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EVERY four years, the world's sports fans share an experience unlike any other in its intensity, its drama, its exultation, its heartbreak: the World Cup, a tournament involving 32 countries from almost every corner of the globe. And the country that plays host to that event — this year it is Germany — is more than just a place where memorable matches are played out in packed stadiums. For a month, it is transformed into perhaps the world's best party scene.

WHEN I arrived in Cologne at the end of April, the city was getting primed for the Weltmeisterschaft, as the World Cup is called in German. Signs, banners and ads for the tournament were everywhere. In one bookstore, I counted at least 20 new soccer titles in the World Cup display, ranging from intellectual treatises on German teams to naughty cartoons about referees.

Pascha, a 10-story bordello on the aptly named Hornstrasse, was already welcoming soccer fans from around the world. A giant picture of a seminude woman graced the facade, along with the flags of the 32 participating nations, though those of Saudi Arabia and Iran were blacked out after receiving phone threats.

At the plaza surrounding the Dom, the towering Gothic cathedral near the main train station, peddlers were also selling flags to tourists and commuters alike. And along the narrow cobblestone streets of this compact city, nearly every storefront had the official tournament logo in its window, a stylized "2006" composed of laughing faces. Cologne was ready to party.


a beer based economy

As many of you know I have, for somtime now, advocated a beer based economy. Well take a look at the link. Here is the jist: You bring beer, you get a trendy courier bag. My question is how are they going to consume the beer? Are they throwing a crazy huge party? Can I get a invite?


The Robert Frosts In Mexico Ponder: "Maybe Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"

The clamorous debate over a border wall has confronted President Vicente Fox of Mexico at every stop during a visit to the United States that began Tuesday. While he did not publicly endorse the idea, he made clear that his government was prepared to live with increased border security as long as it comes with measures that opened legal channels for the migration of Mexican workers.

Outside his government, several immigration experts have even begun floating the idea that real walls, not the porous ones that stand today, could be more an opportunity than an attack.

A wall could dissuade illegal immigrants from their perilous journeys across the Sonora Desert and force societies on both sides to confront their dependence on an industry characterized by exploitation, they say.

The old blame game — in which Mexico attributed illegal migration to the voracious American demand for labor and accused lawmakers of xenophobia — has given way to a far more soul-searching discussion, at least in quarters where policies are made and influenced, about how little Mexico has done to try to keep its people home.

"For too long, Mexico has boasted about immigrants leaving, calling them national heroes, instead of describing them as actors in a national tragedy," said Jorge Santibáñez, president of the College of the Northern Border. "And it has boasted about the growth in remittances" — the money immigrants send home — "as an indicator of success, when it is really an indicator of failure."

How many polish ministers does it take to finish a press conference?


And the most clueless asshole award goes to..............


Screenshots Of Vista

I wonder if my ancient computer (purchased September 2000) will be able to run it.

Cold War II

A Good Monday-Night Read

Reading around about the Cultural Revolution got me to this amazing page about the Sino-Soviet Split during the Cold War. I had no idea this story was so involved. The split led to Nixon's visit, a huge Soviet military build-up on the Chinese border, and veteran American journalist Harrison Salisbury publishing a book called The Coming War Between Russia and China.

I mean, just consider this:
When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985, he endeavored to restore normal relations with China. Soviet military forces along the border were greatly reduced, normal economic relations were resumed, and the border issue was quietly forgotten. The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan removed the major contention between the two states. However, the ideological issues of the 1960s were not resolved, and official relations between the two Communist parties were not resumed. The still frosty relations between the Soviet Union and China prompted many in the United States government under Ronald Reagan to consider China a natural counterbalance against the Soviet Union, resulting in American military aid to the People's Liberation Army.
What!? Check it out.


Lordi, Lordi, Lordi

Finland's winning answer to Eurovision.

Thanks to Tim!

Using CG to blow up Mexicans will make the world a kinder place.

Probably not.

The Cultural Revolution, 40 Later

Red Gaurd

When the Cultural Revolution started, I was 15 or 16 years old. Usually I didn't like to join such a political movement, because my background wasn't good.

One day I went to school... and one of my classmates... reported me to the Red Guards, for he wished to join them. He told them I was hiding an anti-revolution diary.

I was held by them, and Red Guards went on to raid my home.

My heart was filled of hate, I wondered why he sold me out? I promised myself that I would get revenge some day. In 1967, as the bourgeoisie became the target... I was cleared of previous accusations.

Using this chance, we formed our own faction of Red Guards. Those sons and daughters of high ranking officials, their faction of Red Guards were notoriously extreme left wing. Neutral teachers and most students supported us.

We had advantages; the hostile faction was not too happy about it. There were some scattered armed struggles.

Early on the morning of 25 July 1968, they gathered about 100 children of high ranking officials and stormed into our school from the back... Using home-made spears they wounded two of our girl students - one of them needed to be sent to emergency care...

With adrenalin rushing into my head, straight away I went to the school factory with a dagger attached to a steel pole... I remember vividly, I was at the front with a spear in my hand.

We managed to hold them in a small school building for two or three days. They didn't have food and the water had been cut off as well. Then the Party officials in Shanghai broke us up.

During the fight, I had my revenge, I beat up the students in the hostile faction; I slapped the face of the classmate who sold me out.

What made us behave in this way? Firstly it was the system, secondly it was because we were young, childish and fanatical. Why did the classmate of mine say I was hiding an anti-revolution diary? It wasn't necessarily that he made the story up. Maybe he saw me as an enemy of the class - we were taught things like that for such a long time.

Also maybe he wanted to be recognised, because he wanted to join the revolution. As [Hong Kong academic] Professor Ding Xue Liang said, from a certain aspect, the Cultural Revolution was an act of revenge between human beings. I agree, but it wasn't just that.

Son of Torture Victim

My father came back from America in 1948. He was a physician in the United States - a very honest and conscientious doctor.

Because he had been in America, he was accused of being an American spy. What was the evidence? He had a radio. They said it was a radio-transmitter and someone actually saw him sending information.

It was nonsense, of course, but he was then locked into a room. He was interrogated and beaten.

I myself didn't see my father being tortured. But I was told he was covered in a cotton duvet and beaten so that he couldn't see the people doing the beating.

Once a nurse in his hospital shoved a mop into my father's mouth and shouted 'You talk about hygiene - now I will give you a good brush of your teeth!' That was terrible. Could my father bear it? Of course he couldn't .

My father died in 1968. It was suicide, they said - hanging from a radiator. But we can't be certain. He was 60.

I was not by my father's side when he died. My mother didn't tell me. She was worried that if I came back home I would be arrested and tortured. I felt so sad, but what could I do?

My mother was also severely beaten because of my father. It was so bad there was blood in her urine. My mother was defiant but that made them torture her more.

I was about to graduate from university at the time. Because of my father I was sent to a remote county and stayed there for 12 years.

During that time, people were taught to be suspicious of everything, everyone. People saw each other as potential enemies. That had a long lasting damaging effect on Chinese society.

Deng Xiaoping later said that there should be no more political movements. I really support this policy. It's very easy to go to extremes with political movements.

We should now focus on economic development. If we had the policy we have now, my father would not have suffered.

Attempted Suicide

I was in my third year of the university when the Cultural Revolution started.

A few good friends of mine and I categorised ourselves to be the so-called 'on-lookers'. We agreed that we would never get involved in any rebellious activities. We decided to keep well out of it.

However when the purge began, we were labelled an anti-revolution clique without any reason.

This I thought was absolutely ludicrous, and they accused us of attempting to assassinate Chairman Mao.

We were never in any way against Chairman Mao, never ever! However we were confined to isolation and forced to confess. What a way to suffer!

They wanted us to confess two things - firstly how we would approach Mao, secondly how we would get the weapon to do that? It was impossible to make up answers to their accusations.

We were in absolute denial in the beginning. But after they beat us up so badly, I couldn't bear it any more. I couldn't sit up or sleep. So I decided to take my own life.

On 7 June 1968, when the guards were not looking, I jumped out of the window from the second floor. One of my friends, who jumped a few days later, died immediately on the spot.

I was sent to hospital. They needed to operate on me. A trainee doctor stitched me up after the operation, but left three surgical bandages inside. That caused infection to my foot and I developed suppurative osteomyelitis, it was so painful.

The Special Inquiry Group said to me that if I didn't confess my crime, they wouldn't change the dressing for my wound.

The weather was baking hot. Because they didn't change the dressing, there were a lot of pus coming out. The flies fed on it and then there were maggots crawling in and out of my wound. It was disgusting to look at.

But the Special Inquiry Group said to me: 'You should be grateful because you are in our hands, otherwise you would be beaten to death if the people outside [the Red Guards] knew your crime.'

It was true in a way. If the revolutionary people knew that we were going to assassinate Chairman Mao, we would be doomed! What a crime! Later we were arrested. That was in 1970. We were kept in a detention centre.

Around that time people were dragged out and shot in large numbers in Shanghai - sometimes 50 people in one go. A serious crime like ours' was enough for them to execute us.

It was said that the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee read the document about our crime. It dawned on them that it was a forced confession. Therefore, our lives were spared.

I hope we can draw lessons from this and such a thing will never happen again. We should set up a museum for the Cultural Revolution and keep the historical records for future generations. Everyone should learn from the lessons.


In The Spirit Of "Brokeback To The Future"

I bring you "Ten Things I Hate About Commandments."


Who Paid for Me


Every once in a while Slashdot still makes me laugh

Re:We are ALL "owned" (Score:5, Funny)
by kindbud (90044) on Wednesday May 17, @11:26AM (#15351182)
Spam is just as bad as ... rape ...

Only if your INBOX is a vagina.

Ix-nay On The Azis-nay

Australian football fans heading for the World Cup in Germany next month have been warned to avoid mocking references to the country's World War II Nazi history.
A travel advisory issued by the foreign affairs department says acts such as making a Nazi salute will not be treated as a joke.
"German federal police authorities warn that the propensity for some foreign nationals to parody aspects of the Nazi era is both highly offensive and illegal in Germany," the department says on its website.
"Overt displays of Nazi paraphernalia and the use of the Nazi salute are examples of this.
"These prohibitions will be enforced through police officers, who will make every attempt to dissuade such behaviour before taking official action against foreign nationals."
The warning points out that the "German authorities are making extensive preparations for security and will deploy large numbers of police throughout Germany leading up to and during the World Cup matches."

Time For Another Drink Tank Animal Match-Up: Bear VS Monkey

Bears killed and ate a monkey in a Dutch zoo in front of horrified visitors, witnesses and the zoo said Monday. In the incident Sunday at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park, several Sloth bears chased the Barbary macaque into an electric fence, where it was stunned.

It recovered and fled onto a wooden structure, where one bear pursued and mauled it to death.

The park confirmed the killing in a statement, saying: "In an area where Sloth bears, great apes and Barbary macaques have coexisted peacefully for a long time, the harmony was temporarily disturbed during opening hours on Sunday."

"Of course the habitats here in the safari park are arranged in such a way that one animal almost never kills another, but they are and remain wild animals," it said.

Witness Marco Berelds posted a detailed report on the incident, including photos, on a Dutch Web site. He said one Sloth bear tried unsuccessfully to shake the monkey loose after it took refuge on the structure, built of crossing horizontal and vertical poles.

Ignoring attempts by keepers to distract it, the bear climbed onto a horizontal pole, and, standing stretched on two legs, "used its sharp canines to pull the macaque, which was shrieking and resisting, from its perch."

The bear then brought the animal to a concrete den, where three bears ate it.

The zoo said it "usually wasn't possible" for keepers to intervene when an animal killed another.

The park plans now to move the Barbary macaques---which are large monkeys but often inaccurately called "Barbary Apes"---to another part of the park, it said.

And how did the little monkey taste? The three bears answered: "Mmmm, just right."


NSA Reading Drinktank Posts BEFORE They're Posted

Pretty serious... Link above is for the technically inclined, while this is the non-technobabble version.

In other news, NSA == "No Secrets Anymore"???


This guy is so dead

Betonsports.com should have a cross premotion with this guy's life insurance policy.


E3's Untold Story: The Systematic And Merciless Suppression Of Booth Babe Rights

Power to the people!

200,000 more reasons to get out of iRaq


Headline Of The Week



Troy is a game.
The object of troy is to hack the program designers life.
You can find more info at wemakemoneynotart.com.


What the... huh?

Goss has been directly involved with almost every atrocity committed by the American government since the late 1950s. From the Bay of Pigs to the Death Squads of Central America, Goss was always on the job. His fingerprints can even be found on the JFK assassination coverup. Someone tried to kill him in London back in 1970, but the poison wasn't strong enough or maybe it just doesn't work on his kind.

He "retired" to Florida -- specifically, to a colony of CIA agents in Sanibel, Florida. It was here that Goss would launch his "political" career in the 1970s and cement his partnership with Democrat Bob Graham. Goss represented this congressional district -- Florida's 14th -- for 16 years, in which the multimillionaire Republican did little more than shovel money to the CIA and other intelligence operations.

Oddly enough, in this same 20-mile stretch of Florida gulf coast, most of the named 9/11 hijackers settled (including, notoriously, Mohammed Atta in Naples). Odder still, Atta and his buddies supposedly trained to be pilots at shady CIA-financed pilot schools involved in the usual clandestine activities of money laundering and drug running. All the files and records from those flight schools were loaded onto a military cargo plane in the middle of the night of Sept. 12, 2001 -- with Jeb Bush aboard, of all people -- and flown to Washington, where they disappeared. So who really knows?!

All mathematical odds collapse in the presence of Porter Goss. He was in Pakistan weeks before the 9/11 attacks, planning a U.S. war in Afghanistan with Pakistani ISI chief Mahmoud Ahmad -- the same Ahmad who directly funded the Taliban and worked directly with Osama bin Laden.

On the morning of the attacks, the Republican congressman and "former" CIA agent and lifelong Florida politician Bob Graham enjoyed breakfast with the same Mahmoud Ahmad, who was conveniently in Washington for high-level meetings on that infamous day.

It was Ahmad who arranged the transfer of $100,000 to alleged hijacker Mohammed Atta. This transfer was arranged in a top-secret conference room in the U.S. Capitol. The money passed through none other than Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Pakistani intelligence agent and British "terrorist" and Afghanistan terror-camp administrator who reportedly killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. (The WSJ was the only major U.S. news organization pursuing the Ahmed-Sheikh-Atta connections, and Pearl was working on that very story when he was set up and kidnapped in Pakistan.)

Curiously enough, there is not a single mention of Goss and Graham's breakfast with Ahmad in the 868-page investigation chaired by ... Goss and Graham.

And while Goss was fiercely against any investigation into the 9/11 attacks, once the investigation was in danger of becoming a reality, the lifelong spy Goss conveniently became the co-chairman of the Joint 9/11 Intelligence Inquiry ... with none other than Bob Graham.

As busy as he was in the days before and after Sept. 11, 2001, he again showed remarkable personal strength by sponsoring the Patriot Act, a massive pile of new laws to strip Americans of civil and financial rights. This amazing collection of detailed new laws to return American intelligence to its pre-Watergate levels of domestic abuses was ready for Congress so quickly that a few have even suggested the entire thing was prepared in advance of the Sept. 11 attacks.

did you guys know this stuff?


US Govn't: Mr. Zarqawi Is A Poseur Who Can't Even Fire A Basic Infantry Weapon And Walks Around In Comfortable, White New Balances

In the video released last week by the terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, he is seen firing long bursts from a heavy automatic rifle, his forearms sprouting from beneath black fatigues as he exudes the very picture of a strong jihadist leader.

In out-takes from the same video, Mr. Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, cuts an altogether different figure:

As the camera rolls, Mr. Zarqawi is flummoxed by how to fire the machine gun until an aide walks over and fiddles with the weapon so it discharges. Another scene shows Mr. Zarqawi hand the weapon off to several other insurgents, who absent-mindedly grab it by its scalding hot barrel.

And after his shooting scene, Mr. Zarqawi walks away from the camera to reveal decidedly non-jihadist footwear: Comfortable white New Balance sneakers.

Turning the tables of propaganda on the most hunted man in Iraq, the American military released the video out-takes today...

Your Guinness Is Weak, Old Man

Diageo's Low-Alcohol Guinness Beats Expectations, Examiner Says

Diageo Plc, the maker of Guinness beer, said sales of its low-alcohol version of the stout, Guinness Mid-Strength, have beaten the company's expectations, the Irish Examiner reported, citing Paul Norris, marketing manager at Diageo's Irish unit.

Diageo has sold more than 55,000 pints of the beer in the first six weeks of sales in Limerick, in the north-west of Ireland, the paper said. The stout is being tested in the city for six months, before the company decides if it should be sold across the country.

Guinness Mid-Strength has a alcohol level of 2.8 percent compared to 4.2 percent in regular Guinness.

Thanks Fran.


punny pirate pries third eye

from Maakies


More On The Colbert Blackout

The traditional media's first reaction to satirist Stephen Colbert's uncomfortably harsh mockery of President Bush and the press corps at Saturday night's White House Correspondents Association dinner was largely to ignore it.

Instead, the coverage primarily focused on the much safer, self-deprecatory routine in which Bush humorously paired up with an impersonator playing his inner self.

The result, however, was a wave of indignation from the liberal side of the blogosphere over what some considered a willful disregard of the bigger story: That a captive, peevish president (and his media lapdogs) actually had to sit and listen as someone explained to them what they had done wrong; that the Bush Bubble was forcibly violated, right there on national television...

Thanks to Marcie.

DT Field Trip

Literally. :)



You are now booked for The Colbert Report

Show Date: July 11, 2006

Showtime: 7:00 pm

Number of Tickets: 3

Any chance the wedding can be pushed back a little bit? :P

Steve Colbert has huge brass balls!!

Watch the clip in its entirety (SP?, had a few drinks) He tears bush a new ass hole. This is pretty much the greatest thing I have ever seen.

In other drinking news at a Reuter's party they were serving "The Cheney Shot"—made with Wild Turkey.

Love you all,
Cheers! when they are all in orange jumpsuits the wild turkeys on me.