Friday, September 22, 2006

The Lightning Round:
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

When I visited the United Nations earlier this year, I found a beautiful enviornment existing in an alternate reality, one dependent solely on its participants believing in their own inflated self-worth. It's as if everybody came to work naked believing themselves clothed in the garb of emperors. We've heard that story before... which makes it easy to believe these ones:

DEMS' FIGHTING WORDS. Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is having a helluva time in the U.S., after calling President Bush "el Diablo" -- the devil -- at the UN. The White House isn't dignifying the speech with an official response, but usually hostile democrats are itching for a fight.

From Reuters:
"Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference, referring to Chavez' comments in a U.N. General Assembly speech on Wednesday.
From CNS News:
"You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district, and you don't condemn my president. If there's any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans - whether we voted for him or not," [Democratic Representative Charles] Rangel said.
But Chavez thinks he ain't all bad. He's handing out cheap oil to needy New Yorkers.

PLAYING THE VICTIM. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows he can spin with the best of any American pol, going before the UN Security Council and whining about why his country gets stink-eye about its nuclear program. Ahmadinejad claims he's making energy, not bombs.

He said the United States, Britain and others themselves benefited from nuclear energy and the fuel cycle. “Some of them have abused nuclear technology for non-peaceful ends including the production of nuclear bombs, and some even have a bleak record of using them against humanity.”
Mahmoud also plays the hostage crisis card:
“We all know that Iran’s nuclear issue is an excuse,” he said. “It’s been 27 years now that we've faced the hostility of the U.S. administration in various forms.
And he points the rhetorical finger:
“Again, I ask, who has the nuclear bomb and has used it before?” he asked. “Which one is a bigger danger? One that’s trying to develop a fuel for peaceful purposes? Or the one that made a nuclear weapon?”
We at The Lightning Round are only too happy to break it down for the Iranian-In-Chief:

Muslim radicals + hostile intentions + "death to America." Let's just say the world doesn't like guys with dangerous dispositions playing with plutonium.

ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK AND THE TOP GUYS TUMBLE. When Thailand's Prime Minister was at the UN, presumably listening to Mahmoud's whining, his army pulled his country out from under him. They did it without blood or bullets. The rationalization: corruption.

From Reuters:
[A written statement] said the armed forces and police had set up a commission to decide on political reforms, ousting [Prime Minister] Thaksin [Shinawatra] in the midst of protracted political crisis in which he was accused of undermining democracy.
Martial law is in effect. The Thai Constitution is revoked. Yet many are more relieved then scared.
A few dozen people raced over to the prime minister's office to take pictures of tanks surrounding the area. "This is exciting. Someone had to do this. It's the right thing," said Somboon Sukheviriya, 45, software developer snapping pictures of the armored vehicles with his cell phone.
The Army has sworn allegiance to Thailand's popular king, making this more populist revolution than traitorous uprising.
The U.S. State Department said it was uneasy about the military takeover and hopes political differences can be resolved through democratic principles. "We are monitoring the situation with concern," a statement said. "We continue to hope that the Thai people will resolve their political differences in accord with democratic principles and the rule of law."
That assumes "democratic principles" were in place to begin with.

GETTING SCHOOLED. The principal of Velasco Elementary School in Freeport, Texas is apologizing for a Mexican Independence Day celebration, where several parents read a pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag while the kids held small replicas of it. Another parent not at the ceremony heard about what happened and called a talk-radio show. You can figure out the rest.

From The Facts of Clute, Texas:
Brazosport ISD spokesman Stuart Dornburg pointed out that Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is considered national Hispanic Heritage Month and Velasco’s assembly was a cultural educational activity. The district values and respects diversity, he said.

“We study different cultures, that’s part of the educational process,” Dornburg said. “And we do do a pledge to the American and the Texas flag every morning."
They say Texas is like a whole other country, but this is more than anybody needed. We at The Lightning Round expect the school to hear from the Minuteman Project soon.

DIRTY DANCING. Concord (NH) High School has cancelled all remaining school dances unless students stop "grinding." I probably don't need to tell you what that is. The principal says it's sexual. The kids disagree.

From the Concord Monitor:
They say that like the jitterbug and disco before it, grinding is just a sign of the times. "We were raised to dance like that," senior Kayla Bisson said.
Raised to? What parents taught them to do the nasty on the dance floor?

I WANNA TAKE YOU HIGHER... Redux Beverages is out with a new energy drink called Cocaine.

From the New York Post:
They say a high hits you within five minutes, followed by a caffeine boost 15 minutes later. But hold on - the ride lasts five hours and the concoction is "350 percent stronger than Red Bull," they claim.
The drink doesn't use controlled substances but a mixture of sugar and B12. Just don't snort it.

CRAM. David Bahn doesn't need any artificial sweetening to send his brain into overdrive. He's a natural learning machine, so driven he graduated from the University of Virginia in just one year -- and with a double major in math and physics.

Truth be told, he got a lot of help from 72 AP credits in high school. But he took 23 credits his first semester, nearly fifty percent more courseload than the typical student. Then he piled on more.

From the Washington Post:
He had some low points, especially late in April when the workload for his 37 credits seemed crushing, and his grades started to slip. (To some Bs.)
Bahn is now going for his Master's degree, which he also hopes to finish this academic year. His future plans are pointing him towards law school and the ambition of becoming -- wait for it -- a patent lawyer.

As somebody on Slashdot commented, what a waste of a mind!

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