November 2004 Archives
Portland Blogger Michael J. Totten and his wife just returned from traveling in Libya. He has pictures here Good stuff -- I would love to visit there sometime...
Two items... Item One comes from Charles at LGF who has followed up on the French Soldiers firing on unarmed civilians and killing a large number of them. This was in the French Colony of the Ivory Coast. (as if the USA was trying to be an imperial power -- France still is...) bq. Swiss TV has video of French Army helicopters firing without warning on an Ivory Coast demonstration, on November 6, 2004. The LGF reader who emailed this link included these remarks:
And questions like THIS:
And I notice (remember the originating URL) that this site is coming from here:
I do a reverse DNS lookup and find the registrars of this site:
These fsckers have been hosting this site since June 2004.
Here is the HTML code on how to make one URL look like another one (changed a little bit):
onmouseover="self.status='': return false"]htps;/signin.ebay.XXX/eBayISAPI.dll?SignIn&UsingSSL=1&pUserId=?UPdate[a]
UPDATE: Heh... That was fast. Visiting the site now gets this:
Item two comes from a Phishing Expedition conducted by a French Server. This is personal and is being investigated now as one of the principals lives in the USA. I was sent an email "from eBay". The email asked for some confirmation of personal data and pointed me to a site whose URL looked something like this: https;/signin.ebay,com/ws/eBayISAPI,dll?XXXXXXX-yadda-yadda-yadda OK - so far so good... Encrypted Secure Sockets login ( the https:// instead of the http://) so I click. I find questions like this:It�s a REALMEDIA video (23 seconds only). It�s from a Swiss TV (TSR.CH) news show from 30.11.2004. You learn that the 6 .11.2004 french army helicopters shooted WITHOUT �warnings shots� on the crowd made of hundreds people. ������ Here is a translation: (speaking about 9.11.2004, Ivoiry hotel �massacre� ) �....However it�s wasn�t the first time French Army shooted without �warning shots� (shot in the air). We are on November 6, three days before the shooting of the hotel ivory. the demonstrators (manifestors) move towards the French military base. French helicopters shoot directly at the demonstrators. There would have been sixty died at the time of these various operations. Tonight, the French Army admits �a score� of about 20 deaths. ������ This Swiss TV investigation is made by the same person who forced french army to acknoledge the �9 november ivoiry hotel massacre". (It�s based on differents witnesses, and some French TV Canal+ images)
A couple of people are covering this story. Roger L. Simon writes about it here and links to an article in the Wall Street Journal Roger writes: bq. Will Annan Last? Pressure for the United Nations Secretary General to resign has been ratcheted up by Senator Norm Coleman in an oped in tomorrow's WSJ with the blunt title Kofi Annan Must Go. Coleman, chairman of the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, pulls no punches: From the WSJ article: bq. While many questions concerning Oil-for-Food remain unanswered, one conclusion has become abundantly clear: Kofi Annan should resign. The decision to call for his resignation does not come easily, but I have arrived at this conclusion because the most extensive fraud in the history of the U.N. occurred on his watch. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, as long as Mr. Annan remains in charge, the world will never be able to learn the full extent of the bribes, kickbacks and under-the-table payments that took place under the U.N.'s collective nose. The Big Trunk and Hindrocket at PowerLine also weigh in -- Hindrocket also links to this Washington Times article: bq. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday he was disappointed in his son for accepting payments from a key contractor in the oil-for-food program for more than four years longer than had been previously acknowledged. bq. Kojo Annan, 31, had been employed from 1995 to 1997 at Cotecna Inspection SA, a Geneva-based firm that had been inspecting humanitarian goods imported by Iraq with U.N.-administered proceeds from its oil sales. He served briefly as a consultant until 1998. bq. But the younger Mr. Annan continued to receive as much as $2,500 a month from Cotecna until February 2003 as part of a "no compete" agreement, according to chagrined U.N. officials, who have said for years that the payments ended in late 1998. bq. "Naturally, I was very disappointed and surprised, yes," the secretary general told reporters yesterday morning. "I understand the perception problem for the U.N., or the perception of a conflict of interest and wrongdoing." yeah right... Real Sorry!!! Didn't Know!!! Finally, The Big Trunk at Power Line links to another story, this one at National Review Online The Big Trunk: bq. Anti-semitism and the Augean stables At NRO, Anne Bayefsky demonstrates in painful detail why the United Nations is a contemporary version of the Augean stables and suggests why the removal of Kofi Annan from the premises barely begins the Herculean task of cleanup: "Fatal failure." And she doesn't even directly address the institution's absurd governance. From Anne's report: bq. Fatal Failure The U.N. won�t recognize the connection between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. bq. Last June, the United Nations held its first-ever conference on anti-Semitism. Though the organization's very raison d'etre rises from the ruins of Auschwitz and Belsen, it has never produced a single resolution dedicated to combating anti-Semitism or a report devoted to this devastating global phenomenon. For those who saw light at the end of the tunnel, this week the prospect of enlightenment at the General Assembly came to an inglorious conclusion. One mention of "anti-Semitism" made it into one paragraph of a general resolution on religious intolerance. Fifty-four U.N. states � of the 153 members that cast votes � refused to support even that. bq. What's going on? Let's connect the dots. Immediately before voting against concern for anti-Semitism, the same countries refused to support a call for governments "to ensure effective protection of the right to life...and to investigate...all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation." Anti-Semitism and killing people because of their sexual orientation are acceptable to almost every one of the 56 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). bq. The resolution involving killing homosexuals is only one of many U.N. human-rights resolutions in which the OIC stands with the violator, not the victim. The real question is: How do they get away with it, let alone pass themselves off as seriously interested in human rights, including those of Palestinians? bq. Arab and Muslim states unabashedly take the offensive, hijacking the medium of human rights to serve a political agenda aimed at denying Jewish self-determination and destroying the Jewish state � the ultimate form of anti-Semitism. The willing vehicle for such a heist is the United Nations. The U.N.'s June anti-Semitism conference served to invigorate their well-versed two-track approach: Put the Jews on one side, Israel on the other, and divide and conquer. The Religion of Peace rears its head again...
Charles at Little Green Footballs took a US Military PowerPoint presentation and made a self-running slide-show of it. It's about 60 slides with aerial photos, maps, descriptions of what was found and photos of all the arms and explosives. View it here (My choice for viewing was to turn the delay off and use the <<< and >>> buttons to change the slides.)
You are reading one. N.Z. Bear at The Truth Laid Bear reports that Merriam-Webster Inc. has announced that "blog" is the most searched-on word from its sites. N.Z. Bear then goes on with this: bq. The full list is: bq. 1. blog 2. incumbent 3. electoral 4. insurgent 5. hurricane 6. cicada 7. peloton 8. partisan 9. sovereignty 10. defenestration bq. Which, of course, absolutely demands that we rise to the challenge of using all ten words in a sentence. Here's my entry: In 2004, while the vast peloton of the mainstream media peddled furiously onward in an electoral campaign aimed at the defenstration of incumbent President Bush, the insurgent forces of the blog world unleashed a hurricane of criticism on the media itself, plaguing Dan Rather and other liberal talking heads like a swarm of cicadas, slowly but inexorably devouring Big Media's sovereignty as sole arbiters of Truth and exposing them as the partisan hacks we always knew them to be. Heh...
President Bush visited the Canadian Government in Ottawa today and tens of thousands of people turned out for a massive protest against him. Unh... Make that thousands of people. How about hundreds? See for yourself:
Lots of other pictures can be found here
From Today's Trucking News: bq. 76,000 Bottles of Beer on the Road: Trucker's spill saves lives The Denver Post reported this weekend that traffic had begun to flow -- though slowly -- on Interstate 70 after a massive rock slide in Glenwood Canyon shut down the highway. bq. The rock slide at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving day miraculously caused no casualties, but blocked the critical east-west highway sending many drivers on a three-hour, 200-mile detour through the northern mountains of Colorado. bq. No one was injured because there was no one on the roadway at the time of the rock slide. An earlier tractor-trailer crash had spilled 76,000 bottles of beer on the road, forcing crews to close I-70. The driver of the beer truck, Kenneth F. Campbell, 48, of Parowan, Utah, had been hauling the beer from Fort Collins to Riverside, Calif. He was treated for minor injuries. Ironically, Campbell was charged with careless driving even though his accident kept motorists out from under the tons of debris that tumbled 1,000 feet onto the roadway, smashing the pavement and flattening guardrails. bq. The rock slide, estimated at about 100 feet long and 10 feet deep, sent up to 40 boulders onto I-70. Damage included a hole in an elevated section of highway where a rock crashed through and landed in the Colorado River below. bq. The Post reported that about 20,000 vehicles a day typically pass through the Glenwood Canyon section of I-70 affected by the slide. An additional 5,000 vehicles had been expected on Thursday and Friday due to the holiday. Wow... Talk about good luck!
From TV-9NEWS: bq. Unmarked Denver police car stolen while it was warming in the driveway After weeks of telling people not to leave their cars unattended on cold mornings, Denver Police are now investigating a case in which one of their own detectives did just that. bq. Someone stole a 2003 Chevy Monte Carlo outside of a detective's house Monday morning. Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman says the detective turned on her car, went back inside, and waited for it to warm up. When she got back outside, the unmarked police car was gone. bq. The practice of leaving one's car unattended on a cold morning is often referred to as "puffing." In the past few weeks, Denver Police officers have been actively reminding people not to do this, as one out of every four cars stolen in the city were left unattended. DOH! The car still has not been recovered...
Back40 at Muck and Mystery has a very well thought out and excoriating essay on the environmental movement and the damage that it is doing. He cites the recent report on Arctic Climate Conditions and the potential for warming: bq. Loose Cannons Several previous posts have discussed the falseness of the environmental movement and its harmful effects on the environment and society. There is no concern about the damage to the environment or society since those in the movement merely use it as a wedge issue to advance their steam age political ideas and would gladly burn the world down to spite their opponents even if they never gain power. bq. It has also been noted that those in the environment business are similarly deceitful though their motivations are personal gain - donations, payments and grants as reward for providing the politicians with talking points. bq. A recent example of the worst aspects of this behavior is on display in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), a report that claims to document dire and unprecedented changes in the arctic. The findings are precise but inaccurate because it was carefully constructed to deceive. The warming trend in the arctic over the past forty years is real and precisely documented, but is a fiction of selective use of data that begins at the lowest temperatures recorded for the past century and ends in the present. Prior to that low beginning point the trend had been going down from a high point even higher than today in the 1930s. bq. Politicized poseurs such as Alex Stephen are in full shriek mode crowing about a law suit against the Bush administration for failing to halt the trend. Note that it isn't against the US or any previous administrations that did the same, it's just against Bush. Note also that no other country is doing diddly to halt the trend except trying to talk it down, and most are avid contributors to the trend. bq. This hasn't gone unnoticed by the public and the stock of environmental groups continues in free fall, losing the support of funding organizations and in the most recent US elections were avoided like lepers by all political parties. The importance of this isn't the venality and ineffectiveness of these groups and poseurs like Stephen, it is the negative effects their behaviors have on the social mind, poisoning the issues of environmental preservation and remediation. Nobody even wants to hear about this stuff now and view the ravings of alarmists much the same as they do those of religious extremists - like an environmental Taliban. This is about one third of the essay -- check the link for the rest. It's a good one...
I was not the only one to notice the dissatisfaction with WalMart despite some pundits using it as an economic indicator. Glen, the Evil Puppy Blender links to two other bloggers with thoughts of their own: #1) - Professor Bainbridge: bq. Wal-Mart's Woes, Online Shopping, and the Economy: A Comment Bad news at Wal-Mart panicked some observers into worrying that the holiday shopping season will be a bust this year, dragging down the economy.
bq. It turns out, however, that the holiday shopping season is booming almost everywhere except Wal-mart:Wal-Mart said sales had not met expectations in the week ended on Black Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving and one of the year's biggest shopping days. (Source: CNN Money)
bq. This is an important story because Wal-Mart's vast size has made it a bellwhether for the retail segment and, indeed, for the market as a whole. We thus need an alternative version of the story in which Wal-mart's troubles actually indicate that the economy is doing well. bq. Here's one possibility that occurs to me: Whenever I've shopped at Wal-Mart, its product mix has always struck me as being decidedly down market, even as compared to other big box stores. (CostCo, for example, has a well-deserved reputation as, of all things, a fine wine merchant.) Wal-Mart products seem cheap both in price but also quality. During economic bad times, price may dominate consumer decisionmaking, which gave Wal-Mart a huge advantage. As the economy improves, however, perhaps consumers are willing to spend a few bucks more to get a more up-scale product than Wal-Mart offers. #2) - Matt Crash: bq. I just got back from Target. I needed to pick up a few things, and ice cream was on sale. (Mmmm...ice cream...) I went to Target because it is a close store; I can be in and out and back home in half an hour. The two Wal-Marts in Tuscaloosa are each roughly fifteen minutes away from my apartment; Target is simply more convenient. Glenn Reynolds talked about Target earlier today (here and here), and I figured I'd jump ino the fray. bq. To quote Reynolds, "I've never understood the fashionable hatred of Wal-Mart, but I've also never really liked shopping there." I second the motion. Wal-Mart has never been an asthetically pleasing store to shop; the aisles are narrow, the parking lots are messy, the color scheme is bland. I realize that asthetics don't always matter when you're buying milk and detergent. I can accept that, but Wal-Mart starts to lose the battle when Target clearly goes out of its way to maintain wide aisles, a slightly more upscale selection of merchandise and a store that's not downright filthy six days out of seven. Maybe Wal-Marts outside of the Southeast are clean and neat, but I've yet to see a store stay clean and pleasant for more than six months after its opening. Those of us with the option don't want to shop at Wal-Mart; not out of opposition to red state values or capitalism. We shop at Target because our feet don't stick to the floor while walking down the frozen food aisle.Near-record crowds turned out for the holiday shopping season's Thanksgiving weekend kickoff, bringing with them unexpectedly robust sales gains to many malls and retail chains across the country. Except, surprisingly, at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Source: WSJ($))
Bunk... Some people have been saying that the economy is slowing and using WalMart's slow Black Friday sales as an example. Howard at Oraculations has a good comment on this: bq. WalMart sales....don't believe the bullshit. Internet sales are flying and there is no way to count them. They are so good we all better be ready for sales taxes on what we buy. This is the last year you will be able to buy a TV or computer without tax, so buy it. The "slump" in WalMart sales could also be a part of a general trend to buy more upscale merchandise by people who are employed and have more money to spend. Most WalMart stuff, while good, doesn't really cut it. Other thought's I have had are that WalMart really didn't offer any decent discounts on Friday -- many stores offered a couple of really tantalizing loss-leaders to lure people in. WalMart didn't. Also, given WalMart's shoddy practices tot heir employees and the cluttered confused state of their stores, maybe people are just not shopping as much at WalMart. Costco offers decent prices but they pay their employees really well and give great benefits. The stores show this by having enthusiastic employees.
Donald Sensing at One Hand Clapping comes this observation and the story that prompted it: bq. A little revolution now and then would be a good thing Why the Founders said that the proper attitude toward all government is one of deep, continuous suspicion: a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer from April 2003 and republished on the site of Gillies Coffee Co. The story in question is here: bq. The worst part of waking up is finding Big Brother in your cup. Gillies Coffee Co. of Brooklyn has roasted beans for 163 years, claiming the title of America's oldest coffee merchant. But the firm is now threatened, due to a shocking discovery by geniuses at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection: bq. The roasting process, the DEP found, emits odors that smell suspiciously like roasted coffee. bq. A neighbor's complaint about the strong smell of java resulted in the DEP fining Gillies $400 for giving off "fugitive odors." bq. Consider yourself on notice, coffee lovers. That's not the sweet smell of Jamaican Blue or Full-City Roast rising from your mugs. According to the DEP, it's air pollution. Donald then comments: bq. This just proves Den Beste's law: the job of bureaucrats is to regulate, and left to themselves they will regulate everything they can. So true...
Usually, the snow stays above 1,200 feet or so and since we are at 700 feet elevation, we get to see it on the hillsides but not up close. Well... Tonight, it started snowing around 5:30 and it is sticking. Large fat flakes coming slowly so the fall will probably be a long one. Our pantry is well stocked, we have a generator and a tractor with a plow blade and two all-wheel drive vehicles (three if you count the tractor) so it's time to hang out and watch the snowfall...
From the annals of Dumb Criminals -- Yahoo/AP: bq. Swede arrested for firing cell phones into prison yard with bow and arrows Authorities in Sweden arrested a man who shot mobile phones into the yard of a high-security prison with a bow and arrows, police said Saturday. bq. The 25-year-old man is charged with planning to aid a prison escape and could face a year in jail, police said. bq. The suspect, whose name was not released, taped two cell phones and a battery charger to three arrows and fired them over the four-metre wall into Mariefred prison outside Stockholm on Friday night, police spokeswoman Susanne Abrahamsson said. bq. The man was not spotted by guards when he fired the arrows but was arrested after police found his car parked about 200 metres from the prison walls, with a bow hidden underneath it, she said. After the man returned to his car, police dogs traced his scent back to the prison wall and guards were able to find the arrows in the prison yard, where convicts go for exercise. Get's an "A" for ingenuity and execution but not a very smart idea in the first place...
From Yahoo/AP: bq. Court Rules French Film Not French Enough Never mind that Jean-Pierre Jeunet's new film is a French story filmed in the French language featuring one of France's biggest actresses. A Paris court has ruled that "Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles" (A Very Long Engagement), which opened Friday in the United States, is too American to compete in French film festivals � because of its Warner Bros. backing. And to add insult to injury: bq. In an ironic twist, Jeunet's movie cannot even become a candidate for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival awards because, with its U.S. debut, it will have been screened outside its country of origin, France. Movies shown at Cannes must not have been screened outside the country where they originate ahead of the festival. This guy is just not having a good time: bq. Despite his legal troubles in France, Jeunet can still hope for honors in the United States � but not this season's best foreign film Oscar, because the film did not open in France in time to qualify. It is, however, eligible for Oscar nominations for best picture, actress or director. Sheesh! Why don't you go do something else for a while.
The election results are getting interesting in the WA State Governors Race... I had blogged about this here, here and here. Stefan Sharkansky posts a very interesting statement from the Rossi campaign at Sound Politics today: bq. Recount battle The Rossi campaign released the following statement late yesterday in response to the Democrats' shenanigans:
This is only the first bit - the rest is just as interesting and some of the comments are great - intelligent people mixing it up with raving moonbats...As you know, Dino won the recount for the governor�s race on Wednesday, but Christine Gregoire is not willing to accept the results. While we�re waiting to see what Gregoire�s next step is, I wanted to bring up a few points: Hand-count accuracy Gregoire argues that the only way to get true accuracy is with a hand count. But both Republicans and Democrats � including former Republican Secretary of State Ralph Munro and current King County Elections head Dean Logan, a Democrat � agree that the more often ballots get handled, the more the ballots are degraded quality-wise, and the more chance there is for human error. Gregoire knows that what the experts say is true: ballots deteriorate the more they are handled, making an inaccurate count more likely. She wants a recount process that will yield less-accurate results. The two machine counts (plus a partial hand-recount in King County) didn�t go her way, so now she wants to try something else. The holes in Gregoire�s �count every vote� mantra. Gregoire and her allies have been repeating the phrase �count every vote� over and over again. But a closer look at her actions over the past weeks reveals she�s more interested in counting only those votes that were likely cast for her in King County than in truly counting every vote across the state. From the time this process started, Gregoire has been solely focused on the votes in King County. You can read in the letter the Democratic Party lawyer sent to Sam Reed on Wednesday afternoon that Gregoire is most concerned with maximizing her vote in King. The letter even goes so far as to suggest that votes in other counties such as Snohomish, Franklin and Adams should be questioned. In other words, as long as the votes favor Gregoire, Gregoire�s fine with them. If the votes don�t favor Gregoire, she wants them thrown out. Cherry-picking votes Gregoire and the state Democratic Party have indicated they may go ahead with a strategy of choosing only selected precincts to be hand re-counted. This cherry-picking strategy again undercuts the mantra of �count every vote.� It seems clear that Gregoire is not interested in counting every vote accurately � she instead wants to game the system and manipulate the vote count until she gets a result she likes. Today on Seattle�s 710 KIRO radio, state Democratic Party chairman Paul Berendt claimed that the Democrats would probably have to go with the cherry-picking strategy because the Democratic Party can�t afford to pay for a statewide hand recount. The host mentioned that if the election result is overturned as a result of the Democrats� cherry-picking strategy, state law requires a taxpayer-funded full state hand recount, and taxpayers would have to foot the bill. Berendt�s response was: �Democracy ain�t cheap.�
Wretchard at The Belmont Club talks about Victor Davis Hanson's review of the recent Alexander the Great movie. If you know anything about these two people's writing, you know you are in for a treat... It's short and tightly written so I really cannot cherry pick a prime graph or two. Go and read it yourself -- you will enjoy it more than the Movie (plus, you will have two hours and 55 minutes more free time).
I wrote about the 4.5 inches of rain we had in one day here. Couple road closures and some washouts but we were fine. There was a cold snap yesterday along with some more precipitation so we have our first real dusting of snow on the neighboring Black Mountain. Here's a photo -- it's a thumbnail so click to see the full image:
Black Mountain is about 3,900 and the snow level is around 1,200. The skiers at Mt. Baker are happy!!! Speaking of Baker, here's another photo, also clickable. This one is the view of Mt. Baker from our back porch:
The WA State Governors Race is close. Dino Rossi won the first count with a couple hundred votes. There was a mandatory recount and he won again with a slim margin of 42 votes. Still a winner. If two people are neck and neck coming to the finish line of a marathon, the one an inch or two further is the Winner, the person just behind them is #2 and not the Winner... The Democrats want a hand recount but according to the Michael Medved fan website, this last manditory recount offered the opportunity for people in King County to: bq. try(ing) to determine voter intent and then duplicating, or "enhancing," the ballots This perfidy happened and was blithely reported by the Seattle Times in this article: bq. A governor by Christmas? The closest gubernatorial race in Washington history just keeps getting closer � and has thrust the state into what one party leader is calling the "Twilight Zone" of politics. bq. As things stand, with counties bracing for an unprecedented second recount, voters will probably not know until at least mid-December whether their new governor is Republican Dino Rossi or Democrat Christine Gregoire. Election officials are even starting to think about what to do if no winner is decided before inauguration day in January. OK so far but here it gets interesting (scroll down a bit): bq. Republican leaders were angered by King County's handling of ballots that were rejected by the counting machines due to voter errors. bq. In many cases, election workers were trying to determine voter intent and then duplicating, or "enhancing," the ballots so they could be tallied. Smells like ballot fraud to me... There is a link from this article to this one: bq. Official has doubt about hand tally As weary King County election workers faced the daunting prospect of having to recount 898,000 ballots by hand, the county's director of elections expressed doubt that a hand count would produce a more precise result than the machine recount finished yesterday. bq. "When you're talking about close to 900,000 pieces of paper, I think the machine count is going to be more accurate than a manual count," said Dean Logan, the elections director. "You introduce another human interface into the process. There's a margin there for errors to be made."
Howard over at Oraculations makes a very interesting comment about the current imbalance between the Euro and the Dollar. Howard takes the short term view --and-- the long term view and we come out nicely ahead. bq. The falling dollar, the real silver lining: The French and the rest of the EU are subsidizing production of the Airbus and they have successfully "underbid" Boeing. But have they? Airlines are buying the Airbus with wildly over valued Euros and are going to be on the hook big time when the dollar eventually turns. The EU is paid in Euros that are deflated. bq. This is what is behind their attempts to force us to tax the same way they do. Boeing has lost for now, but the real losers will be the airlines who buy the Airbus and the countries who will have to foot a huge deficit. I'm willing to bet that Boeing goes into aftermarket manufacture of Airbus parts that will be much cheaper than the EU parts. bq. Stay tuned. Heh...
The French are being... french again. Charles at LGF links to this report at Yahoo/AFP: bq. Israeli ambassador criticises France over Arafat death certificate The Israeli ambassador has criticised the French government for issuing a death certificate for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat stating his place of birth as Jerusalem. bq. "I cannot understand how the French government agreed to issue a death certificate based on false information," ambassador Nissim Zvili told a press conference in Montpellier. Who was he and where was he born: bq. Arafat was born Mohammed Abdel-Rawf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Hussaini, on August 4, 1929. bq. The official version of his life history records he was born in Jerusalem. However numerous biographers agree that he was born in Cairo, where his Gaza-born father owned a business. For a few links to Main Stream Media reporting on Arafat's birth city check these out: CNN -- "Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929." Baltimore Sun -- "Egypt, champion of the Palestinian cause, stepped in to host the funeral for Arafat -- who was born in Cairo..." MSNBC -- "CAIRO, Egypt - Yasser Arafat was born in Cairo but the choice of this city as the venue for his funeral has more to do with politics than personal roots..." Washington Post -- "Workers pray at the King Faisal mosque in Cairo, the city where Yasser Arafat was born and where a memorial service was to be held for him Friday." Associated Press -- "CAIRO, Egypt - Yasser Arafat's ties to Cairo go way back: It's the city where he was born, went to school and got his start in political activism. So it was fitting that his funeral should be held there on Friday, even though he was to be buried in the West Bank." Seattle Times -- Aug. 29, 1929: Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini born in Cairo, Egypt. 'Nuff said. Cairo and not Jerusalem. Sorry France -- your ass just got fact-checked by a bunch of bloggers in pyjamas... Now, will you go away in a few months like Dan Rather just did or will we have to come over and
save kick your butts again...
Blogger Dean Esmay noticed a very interesting article in The World Tribune: bq. Zarqawi network appeals for help in first signals of defeat Sunni insurgents backing Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi have expressed alarm at the prospect of a defeat by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. bq. An audio tape said to be from Al Zarqawi charged Muslim clerics with letting down the insurgency "because of your silence." bq. On Wednesday, Al Zarqawi, with a $25 million bounty on his head, was the target of a major manhunt in the Sunni Triangle, Middle East Newsline reported. Iraqi military sources said Al Zarqawi was said to have been seen in an area south of Fallujah. bq. Islamic sources said that for the first time in more than a year the Tawhid and Jihad group led by Al Zarqawi appears to have lost control over many of its insurgents in the Sunni Triangle. bq. The sources said Iraqi and U.S. assaults on major insurgency strongholds in such cities as Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and Samara have resulted in heavy insurgency casualties and a break in the command and control structure. That plus nabbing the huge arms caches in Fallujah. I'm trying to find the link but I remember reading one article where the Marines fired a mortar into a building and the ammunitions in the building took 45 minutes to completely detonate. Huge cache there... Their power base is weakening, they have lost large amounts of material and cash plus we made some excellent finds when we captured their computers and cell phones. The beginning of the end guys and good riddance...
Was turned on to this place -- looks like a good selection of stuff at decent prices. Grogan's Healthcare Supply
Claudia Rosett has another article up at The New York Sun and it's a doozy: bq. Annan's Son Took Payments Through 2004 One of the next big chapters in the United Nations oil-for-food scandal will involve the family of the secretary-general, Kofi Annan, whose son turns out to have been receiving payments as recently as early this year from a key contractor in the oil-for-food program. bq. The secretary-general's son, Kojo Annan, was previously reported to have worked for a Swiss-based company called Cotecna Inspection Services SA, which from 1998-2003 held a lucrative contract with the U.N. to monitor goods arriving in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the oil-for-food program. But investigators are now looking into new information suggesting that the younger Annan received far more money over a much longer period, even after his compensation from Cotecna had reportedly ended. bq. The importance of this story involves not only undisclosed conflicts of interest, but the question of the role of the secretary-general himself, at a time when talk is starting to be heard around the U.N. that it is time for him to resign, and the staff labor union is in open rebellion against "senior management." bq. "What other bombshells are out there being hidden from the public and U.N. member governments?" asked an investigator on Rep. Henry Hyde's International Relations Committee, which has held hearings on oil-for-food. Really... There is more. This nest of corruption needs to be cleaned out now if it intends to retain any shred of credibility. Some of the smaller agencies associated with the U.N. are doing good work but the top leadership is amoral and indifferent to the real problems of the smaller nations. Why do you think they dragged their feet on going into Iraq.
MathewK writing at A Western Heart talks about the weapons found in Fallujah: bq. 'Stunning' arms haul in Fallujah US marines combing the Iraqi city of Fallujah after a major offensive say they found weapons stocks sufficient to mount an insurgency across the country. The "stunning" finds included mortars, bomb-making equipment, grenades and rockets, officials said. The biggest haul was made at a mosque complex in the east of the city. Soldiers also found a house which contained a laboratory and instructions on how to make anthrax and blood agents, an Iraqi official said. bq. Marine commanders said troops moving from house to house had discovered large numbers of weapons stores, including stocks of up to 700 mortar shells. Kalashnikov rifles, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy cannon have also been found throughout the city, officers said. Weapons caches, many in the south of Fallujah - the last area taken by the marines - were often marked by a brick suspended on a piece of string outside a house, they added. bq. "The amount of weapons was in no way just to protect a city," said Maj Jim West, a Marine intelligence officer. "There was enough to mount an insurgency across the country," he added. The WMDs will be found in Syria - we saw convoys leaving Iraq just before the coalition invasion. Syria??? We are watching...
This is cute -- from Slashdot comes this link to a BBC article about Euro people visiting India, getting hired on for tech outsourcing positions and sating on. Lousy salary from Western standards but very cheap and nice to live there. From the BBC article: bq. The big hall fills with the cacophony of different languages - English, French, German, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish. bq. European companies may be outsourcing work to Indian firms but in one Delhi-based call centre it's Europeans who make up a fair number of the workforce. bq. "It's so different from Europe - the culture and the way you live - and I think it's fantastic," says Marie Blomquist from Stockholm. bq. "People are so friendly and the food is awesome, everything is great." And more: bq. And although the employees are paid local salaries, they receive other compensation in the form of free housing, a furnishing allowance and subsidised meals. bq. Sylvia Sethi, another Swede, says: "We live very well. We have a nice guest house. It's better than we thought before I came here." If I was in my 20's, that would be a great way to spend a year... Very cool!
Back40 at CrumbTrail links to a very wonderful article at The Economist and offers some thoughtful comments: Back40: bq. Boffins and Luddites Science is of little use to the majority of humanity except for its utility in generating smoke and mirrors. It is used primarily to prop up otherwise indefensible views, everything from intelligent design to organic food and the host of associated dietary and behavior prescriptions of cultists. One of the most strident abuses of science has been made by opponents of genetic engineering to support their mystical naturalism. They have been losing ground rapidly in most of the world and it seems will soon be isolated to a few technological backwaters, chiefly Europe and the densely populated coastal cities of the US. The Economist: bq. A DOUBLE blow is coming for the opponents of genetically modified (GM) foods, from two of the world's big farming nations. China, where many farmers already grow GM cotton, is likely soon to authorise commercial growing of GM rice. And Brazil is close to setting up a mechanism that could legalise all GM crops. Back40 again: bq. India already grows GM cotton and like China has a well developed research establishment that has been highly competent with GE for many years. The main thing inhibiting the huge agricultural nations has been threats of trade restrictions, mainly in Europe where cultists have great influence. That's wearing thin and becoming ever less important in world markets. China may be the last impediment and it may soon give way. Back40 then cites a few more paragraphs from The Economist article and then offers this: bq. It seems clear to me that it is only a matter of time with genetic manipulation of all sorts, from food to humans to industrial materials. The risks of genetic engineering are inherently less than current practices, a point that is increasingly well understood. It is only the quasi-religious objections of nature mystics that stand in the way of progress. Their selective use of science to exaggerate risks without also using science to analyze current practice and emerging risks rings hollow and it is becoming increasingly difficult for policy makers to pander to them. Hopefully caution won't be thrown to the wind when repression stops since there are legitimate risks. Hopefully Science will be scientific and Reason will be reasonable. The unfortunate thing is that 30 years ago, Press Releases and the Media were discovered by well-meaning people who continued to develop these tools to promote their agenda. Nobody developed a dialogue with these people to check their science or look at the bigger picture. I see this happening today with the whole Global Warming flap - we are in a warming trend but this is an "all natural and organic one" -- the earth has a 400-year cycle of warming and cooling and what we do to the environment does little to affect it on a global long-view scale.
Judging from this report at News.com.au, Australian Nursing homes are taking patient care to a nice level: bq. ...nursing homes have become "grey light zones" with prostitutes visiting elderly clients for sex. bq. Aged care and sex industry figures said it was a common practice in public and private nursing homes to sneak "escorts" in. bq. Some homes set aside special sex rooms. bq. Anna Priamo, a nursing supervisor at an inner-city nursing home, said frisky patients who harassed nurses were referred to a doctor who might arrange for a prostitute to visit them. bq. "It's not something we put in our brochure," Ms Priamo said. Heh... If you read the article, it's actually quite sweet. Many of these people have lost their partner and are not visited by family. Sexuality doesn't go away with age.
This is great - The Misanthropist links to an InfoWorld photo of a jumbotron in NYC experiencing -- shall we say -- technical difficulties... For the uninformed Luddites, whenever the recent versions of Windows irrevocably crash, they try to preserve as much information as possible and display that "last gasp" on the screen in plain text mode - white type on blue background. This is to help people who use this info to find out what caused the problem and to make sure it doesn't happen again. Unfortunately, most smaller software companies (including one whose stock ticker is MSFT) don't have the resources to adequately debug their code so the Blue Screen of Death happens to more people than Microsoft would like and more often too... Here is the pic:
From the Infoworld article:
bq. "When I'm visiting New York, I tend to walk with my head down and take little notice of the giant screens flashing around me, but today, I noticed a sign in the distance that was unmistakeable: I was standing before the largest "blue screen of death" that I had ever seen at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Ave. While most people experience the soul-crushing blue screen in the solitude of their homes or offices, I took part in a truly mass blue screen experience, and if you don't think that is particularly profound, tell that to the network guy who handed me his card on the street and asked if I would send him the photo [hi, Ramez]..."
We normally get a good chunk of rain during November but... I have a recording weather station at the farm and we have accumulated almost 4.5" for today. We are fine but getting into Bellingham might be interesting: bq. WAC073-251047- 954 PM PST WED NOV 24 2004 bq. NOOKSACK RIVER BASIN... bq. NOOKSACK R AT DEMING FLOOD STAGE: 12.0 FT. LATEST READING: 14.2 FT AT 09:30 PM WED. bq. FORECAST: MODERATE FLOODING IS OCCURRING. NEARING CREST AROUND 1 AM AT 14.8 FEET. BEGIN FALLING TOMORROW MORNING. bq. AT 13.5 FEET...THE NOOKSACK RIVER WILL CAUSE WIDESPREAD FLOODING DOWNSTREAM THROUGH LYNDEN...WITH SWIFT WATERS COVERING SOME FARM LANDS AND ROADS. EROSION MAY DAMAGE SOME RIVER BANKS. The Nooksack is the main river in our area (our two creeks feed into it) and Deming is the first major town between here and Bellingham. My Mom and Dad drove into Bellingham today to come here tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner. I think I may take the truck in to see how bad it is. One other thing that will be interesting to watch -- there is a section of the main highway (SR-542) that was having problems with erosion. A bunch of enviros got the state to anchor tree 'snags' at the shoreline to help build up sediment and slow the process. It will be interesting to see how well they survive. Anyway, we have a great little Generator (Kubota 5500 watt with electric start) and none of the buildings are leaking -- wood stove is heating up my studio nicely so we are snug. As I said - deluge blogging. Worst case scenario, I can start building an ark. Now where is my Cubit measure... UPDATE: Here are the readings for the last month for the Nooksack River at Deming. The data comes from this website: U.S. Geological Survey
Note that the scale is logarithmic and that today's peak is at 50 thousand Cubic Feet per second where the last big peak (early November) was only 20 thousand.
The little triangle thingies represent the averaged stream data for the last 62 years of known data collection.
Original post date was 11-17-04 - Updated material at end: David Sucher at City Comforts writes about a land-use battle and political urban versus rural conflict that is happening just two counties south of us. bq. The Democratic Party ought to be listening Democratic policy wonks who are serious about regaining a decision-making role at the local & national level ought to be paying attention to stories like this one: 'Critical areas ordinance' provokes bitter 'rural vs. urban' dispute. bq. The story itself ignores the substance of the ordinance and focusses on the politics; so unless you have been following the issue, you have no idea what the 'Critical areas ordinance' specifically does. And I have to confess that even though I am fairly knowledgeable about these issues -- I served on the very first "environmentally-sensitive areas" advisory committee in the City of Seattle -- I don't know about this specific ordinance. (The P-I brushes readers off to King County's site.) While I am skeptical of property owners who claim wipe-out, I am also skeptical of environmentalists who claim end-of-the-world. Here is the home page for the Critical Areas Package Basically, if you buy a five-acre lot, you cannot touch 50% of it. Cannot clear it, cannot build on it, cannot use it for pasture. Lots larger than five acres must leave 35% untouched -- again, no clearing, pasture or building. It goes from bad to worse if you happen to buy property near a "sensitive area" or watershed. The website has links to PDFs of the various rules and regulations and these were very much not written by anyone who lived in the country... Micromanagement at its worst... I'm glad we settled in Whatcom county and not King. UPDATE: Armen Yousoufian wrote in with this correction and the situation is actually worse than I made it out to be. Here is part of his comment, check out the comments section for some of the backstory and what he is doing now. bq. Good article, but one correction/reversal to your clearing limit vs. untouched requirement for lots above 5 acres. In your 3rd to last paragraph you say: "Lots larger than five acres must leave 35% untouched � again, no clearing, pasture or building." It's just the reverse: the 35% limit is what you can clear for lots over 7.5 acres - you must leave 65% largely untouched, just as you mentioned 50% must be left untouched for lots under 5 acres. Between 5 and 7.5 acres the untouched area is the greater of 2.5 acres or 65%. Any way you look at it, it's an extreme and uncompensated measure, and I thank you for getting that point across in your piece. Again, very happy to be a resident of Whatcom County - we have been going through the permitting process for our business (Commercial Hard Cider) and have found the County people to be very easy to deal with. You get that amazing feeling that you are talking to a real person -- someone you would like to have a beer with after work, instead of some numb bureaucrats. Jen and I both (before we met) had businesses in Seattle and the crap you have to go through there is sad -- they could make the area a lot more conducive to small business...
There has been a recent spate of horror-stories about how the polar ice cap is melting and how this will raise the sea level (pure bunk since the ice cap is floating and floating ice will not raise the fluid level if it melts). Richard Bennett at Mossback's Lunch links to a great article at National Geographic which points out that: bq. Speaking of meltdowns, Arctic ice has been melting like crazy for the past 250 years or so, since the end of the Little Ice Age that peaked in 1650. National Geographic has the scoop on how far this recession has come: He then quotes from the Geographic article: bq. To put this in perspective, when European explorers first sailed along the Alaska coastline in the 1790s, they noted only a small embayment along the coastline. By the 1880s the glacier that filled what became known as Glacier Bay had retreated, leaving a bay that extended nearly 40 miles (64 kilometers). The glacier has continued to retreat and today Glacier Bay extends more than 60 miles (96 kilometers) into the Alaskan coastline. bq. What complicates the human-induced global warming question is the fact that some of the glaciers in Alaska began their retreat more than 250 years ago, before the human population expanded and the industrial revolution. Some of Alaska�s glaciers began their retreat only in the last 25 years. We are undergoing a period of warming, I have talked about it before on this blog. In the 1600's, rivers in Europe froze every winter. before that, in the 900's, there were wine grapes growing in Greenland. The Earth's climate cycles between warm and cool about every 400 years and our CO2 emissions (or panicked attempts at reduction of same) are not having any major effect. The famous Mann "hockey stick" temperature graph has been reliably shown to be bad science (he cherry-picked their data).
Hat tip to Slashdot for this very interesting and detailed article regarding Adware, Malware and just how much harm to a Windows XP installation can be done from visiting one site. bq. How bad is this problem? How much junk can get installed on a user's PC by merely visiting a single site? I set out to see for myself -- by visiting a single web page taking advantage of a security hole (in an ordinary fresh copy of Windows XP), and by recording what programs that site caused to be installed on my PC. In the course of my testing, my test PC was brought to a virtual stand-still -- with at least 16 distinct programs installed. I was not shown licenses or other installation prompts for any of these programs, and I certainly didn't consent to their installation on my PC. Check out the rest of Ben Edelman's website for some really fascinating stuff. He goes into who profits from these installations and how to detect them and get rid of them. The detection and cleanup tool he uses most is the excellent Ad Aware. I use it here for all of our Windows-based systems and it does an excellent job. A free version is available here.
Oh Kaaay... Here is a news story from Yahoo/Law regarding a Mr. Jerry Colaitis of Old Brookville, N.Y. who passed away five months after dodging a flying shrimp: bq. Benihana Chef's Playful Food Toss Blamed for Diner's Death A piece of grilled shrimp flung playfully by a Japanese hibachi chef toward a tableside diner is being blamed for causing the man's death. bq. Making a proximate-cause argument, the lawyer for the deceased man's estate has alleged that the man's reflexive response -- to duck away from the flying food -- caused a neck injury that required surgery. bq. Complications from that first operation necessitated a second procedure. Five months later, Jerry Colaitis of Old Brookville, N.Y., was dead of an illness that his family claims was proximately caused by the injury. And Benihana's response: bq. Benihana has denied all of the complaint's material allegations. In other papers filed with the court, defense attorney Andrew B. Kaufman also questioned whether Colaitis was trying to avoid the flying shrimp or catch it in his mouth. The story: bq. According to Ferenzo, Colaitis, a furrier in his early 40s, had gathered with his wife, two sons and four stepdaughters to celebrate one of the boys' birthdays. bq. Tableside cooking and chefs' showmanship have been a trademark of the Benihana chain since it opened its first U.S. steak house in 1964. Seated around one of Benihana's trademark hibachi dinner tables, the family watched as a chef diced the food as he cooked it. bq. Ferenzo said that the chef began flipping pieces of hot food toward the diners, once burning one of Colaitis' sons. Asked to stop, the attorney said, the chef responded only with a smile and allegedly continued tossing morsels at his patrons. bq. When the chef flipped a piece of shrimp at Colaitis, he allegedly ducked away, injuring two vertebra in his neck. Doctors reportedly told Colaitis that if he did not have corrective surgery, another injury to the same disks might leave him paralyzed. bq. The first operation was in June 2001, six months after the Benihana dinner. A second procedure was performed two weeks later. bq. In succeeding months Colaitis developed a high fever and problems with his breathing and memory. He died in a hospital five months after the second surgery, on Nov. 22, 2001. The guy dies of a nosocomial infection --but-- he would not have been in the hospital if the chef had listened to his request and stopped flinging bits of food at their party. I would side with his attorneys - Benihana was at fault. An accident for sure but they initiated the chain of events that caused the guys death and the Chef was --very-- negligent for not stopping the food tossing.
Finally... Rathergate was enough that he should have stepped down right there. As it is, he will still be doing the 60 Minutes show this happened on but will be no longer working for CBS News. Their replacement is an old and trusted friend (to meet him, visit my earlier blog entry here)
Major hat tip to Sean Gleeson for breaking the news.
Paul at Wixzbang has some words with the people who thinks that it's Bush's fault that the Baghdad museum was looted and he carries it into the present situation in Afghanistan: bq. Bush saves over 25,000 Museum Pieces in Afghanistan Remember the bogus Baghdad museum story? For those of you who missed it, after Baghdad fell, the media ran wild with the story that the Baghdad museum was looted and 30,000+ pieces were stolen or destroyed. This was blamed exclusively on George Bush. bq. The media even reported many times that the Oil Ministry was guarded but the Museum was not, outraging the Bush haters. bq. The problem was of course, the whole story was bogus. After weeks of the media harming on it, the truth came out that (as I recall) 6 pieces were unaccounted for out of 30,000+ and the Oil Ministry was not guarded but the museum was. bq. So if Bush gets the blame for that, why has he not gotten credit for this.... Paul then links to this story in The Chronicle: bq. Kabul museum treasures emerge from hiding places 22,000 pieces of gold, bronze and ivory were saved by curators More than 22,000 treasures from the Kabul Museum in Afghanistan, long thought to have been lost in the war against the Soviet Union and the subsequent cultural purge by the Taliban, have been located in bank vaults and other safe places where they were hidden by museum officials. bq. The priceless Bactrian gold collection, precious ivories, bronze statues and other artifacts of 5,000 years of history on the Orient's Silk Road � virtually all of the museum's most precious items � were preserved despite the devastation engulfing the country, archaeologists said last week. bq. The discovery of the Bactrian gold was announced this summer, but a just-completed inventory revealed that virtually all of the museum's most precious items are intact, said Oxford University archaeologist Fredrik T. Hiebert. Very cool!
Charles at LGF links to this report from the BBC From the Australian Age: bq. UN knew of Saddam's oil-for-food thefts: BBCThe United Nations knew that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was stealing from the oil-for-food program - and, by extension, starving his own people - but did little to stop it, according to a special report by the BBC at the weekend. bq. After a six-month investigation, the BBC said it had evidence that Saddam took billions from the oil-for-food program, and that "these abuses were widely known about at the time". The BBC said there was evidence that Saddam demanded a kickback from companies that wanted to do business with Iraq under the oil-for-food program. bq. Australia sold wheat worth about $A1 billion to Iraq under the program but the Australian Wheat Board strongly denies wrongdoing. However, US congressman Chris Shays told the BBC that Saddam "didn't participate with you if he couldn't get kickbacks. bq. "He didn't buy commodities unless he got kickbacks so, if you agreed to participate, you agreed to do it on his terms. And we know what those terms were." Well he's out now, no thanks to the United Nations. The kicker is that the UN wants to launch its own investigation and where was it planning to get the funds for this? bq. Iraq Protests U.N. Decision on Probe Iraq has protested a U.N. decision to use $30 million in revenue from the U.N. oil-for-food program for Iraq to help pay for the investigation of alleged corruption in the humanitarian effort. bq. In a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Samir Sumaidiaie argued that Security Council resolutions don't support the use of oil-for-food money "for an investigation into the internal practices of the United Nations in carrying out its duties." bq. "My government believes that the use of such funds has no legal basis," he said in a letter dated Nov. 19 to U.S. Ambassador John Danforth, the current Security Council president. bq. Last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the council that money for the probe headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker would come from an account earmarked to pay U.N. administrative and operational costs for the embattled humanitarian program. bq. Volcker said in August he doesn't know how long the investigation would take, but estimated it would cost at least $30 million in the next year. Sick mofo... Annan needs to be given the boot now. I really wonder if he realizes just how sick and corrupt he really is -- has he lost all touch with reality?
This is being covered in lots of places. The elections in the Ukraine were basically stolen and the popular candidate was no Glen the Puppy Blender links to the White Houses commentary bq. Statement on Ukrainian Elections The United States is deeply disturbed by extensive and credible indications of fraud committed in the Ukrainian presidential election. We strongly support efforts to review the conduct of the election and urge Ukrainian authorities not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved. We call on the Government of Ukraine to respect the will of the Ukrainian people, and we urge all Ukrainians to resolve the situation through peaceful means. The Government bears a special responsibility not to use or incite violence, and to allow free media to report accurately on the situation without intimidation or coercion. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in this difficult time. The overall thought from the sites I have read were that if this happened in the USA, the media would be over it 24/7. What do we hear? Crickets...
This cartoon runs in our local daily newspaper and it really hit the mark today: Prickly City
Ran some errands today and doing some work on the farm (building the second set of shelves in the shop) Three things caught my eye though: #1) - One of my new favorite blogs is "A Western Heart" This is a collaborative blog and one of the writers, Dr. John Ray seems to have a good grasp of environmental concerns. Science, not hysteria. His latest deals with the chimera that is wind "farming": bq. But the case for wind power as a serious component of the national grid is collapsing by the month, propped up only by soaring Treasury grants and statutory cross-subsidies. Figures about turbines "generating enough power for x homes" are rubbish. Claimed capacity is not output and output is not a substitute for fossil fuel. bq. Given the intermittency of wind, no grid can risk switching off its fossil-fuel generators for fear of a collapse in supply when the wind dies. Neither the Germans nor the Scandinavians have been able to close power stations through wind substitution. The conventional power stations must be kept running. The Irish have stopped taking wind power on to their grid because of this risk. Wind power may have local auxiliary uses, but it is irrelevant to the global warming account. bq. Science may one day find ways of storing energy from the restless elements, from wind and waves, and render their contribution to carbon reduction significant. As with offshore turbine parks, the cost would be astronomical. The Trade Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, said on Tuesday that "no one is coming forward with plans for nuclear power stations". But that is because she will not subsidise them. No one applied to build wind turbines until the government threw money at them, now o300m a year. It is the most senseless investment ever approved by the Treasury. Farmers and manufacturers with lobbyists in tow may be tumbling over themselves to invest in wind. But the return is not commercial, it is subsidy. bq. If Britain is sincere about wanting to reduce carbon emissions it must build nuclear power plants. This is not revolutionary. A third of Europe's energy is now nuclear, while Britain is heading towards zero. Nuclear investment is taking place across the world. Even America, which stopped such commissioning in the 1980s, is starting to extend nuclear capacity and plan new plants. Twenty per cent of American power generation is nuclear. If increased, this would do more for global warming than signing the Kyoto Protocol. For Blair to lecture George Bush on this at the G8 summit, when he has not the courage to renew his own nuclear capacity, would be the height of hypocrisy. No shit Sherlock... #2) - Bubba Clinton's trailer in the sky: (Hat tip to Charles at LGF) From the New York Sun bq. Saudis, Arabs Funneled Millions to President Clinton's Library BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun LITTLE ROCK, ARK. - President Clinton's new $165 million library here was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen. bq. The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week. bq. Democrats spent much of the presidential campaign this year accusing President Bush of improperly close ties to Saudi Arabia. The case was made in Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," in a bestselling book by Craig Unger titled "House of Bush, House of Saud," and by the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kerry."This administration delayed pressuring the Saudis," Mr. Kerry said on October 20. "I will insist that the Saudis crack down on charities that funnel funds to terrorists... and on anti-American and anti-Israel hate speech."The Media Fund, a Democratic group whose president is a former Clinton White House aide, Harold Ickes, spent millions airing television commercials in swing states with scripts such as, "The Saudi royal family...wealthy...powerful...corrupt. And close Bush family friends." bq. Perhaps as a result, the Saudi donations to the Clinton library are raising some eyebrows. Mr. Unger said he suspects that the Saudi support may have something to do with a possible presidential bid by Senator Clinton in 2008. bq. "They want to keep their options open no matter who's in power and whether that's four years from now or whatever," the author said. "Just a few million is nothing to them to keep their options open." More on Clinton's trailer in the sky here. #3) - And yes, they are watching you. WTF did you expect??? bq. Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents bq. Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you. bq. According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters. bq. Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says his company's laser printers, copiers and multifunction workstations, such as its WorkCentre Pro series, put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" in every printout. The millimeter-sized dots appear about every inch on a page, nestled within the printed words and margins. bq. "It's a trail back to you, like a license plate," Crean says. bq. The dots' minuscule size, covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along with their color combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the naked eye, Crean says. One way to determine if your color laser is applying this tracking process is to shine a blue LED light--say, from a keychain laser flashlight--on your page and use a magnifier.
When the obviously forged Bush documents were revealed to be typed on MS Word, the President of CBS said: "the investigation would be over and public in weeks, not months" Evil Glen the Puppyblender brings this back to our awareness and mentions that two months have elapsed... bq. RATHERGATE UPDATE: Or non-update, as the case may be. It has now been two months since CBS President Andrew Heyward promised that the investigation would be over and public in "weeks, not months." bq. It's been months, now. Just another statement from CBS that turned out to be false? bq. Meanwhile, CBS remains an object of mockery like this from Dave Barry in the Baltimore Sun: "Yes, it is a tragic but statistical fact that every Thanksgiving, undercooked turkeys claim the lives of an estimated 53 billion Americans (source: Dan Rather). Sometimes the cause is deadly bacteria; sometimes - in cases of extreme undercooking - the turkey actually springs up from the carving platter and pecks the would-be carver to death." bq. Then there's this, from Jack Colwell: "Dan Rather received a Turkey of the Year Award for his exclusive on discovery of the original recipes from the time of the Pilgrims for the first Thanksgiving dinner. The Pilgrims apparently printed them on an hp deskjet printer." bq. Not good for the brand. Heh... Not good for the brand indeed -- checked FOX News ratings recently??? Hmmm???
Dr. John Ray has some interesting thoughts regarding the distribution of lefties and conservatives and the reasons for their preferences... He writes at A Western Heart: bq. Population Density and the Left My post yesterday about the correlation between high population density and Democrat voting elicited a bit of correspondence so I thought I should say more about it. The famous case of Kitty Genovese being stabbed to death while lots of her fellow New Yorkers looked on without raising a finger was of course mentioned. NYC people are of course famous for not wanting to get involved but they do have good reason for that. Crime there was at one stage so bad that getting involved would have guaranteed a short life. And the law there penalizes getting involved too. I understand that to this day you can be sued if you intervene to help someone and the outcome is not universally satisfactory. So crazy Leftist law is at least one reason for the NYC situation. If gun ownership had not been so controlled in NYC, for instance, Kitty Genovese's assailant could well have got his head blown off before he killed her. And NYC has such a lot of crazy Leftist law (including rent control!) because of its huge Jewish population, who to this day are still overwhelmingly lockstep Democrat voters. So NYC pathologies are a good example of some of the ills that Leftism leads to but there could be causes of the Leftism other than high population density. And it should be noted that the Netherlands have long had high population densities combined with a low crime rate -- though that has changed with the recent Muslim influx there. bq. On the other hand, psychologists have done a lot of work on the effects of crowding -- including some famous white-rat studies. And such studies have of course shown a great upsurge in pathlogical behaviour (including sexual deviance!) as a result of crowding. So while NYC is no proof of anything by itself, it must be admitted that NYC people and overcrowded white rats do have some things in common! bq. On the third hand, it could be argued that a largely parasitical underclass living on welfare and crime thrives only in big cities and "get out the vote" drives do end up with a lot of them voting Democrat. So it could be purely the tendency of big cities to attract an underclass that gives the Democrats an edge there. bq. On the fourth hand, the normal human tendency towards division of labour is at its peak in big cities. In NYC, people even delegate to others the walking of their dogs! So if delegation is such a habit in the big cities, it must seem fairly natural to delegate your caring and compassion too. And that is what Leftism offers. Leftism is caring shoved off onto others. bq. So in the end I do think that a crowded urban environment makes you less caring about those around you (and hence makes you more Leftist) but I don't think that that is the whole of the story. I think there are other causes of that big-city Leftism too. And it must finally be noted that what one person sees as overcrowding, many others (Japanese?) may not -- though there is surely not a total disconnect between objective circumstances and what is perceived. Very good points -- Jen and I have been thinking about what makes city dwellers different from rural dwellers -- she was raised on a farm but I was raised in cities but never felt comfortable with them. We talk about people we know in Seattle who would be unable to cope with the level of self-reliance needed for country life. Funny, that doesn't seem to bother us one whit... (grin)
Title stolen shamelessly from Reader "RedWhiteAndJew" on LGF The entry I was reading was regarding Iran's attempts to process Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6 in atomic notation) and RW&J commented: bq. Actually, UF6 is an Iranian rock band; their version of U2. bq. They have a new album out. bq. How To Assemble An Atomic Bomb Charles' article is about Iran's attempts to process a lot of UF6 -- the issue is that the only purpose for UF6 is to make atomic weapons. President Bush made a very pointed comment about this and we know that what Bush says, he means and acts on (one of the reasons 60 million Americans cast their ballots for him) From the Reuters article: bq. President Bush on Saturday warned Iran of growing international concern over reports that Tehran is preparing large amounts of uranium for an enrichment process that can be used to make nuclear weapons. bq. �This is a very serious matter. The world knows it�s a serious matter and we�re working together to solve this matter,� Bush told reporters during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Santiago. Emphasis mine. Some more: bq. �It�s very important for the Iranian government to hear that we are concerned about their desires,� Bush said. bq. �We�re concerned about reports that show that prior to a certain international meeting, they�re willing to speed up processing of materials that could lead to a nuclear weapon.� Good man -- glad I voted for him... Kerry would have done what the EUnuchs are doing right now (more negotiations) and that strategy is an abject failure. These people are fascists and tyrants and they are not stupid. They are strategists and their plan will sauced if we remain in a liberal slumber. UPDATE: M. Simon at Power and Control has an excellent analysis of UF6, it's issues and the current state of affairs in Iran. Check it out!
Very nice -- the USA has been behind a big push to get other nations to write off the debt's that Iraq incurred under Saddam Hussein's regime. The NY Times has the story: bq. Plan Cancels Some of Debt Owed by Iraq Germany and the United States have agreed on a proposal to cancel 80 percent, or about $33 billion, of the debt owed by Iraq to a group of creditor nations known as the Paris Club, capping an American effort for debt forgiveness, the German finance minister said Saturday. bq. The creditor nations, which are owed $42 billion by Iraq, must now accept the accord worked out by the German minister, Hans Eichel, and Treasury Secretary John W. Snow. And more: bq. The United States has been pushing for a generous debt write-off for Iraq, trying to win support for wiping out as much as 95 percent of the debt. bq. But Germany and other nations have questioned whether a country like Iraq with rich oil reserves should benefit from huge debt reduction. Very cool - Saddam and his cronies did little with the money flowing in except to fund terrorism and line their pockets. The infrastructure in Iraq was in shameful condition and is now being built up to world standards. The people of Iraq didn't ring up this debt, it's nice that they aren't having to pay it all...
Hat tip to free4all at DGCI for the pointer to this great rant in the Calgary Sun: bq. Stay home, you pathetic whining maggots In the wake of the U.S. presidential election... ....Americans disenchanted with President George W. Bush's re-election romp back into the White House, continue to deluge the Canadian immigration website. bq. How anybody can be unhappy with the president's re-election is beyond me. bq. Bush has my admiration in no small part because he manages to simultaneously annoy France and Germany, not to mention those renowned deep, geopolitical thinkers, the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, P-Diddy or whatever he's calling himself now, Gwynneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck. bq. (Interesting note about France: America invades Iraq without UN approval and America is portrayed as a barbarian striding across the world stage. Recently, France essentially invaded the Ivory Coast to protect its interests there ... without asking the UN squat. Just pointing out the hypocrisy.) bq. Plus, let's face it: France deserves to be annoyed by as many people as possible, as often as possible, if only for encouraging Jerry Lewis by telling him that he was a genius. Heh...
Blogger David Limbaugh points to an interview with John Kerry where he explains why he lost the 2004 Presidential election: bq. Kerry Blames Loss on Osama In remarks to Fox News' Geraldo Rivera yesterday, Senator Kerry placed the blame for his loss on the Osama bin Laden tape that surfaced the weekend before the election. According to the Fox article:
bq. Rivera said Kerry said the tape came out too late for his camp to rebut and the Democratic campaign couldn't counteract it in time for the Tuesday election. bq. Beyond Kerry's delusions do you see the humor in this? Kerry would have "rebutted" Osama's tape, as if Osama were a Bush paid political hack. But what's really amusing about it, is that there wouldn't have been anything for Kerry to rebut if he'd tried and had the time. Osama was merely echoing the Kerry campaign. I think that there were a few other reasons for Kerry's decisive loss...Kerry said: "It was that Usama tape- it scared them [the American people]."
I had written about her before here and here. Elena has a new site Kidd of Speed hosted by a fan. The Chernobyl images are there. She has a new project too -- she and friends go urban exploring through the City of Kiev's war ruins and discover some amazing artifacts, both World Wars as well as Mongol incursions. Fascinating stuff and the artifacts are just lying there for anyone with a metal detector or sharp eyes... Here is The Serpent's Wall
When I was growing up, my Dad did Physics at The University of Pittsburgh. I am a bit pissed at the fact that they have seemed to have dropped the ball on big science and that their very large Physics department seems to have morphed into a generic (and weak) "Physics & Astronomy Department" Anyway, the image below is from 1964 or 1965 and is not representative of the Cyclotron that Alex Allen built -- this puppy was built by High Voltage Engineering Corporation from Burlington, Massachusetts. What prompted this rant is that someone built their own 12" Cyclotron with a definitely non-shabby 1MEv beam power out of pocket change and good hacking skills... From Physics Today: bq. Building a Cyclotron on a Shoestring Starting when he was an undergrad, Tim Koeth built a 12−inch cyclotron. Now he is in grad school and his creation is used in a senior−level lab class. bq. I was immediately obsessed," says Timothy Koeth, who, as a sophomore in physics in 1995 at Rutgers University, got the bug to build a cyclotron. "I was sitting in Tom Devlin's modern physics lecture," recalls Koeth. "He described the principle of the cyclotron. He said it required a lot of RF power. I was�and am�a ham radio operator, so RF was no problem. It needed a big magnet; I knew I could find one of those. How tough could a vacuum system and chamber be?" Some six years later, Koeth's 12−inch machine became part of an undergraduate lab course. Heh... This is hacking -- old school...
...that are too shocking & graphic for the mainstream media. (Hat tip to the Braden Files)
Got some stuff to take care of here and then meeting with some people in the big city (Bellingham -- 45 minutes drive away) later this afternoon. More later this evening. Dave
This is very cool for us and for them... I had written about Blu-Ray before here, here, here and here. This seems to be the upcoming new standard for optical disk technology -- able to store about 50Gb per disk. Unfortunately, a couple other companies are trying out competing, non-compatible technologies. The adoption of Blu-Ray by giant HP will go a long way to make this the overwhelming standard and to lower the price for the consumer... From Slashdot comes the announcement: bq. Finally HP announced plans to include Blu-ray Disc drives across many of its product lines, including select consumer desktop and notebook PCs, personal workstations and digital entertainment centers. They will start selling PCs equipped with Blu-ray Disc drives in late 2005. An optical disc technology, Blu-ray Disc is poised to replace current DVD technology and become the next standard for personal computing data storage and viewing high-definition movies. More than 70 of the world's leading technology and entertainment companies have committed to the Blu-ray Disc format. Good stuff!
Portland blogger Michael J. Totten is going on what would be a dream trip for me. He is traveling to Libya: bq. Programming Note After talking about it for six months it is finally time. I�m going to Libya. And I�m leaving first thing in the morning. bq. Keep checking in on the blog, though. Jeremy Brown will be guest-blogging for me while I�m away. He�s one of the few people in the world whose opinions comprehensively overlap mine. He writes well. And he�s funny. So there will be plenty of fresh content here until I get back after the long Thanksgiving weekend. bq. Be nice to Jeremy while I�m out. Be nice to each other. And if anyone in the White House is reading this, please, if you plan to bomb Tripoli, wait until I back. K? Thanks kindly. Have a blast Michael! The Government of Libya is turning out to be one of the "Moderate-Muslim" success stories -- strong faith and strong belief in modernization and capitalism...
Interesting happenings in Florida. A parent, concerned that a teacher was abusing her child, complained. The Teachers' Union replied with a letter (PDF available here) that, well, I'll let the WFTV article tell the story: bq. Union Sent Threatening Letter To Parent Who Complained Channel 9 has obtained a letter from the teachers' union to a parent who complained Kathy Garrett beat her child years ago. Carol Goings was shocked by the threatening letter she received. bq. The teachers' union is standing behind that threatening letter. The mother who received it says it shows just how far the union will go to protect even bad teachers. bq. "I'm literally shocked. Am I really reading this? Am I having a nightmare?" says Goings. The letter: bq. The letter said her "motives were suspect," that Goings comments were "malicious," that Garrett had "students' best interests at heart" and that if Goings didn't back off, she'd face "formal legal action" and could pay "damages." bq. Goings said she backed off immediately. bq. "To hire an attorney against the teacher's union, I wouldn't have money for that," she says. The teacher in question was subsequently arrested on abuse charges. Long history of it in fact. Porn too - from this article: bq. Porn Found On Computer Of Teacher Accused Of Abuse School leaders say a teacher accused of abusing autistic students also had pornography on a computer in her classroom. We've learned at least one of those computers had pictures of Kathy Garrett herself. bq. Channel 9 has learned that the graphic computer content shows bondage, including Garrett partially clothed on her own website. She allegedly showed the pictures to a classroom aide. These stories (and more) can be found in the links at the bottom of the WFTV website. The idea that the Teachers' Union would stand behind such a mediocre teacher is disgusting...
Yesterday, I had linked to a new blog (new to me anyway), Straight Up with Sheri. She has been doing an excellent analysis of the war on terrorism and today's entry is just as good: bq. PART IV: More Than Osama The most obvious enemy is Osama bin Laden and the Muslim extremists. Most of us lump Osama into the same group as Hamas and Hezbulla. They are certainly deserving of being in the same class when it comes to the label of terrorists, but we need to take note of one thing before we are able to recognize some of our other enemies. She then talks a bit about Osama's pre-election video where he talks about Israel and the US: bq. "The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced........And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance." Sherri then comments: bq. Two things to note here. Osama cashed in on the plight of destroying Israel. And: bq. He is exploiting the Palestinian "victim" status to further his own goal. This is actually what has been taking place in the Arab world all along. Giving the Palestinians a "state" of their own would only destroy the true goal of the Arab world, which is to destroy Israel. If their sincere plight was to give Palestine a state of their own, they would already have one. They have had at least two chances. bq. It is important to understand these facts. There is a definite distinction between Palestine having a state of their own and the annihilation of Israel. There is a distinction between the hijacking of Islam in order to further the destruction of Israel, and the goal of Osama to take over Saudi Arabia by getting the US to withdrawal troops from the Middle East. Once we understand this distinction, we are better able to realize how the enemy is bigger than just terrorism. Osama knows how to destroy America from within (economically and culturally). Once we see the forms of attack we then can recognize the intentions of the other enemies we face. She then goes on to talk about the agendas the various players have and closes with this tantalizing thought: bq. Tomorrow I will outline what I feel is the best way to defend ourselves. You may be shocked at how utterly simple it is. Good stuff - definitely worth visiting her site and reading.
Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution points out to some leftie shenanigans on College Campuses: bq. Stupid Professor Tricks Professors at the Claremont schools are at it again. Last year a visiting psychology professor sprayed her own car with racial and religious epithets, slashed her tires and then reported the incident as a hate crime. Why? In order to draw attention to the issue, of course. bq. More recently, SUVS at adjacent Pomona college were painted with anti-SUV messages like "My SUV wastes 33% more gas than a car" and "Is your image a good reason for people to die." (The paint is apparently washable). When the offending students were caught they had a surprising defense: their vandalism was part of an approved class project! bq. Bizarrely the students were taking a class in German Studies and were given an assignment to "develop your own political voice." According to the Dean of Students:
bq. The professor claims the approval was "inadvertent." It doesn't inspire confidence, however, when one reads the description of another one of her courses:Approximately one week before the assignment was due, the students asked for and received written approval from the professor for several alternate projects, including the one that was carried out. Considering that they acted from what they thought was within the parameters of the class, we believe that they should not be sanctioned for their actions.
Alex then comments: bq. Ok Kristallnacht it ain't but this does suggest the professor knew what she was doing. Absolutely. The academics need to come out of their little hermetic worlds and visit with the rest of us time to time... It's a big world out here.132 National Socialism and Today�s Media. Ms. Houy. Attempts to manipulate public opinion have become more effective through mass media; new communication technologies can empower resistance to such attempts. This course studies the propaganda machinery of National Socialism in order to explore current abuses of communication technologies and imagine ways of resisting such abuses.
An interesting thought from Lynne Kiesling at Knowledge Problem. She is talking about Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle which can take raw coal in, filter out the pollutants (particulates and sulfur) and it outputs a gas which can be used the same as natural gas. This is a 4.5 Megawatt generation plant recently installed in Austen, TX
It runs off the gas produced by one of these facilities. Overall efficiency is near 80% which is very good for a power plant.
From their website:
bq. IGCC systems are extremely clean, and are much more efficient than traditional coal-fired systems. IGCC uses a combined cycle format with a gas turbine driven by the combusted syngas from the gasifier, while the exhaust gases are heat exchanged with water/steam to generate superheated steam to drive a steam turbine.
bq. Using IGCC, typically 60-70% of the power comes from the gas turbine with IGCC, compared with about 20% using PFBC. The result is an integrated gasification combined-cycle configuration that provides ultra-low pollution levels and high system efficiencies.
Anyway, Lynne comments on the deployment and economics of this technology:
bq. This technology is important and has a lot of potential to address many potentially conflicting objectives. If you are worried about energy independence and want to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign energy supplies, IGCC can reduce the demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. If you are worried about high natural gas prices and believe that they will continue at around $6/million BTUs, then IGCC could provide a cost-effective alternative to natural gas. With natural gas prices around $6, even if you have to expend resources to gasify the coal it can be cost effective (if the presentations I saw today are realistic, and I think they are). If you are concerned about the environment, IGCC allows you to use even high-sulfur coal while producing very low emissions. I know of one chemical manufacturer that has been using IGCC for a while because of the combination of these features. Plus, one of the presentations on this session suggested the opportunity to sell 99.9% pure sulfur, which means that firms using IGCC can turn polluting waste into a revenue stream.
bq. Yet the technology is sufficiently new and unproven that few IGCC facilities are being built. This slow adoption is a bit of a conundrum to the panelists I heard today, especially if you think about the possibility of basically bolting on a gasifier to an existing natural gas power plant. With high natural gas prices, the ability this technology gives you to substitute from expensive natural gas to synthetic gas from cheap coal should be very valuable.
Unfortunately, this technology has not taken hold as much as it could be. One person calls this a market failure and Lynne responds with two reasons why it's not:
bq. First, building IGCC plants typically costs more than alternative technologies, so often state PUCs hesitate to allow the costs to be incorporated into the rate base. How is that a market failure? Sounds to me like the application of the prudency standard for evaluating utility costs is the barrier, and is the transaction cost in this case.
bq. Second, this technology is not as mature and proven as alternatives, so investors tend to go with others. How is that a market failure? It sounds to me like the way the world works, and the way the world has always worked. New technologies have always faced implementation hurdles when competing with more mature, known technologies. Why is IGCC relative to, say, pulverized coal technology any different from the steam engine relative to the water wheel in the late 18th century? New technologies compete uphill. Get over it.
She then closes out with these two paragraphs:
bq. It all comes back to customer choice and customer preferences. It�s unfair to them to leave their preferences out of the policy discussion, and out of the determination of the technologies that are used to generate the power that they purchase to fuel their various and diverse uses.
bq. It�s also wrong to call something a market failure when the transaction costs that are preventing a market from behaving the way you think it should are the consequence of either regulatory constraints or risk preferences.
Very good point. Interesting technology, very efficient but expensive capital cost. Something to watch...
I link to Bill Whittle at EjectEjectEject when he posts new essays. He comes out with a new one every month or so and they are all of them great and required reading. Today, he posts that his collection of essays is due from the publishers any day now and will be available from his website (or Barnes and Noble or Amazon): bq. "SILENT AMERICA: Essays from a democracy at war" is now at the printer. I should have a proof in my hands by Friday or Monday. bq. My buddy Buster O' Connor, back in good old Hogtown, did the cover and I JUST LOVE IT. I love it. bq. The 6x9 paperback came to a mere 232 pages; each volume must be delivered by forklift. I plan to send this softcover out to a few well-known folks, and with luck, I'll be able to get one of them to write an introduction, which I will then put in a commemorative hardcover, along with some biographical notes and other goodies. But right now I'm completely focused on getting out a paperback for the stocking stuffers. bq. Now, looks like PayPal purchases can start as soon as this weekend or very early next week. It should be available on Ingram and Barnes and Noble by December 6th, but won't get to Amazon until the end of December. Paypal copies will ship within 2-4 days of the order being received, and there will be priority shipping if you so desire. The price is $29.95, and then whatever shipping options you choose. It will all be finalized in the next day or so. And more: bq. I am so overwhelmed and excited. I really can't believe it. The worst part is not having a CLUE how many of these I will sell. bq. And when this is out of the way, we start with the book I've been wanting to do for a year now: a citizenship book, one that's more timeless and universal, less about Republicans and Democrats and Liberals and Conservatives -- and especially, less about Iraq -- and more about the values and perspectives a good citizen needs for the 21st century if we are to hand this proud country on to the next generation in better shape than we found it. Cool - I'll be getting a couple of them... Thanks Bill!
There is an interesting article in the MIT Technology Review on the current practices in waste management and what might be done differently...
bq. A New Vision for Nuclear Waste
Storing nuclear waste underground at Yucca Mountain for 100,000 years is a terrible idea. A better approach may be to buy some time�until new containment technologies mature.
His comments about Yucca Mountain are on-target:
bq. The Tunnel Vision
The federal fixation on Yucca Mountain now spans two decades. Beginning in the early 1980s, the government agreed to take waste from any nuclear utility that paid a tariff of a tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour generated by its reactors. All the companies quickly signed up. But the selection of Yucca, 150 kilometers northwest of Las Vegas, was never driven by science. The site was chosen by that august group of geologists and physicists, the U.S. Congress.
The jist is to use dry cask storage for a hundred years or so and then use advanced technologies that are now in the research stage to refine the rods. The article is well researched and there are some good links to other resources.
From KOMO TV News: bq. 10 Arrested In Joint Terrorism Task Force Raid Terrorism task force agents arrested at least 10 Seattle-area residents Thursday on bank fraud, immigration fraud and weapons charges. bq. Some were involved in a conspiracy to illegally bring Gambians into the country while others were defrauding banks of thousands of dollars, court papers said. At least two men are accused of weapons violations. And more: bq. A search warrant obtained by KOMO 4 News said agents searched the Crescent Cuts barber shop in South Seattle looking for training documents on urban warfare. And more: bq. In the bank fraud case, Assalaam is alleged to have led a scheme to deposit more than $10,000 worth of bad checks into various accounts over the past several years. bq. The charging papers said federal agents had been aware of the scheme since 2002, when a confidential informant alerted them. The informant at times wore a wire to tape conversations with Assalaam. In one such conversation, Assalaam said he was raising funds not only for personal gain, but because, "You can't go to war broke." He said his "whole Muslim crew," was involved in the scheme. bq. The FBI investigation of the case involved setting up fake accounts and businesses to trick Assalaam into believing that his scheme was successful, the charging documents said. Good work - ten islamofascists out of circulation and another ring broken.
From FOX News comes this story of a possible break in finding Al-Zarqawi: bq. Zarqawi's Nephew Held in Jordan The nephew of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al Qaeda's point man in Iraq, was detained near the Jordanian-Iraqi border, a distant relative and a clergyman close to the family said Thursday. And more: bq. The relative said al-Harahsheh was being questioned on suspicion of attempting to enter Iraq to join his militant uncle. I hope he sings like a bird... What with the cache of data the troops are recovering in Fallujah, we should be at the beginning of the end for wrapping up the majority of the terrorist operations. Still a lot more work to do but we are at the turning point...
From MyWay/Reuters comes this tale of epidemiology: bq. An expectedly high number of U.S. soldiers injured in the Middle East and Afghanistan are testing positive for a rare, hard-to-treat blood infection in military hospitals, Army doctors reported on Thursday. bq. A total of 102 soldiers were found to be infected with the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii. The infections occurred among soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and three other sites between Jan. 1, 2002, and Aug. 31, 2004. bq. Although it was not known where the soldiers contracted the infections, the Army said the recent surge highlighted a need to improve infection-control in military hospitals. Sounds like they need to beef up procedures at their hospitals. This report from the German Innovations Report outlines why: bq. Acinetobacter baumannii, the hospital opportunist Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen operating in hospitals creating serious infections such as pneumonia. It principally affects patients who have weakened health and this is why we call it opportunistic. Moreover, the mortality rate from these infections are usually high given, on the one hand, the weakness of the patient and, on the other, A. baumannii is resistant to many antibiotics. Furthermore, once a specific course of treatment is prescribed for A. Baumannii, the pathogen has a great capacity for acquiring resistance to these antibiotics. Our own Center for Disease Control has a report of an incident in Taiwan where the infection rate went from 0% to 6.5% in about two years. Nasty stuff...
And good riddance. The Washington Times has the story: bq. 3 smugglers killed as tunnel collapsed Three Palestinians were killed Thursday in the collapse of a tunnel they were digging on the border between Rafah in southern Gaza and Egypt. bq. Witnesses and security sources said three young men, members of a same family, were killed as they were digging an underground tunnel to smuggle food, cigarettes and dairy products from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Emphasis mine -- the tunnels primary use is to smuggle bomb making supplies and ammunition. This is why Israel demolishes them as soon as they find them. There is a good mention of this in this recent article at ABC News: bq. SCENE OF FREQUENT FIGHTING The area near the Palestinian town of Rafah, a militant stronghold, has been the scene of frequent Israeli-Palestinian fighting during the past four years of conflict. bq. Militants spearheading a four-year-old uprising have used a network of secret tunnels to bring in arms from Egypt. bq. Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim said Egyptian security forces had recently stepped up efforts to prevent arms smuggling on their side of the border. The ABC News article is about the Israeli tank crew that fired on and killed three Egyptian Police officers at the border. An interesting story in itself...
Republican Dino Rossi won the Governors election for WA State but the margin of 261 votes triggers a mandatory, machine recount. A little bit more can be found here. Even if the Demos pull a couple extra votes out of their magic hat and win, this sure sends a strong message to Christine Gregoire.
I generally welcome comments to my posts but I track down and delete any and all comments that are not relevant to the topic. Many spammers use blog comments as a way to increase a website's Google Page Rank -- these are generally prescription drug and online gambling. Some are out and out advertisements for seemingly legitimate businesses. I received two of these today. They were deleted along with the rest of the SPAM. There are other ways to promote a product or a company. Don't SPAM.
Jen is active on the Homesteading Today internet forum. One thread running there is personality traits of people's Goats. We have two ourselves and they are lots of fun. As smart as a good German Shepherd with the disposition (and obedience) of a cat. Unfortunately, they are not able to be housebroken otherwise, they would be indoor critters... Here is one goat (not ours) from the forum:
Something is happening over there... From Bloomberg: bq. North Korea Charges It Is Under U.S.-Led `International Siege' The North Korean government said the U.S. is leading an "international siege" against the communist country over the issue of North Korea's nuclear program. Blogger Roger L. Simon also has news: bq. A North Korean Freedom Movement? It's Thursday in Japan and I have received email from Kyoto from Mongai Kome, frequent commenter on this blog. His morning paper (Sankei Shinbun) is reporting anti-regime flyers being posted in over fifty places in North Korea. This public display of disobedience in that benighted country is unprecedented and has been going on for the last month. Here is Mongai:
bq. From earlier in his email, Mongai means Bush and Rice who he is happy are in office, considering the circumstances. But I think if Kim Jong-il is finally going to be gotten rid of, we already know who is going to do it. Interesting...The most prevalent flyer is called the "sixteen lies" of tyrant Kim and his tyrant father and it takes apart the fundamental myths and propaganda regarding the cult of the Kims and outlines the failings of the regime. Another flyer is based on the thesis that Kim Jong-il killed his father (perhaps some propaganda in and of itself but a brilliant move given the traditions of the Korean culture.) Here is hoping things happen in twos and in Iran and North Korea justice will be done, and done soon, and done of, by, and for the people there with a little help from friends.
Was turned on to a new blog Straight up with Sherri. She just finished a three-part essay which is required reading. She does an excellent job of playing connect-the-dots and the picture that arises is not a good one... The introduction PART I: Knowing the Enemy: bq. This entire week will be devoted to the importance of defining the enemy we face, understanding the enemy, and our role in defeating the enemy. We DO have not only a role, but a duty to act against the enemy in order to protect America, and freedom in the world as a whole. bq. The Enemy 101:
Step 1: What motivates them? Answer, the destruction of Israel and the Jews. This is where America becomes enemy number one. In reality, their number one enemy is NOT Israel, it is the United States of America. Why? Without America�s support, they can AND WILL destroy Israel.
Step 2: Who is the Enemy? Those that want to destroy Israel. (See how simple this really is?) So, who wants to destroy Israel? Basically all of the Middle East and ANY Muslim Extremists (no matter where they may live). Now this is where things get a little more complicated. We do have other enemies. They may not want to KILL all of us, but they certainly resent our power and authority and want to see us weakened so they may gain more power.
We then go to PART II: The Paper Tiger bq. The making of the Paper Tiger has been aided by our own people and our own government. The media has been the greatest ally in this development via hiding truth, and exploiting the emotions of the American People by highlighting the issues in a way that forwards the agenda of America's enemies. The enemy within is not only impossible to recognize by his/her lack of a uniform, but they are also protected by our laws of freedom. The enemies have done their homework. Sherri then points to a book published in 1958 that outlines 45 goals for communist takeover of the USA. As Sherri says: bq. The book was The Naked Communist by W. Cleon Skousen. This book lists the Communist Goals to make America fall from within. The list was actually entered into the Congressional Record by Albert Herlong, Jr.(a Floridian who served in Congress from 1949-1963). Many of the 45 goals have already been accomplished, and many more were actually part of the campaign for 2004. The next example of the creation of the Paper Tiger is a little extreme in wording. It states America is already a communist state, which I don not believe to be soundly factual, but it does make a great case for just how subtle the indoctrination (of communist pillars within our own government) is being implemented. The Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto have been implemented in some form already. Strictly as an example of how the control of government gets tighter and tighter, I am including this link to show you how gradually this occurs. We have no idea what is actually taking place until we take a clear look at history. (The Truth about FICA and SS) Finally, we have: PART III: The Attack From Within Sherri introduces the story with a couple paragraphs and then cuts to the enemy goals: bq. Education: (these are numbered in correlation to the original list entered into the Congressional Record in 1963.)Step 3: What is their plan of attack? The enemy has done their homework. They realize the odds of America being defeated militarily, in a �face-to-face� fight, are more than just unlikely. They also understand the way to defeat America is from within. The history of America, and understanding the inner workings of American politics and culture, has given them the information they need to defeat us.
bq. Media: (again, numbered accordingly)17) Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism, and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers associations. Put the party line in text books. 18) Gain control of all student newspapers 19) Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack. 28) Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state".
bq. Culture:20) Infiltrate the press. Get control of book review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions. 21) Gain control of key positions in radio, TV & motion pictures. 25) Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography, and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.
She also deals with the legal System and Politics and then comments: bq. Take time today and let this sink in. When you watch the news or read the paper, start noticing the wording of stories, and the choices made on which stories to cover. Somehow, the media feels the need to crucify a young marine before all the facts are in (or refuse to present ALL the facts), while contributing a few (softly spoken) sentences of mention to the kidnapping and murder of Margaret Hassan. I am cherry picking a few choice lines - the essays are much longer and well worth the 20 minutes it takes to read them thoroughly (including following the links she provides) Another one is promised for tomorrow -- I'll be there...22) Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all form of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings", substitute shapeless, awkward, and meaningless forms. 23) Control art critics and directors of art museums. " Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art".
The Big Trunk at PowerLine writes about the ampoules of supposed Sarin recently found in Fallujah.
(Click for full size)
From The Big Trunk:
bq. Several readers have pointed out to us photograph number 2 in the USA today slide show accessible here. The photo depicts 40 vials of suspected sarin gas found by Marines while searching a house in Fallujah. The vials were secreted in a briefcase hidden in a truck in the courtyard of the house. Reader Steve Richardson writes: "Note the German and Russian lettering on the middle pouch."
Many places are reporting that these tubes contain actual Sarin toxin but one of Power Line's readers knows differently:
bq. Reader Dave Keasey writes:
These are what we would call "Draeger Tubes" (a brand name, though several companies manufacture them... Draeger is possibly the biggest) commonly used in industry and other places (the military, too) for measuring airborne gas concentrations. Quite ingeneous little chemical reactors, which progressively change color along their as the chemical to be measured is drawn through the tube. A specified volume of air is sucked through the tube, and the length of the color change tells you what the concentration of the chemical is. They are actually quite accurate, as long as you don't have interferences to deal with.
bq. In other words, no story here, other than the bad guys being prepared to measure gasses that might for some reason be present. Who knows... they might have been dumb enough to think that these tubes actually contained Sarin.
There is also a link to California Yankee who has some more updates.
Damian at Pave France remembers the supposed quip from Dr. Condoleezza Rice: bq. Europe remembers Rice's 'Puish France' quip: Well, we doubt very much that the inhabitants of, say, Portugal much care much less remember. Same for Poland. We don't think the Danes are bothered. Nor the Italians. Nor Romania. Nor the Czech Republic. We imagine all manner of Europeans have little or no recollection and those who do, well, they most likely remember fearlessly. bq. Except the French. bq. Here is what Ms. Rice is purported to have said, not quipped:
Go get 'em Condi -- you ROCK!
bq. If Ms. Rice did not in fact pronounce this formulary, it is uncanny how well it captures subsequent U.S. foreign policy. bq. Mr. Powell tried to "quip" the line away: bq. �It's a great line a journalist came up with and repeated quite a bit.� bq. And now Mr. Powell is gone. And Ms. Rice is in charge. Here she is aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln:Punish France, ignore Germany, forgive Russia.
Was there a coup in North Korea recently? MegaPundit seems to think so and links to some interesting stories. bq. MEGAPUNDIT ANALYSIS: A NORTH KOREAN REVOLUTION? Are the North Koreans or a rival political group revolting against President Kim Jong-Il? The signs seem to be pointing at a silent coup d�etat in this Stalinist country. bq. News from this closed society is sketchy and not entirely reliable, but two recent reports point to a very serious challenge to the rule of Kim Jong-Il. bq. First and most serious is the report that portraits of the North Korean leader are being removed throughout the capital of Pyongyang. According to the Cybercast News Service report: There is also a report from Japan and an article in today's NY Times Interesting times.
Mike King at Ramblings' Journal wries about Bill Cosby and his refusal to keep quiet about issues that concern him -- basically the stunning lack of education that black urban kids have these days. bq. This morning, someone suggested to me that Bill Cosby might be someone worth the Bush Administration's attention for the post of Secretary of Education. bq. I got that same quizical look on my face that probably is on yours at reading that statement. But after his continued vocal defiance of the "Soul Patrol" who would rather he dummied up and kept our collective "dirty laundry" in the closet, one has to wonder.
Mike then goes on to comment: bq. Cosby's educational credentials are well known and respected. He holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His doctoral thesis used his Fat Albert characters as a basis for teaching aids in the classroom. He was involved in the early seasons of CTW's (now Sesame Workshop) The Electric Company, and he created and produced Picture Pages for CBS and PBS' Captain Kangaroo. His Little Bill is currently part of the lineup of educational programs on NickJr. bq. Cosby's more recent outspoken stance toward education and personal responsibility has earned the ire of many from the "Soul Patrol" sector of black America, but because of his background and history, many other blacks are listening. bq. Perhaps it is time to bring his no-nonsense truth and wisdom to the Education Department. That would be a refreshing change. Considering the rampant leftism on university campuses, a good shakeup is very much overdue. When I went through grade and high-school, we actually had to learn stuff. Now, people are getting by with a lot lot less...'Let them stay mad," Bill Cosby told CNN's Paula Zahn last week. But Cosby has no plans to shut up. "This is about little children and people not giving them better choices," the 67 year-old actor-comedian told Zahn. "How long you gonna whisper about a smallpox epidemic in your apartment building when bodies are coming out under the sheets?" At a Jesse Jackson confab in Chicago over the summer, Cosby kept up the scolding, despite being accused of airing African-Americans' dirty laundry in public. Cosby shot back that this dirty laundry is displayed on a daily basis by black youths who use profanity, call each other the "N" word, and think they're hip even thought they're barely literate.
From an article at Editor and Publisher: bq. Feds to Make Historical Newspapers Available Online The government promises anyone with a computer will have access within a few years to millions of pages from old newspapers, a slice of American history to be viewed now only by visiting local libraries, newspaper offices, or the nation's capital. bq. The first of what's expected to be 30 million digitized pages from papers published from 1836 through 1922 will be available in 2006. bq. "Anyone who's interested -- teachers, students, historians, lawyers, politicians, even newspaper reporters -- will be able to go to their computer at home or at work and at a click of a mouse get immediate, unfiltered access to the greatest source of our history," said Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He announced the project in a speech at the National Press Club. Very cool -- this would make history come alive as newspapers are generally written to be accessible to a broad range of readership. Better for learning about a given time than a dry book. Excellent classroom tool as well.
Jen just pointed me to this obituary: bq. Writer of Hamm's beer jingle dies It is a bit ironic that Ernie Garven, who died last week at his Florida home, wrote the unforgettable Hamm's beer advertising jingle, "From the land of sky blue wa-a-aters... " bq. Garven, who was 90, didn't drink beer. bq. "He didn't drink any alcohol," said his daughter, Renee Garven. bq. It is hard to estimate the impact of the 1952 jingle, but some credit it with boosting sales of Hamm's beer enough to make its small local brewery in St. Paul into a near-national brand. The beer still survives as property of the Miller Brewing Co.
On a side note, the first "jingle" was written by a delightful character, Nicholas Slonimsky. His entry in Baker's contains this nugget:
bq. A priority must be conceded to him for writing the earliest singing commercials to authentic texts from the Saturday Evening Post advertisements, among them Make This A Day of Pepsodent, No More Shiny Nose, and Children Cry for Castoria, (1925).
Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple noticed something very telling about the design of Bill Clinton's Presidential Center and Library: bq. They Took The Wheels Off They're fixing to open the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. Here is an artist's rendition taken off the Clinton Library web page. bq. This is supposed to represent the bridge to the 21st Century. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks this looks like a trailer. Rich sent me a picture of the library next to a picture of a trailer and the resemblance was uncanny. How apropos that our white trash president, Slick Willie, has a library that looks like a trailer. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Denny uses an artist's rendition but here is a photo I found of the real thing:
The second image comes from this wonderful site: Missouri Trailer Trash
UPDATE: While looking for a photo of the clinton library, I stumbled onto this site: The Counter Clinton Library
Full of nice pesky facts for you to use to annoy your liberal friends...
NASA had a successful flight of it's X-43A Scramjet. It broke the worlds speed record for air-powered engines at close to Mach 10. Info, pictures and video are available at the NASA homepage for this remarkable little craft.
Michael King offers a picture of a loser-mobile with the following comment: bq. Boy is he gonna need Earl Scheib when he peels those off...
You would too if you lost 20% of your blood everytime you got a chubby...
Wizbang links to a story and photo of Vice President Dick Cheney taken by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan. As reported in the Milwaukee Magazine:
bq. Joining Vice President Dick Cheney's motorcade in Green Bay, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan hoped to capture a unique image during an otherwise scripted campaign visit in September.
bq. Did he ever.
bq. [...] The normally serious Cheney flashed a winning smile for Borkin, and Guldan snapped an attention-grabbing photo that would later be chosen for the front page of the paper's September 11 Metro section.
bq. Guldan got a call from a reader the next day. "Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?," the reader asked.
bq. Upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president's smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset. Is that what we think it is?
bq. "You're not imagining it,"Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo.
The photograph in question is here.(NSFW)
Lynne's commentary is here...
David Masten at Catallarchy asks a great question: bq. In my Saturday morning just woke up way too early fog, I could have sworn I heard some �expert� proclaim that vaccines and drugs are produced and sold just like computers. David then goes on with some examples -- here are a few: bq. Anyway, if vaccines and drugs were produced and sold like computers: * Vaccines and drugs would be available at really low prices, and be even cheaper next week. * I could choose to consult with my doctor or just go get the drug(s) I want. * I could buy last week�s drugs for even lower prices from e-Bay. bq. Alternatively, if computers were produced and sold like drugs: * Commercials would air with �Ask your computer professional if Pentium is right for you� * Unfortunately, the Electronics and Computers Administration would have just approved the Intel i486 for prescription use, and just approved the Apple ][ for over the counter sale. * Norton Anti-Virus may not be available due to shortages, and the President will make statements about only certain at risk users should get Norton Anti-Virus. McAfee and F-Secure got out of the anti-virus business last year citing financial losses. * �Police raided a nerdy teen this morning - among the things found were soldering irons, oscilloscopes, compilers, and large numbers of first person shooter games and vehicle simulators�police estimate a street value of several billion dollars�� Heh -- there's more at the site. One of his readers made this comment: bq. However, I feel I should point out that you are leaving out the blue screen of death� Which fits with your analogy, though not in the right way. Good point!
Michael Jericho at A Western Heart makes a very good distinction: bq. Rebels or Foreign Terrorists? In order to be the former, the one doing the killing needs to be a local, and needs to be acting in a vaguely military fashion (ie: limiting attacks to enemy military personnel). bq. In order to be the latter, it is helpful if you aren't a native of the country you are fighting to "liberate", and there has to be a good indication that you are deliberately targetting non-combatants for torture and death. He then quotes from a Yahoo/AP story regarding "Rebel" activities uncovered by coalition action in Fallujah and concludes with this trenchant comment: bq. Not rebels, and not resistance fighters. These people are invaders with a different agenda at best, jihadist terrorist scum at worst.
Consumer Reports has an unparalleled record of carefully analyzing products and reporting on their strengths and weaknesses. (Hat tip to Ian S. at The Inoperable Terran) When they turned their eye toward the high-end ($200-$500) air purifiers marketed by The Sharper Image, it seems that The Sharper Image did not like the lab results and sued Consumer Reports. The news today is that Consumer Reports won... (heh...) David Lazarus at SFGate has the story: bq. U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney dismissed a lawsuit filed by San Francisco's Sharper Image that claimed Consumer Reports magazine unfairly maligned the company's hottest product, its Ionic Breeze air purifier. bq. "Sharper Image has not demonstrated a reasonable probability that any of the challenged statements were false," Chesney wrote in her ruling. The article quotes Steve Williams, an attorney for Consumers Union: bq. "What this case was really about was the First Amendment and the right to free speech," Williams told me. "This is very frightening. bq. "Consumers Union may not have backed down, but how willing will magazines like Good Housekeeping be in the future to criticize products? How willing will newspapers be to do independent reviews?" bq. Good questions. I tried to put them to Sharper Image, but no one at the company, including its founder, Richard Thalheimer, returned my calls. bq. In February 2002, Consumer Reports published a lengthy article reviewing 16 different air purifiers. It placed the Ionic Breeze Quadra model at the bottom of its rankings, saying the device produced "no measurable reduction in airborne particles." bq. Williams, the Consumers Union attorney, said Sharper Image complained after the article was published that the tests were unfair. (Consumer Reports had placed each purifier in a room and measured how much dust and smoke were removed from the air in a half-hour.) bq. "They said the Ionic Breeze needed to run longer," Williams said. "So Consumer Reports went back and tested again, this time seeing how much cigarette smoke could be removed over 19 hours. It couldn't even clean the smoke from one-eighth of a cigarette." bq. Consumer Reports ran a second article on purifiers in October 2003. Once again, Ionic Breeze ended up near the bottom of the magazine's rankings. bq. "They told Consumers Union again that the test was unfair," Williams said. "So Consumers Union asked what test they'd like to run. They have never, to this day, recommended a test for Consumers Union to do." bq. Sharper Image filed suit in September 2003, shortly after learning the results of the second test. The case was dismissed last week. Sharper Image was ordered to pay about $400,000 in Consumers Union's legal costs. bq. Consumers Union has been sued 15 times over its product reviews since 1968. It has never once had to pay any money or issue a retraction. Emphasis mine - they may not always test the latest and greatest but their lab-work is impeccable. I would trust them a lot more than the manufacturer when it comes to a rating of a product...
I had written here about how Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. Now it seems that the estimated amount of money stolen from the Iraqi people by Saddam's regime may be well more than $21.3 Billion, much more than previously thought. Fox News/AP has the story: bq. Officials Double Saddam's Oil-for-Food Theft Saddam Hussein's regime made more than $21.3 billion in illegal revenue by subverting the U.N. Oil-for-Food program and other sanctions � more than double previous estimates, according to congressional investigators. bq. "This is like an onion � we just keep uncovering more layers and more layers," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., whose Senate Committee on Government Affairs received the new information at a hearing on Monday. bq. New figures on Iraq's alleged surcharges, kickbacks � and oil-smuggling dating back to 1991 � are based on troves of new documents obtained by the committee's investigative panel, Coleman told reporters before the hearing. The documents illustrate how Iraqi officials, foreign companies and sometimes politicians allegedly contrived to allow the Iraqi government vast illicit gains. bq. The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate schemes Saddam used to buy support abroad for a move to lift U.N. sanctions. bq. Coleman said the probe is just beginning and that officials aim to discover "how this massive fraud was able to thrive for so long." He said he is angry that the United Nations has not provided documents and access to officials that investigators need to move ahead. Emphasis mine - well duuhhh!!!! They are deep into the whole scandal and if they provided documentation, they would loose whatever shreds of credibility they ever had and would be revealed as the corrupt gang of tinpot fascists and kleptocrats they are. Keep digging Norm -- the Iraqi people need to know and this needs to be presented as an object lesson to other corrupt governments out there...
Great move - President Bush has asked Condoleezza Rice to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State. She is very much the right person for this job. ABC has the story: bq. Condoleezza Rice to Be Named Secretary of State National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, one of President Bush's closest counselors, will be nominated to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state, ABC News has learned. bq. Senior administration sources confirmed that Rice would be Bush's choice. The news comes just hours after the White House announced Powell had submitted his resignation. bq. Rice has served as national security adviser since Bush first took office. The new post comes as a sort of birthday present for Rice, who turned 50 on Sunday. The icing on the cake is the fact that Middle Eastern men don't like dealing with women when they are negotiating. This should be fun!!!
One of the other sides of living in the country is the occasional power outage. We had winds with gusts up to 35 MPH when I went to bed and it got worse through the night. We lost electricity sometime around 5:00am. Woke up and drove until we found a place with #1 - power (generator in this case) and #2 - a functioning coffee machine... Shopping for a generator tomorrow - I'm looking at this unit: Honda EU-3000
Just under $2K, very quiet and runs from seven to 20 hours per tank.
Portland blogger Michael J. Totten ran into a few reviews of the Pixar movie that left him scratching his head: bq. The Politics of the Superhero I haven�t seen The Incredibles yet, but after watching the trailer online I intend to. Even without seeing the movie I find some of the commentary about it a bit strange. bq. Suzy Hansen and Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote a piece about who�s saying what for the New York Observer.
One paragraph from Michaels excellent takedown on this (plus a couple other great quotes): bq. And what, pray tell, is wrong with freedom being �on the march�? Movies about superheroes who don't rise above mediocrity and who take freedom away would make lame audience-pleasers. Here comes Super Nanny! She snatches smokes, censors cable, bleeps out bad words, and turns down the volume on stereos! No. Americans don�t pay money for that kind of superhero. If that makes us �right-wing� then, well, whatever. Heh...The first hit of the Bush II years, The Incredibles pulled in $70.5 million in its first few days. The movie is about a family of superheroes forced by the government to go into a superhero-relocation program, suppress their awesome powers and hide out in the beaten-down, charmless miseries of suburbia�among tract homes, leftovers, cubicles, commutes, and dreary elementary-school commencement ceremonies in which every kid is celebrated for being "special." Eventually, of course, the superheroes�up against it in a dangerous world�release their superpowers, break free of Anytown, U.S.A., and explode with enough personal initiative to make The Fountainhead look like a bedtime story. They�re superheroes! The film is inspirational, a hopeful jolt for anyone feeling like they�ve buried their own superpowers, like they�re losing in this big, crushing society. But the funny thing is that even though the film�s primary target seems to be suppressed America and its credo pure libertarian, among the joyful recipients of its message are New Yorkers�and all blue staters�who, God knows, feel like losers these days. But it�s hard not to be suspicious of the winners. Any winners, for that matter, and that includes The Incredibles. While The Incredibles� battle against conformity and mediocrity screams anti-oppression to some, it�s obviously Randian to others. In that sense, the film is being touted as the latest proof that, on top of everything else , the right wing has even wit and creativity on its side these days: This is a world turned upside-down! Eventually, of course, the superheroes�up against it in a dangerous world�release their superpowers, break free of Anytown, U.S.A., and explode with enough personal initiative to make The Fountainhead look like a bedtime story. They�re superheroes! The film is inspirational, a hopeful jolt for anyone feeling like they�ve buried their own superpowers, like they�re losing in this big, crushing society. But the funny thing is that even though the film�s primary target seems to be suppressed America and its credo pure libertarian, among the joyful recipients of its message are New Yorkers�and all blue staters�who, God knows, feel like losers these days. But it�s hard not to be suspicious of the winners. Any winners, for that matter, and that includes The Incredibles. While The Incredibles� battle against conformity and mediocrity screams anti-oppression to some, it�s obviously Randian to others. In that sense, the film is being touted as the latest proof that, on top of everything else , the right wing has even wit and creativity on its side these days: This is a world turned upside-down!
Recently found a very good online store for Firewire (IEEE 1394 spec.) cables, adapters and accessories. The 1394Store carries all sorts of cables (long ones too, not just the 7' ones you find at Best Buy and Circuit City) at very reasonable prices. They aren't as "pretty" as the Monster Cables you get at the box stores but all that braiding and fancy plastic is just marketing hype -- these cables are full spec and the 30' long one I bought works just fine. Cost a lot less too... They also carry very cool video cameras, DV Video adapters, software, adapter cards, lots of good stuff. Fast service, honest pricing and good follow-through.
There is a nice gallery of high-speed photography at the Pulse Photonics website. Here is one sample:
Hat tip to Robert Hinkley at The Sporadic Chronicle
A loong time ago, I used to live in Boston, MA and one of my jobs after college (Marine Biology -- dropped out) was for New England Aquarium. While there, I had the extreme pleasure to work with Dr. Edgerton -- the inventor of the Electronic Flash and to use some of his equipment for my own personal photography. Lots of fun!
Shamelessly stolen from Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple are these four rules for cutting firewood: bq. 1. Park twice as far from the tree as the tree is tall. bq. 2. It helps to notch the tree away from the truck. bq. 3. The fact that you live within driving distance of a forest does not make you a lumberjack bq. 4. Just to be on the safe side, always borrow your buddy's truck. To see the accompanying image, Click Here
This is an interesting development. From this article at Reuters: bq. Iran pledged on Sunday to suspend its uranium enrichment program to ease concerns that its nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons, but warned that the freeze was only temporary. bq. Hassan Rohani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, said the suspension would remain in place as long as talks with the EU continued on a final resolution of the issue. bq. "One hour ago we submitted a letter to the IAEA," Rohani told reporters after a meeting in Tehran with the ambassadors of Britain, Germany and France, which have been negotiating with Iran for several weeks on behalf of the European Union. bq. Receipt of the letter by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, makes the scope and starting date of the suspension legally binding. The takeover of Fallujah showed to them that we are serious about terrorism and that we may talk the talk a bit but but if that does not work (as it has failed to do with these fascists), we are also very willing to walk the walk. I am reminded of this Cox and Forkum cartoon:
Jen and I are headed to the big city (Seattle - two hours away) for some culture. We will be there overnight -- blogging will resume tomorrow.
Was just turned onto this site -- sort of an L.L.Bean for builders and contractors. Duluth Trading Company Have not ordered from them before but their stuff looks pretty good.
Blogger Dean Esmay was reading an article by John Perry Barlow and had a bit of a revalation so he wrote an open letter to Mr. barlow. I'll cherry-pick a couple paragraphs: bq. Letter To John Perry Barlow From A Pot-Smoking Deadhead Bush Voter bq. I think what bemused me most when reading your missive, Mr. Barlow, was your description of the young man who was probably popular and on the football team and supported Bush, while you the nerdy outsider supported Kerry, and you saw the whole thing through some sort of 50s-vs.-60s lens. Nothing could show me just how insular so many on the left have become than that. Few of the war supporters I know fit such stereotypes at all. "Think for yourself, question authority" is something a lot of us sucked in with our mothers' milk--and by the way, you know we kids who were born in the 1960s are now in our 30s and 40s and parents ourselves, right? A lot of us grew up being told to question authority, and a lot of that authority we now question is the left-wing orthodoxy of your generation, an orthodoxy many of us bought into as it was taught to us in school, in the books we read, and especially in the universities, not to mention in a lot of what we see out of Hollywood today. (Emphasis mine) And more: bq. You also, in your missive, speak of watching "Fahrenheit 9/11." I hope you're aware that that movie uses all the same propaganda techniques as used by the great Fascist and Stalinist film producers such as Goebbels and Eisenstein. Indeed, I must tell you that after I finally watched that film, my hands were literally shaking. Not because of my great love and devotion to Bush (which I'm sure the left-wing stereotypers would love to believe) but because I had not seen such concentrated hatred and dishonest propaganda put to film in my lifetime. By comparison, Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will seemed tame. (Yes, yes, parts of it were funny. Leni Riefenstahl had funny bits in her movies too. So what?) And some more: bq. Now I must tell you that, because I have taken my stance on the Iraq war, I was forced on this weblog to eventually require people to register before they could leave comments. Why? Because I got tired of being called a Nazi, a "Bush apologist," a right-wing extremist, a brown shirt, a fascist, a sellout, and a liar on a daily basis by those "open-minded" and "thoughtful" leftists who are apparently still part of your tribe. My family has received death threats from angry leftists. I realized at some point that I could either take down the weblog completely, or I could start tossing out people who thought they had a right to abuse me and my family just because they didn't like my opinions. bq. In other words, I've experienced firsthand just how hateful, intolerant, and irrational you guys can be when someone dares to question your beliefs. You guys often come off exactly like the theocratic mullahs and the lock-step fascists you claim to hate (but which you, oddly enough, don't seem willing to use American power to try to overthrow). bq. Of all the people I know who support this war, most of us have conversations like this with each other all the time: bq. "Why are the anti-war people so vicious and nasty?" bq. "Why are the anti-war people so irrational and hateful and smug?" bq. "How do we get through to them? They just won't listen!" bq. "Don't you get tired of being called a liar and a fascist? I sure do." bq. It reached a point for a lot of us that on election day, we were doing more than just saying "We want to re-elect George Bush." When we pulled that lever for Bush, we were also just plain saying "FUCK YOU!" There is a lot more and it really hits home. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Barlow replies to this. Hasn't yet that I can see...
I just ran into Are You Conservative. Only been up for two months but they really hit hard -- good stuff...
When you see liberals on shows like this, you:Heh...
- Wonder if they're aware of what they're saying.
- Watch in disbelief.
- Call friends to tell them to watch the show.
- TIVO it so later you can prove to yourself, and others, that you're not imagining it.
- Grab a snack, sit back, and enjoy.
- Any, or all, of the above.
Conservative answer: f
Portland blogger Michael J. Totten points to an article in the London Times regarding politics in Spain:
News from the Rift London's Telegraph reports that the Spanish media are blasting Prime Minster Jos� Luis Rodr�guez Zapatero as the anti-American asshat that he is.Zapatero was the P.M. voted in just after the Madrid terrorist bombings. The Spanish people thought that by electing an appeaser, they would be spared further Islamist acts of terror. They have not.The Spanish Socialist prime minister, Jos� Luis Rodr�guez Zapatero, yesterday faced a barrage of derision over his government's anti-Americanism following a snub by President George W Bush. Mr Zapatero was one of the first premiers to send a congratulatory telegram to Mr Bush after his election victory last week. But, in what was a stinging confirmation of the poor state of relations between Washington and Madrid, he has yet to receive a reply.
Howard at Oraculations noticed an interesting article at National Review and he riffs on it for a good bit: bq. The angst of the Left is worse than anything I've ever seen. National Review today has a partial list of the rabid ravings of some of our elites while leaving out a ton of other more maudlin howls. My take on all this is that the Left view politics as their religion. Whenever they lose an election it means that their God has failed. They think Jesus was a jerk off but that their politics are sacred. The Left expects that all their prayers and all their work must always result in material return; more votes. Votes must be counted as the business leader counts his return on investment. Japanese business failures kill themselves. A couple of Democrats have killed themselves, while others are in expensive therapy. bq. Had the Red State hooligans lost there would be no deep psychological reaction other than "aw fuck," a downed six pack or a few smoked joints, or perhaps---my particular favorite---a grudge fuck. The ones who were really upset would have gone to church and then most likely let it go til next time. bq. Our elites have nothing else to do during half their days but sit around posh eateries, private clubs, or sequestered communal watering holes and gossip with other gifted intellects much like themselves. All think the same. Nobody disagrees with anyone. They ain't kidding when they say "nobody I know voted for (fill in the blank). Like the cloistered monks of yesteryear they think everything they do, think, or say is "the word of God's messenger." The National Review article also makes an interesting historical point regarding another great American political party -- the Federalists: bq. America has had many frantic elections, some far worse: The election of 1860 led to the Civil War. But perhaps the closest analogue to the wrath of the Bush haters is the mentality of the Federalist party during the War of 1812. The Federalists had had great leaders (Washington, Hamilton) and great achievements (ratifying the Constitution). They thought of themselves as, and to a large extent were, the nation's elite. But as the 19th century dawned, this elite lost power, and lost its way. They could not accept defeat as a turn of the wheel, or a possible lesson to themselves. The nation, they thought, had become base (America was "infamous and contented," wrote Fisher Ames, prefiguring Jane Smiley). War maddened them, causing Federalist diehards to pray for defeat. bq. When peace returned, the Federalists collapsed � the first major American party to disappear. Democrats and liberals won't disappear. But they will prolong their stay in the wilderness if they give themselves over to frothing.
There were a number of campaign issues in this last election and some of them need follow-up and closure. Kerry: Sign your Standard Form 180 now. Release all of your Military Records. Did you get a dishonorable discharge only to have it ameliorated by the warm and moist Clinton forgiveness tongue-bath? You are still in public office and your constituents still need to know the truth. Kerry: What was your role in dealing with the N. Vietnamese Communists in Paris when you met with them so many (six I know about) times during the time you were publicly active in the VVAW? Did your activities constitute treason against the United States? Again, you are still in public office and your constituents still need to know the truth. And now, a question for Kofi Annan but I will let Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations ask this one (PDF File of the letter):
As you know, there are allegations of misconduct and mismanagement by the U.N. and/or its agents, including allegations of bribery, conflict of interest and fraud. The recently published report by Charles Duelfer...revealed additional evidence that Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the U.N. Office of the Iraq program, may have received oil allocations from the government of Iraq. Accordingly, these allegations have raised serious questions concerning the management of the U.N. OFF program and the U.N.'s capacity to enforce a similar sanctions regime in the future.
In light of those concerns, we requested your consent to interview key U.N. personnel and review related documents.... In your response of September 29th, you declined to produce the requested documents and U.N. personnel.
We are troubled by your response for a number of reasons...Hat tip on this one to Hindrocket at PowerLine who closes with this:
Keep after him, Norm.
On Monday the 8th, I ran into a very interesting article over at Muck and Mystery and I wrote about it under the entry: Intelligence and Power Structures Back40 continues on this same thread today with a scathing essay from Mark Baurlein. Here is back40's setup and lede from today:
Blue Anti-Intellectualism The earlier post Anti-Intellectualism took exception to the common accusation that those outside elitist institutions were anti-intellectual arguing that they were squicked out by the narrow mindedness of those institutions and so pursued knowledge through other mechanisms, especially ICT (Information and Communications Technologies).
This is a great good thing. As ever more people have access through information and communication technologies to written materials and live commentary by both professional and amateur scholars the increase of the general level of knowledge in the social mind is explosive. It is uneven, and includes as much dross as gold, as we should expect. Every idea is exposed to critique by commenters ranging from the intelligent and informed to delusional ignoramuses. They not only critique the ideas of the anointed, they have the temerity to propose their own theories.
In Liberal Groupthink Is Anti-Intellectual Mark Baurlein hoists those who so glibly accuse others of anti-intellectualism on their own petards. [via Arts & Letters Daily]
Such parochialism and alarm are the outcome of a course of socialization that aligns liberalism with disciplinary standards and collegial mores. Liberal orthodoxy is not just a political outlook; it's a professional one. Rarely is its content discussed. The ordinary evolution of opinion -- expounding your beliefs in conversation, testing them in debate, reading books that confirm or refute them -- is lacking, and what should remain arguable settles into surety. With so many in harmony, and with those who agree joined also in a guild membership, liberal beliefs become academic manners. It's social life in a professional world, and its patterns are worth describing.
The mechanisms and effects of groupthink have been discussed in previous post such as All The Way, Unanimous Fallacies and Situation Normal. The problem isn't just that the insularity and provincialism of monks cocooned in echo chambers is divisive and creates social polarization. More importantly, it is a cause of the crushingly stupid policy proposals developed in such places, in effect dumbing down all of society since they are operationally anti-intellectual whatever their intentions and pretensions.Back40 then goes on to list several points that Baurlein makes with some commentary. He then closes with a very wonderful three paragraphs:
Leftists and Liberals have become dull and soft socially and intellectually. They are fat, dumb and lazy due to lack of intellectual exercise, not only unaware of contrary ideas but also a bit dim about their own. They have never actually thought about their dogmas and are simply frozen when confronted with the intellectual agility of opponents with well exercised arguments. This would be fine, the natural and acceptable evolution of aged academics who have settled to the institutional sea floor like sea squirts and become sessile, digesting their brains since they are no longer needed to live an active life in mobile pursuit of intellectual sustenance, but it strikes so early in the academic career that students are not actually educated in those institutions, merely credentialed. Education happens later and elsewhere if at all. Society is diminished by this system and the ideas of liberals are underdeveloped or stigmatized, contributing to the rightward drift of society in recent decades. There are liberal ideas that have worth, that would improve society, but the polarization created by liberal dogmatism has reduced the influence of those ideas on policy. We would be improved by better balance. The trend to education outside institutions using ICT will continue regardless of what the institutions do. They will continue to decline even if they reform themselves but society would benefit if both things happened, if institutions became less insular and prepared students for a life of continuing education using ICT, well grounded in the full spectrum of human thought rather than just a narrow and decadent slice that reflected the closed society of those institutions. If there is any merit to those ideas, a kernel of worth that can be revealed by intellectually honest investigation, then they don't need to be protected from contrary views like delicate jewels. They should be the tools of inquiry, used often and well.Heh...
Kevin Aylward at Wizbang has found out that: bq. The poster-boy for angry Hollywood liberalism doesn't want to stop trying to "help." Coming Soon! reports:
bq. Let see... the 2004 election was "stolen" from Kerry, al Quada terrorists were warm and cuddly until Bush attacked them, bin Laden is an elder Arab statesman, etc... I can see it now... bq. Also, the "Michael Moore Hates America" DVD is available for pre-order and should ship in time to make a great Christmas present. Order details, for the movie Ebert and Roeper give Two Thumbs Up!, available here. He is an entertainer and his market is the moonbat left -- he preaches to their choir and they lap it up without bothering to fact-check because he is just repeating the same discredited memes that they get from their own "un-biased" sources... What a maroon!Michael Moore tells Variety he met with Harvey Weinstein and they plan to start working now on Fahrenheit 9/111/2. "We want to get cameras rolling now and have it ready in two-three years," Moore told columnist Army Archerd. "We want to document and commercialize it," added Moore, "Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren't told the truth. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now. The official mourning period is over today and there is a silver lining -- George W. Bush is prohibited by law from running again." The issues (for the next film) have not changed because of the election. "They are Iraq and terrorism."
Eulogy means "good words" in Greek so it shouldn't really be applied to a lot of what people have to say about Yasser Arafat on his passing from this world down into the pits of Gehenna. Katara means "curse" and it more appropriate for dealing with this failed human being. Charles at LGF has two links here and here. The First link at LGF points to words spoken by Kofi Annan: bq. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan praised Arafat�s struggle to win international recognition for the Palestinian cause, as he ordered flags to fly at half-mast at the United Nations, even though the Palestinians only have observer status at the world body. and Jacques Chirac: bq. French President Jacques Chirac visited the Percy military hospital to bid a final farewell to Arafat, pledging that his country would continue to work to achieve a settlement in the Middle East. bq. �I have come to bow before president Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage,� he said after the 25-minute visit. Charles then points to a timeline of Arafat's rise to power and his sponsorship of terrorism: bq. Oct. 21, 1996: Speaking at a rally near Bethlehem, Arafat said "We know only one word - jihad. jihad, jihad, jihad. Whoever does not like it can drink from the Dead Sea or from the Sea of Gaza." There is also a list of all of those people who lost their life as a result of terrorist acts by palestinians against Israeli citizens -- this list covers from 2000 through present and it is a long long list of names... The Second link at LGF points to the words on one person only. Ex-president Jimmy Carter: bq. Former US President Jimmy Carter called Yasser Arafat �a powerful human symbol and forceful advocate� who united Palestinians in their pursuit of a homeland. bq. �Yasser Arafat�s death marks the end of an era and will no doubt be painfully felt by Palestinians throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world,� Carter said. bq. �He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland,� he said in a statement distributed by his Atlanta, Georgia-based Carter Center. *spit* Finally, Wretchard at The Belmont Club finds the perfect voice: bq. A Palestinian power struggle is expected to break out among the pretenders to his vacated throne. Even in death, Arafat has lost none of his power to kill. Shakespeare once wrote that 'the evil that men do lives after them' and that is right enough. But I think John Milton more completely captured the essence of terrorism's aims in Satan's speech to the demons mustered in hell. If the damned desire one thing, it is company.
What though the field be lost? All is not lost; the unconquerable Will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield: And what is else not to be overcome?
Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure, To do ought good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight, As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his Providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil; Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His inmost counsels from their destind aim.
Word has finally come out that Yasser Arafat is really truly and officially deceased. I guess the nurses in the hospital were getting tired of the puddle of decomp in his old bed. Deacon at Powerline says: bq. Has there ever been a terrorist with more blood on his hands? If you exclude leaders of states (something Arafat never was), I can't think of any. True. Here's to a nice quiet transfer of power (snicker) and an orderly move cowards true peace (guffaw). And it will be interesting to see which country send whom to the old Egyptian's funeral... One IED would be a wonderful thing.
From ABC News/AP comes this story of who will be succeeding John Ashcroft as Attorney General: bq. Bush Names Gonzales to Succeed Ashcroft Bush Taps White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales As Nation's First Hispanic Attorney General bq. President Bush on Wednesday nominated White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, who helped shape the administration's controversial legal strategy in the war on terror, to be attorney general. He would be the first Hispanic to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer. bq. "He is a calm and steady voice in times of crisis," Bush said, his eyes glistening with emotion as he stood next to Gonzales. "He has an unwavering principle of respect for the law." bq. After complaints about civil rights abuses in the name of fighting terror, Gonzales said, "There should be no question regarding the department's commitment to justice for every American. On this principle there can be no compromise." bq. A Harvard-educated attorney whose parents were migrant workers, the soft-spoken Gonzales would succeed Attorney General John Ashcroft, one of the most powerful and polarizing Cabinet members. Cool - he sounds like a good man for the job. I don't envy his position as everything he says and does will be scrutinized by both conservatives and the moonbats.
The current DVD technology (dual layer) can store about 9GB of data on a single disk. The recorders cost just under $200 for a decent 16X unit. Next in the pipline is ther BlueRay: bq. Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of leading consumer electronics and PC companies (including Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson). The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold about 25GB, which can be used to record over 2 hours of HDTV or more than 13 hours of SDTV. There are also dual-layer versions of the discs that can hold approximately 50GB. Pricing is estimated to start around $4,000 (reality check - the first true DVD recorders were close to $10,000) Now, from an article at Slashdot, we see that the Pioneer is working with Ultraviolet Lasers and proposing a disk with 500GB! From this link to The Inquirer: bq. Pioneer ultraviolet laser promises 500GB disks Japanese hardware maker Pioneer has developed a technique which will allow optical drives to store 500GB of data. Fun time to be into computers. Now if I just had 500GB of content. Imagine though, being able to back up a large set of servers wiht just a few disks...
Had a bit of an "industrial accident" this morning.
Click on "Continue Reading One-Handed Blogging..." for the story.
Was reading the Washington Post and saw this: bq. Gunmen Kidnap Two Members of Allawi's Family Gunmen kidnapped a first cousin and daughter-in-law of interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi from their Baghdad home on Tuesday, an Allawi spokesman said Wednesday. A militant Islamist group said it would execute Allawi's relatives unless U.S. and Iraqi forces withdraw from Fallujah. And more: bq. Allawi spokesman Georges Sada said they were kidnapped Tuesday night from their home after "a little shooting between their bodyguards and the terrorists." There is other news in that article -- very very good news: bq. In Fallujah, meanwhile, the U.S. military claimed control of 70 percent of the rebellious city west of the capital as fighting entered its third full day. Resistance was reported heavy in places and non-existent in others. bq. The governor of Anbar Province, which includes Fallujah, said troops entering the city had found "the houses where the kidnappers slaughtered the hostages. We found the insurgents' black cloths," Brig Gen. Abudul-Qadir Muhammed Jasim said at a news conference. bq. "We've found hundreds of CDs, documents with their names. We've found documents that give details about the foreigners. . . . We found huge amounts of weapons as gifts from neighboring countries." Emphasis mine -- the real victory will be the intelligence once we mop up the terrorists. We will be able to find out who these people are and who are funding them.
Wretchard has another update to the situation in Fallujah today: bq. The Bakersfield Californian reports that US forces have reached the major east-west highway that runs through Fallujah.
bq. To realize the significance of this, refer to this map from Global Security, which shows the start lines of the participating American units: USMC 3/1, USMC 3/5, Army 2/7 Cavalry, USMC 1/8, USMC 1/3 and Army 2/2 Infantry. These units were attacking north to south, down towards the highway. The east-west highway referred to in the paragraph above is the bright green line running horizontally across the map. US Army armor is now on that highway, after advancing south and probably swinging west. US forces are probably waiting across the highway. Wretchard quotes a couple other news sources and closes with this observation: bq. The reader is invited to draw his own conclusions about the enemy's prospects in this position. They are pinned against the highway, with no exit north, east or south. Finally...U.S. Marines said American forces had taken control Wednesday of 70 percent of Fallujah in the third day of a major offensive to retake the insurgent stronghold. Major Francis Piccoli, of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said enemy fighters were bottled up in a strip of the city flanking the major east-west highway that splits Fallujah. Army and Marine units had pushed south to the highway overnight, Piccoli said.
Proof once again that anyone can put up a web page.
This guy is Roy Michael Moore who was found living as a squatter on the grounds of the Los Alamos National Labs. His cave was not the typical hermit hide-out. From the Albuquerque Journal:
bq. What the intruders found was a bit startling. Moore had made himself a home in a south-facing cave� "the most beautiful views in town, no irritating neighbors"� complete with photovoltaic solar panels, batteries to store the solar energy, satellite radio, wood-burning stove, a bed and a glass door sealed across the cave's entrance.
bq. By his own account he'd been living there for close to four years but said he doesn't keep good track of time, mostly because he devotes his energy and thoughts to intensive cosmological problem solving.
And Mr. Moore himself?
bq. Moore, who said he as an undergraduate biology degree from Texas Tech and also studied electronics and computers, said he doesn't consider himself homeless. He sold all his possessions in 1996� his house, his car, everything� so he could focus all his energy and thought toward solving large, complex problems.
Oh yeah, they found about ten pot plants plus a couple pounds of stash -- no big surprise there...
His website is a romp through an unfocused mind, the kind of metaphysical rambling that confuses ideas with facts: MicroMike
bq. Gravions represent the basic connections of gravity. Modern science has been confused for some time about the role of gravity in nature. Mankind has been searching for a "particle" that carries gravity. But particles, or mass, don't represent gravity. Particles represent mass. Philosophically, mass represents identity for all things that exist and gravity represents the relationship of those "things" that exist, in any universe. To define the relationship of any two masses, gravity must somehow connect these masses. Therefore, gravity must be the series of bonds and connections that make up all real things, and all bonds of all types between all masses, must be graviational in nature.. Thus every bond between every mass must be a connection of gravity, or a gravion. Once one understands the role of gravity, one can see that gravity must represent all connections between all masses that exist in the real world.
Another example of this sort of website is the TimeCube
We must not forget that there are other wars happening and one of the nastier ones is in the Sudan -- Darfur specifically. Arab 'rebels' have been taking over fertile farm and grazing lands and moving the original non-Arab occupants out. Sherry at A Western Heart writes about a breakthrough: bq. In what is being called a breakthrough after two weeks of talks sponsored by the African Union the Sudanese government and rebel groups have signed two accords aimed at ending the crisis. bq. The security deal places a ban on military flights over the Darfur region, and the second deal will ease delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need. Clashes between government and rebels meant large pockets of Darfur are now "no-go areas" preventing the distribution of food to nearly 200,000 refugees. But wait -- weren't the United Nations already working there? Sherry cites an article in the Christian Science Monitor quoting Henry Boshoff: bq. In the end, "It's not a question of whether it might work. It's got to work," says Henry Boshoff, a military analyst at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa. The main reason: "Who else is going to do it?" he asks. There's an effective deadlock in the UN Security Council over Sudan. Nations like China and France have essentially blocked US efforts to slap sanctions or take other actions against the Sudanese regime. The US and EU "decided this was the way to get past the deadlock," says Mr. Boshoff. And what are we doing (from the same CSM article): bq. Into this fray comes the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group of the US Air Force, based in Ramstein, Germany. They set up camp at Rwanda's main airport, surrounded by rolling hills and turquoise mountain lakes. From there they've ferried troops, supplies, and equipment - including armored personnel carriers - 1,000 miles north into Darfur. Besides planes, the US has pledged $300 million to the Darfur effort. The European Union has also pledged $125 million. The money and airplanes are crucial because African countries notoriously have little of either. Reminds me of a song I heard recently: America, Fuck Yeah!
One aspect seldom touched on by liberals is the treatment of Women by Saudi and Middle Eastern men. Here is a sterling example from New York Lawyer: bq. Woman Selling $250 Million Divorce Judgment For sale: One ex-wife's $250 million divorce judgment. All the buyer has to do is figure out how to collect from the Saudi royal family. bq. After battling for more than 20 years to collect the court-ordered judgment, Diana Bilinelli said she has decided to sell it -- at a substantial discount -- on the chance that others may have better means to track it down. And more: bq. Bilinelli's late ex-husband, Sheik Mohammed al-Fassi, gained national attention and the wrath of his Beverly Hills neighbors in the 1970s when he painted his mansion -- and the genitals on the classic Italian nude statues in his yard -- in garish colors. bq. When an arsonist set the mansion ablaze while he and Bilinelli were out of town in 1980, neighbors chanted "Burn, burn, burn." bq. Soon after that, Bilinelli and al-Fassi split over his plans to take more wives, and in 1983 a Los Angeles judge awarded her half his assets, including two Boeing 707 airliners, 36 cars, a yacht, 26 horses, a private zoo and homes in Spain, London and Miami Beach. bq. Al-Fassi died in Cairo of an infected hernia in 2002 at the age of 50 after claiming he had transferred all of his holdings to relatives, including Saudi King Fahd and his brother Prince Turki. bq. A court has ruled that Turki is liable for al-Fassi's debt, but Bilinelli's attorneys said they have been unable to find his assets. bq. "Putting the judgment up for sale is the Last Chance Saloon for us," Dorroh-White said. "It's the only thing we haven't tried." $250M is pocket change to someone as high-up in the Royal Family as Turki. He just doesn't see the need to pay anything to his ex-brothers shiny American playtoy. A real poltroon - the lot of them...
COOL!!! November 3, 2004 will mark Godzilla's 50th anniversary in Japan. In honor of Godzilla hitting the big 5-0, Toho is making a special movie for their biggest star which of course is called, GODZILLA: FINAL WARS, and will be released theatrically in Japan on December 4, 2004.
Plus, he's bringing about 15 of his friends and enemies ready to rumble including a new one "Monster X"
It was rumored that he would leave after the election but today made it fact. I was thinking of something to say but dang if Velociman didn't beat me to it: bq. Ashcroft Pimps his Ride I'm going to miss John Ashcroft. Really. We had little in common: he a teetotalling fundamentalist, me a Wet ready to start an ashram at the drop of a brassiere. He a barbershop quartet singer, me singularly repulsed by the genre. bq. I'm not crazy about the Patriot Act, either. The name alone gives me the fucking willies. Too Newspeak to me. I much prefer turning a blind eye to the occasional neutering of a suspected terrorist than the institutionalization of such. bq. But no one has attacked us in 3 years. Someone is doing something right. If thousands of psychotic suicidals can pour into Iraq how come a dozen can't waltz over the Rio Grande border and strike us? bq. Ashcroft did his job. Well. I don't want him as my jury foreman, but you get the picture. Perhaps we can make him the skip tracer who hunts down John Fastow and slays him. I'd pay for that. 'Bout sums it up... I was mentally cringing during the Super Bowl games -- what a perfect opportunity for someone to set something off but nothing, not a peep. Let's keep it that way.
Sir Banagor at Shining Plate and a Good Broadsword links to an excellent travel article for those sensitive, nuanced, thinking people who might be considering a visit to Jesusland. From Moxie.nu comes Visiting Jesusland: a LeftyPlanet guidebook: bq. Country Description: The citizens of Jesusland, known as "Conservatives" are generally a peaceful and industrious people. They pay low taxes, have a President that terrorists fear and shockingly their government thinks those Jesus-freaks who earned their own money (all of them!) know best how to spend it. bq. While the citizens of Jesusland may seem loving and accepting of your wanton ways, keep in mind these folks are a nation of riflemen. And women. (Sorry, misandrists! No womyn allowed!) bq. Speaking of women -- the female Conservatives are rumored to be the finest women around. bq. In stark contrast to those who are liberal, or liberaltarians -- the women of the right bathe regularly, sometimes more than once a day! In addition to smelling nice, the female citizens often wear makeup and will grant you the privilege of opening a door for them. Women in Jesusland shave and/or wax and patchouli is considered (by both sexes) to be a weapon of mass destruction. bq. Safety and Security: Unless you are Bill or Hilary Clinton, lefties visiting the western holy land will be safe. Crime, drugs and homosexuals (except Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian) are all non-existent in God's country. bq. Should you find yourself in an immoral bind, there is a Libshit Embassy in every state of Jesusland. At the Embassy, you can find clean needles, welfare checks, imported hookers, butt-pirates, apple cider enemas, herbs, food stamps, socialized medicine and other liberal entitlements. bq. If you are a billionaire limousine liberal and pay less than 12% federal taxes (or are named Teresa Heinz Kerry), please request the Embassy concierge who can provide whatever your rich, wide ass wants. Free of charge. There's more and it's just as good... Check it out!
Mikey Moore must be feeling pretty down today because of this -- from Yahoo/Variety: bq. Globes say no Moore "The Passion of the Christ" will be considered for Golden Globe awards, but "Fahrenheit 9/11" won't. And more: bq. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. does not give out awards for docus, so it does not consider the genre in any other race, which KO's "Fahrenheit," released domestically by Lions Gate, IFC Films and Fellowship Adventure Group. bq. With the kudos-season races still wide open, pundits have long speculated on the chances of the pics, which are two of the most debated films of the year. Their high profiles (and B.O. successes) make them hard to ignore, while both films have ardent admirers as well as rabid detractors. And under the heading of Moore bad news bq. At an HFPA meeting Thursday, some members had proposed a special award to Michael Moore -- more of a career award, for boosting the art form of the documentary than a "Fahrenheit" recognition -- but the motion was defeated by the membership. Hat tip to Paratrooper at Moore-Watch
There is a great story about Sears at DGCI and how they are treating their employees who get called to active duty: bq. Received via email today:
bq. Yes, this is factual. Snopes agrees. Very cool - there is a nice local Sears store and I have always liked their Craftsman hand tools, much better than the pot-metal garbage you get at Lowe's (hate that store). Good to see that they are doing right by their employees too...Let's all shop at Sears!!! I assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up...Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves. Pass it on. So I decided to check it out before I sent it forward. I sent the following email to the Sears Customer Service Department: I received this email and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your store. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item even if it was cheaper at the other store. Here is their answer to my email...................... Dear Customer: Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time. Bill Thorn Sears Customer Care email@example.com 1-800-349-4358 Please pass this on to all your friends, Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!!!!!!!!!
Although the CD-R disks you get from Costco and the other box stores are fine for general use, they are made with Cyanine which will decay with exposure to heat and light. MAM-A - Mitsui Advanced Manufacturing-America makes disks with Phthalocyanine and coats this with a thin layer of gold. From their website: bq. Accelerated aging tests show that MAM Gold can be used as a reliable storage media for more than 300 years. All of the main components in the MAM Gold CD-R are very stable in the environment; plastic (polycarbonate), Phthalocyanine dye and gold (it NEVER oxidizes).
Price is reasonable too - $135/100 in the pictured bulk-pack
Dr. John Ray posts at A Western Heart about environmentalism in the Middle East and which state is the "Greenest" bq. ISRAEL: THE GREENEST STATE IN THE MIDDLE EAST Or, more precisely, the ONLY Greenie country in the Middle East bq. Israelis have a tradition of nature conservation and rehabilitation going back over a hundred years. Rishon-Rishon has the details. You would think that the Green/Left would be great supporters of Israel in that case, wouldn't you. No such luck! It once again shows that the real Greenie agenda is anti-people rather than pro-nature. An excerpt from that article in Rishon-Rishon bq. Anyway, getting back to the Greens, their number one priority is saving the environment (hence the name)? Well, evidently there�s one thing that trumps the environment: killing Jews. Green movements around the world ignore Israel�s environmental achievements, in comparison with its neighbors, and champion Israel�s eco-unfriendly enemies. In fact, Israel is the only country in the region that even has a Green party! Though perhaps they�ve corrupted themselves with this practical campaign message in the Tel Aviv municipal elections: bq. The truth is that Israel has a very old environmental movement, one that precedes the founding of the state. A very important part of Zionist ideology was getting back to the land. The early Zionists practiced what the preached, leaving their city lives and desk jobs, and becoming farmers. Not only did they feel that they were rehabilitating themselves by getting back to the land, but they took on the project of rehabilitating the land itself. By the time the Zionists arrived, the land had been over-grazed, and eroded for thousands of years. The land, once covered by open forests, was now treeless, the trees all burned for firewood. (In fact, evolution was at work, the native oaks becoming scrub as the tall members of every generation were cut down.) bq. The early Zionists are justifiably famous for planting forests. It is less well known that they worked in other ways to preserve the environment. I can vouch for the fact that it has become taboo in Israel to pick wildflowers, once a common pastime. This is a result of a campaign by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (Hahevra l�haganat hateva`) � a rough equivalent to the Sierra Club in the US.
Wretchard at The Belmont Club is following events in Fallujah and has excellent news to report: bq. The Enemy Starts to Collapse Enemy resistance in Fallujah is starting to collapse, with US forces deep inside the city and fighters pulling back to their ultimate stronghold in the Jolan district. There is no more room to retreat with the Euphrates to the west and American forces on every side. Wretchard links to some other news reporting including this from the Washington Post: bq. Small bands of gunmen -- fewer than 20 -- were engaging U.S. troops, then falling back in the face of overwhelming fire from American tanks, 20mm cannons and heavy machine guns, said Time magazine reporter Michael Ware, embedded with troops. Ware reported that there appeared to be no civilians in the area he was in. On one thoroughfare in the city, U.S. troops traded fire with gunmen holed up in a row of houses about 100 yards away. An American gunner on an armored vehicle let loose with his machine gun, grinding the upper part of a small building to rubble. Wretchard again: bq. This is a description of platoon-sized enemy units attempting to hold back the Martians. The bravado of Al Jazeera has this completely wrong. If classical history were still widely taught, these scenes would be instantly recognizable as a rout, that terrible disintegration of ranks as the foe closes in before and behind. Describing the rout of the Roman Legions by Hannibal at Cannae, Livy wrote:
bq. There can be no joy in war: it is always repulsive in actual detail, but if we are not left with the facts, then the world is deprived even of doleful experience of the battlefield. The jihadi dream was a fraud. September 11 opened the door, not to Paradise but the portal to Hell and the jihadi nightmare will continue for as long as they are nourished on illusion and false encouragement. We are not their permanent enemies; that foe is within their breast.It was a terrible slaughter. ... On a narrow area 48,000 corpses lay in heaps. ... Hannibal once more released non-Roman prisoners. ... Roman knight's gold rings were collected in baskets and later poured out onto the floor of the Carthaginian senate. One of the consuls Lucius Aemilius Paulus (and one of the preceding year's) were killed, as well as both quaestors of the consuls, 29 out of 48 military tribunes and 80 other senators.
David Limbaugh links to an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal: bq. Uh Oh -- Nuclear Power Industry Rumblings Where are the environmentalists? You know they're just going to go bonkers when they learn of this morning's Wall Street Journal story reporting that the "Nuclear-Power Industry Sees Signs of a U.S. Revival." From the article:
bq. I don't know about you, but those sound like fighting words to me -- a virtual dare to the environmental wacko branch of the Pantheistic High Church. You know they simply cannot allow this kind of promised progress to stand. If that happens, we'll then see how committed the party of John Kerry is to the United States energy independence. As John Rowe, Exelon's chairman and chief executive, told a group of managers at a climate policy meeting this summer (according to the article), "I cannot see any energy future ... without an expanded nuclear base." bq. Where's Jane Fonda and the rest of "The China Syndrome Crew? If libs pick up on this story, it will just be further confirmation for them that President Bush intends to ruin their lives. Very good point - it will be interesting (and fun) to watch for a melt-down. The Wall Street article goes into depth talking about the location, the new designs and the costs. Looks good on paper!The nuclear-power industry is laying the groundwork to build new plants in the U.S. for the first time in more than two decades. Buoyed by the re-election of President Bush, whose administration has pushed to expand nuclear power as part of its national energy plan, the industry sees a window of two to three years in which the political environment could make it easier to win approval for new projects.
Bill at INDC Journal points to yet another reason for Kerry's defeat:
Bill has a reader who sent him the following commentary:
bq. "Did my father tell you about his Hebrew Kerry button? The democrats, trying to drum up more Jewish vote, printed campaign buttons with "Kerry" spelled phonetically in Hebrew. Unforturnately, no one told them that that spelling happens to be a Hebrew word. It means: "Seminal discharge"! Maybe we can save them for Clinton rallies..."
I have developed a bit of a bad feeling for Best Buy - their store name no longer reflects its identity as most of their items are being sold at full M.S.R.P. and the rebate deals are minimal if anything. Until I get to know a couple good locally owned computer stores (recently moved to this area), I generally use Circuit City for the general nuts-and-bolts stuff (cables, media, etc...) Now, I find out that Best Buy is actively looking to kill the 20% of it's customer base who is looking for a... "Best Buy" From an article in the Wall Street Journal: bq. Analyzing Customers, Best Buy Decides Not All Are Welcome Retailer Aims to Outsmart Dogged Bargain-Hunters, And Coddle Big Spenders;Looking for 'Barrys' and 'Jills' bq. Brad Anderson, chief executive officer of Best Buy Co., is embracing a heretical notion for a retailer. He wants to separate the "angels" among his 1.5 million daily customers from the "devils." bq. Best Buy's angels are customers who boost profits at the consumer-electronics giant by snapping up high-definition televisions, portable electronics, and newly released DVDs without waiting for markdowns or rebates. bq. The devils are its worst customers. They buy products, apply for rebates, return the purchases, then buy them back at returned-merchandise discounts. They load up on "loss leaders," severely discounted merchandise designed to boost store traffic, then flip the goods at a profit on eBay. They slap down rock-bottom price quotes from Web sites and demand that Best Buy make good on its lowest-price pledge. "They can wreak enormous economic havoc," says Mr. Anderson. bq. Best Buy estimates that as many as 100 million of its 500 million customer visits each year are undesirable. And the 54-year-old chief executive wants to be rid of these customers. And Mr. Anderson's reasons for this shift in tactics: bq. Anderson says the new tack is based on a business-school theory that advocates rating customers according to profitability, then dumping the up to 20% that are unprofitable. The financial-services industry has used a variation of that approach for years, lavishing attention on its best customers and penalizing its unprofitable customers with fees for using ATMs or tellers or for obtaining bank records. bq. Best Buy seems an unlikely candidate for a radical makeover. With $24.5 billion in sales last year, the Richfield, Minn., company is the nation's top seller of consumer electronics. Its big, airy stores and wide inventory have helped it increase market share, even as rivals such as Circuit City Stores Inc. and Sears, Roebuck & Co., have struggled. In the 2004 fiscal year that ended in February, Best Buy reported net income of $570 million, up from $99 million during the year-earlier period marred by an unsuccessful acquisition, but still below the $705 million it earned in fiscal 2002. bq. But Mr. Anderson spies a hurricane on the horizon. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, and Dell Inc., the largest personal-computer maker, have moved rapidly into high-definition televisions and portable electronics, two of Best Buy's most profitable areas. Today, they rank respectively as the nation's second- and fourth-largest consumer-electronics sellers. The article goes into a lot more detail and is very much of interest if you follow business -- not only large but small as well since this is a market driven economy and Best Buy's CEO is seeing a potential squeeze and reacting to it. The problem here (one of them) is that the geeks that Best Buy is trying to get rid of are the very same people that Barry and Jill will ask when they are looking for places to buy their bling. Word of mouth still counts for a lot here so unless they do a major turnaround, I would say Buh Buy to Best Buy. The fact that they had a couple other disastrous deals: bq. Best Buy's troubled acquisitions of MusicLand Stores Corp. and two other retailers had caused its share price and price-to-earnings ratio to tumble. Mr. Selden recalls advising Mr. Anderson: "The best time to fix something is when you're still making great money but your [price-to-earnings ratio] is going down." only serves to drive this home. How's this - charge 5% to 15% below M.S.R.P., nix the mail-in rebates in favor of immediate store cash rebates and bend over backwards on customer support. Loose everything except the computers, computer media and appliances. Loose the movie and music disk sales. Carry more SKU's of computer software, not the top 80. Look at FRY's as a model and go big with it. Just my two cents if I were invited to become CEO of Best Buy which I would probably turn down because I really like it where I am.
Back40 at Muck and Mystery has an excellent essay today on the view of Democrats that the Conservatives are somehow less 'intelligent'. bq. Anti-Intellectualism The heart of Timothy's argument in the previous post, that "Bush is popular with some voters precisely because of his malapropisms, his anti-intellectual stance, because they see a resemblance to themselves and because that resemblance aligns them with him against educated elites" is echoed in this opinion piece by Frank Furedi in of all places The Scientist.
bq. Furedi makes the same mistake as Timothy, voicing a narrative that has become dominant however false. People are not anti-intellectual, opposed to or disinterested in knowledge and a life devoted to its acquisition, they are opposed to the power structures of the educational establishment with its arcane quasi-religious forms and practices, and the types of individuals who inhabit these monasteries. bq. Knowledge is being democratized, priests are no longer relevant or admirable. Scholars in funny hats and medieval trappings living lives of petty disputes and unearned privilege seem increasingly vulgar. The nearly unbroken string of crushingly stupid prescriptions for society which demonstrate the narrowness of their knowledge as well as their emotional and general intellectual immaturity, coupled with exposure to greater numbers of people in this age of hugely increased attendance at educational institutions, has demystified their cult, shown the little men and women behind the big voices for what they truly are. bq. This is a great good thing. As ever more people have access through information and communication technologies to written materials and live commentary by both professional and amateur scholars the increase of the general level of knowledge in the social mind is explosive. It is uneven, and includes as much dross as gold, as we should expect. Every idea is exposed to critique by commenters ranging from the intelligent and informed to delusional ignoramuses. They not only critique the ideas of the anointed, they have the temerity to propose their own theories. bq. It's like the aftermath of cheap printing when the Christian religious world fragmented, birthing arguably superior faiths as well as insane short lived cults, and everything in between. It's like the industrial revolution when every man might tinker up a major invention in his home shop, even develop the first powered flight vehicle in a bicycle shop. The era of big science is ending for this cycle. Small is once again beautiful and creative amateur geniuses may once again make major contributions to society. Back40 makes some other really good points too -- check out his previous post as well for more. I think that Blogging fits in here too -- the blog is the private printing press of the masses.The lack of cultural affirmation for the promotion of science has little to do with science as such. Among young people, the reaction against science and experimentation has not led to the establishment of alternative outlets for the development of intellectual curiosity. Previously, when young people became estranged from science, they turned to the humanities and liberal arts. Today's generation of students has adopted a distinctly pragmatic approach and is turned off by history, social theory, and philosophy as it is by science. The status of science is not merely at stake but also that of intellectual life in general. Ideas such as 'knowledge for its own sake' or the passionate pursuit of scholarship increasingly risk labels such as irrelevant and elitist. Einstein's conviction that "the search for the truth" is "more precious than its possession" makes little sense in an age of rival rationalities.
Charles at LGF links to a story about Suha Arafat - Yasser's adoring spouse. bq. Image is all for chairman�s luxury-loving wife. If anything was guaranteed to annoy the Palestinians, it was a comment made by Yasser Arafat's wife after the birth of their daughter, Zahwa. bq. As Suha Arafat proudly showed off the Palestinian leader's only child at the $A2600-a-night hospital in Paris in July 1995, she declared: "Our child was conceived in Gaza, but sanitary conditions there are terrible. I don't want to be a hero and risk my baby." bq. Her remarks highlighted the gulf between the Palestinian first lady and her people, many of whom live on little more than $A7 a day per family. bq. The image of Mrs Arafat as spendthrift was further enhanced when French authorities launched an investigation into claims that $A15 million had been transferred from Switzerland to two of Mrs Arafat's French bank accounts between July 2002 and 2003. bq. The sums were on top of an allowance of $A132,000 that Mr Arafat, 75, sent his 40-year-old wife each month. Mrs Arafat and Palestinian representatives in Paris described the claims as Israeli propaganda. And more - talking about her life in Paris: bq. She is often seen in the front rows of Paris fashion shows, or shopping with the wife of the Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and the sister of the King of Morocco. bq. �She travels first or business class and is renowned for her business acumen,� said a friend in Paris. �She is obsessed by image. Everything about her screams money. She is immaculate, from her Chanel eye shadow to her manicured fingernails.� Charles sums it up nicely with these few words: bq. And now, please excuse me while I vomit.
It is patchy clouds here tonight but if you have clear skies, go out doors now and look up. There is a HUGE Aurora display happening tonight. Even through the clouds it's gorgeous. The display is supposed to be visible as far south as West Virginia, Ohio, the Carolinas, Colorado and Utah. Possible more on the 8th and 9th. Spaceweather has good news on this and no $#^&* popup-ads...
We have seen this one -- a recent development from people who decry the fact that in a democracy, people get to choose who they want rather than what's good for them.
Here is a screen cap of it on Michael Moore's home page:
Click on image for full size
Blogger Kim DuToit offers another one that I think is a bit more accurate.
I didn't blog about it but several other people did. Someone who was despondent over the election returns committed suicide at the site of 9/11 Ground Zero, killing himself with a shotgun (way to go Kurt -- set an example). The story is now turning out to be a bit more complex -- from The Washington Post: bq. The Georgia man who killed himself at Ground Zero was upset about President Bush's reelection -- but his biggest problem may have been his double life, a source said Sunday. bq. Andrew Veal, 25, was engaged to be married to an Iowa college student, whom he was supposed to see at her sister's wedding in Seattle this weekend. But Veal also had a girlfriend in Athens, where he lived, sources said. bq. When police found his body Saturday morning, they found a note to his girlfriend saying she was "too good" for him, a source said. The note also included a reference to Bush's victory, the source said. And more: bq. Veal and his roommates held an election night party in their clapboard house near the University of Georgia campus, where they expected to celebrate a John F. Kerry victory. bq. But the day after Bush won, Veal bought a shotgun in an Athens store and drove to New York, a source said, where he went on a spending spree with his girlfriend's credit card. bq. While his mother and his fianc�e tried to reach him by phone, he called an Athens restaurant where he worked part time and said he was in New York on Thursday. Emphasis mine - typical Democrat, spend madly and leave the cost to the survivors. One of the reasons for the high gas prices today is that Bill Clinton tapped into our Strategic Oil Reserves and drained them so as to keep the price of gas artificially low on his watch. Bush has been quietly refilling these reserves so this, plus China's increase in Industrialization is why the prices are approaching that of Europe.
A bit of a power struggle seems to be brewing. Suha Arafat, the beloved wife of Husband Yasser (despite the fact that she has been living quite nicely in a hotel in Paris and has not even seen him in person for three years) is now controlling access to Yasser's putrefying corpse -- the puddle on the mattress that was once the worlds oldest terrorist (but he's stable as much as a heap of decay can be stable) She wants in on the Five Billion walking-around money that Yasser had stashed in Swiss Banks. Some of the PLO leaders wanted to see him and she said no -- from Reuters: bq. The senior Palestinian officials hoping to come to France to visit their ailing leader Yasser Arafat put off their trip on Monday because Arafat's wife was opposed to it, a Palestinian official said. bq. "The visit has been postponed because Suha (Arafat) would not allow them to come," the official told Reuters. bq. Suha Arafat told al-Jazeera television overnight that the three -- Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath -- were plotting against her critically ill husband and wanted to see him die. Or maybe they wanted to call her bluff and give her the boot.
The battle for Fallujah is begun. There were some preliminary air strikes to loosen things up a bit and to persuade civilians to move out for a while but the main forces didn't invade until today. The forces were able to quickly secure the main city hospital and two key bridges over the Euphrates river. What the Yahoo/AP article doesn't say is that hospitals have been traditionally used by the terrorists for staging ammunition and troops. This is in direct violation of Geneva Conventions but who said we were dealing with honorable men. Chimera bred from pigs and apes fucking is more to the truth. This is the last long gasp of a regime that killed hundreds of thousands of people, that brought to light the trustworthiness of the United Nations (all the way to the top guy and Koffi's son), emphasized the difference between Old and New Europe and that made the west aware of the purblind ignorance, corruption and medievalism (in the bad sense) of this fascist offshoot of Islam. It will be a few years more but this nest of vipers will be hunted down and killed no matter where they hide and the governments of that area will realize that supporting terror is not in their best interests... Hat tip to Charles at LGF
Roger L. Simon has an interesting point about Michael Moore's link to the Democratic party and how it could have been an incredible advantage to Kerry (but not to M. Moore) bq. Jeff Jarvis is proffering the logical meme (not my favorite word) that Michael Moore lost the election for Kerry. I respectfully disagree. It might even be the opposite. bq. The execrable Moore offered Kerry an obvious opportunity to win the election - the perfect "Sister Souljah" moment. The candidate could have gotten before the media and said: "No, Michael, the Iraqi Insurgents are not the same as our 'Minutemen.' Our 'Minutemen' were fighting for democracy. Those Insurgents are fighting for fascism, theocracy, the oppression of women - everything America deplores!" bq. I'm sure Kerry agrees with those sentiments, yet he did not express them, instead allowing Moore to be seated prominently at the Democratic Convention. What is the reason for this? All I can think of are those two Spanish words - falta cojones. No, he didn't deserve to be President. Heh...
From the San Francisco Chronicle bq. When Claud Gipson-Reynolds got his fire truck stuck in the mud along a rural Sonoma County road Friday, he did what anyone would naturally do: He called for a tow truck on the engine's radio. bq. The problem was, the intoxicated Gipson-Reynolds had just stolen the fire truck, crashing through the fire station door, to try to push his car out of the same mud. What happened? bq. Gipson-Reynolds said he had been on a two-day drinking binge following a fight with his wife when the clutch of his 1983 Chevrolet gave out. He ended up stuck in the mud on Cavedale Road, a windy, one-lane street about eight miles from Glen Ellen on the ridge between Sonoma and Napa counties. bq. According to Gipson-Reynolds and the CHP, he broke into the nearby Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Station looking for a phone. bq. "It wasn't wide open but the garage door was not very secure," he said. bq. When he couldn't find a phone, he took the truck -- described as a small, four-wheel drive with ladders, water and first-aid equipment -- and drove straight through the station door. Gipson-Reynolds said he thought he could free his car, then drive the fire truck to a pay phone to call a tow truck. bq. "Unfortunately, I drove the fire truck off the road about 20 feet from my car," he said. DOH! The good news in this story is this: bq. As for Gipson-Reynolds, he said a night in the drunk tank is enough to convince him he needs to get help. bq. "If you think you might have a problem with drinking and drugs," he said, "you should seek recovery before you hit the point of no return."
This is great! Anti-Nuke protesters chained themselves to a railroad track with the hopes of blocking a nuclear waste shipment. Hat tip to B.C. at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler They were surprised... By the train... One injury and one death. This story from TBO/AP: bq. NANCY, France (AP) - A French anti-nuclear protester was killed Sunday in eastern France when his leg was severed by a train carrying radioactive waste to Germany, a police official said. And more: bq. According to an early investigation, Sebastien Briat, a 21-year-old protester from the nearby Meuse region, died from injuries sustained when he and other activists were surprised by the train as they prepared to chain themselves to the rails, police officials said. bq. The train's driver braked suddenly but was unable to avoid hitting the protester, the officials said. Emphasis mine. This is a big joke on these people because they are probably also very strongly Green. Nuclear Power -- if done correctly -- is one of the Greenest sources of concentrated electrical energy available to us at this time. Reactor design has gotten a lot better and by standardizing on a few core designs, the safety of their operation can be brought up into the seven-sigma range. The "old school" of reactor design, where every plant was a new design is what caused the relatively few accidents we have had. We are not doing that anymore. As for the radioactive waste issue, waste from the current crop of nuclear reactors is very small (nothing like coal slag) and can be contained in an out-of-the-way place until it is safe. A lot of the concerns with nuclear waste these days stem from the hell-spawned stew of junk that spewed forth from Hanford and Oak Ridge over 40 years ago. We are still cleaning that up but we should not confuse that mess with the relatively minimal impact modern power plants have.
Dr. John Ray links to an interesting article regarding the current thoughts of global warming with the focus on the outcome of Arctic Ice Cap meling. The article, by Louis Hissink in his weekly science roundup at Henry Thornton: bq. But first the latest climate scare to be published on 9 November - that "Greenhouse gases have contributed to a gradual warming of the ecologically-fragile Arctic region, causing massive climate changes, including melting glaciers and sea ice, according to a soon-to-be-released environmental study", and the rest of the article here. bq. When our ABC reported this on Classic FM a few days ago while driving to work, the news-reader mentioned that this will cause sea levels to rise - this jollied my day thereafter, as it reinforced my view that the ABC remain scientific illiterates. bq. The Arctic Ice cap is "SEA ICE" which "FLOATS" on the sea, and if it all melts the sea level will not be raised 1 micrometer - and you can test this yourself by filling a glass with ice-cubes and then filling it with water till the level reaches the lip of the glass. If this theory is correct and your ice-cubes melt, then the water will overflow the glass. If the water doesn't, then the theory is wrong. Louis then looks at an historical record of that area from around 700 years ago: bq. The UN IPCC bases its global-warming scare on the now totally debunked Hockey Stick, an artifice which amazingly made the Medieval Warming period disappear from history, as well as the Maunder Minimum, so it might be interesting to look at a recent world map drawn by the Chinese in the late 14th Century (or early 15th). bq. It is the Di Virga Map recently discovered by the team at 1421 which clearly shows the northern coastline of Siberia from Norway to the Bering Straights. It is a map compiled before any of the European maritime Nations started discovering the world, so one is immediately intrigued by the fact that in order to map this northern Siberian coast, ships must have add easy access to that coast. This suggests that perhaps the arctic ice cover was far less than what it is now. That is around the same time as the vinyards found in Greenland. There was also a little ice age as well a few hundred years later. Check out this Pieter Bruegel (the younger) painting of ice skating. And when was the last time the rivers in Europe froze solid?
One reaction to the 2004 election was from this group of moonbats who felt that they had to tell the rest of the world that they were sorry for being in the minority. Here is a sample moonbat:
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Well, some people figured they also had a message to get out.
Major hat tip to Ian S. at The Inoperable Terran
I present: We�re Not Sorry
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Arafat is in that half-state between death and non-death. The Commissar at Politburo Diktat links to a few news stories and has a question for CNN (and other MSM sources) bq. Is Arafat Dead? The rumorific Debkafile says so. bq. Does he have, or did he have, AIDS? Jerusalem Newswire says so. bq. If he is dead, some of the quotes of the past 72 hours could carry a double meaning. bq. CNN: "He is not in a coma," Nabil Abu Rudainah told reporters. "He is still in the intensive care unit." I suppose one could describe the condition of a corpse as "stable." bq. Also, the French doctors have not issued any statements at all in the past couple days. Emphasis mine -- just how deeply are the reporters at CNN digging or are they just mouthing the words fed to them by Arafat's support staff... The story in the Jerusalem Newswire is one worth reading since it covers not only the AIDS question but also some of Arafat's origin and methods of control: bq. Arafat has been hospitalized outside of Paris for more than a week with blotchy skin, a low platelet count that is affecting his immune system, decreased mental capacity and a considerable loss of weight � all indicators of the presence of AIDS. bq. His homosexual tendencies have been attested to by numerous sources, including a now infamous set of surveillance videos taken by his former communist allies in Romania showing Arafat in perverted encounters with his bodyguards. bq. Though he reportedly slipped into a terminal coma last week, Arafat�s wife is said to be keeping him connected to life support long enough to gain access to the vast wealth he had horded over the years. bq. �Palestinian� officials in Ramallah suggested his death would be officially announced on Tuesday to coincide with the Muslim holy day of Lailat al-Kader, when, according to Islamic lore, the Koran was given to the Prophet Mohammed. bq. Israel Insider notes that while �homosexuality is rife in the Arab world, it is at least officially consider a sin and a crime, and regarded - especially in fundamentalist circles - as a mark of great shame and depravity.� Lot's more in the article.
Charles at LGF points to some data from a Gallup survey of voting. The survey is here: How Americans Voted and contains this interesting comparison of formal education and voting changes between 2000 and 2004:
Another meme regarding this is that the people from rural areas are somehow less intelligent than people from urban areas. I would disagree. Jen and I moved out here and with city life, you are in a relatively high-stress environment but the things that get dropped in your lap are generally known and there are support systems for dealing with them. Country life introduces a large randomness to this and also increases the variety of things to deal with. You need to be more resourceful and intelligent to be able to successfully deal with these.
|College graduate (no postgrad)||55||58||+3|
|High school or less education||45||46||+1|
Hat tip to Dean Esmay for this link. Just after the election, someone at Michael Moore's website used a program to create a mosaic of images of dead Iraqi coalition soldiers to form a portrait of President George Bush.
Needless to say, this got a bunch of people really hacked off.
One person is Gennie who blogs as Dizzy Girl
Her reaction in its entirety is this:
bq. How Dare You Sir...
Check out Michael Moore's site and you'll see for yourself why I'm in fucking tears right now. That bastard. I just sent him an email but it came back undeliverable. That fucking coward.
bq. I'm in tears and I'm trying really hard not to break down. I can literally feel my body shaking on the inside. It's bad enough that I lost my nephew, but now that bastard is using him to smear the President. Well fuck you Michael Moore. How DARE you do this to the families who lost someone. You obviously have no shame. I pity you sir, I really do. This bullshit is one of the reasons people, like me, despise you so much. It's apparent that you'll go to any lengths to further your cause.
(hat tip to dgci)
Today, Dean points to another run for this application but with images of donuts, McDonald's logos, and various other images more suited to Mr. Moore's girth to do an image of the chubby boy from Flint:
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Mostly Cajun at, well, Mostly Cajun.com has an interesting comparison of two political careers. Yasser, meet Hillary. From M.C. bq. No, I haven�t uncovered a hitherto unreleased film of an overnighter with these two. (Ewwwww!!) Instead, here are some thoughts on the demise of Arafat and the ascendency of Hillary in the dimmocrat party. And yes, the two subjects are related. bq. Arafat: From hands-on terrorist to �stateman� and leader of the �Palestinian� people. It was said long ago when this move was first being made that if Arafat elected to move to a really moderate stand in the Palestinian movement, that he would be marginalized by the very nature of his own creation, Palestine as a tool to eliminate Israel. So he made the move, helped along by the U.N. and complicit European leaders. He was elevated from his skulking hyena existence to being able to hobnob with world leaders. bq. There is, of course, a kicker to this move. That is that behind the scenes, he allowed Palestinian terrorists to continue to flourish. While he could no longer give voice as their real leader, his own activities had to give tacit approval to their rhetoric, their acts of violence and their bases of operation. If he would not have done so, he would not be in power. bq. Now, how does this connect to the Hildabeast? Simple. She will begin to make centrist noises for the dimmocrat party. She will Arafat herself. She won�t be caught dead with Michael Moore. She may �tut-tut� at the Move On crowd. But make no mistake about it, she knows that her base of power is not going to be the voiceless centrist elements of the dimmocrat party. Those people stood around and let the LOSER (John F. �Nobody remembers what I did in the 70�s� Kerry) become the nominee and them let the freaky Left commandeer the campaign. bq. No, in order for the Hildabeast to get the nomination, she�s going to need the freako Left to make the maximum noise. Just like Arafat and the Intifada, Hillary won�t be able to go over there and hug up to them. She�ll have to Arafat them, shake her head sagely and make little noises about playing nice, at the same time making speeches saying that although the actions of the group are misguided, she knows they�re caused by injustice and she�s working oh so hard to erase those injustices, just like Yassir was working for the Palestinians. And like Arafat, the one who will ultimately benefit from the travails of those poor miserable masses will be herself� bq. And the dimmocrat party will continue on, its voice preempted by the Looney Left, the northeastern elitists and the Hollywood Left. Because when you get right down to it, the rest of those dimmocrat voters just don�t count in the eyes of their handlers. Those people are just sheep to be herded and sheared. Makes sense to me... I have heard rumblings that H.R. Clinton would be the Demo candidate for '08. She might not be that bad if she stays a centrist. My preference would be Rudy Giuliani and Condi Rice but that's just my druthers...
Very good point made over at Feces Flinging Monkey regarding the Democratic loss, not only of presidency but also seats in the Senate and the House: bq. Have a look at this graph at AlphaPatriot; it shows margins of victory for the every presidential election since 1824. If you look at it overall, it suggests that Bush's recent victory stacks up pretty well. However, if you only look from 1920 onward, Bush's margin was comparatively small. If you take it from 1962 forward (my lifetime) it only looks about average. bq. No matter how you look at it, this was no landslide; it was only a three percent margin, after all. bq. But... not only does Bush have the Oval Office, he has the Senate, and House, with even greater margins than before. Politically, it was a massacre. bq. How does an otherwise unremarkable victory create such carnage? The Monkey then goes on to compare it to the price of Corn: bq. Consider the price of corn. bq. The market for corn is highly optimized and very efficient. If the going rate to the farmer is $100 per ton, he can sell all the corn he has at the going rate... but he'll sell nothing if he asks a penny more. Tiny difference in price, huge change in outcome. bq. In today's elections, the candidates are so closely matched that small differences in their 'price' yield huge differences in outcome. If you are disliked just a tiny bit more than the other guy, you will not only lose the election, but it might cost you the House and the Senate as well. And why the choices are usually so close (and why they seem to usually suck): bq. So why do our choices always suck? Why don't we ever have candidates we really like? bq. That's easy. When you appeal to people as a group, and deliver the optimal solution to their group needs, you'll find that most individuals are generally unsatisfied. Get 12 people together and agree on what kind of pizza to get. The optimal choice for the group is almost certainly not what you, as an individual, would prefer. In fact, it's probably just barely good enough. bq. This is what democracy looks like when it is working perfectly. An interesting thought -- elections as markets. Makes a lot of sense. Now, I'm hoping that the Democrats don't lower their prices...
Jen ran into this and it's worth spreading around. This is what people have to swear to in order to become citizens of the United States. It comes from this link bq. "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God." I wonder how many people would be able to honestly swear to this? Michael Moore? Noam Chomsky? Janeanne Garofolo? Margaret Cho? I know that I would without one moment of doubt or hesitation.
The people at DGCI post this link to an excellent Thomas Sowell essay: From DGCI: bq. The oldest fraud Thomas Sowell weighs in on the myth that the Democratic Party is the party of the poor, the down-trodden, and the working class. Add this one to your "must read" list for today. From the essay: bq. Election frauds are nothing new and neither are political frauds in general. The oldest fraud is the belief that the political left is the party of the poor and the downtrodden. bq. The election results in California are only the latest evidence to give the lie to that belief. While the state as a whole went for Kerry, 55 percent versus 44 percent for Bush, the various counties ranged from 71 percent Bush to 83 percent Kerry. The most affluent counties were where Kerry had his strongest support. bq. In Marin County, where the average home price is $750,000, 73 percent of the votes went for Kerry. In Alameda County, where Berkeley is located, it was 74 percent Kerry. San Francisco, with the highest rents of any major city in the country, gave 83 percent of its votes to Kerry. bq. Out where ordinary people live, it was a different story. Thirty-six counties went for Bush versus 22 counties for Kerry, and usually by more balanced vote totals, though Bush went over 70 percent in less fashionable places like Lassen County and Modoc County. If you have never heard of them, there's a reason. He goes on to list some other examples current as well as historical. Very good writing!
You can actually still send telegrams! From Dean Esmay: bq. Believe it or not, some people still use telegrams. Funny how traditions get started and then stick around long after they no longer matter, eh? Dean links to this Slate article: bq. Do Diplomats Still Use Telegrams? Don't they have e-mail like the rest of us? The New York Times reports that German Chancellor Gerhard Schr�der sent President Bush a congratulatory telegram on Wednesday, urging cooperation on issues ranging from security to climate change. Do politicians and diplomats really still send telegrams? Western Union online telegram service is here $14.99 to send one. Might be fun for a goof but a bit of an expensive one...
From the Medved Fan Website comes this link and graph to overall trends for the Environment. The link is to this article at the EPA: Air Emissions Trends - Continued Progress Through 2003 Here is the graph:
BTW, the six pollutants they are referring to are: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb)
The Medved Fan comments:
bq. I think what bothers Greens is not that President Bush has done so well for the environment, but that he's been so much better for the economy. Greens, and some Democrats, prefer it when environmental concerns win and people lose. The conservationist wing of the GOP (98% of Republican Party) prefers a win-win.
From ABC News International: bq. U.S. Warplanes Pound Targets in Fallujah U.S. warplanes pounded Fallujah late Friday in what residents called the strongest attacks in months, as more than 10,000 American soldiers and Marines massed for an expected assault. Iraq's prime minister warned the "window is closing" to avert an offensive. bq. Residents reached by telephone said the aircraft were striking targets in the central city market that had not been hit since April as well as neighborhoods in the north, south and east of Fallujah. There was no confirmation from U.S. officials. Earlier Friday, residents said U.S. planes dropped leaflets urging women and children to leave the city, 40 miles west of the capital, Baghdad. bq. Meanwhile, the insurgent group al-Qaida in Iraq called for the release of the kidnapped executive of the CARE charity, Margaret Hassan, and promised to free her if she fell into their hands. bq. In a message posted on the Internet, the group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said it wanted the world to know "if (the kidnappers of Margaret Hassan) handed us this captive, we will release her immediately unless it is proven she was conspiring against Muslims." Yeah - they are not in much of a position to bargain right now so they are acting like nice guys. They are even negotiating for a Hudna: From the Washington Post bq. Battle Near, Iraqi Sunnis Make Offer As Marines step up preparations for military offensives on two major Iraqi cities, a number of Sunni Muslim leaders are forwarding a plan to establish the rule of law in those areas through peaceful means, with the promise of reducing the insurgency across a large swath of the country. bq. The bid is led by groups that have encouraged violent resistance in central, western and northern Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion 18 months ago. The groups say they'll withdraw their support for violence if Iraq's interim government can reassure Sunni leaders wary of national elections, which are scheduled for the end of January. Emphasis mine - Hudna is a very common practice in Arab lands. To Western eyes, it looks like they are negotiating for a truce but they are just asking for time to regroup. Say your prayers guys -- this is the end of a long downward spiral for your culture (the perversion of Islam with its attendant fundamentalism, corruption and fascism -- not Islam itself). B.T.W. -- the Koran said 72 virgins. They didn't say young, female or not diseased -- enjoy eternity.
Jen and I went to see The Incredibles. It was awesome -- Pixar definitely has their CGI chops down, great fabric, hair and water. The plot is more adult than their other work, it's their first with a P.G. rating. Go see it -- words fail me, there are so many sight-gags and in-jokes that it's going to take several viewings.
Some interesting thoughts at Mr. Helpful regarding the recent election and claims of Bush's intellegence (or lack thereof): bq. Chasing Winning Hands Poker players all over this great nation know and understand certain truths. One of these is that you ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS encourage bad players at the table to continue playing exactly the way they've been playing. Successful application of this truth can easily lead to more money in your pocket. bq. This is more difficult than it sounds. Say, for instance, Joe Fish insists on chasing bad hands by constantly staying with cards he should fold but doesnt because he thinks, against great odds, that he's gonna catch that one card which will fill his inside straight or flush draw. We all do that from time to time and, in fact, there are situations where it's the intelligent way to play. Sometimes you even catch the card you need and the gamble pays off. But Joe Fish insists on playing this way an inordinate amount of the time and, consequently, ends up being nothing but red meat for the sharks. The Joe Fishes of the world struggle through the game as perpetual losers; their plight made worse by their complete igorance as to who is to blame which is, of course, themselves. Their time at the table is usually punctuated by groans and moans and constant mutterings about how "Oh man, all I needed was ONE CARD!!" bq. The reason it's hard for the rest of us to encourage this behavior even when it benefits us is there is a natural tendency to call attention to someone's poor play by making remarks like "Jesus, where did you learn your game"....or...."Even if they dealt you four more cards, you wouldnt have hit that straight, pal"...or..."Christ, what a stupid play, you moron"...or..."Keep playing like that and you're gonna spend your life broke". bq. The really good poker player resists that urge and, instead, says encouraging things like "Dang, you almost made that straight"..."Better luck next time, buddy"...."Keep playing like that, you're bound to win sometime". Use these terms at a table when Joe Fish is present and your bankroll is bound to grow exponentially because, the truth is, bad players simply dont realize they're bad players. bq. In the aftermath of Tuesday's presidential election, the same concept applies to Democrats. The overwhelming urge is to point out what "bad players" they really are and do so in a most withering fashion. And, just like Joe Fish, the Democrats have absolutely no clue they are "bad players". Joe Fish thinks there are a myriad of reasons why he loses all the time. So do the Democrats. The Dems are on a horrific losing streak, punctuated by Tuesday's election, and it isnt because of bad luck. It's because of their literal incompetence and they dont even see it. bq. Want proof? Look no further than the post-election analysis spewing from the Democrats. Apparently one huge talking point is, since exit polls showed that a portion of the voters named "moral values" as the driving force behind their voting choices that meant Kerry lost because the gay marriage issue drove more conservatives to the polls than were expected. Heh... There's more and it's well worth reading -- check it out.
Victor Davis Hanson writes a column every Friday at National Review -- they are usually very good and today's is no exception. Here is one excerpt: bq. The Democrats now lament that America would prefer to be "wrong" with George Bush than "right" with them. They will no doubt adduce a number of other paradoxes, excuses, and sorrows. But the fact is that the Left was united, well-funded, and ran the most vitriolic campaign in the Democratic party's history � and still lost, taking all branches of power with it. The New York Times and the major networks have undone their legacy of a half-century, and in the desire for cheap partisan advantage have ruined the reputations of anchor men, the very notion of fair front-page reporting, and, indeed, the useful concept itself of an exit poll. 60 Minutes, Nightline, ABC News � these are now seen by millions as mere highbrow versions of Fahrenheit 9/11. Heh...
This is sweet and it really shows the content of his character. From the Editor and Publisher: bq. Victory in Hand, The President Meets The Press One day after winning re-election, President George W. Bush held a rare press conference. With the campaign pressure off, and with neither "side" having to worry about an embarrassing flub, the president and the press pack enjoyed a little bantering. bq. "I want to thank you all for your hard work in the campaign," Bush informed the reporters. "I told you that the other day and you probably thought I was just seeking votes." This provoked general laughter. bq. "But now that you voted...I really meant it. I appreciate the hard work of the press corps. We all put in long hours and you were away from your families for a long period of time. But the country's better off when we have a vigorous and free press covering our elections, and thanks for your work. bq. "With that overt pandering, I'll answer a few questions." bq. The first query, related to Iraq, was in the usual three parts. bq. "Now that I've got the will of the people at my back, I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule," Bush responded. "That was three questions." More laughter. bq. Not much later, another multi-part query came. bq. "Again, he violated the one-question rule right off the bat," Bush said. "Obviously you didn't listen to the will of the people." bq. Later, a reporter asked if the president felt "more free" to act now. bq. "Oh, in terms of feeling free: Well, I don't think you'll let me be too free," he said. "There is, there's accountability and there are constraints on the presidency, as there should be in any system. bq. "Listen, thank you," he concluded. "I look forward to working with you. bq. "I've got a question for you: How many of you are going to be here for a second term, please raise your hand? Gosh, we're going to have a lot of fun then. Thank you all." That is leadership...
It must have been fun for him... From Yahoo/Finance/Newsweek: Here is the headline and the lede, scroll down a bit for the meat of the story: bq. NEWSWEEK ELECTION ISSUE: 'How He Did It' Kerry Laments: 'I Can't Believe I'm Losing to This Idiot' Carville Leads Clintonistas' Coups, Implores Cahill to Step Aside or He'll 'Tell The Truth' About Campaign Woes On NBC's 'Meet The Press' Daughter Alexandra Pleads to Kerry After Locking in Nomination: 'Will You Please Appreciate This Moment for 10 Seconds?' When President Bush's poll numbers surged in April after a press conference where his performance was derided by the press and the chattering classes, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry was baffled, writes Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas in an exclusive report in Newsweek's special election issue. "He said with a sigh to one top staffer, 'I can't believe I'm losing to this idiot.'" Here is one: bq. Kerry's drive to self-perfection was boundless-sometimes to a fault. In early spring he sought counsel from Washington speech coach Michael Sheehan. With aides he would sometimes say, "Tell me everything you think I'm doing wrong." When John Sasso arrived on the campaign in September he found a candidate who had turned himself into a pincushion. "Kerry had been inviting personal criticism from pretty much anyone who had an opinion...Kerry was drowning in negative energy from all around," Thomas writes. Sasso wanted it to stop. There was to be no more direct criticism of the candidate, period. And Teresa and the daughters were not exempt, Newsweek reports. It was not self-perfection, it was polling and finding the "comfy words" for the specific target audience so that he could triangulate and mouth the words they wanted to hear. One more (although this article has a couple other good ones): bq. Managing Teresa. Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, presented a host of behind-the-scenes drama for Kerry. Early on, the campaign staff regarded Teresa as something of a hypochondriac, and she canceled three trips in October at the last minute, usually for what was described to aides as a "nonspecific malady." Kerry's first campaign manager, James Jordan, had little patience for her strong opinions, sending emails trashing the candidate's wife...which inevitably reached his rivals within the campaign, including Bob Shrum (an old Teresa friend) and helped seal Jordan's eventual dismissal. bq. Later came Kerry campaign's post-convention "Sea to Shining Sea" tour: a 3,500-mile bus and train trek that was not a happy trip for Teresa. With each passing day she made less effort to hide her displeasure. Audiences were mystified when Teresa turned her back to them at daylight rallies and wore dark sunglasses and a hat at night (backstage, the candidate's wife complained of migraines and sore eyes). As they reached the climax of the tour, an hourlong "family vacation" hike in the Grand Canyon, the planned happy-family- vacation was disintegrating in plain view. Daughter Vanessa didn't enjoy being a prop, Teresa was complaining of migraines and telling her husband she couldn't walk anymore. The candidate tried to bravely soldier on, pulling his sullen wife and children to show them the magnificent condors flying overhead. OUCH! I think I know what her problem is and I would not wish it on anyone... John Forbes Kerry, you have my sympathies but not my vote -- better luck with your next heiress...
A great story from Roger L. Simon on one place that had wonderful support for Bush's Victory: An excerpt: bq. Millions expressed their satisfaction on the outcome of the US Presidential elections and George W. Bush's victory by calling and congratulating each other. Many were seen walking in the streets and shaking each others hands or showing a discret V sign. Read the entire story here: bq. Iranians welcome massively Bush's re-election One of Roger's readers had an especially trenchant comment which highlights the difference between Bush and Kerry: bq. I'm a middle-aged, middle-class, Christian, Anglo-Saxon C.P.A. from Central Ohio and it has come to pass that I now have more in common, in the most meaningful sense, with a great many young, poor, Muslim, Persian students from Iran than with either of the United States Senators from the state of Massachusetts. There is other good stuff there -- click and read...
Today's strip was appropos:
Not that much into a Jeb Bush '08 ticket though, I'd much prefer Rudy Giuliani and Condi Rice. (If we can't get Picard/Riker)
An interesting discussion thread over at Slashdot today. bq. Is a Federal nuclear energy program viable? That is, can the USA eliminate our economic dependence on crude oil with a large scale federal program to build and maintain enough nuclear power plants to replace our current oil-based energy needs? The obvious political hurdles are (a) the left opposes nuclear energy, (b) the right opposes federalizing energy, and (c) the oil companies and Saudis wield a lot of clout. This makes a federal nuclear energy program far fetched I admit, however I'm more interested in the economics. Some good points and some raving moonbats make their apperances...
Charles at LGF links to an excellent essay by Peggy Noonan: bq. Peggy Noonan identifies the biggest loser of Election 2004: So Much to Savor.
Who was the biggest loser of the 2004 election? It is easy to say Mr. Kerry: he was a poor candidate with a poor campaign. But I do think the biggest loser was the mainstream media, the famous MSM, the initials that became popular in this election cycle. Every time the big networks and big broadsheet national newspapers tried to pull off a bit of pro-liberal mischief�CBS and the fabricated Bush National Guard documents, the New York Times and bombgate, CBS�s �60 Minutes� attempting to coordinate the breaking of bombgate on the Sunday before the election�the yeomen of the blogosphere and AM radio and the Internet took them down. It was to me a great historical development in the history of politics in America. It was Agincourt. It was the yeomen of King Harry taking down the French aristocracy with new technology and rough guts. God bless the pajama-clad yeomen of America. Some day, when America is hit again, and lines go down, and media are hard to get, these bloggers and site runners and independent Internetters of all sorts will find a way to file, and get their word out, and it will be part of the saving of our country.
Time is running out for Egyptian-born terrorist Yasser Arafat. News reports are that he is in a coma and on life support systems. An excellent source for updates is Wizbang Kevin comments that one of Arafat's last visitors might have been Jacques Chirac This is also of interest (from the World Tribune): bq. "He is dead, but neither Arafat's wife nor the Palestinian leadership is ready to announce this," a PA official said. "The announcement could take place on Friday." bq. The problem is that Arafat is still the only Palestinian official who can pay the bills. And it is unclear who, if anyone, has access to the estimated $2-3 billion in his personal Swiss bank accounts, according to a report in the current edition of Geostrategy-Direct.com. Even his wife is said to be unaware of how to access the funds. bq. Arafat continues to hold the purse strings to the Palestinian finances. For the last decade, he has been the final, and often only word on payment to everybody from the suicide bomber to the janitor. Not a dime was paid without Arafat's okay. Emphasis mine -- that is soooo sweet... He is a megalomaniac and cannot yield any power to anyone else. The best managers I have always found are very eager to delegate. Not our little Yasser. It will be fun for the various terror organizations as their operating capital dries up. Oh, the money is there, it's just that nobody knows where it is...
Blogger Kim DuToit writes an open letter to President Bush and offers some very good points: bq. Dear Mr. President, bq. Please allow me to offer a couple of suggestions as to what you might do for the next four years, with a Republican Congress, a popular mandate and the courage of your convictions, in no specific order. bq. 1. Appoint conservative, Constitutional constructionist judges to the federal courts, and to the Supreme Court. Ignore the Schumers, Leahys and Kennedys when they to play their obstructionist games, and tell the Republican Senators to play hardball. If necessary, feel free to kick that turd Arlen Specter in the balls on a daily basis if he looks like caving. He owes his re-election to you, and he should respond in kind by getting your appointees into office. I'll quote the rest of the leads -- visit his website for the paragraph that accompanies them as there is lots of good stuff to chew on: bq. 2. Privatize Social Security. bq. 3. Eliminate the income tax, the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and therefore the Internal Revenue Service in its current form. bq. 4. Withdraw from the United Nations. bq. 5. Deal with Iran, North Korea and Syria, and any other hostile nations (especially Muslim ones). bq. 6. Veto any legislation that even hints at some kind of gun control. bq. 7. Stay the course in Iraq. bq. 8. Start grooming your successor soon. Some of Kims readers have some good comments/additions to the list... Check it out.
From BBC News: bq. 130-year-old Chinese fire put out A fire that broke out more than 100 years ago at a Chinese coalfield has finally been extinguished, reports say. bq. In the last four years, firefighters have spent $12m in efforts to put out the flames at Liuhuanggou colliery, near Urumqi in Xinjiang province. And the pollution from this: bq. The burning coal emitted 100,000 tons of harmful gases - including carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide - and 40,000 tons of ashes every year, Mr Hou told Xinhua. China burns a lot of coal for general energy and as a developing nation, they are free to do this without any of the environmental restrictions that we 'enjoy' in the USA. Considering that in the western hemisphere, the general flow of air is from the west to the east, we get the brunt of their pollution. I saw once where the majority of the mercury levels in WA State had Chinese origins...
Someone on eBay is auctioning off Michael Moore's Relevance. Considering how well these fine people police their site, I do not know how long this will be up but here is the text and one photo (BTW -- the bidding started at $0.01 and is now up in the nosebleed reigions of $99,999,999.00) The seller is also seeling Bruce Springsteen's Relevance
bq. After the Kerry/Edwards election failure tuesday, Michael Moore's relevance is one of the rarest items available on E-Bay today. This auction is for whatever relevance Mr. Moore has seven days from now. I do not anticipate there will be much left, but there just might be enough to give to the highest bidder. I am positive that once his relevance is gone seven days from now there will be no more to be found anywhere, at any price. Good Luck in your bidding..........
bq. Questions from other buyers for this listing
Q: Should I win this auction and this item actually becomes a negative balance, would you pay me for wages earned? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: John Edwards, is that you?
bq. Q: If I win both auctions Michael and Bruce can they ship together? I think You could send them in a Fed Ex letter, It would be plenty big enough for the both. Also that way you can not be accused of Mail Fraud. Paul - Slinger, Wisconsin Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Since you are so close to me it might be less expensive for you to pick them up, or we could just meet half way.
bq. Q: If I win can you please ship USPS? I believe they still subject all mail to a high burst of radiation.....although I would prefer a small tactical nuke.... Answered on Nov-03-04
A: That can be arranged. If you are the highest bidder we will talk.
bq. Q: Do we get the entire Michael Moore? And if so, how much will shipping be.. I'd imagine quite alot because of the weight of the package. Answered on Nov-03-04
A: The entire Michael Moore would cost way too much to ship. I am selling his relevance because it is the 2nd smallest part of him....
bq. Q: I thought I read that his relevance had boarded a plane for Paris around 11:02 this morning (11/3/04) - How did you end up with it? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: I cannot expose my sources. Let's just say that he was suppose to be on that plane.....
bq. Q: We should pay millions for this since he will never possess Relevance, Sensiblity or Integrity again. Is this a box set? Are you going to make a combo set with Michael Moore's Relevance and Dan Rather's Journalistic Integrity? Would make a good stool softener! Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Slow down....I never said anything about his sensibility or integrity. Those items are even more rare than his relevance. As far as Dan Rather's Journalistic Integrity goes I don't believe in that. That is about as real as the loch ness monster or UFO's. This would not make a good stool softener as prolonged exposure has shown to cause great illness.
bq. Q: Is this item made in France? THank you. Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Origin of this item is unknown. However it does come with a cert. of authen.
bq. Q: About shipping... I think FEDEX has a weight limit. Please advise if you ship via freight. Answered on Nov-03-04
A: There is a piano moving company than has agreed to do the packing and shipping. They do charge by the pound and by the mile so keep that in mind when bidding.
bq. Q: I don't think that there will be much relevance left---if I am not satisfied, do I get a refund? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: If there is no relevance left at the end of the auction I will not charge you for the item. This item is sold "as is" with no guarantees
bq. Q: Since LO CARB doesn't apply here, does "FAT" mean "FLAVOR?" Also, can you help out on shipping, as I think hot air weighs more than one would think. Thanks! Answered on Nov-03-04
A: I wont know the actual shipping costs until the end of the auction. I make NO guarantees on carb content, fat % or flavor. Bid at your own risk
bq. Q: I love you. Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Stop it....your making me blush
bq. Q: If I want to return this item due to many defects, where should I send it? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: US Senate Washington DC c/o John Kerry
bq. Q: Do I still have to pay for this item if I can destroy all its worth by looking at this URL? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: I still dont know if Michael Moore will have any relevance remaining at the end of the auction so I dont know if you would have to pay....
bq. Q: I must know - is this item flamable, and if so - can you suggest a good venue in which to burn it? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: It is not flamable because it is not much more than hot air.
bq. Q: I'm confused, how can a "president" get re-elected if he never won in the first place? Name one good thing Bush has done. He looks like a complete idiot. He's playing the entire Iraq war like a humanitarian effort -- it would take $9 billion to give the entire world running water and sanitation through 2025 yet he gets $87 billion for the war. No wonder the world hates Americans and America. You've got these completely ignorant "let's kill em Cletus" toothless rednecks from Bumf*ck, USA that have no idea what's even going on in world politics. Answered on Nov-03-04
A: There must be something wrong with my computer because when I try and read your question all I can see is blah blah blah blah blah blah... Bid early and bid often.
bq. Q: Do I have to use the BioHazard shipping rates? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: No BioHazard rates, keep in mind that the normal shipping rates will be very expensive because it is by weight.....
bq. Q: I can't remember, who is this Michael Moore guy anyways? He was one of Kerry's friends right? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: It's friends like Mr. Moore than got John Kerry where he is today.....
bq. Q: Typical, attack the man with rhetoric, since you can't defeat his facts. Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Funny, when I read this I didn't know if you were talking about me towards Mr. Moore or Mr. Moore towards PRESIDENT Bush....which was it?
bq. Q: Can I get insurance for my shipping if I win this auction? Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Insurance is not available for this item due to his weight, eating habits and lifestyle.
bq. Q: Thank you so much! You just made my day :) Answered on Nov-03-04
A: You are welcome.......
bq. Q: Oh dang, why didn't I think of this?! Answered on Nov-03-04
A: Because you thought all of his relevance was gone already.....
Call it election burnout plus having a wonderful birthday today. Posting will probably be light through the day -- maybe a few in the morning and a few in the evening. Check the blogroll to the right.
From MSNBC/Reuters: bq. Man tries to convert lions to Jesus, gets bitten A man leaped into a lion�s den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts. bq. "Jesus will save you!" shouted the 46-year-old man at two African lions lounging under a tree a few meters away. Fortunately for him: bq. One of the lions, a large male with a shaggy mane, bit the man in his right leg before zoo workers drove it off with water hoses and tranquilizer guns. bq. Newspapers said that the lions had been fed earlier in the day, otherwise the man might have been more seriously hurt ... or worse. Here kitty kitty kitty... (Hat tip to Dean Esmay)
Bush gets re-elected. Daschle gets voted out (the first Senate Leader to have this happen) And now, Yasser Arafat goes into ICU at the French Hospital (Hat tip to Charles at LGF) bq. Arafat in intensive care due to sudden deterioration in health The health of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat seriously deteriorated Wednesday night. bq. He was placed in an intensive-care unit at the French military hospital where he is being treated. bq. The sudden deterioration came a few hours after Leila Shahid, the Palestinians' permanent envoy to Paris, reiterated that doctors carrying out tests on Arafat in the suburb of Clamart, southwest of Paris, had ruled out leukemia or any other form of cancer and said his health was improving. If he does not have any kind of cancer, what is wrong with him??? A reader on LGF posts this link to a David Frumm article which may answer the question: bq. Speaking of media bias, here�s a question you won�t hear in our big papers or on network TV: Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS? bq. We know he has a blood disease that is depressing his immune system. We know that he has suddenly dropped considerable weight � possibly as much as 1/3 of all his body weight. We know that he is suffering intermittent mental dysfunction. What does this sound like? bq. Former Romanian intelligence chief Ion Pacepa (here and here (scroll down)) tells in his very interesting memoirs that the Ceaucescu regime taped Arafat�s orgies with his body guards. If true, Arafat would a great deal to conceal from his people and his murderously anti-homosexual supporters in the Islamic world. bq. Before airlifting Arafat to Paris, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier promised to �stand by� him. Was that why Arafat chose to be treated in France rather in any of the fraternal Arab countries that supposedly support his movement � because he could trust the French to protect his intimate secrets?
Richard Bennett at Mossback's Lunch has a word for the Democrats: bq. The President has a working majority in the Senate of 55-45, which is going to make it easier to peel off Democratic members to break filibusters, and he has Tom Daschle�s scalp as a reminder to Democratic senators who want to play the obstructionist game that this game has consequences. When Harry Reid replaces Daschle as Senate Minority Leader, the Democrats will have their first and only pro-life figure in a nationally prominent role, and Bush�s judges will have much less standing in their way than they�ve had for the last four years. bq. We now know that most of people in this country didn�t buy the extremist rhetoric about the illegitimacy and radicalism of the Bush Administration, and their judgment was harsh. bq. Democrats have much to learn from this election, starting with this: they can keep on acting like spoiled, bratty children and see their party recede ever farther into the fringe of American political life, or they can get in touch with their inner adult and take part in the dialog. It�s their choice to make, and while they�re mulling it over the country will proceed just fine without them. bq. Oh, and to those of you who�ve been claiming to be part of a �reality-based community� � actually, no, you aren�t. Heh... Very true words. Wake up people - there are lots of other people outside your small insular community. UPDATE: I had a comment from an Anonymous reader in the Austin, TX area who wrote (I am excerpting): bq. Yes, Bush recieved the majority vote. But Kerry recieved very close to half--is this a "small insular community"? I think not. It's not a matter of "you other half of Amercia needs to wake up & get with it." Dissenting views are not only part & parcel of democracy, but a sign of its health & vogor. I agree with their views on dissent being a sign of a healthy democratic process but this is the isolation and insularity that I was meaning:
Looking at it County by County only furthers the Democratic isolation.
(By the way, the words are spelled received, America and vigor.)
There was another Election Acceptance Speech delivered today and it seems to have been lost in the hoopla of Bush's win. It should not be. From the NY Times: bq. Karzai Formally Named Winner of Afghan Presidential Election KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 3 - President Hamid Karzai was formally announced the winner of the Oct. 9 presidential election by Afghanistan's electoral board this afternoon after an international panel announced that irregularities it had investigated were not significant enough to change the overall result. bq. "We sincerely congratulate him and wish him big success in his affairs," Zakim Shah, president of the board, said in front of assembled journalists. bq. Mr. Karzai polled 55.4 percent, easily passing the necessary 50 percent threshold, and 39 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, former education Minister Muhammad Yunus Qanooni, who won 16.3 per cent. This election was not without its problems though: bq. Mr. Karzai's success at the polls has also been overshadowed by the kidnapping of three foreign United Nations election workers in Kabul six days ago by a group that has threatened to kill the three if its demands are not met. The group, which calls itself Jaish-e-Muslimeen, or Army of Muslims, extended its deadline from noon today until night, saying that it was in negotiations with the government. And more: bq. The leader and others claiming to speak for the group have made demands in almost daily telephone calls to news agencies that the United Nations and international troops leave Afghanistan and that all Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners being held in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be released. They have also said that if security forces attempt to rescue the hostages, they will be killed. People being held in Gitmo are being held for a reason. One of the lesser security risks was released and he turned around and did this: bq. Abdullah Mehsud, a former Guantanamo Bay inmate who masterminded the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers, has claimed responsibility for a blast last week at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, a journalist said on Monday. The election was being supervised by a panel of UN advisers. They did find fraud but (emphasis mine): bq. The international panel concluded that fraud had occurred, in particular evident ballot box stuffing, but that it had not been widespread or limited to one particular candidate. "There were fewer problems on election day than many experts had anticipated," Craig Jenness, a Canadian diplomat and one of the three members of the panel, said.
Wall Street responded to Bush election very positivly. Dow Jones is up 101.32 so far
NASDAQ is up 19.54
Some people are calling this a close race. Eugene Volokh says differently: bq. Close election:The electoral vote is certainly close, and turns on a close race in Ohio (though at this point it seems quite unlikely that Bush's 130,000 vote lead will be overcome). But the 51-48 popular vote margin, while far from a blowout, is larger than the 1976 Carter-Ford margin, or the 1968 Nixon-Humphrey margin, plus of course the famously close 1960 and 2000 margins. Hat tip Glen at Instapundit
Roger L. Simon captures the essential difference between old-school MSM (Main Stream Media) and current winners like FOX with this bit of dialog between Dan Rather and his crony Ed Bradley: bq. DAN RATHER: One would expect that the blogging machine which the White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign has used for any number of purposes over their four years will start now, if it hasn't started already, to say, listen, Kerry-Edwards, for the good of the country, need to concede. bq. ED BRADLEY: I'm sure it's started already. If we could tune into the Internet we'd see that people are already saying that now. That's certainly the drum the White House is beating. Roger then comments: bq. This pathetic exchange speaks for itself, but I have two questions: bq. 1. Will Viacom stockholders stand for this nonsense from "Honest" Dan, et al as their numbers continue to tank? bq. 2. Will The New York Times save what remains of their reputation by severing their relationship with CBS? A reader of Roger's has this comment that about sums my thoughts up: bq. Blogging Machine? Tune into the Internet? bq. No wonder word processor documents baffled them.
Charles at LGF links to a story of arrests being made in the brutal murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh a few days ago. I blogged about it here. From Charles: bq. Eight radical Islamists have been arrested in the investigation into the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Dutch police have arrested eight suspected Islamic radicals as part of the investigation into the brutal slaying of outspoken filmmaker Theo van Gogh, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The suspects were detained in the 24 hours following Van Gogh�s killing while he bicycled on an Amsterdam street, prosecution spokeswoman Dop Kruimel told The Associated Press.
Six detainees are of Moroccan origin, one is Algerian and the other has dual Spanish-Moroccan nationality, she said.
The suspect in the killing � a 26-year-old suspected Muslim extremist with dual Moroccan-Dutch citizenship � was arrested Tuesday after a shootout with police. The unidentified suspect was wounded in the leg.
Charles then comments: bq. The Dutch are becoming aware of the growing danger they have allowed to take root in their country: Suspected Islamist killing tests Dutch tolerance. Excerpting from the link he points to: bq. Commentators said the murder showed attempts to integrate immigrants had failed and threatened to make race relations worse in a country where 10 percent of the population is defined as �non-Western� foreigners � many Muslim Moroccans and Turks. bq. �This event shows what kind of climate we have allowed to develop. What kind of people we have allowed in and just allowed to go their own way. How we have much too long just let things go to seed,� sociologist Herman Vuijsje told the Volkskrant daily. ... Maybe the tide is turning over there. Wake up please -- NOW!!!Kruimel said the suspects, whose identities were not released, were detained and released during an October 2003 investigation into a potential terrorist threat.
Specifically those who promised to leave the country if Bush was re-elected. We did our part. Now it is your turn to do yours:
Government of Canada - Entry Requirements
A heartwarming story of fatherly love brought to you by Islam -- the Religion of Peace. From CBC/World News: bq. Egyptian father angry at having no sons stabs his seven daughters, killing 4 A man angry with fathering no sons stabbed four of his seven daughters to death as they slept and seriously wounded the other three, police said Monday. bq. Abdel Nasser Ibrahim, 47, a muezzin, or mosque prayer caller, in the Sohag provincial town of Tima, 345 kilometres south of Cairo, repeatedly stabbed his seven sleeping daughters with two knives in a rampage that lasted several minutes, a police official said on condition of anonymity. bq. Killed were Samar, 15; Isra, 10; Fatima, 8; and Zeinab, 7. The screams of the three wounded daughters alerted neighbours to the pre-dawn crime and they later contacted police. bq. Ibrahim's wife of 18 years left the house before the killings to go and stay with her parents following an argument she had with her husband over failing to give birth to a son, the official told The Associated Press. And more: bq. Police also quoted neighbours as saying Ibrahim had not allowed his girls to attend school. bq. Southern Egypt is the most conservative part of Egypt, where education for girls has only recently been improving because of a government campaign. Nice place to live -- where are all of the hip left-leaning multi-culti's when they hear about stuff like this. I thought they were supposed to be feminists as well as apologists for terror regimes. Pffaaggghhh...
Interesting story from CBC/Arts News: bq. Audience member replaces heart attack-stricken opera lead A man who started the evening sitting in the audience for a production of the opera Carmen, ended the night onstage receiving kudos after he replaced a stricken opera singer. bq. Baritone Ian Vayne had been watching a Monday performance of the Bizet opera at the Landestheater in the city of Linz, Austria, when one of the leads suffered a heart attack in the second act. bq. "[Vayne] jumped onstage without makeup or costume and, without having warmed up his voice, finished the opera in place of Lauri Vasar," Elisabeth Egger-Mann, a spokesperson for the Landestheater, said on Tuesday. And the upshot of this: bq. The opera company has enlisted the quick-acting Vayne to replace the recuperating Vasar in the role of Escamillo, the handsome matador who lures Carmen away from Don Jos�. bq. Vayne, a singer who works in the German city of Mannheim, said he "never expected something like this to happen." Cool - and the other singer is "recovering nicely" according to the article.
Sir Banagor at Shining Full Plate relates a trip he made today into the Castro district of San Francisco: bq. Ahhh�I feel great. I know some people will be absolutely shocked at my going off the edge, but damnit, after years of being in this city�I just can�t help myself. bq. I just had to run an errand in the Castro district. So I drove around with all my windows down, and NPR was updating about the Kerry concession speech�and I laughed. I laughed so hard. My smile was bursting out in maniacal and cruel and sweet happy laughter of joy and derision. He then goes into the store: bq. I couldn�t even contain myself when I went into the store. I was beaming. The girl behind the counter asked me what was so great, and I just said to her �It�s a beautiful day, isn�t it?� (It�s actually a really, really, beautiful weather day here in SF). bq. And then she said �But didn�t you hear? Kerry conceded. We lost.� bq. And I couldn�t even hide my smile. I swear, it wouldn�t go away. Try as I may, I couldn�t make it go away. I�ve never, ever, experienced this before. I couldn�t stop smiling even for that minute. bq. And I just said �I know.� bq. The look of horror and absolute terror on her face didn�t help with my smile either. I kept smiling; I kept beaming. That hippie girl was in a state of shock to see that somebody she could talk to was actually a Bush supporter, there in the den of hippie liberalism � in their very sanctuary itself. bq. God, what a sight it was. Imagine it � imagine the terror she must have felt. She probably thought I was going to pull out a gun and a whip and send her off to the Uranium mines in Fallujah for slave labor under Halliburton�s good name. bq. Really, there was complete and utter dismay on her face. bq. And then, she turned away. You could feel the despair. You could sense it in the air. You can actually taste the breakdown of hope in the air. bq. It�s a beautiful banquet out there today for those who can enjoy the feast. If you�re in the Bay Area, I suggest you do the same. I�ve never felt so deliciously full on sheer pleasure before. bq. I laughed all the way home. Heh...
Just finished watching John Kerry's concession speech. If he had delivered speeches like that more often - speaking from the heart and asking that the parties work together, and if he had convictions and stuck with them, he might have had a better chance of winning. I was happy to see that he didn't follow Al Gore in his declaration of malfeasance and voter fraud. Gore stands alone as a fool and a blowhard. It makes me wonder what the Democratic party is thinking, running two people like that. Had they chosen someone like Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller, they would have had my vote. I'm now watching the very close Governors race in WA State. Dino Rossi carried a major number of the counties but Gregoire is carrying the population centers. Still too close to call...
Lee at Moore-Watch ran into an interesting report at Yahoo/AP. It seems that the radicalization of the youth vote is not happening and the voter turnout for that age bracket is proportionally about what it was in the 200 elections. There are more kids 18 to 24 voting but the increase was about the same as the total percentage increase between 2000 and 2004. From the Yahoo/AP article: bq. This was not the breakout year for young voters that some had anticipated. Fewer than one in 10 voters Tuesday were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000, exit polls indicated. Still, with voter turnout expected to be higher overall, more young people appeared to have come out. Emminem did a very powerful video (I may not always agree with what he says but he writes well and his stuff is very well produced) driving kids to vote but it seems to have had minimal effect. The Moore-Watch website is one that tracks the activities of a certain obese and hirsute filmmaker and serves as a counterpoint to his spin. Lee likes facts, lots and lots of facts and is more than happy to cite sources and backgrounds. Lee closes his post with this snarky comment: bq. Welcome to total irrelevance, Mikey.
I'm visiting Kim DuToit's website and find that Captain Steve is back in Iraq and posting the usual interesting stories and news. He meets up with a Japanese Air Self Defense Force Officer and they hit it off. Steve then says: bq. We were having a good time and joking around, but when I told him how thankful we were for the help of our allies he grew very serious. The Officer's words: bq. "We are honored to be able to help with this cause," he said. Lots of people think Iraqis will never appreciate freedom, will never make the change from victims of tyranny to responsible citizens of a free state. They tell us they are culturally incapable, and that their religion precludes the possibility. Just half a century ago, those peoples' parents were probably saying the same thing about the Japanese." I was going to boldface the last sentence to drive it home but the Officer's words do that by themselves. Some people get it and some people do not. I am glad that the majority of the voters in this country seem to be ones who get it.
Celebrating a birthday tomorrow (Nov. 3rd) and Jen bought me the one thing I was asking for: Acratech Ball Head and it looks like the citizens of the United States are well on their way to getting me the other thing I was asking for -- from MegaPundit UPDATE: Yahoo News has an excellent map-based information screen with state by state data as htey come in. Thanks people -- you just made me a very happy (and secure) person and made the world a much much better place in a couple years. Things may be a bit rough for another couple of years but the fields of terror and fascism have been plowed up and the seeds of Democracy have been sown. Here's to a bountiful harvest, maybe not tomorrow but within the next few years (there is still work to do, a few more fields of terror to plow).
I had errands in town today so was offline for a couple hours. Back and sifting through election returns...
Hindrocket at PowerLine and Paul at Wizbang are linking to this story at Drudge: bq. UPDATE: VOTES 'FOUND ON MACHINES' IN PHILLY BEFORE POLLS OPEN Before voting even began in Philadelphia -- poll watchers found nearly 2000 votes already planted on machines scattered in heavy-minority locations throughout the city. bq. The Kerry Campaign says reports of votes already on machines is 'false.' bq. Officially, election officials explain the discrepancy is being caused by a number showing how many times various machines have been used. bq. But officials could not explain why machines used in other location were 'clean.' This one will be close. It will be an interesting to see the aftermath -- see if the Democratic party continues its meltdown and just how far the moonbats will go in their Bush Derangement Syndrome.
He ain't dead yet but the vultures are starting to gather... From Stefan Sharkansky's Shark Blog comes this news item about palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the gentle loving people who surround him. bq. Billionaire Terrorist Probate Fight Billionaire Terrorist Yassir Arafat isn't dead yet, but the probate fight over his massive fortune is already underway:
sources close to the Palestinian leadership said a bitter fight had broken over who should control the ailing leader�s fortune estimated to be between $4.2 billion and $6.5 billion.
Sources said Arafat has written a will transferring control of his assets to members of his wife�s family. Some of his aides, including former Premier Mahmoud Abbas who has stepped in as interim leader, however, believe the fortune belongs to the �beit al-mal� (public treasury), and should be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. The controversy started last week when Suha, Arafat�s wife, asked Muhammad Rashid, Arafat�s confidant and adviser, to prepare a list of the ailing leader�s fortune. According to Palestinian sources Rashid has said he would furnish the list only to the Palestinian Authority.
And some examples of Arafat's fortunes:Identifying Arafat�s personal fortune and separating it from numerous secret bank accounts that he maintains in the name of the Palestine Liberation Orgaization and Al-Fatah is no easy task.
Arafat also owns a number of hotels and holiday resorts in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria. He is the main shareholder in two cellular telephone companies operating in Tunisia and Algeria.
Emphasis mine - no big surprise there really... Couldn't be happening to a nicer guy -- Here is hoping that Iblis has something special for him when he shows up long overdue in hell. It must be fun now for him too -- being out of the 'center of power' and knowing that all his authority is being stolen away by his rivals bit by bit, piece by piece and there is nothing that he can do about it...Some of Arafat�s businesses are in partnership with Arab politicians, former officials and entrepreneurs, including Rifaat Assad, a brother of the late Syrian President Hafez Assad, and Barzan Al-Takriti, a half-brother of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Al-Takriti is now under arrest in Baghdad.
From The Register -- it seems that Mars lander Beagle was the victim of budgetary squabbling and poor management decisions. bq. If there had been as many people taking care of the Beagle 2 project as there have been reports into why the lander got lost, we'd have reams of data on the composition of the Martian soil flooding back from a perfectly functioning vehicle, right now. bq. The latest report is from the House of Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology. It concludes, among other things, that the project was stymied by a lack of funding at an early enough stage in the development process. It says that while the government was "admirably enthusiastic" about the project, is was "unable to respond to its relatively sudden emergence" with guaranteed sponsorship. As a consequence, the scientists had to spend time fundraising, rather than on designing and testing equipment. And the management screwup? bq. Another major stumbling block was that Beagle 2 was classified as an instrument, rather than a lander. At this stage, almost everyone agrees that this was a mistake. Sure, it rode piggyback on another project but it was most definitely a lander and needed a larger share of the resources allocated to the entire project. A lander is an autonomous craft carrying instruments and needs a lot more in terms of communications, electrical power, navigational and CPU time. Sheesh! Good that people like Burt Rutan are taking over from the "big science" people -- now maybe something will get started again.
Breaking news from Amsterdam. From SF Gate/AP: bq. A filmmaker who was the great-grandnephew of the painter Vincent van Gogh was shot and stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street Tuesday after receiving death threats over a movie he made criticizing the treatment of women under Islam. bq. A suspect, a 26-year-old man with dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality, was arrested after a shootout with officers that left him wounded, police said. bq. Filmmaker Theo van Gogh, 47, had been threatened after the August airing of the movie "Submission," which he made with a right-wing Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth. bq. Police had kept watch on Van Gogh's house as protection immediately after the film's release, but it was dropped because there was no concrete evidence of a threat, public prosecutor Leo de Wit said. And his next film: bq. Van Gogh's next movie, scheduled to debut on the Internet in December, was titled "06-05" and was about the May 6, 2002 slaying of Pim Fortuyn. How many times will something like this have to happen before the people over there wake up. Who do you want for President - someone the terrorists support?
And what do you use to make your disks? From Slashdot comes this pointer to a review of the top 16X DVD recorders at AnandTech The reason for switching over? For a CD-R, you're paying 6.5 cents per 100 megs For a DVD-R you're paying between 1.8 to 2.9 cents per 100 megs. Any way you put it, DVD-Rs are WAY cheaper than CD-Rs They didn't come out with a specific recommendation -- the eight units tested each had their strong and weak points. The best one overall was the NEC ND-3500A which retails for around $70 to $90 depending on where you shop. The NEC also has a hackable BIOS which allows you to tweak various performance settings if you are so inclined.
From New Scientist comes this article: bq. Super-tough coating for cellphones and discs The colour LCD screens on cellphones and PDAs can get badly scratched in pockets stuffed with loose change and keys. And CDs and DVDs become unplayable in no time when children use them as indoor frisbees. Now a tough, transparent polymer coating developed by chemists in Japan is set to make scratched phone screens and scuffed discs a thing of the past. bq. In one of the most convincing technology demonstrations this reporter has witnessed, I was handed a CD, a wire-wool pan scourer and some permanent marker pens, and invited to scratch or mark the discs. Hard as I tried, I could not make a single mark on the disc with the scourer. And the ink simply wiped off. bq. The only person to have succeeded in damaging the disc had undertaken a determined attack with a Swiss army knife, according to TDK, the company that has developed the coating. Very neat. I generally tend to be good to my disks but I have seen some real casulties where I work and with the occasional DVD rental disk.
None other than author Tom Wolfe endorses President Bush. From an article in the UK Guardian: bq. Tom Wolfe casts his gaze across America at this election time, with eyes that change mood in a nanosecond, with a flicker. For the most part, they exude an amused elegance befitting the hallmark white suit and dandy-ish two-tone brogues. But then the look suddenly changes, to become scalpel-sharp, mischievous, seizing upon some detail. It is a metamorphosis which begins to explain, perhaps, how this softly-spoken, immaculately-mannered gentleman journalist from the South can write with such voracity about the grime and sediment which inhabits American society and the human soul. Some of Wolfe's comments: bq. "Here is an example of the situation in America," he says: "Tina Brown wrote in her column that she was at a dinner where a group of media heavyweights were discussing, during dessert, what they could do to stop Bush. Then a waiter announces that he is from the suburbs, and will vote for Bush. And ... Tina's reaction is: 'How can we persuade these people not to vote for Bush?' I draw the opposite lesson: that Tina and her circle in the media do not have a clue about the rest of the United States. You are considered twisted and retarded if you support Bush in this election. I have never come across a candidate who is so reviled. Reagan was sniggered it, but this is personal, real hatred. And more: bq. "I think support for Bush is about not wanting to be led by East-coast pretensions. It is about not wanting to be led by people who are forever trying to force their twisted sense of morality onto us, which is a non-morality. That is constantly done, and there is real resentment..." And John Kerry? bq. And John Kerry? "He is a man no one should worry about, because he has no beliefs at all. He is not going to introduce some manic radical plan, because he is poll-driven, and it is therefore impossible to know where or for what he stands." Heh... (Hat tip to Michael J. Totten writing at Instapundit.)
Charles at LGF points to a link regarding the possibility that John Forbes Kerry was not honorably discharged from the US Navy... This is something I had blogged about here, here and here. Thomas Lipscomb writes in the New York Sun: bq. Kerry's Discharge Is Questioned by an Ex-JAG Officer A former officer in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps Reserve has built a case that Senator Kerry was other than honorably discharged from the Navy by 1975, The New York Sun has learned. bq. The "honorable discharge" on the Kerry Web site appears to be a Carter administration substitute for an original action expunged from Mr. Kerry's record, according to Mark Sullivan, who retired as a captain in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps Reserve in 2003 after 33 years of service as a judge advocate. Mr. Sullivan served in the office of the Secretary of the Navy between 1975 and 1977. His discharge: bq. The "honorable discharge" on the Kerry Web site appears to be a Carter administration substitute for an original action expunged from Mr. Kerry's record, according to Mark Sullivan, who retired as a captain in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps Reserve in 2003 after 33 years of service as a judge advocate. Mr. Sullivan served in the office of the Secretary of the Navy between 1975 and 1977. bq. On behalf of the Kerry campaign, Michael Meehan and others have repeatedly insisted that all of Mr. Kerry's military records are on his Web site at johnkerry.com, except for his medical records. bq. "If that is the case," Mr. Sullivan said, "the true story isn't what was on the Web site. It's what's missing. There should have been an honorable discharge certificate issued to Kerry in 1975,if not earlier, three years after his transfer to the Standby Reserve-Inactive." But where is the original discharge: bq. With the only discharge document cited by Mr. Kerry issued in 1978, three years after the last date it should have been issued, the absence of a certificate from 1975 leaves only two possibilities. Either Mr. Kerry received an "other than honorable" certificate that has been removed in a review purging it from his records, or even worse, he received no certificate at all. In both cases there would have been a loss of all of Mr. Kerry's medals and the suspension of all benefits of service. The article goes into a lot more detail, I'm cherry-picking the highlights. It will be interesting to see what happens as this develops; regardless of who wins the election tomorrow... UPDATE: Earl Lively offers his thoughts here. (Earl Lively is a former colonel who was assigned as director of Operations of Headquarters, Texas Air National Guard when George W. Bush was a lieutenant in the Air Guard.) bq. There is overwhelming evidence that the Navy gave John Kerry either a dishonorable discharge or an undesirable discharge � which is the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge without the felony conviction � and that, as a result of such discharge, he was stripped of all of his famous but questionable Navy awards and medals. And the kicker? The evidence is on his website! And more: bq. Sen. Kerry has said that his medal certificates were reissued because he lost them (and his dog ate his homework, I suppose). Rewards are certified in one's permanent personnel record jacket. If you lose a medal, you can get a replacement medal if your records show the award. The only way awards would have to be reissued is if they were rescinded and deleted from your records. And this narrows the possibilities down to a dishonorable discharge or an undesirable discharge. And more: bq. A document on Kerry's website is a form letter from W. Graham Claytor, Carter's secretary of the Navy, which grants his Honorable Discharge. bq. Secretary Claytor's letter says that this action to award an Honorable Discharge Certificate is taken in accordance with Title 10, U.S. Code, Sections 1162 and 1163, which deal with grounds for involuntary separation of a reserve officer and provide for the action of "a board of officers" to examine an officer's records and review previous actions. Obviously, this was the aforementioned board for appeal resulting from President Carter's executive order. Unless Lt. Kerry had previously received an undesirable discharge, he had nothing to appeal and would not have come before this board. Developing... It will be interesting to trace Kerry's career if he looses this election. Wonder if T. Heinz will keep him on or drop him like a hot potato...
This story comes from a long chain of links but it is worth reading. At Instapundit, guest blogger Michael J. Totten links to this story in the Asia Times which he found at Harry's Place which has some followup information: From the Asia Times: bq. Taiwan reels from Powell's anti-sovereignty 'goof' Taiwan is still recovering from something approaching a collective heart attack over remarks made by US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Beijing this past week. Powell was in the Chinese capital principally to urge China to put pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear-weapons program. While there he gave interviews to two cable TV networks, CNN International and China's Phoenix TV, at Beijing's China World Hotel. What Powell said: bq. This time around, however, was something special. In interviews on Tuesday, Powell spoke in unusually harsh terms on the topic of Taiwan's sovereignty. "Taiwan is not independent. It does not enjoy sovereignty as a nation, and that remains our policy, our firm policy," he said. Give me a break - Taiwan is one of the few true democracies in that part of the world. It is also an economic powerhouse, not only for electronics but also for machinery. Imagine the drop in innovation and quality if China took over. An update at Harry's Place has the following news: bq. Update: Powell is quite wrong when he says "all parties" are seeking reunification. According to a recent poll "fewer than 2% of Taiwanese want unification now and only about 11% want it at all. (This is compared with 6% who want a formal declaration of independence immediately and 18% who want it some time in the future.) Forty percent of all Taiwanese prefer the status quo now/decision later option, while 18% want the status quo to last forever". bq. (Via Fabian's Hammer.)
An interesting comment from Jon Henke at Questions and Observations regarding the exploits of Halliburton and their egregious war profiteering. bq. The company--and their contract work in the Middle East--has played a central role in both the debate over the invasion of Iraq and the Presidential election.
Voters: "I�m voting for John Kerry because I want the entire country to prosper, not just Halliburton."
John Kerry: "It�s Halloween. In the Bush-Cheney administration, that means tricks for the American people and treats for Halliburton."
John Edwards: "Halliburton�s free ride will continue if George Bush and Dick Cheney get four more years."
bq. Meanwhile, back at reality...The Kerry/Edwards campaign: "...Halliburton - the same company that has gotten billions in no bid contracts in Iraq."
bq. So, before taxes, Halliburton is seeing a 3rd Quarter profit of significantly less than 1% from Iraq-related work. Less than 1/3rd of 1%. bq. As Investor�s Business Daily puts it, "to be a war profiteer, you have to make a nice, fat profit". Halliburton isn�t getting any favors....they�re just barely breaking even. People point to Halliburton and it's link to people in the Bush administration but who else could you call? When you have an oil well that is on fire, you call either Red Adair or Boots and Coots. When you want to explosively demolish a building, you call the Jack Loizeaux at Controlled Demolition. With the possible exception of Bechtel, no other company has the resources to do the job called for...The Iraq-related work contributed about $1.4 billion in revenue, but produced only $4 million in operating income before costs and taxes, the company said.
What do these companies have in common? (Major hat tip to Kim DuToit) Cascade Designs (Seattle, WA) Columbia Sportswear (Portland, Oregon) Montrail (Seattle, WA) Mountain Gear (Spokane, WA) Outdoor Research (Seattle, WA) Metolius Climbing (Bend, OR) Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. (Portland, OR) American Alpine Institute, Ltd (Bellingham, WA) Earth Games (San Clemente, CA) Watermark (Arcata, CA) Eagle Creek Travel Gear (San Diego, CA) Black Diamond (Salt Lake City, Utah) Western Spirit Cycling (Moab, Utah) Mountain Hardware (Richmond, CA) Petzl America (Clearfield, UT) Vibram (Concord, MA) Werner Paddles (Seattle, WA) Alpine Experience (Olympia, WA) Sullivan Agency (Wimberley, TX) Peregrine Outfitters (Williston, VT) Patagonia (Ventura, CA) The Forest Group (Lotus, CA) Horny Toad Activewear (Santa Barbara, CA) Gregory Mountain Products (Temecula, CA) Zumiez Inc. (Everett, WA) Trango (Boulder, CO) American Outdoor Products (Boulder, CO) Le Travel Store (San Diego, CA) According to this Yahoo BusinessWire article: bq. Top Business Leaders from the Outdoor Industry Endorse Kerry-Edwards The Health of the Great American Outdoors is at Stake bq. OREGON CITY, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 14, 2004--Senior executives from leading outdoor manufacturers, retailers and associations across the country gathered today to endorse Senator John Kerry for President and Senator John Edwards for Vice President. They announced their endorsement at a press conference with Senator John Edwards at Clackamus Community College in Oregon City, Oregon. Let's see - Leatherman does decent stuff but so does Gerber and SOG. Plenty of other outdoor cloting makers so we don't need to be concnerned about Mountain Gear or Columbia Sportswear. Petzl is a bummer since they do have the best headlights but I'm sure there are some other good ones out there. Patagonia was always a little too eletist and overpriced.
Cox and Forkum put it into plain english:
bq. We know that not all Kerry voters are primarily voting against Bush; and we know some Bush voters would vote for Bush no matter what. But in my opinion this cartoon captures what is motivating the large majority of voters on both sides. For Bush voters, fighting terrorism is the priority; for Kerry voters, fighting Bush is the priority.