BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Wednesday - December 06, 2006

More Spam?

There is a solution to the flood of spam. Hunt the f**kers down and shoot them on sight. Anything less is just not going to work. Spam filters work for a while and then the spammers find a way around them and on and on and on. Network administrators are fighting a losing battle because they are on the defensive. Somebody needs to form a rapid-insertion force that can go into Germany, Russia, Romania and Nigeria and take these asshats out.

My mail server filters out about 5,000 spam messages every freaking day. I manually kill about a hundred more. As I’ve stated here before, I pre-screen all incoming e-mails using Mailwasher Pro. For $37 you can’t beat it. It allows me to pre-screen all incoming e-mail. It shows me what is on my e-mail server waiting to be delivered and I get a preview of what’s in the e-mail.

If the e-mail contains an attachment and is from someone I don’t know ... BAM! ... bounce it back to the sender’s e-mail inbox. If it’s just more garbage about some hot stock ... BAM! ... bounce it back. You see, I don’t just delete the crap coming in - I send it back to the creep who sent it. If everyone did this, the spammer’s inbox would quickly fill up and our problems might be solved. It’s too bad we can’t do that with the junk mail that the USPS drops on me every day.

In addition to shoving the crap back in the face of the spammers, Mailwasher allows me to define rules for automatic junk removal. Every time I receive a bogus spam e-mail, I add the sender to the blacklist. Once they’re in there, any future e-mails are automatically bounced back and I never even see the crap at all.

I even have entire internet domains in the blacklist because the bastard spammers congregate on one mail service now and then. Spammers have rendered two of my Yahoo accounts virtually unusable. The problem with some e-mail services like Yahoo and GMail is that the spammers manage to get addresses from them somehow. If you create a Yahoo e-mail account today you will have a dozen spam e-mails tomorrow. I’m beginning to think Yahoo and Google are in cahoots with the spammers.

Even worse are the stupid jerks (and I’m not naming names) who open the attachment in the e-mail from the First Nigerian Bank. Those attachments plant spyware on their computers and sometimes worms that hijack their computer into sending out more spam. Spam is fast becoming the “cholesterol” of the internet. It is clogging up everything. So wise up people. Get aggressive and get a tool like Mailwasher and fight back!

Spam Doubles, Finding New Ways to Deliver Itself
(NY TIMES) - December 6, 2006

imageimageHearing from a lot of new friends lately? You know, the ones that write “It’s me, Esmeralda,” and tip you off to an obscure stock that is “poised to explode” or a great deal on prescription drugs.

You’re not the only one. Spam is back — in e-mail in-boxes and on everyone’s minds. In the last six months, the problem has gotten measurably worse. Worldwide spam volumes have doubled from last year, according to Ironport, a spam filtering firm, and unsolicited junk mail now accounts for more than 9 of every 10 e-mail messages sent over the Internet.

Much of that flood is made up of a nettlesome new breed of junk e-mail called image spam, in which the words of the advertisement are part of a picture, often fooling traditional spam detectors that look for telltale phrases. Image spam increased fourfold from last year and now represents 25 to 45 percent of all junk e-mail, depending on the day, Ironport says.

The antispam industry is struggling to keep up with the surge. It is adding computer power and developing new techniques in an effort to avoid losing the battle with the most sophisticated spammers.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. Three years ago, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, made an audacious prediction: the problem of junk e-mail, he said, “will be solved by 2006.” And for a time, there were signs that he was going to be proved right.

Antispam software for companies and individuals became increasingly effective, and many computer users were given hope by the federal Can-Spam Act of 2003, which required spam senders to allow recipients to opt out of receiving future messages and prescribed prison terms for violators.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the volume of spam declined in the first eight months of last year. But as many technology administrators will testify, the respite was short-lived. “At the beginning of the year spam was off our radar,” said Franklin Warlick, senior messaging systems administrator at Cox Communications in Atlanta. “Now employees are stopping us in the halls to ask us if we turned off our spam filter,” Mr. Warlick said.

Mehran Sabbaghian, a network engineer at the Sacramento Web hosting company Lanset America, said that last month a sudden Internet-wide increase in spam clogged his firm’s servers so badly that the delivery of regular e-mail to customers was delayed by hours.

To relieve the pressure, the company took the drastic step of blocking all messages from several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa, where much of the spam was originating. This week, Lanset America plans to start accepting incoming mail from those countries again, but Mr. Sabbaghian said the problem of junk e-mail was “now out of control.”

Antispam companies fought the scourge successfully, for a time, with a blend of three filtering strategies. Their software scanned each e-mail and looked at whom the message was coming from, what words it contained and which Web sites it linked to. The new breed of spam — call it Spam 2.0 — poses a serious challenge to each of those three approaches.

Spammers have effectively foiled the first strategy — analyzing the reputation of the sender — by conscripting vast networks of computers belonging to users who unknowingly downloaded viruses and other rogue programs. The infected computers begin sending out spam without the knowledge of their owners. Secure Computing, an antispam company in San Jose, Calif., reports that 250,000 new computers are captured and added to these spam “botnets” each day.

The sudden appearance of new sources of spam makes it more difficult for companies to rely on blacklists of known junk e-mail distributors. Also, by using other people’s computers to scatter their e-mail across the Internet, spammers vastly increase the number of messages they can send out, without having to pay for the data traffic they generate.

“Because they are stealing other people’s computers to send out the bad stuff, their marginal costs are zero,” said Daniel Drucker, a vice president at the antispam company Postini. “The scary part is that the economics are now tilted in their favor.”

The use of botnets to send spam would not matter as much if e-mail filters could still make effective use of the second spam-fighting strategy: analyzing the content of an incoming message. Traditional antispam software examines the words in a text message and, using statistical techniques, determines if the words are more likely to make up a legitimate message or a piece of spam.

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/06/2006 at 04:52 AM   
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

Don’t Pull My Finger
NASHVILLE (WBIR-TV) - December 6, 2006

imageimageFlatulence brought 99 passengers on an American Airlines flight to an unscheduled visit to Nashville early Monday morning.

American Flight 1053, from Washington Reagan National Airport and bound for Dallas/Fort Worth, made an emergency landing here after passengers reported smelling struck matches, said Lynne Lowrance, a spokeswoman for the Nashville International Airport Authority.

The plane landed safely. The FBI, Transportation Safety Administration and airport authority responded to the emergency, Lowrance said.

The passengers and five crew members were brought off the plane, together with all the luggage, to go through security checks again. Bomb-sniffing dogs found spent matches.

The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal body odor, Lowrance said. The woman lives near Dallas and has a medical condition.

The flight took off again, but the woman was not allowed back on the plane. “American has banned her for a long time,” Lowrance said.

She was not charged but could have been. While it is legal to bring as many as four books of paper safety matches onto an aircraft, it is illegal to strike a match in an airplane, Lowrance said.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/06/2006 at 03:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
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calendar   Tuesday - December 05, 2006

Food Nazis Strike In New York

Forget the cigarette Nazis. Now we have to contend with the food Nazis. Your government is going to make sure you stay healthy whether you like it or not. Perhaps the good politicians in New York will have a heart and allow restaurants to have a “fat area” outside the back door (next to the smoking area) where customers can go stand in the rain with other similar addicts and enjoy a fried chicken leg or a basket of greasy french fies. These will be the next group of bad people alienated from society and forced to indulge their greasy habit in dark alleys and secret deep-fry hideaways on the edge of town.

What will the nanny-state come for next? How long will it be before somebody realizes that over 45,000 people die in automobile accidents every year and it’s time to ban autos. Besides, they will argue, walking is healthy. It’s coming. Pretty soon our behavior will be monitored for politically correct actions 24/7 and we all will have transmitters which will send data on our food consumption and daily exercise habits to a central computer for assignment of punishment if we deviate from government-mandated rules. Sieg heil!

Experts Say New York Trans Fat Ban a Healthy Move
NEW YORK (ABC NEWS) - December 5, 2006

imageimageFollowing the New York City Board of Health’s unanimous decision to phase trans fats off the city’s restaurant menus, experts say the move could be an important step in saving many people from heart disease.

The measure, first proposed on Sept. 26, will take effect July 1. By this date, restaurants will be barred from using most frying oils that contain artificial trans fats. And by July 1, 2008, they will have to eliminate artificial trans fats from all their foods.

Experts believe trans fats cause harm because they raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol. This combination has been found to contribute to heart disease — perhaps even more so than saturated fats.

“This is one of the most important actions taken by a city or state health department in many years,” says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. “The trans-fat ban will save thousands of lives over the next decade.” Jacobson says that other cities and states should adopt the measure, “as long as the FDA and Congress sit on the sidelines.”

“This is a good idea,” says Keith-Thomas Ayoob, associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Trans fat is not a necessity, and there are suitable substitutes.”

“Some opponents of this ban have characterized this as ‘big brother in the kitchen,’” says Meir Stampfer, professor and chairman of the Harvard School of Health’s department of epidemiology.

“To those I would ask, ‘Do you oppose the regulations requiring employees to wash their hands? Do you oppose regulations limiting pesticide residue in food?’” Stampfer adds that consumers probably will not even notice the absence of trans fats.

“This ban does not ban any food item, and its implementation will likely be virtually invisible to consumers,” Stampfer says. “It bans an industrially produced artificial ingredient in the food supply that responsible manufacturers should have taken out themselves long ago.”

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/05/2006 at 03:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningOppression •  
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Is This The Dream?

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

-- Reverend Martin Luther King, August 28, 1963

WASHINGTON (NY TIMES) - December 5, 2006 - By the time the Supreme Court finished hearing arguments on Monday on the student-assignment plans that two urban school systems use to maintain racial integration, the only question was how far the court would go in ruling such plans unconstitutional.

There seemed little prospect that either the Louisville, Ky., or Seattle plans would survive the hostile scrutiny of the court’s new majority. In each system, students are offered a choice of schools but can be denied admission based on their race if enrolling at a particular school would upset the racial balance.

At its most profound, the debate among the justices was over whether measures designed to maintain or achieve integration should be subjected to the same harsh scrutiny to which Brown v. Board of Education subjected the regime of official segregation. In the view of the conservative majority, the answer was yes.

While there is no reliable data on how common these plans are, they are thought to be widespread among school districts where residential patterns would otherwise produce neighborhood schools of one race or nearly so. Depending on how broadly the court rules, possibly hundreds of districts would need to modify or scrap voluntary integration plans.

Before the arguments on Monday, the challenge for the school board lawyers defending the plans, along with their allies in the civil rights community, had appeared to be to persuade the justices that the appropriate analogy was not to affirmative action, a freighted subject for the court in which benefits are bestowed on one group and withheld from another, but rather to integration, in which the goal is to educate everyone as equally as possible.

But by the end of the tense two hours of argument, that effort had not so much failed as it had become irrelevant. Lawyers for the school systems found themselves struggling, under the justices’ questioning, to meet the even more basic challenge of explaining why the plans should be seen as something different from the intentional segregation that the court struck down in Brown v. Board of Education.

For example, Michael F. Madden, the Seattle district’s lawyer, tried to argue that because the Seattle high schools were “basically comparable,” and “everyone gets a seat,” the court should not view the plan as “a selective or merit-based system where we adjudge one student to be better than the other.”

It was, Mr. Madden said, “a distributive system” that was “quite wholly dissimilar to a merit or selective-based system.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. countered, “Saying that this doesn’t involve individualized determinations simply highlights the fact that the decision to distribute, as you put it, was based on skin color and not any other factor.”

He added: “I mean, everyone got a seat in Brown as well. But because they were assigned to those seats on the basis of race, it violated equal protection. How is your argument that there’s no problem here because everybody gets a seat distinguishable?”

“Because segregation is harmful,” Mr. Madden replied.

“It’s an assignment on the basis of race, correct?” the chief justice persisted.

-- NEW YORK TIMES, “Court Reviews Race as Factor in School Plans”, December 5, 2006



imageimageI was 14 years old and just about to enter high school in the 9th grade when Dr. King gave this speech that summer of ‘63. I remember my father saying to my mother that it was going to stir up even more trouble back home. Fortunately for us, “back home” was over 10,000 miles away to the East across the Pacific Ocean.

At that time, my father was a Master Sergeant in the US Air Force and had been assigned to Taipei, Taiwan as a military adviser to the Republic Of China. We had just arrived in Taiwan and were trying to get used to the fact that white folks like us were definitely in the minority in this strange place where very few people spoke English ... choosing instead to jabber away at each other in some weird foreign tongue.

It was an eye-opening and enlightening experience for me and I would spend two years gradually learning Chinese and integrating myself into this strange new culture - even to the point of enjoying Chinese opera on the one TV channel ... definitely an acquired taste, let me tell you.

In school that Fall, I found myself surrounded by the United Nations ... literally. Children of upper-class Chinese, military brats like myself and more importantly all the kids of diplomats from the various embassies in Taipei. I would give everything I own if every child in America today could go through two years of high school like that. That is my dream.

You see, my parents had prepared me well for that culture shock. They themselves had already starting adjusting to the new world long before I came along. Mom and Dad were both children of the depression, born into poor sharecroppers families in the 1920’s in south Alabama. Back in those days, society in Alabama was sharply divided still.

More than sixty years after the Civil War, there were no black politicians or office holders and the black population of my parents home town had a strictly isolated section known as “darky town” with its own school. The blacks worked as hired hands and day laborers on the farms of the region - sort of an earlier version of the Mexican fruit pickers of today. None of their children went to college. They graduated from “their” school and went to work in the fields for pennies a day.

In that little section of Alabama, there was no Klan presence. None was needed. Everyone knew their place and everyone kept to his or her own. When the depression hit, it hit everyone equally. Whites and blacks both were scraping by, just barely surviving. That is the world my parents were born into. They left me an entirely different world. A better one, by far.

When war came to America in 1941, my father and all the young men in that region volunteered and went off to Europe and the Pacific to face the horror of all-out warfare in strange lands against a determined foe. A lot of the young black men volunteered also. The military was not integrated at that time so most of them served as cooks and motor pool mechanics behind the lines - but not all. The country was already beginning to change even then.

After that war, the men came home and my father married my mother. He also decided to stay in the Army as an aircraft mechanic. The pay was good and the GI Bill was there to give him a college education if he wanted it. Unfortunately, mom and dad had dropped out of school after the sixth grade, like most children of that era. Their presence was needed on the farms, not in school getting “fancy book learning” that would not be needed. At least that is what grandpappy told them.

Then on July 26, 1948 President Truman issued Presidential Order 9981 which officially ended segregation in the US Military. I was already on my way into the world at that point and seven months later mom and the docs would cut the umbilical cord and drag me kicking and screaming out of the womb and into this mess.

As a military brat, I was in an integrated world a full fifteen years before Dr. King made his speech and George Wallace made an ass out of himself. The kids I went to school with on military bases around the world were white, black, red and yellow - and we thought nothing of it. We just wanted to get a passing grade so we could all go play.

The “real world” only intruded when dad took leave and we visited relatives back home in Alabama. Things hadn’t changed much since the 1920’s down there and you could still hear the occasional “nigger joke” from some of the older kinfolk. Dad told me if I ever repeated any of them I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a month. Back then discipline came in the form of a khaki belt applied liberally to my tender backside so I took dad at his word.

So you see, I started living Dr. King’s dream long before the rest of you did and even before he spoke of that dream. That is why I am so angry today. For over fifty years now, I’ve watched the rest of the country catching up to the dream that my parents and the US military gave me back then. Desegregation of the schools, removal of all the “whites only” signs, black leaders elected to public office, black businessmen succeeding in the workplace and the general attitude shift in this country since my youth have been fun to watch.

You think nothing of seeing a black politician spouting off on TV about tax cuts or black actors receiving the Academy Award or even a black woman as Secretary Of State of the US, do you? They’re just people ... like you and me, aren’t they? That attitude shift has been the biggest sign of progress in the struggle to end racial segregation in this country in the last fifty years.

This is also why I am shocked and angered that today there are school systems that still feel the need to parcel out seats to children based on race. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in two cases this week about the legitimacy of forced integration and racial quotas. Isn’t it time to put it all behind us and recognize the fact that Dr. King’s dream (and mine) has achieved the major goal of “changing the hearts and minds” of the populace?

It’s all downhill from here, people. The hard part is over. Why keep agitating for more “equality” and strictly enforced quotas. That is what got us into this mess to begin with. Let it be. Racism against blacks in America is a dead issue. Let it die. We have more important racial issues to confront in the 21st century ... namely what to do with 11 million Hispanics and an influx of Muslims from the Middle East.

It’s time to turn our hearts and minds to the problems of the future that our children will face. How do we go about integrating into our society people who don’t even speak English or whose religion is radically different from most of us? Our parents brought us this far. It is up to us to take the next step. Let’s make “race” a word that refers to fast runners ... not slow learners.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/05/2006 at 10:10 AM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersRacism and race relations •  
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Moratorium

The results of our non-scientific poll of Republican Presidential candidates for 2008 is complete and the results are below this post. Rudy Giuliani won handily with 22% of the 474 votes cast with Newt Gingrich coming in second with 19% and Tom Tancredo third with 16%.

With that said, I vote we all declare a moratorium on the 2008 election for at least another year. All in favor say “Aye”. AYE! The “ayes” have it. Columnist and comic Will Durst agrees with me in his editorial below. Read and let me know what you think. Then let’s get ready to start kicking the Democrats’ butts when they descend on Washington next month. We have two glorious years of payback to enjoy ....

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Bob Englehart - The Hartford Courant

And They’re Not Off!
Raging Moderate
-- by Will Durst

imageimageI startled some guy in the next lane at a red light when I shouted at my radio today. A semi-famous network newscaster had come on opining how Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack could easily take the 2008 Iowa caucuses as a favorite son, resulting in a subsequent focus on South Carolina, which is John Edwards territory and this might all work out to upset the Hillary Clinton Applecart Express. AAIIIIEEEE! The guy next to me barely missed a covey of walkers as he peeled out.

I mean, okay, I know, political projection is as predictable as a spilt glass of milk before nap time at a daycare center for hyperactive four year olds. But for crum’s sake, a little common human decency, por favor. We’ve barely finished showering off the crap flung in the midterms and need a moment or so to send our clothes and our souls out to the dry cleaners. Or burn and bury them, then buy new ones.

You’d think these pundits could use a bit of time off themselves. Enough slack to recycle a few lame sports analogies and plant a couple of specious rumors. At least until the New Direction Congress is inaugurated. The 110th doesn’t even start work for more than a month. Shouldn’t they be able to break the seal on their stack of monogrammed Post-It Notes before we start talking about an event occurring at the very end of their term? I’ve seen jailhouse marriages with longer honeymoons. Just ask Duke Cunningham. Or Bob Ney. Or Mark Foley. No, second thought, best not ask Mark Foley.

Is it too much to ask to wait until a mere 22 MONTHS BEFORE the election to start handicapping our next national foray into the depths of depravity and degradation and accusations that make up a Presidential Sweepstakes? Apparently not. I bet even the Cartoon Network has a show speculating on the ‘08 frontrunners in the race to replace George Bush. Even though most of the supposed competitors haven’t even taken off their sweats yet.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The extraordinarily ambitious have been running since November 3rd of 2004 (does the term Junior Senator from New York have any meaning here?). Who cares? Let them. Let them rot in the frozen fields of Iowa and New Hampshire in the middle of this winter. But let them do it alone. Because except the poor beleaguered citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire, it doesn’t matter. Speaking for the rest of us, I have one word for all you long term prognosticators: shut up!

I DON’T CARE. If Bill Frist or Russ Feingold have dropped out. If Clinton or McCain or Edwards or Romney or Giuliani has or hasn’t formed an exploratory committee. If Barack Obama pitches a tent on the South Lawn. Not only don’t I know who Duncan Hunter is, I don’t want to know. People, we’re talking two whole years down the road. A lot of crap could hit the fan in two years. And you know these guys. They have a history of not just finding and flinging crap, but splashing and soaking in it. Give them a wide berth. That’s all I’m saying.


Comic, actor, writer, former radio talk-show host and cave-tour guide, Will Durst, thinks anyone dropping out this early was running the same way he’s running for Pope. Columns distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate, http://www.caglecartoons.com. Catch Durst in stand- up mode at the Death Penalty benefit at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco on Thursday Dec. 7th. 415.928.4320. (It’s anti- death penalty, by the way.) Or listen to his twice weekly commentaries @audible.com/willdurst. Email Will at durst@willdurst.com.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/05/2006 at 01:05 AM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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calendar   Monday - December 04, 2006

Election 2008

imageimageOn Tuesday, November 4, 2008 we will go to the polls again and we will select the 44th President Of The United States. Over the weekend all the buzz has been about Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. Republican hopefuls are staying relatively quiet for the time being. Only a few have formed exploratory committees and/or openly stated they are running.

There’s probably a good reason for that - namely that as soon as a candidate announces he or she intends to run, the witch-hunt begins and everything they did in their entire life is put under the microscope. If it were me, I’d put that off as long as possible. Then again, I have no intentions of running for political office of any kind - not even dog catcher. It ain’t worth the hassle and power has never been one of my life goals.

Regardless, the field of contenders will start to narrow down in the coming 700 days left before Election 2008. It’s pretty much a given that the Hildabeast will be the likely Democratic candidate. The media and the Left are already pressing her case. The only question is who she chooses for her running mate. Either way, the GOP better hurry up and come up with a viable candidate before it’s too late.

At this point, I’m sort of leaning toward two particular candidates - but I’m not going to tell you which ones ... yet. No, this is your chance to look over the field I’ve provided below and make your choice. Just remember, a lot can change in 700 days - especially with the Democrats in control of the House and Senate for the duration.

So cast your early vote and let’s see who you think is the best choice at this point to run for President on the Republican ticket in 2008. This poll will stay up here all day today and we’ll tally the votes tomorrow.

Poll is now closed! Results are below!

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/04/2006 at 09:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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The Cure

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/04/2006 at 03:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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Christmas Gift Idea #21

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Edible Candy Bra

Only $11.95 at Baron Bob

The Candy Bra is every man’s new favorite treat. Let’s just say you’ve never had candy that has tasted this good. Made out of the same type of candy from a candy neck or bracelet you used to eat as kid, except now it will be more fun, and you won’t get a stomach ache. The Edible Candy Bra is made of around 330 fruit-flavored candy pieces, and has just 60 calories so don’t worry about it affecting the diet.  A great romantic gift and quite the Valentine’s Night Delight.

* One size fits most.
* Made from 330 fruit-flavoured candies
* Only 40 calories
* Only 9g of carbs and 9g of sugars


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Edible Candy G-String

Only $11.95 at Baron Bob

Men love seeing G-strings. Men love eating candy.  The combination of the two just makes perfect sense and has finally come to bear fruit of a great invention. After the years of intense scientific study, and candy sampling, the Edible Candy G-String has been created.  Made out of the same type of candy from a candy neck or bracelet you used to eat as kid, except now it will be more fun, and you won’t get a stomach ache.

- Only one size available. 
- The Edible Candy G-Strings can not be returned for quite obvious reasons.

Note to the Men: this does come with a box, just maybe not the one you want.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/04/2006 at 12:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Return To Sender

ATTENTION: The US Postal Service wants you to know that if you have Christmas cards or phone bills that are addressed to zip code 10048 your mail will probably not be delivered due to circumstances beyond their control ... namely the fact that the address no longer exists. The USPS suggests you get your stupid butt up to date on current events and possibly update your mailing list. Thank you for your cooperation ....

Mail Still Being Sent to World Trade Center 5 Years After Terror Attacks
(FOX NEWS) - Monday, December 04, 2006

imageimageIt’s the kind of holiday mail that might have been tossed aside, discarded like any other piece of junk mail: a special offer for a facial at a local spa. Only the address on the letter no longer exists. And the woman the letter is addressed to died more than five years ago in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Hundreds of pieces of mail destined for the former trade center still arrive every day at a post office facing ground zero — the relics of the unfinished lives of Sept. 11 victims.

Telephone bills, insurance statements, wine club announcements, college alumni newsletters, even government checks populate the bundles of mail. Each bears the ZIP code once reserved exclusively for the twin towers: 10048.

“I guess sooner or later they’ll realize the towers aren’t back up,” said letter carrier Seprina Jones-Sims, who handles the trade center mail. “I don’t know when.”

Some of the nation’s most recognizable companies and organizations, from retailers to research hospitals, are among those sending the mail. Much of it seems to result from businesses not updating their bulk mailing lists, said U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Pat McGovern.

The postal service declined to identify the senders and recipients of the letters according to policy. Several companies formerly housed in the towers also declined comment. The trade center mail meets varied fates once it arrives at the Church Street station.

A handful of companies pay for a service that forces the post office to hold the mail until a messenger picks it up. The rest of the mail travels various routes. Some will be returned to the sender, some will be forwarded to the company’s current address and some will be sent to a Brooklyn recycling firm to be destroyed.

That the Postal Service is even forwarding mail from a nonexistent address five years later is rare. “Normally we’d only forward mail for a year, but we’re making an exception here,” McGovern said.

The trade center’s mail used to travel from the Church Street post office and up through the towers. It would start on the ground tucked in the letter carrier’s bag and continue up higher and higher — to the 68th floor, the 89th floor, the 104th floor.

The morning’s mail never made it through the flames and smoke on Sept. 11, 2001. It stayed put with the letter carriers, who silently observed the chaos that unfurled outside the post office.

Flying debris blew out most of its windows. After a three-year restoration, its doors officially reopened in August 2004.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/04/2006 at 11:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
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Bolton Resigns

It looks like the wheels are falling off the cart completely now. John Bolton just submitted his resignation to President Bush. Thanks to the Democrats and one RINO (Lincoln Chafee) the best man we’ve had at the UN in decades will be gone in January. The next two years are looking darker and darker every minute that goes by.

Bush Accepts Bolton’s U.N. Resignation
(WASHINGTON POST) - Monday, December 4, 2006; 9:55 AM

imageimageUnable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday.

Bolton’s nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.

Critics have questioned Bolton’s brusque style and whether he could be an effective bureaucrat who could force reform at the U.N. President Bush gave Bolton the job temporarily in August 2005, while Congress was in recess. Under that process, the appointment expires when Congress formally adjourns, no later than early January.

The White House resubmitted Bolton’s nomination last month. But with Democrats capturing control of the next Congress, his chances of winning confirmation appeared slight. The incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, said he saw “no point in considering Mr. Bolton’s nomination again.”

While Bush could not give Bolton another recess appointment, the White House was believed to be exploring other ways of keeping him in the job, perhaps by giving him a title other than ambassador. But Bolton informed the White House he intended to leave when his current appointment expires, White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.

Bush planned to meet with Bolton and his wife later Monday in the Oval Office. As late as last month, Bush, through his top aides, said he would not relent in his defense of Bolton, despite unwavering opposition from Democrats who view Bolton as too combative for international diplomacy.

Perino said that among Bolton’s accomplishments, he assembled coalitions addressing North Korea’s nuclear activity, Iran’s uranium enrichment and reprocessing work and the horrific violence in Darfur. She said he also made reform at the United Nations a top issue because the United States is searching for a more “credible” and more “effective.”

“Ambassador Bolton served his country with distinction and he achieve a great deal at the United Nations,” Perino said. “Despite the support of a strong bipartisan majority of senators, Ambassdor Bolton’s confirmation was blocked by a Democratic filibuster, and this is a clear example of the breakdown in the Senate confirmation process,” she said. “Nominees deserve the opportunity for a clean up or down vote. Ambassador Bolton was never given that opportunity.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/04/2006 at 10:04 AM   
Filed Under: • PoliticsUnited-Nations •  
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Heavy Medal

After failing to report or under-reporting medal winners for heroism in the war on terror for the last five years, TIME magazine now wants to know why more medals haven’t been given out. According to TIME, it’s obviously Rumsfeld’s fault, of course ...

Iraq: The War Without Honors
(TIME) Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006

imageimageAre there fewer heroes in the Iraq war than in previous wars? That’s the message the Pentagon is sending, say critics, by not awarding today’s soldiers nearly as many of the nation’s highest military honors. Three and a half years of combat in Iraq, for example, have produced only two winners of the Medal of Honor, the country’s highest military award for bravery in combat. There were, by contrast, 464 Medals of Honor handed out during America’s involvement in World War II, which lasted the same amount of time. If the government had been as stingy then as it is now, adjusting for the number of Americans who served, there would have been only 30 Medals of Honor won in the fight against fascism. The same applies to the second highest honor, the service crosses: there were 8,716 of those given out during World War II and just 26 so far in Iraq.

So what’s different in this war? For one thing, the process for getting medals has become more cumbersome. Some commanders are reacting against what they see as medal inflation in recent wars, especially Gulf War I. And there may be fewer opportunities for Audie Murphy--style heroics when your enemy is planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or driving a car bomb. But the nearly 3,000 war dead testify to the peril of those fighting in Iraq, and a growing chorus has been speaking out against the Pentagon’s parsimony. They’re asking why there have not been more élite medals and why there have been huge disparities in the number of awards given by different branches of the military. “We need to look into the criteria used and the timing. There are obvious inequities,” says Congressman John McHugh, a Republican from New York.

The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel that McHugh chairs is launching an inquiry this week into the way medals have been awarded in Iraq. The Department of Defense may be required to issue new standards or even reopen cases in which medals have been turned down or downgraded. The Pentagon, meanwhile, says it needed its own review to consider how combat--and how the military quantifies heroism--has changed since 9/11. It is considering whether there should be new guidelines set for consistency across the services. The Army, for example, has displayed a stunning generosity in handing out the mid-level Bronze Star medals: it has given out an astonishing 52,000 since 9/11, compared with fewer than 1,500 for the Marines.

Some critics think a kind of political correctness may be at play in the military. Says retired Lieut. Colonel Steve Russell, an infantry officer who served in Iraq: “Many senior officers who decide these awards have succumbed to the notion that every soldier is doing a great job and no one should be held out as better than another.” At the same time, some commanders have raised the bar for the highest awards because they say they have seen medals handed out too easily in the past. Army Lieut. General Tom Metz says he remembers clearly how a few soldiers in Vietnam took advantage of the system and won “air ribbons” often simply for taking flights in country. “[In Iraq] I was an award approver for all but the top two awards, and I was tough,” says Metz, who authorized a handful of Silver Stars during his two years in Iraq. “I am confident those who got an award with my signature on it earned it.”

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/04/2006 at 09:46 AM   
Filed Under: • Media-BiasMilitary •  
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calendar   Sunday - December 03, 2006

MOOO-hammed!

Just what is this nice young devout Muslim doing in this field with this cow? If you can’t guess then click the image below to find out. It looks to me like Mohammed is udderly in love.

Thanks to our flyboys in Afghanistan (the coordinates on the camera display point to a spot about 20 miles North of Kabul) for capturing this and Melissa In Texas for sending me the link. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program ("Sleepless in Kandahar"), already in progress ....

image


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/03/2006 at 04:45 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsRoPMAStoopid-People •  
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Christmas Gift Idea #22

Just think of all the fun you and your co-workers can have at the office with these screaming simians flying around the workplace. Buy one for all your friends (and kids) and a couple for yourself! It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Join in on this monkey business now! Do the Funky Monkey!

imageimageScreaming
Slingshot
Monkey


Only $6.99 at Stupid.com

What do you get when you cross a slingshot with a monkey?

Well, if it’s a real monkey, you probably get a dead monkey.

But if it’s a toy monkey, you get this amazing new invention.

The Slingshot Monkey is a stuffed monkey dressed like a superhero - complete with cape and mask so nobody will know his true identity.

His forearms are made of super-stretchy rubber, with special pockets in the hands so you can get a good grip on him. When you pull him back and let him go, the Super Monkey goes soaring across the room or yard.

And not only does he fly up to 50 feet, but he SCREAMS ALONG THE WAY! There’s some type of chip and speaker inside that is activated once the monkey is airborne.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/03/2006 at 03:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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SAVE THE GOAT!

It has been months since I have been able to run a goat story. I was beginning to despair of ever hearing of another goat like the one on a pole in Pakistan. This has bothered me greatly. After all, one of the primary missions of this blog is to protect the goats of the world from the Muslims who take great pleasure in humping our precious goats.

Now finally I have stumbled across another heart-warming goat story to help spread holiday cheer through the world. This goat is in Sweden, the country that gave us gorgeous blondes, Viking marauders, Bjorn Borg and ABBA - quite a set of accomplishments from a country that is frozen most of the year. This goat is huge and made of straw - which probably means it is safe from the Muslim goat “lovers”. Maybe.

The Gävle Goat, or “Gävlebocken” as it is known in Sweden, is older than Santa Claus. Unlike Jolly Old Saint Nick however, the Gävlebocken doesn’t bring presents or keep a list of who is naughty and nice (Muslims in the first category by default). No, the Gävlebocken just stands there in the middle of town - a massive statue of straw. Which brings up the subject of ... fire.

“Fire?”, you ask. Yes, the Gävlebocken has become the target of choice for Christmas terrorists. Year after year, the local fire department in Gävle has had to rush out in the middle of the night to save the goat. These goat-burning fanatics are members of the Axis Of Naughty. Yes, I can reveal all now - Glenn Reynolds and his evil minions have been behind the annual burning of the goat! And unless he gives me an “instalanche” real soon now, I’m turning him over to the Swedish Homelannden Securytie.

Key quote in the story below: “not even napalm can set fire to the goat now.” Yeah, right. Has anyone checked out the recent large shipment of ”willy pete” to a certain lawyer-type blogger in Tenessee? The Swedes better keep an eye out for Reynolds. He hates goats ... and puppies. Trust me. Would I lie to you .... ?

Swedes Guard Christmas Goat From Vandals
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - December 3, 2006, 11:52 AM EST

imageimageFor 40 years it has been torched, vandalized, had its legs cut off and even been run over by a car. But officials in the Swedish city of Gavle are guaranteeing that this year’s giant straw Christmas goat—the victim of Sweden’s most violent yule tradition—will survive unscathed.

The 43-foot-high goat—a centuries-old yule symbol that preceded Santa Claus as the bringer of gifts to Swedish homes—has been burned down 22 times since it was first set up in Gavle’s square on Dec. 3, 1966.

But for its 40th anniversary Sunday, officials think they have finally outsmarted the resourceful vandals by dousing the battered ram with flame-resistant chemicals normally used on airplanes.

“It is impossible to burn it to the ground this year, although you might be able to singe its paws,” said Anna Ostman, a spokeswoman for the committee in charge of building the goat. “After 40 years, we think we finally found the solution.”

The company providing the fireproof treatment is so sure of its resilience that its spokesman Freddy Klassmo told newspaper Aftonbladet that “not even napalm can set fire to the goat now.”

For those who want to follow its fate, a 24-hour Web cam has been set up to film the straw goat where it stands on the central square in Gavle, 90 miles north of Stockholm. However, the security guards that have watched over previous versions have been called off, Ostman said.

“We can sleep very soundly at night now,” she said. “The goat can too.” While the origins of the Christmas goat are unclear, the symbol is believed to date back to Norse mythology and the two goats that drew the carriage of Thor, the god of thunder.

Many Swedes place a small straw goat underneath their Christmas tree, or hang miniature versions on the branches. Since 1966, just 10 of Gavle’s giant goats have survived beyond Christmas Day. Aside from being burned, several were beaten down and the 1976 goat was hit by a car.

The vandals are seldom caught, but the 2001 culprit—51-year-old American Lawrence Jones—was convicted and spent 18 days in jail. The 2005 vandals—who witnesses said were dressed up as Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man—remain at large. The pair fired flaming arrows at the goat, reducing it to its steel skeleton.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 12/03/2006 at 12:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffOdd-Strange •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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