Monday, April 30, 2007

RIP Cute Knut (Welcome old, ugly Knut)

It's a tragic fact of life. Celebrity polar bear cub Knut, now almost five months old, is gradually mutating from a fluffy porridge-lapping cub into a heavy bruiser with a penchant for meat off the bone. But the visitors are still flocking to see him.

Knut's days of extreme cuteness are numbered now that he has acquired a markedly longer snout and weighs a chubby 17 kilograms (37 pounds), twice as much as when he first appeared before an adoring public five weeks ago.

"His teeth are sharper and he's stronger, he still gets porridge but we now feed him beef on the bone occasionally," the zoo's bear expert Heiner Klös told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "He's calmed down a bit, he doesn't potter around as much as he used to and he's happy to sit on his own more often. But he still wanders back to his keeper to tank up on security."

Knut's faithful handler Thomas Dörflein has taken to wearing long-sleeved shirts or pullovers and gloves to protect himself when he handles Knut. But the polar bear cub immediately obeys when Dörflein has had enough and tells him to stop biting him with the stern command "Aus!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hold me closer, tiny Dancer

LEESBURG -- Meet tiny Dancer, a rust-colored, long-haired Chihuahua that may just be the world's smallest dog, weighing 18 ounces and standing not much more than 4 inches tall.

...Those who know Dancer say he doesn't have the typical Chihuahua personality.

"He's a ham. He loves people," Gomes said.

She carries him wrapped in a small blanket or pushes him in a baby stroller. At home, he stays in a small playpen.

He is always at risk from larger animals.

"His mother is the only one I let near him. She's very protective," Gomes said.

He is so fragile, a fall from a chair or table could be fatal.

Video - he's so little he squeaks instead of barks!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Are you a Fanjaya?

NEW YORK (April 24) - Sanjaya Malakar is so famous, he can't walk anywhere without getting noticed.

It's really weird. I mean, I'm just Sanjaya from Seattle," the 17-year-old "American Idol" cast-off said Monday on "Live With Regis and Kelly."

"It's paparazzi (who) get at you," he said, "and fans come up and try to give you hugs and get autographs. I would love to just be able to hug everyone and give autographs and take pictures, but you can't."

..."Like, I really - what I want to do is experience the whole entertainment business because, I mean, I'm not just a musician, I'm an entertainer," Malakar said.

...On Saturday, he attended a White House correspondents' dinner in Washington as a guest of People magazine.

"It was really weird because the governor of New York came up to me and said, `I'm a fan, I vote,"' Malakar said.

"That's fantastic," said Kelly Ripa, co-host of the syndicated daytime talk show.

"It was really weird," Malakar said.

Don't have a cow, man

Pregnant cow runs riot across city

BERLIN (Reuters) - A pregnant cow being chased by police and fire fighters caused 25,000 euros ($33,900) of damage on a three-hour rampage through the German city of Hanover.

Uschi escaped from a farm late Monday and became increasingly violent as she encountered shocked drivers and pedestrians in the city.

Pursued by the farmer, television camera crews and 30 police and fire fighters, the Charolais cow lashed out at cars, benches, garden fences and whatever else got in her way during the 5-km chase, authorities said.

After more than three hours on the loose, Uschi was brought down by tranquilizer darts, without harming her unborn calf, fire services spokesman Martin Argendorf said Tuesday.

"She probably won't remember any of it when she wakes up again. But the farmer will, because he's going to have to pay damages of about 25,000 euros," he said.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Can you spare a square?

Rosie to Sheryl Crow: "Has She Seen My Ass?" (The View video)

Original blog:
Laurie and Sheryl Go to School
By Sheryl Crow

Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, whose judgment I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square out."

I also like the idea of not using paper napkins, which happen to be made from virgin wood and represent the height of wastefulness. I have designed a clothing line that has what's called a "dining sleeve." The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another "dining sleeve," after usage. The design will offer the "diner" the convenience of wiping his mouth on his sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used paper product. I think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold.

Hollywood: Are you ready to change the way you live?

Hollywood Celebrities Challenged To Take The “Gore Pledge”

In the spirit of Earth Day, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today issued a challenge to all Hollywood global warming activists. Senator Inhofe challenged celebrities to do what former Vice President Al Gore refuses to do – live up to their environmental rhetoric by reducing their home energy usage to the level of the average American household by Earth Day 2008. Global warming Hollywood activists such as Laurie David, John Travolta, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Madonna – to name a few – continue to alarm the public about fears of catastrophic global warming and demand that Americans change the way they live. The question remains however, will these same Hollywood alarmists reduce their own energy consumption by giving up their multiple houses and private jets to change the way they live? At the very least, will they pledge to reduce the energy usage at each of their multiple homes?

“With Earth Day this Sunday, I am issuing an Earth Day Challenge to Hollywood’s global warming activists who talk the talk to walk the walk,” Senator Inhofe said. “I am asking celebrity activists to take the ‘Gore Pledge’ to reduce their home energy usage to that of the average American. Activists in Hollywood who assert that mankind only has 10 years left to act in order to avoid a climate catastrophe have made personal energy use a cornerstone of their pleas to the general public to save the planet. Hollywood activists should make personal energy sacrifices themselves before demanding others do so.

Twisted Politics of Abortion

The Democrats' Partial Pro-Lifers
By Robert D. Novak Monday, April 23, 2007; Page A17

After the Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a news conference: "I would only say that this isn't the only decision that a lot of us wish that [Justice Samuel] Alito weren't there and [former justice Sandra Day] O'Connor were there." Does that mean Reid was repudiating his 2003 Senate vote in favor of the bill? No, he told me Thursday, he was talking about other decisions by Alito.

...Reid, another of the 17 Democrats, was given a 65 percent pro-choice record by NARAL in 2006. He tried to resolve the confusion created by his comments by noting that the Supreme Court's 5 to 4 lineup on partial birth abortion flipped when Alito replaced O'Connor last year (with Reid opposing his confirmation). Reid's statement Wednesday was widely interpreted as backtracking on his 2003 vote. Roll Call said Reid "seemed to think the Supreme Court's decision was unwise."

"Not at all," Reid said when I asked him. Recalling his many votes against partial birth abortion, he indicated he supported the court's decision. "I just don't like what Alito has done on other cases," he said. What other cases? "I can't recall," Reid replied, but he promised aides would let me know.

They did so several hours later. Out of more than 50 decisions that Alito has participated in, Reid disagreed with four. These include Alito dissents, in 5 to 4 opinions, on mandating the federal government to consider global warming and the Hamdan case granting habeas corpus rights to U.S. detainees. Alito concurred in a 5 to 4 decision limiting federal regulation of wetlands and wrote the majority opinion in a 6 to 3 outcome (concurred with by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) rejecting federal funding of an educational consultant under the disabilities act. But there is no record of Reid criticizing Alito's court opinions before Wednesday.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good for him!

McCain Message to Joke Critics: Get a Life

By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY, The Associated Press, Friday, April 20, 2007; 12:25 AM
While campaigning for president in South Carolina on Wednesday, McCain responded to a question about how to deal with Iran by breaking into the melody of the Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann" but changing the lyrics to "Bomb Iran."

"That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, 'Bomb Iran,'" McCain joked and then added: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb ... anyway, ah ..." The audience responded with laughter.

The Arizona Republican was asked for his reaction to any negative response to the joke when he arrived in Las Vegas for a fundraiser Thursday night.

"Please, I was talking to some of my old veterans friends," he told reporters. "My response is, Lighten up and get a life."

When reporters asked if the joke was insensitive, McCain said: "Insensitive to what? The Iranians?"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Are they Knuts?!

Polar bear cub Knut receives death threat

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's celebrity polar bear cub Knut has received an anonymous death threat, causing alarm at Berlin Zoo Thursday and prompting heightened security.

"We were contacted by the zoo about a (threatening) letter it had received," said a police spokeswoman, adding officers had investigated but they did not believe it was serious.

Top-selling Bild newspaper said the zoo had received a hand-written fax from a suspected animal hater with the words: "Knut is dead! Thursday midday."

t also said the zoo had trebled the number of minders to 15 responsible for the safety of media star Knut, who has been on newspaper front pages and news shows across Germany and around the world for weeks.

"Death threat, police protection for Knut!" Bild wrote in bold letters on page one above a picture of the sad-looking polar bear cub peering out from behind a tree branch.

Bild also published a picture of a security guard in civilian clothes guarding Knut from behind a rock.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court giveth and the Supreme Court taketh away

Oh, sure, NOW Democrats are upset when the SC plays God and reverses precendent! It's never too late to right a wrong - just think Plessy, Brown v. Board, etc.

The following comments are quite extreme considering a vast majority of the public is opposed to the barbaric partial birth abortion (which, to you liberals, DOES exist, IS a medical term, is NEVER medically necessary, and involves pulling the baby out of the body feet first, until only the head remains inside, then it's skull is punctured and the brains sucked out. Nice. Have fun defending that. Yay women's rights!):

On Wednesday, Edwards said he "could not disagree more strongly" with the high court's decision.

"The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women," Edwards said. "This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election."

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said the decision is a dramatic departure from precedents safeguarding women's health.

"I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women," Obama said.

Clinton said Wednesday's ruling "blatantly defies" the high court's decision in 2000 to strike down a state partial-birth abortion law because it failed to provide an exemption for a woman's health.

"As the Supreme Court recognized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, this issue is complex and highly personal; the rights and lives of women must be taken into account," she said. "It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Too many left-wing athiests, not enough sense

Boston Globe Letter to the Editor
Bumper sticker's sticking point

TO THE owner of the car seen driving on Route 128 in Reading on Sunday, with the bumper sticker "Too many right-wing Christians, not enough lions":

How does "Too many orthodox Jews, not enough Nazis" sound? Or "Too many fetuses, not enough abortionists"? Would it be OK to make bumper stickers out of these slogans? Obviously not.

But apparently it's OK to advocate the extermination of Christians.

The hypocrisy of the radical left never ceases to amaze me.

Anyone else see this car in Reading?

Friday, April 06, 2007

From The Dartmouth Online, not Onion

Somehow this is not a parody:

Apology for hockey tournament mascot

By Josie Harper, Director of Athletics and Recreation
Published on Tuesday, November 21, 2006

To the Editor:

I am writing to strongly denounce the historical and recent affronts to the Native American community at Dartmouth and to offer the support of the athletics department in playing a leading role to combat racial, ethnic and sexist ignorance and intolerance on our campus.

At the same time, I must offer a sincere apology to the Native American community, and the Dartmouth community as a whole, for an event that will understandably offend and hurt people within our community. In late December, we will host a men's ice hockey tournament that includes the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. UND is one of 14 colleges or universities that continue to maintain a Native American name and image to represent their athletic teams.

Let me state clearly that UND's position is offensive and wrong. When we scheduled UND nearly two years ago to participate in our tournament, we did so without considering their team's nickname and symbol. Perhaps we should have, but I deeply regret that we didn't.

On Friday, as I was traveling on College business, a member of my staff met with the Native American Council to discuss our hockey tournament and to offer our apology for the pain that it will cause. In the days and weeks ahead, I will develop a specific and continuing plan to address issues of respect and tolerance within the athletic department as well as considering a policy for scheduling athletic contests against institutions that support offensive nicknames and symbols.

This is so unbelievably ridiculous, I'm practically speechless. But I will say that an article in the March 4, 2002 edition of Sports Illustrated magazine showed 83% of Indians polled said that professional teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots or symbols.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

NYT has solved the mystery of American Idol's Popularity!

Voting Rights Drive ‘Idol,’ Not the Abuse or the Hair

The high viewer turnout for “Idol,” which is on tonight, cannot solely be explained by technological advances or a regression in human nature. It cannot be a coincidence that television voting rights arose so soon after the 2000 election left slightly more than half the voting population feeling cheated. Those who didn’t go to the polls and fear that their abstention inadvertently made possible the invasion of Iraq may feel even worse. “Idol” could be a displacement ritual: a psychological release that allows people to vote — and even vote often — in a contest that has no dangerous or even lasting consequences. (Even losers win out in the end: both Mr. Gore and Jennifer Hudson ended up on the Oscar stage.)

Maybe the reason that more people didn’t turn out for the 2004 presidential race, despite the closeness of the tally four years earlier, is that they were still in denial and distracted by “American Idol.”

Bush Can Do No Right

This article is ridiculous!

Bush success vs. al Qaeda breeds long-term worries

President George W. Bush's administration has crippled al Qaeda's ability to carry out major attacks on U.S. soil but at a political and economic cost that could leave the country more vulnerable in years to come, experts say.

Even as al Qaeda tries to rebuild operations in Pakistan, experts including current and former intelligence officials believe the group would have a hard time staging another September 11 because of U.S. success at killing or capturing senior members whose skills and experience have not been replaced.

"If the question is why al Qaeda hasn't carried out another 9/11 attack, the answer I think is that if they could have, they would have," said a former senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Tighter U.S. airport security, greater scrutiny of people entering the United States and better coordination between the CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security also have made it harder for extremists to enter the country, experts said.

Home-grown extremists in the United States are believed to be isolated and lacking the will or ability to carry out large-scale operations.

...Some experts warn that the successes of Bush's war on terrorism have been undercut by huge security costs, strains on the U.S. military from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and resentment of the United States abroad.

"Look at al Qaeda's plans," said Michael Scheuer, who once led the CIA team devoted to finding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. "They're very simply defined in two phrases: spread out America's forces and bleed the United States to bankruptcy. I'd argue America has been under attack successfully every day since 9/11 from that perspective."

That doesn't make any sense and gives al Qaeda waaay too much credit. Al Qaeda didn't plan for any of this - they attacked us on 9/11 because they thought we were a paper tiger and wouldn't strike back - lessons from Mogadishu. And how could they have known we'd go into Iraq?

If you want to argue our response has hurt us, that's fine - I completely disagree, of course - but don't try to tell me that Al Qaeda planned this and we're playing right into their hands by successfully stopping them!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Those who forget the past . . .

Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

...It found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.

The researchers gave the example of a secondary school in an unnamed northern city, which dropped the Holocaust as a subject for GCSE coursework.

The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'.