Good news, and/or bad news

These are the actual AP article headlines, via Yahoo News.  Read, and enjoy:

(AP) Poll:  Americans see gloom, doom in 2007.[*1]

Six in 10 people think the U.S. will be the victim of another terroristattack next year, more than five years after the Sept. 11 assault onNew York and Washington. An identical percentage think it is likelythat bad guys will unleash a biological or nuclear weapon elsewhere inthe world.
. . .
The telephone poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Dec. 12-14 by Ipsos,an international polling firm. The margin of sampling error was plus orminus three percentage points.

AP Poll:  Americans optimistic for 2007.[*2]

Seventy-two percent of Americans feel good about what 2007 will bringfor the country, and an even larger 89 percent are optimistic about thenew year for themselves and their families, according to the poll.
. . .
The AP-AOL News poll of 1,000 adults was conducted by telephone fromDec. 12-14 by Ipsos, an international public opinion research company.The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Of course, you have to dig through six paragraphs of the more positively-titled article about how bad the Iraq war is going before you come to this paragraph.  Interestingly, this story, and the immediately previous one on the list, appear to refer to the very same poll.

Today’s Top 10–12/30/2006

A new occasional feature (call it a Whip if you must):

10:  Here are your 2006 Darwin Award Winners.[*1]

(No article quote.  Follow the link.)

9:  You know those movie monsters who ominously reassemble themselves after the hero has blown them to bits?  Kind of like AT&T?[*2]

AT&T completed its $86 billionpurchase of BellSouth Corp. after federal regulators cleared theway for the U.S. telephone industry’s biggest takeover ever.

8:  Totten talks to Lebanese Christians.[*3]

“What do you two think of US foreign policy here?” I said.

“We love America, but have doubts,” Jack said. “They let Syria comein here in 1991 for help in Iraq.” Jack was referring to formerSecretary of State James Baker, who green-lighted Syria’s invasion andoverlordship in Lebanon in exchange for “help” during the first PersianGulf War. How Hafez Assad lent any meaningful assistance in oustingSaddam Hussein from Kuwait has never been clear. Lebanese were sold tothe Syrian wolf for a cheap price indeed, and Aoun constantly harps onthis point to his followers.

7:  Barbara Boxer notices CAIR’s terror connections.[*4]

In a highly unusual move, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California hasrescinded an award to an Islamic activist in her home state because ofthe man’s connections to a major American Muslim organization thatrecently has been courted by leading political figures and even the FBI.

6:  Fourth Indiana Jones movie on the way.[*5]

Harrison Ford will once again play the lead, revisiting a character that his performance in 1981’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark” made an icon. The 64-year-old Ford said at the inaugural Rome Film Festival in October that he was excited about the project and hoped that he was “fit to continue” to play Indiana Jones despite his age. It’s tough to say what effect age will have on the story, but Lucas — who has kept the plot under wraps — has divulged that the latest action flick will be a “character piece.

5:  France to publish UFO archive.[*6]

According to Reuters[*7] ,the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) will post a database ofsome 1,600 UFO sightings to the Web in late January or early February.Names, however, will be redacted from the database for privacy reasons.

4:  Wall Street has best year since 2003.[*8]

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 16.3% for the year, a sharp turnaround after the blue-chip index lost 0.6% in 2005.

3:  Islamists continue attacks on Israel[*9] .

Last Tuesday, the Islamic Jihad group launched at least seven Qassam rockets at Sderot in southern Israel. About 10pm the last reached its target – Adir Bassad and Matan Cohen, ninth graders aged about 14, who had no time to reach a bomb shelter.

While surgeons battled to save the children’s lives and limbs, residents of Sderot felt increasingly abandoned by the Israeli Government, which continues to seek a peace agreement with the Palestinian territories while as many 60 Qassam rockets have been fired into Israel since a so-called ceasefire was agreed to on November 25.

2:  Ethiopians and Somali Government forces close in on Islamic rebels.[*10]

The Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government occupation of Mogadishu has begun. Shabelle notes[*11] that “over thousand Ethiopian troops accompanied by military vehicles”entered Mogadishu, and “hundreds of Mogadishu residents could be seenclapping and handing [wreaths] to the Ethiopian troops.” In an opinionpiece about how the world views the Somali conflict, SomaliNet says the welcoming of the TFG and Ethiopian forces should not be surprising[*12] .”The overwhelming feedback SomaliNet received so far tells a uniquestory. The majority of the feedbacks we received were pro-courts in thefirst days of the war. As soon as the government started winning, themood changed into nationalism, sense of [pride] and the possibility ofa long awaited national government. The public loves winners no matterwhich side.”

1:  Saddam assumes room temperature.[*13]

As the 42-year-old Hussein coolly puffed on a cigar, names of the plotters were read out. As each name was called, secret police led them away. Some of the bewildered men cried out “long live Saddam Hussein” in a futile display of loyalty.

Twenty-two of them were executed. To make sure Iraqis got the word, Hussein videotaped the entire proceeding and distributed copies across the country. The plot claim was a lie.

“A larger war is emerging”

So says Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut)[*1] in the Washington Post:

While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging. Onone side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran, onthe other moderates and democrats supported by the United States. Iraqis the most deadly battlefield on which that conflict is being fought.How we end the struggle there will affect not only the region but theworldwide war against the extremists who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001.

Look up from the morbid body-count of how many U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq and see the world as it is, not how you wish it to be.

Via Instapundit[*2] .

Hawks meet Eagles in NYC

Not a sports story[*1] :

NEW YORK – Pale Male, the famed red-tailed hawk of Central Park, was perched on the 22nd floor of the swank Beresford apartment building on Wednesday when the national emblem of the United States soared past, carrying a large fish in its talons.

“Pale Male usually sits there sort of relaxed, but he sat up straight when he saw the bald eagle,” said Lincoln Karim, the man who made Pale Male and his mate Lola famous with his extensive photographic record of the romantic raptors raising fledglings in their high-rise aerie on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

Beans, beans, the musical fruit . . .

Flatulence blamed for starting jail fight[*1]

Sheriff Jerome Kramer said the incident was a result ofovercrowding. The jail was built in 1933 and has a capacity of 23inmates, according to 2006 standards, Kramer said. As many as 65inmates have been lodged at the jail in recent days, he said.

“You just can’t get a reprieve from one another,” Kramer said. “Whenyou’ve got a guy causing problems passing gas, there’s no way to getaway from the smell.”

The report doesn’t say whether the offending action was “silent but deadly” or “loud and proud.”

More Facts on Farts here[*2] . I know you want to read it. Go on. Do it.

Didn’t Benjamin Franklin once write a pamphlet titled “Fart Proudly?” Why yes, he did[*3] .

Re-engaging the world

I haven’t been posting much lately–ever since the November election in fact.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, I really didn’t have much to say.  Second, college basketball season was starting and that always provides me with a huge distraction (and, much entertainment) during the late fall and winter months.

But, with Christmas now behind, I’m beginning to re-engage with the world, and so to post my thoughts here.

The biggest thing I notice is how little changed with the U.S. election results.  The Jihadist threat remains, although Ethiopia is in the process of demonstrating in Somalia that the Jihadists have a very, very vulnerable glass jaw, should they be opposed determined resistance.  Of course, we know this, but our problem has always been that our resistance to Jihadist fascism is anything but determined.  The laughable Iraq Study Group report is a classic example of feckless appeasement.  We shall see if it is remembered in the same breath as Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” prelude to a world war.

Elsewhere, Iran and Syria continue to make trouble.  Iranian agents have been detained in Iraq, and bombs and weapons of undisputed Iranian origin are routinely found in Iraq.  Yet, no one in power is willing to call Iran to account for these acts of war.  Syria and Hezbollah continue to work to destabilize Lebanon.  So far, the world is letting them do it.

Israel continues to send stronger and stronger signals that it will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.  Nobody is listening.

Meanwhile, the scandal-ridden Democrats are set to take power in Congress.  Too bad that nobody wanted to focus on Murtha, Jefferson, Hastings, and the rest of the corrupt Democrats, being so focused as they were on sending the corrupt Republicans home.

So, maybe it’s time to get back to those Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD’s, House, Dr. Who, and Battlestar Galactica on TV, and those rascally Jackrabbits and oh so orange Lady Vols basketballers.  There’s only so much “realism” you can take in one dose.

Mpls. Star-Tribune sold off at a loss

McClatchy Newspapers, which bought the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 1998 for $1.2 billion, is sellng it off for $530 million.  That’s 44 cents on the dollar.

That’s what we normal people call a “loss.”  I’d fire a financial advisor who got me into an investment that lost 66% of its value in eight years.  Wouldn’t you?

Fortunately (note the irony), McClatchy still owns my home town Kansas City Star.  Oh, joy.