Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Day of the Year 2005

Since tomorrow will be the first day of the New Year, I think we should take a look over the past year on this planet.

It's been a rough year. It's been a year of Mother Natures wrath. A hurricane destroyed New Orleans, an earthquake killed over tens of thousands of people in Pakistan and India. It was a record breaking year for hurricanes, 26 tropical storms, 14 of which manifested into Hurricanes including Katrina (the New Orleans and Mississippi destroyer), Rita (hit Texas) and we watched as the media ran out of names for the storms and switched to the Greek alphabet.

It was a year of war. The conflict in Iraq claimed hundreds of US soldiers lives as well as thousands of Iraqi civilians. It was a bloody year in Afghanistan as well, with over 50 US soldiers laying down their lives for their country.

It was a year of terrorism. On Feb. 14th former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was killed along with 20 others in a car bombing blamed on Syrian authorities. On July 7th four suicide bombers attacked a double Decker bus and the three subway trains in London, killing 56 and injuring hundreds. Later in the month, on July 21st, another bombing in London occurred but due to deteriorated materials, the explosives only caused minor injuries. On July 23rd, car bombs exploded at tourist sites in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, killing at least 88 and wounding more than 100. On Aug. 17th over one hundred small bombs were detonated in Bangladesh, killing two and injuring a hundred people. In Chechnya, rebels staged a mass attack on Russian federal buildings, police stations and the airport in Nalchik. 137 people, including 92 rebels, lost their lives. In Amman Jordan, three suicide bombers detonated themselves at three hotels on Nov. 9th killing at least 60 people, many attending a wedding party.

We saw hopeful signs of progress in the global war on terrorism. In Iraq and Afghanistan, elections were held and were successful, with minimal violent interruption

Some major terrorists were killed or captured including Al-Qaeda militant and terrorist trainer Mustafa Setmariam Nasar who was captured in Pakistan. Abu Hamza Rabia, an Al-Qaeda commander, was killed in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda in Iraq number 2 man (there's a lot of #2 men in Al-Qaeda it seems) Abu Azzam al-Iraqi was killed by US forces in Baghdad. Azahari bin Husin, bomb expert and leader of the terror organization Jemaah Islamiyah was killed in Indonesia by authorities after a tip off lead them to him.

Saddam Hussien's circus of a trial started this year.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in a tear-jerking military action this year, handing the land back over to Palestinians for the first time in 38 years.

Australia thwarted a terrorist plot in their country, arresting 20 men accused of plotting attacks in the country.

2005 saw plane crashes, hostage crises, some ending in tragedy some ending in relief. We saw a NY transit strike, Iran throwing the middle finger up to the world and seeking nuclear capabilities and a new disease called the Avian Flu scare the shit out of medical experts.

We saw a lot of things this year, some good, some bad. But we all lived through it (those reading this of course). We remember fondly those who left us this year whether it be famous icons (Richard Pryor, John Spencer, Pat Morita, Peter Jennings, Johnny Carson), political figureheads (Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, former president of Israel Ezer Weizman), beloved people who changed our world for the better (Pope John Paul II, Rosa Parks) or a personal family member or friend.

As we ring in a New Year, we'll take a second to look back on our mistakes and our triumphs and try to balance the scales in our favor for the future. We learn from our past to better tomorrow but we don't forget lest we repeat our failures. We crack open a bottle of champagne so we can celebrate our lives. We should never forget that we share this planet with others that do not have what we have, cannot live how we live and are owners of beliefs that differ from ours. That's what makes this planet so precious sometimes, dangerous at others.

This is our world, the only one we're going to get. In the New Year, we'll try to take better care of it. We'll strive for peace but resort to war if needed. We'll send prayers and well-wishes to those who deserve it and hope for justice for those who deserve that.

We will hope for a better year, some will act to try to achieve that hope, others will ride the tide. We're guaranteed to see lose, success, smiles and frowns in 2006. It's up to us to how we react to each of those.

Enjoy the holiday, stay safe, and be good to one another.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Arrests made in J-Lo video case

Jeniffer Lopez has one of those Pam and Tommy Lee videos floating around? WOOHOO!

Two men have been arrested in New York for attempting to sell Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's wedding video back to the couple for $1m.

Oh, it's just the wedding video. Who the fuck wants to see the wedding video? I want to see the wedding night video.

46 Guantanamo detainees join hunger strike

Yeah, that only works when people DON'T want you to die.

The US military said yesterday that a long-running hunger strike among detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison underwent a ''very significant increase" starting on Christmas Day, more than doubling the number of prisoners who are protesting their indefinite detention without trial by refusing to eat.

Most of the prisoners were arrested in Afghanistan or Pakistan on suspicion of being supporters of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and they have been held for four years without trials. what do you do? If they're not Al-Qaeda or Taliban, then we are wrongly imprisoning innocent people. But if we let them go now, they most likely will join Al-Qaeda and the Taliban because they'll hate us for imprisoning them so long without trial.
But if they are Al-Qaeda or Taliban now, then we are doing the right thing.

Seems there is no easy answer to this. There's been numerous reports of us releasing detainees who only pick up where they left off and start terror cells for Al-Qaeda or continue their jihad. Do we really want to let these people back into the world. But we don't want to hold people wrongly accused.

No easy answer. How bout this, hold a trial. What's wrong with giving these people their day in court? But implant tracking devices into the people set free, you know, while they're sleeping or something. That way, we can track them down and see what they're up too. If in a certain amount of time they behave themselves, we can remove the device. You know, like a futuristic sort of parole. Oh! Oh! And we can make them wear explosive collars like in the movie Running Man with Arnie Schwarzenegger in it and if they get to close to explosives their head explodes.

Oh man, someone needs to put me in charge.

Unaccompanied US Teen Skips School, Heads for Iraq

Remember the good old days when a kid skipped school to hang out at the video arcade or the mall or a number of other fun places where the threat of being kidnapped and beheaded were lower than the world's collective IQ?
And he was unaccompanied. Yeah, like there's thousands of people getting in line for a scenic tour of Fallujah.

"And if you look to your right you'll see what we like to call Sunni insurgents. If we're lucky we may be able to spot the endangered members of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network."

Sixteen-year-old Farris Hassan says he went to Iraq without his parents' permission in order to pursue his interest in news reporting, cultivated in a high school journalism class.

Well, at least he's pretty much guaranteed a good grade. What kid takes that kind of initiative these days? It won't be easy to follow his class presentation of his video diary of his stroll through war-torn Baghdad slums and interviews with insurgent mortar teams with your paper on why the Dunkin Doughnuts down the street makes better iced coffee than the Quick Check.

The student from Florida bought a $900 plane ticket, skipped school, and left the United States on December 11th, arriving in Iraq on a flight from Lebanon.
The AP reports the boy's parents are from Iraq, but have lived in the United States for more than 30 years.
Farris speaks only English and called attention to himself with his trendy Western attire. He says his travels took him to Kuwait, Lebanon and Baghdad.

Nothing like walking through Baghdad with a 50 Cent and G-Unit hoodie on, blasting your IPod while you try to avoid getting human feces on your brand new Kobe Bryant sneakers. Fuck calling attention to yourself, that's like wearing a neon sign that says "I'm American" and betting everyone you see five hundred US dollars they can't shoot you in the face.

I don't know what to think about this. The "Man" part of me wants to award this kid the biggest-set-of-iron-testicles medal and the "parent" in me thinks that maybe he should have been chained to the water heater in his parents basement.
Maybe he should be grounded for a Disneyland. In all honesty, he's a go-getter. Regardless that he almost went and got killed, that kid is either going to grow up and get a high paying Journalist job or he'll end up blindfolded on Al-Jazeera asking America to get out of Iran. You know, sometime down the road.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Would-be suicide bombers blown up in Afghan blast

Two would-be suicide bombers blew themselves up while strapping on explosives in an Afghan town bordering Pakistan on Thursday, police said.
"No one else was injured in the blast near the main market in Spin Boldak", said Afghan border force commander Abdul Raziq.

Do suicide bombers that don't kill anyone but themselves end up in Allah's martyr paradise or some sort of afterlife special Ed class?

Osama bin Laden's Niece Poses For Racy Photographs

Wrap your brain around this one. The black sheep of the bin Laden clan isn't the mastermind of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network but the one who posed for racy photos in GQ magazine. I love this world.

The niece of Osama Bin Laden has posed for provocative photographs for an American magazine.
Wafah Dufour, an aspiring musician and model, is the daughter of the al-Qaeda leader's half-brother Yeslam.

US-born, she says she is an American, and distances herself from her uncle. "Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him," she says.

Yeah...I feel the same way about my father. Call the cops on me you son of a...

Ms Dufour, 26, took her mother's maiden name after the events of 11 September 2001.

Beauty and brains. You'll never make it in the music biz.

Seriously though, I don't care if your uncle is Osama bin Laden. All I care about is making sure he sees what America has done to his niece. We got her half naked in our magazines Binny...hey...why do you hate us so much again?

US bank robber turned in by sons

Oh those fucking little ingrates.

Illinois bank robber William Alfred Ginglen's son Jared recognised his father from bank surveillance video posted on a police website - and after consulting his brothers, turned him in.

I love my father. Very much. If he robbed a bank, I really don't think I'd tell anyone. Would I take some of the stolen money? Umm...let's read on.

His three sons say they were just putting into practice the lessons he taught them - and they hope he will understand.

Yeah, I'm sure while he's rotting away in a jail cell for the rest of his life, getting his ass kicked by some guy nicknamed T-Bone, he's going to say to himself, "Boy, I raised those sons of mine right."
If my father shot somebody during the robbery, than yes, maybe I would turn him in. Maybe. I don't know if I could. My father put up with a lot of my shit over the years.

Al Ginglen, the former marine and grandfather of seven had robbed at least seven banks to pay for a crack cocaine habit, prostitutes, hotel rooms, and a long-time girlfriend with a daughter.

Whoa, Daddy's got a brand new bag.

Conveniently for prosecutors, Ginglen had kept a diary during his nine-month life of crime, during which he stole nearly $60,000 from banks in the state of Illinois.

To bad his father never taught him not to WRITE DOWN CONFESSIONS!

Now that I think about it, my father called the cops on me three times when I was a teenager. Fuck it, he'd be on his way to the jailhouse too.

UPDATE: Boyfriend Charged In Cell Phone Assault

I had this story on the blog on Tuesday I think. I originally thought that the women had voluntarily swallowed the cell phone because...I don't know...maybe she spilled some BBQ sauce on it and she was really hungry. Now the boyfriend has been charged with shoving the phone down her throat.
Now there's a sentence I thought I'd never write.

The Missouri woman who was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs with a cell phone lodged in her throat may not have voluntarily swallowed the device.
“Subsequent investigation found that she didn’t swallow the cell phone voluntarily,” Police Sgt. Allen Kintz told the Associated Press. “Our initial press release was that she had swallowed a cell phone.”
The 24-year-old woman’s boyfriend has been charged with felony assault after he allegedly shoved the phone down his girlfriend’s throat in an argument.
The cell phone was removed from her throat by doctors at the hospital.

I've been mad before. Shit, I've been enraged before. I've been in many a bar fight. I fought hundreds of kids in high school when I was young and in shape and wouldn't pass out from throwing a punch. I've never gotten mad enough to shove a phone down someones throat.

Hey, if the boyfriend did do it though, I give him a A+ for originality.

Here's a link to the original story I posted on Tuesday. Esophagusphone.

US secret surveillance up sharply since Sept. 11

You mean the US intelligence agencies are montioring American soil more and more since that day when Islamic terrorists flew two passenger planes into the New York World Trade Center buildings, one into the Pentagon and one into a field in PA? Why would they do that?

Federal applications for a special U.S. court to authorize secret surveillance rose sharply after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and the panel required changes to the requests at a even greater rate, government documents show.

Yeah and...?

President George W. Bush acknowledged this month that he had secretly ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the international phone conversations and e-mail of Americans suspected of links to terrorists without approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.


The domestic-spying order has set off a furious debate over whether the war on terrorism gives Bush a blank check when it comes to civil liberties and whether the president, in fact, broke the law.

Isn't there a law against blowing up American landmarks and the mass killing of American citizens? Isn't that more important than whether or not the FBI listened in on my phone call order for Chinese food?
I know there's a bunch of people that are going to get up in arms and start screaming "It's our rights, our constitutional rights! The government's invading our privacy!" I don't care if the NSA wants to eavesdrop in on me and my friend talking about how badly he hates his girlfriend or one of the many phone calls I get from my mother to go to her house and help her move some cat liter from her car cause it's too heavy for her. I got nothing to hide.

See, I'm very much a 'ends justifies the means'. Fact is, nothing has gone KABOOM! since 9/11. I'm not a big fan of President Bush or anyone in any position of power really, but you can't ignore that no one has died from a terror attack on American soil in four years now. One can argue he just kind of made it so Americans die from terror attacks on Iraqi soil but that's another story.

The point here is that if listening to a phone call or montioring radiation levels in major cities keeps us safer than have at it. Shit, if the FBI breaks in my front door due to above average radiation levels in my home I'd fucking thank them. That's something I'd like to know about. If you get your phone tapped you should have nothing to worry about if you don't break the law. If you're not a terrorist, relax, if you are, you have no rights asshole. Pretty simple.

I'll start complaining if they impliment random public strip searches or require citizens to have microchips implanted in our brains. Until then, I just want to stay in one piece and if that means having my backpack searched before getting on the subway I say, shit, I'll leave the backpack home.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Leap second means 2006 will arrive late


The new year will begin one second late to compensate for the slowing down of the Earth's rotation, scientists have confirmed. The so-called "leap second" will be added to the end of December 31.
Leap seconds were first introduced in 1972 to keep "clock time" and "Sun time" in step.

This throws off my entire year. The new year rings in one second late. I could have spent that second learning a foreign language or learning to fly. I could have studied ancient cultures or developed new technology to combat terrorism or disease. I could have brought peace to the children of the world.

Now it's fucked...thanks a lot slow rotation of the earth. Hey...why's the earth slowing down?

The speed at which the Earth spins is continually changing, partly due to varying weather patterns and geological disturbances, but mostly because of the friction of tides.


30 feared dead in Gujarat road mishap

At least 30 people were feared dead when a bus collided with a truck on a highway in the western state of Gujarat.

That's quite a mishap.

The accident took place when the vehicles crashed into each other. we're getting somewhere. So the people may have been killed BY the vechiles colliding into one another at a high speed. And here I thought the accident may have taken place before the bus left the station. That line actually appears in the report. This happened in India and apparently, they're a little behind on traffic accidents forensics.

Gunmen Take Over Election Offices in Gaza

Weren't they running the elections in the first place?

Dozens of masked Palestinian gunmen took over election offices in the Gaza Strip, exchanging fire with police and demanding spaces for the ruling Fatah Party's military wing on a list for Jan. 25 parliamentary elections.

If we learn anything from the Middle Eastern region let it be this. Elections are dangerous...stay home.
You know, one of these days, there is going to be peace in the Middle East and on that day, we will have to find a cure for the violent plague that wiped out the population of that half of the earth.

Toronto wonders what's next after brazen shootout fells holiday

Probably cleaning up.

A Boxing Day shootout that killed an innocent teenaged bystander has left Toronto residents wondering how much worse the city's violence can get after as many as 15 young people were involved in a shootout on a busy street packed with holiday shoppers.

What the fuck is Boxing Day? I take it that it's a holiday up their for our neighbors in the snow but...hold on...I'll look it up.

Boxing Day: The day after Christmas, the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, is better known as Boxing Day. The term may come from the opening of church poor boxes that day.
Hmm...doesn't mention broad daylight gunplay...

Police, politicians and the people of Toronto reacted with shock and revulsion Tuesday after learning more about the incident that saw a 15-year-old girl become the city's 78th murder victim of the year.

Instead of acting with revulsion maybe you guys should do something about it. I can just picture the police commissioner in Toronto hearing the news "Somebody oughta do something 'boot this". should.

You know what's funny? My girlfriend mentioned to me just yesterday that we should go to Toronto for a vacation, see Niagra Falls. Apparently I need a bulletproof vest, a gun, and a cowboy hat cause its the wild wild north over there.

Saudi Troops Kill 2 Terrorists Who Gunned Down Police

With each passing Saudi Arabian shootout I'm convinced our government needs to take a few lessons from their intelligence agencies.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia say security forces have shot and killed two wanted terrorists, hours after the fugitives gunned down five policemen in a drive-by shooting.

There's been two lists issued in Saudi Arabia since September 11th 2001. The first was a list of 26 of Saudi Arabia's most wanted terrorists. Since the issue of that list all but one has been killed or captured. So, did Saudi Arabia say "Job done"? No, they issued a second list of 36 semi-most wanted terrorists. Since the issue of that list 17 have been reported killed or captured.
Saudi's don't fuck around.

One of the suspects, Mohammed bin Abdel-Rahman al-Suwailmi, was fatally wounded in a shootout with government forces that broke out after the initial attack on police Tuesday.
An Interior Ministry official says the second suspect, Abdel-Rahman al-Mutab, made his escape after the original gunbattle, but was caught and shot to death north of Riyadh, Wednesday.

A few months ago it was reported that al-Suwailmi was killed in a shootout that left another most wanted terrorist Saleh Muhammad Awadallah Al-Alawi Al-Aufi with a few new holes in his sternum. That later proved to be untrue when al-Suwailmi issued a tape recording claiming to be alive. That, now proved, to be a temporary situation.

Now, I'm not going to get into whether Saudi Arabia finances terrorism or if Saudi Arabia is truly a US ally or not cause that's not the point of what I'm saying here. What I'm saying is that when Saudi Arabia looks for terrorists, they find terrorists, and turn them into swiss cheese. I'm still waiting for the day I can put the headline "Bin Laden confirmed killed" or "Bin Laden Captured" on this blog. Right now all I can put is "Bin Laden Missing" or "Bin Laden still unaccounted for". I want a victory here, something that will make me feel good about all this death and destruction.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Swallowing Cell Phone May Not Be Voluntary

Either way, if you swallow your cell phone you are a fucking idiot.

A woman who police thought deliberately tried to swallow her cell phone during an argument with her boyfriend was apparently the victim of an assault instead, authorities said.

"If you don't put down that phone I'm going to shove it down your throat!" Usually that's an empty threat. But how does one force a cell phone down someones throat? Doesn't seem possible. And who the hell thinks of doing something like that. When I'm mad at a girlfriend, I may think of ending the relationship, I may consider going back to the single life, I may yell, scream, leave the house for a while. I don't think shoving a cell phone down my girlfriends throat ever popped into my mind.

Police were initially told the boyfriend wanted the phone and the woman tried to swallow it so that he could not get it.

Now this sounds more like the truth, although, if I wanted to see my girlfriends cell phone and she fucking swallowed it, I think that would signal the end of our time together. Obviously, she wants to hide something that bad, it's not worth being with her. And if it wasn't in fact to hide anything, well, that's worse.

Too bad I don't have her cell phone number, man, I'd be calling all day.

Taleban Commander Vows More Afghan Suicide Attacks

Mullah Dadullah, A top commander of Afghanistan's ousted Taleban regime says his group has more than 200 fighters ready to carry out suicide attacks against U.S. and allied forces in the country.

Hey Dadullah, why don't you go first, show us how it's done. Pussy.

Winds of fortune blowing for Hamas

I have a feeling those 'winds of fortune' are soon to be replaced with the 'sonic boom of missile strikes'.

With every chance to attract voters in the past year, the Islamic militant group Hamas has made its mark. Now, thanks to growing disarray in Fatah, the ruling Palestinian party, Hamas is poised to make a strong showing in crucial parliamentary elections next month in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

There is something to be said about a region of people willing to elect members of a terrorist organization to their ruling government. What that is to be said I'm not sure but I'm sure Israel will be saying it via large explosions and perhaps ground assaults.

I've lost touch with the Israel / Palestine conflict. In fact, I'm not even all that sure who's in the right and who's the terrorists. Palestinians suicide bomb a falafel stand (this happened a few months back, not making it up) and Israel responds by firing a air to surface missile up the tailpipe of a Ford making its way through Gaza. Then the Palestinians fire some homemade rockets from an empty field, most of which land harmlessly in unpopulated areas and Israel then responds by blowing up two or three buildings and driving a bulldozer through the living room of a Palestinian household.
I'll tell you this, if every time I punched a guy he destroyed my house, I would stop punching him.

But Palestinians are a people of pride and sacrifice. They are very proud to sacrifice themselves in a ball of fire. I find that odd. Personally, if someone stole my land , as they claim Israel did, I wouldn't blow myself up about it. That's counterproductive. I wouldn't bomb them either, cause in all honesty, I would be bombing the land I'm trying to get back. No, I think I would try every possible non-violent way to get my land back and when that didn't work, I would have sex with his wife.

The political gains by Hamas have unsettled Israeli and American officials and created a dilemma for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has committed himself to holding parliamentary elections but is under pressure from some within Fatah to postpone the vote so the party can regroup.

I find it quite unsettling too. But I'm left to wonder, why is America on Israel's side on this? Why are we on any side of this? I can't help but think our views might be distorted being that there are quite a lot of powerful Jewish men and women in America that have political influence and not many Palestinians.
I'm playing devils advocate, something I think this country would do well for itself to do more often. What if the Palestinians are right? What if Israel is the terrorists? What if the land Israel now occupies is rightfully Palestinian land? I ask myself these questions because, well, because I don't know the truth of this conflict. I only know what I read and see on the news. And it always seems to paint the Palestinians as the terrorist pyschos, even when Israeli soldiers shoot a 13 year old for throwing rocks (happened).

Having an honest and balanced opinion about this conflict is pretty much an impossibility. Your beliefs sway your outlook. A Jewish person will not side against their homeland and Muslims will not side against Palestinians, most the time. But lets take religion out of the equation and take another look.
The people of two countries, bombing the shit out of each other, over land that no one can possibly own. If history has taught us anything, it's that land changes hands constantly, that civilizations rise and fall like the tide, and that eventually, one day, the sun will supernova and swallow the earth. And on that day, maybe there will peace in the Middle East.

Until then...bombs away. You're all fucking crazy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Russian Shoppers Poisoned By Gas

And you think holiday shopping in the US sucks. At least Wal-Mart doesn't gas us, at least, I think they don't gas us.

More than 70 people were sickened after gas was released Monday in a chain store and boxes with glass containers attached to wires were found in three other outlets of the same store.

Police have ruled out terrorism, saying the store chain had received menacing letters threatening to disrupt business. Police are calling it a business dispute.

That's one hell of a business dispute. Here in America our business disputes are settled with broken windows and threats over the phone. No one is willing to go as far as releasing sickening gas inside a store. We Americans wouldn't take the time to set something like that up. Way too much energy involved.

Emergency Vehicle Plunges Into NJ River

Who feels safe? I do, I do.

Authorities searched a frigid river Monday for a police officer missing since an emergency squad truck plunged more than 40 feet off an open drawbridge whose safety warning system was not operating.
The officers on Sunday night had crossed the Lincoln Highway Bridge over the Hackensack River, which links Jersey City and Newark, and had placed flares to warn motorists of the problems with the span, police Chief Robert Troy said at a news conference Monday.
The safety bar and bell used to warn motorists when the bridge is open had not been working for two days, Troy said.

Well you'd think since the authorities knew the bridge warning system was out of service they would be a bit careful about driving off into the river.

Before the officers turned around and drove back across the river, the bridge's middle span was raised to allow a tug boat to go under.
"As dark as it was, as foggy as it was, as rainy as it was, they had no idea," Troy said.

Nothing like knowing that in an emergency, when someone's life may be on the line, our emergency vechiles can see where they're going. Imagine being rushed to the hospital only to end up on the bottom of an ice cold river. If I need emergecy attention and it's foggy out, I'm walking.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Sign of Hope

Christmas spirit, joy returns to Bethlehem

from DetNews

Holiday spirit returned to Bethlehem on Saturday for the first time in six years as thousands of foreigners and local people packed the town of Jesus' birth for Christmas Eve celebrations.

Lining the streets on a crisp, windy day, pilgrims gathered in Manger Square near the Church of the Nativity -- built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born -- to watch a procession of marching bands, bagpipe players and Boy Scout troops.

They also watched Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the top Roman Catholic official in the Holy Land, enter town for the Christmas celebrations.

Whipping winds blew the hats off Boy Scouts and police officers and knocked down metal security barriers. Yet the streets were packed with visitors excited about spending the holiday in one of Christianity's holiest sites.

More than 30,000 people were expected in what would be the largest turnout since fighting erupted in September 2000, although the bleak gray concrete slabs of Israel's separation barrier at the entrance to town provided a looming reminder of the conflict.

Israel's summer withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and a sharp drop in violence this year contributed to the joyful atmosphere, which buoyed the spirits of Bethlehem residents and tourists in the festively decorated town.

"It's really amazing. When you hear about all the conflict between Israel and Palestine, really I was expecting things to be a little bit -- rougher," said Stephen Ogden, 23, of Knoxville, Tenn

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Italy charges CIA agents

I'll be the first to admit that the CIA times...become quite dangerous. (I read somewhere they once tried to assassinate Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar, something that might infringe on Lonney Tunes copyrights)

Four days before Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan vanished into the thin Italian air, three middle-aged American visitors checked into the $300-a-night Milan Hilton on Via Luigi Galvani. The Americans, a man and two women, might have been tourists or fashion buyers, the hotel's usual foreign clientele. Thier document seemed genuine. Only the names on those documents were bogus. So was their shared corporate address, a non-existent company with a post office box in Washington. According to Italian authorities, the three Americans really were spies, assigned to snatch Hassan off the street and ship him back to Egypt, where he would later say he was brutally tortured.

Okay, this so far sounds like the CIA (see the exploding cigar comment above). But the CIA doesn't snatch people off Italy's streets for no reason. (at least I hope really, really hope they don't) So why was Hassan treated the way he was? Let's read on.

Hassan was granted political asylum by the Italian government after arriving in Milan in 1997, apparently on the grounds that his membership in a radical Egyptian Islamic organization, Jamaat al Islamiya, which he had joined as a university student, left him at risk for political persecution if he returned home.

Aha! He was a member of Jamaat al Islamiya, a terror organization. I agree the CIA shouldn't be snatching people off the street like they were collectibles but in this day and age, terrorists or members of terror organizations should not be allowed to roam free ANYWHERE. Until the entire world turns against these radicals we will be facing an uphill battle. Now, if the CIA had snatched a child or a young woman for ransom (which you really can't put anything pass the CIA, they're a scary bunch) then I'd understand the arrest warrants. But since this person was a wanted terrorist, even in Egypt, it's time to start getting this people where they belong, in the country most likely to but them somewhere where they can't hurt anyone, be it behind bars or in the ground.

Now's not the time to play politics. Now's the time for action. Italy, relax, it's not like Hassan was an upstanding Italian citizen contributing to your society. He was wanted for terrorism. Let him answer for his crimes. If you're unwilling to do it, the CIA is always willing to help it along cause they've seen WAY too many James Bond flicks.

Anyway, the US isn't going to be handing over convert CIA operatives anytime soon.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hubble finds new moons, rings around Uranus



This was in the paper. This is the greatest fucking headline of all time. All you cynical people rejoice, we have found our Holy Grail. And you bathroom humor lovers can join too.

Wal-Mart must pay workers $172m

HOLY SHIT! I'm getting a fucking job at Wal-Mart!

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail company, has suffered a potentially ominous legal setback, with a California jury awarding more than $200m to thousands of employees who alleged they were illegally and systematically denied lunch-breaks.

Wish I was denied lunch breaks. You know, I got to question something though. Is 200 million dollars really fair because you were told you couldn't go to lunch? I don't even eat lunch.

The suit was one of about 40 in the works nationwide alleging that the Arkansas-based retailer, which boasts a chain of mostly suburban superstores across the United States and beyond, routinely violates US labour laws - keeping workers off the clock so they are not credited for overtime, denying them lunch-breaks and other rests, and so on.

Be careful, do not anger the Wal-Mart. You will not like the Wal-Mart when it's angry.
Good for those employees. Now, I'm off to figure out someway I can trick my boss into not allowing me a lunch break. EASY STREET HERE I COME!

Egyptian Opposition Leader, Echoing Iran, Calls Holocaust "Myth"

Oh come on, it's been done, do something original, say something that hasn't been said by a pyschopath already. Run around claiming Idaho potatoes have an anti-Allah serum cooked into them or something.

The leader of Egypt's main Islamic opposition group said Thursday the Holocaust was a ''myth,'' and he slammed Western governments for criticizing disclaimers of the Jewish genocide.

Blah, Blah, Blah. Look, you Islamic fanatics have had your time in the spotlight. Let's move it along now. We all know, you don't like America, Israel, or anyone who doesn't live on sand I guess. What I don't understand is why you guys have to scream this shit from the mountains. I don't care if the leader of Egypts Islamic opposition thinks the Holocaust was a myth. I know people who don't believe in dinosaurs either. Hell, I went to school with a girl who thought the government was sending signals to her braces through the television. She's in politics now.

My point is simple. Shut up. No one cares what you think. At least I don't. Besides, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is all the crazy I can take from that whole fucking region right now.

''Western democracies have slammed all those who don't see eye to eye with the Zionists regarding the myth of the Holocaust,'' said Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Mahdi Akef.

Yeah, and you've bombed everyone who doesn't see eye to eye with your Quran, or Q'uran or Kuran, you know, that book you all like. I hate to come down on Islam like this but, is their any sane people over there in the Middle East? Could someone put a microphone on a Muslim that isn't fanatical. We need some balancing here.

Law curbing sales of violent video games is blocked

News flash parents, violent video games and movies don't make sane children shoot up schools. Bad parenting, access to armories in Dad's gun closet, and ignorant school systems make children shoot up schools. And you can throw in some insanity somewhere in that too.

A law that would have forbidden California retailers from renting or selling violent video games to minors starting Jan. 1 has been blocked from taking effect by a federal judge.

Hey, isn't your governor a man who made his fortune starring in violent movies? Didn't he hack James Earl Jones's head off with a broad sword once?

The new law would have required game publishers to put large ``18'' labels on especially violent games, identifying which ones could not be sold or rented to minors.

They'll just get their parents to buy them for em. Listen, R-rated movies, violent adult video games, porno, cigarettes, booze, all the fun things in life are easily accesible to the young. Hell, I had all of the above by 14. Luckily I turned out just fine.
Seriously though, you know what the real answer is here. PARENTING. Mom, Dad, get your asses off the fucking couch, put down the "How to be a better parent" book written by Dr. Phil and get involved in your kids life.
Don't want a violent, drug addicted child? Don't let the violent video games and movies raise them. Get them outside, take them places, talk to them, beat them if they deserve it.

This is the way I see it. Children under 16 have not earned the rights of a human being just yet. They are still developing. If they were an elephant, they'd still be in the womb. Humans have a very short gestation period and when the child is born, they are still, well, undeveloped both mentally and physically. It takes years for them to reach maturity (some actually never do). All this time you are there to guide them along. (that's where the word Guardian comes from).
You see, we don't eat our young (well most of us don't), we raise our young so that they can grow up to be one of the ignorant, mindless drones society has been producing.

Be a parent. Pay attention. Do something for someone else you selfish pricks. You've lived your life. Time for you yuppie fuckers to do something for others and not raise a pain in the ass or a psycho I'll have to pay taxes to keep behind bars.

Terrorists blame police for injuries

When you set off a bomb in a crowded area you pretty much give up all credibility to any claims you make regarding injuries. I can't open fire with a sub machine gun in MacDonalds and then blame the paramedics for mistreating the gunshot wounds.

The far left group Revolutionary Struggle, which claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Economy and Finance Ministry in Greece, blamed police for the three people injured in the attack and threatened a new cycle of violence against authorities.

Here's what I'm thinking. Perhaps the explosive device you set off at the Ministry had something to do with the injuries. What do you think? You weren't excatly setting off a fireworks display. You see, a bomb is made for destruction. Put it under a bridge, you destroy the bridge. Demolition teams use bombs to destroy old buildings in what we call a 'controlled explosion'. Now, when you set off one of these 'bombs' on a city street you are going to hurt people. This concludes the first lesson in fanatical terrorism 101. Tomorrow I'll explain why no one likes you.

In a proclamation published in the weekly Pontiki newspaper, the group explained that last Monday’s bomb attack was planned in a way to avoid causing physical harm to people.
“The attack was aimed at causing only material damage,” read the eight-page proclamation.
“The exclusive responsibility for the people slightly injured lies with the British- and American-trained police who proved to be idiotic and dangerously incapable,” it added.

See, now, if you hadn't set off a bomb in a city street, no one would have gotten hurt. You can't blame the police. Say this with me now, "I set off an explosive". See what I'm getting at here? It's like hurling children into a rough ocean and blaming the lifeguards who fail to save the drowning for poor training. If I hadn't thrown the kids into the waves, they wouldn't have drowned. This concludes the lesson I call "Cause and Effect." Tomorrow we'll be learning how to take responsiblity for your own actions.

Group members called the police twice about the explosion some 30 minutes before the bomb went off.

How very thoughtful of you bastards. And giving them a whole half an hour to clear a busy street. You realize your all completly insane right? How come you can't be insane in a fun way and just rant and rave about how goblins stole your underwear? Or maybe, go hang yourselves or something everyone will enjoy like that?

Revolutionary Struggle says it wants to wage war on the free market policies of the conservative government and attack the United States, which it accused of pressuring Greece into buying American military jets.

America is jet-pushers now? How come America is to blame for every fucking thing wrong with another country? It's not like we sold you tainted heroin or herpes-infected hookers for fucks sake. Your country can use those jets to protect themselves against terrorists. You know, like you guys.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shark Attacks Man Off Maui

Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin'... 'til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin' and your hollerin' those sharks come in and... they rip you to pieces.
- Quint from the movie Jaws

A San Diego man was attacked by a shark Wednesday while swimming in the ocean off Maui, officials said. Jonathan Genant, 29, was alone when a shark bit his left hand about 200 yards off Keawakapu Beach. He was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition. Hospital spokeswoman Carol Clark said Genant lost his little finger and a portion of his ring finger.

There's many reasons I tend not to swim too much in the ocean.

Reason # 1: There are many things in the ocean that can kill you if you step on them
Reason # 2: There are many things in the ocean that can kill you if they touch you
Reason # 3: There are many things in the ocean that can kill you if they bite you
Reason # 4: There are many things in the ocean that will eat you
Reason # 5: We don't know about everything in the water just yet

Have you ever been to an aquarium? Seen those creatures that swim along between your legs while you're hovering in the water? Fuck that. The ocean is a sharks home, he doesn't come to my house, I stay out of his. Nothing wrong with swimming but it's always a risk, especially in the warmer waters.
Problem is that now people are going to hunt the shark that bit this guy as an example to other sharks that...what...they can't do what they're breed to? You go in the water it's like getting out of the truck in the Serengetti. Something might try to eat you.

Respect the water cause some of the things in it won't respect you enough not to call you lunch

LA police find dynamite cache following standoff

A cache of roughly 50 pounds of old, deteriorating dynamite was found in a warehouse following a standoff, and authorities burned down the building after determining the explosives were too dangerous to move.

Police believe the location was being used to house stolen goods and that the dynamite was not connected to terrorism.

I'm glad they recovered 50 pounds of dynamite and while it may not have been stolen with the intention of using it for terrorism, who do you think would be in the market for such an item? Normally it's the televisions and the stereos that people buy if they "fall off a truck" not 50 pounds of explosives.

"Um yes, I need a crate of unstable combustibles to use as a coffee table and I'm just not willing to pay the normal asking price."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Puppy smugglers profiting at the U.S. border

Puppy smuggling? Are you fucking kidding me.

Smugglers are buying puppies at rock-bottom prices in Mexico and selling them in the United States for up to $1,000, often to owners who later discover the canines are too sick or too young to survive on their own, authorities said.

Well, maybe you shouldn't buy the pure-bred Siberian Husky from Jose outside the Shoprite.
Seriously, there are a lot of other things being smuggled into the US we should more concerned about rather than Rover and Fluffy.

The Border Puppy Task Force — a group of 18 animal control and health agencies and animal protection groups — said Tuesday a two-week operation at San Diego’s two border crossings confirmed what they long suspected: Mexico is a breeding ground for unscrupulous puppy peddlers.

At least their not breeding TERRORISTS. Unscrupulous puppy peddlers? Those BASTARDS!
And please tell me my taxes aren't paying for the fucking Border Puppy Task Force. It'd be better spent to aide research into why retarded kids eat their boogers.

Iranian musicians upset by president's music purge

If anyone needs a television camera following them around it's Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. This guy's a comedic goldmine.

Iranian musicians reacted with a mixture of anger and dismay on Wednesday to a directive from a body headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeking to scrap Western music from the state media's playlists.
Iranians might not be humming along to versions of Abba and the Eagles for much longer, if a recommendation issued on Sunday is embraced by the state television and radio networks.

They listen to The Eagles in Iran? So they hate us, but love our music. Does that mean it's possible to be beheaded with the song 'Hotel California' playing in the background. That's just too much for me.

Iranian musicians saw the directive as a step back to the ideals of the 1979 revolution, so close to Ahmadinejad's heart.

I was born in 1979. Oops...I bet I'm on some sort of watch list now.

One senior Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Mohammadali Movahedi Kermani, said the "traditional" Persian music he saw on a state television programme failed to reach the standards demanded by religious law. "Have we been created by Allah to have fun? They are wasting people's time with leisure and idle pastimes."

Have we been created to have fun? I'd like to think so. If we weren't supposed to have fun, why's it feel so right. Come on Kermani, get up and dance. Shake that booty!

Iran has an extensive black market in which young people can find most of the latest Western hits at very cheap prices. Many download music off the Internet.

Hope is alive and well in Iran's young. How can you hate the country that gave you the IPod, the internet porn or the large holes we've left in the Continent of Asia. Let's all celebrate our love of music by stopping nuclear ambitions. You first Iran.

$50,000 reward offered for info on missing explosives

Oh fuck.

6-year-old among 3 shot at Wal-Mart; 2 in custody

Clean-up, Isle 12.

A shooting inside a Wal-Mart wounded a 6-year-old girl, an employee and another man Tuesday, police said. Two suspects were arrested.
Police also were searching for a "person of interest" who may have witnessed the shooting.

Nothing helps it feel more like the most wonderful time of the year than a random shooting inside a Wal-Mart. God Bless us everyone.

Crash investigators find crack in plane's wing

And every other piece of twisted metal they pulled from the Atlantic.

The right wing that detached from a vintage seaplane before it plunged into the sea off Miami Beach, killing 20 people, showed signs of a metal fatigue crack when examined, a top federal official said Wednesday morning.

There was a crack in the wing that fell off the plane? Something's not right about that...

Investigators were able to retrieve the right wing Tuesday, and the engine and propeller were still attached to it.

Too bad the rest of the plane couldn't hang on. It's never a good sign when the wing of the plane just drops off. You're pretty much guarenteed a bumpy landing at that point.

The vintage seaplane, operated by Chalk's Ocean Airways, crashed Monday afternoon shortly after takeoff near Miami Beach with 18 passengers, including three children under the age of 2, and two crew members.
Mark Rosenker, the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which analyzed the wing said investigators had video from the U.S. Coast Guard and CNN, and will be getting video from a New York tourist who witnessed the crash. Rosenker said the video that captured the plane's final seconds will likely yield "great information."

Well I would think so. When the part in the video comes along where the right wing bursts into flames and then detaches from the fuselage, you might want to pay close attention. Something about that sounds like it may have caused the plane to crash. But what do I know, I'm no pilot.

A salvage team will continue working Wednesday to lift the wreckage from about 35 feet of water.
"This is a delicate operation," Rosenker said at a news conference earlier Tuesday. "There's a great deal of science to this type of recovery."

"Unfortunately, the way the wreckage is situated, it does not lend itself to access very easily," he said.

The way the wreckage is situated? Oh, you mean the fact that its on the bottom of the fucking ocean. Yeah, that could make the operation delicate. Careful for sharks now.

Bethlehem walled off by Israel this Christmas

Merry Christmas all you Catholics and Christians out there. This holiday season, celebrate the birth of the savior by staring at a towering concrete wall.

Pilgrims travelling the ancient route from Jerusalem to Bethlehem this Christmas will find themselves hitting a dead end -- a towering concrete wall and metal gate under the lock and key of the Israeli army.

The dusty road to the town of Jesus's birth has been the gateway to Bethlehem since biblical times and would have been the likely path taken by Mary and Joseph. But today it leads to what the mayor of Bethlehem calls "the world's largest prison".

Nice. So the birthplace of arguably the most influential man in the history of the world has been turned into Sing Sing. And what better way to prove to the world that our civilization has lost their fucking minds.

If Mary and Joseph were here today, they would go through the checkpoint just like everybody else," said Sister Erica, a nun, at the crossing.

Hey, just because you're giving the immaculate birth of the son of God doesn't make you special. BACK OF THE LINE! Empty your pockets. Is that a pregnant belly Mary or an explosive belt?

"The aim of the barrier is to protect Jerusalem ... because a significant number of suicide bombers and accomplices entered Jerusalem from the Bethlehem area," Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

On the other side of a metal gate, reminiscent of a giant garage door, is the continuation of the Bethlehem Road.
The town's once-thriving entrance -- a place where in bygone years Palestinians and Israelis milled about in cafes, local stores and even a dentist's surgery -- is now almost deserted.

Come visit the Holy Land of Jesus's birth and get a free root canal. Suicide bombers, concrete and barbed wire walls. Checkpoints. He truly is the king of kings. Nothing says peace on earth and goodwill to man like the presence of armed soliders .

"It's choking the life out of our neighbourhood and our businesses," said Nikola, the Christian-Palestinian owner of the Christmas Tree restaurant, which is near Rachel's Tomb.

Yeah, something tells me that a restaurant named Christmas Tree wouldn't exactly be thriving in between Israel and Palestine concrete wall or no concrete wall. Good luck with that. A friend of mine is heading over to Saudi Arabia to open a Sex Toy shop called America's Evil Toys. Should be a hit. Maybe you'd like to help him finance this venture?

"A few years ago, this place was so crowded that I wouldn't have time to talk," said Nikola as he fried falafel balls in a vat of boiling oil in his empty restaurant. "These days, I can count the number of customers on my hand."

Or a wayward hand of a suicide bomber. Hey, does a suicide bomber count as one customer or thirty-two after he blows himself into little pieces. Umm...waiter...there's a martyr in my soup...and my hair.

Nowadays, tourists bypass the bullet-scarred neighborhood.

Yeah, those bullet-scarred neighborhoods are always so damn crowded.

"Bethlehem has been turned into a ghetto. We demand the Israelis give Bethlehem freedom. If they won't do it then we won't have peace this Christmas," Bethlehem's mayor Victor Batarseh told reporters.

Merry Christmas everybody and to all a...INCOMING!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

FBI: Murder rate up; other crimes decline in early 2005

Oh thank God, I'd much rather be shot in the throat then get scammed out of some money.

US frees 'Dr. Germ' and other Iraq detainees

Could this be something that may come back to haunt us? Only time will tell. In the meantime I will be investing in gas masks.

Saddam Hussein's weapons specialists, nicknamed ''Dr. Germ" and ''Mrs. Anthrax" in the Western media, are being released by US forces, an Iraqi lawyer said yesterday, and the US military confirmed several ''high-value detainees" were being freed.

We're releasing "high-value detainees" including "Dr. Germ" and "Mrs. Anthrax"? Shouldn't we be more interested in releasing some "low-value detainees" like "Dr. Fungus" or "Mrs. Baking Soda"? I have a feeling the stock in gas masks and duct tape is going to be rising soon.

The State Department said Rihab Taha, who was dubbed Dr. Germ by the press and admitted to producing germ warfare agents, was released because US forces could not justify keeping her as a security threat.

So when did producing germ warfare agents become a minimal security threat? Oh well, I guess you can't imprison people forever for following the orders of their president. Especially when that president has access to a human woodchipper.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush senses victory in Iraq

What is he fucking Spiderman now? Spider sense is tingling. I...sense...victory. Yeah, well I smell bullshit.

President Bush reached out last night to the critics of his war policies, insisting that the insurgents have a "tightening noose" around their necks and that U.S. forces in Iraq "are on the road to victory."

I watched the President speak last night. I was mostly hoping for one of his famous mispronunciations but alas, all I got was, well, honestly, a pretty damn good speech. I'm with the President on this one. I only ask one thing, Bin Laden. Bring us bin Laden, or Zawahiri, or Al-Zarqawi. Bring us the big terrorists you build up as the most dangerous men in sandals.

EU Joins Caravan of Pressure Against HAMAS

After Israel and the United States, the European Union also joined the caravan of pressure against the Palestinian Islamic Resistance (HAMAS) organization expected to achieve huge success in the general elections to be held on January 25.

Oh good, the Palestinians are putting militants into political seats of power. This should be interesting.

On Friday, US Congress accepted a draft law to stop aid to Palestine if this Islamic political wing of the armed faction comes to power.

That's going to make us mighty popular in the area.

Ah...fuck em.

Protests and cheers at Britain's first gay 'wedding'

Imagine looking back at your wedding day photos and having to explain to people why your day of bliss included protestors and picket signs.

To loud cheers, Grainne Close, a social worker from Belfast, and Shannon Sickels, a playwright from New York City, walked hand in hand from a black taxi and into Belfast City Hall this morning to become Britain's first gay couple to have their relationship recognised by law.
"We just want to say that this is a very privileged position we are in this morning, and for us this is about making a choice," said Ms Close, 32, who wore a black tuxedo, as she led Ms Sickels, dressed in a white trouser suit, through a mob of photographers and television crews.

Yeah whatever, you'll be sick of each other in a year or two. (These high-publicity marriages never work out). I'm so sick of the whole gay marriage thing I swear I'm going to try to marry my toothbrush to change the fucking subject.

I don't care if two men, or two women, or a man and a cat for that matter, want to marry. I DON'T CARE! If two gay people want to live next door to me I have two requests. One, keep the noise down and two, don't ask to borrow anything cause I'm not really into the whole friendly neighborhood comraderie thing. (I'm the same to my neighbors now who aren't homosexuals, just a drunk drug addict and a single mother with depression issues which makes me wonder if living next to homosexuals would really be the worst thing in the world.)

Sharon suffers minor stroke three months ahead of elections

Wow, I can hear the Palestinians cheering from here.

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rested in hospital on Monday after a minor stroke that raised questions over his political future, but doctors said he should recover fully and was unlikely to face another attack.

Another stroke that is. I wouldn't rule out the word attack in his future...not in that region. You know why Americans tend to drop dead earlier and more frequently than Europeans? Cause we live such stressful lives. However, I'm not surprised the Prime Minister of Israel had a stroke. It's got to be more stressful over there than being caught by your wife with another woman in a hotel room that decorates it's walls and furniture with butcher knives.

Sharon told Israeli media overnight that he was fine.
"I guess I should have taken a few days off," he said. "There are people who are already interested in a replacement? Well, maybe it's too soon. I'm still here, no?"

Ssshhh! Don't jinx yourself man.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday Sign of Hope 12/18/05

Fake Firefighter Suspect Caught In Tennessee

A fugitive New York fashion writer wanted for questioning in the Halloween night sexual attack on a woman in her Manhattan apartment by a man posing as a city firefighter was captured Friday on a college campus in Tennessee, police said.

Peter Braunstein, 42, slashed himself in the neck with a knife after he was confronted by police on the University of Memphis campus, police said.

Braunstein, who had tormented investigators for weeks by popping up in public, only to disappear again, was spotted on campus by a woman who police said recognized him from media reports.

"He said, 'I'm the person you're looking for,' and he stabbed himself three times in the neck," Browne said.

Memphis police Sgt. Vincent Higgins said Braunstein was hospitalized in critical condition.

Several times over the past two months, the NYPD had swarmed neighborhoods from where someone had called in a Braunstein sighting, NewsChannel 4 reported. But the trail had gone cold until, in recent weeks, sources said Braunstein went to Ohio and then to Tennessee.

In Chelsea, neighbors said they were breathing easier.

"I'm glad he's caught," said Carol Bowden. "Let's put it that way."

"It took far too long, but it's not their fault the guy's a creep," said Carol Krol.

"He destroyed the holiday for children who live in the building who were trick-or-treating while he was doing what he was doing," said Tom Carroll.

For the entire story click here: WNBC

Saturday, December 17, 2005

EU leaders warn Iran over president's remarks

You know, there are only so many warning shots you can give before you run out of ammo

Friday, December 16, 2005

Iran Official Recasts Holocaust Comments

This is going to be priceless.

The Iranian president's widely condemned remarks about Israel and the Holocaust were "misunderstood" by Western governments, Iran's interior minister said Friday.

Oh, our mistake. We thought when you said that Israel should be wiped off the map and then you said you doubted the the Holocaust ever happened and that Israel should be moved to Germany or Austria you meant you didn't like Israel and wished it harm and that you didn't think the genocide of the Jewish people in the 1940's occured. Silly us. Please, tell us what you really meant.

Mostafa Pur Mohammadi told The Associated Press: "Actually the case has been misunderstood. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad id not mean to raise this matter.

What, was he off his meds? What do you mean he didn't 'mean' to raise the matter? You don't accidentally start talking about the destruction and relocation of an entire country. And as for the doubting the Holocaust, he said that twice. So either he meant to say it or he's got multiple personality disorder.

"He wanted to say that if certain people have created troubles for the Jewish community they should bear the expenses, and it is not others who should pay for that."

I have a feeling this is all going to be resolved real soon anyway. It's going to involve a couple of really loud bangs, followed by some bigger bangs and then that land that's so freaking holy to everyone over there is going to be unihabitable for everyone.

White House, Congress Reach Agreement on Torture Ban

We needed to reach an agreement on a torture ban? Shouldn't that just be a resounding universal understanding that torturing people is bad.

President Bush has reached agreement with Republican Senators on a law barring the cruel or inhuman treatment of foreign detainees in U.S. custody. The Bush administration had originally threatened to veto the measure saying it weakened the president's ability to fight the war on terrorism.

Alright, here's my argument. I know many will disagree with me on this but lets be reasonable. Let's say there's an Al-Qaeda sleeper cell activated somewhere in the US. There are five members to this cell. We catch one. He doesn't want to talk to authorities. No matter how many times we say please or how many cookies we offer him, he remains tight-lipped. Now, in the meantime, the other four lunatics are planning to deteonate a nuclear weapon in your backyard. I really don't mind if we slowly remove each and every finger on his hand until he spills his guts. The end justifies the means in this case.

Now, I understand the argument that we would run the risk of torturing an innocent and that is why I present to you this. Let's take Khalid Shiekh Mohammad for example. Admitted Al-Qaeda terrorist. High ranking in the network. No question of his involvement in September 11th attack. Why do we care if the CIA is letting a Doberman chew on his genitals so we can avert any future attacks or maybe, dare I say, bring in other people responsible for September 11th, like, I don't know, Bin Laden or Zawahiri to justice? Shouldn't we agree that this gentleman forfeited his human rights when he participated in an act that violated over 3,000 peoples right not to be killed by a passenger plane.

As long as we play by rules that terrorist don't pay mind to, we will never win. Sometimes you have to play dirty. Protecting the country isn't a board game like Trival Pursuit. Sometimes you have to throw the rule book out and do things that under normal circumstances you wouldn't even think of. Now, as far as enemy combatants like former Hussein military in Iraq, no, they shouldn't be tortured. But those responsible for beheading our civilians, reporters or aide workers. You don't see the Arab world up in arms arguing for Americans human rights do you?

When was it written that the US has to abide by rules the rest of the world could push to the side? Since when did the US allow itself to be treated like eldest child that should know better?

"We've sent a message to the world that the United States is not like the terrorists," said Senator John McCain. "We have no brief for them. But what we are is a nation that upholds values and standards of behavior and treatment of all people no matter how evil or bad they are, and I think that this will help us enormously in wining the war for the hearts and minds of people throughout the world in the war on terror."

This would be true in a normal world. Unfortunately, this world is more fucked up than a Hollywood actress with low self-esteem. I would love to think the world would look upon America and think, "Hey, you know, that America country really has some strong values and standards that are admirable. Let's second guess our hatred for them and put down the explosive belts." It's not going to happen. All we're doing is limited our means to protect ourselves and innocent people anywhere where a terrorist might strike.

Maybe somebody would think twice about joining Al-Qaeda if we starting parading heads on spikes and having public burnings of militant bodies. Sounds harsh but they would do it to us in a heartbeat, they already have actually. Fair is fair.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

With Strike Looming, Bloomberg Says Get Creative

Yeah, I don't think making a picture of a bus out of macaroni and glue is going to get my ass to work on time Bloomy.

"It will not be easy for anybody in any part of all five boroughs, and the only thing I can urge you to do is to make plans, try to be inventive, bicycle, walk, stay with a friend," Bloomberg said Wednesday at a news conference as he discussed the city's contingency plan in the case of a strike.

The day I bike my ass to work in the middle of December is the day I quit my fucking job. Isn't this what sick days are for?

Look I could give two shits (I always wondered about that saying, give two shits, kind of a real nasty image) why the NY transit workers are striking. I care about one thing. Traffic. And this is going to cause traffic to become hell on earth. I'm calling out tomorrow.

We did go to war on faulty intelligence, Bush admits

Faulty, no, no, no, Christmas lights that don't blink are 'faulty'. The intelligence we went to war on was bullshit.

President Bush admitted yesterday for the first time that his decision to go to war in Iraq was based on faulty intelligence. But he still said that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein had been “the right one”.

I respect a man who admits his mistakes four years after the fact. I think we all knew this already Bush. But thanks for offically coming clean. Now, let's focus on the task at hand shall we.

Israel raises alarm over Iran

Yeah, maybe we shouldn't hit the snooze button on this one. Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

Israel called yesterday for the international community to wake up to the threat posed by Iran after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust was a "myth" and suggested the Jewish state be relocated outside the Middle East.

Hey, I'm not really all that qualified to make this assessment but, SOMEBODY"S GOING TO BOMB SOMEBODY!

The outlandish statements come amidst growing debate in Israel over the need to prepare for a pre-emptive strike to ensure Tehran doesn't develop nuclear-weapons capability.

I'm telling you. WWIII in the making here. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see this. In fact, I'm sure rocket scientist are being employed because of this.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, giving his third anti-Israel speech in a week, told a crowd in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan that "they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets." The remarks were carried on live television.

Apparently Mr. Ahmadinejad is seeking to shatter the record for insane rantings in a single month. I'm telling you people of Earth, this is not going to have a happy ending if someone doesn't get off their ass and do something about this.

Large Turnout Reported as Iraqis Vote Under Tight Security

Whether you are one with a positive outlook on the war in Iraq, willing to accept US casualties as a price for freedom and good will, or have a negative opinion on a war you call "based on lies" and view each soldiers death as a waste of human life, one thing is for sure today. Iraqis voted and voted in large numbers. A step towards the freedom of the people of Iraq? Maybe. But if it brings Iraq a step closer to a security tight enough to allow our soldiers to return to their families, it should be celebrated.

Iraqis voted in a historic parliamentary election Thursday, with strong turnout reported in Sunni Arab areas that had shunned balloting last January, bolstering U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops.

Will the Middle East ever become a peaceful region that can learn to dislike Israel, America and Western culture without trying to blow it up? I don't think we'll see it in our lifetime. But maybe, with this vote, we've planted some seeds of tolerance and showed at least one nation that terrorism, whatever the cause, is not the resolution to disagreements and nothing more than a tarnish on Islam and the culture of its followers.

Maybe the people of Iraq will begin to understand that you can dislike a country's foreign policy, dislike the attitude of the majority of a nations masses but still co-exist on the same planet as they do without turning to violence and harmful wishes that cause outbreaks of celebration when said country undergoes a tragedy. Maybe the people of Iraq will see how a nations people could disagree with their own governments policies and still, have no control over it. Maybe the Iraqi people will come to understand that the American people, the majority of the American people, want nothing more than to live a peaceful life without having someone slam a plane into their office building at 9am or blow themselves up on the subway during an already miserable morning commute.

I have nothing against the Arabic nations (except Iran, they're pissing me off). I don't wish harm to the Pakistanis or the Saudi Arabians. Do I agree with their beliefs? Nope. Do I think living a life based on religious law is a positive way to run a country? Not at all. Do I think women should have the right to drive? Um...Well...Next question. Do I lump all Iranians into a bowl of Islamic fury ready to boil over and attack the globe? No, I don't blame the Iranian people for the words of their President. I wouldn't want anyone blaming me for President Bush.

My point is this. The vote in Iraq today marks something. It may not be complete victory, it isn't. It may not mark a truly democratic country's birth and it may not mean peace in the region. But it does mark the accomplishment of something that militants in the region swore to stop. It's a victory against militant Islam who, when you cut the PC talk and the fear of calling a spade a spade in this country, is the real enemy of people everywhere in these days.

I'm glad the Iraqis voted. I'm glad the democratic process, while maybe not happily embraced, at least had its chance today. Now the Iraqis will come to understand one thing about America. No matter who you vote for, no matter what candidate stands up and becomes the leader of the nation, they all care about one thing. Money. It's up to you to make yourself a better life. And try to do so without killing anyone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Body Found On 'Sesame Street' Performer's Property

It's don't want to know the way to Sesame Street.

A 36-year-old man was charged with kidnapping Tuesday night in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found on property owned by the performer who plays Big Bird on the children's television show "Sesame Street," state police said.

Count with me everyone, 1 - 2 - 3 - 4, 4 bullet holes in this woman's abdomen ha-ha-ha. Today's episode was brought to you in part by the letters D, N, A and the numbers 9 and 11.

Caroll Spinney, who also plays Oscar the Grouch on the show, had nothing to do with the woman's death, said Sgt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman.

Could you imagine how fucked up this world would have to be for Big Bird to be charged with murder? I would hang myself in the closet.

Funeral Turns Into Anti-Syrian Protest

Same thing happened at my Grandmothers funeral.

The funeral for a leading newspaper editor slain in a car bomb turned into a massive protest against Syria on Wednesday, drawing more than 100,000 Lebanese who blamed Damascus for the latest in a string of politically motivated killings.
Tens of thousands of flag-waving mourners marched behind the coffin of anti-Syrian campaigner Gibran Tueni as it snaked through the streets of Beirut. Thousands more, including mourners and political activists, gathered in two plazas as the procession passed by. Shouts of "Syria out" intermingled with patriotic music and the national anthem.
A general strike to mourn Tueni brought the country to a halt, closing banks, businesses and schools.

Man, I hope when I die the whole country halts and mourns. Imagine the life this man must have lead that his entire country is willing to stand behind him in death. That's quite an accomplishment. Right now if I were shot and killed I'd only get a bill for the carpet cleaning.

Police, who would not speak on the record because of the political sensitivity, estimated more than 100,000 people turned out for the funeral and the demonstrations. But other witnesses and observers said the turnout may have been as high as 200,000.

Does it really matter? 100,000 or 200,000, after about 1,500 you just know you're going to run out of chairs. Could you imagine a funeral that fucking large. With my luck I'd get stuck behind the fucking hearse car line on the highway.

"We are here to say, no matter how many of us they kill, there will always be others to speak out," said 23-year-old Hiyam Dayekh, a Muslim university student. "We are not afraid."

Syria has yet to learn one important lesson. Targeted killings never turn out well. It always rallies the opposition. Try leaking a dirty secret about the person to one of those supermarket newspapers that you have to read at checkout. That'll work better.

Pakistan opposes use of force against Iran

Yeah, well, you'd have a whole other attitude if they hated you as much as they hate us.

Shootout in Front of Al-Fatah Headquarters

Kind of makes you wonder whether there would REALLY be peace in the middle east without Israel.

A fight erupted between rival militant groups in front of the al-Fatah headquarters in the Gaza Strip.
Lead by Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, al-Fatah is comprised of many Palestinian factions.

If you Palestinians want to have any hope of co-existing peacefully anywhere you're going to have to learn to leave the guns at home. Outward displays of violence makes the world view you as uncivil and not worth dealing with. Do what us Americans do and keep the violence hush-hush. We don't go out and have shootouts on the streets (not usually but they happen at schools and malls). We poison our loved ones for insurance money.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Sopranos" Actor Facing Murder Rap

This is just some sad shit right here.

Lillo Brancato, the former "Sopranos" actor was arrested for investigation of killing an off-duty New York police officer. Officer Daniel Enchautegui, 28, was shot in the chest early Saturday after he allegedly caught Brancato, 29, and Steven Armento, 48, trying to burglarize an apartment in a bid to score Valium, authorities said. Enhautegui emptied his eight-shot pistol before he died, hitting Armento six times and Brancato twice, police said.
Both men were listed in fair condition at a hospital.

If you're going to go out, hitting eight out of eight bullets into the scumbags who kill you is the way to go. Nice shooting Enchautegui.

And Valium? You kill a cop because you were trying to score Valium? That's the stupidest shit I ever heard. You are going to wish you had died from those gunshot wounds too. You ever see the show Oz?

A woman who answered the telephone Monday at the home of Domenica Brancato, Lillo Brancato's mother, said his mother had no comment.

Well what is she supposed to say, "my son is a piece of shit"?

Brancato also had been arrested in June for heroin possession and again just two days before the Bronx shooting.

Boy, his star was shining brightly. At least he didn't have a long way to fall.
When I first heard about this story I was a bit shocked. They announced on the news that a Sopranos actor had killed a cop and I immediately thought "Why Lorraine Braco, why?". Then I found out it was this piece of shit. Why someone who has been in movies, successful ones at that, would turn to drugs is understandable. I mean, I turned to drugs when I was 16 and I've never even been on TV. But to get so involved in substances that you kill a cop is just unbelievable. Throws away everything you've ever done and everything you ever will. Nice job there Lillo. And what kind of name is Lillo anyway. I'm calling you L from now on. Or shithead.

Iran's President Again Doubts Holocaust

My girlfriend and I had a discussion with our little one just the other days trying to help her understand that while negative attention is still attention, it's the bad sort of attention and a type of attention that can get a missile fired into your bedroom window (our daughter is still sleeping in the bathtub).

Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is that we learn from them. Right?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reiterated his doubt about the Holocaust and called on Muslim nations to take a proactive stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, state media reported Tuesday.
The president's comments, published on Iranian state television's Web site, were the second time in a week he has expressed doubt about the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II. In October, Ahmadinejad also said Israel should be "wiped off the map."

Not exactly diplomatic huh? Since I started doing this blog I've learned a lot about the Israel / Palestine conflict over there in the Holy Land. Certain things have come to light. Since, as an American, my first instinct is to blame the Palestinians, I decided to be fair and objective. My conculsion?

Israelis and Palestinians are fucking crazy. They are arguing over dirt. I don't care who was their first and who's God has a bigger penis then the other or whatever. All I care about right now is that my Christmas tree fell over this morning and my ornaments broke.
I care that Iran may be trying to obtain the know-how and ability to become a nuclear-armed country, especially with a leader as crazy as, well, Israelis and Palestinians. You know, that whole part of the globe has been nothing but trouble lately.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christian soldiers battle the 'War on Christmas'

Oh for fucks sake. Can we please just call it Christmas before these psychos start suicide bombing 'Happy Holidays' signs?

Court rejects California gang founder's appeal

The California Supreme Court has rejected a late appeal to reopen the case of condemned Crips gang leader Stanley Tookie Williams, leaving his fate in the hands of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday.

Williams, 51, is slated be executed at 12:01 a.m. (0801 GMT) on Tuesday for murdering four people in two 1979 robberies around Los Angeles.

In recent weeks, Williams' supporters had argued he was a life worth sparing because his message inspires inner-city youth.

Quick question, do you think maybe the four people Stanley murdered during those robberies had lives worth sparing? Does Williams deserve to die? Probably not anymore. But did those four people deserve to die? Nope, definitely not. So what are you to do here? If you make a exception for Williams then you'll have every murderer on death row writing childrens books and trying to better themselves in order to be spared.

You know, now that I type it, it doesn't sound that horrible. But I'd have a while other attitude if I had personally known the people Williams killed. Sometimes people get their act together a few years too late.

Explosion rocks central Athens

More bombings, this isn't good.

A massive explosion shook central Athens Monday morning, causing extensive damage to an area near the Finance Ministry and the central post office, a ministry spokesman said.

There were no reports of casualties.

A senior police source said investigators are treating the blast as if it were a terrorist attack and deem it "a very serious incident."

Authorities had advance notice of the blast as an anonymous warning call was placed at 5:30 a.m. local time to Eleftherotytia, a left wing newspaper, and were able to clear a four to five block area.

"Strong explosion in 40 minutes. This is not a farce," the caller said, according to the newspaper. The paper received a second call 10 minutes later, pinpointing the location of the blast along Mitropoulos, a central Athens street.

Oh how cute, a terrorist with a conscience. At least no one was hurt. One question though. What has Greece done to anyone? That's like setting off a bomb in Iceland.

Racial Violence Continues in Australia

You know, Australia was originally a British penal coloney. I think I've said enough about that.

Firemen Try to Extinguish British Oil Fire

Ever think you'd live to see the day that whenever there is a huge explosion your first thoughts are that you hope it wasn't some sort of terrorist act. Well, unless I have a group of zombies stopping by, you have.

A series of huge explosions at a fuel depot north of London rocked southern England early Sunday, sending flames 300 feet into the sky and spreading a dense column of smoke over the countryside. Police, while saying they did not know the cause of the blasts, said the incident appeared to be an accident. But four days earlier, an al-Qaida videotape appeared on the Internet calling for attacks on facilities carrying oil "stolen" from Muslims in the Middle East, The Associated Press reported.

Sad to say but me thinks this bears the mark of militant Islam. But we shouldn't lower our heads if it is, we should actually rejoice. Why you ask? Why in the fuck would we want to rejoice about a terrorist attack? I'll tell you. It's because Al-Qaeda and their branches are drying up. Al-Qaeda's number 2 (ha-ha, Zawahiri is # 2, you know, like poo) Ayman al-Zawahiri an Egyptian who holds a PHD in fanaticism, called on Muslims to join jihad and called the current lack of men willing to become members of the Mujahideen a "malignant illness".

You know what else is a illness there Doc? RADICAL ISLAM!

Al-Qaeda is in its death throes. At least, I hope it is. And when the fuck are we going to arrest or kill Bin Laden. Wasn't I promised his head about four years ago. And what about Mullah Omar, the supreme leader of the Taliban? You know he's only got one eye. Why can't we find a one eyed man wandering in the desert yet they have no problem tracking me down for an unpaid seatbelt ticket?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Sign of Hope 12/11/05

Citizens Turn Over 'Butcher of Ramadi' to Iraqi, U.S. Troops

from DOD News:

The terrorist known as "the Butcher of Ramadi" was detained today, turned in by local citizens in the provincial capital of Iraq's Anbar province, U.S. military officials in Iraq reported.

Amir Khalaf Fanus -- listed third on a "high-value individuals" list of terrorists wanted by the 28th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team -- was wanted for criminal activities including murder and kidnapping. Ramadi citizens brought him to an Iraqi and U.S. forces military base in Ramadi, where he was taken into custody.

Fanus was well known for his crimes against the local populace. He is the highest-ranking al Qaeda in Iraq member to be turned in to Iraqi and U.S. officials by local citizens.

His capture is another indication that the local citizens tire of the terrorists' presence within their community, Multinational Force Iraq officials said, adding that Iraqi and U.S. forces have witnessed increasing signs of citizens fighting the terrorists in Ramadi as the Dec. 15 national elections draw near.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Chinese Official Says Fewer Than 20 Protesters Shot

Oh, only less than twenty? Well, that's hardly even news worthy.

Armed with guns and shields, hundreds of riot police sealed off a southern Chinese village after fatally shooting as many as 20 demonstrators and were searching for the protest organizers.

I bet those protest organizers are just jumping up, hands waving, trying to get noticed. Shooting protestors is like trying to put out a fire with your grandmother. You're only going to make things way, way fucking worse.

During the demonstration Tuesday in Dongzhou, a village in southern Guangdong province, thousands of people gathered to protest the amount of money offered by the government as compensation for land to be used to construct a wind power plant.
Police fired into the crowd and killed a handful of people, mostly men, villagers reached by telephone said Friday. Villagers' accounts of the death toll ranged from two and 10, with many missing.

This is why we as Americans need to really open our eyes and appreciate the freedoms we have left. Just imagine living in a country where police disperse crowds by holding target practice. At least when we hold a protest we only get beaten and handcuffed with those little plastic do-dads that can moonlight as bread-bag ties. We get thrown into the back of trucks by the dozens and then tossed into a cell with criminals who are just so sick of masturbating they don't care if it's gay. But hey, at least you don't get shot.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Hamas chief says truce with Israel is over

You guys had a truce going? oh...couldn't tell.

Man killed, raped mom

A 19-year-old man strangled his mother and then went shopping at a mall before returning to their apartment and killing his grandfather, police said. Clifford Anthony Davis told investigators he killed his 42-year-old mother, Stephanie Davis, on Sunday, then had sex with the body, Bradenton police said. Hours later, after leaving his mother's half-nude body and going shopping, he came back to the apartment and killed his 77-year-old grandfather.

Oh for the love of God. Could this get any worse?

Police said the killings were planned and methodical.

Yup. I don't know what to say about this story. You shouldn't kill your mother. Sometimes I can understand WANTING to kill your mother but it takes a certain level of insanity to actual do so. But it happens. Now, having sex with your mothers dead corspe. Now that takes a level of insanity that I though previously unattainable. I mean, you'd have to practice for years to get that fucked up in the head.

Israel slams 'dangerous' Ahmadinejad

Who the fuck is in charge over there, Howard Stern? Anymore controversal comments out of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's mouth and someone's going to offer him a album contract at a rap label.

Israel has called Iran's president "very dangerous" after he expressed doubt that the holocaust occurred and suggested the Jewish state be moved to Europe.

Mohmoud does understand how hard it would be to move an entire country right? I mean, it's not like changing apartments. And remember how hard it was for Israel to vacate Gaza? You'd have an easier time convincing Osama bin Laden to convert to Scientology.

As for the doubting the Holocaust. Maybe Mahmoud's not a big history buff.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that if Germany and Austria believed that Jews were massacred during the second world war, a state of Israel should be established on their soil.

Umm...its more than Germany and Austria that believe in the Holocaust there Mahmoud. If you're going to go that route there's going to be a state of Israel pretty much in every civilized country on the globe and um...well, we really don't have the room for that.

Is there some sort of medication Mahmoud should be taking?

Jet Skids Off Chicago Runway, Kills Child

Touchy subject considering the lose of life of such a young child but, hey, lets have at it anyways.

A jetliner with more than 100 people aboard skidded across a Chicago runway Thursday evening, slammed through a fence and struck two vehicles in the street, pinning one beneath it. A 6-year-old boy in one car was killed, and 10 other people, including two in the plane, were injured, authorities said.

Now, its a tragedy that a 6-year old was killed but you could say that if you're driving down the highway and your car is struck by a jetliner and you get killed, it really, really was your time to go.

The passengers aboard the Southwest flight arriving amid heavy snow at Midway International Airport thought it was a normal landing before they felt a jolt and the plane was in the street.
"I saw snow rush over the wing, then there was a big bump," said passenger Larry Vazzano, 54, of Baltimore.

First sign something's wrong with the landing: You see headlights outside the window.
Second sign: toll booths.
Third sign: You exit the plane at a MacDonalds drive through.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the plane had circled Midway for 30 to 35 minutes because of the weather and the flight traffic before it was cleared for landing on the airport's 6,500-foot runway.

Cleared for landing? Maybe that wasn't the best call.

"There are no indications that there are any maintenance problems with that aircraft whatsoever," Kelly said.

Aside from the planes use of the car pool lane of course.

Freak accidents happen. It's sad that there was the lose of life, especially one so young. And hey, what's with all the planes skidding off runways recently? It seems to be happening more and more frequently. Maybe we should extend the runways. Or maybe have the planes land into nets. Oh that would be so cool.