Tuesday, October 31, 2006

John Kerry says only stupid people end up in our military

And you won't believe how he's trying to spin his way out of this one...

First off, the comment came at a campaign stop at Pasadena City College where Kerry stuck his foot into his mouth pretty much all the way up to his knee...

While campaigning in California, Kerry told a college crowd on Monday: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Well now... so only the stupid kids get sent to Iraq? Are all military personnel stupid? Having served in the military, does that make you stupid Senator Kerry? Before we start piling on too much, one of his spokespeople offered an explanation: Kerry misread the speech:

Kerry's office released his prepared remarks, which said, "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

If true, while there's still a nice Freudian slip type feel to the remark, we can't hammer him too badly... It's not like Bush is a perfect orator either. We all make verbal mistakes; no bid deal... But then Kerry goes and opens his big fat mouth some more trying to respond to comments from the White House, specifically Tony Snow, that he ought to apologize.

The Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential nominee struck back, although he said that he was making a "botched joke" during a campaign appearance for a Democratic congressional candidate Monday. He said that Snow and the others distorted what he said.

"I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq," Kerry said in a statement. "It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have."

Oh really? It's a lies, lies, vicious lies! A vast right wing conspiracy! Karl Rove's minions changed my speech at the last minute! Then a little misdirection that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand, and there you have it. The liberal two-step. A simple, "sorry, didn't mean that," or "misread my speech" really could have delfated the whole issue. We'd have snickered over the issue for a day and then forgotten all about it. Now that you've made a huge deal out of the whole thing and insulted Tony Snow and Rush Limbaugh for no reason, it's going to be a topic of conversation for an entire week. The week before the election is going to be spent trying to figure out why John Kerry is so bitter and angry and if it's a symptomatic problem of the Democratic party as a whole. Why can't democrats just simply say "oops... my bad" and move on with their lives. He's taken the focus off of whatever other scandal information they had waiting in the wings and put it on why John Kerry's an idiot.

I guess Dennis Prager's right... being a liberal means never having to say you're sorry.

UPDATE @ 3:57pm: GOP and the City had the video of John Kerry's idiocy...

UPDATE 11/1 @ 4:05pm: Kerry apologizes...

In a brief statement, Kerry apologizes to "any service memeber, family member or American who was offended" by remarks he made earlier this week, in which he suggested that those who don't do well in school could "get stuck in Iraq."

In the statement, Kerry says he sincerely regrets that his words were, as he put it, "misinterpreted to imply anything negative about those in uniform."

Took him long enough. Hell, even Hillary Clinton was out there saying his remarks were "inappropriate."

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Hot Wing Conspiracy Fantasy Football: Week 8 recap

Welcome one and all to Hot Wing Conspiracy's official week 8 recap. It was a big week in football... Pittsburgh and Philadelphia decided that they're just going to throw their seasons away with stupid losses, newsflash: Indy and Chicago are pretty good, and the word of the day in Dallas is "Romo."

But now for the more important scores, our fantasy matchups. For those who are new to this fantasy sports thing, here's how the scoring breaks down: You start 10 positions; 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 3 wide receivers, 1 tight end, 1 kicker, 1 team defense, and 1 utility spot (either a RB or WR). You get points for yards gained (passing, receiving, rushing, or returning kicks) and points scored (touchdowns, field goals, extra points, and 2 point conversions). You get negative points for interceptions, fumbles, and sacks. The defense get points for holding teams to low point totals, low yardage, as well as points for sacks, fumbles, and interceptions. If your 10 starters have more points than the guy your playing against, you win. It's really that easy

With that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff!

Rose Hill Reddogs - 53
Gridiron Wookies - 56

My wookies came up clutch this week... No one was exceptional, only my defense scored in double digit points. But 9 points each from Steve Smith, Darryl Jackson, and Kellen Winslow as well as a solid 1st start from Romo managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. That plus the Dogs with four guys combining for 1 pt... That helped too...
MVP: Vince Young came up huge this week, albeit in a losing effort.
Loser: Jeremy Shockey with only 15 yards of recieving, got a big fat goose egg.

Gumbo - 20
Robots Eat Babies - 98

Robots went ballistic on poor Gumbo. Peyton had a zillion points, Reggie Wayne had a billion... But don't feel too sorry for Gumbo until he figures out the Trent Green hasn't played since the first week, yet is somehow still in the lineup as well as 2 guys with bye weeks this week...
MVP: Peyton Manning tore Denver a new a-hole on Sunday
Loser: Gumbo coaching staff... it's tough to start a guy at QB's who's been knocked unconcious...

Mr. Wolf Cleaning Svc - 47
bRight & Early - 57
bRight sarted the 49er QB and still managed a win. That's impressive. Wolf really was let down by his receiving core: 2 points between the 3 starters... of course that's what happens when you start 2 Philly Eagles at WR and the team decides to roll over and play dead on Sunday.
MVP: Owen Daniels had a huge 99 yards and 2 TDs in Houston's loss to Tennessee.
Loser: Alex Smith got his ass handed to him by Chicago.

webcats - 78
Hot Wing Chumpion - 35

The Chumps continue to defend their winless streak with a stellar folding at the hands of the mighty cats. It wasn't even the cats really, as much as it was Tomlinson. He's good.
MVP: LT outsocred the Chumps singlehandedly with 31 total points.
Loser: 3 WRs and 2 RBs combined for 4 points for the Chumps. Time to hit the free agent market Chumps...

RFTR - 28
fmragtops' spewers - 56

FM is getting good performances all around but that Chicago defense is really killing people, especially anyone in a 49er uniform. RFTR just had a horrible week helped by awful Pennsylvania football performances.
MVP: 16 bone cruching points by Chi-town's defense.
Loser: Ben Roethlisberger's recent concussion has apparently led him to believe that he's supposed to throw the ball to the opposing team. Who knew?

Tax Dodgers - 70
I Hate Hillary - 39

The Dodgers got double digit performances from 4 different starters which was more than to send Hillary packing. Of Hillary's 10 starters, 8 of them were on the losing end of games on Sunday. Dodgers were the exact opposite.
MVP: Drew Brees may have lost to Baltimore, but still had a great game.
Loser: Duece McCallister got a big old zero thanks to Baltimore.

San Jose Arrowheads - 79
Hector Vex-o-Trons - 18

San Jose improves to 7-1 in the league and could have beated Hector' Vex-o-whatevers with a single wide out. Hector's wingman, Delhomme, certainly won't help him get laid with those kind of numbers...
MVP: Marques Colston caught 2 TDs and 163 total receiving yards. Pretty good for a rookie drafted in the 7th round...
Loser: Jake Delhomme... -8 points... that's worse than Roethlisberger and makes him the week's grand champion loser

The Columbia CRUNCH - 97
The Ball Sackers - 54

The CRUNCH rode Tom Brady and Larry Johnson all the way to the bank as the 2 combined to outscore the Ball(less) Sackers entire team. It was a rough week for lots of QBs around the league and the Sack got hurt by McNabb's ball-less performance.
MVP: Larry Johnson was the big baller of the week and carried his team with 34 total points
Loser: McNabb mathced Roethlisberger's crap performance... -4.


Monday, October 30, 2006

The AP's latest pro-terrorist headline

All you've got to do is read the headline, "Militants blame U.S. for Pakistan strike" and then ask yourself why the hell do we care what militants terrorists think anyway?

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani helicopter gunships on Monday destroyed a religious school the military said was fronting as an al-Qaida training camp, killing 80 people in the country's deadliest military operation targeting suspected terrorists.

Islamic leaders and al-Qaida-linked militants blamed the United States for the airstrike and called for nationwide demonstrations to condemn the attack that flattened the school — known as a madrassa — and ripped apart those inside. Furious villagers and religious leaders said the pre-dawn missile barrage killed innocent students and teachers.

U.S. and Pakistani military officials denied American involvement.

Among those killed in the attack in the remote northwestern village of Chingai, two miles from the Afghan border, was a cleric who had sheltered militants in the past and was believed associated with al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Oh, so the main story here according to the AP is that the terrorists are mad that we blew up one of their training camps. And nevermind that the madrassa's leaders were warned to stop using the school as a terrorist training camp and that the US wasn't involved in the attack.

A memo to the AP: a more sensible title might read something like "Pakistan destroys terrorist training camp killing 80 ruthless, bloodthirsty murderers cowardly hiding among innocent civilians."

Just a thought...

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

St. Louis Cardinals are World Series champs

Congrats to the Cardinals and the series MVP David Eckstein.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Other stars come out against Michael J. Fox

Interesting... Patricia Heaton is leading the charge and it's all about a Missouri voter initiative, Ammendment 2.

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to allow and set limitations on stem cell research, therapies, and cures which will:

  • ensure Missouri patients have access to any therapies and cures, and allow Missouri researchers to conduct any research, permitted under federal law;
  • ban human cloning or attempted cloning;
  • require expert medical and public oversight and annual reports on the nature and purpose of stem cell research;
  • impose criminal and civil penalties for any violations; and
  • prohibit state or local governments from preventing or discouraging lawful stem cell research, therapies and cures?

Doesn't sound too bad. Here's Michael J. Fox's ad that's he's got running in Missouri. It's in supposrt of the Domicratic candidate, Claire McCaskill because of her stance for stem cell research.

And here's the ad Patricia Heaton, Jim Caviezel, Jeff Suppan, Kurt Warner, and Mike Sweeney appear in to urge voters to vote against Constitutional Ammendment 2 for stem cell research.

Now reading through the ammendment, I don't think this is that bad a bill. It would "ensure that Missouri patients have access to stem cell therapies and cures, that Missouri researchers can conduct stem cell research in the state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any stem cell research permitted under federal law may be conducted in Missouri, and any stem cell therapies and cures permitted under federal law may be provided to patients in Missouri, subject to the requirements of federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements." Those additional limitation are that it would ban human cloning, ban ferilization simply for the purpose of creating stem cells to harvest, removal of human fertilized blastocyst (aka. embryo) must take place within the first 14 days of fertilization, and bans people from selling their blastocysts (embryos).

The Patricia Heaton ad unfortunately appears to be wrong. The bill flat out says in it's first condition that "(1) no person may clone or attempt to clone a human being" and that "(4) no person may, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell human blastocysts or eggs for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures." The ad mentions making human cloning a constitutional right, but how can it do that and ban it at the same time? The ad talks discusses low income women selling their eggs for money, but the verbage in the ammendment says no selling eggs or blastocysts for profit. How can it ban it and allow it at the same time?

Now I think it's overkill to make this a constitutional ammendment. Why is it necessary to do that as opposed to a regular proposition. Ammedning the constitution makes me nervous and seems unnecessary.

But anyone with more info on this please leave a comment. I'd love to learn more about the ammendment...

UPDATE @ 4:18pm: Heard this on Hugh Hewitt and it's a good point. Fox paints Talent as against all stem cell research when he's just against embryonic stem cell research.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

SoCal on fire... again

It's in Cabazon, the Desert area about 20 miles from Palm Springs.

CABAZON, Calif. - A wildfire driven by hot Santa Ana winds killed three firefighters trapped in their engine, critically injured two others and drove hundreds of people from homes Thursday as it swept through the desert hills northwest of Palm Springs.

The firefighters were trying to protect a house from the 4,000-acre wildfire when the flames engulfed the engine, said Pat Boss, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman.

Looking at the map to the left, Cabazon is in between Banning and Palm Springs right there near the Interstate 10. Here in Temecula it basically looks like the apocalypse is here. The sky is brown with all the smoke. Coworkers who live out towards Palm Springs say wind gusts were up to 75 mph out by the fire. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for all of Riverside County due to high winds and low humidity. I've also heard reports of fires further south in the Anza Borrego Desert (large green area cut off at the bottom of the image) and the Perris/Sun City area. I'll try to confirm those and get some pictures of the smoke in the area on my lunch.

UPDATE @ 1:42pm: Yahoo story linked above also mentions 400 people trapped in a RV park off highway 243. All were quickly rushed to safety as the fire surrounded the park. **revised** All are still trapped at the RV park, but do have firefighters with them and are in contact with authorities outside the burn area.

UPDATE @ 1:50pm: Here's some pictures of the smoky conditions from my home in Temecula, about 50 miles away from Cabazon. You'll notice the sky's about the same color as the road. You'd think it was dusk or sunset not shortly before 1pm in the afternoon. The first one is from my driveway looking in the opposite direction (west to the coast). We're seeing the ash falling here too...

UPDATE @ 2:02pm: Local TV news reports put the fire at just over 13 hours old, 4,500 acres burned, and firefighters have no containment on it as of yet.

UPDATE @ 2:06pm: LATimes says a fourth firefighter has died.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters that three firefighters were killed fighting the blaze. The U.S. Forest Service confirmed the deaths, adding that two firefighters were critically injured.

One of the injured died later at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff/Coroner's Office.

The firefighters were trapped in their fire engine when high winds suddenly pushed the flames over them, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Pat Boss told the Associated Press.

700 area residents have been evacuated, 700 firefighters are currently battling the blaze. Estimates say the fire could end up consuming 25,000 acres before it's all said and done.

UPDATE @ 2:19pm: Evacuation centers have been set up at the Banning Community Center (789 N. San Gorgonio Ave.) and Hemet High School (41701 Stetson Ave.)

UPDATE @ 2:21pm: Another map of the fire area...

UPDATE @ 3:01pm: The ABC "Video on Demand" on the right hand side of this link is a news conference that makes a strong case for arson on this fire. It is LIVE NEWS CONFERENCE, so tune in... They're pissed about this arson, and make no apologies for it.

UPDATE @ 3:13pm: ABC7 Live News Conference finished at above link finished.

UPDATE @ 3:45pm: Anyone with arson tips is instructed to call 951-922-7116.

UPDATE @ 4:00pm: Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the arsonist.

UPDATE @ 10/27 9:00am: A smokey sunset...

UPDATE @ 10/27 10:33am: Latest fire stats... burned 24,000 acres (about 38 square miles), fire officials expected to have 3,000 firefighters on the scene by midnight last night, parts of Banning had to be evacuated last night, crews are concerned about the Santa Ana winds shifting which could push the fire east to Palm Springs or south to Hemet, and the fire is reported to be only 5% contained.

There is still a $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the arsonist. If you have information please call 951-922-7116. The firefighters who died when trying to save a home when the fire shifted and overtook them and their truck are engine Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, 44, of Idyllwild; engine operator Jess McLean, 27, of Beaumont; assistant engine operator Jason McKay, 27, of Phelan; and firefighter Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20, of San Jacinto. A fifth firefighter, Pablo Cerda, 23, of Fountain Valley, is in critical condition with burns over 95% of his body. Please keep all the firefighters, their friends, and families in your prayers.

UPDATE @ 10/27 2:56pm: Reward is upped to $300,000. Total acreage burned is at 24,000 and at least 10 structures have been destroyed.

Two young men were seen leaving the area where the fire broke out about 1 a.m. Thursday. Also, investigators said they were looking into whether the wildfire was related to other blazes in recent months, including a canyon fire last weekend.

UPDATE @ 10/27 4:41pm: Reward's been increased to $400,000.

UPDATE @ 10/28 11:35am: The fire has currently burned nearly 40,000 acres (almost 62 square miles, but thanks to cooler temperatures and less winds the fire is currently 40% contained. The reward for information leading to the arsonist's arrest has increased again to $500,000.

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Study says 272,000 illegal immigrants live in San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside counties

That's it? I'd have figured it'd be a lot more than that.

NORTH COUNTY -- According to a new study, an estimated 272,000 illegal immigrants are living in San Diego, Imperial and southern Riverside counties, a figure that translates to nearly 7 percent of the region's 4 million residents.

While the percentage of illegal immigrants remained in the single digits, their numbers are rising rapidly, according to the study.

The number of illegal immigrants living in San Diego and Imperial counties rose 38 percent; in southern Riverside County, the number rose 18 percent between 2000 and 2005, according to the study commissioned by the American Immigration Law Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington that supports legal immigration.

Those percentage in population increase sound right, but only 272,000 in those 3 counties? Imperial and Riverside counties are HUGE (over 16,000 square miles of SoCal) and some of the fastest growing areas as far as building expansion. And with San Diego and Imperial counties actually bordering Mexico, 272,000 illegal immigrants must be an extremely conservative estimate.

The numbers are based on this study breaking down illegals per Congressional District. The methodology is at the bottom and says that they relied heavily on US Census Bureau stats.

So basically it's a huge underestimation.

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Rock wars: Killers vs. Green Day

Thanks to the Fetching Mrs. Wookie for pointing this story out to me and downloading the Killers, album Sam's Town. They've quickly shot up my favorites list simply because of this story...

Apparently, Green Day's "American Idiot" album didn't sit to well with Killers front man Brendan Flowers. In fact I think it's safe to say it pissed him off.

"You have Green Day and 'American Idiot'. Where do they film their DVD? In England," The Killers' frontman told The Word. "A bunch of kids screaming 'I don't want to be an American idiot' I saw it as a very negative thing towards Americans. It really lit a fire in me."

Explaining he was offended by the set-up, Flowers added: "You have the right to say what you want to say and what you want to write about, and I'm sure they meant it in the same way that Bruce Springsteen meant 'Born In The USA' and it was taken wrongly, but I was really offended when I saw them do that."

The singer added he felt the DVD was a bit of a a stunt.

"I just thought it was really cheap," he explained. "To go to a place like England or Germany and sing that song - those kids aren't taking it the same way that he meant it. And he [Billie Joe Armstrong] knew it."

The Killers' frontman said he believed that his band's new album 'Sam's Town' is a much better representation of America.

"People need to see that, really, there are the nicest people in the world here!" he declared. "I don't know if our album makes you realise that. But I hope it's from a more positive place."

I personally refused to buy Green Day's "American Idiot" album, and to be blunt, I'm sick and tired of hearing the songs on the airwaves. Unfortunately, kids respond to rock, so outspoken groups like Green Day, Blink 182, and Good Charlotte will still get huge crowds whereas the Dixie Chicks have concerts across the country cancelled. I don't think the Killers have anything to worry about as far as liberal leaning rock fans not buying tickets to their shows because neither they nor their music are particularly political.

But negative comments are starting to come out despite the group's popularity. The Fetching Mrs. Wookie was recounting a DJ on San Diego's 91x and his comments that despite his anticipation about the Killers new album, he was "upset" that they're speaking out against Green Day.

So just to make sure the Killers get their fair shake, you can download the album now through iTunes or order the CD. It's pretty damn good...

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hot Wing Conspiracy Fantasy Football

GOP and the City hosts the complete roundup this week, and the only reason I'm posting my truly embarassing scores is for full disclosure. Don't want y'all thinking I only post when I win...

*The Columbia CRUNCH - 64
Gridiron Wookies - 34

TCC lost for the first time last week, so he was looking for someone to beat up on to get back on track. Too bad for the Wookies, his QB ended up with a goose-egg..against the Texans.
MVP - Larry Johnson 19 Points (132 Yards Rushing, 2 TDs)
Goat - Byron Leftwich 0 Points (nothing)

My big question for the week was who to start at QB, Leftwich or Bledsoe, and if you can believe it, Leftwich was the better choice because when all things were said and done, Bledsoe scored -2 points. Leftwich's goose egg is better than negative points. Other than that I got 3 other big fat zeros from my roster.

No wonder I lost.


Cardinals take game 3, lead series 2-1

No controversy here, St. Louis got the start it needed from Carpenter who shut down the Tigers, holding them to just 3 hits for the game.

I picked Detroit to win in 6, so why am I rooting for the Cardinals every night?


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jack's Back! The Season 6 trailer!

Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back! Jack's back!

Jack must die to save the world! Ooh, this is gonna be good!

You've just got to sit through the Toyota commercial to see Jack kick ass...

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Alcohol reduces risk of heart attack

A drink or two a day keeps the cardiologist away!

If you are a man who doesn't smoke, has a healthy diet, does plenty of exercise, and consumes alcohol in moderation, your chances of having myocardial infarction (heart attack) are lower than a man with a similar lifestyle who never drinks, say researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, USA.

Previous studies indicated that moderate alcohol consumption may lower heart attack risk for high risk people. This is the first study ever to show that this also applies to healthy men with healthy lifestyles.

I love science! They don't say what type of alcohol though, so feel free to do your own experiments at home... try out a bunch of different distilled beverages and find your favorite.

Someone pass me a beer!

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Iran continues to expand its uranium enrichment program

And they're doing it as the UN discusses possible sanctions against Iran... Do you think Ahmadinejad really cares what the UN says? His actions fly right in the face of their stupid talks, memos, resolutions, and sanctions.

VIENNA, Austria -- Iran is expanding its uranium enrichment program even as the U.N. Security Council focuses on possible sanctions for its defiance of a demand to give up the activity and ease fears it seeks nuclear weapons, diplomats said Monday.

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the information to media, told The Associated Press that within the past few weeks Iranian nuclear experts had started up a second pilot enrichment facility.

[...] In Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country's nuclear capability has increased tenfold despite Western pressure to roll back its atomic program, which Iran insists is peaceful.

Ahmadinejad keeps spewing his hate and lies, but who's to say here what's a truth and what's a lie? This isn't a game. It's not Where's Waldo; we're talking about nuclear weapons here, not a dork in a striped shirt. But the UN keeps talking sanctions, and who here wants to know why those are going to be worthless?

[...] Moscow and Beijing are reluctant to impose harsh punishments on Tehran, an economic and strategic partner. They also fear that any sanctions _ which for now rule out military action _ could still start the process toward consideration of force.

That's why. And they won't be willing to do anything until Tehran actually has a nuke and tests it. Then, maybe, we can get China and Russia on board and then they'll only go along with something pointless like banning Iranian luxury item sales.

So who's going to stop the inevitable?

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Adventures of a first-time father to be... part 8

This weekend the fetching Mrs. Wookie and I spent the day Saturday down in beautiful, sunny San Diego sitting poolside with our closest friends from college who wanted to throw us a baby shower. The couple who threw it went to great lengths to make sure that the co-ed baby shower was more party than a pink explosion of estrogen and baby wipes.

That's why we were poolside, barbequing, with plenty of beer. It was the only way to guarantee that any of the guys would go. And it was a blast... A small party... only 15 people were there. Fortunately they kept the games to a minimum; we only had to eat and guess the baby food (all I've got to say here is pineapple glazed ham... nasty) and draw our interpretation of what the baby Wookie would look like. There was a hairy little wookie or two in the submissions...

Thanks to Nate and Amy for putting together a great party and to everyone who drove in from LA and beyond just for the party!


Barack Obama compared to JFK

I couldn't help but laugh when I read the title "Senator [Obama] has same charisma that propelled Kennedy." Barack Obama is no John F. Kennedy.

But Obama also carries some of the same sort of charisma that propelled a young John Kennedy into the presidency in 1960. His is a very 21st century multicultural appeal: the son of a Kenyan father and a white woman from Kansas, he has known both poverty and privilege. He was one of the stars of his class at Harvard Law School, but he has also worked as a social worker and street organiser in Chicago's roughest neighbourhoods and later practised as a civil rights lawyer.

So he's charmismatic. Big deal, so was Clinton, but I don't recall comparisons to Kennedy there.

And don't fawn all over him yet, he's still got to make sure Hillary doesn't run before you give him the nomination and annoint him the savior of the world...

UPDATE @ 4:42pm: BlackFive also posts on Obama's sudden popularity.

Has he ever done anything? Nope. Is he a 100% ADA liberal voting record? Yep. Does he do a credible job of keeping a suit off the ground? Yep. Is he well spoken? Yep. And then I hear Chris Rock in a stand up talking about the condescension of whites discussing whether they would vote for Colin Powell. "Oh he's so well spoken. He just speaks so well."

"Of course he's well spoken you ignint mofo, he's an educated man. What did you expect him to sound like".

I wonder if we'll get any "Uncle Tom" type comments from the left like the ones that Condi Rice, Colin Powell and Michael Steele have been saddled with...

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say no...

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Detroit takes game 2

Kenny Rogers pitched a gem, perhaps with a little help?

Regardless, the series is all tied up at 1 game apiece

Hopefully you've got you're bets in...

Detroit in 6.


NYSE continues into uncharted waters

The Dow's up 108, to new interday highs over 12,100.

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose, extending October's record-breaking rally, as falling oil prices bolstered speculation that consumer spending will sustain the economy.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, jumped after saying it will slow new spending on stores, relieving concern that it's growing too fast. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the world's largest chewing-gum maker, had its biggest jump in almost three decades after naming former Nike Chief Executive Officer William Perez to head the company.

Stocks gained as earnings from Hasbro Inc., Xerox Corp. and Halliburton Co. exceeded analysts' estimates. Confidence that the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged this week for the third consecutive time also supported the markets.

[...]Amid evidence of a slowdown, third-quarter earnings have been a positive for the market. As of today, 167 members of the S&P 500 have reported financial results for the third quarter, with 73 percent topping analysts' estimates. That's more than the 57 percent average since 1992, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Only blackeyes on the market data is Ford's $5.8 billion loss and new data suggesting the Fed's not as confortable with rates where they're at...

Still 73% of companies reporting earnings greater than forecast is a great sign for the economy.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ted Kennedy offered to help USSR beat Reagan in his bid for re-election in 1984

This is unbelievable. Thanks to Allah for posting it.

There’s a new book on Ronald Reagan making the rounds, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. Its author, Paul Kengor, unearthed a sensational document from the Soviet archives. That document is a memo regarding an offer made by Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts via former Senator John Tunney, both Democrats, to the General Secretary of the Communist Party, USSR, Yuri Andropov, in 1983. The offer was to help the Soviet leadership, military and civilian, conduct a PR campaign in the United States as President Ronald Reagan sought re-election. The goal of the PR campaign would be to cast President Reagan as a warmonger, the Soviets as willing to peacefully co-exist, and thereby turn the electorate away from Reagan. It was a plan to enlist Soviet help, and use the American press, in unseating an American president.

Think about that.

Think about that indeed. I read it and reread it, and I still can't wrap my head around how a US citizen could hate someone so much as to enlist the help of the enemy, an enemy who made no bones about the fact that they wanted to nuke us, in an effort that would undoubtedly change the United States irrevocably. Hate is the only reasoning I can come up with, it's so mind boggling.

I can't imagine the opposite happening... Republicans conspiring with al Qaeda or North Korea to get themselves elected (despite the popularity of such Rovian plots from the bowels of the nutter leftwing loonies). But, and I'm not saying it is, if such a plot were true, Americans would be absolutely furious, and you'd see a landslide win for the Democrats.

So what will happen to the Democrats over this.

Who wants to bet nothing?

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They see me roll on my segway...

You are 22% white and nerdy.

Dammit... Weird Al's gonna be pissed...

Thanks to Crosblog for the link.


Friday, October 20, 2006

1.2 million illegal immigrants arrested at the US-Mexico border in 2005

1.2 million... In one year...

All this is in a report released by Texas House Representative Michael McCaul, A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border (via Counterterrorism Blog). FYI, it's a .pdf file so take note...

Some of the basic stats outlined in the 40 page report are as follows...

During 2005, Border Patrol apprehended approximately 1.2 million illegal aliens; of those 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Of the non-Mexican aliens, approximately 650 were from special interest countries. Special interest countries are those “designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.”

A significant portion of illegal activity at the border relates to illegal drug smuggling. Below is a summary of FY 2005 Federal drug seizures, which shows a total of 1,129,275 pounds of cocaine and 6,866,465 million pounds of Marijuana.

Law enforcement officials estimate that at best only 20% of illegal drugs are seized and only 30% of illegal immigrants are caught.

But as the Aaron Mannes at Counterterrorism blog points out, some of the most disturbing data in the report is in regards to Venezuela's role in helping the 165,000 "other" illegals...

A particularly interesting note was the report's discussion of Venezuela's current policy of freely issuing identity documents. Thousands of cedulas (the Venezuelan equivalent of social security cards) have reportedly been issued to non-Venezuelans - including Cubans, Columbians, Middle Easterners, and Pakistanis. Combined with Hugo's belligerent rhetoric and close relationship with Iran this is extremely worrisome.

This issue has been discussed in intel circles for some time. FARC's foreign minister was living openly in Caracas and had even voted in Venezuela's election.

In fairness, even for Hugo, directly supporting terror attacks against the U.S. may be a bit much (although maybe not). This is more likely crime plus. That is - corruption and criminal activity - permitted by Hugo's regime as a revenue source with the added bonus of causing trouble for the United States.

Whatever Hugo's motives, you can't discount his increased belligerence and how chummy he's been lately with the psycho "death to the Great Satan" crowd. With the friends he keeps and the crap he keeps saying, I don't think we can afford to continue to shrug him off as a South American tin hat dictator. If he's going to give legal Venezuelan documents to anybody, of any race, creed, or country - anybody with a pulse for that matter - we need to stand up and take notice. More than take notice, we need to start to take action. And finishing a wall across the entire length of the southern border would be a great start.

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War against subversive children's games: "Tag" gets the axe

Yep, two Massachusetts schools banned the game of "Tag" this week. Yes run around, tag, you're it is now no longer an acceptable recess game. When I read the headline, I figured it'd be because it would cause self-esteem issues with kids who couldn't run as fast as the others or perhaps because we can't allow boys to start tagging girls because we wouldn't want some second grader claiming she was sexually harassed when she was "it". The last one's close, but still not quite as lame an idea as the one actually given in the article...

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Two Massachusetts primary schools this week joined a growing list of US schools that have banned the age-old game of tag for fear that children may get hurt and their parents will sue.

Officials at McCarthy Elementary School in Framingham in the northeastern state, told local media that children have been ordered to invent a new no-contact version of the game for safety reasons.

"If the hands come out to touch, then the supervisors ask them to stop," McCarthy principal Joan Vodoklys was quoted as saying in the Boston Herald on Friday. "What we require is that children do not touch each other."

What would our kids do these days if not for the benevolent protection of the legal profession? I think the "heaven-forbid-the-kid-fall-down-and-skin-a-knee" excuse is probably the lamest excuse someone with a graduate degree could think of.

But it does make the kids think... Like how to tag another player without actually touching them with your hands. Kicking perhaps? Pointing and laughing? Maybe spitting on them to designate tham as tagged? Throwing a rock? That's a good way to let someone know they're "it"...

Or we could just send the kids to school everyday with their attorneys, and have the attorneys' perform all required actions, while the kids stay in their hermetically sealed bubbles protected from the dangers of a stiff breeze. The lawyers answer all questions posed in class, make sure nothing inappropriate like peanut butter is served in the cafeteria, and play all recess games so the kids don't get hurt. That way we can create an entire generation of kids who never actually do, learn, or accompish anything throughout their entire lives.

It'd be just like Berkeley.

UPDATE @ 4:11pm: Looks like Chad, the East coast rep for Cake or death posted this back on Wednesday... I just can't get a break...

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Cardinals beat Mets for trip to the World Series

I'm not so much a Cardinals fan as I hate all New York baseball teams...

So now it's Detroit and St. Louis for all the marbles. Even though Albert Pujols won me the fantasy baseball championship, I'm going with the Tigers in 6...

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And now we hear from the Iran wacko who wants nukes

Iran is North Korea from 10 years ago and Ahmadinejad is learning that he can get nuclear weapons if he plays the diplomtic game just like Ping Pong Kim Jong. And if wackypants Ahmadinejad gets nukes, Iran will destroy Israel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Israel no longer has any reason to exist and will soon disappear. The latest threats are adding to Israel's already deep concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

Israeli officials say the saber-rattling from Iran is another warning to the international community that the Islamic regime must not be allowed to get a nuclear bomb. At a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran, Iran's president said Israeli leaders are a "group of terrorists," and he threatened any country that supports the Jewish state.

He also said Israel is a fake regime that would soon disappear. It was a similar statement to one a year ago, when he threatened "to wipe Israel off the map."

Iran will keep playing us until he gets exactly what he wants, and I'm afraid Israel will be the only nation with enough backbone to stand in Iran's way. Since we won't be directly affected immediately after Iran announces it has finally made a nuclear weapon, I'm afraid the US will stand by and watch (especially if we elect Democrats) as Israel has to act alone, again. Just like Osirak back in 1981. The US will play dumb while Israel saves the world.

Ahmadinejad is telling us what he will do. Flat out. He will destroy Israel. Wipe them off the map. Make them disappear.

When will we believe him and will we do anything about it?

UPDATE @ 4:17pm: Cox & Forkum's latest on the supreme leader of Iran...

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North Korea sorry about nuclear test?

Ping Pong regrets the nuclear test.

Sure he does...

Seoul, South Korea (AHN) - A South Korean newspaper has reported on Friday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il regrets the nation' s nuclear test and that he is willing to return to six-party talks, conditional to Washington's withdrawal of isolationist campaigns against North Korea.

Chosun Ilbo reported Kim as telling a Chinese envoy, "If the U.S. makes a concession to some degree, we will also make a concession to some degree, whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks."

It's total BS and the world should know better. But some diplomatic weenie will label it a progress, restart the talks, and sign more treaties and pass more resolutions.

Until he tests his next missile delivery system or another nuclear weapon, of course...

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fantasy Football - Week 6 Recap

Wyatt Earp and the boys hosted the recap of last week's fantasy football action, and yours truly bounced back from a gutwrenching week 5 loss to reclaim victory and keep myself in the top half of the league standings.

* Gridiron Wookies - 76, The Ball Sackers - 51

How do you remain undefeated when five of your players have zeros for the week? Cheat. Or lose. In my case, we lost. The only thing my team sacked was a bag of potato chips while the Wookies tapdanced on my team's proverbial face.

MVP - Steve Smith (GW). Welcome back, Mr. Smith! It's been a long time.

Bantha Fodder - Mushim Muhammad (TBS) - Guess he wasn't facing east this week.

The team's done reasonably well so far. Bledsoe hasn't been a total waste of space and he stands motionless in the pocket waiting for some linebacker to level him. My running backs haven't been doing a whole heck of alot, but at least they're consistently not doing a whole heck of a lot. My wideouts have been saving my ass time and time again.

But the dilemma as we prep for this weekend is who to start at QB... Leftwich or Bledsoe? Their stats are pretty even, but Leftwich has yielded more points thus far, because he's been sacked less and thrown fewer interceptions. Coming off the bye week, Jacksonville could be in tip top shape. They finally had an offensive explosion two weeks back and Leftwich did well. And they're playing Houston this weekend. Bledsoe on the other hand got lucky and just threw balls near TO hoping he could catch them for TDs. This week he's up against the Giants... not the best defense, but Bledsoe couldn't outrun a slug, so does it really matter?

So any thoughts? Who gets the start?

Oh, and why can't John Kerry catch?


Dow closes above 12,000 for first time

After passing the mark a couple times during the day yesterday, the NYSE finally broke through the glass ceiling and closed at a record 12,011.73.

And on the anniversary of 1987's Black Monday no less, when the NYSE closed at 1,793.90. Less than 20 years later, four presidents, three wars, and America's worst terrorist attack ever have passed and the economy is still rolling. Unemployment is at 4.6%.

Maybe cutting taxes really can help stimulate the economy... ya think?

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tests confirm North Korean test was nuclear

***Updated and bumped***

Maybe North Koreans Ping Pong Kim Jong just has really small... bombs?

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Radioactivity found in air samples has verified North Korea's claims that it conducted an underground nuclear test on Oct. 9, according to the top U.S. intelligence agency.

"Analysis of air samples collected Oct. 11, 2006, detected radioactive debris which confirms North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion," said a statement from the office of Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.

Still it was under a kiloton. But that's the least of our worries at this point. What do we do with a madman with a nuclear bomb? Invade? No, not yet anyway... I linked to In from the Cold's post shortly after the test was conducted, and the former spook had 8 ideas other than war: pressure China to halt illicit DPRK maritime traffic, step-up enforcement against illegal financial activities, crack down on the chosen soren, provide the latest ATBM technology to our regional partners, make it easier for North Korean refugees to enter South Korea and the west, suspend western humanitarian aid, place tough restrictions on air traffic, and naval quarantine. Those are all much better ideas than the crap that the UN approved, ban luxury item sales and encouraging cargo inspections of North Korean shipments.

Still, China is unfortunately the key, and while they're talking the talk, they've yet to back that talk up with actions against NoKo.

Japan’s U.N. ambassador, Kenzo Oshima, this month’s council president, said China was willing to impose some punitive measures, "but in our view we would have to ask them to make further efforts."

Beijing has huge influence on Pyongyang as its most important political and economic ally. In the past it has opposed sanctions but agreed to some punitive measures if they were narrowly focussed on dangerous weapons.

One controversial provision in the U.S.-drafted resolution, was authorization for international inspections of cargo moving in and out of North Korea to detect weapons-related material. Diplomats said China had rejected that.

Beijing also wants the resolution to be carefully worded to avoid any risk it would open the way to military action.

Gee... anyone else wonder what's up with China here?

Cox & Forkum's take certainly isn't hard to believe...

Meanwhile, liberal idiots all over the US continue to blame all this on Bush. Yet they seem to forget about this...

In 1994, the United States and North Korea had entered into the "Agreed Framework" to defuse the issue of the North Korean nuclear program. Neither party held to this agreement during the Clinton Administration, and most experts believe North Korea had acquired one or two nuclear weapons before Bush took office. The year after Bush's speech, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Or you can check out the video adaptation of the 1994 concessions the Clinton administration made to Ping Pong Kim Jong. And that he's got nuclear weapons is somehow Bush's fault? That's Madeleine Albright, Clinton's Secretary of State toasting with Kim Jong in 2000 before Bush took office and about the time that most experts agree Kim Jong had already developed nuclear weapons, right? I just wanted to make sure I wasn't seeing things... I didn't think that looked like Colin Powell giving nuclear technology to Ping Pong Kim Jong, not even on a really bad hair day.

Still we've got Harry "real estate tycoon" Reid calling for an investigation into Bush's NoKo policies? For a better insight into a communist's psyche try this piece by Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former Romanian Intelligence officer under the USSR. I think he might know more about this than Harry Reid who appears to be doing some grandstanding to get the media off his shady real estate dealings and his use of campaign contributions to pay Christmas bonuses.

So let's all get on board here... DPRK with nukes is bad. The international community and the UN should come up with harsh retribution for the North Koreans, more than saying don't buy their "luxury items".

Can we at least agree on that?

UPDATED & BUMPED @ 3:38pm: North Korea appears to be preparing a 2nd nuclear test. I guess Kim Jong Ping Pong doesn't want the world to think he's got small... bombs.

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I couldn't resist...

Why does Allah find all the good stuff first?

Check out this short, "Hillary's Baggage"


Who says the MSM is impartial?

Reuters continues its "fake but accurate" reporting from the Middle East (via Hot Air).

On Tuesday, a Reuters cameraman was remanded to prison until trial for his part in rock-throwing attacks on security forces in Bil'in, where the separation fence is a constant target of protesters.

The cameraman, Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat, was arrested and charged as a result of violent riots in the Arab village of Bil'in, in the Modi'in region, on October 6, 2006. A videotape that the prosecution presented to the judge shows Boghnat encouraging and directing rioters in Bil'in to throw large chunks of rock at Israeli vehicles in such a way as to cause maximum damage. The accused is heard shouting, "Throw, throw!" and later, "Throw towards the little window!"

Wait a sec...

I thought the press was simply supposed to report what was happening, not encourage people to do things so they've got something to report that fits their agenda.

How silly of me...

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Venezuela in the running for non-permanent UN Security Council seat

Is the UN really this dumb? Really?

The United Nations General Assembly today elected Belgium, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting 1 January 2001

A fifth non-permanent seat, to be awarded to a member of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, remains in contention after neither Guatemala nor Venezuela obtained the needed two-thirds majority during the first two rounds of voting today.

Well if those are the only 2 choices, I guess I'd pick Guatemala especially after Hugo Chavez' "Bush is the devil" speech from a couple weeks ago. That makes his country the next best choice for a seat on the UN Security Council? In the two rounds of secret ballot voting, Guatemala got 109 to Venezuela's 76 in the first round, and the second round saw Gautemala with 114 to Venezuela's 74.

So if after a third round of voting, neither state gets the required two-thirds, voting gets expanded to all members from that region.

If Chavez gets this, expect two years of even more pointless UN diplo-crap than usual. I'm not sure if that's even possible, but I'm sure the Venezuelan representative will do their best to make the UN even more pointless than it already is.

UPDATE @ 2:57pm: Four votes now and still no winner...

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Watered down sanctions against North Korea approved

To translate that from UN diplo-speak into English, it's a harshly worded memo saying please don't do it again...

Sanctions will include a broad arms embargo, a ban on luxury sales to North Korea and measures to encourage countries to inspect all cargo shipments in and out of the country, in part to frustrate any attempt by Pyongyang to proliferate its weapons technology around the world. International travel will also be forbidden for North Korean officials with any connection to the country's weapons programmes.

If that doesn't strike fear into the heart of a ruthless dictator, I don't know what will...

Way to go Russia and China, maybe NoKo will bomb you first...

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British General say Iraq is worse because we're there

But did General Richard Dannatt really say that?

In the Daily Mail interview, Dannatt said: "I don't say the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them."

Britain should get "out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems," he told the newspaper.

First off the Daily Mail is well known for its opposition to the conservative government’s policies… Think New York Times…

Second, what’s he really saying here? Is he discussing Britain’s popularity around the world or the current climate of unrest in Iraq? Sounds like the former, but regardless, is that really true? Will things around the world get better if foreign troops leave Iraq? The Iraqis don’t think so, and I don’t think Muslims around the world will all of a sudden be at peace as soon as we leave Iraq. They flew planes into the WTC long before we were in Iraq. They bombed the USS Cole long before Iraq. They bombed 2 American embassies in Africa long before Iraq. And here’s a host of others’ opinions on the necessity of the Brits (and our) presence in Iraq.

And now the good General has come back out and clarified his comments that appear to have been taken out of context saying that the troops should come home soon,

Gen Dannatt said there was not "a piece of paper, however thin" between him and the government.

The general refused to back down on the substance of his remarks and to some degree compounded them. "I am not a maverick in this sense. I am soldier speaking up for his army. I am just saying come on, we can't be here forever at this level," he told Radio 4's Today programme.

"I have got an army to look after which is going to be successful in current operations, but I want an army in five years time and 10 years time. Don't let's break it on this one."

In another interview, with Sky News, Gen Dannatt said: "The army is exceptionally busy so I want to see this mission successfully concluded, but I also want to make sure I've got an army that's not so exhausted that it's still there and can do the job in five years' time, in 10 years' time ..."

And again the paper tries to take his comments and infer ulterior meanings from them, but all he’s doing is looking out for his troops, and acknowledging commonly held beliefs that we’re not going to be in Iraq forever, but while we’re there, we’re there to win.

These are hardly that inflammatory.

We’re there. We’re needed. And we’ll be there for several years, but not at the same troop levels we have now. Use your heads people. The Iraqi army and police force are growing and quickly become more and more capable. We’ll get there…. It’s just a matter of when.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Call the UN! ...or Instapundit at least! Iowahawk's gone nuclear!

It has been confirmed... Iowahawk has succesfully tested nuclear-tipped cherry bombs and fully-fissionable bottle rockets! We must stop him before he takes out another Cedar County Highway Maintenance truck!

It can also be confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission or finger-loss in the course of the testing as it was carried out under scrutinous scientific consideration and careful calculation, and with one of those long-tipped Bic fireplace lighters. Also to insure safety, it was more than one hour after the Central Defense Committee's last round of scientific bong hits.

Scientific analysis reveals that the historic launch was conducted with pinpoint accuracy and flawless execution, resulting a glorious fireball as it streaked across the access road into county maintenance truck. Mark this official forwarning, Cedar County Highway Maintenance: half-life isotope calculations by Chuck indicate the truck will be unsafe for usage until next Wednesday, and Iowahawk cannot be liable for mutations of your foolish crews!

This marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased Iowahawk and the many patriotic peoples of Lakewood Mobile Home Park that have wished him to have powerful self-reliant defense capability and a prosperous refridgerator stocked in Olde English 800s. It is unsurpassed in glory and the its praises will be sung by the children for a thousand years! Well, obviously not the same children, for the entire thousand years, because those first children would eventually grow up and be dead after 100 years, 110 years tops. I'm assuming there would be probably be some sort of gradual rotation system to add fresh singing children.

We cannot bow to his demands. We must prevent him from restocking his nuclear glowstick payload as well as his rockets of peaceful stability, no matter how many cases of Olde English 800 he holds hostage...


Jack Bauer returns in 94 days, 5 hours, 56 minutes...

Now it's 55 minutes...

... 53 mintutes... I can't wait!

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South Park mocks 9/11 conspiracy freaks

A hysterical episode, as usual.

And it took an unexpected turn when Stan and Kyle confront President Bush about these conspiracy theories and Bush says it's true, the government was behind the 9/11 attacks.

Kyle: No way!

Stan: He was right! You did cause 9/11!

Bush: Yes... Quite simple to pull off really. All I had to do was have explosives planted in the base of the towers then on 9/11 we pretended like 4 planes were being hijacked when really we just rerouted them to Pennsylvania then flew two military jets into the World Trade Center filled with more explosives then shot down all the witnesses on Flight 93 with an F15 after blowing up the Pentagon with a Cruise missile. It was only the world's most intricate and flawlessly executed plan ever. Ever.

Kyle: [long dramatic pause] ... really?

That's right! Bush did cause 9/11! And they were encouraging the conspiracy nuts so the world would know the the government controls everything! The whole episode was an elaborate setup, even the conspiracy whackos were working for the government.

And they would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for the rascally Hardly Boys who followed their "raging hard clues" around all episode.

Parker and Stone strike again!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BREAKING - Small plane crashes into NYC residential building

I read the headline and immediately had flashbacks...

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A small airplane crashed into a 50-story residential building on Manhattan's East Side on Wednesday, killing at least two people, the New York City Fire Department and New York City Police Department said.

Flames were shooting out from several windows midway up the luxury high-rise in a residential neighborhood. Paramedics and rescue workers are treating people on the ground.

The Federal Aviation Administration described the plane as a "general aviation" fixed-wing aircraft flying under visual flight rules, meaning a pilot was flying by visual landmarks. (Watch the orange flames ravage the apartment -- 1:50)

First responders to the New York plane crash say an emergency call was made from the plane indicating a possible fuel problem.

New York Yankees Manager Joe Torre told CNN that the plane that was a Cirrus SR-20 registered to team pitcher Cory Lidle.

Only 2 have died so far which while tragic is much better than my initial estimate would have been, especially with som many headlines talking about the debris raining down on people on the ground.

And a quick prayer for Cory Lidle and his family. The plane may have been registered to him, but hopefully he wasn't on board.

UPDATE @ 3:14pm: NYT confirms Lidle was on the plane.

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Johns Hopkins Iraqi Casualty report - a full disclosure

The Lancet report hit piece put out by Dr. Gilbert Burnham of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, claims 655,000 Iraqis have died because of the war.

A controversial new study contends nearly 655,000 Iraqis have died because of the war, suggesting a far higher death toll than other estimates.

The timing of the survey's release, just a few weeks before the U.S. congressional elections, led one expert to call it "politics."

In the new study, researchers attempt to calculate how many more Iraqis have died since March 2003 than one would expect without the war. Their conclusion, based on interviews of households and not a body count, is that about 600,000 died from violence, mostly gunfire. They also found a small increase in deaths from other causes like heart disease and cancer.

"Deaths are occurring in Iraq now at a rate more than three times that from before the invasion of March 2003," Dr. Gilbert Burnham, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

The Lancet is a British medical journal that seems to have tarnished itself here by letting itself get dragged into leftwing moonbat territory.

How could this happen you ask? When the editor of the publication is a well known hippie tree hugger pacifist, it's not that hard to imagine. LGF has video of Lancet editor Richard Horton at a UK Stop the War Coalition demonstration called "Time to Go." He was the featured speaker, and shared the stage with the likes of George "Iraq is fighting for all the Arabs. Where are the Arab armies?" Galloway.

And that's on top of basing these results on household interviews and the obvious political timing of releasing this report now.

It's not like Horton has a biased opinion on this or anything...

UPDATE @ 3:03pm: Thanks to commenter Lawrence for the link to NewsBusters that has info that the NYT did the same thing The Lancet boobs did.

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Budget deficit cut... again...

We're still in a deficit and the numbers show a spending increase. Fortunately that was offset by huge revenue increases...

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. recorded a budget deficit of $248 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, $48 billion less than the government predicted in August and the narrowest spending gap since 2002.

Revenue increased 12 percent from the previous fiscal year, led by a 27 percent gain in corporate income taxes, the Treasury said today in Washington. Spending rose 7.4 percent to a record $2.65 trillion.

The deficit is likely to widen again in the fiscal year that began this month as economic growth slows. For all of 2007, the economy will probably grow 2.6 percent after expanding 3.3 percent this year, according to the median estimate of 82 economists in a Bloomberg News survey completed yesterday. It would be the weakest performance since 2003, when the economy was starting to regain momentum following the 2001 recession.

Bush has called his strategy pro-growth, and despite the economic slowdown the economy is still on the black as far as quantatative growth. In fact Wall Street is now predicting that the Fed will start decreasing rates by June to help boost the economy and spur more growth.

And regardless of what numbers you use (projected or actual), Bush has slashed the deficit, and a war-time deficit at that. And while that should garner him praise (and it won't), we should also implore him and Congress as well to not get too carried away patting themselves on their backs just yet. A deficit is still a deficit, and with the projected economic slowdown over the next 6 months, we can't allow for another spending increase. Cut the fat, Dubya. Tell Congress to stop the pork. There's going to be less revenue coming in so we need less spending as well if we want that deficit to keep shrinking.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korean nuke test a dud?

As more and more people analyze the effects of the explosion, the evidence seems to be piling up that this might not have been the show that was advertised... so to speak.

The North Koreans ought to ask for their money back.

The Age - Shock waves emanating from North Korea probably came from the explosion of a nuclear device, but one that did not achieve its full potential.

US intelligence officials and weapons experts believe the explosion produced about 3 per cent of the power of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki more than 60 years ago, raising questions about whether a larger device failed, or if Pyongyang was testing a component of a larger weapon.

The first article I cited yesterday mentioned this as well... The strength of the bomb that was measured from yesterday's North Korean test was one kiloton, maybe even less, and that's making for interesting spculation around the blogosphere.

The above cited article specualtes that it could be a component of a larger weapon, but not only offers no evidence to support that theory, it just threw that out there and forgets to even come back to it later in the article.

What is an obvious conclusion is that NoKo's scientists can still learn from a failed test, perhaps more than they would from a successful one. But the silver lining there could be that along with the failed missile launch back in July, NoKo could still be a ways away from having a nuclear warhead and the means to deliver it via ICBM.

But what is the window before they're ICBM warhead ready? Hot Air speculates about 18 months andd also mentions that this test, even if it failed, is a harsh reality check for China, Japan, and South Korea. We've seen China talk about jumping on board with sanctions, and Allah-pundit is sure Japan will re-arm itself. Immediately.

In from the Cold tries to tackle the trickier issue of potential military conflict with DPRK, and it's not a pretty picture. So the former spook gives 8 other alternatives to war, and it's more than simple saying, "sanctions." Check it out.

Maybe it's the optimist in me, but I've got to think this was a swift kick in the butt to the world to get in gear as far as dealing with NoKo, and a worldwide public shaming of Ping Pong Kim Jong. That's two big deal tests of his that failed. I just hope we can stop him before he gets one to work...

UPDATE @ 4:03pm: Winds of Change (via BlackFive) has an excellent post that makes the case that China's behind the curtain of DPRK's nuclear test and that the best and only deterrent is going to being nuclear proliferation in the region. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea all get nukes to protect themselves from NoKo and hold the ever growing China in check.

UPDATE @ 4:46pm: Captain's Quarters has a guest post from Sen. McCain who has some strong words for the Democrats, thanking none other than Clinton for the mess that we're in now with NoKo. I originally stuck the ABC article on the Headlines sidebar, but when I saw he guest posted something similar at CQ, I thought an update was in order. Andd when you get the chance read the ABC article too. John really ought to try thinking before he opens his mouth otherwise we get these dumb comments on DPRK and a late show appearance calling for the death of George Bush. Politics as usual, huh Johnny boy?

UPDATE @ 4:58pm: Found this at GOP and the City and couldn't resist...

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Judge throws Saddam out of courtroom

It's sad, but this has become a bigger soap opera than the OJ trial. Too bad they're not televising this one...

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The chief judge ejected Saddam Hussein and a co-defendant punched one of the guards and denounced prosecutors as "pimps" and "traitors" during the toppled leader's genocide trial against the Kurds on Tuesday.

One of Saddam's former military commanders, Hussein Rasheed, was the one who apparently punched a guard.

This trial has been one dramatic episode after another, and not in a good way. As long as Saddam is convicted and sentenced (preferably to death) in the end, I won't feel so guilty about enjoy the courtroom pandemonium...


Dow Jones ends up 9 in another record close

But again this is economy somehow got very little consumer confidence... People your home values can't always increase 10% in a year... There's more to the economy than you home's equity, alright?

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Dow Jones industrial average set its fourth record close in two weeks Tuesday, finishing less than a point above its previous closing high.

After a lackluster day of trading, broader indexes also rose slightly, putting the Standard & Poor's 500 back near its 5 1/2 year highs.

Just another notch on the belt of the world's largest economy...

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