On the same page as I found some learned theologian defending limbo, I found this advert:

“Crucifix on front and back door…  The only real protection against terrorists…
Jesus – “Pray and wear your sacramentals. And, also, My children, I ask you again to place a crucifix upon your door. Both front and back doors must have a crucifix. I say this to you because there will be carnage within your areas, and this will pass you by if you keep your crucifix upon your doors.” (6-30-84) (Testimonies of lives and homes saved by the crucifixes.) http://www.tldm.org/news/crucifix.htm

Heaven’s Home Protection Packet…
Our Lord stated we must have crucifixes upon the outside of all of our outside doors. In the “Heaven’s Home Protection Packet” there are instructions, four crucifixes, and a tube of special cement for wooden or metal crucifixes. Wooden crucifixes adhere better to the doors when the aluminum strap is removed from the back. Put a light coat of cement on the back of the crucifix and then press it to the outside of the door. If you have any problems, you can call us at 616-698-6448 for assistance. This Heaven’s Home Protection Packet is available for a donation of $5.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling. Send $8.00 to TLD Ministries, P.O. Box 40, Lowell, MI 49331. Item # P15″
At $8 sounds pretty good value to me so that’s my Christmas present problem solved.

technology update

October 1, 2006

Thanks to the excellent Blood and Treasure blog for the link to two ingenious devices: the wall mounted terror-ometer and a suspicious looking device on the Junkfunnel website.
The terror-ometer “predicts the upcoming impact of terrorism on our lives. This quantity is displayed on an easy-to-read needle meter packaged in an attractive, wall-hung device…..It contains an Internet enabled microcontroller that parses frequently updated world news feeds. It is designed to be truly plug-and-play, providing instant readouts after being connected to any DHCP capable network.”

The suspicious-looking device doesn’t do anything: it just looks suspicious.

1.jpg

I will definitely put the second one on my Christmas list. meanwhile, I am working with aviation experts on a roof-mounted hamsterometer.

Terrifying headline in the Mirror: HAMSTER DOWNS JET
A JET was forced to make an unscheduled landing yesterday because of an escaped hamster on board. The plane was diverted so officials could check it did not gnaw any cables. If a jet airliner is so vulnerable that a hamster can overpower it, what untold havoc could be wreaked by termites or spiders? Let’s hope Al Qaeda don’t read the Mirror or hamsters will find themselves strapped to the belts of would-be terrorists. And next time I fly I shall make sure the aircraft is throughly checked for the presence of gerbils, sitck insects or praying mantises before I will agree to board it.
Animals were in the news a lot yesterday. Apparently scientists are afraid that Briitain is going to be overrum by wild boar, though as the country does not seem to have been decimated yet by bird flu I would not, as they say, hold my breath. A Defra scientist is quoted as saying “They are already scavenging through bins in Berlin and could be doing the same here soon….Wild boar populations grow very slowly at first but there comes a point when they go through the roof.’ I suggest that people in Britain should check their roof carefully every morning as insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to pay up for this kind of thing, He also said “Just don’t start pestering a sow with piglets, or you’ll have to learn how climb a tree, fast.” I would also like to recommend that the government introduce compulsory speed tree climbing exercises as a matter of urgency. Alternatively, I can offer a supply of hand-picked tigers and crocodiles which could provide an effective way of keeping down the boar population. And keep them from gnawing through the cables on Jumbo Jets.
Finally some sad news: ‘THE UK’s only rose-coloured starling was hounded to death by a mob of birdwatchers.The rare creature fluttered from garden to garden as it desperately tried to get away from up to 80 camera-wielding fanatics.’ Reaction from birdwatchers was swift. ‘Serve the bugger right’, commented a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Extermination of Birds.

threat? what threat?

September 25, 2006

From the New York Times:

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.  An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official. The report mentions the possibility that Islamic militants who fought in Iraq could return to their home countries, “exacerbating domestic conflicts or fomenting radical ideologies.”

Since most of the other intelligence collected by these agencies has turned out to be a load of fowl manure, I think we can confidently conclude that the events in Iraq have had no effect whatsoever. This was confirmed to me during an interview with Mr Ali Ghayshuns an Aywash of the Muslim Association of Dagenham. “We just want to let bygones be bygones”, he said as he sipped his Earl Grey from a fine bone china cup. “Politics is politics, you know, countries get invaded, people get killed; at the end of the day President Bush is just a misunderstood man who meant well.”  “But hasn’t it made a few of you, sort of, you know, a bit angry even?” I suggested, choosing my words carefully. A warm smile meandered across his face as he replied “Of course not. We wouldn’t let a little thing like that upset us. Even lovers have- what do you call them- stiffs? Time to move on, we say, Now have another cup of tea.”

police intelligence

September 25, 2006

An interesting article in the Times spotted by Mr Eugenides and picked up by Longrider.
“POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid. Muslim groups have welcomed the move, which is understood to be backed by Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner.” “This will allow independent scrutiny of intelligence,” as one prominent Muslim put it.
Surprisingly, this news does not seem to have been universally welcomed, some commentators even going so far as to suggest there might be a possibility of bias.. My only complaint is that it doesn’t go far enough. I urge Sir Ian to consult prominent villains before any raids are carried out on suspected burglars. At the very least they should be given a few hours to rectify any issues regarding misplaced property in their homes. And why not murder suspects, too, though the police will have to allow a reasonable amount of  time since, as anybody knows, shifting a dead body is a different kettle of fish. Some people might think we’d be opening a can of worms but at least it would allow police to get back to their more important work of nabbing 95 year old kerb crawlers.

Fierce fighting broke out among British forces in Afghanistan last night as factions of the RAF and infantry engaged each other in combat in Helmand province. An RAF pilot was captured by members of the 3 Para regiment who “kicked seven bells of shite out of him”. Stung by being driven off by rocket-propelled grenades, the RAF then attacked ground positions occupied by the Yorkshire regiment and reportedly came down on them like “eight tons of breeze blocks”. One pilot commented “We haven’t a hope in hell of defeating the Taliban but at least we can make 3 kilos of mincemeat out of these Yorkshire bastards.”
The Chief of General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, described the clashes as ‘unfortunate’ and said that mistakes were ‘understandable in the fog of war and the heat of battle; they were also quite normal in the drizzle of conflict and the scattered showers of hostilities’.
Meanwhile MOD was celebrating the success of its latest ‘guns for coke’ PFI. A security source said a consignment of Glock pistols had been exchanged for about 50 grams of cocaine with a street value of £125,500. An MOD spokeman said the operation demonstrated “the enormous courage, dedication and skill of the British troops.”

obituary: Mr Osama Bin Laden

September 24, 2006

Mr Bin Laden, who died yesterday aged 49, was a successful businessman known for his work for various charities, and a popular figure in radical Islamic circles, as well as a devotee of cricket and the music of Van Halen.
Mr Bin Laden always showed a strong interest in politics and had considered making this his career but he became increasingly disenchanted with politics in his native Saudi Arabia and was a sometimes outspoken critic of US policy towards the Arab world.
Born in 1957 the seventeenth son among fifty brothers and sisters, his father, who was married 22 times, owned the biggest construction company in Saudi Arabia. Osama had a difficult childhood- he was often bullied by his elder brothers (he later developed an aversion to crowds) and his father was a strict disciplinarian. Young Osama’s happiest moments were when his father took him on trips to the sea-side.

img-arab_israel.jpg a small selection of the Bin Laden children
Mr bin Laden attended schools in Jeddah and took a third class degree in public administration 1981 from King Abdul-Aziz university in Jeddah. He was described at the time as ‘non-confrontational, shy and studious’ but his marriage at the age of seventeen clearly adversely affected his studies. Osama developed a taste for travel and attended an English language school in Oxford, where he was a contemporary of Tony Blair, then an aspiring rock musician.

osama_bin_laden_teenager.jpg Mr Bin Laden (right) at Oxford with Tony Blair (centre)
Mr Bin Laden then traveled to Afghanistan where he started a popular guesthouse called the ‘Stars and Stripes B&B’. He was a keen camper and ornithologist and opened a number of camp sites in Afghanistan for like-minded people. Within two years he had built more than six camps and such was his success that he was able to open a resort and spa complex which he called Al-Qa’edah, an Arabic word meaning “The Base.” Tiring of the tourism industry, however, Mr bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia where he became unofficial adviser to the government and prominent in the opposition to Saddam Hussein. Disillusionment with politics, however, set in and he then devoted his time first to farming near Jeddah and then to starting a construction company in Sudan.
As canny as he was in busness, Mr Bin Laden proved unwise in his choice of female companions. After his first marriage failed, he married four other women, all university lecturers, who, friends suspect, were more interested in his money than him as a person, and who complained about his ‘austere’ lifestyle when he declined to buy them expensive presents from America. Mr Bin Laden retaliated that he only married them because they were “spinsters who were going to go without marrying in this world.” He is also believed to have had an affair with a minor Sudanese-American author who described Bin Laden as “obsessed with Whitney Houston, smoking lots of marijuana, and forcing her to dance naked to Van Halen.”
Finding the pressures of balancing his business with the demands of his lady friends excessive, Mr Bin Laden took early retirement and resumed his interest in overseas travel. He was, however, known as a home-loving man who, although left-handed, enjoyed DIY home improvement and cooking simple meals. In retirement he devoted much of his time to speleology and also spent a good deal of time reading. Bin Laden was described by his many friends as a soft-spoken, mild mannered man with a good deal of charm.
He leaves five wives and at least 24 children, one of whom runs his own firm, Fame Advertising, which has offices near a Starbucks in a two-story strip mall in Jeddah. Mr Bin Laden died previously in 2001, 2002 and 2004. His Who’s Who entry lists his recreations as ‘blowing up airliners’.