Apr 11, 2009

In lock step with advertising mural

An elderly man walks past an advertisement for clothes on a street in Pristina, Kosovo.

Somali pirates seize US owned boat with 10 Italians aboard

In the latest hijacking, pirates captured a U.S.-owned and Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew including 10 Italians today in the busy Gulf of Aden.

The tugboat was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast as it was pulling barges.

After the French incident on Friday, Somali pirates may not attack French vessels for a while.

(click on map to enlarge)

With US inaction and a president bent on apologizing to the world, our ships seem to be a safer target for the pirates.

The Foreign Ministry in Rome confirmed 10 of the 16 crew members are Italian. Italian government officials and the company that owned the vessel were involved in trying to secure their release.

French forces ended their pirate crisis on Friday when they freed four hostages after pirates seized the yacht Tanit off the Somalia coast. One of the hostages was killed.

Photos above show the French yacht Tanit, with armed pirates aboard. A French hostage was killed and four others were freed on Friday when French forces attacked pirates who had seized the yacht off Somalia.


Team Obama unsure how to handle pirate crisis

From the article at the link below:

Some in the Defense Department have been frustrated by what they see as a failure to act. Many other national security officials say an ill-considered strike would have negative diplomatic and political consequences far beyond the Horn of Africa.

Underscoring the high stakes involved, France's navy on Friday freed a sailboat seized off Somalia last week by other pirates, but one of the hostages was killed.

Will our elite Navy SEALs to attempt to rescue the captain?

If Navy SEALs do go in and rescue the Captain, the irony will be that the very military that was able to deliver Obama a victory in this crisis will still see deep budget cuts so his social programs can be generously funded.

When Jimmy Carter had his hostage crisis in 1979 he at least let the world know he was trying to do something about it even though it took 444 days to release the 52 U.S. diplomats held by the Iranians.

While the world is watching Mr. Obama is silent. Hillary, on the other hand, is making light of the crisis as shown in the short video posted here. In the second half of the video Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a good laugh about the piracy crisis.

When will Obama speak out and at least acknowledge the crisis and ask for prayers for the Captain rather than remain silent appearing to the world to be a weak appeaser.

We have a president with a great speaking voice who can read his teleprompter pronouncements flawlessly. Now, however, he is silently finishing his pizza while the entire world watches.


Apr 10, 2009

Dad smashes phone after $4,756 texting bill

The good news:

A Cheyenne, Wyoming teen had fun sending 10,000 text messages and receiving another 10,000.

The bad news:

The family did not have a texting plan on their Verizon contract.

Not only is Dena’s phone in a plastic bag smashed to bits, she is grounded until the and of the school year.

When Gregg Christoffersen got the Verizon bill for $4,756.25, he got out his hammer and took care of his daughter’s phone.

The grades for 13-year-old Dena Christoffersen (pictured) went from A's and B's one semester to F's in two months.

The family says Verizon has been willing to knock the bill down to a reasonable level.


Six Chinese gymnasts on same bicycle

(click on picture to enlarge)

President silent on pirate crisis

A report at the link below says that Obama is “careful and quiet” on the pirate crisis. He has let his surrogates do the talking.

There isn’t anything in the community organizers handbook about pirates, so it’s time to just ‘vote present.’ Besides, the media will be focused on hiding Easter eggs in the White House rose garden so he won’t need to talk about pirates right now.

This is just one merchant ship captain. Compared to the Carter hostage crisis that lasted for 444 days when 52 U.S. diplomats were held hostage in Iran from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, this is insignificant and the media won’t expect him to do anything.

He can let Hillary handle it if she can just stop laughing about the crisis as shown in the video below.

(click on picture to see video)

The Obama “keeping quiet story” is here.

Jewish worshipper during blessing of the sun prayer

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshipper uses special glasses during the special "Blessing of the Sun" prayer at sunrise in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod.

Devout Jews around the world on Wednesday observed a ritual performed only once every 28-years, saying their morning prayers under the open sky in the "blessing of the sun", called the Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew.

(AP Photo / April 8, 2009)

The Obama bow: eyes win - lies lose

No one would make a big deal of “the bow” if the White House hadn’t denied that Barack Obama bowed deeply to Saudi Arabia King Abdullah.

Reluctant to report anything that would show Mr. Obama in a negative way, the main stream media has been silent on the subject.

The story is officially "in play" now that the White House has spoken, albeit from an anonymous source.

American citizens are implicitly asked to view the demi-prostration and decide for themselves. The evidence simply does not support the official position of the Obama administration.

Barack Hussein Obama didbow deeply to King Abdullah as the video below shows.

Obama acted as if he was a loyal subject of the King of Saudi Arabia rather than the president of the United States.

(click on picture to see video)

Link here and here.

Apr 9, 2009

Negotiating with pirates for American ship captain

Pirates captured six vessels in a week. One was the U.S.- registered Maersk Alabama cargo ship on Wednesday.

Somali pirates briefly hijacked the 17,000-ton freighter, but the 20 American crew retook control after a confrontation far out at sea.

With a U.S. warship on site keeping watch early today, Somali pirates and American seamen engaged in a standoff.

The assault on the U.S.- registered Maersk Alabama cargo ship marked the first attack against a U.S.-flagged vessel off Africa since the days of the Barbary pirates more than 200 years ago, a maritime official said.

Four pirates were holding the captain, Richard Phillips (pictured), on the ship's lifeboat after he apparently volunteered to be a hostage for the sake of his crew.

The U.S. warship Bainbridge (shown above) is now on the scene as the Pentagon is seeking a peaceful solution.

The Pentagon is not ruling out any option in freeing Captain Phillips.



Shaolin Wu-Shu Warriors show their expertise as the Chinese State Circus arrives in London.

Obama Chia Pet pulled from store shelves

Some Walgreen's stores are pulling a Chia Pet likeness of Barack Obama off their shelves. The 'Chia Obama' will no longer be sold there.

Walgreen's spokesman Michael Polzin explained to FOX 13 that local store managers have the ability to purchase and market products -- like the Chia Obama -- on their own.

But now, the corporate office has asked stores to pull the product from their stores because, he said, it is not appropriate for the company's corporate image.

The Chia Obama is a version of the Chia Pet line, which features a ceramic figure upon which fresh greens are planted and allowed to grow, filling out the likeness of the subject.

Will Walgreen’s be called racist for saying “no we can’t” to the Obama Chia Pet?


Two NJ men charged with staging UFO hoax

A judged fined two New Jersey men $250 each for staging a UFO hoax. They will have more earthly pursuits as the judge also sentenced them to perform 50 hours of community service such as picking up trash from the side of the road.

Authorities say the pair triggered a flurry of 911 calls when they lit road flares tied to helium balloons and released them in central New Jersey in January and February.

The men said they did it to trick people who believe in UFOs. They posted details of their exploits on a Web site on April Fools' Day.

The prosecutor charged them with disorderly conduct, saying the balloons could have interfered with air traffic and posed a potential fire hazard.


White House claims Obama did not bow to Saudi King

The White House is denying that Mr. Obama bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a scene that drew much criticism here at home and praise from some Arab outlets.

"It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Check the photo below and decide for yourself.

The Washington Times called the alleged bow a shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate and said it violated centuries of American tradition of not deferring to royalty.

The Weekly Standard, meanwhile, noted that American protocol rules out bowing.


Apr 8, 2009

US crew retakes cargo ship from Somali pirates but captain held hostage

US crew retakes cargo ship from Somali pirates but captain held hostage
The Pentagon reported that the American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, retook control of the vessel from Somali pirates.

The man, who picked up the ship's satellite phone but did not identify himself, told the AP in a brief conversation that the crew had retaken control of the ship and the pirates were in a lifeboat. But the man also said that they were holding the ship's captain hostage.

The ship was carrying emergency food relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked, the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk said.

It was the sixth vessel seized within a week, a rise that analysts attribute to a new strategy by Somali pirates who are operating far from the warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden.


Shrine to Jimmy Carter is a No we Can’t

The shrine to Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia appears to be on the chopping block.

The Plains outpost, which resembles a log cabin, is in some ways an easy target [for losing State finding].

It is the least-visited of Georgia's 11 state-run visitor's centers, attracting 65,000 people last year.

By comparison, centers on heavily trafficked routes along busy interstate highways routinely attract several hundred thousand drivers each year.

One wonders if the low visitor count at the Carter “shrine” is due its remote location or to the forgettable Carter presidency.

Maybe it should be made into a shrine of Jimmy Carter’s accomplishments:

Interest rates of 20.5%

Inflation of 14%

Allowing Iran to hold hostages for 444 days

Giving away the Panama Canal

Oh, yes - have a Billy Beer while you’re pondering Jimmy’s accomplishments.

Gotta hand it to the state of Georgia for making the least economically-viable visitor center in Georgia the one devoted to the Jimmy Carter presidency.

The Jimmy shrine story is here.

Happiness Index: Nebraska ranks first

A report at the link below says that the folks in Nebraska are happier than you.

The state that brought you "Kool-Aid” and “CliffsNotes” and the world’s richest person, Warren Buffett (Stock Quote: BRK.A), is feeling better off than the rest of us, according to MainStreet.com’s new Happiness Index.

The Cornhusker state was awarded the top ranking because:

It ranked 2nd overall in lowest number of foreclosures

It ranked 2nd in lowest unemployment rates

It ranked 5th in lowest percentage of non-mortgage debt by income

Other states did better than Nebraska in particular areas, but none had a higher blended average.

More of the story here.

Judge tosses Stevens verdict then blasts prosecutors

Ted Stevens (pictured), former Republican Senator from Alaska, won’t be “railroaded” after all much to the chagrin of overzealous prosecutors.

A federal judge dismissed the corruption conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens on Tuesday and took the rare and serious step of opening a criminal investigation into prosecutors who mishandled the case.

"In nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said.

After vacating the previous verdict, Judge Sullivan appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Justice Department lawyers who repeatedly mishandled witnesses and withheld evidence from defense attorneys during the month-long trial.

Stevens was convicted in October of lying on Senate forms about home renovations and gifts he received from wealthy friends.

The case cost Stevens a Senate seat he had held for 40 years. Once the Senate's longest-serving Republican, he narrowly lost to Democrat Mark Begich shortly after the verdict.

Sullivan appointed Washington attorney Henry Schuelke as a special prosecutor to investigate contempt and obstruction by the Justice Department team.

Judge Sullivan said the matter was too serious to be left to an internal investigation by the department, which he said has dragged its feet looking into the misconduct.


Another polar ice greenhouse effect unsubstantiated warning

A scientist who tracks levels of ice and snow in the Arctic Ocean told CNSNews.com Monday that there is a “correlation” between the receding ice in the Arctic Sea and man-made global warming caused by the greenhouse effect. However his group’s own research shows otherwise.

Dr. Walter Meier, a cryosphere scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo., admits he can’t prove that the link is cause-and-effect.

He is like so many other scientists who expect us to believe their global warming claims when they can’t back up the science.

It’s a lot like the Dan Rather logic: fake but accurate.


Apr 7, 2009

PUMA: electric urban vehicle by GM and Segway

General Motors Corp. and Segway Inc. are working together to develop the two-wheeled, two-seat electric vehicle shown here.

The PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) is said to be a fast, efficient, inexpensive and clean alternative to traditional vehicles in an urban environment.

Segway makes the gyroscopically balanced scooter they call a people transporter. The PUMA is a Segway for two.

The Segway transports one rider in a standing position. The PUMA accommodates two people in a sitting position.

More information here.

Proud of his qualifying accomplishment

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

The cup says,Thanks for our new ping pong table.

Nazi war crimes suspect to be deported for new trial in Germany

John Demjanjuk was a former guard at the Sobibor death camp in German-occupied Poland in 1943.

Photo on left shows Mr. Demjanjuk as a young guard at Sobibor. Left photo shows John Demjanjuk as he appears today.
Sentenced to death over 20 years ago by the Israeli authorities as a Nazi war criminal but later freed when fresh evidence undermined the basis of his conviction, Demjanjuk again expects to face charges, this time alleging that he helped to murder many thousands of Jews at a Nazi death camp.

If the case proceeds, with Demjanjuk now 89 and remaining witnesses also elderly, this could be the last such prosecution for crimes committed during the Holocaust.

Mr. Demjanjuk, a retired auto mechanic from Cleveland, Ohio has never changed his name nor tried to hide.

More of the story here.

Approval poll not looking so good for the teleprompter guy

The presidential approval index shown below, from Rasmussenreports.com, shows a trend that does not bode well or Mr. Obama.

(click on chart to enlarge)

The poll shows the number of likely voters who strongly approve of Obama declining while the number of likely voters who strongly disapprove of Obama keeps increasing.

This may continue as people prepare their income tax forms and realize that their investment income potential and their 401K balances have dropped like lead balloons.

Members of the “he will pay my mortgage and buy my gas” crowd are also becoming disillusioned because the Obama “spread the wealth” policy is moving too slow for them.


Apr 6, 2009

George W. Bush throws first pitch of baseball season

Former President George W. Bush throws out the season opening first pitch with Nolan Ryan looking on before the baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

(AP Photo April 6, 2009)

Italy muzzled scientist who foresaw quake

A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early on Monday, killing more than 130 people, making up to 50,000 homeless and flattening entire medieval towns while residents slept.

Most of the dead were in L'Aquila, a 13th century mountain city about 100 km (60 miles) east of Rome, and nearby towns and villages in the Abruzzo region.

An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L'Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population.

Vans with loudspeakers had driven around the town a month ago telling locals to evacuate their houses after seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani predicted a large quake was on the way, prompting the mayor's anger.

Giuliani, who based his forecast on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas, was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet.


Three minute pizza from a machine

An authentic pizza in three minutes from a vending machine gets a heavy topping of scorn from Italy's chefs.

Claudio Torghele, who has invented the "Let's Pizza" machine, claims that it can make a pizza by beating flour and water into a dough, stretching the dough into the classic round shape and then adding tomato sauce and toppings to choice - cheese and tomato, vegetables, ham or bacon - before baking it in an infrared oven and finally sliding the finished product into the hands of the customer, all for a modest €3.50 (£3.25) ($4.80).

That's half the price of eating one in the average Italian pizzeria.

More here.

Methamphetamine, Mark, Luke and John

Police investigators in Elkhart, Indiana say they found a hand-written recipe for making methamphetamine in an odd place: in a Bible.

Police officers made the discovery as they searched an apartment after arresting two people on methamphetamine possession and manufacturing charges.


Stop it this minute or we will tell the UN on you!

The Associated Press had this caption below the photo shown here:

This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows a missile on the launchpad at Musudan-ni, North Korea formally know as Taepo-dong missile launch facility. The image was collected Sunday March 29, 2009. CNN has said North Korea has begun fueling a long-range rocket for an impending launch Thursday April 2, 2009 as President Barack Obama warned the liftoff would be a "provocative act" that would generate a U.N. Security Council response.

What will the UN do besides pass on Obama’s complaint?

If firing a missile is a threat to us why don’t we shoot it shot down before it can do damage to us or to our allies? Isn’t that why we sent warships into the area?

Camilla admires Prince Charles’ knees

Camilla: Charles, you have ever such lovely knees!

Obama says North Korea must avoid provocative acts

Barack Obama called on North Korea to refrain from further "provocative actions" and said its launch of a Taepodong-2 missile violated United Nations rules.

It’s rather like a parent scolding a child before sending him to his room without his iPod. If North Korea does it again will Obama send a protest letter or make another speech?

A Lucianne comment about the Korean incident:

The rest of the world is learning that the United States has the weakest President since Calvin Coolidge. They are going to push him around knowing full well that all he is prepared to do is read a speech off of a teleprompter in response to their actions.

We had ships in the general proximity capable of shooting the missile down. What if the next missile doesn’t go astray?


Apr 5, 2009

Protesting the NATO summit

A protestor wore a mask that is shaped like a skull during a demonstration against the NATO summit in Strasbourg, France.

Brave honeymooners can rent a palace room and sleep in Saddam’s bed

A report at the link below says that Saddam Hussein’s bed awaits daring honeymooners as the former Iraqi dictator's palatial boudoir is being offered to newlyweds for £150 ($221) a night.

Some might think it macabre but Iraq is offering honeymooners the chance to spend their wedding night in Saddam Hussein’s bed.

As the country gingerly begins to revive a war-ravaged tourism industry, the former dictator’s bedroom is on offer for £150 a night in a presidential palace that is undergoing renovation in the town of Hillah, some 60 miles south of Baghdad.

With its Roman columns, chandeliers and gargantuan bathrooms, the palace is a striking example of excess, and one of several reserved for the exclusive pleasure of the dictator, who was deposed in 2003 and executed in 2006.

More of the story here.

Cherry blossoms in Washington, DC

The Jefferson Memorial is in the background.

Nod to Queen of England and deep bow to King of Saudi Arabia

The video below shows Obama giving the Queen of England, our closest ally, an excuse me mini-bow. Later in the video, Obama gives a deep, enthusiastic bow to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

(click on picture to see video)

It is King Abdullah’s royal family that funds radical mosques in the United States and wouldn’t allow us to investigate the al-Qaeda attack on the Khobar Towers (shown below).

(click on picture to enlarge)

The Khobar Towers bombing killed 19 US servicemen and wounded hundreds of others of many different nationalities.