Monday, February 28, 2005

I know what they did with boxcutters, but....

Mon Feb 28, 6:41 PM ET

By Kimberly Morrison, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Airline passengers will have to ditch their lighters or lose them to airport security screeners when a new ban on lighters takes effect in April.

The ban reflects Congress' fear that lighters could be used to ignite bombs on planes or otherwise damage or destroy them. The Transportation Security Administration until now had banned all types of lighters, except for butane, which were limited to two per passenger.

TSA's new ruling extends the ban to all butane lighters, effective April 14.

Proponents of the ban, including Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., cited the case of convicted "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who tried but failed to light explosives in his shoes with matches. Had Reid been using a lighter, he might have brought down the plane, Dorgan said. Reid was sentenced to life in prison in 2003.

The new ban is expected to streamline security procedures, because in the past screeners had to distinguish between butane lighters and types that were banned.

The Department of Transportation bans lighters in checked baggage, so passengers wanting to keep them have few options aside from returning to their cars to stow lighters or handing them off to non-fliers.

The U.S. Postal Service considers lighters to be hazardous material and will not mail them.

Passengers can continue to carry up to four books of matches, but that, too, is under reconsideration, said TSA spokeswoman Amy Von Walter. (ed note: Perhaps Castaway Travel and Miami Air were rather prescient in this regard?)

The Ice Palace Notes....

Another bloated bureaucracy looking hard for a raison d' etre, passing even more useless regulations that will no doubt result in even more uselessly long lines, while grandmothers with knitting needles, and decorated senators with congressional medals of honor are shaken down on our behalf. I feel so safe now.

Federal Judge: Charge Padilla or release him...

27 minutes ago

A federal judge in Spartanburg has ordered that an American citizen held as an enemy combatant in a Navy brig in Charleston should be released.

U.S. District Judge Henry F. Floyd ruled Monday that the president of the United States does not have the authority to order Jose Padilla to be held.

"If the law in its current state is found by the president to be insufficient to protect this country from terrorist plots, such as the one alleged here, then the president should prevail upon Congress to remedy the problem," he wrote.

In the ruling, Floyd said that three court cases that the government used to make its claim did not sufficiently apply to Padilla's case.

Floyd wrote that, in essence, "the detention of a United States citizen by the military is disallowed without explicit Congressional authorization."

Floyd wrote that because the government had not provided any proof that the president has the power to hold Padilla, he must reject the government's claim of authority.

"To do otherwise would not only offend the rule of law and violate this countrys constitutional tradition, but it would also be a betrayal of this nations commitment to the separation of powers that safeguards our democratic values and individual liberties," he wrote.

"For the court to find for [the U.S. government] would also be to engage in judicial activism. This court sits to interpret the law as it is and not as the court might wish it to be. Pursuant to its interpretation, the court finds that the President has no power, neither express nor implied, neither constitutional nor statutory, to hold [Padilla] as an enemy combatant," Floyd wrote.

As a result, Floyd ordered that Padilla be charged with a crime or released within 45 days.

The government is expected to appeal the decision.

The Ice Palace notes...

Isn't it nice knowing that this guy who was allegedly involved in a plot to set off a dirty bomb and murder thousands if not millions of civilians is getting his civil rights? I know I'll sleep a lot better if this clown is released... won't I?

Saddam to be caged like an animal during his trial..

Cage for beast Saddam By JOHN TROUP

SADDAM Hussein will be forced to sit in a Hannibal Lecter-style cage during his trial.

Top-secret photos of the Baghdad courtroom being built in readiness for the deposed Iraqi dictator’s impending day of judgment are in The Sun today.

The centrepiece will be the reinforced metal cage, similar to the one used to house cannibal Lecter — played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs.

Specially vetted Iraqi workers are currently putting the finishing touches to the courtroom under the watchful eyes of US troops and British private security personnel.

It is being built inside one of the disgraced tyrant’s palaces deep inside the Iraqi capital’s Green Zone.

A source told The Sun: “The security at the court is going to be immense.

“Saddam will be housed in an underground cell and will travel to and from the courtroom cage using an elevator.

“When he’s in his cell he will be under 24-hour surveillance by security staff who will watch him from behind a toughened glass shield. (read More...)

The Ice Palace Notes...

Just one more question, can we hold a lottery to see which Iraqi can stand outside his cage during the trial and throw peanuts at him?

One more quote of note:

"...He is said to have ten Iraqi lawyers and as many as 25 foreign lawyers ready to represent him."

Foreign lawyers? No doubt amongst those being French lawyers assigned by Jacque Chirac and Koffi Annan. After all, they need to protect as many of the millions skimmed from the beloved U.N's Oil for Food fiasco as they can. And of course let us not forget the ever-present totalitarian apologists' apologist,
Ramsey Clark, always on the ready to defend America's enemies.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Putin thinks Bush fired Dan Rather?!?

From the "Is Pravda still alive and well" department....
Vladimir Putin, CBS News Loyalist

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005

George Bush knew Vladimir Putin would be defensive when Bush brought up the pace of democratic reform in Russia in their private meeting at the end of Bush's four-day, three-city tour of Europe. But when Bush talked about the Kremlin's crackdown on the media and explained that democracies require a free press, the Russian leader gave a rebuttal that left the President nonplussed. If the press was so free in the U.S., Putin asked, then why had those reporters at CBS lost their jobs? Bush was openmouthed. "Putin thought we'd fired Dan Rather," says a senior Administration official. "It was like something out of 1984."

The Russians did not let the matter drop. Later, during the leaders' joint press conference, one of the questioners Putin called on asked Bush about the very same firings, a coincidence the White House assumed had been orchestrated. The odd episode reinforced the Administration's view that Putin's impressions of America are often based on urban myths fed to him by ill-informed aides.

The Ice Palace notes...

Putin's remarks, along with the subsequent question by the Russian press, could only be construed to
The Ice Palace as remarks meant for public consumption. A one-time head of the KGB, Putin could in no way be *that* ignorant regarding our system of government as well as the role of the press in this country. The Ice Palace considers this as nothing more than a not-so-veiled dig at our President, and a Soviet-esque attempt at government dezinformatsia to his masses. It is also another sign that the Soviet Union of old and the Russian Federation are probably not that different after all, no?

Jim Knoblach to "concentrate on his MN House duties" ...for now

Minnesota State Representative Jim Knoblach, candidate for the Sixth U.S. Congressional seat being vacated by Mark Kennedy, tells The Ice Palace that he will be laying low with respect to his U.S. congressional campaign, saying that he is focusing on his current job as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and that his current elected office will take first priority until the 2005 legislative session has ended. Knoblach faces stiff opposition from fellow St. Cloud resident Jay Esmay, a newcomer to running for office, and co-chair of the St. Cloud area Republican party, as well as from Minnesota State Senator Michelle Bachman. Knoblach did state that he takes issue with portions of Esmay's exploratory letter written to delegates. Specifically, Knoblach states that Esmay's assertion that he (Esmay) is the only one with business experience is untrue, since Knoblach asserts that he (Knoblach) ran a business for over 20 years. Despite this, Knoblach did state that he has a lot of respect for Esmay.

From the "Hate to say I told you so" department...

"TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters)-- Russia and Iran signed a nuclear fuel supply deal long opposed by Washington on Sunday, paving the way for Iran to start up its first atomic reactor next year.

The agreement, inked by the two countries' nuclear energy chiefs at the Bushehr atomic plant in southern Iran, came as Tehran faced heightened pressure from the United States, which accuses it of secretly developing nuclear weapons.

Iran, OPEC's second largest oil producer, denies the charge and has received strong backing from Moscow, which is keen to play a major role in expanding Iran's nuclear energy program.

"This is a very important incident in the ties between the two countries and in the near future a number of Russian experts will be sent to Bushehr to equip the power station," Iranian state television quoted Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, as saying.

A key part of the agreement obliges Tehran to repatriate all spent nuclear fuel to Russia. Moscow hopes this will allay U.S. worries that Iran may use the spent fuel, which could be reprocessed into bomb-grade plutonium, to develop arms."

The Ice Palace notes....

Hmmm... let's see now.. we give radioactive materials to a major oil producing country because they say they need the energy..? To a country ruled by Islamic radicals, who would like nothing better than to have the world at its knees, bowing a few times a day toward Mecca. Does this smack of giving North Korea nuclear technology during the 90s for "peaceful purposes" (thank you Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter)? The mullahs in Iraq say that they will pass the spent nuclear fuel back to Russia. Who's going to monitor that process? And just how much (or how little) spent fuel is required to enrich in order to develop a cute little nuclear warhead that may find its way to Tel Aviv? Or in a suitcase at customs at LaGuardia airport?

And our "friends" in Russia think this is a good idea? For whom?


Saturday, February 26, 2005

So what happens if they loan out the book?

State briefs: Clinton touts library in message to travel group

Former President Clinton delivered a message to a meeting of Southern travel operators yesterday, suggesting they bring their passengers to his newly opened presidential library.

In videotaped remarks to the Travel South Showcase, the former president said the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center that opened in November in Little Rock, Ark., is not only a resource for students and scholars.

''I also wanted to help promote the history, culture and economy of Little Rock and Arkansas,'' Clinton said. ''That's why it's located where it is — in the historic part of downtown, yet near the highway and the airport, easily accessible to visitors as well as those just passing through."

The Ice Palace notes.....

After his collection of Hustler magazines and his vast adult film collection, what's next? The cigar store?

Hail to the Perpetrator in Chief.... slams the Bush administration again...on foreign soil

TOKYO — Former President Bill Clinton said Saturday he expects diplomacy to play a larger role in President Bush's second term in office because of "the drain on our military."
(hmmm... where could that drain on our military have started? Could that sucking sound be coming from the vacuum you created with all the cuts in military spending during the '90s?)

Clinton also stated:
"I think by sending Condoleezza Rice to the
State Department, (the president) was saying diplomacy will be more important in his second term," Clinton said. "The drain on our military has made this administration more interested in diplomacy."

also noteworthy:
Listing a series of trouble spots from Iran to North Korea, Clinton said the need for diplomacy is greater than ever.

(Bush is now "more" interested in diplomacy? Heh.. we at the Ice Palace think the only thing you were interested in during your tenure, Slick, was where your next bimbo was coming from. If you had really been interested in anything else, and had done diplomacy correctly, North Korea woudn't be eyeing San Francisco with nuclear goggles).

and finally....

"Clinton also was in Tokyo to promote a Japanese-language edition of his best-selling memoir "My Life."

(heh... beside promoting his best selling book, "My Lies", he no doubt had to sample the fare at the local geisha house.....)

From the "let's give a pat on the back to another tyrant" department...

Jeremy Irons can now be added to the list of the leftists that kiss the posterior of Cuban despot Fidel Castro. From the story: International Cigar Festival Ends in Cuba:

HAVANA (AP) -- Hundreds of cigar lovers, including British actor Jeremy Irons, wrapped up an international cigar festival with an extravagant gala dinner featuring flamenco dancing and sleek acrobatic performances.

Elaborate humidors signed by President Fidel Castro were auctioned off for $700,000 at the Friday night event, where cigar merchants and aficionados from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America puffed away for hours on the island's famed stogies before returning home.

The annual festival brought together nearly 1,000 cigar connoisseurs from more than 50 countries this year. Participants visited tobacco plantations and factories and attended cocktail parties.

Irons, an Oscar winner known for roles in movies such as "Lolita," "The French Lieutenant's Woman," and "Stealing Beauty," was on his first trip to Cuba. He arrived in the capital Thursday night, and was immediately taken to a club where he danced until the pre-dawn hours. He planned to leave the island Saturday.

"Cuba is great. It has personality," Irons told The Associated Press. "And it has great mojitos, great daiquiris, great food."

In remarks made on stage, Irons paid tribute to cigars, prompting hearty laughter when he cited a conversation he had earlier in the day with a female lunch companion.

The Ice Palace notes.....

hahaha--I'll bet all the dissidents are laughing in the Cuban prisons, too, aren't they? Hey, I like a good cigar as much as the next guy, but I'm tired of the leftist half-wits glorifying Cuba as some kind of worker's utopia (although in Irons' and others' view, it is probably so). On that note, with all their lip service paid to human rights, why is it that the left invariably align themselves with those whose denial of others' rights is a way of life? For all their talk about freedom, why is it that the left always align themselves with those who would see to it that freedom to all would be denied? Whether it's Castro or Hussein, Gorbachev or Pol Pot.. what a friend they have in leftists!

Bombing in Tel Aviv..still leaves me with hope..

JERUSALEM, Feb. 26 - The radical Palestinian faction Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility on Saturday for a suicide bombing a day earlier in Tel Aviv that threatened a fragile truce, and the group suggested that more such attacks were likely.

Israel blamed Syria, which has allowed Islamic Jihad leaders to operate from Damascus for many years. Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian security forces each made arrests in the West Bank, and Israel said it was freezing plans to hand over security control to the Palestinians in several West Bank towns.

Enlarge This Image
Survivors of the attack comforted each other as authorities and medical personnel tended to the dead and wounded.

Armed Palestinian factions have traditionally claimed responsibility immediately after suicide bombings. But Islamic Jihad leaders repeatedly denied involvement until Saturday evening, when the group released a video and posted a message on its Web site saying it was behind the bombing at a Tel Aviv night club that killed 4 Israelis and wounded about 50. It was the first such bombing inside Israel in nearly four months.

An Islamic Jihad official, identified only as Abu Tarek, said on the Web site that a one-month pause in attacks was over and would not be extended because Israel had continued to kill and arrest Palestinians.

"As long as the other side is not committed, there will be a response from our side," he said.

Also, a video left by the bomber, Abdullah Badran, 21, showed him next to Islamic Jihad flags vowing to avenge the deaths of Palestinians. In a statement, he sharply criticized the Palestinian Authority, accusing it of collaborating with the United States and Israel.

Overall violence has sharply fallen in the past month, and an informal truce announced Feb. 8 by Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has mostly been holding. Some Palestinians had been killed and arrested, but Israel said these actions were in response to planned or actual attacks.

Islamic Jihad's bombing and what appears to be its intention to carry out more attacks places Mr. Abbas in an extremely difficult position. Israel is demanding that Mr. Abbas confront the armed factions, arrest their members and seize their weapons.

He has sought to coax the factions into halting attacks, calling them counterproductive to the Palestinian goal of statehood.

Commenting before Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, Mr. Abbas said the bombing was the work of a "third party" and an attempt "to sabotage the peace and calm that was agreed on by all the factions."

Mr. Abbas, speaking at the Palestinian political headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, added: "We will not hesitate for one moment to follow them and to bring them to justice. We will not allow anybody, whoever he is, to sabotage our aims."

The Israeli security forces arrested five suspects, and the Palestinian security forces picked up three more near the West Bank town of Tulkarm, the two sides said. Mr. Badran, the bomber, came from a nearby village, Deir al Ghoson.

Israeli officials said the military was not planning a major response. Officials on both sides were treating the bombing as an extremely serious matter, but said they were abiding by their commitments to end violence.

The arrests by the Palestinian security forces and Mr. Abbas's explicit criticism of the bombers contrasted with the responses by his predecessor, Yasir Arafat, to such attacks.

Under Mr. Arafat, who died in November, the Palestinian leadership routinely issued brief statements denouncing bombings, but rarely, if ever, took steps to act against those responsible.

The Israeli defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, also blamed Syria for the bombing in Tel Aviv. Israel has long criticized Syria for harboring Islamic Jihad.

Mr. Mofaz added that Israel was suspending talks with the Palestinians on handing over control in five West Bank towns, including Tulkarm.

In recent years, many suicide bombers have come from Tulkarm, which is just inside the West Bank and a short distance from Israeli cities. But Israel has built its separation barrier next to Tulkarm, forcing attackers to take a much longer route through the West Bank before reaching Israel.

Mr. Badran most likely slipped into Israel by going around the barrier, or through one of the gates, but his exact route to the Tel Aviv beach front was still not clear.

Islamic Jihad is a small faction, but it has carried out many of the suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel. The group is committed to the destruction of Israel and has always rejected peace negotiations.

Before Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, there was widespread speculation that the Lebanese group Hezbollah had sponsored the attack. Much of that speculation was coming from the Palestinian security forces, though Mr. Abbas did not blame Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, in a statement released in Lebanon, denied any role in the bombing. The Israelis have long accused Hezbollah of assisting the Palestinian factions.

"From our point of view, it doesn't matter who is executing an attack," said Gideon Meir, a senior official in Israel's Foreign Ministry. "We have always had one address the government that is responsible, and in this case it is the Palestinian Authority."

Israel has generally praised the efforts of Mr. Abbas, who persuaded the factions to agree to a temporary halt to attacks against Israel. But the factions say they are not bound by the truce that Mr. Abbas and Mr. Sharon announced.

"No one on our side is writing off" Mr. Abbas, said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry. "He is seen as a partner, and the hope is he'll do the right thing."

He added: "We expect him to move against the infrastructure of terror. As long as these groups remain armed, they have the ability to torpedo the process."

The bomber's family announced by loudspeaker that Mr. Badran had carried out a "martyrdom operation."

But the mood in his West Bank village was subdued and without celebration, as has often been the case with such attacks, Reuters reported. Read more...

The Ice Palace notes:

"....He has sought to coax the factions into halting attacks, calling them counterproductive to the Palestinian goal of statehood.

Commenting before Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, Mr. Abbas said the bombing was the work of a "third party" and an attempt "to sabotage the peace and calm that was agreed on by all the factions."

Mr. Abbas, speaking at the Palestinian political headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, added: "We will not hesitate for one moment to follow them and to bring them to justice. We will not allow anybody, whoever he is, to sabotage our aims."

Hats off to Mr. Abbas! The slimeball Arafat would have given the family of the suicide bomber a "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" out of one side of his face while issuing a "mild verbal slap on the wrist" with the other side. Mr. Abbas seems truly committed to once and for all bringing peace to the middle east, and he seems equally committed to hunting down the slimeballs who perpetrated this heinous act.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Democrats placed on suicide watch..

Nancy Pelosi orders copious amounts of antacid....

Economic Growth Is Stronger Than Expected

From My Way News...

Feb 25, 2:58 PM (ET)


(AP) The slight increase had been expected given that weekly claims had been declining in recent weeks....
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy clocked in at a 3.8 percent pace in the final quarter of 2004 - faster than initially thought - and is now cruising at that speed or better. That could be good news for jobless people hoping for companies to increase hiring.

In the newest reading on the economy's fitness, the gross domestic product exceeded a previous estimate of a 3.1 percent annual growth rate for the October-to-December quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday. GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States.

The improvement reflected more robust spending by businesses on capital equipment and on inventories of goods. The trade deficit also was less of a drag on fourth-quarter growth than initially thought.

Although economic growth in the final quarter of last year was a bit slower than the third quarters' 4 percent, the performance was still solid.

(AP) The small increase, reported Wednesday by the Labor Department, marked the second month that...
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"We are now at a comfortable cruising altitude," said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Banc of America Capital Management. "What is significant is that all parts of the economy were pulling their own weight."

In other news, sales of previously owned homes slipped 0.1 percent in January from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.80 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported. Even with the dip, sales remained healthy, analysts said.

For the current January-to-March quarter, the economy is expected to grow at a rate of around 4 percent, some economists project.

Analysts are hoping that with the economy moving ahead at a good pace, companies will feel more inclined to step up hiring in upcoming months. Economists predict the nation's payrolls will expand by a sizable 225,000 in February, which would be up from January's 146,000 gain. The government releases the February employment report next week.

The Ice Palace notes...

This is horrible news for the democrats, who ran a whole presidential and congressional campaign on Bush's failed economic policies. To paraphrase the great Rush Limbaugh, this is what happens when you set yourself up to gain only when others fail. The way things are going, it's not looking so rosy for the dems in 2006 or 2008 either.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Our Northern Neighbors continue to build fences....

Canada Opts Out of U.S. Defense Shield

From Myway News.....

Feb 24, 7:12 PM (ET)


(AP) Psycmeistr asks; Have Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Jacques Chirac been separated at birth?
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(AP) - Prime Minister Paul Martin said Thursday that Canada would not join the contentious U.S. missile defense program, a decision that will further strain brittle relations between the neighbors but please Canadians who fear it could lead to an international arms race.

The Bush administration has tried to make a public show of understanding that Martin heads up a minority government that could fall over such a contentious debate. But after the announcement, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci told reporters he was perplexed over Canada's decision, which he said effectively allows Washington to decide what to do if a missile was headed toward Canada.

"We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty - its seat at the table - to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada," said the outgoing ambassador, who had vigorously urged Canada to sign on the plan.

Martin, ending nearly two years of debate over whether Canada should participate in the development or operation of the multibillion-dollar program, insisted his decision had not relinquished Canada's sovereignty over its airspace and that Ottawa would expect to be consulted what to do about any missile passing over Canada.

(AP) United States ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci speaks at a news conference in Ottawa on Thursday...
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"We are certainly intending to defend our sovereignty and our air space and if anything develops in our air space, we expect, as a sovereign state, to be notified and have influence on any decisions," he said. "Canada's a sovereign nation and we would expect and insist on being consulted on any intrusion into our air space."

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, however, indicated the ultimate decision had always been in U.S. hands.

"Would it have been otherwise?" he replied when asked whether Canada's refusal to join means the country now officially relies on the United States for protection.

The Ice Palace notes....

This from a country whose social programs we have practically funded via padding our defense budget so they wouldn't have to. I'd say we leave Canada to their own devices defensively. I'm sure they can fix the leaks on their submarine, and their one hand grenade may also come in handy...

Holy Hand Grenade of Ottawa

In the opinion of the Ice Palace, The leadership in Canada have become every bit the pantywaist, namby-pamby obstructionists as has our old friend Jacques Chirac. With fair-weather friends like Canada, who needs "Old Europe?"

Many thanks to Chad The Elder

...for my "probationary" inclusion into the Merry MOBsters (Minnesota Organization of Bloggers). Tonight is Thursday. Since I'm in Minneapolis for a conference I hope to make it to Keegan's this evening, and in the process hope to meet a few fellow MOBsters, and "cement" (pun intended) my inclusion in this worthy organization!

***Update: I did have the pleasure of attending Trivia night at Keegan's this evening, and a good time was had by all. I met a lot of great bloggers, and it turns out that I'm now a made man (now a MOBster). This is good, given my Sicilian-Italian ancestry. Only 6 days in the business and already I'm made. Is this a great country or what?!?

BTW, I did play trivia on Team "Mac Attack" and we made a valiant, though losing effort. We ended up by playing third (or fourth) fiddle to the Fraters, but in the words of the great fearless leader of California, "I'll be baaaack!"

Jackson Jury Selected....

SANTA MARIA, United States (AFP) - The final jury was selected in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, leaving the pop superstar's fate in the hands of four men and eight women.

AFP Photo

The 12-member panel ranged in age from a 20-year-old man to a 79-year-old widow.

There were no African Americans. The jury was described as being formed by eight non-Hispanic whites, three Hispanics and one Asian.

The selection process, which had twice been disrupted by week-long suspensions, wrapped up far quicker than expected, with Judge Rodney Melville clearly keen to see the case make some headway.

The Ice Palace notes:

Some say this case will be stacked against M.J. because there are no blacks on the jury. However, the Ice Palace likewise notes that this will actually ensure that the "king of pop" will indeed be tried by a jury of peers.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Much to the MSM's chagrin, No charges against Marine

This from the CBS News Website:
(CBS) It was a striking -- some said chilling -- moment in the battle for Iraq, a wounded, un-armed Iraqi, shot to death by a U.S. Marine, caught on video tape.

CBS News has learned that military investigators conclude there is not enough evidence to formally charge that Marine. (darn!!!)

The Ice Palace notes:

"Unlike the MSM, whose idea of torture is placing women's undergarments on the heads of terrorists, we at the Ice Palace understand what the enemy is truly capable of. We understand the realities of war. We commend the Marine Corps for taking a no-nonsense approach to this matter, and these Marines for preventing even more of their comrades from coming home in flag-draped coffins.
Semper Fi!! "


"GannonGate" is even "worse than you think?"

Eric Boehlert of says,

"Bush's press office gave Jim Guckert (a/k/a-gasp--Jeff Gannon's real name) access, even knowing his only credentials were from the blatantly partisan group GOPUSA...."
You mean that the blatantly partisan or the blatantly partisan CBS News, or the blatantly partisan NPR are the only blatantly partisan news outlets worthy of press passes? Or was it only because Jeff Gannon was a blatant homosexual, and thus not worthy of being a "real reporter?" (yeah, a real reporter--like Jayson Blair or Dan Rather). Or could it simply be that homophobia runs that deep in the leftist psyche? Especially homophobia related to those that stray off the "White Liberal Limousine Plantation?"

Mr Boehlert adds:

The Talon News fiasco raises serious questions about who the White House is allowing into its daily press briefings: How can a reporter using a fake name and working for a fake news organization get press credentials from the White House, let alone curry enough favor with the notoriously disciplined Bush administration to get picked by the president in order to ask fake questions? (Psycmeistr notes: the same can probably asked regarding Helen Thomas or Sam Donaldson).

We at the Ice Palace say that this notion so eruditely brought about by Boehlert begs another question: since when is a question fake? I have been a student of grammar for many years, and have yet to really come upon a fake question. A question is a question. However, in an effort to understand Mr. Boehlert, the Ice Palace offers the possiblity that perhaps Mr. Boehlert will also include in his category of fake questions the question a soldier posed to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld regarding armor and humvees, after having been put up to do just that by a "real reporter." E & P, in this case, called Rumsfeld's denouncing of those particular circumstances "Decidedly off base." Yet Gannon, in Boehlert's eyes, is a "fake reporter asking fake questions?" We at the Ice Palace would like to offer the advice that Boehlert would do well to remove the plank from his own ilk's collective eye before complaining about splinters in others.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Few More Things Fowler Would do well to Know...

Syl Jones, in his column in yesterday's Red Star Diaper (Tribune) felt so magnanimous as to offer some words of advice to Reggie Fowler, heir apparent to the throne for ownership of the Minnesota Vikings. Some of the advice about Minnesotans that Mr. Jones was kind enough to include:

The second rule is, "Remember Your Place." You will hear that said indirectly during your tenure here many times, just as you will also hear the phrase, "This has nothing to do with race." Drop a nickel into a bucket each time it's said and you'll soon be able to build that new stadium in Anoka County.

You see, the Great Chain of Being has been disturbed by the simple fact that you have the financial ability to purchase the beloved Minnesota Vikings. You don't yet understand what you've bought -- the heart and soul of Nordic manhood, the only reason some people in this state get out of bed between September and January.

If you don't believe me, look at the effort Glen Taylor's minions made to discredit you in the media, implying that you might not have the resources needed to run the NFL owners' financial gantlet. That's because you're not supposed to have that kind of money, son. Then again, the fact that you do will be cited as evidence that racism is a thing of the past. All of which makes you an extremely puzzling but somehow useful symbol in this state.

That Taylor is rich might annoy the hell out of some folks but, hey, at least he's the right ... oops. I was about to say something impolite, and nothing is more important than being polite in public in Minnesota, especially for a black man. Because the third rule is, "Anything you say will be used against you."

Well, since Mr. Jones, in all his condescending glory, can feel so self-righteous as to offer that sage advice, the least we can do here at the Ice Palace is to offer some sage advice of our own.

Mr Fowler--I would like to offer a few words about dealing with the leftist elitists here in Minnesota and elsewhere when you are a success and a minority:

In the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy,

How to tell if you're really not a minority to a liberal:

  • First, according to the elitists, you are really not a minority if your success is not attributed to participation on the white limousine liberal plantation. If you have never benefitted from affirmative action, you are not really a minority, and are not fit to be conferred with minority status.
  • If you would not otherwise meet the qualifications for this job, available at one of our fine Minnesota universities, nor subscribe to the philosophy which said position dictates, you are not really a minority. You are a poor, hapless, misguided individual in need of diversity training and liberal indoctrination. Your bus to the correction camp is waiting.
  • If you in any way support lower taxes and climates otherwise friendly to business, you are not a real minority. You are an aberration, a circus freak show. And last, but certainly not least,
  • If you voted for Bush, or approved of any of his minority judicial nominees and high-level cabinet appointees, you are definitely not a minority. You are a turncoat. You are a traitor to your own, an Uncle Tom who has sold out to da man. You are no friend to Jesse Jackson, nor for that matter to Ted Kennedy or Barbra Streisand. You will not be invited to any Cape Cod lobster feeds. You are not to be celebrated for your success. Instead, you are to be reviled and cast away as an ogre and a leper. Clarence Thomas and Condoleeza Rice come to mind as anti role models. By all means steer clear of terms such as self reliance. Because in the liberal lexicon, there is no such term, especially when applied to minorities.
Now, Mr. Fowler, I have no way of knowing your political leanings and perhaps you really are a minority, and worthy in the liberals' eyes of being conferred as such. But if that is not the case, you may want to know what you're getting yourself into with some people in Minnesota.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson checks out...

Hunter S. Thompson, bad boy writer and originator of "gonzo journalism" checked himself out last night. The author of "Hells Angels", Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Hey Rube: Bloodsport, the Bush Doctrine, and Downward Spiral of Dumbness Modern History from the Sports Desk, among other works, shot himself at his home. A master of ascerbic wit and a perpetual thrill seeker, he was said to be a big fan of firearms and to keep a keg of gunpowder in his basement. Apparently no fan of the Bush administration, could it be that Mr. Thompson was grief stricken at the prospect of another four years? A pity that his intelligence could not save him from this, a long term solution to a short term (in his view) problem. -Psycmeistr-

Sunday, February 20, 2005


When you have the following who needs Hitler or Stalin.. or Mao?... or the United States?

"...A North Korean defector testified to have witnessed forced abortions and infanticide at a detention camp in North Korea.

"I heard the cries of both mother and child through the curtain (at a hospital). And through the partially open curtain, I witnessed the nurse covering the infant's face with a wet towel on a table, suffocating it," a 28-year-old identified as Park Sun-ja told an international conference on North Korean human rights abuses Tuesday.

"The baby stopped crying about ten minutes later," added Park, whose real name was not provided to protect her.

Seven other North Korean defectors appeared at the 6th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees, testifying about human rights violations on North Koreans...."

Then again, whether the abortion is forced or not... the end result for the aborted is the same. Whether in Auschwitz, a Korean Detention Camp, or your friendly neighborhood Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, The murder of innocents occurs. Now that I think of it, perhaps those in this country shouldn't be pointing an accusing finger so readily...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Confessions on being a liberal

It has been said that anyone under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart, and anyone over 30 who is a liberal has no brain.

I was almost indoctrinated into humanistic liberal theology while in college. However, it was while doing research for term papers and reading some sociology journals that I got a real taste of the arrogance and condescension inherent in liberal ideas. For example, I still remember studies published in a "scholarly" sociology journal in which the authors termed homeless people as DSPs (deranged street people).. That was my first real epiphany as to the condescenion and superiority complex that liberals feel toward those who they ostensibly are "trying to help." In my studies, as well as my experiences growing up in Chicago, I saw the deleterious effects of "the Great Society"and Urban Renewal projects, and saw families who felt they were trapped in housing projects like Cabrini Green and the Robert Taylor housing project.

I thought, "This is what the Great Society had to offer? This is the liberal answer to the war on poverty?" I was beginning to get a real sense of what the term "white limousine liberal plantation" meant, as liberals continually promised the world to the downtrodden, while at best delivering a less-than meager subsistence, and at the same time scaring them into believing that even that would be taken away if Republicans ever got into power, thus securing their votes.

I began to realize that the liberals needed poor people. They didn't want to see poor people succeed, especially on their own, for then they wouldn't need liberals anymore. I began to see a codependency relationship between liberals and their supposed charges. I saw good, capable people being held back by a glass ceiling created by liberals, who kept insisting that minorities were powerless against white society, and that they would starve or worse if left to their own devices. I began to realize that this was an insidious philosophy, and was damaging to the human spirit and dignity of a person. I worked at an adolescent treatment center, and saw first hand the results of the breakup of families in the minority population. I saw first hand how multiculturalism, rather than being a tool to raise the status of minority populations, was in effect, just a euphamism for the extension of the Jim Crow laws.

I had also begun to note how the values that I was raised with began to be twisted in such a manner that no one was allowed to judge right or wrong, and that every deed, good or bad, belonged in a gray area. There were no more absolutes in the liberal lexicon. I was asked to disbelieve my personal experiences, and asked to take a leap of faith to believe in a doctrine that seemed surreal at best, and was told to think of pathology as normal, and what I thought and experienced to be normal as pathology.

But I had faith in all peoples' ability to succeed, and therefore I began to subscribe to the conservative philosophy, where all are capable and invited to succeed regardless of racial background. Where we all share a common heritage and purpose as Americans, regardless of ethnic or racial heritage. Where all people are not only created equal, but actually thought of as equals, both in terms of dignity and abilty to succeed, as well as in the ability to be accountable and to handle responsibility.

I have never looked back to the liberal philosophy since.. when I do, it is with a heavy heart for those who continue to subscribe to it. -psycmeistr-

The Bush Tapes

The New York Times will publish a David Kirkpatrick story tomorrow (Feb 20, 2005) that will expose a series of audio tapes recorded over several years between Bush and his supposed friend, Doug Wead, an author and former aide to Mr. Bush's father. The kicker, is that the tapes were recorded without President Bush's knowledge. The tapes, which were reportedly recorded between 1998 and just prior to the election of 2004, and which Wead reported that he initially intended not to release until his own death, cover a wide range of issues, including the yet-to-be elected President's feelings regarding Al Gore, his VP running mate choices, and his faith, among other things.

There is nothing particularly damning regarding the tapes portrayed in the story, unless you call an admission that Mr. Bush tried marijuana damning. In the context of the transcripts made available, George W. Bush is nothing but the same man that we have seen as President of the United States for the past four years. He is steadfast in his convictions. Years before the election he decries the politics of personal destruction and vows that he will never travel that road. He has also learned from past indiscretions. Even knowing that they had the potential to play a part in his demise, he would not run away from them; rather he would take full responsibility. He proclaims his faith as an ongoing influence in his life and in his leadership. In short, there is nothing new in the tapes that would be considered shocking to anyone who has been following the President in the past five years.

I do, however, have some issues with Mr. Wead. Mr. Wead, you have stated that you had recorded those tapes (without Mr. Bush's knowledge) for posterity's sake. You had further stated that you initially did not plan to release those tapes until after your death. You and President Bush are supposedly, or had been supposedly friends. Mr. Wead, it is illegal to record conversations without a participant's consent, much less share the recorded conversations publicly. You have taken the confidence of a friendship and have betrayed that confidence. You, sir, are a cheap opportunist and it is well that you held no high ranking office in the Bush Administration. You are not fit to be dog catcher.


Beware of the Blog

Joe Strupp of the Editor and Publisher offers the following admonishment regarding the "new phenom" that is blogging:

By Joe Strupp

Published: January 27, 2005
If you don't believe that bloggers are giving newspapers a headache, talk to Nick Coleman. A veteran newspaper columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Coleman is in the middle of an old-fashioned feud with one of the leading conservative Web logs in the country.

So far, his battle with — Time magazine's "blog of the year" — has sparked an anger-spewing column by Coleman, an ombudsman's clarification, and a threat by a leading bank to pull advertising from the newspaper.

Moreover, it has confirmed the growing ability of blogs to get under the skin of the mainstream media. "This is just the beginning," an exasperated Coleman warns. "People need to pay attention to [bloggers]. To watch out."

The blog war began in December, when Coleman penned a column on some homeless people who had died., which had surged in influence after playing a key role in the recent "60 Minutes" scandal, criticized the piece in several postings. One blast called it "a lazy column on the spirit of the season" and added that "the spirit of this column is entirely that of the liberal shame culture."

Coleman's retort followed on Dec. 29, when he ripped his online critics, saying, "Extreme bloggers are so hip and cool they can make fun of the poor and disadvantaged while working out of paneled bank offices." This last part was a dig at Scott Johnson, a Powerline co-founder who is an attorney at TCF Bank, a major Twin Cities finance company.

In that same piece, Coleman called the bloggers everything from "rottweilers in sheep's clothing" to "reliable partisan hacks." He claimed that the site and others like it "are dominated by the right and are only interested in being a megaphone without oversight, disclosure of conflicts of interest, or professional standards," adding that the blog was "the biggest link in a daisy chain of right-wing blogs that is assaulting mainstream media."

This tirade, he says, was not only in reaction to the December postings, but what he claimed were nearly two years of attacks on him. But Johnson, and his partner, attorney John Hinderaker, maintain that Coleman was mentioned on their site only twice in the two years prior to the December postings. "I find it to be an outrageous, personal attack devoid of substance and facts," Johnson said, referring to Coleman's column. The bloggers also shot back on their home field, placing a lengthy blog response that called Coleman the "Star-Tribune's worst columnist."

But Coleman's problems didn't end there. Shortly after the New Year, TCF Bank Chairman and CEO Bill Cooper wrote an angry letter to the Star-Tribune vowing never to buy advertising in the paper again. Cooper was incensed that Coleman's column had attempted to link the blog to TCF, while allegedly hinting that some readers should withdraw their money from the finance company. "I have nothing to do with that blog and Coleman never talked to me," Cooper says now. "It's 'Dan Rather' journalism."

The bloggers also complained to Star-Tribune Reader Representative Kate Parry, who reviewed their charges and eventually put a clarification in the paper related to the Dec. 29 Coleman column. The blog's only revenue source, the paper clarified, was its advertising.

So is this the future of blog-newspaper relations in 2005 and beyond? According to Coleman, yes, and not in a good way. He says traditional news outlets need to keep tabs on the blogs and shoot back when necessary. "Editors and writers in mainstream media are very naive," he says. "Readership and power of the blogs is increasing." He also claims that the blogs are dangerous because they are not under the same ethical restrictions as mainstream media and seek to stay on the attack, facts be damned. He contends "the mainstream media is under assault."

But Powerline's Hinderaker argues that blogs are actually more accountable because they receive immediate reaction from readers and can be criticized by other blogs, many of which are read by the same people. "Mainstream media doesn't have the checks and balances you have on a blog," he says. "If a blogger makes a mistake, the e-mail is packed with responses and other bloggers jump on it. Newspapers don't have the same relationship with their readers."

Johnson, his colleague, agrees, adding that the growing blog power is good for the news consumer. "I think we have had a very productive interaction with mainstream media and they are paying attention," he says. "I think Nick Coleman's attitude reflects more on him than us."

For ombud Parry, both sides should be warned to be careful dealing with the effects of blog-newsprint battles. "I have yet to find anywhere in the mainstream media anyone who really has a handle on bloggers," she asserts. "We are dealing with a relatively new phenomenon."

A relatively new phenomenon called "lack of monopoly on the exchange of ideas." The Red Star Diaper (Tribune) has long enjoyed an era of non-accountability. That era, fortunately for our electorate, is one that is coming to an end. Long live the dinosaurs! -psycmeistr

Is there a Secular Taliban in America?

Is there a "secular Taliban" operating in the United States?

Just as in 2001 the Taliban in Afghanistan ordered all statues destroyed as a means of erasing history and heritage inconsistent with Islam, it appears that there are a critical mass of people, including the likes of Michael Newdow, the ACLU, and others who seek to erase any vestige of our Christian heritage from the American landscape.

The Taliban's actions destroyed a deep, rich heritage, including centuries old 152-foot Buddhist statues. Their goal was to wipe out a heritage as if it never existed.

The Secular Taliban's goals are the same. They wish to wipe out any vestige of Christian heritage in this country, whether it be a Ten Commandments display, manger scene, crosses from war memorials. Like the Taliban, they wish to wipe away all religious heritage not in line with their ideals of secular humanism. Like the Nazis, the Secular Taliban wish to erase history by, in effect, "burning books" and wiping out literally centuries of co-existence, not separation betweeen Judeo-Christian tradition and government.

George Washington once prayed,
"..that (God) would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation."

It would appear that the Secular Taliban has a different idea of what America should be. Our children and grandchildren will be denied their heritage as a result. -Psycmeistr-