Friday, February 19, 2010

Vandalism & Violence: The "Conservative" Reaction To Whatever Displeases Them

The liberal media again manages to make blood-thirsty assholes look like blood-thirsty assholes. How long will real Americans allow this "recording" & "quoting" to be used to embarrass their real American leaders?
Conservatives could learn a lot from Tiger Woods' wife Elin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said at the Conservative Political Action Conference today.

"She said, I've had enough," Pawlenty said. "We should take a page out of her playbook and take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government."
So, Gov. P., should conservatives grab a tire iron & smash the face of big government? Take a small plane & fly it into the office building of big government! Or, y'all could get a hold of an Air Force bunker-buster & blow up the basement of big government. A stack of napalm bombs, so you can burn the crops off the fields of big government? Or maybe you should just round up everyone who voted "Democrat" & keep them in camps somewhere until they start thinking straight. We have a few more ideas, none of which involve democracy, voting or any of that messy stuff. Call us, Timmy!

Further Indication of The Violence Inherent in The Conservative Psyche (You Can't Call That Ugliness A Mind)
From Think Progress.
Barr condemned the right’s call to try terror suspects exclusively in military tribunals and defended plans to try suspects in civilian courts. He then insisted that waterboarding is torture, which prompted the crowd to start booing. As they continued to boo, he pointed to the audience and asked, “How would you like to be waterboarded? Try that!”
Keep it up, reactionaries. There'll be enough evidence to have every one of you committed as dangers to yourselves & others before you're through.

19 February: Smokey's & Bobby's Big, Big Day; Aaron Burr Busted For Imperialism; Internment For Residents & Citizens Of Japanese Descent; Bon Scott Chokes On Own Vomit

Today is Friday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2010. There are 315 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 19, 1945, some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on Iwo Jima, where they commenced a successful month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.Audio LinkAn unidentified correspondent reports from the scene
On this date:
In 1473, astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, in north-central Poland.
In 1803, Congress voted to accept Ohio's borders and constitution.
In 1807, Aaron Burr, a former U.S. vice president, was arrested in Alabama on charges of plotting to annex Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico to be used toward the establishment of an independent republic.
In 1846, the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin, with J. Pinckney Henderson taking the oath of office as governor.
In 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph.
In 1881, Kansas prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.
In 1909, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, a precursor to Mental Health America, was founded by Clifford W. Beers. [Most of the inhabitants of this country are probably mentally iller than they were 101 yrs. ago. We know we are. — Ed.]
In 1934, the US Army Air Corps began delivering mail after President Franklin D. Roosevelt canceled private contracts that had come under suspicion. (The hastily arranged, ill-equipped military flights claimed the lives of a dozen pilots, sparking a public outcry before they were dropped several months later.)
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to relocate and intern U.S. residents, including native-born Americans, of Japanese ancestry.
Japanese warplanes raided the Australian city of Darwin; at least 243 people were killed.
In 1959, an agreement was signed by Britain, Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus its independence.
In 1983, 13 people were found shot to death at a gambling club in Seattle's Chinatown in what became known as the "Wah Mee Massacre." (Two Chinese immigrants were convicted of the killings and sentenced to life in prison.)
In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide, 37 years after President Harry Truman first sought approval of the accord. Also in 1986, the Soviet Union launched the Mir space station. It was occupied for 10 of the its 15 years in orbit.
In 1991, Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin demanded the resignation of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1997, Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's major Communist revolutionaries, died at age 92.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton posthumously pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point, whose military career had been tarnished by a racially motivated discharge.
In 2000, George W. Bush defeated John McCain in the South Carolina Republican primary.
In 2002, Vonetta Flowers became the first black athlete ever to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics when she and Jill Bakken took top honors in bobsledding in Salt Lake City.
In 2003, all 289 people aboard an Iranian military transport plane were killed when it crashed in a mountainous region of southeastern Iran.
In 2004, former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the energy trader's collapse. (Skilling was later convicted of 19 counts and sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison; a federal appeals court upheld his convictions, but vacated the prison term and ordered that he be resentenced.) The AFL-CIO endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president. After sanctioning more than 2,800 gay marriages, the city of San Francisco sued the state of California, challenging its ban on same-sex marriages.
In 2005, eight suicide bombers struck in quick succession in Iraq in a wave of attacks that killed dozens. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited a Thai fishing village that had been devastated by the December 2005 tsunami. The USS Jimmy Carter, the last of the Seawolf class of attack subs, was commissioned at Groton, Conn. Iran was reported to be making ready for a possible U.S. attack or at least appearing to prepare for war to dissuade Washington from such an attack. Also in 2005, U.S. Roman Catholic officials said they received 1,092 charges of clergy sex abuse, most involving boys.
In 2006, more than 1,000 people were listed as missing two days after a landslide wiped out a village on the Philippine island of Leyte.
In 2007, European environment ministers called or a 20 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by EU member states by 2020. New Jersey became the third state to offer civil unions to gay couples.
In 2008, an ailing Fidel Castro resigned the Cuban presidency after nearly a half-century in power; his brother Raul was later named to succeed him. Toshiba, creator of the HD DVD, conceded to Sony's rival Blu-ray format. [This explains why the Just Another Blog™ HD DVD playing devil-box was so reasonably priced. — Ed.] President George W. Bush, visiting Rwanda, pleaded with the global community for decisive action to stop grisly ethnic violence plaguing other African nations like Kenya and Sudan. Barack Obama cruised past Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wisconsin primary and Hawaii caucuses.
In 2009, President Barack Obama made a quick visit to Canada, his first trip outside the U.S. since taking office; he reassured Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the U.S. was not cultivating a protectionist streak despite its economic difficulties. A jury in Moscow voted unanimously to acquit three men in the killing of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Smokey Robinson is 70. Singer Bobby Rogers (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) is 70. Actress Carlin Glynn is 70. Sony Chairman, CEO and President Howard Stringer is 68. Singer Lou Christie is 67. Actor Michael Nader is 65. Rock musician Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) is 62. Author Amy Tan is 58. Actor Jeff Daniels is 55. Rock singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 54. Talk show host Lorianne Crook is 53. Actor Ray Winstone is 53. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is 51. Britain's Prince Andrew is 50. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Hana Mandlikova is 48. Singer Seal is 47. Country musician Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is 46. Rock musician Jon Fishman (Phish) is 45. Actress Justine Bateman is 44. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 43. Rock musician Daniel Adair is 35. Pop singer-actress Haylie Duff is 25.
Those Born On This Date Include: British actor David Garrick (1717); Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876); jockey Eddie Arcaro (1916); novelist Carson McCullers (1917); & actor Lee Marvin (1924).
Today In Entertainment February 19
In 1922, vaudeville star Ed Wynn became the first big name in show business to sign for a regular radio show.
In 1958, The Miracles released their first single, "Got A Job," an answer song for The Silhouette's "Get A Job."
In 1972, Paul McCartney and Wings released "Give Ireland Back to the Irish," a commentary about the Britain-Ireland conflict. It was banned by the BBC, but still reached the top 20 in England.
In 1974, Dick Clark staged the first American Music Awards as an alternative to the industry-dominated Grammy Awards. The winners of the American Music Awards are determined by the votes of music fans. "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" by Tony Orlando and Dawn won for favorite pop single that year.
In 1977, Fleetwood Mac released the album "Rumours." It sold more than 17 million copies.
In 1980, AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott died after choking on his own vomit after an all-night drinking binge in London. He was 33. His death came just months after the band scored its first North American success with the album "Highway to Hell."
In 1981, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled George Harrison "subconsciously plagiarized" the song "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons for his hit, "My Sweet Lord." Harrison was ordered to pay $587,000.
In 1995, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee married Pamela Anderson of the TV show "Baywatch" on a beach in Cancun. The bride wore white -- a bikini. They've since divorced.
In 1996, London police arrested singer Jarvis Cocker of Pulp for allegedly attacking three children performing with Michael Jackson at the Brit Awards. Cocker admitted he walked on stage but denied he touched any children.
In 1997, the Trinity Broadcasting Network canceled Pat Boone's "GospelAmerica" show after viewers complained about Boone's appearance on the American Music Awards. He had been promoting his "In a Metal Mood" album by wearing a dog collar and black leather. The show was later reinstated. Also in 1997, a judge in New York dismissed a $7 million lawsuit a fan filed against Motley Crue for hearing loss suffered at one of their concerts. The judge said the fan knew the concert would be loud going in to it.
Thought for Today: "There is, I think, nothing in the world more futile than the attempt to find out how a task should be done when one has not yet decided what the task is." — Alexander Meiklejohn, American educator (1872-1964).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Derangement Syndrome

A dog-whistle we can't decode. It's titled "Uncle Samurai," which doesn't help our understanding of it.
More here. All very, shall we say, odd?

Random & Idle Musings

It took Israel's Mossad 18 people to off one Hamas arms-dealer or whatever, who was alone in his hotel room?

Which scares conservatives more, Negroes or homosexuals? A "crossover between RuPaul and Barney Frank," that's what (Maybe there's anti-Semitism in there as well, & of course women make them very nervous too.):
How can conservatives win the youth vote that overwhelmingly went for Barack Obama in 2008? At the Conservative Political Action Conference, apparently, some are betting on using racial stereotypes.

In a panel appealing to conservatives under 30, Jason Mattera, author of a forthcoming book called “Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation,” likened the gathering to “our Woodstock.”

“Except that unlike the last gathering, our women are beautiful, we speak in complete sentences and our notion of freedom doesn’t consist of snorting cocaine,” he said, “which is certainly one thing that separates us from Barack Obama.”

After the laughing died down, he added, “Actually, on the cocaine front, I do believe many people in America viewed Barack as they do drugs: it was a substance to experiment with.”

Dramatic pause for more laughter, and then, “But like most narcotics,* the hangover afterward has them thinking, What the hell did I just do?”

Mr. Mattera, also a television correspondent for the Web site HotAir, said that Mr. Obama had created the “right opportunity to capture what is perceived as the left’s stronghold on the youth vote.”

Even Obama Girl, he exclaimed, “said her crush has faded!”

He then mocked what he described, with a Chris Rock voice, as “diversity,” including, he said, college classes on “cyber feminism” and “what it means to be a feminist new black man.”

Describing the latter, he said: “Think of a crossover between RuPaul and Barney Frank.”

He described his book, to be published by Simon & Schuster, as an effort to create “a movement designed to capture and educate freedom-loving young people everywhere.” Offering up a slogan, he adopted the Chris Rock voice again: “Get your government off my freedom!”

Can we save our generation from Obama zombies, he asked. He answered himself by borrowing the president’s campaign slogan: “Yes, my brothahs and sistahs. Yes we can!”

*Cocaine: Not a narcotic. Who's a brainwashed zombie?

Warning To The Yellow Peril/Red Menace!

Fuck w/ Google all you want (Please!) but mess w/ Blogger (Or our part of it.) and you will reap the whirlwind. (Nor sure what that means, biblical, maybe, but it sounds pretty good.)
Online Attacks on Google Said to be Linked to Schools in China

A series of online attacks on Google and dozens of other American corporations have been traced to computers at two educational institutions in China, including one with close ties to the Chinese military, say people involved in the investigation.

They also said the attacks, aimed at stealing trade secrets and computer codes and capturing e-mail of Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April, months earlier than previously believed. Google announced on Jan. 12 that it and other companies had been subjected to sophisticated attacks that probably came from China.

F*CK CENSORSHIP!

It would appear that the manifestos & on-line ramblings & rantings of the criminally insane are immediately taken from the WWW if the criminally insane actually do anything criminal (And we know the evil-doers at Google would pull our 4,215 posts & entire sad life poured into this slice of cyberspace were we to act on our boundless rage & pain.) so maybe not. Not this wk., anyway.

On Hiatus

Expect typing here to be light. We're off to flight school, having been overcome w/ a sudden, burning desire to know how to start a plane (anybody's plane) & get it in the air. We'll let Gawd be our co-pilot for the landing.

As soon as we have that under our belt, expect a long & detailed diatribemanifesto concerning all the Nazi/gov't. motherfuckers who are out to get us. (They'll all be sorry.)

From The Mailbag

We received an answer to the guest post from The Mahablog we ran this Monday. Well, not an answer exactly.
Health Insurance Birmingham said...

According to the market-research group Datamonitor, medical inflation is the reason for yearly increases of 8% in health insurance premiums. The steady progress in the development of new drugs, therapies and equipment used to diagnose medical conditions and the resulting costs are an obvious reason for this. This is understandable and everyone wants the latest in diagnostics and treatments. Equipment becomes obsolete with time and invariably the very words newer and improved mean a rise in cost.
What the hell? A British private insurance clearing house? "Medical inflation?" (Perhaps that's one of those deals where a balloon is stuffed up one's vein or artery & inflated to improve/allow blood flow. We've no better idea.) This must be some sort of spammery (How these fucking robots are getting by the word verification is beyond us.) because it certainly doesn't provide any rationale or even information about health insurance cos. jacking up their rates & profits, little of which goes to "the latest in diagnostics & treatments."

More Crap From Other Sources

These two we may read:
Brit Wits Bash America
Hating the U.S. to its face is all the rage in British comedy—and Americans love it. Expat Sean Macaulay looks at why we love being called idiots.

And, why we are idiots:
Return of the Fright Wing
As right-wingers ready for CPAC, the convention reveals a shocking sponsor: the conspiracy-spewing John Birch Society. John Avlon on how the original Wingnuts have entered the mainstream.

Compare & Contrast

Look, we barely skim most of this crap anymore, but as a public service we link to you a brace of items from East Coast Assholes (granted, Timothy Egan types "on American politics and life, as seen from the West," but he does it for The NYT) about our imaginary friends in the decent & Western part of our neighbour to the north, on whose side we'd just as soon be should we need immigration recommendations in 2012/3 or 2016/7, depending.

Allez Canada!


Will Vancouver Avoid the Olympic Curse?

By Verena von Pfetten(?)

Those OIdies But Goodies ...

From ME, a link to the far past of 50 yrs. ago., before ZIP Codes & numerical-only 'phone prefixes. (Oddly enough, the "MA." in the bottom left advert, even though it was in downtown Hell, stands for MAdison, not MAin.)
Pretty damn funny. Of course, rock&roll; had been reduced to suckiness then, 'though w/in four yrs. & a mo. (We actually first heard "Please Please Me" in late 1963.) The Beatles would be bringing the black back (in their own washed-out limey way) to America's pop music consumers, & suckers like Don Page would be consigned to the dustbin of cultural history.

Whatever: Art Laboe (KPOP @ 1000 Sunday morning) who claims to be the first guy to play the rock on the coast, remains on the air, more or less 'phoning it in, reading dedications & taking calls from low-riders dedicating "Angel Baby" to Sleepy & Puppet.

Note also that KABC was virtually all Geee-Zus all the time on Sunday.

Constitutional Crisis

Saw this by sorta-reasonable-for-a-conservative conservative Daniel Larison at Balloon Juice.
I cannot object to the statement that the “federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.” This is true. However, I have no idea why the organizers of this gathering think that anyone will believe their professions of constitutionalism after enabling or acquiescing in some of the most grotesque violations of constitutional republican government in the last forty years. If constitutional conservatism means anything, it has to mean that the executive branch does not have wide, sweeping, inherent powers derived from the President’s (temporary) military role. It has to mean that all these conservatives will start arguing that the President cannot wage wars on his own authority, and they will have to argue this no matter who occupies the Oval Office. It has to mean unwavering conservative hostility to the mistreatment of detainees, and it has to mean that conservatives cannot accept the detention of suspects without charge, access to counsel or recourse to some form of judicial oversight. Obviously, constitutional conservatives could in no way tolerate or overlook policies of indefinite detention or the abuse of detainees. They would have to drive out the authoritarians among them, and rediscover a long-lost, healthy suspicion of concentrated power, especially power concentrated in the hands of the executive.
Being somewhat late to comment (We despise the Eastern elitists who have been awake & functioning for eight or so hrs. by the time we stir.) & not wanting to read all the silly crap in the comments to see if our point had been made, we'll make it here:

All well & good, but when the brighter (or just louder) lights of the dimbulb movement continually (Poot Gingrich being only the latest, w/ his "But Richard "Shoebomber" Reid was an American citizen!" lie on "The Daily Show.") take the approach/attitude that Constitutional rights apply only to American citizens (& the subtext that, somehow, they should apply to Yankee pig-dogs everywhere) rather than to any person on American soil or under U.S. jurisdiction, what the fuck do you expect?

18 February: "Bloody Mary" Born; Marty Luther & Michelangelo Die; Filibusters & "Know-Nothings" Throughout U.S. History; Scientology Founded By Scam Artist; "Chicago Seven" Convicted In Miscarriage of Justice; No. 3 Car Loses Its Driver

Today is Thursday, Feb. 18, the 49th day of 2010. There are 316 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 18, 1885, Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published in the U.S. for the first time (it had been published in Canada and England the previous December).
On this date:
In 1516, Mary Tudor, the queen of England popularly known as "Bloody Mary," was born in Greenwich Palace.
In 1546, Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, died in Eisleben.
In 1564, artist Michelangelo died in Rome.
In 1735, the first opera presented in America, "Flora, or Hob in the Well," was performed in present-day Charleston, S.C. [Time travel? — Ed.]
In 1841, the first filibuster in the U.S. Senate began. It ended March 11.
In 1856, the American Party, also known as the "Know-Nothing Party," nominated its first presidential candidate, former U.S. President Millard Fillmore. But, he carried only Maryland and the party soon vanished.
In 1861, Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the provisional president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Ala.
In 1865, after a long siege, Union naval forces captured Charleston, S.C.
In 1930, photographic evidence of Pluto (now designated a "dwarf planet") was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.
In 1954, the Church of Scientology was established in Los Angeles.
In 1960, the 8th Winter Olympic Games were formally opened in Squaw Valley, Calif., by Vice President Richard M. Nixon. [Vancouverines: Kwitcher bitchin! You only had to put up w/ Biden & his motorcade. — Ed.]
In 1967, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the "father of the atomic bomb," died in Princeton, N.J., at the age of 62.
In 1970, the "Chicago Seven" defendants were found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention; five were convicted of violating the Anti-Riot Act of 1968 (those convictions were later reversed).
In 1972, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty.
In 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its maiden "flight" above the Mojave (moh-HAH'-vee) [That's (moh-HAH'-vay), AP cretins. And if you capitalize all the letters of the accented syllable, you really needn't put the apostrophe in there too. As if any of the morning zoo DJ morons who need pronounciation guides would know what it meant. — Ed.] Desert.
In 1979, Snow fell in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the known time.
In 1984, Italy and the Vatican signed an accord under which Roman Catholicism ceased to be the state religion of Italy.
In 1988, Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1991, one person was killed and 40 more injured when the IRA bombed two railroad stations in central London.
In 1993, a ferry carrying more than 800 people capsized off Haiti's western coast, killing at least 150 people and leaving several hundred more missing and presumed drowned.
In 1998, sportscaster Harry Caray died at age 83.
In 1999, The Clinton administration warned Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to choose peace with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, or face a devastating military strike.
In 2001, auto racing star Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died from injuries suffered in a crash on the final turn of the final lap at the Daytona 500; he was 49.
A 25-year veteran of the FBI, Robert Hanssen, was arrested at a park near his suburban Washington home and charged with spying for the Russians.
In 2000, Iranians voted in an election that gave reformers a majority in the parliament, long a bastion of hard-liners.
In 2003, around 200 people died and many more were hurt in a South Korea subway fire set by a man authorities say apparently was upset at his doctors.
In 2004, Howard Dean's quest for the presidency ended as the Democrat, winless in 17 contests, abandoned his bid. In Iran, runaway train cars carrying fuel and industrial chemicals derailed, setting off explosions that destroyed five villages and killed at least 265 people. Two bomb-laden trucks blew up outside a Polish-run base in Hillah, Iraq, killing about a dozen people.
In 2005, explosions tore through Baghdad and a nearby city on the eve of Shiite Muslims' holiest day, Ashura, killing three dozen people. Dozens more Iraqis died in similar sectarian attacks the next day. Also in 2005, Uli Derickson, the flight attendant who'd helped save passengers during the 1985 TWA hijacking, died in Tucson, Ariz. at age 60. And a panel of experts voted to advise the FDA that popular painkillers Celebrex, Bextra and Vioxx can cause heart problems.
In 2006, Hamas took over the Palestinian legislature as a result of the January election. American Shani Davis won the men's 1,000-meter speedskating in Turin, becoming the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history. Also in 2006, a reported 16 people died in rioting in Nigeria over published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that had enraged Muslims around the world, coming one week after riots in Libya and Pakistan despite pleas for calm from Muslim governments.
In 2007, an explosion on a train in northern India and the resulting fire killed 66 people and injured more than 50 others. India's railways minister called it "an act of terrorism."
In 2008, opponents of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf won the majority of seats in the nation's parliamentary elections. The winner was the Pakistan People's Party, headed by Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto. A suicide car bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy killed 38 civilians in southern Afghanistan. Republican John McCain picked up the support of former President George H.W. Bush. Andy Pettitte apologized to the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and his fans for the "embarrassment" he caused them by taking human growth hormone. Writer Alain Robbe-Grillet died in Caen, France, at age 85. Also in 2008, two of four art masterpieces stolen from the Zurich museum a week earlier, the Monet and the van Gogh, were found in perfect condition in the back seat of an unlocked car in Zurich.
In 2009, President Barack Obama launched a $75 billion foreclosure rescue plan aimed at saving homes. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton began a two-day visit to Indonesia. Eric Holder, the nation's first black attorney general, said in a speech to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month that the United States was "a nation of cowards" on matters of race. Pope Benedict XVI received House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Vatican, telling her that Catholic politicians had a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development." The remnants of New York's Shea Stadium were demolished.
Today's Birthdays: Author & former Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown is 88. Actor George Kennedy is 85. Former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) is 83. Author Toni Morrison is 79. Movie director Milos Forman is 78. Singer Yoko Ono is 77. Singer/songwriter Bobby Hart is 71. Singer Irma Thomas is 69. Singer Herman Santiago (Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) is 69. Singer Dennis DeYoung is 63. Actress Sinead Cusack is 62. Actress Cybill Shepherd is 60. Singer Juice Newton is 58. Singer Randy Crawford is 58. Rock musician Robbie Bachman is 57. Rock musician Larry Rust (Iron Butterfly) is 57. Actor John Travolta is 56. Game show host Vanna White is 53. Actress Greta Scacchi is 50. Actor Matt Dillon is 46. Rapper Dr. Dre is 45. Actress Molly Ringwald is 42. Actress Sarah Brown is 35. Singer-musician Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) is 33. Actor Tyrone Burton is 31. Rock-singer musician Regina Spektor is 30.
Those Born On This Date Include: Stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848); Italian automaker Enzo Ferrari (1898); actors Merle Oberon (1911) & Jack Palance (1919); game show host Bill Cullen (1920); cartoonist Johnny Hart (1931); & film director John Hughes (1950).
Today In Entertainment February 18
In 1953, "Bwana Devil," the movie that heralded the 3-D fad of the 1950s, opened in New York.
In 1968, David Gilmour replaced Syd Barrett as lead guitarist for Pink Floyd. [And another tolerable band bit the fucking dust. — Ed.]
In 1969, Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees married singer Lulu in England. Three-thousand fans showed up.
In 1972, Neil Young got a gold record for his album, "Harvest," which includes the number one single, "Heart of Gold."
In 1974, Kiss released its self-titled debut album. It only made it to 87 on Billboard's album chart, but it stayed on the chart for 23 weeks.
In 1992, fans rushed the stage at a New Kids on the Block concert in Seoul, South Korea, crushing people at the front of the crowd. A 17-year-old girl died the next day of injuries suffered in the stampede. The singers were not injured. Also in 1992, Vince Neil quit as lead singer for Motley Crue, after eleven years with the group. He said he wanted to spend more time on his race car driving. He has since returned to the band.
In 1995, Bob Stinson, a founding member of The Replacements, died in Minneapolis of complications from drug and alcohol abuse. He was 35.
In 2005, announcer Bob Hite Sr., whose rich voice introduced "The Lone Ranger" on radio, died in West Palm Beach, Fla. at age 86. [No apparent relation to Bob "The Bear" Hite. — Ed.]
Thought for Today: "What is man but his passion?" -- Robert Penn Warren, American author, poet and critic (1905-1989).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

News From Slate

Really? Is that any way to refer to our brave sailors & Marines?

17 February: National Congress Of Mothers Convenes; "Madama Butterfly" Goes Over Like Iron Balloon; Geronimo & Thelonius Monk Die

Today is Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, the 48th day of 2010. There are 317 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 17, 1897, the forerunner of the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, convened its first meeting, in Washington.
On this date:
In 1801, the U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president; Burr became vice president. It took 35 House ballots.
In 1809, the Ohio legislature voted to establish Miami University in present-day Oxford. (The school opened in 1824.)
In 1817, a street in Baltimore became the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.
In 1864, the Union ship USS Housatonic was rammed and sunk in Charleston Harbor, S.C., by the Confederate hand-cranked submarine H.L. Hunley, which also sank.
In 1865, Columbia, S.C., burned as the Confederates evacuated and Union forces moved in. (It's not clear which side set the blaze.)
In 1867, the first ship passed through the Suez Canal.
In 1904, the original two-act version of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" was poorly received at its premiere at La Scala in Milan, Italy.
In 1909, Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo (also known as Goyathlay, "One Who Yawns") died at Fort Sill, Okla., at age 79.
In 1933, Newsweek magazine was first published.
In 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
In 1959, the United States launched Vanguard 2, a satellite which carried meteorological equipment on board.
In 1964, the Supreme Court, in Wesberry v. Sanders, ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.
In 1968, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened in Springfield, Mass.
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon departed on his historic trip to China.
In 1986, Johnson and Johnson halted production of all non-prescription drugs in capsules following the death of a Peekskill, N.Y., woman from cyanide-laced Extra-Strength Tylenol.
In 1992, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison.
In 1995, Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings that also wounded 19 people.
In 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue," winning a six-game match in Philadelphia.
In 1999, in a satellite-linked address to college campuses across the country, President Bill Clinton made his case for shoring up Social Security and Medicare. Israeli security guards shot and killed three Kurds who had forced their way into the Israeli consulate in Berlin; the protesters were enraged by reports that Israel had aided in the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
In 2000, a House panel said in a report that the program to inoculate all 2.4 million American military personnel against anthrax was based on "a paucity of science" and should be suspended; the Pentagon defended the program and vowed to continue the inoculations.
In 2002, the new Transportation Security Administration took over supervision of aviation security from the airline industry and the Federal Aviation Administration. A series of raids by communist rebels left 137 dead in Nepal.
In 2003, when security guards used pepper spray to break up a fight at a packed Chicago nightclub the ensuing panic by patrons resulted in 21 deaths as the crowd stampeded for the exits.
In 2004, Cingular Wireless agreed to pay nearly $41 billion in cash to buy AT&T Wireless Services. Gay marriages continued in San Francisco in defiance of state law after two judges declined to rule on efforts to halt the practice. John Kerry won the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary, with John Edwards placing second and Howard Dean coming in a distant third. Former Mexican president Jose Lopez Portillo died in Mexico City at age 83.
In 2005, President George W. Bush named John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, as the government's first national intelligence director. Iraq's electoral commission certified the results of the Jan. 30 elections and allocated 140 of 275 National Assembly seats to the United Iraqi Alliance, giving the Shiite-dominated party a majority in the new parliament.
In 2006, more than 1,000 people were believed killed in a mudslide that covered a village on Leyte in the central Philippines.
In 2007, a bomb exploded in a judge's chamber in southwestern Pakistan, killing the judge and 13 others. Also in 2007, 22-year-old Prince Harry of England was ordered to the front lines in Iraq along with his British army unit. He didn't go, however, since publicity about his presence was deemed a potential danger to his unit.
In 2008, Kosovo declared itself a nation in defiance of Serbia and Russia. Thousands of ethnic Albanians celebrated in the streets but some others resorted to violent protest. The United States and several other nations, including Britain, Germany, and France, recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state. Also in 2008, a suicide bomber attacked a crowded dogfight near Kandahar in Afghanistan, killing about 80 people, including a local police chief, and injuring nearly 100. President George W. Bush rejected proposed Democratic changes to his prized international AIDS relief program, issuing a challenge to Congress from Tanzania to "stop the squabbling" and renew it as is. Ryan Newman snapped an 81-race winless streak, giving car owner Roger Penske his first Daytona 500 victory. The East beat the Western Conference 134-128 in the NBA All-Star Game.
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed a mammoth, $787 billion economic stimulus package into law in Denver; he also approved adding some 17,000 U.S. troops for the war in Afghanistan. Most Republican lawmakers argued it contained too much "pork-barrel" spending and not enough tax cuts.
Also in 2009, General Motors and Chrysler asked for an additional $14 billion from the government to keep from going bankrupt. That made their total request to $39 billion.
Today's Birthdays: Bandleader Orrin Tucker is 99. Actor Hal Holbrook is 85. Mystery writer Ruth Rendell is 80. Singer Bobby Lewis is 77. Comedian Dame Edna (AKA Barry Humphries) is 76. Country singer-songwriter Johnny Bush is 75. Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown is 74. Actress Mary Ann Mobley is 71. Actress Brenda Fricker is 65. Actress Rene Russo is 56. Actor Richard Karn is 54. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 48. Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is 47. Actor-comedian Larry, the Cable Guy is 47. TV personality Rene Syler is 47. Movie director Michael Bay is 45. Singer Chante Moore is 43. Rock musician Timothy J. Mahoney (311) is 40. Actor Dominic Purcell is 40. Olympic gold medal skier Tommy Moe is 40. Actress Denise Richards is 39. Rock singer-musician Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) is 38. Actor Jerry O'Connell is 36. Country singer Bryan White is 36. Actress Kelly Carlson is 34. Actor Jason Ritter is 30. TV personality Paris Hilton is 29. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is 29.
Those Now Dead But Born On This Date Anyway Include: Mail order retailer Aaron Montgomery Ward (1843); engraver Frederick Ives (1856); Texas oil millionaire H.L. Hunt (1889); sportscaster Red Barber (1908); author Margaret Truman Daniel, daughter of U.S. President Harry Truman (1924); actor Alan Bates (1934); singer Gene Pitney (1940); political activist Huey P. Newton (1942);
Today In Entertainment February 17
In February 17th, 1960, Elvis Presley received his first gold album, for the album called "Elvis." It included the songs "Rip It Up," "Old Shep" and "Ready Teddy."
In 1970, singer Joni Mitchell announced her retirement from live performances. She was back to doing shows within the year.
In 1971, James Taylor made his prime-time TV debut on "The Johnny Cash Show." Taylor sang "Fire and Rain" and "Carolina on My Mind."
In 1972, Pink Floyd premiered "Dark Side of the Moon" in concert at London's Rainbow Theater. The album was released the next year.
In 1976, The Eagles' album "Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)" was released.
In 1979, The Clash kicked off its first US tour in New York. "A Prairie Home Companion," hosted by Garrison Keillor, made its debut on National Public Radio.
In 1982, jazz pianist Thelonius Monk died after a long illness at the age of 64.
In 1988, in Hollywood, Florida, a 12-year-old fan of Motley Crue set his legs on fire while trying to imitate a stunt in the group's "Live Wire" video. He suffered burns over ten percent of his body. Motley Crue said the band's stunts should not be tried at home.
In 2005, actor Dan O'Herlihy died in Malibu, Calif. at age 85.
Thought for Today: "Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life." — George Sand, French author (1804-1876).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

California Campaign Up-Date

TBogg on the case, w/ an amusing Baghdad By The Bay reference.

About iCarly:
She and her husband Frank live in Los Altos Hills, CA, with their two Yorkshire Terriers, Max and Snickers. They have a daughter and two granddaughters. Another daughter is recently deceased.
Couldn't find any cause of death info* on Ms. Fiorina's step-daughter, who was 35 when she died last October. A simple "died in a car accident" or something would certainly deflect all the gossip & questions that a phrase such as "is recently deceased" will bring up. Speculation, therefore, is not irresponsible. Perhaps the Yorkies, who, unlike the step-daughters, have names, are more important to the Fiorinas.

If anyone is wondering, we'll take on any of the male Republican candidates in this Senatorial/Gubernatorial ugliness the minute any attention is paid to any of them. As the best-known men in both races are long-time California office-holders & political hacks, not zillionaires who want to continue failing upwards w/ their Golden Parachute money, that's probably not going to happen anytime soon.

We can only advise potential voters to look into iCarly's & Nut-Meg's exemplary voting records. But hey, who has to do something as bothersome as vote when you &/or your corporate entity can buy, sell or trade all the politicians you need, right?

And remember, both of these spoiled brats (Extra-sad for people over 50 to be spoiled, innit?) were involved in the McCain/Palin 2008 debacle. And not as precinct captains or 'phone-bank workers.

Extra-worrisome: Has anyone seen Céline Dion & Ms. F. in the same room?
*Admittedly, we did about as much research as Jonah Goldberg & Megan McArdle combined would have. But we admit it!

Another Example Of The American National I.Q.

Ron Beasley pulls some quotes about what a fucking dullard Evan Bayh is.

Quotes from Jonathan Chait & Ezra Klein, for gawd's sake, calling someone platitudinous. Pot to kettle: "Dude, you're hot!"

Olympic Limp-Dick Up-Date

We weren't much on watching hoops on the tube when our largest tube was a mere 14 diagonal inches. The acquisition of a much more manly 27" tube made the roundball visible, & telebision viewing thereof tolerable. (Though really, is there much point to watching any b-ball before the possibly decisive game in the first-round play-off series?)

Now, w/ 40 fooking inches of ++manly (& "High-Definition") screen, we've passed by a hockey game or two, as the Nasty Broadcasting Company has the winter games all over their various outlets, including MSNBC, the default background noise setting for us as we get up & scour the web for awful shit that must be pointed at.

But that little chunk of black whatever the hockers push around remains barely visible. No converts here.

National I.Q. About To Drop Further

This article launches The Hive, a series of projects designed to harvest the collective intelligence of Slate readers to solve practical problems.
We have a few ideas, beginning w/ mass suicide & working down from there.

On a slightly more practical note, maybe one of the intellectual giants reading this Slate drivel (kausfiles, anyone?) can develop a way to harness the hysterics & "lulz" generated by phrases such as "the collective intelligence of Slate readers" & convert it into energy so you consumer sheep can power your fucking electric razors, curling irons, smart 'phones & dildoes while you're driving three blocks to get more shit at the 7-Eleven. Or while you're driving some ridiculous distance to get bread & milk, since there are no stores w/in a sensible distance of your suburban enclave tenements-of-the-future.

Shoot Us Now!

Uh, hang on a sec. Not right now, but if this awful, awful, person
In the corporate world, she is known for her competence and cunning. Instead of talking about her political experience, she talks about her business expertise—years of working on branding at Procter & Gamble, Bain, Hasbro, and Disney, all of which led her to create the "Country First" slogan for John McCain's presidential campaign, of which she was national co-chair. Her campaign revolves around the GOP standbys of tax cuts, deregulation, and gutting welfare as the keys to recovery.
is elected governor, we may beat you to it.

"Cunning." A euphemism for vicious evil & manipulative abilities. As confirmed by her experience as a "brander," corporate-speak for "lying sack of shit." And the invention of "Country First." Tell us again about how much you cared for your country, John Sidney McCain III.
Her recent stab at literary outreach, The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life reads more like Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten for the corporate set. The book is full of platitudes like "you can't buy integrity," "courage is contagious," "the power of validation," and "enfranchise your partners" but is very short on humanizing revelations. The few moments of personal trauma included are described in PowerPoint-ready sound bites: her sister overcoming a bout with mental illness is her "power of many moment"; the family's reaction to the disease's onset is when their "bias-for-action gene kicked into gear." When she refers to her marriage to neurosurgeon Griffith Harsh IV as the "Whitman-Harsh merger," it's not entirely clear whether she's joking.
We'll state for the record that she is a joke. How will Nut-Meg run the most populous state in these United Snakes w/ its huge, somewhere-in-the-ten-largest-economies-in-the-world economy, when
 Her two college-age sons, Griff and Will Harsh, have reportedly been tossed from more than one prep school, and a private dining club, and are said to have been banned from the dorms at Princeton. (If true, that means they would be forbidden from living even in the $30 million Whitman College dorm created by a donation from their mother.) Her camp has not responded to the Internet rumors about her sons' behavior—which also includes accusations that they casually toss around the N-word. This makes Whitman the latest in a chain of female candidates who have had to answer for errant family members, a list that includes Palin, Hillary Clinton, Claire McCaskill, Dianne Feinstein, and Geraldine Ferraro.
That sounds like a load of sexist twaddle. Unless they're trying to smear Chelsea Clinton, we'll figure that the Hillary C. reference is to her brother (Or was it brothers? Who remembers or cares?) whose errancy can hardly be laid at Secretary Clinton's feet. The list of male pols whose relatives & offspring are less than ideal runs from here to Billy "Beer" Carter's gas station.

And "branding?" The real, original Whitman College. (One of our many alma maters, if a school from which one didn't bother to graduate can be called one's alma mater.) And the bogus Whitman College, at Princeton. That's some clever "branding." (We are assuming that Nut-Meg is not related to Marcus Whitman, the namesake of the real Whitman College, as Marcus & some other honkies were righteously massacred at his missionary outpost near present-day Walla Walla in 1847 by the people who lived there already.)
Despite a personal fortune topping $1 billion, her campaign has centered on slashing state spending. She's written op-eds declaring she'd hack away at welfare by imposing "stricter sanctions on adults who fail to meet work requirements." She's also said she would suspend the state's pioneering greenhouse-gas emissions restrictions. Her book is peppered with words like "value," "lean," "streamline," "frugal," "minimizing," and "budgeting."
That right, welfare layabouts, the unemployment rate is in the negatives, so put that walker down & get a job! Can't you hear the buzz-words?

Collective National Guilt, Democracy Justify Death To America!

We've previously expressed similar thoughts about certain Northern European nations (You know who you are!) as well as these United Snakes, but we can't put it any better than this.
Awlaki has denied all involvement in terrorist activities, but defended the targeting of American civilians by terrorists last week, telling al-Jazeera, “The American populace is living within a democratic regime and they hold the responsibility of its policies; the American populace elected the criminal Bush for two presidential runs, and they elected Obama who’s not different from Bush.”
Granted, SCOTUS bears responsibility for the first Bush selection, but Americans didn't riot in the streets or otherwise resist; they are guilty, guilty guilty.

We'd go on & on w/ our America hate, but we must speak to (American) bureaucrats now. Nuke a Yankee pig-dog for world peace!!

Also, be ready for another "Crazed Old Honky Goes On Murder Spree At Gov't. Office Or Bldg." headline! As we like to type: "You've been warned, mother-fuckers!"

NB: Much like the towel-head religious moron we quote above, we deny all involvement in terrorist activities. No, really.

Star Trek '74

A geeky weirdo posts scans of his Gold Key comic books. Weird, man. (Bugger™, a Google service, won't upload the swell Star Trek page we selected. First time that's happened. Cover worked though.) So look for yourself.
And, Magnus, Robot Fighter. W/ (sort of) underpeople!
Too damn bad scanners are better than the humanoid eye.

Less Music, Not Very Often At All

16 January: Elks Organize; Tut's Tomb Trashed By Limey; Nylon®©™ Patented; "Camel Newsreel Theatre" Airs; Castro In Charge; Sunnyvale Spree Killings; Beatles To India

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2010. There are 318 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 16, 1960, the nuclear-powered radar picket submarine USS Triton departed New London, Conn. on the first-ever totally submerged circumnavigation by a vessel, a voyage which took nearly three months. [Well, except for the part where the crewman who had appendicitis was taken off the boat, for which they didn't surface all the way. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates.
In 1862, some 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered at Fort Donelson, Tenn. (Union General Ulysses S. Grant's victory earned him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender Grant.")
In 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New York City.
In 1918, Lithuania proclaimed its independence, which lasted until World War II (it again declared independence in 1990).
In 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt by English archaeologist Howard Carter.
AP sez: In 1937, Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont, received a patent for nylon.
UPI sez: In 1933, a patent for the synthetic fiber nylon was awarded to the DuPont Co.
In 1945, American troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.
In 1948, NBC-TV aired its first nightly newscast, "The Camel Newsreel Theatre," which consisted of Fox Movietone newsreels.
In 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba a month and a-half after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
In 1968, the nation's first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated, in Haleyville, Ala.
In 1977, Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.
In 1986, Mario Soares was elected Portugal's first civilian head of state in 60 years.
In 1988, seven people were shot to death during an office rampage in Sunnyvale, Calif., by a man who was obsessed with a co-worker. (The gunman, Richard Farley, is under sentence of death.)
In 1989, investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, said a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was what brought down Pan Am Flight 103 the previous December, killing all 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground.
In 1990, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan provided videotaped testimony for the Iran-Contra trial of former national security adviser John Poindexter.
In 1992, the chief of the Iranian-financed Hezbollah and two family members were killed in a bombing raid by Israel in an apparent retaliation for attacks against its soldiers. Also in 1992, the Los Angeles Lakers retired the jersey number of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who stepped down after contracting the virus that causes AIDS.
In 1998, a China Airlines Airbus A300-600R trying to land in fog near Taipei, Taiwan, crashed, killing all 196 people on board.
In 1999, enraged Kurds seized embassies and held hostages across Europe following Turkey's arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. Testimony began in the Jasper, Texas, trial of John William King, charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Junior. (King was later convicted and sentenced to death.) Germany announced that $1.7 billion would be set aside to compensate victims of the Holocaust. Also in 1999, Northern Ireland's legislature approved the structure for a new executive government in the strife-torn province -- a major step toward implementing the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.
In 2000, Lucy Edwards, a former Bank of New York executive, and her husband, Peter Berlin, pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to conspiring to launder billions of dollars from Russian bankers in one of the biggest such schemes in U.S. history. (The couple was fined, put under house arrest for six months and given suspended sentences.)
In 2002, the operator of a crematory in Noble, Ga., was arrested after dozens of decomposing corpses were found stacked in storage sheds and scattered around the building and surrounding woods.
In 2003, a massive storm hit the Northeastern United States resulting in record snowfall in several locations, including Boston, which caught 27.5 inches. Also in 2003, North Korea celebrated the 61st birthday of President Kim Jong Il with nationwide celebrations and a threat to "annihilate" the United States if attacked. [Bring it in, bee-yotch!! — Ed.]
In 2004, a confident John Kerry launched a full-throttle attack on President George W. Bush's economic policies, mostly ignoring his Democratic rivals on the eve of the Wisconsin primary. The Walt Disney Co. rejected a takeover bid by Comcast Corporation. A draft survey showed U.S. children accused more than 4,000 Roman Catholic priests of sexual abuse from 1950-2002.
In 2005, the NHL canceled what was left of its decimated schedule after a round of last-gasp negotiations failed to resolve differences over a salary cap — the flash-point issue that had led to a lockout. Israel's parliament gave the final approval to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. The Kyoto global warming pact, which the U.S. never ratified, went into effect. Also in 2005, a new survey said China had become the world's biggest consumer of agricultural and industrial goods, except for oil, in which the United States still had the lead.
In 2006, former Haitian President Rene Preval was declared winner of the Feb. 7 presidential election in Haiti. Also in 2006, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights called on the U.S. government to "close immediately the detention center in Guantanamo Bay."
In 2008, President George W. Bush, on a six-day tour of Africa, made his first stop in Benin before flying on to Tanzania. John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, picked up a total of 50 GOP national convention delegates from Michigan and Louisiana. A car plowed into a group of street-racing fans obscured by a cloud of tire smoke on an isolated Maryland highway, killing eight people. Also in 2008, China reported more than 100 people died in harsh winter weather that spawned the worst blizzards in half a century. Many migrant workers were stranded and millions lost electricity.
In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Tokyo to begin her first trip abroad as President Barack Obama's chief diplomat. The government of Pakistan agreed to implement Islamic law in the northwestern region of Malakand in an attempt to pacify a spreading Taliban insurgency. In Stamford, Conn., a 200-pound chimpanzee named Travis went berserk, severely mauling its owner's friend, Charla Nash; Travis was shot dead by police. Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, South Korea's first Roman Catholic cardinal and an advocate for democracy, died at age 86. Japan reported its domestic product fell at a 12.7 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2008, plunging the country into what experts say was its worst financial crisis since World War II.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Patty Andrews is 92. [Holy crap! One of the Andrews Sisters still walks among us? Or shuffles in her walker among us? — Ed.] Kim Jong Il, the president of North Korea, is 68. Actor Jeremy Bulloch is 64. Actor Pete Postlethwaite is 64. Actor William Katt is 59. Actor LeVar Burton is 53. Actor-rapper Ice-T is 52. Actress Lisa Loring is 52. Tennis Hall of Fame player John McEnroe is 51. Rock musician Andy Taylor is 49. Rock musician Dave Lombardo (Slayer) is 45. Rock musician Taylor Hawkins (Foofighters) is 38. Former NFL player Jerome Bettis is 38. Olympic gold medal runner Cathy Freeman is 37. Singer Sam Salter is 35. Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green is 33. Rapper Lupe Fiasco is 28.
Those Born On This Date Include: Historian Henry Brooks Adams (1838); orchestra leader Wayne King and actor Chester Morris (both 1901); ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (1903); actor Hugh Beaumont (1909); U.S. Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Calif. & half of the comedy/song team Sonny and Cher (1935); actress Margaux Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway (1954).
Today In Entertainment February 16
In 1962, Bobby Vinton recorded the song "Roses Are Red." He was in danger of being dropped by Epic Records but still owed them two single sides.
In 1968, John Lennon, George Harrison and their wives traveled to India to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Later, they were joined by Ringo Starr and his wife and Paul McCartney and his fiancee.
In 1969, country singers George Jones and Tammy Wynette were married in Ringgold, Georgia. They had said they were secretly married six months earlier.
In 1974, Elton John released "Bennie and the Jets."
In 1975, Cher's musical variety series debuted on CBS. It ran until 1976.
In 1982, actress Farrah Fawcett and actor Lee Majors were divorced, after nine years of marriage.
In 1990, musician Ike Turner was sentenced to four years in prison on cocaine charges. He began serving his sentence the next day. Four years earlier, Turner had said he had been addicted to cocaine for 15 years.
In 2007, Britney Spears shaved her head after a salon owner refused to do it for her.
Thought for Today: "There are two ways to slice easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking." — Alfred Korzybski, Polish-American linguist (1879-1950). [We doubt that. — Ed.]