Friday, July 19, 2002

San Jose State University sponsors the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction award, which challenges contestants to come up with the opening sentence to the worst novel ever written. Here's this year's winner.
On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet-paper roll gets a little squashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.

Wow.
Armstrong keeps dominating the field...
Two of my favorite things combined...
"The Simpsons" will start its 14th season on Sunday, Nov. 10, with an episode featuring Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, along with rockers Tom Petty, Brian Setzer, Lenny Kravitz and Elvis Costello. The episode is titled "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation."
I haven't really been following this story, but it seems we have a possible serial killer on the loose here in California. At least that's what the authorities are saying. Only one person has been killed, so it seems a little premature to slap on the serial killer label. But this creep has already raped and killed a five year old girl, so if the serial killer designation brings more man power and money to the investigation...
Our esteemed governor has offered a whopping 50,000 dollar reward. That's real generous of you, Gray.
UPDATE: Authorities have made an arrest...
Reuters reports that George Michael has been asked to write the theme song for the 2004 Athens Olympics, thus assuring the Games will be a total disaster. Out of all the places I've ever been, I can't think of a worse place to hold a summer Games. Athens is hot, dirty, polluted and not very friendly (in my experience). When I was there all the historical sites were covered with trash. Needless to say we hightailed it out of there to Turkey, which in contrast was clean and extremely friendly. Still hot though. And totally lacking in George Michael.
The Arab News has an Ode to Cynthia (McKinney)
Ode to Cynthia

By Israel Shamir



Things must be bad indeed if a woman steps forward to the line of fire.


Nature arranged that a woman does not court danger unless her land and her folks are in real trouble. But when she does, she teaches men a lesson of manly behaviour.


When France was fading away, a shepherd girl Jeanne d'Arc took a heavy sword and led the flower of French nobles to assault the walls of Orleans. When cities of Republican Spain was strafed by the Nazi Luftwaffe, it was a woman, Dolores Ibarruri, La Pasionaria, who said to her people: it is better to die tall, than to live on your knees. In 1990, when Mikhail Gorbachev led his country to disaster and disintegration, a year before the wealth of Russia was embezzled in privatisation spree, only one person has dared to raise her voice against the dictator in the parliament. She was the indomitable Sashie Umalatov, an MP from the Chechen Mountains.


Now it is the turn of the US to feel the chilly wind of eternity on its face. It came from unexpected direction. People of America became hostage in the hands of a few men with too many dollars in their pockets and endless greed in their hearts. For millennia, the difference of income, education, and standard of living was not so vast in one land. The wealth of the nation could provide every American with a superb education, perfect medical care, happy childhood, secure old age, guaranteed home, and free time to open one' s mind to new thoughts and old friends. America could be on its way to the Golden Age of universal happiness and wisdom.


Instead of it, a small group of men squeezes the nation in order to add another billion to their coffers. They would surely destroy the US by their limitless greed. The devotees of Mammon, they are totally devoid of compassion to the people they live amongst. They do not see the local people as 'their own kind'. If they want to show compassion, they send money to Israel. Out of five dollars American taxpayer gives for aid, four dollars land in the coffers of the Jewish state. They appear unstoppable, as the politicians are scared of them and docilely raise their hands and sign the pledge promising to send more money to Israeli generals. Support of Israel is not a foreign policy. It is the covenant of the Mammonites, and you sign it with blood. With Palestinian blood.


But one woman refused to sign the pledge. One woman, Cynthia McKinney, a member for Georgia, dared to refuse. Four hundred congressmen signed it; they preferred their own personal advancement to the good of the country.

It goes on like this for some time. This is my favorite part.
This woman with a name from the love lyrics of Propertius, the delicate Greek poet, who called himself 'a pale knight in thrall of my angry Cynthia', is an all-American figure, brought forth by the spirit of America. The great country does not want to die. In such moments, the land calls for its sons and daughters to step forward to the line of fire. Cynthia heard the call. Support of Cynthia is the ultimate test of love to America, of belief in America's future in the family of nations, as an equal and friendly nation, not as an enforcer for creed of Greed.

Yuck.

Via NRO

Thursday, July 18, 2002

There's no justice like Islamic justice.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian man, convicted for raping and killing his 16-year-old nephew, will be executed by being thrown off a cliff in a sack, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

If the unnamed man survives the fall down a rocky precipice, he will be hanged, legal experts said. He has 20 days to appeal the court sentence.

Gotta give points for creativity, though.
Armstrong takes the lead in the mountains...
Interesting Rich Lowry article on West African oil.
The State Dept. apparently can't take the heat over Visa Express.
High-level State Department officials have circulated e-mails accusing Rep. Dan Burton and Bush administration officials of McCarthyism and neo-Nazism for criticizing the visa system's failure to keep the September 11 terrorists out of the country.

Chuck Keil, the consul general in Rome, complained to several State Department officials — including Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman — that congressional critics have been saying terrorists "were able to enter the United States due to lack of vigilance or downright negligence."

"All of this smacks of the days of Senator Joe McCarthy, when a witchhunt conducted in the name of protecting Americans from the communist menace ruined the careers of Foreign Service Officers who had allegedly lost China to the Reds, or else helped Communist and Communist sympathizers obtain visas to enter the United States," he wrote.

One recipient of the Keil e-mail, Colombia A. Barrosse, is another consular official. She replied in an e-mail to some, but not all, of the same people that firing the popular Miss Ryan — after 36 years in the Foreign Service — makes it more likely that the visa function will be removed from State and given to the new Department of Homeland Security.

"We assume Mary's replacement will not be a career officer with a balanced approach but a neo-Nazi who views us as incompetent or criminal," wrote Mrs. Barrosse, who works in Washington. She declined to speak to The Washington Times.

These people should all lose their jobs right now.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Sorry for the silence, I've been busy moving. Back in a day or two.

Monday, July 15, 2002

AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING
COMMUNITY


We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch
diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to
risk their lives in the cause of freedom.

What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength
which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.

Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has
chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our
unanimity on the following simple principles:

- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the
world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which
respects their own personal liberties

- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous
society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny

We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm
in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of
the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.

And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders
and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the
repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must
be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.

And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your
demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship;
and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in
greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for
freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom;
that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome
your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with
deepest certainty that such a day will come.


(written by John Weidner)
It seems like we see this story at least once a week.
LONDON (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden is alive and planning another attack on the United States, an Arab journalist with close ties to the Saudi-born militant's associates said on Monday.

Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the London based al-Quds al-Arabi magazine, said bin Laden's associates told him that al-Qaeda network has regrouped and was determined to strike the United States.

Wait, here's the best part -
Bin Laden's followers informed Atwan the world's most wanted man would not appear on television video again until his al-Qaeda group launches another attack on the United States.

"They also said bin Laden would not appear in a video and just say words. He will make another appearance only after his people attack the Americans again," he said.

"He wants to appear when he has something to discuss." (Emphasis mine)


Lance Armstrong has moved up to 2nd place following today's time trial. Coming Thursday, the mountains.
Is Michael Leeden the only person writing about what's happening in Iran?
Here's a surprise:
JERUSALEM — Israeli sources say Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat recently transferred $5 million to his wife in Paris and that other leading Palestinians have transferred tens of millions to private bank accounts abroad as fears grow that the Palestinian Authority is near collapse.