Friday, March 31, 2006

Zsa Zsa McKinney strikes back

Now she's claiming "inappropriate touching" by Capitol police:
WASHINGTON - Rep. Cynthia McKinney accused a Capitol Police officer of "inappropriate touching" on Friday as rumors flew around Capitol Hill that the Georgia Democrat would be arrested for her role in a bizarre physical altercation.

"This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman. I deeply regret that this incident occurred and I am certain that after a full review of the facts, I will be exonerated," McKinney said at a press conference at Howard University.

While McKinney asserted her innocence, her lawyer said she was "just a victim of being in Congress while black
...."

Race card, anyone? We got the whole deck here.
McKinney was flanked by leaders from civil rights organization and a couple dozen schoolchildren from her district who were coincidentally in the nation's capitol on a field trip, according to a spokesman. Several of the children, most of whom were black, held up signs reading "God Bless Cynthia."

It gets better.
Howard Pressley, president of NAACP Georgia, called the incident a tragedy and use of excessive force.

"The mistreatment of Cynthia McKinney at the hands of Capitol Hill Police is a tragedy of major proportion and points to the vigor of outright disrespect for women and people of color," Pressley said
.

Use of excessive force? Wait a minute. Who hit whom here?!

In addition to the school kids and the NAACP, rocket scientists Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte came out to support their fellow moonbat.
"In America and Washington, D.C., issues of race have always been at play and have often been central to justice miscarried. ... We're here to be sure that this process is handled fairly and it is not rooted in a familiar racist behavior, that the outcome of this is going to be done on a very fair and a very square basis," [Belafonte] said.

This may get yet more interesting, though, as assault charges may be filed against McKinney.



Is this the party we want in charge of our country's security? They can't even navigate past their own guards at work!

Amnesty for iodine cyanide

The immigration bill in the Senate (i. e., the Kennedy-McCain Bill) has been amended to include certain "undocumented molecules."

In what seems to be a problem growing out of control, certain molecules have been brazenly defying the laws of chemistry and physics:
Scientists have found a molecule that can spin freely in liquid, clearing out water as a person swinging suitcases would clear a crowded room.

The molecule spins without causing friction. That shouldn't be possible, according to a chemical physics theory. The finding could alter the way scientists think about chemical reactions in liquids.

Researchers hit a drop of iodine cyanide and water with pulses from an ultraviolet laser, exciting one type of molecule to reconfigure into a small, peanut shape with a carbon atom on one end, a nitrogen atom on the other.

The molecule heated up to 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit (4,427 Celsius) and started spinning at a furious 270 trillion rotations per minute....

The molecule's activity also runs against Newton's third law of motion, which states that for every action there is an equal, but opposite, reaction.

In the new experiment, there water molecules are displaced, but they don't in turn do anything to the peanut molecule
....

Although the discovery has no immediate practical use, it changes the way scientists think about the 90 percent of all chemical reactions that take place in liquid, Bradforth said.

One potential use could be to manipulate reactions by isolating molecules from their surroundings and reducing the production of useless byproducts
.

According to the amended Senate bill, molecules found to not cause friction (only the one is known, but experts say there could be as many as 10 million) would have to register, pay a $2,000 fine, clear a criminal background check, and pass an English language exam.

Upon meeting these criteria, the molecules would then be allowed to stay in solution and apply for friction in six years.

Public service announcement

Thanks to Kevin for alerting us to this:
*** Attention ***

DO NOT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET FROM MARCH 31st 23:59 pm (GMT) UNTIL 12:01am (GMT) APRIL 2nd.

It's that time again! As many of you know, each year the Internet must be shut down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning process, which eliminates dead e-mail and inactive ftp, www, and gopher sites, allows for a better working and faster Internet.

This year, the cleaning process will take place from 23:59 pm (GMT) on March 31st until 00:01 am (GMT) on April 2nd. During that 24-hour period, five powerful Internet-crawling robots situated around the world will search the Internet and delete any data that they find.

In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that you do the following:

1. Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their Internet connections.
2. Shut down all Internet servers, or disconnect them from the Internet.
3. Disconnect all disks and hard drives from any connections to the Internet.
4. Refrain from connecting any computer to the Internet in any way.

We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some Internet users, and we apologize. However, we are certain that any inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotsam and jetsam.

We thank you for your cooperation.

Fu Ling Yu
Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff Main Branch,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sysops and others: Since the last Internet cleaning, the number of Internet users has grown dramatically. Please assist us in alerting the public of the upcoming Internet cleaning by posting this message where your users will be able to read it.

Please pass this message on to other sysops and Internet users as well.

Thank you.

My understanding is that the outage will primarily affect liberal web sites.

Trivia time

Here's a challenging one for all the clock-watchers out there.

Category: Sci/Tech - Measurements, Time, & Distance
Difficulty: Very difficult

Reported average: 4 of 10
Wannabe' score: 7 of 10

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Trivia time

History meets entertainment for Thursday's quiz.

Category: History - Mixed Bag
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 5 of 10
Wannabe's score: 4 of 10 (D'oh!)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Trivia time

Here's your dose of hump day trivia. Have fun!

Category: General - Useless Trivia
Difficulty: Difficult

Reported average: 5 of 10
Wannabe's score: 5 of 10

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Funny on F & F

On Fox & Friends this morning, they were covering this bizarre story:
ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. - A mother charged with abducting her two children was accused of posing as a man while on the run, and authorities say the heavyset woman with cropped hair and a slight mustache even had the kids calling her "Daddy."
Shellie White, 30, said it was all a misunderstanding, claiming in a jail interview with The Associated Press that she never tried to hide her identity or change her appearance.

White was arrested in Roanoke Rapids on Friday, more than two years after she allegedly took her children from Arizona. Investigators said she and another woman were living together as the children's father and mother.

In a statement, the U.S. Marshals Service said White had "radically changed her appearance to that of a man...."

E. D. asked incredulously how this woman could grow a moustache (the suspect blamed it on a hormone disorder).

Brian Kilmeade deadpanned, "Believe in yourself, and give 110%."

'Bout made me shoot coffee out my nose.

Trivia time

You'll need to decipher some mangled music lyrics for Tuesday's quiz.

Category: Music - Lyrics Mixture
Difficulty: Tough

Reported average: 6 of 10
Wannabe's score: 7 of 10

Simple misunderstanding

SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia made a gesture to a Boston Herald reporter Monday that may have been misinterpreted.
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used an Italian hand gesture when questioned by a reporter after attending church this past weekend.

The Boston Herald reported Monday that the justice made "an obscene gesture under his chin" - which prompted some online reports that Scalia had used his middle finger.

Untrue.

"It was a hand off the chin gesture that was meant to be dismissive," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

Scalia continued, "I think he also misheard me. What I said was, 'Thank you. And the horse you rode in on.'"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bad week for SUVs

Minneapolis: Light Rail 1, SUV 0.

New York: Sinkhole 1, SUV 0.

Iraqis in need of campaign finance reform?

McCain, Feingold Air Views in Iraq (HT Captain Ed)

Senators John McCain (R - Arizona) and Russ Feingold (D - Al Qaeda) paired up for a news conference from Iraq (the purpose of their trip being ???...), during which they aired their differences about timing for withdrawal of US troops - and whether they should even be there (!).
Feingold said he believed "a large troop presence has a tendency to fuel the insurgency because they can make the incorrect and unfair claim that the U.S. is here to occupy the country."

"I think that it's very possible that the sectarian differences are inflamed by the fact that U.S. troops are here," he continued, adding that their long-term presence "may well be destabilizing, not stabilizing."

Asked a question on a different topic, McCain quickly responded: "I believe that premature troop withdrawal is not in consonance with what's going on the ground."

So much for the ideas of politics stopping at the water's edge and putting forth a united front abroad.

I would really like to see a Senate vote similar to the one in the House after John Murtha's moronic comments.

Let's get Brave Sir Rusty and all the other blowhards on the record and see which ones are really for immediate retreat, and which ones are just posturing for the moonbats.

Ok, I'll play

Bogus Doug has given in to peer pressure and, albeit temporarily, has restored his Friday Fun Quiz. In fact, he has posted several to appease / shut up his harrassers.





Your Dominant Intelligence is Logical-Mathematical Intelligence





You are great at finding patterns and relationships between things.
Always curious about how things work, you love to set up experiments.
You need for the world to make sense - and are good at making sense of it.
You have a head for numbers and math ... and you can solve almost any logic puzzle.

You would make a great scientist, engineer, computer programmer, researcher, accountant, or mathematician.


Snooty? Moi?

From the Grapevine:
French President Jacques Chirac stormed out of a European Union summit meeting in protest Thursday because he couldn't bear to hear a Frenchman speaking English.

The entire French delegation promptly left the room when business executive Ernest-Antoine Seilliere announced that he would address the summit in English - which he called "the language of business."

Chirac, who has fought to keep the French language internationally relevant, says he was "profoundly shocked" that a Frenchman would use a foreign tongue at the Council table, adding that he "walked out rather than listen to that."

Chirac went on to say, "Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah."

Go ahead, Jacques. Keep speaking French, and we'll keep ignoring you. Sounds like win, win to me.

English will continue to be the language of business, and French will continue to be the language of hot newsbabes.

Trivia time

Here's some brain calisthenics to kick off your work week. Enjoy!

Category: Brain Teasers - Riddles
Difficulty: Difficult

Reported average: 5 of 10
Wannabe's score: 10 of 10

Friday, March 24, 2006

More animal-related stuff

Future Senator Kennedy says, "Show me the Bunny."

Staying with the animal theme...

Bear Creek Ledger has a warning to dog owners.

Heh

Now that is one ugly turtle!!

Back in the winner's circle

The drought for 2006 has ended! Your humble wannabe managed to be on the winning team (ok, one of a three-way tie, but still...) for Keegan's short bus trivia. The FDP is now back up to 50%

I arrived at just the right time to join the Stewarts (Night Writer and Mall Diva) and Barry, who happened to need a fourth. Team "Dazed & Confused" scored a whopping 16 of 25 (tough quiz this week), but a win's a win.

Since I was drinking NA beer last night, it seems a little inappropriate to display the usual Guinness trophy, so instead, here's Stewie:

Got milk?

Another nominee for Father of the Year (AP, via WCCO.com):
TULSA, Okla. - A Kansas man was arrested at a Tulsa strip club after police say his toddler son wandered from an unlocked car into the club over the weekend.

Christopher Greg Killion, 31, was arrested Saturday on a complaint of "encouraging a minor child to be in need of supervision." He posted $500 bond and was released from the Tulsa Jail.

The toddler told police that his father told him to stay in the car, and that if he left it, "monsters would eat him," reports indicate.

A manager at the club had called police to report that about 30 minutes after Killion entered the club, a 3- to 4-year-old boy came inside looking for his father.

Officers determined that the boy had been left alone in a car in the strip club's parking lot. The car was unlocked and parked about 20 feet from a four-lane street. It was raining and 45 degrees outside at the time, an officer noted in the police report.

Trivia time

Friday's quiz is very couch-potato-friendly. Enjoy!

Category: Television - TV Mixture
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 7 of 10
Wannabe's score: 8 of 10

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It was bound to happen

Kevin Ecker has broken the story of the arrest* of our friend, Uncle Cracker Ben for stalking French newsbabe Melissa Theuriau.

Exclusive sources have disclosed to me this mugshot:



It is reported that Ben has denied the allegations, telling the gend'armes that he was merely trying to show off his birds (pictured above, also in tutus and fake noses) to Ms. Theuriau. From the police report:
"What I said was, 'Can I show you my cockatiels?' She must have thought I meant something else by that."

Developing...

* May or may not be a filthy lie.

-----------------------------

IN ACTUAL NEWS: Three hostages, including Norman Kember, family friend to the above-lampooned Ben, were freed today by coalition forces in Iraq. Wonderful news (seriously)!

Trivia time

How about a little word play for Thursday's quiz?

Category: Brain Teasers - Word Play
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 9 of 15
Wannabe's score: 13 of 15

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Travel tales

This morning, I attempted to fly home from Charlotte. I say "attempted" because as the flight (Northwest, scheduled to depart 8:48 am) was boarding, the pilot decided that the plane "needed a part." Ya know that can't be good.

Worse yet, the part had to be flown in (luckily, that plane didn't need a part), and there were no alternate flight options that would get me home any faster than waiting for said part.

In the end, my flight home took off at 2:20 pm - 5 1/2 hours late!.

I blame myself. Anytime I say anything positive about an airline or flying in general, I jinx myself.

Case in point: Last month, just before flying home (also from Charlotte, but that time was US Air), I commented to someone that, knock on wood, I've never had any luggage lost by an airline. Sure enough, that very flight home, guess whose bag was nowhere to be found on the carousel.

Following that experience, when lamenting my displeasure with US Air, I noted that, despite the whole "Northworst" image that many complain about, my experience flying Northwest has actually been pretty good compared to other airlines - until today, that is.

Ok, the plane needed some unplanned maintenance - it happens. I'd expect, though, that, especially given the length of the delay, Northwest would compensate us somehow for our trouble. We got nothing. No miles, no meal/drink vouchers - nothing.

No one even bothered to apologize for the delay until when we finally landed in Minneapolis. As the flight attendant was going through her scripted 'thank you for flying Northwest' speech, she said, "...and we are sorry for your delay today. Yadda, yadda, yadda."

Notice that was inside the quotes. She actually said, "Yadda, yadda, yadda!". Grrr! I may be calling the corporate office about that little performance.

One thing made me smile today, though. You see, there was this little dude in a business suit. I don't know what his deal was. Maybe he was just really, really attention-starved, but this guy was relentlessly bugging the ticket agents all day long. Not causing any trouble - just talking.

Well, just before we started to board the plane (the second time), an elderly lady asked me if I was an air marshall.

I laughed and said 'no,' but she still proceeded to tell me about how concerned she was about that little dude in the suit. She said, "I think he's psycho." I tried to alleviate her fears and convince her that while definitely a pest, he was most likely not a terrorist.

Of course, when the lady approached me my first thought was, "What? Do I look like an air marshall?!," but apparently, yes, I do, so there you go. Except air marshalls get better seats.

Trivia time

Wednesday's quiz is for the scientists (& scientist wannabes). Enjoy!

Category: Sci/Tech - Miscellaneous Science
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 6 of 10
Wannabe's score: 9 of 10

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Helen, you ignorant slut

Following is the exchange from this morning's press conference between the President and Helen Thomas, Media Moonbat Emeritus (via Mary Katherine Ham)
QUESTION: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President -- your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.

Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, your Cabinet officers, former Cabinet officers, intelligence people and so forth -- but what's your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil, the quest for oil. It hasn't been Israel or anything else. What was it?

BUSH: I think your premise, in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- that I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect.

QUESTION: And...

BUSH: Hold on for a second, please. Excuse me. Excuse me.

No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true.

BUSH: My attitude about the defense of this country changed in September the 11th. When we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people.

Our foreign policy changed on that day. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life.

And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people, that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy, and that's why I went into Iraq.

(CROSSTALK)

BUSH: Hold on for a second. Excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for Al Qaida.

BUSH: That's where Al Qaida trained and that's where...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BUSH: Helen, excuse me.

That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for Al Qaida. That's where they trained, that's where they plotted, that's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council. That's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed.

And the world said, "Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences." And therefore, we worked with the world. We worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world.

And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it.

You know the President would like -- just once -- to tell Helen where to cram it. If only these press conferences were broadcast with thought bubbles...

I think we've all been had

'South Park' to Fire Back in Season Premiere:
The creators of "South Park" appear ready to fire back at Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology following a dust up earlier this month that included soul singer Isaac Hayes quitting the series.

On Wednesday's ninth-season debut, Hayes' character, Chef, pops up in an episode which creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are devoting to his mysterious return to "South Park." They are expected to poke fun at his religion, Scientology.

While details are scarce, Comedy Central officials say the duo are putting the finishing touches on the episode (Wednesday, 10 p.m.) -- which, like many others, is being written and animated in less than a week.

Last fall, the show -- which, in nearly a decade on the air, has managed to poke fun at almost every religion -- ripped Scientology. In the episode, one of the space-based faith's biggest proponents -- Tom Cruise -- was skewered.

Hayes was allegedly insulted by the show and quit, according to reports.

Last week, the network had planned on re-airing the episode, but it was pulled at the last minute, after Cruise allegedly threatened not to promote his new movie, "Mission: Impossible 3," which is produced by Paramount, a division of Viacom, which owns Comedy Central.

Reps for Cruise have denied the reports
.

D'ya think maybe - just maybe - the "dust up" was concocted by Stone and Parker (creators of South Park, and marketing geniuses) with Hayes playing along in order to hype the upcoming season premiere?

If so, I certainly fell for it along with everyone else. I'll also be watching tomorrow night.

Trivia time

If you're already eliminated from your NCAA hoops office pool (like me), today's quiz explores another way you could have used that $5. Let's shuffle up and deal!

Category: Entertainment - Casinos & Gambling
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 7 of 10
Wannabe's score: 9 of 10

Nagin-style leadership

From the Grapevine:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin refused an offer by a Texas-based car crushing company to remove the city's flooded and abandoned vehicles left over after Hurricane Katrina. In October, K & L Auto Crushers said it would take 15 weeks to finish the job and even offered to pay the city $100 for each of the estimated 50,000 cars that needed removal.

Instead the mayor has pursued a plan that will take 6 months and cost the city $23 million. According to The Times Picayune, Nagin balked at K & L's gesture because he wasn't sure the city had the legal right to remove the vehicles, which it does, according to a city ordinance.

Nagin, you may recall, was reportedly hesitant to order an evacuation of New Orleans for fear that local merchants and hotels might sue the city if the storm had blown over.

For the benefit of the math-impaired and liberals, that's a $28 million screw-up.

It brings to mind a Day By Day classic:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Chef update

Roger Friedman, via FoxNews:
Isaac Hayes did not quit "South Park." My sources say that someone quit it for him.

I can tell you that Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17. At the time it was said that he was hospitalized and suffering from exhaustion.

It?s also absolutely ridiculous to think that Hayes, who loved playing Chef on "South Park," would suddenly turn against the show because they were poking fun at Scientology....

The saga continues.

Trivia time

Since the NCAA basketball tournament is now over (ok, technically, there's two weeks left, but when my team is eliminated, it's 'officially' over for the purposes of this blog), it's time to look ahead to baseball season for today's quiz.

Category: Sports - MLB Mixture
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 6 of 10
Wannabe's score: 9 of 10

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Good times

Daughter #1 and I have been both taken down by the stomach flu this weekend. She's been vomiting up a storm (doing much better now, though), and as for me, well, the excitement's been from the other end.

I'll won't go into further detail -- after all, it's best to leave poop-blogging to the experts, but I'll be happy when things are "back to normal."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bracket update

D'oh!


When does baseball season start?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Blogger update

Apparently, I'm not the only one having problems.

I can now open my blog, and post (obviously), but still can't edit past posts:



[extending middle finger to Blogger]

Insensitive remarks

Chuckles is at it again:
New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is likening the proposed Arab acquisition of management rights at some U.S. ports to having those ports controlled by skinheads. Schumer, among the first to oppose the Dubai ports deal, told the New York Observer that he was surprised by the issue's rapid rise to national prominence, calling it an "intergalactic missile."

But he disputed critics who claim much of the opposition was driven by anti-Arab sentiment, saying, "Let's say skinheads had bought a company to take over our port. I think the outcry would have been the same
."

I, for one, am outraged by these cruel, bigoted comments.

As a member of the Bald-American community, I am calling on my brothers - and sisters - to rise up and unite against this hate speech. We must demand an immediate retraction and a public apology from Senator Schumer for the harm he has done to our people.

This will not stand.

Trivia time

Here's a quiz appropriate for St. Patty's Day:

Category: People - Quotes
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 14 of 25
Wannabe's score: 12 of 25 (I must need more practice!)

I'm back

Blogger is really fubar, right now - at least with this site. Hopefully, the problems are now resolved.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy hoops day!

Today kicks off March Madness (like you don't already know that!). This first round of the tourney, just due to the sheer volume of games (32 between Thurs & Fri), in my opinion, ranks up there with the Super Bowl for the best in sports TV viewing and, as such, should be a Federal holiday with paid time off. Write your Congressmen, people!

Anyway, to satisfy what I must assume is your burning curiosity, here is my bracket (click to enlarge):



As the king of wishful thinking, I've picked my alma mater, the Fighting Illini, to go all the way. It probably won't happen, but just in case, I wanted to be on the record with my prognostication.

Good luck to all of you in your respective office pools!

--------------------

UPDATE: Apparently, there's a hockey tourney of some sort going on, too. What. Ever.

Trivia time

Thursday's quiz is rock lyrics trivia. Enjoy!

Category: Music - Lyrics Mixture
Difficulty: Average

Reported averge: 6 of 10
Wannabe's score: 8 of 10

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

GOP straw poll

Fake but accurate, part 837

It seems the Old Gray Lady is off her meds again:
A U.S. Army spokesman tells FOX News that the man featured in the New York Times as the hooded subject of a now infamous picture from Abu Ghraib prison is not the person in that photo. The Times profile of Ali Shalal Qaissi - which ran on Saturday - highlighted the alleged abuse that he suffered while imprisoned in Iraq.

The Times cited advocacy groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as sources verifying that Qaissi is the man in the photograph with no verification from the US military. The Army has since contacted The Times to notify them of the mistake. The paper's foreign editor Susan Chira says the Times will now investigate.

And the correction, if warranted, will be featured as prominently as the original article, right?

Kelly lets one slip

Recently, I've started to regularly listen to the KTLK morning show. The hosts, Andrew Colton and Kelly Guest, do a good job at putting on an entertaining show, and for the most part, they do a good job at keeping the show politically neutral (i. e., they pick on both sides equally).

As I've noted before, though, it's tough to keep it straight down the middle all the time. Eventually, one's true political leanings will show through. This morning, Kelly let out a whopper!

They were discussing a proposal by Minnesota Rep. Tim Wilkin (R-Eagan). From the WCCO story, the "Schiavo bill," would...
...require medical providers to provide artificial food and water to incapacitated patients unless they have a living will or leave "clear and convincing" evidence indicating they don't want such measures taken. Another exception would apply in cases such as kidney damage, when a tube could harm the patient under "reasonable medical judgment."

"This bill is not about pulling the plug on a respirator. This is about food and water," Wilkin said....

Andrew and Kelly both came down against the bill -- ok. But then, Kelly added (from memory, wording may not be exact):
"And of course, the abortion foes are all over this, to show that they aren't hypocrites, saying, 'Look, we're for life on this end, too.' Of course, you're on your own in between."

Uh, ok. Wow.

While this and abortion are both right-to-life issues and, therefore, there will be a lot of overlap between proponents of the Schiavo bill and opponents to abortion, this bill has nothing even tangentially to do with abortion.

And why is the baseline assumption that abortion opponents (of which I am one) are hypocrites? What exactly are we hypocritical about?

And what are you talking about with the "you're on your own in between" thing? Are you implying that pro-lifers stop caring about babies once they're born? I don't even know how to respond to that, because I have no clue what the basis is for the charge.

My unsolicited advice to Kelly would be, since it seems that they try very hard to keep the show politically balanced, to be aware that a comment like this, while clearly intended to be just a short parenthetical - maybe even funny - snark, can quickly alienate half of the audience. In other words, if you frequently call half your audience 'hypocrites,' that half will eventually stop listening.

Just saying.

Trivia time

Happy hump day! Have fun trying to debunk some urban legends.

Category: General - Urban Legends
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 6 of 10
Wannabe's score: 9 of 10 (legend has it...)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

No more salisbury steak for Cartman

Isaac Hayes Quits 'South Park'
NEW YORK - Isaac Hayes has quit "South Park," where he voices Chef, saying he can no longer stomach its take on religion.

Hayes, who has played the ladies' man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.

"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices...."

[Matt] Stone told The AP he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin
."

If you've ever watched a South Park episode, you know how silly this is.

The show is in its ninth year. Between the series and the movie, South Park has brought us images like Saddam Hussein in bed with Satan brandishing a dildo, and memorable songs such as "Kyle's Mom is a Bitch, in D minor" and "Uncle F---er."

Hayes's character, Chef, has himself serenaded us, asking us to "Suck my salty chocolate balls."

Now they've crossed the line?! Now it's offensive?! Puh-leeze.

Submitted without comment

Miss Deaf Texas Killed by Train
AUSTIN - The reigning Miss Deaf Texas died Monday afternoon after being struck by a train, officials said.

Tara Rose McAvoy, 18, was walking near railroad tracks when she was struck by a Union Pacific train, authorities said. A witness told Austin television station KTBC the train sounded its horn right up until the accident occurred.

McAvoy, who had been deaf since birth, won the state title in June and represented the state "with dignity and pride," state pageant director Laura Loeb-Hill said via e-mail Monday night.

McAvoy was to represent Texas at the Miss Deaf America pageant this summer, Loeb-Hill said.

McAvoy graduated last year from the Texas School for the Deaf, attended Austin Community College and then started at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., in January, but had returned to Texas, Loeb-Hill said.

Trivia time

Here's one that John Zogby would fail for sure.

Category: Science & Tech - Miscellaneous Science
Difficulty: Tough

Reported average: 6 of 10
Wannabe's score: 9 of 10

(margin of error +/- 100%)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Where's Jimmy Carter when you need him?

From Reuters, South Africa: Zimbabwe's inflation at 782%!
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate vaulted to a record high in February, driven by a surge in rental, transport and education fees, blighting prospects of a quick recovery for the country's battered economy.

Analysts said this put pressure on President Robert Mugabe's 26-year rule as anger rises over a crisis dramatised by shortages of foreign currency, fuel and food and which has left nearly two-thirds of the workforce jobless and impoverished.

The consumer price index rose by 782 percent year-on-year in February from 613.2 percent in January, zooming past the previous all-time high of 622.8 percent hit in January 2004, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said on Friday....

Unbridled inflation is playing havoc with the finances of ordinary Zimbabweans, who must often shop with huge wads of cash for simple purchases that can cost millions of Zimbabwe dollars.

The CSO said an average family of five required at least 25.5 million Zimbabwe dollars every month, but an average middle-class citizen earns 15 million Zimbabwe dollars....

Now that's a malaise!

Trivia time

Enjoy some riddles to kick off your Monday!

Category: Brain Teasers - Riddles
Difficulty: Tough

Reported average: 5 of 10
Wannabe's score: 10 of 10 (yeah, baby!)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The DP World / Harriet Miers analogy

I've read more than a few posts from critics of the Dubai Ports World deal comparing it to the fiasco following the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. I agree that the analogy is an appropriate one, but for different reasons.

The analogy made by critics of both events is that they were both blunders by President Bush for which he needed to be set straight and that both required the Conservative base to rise up and undo the horrible travesty.

In each case, the reaction was swift and severe, and in each case the within-party mutiny was effective in coersing the candidate in question to withdraw in order to avoid global thermonuclear political war. In that sense, the critics "won" in each case.

I, too, had similar reactions to the two events. However, in each case, mine was one of "wait and see."

On Harriet Miers:
....Fred Barnes expanded on the charge of elitism by... critics of Harriet Miers, calling it "snobbery." I may not use quite so strong a word, but I tend to agree with Fred and with his further observation: "Now look, I'm not endorsing Harriet Miers. I don't know the first thing about her. But neither do her detractors."

I, too, am firmly entrenched in the 'wait and see' camp. For now, I'm willing to give Ms. Miers - and President Bush - the benefit of the doubt
.

On the ports deal:
As these discussions continue, I expect we'll find out more about this evaluation process and the results pertinent to Dubai Ports World. If causes for alarm are revealed, then I will be right beside the rest of you with torch and pitchfork in hand, but at this time, I am aware of none.

I expect those on the bed-wetting Left to throw a hissy-fit about anything the President does. I was really disheartened by the reaction by many Conservatives in these two cases, though, for two reasons - the hastiness of the opposition, and the seeming baselessness of the reasons for the opposition.

My purpose here is not to rehash the old charges of elitism / xenophobia, but I sure would have liked to hear why Miers shouldn't be on the SCOTUS besides, 'she didn't go to Yale,' and why DP World should administer a few US port operations besides, 'they're Arabs.'

For especially those Conservative Republicans who voted for this President, I would expect the default position to be one of trust and benefit of the doubt for President Bush. Now, before you get revved up by that last sentence, I'm not advocating blind trust, nor am I suggesting that it's wrong to question the President.

But if you're going to ask the question, at least stick around in the discussion long enough to hear the answer. Reminds me of a guy I used to work with. Every day, I'd pass this guy in the hall, and he'd ask me, "How are you doing today?" And he'd just keep walking on by without pausing or even glancing up in case I actually wanted to answer him. Used to drive me nuts. But I digress.

What happened in these two cases wasn't questioning, though. It was just torches and pitchforks, and that's what bugs me.

The President had his reasons for picking Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee. I was looking forward to seeing the hearings to maybe gain an insight into what those reasons were, but of course, we were denied that opportunity.

Similarly, the President says his administration fully vetted the DP World ports deal and concluded there was no cause for concern. I'm certainly not going to pretend to be in a better position to make that judgment, but I was looking forward to hearing more facts about what that vetting process was and how risks were addressed. Again, we were denied that opportunity.

Maybe in the end, both of these situations will have happy endings. Time will tell. Certainly, Justice Alito looks to be a great addition to the Court, and hopefully, a suitable American alternative can be found to administer the operations at the ports left vacant by DP World without devastating repercussions for our relationship with UAE or others in the Middle East.

Both events left a bad taste in my mouth, though. We don't need the in-fighting, we don't need the denial of process, and we don't need to hamstring the President we elected.

Help for Ben

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to help our friend Ben to find an alternative outlet for his affections before he moves to France and begins lobbying for universal health care.

The people have now spoken (both of you). Let's hope it's not too late. The results of the poll for Ben's replacement newsbabe are as follows:

Question: To whom should Uncle Ben refocus his attention (instead of outsourcing to the French)?
  • Megyn Kendall.............. 43%

  • Julie Banderas............. 17%

  • Kiran Chetry............... 17%

  • Rebecca Gomez............... 8%

  • Juliet Huddy................ 8%

  • Alisyn Camerota............. 4%

  • Margin of error: +/- 99%. Guaranteed to be as accurate as a Zogby poll.

    Ladies and gentlemen, especially Ben, meet Megyn Kendall, the "winner:"


    Clearly, my readers (both of you) have good taste.

    Pros:
  • IMHO, every bit as cute as Ms. Theuriau

  • To stalk Megyn, airfare only to New York (not Paris) is needed


  • Cons:
  • Megyn is a lawyer, and therefore, should be able to obtain restraining orders quickly

  • Ben will need to convert his tattoo into a blonde


  • I'm just here to help, people. Just here to help.

    ---------------------------------

    UPDATE: Ben is not going down without a fight. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Profiles in education


    (from Cox & Forkum)

    Trivia time

    Here's a little game show fun for your Friday quiz. Big bucks, no whammies!

    Category: Television - Game Shows
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 6 of 10
    Wannabe's score: 4 of 10

    Looks like I'm stuck with the lovely parting gifts backstage...

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Heh

    "What,... oh, that? Come on. It's only half-a-mil. I have that much in the cushions of my couch (that I took with me on my way out of the White House)."


    (from Day by Day)

    Trivia time

    Ok, this one kicked my ass. Have fun!

    Category: Literature - Literary Terms & Quotes
    Difficulty: Tough

    Reported average: 6 of 10
    Wannabe's score: 4 of 10

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Trivia time

    Wednesday's quiz is proudly dubbed "Useless Knowledge."

    Category: General - Useless Trivia
    Difficulty: Tough

    Reported average: 8 of 15
    Wannabe's score: 11 of 15

    I'll bet a few of the Keegan's regulars out there can beat that. C'mon, let me have it!

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Patent pending

    Folks, this is going to be big.

    I think I've just stumbled onto a weight-loss plan that cannot fail. I call it, "Moonbat Bulimia."

  • Step 1 - Eat whatever you want.

  • Step 2 - Look a pictures of Cindy Sheehan arrest photos (HT Leo for 1st one).




  • Step 3 - Toss cookies.

  • Step 4 - Repeat.
  • I'm a little bit evil...

    ...I'm a little bit rock and roll...[sorry]

    You Are 42% Evil

    You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
    Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.


    But I'm not as evil as Kevin.

    Duh.

    Just passing energy....oh, and herpes

    Ah, they grow up so fast.

    When a girl reaches a certain age, she begins to wonder about certain things and begins to ask certain questions. Madonna's daughter, Lourdes, is no exception.

    Nine year old Lourdes asked he mom the same question all little girls ask at some point: "Mommy, why were you kissing Britney Spears?"
    The lusty lip-lock between Madonna and Britney Spears on MTV a couple of summers ago got the Material Girl's daughter mighty curious about who's gay and who's not.
    Madonna confesses in the upcoming issue of Out magazine that 9-year-old Lourdes "is really obsessed" with the topic, and even asked, "Mom, you know they say that you are gay?"

    The superstar singer says she explained that the Spears smooch wasn't sexual and just meant, "I am the mommy pop star and she is the baby pop star. And I am kissing her to pass my energy on to her."

    Wow. Those therapy bills are going to be ginormous!

    Politically incorrect

    Check out this VW commercial:

    German Engineering vs. Islamist Engineering

    Trivia time

    Whip out the ol' banjo for Tuesday's quiz:

    Category: Music Word Play
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 5 of 10
    Wannabe's score: 8 of 10

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    Polls are still open

    The situation is becoming more dire by the day. Ben over at Baguetteswing Hammerswing 75 is now talking about going to France to stalk Melissa for a vacation. [And he also said something about bacon...]

    I'm worried that if he goes over there, he may not come back. Let's give Ben a reason to stay in the States! So far, Megyn Kendall is the top contender (poll on sidebar) to replace Ms. Theuriau. I'll keep the poll open through this week, so vote early and often. Then, the tough reeducation process begins!

    Murtha perpetuates Zogby's junk science

    Rep. John Murtha on CBS's Face the Nation yesterday:
    SCHIEFFER: ....You're saying you no longer believe what Marine General Peter Pace says when he says he thinks things are going well.

    Rep. MURTHA: That's exactly right. Why would I believe him with all the misstatements and mischaracterizations they've made over the last two years? And the public is way ahead of what's going on in Washington. They no longer believe. The troops themselves, 70 percent of the troops said, 'We want to come home within a year.' The only solution to this is redeploy. Let me tell you, the only people who want us in Iraq is Iran and al-Qaeda, and I talked to a top level commander the other day, who's--about two weeks ago, and he said China wants us there also. Why? Because we're depleting our resources. Our phys--our mental--not our mental--our troop resources and our fiscal resources.

    Does that statistic sound familiar? It's from the duly debunked Zogby "poll" from last week.

    This reminds me of the quote, "Lies can travel halfway around the world while the Truth is still putting on its shoes."

    SCOTUS got this one right

    Supreme Court Rules Against Schools in Military Recruiting Case:
    The nation's top law schools lost a significant legal argument on Monday when a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could withhold funding from schools that bar military recruiters in protest of the anti-gay "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

    All eight sitting justices who heard oral arguments in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR) last December rejected the schools' argument that being forced to allow the recruiters on campus violated their First Amendment rights.

    "Students and faculty are free to associate to voice their disapproval of the military's message," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. "Recruiters are, by definition, outsiders who come onto campus for the limited purpose of trying to hire students - not to become members of the school's expressive association."

    Ironically, the First Amendment rights for which the liberal pussies Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights is fighting would not exist were it not for the very military for which the protestees are recruiting.

    RIP, Kirby

    Kirby Puckett (1960 - 2006) died today following a stroke.

    I moved to Minnesota from Illinois in 1991, so the Twins' last World Series win was my first October here. Not being a native Minnesotan, I had no particular rooting interest in the Twins' winning the Series that year per se, but I do remember a sense of pride for my new home state when the Twins beat the Braves in seven.

    Of course, the big highlight of that Series was Kirby's walkoff homerun in the 11th inning of game six. That moment solidified the Hall of Famer's reputation as a clutch player. In addition, he was very likable and projected a positive on-field image to the fans.

    Despite a few off-the-field allegations of bad behavior following his retirement, I'm hopeful that history will remember Puckett for the good role model he was to kids while he wore the uniform.

    Trivia time

    An easy Monday quiz for you:

    Category: Entertainment Grab Bag
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 5 of 10
    Wannabe score: 6 of 10

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Quick pause to reflect

    Thursday (March 1) was my one-year "blogiversary."

    After being a blog consumer for some time, I'd had some passing, semi-serious thoughts of starting a blog of my own. Then, I went to the Patriot event with the Hugh Hewitt / Peter Beinart debate last January and had the opportunity to shake hands with the Commissioner himself.

    At the time, Hugh was plugging his book, "Blog," so naturally, he asked me, "So have you started a blog yet?" I stammered and muttered something about not getting around to it yet, and he said, "Start one today."

    Well, I took his advice, albeit belatedly. What put me over the edge was when one day on Hugh's show, he was partaking in the age-old sport of tearing apart the Star Tribune. He said that his Minnesota listeners should start a consortium of blogs whose mission would be to fisk the Strib on a daily basis. I took the bait.

    As it turns out, there already existed Anti-Strib and plenty of others already on the case of dismantling the Star & Sickle, brick by red brick. It's just as well. A full time job of fisking the local bird cage liner would have actually required that I read it [shudder].

    But I kept the blog, and the last year has been a blast. I passed the hazing and initiation and became a full-fledged member of the MOB at the end of April. Thanks to Thursday night trivia at Keegan's and MOB events, I've had the pleasure of meeting many of the MOB brothers and sisters, and without exception, they have been friendly, helpful, and supportive.

    In particular, I'd like to thank Kevin (Eckernet), Sequel (Anti-Strib), and Peter (One Big Swede) of the MOB and Mitch (Shot in the Dark) and Brian and Chad (Fraters Libertas) of the Northern Alliance for their early words of welcome and encouragement.

    And there are many more with whom I've had the pleasure to make acqaintance over the past twelve months - far too many to list them all, but there are a few more I want to acknowledge. I'm grateful to Andy (Residual Forces), Mr. & Mrs. Noodles (Peoples Republic of Minnesota), and John (Policy Guy) for going out of their way to make me feel welcome during my first visit to Keegan's. Also, thanks to Uncle Ben (Hammerswing 75) for being my most frequent visitor/commenter and for his frequent nudges to post more often (I'll forgive him for his taste in women.).

    My blog is still pretty small potatoes (just past the 6,000 visitor / 12,000 page view marks), but I'm having a lot of fun doing it. I'm hoping that as my writing continues to get better and more frequent, more traffic will follow. Even ignoring the aberrant spike in February from those looking for the nude curling calendar, there appears to be a steady increase in traffic that I hope will continue.




    Many thanks to all! Keep coming back!

    Trivia time

    Here's one for the fellow math geeks out there. Not for the faint of heart!

    Category: Science & Tech - Math
    Difficulty: Very difficult

    Reported average: 4 of 10
    Wannabe's score: 10 of 10

    Enjoy!

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Kessler lets one slip

    I was listening to the Pat Kessler show this morning (unfortunately). While Mr. Kessler professes to be entirely non-partisan, occasionally he'll let some lefty talking points slip through. Today was no exception.

    Of course, like everyone else, he was discussing "the tape." [insert ominous music] What did Bush know and when did he know it? Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, Kessler, on the subject of maintaining the levees in New Orleans pre-Katrina, said this (from memory, may not be exact):
    The responsibility for maintaining the levees lies with the Federal government. Now, for some reason - and we can argue whether it's because of the Iraq war or whatever - that wasn't getting done.

    Really? Well, Pat's partially right. It is the responsibility of the Feds to make sure that money is available (and it was!). However, it is the responsibity of the locals to make sure that money is appropriated correctly. There is plenty of evidence that that didn't happen:
    Before Hurricane Katrina breached a levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic.

    Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.

    In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

    Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.

    For example, after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations. The Corps also spends tens of millions of dollars a year dredging little-used waterways such as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Atchafalaya River and the Red River -- now known as the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway, in honor of the project's congressional godfather -- for barge traffic that is less than forecast
    ....

    Read the whole thing. Call it a "Reality Check."

    The funding for the GWOT and the funding for the NO levees have nothing to do with each other. If the money that should have gone toward maintaining the levees didn't get there, don't blame Bush. Blame it on state and local government and its representatives for a combination of corruption, neglect, and diversion of funds to other pork.

    Was he or wasn't he?

    Mary Katherine Ham suggests that David Gregory was drunk when he called in to the Imus show this morning.

    However, a guest blogger to Mary Katherine's site says otherwise.

    Who can say for sure? A caller into Hugh's show tonight had a good idea, though. Let's get the expert opinion from Larry O'Donnell's lawyer friends.

    ---------------------

    UPDATE: Scott at Idea Orchard emails to report an effort to get David Gregory fired.

    I'm against this, of course. He's too valuable in making the MSM lefties look bad.

    Baseball been Barry Barry good to me

    Barry Bonds Reality Show to Hit Airwaves
    SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds' reality TV show chronicling the slugger during his pursuit of Hank Aaron's career home run record will debut April 4 on ESPN2, the network announced Wednesday.

    The show, titled "Bonds on Bonds" and produced by Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins, will offer a weekly behind-the-scenes look at Bonds and the San Francisco Giants throughout the season. Bonds, who turns 42 in July, enters 2006 with 708 homers, seven shy of passing Babe Ruth and 48 from breaking Aaron's mark
    ....

    Word has it that the show was retitled, "Bonds on Bonds," after its original title, "I'm a Pompous Asshole with Shriveled Testicles from Years of Steroid Use," scored poorly with focus groups.

    Trivia time

    Enjoy a nice, easy one for Thurday's quiz. The one I've picked out for tomorrow is a doozy!

    Category: General - Names
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported averge: 7 of 10
    Wannabe's score: 10 of 10 (woo hoo!)

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Melissa Theuriau - new face of the left?

    I tried to warn you. The following is from Scott Baradell at Media Orchard:
    Media Orchard may have finally found the secret weapon in convincing right-wing blowhards [Thank you!] to stop demonizing the French.

    She's Melissa Theuriau, a 27-year-old anchor for French broadcaster LCI.

    Dan Stover goes so far as to warn fellow conservative bloggers that drooling over a French anchorwoman is politically incorrect, and offers a selection of red-blooded Fox News alternatives.

    Viva la France
    .

    You see, this is why the intervention was necessary.

    Admiration of the uber-cute Ms. Theuriau may seem harmless, but I think the proper analogy is that of a gateway drug. It's not too late, though.

    We need to save Ben before we see him in a "John Kerry '08" tee shirt!

    Trivia time

    Having two little ones helped me some - but not a lot - with Wednesday's quiz.

    Category: Brain Teasers
    Difficulty: Tough

    Reported average: 5 of 10
    Wannabe's score: 6 of 10

    Can you top that?