Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lawyer: Border Patrol should be investigated for racial profiling
Lawyer should be investigated for stupidity!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Helen Thomas calls new Bush aide 'contemptible,' tangles with Tony Snow
Originally at Drudge:

Helen Thomas, doyenne of the White House press corps, tangles with Tony Snow at today's briefing over President Bush's appointment of Karl Zinmeister as domestic policy adviser:

QUESTION: Why did the president pick a man who is so contemptible of the public servants in Washington to be his domestic adviser, saying, People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings. Why did he...

SNOW: Apparently an opinion that's...

QUESTION: Why would he pick such a man to be a domestic adviser?

SNOW: You meant contemptuous as opposed to contemptible I think.

QUESTION: Pure contempt.

SNOW: I'm not sure it's pure contempt. I know Karl Zinsmeister pretty well and he is somebody who expresses himself with a certain amount of piquancy. You're perhaps familiar with that, aren't you, Helen?


And so, as a consequence from time to time, he's going to say -- he'll have some sharp elbows.

QUESTION: His attitude toward public servants...

SNOW: I don't think it is his attitude toward public servants. It may have been toward the press. Just kidding.


No, look if, you look at the bulk of what Karl Zinsmeister has done at the American Enterprise and elsewhere, I think you're going to find somebody who's done some pretty meaty and interesting research on a variety of topics.

The reason he's being brought in is that he's...

QUESTION: Do you agree with his assessment?

SNOW: I'm not going to -- it is one sentence the guy wrote. And perhaps you may recall -- yes?

QUESTION: Arrogant, morally repugnant, cheating, shifty.

SNOW: That's a lot in one sentence, isn't it? He just packed it right in.

That must've been a hoot live...

Monday, May 29, 2006

OpinionJournal - Featured Article

Memorial Day
Reflections on those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, May 29, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT


"Always think of it: never speak of it." That was the stoic French injunction during the time when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine had been lost. This resolution might serve us well at the present time, when we are in midconflict with a hideous foe, and when it is too soon to be thinking of memorials to a war not yet won. This Memorial Day, one might think particularly of those of our fallen who also guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Seattle Times: America at war on Memorial Day

Simply put, our enemy is not mere random groups of terrorist criminals. It is using terror and irregular warfare as a means to conduct a protracted, global insurgency. It is waging war of a kind and scope rarely seen before. As incredible as it may seem to us, this is the nature of the enemy we face.

For all these differences, significant though they are, some aspects of war endure. War remains brutal, face-to-face, a matter of survival. Innocents suffer. The enemy hides and deceives, so war is still the realm of fog and uncertainty — regardless of technological advances. War requires skill, cunning, imagination, sacrifice and leadership. Once war starts, its outcome is unpredictable. Straightforward cause-and-effect logic only partially applies to activity in war, for emotion, chance and the human heart reign as much as reasoning. War remains a clash of wills, a duel where guts and staying power count.

America and her allies have fought a hot, sustained, global campaign against enemies who sought to impose an ideology on the world before. Then, however, the threat was clear and unambiguous, for the enemy was a set of nation-states and they fought conventionally. Clarity and conventionality went a long way to sustain the national will necessary to persevere when times were bleak; maintain support for those in uniform and their families; welcome home with open arms those who fought; and rightly continue to show appreciation for their sacrifices year after year, Memorial Day after Memorial Day.

The enemy we are fighting today has chosen means that exploit ambiguity and lack clarity. Eroding our national will is its very intent — all the while acting to achieve its political and ideological aims. There are soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who are fighting this very day and this very night to prevent the enemy from achieving its political and ideological aims. They and their families need our continued support, our perseverance and our open arms. The shape of our future is literally in their hands.

But in today's environment more than ever before, the future is also in your hands. In a conflict where the erosion of your will is a major goal of our enemy, you are a soldier as well.


A tip for the hurricane season: Try to have some kind of a clue (Dave Barry)

The 2006 hurricane season is here, and if you're a resident of Florida, you know what that means: It means you have the IQ of bean dip. If you had any working brain cells, by now you'd have moved to some less risky place, such as Iraq. This is especially true after last hurricane season, which was so bad that we went all the way through the alphabet of official names and had to refer to the last batch of hurricanes by making primitive grunting sounds.

Unfortunately, it appears we're in for another bad season. The National Center for Making Everybody Nervous About Hurricanes is predicting that this season there will be 10 major hurricanes, defined as ``hurricanes that cause Bryan Norcross to lose his voice.''

According to the center's computer simulations, at least four of those storms will hit the mainland United States, and at least one of those will come directly to your house and cause a tree branch, traveling at 150 mph, to impale you through your chest. (Bear in mind that these are only predictions. It could also be your skull.)


That's why it is so important that you be ready for hurricane season. Here are some tips to help you prepare:


Let me explain:

When a hurricane is approaching South Florida, we get a LOT of advance warning. Usually for the entire week leading up to its arrival, the newspaper prints large headlines that say HURRICANE COMING, along with many stories reminding people to stock up on water, gas and food. All the radio stations announce roughly every 25 seconds that a hurricane is coming and people will need water, gas and food. On TV, Bryan spends hour after hour pointing at the oncoming radar blob and rasping, in the voice of an ailing seal, about the need to stock up on water, gas and food.

So what happens, EVERY SINGLE TIME? I'll tell you! Immediately after the hurricane passes, lines begin to form all over South Florida -- lines of people, thousands of them, who are in desperate need of -- water, gas and food! WHERE HAVE THESE PEOPLE BEEN? Did the hurricane winds just carry them here from Madagascar? Can they not function on their own for 24 hours without having to get into a line? How can they not even have WATER?? Were they not aware that, as the hurricane approached, they could have gotten all the water they needed MERELY BY TURNING ON THE FREAKING WATER FAUCET???

That's what I mean by ``have some kind of clue.''


= )

Virginia Reporter Fired Over Fabrications

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond Times-Dispatch said Saturday it fired a reporter for fabricating part of a story and has begun investigating his other work.

Paul Bradley, 51, who worked in the newspaper's northern Virginia bureau, was dismissed Friday, the newspaper reported.

The article, published May 17, was intended to gather reaction in Herndon to President Bush's speech on immigration.

Bradley's fabrications, the Times-Dispatch said, included an interview that did not occur with the director of a center for day laborers and the misrepresentation that he had visited the center by using a Herndon dateline.

Managing editor Louise C. Seals said the director of the center alerted the newspaper to the fabrications.

"What I did was wrong and an indefensible journalistic sin," Bradley said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "I cut corners to put some color into a story and I am now paying a dear price."

Bradley apologized to readers but said "the punishment far exceeds the crime."

Somebody call the WHAAAmbulance.

: |

Friday, May 26, 2006

Victor Davis Hanson: Looking Back at Iraq. A war to be proud of.
Time to kickoff the Memorial Day Weekend with a little VDH:

American soldiers in Iraq have shown the best of this country.

There may be a lot to regret about the past policy of the United States in the Middle East, but the removal of Saddam Hussein and the effort to birth democracy in his place is surely not one of them. And we should remember that this Memorial Day.

Whatever our righteous anger at Khomeinist Iran, it was wrong, well aside from the arms-for-hostages scandal, to provide even a modicum of aid to Saddam Hussein, the great butcher of his own, during the Iran-Iraq war.

Inviting the fascist Baathist government of Syria into the allied coalition of the first Gulf War meant that we more or less legitimized the Assad regime’s take-over of Lebanon, with disastrous results for its people.

It may have been strategically in error not to have taken out Saddam in 1991, but it was morally wrong to have then encouraged Shiites and Kurds to rise up—while watching idly as Saddam’s reprieved planes and helicopters slaughtered them in the thousands.

A decade of appeasement of Islamic terrorism, with retaliations after the serial attacks—from the first World Trade Center bombing to Khobar Towers and the USS Cole—never exceeding the occasional cruise missile or stern televised lecture, made September 11 inevitable.

A decade was wasted in subsidizing Yasser Arafat on the pretense that he was something other than a mendacious thug.

I cite these few examples of the now nostalgic past, because it is common to see Iraq written off by the architects of these past failures as the “worst” policy decision in our history, a “quagmire” and a “disaster.” Realists, more worried about Iran and the ongoing cost in our blood and treasure in Iraq, insist that toppling Saddam was a terrible waste of resources. Leftists see the Iraq war as part of an amoral imperialism; often their talking points weirdly end up rehashed in bin Laden’s communiqués and Dr. Zawahiri’s rants.

But what did 2,400 brave and now deceased Americans really sacrifice for in Iraq, along with thousands more who were wounded? And what were billions in treasure spent on? And what about the hundreds of collective years of service offered by our soldiers? What exactly did intrepid officers in the news like a Gen. Petreus, or Col. McMaster, or Lt. Col Kurilla fight for?

First, there is no longer a mass murderer atop one of the oil-richest states in the world. Imagine what Iraq would now look like with $70 a barrel oil, a $50 billion unchecked and ongoing Oil-for-Food U.N. scandal, the 15th year of no-fly zones, a punitative U.N. embargo on the Iraqi people—all perverted by Russian arms sales, European oil concessions, and frenzied Chinese efforts to get energy contracts from Saddam.

The Kurds would remain in perpetual danger. The Shiites would simply be harvested yearly, in quiet, by Saddam’s police state. The Marsh Arabs would by now have been forgotten in their toxic dust-blown desert. Perhaps Saddam would have upped his cash pay-outs for homicide bombers on the West Bank.

Muammar Khaddafi would be starting up his centrifuges and adding to his chemical weapons depots. Syria would still be in Lebanon. Washington would probably have ceased pressuring Egypt and the Gulf States to enact reform. Dr. Khan’s nuclear mail-order house would be in high gear. We would still be hearing of a “militant wing” of Hamas, rather than watching a democratically elected terrorist clique reveal its true creed to the world.

But just as importantly, what did these rare Americans not fight for? Oil, for one thing. The price skyrocketed after they went in. The secret deals with Russia and France ended. The U.N. petroleum perfidy stopped. The Iraqis, and the Iraqis alone—not Saddam, the French, the Russians, or the U.N.—now adjudicate how much of their natural resources they will sell, and to whom.

Our soldiers fought for the chance of a democracy; that fact is uncontestable. Before they came to Iraq, there was a fascist dictatorship. Now, after three elections, there is an indigenous democratic government for the first time in the history of the Middle East. True, thousands of Iraqis have died publicly in the resulting sectarian mess; but thousands were dying silently each year under Saddam—with no hope that their sacrifice would ever result in the first steps that we have already long passed.

Our soldiers also removed a great threat to the United States. Again, the crisis brewing over Iran reminds us of what Iraq would have reemerged as. Like Iran, Saddam reaped petroprofits, sponsored terror, and sought weapons of mass destruction. But unlike Iran, he had already attacked four of his neighbors, gassed thousands of his own, and violated every agreement he had ever signed. There would have been no nascent new democracy in Iran that might some day have undermined Saddam, and, again unlike Iran, no internal dissident movement that might have come to power through a revolution or peaceful evolution.

Read the rest at the link at top.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

ABC News: Watch for Bush-Blair 'Homo-Eroticism' at Tonight's Press Conference
They are completely losing it at ABC. Completely. They've gone literally bonkers.

Hat-tip to FR's kristinn:

Text of the ABC News report:

484 members of the Gang of 500 think Tony Blair is smarter, more articulate, more principled, and more visionary than Geroge W. Bush; their Brit counterparts think those Gang members are plonkers and muppets.

All of this will be on display when toothpaste buddies Bush and Blair ruin everyone's evening by holding a plush joint newser after or on Old Media deadlines.

A whole lotta thumbsuckin' going on as everyone vamps for the post-East Coast network news full press conference at 7:30 pm ET.

"This will be the President's 25th full press conference since taking office in 2001. His last press conference was on April 28 in the Rose Garden and was originally billed as just a statement on the economy. That day the President took questions from 15 different reporters," reports ABC News' Karen Travers, rattling off those stats as if they were sports scores.

Do not expect any announcements on troop withdrawals. The White House said Wednesday that such talk is "premature" and that those decisions will still turn on conditions on the ground. But watch closely the nuance, the body language, the bonhomie, and the sheer homo-eroticism (We are sort of kidding about that last one, Mr. President.).

Iran to launch a new suicide bombers garrison

Tehran, Iran, May 24 – Iran will launch a new suicide-bombers garrison on Thursday, according to the head of a group affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Mohammad-Ali Samadi, spokesman for the Headquarters to Commemorate the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, a government-orchestrated campaign to recruit suicide bombers, told the state-run news agency Mehr on Tuesday that the group planned to officially announce the existence of the new garrison in a ceremony in Tehran’s largest cemetery on Thursday afternoon.

The new garrison will be named after Nader Mahdavi, an IRGC naval commander who died in a suicide attack on an American naval vessel in 1987, Samadi said.

The report said that more that 55,000 “volunteers for martyrdom-seeking operations” had been registered so far by the organisation, which also calls itself “Estesh’hadioun”, or martyrdom-seekers.

In February, the group launched a new recruitment drive for suicide bombers in Tehran to fight against “Global Blasphemy”.

The group was set up by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 2004. Those who join have three choices: To carry out suicide attacks against “the infidels occupying Iraq”, against Israel, or against Salman Rushdie.
Man, they hate Salman Rushdie. (LOL)

Judge: Man is too short for prison
Good grief... first we had a teacher too pretty for jail, now this poor widdle child molester is too short.

SIDNEY, Neb. - A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.

His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.

"You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.

But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18. Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.

He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."

Why imperil the safety of a child molester when you can continue to imperil the safety of children? Doh! I should've had a V-8!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

HILL DRIVE FOR '55' ( National Maximum Speed Limit )
So we finally have a flash of brilliance here in Texas -- with a move to bump up the speed in west Texas to 80 -- and that tyrannymaroon Hillary Clinton talks national 55. Good-ness.

Cue Sammy Hagar.

Duke women's lacrosse to wear 'innocent' bands
A.C.L.U. May Block Criticism by Its Board
Oooh... shocker! (Actually, the only shocker here is that this is originally from the NYX.)

No firearms charges against woman, 87 [Homeowner shoots and kills burglar who beat her with rock]

An 87-year-old woman who fatally shot a would-be intruder will not be charged with a crime, even though she did not legally own the gun, authorities said Monday.

On Feb. 7, Jacksie Mae King fired several shots through the front door of her house after she woke up about 2 a.m. to the sounds of someone trying to break in.

One bullet hit Larry Tillman, 49, who was on the other side of the door, standing on King's enclosed porch.

He lay dead on the porch in the 2100 block of Gaty Avenue for four hours before he was found by King's daughter, who came to bring breakfast about 6 a.m. Meanwhile, King stayed inside clutching the pistol.

"She was justified in using deadly force to defend herself against the threat of deadly force," said Robert B. Haida, the St. Clair County state's attorney.

King did not have a Firearm Owner's Identification card, which is required to own a gun in Illinois, Haida said.

He said it would be inappropriate in the interest of justice to prosecute her for the illegally owned gun.

Ya think?
King's daughter gave her the .32-caliber Colt revolver two months earlier after a man broke into King's house in December. That intruder beat her and stole some of her things.

Evidence is being tested to determine whether Tillman, who lived near King, was responsible for that home invasion, said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. James Morrisey.

In both incidents, the telephone lines to King's house were cut, and security bars were removed from a side window.

In the December break-in, the intruder smashed the window with a large rock from a nearby railroad track. A large rock was found next to Tillman's body, Morrisey said.
I'd say she got 'im.

How does it feel ... to be 65? (Bob Dylan's birthday approaches)
May God bless Bob Dylan with many more years (and may Dylan bless us by releasing, or finishing writing, whichever it is, Chronicles Volume II).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Daily Recycler: Taking Charge
I love this video so much, and hadn't seen it in a while. It's worth a re-scanning.

Bush rocks.

(If video doesn't work, click on link above.)

First Rebuilt Skyscraper at WTC Opens (Eat This, Bin Laden)
Pictures and story at link.

The Anchoress ? The Essential President Bush
A great read -- with wonderful remembrances of worthy moments.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Workers flee explosive fries
Great title from Roto-Reuters. The story itself is far less incendiary:

York - Workers at a British factory making French fries were evacuated two days running last week after bomb parts turned up in potatoes imported from France and Belgium, the site of battles in World War 1 and 2.

The Scarborough plant, owned by Canada's McCain Foods, the world's largest producer of frozen fries, was emptied on Friday after a worker spotted a shell tip among the potatoes as they were being cleaned for slicing.

"The police were called and the bomb squad advised a 100m exclusion zone should be set up," said a McCain spokesperson.

On Saturday, an entire hand grenade was discovered in the potatoes and the plant in northern England was evacuated again.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire police said "The army took the device away and blew it up in a controlled explosion in a field nearby."

Second factory also has been evacuated

The Scarborough plant was opened in 1969 and uses 1 400 tons of potatoes a week. Production is back to normal.

McCain's Whittlesey plant near Peterborough in eastern England also has also been evacuated several times this year after World War 2 ordnance was found in batches of potatoes.

"Occasionally during the use of imported potatoes from Belgium and northern France, ordnance debris from the World War 1 and 2 is found," said the firm.
The Power of Language, Hurtful History (What to do with racist terminology in American Literature?)

Professor Gerald Wetlaufer read aloud two passages, one from Robert Caro's biography of former President Lyndon Johnson and another a 1964 speech by a black sharecropper named Fannie Lou Hamer. He apologized for not warning the students, but said the words were appropriate in the context.

"These were not words I used to oppress anyone in the class or promote anyone else's agenda," he said. "This word appears 49 times in 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' I don't think I have crossed some line here."


African-Americans in New York are complaining that a reading comprehension question on the state's Regent Exam which asks about the benefits of European imperialism to Africa are racially insensitive, according to the New York Daily News.

A student who took the test says she was outraged by a reading-and-question section that detailed how English colonizers of Uganda built irrigation system and wells. She was also upset by a passage that reads how Europeans were "endeavoring ... to teach the native races to conduct their own affairs with justice and humanity, and to educate them alike in letters and in industry.

Ah, yes, what to do, what to do...

Protests, Applause Greet Rice at BC [About 50 students stood with their backs toward the stage..]
Condi has class, and a serious pair (unlike Shrillary who just cancelled a speech due to the threat of protests):
BOSTON - A few students turned their backs but more stood to applaud as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received an honorary degree and addressed graduates at Boston College on Monday.

After weeks of turmoil and anti-war protests over Rice's invitation to address the Catholic school, Rice told graduates that their education comes with responsibilities.

She drew scattered applause when she discussed what she called a "commitment to reason," or an obligation to test and challenge their own views.

"There is nothing wrong with holding an opinion and holding it passionately," Rice said, "but at those times when you are absolutely sure you're right, go find someone who disagrees."

About 50 students stood with their backs toward the stage as Rice was introduced to give her commencement speech, but they were quickly drowned out by a standing ovation.

A half-dozen signs that said "Not in my name" were held in the air by students, who sat down by the time Rice started to speak. One banner that said "BC honors lies and torture" was held on the side of the stadium, away from where the students were sitting.

Other students cheered Rice, and an Internet broadcast of the ceremony included a shot of a student, talking on his cell phone, with an "I Like Condi" button pinned to his graduation cap.

Earlier Monday, Rice said she understands why students and faculty planned to protest, and she embraced their right to object even as she defended the war in Iraq.

"People have the right to protest, but I hope when they protest they realize also that people now have a right to protest in Baghdad and Kabul, and that's a very big breakthrough for the international community," Rice said Monday before the BC commencement.

Original here.

World's Worst Theme Park (Egypt)
Site is here. One might think, at first, that this is a spoof, and that this is really an old, abandoned park, but no, no it isn't.

First N. Korean refugees admitted to U.S. arrive. 6 defectors tell of slavery, famine & torture

LOS ANGELES - Six North Korean defectors -- the first refugees the United States has admitted from the totalitarian nation -- arrived in Southern California on Saturday bearing accounts of famine, sexual enslavement, torture and repression.

The group was met at Los Angeles International Airport by leaders of four large Korean congregations in Southern California, all members of the Korean Church Coalition, which has pushed the government to take in North Korean refugees.

They hugged each of the refugees and handed them bouquets of fresh flowers as they emerged near the baggage area, accompanied by Chun Ki Won, the missionary who helped them escape via an underground railroad through China and Southeast Asia. Before leaving the airport, church leaders joined hands with the defectors and prayed for North Koreans still living in the Hermit Kingdom or hiding in China.

"This is the moment we've been hoping and praying for for years," said Sam Kim, an attorney and member of the Bethel Korean Church in Irvine.

The refugees, four women and two men ranging in age from 20 to 36, got off the plane wearing vivid new clothes, jeans and bright-colored sweat gear of a kind they said would have been forbidden in North Korea.

While it is not certain where the group will ultimately settle, church members have offered to help the defectors start new lives in California, which is home to the largest number of Koreans outside the Korean peninsula.

In interviews with a reporter in Washington last week, group members told harrowing stories of their path from North Korea to the United States.

Chan Mi Shin, 20, spoke of foraging for grasses to make a broth, the only ersatz food the family could find, and of being so hungry during the famine that killed millions that she started hallucinating that an accordion's keys were cookies and candies.

Speaking through an interpreter, she and the three other women, Na Omi, Young Nah "Deborah" Choi, and Ha Nah, explained how each had been sold as brides or prostitutes to already married Chinese men who paid the equivalent of a few hundred dollars for them. Shin said she was sold into marriage three times within a year of turning 16.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Judge Revokes Bail For Saudi Bus Riders-(update on Saudies raiding a School Bus)
Don't know if I posted the original of this, here's a followup, tho'.

Original here. (There are others.)

Hugo Chavez Teams Up With Oliver Stone For New Film
Back to the files of the $hit you can't make up...

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - American director Oliver Stone and British producer John Daly plan to make a film about the 2002 coup that briefly brought down Venezuela's government, President Hugo Chavez said Sunday.

Chavez said Stone and Daly plan to announce the upcoming film at the Cannes Film Festival in France. He added that the two called Venezuela Sunday morning to discuss their plans.

"They've asked for our permission to announce it today in Cannes, and we've told them yes, that we're interested in that film being made," Chavez said during his weekly television and radio program.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Redneck Neighbor
I loved this.

AOL News - Axl Rose Says Hilfiger 'Just Kept Smacking Me'
News of the just-plain-weird.

Scientist: Asteroid May Hit Earth in 2029
It's the weekend, but if you're bored, enjoy this thread.

= )
Iran’s Ahmadinejad scorns EU atomic incentives-(caption)
Nothing to add... click on the thread. Disturbing. Yeah, "disturbing" is all I can say.

Judge: No prayer at graduation (But KY students ignore ACLU ruling, recite Lord's Prayer!)

RUSSELL SPRINGS - A federal judge barred prayer during a Russell County High School graduation ceremony last night but it included a religious message nonetheless. Megan Chapman made sure of that.

Chapman, chosen by fellow seniors to deliver opening remarks, had planned to include a prayer as had been the practice at commencement for decades. Instead, she talked of her faith and God's love.

"God will never leave you or forsake you," she said drawing a loud standing ovation from the 2,000-plus people packed into the gym.

Many in the conservative county did not agree with U.S. District Judge Judge Joseph McKinley's decision barring the prayer.


Several students interrupted principal Darren Gossage early in the ceremony to recite a portion of the Lord's Prayer, an act the crowd cheered.

(Excerpt) Read more at ..
It was just one kid that had whined:

McKinley granted a temporary restraining order yesterday barring a prayer at the school's commencement.

School officials strongly disagreed with the decision but didn't have time yesterday to attempt to overturn it before the ceremony, said attorney Michael Owsley of Bowling Green, who represented Gossage. McKinley's ruling came in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by a student identified only as John Doe.

The student argued that including prayer at graduation would constitute an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. A school-sponsored prayer would be offensive to him, tarnish his enjoyment of the event and violate his rights, the student claimed.

"My high-school graduation is a very important event for me and I want to attend my graduation without having to compromise my Constitutional rights," he said in an affidavit.

The teen asked to remain anonymous, saying he feared retaliation if his identity became public. He said he has been threatened in the past for expressing his views about religion, including having a cross burned in his yard.

Gabe McNeil, one of 189 seniors, said that during a rehearsal Thursday other students booed the student suspected of filing the challenge when he walked across the stage. He was not booed during the ceremony.

U.S. gator aid is urged
There are so many riduclous statements in this one, one knows not where to start. Of course I'll try...

How about with the first line:
As alligator habitats shrink and human population grows, it's inevitable that they'll clash more often.
Of course! It's all our fault!
Alligators have killed three people in Florida in recent weeks, and now the federal government may be getting involved.

U.S. Rep. Adam H. Putnam, a Republican from Bartow, is working with colleagues to come up with solutions, including money to hire more alligator trappers.

While that would speed response time when a gator gets too close for comfort, it's not the whole answer to their happy coexistence with humans.

Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife scientist from the University of Florida at the Fort Lauderdale Education and Research Center, said combating the current public fear requires an education campaign, in addition to dispatching more trappers.

''Most people who come to the state are new and they don't understand what their relationship is with the environment,'' Mazzotti said.

No comment needed.

The article goes on to list some savage slayings, including this dumb-ass comment:

In Pinellas County, Judy W. Cooper's right arm and hand were recovered from an alligator Monday. Although a medical examiner's report isn't finished, authorities have said the alligator played a role in the Dunedin resident's death.
Really? Ya think?!

Then this:

But Broward County trapper Kevin Garvey isn't convinced that more trappers are the answer, and said it might be hard to find qualified candidates.

The work is dangerous, and it doesn't pay well. Garvey gets $30 per alligator from the state, with an annual cap of roughly $2,500. He supplements that amount by selling the captured gators to a processor whose cost is based on the size of the animal. In addition to having the technical know-how to snag a frightened reptile, good trappers should be calm, patient, diplomatic, level-headed and responsible. Toss in some public relations skills, too.

Garvey has waited five hours for an alligator to come to the surface and chased one particular alligator for two years.

The toughest part of the job isn't trapping the alligator, Garvey said.

''The hardest part of the job is dealing with the public because they are so demanding,'' Garvey said.

When someone calls about an alligator in their yard, they want it removed as soon as possible, not in a day or two, he said.

Gee, Kev, I wonder why that is? Why not have 'em wait a week before they can venture out of their homes.
The public needs to stop panicking and learn more about alligators, Garvey said. ``This is just something you have to learn to live with."
Like poor Judy Cooper, et al.?

When people encounter alligators, they either fear them or try to befriend them, he said.

''There is no happy medium,'' Mazzotti said. ``It is exactly the happy medium that is desired.''

This Mazzotti guy is what passes for a scientist these days. Gee, I'd hate to hear what an uneducated moron might have to say.

Friday, May 19, 2006

700-Pound Alligator Captured (pics):

local6 ^ | May 18, 2006

Meanwhile, a giant 700-pound, 12-foot-long alligator was captured and pulled from a South Florida canal after residents called for help.

A crane and several men were needed to lift the alligator out of the canal located near Northwest 41st Street in Doral, Fla.

Homeowners in the area complained about the alligator, saying it had become a nuisance.

A trapper said the alligator was definitely not one residents would want in the area, according to the report.

Uh, definitely not. That ain't no 'gator, it's freakin' Godzilla.

Iran eyes badges for Jews
And Christians. (Original here.)

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."

Closer and closer? I'd say Iran is pretty much there.

A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa refused to comment on the measures. "This is nothing to do with anything here," said a press secretary who identified himself as Mr. Gharmani.

"We are not here to answer such questions."


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Carrboro Officials: Let Illegal Immigrants Vote

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Immigration is arguably the most controversial topic in American today.

Thousands of immigrants come to this country every year illegally. But some Carrboro town officials want to give those immigrants the right to vote.

"Immigration is a really positive thing," Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton told NBC17. "Lots of immigrants make a really positive impact on our community."

But, some say Chilton and Town Alderman John Herrera are going too far by proposing that non-citizens of the U.S. and the state be allowed to vote in local elections

"We have tons of people who live in Carrboro from all over the world," Chilton said. "India, China, Mexico, Europe, Russia and they do a lot of work at all different kinds of levels."

However, the state constitution distinctly outlines the factors, which determine eligibility for voting: citizenship, age, residence and criminal record.

Why not then let the folks who are still in India, China, Mexico, Europe, and Russia vote too!

With a green card I couldn't vote. Should I have just saved the cash and rigamarole to become a US citizen? Anarchy now!

(Still haven't been let in on the cache of crazy pills...)

First sex 'theme park' to open
The irreverent thread of the day (thus far). Some of the replies are pretty darned punny.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Termination, suspension possible for Churchill
Excellent... "Mental Ward" Churchill may finally get his comeuppance. He's not just crazy, he's a serial liar and plagiarizer, art copier, and, more than likely, not even any-part-Indian.

Denver Post ^ | Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Jennifer Brown

Governor calls for controversial professor to resign

University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill plagiarized, fabricated and falsified material and was disrespectful of American Indian traditions in his writings, a report released today said.

Three of the five scholars who examined the ethnic studies professor's work for four months believe Churchill's academic misconduct is serious enough that CU could fire him from his tenured job, the report said.

The "Cocktail Party" is over?
In the realm of the almost-trivial, I posted this thread last night. I'm quite irritated about it, and I feel it's just part-and-parcel of a larger over-arching theme of PC-cleansing.

An excerpt:

If University President Michael Adams has his way, the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" will be no more.

In name, that is.

Adams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he objects the phrase "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" to describe the annual football game between Georgia and Florida, and has asked CBS and the city of Jacksonville, Fla. to stop using the phrase to promote the contest.

"There are better images," Adams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We have requested they not use that nomenclature. The indication is they are sensitive to our concern."
Dan Simmons - Author's Official Web Site
Well, finally Dan Simmons responds to his April message, this his long-awaited message for May.

This one is a very long read, but truly worth the time it necessitates. He's a great writer, but, even more importantly, a great thinker.

God bless ya, Dan.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Definitions of Racism (my school district):
A fabulous FReeper has posted this one. It is insanity at its most insane. Original is here:

Seattle Public Schools

The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). The subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society.

Individual Racism:
The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both an unconscious and conscious level, and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites.

Active Racism:
Actions which have as their stated or explicit goal the maintenance of the system of racism and the oppression of those in the targeted racial groups. People who participate in active racism advocate the continued subjugation of members of the targeted groups and protection of “the rights” of members of the agent group. These goals are often supported by a belief in the inferiority of people of color and the superiority of white people, culture, and values.

Passive Racism:
Beliefs, attitudes, and actions that contribute to the maintenance of racism, without openly advocating violence or oppression. The conscious or unconscious maintenance of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that support the system of racism, racial prejudice and racial dominance.

Cultural Racism:
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.

"Emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology" is RACIST? Commie rat bastard freaks. And what the hell is "future time orientation"? Okay, I'll admit it, I looked it up:

Future Orientation

Future orientation is the image individuals have regarding their future, as consciously represented and self-reported. Like autobiography, it tells a personal subjective life story consisting of those life domains individuals deem important, and gives meaning to one's life. Its importance for individuals' motivation and self-definition has been acknowledged by both psychologists (e.g., Bandura, 2001) and laypersons, as attested by the frequent use of future metaphors for promoting both commercial and public interests. "Don't wait for the future-go find it", "Where there is care there is future", "You never actually own a Pateck Phillipe [a Swiss made watch], you merely look after it for the next generation", and "The future isn't something you travel to, it's something you build up" are just several instances of the use of future metaphors in advertisement.

As in other areas of scientific inquiry, researchers have used different terms (e.g., future time orientation, future time perspective, possible selves) to refer to phenomena similar to those I present here. Others have used "future orientation" to describe other non-thematic aspects of future-related issues, especially pertaining to extension (i.e., how far into the future individuals think) and attitudes toward the future.

Future orientation is a person's 'model of the future'. As such, it provides the grounds for setting goals, planning, exploring options and making commitments, and consequently guides the person's developmental course (Bandura, 2001; Nurmi, 1991; Seginer, 2003; Trommsdorff, 1986). Bearing these properties, future orientation has a special importance for individuals going through developmental and transitional periods in which they are normatively expected to prepare themselves for what lies ahead. Therefore, the study of future orientation is especially relevant to adolescent development, on whom much of the future orientation research has been carried out, but also to other developmental transitions associated with marriage, parenthood, retirement and bereavement, and such life transitions as immigration.

Okaaaay... planning for the future is racist.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Plane carrying Sen. Kennedy struck by lightning
Ahhh... the stuff one just cannot make up. I'd make a joke, but how about just go with the first thing that came into your mind.

I linked to the FR thread... I'm sure they'll have a field day with this one.

Corrections: For the Record - New York Times:
Ahhh, the Slimes... called a Purple Heart a Purple Star. LOL. Glad to see professionals work there.

"An article and a picture caption yesterday about the funeral of Sgt. Jose Gomez of Queens, who was killed on April 20 in Iraq, referred incorrectly to the Army representative who comforted his mother. She was a sergeant first class — an enlisted woman, not an officer. The article also misstated the name of a service medal that a general presented to Sergeant Gomez's mother. It is a Purple Heart, not a Purple Star. In some copies, a picture of the coffin being carried out of a funeral home carried an erroneous credit. The photographer was Ozier Muhammad of The New York Times. (Go to Article)"
Incompetent loons.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Do "beer goggles" really exist?
Just ask Yahoo?! (LOVE how they had an actual study to refer to).

Anyway, since the weekend approaches, this is probably apropos.

Dear Yahoo!:

Do "beer goggles" really exist?

Dear Tipsy:
For those of you unfamiliar with the party scene, "beer goggles" refers to how people often appear more attractive to you after you've had a few drinks. For a long time, it was just a convenient excuse a person used to explain "regrettable
amorous encounters." However, according to a study at the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews, beer goggles (or "brew gogs" as they're
known in certain fraternal circles) are very real.

It's no secret that excessive drinking leads to poor judgment behind the wheel. Well, it can also
lead to poor judgment at your local pub. According to the aforementioned study, what constitutes "attractive" changes drastically after a few drinks. In other words, while you may think you're hitting on a 10, there's a chance you're actually picking up someone in the lower-single digits.

The reasons behind this phenomenon have to do with alcohol stimulating the nucleus accumbens, aka "the part of the brain which is used to determine facial attractiveness." In the 2002 study, male and female students were shown pictures of members of the opposite sex and asked
to rate them on a scale of 1-7 (sounds cruel, we know). The more students drank, the higher they rated the photographs.

We hope this sobering study helps encourage more responsible drinking. Remember -- if you're looking for love and don't want to wake up disappointed, you're better off at an ice-cream social than a keg-stand contest.

So there you have it.

And I had to steal this pic:

Thursday, May 11, 2006

.::Operation.Iraqi.Freedom::.: "

Al-Qaida documents found
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces discovered a large amount of documents and videos ranging from plans to critiques, including al-Qaida in Iraq’s strategy in Baghdad during an April 16 raid in the Yusifiyah area.

The documents show how the terrorist organization lacks leadership, military capability and Iraqi support."

Al-Qaida in Iraq attacks Mosques and other public places to draw media attention and is having difficulty recruiting members because the people of Iraq do not support its cause...
Upping the killings of civilians, as they have been, is really going to turn that around. Murderous morons.
Why Won't U.S., Iran Hash Out Differences? -
If this title from (CR)AP isn't bad enough, what NotSoBright had to say is:

In a speech this week in Seattle, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged direct talks with Iran, saying: "The last thing we need is to invade another country."

What is there to talk about? They want nukes, we don't want them to have them. They want to wipe out Israel, we happen to like the existence of Israel. They want us to submit to a world-wide caliphate, we happen to enjoy religious freedom.

There is no equal ground regarding the participants. Whatsoever.

Shahin Gobadi, spokesman for the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, an exile group, said a Bush-Ahmadinejad summit is implausible because Tehran "has not been willing to accept the norms and rules of conduct of the 21st century."

"This regime is built on the concept of medieval religious tyranny. It's not compatible with dialogue," he told The Associated Press.

Exactly. And thank you for using your brain.

Iran Declares War
The New York Sun VIA Little Green ^

New York Sun Editorial May 11, 2006

President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush, widely interpreted as a peaceful overture, is in fact a declaration of war. The key sentence in the letter is the closing salutation. In an eight-page text of the letter being circulated by the Council on Foreign Relations, it is left untranslated and rendered as "Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." What this means is "Peace only unto those who follow the true path."

It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira - the late 620s - the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels.
Isn't it de-lovely?

Men admit beheading schoolgirls
From AP, better known as CRAP. The headline gels well with the first line:

Jakarta - Seven suspected Islamic terrorists have confessed to beheading three Christian schoolgirls on Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, police said on Wednesday.

Yep, those are some real "men" for ya. On the same page is this headline:
'Western media attacks Muslims'
Uh, no... Muslims attack little girls. The media are almost your best friends. Such ingratitude. (Also, a story out today about a kidnapped nine-year-old girl)

But yeah, poor Muslims, always the victims.

*rolls eyes*
Snow issues detailed rebuttals to media coverage of the president (Tony Snow Gets Busy!)
Finally, a worthy successor to Ari. All the charm, and both barrels blazing:

The Examiner ^ | May 11, 2006 | Bill Sammon

WASHINGTON - New White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is starting off in a combative mode against the press by issuing detailed rebuttals to what he considers unfair coverage of Bush.

“The New York Times continues to ignore America’s economic progress,” blared the headline of an e-mail sent to reporters Wednesday by the White House press office.

Minutes earlier, another e-mail blasted CBS News, which has had an unusually rocky relationship with the White House since 2004, when CBS aired what turned out to be forged documents in a failed effort to question the president’s military service.

“CBS News misleadingly reports that only 8 million seniors have signed up for Medicare prescription drug coverage,” Wednesday’s missive said. “But 37 million seniors have coverage.” On Tuesday, the White House railed against “USA Today’s misleading Medicare story.”

“USA Today claims ‘poor, often minority’ Medicare beneficiaries are not enrolling in Medicare drug coverage,” the press office complained. “But by April, more than 70 percent of eligible African Americans, more than 70 percent of eligible Hispanics, and more than 75 percent of eligible Asian Americans are enrolled or have retiree drug coverage.”

White House sources said Snow, who started on the job Monday and has yet to give his first public press briefing, is determined to aggressively counter what the administration considers unfair assertions in both news and editorials about Bush. At the same time, he is eager to make the notoriously secretive administration more accessible to the press.

Kickin' butt, and taking monogrammed names.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chris Daughtry -- A Little Less Conversation
The video from last night.

Expose the Left ? Zinger: Rumsfeld Catches Reporter’s “Fallacious” Question (VIDEO)
Once again those fabulous guys at have caught another (awesome) Rumsfeld zinger. Gosh, I just love this guy.

Zinger: Rumsfeld Catches Reporter’s “Fallacious” Question (VIDEO)

At today’s Pentagon briefing:

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, getting back to the question of the CIA, the last time we had an active-duty military officer heading up the CIA was even before you were in government, 1953 I believe. And I’m just wondering…

RUMSFELD: What was Vernon—didn’t Vernon Walters do it? Didn’t Studeman do it?

Yes, I think your facts may be wrong. I have not researched it; I should.


QUESTION: OK. Well, my point remains—my question remains the same, is: Do you think it’s…

RUMSFELD: Even though the premise is fallacious.



Mark Steyn: The Da Vinci Code: bad writing for Biblical illiterates
I loved this one (surprise, surprise). It was originally published in Macleans, a Canadian magazine, where, apparently, 34% of the population thinks "The DaVinci Code" is non-fiction. (Believing in nothing, falling for anything...)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA)
Site of the day.

BLACKFIVE: We all lost a Brother Today:

"I lost a brother today. Marine Corps Captain Brian S. Letendre died in a well coordinated insurgent attack conducted against one of our strongpoints here in Ramadi, Iraq.

A U.S. soldier was also killed and another fellow Marine was wounded in the same assault. As a police officer and Marine, I've experienced death before, but this one hit especially hard. Brian and I are part of an eleven-man team assigned as advisors to an Iraqi infantry battalion here in Ramadi. I was on the three vehicle gun truck convoy that took him to the strongpoint where he was to begin operations with one of the Iraqi battalion's infantry companies. Prior to leaving Brian at the strongpoint, I shook his hand and told him to keep his head down. Brian laughed and said he had to, 'because I owed him.' Brian was a college wrestler and managed to pin me the last time we practiced ground fighting. It was our running joke that I would one day return the favor. Brian will never grapple again. Nor will he be there to see his three-year-old son, Dillon, wrestle or play his favorite sport, soccer."


This day, as all days, the sun will rise with the hope of peace. No matter the bitterness in how the day may end, it is that hope of peace in the dawn that gives life its precious meaning.

Jason Forgash
Sergeant, La Habra Police Department
Chief Warrant Officer, United States Marine Corps Reserve

Semper Fidelis

p.s. My advisor team is putting together a scholarship fund for Brian's son Dillon. If anyone finds it in their heart to contribute, I request that the La Habra Police Association Board open an account on my behalf to collect the donations. Our team will be opening the scholarship fund and transferring all monetary donations to it when we return from Iraq at the end of this year. If you think it is appropriate, feel free to disseminate this e-mail to other agencies and service organizations. I offer heartfelt appreciation to all of you in advance.

Read the rest at the link.
U.S. tipping Mexico to Minuteman patrols

While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen -- and telling the Mexican government where they are.
If this true, it's BS of the highest (lowest) order. It doesn't matter what side you're on -- it's not just people "looking for a better life" coming over that border.

Gov to MM: We won't do our job, and you can't do it for us either. Not even for free. P.S. Pay your taxes?

*shakes head in disgust*

Friday, May 05, 2006

President Bush calls Flight 93 revolt "First counter-attack in World War III"

In an interview with the financial news network CNBC, Mr Bush said he had yet to see the recently released film of the uprising, a dramatic portrayal of events on the United Airlines plane before it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

But he said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, who in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month called it "our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war, World War III".

Mr Bush said: "I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III.

"It was, it was unbelievably heroic of those folks on the airplane to recognize the danger and save lives," he said.

Well, I didn't see the interview but there, it's been said. So be it.

Wounded Marine in iconic Fallujah photo awarded Navy Cross
Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal -- an amazing hero:

When then-1st Sgt. Kasal assisted one of his platoons with an over watch inside Fallujah that day, intense gunfire broke out in an Iraqi home to his immediate front.

Seconds later, Marines were rapidly exiting the building, known as the “House of Hell.” “That house was a death trap,” said Maj. Gen. Lehnert.

“It was set up for one purpose: to kill United States Marines.” Kasal could have easily stayed out of the house.”

When he found out that there were Marines still pinned down inside the infamous house, nothing the insurgents could put on the table would stop him from rescuing his Marines.

“Going in for them was the right thing to do,” said Kasal, 39, who hails from Afton, Iowa. “They’re Marines, and I’m a Marine. We look out for each other.”

Upon entry of the house, Kasal found himself face-to-face with an insurgent who he neutralized at extreme close range. Shortly afterwards, AK-47 gunfire was coming from all directions, and Kasal was hit from behind.

“While I was in that house, I made three life or death decisions,” Kasal said. “I never thought I would live through any of them, but I did what I did to help the other Marines.”

The first decision Kasal made was to expose himself to enemy fire in order to pull another wounded Marine out of the line of fire. Kasal took more enemy fire doing this.

While both Marines were under cover, they assessed their wounds. Both had multiple injuries, but there were only enough bandages for one of them to live.

Kasal made his second decision to forfeit his medical supplies to the other Marine.

“It made more sense to use all of the bandages on one of us then to split the supplies and have us both bleed to death,” Kasal said.

The insurgents deployed a hand grenade to get the Marines out of cover, and it landed within a few feet of the two bleeding Marines.

Kasal then decided to use his own severely wounded body to protect the Marine from shrapnel.

By the time he was carried out of the house by Lance Cpl. Chris Marquez and Lance Cpl. Dan Shaffer as Lucian M. Reed, an Associated Press photographer snapped the iconic photo displayed at Marine Corps installations all over the globe, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood from more than 40 shrapnel wounds and seven 7.62 mm AK-47 gunshots.

One day prior to being awarded the Navy Cross Kasal’s father passed away.

However, a live video teleconference feed to Kasal’s hometown provided his mother, family members and friends an opportunity to watch him receive the Navy Cross, be promoted to the rank of sergeant major and reenlist for three years.

“It’s been a very emotional week,” Kasal said. “I am blessed to recover from my injuries, which the doctors thought would never happen, and regain my place in the Marine Corps. I would take the pain of surgeries any day over the pain of being away from my Marines.”

(Is it just me, or is there some unwritten rule that military heroes have to look like supermodels? Anyway, Cindy Sheehan and her ilk are not worthy to live in a country defended by men like Bradley Kasal.)

Pictures and video at the initial linked thread.

US Command unveils unflattering video snippet of al-Qaida in Iraq leader

Newly released video of the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq shows Abu Musab al-Zarqawi decked out in American tennis shoes and fumbling with a machine gun.

The US military command says the footage was found during a series of raids in April on purported terror cell safe houses southwest of Baghdad.

Major General Rick Lynch says al-Zarqawi chose not to show the world this piece of video in which he's wearing "his New Balance tennis shoes," and in which his associates "do things like grab the hot barrel of the machine gun and burn themselves."

Video here.
Prince Charles opens Bedouin tent at London peace center (possible islamic convert alert)
He has really totally lost it (if, of course, he ever really had it):

LONDON - Prince Charles on Thursday officially opened London's most unlikely new landmark - a large Bedouin tent that will be used to promote peace and reconciliation.

Created of out goat hair, the structure stands in the garden of the former St. Ethelburga's Church which was destroyed by an Irish Republican Army bomb in 1993.

The church reopened as a center for peace and reconcilication in 2002 and the tent - built in Saudi Arabia and designed to withstand London's regular rain showers - will be used for events promoting interfaith dialogue.

Addressing leaders from nine faiths, Charles on Thursday argued for greater understanding between the faiths.

"We are all trying to explain the nature of mystery and in a sense it is almost impossible to explain, he said.

"If only we could understand each other's groupings to understand the mystery, not try to overdo the way in which we decide that we know everything, we might perhaps reduce the level of conflict and violence and misunderstanding."

The opening received messages of support from international figures including the Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and rock star Bono.

Academic Keith Critchlow designed the tent according to the tenets of geometry, algebra and astrology rather than on traditional religious lines.

It is carpeted with rugs woven in conflict zones.

A tent was chosen because it is associated with the nomadic origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Oh, those kooky Jew and Christian nomadic tent-dwellers.

: |

Drunk Swedes ejected from Egypt for mocking Islam
Funny thread.

Beaver shot in downtown Larvik
Time for a break, for something irrelevant and irreverent. If the title of this one isn't bad enough, the text just gets better...

Joakim Moltzau was delivering newspapers early in the morning when he found a somewhat worn out beaver wandering in downtown Larvik. After failing to lead the animal down to the local river, he called police for assistance to move the beaver to safety.

Police arrived, before getting a handgun and shooting the animal three times.

"Two men came out, one went over to the beaver, the other got the pistol and loaded it. They had decided in advance to kill it," Moltzau told newspaper Østlands-Posten.

"It was terrible. First and foremost I feel very sorry for the beaver, but I am also skeptical about police firing a revolver in the middle of the city," Moltzau said.

Police assessed the animal as injured and decided it had to be put down, an assessment Moltzau did not fully share.

"Yes, it had a scrape on a back leg, but it didn't have to die," Moltzau told the newspaper. "They shot it in the back, but you don't kill the animal like that, I have hunted beaver and you need to shoot in the neck."

Police shot the beaver in the back twice before Moltzau ran over and told them where to aim. He said it took them about seven minutes to kill the animal, from the time the first shot was fired.

Several witnesses gathered after hearing the first shot.

Norwegian police do not normally bear firearms.
Sowell: Justice Thomas' Day Job
This sounds like a book to buy (reviewed by Thomas Sowell):

Over the years, there have been a number of books written about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Some of these books have looked at Justice Thomas politically, some biographically or racially -- and with various degrees of bias or inaccuracy.

Now, more than a dozen years since Clarence Thomas became a member of the High Court, there is at last a book about his day job -- interpreting and applying the law.

More than 300 of Justice Thomas' Supreme Court opinions are quoted and analyzed in a recently published book, "The Keeper of the Flame" by Henry Mark Holzer.

Unlike most of his fellow justices, Clarence Thomas writes in a very direct and straightforward way that cuts through the fog of rhetoric to the heart of the issues involved.

One of the themes that runs through these many opinions on a wide variety of issues is that it is not a judge's job to make social policy -- and that much harm can result when they try. This harm extends far beyond the particular people involved in the cases that come into court.

The consequences of the errors and uncertainties generated by judicial activists reverberate throughout the whole society for years, and even generations, to come.

In one of his dissenting opinions, Justice Thomas declared that the Supreme Court was making "policy-laden judgments that we are ill equipped and arguably unauthorized to make" -- and that this represented "functioning more as legislators than as judges."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bush pushes ANWR drilling
So does this finally mean we may win the war for oil that we lost, without ever even firing a shot, to a caribou?

Boycott? More like bullying - Los Angeles Times
I'm always amazed when a piece like this makes it into the Slimes, including actual truth. I guess the editors were at lunch:


Monday's rallies also had little in common with the peaceful protests in L.A. and other cities in late March and early April. Those were homegrown, "organic" demonstrations that sprang up, without much formal organization, in response to onerous provisions in a House-passed immigration bill. They had their genesis in Spanish-language radio, the Internet, even text messaging among teenagers and young adults.

Monday's demonstration at Los Angeles City Hall, on the other hand, was a creation of the radical left, a wholly owned subsidiary of umbrella groups such as ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), union organizers and fierce political partisans acting on agendas of their own.

Even though a starry-eyed Los Angeles Times editorial called the march "peaceful and mostly joyous," the fact remains that its purpose was fundamentally malevolent. In Los Angeles, a spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union spoke hopefully of "total chaos at the ports." In the process, organizers risked setting back legitimate efforts at immigration reform by years.


Beyond economic chaos, what did the organizers want? Not just defeat of the restrictive House immigration bill. "We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here" illegally, said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize the protests.

While such calls may energize the organizers' radical base, Americans don't respond well to bullying, a sense of entitlement or "in your face" tactics, and the ultimate result of all this will be a hardening of positions.

Already, the founder of the Minutemen border control group has been quoted as saying that "it's intimidation when a million people march down Main streets in our major cities under the Mexican flag."

And it's not just xenophobic and anti-immigrant Anglos who will be alienated by a radicalized boycott. Latinos, too, will be turned off.

By radicalizing the immigration issue, the organizers of Monday's boycott polarized an already emotional issue further, and in so doing risk reversing their own goals, if not permanently then at least significantly, and for a long time.

The May Day boycott wasn't Selma. It was a lot closer to Watts.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Minutemen to strike back: Cross-country caravan hopes to foster support

How The Times Destroyed An Innocent Man

You may have missed it-on page 14 of the March 28 New York Times, there was a six-paragraph story about former government scientist Steven Hatfill being allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court to proceed with his defamation suit. His target is the Times and its columnist Nicholas Kristof.

There have been several recent problems for the paper, including the inaccurate designation of the masked man in the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, but the Hatfill suit holds the potential of forcing the paper to pay millions of dollars in damages. The Times should have to pay.

The Times tried to play down the result. A story posted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press had attorney David Schultz quoted as saying, "It's not unexpected. Now it's back to the trenches. We're confident that at the end of the day that the case lacks merit." David Schulz is with the New York law firm of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz.

As we noted in a 2002 column, "New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is one of those behind the FBI's campaign against Dr. Steven Hatfill in the anthrax case. Without contacting Hatfill or his representatives, Kristof wrote five columns and thousands of words urging more FBI scrutiny of the scientist. He portrayed Hatfill as a despicable character with an unsavory past. But Hatfill's attorney has been unable to get his side of the story in the paper. The Times now says it will run a Hatfill column on the matter, but only if it does not criticize Kristof by name. How's that for fairness?"
One to keep a (jaundiced) eye on.

Britons (and Americans) find media hard to trust
Roto-Reuters is at it again. Don't get me wrong, this article starts out well:
Britain may have a sophisticated media industry but it also has some of the most sceptical consumers, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) believing the media does not report all sides of the story.

A 10-country opinion poll for Reuters, the BBC and the Media Centre found British and U.S. consumers out on a limb (out on a limb?) when it comes to public levels of trust in the media.

Americans emerged as the most critical of the news media's balance, with 69 percent disagreeing that the media reports all sides of a story.

A similar proportion, 68 percent, thought the media covered too many "bad news" stories.

"The UK and the U.S. were outlyers across the 10 countries," he said. "This reflects the fact that these are sophisticated markets and people are clearly attuned to the media."

Of course, they then have to throw in this part:

"In this research we did not probe exact reasons for the lower levels of trust, but our instincts as researchers tell us that it's because the U.S. and UK are two countries at war," he added.

The low levels of trust may, he said, be related to perceptions in the U.S. that the media is too close to the government on issues relating to the Iraq war.
Too close to the government? Do they mean "leakers in the government?

And how many fake/faked stories have the major news organs (insert organ joke here) had to retract?

In the toilet again.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

WHAT GOD IS DOING IN IRAQ: Born-again Iraqi General [Sada, Virginia book-signing]
Air Force flight bring smiles to Iraqi children
I love happy stories:

5/1/2006 - BAGHDAD, Iraq (AFPN) -- As they stepped into the large, gray military cargo plane, their eyes widened and their expressions were equal parts wonder and bewilderment. This was the first time many of the Iraqi children and their parents had ever flown in an airplane, and none had ever been in an aircraft as large as the Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster III.

On April 29, the aircraft, based in Southwest Asia, flew 110 Iraqi children and 97 of their parents, guardians and escorts from Amman to Baghdad in support of “Operation Smile.”

Operation Smile, an international non-governmental organization, provides corrective surgery for cleft palates and cleft lips, congenital birth defects that affect approximately one out of every 600 children, according to the Cleft Palate Foundation. Operation Smile had evaluated the Iraqi children and transported them to Amman for corrective surgery.

What Mexicans who stayed in Mexico protest for

Demonstrators pretend to smoke fake marijuana cigarettes during a protest for the decriminalization of marijuana in La Alameda park, in this May 4, 2002 file photo in Mexico City. Police and business owners from Mexico's beaches to border cities worried Sunday, April 30, 2006 that a measure passed to decriminalize possession of cocaine, heroin and other drugs could attract droves of tourists solely looking to get high. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, file)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Andy Garcia Bashes Che Guevara in New Movie
Andy Garcia blew it big-time with his movie "The Lost City." He blew it with the mainstream critics, that is. Almost unanimously, they're ripping a movie 16 years in the making. In this engaging drama of a middle-class Cuban family crumbling during free Havana's last days, which he both directs and stars in, Garcia insisted on depicting some historical truth about Cuba – a grotesque and unforgivable blunder in his industry. He's now paying the price.

Hmmm... might have to go see this one now.
Egypt and Jordan Against Unilateral Israeli Withdrawal
Well, this is a pretty bizarre little twist on things. Then again, these folks have been bombed, too. Definitely worth keeping an eye on...


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