February 28, 2006

Scared Stewardress Causes Panic By Screaming "We're Going To Crash"
— Ace

Fun:

A stewardess caused panic by repeatedly screaming "We're going to crash" when a packed plane hit turbulance.

The Virgin flight hit bad weather three hours into a journey from Gatwick to Las Vegas.

Some passengers were sick and others thrown from their seats as luggage, drinks and trays were tossed around.

...

And their ordeal was intensified by the screaming stewardess.

Passenger Paul Gibson told The Daily Mirror: "She began screaming every time the plane shook.

"She shouted at the top of her voice, 'We're going to crash! We're going to crash! We're going to crash!"

The un-named woman - in her mid 20s - also lobbed sick bags across the cabin when poorly [feeling] passengers screamed for more.


Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear From Your Flight Crew

10. "Your choice of dinner is beef stroganoff or vegetarian burrito. I'd recommend that burrito; you don't want any of that 'bad energy' of animal murder when we die in a flaming holocaust of twist metal. Which we'll be doing in (checks watch) about five minutes now. Fresca?"

9. "Joining us in the cockpit is our special celebrity pilot, Mr. Billy Joel. He doesn't have his license yet, but he'll be ably assisted by celebrity copilots Nick Nolte and Naomi Campbell."

8. "This is the captain speaking... we're experiencing a slight bit of turbulence and complete structural failure. There's no reason to panic, but if you've never joined the mile club, now might a good time to make for the bathrooms."

7. "When will be landing? Errmm... define 'landing.' "

6. "Now might be a good time to review your in-flight instructions regarding the use of flotation devices. If your flotation device fails to inflate, remember that dead bodies float as well. Fortunately, the water should be lousy with them."

5. "On your right is Salt Lake City, and on the left is that little gremlin from The Twillight Zone, eatin' at our engine like Rosie O'Donnell at a Sizzler buffet."

4. "Hi, this is your captain speaking. Great news. We'll be making slight detour to everyone's favorite vacation getaway, Heaven."

3. "Take all the goddamned peanuts you like. Your goddamned peanuts and Doritos mix ain't gonna save you, that's for sure."

2. "Little fun-fact about the Boeing 747: None have ever hit a mountain straight-on. So we're all about to make a little history here."

...and the Number One Thing You Don't Want To Hear From Your Flight Crew...

1. "Special treat for you all. We'll be running a special Kevin Costner marathon for your viewing pleasure-- Waterworld, For Love Of The Game, and the special four hour director's cut of The Postman."

Posted by: Ace at 09:21 PM | Comments (95)
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Fourth Quarter GDP Revised Up
— Ace

...as was likely.

It was a shabby 1.1%, now it's actually estimated at a not-good but not horrendous 1.6%.

Cowbell? No. But still good news.

Posted by: Ace at 07:22 PM | Comments (6)
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Howard Dean's Four-Point Plan For Vapidity
— Ace

I used to make this same joke about Clinton's five-point plans all the time. He would just count off his fingers how to "solve" problems, but each of his solutions was merely a goal, not a "solution," and, on top of that, a very obvious goal and a very difficult one to achieve, too. He never would explain how to achieve these goals, but the liberal media always ooohed and aaahed at how "fluid" he was in presenting solutions.

It was like Steve Martin's plan to make a million dollars and never pay taxes on it. First, make a million dollars, next...

Anyway, the New Editor slaps Dean up for his idiocy:

Gov. Dean boldly offered the Democrats' four-point plan for national defense.

"First we will conclude the negotiations with the Chinese and the North Koreans to disarm North Korea. Secondly, under no circumstances will a Democratic Administration ever allow Iran to become a nuclear power. Three, we will kill or capture Osama bin Laden and four, the authority and the control of the ports of the United States must be retained by American companies," said Dean.

The stunning simplicity of Dean's plan is rumored to have sent shock waves throughout the US defense community.

The New Editor offers other rumored Howard Dean Four-Point Plan, including:

The Health Care Four-Point Plan

Dean's rumored plan: "First, we will provide health care. Second, it will be very good. Third, it will be cheap. Fourth, it will be cheap and very good."

Posted by: Ace at 07:18 PM | Comments (45)
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Brokeback Point Break
— Ace

Pretty funny: Keanu Reeves & Patrick Swayze in a trailer for Point Break, shot to look like a gay movie.

Wait a tic.

Okay, I guess that's redundant.

The trailer is recut to make Point Break look 10% more gay. Just sort of extra gay.

Bonus: Skateboarder jumps the Great Wall of China.

And: Backflip off of 30 foot tower, on to the ground. And the dude walks away from it.

And: Girlfight!

Posted by: Ace at 06:13 PM | Comments (18)
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Europe Is So Fat...
— Ace

How fat is it?

Well half of its citizens are overweight or obese.

Christ, you know what I hate? Going to a vacation town like Vegas and seeing all those fat-assed Europeans waddling around like ducks with goofy accents.

If only they ate a sensible, American style diet.

Posted by: Ace at 03:01 PM | Comments (31)
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Distributed Computing Finally Cracks 60 Year Old Enigma Code
— Ace

One of three uncracked remaining Enigma ciphers. The power of distributed intelligence has another victory:

More than 60 years after the end of World War II, a distributed computing project has managed to crack a previously uncracked message that was encrypted using the Enigma machine.

The M4 Project began in early January, as an attempt to break three original Enigma messages that were intercepted in 1942 and are thought never to have been broken by the Allied forces.

These messages were encrypted using a four-rotor Enigma. That version was considered by Germany to be completely unbreakable, as it could be set up in any one of a vast number of ways (2 times 10 to the 145th power), each of which would encrypt a plain text message differently.


Cryptologists at Bletchley Park in the U.K. managed to break Enigma through their development of early computers, led by Alan Turing, and also by using intelligence to cut down the number of possible set-ups.

...

With two messages still to break, the M4 Project is looking for computer users to download its application and help out.

Pretty amazing those guys cracked so many codes so quickly with primitive computers. As always, they were cracked due to sloppiness of human encoders, but still. Even a sloppy code is tough to break.

Posted by: Ace at 10:58 AM | Comments (43)
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Ports: Saudi Arabia Runs Brooklyn Ports
— Ace

And a lot of other US ports, too. The picture there features a Saudi ship cruising out of the docks, with the WTC hauntingly in background.

Jim Gerghty notes there is an awful lot of foreign management of US ports, too. He says Democrats' stand against the UAE deal is due to protectionism or xenophobia or both.

I have to say, though, that I'm not certain xenophobia is an irrational response to all this.

Posted by: Ace at 10:53 AM | Comments (20)
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Captain Hook's Son Is Death-Rapper
— Ace

Of course he is:

JAILED cleric Abu Hamza’s terrorist son is spreading words of hate — as a rapper.

Mohammed Kamel Mostafa’s song lyrics rant about waging Jihad (holy war) and carrying weapons, and praise banned Middle East terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

In one he raps: “I was born to be a soldier, Kalashnikov in my shoulder, peace to Hamas and Hezbollah, that’s the way of the lord Allah . . . we’re Jihad through, defend my religion with the holy sword.” He also sings of his Islamic “brothers” who vowed to die for Allah.

Mostafa, 24 — dubbed MC Hamza by his henchmen — has played venues ranging from Wembley Arena to Oxford University.

And get this-- as he rakes in money for hate-merchandise, he is, of course, on the British government's dole.

Mostafa, who lives in a rented room in Wembley, North West London, claimed he was a student on a business course.

He gets a £44.50-a-week jobseekers’ allowance — despite recently selling his dad’s ex-council flat in West London for a £150,000 profit.

They're always students, aren't they?

Come to the West to plot terrorism and incite hate.
Stay for the generous welfare benefits we pay you while you plot to murder us.

Posted by: Ace at 10:47 AM | Comments (19)
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Oh Dear Lord: Geraldo Rivera Had a Solution To Mideast Conflict-- Himself
— Ace

Is there anything Geraldo can't do?

Rivera says he was ready to relocate to Israel a few years ago and run for a seat in the Knesset in order to advance his strong views on the Palestinian situation.

Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish mother, Lilly Friedman, and a Catholic, Puerto Rican father, Cruz Rivera, Rivera was raised "mostly Jewish" and was a bar mitzvah, he says.

Israel's occupation of the West Bank "is bull," in Rivera's view, and it "dehumanizes" the Palestinians. "I want peace between Jews and Palestinians, based on equality between the countries."

Rivera says he went so far as to look for an apartment in Israel before his then-fiancee, Erica Levy, and her father put the kibosh on any move to the violence-plagued country.

His campaign slogan? If I can convince 1000 women to sleep with me with this mug, I can convince Israelis and Palestinans to live in peace.

(Was it 1000 or 10,000?)

Posted by: Ace at 10:44 AM | Comments (14)
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Give Civil War A Chance
— Ace

Not sure I want to see this happen, but there is a case to be made, as this writer quotes, that:

"although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political conflicts and lead to peace. This can happen when all belligerents become exhausted or when one wins decisively. Either way the key is that the fighting must continue until a resolution is reached."

The only reason terrorism continues to be effective (to the extent it is) is that the societies which tolerate it/promote it are insulated from the natural consequences of their actions -- to wit, a full, vicious war against them. Terrorism exists because those who are slaughtered do not slaughter in response.

A civil war in Iraq would undoubtedly be a major problem in the short term. We would have no good response to it militarily-- we could either withdraw, allowing the sects to viciously slaughter each other while we stand by, or we can insert our troops into the mayhem, earning enemies on all sides and seeing our casualties skyrocket.

In the long term, perhaps, it is the only remaining true solution. The Sunnis will not accept they do not control Iraq anymore. Violence and death are horrible, but sometimes it is the only way to convince someone to abandon the path of violence and death themselves. And until the Sunnis get the full measure of violent justice, they will continue believing their path to power runs through bombed-out police stations and schoolhouses.

Posted by: Ace at 10:35 AM | Comments (20)
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Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Abortion Protestors; RICO Cannot Be Used Against Protestors
— Ace

Finally.

Can you imagine RICO being used against almost-entirely-peaceful organizations on the left? I can't. I'm not even sure they use RICO against violent, destruction-promoting organizations like ALF or ELF, or at least they don't use RICO to the extent they could. They could bankrupt PETA if they did.

Anti-abortion groups brought the appeal after the 7th Circuit had asked a trial judge to determine whether a nationwide injunction could be supported by charges that protesters had made threats of violence absent a connection with robbery or extortion.

The 8-0 decision ends a case that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had kept alive despite a 2003 decision by the high court that lifted a nationwide injunction on anti-abortion groups led by Joseph Scheidler and others.

8-0. Good news. All sense isn't departed from the left wing of the Court yet.

For those who squeal about the loss of civil liberties-- they sure didn't make a fuss about an act intended for use against organized crime being used against political protestors. And I'm sure they're gnashing their teeth about it today.

Posted by: Ace at 10:28 AM | Comments (51)
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Religion of Peace, Culture of Death: 1091 Honor Killings In Turkey Past Five Years
— Ace

Or "honor" killings, I guess. Not sure how "honorable" it is to murder a defenseless woman:

1091 honor killings were committed in Turkey in the past 5 years, said Turkish Parliamentary Investigation Commission which was set up to probe honor killings.

...

The report says women are maltreated generally by their husbands, fathers or brothers. The common peculiarity of men who resort to violence is that they are young and have low income.

5000 worldwide honor killings annually. 5000 murdered women. With little justice for their murders.

On the plus side -- and this is a big plus -- Turkey is brave enough, and sane enough, as a nation to commission an investigation into this, and reveal the results to the world, no matter how shocking.

Thanks to Ogre Gunner.

Posted by: Ace at 10:22 AM | Comments (9)
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CBS Oversampled Democrats For Bush Poll, Again
— Ace

It hardly even needs to be pointed out anymore.

CBS weighted its sample, but still only to the point where they counted 289 Republicans to 381 Democrats.

This is always a polling issue, with good arguments on both sides. Some say one shouldn't weight polls for party ID, as party ID fluctuates-- maybe there simply are more Democrats now. Some say weight the results, as we know there is (approximately) parity between the parties.

CBS apparently chooses a mixed approach, weighting results, but not to the point of near-parity.

It's a hard question to resolve. However, I'm pretty sure that Democrats have not claimed an approximately 33% advantage over the Republicans.

Could the split now be 40 to 30? Perhaps. But such a sea change seems unlikely.

Much More... Reactions from the left and right of the blogosphere at the Blogometer.

I think this poll is rigged, but they usually are rigged to favor Democrats a bit. Rigged or not, it's still not good news for Bush.

Posted by: Ace at 10:01 AM | Comments (30)
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And The Children Will Lead Them: 5000 Pakistani Kids Call For Death Of Cartoonist
— Ace

Nice:

About 5,000 children chanting "Hang those who insulted the prophet" rallied in Pakistan's largest city on Tuesday in the latest protest in the Islamic nation against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The children, ages 8 to 12, burned a coffin draped in U.S., Israeli and Danish flags at a traffic intersection in the port city of Karachi as police in riot gear looked on.

The rally was organized by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's largest Islamic group. The children, some wearing school uniforms and headbands emblazoned with "God is great," were released from schools to take part.

God is apparently the capo di tutti capos of a transnatinal Murder, Inc.

Who knew God ordered hits? He's like Al Capone, except with a loftier penthouse.

Posted by: Ace at 06:03 AM | Comments (53)
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Another Reason To Hate Soccer
— Ace

Male fans go berserk (in a good way!) when a soccer star tosses his dirty, stinking soccer shorts into a crowd.

Why, it's like Tom Jones, in reverse, and with filthy, smelly man's athletic shorts.

Thanks to JohnS.

Posted by: Ace at 05:33 AM | Comments (76)
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Fundamentalist Islam Explained
— Ace

Pretty chilling stuff:

Everyone has seen the videos of beheadings that Muslim Jihadis release. You see that during the most despicable acts imaginable, which is the cold blooded murder of another human being, they invoke the name of their deity Allah. This shows that they do not perceive this dastardly act as wrong. On the contrary, this is to them an act of worship. Their compass does not tell them that they are doing anything wrong. That compass is set by the Quran which everyone, including the foolish non-Muslim appeasers respect and call "holy". So in the Muslim mind, what you and I perceive as heinous and evil is divine. Just as you don't consider yourself to be a bad person for eating hamburger [as a Hindu would, as he has a different moral compass], a Muslim can kill the non believers with no compunction and he does not believe that what he does is wrong.

The life of a non-Muslim to him is worth as much as the life of a chicken is worth to you and me. We don't go around killing every chicken we see. In fact we keep them and feed them as long as they are useful to us. But we don't lose sleep when we have to slaughter them. So it is not that Muslims will necessarily go around massacring every non-Muslim. As long as these non-Muslims are useful to them, they are granted protection. In fact dhimmi means protected. The non-believers will remain protected, as long as they pay the Jizzyah "with willing submission and feel themselves subdued."

Some of it you know, some of it you don't. Worth a read.

Thanks to Ogre Gunner.


More...

The world of Islam is a world completely distinct from ours. Muslims have a different set of values. They look at the world through the contorted mirror of Islam and everything they see is warped. That is the only reality they know. Islam is their only point of reference. Therefore when they commit the most dastardly acts such as murder of school children, they genuinely don't know that what they are doing is evil.

This makes Muslims very dangerous. What distinguishes us humans from animals is our conscience. Once our conscience is gone we lose our humanness. Without conscience, humans can be far more dangerous than beasts. Beasts kill for food, humans kill for ideology. Beast kill just enough to eat. Humans can kill endlessly.

Too true. When an ideology displaces the inherited, evolutionary restraint against murder, watch out.

As a general rule, human beings only kill other human beings under extreme emotional duress, or if they're just missing the inborn restraint against murder (psychopaths, sociopaths, etc.). The US military has to do a lot of training to get soldiers to ignore or suppress this aversion to killing on the battlefield.

We've seen what an ideology that supplants the inborn code against killing can achieve. In such a culture, murders can run from six million to tens of millions.


Posted by: Ace at 05:24 AM | Comments (42)
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"James Bond" Update: Now Daniel Craig Has Bad Case Of "Prickly Heat"
— Ace

Why didn't they just cast Saul Rosenberg? He could have brought all his glasses. And his shoes.

JINXED James Bond star Daniel Craig ... suffered sunburn while topping up his tan before filming in the Bahamas.

...

A source on the Casino Royale set said: “It’s driving him mad. He constantly wants to scratch. It’s worst when he does a costume change. He is in agony.

“He has been moaning to his assistants that he’s got prickly heat. He is extremely wary of being outside now. But the nature of filming is such that he is out in the heat all day.”

I lost the link now, but it turns out he was also baffled by the manual transmission in the car he was supposed to drive as Bond.

He showed up for Bond film not knowing how to drive a stick. He thought, I guess, that James Bond drove an automatic.

Thanks to Scott.

Posted by: Ace at 05:07 AM | Comments (34)
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February 27, 2006

Today's Pimp Slapping Session
— Harry Callahan

In case you missed it, Ramesh Ponnuru and Andrew Sullivan have had an increasingly (at least on Sullivan's part) bitchy series of exchanges today. Just reading Ramesh Ponnuru's side of things (at NRO's Corner is increasingly hilarious. Just start there and scroll down.)

In the interests of reading them in their proper chronology, let me quote them in their increasingly annoyed order:

ANDREW SULLIVAN CAN'T READ, CH. 815 [Ramesh Ponnuru]

Sullivan says that I did not "point to a single inaccuracy or example of unfairness" in my post on him yesterday. Indeed, I'm now supposedly "smear[ing]" our poor martyr Sullivan. Inaccuracy: Sullivan claimed that Robert P. George "sees no moral difference" between abortion and the murder of an adult. That's not true, and I provided evidence that it's not true.

Unfairness: First, misstating George's views is itself unfair.

Second, Sullivan insinuated, though with a plausible deniability that he is now attempting to exploit, that George has no objection to killing abortionists. This deniability is, however, growing more implausible. I quoted a speech in which George said that pro-lifers should love and pray, ungrudgingly and without cease, for abortionists. Sullivan, absurdly, refuses to acknowledge that these comments amounted to a disavowal of violence against abortionists. Sullivan is holding on to his cheap insinuation for dear life.

Third: Sullivan suggests that it's frightening for the president to associate with someone who holds George's allegedly extreme views on abortion. The views to which Sullivan points are George's alleged inability to see any differences between abortion and the murder of an adult, and his alleged nonchalance toward the murder of abortionists. Since both views are not in truth George's, suggesting that it is not respectable to associate with George because of them is unfair.

It is altogether typical of Sullivan's debating style to attempt to change the subject to an irrelevancy: George's views about masturbation, of all things. What George is getting at is that we do not need to posit a "right" to masturbation to have good reasons for the government not to concern itself with it: not that you'd have any idea of that from Sullivan's description.

I'm not totally sure whether Sullivan's habitual inability to present his opponents' views correctly is a result of malicious lying, indifference to the truth, incompetence in figuring out the truth, or some combination of these things. Readers need not know the answer to that question to conclude that he is untrustworthy. Posted at 12:26 PM

HAT TIP [Ramesh Ponnuru]

I neglected to say that I found Sullivan's comment via a post on The American Interest's blog. (I don't agree with everything in that post: the bit about Sullivan's not living up to his "usual intellectual caliber" strikes me as misdirected charity. I used to make that kind of mistake about Sullivan myself.)
Posted at 01:05 PM

SULLIVAN AGAIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]

His latest bit of bad faith can be found here. For the record: (1) The First Things essay to which I linked yesterday goes through several moral distinctions that separate abortion from the murder of an adult, as any fair-minded reader will see. (2) I have never said (and do not believe) "that the government has in principle an obligation and right to police the private sexual lives of all its citizens to prevent them from sliding into 'immorality'"--that's pure invention on Sullivan's part. (3) I have already come out against the South Dakota bill, which is the latest irrelevancy Sullivan is using to distract attention from his record of misrepresentation.
Posted at 03:55 PM

SO NOW [Ramesh Ponnuru]

Andrew Sullivan is maintaining that I favor laws against masturbation. It doesn’t matter that I have never said a word in favor of such laws. (I haven’t heard this much about masturbation since that Seinfeld episode.) It doesn’t matter that I say I’m against them: I must be lying, he says. And he calls me hysterical. Sullivan is justly fond of Oakeshott’s metaphor of “conversation” as the essence of conservatism. But this sort of thing is why conversation with him is pointless. (Also: Sullivan has a second-hand report that one of Robert George’s colleagues once looked at him sideways! Call out the Guard!) I have another writing project to work on tonight. Tomorrow I’ll try to elaborate on one or two actually interesting points raised during this discussion, with as little attention to Sullivan’s accumulating lies and misunderstandings as possible.
Posted at 08:52 PM

Remember when we actually thought of Sullivan as a political writer worth listening to? I'm filled with gob-smacking heartache at the overwrought hack he hath become, although I think I'd recover if I could roll in enough crazy blog-money from Time Inc. (or at least from a good bandwith fundraiser).

Posted by: Harry Callahan at 05:33 PM | Comments (17)
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Getting a Little Closer
— LauraW.

You know, AOSHQ is a special community.

I feel very close to some of you, even when I really, really wish I didn't.

We share so much with each other.
But something is missing.

Something that can be found on many other blogs, but isn't present here. Something we all need.

Yes.

Cat pictures.
This is my best pal, Fluffy: more...

Posted by: LauraW. at 03:35 PM | Comments (35)
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