Saturday, April 02, 2005
PC Run Amok?
Check out this hilarious article
on the EU-Crats attempting to change place names to be more gender and racially sensitive:The German commissioner, Arlo Pilof, the architect of the 2006 Race and Gender Equality Imposition Code (conformity), an amendment to existing rules, said: "We believe many names do not conform, and we started with Scotland because it is the worst of the culprits with offensive names such as Skinflats, near Grangemouth."
Skinflats? Exactly what is so offensive about that name? Is it prejudiced against those with bumpy skin?
And get some of these others:The commissioners in Brussels have demanded "race and gender-sensitive" names found for towns such as Motherwell, Blackburn, Helensburgh, Fort William, Campbeltown, Peterhead, Lewis and Fraserburgh be changed.
A Scottish parliamentary group, set up in anticipation of the legislation, has made a start. Fort William, in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain, would become Fort Nevis by 2006, under one suggestion.
Edinburgh City Council is considering revising Arthur’s Seat because the commissioners said its ancient name contained sexual undertones "likely to offend those visiting Edinburgh".
Remember, this is the EU, which is supposed to give the US a run for its money economically.
(Note: Before passing this story on you might want to try figuring out a few anagrams for the German commissioner's name.)
Friday, April 01, 2005
The Reality-Based Community? Part XXXVII
When they can't debate issues, they fling food
Commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan cut short an appearance after an opponent of his conservative views doused him with salad dressing.
"Stop the bigotry!" the demonstrator shouted as he hurled the liquid Thursday night during the program at Western Michigan University. The incident came just two days after another noted conservative, William Kristol, was struck by a pie during an appearance at a college in Indiana.
Buchanan's visit had evoked controversy on campus because it fell on the birthday of the late Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez. Buchanan favors tighter controls on immigration.
Kristol, editor of the influential conservative magazine The Weekly Standard and former chief of staff to Vice President Quayle, was splattered by a student during a speech Tuesday at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind.
Members of the audience at the Quaker college jeered the student, then applauded as Kristol wiped the pie from his face and said, "Just let me finish this point." Kristol then completed his speech and took questions from the audience.
That last paragraph ought to give you a clue as to how successful these sorts of food-flinging incidents are.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Incredible WWII Stuff
:MI6 [roughly the British equivalent of the CIA] was accused by senior Foreign Office diplomats of undermining the policy of appeasement with alarmist predictions of Adolf Hitler's war-mongering intentions.In January 1939, one of Sinclair's agents reported that Hitler planned to bring France to heel by sending troops through Holland and Switzerland to get round the Maginot Line defences.
The report was passed to America and other countries, to the fury of Sir George Mounsey, the Foreign Office assistant under-secretary.
He complained: "These secret reports, if accurate, are usually borne out by our own information and therefore, while harmless, of little value; whereas if inaccurate they may lead to serious consequences.
"If action is taken on them the whole international atmosphere may be poisoned and the policy of appeasement jeopardised.
Interesting to hear somebody defending appeasement using that word; nobody would dare use it today.
Once again the worst tribe in the history of Survivor lived up to their reputation as the "that's good enough to win" group, and once again they lost. Unfortunately this time they could not blame it on James, who seemed to be the problem earlier. On the reward challenge they didn't even bother with the drama of who won; as soon as the plane passed over the Koror beach it dropped the reward. And then Ulong made the mistake of designating dumb Bobby Jon as the puzzle-solver. And at the end, Bobby Jon made comments that indicating he was voting based on who was a threat. Dumber than two rocks, our Bobby Jon.
So now there are two. It's beginning to look increasingly possible that there will be no need for a merge.Better update here
Later thought: They almost have to do the merge next week. Why? Because if Ulong loses next week, what are they going to do at tribal council? Bobby Jon's pretty dumb, but I doubt if he will actually vote himself off, which means a tie vote and no real way of breaking it (unless they go back to the old "whoever had more votes in the past" loses rule). Not sure if they've made it a rule that whoever makes it to the merge is on the jury, although that's the way I recall it from prior shows. That might cause some problems as there would be eight jury members, which leaves open the possibility of a tie on the last show, which is surely undesirable.
Here's a very solid interview
with Catherine McCartney, who seems to have a good head on her shoulders."We've had some media pundits who have tried to focus on us as women, which should be dispelled," says Catherine, who is a politics and history lecturer.
"I mean, sometimes I feel that talks down to men. Is it saying that men wouldn't have been able to do this or men wouldn't have done this, wouldn't have had the capability to do this?
"This idea of being women, and being brave women - it's nothing to do with anything like that. Women helped clean the bar that night. So you can have women who believe very much in human rights and others who can very callously clean up the scene of a crime and not come forward to help a family get justice.
Sad story, but she's gone on to a better place.
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You
This article about a quartet
of young illegal alien high schoolers defeating a team from MIT in an underwater robot contest is made for the big screen. There's a little too much moaning by the writer about how unfair it is that they won't qualify for in-state tuition, but the underlying story itself is terrific. You can almost hear the music soaring at the end.
Another One for the Dumb Criminals File
A young gangster shot himself
in England with a "designer" gun.Dozens of similar weapons have been smuggled into Britain from Bulgaria in the past 18 months. They are sold initially as novelty flare guns but then modified by criminals to fire twin .25 bullets.
The weapons, which change hands for several hundred pounds, are notoriously unstable and lack accuracy. However, at point-blank range they are lethal.
Early users were attracted to key fob guns because rivals did not recognise them as firearms, and many criminals regard them as fashion accessories.
At some point in the evening Flowers went to the lavatory with some of his friends. Police sources suggest someone had recently borrowed the key fob gun and was returning it.
An inquest yesterday heard that Flowers's final words to his friends were: "I'm going to put it to the test - watch."
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
The Amazing Race Updates
Viking Pundit summarizes last night's episode here
, while Dummocrats has an update
here. I've started following the show since reading about it at Viking Pundit and Byrd Droppings
My own take is that I was glad to see the retired couple did not get dropped from the game, and elated to see the last of obnoxious Ray, who seemed to spend every episode glaring at his on-again, off-again girlfriend Deanna. He was annoying to the end, spending his last seconds of face time talking about how he didn't ever want to be in a competition with her again.
Boston Rob gets a fair amount of chiding for not stopping to see what had happened to the brothers, who rolled their jeep on the way to the final detour. One of the definite problems with the show is the celebrity status of Rob & Ambuh. Last night they got assistance from a woman who helped Ambuh with the shopping and then guided them to their last two destinations. This definitely seems unfair, although the show did highlight that their fame was a double-edged sword, when they couldn't get quick directions earlier from some star-struck natives.
The Problem with Polling
Is that you often get uninformed responses. Get this polling result
:Two-thirds of Americans say no nation should have nuclear weapons, including the U.S., and most of the others say no more countries should get them.
I agree with the second part, but the first part is just silly. Perhaps an analogous situation will explain best. Back in 1982, when I lived in San Francisco, then-Mayor Diane Feinstein passed a law banning handguns in the city. At the time, being a fairly liberal person (but already starting to have my doubts), I commented that I didn't have a gun, and therefore I would be safer if my neighbor didn't have a gun. Now this may be true in one sense (I would certainly be safer if I ever got into a fight with my neighbor), but in another sense it's very untrue. Burglars and home-invaders, for example, would be far more likely to target my residence, since they could be reasonably sure that they would not meet armed resistance.
Indeed, in the UK, which has largely banned all guns with the exception of hunting pieces, relying instead on security alarms, the new MO for burglars is to ring the doorbell, cosh the person who answers over the head, and then rob the place at their leisure. This is why a majority of burglaries
in the UK occur when the owner is at home, while in the US only a small fraction of burglaries happen that way. Those types of burglaries are far more dangerous for the homeowner.
The same applies to countries. The threat of nuclear retaliation is an awfully good deterrent to invasion, and the fact that the particular country you're invading may not have nukes doesn't necessarily matter. Why did Saddam not use gas against our troops during the first and second Persian Gulf Wars? Could it possibly be because he knew that the response could be devastating?
Excellent Rundown of the Facts in the Schiavo Case
As usual, John Hawkins does a brilliant job
of summarizing the issues.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
You'll note a new little wanted poster on the sidebar. You can read the story behind this here
The silencing and harassment of Gay Patriot by Rogers definitely irks me.
My Heart Fails to Bleed
For convicted terrorist abetter Lynne Stewart. Here's an extraordinarily biased
account of her conviction.Because the Sheikh retains enormous support among his followers in Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya or "The Islamic Group", one of Egypt's most violent extremist organizations, strict rules limit his contact with the outside world. These rules, drawn up by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, are known as Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs and, as the Sheikh's attorney, Ms Stewart agreed to obey them.
But then, in May 2000, she broke them. Ms Stewart called a Reuters journalist in Egypt to release a letter from the Sheikh, which said he was withdrawing his personal support for a ceasefire that The Islamic Group had signed with the Egyptian Government in 1997. When asked why she did it, Ms Stewart has argued that keeping the Sheikh visible and politically active was part of a long-term plan to have him returned to Egypt to serve his sentence.
No mention of her speaking gibberish
to distract the guards while the Sheikh gave orders to his interpreter.
And this part is unintentionally hilarious:Ms Stewart has always believed in the jury system. In 1986 she managed to persuade a jury that a young black man who shot a white policeman did so in self-defence because of the systematic violence that his community had suffered.
But now, feeling that her own jury were unable to shake off the fears induced by "four years of unremitting orange alerts and a new Bin Laden tape unearthed, etcetera, etcetera," she says, "I am struggling with that underlying belief that is really the bedrock of my whole ability to practice."
She used to believe in the jury because she was able to get a thug off for murdering a cop, but when she couldn't get off for helping the terrorists, her belief was shaken? And sorry, but as a convicted felon she's about to lose her law license, so she won't have to worry about the her "whole ability to practice".
Vote for Pat Tillman!
Sports Illustrated is holding a fan vote
for 2004's Sportsman of the Year. The voting is a little tricky: you have to scroll down to the picture of Tillman (next to last) click on the picture and then choose "Vote". So far Tillman is in the lead; let's make it a runaway.
Third Anniversary of Jenin "Massacre"
Frontpage Magazine remembers the hysteria
of the pro-Palestinians over this phony crisis.The vilification rang out across the world, but the British press was in a class all by itself. The Independent called the Israeli operation "a monstrous war crime."(2) A. N. Wilson, writing for the Evening Standard, called it a "massacre, and a cover-up of genocide."(3) The Guardian, not to be outdone, ran a lead editorial opining that "Jenin was every bit as repellent in its particulars, no less distressing, and every bit as man made, as the attack on New York on September 11."(4)
The Party of Glitz & Glamor
Noemie Emery describes the transmutation of the Democrats
from the party of the working man to the party of the jetset, led by magazines like Vanity Fair.After the election, when the American Prospect and the New Republic were engaged in solemn bouts of soul-searching, the glossies indulged in new bouts of hysteria. "There will be a draft," imagined New York's James Atlas: "The polar ice caps will melt. . . . The Patriot Act will be used to stifle dissent in the media. . . . Jews will be rounded up." "Rounding up Jews" might not seem to compute with Bush's being a captive of neocons, but logic is not the strong suit of this faction. What Bush seems to be facing is less the normal opposition of a traditional part of the political class than a visceral uprising among fashionistas, a vast metrosexual spasm on behalf of a self-image based on cultural preening. "
Read it all; this is one of those articles where every paragraph cries out to be snipped and posted. The good news is in the opening paragraph: "[N]ewsstand sales for the magazine Vanity Fair... plummeted by 22.5 percent during the last half of 2004...."
Hat Tip: Lucianne (can't seem to put the link in now due to blogger).
Monday, March 28, 2005
McCartneys to Sue Killers?
Don't know how this will work
in Northern Ireland (I assume they have the British, loser-pays system), but it seems a little premature. Where it has worked here (e.g., with OJ), there had already been a great deal of evidence brought out in the trial that could be combed over by the plaintiff's counsel.
Hindrocket explains the new Rathergate
.Questions about the genuineness of the memo intensified when, later the same day, the far-left website Raw Story published, for the first time, a JPEG version of the scanned memo, which it said "[a] source on Capitol Hill has leaked." The print version of the memo, as posted on Raw Story, was identical to ABC's "exact, full copy of the document," except that the four typos that ABC had identified with a "sic" were all corrected. Interestingly, however, the fifth typo--"applicably" instead of "applicable" in the sixth paragraph--which ABC did not so identify, was not corrected in Raw Story's "leaked" version of the document.
Are these idiot lefties just amazingly incompetent, or what?
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Monday Morning Starter
Rachel at Tinkerty Tonk is looking for a few good coffee cup quotes
I'll be traveling again on Monday, so there may not be many posts. Sorry, but my job is really starting to remind me why it's called "busy-ness".
Sanity on Schiavo
Mark Steyn, as usual, gets it right
:There seems to be a genuine dispute about her condition -- between those on her husband's side, who say she has ''no consciousness,'' and those on her parents' side, who say she is capable of basic, childlike reactions. If the latter are correct, ending her life is an act of murder. If the former are correct, what difference does it make? If she feels nothing -- if there's no there there -- she has no misery to be put out of. That being so, why not err in favor of the non-irreversible option?
Famed science fiction writer Orson Scott Card checks in
:Inability to plead for your life should not be sufficient grounds for killing you.
If this woman can be murdered, with the active help of the courts that granted permission and blocked legislators from changing the law, then who is safe?
Jor-El Was Known to Complain About This Problem
Here comes another scientist
with an "end of the world" scenario:Society, on the whole, doesn't listen to scientists — unless they are bearing good news at minimal cost to the citizen and no risk to the politicians' reelection. This is the theme of Caltech professor David Goodstein's jeremiad, "Out of Gas," published last year. Goodstein argues that "civilization as we know it will come to an end sometime in this century unless we can find a way to live without fossil fuels." Science, as Goodstein explains, has a way. Several in fact. But "unfortunately, our present national and international leadership is reluctant to acknowledge that there is a problem." The crisis, Goodstein prophesies, "will occur, and it will be painful." Painful, like what happened to the dinosaurs.
Don't you just love optimists?