Iraq is safer.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
An Australian soldier embarasses MSM:
Australian commander in East Timor Brigadier Michael Slater appeared this morning in a live cross from Dili to the Nine Network's Today show, with helmeted and heavily armed Australian soldiers standing behind him.
He was pressed by Today host Jessica Rowe about whether Dili really was as safe as the Australian military claimed, given the presence of armed soldiers at his shoulder.
Pausing briefly, Brig Slater replied: "Jessica I feel quite safe, yes, but not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good.
"I don't need these guys here....
Posted by miriam at 10:39 AM
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
I love this librarian: A sample post:
Dear Western Mission Community Water Closet District,
I recently read that you were looking for pre-qualfied people to join your potential pool of possible candidates for potential possibly future work on a temporary, plausible basis. Well, sign me up, baby!
You want qualifications! I've got qualifications out the wazoo....
And I see you want copies of all my college transcripts. I can send them right over, since I always keep copies on me, just in case an exciting job opportunity pops up and nobody believes I went to college. There's college, library school, and my PhD from ULC. I think it's a good idea to ask for actual transcripts. It weeds out those lowlifes who lie about their genuine ALA-accredited MLS, or perhaps never even went to college! If they didn't provide those transcripts, how would you ever know? Would you like my high school transcripts as well? I can also give you the phone number of my high school algebra teacher, Mrs. Laughingstock? She can verify that I was never good at math, so you'll be able to slip that salary by me.
It looks like you want someone who'll be able to come in at a moment's notice at any time of the day or night and do every possible task in your library from maintaining your servers to checking out books to cleaning out the filthy toilets. I'm your gal! I took a special class in library school on cleaning filthy toilets the Dewey Decimal way!
I see you're offering top dollar for my potential possible services as well. $22K! (Mom, I told you library school would work out!) Are these the jobs I keep hearing about that only the immigrants from Guatamala will take? Just kidding! But seriously, don't worry about the money. I've got my trust fund. How else could I afford to be a librarian?
She's going on my blogroll right now.
Posted by miriam at 2:00 PM
From wizbang. To me, the most interesting thing about the post was the comments, which attack his immigration plan. A sample:
His opinions about illegal aliens still suck, so I really can't say I care how good a speech he gives.
People, this is your life at stake here! Our country's future is at stake! I don't agree with Bush's views on immigration, but apparently a majority do, as shown by the polls. Anyway, Congress will sort it out. Maybe the House will show some gumption, who knows?
All I care about is defeating, punishing, killing our enemies before they do it to us. My priorities:
1 through 10. War on terror, in all its manifestations.
10 through 1,000--immigration, gay marriage, tort reform, school uniforms, in any order you like. Who cares?
In the words of Dr Johnson: "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." Well, 9/11 concentrated my mind, and apparently Bush's too.
We are in great danger, and Bush knows it and understands it. Survival comes first.
Posted by miriam at 12:47 PM
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Posted by miriam at 9:43 PM
Friday I took a hard-boiled egg out of the refrigerator and put it on the kitchen counter. As round objects do, it rolled, in this case onto the floor, where it disappeared into an undisclosed location. I looked for it. I'd rather find it now than on a later occasion, when the location would be disclosed by a mighty stink.
Okay, said I to myself. The kitchen floor needs washing anyway, and the egg might appear. The floor looked better though, so I thought I would wash the floor in the two upstairs bathrooms. I did. They looked better.
So last night I took some blueberries out of the refrigerator. The little cellophane case came open and the kitchen floor was wall-to-wall blueberries. I got down on my hands and knees and picked up all the blueberries, I thought. Stood up. Saw three more under the refrigerator. Picked them up. Another was in the corner by the sink. Got it.
Now wait--I am going to connect this all up, as they say in the courtroom scenes I have seen on television.
I am walking around my newly cleaned domain, feeling pretty smug. Kitchen floor--clean. Bathroom floors, check. Polish the faucet and prepare to take a shower.
All of a sudden I notice this smear on my bathroom floor. It looked like an extremely repellent smashed bug. Cleaned it up. Went into the kitchen, and there was another obscene smear. Looked at my slippers.
I had a couple of blueberries stuck to the bottom of my slippers.
Posted by miriam at 12:04 PM
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress: $5000.00. Tux rental: $100.00. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. The occasional well-rendered belch is not only appreciated by your friends, but practically expected. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks.
Read the whole thing. It certainly convinced me.
Posted by miriam at 11:18 PM
Stephenesque complains about receiving unwanted and unwelcome text messages:
My phone may have just received its first spam text message. The communication certainly makes no sense to me, nor can I discern from what source it originates. Fortunately my service plan provides me with free text messaging. After all, who wants to be charged time and money for worthless and unwanted data? But such a travesty of networking will befall someone soon.
I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Obviously, as cellular telephone technology develops itself into yet another branch of the web, the more prone our wireless,mobile devices become to those afflictions that are the scourges of the internet: spam mail, viruses, idle browsing, wasted time, ecetera.
In fact, almost anything with a microprocessor is at risk. Perhaps the artificially intelligent vacuum cleaners of 2009 will be attacked by computer viruses instructed these virtuous machines to suddenly act like the wayward brooms and mops of the Sorceror's Apprentice? Or maybe we will already have despairingly given up on the internet by then.
My stepmother, who will be 80 in August, received a text message which went something like this: 1 case of vodka, 1 case of bourbon, 12 sixpacks of beer, and a case of condoms. She was puzzled. I believe it is a joke about the recipe for a good party.
Posted by miriam at 10:40 PM
Friday, May 26, 2006
They're at a Library Convention and they're really going to party down--on the expense account, no less. Sheer debauchery.
First up are drinks. We have two people here who want actual liquor, two who want soda, and two who want drinks with umbrellas in them.
Ordering food takes forever; "The bean soup sounds good." "What are you having, Marianne?" (Every other librarian in New Jersey is called Marianne, Mary, Mary Ann, Mary Rose, Mary Lou, Mary Jane--you get the picture.)*
Soup or salad? Steak or fish? Should we stick to our diet (every other librarian in New Jersey is on a diet) or go hog wild?
A consensus having been reached, the wait staffer (we librarians don't use sexist language, but she is a woman) takes all orders and disappears to the kitchen.
The festive meal arrives and is consumed, accompanied by catching up, gossip, and gripes. Zero hour has now arrived.
The lone male librarian ventures timidly that it would be nice if we split the check six ways. The suggestion is met with scorn, and the check is scrutinized by one and all.
Lib I: "Marianne had the soup."
Marianne: "Yes, but I only had salad; you had steak--24.95!"
Lib I: "Okay. Sheila had the chicken florentine."
Sheila: "All I had to drink was a diet coke--Susan had two beers."
Lib I: "Who had the red snapper?"
And so it goes. Finally, detente is reached. It is now time to calculate the tip.
Male librarian: "Tip should be $60--five dollars each. That's three times the tax, which is 6 percent."
Librarian III, who has hitherto been silent: "Yes, but you're not supposed to count the drinks when you calculate the tip."
Male librarian: (silently) Oy vey! (Throws money on the table.)
Marianne: You gave me too much. Here--take back three dollars. Wait--does anyone have change for a twenty?
Male librarian: (Unprintable remark, silently.)
*Many librarians also answer to the name of Marie. Or Anne-Marie. Oh, forget it.
Posted by miriam at 3:02 PM
The Republican Party was supposed to be conservative. I was misled. They will spend all of your money, including the loose change under the floormats in your car.
The Democrats will also take the cigarette lighter, CD player, and air freshener. Moreover, they are going to subsidize research on methods of converting the lint in your belly button to clean, renewable energy.
Posted by miriam at 11:30 AM
The answer: quite a lot.
Twenty-five thousand body bags were stockpiled; the latest computer model predicted 60,000 dead. Yet weeks after the storm, fewer than 1,000 bodies have been found in all of Louisiana. Which prompts the question: What went right?
The answer is: something massive. Largely ignored by the agenda-driven national media, one of the largest rescue operations in history saved more than 50,000 people by boat and helicopter. In this Dunkirk on the Mississippi, Coast Guard and other military units, volunteers, and state and local first responders delivered thousands from death by drowning, dehydration, heatstroke, fire, starvation, and disease. The three goats of Katrina — FEMA’s Michael Brown, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and Mayor Nagin — had little if any role; in fact, because local communication was wiped out by the storm, they may not even have known about the scale and success of the rescue operation. 
[Coast Guard Officer] Huberty deeply resents TV’s characterization of the black residents of New Orleans. “As many bad stories as you hear about looting, there were plenty of people sacrificing for others, regardless of their demographic. I can’t tell you how many times a man would stay behind an extra day or two on the roof and let his wife and kids go first. It broke my heart. We’d go to an apartment building and you’d see that someone was in charge, organizing the survivors. We’d tell him, ‘We can only take five,’ and they’d sort out the worst cases. It happened many times that the guy in charge was the last to leave.”
At the state level, the Louisiana National Guard’s 1-244th Aviation Battalion and 812th Med-Evac unit moved helicopters — ten Black Hawks and six Hueys — into New Orleans behind the storm. “It was like a scene from a Stephen King movie,” says Capt. Shawn Vaughn, who piloted a Black Hawk. “We just got back from Iraq and saw nothing like this kind of devastation there.”
The Black Hawk operation was a textbook example of quick-and-dirty improvisation: Lacking rescue hoists, crews adopted the nervy tactic of landing directly on rooftops to take on passengers, while applying power to keep the helicopters light so they wouldn’t collapse the storm-weakened buildings. Some stripped out their seating to increase capacity to 30 passengers standing, or to carry stretchers for the elderly and disabled.
Healthy evacuees were pulled from rooftops and transferred to nearby collection points. When they couldn’t maneuver in for a pickup, National Guardsmen called in the Coast Guard and smaller Hueys with rescue hoists. Individual Black Hawks pulled out as many as 250 people per day when the pressure was on. Vaughn estimates the unit saved up to 4,000 in the first week ....
Also on Monday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had 250 agents and their boats in the water, along with volunteers from inside the agency, according to Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze. His operation claimed 20,000 rescues by September 8 — at which point it suspended calls for more volunteers and boats. LaCaze says many of these rescues were of people facing imminent death. “There were a lot of people we rescued on the first night — in houses and in attics where the water was almost over their head. There were still many people the next day in danger of drowning and dehydration.”
It has been reported that two shifts of New Orleans firemen were not on duty, and that up to half of the police department went AWOL. Wrong on both counts: Efforts by these local rescuers were robust. According to Firehouse magazine, firemen had prepared for the emergency, with ample boats and supplies in place. Local first responders were fielding 100 to 200 boats in the first 24 hours, according to officials quoted in the New Orleans Times-Picayune....
The above account covers the most important responders, but it is by no means exhaustive. The Air Force reported 1,300 rescues and some 14,000 “transported” by September 4. By the end of Tuesday, August 30, the Navy ship Bataan — later slammed for inaction by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman — had five choppers flying rescue missions and had pulled out several hundred people. One Bataan airman, in an e-mail that was reprinted in his local newspaper, casually described how his helicopter had lifted 19 victims from the roof of a burning building. Other units on Day One came from as far away as Wisconsin, which sent two Black Hawks and three Hueys from the 832nd Medical Company and from the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation unit. Three Hueys from the Georgia National Guard’s 148th Air Ambulance arrived Monday and flew nonstop from sunup to sundown. State Police and sheriffs’ departments operated rescue boats. Civilian search-and-rescue teams from out of state, and as far away as Canada, responded on their own. FEMA also operated search-and-rescue teams. A volunteer squad from Exxon Mobil pulled out 1,500 survivors all by itself. One pilot said he sighted a Chinook helicopter from the Republic of Singapore Air Force; improbably, such a craft was temporarily based in Texas, and, like exotic fauna washed in by a storm, may have become part of the aerial ecosystem.
By Wednesday, August 31, as the media screamed for troops to deal with the over-hyped breakdown.
“As tragic as every death is, there were less than 1,000 in Louisiana,” Congressman Peter King, a New York Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told me after a trip to New Orleans. “Every study beforehand said a hurricane of this kind would kill at least 10,000. Obviously, there were a lot of rescuers; obviously, first responders and the Coast Guard did many, many more rescues than has been reported.” The death toll in New Orleans will rise, but it will never come close to the ghoulish early estimates. That doesn’t absolve authorities from responsibility for some of the deaths; King says that his committee will be looking at the city and state role in failed evacuations and the breakdown of supply to survivors.
But the narrative of Katrina needs wholesale revision, and mainstream news organizations are starting to work on it. There were not 200 murders at the Superdome; there appear to have been exactly zero. Local authorities did not lose control there or at the Convention Center. The more than 30,000 residents at emergency shelters during the first week of Katrina were tired, hungry, miserable, and without proper sanitary facilities — but were in no danger of dying. As for the rest of the city, help was rarely late, delayed, or inadequate. That’s the true story — and there are tens of thousands of rescued people who will testify to it.
Posted by miriam at 2:51 AM
Thursday, May 25, 2006
He was truly a hero.
Washington, DC - The United States Postal Service will issue a stamp honoring an American diplomat who helped Jews escape the Holocaust.
The stamp will honor Hiram Bingham IV, who provided fake visas to journalist and scholar Varian Fry, who helped Jews pass into safety. Bingham also hid Jews in his home after he was posted in southern France in 1940.
After German and French officials complained his activities, Bingham was transferred to Argentina. In 1946, he resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service in protest over the U.S. refusal to investigate how war criminals were being given safe haven in the South American country.
Bingham is the only U.S. diplomat “that we know of who risked his career, indeed sacrificed his career, in order to save Jews from the Holocaust,” Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, said.
Only one diplomat cared enough about the Jews to risk his career--that is so sad!
Posted by miriam at 10:05 PM
This blog is called Al Gore is a fraud, and it certainly proves his point:
Al Gore has stated the he "has presented his global warming powerpoint presentation over 1000 times, all over the world". Hmmm, interesting. I wonder how Gore got to these cities throughout the world? Did he ride a horse? Did he walk? Did he ride a bike? No---He flew in a private jumbo jet, and when he arrives with his entourage they all jump from their jet into large, you guessed it, SUV's. In fact, recently it was noted that Gore and his group jumped in their fleet of over-sized SUV's to go to one of these tree-hugger rallies when they only had to travel 500 yards! How much fuel do you think a jumbo jet uses criss crossing continents--more than your Tahoe or Explorer perhaps? Well, for example, a Boeing 767 requires 11,526 gallons of fuel. For longer trips, or for trips on which Al decides to increase his traveling tree-hugger entourage, an A380 may be used. The Airbus A380 is a newer generation that is actually capable of much longer range and greater fuel efficiency. Oh, but there is one slight drawback, this flying behemoth requires a staggering 81,890 gallons of fuel to top off the tanks! This is how big Al rolls around the world spreading his "love the Earth" message. It is so ridiculous it could only happen in America. Al Gore will burn more fuel in a day than the average person will burn in 10 years......
Yet Gore wants us to drive hybrids or walk. Typical Gore. An elitist senator's son who thinks the rules only apply to the commoners, not those in positions of power, like himself.
The fact is Gore clings to this issue because it is the only thing that keeps him in the news. I think losing to Bush did real damage to Gore, at a very personal level. I do not think he has recovered. Gore was, is, and always will be second rate. That has got to be tough to live with. The fact that he was VP for eight years is almost poetic. A thematic reminder that he can be good, but never great. The bridesmaid, but never the bride. So close, alas, yet so far. Gore uses the environmental propaganda to find a voice, any voice. Even if the voice that he finds doesn't speak the truth.
Posted by miriam at 9:39 PM
at the British House of Commons, no less.
A tall young man, with a la-de-da accent... said how North Korea had avoided invasion by developing nuclear weapons and Iran too should do the same. Just to clear any confusion, I asked him "Sorry are you in favour of North Korea?" and bloody hell, he said he supported the North Korean government wholeheartedly!
I thought to myself here is someone who calls his organisation "Liberation" and wants to "liberate" the world to become like North Korea!
He stood by the door trying to flog his Liberation publication after the meeting was over. As I went past him, I asked him laughingly "How is the Great Leader Kim-il-Sung, and our dear leader, Kim-il-Jung?". His comrade ...replied "Have you ever been there?", to which I replied "Have you ever been to Iran?"
Posted by miriam at 4:56 PM
I heard on the radio (on NPR so it must be true) that Russia is losing population at the rate of 700,000 a year. People are dying young, especially males, and nobody is having babies.
On the other hand, we have maybe 12 million illegals and are planning to admit 300,000 more every year.
Do you see what I am getting at? Suggestion for Vicente Fox: start teaching Russian in your school system, if you have a school system. Also, institute cheap direct flights to Moscow. I'm sure the Russian people could use fruit pickers, gardeners, fish processors, and nannies. Well, maybe not nannies, considering the birth rate.
It's easy to solve the big problems if you are creative.
Anyway, it beats a guest worker program and amnesty.
Posted by miriam at 10:11 AM
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
airforceguy wants to know what's up with women. Some of his concerns:
1) Why do women go to the bathroom together? What the hell goes on in there that requires 5 other women?
We're talking about you! In private! In a place where you are not allowed!
Do women fart? According to my wife, every bad smell in the house or outside comes from my backside. Even if it’s clearly a skunk or rotten lettuce, it must be from me. It’s not....
If we do fart, which I by no means admit, we do it in a ladylike way. And it smells like perfume.
7) Do the giggles women produce have an actual linguistic meaning, or are they something to do with pressure relief?
Definitely pressure relief. We cope with guys every day. Take men away--no giggles. Have you ever heard a nun giggle?
How many shoes is enough? I have a lot of shoes for a guy -- boots for BDU’s, boots for DCU’s, low quarters, dress shoes, hiking boots, and running shoes. My mother had 1,000,000 pairs of shoes. I’m not exaggerating. My daughters are on their way there. They have 100,000 pairs each.
All the shoes in the world are not enough.
I've given this a lot of thought: why are men so different from women? A woman's ideal man is Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Tall. Dark. Handsome. Smoldering with concealed passion. Chivalrous. Noble. Devoted to her, and her alone.
He never farts, talks about farting, or scratches his balls, or insists on watching the game when her mother is visiting. He doesn't sit around with his friends, downing too many beers and talking about chicks or cars. It goes without saying that he never throws his socks on the floor. If she wants to go to the movies, he is eager to take her, even to see a chick flick.
The ideal woman for a man: 20 years old. Cute butt. Big tits. She might have the brain of Einstein, but never says anything except how wonderful he is. And she always cooks his favorite food. And cleans up afterward. And is willing to have sex anywhere, at any time.
Posted by miriam at 10:58 AM
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Johnny V complains about the piss distribution around (not in) urinals:
...I now piss in the stall where it's dry and I don't stick to the floor....[A]t least I no longer feel compelled to burn my shoes.
Goddammit people. AIM for chrissakes. It's not that difficult. And if you're too fat to get close enough, dangle your dongle in a coffee cup and then dump it or something.
In the ladies' room, even using the stall won't save you. In the last ten years, I have noticed a new phenomenon: urine on the toilet seat. How it gets there, I know not.
My established MO for using the facilities: I furtively go from stall to stall, doing the following:
1. Check if toilet has been flushed;
2. Check if someone has dribbled urine on the seat;
3. Check whether there is toilet paper. (Or be prepared with Kleenex in purse.)
Life used to be so much simpler.
Posted by miriam at 5:50 PM
Wretchard analyzes the myth of this Communist thug:
Che Guevara is a testament to the power of a media symbol. As a purely military force he was negligible. As an organizing force and agitator of Bolivians he was an abject failure. But as an international Marxist symbol and poster-boy Che was eminently successful. Millions of people have worn his likeness on a T-shirt believing that he was a brilliant revolutionary and guerilla when in fact he was neither. But that would be missing the point. Guevara was the prototypical example of the triumph of image over reality. What did it matter if he wrote nothing of lasting ideological value? What did it matter if he was a comparative military failure? He was a surpassing public relations success and that made up for everything else. The power of Che lay not in his M2 carbine, which was shot out of his hands by the Bolivian Rangers. It lay in his beard, beret and his photogenic camera angles. Long before the word "spin" came into common usage Guevara was all spin -- a spin which will outlast the memory of those who defeated and slew him.
Though he died nearly forty years ago Che, from a media perspective, is thoroughly modern. He is so modern it would be possible to argue that both Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab Zarqawi are simple extensions of his great archetype. Zarqawi, for example, is by almost any measure a complete military failure unless one counts massacring women and children as some kind of martial accomplishment. Zarqawi is even incapable of clearing a stoppage from a light machinegun he fires on video. But no matter, because it is the video not the machinegun which is the real weapon. It is the T-shirt graphic not the man depicted on the T-shirt which is important. News no longer describes war; it is war which inscribes news.
Trying to get this through the head of a true believer is like denying the existence of Jesus, Santa Claus, Mother Teresa, and the Easter bunny. The left have too much invested in Che.
Posted by miriam at 5:35 PM
Dennis Dale gives his take on the White House voice mail. Best bits:
If you are an alien being from another planet and would like to replace a current U.S. citizen, press three.
Welcome to the citizen replacement process. We currently have an unlimited number of slots open for carbon based life forms that wish to immigrate to the United States. If you'd like to learn more about how pod metamorphosis replacement works, press one. If you are a family member seeking to join a recent alien immigrant, press two. If you would like to recieve a brochure of available body types, press three. To inquire about regional availability, press four.
Stolen from dustbury.
Posted by miriam at 5:16 PM
Friday, May 19, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
A comment --you could call it a rant--on muttawa's blog:
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to find HIGHLY OFFENDED morphing it's way into the joos vs pals vs all arabs vs west vs huntingdon cage match....
1) Any valid idea of PEACE PROCESS has been haram bologna since the Abu Musa riots of 1919
2) Arabs have rejected any Israel since 1936 (Peel Commission)
3) Around that time they took what the quran said, added a pinch of Okrana, a teaspoon of KKK, and 4 tons of Julius Streicher and concocted the post modern version of anti semitism, apparently completing god's plan to keep them so involved with demonizing others to keep from being responsible for themselves that nothing would ever occur from within. Thus these people infected themselves with the cancer of racism to cure the sore throat of new neighbors
4) God then sent massive oil development to tease these people into thinking this GOOD LUCK could be confused with professional accomplishment and excellence (however, BIG SHOCK - arabs who were motivated to come to the west and adopt certain modes of living suddenly found themselves not only escaping the madness, but also HIGH ACHIEVERS!)
5) Hamas and the rest of the salafi jihadi morons (Qutb, etc) are nothing new for the 'peace process', but will remove all doubt about how palestinian societies currently regard 'peace'- the vast majority want Israel gone, and prefer this occurs with rivers of blood. You don't need rivers of blood to collect the garbage ina timely fashion and build schools, and Fascists weren't the irreplaceable ingredients for the trains runnning on time. Get it?
No one can now have any doubt that RIGHT NOW the palestinians have just exactly the govt they want and the one they deserve
Epimonidas, why don't you tell us how you really feel? Don't hold back.
Posted by miriam at 9:49 PM
A handy guide to Muslim attitudes from low
Meaning - We are slightly miffed, although we are not sure why. We think we are not as popular as we would like to be.
Non-Muslim response - Tread very carefully and do not offend us
Consequence of non-compliance - We will get very cross and stamp our feet.
Meaning - We have had enough of your rudeness and ridicule and have gone completely ballistic
Non-Muslim response - We demand that the Pope and President Bush go down on their knees and apologize personally for every rude thing that everyone has ever said about us over the last 1400 years, and promise that it won't happen again
Consequence of non-compliance - We will cease the export of oil, therefore depriving the numerous Saudi Royal Family of all income, we will cease the import of all cars, tanks, airplanes (military and civil), computers, building technology, infrastructure and general professional expertise, and we will stop visiting Western fleshpots like the South of France, the USA, London..... Honest. We will. We really mean it this time. Just you wait. We really will. You better believe it. We're not kidding. We're telling you. Honest. Don't make us do it.....
Read the whole thing. It would be funny if it weren't quite, quite true. From Muttawa.
Posted by miriam at 5:20 PM
Is it a bad idea to have/use a refrigerator at work? We report, you decide:
In several of my last places of employment, the most passive-aggressive behavior I ever witnessed took place not in the boardroom, but in the kitchenette....
Passively, aggressively, covertly, Co-Worker A (We'll call her Anne) began to exact her revenge upon Co-Worker B (We'll call her Anne, too, because that was her name) by taking, once per week, on nonspecific days, Anne's Diet Pop from the communal kitchen refrigerator.
Anne responded to that first theft with as much restraint as I've ever seen, "WHO'S THA SKANK THAT TOOK MY DIET COKE?" she asked during the benefits meeting.
One person snickered, but Anne couldn't locate the source among the 150 staff members present.
Anne then responded by labeling her diet pops with little stickers that at first said, "Anne's," then slightly bigger labels marked "ANNE'S," and then finally duct tape with the letters scraped out by an exacto knife, "I"LL MURDER YOUR FETUS, BITCH."
But the thefts continued to the point where Anne was practically a roving office, never at her desk for more than a minute at a time, always walking past the kitchen to check on her diet pop.
It really didn't matter. Anne always had one diet pop stolen until she had become fairly worthless as an employee, and not much better as a human being.
The funniest incident was when someone complained via the company intranet about how filthy the refrigerator was and how people needed to remove their foodstuffs, particularly those packages of Wrapples and Waffelos, since both products stopped being made in the late 1970s.
Posted by miriam at 4:00 PM
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
In honor of Black History Month, I am re-posting my short bio of Bessie Coleman:
Every Memorial Day, black men and women aviators fly in formation over the grave of Bessie Coleman, dropping bouquests of flowers on the grave of the first black woman ever to earn a pilot's license.
Coleman was born in 1892, the twelfth of thirteen children. The family earned their living picking cotton. It was an impoverished existence, and as her siblings reached adulthood two of them left for Chicago, where opportunities were better.
Bessie Coleman followed when she grew up. She trained as a manicurist and got a job at the White Sox Barber Shop, situated on the Stroll,an 8-block section of State Street where black-owned businesses flourished. It was there that she encountered Robert S. Abbott, the editor of the Chicago Defender, a prominent newspaper read widely in the black community.
She developed a desire to become a pilot, inspired by stories of the derring-do of the World War I flying aces. This was an unthinkable ambition for a black woman at the time. Yet Abbott saw something of the potential in Bessie, and offered her financial help to attend a French flying school. He guessed that she would make great copy, and he was right. On her return from France with her pilot's license, she was greeted by representatives of both the black and white press.
Beautiful and flamboyant, she became an overnight sensation. Barnstorming and stunt flying were all the rage at the time, and no one's exploits were more daring than Coleman's. She became a hero to the black community, who dubbed her "Queen Bess." Her ambition was to start a flight school for black people, to encourage them to follow careers in the promising new field of aviation.
Her career was fraught with peril: many of the barnstorming stunts were daring and dangerous. Coleman also suffered from a lack of sufficient funds and therfore often relied on decrepit and unsafe planes. In California, on February 4, 1922, a plane she was piloting stalled at 300 feet, smashing into the ground. She suffered multiple injuries which landed her in the hospital for three months.
Undaunted, she relocated to Texas and resumed her barnstorming career. She had previously performed in the North, to appreciative white audiences. She now visited venues mainly in the South, where African Americans were her most enthusiastic fans. They opened their homes and hearts to her. Coleman's beauty, skill and daring inspired her African American fans.
According to her niece, "The airplanes she was flying, they were just old things....They weeren't worth a darn." The lack of adequate funds did not stop her, however, from planning a flight in Jacksonville, FL. in a ramshackle plane.
Coleman waas planning a parachute stunt, so she went up to scout the territory with her mechanic, William Wills, at the controls. Wills lost control of the plane, and Coleman, with neither seat belt nor parachute, was hurled to her death. She was 34 years old.
Her influence, however, lived on. Within a few years William Powell founded the Bessie Coleman Aero Club, both to honor her and to inspire other African Americans to follow her example. Her dream lived on, and still lives on to this day.
Posted by miriam at 9:24 PM
And bug-infested too, according to askmom:
The current shrieking and sniveling, most of it by people who can afford mega-vehicles, vacation houses and exotic travel, is unseemly. Not to mention just plain dumb and out-of-touch. Voters are about to send a message to their governments and it won't be a demand for more protected acreage and wildlife at any price.
No, we love our private transportation, our suburbs, our freedom to move about when, where and how we please. God help anyone who tries to restrict those freedoms or increase the price of that freedom unreasonably. Here's a memo for the Sierra Club et al: in a contest between being able to drive to the kid's little league game, the grocery store and the library, and some allegedly endangered marsh leech, the leech is going to lose....
Billions of people all over the planet would love to come here and pay one-fifth of their average hourly wage for a gallon of gas. Where they are now, gas is about a week's pay per gallon. Not that there is much gas, or work, available. Or that it matters anyway, since there are few motorized vehicles....
One thing these non-Americans have in plenitude is protected nature. Bugs in their food, parasites in their water, scavengers stealing their crops, predators eating their chickens, maggots in their latrines, flies swarming over their sleeping babies. Dirt, glorious untrammeled wildlife and no ugly industry in sight. You'd think Hollywood's finest and the entire Democratic Congressional delegation (and staff) would be clamoring to live there.
That instead they remain here paying three dollars a gallon for gas may be the only evidence that liberals are not terminally brain-dead. Could there be hope? Stay tuned for this fall's elections!
Posted by miriam at 9:04 PM
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
two diametrically opposed ideas entered my mind:
1. Some of the jobs "Americans won't take" are physician and chemist, due to the lousiness of our educational system, which turns out ignorant and complacent people who have majored in righteous indignation. When they start college, they are educationally deficient, and when they finally graduate 5, 6 or 10 years later they are experts in marching, catcalling, and making ridiculous puppets, but have an unquenchable belief in their own superiority. Then they go to law school and become ambulance chasers and sue the pants off the rest of us. Or they become teachers and transmit their ignorance to the next generation of Americans. Unfortunately for our future as a nation, a majority of the students studying for advanced degrees in the sciences in this country are foreigners.
2. "Guest workers" who do jobs "Americans won't do" sounds uncomfortably like "hewers of wood and drawers of water," in the words of Jonathan Swift. In other words, a permanent underclass. This is the way the Germans, for example, treated the Turks who they imported to do their dirty work for them. They couldn't be citizens either, for a long time. In the case of Germany, this engendered bitter feelings. In France, too, Muslims are kept isolated and denied meaningful work. Do we want to breed this kind of resentment? Can't we learn anything from the French experience?
Admittedly, we can't expel 12 million people. But perhaps we could kick out those who are convicted for crimes? Let them serve their sentences, and then back to Mexico. Perhaps it would be better to forget about the law-abiding many who have already sneaked into the country, and fix our sights on keeping out future "undocumented"--a word which sounds more like someone who left the car registration papers at home than someone who has no business being here. Employers should pay market wages for workers, and not hire anyone who is illegal, under penalty of law.
Let's enforce the laws we already have. Flouting the law leads to contempt of the law.
Posted by miriam at 8:46 AM
From multiple mentality:
A gallon of gas is $2.82 down the street. A bottle of water at my local movie theater is $3.50 — a half-liter bottle. If a gallon is approximately four liters (3.78, according to Google), then water is $14/gallon at the movies....
People still pay $1 for a half-liter bottle of water at soda machines. They still pick up the 79-cent half-liter at Publix or Kroger. And they’d rather spend $3.50 for a half-liter of soda than $4.50 for a massive cup of Coke or Pepsi — which usually holds about 3/4 liters, and free refills usually are a part of largest-size options.
This innocent bit of whimsical humor elicited the following comment, which managed to be both snarky and ignorant--a twofer:
Buying gasoline is OPTIONAL. Driving huge gas guzzling vehicles is NOT REQUIRED to get back and forth to work and make a living. People have the option to RIDE A BIKE to work. Furthermore, oil is NOT USED to heat homes. Coal and natural gas ARE. Maybe you should learn to check up on your facts before you write OBNOXIOUS POSTINGS.
Have you ever noticed that people who PUT EVERYTHING IN CAPS generally are both SNARKY AND IGNORANT?
Posted by miriam at 8:37 AM
Monday, May 15, 2006
The smug sanctimonious of this would be hard to beat.
"I realized if I sold my S.U.V. it would just be bought by someone else who would almost certainly drive it a lot more than I would," said Ms. Hess, who drives less than 25 miles a day. "There still isn't one less S.U.V. on the planet," she said, with a hint of frustration.
Perhaps she could take a hatchet to her SUV or fill it with dirt and grow (organic) vegetables in it. Yeah, that'sll work.
Posted by miriam at 3:48 PM
Saturday, May 13, 2006
because Greenpeace Australia is cutting back:
CONSERVATION giant Greenpeace Australia Pacific has posted its third operating loss in as many years and culled staff numbers.
Greenpeace chief executive Steve Shallhorn admitted yesterday the organisation had been forced to make 12 full-time staff members out of 80 redundant this year in a belt-tightening exercise aimed at balancing the budget.
The organisation's financial report for 2005 shows it raised more than $17 million last year from supporters, almost $4million more than in 2004, but recorded a net loss of $907,000.
In 2004, Greenpeace Australia was $1.2 million in the red.
Posted by miriam at 1:01 PM
Friday, May 12, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Sung to the tune of Oh Susannah:
At last! The Bush fascists have gone too far! Life as we know it will never be the same! They are trampling on our civil liberties! Oy vey (Jewish moonbats only, or at least not Muslims)! A Police State is at hand! To the barricades--or at least, start talking about moving to Canada!
Seismic! Shocking! Startling! A bombshell!! That’s how the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows described a front-page story in today’s (Thursday’s) USA Today that breathlessly touted how “NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls.” Like the TV coverage, USA Today’s story insinuated that the existence of the database was a major violation of Americans’ privacy rights and evidence that the President was lying last December when he described the NSA’s eavesdropping on suspected terrorist communications as limited and targeted.
Today’s article does not allege that any calls are listened in on. Indeed, as USA Today describes it, the program seems like a thoroughly innocuous database of the same information that appears on your phone bill, but with your name, address and other personal information removed. Given that another government agency — the IRS — maintains information on American citizens’ employment, banking, investments, mortgages, charitable contributions and even any declared medical expenses, this hardly seems like a major assault on personal liberty.
And for all of the hype, there may not even be much “news” here. Last December 24, a few days after they spilled the beans about the NSA terrorist surveillance program, New York Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen disclosed how U.S. phone companies were helping the NSA by giving them “access to streams of domestic and international communications.”
If the government is interested in my phone calls, I'd like to help them out. After all, they sent me a nice income tax refund. Therefore, I am recording a typical day's worth of calls.
To lawyer, concerning some $1500 that is owing to me; to hairdresser, disclosing the fact that my roots are showing; to daughter, discussing a cute pair of shoes I saw and wondering if I should buy them, even though I have enough shoes; to father, inquiring how he feels (he has been having back trouble); to Comcast, chewing them out concerning another one of the inscrutable bills I received from them.
From daughter, wondering whether I had seen the LAT article about her; from friend, who says my e-mails are too short; from foot doctor, reminding me of pending appointment.
I hope the person who has to listen to this stuff isn't too bored.
Posted by miriam at 3:51 PM
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
We went to a concert at the Kimmel Center last Saturday, and dined at their restaurant, Cadence. At each end of the room there was an identical collection of paintings--maybe 12 or 16 in all, each of which looked like a different pair of ladies' underpants.A sample:
Some were thongs, some were brightly colored, others were modest old lady underpants. But unless someone can prove the contrary, they all looked like underpants to me. My companion thought so too.
The food wasn't that good, but the art work was fascinating. But why two, one set at either end?
The concert, by the way, was excellent.
Posted by miriam at 11:57 AM
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Dave Nalle is worried.
A lot of people have been hard on Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. because of the conflict between his strident environmentalism and his hypocritical use of a chauffered Ford Expedition, but I say give the man a break. He's getting driven around in a gas-guzzler for the sake of humanity. We can't enjoy clean air if we get run over while standing on a street corner breathing it.
The tragic history of the Kennedys and vehicles is documented as far back as World War II, though I suspect they were crashing oxcarts in Ireland in the early 1800s.
Posted by miriam at 8:39 PM
Friday sermons in Islam (aka the Religion of Peace) are a little different from the Judeo-Christian kind that take place on Saturday (the Judeos) or Sunday (the Christians).
When I attend the Judeo services (not as often as I should), the rabbis wax long about loving your fellow man, making nice, and supporting worthy causes, while the congregants quietly catch up on their sleep.
The Christians (Protestant league) have to squirm in their seats while the minister talks about loving your fellow man, forgiving your enemies, and being an all-around good person.
The Catholic division reads from a playbook, so the priest doesn't have much to say off the cuff. When he does let loose with a sermon, he always talks about loving your fellow man, etc., while the parishioners steal glances at their watches and wonder if they will get home in time to watch the game. And this bunch has some kind of peaceloving hugfest which concludes the festivities.
I've never attended Friday prayers at a mosque, but you don't have to. You can read about their sermons in the newspapers. They call Jews pigs and dogs, Christians are crusaders--and they don't mean it as a compliment--and atheists--oy vey! All three of the aforementioned groups--have I forgotten anyone? are rotten infidels and should be killed by Muslims ASAP.
Those Imams really know how to work a crowd. No nodding heads in their congregations! Their listeners take their words to heart and go out to do their level best to wipe out the rest of us. None of that love-thy-neighbor guff from them!
Posted by miriam at 8:01 PM
last weekend. And I want to add my voice to the accolades given this film.
First, let me tell you what it doesn't have. There are no previews. The film starts with an annoucement to turn off cell phones--unfortunately necessary, but not out of place here. It doesn't have a loud, dramatic music--cymbals clashing, drums beating. No big-name Movie Stars, looking glamorous or acting heroically. No clutching of brows, scenery chewing, or overacting by the cast playing the ground personnel.
To those who hesitate to see the film--you won't go through anything worse than you did on September 11, 2001.
It's better for us to relive those moments this way than to have to suffer through a real attack again. Just remember, we are at war! Let's wipe the bastards out!
Posted by miriam at 8:48 AM
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Yes, it's true. Those sweet librarians, who will find you any information you want, lend you a pencil, paper clip or stapler, even a piece of paper--even whiteout, for God's sake!--disapprove of the criminal Bush.
The heretical librarian provides evidence:
I]n the wake of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, librarianship as a profession no longer simply leans to the left; it has become openly politicized. By 2004, to work in a major American public or academic library was to find yourself in a left-wing echo chamber.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the situation is the way in which the supposedly nonpolitical American Library Association has become a platform for left-wing partisanship. The ALA's Council, its elected governing body, is dominated by left-wing activists who recently passed a resolution calling for the United States to leave Iraq.
It is, of course, the right of the vast majority of my colleagues to hold positions I disagree with. But it's a very different matter when the major professional association in librarianship takes openly political stands on issues that have no direct bearing on the field.
Proponents of the resolution on Iraq argue that abandoning the country to Al Qaeda would allow us to spend lots more money on libraries here at home. I believe that allowing radical Islam to run rampant in the Middle East would be utterly disastrous for libraries and intellectual freedom, both here and abroad. It is for individuals to choose between those positions; a professional organization like the ALA has no business adopting such a blatantly partisan resolution.
The ALA's annual conferences have become akin to MoveOn.org meetings, where Bush bashing and liberal groupthink are the order of the day.
I dropped out of ALA when they first started Israel-bashing, back in the '90s. Then my employer thought it worth my while to rejoin, for professional reasons, and paid for my membership. But the group has gotten worse and worse, like a boat whose anchor is lost which continually drifts farther and farther from shore. In this case the drift has been leftward and away from reality.
Why I object to these policies:
1) They don't represent me politically;
2) These political activities have nothing to do with libraries, librarians, or library users;
3) While the ALA wastes their time (and our dues) advocating these issues, other, legitimate issues are not addressed. To name one: salaries.
Posted by miriam at 10:03 PM
I want to take Hebrew lessons--is that so difficult? In a word, yes.
I have been to two synagogues in this neck of the woods. The first one had Hebrew lessons, but stopped. I went to the second one. I was asked if I wanted an adult bat mitzvah--if I did, Hebrew lessons were included. I have no desire for an adult bat mitzvah, sorry. I don't see the point. I already know I'm Jewish. So does everyone else.
In New Jersey, something called the National Jewish Outreach Program (run by Chabad) gave Hebrew lessons for free. Our teacher, Jerry, was a wonderful man, but some people in the class asked too many questions of the How many beans make five variety, and Jerry made the mistake of answering them. We didn't even finish learning the alphabet, and lo, the class was over. It was a good class, with a good textbook.
As a child I learned Hebrew--not well enough. I believe I have what is technically known as a goyishe kop. I learned Yiddish because my grandmother spoke Yiddish to me. I wouldn't mind attending a Yiddish discussion group, or a French discussion group, but I really want to learn more Hebrew.
I can't do it myself. I need a class to keep me up to snuff.
Posted by miriam at 9:39 PM
Thursday, May 04, 2006
John finds out that what he always believed is not true:
Related to that, as an adult I’ve been finding that some of the cherished myths of my childhood were rather malevolent fictions. I grew up watching Walter Cronkite finish his broadcast with “That’s the way it was…”, but my studies of the Vietnam war, starting with “On Strategy” when I was in middle school, have shown me that he should have been saying “That’s the way I wish it was…”. Not that I totally fault him for that – as Solzhenitsyn put it, every human being has the right to a point of view. What I do fault Cronkite for is the deliberate suppression of alternate points of view while wearing the innocent “who farted?” expression of a con artist when the chickens came home to roost at CBS.
I hope that someday the truth about Vietnam will be believed. It's already known, but the alternative view has taken hold and is now akin to scripture. Like the belief that John Brown was a hero, when the truth is that he killed innocent men who didn't even own slaves.
Posted by miriam at 2:46 PM
9. It's hot in the summer under all those clothes;
8. Poor vision under burkas makes you bump into pedestrians;
7. You can't go anywhere unless your husband/brother/father/son wants to go with you
(How do Muslim women do any shopping?)
6. Sitting around the ladies' quarters with the girls gets old after a while;
5. Guys get to dance, women don't;
4. Guys get kalashnikovs, women get pregnant;
3. Your husband's other wives are b***h*;
2. A woman who is raped gets executed, while the guy gets to brag about what a good lay she is;
1. To be decided later.
Posted by miriam at 10:29 AM
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The Charlotte capitalist knows how to solve the oil crisis, so read his advice before you sacrifice that chicken in order to read its entrails:
uman life requires commanding, that is, re-shaping nature to our needs. Doing so requires energy. It takes energy to cut down trees and to produce bricks for houses for humans. It takes energy to cut crops and to package them and to ship them for human consumption. It takes energy to re-shape minerals found in the ground into the components for factories and cars which increase the productivity of human beings.
The thing is all that human focus is the problem that really gets to the environmentalists. They believe the planet would be in great shape -- without you, me and our families and friends. They know that oil is the best, most productive energy source for the lovers of life. And that is why they want you to conserve. Because when you conserve, you sacrifice something in your life. Your life as a human being. Sorry, I don't care to be a sacrificial victim to a volcano, a tree, a fish, a bug, or a plot of dirt.
I've often wondered what was so bad about going to war for oil. What is so bad about needing oil? Other countries can need oil, can buy oil, can use oil, but when we use it we are supposed to feel bad.
Posted by miriam at 5:26 PM
I thought he might, just might be an honest politician, who puts principle ahead of expediency. His old man, you might remember, was an outspoken opponent of abortion, and Junior is similarly considered "pro-life."
Was I ever wrong! I heard this oily politician interviewed on NPR, and he did everything short of promising to get an abortion himself to get the pro-choicers behind him.
Wait, there's worse. He referred to "President Bush and his rich friends." As opposed to President Clinton and the paupers he hung out with, I guess. Or the welfare recipients who frequented President Kennedy's table.
This isn't political discourse. It's appealing to people's baser instincts, such as envy.
You people from PA, don't vote for him. And stay away from the Skoogle.
Posted by miriam at 11:52 AM
I mean traffic court.
I had a ticket for speeding so was forced to attend traffic court in Bergen County, New Jersey. What a fraud!
Those who wanted to "discuss" their case with a prosecutor had to wait in line, standing, around the perimeter of the room. This took a long time, because there were about 40 of us miscreants. It was hot and my feet hurt.
Here is the discussion I had with the representative of truth, justice, and the American way, aka the prosecutor:
Prosecutor: You have a ticket for speeding. That's 4 points. Do you want 4 points, 2 points, or no points?
Me: No points.
Prosecutor: It'll cost you $433.
Traffic court is a nice little money maker. Everyone pleads guilty to a lesser charge, everyone has 2 minutes with the judge, and everyone pays: whatever the fine is, maybe $50, plus court costs, maybe $100, and a surcharge of $250 (this goes to the State of New Jersey). The judge pounds his gavel, the next person is summoned. I estimated that the judge pounded his gavel at least 25 times each hour. You do the math.
I guess this is how Corzine is going to balance the budget.
But the day was not all negative. Someone else pumped gas for me. That felt good!
Posted by miriam at 9:10 AM
Monday, May 01, 2006
This is a certificate my grandfather earned from the public schools of Columbus, Ohio.
I'm not entirely in sympathy with those who march under a Mexican flag and want to take the country "back."
If the current Mexican government owned Texas, Texas would be sending illegals to Oklahoma. Or New Mexico.
Posted by miriam at 3:45 PM