Monday, July 31, 2006


Just to update you on the comings and goings around here... I spent the weekend camping up in the Sierras near Bishop for a bachelor party with six good friends, and had a blast. The mosquitos were brutal, but well worth the fun... fishing, drinking, throwing horseshoes, hiking, and drinking. For me it was even a little more special because it was the first time I'd been back in Bishop in 25 years. I was actually born there, and I took the opportunity to go the the world famous Schat's bakery for a bear claw and check out the house I used to live in when I was a kid.

Pictures will have to wait until I come back from vacation in Jamaica! The fetching Mrs. Wookie and I are gonna squeeze one last hurrah in before she gets to far along with our little in utero wookie. We'll be gone a week, but work's sending me with a laptop to check emails and solve emergencies as they arise. So if I can find the time inbetween beer, beach fun, golf, rum, snorkeling, reading, and beer, I may try to put up a "Hello, wish you were here..." post.

So, if I don't reply to any emails or comments it's not because I don't care, it's because Jack Sparrow kidnapped me and now I've got to fight Will Turner to win the fair hand of Elizabeth Swann...

Either that or I'm passed out on the beach somewhere...

Your official Hot Wing Conspiracy fantasy baseball round up

For those who've never participated in a fantasy baseball league, here's how we've got our league set up. We play head to head matchups against another team in the league based on the stats our players put up during the week. The stats your team builds up are broken down into 12 groups. For batters, there are runs, homeruns, RBI‚’s, Strike-outs, stolen bases, and batter‚’s average. For Pitching, there are Wins, Saves, Strike-outs, Holds, ERA, and WHIP. Each one of those is a win, a loss, or a tie. So in a given week, you can have any combination of wins, losses, and ties that add up to 12.

Wookie Will Win - 5
Columbia Cardinals - 6

This was the premier matchup of the week, #1 vs #2 and this time #2 came out on top. And the winner was decided by who's pitching staff didn't suck as bad as the other guy's pitching staff. I took the offensive stats 4-2, but could only manage to beat the Cards in the Saves category on the pitching side. His 6.7 ERA and 1.76 WHIP were enough to beat my horrific ERA and WHIP (7.75 and 1.84) on his way to taking 4 of the 6 pitching stats. Luckily I still manage to stay in 1st place, but not by much...
MVP: Dave Roberts went nuts for the Cards, hitting .348 with 6 runs and 5 SBs.
Dud: Bartolo Colon went and hurt himself in his start last week but not before going only 1 inning and giving up 4 runs putting his ERA at 36.00!

Robots Eat Babies - 6
RFTR - 6

This is about as even a tie as you can get; they split the pitching stats 3-3 and the batting stats 3-3. And they were pretty close in most categories. The only blowout was RFTR picking up 11 saves to Robots 4. Of course RFTR has 6 relief pitchers to his 2 starters so it's not really surprising...
MVP: RTFR bullpen... Todd Jones, Joe Nathan, Bobby Jenks, and Eddie Guardado combined for 11 saves!
Dud: Andruw Jones may have hit 1 HR, but he struck out 10 times and only hit .150... ouch.

Baghdad Bombers - 8
Poca Dots Blog - 2

This was the most lopsided vistory of the week, and Bombers pulled it out with solid stats across the board. He took the batting stats 4-2 and the pitching 4-0-2 where Dots only managed ties in saves and holds. Dots pitchers couldn't even buy a win this week...
MVP: Biiiiig Papi comes through again! 2 HRs, 7 RBIs batting .333
Duds: AJ Burnett, Mark Buehrle, & Akinori Otsuka all had ERAs over 11.00. That's won't cut the mustard.

bRight & Early - 3
fmragtops' spewers - 8

Maybe overall it just wasn't a good week to be a pitcher... FM won the ERA category with a 7.07 on his way to his victory for the week. bRight just couldn't keep up with the juggernaut that is the Spewers. FM's team has been coming on strong lately; he's made his way all the way up to 4th place now...
MVP: Derek Jeter was all over the place hitting .481 with 7 RBIs, 1 HR, and 1 SB too.
Dud: Dontrelle Willis got clobbered! 23.14 ERA! I'm surprised he managed the 2 K's that he got...

CZC Owns - 7
webcats - 5

CZC comes out of nowhere and propels himself out of the cellar! He pulls out a huge offensive week and managed to beat webcats in ERA and WHIP to seal the deal! 40 runs, 42 RBIS, and 10 HRs! That's huge for CZC! Now can he get himself into the playoffs?
MVP: So many to chose from! Troy Glaus hit .565 with 8 RBIs, AJ Pierzynski hit .591 with 6 RBIs, and Aramis Ramirez hit .435 with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs! How was he in last place with this team!
Dud: Tough to find a dud in this matchup... Greg Maddux and Josh Garland both got wins but at the price of ERAs over 10.50 and WHIPs over 1.80.

Right Wing Nuts - 4
Akhtar the Divorcee - 8

Aktar had a good overall performance, but it was his pitching that got him the win. Aktar took 4 of 6 in the offensive stats, but the Nuts made that a really close battle. Aktar put the Nuts away with 4 wins, 3 saves, a 3.57 ERA and WHIP at 1.31.
MVP: Ryan Howard, the manbearpig, pounded 4 HRs and 9 RBIs and still managed to hit .304
Dud: The Nuts pitching staff just couldn't put it together... Jason Schmidt, Kevin Millwood, Bronson Arroyo, and Ted Lilly all pitched reasonably well, but could get a win between them...

The PAWs - 4
Gashouse Gorillas - 8

It's all about pitching, pitching, pitching... The PAWs may have wrangled 5 Holds from somewhere but zero wins, and only 2 saves just isn't enough. All the Gorillas needed was a win from any pitcher and Chase Utley all by himself and he could have still gotten the win for the week...
MVP: Chase Utley. Holy crap... hitting .441, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, and 13 runs! Can you say steroids?
Dud: Brad Penny, what happened? 10.80 ERA and only 2 K's...

Repubs lost in SD - 4
The Galt-inators - 7

Repubs tried to keep it close but just couldn't quite get enough to keep them from falling into last place in the league. Galt just managed to take 4 of 6 in the offensive stats from Repubs and put him away with a stellar 3.00 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
MVP: Carlos Beltran does his Chase Utley impersonation with 5 HRs, 15 RBIs, 7 runs, and 2 SBs to boot.
Dud: Armando Beneitez got shelled. 3.00 WHIP and an ERA at 16.20.

Here's the past round ups if you like this sort of thing...
Week 15 Recap
Week 14 Recap
Week 13 Recap
Week 12 Recap
Week 11 Recap
Week 10 Recap
Week 9 Recap
Week 8 Recap
Week 7 Recap
Week 6 Recap
Week 5 Recap
Week 4 Recap
Week 3 Recap
Week 2 Recap
Week 1 Recap

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Probably the best analysis/interpretation of the Israeli offensive to date

I'd like to say that it's mine, but that honor goes to The Belmont Club. And deservedly so... It's a two-parter: Pulp Fiction & Postscript. Here's a snippet...

Prestidigitation is defined as "skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands". From the very beginning the IDF has kept the Hezbollah guessing about its true intentions. Nasrallah made the cardinal mistake of projecting his own estimate by believing that Israel would respond to his abduction of IDF soldiers with a limited cross border raid of their own. The IDF responded by smashing his Beirut headquarters and fixing the Hezbollah main force in the south. Nasrallah, Iran and Syria made a second error in believing that Israel, perhaps reinforced by the diplomaic mummery which encouraged the illusion, would be forced to accept a ceasefire within a fortnight only to discover that neither the international force was forthcoming (no one had the troops to put on the ground) nor would the Bush administration waver in its support for Israel. In reality Israel has been forced to accept nothing.

Go read both posts...

UPDATE @ 7:46pm: For more excellent analysis, go see In from the Cold. I could link to a post of his everyday if I wanted to. It's that good...

It's official... I'm going to need to go buy some Barbies...

The fetching Mrs. Wookie and I are having a little girl!

We actually found out on Monday, but I've been too busy to put up a post on it, so I made sure today to make that the first thing I did today. So I've been getting the question about what I would prefer a boy or a girl, and my response is always I want a healthy baby, and the new sonograms really help put me at ease. This wasn't just a couple quick pics and we're done. It was a good 40 minutes of constant sonogramming that checked everything possible between the baby and the fetching Mrs. Wookie and everything came back excellent. You can even see her perfect little foot and five pefect little toes in one of the above sonograms.

Some of you may also recall some of the funny pregnant stories the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I have had (the psycho cereal and where's the bread episodes). Well there was another one last night, but this one was more of an unusual dinner combination...

I heard my wife moving around in the kitched last night after we got home from work. I went on in and she was making herself a couple poptarts. (An aside here... What constitutes one poptart? In my opinion one poptart is one pastry, but my wife is under the impression that one poptart is comprised of one package of poptart(s). See to me, that would be two poptarts. I only bring this up because we were debating this the other night when she asked for a late night poptart snack, and I brought her one poptart, one breakfast pastry. She immediately asked where's the onther one? She also wanted a glass of milk, that I hadn't heard her mention when I went to fetch the poptart, so I ended up going on a two minute rant like I was a barista at Starbucks... "Yes ma'am... of course ma'am... would you like a venti, grande, or tall milk? Should I steam that? What's your name?" Anyway, before I digress any further, can I get some clarification from the blogosphere on what actually constitutes one poptart?)

So she's making two poptarts and I ask if there isn't anything else she'd rather have for dinner. Her stomach is arguning with her brain and nothing really sounds good. As she says this she's putting some microwave popcorn in to cook along with her two poptarts. As she takes poptarts and popcorn and begins to eat dinner, she asks what I'm going to have. I'm thinking I might go for the leftover taco stuff that we've got in the fridge and she goes, "Ooh, that sounds good. I'll have one of those..."

I'm thinking tacos, popcorn, and poptarts... What kind of dinner combo is that?

Of course it's not pickles and ice cream, but I'm sure that's coming... She's been a big fan of deli pickles lately...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fantasy Baseball time!

GOP and College stole the recap from my this week, since he was playing his brother, GOP and the City, and wanted to publicly humiliate him.

Wookies Will Win - 11
Gashouse Gorillas - 1

Poor Wyatt. John went to town this week against him, and this time, Goliath kicked David's ass. With this monster win Wookies hold a 4 game lead over the second place Cardinals, and 7.5 games over the third place cats. At least Wyatt can slap the runners around the bases. He won in RBI's to keep from getting skunked.
Game MVP: Carlos Delgado - 3 Home Runs, 8 RBI's, and 5 times across the plate.
Game Wash-Out: Tom Gordon - Being a closer with a week's ERA of 12.00 is not a good thing. He was lucky to get 2 saves.

11 to 1 baby! Talk about a spanking! Truth be told though I really didn't do all that well... The Gorillas just did much worse than I did. I only had 6 HRs, 26 runs, 20 RBIs, batting avg of .277, ERA at 4.00... Against another team I might have lost. Fortunately, two of Gorillas starters had ERAs over 14.00 and his team only batted .265. Otherwise I'd have gotten screwed. This week I'm playing the #2 team, Columbia Cardinals. As of now I'm leading 9-2, but that can vanish quickly, he's got a good pitching staff...

I'll have next week's recap, so y'all better come back then and check it out.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mount Soledad cross goes to the Supreme Court

A local case, supposedly an issue of the separation of church and state, is on it's way to the Supreme Court.

SAN DIEGO - Ronald Reagan had just left office, the Christian Coalition was new, "values" had yet to become a buzzword of American politics and six of the current U.S. Supreme Court justices had other jobs when an atheist sued the city of San Diego for permitting a giant cross in a public park.

Seventeen years later, the 29-foot concrete monument still crowns a hill over the Pacific, defended by the city's voters and members of Congress.

Now the Supreme Court has stepped in, and the case of the Mount Soledad cross could help determine under what circumstances religious symbols are permissible in public places.

The cross, dedicated in 1954 in honor of Korean War veterans, was erected by the Mount Soledad Memorial Foundation, a private, nonprofit group that also maintains the monument.

State and federal judges have ordered the cross removed, saying it represents an unconstitutional endorsement of one religion. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court blocked an order that the city take it down by Aug. 1, giving state and federal courts time to hear appeals this fall.

Hopefully the Supreme Court votes to keep it. It's truly a beautiful site. When I was in college in San Diego the cross was a popular site to visit for most of the UC students, especially those of us that were in on-campus Christian paryer groups. And it a memorial for Korean War veterans.

I hope they don't have it torn down...

Some say Hezbollah isn't our concern...

And that we shouldn't meddle in this conflict. What? Should we wait until they actually attack us?

Guess what? They already did...

UPDATE @ 5:01pm: I put this in this post's comments section... Ace has some evidence that Hezbollah may be helping the insurgents in Iraq. So not only have they killed our military men and women in the past, they're helping other terrorists do it as we speak.

Who says the rich got a tax break?

Another urban legend laid to rest.

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- When Jeff Trinca liquidated part of his stock portfolio to satisfy a divorce decree in early 2005, he calculated he would owe 15 percent tax on his capital gain. A year later, he got a nasty surprise: a much higher bill from the Internal Revenue Service.

If anyone should have known what to expect, it's Trinca: He's a Washington tax lobbyist. Still, he lives in one of some 2 million U.S. households that were denied the lower rate on capital gains last year because of a little-noticed quirk in the alternative minimum tax, originally created almost four decades ago to make sure a much smaller number of affluent Americans were paying their fair share.

Instead of paying the 15 percent rate established by President George W. Bush's 2003 tax cut, Trinca, 45, and other taxpayers with incomes between $150,000 and $400,000 are required to pay rates of up to 22 percent on their investment income. If left unchecked, the AMT anomaly may deprive millions more six- figure earners -- 60 percent of whom voted for Bush in 2004, when he won 51 percent of the vote nationwide -- of the low rate.

First off, if these six-figure earners are thinking of jumping ship because taxes under Bush are bad, try electing a Democrat and see what happens. Second, these taxes are being taken out of their investment income not their paychecks, so it's not like they're getting hammered more on their standard paycheck. Still, they make more and they're paying more in taxes because of it.

Makes you wonder where all those "tax cuts for the wealthy" idiots are hiding...

Friday, July 21, 2006

And to leave you with some happy thoughts for the weekend...

With the GWOT on terror taking on a whole new dimension in the Israeli/Hezbollebanon and Israeli/Hamasistan conflicts, there's one thing in the universe we can count on...

Sunday is the Miss Universe pageant. Good luck to Miss USA, Tara Connor.

Need I say more?

"We will fight terror wherever it is because if we do not fight it, it will fight us. If we don't reach it, it will reach us."

The battle cry of World War III as Israel prepares for the apprently inevitable invasion of Lebanon.

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israel massed tanks and troops on the border, called up reserves and warned civilians to flee Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon as it prepared Friday for a likely ground invasion to set up a deep buffer zone.

The army's chief of staff said forces would conduct ground operations as needed in Lebanon, but they would be "limited." Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz also said nearly 100 Hezbollah guerrillas have been killed in the offensive in Lebanon.

"We will fight terror wherever it is because if we do not fight it, it will fight us. If we don't reach it, it will reach us," Halutz said in a nationally televised news conference. "We will also conduct limited ground operations as much as needed in order to harm the terror that harms us."

The emphasis is mine, of course. But I can't put it any better. 100 terrorists have died thus far, and many more will. The pity in all this is that Israel is blamed for the deaths of Lebanese civilians when the terrorists hide among them.

Campaign finance loopholes

Campaign finance reform has put us in a horrible position.

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- A new group called Communities United to Strengthen America has opened 12 "resource centers'' this year for the avowed purpose of educating citizens about issues such as health care and energy conservation.

It is probably no coincidence that all 12 are located in Republican-held congressional districts targeted by Democrats trying to recapture control of the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections.

Campaign-finance experts cite Communities United as an example of the type of nonprofit group that Democrats and their allies are creating to help their campaign, permitting unlimited and undisclosed donations from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals.

These groups are 501(c)(4)s, the new 527s. Congress has threatened to restrict 527s, the democrats bread and butter in 2004, but when you close one loophole another one opens right up. The story above picks on the democrats, but republicans have taken more advantage of the 501(c)(4)s so far, but probably because Soros hasn't opened his pocket book yet. How are 501(c)(4)s different?

[...] Both 527s and 501(c)(4)s are named for sections of the U.S. tax code. Unlike the overtly political 527s, the latter groups don't have to disclose their donors.

By law, the 501(c)(4) groups must spend less than half their budget on political activities. "The only wild card in this equation is whether the IRS will become more aggressive," says Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner, a Republican. "Thus far, I haven't seen any indication that that is occurring."

I'm not even going to get into which is better 527s or 501s, becasue does it really matter? Do we want our campaigns run by activist groups who are taking advantage of loopholes in our tax code? Is that really better than allowing donations larger than $2,000 to a candidate? What I think most people really want is honesty and full disclosure in campaign finance and the reform that McCain/Feingold gave us is nothing of the sort. So why not go for full disclosure? You ought to be able to donate as much as you want as long as the record of the donations are made public. Publish it in the NYT if you want, but if you knew that Cindy Sheehan donated big bucks to Hillary Clinton or Ann Coulter donated a good size chunk of change to Condi Rice would that change your vote, or at least think twice about it? What about the democrat receiving millions from trial lawyer unions and republicans receving millions from the AARP? That's what they needed to do, not cap the amount they can donate. Capping the amount only means the candidate either has to spend 75% of his time doing fundraisers or has to have a ton of money to begin with. In essence we've fostered a system that favored wealthy candidates before and made it worse. There's no way a normal person could afford to run for office in this climate.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Israel hints at full invasion

"All options are open." That about sums it up...

Israel has mainly limited itself to attacks from the air and sea, reluctant to send in ground troops on terrain dominated by Hezbollah.

But an Israeli army spokesman refused to rule out the possibility of a full-scale invasion. Israel broadcast warnings Wednesday into south Lebanon, telling civilians to leave, a possible prelude to a larger ground operation.

"There is a possibility; all our options are open. At the moment, it's a very limited, specific incursion but all options remain open," Capt. Jacob Dallal, an Israeli army spokesman, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Also brought to light by the article is that Hezbollah fired 25 rockets into Israel and injured no one. That's either a lie, or Hezbollah terrorists are really bad shots.

40 US marines landed in Beruit to assist with US citizen evacuations, the first time US troops have been in Beruit in 22 years. The US citizens will be evacuated to the USS Nashville which will take them to Cyprus.

Also Israel missed Nasrallah since he was one al-Jazeera scoffing at the Israeli attacks. Keep talking.... they'll get you sooner or later...

Day after Bush bans federal funding for embryonic stem cell research Arnold funds $150 million in California

Diversity of conservative thought in action...

July 20 (Bloomberg) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the state to loan $150 million to the state's financing agency for stem-cell research, one day after President George W. Bush vetoed legislation expanding federal funding for such studies.

The move by Schwarzenegger, a Republican running for re- election, was a boost to a voter-backed program whose funding has been hobbled by lawsuits. California has been unable to sell $3 billion of bonds approved by voters for disease-fighting research with embryonic cells because of the legal battles.

Of course since the entire state is run by and is generally overrun with democrats, republicans in office are forced to the middle of the road sometimes, but Arnold has always been socially liberal and relatively passionate about this issue. And I can see his point here. While I'm not a big fan of the government subsidizing much of anything, stem cell research offers huge avenues off discovery that should be explored.

Let's not give 'em too much money though Arnold. You've still got to bring the state spending under control a little more before you get to bust out the checkbook...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Israeli troops try to kill the snake by cutting off the head

They're really trying to blow the crap out of Hezbollah...

BEIRUT, Lebanon - A wave of Israeli warplanes blasted a bunker in south Beirut thought to hold Hezbollah's top leaders Wednesday, intensifying an offensive against the guerrillas despite mounting international pressure and an appeal from Lebanon to spare the country further death and devastation.

[...] The Israeli military said warplanes dropped 23 tons of explosives late Wednesday on a south Beirut bunker where top Hezbollah figures, possibly including leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, were thought to be located.

Damn... 23 tons... hopefully something there was of the bunker busting variety. Of course is Lebanon wanted to help out a little with any of this, it might make things safer for its citizens, it'd help the Israelis get their kidnapped soldiers back, and just overall make this whole war go a lot smoother...

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, whose weak government has been unable to fulfill a U.N. directive to disarm Hezbollah and put its army along the border with Israel, issued an urgent appeal for a cease-fire. He said his country "has been torn to shreds" with about 300 people killed, and pointedly criticized the U.S. position that Israel acts in self-defense.

"Is this what the international community calls self-defense?" a stern-looking Saniora asked a meeting of foreign diplomats including U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman. "Is this the price we pay for aspiring to build our democratic institutions?"

No this is the price you pay for allowing your democracy to be strongarmed by a terrorist organization and doing nothing to stop it. Terrorists are using your country as a base of operations and a safe house holding two Israeli soldiers hostage there. Israel has every right to try to save their soldiers and take out the perpetrators. Being a democracy doesn't mean you're given carte blanche to do whatever the hell you want and the rest of the world has to say, "Well they are a democracy. That means they're above judgement and any responsibility for their actions." What would you expect if South Africa elected an apartheid party back into power and immediately started passing laws making blacks second class citizens? Should we just allow that? They're a democracy afterall. What if Germany elected Nazi who immediately reopened the concentration camps to racially cleanse Germany of Jews again? Should we just sit idly by and do nothing? The Germans elected him, fair and square.

That's a bunch of crap. If that's how democracies worked, then why the hell do people get to criticize the US? We elected Bush and he's enacting policies for the safety and security of the nation. What gives the rest of the world the right to criticize? Well, fortunately, it doesn't work like that. The rest of the world is free to give their opinions, and we're responsible for our actions. We're not in this business to make the rest of the world like us. We're acting to protect ourselves. To borrow a phrase from Dennis, the left thinks inequality is evil and the right thinks evil is evil.

So hopefully Israel got Nasrallah and his evil companions...

Cruise ships takes Americans from Lebanon to safety in Cyprus

1,000 Americans were on vacation in Lebanon? That seems like an unusually high number to me...

LARNACA, Cyprus - The luxury cruise liner Orient Queen arrived in Cyprus' port of Larnaca early Thursday with about 1,000 Americans aboard, completing the first trip in a massive operation to evacuate thousands of U.S. citizens from wartorn Lebanon.

I had heard a few talk radio shows with people criticizing the US State Deptartment and embassies for not getting our people out sooner. Give me a break...

You try to get 1,000 civilians organized, and mass transported out of a warzone. You've got to let the Israelis know what you're doing so they don't accidentally blow them up thinking it's terrorist movements, and at the same time be discreet enough so that terrorists don't think that a cruise ship with 1,000 Americans on it sounds like a big fat sitting duck of a target. The last thing we want is the smoldering wreckage of a cruise ship sitting in harbor with dead Americans in it. And you've got to do all this without putting any troops on the ground because heaven forbid the world (or the terrorists) think that we're trying to invade Lebanon...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Senate approves stem cell research bill, Bush promises his first veto

Aside from the amazing fact that this would be his only veto since he was first elected president in 2000, this isn't as bad as people make it sound...

BBC - The US Senate has approved a controversial bill to expand embryonic stem cell research, which President George W Bush has promised to veto.

The measure passed by 63 votes to 37, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto.

Opinion polls suggest most Americans back the research, which scientists hope will lead to cures for illnesses like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

But Mr Bush has consistently opposed embryonic research on moral grounds.

People are generally for stem cell research as they should be; the possibilities stem cell research could yield are astounding. So, many ask, why is Bush stopping stem cell research? He's not. In 2001 he banned federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, but not adult stem cell research. The most "controversial" bill (as the article labels it) of the 3 approved by the Senate, would reverse that 2001 embryonic funding ban. There are no laws banning private stem cell research, and it moves forward in many states including my home state of California at my alma mater, no less.

So what's the big fuss about? The other two bills passed unanimously and Bush is expected to sign them into law. The first encourages stem cell research via means other than embryonic and the second bans growing and aborting foetuses simply to harvest their stem cells. No one seems up in arms about those two... they make sense.

So who cares whether or not the government gives tons of cash out for embryonic research? It's still legal, you just won't be able to count on the government to fund your research...

UPDATE @ 7/19 12:21pm: Bush follows through on his promise and vetoes the bill that would federally fund embryonic stem cell research. He did sign the other two stem cell bills into law to increase adult stem cell research and ban growing and aborting foetuses simply to harvest their stem cells.

Indonesia tsunami death toll to 340

No where near the death and destruction of the 2004 tsunami, but tragic nonetheless.

PANGANDARAN, Indonesia (Reuters) - The death toll from a tsunami that smashed into fishing villages and resorts on Indonesia's Java island has crossed 340, and more than 200 people are missing, officials said on Tuesday.

More than 54,000 people have been displaced, they said.

No warnings had been reported ahead of the waves, which struck on Monday, despite regional efforts to establish early warning systems after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that left 230,000 killed or missing, including 170,000 in Indonesia.

They've really got to get some sort of early warning system in place...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hillary Clinton does her best George Bush impersonation

Soon she'll be so far right she'll be indistinguishable from Margaret Thatcher. I mean, how else are we supposed to take this comment:

"I want us here in New York to imagine if extremist terrorists were launching rocket attacks across the Mexican or Canadian border, would we stand by or would we defend America against these attacks from extremists?" said Clinton, D-N.Y. "We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing up for American values as well as Israeli ones."

Amen to the comment, but does she really think she's fooling anyone? Talk about prepping for the '08 presidential election.

I wonder what the Kos Kidz will think of this...

And someone please tell me because I can't stand going there...

Hot Wing Conspiracy fantasy baseball fun

GOP and the City got it up quick this week....

The Galt-inators - 6
Wookies Will Win -3

Albert Pujols is to The Wookies as Coke is to Kate Moss. However, the Galtinators have Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltrán who each hit a grand slam for the NY the same inning.
MVP - Chipper Jones 3B (5R - 3HR - 7RBI - .615BA)
Goat - Tim Hudson SP (3IP - 9H - 5ER)

What can I say, this loss was just pure bad luck. I was leading going into the final day, put up 8 RBIs, 1 HR, and 7 runs (all three were categories I was leading in the day before) and I ended up losing the runs and RBIs and tied in HRs. All thanks to the aforementioned grandslams... Oh well. Albert and Chipper put up a nice 1-2 punch for me, but it wasn't enough... And Chipper's on fire! 14 straight games with an extrabase hit which ties a 79 year old record. Smokin'!

Make sure you stop on by next week. I get to host the official recap for the league. Hopefully it will be after a big win... At least I'm still in 1st place...

Dubya stands up for Israel and swears at Hezbollah

God forbid the president stand up for Israel's right to defend herself. And, then he has a small "oops"...

Ireland Online - Not realising his remarks were being picked up by a microphone, US President George Bush told Tony Blair today that Syria should press Hezbollah “to stop doing this sh*t".

Bush’s remarks were picked up by closed-circuit television at the G8 summit in St Petersburg, Russia, as the leaders were being filmed sitting down to eat.

“See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this sh*t and it’s over,” Bush told Blair as he chewed on a buttered roll before the Group of Eight leaders began their lunch.

Well shit, he said shit. Swearing not being a particularly big deal to me (obviously), I just think it's funny. And actually a good thing because I believe it shows his passion about the issues of terrorism and Israel's right to exist. So I don't want all these people freaking out because Bush said shit. It wasn't a live press conference or interview; it was closed circuit TV, so please, just don't go there...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What's not funny about a pancake slap?

OK, not only is this short clip funny, but they're my sister's friends that I got to hang out and drink with last night...

Oh and a quick thanks to my sis and her roomies for letting her older brother tag along and go bar hopping with them in Pacific Beach.

Friday, July 14, 2006

People accused of stealing Coke's secret formula indicted

Meanwhile the NYTimes editors and writers will probably get pulitzers for exposing top secret national security anti-terror programs. It's nice to see where everyone's priorities are...

Atlanta Business Chron. - The three people arrested last week for allegedly stealing and selling trade secrets of The Coca-Cola Co. were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on a charge of conspiracy.

Ex-con Ibrahim Dimson of Bronx, N.Y., ex-con Edmund Duhaney of Decatur, Ga., and former Coca-Cola executive administrative assistant Joya Williams of Norcross, Ga. were arrested last week on a federal complaint that charged them with wire fraud and unlawfully obtaining and selling Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) trade secrets. After their arraignment Tuesday afternoon, a federal magistrate judge ordered Dimson and Duhaney detained without bond. Williams is free on $25,000 bond pending trial.

Don't get me wrong.. stealing trade secrets is bad, m-kay? But this all started when Pepsi told Coke about someone trying to sell them Coke's secret recipe on May 19th, not quite 2 months ago and we've already got some indictments. Why can't we get indictments on the NYT for exposing the NSA wiretapping or the SWIFT financing program? The NSA exposing article was back in Decmeber of last year! And we've got the NYT editor, Bill Keller, working the talk show circuit like a friggin' celebrity!

Where'd we go wrong? I'd gladly trade Coke's secret recipe, along with the Colonel's, Mrs. Fields', and Bush's Baked Beans' secret recipes for an indictment on the slimes at the NYT. I love soda, fried chicken, baked beans, and cookies, but it's tough to enjoy those when you're dead.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

And now everyone's favorite weekly post... Hot Wing Conspiracy Fantasy Baseball!


And double yea because last week I actually got to pound Repubs Lost in SD after some rather miserable totals in the previous weeks. GOP and College has the official round up:

Wookies Will Win - 10
Repubs Lost in SD - 2

Haha, Wook...I had a better game than you! And yes, I know it's going to haunt me come playoff time. And Repubs might have lost in South Dakota, but SD's having one of the worst seasons ever. With their last win being against CZC in week 6!
Game MVP - Jermaine Dye - 5 Home Runs, 11 RBI's, 7 Runs, and a .379 average. Any Doubt?
Game Wash-Out - Prince Fielder - 1 run, 3 RBI's and 10 fans that week, with a .111 average. Yuck

GOP and College's gloating about posting an 11 to my 10 aside, I'm perfectly happy with my score. Although as lopsided as the score was, Repubs put up a darn good fight. He'd have had a good shot at an overall win if he'd been matched up against most other teams in the league. Just bad luck for him this week, and good for me. It gives my first place ranking a 3 game cushion and this week's schedule helps me even more. I'm playing the 9th ranked team (Galt's still over .500 though so it's certainly not a gimme) and the other top ranked teams are all playing each other: #2 vs. #3, #4 vs. #5, and #6 vs. #7. Tough matchups around the league this shortened week; there's only a few games today and full slate for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to make up week 15's matchups.

If your reeeeaaaally bored, check out previous Hot Wing Conspiracy round ups...
Week 13 Recap
Week 12 Recap
Week 11 Recap
Week 10 Recap
Week 9 Recap
Week 8 Recap
Week 7 Recap
Week 6 Recap
Week 5 Recap
Week 4 Recap
Week 3 Recap
Week 2 Recap
Week 1 Recap
Intro to HWC Baseball

An experiment in blogging...

Hugh keeps talking about TownHall this and TownHall that, so I figured I'd better get in early and reserve my space now. It's like the wild west out here you know...

Nothing against Hugh or TownHall, but I may not keep that blog going... I got in wanting to see the options it afforded me as far as control of the template. I'd just gone through a major site revamp here (my three regular readers may remember my cro-magnon days...) and I don't want to totally abandon my direction here for something that I ultimately can't have full control of. We'll see though... For all the good things Blogger offers, it's not the most reliable service.

Perhaps, in the meantime, I'll just cross post both here and at, and see how things shake out.

Iran's role in Iraq and Gaza and Lebanon and Syria and....

Basically, it's all their fault according to Michael Ledeen...

For those who doubt the Iranian hand, remind yourself that Hezbollah is a wholly owned subsidiary of the mullahcracy (with Syria providing some supplies, and free run of the territory), and then read what Iraq the Model had to say yesterday, Wednesday:

Hizbollah is Iran's and Syria's partner in feeding instability in Iraq as there were evidence that this terror group has a role in equipping and training insurgents in Iraq and Hizbollah had more than once openly showed support for the “resistance” in Iraq and sponsored the meetings of Baathist and radical Islamist militants who are responsible for most of the violence in Iraq.
Notice, please, that he says Iran “sponsored the meetings of Baathist and radical Islamist militants...” He is talking Sunnis here, the same Sunnis who, according to CIA deep thinkers and scads of academic experts, cannot possibly work closely with Shiites like, ahem, the mullahs of Tehran. Iraq the Model isn’t burdened by this wisdom, and so he just reports what he sees on the ground in his own country.

Notice also that over the weekend there was a “security summit” in Tehran, involving all of Iraq’s neighbors, at which Iran’s moonbat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made one of his trademark understatements about Israel. “The existence of this regime will bring nothing but suffering and misery for people in the region,” he mildly commented, and then said that the anger of the people might soon “lead to a vast explosion that will know no boundaries.”

Sounds to me like he knew something before the rest of us. As well he should, because Iran has been quite busy in Lebanon of late. The Lebanese Tourism Ministry’s Research Center announced an amazing statistic in early July: in the first six months of the year, 60,888 Iranian tourists visited Lebanon. No other Asian country came close (the Philippines ranked second, with a bit over 12,000). I don’t think that there’s enough disposable income in mullahland to cover the expenses of more than ten thousand people a month headed for the Beirut beaches. Do you think, as I do, that a goodly number of those “tourists” were up to no good? Maybe some of them were working for the Revolutionary Guards Corps? Or were Hezbollah operations people? I’ll bet you your favorite farm that one of them was the world’s most wanted man, Imad Mughniyah, the operations chieftain of Hizbollah, the world’s most lethal terrorist organization.

So Iran's "tourism" to Lebanon has increased to five times more than any other country in the world. That's interesting... Iran seems to have it's fingers in everything, but farming out the dirty work to their terrorist buddies so they can, in effect, keep their hands clean. When is the world going to take Iran, the mullahs, and wackypants Ahmadinejad seriously? When will we stand by Israel and help her defend herself instead of holding her back and forcing her into diplomatic shackles that only she will honor? Iran is fighting a war against us and we don't even know it, and, as Ledeen says later in his piece (make sure you read the whole thing), the scary part is they've convinced themselves they're winning. They believe we're politically paralyzed and incapable of enduring a prolonged conflict with significant casualties. They believe we are weak.

We must finish the GLOBAL war of terror.

Faster, please.

Senate sends House's offshore drilling bill back in attempt at a compromise

The Senate pushed for a more restrictive form of the House's bill in the name of eco-conservation

WASHINGTON -- Senate leaders produced a compromise on offshore oil and gas drilling Wednesday that they hoped would satisfy lawmakers in Florida and other coastal areas who fear for their tourist-based economies.

The deal would limit new offshore development _ outside the central and western Gulf of Mexico _ to an area of the eastern Gulf known as Lease Area 181 and protect waters within 125 miles of the Florida coast.

[...] The House-passed bill would end, beyond 50 miles, the quarter-century drilling moratorium that has been in effect in virtually all waters outside of the central and western Gulf of Mexico, although it would give states a way to maintain the drilling ban if they chose.

[...] The Lease Area 181, which is 100 miles south of the Florida Panhandle, is not formally under the congressional drilling moratorium, but there have been no lease sales under an agreement between the Bush administration and Florida.

The Senate's bill would open 8 million acres of land for drilling and goes a step further in revenue sharing. The House's bill would have given the states 50-75% of the royalties, and the Senate's bill proposes 37.5% to the states, 12.5% into a "conservation fund" (yippee), and 50% to the federal government.

It's not as good as the House bill, but it might be passable. And as long as they've left themselves the room to grow that area later, we may have to take it. It's the best way to avoid dependence on OPEC's oil.

The next step is going to be turning to nuclear power...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hezbollah captures 2 Israeli soldiers, Israel invades Lebanon in response

Israel is putting out a very clear message here. Don't f*ck with us.

ABC - Hezbollah guerrillas have captured two Israeli soldiers and killed up to seven Israelis, in what Israel described as an act of war by Lebanon that would draw a "very painful" response.

Israel mobilised a reserve infantry division and Hezbollah declared an all-out military alert.

Painful indeed. In a related article, Israel came out and called this an act of war.

ABC - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the abduction amounted to an act of war, held the government in Beirut fully responsible, and vowed no negotiations, as aircraft and artillery pounded Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah, whose Shiite militia was instrumental in forcing Israeli troops out of Lebanon six years ago and which is sponsored by Israel's arch-foes Syria and Iran, demanded the release of Arab prisoners in exchange for the soldiers.

[...] "The Lebanese government is responsible. Lebanon will pay the price," Mr Olmert warned at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who had hoped his visit would ease already sky-high tensions in the region.

"This morning's events are not a terror attack but the action of a sovereign state which attacked Israel without any reason.

"Israel will react in a decisive way so that those responsible for the attack will pay a high and painful price," he said, who is facing his second crisis over captive servicemen in barely a fortnight.

A comment by Gib over at CrosBlog is particularly insightful on the PA/Hamas kidnapping and should carry the same weight with these Hezbollah/Lebanon kidnappings.

If the Palestinians are at war with Israel, then sure, Cpl. Shalit is a legitimate military target. However, that also means that the Palestinians are at war with Israel, and Israel is entitled to act like it - which would, I think, pretty much totally justify their military incursion.

Can't have it both ways - either you're at war, and the other side is entitled to fight a war - or you're not, and Shalit is a victim of an illegal kidnap.
Very true, and Israel should hammer this home as often as possible in the media. If we're to say these kidnappings by the Hamas and Hezbollah are justified then these countries are at war with Israel and Israel is completely within it's rights to blast them back into the stone age.

UPDATE @ 2:52pm: From the Palestinian front...

I just liked the headline on this one... "Israeli Forces Level Hamas Safe House; 6 Slain." Guess that safe house wasn't so safe...

GAZA CITY — Israeli aircraft early today bombarded a safe house where senior commanders of Hamas' military wing were meeting, killing at least six people. At the same time, Israeli troops and armor widened a 2-week-old offensive by pushing into the south-central Gaza Strip, where a senior militant leader was killed.

[...] The Israeli airstrike leveled a house in Gaza City's Sheik Radwan neighborhood, where many Hamas figures live. Palestinian security sources said the home, which belonged to Nabil Salmiah, a Hamas leader, was apparently being used as a hide-out by senior commanders.

It seems like they've been killing Hamas leaders, 2 or 3 a day now for years... Hasn't Hamas run out of people to brainwash into their organization by now?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

7 blasts on commuter train rock India

100 are dead and hundreds more injured because of the blast.

MUMBAI (Reuters) - More than 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in seven explosions on packed commuter trains and stations during rush hour on Tuesday in Mumbai, India's financial hub, officials said.

"There are 104 dead," a police official at the city's central control room who gave his name as Bhavale, told Reuters by phone. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, the top elected official in the state, said 300 people were injured.

[...] Officials did not confirm they were bomb explosions and there was no immediate claim of responsibility. But suspicion turned to Muslim militants fighting New Delhi's rule in disputed Kashmir, who have been blamed for several bomb attacks in the country in the past.

We'll have to keep an eye as news from this tragedy unfolds. Is this another attack by al Qaeda or another global terrorist network, or a more homegrown group using violence in response to local government issues?

UPDATE @ 12:02pm: The WaPo now has the death count to 139.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm and called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the blasts as well as a string of grenade attacks earlier Tuesday that killed seven people, at least five of them Indian tourists, in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Bombay bombings, which occurred in quick succession in the port city's western suburbs. But suspicion quickly focused on Muslim militants fighting New Delhi's rule of Kashmir, who have been blamed for several bomb attacks in India in the past.

Still no claim or blame for the explosions, but the string of grenande attacks is an interesting addition to the story.

UPDATE @ 3:52pm: Allah at Hot Air has great post updating with the most current info on the incident, one of which speculates on a suspect some believe should be at the top of the list, Dawood Ibrahim. He's India biggest narcoterrorist and an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Interesting...

Bush shaves some more off the deficit

Thank God. I'm glad we're seeing some more data coming through after the National Review and Investor's Business Daily articles claiming Bush is ahead of schedule as far as cutting the budget deficit in half.

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration cut its estimate of this year's budget deficit by 30 percent to $296 billion amid a surge in tax collections from corporations and wealthy individuals.

The projected shortfall is down from the $423 billion deficit the White House forecast five months ago and represents 2.3 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Office of Management and Budget. Last year's deficit was $318 billion.

[...] The lowered forecast for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 is driven by higher than expected tax receipts as the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.6 percent in the first quarter, the fastest in two and one-half years. Government revenue has risen 11 percent so far this year even as the war in Iraq -- a total of $319 billion so far -- and the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast after last year's hurricanes -- more than $100 billion -- has pushed up spending.

The government makes more money when they take less from the people. The tax money the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I got back went into buying more furnishings for the house, clothes, wedding gifts, and are going to go into baby stuff and hopefully a vacation in the coming weeks. Think of who gets money on all that. The retailers, the manufacturers, and the suppliers, not to mention the employees for these companies who get to keep their jobs (and who will continue to get taxed and not have to go on government assistance). Those companies make money, hopefully enough to grow to generate more profit, and that's more tax money for the government.

This is much more akin to the republican philosophy on spending. Now if we can just start to cut some off the "Nanny-state" government programs, we'll be in even better shape...

UPDATE @ 12:13pm: Ace also posts on the shrinking deficit. He pulls this bit from a Larry Kudlow article over at Townhall.

Did you know that just over the past 11 quarters, dating back to the June 2003 Bush tax cuts, America has increased the size of its entire economy by 20 percent? In less than three years, the U.S. economic pie has expanded by $2.2 trillion, an output add-on that is roughly the same size as the total Chinese economy, and much larger than the total economic size of nations like India, Mexico, Ireland and Belgium.

This is an extraordinary fact, although you may be reading it here first. Most in the mainstream media would rather tout the faults of American capitalism than sing its praises. And of course, the media will almost always discuss supply-side tax cuts in negative terms, such as big budget deficits and static revenue losses. But here's another suppressed fact: Since the 2003 tax cuts, tax-revenue collections from the expanding economy have been surging at double-digit rates, while the deficit is constantly being revised downward.

You want to talk about tax cuts for the rich now?

FBI search of Rep. William Jefferson's Capitol offices was perfectly legal

No word yet on why Congressman Jefferson likes his bribe money on ice...

A federal judge in Washington yesterday said the FBI's search of Rep. William J. Jefferson's Capitol Hill offices in a bribery investigation -- which ignited a firestorm of protest in Congress -- was legal and denied efforts by defense attorneys to have the seized documents returned.

U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Hogan, in a 28-page opinion, described the "facts and questions of law presented" by the May 20 weekend raid on the Louisiana Democrat's office as "indeed unprecedented," but said it was "well-established" that a member of Congress was as bound to criminal laws "as are ordinary persons."

Judge Hogan set aside complaints by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, who vigorously argued that the seizure of legislative papers from Mr. Jefferson's office violated the legislative branch's independence and protections afforded members by the "speech or debate" clause of the Constitution.

Memo to the government, Democrats and Republicans. The people of the US don't like corrupt government officials. We. Don't. Like. Corrupt. Officials. Period.

This is news to Republican Hastert and Domecrat Pelosi, apparently. If the FBI catches you taking bribes you're in deep shit. It may be "unprecedented" and it's certainly disgusting, but it better lead to jail time.

Adios Jefferson. Hopefully you can live without a freezer for your cash in prison...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hamas leader Meshal calls abducted Israeli soldier Shalit a POW

And maybe if Meshal actually lived in the Palestinian territories as opposed to hiding in Damascus, we could take his words seriously. Of course then there's the problem that he works for a terrorist group...

Haaretz - Earlier on Monday, Khaled Meshal, the Damascus-based head of the Hamas political office, insisted on a swap of Palestinian prisoners for captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

"Our people... are united on the insistence to swap the captured soldier with prisoners in the jails of the Zionist enemy," said the exiled Hamas leader during a rare press conference from the Syrian capital.

And perhaps after he's returned to his own he'll realize that it's probably best that he not refer to his adversary as the "Zionist enemy." I mean can't he come up with something more derogatory than that? I've thought of five while I wrote that sentence and I like Israel... I'm sure that will go over well along with the Zionist enemy line.

[...] Meshal blamed Israel for the collapse of Egyptian, Qatari and European mediation efforts to solve the crisis over the soldier.

"These efforts hit snags over Israel's insistence on the release of the Israeli soldier and its refusal to release Palestinian prisoners," he said.

"I do not exaggerate when I say that Olmert and his hostile policies are holding Gilad Shalit. He shoulders the responsibility for what is happening to him," Meshal said.

"This is not a solution ... We don't want escalation. We are for a peaceful, quiet resolution."

"The solution is simple: an exchange. But Israel refuses that," he said, adding that the Israelis are "under an illusion" if they think that by escalating their Gaza offensive they will win the soldier's release.

Right... It's all Israel's fault simply because they exist. The evil Zionist conspirators forced Hamas to kidnap Shalit, because Hamas is usually all puppy doggies and kitty cats and daisies when they're not firing rockets into Israeli cities blowing up schools. And of course Israel's refusing the 1,000 Palestian prisoners for the single Cpl. Shalit. I guess they don't think that's a very fair deal...

Italy wins the World Cup

But to be honest, it wasn't so much Italy won as it was France lost. France really dominated the match, they just couldn't get past the Italian defense to put in the winning goal. And then when Zinedine Zidane lost his marbles and headbutted Marco Materazzi in the final minutes of overtime, France lost their best player. Who knows what would have happened if Zidane had been able to restrain himself...

UPDATE @ 4:31pm: Where do people get this stuff? Stolen borrowed from GOP and the City.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another al Qaeda New York terror plot foiled

The target was the Holland tunnel.

Officials in America and Lebanon say that they have disrupted a plot by foreign terrorists to attack New York’s transport network.

FBI agents apparently uncovered planning to destroy vital transport links as they monitored internet chatrooms used by extremists in recent months. One of the alleged plotters, identified as Amir al-Andalousli, has been arrested in Lebanon at America’s request.

Lebanon a new partner in the war on terror? Since they revolted against Syria's tyrannical rule in favor of a Lebanese democracy, things have apparently been going very well for Lebanon.

The purpose of the plot undercovered by the FBI was to destroy the tunnel in an effort to flood New York's financial distract. Apparently the terrorists were inspired by the tragedy of Katrina and looked to duplicate it in New York. Of course how they were going to get water to flow uphill to affect lower Manhattan is still puzzling those of us with brains. Apparently the terrorists didn't think that part of the plan through well enough...

UPDATE @ 4:50pm: Hot Air reports the terrorists planned to attempt their uphill flooding of lower Manhattan on 9/11/06.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

North Korea's failed missile launch was reportedly aimed at Hawaii

OK, I think this really confirms that King Jong "Ping Pong" Il is in serious need of psychiatric help. Or else he's REALLY desperate for attention. What else could possibly explain this?

North Korea targeted waters near Hawaii when it fired a long-range missile this week, a Japanese newspaper reported Friday.

The long-range Taepodong-2 was part of a barrage of seven missiles test-fired by North Korea on Wednesday. They all fell harmlessly into the Sea of Japan, but South Korean officials said the long-range missile had malfunctioned, suggesting it was intended for a more remote target.

Japan's conservative mainstream daily Sankei said that Japanese and US defense officials have concluded that the Taepodong-2 had been targeted US state of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, after analyzing data collected from their intelligence equipment.

The newspaper quoted unidentified Japanese and US government officials.

What makes someone get up in the morning and say, "Hmmm, I think I'll fire a missile at the world's foremost superpower and then have a nice cup of coffee and a muffin." Is it physically possible to be that bored, or is Ping Pong a serious sadomasicistic psychopath?

Thanks to BlackFive and Ace for the breaking news.

Palestinian security forces Hamas given the OK to fire on Israeli forces in Gaza

As opposed to launching rockets into populated areas, damaging an elementary school.

YNet - Palestinian interior and national security spokesman Abu Hilal sounded more determined when he stated clearly that orders have been given to Palestinian police officers and security forces to fire on Israeli troops.

This is the first time that official Palestinian sources say that an order have been given to Palestinian security forces to open fire at IDF forces operating in Gaza.

An interior ministry spokesman said that "the officers and security force members should open fire at the invading Israeli forces."

I'm not worried about the Israeli forces. I'll take them every day of the week and twice on Sundays over Hamas and whatever Palestinian security forces they claim aren't with Hamas.

UPDATE @ 4:08pm: Israelis kill 17. See told you I wasn't worried for the Israelis.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This week in fantasy baseball

Public Figures Beware has the honor of hosting this weeks round up of Mot Wing Conspiracy Fantasy Baseball. And it was another heartbreaker for me...

The PAW's: 7
Wookies Will Win: 5

If Chewbacca doesn't make any sense, the PAWs must win. Indeed. The PAWs won the pitching 4 -2 and the batting was a 3 - 3 tie. Johhny Cochran is dead, though.

MVP: Chipper Jones 3HR, 8 RBI, 4 Runs and a .500 BA. I hate Chipper Jones.
Sucker: Rickie Weeks fanned 10 times and batted .111. Drop. Him.

We were neck and neck throughout the week, and I just couldn't quite get enough on Sunday to pull me through. Chipper was certainly the MVP for me for the week (and as a side note, who doesn't like Chipper Jones? He's awesome!) And while Ricky Weeks had a really crappy week, I think my pitching staff was the real Dud of the week. I had five pitchers with ERAs over 5.00 and tow of those had ERAs over 10.00. PAWs posted a total ERA of 5.18 and I couldn't beat that. That's sad.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Everyone have a safe and happy Fourth!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hot Air slams the NYT

The NYT is putting us in danger with our exposes, and Hot Air isn't afraid to take them to task.

Who says Loose Change is the only group that does internet movies to further their position?

Hamas tries to turn the tables on Israel's Gaza offensive

They want 1,000 prisoners released for the single captured soldier, Cpl. Shalit.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Militants gave Israel 24 hours starting Monday to begin releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, implying they would kill an abducted Israeli soldier if their demands were not met.

[...] Israel has pounded Gaza with airstrikes and artillery shells for nearly a week in an unsuccessful effort to force the militants to release Shalit. Israel sent a small force of tanks into northern Gaza on Monday, raising fears it was gearing up for a large invasion.

After Shalit was seized in a June 25 raid on an army post that left two comrades dead, his captors demanded Israel free all imprisoned Palestinian women and minors in exchange for information about him. They later increased their demand to include the release of a further 1,000 prisoners.
[...] If Israel doesn't comply, "we will consider the soldier's case to be closed," the statement said, "and then the enemy must bear all the consequences of the future results."

Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Hamas military wing, later told The Associated Press that Israel must at least begin freeing the women and minors.

"Israel must understand that the resistance factions are serious in this matter. They will close this case if (Israel) doesn't deal with the demands," he said, adding that the militants would not compromise.

[...] "If God forbid, they should hurt the soldier, our operations will be far, far worse," Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon told Channel 2 television.

That's a crock of shit, and I bet Israel will bomb Palestine like it's never done before if they harm a single hair on that young soldier's head. And notice how the terrorist spokes-hole never even acknowledges that the Israeli captive is even a human being whose life is in danger. He's simply a "case," the next chapter in this conflict that will soon be "closed." And in this case "closed" is to be read as "beheaded," "murdered," "butchered," and/or "tortured" just in case you don't have your terrorist/english dictionary handy.

And as we've discussed here before, hopefully worse includes more precision strikes taking out specific targets like Mashaal in Damascus as well as the continued shelling of Gaza terrorist hideouts.

Lieberman will run as Independent if he loses the Democratic primary

Too bad there are only 20 Republicans in Connecticut, or else that'd be a great idea...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000 now challenged for supporting the Iraq war, said on Monday he would run for re-election as an independent if he loses his party's primary.

Lieberman, 64, said he plans to collect enough signatures to run as an independent candidate in November if he loses the Democratic nomination to a self-financed neophyte who has criticized his willingness to support Republican President George W. Bush on the war and other issues.

All kidding aside, should he lose the Democratic primary, he's got the name recognition thing going for him. That might be just enough to put him over the top in a general election.

North Korea says they've got nukes and they're not afraid to use them if provoked

I think this is where the saying "peace through superior firepower" comes into play...

SEOUL, South Korea Jul 3, 2006 (AP)— North Korea would respond to a pre-emptive U.S. military attack with an "annihilating strike and a nuclear war," the state-run media said Monday, heightening anti-U.S. rhetoric amid close scrutiny of its missile program.

The Korean Central News Agency, citing an unidentified Rodong Sinmun newspaper "analyst," accused the United States of increasing military pressure on the isolated communist state and basing new spy planes on the Korean Peninsula.

The North Korean threat of retaliation, which is often voiced by its state-controlled media, comes amid U.S. official reports that Pyongyang has shown signs of preparing for a test of a long-range missile. North Korea claims it has the right to such a launch.

I don't know what Kim "Ping-Pong" Jong Il thinks he's got up his sleeve, but his 8 nukes, aren't going to get him very far with us or the rest of the nuclear superpowers. And there's a good lesson to be learned here. Don't let Iran have nukes. Then we'll have Wackypants Ahmadinejad running a nuclear superpower too, and he's probably a bigger lunatic than Ping-Pong.

So don't let Iran get to this point. One lunatic with nukes is plenty.