Sunday, July 31, 2005

Austria Museum Lets Naked People in Free

The AP is reporting a story that a museum in Austria is allowing patrons without attire in free to an exhibit called, "The Naked Truth," which features 1930s erotic art. The AP story is accompanied by a photo of two rather fetching bikini clad blondes. My favorite quote from the story is:
"We find a naked body every bit as beautiful as a clothed one," said Elisabeth Leopold, who founded the museum with her husband, Rudolf. "If they came only out of lust, we have to accept that. We stand for the truth."
Elisabeth Leopold obviously hasn't yet seen the pictures of the kooks in Berkeley this week.

I also have to hand it to Rudolf. Being able to sound sanctimonious AND getting scantily clad (or not) women to come to your place is in itself an art form.

It sort of reminds me of once being in a bar with some friends when two of the girls decided to take off their shirts to compare bras. The bartender immediately told them, "You've got twenty minutes to knock that off."

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Great Raid

I haven't been to a movie in three years but I'm going to see this one. If you haven't read the book, Ghost Soldiers, do so. I'm not sure which is better, the story or the author's talent in telling it.

60 Years Ago Today

The USS Indianapolis was sunk by Japanese torpedoes. Many people (myself included) first learned about this tragedy from Robert Shaw's telling of the story in the movie Jaws (hands down best scene in that movie). "We'd just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes...316 men come out, the sharks took the rest."
I have no insights or commentary that would add anything to the wonderful sites (see below) dedicated to the men lost in the worst Naval disaster in American history. I just want to say thank you to the men who won the war, the men who have missed the past 60 years because of their brave actions, and those who are still with us.
Naval Historical Center
The Fiftieth Star
Rhymes with Right

Addendum: Smash graciously pointed out in the comments a lapse in ettiquette on my part. Corrected here. God do I hate when I make an ass of myself when I unintentionally do stupid things. Tips, hints, scoldings and criticism that help me improve are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Another Sniper Video

Here's another sniper video, this one from the perspective of the good guys. It shows in rather graphic detail why you don't want to be on the receiving end of a .50 caliber sniper rifle. In contrast to the footage of Private Tschiderer, no one is getting up from this. It doesn't matter what body armor they're wearing.

** Update **
Jack Army has a link to what an Apache's chain gun will do to people up to no good

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hindsight is 20/20

How could anyone really have expected him to see this coming? I mean, it's tough to see winter coming when you've smoked yourself retarded by the age of 17.

Tue Jul 26,10:01 AM ET

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) -A Texas man was arrested on Monday after calling police to complain about the theft of his marijuana, authorities said.

Stephen Knight, 17, said three men had broken into his apartment, hogtied him with Christmas lights and stole some marijuana, along with a plasma screen television, police said.

Police are looking for the suspects. In the meantime, they arrested Knight after finding several marijuana plants growing under heat lamps in the apartment, four grams of harvested marijuana and a tablet of ecstasy, Officer Chad Ripley said.

Knight said the men barged into his home early on Monday morning demanding, "Where's the weed?," according to San Antonio police

Monday, July 25, 2005

Italians Issue More Arrest Warrants for CIA Agents

This is one of those stories that I haven't followed that closely that I probably should have. As I understand it Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, AKA Abu Omar (let's pick a name and stick with it, I'm talking to you, Abu Mazen) was in Italy out recruiting some friends to wear clothing by Dupont, when agents of the U.S. government decided to do a little snatch and grab and send him back to his home country of Egypt for some playtime with the electro-genital fun machine to get his tongue a wagging. This didn't sit well with the Italian government, who issued warrants for the arrest of the fellows who grabbed the good cleric.

When I first heard about this story, my initial reaction was, "Why didn't we just have the Italians grab the dude and hand him over to us?" I wonder if this might have something to do with it.

When four PLF operatives hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro, taking hundreds of passengers hostage, the insisted on the release of 50 Arab terrorists held by Israel — including Samir Kuntar, the Nahiriya killer. It was during this operation that Klinghoffer, an American citizen, was murdered, in front of his wife, specifically because he was Jewish.

After two days, the hijackers forced the boat to Egypt. Egyptian authorities permitted the hijackers and Abu Abbas to return to Tunisia. United States warplanes forced the hijacker's jetliner to land in Italy where most of the operatives were tried and imprisoned. But Italy, wary of taking on a prominent Palestinian terrorist, claimed it lacked the evidence to prosecute Abu Abbas and allowed him to slip away to Yugoslavia. (Italy later tried and convicted him in absentia). He then relocated to Iraq and embrace of his long-time patron Saddam Hussein.

Aside from providing more evidence that Hussein would never have anything to do with terrorists, it shows that maybe the Italian justice system isn't the mantle upon which we want to rest our national security.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Ex-CIA official blasts Bush on leak of operative's name

Democrats' radio address focuses on White House aides' role

(CNN) -- A former CIA intelligence official who once worked with Valerie Plame blasted President Bush and his administration for their response to the role of top White House aides in allegedly leaking Plame's identity as a CIA operative.

Speaking on behalf of Democrats in the party's weekly radio address Saturday, Larry Johnson said, "The president has flip-flopped on his promise to fire anyone in the White House implicated in a leak."

William Somerset: [Reading from one of John Doe's journals] On the subway today, a man came up to me to start a conversation... I tried to be pleasant and accommodating, but my head hurt from his banality. I almost didn't notice it had happened, but I suddenly threw up all over him. He was not pleased, and I couldn't stop laughing.
From the movie Seven

Skateboarder Falls on Ass, Sues

The AP reported Thursday that:

A woman who was branded with letters from the Consolidated Edison logo when she fell off a skateboard onto a searing hot manhole cover in Manhattan last year filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking unspecified damages from the utility.

Elizabeth C. Wallenberg, 27, was burned just above her buttocks and on her left arm when she fell off her skateboard onto a cover over a steam pipe at Second Avenue and 13th Street in the East Village shortly after midnight on Aug. 11, 2004, said her lawyer Ronald Berman.

Now, it would be easy to go on some tangent about the litigiousness of our society, who was at fault, and the usual discussions surrounding the sillier of lawsuits. But what immediately leapt to mind was, what the hell is a 27 year old woman doing on a skateboard? I think I would forgo the lawsuit just to keep THAT out of the news.

*** Update *** Say Anything had this story a year ago with a picture. Ouch.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Why Can't the Left Figure This Out?

The funeral of soldiers and marines killed in action is not the place for making political hay. The Museum of Left Wing Lunacy points out that the Lieutenant Governor of PA hasn't quite figured this out. Catherine Baker Knoll apparently thought the funeral of SSG Joe Goodrich, a marine killed in Iraq, was the perfect opportunity to show up uninvited and declare that, "I want you to know our government is against this war."

From the Post Gazette story:
In a phone interview, Goodrich said the funeral service was packed with people "who wanted to tell his family how Joe had impacted their lives."

Then, suddenly, "one uninvited guest made an appearance, Catherine Baker Knoll."

She sat down next to a Goodrich family member and, during the distribution of communion, said, "Who are you?" Then she handed the family member one of her business cards, which Goodrich said she still has.

"Knoll felt this was an appropriate time to campaign and impose her will on us," Goodrich said. "I am amazed and disgusted Knoll finds a Marine funeral a prime place to campaign."

Remember all the bitching and whining about Bush not attending funerals of the fallen? They simply aren't the time or the place. They are events for the family and those who have died on our behalf, not for political grandstanding. If political leaders wish to visit with soldiers or their families privately I think it's a fantastic thing for them to do so. Here is the account of CPT Charles Ziegenfuss on his Blog, From My Position... On The Way, of his meeting (more accurately his wife's account) with President Bush at Walter Reed.

One more note on Lieutenant Governor Knoll-- Governor Rendell should REALLY be reconsidering this option.

Blackfive, Smash, and Greyhawk are on the case.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Quick Quiz

OK... This is just a quick quiz for anyone who is being put in charge of security of ANYTHING. Any equivocation on the answer would show the person to simply not understand where the threat is coming from.

Two people are carrying large bags onto a subway which one do you think should be searched?

I know which one might be more FUN to have a few words with, but we're talking security here.

Unfortunately there are too many people who don't think one should be paid any more scrutiny than the other. From the AP story:
Police stopped every fifth person with a bag entering the station. Each search took only a few seconds. Police appeared to be striking a balance among those they stopped: old, young, white and black. In some cases, officers dumped the contents onto a folding table set up near the turnstiles, and in others they rifled through the bags.

The New York Civil Liberties Union said the new measures violate basic rights and could invite racial or religious profiling.
We can't have that.

Nickie Goomba has a great take on this and Karol at Alarming News points out how stupid and ineffectual this will be. Six Meat Buffet also points out who else should get an extra moment's attention from the security personnel.

Update -- Suzanne over at My Pet Jawa is reporting that too many people are failing this quiz.

Another Update -- Alarming News has another quiz that would be helpful for determining whether someone understands where the threat is coming from. Thanks to Ace for the heads up.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Where have I heard this?

Jeff Goldstein points out a fantastic post by Ghost of a Flea.

Where have I heard this nonsensical position before?

Ashraf Choudhary, a Labour MP in New Zealand refused to condemn "the practice of stoning homosexuals and adulterous women".
He refused to disagree with the Koran's recommendations, saying it was appropriate in "those societies", not in New Zealand. Dr Choudhary's statement says he is a devout Muslim and stands by the teachings of the Koran but, as a matter of personal belief, he abhors stoning and is strongly opposed to violence
So he personally opposes stoning and the killing of homosexuals and women, he just doesn't think it appropriate to legislate his morality upon others. He went on to say:

"I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."

Scavenger Hunt

Who can find the first instance of someone positing that the London attack was staged because the Roberts nomination failed to distract from the Plame story?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bring out the trash

What would a celebration of white trash be without a mention of these two lovely people?

Pamela Anderson is set to re-marry ex-husband Tommy Lee. .

The Motley Crue rocker reportedly proposed to the former 'Baywatch' babe at Las Vegas' swanky Palms Hotel and Casino on Friday.

In case you can't remember what it is that makes these two specimens eligible for recognition:
Lee's most famous legal woes certainly involve "Baywatch" pin-up Anderson, whom he married in a swimsuits-only Mexican ceremony five days after their first date. Their relationship seemed to be a whirlwind tour of the Los Angeles County court system, making stops in civil court, where the couple sued a pornographer for the sale of their X-rated home video; criminal court, where he pleaded no contest to striking her during a fight about a kitchen skillet; and family court, where the pair divorced and then waged a vicious battle for custody of their two sons.
Make certain you go check out Six Meat Buffet for a nice roundup of this week's other yahoos.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Can you still blog on a subject when you have no idea what your opinion is?

Yesterday Congressman Tancredo made the comment that if Al Qaeda was able to hit an American city with a weapon of mass destruction that the United States ought to hit back at Mecca. I first heard about this from Hugh Hewitt on his radio show. He was outraged. It seemed pretty genuine to me. (Few things annoy me like phony outrage.) He makes very persuasive arguments:

Let me be blunt: There is no strategic value to bombing Mecca even after a devastating attack on the U.S. In fact, such an action would be a strategic blunder without historical parallel, except perhaps Hitler's attack on Stalin. Anyone defending Tancredo's remarks has got to make a case for why such a bombing would be effective.

Take down the Syrian regime? You bet. Replace the House of Saud? Fine. Bomb every nuclear facility in Tehran? Absolutely. The US would respond to a savage attack with fury --but purposeful fury. Bombing Mecca would be the opposite of purposeful fury.

Lots of people with whom I normally agree make similar points: CaptainsQuarters, RovingTheologian OneClearCall, OpaqueLucidity Brainster's Bogus Gold and Mark Daniels.

I still couldn't summon the outrage. Maybe the deterrent value is there. I read a couple of other arguments. Ace of Spades made the point:
I know the Chinese General's statement that China was ready to use nukes on America should we interfere in a Chinese reconquest of Taiwan sort of put me on edge. He says he wasn't speaking for the Chinese Army or Goverment, but the fact that a high-ranking general felt comfortable making such a statement does tend to make one a mite more cautious about military moves to defend Taiwan.
Then I read Michael Reynolds at The Mighty Middle. Michael is my absolute favorite left of center guy on the web to read. The guy can write better than I can do almost anything, including sitting on the couch drinking beer, a skill for which I'd place myself in the upper percentiles. Normally, I'd say he makes really bad arguments, but he makes them incrediblly well. This time they don't sound like bad arguments:
Is every Muslim an Al Qaeda member? Of course not. Was every German in 1944 a Nazi party member? No. Was every citizen of Hiroshima a supporter of Tojo? No. The fact is, when you fight a war, you kill innocent people. You kill good people. You kill people who might be your friends if. . . if you didn't kill them. This is why it is such an excellent idea to avoid wars: because in order to kill the monster you sometimes end up being a monster.

We spent 40 years eye to eye, missile to missile with the Soviets. We were prepared to massacre every Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Azerbaijani who had the bad luck to live within the big red circles we drew around major cities and military bases. We were ready, they were ready. We knew what we would lose, they knew what they would lose. And in the end, the missiles never flew.
In October of 2001, I went to Las Vegas with some friends of mine. It was right around the time of the smallpox attacks. At that time I remember saying (after more than a couple of the aformentioned beverages) if it turned out those attacks had come from a state sponsor then our government had almost a duty to respond with our own weapons of mass destruction. Deterrence only works if the enemy believes that you're serious. Are we willing to kill a half million innocents to make that point? I'm doubtful. I think our enemies don't care. Would hitting Mecca be the same thing? Maybe not, but that might be something our enemies do care about.

One related thought that I've had, and I'm a little reluctant to mention it because I'm suspicious that it makes me something of a sicko for where it logically leads. If it was alright to focus on Dresdeners because they were making tanks and guns, why is it wrong to focus on the populations that are churning out the not-so-smart bombs? I actually know why it's wrong and that it is indeed probably a strategic mistake. Maybe it is an outrage when an elected official says something similar. Hell, maybe it really is an outrage for me to just write it down, but I think it's at least interesting to think about.

Sniper Video

If there's anyone out there who hasn't seen this video, go see it now. When you're done watching it go read the rest of Jack Army's commentary and coverage on the incident here, here, and on the aftermath here.

I don't have enough superlatives to describe how glad I am that we have such fine men and women on our side doing our fighting for us. The risks they take on our behalf and the efforts they put forth make me eternally grateful.

And Private Tschiderer ought not bother ever going into a casino again.

This was one of the funniest things I saw today. Posted by Picasa

I got a kick out of this too. Posted by Picasa

Simply Amazing

Whenever you think that you have seen the lowest most despicable behavior possible, someone comes along to plumb the depths just another few meters.

First, Greyhawk calls attention to a pair of upstanding citizens who decided to take advantage of a marine's death to rob his family.

Second, over at The Jawa Report, I learned about the tee-ball coach who paid one of the kids on his team $25 to hit another kid, who was mentally handicapped, in the head and groin with a baseball so he could avoid putting him in the game.

Now to be fair to the coach, he hasn't yet been convicted of this. Furthermore, how else was he supposed to keep the kid out of the game if not for this? Everyone knows how nuts parents can get if their kid isn't getting the playing time they think they deserve. Really, the only way to have the kid sit down is if he's injured. It's pretty obvious that if the kid is autistic he isn't going to be much of an asset on the field so what's the coach to do?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend fun

This is more of a personal diary post than anything. This weekend a guy I know got out of prison. I haven't seen him in eleven years. I'm friends with his three really unbelievably successful daughters. Eleven years. How he got there is not irrelavent, but too complicated to bother explaining. He fucked up big. He acted badly. But he also got screwed. Eleven years.

Talking to him, I was first struck by how unchanged he was. My sister and I talked about it after and both of us said the same thing. His hair style changed, not much else. It's like he didn't age a day. It was almost like he stepped out of a time machine. He'd never surfed the internet. He did that over at my friend's house for the first time this weekend.

He asked me about the well-being of a guy I hadn't thought about in 10 years. When he went to prison I was dating a girl whose dad had a bad disease (we come from a small town). We broke up badly and never spoke again. That was 10 years ago. I've been married for 5 1/2. He asked my sister what she's done since high school. It's almost as though the clock stopped ticking for him 11 years ago. I hope he's able to cope. It won't be easy.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

We must help this poor soul

Go see Vince and learn why.

The Rehnquist non-retirement

There are a few people around who are making guesses about yesterday's hubub surrounding the expected Rehnquist retirement. My uninformed guess (with just a hint of conspiracy theory) is that the Chief has delivered his letter of resignation. The administration wants to wait until Monday to release it publicly because they want to focus this weekend on talking about terrorism and don't want it dilluted.

Occam's razor being what it is, Jay Reding is probably right, "Sounds like we won’t hear anything until Monday, if at all. Cue Rehnquist to yell “Y’all got PUNK’D!”…"

Then, just as I link to him, it looks like others are having the same thoughts as I.

Then there's the idea that it had something to do with getting even with Robert Novak over Valerie Plame. See, EVERYTHING must have to do with her.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Endangered Species Act and takings

With the Supreme Court nomination battles about to be fought, and the Kelo decision still fresh in our minds I think it's important that everyone start to think about the issue of property rights. I am not a lawyer. I don't know the minutiae of regulatory taking standards in the courts, but neither do 99% of America, but this needs to be the fight. This is meant to be a discussion of the underlying principle of WHY governmental takings are bad. Go read The Cliffs of Insanity where The Warden does a great job of gathering examples just why this is such an important fight.

From the NY Times on June 24th.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 set out a goal that, polls show, is still widely admired: ensuring that species facing extinction be saved and robust populations be restored.

Currently 1,264 species are considered threatened or endangered. Some, like the bighorn sheep of the Southern California mountains, have obvious popular appeal and a constituency, while others, like the Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle in South Texas, are an acquired taste.

There has been a lot of strong opinion expressed on the Kelo decision, a surprising amount of it from the left. It seems that there is near unanimity that the government shouldn't be taking from one person simply to give to another. What about effectively taking someone's property for the benefit of society as a whole?

Everyone is in favor of saving species in danger of extinction, right? It's one of those questions that almost no one even thinks about before answering. Do we really want to save all species equally, though? How much do we want to save species? How do we determine how much we want to save each species?

Normally, when we look at how much we want any given good we look to how much we are willing to pay for it. Lots of squishy types are usually opposed to doing this because it forces people to actually confront how much they want something. They don't like looking at the costs of a societal benefit, so they try to obscure what those costs are. Make no mistake, EVERYTHING has costs.

If, ostensibly, the American people benefit by having the Endangered Species Act, shouldn't it be the government who bears the costs? If someone buys a piece of land to build a house or a shopping center and the government turns around and tells them that they can't because a spotted owl moved onto the land, it effectively takes the value of their property. The government is effectively making THAT citizen bear the cost for preserving that species.

If the government had to actually pay for all the land for which they deny use, it may make people a little more likely to give the matter some critical thought. It might actually make them consider if they were spending their money in the most efficient manner to GET what they are hoping to acquire.

The way the Endangered Species Act is set up and enforced now, if someone discovers an endangered species on their land, what do they have an incentive to do? Shoot, shovel and shutup. Wouldn't it make more sense for the government to ENCOURAGE people to attract and nurture any endangered species on their land? If we as a people are serious about wanting to save endangered species, why not pay bounties to land owners who can prove that they have gotten those species onto his land. It would also of course force us to determine exactly how much we are willing to pay for any given species. I doubt we'll see a "save the smallpox" campaign.

It is the Endangered Species Act and many others like it that the left will use to oppose any fight on property rights during the nomination battle. Time for people to hone their counterarguments.

Did another fight on this front just begin?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

On Spain

How would you like to have your nation be the standard to which other nations make comparisons how they WON'T react to attacks. How would you like it to be known as the ones who folded and caved to the enemies' demands in the face of one attack?

The guests over at The Jawa Report are doing exactly that. Doing it well.
The mother country is being tested by the "Madrid strategy," and I'm reasonably confident that the response will be greater unity and moral clarity rather than less, reflecting yet another miscalculation by the Salafists who consistently underestimate the capacity of their infidel opposition for moral clarity in the face of totalitarian method. England is not new to this game, and has already won a struggle of this sort.

Things that have pissed me off today

Aside from the obvious anger at the murderous thugs who struck in London today this is a list of others who have pissed me off:

Joe's Dartblog had a nice memory of everyone's favorite poorly groomed mountain of moronity:

"There Is No Terrorist Threat. None"

Those words rank near the top in the Michael Moore idiopedia. Now, they are echoed at Cannes once again, surely to rousing applause.

Fox News has become almost unwatchable. Aside from the "America's Most Wanted" format they have taken on, they need to end their moronic policy of referring to suicide bombers as homicide bombers. One of their newsreaders today said that they had confirmation that one of the explosions in London this morning was a "homicide bomber". No shit. ALL of them were HOMICIDE bombers. One of them apparently was a SUICIDE bomber. This is exactly like political correctness, trying to make a political point of using language by obscuring what the hell you're talking about.

The London Attacks

I was going to wait to record my thoughts on this attack on the Brits until I'd cooled off a bit. The thing is, I don't WANT to cool off. I have the same seething rage I did on September 11th, the day of the Beslan attack, and on March 11th. I don't want it to cool. I want them hunted down wherever they are and killed. I want any government that assists them with safe harbor or money to be hunted down and killed.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Big Wind

Finally someone is taking on these greedy bastards!
Wind farms pitch plan to address bird deaths
Environmental groups: Proposed winter shutdowns aren't enough

Wind farm operators in the Altamont Pass are offering to shut down half of their electricity-producing windmills during the winter to reduce bird deaths and to replace them all with more modern machines within 13 years.

Admiral Stockdale Dies

People around my age probably remember Admiral James Stockdale best for his brief appearance on the political scene in 1992. I was 20 at the time of the vice presidential debate that year. I remember vividly watching the debate and more vividly (due to re-runs) Phil Hartman's portrayal of the man on Saturday Night Live.

Maybe a year or two after the presidential race Dennis Miller did a bit in his stand-up routine in which he said (and I'm paraphrasing):
Jim Stockdale committed the one unforgivable sin in America today. He didn't look good on television. People ridiculed him for having to turn up his hearing aid during the debate. Few people knew that the reason he had to wear that hearing aid was because he spent seven years getting smacked in the ears in a POW camp in a war the current president opted out of.
I remember being ashamed of myself for laughing at Hartman's joke, not because it wasn't funny, Hartman was always funny, but because it was something I should have known and didn't. I learned more about the man in William Bennett's compilation of The Book of Virtues. I also gained respect for Dennis Miller that day. He took time out of his stand up routine to make a point of honoring an incredible man, which really didn't get laughs.

Blackfive and Michelle Malkin have great posts summarizing this true hero of America.

Also see this site to see a wonderful tribute. Leave the sound on to let it sink in.

Brainster blog, naturally makes a very similar point, MUCH better than I.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Thanks Sandy. We'll see yah at the retirement party.

Everyone is atwitter with talk of Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement announcement. Most everyone believes that that fight will be nasty and harsh. It had better be. If Bush nominates someone that doesn't send the Democrats into seething fits of apoplexy then he he hasn't chosen the right person.

My personal choice would be Janice Rogers Brown. Make property rights the centerpiece of the fight. There will be screaming and gnashing of teeth but in the end she'll get through. Even Kevin Drum agrees that "May's filibuster compromise pre-qualified her as not being an "extraordinary circumstance" that would provoke a filibuster. She's a freebie!"

Nickie Goomba has some more ideas for nominations that would make a quick and easy confirmation.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated in late June 2003. A little over a month later she was confirmed by a vote of 96-3. Anyone want to take bets on whether the Democrats in the Senate will show that sort of deference to the President's nominee that the GOP did when THEY were in the minority?

***** Update *****

Benedict states exactly what I was thinking plus a whole lot more that I hadn't thought of in a way that makes this pathetic little post look terribly lazy and disjointed.

Anytime Hinderacker's arguments agree with my own it gives me that confidence one has when you are pure of heart -- and holding 4 Queens.

The State is Dead. Long Live the State

The state of Minnesota was established in 1858. It had a long and glorious run, but today it came to an end. Many analysts saw the handwriting on the wall in recent weeks. There had been a power struggle within the state's fragile government, but the final straw came when the NFL decided to impose Versailles-like sanctions on one of Minnesota's more prominent citizens.

Now, lawlessness rules the streets. Packs of feral children roam the night foraging for scraps of food. The normal Scandanavian stoicism so often associated with the once great land has been replaced by bands of nomadic tribes searching for a strong-man to provide the security against the ever-present threat of invasion by Canadian hordes from the north and beer-drinking outlaws from the east.

It is unclear how long this state of anarchy will last. Some say only days or weeks, but the future is uncertain.