Saturday, December 31, 2005

Alec Baldwin's 2006 Predictions

Most of the predictions on hears at this time of year are almost assuredly wrong and to be readily dismissed. That is not the case when some with almost flawless insight ventures forth with his crystal ball. You will have to read the entire essay to get the full flavor and brilliance, but here is a sample.
My prediction for 2006 is a multiple, all connected politically. I predict that another barrage of fierce storms and hurricanes will so disturb the American people, that the Democrats will take the Senate in the '06 election and whittle away at the House in those races as well. Whether those storms can be attributed to global warming conditions or more normal meterological cycles will not matter.

Bagdad Bob

We all remember Baghdad Bob fondly from his pronouncements on TV as the U.S. military marched into Iraq during the initial phase of the war. I just learned of a web site devoted entirely to his most famous declarations. The link is here. This is a sample.
  • "We have them surrounded in their tanks"
  • "I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad."
  • "I speak better English than this villain Bush"
Well, maybe he wasn't always wrong.

Friday, December 30, 2005

I like coffee, but......

Would you pay $175 for a pound of coffee beans which had passed through the backside of a furry mammal in Indonesia? . . .

Kopi Luwak beans from Indonesia are rare and expensive, thanks to a unique taste and aroma enhanced by the digestive system of palm civets, nocturnal tree-climbing creatures about the size of a large house cat. . . .

Despite being carnivorous, civets eat ripe coffee cherries for treats. The coffee beans, which are found inside of the cherries, remain intact after passing through the animal.

Civet droppings are found on the forest floor near coffee plantations. Once carefully cleaned and roasted, the beans are sold to specialty buyers. . . . So far, most of the orders have been from California.

Idiocy to look for in 2006

This is not a prediction. It is an unfortunate fact. The trial lawyers will file suit next year against Coca-Cola and Pepsi. It (tort bar) wants to ban them from selling soft drinks to children--especially in schools. They are looking at profits from these suits to a degree similar to those they reaped from tobacco. In fact they claim it is just as egregious to put soft drink machines in schools as placing cigarette machines in schools. The ultimate goal is to portray Americans love for sugary drinks and fattening food as an illness brought about by greedy and evil corporations seeking to deceive us into getting fat without knowing it is caused by what we eat.
McDonald's has already started putting nutritional information on their products. They aren't doing this because they want some 9 year old to know that a double cheese burger has calories, but they want to be able to point to this in court some day as proof that they labelled french fries. This didn't help cigarette makers much in court, but it did some good in public relations. The action of the lawyers is bad enough, but the reaction of juries is maybe even worse. Too many of our citizens would rather displace blame to an evil company rather than acknowledge that we should be smart enough to know when our pants get tight is maybe related to eating too much. Sad.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mark Steyn on Arnold's Austria "Problem"

When Arnold decided to let someone who killed 4 people in cold-blood die of lethal injection, his home town of Graz, Austria not only disagreed with his decision, they accused him of committing some sort of state crime. Arnold told them to go jump a stump and furthermore they could take his name off their stadium and forget he ever lived there. Here is a wonderful link to Mark Steyn's review of the situation and a taste of it is given below. Read it all:

One day, a few years after the Trapps skedaddled out of there, a young man was born near Graz. His name was Arnold and he worked out every day and he went to America and became Governor of California and one morning he had to make a decision on whether or not to commute the death sentence of a multiple murderer called Tookie Williams. And he decided instead to let Tookie’s execution go ahead.

And back in his old stomping grounds of Graz the politicians went bananas. In the old days, when some local lad made good and became Fuhrer of another state and started killing people, the hometown crowd couldn’t wait to have a big ol’ Anschluss with him. But times change and contemplating Arnold’s reign of terror his fellow Grazis decided they wanted to disAnschluss themselves from him. Outraged by Tookie’s demise, Social Democratic and Green councilors and MPs immediately took action. Or what passes for “action” in European politics these days.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What I learned today

The joint resolution which passed the congress with but one dissenting vote onSeptember 14, 2001 was the equivalent of a formal declaration of war. The Supreme Court held in 1800 (Bas vs. Tingy) and again in 1801 (Talbot vs. Seaman) that Congress could formally authorize war by joint resolution without passing a formal declaration of war.
Section 1811 of the FISA statute which all the liberals are holding sacred as evidence that Bush broke the law and could even be impeached for recognizes that during a period of authorized war the President must have some authority to engage in electronic surveillance "without a court order". There is a question of whether or not Congress had the power to limit such authorization to 15 days. This will be a matter for the courts if someone challenges it, but it seems to me somewhat problematic to assume the courts will get past the logic which would allow Congress to say the President could only attack an enemy for 15 days, for example. That is why all Presidents have refused to follow that part of the FISA statute.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The U.S. Senate at Work

A Senate resolution condemning the president of Iran for anti-Semitic comments he made earlier this month is riling its Republican sponsors on Capitol Hill. They claim Senate Democrats forced them to strip language from the document expressing support for self-determination and a national referendum in the country.

Senator [Rick] Santorum, a Republican of Pennsylvania, drafted the resolution after a December 14 speech in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a "myth" and suggested Israel be relocated to Europe, Canada, or Alaska. In its original form, the statement condemned the remarks, demanded an apology, and supported efforts by "the people of Iran to exercise self-determination" and hold a national referendum with oversight by international observers.

When Mr. Santorum moved to introduce the resolution last Friday, Senator [Ron] Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, registered an unusual objection. According to the Congressional Record, Mr. Wyden told Mr. Santorum on the Senate floor that he was objecting to the resolution because his Democratic colleagues in the Senate had asked him too. Mr. Wyden did not say who asked him to issue the objection.

"While I personally am vehemently opposed to the statements that have been made by the president of Iran," Mr. Wyden said, "I have been asked by the members on this side of the aisle to object, and I do so object."

Monday, December 26, 2005

Congressional Black Caucus

The CBC was just outraged that President Bush allowed blacks in New Orleans to suffer the ravages of Katrina disproportionately. He was slow to respond and then didn't do enough. CBCF then launched its own relief fund on Sept. 21, with a stated goal of raising $1 million to help Gulf Coast residents rebuild their lives. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the CBCF claimed immediate success, telling reporters on Sept. 21 that it had already received $700,000 in corporate pledges. But on Wednesday, exactly three months after the news conference launching the CBCF relief fund, Rice told Cybercast News Service that the Foundation has actually raised “somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 to $400,000.” She added that the distribution of the money would not begin until January or February of 2006 at the earliest.

Friday, December 23, 2005

These must be good

The Air Force's new F-22A Raptor is such a dominant fighter jet that in mock dogfights its pilots typically take on six F-15 Eagles at once.

Despite the favorable odds, the F-15s, still one of the world's most capable fighters, are no contest for the fastest radar-evading stealth jet ever built.

"The F-15 pilots, they are the world's best pilots," said Lt. Col. David Krumm, an F-22A instructor pilot. "When you take them flying against anyone else in the world, they are going to wipe the floor with them. It's a startling moment for them to come down here and get waylaid."

The F-22A officially became ready for combat this month with a squadron of 12 Raptors on standby for worldwide deployment at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Global Warming Puzzle

After a thousand years, blue mussels—helped along by warmer water temperatures—have returned to high-Arctic seas. Their comeback could have serious implications for Arctic ecosystems and may be a sign of climate change, according to scientists." (National Geographic News)

If they have returned, who drove all the SUVs to heat up the planet a thousand years ago?

Transit Strike

I am getting fed up with news about the transit strike in New York City. If the mayor is too cowardly to put an end to an action which is not only illegal but also detrimental to the city, the residents deserve what they get. There should not even be a union allowed for transit workers, policemen and firefighters. If they never get the subways running, I don't care. I do wish the predominate media would realize this is not a national story, however. Let the gridlock continue.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A new theory

There is a theory out on the internet that the Bush spy thing is based on new technology that we wanted to keep under wraps. The idea that Bush needed to avoid the courts when he could go into the courts after the fact makes no sense. So maybe the NSA wiretaps were using a new kind of capability; ones the terror suspects may not have known about; one that might even make the FISA court uncomfortable, somehow. It is known that Senator Graham who was once the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee said he came away from the briefing with the idea that it was a change in technology rather than policy. Bill Keller, the New York Times editor who broke the story said he withheld certain technical details.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dems hate this picture

Bush's war on terror

This uproar over Bush's use of the NSA to listen in to communications between parties (U.S. citizens or not) with al Qaeda connections is a legal one. Does Bush have the authority to O.K. these or not? As we consider whether or not Bush is on some J. Edgar Hoover like escapade, we should keep in mind what the Congressional reaction to 9/11 was. On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress unanimously declared that ``the president has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism,'' and authorized ``all necessary and appropriate force'' against those involved in 9/11 or threatening future attacks.
Now I guess the question becomes one of whether or not Bush's use of intelligence methods to listen to certain conversations was necessary and appropriate. That is an argument the President should welcome.

Monday, December 19, 2005

For those with no worries

About 400 pounds of explosive material was stolen from a research facility in New Mexico, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed today.

The theft was discovered Sunday night by local authorities.

ATF agents are investigating the large theft from Cherry Enginering, a company owned by Chris Cherry, for decades the senior explosives scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Also, 2,500 detonators were missing from a storage explosive container, or magazine, in the name of Cherry Engineering.

The theft is one of the largest reported cases from a facility in the United States in the last decade ending 2004. During that time, a total of about 1,000 pounds was reported stolen from government facilities in 14 reported incidents. It is unknown whether there is any connection to terrorism.

A special agent at ATF said the incident was unusual because such high-powered material was targeted.

One hundred and fifty pounds of the plastic explosive compound C-4 and 250 pounds of undetectable "sheet explosives" — a DuPont flexible explosive material that can be hidden in books and letters — were stolen in the burglary, which also included the theft of blasting caps.

Burglars used a torch bar to break into the explosives containers and remove the material.

The missing material could potentially make numerous bombs.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Microbial Battery?

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst announced yesterday that they have built a novel device that uses bacteria to turn garbage into electricity.

At the heart of the advance, which will be described in the October issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology, is a newly discovered organism that is part of a group of bacteria known as "iron breathers," so called because they rely on iron instead of oxygen. Yesterday's announcement is part of a broader effort to tap the unusual properties of various iron breathers, now being discovered across the far reaches of the planet, to generate power or clean up oil spills or other pollutants.

As it has become clear that the world will need energy alternatives, some researchers have turned to the idea of finding new ways of releasing the enormous amount of energy trapped in plants and other organic matter. This is the idea behind ethanol, a fuel made from corn. But instead of using organic matter to make a fuel, the battery announced yesterday converts organic matter directly into electricity.

"We need people thinking outside of the box, and these researchers are clearly thinking outside the box," said Mark Finkelstein, group manager of bioprocess research and development at the government's National Bioenergy Center in Golden, Colo. "And this has shorter-term possibilities than the hydrogen research that is getting so much funding."

The battery relies on a colony of tiny bacteria, called Rhodoferax ferrireducens, first brought up from underground by a research drill in Oyster Bay, Va. The bacterium is unusual because it is able to completely break down sugars without using oxygen. In its natural environment, the bacterium breaks down sugars for energy and deposits electrons on iron as a byproduct.

The research team, which included UMass-Amherst postdoctoral research associate Swades Chaudhuri, placed these bacteria in a closed glass container with a sugar solution and a graphite electrode. As the bacteria ate the sugar, they took up residence on the electrode and began depositing electrons on it.

When the researchers connected a wire between the electrode and a separate electrode exposed to the air, a current started to flow.

Other researchers have built similar devices but they have been far less efficient at converting the sugar to electricity. Of all the electrons that could theoretically be moved by the process, the battery captured more than 80 percent, compared with less than 1 percent for a previous battery, according to the paper.

The Defense Department, which helped fund the research, is interested in the device because it could be used to run low-power antennas in remote locations without the need for replacing batteries, Lovley said. The electrode could be placed at the bottom of a pile of waste, along with a colony of the bacteria, which would thrive in the sugar-rich, oxygen-poor environment.

The biggest problem right now is the amount of power generated. The test battery generates just enough energy to power a calculator or a single Christmas tree light, Lovley said. Simply changing the electrode, so that more of the microbes can touch it, can increase the amount of power it generates.

Keep this in mind

There will be a lot of huffing and puffing by the liberal media in the next few days about how Bush abused his authority in regard to monitoring of communications of U.S. citizens by the NSA. As you evaluate the situation, keep in mind that the Fourth Amendment, according to the Supreme Court (Lewis Powell writing) forbids "domestic security surveillances . . . conducted solely within the discretion of the executive branch." Fine. But as Powell also noted, that holding didn't apply to "the president's surveillance power with respect to the activities of foreign powers, within or without this country." So, if Bush listened in on a foreigner talking to a U.S. citizen, he was within the "law" acting alone and he was certainly in the clear if he consulted with others in the legislative or judicial branches.

Dorothy Parker

I have recently read two variations of a quote by the widely quoted Dorothy Parker.

"If all the girls at Brandeis were laid end-to-end I wouldn't be surprised".

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end-to-end I wouldn't be a bit surprised".

I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't other variations of this and it hardly matters the subject of the original quip. Wouldn't you love to sit next to her at dinner?

Jay Leno on the Iraq Elections

  • Today they held the elections in Iraq. The results are slowly coming in. The only thing we know for sure at this point is that Al Gore lost again.
  • President Bush said that we may not know the results of the Iraqi election until January. That’s still quicker than Florida.
  • Iraqi’s had to choose from 7,655 candidates. Imagine those people in Palm Beach with a ballot with 7,655 candidates. Their heads would explode. How many chads would be hanging there?
  • Why I am staying with XM-Satellite Radio

    New York “shock-jock” Howard Stern will start his morning program January 9th on Sirius Satellite Radio—and he promises the uncensored setting will allow his inner-deviant to fully reveal itself via not one but two channels on the Sirius network.

    Says Howard: “If it's weighing a guy's bowel movement, I can do it. If I want to be gross, I can be gross.”

    Mark Steyn analyzes the Democrats

    Here is Mark Steyn's latest. Brilliant as always. This is a sample.

    The Iraq election's over, the media did their best to ignore it, and, judging from the rippling torsos I saw every time I switched on the TV, the press seem to reckon that that gay cowboy movie was the big geopolitical event of the last week, if not of all time. Yes, yes, I know: They're not, technically, cowboys, they're gay shepherds, but even Hollywood isn't crazy enough to think it can sell gay shepherds to the world. And the point is, even if I was in the mood for a story about two rugged insecure men who find themselves strangely attracted to each other in a dark transgressive relationship that breaks all the rules, who needs Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger when you've got Howard Dean and Abu Musad al-Zarqawi? Yee-haw! And, if that sounds unfair, pick almost any recent statement by a big-time Dem cowboy and tell me how exactly it would differ from the pep talks Zarqawi gives his dwindling band of head-hackers -- Dean arguing that America can't win in Iraq, Barbara Boxer demanding the troops begin withdrawing on Dec. 15, John Kerry accusing American soldiers of terrorizing Iraqi women and children, Jack Murtha declaring that the U.S. Army is utterly broken. Pepper 'em with a handful of "Praise be to Allahs" and any one of those statements could have been uttered by Zarqawi.

    Friday, December 16, 2005


    The following is from The Club for Growth:

    One of the many things that fires me up about big government spending is the protection of domestic sugar. For several reasons, lawmakers in Washington coddle this industry even though it is economically destructive.

    Case in point: Domestic sugar prices are sky-rocketing because of Hurricane Katrina. This report shows that domestic sugar recently traded for 42 cents a pound and peaked at 72 cents. In almost any other market, this wouldn’t happen because foreign production would stabilize world supply. But because of sugar quotas, we can’t readily access the world market where the recent spot price for sugar was quoted at 15 cents a pound.

    Eventually, candymakers and other large users of sugar will be forced to move overseas if they want to remain competitive. This will inevitably result in job losses here at home. That’s ironic, of course, because the protection of sugar was meant to protect jobs lost to foreign competition in the sugar industry. And you better believe that Democrats will harp ON and ON and ON about how companies leaving America are Benedict Arnolds.

    I’ve got to take a chill pill. This has gotten me all riled up and it’s barely past 9am.

    Who is leaving?

    A guy on one of those cable news interview shows made the point yesterday that you don't hear often and makes complete sense. He said that if things were as bad in Iraq as you read in the papers, there would be a mass exodus of Iraqiis from the country rather than a large net immigration of exiles back into the country.

    Good News

    The following is good news for those of us in the appropriate age group.

    WASHINGTON Dec 15, 2005 — Federal health advisers endorsed a proposed vaccine on Thursday to help battle an often-excruciating disease that afflicts as many as 1 million adults every year.

    The Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel on vaccines said the vaccine for shingles appeared to be safe and effective in people aged 60 and older.

    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Message from Iran

    The following is a quote from an aide to the President of Iran who recently denied the holocaust and called for the removal of Israel from the map. After reading this and considering Iran's efforts to continue nuclear weapon development, I wonder about two things. First, why do our major new outlets seem to be more concerned with why Bush went into Iraq and the second is how long will Israel wait before taking care of this threat on its own.

    The President’s chief strategist, Hassan Abbassi, has come up with a war plan based on the premise that “Britain is the mother of all evils” – the evils being America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the Gulf states and even Canada, all of whom are the malign progeny of the British Empire. “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization,” says Mr Abbassi. “There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them… Once we have defeated the Anglo-Saxons the rest will run for cover.”

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    Bugatti Veyron

    I just learned there is such a thing as the Bugatti Veyron. I doubt if I will ever see one and certainly never own one. The Bugatti is made by VW and will sell for $1 million. It is billed as the fastest factory produced car and I can certainly see that. It can go from 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 252.9 mph. There is a rear-mounted 16-cylinder engine which is rated at 1001 horsepower and spoilers to prevent the car from spinning out of control. The company hopes to sell 300 of these cars in the next 5 years and will lose money on each of them. For this reason, they will make fewer than one per week. The sense of this escapes me, but I predict some will just have to have one of these.

    CDC Priorities

    There is an interesting byplay going on in Congress as it limps into a Christmas break. Much of it indirectly involves the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta. It turns out they are building a $60 million tourist center. This is to be a big, glitzy facility with Japanese Gardens, waterfalls, and fountains with features such infectious disease related things such as rats, monkeys, a giant mosquito and so forth. In order to get this through Congress, the disease fighters in Atlanta propose naming the buildings after two sitting Senators who are funneling money their way--Harkin (Democrat) and Specter (Republican). The House of Representatives is objecting to the naming of the buildings after sitting politicians and have countered that the buildings be named after Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks. I find that amusing, but what is not amusing is that none of the politicians are against building the tourist center in the first place.
    My favorite Senator, Coburn of Oklahoma, has discovered that there is $210 million of unspent construction money in their $1.5 billion budget that has not been spent. They also have $68 million each year in the HHS budget (of which the CDC is a part) that Coburn thinks could be better used to fight diseases. He probably won't get far, however, since he previously tried to shift some of the CDC construction budget to fight AIDS and it lost by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    Needle Fish from St. Thomas

    My poorly framed photo caused my main man Tyler to lose his head, but this is a nice needlefish which I caught just off the coast of St. Thomas last Wednesday. I also caught many other fish but I neglected my photography duties for the others.

    Cruel and inhuman?

    John McCain is determined to insert a requirement into some legislation which would establish the Army Field Manual as the standard for interrogations of terrorists we capture. It would specifically prohibit cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of those we capture. This sounds good, but McCain can't explain what it means. He can't specify which of numerous procedures would be affected by his language.Sleep deprivation? Temperature fluctuations? Position stress such as kneeling for long periods? Waterboarding which simulates suffocation? All of these can be considered degrading and cruel by someone. When challenged by Cheney and others, McCain states that if push comes to shove and some extraordinary circumstance warrants the use of deviation from his prohibited practices, the President or anyone below that level should just go ahead and do what is necessary. This is obviously a moral hypocrisy. Absurd. How absurd is shown when one considers a few days ago one of our hellfire missles delivered by an unmanned aircraft killed a fellow named Hamza Rabia in Pakistan. He was an al Qaeda leader in a house with some others. Blown away. Nobody I know objected. What if he had been captured, however. If McCain had his way, we could not even subject him to loud rap music. Everyone knows that would be cruel, but worse than being blown to bits?

    I am sorry McCain suffered in a North Vietnam prison, but his concern over terrorists treatment doesn't square with common sense.

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Economics in Action

    Michigan has the highest unemployment rate of any state not hit by Katrina, is last in income growth last year, has lost more people to other states, and the highest business taxes. Could those facts be related? Could be. To make matters worse, the Governor, Jennifer Granholm, wants to take the money she raises with the high business taxes and recruit more smoke stack industries like the automobile industry. She, therefore, wants to tax the productive businesses and bring in more industries like the steel and auto companies who are going south. Those of us living in the South can expect more new neighbors from Detroit.

    Corn Stoves

    I just read about a guy in Minneapolis who got tired of paying $400 per month to heat his house. He, therefore, bought a furnace from a manufacturer in Nebraska that burns corn. He pays an area farmer $1.60 per bushel to bring him a pickup truck load which he dumps into a plywood bin in his garage. Every morning the guy dumps a couple of pails into a hopper on top of his furnace and burns a little less than a bushel a day. There is almost no ash or soot and the cost is down below $60/month. You can buy either a stove to heat one room or a furnace that distributes heat to the entire house. There have been 30,000 sold this year.
    I wonder how long it will be before we hear of price gouging by farmers in the mid-west?

    Back from the cruise.

    Good to be home. If someone suggests you take a cruise on Costa....pass. Bed was bad, food below average, activities sparse, personnel not always helpful and so forth.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    Off to the sunny Caribbean

    Next week your geezer musings will be missing as I partake of the waters around the Virgin Islands.

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    It is all over

    This is the first time I have watched USC this year and there is no longer any suspense about this year's Heisman Trophy winner. Reggie Bush in a walk. The lad can play.

    Advice to democrats

    They won't listen, but the best chance the democrats have to regain political power is to help Bush win the war. If they attacked him on the right and called for a stronger military and a more vigorous prosecution of the Iraq and terror war, supported every effort he proposed through a unified message of support, the resulting success would leave Bush and the Republicans in the same position as the first Bush after he won decisively in Iraq. They would be left with a terrible fiscal mess, an inflated budget deficit, and no plan to make things better. The conservative base would be hard to unite and victory for the democrats would surely follow. They won't win if we feel national security is the most important issue. So be it.

    This is really sad

    This story is so sad I decided to just reprint it completely.

    HONOLULU, December 2, 2005 ( - Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that 32-year-old Tayshea Aiwohi, whose son died two days after she smoked crystal methamphetamine on the day of his birth, was not guilty of manslaughter, overturning a previous court’s ruling.

    The court’s ruling was based on the legal notion that an unborn child is not a person under the law and so no person was harmed when Aiwohi used the drug. No US court has convicted a woman for the death of an unborn child due to abuse in the womb.

    City Deputy Prosecutor Glenn Kim, decried the legal fiction of non-personhood of the unborn saying, “"We continue to believe that babies such as Treyson Aiwohi deserve the protection of the law," he said. "And we also continue to believe that people like Tayshea Aiwohi doing what she did to her baby continue to deserve to suffer the consequences of the law for those actions."

    A report from the National Drug Intelligence Center, says that crystal methamphetamine, known as “ice” on the street, is Hawaii’s greatest drug threat. Honolulu had the highest percentage of adult male arrestees who tested positive for methamphetamine among cities reporting to the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program in 2000. The Center’s website says that abuse of the drug has caused many abusers to assault and even kill family members, including children.

    Aiwohi was shown during the court proceedings to have used the drug on the day of her son Treyson’s birth on July 15, 2001, and he died two days later. The city medical examiner's office found high levels of methamphetamine in Treyson’s blood.

    Associate Justice Paula Nakayama noted in her decision the irony that an "overwhelming majority" of other courts have upheld convictions of persons inflicting injury on pregnant women causing the death of the newborn child, but it is impossible to prosecute and convict the mother for similar behavior.

    The legal confusion caused by the acceptance of abortion on demand and the consequent refusal to recognize the existence of an unborn child, has created a set of irreconcilable conflicts in court cases of this kind. Nakayama said that the "logical implication" of yesterday's decision is that a person cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of a child by injuring the pregnant mother.

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Finally found the link

    Turns out it was the " 3.5 most fascinating Negroes of 2005". Read about them here.

    Verification being sought

    I haven't found the specific link to this story yet, but I understand there will soon be a Barbara Walters will soon have a TV special entitled "The 3.5 most interesting Negroes of 2005". Full report to follow.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    From Russia via the BBC

    Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report.

    Passers-by were reportedly too late to stop the attack by the black squirrels in a village in the far east, which reportedly lasted about a minute.

    They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh.

    A pine cone shortage may have led the squirrels to seek other food sources, although scientists are sceptical.

    The attack was reported in parkland in the centre of Lazo, a village in the Maritime Territory, and was witnessed by three local people.

    A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked, reports say.

    "They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

    "When they saw the men, they scattered in different directions, taking pieces of their kill away with them."

    Mikhail Tiyunov, a scientist in the region, said it was the first he had ever heard of such an attack.

    While squirrels without sources of protein might attack birds' nests, he said, the idea of them chewing at a dog to death was "absurd".

    "If it really happened, things must be pretty bad in our forests," he added.

    Komosmolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn chipmunks terrorised cats in a part of the territory.

    A Lazo man who called himself only Mikhalich said there had been "no pine cones at all" in the local forests this year.

    "The little beasts are agitated because they have nothing to eat," he said.

    Is this so terrible?

    Since we are at war and part of that war is to convince some of the people in Iraq to quit killing our soldiers, I am hard pressed to see anything wrong with putting favorable articles in the Iraq newspapers even if you have to pay some "reporter" to write them. Some of our press, like the New York Times, which has been known to simply make up news, is all upset and sadly our government seems to be anxious to find out if this is true. I hope it is true and furthermore, I hope it is working. Here is a portion of the article which you can read here:

    "The Sands Are Blowing Toward a Democratic Iraq," an article written this week for publication in the Iraqi press was scornful of outsiders' pessimism about the country's future.

    "Western press and frequently those self-styled 'objective' observers of Iraq are often critics of how we, the people of Iraq, are proceeding down the path in determining what is best for our nation," the article began. Quoting the Prophet Muhammad, it pleaded for unity and nonviolence.

    But far from being the heartfelt opinion of an Iraqi writer, as its language implied, the article was prepared by the United States military as part of a multimillion-dollar covert campaign to plant paid propaganda in the Iraqi news media and pay friendly Iraqi journalists monthly stipends, military contractors and officials said.

    Finally making some sense

    The government's decision to allow airline passengers to carry small scissors is part of a broader shift in airport security, focusing more on keeping explosives off planes and less on stopping another Sept. 11-type attack.

    Rep. John Mica , R-Fla., chairman of the House Transportation Committee's aviation panel, applauded the decision as a welcome change in the mindset of the Transportation Security Administration.

    "They're trying to shift from shaking down little old ladies with scissors and knitting needles to looking at what the real threats are," Mica said. "Explosives are my major concern."

    Letter from a soldier in Iraq

    I watched Bush speaking on television last night. It was my first day off since arriving in theater one month ago.

    Please, America, listen to the man.

    The moment anyone puts a timetable on coalition forces leaving, we’ve lost the war. You can’t put a timetable on the good guys unless you can put one on the bad guys too. That’s ridiculous. You can’t put an exact timetable on training up the new Iraqi military and police forces. It would be irresponsible.

    No one wants American troops to keep dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know, because I’m one of those troops and I would prefer not to die here. On the other hand, and this is what you won’t hear from most mainstream media, if I do die over here, I’ll do so with few regrets. I wouldn’t be dying for a lie, as so many minstrels of misery and mischief keep spouting.

    Americans are dying in Iraq so Americans don’t have to die at home, or so that they can die of self-inflicted things like lung cancer and heart attacks instead of having a building blow up and crush them while they are inside it. Don’t kid yourself that things are otherwise. Keeping the fight in the enemy’s home court is exactly the right thing to do.

    It’s sad that so many Iraqis and others are dying over here. However, when you discover you have cancer the treatment is always the same - attack it at the source. You don’t wait for it to spread. And when is the last time you heard a doctor putting a limited timetable on cancer therapy? I can picture it in my mind. “Mr. Smith, we have seen some progress with your tumor. It’s shrinking. But we need to move on now. The timetable for treating you has passed. Good luck.”

    That’s what some people are trying to tell Iraq just as hope is looming on the horizon. And that disgusts me.

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