I Inhabit a Cultural Vacuum

I thought this story was about a Weber and was prepared to defend ours to the death. Thank God they’re safe. Anyway, the first clue it WASN’T (about a Weber) was…well, you read it.

Armed ‘Grill’ Robbery
Missing: A mouthpiece attachment with a 14 karat gold tooth and a diamond in it.
Wanted: Four men who allegedly stole it.
Largo Police say that was the situation at Brittany Bay Apartments Monday.
A gas station clerk called 911 to report a man had run into the convenience store claiming he was being chased. When officers arrived at the Shell on Ulmerton Road, the victim had this story to tell:
After being threatened with his own knife and a gun, the suspects took his mouthpiece, also known as a ‘grill.’ They also took $130, a pack of Newport cigarettes, and a pocket knife; They left his other jewelry and a cellular phone.
He didn’t call police. The worried clerk did that.
The victim told officers he isn’t worried about the cigarettes, the cash, or the knife; all he wants returned is his ‘grill.’

“After being threatened with his own knife and gun“. Yup. First clue something was amiss and it wasn’t the charcoal.
On a lighter note, have you noticed Bingley’s not posting much… ? Then I saw this…

Groper Arrested
The Tampa Police Department says the ‘Hyde Park Groper’ is in custody.

…and thought they were talking about the fish. What a whacky, Florida kinda day.

Superman ~ The Man of…”Stuff”

Maybe I’ll skip this one after all.

SUPERMAN’S motto, “Truth, justice and the American way,” has been rewritten in the new “Superman Returns” to “Truth, justice and . . . all that stuff.” Jeannie Wolf reports on Movies.com that screenwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris wanted to avoid outdated jingoism. Dan: “I don’t think ‘the American way’ means what it meant in 1945.” Mike: “He’s not just for Metropolis and not just for America.” Dan: “He’s an alien, from Krypton; he has come to Earth to be kind of a savior for this world, not our country . . . And he has no papers.” Mike: “What would happen with the immigration laws we have now?” Dan: “I’d like to see someone kick him out!”

Suzette Kelo

…in the first person.

Where do I stand at this point? I think what I have thought from the very beginning: This is my home, and no one has the right to take it from me, especially for the vague concept of “economic development.” I tell you honestly, and from my heart, that nothing will cause me to change my goals or my values.
Mark Twain wrote, “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” My illusion has been, and will continue to be, that my home is mine.

Swill Salute to RCP.

Today’s Paranoid Weather Report

Two disturbances in the Atlantic. One for Crusader and Bingley and one for us.

Doing the Expedient Right Thing

…when NOTHING should have been done to begin with.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born former politician who faced death threats as the result of her criticism of Islam, is to keep her Dutch citizenship, after being accused of lying in her asylum application.
The decision, taken by the Dutch cabinet late on Monday night, was interpreted by political commentators as a face-saving gesture by the centre-right government, which faced international criticism after threatening to anul Ms Hirsi Ali’s naturalisation in May
…Such was the ferocity of international media criticism of the Dutch government’s handling of the affair, that the foreign ministry was forced to issue instructions to Dutch embassies to explain that the Netherlands had not expelled Ms Hirsi Ali.
Mrs Hirsi Ali scripted the film Submission, whose director Theo van Gogh was murderd by a radical Islamist months after its public broadcast in the Netherlands. She too became the target of death threats and has lived in hiding ever since under police protection.

Great news but it makes you wonder why the Danish mullahs aren’t being driven from the country instead. And it’s a loss for us, since she was going to immigrate here.

Looks Like He’ll No Longer Be a WARD

…of the state.

University of Colorado Interim Chancellor to Recommend Firing of Ward Churchill
The top official at the University of Colorado’s flagship campus on Monday recommended that the school fire the firebrand professor who compared some of the World Trade Center victims to a Nazi and later was accused of academic misconduct.
Ward Churchill has displayed “a pattern of research misconduct committed over a period of time,” Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano said.
…”If a university is a marketplace of ideas, then Mr. Churchill is the rotten fruit among hundreds of good apples. Hopefully, we can soon say good riddance to Ward Churchill once and for all,” [Gov] Owens said.

We’ll be looking forWARD to reading the entire statement.

He Has a Paypal Button

Pat Dollard does, for “Young Americans”. (The video teasers might not be considered work safe if combat, potty mouthed Jarheads and a rocking ‘F*CK yeah’ sort of anthem playing in the background will get you ee-ville glances and a knuckle-smacking.)

GEORGE Clooney may be Steven Soderbergh’s muse, but the director’s ex-agent sure doesn’t seem to be a fan of the outspoken Oscar winner.
Pat Dollard was Soderbergh’s 10- percenter until he ditched his lucrative Tinseltown career to make a pro-war documentary about U.S. Marines fighting insurgents in Iraq. Last year, his Humvee convoy was blown up in Ramadi, killing two Marines and sending Dollard to the hospital with a concussion and shrapnel wounds.
So it’s understandable that Dollard might have been annoyed when Clooney chastised Democrats last year for not having the guts to condemn the war. While Dollard was careful not to name names, he told Page Six that he went into “a black rage” while in Iraq after reading a certain movie star’s pompous pronouncements online.
I read something on the Internet in which someone was patting himself on the back for having the courage to oppose the war,” Dollard recalled. In an obvious reference to Clooney, who owns a villa in Italy, he said, “They actually equate bravery with speaking out against the president because [losing fans] might cost them one less servant at their Italian villa . . . It put me into a black rage and made me sick to my stomach.

He sounds like quite a guy. I’m always a smidge behind the power curve, but thought if you hadn’t heard about it either, I’d pass it along. If the film doesn’t make it to HBO, we’ll be getting the DVD.

Instead of Bitching About Sea Turtles

…maybe he should think about moving.

Michael Martino’s specialty license plate reads “Helping Sea Turtles Survive.” He rents kayaks and bicycles instead of Jet Skis and motor scooters at his eco-friendly beach shop on this Florida Panhandle barrier island.
But the San Francisco native, who has seen two homes destroyed by hurricanes since 2004, calls himself “an environmental hypocrite” because he supports sand dredging that will help protect the island’s homes from storm surge but has killed three rare sea turtles.
One more turtle death would likely result in the project being shutdown until fall, leaving two miles of shoreline exposed through the bulk of hurricane season, which began June 1. The turtles are close to shore because it is mating season.
“There is a saying about how you can be a tree hugger until you start to get splinters,” said Martino, who lost his home to Hurricane Ivan two years ago, rebuilt, and saw the new home washed away by Hurricane Dennis less than a year later.

I’ll bet he’s pi$$ing and moaning about his insurance rates, too. If you’ve had two houses washed away, we don’t owe you a third, nor the tax dollars to rebuild your buffer storm after storm. You live on a BARRIER island and that’s what they do ~ migrate to and fro. No doubt you knew that, just like the folks on ShelL Island outside of Wilmington, N.C.

…When the nine-story Shell Island Resort was built in the 1980s on Wrightsville Beach only half a mile from Mason Inlet, its developers signed permits acknowledging that they were building in an erosion-prone area. The permit says, “In signing this permit, the permittee acknowledges the risks of erosion associated with developing on the site and recognizes that current state regulations do not allow shoreline erosion control structures such as seawalls to be erected for developments initiated after June 1, 1979.”
“The notice was given to the developer,” and the developer then sold units to individuals as condominiums, Moffitt says.

I know it’s not gonna happen, but I would dearly, dearly love to see Florida adopt North Carolina’s rules on hardened erosion control structures, enforce them and go from there to regulate beach renourishment.

Taking the NYT to Task

…by Susan Estrich.

What’s wrong with the New York Times?
“A Look at Republican Priorities” said the headline of Friday’s New York Times.
And what are those priorities, according to America’s paper of record?
“Comforting the Comfortable” and “Afflicting the Afflicted.” Because they support eliminating the estate tax and oppose raising the minimum wage, the Republicans are said to be the Party that comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted.
According to my Liberal Friends, I spend much of my time in the lion’s den, where one of the constant charges is that the mainstream media is dominated by liberals. Some days, like today, they make my job impossible.
…But does the New York Times have to stoop so low?
Are they afraid no one would read their editorials if they weren’t promoted with nasty headlines that question the good faith of those on the other side?
Are they no better than Ann when it comes to insulting their opponents?

It Doesn’t Pay to Be a Manipulative, Mean, Nasty Old Man

You’re gonna die anyway.

Anna Nicole’s rival for husband’s fortune dies
E. Pierce Marshall known for taking Playboy Playmate to court over estate
E. Pierce Marshall, who feuded for years with former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith over his father’s oil fortune, has died, his spokesman said Friday. He was 67.

If he’d a just given her $30 million to go away when his father died, he could have enjoyed these past couple years. But, no. He had to have it all.

Yup. You’ve Got ~ Just GOT ~ to Love the Aussies!

Aussies abuzz with talk of Kidman wedding
Her marriage to Keith Urban expected this weekend in Sydney
…On Friday, Kidman, Urban and some high-profile guests drove out of her waterfront property amid rumors of a ceremony rehearsal. “The nerves are fine,” the Oscar-winning actress told reporters.
The fine points of the ceremony — expected Sunday night — remain top secret. But Kidman has been gracious and obliging, even sending out a case of beer for the paparazzi camped outside her harborside mansion Tuesday, her 39th birthday.(They sang “Happy Birthday” to her over the intercom.)

Now that’s a class act. I’m pretty sure there were no courtesy curbal libations delivered to campers in Namibia.
A VB in your honor, Ms. Kidman!

Gonzales on the Telly

U.S.: ‘Homegrown terrorists’ eyed Sears Tower
Court documents: Black Muslim group sought to ‘kill all the devils we can*’

…for the press conference. Details abound. Keep the pressure on these bastards, NYT or no.
(Why do I find it so much easier listening to AG Gonzales than that pinch faced SOB Ashcroft? GOD, I really, REALLY despised him.)
UPDATE: The indictments.
*ths notes: This should be our aim as well and we should be committed to always aim well.

Worthless post for the day….

but saw something on the way to work this morning I have not seen in a long while: a tractor-trailer that got stuck under a railway bridge. Wish I’d had my camera. I wonder hoiw often this happens? It was on N. Tryon St, just outside of downtown/uptown Charlotte. Slowed traffic down a bit, but thankfully was in the outbound lane.

I Have NO Idea Who This Guy Was Talking To

Michael Arden, an analyst with New York-based ABI Research, said “ultimately they want TV shows with products onscreen that you can click and save information about them or buy them.

…but it SURE wasn’t me. Or major dad. Or Ebola. Or…I can’t think of a soul that would go for this. Just the thought of pop-ups on my TV screen is making my eyes glaze over red. I hate the little station promos traipsing across the bottom as it is.

‘Searching for Answers’ Friday

Stuff bugs me sometimes.

Read more »

Why I Love Australia

I’m not sure how he gets through this without mentioning Shiraz, but aside from that I agree with every word:

WASHINGTON — In the Australian House of Representatives last month, opposition member Julia Gillard interrupted a speech by the minister of health thusly: “I move that that sniveling grub over there be not further heard.”
For that, the good woman was ordered removed from the House, if only for a day. She might have escaped that little time-out if she had responded to the speaker’s demand for an apology with something other than “If I have offended grubs, I withdraw unconditionally.”
God, I love Australia. Where else do you have a shadow health minister with such, er, starch?

Read the whole thing, and send a nice “thank you” to Tim Blair.

Don’t Question My Patriotism Pulitzers

Let’s pretend the government has an effective program (I know, I know, but this is an academic exercise here, people; work with me) that is legal. Further, the key to its success is that it is basically secret; again, it is completely legal, and it works to protect the country from terrorists. And let’s say you find out about it, and the government asks you to keep it a secret. What do you do?
Well, if you are The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, the spirit patriotic fervor leads you to publish everything. Go read it all, and let there be much gnashing of teeth.
As Insta says, they’re on the other side.

Gaia Menopausal?

She’s having hot flashes! Last year was the hottest in 6 billion years (except, of course in areas where it was cooler):

WASHINGTON, June 22 — A controversial paper asserting that recent warming in the Northern Hemisphere was probably unrivaled for 1,000 years was endorsed today, with a few reservations, by a panel convened by the nation’s pre-eminent scientific body.
The panel said that a statistical method used in the 1999 study was not the best and that some uncertainties in the work “have been underestimated,” and it particularly challenged the authors’ conclusion that the decade of the 1990’s was probably the warmest in a millennium.

But, hey, why quibble over piddling details along the way if the conclusion is what you want? It’s the new, improved scientific method: decide on your conclusion and make a computer model to schmudge the data into it.


Military Says Murdered Soldiers Were Abandoned at Checkpoint, Launches Probe
Two U.S. soldiers who vanished during a terrorist attack on a checkpoint and were later found slain had been left alone while other vehicles in their patrol inspected traffic, the military said Thursday.
…The two soldiers — believed to have been kidnapped by insurgents before their mutilated bodies were found this week — and a third soldier killed during the attack had been alone with one Humvee to guard a hydraulic bridge at a Euphrates River canal south of Baghdad.
When the attack occurred, others in the unit could not see the vehicle and were checking on their colleagues by radio, Martin-Hing said.

“Abandoned” seems at bit strong at this point, but they definately were isolated from the unit in the last place on earth you’d want that to happen, in the next to smallest number possible. In that situation it’s a fight to the death, because capture is not a viable option. I can’t imagine the horror.
Or have a pact, an “Aliens” agreement…

Ripley: Hicks, you won’t let them get me…
Hicks: Don’t worry about it. If it comes to that, I’ll do us both.

Happy Birthday, Big Guy

You’re a GOD in this house.

They’re Ghana Get to Go Home Early

Done in by their own mistakes and a crucial penalty call, ,b>the Americans lost to Ghana 2-1 Thursday in a game they had to win to advance past the World Cup tournament’s first round.

(Soccer: pi!)

If the Big One Hits, California Dreamin’

…turns to the Dark Side. (And I’m not talking about the San Andreas…)

Just two Arab countries have supplied almost 50 percent of California’s imported oil over the past five years, a dependence that leaves the state more vulnerable than the rest of the country to disruptions in the world oil markets.
…To meet the needs of California drivers who, according to the American Petroleum Institute, went through more than 43 million gallons per day of gasoline in 2005, the state – the U.S.’s most populous – has had turn to imports.
The increasing dependence on imports of crude oil and gasoline are largely to meet demand that has continued to climb even as the number of refineries producing gasoline in the state dropped from 32 in the mid-1980s to just 14 now – largely as a result of the state’s emission standards, the toughest in the country, said Hull.

Lord, This is Tough to Watch

The Tucker Family, bless their hearts.

A Warm Swill Salute to Blackfive He’s got an address for condolences, too.

It Ain’t The Bogeyman Under Your Bed…

It’s the parking lot attendant:

WASHINGTON D.C. — A stalker hid under a woman’s bed for two days — just for the chance to be alone with her. How he got the keys to her house is the scariest part, and and it’s a serious reminder of the need to be cautious before handing over your keys.
The disturbing video shows the convicted stalker carefully hiding his video camera on a desk in the victim’s bedroom. When he hears the woman and her boyfriend come in the apartment, he disappears under her bed. Carlo Castellanos-Feria remained there for two days until he was discovered by the victim’s boyfriend.
…Judge Herbert Dixon handed down a three-year sentence, including treatment for mental illness and sex crimes. Court documents show the Hyattsville man had a change of clothes, condoms, a power cord and latex gloves with him under victims bed at the time of his arrest. He was a parking valet with an unnerving obsession.
“He got access to her keys. He then took that opportunity to get those keys copied. That’s something we should all think about next time we leave our keys somewhere,” said Ken wainstein, U.S. attorney.

Good reason to keep your house keys separate from you car keys.

The Hug

…heard ’round the world.

Gabriel Whitney says he did not plan to nearly suffocate President Bush in a bear hug. In fact, he did not plan to hug him at all.
But when Mr. Whitney, one of 202 midshipmen to graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., on Monday, stepped forward to receive his diploma, it just sort of happened. Call it irrational exuberance. But after six years of undergraduate school and 4,872 demerits, Mr. Whitney, 25, of Nashua, N.H., could hardly restrain himself.
With more reason than most to be overjoyed, the 6-foot-7 midshipman stepped onto the stage to accept his degree and hugged Vice Adm. Joseph D. Stewart, the academy’s superintendent. Then he raised both arms in a victorious salute as his classmates roared their approval.
Elated and with his arms still upraised, he turned toward President Bush, who had just delivered the commencement address.
Mr. Bush, wearing a quizzical expression, responded by raising his arms as well and moved in for a hug. The midshipman — almost unwittingly — found himself squeezing the president in his powerful arms. When the president caught his breath, he shook Mr. Whitney’s hand.
I said, ‘You’re the man! Thank you very much,’ ” Mr. Whitney said in a telephone interview yesterday.
“The president thought the big bear hug was funny,” said Dana M. Perino, a White House spokeswoman. “He appreciates the terrific enthusiasm of our nation’s graduates, and he was honored to be the first president to address the Merchant Marine Academy. It was quite a thrill for everyone.”
Mr. Whitney’s sister, who works in an advertising office, had designed T-shirts for the 15 family members who attended the ceremony. Mr. Whitney’s many difficulties in reaching graduation were emblazoned on the front of the shirt: 4,872 demerits (“painful”); four and a half years on academic restriction (“wounding”); two visits to the committee that weighs student expulsions (“agonizing”); two reprieves from the admiral (“necessary”); and six years of school with only an undergraduate degree to show for it (“humbling”).
The back of the shirt, which bore a photograph of the midshipman and the American flag, celebrated his crowning achievement: “Passing all licensing exams, first try: Priceless.

The MSNBC video interview with the good midshipman is hilarious.
UPDATE: Yeesh ~ if you Technorati search ‘merchant marine hug’, you will see the leftoids being really sh*tty about something as good heartedly cheering as this. Wonkette called it “the creepy hug”. (I dunno ~ I guess when you all you write about is pottymouthed, furtive, twisted, power grubbing sex in congressional men’s rooms, a hug could be creepy…I guess. I’m not that cutting edge, so I can’t relate.)

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