30 September 2007
27 September 2007
(H)ookah lounges are essential for immigrants from hookah-smoking cultures, because it helps them deal with the depression common for newcomers and gives them places like they have at home.
Where do the rest of us go to deal with depression? As Jay Currie asks, "What about my culture?"
By creating a special exemption for Muslims - who do seem to be the only immigrant group actively demanding these sorts of “cultural accommodations” we are basically declaring our Muslim citizens worthy of special treatment and, at the same time, unworthy of the health concerns which are purported to be the basis of general smoking bans.
The state, in other words, is prepared to treat Muslims as free-born adults who can weigh the "cultural value" (ie, the pleasures) of smoking against the health risks. But not the rest of us.
25 September 2007
(A) non-practising Muslim known as Patient A, told the hearing that Dr Butt said she would have to find another dentist because she would not wear the headscarf during treatment. "Her response was she looked at me with a smile and said 'Oh, that's strange'."Just wait until the 2008 Democratic nominee promises "free" government heath care for everyone, and under a sad twist of freedom of religion, we, too, can be backed into another's faith just by going to the doctor.
He said it was "unlawful" for him, as a Muslim, to look at a Muslim woman who was not properly covered up. He told the hearing: "If she was to adhere to my request, it makes me feel more comfortable.
Dr Butt told the committee that the Islamic ethos of his surgery was a "marketing tool". He said: "If they are prepared to wear the headscarf, I am willing to reduce the fee or completely waive the fee."
Though (Hennepin) county's contract with New School Communications amounts to just $25,000, county officials acknowledged it was a sign of their concern with what they say are opportunistic and inaccurate statements being made by the landowners in an attempt to sway public opinion on the controversial project and land dispute.The line that really scruffs me is the notion that a $2 million county public relations office is over their heads and incapable of taking on this work without adding bureaucracy and cost to taxpayers.
County officials defended the county's decision to hire the company even though the county has a public affairs office with 16 employees and a $2 million annual budget. "It would take away from our core work," said Carolyn Marinan, the county's public affairs director. "This is not the type of work this office does.
Aron Kahn, a former St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter who is the primary spokesman for the landowners, said the reasons for hiring Olson's firm are clear. The "county commissioners had been pounding [on the landowners] for months, vilifying them with false claims," he said. "I guess the commissioners don't like it when someone pushes back."
They told me that if George W. Bush were reelected simple Internet parodies would be ruthlessly suppressed by a political commissariat. And they were right!
"While we understand that negative commentary is unsavory, our shopkeepers’ parodies of the MoveOn.org trademark are permissible here, especially when one considers the First Amendment implications raised by the social and political importance of your organization, the policies it advocates, and the countervailing messages conveyed by the parodies," wrote Daniel Pontes of CafePress to Carrie Olson, MoveOn's chief operating officer. Olson had been the one requesting the takedown.
Perhaps the most delicious irony here is that MoveOn hasn't exactly been scrupulous in its regard to other people's intellectual property. After all, it seems to have borrowed the Petraeus/Betray Us rhyme from a familiar radio host -- without crediting him, of course.
Spooked by the success of premium small cars from Mercdes-Benz, GM elected to rebadge its awful mass-market J-platform sedans, load them up with chintzy fabrics and accessories and call them "Cimarron, by Cadillac." Seeking an even hotter circle of hell, GM priced these pseudo-caddies (with four-speed manual transmissions, no less) thousands more than their Chevy Cavalier siblings.
23 September 2007
"Fatah is paying Palestinian Authority workers to stay at home and not work for Hamas," Shawa said. "Hamas is paying its own people. But no one is paying the workers of the private sector. The ones who live on aid do nothing, and the ones who are working get nothing. Soon we'll all be aid-dependent, and I hate it; it's destroying us."
Bowab gestured around the nearly empty sewing hall. "I miss my workers," he said. "I miss the chatting. I miss the sound of the machines." Then he said: "Hamas and Fatah can both go to hell. The stupid Palestinian and Israeli leaders are killing us all. The people of Gaza are not Hamas. They are looking for food, to continue a dignified life."
22 September 2007
Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today announced that the city will gain a temporary new downtown park for a few hours on Friday, thanks to a partnership with the Trust for Public Land. As a part of the National Park(ing) day event, City's Division of Parks and Recreation will turn the Mayor's parking space in to a public park.Who is being fooled by this pathetic stunt? What an embarassing joke, top to bottom.
"The City of Saint Paul is blessed with a world-class, award winning parks system. This event brings to light the value of public green space, and allows us to rededicate ourselves to making the preservation and expansion of parks and open spaces a priority in Saint Paul," Coleman said.
On July 9, 1971, the Washington) Post published a story headlined "U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming." It told of a prediction by NASA and Columbia University scientist S.I. Rasool. The culprit: man's use of fossil fuels. Sustained emissions over five to 10 years, Rasool claimed, "could be sufficient to trigger an ice age."My head hurts.
Aiding Rasool's research, the Post reported, was a "computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen," who was, according to his resume, a Columbia University research associate at the time. Hansen has some explaining to do. The public deserves to know how he was converted from an apparent believer in a coming ice age who had no worries about greenhouse gas emissions to a global warming fear monger.
20 September 2007
Over the past three weeks, 45 families and 31 individuals -- approximately 200 people -- entered Canada at the Detroit River crossings and applied in Windsor for shelter and social assistance after filing refugee claims with the Canada Border Services Agency.Hey, dumbass; these aren't Americans, they're Mexicans. They're in YOUR country. Looks like YOU have the immigration policy problem.
"I don't believe that Windsor's residents and taxpayers should have to foot the bill for U.S. immigration policy," (Windsor Mayor Eddie) Francis told The Star.
"The fact someone wants to come here for better economic opportunity or a better quality of life ... that's no basis for a successful refugee claim," said Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) spokesman Charles Hawkins.Wow. Welcome to North America, Canada. Not so funny when it's YOUR back yard is it?
"This is a problem the U.S. has allowed to create. It's really unfair for Canada to have to face this," said MP Joe Comartin (NDP -- Windsor-Tecumseh), his Party's public safety and national security critic.If it's so unfair for Canada, then DON'T LET THEM IN. Some people really can't face that the United States is not the cause of all their ills.
19 September 2007
I'm sure Syria and Iran are involved in only a benevolent and peacefull arms race that seeks to harmonize the Middle East . . . Senator Kerry?
(T)he joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile when the explosion occurred, spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve gas. Reports of the accident were circulated at the time; however, no details were released by the Syrian government, and there were no hints of an Iranian connection.
The (Erwin) Chemerinsky episode, disturbing though it was, should not distract us from the primary challenge facing academic freedom in American universities: The rise of an academic far-left establishment that seeks to use universities as a base for political activism, and is perfectly willing to violate accepted standards of academic freedom to achieve that goal.and this:
While the Group of 88 led a faculty rush to judgment against the lacrosse team, the most striking aspect of the Duke faculty’s reaction to the lacrosse case came in the professors’ utter closed-mindedness as Mike Nifong’s case collapsed in late 2006.Both stories are interesting reads and shine an unnerving light on the vacuum in which these institutions operate. I'll bet you can't wait to start sending all your money and your kids to one of these places.
(W)ith Nifong’s case having been exposed as a fraud, only one member of the Group of 88 has publicly apologized. Another privately admitted that she was sorry for signing the statement, but wrote that if she apologized publicly, “my voice won’t count for much in my world.” The Economist recently concluded: “The only people who, it seems, have learned nothing from all this are Mr. Nifong’s enablers in the Duke faculty. Even after it was clear that the athletes were innocent, 87 faculty members published a letter categorically rejecting calls to recant their condemnation. And one professor, proving that some academics are as far beyond parody as they are beneath contempt, offered a course called ‘Hooking up at Duke’ that purported to illustrate what the lacrosse scandals tell us about ‘power, difference and raced, classed, gendered and sexed normativity in the US.’”
18 September 2007
The complaint alleges that, over three to four hours, the suspects fired guns at stumps, a beaver and into the air. They allegedly set off fireworks and flares, argued with campers and threatened several of them, and stole a canoe and equipment from a campsite. They also set fire to gasoline on the surface of the water and damaged a gauging station that measures water flow, the complaint said. In interviews, several group members said they just planned to go for a boat ride and to "have some fun.'' Once into the BWCA, they admitted, they fired guns, were confrontational and used obscene language.
Lakner, 37, was charged with four counts of aiding and abetting terroristic threats, 11 counts of aiding and abetting harassment, two counts of aiding and abetting possession of firearms, two counts of aiding and abetting theft, one count each of transporting an uncased firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and possession and use of fireworks. Olson, 19, is charged with 23 counts, including 18 felonies. Fenske, 19, is charged with 11 felonies and two misdemeanors. Barton, 20, is accused of nine felonies and two misdemeanors. Erzar, 20, faces nine felony charges and a misdemeanor.The juvenile is expected to be charged in the juvenile court system.
15 September 2007
Loesch was found barely breathing on a front lawn about 7 a.m. Thursday. He was dead by the time paramedics arrived. Police say the 41-year-old father of four is the city's 35th homicide victim this year. He died from "severe trauma." His bike was found nearby. So far there is no explanation for what happened to him.That's stupid on the part of the reporter. Of course there's an explanation of what happened to him. He was attacked by subhuman savages. That's right; they're out there, and they're out there because the society we've built permits them to run free.
The incident has upset residents of the block where Loesch's body was found. On Thursday afternoon, City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden was knocking on doors, asking residents if they saw or heard anything and to help provide police. "I'm so angry and shocked at this horrible violence in our community," Glidden said Friday. "In one sense it leaves me both at a loss for words and at the same time saying we must seek action."Oh yea, Glidden; I can't wait to see the pending inaction from you, the rest of the council and the boy mayor who have collectively incubated the zoo that is Minneapolis.
14 September 2007
Six weeks after a fatal Minneapolis bridge collapse prompted criticism of federal spending priorities, the Senate approved a transportation and housing bill Wednesday containing at least $2 billion for pet projects that include a North Dakota peace garden, a Montana baseball stadium and a Las Vegas history museum.Part and parcel of the type of blind hipocrisy so common to professional tax & spenders was his shoe-pounding bleat about how if you don't support a new, higher federal tax on gasoline, God help you.
That's not the half of it.
Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., who chairs the House Transportation and infrastructure Committee, has proposed a temporary 5-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase that he said would raise $25 billion over three years to help reduce the backlog of critical bridge repairs. Among Oberstar's earmarks in the House transportation bill is $250,000 for a bike trail in his district, which he has defended as legitimate. He did not respond to a request for comment.
"No one in America seriously believes that bike paths, peace gardens and baseball stadiums are more important national priorities than bridge and road repairs," (Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK) said.
I shouldn't be too hard on ol' Jim, after all - he IS Porker of the Month!
(Oberstar's) committee not only failed to include the higher level of bridge repair funding, it opened the door for members of Congress to stuff the bill with nearly 6,500 pork-barrel projects worth more than $24 billion, about the same amount now being sought by Rep. Oberstar with his proposed tax increase. “High-priority” transportation projects in the 2005 legislation included $452 million for the infamous “Bridges to Nowhere” in Alaska, $5 million to improve air quality in the Sacramento region of California, $4 million to develop bicycle paths and public park space adjacent to the New River in Calexico, California, and $4 million for streetscape, pedestrian improvements in Clarkson, Georgia.
Chairman Oberstar himself was a participant in that earmark melee. Rather than send funds to repair and restore bridges in his state, he added five projects totaling $14.6 million for Duluth, Minnesota, including $3.2 million for the Willard Munger State Trail extension, the longest paved recreational trail in the nation.
The bottom line? (1) It is a sad day when Google bows to pressure from a city attorney for no good reason and sells out one of its own blogspots. (Maybe the Insider should move to Wordpress?)
(2) The city of Claremont should be mad at themselves for spilling the beans about how much they all make—not a local blog that merely committed the sin of searching a city website and sharing the info with the rest of us.
This is the kind of stuff that should make you feel guilty for watching CNN and thinking it's a news outlet.
(T)rial lawyers, thanks to New York Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Figueroa's generous rulings and jury instructions, persuaded a jury in October 2006 that the terrorists who planted a truck bomb in the World Trade Center garage in 1993 were only 32 percent responsible, while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was 68 percent responsible--and therefore, under New York law, wholly on the hook for $1.8 billion in damages.
After 9/11, lawsuits would have bankrupted several corporate victims of the attacks were it not for a $7 billion, taxpayer-funded payout to potential plaintiffs. Even so, several dozen claimants opted for litigation. Naturally, their lawyers have sued everyone from the airlines to Boeing to Motorola to New York City. Attorneys are asking for billions of dollars in damages, and the first of these cases will go to trial on September 24. Banks have not been immune from terrorist-related lawsuits, either. They are being hauled into court because of who has accounts at their institutions.
One can debate the appropriate role for each of the three branches in the post-9/11 world in coordinating domestic and foreign policy in responding to terrorism. But one matter should be beyond debate. Individual litigants in individual cases should not be able to use the combination of civil liability rules and the power of the civil courts to interfere with larger national policy. Congress can disagree with the executive branch, but should do so through legislation, rather than abdicating its responsibilities to trial-lawyer proxies. Civil liability is a poor tool for deterring suicide bombers, and civil anti-terrorism laws are bound to have their greatest effect when used against innocent parties.
As he tells it, it was when traveling with friends by raft that Kerasote first encountered Merle, a half-starved, gawky puppy who had apparently been surviving in the wild. Camping beside the stream, Kerasote and his friends fed and connected with the half-grown mixed Labrador dog. When it was time to move on, the guys shoved off, and Merle nervously began to follow. Like his ancestors who first chose life with man, Merle hesitated, running along the trail beside the river, torn between leaving his familiar territory and joining the man who had befriended him. At the last moment, Merle jumped onto the raft and began his fourteen-year relationship with Ted.
Third-year medical student or not, I'd say someone was trying to make news near the anniversary of 9/11. Psychotic Muslims can be so sentimental.
Zorkot, a third-year medical student at Wayne State University, was allegedly armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and dressed in black clothing with camouflage paint covering his face when he was arrested Saturday in Hemlock Park. According to police, Zorkot was observed attempting to leave the park in a black SUV after officers had received reports of a man carrying a rifle in the area.
Zorkot's website leads me to think he never attended an accredited design school. Also, his personal photo gallery takes an odd turn of theme just before his arrest (newest pictures on the top).
Yikes; this is a franchise that's won 2 World Series since 1997.
Another dismal night for the Marlins and a 5-4 loss to the lowly Washington Nationals combined with Tampa Bay's 1-0 victory over Boston left the two Florida
franchises tied with 61-83 records. The Marlins have lost 20 of their past 25 games and for what's believed to be the first time in the history of the franchise the manager of the team did not speak with the media after the game.
The announced attendance Monday at Dolphin Stadium was 12,345, but the crowd was estimated at about 1,000 and after a 40-minute rain delay in the seventh, there were probably 200 fans left in a stadium that seats more than 67,000 for baseball.
13 September 2007
12 September 2007
Soon we met up with a group of 1920s men; I counted 19. They were outfitted with AKs and ammo pouches. Most did not want their photos taken, but this man wanted everyone to see, and he threw his arm around one of our soldiers and pointed to my camera. Our guys do not trust the 1920s, but the relationship is working when it comes to killing al Qaeda and reconstruction in Baqubah. Al Qaeda only knows how to kill and intimidate. 1920s are concerned about water projects and so forth, and they help with more than fighting. Their goals include returning Baqubah back into civilization.Just another of the many tales of what's going on that you'll never hear from head-in-the-sand congresspeople who make up their minds about what to say about the situation before they get there.
Or before they hear the testimony.
07 September 2007
Various writers have raised certain historical issues regarding Nicollet Island and a proposal by DeLaSalle High School to build a small football/soccer field.
City residents tried to stop park improvements and construction of neighborhood community centers and to prevent changes in traffic and parkway design, as well as biking and jogging paths, at Lake Nokomis, Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. These improvements, now considered jewels of the Minneapolis park system, were subject to lawsuits and other delaying tactics being used now by Nicollet Island residents. Then, as now, the residents did not want the public in their back yards.
I believe that current city and park officials should correct the serious mistake of their predecessors who allowed these private inholdings. They must take action to acquire and remove the homes from public parkland north of the railroad tracks on Nicollet Island.
Tell me there's anything sadder.
Theodore William Krinke, 39, remained without bail in Washington County Jail on Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide and driving while impaired (I put his name in so you'd know who to assault when you see him walking the street).
Cottage Grove police say Krinke was driving his 2001 Dodge Ram pickup (what a shocker) north on Keats Avenue about 12:45 p.m. when he rear-ended a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle ridden by 59-year-old Donald Jerome Cohoon.
Cohoon's motorcycle was stopped at an intersection, and he was preparing to turn west onto Indian Boulevard, investigator Greg Malcolm said. He was headed home on his lunch break.
Donald J Cohoon Jr.
06 September 2007
Larry Craig is a coward and a fink for trying to use/abuse his authority to get out of a mess he made for himself, and he's clearly stupid to plead guilty (without advice of council) to anything he thinks he didn't do.
So get out Larry; disappear and pray you can concoct some other legacy than the one you've hung around your own neck. That being said, 95% of the rest of Americans who love to wag their fingers at this clown as it he's a Nazi war criminal had better get bright for once and consider the following things Larry Craig has not done, but have been going on session after session after session:
(1) Violating their oath to uphold the Constitution, by voting for legislation they believe to be unconstitutional, but arguing that they will let the courts sort it out.
(2) Voting to delegate massive legislative power to the executive branch, so they can claim credit for the feel-good nature of vague but popular legislation, while blaming the executive for its actual implementation.
(3) Voting for legislation that neither they nor any of their staff have read in its entirety, if at all.
(4) Providing costly earmarks in legislation to campaign contributors and local interests (in violation of Congress's constitutional duty to tax and spend only for the "general welfare").
(5) Accepting various forms of low-level graft that fly under the ethics radar, such as use of campaign donors' vacation homes and airplanes, family vacations disguised as fact-finding trips, spouses employed at inflated salaries by friendly interest groups, etc.
(6) General demagoguery, e.g., Democratic members anytime Medicare or Social Security reform comes up, and Republican members on federalizing criminal law, the War on Terror, flagburning, etc.
05 September 2007
First the elected clowns insult the tax-paying residents with a diseased public school system that's run like a WPA-era jobs program:
Then they flat out lie to to the same tax-paying residents in a pathetic leap of progressive thought in order to make you wholly dependent on an unaccountable governing structure:
Washington has long been infamous for having the worst performing big-city system in the country. But The Washington Post exposed the scope of the problem earlier this summer in an eye-opening series. According to The Post, the city ranks first in terms of the budget share devoted to administration and last in spending on teachers and instruction. The imbalance is particularly disturbing, given that the District’s children fare worse at school than children in other big cities...
In the past, superintendents who wanted to restructure the disastrously dysfunctional central office were hampered by laws that guarantee displaced administrators the right to keep their salaries even as they moved to lower level jobs in the schools. The City Council will need to eliminate those laws if Washington is ever to remake its schools.
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and Attorney General Linda Singer pen an op-ed in today's Washington Post arguing that the Second Amendment does not protect Americans' right to keep and bear arms. They also discuss their appeal of a D.C. Circuit Court ruling that struck down the district's draconian and unreasonable gun ban. Washingtonians are forbidden even from having handguns in their own homes.
The Fenty and Singer piece contains this howler: The handgun ban has saved countless lives, but this fundamental part of the District's public safety laws will be no more if the Supreme Court does not review and overturn this year's decision by the D.C. Circuit. Countless lives? D.C. is consistently at the top of the U.S. murder rate rankings. Was the gun ban saving "countless lives" in 1991, when the rate peaked at 80 murders per 100,000 people? Would the number have otherwise been even higher? Is it still saving "countless lives" when our murder rate for 2005, at
its 20-year low, was still five times that of New York City?
If I'm not mistaken, Fenty and Singer appear to be suggesting that their city is so totally lawless that only a total deprivation of Constitutional rights can make it
moderately livable. I wonder how they feel about wiretapping?
I'll never advocate that only PhDs and Nobel winners can run for or hold public office, but the situation in our national capital city is a direct result of the stupid electing the stupid.
04 September 2007
This is not a politically biased rant . . . It's much more of an "us versus them" confrontation, "us" being any rich politico looking to protect his or her unfettered access to privilege and luxury, "them" being the suckers (you and me) being asked to sacrifice for the good of our noble caretakers (I must admit, though: Democrats do have a particular gift for projecting the green-bohemian persona while simultaneously snacking high on the food chain).
Of late, actor Leonardo DiCaprio has become a leading, high-profile spokesperson for the green movement because . . . well, he's pretty. Which is precisely why Vanity Fair, for its so-called "Green Issue" (printed on high-quality, non-recycled paper, by the way) flew Leo, photographer Annie Leibovtiz, and an untold number of assistants, makeup artists, and assorted hangers-on to Iceland to produce an earth-saving photograph of the Green Idol on a glacier alongside the polar bear cub Knut (who in fact was Photoshopped in from Berlin). Puffed VF: "Now three and a half months old, little Knut has become a powerful (if not controversial) symbol of what this planet has to lose to global warming. Such ecological concerns are familiar to actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, so it seemed natural to pair these two handsome boys on Annie Leibovitz's cover for this year's Green Issue."
You can almost hear the exchange at the Vanity Fair editorial meeting. Junior art director: "What if we really make a green statement, and just drive Leo and Annie down to the San Diego Zoo in a Prius and take a polar-bear shot there?" Editorial green director: "What? No way! We need to fly the entire crew halfway around the world and back and spend at least a few days hacking around on that precious ice to get the perfect green shot I want! Now, call my secretary and get a limo; I'm late for my lunch at the Four Seasons."
Danish police on Tuesday arrested eight terror suspects said to have connections to the terror group al-Qaida. Six of those detained have Danish citizenship.
The suspects are of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali and Turkish origin and range in age from 19 to 29. Sharf said they were "producing an unstable explosive in a densely populated area" and that authorities had waited until they had gathered enough evidence before moving forward with the detentions.
Adrian Flanagan is discussing with Russian authorities the possibility of using a nuclear-powered icebreaker to lift his boat out of the water and carry it round the most icebound stretch of Russia's Northern Sea Route.
He had hoped that his 11m reinforced yacht would be able to get all the way to Europe due to lighter ice conditions observed in recent years, thought to be a result of global warming. But after making his way through the Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas, Flanagan has been forced to a halt by heavy ice at the most difficult point in the route, the Vilkitsky Strait.
03 September 2007
The beer selection was classic shopping mall and right below the Peroni was Moretti La Rossa. Moretti is made in Bergamo by Heineken, so it must have something going for it. The color and aroma were not unlike Dos Equis Amber, but it turned out to be sweeter than I expected. It reminded me of like Newcastle Brown Ale, but even more carmel-y. Turns out La Rossa is a double bock, which isn't exactly my dance, but it seemed well made and Mrs. OctaneBoy really liked it, but that didn't mean I got her Chianti.
Beer - my kinda adventure.
02 September 2007
It was an utterly dominant performance from the Reds, who have now won five out of their six games in all competitions this season - but none as easily as this. They always looked like extending their impressive start to the season against a Derby side lacking ambition and devoid of ideas.
A debut goal from Zat Knight and a late Gabriel Agbonlahor strike saw Aston Villa end Chelsea's 18-match unbeaten streak in the league.