November 28, 2006
— Ace The Christianist threat.
Where is Andrew Sulivan (patron saint: The Madonna (Louise Ciccone)) when we most need him?
It should be noted that a fair number of Democrats opposed the corrupt judge's elevation to the charimanship, too. Presumably, they're haters too.
— Ace But wait -- I've been assured countless times that fighting terrorism in Iraq is precisely what our enemies want us to do. Greatest recruiting tool for terrorism and all that.
So why does Iran want us out so badly?
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that security would not be restored in Iraq until US- led forces quit the country.
"The first step to solve the security issue in Iraq is the exit of the occupiers from this country and leaving the security issues to the people-based Iraqi government," Khamenei said during a meeting in Teheran with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
"Americans will absolutely not succeed in Iraq, and the continuation of Iraq's occupation is not a mouthful that Americans can swallow."
He put the blame for Iraq's insecurity on "some US agents in the region, who are mediators of these policies," and said that "inflaming the wave of insecurity and killings in Iraq will be very dangerous for the US agents and the region."
He also pledged that the Islamic republic would go to Iraq's assistance if requested. "If the Iraqi government asks, Iran will not refrain from any action to establish stability and security," he said.
— Ace The mainstreaming of transgenderism continues unabated. Even in our forests.
When Carmen Erickson dropped a deer with a single shot in a cattail slough south of here, he thought he'd downed a nice buck. Unlike his shot, he was a little off. The deer was a doe.
"It's got no male utilities," said Erickson, who lives in Minot. "It has teats ... it was pretty unusual."
Six hunting partners with Erickson witnessed the doe with a 4-by-4 rack.
"We couldn't find any male genitals on the deer," he said.
"We turned it over, and I got a lot of heat over that. Like I was supposed to know," Erickson joked.
Gary Rankin, district game warden in Larimore, said he has seen a couple of antlered does over the years, but for a doe to have a well-developed rack is unusual.
Thanks to Blacksheep.
— Ace Which should be like every three or four lines.
Let's cut right to what this "civil war" fanfare in the media is really all about: It has nothing to do with the ongoing violence in Iraq, and everything to do with the fact that these media organizations, which are struggling to maintain their relevance in a rapidly changing industry, feel the need to assert themselves and remind the public of their importance, and what better way than by calling the war for the insurgents and starting a push to solidify public opinion in favor of immediate withdrawal?
Indeed. And with their influence greatly diminished, they have to resort to more transparent stunts and shrilly partisan "announcements" to push their agenda.
If no one's paying attention to you, scream louder.
I don't know if that will work. People tend to tune out shrieking after a time.
Guess the jury's still out on that one.
— Ace On FoxNow. Alcee Hastings made the statement himself, so apparently he was told it just wasn't in the cards.
Nancy Pelosi announced she would begin the hard work in finding a sufficiently ethical and qualified replacement for Hastings. First name on her list? William "Cold Cash" Jefferson.
— Ace A safe for work report on the public pooteration, from ABCNews, which cynically suggests it's a publicity ploy.
Spears is the latest star to give people a glimpse of what's usually covered up, a trend that asks the question: What value, if any, does culture place on modesty today?
On Nov. 22, cameras caught Spears, the recently separated pop star and mother of two, in a leopard-print minidress so short it revealed her underwear.
Two days later, Spears was photographed getting out of a car in a hiked-up miniskirt. This time, her underwear was nowhere to be found.
According to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Spears' up-skirt shots are no mistake they're a classic cry for attention.
"She wants the picture taken. She wants the publicity. She wants people talking about her," Hilton said of Spears. "That's what people love to see more than anything. Why do you think celebrity sex tapes sell so well?"
The photos, which spread virally across the Internet, gained Spears entry to a club ruled by repeat flashers Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Cameras have caught Lohan panty-less four times over the last two months.
"You'd think she'd either wear pants or panties, or be more careful about how she exits a car," blogger Hilton said. "Four times. That's no accident. That's deliberate."
Nonsense. Sometimes, when you're doing six-dimensional matrix multiplication in your head, you just forget to wear your underwear.
Below are the links, which are, of course, not safe for work.
Seriously, not safe for work.
All I know is that Paris Hilton is right there in upskirt beaver shot. She just seems to bring distasteful public displays of sexuality with her wherever she goes.
Okay, once again: Not safe for work.
I'm only posting this horrid filth to cushion the blow over the claim, from PerezHilton, that there is no Jessica Simpson sex tape. No link; that's all he says. He doesn't link to anything and he doesn't say how he knows this.
Thanks to the Portly Pirate.
— Ace No, not really. Just trying to make a point.
As everyone knows, NBCNews decided to make itself part of the story, and manufacture news, by claiming they had, in their Solomonic wisdom, divined that the violence in Iraq is in fact a "civil war." Which Bush and CENTCOM deny, of course.
Now, one could, without straining definitions, easily categorize the violence as a "civil war." It's not implausible to say we are looking at a sort of low-intensity civil war.
But neither is it implausible to say a true civil war is a higher-intensity sort of affair, not merely abushes and terror attacks here or there, but something resembling open armed combat with battlelines and areas controlled by one faction or the other -- you know, what we usually require for the purposes of calling a conflict a "civil war."
NBCNews violated three major principles of journalism here. More, depending on how you count them.
1) Editorial Bias. Obviously, their claim is designed to cast Bush and CENTCOM as liars, or at least as detached from reality. The media claims to avoid resolving, of their own "expertise," contentious issues such as this (especially purely semantic ones), preferring a he said/she said version of reportage. Note how the media is unwilling to call the Iraqi terrorists "terrorists." Bush and CENTCOM call them terrorists, the terrorists say they're f reedom fighters, the media declines to weigh in on the sematic argument and instead opts for the neutral "insurgents."
There is a lot more clear-cut evidence to call these people "terrorists" than to call the conflict a "civil war." Why is NBCNews so eager to editorialize on one semantic argument but not another?
2) Making themselves the story. "We Report, You Decide." Not for NBCNews. They've decided to report and decide, and, rather than the usual convention of quoting experts for one claim or another, have announced that they themselves are a repository of sufficient expertise to begin rendering judgments.
3) Manufacturing news. There's no new "news" here, except for the fact that NBCNews has decided that it is now a newsworthy player in the conflict itself, and its thinking on this matter is as important -- nay, more so -- than, say, CENTCOM's.
Now, as for my headline: Obviously any plan that involves our troops "redepolying" out of theater -- usually called "retreating" -- is a "cut and run" plan. It is at least a retreat, and a surrender.
This is clear. There is a semantic argument about it, but it is an absurd one -- when you retreat and surrender, well, you're retreating and surrendering. Words have meanings, and "fleeing from the enemy" is a definition of "retreat."
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that retreating isn't our best option; one can still make a case that such a retreat is in our best interests, and may leave us in a better position to attack our enemies than continuing to fight. And one can claim that the war is unwinnable, making a retreat the preferrable choice.
But one thing you cannot claim is that a retreat is anything other than a retreat. The Democrats continue insisting that their plan to cut and run is really a "tough, strong" "aggressive redeployment" to Okinawa. This is a far sillier semantic claim that maintaining that Iraq is not in civil war. Any number of experts can tell you that in standard military terminology, conceding a theater of battle to an enemy and retracting away from it is a "retreat."
And yet NBCNews feels no particular compunction to settle this fairly-easily resolved semantic debate.
Why the difference?
Note that NBCNews, like all other media organizations, has barely any personnel in Iraq at all, and what few they do have are largely stationed in the Green Zone.
But actually going out there and getting into the sand and blood to report on a war is expensive, nevermind dangerous. Far easier to "report" from the safety of the New York offices, with a hundred liberals calling a dozen liberal "experts" to make up some "news" that they already all knew, at least in their hearts.
I anxiously await NBCNews convening a panel of experts to finally resolve the semantic argument over the definition of "retreat." I imagine it's coming any day now.
And then they can get right on deciding if a living human fetus -- undeniably both "human" and "life" -- is a "human life" or not.
— Ace The map and timeline, though the latter seems fuzzy. Note that this timeline now claims that the sushi bar meeting with Prof. Scaramello was well before the Millenium Bar meeting with the Russian agents, making the nuke expert seem to be a pretty good candidate for the poisoning in my mind.
Why are all of these traces of the toxin showing up in different places? I don't know, but it seems possible that Litvinenko was slipped something he would continue to ingest throughout the day -- say, a pack of poisoned cigarettes.
Or, let's say he was poisoned via sushi. The radioactive material would be all over his hands (even if he did use chopsticks, he'd have still touched the plate the sushi was on). So he'd be transferring trace amounts of radiation throughout the day.
Via A.J. Strata, who is continuing to push the theory that Berezovsky is behind the poisoning. Which I still think is pretty farfetched. He seizes upon Alex Goldfarb's claim that Litvinenko may have sweated out the poisoon at Berezovsky's offices as a "slip up" in the plan, stating as a fact that Litvinenko couldn't have been sweating radioactive material.
Well, I don't know if that's true, but I don't think Alex Goldfarb is an expert in radioactive poisoning, so either way, I don't see this as a "slip up" so much as a non-expert taking guesses, the same as many of us are.
Given that Goldfarb was in close contact with Litvinenko through his illness, and also worked for Berezovsky, I don't see why traces of the toxin couldn't have been passed to Goldfarb and then to the offices.
Then again, that could just be completely implausible. It seems possible to me just because I don't know what I'm talking about.
But I haven't read that traces of the toxin couldn't be transferred in such a way.
Thanks to Larwyn.
November 27, 2006
— Ace Those dumb, uncultured, uneducated Canadians:
A Canadian man who could not figure out how to deal with his girlfriend's feverish 10-month-old daughter put the baby into a freezer to cool her down, a local newspaper reported on Friday.
Derrick Hardy faces charges of criminal negligence and assaulting the infant, who was rescued when her mother came home, the Charlottetown Guardian said.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said the mother found the girl crammed into the freezer alongside ice cubes and hamburger meat.
Come on -- kids love the freezer. Ice cubes and hamburger meat? The only thing that could make it more like Heaven would be if she were buried in Fudgicles.
Hardy said he had left the door ajar but the mother said it had been closed when she returned.
You've heard the old saying: feed a cold, asphyxiate a fever.
Fire needs oxygen to burn, right? 'Nuff said.
He told a court in the eastern province of Prince Edward Island on Thursday the child had only been in the freezer for about 40 seconds.
Hardy, 21, who admitted to police that he had no real parenting skills to deal with a sick child...
He admitted that? Seems like quite a concession.
... said he had noticed the girl was very hot and put a cool cloth on her face, but this had no effect.
He then carried the girl outside into the night air but, frustrated that this also did not work and worried she might drown if placed in a cold bath, he put the baby into the kitchen freezer. She was wearing only an undershirt.
The only thing is... isn't an ice-bath used, sometimes, with a very bad fever?
Well, okay, it's different. But the principle is about the same, or might look that way to a moron.
Now, closing the door...
Apparently he was worried enough about the fever to put the kid into an icebox, but not quite so worried to call a doctor.
Thanks to yls.
— Ace He was laughing as he said this, which sort of mitigates it as intended as a bit of silly schtick.
Still, the fact that nobody's talking about this, whereas Rush Limbaugh was already fired by this point in his ESPN-inappropriate-racial-remarks controversy, speaks volumes.
This happened some days ago, and I only just heard of it. Not quite the media firestorm of the Rush Limbaugh comments, is it?
You may have missed when noted sociologist and anthropological expert Michael Irvin stated that Tony Romo must have African lineage in his genome, which explains why the Dallas Cowboys quarterback is such a good athlete.
Said Irvin on a national radio show this week: "He doesn't look like he's that type of an athlete. But he is. He is, man. I don't know ... some brother down in that line somewhere ... I don't know who saw what or where, his great-great-great-great-grandma ran over in the 'hood or something went down."
But he said it and I do not believe Irvin was kidding. The host of the show apparently did not think Irvin was joking, either. He responded to Irvin, "Oh, that's the only way he can be a great athlete?"
"That's not the only way, but it's certainly one way," Irvin replied. "If great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma pulled one of them studs up out of the barn (and said), 'Come on in here for a second,' you know, and they go out and work in the yard. You know, back in the day."
I'm not sure I should be outraged! by this. I know I'm not. Although I suppose it is the equivalent, sort of, of suggesting that a bright black person must have "some white in 'im."
Maybe it's time for everyone to just stop making such a big deal over such remarks -- on both sides of the racial aisle.
Apparently... ESPN is simply ignoring the story altogether. Just refusing the mention their employee's gaffe.
Again, they didn't seem shy about weighing on Rush Limbaugh, who suggested something far less incendiary. He suggested not that there was any sort of actual inborn difference between blacks and whites, but that the media was a bit too "solicitous" in claiming that Donovan McNabb was a great quarterback to be mentioned constantly in the same breath as Brett Favre.
(And, of course, he was right. McNabb is/was a good quarterback, but not a great, and certainly not in the league of the NFL's all-time elites like Favre.)
Of Course... McNabb wasn't the only quarterback touted far beyond his skills or accomplishments.
I'm a New York Giants fan, so I tend to notice when sports commentators apparently don't ever watch the NY Giants play.
If they did, they would stop saying stupid things about how critical Jeremy "Hands of Stone" Shockey is to the offense, or that Eli Manning is "maturing" and has the promise of being a great quarterback.
Ummm, no, he's not maturing, and he'll never be great. He aspires to be above-average. If he makes it up to Jake Plummer level, he can count himself lucky.
Update/Correction: ESPN Mentioned Story. The Commish notes:
Actually, Sportscenter (ESPN's flagship sports highlight show) played the Irvin clip last night. So they're covering it.
And here's Michael Irvin's apology, in which he says he tries to give fans an insight into what type of things are said in the locker room. He explicitly apologizes. This is from ESPN.com, and it was linked on the front page as early as a few hours ago (although it's since been moved down to the front page of the NFL page because other headlines have moved in):
So Irvin isn't exactly getting a pass. But he won't be lambasted like Limbaugh was.
— Ace Wow, talk about spectacularly bad timing on the last post. His offices have been cordoned off.
Was Buchanan right?
I think that's very unlikely. There's an obvious way the poison could get to these offices -- Alex Goldfarb, Litvenenko's friend, the one who'd recorded his deathbed statement, works for Berezovsky. So, you know, you got a guy spending time with Litvinenko and working with Berezovsky. Seems to be a more plausible explanation than Boris Bezervosky poisoning his ally Litvinenko and then fraiming Putin for the crime (relying upon tricky-dick Scotland Yard investigators to actually identify the rare toxin, of course).
AJ Strata actually buys this theory-- that Berezovsky's framing Putin. (Minus the anti-semtism I implied.) I don't -- it's too tricksy by half -- but he did predict the poison trail would lead to Berezovsky's offices, and so it did.
Thanks to Larwyn for that update.
The Question... turns, I guess, upon whether the detection of the Polonium-210 was inevitable, likely, unlikely, or very unlikely, and perhaps the result of merest serendipity.
If it's inevitable or likely that tests would detect the toxin, it makes it more likely this is a frame-up job.
It it were unlikely or very unlikely the exact toxin would be identified, it makes it more likely this is just what it seems to be -- another Kremlin poisoning against a dissident.
The media has told us it's a very rare toxin, that it decays quickly, etc., but they haven't told us: Is screening for this a part of any western medical protocol when a toxin is suspected? If so, how far down the protocol is the test called for? How expensive a test is required to find it? How often is Polonium 210 tested for in mysterious poisonings?
Is the test on the protocols at all, or was the toxin only searched for because an expert suggested, "Well, this is pretty unlikely, but if you haven't found the poison yet, there's a bunch of radioactive heavy metals you may want to try looking for..." ?
I'm assuming that it's more of the latter, based on how long it took to identify.
But maybe that assumption is wrong.
In the meantime, there's more Polonium turning up in London than OJ DNA at Rockingham.
— Ace He is 1) a dedicated isolationist and 2) a columnist who always has to churn out copy.
But still. This is just goofy:
Whoever poisoned Alexander Litvinenko had two goals: a long and lingering death for the KGB defector and pointing a finger of accusation for his killing right in the face of Vladimir Putin.
Which leads me to believe Putin had nothing to do with it.
In an assassination, one must ask: Cui bono? To whose benefit? Who would gain from the poisoning of Litvinenko?
Certainly not Putin. Litvinenko's death puts him, the Kremlin and the KGB, now the FSB, under suspicion of having reverted to the terror tactics of Stalin, who commissioned killers to liquidate enemies like Leon Trotsky, murdered in Mexico in 1940.
What benefit could Putin conceivably realize from the London killing of an enemy of his regime, who had just become a British citizen? Why would the Russian president, at the peak of his popularity, with his regime awash in oil revenue and himself playing a strong hand in world politics, risk a breach with every Western nation by ordering the public murder of a man who was more of a nuisance than a threat to his regime?
The hallmark of a conspiracy theory is assuming everything happens by design. It's true the very-rare and well-nigh-undetectable poison points the finger of blame at Putin; ergo, one could say that Putin doesn't benefit from the poisoning.
But this assumes the poisoner intended for the poison to be discovered. In fact, the poison was never intended to be detected at all -- just like in the case of the Ukranian president. Everyone knew he'd been poisoned, but by what was never established.
Buchanan goes down the conspiracy theorist road by assuming that was a mistake or an unplanned event -- the detection of the very rare toxin -- was in fact a feature, not a bug, as Steven den Beste would say.
If someone actually intended to frame Putin, they would have used a toxin more readily identifiable that would 1) almost inevitably be detected and 2) still focus suspicion on the Kremlin. Like -- how about sticking him in the leg with a dissolving ricin capsule, as KGB-trained Bulgarian assassins did in 1978 to a dissident in London?
So, who is the real assassin, attempting to re-start the Cold War, SPECTRE-like, for their own dirty, greedy benefit?
Well, he doesn't quite say "the Jews," but...
Indeed, no sooner had Litvinenko expired than his collaborator in anti-Putin politics, Alex Goldfarb, was in front of the television cameras reading Litvinenko's deathbed statement charging Putin with murder:
"You may succeed in silencing one man, but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr. Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. ... You may succeed in silencing me, but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed."
Litvinenko's statement is awfully coherent and eloquent for a man writhing in a death agony. But if he did not write it, who did? All of which leads me to conclude Putin is being set up, framed for a crime he did not commit. But then, if Putin did not order the killing, who did?
Who else could have acquired the polonium 210? Who else would kill Litvinenko to make Putin a pariah? These are the questions Scotland Yard, which also seems skeptical that Putin had a hand in this bizarre business, has begun to ask.
As the predictable effect of Litvinenko's death has been to put a cloud of suspicion over Putin and a chill over Russian relations with the West, one must ask: To whose benefit is the discrediting of Putin? Who would seek a renewal of the Cold War?
Certainly, the oligarchs and robber barons like Berezovskymany of them now dispossessed of the wealth they amassed in a collapsing Soviet Union, and all of whom have been run out of the country or imprisonedhave the most powerful of motives. They hate Putin and seek to bring him down. And Goldfarb and Litvinenko both enjoyed the patronage of the billionaire Berezovsky.
Berezovsky is a Jew, according to this odd Wikipedia entry, "A List of Jews in Russia."
As for Goldfarb... no definitive citation yet, although the name is suggestive enough. Certainly he's called a "Russian Jew" on numerous websites (though blogs are hardly the Holy Grail of citations).
There's this charming little notation of his heritage, along with Buchanan-esque suspicions. The company Pat Buchanan keeps, eh?
Alexander Litvinenkos best pal, who Sky News interviewed today, is Alex Goldfarb. Mr Goldfarb , a Russian Jew, is the Director of the Foundation for Civil Liberties.
The Foundation for Civil Liberties is financed by another Russian Jew ,Boris Berezovsky, alias Boris Beresowski , alias Platon Elenin and is on Interpols red notices list along with his associate Yuly Dubov, Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin, Yukos chief legal expert Mikhail Gololobov and Menatep bank department head Natalya Chernysheva.
In Feb 2004 Georgias Military Prosecutors Office arrested a Major Irakli Papava, another Russian Jew, who made the decision last December to remove Russian tycoon Boris Berezovskis name from Interpols international wanted list and thus enable him to enter Georgia for a brief visit. Interpol in May 2006 however confirmed that the arrest warrant against Berezovski is still valid. http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=17653
Berezovski is a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, he has dedicated himself to toppling the Russian President, allegedly financing anti-Kremlin activity (including Ukraines Orange Revolution) across the former USSR. He is also alleged to have forged an alliance with the Solntsevo Brotherhood, a Russian Mafia organization as well as with Chechen gangs, which have helped in sabotaging the peace process in Chechnya.
Despite being on Interpols Red List Berezovski has been given asylum in the U.K.
My personal theory bearing in mind that the principle characters are all Jewish, is that this apparent poisoning is a means of discrediting the Russian Government and is the work of Mossad, the Israeli secret service.
They're gonna get ya.
Let Me... engage in a little conspiracy-theorist "logic."
Pat Buchanan claims that it is so obvious Putin ordered this that it must be the case it was intended to be obvious he ordered it and, hence, certainly could not have ordered it.
However, as it all seems obvious to Pat Buchanan and various other smarties that Putin could not possibly have ordered it and that only Israel could gain from the poisoning, ergo it must not have been Israel behind it; they would realize that Pat Buchanan would figure their dirty little game out, and hence they must not have been behind it.
And, of course, as it's obvious Putin couldn't have been behind it, according to Pat Buchanan, that means he certainly was behind it.
At what point are you supposed to stop with the "They Would Count On That!" theorizing? Do we stop after we come to the fact the poison suggest Kremlin involvement (They Would Count On That, ergo, the Kremlin isn't involved) or do we apply that reasoning to the fact that They Would Count On That (the obviousness of the Kremlin as culprits taking them off the suspect list) and therefore the Kremlin may in fact be the culprit?
Update: But definitely see above post.
More Pin the Tail On the Crafty Jew... from a site called "Occidental Dissent: Racial and Cultural Preservation.
I just don't get these wheels-within-wheels plots. It seems completely arbitrary which parts of the plan they're counting on us to "see through" and which parts aren't supposed to be figured out except by the geniuses in, for example, the White Power movement.
— Ace Not only is he the major source for the "Sunnis burning" story, AP's been quoting him as a source for months.
— Ace I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say that there hasn't been this level of sustained attack on a religion in this country by someone actually working in the "respectable" media since... well, I don't know. I don't know if there's ever been someone paid by the organized media to, say, Jew-bait on a daily basis since... who knows. I guess we have to go back to "anti-Papist" commentary in the late 1800's.
Certainly Pat Buchanan, widely believed to be at least borderline anti-semitic, never actually denigrated the Jewish religion itself, nor was one-tenth so blatant in expressing his antipathy.
Andrew Sullivan is quite an innovator.
Remember, all values are secondary to gay marriage.
I'm just curious -- what would Andrew Sullivan's response be if, say, I decided to begin posting derogatory post after derogatory post about gay "culture" and gays generally? What if every fifth post was a link to some story about a crime committed by a gay pedophile and the like? What if traced every single social or political ill to the "homosexualists" (which is, to cover my ass regarding the gay-bashing claim, not homosexuality per se, but the militant perversion of homosexuality into a political doctrine)?
How would his own tactics, used against him, look then?
I actually now do believe he's brain-addled and borderine insane.
How Dare... this homosexualist highlight a comment left at Hugh Hewitt's blog to attempt to portray the right as anti-semitic?
Does this insane homosexualist even read his own blog? Not the comments or "Emails of the Day," but the stinking hate he dashes off himself every other hour?
— Ace Thank goodness! I'm so totally psyched that Iran is going to "help" in Iraq.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would do whatever it could to help provide security to Iraq amid warnings the country was on the brink of civil war.
Ahmadinejad made the pledge at the start of a visit to Iran by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, whose trip was delayed for two days because of a curfew imposed after a bombing on Thursday killed 202 people in a Shi'ite Muslim stronghold. The curfew was lifted on Monday.
"The Iranian nation and government will definitely stand beside their brother, Iraq, and any help the government and nation of Iran can give to strengthen security in Iraq will be given," Ahmadinejad said, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.
"We have no limitation for cooperation in any field."
Does this mean Iran will stop supplying weapons, expertise, and terrorists to Iraqi/Al Qaeda terrorists? Fingers crossed!
Spot the bias here:
Political analysts said Iran might try to use talks with Talabani to show off its influence to the United States and bolster its position ahead of any dialogue with its old enemy. They also said Iran's ability to stem the bloodshed was limited.
U.S. officials say the violence is being fueled by Iran's backing for Shi'ite groups and its weapons exports. Iran dismisses the charge.
Note the "political analysts" Reuters consulted seem to take Iran's word as definitive, as they seem to be arranged (in the article) as opposing US claims that Iran is actively abetting the terror war. Obviously, if Iran is doing so (which it is), it would have the power to reduce the bloodshed significantly.
And the Iraq Study Group... is about ready to deliver its super-duper smart magic-bullet solution to all of this: ask Iran nicely to stop its 30 year war against the US, pretty please with sugar on top.
A draft of the panel's report recommends aggressive regional diplomacy, including talks with Iran and Syria, the New York Times reported in Monday's editions.
Ah. Aggressive diplomacy. See? They're not just saying we should try to charm the Iranians into giving up on 30 year war and announced plan to destroy Israel (and then us).
We should charm them in an aggressive fashion.
— Ace Pretty much global warming is responsible for everything.
Rising global temperatures could disrupt gender balance among reptile populations, a crocodile researcher has warned.
According to Dr Alison Leslie of South Africa's University of Stellenbosch, crocodiles are likely to be affected by warmer waters as their gender is not determined by genetics but is instead due to embryo temperature during incubation.
In an interview for the Discovery Kids programme A Year on Earth, Dr Leslie said: "A difference of between 0.5 and 1C in incubation temperature results in markedly different sex ratios.
"More female hatchlings due to the cooler or hotter incubation temperatures could lead to eventual extirpation [local extinction] of the species from an area."
— Ace A note asks, "Do you know what anthrax is?" and "Do you know what a bomb is?"
Do you know what a hoax perpetrated by a fourteen year old non-native speaker of English is?
The "suspicious package" may just be a thermos innocently left at the memorial.
Update: The fire department says "no hazard" of any sort.
— Ace It's a long, nearly 3 GB download. Maybe some will want to play just to see what that South Park episode was all about. (That's partly why I downloaded it. That, and abject boredom.)
I have to say I really don't get the game's appeal. It's basically just a huge-map, 3-D version of Diabolo with millions of players logged on at the same time. Just like in Diabolo, there's that initial feeling of (false) accomplishment when you improve your "Worn Shoes" to "Rusty Chain Mail Boots" and thus boost your AC, or when your skill at swords goes up, etc. It's fun to watch your numbers go up and buy stuff.
But... well, I played a warrior, and there's no skill at all involved. In first-person shooters, at least, what you do with the mouse actually has some bearing on your success. You either have aimed at the target correctly or you haven't; you're either moving or behind cover to reduce your chances of being hit or you aren't. It's a minor bit of hand-eye coordination, but still, you're sort of in control of how effective you are in the game.
In this game, like in most if not all role-playing style games, everything is more or less determined by your scores. You have one attack option, called "right click." There's no timing involved. You just sit there hitting the attack button, trading hit points with your enemy. Then he dies, and you take his crap. And you get some experience points.
At higher levels, and with magic, and with lots of dudes in your group, tactics will play a bigger part. (As Cartman says, "Hotlink your Divine Shout.") Still, even there, I'm not sure what the big deal is.
It's definitely not a one-player game; the fun comes, I guess, from joining up with other people and devising tactics and teamwork with them.
Still... it does just seem like more playing = better armor and better spells and higher Agility scores, so the fundamental "skill" involved is how much of your free time you're willing to invest to get some kickass magic swords and spells.
Plus, possibly owing to this free deal, it may take over an hour (or even two) to even log in to server during peak hours.
Anyway, figured I'd mention it. It's a big download, but the first hour of it is kind of fun, I guess. It all looks pretty good.
— Ace The desire for tall, blue-eyed, rapacious children, coupled with other countries' banning of anonymous sperm donation, has people travelling to Denmark to get some of that Thorsauce. And Denmark's even offering special deals to a group I just heard of: "fertility tourists."
"The bid for [Danish] DNA domination seems to be working," Reason observes, noting that 1400 extra children per year are the result of "the Danish stuff."
Again, it's just working out this way.
Thanks to Blacksheep.
— Ace No, seriously. She said that.
I didn't intend three sex stories right off the bat. It's just how it's worked out.
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