Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Scan

Cloverfield, Nevada Style

The film Cloverfield has used viral internet marketing to become quite a sensation -- but at its heart, it's just a Godzilla movie, with a big mean monster wreaking havoc in New York.

And yesterday, a little, pale monster wreaked havoc in the glitter gulches and dusty desert towns of Nevada. And today, just as I predicted, we are suffering through the media coverage of it:

Boy, oh, boy! Hidden behind all the hoopla, headlines and the Nevada caucus victories of Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton is one little-noticed but stunning political development and number:

Ron Paul, the one-time Libertarian candidate and 10-term Republican congressman from Texas, was in second place. That's right, Second Place. The 72-year-old ob-gyn who's always on the end of the line at GOP debates or barred altogether, was running ahead of John McCain, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, in fact, ahead of....

all other Republicans except Romney, who easily captured his second state in a week after Michigan.

Uh-huh. But let's keep our heads on straight. It was Romney with 51% of the votes (all 22,659 of them!) followed by the pale imp with 14%, attracting a whopping 6,087 to his cause -- a full 436 more people than John McCain attracted.

Photo clipped from: Dino's Forum

Marking History

They laid an historical marker outside a house in Port Arthur, Texas today. Here's the story.

In that house there once lived a little four-year-old girl who grew up to live far too short a life as Summer of Love diva Janis Joplin. There was another house she lived in earlier, but it's gone now, so this is her official childhood home.

The marker was placed today as opposed to any other day you might think of because it marks what would have been Joplin's 65th birthday.

Whoa, am I feeling old.

I was 17, I think, when I first put Big Brother and the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills on my little stereo and heard her gravely voice. And I'm still 17 in my head when I think about her ... how could she have been born 65 years ago?

New Euro-Islamist Threat

This is not something I'm quite prepared to think about:
The source implied that the [Spanish intelligence agency] CNI had specific information on itinerant terrorists heading for the UK, France and Portugal.
The squib, from a London Times article, troubles me not just because Incredible Daughter #1 is in Paris, but because I've never seen the words "itinerant terrorists" before. We have in America a tradition of itinerant preachers and judges; from sick Islam, we get itinerant terrorists, travelling from place to place, killing innocents in the name of Allah.

Terrorists Get 72 Raisins?

Amidst a lengthy and interesting story at Act! For America covering the suppression of ancient Islamic texts in Germany, so anyone interested in a revisionist view of the Koran cannot get access to them, was this interesting tidbit:
According to an Islam tradition, Muslim martyrs will go to paradise and marry 72 black-eyed virgins. But some Koran scholars point to a less sexy paradise. While beautifully written, Islamic texts are often obscure. The Arabic language was born as a written language with the Koran, and growing evidence suggests that many of the words were Syriac or Aramaic.

Specifically, the Koran says martyrs going to heaven will get "hur," and the word was taken by early commentators to mean "virgins," hence those 72 concubines. But in Aramaic, hur actually meant "white" and was commonly used to specifically mean "white grapes."
It's easy to crack a joke over this, but if there's any question at all about the nature of so critical a text -- a text that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents a year -- why does the keeper of the archive, Angelika Neuwirth, protect them from anyone other than pro-Islamist researchers?

For more on this fascinating story, see Andrew Higgins' WSJ article, The Lost Archives.

What Bubba Knows

Pulling The Plug On Terrorists

Just wait 'til some Palestinians start crying about having to eat cold falafels in the dark -- oh, how the anti-Israeli press will rain an ink-storm on Israel. Here's the story, from Sky News:
Large parts of the Gaza Strip have been plunged into darkness after its main power plant shut down.

It comes after Israel blocked fuel supplies to the Hamas-run territory and closed its borders.

Israel says the blocklade is a response to rocket attacks by militants.

It claims 230 rockets have been fired at border towns in a new wave of aggression.
"It claims?" I don't suppose we can expect the media to actually report that rockets are falling like locusts on Israel.

Already, the Palestinian PR machine is busy maximizing the impact:
"The catastrophe will affect hospitals, medical clinics, water wells, houses, factories, all aspects of life."
Oh, boo hoo. First, stop sending rockets into civilian neighborhoods, especially when there's no war going on. And second, get your act together, Palestine. You've had 60 years to provide for yourself, but here you are, dependent on Israel for your power ... with fuel purchased by Europe.

How these people garner so much sympathy and so little criticism amazes me.

Human-Animal Embryo Research

Two research companies in England have been granted licenses to mix up human and animal embryos, reports Science Daily.

One is going to take the genetic matter out of cow embryos and mix 'em up with human embryos, in a quest for better human stem cells.
The scientists would attempt to extract stem cells from the blastocyst after six days. Stem cells are building blocks that can grow into any type of tissue such as liver, heart and muscle cells. The quality and the viability of stem cells would then be checked to see if nuclear transfer technique has worked. The scientists would also be observing the way that the cells are reprogrammed after fusion to see if there are useful processes they could replicate in the laboratory. The embryo would have to be destroyed at 14 days old in accordance with the licence.
I have to admit, this all goes way, way over my head. I understand that there's nothing about this license that will allow any intermingled animal/human embryonic material to (1) live or (2) get into humans, but the research is taking the science to another new level, and after that will be another new level.

At some time, a mistake will occur or a license will be granted that shouldn't have been. That's just the way it goes with us inquisitive humans. All this going too far will make a great novel ... and it's one work of nonfiction I hope I never read.

George Clooney, Messenger Of Peace

Position to fill: International shell game operator needs good looking individual with real swoon-power, a hard-left orientation and a history of supporting the wrong side in global causes to cover up organization's myriad global failures.

Position filled! The Rosett Report reports:
As Hollywood buffs and UN money-raisers already know, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has just named actor George Clooney as the UN’s newest Messenger of Peace, with a “special focus on UN peacekeeping.” Clooney, currently visiting Sudan, is expected to “receive his designation” Jan. 31st at UN headquarters in New York.
Oh, great. We get to see even more of Clooney opening his mouth and letting his politics spew out. Rosett's not expecting much good of it to come, either:
This would all be great if UN peacekeeping actually produced peace. But the illusion that the UN is a grand force for good in this world deserves to be catalogued somewhere between World’s Most Amazing Scams and Believe It-Or-Not Best-in-Special-Effects. The reality of today’s UN is more like a cross between “Animal House” (the movie, with John Belushi) and “Animal Farm” (the book, by George Orwell).
Her post is a gem. Do read the whole thing.

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