Monday, June 02, 2008

Missing Man Found Dressed Like Doctor With Dead Deer In Stolen Ambulance.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time.

France Regulates Country Western Line Dancing. Yes, Really.....

They are drawn by a love of American culture - although definitely not American politics - and a passion for line dancing, which enables them to swing but avoid all human contact.

Now country and western has become so big in France that the country's bureaucrats have decided to bring the craze under state control.

The French administration has moved to create an official country dancing diploma as part of a drive to regulate the fad. Authorised instructors who have been on publicly funded training courses will be put in charge of line dancing lessons and balls.

The rules, which come into force next year, come after the rapid spread of country and western in France, where an estimated 100,000 people line dance several times a week. Jean Chauveau, the chairman of the country section of the French Dance Federation, said: “It's growing at a crazy rate. There are thousands of clubs and more are springing up all the time.”

Are Liberal Policies Unsustainable?

Conservatives often exclaim that liberal policies are not sustainable. They are not solvent. They are socialist. They will bankrupt us. We can't afford them. We'll have to double or triple or quintuple taxes to pay for them. Etcetera. Etcetera.

All of that is true.

But liberals don't care about any of that. They even embrace some of those criticisms.

To really get the point across, liberals need to understand that their gargantuan government programs, paid for with ever-expanding tax rates and types, are politically unsustainable. I know it's hard for liberals to believe, because they look at polls showing how 55% support this program, or 60% support that program, or 80% support the idea that every child should have x, y, and z guaranteed. It's hard to believe, but people respond to big government. Policies matter. When people feel the burden of high taxes, they move themselves, their businesses, and their money to places where they'll be treated better.

The Enduring Mystery of Raoul Wallenberg.

Raoul Wallenberg was the diplomat who would appear like a phantom in Budapest, handing out the Swedish passports that saved some 15,000 Hungarian Jews from being murdered by the Nazis. But Wallenberg had no such help himself on January 17, 1945, when he was taken into custody by the Soviet forces that had liberated Budapest. The Swedish diplomat was never heard from again, and Moscow would later report that Wallenberg had died in Lubyanka Prison in 1947.

But in the 63 years since his arrest, the Wallenberg family and generations of researchers have relentlessly pursued the possibility that the Swedish diplomat survived long after 1947, as a secret prisoner in the Soviet gulag system. "There are plenty of indications that he may have survived past 1947, and these deserve thorough examination," says Susanne Berger, a German-born researcher who has spent 15 years exploring Wallenberg's fate.

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."

Robert Chalmers interviews Gore Vidal.


A great source for (legal) free classical music downloads.

Funny Newspaper Headlines.

More Here.

So That Explains It.

Shamelessly stolen from Theo.

Bob Dole unloads on McClellan.

I haven't read Scott McClellan's new expose on his time in the Bush White House so I feel I shouldn't say too much about what lies therein. I do however take note of the comments of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Dole is a man who I frankly trust completely. I didn't always agree with him I never heard anyone ever question his integrity.

Bob Dole yesterday sent a scalding e-mail to Scott McClellan, excoriating the former White House spokesman as a "miserable creature" who greedily betrayed his former patron for a fast buck.

In an extraordinary message obtained and authenticated by Politico, Dole uses his trademark biting wit to portray McClellan as a classic Washington opportunist.

"There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues," Dole wrote in a message sent yesterday morning. "No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits and, spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique."

Michael Marshall, Dole's spokesman and colleague at the Alston Bird law firm, confirms the message came from the former senator and presidential candidate. "Yes, it is authentic," Marshall wrote in an e-mail."

In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you," Dole writes, recounting his years representing Kansas in the House and Senate. "No doubt you will 'clean up' as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, 'Biting The Hand That Fed Me.' Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years"

Dole assures McClellan that he won't read the book — "because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high-profile job."

"That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively," Dole concludes. "You’re a hot ticket now, but don’t you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?"

He signs the email simply: "BOB DOLE"

Jesus Tests Positive for Cocaine.

Swarthy middle-easterner and suspected narco-trafficker, Jesus of Nazareth.

Obama's Iraq Dilemma.

The widespread conviction among Democrats that we are destined to fail in Iraq was the key to Barack Obama's emergence as Presidential front-runner. He postured himself as the candidate who had opposed the war from the beginning. But what helped Obama in the Democratic primaries may prove his undoing in the general election. Through the months when Obama's dedication to failure was bringing him closer to the nomination, conditions in Iraq were improving, not worsening. This contradiction is now becoming acute, and Obama faces it squarely as he tries to decide whether, how and when to go to Iraq.

Huntington Library.

The Huntington Art Gallery in San Marino recently underwent a two-year, $20-million restoration. The onetime home of Henry and Arabella Huntington now displays 1,200 artworks. A grand staircase leads from the main hallway of the gallery's first floor, now a sequence of period rooms.

h/t The Wife.

Childhood 'toy' revealed as ancient Persian relic.

LONDON (AFP) - An ancient gold cup mysteriously acquired by an English scrap metal dealer is expected to fetch close to a million dollars at auction after languishing for years in a shoe box under its current owner's bed.

Owner John Webber says his grandfather gave him the 5.5-inch (14-centimetre) high mug to play with when he was a child, back in 1945.

He assumed the golden cup, which is decorated with the heads of two women facing in opposite directions, their foreheads garlanded with two knotted snakes, was made from brass.

But he decided to get it valued when he was moving house last year and was told it was actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure, beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Experts said the method of manufacture and the composition of the gold was "consistent with Achaemenid gold and gold smithing" dating back to the third or fourth century BC.

Pretty much just what it says.

Why Oil Wealth Fuels Conflict.

The world has grown much more peaceful over the past 15 years -- except for oil-rich countries. Oil wealth often wreaks havoc on a country's economy and politics, helps fund insurgents, and aggravates ethnic grievances. And with oil ever more in demand, the problems it spawns are likely to spread further.

Poll: McCain Trusted More Than Obama on Economy, Iraq, National Security.

It is interesting to note that while McCain has the edge over Obama on these issues, Democrats are trusted more than Republicans on a generic basis. This ability of McCain to outperform the party label helps explain why he is competitive with the Democrats in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking poll.