Monday, July 10, 2006

Protesting the <i>Times</i>

This photo was taken at a protest held outside the offices of the New York Times yesterday:

There are more pics here.

We're wondering where we can buy those t-shirts.

You Never Know

This surprising (to me) factoid appears at the end of a 2003 Spectator column about Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards:

Richards married for the first and only time on his 40th birthday in 1983, and it probably saved his life. His bride was the 27-year-old Patti Hansen, a home-town girl from Staten Island, New York, and a devout Lutheran. His in-laws gave a startling interview in which they portrayed Keith as an 'enthusiastic disciple of Christ' and that he 'embraced Christ as a way of life'. Under Patti's influence, Richards cut back on drugs, attended church from time to time and even started a gentle exercise regime. 'She's a wonderful girl; I ain't letting the bitch go!' he confirmed in a speech at his wedding reception. Keith may have written 'Sympathy For The Devil' back when, but these days much of his life is spent with a woman who attends a weekly Bible study group and who won't stand for swearing around the house.

Who'd 'a thunk it? I don't know what it means, for sure, but it's interesting.

Thanks to GetReligion for the tip.

Biting the Hand That Feeds You

According to Strategy Page North Korea has a peculiar strategy for winning friends - they steal their trains:

July 5, 2006: While everyone's attention was focused on North Korean missiles, the real story is the North Korean economy. It continues to fall apart, and more North Koreans are unhappy about that. Worse yet, more North Koreans are finding out how badly they have been screwed by their leaders.

Meanwhile, North Korean officials engage in even more bizarre behavior. For example, food and fuel supplies sent to North Korea have been halted, not to force North Korea to stop missile tests or participate in peace talks, but to return the Chinese trains the aid was carried in on. In the last few weeks, the North Koreans have just kept the trains, sending the Chinese crews back across the border.

North Korea just ignores Chinese demands that the trains be returned, and insists that the trains are part of the aid program. It's no secret that North Korean railroad stock is falling apart, after decades of poor maintenance and not much new equipment. Stealing Chinese trains is a typical loony-tune North Korean solution to the problem. If the North Koreans appear to make no sense, that's because they don't. Put simply, when their unworkable economic policies don't work, the North Koreans just conjure up new, and equally unworkable, plans.

The Chinese have tried to talk the North Koreans out of these pointless fantasies, and for their trouble they have their trains stolen. How do you negotiate under these conditions? No one knows. The South Koreans believe that if they just keep the North Korean leaders from doing anything too destructive (especially to South Korea), eventually the tragicomic house of cards up north will just collapse. Not much of a plan, but so far, no one's come up with anything better.

You can't blame the Koreans, I suppose. Box cars make fine apartments, by Pyongyang standards.


Ken Miller, a much published biologist from Brown University, was a star witness for the prosecution in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial of last Fall. It turns out that some of his most important testimony was ... ah, erroneous.

Evolution News and Views has the story.

Bush Stole Mexico!

Not only did the incompetent, doltish ninny George Bush somehow contrive to steal Florida in 2000 he also stole Mexico in 2006! How does such an idiot manage such amazing feats of electoral skullduggery? The world's keenest sleuth when it comes to detecting right-wing perfidy, Greg Palast of the Guardian, tells us exactly how, sort of.

We've always said that G. W. is a man not to be misunderestimated. Now if only Bush could work some political magic in North Korea and Iran.