Saturday, November 26, 2005

It might be a namesake pooka
No one admits running parking lot

HARVEY, Nov. 26 (UPI) — A parking lot in a Chicago suburb where commuters pay $1 during the day has mysteriously become more expensive during nighttime concerts.

The mystery, according to the Chicago Tribune, is that no one in Harvey knows or will admit where the money from the nighttime parking is going. The lot belongs to the Metra commuter rail agency and the city of Harvey has a contract to operate it.

Look at me! Look at me! Everybody must look at me!
Review: Newdow tests the musical waters

Michael Newdow is a smart man. He's a doctor, a lawyer, a crusader and provocateur trying, through the courts, to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance and our currency.

To some, he has become a folk hero, to many others a villain and a pain in the neck.

But his budding musical career, which he put on display in a one-man show before a sparse audience Tuesday night, may be cut short by, of all things, lack of God-given talent.

Admirers and detractors can unite on at least one thing - the performance was, ahem, god-awful.

They came, the saw, they chortled.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence*
Teacher under investigation for alleged liberalism

BENNINGTON, Vt. --The school superintendent whose district includes Mount Anthony Union High School has labeled "inappropriate" and "irresponsible" an English teacher's use of liberal statements in a vocabulary quiz.

"I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes," said one question on a quiz written by English and social studies teacher Bret Chenkin.

Instead of proselytizing, Mr. Chenkin’s time might be better spent learning and conveying the definitions of the words ‘insure’ and ‘ensure.’ He is, after all, supposed to be an English teacher.

* - Amos Bronson Alcott, US educator (1799 - 1888)

O, sir! you are old;

Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine: you should be rul’d and led
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself.
Shakespeare’s Regan, Act II, scene iv of King Lear

When people get very old they can tend to say and do goofy things. Often this behavior is attributable to dementia but it can also be a sign of a growing indifference to societal pressure.

In the latter case, utterances that reflect attitudes and reasoning that would have been “career-ending” at a younger age, flow freely in retirement. Interestingly, the mainstream media (MSM), trained observers all, have a difficult time recognizing when an individual whom they have lionized crosses that don’t-give-a-damn threshold. Still enamored with the speaker, the MSM dutifully reports what he (it’s almost always a man) says no matter how asinine it may be. One could say such reporting is merely objective. But, given the propensity of the MSM to consciously and consistently omit the facts of a story at odds with their agenda, that’s a hard sell.

This post was prompted by:
"The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."

Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister Of Defense, in a speech given On September 25, 2005 at the University of Toronto
Hellyer is 82

More of Mr. Hellyer’s current focus can be found in Former Canadian Minister Of Defence Asks Canadian Parliament Asked To Hold Hearings On Relations With Alien "Et" Civilizations

Other gray-beard insights:

"So now the question is basically right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign."

Walter Cronkite, on CNN's Larry King Live, when asked for his reaction to the al-Qaeda videotape released just days before the 2004 presidential election - October 2004
Cronkite is 89

“There's an old saying in the days of slavery. There are those slaves who lived on the plantation, and there were those slaves who lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master. Colin Powell was permitted to come into the house of the master.”

Harry Belafonte – radio broadcast in San Diego, CA – October 2002
Belafonte is 78

“That voice is the voice of Tony Blair, ‘Mr. Bush knows what he's doing!’ But the fact is that Mr. Bush and his gang do know what they're doing and Blair, unless he really is the deluded idiot he often appears to be, also knows what they're doing. They are determined, quite simply, to control the world and the world's resources. And they don't give a damn how many people they murder on the way. And Blair goes along with it.”

Harold Pinter - House of Commons Speech - October 2002
Pinter is 75
“Well, the [infamous 60 Minutes II bogus documents] story is accurate.”

Dan Rather at the National Press Club - September 2005
Rather is 74

"The powerful winds and flood waters of Katrina tore away the mask that has hidden from public view the many Americans who are left out and left behind. As one nation under God, we cannot continue to ignore the injustice, the inequality and the gross disparities that exist in our society."

Ted Kennedy – Opening remarks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing considering John G. Roberts’s nomination to the Supreme Court – September 2005
Kennedy is 73

Socialists have an uncanny ability for finding useful idiots
Chavez ships cheap fuel to American poor

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has pulled off a public relations coup in his long-running campaign to irritate the Bush administration, concluding a deal to supply cheap fuel to thousands of poor residents of Boston and New York.

To the annoyance of many in Washington, Citgo Petroleum Corp., a company controlled by the Venezuelan government, is to supply more than 12 million gallons of heating oil at 40 percent below market prices.

The deal is one of the most visible moves in Mr. Chavez's bid to market his "21st-century socialism" using his country's oil wealth...

The news agency [AP] said Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat, had discussed the discount oil sales over a dinner with Mr. Chavez in August and has called for U.S. oil companies to follow Citgo's lead...

Joe Kennedy, the chairman of Citizens Energy, one of the organizations that will distribute the oil, said the deal highlighted the failure of oil companies in the United States and the government to step in to help.

"Our federal government has made billions and billions of dollars just this year on the royalty payments the oil companies pay to the government," he said.

But when it is a question of poor Americans, Mr. Kennedy said, "What do we hear from Washington? Sorry boys. There's no money in the till."

Some perspective:

Venezuela produces 2.6 million barrels (bbl) of oil a day or 1,806 bbl per minute. 1 bbl = 42 gallons, therefore 12 million gallons equals 285,714 bbl or 2.6 hours of Venezuela’s yearly (24/7) production.

In Massachusetts, of the 2,443,580 occupied housing units, 963,000 homes use oil for heat. The average Massachusetts home heated by burning oil consumes 750 gallons of it each winter. Therefore the 12 million gallons of discounted heating oil could heat the equivalent of 16,000 homes for the winter. There 246,318 low-income (< $25,000/yr) families in Massachusetts.

And here’s how Mr. Kennedy’s Citizens Energy will distribute the Venezuelan largesse:
Starting December 12, 2005, families who have exhausted their federal fuel assistance benefit will automatically receive a letter from Citizens Energy providing authorization for a one-time delivery of up to 200 gallons of heating oil at 40% off retail price.
Funny how that federal fuel assistance benefit never made it to the fore in Kennedy's press releases and photo ops.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Dude, time to party in moldy NOLA
New Orleans makes plans for Mardi Gras

New Orleans, Nov. 24 (UPI) — Storm-ravaged New Orleans hopes to hold Mardi Gras 2006 pretty much as usual despite Hurricane Katrina and a money crunch.

City plans, approved by Mayor Ray Nagin's administration, call for eight days of Carnival parades, including two weekends and a guarantee of full length processions for giant parades such as Endymion..
However, you might want to pack a HEPA safety mask because:
Mold levels 'very high' in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — Airborne mold has reached such high levels here since Hurricane Katrina that the federal government should monitor it closely and give protective gear to residents unaware of the health risk, a national environmental group said Wednesday.

Test samples in 14 locations across New Orleans last month found excessive concentrations of mold spores indoors and out, the Natural Resources Defense Council reported. An indoor count in a neighborhood hardly touched by floodwaters registered even higher than a reading in one of the worst-hit areas.
My advice: Get a mask that is lightweight (reduces neck muscle stress) and that can take paint (come on, you have to decorate it, it’s Mardi Gras!). Also, although they're more expensive, you can get masks with a sealed drinking tube for those who wish to imbibe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Spot the idiot educators
Parents slam schools for sex ed material

The county school system is re-thinking its definition of sexual abstinence after complaints from two parents that their children were receiving incorrect and even risky information in sex ed classes.

Karen Sees and Cindy Richards said the ‘‘contraception comparison chart” used in eighth-grade health class at Herbert Hoover Middle School describes three types of abstinence: No intercourse, withdrawal (ejaculation outside of the body) and rhythm (no intercourse during ovulation).

‘‘Since when did the term abstinence change to include the two most ineffective forms of birth control possible?” said Cindy Richards of Potomac. ‘‘Here we have been teaching our kids that abstinence means not having sex, period. What kind of message is this [chart] sending?”

Sees, also of Potomac, first became aware of the chart while helping her son study for health class in late October. She said she immediately e-mailed her son’s health education teacher about her concerns.

‘‘I’m all for teaching sex education, but I want it to be accurate information,” she said. ‘‘I was told by my son’s health teacher that withdrawal and rhythm are considered abstinence because [sexual partners] are refraining from what they want to do…

Those French, they never miss a trick

Agence France-Presse reports: Thanksgiving a boom time for US turkey farmers

Why not field-level box seats on the 50-yard-line?
Giants Stadium sets aside prayer spaces, reacting to Muslims' complaints

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A special area for people who want to pray will be set aside at Giants Stadium, where several Muslim fans were detained and questioned by the FBI in September, the stadium operator said Tuesday.

Sohail Mohammed, lawyer for the Totowa-based American Muslim Union, met Sunday with officials from the sports complex, private vendors and the FBI to educate them about the cultural and religious practices of Islam.

He’ll be fasting on November 24, 2005
No Thanks to Thanksgiving

By Robert Jensen

One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting…

Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States…

As Americans sit down on Thanksgiving Day to gorge themselves on the bounty of empire, many will worry about the expansive effects of overeating on their waistlines. We would be better to think about the constricting effects of the day's mythology on our minds.
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Idiot with portfolio
Darfur descending into total lawlessness: Annan

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan warned that Sudan's Darfur region was descending into complete lawlessness and called on the government and rebels to conclude peace talks by the end of the year.

In his monthly report to the Security Council on Monday, Annan said violence, killing and rape had increased in Darfur in September and October. Civilians have been forced out of villages, in some cases for the second or third time.

"The looming threat of complete lawlessness and anarchy draws nearer, particularly in western Darfur, as warlords, bandits and militia groups grow more aggressive," Annan wrote.

The only solution was to conclude by the end of the year a "framework peace agreement" in the forthcoming seventh round of African Union-led peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, Annan said.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Perhaps the good doctor needs some assistance
Lawyer: Kevorkian May Die Before '07 Parole

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Jack Kevorkian's attorney is asking Michigan's governor and parole board for a third time to pardon the 77-year-old assisted-suicide advocate or commute his sentence.

Kevorkian is eligible for parole in 2007, but attorney Mayer Morganroth says he might not live that long. Kevorkian suffers from a number of ailments, including high blood pressure, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis and Hepatitis C, he said.

"The man is in dire shape," Morganroth said in a statement Saturday. "Prison has deteriorated him almost to the point of no return."

Hey, Baby, get a load of my new aftershave
Move over Viagra: equal-opportunity sex drug just a sniff away

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A new inhaler-delivered love drug for women and men is threatening to do Viagra one better, putting anyone with dysfunction in the mood, US media reported.

Sex experts say the drug, known as PT-141 and which is in final trials before US
Food and Drug Administration review, will be the boon to women with desire woes that Viagra has been for millions of impotent men.

"The bottom line is that women have been really shortchanged," said Laura Berman, author of "The Passion Prescription: Ten Weeks to Your Best Sex -- Ever!"

"Hopefully, this will be another option for women with physiologically based sexual dysfunction," Berman said. For now there is no pharmaceutical option for female dysfunction comparable to Viagra; women have largely been limited to seeking counseling or therapy…

Well then, who cares?
Nike Jet to Try Emergency Landing

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Nike Inc. corporate jet carrying seven people developed landing gear problems shortly after takeoff Monday and was preparing to make an emergency landing, officials said.

Neither Nike founder Phil Knight nor any sports stars were on board, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

All they need now is the smoke
Mirrors to Banish Town's Winter Darkness

RATTENBERG, Austria (AP) -- The sun has stopped shining in Rattenberg. But with the aid of a few mirrors, the winter darkness that grips this small town could soon be brightened up with pockets of sunshine…

A Method actor, who knew?
'Sopranos' Actor Pleads Guilty

NEW YORK (AP) -- Vincent Pastore, who played gangster Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on "The Sopranos," was given a conditional discharge Monday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of attempted assault following an altercation with a girlfriend…

Prosecutors said he punched her in the back of the head, grabbed her hair, and forced her head down on a car's gear shift during an argument. During his allocution before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Ellen Coin, Pastore admitted striking Regina.

"Yes, I did," the actor told the judge. He declined further comment.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Associated Press imbecile
Suspect Arrested in Wash. Mall Shootings
By Rachel La Corte, Associated Press Writer

TACOMA, Wash. - A gunman opened fire inside a busy shopping mall Sunday, wounding at least six people and taking three others hostage in a music store before he surrendered to a SWAT team, authorities said…

The gunman came out of the Sam Goody music store without a gun and surrendered to the SWAT team, [Tacoma Police spokesman Mark] Fulghum said…

While the suspect was in the music store, employee Joe Hudson was able to pick up the phone call from The Associated Press and say he and others had been taken hostage. He said little more but could be heard telling others that he was talking to the AP.

I’ll believe it when they trot out the deoxyribonucleic acid test results
Report: al-Zarqawi may have been killed in Mosul

The Elaph Arab media website reported on Sunday that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group, may have been killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred while coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding. American and Iraqi forces are looking into the report.
A thug and coward like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would never blow himself up; he is cut from the same cloth as Osama bin Laden.

But, it would be special if one of his drug-crazed, nut-job followers, seeing that they were surrounded, took matters into his own hands and pushed the plunger for the glorious martyrdom of them all.