August 30, 2007
As is well known to the readers of The Liberty Papers and The Unrepentant Individual, I love beer. It’s also true, largely due to drinking beer, that I could stand to be in better shape. So when I one day found the sport of hashing, I was excited. Sometimes called “a drinking club with a running problem”, it’s an excuse for runners to drink (or in my case, for drinkers to run).
Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I haven’t had a chance to get involved in a hashing club. It’s probably for the best, though, because some hashers found themselves in quite hot water recently:
Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.
The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.
New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.
Daniel Salchow biked back to IKEA when he heard there was a problem and told officers the powder was just harmless flour, which he said he and his sister have sprinkled everywhere from New York to California without incident.
â€œNot in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate anything like that,â€ he said.
Phew. Thank god our fine law enforcement has saved us from crazy ophthalmologists with flour!
In a sane world I would expect that law enforcement would realize that they’ve overreacted, and everyone would go on there merry way… Knowing the world we live in, though, it makes perfect sense that this would be blown out of proportion and these people brought up on felony charges. After all, if the local authorities admit they made a mistake, they might have to answer to someone for it. Much better to simply deny they’ve done anything wrong and blame the victim!
And that’s just what the spokeswoman has done:
Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city plans to seek restitution from the Salchows, who are due in court Sept. 14.
â€œYou see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know,â€ she said. â€œIt could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. Weâ€™re thankful it wasnâ€™t, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out.â€
However, federal authorities have raised us to threat level Orange, until the below terrorist is apprehended.
Hat Tip: Billy Beck
July 11, 2007
James Hetfield, lead-singer of Metallica, learned this week that the UK’s Luton airport was not on his list of places he can roam freely. Sad but true, Hetfield was detained due to his “Taliban-like beard” making officials nervous. One wonders if the rock star felt like an outlaw torn or just another victim of the master of puppets, big brother government. But for his devil’s dance, quickly explaining to the officials that he was a rock star, and not a terrorist, Hetfield may have felt a bit … I don’t know … minus human? Though Hetfield escaped relatively unscathed, nay more a hero of the day, I have no doubt that the memory of his detiainment will remain though nothing else matters.
Let this be a lesson: in the land of wolf and man, the bell tolls for us all … until the-thing-that-should-not-be sleeps, that is.
I’d warn those governments about Hetfield, though… He’s been known to fight fire with fire, and may leave you blackened.
December 12, 2006
…from a potential terrorist carrying the Heisman Trophy.
Troy Smith’s Heisman Trophy was shipped home because airport security would not allow the Ohio State quarterback to take it on the plane Tuesday.
Smith wore a black leather jacket with the Heisman insignia on back when he arrived at the airport from New York, where he was presented college football’s most coveted trophy.
Eddie George, the last Buckeye to win the Heisman in 1995, had his trophy get stuck in an airport X-ray machine, losing the tip of its right index finger and bending the middle finger.
“We decided to have it shipped. That’s much easier. How times have changed. Eddie carried it on the plane and put it in the seat next to him,” sports information director Steve Snapp said.
Smith said he didn’t mind.
“No, because Eddie’s finger got bent,” Smith said. “I don’t want that to happen to mine.”
I feel safer. Don’t you?
UPDATE: According to Doug & the Columbus Dispatch, this may not be accurate. It appears he had planned to ship the statue all along, so it was not damaged in the process. That’s what I get for trusting an unreliable
blogger AP Sports Writer. Do some fact-checking next time, AP!
Below The Beltway linked with Homeland Security Insanity
September 12, 2006
In the comments to my last post, Lucy Stern asked where I was on 9/11. I wasn’t going to do the 9/11 rememberance thing, as there are a few million other people with more interesting things to say about it than I do. But I’ll indulge, since asked…
The weekend before 9/11, I was in Las Vegas, meeting the wife’s (girlfriend at the time) family for the first time. Which is odd, because 5 years later, the weekend before 9/11 I again was in Vegas. It was her sister’s 21st birthday, and everyone of legal age (aunts, uncles, etc) was there. It was, to put it mildly, overwhelming. Her family is outgoing and parties, my family sits around and talks a lot. So it was strange a few mornings later, when we’re getting ready for work and she gets a phone call. We were on the west coast (San Jose), so when she got a call from her mom very early in the morning, it was a tad unusual. When I saw her face just drop on the phone, my first thought was that one of those people I had just gotten the chance to meet had had an accident or something.
She quickly told me to turn on CNN, and then we watched as everything happened. I don’t even quite recall whether the second plane had hit yet, but I do know that the towers hadn’t fallen. We weren’t sure what to do, but it was a work day, so we went to work. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a less productive day in my life. With my coworkers, the feeling of shock subsided, only to be replaced by rage. Maybe it’s the insulation of being American, or the fact that I was merely 23 and hadn’t had a rough life, but the idea that someone would come and do this was preposterous. There aren’t a lot of things that get me to respond with a lot of emotion. Purdue football is one of them. People that want to kill me and destroy everything I live for is another.
After only a few hours of work, we got the heck out of there. My wife, who worked a lot closer to San Francisco (and tall buildings) wanted to get back down to San Jose. We met up with some friends, watched the news, and just did what we had to do to start coping with the situation. Being as young as I am, I never quite understood how people could remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about JFK’s assassination. Until 9/11. Life goes on, but some things will never be forgotten.
August 24, 2006
Hereâ€™s a story on the BBC about how easy it would be for terrorists to poison our food supply: just a tiny bit of botulism in a milk truck, for example, could kill a couple hundred thousand people.
“Prof Wein found milk was particularly vulnerable to an attack. If someone were to put just 10 grams of botulinum toxin into a milk tanker, it could have devastating effects.
“If we didn’t realise what was happening, half a million people would drink this milk… most of these would be poisoned, roughly half of them would die,” he concluded.”
That’s why I drink nothing but distilled water, or rain water, and pure-grain alcohol.
Always in a mood to make sure those who fear everything get aneurysms from worry overload, I figured I’d pass this along. But I thought about it a little more, and did some research. According to Wikipedia, botulinum toxin is “the most poisonous naturally occurring substance in the world” and “a single drop is capable of killing 50,000 people.” Pretty nasty stuff, don’t you think.
Yet women in Hollywood voluntarily pay doctors to inject this stuff into their faces, at least when it’s called “Botox”. In small quantities, botox can be used to treat muscle spasms. In the cosmetic treatment world, I like to call it “voluntary paralysis”.
And last, I was struck by another thought. Botox is used by older women in order to get their face and skin to hold up the way a younger woman’s would… When will they start using it for boobs?
August 10, 2006
In light of British police breaking an airline bombing plot, U.S. officials Thursday raised the threat level for air transport to the highest, code red.
The Transportation Security Administration said in a statement passengers on all domestic and international flights would be banned from transporting any type of liquid or gel in their carry-on luggage. The ban applies to all types of beverages, shampoo, toothpaste, hair gels and other items of a similar consistency, the TSA announced.
Britain imposed similar bans with the exception of baby formula, which the traveler would have to prove safe by drinking some.
The move came after Scotland Yard announced the arrests of 21 people in London and Birmingham late Wednesday. They said intelligence indicated they were involved in a plot to simultaneously down as many as 10 U.S.-carrier flights from Britain to the United States using explosive liquids in carry-on baggage.
For any friends, relatives, and coworkers who were looking forward to me bringing homebrew the next time I come to visit? Sorry, not going to happen. I almost never take checked baggage, and don’t trust the TSA employees not to steal it anyway if I did. The last thing I need to see is some TSA lackey getting all messed up on my painstakingly-crafted homebrew.
Is it just me, or is this a little bit of an overreaction?
I did like this comment over at beeradvocate.com:
Hair Gel: $8.50
Bottle of Stone Double Bastard: $7
The gov./airlines thinking I can MacGyver a bomb out of these 3…priceless!
July 31, 2006
People keep urging Israel to keep their responses to terrorist attacks “proportionate”. What?! Who would say such a crazy thing except those in love with war? If they kill three people, and, wanting to be proportionate, Israel kills three people, that only keeps the cycle of violence going on forever. And that is not a cycle you want to be on, because, if you do too well, the French will act all surprised when blood tests on a man reveal the presence of testosterone.
Check it out… I really need to make IMAO a daily read again…
June 10, 2006
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was accompanied by women who wore skimpy night clothing, and read magazines on current affairs and militant propaganda, an inspection of the house he was killed in showed on Saturday.
The remains of Zarqawi’s isolated “safe house” also suggested that the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and his companions — which an Iraqi army officer said included two women and an eight-year-old girl — lived with few luxuries.
There were few clues on Zarqawi’s extreme ideology or the militant groups he was linked to in the rubble of the building that was pulverized by two 500-pound (227-kg) bombs in a U.S. air strike on Wednesday.
One leaflet identified a radio station in Latifiya south of the capital as an apparent target. A few feet away was a magazine picture of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Also beside the slabs of concrete was a woman’s leopard skin nightgown and other skimpy women’s clothes.
That devout Muslim was living with unwholesome women who wore skimpy lingerie? That can’t be good for Al-Qaeda morale… The foot soldiers are dreaming of being martyred for their 72 virgins, while Zarqawi’s getting freaky with scantily-clad sluts? Just as people blast folks like Bill Bennett for not living up to the ideals of the movement they lead, I can’t imagine the excuses Zarqawi’s defenders are going to have to go through to explain this one…
Of course, they didn’t include one possibility, which might be even more damaging to Al Qaeda morale… Perhaps that women’s clothing was in the Zark-man’s size?
March 31, 2006
Jill Carroll, a journalist for the Christian Science Monitor, was taken hostage months ago and used as a bargaining chip by her terrorist captors. Deadlines passed, demands were not met, yet Jill Carroll was not killed. Despite the expectation, videos never surfaced on the internet of a cruel, brutal beheading.
Why? Why did the terrorists let her go? Did they have pangs of conscience about killing a woman? Have they suddenly become kinder and gentler?
Of course not. The adherents of the brutal ideology that suggests women who commit adultery should be bludgeoned to death in a hail of stones haven’t changed their tune, just their tactics.
Let me reiterate. Jill Carroll, who claims she “doesn’t know why I was kidnapped”, was nothing more than a bargaining chip. As was Nick Berg. As were the countless other hostages taken by the terrorists. They don’t care whether it’s a journalist, a missionary, a “peace activist”, or a US soldier, they see westerners as a means to an end.
But we didn’t let them get away with it. When they tried to use hostages as a bargaining chip, we didn’t come to the table. They, understandably, tried to ratchet up the heat a bit, and started beheading those hostages. We still didn’t come to the table. We did not meet their demands, and they had no indication that we would in the future. Their bargaining chips didn’t have any worth.
All the time, they were losing moral support throughout the world. It is easy to take a hostage and issue demands that must be met before the hostage is released. That may be a violation of the Geneva Convention (I’m not sure), but it’s pretty standard practice. The world doesn’t bat an eye when that happens. But when you start beheading people? All of a sudden the world gets a lot less sympathetic to your cause.
Never underestimate your enemy. The terrorists see what world opinion is doing, and they know if they release Jill Carroll, they come out looking like reasonable parties to this conflict. If they behead Jill Carroll, they look like brutal murdering thugs. Jill Carroll is just a pawn in this game, a game the enemy is getting better at. We must remember what the terrorists are fighting for— the enslavement and oppression of the world under the guise of Islam. They realize what damage those beheadings were doing to their ultimate goal, and their change here is tactical, not based on a change of beliefs or goal.
March 7, 2006
Again, this is only something I’ve followed halfway. The question of whether a company owned by the government of the UAE should be allowed to take over operations of our ports is a tough one, especially when you consider the fact that they are an ally of ours. Personally, I’m not entirely swayed either way, but I can say that they may have too great of a financial interest in operating the ports to then turn around and compromise security. But, with port security as lax as it is now, I don’t know it would even make a difference.
But the Democrats have jumped on this one with quite a fervor. Part of me says that’s just political, and they’re using everything they can to tarnish Bush. But they keep saying things that make me think that’s not all this is about.
They want the US Government to nationalize port operation.
John Edwards (D, NC) on Meet The Press Sunday:
Well, I donâ€™t think we should discriminate against anybody, including Dubai, the UAE, but I have a different view about what we should do.
I think that this is sufficiently important to the safety and security of America that American companies should be doing it. I would start by saying companies that are owned by foreign governments should not be operating or providing security for our ports.
Iâ€™d like to go further than that and say foreign companies shouldnâ€™t be doing this. We ought to be doing it ourselves. I think thereâ€™s a practical issue with that, which Jack just made reference to, that theyâ€™re already doing so much. So Iâ€”thatâ€™s the starting place.
But at the end of the day thereâ€™s a simple solution. The simple solution so that we donâ€™t discriminate against Arab countryâ€”countries, which I think is a terrible idea, the simple solution is America and American companies need to provide thisâ€”operate the ports and provide security.
Hillary Clinton (D, NY) on Fox23 News – Albany:
After her speech, Mrs. Clinton’s number one topic of interest–her opposition to the Bush administration’s plan to turn over some operations of some U.S. ports to an Arab-based company and a bill she’s co-sponsoring to stop it.
Senator Hillary Clinton: â€œWe don’t let foreign companies even, let along foreign governments, own or manage our airports, and since 9/11, it’s become even clearer to people how essential our ports are to national security. We’ve been fighting since 9/11 to get adequate resources.â€
Let’s call this what it is. They want to bring the operations of the ports back into US hands. Of course, it’s widely been reported that there are no US companies that do this sort of thing. I can’t think the Democrats would be very happy if Halliburton decided to start expanding their business in this area, so it’s clear to see what they want. They want to bring this into control not of US companies, but of the US Government.
Always remember what they think: “You cannot professionalize, unless you federalize.” – Tom Daschle
We’ve seen the tremendous security brought about by the federalization of airport screeners. Of course, the security increase is to Democratic politicians, as they have a whole new union of federal employees to vote for them, and not that our skies are safer, but they got what they wanted out of the deal. Do we really think that the US Government operating our ports is any safer than a UAE company with a financial stake in doing the job right?