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Friday, March 16, 2007
 
Duke Accuser Not Cooperating

Jeez, this comes as a shock (Not!).

The woman who accused three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team of sexual assault is not being forthcoming with special prosecutors, law enforcement sources close to the case tell ABC News.

The accuser has met at least twice with prosecutors from the North Carolina attorney general's office, which took over the case from Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in January.


Gee, you don't think they might be protecting themselves from perjury charges for their testimony before the Grand Jury?

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Thursday, March 15, 2007
 
Muslim Like Me

Aw, isn't this a cute idea?

The 15-year-old freshman volunteered with a few other students to wear traditional Muslim clothing to school for an entire day in February after a Middle Eastern Studies teacher at Bacon Academy announced that she was looking for students to promote her class by wearing the garb. Caitlin covered her slender frame and short brown hair with a periwinkle burqa, which concealed her face.

The hateful and abusive comments she endured that day horrified teachers, the teen and many of her classmates. The remarks underscored a persistent animosity toward American Muslims that is driven largely by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But they also opened up an important dialogue that could help teenagers in Colchester and across the state view the Muslim culture differently.


Shockingly, this academy seems to be otherwise a haven of tolerance:

In the days that followed, teachers and students at Bacon Academy discussed tolerance of other cultures. There was already a Gay-Straight Alliance at the school with some openly gay members, a save Darfur group and a diversity committee.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
 
A Goofy Attempt, But Appreciated No Less

Okay, I may have mentioned that I support John McCain?

Well, I love this article; it's another one of those that the campaign staff might as well have written:

In the seven years since John McCain and his "Straight Talk Express" nearly derailed George W. Bush's White House ambitions, the blunt-spoken senator from Arizona has become the very picture of the highly managed presidential candidate he once scorned.

And along the way, he lost Stuart Hume and Mike Moffett.

The New Hampshire GOP activists counted themselves among McCain's loyalists in 2000, admiring his rejection of party dogma. But both men have turned elsewhere this time around.

"That had a real appeal, the maverick thing," said Moffett, a college professor from Concord and a Marine reservist. "He wasn't tied in, necessarily, with any conventional way of thinking. . . . His decades in Washington don't help him right now, with me or with many others."

Hume, a retired investor from New Castle, agrees: "I don't think people have the same impression of him now that they did then."


Translation: McCain doesn't criticize George Bush anymore. He's no fun, because we (the media) liked that criticism of George Bush.

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Odds and Ends

Our old buddy Dean from the Andrea Shea-King Show is now blogging at Now That Ticks Me Off. You can probably guess the theme!

Meanwhile over at the Screw Loose Change blog that I run with JamesB, there's been some excitement as somebody created a fake blog that claims I've left the 9-11 Debunking camp in disgust with the tactics we use. Reflecting the level of interest the 9-11 Deniers have in our blog, Alex Jones mentioned us on the air today and his assistant wrote an article on the supposed "split".
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007
 
Yet Moron Global Warming

The New York Times (of all places!) publishes an article calling Al Gore to task for his enviro-wackism:

Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases. Many appear to occupy a middle ground in the climate debate, seeing human activity as a serious threat but challenging what they call the extremism of both skeptics and zealots.

Kevin Vranes, a climatologist at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, said he sensed a growing backlash against exaggeration. While praising Mr. Gore for “getting the message out,” Dr. Vranes questioned whether his presentations were “overselling our certainty about knowing the future.”


The medieval warm period which resulted in English wineries gets a mention:

So too, a report last June by the National Academies seemed to contradict Mr. Gore’s portrayal of recent temperatures as the highest in the past millennium. Instead, the report said, current highs appeared unrivaled since only 1600, the tail end of a temperature rise known as the medieval warm period.


As does the general variability of climate:

Geologists have documented age upon age of climate swings, and some charge Mr. Gore with ignoring such rhythms.

“Nowhere does Mr. Gore tell his audience that all of the phenomena that he describes fall within the natural range of environmental change on our planet,” Robert M. Carter, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Australia, said in a September blog. “Nor does he present any evidence that climate during the 20th century departed discernibly from its historical pattern of constant change.”

In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change.


Meanwhile, Jean Fraude Kerry is now getting on the Global Warming bandwagon:

"This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future" by Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, will be released on March 26.

"As a society, we are sliding dangerously backwards in almost every sector of environmental concern," Kerry said in a statement about the book. "Even caring about the environment has been marginalized in recent years by a calculated assault from special interests.

"Teresa and I are writing this book because we share a sense of urgency about the need to reinvigorate grassroots action which takes these concerns into the ballot box," he said. "This book shows what a lot of individuals are doing in common sense, practical and yet visionary ways, in the hope that their example can once again galvanize Americans into action."


Anybody seen Kerry's utility bills for his five mansions?

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My Final Four Picks

As always I go by the Sagarin Ratings, which you can find here. Pay attention to "Predictor" and not to "Rating". Look hard at what teams get a break playing near their home court. For example, Texas A&M will get to play in San Antonio in the regionals, if they get past Louisville, who play in Lexington in the first two rounds. North Carolina's first two games are in Winston-Salem. Wisconsin plays in Chicago in the early rounds which is a very short drive for their fans.

My Final Four picks are as follows: Florida, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas A&M. That's three #1 seeds, which makes me a tad uncomfortable. UCLA seems to be the only team with a real good shot at breaking through among the rest; they're 8-1 against Top 25 teams this year. North Carolina appears to me to be the team to beat; their predictor rating of 97.96 is over four points higher than their nearest competitor.

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Monday, March 12, 2007
 
Globaloney

Here's a terrific movie about Global Warming that puts a major smackdown on Al Gore's little cottage industry. I'm a skeptic on this stuff, but I also watch with a critical eye, and this movie really impressed the heck out of me, despite the occasional silly music.

Here's a good article from Fox News on the GW story that points out evidence from other planets in our solar system that the warming is coming from the sun, despite apparently agreeing with the "consensus" on man-made causes:

While evidence suggests fluctuations in solar activity can affect climate on Earth, and that it has done so in the past, the majority of climate scientists and astrophysicists agree that the sun is not to blame for the current and historically sudden uptick in global temperatures on Earth, which seems to be mostly a mess created by our own species.


Meanwhile, here's a claim that sea "levels" are rising:

Sea levels, rising at 1 millimetre a year before the industrial revolution, are now rising by 3 millimetres a year because of a combination of global warming, polar ice-melting and long natural cycles of sea level change.

"All indications are that it's going to get faster," said Eric Lindstrom, head of oceanography at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), told Reuters on the sidelines of a global oceans conference in Hobart.


And on the humor front, a trek intended to draw attention to global warming has had to be called off because of frostbite.

A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment.


Update: Some excellent coverage of the North Pole expedition here. Hat tip: Julie from Jihadophobic.

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Startling News of the Day

Snoop Dogg arrested for suspicion of being high on pot.

Okay, so that's not exactly shocking. What is odd is that he was busted in Sweden:

US rapper Snoop Dogg was arrested in Stockholm in the early hours of Monday suspected of drug use, police said.

The 35-year-old, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was arrested in a car in central Stockholm after performing at a concert with P Diddy at the city's Globe arena.

"He was showing visible signs of drug use," Stockholm police officer Mats Braennlund told AFP.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007
 
The Amazing Race Predictions

I'm going to guess that One and a Half Women (aka Myrna and Smyrna) will get the axe today. Rob & Ambuh are clearly the class of the field, and should win it all, but all it takes is for them to make one big mistake and they'll be the ones arriving after dark at the mat.

Update: Hah, can I call it or what? (Covering up red face).

First task is to find a famous shipwreck in Punta Arenas, Chile. Rob & Ambuh do some searching on the internet and at first think it might be a painting, but in fact it's a bit of overanalysis and the shipwreck itself seems to be trivial to locate. All the teams except Old Gay and One and a Half Women make it to the airport in time for the first flight. There is a 1 hour difference between the flights.

At the shipwreck, teams get a Detour. They must choose between Navigate it or Sight It. In Navigate it, they must figure out the order of cities Magellan visited during his trip around the world. Rob apparently does well by noticing that he started and ended in Seville, but then he misspells Phillipines as Philippeans, and Ambuh misses it as well. In Sight It, they must follow compass directions from a particular spot in the city.

Sight It turns out to be the right option, at least for most of the teams. Young Gay takes the lead as the first team to choose this option. The clue is another flight, this time a charter to Argentina. From appearances there is a three hour difference in arrival times, which seems obviously to immunize those on the first flight, barring some bunching maneuver.

Joyce & Uchenna are the only team to get the Navigate it part right. Rob & Ambuh finally decide to bail on the task although they would have easily won if they'd just gotten "the spelling thing" right. As they and the BQs dash off to do the other task, the Old Gays, who had been on the second flight, zip past them. Rob is convinced he knows where they're going and yep, he ain't Jesus, because that's the wrong place. One and a Half Women, after wasting a bit of time at the Navigate it part with some memorable moments on the climb up with Smyrna trying to carry a huge log, also bail for the Sight It challenge.

Things are definitely looking bad for them, but they're actually even with Rob & Ambuh as they search for the next clue at a parking lot. As One and a Half Women dash after them Rob & Ambuh realize they're going the wrong way, and double back while apparently claiming they had found the Cluebox. Myrna suddenly tells us that she's a Lawyer and used to tellling when people are lying, but her lawyer sense is apparently as slow as her sister's legs, as they continue on for awhile before doubling back.

The next clue leads people to a boat dock at (apparently) the southern tip of South America. There are 8 spots, but as it works out, team #3 goes it alone, and so Team #8 seems obviously hosed. And of course, Team #8 is One and a Half Women, with Rob & Ambuh's acting apparently hosing them out of a chance tonight.

The finale is a roadblock. One member of the team must sort through 1600 pieces of mail to find one of two letters that is addressed to their team. Young Gay is finishing about the time the rest of the teams discover this. Rob decides to take this challenge and he is still working at it when One and a Half Women arrive, supposedly 20 minutes later.

But Myrna somehow finds the letter faster than Rob and suddenly things are not looking good for Team Survivor. There is the usual supposed dramatic run up the hill, and One and a Half Women have beaten Rob & Ambuh, stunningly. Team Survivor is Phil-Liminated! After three consecutive firsts and looking like the team to beat, they're out.

Comments: Perhaps a little heavy-handed on the bad karma coming back to haunt one front. One and a Half Women are going to have to use Charla (aka Smyrna) at some point by the rules of the game; this actually would have been a good one to do it at even though it worked out well for them.

As always, check out Viking Pundit's recap.

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