Monday, March 31, 2008


Sen. Barack Obama's new brand of politics is now stuck in the old brand of reality. Witness his weekend humiliation at a bowling alley in Altonna, Pa. Not quite Mike Dukakis in a tank, but memorably bad.

Obama bowled a 37 and looked prissy while doing it. According to the Detroit Free Press:
"My economic plan is better than my bowling," Obama told fellow bowlers Saturday.

"It has to be," a man called out.
Pennsylvania holds its primary on April 22. Tip o' the pinhead to Mayor Dan.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Coined the memorable phrase "killing fields" to describe the horrors he saw in Cambodia. Three months ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sunday, he died.

From The Associated Press:
Dith spoke of his illness in a March interview with The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., saying he was determined to fight against the odds and urging others to get tested for cancer.

"I want to save lives, including my own, but Cambodians believe we just rent this body," he said. "It is just a house for the spirit, and if the house is full of termites, it is time to leave."

Thursday, March 27, 2008


In Florida, in an elementary school classroom. Incredible. A deputy in Orange County says she had to do it, especially after taking a punch to the nose.

WFTV reports:
The girl at Moss Park Elementary punched the deputy in the nose so hard the deputy went to the hospital. While an 11-year-old shocked by a Taser sounds extreme to some parents, other parents told Eyewitness News the girl deserved it. ...

According to the arrest report, before school Thursday morning, another student told teachers at Moss Park that Thaliamar [Jimenez] pushed a boy into the street. When teachers tried to talk to the girl she became combative, started pushing her desk and chair and even spit at the teachers.

The school resource officer, Orange County Deputy Donna Hudepohl, tried to take Thaliamar to the principal's office and that's when the child started swinging, hitting the officer in the nose. Hudepohl was transported to Florida East Hospital. She sustained severe bruising to the nasal cavity as a result of the injury. ...

Jimenez was transported to Florida East Hospital to have the Taser prongs removed, but she had no other injuries. She was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, disrupting a school function as well as resisting with violence.
Mom says the girl has a learning disability. The Taser probably won't help.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Mayor Dan -- superb politician, even better friend -- tipped us to this one.

Modern Mechanix has a copy of a November 1968 story about life in 2008. A bit of the lede:
The car accelerates to 150 mph in the city’s suburbs, then hits 250 mph in less built-up areas, gliding over the smooth plastic road. You whizz past a string of cities, many of them covered by the new domes that keep them evenly climatized year round. Traffic is heavy, typically, but there’s no need to worry. The traffic computer, which feeds and receives signals to and from all cars in transit between cities, keeps vehicles at least 50 yds. apart. There hasn’t been an accident since the system was inaugurated.
They got this part right:
Money has all but disappeared. Employers deposit salary checks directly into their employees’ accounts. Credit cards are used for paying all bills. Each time you buy something, the card’s number is fed into the store’s computer station. A master computer then deducts the charge from your bank balance.
But this prediction is woefully wrong:
People have more time for leisure activities in the year 2008. The average work day is about four hours. But the extra time isn’t totally free. The pace of technological advance is such that a certain amount of a jobholder’s spare time is used in keeping up with the new developments —- on the average, about two hours of home study a day.
Perhaps by 2048, if the balloon hasn't gone up by then.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Film director. Enormous talent. The Associated Press reports:
Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella, who turned such literary works as "The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain" into acclaimed movies, has died. He was 54.

Minghella's death was confirmed Tuesday by his agent, Judy Daish. No other details were immediately available.

"The English Patient," the 1996 World War II drama, won nine Academy Awards, including best director for Minghella, best picture and best supporting actress for Juliette Binoche.
Great vision, now gone.

Monday, March 17, 2008


The two-faced baby, of course -- the one born in India, where God knows what's in the water (a couple years ago, a baby was born in Bihar with four arms and four legs).

As the Telegraph reports:
The four-day old baby girl, born to Vinod Singh and his partner Sushma, is already being hailed as a reincarnation of the Indian God Ganesha.

Sushma gave birth to the 'miracle' child in the Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, 50 kilometres north east of New Dehli.

As news of her birth spread through the secluded rural village where her family reside, local residents began singing and dancing and asking for her blessings.

According to the doctor at the hospital, the baby girl and her mother are both in good health.
If one overlooks the baby's two faces.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The Rev. Jeremiah Wright led the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for decades, and during that time he befriended plenty of the flock, including Barack and Michelle Obama.

He married the Obamas and baptized their two daughters. Obama used Wright's turn of the phrase "the audacity of hope" and turned it into a book title.

Wright is now radioactive. ABC News reports:
In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." He said Rev. Wright "is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with," telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family. ...

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," [Wright] said in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
Dayum. Sen. John McCain was skewered for his embrace of John Hagee. Is this political parity?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will probably never be friends. That's why they're perfect for each other.

Clinton and her supporters have been pressing the idea of a unity ticket with Obama -- with her as No. 1, of course -- and the brazen notion has political junkies abuzz.

The New York Times reports that Obama is publicly frosty about the idea of being Clinton's No. 2:
“I don’t know how somebody who’s in second place can offer the vice presidency to someone who’s in first place,” Mr. Obama told a town meeting at the Mississippi University for Women here, alluding to his lead in delegates. As the crowd cheered, he said: “If I’m not ready, how is it that you think I should be such a great vice president? Do you understand that?”
Quantity over quality is Obama's argument now, but his bounty isn't that much bigger than Clinton's, and he's lost the big prizes that matter in a general election -- Ohio and Florida, to name two.

(Obama's advisers say Florida shouldn't count because that state broke party rules by holding an early primary on Jan. 29. Neither candidate campaigned there, and Clinton won by more than 16 points.)

The real sticking point for Obama supporters is how much they loath Clinton. When a policy adviser is tossed overboard for telling a reporter that Clinton is a "monster," you know it's just the public mask slipping a nick, exposing the foamed-flecked hate that exists within the Obama camp. No one should be surprised. The rules of the game demand a Duk Koo Kim mentality. Your opponent is out to kill you. Live or die.

One expects such pragmatism from Clinton. People may not like it -- her biggest liability is her unlikability -- but they know it's the only way to do business when you're running with crime-minded punks or high-minded politicians. Only suckers bring soliloquies to a knife fight.

Too much talk this cycle about liking the people running for president. We heard this in 2000 and the nation wound up with a man described as the fella we wanted to drink beer with at the bar. Woe to us that he was a non-practicing alcoholic.

We like John McCain, but mostly because he's nuts. This unfortunately disqualifies him from the White House, but he'd be a hoot in a game of rummy.

We like Obama, but he's wispy. A woman who'd been a state senator less than four years ago would never be taken seriously as a candidate for president.

We don't like Hillary, but we wouldn't mess with her. She's got the biggest blade. Handy in a fight against an ex-POW who was tortured out of his gourd.

So what if Obama doesn't like her? Al Gore wasn't nuts about Bill Clinton. Lyndon Johnson hated John Kennedy. Both of those arraigned marriages worked out pretty well, save for the Florida vote in 2000 and the head-exploding thing in Dallas.


News-Leader editor Don Wyatt is looking for an editorial-page editor. Tony Messenger currently holds the job.


Sunday, March 09, 2008


Yes, indeed. And a whole lot more. Kids in Anderson, S.C. are doing the nasty in a middle-school restroom. WYFF reports:
Police said that the boy and girl, who are both 12 years old, admitted to having sex at McCants Middle School in Anderson between Feb. 25 and March 5.

Investigators said that both students had asked to go to the restroom on Friday, and when an unusually long time had passed, a teacher went to check on them and said they were found involved in a sex act in the boys' restroom.

Investigators said the students admitted to at least three sex acts committed while in the school building, including intercourse.
Both kids are suspended and could be expelled, giving them that much more time for intercourse.


Fool No. 1: Tim Couch, a Kentucky lawmaker who wants to make anonymous online posting illegal. As WTVQ reports:
The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site. Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.

If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.

Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.
Fool No. 2: Microsoft. Vista is now $130, down 30 bucks from its release price -- because so few people "upgraded" from Windows XP. As The New York Times notes:
XP users have heard too many chilling stories from relatives and friends about Vista upgrades that have gone badly. The graphics chip that couldn’t handle Vista’s whizzy special effects. The long delays as it loaded. The applications that ran at slower speeds. The printers, scanners and other hardware peripherals, which work dandily with XP, that lacked the necessary software, the drivers, to work well with Vista.
Microsoft faces a class-action lawsuit for claiming many computers were "Vista Capable" when they weren't.

Fool No. 3: Matt Gonzalez, vice presidential candidate. He's running with Ralph Nader. The Monitor reports on a Gonzalez riff during a student forum in Texas:
"Don't vote for us if you don't want to. Vote for Barack Obama, vote for Hillary Clinton, vote for John McCain, vote for who you're comfortable voting for," [Gonzalez] said. "(Change is) not going to happen, because they represent the same. They are the same."
Nader peddled this lie in 2000, claiming Al Gore and George W. Bush were the same. Anyone still believe it?

Monday, March 03, 2008


As the Boston Herald reports:
The fight allegedly broke out at the Natick pizza-and-play eatery during a child’s birthday party, police said.

Natick police said the mom of the 9-year-old birthday boy apparently became enraged because the other woman’s son was "hogging" an arcade game Saturday night.

Sgt. Paul Thompson said 38-year-old Catherine Aliaga and 33-year-old Tarsha Williams, both of Boston, would be summoned into court to answer charges of simple assault and battery stemming from the scuffle. ...

A [Chuck E. Cheese] spokesman tells the Herald the two moms "exchanged words" Saturday night at 6:45 while two children were playing an arcade game and then "punches were thrown."
Can't wait to see how those kids turn out.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Kids who take Ritalin for a long time may be more likely to turn into punks on dope. According to this Daily Telegraph report:
An American study -- published in the Medical Observer -- has found that while drugs such as Ritalin can initially help sufferers, the benefit of prolonged use is in doubt. Some children stay on medication until they reach 18, but researchers believe it may not protect them from all the symptoms.

The US Multimodal Treatment Study of Children revealed the more days of prescribed medication, the more serious delinquency became.

In a cohort of 500 children with ADHD -- followed for 36 months until they were 12 -- researchers found 27 per cent were at a greater risk of committing crime, compared with 7 per cent among "normative" children. Substance use also increased to 17 per cent in ADHD children -- almost double the normal rate.
More substance abuse among kids who've been told they must take drugs to feel better. Couldn't see that one coming.