October 2004 Archives

Doing my monthly referrer check, I noticed two hits on DL from iaea.org. I keep telling them that I don't know what Kim did with the special explosives I gave him, but they won't believe me...

My wife, after viewing a particularly distasteful campaign commercial, remarked 'Thank God this will all be over in ten days.'

Unfortunately, with both sides having SWAT teams ready to jet at a moment's notice to anywhere there's a perceived irregularity (and if there isn't one, the Dems at least have shown no reluctance to make one up), that November 2 will be just the beginning.

Useful Idiot John Martinkus, apologist for the splodeydopes:

John Martinkus was seized in Baghdad last Saturday and held for about 24 hours before being freed. The 35-year-old reporter was released after his captors looked up his name on the Internet and accepted that he was a freelance journalist rather than someone working for the US-led coalition. He sparked outrage among government officials and former hostages when he said his captors would not kill people indiscriminately.

"These guys, they're not stupid. They are fighting a war but they're not savages. They're not actually killing people willy-nilly. There was no reason for them to kill me," Martinkus told reporters on his arrival at Sydney airport on Tuesday.

"There was a reason to kill [British hostage Kenneth] Bigley, there was a reason to kill the [two] Americans. There was not a reason to kill me," he added.
I wonder what his take is on whether they have a reason to kill kidnapped British aid worker Margaret Hassan:
[Hassan] begged Britain on Friday to help save her by withdrawing its troops, saying these ''might be my last hours.''

The gaunt woman's wrenching televised statement delivered in between sobs puts new political pressure on Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, a day after it agreed to a U.S. request to transfer 850 British soldiers from southern Iraq to the Baghdad area to free American forces for new offensives against insurgents.
I'm guessing it would be something along the lines of "she's just a shill for the occupation."

Except that she isn't:

Hassan is believed to be in her early 60s and has done aid work in Iraq for nearly 30 years. She joined CARE soon after it began operations in Iraq in 1991, managing a staff of 60 Iraqis who run nutrition, health and water programs throughout the country.

She was a vocal opponent of international sanctions on Iraq and warned British lawmakers before last year's U.S.-led invasion that a conflict could produce a humanitarian crisis in a country already severely weakened by the embargoes.

The more cynical side of me thinks the average Australian wouldn't give a dingo's ass if the splodeydopes offed a moonbat like Martinkus, so they didn't see any point in killing him...

Support The Ecosystem

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A simple request - if I'm on your blogroll, and you're not already a member of the TTLB Ecosystem, go check it out and sign up if you're so inclined (yes, this is a shameless attempt to recover from the humiliation of being demoted from 'Slithering Reptile' to 'Flappy Bird'; also, half my blogroll is blogs whose names I saw just randomly surfing the Ecosystem and thinking 'that's a cool name for a blog. I'll go look at it,' then deciding to keep going back. Like this guy's blog).

Likewise for blogrolling.com. They'll manage your blogroll, automatically move recently-updated sites to the top, and allow you to add a new blog to your roll in one click (three clicks if you have the Google toolbar installed and pop-up blocking on). All for free.

We Don't Hope You Die, But...

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The Democrats want Dick Cheney to die. OK, maybe they don't, really, but they're on his case for getting a flu shot:

Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign slammed Vice President Dick Cheney, a heart patient, over reports he had a flu shot, despite a shortage of the vaccine.
The only thing that surprised me in this AFP story was that they admitted
Cheney would fit into the government's definition of those most vulnerable to a looming influenza epidemic as he has a long history of heart disease.
[Full disclosure - SecTreas John Snow and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist also got flu shots, which seems pretty dumb unless they're part of a high-risk group, which I doubt.]

I'm waiting for their similar criticism of Bill Clinton, another heart patient who got a flu shot.

Update: Michelle Malkin sez both Frist and Snow are indeed considered high-risk:

Cheney, Snow, and Frist are all high-risk as defined by the CDC. Cheney has heart disease. Frist is a practicing physician. (According to this article, Frist spends many weekends practicing at free clinics in Washington DC and in Tennessee.) Snow is 65 years old.

Be Careful What You Wish For (Financial Division)

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So Matt Damon would be willing to pay $1 million to guarantee JF'inK's election.

Well, don't worry, Matt. If he's elected, you'll get your chance. The IRS will make sure of it.

It's One, Two, Three Crimes In One!

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They say truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense. And even with that in mind, and knowing that the Donks will do everything they think they can get away with in order to get President Bush delected, I couldn't even have guessed at this:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio man was arrested and accused of filling out more than 100 voter registration forms that were ficticious, the Defiance County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.
So far, so normal, right? Just another case of voter reg fraud (and at 100 registrations a fairly small one), just one of thousands undoubtedly in the works by the Delusional Party. But wait until you see how dude got paid:
Defiance County sheriff's deputies allege the man "was paid crack cocaine for the falsified registrations."

According to Sheriff David J. Westrick, Defiance deputies along with Toledo Police Department detectives searched a residence in Toledo, believed to be the home of the woman who hired the man to solicit voter registration.

Officers confiscated drug paraphernalia along with voter registration forms from the home, Westrick said.

The occupant of the home, Georgianne Pitts, 41, advised law enforcement that she had been recruited by Thaddeus J. Jackson, II, of Cleveland, to obtain voter registrations.

Pitts admitted to paying the suspect crack cocaine for the registrations in lieu of money, the sheriff's department said.
Well, that's interesting. A guy in Cleveland is using a lady in Toledo to try to register voters in Defiance County (about 150 miles away). That's some kind of outreach program! But who is Thaddeus J. Jackson, II, anyway?
A business card provided by Pitts indicated that Jackson is the Assistant NVF Ohio Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, Westrick said.
I think its safe to say that the extra votes wouldn't have gone for President Bush.
Sheriff's officials indicated the initial complaint "came from the Defiance County Board of Elections. The Board had received the 100 plus registration forms from the Cuyahoga Board of Elections that had been submitted to the Cuyahoga Board by the NAACP National Voter Fund," Westrick said.
Well, score one for the hicks (I can say that; I live in the next county over. Besides, there actually is a Hicksville in Defiance County. It's where I buy my beer on Sundays). The Dumbocrat machine figured they'd be too stupid to notice ONE HUNDRED REGISTRATION FORMS WITH NEAR-IDENTICAL SIGNATURES FROM ANOTHER COUNTY'S BOARD OF ELECTIONS!

Beware The Frankenfish

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Ever since I first heard about the Northern Snakehead appearing in a Maryland pond, I've wondered if maybe they were the second coming of the sea lamprey, whose invasion of the Great Lakes in the middle of the 20th century had devastating impact on the region's commercial fisheries (although urbanlegends.about.com is far less concerned about the snakehead than I am).

I fear that time has now come, as a Frankenfish was found in a Chicago harbor:

A fish known for a voracious appetite and ability to wreak havoc on freshwater ecosystems has been found in Chicago's Burnham Harbor. An angler caught an 18-inch northern snakehead last weekend.
. . .
Scientists describe the northern snakehead as a "Frankenfish" for its ability to survive in oxygen-depleted water, move from pond to pond and eat other fish. It's a native of Asia and can grow to more than three feet in length.

It took the better part of fifty years to get the sea lamprey problem under anything resembling control; I don't think we have that kind of time here (especially if, as the voices in my head tell me, the Chicago fish hitchhiked from where the species was originally found in Maryland). If only we can get the lampreys to start attacking the snakeheads...

Cords hate me. Headphone cords, keyboard/mouse cables, all that stuff; they hate me and they try to do me harm. I tried to run with a walkman once, and I ended up snagging the headphone cord, breaking the walkman AND the headphones, and hurting myself in in the process.

In order to listen to music while running without being a danger to myself or those around me, I needed a headset MP3 player. I got the Evolution Neckphone 32MB, which is a combined MP3 player / FM radio. It fills the bill VERY well; the sound quality of the MP3 player is acceptable and it's not too heavy on the ears. I haven't gotten the FM radio to work worth a fig yet, but with the MP3 player, I don't really care. And I've never had any problem with the included MMC Toaster under Windows XP, even without updating the driver. I've only tried MMC cards of 64MB or smaller, but I've heard that 128MB cards work fine too.

Sure, there are some things I don't like - the volume doesn't go up real loud, your only navigation option is 'skip to the next track,' there's no pause, etc., but you're bound to make some tradeoffs if you're only paying $45 for the thing (on eBay, including a 32MB MMC). The only other item of note is that after a year and a half of several-times-per-week usage in a high-sweat environment, the volume doesn't always change when I turn the dial.

But the reason I'm writing this review is because I recently put the thing through the washer AND the dryer. Everything came out in the washer - both batteries, both compartment covers, and the MMC card; the four wires that connect the earpieces came out of their groove in the back of the neckband. I let the player dry out for three days, tucked the wires back into place, replaced all shed parts, said a brief prayer, and fired it up.

It worked perfectly.

The First Interstellar Time Bank Of Karma


As I was waiting in line at the store behind somebody who didn't think to start looking for her checkbook until her total was announced, it occurred to me that a truly just God would account for this kind of thing at each person's Final Reckoning. Since God knows when we're all going to die, He could simply account for time wasted by others to our detriment, add that to our nominal recall date, and adjust accordingly. Conversely, anyone who was a net drain on the time of others would get called home early.

Of course, since any discussion of the nature of Heaven is by necessity speculative, it is possible that He does this already.

Quick observation about yesterday's Michigan win over Minnesota: Gordie Bell was Michigan's tailback from 1974-5, about whom it was said "he could run for fifteen minutes in a phone booth" (for some reason, I misremember the quote as "he could run for five yards in a phone booth"). The way Mike Hart would disappear into one end of the pile, then fall out of the other end five yards downfield, reminds me a lot of Gordie Bell.

Random Vocabulary Thoughts


A lot of people say 'left-leaning' when they really mean 'left-staggering.'

A lot of people say 'mainstream media' when they really mean 'legacy media' (in much the same way that an accounting package written in COBOL thirty years ago is a 'legacy program').

Yes, But Is It Arrt?

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Stuff like this makes me almost glad that I have no artistic talent, and it's more proof that artistes ain't like the rest of us:

It didn’t take a nuclear physicist to realise changes were needed after a £25,000 ceramic mural was unveiled outside [Santa Cruz]’s new library and everyone could see the misspelled names of Einstein, Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and seven other historical figures.

“Our library director is very frustrated that she has this lovely new library and it has all these misspellings in front,” said city councilwoman Lorraine Dietrich, one of three council members who have authorised paying another £4,000, plus expenses, to fly the artist up from Miami to fix the errors.

I'd be pretty cheesed off about this if I were a Santa Cruz taxpayer. Normally, I don't expect a lot in the way of practical skills in an artist, but to misspell words on a mural outside a library? I'd be suing her ass to come back on her own dime to fix it. At most I'd pay some local guy maybe $1000 to at least remove the misspelled names.

“The importance of this work is that it is supposed to unite people,” [artist Maria] Alquilar said. “They are denigrating my work and the purpose of this work.”
No, dumbass, we're denigrating the fact that YOU CAN'T SPELL!
The mistakes wouldn’t even register with a true artisan, Alquilar said.

“The people that are into humanities, and are into Blake’s concept of enlightenment, they are not looking at the words,” she said. “In their mind the words register correctly.”
Funny - last I saw, 'English' counted as one of the humanities. I have an idea - I'll tell my son to use that as a defense next time he gets downchecked for misspelling something in class. I'll let you know how that goes. Meanwhile, the rest of us, who are 'into,' you know, reality, figure that we A) need to spell something right the first time, or B) if we don't, we don't charge extra to fix it!

Update: Apparently Alquilar has decided not to fix it due to all the hate mail she's allegedly received. Gerard Vanderleun has more. And oh, is it delicious.

I file this one under "Pali Pity Party:"

Palestinians furious at 'lukewarm' world reaction to Gaza raid 05/10/2004 - 07:40:43

Palestinians are furious over what they see as the world’s forgiving response to Israel’s unprecedented raid in northern Gaza that has killed dozens.

Israel said the world now understands Palestinian terrorism, but analysts felt Iraq is distracting attention from Gaza.

As the fifth day of the operation ended, at least 68 Palestinians had been killed, including nine on Monday.

Early today, one Palestinian gunman was killed and three wounded in an Israeli air force attack, Palestinians said. Israeli military sources confirmed that armed Palestinians were the target but would not relate to reports that a pilotless drone aircraft fired a missile.

. . .

Israel raids West Bank cities and towns every day, arresting suspects. The two killed in the shoot-out were members of the elite Force 17 security arm. Israel charges that Force 17, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s elite guard, is involved in attacks against Israelis.

. . .

The operation has exacted a heavy price on the Palestinians, leaving a wide swath of destruction in the Jebaliya refugee camp and leaving dozens homeless.

Qureia, speaking before a meeting of the Palestinian Cabinet in the West Bank town of Ramallah, criticised the ”massive destruction” and called for heavy international pressure on Israel.

“This ugly Israeli crime is taking place in full view of the world, and so far, we have not heard a strong word from the world community that can bring an end to this aggression,” he said.
Normally, nobody outside of Israel (and maybe the U.S.) gives a rat's ass when some mental defective splodeydopes himself against a bus full of Jewish civilians; the UN just does whatever cranial-rectal insertion is necessary to blame Israel for getting their people blown up in a 'cycle of violence.' Now, finally, the IDF's targeted killing of terrorists fails to generate the normal worldwide outrage, and PaliTerror, Inc., can't deal with it?

Too. Fucking. Bad.

Update: Geez, forgot the damn punch line again. Maybe the reason the UN isn't wailing about this one is that they don't want to attract attention to the fact that they just got cold-busted acting in concert with the splodeydopes!

Beware Your Routine


One of the problems with chronicling Dangerous Stupidity is the off-chance you'll be caught doing something Dangerously Stupid yourself. It makes you look doubly stupid, both for the Stupidity itself and for the reasonable expectation that you should know better than the Einsteins you're writing about, because you're allegedly paying closer attention. It is in the interest of pre-empting any such Smoking Gun-driven schadenfreude that I tell the following story...

I came into work yesterday (Sunday) here at the Imperialist-Capitalist-Running-Pig-Dog-Military-Industrial-Complex because we're way behind on our task improving the US Army's ability to kill innocent brown people and blow up mosques. I was coding away on my part of that task - the Widows and Orphans Targeting Processor - when the power went out. The lights came back on immediately, but my computer didn't power up when I hit the button. I don't know what irritated me more at this point: that an essential background process which had been running for three hours and had two more to go would have to be restarted, or the fifty alarms that I could hear all over my part of the building.

[In the first moment of blackout, the Alarm Gods gave to me:
Thirty UPSs,
Fifteen High Temps,
Eight Chiller Alarms,
And a paperweight that looks like my PC.]

A little investigation revealed that my half of my floor was the only one affected. After notifying the guard desk and being told that they'd paged the on-call Facilities guy but had not yet received a response, I figured it was a good time to go home. Three flights of stairs and a walk to the parking lot later, I realized that I had left my keys in my office. So I returned to the building and, without thinking any further than "oh cool, the elevator's already on this floor" (like I always do), hopped in. About one ohnosecond after the doors closed, I realized what a risk I was taking by riding an elevator into an area with dodgy power.

Fortunately, the trip to the third floor was uneventful. Unfortunately, the doors didn't open when I got there. Fortunately, the emergency phone worked and I was able to call the guard desk. Unfortunately, they were busy and it would be 'a while' before they could send anybody up to let me out. After what seemed like an hour, but was really probably about a minute, I got the bright idea of trying to pry the doors open a bit to see if I actually had made it all the way to the third floor. I stepped up to the crack, got my feet set, got a good fingerhold on both doors, and pulled.

The doors slid all the way open so easily that I fell out of the elevator. Boy, was I glad I actually was on the third floor.

Not much more to add here but to say that sometimes people are really really dumb:

PINE BLUFF, Ark. -- A man who set his wife's pants on fire because he believed she was having an affair accidentally torched his mobile home and has been charged with arson, police said.

Officers said Leroy Brown, 19, perceiving that his wife had been with another man, set fire to the pair of pants he thought she was wearing at the time of the affair.

The burning pants started to singe Brown's fingers so he dropped the pants and the mobile home caught fire . . ..


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