Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ever have one of those days?

Kahlid Ahmed, MD, has, and wants to tell you about it. He may become the best guest blogger on Iowahawk since Al Zarkawi...depending on the skill of British burn treatment. Hang in there, buddy.

I'm French! Honest! Oui, oui, je suis dans la resistance!

National Review has a somber and fitting obit of Kurt Waldheim...whom I always confuse with Kurt Weil, for some reason... a must-read for anyone prone to think corrupt UN officials are a new breed.

If you had doubts about Waldheim's Nazi ties, David Pryce-Jones dissipates them handily by recounting how quickly the eventual Austrian president joined up with the Nazi Student League after the annexation and then the Brownshirts, then ended up with medals and commendations reserved for the most vicious of Hitler's henchmen. On a lighter note (in a black comedy sort of way), Pryce-Jones brings up the Nazi war criminal pledge: "I was never a Nazi, and if I was, I never did anything, and if I did, it was someone else's fault."

Closely related to the SS-Officer-on-May-7-Resistance-Fighter-May-8 pledge: "Hallo Herr Yankee I am ready to do my part in the Wirtschaftwunder! I was never a Nazi, and isn't it a shame, those poor Jews, I helped them all I could."


Also in the on-the-newstands NR is a blurb about current UN chief Ban Ki-moon's diagnosis of the cause of death for all those black Muslims and Christians in Darfur: "Global warming." Has the UN ever recognized genocide when it bit them in the face?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Saving You From Gender Confusion Anxiety in Cuber

Cuban health care is sooo good.....they don't want to hand it out to just anyone!

(and for heaven's sake, they don't want your boyfriend to have to embarrass himself at the bodega by having to pick up your unmentionables.)

18.1.2007 21:09 MSK
Cuban Women Cannot Buy Hygienic Pads without ID

CUBA, Havana. (CubaNet). Barbara Lorenzo de Armas was told at the pharmacy she could not buy hygienic pads without producing her identity card, which was seized by the State Security in 2001 for political reasons.

Lorenzo de Armaz said she went to the local pharmacy in the Managua district, but the manager refused to sell citing a nationwide government instruction that requires an identity card to buy any goods. Without writing down all particulars of your ID, I cannot sell, he explained.

Hygienic pads are available in Cuba at the pharmacies. They sell them to women aged from 12 to 55, one pack of 10 pieces per person per month. One can easily get this article of feminine hygiene on the black market where it costs 10 pesos per pack, or on the dollar market where the price is even higher.

----PRIMA–News Agency

(Prima is a newsletter about human rights that comes to my e-mail box from Russia. Given that they argued leniency for those found responsible for killing 300--mostly children--in an Ossetian gradeschool in 2004, they are hardly a right-wing organization. But they are not fond of Castro.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

We, the jury, find the defendant, Mr. Turnupseed INNOCENT of the count of manslaughter....and guilty of having a really stupid name.

National Geographic ran an old show the other night about James Dean. Yes, that James Dean. (NG is expanding its pervue. But then again, how many stories about wildebeests and half naked women can you run? That aren't pornographic, I mean.) The show, called, "Crash Science", centered around Dean's death in a horrid accident on a California highway (eventually, they'll probably run out of famous tragically killed people, too) in September of 1955.  It relied on all sorts of computer imagery, showing that, contrary to the image of the rebellious teen idol screaming along in his Porsche Spyder 550 at speeds at or over 100 mph, he was probably doing about 70 mph at the time his car and Donald Turnupseed's Ford had an intimate encounter. Which was still speeding. But sounds a little less thrilling.

(What kind of a name is Turnupseed that, anyway? Did it used to be Turnipseed? Do turnips have seeds? Aren't they a root vegetable? )

Then we are told that, actually, the cops testified to exactly that at the following trial. About Dean doing 70 mph, I mean. The police had stopped Dean doing 95 a little earlier in the afternoon, and calculated from that and the time of the accident he must be doing 70, which was a geezerly 15 over the speed limit.

But either the jury

1) was so overwhelmed by Dean's reputation as a crazed speed demon youth that they completely ignored the cops' testimony or

2) they figured that cops can't calculate.

And therefore, word has been handed down from generation to generation that that acting, car racing, homosexual James Dean was flying over the hills and fields looking for someone to kill (or a way to die) on the California highway. At at least 100 mph. Maybe more. (All of which, if you were born before 1925, is horrifying, but if you were born anytime after that, particularly after 1970, is REALLY COOL!.)

In a film from an engineering firm it's asserted that Mr. Dean was not speeding at all in his journey towards doom that fateful September day. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Newly Found Foundry Technique!

Props to Cox & Forkum, not only for having an alphabetical post list, but for pointing out Rosie O'Donnell (who I hide my family members from in the storm cellar) has recently discovered that 9/11/01 was the first time that fire melted steel.

If she promises to be nice, Rosie is hereby invited to a trip through the Ford Rouge River plant, where not only have men been melting steel for over 100 years, but melted steel has sometimes presented dangerous problems.


DEARBORN -- In what looked like lava from an active volcano, 2,600-degree molten metal melted through a wall around a Rouge Steel blast furnace Friday in Dearborn. It was the same blast furnace where a worker, Francis Kidd, died in August from carbon monoxide poisoning. No one was injured Friday, company officials said. But coming after a series of incidents this year at the Ford Rouge complex, the early-morning accident shook up some workers. ... The problem might have been that tuyeres -- water-cooled brass valves that control the flow of air into the furnace -- had come off. And there was excess water in the furnace, which could have set off a reaction. There are hundreds of ambulance runs at the Ford Rouge complex every year. In August, a huge coal dust cloud escaped from the old power plant as workers were vacuuming coal dust out of the plant. It created a dangerous situation but did not ignite.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

From Russia with Love?

In my Ode to Conductor Valery Gergiev blog, Electric Conduction, I have managed to (thankfully) attract some who know more Russian than I, more about the world's greater conductor than I, and those who know more about Russian culture than I. Indubitably, however, ideas/feelings/political notions are going to clash as baby boom Ameericans and post-Stalin Russians start to compare notes, even about their favorite music.

Since my music blog, which I prefer to remain politic free, was beginning to descend into a second Cold War, I thought I would invite any and all parties who wanted to discuss issues regarding Putin, Rice, Brzezinski, Iraq, Iran, whether one nation has the right to "tell" another nation "what to do", free speech and Karl Marx, free speech and Groucho Marx, Bill Clinton, George W., Thomas Jefferson, Ivan the Terrible, Abu Ghraib the deaths of journalists under Putin's regime, the Chechnyan conflict, or even why Brown University keeps Sergei Khruschev on their history faculty when all he publishes is stuff about his dad. Один, два, три, идут!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jefferson's leetle book

So Keith Ellison was sworn in using a Qu'ran that was supposed to have come from Thomas Jefferson's personal collection. Well, that makes sense, Jefferson was a man of science, travel and the world. (and of slave ownership, oddly enough).

But I wondered if Keith Ellison, Muslim, gave any thought to what Thomas Jefferson, man of enlightenment (probably agnostic, but carrying a politically correct Christian calling card in his day) used that Qu'ran for. And specifically what he learned from it and the Muslims from whom he came in contact.

I've spoken a bit about the Barbary Wars before, Islam's first Jihad against US person and property, during which US ships were piratized and US merchant seaman kidnapped....much as English and French sailors had been....during the first days of the 19th century. I caught

Ted Samsley on Al Kresta's show the other day, and he tells the whole story a lot better. Besides, he sounds like Slim Pickens, if you ever get to hear his voice. What could beat hearing the story of Jefferson-- one of those 42 Virginians bin Laden's gonna meet in paradise--thinking up the US Marines to kick ass in Tripoli, all in the voice of Maj. T. J. "King" Kong.

It's hard for me to pick up Al's show these days, but I've enjoyed listening to him since he was a lost heretic like myself, driving the Protestant afternoon talk show on WMUZ in Detroit. He hasn't convinced me to come home to papism, but I like his political guests.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Oui, Phillipe, the monitors for Big Brother can be installed right there...

So I get my annual .pdf from my friends in France, to which I always look forward. (You gotta have friends in France if you like travelling to Provence, Normandy, etc., right? Plus they have an adorable 5 year old, and keep me up-to-date on the European evangelical Christian crowd. Yes, there really is an evangelical Christian crowd in Europe).

Anyway my friends are excited about a number of things. For one thing, they are expecting their second child. For another thing, their Vineyard church plant is blooming wonderfully. Their daughter has started school, and her mom has a job teaching the French kindergartners simple English: colors, numbers, etc. This is exciting not only for the teaching opportunity it affords, apparently, but because unless they are employed as school workers, French parents........

(wait for it)

..........aren't allowed in French schools during school hours.