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Preview: The Coalition of the Swilling

The Coalition of the Swilling



et non sapientior a TOWACA production



Published: 2009-07-13T07:07:53-05:00

 



Posting May Be Sporadic This Week

2009-07-13T07:07:53-05:00

Not that y'all might actually mind, but just so you know I think I'll be switching the site over to Wordpress this week, so things may get...odd.

But we still love ya'!




The Fight Continues In Afghanistan

2009-07-13T06:01:03-05:00

Do we have sufficient resources in theatre for the Afghan surge? KABUL, July 12 (Reuters) - A roadside bomb killed two U.S. Marines in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said on Sunday, the latest deaths in an escalation of violence that has put pressure on coalition leaders over their war strategy. Thousands of U.S. Marines and hundreds of British soldiers have been fighting major new offensives in the past 10 days in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and Afghanistan's biggest producer of the opium that funds the insurgency. The assault by U.S. Marines, Operation Strike of the Sword, is the first major operation under U.S. President Barack Obama's new regional strategy to defeat the Taliban and stabilise Afghanistan, which holds a presidential election on Aug. 20. It was launched with insurgency violence at its highest since the Taliban's austere Islamist government was ousted in 2001 by U.S. and Afghan forces for failing to hand over al Qaeda leaders wanted over the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Violence has flared again throughout Afghanistan since the operation began on July 2, with attacks in traditional Taliban strongholds in the south and east as well as in relatively more peaceful areas in the north and west. The Taliban backlash has put pressure on leaders in Washington and London, who say U.S. and other NATO-led troops have pushed back Taliban insurgents but that a lot of tough fighting remains to be done during the summer. The British troops are feeling the effects of budgetcutbacks The parents of soldiers killed in Afghanistan have accused the Government of starving British forces of urgently needed equipment. They joined politicians and former Armed Forces chiefs in demanding that ministers provide more money to pay for helicopters and armoured vehicles for troops fighting in Helmand. ...The deaths of the eight soldiers prompted other families to speak out in criticism of the Government's funding of the campaign. Jane Ford, whose son Ben was killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan two years ago, said: ''It is our sons who are suffering because of [ministers'] stingy attitude. It is their blood that is paying. If we are not careful the Government will just waste money on things that are not necessary – like giving the money to MPs for their luxury apartments. Why can't we have luxury bombs?" Ian Sadler, the father of 21-year-old Jack Sadler, who died in Afghanistan in 2007 when his Snatch Land Rover went over a mine, said: "Our soldiers must have a lot better than the vehicles they are being given at the moment. A Land Rover or a high-mobility truck are just not suitable for travelling in a mined environment. We also need more helicopters." Last week The Sunday Telegraph highlighted how the lives of British troops were being put at risk by delays to a new fleet of up to 50 Mastiff armoured patrol vehicles – designed to withstand the blast from the most powerful mines and roadside bombs. The helicopter shortage is becoming a real problem Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox will demand answers about what he says is a scandalous shortage of helicopters in Helmand, which has left British troops more vulnerable to roadside bombs. He told the BBC: "If we have an inability to move our troops safely, or we only have the option of moving them on the ground, that does increase the risk to them." Mr Fox claimed that at the beginning of recent operations "up to 10" of 12 Chinook helicopters used to transport 350 British soldiers had to be borrowed from US forces. He said the problems stemmed from cuts to the budget covering helicopters at a time when Britain had been fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Our troops, and our allies troops, need all the resources we can give them to get their job done.[...]



Some People Need To Practice Safe Swine

2009-07-10T13:45:39-05:00

In all of their, er, activities

Pigs at risk from people as new flu spreads

LONDON (Reuters) - There is a growing risk that pigs will catch the new H1N1 flu strain -- commonly known as swine flu -- from humans, German researchers said on Thursday.

Widespread transmission from people to pigs could mix up virus strains further, leading to unpredictable changes in the disease.

There have already been a handful of suspected cases of humans passing the current pandemic H1N1 virus to swine. The latest German research confirms it is infectious to pigs and can spread rapidly.

There's something about the phrase "the latest German research" that just gets me nervous...




Wordpress

2009-07-10T10:43:22-05:00

I'm getting tired of MT and I'm considering changing the Swilling to Wordpress.

Anyone have any experience/comments on that?

Thanks




Oh Great

2009-07-10T10:28:19-05:00

Just what I want to happen right by my house

TRENTON — President Barack Obama will appear at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel … not New Brunswick … when he comes to New Jersey for a campaign rally for Gov. Jon Corzine next week.

The Corzine campaign announced on its Web site Thursday that the rally would be moved from Rutgers University in New Brunswick to accommodate a larger crowd.

Corzine campaign manager Maggie Moran says in a Web video the move was made to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

More than 50,000 people have signed up through the governor's Web site hoping to go. About 17,500 will be allowed to attend the July 16 rally.

The Garden State Parkway will be completely shut down for hours on a Thursday in the height of the Summer Shore season.

What could possibly go wrong?

$20 says this costs Corzine more votes than it gains him.




And The Worst Tourists Are...

2009-07-10T08:19:13-05:00

Sacre Bleu!


French tourists are the worst in the world, coming across as penny-pinching, rude and terrible at languages, according to a new survey.

The study by travel company Expedia asked 4,500 hotels worldwide to rank tourists on their behaviour.

But the competition was fierce

France's rivals for the world's "worst tourist" tag, Spaniards and Greeks, came near the bottom of the pack in almost every category.

Well, my invitation to a certain french couple still stands.

I'm big that way.




A "Mission Accomplished" Moment?

2009-07-09T15:31:35-05:00

Schmaybe, schmaybe not. But you might as well play it like one.




Lab Vindication!

2009-07-09T07:36:42-05:00

(image)
Oops! Sorry!

Scottish Judges prove their clear-sightedness

A dog walker who was knocked down and injured by a black labrador has failed to convince appeal judges to award her £160,000 in damages.

...Lord Malcolm said: "In my view, what occurred was an unfortunate and unforeseen collision - it was a pure accident.

"If the law was to consider a labrador running in a field as something which is dangerous in itself, this would come close to making dog owners insurers in respect of all injuries and damage caused by their animals."

...Sir David said the question for the appeal judges became: "Are fully grown black labradors, by virtue of their physical attributes or habits, likely, unless controlled or restrained, to injure severely or kill persons or animals?"

The answer is, of course, hell no!

(image)
Would it help if I fell asleep on your feet?




There Are No Green Shoots

2009-07-08T15:30:30-05:00

...says the chairman/CEO of American Express. (And the Obamacans are gonna have a hard time calling his views a racist distraction.)
(object)









(embed)

But I'd be VERY wary of the bus that was taking me back to the resort if I were him.

UPDATE: Wowsers! I can't believe what I've been hearing, but CNBC has been all NObama, ALL day. The latest CEO to jump on the Beat Up the 'Bama Bus is CKE's [Hardee's, Carl's Jr., etc.] Andy Pudzer, who just said:

..."What we need is someone to get scared. 9.4% unemployment would scare me. but I guess it doesn't scare the government. It just scared them into spending more money. They need to do something to stimulate business.
Spending on roads and bridges don't get it."

It's been an astonishing smack-down, from floor traders speaking their mind to CEO after CEO. Recently acquitted former AIG head Hank Greenberg ("Greenberg has criticised AIG since his ouster [2005], which was unrelated to the company's massive financial problems over the past year...During the trial, he continued his attacks on the managers who succeeded him, saying, "Things do change when you have a management that does not adhere to principles that would be good for AIG stock.") said...
"...government involvement [forcing officer removals/installations, etc.] in private business is un-American..."

'Twould appear there's quite a few folks who didn't get the Hope 'n Change memo...




On Thin Ice

2009-07-08T07:30:48-05:00

Sigh. I guess now we can only await her wedding-night video

(CNN) -- Former figure skating champion and Olympian Nicole Bobek was free on bond Tuesday after New Jersey police accused her of being part of a drug ring. Former figure skating champion Nicole Bobek faces drug charges in New Jersey.

Bobek, 31, who won the U.S. figure skating title in 1995, was arrested at her home in Jupiter, Florida, last week on a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Hudson County, New Jersey, according to Guy Gregory of the Hudson County prosecutor's office.

(image)

This is your Rink Leader on drugs

Quite a crop of little skating princesses we produced in the early 90s, eh?




Passing Wind

2009-07-08T07:15:20-05:00

Forget all those commercials: T. Boone's becalmed

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Billionaire oil man T. Boone Pickens is shelving plans to build the world's largest wind farm. T. Boone Pickens says the capital markets will not support his plans to build the world's largest wind farm.

The chairman of BP Capital Management announced Tuesday that his plans for the Pampa Wind Project, designed to generate 4,000 megawatts of electricity using thousands of wind turbines, is on hold.

"I had hoped that Pampa would be the starting point, but transmission issues and the problem with the capital markets make that unfeasible at this point," Pickens told CNN's Ali Velshi. "I expect to continue development of the Pampa project, but not at the pace that I originally expected."

No surprise, really. With the global recession and subsequent drop in the oil markets wind power makes very little economic sense, and when combined with NIMBYism most of these projects generate nothing more than smug press from politicians about how they're "making a difference for the children."

There was one little interesting point in the article, though:


Renewable energy is the source of only a small portion of electricity used today, but in 2008, the United States became the world's leading provider of wind power.

Damn you, Chimpy! How'd you let that happen on your watch?




WHAT a Great Plan!!!

2009-07-07T16:49:52-05:00

U.S. Marines trapped Taliban fighters in a residential compound and persuaded the insurgents to allow women and children to leave. The troops then moved in — only to discover that the militants had slipped out, dressed in women's burqa robes.
Jesus, we just NEVER freakin' learn. And our kids get to pay for our willful, mealy-mouthed blindness over and over and over again.
(image) LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS, Obama.

Or bring them the fuck HOME.




IMHO: On the McNair Murder

2009-07-06T09:03:37-05:00

Two words sprung immediately to mind:

Garden Weasel




Doncha Just Hate It

2009-07-06T08:16:53-05:00

...when somebody lays numbers out that way/people can SEE what's going to happen?

Obama's Budget: Almost $1 Trillion in New Taxes Over Next 10 yrs, Starting 2011

President Obama's budget proposes $989 billion in new taxes over the course of the next 10 years, starting fiscal year 2011, most of which are tax increases on individuals.


Man, I **HEART** me some Tapper.

But I'd steer clear of buses if I were him...




Kate P, Book Goddess

2009-07-06T07:40:52-05:00

Seriously. if it wasn't for her I probably would not have heard of or bought Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, and I would have missed out on the funniest book I've read in a long long time.

Now I freely admit that P&P is a book and story that I know very well, and I laughed out loud this weekend reading lines like this


"His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion, but little in the way of combat training."

The way the zombie story is woven into Austen's words is brilliant, and with one notable exception it works exceedingly well (and no I'm not going to spoil anything by mentioning the one plot element that rings false, at least to me).

For a quick, fun read I highly recommend it.