Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Adios, amigo

The guy who has played Juan Valdez, the advertising icon of the Colombian National Federation of Coffee Growers, is retiring in July after portraying the character for 37 years. Do you think you have what it takes to replace him?
"The first thing is that we need someone with a thick mustache, who can sport a poncho and who's not afraid of donkeys," said Gabriel Silva, the president of the official body. "But it's not just that. We need someone authentic, proud of what he is doing and modest."
Now, I've never tried on a poncho, so I'm not sure if I could "sport" one, but otherwise that sounds just like me. Except for the mustache.

And now that I think about it, while I'm not "afraid" of donkeys, per se, I'm not really what you'd call a fan.

Father's Day is coming

This year, why not get your dad what he really wants? That's right, a Biz Markie action figure. They've only made 1,000 of them, so hurry up and get yours! At only $69.95 each, you'd be foolish not to get at least one.

Besides, your pops deserves it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The things people do for love

It seems like every few months you hear a story like this one out of southeast Asia. Must be something in the water.
A man who apparently severed his penis in an attempt to convince his wife that he was faithful to her was recovering after surgery to reattach the organ at a northern Malaysian hospital, a news report said Tuesday.

The 41-year-old man, who was not identified, got into an argument last Friday with his wife, who found a text message on his mobile phone from another woman. The man was heard by his son shouting that he wanted to prove he was not having an affair, the New Straits Times reported.
Um, the only thing that really proves is that you're not playing with a full deck.

But I guess this probably will prevent him from having any future affairs. And, quite possibly, peeing while standing.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

As you kick back with a beer or some barbecue, remember to spare a thought for all of those who have served our country with pride and distinction, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ask and you shall receive

Goldstein wanted a trackback, so here it is. Enjoy!

Friday, May 26, 2006

"A twinge of resentment"

There was a good AP article that I must've missed yesterday about legal immigrants who feel like they're being marginalized in the debate over illegal immigration reform. I can't say I blame them, seeing as how they're trying to do things the right way, and the US Senate is basically throwing the door open to lawbreakers and saying, "Come on in!"

Here's how it begins:
Working with illegal immigrants every day in a suburban Atlanta bank, Carlos Carbonell knows exactly where to go to buy a fake green card for his wife. Sometimes he thinks it would be much easier.

His wife, Valentina, has been stuck in their native Caracas, Venezuela, for four years because of backlogs in processing her green card application.

Carbonell believes in reforming U.S. immigration policy, but he and other legal immigrants who have been playing by the rules feel forgotten in the debate over possible amnesty for most of the estimated 12 million immigrants here illegally.

"They are putting as a priority illegal immigration, and legal immigrants are left out of the loop. It's the curse of doing things right," he said. "They think that the legal ones can wait -- hey!"

Even though they have loyalty to their immigrant origins, many legal immigrants also feel a twinge of resentment toward others who have broken the law, and they fear illegal migrants could complicate their own quest for citizenship.
It's an excellent article, and it touches on some of the things that I wrote about here earlier this month. Read the whole thing.


Check out this cool footage from a Japanese-American research team. It's apparently the closest-ever footage of an undersea volcanic eruption. The probe they used gets withing seven to ten feet of the eruption.

No word as to whether or not the eruption, in the Pacific Ocean near Guam, disturbed the slumbering Cthulhu.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hansel and Gretel rob convenience store

Well, not exactly. It was actually three guys in the Syracuse, NY area. But before we go on with this, what do you want to bet that these people were really, really high when they did this?
A trio of hungry burglars helped their own undoing by leaving a trail of snack wrappers after stealing six packages of instant lottery tickets from a convenience store.

"This was a combination of good police work and a stupid criminal," said Sgt. Tom Connellan, a police spokesman.

The burglars smashed a window early Wednesday at a convenience store and fled with the lottery tickets and some Little Debbie Coffee Cake snacks. Officer James Johnson followed a trail of discarded wrappers to a nearby apartment building, where he arrested the trio.
Now, I'm sure Sgt. Connellan is a fine investigator, but I'm pretty sure the trail of Little Debbie wrappers leading directly from the crime scene to these masterminds' hideout was a lot more "stupid criminal" than "good police work."

And like I said, they were probably really, really high.

Time waster

American Dad vs. Family Guy Kung Fu. It's like the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games, but with characters from those two shows. The controls aren't all that easy to use, but it's kind of clever.

update: I found this even better timewaster, where you have to kill baby albino vampires (via Florida Cracker).

I can't drive 55 (with just my feet)

I find stories like this one from New Zealand refreshing because they reinforce one of my core beliefs. Namely that the "differently abled" are just as reckless and stupid as the rest of us.
An armless man stopped for speeding was driving with one foot on the steering wheel and another on the pedals, a policeman testified in court.

Colin Smith, who was born without arms and has never held a driver's license, appeared in court Thursday charged with driving in a manner likely to be dangerous to the public.
I dunno, sounds like he knew what he was doing. Besides, the title of the article says Smith is "armless," which in the Queen's English means "harmless," what with that charming dropped h. Right?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another reason to hate soccer

I mean, aside from the facts that it's incredibly boring and beloved by Eurotrash dickweeds, apparently it's really, really ghey.
Football gives men a way to express their innermost thoughts and feelings, according to a pre World Cup survey.

Almost two-thirds of men (64%) believe that while watching or playing football, they are more willing to share their feelings with other men than when doing other activities.

Three quarters said they would not be embarrassed to hug their mates while watching a match.
Apparently, though, soccer doesn't have the ability to turn men into complete sissy-marys.
However, the ability of football to bring out a man's emotions does have its limits - three-quarters of men polled said they had never cried over the outcome of a match.
So, 25% of British men have broken down and sobbed like little girls over the outcome of a soccer match? Disturbing.

But I bet the percentage of Frenchmen is higher.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

So very, very drunk

Ho-lee shee-it, this guy is lucky he's not dead. At least he was lucky not to be dead until the inevitably monstrous hangover set in, that is.
Lithuanian police were so astonished by a breath test that registered 18 times the legal alcohol limit, they thought their device must be broken. It wasn't.

Police said Tuesday 41-year-old Vidmantas Sungaila registered 7.27 grams per liter of alcohol in his blood repeatedly on different devices after he was pulled over Saturday for driving his truck down the center of a two-lane highway 60 miles from the capital, Vilnius.

Lithuania's legal limit is 0.4 grams per liter.
Great googly-moogly, the guy wasn't drunk--he was embalmed! But my favorite part of the article comes from a Lithuanian police official. I have no idea if the following is an accurate translation, but if it is, hoo-boy...
"This guy should have been lying dead, but he was still driving. It must be an unofficial national record," Saulius Skvernelis, director of the national police traffic control service, told the AP. "He was of high spirits and grinning the whole time he was questioned." [emphasis mine]
"High spirits." Like the man says, heh. Indeed.

Oh, and by the way, the guy isn't just a drunk, he's a genius, too.
Sungaila, who was slapped with a $1,110 fine and the loss of his license for up to three years, told police he had been drinking the night before and tried to freshen up by downing a pint of beer for breakfast.
I think a cold shower might work a little better, next time. That, or not nearly drinking yourself to death.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wanna buy a fort?

Well, you're in luck because someone is actually selling one on eBay.
A Civil War-era fort is on the technological auction block, eBay.

Fort Montgomery, built in 1844, was staffed during the war, however the fort never saw any real military combat action during the war between North and South.

Victor Podd who resides in Boca Raton and whose family owns the relic from the 1800’s says, “This is the first time it's been formally for sale.”
The article says the top bid is $1 million, so you're going to have to pull together quite a bit of dough. Stil, it's perfect for kids. They'll never have to build another fort to play in!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Dedication to quality funny

I've always admired people who are able to pull off elaborate practical jokes. I could never pull one off because, frankly, I'm a lazy bastard. These guys, on the other hand...
A practical joker got a taste of revenge when friends turned part of his apartment into a human-sized hamster cage, complete with shredded newspaper bedding, a six-foot exercise wheel and a giant water bottle.

"It was a lot of work, but it was one of those cases where you do it because you have to," said Keith Jewell, a longtime friend and neighbor who engineered Monday's hamster-cage prank on Luke Trerice.
And why did they do this? As revenge for another practical joke, of course.
Trerice, 28, had it coming: In 2004, he enlisted others to help him encase another friend's apartment and most of his belongings in aluminum foil.

The victim of that prank, Chris Kirk, spent nearly two years cleaning up the meticulous coating of foil, which was wrapped around everything from his toilet and CD collection to the individual coins in his spare change. [emphases mine]
Me, I'd be too tired after cleaning up for two fucking years to plot an elaborate revenge scheme. My hat is off to these guys for their dedication, however misplaced it may be.

Oh, and as for Trerice, he's already saving money for his revenge plot, of course.

Hooray for Bollywood

I found this dealie that lets you subtitle clips from Indian movies over at Garfield Ridge, and I've gotta say, it's a lot of fun. I made this one and this one. If you come up with a good one, post a link to it in the comments here or at the Garfield Ridge post I linked above. Dave's got a prize for the best one.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Girly boy

From (of course) the Land of the Rising Sun, let us examine the strange case of the seven-year-old tranny.
A young boy who believes he was born the wrong sex was allowed to enroll as a girl at an elementary school in southwestern Japan, a school official said Thursday.

The 7-year-old boy entered the school as a girl in April 2005 after he was diagnosed with gender identity disorder at age 6, a spokesman for the local school board said. The Japanese school year starts in April.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect the identity of the boy and his school district, said the boy's name is listed with girl students, and that he attends a girls' gym class and uses the girls' bathroom. The boy, who's in the second grade, wears a girl's swimsuit at the school pool.

"At this point, we are relieved that the child was accepted into first grade and is being raised in a healthy manner," the official said.
Lemme get this (ahem) straight...this little boy thinks he should have been born a girl, dresses like a girl, uses the girls' bathroom, and s/he's "being raised in a healthy manner"? Uh, okay.
Katsuki Harima, a psychiatrist specializing in gender identity disorder at Tokyo Musashino Hospital, said the decision to allow the boy to enroll as a girl seemed appropriate, but would get complicated as he grew older.


"I am a bit concerned about the child's future," he added, saying he has never heard of a case like this before at an elementary school. "There will be problems."
Yeah, like when "she" sprouts a mustache and starts to sound like Toshiro Mifune.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Crimes of the very stupid

Okay, here's something that's a little different. Somebody stole an entire front yard--we're talking the grass, bushes, and the sprinkler system--from a house that was under construction in the Mojave Desert area. And though I give him some credit for creativity, the guy who did it doesn't seem like a real criminal mastermind.
Witnesses told the homeowner they saw the thief taking the sod, plants and irrigation system to a nearby residence, [sheriff's spokeswoman Staci] Johnson said.

David Roger Bowers, 34, was arrested at the home and booked for investigation of grand theft and possession of stolen property, the sheriff's spokeswoman said.
Okay, first of all, why would you steal someone's entire front yard? It seems awfully time consuming. Secondly, why would you steal a yard from someone who lives nearby? Doesn't that sound like something that people would, you know, notice?

Something you don't see every day

You can check out some video here of an aircraft carrier, the USS Oriskany, being detonated and sunk in the Gulf of Mexico to form the "the world's largest deliberately created artificial reef." It's kind of cool, seeing a ship that big going under (without being sunk by an enemy, I should add).

Some interesting facts about the ship, from the article linked above:
The Oriskany, commissioned in 1950 and named after an American Revolutionary War battle, saw duty during the Korean War and was home to John McCain when the Navy pilot and future senator served in Vietnam. It was also among the ships used by President Kennedy in a show of force during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. It was decommissioned in 1976.

McCain was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 after taking off from the Oriskany and was held as a prisoner of war for five years.
It's also the first ship to be sunk as part of a new Navy program to create reefs out of old ships, which area officials hope will attract divers and fishermen.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Coming soon: The Bearded Clam Seafood House

So, you just want to relax and enjoy a nice taco, and a bunch of prudes and bluenoses have to go and ruin your fun.
The name of a new restaurant in Scottsdale is stirring up some trouble. The Las Vegas-based Pink Taco Mexican Restaurant is scheduled to open its second location in downtown Scottsdale in June.

Nearly half a dozen people in the upscale city recently expressed their objection to the name, claiming it's a derogatory slang term for a portion of the female anatomy.
Why, whatever do they mean? Oh, right. Heh.
In late April, the city received four e-mails, three of which bore no names, objecting to the restaurant's name.

One of those e-mails stated: "The City of Scottsdale has a very fine reputation around the world. Let's keep the standards high. Let's let what plays in Vegas stay in Vegas."
So, this whole thing stems from four whole e-mails, three of which weren't even signed? Wow. That's some crusade, there.
Restaurant spokeswoman Lisa Perez said the company's name comes from one of its menu items.
And that menu item itself isn't at all some sort of double entendre, just a regular taco. Gotcha.

Welcome back

One of my favorite bloggers, Michele, is back at a small victory after an extended hiatus. Hers was one of the first blogs I ever read, and I'm glad to see that she's back. If you've never been there, click over and check it out.

If you get this...'re probably a dork. I know I am.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Welcome, scantily-clad lady fans

My post on the teacher who's a member of the USA National Bikini Team has garnered me more than one hundred hits today, mostly from people doing searches on Yahoo. My apologies for not showing a picture of the lovely young lady, since many of you are doubtlessly disappointed. But thanks for stopping by.

Update 5/13: Okay, this is getting crazy now. More than 300 visitors today!

Sexual history

I'm a product of public schools here in California. Good public schools, actually. I'm just glad that I got out before everything went batshit crazy.
California is considering a change to the way it teaches history.

The state already requires mentions of the historical roles of women, African-Americans and Asians.

Today the Democratic-controlled state Senate approved a bill that would require social science textbooks to note the contributions homosexuals have made to history. It's apparently the first attempt to pass a law of this kind in the country, and of course it has sparked a furor.
You know, it's nice to be recognized for your achievements, and it's also nice to see people who you identify with recognized for the good things they've done, but come on! Do we really need to teach kids about the sexual proclicvities of historical figures? Where do you draw the line? What happens when the S & M crowd wants to be represented in the history books? Or NAMBLA?

I'm not attempting to be frivolous with those questions, either. When you start down this road with identity politics, I really don't see an end to it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Teacher of the year

Where were all the hot female teachers when I was in high school? Most of my female teachers were in their forties or fifties, and none of them were anything like this one.
A high school teacher who posed for revealing photos on a Web site will not face any discipline, a school district official said Thursday.

The district's professional standards department decided Thursday not to investigate Erica Chevillar, whose photo spread on the USA National Bikini Team's Web site has become the talk of West Boca Raton High School. Chevillar, 25, is a first-year social studies teacher at the school.

"She didn't violate any school rules or policies or state laws," district spokesman Nat Harrington said.
Hey, she's also a member of the USA National Bikini Team, so I'd say she's a patriot and a hero too. Those kids are lucky to have someone who proudly represents her country on a national team.

She also doesn't seem to have made the mistake of sleeping with any of her students, which seems to be an overwhelming temptation for hot, young, female teachers these days, so she's obviously a person of great moral fiber.

I salute you, Miss Chevillar! With my hand, even.

Jesse heart Barry

Barry Bonds was raped by the Duke men's lacrosse team last night. Well, maybe not. But how else can you explain this?

Oh, right. There's a controversy and somebody involved is black. Yeah.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chump change

This is pretty interesting. It turns out that it now costs the government more than five cents to make a nickel, and it claims that pennies are worth less than a cent. I actually saw something on the evening news that said that the cost of a pennny is now more than one cent because the price of the metals they're made of (mainly zinc these days) is rapidly rising.

Ah, here we go. It now costs 1.4 cents to make a penny. Government efficiency at its finest.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kids these days

I place the blame for this sort of thing where it squarely belongs: on the violent teevee shows.
CHESTERTON, Ind. - A 17-year-old boy who police said asked a friend to hit him with a car "for fun" was still hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg.
Maybe the teevee shows weren't violent enough. Otherwise, the kid wouldn't have had to get hit by a car "for fun."
Michael Morris, a junior at Chesterton High School, was in fair condition at Porter hospital, spokeswoman Robin Carlascio said.

His friend, Stephen D. Domonkos, 18, told police that Morris on Saturday night asked him to hit him with his car, something they had done before. He told police that Morris was "an adrenaline junkie."


Domonkos was charged with felony criminal recklessness. If convicted, he could face six months to three years in jail.

"I won't do this no more," Morris of Chesterton told The Times of Munster.
Well, the excitement has probably worn off by this point anyway, so they'll probably have to turn to something else. Maybe fire. Fire is always exciting. Yeah.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Best restaurant idea ever

I'm kicking myself for not having thought of this years ago.

A little late there, Moose

Just when we thought we wouldn't be hearing from Zacarias Moussaoui again for a good, long time, he's baaaaack!
Convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, declaring his surprise at having received a fair trial, asked a federal judge Monday to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea so he can be tried again. This time he won't lie on the witness stand, he said.
Well, that's big of him, I guess.
Judge Leonie M. Brinkema quickly turned down the request. She said federal law prevents a criminal defendant from withdrawing a guilty plea after sentencing. Moussaoui was given life in prison without parole Thursday.

"His motion is too late and must be denied on this basis alone," she said.
Ah, yes. The old "no takebacks" rule. It's there for a reason. Just because you don't like the outcome, you don't get to go back on your plea agreement.
Moussaoui, in a three-page affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., said he was "extremely surprised" that he received a fair sentencing trial over the last two months and admitted that he lied when he testified he had been preparing to fly a fifth hijacked plane into the White House on Sept. 11, 2001.
I think it's safe to say that a lot of people were "extremely surprised" by the sentencing.

Read the whoile thing, which, on the bright side, includes an opinion from a law professor stating that this may just provide an opportunity to execute the son of a bitch.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I should have such problems

Oh, my heart--it just bleeds for this, er, poor dear.
Most people probably dream of being the world's richest person — except, perhaps, the man himself.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told an online advertising conference Wednesday that he'd prefer not to be the richest person in the world.

"I wish I wasn't," he said in a session in which he was being interviewed by Donny Deutsch, the host of an interview show on CNBC.

Gates is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's richest individual, with an estimated wealth of about $50 billion.

"There's nothing good that comes out of that," he said. "You get more visibility as a result of it."
There's nothing good about sitting on the biggest pile of cash in the world? Nothing? I mean, heck, doesn't it feel good just to know that you could help a hell of a lot of people with all that scratch? Or the fact that you could buy a Ferarri for every day of the month and then foist them off on the children of the slightly rich as birthday presents once they're used?

You know, Mr. Gates, if you don't feel like hanging on to all that filthy lucre, I wouldn't mind at all if you threw a couple billion my way. Heck, even a few million would help a brother out, you know.

Deduct your moneymaker

The world of accounting just got a little sexier. Well, maybe not the world, but Australia? Oh yeah.
Prostitutes, strippers and lap dancers can claim tax deductions for adult toys and lingerie, officials said Friday, as the Australian Taxation Office issued a list of deductible items for the sex industry.

Condoms, lubricants, gels and oils are among a myriad of other items that these workers can claim against tax, according to a fact sheet issued on the office's Web site.


"You can claim the cost of replacing or repairing things like equipment, adult novelties and other apparatus used in your work," the office advises, under a section titled "tools of trade."
Really, when you work in the skin trade and your "equipment, adult novelties and other apparatus" wear out, replacement is probably the better option. Repairing them? Not so much.

Life imitates South Park

Cripple fight!
A legless Indiana man's attempt to do a good turn for a deaf drinking companion ended with one man charged with battery and the other with drunken driving.

Kent Hisey, who has two prosthetic legs and uses a walker, offered James Mills a ride home from the Playboy Lounge in New Chicago, the Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune reports. But Hisey became angry when Mills' attempts to direct him led to a series of wrong turns.

Hisey pulled over at the Porter County Airport and tried to pull Mills from the car. He says Mills knocked him down, the newspaper account said.
Both of them ended up in jail, Hisey for the assault and Mills for drunk driving. Not a big deal really, but still, cripple fight!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Holding a grudge

The Indiana court of appeals has upheld a man's murder conviction in a case where he admitted to police that he'd smothered his infant son to death with plastic wrap. Now, there's rarely a good reason for murder, but this guy did it because of an incredibly petty grudge.
[Ronald] Shanabarger was convicted of murder in May of 2002 for suffocating his seven-month-old son, Tyler, in June of 1999. He said he did it to get revenge on his wife for skipping his father's funeral three years earlier, before the couple had married.
Dude, sometimes you just have to let these things go. Hopefully, he'll serve his whole 49 year prison term, though he could get out by 2023.

Who's protected?

There's an interesting article here about the Voting Rights Act being used in eastern Mississippi to protect whites against alleged abuses by a powerful black political operative.
Ike Brown is a legend in Mississippi politics, a fast-talking operative both loved and hated for his ability to turn out black voters and get his candidates into office.

That success has also landed him at the heart of a federal lawsuit that's about to turn the Voting Rights Act on its end.

For the first time, the U.S. Justice Department is using the 1965 law to allege racial discrimination against whites.

Brown, head of the Democratic Party in Mississippi's rural Noxubee County, is accused of waging a campaign to defeat white voters and candidates with tactics including intimidation and coercion. Also named in the lawsuit is Circuit Clerk Carl Mickens, who has agreed to refrain from rejecting white voters' absentee ballots considered defective while accepting similar ballots from black voters.


The Justice Department complaint says Brown and those working with him "participated in numerous racial appeals during primary and general campaigns and have criticized black citizens for supporting white candidates and for forming biracial political coalitions with white candidates."
Brown is dismissive of the charges, claiming that the only reason people are targeting him is that he's been so politically successful. That may well be the case. I don't know Brown and I don't know the area in question. But if the allegations prove to be true, they point to the nastier side of racial identity politics. Furthermore, they sound like the kind of tactics that the segregationists used in the South in the bad old days*, though the shoe seems to have shifted to the other foot, so to speak.

But for my money, this is the most interesting part of the story:
The federal case against Brown, scheduled for trial this fall, represents a change in direction in the use of the Voting Rights Act, says Jon Greenbaum, director of the voting rights project for the Washington-based Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

The law was written to protect racial minorities in the 1960s when Mississippi and other Southern states strictly enforced segregation.

"The main concern we have in the civil rights community isn't necessarily that that DOJ brought this case," Greenbaum says. "It's that the department is not bringing meritorious cases on behalf of African-American and Native American voters."
Now, the area in question, Noxubee County, is 69 percent black and 30 percent white, according to the article. If there's a "meritorious" case to be made that the votes of a white minority population are being supressed through means that violate federal law, shouldn't Greenbaum and his group be just as concerned as they would be if the victims were black or Native American? Call me paranoid, but if the reverse were true, wouldn't the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law be howling for blood?

I guess the real question is: when it comes to racial identity politics, are some minorities more worthy of protection than others?

*Update: I should note that the article does not mention violence or other physical intimidation, which was, of course, a widespread problem during the segregationist days. The situation is not, thus, exactly equivalent, though it is troubling.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Illegal Alien Day

Honestly, I don't have much to say about it that hasn't already been said. I don't like the idea of hundreds of thousands of people who are in this country illegally trying to shut down cities to demand rights that they're not afforded by our Constitution (by virtue of the fact that they're here, I reiterate, illegally) but what can you do?

I'm not against immigration. In fact, I would say that the majority of my friends' parents were born in other countries. But they came here the right way, followed all of the rules, worked hard, learned to speak English, and, for the most part, became citizens of this country. Do we really want to shit all over the hard work that people like that go through, often waiting for years and years to become citizens, only to throw open the door and say, "Well, you're here anyway, so why not just jump to the front of the line?" I don't think so.

If anyone's going to call me a racist for saying these things, fine. Because if that's the case, I don't think there's any chance that there can be a rational dialogue between people like me and the types who silence debate by playing that card at every opportunity.

These are thorny issues, and there aren't any solutions that are going to make everyone happy, but something eventually has to be done. We can't exist as a free and democratic society forever if we have a large class of people who aren't assimilating into mainstream American life and are living like slaves to boot. On the other hand, I don't think knuckling under because those same people took to the streets, many of them making demands in foreign languages and waving other nations' flags, is really going to play in Peoria. It's going to piss a lot of people off.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Allahpundit has a link-rich post here. Check it out.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tom Cruise, hero

And here, everybody thought the guy was some kind of nutjob. It turns out that he's actually curing drug addicts.
The star of the upcoming Mission: Impossible III tells GQ readers to think twice before polluting their bodies with psychotropic chemicals. Also, if you're craving crack, give him a call.

"I've always found the 'If it makes me feel better, it's OK' rationale a little suspect," he says. "I think it's appalling that people have to live a life of drug addiction when I have personally helped people get off drugs."

Cruise adds that using Scientology detox protocols, he can get someone off heroin in three days.
Why didn't we previously know about his heroic public service, helping junkies kick the pipe or the smack? My guess is that he's just too damn modest.

Well, sir, let me be the first to say, "Bravo! You're not at all some kind of lunatic!"

The stuff you can find on INTERNET

Most people just buy baseball cards or toys or things like that on eBay, but this guy took things to a whole new level.
A Chinese businessman has bought a MiG-21f plane from a U.S. seller on the online auction Web site eBay for US$24,730 (euro19,726) and plans to use it to decorate an empty space at his offices, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The Beijing News newspaper identified the Chinese buyer as Zhang Cheng.

"I like to collect valuable items. I have the buying power and my company has an empty space where I can display the plane," the newspaper quoted Zhang as saying.
Less than $25,000 for a fighter jet? Sounds like a bargain, if you asked me. Although it was Soviet-made. Meh.

Somehow, though, I am heartened to see life imitating Ray Smuckles.