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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Life Goes On


In another life, I would love to have owned one of these. In this life, though, it'll never happen now. From the Detroit News this morning:

Ford to kill T-Bird, lay off 200
About 1,500 have been sold this year; the future of Wixom plant is in doubt.
By Brett Clanton, The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday announced it would end production of the Thunderbird roadster by this summer and temporarily lay off up to 200 workers.

First introduced in 1954, the Ford Thunderbird had been a staple of the Dearborn automaker's lineup until 1997, when it was briefly discontinued for a few years. A retro redesign of the classic two-seater came out in 2001 to wide praise and brisk sales. But interest quickly died.

Sales of the new Thunderbird were 19,000 in 2002 -- its first full year on the market -- but fell to 12,000 last year. About 1,500 have been sold this year.

Ford said the Thunderbird was never meant to be a high-selling model. But the car is still widely considered a disappointment. (link)
Disappointment? Not to those of us who appreciate genuine beauty.

Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit News. Posted by Hello

UPI Suckered?

I remember reading this story and thinking it "odd." James Taranto, writing for the Wall Street Journal, has the scoop.

UPI Goes Monkeyfishing

"A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated," reports United Press International:

Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.

"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.

"We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed," he said. . . .

"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said.

A translation of the original Saudi story is here. Elements of it are easily checkable, and they don't check out. This site lists all U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq. On Dec. 12, 2003, two men were killed in action: Jarrod Black and Jeffrey Braun. Both were soldiers, not Marines; and neither one has a Sudanese-sounding (i.e., Arabic) surname. Nor were any Marines or any servicemen with Arab-sounding names killed on Dec. 10 or 11.

As CNN noted at the time, Saddam was captured by the Fourth Infantry Division, and it's not clear why Marines would be along on an Army operation. There is little doubt that both al-Medina and UPI have fallen for a hoax. (link)

Lesson for today: Don't believe anything you read. Except here of course.

Caution! Eat At Your Own Risk!

This story in the Detroit News reminded me of my first experience with Thai cuisine.
Restaurant spices up downtown Mount Clemens with top-notch Thai
By Molly Abraham / Detroit News Restaurant Critic

When Thai restaurants began springing up around town during the late 1980s, our collective palates were so happy to try the cuisine that tested our tolerance for spices,
that we weren't very selective.


If the sign read "Thai," we'd rush in for chile-dotted noodles and chicken satay with peanut sauce, and usually leave satisfied.

Things are quite different now. The audience for Thai food has become more discerning. There are many more choices of restaurants, and we now know the difference between a hastily thrown together pad Thai and the real deal. (link)
A good friend, Nhagabushanam Jasti, and I traveled, on various occasions, to a number of Detroit area restaurants for lunch several years ago, one of which was a Thai restaurant in Troy. "Jasti," having grown up in India and being used to spicy Indian food, would, when asked by the waitress how "flavorful" he wanted his meal, tell her he wanted it hot. In my case, having been raised on pork chops and green beans and this being my first experience with Thai, I knew better. I asked for mine to be mild.

I remember when my meal was brought out, (it was called Royal Chicken as I recall), I took the first bite and began to gasp for air. My nostrils immediately opened and my nose began to run. I broke into a sweat. My insides, from tongue to throat to stomach, were struggling to escape. I went into an uncontrollable - and very embarassing - cough.

And all that before my second bite. Of "mild" Thai chicken.

From that day on, whenever I went to a Thai restaurant and was asked how spicy I wanted my food, I'd reply, "No spice." "No Spice!"

I may be a wienie but I like to keep from looking at my lunch twice ... if you know what I mean.

The Government As Parent

This (from the Wall Street Journal) should not be condoned.
OUTGUNNED: Yadkin County, N.C., student Michael Beam says he switched book bags recently and brought a BB gun to school by mistake.

Although he immediately turned it in to a principal, he was charged with weapons possession and ordered to a group home for rehabilitation. According to a March 9 report on local Channel 12, his distraught parents, including mother Mandi, don't want their child in the arms of the state. But Yadkinville police detective Dawn Perdue told the station that "as a mother you have to step back and think, 'We need to do what's best for our children.' " (
link)
Dawn Perdue reminds us once again what's not best for our children; meddling, abusive government bureaucrats like her.

Whitewash!

When I saw Brit Hume's news segment last night on the Pentagon report revealing the fact that the abuse that had taken place the prior year at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was an aberration and not a result of military policy relating to torture, I had two immediate thoughts. (1) All normal persons knew it all along. (2) Abnormal Americans wouldn't.

Today's related editorial in the New York Times:

Abu Ghraib, Whitewashed Again

It was good to learn yesterday that the military commander in Iraq has issued definitive rules about how to treat captives in American prison camps. Unfortunately, that was about the only good news in the newest Pentagon report on prisoner abuse, actually a 21-page summary of a larger, classified study by the Navy inspector general of interrogation rules in Guantánamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq.

This whitewash is typical of the reports issued by the Bush administration on the abuse, humiliation and torture of prisoners at camps run by the military and the Central Intelligence Agency. Like the others, the Church report concludes that only the lowest-ranking soldiers are to be held accountable, not their commanders or their civilian overseers. (link)

Report after report comes out with the same conclusion. The guards at Abu Ghraib were undisciplined and out of control. But the people at the Times will never believe it.

Not until it appears in a Michael Moore movie.