Friday, August 25, 2006

A little more perspective, please

The MSM, undoubtedly disappointed by the lack of hurricanes to cover this year, can't help but wet all over themselves in their One-Year Anniversary retrospectives of Hurricane Katrina.

But if they'd look a little bit to the west (the Far East) they'd pick up on the news that four typhoons have left 15 million Chinese homeless!

While the People's Republic has somewhat lower standards of concern over the restoration needs of its citizens when such things occur, there is no doubt that the feeding and housing of such a large slice of populace is going to impact the Chinese economy in various ways. This could have repercussions for the United States, China's biggest trading partner, although how that would shake out is anyone's guess.

Our main thought is that Americans ought to be counting their blessings that things weren't worse and that most people have an opportunity to either rebuild or to start a better life somewhere else. Fifteen million citizens displaced, regardless of the reason, is a natural disaster of its own. Had it happened in America, we'd never hear the end of it.

Proof positive politicians need pass no test of intelligence

Ray Nagin, the Wizard of Odds in New Orleans, decides to redirect the attention away from the slow performance of his city in rebuilding after Katrina, by dissing New York City for its 5-year delay in fixing "a hole in the ground," referring to the Ground Zero where once the twin towers stood.

We would not blame New Yorkers if they would protest spending another dime on New Orleans.

But Nagin, known for such vocalizations as wanting to make his a "chocolate city" again, is not the only brain-addled politico at large.

Consider Congressman Danny Davis of Illinois who, it is reported, took an aide on a free expense-paid trip to Sri Lanka last year, a tab picked up by a known terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers aren't a ball team. They're a fun-loving bunch of guys who want to overthrow the rightful government of Sri Lanka and they use IEDs, women and children as part of their terror tactics.

Davis visited the Tigers' power structure, spent most of his time in areas controlled by the rebels, and OF COURSE he had no idea who they really were!

"Since I have an interest in human rights and since I have a tendency to kind of favor the underdog, I went at their request to take a look," Davis said. "I don't regret taking the trip. I have a much better understanding of the situation than prior to going."

As recently as this past Saturday, Davis talked in Chicago with a supporter of the Tamil Tigers who was among 11 people arrested on charges of conspiring to aid the rebel group through money laundering, procurement of arms, including surface-to-air missiles, and bribery of public officials.

That Tamil Tiger supporter, Murugesu Vinayagamoorthy, was described in a federal criminal complaint as a high-level operative who served as an intermediary between the Tigers' leaders and foreign backers. The complaint charges that he offered a $1 million bribe to an undercover FBI agent posing as a State Department official in an attempt to remove the Tamil Tigers' designation as a terrorist organization.

Real nice folks. Real dumb congressman.

The only connection we can find between Nagin and Davis is that they are both Democrats.

It's 'Fool for the Pity' Friday

There is a useful saying, "I'd rather be lucky than good."

In the case of one unknown young Brit it needs to be amended to say, "I'd rather be lucky than smart."

Normally that's a 25,000-volt electric line he's swinging from. It had been shut off due to some sort of troubles on a train track nearby. However, a guy in the know said that:
"The overhead cables carry 25,000 volts and, although the overheads had been switched off to deal with another incident closer to the station, a residual current of at least 5,000 volts would have still been running through the cables."
Explanation: none.

Lucky, not smart.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Mexico governor going back to North Korea?

Bill Richardson is hinting he's on another diplomatic mission to Alderon. No that's not right. North Korea. We get them confused.

Apparently there are no missing plans hidden in any droids. (Although isn't Los Alamos located in New Mexico? Hmmm, that last missile test of theirs didn't go so well, did it?).

But we digress. Reuters (that bastion of objectivity and accuracy) is hinting that Richardson could be acting as a conduit between Kim Jong Il and the Bush Administration. That's got to be pure baloney sandwich. More likely he's a go-between for one of the Clintons as he prepares himself for 2008, an unsuccessful primary bid and the eventual acceptance as Hillary's running mate.

Don't you just feel swell that the governor of New Mexico has things so well in hand in the Land of Enchantment that he has the time to go to the Orient to advance the cause of world peace?

Sleep well tonight, America.

ABC jumps the shark on overweight Bush

Is the President a fatty?

Yes, says ABC News. In one of their special health reports they point out that George Bush is four pounds overweight according to the government's ridiculous Body-Mass Index (BMI).

If ABC had similar coverage of Bill Clinton's physique, we don't remember it.

Reporter Felicia Stoler, who bills herself as with the ABC News "Medical Unit" - no doubt they perform rescues when they aren't rolling videotape - gives us a few other examples of "overweight" slobs who undoubtedly should be written off as role models for America's youth: Jack LaLanne, famous fitness guru; Ah-nuld Swarzenegger, famous body builder, actor and guvohrnator of California; and Shaquille O'Neal, who apparently has tried to play professional basketball.

When ABC posts pix of Al Gore and Teddy Kennedy and gives us their BMI scores, then we'll agree that they've jumped back over the shark.

Circle August 22 on your calendars

Some of us are already circling August 15, the day the People's Republic say they are going to test their new "artificial sun," a fusion reactor of sorts with very thin walls.

If we make it through the 15th, then we can properly start worrying about August 22. Why? Well, the Iranian president (nutjob) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to think this would be a good day to light up the skies over Jerusalem.

Today Drudge carries a flash on a column in the Wall Street Journal by Princeton's Bernard Lewis warning that something catastrophic is possible:
"There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers."

"In Islam as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time -- Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the US about nuclear development by Aug. 22," which this year corresponds "to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1).

"This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind."
No doubt Mr. Lewis simply fails to appreciate the linguistic nuances of Farsi and the colorful, metaphorical approach of the religion of peace (Islam) to the eschaton. After all, it's not like the West is at war with Islamofascism or anything like that.

Sleep well tonight, America.

Where are the missing Egyptian men?

Where did the 11 Egyptian "cultural exchange" students get off to?

Seventeen students got off the plane at JFK in New York City, a week and a half ago. Only six have shown up for their classes at Montana State University in Bozeman. The rest are somewhere in the US of A, doing God knows what.

Never fear. The US has revoked their student visas, and FBI special agent Richard Kolko says his agency and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) "would like to locate these 11 students in order to speak with them." That's right. Give 'em a good talking to, if you can find 'em.

Keep in mind that one of these days some group of "free as a breeze" visitors is going to do something perfectly awful, and some supra-congressional committee is going to want to know how it happened so they can pin the blame on conservative leadership. This is why Kolko's next comments are insipid and dangerous:

Kolko said there is no reason to believe the missing students, all men around 20 years old, represent a threat.

"At this point, all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program, and their visas have been revoked," Kolko said.

"We do not know of any association with any terrorist or criminal groups. There is no threat associated with these men. We have simply asked law enforcement's assistance in locating them so that the FBI and ICE may interview them."

There's no reason to believe the missing men are students either, or that they do not represent a threat. As for what they have or haven't done, Kolko doesn't know, so his reassurances are wasted breath.

The men have e-mail accounts but have not responded to e-mail inquiries. You'd think 11 lost foreigners who are on the up-and-up would want to be contacted.

For all we know these men are trained chemists or fighters with the Islamic Brotherhood who have a completely novel idea of "cultural exchange."

Or not. It's not as if we are at war with Islamic fascists or anything. Who knows how many colleges and universities across America are busy arranging flight schedules for "students" without the slightest idea of who these people really are or what they believe! Certainly wouldn't want to put a hold on any programs and look a bit insensitive, would we?

Sleep well tonight, America.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Getting Oxymoronic in the EU

According to the Associated Press:
"We wish that President Fidel Castro and Cuban democracy (have) a quick recovery, that's all we can say," EU spokesman Pietro Petrucci said.
Sorry, signore. You can have one, or you can have the other, but you can't have both.