Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Operation Plymouth Rock

Operation Plymouth Rock, comprising 5,000 total troops of the U.S. Marines along with the British Black Watch regiment and Iraqi Forces, is systematically taking control of the area south of Baghdad known as the "Triangle of Death."
Coalition raids have been characterized by collecting and processing intelligence on a specific enemy stronghold, planning a raid, then attacking that stronghold with a modicum of surprise by units trained to fight both as shock-troops and room-clearing commandos. In nearly all cases, large numbers of insurgents have been killed or captured, weapons caches seized, and new intelligence gleaned which serves planners for the next raid on the next town.

It's not an easy task. An estimated 6,000 insurgents -- former members of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard, followers of Abu Masub Al Zarqawi who slipped through the Fallujah net, as well as unemployed locals or those coerced into fighting the Americans -- are believed to be operating in the region.
Reports indicate that the operation is an overwhelming success thus far with Iraqi SWAT teams being large contributors.

Interestingly, the Triangle of Death environment is considered similar to the 19th Century American west and totally different from the urban cities of Samarra and Fallujah. This proves to be advantageous to the tactically superior Coalition Forces.

Also blogging: Backcountry Conservative, The Jawa Report
Harvard's Sad Past and Sorry Present

During the 1930s, Harvard University was politically filthy. The administration, faculty, and alumni were prominently pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish. Harvard officials rubbed elbows with Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and the murderous Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler. At the forefront in praising Hitler and his Nazis was The Crimson, Harvard's newspaper of record. The Crimson called pre-war Germany a "great and proud nation" and "lauded the Third Reich as a force for good in the world." For all practical purposes, Harvard University, in general, and The Crimson, specifically, functioned as an American branch of the Nazi Party propaganda network.

At a recent academic conference hosted by Boston University, Oklahoma University Professor of Judaic Studies, Stephen H. Norwood, presented a paper which revisited the sad and uncomfortable episode in Harvard's history. In response, The Crimson has adopted an aggressive defensive posture by obfuscating what really happened and attempting to explain it away by contending that "Everyone else did it." They have also attacked Professor Norwood personally by impugning his motives and accusing him of opportunism.

Interestingly, while Harvard University wants to sweep the 1930s under the carpet, deflecting any historical responsibility by essentially claiming, "Everyone else did it," there's been a clarion call by senior faculty members for reparations to be paid for slavery. Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. has urged UN involvement in calling for reparations for one of "history's worst injustices." The Crimson rejected a paid anti-reparations ad because it dismissed historical responsibility for centuries of slavery. Despite which side of either issue one supports, it's impossible not to see that Harvard is at the forefront of making everyone remember slavery from 150 years ago while demanding that everyone forget what happened on its campus 70 years ago.

As a world renowned nursery for the marketplace of ideas, Harvard and The Crimson haven't completed all the baby steps toward truth.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Rather Replaceable

According to this report, speculation is high that CBS Chairman Les Moonves wants to dramatically retool his news operation with two prominent names being suggested as candidates for replacing Dan Rather, Matt Lauer and Tim Russert.

I don't see it happening. Both Lauer and Russert are locked into NBC contractually and the CBS anchor position has been tarnished. It will take considerable time, plus fumigation, to rid the CBS newsroom of the lingering essence of a fiction writer's loft.

For the sake of continuity and tradition, I recommend that Moonves forget about dramatic changes and select either Al Franken or Janeane Garofalo. Both have broadcast experience with Air America and either would certainly further the CBS reputation of leftist reporting bias so carefully crafted by Dan Rather over the years.
Grandma, Aunt Shotgunned by 12-Year-Old

(Lower Salem, Ohio) In this small village just north of Marietta, 12-year-old Bryan Christopher Sturm skipped school, spent some time huffing gasoline fumes, and then killed his grandmother and aunt with shotgun blasts.

Tipped by Michael Meckler at Red-State.com who opines that violent crimes committed by children no longer seem to be on the media radar.

I agree. There's more at the link.
Review - Florida Dems Really Did Vote For Bush

In response to Internet-fed allegations that Bush won in Florida because of a conspiracy or flaw, the Miami Herald sent two reporters to review the ballots for three counties where registered Democrats significantly outnumber registered Republicans.

After recounting over 17,000 ballots over three days, the reporters concluded that there was no conspiracy. It was confirmed that registered Democrats voted for President Bush by a 2 to 1 margin over John Kerry in Suwannee, Lafayette and Union counties where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1.

Of course, this information will probably be ignored by Internet conspiracy theorists.
Nuclear Bomb Plant Earmarked For Libya Found

In October 2003, the Italian Coast Guard intercepted a cargo bound for South Africa of nuclear enrichment centrifuges from Malaysia. The ultimate destination for the shipment was an engineering and manufacturing company in Vanderbijlpark, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. This past September, a police raid of a two-story factory in Vanderbijlpark found elements of a prefabricated uranium enrichment plant and 11 packed freight containers tagged for Libya. According to this report (Free reg.):
Once assembled in Libya, the plant could have produced enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture several nuclear bombs a year. Delivery of the plant would have greatly accelerated Libya's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Interestingly, at the same time that it became apparent what Libya was doing, Muammar Gaddafi decided to renounced his country's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The South Africa-Libya connection is a previously undetected branch of the global nuclear black market developed and overseen by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan who previously used shadowy means to develop Pakistan's first nuclear bomb.

There's more at the link.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Brit Survey - Worst & Best U.S. TV Imports

Although it has been ranked as one of the world's most popular TV shows, Baywatch was voted the worst U.S. TV import by a British survey. It was followed by The Anna Nicole Show and The Dukes of Hazzard.

For the best U.S. TV imports, the Brits voted for The Simpsons, Dallas, and MASH.

Obviously, the results of the survey reflect personal taste and we all know how discriminating the British palate is.
Marxists Plotted to Kill President Bush

According to this report, leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) plotted to assassinate President Bush when he visited Cartagena, Columbia, last week. Columbian authorities stated that informants and other sources exposed the threat, however, no other details were provided. The Secret Service offered no comment.

Chad Evans at In The Bullpen is also following the story.
More Mosul Bodies

From The Australian comes a report that 17 more bodies have been found dumped on the streets of Western Mosul. The dead make a total of 57 found in the past 10 days.
Chinese Protest American Products

The municipal governments of Beijing and Tianjin recently signed multi-million dollar agreements allowing licensed use of Microsoft software products. In addition, this past week the Beijing government also contracted with Dell Computer to supply 16,000 personal computers for primary and secondary schools. These sales are good news for U.S. suppliers but they have produced a loud protest from the nascent Chinese information technology industry.

A government procurement law became effective in 2003 and it imposes general guidance for buying Chinese products when possible. Unfortunately, its provisions are considered sketchy, nonspecific, and open to interpretation. Therefore, the municipalities do not believe they are in violation of the law. Chinese software businessmen disagree.

IT industry insiders see the deals with Microsoft and Dell as undercutting growth and sustainability of Chinese software businesses which rely on government contracts. There is also considerable apprehension about the near future since no fewer than 20 other cities are expected to be making software purchases.

The central Chinese government is sure to hear more frequent and louder calls from the software industry to "Buy Chinese."
Ukraine Medical Mystery?

Would anybody like to offer a take on the Ukraine medical mystery? The appearance of pro-Western opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has dramatically changed in the recent past and no one knows why.

Viktor Yushchenko

The picture on the left was taken four months ago. The right one is his current appearance. My uneducated guess would be leprosy but I don't think that's possible in such a short time frame.

Hat tip: Wizbang.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Boy Abducts Exotic Dancer

(Virginia Beach, Virginia) A 13-year-old boy is being held in juvenile detention for abducting an exotic dancer last Tuesday. He held a shotgun on her and ordered her to dance. She ultimately was able to distract him and flee.

Something is seriously wrong with this boy's thinking and his parents have to be somewhat culpable in this incident.
Human AIDS Vaccine

(Beijing, China) The Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has given authorization to conduct testing of a new AIDS vaccine on human beings. It's already been tested on monkeys and "no abnormal reactions occurred."
Human body test, or stage I clinical test, of the compound AIDS vaccine aims to further assess the security of the vaccine, an SFDA official said.

The government will consider whether to launch stage II and stage III tests on the basis of the result of the stage I test.
Showing a bias surely based on my unfamiliarity with the subject, I'm skeptical about being optimistic. Chinese medicine always conjures up thoughts of acupuncture, rhino horn, and black bear gall bladder, not DNA-based human immunodeficiency vaccine.
Most Beautiful English Words

According to this article in The Guardian, a survey of thousands of people resulted in the determination that 'mother' is the most beautiful word in the English language. Interesingly, neither 'money' nor 'sex' are included in the top 70 words listed in the article.

Oddly, as noted in a previous post, a similar survey conducted recently found that 'Habseligkeiten' is the most beautiful word in the German language.

So this means that 'mother' will be matched up with 'Habseligkeiten' in the contest for the world's most beautiful word.

It looks like a lock to me.
No More Cardboard Burritos

(College Station, Texas) After two decades of research, Ralph Waniska, a professor in food science at Texas A&M University, has found a way to increase the shelf life of the common tortilla, taking it from an average of two weeks to four.

Modern science marches on.
Islamic Group Threatens Libel Action

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Canada has threatened to sue David Frum, of the American Enterprise Institute, and the National Post (Canada) for libel if they don't shut up. CAIR doesn't like being described as a group that is unscrupulous and sympathetic towards terrorists. Yet, any rational assessment of their history and actions would indicate that the description is accurate.

Frum provides a walkthrough of the history of CAIR, showing how they manipulate the goodwill and free societies in the U.S. and Canada to defend and support terrorists groups. Follow the link for more.
2004 Weblog Awards


Created by Kevin Aylward of Wizbang, the Weblog Awards competition returns for another year and nominations are currently being accepted in 33 categories. Any blogger may enter. Voting is scheduled to begin Dec. 1st.

From a personal perspective, Interested-Participant competed in the 2003 Weblog Awards and, although no award was received, the contest was informative and fun. I actually felt flattered and somewhat privileged that folks voted for me. And, just due to exposure to new bloggers, I ended up adding about twenty new sites to my blogroll.

So, for those bloggers wanting to enter, click on the banner above and nominate your favorite blogger or someone other than yourself.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Suicide-Homicide Dog Attack

(Sopore, Kashmir) A group of separatist Kashmiri militants tied a grenade to a dog's neck and directed it towards a paramilitary guard post outside a government hospital. The dog, however, went to a shopping area where the grenade exploded, wounding four people. The dog, of course, fragmented itself.

Officials believe this is the first time that a suicide-homicide dog has been used and they cannot explain how the militants could pull the grenade pin, direct the dog, and then safely flee.

This method is awful dicey. For example, guess what happens when the dog follows the guy who pulled the pin?
Jesse Jackson To Protest Election

(Columbus, Ohio) Hardly surprising, Jesse Jackson has called for a protest rally for this Sunday to demand an investigation into alleged voting irregularities in Ohio. The primary areas of concern at present are based on long lines at polling stations, an insufficient number of voting machines, and problems in predominantly black neighborhoods.

The location of the rally is currently unknown.
Supremes Block Certification of Ukraine Election

(Kiev) Ukraine's highest court on Thursday blocked the inauguration of the country's Moscow-backed prime minister as president, giving a fresh impetus to his liberal opponent who has led street protests to overturn his election.

The Supreme Court rejected official publication of results that showed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich had beaten Viktor Yushchenko in a run-off election on Sunday. The ruling effectively stopped Yanukovich being sworn in as head of state.

The West-leaning Yushchenko, who says he was robbed of victory by electoral fraud, hailed the ruling as a victory.
So far, reports indicate that the atmosphere is high tension but the protests have been peaceful, even friendly, in nature. It remains to be seen how long it will last since Eastern European governments don't have a history of tolerating public dissent for extended lengths of time. The Supreme Court will examine the complaints of election fraud next week. In the meantime, outgoing President Leonid Kuchma will remain in office.

(via PoliBlog)
WARNING! Gravel Closes I-70

All lanes of Interstate 70 are closed in Glenwood Canyon between mile markers 116 and 133 due to gravel on the road.

I-70 Rockslide
Gravel Closes I-70

The area of the slide is considered so rough that even Native American trails avoided it, according to historical accounts. At least two lanes are expected to be open soon, however, major construction will be required to return the highway to full serviceability. Currently, traffic is being detoured east of the slide from Wolcott north to Steamboat Springs, then west to Craig, south to Meeker, and , finally, returning I-70 west of the slide at Rifle.

Update your travel plans accordingly.
More Bodies in Mosul

The Australian:
Thirteen more bodies have been discovered in and around the northern city of Mosul the U.S. military said today, as the number of corpses found in the area in the past week reached 35.

Eleven of the 35 have been identified as members of the Iraqi security forces, who have been targeted by insurgents. The others have not been identified.

US forces patrolling Mosul and nearby Tal Afar on Thursday morning found nine bodies this morning on the western side of Mosul, said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hastings, a spokesman with Task Force Olympia. Two more bodies were found in the city later in the day.

In Tal Afar, one Iraqi National Guard soldier was found dead while a second body discovered in a different location was unidentified.
The murdering terrorists are in a frenzy. There's no plan, no goal, no strategy other than just kill and kill again.
Chinese Slasher Kills 8 Boys

(Zhengzhou) A man broke into three dormitories at a high school and "chopped eight people to death" and injured four others while they slept just before midnight Thursday. All victims were senior high school students at Second Senior High School of Ruzhou City, Henan Province, in Central China.

The man escaped and is still at large.

School stabbings have become an ugly trend in China with six attacks in the last four months. Public anger has been aroused and some schools have started employing professional guards to protect the students.
Strong Quake Shakes Indonesia

(Jakarta) Eleven people have been reported killed and 65 injured from an earthquake (0225 GMT) in Indonesia's Papua Province. Centered close to the town of Nabire, almost 2,000 miles northeast of Jakarta, the quake measured 6.4 at the National Earthquake Center in Indonesia. Geoscience Australia and the Hong Kong Observatory recorded the earthquake at 7.2 on the Richter scale.
Doctors Targeted by Three-Strikes Law

As I recall, Florida voters back in the 2000 election amended the state constitution to establish rights for pigs. Yep, pigs have rights. As such, it should come as no surprise that this year's election also amended the constitution in a novel way. Voters approved a constitutional medical malpractice three-strikes amendment where doctors' licenses would be automatically revoked at the imposition of three malpractice judgments.

Just on the surface, this seems like a bad idea for several reasons. First of all, malpractice in many cases is subjective and often presumes perfect knowledge on the part of the practitioner. Second, the trials are frequently cavalcades of teary victims pitted against wealthy uncaring doctors with the primary purpose of enriching the trial lawyers. Three, the juries use a preponderance of evidence as the basis for judgment and juries are malleable. Four, an environment has been codified to make Florida an especially unattractive place to practice medicine thereby inhibiting new doctors from locating in the state and encouraging current physicians to find friendlier turf. Seldom do communities desire fewer doctors.

Of course, I'm just an average citizen with no special knowledge who is probably looking at this all wrong. And, I'm obviously flustered from being unable to come to grips with the fact that this country can't control the borders, can't solve the epidemic of pedophiles running loose, among other problems, but we can tie the hands of medical professionals and give constitutional rights to pigs.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Declaration of Independence Banned in School

Inside Bay Area:
A Cupertino public school teacher is suing his district and his principal, who banned him from using excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents in his classroom because they contain references to god and Christianity.

Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary School in the Cupertino Union School District, filed the suit in U.S. District Court Monday, arguing a First Amendment right to teach the history of our country and its founding fathers, which includes religious, and specifically Christian, references.
The school's principal, Patricia Vidmar, while having specific problems with Christianity, the Declaration of Independence, and the writings of George Washington and John Adams, apparently has no similar concerns regarding Ramadan and Kwanzaa.

This is another example of absolutely bizarre anti-Christian leftism in California that makes me think that we would all be better off if the San Andreas Fault just opened up and allowed the coastal regions to slide into the briny darkness at the bottom of the Pacific. I know it's a black-hearted fantasy and apologize for it. However, I'm surely not the only person that thinks there's a paucity of adult supervision in the entire state . (I'd also throw in the infected coastal areas of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.) There have been reports that rational people and businesses are leaving in droves and, although the departures are primarily attributed to economic factors, it would be hard to dispute the contention that people also want to get away from the smelly political and cultural environment.

(Via Wizbang)
Lost My Daddy

The Marmot reports from Korea that a half-Korean Filipino woman named Jennifer Lee is searching for her father. To draw attention to her search, she's decided to take it all off and pose for nudie publications. She's even had a friend, model Kathy Mori, volunteer to get nude also. Here's Jennifer in a non-nude picture.

Jennifer Lee
Jennifer Lee

It needs to be mentioned that all Jennifer knows about her father is that his family name is Kim. He apparently skipped town after conception and Jennifer's mother didn't take notes.

Personally, I'm skeptical about this supposed 'search' since it has all the smell of being just a publicity stunt. But, one can never tell how something like this situation will play out. In fact, one guy I know has already said that he's her daddy. Oddly, he's not Korean nor is he named Kim.

Hat tip to the Marmot for his social conscience and keen eye.
Inside the United Nations

Written from personal experience, the Diplomad site pulls not a punch in describing the "pure bureaucracy" of the UN which supports only despotism, corruption, anti-Americanism, and anti-semitism through massive funding from taxpayers in the United States and a few other countries. Here's an excerpt:
Those who don't rely on the "elite" MSM for all their information, know about the UN's "oil-for-food" scam that is slowly being uncovered, and could prove the most massive financial scandal in human history (even bigger than Massachusetts' "Big Dig.") The "oil-for-food" scam, huge as it is, flows logically from the ruling ethos at the UN. The UN system is built on corruption, on the principle of the shake-down; whatever lofty objectives might have existed at its creation, for the UN corruption now provides the means and reason to exist.
None of this is surprising to me nor should it be to anyone else who generally follows the news. Unfortunately, most of the population have an exalted image of the UN. That perception needs changing. Hard-earned taxpayer dollars shouldn't be used to support abject corruption.

I'd like to encourage others in the blogosphere to periodically note the scams and failures of the UN. The public deserves to be informed and the MSM can't be relied upon. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that the successes of the UN should be ignored. By all means, if you can find any, make note.

For good reason, Diplomad has been added to my blogroll.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sixth Dies In Wisconsin Hunter Shootings

Denny Drew, 55, has succumbed to the wounds received in the weekend Wisconsin hunter shootings, making the sixth death. Chai Vang, 36, is in custody for the shootings but no charges have been filed yet.
Al Jazeera Plans News Channel in Malaysia

According to Al Jazeera spokesman, Jihad Ballout, $30 million will be spent to launch a regional English-language satellite news channel in Kuala Lumpur by the end of 2005. The new channel will be named Al Jazeera International and its goal will be to counteract the "unbalanced reporting" of Western media networks. The BBC and CNN are mentioned.

The explanation doesn't make a lot of sense. The BBC, CNN, and other elite networks could easily be called biased in their reporting, however, most of the time, the bias is in favor of Islamic and Arab populations, while pretending that terrorism doesn't exist. In fact, the elite media seldom even uses the word "terrorists." The public hears of gunmen, militants, freedom fighters, insurgents, but not very often does the public hear of terrorists.

Frankly, I think Al Jazeera's explanation is disingenuous.
Bonfire of the Vanities

Smoldering for visitors is the Bonfire of the Vanities, 73rd Edition, at Slant Point. Enjoy the warmth as you give thanks that the blogosphere does what the elite media won't do, that is, recognize, acknowledge, and throw away the garbage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Thanksgiving 2004

This 114th edition of the Carnival of the Vanities is dedicated to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who waste no words in defending freedom. In their honor, this carnival will also waste no words.

The entries, in the order received:

Justene Adamec at Calblog delivers a Google Alert regarding Internet privacy.

Anthony Cerminaro at Bizz Bang Buzz teaches Pittsburghese.

Dr. Tom at CodeBlueBlog proposes a torpedo tube for every vagan.

Nick Winning at Legenda provides an analysis of the politics and people of Iran with respect to its neighbors and the U.S.

Dr. Charles pithily describes his experience with A Family in El Salvador.

Contrary to popular thought, the human brain can be replicated. Sean Gleeson has done so with the Autorantic Virtual Moonbat.

In addition to a tour, VIP Adam Crouch at The Raw Prawn deftly chronicles the reception and opening ceremony of the Clinton Library.

The Raving Athiest discusses mystical experiences in an interview with author Sam Harris.

The Flying Space Monkey has visualized and verbalized the solution to overseas job outsourcing.

Josh Cohen at www.d-42.com proudly expresses some strong opinions about the WB program "Jack and Bobby."

Author Joe at the Medical Mad House has the inside poop on why rectal examiners write under pseudonyms.

At point2point, an investigation has identified the top twenty voting irregularities.

David Mobley at A Physicist's Perspective discusses post-election divisiveness between political opponents.

Nikita Demosthenes demonstrates that Crossfire and The Daily Show are equally responsible for tarnishing public discourse.

Following up on a lecture series by Robert Spencer, Solomonia pens some thoughts on winning the war against Islamic extremism.

Robert Hayes at Let's Try Freedom proposes a low-cost library-building initiative for the Third World.

Rob Findlay at The Unrepentant Leftist draws some scary conclusions from edgy right-wing rhetoric.

Andy Blumson at Under The Sun opines that morality is subservient to law in society and it shouldn't be.

Steve at Blog d'Elisson reveals to the world the secret reason he got married.

Chaz Hill at Dustbury whisks us through some 50s and 60s music, concluding with a solid ho-hum appreciation for the Beatles.

Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog asks if/how are corporate PR departments monitoring public sentiment expressed continually on the Internet.

John Rosenberg at Discriminations provides some observations on bias and scholastic freedom in academia and details a callous example of students' privacy being trampled by an insensitive professor.

At Dissecting Leftism, John Ray debunks a claim of Florida voting machine fraud alleged by UC Berkeley sociologists.

In a Leftists As Elitists post, John Ray discusses the vast and nasty ego of law professor Brian Leiter.

MadKane submits a political poem about the privacy-invading tax clause that mysteriously found its way into the Budget Bill.

John Ray provides a disturbing vision of Canadian state-run medical care at Socialized Medicine.

At Idler Yet, Bill Adams exposes the hoax of the Passion of the Christ video game and reviews JFK Reloaded.

At Education Watch, John Ray answers the question of why schools should be privatized.

A woman overcomes her hatred of guns, learns to love them, at John Ray's Gun Watch.

According to Greenie Watch, the environmentalists raised alarms that global warming is killing polar bears, but surveys indicate increases in bear populations are public safety concerns. Huh?

At Political Correctness Watch, we learn that a six-year-old boy gets school suspension for sexual harassment because he poked a girl on the po-po. Ridiculous!

At Wicked Thoughts, Bussorah gives us the Encyclopedia of Democrat Thought.

SecState Condi Rice's first meeting with the Saudis in Riyadh has been scripted and is posted at Aaron's Rantblog.

Darleen Click praises, promotes, and celebrates Thanksgiving at Darleen's Place.

Dan K. O'Leary has helpful hints on being happy while single for the holidays.

DaGoddess profiles the hope and courage of a proud couple from the Greatest Generation.

The RoguePundit details the case of two vehement tax resisters, Walter "Al" Thompson, 57, and Joseph Banister, 41.

Attaboy, Joe Dougherty takes apart an argument by leftist media watchers that Brit Hume is a tool of the VRWC.

Daniel Berczik at Bloggledygook explains why the party's over for the Democrats and why Linda Ronstadt qualifies for idiot status.

Jim Peacock at Snooze Button Dreams announces the formation of another major political party, The Nationalist Party.

The Gleeful Extremist describes how the blue-staters inject dishonesty in education.

The Smarter Cop analyzes the latest post-election strategy of MoveOn organizers.

Northstar at The People's Republic of Seabrook reviews and raves about U2's new album 'Atomic Bomb.'

Pieter Dorsman at Peaktalk cites the example of Holland in predicting that raunchy TV will decline in the U.S. due to market and societal pressures, not government controls.

Tex the Pontificator, and poet, provides some loosely styled verse to commemorate Dan Rather's exit from CBS News.

Musings from Brian J. Noggle include observations about power-hungry librarians.

La Shawn Barber delves into certain abortion-related provisions in a must-pass $388 billion spending bill that show the Republican Congress flexing its muscles.

The Watcher of Weasels has some mindless fun reviewing the remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Chuck Simmins at You Big Mouth, You! shines light on the insensitive and absurd Floridians who claim they were traumatized by the election.

Kevin Baker at The Smallest Minority brings the news that the Illinois Supreme Court slapped down an attempt by gun controllers to badger the judiciary into legislating unreasonable requirements on gun makers and distributors.

Added Entries:

Nathan Hamm at The Argus weighs in on the curious situation in North Korea where Kim Jong-il's adulatory portraits are being removed. There's lots of speculation about Kim maybe losing control.

With the killing of five hunters in the Wisconsin wilderness, Kevin Baker felt compelled to report on how the anti-gun crowd is rejoicing.

Eric Scheie at Classical Values engages us with a brief historical look at the quarrels surrounding religious tolerance from the Greeks forward.

Vik Rubenfeld at The Big Picture details a recent example of the pernicious liberal bias at the Los Angeles Times.

Paul Noonan at The Electric Commentary provides a fruity discussion of protectionism in the music industry.


Some housekeeping notes: 1) Next week's host is Ashish's Niti, 2) For the upcoming schedule of hosts, go here, 3) Thanks to Bigwig for starting it all, 4) Thanks for visiting Interested-Participant, tell your friends, and 5) Don't forget to give thanks to the Armed Forces of the United States of America for their duty, their honor, and their service.

[Update] Late entries added.

[Update 2] Late entry.
National Geographic Banned in Iran

According to this report, the Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry has announced that National Geographic is banned in the country in protest of the use of "Arabian Gulf" alongside "Persian Gulf" in its new world atlas.
Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaght, an official at Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, said the atlas, which was released in October, also must be corrected to remove a reference that says Iran has "occupied" several Gulf islands.

Both Iran and the United Arab Emirates lay claim over the Gulf islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs.


"Both the distribution of the (National Geographic) publications and the activities of its journalists are banned until the publication corrects the atlas that used the phrase of the Arabian Gulf (in parenthesis) next to the Persian Gulf," Mr. Khoshvaght said.
There are those that would say the Iranians are being too sensitive, but it's important to remember that the last time Iran took issue with freedom of the press, they put out a contract on Salman Rushdie.

Understandably, times have changed and, as such, I'd like to encourage National Geographic to go ahead and revise their atlas. My recommendation would be to change the name of the country to "The Land Governed By Bearded Goats."
Roadside Drug Tests

Under new laws, police in Tasmania will be allowed to conduct roadside testing of drivers for commonly used drugs including cannabis, speed and ecstasy. Advancements in portable saliva-screening equipment makes the testing possible. Penalties for driving drugged will be comparable to those imposed for driving drunk.

Of course, privacy and civil liberties groups, along with the recreational drug use advocacy, are opposed to the new legislation.
India-ASEAN Car Rally

(Guwahati, India) About 250 competitors started their engines and raced off yesterday in the inaugural India-ASEAN [Association of South East Asian Nations] Car Rally.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh waved the starting flag for the race on Monday in the presence of local officials and senior ASEAN representatives, including secretary-general Ong Keng Yong ....

The 8,000-kilometer rally will pass through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before culminating in Batam, Indonesia, on Dec. 11.
The rally is aimed at enhancing cultural and economic ties among the nations on the route and raise public awareness about India-ASEAN relations in preparation for the establishment of a Free Trade framework for the region.

With a duration of 20 days, the rally is expected to be grueling and fraught with danger. Before starting, the drivers were given a course of anti-malarial medication and warnings to use "maximum discretion" to avoid armed rebels (who have killed thousands), heroin traffickers, HIV-AIDS infection, and malarial mosquitoes.

Sounds like the India-ASEAN Rally would be popular as a video game.
Illegal Alien Scam in Virginia

Twenty-six arrests have been made in a widespread counterfeit and fraudulent document operation in Virginia and Maryland which supplied green cards, driver's licenses, passports, Social Security cards and other identification to thousands of illegal aliens from Indonesia. According to U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty, the documents were used to fraudulently collect money and benefits throughout the United States.

The charges resulted from a two-year investigation of the Chinese Indonesian American Society, the Asian American Placement Services, the Kumala Nusantara, and the Chinese Indonesian Pribumi Community Service. Phony documents were prepared for the illegals who were also coached on methods to scam government bureaucrats such as asylum officers and immigration judges.

It's probably safe to speculate that a "guest worker" program, as proposed by the current administration, would not prevent or even minimize illegal alien document fraud. The only way to preclude illegal aliens from committing fraud in the U.S. is to beef up the border and keep them out of the country.
Portugal Sends Police To Iraq

(Lisbon) Portugal on Monday sent 72 members of its fourth police contingent to Iraq to replace the third contingent which will return before Christmas.

The fourth contingent has 127 members in all and, and the rest of the contingent will go in the coming weeks, authorities said.
The Portuguese provide security in the southern Iraqi cities of Basrah and Nasiriyah.

Monday, November 22, 2004

'Virgin Mary' Cheese Sandwich

Is sold for $28,000 to GoldenPalace, an online casino.

Can we have an "AMEN!" for all of God's cheese-eaters?
OSU Teacher Caught in Net Sex Sting

(Springfield, Ohio) Ohio State University teaching associate John McGuirl was arrested and charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and other felonies after being caught in an Internet sting. Through the Internet, he arranged to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl who, in reality, was police Detective Keith McConnell posing as the girl.

McGuirl has been released on $20,000 bond.

So far I've received about 20 entries for this week's Carnival of the Vanities (#114) and I anticipate there will be quite a few more. Since this is a shortened holiday work week, I'm asking that entries be submitted by 9pm EST tomorrow night to accommodate timely posting. Send to mjpechar at yahoo dot com.
Zarqawi's Group Frees PM Allawi's Cousin

With yesterday's release of Ghazi Allawi, 75, all three of Prime Minister Allawi's kidnapped relatives have now been freed by Zarqawi's terrorist Ansar al-Jihad group. Ghazi's wife and pregnant daughter-in-law were released previously. Interestingly, the terrorists posted a statement on the Internet to explain why they released the Allawi family members.
"Your brothers in the Al-Qaeda Group in the Land of Two Rivers (Iraq) freed Ghazi Allawi with his family because it proved they are not implicated in the apostate government of Allawi," said the statement.

It was signed by the group's "information department".

The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified.
Not for a second do I buy this bulls***. Something else swayed their decision not to keep and kill the Allawi relatives. These terrorist murderers have killed many, many people who had absolutely nothing to do with the "apostate government."

Tipped by Digger who has more on the story.
Beheaded Bodies Found South of Baghdad

Breaking news from The Australian:
Iraq's security forces recovered 12 bodies, including five decapitated ones, from an area south of Baghdad, police said today.

The bodies were found during a raid yesterday in Latifiyah, about 32km south of Baghdad, said Lt. Adnan Abdullah. The bodies were taken to the hospital in nearby Mahmoudiya, about 40km south of Baghdad.

Five of the men were decapitated and the rest had been shot in the head, Lt. Abdullah said, adding the bodies were found in different areas in Latifiyah. Two were recovered from a canal and the others from orchards in the area, he said.
One of the corpses was identified as an Iraqi National Guardsman kidnapped last month. The other bodies have not been identified.

The area south of Baghdad has been called "the triangle of death" as a result of numerous terrorist kidnappings and murders of Westerners and Iraqi security forces.

In related news from News.com.au -
More Troops' Bodies Found in Mosul

Four more bodies, at least three of them Iraqi soldiers, were found in the past 24 hours by the US military in the restive northern city of Mosul, a US army officer said on Monday.

"They had been dead for at least a couple of hours and their bodies set against the sidewalk, shot in the head and hands tied," Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kurilla said, adding that three of them were confirmed as being Iraqi soldiers.

The bodies were found near the Al-Yarmuk roundabout, an insurgent strongold in western Mosul, and brought to 15 the number of Iraqi soldiers thought to have been executed by rebels in Iraq's third largest city over the past two days.
The terrorists are acting frenzied.
Hillary's Cookies

According to this report, the Clinton Presidential Library Cafe will serve cookies made from Hillary's favorite recipe. How sweet. Everybody likes cookies. In fact, there's a rumor that the former president wanted to include his favorite sweet, a fresh, cream-filled cupcake, but the idea was nixed by Hillary. Probably too many calories.
'JFK Reloaded' Video Game

Tasteless, vulgar, and regrettable are only three of many adjectives I could use to describe this product from Traffic, a Glasgow-based company. The 'game' recreates the JFK assassination and a player must kill the president to win.

Traffic should be boycotted into bankruptcy.
I Was In English Class ...

... right after lunch when an announcement came over the school's public address system. "President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas!" There were several moments of stunned silence in the classroom and then some girls started crying. More joined in.

Within a half-hour, it was announced that classes were canceled for the rest of the day. Everybody was sent home.

Forty-one years ago seems like yesterday.
Arafat's Medical Records

(Paris, France) After receiving the medical records for Yasser Arafat from French authorities, his nephew Nasser al-Kidwa stated that there was "no clear diagnosis for the cause of his death" and "toxicology tests appeared to rule out poisoning."

Of course, he also added, "I believe the Israeli authorities are largely responsible for what happened."

Well, no surprise here. It's fairly predictable that all the world's problems are directly caused by the Israelis, the United States, or global warming. Pick a problem, throw a dart.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

He Actually Said It

From a San Francisco Chronicle 'Matier and Ross' interview with Mayor Gavin Newsom:
M&R: Speaking of values, what's you [sic] biggest success so far?

Newsom: Moving from failure to failure with enthusiasm. [Emphasis mine - ed.]
A real curious statement, don't you think? My take is he means he searches for and races into losing battles, or something like that.
Ohio Breast Feeding Bill

(Columbus, Ohio) Ohio lawmakers are being asked to consider making it legal for a woman to breast feed in public. In a legislative hearing last week, one supporter of the bill, Sharon Mech of Columbus, testified,
"[I]t's only in the last 60 years that we've come to believe that breasts are only for sexual stimulation and selling beer."
What? Breasts and beer? And only 60 years? Was there something different before 1944? I'm confused.

It's not believed that the bill will be passed in the current lame duck session. Sponsors, however, have vowed to keep the issue prominently in front of the legislature.
Presbyterians Fired For Meeting with Terrorists

(Louisville, Kentucky) Remember the two Presbyterian Church officials who went to the Middle East to kiss up to Hezbollah? Well, they were fired for their idiocy. Their names are Kathy Lueckert and Peter Sulyok.

The Church did not confirm their firing because of 'employee confidentiality.' But, they're not fooling me.
Wisconsin Shooting Spree, 5 Killed

Star Tribune:
(Hayward, Wisconsin) A dispute among deer hunters over a tree stand in northwestern Wisconsin erupted Sunday in a shooting that left five people dead and three injured, officials said.

The alleged gunman, a man from the Twin Cities area, was arrested at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday at the Rusk and Sawyer County line, according to Sawyer County sheriff's officials.

The violence began shortly after a hunting party saw a hunter occupying their tree stand, Sawyer County Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle told KSTP-TV of St. Paul, Minn. A confrontation, and shooting, followed.

One of the shooting victims radioed back to the deer shack for help, he said. When more hunters came to the scene, they also were shot, Zeigle said.

The shootings happened in the town of Meteor in southwestern Sawyer County, County Sheriff James Meier said in a news release. Three people were taken to a local hospital, Meier said.
Wisconsin's nine-day deer hunting season started yesterday.

[Update} A suspect named Chia Vang was arrested.

Chia Vang
Chia Vang

He is being held in the Sawyer County jail.
Terrorists Beheadings in Mosul, Execution Video Released

With their base of operation in Fallujah destroyed, the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah and Zarqawi's al Qaeda-linked group are now on a murderous rampage in Mosul. Yesterday, nine Iraqi National Guardsmen were found murdered, seven beheaded, in Mosul. Four other decapitated bodies, thus far unidentified, were found on the roadside, also yesterday, by U.S. Forces. On Friday, Zarqawi's group beheaded two National Guardsmen in public on a street in Mosul.

Rusty Shackleford has a good current status posted at The Jawa Report with pics and a link to video of the murders of two Kurdish Democratic Party officials by the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah. Video also at Straight Bannana.

Not too long ago, the terrorist groups appeared to have some semblance of an overall plan or goal to their actions, such as kidnappings being followed by ransom or other demands. Now, however, it seems we're seeing more random and arbitrary acts of violence and murder. Maybe this is an indication that they have largely replaced purposefulness with frenzy. Alphabetically, after Fallujah comes frenzy.
Plane Crashes in China, 55 Dead

(Baotou City, China) A CRJ-200 plane, carrying 47 passengers and six crew members from Baotou to eastern China metropolis Shanghai, crashed in a park lake in Baotou around 8:20 a.m. Sunday shortly after it took off. All of the people aboard the small aircraft have been confirmed dead by local government officials.
Additionally, two workers on the ground are believed to have died in the crash. More than 400 rescue workers responded and the remains of 46 people have been retrieved from the lake. The flight data recorders have not been found. Government investigators from Beijing have been sent to the crash site. China Eastern Airlines has sent an emergency team.

The CRJ-200 aircraft seats 50 passengers and is supplied by Bombardier Aerospace based in Canada.
FirstEnergy To Merge Nuclear Operations

(Painesville, Ohio) This past week, Gary Leidich, President of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., met with a panel of seven high-ranking members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) at the Renaissance Quail Hollow Resort east of Cleveland. The purpose of the meeting was to announce FirstEnergy's plan to consolidate nuclear operations management at its three operating facilities, the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ottawa County, the Perry Nuclear Plant east of Cleveland, and the Beaver Valley complex northwest of Pittsburgh. The consolidation effort was characterized as a streamlined "fleet approach" with some semblance to a military chain of command. Leidich said the changes were deemed necessary after evaluating problems at Davis-Besse and Perry.

Curiously, it appears the meeting was held primarily for informational and announcement purposes. The NRC does not customarily concern itself with a utility's organizational structure as long as minimum qualifications and staffing levels pursuant to the operating license are met and as long as nuclear and public safety are not degraded.

From an organizational and business perspective, consolidation of management functions among three facilities is a good idea but it won't be welcomed by many. In particular, those that will no longer be needed. The Davis-Besse, Perry, and Beaver Valley plants have operated for decades as independent entities, providing all line and support functions in-house. To illustrate, each has had its own group to conduct training, control documents, maintain records, do purchasing and accounting, conduct audits and inspections, and so on. Obviously, with numerous groups doing the same or similar jobs, there will be duplication of effort, which will be pared down upon consolidation.

From a strictly operational perspective, streamlining the management structure will produce more responsiveness and efficiency throughout the entire company. Upper management will see an enhanced ability to specifically define responsibility and authority and to quickly correct problems and implement initiatives. It will still be a bureaucracy, but leaner and more accountable.

From a personal perspective as a customer, any changes which produce efficiencies that keep the cost of electricity from increasing have my full support.

All that said, it can't be overlooked that President Leidich is trying to implement dramatic changes to a sloth-like bureaucracy which will impact many people's lives. Hopefully, the consolidation can be completed with employee discontent kept as low as reasonably achievable.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

'Nightline' Going Beddy-Bye?

Insiders say that rumblings behind the scenes at ABC's "Nightline" are harbingers of possible dramatic news about the show's future. "Nightline" has suffered in the ratings, largely due to cable news programming. Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" average viewership of 6.3 million pummels the "Nightline" audience of 3.4 million. Naturally, advertising revenue is reflective of the audience, with Leno commanding over $70,000 per commercial versus about $30,000 for "Nightline."

Add the fact that Co-Executive Producer Leroy Sievers has been told his contract will not be renewed by Disney, ABC's parent, and the fact that Ted Koppel's contract expires next year, and the result is an atmosphere of apprehension. Fundamental, and possibly unworkable, changes in the program are anticipated.
Infectious Disease Trading Cards

With Christmas just weeks away, it's time to finalize your gift-giving plans and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made available unique and interesting Disease Trading Card Sets. Wouldn't it be appropriate to give your mother-in-law a staph infection card? And how about hepatitis for your boss? The ex-girlfriend? Ebola, of course.

Guaranteed loads of fun by following the link.

(via Catallarchy)
Polish Hostage, Teresa Borcz Khalifa, Freed By Captors

A Polish woman freed after being taken hostage in October in Iraq said on Saturday her captors had treated her well.

"This was a very happy moment when I was freed... I think I will stay in Poland for the time being. I was treated well and that gave me hope that I'd be freed," Teresa Borcz Khalifa told a news conference.
Prime Minister Marek Belka said that the release of Borcz, 54, had been orchestrated by Polish government agencies in cooperation with institutions from many countries.

It would be my guess that a ransom was paid.

[Update] There's some discussion regarding the possibility that Borcz may be exhibiting signs of Stockholm Syndrome. Additional information at:

The Jawa Report,
Diggers Realm,
Outside The Beltway,
In The Bullpen.
Jonathan Poindexter - Child Molester

According to a Detroit Free Press report, 21-year-old Jonathan Poindexter was recently found guilty of molesting a 14-year-old girl after meeting her through the Internet and was scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 29 for the crime. While biding his time prior to sentencing, Poindexter accessed the Internet and tried to lure a 13-year-old girl to meet him for sex. Unfortunately for him, an undercover officer was posing as the 13-year-old girl and Poindexter was arrested.

Yesterday, Jonathan Poindexter was arraigned in 31st District Court in Hamtramck and is being held on a $500,000 bond. He's charged with illegal use of the Internet and attempted child sexually abusive behavior and could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. And, this doesn't include what he'll receive for his initial molestation.

Not only is Poindexter a pervert, he's a stupid pervert. It's a shame. Twenty-one years of age and his life is largely over.
Zarqawi, bin Laden Trying To Communicate

According to Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, Deputy Commander of Central Command, terrorists Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden have been attempting to communicate with each other and there is definitely some sort of relationship between the two murderers.

Gen. Smith believes that they probably have not been successful in communicating primarily because of the distances involved and the slow patchwork methods they have available. These include "couriers carrying CDs from al Qaeda leaders to Zarqawi, or the use of television to send messages."

(via Speed Of Thought)
Lufthansa Opens Luxury Terminal

In an effort to capture more premium-fare travelers, Lufthansa has introduced a first-class-only terminal in Frankfurt, due to open Dec. 1st. No longer will the wealthy traveler have to endure the hardships of airport concourses open to anyone able to buy a ticket. Lufthansa offers luxury for first-class ticket holders, providing them with:
[T]heir own personal assistants, offices, showers and baths and lounges with access to on-demand movies, music or the Internet, the airline said today. The passengers will be taken to their planes in DaimlerChrysler AG Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars or Porsche AG Cayenne sport-utility vehicles.

"With the first-class terminal and the first-class lounges, we're continuing to build on our top position in the top segment while other airlines abandon it," Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Mayrhuber told journalists at a press conference.
With about 16% of the airline's passengers buying premium tickets in the first nine months of the year, Lufthansa anticipates that about 350 high-end travelers will be checked through the new terminal daily. There are also plans for the spare-no-expense treatment to be expanded to Munich, where a similar terminal is scheduled to open in 2006.

So, for those that can afford the high price of a first-class ticket, the squeeze-the-sweaty-bodies-in-the-sardine-can business practices of the cutthroat low-cost airlines and their customers can be completely avoided.
Four Decapitated Bodies Found

The Australian reports:
US troops discovered four decapitated bodies during military operations this week to purge northern Mosul of insurgents, a military spokesman said today.

All four bodies, whose identities were not established, were found on Thursday, and have been turned over to Iraqi authorities, said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hastings, a spokesman for Task Force Olympia.

Three of the bodies were found by the roadside in a north-eastern suburb of Mosul, the fourth in the southwestern part of the city, he said.

"Our troops came across them. They were by the roadside," Hastings said.
The Iraqi authorities will have to determine who the beheaded individuals were. To kidnap innocent people, cut their heads off, and leave them beside the road like litter has to be the perfect demonstration of barbarism and evil.
Adoption Scammer Sentenced

(Seattle, Washington) U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly sentenced Lauryn Galindo, 53, of Hanalei, Hawaii, to 18 months in jail for her role in helping Americans adopt Cambodian children who were not orphans.

Lauryn Galindo

Along with community service, Galindo was also ordered to forfeit her $1.4 million home and pay more than $60,000 in restitution to parents who adopted through her. She pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and money laundering through her sister's company, Seattle International Adoptions. The scheme took children from their families in Cambodia and presented them to immigration officials as orphans selected for adoption by American families.

Pretty sleazy scheme, if you ask me.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Great Wide Mouth in the Great White North

Canadian MP Carolyn Parrish has been booted from the majority Liberal Party by Prime Minister Paul Martin for shooting her out-of-control mouth off one time too many.

Carolyn Parrish
Carolyn Parrish - Prominent Canadian Mouth
(CP Photo)

Parrish has been in the news repeatedly for vulgar insults toward Americans, in general, and President Bush, specifically. The Prime Minister finally canned her after she stomped on a President Bush action figure for a television show, followed immediately by her stating that Martin and his advisers could "go to hell," declaring that she had no loyalty to the Liberal party. Parrish expresses no regrets regarding the ouster.

Unless she joins another party, Parrish will sit as an Independent in Parliament, joining Independent British Columbia MP Chuck Cadman. Curiously, if she has been trying to accomplish something politically, she's going about it entirely wrong. She's lost stature within Parliament by no longer being affiliated with the majority and she's lost credibility with the public by her clownish and hate-filled emotional rantings.
Zarqawi Beheads Iraqi Guardsmen in Public

According to an Islamist website, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group said it had beheaded two Iraqi National Guardsmen in broad daylight in Mosul yesterday afternoon. It also indicated that the men murdered were a major and a lieutenant. The authenticity of the message's contents has not been verified.

The change in tactics by the terrorists would seem to indicate that 1) their ability to provide a videotaped production of the beheadings for worldwide distribution has been hindered, 2) they are free to gather a crowd unfettered in the streets of Mosul for the murders, and 3) they believe they can still prevail in the war even though they have lost every battle and skirmish and have seen a dramatic reduction in their forces and resources. And, as long as they believe that the Americans will ultimately cut and run, they will continue fighting.

Tipped by Diggers Realm. Also blogging: In The Bullpen
Radio Host Spews Racial Slurs

(Madison, Wisconsin) On Wednesday, John Sylvester, program director for WTDY-AM (1670) radio and host of the morning show, called Condoleeza Rice an "Aunt Jemima" and Colin Powell an "Uncle Tom" because they are subservient to and being used by white people.
Response was negative, from Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold to Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and the Urban League of Greater Madison.

[ ... ]

The comments came in the wake of conservative Milwaukee talker Mark Belling's five-day suspension from WISN-AM (1130) for using the word "wetback," a derogatory term for illegal Mexican immigrants, on his Oct. 27 show.
Sylvester, on the other hand, will stay on the air because he's the program director. Also, he won't apologize for what he said with one exception. "I will apologize to Aunt Jemima," he said.

It appears that Sylvester is trying to slough his comments off as no big deal, remarking that "Anybody who knows me knows I'm not a racist." Since voicing racial slurs is customarily considered a defining characteristic of a racist, his statement has to be disingenuous. Nevertheless, there should be no doubt that he surely is insensitive, uninformed, and seemingly motivated by hatred.

Lastly, where's the outrage from the black leadership?
Ted Rall Booted By WAPO

The Washington Post has booted political cartoonist Ted Rall from its list of acceptable contributors. Rall believes and says it's because he drew one offensive cartoon, a Nov. 4 submittal depicting a drooling, mentally handicapped student taking over a classroom. The WAPO, however, contends that Rall's work doesn't "fit the tone" desired by the newspaper.

I contend that Ted Rall ceased to be a preferred flavor of the day after President Bush was reelected. The political ambiance in Washington was to be dominated by four more years of Republican leadership and, as such, Ted Rall's continued presence on the newspaper's pages was sure to cause a chronic rash of criticism. And I won't be beguiled into thinking that Ted Rall would have been booted had John Kerry been elected president. If Kerry had been voted into the Oval Office, it's more than a safe bet that the Washington Post would have considered Ted Rall's contributions more than appropriately nuanced for its pages.

Regarding Ted Rall being considered a cartoonist, it's not obvious. His reputation is based upon offerings that are simply offensive and vulgar graffiti, lacking in humor, without wit, and devoid of intelligent satire.

Hat tip: Captain's Quarters, Outside The Beltway.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Russia To Help Build Boeing Dreamliner

On Wednesday, CEO Harry Stonecipher of aerospace conglomerate Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia's Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko to work in partnership in the development of next-generation 7E7 Dreamliner passenger jets.

Boeing-7E7 Dreamliner
Boeing-7E7 Dreamliner (Image - airventure.de)

In the deal, Boeing will be able to draw on Russian design and construction resources in return for a pledge of investing $2.5 billion over the next five years as the country becomes a major participant in the Boeing-7E7 production project. A Moscow design center opened in 1992 by Boeing is expected to expand with new staff from the Russian Academy of Science and at least two Russian aviation institutes. According to CEO Stonecipher, "Russian expertise and quality have delivered tremendous value to our products."

In a separate contract, CEO Stonecipher agreed to terms with Russia's Verkhnyaya Salda Metallurgical Production Association for the supply of titanium details for the Dreamliner.

The $2.5 billion Boeing agreement is only part of soaring foreign investment in Russia. In the first nine months of this year, Russia attracted over $29 billion in financial commitments from foreign countries, about 40% more than the same period in 2003. Continued expansion of the Russian economy due to tax cuts and record prices for oil, coupled with perceived reduced political risk, are considered the impetus behind the increased foreign investment.
Poco the Whale Dies

(Halifax, Nova Scotia) According to this report, beloved Poco the Whale was found dead on a lonely mud flat near South Portland, Maine.

Poco the Whale
Poco the Whale

Poco was known to cavort and play with fishermen and dance with divers. He will be missed but not forgotten. The governments in the U.S. and Canada have been asked to make Poco's bones available for an exhibit that "honours Poco's journey into the lives of humans." Also, to assure that Poco didn't die under fishy circumstances, a necropsy is being performed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

For those desiring to offer condolences or send contributions to the memory of Poco, Interested-Participant recommends that you seek professional help.
Lingerie Mannequins Should Be Banned

First there was a wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl and now there is a call to ban lingerie mannequins and male assistants in lingerie stores.

Lingerie Mannequins

According to a report in the Gulf Daily News:
Modern mannequins look too real and are exciting young men, who crowd round the shop windows, says Majeed Karimi.

Male assistants should also be banned from lingerie shops, says Mr. Karimi, chairman of Muharraq Municipal Council's legislative, financial and administrative affairs committee.

Displaying mannequins clad in lingerie is against Islamic and social values, he said.

"These mannequins look like real-life women, with exactly the same features," said Mr. Karimi.
So, it seems the complaints are primarily directed at the mannequins for being too life-like. The lingerie isn't the problem. Karimi continues,
"I have received various complaints from people that they feel aroused by seeing these mannequins being exhibited in front of them."

He said that many young men in Muharraq stand in front of these shops, not just to watch women enter and leave, but fantasise [sic] about the mannequins.
Curiously, this is the first time I've heard of anyone complaining about being aroused. Nevertheless, it's certain that there will be many and continuing clashes between aspects of Western and Islamic cultures and, hopefully, at some future time, there will be compromise and the finding of common ground.

All that said, this isn't the first time that a lifeless human form has been considered to appeal to prurient interests. Some may recall that Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the covering of two partially nude statues in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice.

Regarding the presence of male assistants in lingerie stores, it's news to me. Honestly, I thought the only place that ever occurred was in my dreams.
Quality of Life Survey

The Economist today publishes the results of its Quality of Life Survey with Ireland deemed the most attractive destination in the world to live. The survey considered many criteria, including family and community life, longevity, wealth, job security, trade union membership, unemployment, church attendance, health, and climate.

The U.S. ranks 13th while Britain stands at 29th, behind France which sits in the 25th position.
'Top Ten Countries'

1 Ireland
2 Switzerland
3 Norway
4 Luxembourg
5 Sweden
6 Australia
7 Iceland
8 Italy
9 Denmark
10 Spain
Last on the list of 111 countries is Zimbabwe.
Clinton Library

Gulf Daily News:
(Little Rock, Arkansas) A posse of presidents will mix with rock royalty and an expected 30,000 guests at the grand opening today of Bill Clinton's presidential library.

For the Democrat Party grandees in attendance, the event will be part nostalgic celebration and part post-election wake, offering a chance to gather and take stock in the face of four more years of a Republican presidency.

Clinton Library
Clinton Library

It sort of has a "Bridge Abandoned, Road Closed" look to it, don't you think? Photo from Glenn Beck. (Hat tip: Country Store)
TV Anchor Gets Naked

(Cleveland, Ohio) Local broadcast station WOIO-TV has been making, along with reporting, the news lately. Action News Team anchor/reporter, Sharon Reed, helped increase viewership by appearing nude in a first-person report about Spencer Tunick's photographs.
Sharon Reed was one of hundreds of people who participated in Spencer Tunick's nude photo installation in downtown Cleveland in June. Her report, shown Monday [11/15] on WOIO-TV, showed far away angles of her nude and some closer seminude shots, as well as other participants.
According to the station, viewer reaction to Sharon Reed's "Body of Art" has been unprecedented.

Hubba! Hubba!

[Update] Wizbang has a few pictures of Sharon Reed in the buff. Interestingly, she may not have realized that her little stunt would be plastered across the Internet and cause some consternation among her colleagues in the studio. Consequently, she's scheduled a segment to be aired during the 11pm news program tonight [11/18] to explain her 'artistic justification' for running around buck naked.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

First-Time Drug Conviction Nets 55-Year Sentence

According to the Deseret News, U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell imposed a 55-year mandatory-minimum sentence on first-time drug offender, Weldon Angelos, 25. The majority of the sentence resulted from mandatory minimums established by Congress for multiple firearms violations occurring during drug transactions. Judge Cassell openly disagreed with harsh sentencing laws and called on Congress to revisit the issue and allow more judicial discretion. He also called on President Bush to commute Angelos' sentence to 18 years.

It should be noted that Angelos was convicted of 16 criminal drug, firearms, and money-laundering counts. For 13 of those convictions, Judge Cassell imposed just a one-day sentence.

This story is being portrayed as some poor guy going to prison forever for having some marijuana. There's considerably more to the case than the headlines will indicate.
Washington Gubernatorial Election

It appears there's a real election cliffhanger playing out in the state of Washington with neither Democrat Christine Gregoire nor Republican Dino Rossi able to post a commanding lead. The vote counting, and recounting, along with the 'discovery' of overlooked votes and voting machine errors, indicates that much of the drama is occurring beneath the radar. As of midday, Rossi led by a margin of less than 100 votes with counting continuing.

Today is the deadline for certification of the election results, but that won't happen if the difference between the candidates is small enough for an automatic recount to be required. For example, less than 150 votes difference in the totals requires a hand recount.

Since election day was two weeks ago, Washington seems to be repeating the fun of the Florida 2000 election. For those desiring to experience all the laughs, AnalogKid has been closely chronicling the soap opera at Random Nuclear Strikes. Go visit.

[Update 11/18] According to a media advisory from the Washington Secretary of State, Sam Reed, all counties have certified their election returns and Republican candidate Rossi wins by 261 votes. As such, Reed ordered a mandatory, machine recount assuring continued election entertainment. (via Wizbang)
Foreign Hostages Murdered in Iraq

The current running total of the number of hostages killed by terrorist scum in Iraq has been variously reported to be in the mid-30s. There is every reason to believe the number to be on the low side since some people taken hostage have simply disappeared. Also, an unknown number of people have been murdered in the process of attempting to take them hostage. Therefore, the list recently published by the Turkish Press of foreign hostages killed in Iraq should be viewed as an educated, albeit imprecise, compilation. Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report provides details.
'Virgin Mary' Cheese Sandwich

'Virgin Mary' Cheese Sandwich
'Virgin Mary' Cheese Sandwich

Reversing a previous decision, EBay has decided to allow the 10-year-old half of a cheese sandwich to be sold at auction. It was pulled from bidding last Sunday because it was considered a joke. It seems they've changed their minds.

Personally, I think the sandwich looks like a young Lucille Ball.
Car Bomber Rams U.S. Tank, Kills 10

In breaking news, a car bomber in Beiji, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, rammed a U.S. tank. Ten people have been reported to have died from the bombing and fighting. At least 20 have been wounded. It's unclear whether any Americans were killed or wounded in the clash.

Iraq's largest refinery and a major power station are in Beiji.
Shooting Video Prompts International Concern

NBC correspondent Kevin Sites videotaped a U.S. Marine shooting a terrorist who was slumped against a wall in a mosque and a chorus of concern has been voiced by the international community. Amnesty International, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have already weighed in, stating that international humanitarian law has been violated. For the time being, all the human rights watchdogs are willing to allow time for the military to conduct an investigation. They will probably become impatient in short order. They seem to enjoy raising a stink when the U.S. Armed Forces is involved. Interestingly, the terrorist thugs can behead innocent civilians day in and day out without a peep being heard from the 'human rights watchdogs.' Kind of one-sided in their outrage, don't you think?

The Northeast Intelligence Network reports that the Kevin Sites video has been "posted by jihadis on the Ansar message board." In the video, the Marine is heard yelling "He's [expletive] faking it, he's [expletive] faking it" before he shoots the terrorist. In a combat situation, Marines shoot the enemy when threatened. If circumstances are as I've read thus far, the shooting of the terrorist is justified.

To download the video, click here.

There's much more information compiled at The Jawa Report and Diggers Realm.

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