Wednesday, June 30, 2004
That damn car had better decide that now is a good time to break down...
Thanks to M. Malkin for the link and her take on the Marine's comments.
Not in Massachusetts.
I did wear a tie yesterday. Said NASCAR real big vertically down it. Not sure it really fit in with the theme of the office, but that's ok. It made me smile (and everyone else laugh).
The V. Femmes is on my radio right now. The beauty of getting to work before the rest of the office (assuming you can find the light switches. That was an issue about 30 ago) is the quiet, the calm, and the fact that I can crank my radio without wearing earphones. That and it's easier to get shite done without distractions. And that is what I need today because I have a ton to do, and very little time to do it. Gotta go sign my house away at 2 today (I can't wait!) and I am supopsed to go celebrate at a bar after. I hope that can be done. We'll find out later.
Other people are here now. I wonder if they like Eminem as much as I do? I hope so. No one has said anything yet.
I started a new morning routine today (we'll see if it lasts longer than just this morning): get up real early, make some crappucino and read some of my sites before coming in to work (that way I can actually get to the work part of the day less than an hour after getting in here). It's working so far. I feel pretty good, though maybe not all that fresh.
Moore is a tubby dude
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some
In a...desperate land
Lost in a Roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah
There's danger on the edge of town
Ride the King's highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold
The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we'll do the rest
The blue bus is callin' us
The blue bus is callin' us
Driver, where you taken' us
The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and...then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door...and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother...I want to...fuck you
C'mon baby, take a chance with us
C'mon baby, take a chance with us
C'mon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin' a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin' a blue rock
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill
This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end
-The Doors, 'The End'
After finding this, I did a search for 80's cartoons. I found this great site that is serving to remind me of how much tv I watched as a kid-too much. These flashbacks are so much better than the ones I usually get (which typically involve my 'skills' with the ladies in high school, or any of the countless bonehead moves I've made in my life)
Party Planner for House Closings.
How did this come about? It's like this. My rooommate, B-Randy, is closing on my house tomorrow. I haven't decided whether or not to go thru with this, but I am contemplating bringing a beer filled backpack to the closing in order to ease the pain of signing paper after paper for approximately 10 hours. I figure that'll make the process slightly bearable. We had a few other ideas, none of them good. Such as:
Yell and bitch at each other the entire time.
Slug each other after each signature
Things of that nature.
I now have a request to make of you, dear reader. Give me some more ideas of how we can make this house closing more fun. Anything goes. I figure, I am giving up the place and leaving with a check, so they shouldn't really care how responsible I seem, so I should be able to get away with anything, right? Let's hear them ideas!
Sidenote-is there any reason to be legally concerned about bringing beer to a signing? That won't make it possible to declare the sale null and void like you could do to a wedding that transpired after getting really drunk in Vegas? That'd suck
I had to reiterate this week's theme to him. He giggled, then moved on.
Here ya go, Billy-boy. Another post about Moore-with a link you sent me.
A 'review' was written in the Denver Post about F9/11. Check it out, and let me know what you think. Is the columnist liberal or conservative? It's a toughie (that was very sarcastic). I would copy an excerpt or two into here, but I really don't want to. Providing the link makes me feel dirty enough.
Wait a sec. According to the Smoking Gun, Moore is registered to vote in 2 states-New York and Michigan. Huh? Can you do that?
Nope, you can't.
New York City Board of Elections records show that Moore, 50, registered to vote in Gotham in 1992, checking off "Democratic" as his party affiliation (below you'll find a copy of his original registration form). He listed his address as the swanky Upper West Side building where he owns a multimillion dollar condominium (Moore's office is on West 57th Street). The filmmaker's New York registration remains active, though he has not voted since an October 2001 Democratic runoff election.
Now here's the good part: Moore is simultaneously registered to vote in Michigan, where registrants aren't even given the option of party affiliation (so he's not an Independent there either). According to Antrim County records, Moore registered last April from his lakefront spread in northern Michigan, where he reportedly splits his time, but has yet to vote in Michigan. He transferred his drivers license to Michigan from New York around the same time, though Moore has a Volkswagen Beetle registered from his Manhattan home.
Maybe he forgot to cancel the MI registration?
We're sure this is some kind of innocent mix-up, that Moore forgot to cancel his New York registration before signing up in Michigan. Though, as a New York City voter, TSG can tell you it's hard not to realize you are registered, since a voter's mailbox is regularly bombarded with candidate mail, official voter guides, and Board of Election notices about upcoming elections and reminders about the location of your polling place.
On his web site, Moore asks visitors to take his "Pledge of Democratic Allegiance," which calls for them to register ten new voters this summer and spend one October weekend in a swing state. "The important thing is, if you live in a place like New York or Texas, you gotta head over to Pennsylvania or New Mexico," writes Moore, who provides a list of 18 states, ranked in order of importance, that could go either blue or red. He places Michigan thirteenth on that list.
Huh. Guess not. Maybe I should register in Utah or Wyoming. Ah crap, probably not. I ain't got the cash (bilked from countless duped) to buy a second home.
Prompters to MK for the heads-up. Again.
Love them strudels!
I'm giving you the opportunity to "do something," namely support the family of a special operations warrior who died to protect you and leaves behind a wife and two small children.
Check it out and toss out some cash. The man gave his life, and his family needs help. See what you can do
Kudos to Bill@INDC
Monday, June 28, 2004
Kudos to Vodkapundit and Will for the redirect
"Are you guys still letting terrorists through our borders?"
Her 'friend', wrote back only the following:
"Everyone and every living thing is so tired of Americans, America and the
self agrandising agendas of the American way of life, your enemies are
legion and you would do well not to make small chat over the matter. Are we
still letting terrorists into your country? How the fuck should I know? Did
America butt-fuck any little arabs this morning?
Fuck you and your gun loving patriots."
What the hell kind of a friend is that? How about some separation of politics and someone you know? It's maddening that a person so small-minded would destroy a friendship for no good reason. And yes, that person is small minded. When I was in Europe a couple years ago, I met a bunch of people who, shall we say, were less than keen on America. After we talked over a beer or 4, they came to the conclusion that there are decent people from the States, and I hope they went away not categorizing everyone from here as gun-toting egomaniacal assholes. I would think, that a friend would remember this and not lay total blame for the actions of their country on someone they know.
My friend does not fit the description of the people her 'friend' mentioned in the email. Idiotic. Apparently the US is the only country in the world that has ever done anything wrong. Oh wait-not true. Most other places seem to be ignored simply because they are not the largest and most powerful.
Maddening. Possibly more on this later. I need more coffee first
How great is that? Go check out his site. He's got a few related posts with some great links.
On that subject, USA Today has an article about how much money Moore is raking in from his 'crockumentary'.
If you want to read the same article with some minor revisions (courtesy of that genius/wacko over at proteinwisdom), read this one. It's so much better than the original. Sample passage:
"These are mind-blowing numbers," Moore said Sunday of the estimates, which were $7 million more than most analysts predicted. "All the predictions were that the movie would only speak to the choir, that it would only be for those who don't like Bush. But it looks like lots more suckers went to see it. Which is great, because now I can have all the deep-fried diamonds and emeralds and mink I can cram into my pie hole. Hell, maybe I'll even bread and eat a sea turtle -- one of them big endangered ones -- which I can have smuggled into the country at a moment's notice by a gang of Ecuadoran children I bought off a down-on-his-luck fisherman in the winter of '97. Because I am just that rich. Man, do I ever love deep-fried foods!"
Today started out badly-I slept almost 9 hours last night, and am more tired today than I usually am after sleeping for 3. I'm not happy about that. But the above events/postings are changing things around. I'm waking up and feeling more chipper (or maybe it's because I'm on my second cup of coffee in the last 30 minutes).
Saturday, June 26, 2004
The quote JJ tossed onto his site reads:
For example, it was during an interview with the British paper The Mirror that Moore unfurled what is perhaps the central insight of his oeuvre, that Americans are kind of crappy.
"They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy]," Moore intoned. "We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."
Somehow his following continues to grow, despite these vapid and insulting comments (yes, these comments are also directed at those of you who find Moore credible. Perhaps his ultimate goal is to spew countless tirades of nonsense, documenting their acceptance, and one day come out with a movie highlighting the true lack of fact included in his "documentaries" to prove that we are all gullible?).
Here's another passage I like:
In an open letter to the German people in Die Zeit, Moore asked, "Should such an ignorant people lead the world?" Then he began to reflect on things economic. His central insight here is that the American economy, like its people, is pretty crappy, too: "Don't go the American way when it comes to economics, jobs and services for the poor and immigrants. It is the wrong way."
Huh. He thinks the American economy and the people are crappy? I wonder if he's ever heard the saying: don't bite the hand that feeds you? Let's see what the crappy economy and crappy (and stupid/gullible) people have provided Mikey:
He’s been known to refer to his house on 10 acres of Torch Lake frontage as a cabin, as if it were a place with four walls, a roof, an outhouse and a stack of cordwood to beat back the chill in winter.
Technically, it is a log cabin. Two stories. According to Antrim County records, the home is worth $1.2 million. From Moorewatch
And he's a multi-millionaire.
I'll try to add more to this later, but I need to get off my stupid laptop and go do something outside (good timing. It just started raining)
An article in USA Today
Jack Shafer rocks
I think the people putting together this petition need to take a harder look at the Chunkster's opinion on this country and her people. I hope it's only a joke petition...
Pass the ranch dressing and extra large fries you nincompoop
Fine. I've gotten used to dealing with them for a couple weeks.
Recently, my house experienced a new infestation-flies.
I was laying on my couch watching the Simpsons, when I noticed buzzing noises from the front picture window. I looked over during a commercial, and saw way more movement than normal up near the top of the window. Cursing, I drew up the blinds and was greeted by at leasat 10,547 flies almost covering the window. I blanched, then moved the other couch, grabbed a rolled up newspaper and went to war. The carcasses were strewn everywhere and many were smashed against the window. They were lethargic and easy to kill. Very odd. All were adults as well. As my breathing returned to normal and I grabbed a broom and Windex, I heard more buzzing at the front window in the kitchen. Cursing once more, I drew up those blinds and was greeted by the same sight-a moving shade on the window. I waged my war once more, then cleaned up all the mess. And then laid down on the couch again.
What made the situation worse for me, is that my roommate closes on my house this coming Wednesday, and I didn't want to have to deal with any new issues on this stupid house. I want it out of my hands ASAP. But I thought the problem was over. Until I got home from volleyball the next night, and Brandon let me know that he had to wage the same assault that I did. I was pissed. Brandon went down to the hardware store the next day to get some fly stuff, and ended up running into a few people that have been having the same problem. What the hell? They haven't returned, but we still have no idea where they came from or what caused it.
All I need now is a family of raccoons to move into the attic. That'd be wonderful.
Friday, June 25, 2004
Last night, I watched the Independent Film Channel, which aired Moore's press conference in Cannes after he won the big enchildada there and it was incredibly boring: a guy drones his opinions for a half-hour; it was like being stuck in an elevator with him.
Hmm. I'm guessing in an elevator there would be a stench (moldy cheeseburgers?) along with the annoying buzzing. So I guess viewing the press conference could have been worse.
You should give us legitimate facts and arm us with arguments by showing both sides of an issue and beating down the other side. If you don't do that, you're only shrieking. You're weakening your own argument by ignoring the other side. You're insulting the intelligence of your audience by not giving them both sides. You're just seething. That's what Moore is like now. He wants to convince us he's telling the truth but he's afraid to tell the whole truth.
Why tell the whole truth when he has a legion of fans who don't want to hear the other side of Moore's arguments (ranting, really)?
This is one more reason I don't like Moore. He is losing the humor that made earlier works bearable. I think if his stories, I mean "documentaries" were not billed as a documentary (According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a documentary is defined as: "A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration." I am pretty sure Moore's films do not qualify as such.), but were billed as being for entertainment purposes only, I could swallow Moore's bile a bit easier. Moore's kinda like Rush:loud, obnoxious, fat (is that PC? Oh yeah. I don't care), a purveyor of half-truths, in love with the sound of his own voice, and adored/worshipped/followed by many people who refuse to believe that some of the notions they hold to be irrefutable are in fact refutable (technically, I did not use the same word twice in one sentence. I removed the 'ir'.)
I'm hungry. I'm going to eat lunch.
But first, some links that help to discredit the documentary moniker:
Aptly titled, Moorelies
Mooreexposed (disgusting visual)
Exposing the real truths in F911
A movie I will probably go see: Michael Moore Hates America
Sure I could put some pro-Moore sites on, his own included, but this is my blog and I don't want to. Damn hippies
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Small minded people are dumb
Instead I'll sit here and stew in sugar and caffeine.
Props to Michael King. Again.
President Bush plans to unveil next month a sweeping mental health initiative that recommends screening for every citizen and promotes the use of expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs favored by supporters of the administration.
Maybe the Bush Admin is now in bed with the pharmaceutical companies?
Instead of describing more about this target, I wanted to share some observations about how the Marine Sergeants make these kind of operations go. On this particular mission, try and imagine the Sergeant's thinking as he has just spent hours/days in preparation for the operation, stressing to his Marines the sensitive nature of what they are going to do and all the do's and don'ts on objective. Once he finally gets his Marines on the objective, he is non-stop positioning and repositioning the men, keeping civilians at arms length, watching the detainees and coordinating his tasks under the search, knowing that one small mistake could get someone killed or will at least be fodder for the insurgents continued message of fear and hate.
It is about 110 degrees outside, he has had about 3 hours sleep the night prior and he is wearing about 75 pounds of body armor, weapons and ammunition. By the way, he is listening to at least one radio constantly and is controlling around 10-15 guys while coordinating with his adjacent squad leaders and platoon commander.
As all of this is going on, he watches weapons and propaganda being taken from the mosque and maintains his and his Marines' humanity toward the detainees and local civilians. He stays on the objective as long as it takes in the hot sun, treats the Iraqis fairly and firmly while he constantly moves among his Marines and checks their position and ensuring that they are watching their sector. He waits for an RPG to come whistling in or an automatic weapons to open up on his Marines at any time. He is also thinking with every tick of the clock, some guy may be out there right now digging in an IED on his exfil route or laying in an ambush so even as he leaves the target, his Marines remain at significant risk. They are not "safe" until they get back to their patrol base. Even there, mortars can be expected around their position daily.
The mission lasts for hours. He gets all of his Marines back safely where he is responsible for checking to make sure everyone is healthy, all gear and weapons are accounted for and everyone is cleaning their weapons while the squad is debriefed. Once the debrief is complete and the weapons and equipment is cleaned he might get a chance to sit down in the shade for an hour or so until he goes over to the platoon command post and gets his order for that night's patrol. From that point on, it is back to work. You rarely will catch this guy saying anything negative (when he does so, he is careful to do it to his peers or maybe the Staff Sergeant or Lieutenant but not in front of his Marines). He is 23-27 years old and has been a Marine for about 5-10 years.
Call me weak, but that is not a position I'd like to be in. Thinking of the stress those guys must be under makes the stress caused by deadlines for a traffic study seem pretty damn pathetic.
I want to close by sharing with you that the coalition put a real hurt on the terrorists and criminals this week. I know it is horrifying to see the hostages killed on television but without being able to go into detail, the coalition has compromised and successfully attacked a number of senior terrorists this past week. While this is going on, the men are training new Iraqi soldiers and police officers and continuing to reach out to the people. The young Marines that are doing the work over here are committed young men who believe that they were doing the right thing. There were losses that are tragic. Losing Marines is a profoundly personal thing to their buddies and fellow Marines. However, I have yet to see the young men's will waiver. They just continue to go out there every day and do their job. Like I said before, it is humbling be around them.
Don't trivialize the war or 'our' being there. These guys are sacrificing so much for us. I offer my thanks to them.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004(0) comments
Personally, my stack of books to read is way too tall to consider throwing in a 900+ page book about Clinton, so I don't see myself reading it. Though even if I didn't have a big pile of books to get thru, I probably still wouldn't read it.
Pray for Kim's family. Don't ever get used to this. And thank you, South Korea, for not being Spain.
Jeff Jarvis has a thing or two to say about a recent ruling....
I hadn't talked to Fran in years. Maybe not since grade school, I'm not even sure. But she ran into my brother a year ago (I am not sure) in Chicago-she ended up working at a bar pretty close to the place Stu works, so he saw her pretty often, and he is good friends with people who are good friends with her. She approached him for the first time because she thought he was me (pretty damn impressive on her part, either way). I guess she would ask about me every time she'd see Stu. I had been hoping to go say hey to her the next time I was back home, but I've missed my chance. According to Stu, she was the sweetest girl, and a great person. Goddamnit.
Stu did tell me something that made me feel really good, but also made me feel worse for not having made it home to see Fran before she was killed. I guess she had told him that in grade school she didn't really fit in, and that she got a lot of crap from the other kids (big damn surprise). But she told him that I was always nice to her, and didn't treat her like the others did. I feel like I am bragging by bringing this up, but in the recent past I've found myself wondering how I treated others back then, and whether or not I was one of those asshole kids. I may have been, though I hope I wasn't. But hearing Stu tell me that after, hell, nearly 14 years Fran fondly remembered how I treated her way the hell back then....makes me feel pretty damn good. And also sad.
Fran, I'm torn up that I didn't get a chance to get reacquianted with you before you passed. I'm glad you had a chance to make an impact on my brother, and bring some light into his life, as well as into the lives of everyone you knew. It's too late now for me to reconnect with you, but I am glad I don't have to live with regretting the way I treated you. I'm glad I could have a positive impact on your life, and I hope it made a difference, no matter how small. Maybe we'll meet up in whatever comes next, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Sidenote: I am searching the home page of my grade school/home church to see what news they have of Fran's passing in the bulletin. What is the first thing I see? A list pops up of upcoming services, and the people they are being dedicated to. The first one I saw was being dedicated to Janina Braune, a girl I was very good friends with my senior year of high school. She went to Georgetown, and I was on that campus after my first senior year of college. I didn't get a chance to stop by and say hey (and reconnect), but figured I would do so soon enough. She died a couple months later-she slipped and fell off a cliff out west, on a trip celebrating her grduating from college. Another opportunity missed. I have to stop putting off calling old friends. It's depressing when that option is no more.
On another note, I'm sad as hell for my brother who has to go thru yet another death of a friend. This shit happens to him way too often. I'm sorry, Stu. I'm always here for you when you need me.
Francesca Elizabeth Opre
Francesca Elizabeth Opre, 28, of Chicago, died Sunday, June 20, loving daughter of Jim and Carmel Opre; and loving sister of Elena Opre of Downers Grove; also survived by her grandmother, Agnes Opre of Toledo, OH. Fran was born in Hammond, IN and lived briefly in Wilmington, DE and Flint, MI before moving to Downers Grove. She attended St. Joseph's Grade School and Downers Grove North H.S. Fran moved to Chicago in 1997, employed as a bartender at Delilah's Bar in Chicago. Fran had a very loving heart and will be dearly missed by her family and many, many friends. Visitation Wednesday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral Thursday 9:15 a.m. from Adams-Winterfield & Sullivan Funeral Home, 4343 Main St., (1 block S. of Ogden), Downers Grove, to St. Joseph Church. Mass 10 a.m. Interment Mount Carmel Cemetery. 630-968-1000 or www.adamswinterfieldsullivan.com.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
I don't think I've ever read an article that so celebrates the joys of imbibing a beverage or 6. AFter extolling the virtues of drinking for several paragraphs, the author finally begins discussing a new anti-hangover wonder drug.
A ray of hope shone on past and future hangover sufferers last week when the news broke that an anti-hangover device, a dietary supplement called RU-21, is about to hit the market.
I've previously questioned the scientific community's tendency to pander to cranks and faddists and health bores who regard social occasions as minefields to be tip-toed through. You know the sort of thing: New research indicates that starting the day with a bowl of lightly stewed dandelions increases life expectancy by up to 7.2 years.
At last, I thought, the boffins have come up with something really useful, something that will benefit normal, fallible people leading normal, fallible lives.
I'm right there with him. To get news such as this from a scientific community that can't seem to make up its mind as to what is healthy and what isn't, is refreshing. But wait, there's more.
This bubble of optimism was resoundingly burst by an article in the English newspaper the Guardian. A reporter who had test driven RU-21 came to the conclusion that it only works if you don't drink too much.
Maybe, he wrote, RU-21 is for successful, motivated people who want to drink a glass or two of wine and get up bright and early the next morning to do yoga.
What sort of mad world are we living in when years of research and millions of dollars are devoted to producing a Claytons anti-hangover pill?
Someone should tell these clowns that a hangover is not a reluctance to get out of bed at the crack of dawn to engage in unbecoming bodily contortions and pseudo-spiritualism.
A hangover is waking up with the feeling that the Mike Tyson of the woodpecker world has taken up residence inside your skull. A hangover is having a mouth with the texture of pumice and the taste of a burnt-out rats' nest.
A hangover is wave after queasy wave of nausea surging through your already fragile system.
We're talking about a disorder that plagues countless decent people from all walks of life and it's high time the medical and scientific establishment started taking it seriously.
Um, it works if you don't drink too much? A placebo maybe? What a let down!
Not that I have ever had too much to drink....
Monday, June 21, 2004
Saturday, June 19, 2004
It seems that in her mind, a man responsible for the slaughter of an unknown number of his own countrymen is in the same league as a man trying to bring order (and Christianity?) to some troubled places. How are they the same? Well, I'll let her tell it:
Madonna has said US President George Bush and ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein are alike because "they are both behaving in an irresponsible manner".
I don't know what world Esther lives in, but I wish she'd go into permanent seclusion there and stop tormenting the rest of us with her idiocy.
No, I don't like her.
Friday, June 18, 2004
My sympathies to the family and friends of Paul Marshall Johnson.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Monday, June 14, 2004
The video, less than two minutes long, does not show any faces. It begins with men running in a garage and a voice yelling in English, "No, no, please!" A shot is fired, and the body of what appears to be a Western man falls to the ground. Two gunmen fire at least 10 more shots at the fallen man, then one kneels by his head and motions as if he is beheading him.
I'm not going to link to it, but follow the above link if you want to check it out.
A U.N. official tells me the Volcker committee's first choices were turned off not just by lack of subpoena or oath-requiring powers — which Volcker considers "not fatal" — but by an inadequate budget to dig into the largest financial rip-off in history. As a result, after nearly three months, a foot-dragging bureaucracy has successfully frustrated the independent committee dependent on it. "Some people have indicated eagerness to show us what they have, but we haven't had the staff, the office space, the administrative structure. I haven't even had a press person."
UN staff involved? More here.
Washington --- An independent investigation of the United Nations' controversial Iraq oil-for-food program is close to releasing an interim report this summer that is expected to focus on U.N. staff involvement in the program.
While the program helped millions of Iraqis, it also had long been the subject of speculation and accusations that included stealing by Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. Some called it ''UNSCAM,'' a play on UNSCOM, the acronym for a U.N. weapons inspection operation in Iraq. U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, in Iraq after leading the successful U.S. invasion, labeled it an "oil-for-palaces" program, a reference to the many grand structures Saddam built.
Questions about the program accelerated in January when an Iraqi newspaper printed the names of 270 officials and others from 46 countries who had supposedly received vouchers for discounted oil from Iraq and then sold them to third parties.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Saturday, June 12, 2004
The United Nations has determined that Saddam Hussein shipped weapons of mass destruction components as well as medium-range ballistic missiles before, during and after the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 2003.
The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission briefed the Security Council on new findings that could help trace the whereabouts of Saddam's missile and WMD program.
The briefing contained satellite photographs that demonstrated the speed with which Saddam dismantled his missile and WMD sites before and during the war. Council members were shown photographs of a ballistic missile site outside Baghdad in May 2003, and then saw a satellite image of the same location in February 2004, in which facilities had disappeared.
He said the Iraqi facilities were dismantled and sent both to Europe and around the Middle East. at the rate of about 1,000 tons of metal a month. Destionations included Jordan, the Netherlands and Turkey.
The UNMOVIC report said Iraqi missiles were dismantled and exported to such countries as Jordan, the Netherlands and Turkey. In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, an SA-2 surface-to-air missile, one of at least 12, was discovered in a junk yard, replete with UN tags. In Jordan, UN inspectors found 20 SA-2 engines as well as components for solid-fuel for missiles.
"The problem for us is that we don't know what may have passed through these yards and other yards elsewhere," Buchanan said. "We can't really assess the significance and don't know the full extent of activity that could be going on there or with others of Iraq's neighbors."
UN inspectors have assessed that the SA-2 and the short-range Al Samoud surface-to-surface missile were shipped abroad by agents of the Saddam regime. Buchanan said UNMOVIC plans to inspect other sites, including in Turkey.
In April, International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohammed El Baradei said material from Iraqi nuclear facilities were being smuggled out of the country.
Friday, June 11, 2004
Which is the worst-North Korea, Iran, or me?
I should have asked.
I might be a schoche (sp?) tired today.
Thank the higher being up in the sky (no, not Lucy) it's a beautiful day out and I am stuck in my windowless cube breathing canned air.
Thanks again to Michael King for the rockin' link (The Man's good. Check him out)
That's not my point. The point is, I grew up outside Chicago, grew up a Bulls fan. This means I developed an intense hatred of the Detroit Pissants up north. Unfortunately, I am now finding myself in a position where I am forced to cheer for them to become the NBA World (misnomer) Champions. Why? Because I hate the Lakers even more. Not real sure why, it just happened. And the whole Kobe melodrama hasn't helped (is it bad that I would: 1. Love to not hear any damn more about his trial? And if anyone praises him again for being superhuman in his efforts to sit thru the court crap in CO and then fly to his next game and perform brilliantly, I may upchuck. Don't praise him for shite until he is acquitted. Because he may not be, and then you find that you have been praising a rapist. 2. I think I'd like to see him in jail. Why? It's disgusting to me that so many people refuse to believe that he is capable of doing anything bad. I don't follow the logic. He's a damn superstar. That in no way means he is incapable of raping a woman. In fact, it may make the scenario more likely. Get a life and quit worshipping a guy who plays a game. See the cop that just passed you? How about him? Or the firefighters saving your ass? Doctors? Engineers [thought I'd try and slip that in there. Did you notice?]?). But I digress.
Ok, I'm done with that diatribe. To condense and summarize: I want to see the Lakers lose, and I am tickled by the results of last night's game.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
On a separate note, some Iraqi fighters showed some real pluck and are getting medals for saving a US Marine's life.
South Africa is among the countries where an estimated 10 million children worldwide work in slave-like conditions in other people's homes, says the United Nations' labour agency on Thursday.
But, says a study by the International Labor Organisation, the problem is largely ignored in many countries,
They rarely got paid, sometimes were sexually abused and even forgot their own names after years of being called simply "girl" or "boy", said June Kane, author of the 112-page ILO study.
Very sad state of affairs. If only we could find someway to connect the tragedy to oil, or at least some major source of revenue to get some worldy big wigs 'concerned'....
-- Van Halen guitarist EDDIE VAN HALEN, newly single and back on the road with his band, in Guitar World magazine.
"Doh" has even found a home in the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as:
"Expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned or that one has just said or done something foolish. Also implying that another person has said or done something foolish."
The United States can benefit from researching and acknowledging past atrocities committed against blacks and American Indians, said Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
He said discriminating against gay people, who he believes do not choose to be gay anymore than people choose to be black, is no better than racism.
"Why would a person choose a way of life that exposes them to so much suffering?" he said.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I have to learn how to link to a specific posting as opposed to an entire webpage, but check this out and read what JJ has to say about things. Scroll down and check out The Daily Stern. It's good stuff.
Excerpts from today include:
Clear Channel will also admit that it aired indecent programming.
If they had balls or a spine or a soul or a brain, they'd fight this as a matter of Constitutional principle, as a defense of the First Amendment, and simply as good business. For now that they have knuckled under to the FCC, there's no telling what's next.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Lots going on lately.
My house will officially be out of my hands as of the 30th of this month. That's pretty exciting. As much as I liked getting huge returns on taxes, I'm tired of the large monthly mortgage (even with a roommate it annoys me) and I am kinda tired of my neighborhood. It's boring. Sure it's quiet and all that jazz, but who wants that? I don't have a wife or kids to worry about, so why not live in a more exciting neighborhood? I should get on that, since I'm out of a house soon. Although since the roommate is buying it I'll have a place to crash for a bit.
Head hurts. Can't think straight. Brain has turned into jellied mush
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Friday, June 04, 2004
I'll discuss my volleyball league. Tuesday nights a group of us (company sponsored) play volleyball over at Wash Park. It is "beer drinking, non-serious, D-league" volleyball. At least that is the way we see it, and the way we've played it for at least 4 years now. That seems to be changing. A lot of the teams are getting more serious. Most are showing up with a higher level of talent, but most of them are still out to have a good time. It's the teams that show up wanting to play all serious. And that is fine, our team can step it up and put up a fight when we need to, but it's going overboard. It is the lowest level in the league, so in theory it is a good place for newbies to learn the game and get used to playing. Which in my mind means some leniency in making calls on illegal hits. Otherwise, how is anyone going to learn the game (and maybe have some fun at the same time?)?
Each night is a 2 hour affair-one hour per team, 3 games per team so 6 games a night. It's 4 on 4, rally score to 25.
We really didn't have any major problems all season. There were some overly serious players that were a little too strict in making calls on our new recruit (who has never really played the game before), but we dealt with it (and made them mad when we would win). A couple weeks ago, however, things blew up.
Some more background-every week one team member is designated as beer wench. They are responsible for getting some bevs and a cooler so that we can enjoy a couple of cold ones during the game. No big deal, we've done it for years, other teams do it, and usually people try and hit us up for some freebies (of course we oblige). We end up with a bunch of empties by the end of the night but we never leave them behind.
Back to the story. This particular night the second team we played was over the top. I expected some tension when I walked up and heard the pep talk they were giving each other (they had just lost 3 straight to a team that is not very good-we always beat them). I knew then that they were going to be playing serious. I warned the team and then took my turn on the sideline to await the next game and my turn to rotate in. It was bad from the get-go. Instead of asking us to make better calls (on ourselves for bad hits), the girls on the team (on in particular) started making sarcastic and nasty comments at our newbie about her illegal hits. They were just plain mean about it, so obviously we all started getting annoyed and mad. It's a game! There is no reason to be nasty to someone, just because you are not winning (the comments got a little lighter when they got the lead. Go figure). This kept up on EVERY point! Eventually, our friend left the court CRYING out of anger, frustration, and embarrassment. The rest of us were almost livid at how ridiculous it got, so we left. After the first game ended we grabbed our stuff and left.
The next day, our captain got a call from the league director asking what happened. It seems this other team decided to spew a lot of filth about us. What did they have to say? Here is their laundry list:
1. They weren't playing by the rules (we started calling our bad hits after a couple points, and even gave them retroactive points for the first few.)
2. They were drunk and obnoxious. (Those of us who had had the most were on our 2nd beer during this game. We are obnoxious w/o beer).
3. They leave trash all over the park (This one may have made me the maddest, because it is total crap. We have never left any garbage behind).
4. They weren't playing by the rules (Get over it. You were a shitty team, and if you hadn't pissed us off so badly we would have played the next 2 games and whomped you. And ps-you were making illegal hits as well and not calling them).
It was ridiculous. I think there were more complaints, but those were the major ones. They (the one girl anyway) were a type of team that I hate playing. If they are losing, they get nasty and bitter and nit picky (against the other team, not on themselves) until they start winning then all is fine.
Ok, I am done now. The guys were fine as far as I could tell. They really didn't say anything. It was just the one beeacth.
It's a game. In the lowest level of the league. You are in a nice park on a beautiful night. Is winning really that important? If so, you need some damn perspective on life. It's a game. It don't mean shit.
And I'm spent