Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one - H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Targets of Opportunity
by Lee

Iran is one of the more modern, better educated countries in the Middle East.  This is what their best and brightest look forward to.

The United States may see oil and terrorism as Islamic Iran’s main exports, but many young people here will be quick to disagree.

The Islamic republic, home to some of the most qualified young people in the Middle East, has been exporting its brain-power at an alarming rate—with an estimated 150,000 frustrated graduates taking flight every year.

And as a joke going around Iranian universities puts it, having a PhD means you’re more than likely to head overseas for a job doing Pizza Hut delivery.

“It doesn’t really matter what your graduation grade is. It makes no difference what contacts you have. You just cannot find a decent job,” complained Somayeh, a 25-year-old graduate of industrial design.

Officially, the unemployment rate among graduates stands at around 16 percent. Experts say the real figure is far higher, and caution further that the figures are also hiding an additional, far larger problem of underemployment.

This is the frustrating situation that a relatively modern, advanced, educated class comes against in a country like Iran.  This frustration is felt all over the Middle East, only multiply it based upon how backwards and restrictive their theocratic governments are.  Their young people look around and see how backwards they are, yet they have been raised since birth to believe that their piety and obedience to the will of Allah will make them his favorites.  So why has Allah forsaken them?  The answer, propagated by their governments, is to blame the Jews and the Americans.  So if you want to know “why they hate us,” and why they’re willing to hijack planes and fly them into buildings, there’s your answer.  Oppression plus ignorance plus radical fanatical religion plus a convenient scapegoat is not a good mix.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 09:04 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Tanks and Beers
by Lee

I couldn’t agree more with this.

One Wisconsin lawmaker figures if the U.S. military trusts 19-year-olds with a $10 million tank, then the state should trust them with a beer.

State Rep. Mark Pettis, a Republican who served in the Navy, is pushing a bill that would drop the drinking age to 19 for Wisconsin soldiers — but only if the federal government agrees it will not yank an estimated $50 million a year in highway aid.

A federal law ties federal highway dollars to compliance by the states with the required drinking age of 21.

“We’re treating these young men and women as adults when they’re at war. But we treat them like teenagers when they’re here in the states,” he said.

Pettis admits his proposal will be a tough sell unless Wisconsin gets the federal government’s approval — or at least permission to start a pilot program to prove it will not cause more accidents or other problems opponents associate with a younger drinking age.

Wisconsin transportation officials say the federal government has told them there is no process to apply for a waiver from the drinking age requirement, and creating one would likely take an act of Congress.

The bill would create an exemption for 19- and 20-year-old soldiers from Wisconsin — but not for soldiers from out of state. A valid military ID along with a Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card would be required.

I think the drinking age everywhere ought to be lowered to 18.  All the 21 limit has done is increase incidents of binge drinking among college students.  But I especially agree with this lawmaker’s sentiment that soldiers are expected to act like adults, but they’re treated like children.

When I was stationed in San Diego the Navy lowered the on-base drinking age to 18.  This was to stop sailors going to Tijuana to get drunk.  Of course, there was no drunk college girls in the on-base bars, so we went to Tijuana anyway.  But, astonishingly, the world didn’t end when 18 year old were allowed to drink.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 07:55 PM in Politics  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

Deep Throat
by Lee

Deep throat has been revealed.

A former FBI official claims he was “Deep Throat,” the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon’s Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, his family said Tuesday.

W. Mark Felt, 91, was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s. His identity was revealed Tuesday by Vanity Fair magazine, and family members said they believe his account is true.

“The family believes my grandfather, Mark Felt Sr., is a great American hero who went well above and beyond the call of duty at much risk to himself to save his country from a horrible injustice,” a family statement read by grandson Nick Jones said. “We all sincerely hope the country will see him this way as well.”

Felt, who lives with his daughter Joan in Santa Rosa and is in declining health, kept the secret even from his family until 2002, when he confided to a friend that he had been Post reporter Bob Woodward’s source, the magazine said.

“My grandfather is pleased he is being honored for his role as Deep Throat with his friend Bob Woodward,” Jones said.

“As he recently told my mother, ‘I guess people used to think Deep Throat was a criminal, but now they think he was a hero.’”

The Washington Post had no immediate comment on the report.

The existence of Deep Throat, nicknamed for a popular porn movie of the early 1970s, was revealed in Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s best-selling book “All the President’s Men.” In the hit movie based on the book, Deep Throat was played by Hal Holbrook.

Of course, given the times we live in today, if the Watergate affair were going on right now the code name for the source would have been “All-Teen Anal Gangbang 14.”

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 04:42 PM in Politics  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

Wash It and Reuse It
by Lee

Ah, the joys of socialism.

Shoppers in Finland raided shelves for toilet paper Wednesday in fear of it running out as a lockout of workers kept the Nordic country’s paper mills shut.

“As soon as we get a delivery, the packages vanish off the shelves. The big bags go first,” said Hille Laine, manager of a central Helsinki shop which had no tissue paper products left.

Paper makers enforced a four-week lockout on May 18 following a two-day strike by workers. The dispute in the key export sector is mainly over industry’s plans to scrap mill shutdowns during some holidays and on the use of outside labor.

The latest round of talks between workers and employers ended without a deal Wednesday, meaning that the lockout will continue at least until Monday when they are due meet again.

Perhaps if the strike continues, the smell from everyone in the country walking around with a dirty ass will be enough of an incentive to get both sides back to the negotiating table.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 03:48 PM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Spare Change
by Lee

I’ve said a hundred times recently that President Bush took the political capital he had rightly earned with his reelection and has totally pissed it away.  And article at MSNBC makes the same point.

Bush has had a hard time persuading Congress to go along with his agenda, in part because surveys show that much of the public has soured on him and his priorities. In the most recent Washington Post poll, taken last month, 47 percent of Americans approved of Bush’s performance, tying the lowest marks he ever received in that survey, back in mid-2004, when Democrats were airing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of campaign attack ads.

Similarly, just 31 percent approved of his handling of Social Security, an all-time low in the Post poll, while only 40 percent gave him good marks for his stewardship of the economy and 42 percent for his management of Iraq, both ratings close to the lowest ever recorded in those areas. Other surveys have recorded similar findings, with Bush’s approval rating as low as 43 percent.

Such weakness has unleashed the first mutterings of those dreaded second-term words, “lame duck,” however premature it might be with 3 1/2 years left in his tenure. “The Democrats are doing everything they can to make this president a lame duck,” Republican consultant Ed Rollins complained on Fox News on Friday. William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, wrote recently about “the impression — and the reality — of disarray” in urging Bush to wage a strong fight for the nomination of John R. Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

“He’s not a lame duck yet, but there are rumblings,” said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. Dallek said Bush’s recent travails remind him of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who overreached in his second term by trying to pack the Supreme Court, a move that backfired. “Second terms are treacherous, and presidents enter into a minefield where they really must shepherd their credibility and political capital,” he said.

While Bush undoubtedly had a solid win, he charged forward as if he had an unquestioned mandate from the people, which he did not.  The Schiavo case hurt him badly, and he’s done a poor job pushing his Social Security reform message.  He can still come back, but it’s going to take some shrewd politicking on his part.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 03:17 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

500 Rapes
by Lee

Not satisfied with letting UN workers get in on all the rape and child molestation, Medecins Sans Frontieres takes advantage of the Sudanese.

Sudan arrested the local head of an international aid agency on Monday over a report on hundreds of rapes in Darfur in the first such action against a top relief worker since a rebellion in the area began in 2003.

Paul Foreman, the country head of the Dutch branch of aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), told Reuters he had been arrested but was being freed on bail.

MSF Holland expressed outrage at the arrest.

Sudan’s attorney-general, Mohamed Farid, told Reuters authorities had opened a criminal case over MSF Holland’s report in March detailing 500 rapes over 4-1/2 months in Darfur. He said the report was false.

The MSF Holland report said its doctors working in Sudan’s western Darfur area, where tens of thousands have been killed and more than 2 million forced from their homes, had medical evidence of the rapes in the western Sudanese region.

Of course, you won’t hear any righteous indignation coming from Amnesty International or any of the other European human rights groups.  No, rapes and molestations by UN and humanitarian groups are no big deal.  But wherever US troops make Arabs put underwear on their heads, and (allegedly) flush Korans, you’ll hear cries of “Gulag!”

Update: Okay, I’m retarded.  I read the article wrong.  I mistakenly thought that Foreman had been arrested for his participation in a number of rapes.  Given the penchant that UN forces and workers have for taking part in such activities, it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to believe that MSF workers were doing it as well.  Apologies.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 03:30 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Fly the Deadly Skies
by Lee

Yeah, making airport screeners federal employees has worked out so well.

Two people were arrested Thursday night for allegedly trying to board a plane with guns at Philadelphia International Airport.

NBC 10 News has learned, and the FBI has confirmed that the men were just one step away from boarding an American Airlines flight sometime after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Sources told NBC 10 News that Timothy Robinson, of Philadelphia, and Steven Lundy, of Roselle, N.J., cleared the first checkpoint and were headed toward the airplane when an American Airlines representative looked at their paperwork and saw that the men were posing as police officers. The representative felt uncomfortable because she didn’t think that they were really police officers, so she called the police department.

FBI agents said that the two men showed airport officials fake badges and fake police identification cards to clear security with the loaded handguns. They also filled out paperwork claiming that they were private police. Authorities said one gun was a .357 Magnum and the second gun was a 9 mm.

The Transportation and Safety Administration launched an investigation and the FBI arrested both men.

Robinson and Lundy were taken to the federal building in downtown Philadelphia Friday and were arraigned on charges connected to posing as polce officers and attempting to board an airplane with firearms.

Your government at work.  You know, maybe when someone shows up at an airport and flashes a badge, rather than the McDonald’s employee verifying their ID, how about we have an actual airport cop on duty do it?

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 02:47 AM in Politics  • (7) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

Point of discussion: chicks with tattoos.  Am I the only one that doesn’t like tattoos on girls?  I don’t mind one or two little, feminine ones.  But the trend today for females is for these big, gaudy tattoos on arms and calves and necks.  I think this looks pretty repulsive on women.  And don’t even get me started on piercings.

Any of you guys out there dig ink on chicks?  Can you explain it to me?

Update: What got me interested in posting this was last night I went to the supermarket to buy some soda, and there was a girl in line ahead of me.  Cute chick, looked pretty normal, about college age, almost looked like a sorority type.  Except her entire right arm was covered in a tattoo.  She was sleeved.  She didn’t look like she was into the hardcore tattoo scene, she looked like a gal who made a really bad decision.  And I was just curious if there was anyone out here who liked this sort of thing, and if so, could you explain the appeal.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 02:33 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Speaking of Bangkok…
by Lee

For the first time since the sacking of Washington D.C. during the War of 1812, Canadians have something to be proud of.

Blue-eyed Canadian brunette Natalie Glebova was crowned Miss Universe 2005 in the Thai capital Tuesday in the 54th annual pageant.

The 23-year-old model from Toronto was chosen from five finalists - the four others from Latin America - who were selected to answer random questions onstage in the final round of the competition. The 12-judge panel chose beauties from Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Canada for the final round.

Okay, I have to admit, this chick is a piece of ass.


Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 01:13 AM in Those Wacky Canadians  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Lights from the Sky
by Lee

Ah, there’s nothing like a Memorial Day in Los Angeles.  The sunshine, the barbecues, the cloudless blue skies… and the police helicopter that’s been circling directly overhead for the past two hours, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, shining its searchlight down on the neighborhood looking for some criminal who refuses to give up.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/05 at 12:17 AM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, May 30, 2005

Band of Sweat
by Lee

Undoubtedly inspired by the success of the Lance Armstrong wristbands, and all the other charities which followed suit, an anti-poverty campaign in the UK decided to do the same.

Wristbands purchased by British charities as part of the Make Poverty History campaign have been manufactured in conditions that breach international ethical standards, it emerged yesterday.

Chinese companies responsible for wristbands worn by thousand of charity supporters, celebrities and politicians, including Tony Blair, have been accused of indulging in forced labour and of paying less than the official minimum wage. An audit also discovered breaches of health and safety regulations.

Officials from three major charities, Cafod, Oxfam and Christian Aid, say they have been negotiating with suppliers in an attempt to improve working conditions.

A Cafod spokesman said: “We are disappointed this situation has arisen. However, we are now engaging with the supplier to improve conditions within the factory. Under the Ethical Trading Initiative standards, when we find out a supplier isn’t in line with those standards we don’t just pull away. We attempt to engage with the supplier and work with that supplier to improve conditions so they are in line with the Ethical Trading Initiative standards.”

The audit reports focus on two factories heavily involved in manufacturing white wristbands, which sell in Britain for £1 each, 70p of which goes to the charities concerned.

Okay, this is going to be an interesting lesson in economics.  One of two things is going to happen, either the supplier is going to pay his employees more, or he is going to refuse and the charities will take their business to a supplier who does.  This, inevitably, will mean that the unit cost will go up one way or another.  Right now, 70p of the cost of every wristband goes to the charity.  If the unit cost goes up it eats into the 70p profit from the sale.  So, if the charities want to keep their 70p income stable, then the price of the wristbands is going to have to go up slightly.  Or, if they keep the £1 price constant then the amount the charities receive will be reduced.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 08:55 PM in Politics  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

You just know that this is coming to Broadway.

A transsexual Thai kickboxer whose rags-to-riches story was made into an acclaimed film will make her theatrical debut in Singapore next month, she said.

Parinya Charoenphol, whose film and lipstick-wearing in the ring won the hearts of millions in Thailand and around Asia, is set to make her debut in a one-woman show called “Boxing Cabaret”.

The 22-year-old, better known as Nong Toom, said the show with a mix of Broadway and traditional and contemporary Thai dance would open in Singapore on June 17 and be brought to Thailand in August.

“I hope people enjoy it, and understand people like me a little bit better,” Nong Toom said.

The show is in five acts or “rounds”—separated by bells, as in a Muay Thai kickboxing fight—and covers Nong Toom’s life before and after her 2002 sex change operation, men, Muay Thai and love.

She chose to act in a cabaret “because I like singing and dancing, and it comes naturally,” Nong Toom said.

Sometimes commentary fails me.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 05:45 PM in Etcetera  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Don’t Blame Me
by Lee

As usual, it’s all society’s fault.

A man who recently was fired from his job at an elementary school is accused of shooting a state highway patrol trooper nine times after a traffic stop.

Trooper Brandon Brashear, 27, of Grain Valley, remained hospitalized Monday in critical but stable condition.

Authorities said Brashear was shot by the suspect early Saturday as the trooper got out of his car. The suspect then chased him into the highway median, continuing to shoot him with a 9 mm assault rifle, police said.

Tommy R. Rollins Jr., 26, of Grandview, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action and was being held without bond. He told reporters Sunday that he didn’t mean to shoot Brashear.

“It was just temporary insanity. I wasn’t even thinking when I did it,” he said. “The society’s what caused me to do what I did. Just look at the society we live in.”

Jackson County Prosecutor Michael Sanders said Rollins’ blame was misplaced.

“Mr. Rollins can try to blame anyone he wants to blame, but the reality is, society wasn’t out there pulling that trigger,” Sanders said.

This is, unfortunately, the inevitable end result of 40 years of the left telling everyone that they’re not responsible for their own actions; that everything needs to be viewed in terms of oppression; that individual failures are actually failures of society.  If this trooper happens to die, hopefully society will rectify its complicity by executing the worthless bastard. 

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 05:37 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

It’s a Smoking Jacket
by Lee

"Yo, B.  Yo’ jacket be smokin!”
“Why thank you, I had it tailored on Saville Row.”
“No, man, I mean yo’ shit be smokin’ fo’ real, dog!”

No stranger to the burning issues of the day, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu was really fired up during a radio interview on Sunday.

“Can’t you smell the smoke?” an Army Radio reporter suddenly asked Netanyahu, the finance minister, as they spoke about a recent controversial decision to replace Israel’s army chief.

“What do you mean?” Netanyahu, well known in Israel for his penchant for cigars, shot back.

“Your cigar is on fire. The one inside your suit jacket. Minister Netanyahu, you are burning up,” the reporter replied, his voice rising in urgency in the interview conducted outside the cabinet room before its weekly meeting.

“Eh?” said a flustered Netanyahu, a former prime minister with a reputation as a master of the soundbite.

At this point, Housing Minister Isaac Herzog, also on his way to the cabinet meeting, came to the rescue.

“Bibi, throw it on the floor. Throw it—that’s right,” Herzog said, using the former prime minister’s nickname.

Emergency over, the reporter asked Netanyahu why he had put a lit cigar in his jacket pocket.

“Smoking is forbidden here,” Netanyahu said.

“But why a lit cigar?” the reporter insisted.

“I didn’t know it was lit,” Netanyahu replied.

Immediately after the newscast Netanyahu announced that he was switching from cigars to Red Man.  Get that boy a spatoon!

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 04:18 AM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Killing Cops
by Lee

The Minutemen and Revolutionaries™, who want nothing more than to expel the fascist Crusaders from their country, have struck again.

As Iraqi and U.S. forces prepared a offensive against rebels in Baghdad, two suicide bombers outside a government office in Hilla killed 16 police officers and wounded 35 others Monday.

The bombers, who were wearing explosive vests, detonated themselves at about 9:10 a.m. (1:10 a.m. EDT), authorities said.

Hilla is located about 60 miles (100 km) south of the Iraqi capital.

The left can keep deluding themselves, but the people we are fighting are authoritarian fascists.  Anyone or anything involved in trying to set up a reasonable representative democracy and restore order and freedom to the Iraqi people are their enemy.  And then there’s this interesting tidbit.

Meanwhile, in an early morning raid, Iraqi and U.S. forces arrested the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) and his three sons in a northwestern Baghdad neighborhood, police sources said.

Mohsen Abdul Hameed—a Sunni Arab and a former member of Iraq’s Governing Council—and his sons were taken into custody during the 6 a.m. Monday operation in the al-Khadhra section of the capital.

No reason was given for Hameed’s arrest, police sources said, while the U.S. military could not confirm it had taken place.

The arrest came a day after a statement released by the IIP questioned plans by Iraqi and U.S. forces to stage a crackdown on insurgents in Baghdad—Operation Lightning.

“Our party looks with concern at the Operation Lightening (sic) announced by the interior and defense ministers on Thursday,” the statement said.

“It is feared that the operation is an extension of the previous practices of the American forces and then Iraqi forces and which, we believe, lacked the strategic vision in how to deal with the complicated security file in Iraq.”

Basically these two dicks went and announced publicly the details of the operation before it happened, thus tipping off the Islamofascist forces that they were about to get the smack laid down on them.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 02:52 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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