Thursday, May 31, 2007
Which is why we were glad to see that president Bush is trying to bring the cold war back.
President Vladimir Putin said that tests of new Russian missiles were a response to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense installations and other forces in Europe, suggesting Washington has triggered a new arms race. "Hey. Remember when you guys put missiles in Cuba," said William Burns, US Ambassador to Russia. "Well, the shoe's on the other foot now isn't it you Vodka drinking, Borscht sipping, fur hat wearing commie bas...uh...I mean you have nothing to fear from our purely defensive deployment."
They are filling Eastern Europe with new weapons. A new base in Bulgaria, another one in Romania, a (missile defense) site in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic," Putin said. "What we are supposed to do? We can't just sit back and look at that."
"Sure they can," replied White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "What do they think? That America is an aggressor nation? Where's the evidence of that?"
Putin and other Russian officials have repeatedly rejected U.S. assurances that the planned missile defense installations are meant to counter a potential threat from nations such as Iran. "Look, we know your president isn't big on geography, but tell me how missile sites in Poland protect American against Iran," asked a Kremlin spokesperson.
In remarks clearly directed against Washington, Putin blasted those "who want to dictate their will to all others regardless of international norms and law.""It's dangerous and harmful," he added. "Norms of the international law were replaced with political expediency. We view it as diktat and imperialism."
"Oh, like they've always been a democracy," said Snowjob. "Heck, where do you think we got half the ideas we're using now?"
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Anyway, the point is, nothing could be further form the truth. Fact is we love this country and almost daily thank our lucky stars for having been born in America rather than in say, Alabama. We are grateful for the fact that with less than four percent of the world's population, we consume 25% of its energy. We are grateful for the fact that as the world's sole super power we can project our military might anywhere on the planet and thus don't have to waste time with diplomacy. And we're grateful that to continue to feed the great beast that is the beacon of freedom and promise in the world, we will soon be turning corn into biofuel for our SUVs instead of putting it in the bellies of starving children around the world.
It's good to be the American.
But folks, we have to tell you that even with all the blessings that have rained down upon us like a golden shower from heaven, there is still one group in this country that has not benefited from our progress, from our promise, from the very truths upon which this great country was founded.
We're talking about Christians.
Texas students would have greater freedom to express their religious views on school campuses under a bill passed by the House and sent to Governor Rick Perry, who has publicly supported the measure. "Since the answer to all our questions is in the Bible, we want students to have access to that resource," said Perry. "Sort of like SparkNotes, except for everything."
Under the legislation, religious beliefs expressed in homework, artwork and other assignments would be judged by traditional academic standards. Students couldn't be penalized or rewarded because of the religious content of their work. "So when students are asked to explain a chemical reaction and their answer is 'And Then A Miracle Occurred' we think they should at least get partial credit," said Representative Larry Phillips.
Perry was surrounded by children and parents who said their religious speech was quashed at public school. "When my son stands up in the middle of an algebra quiz and shouts 'Jesus Save Me" I think he should be taken seriously," said one parent. "I've seen his grades and that boy definitely needs the intervention of the almighty if he's gonna pass."
Representative Scott Hochberg, a Houston Democrat, argued against the bill, warning it would open up campuses to hate speech. "You know nothing gets hate speech going faster than giving Christians carte blanche to say what they want. Ever hear of Jerry Falwell? James Dobson? Pat Robertson?"
Supporters say the bill, sponsored by Representative Charlie Howard, writes into law protections already provided by U.S. Supreme Court rulings. "Yeah, the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, but we needed something a little closer to home 'cause you can't trust them Yankee courts," Howard told reporters. "Besides, them rights are for everybody, including the heathens. We needed to close that loophole."
"The only good thing about this bill was the nondiscrimination clause," said Representative Lon Burnam.
"Nondiscrimination? How the heck did that get in there?" Howard asked "Somebody get me the governor on the line. Quick."
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
President Bush attacked opponents of an immigration deal, suggesting they "don't want to do what's right for America. Now, most people in this country think I don't want to do what's right for America either, but that's not true, because when I don't do right, that's the right thing to do because I'm the decider and I get to decide what's right, which, oddly enough, has always corresponded 100% with what I want. Momma always told me I was special."
"A lot of Americans are skeptical about immigration reform, primarily because they don't think the government can fix the problems," Bush said. "And to those people I say, you're right, but have patience. My administration will be over someday."
Bush spoke at the nation's largest training center for law enforcement as conservative critics blasted a Senate proposal as being soft on people who break the law. "There's no way this is soft on people who break the law," the president said. "If anyone knows about being soft on people that break the law it's me. Why do you think I get along so well with Al Gonzales?"
Bush's aim is to build momentum for the legislation, perhaps his best chance for a signature victory in his second term. "In my first term I started a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, so when I was reelected I thought what can I screw up in this hemisphere?"
Bush repeatedly cast the matter as one of political courage. "You can use it to frighten people," Bush said. "Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all. Guess which one I've built my political career on."
The bill would give temporary legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants, provided they came forward, paid a fine and underwent criminal background checks. To apply for a green card, they would have to pay another fine, learn English, return to their home country and wait in line. "See, this is the beauty part," Bush said. "We get them to pay twice and they still have to go back home and wait for a green card. And if you think we'll be getting those cards out quickly, I've got just two words for you New Orleans. And that learn English part? That was my idea. Hey if I can speak English so can they."
Bush chastised those who say the proposal offers amnesty to illegal immigrants. He called it empty political rhetoric. "And I know 'empty political rhetoric' when I say it...er...hear it, when I hear it."
Friday, May 25, 2007
It's the economically responsible thing to do.
Well, unless you happen to be that greyhound.
A new independent report on racing greyhounds has exposed shocking welfare concerns and a shameful lack of industry records or safeguards. "In their defense though, we have to say that most of the people in the industry have trouble reading and writing," said David McDowell, RSPCA veterinary consultant.
At least 4,728 racing greyhounds in England are unaccounted for each year - these are presumed to be killed by the age of three or four - when their racing days are over. At least a further 2,478 pups bred for English greyhound racing each year never even make it to the track - and are also unaccounted for. "They've got to be around here somewhere," said Trevor Willingham Barker Thames, racing industry spokesperson. "Did you look out back of the garage?"
Furthermore, the report identifies welfare concerns with greyhounds transported long distances in cages that are too small for them to stand and turn around; and that the surface, design and dimension of tracks could have a significant impact on the welfare of racing dogs. "Hey look, my flat's only two rooms," said Willingham Barker Thames. "That's pretty small but you don't see me complaining. What are we supposed to do? Pop for a little doggy condo? We're only going to have a dog until we run it out. Let me rephrase that."
"The current situation is a depressing fiasco,” said David McDowell. “All aspects of welfare within the greyhound industry, from breeding and transportation to handling, racing and retirement, and final euthanasia must be comprehensively improved."
Improved? How about ended. You go along with that Tracer?
Tracer has been playing ever since he got to the foster home. He loves to play with toys, his foster family and other dogs. He’s a very happy dog, he loves attention and he wags his tail all the time. He’s very rambunctious when he’s playing. He’s not bashful about anything. He learns really quickly. He’s a very likable dog. He’s a shadower; you don’t leave the room without him coming with you. It’s more of a curiosity. Tracer would do well with a working family home with well-mannered children, ages 7 and older. He would be fine with another dog and he would probably be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
But we digress.
Our purpose here today is to once again urge our reader(s) to consider opening their hearts and couches to the oldest pure breed dog in existence, the second fastest land animal, the companion of kings, the greyhound.
But first, let's make fun of the overlords.
We've told you before about excited the overlords get when the state allows them to put slot machines at their tracks. "There's nothing better for the greyhound racing industry than to divert people from greyhound racing, said Gary Guccione, executive director of the greyhound racing association.
So Kansas is the latest state to a dying industry that exploits animals is just the thing a democratically elected legislature should be supporting and recently the governor signed legislation making the dogs, not only expendable, like they were before, but superfluous as well.
Yay Kansas! Motto: Mediocre is good enough for us.
But before we leave the overlords to take off their clothes and roll around in all those quarters, let's take a look at where that slot money is going to go:
• 40 percent of the rest goes to the state.
• 25 percent goes to the racetrack gaming facility manager.
• 7 percent goes to the Live Horse Racing Purse Supplement Fund (not to exceed $3,750 per machine).
• 2 percent goes to the Problem Gaming and Addiction Fund.
• 7 percent goes to the Live Greyhound Racing Purse Supplement Fund (not to exceed $3,750 per machine).
• 1.5 percent goes to the city in which the track is located.
• 1.5 percent goes to the county (3 percent if the track is not in a city).
• 1 percent goes to the Kansas Horse Fair Racing Benefit Fund.
• 15 percent goes for expenses.
Check out point 5. Yes, that's right, 7% of the money lost on slots goes into the Greyhound Racing Purse Supplement Fund. This fund is necessary because not enough people bet on greyhound racing to make greyhound racing worth betting on.
Apparently the Kansas legislature is OK with that. Is it possible we've finally discovered a class of dullards even thicker than the overlords Carol?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Now today, mix those same chemicals together and the explosion may not actually have been an explosion. In fact, it is only secular relativists who believe that the combination of certain chemicals produces violent changes in the state of those chemicals. True believes know it is really just god's way of saying the room is too hot and needs to be cooled off by having all its windows blown out.
Smithsonian Institution toned down an exhibit on climate change in the Arctic for fear of angering the U.S. Congress and the Bush administration, says Robert Sullivan, a former administrator at the museum. "I told them the chances of Bush ever visiting a museum were about the same as it raining monkeys in Anchorage, but they said sometimes Inhofe wandered in when he was drunk and might see the exhibit."
Among other things, the script, or official text, of last year's exhibit was rewritten to minimize and inject more uncertainty into the relationship between global warming and humans. "We're just trying to teach the controversy," said White House spokeswoman Kristen Hellmer. "But since we really couldn't find much of a controversy, we decided to go with obfuscation."
Officials omitted scientists' interpretation of some research and let visitors draw their own conclusions from the data. "Well, most of the people who come through there are trained scientists and statisticians," Hellmer said. "We just didn't want the exhibits to be redundant."
"It just became tooth-pulling to get solid science out without toning it down," said Sullivan, who resigned last fall after 16 years at the museum. He said he left after higher-ups tried to reassign him. "I was up for promotion, but I failed my bible quiz. They said it had more to do with that than the climate thing."
Smithsonian officials denied that political concerns influenced the exhibit, saying the changes were made for reasons of objectivity. And some scientists who consulted on the project said nothing major was omitted. "Do we put good science ahead of politics? Soitenly," Said Dr. Curly.
In recent months, the White House has been accused of trying to muzzle scientists researching global warming at NASA and other agencies. "'Muzzle' is such a harsh word," said Hellmer. "It's more like...well, OK muzzle is about right."
Sullivan said the changes in the climate-change exhibit were requested by executives who included then-museum Director Cristian Samper and his boss, former Undersecretary for Science David Evans. Samper, now acting Smithsonian secretary, said he was not aware of scientists' objections. "No one ever said anything to me. Of course, come to think of it, that was right after we had all the locks changed and our phone number unlisted."
Evans refused to comment. At least it appeared that he refused to comment, but it was hard to tell as he was speaking in tongues.
Randall Kremer, a spokesman for the natural history museum, said atmospheric science was outside the Smithsonian's expertise, so the museum avoided the issue of what is causing the Arctic changes. When asked why the museum couldn't have brought in people who did have the required expertise to evaluate the exhibit Kremer responded, "You mean there are guys that know about this stuff?"
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Al Hurra television is the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East.
Ha! See that? Another six months or so of the 'A' Team and the Mujahadeen will be as dangerous as Cubs fans.
Critics say the network is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic.
Yeah, well, that's not so bad. You think MTV is run by young people? You think American Idol is run by people who can sing? You think the government is run by...well...bad example, but you get the point. Who needs to speak Arabic when you've got The Price Is Right?
According to a senior official who oversees the program, lack of Arabic speaker on the executive staff might explain why the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.
Erm...OK, "Kill the Zionist Pig" could be a game show.
Facing tough questions before a congressional panel last week, Broadcasting Board of Governors member Joaquin Blaya admitted none of the senior news managers at the network knew anything about running a television station, let alone one in a foreign language. "I watched Fox a lot," Blaya said. "I figured, how hard could it be?"
"How does it happen that the terrorists take over?" asked Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee he chairs. "Hey, don't talk to me about terrorism," Blaya countered. "Have you seen The OC?"
Blaya conceded that the top officials in the network's chain of command could not understand what was being said on al Hurra broadcasts. "The commercials were in English though. We thought that was helpful."
The network's news division also had no assignment desk, he said. That left decisions over al Hurra's content in the hands of its reporters and producers, who are, according to Blaya, hastily-hired Arabic-speaking journalists. "In retrospect, I suppose when the objective line on their resumes said 'Destroy the infidel crusaders,' that should have been a clue," Blaya admitted.
It has never been al Hurra's policy to "provide an open, live microphone to terrorists," Blaya assured lawmakers. "We were thinking more of a seven second tape delay, or something along those lines. You know, like they should have done to Imus."
The station's gaffes have included broadcasting a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah. "You know, I thought that guy looked familiar," Blaya told the Committee, "But Ali, my assistant told me he was the Arabic equivalent of Mr. Rogers, so I let it go."
At the hearing, Blaya and other officials assured lawmakers that some of the staffers involved in the controversial broadcasts had been fired. "Well, actually when we went down to fire them they had already disappeared. Plus they had booby trapped their desks. We had trouble getting janitors after that."
Blaya also said the network now has an assignment desk, staffed by Arabic-speaking editors. And the network's vice president of news has hired an Arabic speaker to help monitor its broadcasts and ensure the material is consistent with al Hurra's mission. "We're pretty confident that our new vice president, a Mr Muqtada al Sadr, will make sure nothing like this happens again.
Monday, May 21, 2007
The comments, carried by state television and radio, come amid prolonged tension between Washington and Tehran over Iran's nuclear program. Umm...Supreme Leader? Ali? Dude. You don't want to be reminding our current president of times we dropped the bomb on folks. See, the chances are pretty good he thinks Hiroshima is a sushi dish.
See, SL, here's the deal. You're trying to get a nuclear program, we have one. Now, normally that would be the place to start a discussion. You know, nuclear proliferation, incentives, disincentives, back and forth all that...whatdyacallit...diplomacy?
But these are not normal times. You may not have noticed, but currently the United States is governed by a team of individuals who, and we mean this in the best possible way, think shock and awe is a diplomatic initiative.
"Even Europeans are speechless before this oppressive America, but the Iranian nation by its actions and stances has placed a question mark over all the rules and principles of this oppressive power," Khamenei said.
Yeah yeah, that and a buck will buy you a cup of coffee when your country is glowing in the dark. Look, SL, we know you want nuclear weapons because you see North Korea has them and they didn't get invaded, but Iraq didn't and they did. It makes sense in a totally depressing and frightening sort of way, but you have to remember you're dealing with an alcoholic, drug addict spoiled rich kid who's broken everything he's touched. Somebody has to be the adult here, that's all we're saying.
U.S. and Iranian officials are due to hold a rare face-to-face meeting on May 28 in Baghdad. But both sides say the talks will focus on Iraqi security, not other issues.
Oh, yay. Now we're getting somewhere.
Washington accuses Tehran of fueling the violence in Iraq a charge Tehran dismisses. Iran blames the U.S. occupying forces for the bloodshed. Yeah, right. OK, what we want to know is who's momma is ugly?
Friday, May 18, 2007
An East Lothian schoolgirl has been commended at a recent awards ceremony for her work in supporting greyhounds across Scotland. Finleigh Wells received a Highly Commended award by judges at the 2007 Deutsch Bank Spotlight Awards for her work with Greyhound Action Scotland.
"See, that's the problem with school," said Angus McDoodlekilt, manager of the local greyhound track. "It puts all these ideas in their heads. I'm glad I left in third grade."
The 14-year-old was nominated after taking home a rescued greyhound, who was no longer able to race, when she was just seven. Since then, her family has grown to include four retired greyhounds and a Lurcher. "What kind of parent lets a seven year old come round a greyhound track anyway?" asked McDoodlekilt. "Do you know what kind of trash hangs out there? That didn't come out right."
She has also worked to raise awareness of the plight of the racing greyhound by holding stalls at various events and has been involved in the rescue and rehoming of greyhounds. "What's gotten into kids these days," McDoddlekilt asked. "When I was a wee one we were more concerned with nipping a bit out of the folks liquor cabinet, or pushing skinny Ian into the pond."
She said: "I was surprised to win this. It is brilliant that a campaign to try to stop greyhounds from suffering is recognised. Dogs shouldn't suffer for the sake of running them round a track. "Ha! that shows how little she knows about greyhound racing," McDoodlekilt said. "It's a lot more than 'running them round a track,' it's...it's...OK so it's not much more than that, but can't her parents buy her a video game or something? Take her on a cruise? Anything."
"We need to ban this sport. Greyhounds are wonderful dogs and make good pets - they don't deserve to be treated this way," Wells said.
Out of the mouths of babes, huh Buzz?
Buzz AKA Honey is a very intelligent girl. She can be mischievous with that intellect that works situations out to benefit her. She learned that pulling the handle could control the bin with the dog food. She is very affectionate. If she wants your attention she will whine and put her head in your lap. She’s only barked once; she just whines a bit. Honey is also looking for a family who would love to snuggle with her. She loves to play with her toys. Honey would do well with a working family home who is willing to arrange letting her out midday. She is a very loving hound that will seek out attention so including her in family activity would be ideal. She does fine with other medium to large size dogs and would fine as an only dog. Honey could live with well mannered children. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wait. That's his girlfriend? We thought it was his mother. OK that dude has got to go.
The Bush administration spent much of yesterday trying to broker a graceful end to the ethics controversy consuming the World Bank offering the resignation of embattled president Paul Wolfowitz senior administration and bank officials said. But since "grace" is something that has often been in short supply in the administration, they generally ended up making a bad situation worse.
The bank's executive board, under pressure from governments worldwide to remove Wolfowitz in response to findings that he engineered and covered up a hefty raise for his girlfriend, appeared intent on forcing him out without voting to fire him. "Do you know what he could collect in unemployment if we fire him?" a World Bank spokesperson asked.
The Bush administration, navigating the currents of international diplomacy for the first time without firearms, remained sympathetic to Wolfowitz's difficulty getting any woman to give him the time of day, but has appeared less willing by the day to spend political capital on him. "We're pretty sure that when Wolfie loses his job Riza will drop him like a hot rock, but hey, that's life. Maybe he can get on the faculty at Regent University. We hear the chicks around there are pretty gullible," White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob told reporters.
Seeking to break the logjam, the Bush administration pressed a compromise: The board could issue a statement that Wolfowitz had erred in handling the raise for his longtime companion Shaha Riza but it was the board's fault for hiring him in the first place. "Pulling strings to get my girlfriend a plush job with an obscene salary...was that wrong?" Wolfowitz asked. "Because no one told me that was wrong."
The board rejected that formulation, however, insisting that Wolfowitz face consequences for a committee's findings that he broke ethics rules and undermined the reputation of the bank, the officials said. "We should have known there'd be trouble when his first decision was to send his assistant out to 'score some bling for my lady,'" said a board member who asked not to be identified.
Some board members feared that Wolfowitz might accept a statement exonerating him, then stay in the job, a White House aide said. "Well, that was our plan A, until someone noticed Wolfie's fingers were crossed at the meeting."
An official who had been briefed by a European board member said yesterday that the Bush administration's proposal was deemed offensive by several members. "The staff were absolutely horrified by what seemed to be the Bush administration's disdain for a clear-cut case of corruption," an official said. "Then someone gave us a newspaper story about Alberto Gonzales. That explained a lot."
A senior Bush administration official later said the United States had requested the delay to allow Wolfowitz to step down, preempting board action against him. At 2:30 p.m., the board went back into session, and when the members came out about three hours later, no agreement had been reached. "Dude's locked in the bathroom," the administration official said. "We're going to have to call security."
The Bush administration's decision to negotiate an end to Wolfowitz's tenure came in recent days, as it became clear the White House is virtually alone in supporting him, even Canada traditionally a reliable U.S. ally, breaking with the administration. "We lost Canada?" president Bush is reported to have said when told the news. "Can't we send someone to talk to them? Who speaks Canadian?"
A day after telling reporters that all options were open for discussion in terms of the bank's future leadership, White House spokesman Tony Snowjob called the ongoing crisis a "bruising episode" for the World Bank, which seeks to end global poverty. "And yet it shows the talent this administration has. We can screw up a whole world wide institution with only one of our guys."
"What you have to do is figure out a way forward to maintain the integrity of the institution," Snowjob said. "And, therefore, when you do it, you're going to discuss everything. That's what you would normally do. And no, I haven't any idea what I just said."
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Or we could just be making the whole thing up. (Folks, read the blog's title, OK? We're busy here.)
But back to the pope. Once again we feel it is our duty to help the non-genuflecting, Latinless population (Ita, te adloquor) understand that when the pope says something totally insensitive, vaguely racist and definitely unchristian, well, he's the pope. You want to make something of it? Like a little holy ghost action up in your grill?
Er...what we mean is he's been misunderstood, quoted out of context, or purposely misinterpreted by anti-catholic subversives. Or people who can read, whatever. Anyway, on to the holy father's latest bite out of his red Pradas:
Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said they were offended by pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the roman catholic church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step. "Oh yeah. This from a guy who runs around wearing the drapes with a basket on his head," said Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab. "Hey popey, who's your tailor? Omar the tent maker?"
The pope said the church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were "silently longing" for Christianity, he said. "Sure they didn't even know Christianity existed until we got here, but that's why the longing was silent."
Millions of tribal Indians are believed to have died as a result of European colonization backed by the church through slaughter, disease or enslavement. "Want to make an omelet, got to break some eggs," said a vatican spokesperson. "They're better off today."
Many Indians today struggle for survival, stripped of their traditional ways of life and excluded from society. "OK, I'm going to have to get back to you on the better off thing," the spokesperson said.
"It's arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs," said Mawe.
"Not when my culture is about to get all righteous on your jungle living, goat eating, tree worshiping behind," countered a spokesperson for the pope's office of catholic hegemony.
Several Indian groups sent a letter to the pope last week asking for his support in defending their ancestral lands and culture. "They have land?" asked an official from the vatican bank. "We may have to rethink this."
"The state used the church to do the dirty work in colonizing the Indians but they already asked forgiveness for that ... so is the pope taking back the church's word?" said Dionito Jose de Souza a leader of the Makuxi tribe in northern Roraima state.
"Hey, these people eat bark for chrissakes," said the pope's press secretary. "What are we supposed to do? Now take the Indians in America. If we could apologize ourselves into some of that casino money, that's some big time mea culpa, know what I'm saying?"
Pope Benedict not only upset many Indians but also catholic priests who have joined their struggle, said Sandro Tuxa, who heads the movement of northeastern tribes. "I work for idiots, what can I say?" Tuxa told reporters. "I feel like Dilbert."
Even the catholic church's own Indian advocacy group in Brazil, known as Cimi, distanced itself from the pope. "The pope doesn't understand the reality of the Indians here," Cimi advisor Father Paulo Suess told reporters. "Of course we're talking about a guy who thinks women are only good for making more catholics; homosexuals are bad unless they're priests; and listening to rock music will make you protestant, so understanding reality probably isn't too high on his list of things to do."
Monday, May 14, 2007
Iraq's interior ministry has decided to bar news photographers and camera operators from the scenes of bomb attacks, operations director Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf said. "When Cheney was here he said put an end to the violence, so this is what we came up with."
His announcement was the latest in a series of attempts to curtail press coverage of the ongoing conflict. "There are many reasons for this prohibition," Khalaf said. "But the biggest one is I like to say 'prohibition.'"
"We do not want evidence to be disturbed before the arrival of detectives, and, as you know, taking photographs of the scene changes it in very subtle way. It's a quantum mechanics thing. The ministry must respect human rights and does not want to expose victims until we can tell them what they saw, and we don't want to give terrorists information that they achieved their goals. Of course the explosion, fire and smoke are probably clues, but we're working on that."
"This decision does not imply a curtailment of press freedom, it is a measure followed all over the world in just about any dictatorship you can find."
In other news, White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob said that in the next few weeks, president Bush would present "photographic proof" that progress was being made on the ground in Iraq.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Owners of the Dairyland Greyhound Track at Kenosha are seeking help from the Wisconsin Legislature as its losses pile up. A newly completed independent audit of the state's lone remaining pari-mutuel racetrack shows the business lost 2.84 million dollars last year. That was after a loss of 2.41 million dollars reported the year before. "Well, 'lost' is such a hash word," said Dairyland vice president Roy Berger. "We prefer to think of them as unrealized earnings."
Democratic state Representative Jim Kreuser of Kenosha is sympathetic to Dairyland's financial situation. He says it paid more than 3.5 million dollars last year in various state and federal taxes, many of them gambling related. "So if we give them back the 2.8 they lost last year, that'll leave us with a little less than a mil for the state. OK, so no new textbooks for the kids this year, but hey, that's a small price to pay to keep these guys from becoming Walmart greeters."
Look, you guys need to think big here. Where's Martin Torguson when you need him? Here's a gut who paid over 4 million bucks for a closed down race track. Three million is chump change to him. Think what you could do with that cash.
Oops. Or maybe not.
The federal government has seized more than $3 million in proceeds of the 2005 sale of the former Lakes Region Greyhound Park from its former owners, citing a drug money-laundering operation that was run at the track in 2003 and 2004.
Dang. Can't make money with 'em, can't make money without 'em. You got any ideas Amarillo?
Amarillo is a very friendly boy, but he is a little on the shy side. He always has a happy look in his face. He’s a collector; he’s like having a little kid around. He will take the teenager’s socks and scurry around, kind of like a cartoon character. If you leave something lying around; he will collect it, from a towel to paper. He loves his squeaky toys. He will run around like a puppy whipping the toy back and forth for about 10 –15 minutes. He loves chewing on the nyla bones. He’s a real sweetheart. Amarillo would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 13 and up. He enjoys the company of another dog but would probably be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Well, If It Doesn't Reduce Cross Border Attacks, At Least It Will Keep The Rabbits Out Of The Garden
Pakistan has fenced 20 km (12 miles) of its 2,500 km (1,500 mile) long and porous border with Afghanistan to prevent incursions by militants, the army said. "This should pretty much cripple Al Qaeda world wide," said a representative of the company that built the fence between Israeli and Palestinian neighborhoods. "That is if It works as well for them as it has for us."
Umm...Excuse us. Did you say 12 of 1500 miles?
Pakistan, whom the Bush administration is trying to convince everyone is an important ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, decided to fence and mine parts of its western border after accusations from U.S. and Afghan officials that the Taliban militants were launching attacks from sanctuaries in Pakistan. "Well look, every so often the Crusaders show up and whine about how little we're doing to help in their world wide war of aggression against our Islamic brothers," said one Pakistani official who asked not to be named. "So we put on a little, what do you Americans call it? Goat and donkey show?"
Major-General Waheed Arshad said the plan involved fencing a 35-km stretch in the northwestern tribal belt bordering Afghanistan in the first phase. "The second phase is to wait until the Americans aren't looking, then tear the first phase down."
Last month, Pakistani and Afghan troops clashed on the border in the South Waziristan region after Kabul said its forces tore down a Pakistani fence. "Oh look, phase two has started already," Arshad said.
Afghanistan opposes fencing because of a long-standing territorial dispute, saying it would penalize Pashtun tribal communities living on both sides of the frontier. "A lot of the Taliban work in Afghanistan, but live in Pakistan," said an Afghan official. "How would you like it if you worked in New York, but lived in White Plains and they closed the Tappan Zee bridge? Besides, have you seen the fence? We're definitely not talking Berlin Wall here."
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
vice president Dick Cheney said Iraq remains a dangerous place, a point underscored by a thunderous explosion that rattled windows in the U.S. Embassy where he had suddenly materialized after a brief, classified ceremony. "But only for those of you who are still alive," he added.
Cheney spoke less than an hour after an explosion could be heard in the U.S. Embassy where he spent most of the day. Windows rattled and reporters covering the vice president were briefly moved outside to a parking lot and asked to wave brightly colored flags and shout bring it on.
Said Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride: "His meeting was not disturbed and he was not moved, but he was sealed in his traveling sarcophagus until the all clear was sounded."
The vice president said Iraq's leaders seem to have a better sense now that they need to do more to reconcile sectarian and political differences. "See, before I came the daily killings, the continual bombings, the general chaos and destruction, well, those weren't clues. They're Arabs. What can I say?"Cheney said.
Asked about security in Baghdad, Cheney told reporters, "You'll have to ask my staff because I'm basically delusional and only listen to the voices in my head." But he said based on conversations he had throughout the day, Iraqi leaders felt that sectarian violence was "down fairly dramatically. Unless you go outside."
"I think everybody recognizes there still are some security problems, security threats, no question about it," Cheney said. "But, heck, they're no worse than what shoppers face at an Indiana farmer's market back in the USA."
In Washington, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said Bush wanted Cheney to travel to Baghdad to press upon Iraqi leaders the need to quickly pursue reconciliation measures and meet the irrational and totally arbitrary benchmarks set by Washington. "This gives an opportunity at a very high level for this message to be delivered," Bartlett said. "Plus when Cheney's out of town Bush gets to play with his trains without getting yelled at."
Cheney met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The prime minister said they discussed "practical steps ... to support our efforts working on both the security front as well as the domestic political issues. Although on second thought, the fact that your vice president is going to jail after the 2008 elections doesn't seem to be that big of a problem for me. Is that what you American's call a timetable?"
"I do sense today that there is a greater awareness on the part of these Iraqi officials I talked to of the importance of their working together to resolve these issues in a timely fashion," Cheney said as he packed his shotgun back into its carrying case.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Six Islamic militants from Yugoslavia and the Middle East were arrested on charges of plotting to attack the Fort Dix Army post and "kill as many soldiers as possible," authorities said.
Yeah. Six guys were planning to attack the upwards of 15,000 troops that train on the 31,000 acre facility.
Now, here's the scary part: These guys obviously aren't the valedictorians of their class at the University of Terrorism, and if they can find America, then president Bush's plan to turn out all the lights and ask everyone to be very very quiet probably doesn't have much of a chance.
But back to the Jihadi A Team:
In conversations secretly recorded by an FBI informant over the past year, the men talked about killing in the name of Allah and attacking U.S. warships that might dock in Philadelphia. "One of the suspects was planning to go down to the shore as a ship passed, and use a magnet to draw it into the shallow water," said a spokesperson for the FBI. "Once the ship was beached in the shallows, the other five were going to board it and kill the crew with their new fighting technique, which is unstoppable. In their defense though, they did have a really big magnet."
One suspect reportedly spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades to kill at least 100 soldiers at a time, according to court documents. "He'd planned to get the troops into tight groups by pretending to be a photographer," said an FBI official. "It was really quite diabolical except they couldn't find an RPG launcher that looked like a camera."
"If you want to do anything here, there is Fort Dix and I don't want to exaggerate, and I assure you that you can hit an American base very easily," suspect Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer said in one conversation secretly recorded by a government informant, according to the criminal complaint. "And with my cloak of invisibility I will be unstoppable."
It doesn't matter to me whether I get locked up, arrested or get taken away," a suspect identified as Serdar Tatar said in another recorded conversation. "Or I die, it doesn't matter. I'm doing it in the name of Allah. Well, him and the 72 virgins. You know, I've been to every singles bar in the tri state region and what have I got? What do you Americans say? Bupkus. I'm a desperate man."
White House spokesman Tony Snowjob said Tuesday there is "no direct evidence" that the men had ties to international terrorism. "But that doesn't mean we aren't going to use this to try and scare the crap out of you guys," he continued.
The FBI was tipped off when a shopkeeper alerted agents about a "disturbing" video he had been asked to copy onto a DVD, according to court documents. The video showed 10 men in their early 20s "shooting assault weapons at a firing range," the complaint said. "That turned out to be an NRA promotional video," said an FBI agent familiar with the case. "What really tipped us off was the bumper sticker on Shnewer's pick up truck that said 'Ask Me About My Jihad.'"
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said one of the suspects worked at Super Mario's Pizza in nearby Cookstown and delivered pizzas to the base. "Several soldiers had been identified as poor tippers and we found photographs of them with devil's horns and mustaches drawn in at the suspect's apartment."
"What concerns us is, obviously, they began conducting surveillance and weapons training in the woods and were discussing killing large numbers of people," said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd. "But then we thought, wait, are these terrorists, or Minutemen?
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because documents in the case remain sealed, said the attack was stopped in the planning stages. "And a lucky thing for them too," the official explained. "Now they'll just go to jail instead of having their body parts scattered all over the state."
The description of the suspects as "Islamic militants" renewed fears in New Jersey's Muslim community. "If these people did something, then they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer. "But can't we describe them in a way that is more accurate? Freaking idiots comes to mind."
Monday, May 07, 2007
After another bloody weekend for U.S. troops in Iraq the White House said Americans should brace for more U.S. casualties in the push for greater security in Baghdad. White House spokesman Tony Snowjob said the deaths were attributable to "people shooting at our troops and trying to blow them up. At least according to the intelligence we've been able to gather so far."
"We are getting to the point now with the Baghdad security plan where we have to go outside the green zone," Snowjob said. "Not that it seems to matter much anymore where we are."
"We've known that the surge creates a target rich environment for the insurgents, been saying it all along. But we've been fighting four years and now for some reason people are all 'What have we got to show for it' and 'How many more families have to be devastated by the loss of a loved one?'," Snowjob said. "Look, the president and first lady are suffering too. And what about the staff? You think it's easy keeping him in the dark about being the most hated man in America? We're all suffering over here."
Bush has vowed never to accept a withdrawal deadline "as long as my old unit doesn't get activated. Oh, what am I saying I probably wouldn't go anyway."
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Anyway, as we are loath to disappoint our many skinny dog fans, and as we are off to points unknown tomorrow, it occurred to us that since this is our little world we could, much as our president, determine what is real and what isn't. Ergo: Today is Friday. Enjoy.
We were going to write about a judge who is suing a dry cleaner for 65 million because they found his pants they lost. Or something. Crazy judges. What's new about that?
So what's up in the whacky world of the overlords? A while back we told you about a nefarious plot by the notorious "bad apple" gang at the track in Mobile. The idea was to fix the races so the $37.48 pot could be split up among about 12 people. Hey, these are overlords we're talking about here, not accountants.
Anyway, while that case grinds though the legal system, a local television station decided to do an in depth report on if it was still safe to lose your rent money at the track. Let's see what they found out:
Three judges watch every race and post the official results. Two of the judges are employed by the track but don't speak English and think they're supposed to be watching for pickpockets in the crowd. One of the judges works for the local Walmart, an independent entity that often recruits at the races.
To qualify, each dog must be within a pound and a half of its registered weight. "If he's over that or under that, he's scratched," Dave Jones, the General Manager at Mobile Greyhound Park said. "But I'm usually too drunk to read the scale so we don't get that too much."
After they're weighed, the dogs are then locked in a secure area under camera surveillance until race time, with a veterinarian always nearby and usually conscious.
To make sure there's no funny business, urine samples are supposed to be taken after each race. They test for any kind of drugs or illegal substance. "Last year we caught six employees with cocaine in their systems, four with marijuana and one with heroin," said Dr. Ronald Smith, the Mobile County Racing Commission's Veterinarian. When asked if the dogs were also tested for illegal substances he responded that "You kinda have to depend on the dog. If they want to urinate they will. Tonight we got four samples out of 13 races, but we forgot to write down which sample came from which dog. Plus my assistant spilled one all over my leg. We do the best we can."
Well, that certainly makes us feel better. What about you Ringo?
Ringo likes to gather things and play with toys. His loves to pull stuffing out of his soft toys and will spend a lot of time chewing on the Kong and Galileo bone which keeps his teeth clean. He loves to stare out the window watching for the neighborhood squirrels and rabbits. He loves to spend time outside and will occupy himself for quite awhile. But he loves to follow is foster parents around and comes for loving. He wiggles his head and neck into you to steal some loving. He is your classic couch potato at times but is also an active young grey at times. He barks at himself in reflective windows. Ringo would do well in an active working home. He would be fine with well-mannered children over 5 years of age. He is good with other dogs of all sizes and would probably be fine as an only dog with a family that will play with him regularly. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Rice said she could address any question from Iran during meetings in Egypt and sought to tone down expectations about talks to stabilize Iraq. "Now, that doesn't mean we won't answer questions about Iraq," said an aide to Secretary Rice, "It just means we'll be making those answers up."
Speaking en route to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort Rice ruled out "full-scale negotiations" with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki but said she would not avoid an exchange. "If I, like sit down at my seat and, like there's a note there, I'll totally answer it and put it in Mottaki's locker at lunch," she told reporters.
"If we encounter each other then I am certainly planning to be polite and see what that encounter brings," said Rice. "And if he like, asks Ahmadinejad to ask my friend Brittney if I would go to the dance with him, and like, she tells me, that would be totally awesome."
Rice said talks with Iran, which could be the most substantive high-level U.S. meeting with Tehran in nearly three decades, would focus on Iraq but she would not cut off a conversation if it turned to what's on Mottaki's Face Book page.
"I think I can handle any question that is asked of me," she said. "Except, well, you know, if he wants to know if I'll go steady, or something like that."
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the talks in Egypt "will be important because Secretary Rice will be seated around the table with the Syrian foreign minister and we hope and think with the Iranian foreign minister, although the Iranians have been a little bit ambivalent which is so totally bogus because everyone knows Connie thinks the Syrians are like these total nerds."
The meetings in Egypt take place amid unrelenting sectarian violence in Iraq and mounting concern by Iraq's neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, that Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is not committed to reconciliation and that the violence will spill over. "Maliki is such a total doofis," Rice said. "I mean, have you seen the way he dresses? Is the man colorblind, or is his momma? Know what I'm saying?"
She urged Iraq's neighbors, attending the meetings along with G8 nations and the European Union, to put more pressure on key players in Iraq. "There's only so many people that can sit at my table in the cafeteria. That's all I'm saying."
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 666 for the Utah County Republican Party, submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with all white country clubs. In a speech at the state republican party convention, Larsen told those who fell asleep or were too drunk to get up and leave that illegal immigrants "hate rich Caucasians" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do. And I mean nothing. Pick our lettuce, mow our lawns, watch our children while we're at the mall. Nothing."
Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said. "Now you may say, Don, how can this be? Most illegal aliens are Mexican, and most Mexicans are catholic. But I say to you, that just proves my point. Know why the pope wears those funny hats? Hides the horns, baby. Hides the horns."
Republican officials then allowed speakers to defend and refute the resolution. One speaker, who was identified as "Joe," said illegal immigrants were Marxist and under the influence of the devil. Another, who declined to give her name said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because "they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. ... If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do."
(Eds. Note: That paragraph is verbatim from the article. These people make writing this blog so easy we're embarrassed to collect our paychecks. Oh wait, we don't get paid for this. OK, go ahead on then, "Joe," and nameless lady in a tin foil hat.)
Senator Howard Stephenson, R-Cogent, spoke against the resolution, saying Larsen, whom he called a "true patriot and a close friend," was embarrassing the Republican Party. "Now granted, when you have people like Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback in the party, a local loony like my friend Don here isn't going to get much attention, but if you look at the results of the last election, going the whacko route isn't getting us the votes. That's all I'm saying.
Joel Wright, a member of the Area 51 Fan Club, was booed as he opposed the resolution. "This might be the most divisive issue in the Republican Party," he said. "Sure there's just too many dagone brown people in the world today, but who else will work for the wages Walmart pays?."
Larsen was allowed to finish the debate with a one-minute speech."If the Democrats take over the country, we will be dead, and we will have abortion and partial-birth abortion and the Republican Party will go into extinction," he said. "Nancy Pelosi and the ACLU would oppose this (resolution)."
At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."
(Eds. Note #2: Those two paragraphs are verbatim from the article. See why we don't need to be sober to write this blog?)
A member of the audience moved that the convention suspend its rules to allow the "wingnut whackery parts" of Larsen's resolution to be stricken, retaining only the final, racist paragraphs of the resolution. Eventually party officials counted all delegates in attendance, only to discover that, with 299, they were about 30 short of a quorum and could take no action.
"Dang it! Who opened the hospitality suite," Larsen asked an almost empty hall.
Could it be...Satan?