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For the week ending:

Rest of 2005

Sunday March 26, 2006

This weekend I took my monthly trip to Rockford, IL. I go there every month to maintain certification and proficiency and this month was no different. Except, this month I felt like a celebrity. I checked into the Baymont Inn like a regular person. Only I wasn't treated like a regular person. I was treated like The Vice President of the United States. Here is a small list of my amenities:

  • King size bed
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Private Bathroom
  • Temperature set to 68 degrees (I kid you not)
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Pot
  • Container for Ice
  • Bottled Water (alas, only 2 bottles)

Perhaps, I was treated better than the VP. I also had:

  • In room hair dryer
  • Cable TV and remote
  • Free HBO
  • ShowerMassage
  • Indoor Plumbing

Generally, I was treated like your average American. No special needs. No catering to elaborate tastes or demands. Of course the New York Times would like you to believe that Cheney is a right-wing-Republican-neo-con-rich guy who has much much more elaborate and demanding tastes than the general populace. Actually, the New York Times is primarily concerned that he watches Fox News and doesn't listen to NPR.

Monday February 20, 2006

These are the sentiments of Jimbo Lileks--and they resemble my own:

Happy President’s Day. All hail the aggregate clump of chief executives. I’m old enough to remember when they were but two such Presidents held up for celebration: the Father of Our Country, known for wooden teeth and inability to prevaricate when confronted with arboreal murder, and The Great Liberator, who sat around looking lanky and pensive until he freed the slaves, after which he was shot. Now these titans have been folded in among the mediocrities and place-holders and notable exceptions, and it’s all just a day off.

Because they hate us. Read excerpts from Brigitte Gabriel's speech delivered at the Intelligence Summit in Washington DC, Saturday February 18, 2006:

Brigitte Gabriel is an expert on the Middle East conflict and lectures nationally and internationally on the subject. She's the former news anchor of World News for Middle East television and the founder of

I was ten years old when my home exploded around me, burying me under the rubble and leaving me to drink my blood to survive, as the perpetrators shouted “Allah Akbar!” My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. At 10 years old, I learned the meaning of the word "infidel."

I had a crash course in survival. Not in the Girl Scouts, but in a bomb shelter where I lived for seven years in pitch darkness, freezing cold, drinking stale water and eating grass to live. At the age of 13 I dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night, waiting to be slaughtered. By the age of 20, I had buried most of my friends--killed by Muslims. We were not Americans living in New York, or Britons in London. We were Arab Christians living in Lebanon.

As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12, 2001, and asking themselves "Why do they hate us?" The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sort of excuses as to what did we do to offend the Muslim World. But if America and the West were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have had to ask the question. Simply put, they hate us because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word: "infidels."

Under the banner of Islam "la, ilaha illa allah, muhammad rasoulu allah," (None is god except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) they murdered Jewish children in Israel, massacred Christians in Lebanon, killed Copts in Egypt, Assyrians in Syria, Hindus in India, and expelled almost 900,000 Jews from Muslim lands. We Middle Eastern infidels paid the price then. Now infidels worldwide are paying the price for indifference and shortsightedness.

Tolerating evil is a crime. Appeasing murderers doesn't buy protection. It earns one disrespect and loathing in the enemy's eyes. Yet apathy is the weapon by which the West is committing suicide. Political correctness forms the shackles around our ankles, by which Islamists are leading us to our demise.

Hey, what can I say? I'm a sucker for a good thought experiment.

Finally, the Israelis grow some cajones:

ISRAEL yesterday fired the opening salvo in an economic war to undermine the radical Hamas movement, halting monthly tax transfers of tens of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority in response to the swearing in of the new Hamas-dominated parliament.

...and from today's Opinion Journal:

Donors have the right to impose conditions on their beneficiaries, and so far Hamas has rejected international calls that it disarm, forswear terrorism and accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state. As Hamas leader Khalid Mish'al wrote in Britain's Guardian immediately after the election, "We shall never recognize the legitimacy of a Zionist state. . . . We shall not seek friendships at the expense of our legitimate rights."

Palestinians need to understand that the exercise of self-government carries consequences. For too long, the international community has failed to extract a price for the Palestinian recourse to terror. That failure has not brought peace, but far worse it has produced the "Palestine" we have now: destitute, savage against both Israelis and moderate Arabs, and, so far, incapable of managing its internal affairs peacefully and competently. By refusing to render Hamas respectable, the U.S. and Israel aren't punishing the Palestinians. They're educating them.

New information on Iraqi WMD's:

One new piece of information revealed on the tapes, released Saturday by Mr. Tierney at the Intelligence Summit, a private conference held in Arlington, is that Saddam was actively working on a plan to enrich uranium using a technique known as plasma separation. This is particularly worrisome because of the date of the conversation: It took place in 2000, nearly five years after Iraq's nuclear programs were thought to have stopped.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, according to Mr. Tierney, was the fact that the Iraqi scientists briefing Saddam about the uranium enrichment plan in 2000 "were totally unknown" to U.N. weapons inspectors. The plasma program also appears to have escaped the attention of the Iraq Survey Group, which reported two years ago that it had ended back in the late 1980s.

Sunday February 19, 2006

At least The Phoenix, Boston's leading alternative newspaper, has the courage to admit they're cowards in their decision not to print the Mohammaden turbanistic explosive cartoons:

''Our primary reason," the editors confessed, is ''fear of retaliation from . . . bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do . . . Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and . . . could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year-publishing history."

Saturday February 18, 2006

Remember a few months ago when Pat Robertson made a bone-headed remark (as he often does) about assassinating Hugo Chavez of Venezuela? Robertson was roundly critized by the American Media. He was also roundly critized by men and women of faith throughout the country. Robertson's remarks were characterized, in nearly all cases, as stemming from his faith, his religion. Since Robertson is Christian evangelist, Christians were also besmirched. But I submit this: Robertson made the threat against Chavez not because of his religion, but because of his politics. It was a purely political statement and not a religious one. Robertson did not claim to be defending the faith. He did not espouse assasinating Chavez because it is God's will. Robertson simply believes it is in the best interest of the United States. Of course, no one in the Mainstream Media reported it this way. They simply used Robertson's stupid comments as a means to show that even Christians make death threats and are, therefore, no different than the Islamofascists. You see, it's religion, in general, which causes so much strife. Of course, when Islamofascists make death threats, they do so in the name of Allah. One other thing. Unlike the words spoken by Pat Robertson, these are not idle threats:

Prayer leader Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi announced the bounty for killing a cartoonist to about 1,000 people outside the historic Mohabat Khan mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

He said the mosque and the Jamia Ashrafia religious school he leads would give a $25,000 reward and a car for killing the cartoonist who drew the prophet caricatures _ considered blasphemous by Muslims. He said a local jewelers' association would also give $1 million, but no representative of the association was available to confirm the offer.

"Whoever has done this despicable and shameful act, he has challenged the honor of Muslims. Whoever will kill this cursed man, he will get $1 million dollars from the association of the jewelers bazaar, one million rupees ($16,700) from Masjid Mohabat Khan and 500,000 rupees ($8,350) and a car from Jamia Ashrafia as a reward," Qureshi said.

"This is a unanimous decision of by all imams of Islam that whoever insults the prophets deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize," he said.

It seems that every Muslim cleric worth his salt is issuing a fatwa.

Here's Bill Clinton's:

Former US president Bill Clinton on Friday condemned the publication of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) caricatures by European newspapers and urged countries concerned to convict the publishers.

UPDATE: More death warrants in defense of Allah.

Made in God's image...or just ate a lot of frogs:

Forget the textbook story about tool use and language sparking the dramatic evolutionary growth of the human brain. Instead, imagine ancient hominid children chasing frogs. Not for fun, but for food.

According to Dr. Stephen Cunnane it was a rich and secure shore-based diet that fuelled and provided the essential nutrients to make our brains what they are today. Controversially, according to Dr. Cunnane our initial brain boost didn't happen by adaptation, but by exaptation, or chance. "Anthropologists and evolutionary biologists usually point to things like the rise of language and tool making to explain the massive expansion of early hominid brains. But this is a Catch-22. Something had to start the process of brain expansion and I think it was early humans eating clams, frogs, bird eggs and fish from shoreline environments. This is what created the necessary physiological conditions for explosive brain growth," says Dr. Cunnane, a metabolic physiologist at the University of Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

The Palestinians learned long ago that to foment violence and hatred in future generations, they must indoctrinate the young. Here's an example from a textbook used in PA schools:

"Asma, Abu Bakr’s daughter, was my age when she played a role in supplying provisions and water and passing information about Kuraish [Tribe] to the Prophet and his companion during their secret Hegira [emigration] from Mecca to Medina.

What role can I play in order to support the national resistance movement against the occupier and colonialist?" [History of the Arabs and Muslims, sixth grade, p. 34, translated by CMIP]

Now, politically correct textbook publishers in California, have enlisted the aid of a member of the Council on Islamic Education to help them edit their textbooks. Of course, Muslim groups want to indoctrinate our children:

CIE seems to be a little upset over the usage of the word “Israel” in textbooks, too:

It is important to avoid treating the name “Israel” as the normative designation for territory whose boundaries and claimants have shifted throughout human history. Of course, through proper attribution of their perspectives, textbooks can discuss the importance of this region to various groups in time. Interest groups may seek to advance nationalistic or ideological claims about natural or de facto “ownership” of land, but the state must ensure that educational materials do not do so. [CIEAP – 4, B&T – General comment]

Read the Bible...for spiritual development and profit:

Does Israel have beneath its surface an enormous oil reserve mapped out in the Old Testament that when found will immediately change the geopolitical structure of the Middle East and confirm the validity of the Bible to people around the world?

So believe the officers of Zion Oil, a company using updated scientific methods alongside biblical text to explore for oil north of Tel Aviv. The company, which recently filed for an initial public offering on the American Stock Exchange, says it is making headway – including locating areas conducive to oil storage – and expects interesting finds in the very near future.

Thursday February 16, 2006

Wow, they really hate it, don't they. They cannot stand the fact that the Veep chose to make his first public comments regarding the accident to Fox News. Here are a few choice comments (hat tip Rush):

Hey Brit, please don't ask me any hard questions

JIM AXELROD: The Vice President chose to make his first public comments on Fox News Channel's Special Report...

CHRIS MATTHEWS: He selected obviously the person to give the interview too. This has been cherry-picking of the media like I have never seen.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Clearly he is comfortable with Brit Hume.

LOUIS DOBBS: Vice President Cheney chose to break his silence, not with a press conference but in a one-on-one interview with a news organization whose location and identity we can't disclose tonight.

KEITH OLBERMANN: Not in a news conference nor in a written statement, but rather before the more malleable cameras of Fox News.

DAVID GREGORY: The Vice President chose to speak with Fox anchor Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent, he has been outspoken in his criticism of the White House press corps’ coverage of this story.

JAMES CARVILLE: Who cares? I mean he goes on Fox News. No one is going to believe anything he said.

JACK CAFFERTY: It didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the vice president to wander over there to the f-word network for a sit down with Brit Hume. That's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it?

But, El Rushbo makes it painfully (to the MSM) why Cheney went to Fox:

He went to Fox because it's the most watched of all these networks where all these little people are watching and moaning and complaining, and Brit Hume's show for an hour is the one hour of the Fox News Channel that is focused on Washington. But, you know, the point is, you want to get the story out if you're Dick Cheney, and these guys have already made it plain as day that they think the story is about them.

Here's the entire transcript. Here's The Good Captain's analysis of the decision to release the story and the 18 hour gap:

I don't think that this sounds false or deceptive at all, but I do think Cheney made a mistake with this decision. If he wanted Armstrong to release the statement, that makes sense, but he should have probably involved his media team to release it directly to the national media rather than wait for the story to make it through the wires. A seasoned politician should know better. However, two mitigating factors come up in the interview. The first is that none of his media team had accompanied him on this trip; the second was the obviously distressed mental state he experienced this weekend. Cheney made a poor decision about the method of publishing the news, but he didn't intend on hiding it from anyone.

Are we really serious about Homeland Security?

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the White House on Wednesday to reconsider approval of a sale that would give a company in the United Arab Emirates control over significant operations at six American ports.

There are some that do not want anyone to forget the disaster that occured in Texas City, TX in 1947. This one was accidental, will the next one be?

150ft barge LONGHORN II in background washed onshore by tidal wave

It was now about 8:30. At this point, growing pressure from the compressed steam fed into Hold 4 blew off the hatch covers, and a thick column of orange smoke billowed into the morning sky. Attracted by its unusual color and the sirens, several hundred onlookers began gathering a few hundred feet away at the head of the ship. Twenty-six men and the four trucks of the Volunteer Fire Department, followed by the Republic Oil Refining Company fire-fighting team, arrived on the scene and set up their hoses. A photograph taken at approximately 8:45 shows at least one stream playing on the deck of the Grandcamp, which was apparently hot enough to vaporize the water.

The sheer power of the explosion and the towering cloud of black smoke billowing into the sky told everyone within twenty miles that something terrible had happened. People on the street in Galveston were thrown to the pavement, and glass store fronts shattered. Buildings swayed in Baytown fifteen miles to the north. The towering smoke column served as a grim beacon for motorists driving along the Houston-Galveston highway, some of whom immediately turned toward Texas City to help. In Texas City itself, stunned townspeople who started toward the docks soon encountered wounded persons staggering out of the swirling vortex of smoke and flame, most covered with a thick coat of black, oily water. many agonizing hours were to pass before a semblance of order began to replace the shock and confusion caused by this totally unexpected and devastating event.

Wednesday February 15, 2006

There were many untruths propagated throughout the media regarding the immediate aftermath of the Katrina disaster:

Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Sept. 13, 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge overwhelmed the city's defenses. Seven months later, with parts of the Gulf Coast still in ruins, experts seek ways to respond more effectively to nature's fury. PHOTOGRAPH BY TERU KUWAYAMA

MYTH: "They have people ... been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."--New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Sept. 6, 2005

REALITY: Both public officials and the press passed along lurid tales of post-Katrina mayhem: shootouts in the Superdome, bodies stacked in a convention center freezer, snipers firing on rescue helicopters. And those accounts appear to have affected rescue efforts as first responders shifted resources from saving lives to protecting rescuers. In reality, although looting and other property crimes were widespread after the flooding on Monday, Aug. 29, almost none of the stories about violent crime turned out to be true. Col. Thomas Beron, the National Guard commander of Task Force Orleans, arrived at the Superdome on Aug. 29 and took command of 400 soldiers. He told PM that when the Dome's main power failed around 5 am, "it became a hot, humid, miserable place. There was some pushing, people were irritable. There was one attempted rape that the New Orleans police stopped."

No picnic--but not a riot, either. Starting Monday, Aug. 29--the day levees broke--National Guard troops provided people at the Superdome with FEMA-supplied water and two 3000-calorie Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) food packets per day. PHOTOGRAPH BY MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

The only confirmed account of a weapon discharge occurred when Louisiana Guardsman Chris Watt was jumped by an assailant and, during the chaotic arrest, accidently shot himself in the leg with his own M-16.

When the Superdome was finally cleared, six bodies were found--not the 200 speculated. Four people had died of natural causes; one was ruled a suicide, and another a drug overdose. Of the four bodies recovered at the convention center, three had died of natural causes; the fourth had sustained stab wounds.

Anarchy in the streets? "The vast majority of people [looting] were taking food and water to live," says Capt. Marlon Defillo, the New Orleans Police Department's commander of public affairs. "There were no killings, not one murder." As for sniper fire: No bullet holes were found in the fuselage of any rescue helicopter.

Tuesday February 14, 2006

Just in case there are any of the more naive among you who think that Hamas can be trusted to attain a real and lasting peace with Israel, check this out.

The man is really multi-faceted

It's best to have a sense of humor about these things

Well, now they've gone too far:

Demonstrators damaged a McDonald's restaurant during Pakistan most violent protests so far over the caricatures.

Thousands rampaged through two cities Tuesday in Pakistan's worst violence against Prophet Muhammad caricatures, burning buildings housing a hotel, banks and a KFC, vandalizing a Citibank and breaking windows at a Holiday Inn and a Pizza Hut.

At least two people were killed in Lahore, where intelligence officials suspected outlawed Islamic militant groups incited the violence to undermine President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's U.S.-allied government.

An Associated Press reporter in Lahore saw crowd members who appeared to be orchestrating the attacks, directing protesters _ some of whom were carrying containers of kerosene _ toward particular targets. The demonstrators also set the provincial government assembly building on fire.

In the capital, Islamabad, hundreds of students stormed through the main entrance of the tightly guarded enclave that houses most foreign embassies, brandishing sticks and throwing stones. They were dispersed with tear gas, and no foreigners were hurt.

In the past several years, I've found myself opposing the death penalty. Not morally or philosophically, but procedurally. I guess, I'm not really opposed to the death penalty so much as I've lost confidence in our judicial system. I've seen, far too often, that the rich and powerful can beat the rap while those with fewer resources (both black and white) are sent to death row at significantly higher rates. While I've never thought of the death penalty as punishment or retribution and surely not as a deterrent, it has simply been a means to ensure that the perpertrator never gets a chance to harm another human being again--no, I don't trust that an inmate will stay behind bars forever. Whatever my qualms about the fairness of the system, I am perfectly comfortable putting this punk to death:

A weeping Joseph Smith apologized Tuesday for the abduction, rape and murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia two years ago, telling a judge he had taken large amounts of cocaine and heroin that day in hopes of killing himself.

Smith told Circuit Judge Andrew Owens, who will sentence him to death or life in prison, "I do not ask for mercy for myself. The only thing I can see to give me a life sentence is for my family. I do not want to see them hurt any further."

...Smith told Owens during the second day of the sentencing hearing Tuesday that he had been a heroin addict since he was 19 and had unsuccessfully tried to quit several times. He said his wife had kicked him out of their home in January 2004, he had lost his job and, in the hours before abducting Carlie, he tried to overdose.

"I just wanted to die that day," he said. "I take responsibility of my crimes. I don't understand how this could have happened."

While this could just be a stupid prank, it could be something much more sinister:

Police are on alert after more than a dozen pilots reported someone shining a laser light at the plane while descending into Metro Airport.

The incident occurred in the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights areas, where 16 pilots reported seeing the laser pointer lights near the tower at Metro Airport, Local 4 reported.

Apparently the lights were being flashed at planes on their final approach into the Detroit area. The first instance reported was near the Home Depot in Dearborn Heights, then a short time after the light originated from a neighborhood near Telegraph Road and Lehigh Road, according to police.

Monday February 13, 2006

How can the MSM report the good news from Iraq if they won't even listen to it?

The silence was deafening and the seats were empty. The western press was nowhere to be found. The location was Baghdad and the event was a February 10th, 2006 press conference announcing the final verification of December's election results.

...The true significance of this announcement is the underlying theme which the anti-war crowd refuses to recognize: the war has been successful and there is verifiable progress within the country of Iraq. Not only did we defeat a murderous despot, we have gained an ally in the war against terrorism.

And here's a letter to the 3rd Calvary from the Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Iraq that probably won't get much play:

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank turned up on an MSNBC show to talk about the Cheney accidental hunting trip shooting wearing this costume

But the MSM is diligently pursuing any and all leads into the Cheney HunterGateTM saga. You see, there was the terrible 18 hour gap between when the accident occured and when the media was notified. It reminds me of the gap in the Nixon tapes...only more sinister. Then there are the finger pointers who point out that Cheney broke the first rule of hunting: be certain of what you're shooting at. He also may have broken the second rule of hunting: better have a permit. And there is now the (preposterous) suggestion that Cheney may have intentionally shot Mr. Whittington or that there may have been some drinking going on. Yes, indeed the MSM is hard at work diligently pursuing an important story. I'm glad that they're adhering to their typical journalistic standards.

The crew at Powerline make a good point:

The press corps' over-the-top reaction to this event reflects two things, I think: the reporters' detestation of the administration, and their ignorance of firearms. If Cheney had been trout fishing and a companion had walked behind him as he started to cast, so that he inadvertently snagged his friend, resulting in a hospital visit, would we have seen this kind of frenzy? I don't think so. I think we're seeing, among other things, the press corps' innate ignorance of, and hostility to, firearms coming through.

And while we're all here fulminating about Mohammed cartoons and Shotgun Cheney, those rascally Iranians are up to no good enriching uranium and stealing ballistic missile technology from the Germans:

February 13, 2006: Germany has arrested two of its citizens and charged them with helping Iran obtain German technology needed to build nuclear warheads for ballistic missiles. A Russian and a North Korean were also accused of helping the Germans....The two Germans were specifically charged with getting a vibration testing device out of the country, and to Iran. This device makes it possible to test nuclear bomb and warhead structure components without having to launch a missile.

Almost-President Al Gore speaks to the Saudis:

U.S. Former Vice President Al Gore talks during the 2nd day of Jeddah Economic Forum Sunday Feb. 12, 2006 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications.

"The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake," Gore said during the Jiddah Economic Forum. "The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States."

Clearly, I'm not a smart as Al Gore...I've never been a Senator or invented a superhighway (information or otherwise), but I do seem to recall that a significant number of 9-11 terrorists were here on Saudi visas. Citizen Gore may want to rethink that particular remark.

Citizen Gore is also spreading more of his nonsense in the Phillipines:

At Gore's Manila speech, which was attended by government officials and diplomats, the former vice president warned that up to 2 million Manila-area residents may have to be evacuated from flooded communities as melting glaciers and the polar icecap raise sea levels worldwide.

Gore warned the problem could cause a disaster scenario within 10 years and urged local officials to take action.

"The problem with these exaggerated and very general pronouncements about environmental doomsday scenarios is that they distract us from the real local problems which we can really do something about," Arcilla told the Inquirer.

Continued Archilla: "While it is true that global warming could contribute to the rise, this is only in the millimeters, but the centimeters' rise could be attributed more to heavy groundwater extraction which results in subsidence, which makes it appear that the sea is invading land."

The scientists urged officials to consider local analysis before falling for everything Gore presented.

Wanna see what your home's worth? Check out this nifty site.

It's scary how good it is. I tried with my address and it returned all the details of my house and also estimated prices of all my neighbor's houses superimposed on a satellite image of my neighborhood.

Bill Trautwein starts to shovel his way to his snow-covered car in South Brunswick, N.J., as a winter storm hit Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006. A major storm slammed the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states with nearly 2 feet of windblown snow on Sunday, nearing record levels as it blacked out thousands of customers and shut down air travel from Washington to Boston. (AP Photo/Mike Derer) (Mike Derer - AP)

A storm of historic proportions:

The weekend storm blanketed the Eastern Seaboard from the mountains of western North Carolina to Maine, dropping 26.9 inches of snow in Central Park - the heaviest since record-keeping was started in 1869, the National Weather Service said. The old record was 26.4 inches in December 1947.

Sometimes, you just can't win. In the minutes after Katrina hit, the Bush Administration was accused of failing the people of New Orleans. Claims of incompetence, indifference and racism echoed through the media. To address this growing concern, FEMA began bypassing some of the typical bureaucratic hurdles to administering financial aid to the victims. Now (unsurprisingly) this:

In its rush to provide Katrina disaster aid, the Federal Emergency Management Agency wasted millions of dollars and overpaid for hotel rooms, including $438-a-day lodging in New York City, government investigators said Monday.

...The two audits found that up to 900,000 of the 2.5 million applicants who received aid under FEMA's emergency cash assistance program - which included the $2,000 debit cards given to evacuees - were based on duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers, or false addresses and names.

The multiculturati is taking a long hard look at the makeup of the Olympic teams:

Four years ago, the U.S. Olympic Committee pledged to double the number of minority athletes on its largely white winter team. In Turin, 18 athletes of color are competing on the 211-member American squad. That's almost double the 10 on the team in 2002, but still not many -- much like at mountain resorts across the country, where most skiers and snowboarders are white.

Certainly this is something that forced bussing could remedy. Can't we get "snowboarders of color" bussed up the mountain? Integration, that's what we need. If we don't take drastic action, we'll end up with more cases like Mr. Burton:

Lance Burton, 55, a marketing salesman in San Francisco, tried skiing twice with co-workers but felt like a "duck out of water." Burton, who is black, did not have a down jacket or the mirrored sunglasses that everyone wore. Back at the lodge, everyone talked about their skis and bindings and boots. He had nothing to add to the conversation.

I don't understand why we would allow conditions such as this to prevail in a country as great as America that. My heart was bleeding in empathy for Mr. Burton...until he said this:

Burton has no plans to watch the Winter Olympics. "Speed skating, downhill slalom -- I don't know the people who do it," Burton said. "We're more into track and field, because that's where our people are. That's where we identify."

Sounds kinda racist to me. Imagine if Jesse "The Mind" Ventura said, "I don't watch much football or NBA, that's just a bunch of black guys. I like to watch hockey, that's what my people play". The multiculturati would be all over him.

And while we're bussing "atheletes of color" up the mountain, we also need to bus women to Hollywood:

Male characters outnumbered females 3-to-1 overall in top-grossing G-rated films from 1990 to 2004, according to a study whose sponsors say the disparity diminishes the importance of women in children's eyes.

"We're showing kids a world that's very scantly populated with women and female characters," said actress Geena Davis, founder of See Jane, a program of the advocacy group Dads & Daughters that encourages balanced gender representation in entertainment for children.

Wednesday February 8, 2006

Here is an image for page 17 where the whole report was published with 6 cartoons as published in Jyllands-Posten.
With all the din from the orchestrated hew and cry throughout the Muslim world over the allegedly blasphemous Muhammed cartoons, you will be excused from not knowing that the very same pictures were printed in an Egyptian newspaper back in October:

Two days ago the editor in chief of Al Fager Adel Hammouda wrote an article expressing his surprise why this war is suddenly launched after 4 months. He indicates as I said in my previous post that it is politically motivated to hide more corrupt issues behind. And he is not apologizing for publishing the cartoons as the Danish newspaper did. Instead, he is proud his paper was first to publish. Denmark Cartoons absent Real Democracy Battle in Egypt

Here's Jonah Goldberg's take:

It seems obvious, to me at least, that this is clang and clatter that comes with a clash of civilizations. Last year the (false) Newsweek story that American interrogators were flushing Korans down the toilet caused lethal riots in Afghanistan. In Paris, Muslims riot or threaten to riot about everything from schoolgirls without headscarves to the lack of halal Brie. Around the world, Muslims suffer from a mixture of legitimate grievances and an enormous inferiority complex. Muslim, and particularly Arab, governments have a vested interest in stirring up this sort of thing because it distracts from their own corrupt regimes. And the Muslim "street" seems to fall for it every time.

Unfortunately, Phyllis Schafly is someone that most schoolkids won't learn more about during Women's History Month:

Schlafly, of course, was head of the National Committee to Stop ERA. And stop it she did — the U.S. Constitution was not amended. She argued that a federal Equal Rights Amendment was not necessary, claiming that, "the fact is that women already enjoy every constitutional right that men enjoy and have enjoyed equal employment opportunity since 1964."

To me, this is extremely interesting. Although, I'm sure it won't get too much play--what with the Arab Street and all:

A former special investigator for the Pentagon during the Iraq war said he found four sealed underground bunkers in southern Iraq that he is sure contain stocks of chemical and biological weapons. But when he asked American weapons inspectors to check out the sites, he was rebuffed.

...Between March and July 2003, Mr. Gaubatz was taken by these sources to four locations - three in and around Nasiriyah and one near the port of Umm Qasr, where he was shown underground concrete bunkers with the tunnels leading to them deliberately flooded. In each case, he was told the facilities contained stocks of biological and chemical weapons, along with missiles whose range exceeded that mandated under U.N. sanctions. But because the facilities were sealed off with concrete walls, in some cases up to 5 feet thick, he did not get inside. He filed reports with photographs, exact grid coordinates, and testimony from multiple sources. And then he waited for the Iraq Survey Group to come to the sites. But in all but one case, they never arrived.

...Mr. Gaubatz said each site he visited had similar characteristics. "Everything was buried and under water. They would drain canals and parts of the rivers. They would build tunnels underneath and they would let the water come back in," he said. But the water would only be allowed back into the tunnels after concrete walls were installed sealing off the secret caches of unconventional arms, Mr. Gaubatz said. He added that the tunnels in all four sites were wide enough for tractors. One of the giveaways, he said, was that homes near the sites were equipped with gas masks and other items to protect against a chemical weapons attack.