Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Flight 77

Some British Film producer has decided Flight 77 did NOT crash into the Pentagon. It’s a scenario avidly embraced by those who need to believe 9/11 was “all some sort of hoax”, perpetrated by power-hungry ,Jew-loving Neo-Cons – so that peace-loving Muslims could be persecuted,and forcibly converted to some sort of ultra right wing version of Christianity,while being stripped of their lands and their oil.

R-i-i-i-i-ght !

There are few disasters chronicled as thoroughly as that of Flight 77-the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. (One of the reasons may have been the presence of a “VIP” aboard: Barbara Olsen : wife of Ted Olsen, Solicitor General of the United States.

Flight 77 took off from Dulles International Airport at 8:20AM, on 9/11/01.
It was a Boeing 757, carrying 6 crew and 58 passengers, and its flight was monitored by the Dulles Terminal Air Control.

At 8:46 AM, Flight 77 reached its designated cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, and at 8:51 AM, transmitted its final routine message.

Between 8:51 and 8:54 AM , hijacking of the plane began. (We know this, because 1 passenger reported the incident via cell phone. )

Within a few minutes, the passengers and at least some of the crew were herder into the back of the plane. ( We know this from cell phone calls made by 1 passenger and 1 Flight attendant.)

8:54 AM – Flight 77 –still under radar observation- deviated from its flight path,turning South. At 8:56, the transponder was turned off. (The plane could still be seen on radar, but no longer displayed an ID number.This was done on ALL of the hijacked planes that morning.)

9:12 AM – Passenger Renee May called her mother in Las Vegas, and described the ongoing hijack.

9:16 AM – 9:26 AM : Passenger Barbara Olsen called her husband Ted,to advise of the ongoing hijack. She told him the hijackers were armed with knives and boxcutters.About a minute into the conversation, she was suddenly cut off. Her husband called the Attorney General,but was unable to reach him.

(No time provided) Barbara Olsen called her husband back,and asked what she sould tell the captain to do. He asked her about location,and she said they were flying over houses. She stayed cool, but the second call was cut off.

9:29AM – The autopilot on Flight 77 was disengaged. The craft was then at 7000 feet, and approximately 38 miles West of the Pentagon.

9:32 AM – Controllers at Dulles Terminal Radar Approach Control observed a primary radar target tracking Eastward at high speed.

9:34 AM – Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport advised the Secret Service of an unknown aircraft heading in the direction of the White House.
Flight 77 was then 5 miles West-Southwest of the Pentagon, and began a 330 degree turn. At the end of the turn, it was descending through 2200 feet,pointed at the Pentagon and downtown Washington.

9:37:46 AM – Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon,traveling at a speed of 530 Mph.

Military Aircraft: Interceptors were scrambled from Langley AFB at 924 AM, and were airborne at 9:30 AM. They were sent towards Baltimore, because the FAA believed (erroneously) there was a Flight 11 southbound towards Washington, DC.

9:36 AM – FAA advised the military there was an unidentified airplane closing in on Washington. The fighters from Langley were notified, but were still 150 miles away by the time Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

(The reason for this was all “scramble orders” at the time called for fighters to head east to open water while building up speed-so as not to disturb local resident with sonic booms…)
Our Overseas “Cousins”

Moscow: Police have arrested a man suspected of having robbed several women in a Moscow park.

The man would accost his victims while in the nude : startling most so badly they would drop their purses and flee. A few victims stood their ground , and were robbed by force.

Police officers became suspicious , when they observed the defendant prowling through the park - in the nude.

( It is difficult to put one over on the Moscow Militsia ! )

Edinburgh : A member of the House of Lords has been charged with setting fire to the drapes of an Edinburgh hotel.

The fire spread quite rapidly : endangering the guests, and damaging an interior wall of the hotel.

The defendant – identified only as Lord Watson – is a member of the British and the Scottish Parliaments , and allegedly set the fire shortly after being named Scottish Politician of the Year.

(First George Galloway, then Lord Watson ! Pray it’s not contagious !! )

Kalingrad : A 21 year-old man has been arrested in this Russian Baltic city for attempting to play “vampire”.

The suspect allegedly entered a house and stabbed two senior citizens – presumably in an attempt to obtain their blood ; then ran out to the street,stabbed a well-aged woman , and tried to drink her blood.

The three victims were hospitalized for their wounds.

The “Dracula Wannabee” has been hospitalized as well : for extensive mental health tests.

(Hokay, Boris : No more “Dark Shadows” re-runs for you ! )

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hmmmm…. Starvation Could be BAD for Your Health !

Washington: Two UCLA researchers – working independently – have confirmed what millions of people in Africa already know : Starvation is NOT likely to increase one’s life span !!

The reason research into this (rather well-settled) matter was done at all was: ( Ta-da !) Another “miracle diet”.

Some researcher – who shall remain nameless – came up with the idea that cutting one’s caloric intake by one third would result in weight loss, better health, and increased longevity : as much as 125 years !

The UCLA researchers concluded : “…suffering years of misery to remain super-skinny is not going to have a big payoff in terms of a longer life.”

(Hmm: Wonder what NEXT week’s “ Wonder Diet” will entail ? )

New York: A gentleman named Kenneth Trudeau went to prison for credit card fraud, and has, after years of TV “info-mercials” , been ordered by the government to stop offering and promoting “ health products” that are not overly beneficial to one’s health.

Nonetheless, Trudeau’s book : “ Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About “ has consistently topped the Publishers’ Weekly best-seller list for non-fiction for several weeks ; which SHOULD tell us something – but I’m not sure just what.

Are people too smart for the government, or too dumb to be allowed out of the house ? Would a few weeks on the “ Kofi Annan Diet “ help ?

I’ll let you know when my Natural Cure Kit ($ 74.99 +shipping and handling) comes in.

Monday, August 29, 2005

In Whose Name Is The Anti-War Movement Acting ?

I’m not a great fan of wars , but I know there are times to have to fight Evil-and I think Iraq – “flawed intelligence” or not – is a justifiable struggle : at least as justifiable as Kosovo ( where fighting continues 10 years later),Somalia ( where we cut our losses and ran ) , or Haiti (where we intervened twice , gave up in disgust, and handed control over to the UN-which is also on the verge of giving up . )

I know there was, and still is considerable International opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom . I wondered at that for a while - (Most governments-especially in Europe- have a pretty good grasp of political reality, and have been known to send troops hither and yon when their national interests are at stake.) – so I started looking through some of the pre-war material on the Internet.

I had almost forgotten: The countries most openly opposed to Iraqi Freedom had the most to lose , should Saddam Hussein be overthrown.

France - $ 6 billion ; Germany - $ 5 billion ; Russia - $ 7 billion ; The Paris Club ( a group of 19 creditor states) - $ 42 billion; Kuwait, China, and Bulgaria- $ 120 billion ; Saudi Arabia - $ 140 billion.

Let’s gloss over the question of which UN bureaucrats were building nice little nest eggs on “Oil for Food” money , and which well-known billionaire was making a tidy profit on the discreet offshore management of this stolen money – ( probably not as much as he makes on laundering drug money, but respectable, nonetheless !)

The fact remain$, there were billion$ of rea$on$ for a lot of countrie$ and individual$ to oppo$e Iraqi Freedom.

Please join me in wondering how much money these folks contributed to the Anti-War movement in this country; how it was laundered; who handled the “washing machines” ; and who benefited from these transactions.

Keeping in mind these are folks who love to talk about Halliburton, I wonder how willing they would be to discuss their OWN finances ?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Church “Brought Up to Speed” by Janitor

Peru, Indiana : A 31 year-old church janitor has been arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamines , manufacturing drugs within 1000’ of a youth center,possession of drug precursors,possession of stolen property,and maintaining a common nuisance.

Unfortunately, the defendant was allegedly using the well-ventilated attic of the church he worked for to brew his batches , and was selling the product out of his basement apartment in (you guessed it) the same church.

( Imagine having to include THAT piece of news in the weekly sermon ! )

Berlin : Police in the city of Bochum have arrested a 31 year-old man ( What is it with 31 year-olds ? ) whom they caught red-handed scratching large penis-shaped gouges on two cars.

He has been charged with false advertising. ( No, I made that up !)

Actually, he is under investigation for vandalizing an estimated 330 automobiles in the region, over the past few months – to the tune of over 300,000 Euros – and no, I don’t know how much that is in real money.

The defendant claims he is mentally disturbed , and has signed himself in to a psychiatric care facility – where he is said to be undergoing treatment at taxpayer expense.

( Clearly the patient is suffering from classic “ Penis Envy .” )

NYC: A subway “flasher” decided to give a 22 year-old woman a really good look at his “personal workout equipment” ; but as soon as he unzipped, she whipped out one of those new high-resolution camera phones and snapped his picture.

The flasher zipped up quickly and fled ; but it was too late.

Within hours his picture was plastered all over the Internet ; and, to make matters worse, it appeared on the front page of the high-circulation NY Daily News.

1. I suppose he will sue for “invasion of privacy”.

2. He looks – oddly enough – to be about 31 years old .

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Some interesting email from Russia...

To the editor-in-chief
From REGNUM news agency, Russia

Dear Sir,
Your internet news agency ( has published the information about outbreaks of Tularemia in Russia, in particular, in Nizhny Novgorod area and Dzerzhinsk. You wrote that the cause of the outbreaks could be some sort of accidental release of
weaponized Tularemia.
I would appreciate a lot if you kindly explain what made you come to this conclusion.
The accusation of using (or misusing) bioweapons is very serious, it has already spread panic among Russians and it can badly affect Russia’s reputation.
Today the information you published is being cited by many Russian news agencies. Meantime, neither biologists nor other specialists confirmed this information.
REGNUM new agency would be very grateful if you can clarify your opinion and provide readers with more detailed information – e.g., comments of experts, facts and figures.
We are also ready to publish you answer and all the facts you provide on our web-site

Best regards,

Julia Sandler

REGNUM news agency
Nizhny Novgorod bureau

My response was as follows:

Ms Julia Sandler 08/27/05
REGNUM News Agency
Nizhny Novgorod Bureau

Dear Ms Sandler:

The details-such as they were – of a Tularemia outbreak in two somewhat contiguous areas of the Federation came to my attention during my daily checks of a website called ProMed – which is, I believe, maintained by the Federation of American Scientists,and which tracks new / existing disease outbreaks on a worldwide scale.

I started such monitoring not long after 9/11/2001 , and the subsequent Anthrax Attacks : putting myself in the position of “another set of eyes –
watching the tall grass for movement” : a hobby some might consider more than a bit paranoid.

I was at that time contributing to an online publication called “Biohazard News” , and it was natural to check such sites as ProMed. I simply continued the habit after the publication closed – eventually setting up my own small site.

It is strictly a “hobby site” : one old man, who relies on openly available information. At least 90% of what I publish is "light-hearted" material , with the occasional “special report” thrown in. The Tularemia report was one of my "specials”.

Here is a link to the first ProMed report that caught my eye. These reports are available in a number of languages, by the way.,F2400_P1001_ARCHIVE_NUMBER,F2400_P1001_USE_ARCHIVE:1001,20050718.2066,Y

I was a bit surprised when I read another report in August:,F2400_P1001_ARCHIVE_NUMBER,F2400_P1001_USE_ARCHIVE:1001,20050822.2467,Y

Yet another report emerged the following day:,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000%2C30178

NO follow-up reports emerged – which led me to wonder if there had been some sort of accident or incident.

I had read Kantjan Alibekov’s book “Biohazard” , and surmised there might be continuing bioweapons research at assorted locations. (The book helped confirm suspicions that came to mind when I learned a researcher at Vector accidentally injected herself with Ebola about 2 years ago.)

I looked at the Global Security site and checked their archive for known facilities in the era of the Tularemia outbreaks. (You will have to scroll down the page quite far to find the data.)

Having found no “mainstream media” references the outbreaks – including MosNews,Pravda RU,or RIA Novostoi- I decided to publish what I had in the form of a “special report” : in hopes it would be considered worth further inquiry “down the line”. ( I am glad to see there is further inquiry being made.)

Trusting this information may be of service, I remain

Cordially yours,

E. J. (Gene) Finneran

The original article was posted here :

Followup: Article 8/31/05 Interfax - 30 cases Tularemia in Sverdlosk area.
Also the following:

Aug 31 2005 9:28PM
Russia denies alleged departures from arms control accords
MOSCOW. Aug 31 (Interfax) - Moscow on Wednesday rejected U.S. allegations the previous day that Russia had been departing from its arms control and nonproliferation commitments.

"On August 30, the U.S. State Department published a report entitled '2005. Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments' full of allegations that Russia has violated its international commitments," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary published on its website,

"Such accusations are not new. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has had to comment more than once on sections of similar 'studies' that listed Russia among principal 'violators' of nonproliferation agreements indiscriminately and without citing any facts. We are forced to state that this State Department document is not very different," the commentary said.
Pre- 9/11 Intelligence : The “Flat-Footed” Watchmen

I looked at a news story from Australia this week : police entered a burglarized store,and found the burglar – snoozing contentedly – on a pile of carpets. The sound of his snoring gave him away.

Catching burglars “asleep on the job” is rare enough to be uncommon – but catching the night watchman “flatfooted” is so common as to be unremarkable.

Let’s pretend – for a moment or two – the United States was a big candy factory, prior to 9/11. Candy is kind of tempting, so there were a lot of guards posted------BUT:

Let’s say there were Wackenhut guards outside the fence, Burns security people at the gatehouse, Pinkertons keeping an eye on the delivery trucks,and Wells Fargo people watching the doors. ( I’m just using names from memory here: no praise or slur intended !) Inside the building itself,we would have found several Candy company guards patrolling various routes, and assorted “undercover” people keeping an eye on the help.

All of these “competing” guards have radio networks – but each network is set to operate on its own, private frequency , so the others can’t overhear transmissions , and so these guards can’t talk to their competitors – because talking to a competitor is a violation of company policy.

Now, let’s make things worse: Each of the competing guard services answers to somebody different in the factory – and that person has to answer to a separate chain of command : which may – or may not – get to talk to the the people who need to know : the executives running the candy factory.

Our make-believe candy factory would probably have the worst security one can imagine – at the highest cost one can imagine : not unlike the United States of America , prior to 9/11.

I’d like to think things are better now . I’d really like to think things are much better now. I’d really,really,really like to think to think things are better now !!

How about you ?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Animals in the News – People in Our Zoos ?

By now, I suppose everyone has heard about the misguided gentleman from New Jersey - said to be a PETA volunteer - who decided a (venomous) copperhead “needed help” in crossing the road.

The snake, which had not been consulted in the matter, bit its “helper” three times ---- (by way of expressing his opinion of PETA volunteers ?)

New York: A raccoon decided to visit The Big Apple , so he stowed away on a charter bus : somehow managing to escape the notice of the 50 paying passengers.

Shortly after the passengers were dropped off, the driver glanced in his mirror, and saw the raccoon strolling down the center aisle towards the front of the bus.

Being a sensible fellow, he flagged down a cop , departed the bus, and waited to see what would happen.

This being New York City, the Emergency Services Unit responded, and, after much manuevering ,re-direction of traffic , and head-scratching, the stalwart officers were able to tranquilize the critter and remove him from his perch on the bus door curtains.

Unfortunately for the raccoon , the Animal Shelter folks promptly euthanized him , so he could be tested for rabies.

Fortunately for the driver, there no more raccoons hidden on the bus.

Beijing : A Chinese wildlife farm is searching for 13 “runaway” crocodiles-
part of a group of 29 that took advantage of rain-induced flooding to swim out in search of new habitat.

15 of the crocodilian deviationists were captured by the alert Peoples’ Collective, and will probably be sent to re-education camps. One of the beasts-undoubtedly a counter-revolutionary – had to be killed.

Farm managers are worried about the remaining 13 – because the weather is getting cooler, and might be harmful to these warm weather creatures.

Expressed-almost as an afterthought – was concern the crocodiles might become aggressive to humans , should they fail to find enough to eat.

London: London Zoo has opened a new exhibit : eight human beings – barely garbed in fig leaves – who are to occupy one of the display areas, and “highlight the spread of Man as a plague species.”

The eight – all volunteers – are to be treated like animals , but will be kept amused with “games and music”.

1. Yes, it does sound like a college dorm.

2. Yes, I can visualize a “Far Side” cartoon, with cows, chickens, bears,etc. visiting the Zoo to make faces at the humans.

3. Yes, describing those who are paying one’s salary as a “plague species” does suggest the Zoo Director needs to be assigned more meaningful and productive work – such as cleaning animal cages, or teaching copperheads how to cross busy highways !

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Biowarfare : Another “Sverdlosk Incident” in Russia ?

I’ve been looking at two recent (and ongoing) outbreaks of Tularemia in Russia: (Source: ProMed : Archives # 20050824.2503; # 20050822.2467; # 20050718.2066 )

1. 96 people –66 from Dzerzhinsk region; 30 from Nizhniy Novogorod.

2. 56 people – all from the Ryazan area , which borders on Nizhniy Novogorod and Vladimir.

What makes it notable is that Tularemia is a fairly rare disease: the Ryazan area had only 4 known cases in 2004.

(No historic stats were furnished on the Nizhniy Novgoros area or Dzerzhinsk , but the number of cases seems “out of line”.)

The other factor that makes these two outbreaks notable is the presence of Biowarfare facilities in the region – especially in the Nizhniy Novogorod area. (Source: Global Security)

Chapayvevsk – in Nizhniy Novogorod , is decribed as an “Inactive bioweapons destruction facility”.

Gorokhovets – in Vladimir Oblast , is a bioweapons storage facility.

Dzerhinsk – in Nizhniy Novogorod is a facility used for the production of chemical weapons – notably Lewisite.

Ryazan – is , among other things, the home of a patrooper training facility,and was the scene of recent military manuevers.

Tentative Conclusions:

1. Russia is still involved in bioweapons research-including the use of Tularemia (with which they have experimented for 3 generations).
(Ken Alibek would probably agree.)

2. Some sort of accidental release of weaponized Tularemia may have occurred.

3. The possibility of theft/sabotage/terrorism should be considered.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Taipei: Taiwan has withdrawn one of its anti-AIDS campaign ad posters, following protests from the island’s small Roman Catholic population.

The posters showed a smiling nun – holding a condom with both hands,and saying “ Although I don’t need one, even I know enough to use one.”

(They might have had second thoughts if they’d read the next report )

Brussels : A Belgian nun’s “acrobatic and indecorous dancing” with a missionary,during Catholic World Youth Day – at a festival attended by the the Pope and some 700,000 of the faithful – has drawn her a sharp reprimand from her Mother Superior.

The 29 year-old nun was photographed – in considerable detail – by one of the local newspapers : being lifted into the air by the missionary ; then clinging to him with her legs wrapped around his body.

“…I get carried away by the enthusiasm of the group “, the nun admitted.

( Actually, if the next item gets to be a trend , who would need condoms ?)

Amsterdam: A new TV network plans to air a program called : “ I want your child ----and nothing else.”

The producers plan to visit potential sperm donors , and – on camera – decide which of the men is “most suitable”.

Afterwards, a spokeswoman for the show says, “there will be artificial insemination.”

Wow ! Talk about romantic ! I feel inspired to song !

I chust vant to haf your baby-


But I don’t vant you to be

Too close to precious me !

Chust give me a sample:

Dat’s ample ;

Und later vhen the lights are low –

Politely go.

Cause I don’t vant you close-

You’re much too adipose -

Nah, I don’t vant you close

To me !

(Chust leave your sample )

But don’t you dare get close

To mee-e-e-e-e-e !
The 700 Remington *Club

(Music up : Choir hums “Onward Christian Soldiers “ )

A hush falls over the tele-congregation as the Reverend Remington – resplendent in his clerical robes – walks slowly to the pulpit : his head bowed in prayer.

He stand there for a moment in perfect silence, then speaks.

Reverend Remington : Brothers and Sisters , listen . Listen to the words ah have to say to you. Listen to the Voice of the Lord !

Choir: Ah-men-n-n-n-n-n-n-n

Reverend Remington : Ah have just finished speaking with ----Heee-imm.

Ah asked Heee-imm : “Lord, Lord, what shall we do ?

What shall we do with this Godless heathen in Venezuela ??

Lord , what shall we do with this Ooo-go Chavez ?”

Congregation : Oh, Lord ! What shall we do ? Oh-oh !

Reverend Remington : And the Lord answered me ! The Lord said ,

“What’s this “ Ooo-go “ stuff , boy ? You some kinda RC greaser now ?

Maybe got you a greaser girlfriend on the side ?

Talk American to me, boy !”

Choir : (Hums: “America the Beautiful” )

Reverend Remington : So ah did.

Ah talked American.

Ah talked American to the Lord - just like ah’m talkin’ to you.

An ah said,”Lord, that Hew-go Chavez is plumb vexatious , an’ a trial to the good Christian people of this nation.

He thanks. He thanks, cuz he’s got a li’l oil on his land ?

He thanks he can make good Christian people jump through hoops to get it “

Congregation : “ Thass right ! “ “ Tell it !”

Reverend Remington : Ah’m gonna tell you just what the Lord’s answer was-but first, we’re gonna take up a special collection.

Choir: (Begins humming: “ Bringing in the Sheaves”)

Reverend Remington : Ah don’t want to give anything away, but we’re gonna call this the HIT HUGO fund , an’ if you thank the Lord suggested hirin’ some beaner what’s good with a rifle to take that sucker out ------

Be sure to have your credit card handy when you see that 800 number on your screen !

Choir : Hall-e-lujah ! Hall-e-lujah ! Hall-e-lu-u-u-u-a-jah !

* 700 Remington is a registered trade name for a line of heavy duty , long range rifles marketed under the Remington brand name.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Chuck Hagel is Partly Right , but…

Senator Chuck Hagel has been drawing favorable reviews from the “Mainstream Media” for a change - because the Nebraska Republican says Iraq has become another Vietnam ; and that we should just get out of there – the sooner the better.

I respect the Senator’s opinion. He is a combat veteran, and knows more about war than most of us would ever care to hear.

Moreover , he is voicing an increasingly popular sentiment . Most of us would like very much for this whole thing to be over : a sentiment that reminds me of the Vietnam era….But, when he suggests (or seems to suggest ) we should “cut and run” ….

That’s where the Senator and I begin to part company !

Then – as now – there was a Media crusade to end the war. There were peace demonstrations that evolved into riots : sparked then – as they are now – by radical activists : whose “politely-overlooked” goal was the destruction of the United States via left-wing coup d’etat.

There was a group called “Weatherman” that set off bombs ,robbed banks, and killed people. There were assorted race-based groups that did just about anything they could to anybody they could – (and were hailed in the media as “crusaders for equality”).

There was a draft – and there were young people who had the financial resources , or the connections to evade it. Many crossed the border into Canada. One ( who became a US President ) managed to stay in England by joining and then resigning from a Reserve unit.

This meant the burden of fighting the war fell on the poor and powerless:
Folks these same draft evaders professed to love.

There were super-annuated “students”, who took over college campuses – all across the country : making it nearly impossible for those who were real students –and who were busting their humps to pay college costs - to complete their schooling, and get on with their lives…again, to the delight of the Media.

All of this had an effect on the Vietnam war. The North Vietnamese,who had considered doing a little “cutting and running” themselves, took heart from the anti-war campaign , and decided to hang on a little longer : sensing the American people had lost heart.

The result was an enormous increase in the number of American (and Vietnamese) casualties , and in violent disorder in the United States : much to the delight of the Media – which, by now , had so many attention – grabbing stories to tell , there was barely time for the increasingly lucrative commercials.

In short, the 60’s and 70’s were VERY bad times ; and, at the end , we decided to “cut and run” : leaving the Vietnamese and Cambodians to their fate.

It was a very nasty fate , and it was duly documented by the Media – which decreed it was all OUR fault. We really shouldn’t have built their hopes for freedom up in the first place .

Is this what you have in mind for the people of Iraq, Senator Hagel ?

Should we cut and run to facilitate your re-election campaign ?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Odds ‘n Endings

Berlin: When a package started making a ticking sound in a busy post office,all hands were evacuated while the brave officers of the Bomb Squad did their job.

The package turned out to contain something called an “electronic nappy”-designed to monitor baby’s diaper for wetness, and to emit a “beeping” sound – (instead of a sinister ticking noise)- when it is time for a change.

Hmmm… What’s next ? An octopus-armed “Robo-Nanny” ?

(Oh ! They already have one : It’s called a “Mom”.)

Salt Lake City : A local woman was pulling into her two-car garage when she saw something white run in ahead of her.

Accompanied by her Golden Retriever, the woman searched the garage and discovered she had a mountain goat as a guest .

Thinking quickly, the woman opened the other garage door,so the goat could make its getaway.

The goat countered by jumping onto the roof of a pickup truck , in the other bay of the garage , and dancing around on the roof in little circles.

At this point, the woman called Animal Control . She also grabbed her camera : knowing if she told her insurance company the truck had been damaged by a mountain goat , it would be a good idea to have some proof.

Animal Control finally tranquilized the critter, and hauled him away.

“We’re not quite sure why a goat would go and do this “, a Wildlife spokesperson said.

Fortunately,there was no damage to the pickup truck roof – and the woman did get some memorable pictures .

Gardnerville, Nevada : After the lights went out suddenly in the firehouse, two firefighter-paramedics rushed outside to investigate, and found a small grass fire near the base of the 40’ powerline pole.

After extinguishing the blaze, they discovered a just-breathing, badly singed cat ,lying unconscious near the base of the pole.

When the power company checked the pole, they found evidence of the likely cause: a bird’s nest on top of the pole, and a large black spot where something had touched a relay switch on a 25,000 volt line.

The cat , although presently hairless , is expected to make a full recovery; and will hopefully do his future stalking in safer surroundings : not a bad idea, considering the number of lives he has used up !

New York : The prestigious New York Times has invented a new phrase :

Yesterday’s editorial page proclaimed CINDY SHEEHAN as THE OFFICIAL GRIEVING MOTHER (TOGM) , and denounced all who might disagree with her slightest utterance – no matter how wacky or obnoxious.

Such persons are, in the words of the Times, trying to Swift-Boat Cindy.

This proclamation means that OTHER grieving mothers of fallen service personnel exist ONLY as extensions of TOGM , and may be disregarded-
(Nothing new there !)-especially if they disagree with Cindy Sheehan.

So, heads up, out there ! Don’t Swift-Boat Cindy !!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Able Danger and Richard Clarke

If you read the papers or watch TV , you’ve probably heard that an Army Intelligence unit called Able Danger (may have) identified four of the 9/11 hijackers as much as a year before they struck – but was unable to pass the information on to the FBI because Pentagon lawyers said it would be a “no-no”….but shouldn’t Richard Clarke have known about it ?

Richard Clarke was President Clinton’s Counter-terrorism Director- but I suspect he was kept “out of the loop” as far as any real or valuable intelligence was concerned. I believe, had he known about Able Danger,it would have been prominently featured in his book “ Against All Enemies”.

General Hugh Shelton , then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , is quoted by former CENTCOM Commander Tommy Franks as saying : “ Clarke’s been over at the National Security Council so long that he thinks he owns Counter Terrorism- and knows more about the subject than anybody in government. He likes to talk,drops a lot of names,and thinks highly of himself-but in many ways,he’s not very practical. Be careful in dealing with him. “

Tommy Franks had a number of meetings with Clarke, and found “his information was recent, but predictably imprecise.” Franks notes Clarke “ was better at identifying a problem than at finding a workable solution.”

Franks and Clarke had one final conference , in January, 2001, in which Clarke described progress in the Predator Drone plan. Franks concludes:
“ I never received a single operational reccomendation,or a page of actionable intelligence from Richard Clarke.”

nb: Source of preceeding 3 paragraphs was “American Soldier” by Ret. General Tommy Franks.

I think there is a very good reason for that.

I suspect the heads of the FBI and the CIA fawned on him , and whispered sweet nothings in his ear. He was allowed to see the Predator drone, and to call for bombing raids on Taliban training camps in Afghanistan .

The CIA even told the Secret Service there was an al-Qaeda contract on his head,so he could get to carry a Secret Service- issued pistol in a shoulder holster : heady stuff for a careeer civil servant.

Both agencies were more concerned with their budgets than with Counter Terrorism – and everything Clarke proposed cost money they didn’t want to spend.

The CIA had a grand total of THREE people assigned to keeping track of al-Qaeda , didn’t want to assign anyone else, and didn’t want anyone to know they had unilaterally disregarded Presidential directives.

The FBI had an old grudge against Clarke : His counter-terror planning group totally trashed the Bureau’s carelessly drawn up security plan for the Olympics in Atlanta -–in front of the National Security Council.

The FBI did have a working counterterror program, but it was essentially in-looking : designed for the detection of easy-to-track American citizens.

Tracking al-Qaeda would have required the employment of translators-proficient in Arabic, Hindi, Pushto, Urdu , and other “third world languages”-
because the FBI had an enormous backlog of phone intercept tapes it didn’t want to be bothered with – unless special additional funding was granted.

(As an aside, the FBI has received huge additional sums …and the backlog of untranslated tapes continues to increase !)

It was a lot easier , and more cost-effective –(from a bureaucratic standpoint) - to pat Clarke on the back and inundate him with outdated information ; and I suspect that is exactly what they did.

( Tommy Franks noted, when missile strikes against bin Laden were considered, Clarke was unable to provide targeting data that was less than a week old.)

I also suspect, when the Bush administration took office, the Military, the FBI,and the CIA all conveyed their opinion – with grimaces and eye-rolling –that Clarke was a loose cannon,who suffered from an obsession over al-Qaeda ; and I’m sure at least one of these agencies suggested he be “taken in hand” before he did something embarassing.

It was a hell of a way to treat a man who served over 30 years with the government , and who proved his worth a dozen times over during the darkest hours of 9/11 ; but he is hardly the first person to have been gulled
and gutted by unaccountable government agencies – and I doubt he will be the last.

NOTE: Since I posted this, additional information-in the form of an interview Clarke gave The Washington Times in 2002- has reached my attention.

It that time, if I'm not mistaken, Clarke believed he was going to be promoted to Director of Homeland Security,and he was not the least bit critical-in this interview-of the Bush administration.

Let's go to the interview:


Excerpts from the August 2002 press briefing by Richard A. Clarke:

RICHARD CLARKE: There was no plan on al Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration ... In January 2001, the incoming Bush administration was briefed on the existing strategy. [They] decided to ... vigorously pursue the existing policy [and] ... initiate a process to look at those issues which had been on the table for a couple of years.
In their first meeting [the principles] changed the strategy by authorizing the increase in funding [for covert action against al Qaeda] five-fold, changing the policy on Pakistan, changing the policy on Uzbekistan, changing the policy on the Northern Alliance assistance. [They] then changed the strategy from one of rollback with al Qaeda ... to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al Qaeda.
QUESTION: What is your response to the suggestion in the [Aug. 12, 2002] Time [magazine] article that the Bush administration was unwilling to take on board the suggestions made in the Clinton administration because of animus against ... the foreign policy?
CLARKE: I think if there was a general animus that clouded their vision, they might not have kept the same guy dealing with [the] terrorism issue ... There was never a plan [in the Clinton administration].
QUESTION: What was the problem? Why was it so difficult for the Clinton administration to make decisions on those issues?
CLARKE: Because they were tough issues. One of the big problems was that Pakistan at the time was aiding the other side, was aiding the Taliban. In the spring [of 2001], the Bush administration ... began to change Pakistani policy. We began to offer carrots, which made it possible for the Pakistanis ... [to] join us and to break away from the Taliban. So that's really how it started.
QUESTION: Had the Clinton administration ... prepared for a call for the use of ground forces, special operations forces in any way?
CLARKE: There was never a plan in the Clinton administration to use ground forces. The military was asked at a couple of points ... to think about it. And they always came back and said it was not a good idea. There was never a plan to do that.
QUESTION: You're saying ... there was no plan; two, there was no delay; and that actually the first changes since October of '98 were made in the spring months just after the administration came into office?
CLARKE: You got it ...The other thing to bear in mind is the shift from the rollback strategy to the elimination strategy. When President Bush told us in March to stop swatting at flies and just solve this problem, then that was the strategic direction that changed the [policy] from one of rollback to one of elimination.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Some Parables for a Troubling World

In Kansas, a young woman decided to pose for photos at a tiger preserve. She was scheduled to graduate from high school ,and wanted “something different” for a graduation picture.

She climbed on the back of the tiger – which promptly seized her by the throat – as tigers will – and killed her.

In Yellowstone , tourists are killed every year when they try to pose for pictures with the resident grizzly bears. There seems no way to get it through their heads wild animals are capable of being …wild.

In Los Angeles , authorities became rather alarmed when a seven foot alligator suddenly appeared in a park lake.

One of the causes for alarm was the fact people were feeding the animal ,and applauding happily when it scooped up their discarded sandwich ends and other goodies.

In short , they were teaching the alligator to associate humans with food – something alligators really don’t need to be taught.

Even now – as professional trappers struggle to remove the animal – there are people rooting for a creature that could scarf down one of their children in the blink of an eye. (One woman is even doing a brisk business in “pro-alligator” tee shirts !)

No matter how many times they are warned , there are people who persist in the belief that a wild animal you have fed is now your friend ; and that you have, in some way , negotiated a “truce”.

An online survey I saw last week asked : “ Should we negotiate with the terrorists ?

14 % of those who responded answered : “Yes”.

I can’t help but wonder if humanity has a built-in death wish !

Friday, August 19, 2005

Just When You Thought it Was Safe
(To stop sleeping in the bathtub)

Canandaiga,NY : A farmer in this Finger Lakes community decided to advertise for a second wife – but didn’t want to place a “personals” ad -for fear of being teased by his neighbors…so he planted an ad , using seed corn.

Once the corn reached a height of 6 to 7 feet , the farmer’s 900 foot by 600 foot message was clearly visible from the air . 50’ letters proclaimed:

SWF Got –2 (heart) Farmin’

An arrow pointed to the farmer’s house.

The farmer did get a few phone calls in response to his living billboard ,but ,for the most part, he got….. …a lot of teasing by his neighbors.

ps: The farmer’s cows got into the field ,and ate his ad.

Chicago: A woman who called her cable company to complain about rude and indifferent customer service had her complaints verified in an unusual fashion.

When her August bill arrived, it was addressed to “ Bitch Dog”.

Another Windy City consumer had unexpected problems with his electric company: For reasons no one seems able to explain , the billing department has decided his name is “ Jeffrey Scrotum Bag “.

Lawrence, Kansas : A woman who operates a home daycare center was alarmed when her home was “raided” - not by Quantrell’s Guerillas, but by a 3 foot reptile – thought to be an alligator, crocodile, or caiman.

The woman – quite sensibly – kept the children inside while animal control officers wrestled the annoyed critter into a cage.

Such creatures are not exactly native to the plains of Kansas, and no one has volunteered to explain how this one got there .

Ithaca,NY : If Cornell University ecologist Josh Donlan has his way , the presence of African wildlife in Kansas – and other parts of the Great Plains-would become unremarkable.

In an article published in “Nature” , Mr. Donlan calls for the “Rewilding” of the Great Plains of North America with free-ranging African lions, cheetahs,elephants ,etc.

He concedes “huge cultural obstacles” would have to be overcome.

Astute readers of Nature will probably note Donlan does not advocate the introduction of large African predators to the Finger Lakes area of New York- where Cornell University is located.

“Nature” readers will also note an accompanying article which notes ever-increasing numbers of lions are becoming man-eaters : about 1000 people killed or maimed in Tanzania alone over the past 15 years.

(Hmm… Should we import man -eaters from Tanzania , or just ship Josh Donlan there ?)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Criminal Enterprises That Didn’t Quite Work Out

Klaipeda,Lithuania : Two young toughs burst into a home occupied by two elderly women – apparently expecting easy pickings.

One of the women – 93 year old Zoja Popova – toughened by a lifetime of hard work - responded by seizing her 25 year old assailant’s “family jewels” in a death grip: causing him to “squeal like an animal”.

Neighbors responded to the young man’s anguished cries, and both men were captured.

“I did what I could “, Ms Popova says modestly. ( Ouch !)

Fort Smith, Arkansas : A 29 year old man broke into a woman’s parked car-but nearly severed his wrist on the glass he broke .

Bellowing with pain and gushing blood, the foolish felon kicked open the woman’s front door: demanding she summon help.

She was only too happy to oblige: Fort Smith police officers gave the man a ride straight to the emergency room – before booking him.

(There-there,now ! You have the right to moan loudly…)

Moscow : A herd of dairy cattle may be in for some moo – ving experiences this winter.

It seems enterprising drug dealers had seeded a large amount of marijuana into the animals’ forage crops, in a futile effort to avoid police attention ; and, as a consequence, the cows’ ( confiscated ) winter hay is estimated to contain some 40 metric tons of prime “mary jane”.

A police spokeswoman said she wasn’t sure what the milk would be like-but imagined sales would be rather brisk.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sick,Slick Self-Promoting Radicals and 9/11

The latest buzz – among the sick, slick radical set – is the release of the 9/11 tapes.

“ A-hah !” , they declaim . “EXPLOSIONS in the World Trade Center !!”

Yes, they say. The audio tapes clearly reveal the sound of explosions…which means: ( Ta- dah !!)

“The Twin Towers were brought down by BOMBS – cunningly planted by:”

(Choose one or – What the heck ! – Choose all !)

1. Mossad Agents - seeking to promote World Zionism ;
2. Jewish terrorists - seeking to smear peaceful Muslims;
3. The CIA and Military - seeking an excuse to go to war ;
4. Neo-Cons - seeking a means to increase (already obscene)corporate profits ;.
5. Christian fanatics - seeking to establish a theocracy ;
6. The Man - seeking to impose his evil will on People of Color.
7. I don’t know , man ; but SOMEBODY musta done it !

When I looked yesterday, there were at least three pages of links to sites promoting the idea that there was something sinister (other than those silly airplanes) about 9/11; and most of them seemed pre-occupied with the sound of explosions.

Just as an aside , I’ve often marveled at the way these Radical sites harmonize with one another. It reminds me of the singing Acne Pimples in this old commercial.

“ I am an Acne Pimple – as lonely as can be
Don’t cry, Pimple – I’ll keep you company !
Say, Fellow Pimples,would three be a crowd ?
All together, Pimples:sing we aloud :
Hummmmmmmmm ! “

Let’s talk about those explosions.

The airliners that crashed into the WTC and Pentagon had full tanks of J8: a jet fuel that is pretty similar to Diesel oil.

The fuel, as one might imagine, leaked from the tanks and caught fire; but some leaked into stairwells and elevator shafts, and service ducts, where it vaporized – and met super-heated air rising in the shafts.

The result was a number of explosions : pretty much the same effect you get when a Diesel engine operates.

(Diesels don’t have spark plugs.A mixture of fuel vapor and air is compressed until it becomes super-heated : at which point it explodes.If you’ve ever heard a big truck using its engine compression to slow down (“Jake Braking”) what you’re hearing is a series of those controlled explosions.)

I imagine a few of the “choristers” promoting the latest round of conspiracy theories are simply uninformed – but ,from what I can see, the radicals who started this garbage are intelligent and well-informed …and sleazy beyond measure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bird Flu : Sen. Frist Calls for New “Manhattan Project”

An Influenza epidemic – spread by wild birds-has been building steadily in Asia ,and is beginning to follow bird migration routes into Russia and the “Stans” .

At the moment, it is “just” an epidemic – but it involves a rapidly evolving Avian Influenza virus , that has succeeded in killing pigs, tigers , and a growing number of humans. There is growing evidence of human-to-human transmission : a factor that can turn a local epidemic into a world-wide pandemic.

Should it succeed in becoming a human pandemic – something it is well on the way towards achieving – the estimated death toll worldwide may be as high as 6 billion people !

The vaccines on hand are in short supply – and capable of bestowing only limited immunity : in no small part because the nation where the outbreak began – China – has been trying to cover it up with vaccination programs that leave their livestock symptom-free … but capable of infecting others.
They have repeatedly sold this diseased stock to other nations – at attractive discount prices.

The World Health Organization – described by some as never short of money , but always a year late with results – has been promoting the large-scale production of a vaccine that is now so out of date as to be worse than useless: those who take it may be capable of passing along an even more virulent form of the disease.

Senator Frist’s call for action has received very little media attention –and-given the extreme partisanship evident in Washington, is apt to gain very little support.

Given our usual history, it seems likely we will wait until the wolf is at the door-and then we will begin the finger-pointing.

Here’s a link to Dr. Henry Niman – one of America’s foremost virologists.
Dr. Niman has been following the gathering storm for a very long time.

( I suggest you browse through Dr. Niman’s site. You will find a fair amount of “technical jargon” to navigate around . It won’t kill you., but the flu brewing in Asia just might. )
Don’t Ask Department

London : Police are searching for a man who – wearing just a diaper – approaches women late at night , and asks them if there are any baby changing facilities nearby.

( Don’t ask ! We don’t want to know why !! )

Canberra: If you were to watch this Australian gentleman perform, you might conclude he was fishing : surf-casting to be exact.

Well…..not exactly .

It seems he has taught three mice : Harry, Chopsticks, and Bunsen - how to surf , using tiny, mouse-sized surfboards.

He employs a rigorous training program ,involving months of patient coaching in a bathtub ; and often dyes the fur of the mice to make them
visually appealing.

( How many performers does he lose to hungry fish ? Don’t ask ! )

Kolkata : Formerly known as Calcutta , this West Bengal city is one of the last places on earth where rickshaws are used.

During the rainy season, and when the traffic is heavy, they are the only truly reliable transport , and there are 10,000 of them in service…but not for much longer.

The Chief Minister of this communist – run state has decided pulling rickshaws demeans the workers and is “inhumane”.

The 10,000 soon-to-be-liberated workers are quite a bit less enthused: wondering, no doubt , what they will do to support their families.

If they become beggars, will not the State regard them as “parasites” , and ship them off to perform hard labor under inhumane conditions ?

Don’t Ask !

Monday, August 15, 2005


A “ non-sequitur “ – (for those of you raddled with insecurity at the mention of such a word ) – is a statement which appears to bear no relationship to the topic under discussion.

Here’s the sort of non-sequitur one might find in everyday life:

You: “ I really need a raise , boss !”

Boss: “ I’m thinking of going to Bermuda for my vacation this year.”

Here are todays non-sequitur stories. Should you find any relationship in them ….please keep it to yourself !

So Sorry ! Japan apologized yesterday for having started WWII , having invaded all those countries, and having killed off potential customers for Japanese made goods.

Flat Screen TV: Prices are coming down – as much as 35 % - but you probably won’t be able to afford one anyway.

Lance Armstrong has announced he doesn’t want to run for governor of Texas – or bike for him, for that matter.

Fuel Prices are higher, but a California man says his modified Prius gets up to 250 mpg….on those steep downhill runs.

Cindy Sheehan is still in the news – but media attention seems to be shifting away from her , as others compete for the spotlight :;_ylt=AkH8lCK10lCYWbwYrSrt080DW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

My Wife says it’s time to stop this nonsense so we can go shopping.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

“Chemical Plant” Raid Photos Reveal “Unexpected” Surprise

On August 9,2005, acting on a tip from Iraqi citizens, US forces uncovered a clandestine chemical production facility, which contained – among other things – roughly 1500 gallons of chemical precursors.

There has been no announcement as to the precise nature of what was found, but I believe I recognize one of the items depicted here:

I refer you to the top picture, and respectfully draw your attention to a piece of equipment in the foreground of the photograph. You’ll see a sort of inverted cone on legs ,with hoses attached, and fittings for attachment of
A forced air/hot air feeding flue.

Unless I miss my guess, the device is a “spray dryer” ( sometimes called a “flash dryer” ) of laboratory size ; and it is used for the small-scale preparation of biowarfare agents, such as Anthrax.

Huge production facilities are not required: the Anthrax Attacks of 2001 were carried out with approximately 2 grams of bioagent. ( The machine you see is capable of producing multi-kilogram lots in a single run.)

Now I’d like to direct your attention to this page :

This is the Niro Spray Dryer UNMOVIC inspectors were asked to watch for in Iraq-just before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

(Take your time ! Go back and forth between the two links, and make up your own mind. What did the troops find there ? )
VJ Day – August 14,2005 : Some Things to Remember

This is the text of an order, issued August 1, 1944, by the Ministry of War in Tokyo , to the commandants of several POW camps- notably in the Phillipines.

It surfaced during the War Crimes trials after WWII , and was cited by defendants who said they were merely obeying orders.

“ When the battle situation becomes urgent the POWs will be concentrated and confined in their location and kept under heavy guard until preparations for the final disposition will be made.

Although the basic aim is to act under superior orders, individual disposition may be made in certain circumstances.

Whether they are destroyed individually or in groups, and whether it is accomplished by means of mass bombing, poisonous smoke, poisons, drowning, or decapitation, dispose of them as the situation dictates.

It is the aim not to allow the escape of a single one, to annihilate them all, and not to leave any traces. “

Let all who weep for those who lost their lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki , and who berate “American imperialism ” direct their attention to this edict – and to the eagerness and efficiency with which it was obeyed.

On Palawan – the Phillipines – 150 American prisoners were forced at bayonet point into crude, log-reinforced air raid ditches: packed in so tightly, there was barely room to breathe.

Japanese soldiers then ran up and poured 5 gallon buckets of aviation gas on them ; followed by flaming torches.

Machine guns had been set up in the camp, and those who escaped the fire pits were mowed down. Still the prisoners – some in flames – kept coming: actually knocking down the barbed wire fence in their pain and madness.

The Japanese had prepared for this possibility, and had heavily armed squads waiting on the beach to kill the survivors – and – beyond that , barges , on which troops waited with tripod mounted machine guns to finish off any swimmers.

Amazingly, six men- all badly wounded ,one bitten by a shark – managed to swim across the five mile channel to safety , and reach American lines.

People survived the death camps, in spite of the best efforts of the Japanese to silence them , but you will be hard-pressed to learn their stories today – for they have been silenced by an Elite that wants us to focus on other things : Political Correctness , Global Warming, the Horrors of Saturated Fats, which Elites are worthy of political office ……..or which Japanese car to buy .

This article is dedicated to the 2656 US servicemen who perished at Camp Cabanatuan ,the Phillipines ,and to all who perished elsewhere- while in Japanese hands.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Stop the presses ! Grab your guns and head for the hills ! Danger,danger, Will Robinson !!

It seems Mark Yannone ,perennial Libertarian candidate for the US House of Representatives –Arizona – has run across an article on the World Socialist Website – which quotes an article in the Washington Post – whose reporter quotes a mysterious Army officer – who has access to TOP SECRET PLANS for the military occupation of the United States.

Whoa ! Heady stuff ……………………………………………NOT !!

Mark, who is an exceptionally intelligent and well-educated individual ( and seldom hesitates to remind us of that ) surely must know such contingency plans have been around for a very long time ; that they were set up in the 1950’s because of the (then very real ) threat of all-out nuclear war; and that they are reviewed periodically because of the still-existent threat of nuclear or bio-warfare - or the natural emergence of pandemic illness.

( Pandemic influenza – should it get a foothold – could kill as many as 6 BILLION people worldwide.)

It is obvious such catastrophes could cause near-total breakdown of fire,police,medical,transportation,food distribution ,electricity , healthcare,water,sanitation, and other vital services we now take for granted.

It would be up to the military to step in, if we were to survive as a nation and as a people – and, much as we might hate being part of a “military district”,and subject to martial law, we would, in the long term , be grateful such planning had been done.

Mark Yannone has a different take on this: (View the original here: )

[No need to involve the rest of the country, Halftrack. The terrorists will be conveniently assembled within spitting distance of the Pentagon in a few weeks. That should give the museums time to remove the artwork before the Pentagon begins bombing and irradiating DC. - Mark Yannone]

Mark directs our attention to the following website:

and suggests we examine this one as well:

Mark, I see no need to characterize you . You’ve done it yourself.
This Week’s "Master Criminals"

Houma,La : A 20 year old man from Missouri was arrested this week,after he ran-barking-from a house in which he had been staying…and bit the letter carrier on the shoulder.

The suspect apparently has no criminal or mental health history , and says it was only a joke. Really !

He has been released on bail – hopefully with the condition he get rabies and distemper shots.

Sao Paulo: Police became suspicious when two men bought a whole car carrier full of new cars – for cash - and followed the truck to its destination: arresting the two men waiting for its arrival.

Earlier in the week, a bank in the same city had been burglarized by a team of 8-10 thieves , who dug a tunnel from a rented store front to the bank vaults- over a 3 month period - and made off with about $ 68 million in cash.

It was considered the bank robbery of the century , and the thieves were extolled in the media as " brilliant ".

Examination showed the new cars had been paid for with stolen bank notes,and additional loot from the theft was stashed in one of the cars.

( The thieves are said to be wondering how the police got on to them so fast.)

Draguignan, France: Police began to wonder after noticing journalists were beating firefighters to the scene during a series of forest fires in southern France.

They became even more curious about the fact the journalists very often featured one particular firefighter in their stories : casting him in an heroic light ; and surmised he might be tipping the journalists off.

Ah, but how does one tip off the press before the Fire Department has been notified ? The Magistrate was equally curious, and warrants were issued.

After a search of the suspects home produced incendiary devices, the firefighter confessed to setting seven forest fires, and has been charged accordingly.

He is said to be worried now about the effects of pre-trial publicity.

Friday, August 12, 2005

You Can’t Make Stuff Like This Up

Russia : The American edition of the online magazine "Pravda" has an article this issue about how Russian girls are using Instant Messaging to con American men out of their hard-earned money.

It’s pretty much routine until you look at the rest of the page – which has ads for Asian Brides, Sexy Latina Singles, Brazilian Brides, and Sexy Russian Women – all of whom want to meet American men the old-fashioned way…........Online.

Australia : A Sydney bus driver, who had paid close attention to official warnings about bombs being placed on public transportation , was alarmed to discover a mysterious , odd-shaped package on one of the back seats of his bus.

The driver touched the package gingerly , and it made an odd,mechanical sound ; so he decided to call the police.

The authorities responded promptly, and, after careful preparation, moved the package to a bomb-resistant truck, where it could be opened for examination.

Contents: One "Whoopee Cushion".

London: An overly-uxorious Briton had an unexpected complication from his heart bypass operation: all three of his wives came to visit him in the hospital – at the same time.

"Realizing something was amiss" , the three wives held an impromptu parking lot conference , and learned they were all married to the same man.

The bigamist ( is "trigamist" a word ? ) surrendered to police upon his recovery . He pled guilty, was fined, and received a suspended sentence.

He is now living under the (watchful) eye of his first wife – who probably reminds him, from time to time , of the risks inherent in " affairs of the heart."

Dublin: " Charlie" – a wild mountain goat – was crowned King of Ireland this week ,and will reign over the Puck Fair until sundown today .

The origin of this custom is shrouded in mystery – or blarney – as the case may be.

Some say it harks back to the Celtic harvest festival : Lughnasa ; others say it dates back to the time of Cromwell ; but all are agreed it draws visitors: some 100,000 of whom are expected to pour an estimated 7 million Euros into the local economy.

Meanwhile, Charlie – resplendent in his golden crown – "rules" from his 50’ high throne, and waits for the festivities to end.

Does he wonder if he will be released into the mountains as the Festival promoters claim ? Does he reflect on the way Lughnasa festivals used to end – back in the days when there were Irish kings ?

Na-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah !

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How to Make Your Wife Feel Insecure

Milan: A Macedonian motorist stopped for gasoline,while on the road to Rome. His wife decided to make a "pit stop" while they were at the station.

Six hours later , the police in Milan contacted him : had he, perhaps forgotten something ? If not, why was his wife still in their fair city : penniless, without documentation, and extremely irate ?

( Gee, Officer : I THOUGHT she was kinda quiet !)

Salt Lake City: A 35 year old man disappeared in late July, while on a solo hiking trip in southwestern Utah. His car was found in a national forest parking lot , and, fearing the worst , police launched a full blown search and investigation.

It didn’t take police long to discover the missing man – who has a wife and 3 children in Ohio - had bought airline tickets to Sydney, Australia , and was having a delightful vacation, thank you !

Utah authorities are considering a civil action to recover the estimated $ 20,000 they spent on search and investigation costs ; but , considering the wife and children he "forgot about" ,that might be the least of his problems !

Berlin : This has been a ROUGH week for wives ! A 75 year old man accidentally hit his wife with the car while backing into a parking space.

He was so startled by an onlooker’s screams , he ran over his 73 year old wife again !

We are happy to report the injured woman survived – thanks to prompt medical treatment….and the fact the car stalled after the second impact.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New Jersey’s Own " Ado Annie" ?

If you’ve ever watched "Oklahoma" , you’ll probably remember the irrepressible " Ado Annie " – "a gal who cain’t say no".

It appears the Garden State may have its own "Ado Annie" – in the person of Carla Katz ,president of CWA Local 1034 : the union that represents roughly 8,000 state employees.

Local 1034 has just said "yes" to Jon Corzine’s bid to become the state’s next governor. The Executive Board – headed by Ms Katz – has endorsed Jon’s candidacy.

What spices up this otherwise-routine announcement is the fact Ms Katz and Mr. Corzine had a loving,romantic relationship ( according to Mr. Corzine) for several months ; and that Jon proved his affection by lending dear Carla $ 470,000 , so she could buy out her ex-husband’s interest in the family home. (Her $ 94,000 union salary just wasn’t cutting it.)

Both parties are obviously well over 21 and divorced from their respective spouses , so if Jon, who is worth over $200 Million ,chose to offer Carla a Tiparillo, or half a mil , what of it ?

Well, about the time Jon decided to trade in his US Senate seat for a try at being Governor, he and Carla decided to go their separate ways ; and Jon-gentleman that he is offered to forgive his loan to Carla …AND pay the gift tax on the deal.

At this point, Carla may well have asked herself : " Watcha gonna DO when he talks that way ? Spit in his eye ? "

New Jersey residents , who have become accustomed to all sorts of state government shenanigans , have ,nonetheless, begun asking if there might be just the teeniest hint of conflict of interest in a prospective governor – who has a long history of bestowing gifts at election time* -negotiating labor contracts with a union president who – like our Ado Annie –
"Cain’t say no" .

*In 1999-2000, Jon Corzine contributed over $ 100,000 to four groups.whose leaders or sponsors later endorsed him in the Democratic primary for US Senator.

His expenditures for that campaign – all personally financed – set a new record : $ 36 Million !

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Urban Planning Creates Moo-ving Experience

New Delhi : City officials finally got so frustrated with Delhi’s cattle population – 35,000 cows and buffalo – the High Court decided to do something about rounding them up and moving them to greener pastures.

This is a tricky thing to attempt in a city populated by devout Hindus-who hold cows in reverence, and who have been known to riot if anyone harms a cow. The cows, which wander in front of traffic at will , get harmed a lot; as do the drivers unlucky enough to hit them.

The High Court ordered city authorities to offer a 2000 Rupee ($ 46 – about a week’s wages for a blue collar worker ) bounty to anyone willing to capture one of the beasts and conduct it (ever so gently,if you please !) to a state shelter – from whence it would be relocated to more suitable surroundings.

Within days, the city was in chaos, as bounty hunters –mounted on motorbikes and carrying switches – competed with one another – and with oncoming traffic to herd as many animals as possible. Traffic was at a standstill,tempers were frayed, and near-riot conditions prevailed.

To make matters worse, nobody had bothered to notify the shelter operators,and they were quickly flooded with far more cattle than they could handle; while unruly mobs of herders demanded their bounty money.

I’d be almost willing to bet this "bounty-ful" effort at urban renewal will result
in new herds of cattle being driven into the city by enterprising and unscrupulous bounty hunters ; and that Delhi will soon have a LOT more cows than it started with !

(No takers on THAT bet, I guess ! )

Monday, August 08, 2005


Sausalito,California – known for its views of the Pacific – and its laid-back attitudes toward people who embrace varying lifestyles – is having a problem.

It seems an unidentified man has decided swimming nude along the shoreline is his favorite hobby: a hobby that places him in "up close and personal" view of hundreds of tourists .

The tourists , who patronize the upscale harborside restaurants , used to be able to watch the antics of harbor seals , and are less-than-pleased with this unwanted substitute.

Police say they would like to chat with the swimmer – although no laws have been broken by his performances – and "get his side of the story".

The tourists – a tough audience at best -say they’ve seen altogether too much of the swimmer’s side, back, front , top and bottom , and much prefer the playful seals.

Little Rock, Arkansas: A court date has been set for three strippers , who are accused of " spanking a truck driver too vigorously" at his birthday party.

The trio,who work at a Jacksonville night club,allegedly went overboard in administering a spanking – onstage – to the 31 year old man.

After the truck driver’s "friends" paid $ 25 , the birthday boy was seized, handcuffed,stripped on stage, and beaten with a 3’ paddle and a belt:
so badly, the driver claims, he was unable to sit comfortably for several days.

Did I mention news reports describe the victim as a Bald Knob man ? That the defendants are represented by an attorney named Wankum ?

New York City: A Democratic candidate for City Council has announced plans to hold a "Havana Night" campaign party next month , at a Manhattan nightclub.

There will be no nudity at the $20 per person event – but there will be bikini –wearing go-go dancers,and men wearing only briefs. The candidate says they will provide a "sexy,erotic show".

The candidate says he has been at far too many boring fundraisers ,and wants to do "something different".

Los Angeles: Imitation is said to be the most sincere form of flattery , and a strip club owner – who says he was inspired by the very successful "Vagina Monologues" on Broadway , and at womens’ colleges across the nation – claimed to be a bit surprised by the reaction of womens groups to his new sign.

For some reason or other , his big new "Vaginas R Us" sign just hasn’t gone over as well as expected .

Word is a certain toy chain – noted for being quite protective of its trademark- is not too thrilled either.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


All over the world today, people are coming together to tell us how awful it was we dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

They have their memories – and I have mine.

Sixty years ago, I was with my Dad and my brothers : haying in the hot August sun. We had a portable radio with us, and we stopped work to listen to the broadcaster – who spoke of a bomb – hotter than the sun – that had been dropped on, and that had utterly destroyed the entire city of Hiroshima.

We knew – right then and there , the awful horror of World War II would soon be over.

( Funny the things you remember : Dad told us to stay put while he went into town. When he returned, he had a bag containing half-pints of Hershey’s ice cream – and spoons. We sat on the wagon ,eating ice cream , and speculating about how long it would take the Japanese to surrender.)

It took one more atomic bomb – this one on Nagasaki – and a few days of negotiations before the Emperor of Japan decided he could surrender without loss of face.

I remember that day – August 14,1945 – as a day the farmers and townspeople of our little village drove around :using scarce gasoline without a thought of tomorrow , honking their horns, setting off fireworks…or just walking into a church or temple to give thanks.

Did we regret Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? Consider the following.

Almost every family in America had an immediate family member, a relative,or a friend in military service. Our family was no exception.

One cousin served in North Africa ; another in Europe. ( He was one of the "walking wounded" , who never recovered ,and, soon after his return , he committed suicide.)

A second cousin on Dad’s side was a chaplain, who served on a hospital ship. The Japanese thought the white hospital ships,with big red crosses on the sides, made wonderful targets. The sub that sank our cousin’s ship surfaced to do so – apparently so the crew could get some practice with their deck gun – according to one of the few survivors.

We also knew about the Bataan Death March, the death camps, the prisoners who were sent to Japan to work as disposable slave labor in Japanese mines, or used as guinea pigs in germ warfare tests.

If you knew Japanese soldiers had formed American POWs into loose circles at bayonet point; had doused them with gasoline; had pushed one POW into the center and set fire to him-then laughed as the hapless victim stumbled blindly into those around him – setting them afire as well …would
YOU be overly concerned with the fires of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ?

World War II began in 1937 and ended in 1945. By the time it ended , at least 65 MILLION people had been killed , and much of the world was in ruins ,with starving,often-diseased refugees streaming from nation to nation:clogging the roadways, and stripping the land bare in a frantic search for food – but, less than a decade later, revisionist "history" was being published – and taught – suggesting that WE were the "real villains" of the war ,because we ended it with two decisive hammer blows.

Let the Japanese ring their little gongs in remembrance of Hiroshima…and let them meditate – deeply – on the road they traveled to get there.
A Reporter’s Job is Not All Glamor !

Despite the 100 degree temperatures, the cloying humidity,and my wife’s pointed inquiries about when I plan to clean the basement, I have braved the air-conditioning of the computer room,and cruised the raging Internet in search of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Okay, okay ! In search of stuff that meets the rigid standards of your basic E mail Spam. (Everybody’s a critic these days ! )

Berlin: A German author has put together a booklet designed to improve communication between the sexes.

She explains: What men say is not necessarily what they mean . (Who would have guessed it ?)

Men,she notes,use only half as many words as women and it is IMPERATIVE (her word) these words are understood .

For example ,when a man and woman are out shopping ,and the man begins to offer suggestions-or comments on the appearance,price,or suitability of an item the woman is considering , the man is really saying he is tired of shopping and wants to go home.

(The author neglects to mention, when a woman invites a man to go shopping with her, it is quite likely because she wants someone to carry the packages…)

There are,she adds, ten questions no woman should ever ask her man :
"Would you love me if I were fat and ugly ?" "Why do you love me ?",etc.

(She neglects the really big one : " Do these pants make my butt look fat ? ")

Speaking of questions, how does one explain a green baby ?

Mallow, Ireland : Bridget O’Leary, whom the Weekly World News describes as an attractive 26 year old barmaid , says her baby was born green because she was raped by a leprechaun.

Ms O’Leary is quoted as saying : " He got me drunk and slipped me his little green shamrock. "

There: you see ? Communication is everything in a relationship !

One wonders what this Iowa man was trying to communicate…

Spencer, Iowa: A 55 year old man walked into a Subway sandwich shop,wearing a ski mask . Nothing but a ski mask !

The woman behind the counter was understandably delighted when her boyfriend came in to pay her a surprise visit. The man in the ski mask did not seem pleased at all.

He fled the shop and sped away in a pickup truck – the police in hot pursuit.

The nude driver lost control and crashed : injuring himself enough to require hospitalization.

Police doubt the man intended to rob the shop. " I’m not sure what he would have robbed it with ", the Police Chief drawled.

While we are still on the subject of police….

Ocean City, Md : A vacationing Edison,NJ police officer and his male companion were charged with indecent exposure , after people on the sidewalk complained the two men were standing nude in front of their hotel window.

The Edison officer was "posing and flexing" , in order to attract the attention of people on the sidewalk , according to Ocean City authorities , and his companion is said to have exposed himself for a brief period of time.

Hmmm…. Two nude men in a hotel room .Do you suppose they were hunting for that sandwich shop guy from Iowa ?

Were they, perhaps… under covers ?

Never mind ! Let’s not go there !

Friday, August 05, 2005

Information You Will Need to Survive the Weekend…………not

Boca Raton, Florida: A California angler caught a 12’ Mako shark while out doing a bit of sport fishing. It took the efforts of everybody aboard the boat to subdue and dispatch the intensely annoyed critter.

In case anyone is wondering, the picture of a shark on the posters for cult classic "Jaws" is of a Mako – which really DOES have teeth that look like that !

I’m waiting to see who files the first complaint : PETA or the Florida Bar Association – (for excessive sanctions against a Member).

Denver, Colorado is known as a city that embraces diversity. Some argue the Denver Public Library has gone a bit TOO far.

It appears the library offers Spanish language comic books called Novelas whose "graphics" tend to be a bit graphic. Think "Modern Romance" comics-the kind teenage girls used to hide from their mothers – and add layers of brutality and "nekkid lust" –all carried to their barely – concealed conclusions. In short, novelas are irresistably attractive to teens – many of whom now seem to be studying "Spanish as a Second Language".

Speaking of Books, Democrat James E. Mc Greevey, who resigned as Governor of New Jersey ,after admitting ,in an August 12,2004 speech ,to an adulterous relationship with a young Israeli man named Golan Cipel ,plans to write a "tell-all" book,and has found a publisher.

Contrary to what some gay activists have claimed, New Jersey residents were less concerned with the governor’s sexual orientation,than they were with the fact Mc Greevey had tried to put Cipel – a non-citizen with no real experience-on the state payroll as Director of Homeland Security.

Cipel,who returned to Israel after allegations he had tried to "shake down" the governor surfaced, insists he is "straight" ,and was sexually harassed by the governor. (I have included this unwanted information in the interests of fairness and balance-and so you would have something to roll your eyes at.)

New Jersey figures further in our Friday fishwrap. Black bears,which have been making a comeback,have developed a fondness for summer camps-especially those at which young children abound.

There have been a number of scary incidents at these camps – including one recent videotaped event, in which a bear entered a camp in broad daylight ,and began sniffing at and "mouthing" the feet of a sleeping camper.

The Department of Environmental Protection is distressed : seemingly because it has been necessary to kill a few bears that have gotten openly dangerous ; and it is mulling new regulations designed to protect the BEARS.

Psst ! When bears walk openly into an occupied campground, and begin looking for campers to nosh on , it means they have become dangerously habituated to humans. (Can you say "habituated" , Mr. DEP Director ? Mmm… I didn’t think so. )

Just a few years ago, in Colorado,local authorities warned the State Environmental people Cougars were becoming much too habituated to humans.

The State shrugged at the warnings, until a high school athlete- jogging around a cross-country trail in broad daylight - was killed and partially eaten by a cougar, that the State said , " Oh. THAT’S what habituation means !"

(Some of the Colorado biologists continued to insist such a thing was "impossible" – just as they do now in New Jersey. )

"Well ,yes : a black bear did grab a baby out of a carriage ,kill her, and eat her about two years ago…but that was a good 10 miles across the state line – in New York – and no , we don’t think another bear hunting season would be a good idea !"

Hmmmmm…… I wonder how a tell-all book by a bear would sell ???

Thursday, August 04, 2005

John Bolton Goes to Work

Let me skip the preliminaries, and send you straight to the author-James Lileks.

Quick warning: If you are drinking some sort of beverage, please put it in a safe place – 3 to 5 feet from keyboard if possible.

Swallow what you’ve already drunk, and count to 10 before clicking this link.

Have a nice day !

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Andy Rooney's tips for telemarketers

Three Little Words That Work !!

(1)The three little words are: "Hold On, Please.." Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.

These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting

(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home.

What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!

(3) Junk Mail Help: When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.

When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 37 cents postage "IF" and when they receive them back. ! It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before! the last increase and it is according to the weight.

In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes ?

One of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas. Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!

If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 37 cents.

The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!

Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea ! If enough people follow these tips, it will work---- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.

(Now, if we could just figure out a way to eliminate the sort of e mail spam you've just been subjected to.....)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

News That’s Vital to the Survival of the Free World

SOUTH KOREA: two musicians from the punk-pop band RUX stripped naked during their live TV debut – prompting the network to cancel the show.

Band members explained this was the way they always perform at their club gigs – and besides, they didn’t know they were performing on TV (!!)

(It is reported one of the Producers ran out screaming : "Hey ! Do you know your guitar players are naked ?" – to which the band leader responded:
"No,man; but if you’ll hum a few bars, we’ll try to fake it.")

BERLIN: Left-wing German senators want to dig up a giant statue of Vladimir Lenin – hacked apart and buried in the woods shortly after the re-unification of Germany.

The Senators would like to re-assemble the statue – at taxpayer expense – and re-install it in its former place of honor. ( I’m sure we’ll be hearing from Rush Limbaugh about this !)

AUSTRALIA reports Russians are inordinately fond of kangaroos – especially when they have been made into sausage.

And finally :

OREGON is proud to report worm farming has gained official recognition.

Effective immediately, worms have been added to the state’s list of Tax Exempt Farm Products. (Be sure to stock up !)