Monday, March 30, 2009

PETA Shock

Drudge links to a press release slamming PETA for its "ethical treatment of animals":
According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 2,124 pets last year and placed only seven in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have died at the hands of PETA workers...

PETA employees make no discernible effort to find homes for the thousands of pets they kill every year. Last year, the Center for Consumer Freedom petitioned Virginia’s State Veterinarian to reclassify PETA as a slaughterhouse.
It's good to see someone fighting chutzpah with chutzpah.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Walworth Free Poet Strikes Again

Remember the Free Poet of Walworth? This gem is irresistible:
Piggy Bank
it says i left my heart
in toronto canada but
its kinda cute and in good shape
In other news, Toronto sucks and I'm off to Montreal tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Read my sister's account of the destruction of a squatter slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She has worked there for nearly a year, doing a weekly "walk-through clinic". My family and I joined her for the walk once in December, so I've spoken to some of the people who are now homeless. This is the kind of first-hand account of major events in forgotten places for which the internet was invented. I excerpt here, but read the original photo essay in its entirety on Kez's blog.
[On] Saturday evening, I got a phone call. Bulldozers had come in the late afternoon and knocked down houses in the Ravine... When we got there, it was chaos. Hundreds of people milling around, piles of belongings in the street, crushed concrete and torn tin roofs lying everywhere. I cried.

The people just flocked to me. Within moments, I was surrounded by a crowd of 100 people. Small children were tugging on my hand, "Miss, they knocked down my mama's house." "Miss, we don't have any where to go." Adults told me about what happened, how the bulldozers came with police and a judge. They had a few minutes to remove their children and belongings before the machines went to work. Many of them did not get everything out before the demolition began.

Every house in that block came down and then the workers pushed the rubble into the ravine so that the people would not be able to rebuild. No one will be reimbursed for any rent they have already paid, nor has the government offered any sanctuary for the families... No one knows exactly how many houses were knocked down, but the people guessed that the total was close to 300 homes. Nearly 1000 men, women and children homeless.

I asked everyone to be quiet for a minute, and in the middle of that circle of desperate and destitute people, I prayed out loud...

In that section of the ravine, there is an old warehouse that is currently empty and on sale. Sherrie had managed to find the man who maintains the building for the owner and was trying to convince him to let some families sleep inside it for the night. My Creole is better, so I took over the negotiations. It took nearly 30 minutes of finagling, praying, pleading, and some rather shady deal-making before he agreed to open the doors.

We left after making sure that everyone in the immediate area had somewhere to sleep and we promised to come back first thing the next morning... In daylight, the extent of the destruction was even more evident. It took my breath away...

Please join me in praying for my families in the ravine, but pray also for the Haitian government. The motto of the mayor of Delmas is "God, Patriotism, and Love" - I think it would be fantastic if he started truly living by that motto.
Kez is officially my hero for the year, and definitely the toughest of the four siblings.

TOTUS Fired?

It seems the Obama administration has replaced the First Teleprompter, apparently in anger over the tell-all blog the teleprompter began on the web, which occasionally differs from the administration's official line and dishes on embarrassing White House infighting.

Update: The teleprompter claims it hasn't been fired, merely souped up with a big LCD screen. The administration remains silent on this.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Best of Craig's List

Here's a nominee for "Best of Craig's List". Go click your support!
Relatively large bird cage - approximately 3' high x 2' wide x 2' deep - total approximation, mind you. Spacial relations not guaranteed to be accurate. Likely large enough to fit a small child if desired, though not recommended.

White bars with curved top. Red square base w/ removable tray for easy (or, at least, easier) cleaning. Front door w/ securing brace. 2 sliding side doors.

Does not come w/ food/water trays. Nor does it come with a bird. Those things fly and are difficult to catch. Had two in the bush once, but I'd prefer one in the hand.

Can include some small-animal accessories if wanted. Sticks and stuff.

Kinda looks like the attached picture, though that is not it. Don't have a pic readily available, as I am in class right now, not paying attention. Might post an actual pic later if no responses. Just use your imagination to apply the aforementioned color palate to this picture for now.

NOTE - if you're my professor, let's just call me giving you this cage a fair trade for not listening to you right now, okay? Thanks.

First come, first serve - unless you're my professor, then you get it auto-style. Serious responses only, please.

English Ascendancy

The Agence France Presse reports that even in proudly Francophone Lebanon, English is overtaking French as the lingua franca. This is a worldwide trend that I've seen in Rwanda and Morocco as well: the children of Francophones are learning English, too.

This weekend, I'll be in Montreal, to see if that holds in the snottiest Francophony of them all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Prompter Speaks

After coming under intense criticism, President Obama's teleprompter has responded by starting its own weblog. This is the kind of inside, tell-all gossip that Washington lives for - enjoy it while it lasts.

Hat tip to Drudge.

Please Stow Your Tray Tables

And fasten your seatbelts.

Then, check this out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bracket Mania!

It's that time of year! The crocuses are blooming, the British evacuated Boston 233 years ago, I mowed my front lawn, and The NAME OF THE YEAR bracket is up. (I heard some colleges are still playing basketball, too. Odd.)

Head over to NOTY, print out your bracket, and check back weekly for each round of voting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Double Dutch

Team Nederland sent the vaunted Dominican Republic team home early from the World Baseball Classic with its second upset of the Dominicanos in first-round play. The Dutch team, which is notably un-star-studded, got key efforts from former MLB player Gene Kingsale, who now plays for Neptunus in Rotterdam, and Alexander Smit from Geldorp, who's now in the Cincinatti organization, among others.

Hup, Holland, hup! Laat de leeuw niet in z'n kempje staan...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Warning: If You Roll Over, You Might Fall Out

CEO Meredith Whitney tells the world that she has calculated a likely 57% contraction in the amount of unsecured credit extended to consumers by the end of 2010. What does that mean? That credit card companies will tighten up your borrowing limit, or refuse to renew accounts.

For those of us who live and pay responsibly, this won't have much of an impact. After all, the credit card companies do make money off of people using their service, and they aren't panicking yet. But if you're living on borrowed money, and rolling over debt from month to month, or from card to card, you could find that your ability to do so suddenly disappears.

When card companies start refusing marginal card-users additional credit, the overdue bills will crash into them like a freeway pileup, each one adding to the carnage as it comes due. If you're in first situation (rolling over debt monthly) and you want to avoid being in the second one (your own personal credit crunch), you should focus on paying down that debt, and put off the extra purchase you've been planning on.

This Is The Man Joe Biden Warned You About

Remember Joe Biden's impolitic honesty back in October?
"It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy... Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
Well, Joe, Global Review remembers. And here's a toast to Mr. President! All the best in dealing with Kim Jung Il's test of his missiles and your mettle. The world needs a strong America - and it's Mr. Obama's time to be the will behind that strength.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Introducing: Aid Watch

I've been a fan of Bill Easterly since reading his book White Man's Burden. I just discovered he has a blog, Aid Watch. Recent posts include "Can You Justify Buying Fine Wine Rather Than Saving the Life of an African Child?" and "The UN’s 66-Year-Old Virgin". Aid Watch will remain in the Blogs link section.

Enjoy - and work for accountability in the charities you support.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Evan Bayh Gets Off the Omnibus

Even Democratic senator Evan Bayh opposes the $410 billion porkapalooza known as the The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. He explains in this editorial why he's bucking his own party.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My New Favorite Saint

St. Crispin.

McCain Finds His Voice

Dana Milbank reports a tirade by John McCain on the Senate floor. Mac is justifiably angry - while Obama and Congress speak on the airwaves about the need for decisive stimulus spending and how important it is that the future taxpayers go $1,000,000,000,000 *more* in debt for it, the lawmakers are padding the bill with the usual gimmes.

Taxpayers don't want to go in debt for pig odor research, cultural centers in other states, or "sustainable Las Vegas". How about sustainable debt?!

I did not support McCain for president, but I am glad to see he's back in the Senate doing the good work.
"So much for the promise of change," McCain began. Buttoning his coat and straightening his tie, he reminded everybody again that both he and Obama vowed to end earmarks. "President Obama said during the debate in Oxford, Mississippi, quote, 'We need earmark reform. And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure we're not spending money unwisely.' " Instead, McCain said, several table thumps later, "the president will sign this appropriations bill into law -- it's the president's business."