Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shoji Tabuchi's Branson Theater Nominated for Best Restroom!

During my visit to Branson, I stopped by the Shoji Tabuchi Theater. Besides being a highly talented musician, and father to a beautiful Amerasian daughter whom he uses in his show, he really knows how to supply the public with restroom facilities.

"The entertainment at Shoji Tabuchi's Theatre goes beyond the stage and into the restroom. Visit the ladies' powder room and you've entered the lap of luxury. This restroom boasts wainscoting, live cut orchids at every granite and onyx pedestal sink, stained glass, chandeliers and a ceiling reproduced from the 1890's Empire Period.

"The gentlemen's lounge [illustration on right] is a treat as well, with black lion head sinks imported from Italy, black leather chairs, a marble fireplace, and yes, even a billiard room with a hand carved mahogany pool table."

You too can vote on "America's Best Restroom" until the end of July.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Supreme Court Reverses Sotomayor Decision

NewsMax reports: "The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge....

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Stickin' It to Bernie Madoff

FOX News reports that swindler Bernard Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison to serve as an example to other white-collar criminals.

Scattered applause and whoops broke out in the crowded Manhattan courtroom after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued the maximum sentence to the 71-year-old defendant, who said he lives "in a tormented state now, knowing all the pain and suffering I've created."

Chin rejected a request by Madoff's lawyer for leniency and said he disagreed that victims of the fraud were seeking mob vengeance.

Bon Jovi Shows Solidarity with Iranian Protestors Through Music

You can't expect a CHICAGO POLITICIAN like Barack Obama to understand why the people of Iran should get upset over an obviously rigged election, but Jon Bon Jovi gets it. In this YouTube video, he joins Andy Madadian and others in a recording studio to render "Stand By Me" in English and Farsi.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photo Tour of Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado

Probably the most exclusive tour in the Colorado Springs area. CNET's Daniel Terdiman has a report.

Finally - A Dating Show for the Not-So-Beautiful People!

Fox is teaming with "The Bachelor" producer Mike Fleiss for a new dating-competition series that casts "average-looking" people.

The series, titled “More to Love,” is billed as the first “dating show for the rest of us,” throwing open its doors to overweight contestants.

The project has a similar format to "The Bachelor," where a group of woman compete for a relationship with one man (producers describe him as a “Kevin James-type”). "More to Love" also marks the first time Darnell and Fleiss have teamed for a series in nine years. The duo’s previous dating show was the controversial and groundbreaking 2000 special “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” which set the format template for ABC’s “Bachelor” and a legion of imitators.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Form of Political Protest

Breitbart reported this story under the headline, "Monkey Urinates on Zambian President."

A monkey urinated on Zambian President Rupiah Banda as he spoke to reporters outside his State House offices on Wednesday.

"You have urinated on my jacket," a startled Banda told the monkey, one of many that makes their home in the trees outside his offices.

"I will give this monkey for lunch to Mr Sata," he joked, referring to opposition leader Michael Sata, who Banda defeated in last year's elections.

Banda devoted much of his second news conference as president to reassuring Zambians over the dramatic economic slowdown resulting from plunging prices for copper, the country's main export.

"Our growth prospects have diminished, such that the projected gross domestic product has now been revised downwards to 4.0 percent or below. This reduction has implications for the domestic revenues, with both cooperate and income taxes likely to reduce," Banda said.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Italy's Got Talent, Too

Check out this YouTube video by the following talented teens: Gianluca Ginoble, Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On a Roll: Celebrating International Sushi Day

CD Kitchen has the following report:

Sushi really has nothing to do with raw fish. It refers to the vinegar-seasoned rice used in making what we refer to as sushi.

There are SO many types of this dish that are generically (often wrongly) called "sushi". Sashimi is simply slices of raw fish (often salmon or tuna). It is not served with the sushi rice. Nigiri is made from forming a handful of rice into a mound, and placing a piece of seafood over the top. Maki rolls are made from wrapping sushi rice and various fillings inside a seaweed wrapper.

Maki rolls have had the most variations created in Western society. For example, the "California Roll" is made with avocado, imitation crab and cucumber. There is also the inside-out California Roll that has the rice on the outside. The "Philadelphia Roll" has smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber. the "Texas Roll" has tuna, avocado, cucumber, and is rolled in crushed French fried onions.

And that little mound of green paste next to your sushi? That's wasabi. It's goooooood!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Clear Case of Suicide-by-Cop

FOX News reports the following sad tale:

A Port St. Lucie [Florida] police officer is on administrative leave with pay while authorities investigate the shooting of a 44-year-old man in his bedroom.

Police were called early Sunday to the home Manuel Salvador Morales Jr. shared with his parents because relatives said Morales was threatening himself with knives. Police spokesman Tom Nichols says two officers confronted Morales, who was armed and failed to comply with their commands. No additional details about the confrontation or how Morales was armed were released.

Nichols says Officer Albert Riccardi fired two shots at Morales, who was hit twice in the torso and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Morales' sister says he had recently been treated for schizophrenia and had been drinking Saturday night.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Being a Christian in an Islamic Country Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

The body of "Litto" Mashi Ghauri, a 28-year-old university student in Sargodha, Pakistan, was found raped, mutilated, and stabbed in a canal. It is suspected that the brothers of his Muslim girlfriend, Shazi Cheema, murdered him because he refused to convert to Islam, according to FOX News.

For more news about religious persecution around the world, check out Persecution.org.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Bloodthirsty Warmonger Sees Nothing Wrong With a USMC-Themed School

Here's a recent story from Military.com:

No summer vacation or Friday night lights. It’s platoons instead of homerooms -- and a commandant keeping 13-year-old pupils on point.

No one will ever confuse the proposed Marine Institute for "High School Musical," and that’s got a more than a few people fuming.

Plans between the Marine Corps and a Georgia school district to establish a Marine high school has prompted vocal protests and raised the prospect of similar military-linked high schools appearing nationwide to offer disadvantaged but talented students alternatives to traditional schools

Where some see a military sponsorship as the final alternative to decaying discipline in disadvantaged schools, others see a surreptitious attempt by the services to boost their numbers and promote a culture of violence....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PETA Goes After Seattle Fish-Tossers!

Anyone who's visited Seattle, WA knows that watching the fish-tossers at Pike Place Market is one of the highlights. Now the spoilsports at PETA (yes, this is a case of blatant editorial bias) are fighting a planned performance at an upcoming veterinarians' convention. KATU.com of Portland, Oregon has the story.

UPDATE: The Tacoma News Tribune reports that the veterinarians' convention has been given permission to go through with the fish toss.

"Fire Can Cook Your Food or Burn Your House Down"

Meryl [Runion],

Do you recommend keeping an anger journal?


I wouldn’t keep an anger journal because, while anger is a useful tool for discovering where you need boundaries, the purpose of paying attention to your anger is to be able to move beyond it. Keeping a journal about it makes it too concrete.

Linda Larsen makes the comment, “Resentment is like drinking poison - hoping they [your enemies] will die.” Resentment is simmered anger. Ultimately anger poisons you – but it can be a useful tool if you use it to see where you’ve been unclear and where you’ve not honored your own boundaries.

This article can help you:
Constructive Anger: How to SpeakStrong when you're seeing red.

Pay particular attention to the following seven guidelines:
1. Don't resist your anger.
2. Find a way to let off steam.
3. Think determination.
4. Forget about revenge.
5. Don't base your behavior on theirs.
6. Set your goals.
7. Say what you mean, and mean what you say, without being mean when you say it.

John Stossel Proposes Free-Market Solution for Rising Cost of Healthcare

Competition so regularly brings us better stuff -- cars, phones, shoes, medicine -- that we've come to expect it. We complain on the rare occasion the supermarket doesn't carry a particular ice-cream flavor. We just assume the store will have 30,000 items, that it will be open 24/7, and that the food will be fresh and cheap.

I take it for granted that I can go to a foreign country, hand a piece of plastic to a total stranger who doesn't speak English ... and he'll rent me a car for a week. Later, Visa or MasterCard will have the accounting correct to the penny.

Compare: Governments can't even count votes accurately -- or deliver the mail efficiently.

Yet now, somehow, government will run auto companies and guarantee us health care better than private firms?

And the public seems eager for that!...

For the rest of the op-ed piece, visit Townhall.com.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lakemoor, Illinois Woman Gets into Trouble over Toilet Planters

The Daily Herald ran the following story:

One person's garbage can be another's treasure, but can a commode be an "artsy planter"?

Tina Asmus said the village of Lakemoor and some neighbors on Highland Drive are pushing her to remove the front yard "art piece planters" she created using a couple of old toilets and a pedestal sink.
Mayor Todd Weihoffen said he stands behind police who have given Asmus 30 days to remove the toilets from her front yard.

Weihoffen, a plumber by trade, said all he sees on the front lawn of Asmus' home are a couple of "old plumbing fixtures" that should be removed.

"I was elected mayor because voters want the town cleaned up," he said. "If I do not enforce the ordinances about this, then anyone with some junk in their yard can stick a flower on it and call it art."

A quick Internet search will show making a planter out of a toilet isn't a new idea. However, that carries no weight with village officials who say Asmus faces a fine of $25 to $500 starting June 15 if she doesn't comply.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Model Separation Agreement

EDITOR'S NOTE: This amazing letter is spreading fast among conservatives - I found it on the Gun Totin' Right Winger blog:

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens.

We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely, John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Barbra Streisand & Jane Fonda with you.

Baldies Have Their Day, Parts 1 and 2

The picture on the left shows comic Stephen Colbert of "Comedy Central" in a camouflage suit and tie receiving a haircut after our troops were shown a video of President Obama ordering that his head be shaved. His first guest, Gen. Ray Odierno, obliged.

The second installment of this two-part entry has to do with renowned author, consultant, and motivational speaker Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and many other books. Yesterday (Sunday, 7 June) he addressed a predominantly Mormon audience in Colorado Springs, CO for one-and-a-half hours, expounding on quality-of-life issues, family mission statements, use of the Indian talking stick to promote fruitful dialogue, principle-centered leadership, and setting up synergistic, win-win situations rather than settling for compromises that satisfy no one. The audience listened to his message with rapt attention, and many people, including this author, brought copies of his books so that he could autograph them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strange Brews

Check out this story from Scientific American:

"This summer, how would you like to lean back in your lawn chair and toss back a brew made from what may be the world’s oldest recipe for beer? Called Chateau Jiahu, this blend of rice, honey and fruit was intoxicating Chinese villagers 9,000 years ago—long before grape wine had its start in Mesopotamia.

"University of Pennsylvania molecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern first described the beverage in 2005 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences based on chemical traces from pottery in the Neolithic village of Jiahu in Northern China. Soon after, McGovern called on Sam Calagione at the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del., to do the ancient recipe justice. Later this month, you can give it a try when a new batch hits shelves across the country...."

NOTE: It's a mystery to us as to how one can reverse-engineer a recipe for a bygone brew by collecting the residue on old pottery, but apparently that's what McGovern has done several times already.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fate of Air France Flight 447 a Matter of Speculation

An Air France pilot has offered the explanation that this ill-fated plane was blown up by an on-board bomb, according to a Telegraph article. However, most aviation experts are inclined to suspect that the plane was broken up by a high-altitude storm, that instant depressurization took place, and that its passengers and crew were rendered unconscious.

"Paul-Louis Arslanian, chief of the French civil aviation ministry's bureau of investigation, said it would be very difficult to recover the cockpit voice and flight data recorders depth of the ocean – up to 10,000 ft – and its rugged floor."

UPDATE: CNN reports that at least 24 bodies and some debris have been recovered 700 miles (1100 km) from the Brazilian coast.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Maybe He's Serious

"President Hugo Chavez [of Venezuela] claimed this week that he and his Cuban ally Fidel Castro are more conservative than left-wing U.S. President Barack Obama, referring to the American government bailout and takeover of General Motors..." according to a FOX News story.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Can Anything Good Come Out of Used Tires?

Check out jalopnik.com and see for yourself. The bull in the picture above used to be a studded snow tire. There are a total of 15 pictures to gawk at.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Cruise That Sounds Like a Winner

Has anyone signed up for this incomparable cruise yet? Here are some rave reviews:

"I got three confirmed kills on my last trip. I'LL never hunt big game in
Africa again." - Lars, Hamburg, Germany

"Like ducks in a barrel. They turned the ship around and we saw them bleed
and cry in the water like little girls. Saw one wounded pirate eaten by
sharks--what a laugh riot!! This is a must do." - Zeke, Minnahaw Springs, Kentucky USA

Doug Ross has some illustrations for you to gawk at.