Friday, December 23, 2005

Rapes post-Katrina

Reports of rape in and around New Orleans in the crisis following Hurricane Katrina are conflicting. It was originally reported that rapes and murders during those dark and chaotic days numbered in the hundreds. Then it was reported that those were just rumors.

People at the New Orleans Rape Crisis Center have their own opinion. In a public service announcement, a well known New Orleans resident tells her story.
“Hi. My name is Charmaine Neville. I was in New Orleans at a school after Hurricane Katrina and I was raped. I know many more women were raped and are afraid to talk about it.”

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Can you write a better headline?

This from the NASA news site ...
NASA's Hubble Discovers New Rings and Moons Around Uranus

Of course, there's always ...

And how could I pass up this ...

Exit strategy ...

From The Onion (U.S. Troops Draw Up Own Exit Strategy):
"My marines are the best-trained, best-equipped, most homesick fighting force in the world," said Staff Sgt. Cornelius Woods. "Just give us the order, and we will commandeer every available vehicle to execute a flanking maneuver on the airstrips of Mosul. By this time tomorrow, we will have retaken our positions at our families' dinner tables in full force."
Keep in mind that The Onion is a parody site. Who else is going to run a news brief that Natalee Holloway has been elected to the Aruban parliament?

The other major news from The Onion is the identification of Karl Rove as a leak "revealing Santa Claus to be 'your mommy and daddy' ..."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Great Cajundome Flushoff

Read the UPDATE.

Louisiana. It's been an interesting year. First there was a hurricane and the fiasco that followed. Then there's an earthquake.

Now comes the The Great Cajundome Flushoff. Yes, volunteers are needed to help flush the facilities toilets as part of the process from cleaning up after housing Hurricane Katrina evacuees. So far Cajundome administrators have found "a brick wrapped in a towel, a t-shirt and diapers."

Hypocrite of the Day Award

By now it's all over the sportscasts how much of a hypocrite Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice is for blasting the team's season ticket holders for selling their tickets to Pittsburgh Steelers fans. The two matched up last week in Minnesota in a game that, if they had won, would have brightened the Vikings playoff hopes.

If you recall, Mike was caught scalping his 12 tickets to last year's Super Bowl. The NFL and Vikings management had a problem with that.

Deadspin (You're Doing A Heckuva Job, Ticey) makes the point this way: "Imagine, if you will, Ron Artest blasting fans for getting in fights, or Damon Stoudamire organizing a protest against High Times, or Fred Smoot screaming at those who would use contraptions to 'please' two women who happened to be lying prostrate on the deck of a boat. Hypothetically speaking. Vikings coach Mike Tice, continuing his pitch-perfect sense of proper public relations, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that there were too many Steelers fans at the Metrodome last weekend and that fans who scalped their tickets [are] 'not really diehard season-ticket holders.'"

Reporting last year on Mike's ticket scalping fiasco, Charles Robinson makes in interesting point about the NFL's hypocricy.

Charles tells the story of New England Patriots season ticket holder Marcia Kringel and the hoops she had to jump through to be at Super Bowl XXXVIII, which featured New England and the Carolina Panthers. Marcia was in a 10-year season ticket contract to the tune of $75,000. She was having problems finding tickets until the Patriots front office called to offer two Super Bowl tickets. They came at a price well beyond the $500 face value of each ticket. Marcia said, "... I had to extend the lease on my club seats another five years. And during that five-year extension, the price of my two season tickets would be $9,000 a year total – an increase of $1,500 a year more than I was paying on the first 10-year contract.'"

See also:
  • Philadelphia Daily News: Tice re-sells out fans: "So, it's perfectly fine for Mike Tice to scalp tickets but it's not fine for anyone else. Remember earlier this year when Tice, the Minnesota Vikings coach, was caught scalping some of his NFL-provided 12 Super Bowl tickets? He was reprimanded and, some thought, might even lose his job. He even was fined $100,000. Well, Capt. Scalp, something of an expert about re-selling tickets, told Minneapolis' Star Tribune that he is annoyed with the number of Steelers fans who watched Pittsburgh beat the Vikings on Sunday in the Metrodome."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kyoto Protocal a must

Perhaps Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Sean Penn and other neo-political environmentalist hacks will find a way to blame Pres. Bush, global warming and the Kyoto Protocal for today's earthquake in Louisiana. Does that mean Bush still doesn't like black people?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pres. Bush involved in northern alliance with fat man, short people

It's unclear if Pres. Bush signed an executive order or needed NSA clearance on this; however, if you have children who still believe in Santa Claus and you love them, check out NORAD Tracks Santa 2005.

Here's the history:
This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born. In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States decided to create a bi-national air defense command for the North American continent called the North American Air Defense Command. Canada and the U.S. believed they could better defend North America together as a team instead of separately.

The Command carried out its first Santa tracking in 1958 after inheriting the tradition from CONAD. Since that time, Canadian and American men and women who work at NORAD have responded to phone calls from children personally. Additionally, media from all over the world call NORAD on Christmas Eve for updates on Santa's location. Last year this Website was visited by millions of people who wanted to know Santa's whereabouts. This year, the information is provided in six languages.

NORAD relies on many volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many people at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to the many thousands of children who call in.

NORAD is the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada. NORAD was created by a 1958 agreement between Canada and the United States. The agreement has been renewed nine times - most recently in 2000. NORAD provides warning of missile and air attack against both of its member nations, safeguards the air sovereignty of North America, and provides air defense forces for defense against an air attack.

NORAD's mission has evolved over the years to meet the aerospace defense needs of Canada and the United States. The most recent "evolution" in NORAD's mission came as a result of September 11, 2001. Because of that day, NORAD now monitors the airspace within Canada and the United States, too. There are men and women in NORAD constantly watching the skies to keep the United States and Canada safe. Visit NORAD's kids' Pages at www.norad.mil.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, et al ... made in China?

The other day I briefly mentioned the involvement of various U.S.-based companies in assisting the Chinese government filter Internet content.

Concurring Opinions (Should Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Help China Filter Searches?) brings up some great points with the benefit of some legal insight as well as just plain common sense.
Should Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft be cooperating? Is business always business? Or should businesses refuse to cooperate with certain foreign legal regimes? If it is acceptable for businesses to cooperate, is there a limit to the level of cooperation that should be provided?

These questions don't have an easy answer. Is it acceptable when Yahoo or Google help France and Germany filter out pro-Nazi websites? Hypothetically, would it have been acceptable for Yahoo or Google to have helped the Nazi regime in identifying Jews? Where should the line be drawn?

It's deja vu all over again

It's being reported that Hillary Clinton may have to forgo her presidential aspirations once a report from Independent Counsel David Barrett is released. According to Tony Snow, host of FoxNEWS Radio's The Tony Snow Show, "By all accounts, the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance."

NewsMax.com (Report Could Torpedo Hillary Clinton's Prez Plans) is reporting, "Two Washington pundits are warning that Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential plans may depend on whether congressional Democrats can continue to keep Independent Counsel David Barrett's final report on IRS abuses during the 1990s under wraps ... When he launched his probe in 1994, Mr. Barrett's initial focus was former Clinton Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros. But his investigation quickly zeroed in on allegations that the Clintons were using the IRS to persecute their political enemies - including scandal witnesses against them."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if the Clinton luck has run out.

Thanks to Blogs Against Hillary for the update.

See also:
  • Independent Online Edition: Clinton on Clinton: "After undergoing heart-bypass surgery last year, the former President reveals to Diane Salvatore how the experience not only changed his life - but also his relationships with those closest to him"

Pat Robertson on science

It's a curious thought if environmentalists who are so worried about pollution of the air and water really understand the positive impact the industries they despise have on their lives. From Iranian nuclear weapons and Israeli pistols to Chinese food and acid relief medicines, science and industry is involved.

Then there are people like televangelist Pat Robertson who want to push creationism into the scholastic arena. When people don't do what Pat wants, as was the case in Dover, PA, he warns of "the wrath of God for not voting in a school board that would teach Intelligent Design in classes."
The American Association for the Advancement of Science responded, "We'd like to say to the good Reverend Robertson: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to science, you just rejected it from your life ... And don't wonder why it hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. We're not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just pushed science out of your life. And if that's the case, don't ask for its help because it might not be there ... In particular, you won't have a phone to call the ambulance, and it won't exist even if you could call it. And even if the doctor lived next door and you could call her, she would only bleed you and put smelly poultices on your forehead to balance your humours. And she would be a guy.'

'Actually, we're just kidding,' the AAAS later corrected. 'Science works whether you believe in it or not. That's what's really cool about it,' they said.

'What they said,' indicated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in an independent statement.
Speaking of Hugo, he just had a 'succesful' political election. It's been a hell of a year for the man. According to Pajamas Media (The day Chavez staggered):
"Chavez through the last quarter of the year kept pushing his agenda on a 'Socialism for the XXI Century' which included: more property confiscation, more free giving overseas, more incendiary rhetoric, more pro Castro, more anti US (even if disguised as anti Bush) and many more confrontational elements. In other words Chavez decided not to wait for his own reelection in December 2006 to make it a referendum on a new Venezuelan economical and social structure, but instead decided to get right now an assembly that would start implementing the changes as early as January 2006. Sweeping changes in the still brand new 1999 constitution were even discussed!"
Thanks to Brad Ideas for the update.

Life post-9/11 a lot like Orwell's 1984

Like Daily Kos, I couldn't resist running a ditto of Think Progress' Cheney: Warrentless Wiretapping ‘Might Have Led Us To Prevent 9/11′:
Vice President Cheney from tonight’s Nightline:

It’s the kind of capability [that], if we’d had before 9/11, might have led us to be able to prevent 9/11.

We had two 9/11 terrorists in San Diego prior to the attack in contact with al Qaeda sources outside the U.S. We didn’t know it. The 9/11 Commission talks about it. If we’d had this capability, then we might well have been able to stop it.


This is false and sensational. The secret surveillance program authorized by President Bush did not provide the National Security Agency any new “capability.”

The NSA “already had the capacity to read your mail and your e-mail and listen to your telephone conversations. All it had to do was obtain a warrant from a special court created for this purpose. The burden of proof for obtaining a warrant was relaxed a bit after 9/11, but even before the attacks the court hardly ever rejected requests.” Indeed, from 1979 to 2002, the FISA court issued 15,264 surveillance warrants. Not a single warrant application was rejected.

Nothing in the law pre-9/11 prevented the federal government from conducting surveillance operations on terrorists. Cheney simply can’t resist using that tragedy to shield himself from criticism.
See also:

There's no going home

Last week California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied a stay of execution for Tookie Williams. A few people weren't happy about that (I'm guessing Tookie was one of those), including Arnold's Austrian hometown of Graz.
Schwarzenegger severs ties with Austrian hometown: "California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cut his honorary ties to his hometown in Austria on Monday after officials in Graz criticized him for denying clemency to a death row inmate.

Schwarzenegger demanded that Graz stop using his name on a sports stadium and in promotions and returned a 'ring of honor' he had been awarded by city officials in 1999, saying politicians in his hometown appeared to have rejected him.

A petition drive had been launched in Graz to have the town rename a stadium that has been named after Schwarzenegger because the Austrian-born governor allowed the execution of death-row inmate Stanley Tookie Williams this month."
See also:

Something about inmates taking over the asylum?

Who's more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows the fool?

Such is the case with Guidance Software which, according to their website, specializes in the development of "solutions that search, identify, recover and deliver digital information in a forensically sound and cost-effective manner ... Guidance Software’s suite of EnCase® solutions provide an enterprise investigative infrastructure that enables corporations, government and law enforcement agencies to conduct effective digital investigations, respond promptly to eDiscovery requests and other large-scale data collection needs, and take decisive action in response to external attacks."

The problem is that hackers broke into Guidance Software's network, "resulting in the exposure of financial and personal data connected to thousands of law enforcement officials and network-security professionals."

Tag team

Call me sadistic, but I've wondered how I would react if someone pointed a gun at me in the process of a crime. I'd like to think my response would be similar to that of two Milwakee men who were confronted in their home during a robbery.

The victims were relaxing in their hom when two men entered with guns at the ready. Two of the residents, a father and son, fought back. While one of the robbers escaped, the duo apprehended the other assailant and "injured the man so badly that an ambulance had to come to the home. (The father) said he stabbed the man three times in the leg with a cheese knife and his son hit the man in the head with a snow shovel, which authorities took for evidence."

Israel planning to open a can of whoop ass?

Things aren't going well in the Middle East. Do they ever?

In the latest episode of my god is better than your god, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth and that "Europeans are responsible for any crimes that may have been committed against Jews, and that the 'oppressed Palestinian nation' should not have to pay the price of land." The Iranian president "said the West has 'fabricated a legend' which it holds 'above God' of the systematic killing of millions of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II."

In other news, Israel is preparing for war against Iran.

According to Human Events Online:
Israel is sending increasingly clear signs that it is gearing up for a major military confrontation with the soon-to-be nuclear power of Iran.

Consider that in recent weeks:
  • Israeli military intelligence chief Aharon Zeevi Farkash said Israel will have to admit the failure of diplomatic efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear weapons program if Iran is not referred to the U.N. Security Council before the end of March.
  • Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared that Israel must get ready for actions “other than diplomatic” to solve the Iranian problem.
  • And citing Iran as an “existential threat,” Likud Party Chairman candidate Benjamin Netanyahu was even more blunt, making an attack on Iran an explicit campaign promise.

Kanye gets some help

MTV's Brooke Crittendon wasn't happy with a recent article on The Conservative Voice about rapper Kanye West. If you recall, Kanye thinks Pres. Bush doesn't like black people.

Apparently, Brooke doesn't like Nathan Tabor, publisher/editor-in-chief of The Conservative Voice and author of the Kanye story. In an e-mail to Nathan, she claimed to be "a friend of Kanye West and was upset with Tabor's story. As far as West making the controversial statements on NBC TV's star-studded fundraiser, Ms. Crittendon claims that West 'did not know going in that he was going to make those comments, and as a multi-platinum selling rapper he definitely did not need the 'free publicity.'"

See also:

Here's a way to save a few bucks

NOT A SPONSORED AD

Here's a tip. Calling 411 from your landline or cell phone incurs a charge which ranges from 90 cents on up to a few dollars. There is an alternative in 1-800-FREE-411. The service "was created to provide callers with a free alternative to the skyrocketing rates being charged by phone companies for directory assistance (411)."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's like being sea sick. Once you think it's done, it comes right back up.

Over the past several months I've made multiple comments about Cindy Sheehan. Mostly in a negative light. I'm not about to change my ways.

Sheehan has been spotted in Spain leading a war protest as "about 100 protesters carried banners criticizing President Bush."

As Gregory Cole puts it, "Who is financing Sheehan?"

In other news, Woody Allen is mediocre and makes miserable films.

Thanks to Little Green Footballs for the update.

Stuff your Dad doesn't want you to know ...