31 January 2008

The Mets sign Santana

Because what's a baseball team without a great singer?

Oh, not Carlos Santana.
Turns out he's Johan Santana, a relief pitcher formerly of Minnesota.

Rico says his version was funnier....

And another one bites the dust

Seems we got lucky, and dropped a missile on the number three guy in al-Qaeda, who was holed up in Pakistan.
"May God have mercy on Sheikh Abu Laith al-Libi and accept him with his brothers, with the martyrs," said a eulogy posted on a main Islamist site, Al-Ekhlaas.
Al-Libi could have been killed by a missile fired from a drone operated by the CIA and other U.S. government agencies. It's not an operation the U.S. or Pakistan would publicly acknowledge.

Rico says couldn't have happened to a nicer guy...

Just in case I forgot to mention it...

...this could have been Rico at about the same age. He remembers blowing a fuse or two in his parent's house the same way... (Actually, Rico has damn near killed himself with electricity a couple of times, the most memorable of which was on a power drop pole at the hydro lab at Scripps in La Jolla, when he was tasked with installing a new ground fault interrupter; long story short, he got a blast of blue light that blew him off the ladder, but didn't kill him. He doesn't fool around with electricity any more.)

Gee, ya think?

Seems they decided to put poor Britney back in the loony bin for a 72-hour 'evaluation'. Apparently someone thought that a suicidal, speaking-in-phony-accents, driving-badly, acting-out-in-general young woman might be in trouble...
While Rico thinks she's a self-centered, foolish girl, they made her that way. He hopes she can get her shit together before she does any real damage to herself. Her marriage and her motherhood, of course, are already toast... (As is her blonde hair, apparently. When did that happen? Rico missed it.)

Wrong name, like I said

Rico was listening to the news this morning and misheard the commentator talking about the candidates.
I would have sworn I heard him refer to McCain and McRomney.
It was 'Mitt' Romney, of course, but what I heard was definitely funnier...

But lest there be any doubt about who and/or what is running for president in this election, this is a mitt:

This is a white Mitt:

This is a black mitt:

This is a black candidate:

Rico says he should have gone with Will, or even Willard, and scrapped the whole 'Mitt' thing...

Dirty money

Ah, those clever Canucks, making sure that no self-respecting Islamic fundamentalist uses their money. (Yes, yes, Rico knows this is a goof, and not real Canadian currency. But isn't it pleasant to think so?)

Damn straight

The LawDog has a great rumination on the notion of self-defense.

Rico says he could not agree more. One of the difficulties engendered by his recent brain injury is not being able to carry concealed. It's not that he isn't competent to do so, but it makes certain parties in his life nervous. Rico hopes that he gets away with it, and there's never a need for a handy firearm, because the only other thing he carries now is a knife, and he doesn't like the idea of engaging in a knife fight...

In case you were thinking of voting for her

A friend sent me this description of his recent nightmare; now you can have it, too.

Last night I had the strangest dream. It was so real, so life-like, and so vivid I woke up in a cold sweat...
1. Hillary wins the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States
2. Naturally, she wants to choose as her running mate someone with a lot of knowledge and experience in government and foreign affairs, someone who is a seasoned campaigner who could bring a lot of strength to the ticket. Who better than Bill, her husband?
3. Hill and Bill go on to win the election in November and the Democrats maintain control of the House and the Senate.
4. Hillary is sworn in as President on January 20, 2009. The next day, after all the inauguration parties are over, she calls a press conference to make an announcement: she is resigning as President. Bill, as the vice president, immediately becomes President. This is all perfectly legal under the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, for it states that no person “may be elected as president more than twice". Bill is not being elected for a third term but is merely serving out the remainder of Hillary's term-- all four years of it.
5. The following day Bill calls a press conference to make an announcement of who will fill the now-vacant Vice Presidential position. Who does he pick? Why, Hillary, of course.

Rico says if there's any reason to vote for any non-Hillary candidate, Republican or Democrat, that's it...

I can't help that they're my friends

But one of them sent this to me, and I couldn't resist sharing it. Rather like when you hold a seashell up to your ear, if you look real close you can see the ocean...

Civil War for the day

Mike Benson of the Delaware Blues on the line at WInchester.

Still on the run & his daughters still dead

Turns out that Yaser Abdel Said, the Eyptian Muslim cab driver wanted in the brutal murders of his two daughters in Dallas, was physically abusing at least one of them prior to their murders.
And why did he kill them? Because "Yaser had found out she went on a date with a non-Muslim and became very angry and threatened her with bodily harm."
In what should have been a clue, "his controlling and violent nature gripped the family from the start. Once, he shot out the tires on his wife’s car to keep her home. Another time he blocked her car in a driveway because he thought she was going to help her sister and children escape."
“Her lips were pretty much attached to her braces, but they wouldn’t take her to the doctor because her family feared her father would be taken to jail.”

Rico says the guy's a classic tyrannical father, who couldn't handle his young daughters growing up into sexual beings. Worse yet, she was apparently doing it with some non-Islamic boy. Given the family's complicity in his actions, Rico won't be surprised if evidence comes out that he was having (or was trying to have) sex with one or more of his daughters...

Berkeley's crazy, but Oakland's stupid

They're trying to put a good face on it, but Oakland International Airport just plain screwed up when they couldn't figure out how to deplane a bunch of soldiers returning from Iraq so that they could greet their friends and relatives:
"The airport decided to keep the troops at a remote location on the tarmac Sept. 27 primarily because of security concerns, the U.S. Transportation Department said in a report. The troops hadn't been screened and had their weapons on board, said the department's inspector general, Calvin Scovel."
"Scovel said ground handler Hilltop Aviation could not confirm to Oakland airport officials that weapons on the flight would be safeguarded in accordance with Defense Department regulations and that the troops would leave their weapons on board."

Rico says one commenter to this post knew his facts, too: "Anyone who has been in the military knows that all weapons are cleared and checked twice before the soldiers ever enter the plane for a domestic flight and ammo is not allowed on the plane." The military knows its own; they don't want idiots with loaded weapons on their flights, either.

Hey, if he can't use it, who can?

Seems that John McCain let his real feelings about his captors in North Vietnam out recently: "I hate the gooks", McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."
Given what they did to him, is that response really a surprise to anyone?

Rico says 'gooks' is not only politically incorrect, it's linguistically incorrect. The phrase 'gook' is derived from the Korean word 'guk' (which they call themselves), and more properly dates from the Korean War. The fact that lazy GIs didn't bother to come up with more topically derisive and linguistically appropriate phrasing for our Vietnamese allies and enemies isn't McCain's fault...

(Well, actually, they did, but who besides Rico and a few other vets remembers 'dink'?)

Berkeley's at it again

Seems the wackos in Rico's old home town have decided to push a little harder on the Marines to get out of their fair city.
According to Michelle Malkin, "The City of Berkeley, California has passed two resolutions attacking the United States Marine Corps, calling the Marines 'uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city'. The Berkeley City Council voted to condemn the Marines on Tuesday night (January 29th) as part of a campaign by anti-war activists to shut down a U.S. Marine Recruiting Center located in the city of Berkeley."
"One of the two resolutions passed by the Berkeley City Council last night granted a parking spot in front of the Marine Recruiting Center to be used by anti-military activists to harass Marine recruiters. The anti-military activists would not need to apply for a sound permit for the next six months – allowing them free reign to disrupt the day-to-day operations by the Marines."

Rico says the feds should figure out they're not wanted, and pull out. Of course, they should also pull every other Federal office, job, program, and funding out of Berkeley as well. Let's see how Berkeley likes being the Gaza Strip of Northern California...

That didn't take long. Seems a senator is already on the job: "Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) released the following statement in response to the decision by the City Council of Berkeley, California to evict the U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Station from the city: This is a slap in the face to all brave service men and women and their families. The First Amendment gives the City of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money. If the city can’t show respect for the Marines that have fought, bled and died for their freedom, Berkeley should not be receiving special taxpayer funded handouts. I am currently drafting legislation to ensure that American taxpayers aren’t forced to pay for this insult by rescinding all of the earmarks for Berkeley in the Omnibus Appropriations bill, and to transfer the funds to the Marine Corps.”

Put that one to rest, finally

Seems the long-term urban legend that JFK's famous "I am a Berliner" speech was ideomatically incorrect turns out to be false:

"There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin...
"Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis romanus sum. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner'… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'

Which is good, because Rico always thought it was a great speech, as did everyone who heard it in Berlin at the time.


A great little diatribe in the National Review On-line about Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama:

"Some men, having driven a woman to her death, would withdraw to a Carthusian monastery — Ted ran for president. But even blackguards, though they possess no sense of shame, may possess a sense of seemliness, and by Ted’s lights, Bill crossed a line when he — the ranking Democrat in the nation — started treating Obama as though he were Paula Jones or Gennifer Flowers."

Rico says he wishes he'd written it...

Another wall goes down

The Gazans decided to deal with the recent Israeli blockade of food and fuel by blowing holes in what had been their western border with Egypt. Thousands then poured across, overwhelming the border guards, into Sinai. Daniel Pipes has advocated letting the Egyptians annex Gaza.

Of course, Rico goes a little farther. The Israelis should annex Gaza and 'encourage' (with bayonets, probably) the Gazans to relocate into the Sinai. Let the Egyptians have all the fun...

30 January 2008

We get a ticket. Congress gets a free ride.

The buses sat, running, outside the Longworth House Office Building for three hours, awaiting their passengers, who were bound for a conference in Virginia. DC regulations prohibit idling buses for more than three minutes.
One Capitol Police Officer reminded the Democratic staffers that they’re supposed to be law makers, not law breakers.

Rico says there's one law for you and me, and one for the powerful. But they should have just ticketed the bus drivers and let them sort it out...

Edwards is out

Silky Pony bailed after not garnering any significant support in several primaries, including running third in South Carolina, where he was born.
No loss there.

Just say no

My embedded reporter in the Sandbox says that they take their Ramadan seriously:

Kissing in public — one month in jail and 1,000 dirham fine
Eating, drinking, or smoking in public during fasting hours — one month in jail and/or fine up to 2,000 dirham
Public indecency with someone under the age of 15 — six months to one year in jail and up to 10,000 dirham fine
Indecent acts towards women — six months to one year in jail and up to 10,000 dirham fine

Rico says he thinks he'll stay home...


I was going to retitle these posts 1YAT, but you'll figure the title out...

This will be the third night in a row that Mark will be monitored for his oxygen levels. If all goes well, it will be curtains for the trach. When his bladder infection clears, his foley catheter will go next. At that point, he will be able to have swim therapy. He's walking great, getting in and out of bed, dressing his upper body, and he's having no problems going from his chair, to a standing position and to the walker. He has a lot of work to do with on cognitive skills, although his memory tests go great. We played Rummy Cube at therapy today. Of course, the therapist won (I think she plays the game often - unfair advantage), but I came in last. Mark confessed that he never did well at games before, and he said things haven't changed for the better.
Tonight we heard the familiar noise of the nurses (right outside Mark's door) crushing tablets in a metal mortar and pestle - extremely loud! He asked again (this is several times a day) what the noise was. I told him that the nurses were crushing pills for people who can't swallow, and he told me they should do that around people who can't hear.

Mark told me today that he’s glad he didn’t die. I told him we all agree.

Rico says a year later, he's still glad.

Civil War for the day

Same encampment (the 3rd PA for sure), same day.

Richly deserved

Seems No Country for Old Men won the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles Sunday, becoming the front-runner for the Oscars.

Rico says, as scary as this movie was, it's better than giving it to There Will Be Blood, which was tedious...

Lesson for politicians

Here it is: don't screw the staff. Seems the mayor of Detroit, the youngest elected mayor of any major US city, was caught out by text messages (though four or five years old) between he and his then-chief of staff, both married at the time. The only problem was, the mayor used his own security detail to cover up the affair; a lawsuit over that cost the city nine million bucks. Which, being Detroit, it can ill afford.
On the heels of mayoral disasters with the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and as if Clinton wasn't enough of a clue, you'd think politicians would stop this foolishness.

Rico says he's thought with his dick once or twice in his life, and paid the price...

Not why Rico goes to the gym

It's not the exercise part that deters Rico from looking like this (okay, okay, it is), but the dieting part. Rico likes his food, especially when his ladyfriend prepares it...

If you want it bad enough

Seems there's a 'mystery' of a million or so iPhones that Apple has sold, but that haven't popped up on the sole-provider system of AT&T. Since Apple gets a cut of the monthly fee from AT&T, they're curious. But it looks like they're out there, just invisible. The New York Times, in an on-line article, quotes people around the world who have bought them, will buy them, or see other people buying them. The trick? They crack the code and use another system.

Rico says as long as these sales continue to drive up Apple's share price, the more the merrier.

Given the lack of Fred, who cares?

Looks like McCain won big in Florida, and that'll take a few of the other guys out of the race.
Unlike a lot of people, Rico won't miss Rudy; he's tried to ride the disaster of 9.11 to the White House, and he's not gonna get there, fortunately.
McCain isn't Rico's first choice, but for now it's anybody-but-Mitt... (Rico would dislike him less if he'd gone with Will or even Willard, but President Mitt? No.)
On the Democratic side, it looks like Hillary won. Rico tries not to gag at the thought of her in the White House. No, it's not because she's a woman. (Though even that's a stretch, if you look at the photos.) As noted earlier, Rico would vote for Ann Richards as president in a heartbeat, if she only had one...
Rico is still hoping for Obama.

It'll do until torture comes along

The Senate and the Attorney General are squabbling again over the definition of 'waterboarding'.
This is where they tie you down, put a cloth over your face, and pour water on it until you start talking.
Now, Rico knows that he'd last all of about ten seconds (or however long he could hold his breath) in the face of that, so he considers it tortuous.
He knows the Attorney General is trying desperately to hang on to what is surely an effective method of interrogation, but it's effective because it's torture.
If only we weren't so squeamish as a people, we'd realize that a little nasty behavior to some al-Qaeda scum now can mean a lot less nasty behavior later to innocent Americans.
But we're too fucking nice, so it'll take another disaster like 9.11 to make people let go of their qualms...

29 January 2008

Don't want him mad at you

This is Brutus. He's part boxer and part British bull mastiff and weighs 200 pounds.
Brutus won a medal last year in Iraq. His handler and four other soldiers were taken hostage by insurgents. Brutus and his handler communicate by sign language and he gave Brutus the signal that meant 'go away but come back and find me'. The Iraqis paid no attention. He came back later and quietly tore the throat out of a guard at one door and a second guard at another door. He then jumped against one of the doors (the men were being held in an old warehouse) until it opened. He went in and untied his handler and they all escaped. He's the first K9 to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. If he knows you're okay, he's a big old lug and wants to sit in your lap.

Rico says not in his lap, Medal or no...

More childhood memories

Scary but true: Rico had this album, and used to listen to it regularly.

Rudy's last chance at greatness

As they say, not gonna happen, but isn't it sweet to think it could?

Regrettably, not a lust object any more

Seems that Alycia Lane went too far, and isn't coming back. My favorite newscaster, the co-anchor apparently blew her chances after a few missteps, including punching a New York cop in the face. This article covers the story.

Rico says he's sorry she's gone; good or bad, she was the hottest thing on the news. Doing research for this post, he discovered that she has one Puerto Rican and one Welsh parent, thus the hotness...

Because we can't afford to forget

The anniversary was two days ago, but it's worth a visit to remember.

Eye chart for dirty old men

Rico says it's hard enough getting old without cheap abuse like this...

Civil War for the day

It was, upon sober reflection, the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry practice campout in the commander's back yard.

Geez, how hard can it be?

The whole balloting crisis, currently being played out in the primaries but surely to only get worse during the general election, seems to Rico to be a tizzy over nothing.
How hard is it to write a computer program that displays the choices for a particular race on a touch screen, records the results, and prints out a slip showing all the voting?
The voter could check that his vote was recorded properly, then put the slip into a box where, if necessary, it could be counted by hand later.

Rico says he knows he's brain-damaged, but this seems so simple... (Hell, they do it at grocery stores every day.)

28 January 2008

Funny, but not

Vanity Fair, in its current issue, has a little word game column called That Was Then, This Is Now.
One of the comparisons this time was for the phrase 'elegantly upholstered loafer'.
The 'Then' item was a Gucci loafer.
The 'Now' item was Fred Thompson, now now longer running for President.

Rico says he may have sent Fred money for his campaign he'll never see again, but this bit was nasty. Funny, and all too true, but nasty.

Another one that's just as good

Watched A Man and a Woman again.
Saw it first run, in 1966.
Just as pretty and bittersweet as the first time.
When I saw it originally, I wanted nothing more than to be French, to drive race cars, and to sleep with Anouk Aimee, the female lead... Forty years later I still don't speak more than a few words of French, I don't drive fast cars (though I still lust after the GT40 that Jean-Louis Trintignant drove, but if I had the money I'd buy one), and my ex-wife looking like Aimee is coincidental...

It's only taken them 200 years

Seems the Australians are trying to make the same break from the old country that the colonies here did two hundred-plus years ago, and become an independent republic, rather than remain part of the Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth as their titular monarch. Once she croaks, or resigns to allow Charlie to mount the throne, they'll have another vote to jump ship.

Rico wishes them well, and invites them to take on the independence they so richly deserve. Plus they'll get to take that ugly woman's picture off their money...

Oh, that again

Seems that bird flu is back again.
According to al-Reuters, the death toll in Indonesia is over 100 now, with more expected.
Apparently it still hasn't mutated into a human-based disease, so only people who insist on touching sick birds get it.

Rico says let's hope we dodge the bullet awhile longer...

She can’t keep the big dog on the porch

Seems that Hillary is having trouble making people think that Bill isn't going to be some kind of co-president.
Rico gags at the thought. (But then has to restrain himself from making a Lewinsky joke out of that...)
"Some advisers expressed concern that Mr. Clinton might prove difficult to rein in" and "there is also fresh concern among some advisers that Mr. Clinton’s visibility has dented her argument that she has the best experience for the job".

Rico laughs quietly to himself... Isn't this the reverse problem from when Bill was running and everyone was afraid that Hillary was going to want to be co-president?

Civil War for the day

The boys of the Delaware Blues at the monument to the 56th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg. Rico's in the back, just to the right of the monument...

Oldie but goodie

Watched Sharky's Machine again.
I saw it first-run in 1981, when I was freshly back in California after college.
Amazingly, it still holds up well, even after all these years. A lot of the other cop movies of the same era didn't.
Burt Reynolds looked very good (he hasn't aged well; too much surgery trying not to), and the rest of the cast were also very good. Vittorio Gassman played a great bad guy and Henry Silva played his evil brother, one of the scariest bad guys until Javier Bardem did the psycho in No Country For Old Men. But the good guys, all veterans of many movies, did just as well: Brian Keith, Charles Durning, Earl Holliman, and Bernie Casey.
The capper, of course, was the ever-luscious Rachel Ward. She's been in many things since, including the Thorn Birds, but this is one of her first, and one of her best.

Rico says he still desires her, twenty seven years later...

It's the war, stupid

Commentators are suggesting that the economy will overshadow the war in Iraq in the State of the Union speech tonight. That's too bad, because the war is going better than the economy.
You can't really 'win' an economy, anyway, just make it better, and that's hard to do, given all the factors involved.
We are doing better in Iraq, now if people will only believe the news.

Rico was probably out of it when it happened, so he missed the video of the hanging of Saddam Hussein until it was on 60 Minutes last night. It's tacky to actually cheer someone's death, but Rico was tempted...

The friends you don't necessarily want

Seems that Ted Kennedy is endorsing Obama today, not Clinton.
At least he didn't offer to drive her to Chappaquiddick...

Over 7000 loyal readers, so far

Rico is amazed that that many people want to read his stuff.
It's a drop in the ocean compared to 'real' bloggers, of course, who get seven thousand hits a day, some of them, but it's still nice to be noticed.

Of course, if even a small percentage of them would click on any of these and go buy one of Rico's books, it'd be even nicer:

Transit of Venus

At All Hazards

Embassy Down

There are a couple more in the works, too, so everyone should check back later for their URLs.
Rico thanks you for your support.

Combining the news

If one of my correspondents is to be believed, the Washington Post recently ran a contest in its 'Style' magazine that required the use of the words Lewinsky and Kaczynski together in a limerick.

The winner:
Lewinsky and Clinton have shown
What Kaczynski must surely have known,
That an intern is better
Than a bomb in a letter,
When deciding how best to be blown.

27 January 2008

Civil War for the day

Tommy Barker of the Delaware Blues, dapper as ever, on the firing line of the pistol range at Winchester.

Scary similarity

This is from the Dread Pundit blog, but it does bear a striking resemblance to Rico these days, except he still has his hair...

It is to laugh

A would-be suicide bomber fell down a flight of stairs and blew himself up as he headed out for an attack in Afghanistan, police said. The would-be attacker tripped as he was leaving a building, apparently to target an opening ceremony for a mosque that was expected to be attended by Afghan and international military officials. Coming down the stairs, he fell down and exploded; two civilian women and a man were wounded.

Rico says it would be even funnier if he hadn't wounded those other poor bastards...

Too close to home

The whole concept of 'honor killing' is anathema to Rico.
There have been two major cases in the United States recently:
On New Year's Day, residents of Lewisville, Texas were shocked to hear about the brutal murder of teenage sisters Sarah and Amina Said. The two were found shot to death in a taxi after having made a last phone call to a police dispatcher asking for help. The police immediately issued an arrest warrant for the girls' father, Egyptian-born cab driver Yaser Abdel Said, who remains at large to this day.
The slayings of Sarah and Amina Said came on the heels of another apparent honor killing, that of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez in Mississauga, Ontario, last December. Aqsa was a vivacious and popular young woman whose attempts at a normal, Western teenage social life angered her Pakistani father, Muhammad Parvez. Aqsa, who was opposed to wearing a hijab and sometimes changed her outfit once she got to school, often clashed with her father and had left the family home a week before the attack out of fear. But she eventually returned, only to be met with strangulation at the hands of her own father.

The notion that a family (typically run by some domineering father figure who often abuses his own daughters) can decide that their child is 'dishonoring' the family by doing terrible things like wearing Western clothing, dating non-Muslim boys and, worse yet, having sex with them, and thus deserves to die is so unspeakably alien that Rico can't even come up with a snarky quip about it.
Suffice it to say that Rico thinks death is too good for those who practice this diabolical religious nonsense...

One guess what was her first mistake...

From the Jihad Watch blog:
A Wall Street stockbroker fears for her life after she rebuffed a Brooklyn imam she met on a Muslim dating Web site. In an explosive $50 million lawsuit that blows the lid off the wacky world of Muslim dating in New York, Cherine Allaithy alleges the religious leader promised he would make her one of four future wives and boasted of a cousin in al Qaeda. When she dumped him, he trashed her reputation in the Arab press.
The imam, Tarek Youssoff Hassan Saleh, 42, says Allaithy is a loose, mentally unstable woman. He has filed criminal charges against her in Brooklyn for allegedly destroying two computers at the Oulel-Albab mosque in Bay Ridge. He also claims she threatened to frame him for rape.
Allaithy, 32, says she met the imam, who goes by the name Sheikh Saleh, online at the Muslim Matrimonial Network site in May 2007. They courted for a month.
In June, she claims in court documents, Saleh proposed marriage, telling her she would have to start wearing a veil and be subservient to him. When Allaithy rejected the sheik's proposal, she alleges, he suggested they have a temporary marriage, or mu'ta, so they could have sex without committing a sin.
Saleh insists he is single and not actively seeking four wives. Allegations contained in the court documents say she used Arab-language newspapers to accuse Elhajj of being a womanizer bent on luring Muslim women into temporary marriages.
Allaithy attempted to reconcile with Elhajj and in August went to the mosque, where Saleh lives, to beg him to stop the newspaper stories. He told her she would be exposed next in the press, according to court papers.
In order to prevent her name from being smeared, she said, she ran into his bedroom, grabbed two laptops, and threw them in the sink.
Saleh responded by beating her up, she claims in court papers.
In another article referenced in the complaint, Saleh alleged she came to the mosque to threaten to have him charged with rape.
According to Allaithy's court claims, the sheik sent her an e-mail describing her as "a trashy and lustful woman, a weeping and cursed Jewish woman."...
Allaithy, a former broker with Gun Allen Financial, filed a defamation suit against the imam, his mosque, and several Arab newspapers in Brooklyn Supreme Court on January 14.
"This is a dishonor to my entire family, every member. My parents disowned me. Basically, he's ruined my life," she told The Post. "I have to clean my name."
Worst of all, she fears she is now a target for an "honor killing" by al Qaeda, according to court papers. Saleh admitted to The Post that a distant relative is a member of the terrorist organization, but said he has had no communication with him....

For once, Rico is speechless. Well, almost. Enough to say that any woman (especially a Jewish woman) who tries to get a date on an Islamic web site is asking for something... He's not sure what, but definitely something.

Fuck it

Palestinian Authority television has been repeatedly broadcasting a hate-filled music video calling for the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people from Israel. The song incites Arabs living under Fatah's rule in Judea and Samaria to fight to the death to rid the land of Jews, assuring them that, through this, they will ultimately prevail: "You have no choice, oh enemy, but to leave my country," it says.

Rico says enough is enough. Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out.

That'll teach 'em both

Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor got his court-martial this weekend and came away feeling good about it. Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on trial by his peers on the charge of “failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber” in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Taylor had been awakened in the early morning hours of 17 December 2007, when an intruder broke into his home. He investigated the noises with one of his many weapons in hand. When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.
“That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen,” Taylor said after his trial. “The bullet bounced right off.” The impact knocked the would-be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.
“Charges were brought against Taylor that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial,” said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. “He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done.”
Taylor’s defense attorney, another retired weapons sergeant, disagreed. He said Taylor had done the right thing in choosing to arm himself with a .22 caliber weapon. “If he’d used a .45 or something like that the round would have gone right through the perp, the wall, the neighbor’s wall, and possibly injured some innocent child asleep in its bed,” he said. “I believe the evidence shows that Smokey Taylor exercised excellent judgment. He did nothing wrong, and clearly remains to this day an excellent weapons man.”
Counsel for the defense then floated a theory as to why the bullet bounced off the perp’s forehead. “He was victimized by old ammunition,” he said, “just as he was in Korea and again in Vietnam, when his units were issued ammo left over from World War II.”
Taylor said nothing in his own defense, choosing instead to allow his peers to debate the matter. After the trial, he said the ammunition was indeed old, and added the new information that the perp had soiled his pants as he crawled out of the house.
“I would have had an even worse mess to clean up if it had gone through his forehead,” Taylor said. “It was good for both of us that it didn’t.”
Following testimony from both sides, Taylor was acquitted of the charges and was given a round of applause. Meanwhile, back in Knox County, the word is out: don’t go messing with Smokey Taylor-- he just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.

No Second Amendment, you see...

A commentator recently remarked on how dangerous it is for women to be out on the streets of London after dark.
The only thing unusual about that was who it was that made the comment: Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary of Great Britain.

That's sort of like the Attorney General of the United States noting that it was dangerous for women to be out on the streets of Washington after dark.
Which it is, and for the same reasons; you can't legally carry on the streets of the District of Columbia, either.

Rico says they're just not going to get it, are they? Nobody ever raped/brutalized/robbed an armed woman...

Rico can hardly wait for the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, to drop the Second Amendment on the whole mess... (The Brits, of course, are permanently benighted and on their own.)

I do like strong women

This one is from Reactuate Photography.

Rico says nice sword, honey...

Fred may be gone, but not forgotten

From the Countertop Chronicles blog:
Mark Corallo, a Republican consultant involved in the first days of Thompson’s bid, summed up the difficulty of coming to grips with what the campaign meant:
“His legacy is one of missed opportunities, broken promises and an unfortunate disdain for the process,” said Corallo. “His legacy is also one of having been the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination who was willing to talk real substance, take a true, consistent conservative approach to every issue, of actually challenging the notion of big government, championing federalism and being honest about the looming entitlement train wreck that is going to bankrupt our kids. He was a lackluster candidate who would have been a great president.”

Rico could not agree more...

Let's hope that's not the choice

A classic via Michelle Malkin.

Three to one

According to the latest data, the population of Mexico is just over one hundred million, and the United States just over three hundred million.
If the open-border advocates (or 'border obliteration activists' as Michelle Malkin put it) have their way (the 'it's just a region' observation about the juxtaposition of the two countries by Juan Hernandez, who was at the time was the minister of the Ministry for Mexicans Living in the United States, is a classic), a good percentage (let's say half, just for argument) of Mexico will come north looking to better themselves.
Rico's not against people bettering themselves; it's why most of the original immigrants to this country came in the first place.
But let's ask ourselves how this country will be even more different when we have fifty million Mexicans living here, let alone all the Central and South Americans who'd come in on their coattails...
That's at least 6:1 of the rest of the population. If you have the standard three people in your household, you'd also have a half a Mexican living there, too.

Rico says they can stay home. We have enough Mexican restaurants now...

Maybe, just maybe, he's gonna make it

Seems Obama won South Carolina, beating that white bitch handily. (Aww, that's not nice, even for Rico.)
He got only about a quarter of white voters, which is disappointing, but not surprising; it is South Carolina, after all, and the War's only been over about a hundred and fifty years...
But pathetic Edwards came in a distant third, so we should see him gone soon, and no loss there, either.

What goes up must come down...

...and hopefully not on Rico.
Seems yet another big communications satellite, long out of ground control, is skimming the atmosphere and will burn up in late February or early March.

Rico says he hopes it misses you, too...

Another one gone. and this one's a surprise

Seems Marlon Brando's son, Christian, died last Saturday after being hospitalized for pneumonia; Christian was only 49. He had served six years for shooting his sister's supposedly abusive boyfriend back in 1990; she committed suicide in 1995.
A sad story of a sad family. Fortunately, his father predeceased him in 2004, and missed this latest part of the tragedy.

Another one gone

Seems Suharto died on Sunday. No loss there.
But with dictators going down rapdily, how long can Castro hold out?

Rico says he knows it's not nice, but he wants the old coot to die. Because he and his father have to get to Cuba, and it's a race now to see who goes first, and Rico would much rather it was the Cuban dictator...

26 January 2008

Like he needs the money

When not endorsing John McCain, Sylvester Stallone has been spending some time back in the jungle, making a sequel to the whole Rambo series called, logically enough, Rambo.
A on-line review tears it up:
"So how does a broody Vietnam vet with a long-term case of post-traumatic stress disorder keep busy in the backwaters of Thailand for 20 years between Rambo III and the sequel called just plain Rambo? Judging from the appearance of Sylvester Stallone, who co-wrote, directed, and stars in the hell-with-it-all bloody fourth run of the stomping action franchise, John James Rambo at 61 has kept fit via a regular regimen of wrangling poisonous snakes, running a longboat, and keeping his head bandannas clean... Rambo teaches that fighting sucks, good intentions can be futile, and coalitions of the willing are a charade: A man's got to do what a man's got to do. Sometimes that means tying on the old bandanna to hack one's way out of the Hollywood jungle so disorienting to aging action stars."

Damn, another lost pleasure

Seems there's a high risk of ingesting mercury if you eat a lot of maguro.
"A recent study done for the New York Times found surprisingly high levels of mercury in sushi -- tuna sushi -- at 20 restaurants and supermarkets in Manhattan. In some cases, the mercury levels were higher than allowed by the federal government."
"Experts say there's also another reason for avoiding bluefin tuna -- it's being over-fished and its numbers are declining."

Rico says he's pissed, because there's nothing better than bluefin sushi. Worse yet, his fall-back fish, mackeral, is also on the don't-eat list...

Show me the money

Congress looks ever more likely to pass the stimulus package, including checks for some $600 for every individual.

Rico says he's looking for his in order to pay his taxes...

Another one down, thankfully

Seems Dennis Kucinich has dropped out of the Democratic race for president.
As if anyone's gonna notice...

Like that's gonna help

Seems John McCain got an endorsement from Sylvester Stallone.

Rico says he's not sure why this would be a good thing; sort of like Barack Obama getting an endorsement from Shaq...

Civil War for the day

The tombstone of William Wing Loring, located in St. Augustine, Florida. Loring was a soldier who served under the US flag, the Confederate flag, and the Egyptian flag. An unusual man.

Good man down

Someone sent me a PowerPoint presentation that documented the mourning and burial of a Lakota Marine killed in Iraq.

Rico says the Native Americans of this country give us far more than we deserve, given our mutual history.

Hot time in the old town tonight

My embedded reporter from the sandbox sends a link to this article about conditions in Dubai.
Seems that the emirate (along with its sister countries in the Gulf region) prefers to keep the 'bad' stories quiet, and so it maintains a little informal censorship among journalists working there.

Rico says censorship? By a religious dictatorship? What a surprise...

Of course, there are golden handcuffs, too, as the author admits: "My work requires that I visit the emirate’s best spas and restaurants, go to lavish parties and gallery openings, and I get presents from public relations executives hoping I’ll give their clients a little coverage in the magazine."
Because the real problem is "if the emirate didn’t offer visitors and residents the opportunity to feel like jetsetters, it would be just another sand pit with unbearable summer heat."

25 January 2008

What was the point, then?

The International Herald Tribune reports:

Societe Generale, one of the largest banks in Europe, was thrown into turmoil Thursday after it revealed that a rogue employee had executed a series of "elaborate, fictitious transactions" that cost the company more than $7 billion, the biggest loss ever recorded in the financial industry by a single trader.
Daniel Bouton, the Societe Generale chairman, said the employee, later identified by other bank employees as Jerome Kerviel, had confessed to the [euro] 4.9 billion fraud, although he did not appear to have profited personally from the trades.

This puts Rico in mind of the story of the guy who did a perfect-because-it-was-invisible electronic end-run on the Bank of America for a couple million bucks back in the 80s, but then couldn't resist bragging about it to the wrong person, lost it all, and went to jail...

Hit the Revert key, please

Seems they had it right early on, then changed it to the 'more confusing' version we deal with today:

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country."

Thus the first draft, by James Madison, of the Second Amendment.
Seems straightforward to Rico.
Now, where's my machine gun? (And, yes, I do live in a state where I could, if I could afford one, and if the ladyfriend would let me...)

Civil War for the day

My boys.

24 January 2008

Very pretty, and pretty good bagpipes

Via the Lawdog blog.

Almost worth going to Iraq for

Give Scarlett Johansson credit for taking the time to visit the troops in Kuwait during a five-day USO tour to the Gulf region.

The few, finally

The 60-second ad portrays the Silent Drill Platoon in scenes from coast to coast, starting at a lighthouse in Rhode Island; running through several small towns and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains; and ending with Marines under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, thus bypassing San Francisco's reluctance to let them film on the streets of the City That Knows How to Say No...

A rare moment of Supreme rationality

"You want us to invalidate a statute on the ground that it's a minor inconvenience to a small percentage of voters?" asked Justice Anthony Kennedy.
This, during arguments over a petition to overturn a law in Indiana requiring photo ID in order to vote.

Rico says he voted for years without a photo ID. Of course, he wasn't trying to cheat, either. And the poll workers matched my signature against that on file in the election records. Not everyone is so careful...

Harold and Kumar do jihad

From the inestimal Michelle Malkin's blog:
Ahmed told the FBI he was not initially “into that . . . al-Qaeda or thing like that.” His goal, he said, was to seek military-style training to help oppressed Muslims in places such as Kashmir, on the Pakistan-India border.
But he said that he and Sadequee were “brainwashed from the reading online.” While expressing ambivalence about whether he could ever carry out an attack on U.S. soil, Ahmed said he was influenced by Internet radicals urging Muslims to “do something.”
So the men undertook their trip to Washington. It was an opportunity “to be spies for the people over there,” Ahmed said, apparently referring to militant Muslims abroad.
He described the Washington trip as an adventure, with the two men setting out from the Atlanta area on a Sunday morning in his Ford pickup truck, stopping to shave off the beards they wore as religious Muslims.
“It’s like, uh, thrilling to be undercover and stuff like that,” the transcript quotes Ahmed as saying.
That evening, they reached the Pentagon. The men filmed the building, according to a video made public for the first time last week in court. “This is where our brothers attacked the Pentagon,” says Sadequee’s voice.
“Allah Akhbar,” Ahmed chants. God is great.

Rico says these two clowns should almost not be taken seriously as a threat. But if putting their asses in prison keeps some slightly smarter and more serious guys from doing similar things, then so be it...

Measuring laughter

If you want an intellectual chuckle, try this website.
Where else are you going to see definitions for things like:

FurlongsPerFortnight: 1 furlong/fortnight = 10 Snail's Pace (note: 1 furlong = 10 chains) This is incredibly (literally, for once) close to a centimetre / minute -- 0.99785914 cm/minute
c (speed of light): 1.80 terafurlongs per fortnight
c (speed of light): 18 terasnailpaces


kilominute: 16 hours, 40 minutes


Wales: 20,640 km^2, used in the British media as an equivalence unit of area, as in "An area of rainforest the size of Wales is cut down every year."


The Monkey-minute. It is famously said that an infinite (or a large) number of monkeys typing randomly at a keyboard for eternity, will produce the complete works of Shakespeare (or some other literary canon). It follows, naturally, that for works of lesser magnitude or quality, a smaller number of monkeys (or shorter duration) will suffice. DilBert once asked Dogbert to assess the quality of poetry he had written; to which Dogbert repeated the above assertion. Dilbert asked "what about my poem?" Dogbert replies: "Three monkeys, 10 minutes". Hence, the monkey-minute is a measure of literary quality.


Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

Civil War for the day

The 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry mounting up for a morning ride at the 140th of Gettysburg.

Doesn't get any harder than that

23 January 2008

Civil War for the day

From the 140th of Antietam.

Okay, no jokes

Out of deference to his ladyfriend's admiration for the late Heath Ledger, Rico will refrain from making bad jokes about his death. But when he heard a television commentator make a reference to Ledger being 'a man's man', Rico will admit to nearly spitting up his ice cream, in the face of the obvious Brokeback Mountain jokes...

At least he knows who he's dealing with

Omar has offered to broker a peace deal between his father and the president of the United States.

Rico says he doesn't think so...
How this guy is still alive is a wonder; how he expects to stay alive is even more amazing...

Fred out but not down

Well, not that it came as a huge surprise, given his poor showing in what was to be a break-out primary in South Carolina, but Fred Thompson bit the bullet today and closed out his short-lived campaign.
A CBS on-line article put it well: "Thompson surely deserves much of the blame he’s going to get for running a lackluster campaign, and people - most of all his supporters - will wonder if his heart was ever really in it. But his campaign always had a bigger obstacle, a 'change deficit' that he could not have overcome without changing who he was. That would have negated his reason for running, but more importantly, it would have cost conservatism a valuable defender."

Thank goodness for the Fed

The Federal Reserve decided to push the envelope and cut the federal funds rate by three-quarters of a percent which, depending on who you read, is either the most in decades or the most ever.
Regardless, it seems to have worked. The anticipated plunge in the Dow didn't happen, and both European and Asian markets also appeared to be stabilizing.
For those of us with a share or two in the market, that's good news...

Hacking the iPhone

Rico can't imagine why, other than just to say they could do it, that someone would spend all the time and energy required to develop a hack for the iPhone or the iPod.
But there are geeks out there who get off on this stuff, so he's sure it's happening.
He's not about to screw around with his, however; he can't even get all the functionality it's got running, much less worry about trying to move off of AT&T or play with 'alternative' apps...

22 January 2008

Why doesn't my stock go up, then?

Seems Apple is doing pretty well:
Apple on Tuesday reported revenue of $9.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.58 billion, or $1.76 per diluted share.

So why this, then?
As of 5:35 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Apple's stock was down 13.10% from its 157.45 close.

Rico says the market is an idiot. Of course, the markets as a whole are taking a bath, driven by fears of recession, so this shouldn't really be a surprise.

But a pink iPod? That reeks of desperation...

Civil War for the day

Robert E. Lee, because I missed his Day yesterday (though I suspect the date was picked to piss off the MLK crowd, since it's his day, too). But my friend HP Tyner does a better Lee than Lee does...

A little case of self-hatred

A guy claiming to be Jewish turns out to be behind the vandalism in Brooklyn Heights back in September:
"On Monday, the police arrested a man who they said had a trove of weapons inside a stately apartment building in the neighborhood. The man, Ivaylo Ivanov, admitted under videotaped questioning that he was behind the spree, which had mystified investigators for months, the police said.
And later Monday evening, after Mr. Ivanov’s arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court, his lawyer surprised reporters with his own announcement: Mr. Ivanov is himself Jewish."
According to a police official, Mr. Ivanov said his acts of vandalism were a result of “bad judgment” and “rage.”

Upon hearing that Mr. Ivanov was said to be Jewish, Aaron L. Raskin, the rabbi of Congregation B’Nai Avraham, one of the desecrated synagogues, was skeptical. “If he is Jewish, then he really needs to see a rabbi,” Rabbi Raskin said.

Rico says the guy turned himself in after shooting himself in the hand; not a clever criminal, Jewish or not...

Drunk with power

Rico says you can view these images in whichever order you want; the open desert could have been Dubai in 1990, before all the building started, or it could be Dubai in a hundred years, once we've figured out how to stop running cars on imported oil...

My embedded reporter has this to say: "I do not understand the economics involved. It seems to be a “build it and they will come” attitude. Who is going to buy the thousands of apartments being built, especially when property freehold laws are something foreign to Dubai Courts? Still, there seems to be a dearth of apartments available if you judge by the way rents are rising.
My prediction for 2050 is that Dubai will become a ghost town. I do not see how they can sustain the current level of construction and growth. The area has few redeeming qualities to entice people to move there except to work for a few years and make some quick money. Sharia law does not have the concept of corporate shields like Western law. Once a few businessmen are hauled off to court for non-payment of loans that will become evident. The quality of the construction is poor, at best. Owners of those expensive condos will soon find that they need to pay big repair bills when the plumbing and electric start failing. The new islands being built will slowly erode away and it will take a fortune to keep them in place. Only an idiot would buy land on them.
The place is hot, dusty and has no scenery. I do not understand why Europeans are so infatuated with the place. I would rather be in Mexico where things are green and don’t need irrigation to grow. There will be a limit to how far tourism can grow in a Muslim country, even with the big Disney-like developments. Who will want to go to DubaiLand during Ramadan when you can’t buy a bottle of water to drink during the day? Who will want to go there in 120 degree heat?
Finally, the Emiratis have no experience at running anything. They are okay in figurehead positions but have no actual experience managing anything. They will need the continuing support of expats to keep the thing running. If the Muslim extremists decide to bring Dubai back into the fold of the True Believers, there will be an exodus of westerners and the place will grind to a halt."

Rico says he can hardly wait... (He may not make 2050, but wherever he is at the time he'll be laughing at these poor bastards.)

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