Tuesday, September 30, 2003


While surfing I came upon a website put together by a young American to document his trip as a tourist in Iraq. His trip from Europe to Iraq, his stay in Baghdad, and his return to Europe are described by his words and pictures. The blog is Bergen to Baghdad and fascinating to read. Here's an excerpt:
the driver takes me to the border. we get out of the taxi, go to a window, have some guy look at my passport, get waved on to some other place. my driver brings me to the front of every line, and this is allowed for some reason. repeat three times. then we come to an air conditioned trailer, where a plainclothes border police guy invites me to sit down.

where are you from? california. what do you do? computers. why are you going to iraq? tourist. how do you pay for your travels? in america, computers good money. this goes on for a while, with people coming and going from the office. one guy comes in sits down, has his passport looked at and okayed, and leaves. 'he is going from turkey to iran through iraq. bad idea.' 'do you speak turkish?' 'no.' 'arabic?' 'no.'

he calls for his supervisor, who is unavailable for the moment. he stands in front of me, hands me my passport. then he says the five words that rarely precede anything good: "i think you are cia."

"go to the police, come back." he says, says the same to my driver in kurdish. so the driver takes me back (the wrong way through traffic) to the first office. they look at my stuff more thoroughly, give me an exit stamp on my visa. then we go someplace else, wait for a guy to process some paperwork. he's sloppily dressed but he, i guess, is the one everyone needs to go through, people surround him everywhere he goes. my driver slips our paperwork to the top of the pile when no one is looking. 20 minutes later we're in the cab again, going to the customs checkpoint. turkish soldiers examine my bags, not looking too carefully for anything. one of them sees my nikon slr camera and thinks i am a journalist; another guy asks me questions about why i'm going to iraq. i think the soldiers are more curious, they're not the ones you have to really worry about. 'if you gave me one million dollars, i would not go to iraq,' the blue-eyed one said.

back with the border police. this time im in the room with 4 of them. three were young guys, around 30, another one about 40. they were persistent questioners, but none of them put the fear of god into me. i admit, i was quite nervous through the whole thing. not that i was afraid anything bad would happen to me--i was afraid because, frankly, if i had been bounced from the border, im not sure i would have had the balls to try to get through again, making this whole leg of the trip pointless.

i think during this second interrogation, they were saying nasty stuff about me in turkish or arabic to see if they'd get a reaction out of me. "may i see your identity card?" i hand him my driver's license. "no, your identity card." "in america, no identity card. driver's license, passport. nothing else." "you know there is war in iraq?" yes. "are you afraid?" yes. "you may die there." i smirked, instantly thought of al pacino in 'heat'. "you may die in silopi!" one of the guys looks at my passport really long, the picture is from when i had shoulder-length hair. he says something in turkish to the other guys, and i hear the words 'mel gibson'. everyone laughs. that's when i knew i was off the hook.

"ok. you may go." "is it possible to enter turkey from iraq?" i asked the guy. "i will not be locked out?" yes, they said, it is possible. wonderful.

miraculously, i made it through all this without having to pay any fees of any kind to anyone.

we cross the river, stop at a checkpoint with a sign, 'WELCOME TO THE KURDISTAN REPUBLIC OF IRAQ.'
The blog is an unedited, unpolished, matter-of-fact, first-person chronology which relates his experiences with the people and places in his travels. It doesn't dwell on the negative nor the positive.

What it does do is provide a refreshing snapshot of life in the Middle East that hasn't been skewed by the politicized liberal media.

Thanks to Noah at AfricaPundit for pointing me to this story which reports that the US has entered into agreements with several West African nations to use their airfields. There are also plans to have some US Naval vessels patrol the West African coast.

General James Jones, Supreme Allied Commander of American Forces in Europe, stated that:
. . . there was a need to tackle what he called the large ungoverned areas of Africa.

He said they were providing "routes for narco-terrorist training and hotbeds of instability" and also posed a "potential threat for not only the alliance, but our interests as well."

"We might wish to have more presence in the southern rim of the Mediterranean, where there is a certain number of countries that could be destabilised in the near future," he said.

He went on to suggest that American warships, that currently patrol the Mediterranean might in future spend half their time off the coast of West Africa, with what he called "a fairly focused engagement in that part of the world."
These actions, along with President Bush's commitment to help with the African AIDS crisis, should be welcome news to African-Americans. Unfortunately, it probably won't make a difference at election time when African-Americans will vote overwhelmingly Democrat. They always have.

Monday, September 29, 2003


Last month Microsoft released patches for vulnerabilities identified with Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5, 6.0, and version 6.0 of Windows Server 2003. The vulnerabilities allow an attacker to run malicious code on a PC if the user navigated to the attacker's Web site.

Unfortunately, the patches issued by Microsoft don't work. Gregg Keizer at TechWeb News details the problem and identifies alternate fixes here.

In a related story, some users are thinking about dumping Microsoft because of "patch-fatigue."

(via The Stars & Stripes) Last week it was Bruce Willis and his rock group, The Accelerators, who performed for the troops in Iraq. The audience from the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul was delighted. Willis also visited units along the Iran-Iraq border.

This past Friday, comedian Drew Carey and six others put on two shows at the Baghdad airport for a predominantly 1st Armored Division audience. On Saturday, they went to Tikrit to entertain 4th Infantry Division personnel. A reviewer said:
Much of Carey's performance, thick with Army jokes, brought loud cheers from the audience and even a few smiles from the assembled front-row brass.

Carey's only boos came when he announced that he was a former Marine. Some enterprising soldiers held up a large sign stating, "We forgive you Drew."

Kathy Kinney, who played the makeup-heavy Mimi on TV's Drew Carey Show, followed his opening, talking to the troops who filled in between helicopters and equipment at a large hangar at Saturday's airport performance.

She received a large cheer from male soldiers when she explained one benefit of being away from home. "The longer you're here the closer the Olsen twins get to being legal," she said. The two girls, who starred in TV's Full House, will turn 18 on June 13, Kinney said.
This week, actor Brian Dennehey and comedians from the Laugh Factory will be visiting troops at various locations in the region.

The spirit of Bob Hope is alive.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is now including some new disruptive tactics in their dirty tricks playbook. Not satisfied with their efforts of protesting at business establishments, PETA cult members now follow targeted business employees home and protest in their neighborhood. They are also following employees to church and protesting outside.

As an indication of how extreme the PETA crowd is, the President and co-founder, Ingrid Newkirk, was the subject of a piece in the New Yorker magazine last April which related the following:
Newkirk on having children
"I am not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity."

Newkirk on Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders
"Why not find out when his birthday is, call the newspapers, and go dance on his grave?"

On Newkirk's extremism [New Yorker observed - ed.]
"She told me, in the most unequivocal terms, that the world would be an infinitely better place without humans in it at all."

On PETA supporting violence
"Its leaders wholeheartedly defend and encourage guerilla groups like the Animal Liberation Front. In fact, Bruce Friedrich, one of PETA's most prominent leaders, says in a speech readily available on the Internet. 'I think it would be a great thing if, you know, all these fast food outlets and these slaughterhouses and these laboratories and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow.'"

On Newkirk's view of Seeing Eye dogs
"She regards the use of Seeing Eye dogs as an abdication of human responsibility and, because they live as 'servants' and are denied the companionship of other dogs, she is wholly opposed to their use."
PETA claims to have 750,000 members who contribute $15,000,000 annually. It seems fairly certain that the people donating their money are unaware that PETA is a cult of coercive vegetarians. As a cult, they cannot be reasoned with.

Thanks to The Center for Consumer Freedom.

Effective tomorrow, the State of Michigan standard for defining drunk driving will be reduced from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent. The state will then be in compliance with a three-year-old federal law requiring the change be made by the Wednesday deadline. The alternative would be to forfeit 2 percent of their federal highway funding.

Interestingly, Ohio's DUI law was changed recently and it doesn't seem to have had any significant impact on the number of drunk driving arrests. According to David Patch of the Toledo Blade,
Lt. Kevin Keel, head of the Toledo police traffic section, said that between July 1, when Ohio's 0.08 law went into effect, and Sept. 22, only three people out of 113 charged by city police with driving while under the influence had blood-alcohol concentrations of between 0.08 and 0.10.
In the case where laws are made for purposes of political appeasement, one might expect diminishing returns.

I just came upon this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The headline caught my eye.
Foreign News Briefs


Bus service resumes after long strike
I'd strongly recommend that the editorial staff of the newspaper enroll in a remedial geography, history, or government class, or, maybe, PICK UP A MAP. Honolulu has been the capitol of the State of Hawaii for over forty years.

(Clinton, Conn.) According to the Associated Press, James Perry had too many drunken driving convictions so he stole the name and identity of a neighbor, Robert Kowalski. Everything was fine until he was arrested for disorderly conduct and said he was Robert Kowalski. A routine computer check revealed that Kowalski was a convicted sex offender and had not properly registered as required by state law.

Seems that a background check may be appropriate prior to stealing someone's identity.

Sunday, September 28, 2003


I'm listening to the Sunday night Drudge radio program and he just said that Miller vs. Boxer is a real possibility. Now that would be an interesting campaign!

Writing for the Cybercast News Service, Steve Brown reports this story of the current status on the smoking ban in New York and the resulting negative impact on business.

The March 30th ban on smoking in restaurants and bars is being vigorously enforced and, as of September 16th, health inspectors and city officials have issued 524 tickets for violations. According to Nancy Miller, New York Health Department assistant commissioner for tobacco control, thirty establishments have been ticketed more than once.

Lawmakers are intent on maintaining the current ban and some have even proposed widening the scope. State Assemblyman Peter Grannis, a Manhattan Democrat, is sponsoring a bill to ban smoking in the privacy of a person's own car. And, based upon a recent poll, the public supports the smoking ban by more than 3 to 1.

Plainly, strong opposition to the ban comes from the restaurant and bar trade organizations. Patrick Hoak, president of the New York Innkeepers Association, said the law caused five western New York restaurants to shut down, and caused an estimated 20 to 60 percent loss in business among those remaining open.

The Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association (ESRTA), whose members estimate a 20 to 40 percent decrease in business since the law took effect, organized a statewide protest against the smoking ban. Called "Taking It to the Streets," it included demonstrations outside the state legislative building in Albany. Scott Wexler, Executive Director of ESRTA, told CNSNews.com, "Watching the news clips, both electronic and print, we seem to be getting our message across. I think they're presenting our message as a more credible message than our adversaries."

Wexler also stated that a motion has been filed in the US District Court of the Northern District of New York for an injunction against the law. They are waiting for the court's decision.

The President of the New York Nightlife Association, David Rabin, believes the law is a harbinger of the future. He said,
"This ban is the first step in the death of nightlife entrepreneurship . . . [and] . . . Why don't we just change our name to Cleveland and call it a day?"
It remains to be seen how the controversy will play out, but one thing is clear. The coercive anti-smoking utopians do not care how many businesses fail nor how many people lose their jobs.

One other comment I have concerns the gratuitous smear of Cleveland by Mr. Rabin. Not one person in Cleveland voted for Hillary Clinton nor Chuck "Repeal the 2nd Amendment" Schumer.

Thanks to Boots and Sabers.

(Cincinnati, OH) A Forest Park woman, Johnnie Brown, has filed suit in federal court to force a casino to ban her compulsive gambler husband, Willie Brown. She stated her husband has gambled away money for the mortgage, car insurance, electric bills and phone service. State regulators, casino executives and gambling industry insiders consider there is little chance she will win her case.
But it raises questions about who has the responsibility for stopping problem gamblers - and basically asks casinos to act like bartenders who cut off customers who have had too much.

If successful, the suit could open the doors for third parties to bar friends and relatives from casinos. Casino officials say that would put them in an impossible position. They already operate under laws that allow problem gamblers to put themselves on a restricted list. But third parties?
Mrs. Brown contends in her lawsuit that the casino failed to take any action when notified that her husband was a compulsive gambler, causing extreme family hardship.

According to Executive Director Keith Whyte of the National Council on Problem Gambling, there are 6 to 8 million problem gamblers in the US. The cost of the problems is estimated at $5 billion a year from unemployment, welfare, and bankruptcy. Not included in the cost are theft, embezzlement, suicide, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.

(Hiram, OH) Russ Fair gathered about two dozen friends and relatives yesterday to linger while he harvested his shrimp farm for the second year. It consisted of draining a quarter-acre sized pond where the shrimp have been growing for the past 100 days.
Around Memorial Day, he bought 4,000 larval shrimp for a dime each, for his second attempt. "You could fit that many in a 20 oz. coffee cup," he said.
The final tally in the harvest was 770 shrimp weighing a total of about 38 pounds. Not including the cost of feed, the shrimp cost a little more than $10 a pound.

Mr. Fair's shrimp farm is one of six being monitored by Ohio State University researchers.

My vote this week is for Caucasian Club at the King of Fools.

Saturday, September 27, 2003


During the past week, two homes in Lorain County were raided by authorities and two homemade bombs, more than two dozen guns, over $134,000 in cash, suspected drugs and drug-making chemicals were seized. Thomas Brooks, 49, Wilma Masciarelli, 42, and Jesse Cool, 38, were arrested. Cool is charged with possession of chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamines. Brooks and Masciarelli are charged with possession of methamphetamines.
A Thompson submachine gun and other weapons were taken from Brooks' home. The Lorain County Bomb Unit removed two homemade bombs, said Lorain County Drug Task Force Agent Jim Larkin.

Larkin said they believe one of the bombs was a booby trap to protect a drug-producing operation and was built to be detonated from a remote location. It was exploded at a police shooting range.
While under surveillance, 30 to 40 cars visited one house or the other each night. Sales of methamphetamines in Oberlin, Avon and Elyria were traced to the residences.

[Update 9/28/03 at 4am] From the Morning Journal, the Lorain County Drug Task Force was assisted by the Lorain County Sheriff's Department, Lorain Police narcotics bureau, Avon Lake police, Lorain County SWAT, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency and Oberlin City and Carlisle Township fire departments.

Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti stated:
. . . there have been six meth labs busted in Lorain County since November of last year. He said the labs not only cause a problem because of the crime they breed, but also because volatile chemicals are used in the manufacturing of the drugs and hazardous waste is created.
Prosecutor Jeffrey Manning stated that drugs are a growing problem in the state and added:
''This was an unusual investigation because most meth labs aren't busted by good police work. They either burst into flames or they explode.''
Fortunately, most drug labs are not located in residential areas due to the noticeable stench.

(Troy Township, OH) George Parker, an experienced parachutist with 800 successful jumps, made a mistake during his descent yesterday and landed right in front of the plane that hoisted him aloft. The plane had just landed and its wing became entangled with the parachute lines, injuring Parker. He was in critical condition last night at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Now I'm not a fatalist, but jumping out of a perfectly good airplane 800 times seems to be tempting fate.

(Lima, OH) Four teenagers, students at Shawnee High School, consumed hallucinogenic and poisonous jimson weed Thursday night and were hospitalized with fast heartbeats and impaired vision. Two of the teens were on life support machines to help their breathing and sedated to prevent them from injuring themselves.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported over a thousand jimson weed poisonings and one death in 2001.

According to research conducted by the University of California San Francisco, lesbians are generally fatter than other women. The findings resulted from a survey of 324 California homosexual women and indicated that on average they:
. . . had a higher body mass index, larger waist and bigger waist to hip ratios compared with the other women.
Dr. Stephanie Roberts, speaking for the researchers, stated:
"Weight control is often perceived as a conventionally feminine behaviour . . ."
Therefore, it appears that lesbians are fat because they don't want to display conventional femininity.

(via PCWatch and Spiked.)

Friday, September 26, 2003


(via the Associated Press) This type of news is most welcome.
German authorities have broken up 38 child-pornography rings with links to tens of thousands of suspects around the world, including in the United States, officials said Friday.

The pursuit of a child pornographer in the eastern city of Magdeburg had led investigators to a total of 26,500 suspect Internet users in 166 countries, officials said.

In Germany, 530 people are suspected of possessing or distributing child pornography, said Klaus Jeziorsky, the top security official in Saxony-Anhalt state.

The German suspects, who allegedly downloaded illegal images of children as young as 4 months, included teachers, sports instructors, police officers and a priest involved in youth work, police said.

Some of those allegedly involved in the rings were known "high-grade pedophiles," state justice minister Curt Becker said. Those convicted could face up to 10 years in jail.

About 1,500 German police searched more than 500 homes during the past week, seizing 745 computers, more than 35,000 CDs and thousands of floppy disks and videos, officials said.
If there is one thing that makes this writer happy, it is the apprehension and imprisonment of these disgusting perverts.

Neither Michigan nor Ohio driver�s licenses currently contain passenger restrictions, but the Michigan State Legislature is considering preventing teenagers with Level 2 driver�s licenses - mostly 16-year-olds - from giving rides to more than one other person outside their immediate family. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, teenagers could drive five younger siblings anywhere but could not drive two friends to the mall, football games, or even to school.

It's interesting that the State of Michigan is looking to place additional restrictions on driving while the states of California and Kansas are going to give licenses to illegal aliens.

(Garfield Heights, OH) The following arrests were made at one sobriety checkpoint last Friday night and early Saturday morning.
A 44-year-old Cleveland man registered a blood-alcohol content of .240 percent on a Breathalyzer test. His license was suspended for a DUI offense in August.

A Bedford man, 29, got into trouble for trying to avoid police. An open can of Budweiser was found inside the man's car. Police also learned that the man's driver's license had been suspended. He registered .031 percent on a Breathalyzer test.

A 50-year-old Cleveland man registered .181 percent on a Breathalyzer test and a 40-year-old Cleveland man was charged with marijuana possession and open container after police found a pipe and a 40-ounce bottle of Miller beer in his car.
These are some of the nine people arrested that night on Broadway Avenue. Drunk, high on marijuana, driving under suspension . . . they are now off the road because of the sobriety checkpoint.

Whether a book was written by a man or a woman can be detected by a new computer program developed by researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. The program appears to confirm the validity of stereotypical differences between men and women regarding use of language. The article is from the Nature News Service.

(Cleveland, OH) About two weeks ago, 11-year-old Shakira Johnson disappeared from a party at Benham Avenue and East 106th Street. Yesterday, about 40 FBI agents, sheriff's deputies and local police scoured the neighborhood for evidence of the missing girl and to execute arrest warrants for 296 sexual offenders living in the area. Nine fugitives were taken into custody and more arrests are expected. Examination of evidence gathered is ongoing.

It is disturbing that there are 296 fugitive sexual offenders known to live in the area. One has to wonder. Just how many of these convicted sex offenders are there roaming around in society?

Corrective action has been taken by President Vladimir Putin as a result of the sinking of submarine K-159. Admiral Gennady Suchkov, head of the Russian Northern Fleet, has been removed from his position due to a series of preventable mistakes that caused the deaths of nine submariners.
The 40-year-old K-159 submarine sank in the Barents Sea in bad weather on 30 August as it was being towed to a scrapyard. Three of the 10 crew escaped from the decommissioned submarine and were plucked from the freezing waters. But only one survived.

Suchkov was blamed for three failures: fleet commanders should not have cleared the towing of the submarine after a bad weather forecast; the tugboat had moved faster than allowed by official instructions; the crew were not evacuated, even after a raging storm ripped off some of the pontoons and the submarine began to tilt. The submarine sank 90 minutes after senior fleet commanders were informed about the accident.

The submarine, whose two nuclear reactors were shut down in 1989, is lying at a depth of 238 meters in the Barents Sea. It has no weapons aboard, officials said. Tests on fish from the Barents Sea have shown no sign of increased radioactivity since the sinking of the submarine, Norway's atomic safety authority has said.

The latest accident came three years after Russia's worst peacetime naval disaster, when all 118 crew of the nuclear submarine Kursk died when it sank in the same sea on 12 August 2000. The Russian navy raised the Kursk from the seabed in an unprecedented operation in 2001.
The whole event indicates that the evolution was inadequately planned and there existed a negligent regard for personnel safety and equipment integrity. The firing of those responsible is more than justified.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


According to The Straits Times, a US military veteran is to be the first person prosecuted under a new anti-pedophile law. Passed last April and called the Protect Act, it
. . . allows prosecutors to charge the suspect with overseas sex crimes without having to prove he left the country with that intent, US law enforcement officials said.

"Thousands of...US citizens, travel abroad to commit these kinds of crimes," said Mr. Leigh Winchell, Special Agent in Charge at the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle.
The veteran, 69-year-old Michael Clark, was arrested in Phnom Penh for "debauchery involving illicit sexual conduct" with boys approximately 10 and 13 years old. He was transferred to US custody. Papers filed in US District Court indicate that Clark spent considerable time in Cambodia within the past five years and may have molested as many as 50 boys. He faces up to 30 years in prison.


(Denver, CO) This story demonstrates that having a blas� attitude towards foreign nationals roaming around the US is dangerous.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested 13 non-U.S. citizen criminal sex offenders in the Denver area over the past week and jailed them pending deportation proceedings.

Each had been convicted of sex crimes in Colorado, said Jeffrey Copp, ICE associate special agent in charge.

One crime involved sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman with the mental capacity of a 6-year-old, Copp said.

Six of those arrested came from Mexico, three from El Salvador and the remainder from Peru, Honduras, Uruguay and Afghanistan.
What's not clear in the article is why these people are called immigrants and non-citizens at the same time. My general understanding is that a person is an alien until they become naturalized as a US citizen and, therefore, an immigrant.

To those that have completed the legal immigration process, the term "illegal immigrant" is offensive, yet it's euphemistically used to mean "foreign nationals illegally in the United States." If a person sneaks into the US from Mexico or China, that person is a Mexican or Chinese illegally in the US. There are no such entities as "undocumented immigrants" nor "illegal immigrants." Of course, I could be wrong.

[via Sharp Knife.]

According to the East African Standard, two incidents have occurred within the past few months where Kenyan men have cut off their genitals due to a conflict with their spouses. One occurrence was in May 2003.
A Kenyan father of nine has cut off his genitals with a knife following a row with his wife.

Ochola Adebe, from Kajulu West, in Kisumu District is said to have chopped off his penis and testicles to spite the woman.
Another occurrence happened this past week.
A Kenyan villager has cut off his penis and testicles with a kitchen knife "to teach his wife a lesson."

Police say Alfonse Mumbo, of Kajulu Wath Orego, near Kisumu, severed his genitalia after accusing his wife, Penina of unfaithfulness.

Officers say the 38-year-old former barber said he wanted "to give her a free hand to go after other men." He told police he loved her so much, he could make the sacrifice.
Doctors were able to stop the massive bleeding from the mutilations and each man survived. It remains to be seen if there will be future incidents.

Personally, I can't fathom what was going through these guys' minds. Somehow, I don't think the phrase "for better or for worse" in the marriage vows was meant to include do-it-yourself surgical removal of the genitals.

(Sofia, Bulgaria) Authorities have issued an official warning to consumers to use extra care when purchasing watermelons since it became known that some producers have been injecting the melons with urine to hasten ripening.
Watermelons have gone on sale in the country weeks before they would usually be ripe enough to put on shop shelves and some people have raised suspicions about how growers have managed to get their fruits to ripen so quickly.

Experts have said some local manufacturers might have used urine injections. Urine contains ammonia in certain combinations which facilitates ripening, they said. Using urine would also be costless for producers.

Director of the Sofia Fruit and Vegetable Market Alexander Yocev said, "It is possible that some manufacturers are doing these things. It's not harmful to a person's health, but of course it's not fair on consumers."
Bulgarian officials have additional concerns with the food industry in the areas of safety, quality, and competitiveness. An estimated 70% of the Bulgarian food industry firms will have to be closed after the country joins the European Union in 2007 because they don't match the EU standards. The head of the Association of the Food and Beverage Industry, Alexander Yotsev, stated:
"Only 3% of the Bulgarian food industry enterprises fully match the EU standards,"[and]

"Most threatened are the small firms in the dairy and canning industry," he said.
It may take many years before any substantive quantities of food products are exported from Bulgaria. Caveat Emptor!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


This story comes via the Irish Lass. I'm certain it's been told many times.
At the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2000, Tiger Woods pull-hooked a driver off the 18th tee into the Pacific Ocean. There followed a burst of profanity, for which Mr. Woods was later fined. That's the part of the story everyone remembers.

The part that followed, however, is astonishing. Picture the scene. Woods is standing there on 18 tee. His tee shot rests on the ocean floor. His caddy, Steve Williams, hands him a reload. As he does, he suggests that Tiger hit his two-iron. Tiger says no, he'll stripe the driver, knock it on the green in two, two putt and make the bogey 6. Williams says: "I really think you should hit the two-iron." Tiger says no, the driver is fine. Williams says: "I really, really think you should hit the two-iron." Tiger dismisses him, stripes the driver down the center of the fairway, knocks it on the green in two, two putts, makes his six.

And so the matter died, until a couple of weeks later, when Williams reminded Woods of their debate. "What was that all about?" asked Woods. "It was your last ball," responded Williams.

Incredible as it may seem, Woods only had two balls in his bag that day. Had he hit the reload into the sea, he would have been disqualified from the US Open, a tournament he ended up winning by 15 strokes."
This is an interesting story, but I personally find it hard to believe. It just seems that a professional golfer would be extremely foolish to tackle a course such as Pebble Beach with only four balls.

(Columbus, OH) The Ohio Supreme Court voted 5-2 to uphold the prohibition to carry concealed guns. The decades-old ban does not violate the Ohio Constitution, the court said. Forty-four states allow citizens to carry hidden weapons, but not Ohio.

There's more story here.

Local Cleveland news is reporting that incarcerated ex-Congressman James Traficant is no longer running for president. His campaign committee stated that they were unable to collect the required $100,000 to qualify for matching federal campaign funds. Traficant is in prison after being convicted of bribery and racketeering.

(Toledo, OH) According to the Toledo Blade, seven of 24 people arrested by Toledo Police for blocking the entrance to a military recruiting office on St. Patrick's Day are currently on trial in Toledo Municipal Court before Judge Gene Zmuda. Two dozen protesters were arrested and 17 plead to minor offenses and paid fines. The Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, led by former Toledo Councilman Mike Ferner, organized the protest.

While Blogger is working on correcting my Archives, visitors can find RAINBOW FAMILY by scrolling approximately halfway down the page.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


In a lengthy investigative piece, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) analyzes the sex trade occurring in the Balkan states. The report discusses the scope of the trade, criminal as well as governmental groups involved, methods of operation, and the predominant smuggling routes. One thing is apparent. The smuggling of women to populate the sex industry is massive.
In November 2002, an the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, conference on the trafficking of human beings estimated that some 200,000 women in the Balkans had fallen victim to a smuggling network that extends across the region into the European Union.

According to the latest figures from International Organisation for Migration, IOM, the four biggest exporters of girls to Western Europe are Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Russia.
Two primary smuggling routes have been identified. Both starting in Romania, one traverses overland to the Adriatic where speedboats take the women to Italy. The other route goes directly south through Bulgaria to Greece.
The trade is a coalition of interests that crosses ethnic divides. Well-organised groups, familiar to each other from drugs or gun deals, trade across frontiers, as do lone traffickers.

War has made the Balkans a traffickers dream. Their illicit trade has been able to flourish as a result of the chaos of the last decade, which has weakened border controls and fractured and impoverished communities that were once held together by rigid moral codes.

Throughout the Balkans, checkpoints are badly policed by often corrupt officials, well used to taking bribes as guns and drugs moved through the region during the wars. Forged or stolen passports are easily available and visa regulations are flouted.
The girls are recruited by various methods. For example, newspapers advertise for girls to work in menial jobs in Western Europe and some are attracted by promises of marriage to EU nationals.
After luring the girls, the traffickers seize their passports, then take them to major regional sex trade centres, where they are forced to work as prostitutes.
Oddly, the trade flourishes largely because of the presence of international officials and military. The influx of cash by these groups sustains the sex industry.

Led by organized criminal gangs, the overland smuggling skirts minefields left over from the war and efforts to stem the flow are impeded because UN and local police refuse to enter minefields.

For those interested, follow the link and read the rest of the report. There's a lot more.

One comment I have relates to a previous post concerning the absolute idiocy of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius wanting to give driver's licenses and college education to illegals. Hey, Governor, there's a bunch of girls in the Balkans that need driver's licenses and college education and they meet your minimum criteria for qualification. They're not United States citizens.

[Addendum 9/25/03] The trading in sex is ubiquitous worldwide. Robert Koehler of the Marmot's Hole addresses the sex industry in Korea where cross-border activity resembles slave trading. There is an Anti-Prostitution Campaign in progress to "make a world without sex trafficking." So some people are concerned enough to act. The effectiveness of the campaign remains to be seen.

After South Korean Farmers League member Lee Kyung-hae committed suicide while protesting the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun last week, interviews were conducted of other Korean protesters by BureauCrash, an organization dedicated to exposing abuses of power. The following is excerpted from the interview of the Korean translator for the Farmers League.
So, we've been here now for several days, and we've heard about the death of your former leader, Kyung Lee. We understand that he's been going to many of these international protests and that he had tried to take his life before. Were you worried that something like this might happen? Was there any attempt to stop him.

Yes. (translates for ___)

(___ replies): Yes, they have been concerned, and thought that maybe he'd try something like this in Cancun too because he mentioned something a month ago in Korea, that, you know. So, they don't want him to come here, but he came independently. (___ speaks again; translates) But nobody knows that the wound would be too serious, you know.

So, you knew he would stab himself, but just not that it would be fatal.

I guess the way to interpret the whole event now is that he mistakenly killed himself during a suicide attempt. A botched attempted suicide. Yeah, that's it.

(via Random Nuclear Strikes.)

When I saw this story by Sarah Bahari of The Wichita Eagle, I felt sick. Not distressed, nor disturbed, nor angry. Just deep-in-the-gut-sick.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius promised Saturday in Wichita to work on allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses and in-state tuition to state universities.
So, non-citizens of the US are going to get Kansas driver's licenses. Also, non-citizens of the US and non-residents of Kansas are going to get to go to college by paying resident tuition rates.

What the hell is going on? As Governor of the State of Kansas, isn't she supposed to support the residents of Kansas? It appears that she's putting out a clarion call to any downtrodden population across the planet that they should come to Kansas because they'll be treated better than Americans.

Her statements were made during a Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce meeting where she was urged:
. . . to find ways to bring more Spanish-speaking adult education to the state, offer incentives to Spanish-speaking physicians who move here, and encourage more banks to allow undocumented immigrants to open checking accounts. [and]

Citing the booming Hispanic population, Sebelius said their education and job training will directly affect the state's economic climate.

Providing higher education at an affordable price to undocumented immigrants is very important, Sebelius said. [Bolded by ed.]
Excuse me, but I just can't continue right now. I feel sick.

There's a bunch more here.

Thanks to Shameless Self-Promotion.

Monday, September 22, 2003


Power is still out in many parts of Virginia due to destruction of transmission facilities by the hurricane. Telephone service is sporadic and water systems are contaminated.
The statistics reveal widespread destruction. The repairs or reconstruction jobs confronting Virginia's dominant power provider after the hurricane include: 62 long-haul transmission lines that connect power plants to substations, 1,150 primary distribution lines that lead from substations, 7,363 sections of downed power lines that go to homes and businesses, 2,311 broken utility poles and 3,899 snapped crossarms that hold lines atop the poles.

Because Hampton Roads was hit harder than any other Dominion service territory by the worst storm the utility has faced in 100 years, the repair effort is moving slowly.

Of the 1.8 million Dominion customers who lost power statewide, 48 percent were still without power Sunday night, compared to 61 percent at the end of Saturday. But 59 percent of Dominion's 646,000 customers in Hampton Roads still had no juice Sunday night, compared to 69 percent on Saturday night.

Dominion also said it would take until Thursday to restore 75 percent of Richmond and the Gloucester/Northern Neck areas. The Peninsula, which had 108,000, or 68 percent of its 160,000 customers out Saturday night, had 115,000, or 72 percent out by Sunday night.

A Dominion spokesman said the Peninsula numbers probably increased on Sunday because the region's system is so damaged. Rather than repairing equipment or lines, the company is often rebuilding, which entails turning some lines back off.
Looting under the cover of darkness has been reported throughout the storm damaged areas with some locations being hit hard.
Hampton Police spokesman Jimmie Wideman said convenience stores have been impacted the most, with criminals generally taking items like cigarettes and beer, but not very expensive merchandise.

There were at least 60 such incidents in Hampton in a three-day period that began after the storm knocked out power throughout the city, Wideman said.

"There's no lights. They're able to move around undetected," Wideman said.

Burglaries rose significantly since the storm.

"The numbers were definitely up. People were taking advantage of the situation."
A total of 99 localities have been designated major federal disaster areas. The designation entitles the state and local governments to a variety of emergency assistance and reimbursement for disaster recovery. It also entitles individuals to disaster housing assistance, low interest loans and grants.

According to a report by John Caniglia for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, more than 100 illegal aliens from Guatemala and Mexico were smuggled each month from December to April into Amish communities in rural Ohio. Three smugglers pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to hauling the aliens. Abel Garcia-Mendez, Gustavo Sandoval and Abel Ramirez-Vasquez will be sentenced to about two years in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip Tripi said in documents. The men face deportation.

They and four others are accused of racketeering in Holmes County Common Pleas Court, where prosecutors filed indictments that include charges of forgery and possession of criminal tools. Assistant County Prosecutor Jeff Mullen said the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Millersburg usually helps about a dozen people a month obtain documents.
The scheme went on for months, as the illegal immigrants gave phony information to employees of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Holmes County, prosecutors say. The scam collapsed when employees became overwhelmed by the huge volume of people seeking help, prompting the State Highway Patrol to investigate.

"It's so ironic. You just don't expect to find this in Holmes County," said the Rev. Kevin Conroy, a priest at St. Peter Catholic Church in nearby Loudonville who works to help immigrants. "This isn't a local issue; it's a national issue."
Break out your Spanish-English dictionaries, folks. The US is being methodically and insidiously overrun. The nation needs to take a stand and fortify the borders or expect more and more people arriving to undermine our wealth, resources, and goodwill.

According to CNET:
Yet another Internet virus pretending to be a patch from Microsoft is spreading quickly on the Internet. Swen (w32.swen@mm, also known as Gibe) uses the subject line to entice Windows users to open the attachment. In some cases, the virus will execute automatically. The virus attempts to kill all antivirus and personal firewall apps running on the infected machine.
Follow the link for information on how it works, how to prevent it from infecting your machine, and how to remove it.

(via the Media Research Center)
Tarnished media star Bryant Gumbel hosted a segment of PBS's Flashpoints USA last Tuesday and, true to his ultra-liberal nature, made the following statement:
"Conservatives have claimed liberal media for so long some of them have actually come to believe it."
For a man who reeks seething liberalism to make that statement is astonishing. The years he worked for CBS and NBC have largely faded from people's memories. His leftist political advocacy has not. I doubt that he will ever realize that his strongest quality is not his intelligence nor his knowledge. It's his persistent and ugly arrogance.

Last year, the countries of Eastern Europe suffered through spells of heavy rainfall that produced massive flooding with extensive property damage. This year there has been a drought and water levels are low, particularly in the Danube River. As a result, some relics of WWII are becoming visible after being submerged for six decades.
Shrinking Danube Waters Expose WWII Wrecks

People in the town of Batina watched as a World War II German military jeep, was dragged from the drought-shrunken Danube River on 22 August.

Batina fire chief Josip Valkai ran an expert eye over the so-called Kubelwagen. "The Volkswagen insignia and motor in the rear make it a dead giveaway," he said. "So does the faintly visible Nazi swastika on gasoline cans we found tucked inside." Previously just a few relics of battle have been found - spent cartridges, the occasional skull. But as months of drought have drained the Danube to its lowest level in a century, larger relics are coming to light.

Among the items awaiting recovery that week were a tank whose turret surfaced several days before and an armoured personnel carrier. Smaller items recently dredged from the river bottom include Schmeisser rifles and a crocodile-leather wallet, its contents soaked past recognition.

Not only in Croatia but downstream in Serbia, rusty remnants of warships believed to belong to Nazi Germany's Black Sea Fleet have begun emerging in recent days. Ships plying the Danube have been warned to steer clear because of live ammunition believed still to be on the wrecks. The river depth, normally as much as 50 feet in some places, has fallen to barely 10 feet.

War relics are no novelty in the Batina area of north-eastern Croatia. Up to 60,000 soldiers perished here as Soviet troops caught up with German forces retreating toward Budapest in late 1944. The Red Army triumphed after 12 days of fighting in one of the pivotal battles in the allied liberation of the Balkans. The vessels in the Danube are believed to have been deliberately blown up by retreating German troops to impede Soviet forces in the final stages of World War II. The Russian government, which funds a memorial at Batina, plans to send experts to the scene to investigate some of the finds.

"The river was wide and deep and certainly holds many mysteries," said Anatolij Calisev, a military attache at the Russian Embassy in Zagreb. "There maybe documents that could help identify victims."
Of interest is that the water is only 10 feet deep, down from the normal depth of fifty feet, indicating the severity of the drought.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


This piece has been around for a time and I don't know how I missed it. Mohammed Atta piloted one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, leaving behind the following:
Mohammed Atta's Last Will & Testament

In the name of God all mighty

Death Certificate

This is what I want to happen after my death, I am Mohamed the son of Mohamed Elamir awad Elsayed: I believe that prophet Mohamed is God's messenger and time will come no doubt about that and God will resurrect people who are in their graves. I wanted my family and everyone who reads this will to fear the Almighty God and don't get deceived by what is in life and to fear God and to follow God and his prophets if they are real believers. In my memory, I want them to do what Ibrahim (a prophet) told his son to do, to die as a good Muslim. When I die, I want the people who will inherit my possessions to do the following:

1. The people who will prepare my body should be good Muslims because this will remind me of God and his forgiveness.

2. The people who are preparing my body should close my eyes and pray that I will go to heaven and to get me new clothes, not the ones I died in.

3. I don't want anyone to weep and cry or to rip their clothes or slap their faces because this is an ignorant thing to do.

4. I don't want anyone to visit me who didn't get along with me while I was alive or to kiss me or say good bye when I die.

5. I don't want a pregnant woman or a person who is not clean to come and say good bye to me because I don't approve it.

6. I don't want women to come to my house to apologize for my death. I am not responsible for people who will sacrifice animals in front of my lying body because this is against Islam.

7. Those who will sit beside my body must remember Allah, God, and pray for me to be with the angels.

8. The people who will clean my body should be good Muslims and I do not want a lot of people to wash my body unless it is necessary.

9. The person who will wash my body near my genitals must wear gloves on his hands so he won't touch my genitals.

10. I want the clothes I wear to consist of three white pieces of cloth, not to be made of silk or expensive material.

11. I don't want any women to go to my grave at all during my funeral or on any occasion thereafter.

12. During my funeral I want everyone to be quiet because God mentioned that he likes being quiet on occasions when you recite the Koran, during the funeral, and when you are crawling. You must speed my funeral procession and I would like many people there to pray for me.

13. When you bury me the people with whom I will be buried should be good Muslims. I want to face East toward Mecca.

14. I should be laying on my right side. You should throw the dust on my body three times while saying from the dust, we created you dust and to dust you will return. From the dust a new person will be created. After that everyone should mention God's name and that I died as a Muslim which is God's religion. Everyone who attends my funeral should ask that I will be forgiven for what I have done in the past (not this action).

15. The people who will attend my funeral should sit at my grave for an hour so that I will enjoy their company and slaughter animals and give the meat to the needy.

16. The custom has been to memorialize the dead every forty days or once a year but I do not want this because it is not an Islamic custom.

17. I don't want people to take time to write things on paper to be kept in their pockets as superstition. Time should be taken to pray to God instead.

18. All the money I left must be divided according to the Muslim religion as almighty God has asked us to do. A third of my money should be spent on the poor and the needy. I want my books to go to any one of the Muslim mosques. I wanted the people who look at my will to be one of the heads of the Sunna religion. Whoever it is, I want that person to be from where I grew up or any person I used to follow in prayer. People will be held responsible for not following the Muslim religion. I wanted the people who I left behind to hear God and not to be deceived by what life has to offer and to pray more to God and to be good believers. Whoever neglects this will or does not follow the religion, that person will be held responsible in the end.

This was written on April 11, 1996, the Islamic calendar of zoelqada is 1416.


Witness: Abdelghani Muzwadi

Witness: Almutasadeq Munir
I don't know why he felt that his body would be recoverable after subjecting it a 500mph collision and blazing fire. It's clear, though, that he was a fanatic and his understanding of his god as indicated by the will makes it extremely difficult for rational people to maintain an open mind towards Islam in general.

His corpse is not in a grave, but if it was, I'd try to find it so that I could piss on it.

Thanks to Lilli Marleen for pointing me to this piece.

This story indicates that maybe some laws should be changed.
Korean Mothers Who Gave Birth in U.S. Held

(LOS ANGELES) In an apparent crackdown, U.S. authorities have arrested 10 Korean mothers who traveled to the United States to give birth so that their babies would be eligible for American citizenship.

The women were held on visa violations, charged with having come to the country for reasons other than stated on their entry permits. U.S. immigration authorities also detained a Korean broker operating here and charged the person, who was not immediately identified, with arranging the trips for the mothers-to-be.

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency under the Department of Homeland Security, and other bureaus including the Internal Revenue Service are focusing on businesses in the Korean section of Los Angeles set up to serve pregnant travelers, U.S. officials said. Korean women, who give birth while on a tourist visa, can exempt their sons from the draft in Korea and gain access to U.S. public education.

The practice by Koreans has been ongoing for years, but now the U.S. government is making an effort to stem it.

According to the U.S. officials, the immigration authorities detained the 10 Korean women on Sept. 10 for questioning. The women reportedly all visited the same State Department field office on the Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles to apply for U.S. passports for their newborns. They had given birth at a local clinic run by Koreans, officials said.

Immigration officials said they arrested and detained the women because they have entered the country with tourist visas, but had different purposes of their travels. The officials' suspicions were raised because the women all used the same address in applying for the passports for their babies.

"We focused our questions on the real purposes of their visits," an investigator, who asked for anonymity, said yesterday. "The mothers frankly admitted that they were here to give birth."

The mothers were released after being questioned, and the U.S. immigration authorities sent letters to the mothers ordering them to leave the country within six months.

Some of the mothers reportedly returned to Korea Monday after obtaining passports for their babies with attorneys' help. Others also said they would leave the country as soon as their babies' documents are ready.

"We have no issues against tourists with legitimate documents," a spokesman of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration said yesterday. "But, if we see continuing issues [associated with the trips by pregnant women to give birth], we may conduct a joint investigation with other government agencies."

An official of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul warned that the U.S. immigration office could blacklist the women and reject their future entry to the country.

As thousands of pregnant Korean women sought to go to the United States to give birth, an industry specializing in helping them was spawned in Los Angeles. No official statistics are available, but industry insiders estimated that about 5,000 births by Korean visitors occurred last year, and another 8,000 as of August this year. A two-month trip costs roughly $20,000.
The fact that the Koreans have turned this practice into an ongoing international business indicates that someone at the INS is incompetent. It's disturbing to me that every time I look at a problem area and the INS is involved, it reeks of incompetence, corruption and ineptitude. I even had a report recently where the INS said it's not illegal to be in the US illegally. What in hell are these people's jobs?

Thanks to Kevin at Incestuous Amplification for pointing me to this article. He added that the practice of sending pregnant Korean women to the US to have children is advertised openly and it's been going on for years.

Saturday, September 20, 2003


According to the International Joint Commission (IJC), the health of Lake Erie is degrading. The chairman of the Canadian Section, Herb Gray, stated:
"It's clear from briefings we have received that Lake Erie has been backsliding and is being polluted again . . ."[and]

Added John E. Gannon, an IJC senior scientist: "There are a lot of changes going on with the lake that we don't understand very well."
The specific concerns voiced at the conference include:
Unexplained botulism outbreaks on the lake's eastern side have killed more than 40,000 birds since 1999 and hundreds of thousands of fish.

Researchers are baffled by the cause. One theory is that zebra mussels and another invasive species, round gobies, may spread contaminants up the food chain.

The western basin, near Toledo, has seen a resurgence of a toxic form of algae each of the past few summers, especially a type known as microcystis. The algae likely is caused by an abundance of phosphorus, the common farm fertilizer and component of human waste.

Complicating Lake Erie's recovery efforts is airborne mercury which scientists view as a greater threat to public health than previously thought. Lake Erie has the highest mercury concentration, largely because of its industry and its shallow depth.
Hopefully, definitive causes of the various problems will be identified and corrected. Unfortunately, in matters related to the environment, drastic action is typically mandated before a cause is known.
My vote this week is for Beatles take a bite out of iTunes over at Tom's Nap Room.

All Encompassingly pointed me to this site for the Rainbow Family. They are an assemblage of representatives of every extreme liberal group in the United States. On their Home Page, the Rainbow Family is defined in the following manner.
Some say we're the largest non-organization of non-members in the world. We have no leaders, and no organization. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. Many of our traditions are based on Native American traditions, and we have a strong orientation to take care of the Earth. We gather in the National Forests yearly to pray for peace on this planet.
In a nutshell, they claim to be a unorganized group without defined membership dedicated to saving the planet and praying for peace at gatherings once a year in the National Forests. The yearly events have been occurring for at least two decades.

Having reviewed their site and related media accounts (here and here) of their organization and events, my take is that they are an amalgam of anarchists, socialists, communists, militant vegans, eco-radicals and other left fringe extremists who are regularly breaking the law on public lands.

They claim to have no leaders and no organization and there is a reason. Since their inception, they have repeatedly violated the laws governing use of the National Forests and the US Forest Service has attempted to prosecute the organizers. To avoid prosecution, they conduct their activities in a clandestine manner such that the organization and its leadership are kept secret. Basically, nothing is written down and no one will point a finger. The Forest Service has been frustrated by not being able to hold any individuals accountable for the mischief that 10,000 or more people do to the National Parks and Forests. Although their Home Page identifies no leadership, they do define some individuals as "focalizers" as described in the following ridiculous passage.
One of the important things to realize is that focalizers aren't in charge. They aren't in control of anything or anyone but themself. People listen to focalizers out of respect, not because they have to. The best focalizers are invisible at a gathering. Most of us that consider ourselves focalizers are just info-maniacs. Just cause somebody may have a mailing list, or do a newsletter does not mean they are part of the "Rainbow Beurocracy (sic)", and you can turn over your responsibilities as a human being to them.
Patterned after the 1969 Woodstock event in upstate New York, the yearly gatherings are comprised of ten to twenty thousand people meeting on public land for an extended weekend during the summer. It's a big party. And, as with Woodstock, the aftermath is a quagmire of trampled vegetation and trash. The event takes place without required permits.

If the yearly gatherings were held on private property, there probably wouldn't be a law enforcement problem. But no sane person would want to have their property trashed by thousands of people having a party. By gathering on public land, the taxpayers are forced to pay the bill for cleanup.

My contention that these people are extreme leftists is based upon the organizations indicated by their website. I can't think of a liberal group that's not represented. Visit the site here for the complete listing.

With respect to liberals getting together and trading ideas, its fine with me. However, when they intentionally break the laws of the US and are not held accountable, then I have a problem. About two months ago, 9,000 Rainbow Family members gathered outside Salt Lake City in the Uintas Mountains National Forest and local news filed the following report:
Nine thousand Rainbows, that's the final, official estimate for the number of hippies, peace lovers and counter-culture radicals who camped out in the High Uintas last week.

Now, the Rainbow Family is leaving. But how much of a mark will they leave on the land? Environmentalists, forest rangers and even sheep ranchers have been nervous about damage to the area.

Short-term effects are clearly present and obvious. It's likely to be awhile before anyone can fully assess the long-term results. [and]

The Rainbows have kept law enforcement busy the last couple of weeks. There have been about 18 arrests, more than 200 tickets and citations and several hundred more warnings issued.

Malcolm Jowers/Incident Commander, US Forest Service: "We've seen typical behavior that we would have expected...we still remain concerned about the amount of illegal drug use."

Taxpayers will have to pick up the tab, at least a half-million dollars, for the federal effort to control the event.
What disturbs me most is that these liberals, who are trashing public land with taxpayers footing the bill for cleanup, are the same people who go to great lengths to have the Boy Scouts banned from using public land because they are a religious-based organization.

(Salt Lake City, UT) A woman, Tina Keeney, is suing the Campbell's Soup Company after finding a tooth in a can of chicken noodle soup.
"It's gross enough as it is to find something in your food anyway, but to have it be a human tooth that was in someone else's mouth is just sickening," Keeney said.
Since that July afternoon last year, her attorney, Daniel Irvin, has had the object tested and confirmed it is indeed a human molar. The expert noted the tooth, actually half a tooth, appeared to have been cut in some kind of manufacturing process, Irvin said. Additional tests ruled out that the tooth belonged to anyone in the Keeney family.

Not great news. I buy the stuff all the time.

Friday, September 19, 2003


This is an odd story that I won't even try to explain.
AN OXFORD MUSEUM has paid 240,000 pounds for a Renaissance plate which shows a male head made up entirely of phalluses.

It was painted presumably with an individual in mind.

The Italian plate is thought to have been made by ceramicist Francesco Urbini in the 16th century. It shows a head made up of around 50 fleshy penises, wrapped round each other to form a dense, knotted whole.

The head is framed by a garland carrying the inscription: 'Ogni homo me guarda come fosse una testa de cazi' (Every man looks at me as if I were a dickhead).

The phrase is still a common term of abuse in Italy and elsewhere.

Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, which has bought the plate, describes it as 'one of the most extraordinary and fascinating pieces of Italian maiolica (a style of ceramic painting) in existence.'

It is a rare example of bawdy Renaissance art which survived the suppression of later, more prudish, generations, it said.

The Ashmolean said the inspiration for the plate remains obscure but it was painted 'presumably with an individual in mind.'
An item of this nature obviously has value, but I sure wouldn't appraise it at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This story indicates that massive legal judgments in the US not only inhibit business at home, but also in other countries.
Falkland Island Tour Operators' Insurance Worry

Chief Executive Chris Simpkins has met with senior government officials and representatives of the tourist industry in an attempt to find a solution to the lack of insurance available to tourism businesses in the Falkland Islands.

For more than a year tour operators have faced problems in obtaining insurance, but Simpkins said the government, in conjunction with Falkland Islands Tourism, is working to find a solution. He explained,

"The problem arises primarily, but not solely, because of the nervousness of insurers about the size of claims and awards being made by courts in the United States."

"It does not relate to any particular issue in the Falklands but is world-wide. We obviously hope that we can find a solution quickly but I cannot speculate on the outcome."

Yesterday he confirmed, "Tour operators are continuing discussions with possible insurers and I have made contact with Caribbean Alliance Insurance who have experience of these problems elsewhere and are examining whether they can provide cover." [minor grammatical changes - ed.]
I imagine there are other examples where the US tort law is impacting foreign countries.

From the Nunatsiaq News comes a story of the discovery of more than a dozen new diamond mining sites.
Exploration firms working in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions reported this week that their summer exploration programs have turned up new discoveries of kimberlite.

Kimberlite is a mineral, usually found in long, narrow pipes under the ground, that often contains diamonds.

In the Kivalliq region, just south of Rankin Inlet, a consortium of three companies exploring an area called the "Churchill Diamond Project" reported this past Tuesday that they've found four more kimberlite pipes, bringing the total number they've found this year to 15. Samples from those finds are now being tested for their microdiamond content.
Highly promising and potentially a revenue source for the multitude of social programs the Canadians have implemented.
WALTER, The Farting Dog

The children's book, Walter, The Farting Dog, is number 83 on Amazon.com which indicates to some degree the degradation of propriety in American culture.
Walter, a fat gray dog with an apologetic look on his face, comes home from the pound with two children. He has incurable gas, and his family decides to take him back. The night before he is to go, Walter sadly devours "the 25-pound bag of low-fart dog biscuits the vet had prescribed for him, which had made him fart more.... A gigantic gas bubble began to build inside him." Wouldn't you know, two burglars break in, and Walter's liability becomes his asset.
The book has become an international success for author Glenn Murray. He stated:
"I know what kids like and they like this. I know what makes them hoot and I knew this was something they'd really love." Now, the farting dog has earned a $500,000 advance for a second installment.

Murray said the book came about during a dinner party when a flatulent 150lb. Red bull mastiff named Walter repeatedly broke wind.
On This Day in 1876

DOMESTIC HISTORY WAS made when Melville R. Bissell patented the first practical carpet sweeper. Mr. Bissell, who owned a china shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was a martyr to headaches. These turned out to be caused by an allergy to dust from straw used to pack crockery. To clean the floor properly and remove all the dust, Mr. Bissell invented a sweeper with a brush roller on springs. The sweepers were assembled by the couple, who formed the Bissell Carpet Sweeper Company.
Homemaker trivia.

(Pecs, Hungary) From LewesLinks:
Lovers' Padlocks Overwhelm City

Mid-August saw the southern city of P�cs fighting a losing battle against a revival of a curious custom. Lovers secretly clamp padlocks on statues and gates all over the city centre as symbols of their enduring affection.

The curious tradition dates back to the early 1980s when lovers began fixing single padlocks, without any markings, on a wrought iron fence in the heart of P�cs. Now, with no room left on the fence, couples are fastening their love tokens on anything that will hold a padlock, including statues.

The city management firm first tried removing the padlocks, then launched a campaign to discourage the practice. Now, their final solution has been to erect an new iron fence exclusively for love padlocks. But the fence is not likely to work.

"This would kill the essence of the padlocking habit, its spontaneity and people's feeling that they are secretly leaving their mark," said art historian Ferenc Romv�ry.
Love binds people emotionally and spiritually, and, now, mechanically. This practice may not be that unusual. I've read about some people in the US also using padlocks while expressing their love.

There may be little support for US actions in Iraq by France and Germany, but the countries of Eastern Europe, emerging from dictatorships, are doing all they can.
U.S. Planning to Train 28,000 Iraqi Police at Taszar

The U.S. administration is seeking to train up to 28,000 Iraqi police officers at a military base in Hungary, officials said on 25 August. Talks were being held with the Hungarian government about using the Taszar Air Base to train thousands of Iraqis in police skills in the next several months. No final agreement had been reached yet.

A spokeswoman for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad said U.S. officials have set the goal of training and deploying 65,000 Iraqi police officers around the country. She said roughly 37,000 Iraqi police officers already were on the job, meaning "about 28,000" more could be trained at the Taszar base if Hungary agrees to the arrangement. She said U.S. officials planned a series of 8-week training sessions each involving about 3,000 police recruits.

The CPA has already set up three police training centres, in Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. But they do not have the capacity to train enough people within a reasonable time-scale. It was important to turn over many policing duties to Iraqis. Along with attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi infrastructure, ordinary crime has also been a problem in the Iraqi capital and elsewhere.

Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, is responsible for U.S. efforts to train Iraqi police. The Coalition Provisional Authority spokeswoman said the training involves classroom instruction, and training in weapons use and interrogation without the use of torture.

Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tamas Toth said Hungary had not received any official request for training facilities so far. "Hungary is ready to examine potential ways of co-operation, including how to put the Taszar base into use."
There can be nothing but good coming out of increased cooperation between the US and the "New Europe."

(Cleveland, OH) From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A Cuyahoga County judge sentenced James Steele to 15 years to life in prison yesterday for fatally stabbing a woman who had lived in his Scovill Avenue home. Lawanda Rich, 28, died from more than 200 stab wounds. In handing down punishment, Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher said she did not believe Steele's alibi that he had acted in self-defense.
Pretty lame excuse.

(St. John's, Newfoundland) Grocery clerk Steven Janes recently was fired from his job at PriceChopper because he refused to remove his earrings. The company has a policy that males are prohibited from having them.
Janes, who has his left ear pierced twice, had sported two small, gold hoops in his ear every day since he was hired. The 23-year-old says his jewelry never posed a problem - until recently, when the Sobeys outlet where he worked was converted into Price Chopper, its sister supermarket chain.

Janes feels the company is in the wrong for making him choose between his principles and his job.

"I was so shocked when they approached me, especially since I've worked there for so long with my earrings in and had absolutely no complaints, from customers or staff," Janes said.

"Most of the staff didn't even realize I wore earrings until all this happened. They're discriminating against me, and it's not right."
Janes stated that he plans to take his case to higher powers. Unfortunately, the legal counsel for the province's Human Rights Commission, Mr. Barry Fleming, stated that similar cases have surfaced in the past and there is probably not much that can be done.
"There has to be some evidence that wearing an earring goes with his fundamental dignity as a male," he said. [This is a memorable line. - ed.]

"Generally, the Human Rights Commission doesn't get involved with complaints on the basis of dress code, because they don't really bring into play the higher-level dignity issues that arrive with discrimination generally."
Janes said he plans to continue his fight since times have changed and he doesn't think that males wearing earrings is a problem.

This whole story is a conflict that exists between a capricious adolescent fashion trend and established corporate employee appearance policy. Janes states he's not going to compromise his principles so he loses his job. What principles? The right to be stupid? What a dummy! How hard would it be to take out his earrings while working and then put the things back in when he got off.

I posted a similar story several months ago where a young waitress, Karen Ketola, was fired from a restaurant because she displayed a visible tattoo. She and Janes are two young people who got caught up with the latest trends of MTV or Hollywood and they fail to realize that following the trend may impact their employability. In the case of Janes, all he has to do is remove his earrings. Karen Ketola will have a more difficult time.

Thursday, September 18, 2003


(Monroe, MI) As President Bush visited the Monroe Power Plant of the Detroit Edison Co. this week to speak about pollution controls, protesters lined up along the highway to send their messages. They carried various placards such as "King George Wears No Clothes" and "Osama Bin Forgotten." Larry P. Vellequette of the Toledo Blade interviewed several of the protesters, asking why they adamantly disliked the President. The following gem caught my eye:
"Oh, God, there�s so many," the mother and grandmother said as she stood among a crowd of protesters eager to catch the eye - and hopefully the ire - of the main occupant of a fast-moving presidential motorcade yesterday.

"For me, the new nukes are the scariest, I guess. They�re trying to get smaller ones that are better for this war or the next one. And me, I would like a world left for my children and grandchildren," Mrs. Steinman said. "The American public should wake up."
Excuse me, Mrs.Steinman, but you're an idiot. Just what "new nukes" are you referring to? There are no "new nukes" at present. The only happenings in the nuclear arena are still in the discussion stage and deal with nuclear power plants, not weapons.

And what does "smaller ones that are better for this war" mean? Is "smaller ones" referring to power plants? It appears that you are unaware that the purpose of a power plant is to provide electricity for your microwave, toaster, washing machine, lights, etc.

Mrs. Steinman, try cracking a book occasionally or move to France where they make special accommodation for ignorant protesters such as yourself. In fact, France makes special accommodation for older folks also, especially during heat waves. They ignore them.

(Columbus, OH) According to this story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Students at the University of Cincinnati Law School discovered last year that Ohio's recision of the 14th Amendment in 1868 had never been reversed, giving Ohio the dubious distinction of being the only state where it was not ratified. The amendment provides equal protection and due process under the law for all U.S. citizens, and was cited in such pivotal civil rights decisions as Brown v. Board of Education.

Sen. Mark Mallory, a Cincinnati Democrat, piloted the ratification to success and yesterday emceed a ceremony that saw the bill signed by House Speaker Larry Householder and Senate President Doug White; certified by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell; and delivered by Gov. Bob Taft to National Archives representatives standing in wait.

(Strongsville, OH) Gary Kucinich, 52, is running as a write-in candidate for mayor of the city. He is a former Cleveland councilman and school board member, now a car salesman, and has lived in Strongsville for nine years.

Asked whether his brother, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, will help him in the Strongsville race, Kucinich responded, "That goes without saying."
From local Cleveland news at 5:45am: Shield cloud bands expected to arrive over NE Ohio about noon. Moderate to heavy rain expected early tomorrow.

Isabel is moving NW at approximately 15MPH with maximum sustained winds of 105MPH. The eye is approximately 150 miles S-SE of Cape Hatteras and is expected to hit Eastern North Carolina around midday. A storm surge of 7 to 12 feet is expected. Tropical force winds extend outward 300 miles from the center

Because of the storm, airlines are foregoing any penalties for changing flight plans at the last minute.
"Working on a site in the Ljubljana marshes, Slovenian archaeologists last year uncovered a wooden wheel some 20 kilometres southeast of Ljubljana. Austrian experts have established that the wheel is between 5,100 and 5,350 years old, which makes it the oldest wooden wheel in the world ever found."

They also found an axle with the wheel and, nearby, even a wooden canoe. The Ljubljana marshes have been rich in archeological finds, undergoing exploration since the mid 19th century. There have been innumerable objects found which are up to 6,500 years old.

"The wheel found in the remains of a pile-dwelling settlement, has a radius of 70 centimetres and is five cm thick. It is made of ash and oak. The wheel is surprisingly technologically advanced, made of two ashen panels of the same tree. The axle, whose age could not be established as precisely, is about as old as the wheel. It is 120 centimetres long and made of oak. Both the wheel and the axle had probably been scorched, in order to protect them against pests. Slovenian experts surmise that the wheel they found belonged to a single-axle cart. The aperture for the axle on the wheel is square, which means that the wheel and the axis rotated together and, considering the rough ground, the cart probably had only one axle."

The artifacts are currently undergoing scientific study and preservation. It should be noted that these items appear to be at least 500 years older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

There's more here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003


(Columbus, OH) According to a report by Julie Carr Smyth of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio Secretary of State:
. . . Ken Blackwell officially launched his effort yesterday to repeal this summer's sales-tax hike, taking aim at his own party for sending Ohio into an "economic death spiral" akin to California's.

Blackwell, an underdog Republican gubernatorial hopeful in 2006, said Ohioans are "voting with their feet" and leaving the GOP-led state because spending and taxes just keep rising.

"People gave us working majorities (in both legislative chambers) and control of state government," Blackwell said. "We have blurred the lines of distinction and Democrats, with some legitimacy, can call us tax-and-spend Republicans."
This will surely put him in good stead with some voters. Read the rest here.

In 1926, Harold Keltner and others founded a father-son program based on the qualities of American Indian culture and life: Dignity, Patience, Endurance, Spirituality, Feeling for the earth, and Concern for the family. The program gained popularity and became a national YMCA program in 1935, designated as the Y-Indian Guides.

In the 1950s, father-daughter programs, based on the same principles, became the Y-Indian Princesses. At one point, about 900 YMCAs sponsored 30,000 Y-Indian Guide groups. The Y-Indian Princess Program is described as:
The purpose of the Father and Daughter Y-Indian Princess Program is to foster the understanding and companionship of father and daughter.

"We, Father and Daughter, through friendly service to each other, to our family, to our tribe, to our community, seek a world pleasing to the eye of the Great Spirit."

"Friends Always"

1. To love the sacred circle of my family.
2. To be clean in body and pure in heart.
3. To share understanding with my father/daughter.
4. To listen while others speak.
5. To love my neighbor as myself.
6. To seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit's work in forest, field, and stream.
Over the past 70 years, over a quarter million fathers and children have strengthened their family bonds through these non-profit cultural programs and have spearheaded historical research projects, camping trips and visits to Indian reservations.

According to Michelle Malkin at Town Hall, things are changing dramatically. She states that:
. . . a tiny faction of militants from the radical American Indian Movement (AIM) targeted the YMCA's Indian Guides/Princesses as "racist." Only Indians should be allowed to dress as Indians and replicate Indian traditions, AIM argued. "What we were saying is, 'we understand where you're coming from, we understand that you want to honor the Indian, but you're not doing that,'" complained David Narcomey, North Florida director of AIM. "You're causing psychological damage to our children."

Peggy Larney of Dallas, a Choctaw Indian, protested the use of headdresses and feathers. "When other people that aren't Indian do it, they're not being authentic to it. It's just not right," she told the local press. Vernon Bellecourte, another AIM spokesman, called the Indian Guides program a "cheap Hollywood" version of American Indian culture. "They sit around in a circle with their chicken feathers, they have their little greetings and they call their groups various tribes," he griped. "It totally distorts our culture. They can only relate to this very superficial, stereotypical image of who they think we are."[and]

Alas, the national YMCA ignored the pleas of parents and children and instead succumbed to pressure from perpetually offended AIM protesters -- some of whom even threatened to sue a YMCA chapter to prevent them from using Indian names and themes. In 2001, the organization voted to eliminate the Indian monikers from the Guides/Princesses programs. The tribal themes will be phased out completely beginning this fall. The groups will now be known as "Adventure" Guides.
Despite the fact that a quarter million participants have benefited from the YMCA programs, they are being eliminated because a few militants are offended.

That this is happening is disturbing for a variety of reasons. Political correctness is dictating many changes in society that just shouldn't happen. In this case, the YMCA should have fought the attack by AIM instead of simply caving.

Hat tip to PCWatch.

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