August 29, 2005
— Ace I'm completely sure this is a spoof, but damnit, it seems to have a valid URL.
British tourists have left the residents of one charming Austrian village effing and blinding by constantly stealing the signs for their oddly-named village.
While British visitors are finding it hilarious, the residents of
F---ing are failing to see the funny side, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.
Only one kind of crimimal ever stalks the sleepy 32-house village near Salzburg on the German border -- cheeky British tourists armed with a sense of humour and a screwdriver.
But the local authorities are hitting back and with the signs now set in concrete, police chief Kommandant Schmidtberger is on the lookout.
"We will not stand for the F---ing signs being removed," the officer told the broadsheet.
Guesthouse boss Augustina Lindlbauer described the village's breathtaking lakes, forests and vistas.
"Yet still there is this obsession with F---ing," she said.
"Just this morning I had to tell an English lady who stopped by that there were no F---ing postcards."
Thanks to Kevin.
Snopes Says: Real. Includes a picture of one of those highly-prized signs.
Thanks to Matt and Jack.
August 28, 2005
— Ace And I do mean that. It's not exactly a secret that the CIA is waging a political civil war against the Pentagon and Bush Administration. But I think Chris Hitchens, in an article worth reading for other reasons (including a long list of reasons to be proud of the war in Iraq), sums up the situation neatly:
Childishness is one thing[, but] puerility in adults is quite another thing, and considerably less charming. "You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center attack in 1993, subsequently sought and found refuge in Baghdad; that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's senior physicist, was able to lead American soldiers to nuclear centrifuge parts and a blueprint for a complete centrifuge (the crown jewel of nuclear physics) buried on the orders of Qusay Hussein; that Saddam's agents were in Damascus as late as February 2003, negotiating to purchase missiles off the shelf from North Korea; or that Rolf Ekeus, the great Swedish socialist who founded the inspection process in Iraq after 1991, has told me for the record that he was offered a $2 million bribe in a face-to-face meeting with Tariq Aziz. And these eye-catching examples would by no means exhaust my repertoire, or empty my quiver. Yes, it must be admitted that Bush and Blair made a hash of a good case, largely because they preferred to scare people rather than enlighten them or reason with them. Still, the only real strategy of deception has come from those who believe, or pretend, that Saddam Hussein was no problem.
[H]aving debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"
I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)
There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness.
— Ace 'Bout bloody time:
Britain was preparing to round up a clutch of Islamists for deportation as its crackdown on "unacceptable behaviour" kicks in, newspapers said on Sunday. Britains interior minister announced on Wednesday his intention to bar or throw out foreigners who "foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence", in response to the London terror bombings which killed 56 people in July.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke unveiled a string of "unacceptable behaviours" and said he would use his powers to deport and exclude foreigners engaging in any of the numerous activities listed.
The Sunday Times said the internal security service MI5 had drawn up a list of 50 "preachers of hate" who face expulsion under the new rules. The weekly said MI5 had passed on to the government its list of extremists considered to pose a threat.
This gentleman seems to have gotten the message:
The Sunday Times understood the list to include London-based Saudi dissidents Mohammad Al Masari and Saad Al Faqih, plus Egyptian dissident Yasser Al Siri. Masari hastily shut down parts of his controversial website on Saturday, blaming the clampdown for the closure. His Internet site featured videos of beheadings and suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq.
The left is fond of quoting (as is most everybody) the aphorism that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.
The trouble with the left, of course, is that it is so busy justifying evil -- defending it, "contextualizing" it, blaming the evil not on the evildoers themselves but on "root causes" and "western imperialism," falling over themselves to "understand" those who have sworn themselves to nearly demonic violence -- that they consistently do nothing in the face of evil.
And then have the gall to call themselves superior to the good men actually standing up to evil.
Clem Hafford: Is there gonna be a fight, Wyatt?
Wyatt Earp: I think there must be.
Doc Holliday: What do you want to do?
Wyatt Earp: Kill them all.
-- from the horribly underrated Wyatt Earp
— Ace Less than three weeks to go. Obviously, it would create a major change in German, and European, positioning vis a vis America.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Sunday he is counting on undecided voters to save him from defeat in an election that polls show he is likely lose.
In an interview he also pledged to fight to the last minute for re-election, adding the fact his Social Democrat Party (SPD) trailed in opinion polls only fired him on.
"We are fighting to become the largest party. Certainly the circumstances have been more favourable in the past, but that merely spurs me on," Schroeder told ZDF television.
"I am counting on the last 14 days, that is the decisive time when undecided voters make up their minds."
Three weeks before Germany's general election, Angela Merkel's conservatives (CDU/CSU) have a 12-to-14 point advantage, boosted by voters' appetite for change at the top after years of chronic unemployment and weak economic growth.
Next Sunday Schroeder faces Merkel in a head-to-head television debate, where he is expected to hold an advantage, as the more charismatic and experienced screen performer.
On the other hand, the CDU/CSU has apparently been running against East Germany (Germany's communist stronghold, of course) and is alienating East German voters.
— Ace 27% of Republicans favor him; 24% favor McCain. 13% are in fantasyland and favor non-candidate Condoleeza Rice, while Frist garners only 9%.
No cite; it was mentioned on Chris Matthews' show today.
Did I mention that Rudy Guiliani could easily win in New York, even against Hillary, and there is no possible Democratic scenario for winning the presidency without winning New York?
— Ace On the MacLaughlin group today. Repeatedly referred to our soldiers as "mercenaries."
She didn't even distinguish as the Daily "Screw 'em" Kos did between non-military contractors and regular soldiers.
She based this claim on the fact that they were volunteers, and hence fought "for money."
Whoops! Of course I meant "mercenary army" in the headline.
— LauraW. According to the latest measurements, Hurricane Katrina looks like a Cat 5.5, carbon copy of Camille.
Keep scrolling down that site. It's unbelievable, and looks like its about to happen again.
Update: The text is incredible too.
In a truly biblical tale, one survivor told of sitting in his home during Camille, and watching as the ocean water spread through his yard and eventually flooded the first floor of his home. Retreating to the attic, the water was quickly neck deep, forcing him to kick out the small attic window and swim to a large transmission tower at the rear of his property. As he struggled to climb up the tower, he watched in horror, as the roof of his home went under water. He had lived 2 miles from the ocean.
— Ace Phelps is a disgusting nutbag homophobe and all-around crank and I've said so before.
The MSM seems interested in his vile protests. Because they believe they can link him to the right. (Although, as my commenters pointed out, he is a Democrat.)
Protesting the wounded. Criminy.
Left-wing trolls will argue they're not really "protesting" the wounded per se. And yes, they're not calling the babykillers or claiming "they got what they deserved." But I don't think someone who just lost a leg can be happy to see this sort of sloganeering outside his window:
Washington (CNSNews.com) - The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the current home of hundreds of wounded veterans from the war in Iraq, has been the target of weekly anti-war demonstrations since March. The protesters hold signs that read "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton."
Among the props used by the protesters are mock caskets, lined up on the sidewalk to represent the death toll in Iraq.
Code Pink Women for Peace, one of the groups backing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas, organizes the protests at Walter Reed as well.
On Aug. 19, as the anti-war protesters chanted slogans such as "George Bush kills American soldiers," Cybercast News Service observed several wounded war veterans entering and departing the gates of Walter Reed, some with prosthetic limbs. Most of the demonstrations have been held on Friday evenings, a popular time for the family members of wounded soldiers to visit the hospital.
But the anti-war activists were unapologetic when asked whether they considered such signs as "Maimed for Lies" offensive to wounded war veterans and their families.
"I am more offended by the fact that many were maimed for life. I am more offended by the fact that they (wounded veterans) have been kept out of the news," said Kevin McCarron, a member of the anti-war group Veterans for Peace.
Kevin Pannell, who was recently treated at Walter Reed and had both legs amputated after an ambush grenade attack near Baghdad in 2004, considers the presence of the anti-war protesters in front of the hospital "distasteful."
When he was a patient at the hospital, Pannell said he initially tried to ignore the anti-war activists camped out in front of Walter Reed, until witnessing something that enraged him.
"We went by there one day and I drove by and [the anti-war protesters] had a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk. That, I thought, was probably the most distasteful thing I had ever seen. Ever," Pannell, a member of the Army's First Cavalry Division, told Cybercast News Service.
"You know that 95 percent of the guys in the hospital bed lost guys whenever they got hurt and survivors' guilt is the worst thing you can deal with," Pannell said, adding that other veterans recovering from wounds at Walter Reed share his resentment for the anti-war protesters.
"We don't like them and we don't like the fact that they can hang their signs and stuff on the fence at Walter Reed," he said. "[The wounded veterans] are there to recuperate. Once they get out in the real world, then they can start seeing that stuff (anti-war protests). I mean Walter Reed is a sheltered environment and it needs to stay that way."
Bias? Nahhhh. Just all that j-school-instilled "news judgment" we're always hearing so much about.
— Ace You'd almost think they weren't interested in "peace" at all, but rather in the destruction of the state of Israel entirely:
The bombing raised pressure on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to crack down on militant groups. Israel has said any progress in peacemaking after the Gaza withdrawal will require Abbas to disarm the militants -- a step he so far has been unwilling to take.
Abbas denounced the bombing as a "terror attack," and called on Israel to show restraint and continue to respect a shaky, six-month-old cease-fire. "We condemn such attacks. We don't accept them, and we call on everyone to refrain from retaliation," he said.
Odd that leftists are very high on disarming American citizens but seem to care not a whit about disarming mass-murdering Palestinian terrorists.
— Ace Just a head's up; got an early confirmation, so I want to let everyone know early.
He has agreed to talk about the Huffington Post. He's not a fan. He's also not shy about saying so.
— Ace Eh. Give them the desert and let them literally pound sand.
— Ace Must-read post. Not only does it strongly suggest deep Iranian direct involvement with the 9/11 attacks, it also demonstrates that the CIA routinely discards, dismisses, and denigrates any information that disagrees with its basic narrative of what's going on in the world.
Nor does the Commission bring up another story that Timmerman reveals in his book (pages 7-9). On July 26, 2001, an Iranian intelligence agent walked into the American embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, and asked to see the CIA chief. He finally talks to two CIA functionaries: "Joan", who assesses his story and decides it needs further review, and "George", a CIA case handler who laughs Zakeri out of the embassy. The story?
There's going to be a big attack on America on the twentieth of Shahrivar, Zakeri insisted. That's the date my boss told us to be ready. Six people who have been trained as pilots have just left Iran.
George consulted a calendar that gave the corresponding Western dates. So we're talking about September 10, right? I'll mark my date book, he added sarcastically. He paid Zakeri a few hundred dollars for his time and sent him away.
July 26 came just two weeks after Mohammed Atta met with Ramzi Binalshibh in Madrid to finalize the date for the 9/11 attacks...
The CIA handler misinterpreted 20 Shahrivar; in fact, that date came out to 11 September. None of this gets any mention in the 9/11 Commission report either, despite the testimony from Zakeri being read out in a German court in January 2004. When Timmerman checked out Zakeri's stories against known data, it came up correct. However, when Timmerman contacted the CIA about Zakeri, they reacted uncharacteristically hostile to Zakeri -- but they refused to answer when asked about the July 26, 2001 meeting.
Keep this in mind when you read about the ongoing feud between the CIA and the Bush Administration.
The CIA is arrogant... which would be fine, if it knew what the hell it was doing. But it doesn't. It's both arrogant and incompetent, which is a dangerous mix.
— Ace Communications technology isn't as sexy as, say, lasers or flyin' cars, but it's certainly having some interesting and important effects on our society.
First of all, it save a great deal of time -- a very precious commodity. In Japan, phones are common with GPS built into them, so if you need to find your way to a bar or restaurant or residence, you can just enter the address, and the phone will actually plot you a map to getting there. From your current address to the door you're looking for.
And it seems that all these cameras are going to put a serious dent into street crime, too. Sure will make prosecutions a hell of a lot easier-- hard to argue with a photograph showing you with your wee-wee out.
— Ace Anathema to many, and I'm sure not a fan of Minetta. But...
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta proposed imaginative fuel efficiency standards for new SUVs, vans and pickups. This scheme would divide light trucks into a half-dozen categories based on size, not weight.
By 2011, the smallest so-called "truck" (a PT Cruiser) would have to attain 28.4 mpg, while the largest could get by with 21.3. Add a few inches, and the standards drop. Fatten up to 8,500 pounds, and there are no rules.
I don't know... given the situation we're in, is it horrible for the government to coerce auto manufacturers into engineering these large vehicles to get slightly better mileage?
It's not impossible, and it's not always necessary to simply lighten the vehicle up and replace life-saving steel with weaker aluminum alloys:
The editorial cites a report "from President Bush's own Environmental Protection Agency" supposedly proving "America's cars and trucks are significantly less efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980s, and that leaps in technology have been used to make vehicles more powerful but not more fuel efficient."
What did that EPA report show about those demonized SUVs? In 1978, SUVs weighed 4,202 pounds, produced 146 horsepower and got only 12.3 miles per gallon (mpg) in combined city-highway driving. By 1988, they were down to 3,859 pounds, had only 144 horsepower but got 17.4 mpg.
By 2005, by contrast, SUVs were up to 4,649 pounds and had 236 horsepower yet achieved a record 18.1 mpg. That demonstrates a huge fuel efficiency increase -- much more space, safety, comfort and performance with less fuel. Efficiency means getting more for less, not getting less for more. The United States is impressively energy-efficient.
That can be interpreted two different ways. One, we don't need additional government coercion, because manufacturers already have an economic incentive to produce higher-efficiency vehicles.
Or, two, we can engineer cars to get slightly better mileage without reducing weight and safety, and if the government can act as a spur to give engineers additional motivation to do so, perhaps we should.
I don't know. As I've said before, yes, I'm generally against government regulation, but there's a tragedy-of-the-commons sort of effect here that keeps increasing our dependency on oil controlled by terrorist-friendly or terrorist-sponsoring nations.
What if SUV's shed about 400 pounds, bringing them closer to the 1998 average, but kept the 2005 engineering making them more fuel efficient? A two-ton road yacht is still nothing to sneeze at. And perhaps they could get 20 or 21 mpg. Not a huge increase, but not a trivial one either.
Government coercion in technological matters has benefits. (I know it also has drawbacks.) But a forced emphasis on improving a technology will, almost invariably, make that technology more advanced and also cheaper, even if it is simply due to wider utilization (the more people who have it, the cheaper per-unit cost of research and development and manufacturing costs).
— Ace Always a touchy subject. But obviously there are differences between men and women, including in how our brains work; men and women are essentially alien species to one another, linked only by the fact that our genitals seem to to fit together. If it weren't for genitals and pheremones, we'd be like the white-black and black-white aliens on Star Trek.
Evolutionary biologists have some theories that feed into an explanation for the disparity. In primitive societies, men did the hunting, which often took them far from home. Males with the ability to recognize landscapes from different orientations and thereby find their way back had a survival advantage. Men who could process trajectories in three dimensionsthe trajectory, say, of a spear thrown at an edible mammalalso had a survival advantage.8 Women did the gathering. Those who could distinguish among complex arrays of vegetation, remembering which were the poisonous plants and which the nourishing ones, also had a survival advantage. Thus the logic for explaining why men should have developed elevated three-dimensional visuospatial skills and women an elevated ability to remember objects and their relative locationsdifferences that show up in specialized tests today.
But this doesn't explain why a woman, flicking through channels on TV, always seems to find two women talking in a kitchen -- a repeated scenario constituting 90% of all female-friendly Movies of the Week -- endlessly fascinating and the subject for further investigation. You can try blocking out the We and Oxygen and Lifetime channels, but they have evolved the ability and drive to unblock these channels.
I guess I know the answer-- women are more interested in and adept at detecting social clues about relationships and power-positions between women, and find two women talking in a kitchen an interesting little puzzle for exploration into alpha and beta, dominant and submissive behaviors.
Men, meanwhile, just see two women talking in a kitchen and comprehend that, whatever fascinating dominance-displays are behing exhibited, neither sandwiches nor brownies are being made. It's all, therefore, a horrible waste of time and resources.
Men, meantime, have evolved the drive to watch documentaries about the history of airplanes, because we have some deep-seeded biological imperative to hear things about the Spruce Goose we've already heard six thousand times before.
If Murray really wants to do the world a service, he can research the reasons women ask their favorite question -- "Are you mad at me?" -- even when you're plainly not mad, just admiring the planking on the Spruce Goose; and why women, even when plainly, demostratively angry (and making sure you know that) keep saying "No, nothing's wrong" when you ask them, but then get even angrier when you stop asking and go back to watching Shark Week on TBS.
— Ace Investigating whether or not a Democratic Representative, William Jefferson, authorized payments to Nigerian officials to ease the entry of a Kentucky broadband internet firm into Africa.
Hmmmm... I guess I need to offer an opinion. I think the Federal Corrupt Business Practices Act makes bribes to foreign officials or businessmen illegal. I never really understood that law. I don't want bribes coming in; I'm not sure if I care if they're going out. I care about good clean government at home; I care a hell of a lot less about good clean government overseas; most countries are about 50 or 100 years away from developing even the regrettably-low standards of governmental and business clealiness we have now.
Yes, it's a shady practice and yadda yadda yadda, but this is how business is done in most of the world, and I've gotta think that businesses (and, I guess, politicians) are typically forced into the difficult situation of either breaking the law or putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
And I think most of the time they'll opt to not put themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
It's an idealistic law, and thus, very stupid. Sure, it's a bit embarassing that we might have politicians involved in this, but it's also sort of unhelpful to raid the US residence of a high foreign dignitary.
— Tanker We already knew that this minor league degenerate was a loser by the way he treated Michelle Malkin.
August 27, 2005
— Ace Third time's a charm. Confirms there was a chart with Atta's name and picture on it.
And some interesting news about why Able Danger was ended -- because back in 2000, while she was still Provost at Stanford, their data-mining techinques pinpointed Condoleeza Rice as a potential spy for the Chinese government.
Okay-- sure, that's surely a miss, and that would make the Clinton Administration less likely to trust other AD findings. But data-mining has never promised a perfect accuracy rate -- it's a tool, and largely a mathematical one, and it always has to be checked against common sense and human understanding.
Still, the claim is that AD was disbanded because the Rice incident convinced officials at the time that what they were doing was close to "spying" on Americans. They weren't-- they were analyzing publicly-available information, and they should not have been disbanded.
— Tanker I'm sure they'll figure a way to blame it on America:
Brigitte Bardot, the 1950s and 1960s film star turned animal rights campaigner, has called on the French government to halt the reported use by fishermen on the island of RÃ©union of live puppies and kittens as shark bait.
August 26, 2005
— Ace Am I right or am I right?
Anyway, the Nazis are joining Saint Cindy and her Code Pink peace-whores in Crawford.
Smells like a romantic comedy in the making.
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