July 31, 2003

New to the "Blogroll" Wow

New to the "Blogroll"

Wow - no creative spirit. Sorry. I'll take a few minutes to point out the new blogs on my left-hand panel and then likely call it a night. My PETA link doesn't seem to want to give me the story I'm so desperately craving.

My most recent add is The Spoons Experience. I've been following this blog intermittently for a couple of weeks, sometimes even commenting, and, well, it's just time to give it some permanence.

Prior to that, I found Master of None, although I don't remember how. I read it, liked it, linked to it, and, amazingly, it linked back. Nice! Share the hits!

Earlier still, The Meatriarchy found one of my esteemed spouse's posts, and I sent a self plug and somehow got us both blogrolled. Nice, eh? She shoots; she scores.

Adam (in the spirit of Ogden Nash's poem, Fleas) is my former roommate (Amanda to my grandmother). Gotta link to Adam. He and his wife are also kind enough to let me crash at their home for the evenings before and during the MS 150.

Advanced Combo Tricks, Jen's History and Stuff, and Mike Courtney are all bloggers I found from IMAO. I have a boatload of other blogs to review from the same posting, but it's not going anywhere; I'm just awaiting the time to do the research/reading.

And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen. My list of blogs is young and fresh. Many thanks to the few of you who've added me to yours. (I now have greater than three readers (so proud, so proud)).

Good night.


Posted by hln at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2003

What's in a Name?

Ask the man formerly named Prince. Ask anyone named Spike. And I'd suggest you not use Cher and Madonna - precautionary.

But Tony Twist?

Okay, it's illiterative. But, that alone and its use in a bad light in a comic book shouldn't make it worth TWENTY-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS, should it? The judge in the lawsuit(0) didn't think so, either. I mean, that's a lotta Macaroni and Cheese!

But, now that the lawsuit is not centered in Twist's beloved St. Louis, where he crashes his motorcyle and supports the Gateway Locomotives, perhaps the thing will go from ridiculous to merely a short post on


Posted by hln at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

So, Do You Feel Better Now, Donna?

Because there you are - top story of CNN, with your <ad hominem>porcine face</ad hominem> and its dim-witted blank sneer (yes, it's possible).

Fame, there it is. Deception. Pain.

Rachel Lucas has already addressed this, so she can do the talking.

I'll do the sentencing. Circle 8, Bolgia 10. You're pretty far down, Donna. Let me give you a quote.

    Polyxena with her there witnessing,
    Saw her Polydorus washed ashore: the weight
    of sorrow drove her mad, her soul so wrung

    She began barking like a dog. And yet,
    No fury of Thebes or Troy was ever seen
    So cruel - not any rending of beasts, and not

    Tearing of human limbs, as I saw shown
    By two pale, naked shades who now ran up
    Biting, the way a pig does loosed from his pen.
How unpleasant.


Posted by hln at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

Beware of Salmon?

This is enough of a warning for me to add salmon to the "limit consumption" list until otherwise tested. (Don't see too much wild salmon in the grocery).


(Registration required to view article)


Posted by hln at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2003

Morning Search Engine Revelation

Wow, I'm the number 2 hit for "hot chicks on bicycles" according to Yahoo.

I hope the person wasn't disappointed; probably was. I'm clothed.

Here's #1.

I probably fared pretty well alongside that.

ADDENDUM: Oops, I didn't notice that "41 - 60" - someone must've done some digging. Perhaps I was a more appropriate 42.


Posted by hln at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2003

Common Sense Prevails

Although this issue hits me right between the rational and the emotional (and a catfight ensues and I get nasty), sanity prevailed today in Louisiana. (And the rational won this round, brusing and cutting emotional, which feels the need to strike back for a few paragraphs.)

Give the smokers nothing, please; they made their choice. It was (and continues to be with each cigarette) a stupid one, but consequences arise from all choices, and this consequence brings some nasty health implications (wheeze a bit to the music, now, smokers) and conscious gouge in the pocketbook.

So you people get no money, no monitoring. Nada. None. Suffer. Learn to spell emphysema.

That's what you chose. So chosen.

There. Balance.


Posted by hln at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2003

Ellen Goodman, Come on Down

When Brian mentioned this article while I was cooking dinner, I was so certain it would require a rant. As it stands, it just deserves three direct points I must make.

1. Goodman states thus:

In regard to obesity and personal responsibility, midway through the article...
    At the same time, we have learned something from the campaigns against smoking. Personal responsibility is not a free pass for corporate irresponsibility. It's easier to just say no when you aren't being manipulated and marketed to say yes. Willpower is influenced by price, by advertising and even by lawsuits.
Manipulated and marketed to say yes? How far can I spit, please. You take away my personal responsibility and give it to my oppressor, then you take away my ACCOMPLISHMENT for resisting/circumventing/overcoming/vanquishing/annhilating said "oppressor." Away with ye; your argument is weak and intolerable.

2. Regarding the same quote...

"It's easier to just say no when you aren't being manipulated and marketed to say yes." What is this? It sounds like a nice excuse for ANYTHING. Oh, sorry, Bob, Josie cheated on you because that other guy's MARKETING was just AMAZING. Doesn't that just sound like a lovely, justifiable, unmistakeably AMERICAN weak-ass cop-out? Better luck next time.

3. Wrapping up the fallacy...

    But it's likely to be a long haul to get smaller portions in fast-food restaurants and to slim down advertising to kids. Food is one part of a complex obesity problem that includes Game Boys instead of ball games, and TV instead of track and field. Moreover, it's still tricky to attack fat as a health issue without attacking fat people, and we've had a big enough portion of that, thank you.
Dropping portions? First, I'm tired of everyone blaming fast food. Full-blown restaurants are just as much "to blame" as any other. But, thankfully, I am glad. I know enough to make my meal into two (at least) if it's large. I like the "value" I receive in this. Please don't cut my portions; I can do that on my own. If you cut my portions, I'm certain the price won't drop. We've been here. This argument's old forgotten remoldy cheese, so I'll stop now.

Thanks for your time. Eat well.


Posted by hln at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

And for the THIRD Time, Blogger. Don't Eat this Post. 88.8 Mile Weekend

No, really, I have written this THREE times. It's short, so I've not had the foresight to, you know, save it in another window, but you'd best believe I'll do that now.

And on to the topic.

Yesterday, I put in 32.5 miles on the bike - a nice ride by myself in some good weather. I had to cut it a bit short because of a scheduled family reunion in the afternoon.

Today, Hans and I rode 46 miles together (roughly, that's from my house to Illinois and back), and then we went our separate ways. I'd imagine he logged another ten to twenty more. I returned home, ate, rewatered, put sunscreen on my face, and went to a bike trail to finish out my riding day with another 10 miles.

So, that's a total of 88.8 (it was 56.2 or something - guess 56.3 for today) for the weekend. And while that's not 150, it's not bad.

The good news? I could've done 20 more pretty easily if need be. Tired quads, slightly sore shoulders, but everything was functional. Yahoo.

A note to the idiot on Creve Couer Park trail: please leash your dogs. I'm sure they're perfectly well behaved, but, you're not the only guy on the trail, and you and the dogs don't get to cover all inches of the two lanes on the trail. Sorry. I'll swerve to avoid a dog, possibly even wipe out. You'd not be as lucky, you jerk.


Posted by hln at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2003

Has No One Figured This Out?

Three weeks ago, Kraft Foods decided to throw its imaginary gauntlet into the ring of the War on Fat.

My beloved had one humorous thought about it. I have one more.

You know that little nutrition label on every package of processed food? Yeah - the one that says there are four or however many servings in the frozen pizza. Well, Billy, with our magic ink, we can make that same-sized pizza pie (or less, as Brian points out) into SIX lovely servings by using the tools of 4th grade math! Yes, indeed. Lower the ounces/grams in a serving, and you lower the calories.

Nice, eh? We'll all be eating things by the 3/4 ounce now.


Posted by hln at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

Oracle - in the Dark?

Oracle - in the Dark?

I found this article about Oracle and sexual harrassment especially interesting. I'll just give you the high points; you can read the whole thing.
    PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - An Indian programmer at Oracle Corp. (ORCL.O) has sued her Indian male supervisor and the world's No. 2 software maker for sexual harassment, claiming the man forced her into sex by telling her she needed to "learn the art of pleasing the American manager."
Hmm, I just turn my work in on time.

    In the lawsuit filed July 18 in California's Alameda County Superior Court, the plaintiff charged that her supervisor, Mahesh Anand, forced her to perform oral sex in Oracle's San Mateo, California offices, in his car and at her home when her husband was away. Anand has since left the company.
Wow, that's at least three occasions, no?

And the kicker.

    The lawsuit said that Oracle knew or should have known of the different cultural and legal context in which Anand was used to working in India, where managers can often exert unfettered power over their female subordinates.
Um, no. What could Oracle have done, anyway? If it, as an entity, was unaware of said manager's particular behavior, what could it have done?

Oh, I get it. Predict the future and stop it from happening. Oracle...yeah.

My bad.


Posted by hln at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2003

Tim Blair Can Have the PETA Post

Tim Blair Can Have the PETA Post

Paul McCartney has joined the PETA onslaught on KFC! I got no fewer than three Yahoo alerts on this yesterday but still didn't deem it worthy of blog note.

I like Tim Blair's take on it, though, so I'll share that.


Posted by hln at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2003

Link Unto Others...

Link Unto Others...

Okay, Gerwitz. Thu it is.

Thank you, Scott Ott of Scrappleface With headlines like "Survey: Many Germans Believe U.S. Sponsored Hitler" and "Uday's Suicide May Violate International Law" and "Bill Clinton Declares California Residency," how can you go wrong?

Here, from Balloon-Juice, I offer the strangest floatation device I've seen in, well, a while.

Jonah Goldberg of the NRO adequately summarizes the Berkley attack on conservatives. (Link via The Weigh In, as I had not yet seen this).


Posted by hln at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

Robert Clinton Cope III, July

Robert Clinton Cope III, July 10, 1972 - July 24, 1994


Posted by hln at 05:25 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2003

PETA PETA PETA (pander pander pander)

I have no fewer than THREE things to post about PETA today. I've been getting behind, you see.

1) First, I visted Boycott Hollywood today, and, much to my delight, there was a PETA-applicable post. In PETA Goes to the Movies, Reilly writes about Legally Blonde 2 (a movie I will not see) and Reese Witherspoon's character's interaction with the organization.

As he's discussing this, he's offering his own commentary. My favorite is a quote that Reilly lifted from Frontpage Magazine.
    If we really believe that animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then of course we're going to be blowing things up and smashing windows." Such violence, he adds, is "a great way to bring about animal liberation. I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows."
This is PETA's director Bruce Friedrich speaking. He's throwing the bricks through windows so the animals don't have to. And, if plantlife is threatened, the most logical next step would be sabotaging water fountains on streets that begin with the letter "R," right? I mean, however did I miss Friedrich's leap of logic there. Of course! Perhaps I need to enroll in a remedial logic program.

2) I'm actually surprised PETA isn't smashing windows over this article about Alec Baldwin and his "Meet your Meat" video. There's a rather sizeable error. Bad Baldwin.
    In a letter to journalists, Baldwin said the film "documents the routine and horrific abuses that animals raised and killed for food endure and makes the case for Americans to adopt a vegetarian diet and enact humane legislation to weed out the worst abuses."
Um, Alec. It's VEGAN, not vegetarian. PETA doesn't endorse your three-egg omelet with cheese.

3) And, finally, I'll let this one speak for itself. A woman changed her named to


Posted by hln at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

Look, Ma (er, Hans), Hand-Built RSS

So, Blogger, you think you're so smart, eh? No RSS feeds for the masses. Well, I have ten fingers, and I can type (could code this into an automatic thing, too, if I were not so lazy and hosted this elsewhere). Behold the Clunky RSS!

My boss made me do it. Really.


Posted by hln at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

Damned Kids, Get Offa My Lawn

Hans points us all to this illogical stockpot full of spurious assertion stew by, sadly, a conservative in Illinois. I know, I know, you say - is it possible for conservatives to argue illogically? Yes, sadly, it is.

Joyce Morrison is pissed. She's pissed that the highways of Illinois (HER highways, dammit) are sometimes populated with, gasp, CYCLISTS! Let's give her a moment in the sun, here, ladies and gentlemen, before we break down to a proper paragraph-level fisking.

    OPINION -- Beware of bicycles - they could be hazardous to your health.

    There are 55 bicycle trails in Illinois.

    In fact, within "bicycle distance" of where we live is the Chain of Rocks bridge. This bridge crosses the Mississippi River, which connects the Illinois bicycle trail beginning at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Illinois, to the well-known Katy Trail in Missouri. The Chain of Rocks Bridge was recently renovated especially for pedestrians and bicycles and was paid for by we the taxpayers.

    With that wonderful recreational provision, why would 4,500 bikers (mainly from St. Louis) choose to make a 100 mile bike ride on roads already heavy with tourist traffic that are two lane, curvy, hilly roads under construction?
Okay. There's the argument. With all o' those trails, why are you on the roads? First, Trailnet sponsors road rides. You know, sponsor, with cars driving by periodically checking on the riders to ensure they are all right. Second, because roads are for bicycles, also. Third, what, silly, do you think all FIFTY-FIVE of those bicycle trails are accessible by every citizen of Illinois/Missouri at all times? Um, might I remind you that Illinois is a STATE. It is a state of 57,918 sq.mi. You do the math.

    That is what Derry Brownfield of the Common Sense Coalition would call "ignorance gone to seed."
Can we examine this? Ignorance means "lack of awareness." Ignorance: The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed. Joyce, silly, ignorance is YOURS. Claim it. Because you draw some pretty broad-stemming conclusions based on something you've OBVIOUSLY NOT DONE. (More soon...suspense.).

    Last Sunday on our way to church, we had the "privilege" of having our patience tested. We were behind one batch of these bikers going up a normally busy road with a steep winding hill, blind curves, no road shoulder. And these bikers were not about to budge out of the way. To top it off, the road was freshly milled in preparation for a new surface.

    To see these two wheelers peddling up the hill with rear ends stuck in the air in tight fitting britches is a humorous sight. But it wouldn’t have been funny to have seen one stretched out along the road with tire marks across him. These Sunday road warriors were literally risking their lives to prove they had the right.
Joyce, honey. Tight-fitting britches. That's a compound modifier. Please get it right; you're the professional writer. And, please allow me to explain. Those tight-fitting britches save a cyclist's skin from blistering/chafing - all of those unplesantries from extended periods of exercise. And, humorous? Strange, maybe. In a country where most people can't fit their fat asses INTO these "tight fitting britches" (sic), I bet it is funny. Joyce, you're making fun of what you do not know. How...six year-oldish.

    We were in our car. We had our seat belts on as required by the law - our insurance and license fees were paid. We had paid fuel tax when we purchased our gasoline. Now wouldn’t you think that would give us a bit of a priority?

    What was that biker’s investment that would give him the right to go down the middle of the highway? Bikers have no license, no vehicle insurance, no seat belts, no fuel tax. They are not making any contribution into the local economy in the way of tourism dollars. They had their own manned rest stops that furnished them with food and water, and they certainly can’t pack home much from the local shops on the back of their bikes or in those tight britches.
Waaaaaa! Fuel tax? I don't get it. Please explain. How is it again that bicycles and riders, weighing very little, tear up the road to the point that it requires maintenance? And, at least last week, fuel tax was for, um, FUEL? Forgive me, I promise this is as left-wing as I'll ever sound, but, really, people, logic. Joyce would have us believe that none of these cyclists pay fuel tax. Um, no.

And "they are not making any contribution into the local economy by way of tourism dollars." Okay, brace yourselves. On July 4th of this year, I had the pleasure of riding in and around Millstadt, IL. I was enraptured by the small town that reminded me much of the town in which I grew up - so much so that I plan to return and visit its Bed and Breakfast someday. People were home, largely because of the holiday, and many stopped to wave at our posse of four. Drivers honked and waved (oh, yes, without fingers extended). Our cycling group communicated, falling into single file at first sign (visual or aural) of a car. We visited the town store and purchased food and beverages.

So, Joyce, how is it that you KNOW all of these things - no contribution into the local economy. Obviously, you would not have proffered forth such a strong statement without, GASP, proof or firsthand knowledge.

    Maybe we should blame the route sponsor and not the bike rider for being guilty of this stupidity, but if these people cared about their lives, they should have just said "no - I won’t go on this unsafe route." Whatever spared someone from being run over - or these bicyclers causing a vehicle to have an accident - must have been God’s hand of protection, because it wasn’t their common sense.

    For a number of years bikers have made riding on our twisting, dangerous roads, putting themselves and others at risk, a common weekend occurrence in our area.
Okay, a route with construction - eek. I would not do that. So I'll yield you a point. Score one for Joyce. But you get a minus one for throwing God into the equation. Tsk. And, you know, if the roads are so dangerous, perhaps you should consider an alternate route. Just caution speaking.

    Bikers have the reputation of having an attitude of superiority and are not popular in rural communities. Many are very rude. They choose to take the middle of the highway as their right-of-way, disregarding local residents who are trying to get to their destinations... and they refuse to budge. They appear to be saying, "I just dare you." They readily ask for help when they have a problem but show little appreciation.
Haven't I addressed this "not popular in rural communities" theme? I think so. Maybe my tight-fitting britches make me cuter than you.

    They demand the government to provide and pay for their "entertainment and recreation." The government must provide parks, paths, scenic areas, fishing and boating opportunities, tourism, and all kinds of free outings. To accommodate these provisions, the property is many times taken from private property owners to make public areas. Then, these "recreational demanders" choose not to use those areas but to infiltrate areas not intended for their use.
Wow - there's a stretch, from cycling to FISHING. I knew we could get there. Come on, everyone, repeat after me. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. So THAT's what this is about. You know, Joyce. I didn't ask for the parks, but since they're there, and, as you have so aptly stated, and they're FREE, WHY NOT USE THEM? Oh, wait, I haven't demanded anything...what should I demand so Joyce can have another point?

    I don’t know about you, but our recreation and exercise is not paid for. For one thing, we have little time for recreation these days trying to earn enough to pay the taxes that pay for bike trails which bikers choose to avoid. Our exercise comes from our work.
Journalism...exercise. Uh, no. Minus one for Joyce. Oh, and if you're lacking for recreation, try working smarter and not harder. I know some great trails if you want to start an exercise program.

    Are these groups really into recreation and exercise, or are they being mentally trained for the Sustainable Communities where bicycles will be a way of life?
What the hell? I own a bike; therefore I'm a hippy? Amazing.

It goes in crazy directions from here. If I gave this to a fifth-grader and said, "find the main idea," I think the only possible response is, "wow, this woman hates bicycles and doesn't know much about them."

She concludes.

    Bicycles have been around for a long time and brought joy to many. If used responsibly, a bicycle is a wonderful source of exercise and recreation. But are we being prepared to be forced to use bicycles for our major mode of transportation? Could it be this activity is purposely being placed into an elitist status with no restrictions and licensing in an effort to lure people into this mental mode?

    If you are a biker, please ride responsibly on a trail that has been provided for your entertainment, and for your own safety and the safety of others, please keep off the highways.

Joyce. Shut your seed-cracking beak.


Posted by hln at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

GMOs - An Update of my Reading

I finished Eating in the Dark and quickly picked up Pandora's Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods, which I like a lot better. The author has managed to crack me up twice in 12 pages. Not a bad start.

I'm pointing you to page 6 of the book because of the top paragraph. I'll quote.

    Recent surveys show many people simply don't have the basic understanding of genetics required to engage in informed debate. For example, only 40% of respondents in the UK correctly recognize that ordinary, non-GM tomatoes contain genes.
Okay, I think it was the "correctly recognize" language, but I just lost it and burst out laughing.

I get the sense this guy is going to carry a light "what idiots" tone throughout the book, and I'm going to enjoy that very, very much.


Posted by hln at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2003

About the Kobe Bryant Thing

I give you lyrics from Dog's Eye View, a song called Bulletproof and Bleeding:
    Everybody loves the man on a cliff
    Some hope for heroes
    Most of us beg for blood

    We all stay to see if he falls
    No one stays to pick him up
    Much too busy for his rapture
    We can catch it on the news tonight instead, yea
So, now, do all you hypocritical adulterers feel better about yourselves? Surveys state there are a large number of you.

Part two:

More lyrics - just for fun. Harry Connick, Jr. Also fitting. From Last Payday:
    That line about luck just can`t be bought
    You`re always lucky `til you get caught
    Trouble will find you, no need to look
    And luck won`t help when they close the book
It's all about the consequences, man, personal and financial. Shoulda thought of that; everything carries a price.


Posted by hln at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2003

Glad We Got This Guy!

An obvious menace to society, Angel Melendez, a street musician, was sent to JAIL for having an "uncontained kitten" in his company. Fear it. The kitten went to jail, too.

Obviously, this is a crackdown on possible terrorism; the new exploding kittens (activated for possible destruction only when not leashed or crated) look very much like REAL kittens.

Ticket? Maybe. JAIL? Fear it.


Posted by hln at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2003

Eating in the Dark: An Update (Our Government is Shooting at Us!)

I'm about 80 pages from finishing the book Eating in the Dark, which I posted about earlier.

It wanders a bit more than I'd like. Also, it's so obviously slanted left that if you placed it on a bookshelf, it'd fall over.

I had only one spot where I wanted to throw it, (in the Brian J. method) though. It's a library book, and it's a hardback, so I refrained.

On page 179, in a chapter called "Global Food Fight," I read this nugget about the crowd gathered on November 30, 1999 at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. The author has just mentioned the "phalanx of police garbed in black riot gear, helmets, and face shields."

    At around three o'clock, near the intersection of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue, the highly charged mood of the crowd abruptly turned ominous. A crush of demonstrators ran down the street screaming. Simultaneously, a loud percussive boom rocked the air, coursing through my body like an electric shock. A blacket of thick white fog unfurled along the pavement as police fired canisters of tear gas into the crowd.

    Pandemonium erupted, and I joined the throngs of people streaming downhill, away from the melee. A tall, slender college-age boy ran up beside me shouting, "I've been shot. Our government is shooting at us!" Grimacing, he pulled up his pant leg and rubbed his calf. Another young man, apparently one of his companions, stopped up short behind us. "Rubber bullets!" he shouted breathlessly. "The police are shooting rubber bullets!" A third member of their group appeared, cradling a marble-size plastic pellet in his cupped hand. The police were apparently firing plastic bullets into the crowd.

    "I can't believe the government is shooting at us!" the stunned youth mumbled in disbelief. Then he rolled down his jeans and turned to rejoin his friends, who were already scrambling back up the hill into the combat zone."
COMBAT ZONE? Embrace the melodrama! Was this really worth three paragraphs of your book? Of course it is, if you want to incite the left to outrage and the right to disgust. I mean, really. What does this have to do with anything? You don't list the provocation of the police to use the riot gear it wielded.

What's Seattle's newspaper, The Seattle Times, have to say about the event?

    One of the largest protests in Seattle's history turned confrontational today as police fired paintball guns and pepper spray to disperse groups of unruly demonstrators who broke windows, sprayed graffiti on buildings and tried to block delegates to the World Trade Organization conference.
Oh. You mean there was damage? Destruction? The crowd wasn't singing campfire songs when the police dispersed it?

    Property destruction downtown was extensive. One group of about 200 demonstrators, dressed mostly in black and wearing hoods and masks, pulled out hammers and other small implements and began smashing windows, first at Nordstrom, then at other nearby stores. Other demonstrators yelled at them to stop.

    Most protesters, though, remained peaceful as up to 20,000 people from labor unions, environmental groups and local colleges rallied around the city, with the largest rally at Seattle Center. Most then marched downtown.

    The worst of the confrontations began around 10 a.m. When police fired pepper spray at protesters, they in turn threw sticks at the officers, prompting police to move an armored truck into the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Union Street and physically throw protesters out of the way.
Wow, no wonder the police had riot gear on hand. 20,000 people is an entire hockey arena full. And you have to expect that there'll be some pretty bad apples in the lot.

Book's still good, though - worth reading as long as you don't mind the bias. I should finish this weekend.


Posted by hln at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)


Please, if any of this surprises anyone, please e-mail me. I rolled my eyes no fewer than three times through the article.

    The findings, released by the American Institute for Cancer Research, add to the debate over how much restaurants and fast-food outlets are contributing to the epidemic of obesity in the United States and elsewhere.

    The institute's survey found that 69 percent of those polled finish their meals most or all of the time, even when the portions are huge.

    "Fully 30 percent of Americans now say they generally base the amount of food they eat on the amount they are served," according to the institute, which promotes research on the links between diet and cancer.

    "In a country where 64 percent of us are overweight or obese, there is an alarming tendency to overlook the sheer amount of food we're eating," Dr. Barbara Rolls of Pennsylvania State University told a news conference.

Posted by hln at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Chrissy Hynde? Who's That? On

On Thursday in Paris, in what can only be a publicity stunt or another manifestation of public idiocity, Pretenders' lead singer Chrissy Hynde got cozy with PETA in Paris (how...trendy).

    PARIS, France (AP) -- Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders joined animal activists in a loud protest outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in central Paris.


    Hynde and a dozen others, including leaders of the animal rights group PETA, were briefly detained by police after blocking traffic Wednesday on a main boulevard and smearing red paint across the restaurant's window to symbolize the blood of dead chickens.

    "The protest won't end here," said the 51-year-old pop singer, who was scheduled to perform Friday in a pop music festival in western France. "Even if I shout for two hours I can assure you, I'll still have a voice for the concert."
And we care? Pleh. Protest some more, and land yourself back on the chain gang.


Posted by hln at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

Oooh, More, More, More on

Oooh, More, More, More on the TVC

Now it's a SCANDAL. I missed this afternoon update yesterday from the NRO on the pharmaceutical bill, but I just found it, so I'll be a nice human and share.



Posted by hln at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

Know Thy Enemy: North Koreans

Know Thy Enemy: North Koreans (IMAO)

Frank J. of IMAO renders this advice (and so, so much more) about North Korea.

My favorite:
    If a North Korean bites you, you become one.

Posted by hln at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

But Is He Really Dead?

You can never be too cautious, but the missing arms expert's body's been found near London.



Posted by hln at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

No More Programming in France,

Okay, so the French nixed the word e-mail. Silly as can be, but okay. If they want to spend their citizens' money to find proper "terms" for the language, I really have no beef with that.

But what's next? Are the French going to discover/create a new programming language? Last I checked (being a web developer), all of the software languages I use are chock full o' lovely English words.

Hmmm. Lots of assembly code. Ick.


Posted by hln at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

You Can Have Your Cake

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American children are fatter than ever before, but they are far less violent and far less likely to get pregnant than most people think, according to a government report issued on Friday.
Yahoo and CNN both have stories about our portly youth and their tendencies.

And what else do you get when you research kids and obesity? Video games and television. Here's what I've concluded from these three articles(just for fun). It may be true; it's most likely heinous fallacy. Aren't statistics great?

1) America's children are more concerned with food than sex. (Teen pregnancy down; weight up).
2) Video games decrease both actual sex and actual violence in our children's lives.
3) Kids are still drinking an alarming amount of alcohol (but only while playing video games), but the smoking rate has declined. This is probably because they have to go outside to perform this activity, but drinking can take place around the console.
4) Violent crime is down because children never leave their homes, and they're more knowledgeable about firearms (because of video games?) that they don't accidentally shoot themselves (or others) with the family gun(s).

Everybody! Buy six copies of Vice City, and shove those kids toward the console! Fat's in vogue, don't you know? I saw a man last night at Old Spaghetti Factory who sported a t-shirt proclaiming his pride in his body size. Your kid could be THAT GUY!

I'll probably expand this after work...


Posted by hln at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2003

Traditional Values Coalition, meet the

    Todd Akin, Jo Ann Davis, Randy Forbes, Virgil Goode, Jim Demint, John Shadegg, Pat Toomey, Tom Tancredo: All of these congressmen had 100-percent ratings from the National Right to Life Committee for the last Congress. They have something else in common, too: They're the targets of a direct-mail campaign by the Traditional Values Coalition that questions their commitment to the unborn. That campaign has other social conservatives questioning the TVC's motives.
Brian read the NRO today before I did, and he pointed this out to me for review and further commentary.

The TVC is target more than Uncle Todd, I see. I blogged about this a few days ago, having received the mailing. Ponnuru obviously spent more time on his piece than I on my basic surface criticism, and it's quite a good read.


Posted by hln at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2003

Now That We've Given Up

Now that we've given up cable, there's this.



Posted by hln at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2003

Pat Robertson and Prayer Wow,

Wow, Pat Robertson must know something the rest of us mere mortals do not. He's delivered some pretty specific prayer requests to God, and, I'm sure will become very critical if he does not receive the answers he desires.

    "We ask for miracles in regard to the Supreme Court," Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club."

    Robertson has launched a 21-day "prayer offensive" directed at the Supreme Court in the wake of its 6-3 June vote that decriminalized sodomy. Robertson said in a letter on the CBN Web site that the ruling "has opened the door to homosexual marriage, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest."

Woohoo! Prayer Wars.

And, wary public, rest not your vigilant watch, lest this public prayer trend become a weekly feature for CNN. Soon, soon, I say, Reverend Robertson will need to beseech the Lord to put an end to Jerry Springer's senate campaign.

And, if he asks for a Segway (new or used), I'm going to have to decry him some more.

I'll keep my prayers private, thanks.


Posted by hln at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2003

More PETA and KFC, courtesy

Of course, since I wrote about this, when I found the NRO article (Friday's - I missed it then because I was ill) entitled PETA-Fried, well, I felt I had to share.

My favorite spots?

    Bachelder "jumped on the corporate jet and flew to PETA's hometown of Norfolk," PETA's website crowed, acquiescing to five of PETA's eight demands. According to the organization's victory report, among other matters, Bachelder pledged to install cameras in all of KFC's 29 slaughterhouses by the end of next year, with a plan to audit the tapes monthly. KFC also agreed 1) to ensure that its suppliers would add stimulation devices to the perches in the chicken sheds; 2) to move quickly to kill chickens in electric stun baths rather than merely immobilizing them; 3) to implement humane mechanized chicken-gathering systems; and 4) to provide increased space for chicken housing. KFC promised to report back to PETA on a regular basis to verify its compliance.

    In return, PETA didn't have to agree to do much of anything. The anti-KFC campaign would continue, though with a 60-day suspension. PETA would not picket the 2003 annual shareholder meeting. It agreed to modify its website assertions about KFC, and suspended "all planned billboards." And it promised not to undertake further "step-ups" in the anti-KFC campaign for 60 days — meaning that it would be at least 61 days before protesters returned to picket Bachelder's home.

    The promised reforms may all be fine, appropriate, and humane changes in the raising and slaughter of chickens. Indeed, it is an important human obligation to treat food animals properly and to kill them as humanely as is practicable. But it shouldn't take pressure from fanatics for corporate executives to do the right thing. Indeed, acting under such pressure merely adds to the power of animal-rights liberationists, making them an ever-greater threat to the legitimate use of animals.

    If KFC thought that it had bought peace and security from PETA by so clearly and publicly caving in to the organization's threats and intimidation, it didn't know its enemy. I use the word enemy in its literal sense. PETA's goal is not to reform KFC's practices. It isn't ultimately seeking a universal standard for humane treatment of chickens by food producers. These goals are mere tactical efforts on the way to PETA's ultimate goal: driving KFC — and all other meat-serving fast-food restaurants — out of business.
Yes, indeed. PETA does think we should all be vegans. You can have my butter (on the rare occasions I choose to partake of it) when you <cliche>pry it from my cold, dead hands</cliche>.


    When I first read this, I almost spat out my morning coffee. PETA ideologues believe that killing animals for food is the moral equivalent of genocide. Indeed, PETA minions have for several months traveled the country promoting vegetarianism on college campuses in the "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign. Holocaust on Your Plate explicitly equates animal husbandry and meat-eating with the death camps and the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust. To illustrate its thesis, PETA crassly juxtaposes photographs of a pile of dead pigs with a pile of the bodies of dead concentration-camp inmates and claims that "the leather sofa and handbag are the modern equivalent of the lampshades made from the skins of the people killed in the death camps."

    It must be understood that PETA-type fanatics do not see Holocaust on Your Plate as hyperbole or metaphor. For them, it is a literal truth. Down to the bone marrow in their vegan bones, they believe that KFC's cooking of chickens is morally equivalent to SS guards' herding of Auschwitz inmates into the showers. One can only imagine the future potential for demagogic advertisements should KFC's suppliers begin the gas slaughter of birds.
The whole thing is really good, though, so if you get a chance, please check it out. I've said time and again that these PETA folks make animal activism into a sad, scary joke, but, as you can see, they get "results." Radicals.


Posted by hln at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

Scrappleface says it better I

I got an "URGH!" from reading this, (the "bad-blood-shrug-it-off murderer") so I set it aside at lunch to blog about it later.

But that Scott Ott of Scrappleface does a far better job than my ugly rant, so I'll read more this evening and write less.


Posted by hln at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003

No Rant

I've been ranting too much of late. Yesterday, I checked myself - almost blogged about crazy Susan Smith and her desire for prison pen pals. I refrained. Good Heather. I guess I could've varied my style and written her an open letter, but I'll save that for someone worth my time.

A couple of reflections here today, that's all.

One, have you noticed how often conjoined twins are in the news now? I swear, they're EVERYWHERE. While it's obviously very sad that Laleh and Ladan lost their battle to live separate lives (and life at all), now conjoined twins are all the rage. We've got a new pair in Greece. And before that we had an interview with other conjoined twins - joined at the stomach- who would not attempt separation surgery. We have doctors in Dallas readying themselves to separate another pair.

I'm certain there have always been conjoined twins and surgeries - but Ladan and Laleh's journey in adulthood to lead separate lives seems to really have led the media to near frenzy about this topic. And, truly, it is fascinating. It's something most of us will never see or come into contact with without he media. And we humans are certainly fascinated by things we do not understand.


Yeah, go Lance. It's almost anticlimactic, isn't it? I mean, in the background of the Tour de France, behind Lance and all of the hubbub, you have Tyler Hamilton, who is riding nearly the entire race with a FRACTURED COLLARBONE. Everyone, as a chorus, please exclaim, "OUCH!" and shudder in horror.

If you have not been on a bike lately, I'd like to remind you of a few biking things. One, your hands FEEL the road - every pothole, every pebble, every bit of gravel - they all jar the bike. If your hands feel the road, and you're on the bike for several hours a day, I can assure you, your collarbone FEELS the road.

This man has grit. What's the press say? I searched CNN for him. Nada. Piffle. I'll not bother with all that - what's he have to say?

You can always leave him a note.


Posted by hln at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2003

We are "Wired" and not "Wireless" in the Home

We are "Wired" and not "Wireless" in the Home

Wireless seems such a painless and proper choice when you're looking at my house - two stories, a split-level ranch. But, soon after we bought the house, we took on (read: Brian wired, and Heather tried to help) the CAT5ing of the Noggle home.

I learned some new words that weekend. One of the ones I can repeat is PVC pipe.

Brian has always decried all things wireless (except stereos) because of the security risks they pose. It's nice to see a detailed article about this. Paranoia justified.


Posted by hln at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

The consequences are threatening

The consequences are threatening

So says the one-page glossy sent to me from Traditional Values Coalition. Actually, it was sent to my address but listed a person named "King" as its intended recipient. Not me.

No website on the mailing, but, being the deviously clever human I am with Google access and a bit of deductive reasoning, I soon found it.

The subject of the mailing? Stop Todd Akin from voting for H.R. 2427. (Your mission, should you choose to accept it...).

The sideshows? Baby chewing on toy looking like, well, a baby; young woman eyeing a pack of pills as though she has a difficult decision to make. Baby in white light. Woman in brown light. Caption? "If H.R. 2427 becomes law, RU-486, the "abortion pill," may become as easy to get as aspirin.

Ooh, not shocking. This is a religious right (read faaaaaaaaaaaar right) organization that has the audacity to quote Jerry Falwell on its mailing as an expert about prescription drugs? I think that's like a walrus endorsing Frosted Flakes, no? Oh, goody, and my friend Tommy Thompson, the most rational human in the government health sector. His argument?
    Opening our borders to reimported drugs potentially could increase the flow of conterfeit drugs, cheap foreign copies of FDA approved drugs, expired and contaminated drugs, and drugs stored under inappropriate and unsafe conditions.
Could not you people find someone who could proffer an argument stronger that "potentially could?"

And Falwell.

    Drug importation is about much more than getting cheap prescriptions. It's also partially about easing access to abortion drugs like RU-486, euthanasia drugs, and "life extension" drugs of questionable merit and potentially harmful effect.
And what's this bill about really, you ask? Its true name is the Pharmaceutal Market Access Act of 2003. Funny, on a full-text search of the bill, the only time I see the letters "ru" are contained within the word drug.

The bill is not exceptionally interesting, as bills go. I read it all.

The far right scares me about as much as the far left. Both seem far too interested in saving Americans from themselves, vast conspiracies for or against [insert cause here] and achieving their agendas through means other than reason. And I just don't buy in.


Posted by hln at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2003

Didn't Take Long... find something about which to spew this evening.

    Mayor John Robert Smith was speaking during the community service when Shirley Price stood and spoke: "Excuse me. Don't criticize this man. He was human too ... don't exclude him. He was a victim, too. ... He was a kind and loving human being."

    Price broke into tears and left the church. Her boyfriend, Doug Williams, committed suicide after shooting 14 co-workers, killing five, at the Lockheed Martin aircraft parts plant Tuesday.
Uh, hello? Are you in there, Shirley Price? Or do you somehow think that life comes equipped with a pretty "Undo" button - Control-Z on the whole issue, and now only your beloved Doug Williams is dead and these fourteen people are at home with their families and untarnished flesh. Wrong. This man is a perpetrator. A perpetrator is not allowed status as a victim when he (here she goes - wince, please)

1) Suddenly left an employee ethics course and returned armed with weapons.

2) Opened fire on a room of unarmed people.

3) Left this room, his homicidal binge apparently unsatisfied, and proceeded to shoot others unfortunate enough to be in his proximity.

4) Took his own life.

(Facts from another CNN story).

These are actions, Shirley Price, and this man was THE cause of victimhood, his final acts in life an eruption of evil from which any shadow of good he might possibly have attained will never emerge. And he, a grown man, chose this. So chosen.

His circle of hell? He's making a spot for Chante Mallard down in Circle 7, Round 1. More boiling blood. I realize he could reside in Round 2 for the suicide, but encased in a tree is not nearly as unpleasant.


Posted by hln at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2003

Obligatory Link to IMAO, July 9, 2003

Yes, here it is, just as requested.

Please visit IMAO today. It's Frank J's one-year anniversary of posting. I can only hope to be a quarter as popular as he on my one-year...not that I know when it is...


Posted by hln at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

Verdict Soon: Does Heather Continue Continue to Indulge in Microwave Popcorn? Stay Tuned

Verdict Soon: Does Heather Continue to Indulge in Microwave Popcorn? Stay Tuned

I'm one of those freakazoids who watches everything she eats. No, really, you say? Shocker. Everyone's aware of the silly Oreo lawsuit about trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids are in EVERYTHING - and I've been looking...for about a year.

Goodbye went the Wheat Thins (replaced with Kashi TLC.)

But I just can't give up the microwave popcorn...not just yet. Yes, I see it in the ingredient list - partially hydrogenated soybean oil. I figure, it's a treat, right? Soon, though, we will know how MUCH trans fatty acids grace my favorite once-in-a-while snack. And then I will decide whether to trade it in for a more harmless cousin. Here's why.

I like labels. They raise some awareness with people who are starting to watch what they eat, and every bit helps. With this solution, we shift no blame to the food producers; we merely ask them to state the facts, and then we make our decisions, as it should be.


Posted by hln at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)


Less overt than chocolate-covered ants, these food additives might surprise you.

Makes me want to abandon my lunch of Lean Cuisine pizza for something a lot less processed. I'm glad Fortune didn't do an article about the bacteria lounging on our food; we might pay attention to how hard our immune systems really do work every day.


Posted by hln at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2003

KFC, Jason Alexander, Cruelty, PETA, and That Google Search "kfc tortures chickens"

Wow, how's that for an intro? I got the aforementioned hit yesterday afternoon at about 3:40 CST. Sorry I took so long to put up something relevant.

First, we have KFC's Animal (read: chicken - because mashed potatoes and biscuits aren't fauna) Welfare Policy.

Then, we have PETA and its lawsuit and a website dubbed KFC Cruelty.

And, because it wasn't interesting enough as it was, we have PETA nudging Jason Alexander out of his spokesperson role.

I bet all these things were what you were looking for, dude.

Now, what's the deal here? (Jason, you can go home now. Thanks. We're done discussing you). PETA, please sit in the corner and don't speak until addressed.

Let us drill down into KFC's website to the Poultry Welfare Guidelines (An Overview). This is obviously marketingspeak, as the "welfare" of the animal when it is delivered to KFC is, well, moot. But, the bit where it says it audits its suppliers, okay, I'll take heed now and pay attention to the presentation (below).
    1. General
    Supplier must have a documented program for animal welfare including a designated program leader, formal employee training, and a system of regular self-audits and recordkeeping. Corrective action for violations must be clearly stated and effective.

    Birds arriving at the plant must be clean and in good health. If audit reveals dirty or sick birds, corrective action at the grow-out house must be taken.

    2. Raising
    KFC prohibits its suppliers from using growth-promoting substances, and requires its suppliers to raise birds in clean chicken houses with appropriate space and proper ventilation.

    KFC prohibits suppliers from de-beaking any poultry that will be sold in our restaurants.

    3. Catching
    Birds arriving at the plant must be free of injury. KFC requires suppliers to implement an incentive program that rewards catching crews for minimizing injury if audit reveals that birds are being injured during the catching process.

    4. Transport
    Transport crates must be in good repair - i.e. no crate damage that would allow injury to birds or allow crates to accidentally open. Transport crates must not be over-filled and enough space must be provided to allow all birds to lie down.

    5. Holding
    Birds held in storage sheds must be provided adequate ventilation and climate control (fans/curtains).

    6. Stunning
    Stunning equipment must be maintained to ensure all birds are unconscious prior to slaughter, and the time between stunning and slaughter must be limited to ensure that no bird regains consciousness prior to slaughter.

    7. Humane Slaughter
    State of the art slaughter equipment must be properly maintained to ensure all birds are slaughtered quickly and without pain.
Okay - seven habits for highly effective bird growing and slaughter. And what does PETA have to say about this?

(From KFC Cruelty site

- A fisk of a fisk)
    What follows are actual quotes from, as displayed on January 1, 2003, shown in italics, coupled with PETA’s responses.

    Animal Treatment: Yum! Brands believes treating animals with care and respect is a key part of our quality assurance efforts. This means animals should be free from mistreatment at all times—from how they are raised and cared for to how they’re transported and processed. Our goal is to ensure an environment that’s free from cruelty, abuse and neglect.

    We challenge anyone to review the treatment of chickens that PETA is addressing, none of which can be denied by KFC, and suggest that KFC is not cruel to chickens. From hatching to slaughter, KFC’s chickens endure lives of unmitigated misery.

    The science is totally clear on all the issues that PETA has raised; not only is Yum! ignoring the latest research on gas killing of chickens, broiler breeders, and the other issues that we raise, it has also done absolutely nothing to improve the lives of any other animals who are killed for its restaurants (e.g., fish for Long John Silver, or cattle, pigs, and dairy cows for Taco Bell, A&W, and Pizza Hut). As the most glaring example from among many, the latest research is clear on gestation crates, which were recently banned by voter initiative in Florida because of their excessive cruelty, yet Yum! does nothing about them.

Okay. Hello? Weren't we talking about KFC and its suppliers? I'm certain we were. (Checking website name...yep!). And those "many examples" of which you spoke - show me. Defend, justify, and explain.

    Furthermore, cruelty to animals can be more subtle than overtly violent abuse. Denying animals the opportunity to act according to their natures can be even more cruel than harming them physically, and KFC denies chickens almost every natural desire and need—from foraging to dustbathing to forming reasonable social hierarchies (pecking orders).
Hmm - again, I thought we had issues with the suppliers. I assure you, there are not chickens running around Yum!'s corporate offices, and the only chickens to arrive through the store doors are quite assuredly dead, at which time they no longer have social hierarchies.

    Partnership: Yum! Brands partners with experts on our Animal Welfare Council and our suppliers to implement humane procedures/guidelines and to audit our suppliers to ensure the guidelines are being met.

    We challenge Yum! to name one—just one—procedure or guideline that it has implemented for the humane treatment of animals on farms or during transport. Animals spend the majority of their lives on farms, yet Yum! has not done a single thing to address the treatment of animals in that area. Yum!’s supposed “guidelines” address only the slaughterhouse, and even there they are woefully inadequate. The birds are dumped from crates, often breaking limbs, and their injured legs are snapped painfully into metal shackles. Animal welfare experts are in agreement that chickens are often conscious throughout the slaughter process, resulting in the tremendous suffering of millions from being shocked by machinery, having their throats cut, and being scalded alive. Yet Yum!’s guidelines protect birds from none of these abuses, and Yum! refuses to adopt the gas killing of birds, which would eliminate them all.
You know, I acutally asked a coworker how chickens are humanely killed on farms, and he said, "you wring their necks." Now, I'll argue that a slaughterhouse is most likely the saddest place in this country. I still don't see any direct examples of when these horrible injustices were perpetrated on birds 277 and 293. Where's the evidence, PETA?

    More than half of all chickens killed for KFC are consumed outside of the United States, yet KFC has not said a single thing about applying any animal welfare standards outside the U.S., despite the implication that its standards apply to all suppliers. Yum! also claims that its suppliers are being audited, but we ask whether a single audit has ever resulted in disciplinary action. If not, might the reason be that Yum!’s “standards” are, in fact, simply the same abusive status quo that has been in existence for years?
EVIDENCE! Please! I want to believe you - my bleeding-heart animal-loving self (yeah, I have some liberal components to my conservative nature) wants to believe that if an organization is going to claim outrage, it can logically back its claims. Sigh - mere rhetoric and a wimpy challenge.

    Performance Quantification & Follow-up: Yum! Brands’ animal welfare guidelines are specific and quantifiable. Yum! Brands measures performance against these guidelines through audits of our suppliers and ensures that all purchasing strategies are aligned with our commitment to animal welfare.

    If Yum! has “specific and quantifiable” guidelines, then why has no one ever seen them? This is Yum!’s most clearly duplicitous claim. Without written copies of these guidelines available to the public, how can Yum! expect anyone to believe that they exist? And again, what supplier has ever been sanctioned for violations?
Yeah, I know that tactic - it's called instill doubt with big, sweeping, general accusations.

    To assist us in [our] effort, Yum! Brands formed the Yum! Brands Animal Welfare Advisory Council, which consists of highly regarded experts in the field. The Council provides us with advice and recommendations based on key data and scientific research. It has been a key factor in formulating Yum! Brands animal welfare program. Members of our Council include: • Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University • Dr. Ian Duncan, Dept. of Animal & Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Ontario • Dr. Joy Mench, Director of the Center for Animal Welfare, U. of Cal., Davis • Adele Douglass, Ex. Dir., Farm Animal Services, American Humane Association • Dr. Bruce Webster, The University of Georgia • Ellis Brunton, Senior VP of Science & Regulatory Affairs, Tyson Foods • Dr. Jim Ayres, Director of Research & Quality Assurance, Goldkist, Inc

    It is true that KFC has hired some people that PETA suggested, specifically Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Joy Mench, and Dr. Ian Duncan, as well as farmed-animal expert Adele Douglass, for its animal welfare panel. But even as Dr. Mench writes papers on the suffering of broiler breeders, KFC does nothing; even as Dr. Duncan discusses the inherent abuse of present slaughter methods, KFC does nothing, and so on. In two years, the panel has held three conference calls—not because the animal welfare panelists are unwilling to improve bird welfare, but more likely because KFC and the industry panelists are not willing.

    Ellis Brunton and. Jim Ayres work for the exploiters, not the reformers. One naysayer on any committee can slow or totally stifle progress. The inclusion on the panel of representatives of the chicken-killing industry—the very industry that has claimed, always, that no reform is required—shows that KFC’s efforts are not likely to move quickly or effectively. This has been borne out by 21 months of work resulting in less progress for chickens than has been achieved by McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s and no progress on decreasing suffering for any other animal.
More broad bushstrokes and naming names. I mean, come on, PETA, Yum! supplied the names for you, so don't hoot and holler that you actually got some objective evidence in a paragraph of your diatribe. Again, disappointing set of paragraphs if one is looking to substantiate a claim.

    Yum! Brands Animal Welfare Progress: Established the Yum! Brands Animal Welfare Advisory Council to help formalize our animal welfare program. The Council, which consists of leading scientists and academics in the field of animal welfare, works with Yum! Brands and its suppliers to ensure our practices are aligned with the latest research and thinking in the field of animal welfare.

    As discussed above, the science is totally clear on all the issues that PETA has raised; not only is Yum! ignoring the latest research on gas killing of chickens, broiler breeders, and the other issues that we have addressed, it has also done nothing to improve the lives of fish for Long John Silver or cattle, pigs, and dairy cows for Taco Bell, A&W, and Pizza Hut. As the most glaring example, the latest research is clear on gestation crates, which were recently banned by voter initiative in Florida because of their excessive cruelty, yet Yum! does nothing about them. The company is ignoring, rather than aligning its practices with, the latest research and thinking in the field of animal welfare.
Damn! There it is again! Reductio ad absurdum! Were we not discussing chicken? The perils of copy...paste.

It's a lot of blah blah blah from here.

I'm certain PETA has some valid claims - after all, in the scheme of things, mass produced dinner animals probably have short, rotten, painful lives. It's too bad PETA can't synthesize the reality from the rhetoric into a stronger argument that rational America could digest and perhaps rally behind.

Incidentally, and off topic, I took a graduate class in Persuasive Attack and Defense. What we have here is PETA issuing a kategoria, an attack. Theoretically, if this attack actually damages KFC's reputation (in the company's eyes), what will take place next is the Image Restoration stage, strategies of which include denial, evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification (asking for forgiveness), or any mixture of these. KFC can also attack its accuser, shift the blame, focus on other issues, or redefine the attack. Glad I kept Dr. Benoit's book, Accounts, Excuses, and Apologies for handy reference in times like these. (And, of course, I'm horribly oversimplifying).


Posted by hln at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)


How much would you pay to avoid a common cold? I pondered this question this evening, as I am currently fighting the latest variety of summer cold to enslave the office (four of us ill that I know of).

I get about two a year. I think I'd drop $500 at the onset to make it go away. I figure that's $100 or less a day, and, well, most likely very much worth it. Colds always hit me hard and affect my mood (even though I recognize this - sad, eh?). This cold will mean a few days off of training and possibly, unless I feel better instead of worse the next few days, some time off work.

How much would you pay?


Posted by hln at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2003

A Love Story

Since I'm getting a lot of hits from my husband's post on IMAO about dating, I thought I'd share this with the curious.

This is how I found him.

I liked the poem, and, since I posted quite a bit on rec.arts.poems back in the day, I ran across this poem a few days after it was posted. (The day I found it happened to be Brian's 25th birthday). I saw the (now defunct, btw - so go ahead and spam it), and I sent him an e-mail asking about reading poetry in St. Louis, something in which I was interested at the time. I signed it hli, my initials at the time. The e-mail address from which it originated was, so it was hardly a pick-up e-mail, not divulging my gender.

And he wrote back! It was a nice, witty, lengthy piece answering exactly what I asked. And I wrote back a thank you, and, well, you get the picture.

He printed and saved all of these e-mails.

We were friends. And then we were more, and then we married on May 22, 1999.

So, there it is. Not Internet dating on purpose, but certainly a good story with a happy ending. We lived in our separate cities for just over a year after beginning dating, and eventually we decided it'd be best for me to move from Columbia, MO to St. Louis because the job opportunities were much greater. During that year in separate cities, though, Brian was working in O'Fallon, MO as a printer, and this was on the way to Columbia. So, on Wednesdays, he'd pop into town and we'd spend some time together. I fixed him lunch for the next day and made rhubarb pies (my favorite - so selfish) and left napkins with little love notes in his lunch.

He saved these.

Anecdotal: I have a spouse who can beat me at Scrabble pretty handily. (We keep all of our!). I believe his high score is over 500, and mine a paltry 470 or some such (not the same game). If ever I need to restore my self-esteem from a Scrabble beating, well, there's always Boggle.

Where he doesn't stand a chance. Buhahahahah.


Posted by hln at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2003

Send that Cancer Back to its Mama, Weeping

CNN has a report released on July 1 that explains about cancer what we humans already know deep down if we've ever paid attention to health reports.

It enumerates many risk factors.
    Twenty-nine percent of cancer deaths prevented, again, by focusing on the fundamentals, such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and cancer screening. If people used all of that stuff, actually focused on that stuff, again, then you can actually cut down these cancer deaths and rates by quite a bit. The numbers, just the absolute numbers, as well, 100,000 cancer cases a year could actually be eliminated and 60,000 cancer deaths. We're not talking about any new drugs, no new treatments here, just focusing on what we know.
Yes, Dr. Gupta. Very nice. Good job of stating the obvious and putting some numbers with it for palatable consumption. Still, maybe a few people will read that, and the little dinging bell will chime, so perhaps I'm being harsh. I still don't expect any radical behavior change based on this nicely packaged info spiel.

Fair, though. This harshness is coming from the woman whose cancer was so rare she became a teaching tool for the local university hospital.

But it ain't gonna come back, and neither is any other kind. I kicked it so hard it ran shrieking, as I say, back to its mama and weeping in horror.


Posted by hln at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

Eek, This Could've Been Us!

Well, actually, no, because we're not in Florida, but, still, considering my near 44 miles logged today in a group of seven (six of whom cycle much faster than newbie I), it hits close to home.

Bikers down.

I'm going to try to forget I read this.


Posted by hln at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2003

These Things I Know...Now The

The Giant OCR 3 and I logged some serious road time today, and I learned a few very valuable biking things. I shall enumerate.

1) Riding in extreme heat (97 degrees when we stopped) requires more than 4 liters of water and 1 liter of Gatorade.

2) Rolling hills after 37 miles in said 97 degree heat = hard.

3) Riding on tires with 30 psi pressure is very difficult (as I have been for a while). Riding on tires with 102 psi is a dream and makes one very, very zippy.

4) 45 miles on a hot day requires at least an hour and a half nap and at least a fifteen minute shower.

5) Chiggers might attack if you sit in the grass to stretch. I say might because, well, they didn't. But I was warned.

6) Sleeveless cycling jerseys in aforementioned oppressive heat - coveted.

7) Illinois makes a bicycle map. Oh baby.

I have learned all of these things today. The hard lesson of number one was difficult. I ran out of all liquid with about 4 miles (most of it hilly) to go. This was a bit scary for those four miles, and I slowed the group down quite a bit, but all was well in the end.

MS150 requires 75 mile days, not 45. I sure hope the weather's a wee bit cooler. Plus, I was reminded that we'll have all day, not just from 9:00 until 1:00 or so.


Posted by hln at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2003

I'd like Prison for Life for $1400, Plesae, Alex

Wow. Nobody likes a wife-beater (even an alleged one), but there's extreme, and then there's EXTREME.

While the article does note the action was not Mr. Marquez's first offense, whoop-di-damned-do. Please note the word "possibility" in the first paragraph.

I'd hate to see what they'd have done to him if he'd sneezed.


Posted by hln at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

Ah, So THAT's what it is

CNN today told me about Octopus Giganteus. Tim Blair has identified it more quickly than the Chilean scientists, though.


Posted by hln at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

You Are What You Eat

While this appears to be fabulous news, I would like to remind you of the age-old adage, my title above. BAV1, you are what you eat.

If this microbe can truly decompose toxic waste, what else can/does it do? And how can it be stopped/neutralized/controlled?

Forgive me, for I am not a scientist, though I sometimes play one on my blog, and this was the most interesting thing I had read all day.


Posted by hln at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2003

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine? It's in the backyard and is fed by water and plant food. But, if you've been following the news at all in the last five years, you know that a fair portion of America's foodstuffs, especially produce and soybeans, has been produced with the aid of genetic engineering.

Being such the nutrition fiend, I picked up Eating in the Dark from the local library, and I've been plodding through the book bit by bit over the last few weeks. (Life hasn't left me much time for reading...except blogs, of course).

It's enlightening. St. Louis is, of course, home to Monsanto, one of the companies heavily attacked in this book. Personally, I wish I had read Food, Inc. first, as it is purported to be more fact-oriented and less of a platform for the author's opinion.

I've found a glaring error in Eating in the Dark, and it has clouded the believability of the book. On page 89, it mentions the dioxin mess in Times Beach, Missouri. Anyone who lived in this area at the time and had access to the news remembers it quite vividly. It was a story of the 80s, and the author states the year was 1974. Oops! Electric shock to the fact checkers.

Next on the agenda is Pandora's Picnic Basket, also an item found at Bridgeton Trails Library. The author is a genetic engineer, so this should prove interesting. Eating in the Dark is authored by a journalist.

As you likely already know, the Europeans are not too keen on receiving and consuming genetically engineered food. Well, today, there was a step in what I believe is a positive direction. Labelling.

This food is here to stay. I'd like to see it labelled in the United States for the same reason that I want all of my food labelled - conscious choice. There's a common view that many people will avoid genetically engineered foods if given the choice. Often called Frankenfoods, genetically engineered items have a deep stigma attached, to the point that in 1998 (and many times since and probably before) fields growing genetically modified corn were systematically destroyed by "activists."

Is this stigma appropriate? I'm not sure yet and may never be. I am sure I'll write more on this.


Posted by hln at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2003

Guess They're Still Gonna Play Play...

The US today took its ball and went home. The game rages on, though, as no 11th hour exemption came down the wires.

I always hated the failure of that tactic when I was six.

Our bluff: called.


Posted by hln at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

A ha! He's a Hurricane

I have the proof. My esteemed spouse, Brian J, is a hurricane.

    Most times we'll have plenty of notice for a hurricane because it will storm in right off the sea. Sometimes, though, it will sneak in wearing a hat and a trench coat. If you see someone in a hat and a trench coat, pull them off and shout, "Aha! A hurricane!" Most of the time, it will actually be some guy and you'll look pretty stupid, but, if one time it actually is a hurricane, people will be like, "Wow! You're smart."

Posted by hln at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)