As it seems someone else has dibs on the bed…
In the midst of our national navel-gazing over granting non-citizens who try to murder hundreds of Americans the same ‘rights’ as those they tried to slaughter let’s not forget what real torture, real inhuman brutality looks like
Alistair Urquhart was just 20 when he was called up in World War II. For 60 years, he has remained silent about the relentless brutality he endured at the hands of the Japanese army. Now, he reveals the full horror of his 750 days as a Far East prisoner-of-war. Here, in our first extract of his compelling autobiography, we learn of his capture and enforced labour on the notorious ‘Death Railway’.
Read the whole thing. It’s horrifying and tough to get through, but it serves as a valuable reminder of what torture and depravity really are.
Jeebus, it’s a biggie
SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) – A massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 78 people, knocking down buildings and triggering a tsunami.
Hopefully this massive quake was far enough from major population areas to limit the death toll.
Update: Tim has further links.
Sounds great! Let’s throw more bad after bad
American International Group (AIG) this morning warned that it may need more help from the U.S. government, but the insurer said it will have adequate liquidity to “finance and operate AIG’s businesses and continue as a going concern for at least the next twelve months.”
Shares fell $1.94, or 7%, to $25.47.
AIG received a bailout totaling more than $180 billion from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department starting in the fall of 2008, when the economic crisis began. Taxpayers now own nearly 80% of AIG as a result of the government’s interventions.
AIG also said it lost $8.9 billion, or $65.51 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. AIG lost $61.7 billion, the largest quarterly loss in the company’s history, in the same period a year earlier.
So they went from losing $62 billion to “only” losing $9 billion…in a freakin’ quarter. I’m sure they count that as a $53 billion profit for their bonuses.
Pardon me whilst I barf.
A big congrats to the Canadian Women’s Hockey team, who played a fantastic game to beat the USA women for the gold last night.
And by God they earned the right to have a few beers on ice
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The IOC will investigate the behavior of Canadian women ice hockey players who celebrated their gold medal by swigging beer and champagne on the ice.
Players came back onto the ice more than half an hour after the 2-0 victory over the United States on Thursday. Still in their uniforms and with gold medals draped around their necks, they drank from bottles of champagne and cans of beer and smoked cigars.
Gilbert Felli, the IOC’s executive director of the Olympic Games, said he was unaware of the incidents until informed by an Associated Press reporter.
“If that’s the case, that is not good,” Felli said. “It is not what we want to see. I don’t think it’s a good promotion of sport values. If they celebrate in the changing room, that’s one thing, but not in public. We will investigate what happened.”
Why shouldn’t they celebrate in public? You, Sir, are an ass who sorely needs a laxative.
Canadian Women Incurring The Wrath Of The IOC
I’ll buy them their next beer.
Economists once again are clueless about the economy
Initial jobless claims rose by 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 496,000, the Labor Department said this morning. Economists had been expecting claims to have fallen to 460,000.
It was the highest rate since the middle of November and the sixth increase in the first eight weeks of 2010. The four-week average of initial claims rose 6,000 to 473,750.
Greece also seems to be seeing more civil unrest, and throw in the Falklands mess and so stocks are down this morning.
Oh, and it’s snowing like hell.
Gawd, sometimes I just adore politicians
Ukip MEP Nigel Farage told Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the EU, he had “all the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk” in the European parliament yesterday.
Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence party, also dismissed Van Rompuy’s homeland, Belgium, as a “non-country”.
What an indicative, telling choice to head the EU.
Argentine and British warships say hello
Destroyer HMS York spotted the vessel around ten miles inside the disputed “oil zone” around the South Atlantic islands.
The British crew had to radio the Argentinian ship, a smaller corvette named ARA Drummond, to demand that it change its course.
Sources told The Sun that the ship made an “innocent navigational blunder” and were embarrassed about the mistake.
Things could very easily get out of hand…and somehow I don’t think the Brits are too confident of Obama supporting them.
I still think the Falklands should declare independence and the Brits and US should instantly recognize them.
Update: As I feared Obama shows how much he values the UK
Washington refused to endorse British claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands yesterday as the diplomatic row over oil drilling in the South Atlantic intensified in London, Buenos Aires and at the UN.
Despite Britain’s close alliance with the US, the Obama Administration is determined not to be drawn into the issue. It has also declined to back Britain’s claim that oil exploration near the islands is sanctioned by international law, saying that the dispute is strictly a bilateral issue.
…Senior US officials insisted that Washington’s position on the Falklands was one of longstanding neutrality. This is in stark contrast to the public backing and vital intelligence offered by President Reagan to Margaret Thatcher once she had made the decision to recover the islands by force in 1982.
What’s not to love?
While a snowstorm is currently underway across upstate New York and New England, the worst has yet to come for the Northeast. A monstrous storm is set to develop across the region on Thursday, unleashing damaging winds, coastal flooding and an all-out blizzard.
Unlike recent storms this winter, the dangers of the upcoming monster will not be confined to one part of the Northeast. The worst of the storm will rage from Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
Strong winds will gust to or past 50 mph over a large portion of the Northeast, resulting in widespread tree damage and power outages.
Buildings and vehicles may also suffer damage, including from falling trees. In the hardest-hit areas, residents may remain without power for a week.
We’ve been lucky so far on the power front…but if there’s a lot of heavy, wet snow and 50+ mph winds, well, I reckon our luck may run out.
Good thing I stocked up on box wine!
I like this quote
My, my! Doesn’t this look bad? Quite frankly in my entire meteorological career, which spans back to the 1960’s, I have not seen too many winters that have produced so many major storms.
Locusts! Where are the damned locusts?
It’s just that some are more equal than others
An unapologetic Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision.
…”This was my heart, my choice and my health,” Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.
“I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”
No, but you have worked to make darn sure you took away that right from your constituents, didn’t you?
Eight months later, in December, his doctors told him the problem had become severe and urged him to get his valve repaired immediately or risk heart failure, he said.
And of course that wasn’t really an option up North, eh?
“I wanted to get in, get out fast, get back to work in a short period of time,” the premier said.
Williams said he didn’t announce his departure south of the border because he didn’t want to create “a media gong show,” but added that criticism would’ve followed him had he chose to have surgery in Canada.
“I would’ve been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. … I accept that. That’s public life,” he said.
Because his life is more equal than any other Canadian’s.
“God forbid for the Canadian public I won’t be around longer than ever.”
Well there ya’ go.
…in a funny way.
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time. ?
2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an a**hole. ?
3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. ?
4. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. ?
6. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high. ?
7. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it. ?
8. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. ?
9. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. ?
10. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer. ?
11. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
I’m shocked, shocked!
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Home prices unexpectedly slipped in December but the annual rate of decline slowed, reinforcing the housing market’s rocky road to recovery, Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indexes showed on Tuesday.
The S&P composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.2 percent in December, matching the dip in November, for a 3.1 percent annual drop.
A Reuters survey had forecast that prices would be unchanged for the month and down 3.2 percent annually following a 5.3 percent annual drop in November.
Talk about a running gag…the kind that you choke on.
“Give me back that filet o’ fish! Give me that fish!”
(What if it was YOU who was up on this wall?)
Where are the mind police on THIS, huh? Where’s BIG government/Harry Reid/Bloomberg when we REALLY need them to protect us, HUH?!?!?!?
(You wouldn’t like it at all!)
NO where, THAT’S frickin’ where. Because they’re TOOLS ~ in the greasy back pockets of the food industry.
Ebola the Elder channels Dr. Kildare for the Young and Impressionable.
YOUNG Fellow Airman Basic [YFAB]: “Owww. You know, my [nether regions] kinda hurt!”
Ebola the Elder [EtE]: “You better go get that checked out, man. You don’t mess with sh*t like that.”
YFAB: “[Owwww] Nah, it’s probably just a bruise or something.”
EtE: “What if it’s, say, testicular torsion?”
YFAB: “Huh? So?”
EtE: “You lose your b*lls!!“
Concerned, YFAB trots off gingerly to sick bay. And DOES lose a testicle…
He’s graduating with the flight Friday and that’s why I said “Kildare” instead of “House”.
I love happy endings
Scott Brown is not the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan. Would it be nice if he voted against this silly “Jobs Bill”? Of course; hell, they spent $780+ billion last Spring and the unemployment rate went from 8% to 10.1%, so this paltry $15 billion in this Bill should only cost the economy 50,000 jobs or so, a pittance by the current Administration’s standards. The thing to remember is Brown won as a Republican in the one of the heaviest of heavily Democratic states, and so in the Senate the Right will get one of the votes now from Massachusetts occasionally, and that by any measure counts as a big victory. He’s a politician who’s up for re-election in two years, and this vote allows him some cover for that at frankly very little relative cost or damage to our economy.
(How ’bout we settle for all of the above?)
The British oil rig has arrived and is due to start drilling soon. And as well they should, since it’s British territory.
Argentina has threatened to take “adequate measures” to stop British oil exploration in contested waters around the islands, and is seeking support from Latin American countries at a regional meeting in Mexico.
They can harass shipping to some extent, but unless they get really crazy and get Chavez involved…well, sadly that’s a possibility since he and Kirchner are BFF.
The Islanders themselves are ready and able.
With a British-owned oil rig preparing to drill 100 miles off the coast despite Argentina’s attempts to disrupt exploration efforts, the view of Bill Luxton, a member of the Falklands’ eight-strong ruling assembly, was that “we just need to put two fingers up to them and say get on with it”. It was echoed by many across the South Atlantic islands.
Well, frankly I’d give just a one-fingered salute but these folks are much more polite than I am.
…and according to Janet Napolitano he is us
WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists who are U.S. citizens or live in the country legally and plot against the U.S. are just as big of a concern as international terrorists.
She says that when she started as secretary a year ago, the focus was largely on international terrorists who want to harm U.S. interests. But in the past year, more of the violent extremism that has been seen overseas is showing up in the U.S.
Gosh, yeah. Look at all the bombings and beheadings and mass executions that those Tea Partiers are committing.
She says officials need to drill down and analyze the factors that make a young person, raised in the U.S., migrate to extremist beliefs and actions.
So they’re going to investigate Kos and DU?
Good thing she’s found something to focus on, now that airline security is going some swimmingly under her wonderful leadership.
Gordon Brown has accused the Tories of trying to “scare” people into accepting a “bleak” future with talk of the record deficit.
In a speech to centre-left European leaders the prime minister attacked the response of the “well-financed right wing” to the financial crisis.
…”This well-financed right wing are not only trying to blame governments for the crisis, but trying to use legitimate concerns about deficits to scare people into accepting a bleak and austere picture of the future for the majority.”
He accused “the right-wing” of “using the cloak of action” on debt to hide their “real position” – which he said was “an ideology that would always make government the problem and deny people the helping hand that government can be”.
Spend spend spend…that’s always the answer from these folks, isn’t it?
Remember, Boys and Girls: “Inflation Is Our Friend”