Sunday, February 25, 2007
BIKE. BOMB. BUMP. BOOM!
A cycle of violence is brought to an end in Pakistan:
Three members of a suspected suicide bomb team were blown to pieces on Saturday when their bike laden with explosives hit a bump outside a town in Pakistan’s central province of Punjab, police said ...
At least two of the dead men were students at a nearby madrasa, suspected of having links to Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, a banned Sunni Muslim sectarian militant group, according to Deputy Superintendent Bashir Ahmed.
“The head of one man has been blown off,” Ahmed told Reuters. Another of the dead men had his legs blown off, while the third had his stomach ripped open and died later in hospital, police said.
The bike isn’t in great shape, either. More from Gateway Pundit.
UPDATE: “Ridin’ along on a pushbike honey ...”
UPDATE II: “Sounds like the Pakistani version of Critical Mass.”
Saturday, February 24, 2007
An academic writes:
Why are people making up words?
The same academic subsequently writes:
I stand corrected. According to the OED, “beclowned” is in fact a word.
CRIME AGAINST NATURE
When eco-criminals attack:
In California, hybrid vehicles can use the carpool lane even if there’s only one person in the car. All you have to do is send in a form and $8 to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and it sends you the proper stickers for your car ...
Problem is, the program is cut off at 85,000 cars - a limit that must have been reached, if what happened to my Prius is any indication.
Recently, somebody stole our stickers. And, since the stickers are useful only to hybrid owners, it could mean only one thing: we were the victims of liberal-on-liberal crime.
The next development: liberal-on-liberal vigilante justice.
(Via Chris S.)
UPDATE. On other criminal matters, Skeeter emails:
As a 72-year-old, I enjoyed this account of wrinklies dealing with muggers at Limon, Costa Rica.
After killing one of the muggers, and scaring the other two off, the wrinklies were allowed by police to return to their ship and continue on their cruise.
What would have happened to the aged self-defenders if it had happened in Oz?
AL-QAEDA’S 24-CARAT GOLDEN BOY
The Australian edition of Time uncovers fascinating claims about David Hicks:
Feroz Abbasi disliked the brash Australian who competed with him for the attention and favor of their al-Qaeda boss. He described his rival as “Al-Qaedah’s 24 ct. [carat] Golden Boy” and claimed he’d said he wanted to rob and kill Jews back in Australia and crash an airplane into a building.
Dave’s fans will only love him all the more. Abbasi has since recanted his claims, but their detail (and the fact they align with Hicks’s own Jew-hating views, as expressed in letters to his father) make them extremely compelling. Read on.
ELDERLY YOUTH DEFENDED
With friends like Traceeee Hutchison, Peter Garrett needs no enemies:
This time last week the frenzied scramble to quote decades-old lyrics from the Midnight Oil songbook, as though they were weapons of mass destruction, dominated the machinations of federal politics — and the media. The race was on to expose the views formerly held by the man formerly known as the lead singer of Midnight Oil.
Garrett was barely mentioned during Daily Telegraph story conferences; in fact, his main appearance was in a piece written by himself for the opinion pages. A Google News search for “peter garrett” + “lyrics” turns up only twenty matches. So much for Traceeee’s “frenzied scramble”.
Former friends and current foes joined forces to rattle yet another political skeleton from Garrett’s closet as they universally condemned a man who once dared speak his youthful idealistic mind on what he believed was in the best interest of his country.
Garrett was still “speaking his youthful idealistic mind” (ie, ranting about US bases) well into his 40s.
Everyone, it seemed, was just a little too ready to write him off as a spent political force because, long before our participation in the coalition of the willing put us on the international terror map, Garrett stood up to be counted on his opposition to US bases on Australian soil.
Australians were murdered in Bali (and on September 11) prior to our participation in the coalition of the willing; maybe Hutch is relying on Bryce Courtenay’s timeline. As for Garrett standing up to be counted ...
He wasn’t alone then and that particular point of view still resonates with much of the Australian community, as evidenced this week by the greeting parties for US Vice-President Dick Cheney — despite apparent escalations in global conflicts.
That makes no sense. In any case, here’s some global conflict data:
Back to Traceeee:
But, in keeping with the resolve Garrett embraced when he decided to be more than a bit player in Australian politics, he did his best to sound convincing as he told the nation that his youthful views had evolved with time.
His “youthful views” seem to have evolved in the two years since Garrett entered Parliament. He’s 53 years old.
Reading between the lines it was as though idealism had been officially laid to rest as a folly or a luxury of youthful naivety.
Garrett was in his 30s when he ran for the Senate as an anti-nuke, anti-bases candidate in 1984.
To my way of thinking US Forces give the nod/it’s a set back for our country — actually penned by the Oils’ Jim Moginie — has never been more potent than it is today. That sentiment — and the impact it had on me as a young woman — isn’t weakened by Peter Garrett’s pragmatic resolve to be part of a political process that is all about compromise. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?
We can only ask, along with Andrew Bolt: “Can someone please tell me what Tracee Hutchison is trying to say?”
Aren’t we all better served by having people in our parliaments who have the courage of their convictions than have them filled with people who’ve never taken a stand on anything in their lives?
Now she’s apparently talking about John Howard. The gal’s deeply confused.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Cynthia Banham reviews Dick Cheney:
In comments that could have been made in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, but which fell flat with his Sydney audience, he said terrorists “had ambitions of empire”.
I was there, and it’s true; not a single member of the audience laughed. In fact, most of the Veep’s routine “fell flat”, if that’s how Cynthia measures things.
Headline at Rhode Island’s Warwick Advertiser:
Local woman presents global warming poster to village
Touching, isn’t it? Naturally, this presenting was prompted by warm gospeller Rev. Al Gore:
“When I saw Al Gore’s documentary, it inspired me to do something,” said Nebus.
Finally, snow. Kids were happy but some commuters weren’t quite as thrilled. With last week’s Tuesday night snow turning to ice and sleet all morning on Wednesday, then back to snow in the afternoon, roads were not at their best.
But it was the first significant snowfall in the area ...
Stanley P. Gershbein warned Nebus and others of “this frequently observed correlation ... known as the Gore Effect”. Why do these people ignore science? Meanwhile, Steve McIntyre follows Gore’s latest planet-circulating adventures:
Gore swept into Toronto yesterday using an environmentally controversially airline on Toronto Island - a service that is opposed by friends of Toronto’s waterfront (including myself.) The departing headlines read: Heed the Goracle.
Did the Effect manifest itself? Andycanuck emails:
Al Gore has hit Toronto and, surprise, surprise, a week that was forecast to be 3-4°C (about 1-2°C above average) as recently as 5 days ago has dropped to just below freezing and we’re getting a load of wet snow.
Columbia University exhibited no Gore Effect coldness, however. Must be a problem with the computer models.
A helpful troubleshooting guide for those with everyday life problems.
LEUNIG DRAWS AND PAINTS ON STAGE
Melbourne Age permachild Michael Leunig is headed for Sydney:
In 2003, Aria Award winning singer/songwriter Gyan sent a ‘love letter’ of sorts to celebrated cartoonist Michael Leunig - a CD of songs inspired by his poems. The result was the exquisite Billy the Rabbit album and book. Now they are bringing their collaboration to the stage of Sydney Opera House for a strictly limited season of 4 shows.
“Strictly limited.” Never has Leunig been more accurately described.
Gyan sings her beautiful, bittersweet interpretations of Michael Leunig’s poems while Leunig draws and paints on stage, adding his own insightful and witty commentary as the imagery is projected onto a large screen.
Other projections may be directed towards the floor and into handbags.
Both uplifting and heartbreaking, Gyan and Leunig’s performance is full of the characteristic humour, poignancy and gentle observations that make Leunig such a loved artist.
To which Skeletor responds: “It’d be great to hear some tracks inspired by the work of Leunig. Like, I’ll Give You A Holocaust, Jewboy; Working Women Should Be Sterilised; John Howard Is Really Really REALLY Evil; Hail Hail the Heroes of Hamas, and the ever-popular You’re All Dobbed In To Media Watch.”
• Jules Crittenden examines the soul connection between Australia and the US.
• Branson’s prize claimed!
• “Men in parts of Tanzania’s main city, Dar es Salaam, are living in fear of a night-time sex attacker. A BBC correspondent says the attacks are being blamed by some on a demon called ‘Popo Bawa’ ... ”
• In certain other primitive tribal communities, it’s considered a grievous insult if you use the word “Democrat” instead of “Democratic.”
• A Grammy note from Matt Welch: “Having Al Gore hand out the award for ‘Best Rock Album’ should pretty much drive a stake through the heart of at least three genres at once.”
MORE FROM LESS
Cut two seconds from the quarter-mile time of your 2001 Nissan Sentra SE. Lightness is key. (Via Jim U.) Speaking of lightness, last week I drove (briefly) a Lotus Exige:
Zero to 60mph in just over four seconds, using only a naturally-aspirated Toyota four-pot. Cost in Australia runs to around $140,000; you pay for what you don’t get, meaning mass. There’s barely any padding inside, much less luxury. The Exige is such a racer it felt weird driving it without a helmet, given all the aural and tactile racer stimuli. I’d post a longer review, but I don’t think I even got the brakes up to temperature, let alone the tyres.
Smallest steering wheel I’ve ever used, by the way. About a hand-span wide. Due to the fantastic lightness, however, no power-assist is needed.
Lubos Motl charts carbon values:
In April 2006, the price of carbon indulgences in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme, the largest emission market in the world, was 30 euro per ton of CO2 emissions ... However, in May 2006, the price decreased a little bit, more precisely by a factor of pi - below 10 euro per ton of CO2.
In November 2006, when the price was still around 9 euro per ton, we predicted its fall to 2 euro per ton. This seemingly bold prediction was realized at the beginning of February 2007. However, the price continued to approach the actual market value, namely zero.
It’s getting closer to zero by the day. Hit the link for more.
REASONS FOR REDUCTIONS
Mark Steyn on the massive British withdrawal:
Howard, as the most rhetorically surefooted of the Anglosphere’s three musketeers, had a good comeback to the suggestion that the Bush surge and the Blair drawdown are mutually incompatible: “Anybody who studies Iraq for five minutes,” he said, “knows that controlling Baghdad is infinitely more challenging than controlling Basra in the south. That is the reason why the Americans are increasing their numbers and the reason why, because of the relative improvement in Basra, the British are reducing their numbers.”
That would appear to make sense.
Yes. So too would Andrew Sullivan’s strategic step-away:
I don’t mean to get into a fight with my new Atlantic colleague, Mr Steyn.
CALL OF THE WILD
CARNIVORE AGAINST CHENEY
“A protester dressed as a skeleton and carrying a meat carcass on her back stops to taste her costume.”
(Via Shaun D.)