“Shock and Awe” was Wired’s headline responding to the news that the software giant has offered $44.6 billion to buy out Yahoo in what would be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition yet. (Anyone remember Starbucks’ sinister Phase 2 of operations?)
Saturday, February 2, 2008
The Telegraph reports, adding that "it may be possible for lesbian couples to have their own biological children.
The recent attacks on crowds at the pet market in Baghdad by two retarded women wired up as bombs by al-Qaeda are reminders that we are in an era of "persistent" conflict. Unlike wars between nations (like the Second World War) which are sharply defined, conflicts between communities and subnational groups drag on for a long time. There will probably never be a V-Terror Day. Participants at a recent Symposium at Fort Leavenworth examined the issue of how the Armed Forces should be structured to fight a "persistent conflict" -- one which literally doesn't go away.
"What kind of campaign is this? Six-plus years after 9/11; while the Taliban attempts an Afghanistan comeback; as Islamist terrorists cause mayhem in Algeria and occupy huge swaths of tribal Pakistan; despite “United 93” and “The Kite Runner,” a library-full of books, presidential commissions, congressional hearings, and four election cycles—despite all of that, a strange, Victorian reticence about naming the enemy in the contest for the human future in which we are engaged befogs this political season."
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
"Kurt Daims was a little taken aback Monday at the fierce response outside Brattleboro and Vermont to the successful petition drive that will let the town vote at Town Meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be charged with war crimes."And he just can't figure out why people are mad about it.....
But with one bold move, everything has changed. When Mets pitchers and catchers report to spring training two weeks from Thursday, the ace left-hander Johan Santana will presumably be among those present after the Mets obtained him from the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in a deal that left the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox on the outside looking in.A lot of baseball fans wonder why the American League is so much stronger than the National League. Aside from the designated hitter rule (which I hate), I always say "George Steinbrenner". His spending sprees forced the American League teams to up the ante every year. Omar Minaya, for good or bad, has just turned the tables......
Dip Once or Dip Twice?
"Did, did you just double dip that chip?” Timmy asks incredulously, later objecting, “That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip!” Finally George retorts, “You dip the way you want to dip, I’ll dip the way I want to dip,” and aims another used chip at the bowl. Timmy tries to take it away, and the scene ends as they wrestle for it.
"“Allah gives permission in the Koran for the followers of Allah to attack those who have waged war against them, with the expectation of eternal paradise in case of martyrdom and/or living one’s life in obedience of all of Allah’s commandments found throughout the Koran’s 114 chapters...”
“The U.S. government is responsible for the deaths of and the torture of countless followers of Allah, my brothers and sisters. My attack on Americans at UNC-CH on March 3rd was in retaliation for similar attacks orchestrated by the U.S. government on my fellow followers of Allah in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic territories. I did not a"
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
A Carnival float with a pile of model dead bodies commemorating the Holocaust is causing unease before the lavish parades in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.
The Viradouro samba organization, or school, plans to feature the grim display when it marches in the Sambadrome parade strip on Sunday, despite objections from a local Jewish group.
This is a bit beyond the pale. After reading the news clip, it appears that this is a well-intentioned effort to commemorate the Holocaust; but it's a bad idea....and during Carnival?
When I watched the Kennedy dynasty’s self-indulgent endorsement of Barack Obama yesterday, I saw a bloated, effete patriarch patting himself on the back and his candidate on the head. I heard empty platitudes and nostalgia and a desperate, windy plea for relevance. The hypocrisy of vicious, country-clubber Teddy K (Flashback: Teddy K and The Owl Club; Flashback;Teddy K’s unhinged diatribe against Sam Alito; Flashback: Kennedy’s shamnesty “Gestapo” rant) extolling Obama for “lifting up” rather than “tearing down” was nauseating.
New York Times conservative David Brooks, on the other hand, was enthralled by the “Kennedy mystique.” There was, gushed Brooks, “something important and memorable about the way the 75-year-old Kennedy communed and bonded with a rapturous crowd half a century his junior.”
I wasn't particularly enthused with Brooks' today either for some of the same reasons; but certainly he's entitled to his opinion. Matt Yglesias, however, thinks that Brooks has ulterior motives (because all conservatives do, you know). But if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Teddy hater, just go through Malkin's entire post and revel in the litany of the joke/caricature that is the Senior Senator from the great state of Massachusetts.
ABC’s decision follows a call by the American Academy of Pediatrics for ABC to cancel the opening episode of “Eli Stone,” which is scheduled to be broadcast at 10 p.m. Thursday.
In a letter to ABC executives on Friday, Dr. Renee R. Jenkins, the president of the pediatrics academy, warned that the episode “could lead to a tragic decline in immunization rates.” The first episode portrays a lawyer who wins a case against a drug company on behalf of a mother who believes that a preservative in a vaccine caused her child’s autism.
This is scary stuff; and takes us back to the days of Phil Donahue showcasing his "victims" of silicone breast implants even though there was zero scientific evidence to back the claims (Mr. Donahue, for all his posturing over the years, was really more of a "faith-based" investigative reporter and TV host).
But real evidence is not an issue when it comes to any form of mainstream media because they are never really held responsible for actions. How about this idea: Lets do a statistical study following this program debut, and hold these people accountable if there is a measurable decline in immunizations that results in an increase in the affected viral infections? What's good for the goose......
History plays strange tricks on those who believe in the self-evident righteousness of their "side". I think it's more than likely that the peculiar mania playing itself out in Vermont will one day be compared to Orval Faubus' insistence on Little Rock being a law unto itself. But then again, who knows?Read it all.....
"WATCHING BUSH WALK OUT AFTER THE SPEECH, I'm struck by how happy he looks. Other Presidents have looked beaten-down by this point. Not him."I noticed this a few years ago. Every other President starts to look like hell after two or three years. GWB actually looks better than he ever did....I'm sure that many would offer as many cynical reasons as you would care to hear; but I just think that he is, and always has been, very comfortable in his own skin. A product of being born again? Possibly.....
Monday, January 28, 2008
Many of these same people do not like it now that they see similar two-faced tactics being employed against "one of their own." Well, tough. And many of the most prominent and eloquent black columnists—Bob Herbert, Colbert King, Eugene Robinson—are also acting shocked. It's a bit late. I have to say that Bob Herbert shocked even me by quoting Andrew Young, who said that his pal Clinton was "every bit as black as Barack" because he'd screwed more black chicks. How is Hillary Clinton, or Chelsea Clinton, supposed to feel on hearing that little endorsement? One gets the impression, though, at least from the wife, that anything is OK as long as it works, or even has a chance of working.I can't disagree; but calling Bob Herbert eloquent really annoys me.....
The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed under the headline "Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza." The authors are Eyad al-Sarraj, identified as founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, identified as senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won't even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.You don't need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day.
A typographical error at the Boston Globe? Hardly. The two authors used the same "statistic" in an earlier piece. They copied it from an article published in the Ahram Weekly last November, which reported that "the price of a bag of flour has risen 80 per cent, because of the 680,000 tonnes the Gaza Strip needs daily, only 90 tonnes are permitted to enter." Sarraj and Roy added the bit about this being "a reduction of 99 percent."
Note how an absurd and impossible "statistic" has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard "research scholar," and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can't do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that "reduction of 99 percent" becomes a well-attested fact.
"We are financing a war against ourselves, and the way things are going, we will soon be paying the enemy more than we are paying our own military.
In light of this, a top priority of U.S. national security policy should be to break the oil cartel. This imperative has been apparent since the 1973 oil embargo, but nothing effective has been done. However there is now a way to break OPEC."
Let's see how all the socialists like the government boys creeping up their behinds about how they do their business. It ought to be interesting.
"In the past two months, Yale and Harvard have announced the largest increases in undergraduate financial aid in the respective schools’ histories. But for the Senate Finance Committee, that may not be enough.
As part of its probe into whether universities are generous enough in spending their endowment riches to provide financial aid and head off rising tuition, the committee announced last week that it will request detailed information concerning aid, tuition and endowment spending from more than 100 of America’s wealthiest universities."
With Vista bearing a footprint 10 times larger than XP's, even Microsoft officials are expressing concerns about Windows' growing waistline. Speaking last year at the University of Illinois, Microsoft distinguished engineer Eric Traut said the operating system had become bloated.
"A lot of people think of Windows as this large, bloated operating system. That may be a fair characterization," said Traut.
"Obama, by saying he is pro-Israel and appointing Malley as an adviser, creates a kind of political Rorschach inkblot test in which those who think Obama is 'pro-Israel' support him and those who think he is 'anti-Israel' support him too. They are sold a box. And they think they know the contents of the box. But they only get to open the box after Obama is elected President."
Whatever hopes people might have had that Mr. Clinton would usher in a new era of national unity were quickly dashed. Within just a few months the country was wracked by the bitter partisanship Mr. Obama has decried.
This bitter partisanship wasn’t the result of anything the Clintons did. Instead, from Day 1 they faced an all-out assault from conservatives determined to use any means at hand to discredit a Democratic president.
Poor Paulie! It was the rest of the world that made the Clintons seem like ruthless climbers. The Clintons never did anything untoward, or politically expedient. Only Republicans (named Bush) do that!
The question I keep asking each and every time I read one of Krugman's columns, or see his face on a talk show is: Why are people willing so willing to accept political, medical and God-knows-what-other advice from a nerd economist who never got one of those predictions right either? In some ways, I think of him as the Pamela Anderson of talking heads (one notable feature he has used to propel himself to a life of mediocrity). In other ways, I see the living incarnation of Ellsworth Toohey.....Take your pick.
"One week after Warner Brothers Entertainment announced that it was abandoning its support for the next-generation HD DVD format in favor of the Blu-ray high-definition format, consumers abandoned HD DVD.
What was a 50-50 market split in 2007 for the high-definition players shifted sharply in Blu-ray’s favor in the new year. For the week that ended Jan. 12, Blu-ray hardware captured 90 percent of the market, according to data collected by the NPD Group, a market analysis firm."
Egypt has struggled to re-seal the border and contain hundreds of thousands of needy Gazans who poured across since militants blasted openings last Wednesday to evade an Israeli blockade on the Hamas Islamist-run territory.In case you (and everyone else) forgot, Gaza was actually a part of Egypt before Israel occupied it as a result of the 1967 war. When Egypt took the Sinai back after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, do you think they negotiated for Gaza? No way.....The cold, hard truth here is that not a single Arab country wants anything to do with Gaza or the so-called Palestinian people (Dershowtiz pointed this out many, many moons ago), they just like using them as a tool against the Israelis. So far, they've been very successful at it, haven't they?
"Being Christian, in my view, is an identity beyond identity politics, so my first thought about Dana Jacobson was not, “how dare she insult my religion,” but “the poor dear, she really needs to confront the fact that she’s drinking too much.” Our culture needs a corrective to the pile-on aspect of public denunciations, in which pounds of flesh are ritually exacted for offenses to the sensibilities of organized groups — and who better than Christians to lead the way?"
"Art Laffer has had the uncanny ability to recognize good economic policy and the impact of such policy on the economy. Given the accuracy of his past forecasts and his dire warnings about prospective tax increases, Americans should think twice before voting for populists who promise a free-lunch supplied by the entrepreneurs of this country."Not everyone thinks the stimulus package is a great idea - or that it will work.....
"TROY, N.Y. (AP) -- The lab rat of the future may have no whiskers and no tail - and might not even be a rat at all.
With a European ban looming on animal testing for cosmetics, companies are giving a hard look at high-tech alternatives like the small, rectangular glass chip professor Jonathan Dordick holds up to the light in his lab at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The chip looks like a standard microscope slide, but it holds hundreds of tiny white dots loaded with human cell cultures and enzymes. It's designed to mimic human reactions to potentially toxic chemical compounds, meaning critters like rats and mice may no longer need to be on the front line of tests for new blockbuster drugs or wrinkle creams."
The recent blackout in Gaza was reported dutifully around the globe with Israel’s responsibility for the lights-out nearly always leading the story. The fact that it was Hamas that cut off electricity to Gaza City and then staged the candlelight protests against it was no secret - yet the U.S. media stuck to the Hamas-driven narrative, writes Bob Owens.Read it.....and then wonder why you bother why to watch the news or read the Times at all.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
"(IsraelNN.com) Fatah chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's PA television has been repeatedly broadcasting a hate-filled music video calling for the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people from Israel.
'My enemy, oh snake! Around the land, you are coiled. You have no choice, oh enemy, but to leave my country,' is the refrain in the video, which has been broadcast on a daily basis for the past several months, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)."
"In response to a Marine Corps recruiting office established in Berkeley last year, local activists are trying to make it more difficult for future recruiting centers to open in the city.
If passed by a majority of Berkeley voters, a proposed initiative would require military recruiting offices and private military companies in Berkeley to first acquire a special use permit.
To obtain this permit, a business must hold public hearings and a public comment period."
This is the Muslim Brotherhood to which idiots in our own State Department are now “reaching out,” marching in the thousands in Jordan in support of Hamas and suicide bombings: Jordanians rally in support of Hamas in Gaza.
Reuters, of course, calls them “mainstream activists.”
Senator Edward M. Kennedy intends to endorse the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama during a rally on Monday in Washington, associates to both men confirmed, a decision that squarely pits one American political dynasty against another.I wonder what would have happened if Mary Jo had been black....
"Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.Oops.....
# Have your say: Should lifestyle play a role in deciding who gets NHS treatment?
Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.
Smoker - Don't treat the old and unhealthy, say doctors
£1.7 billion is spent treating diseases caused by smoking, such as lung cancer and emphysema
Fertility treatment and 'social' abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state."
“Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation,” Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement. “Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause.”
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.No offense to Ms. Kennedy or her father's memory; but I believe that he was more myth than inspirational reality. Imagine us today allowing the levels of voter fraud that put her father in office, or the covert operations that her uncle authorized to try and kill Castro (even if it was a good idea), or the treatment that the current news cycle would have given her father's "personal pursuits".
JFK's most inspirational words, however, were "Ask not what you country can do for you...." The common theme among the current campaigns is more like "Just ask us for what you need, and we'll be more than happy to write the check..."
"No matter what happens in the near future between the Palestinians and Israel, I doubt Israel will ever allow the reasonably free movement between Gaza and Israel that existed through the early 1990s. Giving the Gazans Egyptian citizenship, and making Egypt responsible for security in the area, would benefit Israel, the Gazans, and even Egypt itself, by destroying Hamas's base (Hamas being affiliated with Egypt's anti-government Muslim Brotherhood). It would also benefit the Palestinians in the West Bank, by allowing the more moderate residents there to reach an accommodation with Israel, perhaps in concert with Jordan.
If Israeli leaders had any p.r. sense and/or vision, they would use this opportunity to loudly ask why Egypt, which refused custody of Gaza when Israel returned the Sinai, is so adamant about refusing to do its part to relieve Palestinian suffering."
"On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.
[Palestinians attend a...]
In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles.
In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles."
Mr. Habash promoted the Palestinian cause through terrorist attacks in the 1970s, including the 1976 hijacking of an Air France airliner to Entebbe, Uganda, where four civilians are killed during a rescue operation by Israeli paratroopers.
The group also was responsible for gunning down 27 people at Israel's Lod airport in May 1972. And it was credited with one of the first Palestinian hijackings, of an Israeli El Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv in 1968. PFLP Gunmen ordered it flown to Algeria, but no one was hurt.