What the Obama fans wear, apparently.
The Hydar Blog is a place for whatever pops into Dan Hydar's little brain... or happens to distract him. Let's watch.
American commanders cite al-Qaida's severe brand of Islam, which is so extreme that in Baqouba, al-Qaida has warned street vendors not to place tomatoes beside cucumbers because the vegetables are different genders, Col. David Sutherland said.- Insurgents battling al-Qaida outside Baghdad
You see, Americans don’t watch news that much anymore, preferring Oprah, The View, Grey’s Anatomy, and other soap operas fictional or otherwise. So long after the shelf life of the facts has expired and the news is no longer new, the networks will try to keep their swollen ratings by making their “extended coverage” as engorged with mawkish sentimentality as possible before giving way entirely to recriminations, self-congratulation and navel-gazing about how they handled this latest challenge.- Jonah Goldberg on the Emotional Vampirism of the press.
- Mickey Kaus, on NBC
Alert emailer S.F. asks if NBC, when it broadcast baseball games, refused to show video of fans running onto the field. Most broadcasters don't, on the grounds that it would only encourage more attention-seeking disruptions. ... If that's NBC's practice, why is it OK in order to prevent the disruption of a baseball game but not to prevent mass murder?
Pelosi’s delegation wants to emphasize the vital role that Syria plays in bringing peace to Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinian territories.
This is how the funding process works:
1. You determine what the latest ‘hot’ topic is (global warming, ceramic superconductivity, stealth technology).
2. You write your proposal to fund the work you’ve been doing for years in your area but you slant it towards the hot topic.
3. You almost “prove” that the above hot topic is effected in a way that is positive toward your research.
4. You write a follow-on proposal where you state that the really big break-through will occur in the next funding cycle.
5. Oh, and you try to partner with entities that always get government funding.
It works like this: You study frogs in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Nobody wants to fund the study of frogs. Why would they? So in the early 80’s you write your proposal to study the effect of the hole in the ozone layer on the frogs. The mid 80’s your try to figure out how to write a proposal on frogs and missile defense but give up. In the 90’s you write proposals on how frog pee can help certain forms of cancer. You partner with NIH on this because they are getting lots of funding, being the ‘hot’ agency. You both know that the results are useless from the get go but you do it anyway. In the late 90’s you write proposals on how frogs from South Dakota can be used to detect nerve gas as part of the Global War on Terrorism. You routinely reject papers to the Journal of Herpetology that claim that five lined skinks can detect nerve gas by their tails falling off. In the 2000’s you are awarded grants to study the decline of frog populations in the Black Hills due to global warming, despite the fact the frogs were there through the last dozen ice ages and that they’ve survived eight periods since the last ice age where the temperature was much warmer than now. You know that the frog population is declining because the government is leasing the land to cattle ranchers and the cows are crapping in the water but you don’t really care because you’re now just a few years away from retirement and you don’t want to work at Burger King.
Pelosi embarked on a fool's errand to Damascus this week, and among the issues she said she would raise with Assad - when she wasn't on the Lady Hester Stanhope tour in the capital of imprisoned dissidents Aref Dalila, Michel Kilo, and Anwar Bunni - is "the role of Syria in supporting Hamas and Hizbullah." What the speaker doesn't seem to have realized is that if Syria is made an obligatory passage in American efforts to address the Lebanese crisis, then Hizbullah will only gain. Once Assad is re-anointed gatekeeper in Lebanon, he will have no incentive to concede anything, least of all to dilettantes like Pelosi, on an organization that would be Syria's enforcer in Beirut if it could re-impose its hegemony over its smaller neighbor.
Inasmuch as it is possible to evoke sympathy in such cases, one can sympathize with Hizbullah. In 2000, the party lost much of its reason to exist as a military force when the Israelis withdrew from Southern Lebanon. The manufacturing of the Shebaa Farms pretext, thanks to the diligent efforts of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, bought Hizbullah an extension, a handy fig leaf allowing it to keep its weapons. Last summer, however, the party's initiation of a war devastating to Lebanon, followed by its efforts to lead a coup against the majority, demolished any lingering cross-sectarian support that Hizbullah had enjoyed.
Hizbullah's weapons are no longer regarded as weapons of resistance by most Lebanese, but as weapons of sectarian discord. ...
Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein's rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.
"(Our) meeting with the president enabled us to communicate a message from prime minister Olmert that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks as well," Pelosi, the third most senior official in Washington, told reporters after talks with Assad.
An Israeli government official said that was not the message Olmert had asked Pelosi earlier this week to convey to Assad, who seeks the return of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
"The prime minister said Israel is interested in peace with Syria, but Syria would first have to abandon the path of terror and providing support for terrorist groups,"the official said, in reference to Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
"Comments (Olmert) made to the speaker of the House did not represent any change in a policy Israel has expressed to all international figures dealing with the (Syrian) issue,"a statement from Olmert's office said.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that flag burning was protected under constitutional free-speech guarantees, invalidating laws in 48 states and outraging veterans' groups and others who say that an important national symbol should be protected from defacement.
"All of this is a response to what I've been witnessing and hearing, this idea that Barack is sort of a potential savior that might come and absolve the country of all its sins," Cordero said. "In a lot of ways it's about caution in assigning all these inflated expectations on one individual, and expecting them to change something that many hands have shaped.
In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.
"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.
"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said. "... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."