the people are fiercely independent. They don't want anyone telling them what they can and can't do."
Ah, the joys of the free market. Much more by following the link including the Congresscritters who don't understand any incentives but the government kind and have their panties in a knot because oil prices are up. Maybe they're afraid some of the folks are going to move to Beverly Hills!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Maybe I can get a grant!

(Via Brothers Judd) So a professor walks into a bar... (Pay attention. This is research.):
Psychologists from a couple of British universities have gone trolling for babes, and analysed 40 pickup lines in terms of likelihood of success. Or as they call it when applying for grants, they analysed "verbal signals of genetic quality."
And they get paid for it!

Believe it or not, they claim a man’s best chance of impressing women is by saying something like: "It’s hot today isn’t it? It’s the best weather when you’re training for a marathon."
Hopefully they don't get paid too much.
At least, that got the most favourable response from 205 women tested by the combined brainpower of Edinburgh AND Central Lancashire Universities.

Leaves you wondering what the worst pickup line was, right? It was this: "You’re the star that completes the constellation of my existence."

Followed closely by bragging about your money: "I was wondering if you had space in your bag for my Mercedes keys."

Okay, back to the allegedly good ones. The trick, says psychologist Christopher Bale (no relation to the Batman actor) is to make yourself look witty, bright, and other good things. Good taste in music helps, so say this, he suggests:

"The Moonlight Sonata or, to give it its true name, Sonata quasi una fantasia. A fittingly beautiful piece for a beautiful lady."
I'm thinking this is some sort of elaborate joke.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The bad news is that I miss all the good stuff on TV!

The good news is that there isn't much of it and that I also miss all the bad stuff:
Picking the worst part of the show is simply impossible, but one of the absolute low points came when Williams ran some footage of his cameraman telling what he had seen at the convention certer... It was a moving interview to be sure. The problem was none of what the guy said was true. He spoke of bodies surrounding the convention center... He said he saw 2 babies who died of dehydration. That's odd, because they never existed, we know that now. Either the cameraman was hallucinating or he was lying. I could excuse such poor reporting in the heat of battle but this is simply inexcusable.

Some two and a half months after the storm has passed, NBC is not only still getting the story wrong, they bragging about how great a job they did. It's simply amazing.

Then Williams spends the last half of the show talking about how great the media was... How they "found their voice."
Who says Brian WIlliams is just an empty suit? He's much worse than that.

Can you bet on lawn-mower races?

Louisiana cash goes to the dogs, cows, goats, and lawnmower races
Louisiana will spend $45 million on sports and livestock facilities and other new projects in spite of a looming deficit, frustrating some officials who say the frivolity reinforces the state's history of political patronage.

"We're in Washington with our hands out asking for $2 billion plus, and rather than holding on to the money to see what the needs are, they're spending it on local projects financing goat shows and lawn-mower races," says state Sen. Robert Barham, Oak Ridge Republican.
Lawn-mower races?
Supporters of the $4 million Morehouse Parish Equine Center say it will give a much-needed boost to the economy.

Jimmy Christmas, center chairman, says it will be used for horse, cow, dog, goat and art shows; rodeos; auctions; crawfish festivals; lawn-mower races; religious functions; an animal shelter; and a community center.
Yep, lawn-mower races.
"I like a good goat roping as much as anyone, but come on," Mr. Barham said. "It's funny, but it's sad. At a time when Louisiana needs so much to enhance its public image, the taxpayers are just shaking their heads and wondering."
More goat rodeo fun by following the link including the state legislature working on a "bill that would allow lawmakers and their family members to obtain Federal Emergency Management Agency contracts." Off hand, I'd say Katrina wasn't a disaster, it was a pot-o-gold!