Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Adventures of Spanky, the Attack Squirrel

From Orlando's WKMG-TV:

A police officer in Massachusetts was treated at a hospital after a drug suspect's squirrel attacked him during an attempted arrest, according to a Local 6 News report.


[Officer Dwayne] Flowers drove to a hospital after the attack while other officers captured Spanky the squirrel and arrested its owner.

So, in Florida you avoid gators, in Massachesetts it's the squirrels. Spanky? What kind of name is that for a squirrel?

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Eight Lives To Go




From Newsday, via NIF:
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. -- A stalking foray atop a power pole left a lucky feline jolted, frizzled and dazed but otherwise OK after he fell off the 40-foot pole and sparked a fire outside a fire house.


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Raising Kids

As a parent raising children, I attempted to teach them a wide variety of skills, a love of knowledge and learning, and various other things that would serve them well in life. The teaching was not only in lecture mode, but rather hands-on.

On one of our several driving vacations to California to visit grandparents, we took them through Death Valley. At one point I stopped the car, and made them get out. Then I drove several hundred yards down the road, and made them walk to the car. That way they were not just looking at scenery, they were getting a feel for what it was actually like to be in a hot, dry desert. That was twenty years ago, and they still talk about the experience.

Other training was more mundane, such as the usual fishing, cooking, biking, learning to drive, etc. My daughter learned to change tires by doing it.

However, I do wish that I had known about, or thought about, this!

If I had had the foresight, they might be supporting me now.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Nice Shooting! (Updated)

Even with all the news coverage, we sometimes forget that we are part of a Coalition. The major part, granted, but their are others doing the job, going in harm's way, just as our soldiers. Lets not forget about them.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - A Canadian soldier opened fire Friday to disable a vehicle that was trying to overtake a military convoy, out of concerns that it might be a suicide attack.

It was the first time the Canadian Forces have fired shots since being deployed on their current mission to Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan.

Lt.-Col. David Anderson, the Task Force Afghanistan chief of staff in Kabul, said the incident happened during a routine patrol.

The soldier who fired at the yellow-white taxi had warned off the vehicle several times, Anderson said. But when it tried to pass the convoy, the soldier let loose with four machine-gun rounds into the car's engine, disabling the vehicle.

Nice shooting!

(Thanks to Free Republic for the original link)

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Update: Another reminder, there are other member of the Coalition, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Although the common view is that Spain wimped out to the terrorists demands immediately following the 3/11 Madrid bombings, they still maintain troops in Afghanistan as a part of NATO.
MADRID, Spain -- The coffins of 17 Spanish soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan were arranged together and surrounded by mourners Saturday at an emotional state funeral at the Spanish army headquarters.

And in the Iraqi Theater:
There have been 2,053 coalition troop deaths, 1,861 Americans, 93 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, one Dane, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 26 Italians, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, one Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of August 20, 2005
Wearing different uniforms, speaking other languages, reporting to foreign governments, they remain brothers at arms.

Trackback: Mudville Gazette

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John Roberts - EXPOSED

Washington—In a sudden turn of events, Reagan documents linked Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to early humans, commonly referred to as Neanderthals. The shocking revelation left many confused and the White House in stunned silence at their poor choice of candidate, a position a minority of Americans—best known as conservatives—agreed with.

The so-called classic Neanderthals were robust and had a large, thick skull, a sloping forehead, and a chinless jaw. These features, keys to the evolutionary link, were easily identifiable in conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Walter Williams and Mark Levin, but also found in John Roberts. But more apparent are the truths found within the Reagan documents, revealing the dark secrets hidden to everyday Americans.

Read it all!

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We see it on the War

We see it on the Economy

We see it in Politics

We see it on History

The Mainstream Media constantly hammer their agenda, day in, day out, six days a week and a BIG one on Sunday, 24 hours a day on the little screen, with special slots reserved during prime time to feed the same over local stations, weekly in print with special editions overseas for more over-the-top tripe, overwhelming the senses and sensibilities of the American people.

Then they ask: What do you believe?

By golly, the American people believe that:

The economy is tanking!

We are losing the War!

Bush lied! People died!

Are the American people stupid? NO! They are simply working with the erroneous information given them... by the Mainstream Media.
Lying Bastards!

No links, no cites, I'm just too pissed! Krugman will do that to me.

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Pressure Points (Updated)

The subject of this post is... immigration, and the pressure it places upon the existing population of the United States. Not legal as opposed to illegal immigration, but as a whole. Some background:

In days gone by, all immigrants entered the United States through our borders with Canada and Mexico, and along out coastlines. Immigrant populations would start at the edges, and move inward. The most intense pressure areas remained, however, on the fringes of the country. Competition for housing, jobs, education and recreation created areas of pressure as these immigrants assimilated into the American society. Over time new pressure points would arise as new groups of immigrants arrived. These pressure points could usually be defined along ethnic, religious, and/or racial boundaries. (Immigration history here, here and here)

With the advent of air travel, points of immigration spread throughout the country, lessening the concentration at the fringes. That is, with the exception of our Southern border. Our border with Mexico, and the ease with which it is crossed, coupled with the intense economic incentives for crossing it, has provided a large pressure point from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific coast. The immense immigrant population, although rapidly spreading throughout the country, is most in evidence in the border states.

Somewhere between forty percent and fifty-four percent of the U.S. population growth can be attributed to immigration, not counting the estimated seven to twelve million illegals in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some states now are approaching or have exceeded having half of their population classified as minority.

Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Shay at Booker Rising has written:

Does Illegal Immigration Pose A Threat To Black Americans?

The Census Bureau recently reported that Texas is the latest state to join a growing trend in America, where the minority population exceeds that of the white population. BlackBritain.co.uk talks to liberal columnist Dr Earl Ofari Hutchinson and a few sociologists to analyze how illegal immigration - which fuels much of the trend - impacts blacks in America. Despite the liberal bias, the article does a decent job outlining the three main issues of conflict: (1) competition for jobs at the lower end of the scale, with blacks being pushed out of traditional entry points; (2) diminishing political power for blacks; and (3) overcrowding for public services and affordable housing.

Shay asks some interesting and pointed questions prompted by the linked article, questions that I can't answer. However, his posting brought a question to my mind. Does the level of immigration, particularly illegal, affect the black population of this country more adversly than it does other ethnic groups (including whites as an ethnic group)?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Update: Interesting. A. C. Kleinheider at Hard Right posts:
This is unfortunate. Despite what you might think from watching the news and absorbing popular culture, blacks have become quite upwardly mobile and there exists a large and growing black middle class. That being said, there is still a good chunk at the lower end of the spectrum who are in direct competition with illegals for jobs. When jobs are lost and wages decline, quite often it is the black man who suffers. [...]

Check out the links.

As an aside here, I probably should have used the term racial groups rather than ethnic groups in my last sentence of the original post. From my perspective, though, I tend to think of group differences in the United States as differing more along ethnic lines than racial lines.

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No Border Emergency Here (CA)

That's the heading of an editorial in today's (8/19) Sf Chronicle, implying that we should move right along, there's nothing to see here.
UNLIKE Democratic governors in Arizona and New Mexico, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn't even think about declaring a border emergency in California.

That's because there isn't one.

If there is any section of the 2,200-mile U.S.-Mexico border where the case could be made that our border policies are "working," it is in California.

The number of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border has dropped dramatically since the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper in 1995. A longer border fence, a huge increase in Border Patrol agents, surveillance equipment and border lights have all contributed to a drop in apprehensions from a high of 550,688 in 1996 to 154,826 since Oct. 1 last year.

These numbers are for apprehensions, not for successful border crossers. It has been estimated that only one in three (cite: original ABC article no longer available) to one in five illegals are caught. That means that in all likelihood, somewhere between 310,000 and 620,000 illegals successfully crossed into California in the ten month period since October, 2004. No problem, move right along.

Well, apparently they do detect a slight problem:

[...] One of the biggest challenges for immigration authorities is how to alleviate the boredom of Border Patrol agents.


The Chronicle complains about the mixed message being sent by Gov. Schwarzenegger (CA) when he said that conditions did not warrant a state of emergency at the California/Mexico border, while praising Gov Bill Richardson (NM) and Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ) for their actions. Typically, they then say that since strong actions on the border will not address the problem of what to do about those already here, that it would be the wrong action to stop more from coming over.
Regardless of what happens on the California border, declaring a state of emergency will do nothing to solve the problem of what to do about the 10.3 million illegal immigrants already here, as well as the estimated 485,000 new ones who settle here each year.
Hmmm, 485,000 new illegals per year. Wonder where they're going to put them? They then proceed to tout the proposed Kennedy-McCain Senate 1033 Bill to improve border security and immigration.

The obvious point of the Chronicle's editorial is not about illegal immigration or border control, it's about Gov. Schwarzenegger. Arnold is wrong, and that's that! Govs. Richardson and Napolitano just may have their priorities right, and we're sure being Democrats has nothing to do with that, right? Sorry, folks... this is not a partisan problem, this is an American problem.

And illegal immigration in California IS a problem, as Gov. Schwarzenegger and sensible people everywhere recognize. If the additional resources and attention focused on the borders in Arizona and New Mexico through the declared states of emergency are successful, the number of attempted border crossings will increase in Texas and California. The pressure to come to the United States is amply demonstrated by the results of the latest pollings. Forty percent or more of the Mexican population wants to come to the United States. Twenty percent or more would do so illegally, if the opportunity arose.

Although I could probably be classified as a partisan Bush hack on many issues, in this case I have to say that the Bush Administration is not doing enough to address this problem. Our borders, especially to the South, are no more than another front in the Global War on Terror, and must be defended as such. We have laws on the books already to address border control. Lets enforce them. NOW!

Then we can deal with the problem of those already here.

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Hearts and Minds

Finally found an English translation of this item, thanks to a Free Republic link:
A 93-year-old woman with a "grip like iron" fought back against a robber by grabbing him by the testicles.
The Lithuanian woman, who says her strong grip is down to years of milking goats, held on to the man until police arrived.

Hearts and minds to follow!

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

I don't think so, Kofi

from Human Events Online:
The United Nations apparently thinks it does so much so well, with efficiency and absence of corruption, that the international confabulation now believes it is time for it to take over control of the Internet.

If you haven’t already heard of this latest UN debacle, you will. The issue is rolling down hill and picking up momentum. It’s being propelled, as with so many UN initiatives, by anti-American grievances, envy and resentment . It all could come to a head in November in Tunis when the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) next meets. If you think your computer is slow now, just wait until a UN commission based in Geneva gets its bureaucratic clutches on the World Wide Web.

Uh huh. Over your dead body!

(Thanks to Free Republic for the original link)

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Why Casey Sheehan Died (Updated)

I have not posted anything about the death in Iraq of Casey Sheehan, or the ongoing and growing protest of his mother Cindy Sheehan, for a couple of reasons. One, I feel tremendous sympathy for her and her family over their suffering the loss of Casey. Two, Cindy, like every other American, has the right and duty to express their beliefs to our govenrment. Three, I didn't want to contribute to the chattering frenzy so ably facilitated by the news media.

To Cindy: I salute your motives and courage in your initial efforts to gain audience with President Bush. I only wish you had not succumbed to the coterie of loonies that have attached themselves to your plight.

To the anti-war, anti-American, anti-Bush crowd who jumped on Cindy's bandwagon: Shame on you! Shame! Shame! Shame! Had you supported Cindy's original purpose you would have been doing well. To purposely hijack her cause, and subvert it into the venomous farce that it has become is immoral, unethical, and just not right!

To the Media creating this frenzy: Since you have no shame, you have no allegiance, you have no values beyond the bottom line, I have nothing to say other than you'll regret this, historically.

So, why did Casey Sheehan die? Thanks to Classical Values for the link to the Carnival of the Vanities hosted this week at WILLisms, here is a well-written answer from Kid Various at The Idiom:

[...] And he knows that if he allows this seed of Liberty to germinate, prosperity and power in small amounts will follow, followed then by more breaking down of traditional ties and more Liberty, followed then by more prosperity and power in an ever upward cycle until his dysfunctional traditional way of life has been utterly usurped.

That is why the enemy killed Casey Sheehan. That is why they will kill many more like Casey Sheehan. Because if Casey Sheehan, and the hundreds of thousands like him are successful in their mission, the enemy’s way of life is doomed.
Please, if you read nothing else today, go and read this, and the subsequent comments. Here's the link again.

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Update: Paul A. Miller at Along the Tracks and I seem to agree, both about Cindy S. and those that have taken advantage of her. He posted two days prior to me, and says it better.

It takes an unusually callous attitude to co-opt a grieving mother for a media circus. It takes a heartless level of cruelty to rob a mother’s pride and convince her the son she loved died a worthless death in an unjust cause. It takes a special shamelessness to toss that mother before television cameras to repeat the foolish conspiracy theories you are unwilling to admit are false.


Cindy Sheehan, who actually did meet with President Bush last summer and now is pushed out into the spotlight as a sympathetic figure by those whose wild theories could find no sympathy on their own, has every right to protest the president, question his judgment and challenge him to a face-to-face confrontation.

Her son fought and died to make certain she could – and she should be proud of him for that.

We all should be.

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Another one bites the dust!

This is good news.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Al Qaeda's leader in Saudi Arabia was killed Thursday during clashes with police in the western city of Medina, the Interior Ministry said.

Saleh Mohammed al-Aoofi was among six Al Qaeda-linked militants reported killed during police raids on numerous locations in that holy city and the capital, Riyadh, Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki told The Associated Press
.Even better, there remains a lot of dust to be bitten in the Middle East. More biters, please!

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Keeps on going, and going, and going...

From Space.com (bolds mine):

At its Gusev crater exploration site, the Spirit Mars rover is wheeling to the summit of Husband Hill and likely to complete its climb this week.

"I think we’re going to make it," said the Mars Exploration Rover program’s lead scientist, Steve Squyres of Cornell University. New imagery from the robot shows a feature that is either the summit or something very close to it, he noted in a newly issued rover update on a Cornell University-based website.

Spirit touched down on Mars at Gusev crater in early January 2004

I would say 'nicely done', but it appears as if Spirit and Opportunity are far from done. Read the whole thing.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Brewing conflict: Israel vs. the World (Update II)

Israel has now vacated the Gaza strip. Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and others (al Qaida??) will now vie for control.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — For the first time in a decade, the founders and top political leaders of Hamas gathered on the same stage today, vowing to go on fighting Israel and claiming victory for the Israelis' impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

In a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority, the militant leaders rejected the idea of a sole decision-making body for the area and claimed the group's right to possess its own weapons.

Tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have heated up as Israel prepares to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements, with each trying to claim victory for the pullout scheduled to begin after midnight Monday.

Using past history, and current rhetoric, as a guide, I would conclude that almost certainly there will be attacks against Israel from within the Gaza strip. (emphasis mine)

Unlike the Palestinian Authority, which wants to establish an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital, Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel.

"Hamas remains committed to the choice of resistance as a strategic choice. Hamas remains committed to its military wing and its right to possess weapons," said Ismail Haniyye, a top Hamas leader.

Given this political climate, there will be attacks on Israel. How will Israel respond? Previously Israeli response has been targeted assassinations, and excursions (raids) into suspect areas. Now that all Israeli presence has been removed from Gaza, the way is cleared for more massive air and artillery responses. Will this happen? My guess is yes.

What will the world's reaction be to a massive response to an attack? Past history shows that it will be almost universal condemnation (info info). Even the Catholic Church will join in... again.

A massive Israeli response into Gaza will certainly provoke more of the same. Political pressure in the United States might even, regretably, cause us to join that condemnation. The result? Israel vs. the World. Do they, in fact, have nukes?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Update: Comment pointed me to this further evidence that Hamas has more on their agenda. UN claims ignorance! (scroll down, second to last paragraph)
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Update II: Gloria from Apropos of Nothing lays out her thoughts on the results of the Gaza pullout. She offers an opposing pair of scenarios, then chooses the middle road. Read the whole thing.

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How much is too much?

With the current political and societal climate regarding sex crimes, we seem to be pushing beyond the pale. Headlines today involve Arnold's support for a California bill requiring lifetime sentences for those convicted of sex crimes.
Sacramento -- Tens of thousands of California sex offenders would be forced to wear electronic tracking devices for the rest of their lives under two new bills backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

That, however you look at it, is a life sentence. For what? What exactly IS a sex crime? It seems that we are not really sure what constitutes a sex crime. Here is the entry from Wikipedia, which I realize is NOT an authoritive source, but is presented as an illustration of the problem of defining a sex crime.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sex crimes are forms of human sexual behavior that are crimes. Someone who commits one is said to be a sex offender.

Some sex crimes are crimes of violence that involve sex. Others are violations of social taboos, such as indecent exposure or exhibitionism.

There is much variation among cultures as to what is considered a crime or not, and in what ways or to what extent crimes are punished.

Acts regarded as crimes almost universally include the following non-consensual sex crimes:

Liberal western cultures are far more tolerant of acts, such as oral sex or transvestism, that have traditionally been held to be crimes in some other cultures, but combine this with lesser tolerance for the remaining crimes.

Some activists perceive circumcision, a practice common in the U.S., as a crime against children in violation of human rights laws. However, circumcision advocates perceive it as a religious rite, or a helpful or essential health measure, and believe it does not violate any child abuse laws. Courts in the United States have tended to favor the circumcision advocates in the majority of cases.

Many consensual sexual actions or activities are only viewed as crimes in some jurisdictions, including:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
If we cannot specify, legally, a definition of an act that we can all agree is a crime, how then can we punish some and not others based on the locality of the act? What about this case?

A former White House deputy drug czar hoping to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate was found to have "engaged in lewd and abusive behavior" by joking about the sexual orientation of an underling at an office party.


Although the above was not a criminal conviction, it could well have been. In most locales prostitution, consorting with a prostitute, bodily exposure, and other acts are crimes... SEX crimes.

Should these people be required to wear GPS tracking devices for the rest of their lives? This appears to me to be a direct violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Would it be crueler and more unusual to brand these individuals? Execute them?

Arnold is wrong. Websites listing names, pictures and addresses of sex offenders is wrong. GPS tracking of sex offenders is wrong.

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Who let the dogs out?

Good post over at the Gates of Vienna concerning immigration, closed borders... you know, all the stuff I and others have been ranting on for so long. Go read it. Anything that is titled...

Unleashing the Dogs of Immigration

... and ends with this:
God watches over fools, drunkards, and the United States of America, but surely we’re pushing it.
has just got to be good.

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Just Do It! Now!

(Click on image)

(Thanks to Free Republic for original link)

Updated to fix image link

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Jolly Green Giant is Muslim?

(cartoon credit: Steve Langille)

After all, I have heard that Islam IS the Religion of Peas!

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Justice for Spc. Jorge Estrada? Why not?

I've been thinking on a subject in the past day or two. that subject being murder. Follows an ongoing tale of two murders.

* * * * * * * * * *

In 1996, Nashville artist Janet March disappeared. Her body has, to my knowledge, never been found. Her husband, attorney Perry March, after several legal battles involving wrongful death, estate issues, and child custody, moved with his children to Chicago, then to Mexico. Information available here, here, and here.

This past week he was brought back to Nashville and jailed, charged with the murder of his wife. It is not clear to me whether he was extradited out of Mexico, or the FBI persuaded him to come of his own volition. Regardless, the fact remains that he was once in Mexico, free, and now he's in Nashville, non-free.

* * * * * * * * * *

On June 9, 2005 Spc. Jorge Estrada was murdered while on leave from his unit in Iraq. His alleged murderer, Fabian Cayetano Urrea, has reportedly fled to Mexico. His sister was arrested and charged with helping him escape. Information available here, here, here, and here. It seems plain that the Murrieta, CA police have a strong case against Urrea, with both a body and witnesses.

* * * * * * * * * *

If the FBI (see links) can go into Mexico and bring Perry March back, is there any reason why they cannot do the same for Fabian Urrea. If there is no reason why they cannot, then why have they not done so?

Just asking, y'know. I would certainly not imply, not yet at least, that there is a double standard at work here. But I hope and pray that we don't have to wait ten more years for justice.

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And the answer is...

The answer is obvious: Secure the borders now

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Okie Doke, now we're cookin' with gas!
PHOENIX, United States (AFP) - Arizona ignored pleas for greater cooperation from Mexican President
Vicente Fox to become the second US state to declare a state of emergency on its border due to rising illegal immigration, violence and smuggling.

Four days after New Mexico declared a 90 day state of emergency for border areas, Arizona did the same for its four counties on the Mexican frontier, citing uncontrolled illegal immigration.

"The federal government has to secure our border, and the health and safety of all Arizonans is threatened daily by violent gangs, coyotes (human traffickers) and other dangerous criminals," said Arizona governor Janet Napolitano in a statement.

"I intend to take every action feasible to stem the tide of criminal behavior on the Arizona side of the border," she said.


We've been jawin' long enough, time for some action.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pit of Vipers

A Zoology professor and an outdoorsman wonder why these snakes are gathering. Speculation is that they are preparing to hibernate. Reptiles have been bagged, tagged and tracked, and still gather in one location for no apparent reason.
LITTLE ROCK - It happens every year: large numbers of copperheads gather and move in unison to dens for hibernation. But it happens in October, not July or August. Now the common event has become an uncommon and inexplicable one.

"I know for a fact that all these snakes didn't just wake up one day and do this," said Chuck Miller, whose Marion County yard has been overrun with the pitvipers. "Something's making them do it. They know something we don't know. There's got to be something more to this."


(image credit: Tigerhomes.org)

You know, this behavior is not really strange, if you give it some thought. After all, every year in the fall pitvipers gather together for a particular activity. Usually there are increased concentrations of them at two-year intervals, and huge conglomerations of them at four-year intervals. Great, writhing masses of them, venomously striking at anything that moves.

We call them Democrats.

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This is so wrong!

First, we should have a Constitutional Amendment that no lawyer could ever become a judge! From this Free Republic posting:
A Burger King patron in Rockford, Ill., backs her car into a lamppost in the parking lot and then panics. She puts her car into drive and puts the pedal to the metal. She quickly loses control of her vehicle, which jumps the sidewalk and flies through a plate-glass window, striking and fatally injuring a patron.

Who was negligent in this freak accident? The driver? Or the deep-pockets restaurant, for improperly designing and constructing its building and sidewalk and for not installing protective barriers around the building?

If you said the latter, you should enroll in law school, if you aren't already a trial lawyer.

The dead patron's estate sued the restaurant chain for millions for "designing the building to be bricked up only a few feet from the ground, when the defendant(s) knew or should have known that ... may allow a vehicle from the parking lot to drive into the building, and crash through the glass on top of the brick."

The trial judge reasonably dismissed the suit, concluding the "likelihood of this scenario is so minor that to guard against it in the manner suggested would require fortifying every building within striking distance of any crazed or incredibly inept driver."

Stunningly, the dismissal was reversed by the Illinois Appellate Court, which said Burger King must safeguard its patrons from all possible accidents, no matter how improbable.

Read the whole thing. One commenter suggest the Bard had it right (third quote down). Another offered this link to the full decision and dissent.

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Gun Control

I hate to see this, even in Canada.
Gun owners in Toronto may soon be prohibited from keeping their firearms at home even if they are properly licensed and registered, Mayor David Miller said yesterday.

Any elected official here in the United States that suggested that should be immediately impeached, and out on his/her ear!

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Is that a Bandwagon? Hill and Bill: 08

Rick James, in the Post Chronicle:

We taxpaying Americans, blessed with common sense, have seen a problem with the southern border. It's rag tag fence, full of holes with no one watching it. And so we wait. We wait for at least one lone voice in Washington to address the problem. We wait for anyone of political power across the fruited plain to stand up and address the madness. All was silent, until a man rose from Santa Fe along with a woman in Washington whose so-called home is in New York.

Mark this one up for the Democrats. They, led by Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton, a possible ticket in '08, have drawn first blood in the next big issue. Out of the gate, into the primaries, the Democrats have a leg up on the Grand Ol' Party.

Hope there's room on the bandwagon for them!

S. 1033 co-sponsors:
Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]
Sen. Samuel Brownback [R-KS]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R-SC]
Sen. Edward Kennedy [D-MA]
Sen. Joseph Lieberman [D-CT]
Sen. Ken Salazar [D-CO]

H.R. 2330 co-sponsors (bill is identical to S. 1033 above):
Rep. James Kolbe [R-AZ]
Rep. Joseph Crowley [D-NY]
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart [R-FL]
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R-FL]
Rep. Jeff Flake [R-AZ]
Rep. Luis Gutierrez [D-IL]
Rep. Grace Napolitano [D-CA]
Rep. Edward Pastor [D-AZ]
Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D-CA]
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL]
Rep. James Walsh [R-NY]

S. 1438 co-sponsors:
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R-AZ]

H.R. 418 sponsor:
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI]
140 other co-sponsors, I'm not going to list them.

'Nuff said

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Clarifying Immigration

Thomas Sowell, writing at the Post Chronicle, says this:
Immigration has joined the long list of subjects on which it is taboo to talk sense in plain English. At the heart of much confusion about immigration is the notion that we "need" immigrants -- legal or illegal -- to do work that Americans won't do.
What we "need" depends on what it costs and what we are willing to pay. [...]
The points he makes in this article are correct, and it is not my intention to dispute them. However, he only touches on the reason that I feel that we need immigrants. Speaking about his views, he states that "[...] This is not rocket science."

Yes, this IS rocket science! And medical, biological, computer, mathmetical, manufacturing, and educational science. And art and literature and even politics. Every aspect of American society has benefited from the influx of immigrants. An immigrant, taking a low paying job cleaning a research lab, could well have children or grandchildren running that same lab.

The United States benefits greatly from immigrants. Their presence creates competition that drives us all forward. Immigration, done correctly, does not produce isolated subcultures that are harmful to American society; it produces more Americans.

Mr. Sowell correctly calls for profiling to filter out those who, historically, are not able or willing to adapt into that society. Our very survival is at stake.

Self-preservation used to be called the first law of nature. But today self-preservation has been superseded by a need to preserve the prevailing rhetoric and visions. Immigration is just one of the things we can no longer discuss rationally as a result.
Mere social burdens created by immigrants on welfare, or taxing the medical infrastructure, are today overshadowed by infiltrators that wish harm to the United States. The profiling should include likely terrorists. However, if you don't know who is here, or who is on the way, how can you possibly profile and monitor immigrants? You can't! Border control is a must. Whether accomplished with physical barriers, armed patrols, or a Border Death Ray, we MUST be able to control border crossings.

A number of Senators and Congressmen have introduced legislation to address this situation. That is all well and good, and might force our government to direct resources to these areas. It seems to me that existing laws and regulations, if properly implemented and enforced, would be adequate.

Close the borders, enforce current laws, encourage immigration, and support and demand assimilation of those immigrants.

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

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(On a side note here, completely off topic... I was looking for a .wav file to attach to the 'Resistance is futile' above, and ran across Wil Wheaton's blog. It was interesting, check it out.)

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Piss on it...

OK, work with me on this. The Register (via this /. link) is reporting that scientists have developed a urine-powered battery.
Researchers in Singapore have developed a paper battery that is powered by urine. Despite sounding gloriously silly, the breakthrough promises a cheap and disposable power source for home health tests for things like diabetes.

Although developed for medical applications, I can easily imagine many more useful applications. Anything that requires a small capacity battery should be targeted. How about cell phones, laptops, iPods, and other electronic devices. You'd never have to lug a charging cord around with you again. Think how convenient it would be in those all day conferences, if you could synchronize the low battery warning on your laptop with the need to eliminate all that bad coffee? Low battery? Piss on it. Cell phone going dead? Piss on it. Boss talking incessantly? Wait... nevermind on that one!

Let's carry this a little further. How about implanting the layers required for battery construction directly in your bladder? With a little innovation to increase function and capacity, you could urinate pure water, and jump start your car! Well, males could, anyway.

Hmmm, males and females. Lets consider electric sex! On second thought, lets not. I'll leave that to your imagination. It would give sparking a whole new meaning, though. And social encounters would begin with 'Positive or negative?', or 'What voltage are you?'. Males would then compare amperage, rather than physical dimensions. Resistance to a relationship would be measured in Ohms.

One major drawback that I can see is that once you were converted to Piss Power, getting trapped by an avalanche would mean certain death, since your only means of escape would have been eliminated (no pun intended here).

Science! Ain't it great?

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Drooping Nappy?

Offered without comment, read the whole, strange thing.
LONDON (Reuters) - UK police said Monday they were searching for a man wearing just a diaper, who approaches women late at night and asks: "Are there any baby changing facilities around here?"

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This is BAD news!

Erotic images can turn you blind
I'm doomed, I tell ya, DOOMED!

Researchers have finally found evidence for what good Catholic boys have known all along – erotic images make you go blind. [...]

Excuse me, but posting will be light, while I go shave my palms.

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Ahhh, Sweet Anarchy!

I'm way behind the curve on this little item, with never a suspicion that it would exist. Probably because I hadn't given it any thought. However, it's one of those things that draw an instant I WANT ONE from me when I do finally learn of it's existence. From Wired:
If you've ever been stuck in traffic longing for a magic box that could turn all your red lights to green, beware: Acting on that fantasy became a federal crime this week.

The Safe Intersections Act, part of the transit bill signed Wednesday by President Bush, makes it a misdemeanor for unauthorized users to wield a "traffic signal pre-emption transmitter," a special remote control used by police, firefighters and ambulance drivers to change traffic lights to green as they approach an intersection.

So here is a handy little device that is illegal to own, sell, possess or use, and I want one. Go figure.

Vendors sell these to official buyers for $500 and up. However:


schematic for mobile infrared transmitters (MIRT)

Schematic, parts list and instructions to DIY (do it yourself) seem to be available at I-Hacked.com, for what it's worth.

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What about poor Billy?

Where, Oh where, is the ACLU when you need them?
REDLANDS, Calif. -- Police here are determined to bust the legend of Billy's ghost. For more than 20 years, ghost hunters, amorous teens and the just plain curious have flocked to Mariposa Elementary School in the wee hours in hopes of spotting the ghost of a boy that legend says died in the school nurse's office.

Poor Billy! People just won't leave him to R.I.P. Waking him at all hours of the night, kids running his hallways all day, seems there is no rest for the dead. I'm surprised the ACLU hasn't jumped all over this. Don't ghosts have rights, too?

And now, the ultimate in humiliation, the complete loss of privacy:

So authorities intend to install a video surveillance system -- not to catch the ghost, but the ghost hunters.

Uh huh. I'll bet that's the real reason for the cameras.

They're even attempting to steal what little identity he has left!


The legend seems to stem from the real life death of a boy in 1972. Problem is, he didn't die in the school and wasn't even a student there. It's not even clear his name was Billy.


Poor Billy!

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It is said that Nature abhors a vacuum. In an effort to reach equilibrium between the low pressure area of higher wages, job availability and labor demand in the United States, there is a steady flow of people from the high pressure area of no jobs, low wages and excess labor in Mexico. This creates the distinct possibility of a major terrorist attack upon the United States by facilitating terrorist infiltration. For a worst case scenario, read this.

From a 2003 article by Roger Moore:
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.” – Article IV; Section 4 United States Constitution
All but ignored by the U.S. military and our elected political leaders, a concealed war on our southern border continues to escalate.

While the United States is willing to go thousands of miles to confront the more visible supporters and sponsors of terrorism and spend billions of dollars doing so, why is it that the Bush administration, both parties in Congress and the Pentagon are ignoring a security threat in our own back yard? That threat is twofold:

First, it includes the growth of criminal violence and an increasing vulnerability to terrorist infiltration stemming from continuous invasion of illegals across the porous U.S.-Mexican border.

The situation is steadily worsening because of U.S. inaction. The Bush White House euphemistically cites “cultural and historical reasons” for the kid-gloves treatment of this invasion. In fact, political expediency and group-identity politics are to blame.

The second aspect of this war is a quiet but concerted effort by the Mexican government to extend its political influence over the 9 million Mexicans living in the United States.

Here is an illustration of the high pressure south of the border, from the Brownsville Herald:
MEXICO CITY, August 14, 2005 — Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and similar border communities that are battlegrounds in a drug cartel turf war are also victims of their own economic success, according to border watchers and officials who offer theories on the worsening violence there.

In a recent interview with The Brownsville Herald, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza said the rise of the maquiladora industry in the 1970s brought more people than jobs to the country’s northern edge.

Garza said rapid population growth on both sides of the border has not been matched by job market growth or improvements to the area’s schools, law enforcement or infrastructure.

“When you create environments like that, you create vulnerabilities in terms of underclasses … people who are moving through the community,” Garza said.

He believes immigrants who did not find work at border factories turned their eyes north. “People were moving to the border from the interior to chase the dream of the maquila job in Mexico. When that didn’t keep pace, it (the dream) was just to keep moving.”

A lot of people wanting to keep moving to the north. And in the United States there is a large demand for the low-cost labor those people represent. From the LA Times via Yahoo:
FRESNO — The nectarine came off the branch with a rustle of leaves and a snap of the stem. The flesh was soft and light, with a tangy aftertaste that was only slightly sour.

It was a few days from being perfectly ripe — and that, said Central Valley labor contractor Fred Garza, was a problem. It might have been too ripe to make the market in time.

"The harvest started getting away from us. We should have 25 men here, but we only have six," Garza said while standing in a nectarine orchard last month.

"I've lost two jobs this season because I couldn't get people — any people," said Garza, who generally employs about 2,500 men. This summer, he has only 1,500 workers. "And I'm one of the largest labor suppliers around here. If I'm having trouble, everybody's having trouble."

California's farm labor contractors and growers said they struggle to find enough workers for the summer harvests because tougher border enforcement and competition from the booming construction industry and other sectors are shrinking agriculture's primary workforce: undocumented Mexican immigrants.

This natural flow from South to North, besides the obvious danger of terrorist infiltration, creates an immense burden on our infrastructure. From the Houston Chronicle:
You don't need to make a trip to the Texas-Mexico border to realize the failure of our nation's immigration policy — you need only make a journey to Ben Taub Hospital or the Harris County Jail. From either place you can witness firsthand the total and abject failure of a federal policy that wastes billions of dollars in an attempt to protect our borders and drives up local property taxes to the point of near revolt by homeowners across Texas.

We are being overwhelmed by the flow of illegal immigrants, with no evidence that we can stop it.

We can bemoan the failure of our federal government or we can become engaged at the state and local level to discourage the flow of illegals. I'm tired of waiting on the federal government and fearful that any new policy on illegal immigration will only be a repeat of the 1986 act that granted amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Some are attempting to restrict the uncontrolled flow northward. In an official capacity, we have this from the Albuquerque Journal:
Gov. Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency along New Mexico's 180-mile border with Mexico on Friday, pledging $1.75 million to beef up law enforcement and tackle increasing crime.

"Recent developments have convinced me this action is necessary— including violence directed at law enforcement, damage to property and livestock, increased evidence of drug smuggling, and an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants," Richardson said in a prepared statement.

Others are trying to assist in the control effort in an unofficial capacity. From the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:
HOUSTON- The organizer of a volunteer group that has taken up the cause of combatting illegal immigration brought his recruiting efforts to Houston on Sunday, comparing the group's border surveillance to that of a neighborhood watch.
Minuteman Civil Defense Corp. President Chris Simcox, who trained about 30 volunteers in Houston late Sunday, said he's looking for people willing to set up a lawn chair, use a pair of binoculars and program Border Patrol's number into their cell phones.

"We are the nation's largest neighborhood watch program," Simcox said outside a Houston airport hangar where his members privately trained new volunteers. "We sit in lawn chairs and we observe. And when we spot illegal activity, we report that to the proper authorities."

The group is planning to patrol Texas' border with Mexico in October, repeating an action it took along Arizona's border in April.

Whether the final solution resides in military, non-military governmental agencies, or ad hoc civilian volunteer groups, or a combination of these, control of the flow across the border is essential. The possible alternatives are not good:

The technician opened his case and took a wire that ran from the back of the truck along the floorboards. He plugged it into a jack in the simple switching device in the case. He looked at the driver and smiled. The driver smiled back. They both began to recite a prayer in Arabic while looking over the San Diego harbor. At some point in the prayer, without really thinking about it, the technician threw the switch. In the next instant, at the intersection of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway in San Diego, California on a warm August morning, a miniature version of the Sun appeared on the surface of the Earth.

Separation of economic immigrants from terrorist infiltrators is not possible with complete control of who crosses the borders.

What are YOU going to do?

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