Thursday, August 31, 2006

do the math

Former president Jimmy Carter has agreed in principle to host former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami for talks during his visit to the United States starting this week.
In Jimmy Carter we have a man that is so far removed from reality, he once referred to the Ayatollah Khomeini as a fellow man of faith.
The Logan Act:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

matching cars

Do all drivers tend to notice other cars on the road that are the same as their own? I always have, and Dustbury does too.

For me, it's not just my current car, I notice cars similar to all the cars I've previously owned or driven - which is not a short list, but is heavily weighted towards Ford models.

Last Monday was unusual though. At one stoplight on my way to work, there were two Mustangs adjacent to me, identical to mine in year, color, body style and trim. Plus, there were two newer Mustangs at the intersection - a red one going in the opposite direction, and a white one to my right.

arab translation

cease fire = reload

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

pro and con

JB Williams reminds us of the definitions of American and un-American.

(...and also reminds us where the real culture of corruption is.)

Time to play "Beat The Clock"

Robert Tracinski says "the war is coming, no matter how hard we try to evade it":
The time is very short now before we will have to confront Iran. The only question is how long we let events spin out of our control, and how badly we let the enemy hit us before we begin fighting back.

We can't avoid this war, because Iran won't let us avoid it. That is the real analogy to the 1930s. Hitler came to power espousing the goal of German world domination, openly promising to conquer neighboring nations through military force and to persecute and murder Europe's Jews. He predicted that the free nations of the world would be too weak—too morally weak—to stand up to him, and European and American leaders spent the 1930s reinforcing that impression. So Hitler kept advancing—the militarization of the Rhineland in 1936, the Spanish bombing campaign in 1937, the annexation of Austria and the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the invasion of Poland in 1939—until the West finally, belated decided there was no alternative but war.

That is what is playing out today. Iran's theocracy has chosen, as the nation's new president, a religious fanatic who believes in the impending, apocalyptic triumph of Islam over the infidels. He openly proclaims his desire to create an Iranian-led Axis that will unite the Middle East in the battle against America, and he proclaims his desire to "wipe Israel off the map," telling an audience of Muslim leaders that "the main solution" to the conflict in Lebanon is "the elimination of the Zionist regime." (Perhaps this would be better translated as Ahmadinejad's "final solution" to the problem of Israel.)

Like Hitler, Ahmadinejad regards the free nations of the world as fading "sunset" powers, too morally weak to resist his legions of Muslim fanatics. And when we hesitate to kill Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq, when we pressure Israel to rein in its attacks on Hezbollah, when we pander to the anti-Jewish bigotry of the "Muslim street"—we reinforce his impression of our weakness.

The result has been and will be the same: Iran will press its advantage and continue to attack our interests in the Middle East and beyond. The only question is when we will finally decide that Iran's aggression has gone too far and its theocratic regime needs to be destroyed.


You don't suppose this stuff just might have an impact on fish & wildlife, do you?


HIH is the 2nd of 135,000 Google search results for imaginary tea fundraiser template.

As Angelica would say, "I have no response to that..."


Like an airplane through a building, like an SUV through a crowd.

the katrina anniversary

update: Scrappleface has similar thoughts in a more humorous setting.

like cold water on hotheads:
all of this "Katrina Anniversary" stuff is asinine, primarily because it consists of a large number of people complaining that the government "isn't doing its job" and other such foolishness (interestingly, ALL of the complaining comes from New Orleans). Um...guess what? It isn't the government's job to evacuate cities, rebuild cities, give people money to rebuild their home, et cetera. So quit your whining and act like real Americans - you know, self-made and hard-working and all that. The cries of civic pride make me roll my eyes; what civic pride? For one thing, New Orleans was already a crime-ridden dump of a city before Katrina. If these people had civic pride in their city, they'd get to work rebuilding and cleaning up, not waiting for the feds to roll in and fix everything for, kind of like the people in Mississippi and Alabama and Florida. They wouldn't have let New Orleans become a socialist welfare state rife with crime and immorality that is reminiscent of late Rome. Civic pride, my tail. Mobile has civic pride. Mississippi has civic pride (a LOT of it, too). Mississippi has civic pride. New Orleans has casinos and shiftless people demanding a handout.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

this just in


All dead

summary of disproportionate response

Steven den Beste at Chicago Boyz:
It's possible for guerrillas to win directly, but the doctrine doesn't assume that to be the only way victory can be achieved. The idea is to try to fight a long slow war and to build strength. Guerrillas try to maintain a force-in-being, and concentrate heavily on propaganda. By so doing they try to wear out their opponent, try to rally supporters, and try to find patrons elsewhere to support the fight. When handled ideally all these begin slow but increase in effectiveness as time goes on. As their strength builds, they can make more attacks, and get more headlines. The other side's war weariness grows. Patrons see the guerrillas winning and are more enthusiastic about providing more and better weapons and supplies to help them. Locals see them winning and are more likely to join or otherwise support them.

Anyone recognize Hezbollah in what I just wrote?


Why did so many people demand "proportionate" responses from Israel, and condemn Israel's bombing campaign as being "disproportionate"? It's because Israel refused to play the game. Israel opened up an offensive which ran at a logistically unsustainable rate for Hezbollah, which Hezbollah could not avoid fighting. The code word "proportionate" really meant, "Israel, you have to limit yourself to fighting at a level that Hezbollah can sustain. Otherwise it's just not fair!"

Of course that's idiocy; war isn't about fairness. But that's what they were really saying. Hezbollah did make a major mistake in that attack, because they had developed to the point where they actually presented a target Israel could fight against at a tempo Israel could sustain but Hezbollah could not. Israel had the opportunity to crush Hezbollah, but Olmert lost his nerve.
read it all, and the comments too.

the UN is a safety hazard

and its building is unsafe too. i certainly hope no arsonists read that article...

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Secret of Nym

For those of you (like me) who don't know the difference between a meronym and a paronym, here's a handy reference.

good ideas, whoever said them

I was forwarded an email regarding Australian Treasurer Peter Costello's comments about Islam, but I cannot find any verification online that they are actually true. (The end of this article was the closest I could find). Given the spelling errors that needed correction, and the tone of the piece, I highly suspect these are not the words of Peter Costello. However, there are still a few good suggestions for any country wanting to be free:
If you can't agree with parlimentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law, (perhaps you should) go to another country which practices it.

Basically, people who do not want to be Australians, and who don't want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off. Immigrants, not Australians, must adapt. Take it or leave it.

I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the politically correct crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge againse anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand: This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle.

This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language.

Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us. If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go," then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means keep your culture, but do not force it on others. This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle. We will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this, but once you done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our Christian beliefs, and our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one of the other great Australian freedoms: The right to leave. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So, accept the country you accepted.
For a much lighter take on the topic, read this.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Laurence of non-Arabia apologizes:
I'd like to take a moment to apologize to all the Muslim readers of IMAO out there for falsely characterizing Islam as a backward and barbaric religion that forces non-Muslims to convert to Islam or face the sword.

After all, this is 2006, and nobody uses swords anymore. The implement of death used to threaten nonbelievers is the gun.

Only by getting rid of such wild myths and false accusations can we, the Western World, come to a better understanding of our Muslim neighbors.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Powerline notes that Gary "Monkey Business" Hart tried to compare today's America with ancient Rome:
(Hart) argues that the Bush administration represents the end of the American republic, just as the accession of Augustus as Emperor of Rome signaled the end of the Roman republic. Here is Hart's extremely subtle analysis:
So much for the dates and names. The question is how Augustus became emperor. How did he go about finally ending a republic founded in 510 BC? The army, the courts, and religion. The keys to the creation of the Roman Empire.
Surely you can see it coming: George W. Bush has taken command of the U.S. Army and used it to assassinate his political opponents, like John Kerry, Howard Dean and Ned Lamont... Just like President Bush has taken over the churches and required that all citizens worship his ancestors - Bush 41! - as gods.

Gary Hart is sadly typical of the (DNC): an ignoramus masquerading as an intellectual.

For what it's worth, if a neutral observer were looking for a parallel to the Roman Empire, he might well find it in Hart's famous sex-booze-and-rock-and-roll debauchery aboard the Monkey Business, which led to his salutary retirement from public life.
Proposing a Mark Steyn TV talk show, Hugh Hewitt says:
Television has never attempted a program genuinely powered by intellect. I am not sure it would work, but a weekly hour long talk show hosted by Steyn and featuring the folks named above would be worth watching, especially if Steyn did not feel obliged to "balance" time each show but only over the season. I suspect it will never get made because television's "best and brightest" wouldn't understand and wouldn't enjoy not understanding.

safer than dodgerock

...but not much

Friday, August 25, 2006

the big business of politics and science

Go read The Stem Cell Hustle by Dean Barnett at Hugh Hewitt. It's tough to find one key sentence to summarize, but here are some samples:
If you’re a medical researcher, you’re always competing for your share of charity dollars. The professional fund-raising class knows this. The pie of charitable giving (and taxpayer funding) isn’t particularly elastic. So a dollar that goes to AIDS treatment is a dollar that won’t be going to cancer research. It’s just the way it is. That’s why charities behave the way they do. They pursue big donors with the ardor of a high school nerd who’s smitten by the head cheerleader...

If stem cell research is no longer a political issue, stem cell champions of the moment like John Edwards will cease peddling pernicious lies like the one he offered about Christopher Reeve. And without credentialed cretins like John Edwards promising miracles, sufferers (and potential sufferers) of all sorts of diseases will have to deal with their reality instead of breathlessly awaiting a miracle that they believe is imminent but that is, at best, far away.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

wouldn't it be nice

if taxpayers didn't have to foot the bill for the destruction of their country?

eugenics by default

as explained by an outlaw:
This emerging public consensus in favor of eugenics is not the product of any sort of reasoned debate. There has been no referendum, no debate in Congress, no move to amend the Constitution. It's emerging from the collective force of countless decisions by loving and caring mothers and fathers, in consultation with conscientious medical professionals who are using the truly miraculous and astonishing discoveries of brilliant scientists plunging deeper and deeper into the mysteries of life. These people are not intentionally practicing eugenics in order to create a perfect master race. They are simply trying to alleviate potential suffering and protect the quality of the lives they are bringing into the world.

But it is time for us to acknowledge the collective effect of these private decisions. Do we truly endorse the implicit message we are sending to our disabled brothers and sisters — that our commitment to diversity does not extend to genetic diversity? We need to confront the disconnect between how we see ourselves... and how people living with the disabilities we would identify for extinction must see us.


Astronomers now agree that Pluto is goofy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How long until America wakes up?

The smoke alarm gets louder and louder, but most Americans seem to swat at the alarm clock and roll over.

if Nosferatu was a chipmunk

original here

As The World Turns

Hmm, the 12th imam didn't show up yesterday? Maybe he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened...

e-hanging chad

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: anything that can be used to defraud voters and undermine confidence in the electoral process must be eliminated. (as if DNC antics weren't bad enough...)

on the ceasefire

VDH does have a way with words. Examples:
It would be as if Reuters, AP, or the New York Times embedded its reporters within the Waffen SS, beaming daily reports back home about the great morale and noble suffering of the Wehrmacht as it advanced into the snowy Ardennes...

Even the ceasefire can come back to bite the Islamists and their supporters. Hezbollah won’t be disarmed as promised, much less stay out of Katyusha range of the border. And that defiance will only reveal the impotence of the Lebanese and the U.N., reminding both that they have talked themselves into a corner and now are responsible to keep caged their own pet 7th-century vipers. This can only work to Israel ’s favor when the next rockets go off...

Three years ago no one was talking about profiling at airports. Now the British are exploring how best to do it. Indeed, one of the stranger developments in recent memory is now taking place the world over: Young, Middle-Eastern, Muslim men are eyed and studied by passengers at every airport — even as governments still lecture about the evils of the very profiling that their own millions are doing daily. Muslims can thank al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and an entire culture that won’t condemn terrorism for such ostracism, which only increases with each suicide bomber, human shield, hijacking, kidnapping, and macabre reference to genocide and Jew-killing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

global warming

More inconvenient truth for the cult of gaia: The oceans are cooling:
The world's oceans cooled suddenly between 2003 and 2005, losing more than 20 percent of the global-warming heat they'd absorbed over the previous 50 years. That's a vast amount of heat, since the oceans hold 1,000 times as heat as the atmosphere. The ocean-cooling researchers say the heat was likely vented into space, since it hasn't been found stored anywhere on Earth.
Algore must be spinning in his grave...

not with a bang

but with commercial bumper music every 10 minutes right after traffic and weather.

whaddya know

African-Americans are victims after all!
Part of the problem black America faces is that African Americans have been conditioned by liberal political and social philosophy to believe that racism is the cause of all their ills... They've been led to think that the problems of the poor can be resolved by throwing more money at them. They've embraced the lies of the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s that whispered, like the serpent in the garden, that drugs were liberating and that sex is a form of recreation, that families don't need fathers, that single motherhood is just fine. Their children have languished in sub-standard schools whose educational mission is impeded by teacher unions which in some cases weigh down urban schools with onerous salary and working condition demands and which fight tooth and nail to prevent any form of school choice from being made available to parents.

In other words, modern African-Americans are indeed victims, but not of racism, per se. They are victims of something whose consequences are just as insidious - post-WWII secular liberalism. The sooner blacks shed the chains that have held them in thrall to the Democratic party, and the nostrums that have been foisted upon them for the last forty years, the sooner they will begin to benefit from opportunities which have been for too long unappreciated and unavailed.

Happystar Birthdayrunner

Homestar Runner is 10 years old, scalawag.

The UN makes sense

if you're walking on your hands...

Monday, August 21, 2006

bill bill

Everyone who has ever come into contact with the malignant virus that is Windows should send in a similar bill to Bill.

lost in translation

Even though the subject matter (artificial languages) is quite arcane, this piece about translating porpoise poetry is still amusing.
I received the following message which is purported to be poetry written by a porpoise. My assignment was to produce a translation of the meaning of the poem, with the understanding that the poetic nature of the original might be lost.

This task was considerably more difficult than the usual run-of-the-mill assignment translating geckos or cockroaches. Although non-standard transliterations are quite common, in this case the choice of transliteration scheme nearly rendered the task impossible. Representing porpoise speech entirely with the characters "E" and "e" meant that much of the nuance of the individual words was lost.

However, I believe I have accomplished the task. Standard representation of porpoise speech, which consists of a pitch/volume/duration triplet for each squeak. Of course, the original is lacking in all three of those values. However, we made the simplifying assumption that the number of "e" characters correspond to a duration, we also assumed that the capital "E" characters indicated a higher volume than the "e" characters. We created for each squeak an estimated *range* of possible values, based on our simplifying assumptions. Then, we ran a computer matching program that generated every possible word that the might be indicated. In several cases there was only one possible word. Based on these we could eliminate some of the possibilities for other words, in some cases due to grammatical impossibility and in others on consistency in meaning.

Here are the results of our efforts:

  • E - I-see-it [via echo-location] or seaweed or tentacle
  • Ee - good-luck!
  • EeEeEeEe - right [correct, exclamation of agreement]
  • Eee - thermocline
  • Eeee - behold or to-bite-the-flukes of
  • EeeeEeeeE - underneath-and-to-the-right
  • EeeeeEeeeeE - go-for-it [exhortation to strive, whatever the odds]
  • Eeeeeeee - so-near-and-yet-so-far [exclamation of the unattainable], you've-almost-got-it, you're-almost-there
  • Eeeeee look-out! [exhortation to take care]
> Eeee! Eee! EeeeEeeeE?
Behold! Look underneath that thermocline and to the right!

> EeEeEeEe.... E E E!
Right.... I see it! There's [seaweed or tentacle] there!

> Eeeeeeee. Eeeeeeee.
So near and yet so far!

> Eee! Eeee! EeEeEeEe! E!
At the thermocline! Look! You can get it! The [seaweed or tentacle]!

> EeeeeEeeeeE? Ee!
Go for it! Good luck!

> Eeeeeee. Eeeeee. E! E!
You're almost there! Look out! I see it! The [seaweed or tentacle]!

> E! E!
I see it! The [seaweed or tentacle]!

> E E E!
I see it! The [seaweed or tentacle]! I see it!
If you liked that, scroll down on the linked page to read the discussion of SUPERL.

the greens follow the green

The cult of gaia is definitely a for-profit organization:
Of course, as Michael Crichton pointed out in State of Fear, environmental groups need a frightened populace to ensure their existance, and global warming is good for that, if properly sped up and hysterically hyped.

But wait, there's more! Global warming is good for fundraising. And not just because groups you global warming fear to get more people to join and pay dues. There's also (lawsuits).

the first to complain about witchhunts are the witches

Lileks, of course:
I’m not going to defend McCarthy, because he was a brute and boor and a butter-eating drunk who set back the anti-Communist cause four decades. To say that he was sorta right, in the sense that there were Commies about, is like saying that J. Robert Oppenheimer had a salutory effect on Japanese urban renewal. I’m not interested in those debates right now. I’d just like to point out that it’s a little late in the game to trot out a play about the mean old witch-hunts. The bravery of the scrappy idealists! The piggish philistinism of the anti-commie brutes! The smothering wet quilt of Conformity that held America motionless until it was thrown off by the undulating hips of Elvis! . . . It's just interesting how Westerners think that that Red Scare was a historical event of such towering proportions it trumps the tales of the Soviet Union in the same period. US version: communist sympathizers frozen out of screenwriting jobs, justly or unjustly. USSR version: actual communists killed in ghastly numbers by a parody of a legal system underwritten by brute force and an industrialized penal system built on slave labor. Why is the latter ignored, and the former celebrated?
and it just gets better from there, expanding on the concept that "it’s possible the squares were hip before the hipsters invented the squares."

we'll need sturdy boots

...because if we don't keep them at our feet, they'll be at our throat in no time.

ABC: the B stands for Babel!

The end of the world won't be so bad; when that happens we won't have to listen to crockumentaries about gaia any more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

fairly tails

interesting fable, but the epilogue stinks...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

illness fairness

The Hatless Academy for Hattiesburg Advancement (HAHA) recently announced the discovery of a new disease: Social Affinity Disorder.

Social Affinity Disorder, also called sociophilia, is a social disease in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable attraction to social situations. False bravado and self-aggrandizement arise from a desire to be closely seen, heard and praised by others.

A person with social affinity disorder is dangerously unaware that he or she will make mistakes and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. The blindness may be made worse by exaggerated social skills and atrophied cognitive processes. The affinity can build into a manic attack. As a result of the mania, the person simply cannot survive without being immersed in social situations. In addition, people with social affinity disorder often suffer "anticipatory" affinity -- the mania of a situation for days or weeks before the event. In very few cases, the person is aware that the mania is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome it.

People with social affinity disorder suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the positive opinions of others. Without treatment, social affinity disorder can negatively interfere with the person's normal daily routine, including school, work, and sleep.

People with social affinity disorder may be afraid of a specific situation, such as being alone with their thoughts. However, most people with social affinity disorder fear any non-social situation. Other situations that commonly provoke anxiety include:
  • Eating or drinking alone
  • Writing or working without the company of others
  • Not being the center of attention
  • Interacting with inanimate objects, including books, computers, and machinery
  • Thinking or meditating without others present
  • Turning off the telephone
Social affinity disorder may be linked to other mental illnesses, such as manic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and below-normal intelligence. In fact, many people with social affinity disorder initially see the doctor just for more social interaction, not because of social affinity symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Social Affinity Disorder?

Many people with social affinity disorder have no clue that there is "something wrong," and therefore do not recognize those pro-social feelings as a sign of illness.

Behavioral symptoms include:
  • intense elation in social situations
  • planning and execution of parties and other social events
  • loitering in malls and coffee shops
  • participation in pep rallies, soccer riots, and karaoke
  • excessive spending on fashion trends
Physical symptoms include:
  • confusion
  • conformity
  • suggestibility
  • obsessiveness about appearances
Children with this disorder may express their social affinity by gossiping and passing notes during class, forcing their classmates to play in groups, and choosing sides in sports teams. Young boys may express their social affinity by hitting girls and using profanity among peers. Young girls often express their social affinity by forcing other girls to attend slumber parties and/or drink imaginary tea.

How Common Is Social Affinity Disorder?

Social affinity disorder is the most common mental disorder in the world. It is estimated that anywhere from 73%-83% of the population suffers from social affinity disorder. In any year, at least 250 million Americans have social affinity disorder. The disorder most often surfaces in early childhood, with onset of the disease gradually becoming less common as the subject matures. Men seem to suffer less from social affinity.

What Causes Social Affinity Disorder?

There is no single known cause of social affinity disorder, but research suggests that biological, psychological and mental factors may play a role in its development.
  • Biological: Social affinity disorder may be related to an imbalanced brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell in the brain. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts to social situations, leading to social affinity disorder.
  • Psychological: The development of social affinity disorder may stem from an exhilarating experience at a social event in the past. Further, children who are neglected by their parents may overdevelop their social skills to compensate.
  • Mental: People with social affinity disorder may have developed their fear of appearing intelligent from seeing what happened to more intelligent children (such as being laughed at or made fun of). They may also simply be unaware of the potential benefits of intellectual pursuits.
How Is Social Affinity Disorder Diagnosed?

If symptoms are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by asking questions about your medical history and performing a physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose social affinity disorder, the doctor may use various tests to make sure that a physical illness isn't the cause of the symptoms.

If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals are specially trained to diagnose and treat social diseases, using specially designed assessment tools. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis of social affinity disorder on reports of the intensity and duration of symptoms, including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms.

How Is Social Affinity Disorder Treated?

The most effective therapy currently available is cognitive-thought therapy (CTT). In some cases, medication may also be used to help ease the symptoms of social affinity disorder so that CTT is more effective.
  • Cognitive-thought therapy: The goal of CTT is to guide the person's thoughts in a more rational direction and help the person stop avoiding situations that once caused rational thoughts. It teaches people to react differently to the situations that trigger their fear of intelligence. Therapy may include systematic desensitization or real life exposure to facts and reason. With systematic desensitization, the person imagines the frightening situation and works through his or her fears in a safe and relaxed environment. Real life exposure gradually exposes the person to thinking without the support of others.
  • Medication: There are several different types of medications used to treat social affinity disorder, including: antidepressants, tranquilizers, beta-blockers, and Red Bull, which may be used to maximize mental function.
Counseling to improve self-esteem and self-reliance skills, as well as relaxation techniques, may also help a person deal with social affinity disorder.

What Is the Outlook for People With Social Affinity Disorder?

With treatment, most people who suffer from this social disease can recover and enjoy more productive lives.

Can Social Affinity Disorder Be Prevented?

Early intervention with mental exercises can often prevent social affinity disorder. All children should be encouraged to think for themselves without relying on the opinions of others.

oh please no

If Microsoft has its way (and it will), the blogsphere may be dead soon:
What would Windows blogging tools be like? Probably something like this:
  • All posts must be composed in Word.
  • You'd have to ping with a registration code before the program would send pings to or to
  • Any build error would generate a Blue Screen of Death and require a reboot.
  • The comment-spam filter would randomly block Safari and Opera users.
  • Windows Media Player would automatically delink any linked mp3 files.
  • would wind up on the TTLB Ecosystem as the Highest Being.
  • The built-in spellchecker will have issues with the word "Unix".
  • There will be a new security "upgrade" every other Tuesday.
  • Each member of a group blog would have to pay for a separate license.
  • A rogue email will be able to infect your templates.
On the upside, complaints about Blogger and Blogspot should diminish markedly.
In other words, Bill Gates is probably Xenu...

e-hanging chad

Triton Unleashed noticed a (yet another) hypocritical bit of DNC whining.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney, in her first public appearance since losing her re-election bid last week, said Tuesday that the black community needs to oppose electronic voting machines, which she warned can be used to steal elections.

McKinney made the remarks during the National Dialogue and Revival for Social Justice in the Black Church, sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton's (surprise, surprise!) group, the National Action Network. The Augusta crowd, estimated at fewer than 200 people, gave her a standing ovation when she was introduced and again when she finished speaking.

Last week McKinney lost her bid for a seventh term in Congress. Hank Johnson, a former DeKalb County commissioner, defeated her 59 percent to 41 percent in the Democratic runoff.

"You won't know who won as long as we have those electronic voting machines, with the problems that have been manifested by them," she said, criticizing Georgia officials for not requiring that paper records be kept of all votes.
(emphases mine)

To which Triton responds:
This is one of the mental disabilities that seem to infect Democrats: they just can't believe they would ever lose an election fair and square. In 2000, all we heard ad nauseum was how those poor old folks in south Florida misread their butterfly ballots and accidently voted for Pat Buchanan. We also heard a lot of wailing about using paper ballots in an Age of Technology, so it wasn't long before municipalities all over the country started using electronic voting machines. Now, according to the Epsilon semi-morons we call Democrats, it seems those same machines that were going to save our voting system have rebelled against us and are, in fact, the enemy.

Normally, this would just be filed under the usual Democrat whining. But there's some rich hypocrisy here, too, since the Dems are notorious for engaging in voter fraud. Richard Daley, anyone?

Just when I think the Republicans have alienated every possible voter, the Dems remind me of why they are equally despicable and will not be picking up gains from the Republican losses.
p.s. In the Breitbart article, McKinney also gives evidence of being a delusional crack smoker:
As for the media, she said: "What I have learned from the corporate media is that they are there to protect the status quo. They are there to protect the powers that be, and anyone who becomes a threat in any kind of way by providing information that will go directly to the survival of the community, to the uplifting of the people, will become an enemy."
Don' be dissin' er, she jus' be spressin her rizzage, yo!

61 years ago today

Even though people were celebrating the fact that WWII was over, there was still tragedy in the air.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

yay verily

legalism can be fun!

what is a planet?

After a few thousand years, scientists are finally working on an actual definition.
If the proposed (International Astronomical Union) Resolution is passed, the 12 planets in our Solar System will be Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon and 2003 UB313 (possibly to be named Xena).

There will most likely be more planets announced by the IAU in the future. Currently a dozen "candidate planets" are listed on IAU's "watchlist" which keeps changing as new objects are found and the physics of the existing candidates becomes better known.
Part of the problem is that Pluto is goofy...

send in the clowns

Mish Mash, for one, says that insult calls for insult:
"The only thing worse than someone trying to kill you is someone trying to kill you incompetently."

Scientific Inquisition!

-- with an insincere apology to Monty Python --

"Nobody expects the Scientific Inquisition! Our chief weapon is supression of evidence... supression of evidence and tenure... tenure and supression of evidence... Our two weapons are tenure and supression of evidence... and truthless accusations... Our *three* weapons are tenure, supression of evidence, and truthless accusations... and an almost fanatical devotion to Charles Darwin... Our *four*... no... *Amongst* our weapons... Amongst our weaponry... are such elements as tenure, supression of evidence..."

press bias

On rare occasions, the press can be biased in the right direction... in Israel, at least.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

run hezbollah run

what else rhymes with lola?

you twobe

Don't want to rely on YouTube links too much, but I liked these two - for very different reasons:

cool effect

stoooopid funny

world opinion

(mild profanity warning)

Two different but related posts remind Israel just how worthless the world's opinion is. Another post reminds us what happens when we listen to peaceniks.
In August 1939, political pundits and all the other "smart people" of the world believed that world war could be avoided if only the parties in these minor conflicts would talk and come to an agreement for the common cause and the natural desire of mankind for peace. 6 years later, 62 million people around the world had died for (that) foolishness...

How different the world might be had the world leaders decided at that time that Hitler should have been stopped when he reoccupied the Ruhr. How different the world would be if we had worked against Japan in China in 1933. How different the world might be if so many of our side hadn't collaborated with the Axis powers and quietly admired the forces of fascism...

Let us hope that the lesson of that war was learned by this generation so as to avoid another tragedy for the losses in the next war will surely prove to be far beyond what was experienced in that generation.
(slightly edited)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


It's a bird!

It's a plane!

It's a.. boat!

It's a... hovercraft!

It's a... a... lawnmower!

It's.... something DaVinci never thought of!

Whatever it is, it's cool!


if this is true, it's fascinating; if not, it's amusing:
The fact is that people around the world categorize things in ways that both boggle the Western mind and stump Western linguists and antropologists.

An excellent example is the classification of things in the world that occurs in traditional Dyirbal, an aboriginal language of Australia. The classification is built into the language, as is common in the world's languages. Whenever a Dyirbal speaker uses a noun in a sentence, the noun must be preceded by a variant of one of four words: bayi, balan, balam, or bala. These words classify all objects in the Dyirbal universe, and to speak Dyirbal correctly one must use the right classifier before each noun. Here is a brief version of the Dyirbal classifcation of objects in the universe, as described by R.M.W. Dixon (1982):

  • Bayi: men, kangaroos, possums, bats, most snakes, most fishes, some birds, most insects, the moon, storms, rainbows, boomerangs, some spears, etc.
  • Balan: women, anything connected with water or fire, bandicoots, dogs, platypus, echidna, some snakes, some fishes, most birds, fireflies, scorpions, crickets, the stars, shields, some spears, some trees, etc.
  • Balam: all edible fruit and the plants that bear them, tubers, ferns, honey, cigarettes, wine, cake.
  • Bala: parts of the body, meat, bees, wind, yamsticks, some spears, most trees, grass, mud, stones, noises, language, etc.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

keep 'em flying

Varifrank flew Thursday:
But there I was, actually flying on the day described as “chaos” and I was looking at a totally different picture. Things were taking a little longer than usual, I was a little more thirsty than usual, but that’s all it was really. Big lines, lots of surprises, but it was also a long way from the “Soylent Green at the Airport” that CNN was making it out to be.
Read the rest.

zz top hatless man

This site got a hit from someone googling zz top hatless man. Results #4 & #5 are shown below:
Hatless in Hattiesburg: July 2005 - we specialize in everything!
The man shot dead by police in south London yesterday is not connected to attempted terror attacks on ... ZZ Top. I could sing this song most days at work. ... - 186k - Cached - Similar pages

The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles: About Me
Chris said: That looks like Smurfette's house.... Man (arrested on burglary charges) says he was guarding home from ZZ Top-looking characters (16) ... - 46k - 9 Aug 2006 - Cached - Similar pages
Note 2 things:

1) Flying Space Monkey is right next to Hatless in Hattiesburg in the results.

2) The way google chose to display the keywords for my site was kinda funny - "The man shot dead by police in south London yesterday is not connected to attempted terror attacks on ... ZZ Top."

to the dogs

over the years, i've had several black dogs.

as a teenager, i had a young black wolfhound. it barked quite a bit and annoyed the neighbors. it kept trying to scratch me for no reason at all.

when i went to college, i traded it for a small black spaniel. it was more playful, but my roommate was allergic to it so i had to give it away.

after graduation, i got a black basset hound. it was short and wrinkly, and it mostly just sat around the house.

when i moved to houston, i got two black bull mastiffs. before long they started using me as a wagon. one pulls me around by the right foot as the other one sits on my chest, making it hard to breathe. i tried leaving them out in the country, but they followed me when i moved to this house. now one of them even follows me to work - he has a knack for finding me no matter what.

(p.s. none of this should be taken literally)

one must ask

why do terrorists hate airplanes so?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Best. Epitaph. Ever.

Lileks to the dying Castro:
"They will forget they were united in hatred of Fidel, of course. They will feel nostalgia for posters they saw when they were young. They will remember a song that reminds of them of simpler times, and conclude the times were better. The old – whom you left with no pensions, no savings - will mutter when they cannot afford to shop in the new stores, and they will be joined by the young, who look south to Chavez and see the American hamburger as instrument of oppression. The malcontent, the street brute, the intellectuals who mistake their neuroses for insights – they’ll remember you, and speak in your name. But they will be few. There was no such thing as Castroism, after all. Only Castro. In the end it all dies with you."
(emphases mine)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lousy Fakes

(updated and bumped again - see below for other new posts)

...and this lame photoshop is bad too.

Of course, this is no different from the copy-and-paste-from-APjazeera jobs that 99% of news outlets use as standard operating procedure every single day.

p.s. I did better rubber stamp work than that ten years ago in Photoshop 3.

p.p.s. If you're going to fake the news anyway, try to make it more convincing, like this :)

update 1. Just thought of a new jingle for Reuters:

Call Photo-Reuters
That's the name
To flush credibility
Down the drain!

update 2: But wait! There's more! Ha!

update 3: Well, that about wraps it up for Reuters.

update 4: Copycats.

update 5: Welcome MVRWC readers! And thanks to Beth for pointing out Jawa's photo karnival.

vampires, old and new

In the 16th century, Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory allegedly bathed in the blood of young maidens in an attempt to retain her beauty.

In the 21st century, several countries actually allow women to use aborted fetuses as a skin care treatment.

hip-hopped the shark

If Lady Sovereign, a 5'1", 21-year-old white girl from England can be a hip-hop star, that's proof positive that the entire genre has jumped the shark.

home decor

Today, Lileks revealed he has a decorator:
And now I will write the words that will make many a reader reel back in distaste:

I had the salesperson page my decorator.

Yes, I have a decorator. Sort of. Not really. I make most of the aesthetic decisions for Jasperwood, but they’re not hard; once you’re in the Arts & Crafts style, anything with woody slats fits. (Note to up-and-comers: name yourself “Woody Slats,” get a job as a Stickley rep, and you’re golden.) This store has a fellow who knows his slats, and I’ve bought all the pieces from him. He came to Jasperwood and took photos for a presentation a few years ago.
And in that spirit of full disclosure, I will reveal that I have a decorator as well. It's called entropy.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reuters Footage of the Bird Flu Epidemic

Even before the fake Beirut photos, Reuters' was caught broadcasting some faked footage about the Bird Flu...


Real Israel-vs-Hezbollah News

Varifrank has more accurate analysis in four posts than MSM pundits have pushed in five years.

NK supplying missiles to Iran/Hezbollah
Missile capabilites
Judgement against Sidon

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Israel attacked by sandwiches

Between 200 and 3000 peanut butter jelly sandwiches from Indonesia are on their way to Lebanon to aid Hezbollah's attacks on Israel. One unnamed source said that they will likely be used in a psy-ops (psychological warfare) role.


Friday, August 04, 2006

That 30's Show

or, the "Winds of War" rerun marathon:
When I used to read about the 1930s — the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the appeasement in France and Britain, the murderous duplicity of the Soviet Union, and the racist Japanese murdering in China — I never could quite figure out why, during those bleak years, Western Europeans and those in the United States did not speak out and condemn the growing madness, if only to defend the millennia-long promise of Western liberalism.

Of course, the trauma of the Great War was all too fresh, and the utopian hopes for the League of Nations were not yet dashed. The Great Depression made the thought of rearmament seem absurd. The connivances of Stalin with Hitler — both satanic, yet sometimes in alliance, sometimes not — could confuse political judgments.

But nevertheless it is still surreal to reread the fantasies of Chamberlain, Daladier, and Pope Pius, or the stump speeches by Charles Lindbergh (“Their [the Jews’] greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government”) or Father Coughlin (“Many people are beginning to wonder whom they should fear most — the Roosevelt-Churchill combination or the Hitler-Mussolini combination.”) — and it is even more baffling to consider that such men ever had any influence.

Not any longer.

Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity. That has never been more evident than in the last three weeks, as the West has proven utterly unable to distinguish between an attacked democracy that seeks to strike back at terrorist combatants, and terrorist aggressors who seek to kill civilians...

In nearly all these (terrorist attacks) there is a certain sameness: The Koran is quoted as the moral authority of the perpetrators; terrorism is the preferred method of violence; Jews are usually blamed; dozens of rambling complaints are aired, and killers are often considered stateless, at least in the sense that the countries in which they seek shelter or conduct business or find support do not accept culpability for their actions.

Yet the present Western apology to all this is often to deal piecemeal with these perceived Muslim grievances: India, after all, is in Kashmir; Russia is in Chechnya; America is in Iraq, Canada is in Afghanistan; Spain was in Iraq (or rather, still is in Al Andalus); or Israel was in Gaza and Lebanon. Therefore we are to believe that “freedom fighters” commit terror for political purposes of “liberation.” At the most extreme, some think there is absolutely no pattern to global terrorism, and the mere suggestion that there is constitutes “Islamaphobia.”...

It is now a cliché to rant about the spread of postmodernism, cultural relativism, utopian pacifism, and moral equivalence among the affluent and leisured societies of the West. But we are seeing the insidious wages of such pernicious theories as they filter down from our media, universities, and government — and never more so than in the general public’s nonchalance since Hezbollah attacked Israel .

These past few days the inability of millions of Westerners, both here and in Europe, to condemn fascist terrorists who start wars, spread racial hatred, and despise Western democracies is the real story, not the “quarter-ton” Israeli bombs that inadvertently hit civilians in Lebanon who live among rocket launchers that send missiles into Israeli cities and suburbs.

Yes, perhaps Israel should have hit more quickly, harder, and on the ground; yes, it has run an inept public relations campaign; yes, to these criticisms and more. But what is lost sight of is the central moral issue of our times: a humane democracy mired in an asymmetrical war is trying to protect itself against terrorists from the 7th century, while under the scrutiny of a corrupt world that needs oil, is largely anti-Semitic and deathly afraid of Islamic terrorists, and finds psychic enjoyment in seeing successful Western societies under duress.

In short, if we wish to learn what was going on in Europe in 1938, just look around.


Video Made the Terrorist Star
Contrary to popular belief, most of these journalists are neither “pro” nor “anti” Israel. In fact, they are not exactly journalists at all, at least not in the sense that we have been taught to believe. They do not seem interested in reporting what is traditionally understood as news — that is, information that attempts to convey as complete and realistic an accounting of events as possible.

They can be more accurately described as entertainers, who stimulate their audiences with that which is factual and passing. The most striking thing about the producers and on-air reporters who show up in Israel is how deeply ignorant they are of the conflict and its history. This is not exactly their fault: It is the product of their job, which is to entertain rather than inform. The skills required of them are technical and theatrical, not historic or intellectual, and thus they do not approach their task with much in the way of rigor; they are looking for interesting personal stories and manufactured mini-dramas, whose correlation to reality is only occasionally discernable...

As a means of physically damaging Israel, Hezbollah’s military capabilities are almost laughable. But as a means to demoralize, isolate, and promote the ridicule of Israel, Katyushas and mortars aimed at civilian populations are the perfect weapon: Sufficiently ineffective to exculpate Israel’s legions of scrutinizers from apprehension about Israeli deaths, they invite a predictable military response from Israel that Hezbollah can use to cause maximum political and media damage to the Jewish state. Hezbollah does not waste valuable media capital by launching its rockets from rural hillsides; it launches them from crowded neighborhoods, apartment buildings, and schools, while its operatives aggressively promote the civilian-casualties deception to credulous Western journalists, fully confident that scenes of death and destruction will make westerners recoil from what is allegedly being done in their names.

In other words, Hezbollah does not have a military strategy; it has a media strategy that so far has been chillingly effective. In Lebanon, most civilian casualties are not the product of Israeli overzealousness — they are the most vital, important, and intentional victories in Hezbollah’s campaign. We are witnessing what is perhaps the most successful manipulation of civilian deaths by a terrorist organization to date, and while the reality of the situation is apparent to some observers, most members of the media are either oblivious to their own culpability in spreading propaganda for Hezbollah, or simply don’t mind doing so.
also related:
(Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran) understand the equally perverse psychology of Europe, the U.N. and the “international community.” Two years ago, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 demanded that Hezbollah disarm. Hezbollah refused to comply. In response, the international community shrugged its collective shoulders.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been taking delivery of increasingly advanced weaponry from Syria and Iran — while U.N “peacekeepers” in southern Lebanon avert their gaze. These peacekeepers remain silent even as Hezbollah fires those missiles at Haifa, the one city in the Middle East where Jews, Christians, and Muslims most successfully coexist. And when Hezbollah uses the otherwise useless U.N. peacekeepers as human shields and some are killed, the U.N. and Europe are outraged — not at Hezbollah for this blatant violation of international law but, again, at Israel.

Hezbollah’s leaders figured correctly that it would not be long before Europeans would be calling for a cease-fire — one that would reward Hezbollah by allowing it to remain armed, effectively repealing U.N. Resolution 1559, and to acquire new and better weapons for future use.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

it's official!

Hatless in Hattiesburg is the hottest place on the planet! (but you already knew that, right?)


update: This site is also the first of over 145,000 leaders that opposed illuminati.

i'm kinda tied up

you do knot want to look at this page...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

anti-semitic hypocrisy

Even after two apologies, the MSM is still excoriating Mel Gibson for his anti-semitic comments.

Even after repeated anti-semitic comments, threats, violence, and open warfare, the MSM has yet to even ask for a single apology from any imam, jihadi, or terrorist.

update: Lileks noticed it too:
Tomorrow, I believe, I will turn on the TV, and hear someone say “500 rockets fell on Tel Aviv today, which leads to our call-in question for this segment: do you believe Mel Gibson’s apology was sincere?”

This just in...

from Instapundit's "global warming causes global cooling" department:
The only thing saving Chavez from himself is steadily rising oil prices; if they reverse, it's a good bet that the Venezuelan government will fall, doing serious damage to the resurgant left-wing populist strain of Latin American politics. I'm told that PDVSA used to be known as the only state-run oil company that was competitive with the majors in terms of expertise and efficiency; now it is rapidly descending past other state-run firms in terms of competence. Since Venezuela's oil is unusually heavy, sulphurous, and difficult to extract, that decline will be a disaster for Venezuela's poor, who may be enjoying those marble elevators without electricity to run them if oil falls back towards $25 a barrel. This is not some grim gloating of a classically liberal economics writer at having been proven right. If PDVSA screws up the Venezuelan oil supply, consumers around the world will suffer, the poorest worst--and the poorest Venezuelans worst of all.
In other words: "If oil prices collapse, oil prices will skyrocket".

(p.s. This post should in no way be construed as supportive of Hugo Chavez' destined-to-fail leftist policies.)

some people can't leave, well, enough alone

Now the cult of gaia is complaining about people living alone, to which Dustbury responds:
"The Planners will not be content until we're all crowded into proletarian concrete bunkers and they have to stack us against the walls like rolls of unused linoleum."

once more, from the top

Samantha Burns tells you everything you need to know about AlQaeda:
This is all you need to know about Al Qaeda and terrorists summed up:
"The war with Israel does not depend on cease-fires ... . It is a Jihad for the sake of (Allah) and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahiri said. "We will attack everywhere." Spain was controlled by Arab Muslims until they were driven from the country at the turn of the 16th century.
From this one paragraph you can conclude:

1) The terrorists have stated very clearly that a cease fire will not work.

2) The terrorists will continue their terror campaign until one objective is achieved: Islam is installed as the one and only religion and all other religions are completely destroyed.

3) There is no negotiation possible. The only point for them is one world religion - Islam. How can that be negotiated? Anything short of complete and total Islamic domination means the terrorists will continue to attack.

4) Appeasement does not work. If memory serves, Spain was told to get troops out of Iraq or they would be a target. If they withdrew, they would no longer be a target. The Madrid train bombings happened and the Spanish people voted in a government sworn to appease the terrorists. Spain did withdraw from Iraq yet they are still being identified as a target in that paragraph. Why? Simple, the promise not to target Spain was a ruse to stop the Spainish army (and other world armies) from killing the terrorists in Iraq and the real objective of Islamic domination has not been achieved. Thus Spain remains a target.

5) The terrorists use the oppression of the Arabs by Israel and 'evil' US foreign policy as an excuse; their objective is not to change Israel or US foreign policy, but to make Islam the only religion. All these excuses and supposed causes serve to win popular Arab and Muslim support, so the terrorists can operate with impunity within those areas and countries. If Arabs and Muslims can look the other way, the terrorists can operate freely while they train, scheme and attack. The terrorists latch to Arab causes, so their Arab neighbours will passively or actively support and harbour them. Don't be fooled! The terrorists' true and only objective is for an exclusive worldwide Muslim religion.

6) Yes, Muslims had conquered in Spain and they were driven out. Be thankful or history today would be quite different.
(emphases mine)

the states of the states

Wikipedia has a series of maps illustrating how the territories of the Uniteed States have changed over time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

it's the smell

some vultures in lebanon have more of a stench than the corpses they are feeding on.

castro's health

with all the coverage of raul castro filling in for fidel, one interesting tidbit has slipped by largely unnoticed:
"The elder Castro asked that celebrations scheduled for his 80th birthday on Aug. 13 be postponed until Dec. 2, the 50th anniversary of Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces."
postponing his own birthday? that's quite an impressive power! george washington and abraham lincoln together could only postpone theirs by a couple of weeks! if only fidel had thought to postpone all of them by four months, he could be 59 and holding right now...


narrow interest

i'm only including this news bit for a couple of specific readers, many of the rest of you probably won't find it interesting.
American soldiers will soon be flying in German- and French- designed helicopters built in the heart of Dixie and powered by Texas-produced engines.

Champagne toasts were the order of the day at American Eurocopter headquarters in Grand Prairie late Friday after the U.S. Army announced that it plans to spend upward of $2 billion to buy 322 helicopters that will be built in Mississippi...

Bell spokesman Mike Cox said company executives were disappointed by the Army’s decision, but they still believe the Bell 412 – “was the best aircraft for the missions the LUH will fly.”

The 412 is a larger, more powerful helicopter than the Eurocopter model, but its list price – roughly $6.0 million each – was at least a million dollars per aircraft higher.

“We knew based on the price point that they were looking for that we were high,” Cox said, but Bell officials had hoped to convince the Army that the greater capability was worth the extra cost...
note the similar surnames of the bell spokesman and the author of the article.