Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Team spirit trumps Christmas spirit 

Santa went to a hockey game and a fight broke out. No, not the kind of fight you think...
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Merry Christmas 

Nothing today or tomorrow but this: Merry Christmas to all! If you're not the Christmas type, enjoy your time off anyway. :)
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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Random Democractic Underground thread 

This thread just happened to be at the top of the DU discussion board when I peeked a minute ago. I might try this from time to time... just drop in and see what the latest message is. Maybe it will be enlightening. Maybe not. But it will probably be entertaining. So without further ado, I leave you with this breathless DU post. No comment required...

UNITED WAY is now whoring for the Bush administration.

Tonight I heard a United Way commercial on the radio and TWICE during the commercial I heard "No one could have prevented the tragedy of September 11." This is just unbelievable. First of all, it's not true; secondly it's not relevant to United Way; and thirdly, the only reason it was put in the ad was the take responsibility/blame for 9-11 away from the person who IS responsible--George W. Bush.

I just don't know how any American who is not a DU addict can possible survive the relentless mind control and propaganda.

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Monday, December 22, 2003

Iranians against extremism 

Uh, Mr. Pot? It's Mr. Kettle on line one.

TEHRAN, Dec 21, (AFP) -- Iran on Sunday criticized French President Jacques Chirac's "extremist decision" to back a ban on Islamic headscarves and other conspicuous religious signs at schools.

"We regard this as an extremist decision aimed at preventing the development of Islamic values" in France, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in his weekly press conference.

"This decision goes against civil rights and will undermine the image of France in the Islamic world," he added.

Huh. An Iranian official criticized another government on "civil rights" grounds. With a straight face, even.

The headscarf ban being considered in France is pretty stupid. That's the nicest term I can come up with right now. But come on, Iran... nobody takes you seriously when it comes to civil rights. Stop your Guardian Council's practice of vetting parliamentary candidates for proper Islamic ideology, and stop arresting dissidents, and stop retaliating against protesters. Then maybe we can talk about civil rights. But not now.
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Libya's disarmament not a coincidence 

Steven den Beste, in this great post, convincingly relates Qaddafi's decision to renounce weapons of mass destruction and open Libya to inspectors to recent events in Iraq.

Yeah... One tyrant gets taken down and another suddenly decides to play nice after decades as an international pariah. What a coincidence.

UPDATE: The Guardian calls Qaddafi the "original comedy terrorist:"

Col Gadafy was the original comedy terrorist, dressing in bizarre costumes, making scenes at Arab summit meetings, driving around Africa in motorcades rather than flying in airplanes, and throwing money out of his car window as he went.

Watching his televised performance at an Arab summit, a Jordanian psychiatrist once remarked: "I meet people like him every day in my hospital."

Heh. Personally, I've always wondered if the man's head was on straight. He takes over a country then doesn't even promote himself to General?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Allahpundit chimes in with his own rip at Qaddafi:

He is like the Rolling Stones of terrorism at this point, his last big hit having come a generation ago.

WHAT THE HELL... ONE LAST UPDATE: I know that Arabic to English transliteration is not an exact science, but how come there are so many different spellings of the Libyan ruler's name? I can't think of any other foreign name (of a person or a place) that has so many different spellings in English. Arabic even has an alphabet... Some Asian languages don't have that benefit, but there's pretty much a single standard spelling for every Asian person or place. What's the deal with Gadhafy? Or Qaddafi? Or Gadafi? Or Khaddafi? Or however it's spelled?
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"Communist" China? 

This story today describes changes to the Chinese constitution that would protect private property rights for the first time since the 1949 communist revolution.

Party leaders who control the legislature already say private property is essential to advancing economic reforms that have let millions of Chinese lift themselves out of poverty.

Indeed. Property rights are essential to fostering entrepreneurship, which is one of the vital pillars of economic growth. There are others, such as freedom of information, reducing restrictions on capital markets, and opening the economy to foreign investment. China has made progress in some of these areas. It has made more progress in economic areas than in political ones, but considering where China was just twenty to twenty-five years ago, the results have been astounding. I don't wish to gloss over human rights issues; on these, China still has a long way to go. Advancing human rights protections is as important to China's future as economic reforms. I am confident that China will loosen up a bit on that front too, given time. The world should push for political reform, while also appreciating and encouraging the kind of economic changes taking place in China.

In his final months as President, Jiang Zemin promoted his "Three Represents" theory of the Communist Party's role in society. The most radical element of the oddly-named theory was the notion that the party should represent entrepreneurs. Such businessmen are becoming an increasingly important part of the Chinese economy, so including them among the party's stakeholders made good economic sense. But it's a long way from the agrarian/proletarian party of the revolution. Another constitutional amendment under consideration would enshrine the Three Represents alongside the ideas of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Upon even a cursory examination, it is apparent that the Chinese Communist Party is slowly becoming communist in name only. This change will only be a good thing for China, and for the world.
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Lobster barbie 

It must get lonely out there on those lobster boats... That's all I'm saying.

Money quote:

"You try squeezing Barbie shoes on a lobster," he said. "That was the most time-consuming thing."

UPDATE: PETA is oddly silent on this blatant case of crustacean cruelty.
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Sunday, December 21, 2003

Comments reset 

I had to redo my comment function, so all previous comments are no longer here. My apologies to anyone who had hoped to have their wisdom preserved here for posterity.
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The global quagmire 

By going to war in Iraq, we have accomplished nothing whatsoever.
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Speedy trial 

Iraqi officials say that bringing Saddam to trial could take five years. I really, really hope it goes faster than that. (Insert prediction of a pre-election verdict here.)
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Uh huh. 

Kurdish peshmerga fighters drugged and abandoned Saddam before the U.S. Army found him. At least that's what AFP says. Why don't I believe that he would survive five seconds in the hands of Kurdish militants?
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