Friday, July 31, 2009

Remembering The Good Times

Dan Lacey. Perfect

RIP Pontiac 1926-2010

From the 1959 Bonneville to the 1969 GTO to the Firebird T/A, Pontiac was a legendary car company. Nothing said performance like that arrowhead logo on the hood. Like all American car companies, GM lost it's way by the 1980's and forgot about the "main thing." You had a bunch of Harvard B-school pricks running a car company. They drove BMWs of course and too many of the white collar and union guys were buying Toyota's.

Lot's of blame to go around, but this is what we are left with in 2009...lots of blame and no leaders.

If this didn't work for you, there was just no hope:

Marketing. Man this is marketing.

Honor Killings

Mark Steyn has THIS up on his page, about the mysterious drownings of 7 Muslim women in a Ontario.

The third Muslim girl found in the swimming pool has died. That's seven drowned young Muslim females showing up in the same morgue within a month. In other circumstances, they'd be planning the movie with Ashley Judd or some such as the crusading feminist Assistant DA. But as the M-word's involved I expect poor Zainab Shafi and the rest will be quickly forgotten.

The Boston Globe profiled several of the more public killings in the US:

In the Atlanta suburb of Jonesboro last month, a Pakistani immigrant allegedly strangled his 25-year-old daughter with a bungee cord because she was determined to end her arranged marriage and had gotten involved with a new man. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sandeela Kanwal's father, Chaudhry Rashid, "told police he is Muslim and that extramarital affairs and divorce are against his religion [and] that's why he killed her." In court last week, a detective quoted Rashid: "God will protect me. God is watching me. I strangled my daughter."

In Upstate New York a few weeks earlier, Waheed Allah Mohammad, an immigrant from Afghanistan, was charged with attempted murder after repeatedly stabbing his 19-year-old sister. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that Mohammad was "infuriated because his younger sister was going to clubs, wearing immodest clothing, and planning to leave her family for a new life in New York City" - she was a "bad Muslim girl," he told sheriff's investigators.

On New Year's Day in Irving, Texas, the bullet-riddled bodies of the Said sisters - Sarah, 17, and Amina, 18 - were found in an abandoned taxi. Police issued an arrest warrant for their father, an Egyptian immigrant named Yaser Abdel Said, who had reportedly threatened to kill them upon learning that they had boyfriends. According to the Dallas Morning News, Yaser Said was given to "gun-waving rants about how Western culture was corrupting the chastity of his daughters."

These are brutal, premeditated, and bloody crimes intended to send a message and our government is treating this as a series of isolated incidents. In a strange way, these honor killings seem to be treated like black on black killings in the inner city. As long as they are not affecting the "good" people, meh why bother. Maybe it's more about political correctness and a fear of profiling a protected group.

Either way, I can only imagine the government response to any other religious group if they had a comparable year. Terror cells in the churches...frequent honor killings of their daughters and wives...Afghan training camps. I'm sure there would be memos from Janet "Big Sis" Napolitano. Maybe a few jack-booted wake up calls at 2AM.

I am reminded of a story from Detroit, about an honor killing nearly 90 years ago. The young woman was thrown into a river, legs weighted with concrete. She was literally torn off the family tree and family members born after her death knew nothing of her existence. The Detroit News covered the story in 2007. The story below is a fascinating read.

Frances Costa was thrown into the river in 1920, when she was 16, her legs weighted down with concrete. She has long since become a part of the river, one of its innumerable watery secrets, lost forever. Lost, until a great-niece started asking questions of family members, and found horror in the answers.

It was Costa's two older brothers, relatives said, who killed the girl.

"When I first heard about it, I thought, 'oh my God, I have the blood of murderers running through my veins,' " said Tintori, standing by the river off Belle Isle on Tuesday. The West Bloomfield mother and wife, 59, is a successful author.

She is also the eldest daughter of the eldest daughter of the eldest daughter of a Sicilian family that came to America in the early 20th century harboring secrets, as well as the unshakable rule that family secrets must never be told.

Omerta is what they call it in Sicily: the code of silence.

Tintori has shattered her family's omerta with her memoir "Unto the Daughters" (St. Martin's Press, $24.95), about her quest to find out what became of her great-aunt.

To Tintori's sorrow, after persistent questioning of older relatives, she discovered that Frances' murder was an honor killing.

Parts of the narrative changed in the telling, recalled from the fading memories of older people. But several facts remained consistent in Tintori's interviews: Frances was murdered by two men, most likely her older brothers; she was drowned at Belle Isle, and her sin was some sort of sexual impropriety, as decided by her male relatives.

"I thought about writing it as fiction, with everybody's name changed," Tintori said. But instead, she felt it important to revive Frances' name.

"Otherwise, she was a woman who would be lost to history, she was dispensable."

Family name changed
Costa is not the family's real surname; Tintori changed that in the book, and her grandparents' surname as well, in order not to embarrass relatives who had nothing to do with the crime, or descendants who don't know about it. But she brushes off the idea that telling the story brings her family shame.

"It's a horrible thing in our family's past," Tintori said. "But to the people who are humiliated or embarrassed, or feel this should be kept secret, that is giving more credence and protection to the perpetrators. Women in the Middle East are just starting to stop being afraid and speak out for the victim."

The Costa family drama played out in the early 1900s on Monroe Street on Detroit's near east side, an area known as Little Sicily.

The family emigrated from Corleone, Sicily, several years after the patriarch, Domenico, and his two oldest sons, Rocco and Pasquale, came to Detroit to escape their life of rural poverty and find jobs. In March 1914, Domenico brought his pregnant wife, Concetta, and their younger children to New York on a steamship, and then to Detroit by train.

Tucked away in Little Sicily, the Costa family still lived by the customs of the homeland. Women were under the supervision of their male relatives, and were worked hard, first in their father's home, then their husband's.

Once, Tintori's grandmother Giusippina handed her fiance, Nino, his hat at the house on Monroe Street, a simple act that earned her a beating from her father. As a young woman, she wasn't allowed to touch him. Earlier in Sicily, as a 7-year-old, she'd had teeth knocked out by her mother for taking bites out of an apple used to scent a linen drawer.

Such violence doesn't surprise Donna Gabaccia, director of the University of Minnesota's Immigration History Research Center and author of a book on Sicilian immigrants, "From Sicily to Elizabeth Street."

The violence in the Costa family "struck me as being the kind of everyday violence that was very common," Gabaccia said.

The "gender dynamics" in Sicilian families were different than in most American families. Disrespect or disobedience by a daughter was met with instant punishment, usually by the mother.

And yet, Gabaccia said that brothers killing a sister was a relatively rare phenomenon. Usually, she says, an honor killing would be a husband taking action against an unfaithful wife

The missing daughter
The family secret started to unravel in 1993, when Tintori was 45. She found out there were six young Costa children who came to America to join their two older brothers, not just five. She was in her aunt Grace's kitchen, poring over old family papers, when the subject of Frances came up. Opening an old family passport, her aunt Grace pointed to an entry on the long list of children that had been crossed out with a pen.

"That's the one they got rid of," she told Tintori. "Did your mother ever tell you?"

Reeling in shock, Tintori pressed her aunt for details. "That's the one they murdered, Frances," her aunt said. "The next sister after Gramma."

Frances, her aunt told the author, was "oversexed" and was always being caught in the alley with boys. "They just said she had to go away," Tintori quoted her aunt, who died in 2001. "Everyone understood what that meant."

Later, after Tintori implored relatives to talk, more details emerged, both from Grace; from Tintori's own mother, Jenny, and her great-uncles Louie and Michael, Frances' younger brothers.

It was one of the oldest stories in the world, Romeo and Juliet played out on Detroit's east side. Frances' Romeo was a young barber whose name is lost in the mists of time.

Her father objected to the barber, adamant that Frances marry a much older man who was high up in one of the local Italian gangs. But Frances was in love, and she would sneak off to the alley to meet her barber.

Family members told Tintori that Frances and the barber got married. When she returned to tell her parents, her two older brothers Rocco and Pasquale resolved to punish her for disobeying their father.

The brothers were rough characters who ran with gangs back in Sicily, Tintori discovered. In Detroit they worked at Ford, but they soon quit for the even more lucrative bootlegging trade, and were known to run with the neighborhood gangs.

Rocco and Pasquale thought they would impress the local gangsters by getting rid of their sister and restoring "honor" to the family.

That they chose Belle Isle to kill Frances disturbed Tintori greatly. She thought back on the many picnics on Belle Isle, and happy wedding photos taken in front of the Scott Fountain. What did her older relatives think when they went there, Tintori wonders. Did they think of Frances?

When Rocco and Pasquale told the gang capo who hoped to marry Frances that they had killed her and restored honor to the family, he was horrified. A hit was ordered on the brothers, which created a whole new set of problems. Their father went to the gang boss, begging that his sons' lives be spared. Domenico's plea: That he had already lost a daughter.

As for Frances' barber, he disappeared. "He thought he would be next," Tintori said.

Police kept out of it
It's hard to imagine today how such a thing could happen in the 20th century, in a North American city, without raising the interest of the police.

"Omerta," Tintori said. "You don't tell."

Detroit was also a densely populated, somewhat lawless place in 1919, when Prohibition went into law in Michigan. Organized crime was just taking shape and rival neighborhood gangs fought over turf.

JoEllen Vinyard, a history professor at Eastern Michigan University, describes what the city was like in the newer immigrant enclaves.

"There were more blind pigs after Prohibition, than there had been bars," Vinyard said. "The city was packed to the gills because of all the new migration from the South that had come in, and a booming auto industry. It was lawless, the gangs were pretty much in control of their territory."

Detroit's newer ethnic neighborhoods, where Italians and Poles lived, were particularly impenetrable.

"These were very closed, ethnic societies," Vinyard said. "They had their own churches and social groups, they associated with each other. Many did not even speak English, especially the women."

Many girls from the ethnic neighborhoods didn't even go to school. Because the older Costa daughters Giusippina and Frances already could read and write, they didn't attend school, so there was no sudden absence to explain after Frances disappeared. After Tintori found out what happened to Frances, she summoned up the nerve to ask her mother Jenny about it. Her mother's reaction was immediate, profane and angry. "Forget about that (expletive)" she shouted. Jenny had never even told her husband, Tintori's father, about Frances.

Faced with either outright hostility, or with tears from the older generation -- her great-uncles Louie and Michael both cried when recalling their sister Frances -- Tintori pressed on for years, trying to piece together how such a thing could happen in 20th century Detroit.

Tintori's great-uncle Louie, who was a boy when his older sister Frances was killed, spoke to her several times over the years about Frances' murder, usually insisting that only "family" be present, no in-laws.

His story varied at times, but key details remained the same. After one of the brothers told his parents what they had done to Frances, Louie said his father cried, and his mother screamed all night, so loudly that she could be heard for blocks.

Although Frances' generation, the one that guarded the secret, are now all dead, the family's younger members, many years distant from the crime, were more supportive of Tintori's quest.

One of Grace's daughters, Donna Schepke, 45, of Warren remembers when her cousin started digging for the truth about Frances in the early '90s.

"I found out about (the murder) right as Karen was starting to, because my mom was still alive and bits and pieces were slipping out here and there," Schepke said. "Every time we'd get together with Karen it'd be, 'What else did you find out?'

"It's a little bit disturbing to know that this happened in your family, basically you only see stuff like that on TV," Schepke said.

"But you know what? I'm not ashamed, I'm not disgusted. I'm just really happy that she wrote the book to tell the story of my great-aunt Frances, to finally let her rest in peace."

Speaking out for others
While Tintori's family happens to be Sicilian, honor killings of women have occurred in many cultures and religions.

Today we hear about such practices in the Mideast and Africa, but "it's quite common around the Mediterranean and in all the religious groups that live around the Mediterranean," said researcher Gabaccia.

"You find concerns about honor in Greek Orthodoxy, you find it in Catholicism, you find it in Islam, you find it in the non-Islamic parts of Africa as well."

Tintori said she hopes her book helps to show how far we've come as a society, "and how far some societies still need to come."

Tintori and her cousins plan to have a memorial service for Frances, with a priest. "But, I thought, where would I go? Where would she be?"

In the river, at Belle Isle.

"I'm glad the roses ended up on the rocks," Tintori said, after tossing a dozen into the river. "They'll stay there longer."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Russian Navy Realeases The Alien Files

Is this the Russian "Blue Book?" From Russia Today.

The Russian navy has declassified its records of encounters with unidentified objects technologically surpassing anything humanity ever built, reports Svobodnaya Pressa news website.

The records dating back to soviet times were compiled by a special navy group collecting reports of unexplained incidents delivered by submarines and military ships.

Actually, the story here is better than either of the X Files movies.

On one occasion a nuclear submarine, which was on a combat mission in the Pacific Ocean, detected six unknown objects. After the crew failed to leave behind their pursuers by maneuvering, the captain ordered to surface. The objects followed suit, took to the air, and flew away.

Many mysterious events happened in the region of Bermuda Triangle, recalls retired submarine commander Rear Admiral Yury Beketov. Instruments malfunctioned with no apparent reason or detected strong interference. The former navy officer says this could be deliberate disruption by UFOs.

“On several occasions the instruments gave reading of material objects moving at incredible speed. Calculations showed speeds of about 230 knots, of 400 kph. Speeding so fast is a challenge even on the surface. But water resistance is much higher. It was like the objects defied the laws of physics. There’s only one explanation: the creatures who built them far surpass us in development,” Beketov said.

Navy intelligence veteran, Captain 1st rank Igor Barklay comments:

“Ocean UFOs often show up wherever our or NATO’s fleets concentrate. Near Bahamas, Bermudas, Puerto Rico. They are most often seen in the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the southern part of the Bermuda Triangle, and also in the Caribbean Sea.”

Another place where people often report UFO encounters is Russia’s Lake Baikal, the deepest fresh water body in the world. Fishermen tell of powerful lights coming from the deep and objects flying up from the water.

In one case in 1982 a group of military divers training at Baikal spotted a group of humanoid creatures dressed in silvery suits. The encounter happened at a depth of 50 meters, and the divers tried to catch the strangers. Three of the seven men died, while four others were severely injured.

One could say it all sounds a little fishy. Or maybe this is the silvery creature they were chasing?

That's Victoria's Secret model Natasha Poly by the way.

More here and here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Science Bi-czar: Obama's New Science Czar's Book Promoted Forced Abortions and Sterilizations

From the IBD:

Our new science czar, John Holdren, once backed compulsory sterilization and forced abortion as part of a government population-control program. The only thing missing was a Soylent Green recipe.

In a recently rediscovered 1977 book, "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," ...Holdren, (Science Czar) revealed his views on all three topics. They are disturbing.

On page 837, Holdren writes "it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

So our new Science Czar turns out to be another leftist lunitic that looks to communist China for policy making and has no regard for the constitution. Sounds like his boss.

Overproducing children? On the next page, Holdren asserts that "neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce."

On page 943, Holdren proposes "a comprehensive Planetary Regime (global constitution) could control the development, administration and distribution of all natural resources ... not only in the atmosphere and the oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes."

Hmmm, where have we heard that before? Kyoto? Cap and Trade?

This guy takes the "blame America first" mantra to new heights. Let's just call it "blame humans first."

What is this, the 55th Czar Obama has appointed? I think that is ridiculous, but we did see what happens when you only have one... I wonder if he calls Michelle his little Czarina. Or maybe she calls him that?

Either way, Obama is acting like he will either be a Czar in 2113 or retired.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Deficit Neutral Healthcare Reform: A Logans Run For Old People

Peter Orszag, President Obama's budget director, went on record today to describe the House bill on health care reform as "deficit neutral."

Orzag could just be your run of the mill administration lackey lying through his teeth, or he might be telling the truth. Let's assume for a minute he actually believes what he is saying. That means there are two very powerful items in the bill that offset the hundred of billions of extra costs the OMB sees in the legislation.

The cost savings from rationing and denial of care must be much stronger than others have assumed. We know about the provisions to cut back on "end of life" or "extraordinary measures" care. But that would only be a short term savings and that has been taken into account in the CBO estimate anyway. To offset the understood costs, the government would have to limit care to the sick and injured in their prime of life. To do that hospitals would have to close...a lot of hospitals. As long as we have the current number of health care points of entry, costs are going to rise faster than inflation.

Beyond that, the administration must see a gradual reduction in the number of doctors due to over regulation, high taxation, and reduced direct payments as the "government option" drives private insurance from the market.

The real savings, and the point of all of this, is when we start seeing the reduction in life expectancy. Old people cost a lot of money beyond health care: social security and the pensioners from failed companies that we have (and will assume in the PBGC).

Imagine the savings if you could drop a couple of million 80 year olds from social security AND Medicaid simultaneously! Believe me, the administration has and it could be the only basis on which they have deficit neutral projections.

Or they could be lying through their teeth.

Imagine a world...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

5th Child Molested At Orlando Area Waterparks This Summer

FoxNews has the latest incident.

David Eugene Thomas was being held without bond Friday at the Orange County Jail after he was charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy at Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon.

The other incidents occurred at Typhoon Lagoon, Sea World's Aquatica park and Universal's Wet 'n Wild park.

This could be nothing more than a cry for universal health care or hate crime legislation, but let's assume for a minute that this is a trend. Let's also assume that most of these subhumans are doing this and not getting caught.

I think it's fair to extrapolate this data and conclude that molestations are happening every single day at those parks and the vast majority go unreported. I'll explain below.

According to the RAINN center, adults report only about 40% of rapes and assaults. Adults.

For child molesters, the FBI estimates that only 3% of the bastards will be caught and that only 5% of the incidents are reported.

Using that data, these 5 incidents probably represent approximately 100 assaults this summer. Given that we are about 60 days into the summer season for these parks, it's a reasonable conclusion that this is an everyday occurrence.

It appears that these reports are not sounding the serious alarms that it should. I assume that a little judicious police profiling would prevent these worthless bastards from operating at these parks. It just doesn't seem that there is a high enough level of concern, and given the recent history in Florida, that is outrageous.

I am not willing to search for NAMBLA-esque chat rooms for more evidence, but this seems like a trend that has a purpose behind it and Orlando police better put some resources on this immediately or another tragedy is certain.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And By Protecting Choice We Mean, Getting Rid Of Choice

And by getting rid of choice we mean giving the American people a permanent bureaucracy that will be responsible for shortening their lives to help pay for social security.

Investors Business Daily is doing the heavy lifting - they are reading the Health Care For All Americans bill.

Most conservatives suspected this legislation is a big step to eliminating private insurance - even over President Obama's vociferous claims otherwise.

Given that pretext, you would think these pricks would at least try and hide their real objectives. Well, you would be wrong.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.


It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It's scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we'll come across in the final 1,002.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Most "American" Cars

This is a trend that has been coming for a long time, but it's still kind of a stunner. According to survey of the most American cars, Toyota is doing it better than most US based car companies.

Example: Full size truck with the most US parts and manufacturing - the Tundra.

And then this from the Detroit News.
Toyota Motor Corp. also is the most American car company, according to the rankings of the index in terms of U.S. content in its cars and trucks.
The methodology might be a bit skewed since it only counts total parts and doesn't have a scale for labor intensive parts like engines.

Still, Toyota has maintained it's workforce in the US while the US based makers have downsized dramatically.

Will Toyota keep making cars and trucks here when cap and trade is enacted?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Can I Pull It Out With My Teeth?

Fun...with fire!

CD Bubbles. Old but fun. And I did it at a party the other night.

This one features a potty mouthed young lady.