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Sunday September 21, 2003

(Seahawk tastes like chicken)
The Game: Rams @ Seattle
The Time: 1505 Central.
The Line: Seattle by 3 (bah!).

Friday September 19, 2003

Avast me hearties. Ye best be not sputtering like a lot of landlubbers. Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day. Aye, a fortnight on the high seas with the doggerels be makin' me ready to walk the plank. So, after ye've swabbed the poop-deck and hoisted the missen mast, keel-haul the mutinous scroundrels. Then grab ye a grog and a peg. Arrr...a word a caution to ye: Beware the wenches, they be makin landlubbers a ye.

Thursday September 18, 2003

Isabel Approacheth!

Tuesday September 16, 2003

So, in the 10 years since the Oslo Accords were signed and "The Great and Historic Handshake" occurred on the White House lawn, what have the Israelis gained? Here's Jeanne Kirkpatrick's take:

"While the Palestinians as we know gained a great deal from the Oslo Accords - they gained control of all the major cities in the West Bank, for example, and they gained more status in the international world, a larger voice in the international world - the Israelis gained nothing, just nothing, except more death and destruction," Kirkpatrick said at a lunch discussion at the Hudson Institute.

And Charles Krauthammer:

The Palestinians have refused to accept the state of Israel, Krauthammer asserted. "Absent that acceptance, no peace, no process, no truce can yield any result because you can't have a truce, you can't have a peace, you can't have a settlement between peoples...whose dispute is existential, which is why we don't negotiate with al Qaeda," he said...

...In addition, Krauthammer called for completion of the controversial security fence between Israel and the Palestinian communities. "Separation today is the only possible answer, and it's also the only way to advance the process," he said.

"If the fence is built, it will have a radical effect on reducing the amount of terror; it will not obviously stop it entirely - nothing can stop it entirely - but it will become sporadic as opposed to systematic," Krauthammer said.

In these statements, Krauthammer is absolutely correct. As I said in my "mad dog" analogy: you either have to put it in a cage or put it down. But in this following statement, Krauthammer is clearly talking fantasy:

A change in Palestinian consciousness will come about only when Palestinians are convinced of the failure of the intifada and that terror will yield only the misery it has yielded over the past three years, Krauthammer said.

Arafat and the "Palestinian Leadership" have spent the past two decades inculcating a deep hatred of Israelis and a culture of death and martyrdom in the Palestinian population. They are largely in favor of continued terror against Israelis and are predominately in favor of Arafat. But hey, don't take my word for it. These are the words of a 10 year old girl in Ramallah:

"We want to defend [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat and kill the Jews wherever they are," said 10-year-old schoolgirl Aysheh Muhammad as she gripped a poster of Arafat outside his battered office Sunday, chanting slogans in his support along with her classmates.

"I came here to defend President Arafat against the occupiers who are killing us every day. I'm prepared to make a big sacrifice. I'm prepared to go to the Jews myself and to kill them wherever they are just as they killed us and destroyed us," she said.

This from NYT writer John Burns on the terror in Baghdad:

Terror, totalitarian states, and their ways are nothing new to me, but I felt from the start that this was in a category by itself, with the possible exception in the present world of North Korea. I felt that that was the central truth that has to be told about this place. It was also the essential truth that was untold by the vast majority of correspondents here. Why? Because they judged that the only way they could keep themselves in play here was to pretend that it was okay.

From the Didn'tHaveTimeToPostThisYesterday pile I. This is a must read on what Peggy Noonan told the church bishops. She described the terrible damage that has been done to the church, not only by the individual priests, but by the way the church leadership failed to address (and in many cases aided in concealing) the problem. She wrote convincingly as one of the faithful who is truly pained by the demoralization and gave a few insights into how they could attempt to begin the healing process:

Anyway, I regained my composure and concluded my remarks with some hard advice. I said the leaders of the church should now--"tomorrow, first thing"--take the mansions they live in and turn them into schools for children who have nothing, and take the big black cars they ride in and turn them into school buses. I noted that we were meeting across the street from the Hilton, and that it would be good for them to find out where the cleaning women at the Hilton live and go live there, in a rent-stabilized apartment on the edge of town or in its suburbs. And take the subway to work like the other Americans, and talk to the people there. How moved those people would be to see a prince of the church on the subway. "They could talk to you about their problems of faith, they could tell you how hard it is to reconcile the world with their belief and faith, and you could say to them, Buddy, ain't it the truth."

From the Didn'tHaveTimeToPostThisYesterday pile II. Mark Steyn describes the death of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh:

." There seem to have been an awful lot of bystanders to Mrs. Lindh's stabbing in broad daylight, in a crowded Stockholm department store, after being pursued by her assailant up an escalator. Granted that most of the people bystanding around were women, it still seems odd at least from this side of the Atlantic that no one attempted to intervene or halt the blood-drenched killer as he calmly left the store. I'm inclined to agree with Jimmy Hoffa that I'd rather jump a gun than a knife and evidently Jimmy's luck ran out eventually but, if just a handful of the dozens present, had acted rather than standing by, Mrs. Lindh might still be dead but her killer would be in jail and not en route, like the late Prime Minister Olav Palme's murderer, to becoming yet another man who got away.

His main point is that the Swedes are so used to relying on the government for everything that are unwilling (or unable) to take matters into their own hands and act on their own initiative. Actually, Steyn put it much better: "It's about the will to be a citizen, not just a suckling of the nanny-state narcotic."

If you think your job is really bad, take a look at some of these jobs in science:

HOT-ZONE SUPERINTENDENT-- During Ebola and anthrax outbreaks, the media shine spotlights on the brave scientists who don high-tech space suits and step into a Bio-Safety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratory, the designation given to labs that study lethal airborne pathogens for which there is no known cure. BSL4 scientists themselves generally enter the hot zone only occasionally, when they need to do an experiment; the really dangerous job is that of the BSL4 superintendent, who enters this lethal-bug petri dish far more regularly, to fix equipment, clean up, and ensure that the lab is airtight. He also has to change the pathogen-saturated air filters on the top of the building and bake the deadly sewer effluent underneath. No one in the world comes more constantly in touch with the Earth's deadliest microbes.

Meanwhile, these guys certainly had a very bad day at work. Excerpt,

As the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft was being repositioned from vertical to horizontal on the "turn over cart" at approximately 7:15 PDT today, it slipped off the fixture, causing severe damage. (See attached photo). The 18' long spacecraft was about 3' off the ground when it fell.

The mishap was caused because 24 bolts were missing from a fixture in the "turn over cart". Two errors occurred. First, technicians from another satellite program that uses the same type of "turn over cart" removed the 24 bolts from the NOAA cart on September 4 without proper documentation. Second, the NOAA team working today failed to follow the procedure to verify the configuration of the NOAA "turn over cart" since they had used it a few days earlier.