Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Give us your poor...and make us all poorer.

Lewiston, Maine hit the news a bunch of years back when an influx of Somali refugees started taking up residence in significant numbers. Soon the town found itself to be one of the primary destinations of Somali immigrants throughout the country. As I recall, the influx was so great that it nearly bankrupted the town.

Since then, the immigration continues to the tune of an estimated 25 to 30 newcomers per month. The total of Somalis residing in Lewiston is now about 4,000. That’s a whopping 11% of the total population of that town.

I just wanted to provide a bit of background for this next news item:

The city’s population figures are not virtual counts of residents as they move in since there is no reporting requirement for residents, immigrants or otherwise, but are estimations based on general assistance applications. City officials make assumptions of population based on GA numbers, but the estimations correlate pretty well with new students in city schools, Nadaeau said, so he’s pretty sure the figures are close to real counts.
You read that correctly. The determination and estimation of Somali residents in Lewiston, Maine is based on the number of applications for General Assistance, and the numbers correspond well to the actual numbers. How sad is that?

In short...Local, State, and Federal General Assistance seems to be a necessity to each of the newcomers. The local government pays for half of the General Assistance benefits, and the State pays the other half...unless the total paid hits a figure which would trigger the State of Maine paying up to 90%. I'll let you guess where the local government and the State get the cash.

New rug...

NOTTINGHAM – A bear that was part of a University of New Hampshire research project was shot and killed by police last month after attempting to enter a woman's home.

Now the researcher directing the project is questioning why state Fish and Game Department officials recommended killing the bear when he believes other methods were possible.
For the record, the bear knocked out a window and was attempting to enter the home when police arrived.

Pete Pekins, a professor of wildlife ecology at UNH's department of natural resources and the environment, is directing the bear research study.

The bear was collared in September in Lee and tracked as it moved through southern New Hampshire, going from as far west as Candia and as far east as Dover and Durham, Pekins said.

At the time of its capture in September the bear weighed 160 pounds though, like many humans this time of year, it has probably put on weight recently. It was captured using a favorite bear treat: jelly-filled doughnuts from Dunkin' Donuts.

Originally Pekins wanted to catch several bears for the study, but was unable to and only had the single bear. He said the animal did not have to die.

"You could have just left the bear alone and it probably would have left," he said. "To believe that the bear would have broken into the house, I think that's highly debatable."
I do believe that a prerequisite to being a college professor is that you have to be unhinged without the least bit of a clue as to priorities or common sense. He believed that the bear that knocked out a window with its head would have just gone away...for the all knowing environmentalist professor believes it to be "highly debatable." For those keeping score at home...Professor Pekins would rather gamble on the life of a human than a bear. UNHINGED.

Also, Professor Pekins trapped and collared the bear the previous year by luring it with jelly doughnuts from "Dunkin Donuts." Anyone want to take a stab at the hypocrisy here...and why a bear might get the idea that there might be food in a man-made dwelling...perhaps more of those tasty doughnuts?

On a personal note...I spent a couple of years in the northern part of New Hampshire and saw bears on a regular basis. The first day I moved in (Near Judge Souter's spread) I was warned not to put up any bird feeders because they attracted the bears. The point is that if my goal was to collar bears, I would have more than one on the grid in over a year's study time. Professor Pekins is not only unhinged...he's incompetent to boot.

I know...let's ask Timothy Treadwell to weigh in.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Missed by thisssss much...

Karen Clark & Company, a catastrophe risk management firm , analyzed near term models that were introduced in 2006 by the three major catastrophe modelers − AIR Worldwide (AIR), EQECAT and Risk Management Solutions (RMS). AIR initially predicted an overall annualized increase in hurricane losses of 40 percent above the long term average, but later lowered that figure to 16 percent in 2007. EQECAT predicted increases of between 35 and 37 percent, and RMS consistently predicted an overall increase of 40 percent above the long term average.

Assuming long term average annual hurricane losses of $10 billion for each year, these figures translate into cumulative insured losses for 2006 through 2008 of $37.2 billion, $40.8 billion, and $42 billion respectively, for the AIR, EQECAT and RMS models. The actual cumulative losses were $13.3 billion, far lower than the model predictions, and more than 50% below the long term cumulative average of $30 billion.
We've seen the Global Warmenists backtrack on their predictions of ever strengthening and frequent hurricanes due to man's carbon output (unless, of course, a hurricane struck and they could whore it out for publicity to their religion in the short term without ramifications).

However, this report was created for the bean counters of insurance and reinsurance carriers. The models were used, likely, to set premiums and set aside reserves unassociated with actual losses. Just like the Global Warmenists...they were WAY off. They were more than 50% off. If you have homeowners coverage in the southeast probably paid a bit extra in your premium to accommodate this if your carrier used the data to set rates.

Bet these guys suck at Monopoly...

The $2 subway-bus fare could be saved if the state adopts the transit rescue package drafted by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch, the MTA revealed Monday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has drafted fare-hike proposals in advance of public hearings scheduled for January and February.

If the state Legislature imposes new tolls and a tax on businesses as the Ravitch plan recommends, the MTA could keep the $2 fare for riders as long as they use MetroCards.
Priceless...this is how the "decision makers" solve problems in New York. Instead of levying an increase on those using the service...they rather nail the businesses even harder. This, of course, eventually trickles down to the subway users via smaller salary increases, bonuses, what have you. It, also, creates an immediate debit on the small businesses that are already paying exorbitant city taxes.

It's mind-boggling as to how an entity can hold a monopoly on a service in a captive environment and lose BILLIONS. The sane and fair way to handle this "crisis" is simple. Shut down lines...sell off property (how the MTA is allowed to invest in real estate in the first place makes me shutter), and re-negotiate operating costs such as pensions et al...just like a normal privatived business would have to do. Better yet...privatize the whole mess.

Would the immediate cost cutting measures inconvenience straphangers and vinyle huggers? with it. Those dependent upon public transportation would be motivated to pressure those politically appointed morons at the MTA to actually show sound business judgment without exceeding their rather voluminous revenue intake.

I remember when they used to teach people how to balance a check book. Red ink was bad. Black ink was cool. Bond(s) worked for MI6 and 'Billions' was identifiable only with the late Carl Sagan.

Monday, December 29, 2008

You almost slept through dinner...

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, the Netherlands had lived through something akin to a populist revolt against accommodating Islamic immigrants led by Pim Fortuyn, who was later murdered; the assassination of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, accused of blasphemy by a homegrown Muslim killer; and the bitter departure from the Netherlands of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman who became a member of Parliament before being marked for death for her criticism of radical Islam.

Now something fairly remarkable is happening again.

Two weeks ago, the country's biggest left-wing political grouping, the Labor Party, which has responsibility for integration as a member of the coalition government led by the Christian Democrats, issued a position paper calling for the end of the failed model of Dutch "tolerance."

It came at the same time Nicolas Sarkozy was making a case in France for greater opportunities for minorities that also contained an admission that the French notion of equality "doesn't work anymore."

But there was a difference. If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims' obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor's chairperson, was exceptional.

The paper said: "The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance."
Cue Dutch Islamic Rage Boy...this is going to get interesting.

I've got a bad feeling about this...

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day Monday, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come. Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone, but it's very unusual for so many earthquakes to happen over several days, said Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

"They're certainly not normal," Smith said. "We haven't had earthquakes in this energy or extent in many years."
Those of you that frequent the Discovery Channel between facist Global Warming shows may be aware of the caldera that graces that neck of the woods. For lack of eloquence, I will define a "cadera" as a super-volcano. Think Mt. St. Helens in an exponential fashion.

In short, if the caldera under Yellowstone Lake (incidentally, the epi-center of the latest earthquakes) ever lets loose, we are in DEEP, DEEP...ash. And, you can break out the overcoat in July. Get the picture?

By the way, the caldera at Yellowstone is way overdue to blow based on historical frequency.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to the чертежная доска...

A test launch of the Navy's new Bulava submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missile ended in failure Tuesday, in just the latest setback in attempts to revamp the country's nuclear arsenal.

The missile went off course after being launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine and was ordered to self-destruct, a defense industry source told Interfax. No casualties or damage were caused by the explosion, the source said.

Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said Tuesday that the test launch had been carried out in the White Sea, but would not speak about the results, saying only that they were being studied.

Tuesday's test launch was the Bulava missile's 10th, five of which have been unsuccessful. The Navy had said before Tuesday that a successful launch this time would have allowed the missile to enter service next year.

Capable of carrying up to 10 warheads and with a range of up to 8,000 kilometers, the Bulava is being counted on to replace rapidly aging Soviet-era missiles to maintain strategic parity with the United States.
I can't say that I'm disappointed that the Russians are having difficulty with the Bulava. After all, this is the "keep up with the Jones's" strategy that the old Soviet Union followed during the Cold War...which, incidentally, put them in such bad financial straits that they were forced to relent.

Personally, I believe that Russia is moving back towards their old ways...if, in fact, they ever truly left them. Still, its nice to see them fail on such an expensive endeavor for the fifth time. It's even more enjoyable to see that the Russian media outlets (Moscow Times) are not barred from publishing the failure. So, there's more than one acorn in this piece.


Alteration, adjust, modify...amend...

Bucking the disappointing retail sales trend, Friday announced its best holiday season ever, selling 72.9 items per second on one peak day, Dec. 15.

The online retailer, which did not disclose revenues, said that in that 24-hour period, it received 6.3 million orders and shipped to customers in more than 210 countries.

The "big print" media is not the only industry that needs to roll with the times. Retail, in general, is getting its lunch handed to it because so many of these entities have not solidly made the effort to intigrate into the digital community.

Think about the groans and gripes you hear around the holidays when someone asks if another has finished their Holiday shopping. Almost always, there is a complaint of traffic and lines...which plays into the growing apathy, laziness and immediate gratification requirements of today's society.

The simple fact of the matter is that more people are shopping online. It will only grow in the future. The day of the physical retail store is in just as much danger of disappearing as newspapers and magazines.

Also, if you're tall, you've probably noticed that the major clothing retailers rarely have anything in your size anymore. This is directly related to two things:

1. Cutting costs of stocking sparingly purchased sizes.

2. The influx of immigration to the United States has actually lowered the average height of the constituents. Thus, a retailer must play to its most common consumer. The tall sizes are more available guess where tall people shop.

An undeniable message...

Israeli jets and missiles wiped out at least 100 Hamas rocket-launching sites, security compounds, police stations, command centers and training bases - including two sites where Hamas was holding graduation ceremonies for new recruits - with more than 100 tons of bombs.
Those nasty Jews had the audacity to wipe out a threat to their well being and safety (that's sarcasm by the way).

Additionally, I can't help thinking that this is a non-veiled message to Obama. Israel has shown recently that they are not complacent, and will take the initiative should Obama's presidency reflect an apathetic approach to the conflict, or worse, a shifting of support.

United Nations demonization of Israel in 5...4...3...2...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

“I have to work twice as hard as anybody else"

See, JFK’s only surviving child wants Hillary Clinton’s seat in the U.S. Senate, although she has absolutely no qualifications for the position other than her last name, which by the way used to be Schlossberg until last summer.

Now all these dreadful, sweaty Albany and D.C. parvenus who actually had to run for political office are complaining about Ms. Kennedy’s ever-so-Kennedy-esque attempt to cut in line ahead of them. So Caroline grants - or should I say, grahhhhnts - an interview to the Associated Press, and she has the audacity to play the victim card. To get the Senate seat, she says, “I have to work twice as hard as anybody else.”
Once again, I am reminded of basic mathematics. Twice times, indeed, still zero. Check out the link. Howie Carr doesn't hold back...

Heavy Metal Worms...

Newly evolved "superworms" that feast on toxic waste could help cleanse polluted industrial land, a new study says.

These hardcore heavy metal fans, unearthed at disused mining sites in England and Wales, devour lead, zinc, arsenic, and copper.

The earthworms excrete a slightly different version of the metals, making them easier for plants to suck up. Harvesting the plants would leave cleaner soil behind.

"These worms seem to be able to tolerate incredibly high concentrations of heavy metals, and the metals seem to be driving their evolution," said lead researcher Mark Hodson of the University of Reading in England.
Personally, this "Worm" enjoys New Age over Heavy Metal...

You should need a license to breed...

Maria Flores, center, who is pregnant, came to the Waverly Belmont clinic in Nashville for care for herself and for her 11-month-old daughter, Jausari Patron. (Josh Anderson for The New York Times ) sanityland...million upon millions of forward thinking Americans did NOT get pregnant because they realized that at this point in time they could not afford it (especially if they already had an 11 month old). Why can't they afford it? What could possibly be a contributing factor to high costs of medical care...higher taxes...etc? The photo above answers your questions emphatically.

Ms. Flores, however, was happy to pose for the New York Times photographer and tell everyone the good news...SHE'S FREAKIN' PREGNANT AGAIN!!!!

Life imitating art...

The beauty queen busted in the badlands of Mexico with a heavily armed drug gang will cool her heels in jail for another 40 days, a judge ordered Friday.

Laura Zuniga, arrested Monday with seven men in a truck loaded with guns and ammo, will remain behind bars in Mexico City as investigators probe ties to violent smuggling gangs.

Zuniga, 23, is the current Miss Sinaloa, representing a particularly violent region known as ground zero in the drug wars that plague Mexico.

Somehow, all those hot women working for James Bond's nemesis du jour seem that much more realistic today.

Zuniga's hometown is one of the most violent places in Mexico. Eleven people were killed in a couple of shootouts in broad daylight just a few days before her beauty pageant win in July.

Two of the victims were college professors waiting to pick up a car at a repair shop when the gunfire broke out.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dueling Banjos II...

There is an urgent need for action to protect kangaroos from a barbaric industry which slaughters them for meat and leather. Please do all you can to help Viva! end this shameful massacre.
---Sir Paul McCartney

SYDNEY: How many kangaroo steaks will Australians eat this holiday season? Not enough, according to a growing body of academics who say that giving up beef and lamb for kangaroo would reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and ease pressure on a drought-stricken land.
Worry not. Even if they divorce each other...they are still brother and sister.

Hypocrisy with a BIG "H"...

President Bush turned Brooklyn's Isaac Toussie into a poster boy for outrageous presidential pardons, granting, then rescinding, the order in 24 hours.

The mystery is how the administration ignored Toussie and his father's background - a tale of payoff and corruption allegations spanning more than 45 years - in pardoning the son for a massive housing scam.
TWO WORDS to the NY Daily News..."Bill Ayers."

Bush recinded the pardon within 24 hours of issuance. We're still waiting for the media to peel the onion on TERRORIST Ayers. The New York Times not only gave Ayers a forum (after the election) to spout pure lies in an effort to polish his image...they refused to print a well written and knowledgable rebuttal that showed Ayers' words to be a collection of garbage.

The Bush administration corrected its error in less than a day.

Top this gift...never.

Even Santa couldn't top the gift doctors delivered to little Kaelin Jones this year.

The 20-month-old girl got the most precious present of all - the gift of life - after an incredible heart transplant last month.
"She's indestructible. She's made of kryptonite," pediatric cardiologist Dr. Umesh Joashi said yesterday, praising her "incredible willpower."

"She's won everyone over," he said of Kaelin, who weighs just 14 pounds and loves playing "heads, shoulders, knees and toes" with doctors and nurses in the pediatric cardiac intensive-care unit. "She's got such courage, such spirit."

The true Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

Christmas, 1944
Colonel Wallace M. Hale, Division Chaplain, 88th Infantry Division
, writes in his Christmas letter this year about the "Blue Devil" Division on the Winter Line in the sector east of Highway 65.

"I will always recall that Christmas of 1944 in the midst of hand-to-hand conflict. The weather that year was atrocious and only young men could operate in the sleet, bitter cold, and 3 to 4 feet of snow. The Germans were trying to hold up our advance, and they made any gain expensive."

"I asked my Division Headquarters to print over 5,000 Christmas Bulletins. We asked for six volunteer choir members, loaded our public adress system into a jeep trailer, had Ordnance construct a portable Christmas tree lighted with 50 auto bulbs. Van Iderstine - my driver, assistant, professional organist (all, while being my best friend) - and we headed for the front."

"Wherever we found 20 or more soldiers we played Christmas carols, sang carols, read the Christmas story from the Bible - concluded the service with a GI, 5 feet tall, wearing a steel helmet singing 'Away in a Manger' with a tenor voice that must have made all the angels stop and listen - and I wept along with the battle-weary 'dog-faces' as we prayed that someday we would be home again." (from the Military History Network)
Remember our Troops throughout the world on this Glorious Day. Remember them on other days too.

Driveway Ice Skating...

A nice Christmas Eve ice storm in this neck of the woods. Our prestidigitators at the Weather service insist that today's high will be 44 F. So far, we haven't gone above 29 F. and have not seen temperatures above freezing in over a week.

I saw that Nancy Kerrigan chick nosing around...but this is my driveway...and I'll kneecap her if she steals my ice time.

The diversity of the elf...

Shooting arrows into people: Lord of the Rings has taught us that when elves are not sending out joy in the form of toys, cereal and cookies, they are sending razor sharp arrows deep into the skulls of their enemies. A good rule of thumb is: Don't bother them, and they won't bother you. Elves are a lot like bees. (Who make cookies.)
From the mind of Steve Sneeds at "The Sneeze."

Incidentally...gnomes are elves that don't pull their weight, such as it is...The slackers. They catch an occasional football game...and do some traveling when they aren't just incessantly loitering in the garden. But, they're still slackers.

How much is that Pitcher in the window?

I love baseball. I played it as a pipsqueak. I played it in high school. I played it in college, and went on to play around with the idea of going pro. I was a 6'6" pitcher with good velocity and half a brain on the mound. I had a few offers to try out for a professional organization...and one offer on the table.

Instead...I pursued a more...conventional career. You can't see it, but I'm kicking myself right now:

In a flurry of 11th-hour negotiations yesterday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman not only added another notch to his belt by landing Mark Teixeira, he used that belt to swat Red Sox Nation square across the fanny.

Teixeira agreed to a contract that will pay him $180 million over the next eight seasons, making it a cool $423.5 million spent by the YanksNew York Yankees on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Teixeira alone this offseason. Only a weak economy has apparently kept the Yankees from making a serious financial splash.

With Alex Rodriguez ($275 million), Derek JeterDerek Jeter ($189 million), Teixeira and Sabathia ($161 million), the Yankees hold the four largest contracts in baseball.
I work in NYC with a bunch of Met fans (yes...they are still bold enough to admit it). They are all up in arms today at the way the 'Bronx Bombers' are shelling out all the cash to upgrade their team. You hear the usual..."The Skanks are buying a title." Or you hear..."It's embarrassing...disgusting."

I have no problem with the Yankees going after all that 'free' agent talent. I think it puts way more pressure on their team to win. Also, baseball, like it or not, has not been a game for a long time. It is a business with managers, employees and owners just like every other.

I, personally,like the fact that the Yankees are loading up with high priced talent. That way, its going to hurt all the more when the PHILLIES knock the crap out of them in next year's World Series. That is, provided the Yankees get past the Rays (who have a fraction of the salaries).


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A little 'Nash' for Christmas...

The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus
--- by Ogden Nash

In Baltimore there lived a boy.
He wasn't anybody's joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.

In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies' reading glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.
He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn't any Santa Claus.

Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying 'Boo' at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.
Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
'There isn't any Santa Claus!'

Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.

Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild:
'Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn't any Santa Claus!'
Slunk like a weasel of a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
'There isn't any, no there's not!'

The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez' ribald mocking.

He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of 'Don't,' and 'Pretty Please.'
He howled, 'I don't know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!'
'Jabez' replied the angry saint,
'It isn't I, it's you that ain't.
Although there is a Santa Claus,
There isn't any Jabez Dawes!'

Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
'Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
Your magic don't scare me, it doesn't'
And suddenly he found he wasn't!
From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.

The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.

All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.


Al your office

MONTPELIER — An ice jam in the Winooski River in Montpelier has prompted city officials to warn Vermont Emergency Management and nearby business owners of potential flooding.

But Montpelier's city manager urged residents and business owners to remain calm, even as they keep an eye on the situation.

"The No. 1 message is not for anyone to panic," said city manager Bill Fraser. "This is an alert and not an emergency. We're certainly a long way from any catastrophic flood."

The ice jam, which has formed in the area along Lower State Street known as Cemetery Curve, has caused water levels upstream to rise steadily for the last 48 hours.

Monday afternoon, the water level was 1.5 feet below the level at which basement flooding could occur along the north branch of the Winooski River, according to a news release issued by Vermont Emergency Management.
When was the last time this area of Vermont required a warning due to ice jams this early into Winter? (shrugs)

Here's your daily dose of education. The slush called "frazil" is what leads to ice jams. It sticks to everything...and builds up into hardened impediments.

UPDATED: WHOA...WHAT'S THIS? It's the Army Corp of Engineers Database on Ice Jams showing a state by state break out. It seems:

Vermont has no previous ice jam this early on record. The earliest previously took place on 1/1/85. THAT WOULD BE 1785, friends.

Montana had an ice jam warning back on 12/18/08. When was the last time they had one so early in the season? about never. The earliest prior to this year would have been January of ' in 1894.

Maine earliest 12/20/08...previously 1780.
Illinois earliest 12/22/08...previously 1868.
New Hampshire earliest 12/21/08...previously 1835.

From the Chronicles of Captain Obvious II...

SANA'A, Dec. 21 — The State department has cautioned US diplomats and nationals that they should avoid using Western hotels in Yemen, in the wake of several terrorist threats.

Ryan Gliha, the public relations officer in the US embassy in Sana’a, confirmed that threats were received, but gave no further comments.

The US embassy stated that it received threats against Western embassies, Western hotels, and Western interests in Sana'a and Aden.

A high ranking official in the US Intelligence Council stated in August that Yemen is rapidly reemerging as a jihadist battleground and is a potential base of operations for large international terrorist attacks.

Similarly, the German embassy had sent SMS warning to its citizens in Yemen to avoid public places where tourists are known to gather in an attempt to prevent further kidnapping of its citizens, in the wake of the kidnapping of three German nationals who had been recently released.
Damn Mormons are at it again...

NYC is a giant Luxury Store ...that sells mostly crap

Swarms of tourists are spending the holidays in the city - unfortunately, they're not spending much money, local businesses said yesterday.

Pat Frawley, who has a souvenir and clothing shop on Fifth Avenue at 51st Street, yesterday became frustrated watching the shivering tourists outside his window blowing on their hands to keep warm.

"They'd rather stay cold than shell out $5 for gloves or a hat," he said.

The true point is that visitors to NYC recognize the "Big Apple" for what it is. It is a penitentary of sorts where you are a captive consumer. EVERYTHING is overpriced and expensive to accomodate the asinine taxes, ordinances, and fees levied at every turn to accomodate corruption, poor business planning, and entitlement programs abused by the City Council and various bureaucratic legislators.

Here's what's going through the tourists' heads when they visit NYC. "Oh...I love this place (to visit)...but you'd have to be crazy to live here...EVERYTHING IS SO EXPENSIVE!!!"

Isn't it odd that only the most Democrat swayed regions are also the one's with the biggest woes economically. I refer you to San Francisco.

On a separate note...perhaps the NY Post should restrain itself from calling tourists...tightwads. Tourists, you see, come from a far away land where the value of the dollar is as currency...and not as votes. They only spend what they can afford. AND...(leans in)...get this. Tourists aren't obligated to visit NYC...and spend three times the fair value for any item.

"Booty Camp"

Sarah was tall, brunette and beautiful in a blue, skintight dress. After chatting with her for 15 minutes at The Spotted Pig in the West Village, it was time to move in for the digits.

"You should give me your number," I said as a statement instead of a request, just as they taught me at Love Systems boot camp for would-be pickup artists.

"Why don't you just give me your e-mail address?" she replied.

The odds of her actually e-mailing me seemed to fall somewhere between unlikely and impossible. So I stammered, searching for a suave response.
"Booty Camp?" (shrugs)...the approach was weak. It might have worked with a swinging pocket watch and hypnosis...but overall...weak.

Here...try some of mine:

1. Can I buy you a drink...or should I just give you the money?

2. seems I lost my cute little puppy around here somewhere. I'm going across the street to that hotel that charges by the hour to see if she went over there...will you help me?

3. could just be yourself (unless you're a jerk) interest by asking more than telling...truly listen to her answers, and don't interject "advice" or "solutions" to things she might be dealing with unless asked. That is nothing but arrogant narcisism. It other have two ears...use them. If you want to show respect to someone...LISTEN.

So ends the Worm's Christmas tips for dating...Of course, this is New York we're talking about flash the Rolex whenever you can.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Essay: "I need a muse..."

(Every Sunday will include a little essay that is off the beaten track a bit. It's not meant to be serious. It's not meant to invoke any deep thinking. It's just for fun...and more than a few will be a bit warped. Just like the other six days entries.)

"I Need a Muse"

In speaking with a long time friend, Ingrid, the other day I volunteered that I could use a muse. I don't know where the thought came from. It might have had something to do with some earlier adult beverages.

Regardless, it was windy. There was some sort of humming heating unit just across the pavement. And, the person I refer to as a "long time friend" knows me well enough not to, particularly, pay attention to everything I say.

That's the rationalization I used to explain why Ingrid asked, "why in name of all that is Holy would you want those filthy birds on your property?"


Ahhhh...she thought I said E-mus. "I need emus."

I tried to explain that I was referring to a "muse." The problem complicated because Ingrid had never heard the term before. I suppose that makes some bit of sense since the concept of a muse was a rather archaic Greek technique. The word comes to us from the Greek "Mousa" or the Latin "Musa." Early poets and literary figures would have their own special guiding genius, or muse. Some offered their "masters" a bit more than just sound words. Personally, I believe these folks to be the original "yes 'men'" in a sense.

I tried to explain this to her. However, Ingrid has a rather strong spirit with many feminist tendencies that don't smile on any form of subservience. Finally I just gave up and flipped up my wrist with a resigning "se la vie," which point my "long time friend" responded with, "No I can wait until I get home..."


Previous "Sunday Essays":

The Perfect Murder
The Great Pierre Bruneseau
Our Ancestors Ate Dirt
Bastardizing Chivalry
On my way to Obscurity
I'm Adopting!!!

Not a good idea...

The Orgasmatron lives.

Scientists at Oxford University - perhaps taking a cue from the device featured in Woody Allen's 1973 comedy "Sleeper" - have developed a "sex chip" that can stimulate pleasure centers in the brain.

While the current technology is crude, the researchers say that the device could be perfected within a decade.

"There is evidence that this chip will work," said neurosurgeon Tipu Aziz. "When the technology is improved . . . it will be more subtle, with more control over the power so you may be able to turn the chip on and off when needed."

"In 10 years' time the range of therapies available will be amazing," he said.
In 10 years' time the lawsuits will be amazing...says I. However, it would make a great party prank were someone to match the frequency codes on a remote.

Nothing to it?

Eric Manson says he never uses a gun when he robs a bank. He says he doesn't need one.

Sometimes he doesn't even raise his voice.

With icy calmness, he asks the teller to change a bill. He announces his intentions only when the cash drawer opens.

"I just . . . say, 'This is a robbery,' " he explained, clasping his hands together.

"I don't want to scare anybody, I don't want to hurt anyone."

Most tellers comply.
This guy robbed eighty (80) banks and came away with a whopping cumulative total of $30,000. I think it's safe to say that he wasn't very good. Here's why:

He's been caught three times in the past 15 years - but never in the act.

In 1993, he confessed to 41 heists in Los Angeles and served four years of a five-year sentence. In 1997, he served 10 years for two robberies in Pennsylvania.

"I don't know if they're trying to make it easy, but there's really nothing to it," boasts the bald bandit, his hulking 6-foot, 200-pound frame draped in a gray prison jumpsuit.
Well...apparently there is something to it, or this guy wouldn't be sporting the winter gray jumpsuit ensemble...would he? The problem is that the idiots on the Bench keep letting this festering piece of waste outside to do it again.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who knew they could read?

ATHENS: Masked youths attacked the French Institute in Athens with firebombs on Friday, while Greek union members and university professors geared up for anti-government rallies outside Parliament.

Some windows of the French Institute, a cultural and educational center, were smashed but the interior was not seriously damaged in the attack by about 20 people, police said. A nearby bank ATM was also damaged, but nobody was injured.

"Spark in Athens. Fire in Paris. Insurrection is coming," read one slogan spray-painted onto the building's walls in French. Another, written in Greek, read "France, Greece, uprising everywhere."
Too darn convenient if you ask me. Yesterday, the International Herald Tribune published a piece based on an interview with a French Socialist dim-wit warning that France could see the same violence that Greece has been experiencing. The very next day the French Institute in Athens gets firebombed.

There are no coincidences...only patterns on this big blue my opinion.

The power of politics...

TOKYO: The Japanese government has acknowledged for the first time that Allied prisoners during World War II were made to work at a coal mine owned by the family of Prime Minister Taro Aso, contradicting longstanding denials by the Japanese leader.

The admission came after the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, under prodding from an opposition lawmaker, released documents showing that 300 British, Dutch and Australian prisoners of war worked at a mine owned by Aso Mining during the last four months of World War II in western Japan.
There is nothing quite so nasty and perverted as politics...and their administrators. For sixty-three years, this dirty little secret festered in (of all places) the basement of the Health Ministry building. The only way it saw the light of day was motivated by an opposition leader to Prime Minister Taro Aso to gain political acuity.

Wrong motivation...desired result.

On a separate note...Al Gore's camp has issued no comment as of yet as to the negative effect that these POW's had on our environment in mining the poison known as coal.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'd be stalling, too...

I had rather...cynically...stated that I didn't think we would ever hear from this guy again.

On November 25th, 2008, Daniel Belanger, a New York-based social entrepreneur, digital designer and accomplished outdoorsman, will set out on a solo expedition to photograph the Earth’s most remote wildlife.
The first leg of the two year journey was a 350 mile open-ocean kayak run from Argentina to the Falkland Islands. Well, I was wrong. We have heard from him again...because...because...because...


In truth, I was joking. I'm actually looking forward to his trek...and keeping tabs on his where-abouts, accomplishments and the anticipated 100,000 photographic images of what was termed in the press release as a "carefully-planned journey." Apparently, time of departure, month of departure...or soon year of departure is not that important.

Hey...stop that!!!

A drilling crew recently cracked through rock layers deep beneath Hawaii and accidentally became the first humans known to have drilled into magma—the melted form of rock that sometimes erupts to the surface as lava—in its natural environment, scientists announced this week.
Not a good idea. This reminds me of a kid I grew up with...he always prefaced each daft act with the phrase...


By the time we got back from the Emergency Room, it was dark more times than not.

Beer Bottle Bingo...

Outgoing City Councilman Hiram Monserrate was arrested early Friday after allegedly whacking his girlfriend over the head with a beer bottle, a police source said.
First things first...the NY Daily News missed a word in their story. "DEMOCRAT"...the beer bottle busting blow-hard is a DEMOCRAT. Gosh...that drives me nuts.

Now, outgoing Queens City councilman and DEMOCRAT Hiram Monserrate is no longer employed on the NYC Council. What's the man to do? After all, losing one's job is tough...and the assault arrest isn't going to help his prospects

Monserrate was lauded by colleagues just yesterday - his last day serving on the City Council. He's off to Albany after winning an uncontested race for the state senate seat held by former Sen. John Sabini.
Welcome to the thriving metropolis of NY, my friends.

Here's your cordial...

Monserrate has recently drawn scrutiny for a nonprofit called Libre to which he has directed more than $400,000 in city funds that is run by some of its closest aides and has done political work for him.
Shocking...perhaps the new Senator would like to throw together a tax funded committee to study the unexplained phenomenon of beer bottle headers...Plenty of data.

French Socialism...the New Coke...

PARIS: Firebombs and breaking glass, tear gas and burning cars. The images from Greece this month were enough to put the fear of youth into the hearts of European leaders.

That dread was palpable in France when President Nicolas Sarkozy abruptly delayed for one year a plan to overhaul France's high schools, after students from Bordeaux to Brittany took to the streets in protest.

Those demonstrations haven't turned violent yet. But French history, and the example of Greece, suggests they might. At least that is what people like Laurent Fabius, a Socialist Party leader, are saying on French radio.

"What we see in Greece is not out of the realm of possibility in France," Fabius said on Europe "When you have such an economic depression, such social despair, all it takes is a match."
French "demonstrators" don't need an excuse to go on with their usual car burning shennanigans. They just need a Quran and a few bottles filled with petrol. They also need a press that ignores the true basis for their acts...and how they are nearly all associated in a "religious" way.

Of course, Laurent Fabius thinks Socialism is the way to go to avoid "economic depression and "social despair." Let's see how that worked out in the past...

1. Hitler called himself a Socialist, and was by definition a Socialist. And, for a while there...the German economy looked pretty good until the rest of the world flattened it due to some of Hitler's other indiscretions.

2. Stalin, absolutely, was a Socialist. In fact, he exiled nearly 8 Million people to "Northern Camps" due to their "lack of cooperation" in transforming the Soviet Union to an agricultural based economy. Over 1/3 died as a result. The inept application of this new "collectivism" killed many, many more.

3. Mao Zedong was a Socialist. His institution of the "Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution" in China could be responsible for an many as 30 Million deaths due to famine...and other creative...applications. It is estimated that Mao was responsible for as many as 70 Million deaths.

You have to love the French Socialist...they never give up the cause, or let history get in the way of saving the rest of us and its inalienable rights.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bizarro World...

A patient suit against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals may open brand name drug makers to liability for mishaps when patients take a generic product. A three-judge state appeals panel in California ruled that the originator company is responsible for product warnings and product information even when the patient is taking a generic.

“Manufacturers’ attorneys were aghast that a manufacturer could be held liable for a product the company didn’t even make,” William Fassett, pharmacist, attorney, and professor of pharmacy law at Washington State University College of Pharmacy in Spokane, WA told DT. “This is new territory.” The ruling overturns an earlier summary judgment that dismissed the suit against Wyeth and sends the case back to trial. The drug maker was sued over a neuromuscular disorder linked to long term use of generic metoclopramide (Reglan, Wyeth).
I, too, was aghast at this ruling by JUDGES...not Jurors. If there was a Jury making this asinine call, I could understand the 'us vs. the big bad corporation' mentality found in California.

Perhaps Pepsi should be paying the insurance premiums of RC Cola and vice versa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Get the Popcorn...

BRUSSELS: The European Parliament voted Wednesday to end Britain's exemption from a 48-hour weekly ceiling on working hours, threatening one of the most potent symbols of the country's flexible labor market.

The vote also puts into doubt a carefully negotiated accord on whether the time when hospital doctors are on call should be considered work or rest.
You can always count on bureaucrats to dabble in private business whenever given the opportunity...or in this case...the means.

Here's the thing. The United Kingdom signed onto the European Treaty by vote of Parliament back in June of this year. There was no referendum vote...more than likely due the embarrassing possibility that it would have failed. A number of European countries took that road for the very same reason. Ireland, of course, took a referendum vote, and it DID fail.

I'm wondering how many fine constituents of the United Kingdom swallowed that swill that suggested in no uncertain terms that the EU would not necessarily effect the sovereign decision making for the good of the "country." Small business owners in the UK are probably a little...well...surprised. Working extra hours is the only thing that can keep them afloat...especially in today's economic climate.

Looking back to one year prior to the UK having the EU Treaty forced upon them, only 45% even knew what the EU Treaty was. Those who were aware overwhelmingly wanted a referendum vote. Too late.

(NOTE: Blogging has been light and will be so again tomorrow)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Curt Schilling's Iraq Experience...

Curt Schilling is one of my favorite MLB pitchers (which is deeply rooted in my Phillies affliction). In short, the guy is a competitor, and he NEVER quits. That attitude is symbiotic with the fact that he hates to lose. It doesn't hurt that he is deeply rooted in a Common Sense approach to politics as well. December 4th through December 6th, he traveled to Iraq and had the pleasure of meeting with a number of gatherings of US Military personnel. In three days, he made 15 stops in Iraq and Kuwait bringing a little Christmas cheer from the diamond.

He provides a listing of organizations and individuals who could use a little Holiday pick-me-up from the States...if you have the chance and the heart...

Read it HERE:

Curt, also, points out a little something else...that has been a constant frustration:

I dare ANY media outlet to print that. I dare you because it’s true. The most powerful message I got over there, from every single soldier, was their extreme disappointment that we are not hearing the facts about what they are doing.

Two analogies I thought were ‘appropriate’ in this context.

A table needs four legs to stand, right now Iraq is standing on 2 of its own, and we’re (Coalition of Allied forces) providing the other two.

A football game with 2 minutes left, right now we have a 3 pt lead, the next year or two will be spent increasing that to 20 or more points. Would you rather play the last two minutes with a 3 pt or 21 pt lead? Which one would you feel was more of a lock?


WASHINGTON: Linda Daschle is one of the most important aviation lobbyists in town. Daschle is also the wife of Tom Daschle, whom President-elect Barack Obama has chosen to be the next secretary of health and human services.

Tom Downey is the founder and chairman of a lobbying firm with dozens of clients, including several with interests in energy policy. Downey is also the husband of Carol Browner, Obama's likely choice to be the next White House energy czar.

Obama's selection of Daschle and Browner to high-level positions illustrates a potential loophole in his pledge to keep special interests at a distance.
Not so much...

Pill Popping & Paralogism...Perfect Together...

Nervous New Yorkers are popping more pills.

Prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants and sleep aids are surging as residents struggle with the economic crisis, Crain's New York Business reports.

"If we looked to diagnose the city, I'd say it has an anxiety disorder," psychotherapist Dr. Mel Schwartz told the weekly.
Too easy...insert your own jokes...there are many.


US News & World Report ("Why Conservatives Say They Are Happier Than Liberals")

"The Big Shut-up is Coming"

But Paterson and advocates for the visually impaired didn't appreciate stock blind jokes that had Armisen pretending to be disoriented and wandering aimlessly.
Governor Paterson surely wanders aimlessly, and it has nothing to do with his blindness. He's a race baiter (as demonstrated during the General Election). He's a consumate victim, as demonstrated by his reaction to a skit done by a second-rate 'comedy' television program. He's an adulturer as admitted immediately after taking over for fellow adulturer, Governor Spitzer. He was an incessant drug user, as he has admitted abusing marijuana and cocaine in his past.

All that aside. He is a piss poor administrator. New York, and just about every government needs the opposite. By the way, I didn't see Governor Paterson stepping in when Saturday Night Live made jokes at the expense of Sarah Palin (attacking her intelligence). This whiny victim routine is getting old...and in the words of black comedian, Patrice Lumumba Malcolm Oneal:


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Essay: "I'm Adopting!!!"

(Every Sunday will include a little essay that is off the beaten track a bit. It's not meant to be serious. It's not meant to invoke any deep thinking. It's just for fun...and more than a few will be a bit warped. Just like the other six days entries.)


I’m excited.

I just took the plunge, hastily jumping headfirst into the world of adoption. Sure, it’s an immense move. The anxiety is killing me. The financial cost was significant.

However, how can you put a price on happiness?

I’m not sure about the arrival date yet. The service is an internationally established organization with a domestic headquarters on the east side of Manhattan. They don’t, necessarily, have a stellar reputation for reliability. Though, my fingers are crossed in anticipation.

I roped off the entire south side of my property for the endeavor. Of course, I’ll probably have to comply with the myriad consultants offered by the adoption service. So, nothing is etched in stone. After all, they’ve done this sort of thing before. Not me, I’m new to this adoption thing. Just this afternoon I started pricing front end loader rentals. Yes, there’s magic in the air on my home front. First the adoption, and then my childhood fantasy of operating an overgrown Tonka™ toy. This is going to be great.

Confused? It’s not surprising. I didn’t adopt a child. No, I adopted a minefield.

Really. The service offered a number of different adoption plans. I had the opportunity to share with other adoptive parents. But, I wanted one to call my very own. A minefield needs stability in its life. All that uprooting and down setting can’t be good in these formative years. So, I shelled out the entire $25,000 after filling out the online application. Presto! The screen alerted me that my adoption had been processed effectively, and my payment had been received. It took me a couple minutes to calm down after I failed to grab a screen capture. I was, already, over on Google checking for heavy equipment rentals by the time I realized that the approval screen is probably the closest thing I’ll get to a birth certificate.

I haven’t received word on the arrival date yet. She’s coming from Matutuine in the Maputo District of Mozambique.

I’m not too sure how she will get along with Keisha, my Kuvasz. Keisha had laid claim to that portion of my yard, at least, a half a dozen times. We’ll see.

Once we get settled I’m going to explore further into other adoptions, possibly. I understand there are a large number of misplaced water sheds out there in the brutal world. I’m told that there are beaches that are in desperate need of adoption as well. Actually, it’s pretty unsettling when you open your eyes and see all those alone in the world looking for a good home. Adoptions of Manatees, bats, classrooms, pilots, wheat fields, greyhounds, racehorses, birds, POW’s, bison, birds, wolves, streams, highways etc.

If I adopt a beach, highway, water shed, stream, and wheat field over the next five years I should be pretty self-sufficient when all is said and done. Although, I’m considering going for the bulk set. I may just adopt a State. I have it narrowed down to California or Florida. Perhaps that’s a bit premature. For now, I’m just looking forward to getting my new arrival situated.

Wish me luck...

Previous "Sunday Essays":

The Perfect Murder
The Great Pierre Bruneseau
Our Ancestors Ate Dirt
Bastardizing Chivalry
On my way to Obscurity

SPACE between your ears...

KOUROU, French Guiana: Not so long ago, French Guiana was etched into the public imagination as a depraved prison colony by books with titles like "Horrors of Cayenne," "Hell Beyond the Seas" and, of course, "Papillon," Henri Charrière's classic memoir of his incarceration on Devil's Island.

But now this overseas sliver of France offers something altogether different - a bit of insight into the shifting fortunes of the United States in at least one corner of the evolving world economy.

From Kourou, where 20,000 people, many of them transplanted cosmopolitans, live sandwiched between jungle and ocean, it is easy to see how much Americans, who once dominated the commercial space industry, have been reduced to just another competitor - or, worse, a partner in joint ventures with Russians - on a global field of play.
Well, that's a nice story...but let's discuss how France and the rest of the European Union does business.

Today's topic...the European satellite navigation system, Galileo.

It seems that the European Union wanted their own Global Positioning System, so the United States provided them with the technology to do so with the understanding that the encoding would be made available without charge. The European Union refused to provide the encoding when requested by Mr Psiaki, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University and co-leader of Cornell's GPS Laboratory. They regretted that decision.

Three months later he and his group of scientists had cracked the codes "just with an antenna and lots of signal processing," and with a basic algorithm to extract the codes.
"An antenna and lots of signal processing"...

"That means free access for consumers who use navigation devices," said the scientist who broke the code, Mark Psiaki, in a statement.
The following year, the EU released the final codes or what is known as the GIOVE-A Signal-in-Space Interface Control Document. If you're a cynic like me, you believe that originally they had no intention of doing so, but a bunch of American "Yahoos" at Cornell kept them honest...looks like the EU space program is leaving NASA in the dust....How did that Christmas Day 2003 Mars landing go for them? Anyone remember?

"High-energy mayor leaves a high bar"

Republican Pat McCrory has not only served longer than any Charlotte mayor, but virtually transformed the post into a full-time job – a standard that may be hard for his successor to meet.

“He has raised expectations,” says Ted Arrington, a UNC Charlotte political scientist who adds that any successor “will be under pressure to do more and spend more time on the job than (earlier mayors).”
Good for him. Personally, I can't see the position of Mayor as a part-time job, especially in a town the size of Charlotte (about 1.7 Million). I wish him luck in his pursuit of the Governor's mansion.

Let's see what the Democrats think:

“My own gut feeling is that there is an expectation in the community which is twice as big as when we were there,” says Democrat Harvey Gantt, mayor from 1983-87.
*SNORT* I'll go along with that...but I think we might differ on the meaning.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Al your office...James Hansen on the line

Astronomers testing techniques to search for extraterrestrial life have detected carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet 63 light-years away.

This carbon dioxide, though, is certainly not coming from plants or automobiles. The planet, HD 189733b, is far too big (about the mass of the Jupiter) and too hot (1,700 degrees Fahrenheit, or 925 degrees Celsius) for any possibility of life.
The laws of probability suggest that there is life out there somewhere. Pretty cool.

Don't like the weather?...wait a bit.

APRIL 2007:
Italian Farmers Fret as Rivers Dry Up
Italy is considering imposing a state of emergency due to an unseasonable drought which is threatening agricultural production. But while the arid conditions might be a result of climate change, poor infrastructure is also to blame.

ROME: Rome residents were on alert Friday for possible overflowing of the Tiber river as heavy rain battering much of the country caused three more deaths, officials said.

Rescuers recovered the body of a man in southern Italy who was swept away in the heavy rains, while an elderly man died after his car was hit by a tree and another was killed in a car crash in a rainstorm, police in the southern city of Reggio Calabria said.
Weather is cyclical...ever changing...just like the size and width of a necktie.

Muggers...pursued by a scumbag political cheat...

The wild, wild West Village and Meatpacking District mugging spree has escalated to the point that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn sent out a flurry of e-mails warning constituents about violent criminals stalking the area.
That's all very interesting...but the only thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Christine Quinn is that she had a slush fund used to curry political favors...and is still walking around. Hell, she is moving up the political ladder and flourishing thanks to the Lil' Emperor, Michael Bloomberg.


City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office hid millions of taxpayer dollars by allocating grants to phantom organizations as a way of holding the funds to dole out political favors later - bogus bookkeeping that is the subject of city and federal probes, The Post has learned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I knew that name..."Crooked Carol Browner"--Malkin

Michelle Malkin digs deeper...

My syndicated column today puts the screws on Clintonite Carol Browner, rumored to be Obama’s choice for energy czar. She’s not so fresh and so clean. And conservatives should raise their voices for, you know, real change.
I noted the "wonderful" Carol Browner back on November 19th when Byron York first suggested that she was going to head Energy and Environment.

Michelle gathers up the dregs and provides a solid piece. Here's the short version...Carol Browner is a political hack with the usual baggage...and it will be an agenda driven ride with her at the wheel.

I don't think so...(Easter Island)

The exhibition's interest and controversy comes in a display about the disappearance of the island's foliage that left the place with a little more than 100 people in the 1800s after once, centuries earlier, having as many as 20,000.

Since the mid-1990s and an article written by the American academic Jared Diamond, the idea has been popularized - as in the EDF commercial - that men determined to make bigger statues led to deforestation and the implosion of the island's unique civilization.

Diamond called it "an escalating spiral of one-upmanship as rival clans tried to surpass one another with shows of wealth and power."

He imagines concerned islanders' warnings "being overridden by vested interests of carvers, burocrats and chiefs," and insists, "Easter Island is the Earth writ small."
Here's a about 1100 AD there were already an estimated 8,000 Polynesians living on a triangular island only 64 square miles large. I'm not going to point fingers, but I'm guessing that there was a significant amount of inbreeding going on. I don't think I'm pushing the envelope when I deduce that the generations of the 1,100's were likely a bit more supersticious than we are today. When the six fingers and six toes started showing up, they thought that Easter Island might not be the best of retirement communities.

Also, 8,000 people and growing rapidly on 64 square mile island (which by the way had and has very poor coastline fishing) is going to put a dent in the environment. Historians say that the population peaked at about 20,000 and dropped off eventually. American academic Jared Diamond (do you think he puts that on his recycled business card?) seems to be missing the mystique and purely spiritual aspects of Easter Island by totally discarding why all those people left, and who remained (and why).

I think it is more likely that Easter Island took on a very evil reputation in the minds of those who knew about it. Legends grew...and the entire parcel became nothing more than an appeasement to their Gods so that people didn't have to wander around know...six toes on each foot and a hand coming out of their shoulder. Little more that 100 people can surely clear a forest of palm trees...if that is their goal...which it just might have been.
Gormless Worm, Another American Academic of some proportion

"Fancy Boy" Daschle

Stacy London, host of TLC's hit makeover show "What Not to Wear," gave a thumbs-down to Daschle's glasses.
"While I firmly believe that under President-elect Obama, smart will be the new black, I'm not sure Tom Daschle's glasses qualify," London snarked.
In North Dakota, they probably call him a "fancy boy." Personally, I think Tommy just spent the last few years watching Harry Potter DVD's.

Stacy London? Never heard of her. "What Not to Wear?" Never heard of that either...but I'm know...nuanced. Regardless...I still get a kick out of comments like hers. Obviously, she voted for Obama (based on her "clever" smart/black comment). She is, by association and indirectly, implying that she is smart as well. Maybe she is. I just know that we are in deep excrement when a seemingly serious politician color coordinates his glasses with his neck tie.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hatchet job of inanity...

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush's last effort to seal an agreement to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program during his presidency collapsed Thursday, leaving the confrontation with one of the world's most isolated and intractable nations to Barack Obama's administration.

Four days of negotiations in Beijing ended in impasse after North Korea refused to agree to a system of verifying its promise to end all nuclear activity. Among other things, the North Koreans have objected to soil and air samples being taken near nuclear facilities and being taken overseas for testing.
Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times' red-headed stepchild, the International Herald Tribune, does his best to paint Bush as a failure in this piece.

"...eludes Bush's grasp"
"...progressed erratically, punctuated by brinkmanship and breakdowns..."
"...depriving him of a late diplomatic breakthrough in the sunset of his presidency."

The truth of the matter is that the Bush Administration wants a substantive and verifiable agreement. Because, guess what happens when you take North Korea at their word? the Wayback machine....
Ok, Mr. Peabody...

There is good reason to distrust any talking solution to the missile crisis. North Korea has not been very nice in recent years. Some in the Red Team still cling to the notion that being nice to brutal dictators is the only way to solve problems. This solution has not worked with Kim and will never work.

Kim stuck the Clinton administration with the bill after years of talk, dancing, wining and dining the dopey State Department diplomats hired by the boy president. In 1994, Clinton sent Jimmy Carter to negotiate. Jimmy solved the crisis by declaring that there was no crisis as long as we sent Kim money. Yet, even before Carter got back to D.C., Kim had already cashed the U.S. aid checks and restarted his nuclear weapons program.

Madam Albright called Kim "charming" and danced with him – as if there was nothing to resolve. Kim's tactics worked very well with the Clintonoids. The years of chatting about solving the crisis gave him time to develop long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

In 1998, Clinton misled the American public and Congress, getting the Pentagon's top general and the CIA to both attest that North Korea could not get a missile together for at least 10 to 15 years. Only weeks after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs testified before Congress, Kim shot a Tae'Po Dong missile over Japan, with bits and pieces falling just short of the U.S. coast.
Trust, BUT VERIFY...Right President Reagan, sir?

Big Liberals fighting little liberals...I can't look away

Bob Kerrey, the Vietnam veteran and former Nebraska governor and senator known for his acerbic tongue and iconoclastic tendencies, was handed an overwhelming vote of no-confidence on Wednesday afternoon by the senior faculty at the New School, the Greenwich Village university he has run since 2001.
Well, actually, it was only 74 of 333 Full Time faculty. There are 1,733 part time faculty as well. But, this is the mathematically challenged New York Times, and the facts keep getting in the way of the agenda.

The NY Times does, however, suggest that the opposition just might be motivated by political ideology.

Mr. Kerrey has clashed with some professors since the day of his appointment as the New School’s president, with complaints that he lacks a Ph.D. and that his politics — particularly his early support for the Iraq war — were too moderate for the unabashedly liberal campus.
Let's be frank...the reason a small portion of the faculty is so intolerant of Bob Kerrey is because he didn't support "The One." He, instead, threw himself behind Hillary Clinton. Prior to that, he had the audacity to throw support to Joe Lieberman when the DNC propped-up his challenger in the primaries. The final straw was this:

"John McCain is a known quantity," says Bob Kerrey, who thinks Obama will ultimately prevail. "You don't look at John and say, 'Who the heck is he?' He's a veteran, he's a guy who got pretty banged up in Vietnam. He can deal with crisis. There's some uncertainty about Senator Obama."
Kerrey knows the rules...if you don't have something disgustingly nice to say about should be genuflecting or prostrating yourself. It's the rules.

The "No-confidence" nonsense was supposed to pressure the trustees of the New School into dispatching Kerrey. Instead, they gave him unanimous support.

Per the NY Times and the NY Newsday, Arjun Appadurai is an Anthropologist Professor who is leading the charge in attempting to get rid of Kerrey. I realize it is only a coincidence, but he is a minority. Also, he was a provost fired by Kerrey a few years ago. He was one of five to get the ax in the last seven years.

Some also have argued Kerrey places the school's budgetary concerns over academic excellence.
Who wants to take a stab at defining the term "academic excellence?"

Oh...OK...I'll do it:

Academic Excellence: The lock step, one-sided pure Liberal view that requires the revision of factual history, promotion of a Liberal agenda driven tripe, and indoctrination of students into the same mindset.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More monkeys with loaded guns...Enviro-nonsense

BRUSSELS: The European Union started with the most high-minded of ecological goals: to create a market that would encourage companies to reduce greenhouse gases by making them pay for each ton emitted into the atmosphere.

Four years later, the carbon trading system has created a multibillion-euro windfall for some of the continent's biggest polluters, with little or no noticeable benefit to the environment so far.

The lessons learned are coming under fresh scrutiny now, both in Europe and abroad. EU leaders will meet Thursday and Friday to work on the next phase of their system, seeking, they say, both to extend its scope and correct its flaws. And in the United States, President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to move quickly on a similar program.
What's that? It didn't work? Well...then...we'll do it too.

This has to be one of the biggest FUBAR's of all time. I tried categorizing the incompetence as I read through the article...but lost count of the individual examples of outright ineptitude. First they scrap the "pay for the permit" by handing them out free. The companies that were to be tempered by the cost of emitting carbon pass on imaginary expenses to their clients. The biggest polluters are profiting.

Meanwhile, the amount of CO2 emitted by plants and factories participating in the system rose 0.4 percent in 2006 and an additional 0.7 percent in 2007.
I'll add...since the article failed mention it...that global temperatures are in decline (and have been for almost a decade). What's that tell you?

Wait for it...the EU will soon be touting the fact that their Draconian attempt to lower CO2 emissions really isn't detrimental to businesses. They'd be right, of course. It's an opportunity to go hog wild on emissions, secure free permits to do so, wave a magic wand and pass imaginary costs onto to the consumer.

THESE PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!!! And, Obama thinks we should give it a try.

Feeling Blue...unofficially

The numbers have yet to be made official by the Secretary of State's Office, but state Democratic Party officials said yesterday that Democratic registered voters now outnumber Republicans for the first time since New Hampshire instituted party registration 98 years ago.
The Granite State should have built a wall along their southern border. The same ilk that turned Massachusetts into "Taxachusetts" has been gradually moving north like a great festering tide. I lived in New Hampshire for a couple years (eight years ago). I, regularly, attended Town Hall functions and could always pick out the transplants from the Bay State. They always...ALWAYS...had something to whine about, and it rarely corresponded to the business at hand.

I remember one lady in particular...she put on a whole production number about how "rum cake" should be illegal because it gets kids hooked on adult libations. Some of the 'old salts' of the community rolled their did I. We watched her drive away in a Volvo Stationwagon with Mass. plates later that evening. That was up near Concord (mid-state). However, it's quite obvious that the further south you go in New Hampshire, the more liberal the mentality. And, of course, the further south you go, the higher population density (Nashua; Londonderry etc.) Neither is stagnant.

Addendum: New Hampshire is one of those states that allows same day registration. This, understandably, would boost the numbers for Democrats simply because Hanover, New Hampshire houses Dartmouth University, and a strong effort was made to round up voters by "young Democrat" groups. While a few instances of voter fraud might have turned up as a result, I don't think it has been looked at closely enough.

Some Repubican observers were requiring some of these same day registrants to sign affidavits under penalty of perjury that they were indeed residents of the Town of Hanover, and, in doing so, renouncing residency in their 'home' states. The question I would want answered, of course, is as follows:

"How many of these same day registrants (by default, stating that Hanover was their permanent residence) have parents listing them as dependents on their tax returns at a different address (more than likely in a different state)?"

Haj Ball with the Devil...

More than two million Muslims performing the haj pilgrimage entered the final stage of the rituals Wednesday, visiting the Grand Mosque in Mecca and stoning walls representing the devil one more time.

For a third day pilgrims threw stones at the Jamarat Bridge in the valley of Mena outside the Islamic holy city of Mecca, which has been the scene of numerous stampedes in past years, including one which killed 362 in 2006.
There was no word on whether the Devil was allowed to return throws.

Not important...instead, let's look at a curious trend:

2005--- 1,892,710 Muslims attended with 1,419,706 arriving from abroad.
2006--- 2,130,594 Muslims attended with 1,557,447 arriving from abroad.
2007--- Nearly 2.4 Million Muslims attended with over 1.6 Million from abroad.
2008--- "At Least" 2.4 Million Muslims attended with over 1.72 Million from abroad.

Anyone notice a trend:

Besides the fact that the overall participation is increasing can't miss that the participation from abroad is growing at a rate of about 100,000 per year.

Isn't immigration and the slow creep of Sharia influence just absolutely wonderful?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Steelcage Hair Match...Blagojevich v. Traficant

Well, the blogosphere is a regular conflagration of ad nauseum regurgitation reflecting the Illinois Governor's 6AM perp walk. Rather than provide my own take on the matter (which would, probably, just regurgitate someone else's) I'll just slap up a bevy of links to some of the better ones I have read (not doing the trackback crap because it takes too long, and they're getting a deal). Depending on how this plays out, we can probably look forward to a No Holds Barred Steelcage Match between Governor Blagojevich's and Jim Traficant's hair.

I'll put a sawbuck on Traficant's's got fangs.

I do have a question, however?

"Would it be profiling for Illinois State Police to start pulling over Illinois politicians?"
Here are the links:

Michelle Malkin (all over it)
Gateway Pundit (also, all over it)
Hotair (Ditto)
Beer for sale online (Take a break)
Mary Katherine Ham, Weekly Standard (Good read...)
Rick Moran (from the Rightwing Nuthouse)

That's enough...go outside.



From the Warsaw (Poland) Business Journal. Al Gore shows up on Wednesday to give the Gaia Convocation or some such nonsense at the Poznan, Poland World Class Climate Change Circlejerk.

Apparently, snow is going to show up as well, proving that the Gore Effect is not confined to the USA.

Dec 10
Proznan, Poland
PM Light Snow

UPDATE: Great minds run on the same track and all that...Tim Blair of the Daily Telegraph has a quicker mind it seems.

UPDATE #2: *SNORT* The Weatherman just updated as well. There is now a forecast in Proznan, Poland of Snow or Snow/Rain starting Wednesday and going clear through Saturday. WAY TO GO, AL!!!!!!

UPDATE #3: The forecast is now showing snow or snow/rain all the way through SUNDAY. It must have been one hell of a speech. GO AL GO!!!

Compare and Contrast...

Berlin: One of the two men behind a failed terrorist attack on commuter trains here received a life sentence from a German court on Tuesday.

The man, Youssef Muhammad el-Hajdib, was convicted on multiple counts of attempted murder for leaving two suitcase bombs on the trains in Cologne in July 2006 that failed to explode. The unsuccessful attack, reminiscent of the train bombing that killed 191 people in Madrid in 2004, deeply rattled Germany, which had just finished hosting some two million visitors for the World Cup soccer tournament.

German officials credited Lebanon's military intelligence agency for intercepting a panicked phone call Hajdib made to his family after the footage of him was broadcast here. Hamad surrendered to police in Tripoli.

A Lebanese court last year convicted Hamad and sentenced him to 12 years in jail for the failed bombing. The two men were motivated in part by anger over the publication in 2005 of cartoons in Denmark depicting the Prophet Muhammad, according to an investigator in the case.
German Court....LIFE IN PRISON
Lebanese Court...TWELVE(12) YEARS

Incidentally, my hat is off to German presiding Judge. He gets it:

"The fact that it did not result in a devastating bloodbath with a multitude of dead was only thanks to a construction error by the culprit and his accomplice in building the detonation devices," said Ottmar Breidling, the presiding judge in the case. "It was their explicit aim to kill as many nonbelievers as possible."