Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Terrorism Scare in New Haven Parking Lot

This international club, the Hash House Harriers, calls itself a "drinking club with a running problem." They have chapters in alomost every major city in the world, and they sponsor runs that are designed so you don't have to be that in shape to keep up. They mark the trail to follow by sprinkling flour on the ground. Sometimes the "hare" who leaves the trail puts in dead-ends and stuff, to slow down the fast ones, and let the slow ones stay with the group. At the end the gather for some "social refreshment."

They have a home page HERE. You can see pictures of them tramping through woods and ... drinking beer. Nice Wikipedia chapter about them, too. Sounds like good fun.

Except in the Age of Fear.
New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.

The siblings set off the scare while organizing a run for a local chapter of the Hash House Harriers, a worldwide group that bills itself as a “drinking club with a running problem.”

“Hares” are given the task of marking a trail to direct runners, throwing in some dead ends and forks as challenges. On Thursday, the Salchows decided to route runners through the massive IKEA parking lot.

Police fielded a call just before 5 p.m. that someone was sprinkling powder on the ground. The store was evacuated and remained closed the rest of the night. The incident prompted a massive response from police in New Haven and surrounding towns. Beer runners’ flour trail a recipe for trouble

Because -- what else could it be, but terrorism?
Daniel Salchow biked back to IKEA when he heard there was a problem and told officers the powder was just harmless flour, which he said he and his sister have sprinkled everywhere from New York to California without incident.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate anything like that,” he said.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city plans to seek restitution from the Salchows, who are due in court Sept. 14.

“You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know,” she said. “It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We’re thankful it wasn’t, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out.”

Listen people, if we're "thinking" like that, the terrorists have won.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon-
The HAsh House Harriers sometimes mark in Sligo Creek Park so BEWARE!

I am also suspicious of powdered sugar donuts - and funnel cake- it has some white stuff all over it and the swirls looks like a map to somewhere.

August 28, 2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are the neocons trying to take us now?

In an effort to build congressional and Pentagon support for military options against Iran, the Bush administration has shifted from its earlier strategy of building a case based on an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program to one invoking improvised explosive devices (IEDs) purportedly manufactured in Iran that are killing US soldiers in Iraq. [Hmmmm, shifting rationale, where have we heard that before?]

According to officials – including two former Central Intelligence Agency case officers with experience in the Middle East – the administration believes that by focusing on the alleged ties between IEDs and Iran, they can link the Iranian government directly to attacks on US forces in Iraq....

Some officials speculate that the administration is trying to provoke the Iranians into an incident that will justify an airstrike in response, suggesting that the combined effect of circumstantial evidence tying Iran to the IEDs and an event or incident involving the Iranian Revolutionary Guard might “just be enough” to justify military action against Iran.

Experts and officials in the US military and intelligence communities read the administration's move to declare the Guard a terrorist organization as an indication that something ominous is looming over the horizon.

One of the former CIA case officers interviewed for this article explained that the Office of the Vice President is making this drastic move in order to lay the groundwork for a possible incident.

“They still need a trigger and I would not be surprised if we will see some event in Iraq which implicates the Iranians,” said this source. “They need a pretext.”

The motivations for an Iran strike were laid out as far back as 1992. In classified defense planning guidance – written for then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney by then-Pentagon staffers I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and current UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad – Cheney's aides called for the United States to assume the position of lone superpower and act preemptively to prevent the emergence of even regional competitors. The draft document was leaked at the time to the New York Times and the Washington Post and caused an uproar among Democrats and many in George H. W. Bush's Administration.

Previous attempts at “fixing the facts” around the policy of a military strike against Iran have failed on several occasions, including ramped up allegations of an Iranian WMD program being close to completion that culminated in a near-offensive in March of 2006 and attempts at provocation by positioning US aircraft carriers in the region during the summer of 2006.


August 29, 2007 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So-called hate-crimes laws could be the textbook case of a slippery slope:

Today, it’s special protections for homosexuals. Tomorrow it’s protections for radical Islamists. And after that, who knows? Rotarians? Sex workers? Abortionists?

Far-fetched? Well, actually that last one has already happened. California has had an “Anti-Reproductive Rights Crimes” law for several years that provides stiff fines and jail time for those who violate the rights of clients or providers of abortion services.

Does that include offensive speech? It depends how you interpret the broader hate-crimes statute, which includes “threats, intimidation and coercion” — all very subjective in the eye of the beholder. So far, most prosecutions have been for things like vandalism of clinics.

The Left likes to claim hate-crimes laws are only for violent crimes and conservative Christians are being alarmists to warn of the muzzling of pastors and religious expression. But there are already plenty of laws dealing with violence. Plus, in other countries that have adopted hate-crimes laws, “hate-speech” bans generally go with the package.

For example:

Ireland prohibits words or behaviors that are “threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or … are likely to stir up hatred” on the basis of one’s sexual orientation.

Iceland forbids “ridiculing, slandering, insulting, threatening” protected classes, including homosexuals.

Sweden’s hate-speech law bans even expressing “disrespect.”

In Italy, an atheist is taking a priest to the European Court of Human Rights on a complaint of “religious racism” for teaching that Jesus existed.
Probably the next big battleground after “homophobic” hate speech is “Islamophobic” hate speech.

Canadian Pastor Mark Harding, for example, publicly objected when his local high school began handing out Qurans and making special accommodations for Muslim students to pray at school, while others were denied such privileges. Because the literature he distributed attributed violence to Islam, Harding was prosecuted under a Canadian hate-crimes law for “willfully promoting hatred” against a religious group.

His sentence was two years’ probation and 340 hours of community service at Ontario’s Islamic Society of North America under supervision of a Muslim imam.

“Under the threat of jail, Harding was forced to undergo Islamic ‘re-education,’ including readings that impugn the ‘kafir’ (an infidel or non-Muslim). “A gag order restrained Harding from criticizing Islam or Muhammad or speaking about his case. His attorney is now asking the court to allow Harding, who has suffered four heart attacks during the past 10 years, to complete his sentence at an Islamic Center closer to home than his assigned center, three hours away.”

FRC President Tony Perkins wrote of hate speech in a recent article at HumanEvents.com, “By punishing thoughts as well as actions, it sets us on the slippery slope toward that day when the thoughts alone will be punished. In the long run, homosexual activists will be satisfied with nothing less. … Anyone who thinks that pastors will not be muzzled on the moral issues of our day is ignoring the testimony of experience.”

August 30, 2007 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the spin deposit anon, you radical christianist you.


August 30, 2007 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure and tell us where the spin is. Just saying it's there isn't enough.

August 30, 2007 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be too close to focus. Let's start at the beginning. Spin #1:

Today, it’s special protections for homosexuals. Tomorrow it’s protections for radical Islamists.

People want EQUAL protection and EQUAL rights. ALL people deserve respect as do ALL religions.

Roberta Stewart, whose husband Sgt. Patrick Stewart was killed in combat in Afghanistan, was not invited to meet with Bush and other family members of soldiers who have died in combat. Other members of Sgt. Stewart’s family were invited to the meeting.

Stewart told local media that she was concerned that her exclusion was an intentional snub for her leadership in an Americans United-sponsored lawsuit that forced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to allow the Wiccan symbol of faith on government-issued grave markers.

Today, Bush called Stewart and apologized for failing to invite her to the meeting with veterans’ families. He also said he does not believe the Wiccan faith should be discriminated against.

Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “The president has done the right thing, and his apology to Stewart should be commended. All veterans of war, regardless of their faith, should be honored and treated with the utmost respect, especially from their commander-in-chief. We are pleased the president recognized his slight of Stewart was wrong.”

Yesterday, Lynn called on the President to apologize to Stewart for leaving her out of the Nevada meeting.

Stewart’s husband died when his Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in 2005. The Stewarts practice Wicca, and she requested that the VA issue her husband’s memorial marker engraved with a symbol of their faith, the pentacle. The VA denied her request, and in 2006, Americans United sued the federal agency on behalf of Stewart, two other widows, Circle Sanctuary and Isis Military Mission.

Today, during an interview on Lynn’s nationally syndicated radio program “Culture Shocks,” Stewart also commended Bush for apologizing.

“I just now got off the phone and personally spoke with President Bush,” Stewart told Lynn. “I am happy to say that he did give me his deepest condolences. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and I do have to give him kudos that he at least took the time to call, give his condolences, and apologize for the VA problem.

“He apologized for the exclusion and the error that was made and said that he admired me for my spirit and thanked me for accepting his apology and said that he hoped he would have the opportunity to someday meet me,” Stewart continued. “I was very pleased with the way the conversation went, very pleased that he did call and put this right.”

Lynn asked Stewart if the president touched upon her Wiccan faith. She replied that the president told her that “he would not discriminate against someone because of their religion.”

August 30, 2007 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People want EQUAL protection and EQUAL rights. ALL people deserve respect as do ALL religions."

The purpose of the law is not to coerce "respect." Equal protection, a legitimate aim of government, may or may not be afforded regardless of the existence of hate crimes laws. If any person is attacked, they deserve the protection and justice of the law. Creating penalties for certain motives of perpetrators does nothing to advance this ideal and may even harm it by categorizing certain attacks as worse than others and, in effect, giving some victims unequal protection. That's unconstitutional!

August 30, 2007 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unequal treatment is unconstitutional? Don't tell the Supremes!

A few months ago the Bushleague majority of the Supreme Court found nothing unconstitutional about treating Americans differently when they approved giving American public school children unequal educational opportunities based on race and ethnicity.

Segregation in schools is increasing: report By Matthew Bigg
Wed Aug 29, 4:15 PM ET

Public schools in the United States are becoming more racially segregated and the trend is likely to accelerate because of a Supreme Court decision in June, according to report published on Wednesday.

The rise in segregation threatens the quality of education received by non-white students, who now make up 43 percent of the total U.S. student body, said the report by the Civil Rights Project of the University of California in Los Angeles.

Many segregated schools struggle to attract highly qualified teachers and administrators, do not prepare students well for college and fail to graduate more than half their students.

In its June ruling the Supreme Court forbade most existing voluntary local efforts to integrate schools in a decision favored by the Bush administration despite warnings from academics that it would compound educational inequality.

"It is about as dramatic a reversal in the stance of the federal courts as one could imagine," said Gary Orfield, a UCLA professor and a co-author of the report.

"The federal courts are clearly pushing us backward segregation with the encouragement of the Justice Department of President George W. Bush," he said in an interview.

The United States risks becoming a nation in which a new majority of non-white young people will attend "separate and inferior" schools, the report said.

"Resegregation ... is continuing to grow in all parts of the country for both African Americans and Latinos and is accelerating the most rapidly in the only region that had been highly desegregated -- the South," it said.

The trend damages the prospects for non-white students and will likely have a negative effect on the U.S. economy, according to the report by one of the leading U.S. research centers on issues of civil rights and racial inequality.

Part of the reason for the resegregation is the rapidly expanding number of black and Latino children and a corresponding fall in the number of white children, it said.

Contrary to popular belief, the surge in the number of minority children in public schools was not mainly caused by a flight of white students into private schools.

Instead, it said, the post-"baby boom" generation of white Americans are having smaller family sizes.

"During the desegregation period there was a major decline in the education gap between blacks and whites and an increase in college entry by blacks .... That gap has stopped closing," Orfield said.


The record of successive administration reforms such as the Goals 2000 project of former President Bill Clinton and Bush's "No Child Left Behind" in 2001 "justifies deep skepticism," the report said.

Those changes focused pressure and resources on making the achievement of minority children in segregated schools equal to children in schools that were fully integrated.

School desegregation is a sensitive issue in the United States because of resistance to it from white leaders in the decade after a 1954 Supreme Court decision saying segregated public schools were unconstitutional.

One of the chief complaints of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s was that black-only public schools were inevitably starved of resources by local government with the result that black children received inferior education.

Latinos are the fastest growing minority in U.S. schools and for them segregation is often more profound than it was when the phenomenon was first measured 40 years ago, according to the report, "Historic Reversals, Accelerating Resegregation and the need for new Integration Strategies."

"Too often Latino students face triple segregation by race, class and language," it said.


August 31, 2007 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constitutional amendment time:

"A county judge struck down Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban as unconstitutional Thursday and ordered local officials to process marriage licenses for six gay couples."

August 31, 2007 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NASA gave a big boost to the global warming paranoia-mongers by declaring that most of the hottest years on record occurred between 1990 and 2007. Then a math major from Canada, Stephen MacIntyre, showed on his blog that NASA's calculations were wrong. NASA hemmed and hawed, but finally admitted that four of the hottest years on record were in the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938, and 1939. Turns out only three of the top 10 heat waves occurred in the last decade and a half: 1998, 2006 and 1999. Several years that had been given heat records by NASA, such as 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 fell way down the list.

Still, why should we let a few facts get in the way of today's Great Liberal Scare? Pied Piper Al Gore, not previously known for his climatological expertise, and his great following of Hollywood imbeciles, had such a simple and beautiful story to tell. It summarized American history over the past century in three words: "Cool, Warm, Hot." Unfortunately this Canadian fellow has completely spoiled the fairy tale. Now the U.S. temperatures must be read this way, "Hot, Cool, Warm." Somehow the urgency is gone when you put it that way.

All of which raises a question no one seems to have asked: why did people in the 1930s spend so little time worrying that they were suffering through the hottest temperatures on record? Ah, yes, there was a Great Depression, and most people had other things to fret about, like unemployment and home evictions and very little food on the table. Poor people almost never worry about remote warnings of Apocalypse, whether they come from Bible-toting fundamentalists or secular prophets of doom.

In the 1980s ordinary folk paid little attention to the frenzy over Nuclear Armageddon, nor were they spurred to anxiety and action by dire liberal predictions of Ozone Dissipation. In these cases the unconcern of the hoi polloi turned out to be fully warranted. So perhaps the common man today is equally right to ignore the prospect that the planet may be a few degrees warmer 50 years from now than it is today. First let the experts figure out how to accurately forecast the climate for next week; then we'll pay attention to their predictions for the year 2047. I wonder if global warming will one day be seen as one of those idle concerns that occupied people in rich countries with too much leisure; in short, much ado about nothing.

August 31, 2007 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon's found a new source to plagiarize. Why it's AOL.


August 31, 2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remains to be seen how an anonymous quote can be plagiarized. Since he's anonymous, how can he be claiming credit for the work of another?

What a smokescreen to stop people thinking about what a lot of malarkey the global warming crisis is!!

August 31, 2007 5:15 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Yo flapjack:

Aren't you Anonymous himself? I recognize a similarity in writing style and argument, as well as tone. Now you're standing up for yourself.

Or are you his partner?

My comment on Larry Craig: Boys will be bad, and now we know that sometimes even anti-gay Republican boys will be bad.

I in fact have a lot of sympathy for Mr. Craig, and even more for his family. Being closeted messes with people.

He probably doesn't see himself as Gay; I suspect he views himself as a perfectly straight man who sometimes has sex with other guys in bathrooms. People make these sorts of accommodations with themselves and their own prejudices all the time.

August 31, 2007 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

plagiarize - to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source
-- Merriam Webster

August 31, 2007 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
Latest news says Craig will resign tomorrow.

August 31, 2007 7:14 PM  

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