Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

September 22, 2009

Don’t Drink and Parent

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:58 am

Good advice always, but especially to these people:

OMAHA, Neb. — A Malvern, Iowa couple was charged with misdemeanor child neglect after police said they left their 4-month-old daughter in their car while they got drunk in a west Omaha bar.

Who was the designated driver?

September 3, 2008

Liberals claim ANOTHER faked pregnancy!

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:26 pm

You will be pleased to know that the liberals at DailyKos and elsewhere who broke the rumor that Gov. Palin faked a pregnancy to cover up the “fact” that her youngest child is “really” her daughter Bristol’s, are not taking the announcement that Bristol is currently pregnant lying down.

They’re now claiming that Bristol’s current pregnancy is a fake, to cover up the “fact” that the Governor faked an earlier pregnancy to cover up Bristol’s real pregnancy!

Can you believe it? Here’s DailyKos:

This is a complete cover up from the McCain campaign because the blogosphere is actually making headway in exposing Ms. Palin’s fake pregnancy. I made this deduction by how fast they’re willing to tell us about what we didn’t really ask them about.

Bristol is not currently pregnant; this press release is a head fake.
Bristol’s tummy is still big from the birth of Trig
Gov. Palin is using the ultimate cover up to cover her fake pregnancy.

Bristol is the real mother of Trig. And Trig is the grandson of Sarah.

This admission is all the proof we need; this admission of pregnancy is the red-flag.

Again congratulation folks for an outstanding “grassroots oppo job”

Congratulations indeed…..

I have always been impressed by the ability of liberals to believe mutually contradictory facts (as in this list which is portrayed as humor but is basically true).

But this really takes the cake.

Ironically, if Bristol were not actually pregnant now, there would have been NO WAY to refute the “fake pregnancy” charge — a DNA test can’t reliably distinguish which of a mother-daughter pair is the real mother of a child, since mitochondrial DNA is passed unchanged from mother to daughter (or son). And of course, if a DNA test showed that Todd Palin was the father, they’d just add incest to the list of allegtions.

And of course, they couldn’t use medical records from Trig’s birth, since the whole claim is that those records were faked.

September 1, 2008

Smearing Sarah Palin

It didn’t take long for the Democrats to come up with a preposterous smear of Sarah Palin — just going to show that they will say anything to discredit their opponents, no matter how nonsensical it is.

This posting at DailyKos, the leading website of the liberal “netroots,” and its followup here, claim she faked her pregnancy for political gain.

Yup, you read that right. They claim that a 43-year-old governor, constantly in the public eye, faked a pregnancy, and produced a child of which she is not the real mother, to burnish her pro-life credentials. As if, with four children already, these needed any burnishing. After all, they seem to think, you aren’t really pro-life unless your baby has Downs’ syndrome, which this child apparently has.

And where, do they claim, she obtained this baby? They are claiming it is really her then-16-year-old daughter’s baby. And they are claiming that this makes Sarah Palin a hypocrite as far as her pro-life credentials go.

Now, putting aside the fact that there is no credible evidence to support this claim, let’s look at the logic here. Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that Palin’s daughter got pregnant out of wedlock, and Palin decided to cover for her and claim it’s her baby. How does this make her a pro-life hypocrite? The claim seems to be that by providing her daughter with an option other than abortion, she would be hypocritical.

That is, in fact, completely backwards. Hypocrisy means claiming it’s OK to do yourself what you say others shouldn’t do. If she’d told her daughter to get an abortion, which seems to be what the DailyKos folks want — that would have been hypocritical for a pro-life person. Providing an alternative — especially one that gives the daughter a second chance to live the values she’s been taught — is exactly what a pro-life person would be expected to do. Obviously, most pro-life parents don’t want their daughters getting, or sons causing, pregnancies out of wedlock. But everybody knows that (a) kids don’t always do what their parents want, and (b) people sometimes succumb to temptation and do things that contradict their own values.

So the liberals have “accused” Gov. Palin of doing something that is entirely consistent with her expressed values. In fact, most people would consider doing what she’s accused of to be incredibly noble and compassionate. But since a Republican did it, it must be awful, right?

Keep in mind that this is assuming that the DailyKos claims are correct — and there is, at present, exactly no evidence for those claims. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this baby is anyone’s but Gov. Palin’s. The “evidence” they present consists basically of three things:

  1. Gov. Palin was age 43 at the time of the pregnancy. According to DailyKos, “everyone knows” 43-year-olds don’t get pregnant. Baloney. My own mother did, and without fertility drugs. I saw my sister 30 minutes after she was born.
  2. Gov. Palin flew around in a plane to give a speech shortly before the birth, then returned to Alaska to deliver the baby. This is viewed as “impossible” since pregnant women generally don’t travel late in pregnancy, therefore this “proves” that she was in fact returning to Alaska to be there when her daughter gave birth, to “pose” as the real mother. Now it’s true that most pregnant women generally don’t travel late in pregnancy — but maybe pregnant Governors do. I don’t think we’ve had a pregnant governor before, so there isn’t any prior data to support this claim.
  3. They have some pictures in which it’s not totally obvious that Gov. Palin is pregnant under her big coat, and one picture in which her daughter has a little fat showing above her waist. Folks, some pregnancies don’t show much. And sometimes fat looks a bit more round than normal, especially with the kind of dress the daughter is wearing. Sheesh.

But of course, none of that matters, since everything is justified in pursuit of the higher goal of smearing Republicans (especially non-white-males who have the uppity to be Republicans, and of course electing the Messiah Obama president.

This isn’t just the nutcases at DailyKos by the way. Some mainstream liberals, like Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic are starting to pick this up.

Fortunately, at least one reasonable liberal is calling them out on this. Ann Althouse writes:

“Stop prying into other people’s vaginas, even if you happen to oppose them politically. What is wrong with you people?”

The insane obsession with Sarah Palin’s pregnancy rages on.

This will all go down in the annals of feminism, people. So think before you write. …

The top one is a new Kos diary, from ArcXIX:

Well, Sarah, I’m calling you a liar. And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better.

Whew! That is ugly. Pictures are posted, with captions like: “Sarah’s waistline never changed. Her wardrobe still remained tight and professional.” Note the gratuitous insult to pregnant working women. They can’t possibly dress in a professional manner. There are also enlarged photos of the 16-year-old daughter with comments about the shape of her abdomen. The whole world is invited to talk about that teenager’s body.

How nice. How feminist. How “liberal.”

And they say the other side objectifies women and doesn’t respect their bodies?

And by the way — back when Clinton was president, didn’t these people say that personal life isn’t relevant politically, and that lying about sex was OK?

Who again are the hypocrites?

May 13, 2008

On Stage, but Not Acting

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:00 pm

So in my last post, I noted that real life seemed to be imitating a famous play. Apparently, sometimes the mix-up goes the other way.

Actor collapses on stage for real during heart attack scene

May 3 2008 By Kevan Christie

A SICK actor collapsed on stage – at the same time as his character was meant to have a heart attack and die.

Steve Dineen was taken to hospital after he keeled over during the dramatic finale of Mike Leigh’s famous comedy Abigail’s Party.

In the play, lead character Laurence dies of a heart attack in the final minutes and Dineen was moments away from acting out the death.

So when he fell suddenly to the floor, the audience at Musselburgh’s Brunton Theatre thought it was just part of his impressive performance.

But co-star Alice Selwyn noticed Dineen’s struggle was genuine and came out of character to ask for a doctor.

The actor was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and kept in overnight for tests.

The theatre’s marketing officer, Paul Brunton, said last night: “It was very traumatic at the time because it coincided with the exact moment where Steve’s character was about to have a heart attack.

“It was almost like real life imitating art.

“Thankfully, Steve is going to be OK. We’ve had lots of phone calls from the audience to check on him, which has been nice.”

Theatre spokeswoman Rachel Menzies added: “It had been going fantastically well up until that point, so it was quite a shock.

“When it became clear to some of the other actors that he wasn’t acting any more and that he was in some distress, they asked for the show to be halted.

“The ambulance was here in a matter of minutes.”

The Crucible in Florida

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:00 pm

I’d thought this sort of thing went out with the Salem witch trials, but I guess not:

Fla. Teacher Accused Of Wizardry
Man Made Toothpick Vanish In Class

POSTED: 10:15 pm EDT May 5, 2008
UPDATED: 12:39 pm EDT May 7, 2008

LAND ‘O LAKES, Fla. — A substitute teacher in Pasco County has lost his job after being accused of wizardry.

Teacher Jim Piculas does a magic trick where a toothpick disappears and then reappears.

Piculas recently did the 30-second trick in front of a classroom at Rushe Middle School in Land ‘O Lakes.

Piculas said he then got a call from the supervisor of teachers, saying he’d been accused of wizardry.

“I get a call the middle of the day from head of supervisor of substitute teachers. He says, ‘Jim, we have a huge issue, you can’t take any more assignments you need to come in right away,’” he said.

Piculas said he did not know of any other accusations that would have led to the action.

The teacher said he is concerned that the incident may prevent him from getting future jobs.

Well, of course the teacher should be concerned that the incident may prevent him from getting future jobs.

I’m more concerned that about the intelligence of the people running the school system that supposed to be teaching the next generation.

February 13, 2008

Another Good Reason…

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:00 pm

… Not to live in New York City. Especially — and I really mean this — if you have a child who is over the age of 5, likes to read everything, and is inquisitive. At least, if you intend to ride the subway or drive or walk on the streets with said child.

New Yorkers Encouraged to Get Busy with Free Condoms
Health Department Unveils Ad Campaign, New Condom Design

Your tax dollars at work!

December 20, 2007

Use a cellphone, Go to jail

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:50 pm

New guidelines from British prosecutors:

Motorists caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving could be jailed for two years under tough new guidelines issued today by prosecutors.

At least they’re not being completely inconsistent:

Drivers who adjust sat-navs, tinker with MP3 music players such as iPods or send text messages at the wheel could also face prison sentences.

Or capricious:

Prosecutions will be brought if by using the equipment a motorist is judged to have posed a danger to other drivers, such as causing another car to swerve.

On the other hand, if you pose a danger to other drives by being stupid or incompetent or daydreaming, that’s perfectly OK. It’s only if you use a device to accomplish the distreaction that you risk jail.

But don’t worry, at least they won’t print your picture:

When a murderer escaped from a New Brunswick [Canada] prison on Thursday, officials refused to release his photograph, citing departmental privacy policy. … Under its privacy rules, a photo of a convict cannot be released unless the inmate gives permission and signs a release form …

Next time, make him sign the form before he escapes!

I am in the wrong business!

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:28 pm

Now I know why I’m not rich. It’s because I am not creative enough to have thought of this.

This guy is brilliant. Not for wanting to do this to someone, but for thinking of selling the service. Brilliant is a really wacko sort of way, of course.

November 16, 2007

“Bad” News from Iraq

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:29 am

Sometimes, people often say the media is biased. Sometimes, they say the media focuses too much on bad news. Sometimes, they are so right it’s almost funny.

Note that the story quoted below is not a parody. It is not from The Onion, or Scrappleface, or some other humor-focused publication. It is from the quite mainstream McClatchy Newspapers, which include such papers as the Raleigh News & Observer, The Miami Herald, and others, and it appears on Yahoo News.

You have to see it to believe it:

As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch

By Jay Price and Qasim Zein, McClatchy NewspapersTue Oct 16, 2:40 PM ET

NAJAF, Iraq — At what’s believed to be the world’s largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn’t good.

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that’s cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.

The burials aren’t expensive, usually $200 or less, but many people draw their income from them.

When a family arrives— after going through the indignity of having the coffin searched repeatedly for explosives— the body is taken to be washed at one of five family-owned businesses. Female bodies are washed by teams of women. Men wash the male bodies.

The bodies are then carefully wrapped in white cotton shrouds, made in factories in Najaf that also export them. Then the bodies can be taken to the tomb of Imam Ali for a ceremony that includes circling the imam’s tomb.

After prayers, the coffin is borne to the gravesite. There, professional preachers are paid to recite verses from the Quran. The family and the gravedigger remove the body from the coffin and ease it into the grave, placing the head in a niche dug at the end of the grave that faces Mecca.

“Certainly, when the number of dead increases I feel happy, like all workers in the graveyard,” said Basim Hameed, 30, a body washer. “This happiness comes from the increase in the amount of money we have.”

So if “the surge is working,” they can blame Bush for the decreased income of Iraqi cemetery workers!

November 1, 2006

Democratic Candidate Arrested

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:52 pm

Well, that’s not the original headline of this story, but it could have been.

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Maine attorney who released information in 2000 about President George W. Bush’s drunken driving conviction was arrested on Tuesday after he dressed up as al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and waved a fake gun at traffic.

Police in South Portland, Maine, arrested Thomas Connolly, 49, of Scarborough, Maine, and charged him with criminal threatening. He was released on bail, local officials said.

Connolly, a Democrat, ran for governor in Maine in 1998.

The line about Connolly being a Democratic candidate was the second-to-last sentence in the story (the last giving the location of South Portland, Maine, relative to Boston).

I suppose it is an indication of the media’s bias (er, point of view) that much earlier in the article, they took the opportunity of the Democratic candidate’s arrest yesterday for criminal threatening to re-hash Bush’s arrest 30 years ago:

The Bush campaign said Democratic “dirty tricks” were behind the disclosure that at age 30 Bush had been arrested for drunken driving in Kennebunkport, Maine, pleaded guilty, paid a fine and had his license suspended for 30 days.

We’ll see if this guy gets any punishment at all for dressing up as a terrorist and running around waving (what looked like) a gun at random people. I wonder if he was drunk at the time. Or was he just an idiot? Here’s how he explained his actions:

In a phone interview, Connolly said he’d been trying to protest a planned change in local tax rules.

“I didn’t expect to be arrested,” he said. “Obviously I touched a post-9/11 nerve.”

Right. Protest tax laws by dressing up as a terrorist and running around waving a gun. By John Kerry’s standard, he ought to be sentenced to getting “stuck in Iraq.”

August 3, 2006


Filed under: — Different River @ 10:48 pm

AP Reports:

Double Amputee Marine Mugged Outside Restaurant

POSTED: 1:22 pm EDT August 3, 2006
UPDATED: 1:28 pm EDT August 3, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. — An Iraq war veteran who lost an arm and leg in a roadside bombing was mugged during a night out from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, according to an Associated Press report.

Lance Cpl. Mark Beyers, 27, and his wife were attacked and robbed as they left a restaurant in Bethesda, Md. on July 22.

The Marine from western New York was dining out while finishing up rehabilitation at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

As they left the restaurant, five men approached them and asked for a cigarette.

Denise Beyers told The Buffalo News they gave the men a cigarette — but then the men grabbed her purse, kicked her and knocked the couple to the ground.

The thieves made off with $500 just wired to them by a relative.

Mark Beyers expects to be back home in the Buffalo area this weekend.

His family is planning a fundraiser for him on Aug. 12.

June 20, 2006

Backyard Global Warming

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:49 pm

James Taranto points to this gem from ABC News, which sounds like the sort of thing you’d see in the satirical newspaper, The Onion:

Witnessing the impact of global warming in your life?

ABC News wants to hear from you. We’re currently producing a report on the increasing changes in our physical environment, and are looking for interesting examples of people coping with the differences in their daily lives. Has your life been directly affected by global warming?

We want to hear and see your stories. Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown? The differences can be large or small — altered blooming schedules, unusual animals that have arrived in your community, higher water levels encroaching on your property.

Well, I’ve noticed that in my community, there has been significant warming over the past six months. And yesterday, there was a massive rainstorm which caused a much higher-than normal water level in my backyard.

I guess by ABC’s standards, that’s proof of global warming!

May 24, 2006

Horrible Headline

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:53 pm

The New York Post has this headline:


On which the indefatigable James Taranto commented:

“Don’t Worry, Mr. Gore, He’s Dead.”

April 7, 2006

San Francisco Condemns the Catholic Church

It was just a couple of weeks ago that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution officially condemning “Christian fundamentalist[s]“, in what appears to me to be a blatant violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) — that “The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.”

Now, it turns out that 10 days before that, they took it upon themselves to condemn the Catholic Church, as well — and to tell them to change their religious beliefs, and to tell local Catholics to “defy” (their word!) the Vatican:

Resolution urging Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity has head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, to withdraw his discriminatory and defamatory directive that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco stop placing children in need of adoption with homosexual households.

WHEREAS, It is a insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great City’s existing and established customs and traditions such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need; and

WHEREAS, Cardinal Levada is a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city, and of the people of San Francisco and the values they hold dear; and

WHEREAS, The Board of Supervisors urges Archbishop Niederauer and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to defy all discriminatory directives of Cardinal Levada; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican (formerly known as Holy Office of the Inquisition), to withdraw his discriminatory and defamatory directive that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco stop placing children in need of adoption with homosexual households.

Now, put aside your opinions on adoption for the moment, and take this as a pure First Amendment issue. Since when does the government have the right to condemn a specific religion, and to direct its citizens to “defy” their religious leaders?

Eugene Volokh suggests that the government:

… is quite entitled to express its views … and to condemn groups that, in its view, express “hateful” ideas.

But it seems to me that the right rule is that government officials must be able to comment on religious groups when their actions touch on secular matters, for instance arguing that terrorism is antithetical to the proper understanding of Islam, or that the Catholic Church’s views on adoption by homosexual couples are wrong.

In a rare [for him] oversight, he seems to miss the distinction between “government officials … comment[ing]” and an official resolution passed by an official governmental body. He also seems to miss the Supreme Court’s clear language in Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) — that “The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.” This proclamation clearly violated that neutrality.

Clayton Cramer noted the non-neutrality by pointing out what would happen in the reverse case:

I guess San Francisco county government is free to express their opinion — although I would expect if the Butte, Montana city government passed a resolution praising the Southern Baptist Church, the ACLU would be looking through the precedents, looking for some way to turn this into an establishment of religion clause violation.

Frankly, I kind of hope that Butte, Montana, or some other place, does just that, just to prove the point.

One of the commenters on Volokh’s blog adds:

I think the Vatican would revoke the City’s right to use the name of one of their saints.

This might also present a solution to the banning of stuffed rabbits in St. Paul, Minnesota, on the theory that they are offensive to non-Christians.

And Dave Hardy, also commenting there, adds this (obvious?) point:

I suppose that, in light of the Mohammed cartoon affair, it is now mandatory that Catholics riot and break things and kill people in order to get a little respect?

The blatant religious discrimination only seems more blatant when you note the obvious fact that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would never condemn an Islamic organization on such terms. It’s not that Islam is pro-gay — after all, in Islamic Iran, gays are publicly executed by hanging on the orders of Islamic courts.

No, the difference is, radical Islamicists are opposed to the United States in a way that the Catholic Church and Christian fundamentalists are not — and that gives the Islamicists immunity from criticism in San Francisco.


  • The vote for the anti-Catholic resolution was unanimous. There was not one member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who thought it inappropriate for the government to condemn a religion.
  • The Catholic League is suing, claiming “that the First Amendment ‘forbids an official purpose to disapprove of a particular religion, religious beliefs or of religion in general.’” Thanks to Crescat Sententia for the pointer

March 7, 2006

Life Imitates Art: A Hitler Comedy from Israel?

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:58 pm

In the musical The Producers, these two guys make a musical comedy called “Springtime for Hitler.” It is supposed to flop. It succeeds. This is funny, because it would never happen this way in real life. No one would make a comedy about Hitler — right?

Wrong. Roger Boyes reports in The Times [of London]:

SWASTIKAS fluttered over Berlin yesterday, German soldiers raised stiff arms in the Hitler salute and hundreds of bedraggled spectators shouted approval as the Nazi leader delivered a faltering speech.

“My God,” said Benny Zimmerman, from St Louis, as he left Berlin Cathedral. “They’re back!”

Dani Levi, the Israeli director, has turned the German capital upside down in an attempt to recapture the atmosphere of Nazi Germany for a new comedy about Adolf Hitler.

… “The film is to be called Mein Führer,” a spokeswoman for Mr Levi said.

“It will be in the tradition of Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not To Be.”

The premise is that Hitler survived the war and wants to set the record straight.

The making of the film has given many the chance to perform illegal acts. “Where else in Germany can you shout ‘Heil Hitler’ at the top of your voice?” said one extra.

The film-makers had to gain the permission of Berlin City Council to display the swastikas. But the council failed to warn tourists and locals, who stared as the Nazis marched around. “I think it’s really tasteless, especially as it’s happening next to the cathedral,” said Gabi Metzler, from Bavaria, standing on the church steps to get a better view.

“It’s our first visit to Berlin,” said her friend, Gertrude. “Things seem to have changed much less than we had expected.”


February 27, 2006

Clinton Looking for More Interns

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:17 pm

It had to happen. Bill Clinton is looking for more interns. The William J. Clinton Foundation, which is former President Clinton’s vehicle for, in their words, “continuing the work of his presidency,” is advertising on its website for interns.

The announcement says that interns will get “hands-on experience.” Hands on what, they don’t say. But they do say that interns will “have the responsibility of interacting directly with staff.” Whose “staff,” they don’t say. What sort of “interacting directly” they don’t say.

They do say the internships are “unpaid.” I will not speculate on what this says about the wealth and party affiliation of those they expect to apply, but I will note that they have “three locations: New York City, Little Rock, Arkansas and Quincy, Massachusetts” and that it is illegal to pay for certain, um, “jobs” in states other than Nevada.

(Hat tip: Scott Sala via Michelle Malkin.)

February 20, 2006

Marie Claire Endorses the Iraqi Insurgency

And they even call it “feminist”! Debbie Schlussel has details.

Marie Claire coverFemale Iraqi Insurgent

The insurgent is quoted, without apparent irony, as saying, “freedom is handcuffs, democracy is prisoner hoods.” Does this remind anyone of George Orwell?

I think the folks at Marie Claire must live in a world in which “feminist” means “opposed to the United States.”

February 17, 2006

Special Forces Llamas

As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up:

New special forces vehicle kicks ass — the llama

Friday, February 17, 2006

TEL AVIV — Israel’s military has found the perfect vehicle for special operations forces — the llama.

After extensive tests, the uncomplaining work-horse animals were found to easily out-perform donkeys. What’s more, they need refuelling [sic] only every other day.

Military sources said the Israel Army plans to use llamas for reconnaissance and combat missions in enemy territory, Middle East Newsline reported. They described the llama as ideal for special operations missions in Lebanon against the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.

“The llama is a quiet and disciplined animal that can carry huge loads,” a military source said. “Vehicles make noise and need roads and fuel. We’ve tried donkeys and they are not suitable for such missions.”

I’m sure the anti-Israel folks over at PETA will condemn the “conscription” of llamas.

Why do I call PETA “anti-Israel”? Because, three years ago, the Palestinians used loaded up a donkey with explosives, left the donkey by the side of a road, and detonated the explosives by remote control when a bus passed by. One bus passenger was injured, but the donkey was of course killed. And this, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk found worthy of a protest letter — in the form of a fawning, obsequious plea to Yasser Arafat to “please add to your burdens my request that you appeal to all those who listen to you to leave the animals out of this conflict?”

They didn’t have any objection, apparently, to the use of human beings — even mentally retarded boys — as suicide bombers. Nor do they object to the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians, tourists, and other visitors. As Kerry Dougherty put it in the Richmond Virginian-Pilot:

Perhaps Ms. Newkirk would prefer that the Palestinians used suicide bombers instead of burros. Oh, that’s right, they usually do.

Lisa Lange, PETA’s vice president of communications, told me yesterday that Newkirk’s letter was written after their offices had been bombarded with calls from PETA members who had learned of the donkey bomb.

Lange said it’s PETA’s philosophy that human cruelty often begins with animal cruelty.

The Washington Post this week [of Feb. 6, 2003 --DR] asked Ms. Newkirk if she had “considered asking Arafat to persuade those who listen to him to stop blowing up people as well” as animals.

Her response should be required reading for all would-be members of PETA:

“It’s not my business to inject myself into human wars,” Newkirk told the Post.

How does one respond to such moral ambiguity?

How about a body count of human bodies?

In January 2003 — the month in which the donkey died — 21 Israelis and eight foreign nationals were killed by terrorists in Israel, and 127 others were injured.

Yet PETA weeps for the a$$ .

January 20, 2006

Clooney vs. Abramoff

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:00 pm

Jack Abramoff may be a crooked lobbyist, but some of his enemies are real jerks. Totally without class. And the Washington Post has taken steps to cover it up.

January 15, 2006

Didja Miss Me?

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:39 pm

This fellow was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists, held for five days, rescued by American special forces — and then discovered that “the worst aspect of his ordeal” was, well, not so bad after all. As reported in The Guardian:

A British man kidnapped in Iraq and held for five days by armed men who threatened to behead him was rescued last week by American special forces and astonished to discover that no one had noticed he was missing.

Phil Sands, 28, a freelance journalist, was held by gunmen who ambushed his car in Baghdad. He said the worst aspect of his ordeal was imagining the anguish of his family. But his parents were holidaying in Morocco and knew nothing of his sufferings until he called them after he was released during a chance raid by US forces on a farm outside Baghdad.

Sands, from Poole, Dorset, has been to Iraq 10 times since February 2003, sometimes for three-month spells. On Boxing Day, shortly after 9.30am, he was blindfolded, handcuffed and forced into the boot of a BMW by men with balaclavas and AK-47 automatic rifles. ‘I just knew I was dead, that I wouldn’t get out alive. I began to think of my parents in Britain, how they would have to watch this on the news and what it would do to them. I felt I could cope with whatever happened to me; it was what they would go through that was unbearable.’

Sands’s parents, David and Jackie, were in a state of blissful ignorance throughout, as were the authorities. They spoke to their son on Christmas Day, then went on holiday. David said last night: ‘We were fortunate that we didn’t go through the nail-biting anxiety of knowing he was missing. I feel fairly philosophical about it, and so does my wife. He loves that place and I’m sure he’ll be going back.’
For Sands, the escape came after he had surrendered all hope. ‘I thought with absolute certainty, “I’m dead – it’s now just a matter of the technical details,”‘ he told The Observer. ‘I was strangely calm – there was no point in panicking.’

One of Sands’s captors told him, in Arabic, that if he was a soldier, or helping the occupation, he would be beheaded. He was made to record a video urging the British people to remove Tony Blair from office. The same thing had happened to Ken Bigley, the hostage from Liverpool executed in Iraq in 2004.

But the US army, on a routine mission, came to the rescue. He recalled: ‘I was in bed and heard helicopters, which I assumed would move on. But then there were footsteps and a banging at the door. It burst open and two young American soldiers came in with flashlights. They woke up my guard and shone a torch in my face. One of them said, “What the fuck?” I said: “I’m a Brit, dammit.”‘

(Truth in blogging disclosure: I’ve re-ordered the paragraphs around the “[...]” so the story makes more sense. Journalists have an odd way of ordering paragraphs… .)

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