Friday, September 29, 2006

Anthro-centric global scare mongering, XIII

This speaks for itself. It's a bulletin from the Drudge Report. There isn't any permanent link, so I'm quoting it in all of its grandiose entirety:
Fri Sep 29 2006 09:04:05 ET

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff on Thursday evening about the perils of climate change, claiming: Cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming!"

Gore, who was introduced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the world faces a "full-scale climate emergency that threatens the future of civilization on earth."

Gore showed computer-generated projections of ocean water rushing in to submerge the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, parts of China, India and other nations, should ice shelves in Antarctica or Greenland melt and slip into the sea.

"The planet itself will do nicely, thank you very much what is at risk is human civilization," Gore said. After a series of Q& A with the audience, which had little to do with global warming and more about his political future, Annan bid "adios" to Gore.

Then, Gore had his staff opened a stack of cardboard boxes to begin selling his new book, "An Inconvenient Truth, The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It," $19.95, to the U.N. diplomats.


[Sigh!] Another reason to slap an extra 50-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes. If the erstwhile veep says it's significant, then that's good enough for me!

I just wish that he'd do the math. I mean, if he's showing a "computer-generated projection" of San Francisco being submerged by "rushing water" from melting glaciers, that would mean that it happened suddenly. Now, anybody that puts an ice cube in a drink knows that the ice melts slowly. Why did he even show a video of water "rushing" into San Francisco when it simply can't happen? The temperature rise that the global warmists point to has occured over the space of an entire century...and it's just one degree, not 100, not degree.

Lets do a little math, shall we? Lets take Mr. Gore's computer simulation of a submerging San Francisco at face value. How much ice would have to plunk into the ocean for the sea level to rise, say, five feet? Here are rough numbers:

Portion of the earth that is covered by water: 70%
Surface area of the earth: 196,935,000 square miles
70% of earth's area: 137,854,500 square miles
Volume of water required to raise the level of the oceans by five feet: 130,544 cubic miles
Portion of a glacier that's under water: 92%
Volume of ice required to create a five foot rise in ocean level: 141,896 cubic miles
Area of Greenland: 840,00 square miles
Portion of Greenland covered by ice: 81%
Depth of Greenland ice that makes 141,896 cubic miles: 1,100 feet

So, if a slab of ice 680,000 square miles in extent and 1100 feet deep covering the entire surface of Greenland that is normally ice-covered somehow detached itself and slid into the sea, the resulting water displacement would raise the level of the sea by five feet world-wide, thus making enough water to "submerge" San Francisco.

Mr. Gore should have done this exercise before making that video.

Recent commentary: intelligence on terror

Does the release of the terror analysis support or refute President
Bush's position on terror?

{published 2-Oct-2006, Appleton Post-Crescent)

The "terror analysis" neither supports nor refutes Bush's position, which is, fight 'em to the finish. Those that love setting up straw men are happy: "The War on Terror was supposed to make us safer! How come there are more terrorists?" Maybe we ought to get better analysts. Who seriously believes that the islamo-fascists will cry "Uncle!" and lay down their arms? They certainly won't give up against a country with a proven yellow streak (Vietnam and Mogadishu). It's like the Israelis making "peace" with the Lebanese. In our case the islamo-fascists merely have to wait until a Democrat is elected President. Then she'll pull our troops out of Iraq and the islamo-fascists will be free to plan another series of spectacular attacks -- while dodging a cruise missile or two. Then, when a Republican is President again...WHAM! Lets stick to our guns and finish the job, all right?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Anthro-centric global scare mongering, XII

According to the journal, Nature, the White House has "quashed" a report "that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes". My Way News continues:
The possibility that warming conditions may cause storms to become stronger has generated debate among climate and weather experts, particularly in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

In the new case, Nature said weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - part of the Commerce Department - in February set up a seven-member panel to prepare a consensus report on the views of agency scientists about global warming and hurricanes.

According to Nature, a draft of the statement said that warming may be having an effect.

In May, when the report was expected to be released, panel chair Ants Leetmaa received an e-mail from a Commerce official saying the report needed to be made less technical and was not to be released, Nature reported.

OK, that's the "scandal" portion of the report. The NOAA report is "a consensus report on the views of agency scientists." Opinions, in other words.

[Nature] said in its online report that the study was merely a discussion of the current state of hurricane science and did not contain any policy or position statements.

A series of studies over the past year or so have shown an increase in the power of hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a strengthening that many storm experts say is tied to rising sea-surface temperatures.

Just two weeks ago, researchers said that most of the increase in ocean temperature that feeds more intense hurricanes is a result of human-induced global warming, a study one researcher said "closes the loop" between climate change and powerful storms like Katrina.

And last Thursday came this story:Despite the long term warming trend seen around the globe, the oceans have cooled in the last three years, scientists announced today.

The temperature drop, a small fraction of the total warming seen in the last 48 years, suggests that global warming trends can sometimes take little dips.

In the last century, Earth's temperature has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.56 degrees Celsius). Most scientists agree that much of the warming in the past 50 years has been fueled by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.

Of course, there's no mention of how much the average temperature of the oceans have risen or fallen. With a single degree Fahrenheit rise in the average air temperature I would bet that the water temperature has only risen a fraction of that. Why? Because solar energy heats water more thoroughly than heat transference from the air. You can prove that for yourself by observing the amount of snow that melts in the winter when the weather's cloudy and warm versus sunny and cool...and I'm not talking about the streets and sidewalks where the sun's energy heats the pavement. The sun's heat is a much greater contributor to the ocean's temperature (and to snow melting) than the transference of heat from air to the water.

But, who the heck knows? There's another report from last year that raises concerns about a mini Ice Age in Europe because the Gulf Stream is slacking off due to global warming. Gad!

Friday, September 22, 2006

I love stories like this, LXIX

Our tax dollars are going to feed the fires of this controversy:
A furor over what Concord High School administrators call an "overtly sexual" style of dancing at school dances has split the school community: There are those who defend the students'right to dance however they want and those who believe the moves are just plain inappropriate.

Principal Gene Connolly is with the latter group. He said the school will cancel all remaining dances, including the upcoming homecoming dance, unless students step forward to help halt the "grinding."

"This style of dancing is wrong," Connolly told parents at a Parent-Teacher-Student Organization meeting Tuesday night. "If you were to see it, you would be equally offended."

But some students and parents don't see it that way. They say that like the jitterbug and disco before it, grinding is just a sign of the times.

Oh, dear! How long has this been going on?
According to Connolly, students began grinding at Concord High dances about three years ago. Administrators tried to intervene, pointing out that the school handbook says all dance styles "must comply with standards of modesty and safety" and mandates that dance partners face each other.

When that didn't work, administrators met with the student senate last year and drafted a "dance memo of understanding."In the memo, the students acknowledged that current dance trends "can appear sexual." They also said the administration "has made it clear that they do not want to police our dancing styles."

So what set the principal off?
The situation came to a head Saturday at the first dance of the year, which was attended by 350 students. By the time the first slow song was played, a half-dozen boys had been warned repeatedly to quit grinding, staff and students said. When they persisted, the boys were asked to leave. About 150 students followed.

"It was eerie," said Ben Nicholson, the senior class president. "There was a controlled calm to it all."

The students headed to the parking lot, Nicholson said, but changed their minds after being told they couldn't congregate on school grounds. Someone suggested they go to White Park instead, but the police were already there. So the students proceeded to Rollins Park, where Nicholson said they played music and danced.

At Rollins Park, Nicholson persuaded the students to turn down the music because of the city's nighttime noise ordinance. Then, he gave an impromptu speech from atop a truck bed, telling his peers it was understandable that they were upset.

Senior Caitlind Cooper was one of the students who gathered at the park. Addressing the PTSO and Connolly on Tuesday night, she objected to the way the situation was handled.

"We go to a dance to have fun, and you telling us how to dance is not fun," Cooper said.

I suppose that as long as schools sponsor dances then the old fogies will complain about the primitive mating rituals that take place on the dance floor. I say let the YMCA hold the dances. School is for being bored to death in classes that carefully soothe one's self-esteem, not for dancing.

I love stories like this, LXVIII

Now that school has been back in session for a few weeks, we're seeing more school follies again. This time it's (I presume) a social studies teacher setting fire to American flags on two separate occasions in his classroom. "Authorities" won't be pressing criminal charges:
Bill Patteson, a spokesman for the county attorney's office, said the evidence failed to meet the standard for a charge of criminal wanton endangerment -- an act causing a significant risk of serious injury or death.

"Based on the evidence that we had, we could find neither of those elements present, (and) we could not recommend prosecution," he said.

Steve Tedder, a spokesman for Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel, said his office also would not pursue criminal charges.

"The issues are with the policies and procedures of the school board, not with the criminal justice system," Tedder said.

How about the school itself?
teacher Dan Holden won't return to teaching until the Jefferson County school district decides whether he violated school rules with his unorthodox lesson on freedom of speech. He has been assigned to noninstructional duties.

Although flag burning is constitutionally protected speech, the district hasn't decided whether Holden acted appropriately, said Lauren Roberts, a spokeswoman for Jefferson County Public Schools.

Holden hasn't commented publicly since he burned the flags.

Administrators said Holden told them he wasn't making a political statement, but rather was trying to provoke students to think about free speech, discuss it with their parents and write about it.

How about the fire department?
A 98-page investigative file released yesterday by the Louisville Fire & Rescue arson squad found that Holden left the students with the burning flags while he went to get water to extinguish them.

"On two occasions, teacher set fire to combustible material (flag), allowing material to burn in garbage can and on desk, then left the classroom filled with students in an attempt to find water to put the fire out," the investigation concluded.

What do parents think?
Patrick Bissig, whose daughter was in Holden's class, agreed with the decision.

"I did not look for him to be prosecuted," he said. "He doesn't need to be fired. Reassigned? Perhaps. You dabble in sensitive areas when you burn a flag."

Were the students affected?
One student told investigators that smoke from the fire made students cough.

"It was smokey (sic), cause I'm like allergic to smoke and the whole room was full of smoke and like I was coughing, a lot of people was coughing," the student said in a transcribed statement in the file.

Asked whether the fire was frightening, the student replied: "Not really. I just thought he could have dropped the flag and could have, you know, made the whole classroom on fire."

OK, then! Everybody seems to be all right with this. Nobody's self-esteem was besmirched. A little smoke in the classroom is all. The school hasn't quite decided what to do, but they're leaning towards letting the whole thing just settle down quietly.

Don't you just wish somebody would be quoted in a story like this – a typical bland say-nothing story if I've ever read one – as saying that the teacher did a reprehensible thing, that he was stupid and that the "lesson" could easily have turned recklessly destructive?

But what do we get? The school board hasn't decided what to do. The teacher has been removed from teaching duties temporarily until everybody agrees that nobody's feeling were hurt. The parents can only come up with "You dabble in sensitive areas when you burn the flag." The students inhaled a little smoke is all.

Gawd! Next time why doesn't he draw a red 'X' through a picture of Mohammed? Then we'd see some emotional juice!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The kiss of death

First it was Al Gore shilling for the screamer, Howard Dean, in 2004. We saw how far that endorsement went. Now Ted Turner is coming out for Al Gore:
Looking forward to 2008, Turner expressed his hope that the next U.S. President would be a "great leader who thinks ahead, like Al Gore." He suggested the audience help convince Gore to run because "we can't afford to waste another eight years."

The article goes on to quote Turner on other issues, and he doesn't disappoint. This next one reminds me of a suggestion that Robert A. Heinlein made years ago: bar men from the practice of law for a hundred years. Women had been barred from the profession for that long; time to turn the tables and find out if the world would be appreciably better or worse. Here's Turner's contribution to that idea:
As for women: "If we had women holding all the public offices, the amount of money on the military would be immediately cut way back and more would be spent on healthcare and education," Turner said. "There wouldn't be lack of family planning or birth control if the women ran things."

Well, I suppose so. Of course, this doesn't take into account the "gila monster" syndrome. What's the "gila monster" syndrome, you ask? It comes from an opinion piece written in 1989 during "Operation Just Cause", the invasion of Panama. Unfortunately I don't remember the author, it may have been Cal Thomas. Anyway, he was writing about whether women should be allowed in combat roles. Panama was the first U.S. action in which women were put into the front lines, and the author wondered whether that was wise. He said that when men fight it's like small furry animals fighting: there's lots of fur flying and growling and tumbling...but when one of them is hurt the fight stops. Then, more than likely, the combatants slap each other on the back and go have a beer together.

But when women fight it's like gila monsters: eyes gouged out, clawed from head to toe, legs pulled off, until one of them lies dead, dead, dead. The author's point being that women in combat wouldn't know when to quit; that sometimes total annihilation isn't necessary.

Do I agree with that? Are you kidding? Do I agree with that? Do I?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Don't forget!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day be on the horizon, matey! Strap on yer cutlass and false peg leg, there, and look to yer piratical wardrobe for a tasteful eye patch, hook, and tricorn hat! Arrrrh! It's never too early to be practicin' pirate lingo neither, ye swab!

And to help you brush up the the proper pirate protcols, here be valuable links to pirate sites, just to get ye started, me hearties:

The Original Talk Like a Pirate web site
Keep to the Code, the Disney fan site for Pirates of the Caribbean
How to Talk Pirate, the movie
Dave Barry's 2002 column that made Talk Like a Pirate Day take off and become the international sensation it be to this very day, like, by the powers! And don't be missin' that there language lesson on how to be speakin' like a pirate.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Doncha just love art?

If you're fond of Princess Diana, you'd best not read this. The Daily Mail published a story about a play in Berlin that featured...well, here's what it said:
Theatregoers in the German capital Berlin walked out of a controversial play about Princess Diana that showed her in bed with two Down's Syndrome men while the Queen was portrayed by a circus dwarf.

A film version will be released next August to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Diana's death. "I have very interesting information that she really died in London, not in Paris, and reconstruct this new truth," [director Christoph] Schlingensief said before the curtain went up.

"It can probably never be exactly clarified what happened in that hour of her death. Art has the freedom to interpret this."

Sounds like intellectual onanism to me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nothing like making it clear where you stand

Best of the Web Today featured a comment about a blog entry written by Adam Howard on The Nation's blog. The title of the blog entry is "GOP Loves Black People?", an invidious title if there ever was one.

The author begins:
Has the Republican Party suddenly caught a case of jungle fever? This year Republicans will most likely run three African-Americans in statewide elections: Kenneth Blackwell (for governor in Ohio), former NFL star Lynn Swann (for governor in Pennsylvania) and Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, who is seen as the frontrunner for the Republican Senate nomination there.

There is no irony here at all, according to the author. It is simply unthinkable that people with African blood in their veins could ever be well-represented by Republicans or conservatives. And as for African-Americans actually running as Republicans! Zut alors! Quelle idée!

But one has to pause at the characterization of these electoral contests as "jungle fever". That was the point Taranto and BotWT made.

However, later in the article is another ingenuous gem:
The most notorious of the three is Blackwell, who allegedly carries a Bible with him to all his campaign stops. Blackwell opposes abortion even when the mother's life is in jeopardy and supports a Constitutional amendment to limit government.

I wrote this comment to BotWT:
Nothing like saying right out that the Constitution's authors really didn't understand the document they wrote. Limited government? Whoever heard of such a thing? And any right-thinking person would naturally be opposed to limiting government's extent. There's no question.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sex, food, friends, family, shopping, chocolate...

...what order do you put them in? Women, I mean. The author of a very interesting article in The Daily Mail said that what makes women happy are these six things in roughly that order. I immediately wondered if the author was counting down to number 1 or starting from the top. What do you think?

The author is Fay Weldon, novelist, playwright, and screen writer. The Daily Mail bills the article this way:
It's OK to fake an orgasm and let him look at other women. Don't nag, just smile sweetly at him for his funny little ways. From FAY WELDON, one of Britain's best-known feminists, a provocative recipe for modern male fulfilment.

The article is accompanied by three stills from the movie, When Harry Met Sally, showing the climax of the scene between Billy Crystal and the wonderful Meg Ryan in the deli.

It's well worth reading. The article was adapted from Weldon's forthcoming book, What Makes Women Happy. An excerpt:
Guilt is stronger in women than in men, which is rather unfair. But what you are after is happiness, not fairness, so best accept it.

You can take the proud and defiant path through life, of course. Some do and get away with it. My friend Valerie went to an assertiveness class, complaining that other people walked all over her. My own feeling was that she was the one who normally did the trampling.

Valerie was told to give voice to her anger (or she’d get cancer), speak emotional truths (it was only fair to herself), never fake orgasm (it’s a lie, an indignity) and seek justice in the home and at work.

When she returned after her two-week course, she bullied more, smiled less and her self-esteem was sky high. It’s true she got a rise, but she lost her boyfriend. Justice was on her side, but life wasn’t.

Resenting men, a familiar emotion in most women, is understandable but pointless. It is not fair that for men — or at least 98 per cent of them — the culmination of sex is an orgasm. For women, it is not. Just 10 per cent of us always, always have one, or so the figures say. The statistics change. But the broad pattern is clear. Orgasm, the pleasure so liberally bestowed upon men by nature, is only grudgingly given to women.

Of course, women resent it. Listen to any conversation between women when men aren’t there: at the hen night, on the factory floor, over the garden fence, at the English Literature tutorial.

Women may laugh and joke, but actually they’re furious. They can, we can’t, unfair, unfair. They may not know what’s biting them — but that’s it. But facts are facts and there we are. Deal with it. Life is not fair. Resenting the fact is no recipe for happiness.

Indeed, the less you think about orgasms the better, since the greatest bar to having one, if we’re to believe research, is wanting one. Best if they creep up on you unawares. Which is ironic, since what you want most you’re going to least get.

But a lot of life is like that. Want too much and it’s snatched away. An attitude of careless insouciance is more likely to pay dividends. Because really it doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things, just as having an eclair or not doesn’t matter. Life goes on pretty much the same with or without.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

They really are as narcissistic as they seem...

...and we still love to hear them, see them, and read about them. Who? Celebrities, of course!

A USC study, conducted by well-known radio poisonality and MD, Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of the nationally syndicated "Loveline" radio show, used the standard Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) conducted anonymously with 200 guests of Dr. Pinsky's show.

So what did the study find besides the obvious?
  • People with narcissistic tendencies seem to be attracted to the entertainment industry rather than the industry creating narcissists.
  • Narcissists generally crave attention, are overconfident of their abilities, lack empathy, and can evince erratic behavior.
  • Celebrities participating in the study had statistically significantly higher narcissism scores compared to aspiring business leaders (MBA students) and the general population.
  • Reality TV personalities had the highest overall narcissism scores when compared with actors, musicians and comedians.
  • While men are more likely than women to evince narcissistic traits in the general population, the authors found that, among celebrities, females were more narcissistic than their male counterparts.

I, for one, am at peace knowing that celebrities have a garden-variety personality disorder just as teenagers do.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Two fine bits from Best of the Web Today

Taranto takes flight in reaction to a Washington Post story about the capture of Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi:

"U.S. and Iraqi forces have captured a top al Qaeda in Iraq leader who ordered the bombing in February of a Shiite Muslim shrine in Samarra that started a wave of ferocious sectarian killings, Iraqi officials said Sunday," the Washington Post reports from Baghdad:

"The al Qaeda organization in Iraq has been seriously weakened and is now suffering from a leadership vacuum," Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, said at a news conference ...

This is all lies! All lies, we tell ya! Everyone knows Iraq has nothing to do with al Qaeda. It's just a distraction! Even more preposterous is the claim that "an intelligence officer for then-President Saddam Hussein" would join al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein was a secularist, whereas the al Qaeda guys are religious fanatics. Everyone knows that, except maybe the boobs who watch Fox News! The kind of transformation the Post is describing would violate the laws of physics. It's just another example of the Bush administration's war on science, and it's sad to see the Post drinking the neocon Kool-Aid.

Then there's his reaction to the new Miss England's assertion that moderate Muslims are put upon:

Moderate Terrorists
"The first Muslim to be crowned Miss England has warned that stereotyping members of her community is leading some towards extremism," reports London's Daily Mail:

Hammasa Kohistani made history last year when she was chosen to represent England in the Miss World pageant ...

She said: "The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse.

"Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more ..."

So let's see if we follow this argument. According to Kohistani, Muslims are so thin-skinned and so violent that they respond to prejudice with terrorism.

Um, isn't that an invidious stereotype?

Maybe she got the idea from a 1997 Onion piece, datelined Hebron, West Bank:

In an emotionally charged press conference Monday, crazed Palestinian gunman Faisal al Hamad expressed frustration over the stereotyping of his people.

"As a crazed Palestinian gunman, I feel hurt by the negative portrayal of my people in the media," said al Hamad, 31, a Hebron-area terrorist maniac. "None of us should have to live with stereotyping and ignorance."

He then began screaming and firing into a busload of Israeli schoolchildren.

"It hurts that in this supposedly enlightened day and age, people still make assumptions about other people," al Hamad said. "We should not rely on simple generalizations. Each crazed Palestinian gunman is an individual."

For another angle on the stereotyping of Muslims, consider this Reuters dispatch:

Al Qaeda called on non-Muslims especially in the United States to convert to Islam and abandon their "misguided" ways or else suffer, according to a video tape posted on a Web site on Saturday.

Now Reuters for the past five years has refused to call al Qaeda a terrorist group or even acknowledge that 9/11 was a terrorist act. "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." So when the word terrorist appears, it's generally in scare quotes.

But no scare quotes around "Islam" in the passage above. In Reuters' view, the men of al Qaeda may or may not be terrorists, but they are true Muslims.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's only a matter of time before the food police control our lives

I've told you before that it's coming: the banning of certain foods, the regulation of what can be served in restaurants, the taxation of people based on weight...the world-wide attempt to eradicate obesity.

What impels me to doom and gloom on this front? It's the 10th International Conference on Obesity at which sweeping statements are being made about what should be done:
[Australia's Monash University professor Paul Zimmet, chair of the 10th International Congress on Obesity] said the problem needed urgent solutions – not just widespread changes to diet and exercise but the rethinking of national policies on urban and social planning, agriculture policy, education, transport and other areas.

"Urgent solutions" and "other areas". Looks pretty much like you just don't realize what's happening to you, and that the highly knowledgable folks at the Obesity Conference care more about you than you do about yourself. Well, it's plain as day! It's intuitively obvious to the most casual observer! It's manifestly axiomatic to even the meanest intellect! If you really had consideration for yourself and your family you wouldn't have let yourself go like this! You must have somebody else take over your life for you and spoon feed you just healthy, low-fat, low-sodium, low-cholesterol, low-calorie, high-fiber, high-vitamin content foods. Everyone around you knows that it would be for your own good.

...and more! In an email discussion, a friend from Florida quipped about a national program to reduce the public health bill involving fasting to "balance your national dietary account."

I decided to run with that notion:
I can see it now: each of us has our National Dietary Account voucher book...or since everything is electronic now, a card like a long distance calling card that we fill up with ration points every month. If you run out before the end of the month, well, then, you've been a little glutton, haven't you? Time for you to curb those anti-civic-duty cravings of yours, eh?

Little dramas happen on a daily basis: some people lose their NDA cards and have to go through a long and humiliating process to get a temporary card before they're re-issued permanent cards in three months. So many people despise the re-authorization process so much that they gladly submit to a subcutaneous chip implanted in the backs of their hands.

The black market in NDA cards is rampant; but the efforts of the CEA -- the Card Enforcement Administration -- are stemming the tide of stolen and counterfeit NDA cards slowly but surely. While the number of deaths from wrong-house no-knock card raids has gone up, the number of cards recovered has also increased.

But everybody knows that they're really doing their part to combat obesity, vitamin deficiency, protein glut, salt abuse, sugar addiction, carbohydrate dependency, and butter-choked arteries.

It's fortunate that we have the government handling all of these dietary details because the supply of food has decreased drastically in recent years. I think that it was shortly after the government reversed its agricultural policies and placed price ceilings on all foods to make it affordable for everyone that the supplies started to dwindle. The executions of 50 of the most prominent agri-business leaders slowed the downward spiral of food availability for a short time, but it's still hard to find fresh vegetables. And the collective farms haven't quite made up the difference, though the government promises that that will change within 10 years...

A pretty spunky prank if you ask me!

It's one thing to spray-paint grafitti on a subway wall, but it's on an entirely different plane to do what "Banksy" did:
He has smuggled fake artwork into Tate Britain, and sprayed a vision of paradise on the Palestinian side of Israel's "security wall".

Now, the "guerrilla graffiti" artist Banksy has taken aim at the cult of empty celebrity and its current poster child, Paris Hilton.

The secretive artist has smuggled 500 doctored copies of Paris Hilton's debut album into music stores throughout the UK, where they have sold without the shops' knowledge.

In place of Ms Hilton's bubble-gum pop songs, the CDs feature Banksy's own rudimentary compositions. On the cover of the doctored CD, Ms Hilton's dress has been digitally repositioned to reveal her bare breasts; on an inside photo, her head has been replaced with that of her dog.

I have nothing against Ms. Hilton. I'm long past the adolescent stage that is consumed by fashion and the need to express one's opinion about how awful other people are, especially pop culture icons. I'm simply appreciative of the immense effort it took for this guy to infiltrate these stores with counterfeit copies of a CD!

Follow up:

One of my readers has posted what are purported to be pictures of the CD cover and booklet contents. A trifle racy, FYI. Now if we could find the audio recordings substituted for Ms. Hilton's, um, efforts.