Where do you go when you're a laughing stock in France?
Canada, according to The London Daily Telegraph
“Rael found his baggy white suits, his medallions and his topknot of hair – which he claimed was an antenna for receiving extra-terrestrial messages – made him a laughing stock in France. So he moved to Canada.”
Rael is the leader of the tinfoil hat bunch (almost literally) that claims to have produced the very first human clone. Sick and wrong, at so many levels. Link via Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner on National Review Online
Civility ain't dead
But you probably can't make it one of your picks for the ATS Dead Pool. Laurence, while not waivering on "the Judge's Ruling' ™, was gracious enough to let me step in and shoot my yap off in as whiny a fashion as possible about the whole thing. Thanks LS. FREE THE NINE!
Aw jeez, now its gonna look like whining
Tried to do a Cannonball into the Dead Pool, and the lifeguard on duty blew his whistle, and ordered me outta the deep end, and imposed a 15 minute 'time out'. The problem? Two of my picks were ruled in violation of the rules. First, Betty Bullock, the woman in California that was handed a 28 Billion Dollar Tobacco settlement. Second, Tom Christerson, the surviving artificial heart recipient. In a written opinion, the judge opined -
The judge strikes selections 7 and 8 as being only famous with respect to their terminal conditions, and thus unsportin selections not in the fun spirit of the game.
Huh? I thought the 'spirit of the game' was to pick future spirits, and that was the game! Well, point number 1 - Christerson's condition is no more 'terminal' than anyone else's. He made it through the most dangerous part of the procedure - the actual implantation, and his health has actually been improving since then. And the device is not designed to fail - I seem to remember the expected service life for the device is something like five to seven years. Although his notoriety is due mainly to his receipt of the device, he is nonetheless a remarkable and notable individual. Should Dick Cheney be booted off the list because he 'happened' to be picked as W's running mate? Nothing in the rule about how the famous got that way. Point number 2 - Bullocks notoriety, as I said, was due to the 28 billion dollar award. The fact that she has a probably terminal condition should not be a factor. Case in point, if that is so, then everyone that picked Warren Zevon should also have to make another selection. Also, since the terminal condition we're talking about is cancer, it isn't necessarily a done deal for 03 in either of their cases. How many folks, given '6 months to live' go on for a couple or three years before passing? Lots. All that aside, I think the judge was just upset because of my request for consideration for extra points on my pick number 4, by choosing method of expiration, and the mental image that caused - Britney Spears in a tragic strap on accident with her new found buds in the film industry. I have to stand my ground with my picks - and if that leaves me with only seven 'official' entries, so be it! They'll be my 'protest picks' decrying judicial activism! UPDATE
An appeal was filed and summarily dismissed, but the objection is on the record. (Plus, at least now, along with my seven other picks, I'm entitled to the 'Thurl Ravenscroft Bonus Point', should it become available) Do they grow bananas in Houston? Can the judge be bribed? A case of kitty treats, perhaps?
Because Meryl said so, thats why
Since we around here at Silent Running do everything that Meryl tells us to, as far as she knows, we checked out a site she recommended. Hmm. A lawyer. But, he does admit up front that they are just Little Tiny Lies. Well, ok. Funny stuff.


WHERE'S WALID? It's getting tough to be an Arab student in the United States these days. Looks like they're not being cut as much slack as before. Can't imagine why.

At least six Middle Eastern students studying in Colorado have been jailed in the past 10 days for failing to take enough college classes as required by their student visas.

A United Arab Emirates co-ed was given an official warning after she was observed with a broken tail-light on her car, three Iranian high school exchange students were questioned for several hours after being found in the hall after the bell rang, and two Saudis were deported after being found outside school grounds. Their tardy slip contained what the FBI described as "irregularities". Attorney-General John Ashcroft was forced to apologise earlier this week to a student who was jailed on a charge of "posession of an offensive girlfirend, wearing a loud shirt on school grounds without due care and attention, and looking at the arresting officer in a funny way", when it was subsequently discovered that the student was in fact Sikh. And as for Walid Hassan, from Zagzig in the Nile Delta, who was found at a history exam with a list of the participants in the 1776 Continental Congress written on his arm, well he was simply led away and never seen again.
WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN! We are, actually, despite what Ruud Lubbers says. Is it just me is does "Ruud Lubbers" sound somehow obscene?

The United Nations' top refugee official has warned that war with Iraq would create a human catastrophe, especially if biological or chemical weapons are used.

What, as opposed to New York, London and Sydney being glowing holes in the ground if we don't take him out now? Get fucked (tm).
SECOND FRONT HEATING UP I have no idea if Saddam put him up to it, or if it's one of his own wizard wheezes that occured to him in an opium-and-pornography fuelled epiphany, but Jim Jong-Il appears to have broken the cease-fire.

The North Korean army has brought light machine guns into the Demilitarized Zone, the United Nations Command on the Korean Peninsula said Friday -- a violation of agreements signed in 1953 at the end of the Korean War.

Obviously this is some strange new usage of the word "demilitarised" I was previously unaware of. Now I'm no expert on what is laughingly referred to as "international law", but I'm fairly confident in asserting that bringing weapons into the DMZ is a casus belli. That's Latin for "Okay we can drop the bomb with Slim Pickens on it now". Obviously Kim Jong Il is doing his level best to provoke some sort of hideous crisis in which his posession of atomic weapons and justly deserved reputation as the craziest loon on the planet will result in the US somehow blinking first. If a war breaks out, it could result in millions of casulaties, a radioactiove cloud sweeping over Japan, and even worse - the possibility that Alan Alda will star in a remake of M*A*S*H. THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN! See, this is why we can't allow Third World dictatorships to develop or posess nukes. Ever. Eventually they get some guy at the helm who, after a night of heavy drinking and nailing his opponents to telephone poles, gets the idea that he's has giant glow-in-the-dark testicles and decides it's time for a game of nuclear chicken. Not. Good. At. All. Kim and Saddam are both counting on the US being unable to fight a two-front war, and being incapable of deciding which one to pass on for fear of setting a bad precedent. Saddam doesn't have nukes yet, which is why he needs taking out ASAP. Kim on the other hand almost certainly does. Is he behaving like a man with no aces in is hand? I reckon he's just got a functioning set of atomic warheads - hence his "Let's go whoopee" attitude. He's crazy, he's got the most dangerous weapons on the planet, he doesn't give a shit about consequences, his reigime is ultimately doomed and he probably knows that, and he can wipe South Korea off the face of the planet. God I'm depressed now. Glad I'm not Condoleeze Rice...
And just for the Record
Since I haven't mentioned this in the last 15 seconds, and its sure to be news to someone living in a cave without access to the Internet and out of beer - BLOGGER BLOWS ROAD KILLED SKUNKS TURTLES KITTENS WOMBATS, PUTRID IGUANAS That is all.
Subtle bouquet, hint of moldy sock
This NYT story by John Burns is subtle. The central theme seems to be 'yes, Saddam was a megalomaniacal bad-ass that came within sight of possessing a nuclear device, but, the old cat is now defanged and declawed'. The implied message is basically 'nothing to see here, move along, no need for armed intervention, its all over', with a tragic subtext bemoaning the poor, poor disheartened Iraqi physicists, to boot. Golly, they poor dears don't even have clean drinking water. Oh my. Swinging from a sweeping description of Iraq's almost successful attempt to uncork the nuclear genie, and the vast industrial infrastructure involved, over to a description of the wholesale destruction and complete breakdown of same, Burns leaves you with this picture - things in such shambles and disarray that the engineers and technicians so close to constructing a fission device can't even scrounge up the spare parts to get a water filtration plant back into operation. Couple of observations. You don't hire a physicist to fix the sink, hire a plumber. Secondly, if, as is indicated, this massive industrial complex (Tuwaitha) was singly focused on production of a nuclear device, and was completely rendered useless by first US bombing, then by various inspection teams after the war, why are there "hundreds of men and women who could be seen milling about outside the buildings", supposedly engaged in "purely peaceful" work at the site? Purely peaceful? Then what the hell kind of work are they doing? If Los Alamos was shut down from nuke work, could it easily lend itself to quickly shifting economic gears and become the leading manufacturing hub for, say, the new pregnant Barbie dolls? Is that what they're "purely peaceful"ly doing? Well, color me the skeptic if I don't buy that one wholesale. Its also a hard swallow to choke down the idea that "the mood detectable to reporters admitted after the inspectors have left has often been one tinged with a sense that Iraq, or at least Mr. Hussein, has already lost" is really all that pervasive. If it was, would a loser in the midst of the shark tank not have already fallen as prey to an ambitious underling, particularly in an environment that breeds the exploitation of even perceived weakness? Seems more likely that if this were the case, we would have already read about how Saddam killed his mistress, shot himself, then had his body dragged out of the bunker, soaked with gas, and was toasted to a crisp, accompanied by ample video footage of a smoldering charred piece of flesh. At this point, the sales pitch team from NYC gets tossed out of the office, no sale here today. Nope, not buying the notion that Saddam's ass has been kicked (enough), and that his sicko dreams of dominating at least his dusty rat hole corner of the world have been crushed like a spent cigarette butt under the great western boot heel. Come back when you have something more substantial to back up the notion that the Saddam problem has been eradicated - a nice puff piece on the fashion attire of the attendees of the swearing in ceremony for his non-Ba'athist successor following the complete eradication of the last vestiges of his twisted regime just might satisfy this customer's requirements on that score.
This just hand delivered to the SILENT RUNNING Home Office, North American Division
And by the way kid, that'll be $25 bucks for a new window. Nice square knot securing the note to the rock. Learn that in Scouts did ya? Oh, the note. With no further ado, here goes:
Well, This is Interesting
XtraMSN for NZ
Not for what it does cover but what it hasn't. Either these guys are not getting the newspapers or they're deliberately avoiding the biggest news locally we have had for a while. Its an age old story boys and girls, basic corruption and theft by a politician. Donna Awatere Huata has been caught with her paw in the cookie jar big time. She has diverted funds from an education program for kids with reading difficulties and has used them to pay her husbands mobile phone account to cover fifty calls made from China, a fashion show in Oz and for her own stomach stabling operation. This is not the perfect crime we're talking about here, she is not a member of the board or a staff member of the fund administration, yet she had the two people required to sign the cheques sign them all then give her the cheque book. She has refused to answer question about the "irregularities" and has squawked defamation should anyone repat such scurrilous allegations. The "R" word can't be far away now. How did she think she could get away with it? Very simple, she's a Maori and it's her right to rip off the Kiwi tax payer, indeed the tax payer should apologise to her for not giving her more. This is a country where the so-called (handy phrase that) Race Relations Conciliator can equate European settlement of New Zealand with the actions of the Teleban in Afghanistan and keep his job. I life in a country that has embraced the institution of apartheid, a minority of the nation is privileged by virtue of race to be separate from and above the laws that regulate the rest of us. Were I to say this in a public forum, I would be charged under the race relations act for inciting racial disharmony. Someone please get me the hell out of here, it's a nice place to visit but I've seen it and I would like to leave now. Yours in continuing outrage, Angry of Upper Hutt
Handwriting analysis performed by top experts here at SRHNAD failed to either prove or disprove conclusively that Mr (or Mrs) 'Angry of Upper Hutt' is in fact Murray. And the kid that threw the note through the window tied to a rock isn't talking. To anyone. But he may be able to sip soup through a straw despite his jaw being wired shut from the crack SRHNAD Security Force bopping him in the mouth with a baseball bat.
Worth the bandwidth
This shows who, and shows why, and leaves little wonder of how. With heart, soul, and guts. Ladies and Gentlemen, a short video, courtesy of the United States Marine Corps. Streaming video, best viewed with a high speed connection, but its worth waiting for it to buffer with a dialup. Hat tip, a salute, and eternal gratitude to the Timekeeper. May he and all the rest of ours out there keep safe.
Confusing luck with ability
Snap on the wellies, you'll need them cause there are plenty of piles of poo where we're going. Liberal Oasis, still reeling from the blood lust stoked by having a sidelines pass while the conservatives consumed one of their own, is screaming for the team to retake the field and go after Bill Frist. The only bitch on the whine list that is directly attributed to Frist is the 'pencil' remark. The rest depend on tenuous links to the deeds of other people (with the exception of the cat cadaver thing, which, while initially creepy, is not quite the Mengele-esque atrocity that is insinuated). Yawn. There is also an over-exagerrated end-zone dance over the media's failure to roast Patty Murray alive for her 'doe-eyed innocent' speculation about why the US can't learn a thing or two from the mass-murderer Osama Ben. In the words of the LO, she 'stared them down'. Confusion again. Try 'stared blankly and vapidly, while busy people ignored her like road kill' - just as she must have done during the discussions about the foriegn aid monies going to build schools, feed the hungry, etc, in front of the Senate Committee she sleeps sits on. Unfortunate that at the door to the Senate, there isn't a watchman similar to the bridgekeeper in Monty Python's 'In Search of the Holy Grail'. With a similar consequence for the answer 'huh?' to the Velocity of a Swallow question. The analysis that Hizzbollah et al have cracked the code on the promise of handing out pittance goodies, with vaunted promises of much more and better things to come for continued support to buy peoples support isn't a stretch - its a Dem/liberal staple. Little wonder they 'understand' the 'militants'.
We got your aid, hangin
The North Koreans are openly starting to play with their nukes again. 'Analysts' speculate its to 'force' the US into resuming appeasment oil shipments. Suggestion - the only oil shipment we should send to N. Korea should be in the form of JP-8 in the fuel tanks of a gorilla strike package, not forgetting the essential petroleum products used to lubricate the bomb release mechanisms, to ensure timely and efficient function as the B-52s arrive at their release points. Thanks Bill. Thanks Madeline. Enjoy the dance? Sure, that was a cigar in Kim's pocket. Schmucks.
Mint Jelly on the side with that, guv?
Indonesia has finally handed down a conviction of somebody, anybody, as a result of the atrocities committed in East Timor. Seems to be a sacrificial lamb here, as the defendant was convicted of failure to prevent a spate of killings. Passive judicial voice? Any words or actions against the rat bastards that were ordering troops to shoot on sight anything that moved, and was dressed like a local? Any punishments for those that, say, took it upon themselves to shoot people in front of their families, then dump the bodies into the community well? How about those jovial chaps that offed the western journalist that stumbled across their frenetic merry making? This guy, he's a small fish being slapped on ice in the fishmonger's window to make the customers think there's actual fishmongering going on inside. Smells more like a cover story for a floating craps game in the back room. The story above mentions that there are at least 11 more trials underway. What, 11 guys killed all those Timorese? Fierce lot of buggers, that.


Oh...My... Ohhhhh, Myyyy
Ok, Ok. So, they came up with a mouse that grows (or regrows) its own liver, or kidney. Many, many great advances. But just exactly WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING? This looks like something that Bruce would use parsley on, and put in an oven to 'fry'.... Laurence, think youz got some 'splainin to do...
Right Wing News points out a pretty disgusting exchange from the Democratic Underground (uh, no, I'm not going to link to that cess pool). The gist of the discussion was glee over the prospect of GIs, that overwhelmingly supported the election of GW, becoming bloody red smears for TV news clip use, and the effect this would have of swinging US public opinion back into the Dims camp. In their fucking drug induced halucenogenic dreams. Someone over at DU must have noticed the spewage, and pulled the plug on it - the link provided by RWN now returns a 404, and attempts to back head back up the directory path are met with 'Access Forbidden'. There is plenty of other blatant idiocy on display, that apparently passes the smell test - such as this version of alternative reality -
Mountainman - When ever I read about the "upcoming" war with Iraq, it seems that those talking just assume that the oir resources of a soverign nation are ours to take! I have not heard anyone say differently. "seems that those talking just assume" - means he's inserting his caca into a non-existant void he's conjured up This thought leads me to question our motives. If we say that the war is defensive in nature and we defeat Iraq and destroy their W of MD then isn't our objective achieved and shouldn't we then leave? If we stay and take over the Iraq oil fields, it puts our first motive in question. I doubt the first motive is our real objective. The elimination of the threat is the motive. Sticking around to do 'Nation Building', etc, isn't exactly our first choice for the aftermath, but we'll do it, with an eye on getting the dodge out of that hell ASAP. If we stay and take over the Iraqi oil fields, then we would have a MAJOR departure in the way the US has conducted foriegn ops for quite some time. His doubt of the first motive would be more credible if his alternate explaination were something like vendetta against Saddam, in that he has severely pissed us off for 12 years now. Has anyone heard that we will leave the oil alone and come home? Yes. Lots of folks that are paying attention. No, it is assumed that we have the right to take control of the oil fields. Care to cite a quote on that one pal, aside from your limited imagination? Didn't think so. So first we talk of an immoral first strike then an immoral seizure of a soverign nations natural resources. Don't we then give up the right to point fingers at other nations when we say they are not acting morraly? Are we no longer the shining example of morality in the world? Seems the 'we' in this last bit refers to the multiple voices inside this guys head. I am not proud of America if we attack Iraq then take over thier oil. I, on the other hand, am proud of America, if for no other reason than we're tolerant enough to allow pinheads such as yourself to continue consuming oxygen, albiet at reduced levels from the average human.
Guess its hard to hear anything different when one has their fingers firmly planted in their ears as they hum and chant la-la-la... This is the left today? Left Wing? No. Left behind. So far behind they think they're in the frikkin lead.


I know I'll be watching the Oscars this time: Jack Rich did not like this article by Slman Rushdie. In it Rushdie discusses two new movies: "The Two Towers" and "The Gangs of NewYork". He then tries to apply the different war symbolisms found in these movies to America's war on terrorism, and the upcoming war in Iraq, as well as WWII. Jack thinks that Rushdie is a pomo, which I am sure is true to a certain extent. To be sure, his piece does smell of moral equivalency rather strongly. Jack also thinks that, as a Muslim, Rushdie does not understand Christianity, which he says permiates Tolkien's writing (I wolud not know). This may be true as well, although it would not be due to Rushdie's being a Muslim, but due to him being an atheist.And, I have not seen either movie, so the following is based on Rushdie's impressions from these movies.. But I will see one this Saturday, so more remarks might follow. In any case, what is most bothersome about the piece is not Rushdie's reading of the movies, or the books on which they are based, but his reading of real wars, past, present and future. He writes: "Tolkien didn't like people calling his great work an allegory of the battle against Adolf Hitler, but the echoes of World War II, the last 'just war', are everywhere." But then comes this: "Gang war is neither holy nor just, Scorsese tells us, and, as one leaves the movie theater with his images dazzling the mind's eye, the thought occurs that maybe all wars are gang wars." Does this, in Rushdie's view, include WWII? I hope not. All wars are about power. Some wars are about survival, as well. And it is quite likely that even some gang wars are about survival. Jack writes: "While he can not be expected to fully grok the important and substantial differences between Catholics and Protestants, from his perspective, these are nuances not worth fighting over. Reminds me of Tom Friedman's explanation of the title of his book "Lexus and the Olive Tree". He as much as said then that he found that infamous Middle Eastern dispute over a piece of land the size of NJ silly. We should all be busy building Lexus cars instead. Well, we probably should be. But we are busy fighting for our survival. There some parts of the article that are good fisking material, but not really a new one, so I'll pass. What is interesting in both this war (and in WWII), is that during the few years leading to it much of the world has been behaving like a bunch of gangs: dealing and double-dealing behind each others backs, minding only their narrow short-term interests, their turf. But once the real war starts, the gangs have no choice but to choose which side they are with. And this is when "Gangs of New York" becomes "The Two Towers". "Ambiguity is out of fashion, however. We will be given a war of heroes against villains at all costs. After all, "The Two Towers" is a vast popular success, and "Gangs of New York" is doing no better than modest business. Perhaps when the time for the Oscars comes round, the academy will see fit to reward the more profound complexities of the Scorsese movie. But by March we may all be preoccupied by a greater, darker contest than the one for the Academy Awards." He got that right.
HEY THERE MR CHRISTIAN! MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS! Displaying their usual grit and determination in the face of impossible odds, brave Jihadi warriors have herocially thrown grenades into a Christmas church service full of women and children in Pakistan. With such courage and valour, how can the Jaish-e-Mohammed fail to impress the wretched of the earth and usher in a new dawn of hope for all mankind?

Three girls were killed and 14 people were wounded in a grenade attack on a church holding a special Christmas Day service for women and children, police in this mostly Muslim country said Wednesday. The three girls were 6, 11 and 15.

Six, eleven and fifteen. A magnificent achievement, One wonders what the Prophet might have to say about such heroism in his cause?
GUYS - WE MAY NEED TO KEEP GOING WHEN WE HIT THE BORDER It's possible the Axis of Stupid may have grown by 25% overnight.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said his country is looking into reports that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has transferred to Syria weapons he wanted to hide -- a claim Syria denies. [ ... ] A Bush administration official said if Sharon's allegations were true "this would be further evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass destruction programs and is seeking to hide them from the world." The official said any country approached to accept conventional weapons from Iraq would be making a "serious mistake."

When the army has gone through Baghdad and Tikrit, keep going straight for a while, and when you meet the Turks coming the other way, that's your cue to bear left. When you see the big blue wet thing, you can stop. Don't worry about your left flank, some, uh, other guys will be securing that from the south. Then it's on to the Saudi entity for the endgame. Sound like a plan?
HOW MUCH ARE THE STORKS PAYING MATTEL? Babies aren't found under a goseberry bush, and are not dropped down chineys by a stork, but for goodness sake don't let young girls know about this! The shameful truth must be hidden from them at all costs. That's the latest fatwa from Wal-Mart.

Pregnant Midge Doll Yanked From Wal-Mart "It's a bad idea. It promotes teenage pregnancy. What would an 8-year-old or 12-year-old get out of that doll baby?" asked Sabrina Fagan, 29, of Philadelphia.

Murray Hill comments: And yet no-one complained about the toy guns or the megadeath surekill action figures of D&D which promote what exactly?
If he tries anything, Sam will kill him
Must reads for the LOTR crowd. Follow the link at the bottom for a couple of new ones. Hilarious.
Follow Directions
Step 1 - Read This Step 2 - Someone please tell me why in the hell Jonathan Pollard is still sitting in jail? I see Dershowitz has commented on the matter, and even represented Jonathon in the early 90s, but what has happened lately? Check here for more info. (link via Occam's Toothbrush)
Imshin discussed this article in Haaretz by Ari Shavit extensively. (Scroll up for a follow-up). The article is about Yosef (Tomy) Lapid. If you don’t know who Lapid is, the article and Imshin’s comments are a good primer, although I agree with Imshin that Shavit is biased against Lapid. Also, for the record, I have been Lapid’s fan for years – not that I think that he is without fault. Anyway, all this got me thinking again about something I wrote a while back, and that is the role religion plays in Israeli society, especially in its politics. I wrote then that the biggest second problem Israel faces is the conflict that exists between the secular and the ultra-orthodox segments of its population. When I wrote this, I was talking about Israel I knew for 16 years, until 12 years ago. What I failed to take into account is something that mostly happened after I left. What happened is that the demographics of the ultra-orthodox (“haredi”) community have changed significantly. While some 15-20 years ago most “haredim” were ashkenazi, i.e. Jews of European descent, this is becoming less and less true. Mizrahim, i.e. Jews of Middle-Eastern descent, have always been more religiously observant than ashkenazim. Many of them also have been in a cultural, and thus economical disadvantage in a country founded and initially developed by European Jews. Naturally, there were people clever enough to realize a political gold mine when they saw one. Thus Tami was born in the 80ies, to be later replaced by Shas, which has since held all Israeli governments by its balls, just like their ashkenazi predecessors used to do, beginning with Ben-Gurion’s first government. The way it works is very simple. Shas appeals to people who are poor and poorly educated. Many of them are religious anyway, or their parents are, so they “find God again” quite easily, and with God they also find the solutions to their problems. You know this scenario well from the US. The big difference is that here the churches get their money from donations by private citizens and organizations. In Israel the yeshivas run by Shas and its rabbis are financed by Israeli taxpayers, most of whom are secular. One of the ways they do this is by demanding from the government support for families with many children (yeah, “Think Of The Children” – yet again), while on the other hand encouraging those same families to have even more children, because the Torah says so. Talk about a demographic bomb. Now, the interesting twist in all this is that historically there were two major conflicts within the Israeli society (in addition to Left vs. Right, vis-à-vis Arab aggression): Religious vs. Secular, and Ashkenazi vs. Sefaradi. The Shas phenomenon merged the two. What we actually see now is West vs. East in its larger context: Modernity vs. Backwardness. Now, before Mr. Paine jumps in and says: “Aha, I told you so!”, let me just say that I can in no way equate Judaism with Islam, not even with its most peaceful form. Farthermore, this is not so much about religion, as is about culture, of which religion is only a part. All the usual attributes of backwardness are there: subjugation of women, lack of work ethic, rejection of any secular education - even a vocational one – come to mind. On the bright side: no inherent violence, imperialism, or tribal feuding. But still, not the kind of culture I want to live in. So, it turns out, Israel has to fight this war on two fronts. On one of them it has to fight not only on its own behalf, but also on behalf of the entire Western world, although with very little support from it. On the other it has to fight only for itself, and entirely on its own. And it has to win on both fronts to survive.
Yes, there is a name for it
In the US Military, the generic term is "Operation Deny Holiday". Civilian description provided by Austin Bay in the Houston Chronicle. (Link via Instapundit)
Holiday Treats
Oh, those things that you only see or have around during the holidays. The little shortbread cookies with colored sugar sprinkles. Egg nog. Fruitcakes. Stories about cats with tinsel hanging out of their butts. My favorite time of year!
But do they have a catalogue?
As a note to anyone finding out information on this manufacturing concern spotted by Professor Bunyip, please do let us know where we can send for a products catalogue. Interested to see what they are using for a logo... Thanks in advance.
The saga of clogging the arteries, continued
Just remember folks, I never said I kept kosher... Wind Rider's Cholesterol Buster Cornbread
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white or yellow corn meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tespoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil (see instructions for source)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2-3 tablespoons of softened butter
And for the key ingredient
  • 1 pound of sugar cured bacon
Directions - In 10 inch cast iron skillet, fry bacon until crispy brown. Don't get all bent out of shape keeping it straight, or turning it evenly. Just stir it all around. Serve bacon with whatever else is for breakfast, but hold back about 7-8 slices. Leave drippings in skillet. Make sure they are crispy! Heat oven to 400 degrees (farenheit). Crumble bacon into medium sized mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients. Take 1/4 cup of bacon drippings to use as the oil. Ensure skillet inside is well coated, and dispose of the remainder (not down the sink, unless you like doing plumbing work. Not in the toilet, either.). Add rest of liquid ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Pour into greased skillet. Spread to a smooth, even level. Bake in oven for 20-22 minutes. After removing from oven, run knife around edges to make sure they're loose. Turn cornbread out onto plate or dish to cool. Slice into eights while still warm. Slather in more butter, and enjoy. Sit back and relish the shooting pains begin to creep up your arm, and that glorious tightness in your chest...aaaahhhhh.
What he said
Bill Bennet gets it right with this one.
Out of treats?
Guess Laurence forgot to pick up treats at the grocery store yesterday. Otherwise, this is a sure fire 'everyone gets treats' entry. Shocking? Not really. What would happen if there was a hankering for pretzels, and you entered the kitchen to find Nardoe and Frisky belching and playing spin the bottle with that last Shiner Bock? Cat Fondue, no doubt.
LOTR Commentary
A few quick thoughts. Bit heavy on the gratuitous panoramic vista shots. Probably could have lopped a good 20 minutes or so off the overall length, or better used the time to enhance parts of the story line. Been 20 years since I read the books. Forgot about the Ents. Cool. Had to figure that a movie made in NZ, with a main character thats a dwarf, would somehow work in a situation where he gets 'tossed'. Quite an effort to keep the chortle supressed - think it went right over the heads of majority of the rest of the audience. Excellent CGI of Gollum/Smeagol. The 'debate' is one of the best scenes in the movie. As a precursor, the scenes with "her" (should be towards the beginning of installment three) although short, should be good enough to make ones skin crawl - which is the intended effect. Reaction/serious looks/gravitas shots. See comments on panoramic vistas. Are 10 or 11 rotating shots of the characters with the 'we're in deep doo-doo now' looks necessary when 1 or 2, mixed with shots of 100,000 rabid orcs advancing, would probably get the message across? Plot line/story development/story faithfullness. C+. Its been 20 years, as already mentioned, since I read the story. At times, it wasn't a picnic following along, and its easy to imagine that folks that have never been exposed to the story would be left wondering what the hell was going on. The films do render an outstanding visualization of the tale, and though it is hard to think of a total film length of under 9 hours doing the story line justice, the time could be used much, much better than reminding everyone how much cash was sunk into the steady cam mount and helicopter flight hours part of the budget. Maybe I'm just still sore for not getting to see Tom Bombadil waving his arms over his head to keep the rain off. UPDATE One other thing that was left out of both the first and second movies, that hopefully will be included in installation #3, particularly if it goes to 3 1/2 hours
If for no other reason than to make it a more enjoyable experience for the IBBC* members.
*Itty-Bitty Bladder Club
Disaster, or opportunity?
Laurence picked up on this article, that I saw also, but didn't think to comment on, at first. Mr. Simon points out that its not such a big deal, just collect enough DNA material to preserve and then re-propagate the species after the hoo-ha has died down. How about another approach, something radical and low-tech, that doesn't require cryogenic freezing, long term storage of material, cataloguing, the threat of having the whole lot chucked due to a funding cut, etc? An alternative that makes the vast majority of folks happy. Not everyone, of course, because there will always be a somebody that will find something to moan about, if for no other reason than to draw attention to themselves. And since the type of crowd this idea would probably piss off can go pound sand anyway, here goes - Capitalism. Farm the damned things. Yes. Take advantage of the laws of supply and demand. Turn it into an industry. Create jobs. Save a species. Generate renewable revenue. Hell, it doesn't get much better than money growing on trees. Probably won't create a Guatemalan Bill Gates, but there are probably a few dimes, sheckels, or piastres to be made off of such a scheme. Sounds like the areas where these things grow (extreme elevations) aren't exactly conducive to growing anything else that Guatemala is famous for, like bananas, so what the heck? The locals have demonstrated they have no problems climbing up there to hack the things to bits at least once a year - how about upping that to maybe four or five times a year, and include some planting and tending - I imagine they're a pretty low maintenance kind of crop. If the local market can't generate enough supply to support a workable price base, slap some marketting on it - there has got to be a large country somewhere nearby with all sorts of one-uppish faux gourmet types that would just absolutely trip over themselves to have the latest craze in tres-chic and aromatic holiday decoration, catered to by hundreds of middle marketing types that would buy up huge amounts of product to make sure thay could meet the demand. Sounds like the ticket. Makes the Guatemaltecas happy, they get to have their Christmas garnishes. Makes the Campesinos happy, they have something else to make money from. Makes the rich, land owning robber barons happy, something else to drive up land prices. The far left economics crowd would have a fresh batch of 'globalistically increasing the oppression and exploitation of the poor downtrodden third world masses' fodder. The only group that would be stiffed would be the whiny, 'everything's going to absolute shit because of all the nasty humans' tree hugger crowd - one less thing to bitch about. Too effing bad. Cold, calculated, dispassionate exploitation of trees, absolutely. Like the logo says: no tree huggers!


Ok, is it Thursday yet?
One good thing about running the blog on NZ time. Gets the whole thing over with, somehow. Sort of like ripping off a band aid quickly, instead of peeling it off slowly. Well while the blog is already halfway through the annual agony that is Christmas, the Eastern Time zone of the US still has the whole thing to go through yet. Oh joy. The last time I remember Christmas being on a Wednesday, I was still stoked by the whole idea. Joy to the world, blah, blah, etc. I woke up early, filled with elation, and joyfulness, the whole schmeel. Then I looked outside. I was in Japan. It was Wednesday. And there were the schoolkids walking to school, just like any other day. Ker pop. The bubble was burst - for me anyway. Over the years since, it seems to get harder and harder to deal with those for whom the illusion is still real. Sometimes it seems akin to being one of the few kids that realizes the whole Santa thing is a crock. The only consoloation in the whole deal, is that some people actually do seem to draw something from it, and for them, good on ya. Its just not infectious enough for some of us that have developed an immunity I guess. Because tommorrow will be Thursday.
Merry Christmas
Ho, Ho, Ho.
SOME SIGNS OF RESISTANCE FROM THE PEWS I'm Jewish, and therefore anything I say about Christianity is potentially suspect. More to the point, I am a convert from Anglicanism who has retained an affection for and understanding of, that peculiar institution. There are those who describe themselves as cultural Jews. Aside from matters of religion, I think I may claim the title of cultural Anglican. If "more tea vicar?" were the response to any accusation or threat or even vague unpleasantness hurled in mixed company, the world might be a better place. This time of the year holds no great problems for me, as I know it does for many Jews. I grew up with Christmas. I'm not in the least bit threatened by it. For me, it is a time when the society surrounding me tries to be at its very best, and who could argue with that. It's the choir of Kings College, Cambridge, In Dulci Jubilo, red and green tinsel, street decorations and strangers saying "Merry Christmas". All that 19th century Dickensian nonsense. I love it. And although I have left the dear old Church of England behind me, after rejecting as nonsensical the central claim of Christianity, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who was executed under Pontius Pilate in expiation of our sins, descended into hell, and on the third day rose again and sits at the right hand of God until the last days when He shall come again to judge both the living and the dead...gosh it's remarkable how this stuff from the Book of Common Prayer just comes flooding back...where was I? Okay, new sentence. Entirely new sentence, that last one just spiralled away out of control when I lost concentration for a moment. Let this be a warning - friends don't let friends blog drunk. Yes, the good old C of E, God bless her and all who sail in her. She's been in a bad old way of late, with the trendy vicar brigade seemingly having taken over the shop, intent on turning it into the Left faction of the Labour Party at prayer. Ladies guilds sending baked goods to the Burmese insurgents, the Archbishop of Canterbury organising church youth groups to help with the coffee harvest in Nicaragua, that sort of thing. The latest blow has been the appointment of some leftist Welsh twat to the See of Canterbury, and the seemingly endless stream of disgusting rubbish that pours out of his mouth. At least one of his predecessors, Robert Runcie, won the MC and had a vague idea what war was all about.

The future 102nd Archbishop of Canterbury was recruited to lead the 3rd Battalion of Scots Guards, and was awarded the Military Cross after leading his tank division through heavy mortar to defeat Nazi forcs at The Battle of Normandy in 1945. Runcie was noted after his ascent to Archbishop as the only head of the Church of England since Thomas Beckett to have served in battle.

So it was with some interest that I picked up today's paper and saw a thunderous blast from the Anglican right (which I had no idea still existed) right on the op-ed page! It's by Peter Howson, who was a federal minister in the Menzies, Holt, McEwen and McMahon Coalition governments.The old boy nails it in the first two pars.

As a layman who has served on vestries for 45 years, I'm most concerned at the pusillanimous approach adopted by the Anglican Church to an issue that strikes at the heart of our Christian culture as well as our material existence. The terrorists who carried out the Bali massacre on October 12, like the al-Qa'ida assassins who flew the planes into the Pentagon, the World Trade Centre and a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001, did not do these things because of anything our political leaders did or did not do. They did them because, under their misguided interpretation of the Islamic religion, we are infidels and sinners who have to be destroyed.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing: For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal. Yes, yes, I'm aware that Martin Luther was a terrible anti-semite. Still...it's a good hymn don't you think?
WHAT WILL ORLA GUERIN SAY THIS CHRISTMAS? I have ESP. My powers of preciognition are so incredible, that I will now tell you what BBC Middle East correspondentOrla Guerin will say in her annual "Let's kick the shit out of the Jews" news item from Bethlehem.

Here in royal David's city, it's definitely not a silent night.That's because the birthplace of the Prince of Peace is once again under a savage military occupation by a foreign army. The only thing resembling a star would be the flares fired by the army, largely, it would seem, to destroy any chance local inhabitants might have of at least getting a good night's sleep. And this is no place for a mother to lay her child, in a manger or anywhere else, as the occupying troops are known for their habit of murdering children. Children like poor little Haji here, whose legs were blown off in an explosion just a few days ago while he and his little playmates were innocently playing in their innocent, childlike way, with a shaheed's bomb belt in a Palestinian baby food factory. That bomb belt would not have had to be constructed if the Israelis were not occupying Bethlehem, so in a very real sense what happened to poor little Haji here is very much their fault. These innocents could be massacred at any time by the Jewish forces, under their cruel leader, King Hero...uh, I mean Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a man who some have described as being just like King Herod. As little Haji and his playmates remain indoors, under a savagely enforced curfew, their parents can only watch and wonder what will become of their families. Many of them are now refugees, with nowhere to lay their heads. We can't actually show you any Palestinians families living in a stable, although lord knows we tried. With the birthplace of Jesus once again under occupation, with its inhabitants living in fear, it seems the Jew...uh, Israelis have once again managed to cancel Christmas. Orla Guerin, BBC News, Occupied Bethlehem.

ALL GREEK TO ME I'm all in favour of reviving the teaching of Greek in schools. If nothing else, the current paedophilia crisis in the Catholic church could have been avoided had Greek not fallen out of favour. Priests who know there's a difference between eros and agape might not fall into such a trap. Ah well. In the meantime, Archbishop Stylianos, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, appears to have had some sort of hallucenogenic drug slipped into his baklava. In his Christmas message he went off on a bizzare anti-Western rant that sounded for all the world like Yasser Arafat.

It was not the Asians or the Africans who imposed capitalism, fascism, communism and the ecological catastrophe of the planet. It was the Europeans and Americans, baptised unfortunately into Christ. It was they who conducted both World Wars. It was they who divided earth's inhabitants into citizens of the first world, while prospering and squandering in revelry. Into citizens of the second world, who hastily try more every day to be like the first group, and even surpass them if possible. And into citizens of the third world, the most tragic victims of hunger, sickness and illiteracy.

Not satisfied with suggesting that Christianity was too good for uncouth European and American savages, he made a statement to the media in which he described the modern world as the victim of awful, horrible, beastly plots hatched, not by the innocent lambs of Islam, but by Christians and...you just knew this was coming...THE JEWS (tm)!

"Today no one can overlook that the most subversive political, socio-economic or philosophical systems in history did not in fact come from Islam, nor from an Eastern religion," Archbishop Stylianos said. "They were formulated, taught and imposed by either Christian or Jewish people of Europe and America ... with the audacity of bringing 'salvation' to all humankind."

You all remember the harshly repressive Jewish empires that forced Europeans to halt work on Saturday during the Dark Ages, don't you? And the Jewish nobles who taxed the medieval guilds so much that industry was stunted for centuries? Of course, who could forget the way in which synagogue elders had all the copies of the Gospels publically burned in Paris in the 14th century, the notorious 'Protocols of the Priests and Ministers of the Church' which the Jewish secret police in Russia forged in an attempt to show that Christians were trying to take over the world, and (it almost goes without saying) the awful persecutions that have been such a constant factor in Christian live throughout Europe connected with the "ritual cannibalism" charge over the Eucharist. The cries of the Jewish mobs sweeping through the Christian quarters of Europe, burning, killing and looting, still ring in the ears of modern Christians. The Jewish insistence on "bringing salvation to all mankind", which has been such a prominent feature of their long domination of the West, has brought only misery, pain, an obsession with maternal guilt, and the worst plaugue of all - Woody Allen's later movies, after he stopped being funny. When will this Judaic yoke be lifted from our necks O Lord? Sarcasm mode OFF.


HEY THERE MR MUSLIM! PART DEUX. Courtesy of David Bisman.
HEY THERE MR MUSLIM! MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS! Okay, things have been borderline for a while...now they've officially crossed the border. They've gone too far!

The British Red Cross has ordered a near total ban of Christmas decorations from its charity shops so as not to offend Muslims, a London newspaper reported on Saturday. ``We put up a nativity scene in the window and were told to take it out,'' Christine Banks, a volunteer at a Red Cross shop in Kent county, southern England, told the Daily Mail tabloid. ``It seems we can't have anything that means Christmas. We're allowed to have some tinsel but that's it ... We were told it is because we must not upset Muslims,'' Banks added.

Look. I'm Jewish, and I'M goddamn offended by this! I live in a western country. Western civilisation is the modern heir to Christendom. Christianity is woven inseperably into the fabric of western society. In its modern incarnation, it tolerates religious diversity. This is just peachy as far as I'm concerned, as it means a greatly decreased chance of someone setting fire to me in the town square. Label me a fuddy-duddy if you will, but I'm in favour of not having people set fire to me. BUT DO WE HAVE TO CANCEL CHRISTMAS BECAUSE IT MIGHT OFFEND MUSLIMS? WHEN DID WE BECOME AN ISLAMIC SOCIETY? I DIDN'T GET THE MEMO! The situation has now been officially upgraded from lame to seriously weak. If anyone wants me I'll be in my room cleaning my gun and muttering "The time of cleansing is near" in a meaningful way. I mean, seriously, what the heck just happened?

I heard there is no Christmas in the silly Middle East! No trees! No snow! No Santa Clause! They have different religious beliefs! They believe in Muhahmad and not in our holiday! And so, every December, I go to the Middle East and say! Hey there, Mr. Muslim, Merry Fuckin' Christmas! Put down that book, the Koran, and hear some holiday wishes! In case you haven't noticed, it's Jesus's birthday! So get off your heathen Muslim ass and fuckin' celebrate! There is no holiday season in India, I've heard! They don't hang up their stockings, and that is just absurd! They've never read a Christmas story! They don't know what Rudolph is about! And that is why, in December, I'll go to India and shout! Hey there, Mr. Hinduist, Merry Fuckin' Christmas! Drink egg nog and eat some beef and pass it to the Mrs.! In case you haven't noticed, it's Jesus's birthday! So get off your heathen Hindu ass and fuckin' celebrate! Now, I heard that in Japan, Everyone just lives in sin! They pray to several gods and put needles in their skin! On December 25th, all they do is eat a cake! And that is why I go to Japan and walk around and say! Hey there, Mr. Shintoist, Merry Fuckin' Christmas! God is gonna kick your ass, you infidelic pagan scum! In case you haven't noticed, there's festive things to do! So let's all rejoice for Jesus! Merry Fuckin' Christmas to you! On Christmas day, I travel 'round the world! Taoists, Krushnas, Buddhists, and all you atheists too, Merry Fuckin' Christmas to you! (Mr. Hat claps) Uh, thank you, Mr. Hat!

THIS AINT ROCK AND ROLL... ...this is - Genocide! Or is it?

Under the unambiguous definitions and conventions of International Law the Israeli government's occupation of the Palestinian territories, and its 'war on terrorism' in the Occupied Territories are nothing short of a brutal and ruthless genocide committed on the Palestinian people towards the end of eliminating them from their homeland, by death or expulsion, with those remaining confined to subhuman South African like apartheid 'bastustans'.

Murray Hill comments: Really? Hmmm - number of Arab refugees in 1948? 650,000. Number of Palestinians today? 4.1 million. FUCK! This isn't Zyclon B, its viagra! Curse you I.G.Farben!! Hey arseholes, get fucked (tm). How can you tell the IDF wants you dead? You are.


HANOI JANE HITS THE MIDDLE EAST Jane Fonda in Jerusalem! And noone shot her or anything? Haven't the Israelis got the hang of being a repressive dictatorship trampling on human rights yet? Meanwhile, the Gulf Arabs seem to know which side not to back in the upcoming stoush with Iraq. My suggestion is that Ms Fonda be encouraged to visit Baghdad, she should arrive about six hours before zero hour. Actually, there are a few people on my list of those who should be invited to carry her bags. Anyhow, good to be back. Cheers