Posted by Peter

A great day for democracy in Iraq.

Tsunami -Before and After Photos

Posted by Peter

Tsunami - Meulaboh, Indonesia

Click on the link above for some dramatic photos showing before and after Tsunami shots.

Fox News & Hitler?

Posted by Peter

People's Republic of Minnesota: "Ted Turner called FOX an arm of the Bush administration and compared FOXNEWS's popularity to Hitler's popular election to run Germany before WWII.

Turner made the controversial comments in Las Vegas before a standing-room-only crowd at the National Association for Television Programming Executives's opening session.

And the FoxNews response?

'Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network and now his mind -- we wish him well.'

Classic. How many more Hitler comparisons do we have to endure from the left?"

Beware of the Blog By Joe Strupp

Posted by Peter

Beware of the Blog
In Minneapolis, a local newspaper columnist and the prominent Powerline bloggers wage a war of words. Nick Coleman warns other mainstream journos to "watch out." Is this the wave of the future?

By Joe Strupp

(January 27, 2005) -- If you don't believe that bloggers are giving newspapers a headache, talk to Nick Coleman. A veteran newspaper columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Coleman is in the middle of an old-fashioned feud with one of the leading conservative Web logs in the country.

So far, his battle with — Time magazine's "blog of the year" — has sparked an anger-spewing column by Coleman, an ombudsman's clarification, and a threat by a leading bank to pull advertising from the newspaper.

Moreover, it has confirmed the growing ability of blogs to get under the skin of the mainstream media. "This is just the beginning," an exasperated Coleman warns. "People need to pay attention to [bloggers]. To watch out."

The blog war began in December, when Coleman penned a column on some homeless people who had died., which had surged in influence after playing a key role in the recent "60 Minutes" scandal, criticized the piece in several postings. One blast called it "a lazy column on the spirit of the season" and added that "the spirit of this column is entirely that of the liberal shame culture."

Coleman's retort followed on Dec. 29, when he ripped his online critics, saying, "Extreme bloggers are so hip and cool they can make fun of the poor and disadvantaged while working out of paneled bank offices." This last part was a dig at Scott Johnson, a Powerline co-founder who is an attorney at TCF Bank, a major Twin Cities finance company.

In that same piece, Coleman called the bloggers everything from "rottweilers in sheep's clothing" to "reliable partisan hacks." He claimed that the site and others like it "are dominated by the right and are only interested in being a megaphone without oversight, disclosure of conflicts of interest, or professional standards," adding that the blog was "the biggest link in a daisy chain of right-wing blogs that is assaulting mainstream media."

This tirade, he says, was not only in reaction to the December postings, but what he claimed were nearly two years of attacks on him. But Johnson, and his partner, attorney John Hinderaker, maintain that Coleman was mentioned on their site only twice in the two years prior to the December postings. "I find it to be an outrageous, personal attack devoid of substance and facts," Johnson said, referring to Coleman's column. The bloggers also shot back on their home field, placing a lengthy blog response that called Coleman the "Star-Tribune's worst columnist."

But Coleman's problems didn't end there. Shortly after the New Year, TCF Bank Chairman and CEO Bill Cooper wrote an angry letter to the Star-Tribune vowing never to buy advertising in the paper again. Cooper was incensed that Coleman's column had attempted to link the blog to TCF, while allegedly hinting that some readers should withdraw their money from the finance company. "I have nothing to do with that blog and Coleman never talked to me," Cooper says now. "It's 'Dan Rather' journalism."

The bloggers also complained to Star-Tribune Reader Representative Kate Parry, who reviewed their charges and eventually put a clarification in the paper related to the Dec. 29 Coleman column. The blog's only revenue source, the paper clarified, was its advertising.

So is this the future of blog-newspaper relations in 2005 and beyond? According to Coleman, yes, and not in a good way. He says traditional news outlets need to keep tabs on the blogs and shoot back when necessary. "Editors and writers in mainstream media are very naive," he says. "Readership and power of the blogs is increasing." He also claims that the blogs are dangerous because they are not under the same ethical restrictions as mainstream media and seek to stay on the attack, facts be damned. He contends "the mainstream media is under assault."

But Powerline's Hinderaker argues that blogs are actually more accountable because they receive immediate reaction from readers and can be criticized by other blogs, many of which are read by the same people. "Mainstream media doesn't have the checks and balances you have on a blog," he says. "If a blogger makes a mistake, the e-mail is packed with responses and other bloggers jump on it. Newspapers don't have the same relationship with their readers."

Johnson, his colleague, agrees, adding that the growing blog power is good for the news consumer. "I think we have had a very productive interaction with mainstream media and they are paying attention," he says. "I think Nick Coleman's attitude reflects more on him than us."

For ombud Parry, both sides should be warned to be careful dealing with the effects of blog-newsprint battles. "I have yet to find anywhere in the mainstream media anyone who really has a handle on bloggers," she asserts. "We are dealing with a relatively new phenomenon."

The Diplomad: More UNhonesty

Posted by Peter

The Diplomad: More UNhonesty

Here's a great article talking about how the UN is now taking credit for a tsunami relief effort mainly undertaken by the US, Australia and New Zealand and others.

Army readies robot soldier for Iraq

Posted by Peter

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. - The rain is turning to snow on a blustery January morning, and all the men gathered in a parking lot here surely would prefer to be inside.

Click Here
But the weather couldn’t matter less to the robotic sharpshooter they are here to watch as it splashes through puddles, the barrel of its machine gun pointing the way like Pinocchio’s nose.

The Army is preparing to send 18 of these remote-controlled robotic warriors to fight in Iraq beginning in March or April.

Read it all - Iraqis Nab Top Zarqawi Aide

Posted by Peter - U.S. & World - Iraqis Nab Top Zarqawi Aide

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi security forces have arrested the "most lethal" top lieutenant of Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq — a man allegedly behind most of the car bombings in Baghdad since the U.S.-led invasion, including the 2003 assault on U.N. headquarters that killed 22 people, the prime minister's office said Monday.

Posted by Peter

- Johnny Carson, the "Tonight Show" TV host who served America a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter, droll comedy and heartland charm for 30 years, has died. He was 79. Johnny Carson "Mr. Carson passed away peacefully early Sunday morning," his nephew, Jeff Sotzing, told The Associated Press. "He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable. There will be no memorial service."

Sotzing would not give further details, including the time of death or the location.

The boyish-looking Nebraska native with the disarming grin, who survived every attempt to topple him from his late-night talk show throne, was a star who managed never to distance himself from his audience.

Bad news from Iraq

Posted by Peter


Being avid consumers of news, most of us are aware of the consistent stream of negative reporting coming out of Iraq. Death, violence, terrorism, precarious political situation, problems with reconstruction and public frustration (both in Iraq and America) dominate, if not overwhelm, the mainstream media coverage and commentary on Iraq. The readers' reactions to my fortnightly "Good news from Iraq" segments show just how little good news reaches people.

But it's one thing to have a gut feeling about media negativity and another to know exactly how negative the coverage is. So today I decided to do a little tally.

Posted by Peter

Bush and Cheney after their swearing in for a second term today in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Peter

Darth Tater? What is this world coming to? LINK

Remember the movie -"The Great Outdoors"?

Posted by Peter


Remember in the movie "The Great Outdoors" where John Candy's character has to eat the ol' 96'er - grissle and all?? Well, now its happening in real life! (click the link to read the whole story!) (hat tip WizBangBlog!)

CLEARFIELD, Pa. (AP) - Kate Stelnick may weigh only 100 pounds, but her appetite is remarkable. The college student from Princeton, N.J., is the first to meet a restaurant's challenge by downing its six-pound hamburger - and five pounds of fixins' - within three hours.

Captain's Quarters: More Polling Shows Bush Gaining Support

Posted by Peter

Captain's Quarters: "More Polling Shows Bush Gaining Support

Fresh on the heels of a six-point gain in the latest Time Magazine poll, AP-Ipsos shows George Bush making similar inroads among adults in general. The new polling shows George Bush gaining two-thirds support for his personal attributes, including intelligence:

A majority of Americans say they feel hopeful about President Bush's second term and have a generally positive view of him personally, but they also express continued doubts about Iraq. ...

Ahead of Bush's inauguration on Thursday, six in 10 people said they felt hopeful about his second term and in response to a separate question 47 percent said they were worried. Most said they were neither angry nor excited about his final four years in office."

Minnesota Town Hits 54 Below Zero

Posted by Peter

Cold Day in Minnesota:

Temperatures plummeted across the eastern half of the nation Monday, approaching an all-time record in northern Minnesota and freezing the Gulf Coast as a river of Arctic air pushed southward.

Thermometers registered a low of 54 degrees below zero at Embarrass, Minn.

``You keep living, but it gets old after a while,'' said Christine Mackai, the town clerk for the community of about 1,400 people in northeast Minnesota.

Minnesota's record is 60 below, set on Feb. 2, 1996, in Tower, about 10 miles north of Embarrass.

New Photos Show Titan Has Orange Surface

Posted by Peter

My Way News

Michael J Nelson: Ready, or Not? (for football)

Posted by Peter

Michael J Nelson (of Mystery Science Theater fame
Hank Williams Jr. seems so earnest and enthusiastic, as though he really wants all my rowdy friends to come over tonight, after, and only after, I get ready for some football. But because I live in stoic Minnesota, it's tough for me to even find rowdy friends. Oh, on a good day, I suppose my friend Tom qualifies as rowdy; one time his ripple chip fell into his Mr. Pibb and he fished it out and ate it anyway. Tom's insane! The rest of my friends are far more cautious and staid.

And it's tough to even fake rowdiness when your team stinks. This year, the Vikings have so far played not so much like Vikings as they have, say, Minoans. Nothing against the Minoans: I'm sure they had a fine civilization, as ancient civilizations go. It's just that they're not renowned for their fierceness. Great clay pots. Just kind of a wimpy people.

So what can you do? Not getting ready for some football just isn't an option. I can't imagine how hurt Hank, Jr. would be if I had to lie and say, "I'm sorry, Mister Williams Junior. Maybe it's the weather, or maybe I'm just logy from eating that big brunch--but I'm really not ready for some football." His large brimmed hat would sag with disappointment.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways fans with losing teams can get ready for some football, and encourage their rowdy friends to come over and prepare themselves for some as well! To start, try getting everyone ready for some foosball. It's a very similar game, except in football the men are larger and have arms, but otherwise it's hard to tell them apart. Foosball is a good warm-up, because it's about 1/18th scale, so it takes eighteen times less effort to get ready for it.

You might also try warming up your guests by hiring a clown. But instead of a traditional orange-haired happy clown named Coco or Tinkles, hire one of those sad European clowns with the tattered clothes and the three-day growth. Five minutes of his European sad-clownery and your guests will be ready for anything else, you name it: knitting, Adam Sandler movies, painting your house. Even if your team racks up negative yards and loses triple digits to nothing, everyone will prefer that to watching Shambles pretend to eat his own shoe.

Getting people rowdy is relatively easy. The most obvious ploy, and one I've used dozens of times, is to repeatedly poke them in the chest while saying, "Does this bug you? Am I bugging you?" If that doesn't work, raise their taxes, or steal their Coke out of the lunchroom refrigerator. If all of this fails, you'll have to covertly slip in a videotape of an old game that your team won handily and pretend it's today's game. If anyone notices that Fred Biletnikoff is in at wide receiver and that they're showing cigarette ads--and they haven't been legal since 1971--then just point out how ridiculous the stupid sad European clown looks and go get more cheese dip as a distraction.

If you pull all this off, when Hanks asks, you and your guests can say enthusiastically and without hesitation, "Yes, we are for the most part ready for some football, I suppose."

My Way - Sports News

Posted by Peter

Moss and the Dysfunctional Vikings Look to End Season in Green Bay: "mes.

Their star player abandoned his teammates, then kicked his coach when he was down for good measure. The fans don't seem to care much anymore, and you can't really blame them because some of the players don't seem to, either.

Meet the dysfunctional Minnesota Vikings, parity's gift to the NFL playoffs.

Ever wonder why an 8-8 team has never won an NFL playoff game? Don't look any further than the Vikings, who travel to Green Bay on Sunday to play the Packers because, well, somebody has to lose the wild-card games.

A report from a diplomat in the Tsunami Zone

Posted by Peter

Power Line: "A first-hand report from one of the diplomats at Diplomad:

This Embassy has been running 24/7 since the December 26 earthquake and tsunami. Along with my colleagues, I've spent the past several days dealing non-stop with various aspects of the relief effort in this tsunami-affected country. That work, unfortunately, has brought ever-increasing contact with the growing UN presence in this capital; in fact, we've found that to avoid running into the UN, we must go out to where the quake and tsunami actually hit. As we come up on two weeks since the disaster struck, the UN is still not to be seen where it counts -- except when holding well-staged press events. Ah, yes, but the luxury hotels are full of UN assessment teams and visiting big shots from New York, Geneva, and Vienna. The city sees a steady procession of UN Mercedes sedans and top-of-the-line SUV's -- a fully decked out Toyota Landcruiser is the UN vehicle of choice; it doesn't seem that concerns about 'global warming' and preserving your tax dollars run too deep among the UNocrats.

Sitting VERY late for two consecutive nights in interminable meetings with UN reps, hearing them go on about 'taking the lead coordination role,' pledges, and the impending arrival of this or that UN big shot or assessment/coordination team, for the millionth time I realized that if not for Australia and America almost nobody in the tsunami-affected areas would have survived more than a few days. If we had waited for the UNocrats to get their act coordinated, the already massive death toll would have become astronomical. But, fortunately, thanks to 'retrograde racist war-mongers ' such as John Howard and George W. Bush, as we sat in air conditioned meeting rooms with these UNocrats, young Australians and Americans were at that moment 'coordinating' without the UN and saving the lives of tens-of-thousands of people."

Posted by Peter

The amazing part is - all in this photo survived!

A Swedish tourist who was pictured running into the Asian tsunami to save her family survived the catastrophe, as did her children, it has been revealed.

Newspapers around the world showed a desperate Karin Svaerd heading into the waves as other tourists fled.

On Sunday the 37-year-old policewoman told the press she survived by grabbing hold of a palm tree on the Thai beach.