This flap is so chock full of objects of Internet scorn that it’s hard not to get a little dizzy: Right-wing nutcase Michelle Malkin has won a victory over baby-talking Food Network personality Rachael Ray, who was hawking obesity-causing products for fast-food company Dunkin’ Donuts while wearing what appeared to be a kaffiyeh, the cotton scarf that most Americans associate with Palestinian nationalists, especially the much reviled late Yasser Arafat.
Malkin called out Ray and Dunkin’ Donuts on the faux kaffiyeh being visible in the online ads and got the conservative blogosphere buzzing about a potential boycott of the donut chain. And guess what: Dunkin’ Donuts caved and yanked the ads.
It’s probably hard for many people to decide who deserves the lion’s share of their wrath: Malkin for ignorant (and, as always, borderline racist) demagoguery, the insipid Rachael Ray for aggressively embracing the role of foodie icon while shamelessly peddling nutritional nightmares, or Dunkin’ Donuts for manufacturing said fare in the first place and for backing down in the face of Malkin’s toothless swagger.
Just wait until somebody explains “arabic numerals” to Malkin…
This then raises the question of what exactly you’re supposed to do when someone knocks on your door, and announces that they’re the police and that they have a search warrant. Don’t come to the door, and they’re going to break it down and come after you. Come to the door to verify it’s really the police (by no means a given)—and to let them in if it is—and your very movement toward the door can, also, be a trigger to break the door down and storm your home. Arm yourself and wait for them to come in? You’re practically begging them to shoot you.
Seems your only option is stand somewhere in your own house with your hands in the air, wait for the door to come down, and hope the raiding officers don’t mistake your t-shirt for a gun, or possibly trip or mistakenly fire and accidentally kill you. Be prepared to be thrown to the ground, stepped on, handcuffed, and have the barrel of a gun pointed at the back of your head.
Yesterday, in his big non-proliferation speech, McCain took his gaffes to a new level. He actually invented 20 years of negotiations between the United States and Tehran. In his speech, McCain said:
“Today, some people seem to think they’ve discovered a brand new cause, something no one before them ever thought of. Many believe all we need to do to end the nuclear programs of hostile governments is have our president talk with leaders in Pyongyang and Tehran, as if we haven’t tried talking to these governments repeatedly over the past two decades.”
McCain has clearly forgotten what Max Bergmann points out: The stated policy of the United States since April 7, 1980 has been that we don’t talk to the Iranians. Never has the United States had communications, or tried to have communications, with the Iranian government on their nuclear program. Iran’s nuclear communications have been limited to working through the European Union (led by France and Germany, countries John McCain has referred to as “vacuous” and “posturing”).
Another example of careless jurisprudence this week: on Monday a new law came into force requiring fortune-tellers, clairvoyants, astrologers and mediums to stipulate explicitly that their services are for “entertainment only”.
Well, trades descriptions legislation is anciently established; but in the realms of the spirit, prophecy, invisible worlds, ghosts and human souls, it has generally been felt that the whole thing is too cloudy for law. By bringing access to other spiritual dimensions into line with access to (say) a British Airways club class lounge, and by deeming in law – for that is what this measure does – that claims about worlds undreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio, are false, Parliament has taken a serious step in principle, even if the measure itself is trivial and most clairvoyants are only jokers anyway.
What, for instance, about the “faith” community? Perhaps it’s there in the legislative small print already. There will have to be an exception in law for “religions”. Whereupon clairvoyants will presumably rename themselves spiritualists. And spiritualists will presumably claim the status of a religion. Whereupon lawmakers will stipulate that a “religion” has to centre around a deity. Whereupon Buddhism will cease to be a “religion”; and…
…Well you see the philosophical marsh into which this new principle leads. Is Parliament aware of any harder evidence for the efficacy of faith-healing than for the reliability of clairvoyance? I’d like to hear it. Otherwise, let the collecting boxes in church display a sign “for entertainment purposes only” and let Catholics buy candles to light “for entertainment purposes only”; and let trips to Lourdes be sold “for entertainment purposes only”. And let the raiment of the priest administering the Sacrament be embroidered likewise.
Me: “Thank you for calling, how can I help you?”
Customer: “Hi there, I got these promotional cheques at 3.9% for my Visa card. I was wondering if I can pay my Visa bill with them.”
Me: “No miss, the funds will be coming out of your Visa account. Therefore, you can’t pay the Visa with the same Visa account.”
Customer: “Why? I don’t see why not…”
Me: “… because the funds will be coming out of your Visa account. It doesn’t make it a lesser balance, it makes it a higher balance. Therefore, you can’t pay your Visa with the same Visa.”
Customer: “I think this is stupid. I should be able to do whatever I want with my cheques.”
Me: “Do you write yourself cheques with your bank account to yourself, and not have to pay for it?”
Customer: “Well, no… that’s just silly.”
Me: “Do you see how it works, then?”
Customer: “Yeah, I guess. But I should still be able to do it!”
The invasion of Iraq by Britain and the US has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone.
The oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), told The Independent on Sunday that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, if it had not been for the Iraq war.
After CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly admitted that the CIA has, in fact, waterboarded detainees, the agency could no longer cling to its last excuses for covering up the use of the very word “waterboarding” in CIA records. As a result, yesterday we obtained several heavily redacted documents in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the ACLU and other organizations seeking documents related to the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody overseas.
While the documents do, in fact, reveal the word “waterboarding” or some variation, they leave pretty much everything else to the imagination. The pages that haven’t been completely withheld (many of them contain the words “Denied in Full” instead of any actual content) have the clandestine blacked-out look that’s become a sort of trademark of this administration. This is my favorite:
As our exclusive demo videos show, the Android team have been putting in some long hours bringing the user interface up to the standard people expect. The iPhone sets the bar high, and leftfield rivals like Samsung’s TouchWiz GUI really pile on the pressure.
(more video’s at the link – good competition for Apple!)