Friday, March 2, 2007

Viv La Swiss!

Tired of their historic neutrality, the Swiss finally did something about it:
Swiss Troops Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein

Friday, March 02, 2007

ZURICH, Switzerland — What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers from the neutral country wandered more than a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story, but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

"We've spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it's not a problem," Daniel Reist told The Associated Press on Friday.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.

Interior Ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. "It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something," he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington, D.C., does not have an army. (link)

Of course, they have some French training, so realizing that they were very close to taking the undefended country, they retreated :)
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Humor

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Weather

A very rough day in Alabama for weather (it was very bad in my part, but no damage that I can see):
Tornadoes kill 13 in Alabama; Mo. girl

By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer 13 minutes ago

ENTERPRISE, Ala. - Apparent tornadoes killed at least 13 people in Alabama on Thursday, including eight at a high school where students were trapped under a collapsed roof, state officials said. State Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Yasamie Richardson said eight fatalities "are in relation to the high school but whether they are all students or some students and teachers we're not sure."

House Speaker Seth Hammett, at the statehouse in Montgomery, announced that five people had died at Millers Ferry in west Alabama, where another apparent tornado tore into mobile homes.

Martha Rodriquez, a 15-year-old sophomore, said she had left the school about five minutes before the storm hit. When she returned, a hall at the school had collapsed, she said.

"The stadium was destroyed and there were cars tipped over in the parking lot and trees were ripped out. There were trees and wood everywhere. It was just horrible," she said.

More than 40 people were brought in to an Enterprise hospital as a violent storm front crossed the state.(link)

Prayers and thoughts go out to all the families and friends involved. And sincere hope for the people still missing.


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Reason to pray

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Home Cooking

Big game in the SEC tonight was Tennessee versus Florida in Knoxville.

Florida, the defending NCAA champions lost 2 in a row coming in and were 'angry' and focused for this one. Pat Summitt (UT women's coach, 940 career wins) came out as a cheerleader during the first TV timeout and cheered the men's team on.

Whatever it was, it worked. UT dominated the game, at one point were up 25 and if they could hit some free throws (20-31 I believe) they'd have walked out early. As it was, the gators went down 10 and saw their stock in the NCAA's slip. Tennessee's of course will go up and if they can close out on the road against Georgia this weekend, win at least one in the SEC tourney, then they may look at a 5 seed.
SEVENTH-LARGEST ARENA CROWN SEES VOLS DEFEAT NO. 5 FLORIDA, 86-76

Feb. 27, 2007

AP Photo Gallery

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Chris Lofton scored 21 points, and Tennessee pulled away from No. 5 Florida in the first half and held on for an 86-76 victory Tuesday night.

The Gators (25-5, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) continued a troubling trend for the defending national champions, who have lost three of four after a 17-game winning streak. Their chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament are slipping away after easily wrapping up the SEC regular-season title last week.

But this was the Volunteers' night.

With Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt dressing as a cheerleader and singing "Rocky Top" and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning watching his alma mater, Tennessee (21-9, 9-6) finished the season 16-0 at home. (link)

Also note the home record... last time perfect was the Bernie and Ernie show in '76.
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Reason to cheer!

Damn Surge

More bad news from the Surge front:
Middle East
This is the most recent version of this article. View article history.
Death Squad Leaders Seized in Baghdad

A man passes by cars destroyed in a car bomb explosion in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007. A parked car bomb went off in central Baghdad's Karradah neighborhood, killing at least two people and injuring another four, police said.  (AP Photo/Mahmoud al-Badri)
(AP Photo/Mahmoud al-Badri)
A man passes by cars destroyed in a car bomb explosion in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007. A parked car bomb went off in central Baghdad's Karradah neighborhood, killing at least two people and injuring another four, police said.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S.-led strike forces seized suspected Shiite death squad bosses Tuesday in raids that tested the fragile bonds between the government and a powerful militia faction allowing the Baghdad security crackdown to move ahead.

The sweeps through the Sadr City slum were part of highly sensitive forays into areas loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has ridiculed the 2-week-old campaign for failing to halt bombings by suspected Sunni insurgents against Shiite civilians.

Al-Sadr withdrew his powerful Mahdi Army militia from checkpoints and bases under intense government pressure to let the security push go forward. But the U.S.-backed government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also worries that al-Sadr could pull his support if he feels his militiamen are being squeezed in Baghdad. (link)

Of course you have to look at in context... it's bad news for the retreat crowd. Just another day in the life I guess.
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Reason to surge

Monday, February 26, 2007

Goredom

How do you spell hypocrite? G - O - R - E would be a very good way to do it. He of the 'Inconvenient Truth' global warming cooling climate change fame really needs to look introspectively before he preaches to the masses.

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”
Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average
Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.
Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.
“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.
In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006. (link)

This is just one of his homes, does not include his jet-setting or other transportation costs. Amazing how the 'key' to the survival of the planet is cutting back and it's being harped by someone who is revving up.
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Reason to laugh

Oil

Since we fought this 'war for oil', it's good to finally see the Iraqis doing something about the vast oil wealth that they do possess.

It would be easy for the Shiites and Kurds to exclude the Sunnis in this area and it would even be somewhat justified for what happened in recent history in their country. But the oil draft will protect ALL Iraqis and we'll have to see if it will really work as intended.
Iraqi Cabinet approves draft oil law

35 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi Cabinet approved a long-awaited draft oil law on Monday, sending it to parliament for consideration, the prime minister said, calling the agreement "another founding stone in state-building."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government had promised a new oil law by the end of 2006 but missed the deadline due to objections from the Kurds, and it faced pressure from the Bush administration to come through. Many of Iraq's vast oil reserves can be found in the Kurdish north and the Shiite south, and the Kurds wanted a greater role in awarding contracts and administering the revenues.

Al-Maliki said Monday's agreement was an important step toward encouraging investment in the country's battered oil industry.(link)

This is a major step in the setting up a real government for Iraq and maybe a vital step into returning the U.S. military home (without the 'honor' of a Democrat retreat).
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Reason to hope