Thursday, November 15, 2007

Michael Vick Nike Endorsement

Michael Vick shoes will make you faster. He said so on this Nike Endorsement video. Not quite the other Mike, yeah? Gotta love Vick's pitbull terrier cameo, no? Obi-Wan Kenobi says "there is no disconnect here. Let Michael Vick be known for who he is."

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Afghan Suicide Bombing Chronology

An article that lays out a chronlongy of suicide bombings in Afghanistan is here. Would you agree that the pace of violence has increased in that country?

The "Surge" of U.S. troops seems to be working in Iraq, if standard sources are to be believed. The Clog Almanac warns that thinking that the war on terrorism is being won in that place may be a hasty judgement at best. Faced with sure defeat and destruction in Iraq, insurgent groups and individuals may in fact be doing what they have always done in those societies: melt away and regroup to fight another day, elsewhere. Iran must be walking a fine line since it's purported terrorist-support and nuclear development activities are under the international microscope. Perhaps the decline in violence in Iraq is related to Iran's decreased support of terrorism in that theater.

In the case of Iraq, insurgents who would otherwise be fighting and mounting suicide attacks may be looking for quieter venues in which to ply their deadly trade. They leave the battlefield, bombing and other incident stats go down, and the U.S. reports that the Surge is working. Maybe "it's working" because the enemy is quietly withdrawing. It doesn't take a genius to come up with a list of places where the U.S. and its allies are not concentrating their war, where terrorism and the advancement of enemy ideals might be less expected:

Some insurgent groups may be heading for Afghanistan, to join with the Taliban's push to gain influence. Others may be regrouping farther afield in places like Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, or certain African countries. Pakistan? Why not pile into that currently unstable country where tribalism and lawless border areas are the norm and where there are nuclear weapons within reach?

Calls for the beginning of the end of terrorism and international turmoil and violence are immature, in the Clog Almanac's opinion.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wild Hog Sighting

The spate of absolutely gorgeous Fall days continues in north-central Florida. Yesterday I nabbed a shovelfull of native Fall-blooming sunflowers from a larger population on an out-of-the-way county right-of-way and transplanted them into my butterfly garden. This species, Helianthus angustifolius, the narrow-leaf swamp sunflower.

Today's drive home found me admiring the sunset when of a sudden I noticed 5 wild piglets snuffling around at the edge of a tree line bordering US 441 and wildlands on the NW side of Gainesville Florida near the City of Gainesville's Deerhaven power plant, operated by Gainesville Regional Utilities. The adult(s) were no doubt ensconced in the vegetation.

One morning last year I toured the 1400+ acres of wildlands associated with the coal-powered generation station that are part of a state-recognized "stewardship forest". That day I saw wild hogs, turkeys, white-tailed deer and a bobcat, and many local bird species. Kudos to the company foresters/land managers who are creating and maintaining a diverse mosaic of natural forest communities so wildlife can thrive so close to a growing urban area.

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Alligator Munches Florida Car Thief

You've probably already heard the current "Only-in-Florida" story about the car thief who, despite warnings from alarmed witnesses, dived into a pond to elude capture by police, only to be captured by an alligator. Divers found his remains 50 feet below the surface. There is no punch line to this story, unless some clever reader supplies it via comments to this post.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Alberto Gonzales - $40,000 Speaking Fee

Accent, a University of Florida student organization, is finalizing a contract to pay $40,000 to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to speak at an event on November 19, 2007. The free event is for both students and public alike. Gonzales, the grandson of (at least 3 of 4 grandparents) illegal immigrants, has no accent, by the way. Gonzales speaks English as well, and probably better, than you do, so don't spout that "he doesn't talk like us" crap). Oh, you don't like that, do you? My my. Speakers' fees are paid for by semester charges to students (or whomever pays the tuition and bills [MOM and/or DAD, no doubt]).

Totally aside, Sean Hannity, the captious pedant right-wing talk-show host was paid $75,000 for a similar appearance in Gainesville, FL. Again, the entertainers are paid more than the politicians. At the event Hannity took a jab at Hillary Clinton, saying that "It takes a village to satisfy my husband". If you've listened to Hannity before, you'd know you wouldn't put that sort of cheap shot above him. He doesn't spout this sort of thing on his radio and TV broadcasts because he knows that it is cheap blather unworthy of him and the advertising-sponsored networks on which he's franchised. He should know better.

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Are You the "5th Guy"?

One in five don't practice good hygiene. Are you the 5th guy? You know, the one that doesn't wash his/her hands after using the restroom or changing the baby in the airport facilities? The one who sneezes and coughs on everyone in the staff meeting? The one who lets their diapered kids reach down their pants and then touch the restaurant table, shopping cart and drinking fountain handles or toys at the day care?

Meet your buddy The 5th Guy at his MySpace page.

The whole thing is a clever creation of the Florida Department of Health. Do us a favor and don't be the 5th Guy. And by the way, keep your hands out of your pants.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

United States' Presidential Primary Dates

Confused about when U.S. states hold their presidential primaries? Go here to get a list of BOTH the republican and democratic parties' primary election schedules.

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Guy Fawkes Day - Nov. 5

The Clog Almanac wishes everyone a happy Guy Fawkes Day. Remember, remember, the 5th of November.

However, the world has had enough of folks blowing up stuff , themselves, and eachother, lately. Enough is enough.

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