Tuesday, July 31, 2007

U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Lowest in 8 Months

Ah, some good news, and it's not even Sunday.

The U.S. military said Tuesday that a Marine was killed in fighting west of the capital, bringing the American death toll for July to at least 73 - still the lowest in eight months.

Well that's a depressing way to start good news.

An Apache helicopter also went down Tuesday after coming under fire in a predominantly Shiite area in eastern Baghdad, but both crew members were safely evacuated, the military said.

Media sure does have a funny way of being positive.

President Bush's nominee to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meanwhile, acknowledged that slow progress in Iraq is hurting America's credibility and emboldening Iran's regional ambitions.

This isn't a happy news article is it? This is a bad news article in good news clothing. The rest of the article continues this way. Even when it's pretending to be positive the media just can't help but serve up heepings of negativity. Why? Cause good news doesn't sell. If the war in Iraq is truly lost it's because the US people want it to be lost. We seem to hate anything positive.

Monday, July 30, 2007

China Military Marks 80th Anniversary

I always thought China was older.

China's military is celebrating its 80th birthday Wednesday with snazzy new uniforms, lavish exhibitions and a degree of transparency for a force long swathed in secrecy.

So when did China's military go Broadway?

Yet even with the public relations drive, the buildup of the People's Liberation Army continues to stir concern among some of China's neighbors. Observers say the new openness—touted as a sign of modernization—remains highly limited.

Yeah, we here in our democracies don't like secrets in our government business. That only leads to scandals like the Vice President claiming he isn't part of the executive branch, missing e-mails, unexplained firings of nine attorneys, lies that lead to war, secret overseas prisons and the like. Yes sir, we don't like highly limited openness in government.

China's army "is making significant efforts to improve their foreign military exchanges, but still has a long way to go in the area of transparency," said David Shambaugh, an expert on the Chinese military at George Washington University.

I'm actually embarassed. I really am.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope July 29th 2007

Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds unite to hail cup-winning heroes

From Scotsman:

"THIS is not just about football, this is more important than that. This has brought great happiness to a whole country. This is not about a team, this is about human beings."

So said Jorvan Vieira, Iraq's national football team coach, yesterday after his side achieved one of sport's great fairytale moments, beating the favourites Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the Asian Cup final in Jakarta to provide a rare moment for celebration in their war-torn homeland.

In the 71st minute of the match, Iraqi captain Younis Mahmoud, a Sunni, climbed to head a perfectly-weighted corner from Hawar Mulla Mohammed, a Kurd, into the net.

"Those heroes have shown the real Iraq. They have done something useful for the people as opposed to the politicians and lawmakers who are stealing or killing each other," said Sabah Shaiyal, 43, a policeman in Baghdad's Shiite district of Sadr City.

"Once again, our national team has shown that there is only one, united Iraq."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Scientists breed world’s first mentally ill mouse

Oh great, serial killer mice.

SCIENTISTS have created the world’s first schizophrenic mice in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the illness.

So how do you know a mouse is schizophrenic?

It is believed to be the first time an animal has been genetically engineered to have a mental illness. Until now they have been bred only for research into physical conditions such as heart disease. It will allow researchers to study the disease and develop treatments using a limitless supply of laboratory animals.

All this will do is help to find a cure for schizophrenia in mice. Was that a big problem beforehand?

US fears that Brown wants Iraq pull-out

Funny how they're not concerned that the US citizens want an Iraq pull-out as well.

A SENIOR Downing Street aide has sounded out Washington on the possibility of an early British military withdrawal from Iraq.

All good things come to an end. Bad things last five or so years apparently.

Simon McDonald, the prime minister’s chief foreign policy adviser, left the impression that he was “doing the groundwork” for Gordon Brown, according to one of those he consulted.

Eventually common sense has to take over. While I'll admit invading Iraq wasn't a good idea you'd have to be blind to not realize that pulling out would have consequences on the Iraqi people. Now, that said, staying in Iraq is having consequences on the Iraqi people as well. So now we have to figure out with is the lesser of two evils. On this I have no opinion. If I did, I'd be in politics.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Police fire tear gas at Pakistan mosque protesters

For the love of God, disperse.

Pakistani police fired tear gas on Friday to disperse protesting radical Islamists who had spoiled government plans for activities to resume smoothly at a mosque complex hit this month by a deadly commando raid.

Picnics get spoiled, not plans to remove dead bodies. Seriously though, I'm getting pretty fucking tired of the Muslims being angry. They don't seem to understand that being angry all the time causes people to expect you to angry all the time, in turn, taking away from the effect of your anger. Think about it. A Muslim person yelling and screaming causes people to think "Here go the crazy Muslims again." but have a Buddhist monk start screaming and, shit, people take notice. It's like crying wolf over and over and over.

Pakistani security forces stormed the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, compound on July 10 following a week-long siege after supporters of radical clerics there refused to surrender.

Should have surrendered. Enjoy the virgins.

The government of President Pervez Musharraf said 102 people were killed in the assault on the compound, the base for a Taliban-style movement.

What do you call 102 dead Islamic radicals? Tuesday.

Maulana Abdul Aziz, the mosque's firebrand cleric before the siege, had been caught fleeing disguised as a woman after troops surrounded the complex, while his younger brother and deputy, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, was killed in the attack.

What's the Koran have to say about cross-dressing? Wake up Muslims. Those firebrand clerics that preach suicide bombings will do almost anything to save their asses. That teach you anything?

News helicopters collide; 4 dead

What are the chances?

A police chase through the streets of downtown Phoenix turned into a midair tragedy Friday afternoon when two television news helicopters covering the action collided and crashed to the ground in smoke and flame, killing all four people on board.

This could have been avoided if the television viewing public wasn't so amused by fast moving cars. I'm not sure what the draw is to watch someone running from the police that the stations need to interupt their regularly scheduled programming to bring us someone who really, really didn't want a ticket. Unfortunately perhaps this incident will make the media second guess the importance of covering someone who has no chance in hell of getting away anyway.

The helicopters collided as the rival stations were covering the police pursuit of a stolen white truck towing a trailer.

Thin line between getting the exculsive and becoming the exculsive.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Panel Finds Astronauts Flew While Intoxicated

"Watch the moon. Watch the moon!!"

A panel reviewing astronaut health issues in the wake of the Lisa Nowak arrest has found that on at least two occasions astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so intoxicated that they posed a flight-safety risk.

"Let's go to the sun!! Wooooooooo!"

The panel, also reported "heavy use of alcohol" by astronauts before launch, within the standard 12-hour "bottle to throttle" rule applied to NASA flight crew members.

Listen, if I'm sitting in a fucking missile about to be shot at ungodly speed out of the earths atmosphere into the vast, unforgiving, freezing void of space and then, assuming the shuttle does explode because of a loose screw or something, I'd have to turn the thing around and re-enter the atmosphere which will expose the missile I'm sitting in to a heat able to melt fucking rock, yeah, I might want a beer or two.

A NASA spokesman declined comment on the findings, which were obtained by Aviation Week & Space Technology. The spokesman said a press conference has tentatively been scheduled for Friday afternoon on the issue. At the direction of Administrator Michael Griffin, NASA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard S. Williams set up the panel to review astronaut medical and psychological screening after Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 5 on charges of attempted murder and attempted kidnapping for allegedly stalking and threatening a woman who was dating another astronaut. The attempted murder charge was subsequently dropped.

We've come a long way from Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Seems we have only a handful of brave and noble Americans. But honestly, would anyone not high and drunk out of their minds ever, ever get in one of those things. Think about it. After a few joints and a couple of shots of vodka it'd be easy to convince me to leave the earth. Sober I might have some reservations.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

UFO sightings bring town to a standstill

I wouldn't be surprised if other-worldly beings are paying a bit more attention to us down here as of late. Shit, with all the bombs going off it's got to look like some intergalatic fireworks celebration.

A crowd of 100 stunned stargazers brought a town centre to a standstill when five mysterious UFOs were spotted hovering in the sky.

Yes, as one of earths more superior species, we still can't help but stop what we're doing when we see shiny things.

Drinkers spilled out of pubs, motorists stopped to gawp and camera phones were aimed upwards as the five orbs, in a seeming formation, hovered above Stratford-Upon-Avon for half an hour.

Pretty lights...

Although Air Traffic Control reported no unusual activity, some witnesses were convinced they were witnessing an extra-terrestrial spectacle.

Or the extra-terrestrial equivilant of stopping to look at a map.

The strange episode started just after 10.30pm, when the lights were seen hovering slowly over the town before three of them formed a triangular shape with one positioned just to the right.

I can't help but wonder if the jokes on us and some out-of-towners (way,way out-of-towners) are selling tours of the "fucked-up" planet. You know, pretty much their glass-bottom boats.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Worst flood hits UK in 60 yrs

Maybe it's on a 60 year cycle. Your good for another 60 yrs after this.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the scene of Britain’s worst flooding in 60 years on Monday as thousands of people remained stranded in their villages and towns, many without clean water or electricity.

"Yup...this is bad."

With swathes of central and western England under water and more rain on its way, Brown flew in a helicopter over the water-logged county of Gloucestershire before meeting officials handling the response on the ground. Thousands of homes have been hit by the floods, which have prompted the Royal Air Force to carry out what it said was probably its biggest-ever peacetime rescue operation in Britain.

What's with government figures surveying disaster areas like they're going to the fucking zoo. Yes, it's bad, don't watch it, do something about it.

Weather forecasters the Met Office are predicting more rain in southern England while Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said the emergency is “not yet over”.

How's that for a ray of sunshine?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope July 22nd 2007

Al-Qaeda faces rebellion from the ranks

From TimesOnline:

Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.
“They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.

The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the city. The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a “surge” of US troops in the neighbourhood – part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq – has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee.

“Al-Qaeda’s days are numbered and right now he is scrambling,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Michael, who commands a battalion of 700 troops in Doura.
A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. “The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.”

Saturday, July 21, 2007

India Names Its First Female President

Wait for the jihad announcement. Any minute now...

India chose its first female president Saturday in an election hailed as a victory for women in a country where gender discrimination is deep-rooted and widespread.

Good luck to you ma'am. It's nice when these things happen, give you a glimmer of hope that perhaps the world is moving forward. Then you realize your own country is still stuck in the dark ages.

Still, it's not clear how much 72-year-old Pratibha Patil - a lawyer, congresswoman and former governor of the northern state of Rajasthan - can or will do in the mostly ceremonial post to improve the lives of her countrywomen.

Hope fading...

Patil won 65.82 percent of the votes cast by national lawmakers and state legislators, said P.D.T. Achary, the secretary general of Parliament. She had the support of the governing Congress party and its political allies, and had been expected to win.

Still a good move forward I would say. Tonight maybe I'll sleep with a smile...and a gun, I always sleep with a gun.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dick Cheney will be acting president tomorrow

This is how the Empire took over the Republic in Star Wars.

President Bush is scheduled to undergo a colonoscopy tomorrow, meaning that Vice President Cheney will be standing in while the commander in chief has what the White House describes as a routine procedure.

Wow. So, while the President is violated by a camera on a rod, evil incarnate takes the throne. Interesting. However, if it's routine procedure, why's it all over the news?

AP says the procedure will be performed at Camp David.

I like to go hiking on my vacations.

Back in 2002, Bush was out for about 2 1/2 hours during a similar exam, according to press secretary Tony Snow.

That's an awful long time to have something shoved up your ass. But hey, that doctor is getting to do something I bet most of the world would just love to do. Hope he's a right wing republican or he might just go "easy" on the lubrication.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

NY cleans up after asbestos-tainted blast

Well, if anything, at least we showed al-qaeda that we're perfectly capable of destroying New York City on our own.

Some New Yorkers have doubted official assurances that the air surrounding yesterday's deadly steam pipe explosion in midtown Manhattan was safe to breathe despite the discovery of asbestos-tainted debris.

Gee I wonder why they have doubts? Could it be because they said the same thing about ground zero after the 9/11 attacks and yet, low and behold, all the rescue workers are now getting sick?

Workers began cleaning up the site of Thursday evening's blast, which shook buildings, unleashed a geyser of steam and boiling, brownish water, and sent people fleeing in scenes reminiscent of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

You know, except for the planes, the people jumping from skyscrapers, the collapse of the two most famous towers in the US.

A six-square-block area beside busy Grand Central Station was cordoned off by police wearing breathing masks after tests showed the debris contained asbestos - widely used in the past as a flame retardant and insulator but now known to be a dangerous carcinogen.

So if the airs safe why the breathing masks?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

There saying it wasn't terrorism.

One person died and 26 were injured after a steam pipe burst in midtown Manhattan Wednesday, causing a transformer to explode and sending thick plumes of steam and ash into the air near Grand Central Terminal, New York officials said.

The New York Fire Department said three firefighters and one police officer were treated on scene for minor injuries. The other 22 injured were transported to various hospitals, a fire department spokesman said.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the person who died suffered from cardiac arrest.

The New York Fire Department said it received a call reporting an explosion at 5:56 p.m. More than 170 firefighters were dispatched to the site at Lexington
Avenue near 41st Street.

Sounds like this was an accident involving an old pipe. I'm sure we'll be updated soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

500-Pound Man Rescued After 12 Hours In River

He would have been saved earlier but people keep rolling him back into the water.

Crews rescued a Pine City, Minn. man from the St. Croix River at Fox Landing, near Grantsburg, Wis. after he spent 12 hours stuck in the water. Authorities said the man's weight was a mitigating factor in his delayed rescue.

Hard to get tow trucks into the water.

At about 8:15 p.m. Monday, authorities received a call of someone with a medical condition needing assistance.

The call was pretty much this. "There's a fat guy drowning in the river."

According to the Pine County Sheriff's Office, a group had gone tubing on the river when Martin Rike's tube went flat about two miles south of Fox Landing.

You know it's time to diet when you can deflate an innertube riding on water.

After attempting to get out of the water and walk back, Rike, 39, began having chest pains. He had also slipped on irregular rocks, injuring an ankle and a knee.

This is a great example of not thinking things through before doing it.

Dispatch said Rike weighed about 500 pounds and said his weight was a factor in how long it took crews to rescue him.

Eventually the water just threw him onto the shore because he was hurting the river's back.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Worms Fall from the Sky in Lousiana

They were just trying to escape.

Jennings Police Department employee, Eleanor Beal was just crossing the street to go to work when something dropped from the sky.


The sky wasn't falling. She says it was worms, large tangled clumps of them. Beal says, "When I saw that they were crawling, I said, 'It's worms! Get out of the way!'"
"Run for your lives!!"

She even called her co-worker outside to prove she wasn't making it up.

"See, there are worms on the ground!"
"That's very good Eleanor."

Where they came from is a mystery, but some believe that a water spout spotted less than five miles away at that same time near Lacassine Bayou could have something to do with it.

You think?

Eleanor Beal says she hopes she doesn't see it again.

Chances are slim Eleanor. Very slim.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope July 15th 2007

North Korea confirms reactor shutdown

From FT.Com:

North Korea confirmed on Sunday it had shut down the reactor at the heart of its atomic weapons programme, taking an big step towards implementing a February agreement aimed at dismantling its nuclear facilities.

Closure of the Yongbyon reactor was critical to progress because the facility produced the plutonium used in last year’s nuclear test. United Nations inspectors arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday and are expected to verify the shutdown this week.

The White House said North Korea appeared to be telling the truth, an assessment shared by China and South Korea. Stephen Hadley, US national security adviser, told Fox News: “It appears that the facility is shut down and we are finally implementing the February 13 agreement. It means they will no longer be able to produce the plutonium for those nuclear weapons made out of plutonium.”

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Text Messages Cited in Fatal NY Crash

"That's weird, Jonny just texted me saying look out!!"

Text messages were sent and received on a 17-year-old driver's cell phone moments before the sport utility vehicle slammed head-on into a truck, killing her and four other recent high school graduates, police said.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you have to use both hands to do it chances are your brain should be involved as well. I can't even talk on the phone and surf the internet at the same time.

Bailey Goodman was driving her friends to her parents' vacation home when her SUV, which had just passed a car, swerved back into oncoming traffic, hit a tractor-trailer and burst into flames.

I wonder what was so important it couldn't wait till they got home?

Goodman's inexperience at the wheel; evidence she was driving above the speed limit at night on a winding, two-lane highway; and a succession of calls and text messages on her phone were cited Friday by Sheriff Phil Povero as possible factors in the June 28 crash in western New York.

It's a shame four other people lost their lives because of the stupidity of one person. You may think that is a bit tasteless but give it some thought and put yourself into the situation. I tend to throw the cell phone out the window if the driver attempts to operate it while driving and I'm in the car. Hey, this is my life we're talking about. It's worth the hundred bucks I have to fork over for them to buy a new one.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Iraq-Bound Soldier Hires Hitman To Shoot Him

Cause he didn't want to get shot in Iraq he hired a hitman to shoot him? I can't seem to wrap my brain around this. That's like lighting yourself on fire to avoid being burned.

The death and destruction of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq seems to have become so rampant to one local soldier that he actually staged an attack on himself -- allegedly hiring a hitman to non-fatally shoot him -- so he wouldn't be sent back for another tour of duty.

Here's the thing though. One, why hire a hitman to shoot you? You don't have friends? I have at least three or four friends who've been dying to shoot me for years. Two, and much more importantly, a lot of the time the difference between a fatal gunshot wound and a non-fatal gunshot wound is luck. Why take the chance?

Now, 20-year-old Jonathan Aponte is under fire at home in the Bronx for his decision that may send him to prison.

That decision is going to haunt him the rest of his days.

"There are some people mentally that can handle it. There are some people who just can't. You need to know when to say enough is enough," Aponte told CBS 2 exclusively Friday.

"And you need to know when to hire a hitman to shoot you so you don't have to go to war." I still can't figure out the logic in this. I mean, hire someone to break your leg, hire someone to cut off your pinky toe or just run off to Canada. But paying to have someone who kills people for a living shoot you and just trust him to "graze" you? Insanity.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bin Laden search frustrates officials

You think you're frustrated? Nothing kills your faith in your country than having a guy who plotted and financed the most lethal attack on US soil hiding successfully from the entire fucking world.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials yesterday defended unsuccessful efforts to capture al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who they say has eluded a global manhunt for years by hiding in tribal areas of Pakistan under the protection of local leaders.

What makes it worse? We know where he is. We fucking know he's in the Pakistani tribal belt and we still can't get him. Sad.

"We share your frustration," Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence, told Congress yesterday. "Being No. 3 in al Qaeda is a bad job. We regularly get to the No. 3 person."

That's the equivalent of arrested the getaway driver after a bank robbery.

But capturing or killing bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, has been difficult because their security practices are "very good" and they are hiding in an area "that is more hostile to us than it is to al Qaeda," Mr. Fingar told the House Armed Services Committee.

At this point isn't most the world more hostile to the US than to al-qaeda. I don't know if you guys are keeping score here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Al-Qaeda has rebuilt warns US Intel

They're coming out of their caves I guess.

U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

Good thing we had this war on terror. Otherwise this would have happened three years ago. I guess if you can't beat terrorism you try and postpone it.

The conclusion suggests that the group that launched the most devastating terror attack on the United States has been able to rebuild despite nearly six years of bombings, war and other tactics aimed at crippling it.

Wonder if the fact that the US military is patroling Iraqi streets country's-away from the Pakistani tribal belt, where al-qaeda is being sheltered, has anything to do with this.

Still, numerous government officials say they know of no specific, credible threat of a new attack.

Well how many warnings are we going to get? It won't happen till it happens.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pakistan Rebel Mosque Leader Killed

Violence in Pakistan? Who would have thought.

The leader of the rebel mosque being stormed by Commandos in Islamabad has been killed, according to the Pakistan government.

I wonder if the fact it was stormed by Commandos had anything to do with his death.

Abdul Rashid Ghazi is said to have died in heavy fighting at the Lal Masjid compound. Javed Iqbal Cheema, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed Ghazi's death, saying he died in a gunbattle alongside militants in the basement of a religious school linked to the mosque.

This is the guy who claimed the Pakistani government would never take him alive. What a thing to be right about huh?

He said the cleric's body was still lying in the compound, and that "battle hardened" militants were defending themselves.

Terrorism and radical Islam is like a Hydra. You cut off a head and two more take it's place. You drop a 500 pound bomb on it and that usually takes care of the situation. But this world seems to have an issue with blowing up mosque. For the life of me I can't understand why. I figure, once you start shooting out the windows of a mosque, or a church or a synagogue, they cease being holy and become just another building ripe for turning into rubble.

Commandos stormed the facility before dawn when last-ditch efforts to negotiate a surrender failed.

Can't say they didn't try to end it peacefully. I personally think they should have skipped the negotiations altogether and just leveled the building. Make an example.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Catholic School Shuns Pupil Named Hell

School Principal Lucifer Lordkiller could not be reached for comment.

A Catholic school refused to enrol a five-year-old because his surname was Hell.

Thats the coolest last name fucking ever. How could you not become a bad-ass with that last name. Unless of course his first name is Herbert. But shit, even Herbert Hell sounds cool.

St Peter Apostle School in Melbourne suggested that Max Hell would only be admitted if he used his mother’s maiden name.

Max Hell. That kid is my new best friend. You know how much that kid is going to get laid when he gets older? The goth chicks will be all over him.

His father initially agreed. But when it came to signing the enrolment forms Alex Hell decided to stand firm in defence of his family’s name.

I really don't get this country's obsession with words. Words are words, no more harmful then breath. Yes sometimes breath smells bad and sometimes words sound bad but you can't get hurt by them. Bother me when a kid wants into Catholic school and lists his hobbies as including pipe-bomb making.

“We’re quite devastated by the whole thing,” Mr Hell, a Catholic father of three said on Monday.

Mr. Hell. Hah. Thats awesome.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope July 8th 2007

NJ Enacts Anti-Global Warming Law

Trust me, if you live in NJ, this is a sign of hope.
From Forbes.com:

New Jersey became the third state in the nation to enact a comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction law Friday, requiring the Garden State to significantly cut emissions of global-warming gases.

Al Gore, the former vice president turned environmental activist, was on hand as Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed the "Global Warming Response Act" into law. California and Hawaii have adopted similar laws, and eight other states are considering them.

Passage of these laws can "inspire hope and build the enthusiasm necessary to get this crisis solved," Gore told an enthusiastic crowd of lawmakers and environmentalists who witnessed the bill signing at the Meadowlands sports complex.

"It's great to be able to tell 'em in every country that ... state governments are beginning to take the lead, cities are beginning to take the lead, and citizens of this country are beginning to take the lead," he said.

New Jersey will now be featured prominently in the traveling slide show he uses to teach people about global warming, Gore said.

New Jersey's new law was enacted on the eve of a series of concerts around the world drawing attention to global warming, including one at The Meadowlands in New Jersey that Gore said he would attend.

The legislation requires the state to reduce global warming gases to 1990 levels by 2020, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050. New Jersey is the first state to set global warming targets so far into the future, environmentalists said, and the first to require that energy imports adhere to New Jersey's standards.

"This is a very, very important day for the state of New Jersey," said Corzine. "We are making a long-lived commitment today that will impact not just our generation but future generations."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

5 Injured in Vegas Casino Shooting

Well that's one way to see who is lucky.

A man on a balcony over the New York-New York casino floor opened fire on the gamblers below early Friday, wounding four people before he was tackled by off-duty military reservists, police said. A fifth person was hurt in a crush of people fleeing the casino.

Boy, the US military sure is full of heroes. Wonder how many people WOULD be dead if it weren't for these soldiers.

"It was crazy, pandemonium," said Jade Jacobson, 28, a tourist from Deland, Fla., whose cousin, a dance teacher from Pennsylvania, was wounded in the leg.

See now if your cousin had been a really GOOD dancer they wouldn't have gotten shot in the leg. Most dancers are fast on their feet.

"People were running and jumping over slot machines and knocking over chairs," Jacobson said. "All I was thinking was that I could die right now."

"And then the shooting started."

Friday, July 06, 2007

US Concerns Over China Weapons In Iraq

I wonder how many US weapons are in the hands of Iraqi insurgents.

The US has raised concerns with the Chinese government about the discovery of Chinese-made weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yea stop making weapons!

Richard Lawless, departing senior Pentagon official for Asia, on Friday said Washington had flagged the issue with Beijing. In recent months, the US has become increasingly alarmed that Chinese armour-piercing ammunition has been used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq.

The greatest last name in the history of Pentagon officials. Lawless. You just can't write shit like that.

A senior US official recently told the FT that Iran appeared to be providing the Chinese-made weapons.

Boy, weapons sure do get around don't they? Wish I was a weapon. I like to travel. Although I'd prefer to wind up somewhere tropical where I can be used to kill people on a beach.

He said Washington had no evidence that Beijing was complicit, but stressed that the US would like China to “do a better job of policing these sales”. Mr Lawless said the question of origin was less important than who was facilitating the transfer.

Coming from a country that has given weapons to pretty much anyone with money.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Al-Qaeda deputy sets out strategy

First we have to find A LOT of caves...

Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri has urged Muslims to unite behind the movement's global jihad - and called for the violent overthrow of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

This is the perfect example for reaching beyond your means. Al-qaeda as a whole suffers from delusions of grandeur, which I predict, will be their downfall. Well, that and missiles, lots and lots of missiles aimed at mud huts.

Zawahiri's new video, an hour and a half long, has been posted on the internet. It is not clear when it was recorded.

Jeez, I can barely sit through a two-hour movie that has computer-generated special effects and visually spectacular action sequences let alone some nutcase sitting in front of a cloth background and a rifle going on and on in a language I can't understand for over an hour. Maybe if al-qaeda threw in a car chase or some soft-core porn I'd be more likely to pay attention. How about a sword fight or something?

In a wide-ranging review of developments in the Muslim world, Zawahiri lays great stress on the central role of Iraq.

I actually really wonder if al-qaeda truly sees Iraq as the "lost cause" that the western world sees it as. I mean, that place is so fucked up I can't imagine anyone looking at it and thinking it's going well for anyone.

Zawahiri underlines the need for unity in Iraq - an implicit acknowledgement that splits have opened up in Sunni ranks.

Weird, that's exactly what Bush calls for.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Yes, I know, many of the visitors here are not citizens of the United States of America. And yes, I know, you're very happy about that. And while I can't blame you I can't help where I'm born. Frankly, I enjoy being an American. What we give up in history we make up for with our destructive nature. What we're missing in health care we replace with food stands on every corner that sell burgers that will kill you. We may be ignorant to other cultures but we're ignorant of our own culture as well. We're gun happy, criminal-idolizing, couch potatoes that rather complain than act, rather lose than put forth an effort and are just all around happy if someone else does it.

But we're not all bad. Some of us are intelligent, kind-hearted, caring and giving individuals. We're funny, law abiding, globally-minded people who have contributed the best of our ideas and abilities to aid in bettering the world we live in. Hate our policies, hate our politics, hate our government but don't hate our people. We're not so bad.

With that in mind, if you're not an American, take a second and raise a glass for the country you live in. Be happy with what you have. It's not so bad. It could be better but it could be far worse (void in Iraq). So today, celebrate civilization. We've come a long way, we have a long way to go, but damn, what a ride huh?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Brown: Don't Say Terrorists Are Muslims

Did I miss something? Did a Mormon blow something up? Christian drive a car-bomb into a cafe? Those damn Buddhist monks at it again?

Gordon Brown has banned ministers from using the word “Muslim” in ­connection with the ­terrorism crisis.

From now on we'll be calling them Allah-loving crazy fucks.

The shake-up is part of a fresh attempt to improve community relations and avoid offending Muslims, adopting a more “consensual” tone than existed under Tony Blair.

Funny, the Muslim community doesn't seemed all that concerned with some of their members offending us by fucking killing us. I give you this, not all Muslims are terrorists. I personally have many Islamic friends and none of them have tried to behead me lately but honestly, in the past five years, who has been behind the acts of terror? For the life of me I still don't understand why we're so concerned with offending these people. Listen, Muslims, your fucking religion is out of control. Get a handle on it.

However, the change provoked claims last night that ministers are indulging in yet more political correctness.

Shit, you think?

“There is clearly a need to strike a consensual tone in relation to all communities across the UK,” the spokesman said. “It is important that the country remains united.”

When a Catholic plants a roadside bomb and kills thirty innocent people at a market I'll apologize. Until then, as long as people with the name Mohammed are strapping bombs to themselves, I'm calling a spade a spade. Pretending it's not Muslims isn't going to make it stop.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Secret Document: U.S. Fears Terror 'Spectacular' Planned


A secret U.S. law enforcement report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that al Qaeda is planning a terror "spectacular" this summer, according to a senior official with access to the document.

Let's forget the question of how and why this "secret" document is all over the news and remember one thing. We've heard this before. Almost twice a year since Sept. 11th 2001 I've read in the paper or seen on television or online that al-qaeda's planning something big, nuclear weapons are in the US, suicide bombers are at the ready and, you know what, nothing happens. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't be cautious and keep an eye out, I'm just saying the threat is usually mostly hype. That's the very definition of terrorism.

"This is reminiscent of the warnings and intelligence we were getting in the summer of 2001," the official told ABCNews.com.

Well, if you drop the ball this time at least we all know you knew it was coming and failed miserably at stopping it.

U.S. officials have kept the information secret, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said today on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" that the United States did not have "have any specific credible evidence that there's an attack focused on the United States at this point.

I have no doubt that terrorists are targeting the US, just as they target pretty much anything that moves. The question here is, are we good enough to stop it before it happens? I hope so. But if it does happen, I want to know what we are going to do. Perhaps that will help us stop pussy-footing around and we can start dropping bombs on anything that prays on a rug.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Sign of Hope July 1st 2007

Iraq's June civilian death toll down sharply

It's a start.

From Reuters:

The number of civilians killed in Iraq fell sharply in June to the lowest monthly total since a U.S.-backed security clampdown was launched in February, Iraqi government figures showed on Sunday.

The data, obtained from the ministries of interior, defence and health, showed 1,227 civilians died violently in June, a 36-percent fall from May and the lowest level in five months.

U.S. military officials said it was premature to draw conclusions about the effects of the crackdown, which is seen as a last ditch effort to avert full-scale sectarian civil war between majority Shi'ites and minority Sunni Arabs.

"We continue to be cautiously optimistic, (but) we are still very early in this process," said U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver.