Canadian Elections Leave No One in Charge
Liberals got 135 of 308 Parliamentary seats, so they'll have to work with the Conservatives, Quebecois separatists, and the hard-left New Democratic Party in order to get something done. Who's to say that a government that doesn't do anything wouldn't be the best outcome anyway? One party that didn't get any votes is the Canadian Action Party, which swears that the United States wants to make Canada the 51st state; that's ridiculous, of course, since Cuba has dibs on becoming #51, and Canada would have to become at least a dozen new states...
If Actors Fought Themselves
Hilarious Fark Photoshop contest pits actors against themselves in different roles
Iraq Power Transfer Happens Ahead of Schedule
US Deputy Secretary of State says it was at least in part a move to prevent terror attacks. We'll see what happens to the Coalition Provisional Authority's website, which as of the afternoon hadn't noted the change in power.
Holes in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11"
It isn't news that Michael Moore is a blubbering idiot with an agenda and not a shred of credibility, but here's the evidence
Small Earthquake in Illinois
Magnitude 4.5 quake didn't do much damage, if any
South Korea to Keep Sending Troops to Iraq
Terrorist attacks should make countries more angry at the terrorists, not more fearful of them. South Korea is showing good resolve.
Why It's Nonsense to Criticize Economic Assumptions
An excellent response to those who confuse "humans are self-interested" with "economists think everyone is greedy, but I'm not."
Non-Arab Muslim Says Much of Saudi Royal Family Backs Al Qaeda
"The terrorists of Al-Qaida and its related groups, the followers of Bin Laden, Zarqawi, and others, have come back to the peninsula to wage jihad there, where they were never supposed to appear."
Iran Trying to Play Hardball with British Sailors
As previously noted, a British patrol boat apparently strayed into Iranian territorial waters while on duty in Iraq. Whether it was an intentional incursion (unlikely, because what was there to gain?) or a simple navigation error (it's a tidal waterway that forms the border between Iraq and Iran), it's highly inadvisable for Iran to keep up with this behavior. The carefully-worded statement from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office doesn't indicate that Iran is cooperating.
Health Group Says Knock It Off with the Stupid Atkins Diet
Includes the American Association for Diabetes Research and the American Institute for Cancer Research
Manly Residents Oppose Strip Club
No, really: There's a town in Iowa named Manly, and there's a bar there that the owner wants to convert into a strip joint. Opponents of the strip club told the county supervisors they don't want the bar there.
Sen. Zell Miller on Why We Shouldn't Get Absorbed in the Iraqi Prison Issue
"Why is it that some in this country still don't get that we are at war?"
NBC Plans Toxic Levels of Olympics Coverage
1,200 hours to be broadcast -- more than the last five Olympics combined. Even table tennis is on the schedule. Apparently, though, there's been a slight problem with people putting drugs in the water at a non-Olympic soccer match in Greece.
Iraqi Oil Exports Back Up and Running
Terrorists are trying to destabilize the country by choking off its main source of export dollars
3.5 Million Canadians Don't Have a Regular Doctor
Even under a system of socialized medicine, more than 10% of the population doesn't have a normal doctor and is thus much more likely to go to the emergency room. Please note that 2/3rds of the doctor-less are that way because they haven't bothered to look. Government hand-holding can only go so far, and thinking that it will solve all of our problems with health care costs is delusional.
Private Investors Send Man Into Space
It's the first privately-funded manned mission to space. Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites is the lead company on the project.
Iran Trying Hard to Start World War III
Seized three British naval vessels that accidentally strayed into their territorial waters. Please note previous entry "Iranian Radicals Want to Take Over Britain".
Saudi Al Qaeda Chief Gets One-Way Ticket to Hell
One of four shot dead over the weekend. Saudi government says he was behind killings of BBC journalists and Paul Johnson.
Explosion at Russian Oil Refinery
Nothing indicates yet whether terrorists may have been involved
India, Pakistan Get Their Own Nuclear Hotline
Red phone sales on the rise
Algerian Al Qaeda Leader Meets His Maker
Islamic fascist insurgency there has killed 150,000 people
Idiotic "Big Brother" Show Gets Out of Control
Police were called in when contestants in the UK version started issuing death threats against one another. Viewers called the cops.
Iowa to Get More Gambling
State board lifts moratorium on new gambling licenses
CBS Radio to Carry Clinton Town-Hall Program
Industry buzz says that all CBS Radio news affiliates have been ordered to carry the Clinton broadcast
Clinton Fooled Around with Lewinsky "Because I Could"
Talk about a serious lack of moral compass
Central Nebraska Running Out of Water
Grand Island, near the middle of the state, gets 90% of its water from the Platte River, which is presently at zero flow. One result is an increase in the number of noxious weeds. The Republican River is also running low, causing a fight between Nebraska and Kansas.
Iranian Radicals Want to Take Over Britain
Inside Iran, there's apparently broad agreement that a nuclear program needs to move forward. The reformists want to do so through talks with the West. The conservatives want it through force and intimidation, including threats against 29 Western targets. Start fueling the bombers.
Read What the Terrorists Say Amongst Themselves
Translation of an interview with the leader of the recent attacks against Westerners in Saudi Arabia. The vile language and complete disregard for the sanctity of life alone should persuade you that Islamic fascists have it in for the West. It's not Islam itself that's faulty; it's the interpretation of it perpetrated by the sub-human monsters that needs to be destroyed. It appears grimly fortunate that infighting among the Al Qaeda hijackers kept the number of hijackings on September 11th down from a planned ten to the actual four. The just-released tapes of the hijackings and the timelines established make it obvious that the command-and-control chain for North American air defense were completely inadequate on the day of the attacks.
City Councilman Says Women Shouldn't Be Cops
"I've said my piece, I'm a male chauvinist, and my vote is 'no'"
Anti-EU Parties Won Big in Recent EU Elections
Some of the muddiest thinkers there believe that it's because the European Parliament doesn't have enough power. More clear-headed folks might realize that it's because people naturally prefer government closer to themselves. There have been previous rantings during my radio program and on other websites about the abject stupidity of a government with a 200-page constitution, but obviously its proponents are trying to forge ahead nonetheless.
Commission Says US Didn't Have Useful Air Defenses on September 11th
Vice President Cheney issued an order to shoot down the hijacked planes, but it didn't arrive until after the fourth crash
Chicago Sun-Times Admits to Lying About Circulation Numbers
Results likely to include a big demand for make-up advertising or rebates to advertisers for inflated rates
Train Late Daily for 16 Years
It should be noted that the persistently-late public transportation is, of course, government-run. There are plenty of private-market solutions to this problem.
Man Assaults Taco Bell Employee with Chalupa
Atkins diet now a weapon of war
Boeing 737's With Bombs
The Boeing 737, the workhorse of Southwest Airlines' fleet and many others, is being modified for use as an anti-naval aircraft (from eDodo.org)
Flags to Remain at Half-Staff Until July 5th
Presidents and former Presidents get 30 days; others get less time at half-staff
French Electrical Union Members Fight Privatization By Cutting Off the Prime Minister's Power
Because they think that special protections for themselves are more important than, say, affordable power for poor people. Privatization generally brings major benefits to society as a whole. They previously cut off power to Paris's train system, making half a million people late for work.
Islamic Militants Arrested in France
Anti-terror squads arrested six near Paris
British Court Rules that Muslim Girl's Gown Doesn't Meet School Uniform Code
If there's a school uniform rule in place, it should be applied and worn, well, uniformly. Fights like this are probably going to intensify. Special privileges for certain groups need not apply.
Marxists Kill 34 Peasants in Colombia
Socialism never has been, nor will it ever be, a friend to the people
Terrorists Trying to Starve the Iraqi People
Killed a high-ranking official in the national oil company and have sabotaged major pipelines
32-Year-Old Cell Phone Salesman Wanted to Blow Up Ohio Mall
Was picked up on immigration violations. Plans for the attack were in early stages, but he supposedly attended an Al Qaeda training camp. Old friends of Al Qaeda are starting to condemn terrorist violence as "deviant."
New Computer Virus Spreads Via Cell Phones
If only a fraction of the time spent creating computer viruses would be spent on useful activities, what progress we would have
On Europe's Future
When schoolchildren would rather become bureaucrats than industrialists, your country could be on the way to trouble
Thatcher's Eulogy for Reagan
"He had firm principles -- and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively." Brian Mulroney offered an excellent eulogy as well.
Margaret Thatcher Foundation
Full free access to mountains of material by one of the great people of our time. Their goals are excellent: democracy, markets, rule of law, strong defense, transatlantic cooperation, free trade, and Western values in contact with the former Communist states and the Middle East. See the complete declassified correspondence between Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
Attendees at President Reagan's Funeral
Seeing Margaret Thatcher seated next to Mikhail Gorbachev is quite enough to remind one why we had to win the Cold War -- for us and for them. Reagan deserves the praise he receives today.
Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame
The amount of work some people will put into cheating the system would have won them a lot of wealth in more honorable endeavors.
Sometimes the Best Beer...
A funny ad (with sound) from the folks at IBC
Amusing Take on Bush's Economic Record
Flash file with music, so don't go playing it with speakers blaring in the office. Individual statistics do not make a good economy, but the general theme seems right. Now, if only the President would cut spending, too.
Free Trade with Central America Coming, But Likely On Hold for a While
Opponents of trade apparently don't think much of American producers: The Central American countries in the agreement already export lots of stuff here duty-free, but the CAFTA would remove trade barriers to many of our exports there. This, of course, doesn't even include the impact of greater trade between here and there -- which has the long-run impact of making them better friends of ours.
South Koreans Following a Bad American Example
About 30% of their urban households are deficit spending right now. The British are experiencing the same sort of problem right now, and it's been around here for a long time. Not wise, people.
Korean Leaders to US Military: Please Don't Go So Soon
Won't you stay for a cup of coffee? US plans to remove about 1/3 of its troops on the peninsula by the end of 2005, but that's not exactly what some leaders there were hoping for.
Some of Uncle Ronnie's Greatest Quotes
Say what you will about Reagan; if he was anything, he was literate. My favorites:
(#1) "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
(#2) "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
When Consumer Information Is Used for Bad Purposes
Some urban legends are true, apparently including the one about the kids who got a Selective Service registration notice for their imaginary friend. It's stories like this one that remind me why I'm careful to monitor who gets my e-mail address and why I always view large databases with suspicion.
South Korea Moving into a New National Capital
It's called an effort to balance the country's development
Someone Finally Takes the Gloves Off with Lou Dobbs
Read what Representative David Dreier said to Lou Dobbs, a trade protectionist, during "Lou Dobbs Tonight" (which Dobbs has been using unashamedly to hurt American consumers, investors, and producers with his anti-trade agenda). It's about a third of the way down the page. Dreier seems like a solid free-market politician, which isn't that common a find. Trade should be fair in that it involves protection of copyrights and patents. It shouldn't be used as a political pawn in order to buy votes.
A Lesson for Civic Leaders Today
In the 1930's, advertising like this was not only un-self-conscious, it was positively everywhere. We could probably use a dose of it again today to remind us of our priorities and why we shouldn't take progress for granted. Electric streetlights are a concept that's only a few generations old.
San Jose Mercury-News 16-Page Spread on Ronald Reagan
It's worth a read, even if you didn't like him
China Not Progressing Much Politically 15 Years After Tiananmen
Public protests are small and the political opposition basically disbanded. Of course, there's solid evidence that with continued economic liberalization will come political liberalization. We should hope it happens before someone decides to use one of their abundant weapons of war.
A Look At How Newspapers Treated Reagan's Death
Except for over-use of the pun "Mourning in America", the treatment seems generally respectful
Ronald Reagan's Days at WHO Radio in Des Moines
Reagan started as a sports broadcaster and staff announcer at WHO in 1933, a total of 64 years before I started working at the station. I hope there's Brylcreem in Heaven.
Ronald Reagan Dies at Age 93
Unfortunately, Margaret Thatcher is not expected to be able to attend the funeral. The former President will lie in state at the US Capitol.
Proper Insults Delivered
"Jaded Major" is stationed in Korea and for obvious reasons can't stand North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. You have to love this guy's work.
EU Justice Commissioner Says Illegal Immigration Abuses the System
Amnesty International criticized European states for not being nice enough to asylum-seekers and other immigrants. Economically, Europe needs immigrants to survive as birthrates fall and the population ages. But the justice commissioner gets it right that legitimate immigrants are the ones hurt most when illegals and asylum-seekers overwhelm the system.
Big Newspapers Shifting to Tabloid Formats to Save Circulation Numbers
It's happened in Europe, and is showing signs of happening in the US as well. Tabloids sell best with younger readers, who are the ones abandoning newspapers fastest.
Computer Crash Brings UK Air Traffic to Grinding Halt
Air traffic controllers could still see the blips, but didn't have much info on what they meant
Electoral College Calculator
Test scenarios and see if you can predict the likely outcome of November 2nd
Double-Decker Plane Will Force Major Airport Renovations
Virgin Atlantic says it can't take delivery on its planes until later than expected, since the renovations will take time. But LAX, JFK, and ORD say they'll be ready by 2006.
9% of Prisoners on Life Sentences
Again raising the questions: Are we incarcerating the right people? Have we struck the right balance between rehabilitation and punishment? Is this an efficient use of society's resources?
Airport Security Lines Getting Longer
It's taking especially long to clear security at Atlanta, Newark, and Honolulu
Branson Wants to Start US Low-Cost Carrier, But Citizenship Rules Might Get Him
Then again, Rupert Murdoch immigrated to run Fox, so who knows?
Reporters: We're Doing a Lousy Job, But That's Because of Cheap Owners
Half of those surveyed said journalism is going in the wrond direction
President Tells USAFA Grads We're In an Epic Struggle
Once more, though, I would insist that he stop calling it a war on "terrorism." Terrorism is a method. We are instead engaged in a war on Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic fascists who want to establish theocratic rule. A war on terrorism is ultimately unwinnable. A war on Al Qaeda is not. Related: Some former servicemembers may be recalled due to shortages.
World Food Stockpiles at a Recent Low
Estimate suggests there's only a 59-day cushion of grain stored anywhere in the world
Sen. Lieberman: Don't Toss Rumsfeld Out
Former Democratic Presidential candidate says there's no reason to over-react
Bill Cosby Has Tough Words for Improving the Condition of Blacks
Says priorities should go to education. You really should read what he had to say for yourself (second item)
Italian Prime Minister: President Bush is a Sympathetic Man
"The West isn't the aggressor, we must always remember this," Berlusconi said in an interview recorded yesterday, before the hostage drama in Saudi Arabia in which an Italian cook was killed. On the contrary, we are defending ourselves and trying to root out terrorists from their hideouts. That's what happened in Afghanistan and that is what Bush has said is the case in Iraq."
When the Government Becomes a Covert Propagandist
The self-perpetuation of a lot of inflated bureaucracies depends on convincing the people that you're giving them something for nothing. That's most sinister when you're using their own dollars to do it.
How the Microwave Got Its Start
It started with a magnetron and a chocolate bar
From Bananas to Energy
Discarded organics can be turned into energy through a process called anaerobic digestion
Planning an Interstate Greenbelt
Project boosters want a hiking trail from St. Louis, MO, to Lincoln, NE
E-Mail Forward Detailing Good Things In Iraq Came from Iowa Guardsman
He says it was only intended for close friends and family, but they sent it around the world
10-Year-Old Boys Hijack Bulldozer
They trashed the machine, destroyed a building, and knocked a radio station off the air. Serious punishment is in order. What kind of idiot parents raise kids like these?
This Didn't Happen 20 Years Ago
Poland's government is about to approve a bill on "freedom of commerce" -- making it easier for people to do business by reducing the regulatory burden
History is Written by the Victors
German veteran of WWII says the French liked his comrades better than they liked the Americans. And with the continued whispers about Franco-German cooperation within the EU, one has to wonder if that isn't still the case.
Tighter Immigration Laws Actually Causing More Permanent Migration, Not Less
Raising the risks associated with crossing the border means increasing the amount of time immigrants have to stay in order to make the trip worthwhile. It's also causing big growth in the Hispanic populations in seemingly-unlikely places, like Omaha and Racine. "Chain migration" means that people who immigrate draw more of their own families and close friends to the same locations -- especially around meat-packing facilities, for example.
No Repeat of 1993 Expected
Iowa's state climatologist says the flooding is probably only temporary and won't destroy the state's economy again. And if you're in Nebraska, you're probably hoping to get some of this rain.
More Attacks on Americans in Saudi Arabia
Al Qaeda says it was the group shooting at Americans in the Saudi capital city
Do Your Part: Go Kill 0.0000643 Terrorists
There are about 280 million Americans, and an estimated 18,000 Al Qaeda terrorists. It just requires a little effort from each of us. On a less-flippant note, please observe that a single attack like the bombing in Bali cost them about $35,000, while security at the Olympics is estimated to cost $1.2 billion. If ever there were a time for the West to think about economic growth as a strategy for national security, the time is now. Remember, we won the Cold War by driving the Soviet Union into bankruptcy.
Changing Church Hymns and Prayers Won't Fix Real Problems
Church of England to publish reworkings of prayers and psalms. "Give us this day our daily bread" becomes "You are giving us our daily bread when we manage to get back our lands or get a fairer wage." You don't even want to know what they do to "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." Church of England services aren't changing, but the official publishing arm of the church is putting these radical editions out under a compilation in October. Social justice is and should be a part of faith, but here it's gone too far. In unrelated religious news, the presence of microscopic crustaceans in New York City's tap water means it's not kosher.
Mel Karmazin Ditches Viacom
Parent company to CBS will now slip into a rivalry between Les Moonves (who runs CBS) and Tom Freston (who runs MTV)
Al Qaeda Claims the Saudi Attack
No one is safe. Period. Resultant fear pushes oil prices up.
Israel Keeps Killing Hamas Leaders
Helicopter rocket strike kills two militant leaders on a motorcycle. Now, is the story that terrorists were killed, or that some sources say bystanders were injured? You decide.
UN Peacekeepers Between Rebels, Government Troops in Congo
"Peacekeeping" isn't a pretty business anywhere
Intra-Muslim Violence Rampant in Pakistan
Shiite mosque bombing killed 15 and injured 40
Should Iraq Be Partitioned?
Author makes a very convincing case that it's the best way to give democracy a chance in that part of the world
Coca-Cola Company No Longer Focused on Expanding Markets
The top boss is thinking more about margins than new sales
Woman Drops Her Baby 30 Feet to Save Him
Fire broke out in her apartment complex. Neighbors caught the boy using a blanket.
Free Trade Is Good, But Intellectual Property Needs Protection
Just because a market grows larger doesn't make theft acceptable
Energy Conservation in Food Sector Could Reap Huge Benefits
Food industries use almost a quarter of the electricity produced in some regions
Australian Government Wants to Bribe Men to Become Teachers
They're trying to solve a cultural issue with small cash payments ($2000 Australian). All in the name of reducing sex discrimination. What would you think of your tax dollars being spent like that?
Missouri River 20% to 30% Below Normal This Year
The US Army Corps of Engineers thinks drought will continue throughout the year. It's no good for fish, and things are even worse on the Platte River. Groundwater irrigation in the Ogallala Aquifer region is suffering. Things get even worse in the desert southwest, where water is creating some nasty political fights, and the Supreme Court is afraid to touch the issue. Some scientists think it's a "megadrought" that could last a decade. If you're one of those affected, suggestions for water conservation may be in order. And from the unintended consequences department: The drought is also hurting landscapers.
Canada to Put Tattoo Parlors in Prisons
Argument: Hepatitis C is running rampant in Canadian prisons, in part due to do-it-yourself tattooing. It's thought that official shops will reduce the spread. But the tattoos are part of a subculture ritual, and making that ritual "official" won't likely do anything substantial to improve conditions. Illicit, do-it-yourself tattoos will continue to proliferate, Hep C will continue to spread, and Canadian taxpayers will only be footing the bill for "body art" that will only make the prisoners even less likely to get good jobs (and become productive members of society) once they leave prison. Don't kid yourself: Employers retain an inherent bias against people with tattoos.
EU Members Think France, Germany, and the UK Are Up to Something
And America breathes a sigh of relief, knowing that a "United Europe" won't really happen in the long run
The Czech People Enjoy Their Beer
And rightly so. We appreciate their contribution of pilsner to the world.
John Kerry Thinks He's Into Zen
It would be nice if he'd get into recognizing the real threats to this country first
UK May Have Spied on Kofi Annan
Like everyone isn't spying on everyone else all the time anyway
Saudi Press Realizes Terrorists Will Kill Anyone
Question: Who was probably behind the attacks in Khobar, Saudi Arabia this past weekend?
Answer: Radical Islamic fascists.
Question: Who gave the Islamic fascists their start by funding Wahhabism and making it a vital force within the Arab world?
Answer: The Saudi royal family.