A Southern woman on the 'Net.

Saturday, April 24, 2004


North Korea

The Nork coverage has been interesting. Maybe, like the Chernobyl disaster, this will help open up a secretive society.
Next thing they'll be asking the FBI to help them catch a serial killer.


Erick of Confessions of a Political Junkie is trying to start something with Karl Rove. Erick's going to lose. Karl will be stepping out of the shadows at any moment.


A dog of war comes home

Bashur the Iraqi dog gets a ticket to the good life.
I see other people read the book "Animals You Will Never Forget" when they were kids and remember the stories as vividly as I do. What a great book. Bashur's warning of incoming reminded me of the story "The Dog from No Man's Land".

Friday, April 23, 2004


Maybe one of these days I'll figure out how to embed one of those little radios into my posts.
For now, I'll make do with giving y'all a link to a nice and fitting song by John Michael Montgomery called "Letters from Home".


I'm over at my new site trying to pretty it up. MT is in and I have a ticket in to have this site's content moved over. I have no idea why I'm moving this content, but I am.

If any of you MT'ers have a bit of advice that you wish someone had told you when you were starting up your new MT blog, please let me hear it.


Did y'all see this? This is awesome.

Military Phone Card Donation Program Goes Public

The Department of Defense announced today that any American can now help troops in contingency operations call home. The Defense Department has authorized the Armed Services Exchanges to sell prepaid calling cards to any individual or organization that wishes to purchase cards for troops who are deployed. The “Help Our Troops Call Home” program is designed to help servicemembers call home from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

For those wishing to donate a prepaid calling card to a military member may log on to any of the three Armed Services Exchange web sites: the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Navy Exchange Service Command, and the Marine Corps Exchange. Click the “Help Our Troops Call Home” link. From there, a prepaid calling card may be purchased for an individual at his or her deployed address or to “any service member” deployed or hospitalized. The Armed Services Exchanges will distribute cards donated to “any service member” through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society and the Fisher House Foundation.

(Via FR.)


President Bush visited Southwest Florida today to speak on environmental issues. Nice to have him back.

I thought this APF article was a bit fanciful:

Bush lands in a crocodile swamp to promote conservation

NAPLES, United States (AFP) - President George W. Bush landed in a tree-lined mangrove swamp as part of an election campaign tour to push his record as a protector of the environment

In front of about 250 people, amid crocodile-infested swamps on the western edge of the Florida Everglades, Bush said his administration was expanding the nation's wetlands and had moved to stop oil and gas drilling


The Boston Globe is all over the records posted on the Kerry website.

Vietnam combat records posted on John F. Kerry's campaign website for the month of January 1969 as evidence of his service aboard swift boat No. 94 describe action that occurred before Kerry was skipper of that craft, according to the officer who said he commanded the boat at the time.

(Via Lucianne.)


RIP Pat Tillman. He was as good as they come.

Thursday, April 22, 2004


I understand that images like this make men feel unhappy about their bodies. Not everybody can be USDA prime, fellas.



There's no need for you boys to be envious of this:

After all, you have very good blogs.


Those returned Japanese peace-activist hostages are catching some well-deserved hell back home

The young Japanese taken hostage in Iraq returned home this week, not to the warmth of a yellow ribbon embrace but to a disapproving nation's cold stare.

The first three hostages, including a woman who helped street children on the streets of Baghdad, first appeared on television two weeks ago as their knife-brandishing kidnappers threatened to slit their throats. A few days after their release, they landed here on Sunday, in the eye of a peculiarly Japanese storm.

"You got what you deserve!" one Japanese held up a hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. The government, not to be outdone, announced it would bill them $6,000 for airfare.

Treated like criminals, the three have gone into hiding, effectively becoming prisoners inside their own homes. The kidnapped woman was last seen arriving at her parents' house, looking defeated and dazed from taking tranquilizers, flanked by relatives who helped her walk and bow deeply before the media, as a final apology to the nation.


Don't you hate it when you're gardening in your backyard and an alligator comes up and bites you and drags you into a lake?
If that lady's husband hadn't have been home, she would have been killed.

It's also aggravating when you're out in the backyard and you fall and hurt yourself and then an alligator comes up and wants to dine on you.
This lady survived because her dog fought the alligator for her.

Then there's the two-year-old girl who was killed, and the twelve-year-old boy. Attacks are up and deaths are up.

Yet if you shoot one that comes on your property and threatens you and your dog, you're liable for two-months' jail-time and a $500 fine.
As a fellow who found himself in this situation said, "I'm not the first that shouldn't have been charged and I certainly won't be the last. I think something in the law needs to be changed. Apparently the alligator is king."


Michael Moore feels peckish, eats city. Ace is on the scene.


Jesse Jackson is doing his shakedown routine on the Coca-Cola company

A group that monitors corporate ethics says the Coca-Cola Co. is "finding out the hard way" that cooperating with the Rev. Jesse Jackson -- and contributing to his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition -- doesn't stop Jackson from complaining or protesting.

Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center, is urging the Coca-Cola board of directors to stop giving money -- and stop making policy concessions -- to Jackson.

Why a corporation would have anything to do with this race-baiting goon is beyond me, especially a company as huge a Coca-Cola. If they can survive the debacle of "New Coke", they can survive the threats of Jackson.


Here's Duane Allman up to no good.
His brother said that if he hadn't been killed in the crash, he would probably have drunk himself to death. I think he could have gotten his act together instead. Wail on, Skydog!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004



Michael Jackson indicted

He's going to need to have some sort of coach to help him conduct himself in a semi-normal fashion during the trial. No showing up late, no moon-walking for the crowd. Nah, that would be too hard.
Any bets on Nation of Islam guards, a big race trial, and some sort of Jewish conspiracy?
You know it's going to be a freakshow.


Michael of Ramblings' Journal casually mentions that Condi's boyfriend is former football player Gene Washington. I didn't even know Condi had a boyfriend. She has time for a life? I know she took some time off to go watch tennis, but that goes without saying.

Anyways, I had to look him up. This is the fellow. He's the NFL director of football operations. He's the guy that doles out the fines.

The Monterey Herald has a list of "Things you probably didn't know about Condoleezza Rice," including, her school guidance counsellor told her she wasn't college material, and she works out to Led Zeppelin.






Firas's site is back up.
Don't let it happen again, Mister! Keep it up and running with lots and lots of posts.


Here's an interesting article on why so many hate crime hoaxes happen on college campuses.

Colleges perfect milieu for hate crime hoaxes

More than 20 hate crime hoaxes have been suspected or confirmed at college campuses nationwide in the past seven years as students draw on the socially conscious atmosphere of a college campus to perpetrate their fraud.

"A person who is a victim of a hate crime can probably expect to get almost universal sympathy on a college campus. Out in the world at large, that's not necessarily true," said Mark Potok, who has researched hate crime for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"But on a college campus, you are very likely to get the support of the administration, the faculty and virtually all the students. It tends to put you in the limelight very quickly."

Last month, a visiting psychology professor at Claremont Colleges told police her car was vandalized and spray-painted with anti-Semitic slurs after a forum denouncing intolerance. Claremont police first called the damage to Kerri Dunn's car a hate crime, but now allege Dunn did it herself.

Dunn has denied any wrongdoing. The FBI and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office are investigating.

Those who track college hate crime hoaxes said a professor perpetrator would be unusual -- but students more frequently portray themselves as victims. In some cases, the students want attention, in others they are simply immature or may even be mentally ill.

In 2002, the last year for which numbers are available, 7,462 hate crimes were reported nationwide; of those, more than 10 percent occurred at schools or colleges, according to the FBI.

For the same year, 2,009 such crimes were reported in California, where 175 occurred at schools or colleges, according to the California Department of Justice.

At least 20 cases of suspected or confirmed hoaxes have occurred since 1997 nationwide -- and many may go unnoticed, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Several researchers also said the liberal atmosphere at many of the nation's colleges creates an environment ripe for deception.

"There's the preconception that if a charge is made, it's true," said John Perazzo, author of "The Myths that Divide Us." "One common thread running through many such incidents is the accuser's sense of victimhood."

Sometimes hoaxes are staged for what seem like relatively trivial reasons. A San Francisco State student, Allison Jackson, now 21, reported to police in September that someone wrote a racial slur on a dorm room door.

After being confronted with a handwriting analysis, Jackson said she faked the incident, according to a campus police report, because she wanted "a roommate change" and housing officials were taking too long to respond.

Jackson, who is black, wrote on the door, she told police, "because that was the drastic event that was going to get us moved."

In another San Francisco State incident last September, a black student named Leah Miller, now 19, admitted to scratching another racial epithet on a dorm room door and to writing herself a note with the same wording. She apologized to police, saying she had "tried to be part of something."

Jaime Alexander Saide, 19, told police at Northwestern University that he discovered a racial slur against Hispanics scrawled on the wall near his room and on a paper stuck to his door last November. Three days later, Saide told police that someone grabbed him from behind, used the same slur and held a knife to his throat.

Saide's account prompted a "Stop the Hate" campaign and the young man became famous around campus. But 10 days after the alleged attack, Saide admitted to fabricating the incidents, said William J. Banis, a vice president for student affairs, in a prepared statement.

Saide was arrested for filing a false police report and faces two felony counts of disorderly conduct, said his attorney, Barry Spector, who declined to comment on his client's motives. Saide also declined to comment, saying: "I just want to move past all of this."

A hearing is scheduled for next month.

Actual or suspected hoaxes can have lingering effects.

At Miami University in Ohio, a display of racist and homophobic fliers six years ago -- a suspected hoax that was never solved -- still bothers President James C. Garland. People come away believing that "racial incidents and race relations are really not an issue, that it's all a trumped-up hoax or manufactured to make political points," he said.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


This one made me smile.


Firas's site has been down for days. Anybody heard from him?


John Kerry refuses to release military records

Kerry, in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," was asked whether he would follow President Bush's example and release all of his military records. "I have," Kerry said. "I've shown them -- they're available for you to come and look at." He added that "people can come and see them at headquarters."

But when a reporter showed up yesterday morning to review the documents, the campaign staff declined, saying all requests must go through the press spokesman, Michael Meehan. Late yesterday, Meehan said the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.

If John Kerry wants to give the impression that he has skeletons to hide, he's doing a good job. You can't run for President and be secretive about your past at the same time.

(Via Lucianne.)

Monday, April 19, 2004


Since Cracker Barrel Philosopher has stripped off his blog-mask, I think it's time I reveal my true identity as well.


Mya the dalmation has been in the news around here a lot lately. She got bit by an Eastern Diamondback rattler over in Hendry County, her people drove her down to an animal hospital in Broward County, and Capt. Al Cruz, head of the Dade County Fire Department's anti-venin unit, drove up from Dade County with the anti-venin to save her life.
Everyone's been very concerned about her, but the vet says she got treatment in time and will pull through.

Captain Al Cruz of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Antivenin Unit watches Dr. Brian Roberts hang half of the second run of snakebite antivenin for Mya, a 2-year-old Dalmatian that was rushed from Clewiston to the Animal Medical Center in Cooper City after being bitten by a rattlesnake Sunday.


More on the latest nastiness in Madrid.

I wonder when the Spanish will realize what they're dealing with.

UPDATE: Islamic revenge?


Lovely. This brave man can't even be allowed to rest in peace.

Coffin of police agent killed in suicide blast vandalised

A coffin containing the body of a Spanish police agent killed in the suicide blast by alleged Madrid rail bombing suspects was taken from its grave, doused with fuel and set on fire, a radio station reported on Monday.

Cadena SER said the coffin was pulled from the tomb in Madrid Sur cemetery late on Sunday and dragged some 500 metres before being burnt. No motive was immediately apparent.

National Police spokesman Antonio Nevado confirmed the tomb had been desecrated, but gave no further details.

Cadena SER said police took the body to Madrid's Forensic Institute for tests.

Special agent Francisco Javier Torronteras was killed when seven suspected terrorists blew themselves up in an apartment outside Madrid on April 3 as police moved in to arrest them.

At least three had been accused of carrying out the Madrid rail bombings on March 11 which killed 191 people and injured 1900.

Eighteen people have been provisionally charged for their alleged role in the rail bombings. Police believe other suspects are still at large.


Kosovo Ambush

Officer Janice Biggs, from St. Louis, Missouri, was shot several times, but is expected to live.

The gunbattle began as three U.N. vehicles carrying 21 U.S. correctional officers, two Turkish officers and one Austrian were leaving the prison, which was guarded by five Jordanian special police unit officers, officials said.

The correctional officers had arrived in Kosovo just 10 days earlier and were training at the prison.

Biggs said the shootout "reminded her of a Clint Eastwood movie," said her father, Jim Biggs.


More on the story of Pistol, the Iraqi dog.

Sunday, April 18, 2004


Isn't this a cool (big!) pic? It's from the Corkscrew Swamp near my home.


Lucky break in the Kosovo ambush

Beth Mechlor of Topeka, Kansas, was riding in the same car as the two slain Americans. She was shot, but she'll make it. It was her first day of work.

A U.S. officer on the scene said it was "clearly an attack against Americans."


Blog stuff

They're installing Movable Type on my new site and I've spent the day reading up on things.
I've also been gathering allllll my Duane Allman pics together from three different computers. I'll finally get those things uploaded.

Everyday's gonna be Duane Allman day at Florida Cracker.


Disfigured Iraqis getting new ears

They're buying new cars, new houses, new ears...

Rolling on a gurney toward the dank operating room of Al Kindi Hospital recently, Khalid Abid Nimer flashed back to a decade earlier, when he had made a similar trip in the same hospital for a far different operation.

Back then, Nimer's arms were bound and his eyes were blindfolded to prevent him from seeing the reluctant surgeon who was ordered to carry out one of Saddam Hussein's sadistic punishments: cutting off the right ears of Iraqi men deemed to be traitors.

(Via Soldiers News Blog.)

Damn, they're getting new hands too. Bionic ones at that.

For nine years, the seven Iraqi businessmen have worn the scars of Saddam's brutality.

Each has a cross carved between their eyes, and their right hands are crudely lopped off at the wrist.

Now this one-handed band of brothers have come to Texas, where they are receiving high-end, bionic prosthetics that will let them once again complete ordinary tasks with ease, without stares from strangers.

Their unlikely journey, with its happy turn in Houston, began horrifically on the other side of the world.

In 1994, with the Iraqi economy faltering, Saddam Hussein decided to make an example of businessmen he accused of trading in international currencies.

After trailing suspects and tapping their phone lines, Saddam's secret service rounded up nine men whose livelihoods ranged from real estate to jewelry sales, swept them away from their workplaces, and took them to jail.

The men waited five months for a cursory trial with mute defense lawyers. Then they were sentenced to having their right hands amputated.

The fate carries special significance in Muslim society, where right hands are cut off for only the most egregious crimes, and those who lose them are ostracized.

Crowded in a cell inside the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, where they had to take turns sleeping because of the limited space, the men waited another three months.

And in March 1995, just after finishing their morning prayers, they were taken to a makeshift clinic and anesthetized.

They awoke to searing pain and the realization of their fate. Their sentence had been carried out.

A member of the secret police delivered to Saddam evidence of the men's punishment in the form of a videotape of their torture and their severed hands, preserved in jars.

Eight years later, a surprise turn of events would start some of the men on a restorative journey to America.

(Via a comment on Hammorabi.)


Female or she-male?

It had a moving, profound experience recently, btw.

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