Saturday, August 13, 2005

Return for re-grooving

It's been a hectic week, but there are only a few candidates for re-grooving this week. They're doozies, though.
* The 9/11 Commission. The Able Danger stuff boggles the mind. And these guys blew it off to protect a 9/11 commissioner's rear (Jamie Gorelick, the Clinton flunky who set up the wall of intelligence that, had it not been in place, might have prevented 9/11). They're liars. (Yeah, I'm hissed.) If you haven't been following this closely, go to Captain's Quarters, where Ed is kicking some tail. At any rate, this bunch needs to be re-grooved. Permanently.
* NARAL. Truth in advertising doesn't matter to these totalitarian idiots. The hatchet job they tried to do on John Roberts was so blatant that even the New York Times had to challenge it. (Yeah, I'm doubly hissed). I heard Sean Hannity really do a hatchet job on the guy NARAL sacrificed to put on his show. It was so obvious that I had a hard tlime listening to it because the guy was so clueless that it was pathetic. It was like putting a midget football team up against the Super Bowl champions, that's how ridiculous it was. Re-groove NARAL. Forever.
* Planned Parenthood. Great cartoon they put out. E.M., among others, has a great take on this. The hero destroys the pro-lifers. (Now I'm trebly hissed.)
/rant off
Have a good rest of the weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Odds and sods

UPDATE 14 Aug 3:55 pm - The answers are in bold at the end of each reference. The title of this post is the title of Peter Townshend's (Who) first solo offering, which had the first released version of "Pure and Easy" (and for my $$$ the better version)

NOTE: At the end of this post is a little game you can all join in with. It's very simple and I think it's not new. "You Can All Join In," a Dave Mason Traffic song.

* The left would have us all over the world join hands and start a love train. Unfortunately, a team of suicide bombers is at the next stop. "Love Train," the O'Jays.

* NARAL's anti-John Roberts ad is backfiring. But who cares what things they choose? They've little to win and nothing to lose. "Incense and Peppermints," Strawberry Alarm Clock.

* Everyone expects the Schumer Inquisition. Its biggest weapon is surprise... no, not that... Its biggest weapon is fear... no, not that either... Its biggest weapon is... an almost fanatical devotion to abortion. Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket. Monty Python and the Jon Lovitz character from Saturday Night Live (yeah, that was the 80s. So I lied. Just like Lovitz.)

* John Walker Lindh has had a change of heart, I've heard. The American Taliban wants to join the military, according to a very high source outed by Valerie Plame's husband. "Don't ask me, I don't give a damn," the source reported Lindh as saying. "Next stop -- Afghanistan." Country Joe's "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag."

* The Islamoloonies in Iraq are starting an adaptation of MTV's "Pimp My Ride" series. It's called "Pinto My Ride." A genuine blast from the past, eh? I once drove a Pinto. Not for long, though.

* When asked what his struggling radio network needs, noted egocentricist Al Franken said, "money, money, money... money!" Another O'Jays riff, "For the Love of Money."

* Noted liar Joe Wilson has hired Nick Danger, Third Eye, to spy on Karl Rove. Danger farmed the job out to Georgie Tirebiter. Another Firesign Theatre riff.

Now the fun part. Name the references to 60s and 70s esoterica referred to here.

Help a guy and his sister out

Chris Muir, of Day by Day blogcomic fame, is asking for help, as most of you probably know already.
Put a few more hits here to Click for Cathy, if you would.

Carnival time

Once again, the Carnival of Comedy is upon us.
Yours truly is among those who have offerings for your ROFL and LOL pleasure. IMNSHO, it's worth your time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Canadians helping terrorists

These gentlemen are in big trouble...
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two shipping company employees, including one man from Montreal, have pleaded guilty in connection with a planned shipment of night-vision goggles to the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Naji Antoine Abi Khalil, 40, of Montreal and originally from Lebanon, entered three guilty pleas in Little Rock, including attempting to provide material support for Hezbollah.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in New York also announced that Tomer Grinberg had pleaded guilty on July 28 to conspiracy to export sensitive military equipment without proper licences.
Both men face the possibility of long prison terms.
Khalil faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail and a $750,000 US fine. He also faces money-laundering charges stemming from an investigation that begun in 2001.
Khalil and his wife made headlines more than a decade ago when they became parents of Quebec’s first quintuplets. The family now lives in Beirut.
Khalil and Grinberg were arrested in New York in May after an investigation by FBI agents, Scotland Yard detectives and the RCMP.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on how an Israeli citizen got involved in supplying Hezbollah, an organization that denies Israel’s right to exist.
The FBI said it used a witness wearing a wire to catch Khalil discussing a shipment of night-vision goggles to Hezbollah in Athens, Greece.
Khalil, who was chairman of the Canadian import-export company New Line Services, told an undercover FBI agent that he would create false documents to get the shipment to Hezbollah undetected.
Grinberg, who worked for the Brooklyn-based Tober Group, joined Khalil and the undercover agent at a Manhattan storage facility to pick up $5,000 worth of night-vision goggles and infrared aiming devices, designed for mounting on M-16 rifles.
The two men were arrested after Khalil accepted a $2,500 downpayment from the agent, said U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in Little Rock.

More reasons to be distrustful, eh?

Oprah the spammer (?)

Oprah must have trouble in one part of her massive media empire.
Over the last week, I've gotten a dozen or so e-mails offering me FREE 3-year subscriptions to "Oprah: The Magazine."
It's not being done directly by the Queen of All Things (Except the Blogworld) Media, though, but by some marketing e-company that mustn't look very hard at to whom they're sending their materials.
If they're sending this spam to me, who has no interest whatsoever in Oprah, how many more innocent, gullible souls are being taken in by this?
For shame, Oprah. You better go see what some folks are doing in your name.

Conversations at Hillary HQ

"Hillary for President 2006. Can I help you?"
"I thought this was Hillary for Senate 2006."
"Oh, yeah, sorry. Can I help you?"
"No, you oughta be sayin' can I help you, 'cause I can help you."
"Who is this?"
"I can't tell you, because I'm in the Witness Protection Program. I got there by rattin' out some of my old mob buddies. I can help you with the dame who said she's gonna run against your gal for the Senate next year."
"You mean Ms. Pirro?"
"What can you tell me?"
"Her ol' man's a crook."
"We already know that. Sidney's already working on the dissemination of that information."
"Sidney? What Sidney?"
"Sidney's our dirt-spreader."
"Oh, yeah. I talked wit' some guy name a Sidney. Told me I'd be doin' my patriotic duty if I gave him the dirt on the Pirro deal."
"How much did you tell him?"
"Didn't tell him nuttin' he didn't already know. But I got more."
"Why didn't you tell him?"
"I don't trust him. He goes to the cops, I go kerplooey out of Witness Protection. Then I go into the trunk of some broke-down Caddy in Canarsie with a terminal case of bullet air-conditioning."
"Will you tell me?"
"Yeah, but you gotta keep me outta this."
"O.K. What's the scoop?"
"See, the Pirro dame -- she's the D.A., you know -- she got the scoop on everything and everybody that Billy Boy's been seein' while your gal's in Washington. And she's got the scoop on what your gal's been doin' when Billy Boy's been on his road trips pushin' his book. It ain't pretty, I can tell ya. I heard about the pictures..."
"Yeah, full-color pictures. And they ain't the kind of things you show your Grandma, I can tell ya that."
"Do you have them?"
"No, I ain't that sick."
"What do you think she'll do with them?"
"I think you better shut your trap about what Pirro's ol' man did years ago. If you don't, there's gonna be a whole lotta mud in your gal's eye."
"If you know where they are, can you tell us?"
"Not me. I ain't rattin' her out."
The conversation ended there.
Unfortunately, Hillary's presidential blonde ambitions haven't.

The law of unintended consequences

One thing the left has never considered in its social engineering experiments is The Law of Unintended Consequences.
Remember the expression, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"?
The Law of Unintended Consequences is the routemaker for that road.
Take same-sex marriage (please... and put it in the trash can). Steve has the story of a couple of straight guys in Toronto who plan to wed just because they can. The London Fog takes it even farther.
Bottom line... sometimes what you get isn't what you thought you'd get.


Solving a mystery is always a cool thing.
Over my hiatus, I believe I have solved the mystery of how Jerry Springer manages to stay on the tube.
Springer, a former mayor of Cincinnati (poor folks) and now king of Springerville, hosts a syndicated trash-talk show (so to speak).
The denizens of Springerville are among the most bizarre creatures known to humankind. That, in fact, may be an understatement.
For example, one snippet I paid attention to for more than 92 seconds featured a young lady who was in a same-sex relationship. This lady's sister was trying to cut in on her action. Needless to say, the siblings started swapping slaps and punches while the Springerville police tried to restrain them.
There were several more examples of similarly bizarre behaviors centered around sexual relationships and cheating on those relationships.
Other snippets while channel-surfing the rest of the week confirmed that this is the standard fare of Springerville.
I don't know what he does on Air Anti-America, the Rob From Kids Radio Network to pay Al Franken; fortunately, I can't get the signal.
But this is a fellow who the Democrats might run for the U.S. Senate from Ohio? (Alert: Conservative UAW Guy.)
The only people I can see who would watch this show on a regular basis must be fellow lefties.
See, Springerville fits the left's classic conceptions of everyone else as trailer trash and worse. They can feel good about themselves, because they're not that way.
Thank God (yes, you're allowed to do that on this blog; in fact, you're encouraged to do so) that we know different, eh?

The last acceptable prejudice

One of my favorite writers has nailed it again.
Christine Flowers in the Philadelphia Daily News on Monday pointed out America's last acceptable prejudice -- anti-Catholicism -- in the John Roberts Supreme Court confirmation battle.
The headline on her column... "No Catholics Need Apply."
(I include the entire column since, as a freelancer, her stuff tends to disappear from the Web site rather quickly when compared to staffers.)

IN THE SUMMER when I was 7, I made the felicitous acquaintance of Wendy, who was destined to become my best friend for several weeks.
Wendy was Protestant, the first non-Catholic I ever met, although I never actually learned what denomination. I only knew she didn't go to communion, ate meat on Fridays and worshipped in a building with no statues. (She could even have been Hindu, Jewish or Quaker, for all I really knew at at that point.)
But Wendy taught me an important lesson: never underestimate the mysterious power of religion. I'm not talking about the ability of faith to heal the tortured soul, or the palliative quality of prayer. I mean the tendency we all have to view other religions with an interest bordering on suspicion.
But our relationship was shattered when Wendy announced that I was a "cannibal" because her mother said that Catholics ate the body and blood of Jesus.
No amount of explanation could convince her that I wasn't that kind of carnivore, and our friendship ended as quickly as it began. From that moment, I realized my religion would always set me slightly apart from the mainstream.
During the last few weeks, I've wondered if John Roberts has had occasion to feel the same way.
This brilliant lawyer with an impeccable pedigree is poised to join the Supreme Court, barring any unforeseen complications like a stealth witness playing Anita Hill to his Clarence Thomas or unearthed memos indicating his opposition to - who knows? - Brown v. Board of Education.
The fact that the nominee is exceptionally well-qualified has made it difficult for those who oppose him to gain much momentum before the confirmation hearings.
But fear not, oh ye of little faith. There's one thing to fall back on that gets trotted out every time a conservative is in the pole position for a major court post - and serves its purpose admirably: religion. And not just any religion. We have a bona fide, practicing Catholic on center stage.
Normally, political correctness prevents (or at least discourages) a direct attack on an individual's religious beliefs. Well, that's not completely accurate. If you are a Mormon governor of Massachusetts named Mitt Romney (but not a Mormon Senate minority leader named Harry Reid) Ted Kennedy will question the ethics of your faith and, in particular, your religion's treatment of minorities.
Or if you're a Muslim, cultural sensitivity would prohibit any probing questions on the role of women in your religion. And I'm relatively certain that Christian Scientists wouldn't have to explain their views on assisted suicide. But if you are a Catholic, and have just been nominated to a seat on the Supreme Court, you can expect to be questioned about your church's views on women, its position on euthanasia, its treatment of sexual minorities, and more generally, your ability to separate your "personally held beliefs" from your loyalty to the Constitution.
Article VI of the Constitution provides that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Magnificent words. I wonder if Sen. Dick Durbin is familiar with them. It was recently reported that the senator asked Judge Roberts in a private meeting if he believed there were any conflicts between the "moral imperatives" of his Roman Catholicism and his duties as a jurist.
This is a code phrase for "Are you now or have you ever been an anti-abortionist?" If Roberts were Muslim, I don't think there'd be many questions about how the Koran would influence his perspective on due process. Or, assuming he was a Jehovah's Witness, I doubt there'd be an investigation into his views on the Pledge of Allegiance.
The nominee has stated in the past that there was nothing in his personal beliefs that would prevent him from carrying out his judicial responsibilities.
This apparently isn't good enough for the three horsemen of the apocalypse (Sens. Durbin, Kennedy and Leahy, Catholics all) who will grill Roberts on his ability to separate faith from jurisprudence. But court-watchers know there is no uniform "Catholic" view of the law. Just ask William Brennan, who strongly supported abortion rights. Or Anthony Kennedy, who found that the right to privacy covered homosexual sex.
There's nothing wrong in asking someone about their religious beliefs and the impact this might have on their judicial philosophy. The problem is when we presume that a person's faith makes them unfit for office, a presumption that arises too often when dealing with Catholics.
I thought we'd laid that to rest in 1960. Talk about Lazarus.
Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer. E-mail
If you agree that she's hit the target, drop her a line and tell her I sent you. She'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

This woman can eat

This is one very unusual person.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Sonya Thomas, at 99 pounds, gobbled her way to another speed-eating title over the weekend by attacking a Wisconsin staple - the bratwurst.
The woman known as the Black Widow on the competitive-eating circuit downed 35 brats in 10 minutes to win the first Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship. She edged out her nearest competitor by half a brat to win.
"I don't know where she puts it," spectator Sue Van De Kreeke said. "I got sick watching her."
The previous bratwurst-eating record was 19 1/2 brats in 10 minutes.
Thomas, a Burger King manager from Alexandria, Va., is ranked second by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which sanctioned Saturday's contest during Brat Days. Her various eating records include ones for hard-boiled eggs (65 in six minutes 40 seconds) and chicken wings (167 in 32 minutes).
The day before the bratwurst-eating contest, she won a grilled-cheese-sandwich eating contest in San Diego, eating 22.

This woman has her own Web site, which offers her secrets on being able to consume copious quantities of various comestibles.
The big question?
HOW CAN YOU STAY SO THIN? YOU EAT SO MUCH FOOD IN COMPETITION. These competitions and eating events occur but once or twice a month. They are the exception--not the rule.
There was a time, more years ago than I care to discuss, that I could polish off a giant pizza in under 10 minutes... and did so on a few occasions for the price of that pizza.
No more.
I can only marvel at Sonia the Black Widow, as she calls herself.
But El Wingador still rules!

Oil-for-Food: The first domino falls?

The Oil-for-Food case is getting curiouser and curiouser.
The Associated Press report of Monday night:
NEW YORK - A former United Nations procurement officer pleaded guilty today to soliciting a bribe under the oil-for-food program, making him the first UN official to face criminal charges in the scandal-tainted operation.
Alexander Yakovlev, a Russian, also pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of wire fraud and money laundering for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from UN contractors in his work outside oil-for-food. He could face up to 20 years in prison for each of the three counts in the indictment.
Yakovlev surrendered to FBI agents in Manhattan earlier Monday, as UN-backed investigators released a report accusing him and Benon Sevan, the former chief of the $64 billion (U.S.) program, of corruption.
The inquiry, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, had recommended that both men's diplomatic immunity be lifted if asked.
Later Monday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan waived Yakovlev's immunity when he got just such a request from David Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York.

The thing is: Yakovlev is at best a third-liner in this whole deal.
The question is: Is Yakovlev preparing to be a songbird?
If so, David Kelley better find him a good place to hide. He may need it.
And you can bet that Mr. Sevan is nowhere that has an extradition treaty with the U.S. of A.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hold the enthusiasm

Wow! What a week!
Had a great vacation at the Jersey Shore. Excellent weather (hit the beach for at least a little while every day), seafood out the wazoo, very good fishing/crabbing (put it this way -- 3 meals worth of crabs and other seafood caught by myself and the young lad)... and terrific news about the Flyers.
So why am I a little shaky about what the "experts" are saying should be a solid favorite to cart home the Stanley Cup for the first time in more than 30 years?
OK, getting Peter Forsberg was an absolute stunner of the first degree. Getting Derian Hatcher didn't surprise me all that much -- he has a good history with Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock. Getting Mike Rathje did surprise a bit... I've always liked him as a defensive d-man. Re-acquiring Chris Therien gives them some worthwhile depth on the blue line.
But the Flyers need to have a lot of potential fulfilled to be a real Cup contender.
* Keith Primeau needs to be the Primeau of the 2004 playoffs (9 goals in 16 games) and not the 2003-04 regular season (7 goals in 60 games).
* Simon Gagne needs to be an upgrade on the 2001-02 Gagne, who scored 30 goals, which he hasn't approached since.
* The rookies -- Jeff Carter and Mike Richards -- need to become legitimate NHL scorers. Not big ones, but legitimate 18-25 goal guys -- now.
Remember, since the Flyers last hit the ice, they have lost two likely Hall of Famers (Mark Recchi to Pittsburgh -- and watch out for them -- and Jeremy Roenick to L.A.) and two possible Hall of Famers (John LeClair and Tony Amonte) who have scored a ton of NHL goals. Their production must be replaced. Put it this way -- the Flyer who most recently scored 30 goals in a season was Mike Knuble, who got to 30 on the nose with Boston in 2002-03 while playing on a line with Joe Thornton and Glen Murray.
This assumes that goalie Robert Esche will be at least as good as he was the last time around and that everyone else does what they can do.
I still suspect Bob Clarke and Co. may have one more deal left before the season starts because of the depth at the center spot (Forsberg, Primeau, Carter, Richards, Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp). If Carter and Richards show that they can play with the big boys, Handzus -- who's really a pretty good all-arounder -- could fetch a 25-30 goal winger.
I must be a full-fledged Philly fan -- I see the clouds as well as the silver linings.
More on this to come, and more full-fledged blogging as I get caught up with the rest of the world.