120,000 are dead in the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami disaster, and with impending disease and starvation, that toll will rise as the days progress. The New York Times (free registration or go to BugMeNot.com) took the opportunity this morning to spew all sorts of venom over the United States' handling of relief for the disaster.
(President Bush) hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America's initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations "stingy."The remainder of the mainstream media is working overtime to compare and contrast the monies spent by the United States on disaster relief to the amount spent on the War on Terror, as if there was a true comparison.
Mr. Egeland was right on target. We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities.
The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, and is in keeping with the pitiful amount of the United States budget that we allocate for nonmilitary foreign aid.
Bush administration officials help create that perception gap.
Making things worse, we often pledge more money than we actually deliver.
There's not, no matter how much the MSM tries to create one.
CAIR is in bitch and moan mode over the 4th season premiere of 24, airing on Fox on January 9.
The episode introduces a Muslim teenager and his parents as terrorists plotting an attack of mass destruction against Americans.
One of the villains is a Walkman-toting, bubble-gum-chewing teenager who fights with his conservative Dad about dating an American girl and talking on the phone.I hate to be politically incorrect, but I don't see the problem here. Do you?
The young man also helps his parents mastermind a plot to kill large numbers of Americans that begins with an attack on a train.
Over the breakfast table, the father tells his son: “What we will accomplish today will change the world. We are fortunate that that our family has been chosen to do this.“Yes, father,” his son replies.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group, plans to bring their concerns about the episode to Fox, says group spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed.
That group has previously received complaints about the depiction of Muslims on 24, but this episode is particularly egregious, she said.
“They are taking everyday American Muslim families and making them suspects. They’re making it seem like families are co-conspirators in this terrorist plot." In another scene, she says, a terrorist is shown coming out of a mosque. The way the episode depicts Muslims creates an atmosphere in which many Americans look at all Muslims as suspects in the war on terror, she adds. “It’s very dangerous and very disturbing.”
The death toll in the Boxing Day tsunami disaster has reached 100,000 and is still climbing, according to published reports in London.
Officials in every country today warned the final number of dead will be even higher as rescue teams reach remote areas.Bottom line? We're talking "Old Testament-Wrath of God" territory.
The UN said there were now strong grounds to believe that the toll in the Sumatran province of Aceh, the worst affected area, would be as high as 80,000.
Aid agencies today warned disease will also cause massive casualties among the survivors as the biggest relief effort in history began.
Please take the time to donate to one of the many relief organizations participating in this, the largest relief effort in history. Some of those organizations include CARE, World Vision International, and the Red Cross. There are certainly others.
Please take the time to give, because our fellow travelers on this planet are in desperate need.
Jerry Orbach, known to millions as the curmudgeonly detective Lennie Briscoe on the long-running Law & Order, died Tuesday night of complications from prostate cancer at the age of 69.
Orbach had left L&O at the end of last season, but was slated to star in the newest franchise spin-off Law & Order: Trial By Jury, set to premiere on NBC in February.
Orbach is expected to appear in early episodes of "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," for which he continued as Briscoe in a secondary role, when the series premieres later this season, Davis said.Orbach won an Emmy nomination for best guest appearance in a comedic series for a guest slot on The Golden Girls in 1990.
"I'm immensely saddened by the passing of not only a friend and colleague, but a legendary figure of 20th Century show business," said Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of the "Law & Order" series, in a statement. "He was one of the most honored performers of his generation. His loss is irreplaceable."
On Broadway, the Bronx-born Orbach starred in hit musicals including "Carnival," "Promises, Promises" (for which he won a Tony Award), "Chicago" and "42nd Street."
Earlier, he was in the original cast of the off-off-Broadway hit "The Fantasticks," playing the narrator. The show went on to run for more than 40 years.
Among his film appearances were roles in "Dirty Dancing," "Prince of the City" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Orbach's song and dance past came into play in his work in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, where as Lumiere, he sang the well-known song "Be Our Guest," with friend and former Murder She Wrote co-star Angela Lansbury.
He has reprised Lumiere in several other animated and video game projects, including the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2.
A 22 year-old Independance, MO man has admitted that his hate-crime claim was false.
Floyd Elliott, of Independence, told police that on Dec. 14, two subjects attacked him in the parking lot of his apartment complex. He said the attackers cut him in the stomach, branded him with a hot knife, and attempted to carve the word "Fag" on his forehead.D'oh!
Investigators were suspicious about the report because the head carving was backwards, as if done while looking into a mirror.
I don't think that even Homer Simpson could be that dumb.
United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland insists that the United States and other Western nations are being "stingy" when it comes to humanitarian aid to victims of this week's tsunami disaster in Asia. Egeland further suggests that the US should raise taxes in order to provide more aid.
Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.Egeland backpedaled today, and tried to insist that his words were taken out of context. But considering that his entire speech was archived online for you to see on the UN's site, you can judge foryourself.
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."
This shows the ongoing arrogance of the United Nations and the moonbats that run that particular organization.
New figures from Reuters and BBC News indicate the death toll from the Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunamis have risen beyond the 50,000 level.
The sea and wreckage of coastal towns all around the Indian Ocean yielded up tens of thousands of bodies on Tuesday, pushing the toll from Sunday's tsunami past 50,000.The disaster has directly affected ten nations in five different time zones on the planet.
The apocalyptic destruction caused by the wave dwarfed the efforts of governments and relief agencies as they turned from rescuing survivors to trying to care for millions of homeless, increasingly threatened by disease amid the rotting corpses.
"Why did you do this to us, God?" wailed an old woman in a devastated fishing village in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. "What did we do to upset you? This is worse than death."
Scientists have indicated that the initial quake, measured at a 9.0 on the Richter scale, actually affected the rotation of the planet, actually slowing th eEarth's rotation by a measure of microseconds, an indication of the monumental power expended by the cataclysm.
More pictures of the devestation are beginning to emerge, now that US journalists are beginning to show up in the disaster areas stretching from Indonesia on the east to the Somalian coastline of Africa on the west.
American news networks largely ignored the disaster when it began to unfold, leaving coverage to true global broadcasters like Sky News and BBC World.
BBC World is continuing to air near-wall-to-wall coverage of the disaster both on the air, and online (which is the only way American audiences can see their coverage; in WMP format).
The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami is a blog that has been set up by bloggers in the region affected by this week's tidal wave disaster. It includes links to relief organizations that you can donate to in order to help.
Barring that, World Vision International is one of the largest global relief organizations, and they are accepting donations here.
Having worked for CARE last summer, I've got a soft spot for their efforts, and you can donate to their work here.
Other blogosphere efforts include a continually updated resources at The Command Post.
With their obituaries, the Associated Press and The New York Times (among others) took the opportunity to insist that the late NFL great Reggie White somehow diminished himself when he took to the podium in the Wisconsin General Assembly and denounced homosexuality.
White created a stir in March 1998 with a speech to the Wisconsin State Assembly. In it, he referred to homosexuality as "one of the biggest sins in the Bible" and used ethnic stereotypes for blacks and whites.You may or may not agree with his words, but those words did not by any means diminish White's greatness.
At the time, White, considering retirement, was on a list of candidates for CBS's N.F.L. studio show, but he did not get the job.
White worked tirelessly with disadvantaged youths. But his image was tarnished when he gave a speech in which he denounced homosexuality and used ethnic stereotypes. White later apologized.
White was a great man; and he certainly was not the kind of thug that has dominiated the sports pages of late, from football to basketball to baseball.
And even though his words weren't politically correct, I applauded him then, and continue to applaud him now for having the courage to speak his own mind over something he truly and strongly believed.
Fare thee well, Reggie. God bless you.
Osama Bin Laden climbed out of his hole via audio tape today to issue another tirade against the West, and called on Iraqis to stay away from the polls in next month's scheduled elections.
The new tape, together with one that appeared online earlier this month, continues a new political slant adopted by the al-Qaida leader, whose past proclamations have been more a call to arms than a promotion of a cause. They appear to back up recent suggestions by Middle East experts that bin Laden may be trying to become more of a political leader than a terrorist.The recorded voice insisted that those that participate in next month's elections for new leadership in Iraq would be considered infidels.
The voice on the tape described al-Zarqawi as the "emir," or prince, of al-Qaida in Iraq and said Muslims there should "listen to him."
The man speaking on the tape also referred to an October statement in which al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, declared allegiance to bin Laden and changed his group's name to al-Qaida in Iraq. The speaker called that "a great step on the path of unifying all the mujahedeen in establishing the state of righteousness and ending the state of injustice."
The voice on the tape broadcast Monday sounded like bin Laden's and the statement used language that appeared to conform with previous statements by the Saudi-born terror mastermind. However, there was no way to independently confirm the speaker's identity.
The speaker condemned those elections.It is well past time that this moron was on the receiving end of "the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch," that "thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy..."
"In the balance of Islam, this constitution is infidel and therefore everyone who participates in this election will be considered infidels," he said. "Beware of henchmen who speak in the name of Islamic parties and groups who urge people to participate in this blatant apostasy."
He apparently was referring to Shiite clerics, particularly Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who have issued edicts saying participating in the election was a "religious duty."
A sequence of photos from an amateur video (shown initially on Australia's Seven News), shows the sheer devestation of the tsunamis as they come ashore in the seaside resort city of Phuket, Thailand.
Late Monday, Indonesia's vice president, Yusuf Kalla, was quoted as believing the death toll in his country alone could top 25,000, which would push the overall toll in this tragedy to beyond 42,000 deaths.
Sunday's massive quake of 9.0 magnitude off the Indonesian island of Sumatra sent 500-mph waves surging across the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the deadliest known tsunami since the one that devastated the Portuguese capital of Lisbon in 1755 and killed an estimated 60,000 people.American citizens concerned about loved ones in the region are urged to call (888) 407-4747 or to go to the State Department's Crisis Awareness and Preparedness page for more official information.
The most powerful earthquake the world has known since 1964 struck in Indonesia early today, triggering tsunamis across the eastern Indian Basin.
Thousands have died in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and The Maldives, and the death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are discovered.
The 8.9 magnitude quake struck under the sea near Aceh in north Indonesia, generating a wall of water that sped across thousands of kilometres of sea.BBC World has been covering the disaster live, and streamed coverage is available online (WMP).
Exact numbers of people killed, injured or missing in the countries hit, are impossible to confirm.
Hundreds are still thought to be missing from coastal regions and, in Sri Lanka alone, officials say more than a million people have been forced from their homes.
Minister and former Green Bay Packers defensive end Reggie White died this morning after suffering a massive heart attack at his home in Huntersville, NC.
"Today our beloved husband, father and friend passed away," White's wife, Sara, said through a family pastor. "His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Reggie White. We want to thank you in advance for honoring our privacy."A lock for the Hall of Fame, White turned 43 on December 19.
An all around good guy, who took a lot of hits for his conservative stance, White will be remembered being a gentlemen's gentleman, and a powerful player on the field. He retired as NFL all-time sacks leader in 2000.
When I worked at CNN, I recall running into White in passing, and though he was busy, he had time for a quick handshake and hearty hello. I'm sorry he's gone.
I woke up this morning to more a hundred spam comments on the site; I'm contemplating shutting down comments until the novelty of these simple-minded ass clowns wears off.
I can't ban 'em by IP, because they're using some sort of rotating IP configuration that generates a new IP each time they post.
So, whadda ya think -- good idea?
In this blessed season, we bid you and your loved ones Merry Christmas.
"Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6)May God bless you all.
---Michael, Rachel, Jasmine, Mitchell & Lynese King
I know you thought the elections were over for this year, but there is still one race still outstanding; yes even on Christmas Eve.
The Washington state governor's race is still too close to call, and has gone through two recounts. The most recent recount ended yesterday with Democrat Christine Gregoire winning by a mere 130 votes.
A prior recount gave the victory to Republican Dino Rossi, but this recount included 732 ballots in heavily Democratic King County (which includes the city of Seattle) which Democrats claimed were "mistakenly omitted" from the initial counts. The 732 ballots were permitted thanks to a state supreme court decision.
Rossi won the Election Day count by 261 votes and a subsequent machine recount by 42. Democrats paid for a hand recount, which put Gregoire up 10 votes; that lead widened to 130 after a state Supreme Court decision allowed 732 ballots to be reconsidered in King County, a Democratic stronghold. Those ballots had been mistakenly thrown out because of problems scanning signatures into a computer.Adding to my skepticism are images like the picture of the election worker above -- his latex gloves have "GO DEMS" scrawled across them.
In light of the high court's decision, Republicans want the secretary of state to delay certifying the election so they can seek reconsideration of rejected ballots in other counties.
On Thursday morning, Republicans submitted affidavits to King County elections officials from 96 people who voted for Rossi and believe their ballots were erroneously rejected because of signature problems. They say they have identified about 250 such voters statewide.
"We believe Dino Rossi is the legitimate Governor-elect of the State of Washington and we will continue fighting to protect his election," state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance said.
Dean Logan, King County's elections director and one of three members on its canvassing board, said those ballots would not be re-evaluated, because they had been properly considered and rejected.
"You will continue to hear accusations of fraud, of changing rules, of manufactured votes," Logan said Thursday, addressing rumors flying on the Internet and talk radio. "I believe the record shows most of these allegations, if not all of them, are totally untrue."
We know he's "impartial" in this process, right?
I've been a serious comic fan for a long time, but I'm probably the only one who hasn't read Frank Miller's Sin City.
The motion picture adaptation of Sin City is still on course for a summer 2005 release, and the trailer is finally out.
My God, this looks good! Pure noir, pure action, pure Miller, and with an all-star cast.
I simply have GOT to see this movie as soon as it comes out!
Monday, I groaned and otherwise generally complained about the clothesline that Jacksonville safety Donovan Darius threw at Packers receiver Robert Ferguson, leaving Ferguson with no feeling below his waist until hours later at a hospital.
Well, the NFL has responded with a $75,000 fine against Darius for that "unsportsmanlike" hit.
Say what you will about the NBA, but at least the NFL adjudicates quickly and fairly. Darius had said Sunday night that he would appeal any fine from the league. No comment has come from Darius since the fine was handed down on Tuesday afternoon.
I also blogged poetic about the strange murder of Jennifer Corbin, and the case building against her husband Dr. Barry Corbin in suburban Atlanta. One of the bizarre points in the case I mentioned was the simularities of Jennifer's murder and that of a former girlfriend of Dr. Corbin's in Augusta, GA 14 years ago.
Well, Corbin was arrested on murder charges stemming from that 14 year-old cold case, based on evidence developed in relation to the current Gwinnett County case.
In between fanatical interviews on the Robert Blake case in California, and the heartless bitch who cut a baby out of a pregnant woman's belly in Kansas, I'm sure you'll hear about this one from CourtTV or Greta Van Susteren.
The Transportation Security Agency has revised it's "pat down" search policy, at least when it comes to women, thanks to (depending on who you talk to) some over eager agents who got grope-happy, or some overly sensitive women who felt they were "violated" by the searching.
Now, agents can only touch the "perimeter of the chest area" in their searches.
Sources at the Transportation Security Administration confirm they're changing the way they conduct pat-downs. Some women have complained bitterly recently that the more thorough pat-downs to check for explosives just went to far - especially in the breast area.It seems to me that folks are failing to recall that a couple of Russian airliners went down on the same day earlier this year, and investigators have been able to determine with at least relative certainty that the bombs used to down those airliners were smuggled on board tucked in the underwear of Islamic women on board the planes.
So the TSA, in an interest of being sensitive, has politely and not so subtly told the bad guys that if they get a flat-chested woman (or a rather androgynous guy for that matter), and strap said explosives to the chest of that person in what would closely approximate breasts, that they won't be found out. Why? Because the TSA agents doing the searches won't find them!
All hail political correctness! It'll be the death of us all!
While everyone is getting into a lather about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's use of an "autopen" to sign condolence letters to the families of deceased soldiers, Ann Coulter puts the "scandal" entirely in perspective.
It occurred to someone (who obviously has the best interests of America at heart!) that among the letters Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sends out there must be condolence letters to the families of servicemen who died for their country. So liberals are in a lather that those letters were signed by autopen.My wife (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) and kids gave me a new journal and a pen set for my birthday last week.
On the bright side, this is the first war America has been in where the number of casualties is small enough that it would even be theoretically possible for a Defense secretary to sign each condolence letter personally. When Democrats were running the Vietnam War, letters of condolence often began, "To whom it may concern" and were addressed to "occupant."
I've been so damn upset that Rumsfeld uses an autopen that I've barely had time to enjoy the "Giving Tree" season. Actually, I think it's time to come clean with my readers and admit that I belong to a small religious cult that celebrates the birth of Jesus this week. So things have been a little hectic.
And if the best liberals are going to give me to argue about this week is Autopen-gate, then I shall sleep well knowing that the secretary of defense has made so few mistakes for the past four years that liberals are reduced to carping about his autopen.
Alas, it wasn't an autopen, so I'm forced to continue to sign the checks to pay the bills the old fashioned way. But maybe I'll get one before next Christmas to sign my Christmas cards with.
Carlos Owens is building an 18-foot tall mech (or battle robot) in his back yard.
Owens, a 26 year-old steel worker in Anchorage, AK, plans on finishing it next summer.
"This is a concept that's been around for a long time," Owens said in a telephone interview. "But I'm not going to wait for the other guy to come out and make it when I've got the capability to do it myself."Owens suggests on his own website, Neogentronix.com, that one day mechs like this would be able to help put our wildfires or go into military combat.
He's always had an eye for huge projects, and an inventor's itch. He built a 35-foot wooden version of his mecha when he was 19, he said, as a sculpture project because he couldn't afford the materials to make it function. The latest project, drawing on his experience in the Army and as a steelworker, is more ambitious.
"I've always been building things," he said. "But with the mecha I wanted to do something different than what everyone else was doing. It's hard to invent something new."
When completed, the idea is for the pilot to be able to strap himself into a central, padded compartment, and then control the mecha with the motions of his own body. When the pilot walks, the mecha walks. Raise an arm and open a hand, and the mecha does the same, with 46 possible movements planned.
Sounds like he's watched one too many episodes of Gundam Wing or someother Anime on Adult Swim.
The Watcher of Weasels is looking to fill a vacancy among his ranks.
Indeed a prestigious place to watch from, mind you.
The rules are simple enough, and include weekly participation in the nomination and voting for the weekly Watcher of Weasels award.
Do you have what it takes to Watch?
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, head of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny (BOND), was quoted in a release from BOND yesterday denouncing the Kwanzaa holiday, which is traditionally celebrated the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
(Peterson) notes that while public school administrators and city officials attempt to ban nativity scenes, Christmas carols, candy canes and even Christmas trees from public places, Kwanzaa has been accepted as mainstream.Peterson insists that a continued acceptance of Kwanzaa as a holiday by the public, while the same public works to diminish the importance of Christmas is done at our peril.
While commonly viewed as an "African" holiday, observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Kwanzaa actually was created in the U.S. in 1966 by Dr. Maulana "Ron" Karenga, the head of a violent black-power group, United Slaves Organization, which was a rival to the Black Panthers.
In the 1970s, Karenga served four years in prison for conspiracy and assault in the torture of two female followers.
In a 1978 interview quoted in the Washington Post, Karenga said, "People think it's African, but it's not. I came up with Kwanzaa because black people in this country wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of bloods (blacks) would be partying."
"If black Christians don't stand up for Christmas and reject Kwanzaa, they are allowing evil to have its way," Peterson said. "They will regret using a fake holiday to stamp out the true meaning of Christmas."
DC Council Chair Linda Cropp (L) & Mayor Anthony Williams
The compromise reached by Mayor Anthony A. Williams, D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp and baseball officials allows private financing for a 41,000-seat stadium on the Anacostia River south of the Capitol but would eliminate a provision voiding the deal if private financing isn't found.The full council is set to vote on the revised proposal today.
Estimates for the project, which includes land acquisition, street improvements, infrastructure upgrades and refurbishing RFK Stadium, start at $435 million.
The revised deal also splits the liability for cost overruns and missed construction deadlines evenly between the city and Major League Baseball, Williams spokesman Chris Bender said.
I would presume that the team store in Washington's Union Station will start selling merchandise and tickets again later today, after the vote is made official.
Powerline earned "blog of the year" honors from Time in this week's issue (though the article is only available online if you subscribe to the dead-tree edition of Time), primarily for their role in uncovering the CBS News - "Rathergate" scandal. I'm proud to have them on my blogroll, and to have corresponded with them and the other blogs who have gained national notice over the year.
Plenty of sources in the mainstream media continue to ignore blogs, but the bottom line is that we - as a whole - are an important of the news stream in the world today, and we get information and attention focused to where it's necessary.
Of course, it's also fun to take digs at the "bigs" once in awhile, too.
Green Bay Packers receiver Robert Ferguson temporarily lost feeling in his legs last night after being clotheslined by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovan Darius.
Ferguson went up for a pass in the 4th quarter, and on coming down, Darius delivered a vicious clothesline to Ferguson's neck that sent his mouthpiece flying in one direction, his helmet in the other, and the fourth year receiver limply to the turf, unconcious.
Ferguson did not regain feeling in his legs until after he had been taken to a local hospital by ambulance. Jacksonville was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Darius was ejected from the game, which Green Bay lost 28-25.
After the game, Darius was unapologetic.
"It's part of the game," Darius said. "Brett threw the ball and Ferguson was wide open. I was just running over trying to make a play, trying to separate him from the ball. I never intentionally try to hurt someone. I love to play the game and I play it 100 mph. Unfortunately, he got hurt. I pray for him. Everybody that saw it from our standpoint said it looked clean."The NFL generally does not stand for injurius conduct like this from it's players -- you can be fairly certain that the League will send down a hefty fine to Darius for the hit.
But Packers receiver Antonio Chatman said it was clearly a dirty hit "because he got hit on the chin when he couldn't protect himself. I was just praying he was all right. We (receivers) don't go out to hurt nobody, or we'd be cutting them (defensive backs) every time. We block 'em like a man."
Darius said he's seen players stay in the game for hits worse than his.
"It was not intentional, I was just trying to make a play," he said. "I've done that in the past when I know I couldn't get an interception, I swung up, trying to get the ball. That's a technique."
Darius said he would appeal any fine the league hands down.
The viciousness of the hit recalled a hit more than 25 years ago delivered by the Oakland Raiders' Jack Tatum to New England Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley, which left Stingley permanently paralyzed.
Here's hoping that we don't see any injurious cheap shots like that in the League any time soon.
LaShawn Barber has rerun a piece from 2002 which has seen a couple of title changes since it's first posting.
“Tis the Season to be Pagans,” “Why Black Christians Shouldn’t Celebrate Kwanzaa,” and now “Kwanzaa is for Pagans.” The underlying point of the piece is that all Christians need to be careful with spiritualized “celebrations” lest they become caught up with occultic and other forbidden doctrines.I certainly understand the desire to celebrate the African culture for those who find themselves cloaked in it, but the larger question that I ask, is as opposed to celebrating a "holiday" that is no less manufactured than Hallmark and American Greetings' "Grandparents' Day" or "Boss' Day," why not actually do the research and celebrate a day in common with the peoples of the African cultures that you might hope to emulate?
Ah, but it's politically incorrect to even question the motives of those who manufactured Kwanzaa as a "holiday" to be celebrated -- and especially celebrated as a so-called alternative to Christmas.
...at least to those of us Hitchhiker's Guide fans...
Thanks to those who have sent greetings.
In Gwinnett County, just northeast of Atlanta, Jennifer Corbin was found dead with a gunshot in her head on December 4. The gun used was beside her in the bed where her 7 year-old son found her. The son, the Corbin's oldest, said that he thought his father, Dacula, GA, dentist Dr. Barton Corbin, had shot his mother.
As the investigation continues in this tragic death, a number of circumstances are coming to light.
First off, according to Jennifer's sister, Jennifer had filed for divorce from her husband on November 29.
Jennifer Corbin, a 39-year-old mother of two boys and a pre-school teacher, tried to file a criminal complaint with Gwinnett police against her husband, Dr. Barton Corbin, on December 1, according to her sister, Heather Tierney.And as if this wasn't bad enough, an even more bizarre coincidence is in play in this case.
Tierney says Jennifer told her she bought her own cell phone after her husband, a dentist in Dacula, Ga., filed for divorce on November 29. Jennifer said her husband eventually found out about it.
On Dec. 1, Jennifer apparently walked into a room of their house in Dacula to find the contents of her purse scattered across the floor and her phone missing, according to Tierney. Jennifer decided to confront Dr. Corbin and went to another room of the house, where he'd moved his belongings.
Tierney said that when Jennifer demanded her husband give her back her cell phone, he refused and tore out of the house wearing nothing but his bath towel.
When he got into a car and tried to drive away, Jennifer got behind the car, hoping to delay him long enough to get her phone back, Tierney said. Dr. Corbin wouldn’t stop and ended up running over one of Jennifer’s feet.
Fourteen years ago, Dolly Hearn was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head, the gun used, found in her lap.
Dolly was a dentistry student in Augusta, GA, and had reportedly tried to break up with her boyfriend, a fellow student. She was afraid of the boyfriend, and had told friends that he was borderline violent.
Dolly hoped that he'd just graduate and move on with his life, leaving her alone.
A few days later, she was dead.
The boyfriend's name: Barton Corbin.
Hearn had been dating Corbin, a fellow dentistry student at the Medical College of Georgia. She was breaking up with him before her death.That case may be reopened as a result of the Gwinnett County case. The grand jury looking into the Gwinnett case is not due to meet again until after the first of the year.
In the months before her death, someone broke into her apartment, and another time someone vandalized her car.
Hearn suspected Corbin in the incidents and so did detectives.
Asked if Hearn was afraid of Corbin and if she was trying to get away from him, Richard County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Pebbles, the lead detective in the Hearn investigation, said, “You know I can’t speak for what she felt inside. I can only tell you that the police reports had been filed. Those were obviously a matter of public record and there were obviusly some issues between the two.”
Detectives questioned Corbin after Hearn’s death but the case languished until Dec. 4 this year when Corbin’s wife died exactly the same way.
Once the case gets a little more traction -- and considering that the Michael Jackson case won't heat up until at least the end of January to the beginning of February, look for this one to show up there and on the voyeuristic court shows (Fox's Greta VanSusteren and others) up and down the dial.
Philadelphia area minister Jesse W. Brown penned a letter to hislocal newspaper pointing out that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board decided to have some urban package stores open on Sunday, while "state stores" in rural communities -- especially those with more conservative (of course this being code for "white") populations -- would be closed Sundays.
According to Jonathan Newman, Chairperson of the Liquor Control Board (LCB), some communities in the state would not be forced to accept the Sunday sales.Hmm... Let's see. urban area where enough sales can be made on Sundays to justify the salary of the workers there, versus rural area where the amount of sales does not offset or justify the salary of the employees who would work Sunday.
"We have some stores in rural pockets where it wouldn't work because of the religious, conservative beliefs," Newman said.
As an African American pastor in an urban community who has fought for years against the intrusion of liquor sales in our neighborhoods, I take great offense at Mr. Newman's statement, made in a city with population that is just 2.6 percent African American. The statement made it very clear that this Administration is far more concerned about religious beliefs of Whites than those of Black Pennsylvanians.
I don't think so!
More like sound business practice!
But then again, this is coming from a resident of a state that is dry Sundays (gotta love Georgia, right?), and would much rather be able to buy booze on Sunday morning after church while doing my regular grocery shopping as opposed to making a special trip Saturday night.
OK. This year, I'm going to enter the Dead Pool.
I missed it last year, and kicked myself for doing so.
For those of you who see this as morbid, keep in mind that as a former reporter and talk show host, I developed this sick gallows humor over the years -- working for CNN (even though it was in Sports) didn't help any; if anything, it sharpened it a bit.
Anyhow, here's my list of fifteen:
There are at least two others I'd love to add as bonus picks if I could: Rosa Parks, who sadly is suffering from dementia also; Ariel Sharon, who is bigger'n I am, but is ducking and dodging folks trying to kill him on a daily basis.
Michael Jackson -- I really think he'll do himself in before the end of next year. IMO, the trial will end up getting to him, especially as some of the really sick stuff starts to come out. Keith Richards -- He already looks like he's been embalmed, why not finish the job? Gerald Ford -- Notice that you haven't seen ol' Gerry lately -- not even at the unveiling of Bubba's Presidential Double-Wide last month. Pope John Paul II -- The Vatican (and all the networks) has been getting ready for this for hte past several years. Nothing cynical to say here; just looking at the Holy Writing on the Wall. Abe Vigoda -- I didn't realize he was still alive! I remember Fish from Barney Miller; wasn't he old then!? Robert "Sheets" Byrd -- Couldn't happen to a nicer klansman-turned-moonbat. Courtney Love -- Why isn't she dead already!? I'm convinced that her internal gas tank is blinking "empty" (along with what passes for her brain), it just hasn't coughed it's last yet. Osama Bin Laden -- OK, I'll finally admit that Osama Yo Mama is still alive, but he can't run from the eternal celestial 7-11 forever. Pervez Musharaf -- I really think some Islamakazi is gonna nail Pakistan's president. It's not like they haven't been trying. Kim Jong-Il -- Headline: "Crazy dictator pushes starving subjects too far, subjects bite back." 'Nuff said. Abu Al-Zarqawi -- With every tom, dick & harry in Iraq looking for this goon, someone's gonna nail him. Soon. Richard Pryor -- A hard life and multiple schlerosis have taken their toll on poor Rich. James Doohan -- Scotty has made his last personal appearance, and dementia is setting in. I don't think he can engineer his way out of eternity. Ted "Jabba the Drunk" Kennedy -- Pickled liver, pickled brain, pickled Ted. William Rehnquist -- Once he steps down from the Bench, he won't be long.
If you want to join the pool, you've got until the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to pick 15 of your own and get 'em in. Laurence has all the rules over at The Dead Pool, as well as a list of prizes for the taking.
The Washington Nationals, after being dealt a significant blow by the DC City Council with regard to construction of a new stadium, shuttered the one memorabilia store they had opened, and began refunding money paid for season tickets today.
Major League Baseball has told its vendor to suspend sales of the items indefinitely. The temporary Washington Nationals store set up near RFK Stadium is now closed.Washington Mayor Anthony Williams was quoted as saying that the deal would have to be fixed within the next two weeks if it could be at all.
The team has also suspended the hiring of front office and support personnel. Major league Baseball officials have said the Expo's baseball operations will continue but efforts to sell sponsorships. arrange broadcast deals and conduct other marketing efforts are all on hold.
It is unclear whether the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos will play this season in Washington, Montreal or some other city.
Chevy Chase, who still can't seem to get his career back on track, unloaded on President Bush with both barrels Tuesday night at an awards ceremony he hosted for moonbat group People for the American Way at Washington's Kennedy Center.
Chase unloaded on the President near the end of the event. His tirade left most of the moonbats there speechless.
Chase took the stage a final time and unleashed a rant against President Bush that stunned the crowd. He deployed the four-letter word that got Vice President Cheney in hot water, using it as a noun. Chase called the prez a "dumb [expletive]." He also used it as an adjective, assuring the audience, "I'm no [expletive] clown either. . . . This guy started a jihad."Chase ducked out of the ceremony immediately after that, and did not come back out for an encore. Chase didn't talk to the press afterward either.
Chase also said: "This guy in office is an uneducated, real lying schmuck . . . and we still couldn't beat him with a bore like Kerry."
People for the American Way distanced itself yesterday from the actor's rant. "Chevy Chase's improvised remarks caught everyone off guard, and were inappropriate and offensive," Ralph Neas, the liberal advocacy group's president, said in a statement. "It was not what I would have said, and certainly not the language People for the American Way would ever use in discussing any president of the United States."
Founder Norman Lear agreed, telling us: "I thought it was utterly untoward, obviously unexpected and unscripted and all that stuff. And, uh -- it was Chevy Chase. He'll live with it, I won't."
Sen. Tom Daschle, the former minority leader, looked taken aback when he went on directly after Chase. His opening line: "I've had to follow a lot of speakers, but -- "
The ACLU and the "politcally correct" would have us dump the phrase "Merry Christmas" in favor of whatever else they can come up with, usually "Happy Holidays." And while I would certainly wish "Happy Holidays" upon everyone to encompass folks who don't celebrate Christmas (as with the just ended Hannukah holidays -- Happy belated Hannukah to those of you who celebrate it), I will not be bullied into downplaying my celebration of the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And the ACLU can take a flying leap.
British Environment Minister Elliot Morley predicted that the notion of a White Christmas for England (and by extension, the middle lattitudes) is 65 percent less likely over the next 50 years.
Norman Baker, the British Parliament's Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, summed up the analysis this way: "Britons will soon be left with only dreams of a white Christmas, as the chances of it actually happening become more remote."Global warming. Feh.
Despite the fact that London has experienced only six white Christmases in the past 45 years, Baker said any future lack of snow could be blamed on only one factor. "Global warming is the main reason for this shift in seasonal weather and is responsible for changing the world as we know it," Baker said.
Baker believes the analysis should prompt a call to action on climate change.
"It is not only Christmas that will be affected. In the New Year we can expect more of the extreme weather, floods and gales suffered across the Continent this year. This is a global issue, but the government needs to make reducing greenhouse gases one of its top New Year's resolutions," Baker said.
This morning's low here in Atlanta? 18 degrees. And of course, it was even colder out away from the city, and up toward the North Georgia Mountains.
It's 42 this afternoon here, and we're expecting an even colder blast early next week, and the weatherman actually mentioned a possibility of snow for that timeframe.
The home and away jerseys are available for sale from the MLB shop (at a whopping $190 a pop), but at the rate this mess is progressing, they may only be collectors' items from a team that could have been.
Speculation is running rampant (though there is no confirmation anywhere) that Major League Baseball will pull out of DC entirely, and play games elsewhere during the 2005 season.
Thanks to an eleventh hour amendment to the stadium financing provision, the Washington Nationals (formerly Montreal Expos) may be forced to leave the Nation's Capitol after next season.
DC City Council Chair Linda Cropp put a last-minute provision into play at a council meeting last night which would force the previously agreed-to publicly financed stadium be partially paid for with private financing.
Jack Evans, baseball's most passionate advocate on the council, said the provision could be a deal breaker.Cropp, rumored by some to be considering a run for Washington mayor, then entered the amendment, and then gave her vote to pass the bill, 7-6.
"This gives baseball an out," he said. "Changing the agreement will then negate the agreement, and then Major League Baseball will go somewhere else."
Council Chair Linda Cropp offered the private-financing provision, saying it would be crucial for her support. She was considered the swing vote on the 13-member council.
Cropp said she was not satisfied with concessions offered by baseball that would have made the deal more financially palatable for the city. When the council gave its initial approval to the law on Nov. 30, it called for the city to issue $531 million in bonds to finance the plan.
"I have not seen the movement from Major League Baseball that I would have liked in the past two weeks," Cropp said. "My dream of dreams is that we will get enough private financing that the costs of building the stadium will be eliminated."
Of the various city proposals for the Nationals-used-to-be-Expos, Washington's proposal, which centered around a publicly financed stadium, appeared to be the best fit for the team.
Cropp's last minute Machiavellian tactics have put the other potential cities (Las Vegas, Portland, Norfolk, Monterrey, San Juan and Northern Virginia) back into play, not for this season, but for any future seasons.
I'm sure Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, the most vocal critic of the Nationals being allowed to play in Washington, is pretty happy with this development. Angelos insisted that a team playing in DC would siphon money away from his team and his own revenues.
As things stand today, the Nationals are expected to begin play April 4 in Philadelphia against the Phillies, and have a home opener scheduled for April 14 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
UPDATE: The uniform unveiling set for 2:00 this afternoon has been cancelled. Could be a sign of things to come, or in DC's case, NOT to come, thanks to Cropps.
According to WTOP Radio, an announcement of the reason for the cancellation will come later today.
That's too bad. 33 years fans have been waiting for major league baseball in Washington, and thanks to one knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing moonbat, the hopes'll probably head down the drain.
Despondent liberals, desperate to isolate themselves from the remainder of the nation, have put together a website (ChooseTheBlue.com) which discloses what companies donated to the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee this year as opposed to donating to the Bush campaign or the Republican National Committee.
Costco workers gave more to Democrats, for example, while Wal-Mart's preferred Republicans, according to campaign finance records. Donna Karan's people lean left. Fruit of the Loom's give to the right.Of course, conservatives can also use the site to determine where to better focus their shopping efforts as well.
For Ann and Bill Duvall, the site's creators, Nov. 3 brought great disappointment--and a call to action.
"We woke up that morning just really devastated and depressed, and in some ways I'm grateful that we came up with this idea because that's where we've been able to put our energy," Ann Duvall, 56, said.
Using information from the Federal Election Commission Web site and the Center for Responsive Politics site, www.opensecrets.org, the Duvalls give their fellow Democrats a gift that could keep on giving.
"If each American who voted for John Kerry spends $100 in 2005 on a blue company instead of a red company, we can move $5 billion away from Republican companies and add $5 billion to the income of companies who donate to Democrats," they say on the site.
Then there are those of us who just want the most bang for the buck. In which case, sites like this are useless.
UPDATE: Someone pointed out a second site that is geared toward disgruntled blue-staters, BuyBlue.Org, where you can find more information about how companies donated.
But like the aforementioned ChooseTheBlue.Com, conservatives can also use BuyBlue.Org to help govern their buying habits toward more conservatively donating stores and companies.
Heads up, Texas-folk and take a gander at this.
I've never heard of this outfit, but I'm willing to bet that supporting US troops is not on the agenda.
75 year-old Clark suffered a mild stroke last week, which will keep him sidelined from the Times Square duties that he has held court over for the past 32 New Year's Eve ball drops.
In a statement released by his publicist Monday, Clark said, "I'm so glad that Regis hadn't yet made any New Year's plans. It'll feel strange watching it on TV but my doctors felt it was too soon. I'm sure Regis will do a great job and I'm thankful that he was able to step in on such short notice."Regis has got to be one of the hardest working hosts in television with his daily talk show, the quarterly "Millionaire" specials, plus filling in hither and yon where needed. You might remember that he filled in for David Letterman as host of CBS' The Late Show during Dave's extended hiatus in the wake of the 9/11 disaster.
Philbin said, "It's the greatest 'temp job' in the world. I just hope I can uphold the standards Dick Clark has set for this annual event, and I look forward to his return next year."
In any event, I can't think of a better choice to fill in for Dick Clark.
Step one: Tie these balloons to the back of your car.
Step two: Step on it (of course while having a frantic look on your face)!
Step three: Try not to lose control while lauging...
Former Israeli UN Ambassador Dore Gold pointed out to Fox News Channel's Cal Thomas this weekend that the notion of Iranian missiles hitting Israel should be the least of our worries.
"This is not just an Israeli problem. The missiles being developed in Iran have a range that goes well beyond Israel.Tack on a nuclear warhead -- that contrary to the hand-wringers' carping, Iran IS developing -- and the pucker factor goes up quite a bit.
"Certainly they have the Shihab-3 missile, with a range of 1,300 kilometers, that can strike Israel," he said. "But they're developing the Shihab-4 for hitting Europe and a Shihab-5, with Russian missile technology, that can strike the Eastern Seaboard of the United States."
Ah, but we're supposed to sit back and let the Iranians do what they want -- even though their government has stated publicly that they would like to go after the United States.
Say what you will, but World War IV continues unabated.
Many of Tim Burton's movies give the impression to have been made during a drug-induced high.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Burton's remake of the classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (due for a 7/15 release) falls squarely in the same camp, as evidenced by the movie's trailer (.mov), which was just released.
And, is it my imagination or does Johnny Depp look for all the world like Michael Jackson in this trailer?
Bill Cosby visited an award-winning inner San Francisco school yesterday, and gave his now-usual speech chastizing parents who fail their children.
San Francisco school chief Arlene Ackerman wrote a letter to Cosby, inviting him to see one of San Francisco's "dream schools," which are low-performing schools that have overhauled their approach to teaching, to greater results.
Cosby visited Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco's "poverty-stricken" Bayview-Hunters Point area yesterday.
After his visit, Cosby praised the school, but he stressed that it was parents -- not just the schools themselves -- who needed to step up to ensure their children beat the statistics. "Parents are 99 percent," he said. "School districts don't parent. They teach."Ackerman said she was happy to have Cosby air his views, even though they are politically incorrect.
Cosby has been hopeful that people would get over their shock following his initial comments last spring, and that they would be more ready to be about the business of change for the better.
"I think we're past the furor part now," he said. "It's a movement now that needs to happen. ... It's time for people to just stop seeing themselves so much as victims, so much in poverty, and realize what education does and fight for it like you're fighting for your life -- and you are because that's what our children are."It's well past time to be about the business. Well past time.
MoveOn.org, the radical moonbat fringe of the Democratic Party who desperately wants to be in charge, is insisting on taking charge -- all while blaming the present Democratic establishment for the reelection of George W. Bush.
A scathing e-mail from the head of MoveOn's political action committee to the group's supporters on Thursday targets outgoing Democratic National Committee (news - web sites) chairman Terry McAuliffe as a tool of corporate donors who alienated both traditional and progressive Democrats.They need to take their own advice: get over it and move on. Bush won. Period. They can come back and play in four years.
"For years, the party has been led by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base," said the e-mail from MoveOn PAC's Eli Pariser. "But we can't afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers."
"In the last year, grass-roots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the party doesn't need corporate cash to be competitive," the message continued. "Now it's our party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."
Former Notre Dame football coach Ty Willingham has been described as a coach's coach, and one class act by many who have met him, player, coach and fan alike.
Buried amid last week's stories of his firing from Notre Dame after three "middle of the road" years for the storied football program is this little tidbit.
Tyrone Willingham blamed himself Wednesday for his firing as Notre Dame coach, saying he failed to meet the school's expectations of producing an elite team.So while charges of racism get tossed by everyone from Washington Post columnist and ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon to Jesse "I gotta find me a visable cause to represent" Jackson, and everyone in between, the most insightful and honorable comment comes from the man at the center of the maelstrom.
``I don't get into what's fair and what's not fair. I am an optimist by nature, but I am also a realist, and that makes you deal with the events as they occur,'' he said. ``So I will deal with the events.''
``I understand that I did not meet the expectations and standards I set for myself and this program,'' he said. ``When you don't meet your own expectations you make yourself vulnerable to the will of others. So today I am no longer the head football coach at Notre Dame.''
And for those comments and the willingness own up to his own shortcomings, my high level of respect for Willingham rose a notch higher yet today.
Mark my words -- though Willingham has departed from under the watchful gaze of "Touchdown Jesus," his journey will take him to greater football heights, and countless legions of football fans will be the better for it.
Ann Coulter's new column points out that since liberals have been pummelled over their mistreatment of Condoleezza Rice, the moonbats have turned their attention toward Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, often the punching bag of liberals in general and black liberals in particular.Thomas has been called Oreo, Sellout, and names far more unmentionable in mixed company, due to his very conservative ideology along with his conservative opinions on the Supreme Court.
Now that his name is being brought up as a serious candidate to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the spitting venom by liberals is coming back out, directed toward Thomas.
US Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), soon to be Senate Minority Leader, was quoted on this past Sunday's edition of NBC's Meet The Press as calling Thomas an "embarrasment" to the Court.
Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, had this to say about Justice Clarence Thomas: "I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written."Coulter points to comments regarding Thomas and Rice from other prominent liberals.
In the same interview, Reid called Justice Antonin Scalia "one smart guy." He said that although he disagreed with Scalia, his reasoning is "very hard to dispute." Scalia is "one smart guy"; Thomas is the janitor.
Joseph Cirincione, with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (so you know they don't have an agenda or anything), said Rice "doesn't bring much experience or knowledge of the world to this position." This was reassuring, inasmuch as that was also liberals' assessment of the current president before he took office and he, to put it mildly, has been doing rather well.As I said in a Project 21 press release last month -- quite accurately, as these accounts point out -- black conservatives are the new "trash class" of society in the minds of liberals. To them, we are to be maligned, ignored and personally attacked. The existing societal double-standard ensures that they won't be called on the carpet for it. But woe be unto any conservative, black or white, who dares to malign a black liberal. We'll be hounded to the ends of the earth by the self-appointed "soul patrol" in order to be made an "appropriate" scapegoat.
The Kansas City Star editorialized that Rice "has not demonstrated great competence in the last four years," which is to say, Dr. Rice failed to be sufficiently clairvoyant to predict the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Columnist Bob Herbert sneered of Rice's nomination in the New York Times: "Competence has never been highly regarded by the fantasists of the George W. Bush administration."
Democratic consultant Bob Beckel – who demonstrated his own competence running Walter Mondale's campaign – said of Rice, "I don't think she's up to the job."
'Tis a lonely road we travel, but it's a road that our collective integrity demands that we walk.
Al Sharpton got his pocked lined to the tune of $86,715 in "travel and consulting fees" from the Democratic National Committee after Sharpton withdrew from the 2004 Presidential race.
"They asked me to travel to 20 or 30 cities to campaign, and I did that," Sharpton said. "What am I supposed to do, donate the cost of airfare?"Sharpton says that he should be reimbursed for travel expenses, but records show that some $35,000 went straight into Crazy Al's pocket.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Jano Cabrera said the party paid Sharpton at the Kerry campaign's request.
"After meeting with Kerry's staff, we did agree to pay for Rev. Sharpton's travel and consulting expenses," Cabrera said. "He traveled very extensively to help the nominee and Democrats across the board, encouraging them to get out and vote on Nov. 2."
None of the other former candidates received any fees from the DNC.
This brings new meaning to the term "walking-around money."
"The Cylons were created by man.Have you voted today for your favorite blog (hint-hint!)? You can do so once every 24 hours until 12/12/04!
Some are programmed to think they ARE human.
There are many copies.
And they have a Plan."
--Prelude to episodes of "Battlestar Galactica"
Flashback to 1977: President Carter was hosting Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at Camp David. And on ABC, the pilot movie of "Battlestar Galactica" premiered, riding the "Star Wars" wave into television history.
The series starred Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch & Dirk Benedict, and told the story of mankind-turned-nomads of a "rag-tag fleet of ships led by the last battlestar, Galactica," on a quest for the fabled missing human colony: Earth.
That "Galactica" was hokey at best. It included really bad acting, hokey scripts, and oddball concepts that were insanely expensive to produce.
Flash forward to 2003.
After multiple attempts to resurrect the franchise, The Sci-Fi Channel finally put together a new "Battlestar Galactica," in the form of a four-hour miniseries. Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell headed up a cast of mostly unknown actors in a complete rewrite and rebuild of the story.
Twelve human colonies have existed in peace for many years.
Decades ago, a robotic race, called Cylons, were created to serve man. They rebelled and after a conflict, withdrew to another part of space.
The Sci-Fi Channel miniseries shows the story behind the Cylons return and their destruction of humanity. Humanity is reduced to a flotilla of starships, led by the last military vessel, the battlestar Galactica.
The Galactica is a true military vessel, and feels very much like an aircraft carrier, and is certainly far more gritty than the 70s version ever hoped to be.
This new "Galactica" is far darker than anything else out there. The miniseries showed more in terms of scenes of the destruction of the human civilization, and even in the scenes not shown, you are feeling the pain and despair of the remaining humans.
After the miniseries blew the top off of ratings records on Sci-Fi, a television series was inevitable, and with the help of the UK's Sky, the series went into production.
The entire cast of the miniseries returned, with Olmos as Commander William Adama, who is at odds as often as not with the new President of the human alliance, Laura Roslin, played by Mary McDonnell. Roslyn had been the Secretary of Education, 43rd in the line of succession prior to the holocaust, and finds herself reluctantly taking on the presidential mantle over the dwindling remnants of humanity.
The hokey names of the original "Galactica" have been turned into the call signs for the pilots of this version: Apollo is Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber), son of the Galactica's commanding officer; Starbuck is -- yes, a girl, Lieutenant Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sakhoff). Thrace is the "top gun" of the fighter pilots on the Galactica, and shares the predilection for cigars that Dirk Benedict portrayed as Starbuck in the original.
Canadian character actor Michael Hogan plays the hard drinking, arrogant second-in-command, Colonel Paul Tigh. The easy-on-the-eyes Grace Park is Lieutenant Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, who is more than she seems.
British actor James Callis plays Doctor Gaius Baltar, who's actions may have doomed humanity, and whose mind is plagued by the enigmatic Number Six, a Cylon who seduces Baltar's mind, and who has an as yet unknown agenda of her own.
The opening credits start with views of the fighter battles and massive destruction that punctuated the miniseries underneath a haunting vocal meloday, sounding not unlike Enya. The music emphasizes the dire situation facing the remnants of humanity. The opening concludes with a tribal-sounding rapid fire drum beat over scenes from the present episode.
The series opens up a week after the events of the miniseries, but no one has been able to sleep.
Thirty-three minutes after the fleet arrives at a new location after a faster-than-light jump, the Cylons appear, attempting to destroy the fleet's ships. This leads to another FTL jump, followed by another agonizing thirty-three minutes, hence the name of the episode, "33 Minutes."
The episode is tightly-knit with action which leaves you on the edge of your seat, and starts to play off of the events of the miniseries, providing multiple catalysts for episodes to follow. "Shakey, handheld-type" camera work, not unlike that seen in other dramas like "The Shield" or "Homicide" punctuate the series, and actually add to the dramatic feel of the show.
Most of the other episodes aired to date certainly sit in that superior categoy, while one or two others fall short.
Eight episodes have aired on Sky One in the UK over the past couple of months, under a part of their agreement with Sci-Fi. The Sci-Fi Channel's four-hour miniseries is being edited into a three-hour movie, set to run on NBC Saturday, January 8. Regular episodes begin on Sci-Fi Friday, January 14.
The full four-hour miniseries goes on sale on DVD on December 28 at Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.
Take a look. This is not your father's Galactica.
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David Stoltzfus runs a baked good stand in the Lancaster, PA Central Market. Above his stall is a photograph of President George W. Bush, which he placed there two years ago.
Democratic Lancaster City Councilman Nelson Polite approached Stoltzfus recently and asked him to remove the photograph, insisting that it's presence offended he and other Democrats. Stoltzfus refused the request, indicating that the photo was there to honor the office, not necessarily the man.
“If it were Kerry that won, he’d be up there,’’ says Stoltzfus, who operates the Upper Crust stand.Polite claims that he had received complaints from some of his constituents, who thought the photo's presence was inappropriate.
Doesn’t matter, says City Councilman Nelson Polite. “It should come down. This is a public market.”
Besides, says the Democrat, “Bush didn’t win here (in Lancaster City). It is like rubbing salt on a wound.”
Polite approached Stoltzfus on Nov. 12 and ask him to remove the pictures. The standholder has refused to do so, prompting Polite to say he will ask City Council to change the law so that all political items would be banned in public places.
Today, Stoltzfus pointed proudly to a photo of a smiling Bush, framed in green, that hangs above his stand.
The photo, attached to the stand portico with four brass screws, has hung there for nearly two years, since Stoltzfus and his wife, Nina, opened the market stand in March 2003.
The photo's been there two years and Polite only began to complain AFTER Kerry lost the election?
Sounds like sour grapes to me.
I hope the locals tell Mr. "Not So" Polite to get stuffed.
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According to Armstrong Williams' new article this morning, Kweisi Mfume didn't leave the NAACP presidency of his own accord, he was shown the door -- the culmination of a feud with NAACP Chairman (and chief moonbat) Julian Bond.
Bond has had it in for Mfume since Mfume nominated Secretary of State-designee Condoleezza Rice for the 2003 NAACP Image Award. Furious that Mfume was reaching out to the Bush Administration, Bond nominated antagonistic cartoonist Aaron McGruder (creator and artist of "The Boondocks"). McGruder had previously called Rice a "murderer" for her role in the War on Terror.
The rift grew as Mfume continued to reach out to the Republican Party. Mfume realized that by reflexively voting Democrat in every election, the black voting populace has given away most of their political bartering power. After all, what incentive is there for either party to go out on a limb for blacks, if it is taken for granted that blacks will automatically vote Democrat? In effect, the black voting populace has created conditions that make it very easy for both parties to take them for granted. Mfume rightly reasoned that by reaching out to the Republican Party on issues that they already agree with -- like empowering faith based charities, supporting school vouchers, etc. -- the black voting populace can send the message that they’re no longer willing to blindly support the Democrats. Faced with the prospect of fleeing voters, the Democrats would be forced to make new overtures. This competition, in turn, would instill both parties with a sense of urgency for addressing those issues that black Americans routinely rate as their chief concerns. This competitive pressure would provide the black voting populace with increased political options -- and increased bartering power. Somehow this point was lost on Bond, who dug in his heels with mind numbing intransigence. Over the next year and a half, the rift became unmendable.Bond has become increasingly irrational when it comes to his criticism of conservatives in general and the Bush Administration in particular, referring to Republicans as the "Taliban wing" of American politics, and constantly ranting and raving about how "evil" conservatives are.
This past summer at the NAACP's national convention, Bond went further, following up on 2003 statements that referred to the GOP as the "White People's Party," and soundly denounced any blacks who would dare to support the Bush Administration.
The last straw between Bond and Mfume came when Mfume suggested a letter be sent to the President after last month's Presidential election, suggesting ways the organization and the Bush Administration might be able to work together to help black America in years to come. Bond didn't want Mfume to send this letter; Mfume sent it anyway.
Shortly after that point, Bond had Mfume voted out.
The NAACP is continuing to fall into the quagmire of racial divisiveness and mediocrity. And Julian Bond is the head mediocre moonbat in charge.
It's just sad to see an organization that could easily help black America overcome problems with family, school and community nationwide fall into to such unreachable straits. It's almost better to put it out of it's misery at this point. Bond has rendered any real repair nearly impossible.
Honesty, obviously, isn't a liberal virtue, even among bloggers.
The Daily Kos was nominated for Best Overall Blog in the 2004 Weblog Awards (hosted by Wizbang), and posters there (along with posters from Wampum), in their "infinite wisdom," posted the automated code they are using to generate votes-in-quantity, in violation of the rules.
It appears that one of the Wampum authors provided the psuedo code or logic for the script hacks at Daily Kos and did so publicly and proudly at Wampum. I really don't know if the script kiddie at Kos ever saw the Wampum post, but it's just galling that a site that I have gone out of my way to promote both this year and last year would unapologetically participate (however peripherally) in what amount to a denial of service attack on the Weblog Awards site Saturday night.Wampum is hosting the Koufax Awards, which is the moonbat equivilant of the Weblog Awards. You'd think they'd be more logical and ethical in their approach to this.
But then again, these are moonbats who have, once again, proven their lack of ethical character.
My advice to Kevin Aylward over at Wizbang?
Yank the Best Liberal Blog award entirely, and pull any and all liberal blogs off of the award ballot. Period.
We are under no logical compulsion to provide entertainment or forum for their form of mental (and probably physical for that matter) masturbatory stimulation.
Oh. By the way. I'm still inviting your votes for me for Best Conservative Blog.
After the Transformers-based Citroën commercial earlier in the week, you knew that there had to be geek-laden things to out do it floating around.
Toyota unveiled the performance show for their pavilion at Expo 2005, opening in late March in Aichi, Japan.
The one on the left is called the i-foot and is designed to help the disabled get around and up stairs. In the center and on the right are two different configurations of the i-unit, the lower one being geared toward more high speed moves.
There is a video of the units in action available on the offical Toyota Expo 2005 site. Just select "Performance Show" followed by "PR Movie."
RJR Tobacco is marketing flavored Camel Cigarettes.
The flavors are sweet and the packaging is rather fanciful. Yet RJR insists that they aren't being marketed toward kids.
Many teens seem to like them, and the manufacturers said the brand is in demand.Camel's flavors include Kauai Kolada & Twista Lime. Other brands are getting into the game, including versions of Brown & Williamson's Kool with names like Caribbean Chill, Midnight Berry, Mocha Taboo and Mintrigue.
The cigarettes come in flavors like lime, berry, pineapple and coconut.
"They're kind of tasty. It sounds like a gimmick for kids, you know. I walk in there, I see the bright colors and I'm, like, 'I need that cigarette,'" said Kenny Silver, 18, a high school senior.
"It's all colorful and really cool and groovy and they look nice and, of course, people automatically think, 'Oh, nice, I want to smoke these now,'" said Hedi Lowe, 18, also a high school senior.
But R.J. Reynolds, the manufacturer of Camel, said:
"We don't, under any circumstance, market our product to youth. Our adult consumers asked us and told us they like differentiated products. That is why we offer flavored cigarettes."
So you judge for yourself. Are they geared toward kids or not?
Monty Python's Spamalot, the musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail opens for a five-week preview engagement in Chicago on 12/23.
Spamalot stars David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry & Hank Azaria.
Hmmmm. Let's see. Going home for Christmas; tickets starting at $25; I wonder...
Spamalot opens on Broadway on February 14.
If you get a chance, take a look at the home page for Spamalot, it's laden (African or European?) with tons of Pythonesque noises and animations.
A new piece by David C. Atkins on WorldNetDaily takes the Untouchables tactic to get the Islamic terrorists to back off.
The name of the tactic is taken from a memorable line in the 1980s movie version of The Untouchables with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery: "You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send on of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone!"
Atkins' take uses that notion along with the Cold War concept of "Mutually Assured Destruction."
I propose that the U.S. immediately adopt and publish the following nuclear doctrine:This harkens to the notion of training a mule: First thing you do is smack it upside the head with a two-by-four to get it's attention.In the event of a WMD attack by terrorists on the U.S. homeland or U.S. military facilities overseas, the U.S will immediately and without discussion use its immense nuclear weapons capabilities to destroy the 100 largest Islamic cities on earth, regardless of state, and destroy all of the military facilities of Islamic-dominated states. This will include all of the capitals and at least the 10 largest cities of all Islamic-dominated states and the "holy" cities of Mecca and Medina. In addition, North Korean cities and military installations will be destroyed.Now suddenly everybody from Casablanca, Cairo, Damascus, Riyadh, Tehran, Islamabad, Pyongyang and Jakarta have skin in the game. The last thing they want would be a WMD attack on the U.S. It would mean certain destruction of their societies. They might even be motivated to actually and feverishly work against Islamic terrorism instead of the tepid lip service they currently give. Those "freedom fighters" currently being cheered in the streets would be transformed to deadly threats in the very societies that spawned them.
Meet our two-by-four: a promise, not a threat, but a promise.
Guess what. We all of a sudden would have their undivided attention, whine-fest from the United Nations notwithstanding.
Notice how we are predicated to "follow the rules" while the bad guys don't. This follows the rules, but take 'em up a notch.
And if they don't think we're serious, they can always try us. And while I'm using movie metaphors, let me quote the esteemed Inspector Callahan:
"'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya?"
My question to the Islamists and the Islamic world is simple. "Do you feel lucky?"
Well do ya? Do ya?
OK, I'm falling into the shameless promotion department here.
So I'm blushingly asking for your support and your vote. And I'm up against some solid competition (and some of the blogs on my blogroll, as well as some of my personal favorites!) so I'll let everyone know that it's an uphill battle for me.
You can vote once per day each day from now until December 12, so the notion of "Vote Early & Vote Often" works here.
"And we thank you for your support."
Denver's holiday traditions include a Christmas Parade and the lighting of the City and County Building in downtown Denver.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper recently announced that the phrase "MERRY CHRISTMAS" on the outside of the building will be changed to "HAPPY HOLIDAYS," in yet another politically correct attack on the institution of Christmas. And while they're at it, the city is stopping a church group from participating in the annual "Parade of Lights", and singing Christmas Carols.
Parade organizers claim that Christmas Carols may be offensive to some people.
...a church group who wants to march in the Parade of Lights and sing Christmas carols will not be allowed to participate in the parade. Organizers say the parade is about the holidays, not Christmas, but leaders of the Faith Bible Chapel say that's ridiculous.Columnist Michelle Malkin has started the "Lump Of Coal" campaign, inviting readers to send a lump of coal to Denver's mayor, in the hopes of knocking some sense into his head.
"We can't pretend that Christ didn't exist and Christmas wasn't about his birthday, so we felt we could sing it and apparently that is not in social vogue anymore," said Pastor Gary Beasley, with the Faith Bible Chapel.
"This event is not one that has ever intended to have a religious message or a political message," said Susan Rogers, with the Downtown Denver Partnership.
She said no overtly religious symbols is allowed in the parade and that means participants can't carry "Merry Christmas" signs and can't sing traditional Christmas hymns.
If you want to participate, the address is:
Mayor John W. HickenlooperAnd before I hear from you PC pooh-poohers and naysayers, please not that Denver has held this tradition for many, many years, and the term "Merry Christmas" has ALWAYS been used.
Denver City and County Building
1437 Bannock Street, Suite 350
Denver, CO 80202
This overall practice of trying to minimize Christmas and the birth of Christ is completely off-base and out of line.
It seems that Christianity -- which is the religion of the majority of Americans -- is under attack as never before, mostly by PC-types who want to plow it under a wave of politically correct sayings and propaganda. We have a rogue court who has ruled that the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is wrong, an elementary school principal who prohibits a teacher from using the Declaration of Independance in class because it mentions God (and of course, since the teacher is a Christian, the principal is "afraid" he might use the opportunity to preach in class, right?), and now we've got people insisting that Christmas Carols are wrong because they might "offend" people.
Well, quite frankly, in that instance, I don't mind offending people. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and I continue to sing and celebrate that fact from the rooftops. You are welcome to agree or not agree with me, but don't tell me that I can't celebrate that fact!
Oh. And the Faith Bible Chapel in Denver? Since they aren't being allowed to participate in Denver's Christmas Parade, they will walk the route an hour prior to the parade, singing Christmas Carols and passing out hot chocolate. God bless them!
Idiot propaganda filmmaker Michael Moore, sans beard, dirty baseball cap and grungy clothes, showed up on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week, and pretty much admitted defeat in the political game.
Moore told Leno that there was a reason President Bush was re-elected November 2, "He got more votes."I was completely shocked that he actually told the truth for once.
"The Republicans - I'll give them this - they had a story to tell," Moore continued. "The Democrats, often times, aren't very good at telling a story. And the [Bush] story was: Out of the ashes of Sept. 11 rose one man. And he stood on the rubble of lower Manhattan with a bullhorn and he said, 'I will protect you.' "
Don't worry though. Lest you think Ol' Chunky turned in his official moonbat decoder ring and joined the GOP, he also said that he would be back in four years to try again.
WGCL (CBS 46) reporter Fred Powers seems to like his role as "stunt reporter" for the perennial ratings bottom-dweller in the local news race 'round these parts.
Powers has been set on fire, bitten by attack dogs, tasered, "rescued" from a building as part of a firefighter training exercise, and most recently, shot while wearing a bulletproof vest by local police as a part of a training exercise -- all in the line of duty, and usually as part of "sweeps month" stunts.
No wonder he's being dubbed the "human piñata" by TV wags.Of course, what was funnier was the studio rerunning Powers' "tasering" and falling down -- complete with scream -- in sssssllllloooowwww mmmmooooottttiiiooonnn....
Not coincidentally, his biggest stories tend to pop up during the sweeps months of February, May and November. (The current sweeps period ends today.) Because advertisers base what they pay partly on viewership during those three months, a shift of a ratings point here and there can mean millions of dollars for each station.
With such high stakes, it's not surprising that WGCL promotes Powers as the man who will do anything for a story, showing snippets of his escapades accompanied by a rotating 360-degree shot of the reporter, bionic man style.
"I have to admit I don't feel comfortable with that," said Powers, who often has an urgent, swashbuckling attitude on air. "I don't want to be promoted as the story. The story should be the focus."
Last month, Powers aired a live SWAT demonstration at a police training facility in Douglas County. He played a suspect holding a cop hostage. The police stormed the house on live TV and shot Powers, wearing a bulletproof vest, three times in the chest.
Powers' most infamous live demonstration aired in February, when police jolted him with a Taser stun gun.
The Georgia State Patrol was about to equip its officers with stun guns, so he approached Forest Park's police department, which already used them.
"I want to be Tasered," he told Chris Matson, the administrative captain.
"It was," Matson said, "an unusual request."
Powers convinced him that the goal of the segment was to show stun guns were not as dangerous as they appeared.
"We granted his wishes: We gave him 50,000 volts," Matson said.
When the dramatic moment arrived, Powers screamed and fell to the floor, immobilized for several moments. "You just freeze up, but five seconds later, I was fine," he said.
Powers was one of the first reporters to be "Tasered." Not surprisingly, dozens of TV stations nationwide copied WGCL in subsequent weeks.
Now. Tell the truth. How many of you watch reporter stunts like that to see if the reporter will REALLY hurt him/herself trying? Go ahead. Raise your hands.
I thought so. Me too.
The best comic you're not reading, Chris Muir's Day By Day is back with new strips.
Chris is doing a book or three in 2005, so look for it at a bookstore near you!
Seattle-based blog sister Ambra notes the convergence of the "signs of the apocalypse" that are coming together within the near past, and wonders whether something "is about to go down" in this country.
She says that something "about to go down" is in a good way, but is that the "Jaws" theme I'm hearing in the background?
George W. Bush is re-elected. Yasar Arafat Dies Colin Powell, John Ashcroft, and Tom Ridge resign A black Conservative woman is appointed as secretary of state Dan Rather steps down Kwiesi Mfume leaves post as President of NAACP Tavis Smiley ends his NPR talk show citing lack of diversity All 11 states seeking to allow homosexual marriage failed miserably Mount Saint Helens erupted (Biblically, the natural is an indication of the spiritual, last time Helens erupted was 1980, also an election year.) Ken Jennings finally lost on Jeopardy..ha.