So Demmie Pres. candidate Dennis Kucinich wants to create a "Department of Peace". Saints preserve us! He wants more consultation with the UN, he wants to hand out flowers and hold hands (okay, maybe not, but it wouldn't surprise me). But what he wants to do would reduce this country to nice inoffensive pablum, not to mention endanger our very lives by placating those that wish us harm. He's a loony tune! And Dean isn't far behind him in whicky whacky land.
Heaven protect us from the leftie fringe of the Democratic party! (And the Democratic party in general)
Update: Cam posts on the subject
Andrea has yet another excellent post, this time on Strom Thurmond's passing. (can that woman write, or what?)
I was thinking yesterday, reading media reports of his death, that Robert Byrd, who was an actual Klan recruiter, and is still active in the Senate, seems to always get a pass from most reporters. It will be intersting to see how he's covered when he dies. How much will they dwell on his racsit past? Or will they whitewash it? you know what they say, never bet on a sure thing.
So, I'm reading a NY Times article about the President's fund raising here in CA yesterday. The authour of the article says:
President Bush scurried down the coast of California today
Scurried? Yeah, I know, I said it was nitpicky :) But "scurried"? Can you imagine her saying Clinton "scurried"?
It's the little things, gentle readers.
"Adventures with Birds" had me ROTFL.
(link via the Corner)
This photo of Condi rice, our future President, is currently up on Drudge.
Yeah, I should be in bed. Soon!
I get email from my Senator [hack cough] Barbara Boxer ever since I started sending her letters telling her she's wrong about pretty much everything. I take that back: everything. Anyway, at the bottom of the email is this:
Would you like to receive regular updates from Senator Boxer?
If so, please fill out the following form and return it to
Senator Boxer’s Los Angeles office.
Please choose issues of interest:
Economy ( )
Education ( )
Environment ( )
Health ( )
Seniors ( )
Veterans ( )
Women ( )
Do you think she'd pay attention if, next to other, I put "how to assure you aren't reelected"?
It's a thought!
A girl can dream....
Chante Mallard sentenced for hitting homeless man with her car and leaving him to die; 27-year-old eligible for parole after 25 years
Snagged this off the Corner:
EAT MEAT: SAVE THE RAINFORESTS
The Brazillian rainforest is being destroyed to make room for rapidly expanding soy farms. Damn those vegans.
The quote of the day!
Rep. Patrick Kennedy: 'I don't need Bush's tax cut. I have never worked a [bleeping] day in my life'....
I saw a report on this a few days ago: Crumbling U.N. Seeks $1 Billion for Renovation
My suggestion? If the buildings are in such bad shape, why don't we invite the U.N. to find other accomodation.... in another country!
The FBI arrests more suspected terrorists, and guess what? Are they Lutheran? No. Are they Amish? No. Are they even Unitarian? Heck no!
I'm sure it will come as a surprise that they are all followers of the "Religion of Peace".
I'm watching Fox News, and Hannity & Colmes is interviewing Jack Kemp about affirmative action.
Jack Kemp just called affirmative action 'positive discrimination'.
Is it just me, or is that an oxymoron?
Current Score: 33 missing objects.
Click "MORE" to read the rest.
With each passing day since the entire security and liberation effort in Iraq was called into question because of missing tchotchkes, more and more of what turned out to be only 30 missing pieces have been resurfacing and bringing to a close an incident that led to the protest resignations of two presidential cultural advisers and the indignation of people to whom knickknacks have more value than human life.
If you ask such folks whether all those missing artifacts are worth a
single life otherwise spent in bondage and indignity, not to speak of
millions of lives, they'd have to think long and hard before answering.
Recall the universal outrage in March of 2001, when the Taliban (search)
destroyed the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan (search), an incident
which to this day causes cultural elitists to shake their lowered heads in
mournful disapproval. Nothing--not Sept. 11 nor the forced burqa-zation of
Islamic womanhood--has been so unsettling or horrifying to the "arties" as
the dynamiting of those artworks.
After all, this is the same sort who in the early 90s, upon hearing that my
family and I were Soviet refuseniks (search), would burst out, "Wow, you
had the Hermitage (search)!" and would go on to relate their own,
post-Perestroika (search), experience of its splendor. This is the same
sort as the Denver antiquarian book dealer who informed my friend that he
was holding Bush personally responsible for the destruction of the Iraqi
archives and for the museum thefts, adding that he could have lived with a
great many more Iraqi deaths if only these items had been saved.
The truth, however, is that this man would hate Bush regardless, for he is
of the variety that bristles at men like George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld
because they are not ones to spend hours in museums or theaters. Note the
following passage, written with a straight face, from a recent article by a
Matt Taibbi in the new New York Press (search), titled "I, Rumsfeld": "The
charm of Rumsfeld is something that is really hard to figure....Can you
picture Rumsfeld...looking at a painting? Reading aloud from 'Where the
Sidewalk Ends?' These things are impossible to imagine."
So, the Riyadh bombing mastermind surrendered. what I want to know is how long before he meets with an "unfortunate accident", or dies from some ailment? I doubt the Saudis want him to squeal.
It's really odd to look at the temp at 6am and see 78. We get a few warm days in late Aug/Sept, but in June?? Pretty much no one has air conditioning, and out house has no air circulation because it was build stupidly.
Well, by tomorrow, the fog will start coming back in -- nature's air conditioner.
(This is a sequel to this post)
I've given this a great deal of thought, (and it really hurt!) and have decided as a never-married, conservative, he*t*erose*xual, childless woman of a certain age, that I shall henceforth be referred to as "Merry". I am a Merry woman. So when I'm asked those frequent, nosey questions regarding my marital and procreation status, I shall simply say, "I'm Merry".
Sauce for the goose, I say!
Update: Andrea has a great discussion going on over at her blog on the "bright" thing. Enjoy!
Coming soon to an EU near you!!
Advertisements that affront "human dignity" by demeaning women would be prohibited under proposals being drafted by the European Commission.
Television programmes would also be censored to ensure there was no promotion of gender stereotypes.
I'd laugh if it were not so sad. Ah, to hell with it....
I had just finished an interview at a public television station, and a staff member was kindly presenting me with a tape of the program, when I saw on a monitor a CNN report that Hamas had declared total war on Israel.
I laughed and said, "And how will that be different from what they've already been doing? Once you've spent a few years blowing up babies and schoolchildren and old people, how can you make your war more total than that?"
To my astonishment, she clucked her tongue and said, "It's getting harder and harder to tell the difference between the two sides."
I couldn't believe she actually meant that. "Israel hasn't been targeting helpless civilians," I said.
To which she contemptuously replied, "They just use the regular army to achieve the same result."
Then she picked up a phone and made a call, rudely turning her back on me. I was, apparently, no longer worthy of serious attention.
Her rudeness, of course, was entirely understandable -- the politically correct are above the rules of ordinary civility, once they have identified you as an unbeliever in their religion.
But I still can't help but be appalled when I find people as morally stupid as this person was.
Laughing Wolf has an excellent post on the Sarah Saga story.
I'll give you fricking bright!
I set these up a few weeks ago, but never got around to mentioning it. There's also a link somewhere down on the sidebar.
I'm not sure why anyone would contribute actual money, but I'd had a couple of inquiries, so what the heck? I put them up, and we'll see :)
Yes, this is one of my favourite movies. I watched it again last night, and just loved it all over again.
If you haven't seen it, it's well worth seeking out next time you hit the movie rental store.
Caught this irritating, argh inducing tidbit on today's Best of the Web:
Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle contained an obnoxious anti-American rant by one Purvi Patel, who was offended by an official ceremony she attended recently. The event "reinforced a growing resentment I felt toward the United States," she writes. "The American government, in pursuit of an illegal war and a post-9/11 assault on civil liberties, seemed more a police state than a democracy."
Purvi Patel considered "walking out," that's how put off she was. But in the end she stayed and completed the ceremony--namely, her swearing in as a U.S. citizen.
So Purvi thinks America is just awful--but not so awful that she doesn't want to be an American.
I'm not even going to start....
Our regular readers know how much I love Jonah Goldberg, and now, some of his best quotes have been compiled by the very cool John Hawkins over at RWN.
Go, read, laugh, enjoy!
Check out Craig's post on a possible Chinese triple agent.
Go read Rachel's post. One of those "I would have said it myself if she hadn't already done it" things.
So if these sensors are on public land, and aren't marked "US Govt. Property" then how can it be a crime to mess with them? Seems kind of shakey ground for charges, doesn't it?
Nin and I were talking about Nellis/Area 51 on our trip as we passed that way. I've read several articles over the years on how the governent is quietly moving the boundaries out and even hassling people on what's supposed to be public land. I take all such reposrts with a grain of salt, but this report does make you wonder.
Found this while browsing the 'net:
You've probably seen it, but had to share...
Here's more information on Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and background on the "reconquista" group he supports, "MEChA" or "AZTLAN"
So a court actually upheld Spike Lee's complaint against TNT!! Now, Spike Lee thinking anyone connects "spike TV" with him, was stupidity defined, but a court actually going along with his primadonna, out of touch, idiotic complaint puts a whole new floor on the stupid house.
Found this via Dean Esmay.
It's a report by a blogger on what happened to a student at his high school when he was discovered carrying a Confederate Flag.
FOX NEWS is reporting that Greek Special Forces has boarded and siezed a ship carrying 680 tons of explosives.
Here's what FOX News has on their website. Not too much more than what I have here, but a little background on the ship.
Interesting article on Aleksandr Zaporozhsky, and how the Russians lured him back home to arrest for spying against the Soviet Union.
Got this from a Corner Posting by John J. Miller. It's a snippet of an article (not online) that compares the fall of Mayan civilization and ours:
"We do indeed differ from the Maya, but not in ways we might like: we have a much larger population, we have more potent destructive technology, and we face the risk of a worldwide rather than a local decline." What's more, we have "Enron" (mentioned twice in this survey of Mayan history) and "advocates of tax cuts for the rich."
John Miller comments: I'm not going to be so hubristic as to say our own civilization won't ever crumble, but I'm willing to bet that lowering marginal rates won't ever be the cause. This is hysterical leftism at its finest--or worst, I should say.
Romulus also has a post up on the illegal alien situation.
Yeah, this seems to be my drum to beat these days!
A few days ago, I posted about the dread possibility that Cruz Bustamante could become governor if this recall happens. Well, it looks like my fear may come true, though not the way I expected it:
WASHINGTON -- Prominent California Democrats are pressing to get Gov. Gray Davis to resign rather than face a recall that may replace him with a Republican governor in a special October election.
Oakland Mayor (and former California governor) Jerry Brown, in Washington this past week, speculated that Davis could instantly destroy the recall movement by resigning. That would elevate Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante to the governorship. Sen. Barbara Boxer has sketched the same scenario in private conversations with fellow Democrats.
These Democrats express skepticism that Gray would voluntarily surrender the prize that he sought his entire political life. Nevertheless, he could derail the recall at any time prior to the actual balloting by just quitting.
The little lemonade girl is back in business.
It was only nine days ago that Avigayil was known to passers-by as the cute girl who sells plastic cups of lemonade for 50 cents in front of her Old Naples house. Today, she's known as the Naples lemonade gal who has the whole country rooting for her and her ambitious little lemonade stand.
It turns out not many folks knew someone needs a city permit to operate a lemonade stand. Even Naples Mayor Bonnie MacKenzie bought lemonade from the small setup before Avigayil was forced to close it.
"I've been a customer of hers more than once," MacKenzie said. "That means I've aided and abetted. You know what, I'm not one bit sorry. It's good lemonade."
On June 13, Naples police responded to a complaint from an anonymous neighbor who grumbled about the permit-less lemonade stand on the corner of Sixth Street and 11th Avenue South.
Although the Naples police officer who answered the call was only doing his job, he felt so bad he bought a cup of lemonade. City officials shook their heads in shame. So they waived the permit fee, which was $35.
After a temporary shutdown, the city allowed the business entrepreneur to reopen.
I've put some pics of a few of my kitties over on my personal journal.
Some people were telling me that the sidebar wasn't visible/or was down at the bottom of the blog. I tired inserting a tag that I read was supposed to help with that. Anyone who was having that problem, please let me know if it worked?
One of our favourite parts of vacation is getting to watch CMT or GAC. (We have the crappiest cable here in Monterey, and don't get a very large selection of channels.) So between the videos we'd never seen, and the songs we heard on the radio, these were the "songs of the trip" this time around. I just found out yesterday that CMT has the videos from the top 20 on their site, so I can watch them a little while longer!
1) Kenny Chesney: No, Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems
Great tune, great scenery (not the least which is Kenny), and it's all a vicarious vacation. "Blues, what blues, I' forgot them, sun and the sand, a drink in my hand, no bottom. No shoes, no shirt, no problems"
2) Brad Paisley: Celebrity
This video is a hoot! Stars William Shatner and Jason Alexander and is a complete sendup of reality shows & celebrities. Catchy tune too.
3) Toby Keith & Willie Nelson: Beer for My Horses
Good tune, fun movielette/video. And for you SG1 fans, Corim Nemick (Jonas) costars.
4) Keith Urban: Raining on Monday
I loved this song long before I saw the video, but the video certainly adds.... texture. Is it warm in here??
5) Lonestar: Front Porch Looking In
Lonestar does it again. 'Nuff said
6) Tim McGraw: Real Good Man
No video out for this one yet, but it's a damn good song. "I'm a real bad boy, but I make a real good man."
Reading about the troubles other bloggers have been having with their blogs, and knowing I know nothing about MT should I start having trouble, I was wondering if anyone has any helpful hints as to what I can do as far as preventative medicine, and if our blogs did go down [knock wood] if I'd be better off seeking professional help as opposed to me messing around blindly.
Any hints and/or advice will be gratefully accepted! I figure I should think about this now, as opposed to waiting till trouble strikes!
In order to counter the strike by its school canteen staff, the management of the Robespierre middle school in Epinay-sur-Seine ordered 160 meals from McDonalds to feed its students taken hostage (nutritionally speaking) by the strikers. The manoeuvre stunned the strikers who were counting on hungry protestations of the students to amplify their demands. One student declared, 'When can we do that again?'.
Here's a "Rick Leventhal Bit" for all the ladies.
I was watching FOX news yesterday morning, and the have Rick doing the Harry Potter story. You could tell he was thrilled! so he's saying things like, "You can cut the excitement with a chain saw" (and I wish I could illustrate his tone), and then he says he was exclusive video!! So they do a very tense, close camera shot while Rick explains that the bookstore owner is taking them out back. Camera locks on a shed. "Now, he's undoing the padlocks!" It's all very exciting at this point! [g]. The guy swings open the door of the shed.... "And now, exclusive video of.... Harry Potter books in BOXES!!" I was ROTFL at that point.
Glad to see Rick has kept his sense of humour!
More on those "matricula consulars" -- the ID cards that Mexico distributes to illegals in this country.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, the ranking Democrat on the panel, said she saw benefits to wider use of the cards, including the fact that illegal immigrants more likely to use bank accounts.
......Jackson Lee also said that the debate surrounding the matriculas was taking a racist tone.
"I keep hearing 'Mexico, Mexico, Mexico,'" the congresswoman said. "I'm a little bit sensitive about the tone that is being used by some of the witnesses in this room… I return to the thought that we're hearing the bashing of immigrants and bashing of those who come over our border from Mexico."
See? Trying to uphold and enforce the laws of this country is "racist". Bashing of immigrants? How about "criminals", "law breakers", or "here illegally"???
I was sent a link to a preview of Dick Morris' book "Off With Their Heads - Traitors, Crooks & Obstructionists In American Politics, Media, Business."
I'm on a quick lunch break, so can't really comment right now, but here's an excerpt that fits into my illegal alien tangent this week. (Lots of interesting stuff in the preview.)
The Crackdown That Didn't Happen-Clinton Refuses to Act to Deport Illegal Immigrants
"Make states issue driver's licenses [to immigrants] which expire when [their] visas do," I suggested to President Clinton on March 16, 1995, during a strategy meeting in the White House's East Wing. Noting that half of the nation's illegal aliens had evaded the system by overstaying their visas, I proposed a system providing for "automatic referral from motor-vehicles agencies to the INS" for deportation when routine traffic stops revealed drivers without licenses who were here illegally.
Raising these two issues-immigration and terrorism-with the president for the first time, I commented that, after all, it is through motor-vehicle law enforcement that most people come into contact with the police. If we could use that interface to catch illegal aliens, we could add mightily to the deportation lists. By interfacing the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and motor-vehicle computers, we could determine, immediately, if an unlicensed driver was just a minor scofflaw or in active violation of immigration laws.
The INS had no organized way of identifying and deporting the 150,000 foreigners who overstay their legal visas each year. Of the thirty-nine thousand deported each year during the mid-1990s, only six hundred were ordered to leave for having overstayed their visas. It seemed like an excellent idea to use motor-vehicle enforcement to identify and arrest those who were here illegally. But Clinton refused to pursue the idea. The idea ran into a solid wall of resistance led by White House adviser George Stephanopoulos. I pushed the proposal again at a meeting with Clinton on April 5, 1995, calling once more for "driver's licenses [to] expire when visas do." But no action was ever taken.
Stephanopoulos explained why in his 1999 memoir All Too Human:
Next on his [Morris's] list of potential presidential targets was immigrants. Basically, he wanted to create a background-check system that would turn your average traffic cop into a member of the U.S. Border Patrol. If, say, a police office spotted a suspiciously brown-skinned person driving a car with a busted tail-light, Dick's scheme would give him the ability to dial into a computer and order immediate deportation if the driver's papers weren't in order. Though he brushed off my fears of potential abuse and political harm to our Hispanic base, I persuaded him to hold off on the practical grounds of prohibitive cost.
The real story is a bit more complicated. White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes was charged with "vetting" the proposal through INS and the Justice Department. His answer was both decisive and shocking. "We can't deport the people we are already finding," he said. "If we expand the list of deportees without being able to act against them, the result would be a major scandal."
Even though I renewed the proposal at four subsequent meetings with the president, it was never adopted.
What a shame!
Three of the 9/11 hijackers had been pulled over by traffic cops in the months before 9/11. Had the drivers' license proposal been accepted, we might have sent them packing to the Middle East before they had their chance to fly airplanes into our buildings. In April 2001-five months before 9/11-Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the hijackers, was stopped by police near Miami for driving without a license. He was summoned to appear in court, never showed up, a bench warrant was issued, and the matter ended. Had the motor vehicle/ INS/FBI interface been functioning at that time, the traffic cop would have discovered that Atta was in the country illegally, his visa having expired in January 2001. Atta would have been arrested on the spot and bound over to the INS for deportation. He might not have been in the United States to lead the 9/11 hijackers on their grisly mission.
That same month, Nawaf Alhazmi, one of the hijackers who later seized control of American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon, got a ticket (in Oklahoma City, of all places) for speeding.
And Ziad Samir Jarrah, one of the four hijackers of United Airlines 93, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, was pulled over on September 9, just two days before the attacks, for driving between ninety and ninety-five miles per hour on Interstate 95. As CNN correspondent Jonathan Aiken observed, "Before 9/11 there really was no terrorist wanted list that a state trooper or anyone in the state agency could turn to indicate that there was any federal interest in this individual. As far as the state police in Maryland knew, Jarrah was a law-abiding citizen. . . ."
Had such a list existed, or had the INS and FBI been interfaced with the motor-vehicle computers, things might have been different.
Something always came before fighting terrorism. Some other policy or political consideration always had priority. In this case, Stephanopoulos was likely close to the mark when he warned of the harm to Clinton's "Hispanic base." Since the vast majority of illegal immigrants-although not terrorists-came from Mexico and other Hispanic countries, any program of this sort might be stereotyped as encouraging racial profiling by traffic cops.
To the Clinton White House, it was just more important to be friendly to Hispanic voters in the short term than to hasten deportations, and thus protect Americans of all races, in the longer term.
Yesterday, I read a post on RWA about dreaming about conservative men. Last night I had a dream that I had dinner with Jonah Goldberg and his wife, and another couple I must have made up, because I have no idea who they were!
Sorry for the nonexistant blogging from me today. I just can't seem to find a blog post in me right now.
I'll try and do better tomorrow.
I wrote on my personal journal about one of my kitties, Tasha. she died in the middle of the night, and even though I was expecting it, it's hit me pretty hard.
Well Ith told us the guest bloggers were quiet. Ok, here is the following:
I picked this up from John Little via Rachel Lucas It struck me as going after pests ( rodents, chipmunks etc) with the equivalent of atomic weapons. I present to you the post:
*** The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.
The surprise remarks by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing on copyright abuses represent a dramatic escalation in the frustrating battle by industry executives and lawmakers in Washington against illegal music downloads.
During a discussion on methods to frustrate computer users who illegally exchange music and movie files over the Internet, Hatch asked technology executives about ways to damage computers involved in such file trading.
He said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights."
The senator acknowledged Congress would have to enact an exemption for copyright owners from liability for damaging computers. He endorsed technology that would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."
"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their actions, he said.
"There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws," Hatch said. ******
Missing a few things here I would think. Like DUE PROCESS among other things.
However, besides that large omission, why are they going to so much trouble?
The issue of MP3's and file sharing is an area caught between legal protection, fair use and technology. The official statement/reason for going after it legally seems to be a way to recoup or stop lost revenues that are lost due to file sharing between computers, along with uploading to your computer a friend's MP3 files on their MP3 player etc. However, the economy in addition to the artificial high price for CD's apparently plays no part in lost revenue. Interesting economic theory to use.
Aside from that I just wanted to rant on this! :) I for one am really amused by all the fuss. If one compares a song on CD with that of the same song in the MP3 file format. I notice the difference. Mark that, I NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE.
The highs are not as high and the lows are weak attempts at the original. Basically it sounds tinny and cheap. This is after how many generations of algorithm refinement??! To go after what is in my opinion an inferior sound format with a huge arsenal of legal firepower seems like a huge waste of resources. There are far more serious matters that we need to attend to first.
<whine> But Iiiith!</whine>
So anyway, here's a post for ya, and you're lucky to have it (fritzing power cable, but I was able to work around it):
Something that Instapundit has not picked up - that Den Beste hasn't mentioned yet, even - something I saw posted on the Command Post and the Corner only after I posted, and the timestamps are darned close:
We caught General Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, presidential secretary, national security advisor, and senior bodyguard to Saddam Hussein. Supposedly on Monday. Abid Hamid Mahmud is the Ace of Diamonds, the 4th most wanted on the Deck Of Death, right after Dead Man Walking and his sons.
At the time that I wrote that entry and the one after it, we did not know where he had been picked up, but coincidentally, there had been a raid on a couple farms which turned up about 50 Special Republican Guard types and a ton of money, apparent purposes either the buying of bounties on our guys, or to keep the bad guys in the luxury they foolishly think they deserve.
I love the name of this blog: Thimbleful of Thorns, and it looks kewl too. Most importantly though its a great read, so go check it out!
Oh, and while I'm here, I changed all the links of the blogspot exodous members. I hope I got everyone!
You Guest Guy Bloggers, you're so quiet!! I'm looking for posts, y'all :)
Since my birthday is coming up, I was looking through my Amazon Wishlist to make sure it's current, and realized that anyone looking at it might think I was a little odd! I didn't realize there was quite the mixture of stuff on there that there is.
Okay, so I am odd, but still....
it better be different.
Despite Prince Bandar's assurances, another American woman is trapped in the kingdom.
How long before we stop this fiction that the Saudis are misunderstood good guys? And when will our "feminists" display some outrage at how women, our women even, are treated by our "ally"? Gee, if only these women were trying to get into a golf club, or the Boy Scouts, maybe they'd care.
We have met the enemy, and he is ours. Really. We bought him at a pet shop. When monkeypox, a disease usually found in rodents of the African rain forest, suddenly turns up in kids in the American Midwest via their pet prairie dogs, it's hard not to wonder if species-hopping diseases are homing in on human beings. SARS (news - web sites) is one such plague; so is HIV (news - web sites). By the end of last week, there were 54 monkeypox cases in four states. The virus is a close but less deadly and contagious relative of the smallpox virus; it generally causes a rash and fever, and so far those infected are doing well. Monkeypox is rare. But we live--and die--with hundreds of more common species-hoppers, ranging from roundworms to influenza. "Most of the infections we think of as human infections started in other animals," says Stephen Morse, director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Indeed, conditions are increasingly ripe for transmission, says Morse, as people encroach on more wild areas and animals. A paper published last week in Science suggests HIV came from two different African monkey viruses that combined when the monkeys were eaten by the same chimpanzees. Viruses evolve rapidly by exchanging genetic material in these situations. Then people were exposed to the chimps and acquired the combined virus--and the first cases of AIDS (news - web sites). Handling or slaughtering rare animals, like the civet cats implicated in SARS, can also spread germs to new hosts.
Everything I'm reading seems to indicate us coming back to a time when infectious disease running through our population is the norm, like it was in our parents and grandparents time. I wonder how this will change how we live our lives?
Anyone read Connie Willis' great book "Doomsday Book"? In her near future, pandemics were a part of everyday life. Well worth a read if you haven't had the pleasure.
Yesterday, I posted about illegals, and here's another aspect of the situation: Stealing Citizenship
At nearly every press conference, the attorney general assures us that another hole in America's immigration control has been plugged. But while the government mandates an entry/exit registration system for certain nationals, picks up and deports thousands of visa overstays (search) and bars outright an ever-growing list of individuals, we face another, largely unacknowledged problem that has been with us for some time and has been unaffected by recent anti-terrorism efforts: The INS and its successor BCIS (search) have granted U.S. citizenship to people who have applied for naturalization using stolen identities. To listen to BCIS officers, you'd think that this is not a serious problem.
What will it take to get our government to actually do something about this? At every level, every party, there seems to be no real effort to close our borders to those who would come here illegally. I'm sick and tired of it! They're so worried about being labeled racist and in schmoozing for votes, they aren't interested in actually doing anything! I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it is to me. You should hear the conversations we have at work on the subject!
I'm tired of lip service -- I want action!
there's some doubt out there: I'm a girl!
I admit, Ith is kinda non-gender specific (should I go back to using the full "Ithildin" again, I wonder?), but Denise isn't. And yet, even when I sign my emails from the Gaggle account "Denise", people still think I'm a guy. It happens more than you would expect.
Not a big deal, just some good natured whining on my part :)
(A little lunch break post)
The line starts here :)
More on how Arnold may be the next governor here in CA if the recall thing pans out.
I admit, I'm more than a little ambivalent about this whole recall effort. I think Davis is an awful governor, but I thought that in his first term too. It's not like the CA voters didn't know what a mess the state was in when they reelected him, so it seems a little disingenuous to me to suddenly want the guy out. And I worry about who may replace him too. The way I read it, the election process would be a free-for-all, needing only 25% of the vote to win. We could easily end up with a governor worse than Davis. Say, someone like Cruz Bustimante, our current Lt. Gov., a man who supports a radical Hispanic group that advocates the overthrow of the US government here in CA and the Southwest.
I wouldn't shed a tear if Davis recalled, but I do worry about the results. Sometimes, the devil you know, is better than the one you don't!
So, my 'trip report' is here...
Pictures are here...
I have lots of admin type stuff to do with the blogroll. I'll get to it as soon as I can, and hope I remember all the blogs that have changed addresses!
If you're on our blogroll, and you've moved, (and you read this) could you email me your new URL? That would be kewl! edithna AT yahoo DOT com
......The measure, SB 60, would allow an estimated 2 million immigrants, most of whom are currently driving illegally, to apply for licenses, according to the bill's author, Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Cedillo said untrained and uninsured motorists pose a threat to public safety.
Damn it!! This just fries me! So we should reward these people TWICE for breaking the law? Not only are the here illegally, but they're driving illegally, so the obvious conclusion to these morons is to let them get freaking drivers licenses?? And of course all these unsafe drivers, if turned down for a license, will not continue to drive, right?? Give me a break!
And if this wasn't enough to start my blood pressure on an upward spiral, there's this thing about giving permanent residency to illegals who have held down a job here for a certain amount of time. (I can't the link for the article, but I'm looking) Bloody Freaking HELL! How do these people manage to twist their minds into a place where they think this sort of thing is acceptable? ILLEGAL, here ILLEGALLY, as in BREAKING THE LAW. Would you tell someone who shoplifts that if they can go a year without doing it again, we'll just let bygones be bygones, and heck, we'll give you a job in store security? Or give any criminal a treat for breaking the law?? So yes, lets give them all Green Cards as a reward for breaking the law, and then watch an even bigger tidal wave of illegals coming here so they can get the SAME DEAL!
I swear, this sort of stuff makes me want to smash my head against my desk! It took more than three years for my parents to be allowed into this country from Canada, but they jumped through every hoop there was to do so legally. And thousands of others do the same thing every day. What a slap in the face to all those new residents of our country to just hand to illegals what they worked so hard to achieve following the laws of the country they wanted to call home.
When I took a vacation in the Netherlands, about 1990, when we first got out of the train from Schiphol to the center of Amsterdam I wanted to ask a railway guard there for help. But I didn't want to make the traditional ugly-American assumption that "everyone speaks English", so I walked up to the railway guard and said, "Pardon me, do you speak English"? His answer: "Yes. Do you?"
After that, we stopped asking while we were in any of the major cities. (I was told later that this was pretty typical Dutch humor.) The simple fact is that everyone, everyone we ran into in Amsterdam and The Hague were fluent in English. It wasn't until we were out in the sticks, such as the Frisian countryside, or Waddeneilanden, that it was actually something we needed to worry about, and even there the young people all spoke English. But even there, no one ever seemed to resent us as English-only speakers. I don't recall any negative vibes from anyone anywhere.
I had a similar experience there. We were in Harlem, and I needed to get my glasses fixed, so I walked into an eyeglass shop on the main street, hoping to get them repaired. The very nice lady in the store explained to me that Dutch is a language no one in Holland expected anyone to learn!
At the opposite end of the spectrum, I had several unpleasant experiences in Heidelberg, even though I'd learned the basics (please, thank you, hello, goodbye and such) so as not to be rude. We walked into one shop so I could look at some earrings that were in the window, and when I asked about them, was informed this wasn't a "tourist store". Then, at the winery at the castle, I asked for a glass of wine, using what German I knew, and the guy at the counter literally slammed the glass down in front of me like he'd really have rather thrown it at me.
Holland, I'd love to visit again, Germany isn't on my revisit list!
Frank makes me laugh out loud. It's a rare gift to be able to do that.
What's with Bill O'Reilly? Talk about whinging! So only people who are paid are allowed to opine? Where is that particular stipulation in the Constitution anyway? Get a frelling klew, Bill!
Saw the season seven opener of Stargate last night. Daniel being back didn't annoy me as much as I thought it would. Large helpings of Jack probably helped in that regard!
I like my new shoes -- they're comfy!
This article says Netscape is dead. I sure hope that isn't true! I've never liked IE, and I don't want to be forced to use it.
We stopped at the "Big Texan" in Amarillo on the way to OK and I had a blog moment. If you eat a 72 ounce steak in less than an hour, it's free. I was reading the list of those who'd done it, saw a "David DuToit" listed, and did a major double take!
NRO is having a fundraising drive this week. Cosmo needs new chew toys!
Words of wisdom from Laurence Simon:
Without the author, there are no readers.
Without the readers, there is still an author.
Don't fail to exist. Be an author.
Of course, there's more here.
John Hawkins was in a pretty bad car accident on his way home from his long weekend. He's blogging about it though!
You know, every time I make it home safe from one of our road trips, I give thanks. It can all go wrong so fast.
We got back late last night and I'm no where near caught up -- and probably will never be! -- but I wanted to check in and thank the wonderful Paul J. for subbing for me while I was on holiday. Yay, Paul!! Also thanks to our guest guy bloggers, Dave, & Bob!
Just before I left, I arranged for both Paul and Mickey to move their blogs off the hell that is Blogspot, and onto MT here at "On Dragon's Wing". I see they're all set up and running, so I'm making an official -- if belated -- announcement! Welcome to our little blog family here on "The Wing". Just remember: meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup :)
We had a good time and more details, and pics, will be forthcoming. Now, I need to get little sunburned me off to work! Later!
QUEBEC (CP) -- Parti Quebecois Leader Bernard Landry promised Saturday to lead his party toward power and an independent Quebec, just two months after saying he would quit before the next election.
So you couldn't even keep that promise, could you, you bastard? Then again, I suppose that getting voted out of office ignominously would give you just the sort of track record of excellence to qualify you to lead the PQ back to power, and the People's Republic of Quebeckistan to independence... Keep up the good work for those of us that like Canada in one piece, Bernie.
"We will start a new cycle that will drive us to a quick re-election and an independent Quebec will be the immediate consequence," Landry told PQ supporters during a provincial meeting, the first since the April 14 election.
Sure you will, right after the Tooth Fairy starts visiting you on a regular basis.
Landry had started planning his retirement and a possible return to teaching after the PQ's loss to Jean Charest's Liberals. Landry turned 66 during the campaign. He had said he would not lead the PQ through another election and hinted he would quit soon.
I, for one, can't wait to see him try, especially with the comb-over that he already has, and the lovely walker that he'll be sporting by the time he hits seventy-one, which is when the next election should be called.
Landry also said he had to explore his own heart when the PQ fell from power after nine years of forming the provincial government.
Judging by the outcome, it must have been a rather Clintonian process...
He told party activists they helped trigger his change of heart. He said he received hundreds of letters, e-mails and faxes from party members and other Quebecers who let him know they wanted him to stay.
Delusion can be a wonderful, wonderful thing in the exciting world of politics.
In his speech, Landry spoke Latin and Spanish and said the party must reach out to new Quebecers. He cited Marx and Adam Smith, an 18th century free-market economist, while complaining about cuts by the new government.
No news as to whether he made it past the "Una cerveza, por favor" stage.
It's a sad sign for this country when Canadian Press feels the need to explain who Adam Smith is, but assumes that everyone is familiar with Karl Marx...
In last week's budget, the Liberals cut several programs dear to the Parti Quebecois, including business subsidies, regional development funds and welfare. Social and labour groups have condemned the budget.
Ahhhh, everything's coming up roses...
PARIS (Reuters) - France said Sunday it would discuss with Europe the possibility of sending peacekeeping forces to the Middle East if they could help to halt Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed.
Speaking after a week of violence that threatens a U.S.-backed "road map" for peace, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said peacekeepers would only be sent with the backing of the international community.
"Let's see what such a force could contribute on the ground," Villepin told French radio station Radio J.
"If it appears that all the parties want it and that a peacekeeping force would halt movements of terrorists or act in such a way as to avoid raising the stakes, then let's do it."
Sure, Dominique, because if there's one country whose soldiers' Israel wouldn't mind having on its soil, it's France.
Why not bring Germany along for the ride as well? I'm sure that the Israelis will warm up to the Bundesheer's 52nd Totenkopf Panzer Divison in no time...
Sorry, it's been a few days since I last peeked in on the Dear Leader and his band of merry lunatics, but my prickly, arrogant self had to deal with more pressing arse-clowning closer to home.
The Supreme Commander's Magical Misery Base Tour continues...
Pyongyang, June 10 (KCNA) - General Secretary Kim Jong Il Monday inspected unit 855 of the KPA air force. He was accompanied by vice Marshal of the KPA Kim Yong Chun, Chief of the KPA General Staff, and KPA generals Ri Myong Su, Hyon Chol Hae and Pak Jae Gyong.
After receiving a salute, he looked round the monument to President Kim Il Sung's on-the-spot guidance, the room for the education in the revolutionary history and the room devoted to the history of the unit.
Is there any military base in the DPRK that doesn't have a monument to Kim Sr.'s on-the-spot guidance?
At the operation command room he acquainted himself in detail with the unit's performance of its duty.
Noting with great satisfaction that the unit has not only prepared all the pilots as human bombs in the sky through its strenuous efforts to thoroughly implement the WPK's self-defensive military line but reliably defended the territorial air of the country from the ever more undisguised moves of the imperialists for aggression, he highly praised its exploits and set forth important tasks which would serve as guidelines in further increasing the unit's combat capability.
"OK, so here's the deal, boys: when you see that F-15 flying towards you... Hmmmm, all right, let me rephrase... If you see that F-15 flying towards you and you're still alive..."
He learned in detail about the management of the unit and the political and ideological education of the servicepersons, making rounds of the compound of the barracks, the cold store and power station built by the unit and an education room, bedroom, washroom and other places of a company under the direct control of the unit.
He was relieved to find out that the washroom was under the unit's direct control, and free from Imperialist infiltration.
He had a photograph taken with servicepersons of the unit.
His next destination was a unit honored with the title of O Jung Hup's 7th Regiment under the unit. He dropped in at the hall for getting ready for flight and the indoor training room to acquaint himself with pilots' training.
"Comrade Kim, this is the bathtub in which we train our intrepid human bombs; there's the stick, and there are the pedals..."
He took warm care of the living of the pilots with paternal love, going round a mess, kitchen, daily provision store, fish breeding ground and other places of the unit.
Fish breeding ground? That's some Air Force right there...
He spared time to see an art performance given by pilots.
Probably a reenactment of Tora! Tora! Tora!...
He had a photo session with servicepersons of the unit.
No mention of whether he came bearing his traditional gifts, binoculars and a machine gun...
At any rate, if you're interested in the latest DPRK idioting, you can find it over at my place.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Iraq have taken into custody the commander of the Iraqi air force under the rule of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. military said Saturday.
Hamid Raja Shalah al-Tikriti was number 17 of the U.S. list of 55 most wanted Iraqis Washington wants detained, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement. It gave no further details.
One down, twenty-four more to go...
PARIS (Reuters) - France's defense minister took a double swipe at the United States on Saturday, accusing her counterpart Donald Rumsfeld of American supremacism and U.S. industry of waging "economic war" on Europe.
Michele Alliot-Marie's remarks, in a newspaper interview, were the bluntest criticism of Washington by a French official since presidents Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush skirted around their differences on Iraq at a summit two weeks ago.
"The American Defense Secretary (Donald Rumsfeld) believes the United States is the only military, economic and financial power in the world. We do not share this vision," Alliot-Marie told Le Monde newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.
Unfortunately, nobody cares about whatever vision France endorses.
Alliot-Marie said military and intelligence co-operation between Paris and Washington had been unaffected by the split over Iraq. The Pentagon, however, said last month France would not be invited to a major military exercise in Nevada next year.
I just don't quite understand this: why would you continue to snipe at the US, yet pretend that all is well (even though it obviously isn't) at the same time?
Some things are just beyond me.
Planning on coming back from vacation any time soon? ;-)
(Hey, someone had to ask sooner or later...)
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is to spend the weekend in custody after a judge said she would need time to consider his bail application.
How many more weeks would you like, M'Lady? Take your time, no big rush, I mean what with Morgan being such an evil man and all for being willing to stand up to that bloody-minded bastard Mugabe...
I wonder if one could file a writ of Habeas Corpus because the court is unwilling to decide on bail one way or the other for such a length of time?
Then again, I'd need to see whether the Zimbabwean constitution recognises such a principle as Habeas Corpus.
He has been charged with two counts of treason and the state opposes bail, saying he might commit a "similar offence" if freed.
Never forget just how easy our lives are, and never cease cherishing the freedoms that we have, because you can be damned sure that no civilised government would lock you up on a treason charge for organising a proper opposition movement.
BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) - The French commander of a European Union peacekeeping force in Congo conceded Friday that it would not be able to stop ethnic bloodshed outside its limited area of operation.
Asked if the force could intervene and stop massacres outside Bunia, French General Bruno Neveux, operation commander of the force, said: "At this point in time, that is not within our mandate, the mission which has been set for us."
He told reporters in Brussels that the mission "is clearly confined to Bunia city and airport and the two refugee camps near the airport,"
So as long as you do your killing outside of Bunia cit, Bunia International Airport, and the two refugee camps, you're all set.
Thank you, UN, for providing the peacekeepers with such a ridiculously limited mandate.
Go read if you have enough energy for it, it's even longer than the first post.
OTTAWA, June 10 (AFP) - 22:25 GMT - Canada's military, often derided by Canadians and its allies for being under-staffed and under-equipped, is close to eliminating its "sustainability gap," the country's top soldier said Tuesday.
Sure it is, and have I told you that I'm running for Pope as soon as John Paul II shuffles off his mortal coil?
This was a reference to the government's decision to increase defence spending by 800 million dollars (590 million US) for fiscal 2003.
"With this increase in funding," the general said, "our sustainability gap can be nearly eliminated and we are now in a position to stabilize the Forces."
I suppose that this means that we won't have to throw the fifth guy out of the jeep then...
Of course, I'm curious why he made no mention of the fact that, according to his declarations that were aired on last night's CTV News, due to our deployment of (one thousand eight hundred) troops to Afghanistan, the CF (whose idea was it for the Armed Forces to end up with the same initials as Cystic Fibrosis?) will be unable to undertake any major missions of any kind without being severely stretched for at least a year.
If that's not a sustainability gap, what is it? A credibility gap, perhaps?
Sic transit gloria mundi...
Let's lighten the mood a tad...
Go visit Lee Ann, where you will be able to read all about a really surreal phone conversation...
By Microsoft no less! This makes one wonder what exactly MS has up it's sleeve. The Full article states that MS is venturing into the AV arena from buying "intellectual property" and all rights from a company based in Romania.
I have a massive posting over at my place about the Clubbeaux - KKK controversy, a very brief excerpt follows:
A blogger that I respect and admire a great deal (but who shall remain nameless) pointed me towards this posting by David Sims over at Clubbeaux earlier on today, and asked me what I thought about it.
Let me summarise the posting for you: a day earlier, David posted the story of how he interviewed three members of the Ku Klux Klan sixteen years ago, and, amongst other things posited that, due to the responses that he obtained during that interview, not all members of the KKK are racists, and that some have just joined up because they're disenfranchised and trying to defend their rights as economically-disadvantaged white people. This drew a response from Susanna over at Cut on the Bias, which begat this posting, which is his response to hers.
Go read the whole thing if you're interested.
Kite flyers in Pakistan's Punjab Province will face murder charges and a possible death penalty if their sharpened strings cause more deaths.
Several people have had their throats cut this year by strings that are either metallic or coated with abrasive materials.
Police throughout the province have now been instructed to treat such deaths as murder cases.
Kite flyers use metallic strings or coat them with glass shards to take part in "dog fights" where the objective is to cut their opponent's string.
Now, let's just set aside the fact that this strikes me as being a completely imbecilic hobby (not the kite-flying part, but the dogfighting bit), wouldn't you think that, after the first death or two, someone just might get the idea that it might be a good time to look for some other way of keeping oneself entertained?
Steve H. has fired up the Fict-U-Lizer again, and paid a visit to Saddam, Uday, and the remnants of Qusay Hussein in prison, where they share a cell with Martha Stewart. You shouldn't need an excerpt to whet your apetite, but here's one anyway:
Warden: [sitting] You wanted to meet with me. What seems to be the problem?
Uday: Infidel cow make us crazy. Papa demand you shoot her. Right, Papa?
Saddam: Hurry up, Uday. Mama missing "Oprah."
Uday: You not Mama. Mama in Paris with fake I.D., buying plus-size Chanel.
Now go read.
The BBC has received nearly 1,000 complaints after broadcasting an episode of a spy drama showing a Muslim leader training a young suicide bomber.
The episode of Spooks, a series about MI5 shown on BBC1 last night, featured a radical cleric in a fictional Birmingham mosque who recruited young Muslims to become terrorists.
It was aired despite appeals for it to be pulled and viewers flooded the BBC with calls, making it the most complained about programme of the year.
Inayat Bunglawala, an MCB spokesman, said: "The images the viewer was left with was of a young boy strapping himself with explosives and walking into a yard full of children; students shouting 'death to America' and 'death to infidels'; and a sinister imam.
Hmmmm, I'm beginning to think that maybe it's only the BBC's news divisions that are thoroughly infiltrated by Fifth Columnists...
"We are very worried about the consequences. We believe this is inciting religious hatred."
Yes, Heaven forefend that the BBC might portray anything resembling the reality of radical Islam, that would just be wrong.
Scott Feschuk has an excellent column in today's National Post about Barbara Walters' Larry King-style (i.e. pointless, sycophantic, and inane) interview of Hillary Clinton.
A Barbara Walters interview is usually an awful marriage of sycophantic queries and dubious spin. With Hillary Rodham Clinton as guest, there were subtle changes. The sycophantic queries and dubious spin were about an awful marriage.
The hour-long program, which aired last night on ABC, was entitled Hillary Clinton's Journey: Public. Private. Personal. Or, to put that subtitle in the context of a typical viewer's degree of interest: Couldn't Care Less, Whatever and Dish It, Baby! A more accurate title might have been Her New Book's Coming Out Monday So, You Know, Somebody's Got to Interview Her.
Go read the whole thing, but this is definitely the money paragraph, in my opinion:
Hillary Clinton splits public opinion like a Dairy Queen staffer on a banana. There are those who see her as the devil and there are those who see her more favourably: as the devil's efficient she-bride, for instance.
The circus freaks over at KCNA seem to be in fine form today...
A Romanian-Korean Solidarity Moment
Pyongyang, June 9 (KCNA) -- Daniel Dediu, Chairman of the Romanian Workers' Association, in a statement on June 2 said that the U.S. is arrogantly behaving as if it were the "master of the world" as evidenced by its armed invasion of Iraq despite the opposition of the international community but this "only superpower" can never destroy socialist Korea, according to the 89th issue of the newspaper Romania Muncitoare.
Well, I suppose that, if we were aiming for accuracy, we could say that it would take very few nukes to destroy socialist Korea; however, who am I to argue with the Chairman of the Romanian Workers' Association?
The DPRK is quite different from Iraq, he said, adding: the Korean people have the Songun policy pursued by Kim Jong Il, the might of single-hearted unity and powerful military capability.
Songun: the ultimate fig leaf...
The U.S. can never overpower this might. The U.S. forces will be driven out of South Korea sooner or later.
I'm assuming that this will be around the same time as the Great Pumpkin rises up from the fields...
The U.S. is well advised to mind its own business in its land.
The world is opposed to U.S. fascism.
Damn, and I forgot to say three "Heil Bushes!" this morning before getting out of bed...
Anyway, you can find the rest of today's North Korean news that's fit to reprint over at my place, if you're into that sort of thing.
GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Israeli helicopter gunships launched missiles Tuesday at a vehicle in Gaza City, apparently targeting a Hamas official who this past weekend had declared that the militant group would continue attacks against Israel.
Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi was injured in the strike, Palestinian sources said. Two people were reported killed when the missiles blasted at least one vehicle, leaving it a mangled, blazing hulk. More than 20 people were injured.
Al-Rantissi had said Sunday that Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups would continue to strike Israelis, despite last week's summit in Aqaba, Jordan, at which Israeli and Palestinian officials had pledged to follow the so-called "road map" to Middle East peace.
Here's to hoping that the Israelis blow him up properly next time around.
According to the news: U.S. Report to UN: 'High Probability' al-Qaida Will Attempt WMD Attack.
Apparently the war on terrorism is now affecting the enemy. We would seem to be anticipating an attack from al-Quaida. This is probably to 'punish' us for the U.S. led attack on Iraq. Most of the Iraqis don't seem to mind that Maddas ( pronounced 'Mad-Ass") is gone/dead/out of commission, but of course they don't count, at least to the fanatics of this so-called jihad.
I wonder if it has occured to any one of these extremists that by killing innocent people, that you have the tendency to PISS OFF the country as a whole? Americans have a distinct behaviour when threatened, they come together. We are not the kind of nation to have as an enemy, only a fool would want that, or perhaps someone who has a death wish.
But terrorists are not afraid to die, you say? I submit to you that they are afraid to live and face the consequences of their actions. Murder is wrong, no matter what your beliefs are. I submit to you that it does NOT MATTER,what nationality you are, what race you are, or where you come from. Innocent is innocent, and the mass killing of innocent people is a cowardly act committed by a bunch of cowards!
Not only are they cowards, but they are non-thinking cowards. Just because some cleric says "do this to the infidel americans", they go off and do it!
Does the term shmuck ring a bell? Meanwhile, said cleric is off enjoying himself probably doing things that the 'infidels' are accused of doing! This has the archdiocese scandal beat on several orders of magnitude!
So much for the shmucks, what is of concern is our response to said schmucks. Should a WMD be used against us, on our soil, the response of this country would be....overwhelming. Our response would also be swift, very swift indeed, not to mention justified. It seems to me that these "terrorists" are putting a country (their own country, or the one that harbors them) on the line without realizing it.
To sum up: We may be attacked, or we may not be. Rest assured that whatever they throw at us will be returned a thousand fold! To be afraid of these cowards is what they want, which I ( and I hope the reader ) will not give them.
Not exactly the kind of post I had in mind tonight, but it will serve....
More than 13,000 Arab and Muslim men in the US are facing deportation after co-operating with post-11 September anti-terror measures, it has been revealed.
They are among 82,000 adult males who obeyed a government demand to register with the immigration service earlier this year, on the grounds they come from 25 mainly Muslim countries said to harbour terror groups.
I can only speak for myself, but, I fail to see why this would be a problem. If you're in the country illegally, you should be deported; however, I'm sure that the usual suspects will spend all sorts of time bleating about what an awful injustice enforcement of immigration laws can be...
Military helicopters have evacuated some 500 Europeans, Lebanese and United States citizens from the Liberian capital, which is surrounded by rebel forces.
Taking into account that Liberia seems to go to Hell every year or so, and the Westerners are always evacuated by helicopter, why the Hell is it that these people keep on moving back there?
Bloody bunch of adrenaline junkies...
I'll tell you where I've been all day.
I spent two hours helping my ersatz grandparents purchase an air conditioner. I then spent another two hours installing the bloody thing (where they got the idea that I knew anything about installing A/Cs, God only knows), followed by another two hours of explaining how to operate it.
Have you ever tried explaining how to operate an air conditioner's remote control to an eighty year old? I think I went through half a dozen cigarettes during that portion of the evening...
Between this, and getting that Newfoundland adopted out of the SPCA, all that I can say is this: nominate me for sainthood.
Mind you, I could also say that I've exhausted my quota of good deeds for the year, so I can go back to being a total bastard...
Anyway, relatively normal blogging will resume shortly.
That is all,
BUT, yes there is always a but isn't there? However, getting past the sentence and grammatical felgecarb, I can proceed. I had gone down to my uncle's store just to say hello and buy a soda. As usual, I got sidetracked and was talking to a few people there and stayed a bit longer than anticipated. As I was about to leave I heard a voice say the following " hey, handsome " followed by "hey, good looking ". My uncle, seeing that I was not responding decided to step in and say to me " He is talking to you". As I don't swing that way, I wondered exactly what was going on. The individual who was speaking to me, was about in his late 50's or early 60's, with an attitude to match. The next phrase out of his mouth was " Get me those bananas over there". Well, I thought to myself, this is interesting. Someone I don't know is TELLING me, not asking politely, but TELLING me to do something for them. Not to mention the bananas are closer to them than to me! As the person is an older sort, I decided to simply raise my eyebrows up and give the individual a chance to be polite, or to rephrase the question, or at least say "please".
As anticipated, they did not do ANY of the above, but simply said "Well?". Well indeed! Now was the time to have fun with the individual. I said, with a smile, " No". They turned and walked the 3 steps behind them to get the desired fruit, and walked back to the counter. He then turned to me and said "Thank you for getting the bananas for me", in a very sharp tone. This of course was some attempt to make me feel bad or guilty, I think. Naturally it did not, and the response on my part was "Your welcome", again said with a smile. The effect on the individual was most gratifying ( yes, I am not nice at all here, that is the point). He got red faced, paid for his food and walked out.
As said above, in the initial part of this blog I am usually a nice guy ( believe it or not ) and very polite. It just irks me when people think they can command someone from some imagined perogative.
I finally saw the latest Bond flick, Die Another Day, last night.
Being a Bond fan, overall, I was rather happy with the movie, even in spite of the usual inaccuracies (there's no such thing as an Antonov 124 with a windowed area on the lower deck, not to mention that you'd generally find quite a few more people than two on the flight deck, but anyway), two things, though:
- The Madonna theme song sucked. It was a massive step down from "The World is not Enough" by Garbage. To say that it was bloody awful does not even begin to do it justice.
- Madonna appearing as a fencing instructor?! That's way beyond laughable. Granted, credibility is not generally something present in spades in Bond movies, but come on.
At any rate, I just think it would be nice if Madonna just ceased annoying people on screen, and confined herself to doing what she's good at, whatever the Hell that is.
And then... the Flea seems to be of the same mind as me on this one, and he has pictures of Halle Berry, so go read (especially if you're interested in that sort of thing... I know I am).
According to what I saw earlier on Global Sunday, the Turks & Caicos Islands want to become a Canadian Protectorate. Apparently, Brian Mulroney (our former PM) refused a similar request from them over ten years ago.
It is my duty as a Canadian to support this idea, and encourage our government to go ahead with it. That way, the Ts & Cs get territory status, and we all get another place to warm up during the winter.
Let the age of Canadian Empire begin!
Don't mind me, I just like to keep tabs on that moron...
Lord knows how they concluded that people wouldn't find that funny... It goes without saying that the KPA's military might when it comes to the field of strategic goat breeding is unmatched.
Pyongyang, June 4 (KCNA) -- Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il gave field guidance to a farm and goat breeding station under KPA unit 534 on June 4.
Nobody knows more about goat breeding than the Supreme Commander.
The first leg of his inspection was the farm run by the unit.
Seeing fields under wheat, barley and potato, irrigation set-ups and various types of modern farm machines at work, he expressed great satisfaction with the first crops doing very well thanks to the tenacious efforts made by the farmers to implement the policy of the Workers' Party of Korea on double cropping and highly estimated their achievements.
Join the Korean People's Army! Come for the Songun, stay for the farming!
Looking round the tidy and clean thrashing ground, the house for the dissemination of agricultural science and technology, the youth school and other places, he again praised them for having built everything in a unique manner the way the army does.
After touring the farm, he set forth important tasks to be carried out to do two-crops-a year farming on a large-scale. The experience gained by farms in recent years convinces us that a successful solution of the problem of seeds would make it quiet possible to do two-crops-a year farming focussed on the cultivation of grain even under the climatic conditions of our country, he said, adding that what is most important is to research, develop and plant more high-yielding seeds that require a short period of cultivation.
He underscored the need to apply greater quantities of quality organic fertilizers with a view to steadily increasing the fertility of soil, thoroughly establish an irrigation system and take in advance measures to dry and store wheat, barley and potato sown as first crops.
He did not mention where the "organic fertiliser" would come from, but the look of discomfort on the soldiers' faces said it all...
His next destination was the new goat breeding station built by servicemen of the unit.
He acquainted himself in detail with the construction of the breeding farm and goat raising, looking round breeding goat and baby goat pens, milk processing room, laboratory and other places.
He extended appreciation to the builders of the breeding station for having designed it in a big way and built it so qualitatively that it might win the admiration of posterity.
Oh, I'm sure it's right up there with the Great Pyramid and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
At the goat houses and milk processing room, he learned in detail about the characteristic feature of breeding goats and milk processing and expressed satisfaction with employees' mass production of good quality milk products including cheese, butter and yogurt.
Cows weren't available, or they're just too expensive?
He specified tasks for managing and operating the breeding station, calling on it to raise a larger number of goats of good species suited to the climatic conditions of the country and positively contribute to the development of its stockbreeding.
Anyway, if you're interested in reading all about the latest batch of lunacy and idiocy in the DPRK, you're welcome to do so over at my place.
The same day a May 27, 2003 op-ed piece ran in the New York Times exposing a secret attempt to mothball one of the U.S. Air Force's most successful workhorse aircraft, the A-10 Warthog, an Air Force general began a search for whistleblowers who assisted the article's author.
Lt. General Bruce L. Wright, Vice Commander, Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, sent out what has now become known as the "witch hunt" memo telling his fellow Air Force officers to "look your staffs in the eyes" and instruct them to "look hard at themselves, their individual professionalism, and their personal commitment to telling the complete story."
"For more than 20 years, the Warthog has been a hero to the soldiers whose lives depend on effective air support," said POGO Senior Defense Investigator Eric Miller. "The A-10 works, and it's cheap. But for some reason, that's not good enough for the Air Force."
Thankfully, some decent news seems to have come out of all this for those of us that think that the A-10 is one of the best things since sliced bread:
Apparently Coram's op-ed has at least temporarily halted the effort to eliminate the A-10 from the Air Force inventory. A June 3, 2003 letter to the editor of the New York Times written by General Hal M. Hornburg noted that the A-10 did a "superb job in Iraq" and that the Air Force "intends to keep the A-10 in its inventory for many years to come."
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (Reuters) - Street battles raged through Mauritania's capital Sunday and residents said rebel troops stormed the presidential palace in an apparent coup against a pro-Israel leader who has cracked down on Islamists.
Mutineers roamed Nouakchott's center, but gunfire continued and it was far from clear they had overall control in the northwest African country's worst crisis since President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya took power in a bloodless 1984 coup.
Residents said they believed the uprising had been staged by officers from an armored unit and the air force.
One should never underestimate the power of a few armoured Jeeps and a couple of Cessnas in this sort of situation, I suppose...
Tensions have been bubbling in the almost exclusively Muslim country since the U.S.-led war on Iraq. The government has cracked down on suspected Islamists and politicians close to ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Hmmmm, maybe lending the government a hand might be an idea... Anyway, go read.
And then... Oh, good, apparently this mess has been sorted out.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Baghdad's famed antiquities museum, ransacked by looters as Saddam Hussein's rule crumbled, will reopen next month after many of the treasures feared lost forever were found stashed in secret vaults around the city.
Museum research director Donny George said Sunday that among the items on show would be the Treasure of Nimrud, a priceless set of gem-studded gold Assyrian jewelry that has been displayed only once, briefly, in the last 3,000 years.
The treasure was recovered Thursday from flooded vaults below the gutted shell of the looted central bank.
Besides the Nimrud artifacts, U.S. investigators also recovered thousands of items from the museum's main exhibition collection last week when employees led them to a secret vault somewhere in Baghdad. The items had been taken there for safekeeping ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
"It's a secret place where we still have the whole collection of the museum that was displayed and it's safe," said George, standing among debris in the wrecked museum.
Asked by Reuters where the secret vault was, he said: "If I tell you, it will not be a secret."
Heh, go read.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A spokesman for a former Iraqi opposition group said Friday that he would not accept any interim government appointed by the U.S.-led coalition.
"We think an appointment of any administration would be against U.N. resolutions," Hamed Bayati, spokesman for the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), told CNN.
Hmmmm, you wouldn't happen to be related to the Ayatollocracy next door by any chance, would you? If so, I choose to think that you're probably representing the interests of the turban-wearers in Tehran, rather than the broader interests of your people.
"It won't be accepted by the Iraqi people, and the whole region will say, 'This is a puppet government or a puppet administration appointed by the Americans to achieve their interests.' "
They'll get used to it, and so will you. Here's a tip for you: when you liberate your country yourself, you get to have some control over the way things are managed afterwards. When other people sacrifice their blood and treasure for your sake, you get to sit down, shut up, and wait for things to improve.
Who the Hell do you people think you are? France?
How are those truce negotiations coming along, you bastard?
(CNN) -- Three Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for an attack on an Israeli military checkpoint Sunday in Gaza that killed four Israeli soldiers and injured four others, Israel Defense Forces said.
Palestinian gunmen disguised as Israeli soldiers opened fire on the soldiers, who were patrolling the Erez border crossing in Gaza. The Israeli soldiers returned fire, killing three Palestinian gunmen, the IDF said.
Not that it's particularly relevant to these people, but disguising yourself as your enemy to carry out an attack is a definite no-no according to the Geneva Conventions.
The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz identified one of the victims as Sgt. Maj. Boaz Emet, 23, of Beit Sha'an. Also identified in the paper as killed in the attack were Sgt. Maj. Udi Ayelet, 38, and Sgt. Maj. Assaf Aberjel, 23, both of Eilat.
They were doing their duty, may they all rest in peace.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades together claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to journalists and in a leaflet distributed in Gaza.
So it was some sort of combo deal, then?
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the militant wing of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. It also is labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
Still not having much luck keeping Yasshole's little minions in line, Abu Mazen?
Cannibalism is increasing in North Korea following another poor harvest and a big cut in international food aid, according to refugees who have fled the stricken country.
The claim going around that 'Bush Lied About WMDs!' is baseless on the face of it, illogical with any attempt at honest analysis.
Please go there, read, comment. No trolls allowed; they will get banned. Vulgarity is fine, as long as it's backed up with rational debate.
In some corners of the black market, pieces of special meat are displayed on straw mats for sale. People know where they came from, however, they do not speak about it. One refugee said, "Oil from animal meat coagulates and becomes round in shape, however, that of human flesh coagulates and takes the shape of a diamond."
The sale of human flesh is expanding beyond the granary regions.
The same witness said, "If a funeral takes place during the day and the burial is performed that evening, the grave may be dug open and the body stolen before morning. Such incidents happen often. The stolen body is cut into pieces and sold on the black market. This is why people conduct funerals in the evening and bury the dead bodies at midnight. People cannot steal them during the day because other people are watching. Also, the dead bodies lose freshness over night, which makes it difficult to market them."
The North Korean police department has issued an order banning daytime funerals and executes publicly anyone involved in the sale of human flesh.
Go read the whole thing, trust me.
HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's main opposition leader was taken to court by police in Harare Saturday on treason charges.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, wanted to demand the case be thrown out of court for lack of evidence, but the hearing was postponed until Monday.
Tsvangirai, who denies the treason charges, was to remain in police custody at least until Monday, his lawyers said.
Tsvangirai was arrested and charged with treason Friday for statements at rallies and meetings gatherings he conducted nationwide, his attorney, Innocent Chagonda, said.
Why is it that, in the civilised world, nobody seems to care about this? Why doesn't anyone speak out about this and urge the world community to actually do something about Robert Mugabe's best attempts at ruining one of the few African countries with any potential?
Go read the whole thing.
OK, that's enough of that.
As you know, Ith & Nin are enjoying another vacation (tsk, the lives that some people lead), and, during their absence, I will be your MC (yes, yes, my pretties, the time has come).
I have no idea of when I'll be able to start posting in earnest, as I seem to be having an incredibly hectic day off (the irony of having bugger all to do at work, but extremely little spare time on my hands the minute I'm out of the office is slightly disturbing).
At any rate, what's keeping me relatively quiet today is that I've had to go down to the SPCA twice in twenty-four hours, and I'm going to have to return there twice in the next six.
Why am I so Hell-bent on spending my time at the SPCA all of a sudden? (Lord knows it's not a hobby, I used to volunteer down there; then I adopted my dog, and ceased wanting to spend time there - let's face it, it depresses me to no end.)
I had to take a friend and his dog down to the vet there yesterday (the dog's being castrated). After we dropped him off, we decided to go take a look at the adoption room, just to see what's going on in there, and I found a gorgeous Newfoundland. She must be the size of a house. It goes without saying that I was immediately smitten.
I thought about the dog during the course of the evening, and mentioned her to my significant other in VT. She mentioned it to her employers, who have a huge house with plenty of acreage and ponds. They immediately concluded that they want her.
Today, I've had to go back to the SPCA to take a closer look, and take her for a walk. She walks well, she's well-behaved, she's definitely a catch; so I've made them reserve the dog for the rest of the day, until the SO shows up to pick her up.
Of course, I have to go back to the SPCA to pick up my friend's dog, and then I have to return again to pick up Cleo (the Newfoundland); so I'm essentially going to be running around like a headless chicken for the rest of the day.
Tonight should be quite interesting. Cleo won't be able to go down to VT until she gets her rabies shot, so I'll be stuck with my Alsatian and her in my tiny apartment for a couple of days; I just hope to Hell that they'll all get along.
Anyway, I'll try to spend some time over here in between drives to the SPCA, and moving my old blog to my new blog, so bear with me (and here's to hoping that Ith doesn't kill me when she gets back from holiday).
Here's to hoping that you'll continue to visit the Gaggle during Ith's absence. I'll try my damnedest to make it worth your while.
for the boys to take over! Think you're ready?
I'll miss blogging while I'm away, I'm sure. But I'll probably miss reading blogs more!
Everyone have fun while we're gone, be nice to the new guys, and we'll try to pop in to make the occasional travel report as we go.
In his Op/Ed today, Thomas Friedman makes some good points, from as far as I can tell, the 'center-left liberal hawk' perspective. Friedman, while at times (pun retroactively intended) clearly influenced by his environment, has heavy doses of classic liberalism. In today's article, he points out that while WMDs may be required for Bush credibility, it doesn't matter if we find them or not if Iraq doesn't end up a liberal, democratic state, in the finest traditions of our Founding decades.
Of course, we do need to find them - but not for Bush's credibility. No, instead, we need to find them because otherwise, Iran and/or Syria will get ahold of them.
And use them.
That, by the way, would explain the 'sudden influx of new search teams' that some lefties are trying to use to claim that WMDs are still the overriding causus belli.
Only lefties claim that rational thought is a strong suit of lefties.
To steal a train of thought from several folks in the blogosphere... the onus isn't on us to find them to prove they were there.
The onus is on us to find them so that they can't be used against us.
But you know what? Even if WMDs are used against us, unless they say 'made by Saddam Hussein Manufacturing Corp and are dated to March 24, 2003, there's no way we'd know if they came from Iraq or not.
I wouldn't put it past Iran or Syria to make WMDs and ship them INTO Iraq to be used against us... they're crazy enough not to realize that we'd use that to show that Saddam had WMDs.
Honestly, even if tomorrow we stumble over everything on our lists of what he had...
There's no guarantee we got everything.
Which is why we're trying so hard to find what we can - cut down on what's available to the terrorists.
Interesting article that historically compares our Presidents and their combat experience (or lack of).
....Indeed, even the achievement of high military rank does not ensure success as president. Only George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower can be said to have been successful as both generals and presidents. Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor were successful generals, but their presidencies were hardly unalloyed triumphs. And of course, what can be said about the presidency of the unfortunate Ulysses S. Grant, the most successful general of the Civil War?
Third, the most-successful wartime presidents in American history had little or no military experience: James Polk (Mexican War), Abraham Lincoln (Civil War), Woodrow Wilson (World War I), and Franklin Roosevelt (World War II). In contrast, all of the presidents who presided over Vietnam — Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon — saw active service during World War II.
If military experience were a prerequisite for success as a wartime president, then Confederate president Jefferson Davis should have easily outshone Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He was a West Point graduate, a hero of the Mexican War, secretary of war during the administration of Franklin Pierce, and a U.S. senator who served with distinction on the Senate Military Affairs Committee.
Lincoln's only military experience was as a militia officer during the Black Hawk War. It was not particularly distinguished. As a congressman, he poked fun of his own military experience to mock the attempt by the Democrats during the presidential race of 1848 to turn Lewis Cass into a war hero comparable to the Whig candidate, Zachary Taylor. "By the way, Mr. Speaker, did you know I am a military hero? Yes sir; in the days of the Black Hawk war, I fought, bled, and came away. Speaking of General Cass' career reminds me of my own. I was not at Stillman's defeat, but I was about as near it, as Cass was to Hull's surrender; and like him, I saw the place very soon afterwards….If Gen. Cass went in advance of me in picking huckleberries, I guess I surpassed him in charges upon the wild onions. If he saw any live fighting Indians, it was more than I did; but I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes; and although I never fainted from loss of blood, I can truly say I was often very hungry."
We're nearing the 20,000 mark! Well, we probably already technically passed it since I only started using SiteMeter in Oct of 2002, and started the blog in Jan. of 2002, but who cares, right? Any excuse for a party!
David Frum : Beyond Liberal Self-Parody
Hussain Hindawi & John R. Thomson : The U.S. Oil-Control Myth
Another good read from Victor Davis Hanson: Lessons of the War
The whole thing is well worth your time, but I've included a small excerpt below.
Until recently, it seems to have been widely believed in the Arab world that the superior technology of the West could, in fact, be nullified by just such threats of random and horrific violence, perpetrated by goose-stepping death squads or masked, pajama-clad bombers. And the breakneck effort to craft weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, and nuclear, must also be seen largely in this context—i.e., the desire to find a surrogate capability, particularly after the loss of the Soviet Union’s nuclear deterrent, that might restore to Arab regimes the perceived power to stave off utter defeat in a conventional war against Israel or the West.
In their choice of military tactics, Arab dictators and Arab terrorists are, indeed, birds of a feather. Baathists who in the recent conflict ran from the 3rd Mechanized Division and suddenly reconstituted themselves as gun-toting civilians in the streets of Mosul and Tikrit resemble the West Bank Palestinian martyrs’ brigades who in daytime pose as nationalist protestors and at night become masked assassins. The Saddam fedayeen who bushwhacked American columns were pale imitations of Hamas and Hizbullah. It was no accident that suicide bombers and Arab “martyrs” showed up in the penultimate stages of the war in hopes of murdering Americans at check points and on patrols. Nor is it a surprise that Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas, the Palestinian murderer-terrorists, should have felt so at home for so long in Baghdad.
WHAT IS it that permits this radically dysfunctional system to perpetuate itself? The question is really political rather than military, and ultimately the answer is a state-induced terror that has its roots in the absence of consensual government and of notions of personal freedom, thus ensuring little self-criticism or accountability in matters of war-making or anything else. Helping to keep this entire edifice afloat is an ingrained (but also state-supported) habit of denial: a disavowal of just how deep, and how self-inflicted, are the deficiencies of one’s own society; a rejection of every alternative view of reality that would expose these inadequacies for what they are; an unwillingness to assume any responsibility for repairing them.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, American viewers were exasperated or convulsed at the circus-like spectacle provided by Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the so-called Baathist information minister—a/k/a “Baghdad Bob”—whose daily communiqués detailed an endless string of catastrophes for coalition forces. Seeming at first odious, then deranged, at last almost entertaining, al-Sahaf confidently declaimed lines like “We have killed most of the infidels, and I think we will finish the rest soon” even as split-screen television images revealed Abrams tanks looming a few miles away, or Marines resting in Saddam’s Baghdad palaces.
A joke, but too bitter to be mere jest. Such state-sponsored whoppers, spread from Ramallah to Cairo and beyond, are hardly a new phenomenon. In June 1967, as Michael Oren reminds us in Six Days of War, there were triumphant broadcasts about heroic Arab armies approaching the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Egyptian jets pounding Israel even as Israeli soldiers were sweeping to victory on three fronts and Egyptian air fields were littered with the remains of that country’s air force, destroyed in the first minutes of war. Such fabrications are among the intellectual legacies of the Arab regimes of the Middle East, whose homegrown proclivities toward mythmaking and braggadocio were only enhanced by decades of immersion in a Soviet-style disinformation apparatus.
Daniel Pipes offers a little refresher course on the history of Saddam and WMD.
Let's replay this video:
Iraqi and coalition military leaders met in southern Iraq on March 3, 1991, to sign a cease-fire agreement. This was right after the U.S.-led coalition forces ejected Iraqi troops from Kuwait.
The agreement they drew up had many provisions - specifying the cease-fire line, prohibiting certain activities by Iraqi troops, ending support for terrorism. Foremost among them was the demand that Baghdad dismantle all its WMD. To give this teeth, Baghdad had to accept outside inspectors who would locate and destroy the offending weapons.
Saddam Hussein's regime had been routed. So his generals accepted these terms, immediately and without argument. They had no choice.
Exactly a month later, on April 3, the United Nations Security Council endorsed these terms in Resolution 687. The resolution required that Iraq "unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:
"(a) All chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities;
"(b) All ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers and related major parts, and repair and production facilities."
The U.N. resolution also included provisions for a "Special Commission, which shall carry out immediate on-site inspection of Iraq's biological, chemical and missile capabilities." This work of locating and destroying was supposed to be completed in 120 days.
No way. Instead, for 71/2 years Saddam Hussein and his minions played a cat-and-mouse game. They hid weapons and documents, threatened the Special Commission personnel - and on the sly developed new WMD. Overall, were more WMD destroyed or built in that period? It's hard to say.
Feeling ever more confident with what he could get away with, Saddam finally closed down the inspections in August 1998. His government blithely announced it had completely fulfilled the terms of Resolution 687 and ejected the Special Commission from Iraq. Saddam Hussein now had a free hand to build WMD without those bothersome inspectors.
With this step, however, he broke the Safwan contract.
The correct U.S. response to this outrage should have been: "Let the inspectors back in and cough up your WMD-related activities . . . or else."
But 1998 was the era of "end of history" dot-com fog, and President Bill Clinton was diverted by the Lewinsky scandal. As a result, Saddam got away with his defiance. Four long years followed, without anyone keeping tabs on what WMD he might be developing.
Then came 9/11, and a new American sense that the world is a dangerous place. The old casualness toward broken promises was no longer acceptable. Beginning in early 2002, President Bush began exerting pressure on Iraq to fulfill its agreement, or pay the consequences.
The result? The same old cat-and-mouse game, with Baghdad and the United Nations both hoping this would satisfy the U.S. government.
It did not.
I'm the Medicare biller at the pharmacy I work at. We have two patients (I've changed the names), one is named Joe L Smith, the other Joe P Smith.
I billed diabetic test strips for Joe L Smith, using the proper ID number and everything.
Medicare sent the payment to Joe P Smith. They even changed the ID number to his ID number.
So, I called about it. According to Medicare, since I had put Joe L Smith, they decided that it was supposed to be Joe P Smith, even though the ID number was for Joe L Smith.
In order for the money to get to the proper beneficiary, I have to put Joseph P Smith.
So, it doesn't matter to Medicare what your social security number is. It matters on how your name is written.
A coworker had to stop me from banging my head against the counter.
Nice article on the FOX News site about single-race school events. Glad to see a media outlet dealing with the utter hypocrisy from the Left on the subject.
From white-only high school proms to black and Hispanic college graduation ceremonies, more student events have become self-segregated.
That has some wondering what happened to the concept of integration in the nation's schools and universities, and questioning if there is hypocrisy involved in accepting some of these activities while condemning others.
High-school students in Taylor, Ga., were criticized by many in May when they decided to hold a private whites-only prom.
Yet many colleges and universities hold separate graduations and "celebratory events" for students of some ethnic and racial groups — in addition to those schools having race-based living quarters — with hardly anyone batting an eye.
Ahhh... but that's different! Or so the the Left would like to tell us:
....Those events are "good sometimes, it depends on whether it's done in an exclusionary way or an enriching way," said Gary Orfield (search), co-director of Harvard's Civil Rights Project (search) and author of Schools More Separate: Consequences of a Decade of Resegregation. "We've got to keep some kind of reasonable doubt — people are being asked to come together and share things … we have to find a way to accommodate that rather than excluding," Orfield said.
But some events do exclude people of certain color. For instance, a May workshop at the University of Colorado hosted by Stop Hate on Campus, a student-fee funded group, did not allow whites to attend.
Organizers said the event was "not designed for white people" and was intended as a "safe space" for "people of color," according to the Independence Institute's Jessica Peck, who tried to take part in the event.
"If you're excluding people from being involved in any kind of official activity at a college or university on the basis of the color of their skin, that's racial segregation," said Chavez.
Many groups argue the separate events recognize student achievement and give them a sense of community. But experts agree there's a tricky distinction to be made in the image these groups are portraying.
"A lot of people look at these events and they assume race relations don't work," Orfield said. "But until we get to be a society where race doesn't matter, these are going to be extremely complicated issues."
But what if a group of white students wanted to form their own campus group?
That's "racist," said civil rights attorney Leo James Terrell, who defended the separate groups. "If a college that has an integrated campus has an all-white college activity, that is insulting. For what? To promote what? White pride?
"Someone is trying to assume that Asians and blacks are on the same level, historically, in this country, as whites."
The Washington Post has a piece up on the White House Web chats.
Some of the more humourous questions posed:
And it cannot be disputed that the Web chats have exposed the administration to questioning that has been missing from your typical news briefing. From Terry of Huntsville to Scheib: "Baked Alaska? Who likes that? I say MORE PIE! Thoughts?" From Fred of Flint, Mich., to Scheib: "If you were having a hot dog, what would you put on it -- Ketchup? Mustard? Relish?"
From Rich, of New York City, to Gonzales: "Could you and Miguel Estrada take Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy in a tag team wrestling match? Could tag team wrestling be a compromise to the gridlock which has kept so many nominees in limbo?"
....Occasionally, the administration officials join in the fun. When Snow was asked what currency he would like his face on, he said it would be the $500 bill. "It has the least circulation. That way I wouldn't have to see myself too often." Then, Snow typed in "lol" -- the e-mail abbreviation for "laughing out loud" used routinely by the young and hip. For the sixtyish former corporate titan, it must have been as natural as talking to King Bloop Zod.
A fisking of the NYT's Paul Krugman
Let's get started, shall we?
The mystery of Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction has become a lot less mysterious. Recent reports in major British newspapers and three major American news magazines, based on leaks from angry intelligence officials, back up the sources who told my colleague Nicholas Kristof that the Bush administration "grossly manipulated intelligence" about W.M.D.'s.
Missing? You mean there's, oh, say, empty racks in buildings that are labelled, "Anthrax rocket", with nothing in it? Or do you mean, 'not found yet'? And why do I have a sneaking suspicion that said British Newspapers and American news magazines are lefty and/or trust BBC news completely, for some strange reason? 'angry intelligence oficials'... we've seen this one before. Remember the 'angry Pentagon officials' who claimed the war plan was a disaster? As for "manipulating intelligence"... bullshit. If the Bush Administration were willing to manipulate intelligence reports to say what they wanted, we'd be seeing WMDs flaunted by the billions as we 'discovered' them in Iraq, and they wouldn't just drop off radar a few days later.
And anyone who talks about an "intelligence failure" is missing the point. The problem lay not with intelligence professionals, but with the Bush and Blair administrations. They wanted a war, so they demanded reports supporting their case, while dismissing contrary evidence.
Again, this is supposed to pass the logic test? We wouldn't have spent so much time at the UN only to defy them if we just wanted a war for war's sake, as Krugman is implying here.
In Britain, the news media have not been shy about drawing the obvious implications, and the outrage has not been limited to war opponents. The Times of London was ardently pro-war; nonetheless, it ran an analysis under the headline "Lie Another Day." The paper drew parallels between the selling of the war and other misleading claims: "The government is seen as having `spun' the threat from Saddam's weapons just as it spins everything else."
Yet few have made the same argument in this country, even though "spin" is far too mild a word for what the Bush administration does, all the time. Suggestions that the public was manipulated into supporting an Iraq war gain credibility from the fact that misrepresentation and deception are standard operating procedure for this administration, which — to an extent never before seen in U.S. history — systematically and brazenly distorts the facts.
Really, I'm surprised. I expected at least one slam at Regean for distorting the facts, or something. Too much to hope for an admission about Clinton. This seems to be the old lie of "a massive conservative media marching in lockstep with the Administration in a vast neocon conspiracy to make us wage war!"
Am I exaggerating? Even as George Bush stunned reporters by declaring that we have "found the weapons of mass destruction," the Republican National Committee declared that the latest tax cut benefits "everyone who pays taxes." That is simply a lie. You've heard about those eight million children denied any tax break by a last-minute switcheroo. In total, 50 million American households — including a majority of those with members over 65 — get nothing; another 20 million receive less than $100 each. And a great majority of those left behind do pay taxes.
I guess Krugman didn't see the reports of those WMD labs. Or if he's talking about something else... sheesh, you'd think he'd provide enough context that the public could pull the quote for themselves. If anyone knows where he's pulling this Bush quote from, lemme know, please?
Oh, and guess what? Your claim of a lie, Krugman, is itself a lie. IF SOMEONE DOESN'T HAVE TO PAY TAXES, THEY CAN'T GET A REFUND ON TAXES THEY DIDN'T PAY
(Note: Real Clear Politics makes the point that 'tax' can just as well mean payroll tax... when this is targeted at us folks who pay -income- tax)
And the bald-faced misrepresentation of an elitist tax cut offering little or nothing to most Americans is only the latest in a long string of blatant misstatements. Misleading the public has been a consistent strategy for the Bush team on issues ranging from tax policy and Social Security reform to energy and the environment. So why should we give the administration the benefit of the doubt on foreign policy?
Blatant misstatements... by Paul Krugman. Lies that the tax cut only benefits the rich, for example. Guess what, Krugman? If all you have is scaremongering 'what if's, why should we give YOU the benefit of the doubt?
It's long past time for this administration to be held accountable. Over the last two years we've become accustomed to the pattern. Each time the administration comes up with another whopper, partisan supporters — a group that includes a large segment of the news media — obediently insist that black is white and up is down. Meanwhile the "liberal" media report only that some people say that black is black and up is up. And some Democratic politicians offer the administration invaluable cover by making excuses and playing down the extent of the lies.
Again, the old lie of "a massive conservative media marching in lockstep with the Administration in a vast neocon conspiracy to make us wage war!"
Skipping a paragraph on Brits being suspicious of their government...
It's no answer to say that Saddam was a murderous tyrant. I could point out that many of the neoconservatives who fomented this war were nonchalant, or worse, about mass murders by Central American death squads in the 1980's. But the important point is that this isn't about Saddam: it's about us. The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history — worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra. Indeed, the idea that we were deceived into war makes many commentators so uncomfortable that they refuse to admit the possibility.
Oooo... it's all the Neocons' fault! There's a vast neocon conspiracy! Bush is a puppet for the neocons! They're 'cons', just like the 'Decepticons', so they're evil! Look, all the evidence said this guy still had WMDs, that he was working on nukes, and that if he got them, he'd gladly use them on us, right after he took out Kuwait, Iran, and Saudi. Maybe commentators aren't 'admitting the possibility' because IT'S AN OBVIOUS FALLACY!
But here's the thought that should make those commentators really uncomfortable. Suppose that this administration did con us into war. And suppose that it is not held accountable for its deceptions, so Mr. Bush can fight what Mr. Hastings calls a "khaki election" next year. In that case, our political system has become utterly, and perhaps irrevocably, corrupted.
And of course, what Kruggie means is that he is just so SURE that our political system IS ALREADY corrupted. Or, rather, the Bush Administration and any Republicans who support it.
Perhaps this can be classified as a rant. Ok, it is a rant. There now, that did not take long!
PC otherwise known as Political Correctness has always struck me as being an exceedingly narrow-minded POV to live by. Yes, narrow-minded. Who wants to change their viewpoints so they synergize ( PC word ) with the party in power at the moment? More than that, why give up one's integrity or self-respect to appear to be in the "IN" crowd? Unless, of course, that is all the person/group wants.
The part that really bothers me about PC is this...it is a political left mindset, disguised as a "kinder, gentler way" of stating something. In keeping with that definition, PC also attempts to ( wrongly ) alleviate personal responsibility for certain circumstances. As an example of that I give you the newest PC phrase I have heard....Gravitically challenged. What is that you ask? That, dear reader, is the new expression for people who are obese. Apparently, the word FAT is not the "IN" word anymore...."it is not nice to say that". NEWSFLASH. No one is forcing you to eat like a steam shovel, or eat candy bars left and right.
The above was extreme to get the point across. Personal responsibility, that of being responsible for our actions is now being considered INCORRECT!
We are not responsible for our actions? Interesting, then who or what is?
And I was told today, that it was not PC to hold the door open for a woman.
So, are good manners now the next target? I suppose courtesy will follow next. After that what else will be deemed "wrong"??
There is in history an excellent example of PC. I was not going to mention it, but I have reconsidered. This government was PC to its core, you either agreed with them wholeheartedly or you were no one, and nobody. Ever hear of the Third Reich? Or its leader? Adolf Hitler?
I don't think we will repeat history....Dear God, I hope not!
We also do not need PC, what we do need is to take responsibility for our actions, practice ( and learn ) good manners, and remember to be courteous to others. Add in self respect and integrity and we have a winning unbeatable package.
Bagdhad Bob, the Iraqi Minister of Misinformation is alive!
Oh, happy day. Oh callo callai...
Just knowing that a prime source of entertainment during the war in Iraq didn't perish makes me happy...
Article via Cam Edwards.
I originally blogged this over at my place, but thought that it would be nice to share it with an audience wider than my five regulars, so here goes...
Courtesy of Jaboobie, whom you should go visit if you don't already do so regularly.
A Haiku by Jaboobie:
missed week of workouts,
lifts and squats like I missed none.
can't sit on toilet.
Look, I never claimed to have a normal sense of humour.
that since Nin and I are going to Tulsa next week, we should be able to catch Cam's show when we're in OK City!
So Maripat has a list of ten reasons why she blogs. SHEESH! I have to have a reason? And not just one, but ten? Dang woman!
Okay, so here's my list!
10) So Steven Spielberg will discover me and cast me as the female lead in the next Indiana Jones movie.
09) Because it's all about the cheese!
08) Because all the cool kids do it.
07) As a way to pick up hot chicks.
06) Because if they'd had blogs way back then, Elizabeth I would have had one.
05) Because it beats working for a living.
04) Ninja Monkeys!
03) Because I always wanted to play the violin.
02) For the free drinks
01) Because all the Elves left, and I was lonely.
Glenn Reynolds has a post on postwar Iraq, malaise, and patience.
Misha has another post on CPS and the abuse of their power. I had no idea that CPS workers got what amounts to a "bounty" for taking kids from their homes. Who on earth had a stupid idea like that? And while kids are stolen from their parents, judges give kids back to parents that have killed or tried to kill their children. What the hell is going on??
It's time to award yet another "Silver Snickerdoodle Of Excellence"! This time, the metallic cookie goes to "The Laughing Wolf"! A blogger who likes Loreena McKennitt and Garbage, wolves, Farscape, has some great dogs, and attends Highland Games, not to mention, writes some awesome posts, is a winner in my book.
I'm just trying to figure out how this MT thingy works.
I suppose that this is something of a milestone for me, as it is my first Movable Type posting ever (bloody Hell, you MT people sure do live the life of Riley compared to us silly buggers on Blogspot).
At any rate, as Ith has already told you, I, Paul Jané, will be your host starting on Friday. I am delighted (and mildly puzzled) that Ith chose me, and slightly terrorised by the daunting task of not screwing up. Fortunately, I have a few days to get over that.
In closing, I'd like to paraphrase Blackadder, by saying that, if you do right by me, you will find me to be a gracious and considerate host; however, if you cross me, you will soon find that, under this playful, boyish exterior, beats the heart of a ruthless, sadistic maniac. Mwahah!
Anyway, see you all on Friday. ;)
People in Toronto are breaking quarantine, leading the Ontario Health Minister to say, "I don't know how people will like this, but we can chain them to a bed if that's what it takes."
I ranted about this at work a few months ago -- it's one of my pet peeves -- that North Americans (I can only speak for my continent, since I've only lived in the States and Canada) have no sense when they're sick. We've totally forgotten how devastating infectious disease is. And we just don't care if we're sick and go to work or school, that we're infecting other people. Thousands of people die every year of the flu!! But does the gal in the cubicle next to you care about that while she's hacking all over the place? Or the guy in the checkout line at the grocery store while he coughs into his hand then proceeds to use that hand to infect all nearby surfaces? They chug some Nyquil and then wander around infecting one and all. Of course those quarantined due to possible SARS are breaking quarantine! It's just business as usual.
"Over the coming weeks and months we will assemble this evidence and then we will give it to people," he said. "I have no doubt whatever that the evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction will be there."
From The Corner comes this snippet from The Economist:
“Not even Cambodia’s obscure Muslim community has escaped the zealots’ attention. The Cambodian Islamic Development Council, a Muslim NGO, estimates that at least 10% of local Muslims now follow the puritanical Wahhabi sect, thanks to aggressive Saudi Arabian proselytizing. On May 28th, Cambodian authorities charged an Egyptian and two Thais with plotting terrorist attacks in Phnom Penh for Jamaah Islamiah.”
It looks to be quite a crowd of us; between the bloggers and the group of longtime email list friends of mine and Nin's. Should be a blast!
that blogging doesn't stop here at ye olde blog on the weekends! Looking for something, anything, to read? Well, look no farther!
"Gaggle, the Home of Weekend Posting!"
I discovered through sitemeter that Melissa has moved her blog to blogspot due to a problem with her ISP. So you can visit her at her new address here.
Melissa has a great little blog, and I love the way it looks too. If you have a moment, drop in and say, "Hi"!
A few things got figured out last night. Never underestimate the power of tequila! What did we figure out? Well, Jen came down from Fremont, and we all went out to dinner to a new Mexican place on the wharf. A coworker told me it was on the business wharf, so we walked all the way down to as far as where the fish packing places are -- no restaurant! So we walk all the way back, and the over to the tourist wharf, and find the place. We sat by the window, got to see the sun set, watched the harbour seals play in the water. It was nice.
We got home around 10pm to an email from Jay telling us there was a Gaggle chat happening. (Ummm, there is?) So I get on AIM, no one is around, but like magic [insert Tinkerbell sound] people start appearing! At some point we began talking about our vacation, which was off, but now is on again. (Nin and I are driving to Tulsa) This is where we get to the "figuring out" thing -- Paul, of Frozen in Montreal (a great blog, that if you haven't visited, you should), is going to fill in for me while I'm away. It'll give him a chance to turn this blog into North Korea posting all the time, and to leave many gratuitous links to his blog! I'm really grateful to him for doing this, so three cheers for Paul! So, starting on Friday, Paul, along with our wonderful "Guest Guy" bloggers, will be turning this into a "Gaggle of Guys" for a week. They've promised not to overdo the remodeling, and are going to put in a hot tub! Nin and I will make guest appearances as internet access permits with scintillating trip reports! Be ready to read posts on Nin's patented rest stop grading system, and other thrills from the road!
All this and more will be coming to you Friday, so stay tuned!!