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.