Saturday, January 05, 2008


Daily Mail reported Scores of [British] soldiers flying home from Afghanistan on Christmas leave were ordered to change out of their uniforms on a freezing runway before being allowed into a civilian airport terminal. Troops were told not to be seen in public in their uniforms - which they had worn with pride while risking their lives during months of intense fighting against the Taliban.... One soldier, who was ordered to undress for "security reasons", said: "It is an insult to the entire Army to force guys who've been fighting in Afghanistan to obey some jobsworth rule when all they want to do is get home to their families.... Last night the airport authorities denied responsibility, saying: "We support our Armed Forces and whatever form of dress they choose to wear at our airport."
Apparently not if it is a military uniform.
The MoD eventually confirmed it has a ban on troops wearing uniform in civilian airports, claiming it was because a small number of airlines ban all uniforms on flights for security reasons.
I assume MoD is Minister of Defense, but it really sounds like it should be MaD. Why is a military person traveling in uniform a security risk? Carrying a weapon I might understand. But just wearing a military uniform?????
A spokesman said: "In this case, it appears it was applied a little too rigidly." The policy will now be reviewed.
Good idea. And why not fire the idiot that came uo with it.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Sounds interesting

Fastcompany reported Johnathan Goodwin can get 100 mpg out of a Lincoln Continental, cut emissions by 80%, and double the horsepower. Does the car business have the guts to follow him?.
I would like to see what Detroit can do with his ideas.
... Goodwin leads me over to a red 2005 H3 Hummer that's up on jacks, its mechanicals removed. He aims to use the turbine to turn the Hummer into a tricked-out electric hybrid. Like most hybrids, it'll have two engines, including an electric motor. But in this case, the second will be the turbine, Goodwin's secret ingredient. Whenever the truck's juice runs low, the turbine will roar into action for a few seconds, powering a generator with such gusto that it'll recharge a set of "supercapacitor" batteries in seconds. This means the H3's electric motor will be able to perform awesome feats of acceleration and power over and over again, like a Prius on steroids. What's more, the turbine will burn biodiesel, a renewable fuel with much lower emissions than normal diesel; a hydrogen-injection system will then cut those low emissions in half. And when it's time to fill the tank, he'll be able to just pull up to the back of a diner and dump in its excess french-fry grease--as he does with his many other Hummers. Oh, yeah, he adds, the horsepower will double--from 300 to 600.


Iowa Shocker

Obama lead on the Democratic side with 38 percent, compared to 30 percent for John Edwards and 29 percent for Hillary Clinton; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson finished fourth, and is not dropping out, although Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware are both pulling their hats out of the ring, but Mike Gravel says he is still in the race, but I could not find any report that even listed him. I don't know about Dennis Kucinich. He and Gravel should have the decency to pull out, since they did worse than Biden 0.93% and Dodd 0.02%

I don't understand how, but according to this Hillary got 15 delegates with her 29% showing, and Edwards only got 14, after beating her. Obama got 16. No one else got any delegates.

Mike Huckabee drew 34 percent on the Republican side, compared to 25 percent for Romney. Fred Thompson and McCain tied with 13 percent and Ron Paul was fifth at 10 percent. Rudy trailed with 4 percent. It is going to be hard for the debates to exclude Paul and not exclude Rudy, even though Rudy really did not campaign in Iowa. Duncan Hunter got 0.4%. I personally think Hunter and Paul should be excluded from the Debates.

Huckabee got 17 delegates, Romney got 12, Thompson and McCain got 3 each, and Paul got 2. No one else got any delegates.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

TV transition

Yahoo! News reported Millions of $40 government coupons become available Tuesday to help low-tech television owners buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting. Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, anyone who does not own a digital set and still gets their programming via over-the-air antennas will no longer receive a picture. That's the day the television industry completes its transition from old-style analog broadcasting to digital.

The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores.
I wonder how much they would have cost if the government was not paying $40 each.
Starting Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will begin accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.... To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at Tuesday. The government also has set up a 24-hour hotline to take requests, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
There are only 33.5 million coupons available. The coupons will expire 90 days after they are issued - and converter boxes are not expected to be available until sometime in February of this year.
Hat tip to Gaius


Want a good laugh?

This is funny.
Hat tip to Gaius


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Huckabee ad appeals to Christian conservatives

CNN Political Ticker whined For the second time in the past two weeks, presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has aired a commercial in which a Christian symbol appears in the background.
What is wrong with that. He is a Christian, in fact he is a Baptist Preacher. Should he have Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, or Jewish signs in his ads. He is trying to get votes in Iowa, and there are more Christians there than Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, or Jewish and Athiests put together.
In the campaign ad, Huckabee is addressing members of the Iowa Christian Alliance, an organization whose symbol is the ichthys which appears on a banner that is shown prominently at the open and close of the 30 second spot.

The ICA is an influential social conservative organization in Iowa, and Huckabee can be seen speaking about his opposition to abortion before the group. The ichthys, which resembles a fish, is well-known in evangelical circles as the symbol used by early Christians to secretly identify one another without attracting persecution.


Smartest woman in the world doesn’t know the first thing about Pakistan

Bryan blogged on Hot Air This is from Hillary Clinton’s appearance on This Week, Dec 30th. She gets nearly everything about the Pakistani political situation and upcoming elections wrong. And by wrong, I am not saying that she’s a little wrong. She’s totally wrong. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Let’s take this piecemeal. The Pakistani People’s Party, or PPP, is a hereditary party. Benazir Bhutto became its leader when her father was executed after conviction in a highly questionable trial (not “assassinated,” as Clinton has said), and upon Bhutto’s assassination, her son took the reins because Bhutto had left the party’s leadership to him in her will. Therefore, there was no choice to be made in the PPP’s leadership. It had been made before Bhutto’s death, because the PPP isn’t democratically run.
However her son has not graduated college yet, which is required by the Pakistant Constitution, so he can't become Prime Minister, so if PPP wins his father, who served 8 years in prison for corruption, will be in control.
Second, Nawaz Sharif can’t run. He’s a convicted felon. His party can participate in elections, but he’s barred from running. Musharraf could have pardoned Sharif as he had pardoned Bhutto in late 2007, but he hadn’t, so according to the law Sharif was barred from standing for election.

Third, even if Bhutto hadn’t been murdered and even if Sharif could run, neither would be on the ballot to replace Pervez Musharraf, who isn’t on any ballot himself. Musharraf was just re-elected to a five-year presidential term back in October. The January 8 elections, which have now been postponed to February 20, were for parliament. Bhutto could have become Prime Minister again. Sharif couldn’t. Neither could have replaced the president, who is Musharraf.
And right now the President has most of the power, not the Prime Minister.
So Hillary Clinton, smartest woman in the world and veteran of flying into the world’s dangerous hot spots alongside comedian Sinbad, got the Pakistani elections entirely, completely and utterly wrong in all respects.

Perhaps she should have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on Saturday night.

What may be even more telling than how wrong Hillary got Pakistan is the fact that none of her Democrat rivals have called her out on it. She made her remarks in a high profile interview on the last Sunday morning before the Iowa caucus. It’s now Tuesday. Where are the Edwards and Obama camps to criticize her for getting everything on a vital story completely wrong? It’s reasonable to assume that none of the experts in either camp are even aware that Hillary is so disastrously wrong about the hottest foreign policy story of the moment.
They don't know any more than she does.


Nuke British Infidels

The Sun reported A fanatical
Fanatical means "marked by excessive, or irrational, enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea". This guy is certainly extreme by Western standards, but everything he says can be traced directly back to the Qur'an (Holy Book), Hadith (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad), Tafsir (commentary on the Qur'an), and Sira (biographies of Muhammad. People need to realize that fact, and not ignore it.
Pakistani cleric told The Sun yesterday of his chilling dream
His dream is my nightmare.
to turn the world Muslim – by force if necessary. Qari Hifzur Rehamn, 60, spoke openly of imposing Islamic law’s stoning and beheading on Britain – as Pakistan was rocked by unrest over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

He warned: “We want Islamic law for all Pakistan and then the world.
At least it is a two step process. We can hope that the sane majority in Pakistan will deal with you.
“We would like to do this by preaching. But if not then we would use force.”

Rehamn, 60, spoke in the Pakistani town of Kahuta as the call to prayer echoed over the dusty streets. He is Imam of the town’s fundamentalist religious school or madrassa, where classes for kids as young as nine include Jihad or Holy War and barbaric punishments.

His teachings are frightening enough. But his mosque lies in the shadow of the secret bunker where Pakistan produces nuclear weapons.
Well if the radicals get control and special forces have to take out the nuclear bunkers maybe his mosque will be hit too.
And when asked if it would be right to nuke British infidels, he laughed and answered: “Probably.”

Rehamn, in a flowing grey beard and turban, explained Islamic, or Sharia Law as we sat surrounded by some of his 250 students. He said: “Adulterers who are married should be buried in earth to the waist and stoned to death.
That cuts down on the need for abortions due to out-of-wedlock births.
“Homosexuals must be killed – it’s the only way to stop them spreading. It should be by beheading or stoning, which the general public can do.
So government action is not even required. Let the mob do it. I wonder if American gays and lesbians realize that the left, which refuses to see the danger in Radical Islam, may be bringing them something more severe than Conservatives that don't like the idea of them getting married.
“Thieves should have their hands cut off. Women should remain indoors and films and pop music should be banned.”.... At the Red Mosque in the heart of the capital Islamabad, Maulana Mohavya Irshad, 24, stared coldly at me. He said: “I’m ready to become a suicide bomber and lay down my life for Islam. Democracy is wrong. Earth belongs to God and God’s law must be implemented.
Why not led God take care of it?


Hotel Glasses

Before you use the glasses in your hotel room you might want to watch this:


Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year


Deck the Halls


Have fun at the Zoo

But doesn't it sound a bit strange that the Baghdad Zoo is safer than the San Francisco Zoo, and a bear from the Berlin Zoo is going to become a Hollywood Star?


Al-Azhar says women pregnant by rape must abort baby

Straits Times reported AL-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, on Sunday declared that any woman pregnant by rape must abort the baby immediately in order to maintain 'social stability'.
Not MAY abort it, but MUST.
'A raped woman must terminate the pregnancy immediately upon learning of the pregnancy if a trusted doctor gives her clearance for the abortion,' the Islamic Research Council of the Cairo-based institution said in a statement.
So I guess "the life of the mother" exception works in reverse in Egypt. If the life of the mother is in jeopardy by having the abortion she does not have to. At least she is lucky she does not live in Nigeria. There she would be required to have the baby, and then when it was weaned she would be stoned to death, unless she could find four male witnesses willing to testify it was rape.
This would ensure 'social stability,' it said.
Well that area certainly needs social stabilit.
According to the independent Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights (ECWR), two women are raped every hour in this country of 76 million. Many factors contribute to the increase in sexual harassment including rising unemployment, the huge cost of marriage and the fact that sex outside marriage is forbidden, experts say.
Not sure why the first to lead to increased numbers of rape, and the latter one may mean rape is charged when it is not really rape. I really think the blaim lies in the cultural and religious devaluation of the rights of women, and the fact that rape is allowed in the Qur'an.
Egyptian law bans abortion except on the grounds of 'necessity", which includes instances when a woman's life or health is in danger or in cases of fetal abnormality.
or now 'social stability'