Hysteria over Shahid Alam

From the Dissident Voice comes an essay by an Islamist apologist claiming certain parallels between al Qaeda’s war against the West and the American Revolutionary War. Several popular blogs — LGF, Jihad Watch, and The Jawa Report — have taken Professor Shahid Alam to task for daring to make such a comparison. Each post fails […]

Montana Flirts with (Un)Intelligent Design

The Montana state legislature has two bills that look at the issue of evolution. Sen. Ken Toole, D-Helena, is sponsoring a resolution reaffirming the state’s commitment to separation of church and state and to teaching valid scientific principles, which in his mind rules out creationism. On the other side, Rep. Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman, has introduced […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Eanie Meanie Chili Beanie Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. AP Photo/Dean Hoffmeyer, Richmond Times-Dispatch As if this picture wasn’t funny enough. Maybe I just felt overly generous, but this time I chose to extend the Honorable Mention section as there were just too many excellent captions. If you haven’t had a chance […]

It Takes A Baboon To Raze A Village

Norm Spector has been challenging the Toronto Star to produce a list of the 45 countries military psuedo-expert Gwynne Dyer claims to be published in. Today, they quietly changed the tagline. Countries…. papers… what’s the difference, really? “Gwynne Dyer is a Canadian journalist based in London whose articles are published in 45 papers worldwide.” Dyer’s […]

Fire at Club in Argentina Kills at Least 174

Fire at Club in Argentina Kills at Least 174 (NYT-AP) A fire that raced through a packed Buenos Aires nightclub during a rock concert killed at least 174 concert-goers and injured about 410, and investigators were looking into survivor accounts that the building’s emergency exits were locked. Grieving parents crowded the city’s morgues to identify […]

Surviving the Tsunami – What Sri Lanka’s Animals Knew that Humans Didn’t

Slate has an interesting Explainer entitled “Surviving the Tsunami – What Sri Lanka’s animals knew that humans didn’t.” Reports from Sri Lanka after Sunday’s tsunami say that despite the enormous number of human casualties—116,000 deaths and rising, at last count—many animals seem to have survived the tidal wave unscathed. At Sri Lanka’s national wildlife park […]

Colin Powell and Jeb Bush to Lead U.S. Team

Powell, Jeb Bush to lead U.S. team (CNN) A U.S. delegation headed by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of President George W. Bush, will travel to southern Asia Sunday to assess humanitarian needs, a White House spokesman said Thursday. Their itinerary will be set by the State Department, deputy […]

Tsunami Death Toll Could Top One Million

Tsunami Toll Jumps to Over 125,000, Fear Lingers (Reuters) Asia’s tsunami death toll soared above 125,000 on Thursday as millions scrambled for food and clean water and rumors of new giant waves sent many fleeing inland in panic. Aid agencies warned many more, from Indonesia to Sri Lanka, could die in epidemics if shattered communications […]

Sluggish U.S. Economy Still World’s Strongest

That ‘Sluggish’ Economy – It’s still the strongest in the world (WSJ) Google the words “sluggish U.S. economy” and “2004,” and in 0.40 second you get 4,540 results. “Weak employment report points to still-sluggish U.S. economy,” reads a recent headline, on the news that “just 112,000” jobs were added in November. Well, we live in […]

Bush ‘Undermining UN with Aid Coalition’

Bush ‘Undermining UN with Aid Coalition’ (Statesman) United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster. The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response. But former International […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The daily linkfest: Jim Henley ponders Iraqi geometry. Henry Farrell diagrams the blogging two-step. The Radical Centrist hosts Carnival of the Vanities #119. John Cole visualizes a world without Bob Barker. Black-5 wonders how many MilBlogs have been ordered shut down. John Little reports on one tourist who’s enjoying his stay in Thailand. To join […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Speak Softly and Carry a Big Scotty Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. Yahoo – Top Stories Photos – Reuters The Winners First: Hermoine – “Anybody know how a doggone muff works?” Second: Sgt. Fluffy – They’re ready for inspection Major Barney. Third: McGehee – A second later, Bush acted instinctively—with the result […]

Thousands of Americans Unaccounted for After Tsunamis

Thousands of Americans unaccounted for (CNN) The U.S. State Department is working to find thousands of Americans unaccounted for days after powerful tsunamis struck countries bordering the Indian Ocean. No exact numbers are available, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, but “we’re working at any given moment 2,000 to 3,000 names now that we’re looking […]

Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing

Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing (NYT) The average Internet user in the United States spends three hours a day online, with much of that time devoted to work and more than half of it to communications, according to a survey conducted by a group of political scientists. The survey found […]

Caption Contest

Time for The Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM This picture looked like a good challenge, but then I’ve been wrong before. REUTERS/Loay Abu haykel Winners will be announced Monday P.M. The Monday First Dog Contest is still open until later today.

Single Government ID Card Closer to Reality

Single Government ID Moves Closer to Reality (WaPo, A25) Federal officials are developing government-wide identification card standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent terrorists, criminals and other unauthorized people from getting into government buildings and computer systems. The effort, known as the Personal Identity Verification Project, stems from a homeland security-related presidential directive and […]

Stingy Americans Donate Millions

These stories stand in rather stark contrast: Editorial: Are We Stingy? Yes (New York Times ) President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday’s tsunamis in Asia. He […]

67-Year-Old Romanian Pregnant with Twins

Romanian, 67, pregnant with twins (BBC) Romanian doctors say a 67-year-old woman is seven months pregnant with twin girls after fertility treatment. If the pregnancy comes to full term, it is believed that Adriana Iliescu, an author and academic, will become the oldest recorded mother. Mrs Iliescu told local television she had always wanted to […]

Tsunami Death Toll Tops 116,000 – India Warns of New Wave

Tsunami death toll tops 116,000 (CNN) The death toll from Sunday’s tsunamis has jumped sharply to over 116,000 after Indonesia reported nearly 80,000 people were killed in that country alone. U.N. relief workers arrived in Indonesia’s Aceh province to find devastation in the region closest to the epicenter of the earthquake that spawned the killer […]

Truth and Its Consequences

Donald Sensing is marketing a book, tentatively entitled Truth and Its Consequences, he’s writing on the war with terrorism. From the Introduction: This war is in fact a religious war all around, even though we of the West generally shun the idea. Unquestionably, though, our Islamist enemies know it, as do hundreds of millions of […]

Yanukovych Refuses to Resign — Russia Backs Him

Ukraine’s Yanukovych vows not to resign (Xinhua) Ukrainian Prime Minister, presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych vowed Wednesday not to quit his post. “I in principle will not write a statement (of resignation),” Yanukovych said in a press conference in his Kiev campaign headquters. He said that the main task of his team is to defend in […]

U.S. Generosity

David Roodman, a Research Fellow with the Center for Global Development, writes, Thought the below might interesting in light of the spat about whether the U.S. is generous. Also see Foreign Policy for an excellent graphic showing how stingy the U.S. is, even counting private giving. Today, December 29, President Bush defended the U.S. as […]

Tsunami Sympathy Fatigue

Brian Whitman, guest hosting today’s Glenn Beck Program , made an interesting observation: Despite 70,000 deaths (now over 100,000) from the tragic earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated South Asia, most Americans–himself included–really don’t seem too broken up. He contrasted our reaction to the 3,500 or so Americans killed during the 9/11 attacks, when the […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The daily linkfest: Kevin McGehee points to a hack to speed up Firefox. Orin Kerr evaluates the Constitution-in-Exile thesis. Terry Oglesby remembers why he loves blogging. Baldilocks loves the rain in L.A. Dean Esmay points us to a study on the sex life of dwarf mistletoe. To join in, choose ONE POST from your blog […]

U.S. Adds $20 Million to Earthquake Relief

U.S. Adds $20 Million to Earthquake Relief (AP) The U.S. Agency for International Development is adding $20 million to an initial $15 million contribution for Asian earthquake relief as Secretary of State Colin Powell bristled at a United Nations official’s suggestion the United States has been “stingy.” Confirming the new assistance, Deputy State Department spokesman […]

C.I.A. ‘s Chief Analyst Fired

C.I.A. Deputy for Analysis Is Being Removed (NYT) The head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s analytical branch is being forced to step down, former intelligence officials say, opening a major new chapter in a shakeup under Porter J. Goss, the agency’s chief. The official, Jami Miscik, the agency’s deputy director for intelligence, told her subordinates […]

Dead Bodies Pose Little Disease Risk

In an earlier post, I let my own understanding of things color my reading of Daniel Aronstein‘s post on why mass graves for the victims of the Asian tsunami disaster were unnecessary. His point is that, contrary to the conventional wisdom (and my own understanding), it is not necessary to bury bodies quickly because the […]

‘Law & Order’ Star Jerry Orbach Dies

‘Law & Order’ Star Jerry Orbach Dies (ABC-AP) “Law & Order” star Jerry Orbach has died of prostate cancer at age 69, a representative of the show said. Orbach announced last month he had been diagnosed with the disease. Orbach, 69, starred for 12 seasons in the original “Law & Order” series, but left to […]

Tsunami Death Toll Tops 100,000

Death Toll Rises to 76,700 Tsunami Victims in Asia; Red Cross Says Dead Could Exceed 100,000 (ABC) Cargo planes touched down with aid Wednesday, bearing everything from lentils to water purifiers to help survivors facing the threat of epidemic after this week’s quake-tsunami catastrophe. The first Indonesian military teams reached the devastated west coast of […]

Politics is More Powerful than Tsunamis

A recap of the last day’s tsunami news: Nearly 70,000 people are confirmed dead. Sri Lanka’s government has turned down aid from Israel, preferring to see people die than accept money from Jews. Sri Lanka’s rebels would apparently prefer to see people die than defer to their own government. The U.N. is using the deaths […]

Michael Moore and Other Famous Whales

Indeed. Yahoo! News – World Photos – AP Hat tip: Kevin Aylward

Sex Workers Donate to Tsunami Victims

Ahmednagar sex workers donate money (Sify.com) Sex workers in Ahmednagar and the district have come forward to donate over Rs 13,000 — their day’s earning — as a humanitarian gesture for those affected by Tsunami tidal waves in southern India. The women, under the banner of Snehalaya, an organisation working for women in flesh trade […]

UN Official Backs Down: Rich Nations Not ‘Stingy’

UN Official Backs Down: Rich Nations Not ‘Stingy’ (Reuters) The international response to a catastrophic tsunami in Asia has been quick and generous, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday, playing down his earlier comments that wealthy nations were stingy. U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland rowed back from statements he made on Monday after […]

US Airways Asks Non-Union Staff to Work for Free

Report: US Airways asks non-union staff to work for free (CNN-Reuters) US Airways, the bankrupt No. 7 U.S. airline, is seeking volunteers from non-union staff to work for free at its troubled Philadelphia operations over the New Year’s weekend, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. The airline canceled nearly 400 flights over Christmas weekend, leaving thousands […]

Tsunami Death Toll Hits 68,000

Tsunami toll hits 68,000 (Reuters) Thousands of corpses are rotting in Indonesia’s tropical sun as rescuers scour isolated coasts across the Indian Ocean for survivors of Sunday’s giant waves that killed more than 68,000. Many who escaped death in what may have been the deadliest tsunami in more than 200 years now face a fight […]

Humanity and Natural Disasters

Be prepared for the next disaster (John Schauble, The Age) The enormity of the tragedy that struck the coastlines of southern Asia on Sunday will take months, if not years, to unfold. More immediately apparent, however, is that humans are slow learners when it comes to natural disasters. The massive humanitarian response now under way […]

Ohio Recount Ends, Kerry 285 Closer

Ohio Recount Ends, Shows Vote Closer (AP) Election officials finished the presidential recount in Ohio on Tuesday, with the final tally shaving about 300 votes off President Bush’s six-figure margin of victory in the state that gave him a second term. The recount shows Bush winning Ohio by 118,457 votes over John Kerry, according to […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The daily linkfest returns from its holiday hiatus: Steven Taylor discovers the futility of reasoning with the irrational. Jeff Jarvis explains the link between socialism and erectile dysfunction. Zed of INBB is trying to shut down WhoIs. Dale Franks mourns the passing of his beloved pet, Londo. California Yankee details his brush with fire. Deacon […]

Yushchenko Calls for Blockade of Government

Yushchenko Calls for Blockade of Government (Wired News-Reuters) Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, winner of Ukraine’s re-run of a rigged presidential election, on Tuesday called on his supporters to block a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to be led by the man he defeated. Yushchenko was addressing a crowd of tens of thousands in Kiev’s Independence Square […]

SUV’s Kill Thousands In SE Asia

It took them two days, but Greenpeace has found a way to tie the tsunami in Southeast Asia to global warming. You see, it’s all about the mangrove swamps! A creeping rise in sea levels tied to global warming, pollution and damage to coral reefs may make coastlines even more vulnerable to disasters like tsunamis […]

Caption Contest

Time for a Bonus OTB Caption ContestTM I have the week off, I’m bored and commenting seems off this week, though there is plenty of news. I’ve finished configuring my wireless router so I can now use my work laptop to blog from anywhere in the house. Time for a bonus caption contest to end […]

Governor Rell Doing Well After Breast Cancer Surgery

Connecticut Governor Doing Well After Breast Cancer Surgery Early detection of breast cancer followed by surgery is giving Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell a good prognosis, according to the Hartford Courant. Rell, 58, had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery Monday at Danbury Hospital, the newspaper reports. This was less than a week after tests confirmed […]

Writer Susan Sontag Dies at Age 71

Writer Susan Sontag Dies at Age 71 (Reuters) Author Susan Sontag, an almost lone voice of intellectual opposition to U.S. policies after the Sept. 11 attacks, died on Tuesday at age 71 at a New York cancer hospital. Sontag, who had suffered from leukemia for some time, was known for wide-ranging interests that included everything […]

Ecstasy as Cancer Drug?

Study to test Ecstasy on terminal cancer patients (USA Today) The illegal club drug Ecstasy can trigger euphoria among the dance club set, but can it ease the debilitating anxiety that cancer patients feel as they face their final days? The Food and Drug Administration has approved a pilot study looking at whether the recreational […]

Broken Air Travel System

Cleaning Up Air Travel Messes (CBS) Thousands of travelers spent their holiday weekend at airports waiting for flights that never took off, or looking for luggage in a sea of some ten-thousand lost bags, reports CBS News Correspondent Kelly Cobiella. Regional airline Comair will need several days to resume a full schedule of flights that […]

Blogger Fantasy Football

The fantasy football season is over. I was in two Yahoo leagues, Blogger Fantasy Football and the Webloggers League. Through the vagaries of fantasy football, my WL Rodeo Clowns, which finished the regular season with the best record, lost in the first round of the playoffs by two points in a game where Terrell Owens […]

Paige Davis Sex Tape

There has been a steady influx the last several days of people looking for information on Trading Spaces hostess Paige Davis–especially information involving her nude, on tape, on video, and similar combinations.

Comparing Wars with Adjusted Body Counts

Phillip Carter and Owen West have an interesting article in Slate entitled, “Iraq 2004 Looks Like Vietnam 1966 – Adjusting body counts for medical and military changes.” After factoring in medical, doctrinal, and technological improvements, infantry duty in Iraq circa 2004 comes out just as intense as infantry duty in Vietnam circa 1966—and in some […]

George Carlin Enters Drug Rehab

George Carlin Enters Re-Hab (Fox) Comedian-actor-writer George Carlin tells “Entertainment Tonight” he’s entering a drug rehabilitation facility. The 67-year-old comic said he’s going into rehab because he uses too much wine and Vicodin. He says he recognized the problem on his own and decided it was something he needed to do. One hopes the treatment […]

Bin Laden Endorses al-Zarqawi on Tape

Purported bin Laden tape endorses al-Zarqawi (CNN) A speaker purported to be al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden endorsed the terror campaign of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and urged Iraqis to boycott next month’s elections, in an audio tape broadcast Monday on the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera television network. When it broadcast the tape, Al-Jazeera said […]

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