Wednesday, January 12, 2005

In Case You Were Wondering 

When we're not busy sympathizing terrorists, we sometimes follow things like the economy and stuff. This doesn't appear to be good news.
he U.S. trade deficit hit an all-time high of $60.3 billion in November as American appetites for foreign oil and even imported food reached record levels.

The Bush administration urged other countries to help fix the problem, but analysts said the yawning deficit won't be so easily solved.

The Commerce Department eported Wednesday that the shortfall between what the United States sells abroad and what it imports increased 7.7 percent from the previous record — the October deficit of $56 billion.

See, that's called progress. Why we set a new record in October, and already we've busted it wide open! Not too shabby.


Well, This Sounds Like Fun 

Like some kind of obsessed film semi-villain, or maybe just some folks who want to play a cruel prank on religious-types, scientists at Oxford are gonna start torturing people who pray. Oh, they'll be volunteers.
Oxford University scientists will carry out experiments on hundreds of people in a bid to understand how the brain works during states of consciousness.

One aspect of the two-year study will involve followers of both religious and secular beliefs being burnt to see if they can handle more pain than others.

Some volunteers will be shown religious symbols such as crucifixes and images of the Virgin Mary during the torture.

Researchers believe the study may improve understanding of faith, how robust it is and how easily it can be dislodged.
I'd love to know how our President feels about this.



I have to recommend Napoleon Dynamite. I know, I know. But it will make you laugh. Lately, I'm looking for ways to make myself laugh. This works.

I cannot, however, recommend Silver City. Certainly, the trailers looked good, but Chris Cooper is hardly in it, and the leading actor, some train wreck, is inexplicable. At times it was hard to tell if he was even acting. Honestly. There were a lot of things wrong with the movie (and I generally like John Sayles), but the biggest problem was that it was really pretty bad.


And the Hits Just Keep On Comin' 

Another disgrace from BushCo. PSoTD has the goods on this one, filed under the "Cheap-o Disgrace" category.
D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.

Federal officials have told the District that it should cover the expenses by using some of the $240 million in federal homeland security grants it has received in the past three years -- money awarded to the city because it is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack.

But that grant money is earmarked for other security needs, Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said in a Dec. 27 letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Williams's office released the letter yesterday.

Williams estimated that the city's costs for the inauguration will total $17.3 million, most of it related to security.

That is so amazing. A great example or the kiddies. And the chattering classes are all aflutter in anticipation of this royal affair. The Inauguration of a lifetime. Makes me feel tender and soft.


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