...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 30, 2006

News Flash



Thank goodness we have scientists to study this kind of stuff.

Actually, the story I'm referring to, by John Stossel and Gail Deutsch of ABC News, is mildly interesting. For instance:

'So when they look at babies in the first 72 hours of life, they find that males and females are not identical in the way they behave,' [a researcher] said. 'Males startle more than females. If you give a little puff of air on their abdomen, they startle much bigger and much more likely to startle than females, and females rhythmically mouth. They suck on their tongues. They move their lips and so forth more than males do.'
Uhh... am I the only one who reads anything sexual into those results?

Another tidbit:

'The male brain … actually has a harder time processing the female voice versus the male voice, which is a possible explanation to why we don't listen when our wives call us,' Dr. Billy Goldberg said on '20/20.'

. . .

They said it was true that men listened less because of biology.

'Male babies make less eye contact, for instance, with their mothers than female babies,' Leyner said. 'So what we're talking about are different ways of relating to people that start at the earliest possible age.'

So can men say, 'Honey, it's not my fault. It's my brain'?

'I like to use that excuse,' Goldberg said.

Posted by annika at 09:25 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

September 29, 2006

Another Book Meme

Chris Roach tagged me with this book meme, so here goes.

1. One book that changed your life?

Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton

2. One book that you have read more than once?

The Trial by Franz Kafka

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

The Bible

4. One book that made you cry?

A Lotus Grows In The Mud by Goldie Hawn

5. One book that made you laugh?

Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

6. One book you wish had been written?

Kirlian Justice, by me

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Any Chomsky book

8. One book you are reading currently?

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson

10. Pass it on

Hugo and Matt Rustler and Matt Scofield

Posted by annika at 02:38 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin, Episode 49


Posted by annika at 09:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Civilian Contractor Attack Videotaped

Check out this report from tonight's Nightline. It's pretty disturbing. Here's the transcript, in case you can't view the video.

In a nutshell, the video was taken by a Halliburton contractor named Preston Wheeler last September with his digital camera. He was driving truck five in a convoy that got lost near Balad in the Sunni Triangle.

The video shows teenagers throwing rocks at the convoy as the trucks headed down a dead end road. When the convoy had to turn back, the enemy was waiting for them. A bullet hole suddenly appears in Wheeler's windshield. A roadside bomb explodes, a truck driver is killed and his truck overturns. Wheeler's truck is disabled, and his Humvee escort continues driving.

Small arms fire is heard. Wheeler, now alone, is eventually hit by a couple of rounds as he hides under the dashboard. Inexplicably, he is unarmed. He also witnesses another truck driver taken out of his truck and shot dead by the enemy.

The Nightline report also shows predator footage of another Halliburton driver's body being desecrated by the enemy.

After 45 minutes, helicopters arrive and the cowardly insurgents scurry off, no doubt reverting to innocent civilian status.

I don't understand why the civilian drivers were not armed. I don't understand why that village was not carpet bombed immediately afterwards. It's maddening.

Posted by annika at 12:19 AM | Comments (44) | TrackBack

September 27, 2006

Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day

This thing is really cool. The Falling Sand Game. It's reminds me of Sim City, if you remember that old computer game.

h/t Beth

Posted by annika at 06:14 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Wednesday is Poetry Day

annika has forgotten Poetry Day. Obviously, she's too distraught about the midget Angus Young being beaten by cancer-survivor Kylie Minogue in her latest poll. Sorry, annika, but a great back door will beat a midget in short pants any day.

Anyway. Poetry Day. Today's pick is inspired by my upcoming trip (like, in 30 minutes) to RFK to catch the Nats play the Phillies in some night action from the cheap seats, one section behind the right-field foul pole. Only one ball has come that way during a game: a monster home run by Daryle Ward (before he was traded to Atlanta) that hit the small wall right in front of my seat (sec 552 row 1 seat 3, on my 20-game plan), the day before I was supposed to go to a game. You can still see the smudge, if you know where to look.

Hard to think night baseball is still kinda recent. One hundred years ago...well, I wouldn't be seeing a game in late September. And it wouldn't be an NL game, and it would be between the Nationals and the Phillies.

And it for damn sure wouldn't have a 7:05PM start. Purists always say the original is best, and sometimes they're right (NO DL!), but...night baseball is cool. If you're ever in Washington, take a trip to the Phillips Collection and check out Night Baseball by Marjorie Phillips. It's kinda hidden away, but well worth the search.

(BTW, that's the Senators playing the Yankees, with DiMaggio at the plate.)

Funny sport, baseball. Start talking about one thing and you're suddenly drifting off as memories pile one on top of the other, at least until you hear that utterly distinct crack! and the crowd stands up and you're really focused on the ball's path and that sonovabitch is gone!

crack! Poetry Day. I found this poem one day and it struck me as how night baseball used to be, 100 years ago, only without the chlorine. Jonathan Holden published it in 1972.

How To Play Night Baseball

A pasture is best, freshly
mown so that by the time a grounder's
plowed through all that chewed, spit-out
grass to reach you, the ball
will be bruised with green kisses. Start
in the evening. Come
with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine,
water still crackling in your ears.
Play until the ball is khaki-
a movable piece of the twilight-
the girls' bare arms in the bleachers are pale,
and heat lightning jumps in the west. Play
until you can only see pop-ups,
and routine grounders get lost in
the sweet grass for extra bases.

Posted by Victor at 02:01 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday Google!


Happy eighth birthday Google! Thanks to you, the internet has made a great leap forward. Congratulations, comrades!

Posted by annika at 09:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 26, 2006

World's Greatest Australian (Besides Pixy)

You all voted for the World's Greatest Australian, and the results are finally in. I couldn't disagree more.


In what universe does a non-celebrity like Kylie Minogue beat Angus Young (who rules the known universe)?

That's b.s., but whatever.

Anyways, here's Kylie's banned lingerie commercial for whoever stuffed the ballot box. Enjoy.

Posted by annika at 06:18 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

September 25, 2006

Award Winning Fauxtography

Fans of photoshopped news photography might want to check out this one, which won a Pullitzer Prize, which I suppose is a lot like Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The photographer (and I assume, the digital manipulator) was none other than terrorist associate and propagandist Bilal Hussein, now in the custody of American forces.

A commenter to The Jawa Report broke this story, so check out Howie's post for more details. The dude "sitting on air" is the clincher.

Posted by annika at 06:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

MNF Pick, Week 3


Atlanta vs. New Orleans. The first game in the Superdome since Katrina. Falcons favored by 4. I'm going with the sentimental favorites, though. New Orleans plus the points.

Posted by annika at 05:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 23, 2006

October Surprise Comes A Week Early

[Maybe it's like Oktoberfest, which is really in September.]

So now a tiny French newspaper called, get this, l'Est Républicain is reporting that Osama bin Laden is dead.

I knew Karl Rove was good, but damn.

Update: Check Jawa for some really good news.

Posted by annika at 08:47 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 22, 2006

Winning The GWOT

Yesterday my post was so pessimistic, I thought I'd lighten things up a bit today — sort of.

Two years ago, President Bush was criticized for saying that we can't win the Global War On Terror:

I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.
In response to my post from yesterday, my friend Matt wrote:
This isn't the kind of war that either side can "win" in any conventional sense. Our enemies can't destroy us militarily, because we're far too strong. We can't destroy them militarily, because they're too disbursed and decentralized. So we'll be taking potshots at one another for a long time to come. What's the end game? I don't know. How will a permanent state of war affect American politics, our collective psyche and our liberty? I don't know. It's a frustrating and frightening thing.
Great minds may think alike, but I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree with both of these learned men. We can win this war.

Matt, of all people, should know as a boxing fan that a lot of times the winner of a bout is decided by who makes the first mistake. He's right in saying that al Qaeda can't destroy us because "we're far too strong." Therefore, no mistake on our part can end the conflict.*

But if al Qaeda, and the radical Islamist movement it has spawned makes a mistake, we can and will crush them in such a way as to end the war. What is the particular mistake that will cause our enemies to lose? I'm getting to that.

As the situation stands now, al Qaeda et al. have the initiative and the upper hand in the GWOT. As it stands now, we cannot deal them a death blow. That's because in the most basic sense, all warfare is about control of geographic areas.† The great strength of the terrorist is that there is no geographic area which we can push him off of. That's what Matt meant when he wrote that the enemy is "too disbursed and decentralized."

President Bush's big contribution to the theory of warfare is the "Bush Doctrine," which in part addresses the terrorist's strength: their lack of geographical origin. On September 11, 2001, he said that the United States, when hunting down the terrorists, "will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." Nine days later, in his greatest speech, the President restated that doctrine in more detail:

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

The administration's war planners realized very quickly that you can't win a war against an ephemeral enemy unless you can tie them down to a piece of land and then destroy them on that land. That's why we got this oft criticized "you're either with us or against us" part of the Bush Doctrine. The idea was to nullify the terrorists' advantage of not being attached to any state, by attaching them to a state.

It was a brilliant and necessary idea, but unfortunately it has not been entirely successful in practice. Geopolitical considerations have blunted the doctine's effect, as I think the war planners probably anticipated. We've seen the doctrine work beautifully in Libya, but in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for instance, there have been mixed results. We had to make a difficult compromise with those countries because an imperfect alliance with their governments is still of great value to our interests. As a result, we have to accept that, for the time being, there will be some laxity in their efforts to control the extremism within their own borders. We can't fight everyone all at once, and especially not if Pakistan and the Saudis assure us that they are on our side.

The Bush Doctrine alone cannot win this war. So what is the mistake that the Islamists dare not make? What is the mistake that will enable us to win? It is the very thing that the enemy hopes to gain: a pan-Islamic caliphate.

Think back to the 1930's. That was a time when the democratic world looked at the growing threat of fascism and was unable to do anything to stop it. I would argue that appeasement and half-hearted reaction was inevitable then, just as it seems inevitable now. The world simply wasn't in a place where strong and united action was possible. Democracies have many strengths, but swift action is not one of them. In the 1930's there was still a system of alliances that finally mandated a response to Hitler, but the response came almost too late.

The Allies responded to Hitler only after he started taking territory by force. Now fast forward a few years. We responded to the Japanese after they started advancing across the Pacific. We responded to the North Koreans when they invaded the South. Same thing in Vietnam. Same thing when Saddam invaded Kuwait. When territory is invaded by an expansionist enemy, we never seem to have any trouble responding appropriately.

What would happen if Osama bin Laden got what he wanted — the restoration of Islamic territories to a fundamentalist theocracy under Sharia law? My thesis is this: If the Islamic fundamentalist movement were to become attached to a state, and that state were to adopt expansionist ambitions, the Western World would and could oppose them successfully.

We know that one goal of Islamic fundamentalism is to recapture territory lost to the infidel, or lost to secularist governments such as Egypt and Turkey. That is their end game. Their fatal mistake would be to actually start achieving those goals. Once the terrorists start to add nations to their idealized pan-Islamic caliphate, they will become a concrete threat that the world can unite against. Instead of being an ephemeral enemy, unconnected with any state and therefore immune from retaliation, they would suddenly become constrained by the same realities of warfare that have prevailed for centuries — and at which we excel.

The bad news is that my thesis presupposes a long period of very bad setbacks for our side. But I don't see any other way around it. The West has proven that it does not yet have the will to unite against its enemy, and even if it did, fighting insurgents and terrorists is like fighting ghosts. You can bomb a nation into submission, but I think we all know by now, it's pretty hard to bomb suicide bombers into submission. Just ask the Israelis. They've always been able to beat any nation-state with one hand tied behind their back. But they just lost their very first war, against a bunch of terrorists who were disavowed by any government.

The really bad news is that, in my view, the timeline for this caliphate solution to come about is on the order of ten to twenty years. By that time, Iran will have nuclear weapons. I think we all know that it's inevitable. So when Iranian troops spearhead the invasion of Greece, or Spain, or wherever, and the West finally gets up the gumption to oppose them, we will be firing missiles at each other.

I know this post sounds like I've been reading too many Harry Turtledove books, but if you think about it, you'll see I'm right. Countries win wars by finding a way around the enemy's defenses. Islamic terrorists hide within "neutral" states and behind innocent civilians, that is their main defense. But they lose that defense once they attach themselves to a piece of land and call themselves a nation. Therefore the seeds of their own destruction lay inside their own express goals.

I told you this would be a more optimistic post.

* I can hear the nay-sayers now. "But we're already making mistakes that will cost us the war, by being too soft on the enemy, on homeland security, on our borders, etc." I don't disagree that we're being too soft. But what is the probable result of our softness? A major attack? And the result of a major attack will be that our softness is replaced by a hardness in proportion to how bad the attack is. Bottom line is that no terrorist attack, however horrendous, will cause the United States to become part of the pan-Islamic caliphate. That is a danger that exists solely in Europe, due to their lack of moral character, their lax immigration policies, their societal decision not to reproduce, and their sixty year reliance on the United States' security umbrella, which caused them to forget how to defend themselves. But I do not see that fate happening to us. As a people we are too stiff necked and independent. And we love our Constitution too much to replace it with the Koran. (Sure we got some nutty ideas in this country. But when the Swedes are considering a tax on all men to pay for domestic violence treatment — and the idea is taken seriously — all I can say is we have a long way to go in the U.S. before we reach the European level of self-destructive insanity.)

I know von Clausewitz said, "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," but I'm talking in the micro sense. There's a guy standing on a piece of land that I want to stand on. He's got a gun and I've got a gun. War is how I use my gun to get him to let me stand on that piece of land. He either dies, runs away, or steps aside.

Posted by annika at 03:51 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

More Mohammadonna Art

A contributor who wishes to remain anonymous sent me this artwork, inspired by my recent Mohammadonna post. I love it.


This is great. If anybody else wants to make some Mohammadonna shit, send it to me or give me a link. I'll post it.

Posted by annika at 03:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 21, 2006

Another Warning From AQ

Perhaps many of you have seen the Abu Dawood interview transcript that's been making the rounds. If not, here it is.

It's pretty scary stuff. Dawood is supposedly some sort of al Qaeda bigwig, and he says American moslems should leave the country immediately. He also says that al Qaeda has already smuggled "deadly materials" across the Mexican border and that they can attack anytime.

I'm not convinced of this transcript's authenticity. It's supposed to have been done in person, but it reads like a written interview with short questions and long prepared answers.

Assuming arguendo that the transcript is legitimate, a couple of things come to mind. If the "deadly materials" were smuggled across the Mexican border, that suggests to me that a likely target is the West Coast, probably Los Angeles. That scares me a lot because my family lives there. I don't see the terrorists attacking anything except on the coasts. They can blend in easier in populated blue state areas than they can in say, Texas. Transporting the "material" from Tijuana to L.A. is a lot less risky than going from Nuevo Laredo to D.C. And if they want to top 9/11, they'll need to attack a major city that holds some symbolic value.

Secondly, if a big attack occurs, the Democrats won't look quite so dumb for having insisted that Iraq was a distraction and we should have been concentrating on finding Bin Laden. Just being honest here.

Thirdly, I have heard more than once from people I know, that if a major attack occurs, it will be open season on anyone with linen on their head. I think we're in for some serious backlash if there's another attack, as the interviewer acknowledes in the transcript.

I don't know about you, but I've noticed a vague sense of anger and dread rising in this country since about mid summer. I don't see it in my personal day-to-day life, but I do hear it on the radio, on tv and in blogs. I think left and right have been banging away at each other for five years and nobody's winning the debate. We're all sick of arguing and we're just waiting for some event to happen that will prove one side or the other right.

The string of foiled attacks this summer added to the feeling I'm talking about. So did the Lebanon crisis. And the Iran stalemate. And Chavez yesterday. The impending election is also a factor, though I don't think the results will change the national mood, no matter who wins. If there is a big attack on our soil before the year is out, I really think things will get ugly — much uglier than I can even imagine.

Sure, I know that there are lots of dedicated folks out there trying to detect and stop anything bad from happening. And they've been successful so far. But I also worry because it seems like it would be so easy for the terrorists to do something if they really tried. Anytime we catch somebody it seems like we got lucky. But just using my own imagination, I can think of dozens of ways they could carry out an attack without us ever catching them.

So I guess the message is pray, have an emergency kit ready, and don't fly during Ramadan (which starts two days from now).

Update: Peggy Noonan senses the dire mood too.

But the temperature of the world is very high, and maybe we're not stuck in a continuum but barreling down a dark corridor. The problem with heated words now is that it's not the old world anymore. In the old world, incompetent governments dragged cannons through the mud to set up a ragged front. Now every nut and nation wants, has or is trying to develop nukes.

Posted by annika at 09:43 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006

Recommended Reading

Five Arguments Against Conciliation by Baron Bodissey.

Whenever a concession is made to Islam, another waits in the wings, ready to be rolled out onto the stage to take its place. It’s like the Sudetenland in 1938, over and over again. Lop off one piece and give it Hitler, and then another, and another, but somehow it’s never quite enough.

And, if you watch carefully, the Muslim negotiating partner never manages to carry through with his half of any compromise.

. . .

Every time we perform another act of abasement, every time we fall all over ourselves apologizing for insulting Muslims, every time we publicly pretend that Islam is the Religion of Peace, we are doing damage to our collective psyche. All these efforts fly in the face of the obvious truth: historically speaking, right up to the present moment, Islam has been the Religion of War.

The Demonic Convergence is drawing the Left and radical Islam into bed with each other, so that there are very strong forces in our public life which strive to convince us otherwise, that we are bad, bad people, racists and Islamophobes, for thinking such things. It produces a cognitive dissonance in the collective psyche of the West, because the average person, deep down, knows the truth.

Posted by annika at 10:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Today's edition: bad YouTube poetry readings.

#1. I think she calls it "Fill Me," but I'm going to rename it "Tadpoles."

#2. Here's how to ruin a classic poem, by being a complete dork.

#3. Here's another way to ruin a classic poem, add an 'ukulele.

...that was actually really funny.

#4. This chick demonstrates why enunciation is so important.

#5. Hangin' out with Cindy Sheehan for inspiration is a no-no.

Haha, I think I just found Strawman!

Update: On a similar theme, Beth picks the "worst song ever."

Posted by annika at 06:35 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

He Said It

Lord Carey of Clifton just gave a speech at Newbold College in Berkshire. In it, he included an academic quote from political scientist, Samuel Huntington:

Lord Carey, who as Archbishop of Canterbury became a pioneer in Christian-Muslim dialogue, himself quoted a contemporary political scientist, Samuel Huntington, who has said the world is witnessing a “clash of civilisations”.

Arguing that Huntington’s thesis has some “validity”, Lord Carey quoted him as saying: “Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.”

Lord Carey went on to argue that a “deep-seated Westophobia” has developed in recent years in the Muslim world.

In other words, Nice Religion, Assholes!

h/t American Princess

Posted by annika at 09:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 19, 2006

Ahmadi-Nejad Makes A Good Point About The Uselessness Of The U.N.

First of all, if anyone knows where I can find a transcript of Ahmadi-Nejad's speech please link me to it.

I've been surfing the cable news channels on TV tonight, and now I know much more than I ever need to know about that baby they found, I haven't seen a single show mention anything about half-pint's speech.

Here's a quote from anti-American, pro-terrorist Associated Press's account of the speech:

"The question needs to be asked: if the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom, who are permanent members of the Security Council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the U.N. organs can take them into account?," he asked.

"If they have differences with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council," and take the roles of "prosecutor, judge and executioner," he said. "Is this a just order?"

He pointed to Lebanese suffering during the recent Israel-Hezbollah war as an example.

"We witnessed the Security Council ... was practically incapacitated by certain powers to even call for a cease-fire," he said, referring to the fact that the conflict lasted 34 days despite calls for an immediate truce.

Ahmadi-Nejad was trying to slam the U.S. and Britain, but on the way there he made an excellent point. The structure of the United Nations has proven itself to be unworkable, if the purpose is to solve international crises. The General Assembly has never had any real power, and was never intended to have any. The Security Council has never been able to act decisively because of the veto power (with the exception of the Korean War, which was an unusual situation that proves the rule).

I say scrap the U.N. Scrap the whole thing. We don't need it, and it does more harm than good. The legitimacy it is supposed to afford is only an illusion. Witness the string of unenforced and unenforceable resolutions regarding Sudan, Rwanda, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, etc. It's incapable of producing a consensus on the really important stuff, and then the lack of consensus is used to thwart perfectly legitimate actions.

Maybe we should keep some sort of administrative body for UNICEF* and shit like that, but get rid of the rest of that utopian nonsense once and for all.

* I'm not really sure what UNICEF is, but I think it has something to do with "the children."

Posted by annika at 08:10 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Iranian Supreme Leader Calls For Attacks On The United States — AP Hides It In Paragraph 20

I think it's big news when the Supreme Leader of Iran calls for "attacks" on the United States.

Lest there be any confusion about what he meant by "attacks," here's the quote. Note that the word is distinct from "protests."

Those who benefit from the pope's comments and drive their own arrogant policies should be targeted with attacks and protests.
Yet, here's how the anti-American, pro-terrorist Associated Press announced the news — in paragraphs 19 and 20!
In Iran, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used the comments to call for protests against the United States. He argued that while the pope may have been deceived into making his remarks, the words give the West an "excuse for suppressing Muslims" by depicting them as terrorists.

'Those who benefit from the pope's comments and drive their own arrogant policies should be targeted with attacks and protests,' he said, referring to the United States. [emphasis added]

WTF? Did they not see the word "attack?"

Maybe I'm missing something, but when the real power in Iran (more so than Ahmadi-Nejad), a country actively seeking a nuclear weapon not to mention a well known sponsor of international terrorism, says that the United States should be attacked because of something the Pope said, I think it deserves to be in the headline.

And we need to start taking the Iranian problem seriously.

Update: Curiouser and curiouser.

Ahmadi-Nejad comes to the Pope's defense.

Mr Ahmadinejad said: "We respect the Pope, and all those interested in peace and justice."

He said he accepted the Vatican view that the pontiff’s words had been "taken out of context" and he was "given to understand" that the Pope had later modified them. He said Benedict had been "misinterpreted".

And Mehmet Ai Agca, the Turk who tried to kill the last Pope, warns Benedict against his planned visit to Turkey.
Mehmet Ai Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to murder John Paul II in 1981 and is now in prison in Turkey, urged the Pope not to visit Turkey in November as planned.

"I write as one who knows about these matters very well," Agca said. "Your life is in danger. Don’t come to Turkey — absolutely not!"

The letter, published by La Repubblica, was seen in Rome as a friendly warning, not a threat.

Via the Times of London. While you're there, read William Rees-Mogg's commentary, "Why The Pope Was Right."

Posted by annika at 09:22 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

MNF Week 2

I can't figure out the oddsmakers this week. The line opened with Jacksonville favored by 2 points, and now they're 2½ point underdogs. Ben Roethlisberger is recovering from appendectomy surgery and despite practicing all week, he had a temperature of 104° at 2:00 today.*

I'm taking Jacksonville plus the 2½ points.

Which probably means you should bet Pittsburgh.

* Personally I don't believe it. It would be too dangerous to start him if he really had that high of a temperature only 6½ hours before game time. Nobody would risk the franchise and his salary on one early season game like that.

Posted by annika at 05:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Westminster Cathedral

When I lived in London, every Sunday morning I would take the Circle Line four stops to St. James's Park. I loved to walk through that peaceful garden on my way to church. I loved the Duck Island, with all the geese and swans. It's my favorite of London's parks.

Usually I would go through the park to a very pretty Jesuit Cathedral in Mayfair called Immaculate Conception. But when I was running late (which was about half the time), I'd stay on the Buckingham Palace side of the park and visit Westminster Cathedral (not to be confused with the most famous church in Britain, Westminster Abbey).

So it was sad for me to see the scary pictures posted by A Catholic Londoner and taken outside Westminster Cathedral last Sunday.

Imagine having to run a gauntlet of hate-filled masked protesters, some of them quite possibly terrorists if not murderers, just to go to church.

Again, nice religion assholes.

Posted by annika at 11:48 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 17, 2006

Nun Killed By Peaceful muslims

From BBC online:

Gunmen have shot dead an elderly Italian nun and her bodyguard in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

The attackers shot the nun three times in the back at a children's hospital in the south of the city, before fleeing the scene.

It is unclear if the shooting is connected with strong criticism by a radical Somali cleric about the Pope's recent comments on Islam.

The nun, who has not been named, is believed to be in her seventies.

The nun was taken into surgery in the Austrian-funded SOS Hospital, in Huriwa district, but she died from her injuries.

A fluent Somali speaker, the nun was one of the longest-serving foreign members of the Catholic Church in Somalia, a former Italian colony.

A Vatican spokesman said the killing was "a horrible act" which he hoped would remain isolated.

Yusuf Mohamed Siad, security chief for the Union of Islamic courts (UIC) which controls Mogadishu, said two people had been arrested.

I guess that whole thing about demanding that the Pope apologize in person was just a bluff. Once you make the list, you're on it for good. And now, it seems, all Catholics are on the list.

Nice religion, assholes.

Posted by annika at 11:34 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

A Woman For U.N. Sec Gen

I know I've already endorsed Elton John to succeed Kofi Annan as U.N. Secretary General, but there is a new candidate who has sparked my interest.

Latvian President Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga announced her intention yesterday to run for the post. Her competition includes South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon; U.N. undersecretary-general for public affairs Shashi Tharoor of India; Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai; Jordan's U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein; and former U.N. disarmament chief Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka.

Conventional wisdom says that Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga's chances are slim, due to Russian opposition and the informal tradition of rotating the U.N.'s top post between regions. Asia is next in line and therefore many believe Ban Ki-moon to be the front runner.

In Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga's announcement, she addressed the regional rotation issue:

[T]he member states of the UN should be able to select the best candidate for the post of Secretary General in an open, transparent process. We do not accept the principle of regional rotation as the principal and sole factor in the selection of a candidate. While I deeply respect the candidates that have already been nominated, the selection procedure should not restrict the rights and opportunities of other potential candidates. I hope that the choice made by the Security Council and the General Assembly will be based solely on the candidates’ qualifications, personal qualities and vision of the future of the UN.
I agree, especially given what I learned about Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga's qualifications after only a little bit of research.

She's very popular in Latvia, a country that has done amazingly well since declaring independence from the Soviet empire in 1990. As she told the Danish Foreign Policy Society last month:

The transformation of my own country, Latvia, has taken place at every level. We take pride in having one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Since 2002, Latvia’s GDP growth has averaged at close to 8% (7.7%) per year. In 2005 it reached 10.2%, the highest rate of growth since the restoration of our independence. And during the first quarter of this year, it was registered at a stunning 13.1%, the highest rate in the European Union. Economic forecasts predict that this stable growth will continue in the coming years.
Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga is also proud of Latvia's progress on integration and education of its ethnic minorities.
Latvia has had to work very hard to overcome the tragic legacy of Soviet rule. One of the greatest challenges we have faced is the integration of those persons who settled in our country during the occupation, and their descendants. By the end of July of this year, nearly 114000 persons had naturalized to become citizens of the Republic of Latvia. When we regained our independence in 1991, less than a quarter of those who represent Latvia’s ethnic minorities could speak Latvian. By the year 2000, more than half could, and that percentage continues to rise. We have begun to implement an education reform that balances Latvia’s traditional respect for the rights of minority languages with the need to build a cohesive society. The motto adopted by the EU two years ago is “Unity in Diversity.” Latvia is a multicultural country that adopted one of the first laws guaranteeing education in minority languages close to 100 years ago, in 1919. Our experience with integration can serve as an example at a time when tolerance based in shared values is essential to Europe’s future. Unity and diversity need not necessarily be perceived as contradictory terms.
In regards to international policy, I'm impressed that Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga seems to understand the threat of totalitarian ideologies motivated by racism. In her July speech to a Holocaust scholarship conference in Riga, she alluded to the obvious parallel between the Nazis and today's Islamic fascists:
And this is something that is extremely important for us to study because ideologies that demarcate some human beings under a special label and anybody who belongs to that special label then being marked for extinction, are the very root cause, the very basis of murderous genocides. Elsewhere in the world we see them happening on the basis of tribal belonging, on the basis of religious differences in various parts of the world, in the name of an ideology, in the name of a religion, whatever. It is extremely important for us to understand the principles, by which racism is defined and how is it that not just oppressive regimes and totalitarian governments, but also free movements of volunteers can be seduced into following such ideologies, where the destruction of somebody labelled either as an inferior or as an enemy is part and parcel of one’s being and when the aim is so high to destroy the other that people even come to the point of destroying themselves, where the hatred becomes so deep that they literally are ready to explode themselves in that hatred in the hope of bringing others along.

Those depths of human hatred have not disappeared from the world. They are still everywhere around us. And even when they are not official policies of some totalitarian government, when they become part of seductive ideologies that actually sway young people to join them, we have to be very very concerned and we have to continue working to understand them.

Her philosophy appears somewhat conservative to me, although I am troubled by her belief that the E.U. should adopt a common foreign policy. She favors a more "flexible" approach to labor, which would lower unemployment. And she recognizes that the E.U. is over-legislated and their regulatory scheme needs to be simplified to stimulate business.

Latvian troops are currently in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kosovo and Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga is considered an ally of the Bush administration. While that's probably enough to doom her candidacy, I can't help wondering what it would be like to have a pro-American Sec Gen for a change (or at least one who is not openly anti-American and anti-semitic).

Dr. Vīķe-Freiberga concluded her speech to the Danish Foreign Policy Society with these words:

Naturally, every nation has its own, national interests. In today’s world, however, relations between nations are not a zero-sum game. It is in every nation’s interest to overcome the mistrust that prevents the effective functioning of multilateral institutions. In today’s world, no nation can stand alone against the challenges of our era. We will only overcome terrorism and other 21st –century threats if we co-operate more closely and reform the structures that make co-operation possible.
I can easily picture a U.N. leader exhorting member states to work together with similar words. But the meaning behind those words changes dramatically depending on whether the speaker is a Kofi Annan type or someone with the type of values I think Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga holds. I'd like to see her win.

Posted by annika at 01:01 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 15, 2006

Welcome To The Next "Cartoon" Riots

I predict we're seeing the beginning of the next round of worldwide riots by the "religion of peace." This time over the Pope's remarks at the University of Regensburg.


In case you had any doubt whether the mainstream media would act to pour fuel on the fire or remain objective, here's how Reuters (via CNN) misquoted the Holy Father:

In his speech at the University of Regensburg on Tuesday, Benedict quoted criticism of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who wrote that everything Mohammad brought was evil and inhuman, "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Note the subtle and unnecessary use of paraphrasing. What Benedict actually said was this:
The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war. He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'
Reuters continues,
The head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Mahdi Akef, whose organization is one of the oldest, largest and most influential in the Arab world, said the pope 'aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world and strengthened the argument of those who say that the West is hostile to everything Islamic.' [emphasis mine]
Hold it! Stop right there! As Peter Pumpkin would say, whut the fuk??

The Muslim Brotherhood is "one of the oldest, largest and most influential" organizations in the Arab World? Is it older than say.... the Catholic Church!? I don't get Reuters' point. Never mind the blatant editorialization of the statement (Reuters didn't even try to mask it by turning it into a quote by some supposed expert), am I supposed to give greater weight to Mr. Akef's objections because he's the "leader" of a religious organization that's been around a long time? If so, then I gotta go with the Pope, because they've been around a bit longer.

But that's neither here nor there. Because the organization in question, the Muslim Brotherhood, is in fact an evil organization. And I noticed also that Reuters/CNN neglected to mention that important point.

Catholic author Gary Dale Cearley:

The Muslim Brotherhood? Isn’t that the group whose last part of their motto says ‘death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations’? Aren’t they the ones who assassinated Anwar Al-Sadat, the leader of Egypt and made several attempts on the life of Ghamal Al-Nasser? Wasn’t Ayman Al-Zawahiri a long-time member of this group before joining Islamic Jihad and uniting it with Al-Qaeda? Isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood outlawed in its ‘normal’ form in several Arab countries today? Isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood one of the largest supporters and benefactors of Hamas? Isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood’s stated goal to unite the entire world as one nation under Islam? Why should we be alarmed that the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader, Mohamed Mahdi Akef, said the Pope ‘aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world and strengthened the argument of those who say that the West is hostile to everything Islamic’? The Pope was simply quoting a man, Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who was one of the last Byzantine rulers who was very often being attacked by the Muslim Ottomans. Manuel II had seen what Islam was doing to his nation.
Here are some more perfectly ironic statements:

Indonesian protest organizer Heri Budianto:

Of course as we know the meaning of jihad can only be understood by Muslims . . . Only Muslims can understand what jihad is. It is impossible that jihad can be linked with violence, we Muslims have no violent character."
That is priceless!

From Iraq's Sheik Salah al-Ubaidi:

In Iraq's Shiite Muslim-stronghold of Kufa, Sheik Salah al-Ubaidi criticized the pope during Friday prayers, saying his remarks were a second assault on Islam.

'Last year and in the same month the Danish cartoon assaulted Islam,' he said, referring to a Danish newspaper's publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which triggered outrage in the Muslim world.

And we all know what happened then.

In Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council said:

One would expect a religious leader such as the pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor's views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations between the followers of Islam and Catholicism.
Riiiight. Like Muslim leaders have been so very quick to repudiate the views of their most vocal representatives, Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri, Hassan Nasrallah, et al.


The Pope's invitation to visit Turkey (the home of Mehmet Ali Ağca, lest we forget) is now in jeopardy.

In Turkey, . . . Ali Bardakoglu, the head of Ankara's Directorate General for Religious Affairs, . . . describ[ed] the pope's words as 'extremely regrettable.'

'I do not see any use in somebody visiting the Islamic world who thinks in this way about the holy prophet of Islam. He should first rid himself of feelings of hate,' NTV's Web site quoted Bardakoglu as saying.

Look who's talking about hate.
Bardakoglu . . . recalled atrocities committed by Roman Catholic Crusaders during the Middle Ages in the name of their faith against Orthodox Christians and Jews as well as Muslims.
Atrocities? Again, the muslims show how long their memory is. But it's a selective memory, as author Cearly points out:
I believe that Benedict touched a nerve with these people and that nerve has direct historical roots the Muslims are refusing to consider. Where does the Muslim responsibility to rid themselves of these feelings and reign themselves in begin and end? Constantly falling back on harkening to the Crusades is for their audience, which is an audience that forgets, or refuses to remember, that the Arabs forced scores of people from many nations and religions in conquered territories to convert over the centuries. In many countries these periods of forced conversion were the most bloody chapters of their history. And even more important, these Muslim leaders ignore the fact that at varying times the Muslims took their own ‘Crusades’ to Europe, pushing their way to Austria and to the Pyrenees mountains at different points in history. These pushes into Europe both pre-date the Crusades to the Holy Land by several centuries and they continued after the Crusades to the Holy Land, again for several centuries. Standing eye to eye and toe to toe, Islam has more to answer for in the West than the West has to answer for to Islam but you will never hear this from a Muslim ‘spokesperson’.
I am not one of those who thinks that publishing of the Mohammed Cartoons was "regrettable," "unfortunate," or whatever other weasely word you want to use. What Jyllands-Posten did probably needed doing, and it certainly clued a lot of formerly clueless people in to what radical Islam is all about.

That said, I do think Pope Benedict might have been better off leaving that one particular quote from Manuel II out of his speech. But what's done is done. The bell can't be unrung. What's next is for us to see once more how tolerant the "religion of peace" is towards any type of criticism. Especially in this case, when the Pope's speech was not meant as criticism.

Update: Here's another laughably ironic comment from a muslim writing in London's al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper. First he says that "there is no difference between" the Holy Father, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Regarding the Pope's speech, he goes on to say:

These are ignorant comments previously made by Adolf Hitler, who spoke of a supreme white race against all the other races, especially the African race.
(Ummm, and the Jews? Interesting that he didn't say the Jews.)

Michelle Malkin has a roundup of the unsurprising violence now beginning in the muslim world. These idiots are lashing out at anything and everything non-muslim. They're confusing Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches with Catholic ones, and they're calling the anti-war Pope a part of the Zionist American conspiracy.

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September 14, 2006

Al Qaeda Passes McCain Style Bill?

As reported by Point Five:

On the heels of the Warner/ McCain/ Graham legislation passed out of Senate committee today, which offers expanded rights to terrorists over the bill proposed by President Bush, al Qaeda reportedly has considered changing its long- standing rules on prisoner treatment to include greater protections for Americans in custody.

The new guidelines would set strict requirements for the type and quality of beheading blades, limit the time spent on- camera in execution videos, and place new rules on the use of burning alive, dismembering, and dragging through the streets.

. . .

Under the new al Qaeda guidelines, gasoline would be strongly discouraged as a fuel for blackening infidel corpses, favoring high-temperature, fast burning fuels such as acetylene or MAPP gas. The use of accelerants such as oxygen to more quickly extinguish the cries of agony from the infidels would be “greatly pleasing to Allah.”

h/t Preston

Update: Shameless recycling of an old post that is still apropriate.

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Dean Martin Appreciation Day

I had no idea it was DMAD. In fact, I'd never heard of DMAD until today. It's not his birthday (that's June 7). Anyways, I'm up for it. Go and celebrate at Sheila's. Nobody blogs classic Hollywood better than Sheila. There are some great pictures too. Dean cooking with the Duke. Dean, Mia and Sharon Tate. Dean and the boss, naturally. Dean stepping onstage with Judy (I think it's Judy). And of course, Dean and Jerry.

Update: Youtube is amazing. Look what I found.

That scene of Dean the father kissing Dean Paul is sad, isn't it? Captain Dean Paul Martin died in 1987 when his Air National Guard F-4 Phantom crashed into Mount San Gorgonio.

Dean Paul "Dino" Martin, 35, son of entertainer Dean Martin was killed when the Phantom jet he was piloting crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains. Permission was given by March Air Force Base ATC to perform a "maximum climb" takeoff. The aircraft was seen disappearing into a scattered cloud ceiling at 4,700 feet. Radar contact was lost 9 minutes into the flight. The crash site was found on the 3rd day of searching in the San Gabriel Mountains. An investigation revealed the aircraft flew, inverted, into a solid wall of granite between two mountain peaks at an estimated speed of 560 mph. The aircraft was literally pulverized into the granite. The "maximum climb" takeoff, g forces assoctiated with this type of flight and the dense cloud cover negatively affected the pilots ability to know his position and aircraft attitude.
The death hit Dean very hard, and he apparently was never the same afterwards.

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September 13, 2006

Essay Exam

One of the purposes of this blog, as I have said before, is to learn from my readers. I have a theory in mind, and I'm wondering if I'm on the right track. Please help me by taking this short answer essay test. One sentence answers are best.

  1. Why did the Confederacy bomb Fort Sumter?
  2. Why did Germany invade the Soviet Union?
  3. Why did the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor?
  4. Why did Muslim terrorists bomb the World Trade Center in 1993?
  5. Why did Muslim terrorists bomb the World Trade Center in 2001?
  6. Generally speaking, is there a common motivator among all these acts?

Please mail your answers here.

Update: Thanks for all the great responses. Now I think my theory is not so good. And probably question number one doesn't really belong there since, as many of you pointed out, Ft. Sumter was bombed in response to Federal resupply of the island, and was not a surprise attack.

I had been thinking that all of the above actions were pre-emptive strikes by inferior forces against a superior power. And the common theme would be that each of the attackers had a particular vision of society, and in each case the attackee uniquely stood in the way of the attacker's vision.

However, the Germans and the Japanese planned to shorten a war of conquest by their surprise attacks, while the same cannot really be said of the WTC bombers. The terrorists are not capable of fighting any war of conquest, and I don't really believe they expected the response they got after 2001.

Posted by annika at 07:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

If Edna St. Vincent Millay were alive today, it's probably even money that she'd be against the Iraq War. She was a complicated person: pacifist, socialist, activist, feminist and bisexual. Yet when World War II threatened she put aside her pacifism, and argued strongly against the isolationists. She also wrote several poems urging us to take the Nazis seriously.

Here's one. Replace "Hitler" with the contemporary height challenged dictator of your choice, and the poem's warning sounds true today.

And Then There Were None

Ten white ptarmigan
      Perching in a pine;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were nine.

Nine white ptarmigan
      Trusting in their fate;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were eight.

Eight white ptarmigan
      Putting trust in Heaven;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were seven.

Seven white ptarmigan
      In a pretty fix;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were six.

Six white ptarmigan
      Hoping to survive;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were five.

Five white ptarmigan
      Wishing they were more;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were four.

Four white ptarmigan
      Trying to agree;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were three.

Three white ptarmigan
      Feeling very few;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there were two.

Two white ptarmigan
      Cried, "It can't be done!"
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      And then there was one.

One white ptarmigan
      Looked about and blinked;
Hitler gave his solemn oath:
      The race is now extinct.

Another Millay poem from 1940, definitely worth reading is the longer "There Are No Islands Anymore." In it, Vincent chastised the Isolationists and promoted American support for England against the Nazis.

Read it here. I particularly like this stanza.

On English soil, on French terrain,
Democracy's at grips again
With forces forged to stamp it out.
This time no quarter!—since no doubt.
Not France, not England's what's involved,
Not we,—there's something to be solved
Of grave concern to free men all:
Can Freedom stand?—Must Freedom fall?

(Meantime, the tide devours the shore:
There are no islands any more)

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September 12, 2006

Stingray Revenge Killings

The stingray that killed Steve Irwin ignored the most important law of the jungle.

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing,
and seven times never kill Man!
Here is why the wolf pack codified that rule:
A number of stingrays have been slaughtered in an apparent wave of revenge killings over the death of conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin.

Ten have been found with their tails cut off near Hervey Bay and Deception Bay in south-east Queensland.

. . .

. . . to hear that people are actually going out and killing stingrays and cutting off their tails is barbaric. It's ridiculous. Steve would really be abhorred by this whole event. It's not something that should be happening.

Article here.

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Syria, Hezbollah, North Korea Violate UN Security Council Resolution... World Yawns

From Reuters:

A ship bound for Syria from North Korea and detained in Cyprus on an Interpol alert for suspected arms smuggling was carrying air defense systems, Cypriot authorities said on Monday.

The shipment was billed as weather-observation equipment on the freight manifest of the Panamanian-flagged Grigorio 1 and officials said the Syrian government had asked Cyprus to release the seized consignment.

"To my knowledge their name doesn't appear anywhere on the manifest as the consignee, but they have got involved," a senior shipping industry source in Nicosia told Reuters.

He said the vessel had been tracked over a long period of time.

The ship was carrying 18 truck-mounted mobile radar systems and three command vehicles. "The radars on the 18 trucks appear to be part of an air defense system," a police spokeswoman said.

And to think people mocked the president when he included North Korea in the Axis of Evil.

10 bucks says the "international community" does squat about this violation.

h/t LGF

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September 11, 2006

Raiders Chargers

What's MNF without the Raiders? And they're three point underdogs! That's crazy. The Raiders always come to play on Monday Night, especially at home.

Raiders by seven.

I know I'm late, but only by a couple of minutes.

Update: How embarrassing.

Posted by annika at 07:33 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

The 9/11 Coverage Replays

This morning, I tried to find CNN's replay of their 9/11 coverage, but it wasn't on tv. I did find NBC's replay, which was broadcast on MSNBC. What I saw bothered me a lot, and I waited all day to post something about it.

Now that I'm home, I was able to view the CNN coverage from that day, thanks to Hot Air. I was able to compare CNN's excellent coverage to NBC's, or I should say, contrast. I've often been critical of CNN, but all I can say is I do miss Aaron Brown.

Kiki Couric and Tom Brokaw were incredibly bad by any standard, and I can't understand why. Somewhere, somehow, the two of them got the idea that good journalism means completely divorcing yourself from all human feeling. Or, perhaps, that the "citizens of the world" ideal that today's elite media have fetishized required them to abandon any sense of horror in order not to offend those viewers who might have been happy about the deaths of thousands.

Or perhaps the two of them thought that by remaining scrupulously objective, they might win some sort of award or peer recognition for their level-headedness. Instead, Couric and Brokaw came off as more wooden than Mr. Spock. Or Al Gore. I don't know what made them think that emotionlessness was required on that day, of all days. The most memorable newscasts during tragic events have always included the broadcaster's personal reactions — and yes emotions — while simultaneously reporting the news. Think Walter Cronkite and JFK, Frank Reynolds and Reagan, or to go way back, Herb Morrison and the Hindenburg.

Amazingly, as I watched the South Tower collapse, Kiki and Tom said nothing. It was as if they didn't see it. But how could that be? It was their job to see it. Then, as Manhattan disappeared behind a thick wall of smoke they continued to act as if nothing had happened. I waited and waited, but they made no mention of the incredible scene unfolding before their very eyes. In fact, it wasn't until eight long minutes later that another correspondent said the first thing about the tower collapsing!

Which brings up an interesting point. Michael Moore made a career out of criticizing Bush's "seven long minutes." But here were two experienced and celebrated journalists, who's job it was to report what was happening, and they completely failed to mention the biggest thing either of them had ever witnessed or would ever witness in their entire careers. Eight long minutes they sat there repeating banalities while lower Manhattan was entirely engulfed in smoke and neither of them said a word about it.

Here's a clip of when the other correspondent stated the obvious for the very first time, "When you look at it the building has collapsed. That building just came down." Listen to what Kiki says at the very end. Instead of reacting to this horrific and unimaginable event, she immediately cuts the reporter off and goes to "Bob Bazell who's at St. Vincent's Hospital..." Infreakincredible.

Which is why Aaron Brown's coverage stands out. When the South Tower began to fall, he interrupted another remote immediately. He then described what we all watched, as it happened, with words like "extraordinarily frightening," which is exactly what it was.

It's a disgrace that Aaron Brown is now teaching at ASU, while Kiki Couric is making $15 million a year.

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No Posting Today

In honor of the fallen.


Go here and read some of the tributes.

Posted by annika at 12:23 AM

September 10, 2006

Today's Homily

The churches around here suck. Here's a direct quote from today's homily:

What if, instead of bombing Afghanistan, we had dropped food, medicine and ecucation?
What an idiot.

Did that priest ever stop to think that dropping food and medicine is exactly what we tried to do in Somalia? And Somalia is one of the reasons cited by Osama Bin Ladin himself for attacking us?

The problem is not the needy people in the world. It's the guys with guns that want to kill us. That priest, if he really wants to do some good, should head on over to Afghanistan himself and try to convert the Taliban. He'd either save some lives, or more likely, he'd get an education real quick.

If you want to pray for peace, try asking God to grant victory to the brave men and women fighting terrorism overseas and at home.

Posted by annika at 11:06 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

The Path To 9/11 Clips You're Not Supposed To See

Go and see them now, before the anti-free speech crazies find out and crash the site.

Update: Betsy Newmark explains why it matters.

Think for a moment about the concerted action by Democrats, their lawyers, former White House operatives, Bill Clinton, sympathetic historians, and lefty bloggers to stop this show. Remember that this was the same crowd that was full of praise of for Fahrenheit 9/11 for crystallizing their opposition to George Bush. Accuracy and versimilitude didn't bother them then. And they weren't saying a word about 60 Minutes "fake but accurate" story on Bush's National Guard service. Now, ask yourself. If this crowd were to control the White House, how many more of these attempts to stifle any criticism of them would we be seeing? Think of how much has been aired during Bush's tenure, even a movie depicting him being assassinated and more denials of civil liberties gets made without Bush's White House unleashing its lawyers. But, for this thing, the Democrats go to the mattresses. Are they perhaps modeling for us what their response would be to further criticism if they should gain control of the White House - or even of Congress? Don't forget those not-so-veiled threats to ABC's license. Ponder that chill wind.
Exactly. These are the anti-free speech crazies I'm talking about.

h/t Michelle Malkin

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September 09, 2006

Saturday Sports Questions

1. Troy Smith and Colt McCoy are some great quarterback names. How could either of those guys play any other position?

2. If USC goes to number 2 this week, will we see a repeat of the great Casca/Shelly comments debate of 2005?

3. How many times did you say "shutup Musburger" during tonight's game?

4. Maria Sharapova is awesome. I know, that's not a question, but she is.

5. Penn State looked fugly today. Weren't they number three last year?

6. How will Emmit do this season? With Cheryl coaching him, I say he'll do better than Jerry.

Posted by annika at 08:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

9/11 Film Controversy

I don't get this stupid controversy about The Path to 9/11. Democrats are thrashing about like a T-1000 in a vat of molten steel. What's the problem?

Is the movie defamatory? If it is then file a lawsuit. They might have a little trouble with the malice requirement, but that's one remedy.

It seems to me that the only objections Democrats have raised are that it's allegedly misleading, innacurate, and fictional. The truth is, they don't like the way it portrays Clinton. So fucking what. Since when have ex-presidents been immune from criticism? If they don't like it, why don't they do their own movie about how bad Bush is?

Oh that's right, they already did. It won the Palme d'Or.

And another thing. Isn't it government censorship when a bunch of Senators and Congressmen threaten ABC's license if they don't pull a tv show because of its political content? Isn't that prior restraint?

The DNC blog has a picture of a stack of 120,000 petitions they've printed. What they don't mention is that they're unsigned, but the picture is supposed to be impressive. I'm impressed that they think there are enough lemmings out there who care about a movie they haven't even seen yet.

And Daily Kos is now calling ABC, "GOP-TV." That is the funniest thing of all. Makes you wonder if they've ever watched ABC News. Would that it were true, it might take some of the heat off of Fox News.

A Kos writer also made the logically insupportable assertion the she "despise[d] censorship" and was in favor of "the free expression of even the most foul and erroneous ideas" except in cases when the speaker (in this case ABC) cannot be expected to "present a factual rebuttal" of its own speech.

By the same logic, Farenheit 9/11, a film that has made hundreds of millions of dollars to date, should never have been released unless Michael Moore also did a follow up film rebutting the lies in his original movie.

Jefferson and Madison would certainly have raised an eyebrow at that one.

Update: Kevin Kim have best comment.

I first read and thnk Bill Clinnton stuipd because is drama like "JFK" by Oliber Rock. "Is ONLY DRAMA BILL AND RELAX! Moreovering, you SUCK Monnica Lunski DIK is INCONTROVERTIBALLY FACT! YOU ONLY YOU!" I shoutted at moni tor.
Clik here to see.

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September 08, 2006

And The 2006 Annika's Jeopardy Champion Is...

Tonight was the finale of the real Jeopardy's Tournament of Champions. Well, here at Annika's Journal we've just concluded our own contest, and I'm about to announce the new 2006 Annika's Jeopardy Champion.

The Final Jeopardy clue was very hard, I know. I test googled it first, just to make sure. The category was "Heroes," and the clue was: "A famous historian once described him thusly: 'He is incapable of violent action, he never raises his voice.' Yet today he is recognized as one of the Greatest Generation's great leaders."

The famous historian was Stephen E. Ambrose, if that helps any. The correct response will be revealed in the extended entry.

Let's see how the contestants did, shall we?

As on tv, we begin with the contestant who started with the lowest dollar total. That would be Skippy Stalin.


Skippy bet all of his $100, and guessed "Dwight David Eisenhower." Unfortunately, the judges can't accept that response, since it wasn't in the form of a question. Hey, I don't make the rules. So Skippy goes down to $0.

Next we have Drake Steel.


Drake wagered his entire $100, then apparently was so stumped by the clue that he failed to respond at all. Sorry Drake, you're down to zero.

Let's see how Trint did.


Trint also bet his whole wad, $200. And like Drake, he had no response to the clue so he also goes down to zero. Maybe you'll have better luck with your next CD, dude.

Next up is Blu.


Blu wagered his entire stash of $300. Perhaps he was preoccupied by his ongoing 12 round slugfest with Strawman, since Blu completely forgot to send me a response. Down to zero, my friend.

On to the Maximum Leader.


Maximum Leader wagered all of his $300 (I sense a pattern here). His guess was interesting, "Who is... Omar Bradley." Sorry dude, it was not the G.I. General. You are now tied with everybody else, at zero.

Law Fairy is next up.


Law Fairy also decided to bet it all, in her case that was $500. I like her guess, "Who was Audie Murphy?" But unfortunately, that is not the correct response either. Go join the rest of the contestants with zero point zero dollars.

Let's check on Victor.


Victor bet all $700 of his hard earned money, and guessed "Who is Dwight D. Eisenhower?" Close. Ambrose did write a fine two volume biography of the General, but Ike actually had a famous temper, so the quote doesn't fit. Victor goes to zero too.

Next is Shelly.


Shelly bet it all too. He had $1000. I say "had" because he guessed "Who is (was) Mahatma Gandhi?" which is also interesting, but way off. Shelly is now tied with everybody else in the basement.

Tuning Spork.


The Spork guessed "Who was Pope John Paul II?" He also lost his entire $1500 too. Gosh, what if everybody tied with zero? Has that ever happened before?

D-Rod brought the second highest dollar total.


With all $1600 of his dollars, D-Rod guessed "Who is Gandhi?" same as Shelly. Great minds think alike, I guess. While the Ambrose quote might very well apply to Gandhi, the historian was talking about someone else. So D-Rod loses it all.

Finally there is Leif, who had the distinction of having gotten the most correct responses this year. Like Tuning Spork, Leif also incorrectly guessed "Who is John Paul II?" But what did he wager?


$1301 of his $1900 total.

Wow, Leif was the only contestant to hold something back, and as a result he is the new Annika's Jeopardy Champion with a total of $599! Congratulations Leif!

Well, that was an exciting finish this year. Thanks for playing!

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot to tell you the correct response.

The full quote, from Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers, is this:

He is incapable of violent action, he never raises his voice, he is contemptuous of exagerration, self-puffery, or posturing. He has achieved exactly what he wanted in life, that peace and quiet he promised himself as he lay down to catch some sleep on the night of June 6-7, 1944 . . .
Got it yet?

Here's the rest:

. . . and the continuing love and respect of the men he commanded in Easy Company in World War II.
There you go. If you've read the book, or seen the miniseries, you'd probably remember "who is Captain Richard Winters." If not, he is definitely a hero you'll want to learn more about.

Posted by annika at 09:14 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Jeopardy Champion!

...will be announced later this afternoon!

Posted by annika at 07:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Happy 40th Star Trek!

[Just havin' a little fun at Shatner's expense. He knows I love him.]


Today is the 40th anniversary of Star Trek's first broadcast. From the official website:

On the evening of the 8th of September, following Daniel Boone, this new NBC show premiered with an episode called "The Man Trap." The angle of the story was different, to say the least: It was a love story with a sci-fi twist, borne of a relationship from the doctor's past, featuring a monster that, in the end, just wanted to live. It was moving, tragic and anything but cheesy. The viewers — at least the ones who were paying attention — were hooked.

This show proved it had something different. It had a unique life that would go on to exist beyond expectation. It stood outside of time, as it tapped into universal themes and epic struggles, and put the cosmos on notice. Things have changed! Primetime on NBC eventually proved that this was no place for something so big, so broad in scope. This three-season show, after all, would go on to spawn four live-action spin-offs, an animated series, ten movies and counting, plus a licensing empire that, to this day, embraces books, videos, exhibits and assorted merchandise.

Like other cultural, artistic or philosophical phemonena (think Mozart, Van Gogh or Jesus) this new show was largely unappreciated in its own time and only later would be seen as what it is today, a world-wide, cultural juggernaut. Thanks to a form of TV recycling called syndication, the show became a hit to generations of young, impressionable kids, including many future scientists, astronauts and actors. What's ironic is that by today's ratings standards, it would have been a hit in its original run. But back then, with only three major networks, it didn't quite pull its weight. It was only with the need to syndicate TV programs, to get more than one bite out of the entertainment cherry, did this show become what it was all along. It just needed a form of resurrection; the people who had heard of it from their parents, teachers, friends or older siblings tuned in after school, prior to the dinner hour. It turned out to be the perfect time to hit this new, fresh audience and the show became lodged in the collective minds of a nation.

Indeed it has.

Happy birthday Star Trek. And thanks Gene, wherever you are.

Update: Check out the Star Trek 40th Anniversary Carnival at A Mama's Rant. Submit your own post, if you got one.

Posted by annika at 01:24 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Recommended Reading

Not only is this post at WuzzaDem brilliant and funny, it's also got many picturs...

h/t Cranky

Posted by annika at 12:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 07, 2006

Kiki Is Still Crappy

I took time out from watching Miami vs. Pittsburgh to catch Kiki Couric doing the nightly news. I missed her the last two nights. Tonight, I made it to exactly eight minutes before switching back to the game in anger. I had no idea how bad the CBS Nightly News had gotten. It's been years since I watched any evening news show. The first two segments of Kiki's broadcast tonight were almost total fiction. It was laughable, except for the fact that many thousands of people were watching who had no idea they were being lied to.

I don't blame Kiki so much. She's more of a master of ceremonies for this contemporary version of the Liars Club. Besides her poor posture and crooked mouth (which I never noticed before), she did a serviceable job. I find her manner more pleasant than Dan Rather's, but that ass surely didn't set the bar too high for his successor.

Kiki's show started with Jim Axelrod asserting quite unequivocally that the latest tape from Bin Laden contradicts the President's message in his recent War On Terror speeches. Anyone with a brain can see that just the opposite is true. In fact, the al Qaeda video features terrorists that are now in U.S. custody, whose interrogation led to the arrests of further terrorists. Bin Laden's video not only disproves beyond any doubt the stupid "inside job" conspiracy theories, but it shows how we've made a big dent in al Qaeda's leadership.

The second segment promised to show how support for the Iraq War has fallen among conservatives of the Bible Belt. They then showed only three people, two of whom said that they support the war! [Actually, the third guy supports the war too! See update, infra.] Now, I'm not trying to claim that support for the war has not fallen. It obviously has, but this joke of a news segment proved nothing of the sort. The one guy who said he was going to vote for Democrats was cut off just as he was about to state the reason why. No doubt his reasons had more to do with immigration and runaway spending, but CBS didn't want their audience to know that.

In the next segment, both Kiki and the reporter blatantly repeated the lie that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent. I guess they believe that old totalitarian principle about repeating the big lie often enough. Then followed an interview with Armitage, which nearly made me keel over with disinterest. This story is so irrelevant, why doesn't CBS just move on dot org?

That was when I turned it off, and to my dismay learned that I had missed a touchdown.

Update: The guy who said he was voting democratic in the second segment I mentioned above was retired Colonel Jim Van Riper, USMC. The unedited interview is here. I was wrong about his reasons for planning to vote Democratic. But CBS, very sneakily, omitted from their televised soundbites any of Colonel Van Riper's very strong pro-Iraq War statements. His objection is not that we're in Iraq, he just wants to win and he doesn't think the administration is getting the job done.

While I think it's misguided to think a Democratic Congress will do anything but weaken America, I can totally understand Col. Van Riper's frustration. We all want to win. Does anybody really think that Bush's poll numbers would be where they are now if we had already succeeded in Iraq? For most Americans — and this is the dirty little secret CBS and the elite media don't want you to know — the issue is victory, not whether the war was legal or right or wrong or unilateral or any of the other Michael Moore objections. If we had won already, nobody would be complaining. Wanting to win is patriotic, as is frustration that we might not be winning.

Posted by annika at 07:06 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Future Headline

"Dems Celebrate End of Bush Security Measures"

Have you seen the America Weakly campaign ads?

If not, start here, with a satirical look at what a Democratic Congress will do to national security. Or maybe not so satirical.

A Democratic Congress will be bad, no question about it. They have no plan except opposition to Bush, and a desire to embarrass Republicans. Since they don't hold the executive branch, these goals will have to be furthered by de-funding, and endless investigations.

I think 9/11 might have been an unintended result of Ken Starr's crusade to nail the President on a "process crime." If so, what new tragedy might occur while President Bush is occupied by the latest round of political vendettas, investigations and impeachment proceedings?

Posted by annika at 08:18 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

September 06, 2006

The Path To 9/11

The Path To 9/11 starts Sunday Night. I plan to watch it not only because it has been pissing off all the right people, but also because I want to see how Sherry Palmer fits into the conspiracy.

Posted by annika at 10:04 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

My Not So Subtle Attempt To Influence The Sidebar Poll

Just my opinion, but I think the answer to "Who's the World's Greatest Australian?" goes without saying.

Exhibit A in the extended entry.

Get music videos for your own profile!
Over 40,000 music videos to choose from at VideoCodeZone!

Posted by annika at 09:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Final Jeopardy With Annika

Here it is, the Final Jeopardy clue. Players have until the 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, September 7th to email your responses to me. Remember, you must have already emailed me your Final Jeopardy wager to be eligible to play.

You can email your responses to me by clicking here.

The clue is in the extended entry. Good Luck!


<BGSOUND src="http://annika.mu.nu/archives/jeopardy.wav">

Posted by annika at 12:46 AM | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

You might have seen the new poll on my sidebar. If not, go look and vote. One of the names, Captain Thunderbolt, might be unfamiliar to you. He was an Australian outlaw of the Nineteenth Century and the following poem, by Graeme Philipson, tells his story.

The Last Bushranger

Just below Uralla stands New England's southern gate
A mighty granite boulder that tells of one man's fate.
Of the bushranger called Thunderbolt, the last of that rare breed
Of desperate men without the law joined in a common creed.

Thunderbolt was Frederick Ward. The story of his life
Begins they say in Windsor town, in eighteen thirty-five.
His early life was tough and cruel, the times back then were hard
His school was on the horse's back, and in the breaker's yard.

He didn't learn to read or write, but he sure knew how to ride
Jimmy Garbutt showed him how to steal, he took it in his stride.
They took sixty head from Tocal Run, but the Troopers caught them cold
Frederick Ward was twenty-one, with ten years to rot in gaol.

They put him on to Cockatoo, an island made in hell
He set to work to work to get away, he nearly did as well.
But they caught him and they put him in a hole without the sun
Alone he waited for the day when he could make his run.

He swam one night, he got away, he went back to the bush
Across the range, to back of Bourke, he joined the westward push.
He took to the road, he learned the life of a bushranger at large
He robbed the coaches, stole the mail, while riding at the charge.

But life was hard in the sunburnt scrub, he moved back to the range
To relieve the squatter of his horse, the traveller of his change.
Thunderbolt lived outside the law, but he was honest in his way
There's a famous tale of a famous deed at Tenterfield one day.

He went boldly to the races, and looked folk up and down
He saw who won and he saw who lost, and he waited out of town.
He robbed three German bandsmen, but to show his kind concern
He left them some to get to town, and he promised he'd return.

They’d get it back if he could find the man that won the most
And by his word the very next day he lived true to his boast.
Nick Hart was the man, he was travelling north, a hundred pounds he'd won
Ward bailed him up on the border line and relieved him of the sum.

The Germans got their money back, they'd not believed their ears
Ward’s word became a legend, passed down through the years.
When a hawker came by the Rock one day the outlaw bailed him up
But he got to Uralla and raised the alarm, the constables saddled up.

Trooper Walker caught him there that day, outside of Blanche's Inn
And shot at him in the valley where Kentucky Creek begins.
Our man was on a borrowed horse, he could not outrun the law
So he left the saddle and climbed the bank, with Walker firing more.

He was cornered fair and square, but he was brave until the last
Walker cried: “surrender, man!” The outlaw saw his chance
He charged the mounted trooper, he was firing as he came
But his pistol jammed, and the trooper's final bullet found its aim.

He fell into the creek but rose again to fight his foe
He died when Walker struck him with a god-almighty blow.
That afternoon outside of town, more died than just a man
He was the last to live that outlaw’s life upon this lonely land.

All had gone before him: Morgan, Gilbert and Ben Hall
Frederick Ward, called Thunderbolt, was the last one of them all.
When he died they all died with him, it was the ending of an age
A curtain dark was drawn across that now far distant stage.

When Thunderbolt still rode the range, from Mudgee to the Downs
When Thunderbolt his name still rang, in country and in town
When Thunderbolt outrode the law, from Bourke clear to the sea
This land was very different then, from what it came to be.

Now life, they say, is civilised, there's none can do again
What Thunderbolt did years ago, when he strode across the land.
They say that life is better now the bushrangers are dead
But they like to recollect the days the squatters lived in dread.

He's buried in Uralla, where his name is famous yet
The Rock still stands, the creek still runs, where he met his death
You can have a beer and toast him in the pub that bears his name
You can stop awhile and ponder on the reasons for his fame.

And though he’s dead these hundred years, his memory still remains
Of how he rode the mountains, and how he strode the plains.
His name will live for ever more beneath those cold dark skies
The last bushranger may have gone, but the legend never dies.

Posted by annika at 11:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Insufferable Pricks Party Election Guide

Just so you'll be able to tell the difference between the two major parties on the big issues, Cranky Neocon at 6MB has prepared an informative and handy Election Issues Comparison Chart. It's suitable for printing, so you can take it into the voting booth with you on November 7th!

Posted by annika at 09:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Final Jeopardy At Last!


It's time for Final Jeopardy with Annika. Thanks to everyone who participated in this game. Last year we had twelve visitors on the board, and this year we had fifteen, so that's pretty cool.

Last year's winner was Trevor, and we will definitely have a new champion this year since Trevor didn't play. (Unless he was the fake Law Fairy.)

Final Jeopardy will be open to anyone who has money in the game.

That would be:

Leif $1900 in
D-Rod $1600 in
Tuning Spork $1500 in
Shelly $1000 in
Victor has $700 in
Law Fairy $500 in
Maximum Leader $300 in
KG $300
Blu $300 in
Kevin Kim $300
Matt of Overtaken By Events $200
Trint $200 in
Drake Steel $100 in
TBinSTL $100
SkippyStalin $100 in

Just like on tv, you can wager from $0 up to the entire total of what you've earned in the game, or any amount in between.

Rules will be a little different this year, to conform more closely with the tv show. First, the players will email me their wagers, based on the category, without knowing the clue. All wagers must be in to me by Tuesday night, September 5, 2006, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.

After I get the wagers, I'll post the clue and there will also be another time limit for the responses.

Comments will be closed, so wagers and responses must be e-mailed to me. The correct response must be phrased in the form of a question. There's no need to buzz in for Final Jeopardy.

The Final Jeopardy category is "Heroes." Think about your wagers and send the amounts to me by clicking here.

Posted by annika at 10:37 AM | TrackBack

September 04, 2006

Countdown To Kiki

The horror...


VIOLET: Dessert? Here it comes. Blueberry pie and cream!
It's the most marvelous blueberry pie that I've ever tasted!

CHARLIE: Look at her face!

MR. BEAUREGARDE: Holy Toledo, what's happening to your face?

VIOLET: Cool it, Dad! Lemme finish.

MR. BEAUREGARDE: Yeah, but your face is turning blue!
Violet, you're turning violet, Violet!

VIOLET: What are you talking about?

WONKA: I told you I hadn't got it quite right yet.

MR. BEAUREGARDE: You can say that again. Look what it's
done to my kid!

WONKA: It always goes wrong when we come to the dessert.

MR. BEAUREGARDE: Violet, what are you doing now?!? You're
blowing up!

VIOLET: I feel funny.

GRANDPA JOE: I'm not surprised.

VIOLET: What's happening?

MR. BEAUREGARDE: You're blowing up like a balloon!

WONKA: Like a blueberry.

MR. BEAUREGARDE: Somebody do something! Call a doctor!

MRS. TEEVEE: Stick her with a pin.

CHARLIE: She'll pop!

WONKA: It happens every time! They all become blueberries.

MR. BEAUREGARDE: You've really done it this time, haven't
you, Wonka. I'll break you for this.

WONKA: Oh, well, I'll get it right in the end.

VIOLET: Help! Help!

(Wonka plays the pipe whistle.)

MR. BEAUREGARDE: We've got to let the air out of her, quick!

WONKA: There's no air in there.


WONKA: That's juice.


WONKA: (to an Oompa Loompa) Would you roll the young lady
down to the juicing room at once, please.


WONKA: For squeezing. She has to be squeezed immediately
before she explodes.

MR. BEAUREGARDE: Explodes?!?

WONKA: It's a fairly simple operation.

Posted by annika at 10:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Crazy Lithuanian Rabbit

This is good for about three minutes out of your day. No more than that. Give it a try.

Posted by annika at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MNF Schedule

This week is finally here. Thursday is the start of the NFL regular season. Yay!

Because I'm a masochist, I will revive the infamous feature known as Annika's Monday Night Football Picks.

The schedule is in the extended entry.

Week 1
Monday, Sept. 11
Minnesota at Washington, 4:00
San Diego at Oakland, 7:15

Week 2
Monday, Sept. 18
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville, 5:30

Week 3
Monday, Sept. 25
Atlanta at New Orleans, 5:30

Week 4
Monday, Oct. 2
Green Bay at Philadelphia, 5:30

Week 5
Monday, Oct. 9
Baltimore at Denver, 5:30

Week 6
Monday, Oct. 16
Chicago at Arizona, 5:30

Week 7
Monday, Oct. 23
N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 5:30

Week 8
Monday, Oct. 30
New England at Minnesota, 5:30

Week 9
Monday, Nov. 6
Oakland at Seattle, 5:30

Week 10
Monday, Nov. 13
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 5:30

Week 11
Monday, Nov. 20
N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville, 5:30

Week 12
Monday, Nov. 27
Green Bay at Seattle, 5:30

Week 13
Monday, Dec. 4
Carolina at Philadelphia, 5:30

Week 14
Mon., Dec. 11
Chicago at St. Louis, 5:30

Week 15
Mon., Dec. 18
Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 5:30

Week 16
Mon., Dec. 25
Philadelphia at Dallas, 2:00
N.Y. Jets at Miami, 5:30

Posted by annika at 09:59 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Barbie's New Dog

He comes with his own poo.

Posted by annika at 08:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Steve Irwin Is Gone

This is a shocker. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter just died. Killed by a stingray barb to the chest while filming a show. He made his living taking chances and it finally caught up to him. How sad for Terri.

Posted by annika at 12:10 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 01, 2006

67th Anniversary Of Case White

Today is the 67th anniversary of the beginning of World War Two in Europe. As you should remember, it began with the German invasion of Poland, which the Wehrmacht codenamed "Case White." (DANEgerus also reminds us that the Red Army invaded from the east sixteen days later.)

I think it's especially appropriate to pause today and think about that fateful moment in 1939, which led to the death of so many millions.

Many folks have noted that our situation now is not unlike the time before that first panzer crossed the Polish frontier. I'm one of them. I see the failure of our international institutions and the blindness of so many prominent figures and I think of the League of Nations, Chamberlain, Lindbergh, and Coughlin.

There is no cosmic law that says we can't re-ignite the horrors of World War Two for a new generation. The United States lost 293,000 brave men to the conflict, but almost zero civilians. We had it lucky. We were the saving heroes from across the water in that war. We won't be so lucky next time.

The bill from the last world war was staggering. Twenty-five million Soviet citizens, fourteen million Chinese, seven million Germans, six million Poles, two million Japanese, and on and on.


If you were a European Jew, a Philipino, a Chinese or Russian peasant, even a lowly German or Soviet conscript, your life was a hell in the 1940's. All because a handful of world leaders could not, or would not, stop the juggernaut of fascism.

The atrocities were so numerous, we've given them names: Bataan, Auschwitz, Malmedy, Nanking, Dachau, Katyn Forest, Lidice, Treblinka, the Burma Railway, and on and on.

We must also remember the unimaginably horrible deaths from new techniques of killing developed for the war by our side, and used at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Tokyo, and on and on.

There are those who say we are on the precipice of World War Three right now. Others say it started five years ago. I am not going to argue with either viewpoint. Nor will I end this post with a pollyannish "don't worry, our leaders have things under control."

Because even if we were blessed with the greatest of statesman, which we're not, I don't know that it will be possible to avoid another trial of war brought upon us by evil men.

Some people insist our current enemies are not dangerous, or if they are, they're not evil. I'm at a point now where I don't think that argument matters a whole lot. Our enemies have their own agenda, and they will settle the issue in their own time. And we will have to fight them whether we're ready or not.

I looked up at the sky last night and saw a fiery meteor burn across the horizon. It was scary, though I knew it was no bigger than a coin. It made me think about how wise we think we are, yet how much there is we don't know. I wonder if there are intelligent beings who have been watching us these past hundred years. How they must laugh at our folly.

Posted by annika at 12:27 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack