Tarry for the Nonce

May 28, 2005

Like a Fox

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 3:00 pm

I picked this up from Rushabh Doshi’s blog:

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Thrust-ship. I am a Thrust-ship.
I am small and tricky – where you think I am, I probably am not. I can work very fast, but I tend to go about things in a round about way, which often leaves me effectively standing still. I hate rocks. Bloody rocks.

What Video Game Character Are You?

May 27, 2005

Next Up: Blunt Objects

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:35 pm

First, they got rid of the guns and naysayers warned that knives would be next:

A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing . . .

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all . . .

The researchers say legislation to ban the sale of long pointed knives would be a key step in the fight against violent crime.

And to think that we laughed at the naysayers. It appears I will live to see the day that the Ginsu knife is a black market item!

Tally Ho, Ol’ Pardner

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:28 pm

I can not believe someone is seriously suggesting global ID cards.

The United States wants Britain’s proposed identity cards to have the same microchip and technology as the ones used on American documents.

The aim of getting the same microchip is to ensure compatability in screening terrorist suspects. But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic.

Michael Chertoff, the newly appointed US Secretary for Homeland Security, has already had talks with the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, and the Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, to discuss the matter.

As if the concept of a national ID card wasn’t bad enough! Come on, Big Brother, give us a break here!

Teamwork the Democrat Way

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 5:20 pm

Didn’t the Democrats just agree to not do this very thing for judicial nominees? I understand Bolton is not a judicial nominee, but couldn’t they have made a good-faith effort?

Democrats forced a delay Thursday in a confirmation vote for John R. Bolton . . .

The vote to advance Bolton’s nomination to an immediate confirmation vote was 56-42 – four short of the 60 votes that Bolton’s Republican backers needed.

Enough already! I’m beginning to think that Republicans should push through that filibuster reform.

. . . and PBS and NPR

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:12 pm

Ridiculous art displays always cause a knee-jerk reaction in me that says “why on earth does the public provide any funding for the arts?

The piece in question is a painting depicting President Bush being sodomized. Artist Alfred Phillips said images of an oil barrel and a man wearing a Muslim headdress in the work are part of a political statement about the United States being abused by oil companies.

Michael Friedman, the artist who complained to the county, said the painting is offensive and tasteless.

“Something snapped inside,” he said. Friedman himself entered a piece depicting Pope Benedict XVI with several swastikas in the background . . .

On average, the county gives about $14,000 a year to the nonprofit, which has an annual budget of about $60,000.

So they aren’t explicitly my tax dollars, but I’m sure Illinois is funding something equally tasteless.

So remind me again: why are we compelled to fund the arts?

Beware the Phthalates

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 5:02 pm

If a mother uses enough perfume and make-up during her pregnancy, she runs the risk of turning her son into a daughter?

Experts say products containing the chemicals – called phthalates – could cause women to give birth to boys with female characteristics. Their research found shrunken genitals and less masculine behaviour in babies.

Phthalates help to give cosmetics colour and bond perfume molecules. They are also used in pliable plastics such as clingfilm, kidney dialysis tubes, blood bags and even children’s toys.

How terribly, terribly odd.

Happier than Graduation, First Car or First Baby

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 4:55 pm

The former national finance director for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign was acquitted Friday of lying to the government about a lavish 2000 Hollywood fundraising gala.

So David Rosen was acquitted of the charges, which isn’t a huge surprise, but his response to the news did cause a double-take on my part:

“It was the happiest moment, next to my marriage, in my life,” Rosen said.”

That’s certainly a, um, unique way to view such things.

May 25, 2005

A Sense of Honor

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 10:53 am

I was heartened by the news:

Boys at private Anglican and Catholic schools are more likely to oppose sex before marriage and be less tolerant of pornography.

They are also less likely to feel depressed or consider suicide, according to a survey of 13,000 teenagers by Professor Leslie J Francis from the University of Wales, Bangor.

So morally-based education actually turns boys into men? I have so been looking in the wrong places!

Italiani Pazzeschi

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 10:39 am

May I just take a moment to express incredulity at the Italians? The are really starting to make our own judiciary look not-half bad.

First, an Italian judge has taken it upon himself to indict Oriana Fallaci for “defamation of Islam.”

The decision angered Italy’s justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work “La Forza della Ragione” (The Force of Reason) . . .

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech.

But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted.

Grasso’s ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci’s words were “without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith.”

It’s true that Ms. Fallaci is not very diplomatic (in fact, some of her commentary is all-out offensive,) but her conduct must fall under some European “freedom of speech” banner, right?

Next, an Italian restaurant wants to sue Bill Clinton for failing to show up for his lunch reservation:

[T]he owner of the Michelin-starred Agata e Romeo restaurant is considering claiming compensation for lost takings after the high-profile no-show.

The restaurant, which is popular with visiting celebrities, had been called by one of the former president’s staff requesting a table for 18. The delighted owner cleared away a corner of his dining room and ordered in more than 1,000 worth of extra food and wine for his VIP guest and entourage.

And now he wants compensation? Bizarre. As I see it, Mr. Clinton’s conduct was not really on the polite side of care, but unless he asked the owner to purchase that 1,000 of extra food and wine, it’s not really his responsibility to compensate the overzealous schmo. Were Mr. Clinton an average Joe (which in my grateful mind, he is,) it wouldn’t really be an earth-shattering matter if he failed to honor a lunch reservation.

So I guess I will be thankful for the small American blessings that allow me to speak as offensively as I like and behave as uncivilly as I choose.

And now that I have stooped to the indignity of defending Mr. Clinton, I must offer a sly smile for his “thwarted in his attempts to visit Rome’s most famous sight, the Colosseum, as he arrived just after closing time and, despite pleas from his entourage, officials refused to reopen the site.’

Hee hee.

May 23, 2005

The Man Who Would Be President

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:03 pm

Howard Dean, the man:

Mr. Dean last month did an impression of Mr. Limbaugh for a gathering of Democrats in Minnesota that included the sound of someone snorting cocaine . . .

Mr. Dean, a doctor, was unapologetic about his parody, even when “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert asked whether it is “appropriate for a physician to mock somebody who has gone into therapy and the abuse for drug addiction?” . . .

Mr. Dean also said his comments in January that “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for” and that “this is a struggle between good and evil, and we are the good” were taken “a little out of context” . . .

Mr. Dean also stuck by his statement that the Democrats would “use” the effort to save the life of the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo against Republicans in the next election.

I think I’ll just leave it at that.

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