Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Go ahead, have that double cheeseburger with bacon!

Yes, today is the 4th Annual Eat a Tasty Amimal for PETA Day. Try to fit all of the major meat groups into your diet today, it's for a good cause!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Unlikely bylines

If there's one place in the country where you would least expect a rally for freedom of speech and freedom of expression, it's the San Francisco area, where dissent from far left, anti-American orthodoxy goes to be crushed. Which makes this pro-Danish free speech rally held there over the weekend all the more heartening. Sure, the local media ignored it, as supporting a US ally under fire from US enemies is not a message to be tolerated in that part of the world, but thanks to the blogosphere you can check out the pictures that the Chronicle would rather you not see.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fodder for bar bets

The term "March Madness" today is synonymous with the College Basketball Tournament, but the nickname was first used to describe another basketball tournament -- the annual Illinois High School Association Tournament. Henry V. Porter is credited with coining the phrase in his 1939 article for the Illinois Interscholastic magazine.

The term was not used to describe the College Basketball Tournament until 1982, when Brent Musburger a CBS reporter used the term during the telecast of a tournament game. College basketball fans and the media have been using the term ever since.

The war that wasn't

Ralph Peters:

"I'm trying. I've been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I'm looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can't find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view's clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn't give me the right skills.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn't stoop in such an hour of crisis."

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Probably my only Oscar post ever

I could not care less about the Oscars. I am a pretty big movie fan, but have just never been able to muster any enthusiasm for the whole awards thing (also true of the Emmys, Grammys etc). I've haven't watched any of the show since I was a teenager in the pre-cable days and thus had little choice, and while I hear or read the results I couldn't even tell you who won any of the major awards last year.

But this year I have to take a strong rooting interest in the proceedings. No, I could care less about any of the anti-Bush, anti-American, anti-capitalist/corporation, and anti-Israel/Jew agitprop that dominates the major categories, I understand that the raving moonbats of Hollywood just can't help themselves these days. My expectations for domestic films that have any possibility of straying into politics are so low that I can't be too disapppointed even in dreck like Munich and Syriana.

What has caught my eye is a repulsive bit of filmmaking that is nominated in the foriegn film category. The film Paradise Now is a glorification of two Palestinian suicide bombers (or more accurately homicide bombers, or even more accurately mass murderers). To give you an idea of where this film is coming from, check out this interview with the execrable Hany Abu-Assad, who directed the movie:

Hany Abu-Assad's film "Paradise Now" left few Israelis indifferent. The movie, which depicts the story of two young Palestinians in Nablus who were chosen by a local terror group to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel, and which trails their preparations ahead of the attack, infuriated many in the country, most notably publicist Irit Linor, who in an opinion column in Ynet called "Paradise Now" "a quality Nazi film."


At the beginning of our talk he demands that when quoting him I would refrain from using the term "terrorist" to describe people sent to explode themselves in buses and markets.

This is an act of terror, but this terror derives from another terror, Abu-Assad explains. Suicide bombings are a reaction to your terror, he says, and suggests the most accurate term to describe a suicide bombing would be "a counter-terrorist act."

The occupiers and the occupation are the real terrorists. The real terror is stealing the Palestinians' right to live free on their land, Abu-Assad claims.

Confronted with the statement that his words seem to come close to justifying the bombers' actions, Abu-Assad says that in order to stop terror, there is a need to look at the full picture.

'Jews forget they were victims'

Abu-Assad deeply resents Linor's article, which stirred a row of its own upon publication. Articles like this make it harder for me to fight prejudice against Jews, he says.

Someone dares speak up against your movie and already it's hard for you to avoid being critical toward Jews?

They are not just opposed to my film; they also claim to represent all Jews, he states. This is why such an article is "racist and fascist," he says.

Abu-Assad says Linor truly believes people who belong to another nation are different than her. She thinks people who don't accept the fact the occupation is the source for suicidal acts in effect says the Palestinian culture is the root of terror, evil, he explains.

It's hard to see the way Jews, who were once the victims of prejudice and paid a heavy price for anti-Semitism, today act the same, he states. "It makes you want to stop believing in humanity."

Even during the Holocaust, people did not strap on a bomb and set out to kill innocent people.

This was a different situation that only lasted six years, Abu-Assad replies, adding that in the first 30 years of occupation there were no suicide bombings. Who knows what would have happened in Germany had the oppression continued for 30 years, he asks rhetorically.

Abu-Assad stresses he is a pacifist who believes any killing is wrong, and that he advocates a non-violent struggle as the right method for obtaining one's goals. However, he states, while he currently has the privilege to make such a stand, in a different situation his moral position may have been different.

In other words, had you been living in the territories, you would have become a shahid (martyr)?

Abu-Assad hesitates for a second before replying, "yes." He recounts an episode in which he was humiliated by a soldier at the Kalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, and says this was what made him realize what runs through the heads of people who later become suicide bombers.

You feel like such a coward it kills you, he describes, saying this cowardice makes people start hating life and feel impotent.

I realized, Abu-Assad explains, that when a man systematically goes through such humiliation, he chooses to kill his own impotency by carrying out an act of "let me die with the philistines."

And there are no suicide bombers who do what they do because of anti-Semitism?

That's a racist notion. No one hates Jews because they are Jews like in Europe, he replies. People have a reason for hating Israelis. You force them to live in refugee camps, and they tell you 'our home is in Ashdod'," he states.

Do you really believe they kill in order to kill Jews, He asks. They are no different than you as people. If you believe they are different, that's racism, he adds.

According to Abu-Assad, it is the situation that brought about the loss of control. I think, he says, that you have been "brainwashed" by the country to believe all Arabs are either a security risk or a danger to democracy.

When asked what he believes could be a solution for the conflict, Abu-Assad says equality is the key.

The solution would come once you recognize the equal rights of Jews and Arabs over all the land, including Tel Aviv and Nazareth, Abu-Assad declares, adding this also includes recognition in the Right of Return. After you recognize these principles, we would be able to split the country 50-50. This would be the practical solution, he says.

'I'm not Israeli'

Abu-Assad, was born and raised in Nazareth, but left Israel more than 20 years ago, and never returned to the country for a permanent stay. He resides in Holland, where he creates most of his films and secures most of the funding for his projects.

As a Palestinian teen, you don't have the same privileges others have, he says. Abu-Assad says he was a curious person that knew that if he stays in Israel he would become crippled, because he wouldn't have the same access to knowledge Israelis have.

I remind him he may become the first Israeli director to win an Oscar. He, in return, chuckles.

"Darling," he says with slight cynicism and contempt, "I am not Israeli."

But you carry an Israeli passport.

That's true, but I'm not Israeli, he says. Israel calls itself a Jewish state, and I'm not Jewish. If it becomes everybody's state, then I would be able to be called Israeli, he concludes.

I cannot accept the Jewish state as long as there is no settlement over the land, he adds.

What a despicable human being. We can only hope that the Academy will show some sanity, but how will Hollywood be able to resist a movie that is so approving of blowing up Jews?

Somehow I doubt that a movie about KKK members or Neo-Nazis blowing up blacks would be quite so sympathetically received, but it's not a bit different. At least not to those of us who don't accept genocidal racism as acceptable human behavior.

Victor, Victoria

Victoria was a "UCLA co-ed" created by Cal's rally-comittee. Using AOL instant messenger "she" had been chatting with [USC guard] Gabe [Pruitt] for the last week online. Gabe and several of his teammates were all set to go to Westwood when they got back tonight so that they could party with Victoria and her friends. At the game today when he first was introduced in the starting lineup the chants began to start. "Victoria, Victoria, and then followed by her phone number!"

The look on Gabe's face when he turned to the bench after the first Victoria chant was priceless. It was unlike anything I have ever seen from a opposing player. He was in shock. It was hilarious. Transcripts of their conversation were handed out to the bench. My personal favorite quotes by Gabe: "You look like you have a very fit body." and "Now I want to c u so bad."

Postscript: Pruitt went 3/13 from the field and Cal gained a much-needed 11 point win as they try to make their way into the last few selections of the NCAA tournament. I'm not sure if the prank was the difference in the game, but it certainly looks to have been a big factor.

Thanks to my friend Andy Holderness for this story.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Great moments in the legislative branch

"Think of what happened 20 minutes ago in the United States Senate. We killed the Patriot Act."

Harry Reid, December 2005.

Just when you thought

...the self-loathing leftist had finally found a movie (s)he could watch in good conscience:

The makers of the gay cowboy flick "Brokeback Mountain" were too rough on sheep, an animal-rights group charged yesterday. In a letter to director Ang Lee, The Humane Society also complained about the way the horses and elk were treated. "The excessively rough handling of the sheep and horses leaves viewers questioning whether anyone was looking out for the safety of those animals," the letter said. "And many also wonder how the filmmakers got the elk to lose its footing and crumple to the ground 'on cue' after being shot."

News that's fit to print

Not that you're likely to see it printed unless you dig into the alternative media.

Iraq coalition deaths dropped for the 4th straight month in Fenruary:

10/05 - 96
11/05 - 86
12/05 - 68
01/06 - 64
02/06 - 57

I hear that sinking casualty rates is a sure sign of quagmire.

What he said

From The Ticket's Bob Sturm:

And while I am at it, let me tell you something: The Spurs fans have passed the Utah Jazz fans as the most annoying in the NBA. Their booing every time a foul happens is comical as they all agree with each other about how a league-wide conspiracy is under way to keep the Spurs down. Of course, they get more calls than anyone, but their fans think the refs are trying to screw them. It also helps that Tim Duncan has never, ever committed a foul. Just ask him. He stands, holds the ball, failed-smiles at the refs, and shows relative disbelief that he could possibly be guilty of an infraction. All this as he has just shoved Josh Howard out of his way to get a rebound.

Clutch and Grab NHL? What do you call what Bruce Bowen is allowed to do in the NBA? What happened to hand checking being illegal?

And, finally, nice bite, Bob. Ok, I am done.

I have made the same point many times. The Spurs, to coach Popovich's credit, have found a loophole in the rules - they will only call so many fouls. Thus their philosophy is to commit 80-100 fouls a game and dare the officials to call them, which of course they can't. Presto, guys who have been poor defenders their whole careers suddenly becoming good ones and good ones suddenly becoming great. Add in a hockey-style goon in Bowen and you complete the formula which has proven successful for them.

The downside is that the whole thing makes a guy like Duncan, the biggest complainer in the league, kind of a Rasheed Wallace without the profanity, look utterly ridiculous with his over the top whining. And it also hurt the US in the last Olympics as Duncan saw fouls actually being called on him, usually having to leave games early with two quick fouls while doing the same thing he does and gets away with in the NBA. I'm not sure if the team could have won anyway, with it's findamentally flawed construction, but it was a huge factor.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Is this torture?

This is a priceless story, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

[Daniel Andrew] Wolcott, 22, is awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a $7 million private jet in St. Augustine, Fla., in October and flying it to Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville.

He's been in jail since then in lieu of $175,000 bond. He faces charges in Florida and also may be subject to federal charges.

Wolcott's parents, Scott and Diane Wolcott, have been at odds with Conway since November over dental floss not being allowed in the jail.

They say their son's inability to floss caused him to develop gingivitis and gum pockets, which if left untreated could become full-blown periodontal disease.

Now I know what you're thinking - if he has bad breath, how is he going to get a date while in jail? And how can this sort of Geneva Convention violation be allowed in a civilized society? Fortunately for young Daniel, Sheriff Butch Conway came up with a brilliant solution:

On Friday evening [Wolcott] became a cellmate of a Dacula dentist facing murder charges in the death of his wife.

"I had him moved to a cell with Bart Corbin," Conway said Sunday. "[Corbin's] trained in dentistry, and if there are any complications, they can advise the medical unit. [Wolcott] just had his wisdom teeth out, so I think it's a good thing he's in a cell with a dentist."

I think Conway has a bright future in politics...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hopefully it wasn't spam

Ticketchick Claudia could not be reached for comment:

Soccer team trades player ... for meat

Romanian second division soccer club UT Arad sold a player in exchange for 33 pounds of meat, local sport daily Pro Sport reported on Monday.

However, the deal turned out badly for fourth-division Regal Horia, because defender Marius Cioara decided to end his soccer career and find a job in agriculture or construction in Spain.

“We are upset because we lost twice — firstly because we lost a good player and secondly because we lost our team’s food for a whole week,” a Regal Horia official was quoted as saying by the daily in its electronic edition.