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Showing posts from April, 2005

Togo? Again?

The election celebrations taking place in Lome, Togo, took a nasty turn when a group of masked, armed men burned the Goethe Institute, a "German cultural center" to the ground. It’s thought the attackers targeted the Goethe Institute because Germany colonized Togo in 1884, but I suspect the real reason is the attackers were forced to read Goethe as schoolchildren and finally decided to do something about it.

A more worrisome possibility is the attack is a harbinger of a future Togolese invasion of the German heartland. Germany's future looks bleak. Its population is declining, and now, in order to revive its moribund economy, Germany plans on implementing Keynesian economic policies, despite it being common knowledge that Keynesian economic policies don’t work. The burning of the Goethe Institute center indicates the Togolese sense the German weakness, and Togo is a nation looking to expand. When Togo does evade Germany, the Germans will probably surrender because fight…

Togo Update

LOME (Reuters) - Youths hurled rocks and set up blazing barricades in Togo's capital on Tuesday when Faure Gnassingbe, son of the late authoritarian leader, was declared the winner of a presidential electionI'm not surprised the Togolese youths are celebrating. As I observed when in Togo:

Everyone knows Faure Gnassingbe, as son of a president and possessor of an MBA (I call him the African Bush) is the best possible president for Togo...[Togo situation so-so]

For more on Togo see: Departure: Lome, Togo; Togo a-Go-Go; To be fair to Togo; and Departure: Togo.

Elsewhere 4/26

Suitcase Bologna

Hey Lenny, let’s head on down to the swap meet and grab ourselves some suitcase bologna. You ain’t never had suitcase bologna? It’s the best. This cat Jorge smuggles it in from Mexico in a suitcase. No joke. It tastes better. Mexi-bologna is the best to start with, which is why you can't buy it up here, then during smuggling the heat ages the it, and causes the bologna to absorb some flavor from the suitcase. Kind a like a fine wine in a oak cask, know what I’m sayin? Try gettin’ that in a store my friend. You’ve never had nothin’ like it. We’ll stop at that gook-mart on 12th Ave on the way and grab a case of Old Milwaukee and a loaf or two a day old bread. We can buy some trunk mustard at the swap meet too. What’s trunk mustard? This cat Ray sells home made mustard sauce out of the trunk of his Olds'. It’s the best. Ray’s old lady stirs it up by hand, amigo. Day old bread, trunk mustard, and suitcase bologna. Trust me, you ain’t never had a sammich so good.

Red Headed League

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Izzat [Ezzet] Ibrahim al-Douri, former vice president of Saddam's revolutionary council, is believed to be behind some attacks against coalition forces and Iraqis. He is the "King of Clubs" No. 6 on the coalition's most-wanted list. Following the capture of Saddam Hussein he became the most wanted man in Iraq.”

“The red-haired Ibrahim was born in 1942 near Tikrit. Coming from the same clan area as Saddam, he had no independent power base, and posed no threat to Saddam. Saddam and Ibrahim were among the leading plotters of the 1968 coup which returned the Baath party to power.”




“THE mastermind of the Madrid train bombings remains at large and security sources believe that he may be planning an attack in Britain during the general election.”

“Documents found in a Madrid flat used by some of the bombers show how their leader, Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, ordered them to strike in the final days of the Spanish election campaign last March. The coded command was sent three mo…

Not subverting democracy enough

Leftists complain incessantly about the malign effect corporations have on the political process, how corporate campaign donations buy politicians and subvert democracy, and how drastic measures must be taken to rid democracy of corporate influence. The book Dollars and Votes How Business Campaign Contributions Subvert Democracy provides numerous and typical examples of this complaint:"the problem is an entire system that is institutionally corrupt, that coerces politicians to put dollars over voters, that buys off democracy. The solution, therefore, must be a complete overhaul and the introduction of a fundamentally new system."

"business uses campaign contributions in a way few other groups do, as part of an "access" process that provides corporations a chance to shape the details of legislation, crafting loopholes that undercut the stated purpose of the law."

"The interests of business are diametrically opposed to those of the public."
Now, in a…

Earth days, birthdays, calendars

Today is Earth Day. I plan on celebrating the same way I do every year, by setting fire to a pile of old tires. Happy Birthday, Earth!

Among tomorrow's notable birthdays: William Shakespeare (probably), and Vladimir Nabokov. Shakespeare also died on April 23, 1616, as did Cervantes. There are some calendrical details here. While Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date, they did not die on the same day, as the in the 17th Century the Julian calendar, which England was using, was 10 days behind the Gregorian calendar, which Spain was using. Nabokov was born on April 10, 1899 by the Julian calendar which was still in use in Russia. The Gregorian equivalent at the time, was April 22. In 1900 the Gregorian equivalent became April 23, for some reason. Since Russia did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1918, Nabokov chose to observe April 23 (I'm sure the synchronicity with Shakespeare had nothing to do with it). I suppose I should provide a bunch of links for the above, …

Buy now, don't DeLay

Remeber when I warned about what was happening to Tom DeLay? Well, the jackals pursuing him continue to howl, and are increasing in numbers and boldness. Now, more than ever, it’s necessary to show your support for Tom DeLay by purchasing a pair of Free DeLay! thong panties. What’s that you say? You’ve already purchased a pair of Free DeLay! thong panties? How odd, because according to the records for my online store, Across Difficult Products, no one has purchased a pair of Free DeLay! thong panties. Shame on you people of America. In the event Tom DeLay ends up getting destroyed, do you want it on your conscience you did nothing to help? I didn’t think so. So act now, so I can stop with this nonsense.

Forms modern and ancient

Billy Collins, former United States poet laureate writes: "In the long revolt against inherited forms that has by now become the narrative of 20th-century poetry in English, no poet was more flamboyant or more recognizable in his iconoclasm than Cummings. By erasing the sacred left margin, breaking down words into syllables and letters, employing eccentric punctuation, and indulging in all kinds of print-based shenanigans, Cummings brought into question some of our basic assumptions about poetry, grammar, sign, and language itself, and he also succeeded in giving many a typesetter a headache. Like Pound, who never wrote an obedient line, Cummings reveled in breaking the rules of grammar, punctuation, orthography, and lineation. Measured by sheer boldness of experiment, no American poet compares to him, for he slipped Houdini-like out of the locked box of the stanza, then leaped from the platform of the poetic line into an unheard-of way of writing poetry."

Cummings graduated …

Ape Real World

"Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh sounds like a proud mother when she speaks about her brood of bonobos, eight ultra-intelligent apes that will take part in unique language research meant to shed light on their nature and maybe our own.

The first two bonobos will make the 16-hour road trip from the Language Research Center at Georgia State University to their new $10 million, 13,000-square-foot home near downtown Des Moines later this month. All eight -- three females and five males -- will arrive at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa by mid-May.

Bonobos, a species of ape from the Congo, are the most like humans, Savage-Rumbaugh said. They constantly vocalize "as though they are conversing" and often walk upright.

"If you want to find a human-like creature that exists in a completely natural state ... that creature is the bonobo," said Savage-Rumbaugh, an experimental psychologist who is one of the world's leading ape-language researchers.

If the apes are able to learn langua…

DNA of Literature

"...as far as the brain goes, I’m fine. I’ve just finished another novel, in fact. I’ve got a wonderful title for it, Bachelors Anonymous. Don’t you think that’s good? Yes, everybody likes that title...I don’t want to be like Bernard Shaw. He turned out some awfully bad stuff in his nineties. He said he knew the stuff was bad but he couldn’t stop writing…I will the day off at seven-thirty. I do my daily dozen exercises, have breakfast, and then go into my study…Before I start a book I’ve usually got four hundred pages of notes. Most of them are almost incoherent...Well, I’ve slowed up a good deal now. I used to write about two thousand words [per day]. Now I suppose I do about one thousand."– P.G. Wodehouse, on being a ninety-one and a half year old writer.

The Paris Review is making available for download more than 300 interviews with “poets, novelists, playwrights, essayists, critics, musicians, and more” conducted over the past 50 years as part of its DNA of Literature arc…

One of God's little practical jokes

Scientists have discovered a homosexualist fungus, i.e. a fungus which reproduces through same-sex mating. This fungus infects homosexualists:

...the infectious fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, members of the same "sex" can mate and produce offspring...

"The findings suggest for the first time that the fungus has developed a novel type of sexual cycle, allowing sexual reproduction between members of the same mating type..."

The potentially life-threatening fungus C. neoformans invades the central nervous system to cause disease, most commonly in immune-compromised patients such as organ transplant recipients and cancer patients -- whose immune systems are crippled by immunosuppressive drugs or chemotherapy -- and people with HIV/AIDS. The fungus' global importance as a health threat has therefore risen in parallel with the increased use of such therapies and with the worldwide HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Free DeLay!

As you probably know, the Left and its allies in the Mainstream Media has launched a hate campaign of lies combined with bogus legal charges in order to destroy Majority Leader Tom DeLay. I have become so sickened by these attacks I decided to do something about it: at Café Press I created this thong panty emblazoned with the (or should I say ‘our’?) rallying cry: Free DeLay! Your crotch region is a most personal area, and the personal area is political, get the word out.

Money from the purchase of the thong panty will go to me, in order that I can continue supporting Congressman DeLay via blog posting and creating products such as the Free DeLay! thong panty . Doing the right thing can be sexy, order a few pairs for yourself or your baby boo today. Free DeLay!

Bonus: Anti-smoking zealots, not content with persecuting human smokers, now wish to force their neo-Puritanism on members of the animal kingdom:

A Bloemfontein zoo is trying to persuade its star chimpanzee to kick a bad smoking…

Gay News Roundup

"The military is mum on the subject, but the number of secret programs developing whiz-bang weapons is soaring." [more]

"...hunters can kill the animals after attracting them with bacon grease, doughnuts and other bait." [more]

"There is no such thing as a 'shutdown' corner anymore." [more]

Sunday Funnies

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I don’t know French, but I found this depiction of an angry French oldie (who seems to be complaining about immigrants) amusing (note the beret flying of the oldie’s head):



The above cartoon is from the Riverol website, which I am unable to read as I don’t know French.

If the hilarious cartoon below from Malaysia is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it isn’t) Canada has offended the Malaysians somehow. This cartoon also reiterates one of history’s age old lessons: “building the PutraJaya alone is not complete”. Il est-vous vrai, ne convenez-vous pas?



The following two are from the Belgian cartoonist Kamagurka. They need no explication:



Swingin in the hall Out of reach

Macon, GA teacher Greg Dougherty is being persecuted for having a sense of humor:
A Central High School social studies teacher could lose his job "for mimicking an African-American" at a student-faculty basketball game March 25. Bibb County Schools Superintendent Sharon Patterson said Tuesday that she has recommended Greg Dougherty for termination. Erin Weaver, principal at Central High, confirmed Tuesday that Dougherty was on administrative leave and had been recommended for termination "for mimicking an African-American." The Telegraph reviewed photos taken at the event that show Dougherty wearing an exaggerated Afro-like wig, and with brownish makeup covering his face and arms. It should surprise no one that Dougherty is that rare teacher children enjoy learning from:
Jeffrey Daniel, 18, another senior at Central High, praised Dougherty as someone "who has done wonders for the community and the school," and has participated in after-school tutoring pro…

from The Social Affairs Unit

Now, when the West has few ethics apart from situational ones and few values beyond materialism, we note that everyone on the planet appears to lust after our goods, then we 'project' our values and presume that they are eager to live as we do in order to obtain those goods. That is a mistake.

We see people from poor countries risk their lives to live among us, taking jobs that we disdain, and we assume that their kinfolk 'back home' are just as keen but merely less adventuresome than the illegal immigrants. That is another mistake.

But the prime Western stupidity, and the main intellectual contribution of the so-called NeoConservatives, is that every culture on earth is somehow 'ready for democracy' - and, as US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice implies, daring to suggest otherwise is some sort of bigotry, like hinting that foreigners are incapable of being potty-trained.

In truth, lots of old and perfectly sane values can, and do, stop countries from becomin…

Cars ride by

A day can hardly pass without our government overlords presenting some new gift of stupid regulation. Take, for example, this law, courtesy of Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, a legal extortionist elected under suspicious circumstances (more here) that makes unsecured stereo speakers in cars illegal. This law is needed because sometimes (at least once) a car with custom speakers installed will crash, and the unsecured speakers will fly about the interior of the car, injuring its occupants. Apparently having the idiots who drive about blasting the jabberings of various ‘gangsta’ rappers at excruciating volume on their car stereos maimed by their own speakers is a poetic justice our government can not allow. While the menace of loose speakers rises to the level of requiring government intervention, solving the problem by banning the speakers entirely is not an option, for a ban would have the side effect of improving the general quality of life. Note too that only when some…

Man or Monkeyman?

"In 1974, Belgian zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans and Soviet scientist Boris F. Porchnev published a fascinating book entitled L’homme de Néanderthal est toujours vivant. This book contains the account of a Russian doctor who escaped from the Soviet concentration camps, and in 1952 or 1953 met a trusted friend of Heuvelmans. The doctor claimed that he was arrested because he refused to obey the orders from his superiors. He was to conduct artificial insemination of Oriental women by the sperm of male gorillas. The experiments were conducted in the medical department of the Soviet forced labor camps. The doctor claimed that a race of apemen was created. They were extremely strong and covered with fur, worked tirelessly in the salt mines, and grew larger than the humans—but they could not reproduce."An eminent journal of science examines the controversial subject of human-ape hybrids.

Adult Swim

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Race relations take an unfortunate turn as a frenzy of black on white grappling erupts at a Seattle area community swimming pool. We still have a long way to go.

Helsinki Formula

A blog called Lovelacen testi linked to one of my recent entries, with the comment:

kirjoitus "Reader Mail" arvostelee loput uutuuselokuvat näkemättä niitä, jottei minun tai kenenkään muunkaan tarvitse tehdä tätä.

I can't say I disagree. I can't say I agree either, as I have no idea what that means. After considerable thought, I've concluded Lovelacen testi’s posts are the ramblings of a dipsomaniac Hungarian with a speech impediment, phonetically transcribed by typists at an outsourcing center in Bombay whom he mistakenly telephones late at night, drunk and confused. Take, for example, this amusing bit of gobbeldygook, chosen at random from the Lovelacen testi webpage:

Toinen elokuvassa minua häirinnyt seikka oli se, että vaikka Crease vannoi tappavansa kaikki kidnappauksesta rahallisesti hyötyneet, hän antoi sitten kuitenkin kaikkien naisrikollisten elää. Ilmeisesti kyseessä ei vielä ole niin edgy hahmo, että hän olisi voinut tappaa naisia olematta itse seksikäs n…

Leading questions

"On the eastern slope of the Andes mountains in northern Peru, forests cloak the ruins of a pre-Inca civilization, the size and scope of which explorers and archaeologists are only now beginning to understand. Known as the Chachapoya, the civilization covered an estimated 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers). The Chachapoya, distinguished by fair skin and great height, lived primarily on ridges and mountaintops in circular stone houses..."

"Inca chronicles and legends persist that the Cloud People were tall fair (skin and hair) warriors. This is reinforced by an unusually large proportion of blond, fair natives in this zone who know of no European ancestry...the Cloud People don’t fit the pattern of other Andeans. They lived behind walls in well crafted stone round houses with a pointed thatch “tepee” roof. One would suspect they farmed better land below the cloud forest, which wasn’t leached out and eroded, but lived on the peaks."

"the Incas so res…

Blow Up

STOCKHOLM - A Swedish woman who photographed a swan in the river outside the royal palace in Stockholm made a grim discovery when the film was developed...

There's a kind of artificiality in conduct now

"Of course, modern man, especially in his liberal version, has become a very odd creature. He cherishes a standard of ideal goodness for himself--he's for all the good things and against all the bad things. We're all like that now to a certain extent. We identify with the good.

But it drives us into a certain absurdity. Because that's not the way we make real judgments. It's a kind of armor we put on so we enjoy the safety of our goodness. An artist as artist doesn't have any ill will toward anyone. He proceeds with a passion toward the thing he does. But now we're very reluctant to injure or be injured. Our chests are covered with medals saying, "I am not a racist; I am not a sexist; I am not a misogynist. I'm for all the good things." And our chests decorated with these insignia, we go through life without thinking about it anymore.

There's a kind of artificiality in conduct now. People used to be closer to their natures. Or perhaps I s…

Probably Bolivia by now

Speaking of tragic deaths, the Terri Shiavo case inspired my good friend the noted thinker Professor Glen Morangie to withdraw food and water from his wife. At least, that’s what his wife told the policemen who rescued her from the locked basement of the Morangie home (a nosy neighbor heard cries for help then phoned the authorities). I’m sure it’s all a big misunderstanding that will be cleared up as soon as Professor Morangie’s whereabouts can be determined.

I can't wait 'til this set is over because I've got a roll of lifesavers in my pocket and pineapple is next!

“I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don't need a receipt for the doughnut - I'll just give you money and you give me the doughnut. End of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario in which I would need to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend... don’t even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here. Oh wait, it's back home in the file... under "D", for doughnut.”

“The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I'll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They're fucking relentless.”

“Man. I went to the doctor the other day. All this guy did was suck blood out of my neck. Never go to see Dr. Acula."

“Wrote a letter to my dad — I wanted to write, "I really enjoy being here," but I accidentally wrote rarely instead of really. But I still wanted to use it, I didn't want to cr…

Estándares Dobles

Univision is the largest Spanish language television network in the United States, it now has more than 600 affiliates and is still growing. Univision’s viewers are mostly Mexican immigrants to the United States, so Univision profits from high levels of Mexican immigration and lack of assimilation by Spanish speaking immigrants.

Maria Elena Salinas is a columnist syndicated in many American newspapers who regularly writes on the subject of immigration, specifically Mexican immigration to the United States. She is for it, with virtually no restrictions, and in fact has described herself as 'community activist' for immigrants and an 'advocate' for immigration. She thinks it important immigrants retain the Spanish language. According to her website:

A colleague who knows her well states that Ms. Salinas has always been cognizant of the plight of the Mexican immigrant and has been an in-house advocate for their cause. "Our people have gotten a bum rap in the media,"…