Archive for January 20th, 2004

Recite Once a Day at Shutdown


Not that the Dowbrigade would ever need such a thing, but one can’t
be too careful…

An Israeli rabbi has invented a prayer to help Jews overcome the guilt
of visiting pornographic websites.

The benediction by Shlomo Eliahu says: "Please God, help me cleanse
the computer of viruses and evil photographs which disturb and ruin my
work…, so that I shall be able to cleanse myself (of sin).

Mr Eliahu said he had seen a marked increase in the number of men who had
come to him to confess their internet sins.

The callers said they were worried that the time they were spending surfing
for porn was ruining their family lives, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth reports.

The rabbi recommends that Jews recite the prayer when they log on, or even
programme it to flash up on their computer screens so they are spiritually
covered whether they enter a dodgy site intentionally or by mistake.

from Ananova

Colombian-style Land Redistribution


hard to even imagine a solution to the Latin tradegy that is Colombia.
article in tomorrow’s New York Times
captures the difficulty and dangers
in retuning that beautiful county to its rightful owners.

"…an older, festering crime
that lies at the root of Colombia’s 40-year conflict
up -the
land, according
to United Nations officials, land experts in the government and human
rights groups.

As the government negotiates demobilization with the 15,000-member
paramilitary force, its leaders are quietly laundering accumulated
drug money by taking control of huge tracts, often at the point of a
of the victims are poor, voiceless farmers, but the officials say even
some big landowners have lost their prized farms."

from the New
York Times

Lie Detector Specs


Portland, Ore. – It may not be long before you hear airport security
screeners ask, "Do you plan on hijacking this plane?"

A U.S.
company using technology developed in Israel is pitching a lie detector
small enough to fit in the eyeglasses of law enforcement officers,
and its inventors say it can tell whether a passenger is a terrorist
by analyzing his answer to that simple question in real-time.

The technology, developed by mathematician Amir Lieberman at Nemesysco
in Zuran, Israel, for military, insurance claim and law enforcement
use, is being repackaged and retargeted for personal and corporate
applications by V Entertainment of New York.

from the eetimes

Deep-Fried Cow Brain Sandwich


Fear of mad cow disease hasn’t kept customers from eating the deep-fried
cow brain sandwiches served Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004, at the Hilltop
Inn in Evansville, Ind. The delicacy is traced back to a time when
southern Indiana newcomers from Germany and Holland wasted little.
Some families have their own recipes passed down over the generations.

from AP

The Michael Jackson Innocence Song


Talking Points on Dean


Marshall over at Talking
went up to New Hampshire today
to see how the Dean Team is taking their setback. For the next week the
three ring political circus which our Presidential primary process has
become will be at perhaps its quadrennial high point, as the risen strive
to stay aloft, the fallen desperately scramble for redemption and resurrection,
and the also-rans become increasingly unhinged as they seek an exposed,
high and conductive spot to wait for a lightning bolt from the blue.

Isn’t it more than somewhat ridiculous that such an important, embryonic
stage of the political process in the strongest and
nation in the world is dependent on a tiny, unrepresentative sliver of
the national demographic? It is utterly conceivable to the Dowbrigade
that a deserving, potentially winning candidate on a national scale might
possible fly over, or under, or around the radar screen in Iowa and New
Hampshire and never reach the latter stages of the campaign. Such a candidate,
perhaps even The
(for a true internet-based constituency would certainly
least in the
early stages, in the wired centers far from the fields of these early
events) would not stand a chance.

The one redeeming feature we can see in the current set-up is that we
get to see these guys in action; under stress, working 19 hour days,
surrounded by shrieking aides, pollsters, media experts, internet advisors,
money raisers and local ward heelers, and constantly pursued by a howling
pack of mad-dog press with a taste for blood and the scent of fear. To
see, as Josh puts it, how they "take a punch".  Anyway,
here’s the story…

This was the event I was most interested in seeing today. I wanted
to see if Dean — and just as much his supporters — could take
a punch.
Last night was one helluva punch.

Can he and his supporters maintain their energy and organization? Will
they lose morale? The flip side of bringing in new blood is that they
may not have a lot of campaign experience. They may not be able to
keep up
their focus when things get rough. Just think what it was like to keep
working away for Kerry six weeks ago …

footnote: After seeing footage of several Dean appearances in NH today,
including the one Josh was at, it seems obvious that the Doctor’s doctors
have placed him on a heavy regimen of anti-psychotic drugs, maybe Trifluoperazine
or perhaps even Chlorpromazine hydrochloride.  Lets hope that over
the next few days they find the right dosage.

from Talking Points

Dean’s Primal Scream Spells Doom


The switch went off in the Dowbrigade’s mind just about when
Howard Dean let loose with his primal scream, after screeching out the
names of all of the states he was expecting to win. There was a fevered, ferrel gleam in his eye. At that moment, we were not sure we would want him as the coach of our kid’s youth soccer team, let alone the free world. Stick a fork in him,
we thought, he’s done.

We never really warmed to the Doctor, although
we continue to believe his campaign is the most innovative of the lot,
and a harbringer of what’s to come in American politics. But the
guy is just too tightly wound, and gives us the uneasy feeling that he
could explode at any moment. Of course, the race is far from over, and the Dowbrigade has been wrong before.

That unsightly gush of raw aggression and emotion last night was just
too over the top for mainstream America, more accustomed to circumspect
smugness or Patrician pandering than to wild-eyed war cries. Throwing
gasoline on the fire this morning the press was full of reports that
Dean has suffered in the past from Panic Attacks, and worse, has sought
and received mental health treatment for them. As Thomas Eagleton can
testify, Americans recoil at the juxtaposition of President of the United
States and Mental Health Problems, as well they might.

So goodnight Doctor Dean, get some rest and learn to chill out a bit.
And the rest of you Deanies better start thinking about finding a candidate
who really does “Get It”.