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February 28, 2005

How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)





This isn’t a review of Ann Coulter’s latest book. Class was dismissed months ago after that lecture. Now more of us are beginning to put to practice Ann's liberating wisdom.


For those who aren’t sure how this is done, Stacy at HouseOfSnark.com shows us how to properly display contempt for the mindless robots on the Left in her PG post, "'Who the H*ll Do You Think You Are' Blogger Quiz". Particularly effective against those who constantly pine against the blogosphere for everything it’s done to ruin their day, using the Lefties favorite rabid accusations of propaganda, conspiracy and everything Rupert Murdock. These are the same crazies who didn’t happen to notice when scores of millions of innocent people were murdered by Stalin, Mau, Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein. Nor did they make a sound about those countries’ state-run, propaganda-churning media. Probably because the little hypocrites don’t mind coercive regimes so long as they agree with them.


But House of Snark does, and when appropriate and sporting provides important substantive data to the charges of her detractors: "I’m not ignorant of other countries. In fact, I grew up in California." Thus, while not showing any sensitivity to her accusers' allegations, she points out that she cannot be mischaracterized as ignorant backcountry stock because she to the contrary has grown to both know and loathe the place that has become a leftwing Mecca.


A great and liberating truism is that the lefty loons don’t deserve to be taken seriously or treated to the dignity of grown-up conversation. And such was no doubt in mind as Stacy paves the way for other Conservatives to just stop caring. Sure, in a bigger way we all may care, but just like the insane aunt who lives across town, you learn to simply pat them on the head and nod while keeping all your other appointments.



Posted by Martin at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

Blogbatland Update

Many changes going on at the Blogbatosphere




It goes without saying the sidebar fiasco’s demise is the biggest and most important update this time. As you can tell though, more has happened than putting that seditious sidebar in its place. Truly just as civilization was given the microwave and Tang because of space travel, so too much has been learned while in the quest to right that sidebar. All of them hopefully to make your reads a little nicer.


Changes are still in the works, particularly with background colors and patterns. (In fact, last night alone saw six changes to them and with the exception of the current color, I’m not especially in the thrall of this pattern. It remains to be seen who will make it to the final round.)


One of the big interface changes being planned for the near future (no exact time, though) is with regard to how visitors such as you post comments. To wit, no longer will you be moderated to death in the quest to prevent spam. Instead you will be free to see your artful arguments, sly retorts, captious complaints and questions about this writer’s sanity popping up instantaneously in a most rewarding way. To achieve this, as countless other bloggers have done, the comments section will soon employ those highly useful images containing random characters which any sober soul should be able to readily hammer out in a corresponding fashion to those little clinic-monkeys with the head-transistors working for their tasty treats.


Thanks for visiting, reading and exploring.





I'm also working on the links to some of the stories I've broken at right, which for some reason appear to have strike-throughs when viewed with FireFox. Those of you who have noticed this, it's on the list :-)


Posted by Martin at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2005

PLANET MORONIA: The British Inquisition

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave




-Martin Kite-Powell


A couple of days ago Rob at kommentariat posted a link to the blog of a retired doctor living across the pond in merry old England. It seems that merriment comes at a price of late in the country Lady Thatcher worked so hard to deregulate. The Social Affairs Unit blog has disseminated to those of us living outside the Empire some pretty amazing information about the UK's current state of affairs. As a physician, Anthony Daniels (not of Star Wars fame), experienced his share of bureaucracy in the British socialized healthcare system (which he discusses in the same post for your enjoyment). He says however that nearly the worst of all vexations he has endured was the one most recently asssociated with the threat of fines from local officials because he did not have a license to watch (not to own, but to watch) television in his home. Britons must first pay for and possess a valid license to enjoy this exclusive luxury. You read that correctly: a valid license to watch TV. Failure to stay up on your license could make you subject to official surveillance and, if caught watching The Cosby Show, Mr. Bean or anything else, vulnerable to a fine of £1,000 (around $1,500US).


I'm sure it makes things interesting trying to shop for a television set. How does one even buy one? Of course, I’m sure electronic stores have demos out for shoppers to look at without proving they are licensed to do so, but it certainly is something any comedian could have a heyday with. Do you have to be a certain age? Do you have to go to TV-watching school to operate one safely and according to regulations? Do you need a special license for extended family visits? And according to Anthony these shops require you purchase a license at the same time you buy your tele (presumably so they won’t be liable for your deviant behavior –I’m sure this was a problem at some point!) The sad part is Anthony doesn't even have a television set.


In the same post Anthony also discusses how citizens are compelled to vote or else. So how is it if every Briton votes, that ridiculous regulations such as TV-viewer’s licensing are allowed to continue? Surely in the land of Oliver Cromwell and Winston Churchill there are enough to turn the tide. Let’s hope so.


And if you think it could never happen on the western side of the pond, Ted Kennedy would be very happy to prove otherwise. Just remember this is just where he, Howard the Dean and Hitlary Clinton would dearly like to take the land of the free and home of the brave.


For free peoples everywhere, I believe Sir Edmund Burke would be rolling over in his grave. Let’s get a grip folks: Watching the television or listening to the radio in your own home is nobody’s business. While it isn’t exactly the Spanish inquisition, as I commented at Rob’s blog, it’s nonetheless like requiring “a license to look out the window.” Maybe it’s time for them to look at a new Magna Carta.


In the meantime, tomorrow I will take flowers to my grandfather’s grave, and thank him for leaving behind the alluring land of Londinium for much less claustrophobic living.



Posted by Martin at 07:56 PM | Comments (10)

February 26, 2005

PLANET MORONIA: Jennings the Marsupial

Special Needs Department



We always knew Peter Jennings was a moonbat, we just never knew he was flying under the orbiting moon of an alien world...


As someone Friday on NRAnews.com aptly pointed out, the next time someone in MSM accuses the bloggers of posting items of questionable accuracy or value, bloggers will more than happily remind the world of mainstream media oligarchs like "Danger Will" Jennings.



Posted by Martin at 07:55 PM | Comments (2)

February 24, 2005

Turmoil in the Americas: Made in China



Editor’s note: I am back from my wonderful break, but I couldn’t stand being away for so long. It seems our times much to my frustration remain far too interesting to ignore and refrain from offering perspective. In fact, I've spent the past several days wondering what my first serious foreign policy post since two weeks hence would cover. I found it today. My time however was refreshing and though I never made it down to the coast as I had hoped, I did spend a good deal of time playing with horses and catching up on reading several books and a few other worthwhiles I've earnestly been trying to finish. Oh, and that sidebar--- well, keep patient, the fix is coming ;-)




-Martin Kite-Powell


Of ever greatening interest to some more recently has been the expanding role of Chinese interests in international economic development and national policy. It seems even among members of the press, this is becoming more noteworthy. On the other hand, many conservatives have looked at China as a hot-button issue since long-before September 11, 2001. We noted back in the 1990’s that China was beginning to treat the US more like the adversary of the Korean War days than a partner against Soviet expansion.


But more recently, such observations about China have become more mainstream, as the evidence continues to overwhelm even the most timid conservative skeptic. Times, they are a-changing. The declining US dollar, Chinese investment in US and other interests abroad and a noticeable shift in express American foreign policy, most notably with the nomination of new CIA chief Porter Goss along with word of the President and Secretary of State Rice discussing more fervently the matters of Taiwan, French and the German sales of arms technology to the Beijing dictatorship and other matter seem to be the bellwethers. Even so, the Chinese seem to be making incredible strides for a very Soviet-style cause right underneath our noses.


CNN reports China is making grander overtures to the Caribbean. Just last week Goss speaking of a less-than-sunny China, seems to be preparing the nation for the realities as they have been appearing coming out of Asia for awhile. I mentioned to you last year how the Chinese regime was beginning to aggressively woo central and South American countries. So are you ready for this: the second cold war has already begun.


South and Central America and China are getting very cozy. According to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, William Ratliff, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution paints a comparatively unhappy picture for the Bush’s popularity in the region, versus that of China’s new dictator Hu,


"It is telling that Hu is spending more time in South America over this fortnight than Bush has in the past four years…Hu will come over as much more interested in Latin American people," he suggests. "His sweet, soft-power vibes leave Bush sounding like a foghorn."


But we are not merely falling short in the public relations race. Just as we propped up the Soviet Union during the Nixon, Ford and Carter eras with free trade including high technology, and watched as the soviets turned around and took advantage of that for military superiority and global gains, we will see China do the same. A self-interested dictatorship is always a self-interested dictatorship.


Taking the lead economically over and squelching Taiwan is China's first priority. But it is a good proving ground for their long-term strategy which includes similar behavior with other free markets and nations. Taiwan is a model, so watch Taiwan closely because it portends what they may well intend for us.


Maybe right now is the best time, in fact to ask ourselves, is an economically powerful and more robust china a good thing?


We (those of us in the general public) seem to think that the closed-off North Korea example is the rule for militant dictatorial regimes; however this is very much not the case, rather the opposite. One need only look at Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Iran, Saddam’s Iraq, the Soviet Union and Cuba (yes Cuba) as examples of regimes who have successfully courted the West for strategic gain. They were definitely smart enough to understand they must do business in order to gain its trust, tie its hands and grow sufficiently from an economic standpoint that their militaries would have the tools needed for imperial expansion. In short, to paraphrase the predictions of a famous 20th century communist, to sell the West the very rope with which to hang it. It is arguably both a sad and sick thing that we willingly sacrifice so many innocent lives in wars down through the years that could have been avoided had we (and by “we” I mean the free world) simply stopped feeding the monster until it died.


Communist China is anything but a paper tiger. Communist China, from all indications very much means business and sadly for either them or us, it will either be they or we who survive and not both. That failure to coexist is that of the Communists, not ours and they have proven this to be the case worldwide throughout history both in how they interact internationally including the very method in which they came to power and ahve maintained that power in their own countries.


Hitler's Germany was an economically powerful and internationally popular nation in the late 1930s. It maintained a technologically superior, more robust military at the time of the onset of WWII than did the Allies. Yet they were only a country of some 80 million, virtually landlocked in Europe and on the doorstep of a powerful rival: the UK.


The Soviet Union was much larger in terms of population, but only for a short time made inroads economically, again thanks to the West. Whereas Nazi Germany killed somewhere over 10 million people, the Soviets murdered well over 20 -and some say over 30 million. Fortunately, we can thank our own refusal to succumb to apathy and the great work of the Reagan administration, which cut off the Russian tumor's lifeblood (even if today it seems to be making a bit of a resurgence with dubious military alliances and interior repression of civil liberties) it withered to nearly nothing during the time of the 1980’s and early ‘90’s.


The Communist Party in China is our new threat, but potentially far more lethal, with the potential over time to effortlessly actualize what the Soviets could only crudely attempt to build worldwide. And I use “crudely” only in relative terms, since no one hardly doubts the Soviets did a pretty good job of building allies and satellites in Asia, Africa, Europe, South and Central America and the Caribbean. China is a nation of over a billion souls, whose economy, though in many areas still somewhat backward finds its technology industries booming, along with her military. As are her alliances. New ties are springing up all over the world and older ones are strengthening. Beijing is finding staunch allies in France, and new ones in South American countries like Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and others. Her Communist leadership remains in power and still holds to the call to destroy America, just as it did when it sent troops across the 38th parallel into South Korea during the 1950's in its suicidal, but overwhelmingly saturating and successfully bloody "human waves".


But the good news is that slowly, but visibly nonetheless, some in a position to do something are beginning to wake up to the threat. From hopeful signs under the White House and Pentagon to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Tom Tancredo (R ) Colorado helped to author a resolution calling to reverse the Carter-era decision to end recognition of our strong and faithful Asian ally Taiwan, Sinopolitique is starting to raise a higher profile. Even as some, such as those in the Senate, continue to ignore the problem, if the US were to join with her allies and shut off the life-support for the unsustainable Communist regime in China that enslaves billions of men, women and even children, she would just as surely fold as has every other government from the backward Soviets to wealthy, but Apartheid-run South Africa. Fox News recently reported that were Wal-Mart alone to pull out of China, she would be all but devastated. Surely, part of finding success in fighting this Cold War, as with those in the past, is in joining with our allies who also want to see freedom preserved for their children, and are willing to join with us in this common cause. So Tom's resolution is a good way of getting off on the right foot.  


For those who say that economic isolation won’t work, we not only have the model of the Soviet Union and others to say otherwise, we have today China herself beginning to practice the very same thing on Taiwan. Now whether they plan their subjugation of Taiwan et al through ruthless economic isolation to starve them out or by direct and sudden military invasion or a combination of both we shall have to wait to see.


But I think it is clear to any and all who have an ounce of eyesight that China is just another in a long line of such despotic regimes and cunning expansionists in history since the time of Troy, which must at all costs be defeated. Our generation ignores this Trojan horse to our peril.


In summery, we need to begin seriously considering whether it profits us to ignore the lessons of history; whether it is to our benefit to continue dancing closer to the edge of that precipice or if we, for our children’s sake will rise up in the manner of the heroes who’ve gone before us to save our Freedom. This time perhaps also wisened by their great sacrifices of the Greatest Generation in order to begin this work early. We have done this once before very recently as I've mentioned with regard to the 1980’s dismantling our then-mortal enemy, the Soviet Empire. The lessons of history beckon our action today. And I think we need to ask ourselves this today while we still can, and in so doing establish a new era of hope for countless billions around the world, including securing such for our very own.








Jane’s South America Assessment


PDF Document: The Republic of China–Central American Economic Development Fund


CSM: China Eyes New Turf: South America

When President Bush arrives here Friday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, he's likely to be met by student protesters already in the streets chanting against "globalization," "colonialism," and the US occupation of Iraq.


But China's President Hu Jintao is getting quite a different reception. For two weeks now, he's been cutting ribbons at new factories in Argentina, enjoying beef barbecues in Brazil, addressing congresses, and announcing investment projects as he and 150 Chinese businessmen make their way across South America and on to Cuba.


Heather Mac Donald: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

Mac Donald explains an important principle: how apathy, poor intelligence and lethargic foreign policy provide a fruitful breeding ground for America's enemies





Earlier Blogbat Top Posts:


How Bad Are Human Rights in CCP-Controlled Red China?


SHOCKING VIDEO: Stormtroopers' Rape of Human Rights in China


The Communist-Islamofascist Incest Triangle

Posted by Martin at 09:52 PM | Comments (3)

February 22, 2005


Abased by curiosity, brought back by satisfaction





-Martin Kite-Powell



Warning: What follows is an exaustoblog and is not for the faint of heart.


Please don’t call me crazy, sometimes things are just weird and true. If this post seems a little strange, there is good reason. It is!  …But don’t shoot the messenger. Those who love the English language will enjoy this post. Đose who love Icelandic may not.


I have a confession to make. I just learned a fairly inobscure word today. To the best of my knowledge at least, we have met for the first time. I know it is such a sad thing to admit, given the fact I think myself at least somewhat acquainted with English vocabulary and at least reasonably-well educated and read therein. In actuality, the rendezvous occurred last month; I “just” learned the word “obeisance” sometime the morning of the 6th of January. But it was not until today that I had formally come to know its meaning. You see, that morning I dreamt a peculiar dream. A dream in which I heard both word and definition, set in the neighborhood of 17th Century England, and not sparing the least detail. I was in the royal court and we were discussing protocol. The word came to play as one was explaining the royal subject’s formal first duties before the king.


The “slumbering” definition of the word was discovered today to be the actual definition as well, after a month or so of having put aside its quest. My strongest theory for their congruence is that my past acquaintance with this word has simply slipped my retention.


In reality, obeisance has been a word not altogether uncommon for the past 700 years except for some reason to my eyes and ears. The earliest form of the word appears to have entered the English language around 1374 (probably care of the Normans who brought with them to the Germanic Saxons the French language, from which the word was borrowed, though related words existed in the Germanic languages as loanwords from Latin long before this.)



Obeisance has at least two definitions:


1. A gesture or movement of the body, such as a curtsy, that expresses deference or homage.


2. An attitude of deference or homage.


(It also manifests in the adjectival form, obeisant)


However, its use during the Middle English period indicates that the word additionally carried the meaning, to be under the rule of, or at the service of another.


To wit:


…the people also born in youre Duchies of Gascoign, Guyen and Normandie, nowe being and that herafter shal be under youre obeisaunce…


-Grant of alien subsidy to Edward IV, 1483

Catalogue reference: C 65/113, no. 9



This makes sense since it shares its root and meaning with “obey”. Its lineage is as follows:


Middle English obeisaunce, from Old French obeissance, from obeissant, present participle of obeir, to obey.



To the best of my memory this is the first period-piece dream I have entertained. The dream was so strikingly real and the specifics such as the strange word which was defined in the dream itself so odd, that upon my awaking I decided immediately to see just how crazy I might be for making up words in my sleep, and then looking them up. To my surprise today, as I have mentioned, the research did not disappoint, rather instead it raised an eyebrow. The reason it was not until today I found its rather stunning meaning was partially also due to my choice of spelling. I had failed to take into consideration the matter of dialect in the pronunciation (the players in the dream were all heavily accented – I favor realism, it seems), ergo the likely spelling of the word, which I had guessed began with either an “a” or an “o”, but only searched for words beginning with “a”. (By the way, there is an obsolete -since at least 1913- alternate spelling of the word beginning with an “a”: abeisance. However, I could not find any literary examples of its use in this format from any period.) In the dream I had imagined what I heard as spelled “appeisence” or “oppeisence”, due to its manner of pronunciation”.*


So alas, I have not only learned finally this word, but began even to enjoy the entomology of this word’s etymology. Or in other words, become rather fond of what has for the past month or so been bugging me.






For fun here are some related links:


Free Republic’s Word of the Day: Please be sure to read posts 32, 47, 69, 145 (most of these are Old English from around the 15th Century (or OE constructions in which rather humorously the posters forgot to use obeisance’s period spelling).


Myn Englissh eek is insufficient: Chaucer feels my pain, I suppose. Here’s his use of the word in “Heere Bigynneth the Squieres Tale”


This strange knyght, that cam thus sodeynly,

Al armed, save his heed, ful richely,

Saleweth kyng and queene and lordes alle,

By ordre, as they seten in the halle,

With so heigh reverence and obeisaunce,

As wel in speche as in countenaunce,

That Gawayn, with his olde curteisye,

Though he were comen ayeyn out of Fairye,

Ne koude hym nat amende with a word.


(A passing attempt for modern English without aid of lexicon or desire to find one:


This strange knight, that came thus suddenly,

All armored, save his head, full richly,

Sail with king and queen and lords all,

By order, as they sit in the hall

With so high reverence and obeisance,

As well in speech as in countenance,

That Gawayn, with his old courtesy,

Though he had come again from Fairye

Nor could him not amend with a word.)





* A few facts useless to all but to the most energized linguists:


According to most dictionaries, “abeisance” is a variant of obeisance. Ironically, it is often confused with the French word, “abaisser”, meaning in English “to abase”, or to be brought low or to be humbled, of seemingly similar etymological origin as “obey” particularly when you return to the modern definition of obeisance, which is to bow, to present oneself subjugate, to genuflect, etc or to be of such a mindset. However, the Latin roots of both words more likely paint a different picture, though there always could be a reconvergence at an earlier point in Latin. But the earliest-known Indo-European roots suggest otherwise. The word abase comes from vulgar Latin, “bassiare”, (relating to something that is low) whereas to obey stems from the Latin, “oboedire” (to listen to –still at least somewhat connected in idea if not in origin) – incidentally, they also possibly share a more ancient root with “bid” (as in to do the bidding) from Middle English “bidden” [to ask, (also beseech, pray) command] or the German “bitte” [to ask, insist or thank (by insisting)], Middle English “beden” (to offer, proclaim) or the German “beten” (to offer, proclaim or to pray), all of which derive from the Indo-European “bheudh”. Even with the different roots of “oboedire” and “bassiare” one could imagine similarities between them given the shifts of t’s, d’s and s’s and in some cases b’s, as well as prefixal additions and removals. But at the end of the day “oboedire” resolves into “audire” (to listen) but “bassiare” is of unknown origin beyond “bassus” (low). As such, any relation is long at the tooth to say the least. Still, clearly even with the root of obeisance solidly in “obey”, at least the Middle English meaning included modern definitions of “abase” which might have explained some of the confusion in more modern times, as mentioned at the introduction to this aside, and today the words “obey” and “abase” also share some crossover and by their sheer phonetics tempt one to draw conclusions.


Posted by Martin at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2005

"Special-Needs" Division

Paging Senators Hutchison and Cornyn...




-Martin Kite-Powell


Too much to pass up. In fact, I had to come out of vacation to post this story. Someone on the inside sent me a photo today. It is from an airplane hanger belonging to a North Texas-based US company contracted with Israel and the Pentagon to build certain technologies for F-16s and Apaches and other aircraft. You’ll see what makes this photograph so interesting below.


The company that owns this hanger has been known by those inside for its inefficiency, quid pro quo, woeful IT department and other problems that should greatly irritate and concern anyone in Tel Aviv or Washington. I'm withholding the contractor's name for now.


How bad was it? To give one example, the contractor's only IT guy was the son of one of the executives and found his post despite having no background whatsoever in IT, professional or otherwise. It was only last year, I have heard, that any form of antivirus software had been installed on the computers. It gets worse, but some of the mismanagement has to do with classified technology. Oh, did I mention they have no known policy against camera phones?


One can't even help but have bad visions of Los Alamos once again.


At any rate, the other night apparently someone left the heater in the hanger on. This triggered the fire suppression system (one of the few systems apparently functional at this site), which released a tiny bit of foam, as you can see in the photo.



This company’s philosophy: if there is a wrong way to do it and a correct way to do it, do it the wrong way so we can get our contract extended. Or maybe it was, “no good deed goes unpunished”. And since I have on occasion some readers coming from the offices of the US Senate, perhaps I should take this moment to milk that fact and suggest that whoever you are, you might pass this gem along to the esteemed senators from Texas.


I suppose the silver lining to all of this is that these aircraft (and the specialized gadgets therein) are now clean as a whistle...



Posted by Martin at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

Notes from the Garden Journal: Gimme a Break

Gewiss es schon fast März ist, aber es ist wirklich wegen keinen Frülingsgefühlen … bin stattdessen beschäftig und schreibensermüdlich.




-Martin Kite-Powell


I am taking a short break from the blog. After some careful consideration I have committed myself to do so for a short while despite its addicting nature, although I will still be reading and responding to your comments and e-mails. For the next two weeks, time will be spent to oil the machine and air out my writing, which has become to me more stale and stifled as it has continued its daily march through current events, policies and ideas at home and abroad of late. I’ve begun to find myself focusing at greater intervals on merely writing in response to headlines as quickly as they come like a whelmed tail-wagger than giving breadth to more paramount ideas, which I would like much more to explore and convey, or depth to the events shaped by them.


Time it seems has become more of a precious resource in recent moments, so I look forward to taking the opportunity during the forthcoming 14 days to work on further refinements of this site’s visual amenities which include repairing the little wonderment that is the belovedly recalcitrant sidebar. Said as yet has not been fully civilized in the manner of other bloggers’ sidebars with regard to how it interacts with many browsers. Another technical project of which I am currently in the throes is recovering some lost data from a defunct hard drive. Among such items was a tale I had been working on for the better part of a year now. To wit, I was almost nearly at the point of completion when the drive failed. As much as I focus on the importance of routine data-backups for clients, I have not always so carefully followed this sacred rite as regularly in my case. Part of this is because most of the data on my network is kept redundant. In this case the project was copied to a different system where it was further edited and consequently some of the final refinements were lost.


Finally, a more personal allocation of this time will go into spending additional hours outdoors, preferably surrounded by horses and pleasant weather, as well as other areas of personal interest and enrichment. Peradventure it will even include a trip or two down to Galveston in order to descry whether the water still moves in the ocean – and whether my favorite spot for fried oysters is still doing a worthwhile job. I hope to be taking samples and conducting experiments.



So be thou merry; I recrudesce thence fortnightly.


…Well, if I can stay away that long ;-)




Posted by Martin at 10:25 AM | Comments (2)

February 07, 2005

Blogbat was Closer about Pope than Vatican Let On

Pope was, and remains indubitably very ill




Fox News has reported this morning that the Pope indeed was just “minutes away from death” and had he arrived at the hospital merely a short while later he wouldn’t have made it.


The report directly contradicts official Vatican statements to the press during that same time which painted a picture of a mildly ill, yet robust Pontiff. Methinks I’m not the only one who doubted those earlier reports.


As further indication of just how serious the Pope’s illness may well be, signs are popping up that the Vatican “has moved indefinitely” its operations to the hospital where John Paul II is now being treated. The Guardian says that yesterday the Vatican’s official sign of setting up shop was raised – the Vatican Flag – in front of the infirmary.






01 February instant replay:

Blogbat- Has the Pope Passed Away?


Credit Update and Further Details:

Free Republic posted a Reuters article, "Pope Was 10 Minutes from Death" about an hour before today's Fox News report.

The Reuters article says of the report coming from next week's US-published Catholic magazine Inside the Vatican that "the Pope's condition was far graver than his spokesman let on." The magazine itself quotes a hospital worker as saying of the Pope, "If he had come in 10 minutes later he would have been gone."

Posted by Martin at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2005

PLANET MORONIA: CNN and MSM Caught in the Act




General makes statement yesterday about how he enjoyed killing terrorists in Afghanistan because they beat women and mistreat the local population. All over the press.


CNN’s Eason Jordan makes the outrageously false claim that the US military has targeted and killed 12 journalists. Not a whisper in MSM until Hugh Hewitt brought it up to Chris Matthews today. And MSN – including CNN – have still not picked it up. But Hugh says the video of Eason Jordan’s statement is coming soon. So just like Rathergate, MSM have made a fatal mistake by burying this one. Their obsession with the General’s remarks in the other story further highlight the fact that it is for nothing less than bias.





NBC’s UN correspondent Linda Fasulo has been taking money secretly from the UN, while filing pro-UN reports and even penning her own pro-UN book. NBC is not planning on any disciplinary action for her.


Meanwhile, Armstrong Williams who took money from the Department of Education continues to be roasted in MSM.


The folks at Fox News have to be eating up this implosion of the MSM. Hat tip to Hugh Hewitt’s radio program.





Posted by Martin at 08:23 PM | Comments (1)

PLANET MORONIA: Dutch Schools Ban Own Flag for Fear of Offending



-Martin Kite-Powell


Most schools in Holland are now banning the Dutch flag out of fear of “offending” immigrant Muslims who came to Holland but prefer not to be reminded of it.


Many of the immigrant Muslim population are apparently of Turkish origin, invited in as "guest workers" under an agreement between the two governments back in 1964, according to Radio Netherlands (audio report available here). The article says that Turkish residents feel the fact Holland would have its own unique culture is unacceptable: "People weren't prepared for life in the Netherlands." Of course, with Islamic leaders such as Necati Genc, more than willing to fan the flames of ethnic tensions and who choose to live in a dream-world of not being seen as a foreigner in a country in which you are foreign, there is going to be tension until one side capitulates and ultimately integrates into or is subjugated to the other. The buzzword for that is Balkanization, and politicos asking "how high" whenever radical Turks demand the Dutch jump isn't helping things out much for anyone either.


And one wonders why things have gotten so out of control.


If anything, this example together with the many other difficulties the Dutch have encountered since the 1960's amnesty for laborers should serve as a warning to the US and as another reason why Bush's "guest worker" plan for illegal aliens (many of whom have no sympathies at all for the new country they find themselves in) will cause far more hurt than good.


Sadly now, as we have seen in the news the Dutch flag in Holland has become deemed “racist” by officials. Students are banned from bringing or wearing their country’s flag, or so much as wearing shoelaces of red and blue. Meanwhile immigrant students have no restrictions as to what they may wear, which might reasonably include outfits bearing anti-Western or anti-Jewish statements. This is pure stupidity.


To the Nth degree.


More at Jihad Watch.


And Hyscience.


And if you read Dutch, the actual flag-banning news account can be found here.


Hat tip to the Roth Report on the Holland schools.






Posted by Martin at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2005

The Merciless and Their Tender Mercies

Oil-for-Food crooks suddenly and very strangely falling in love with justice?




-Martin Kite-Powell 


How many times have the abusers sought fairness for themselves? Throughout history we have seen this exact same thing played out again and again from the dictator who killed millions to the common crack-head who killed a guy when he knocked off a convenience store to fund his habbit.


Well, now we get to watch it all unfold again and on the grandest scale. What was supposed to go unnoticed during an Al Gore presidency found itself under a great deal of scrutiny, with members scattering like cockroaches under the spotlight after the US went into Iraq against the wishes of many of the world leaders and uncovered a mess that has now placed those same world leaders under investigation for corruption.


As they say, quand tu danses avec le diable…


South African Justice Richard Goldstone, who is part of three-member committee headed by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker in the Oil-for-Food investigation, mentioned today after Volcker’s report that the member nations potentially under investigation wish to have reassurances that there would be due-process. Suddenly the same scoundrels who were placing profit above the lives of the countless innocent Iraqis murdered by a heartened Saddam Hussein, don’t wish to be on the receiving end of any indiscriminate unpleasantries.


Isn’t it funny how many dictators, thuggish Prime Ministers and corrupt UN weltcrats have lined up throughout history for due-process or immunity when it’s their own necks on the chopping block. Saddam and his lawyers, Nazi war criminals, Jacques Chirac, terrorists and their legal teams and ordinary street thugs, all who themselves dolled out abuse and maltreatment of the innocent without judge or jury. And, without exception they who consider themselves above the law yet oddly, believe someone should recognize their basic legal rights.


This just proves in another way that all such men are mere cowardly criminals finding power over the innocent almost by accident and terrified they will be found out and rousted from their supplanting perch of ruthless dominance.


They will no doubt hire the best lawyers and press agents and try to put the best spin in the news where they live, as they always have, all as we sit in amusement while in this case the leaders of France, Russia, China and others try to beg, borrow or steal their way out of a dishonorable mention in this whole ordeal.


And how much better it will be for them in the end than it often has been for their own citizens, be those citizens greatly oppressed or just constantly misinformed and swindled.


I’m sure a lot better.







Myopic Zeal breaks down what the press is saying a bit

Joe Kujo has some relevant links about the UN misadventures

Michelle Malkin posted a bit on the Oil-for-Food Scandal yesterday before the report came out



Posted by Martin at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Notes from the Garden Journal: Have You Surfed Atari Today?

Curious ramblings from someone trying not to feed the horses his cheeseburger...




-Martin Kite-Powell


I’ve been trying some more creative user agent spoofs of late with my Firefox browser for use in hiding technical details of my identity (e.g. my operating system, type of browser and other information that could compromise security). Some of the spoofed identities I’ve had a little fun with. For example, Wes Roth at The Roth Report, Sarah K at Mountaineer Musings or Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities might see someone who used the latest version of the “Crunchy Poodle” browser when they check their visitor stats.


Lately I’ve been going about hither and yon with my belovedly unabashed Firefox browser running on the Atari 2600 (Whackamole OS 8.2a SR3 revision) platform, which has been a lot of fun because I’ve been able to play Canyon Bomber while surfing the web, which saves a lot of time as you might imagine.


What was no surprise when reviewing the stats of those who visit my site was that my own visits using "Atari" should be indexed along with the operating systems of the other visitors since after all, that's what I have the user agent of my browser telling everyone that it is.



What was truly shocking on the other hand was that this visitor log, which runs the AW Stats engine and displays icons next to each OS entry, along with showing the Microsoft banner, the Linux Pengo and BeOS logo, also displayed the Atari logo to the left of the corresponding OS listing.


Who surfs the web on an Atari computer?



The last computer Atari made was the Atari PC 5, which debuted around 1989/1990. And it could technically connect to the internet with its 300baud modem. With its choice of DOS 5.0, Windows 3.0 or OS2, it also had the option of a text browser, a text browser or a text browser (no GUI).


It might be safe to say this type of surfer doesn’t happen all that often. Still, someone at AW Stats went to a lot of trouble creating an Atari icon ready to pop up whenever someone surfing to my site using an Atari left his or her tracks for my curious indulgence.


I have a theory about it, and though I do admit that having a theory about such an insignificant thing could convince the reader I have time for trifles, I believe it's wholly right nonetheless. 


You see, I think the rationale behind AW including the Atari logo must be a cultural one: In geekland, being an Atari aficionado it seems, is nearly prerequisite to being a true hacker (and I mean hacker in the good as well as in all connotations). My guess is that in the holy church of computer nerdom, one will find these altars: to Linux, to FreeBSD to Star Trek and to the grand-patriarch Atari. That is why some fellow with ink stains on his pocket protector went to all of that work creating an icon for a computer that could never possibly have visited any of the sites metered by AW. Such examples as this show is that even though most programmers and web coders seem to keep to themselves, they are in reality very actively engaged social creatures and enjoy interacting in, if not discreetly, an actively rich culture.


I say, more power to their species.





Posted by Martin at 02:10 AM | Comments (2)

February 01, 2005

Has the Pope Passed Away?



The Pope, as many of you know, has been hospitalized with the flu. Fox News is reporting that a few hours ago at around 4 a.m. local time a ranking church official was seen entering the hospital where the Pope is under care.


According to Fox, the Pope is said not to be "gravely ill", however his Parkinson's aggravated by age, a case of tracheitis and the flu have made it increasingly difficult for the pontiff to breathe unassisted. The Pope is 84 years old and was also hospitalized last year with the flu. While all indications are pointing to a short stay and recovery, John Paul has become increasingly frail and certainly at his age such matters should be watched closely.



UPDATE: Fox News says Pope doing fine, not in ICU. Whatever that visit by the church official in the middle of the night was, it portended not a thing unseemly. (For those of you living in remote parts of Louisiana, it wasn't the "big one", Martha.) Blogbat of course is happy to hear the news since we were worried perhaps one of the white doves flitting about him the other day had blown a poison dart in his direction or secretly spiked his Brötchen und Käse with some unkindly substance, or that all that Alfred Hitchcock bird action had blown out a fuse or two. Or three.


Blogbat wishes the Pontiff a speedy recovery (and hopes he henceforth refrains from snipe hunting).



Posted by Martin at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)