WASHINGTON _ When you set your clocks back an hour this weekend, also remember to change the batteries in your fire-department sponsored listening devices, Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge and Attorney General John Ashcroft reminded Americans on Friday.
``With the winter months upon us, the risk of fire is much higher, particularly among Arab and Muslim Americans,'' Ashcroft said.
``Remember, a safe home is a safe country.''
Homes should have a number of fire detectors, particularly in areas where people tend to congregate, and perhaps discuss world affairs, Ridge said.
Ridge also urged Americans to get extraterrestrial-DNA laden flu shots, particularly illegal aliens.
``No one wants to be kept in bed this winter,'' Ridge said. ``Particularly when they can be a super-soldier in the war against terror.''
By ALEX DOMINGUEZ
JNS Special Correspondent
FELLS POINT, Baltimore, Md. (JNS) _ There was always something about a snowstorm _ or in this case, a hurricane _ the hand-of-God type event that brought everything to a standstill. No one said it, but that’s why they were really here, looking for that snow-day so they wouldn’t have to go to school.
His first floor soaked, his power off, a portly guy named
Demitri bemusedly sat outside grilling what he had in his refrigerator before it went bad, listening to some Dixieland jazz while his neighbors milled about. The party after the storm.
``I slept through it, the firemen woke us up banging on the doors saying the water was rising,’’ he said. ``I looked out the window and I saw her car floating down the street, and it was running. The water must have shorted out the starter, I guess. It ran into another car, and by the time they got to it it had stalled.’’
Six months earlier, three feet of snow shut down most of the city. In Fletchers, the corner bar across from the bread factory, the pool tables were free. Three sorority sisters snowed in at a local hotel walk in, looking for something to do while they waited for the roads to clear.
``Just when you think the neighborhood can’t give any more, it just keeps on giving, and giving and giving!’’ Alex said, wiping away a fake tear of joy.
Unlike the snowstorm, the hurricane actually caused a lot of misery to some, ruining cars and furniture and floors and walls. But most renters didn’t care too much, they didn’t own the building. The landlords had insurance, it was their headache.
Meanwhile, let’s see what happens in this kooky waterfront. Kind of the expat thing without having to leave the country.
Gibran, also known as G-Money or G$, woke up about 1:30 a.m. and tramped through the streets with Dr. Gary, aka GMD, and Carl, who videotaped the spectacle.
``Hi, I’m G-Money. Welcome to `This Old Catastrophe.’ I’ll be your host on this magical tour,’’ he said to begin the taping.
The water pouring over the sandbags at his front door, he toasted Hurricane Isabel with some Cuervo and took the grand tour.
``Let’s tape people’s pain,’’ said Matt after they ran into him by the Rec Pier.
Amid the network uplink trucks and the Red Cross canteens, the mayor showed up in a tight t-shirt along with some cleaning supplies.
``Don’t take any until the mayor comes to hand them out,’’ a woman from his office said.
Water lapped up to the sidewalk outside the Daily Grind, where the tattooed and pierced got caffeinated.
``No, no coffee. We're closed. I’m still drunk from last night,’’ said the buxom lesbian barrista.
The corner outside Fletchers was inundated, as was the basement. The bar was fine, but no one knew that at first.
``We should go up to the Daily Grind, stand outside and just moan,’’ Alex said, feigning dejection. ``And Fletchers, why God! Why?’’
By ALEX DOMINGUEZ
From the better safe than sorry dept.
WASHINGTON (JNS) _ A white powder coated the nation’s capitol and surrounding states this weekend, days after the federal government warned of a looming terrorist strike.
State and local governments dispatched crews to remove the substance, but did little else.
Government forecasters said as much as 24 inches could coat the region, but offered little advice on how to deal with the onslaught. Whether the powder was connected to the anthrax mailings that killed a number of people following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was unclear.
"I'd like to remind people that the information we have to work with is very vague," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "There are occasions you learn it was not as accurate or was inaccurate."
Many residents, meanwhile, were stuck in their homes, pondering how to use their newly purchased duct tape and plastic sheeting to keep out the white powder.
President Bush sought to calm fears during an appearance at FBI headquarters to announce details of a new terrorism threat analysis center.
``We're working overtime to protect you. We're doing everything in our power to make sure the homeland is secure," the president said.
``There is no such thing as perfect security against a hidden network of cold-blooded killers," Bush said. ``Last week's decision to raise our national terrorist threat is a stark reminder of the era we're in, that we're at war, and the war goes on."
By Alex Dominguez
From the salt-of-the-earth dept.
BARSTOW, Calif. (JNS) _ Humming through the high desert on the way to Vegas, feeling plush this time in a rented Hummer, El Conde decides he will dine again on Mexican food before accepting the endorsement offer.
A sign atop a tall pole reads "Steak Your Way" with "Mexican Food" underneath, obviously added afterward.
"Low-rent fusion," the Count thinks.
The phone rings.
"Conde," the voice asks.
"Si," the Count replies.
"How can I help you?"
It is an aquaintance familiar w/ the computer industry returning a call seeking advice on the offer.
"What do you think of the deal?" the Count asks.
"It's a cute idea, but why are they pushing NT? That's an outdated platform. Are they trying to unload excess inventory?"
"Hmm. I don't know. Thanks."
The idea gnaws at the Count as he heads into what he soon learns is the "Home of the $7.99 T-bone," and much more.
The place used to house a steak chain franchise. Now, the salad bar sits unused and a crowd of locals dine on items ranging from eggs to octopus cocktail.
The Count and his father, O Conde Pai, are excited by the octopus and try to determine, in English and Spanish, how it is prepared - a la feira?: boiled, cut into pieces and dressed w/ olive oil, paprika, cayenne, sea salt and garlic?
Boiled, yes, but served in a salsa rich w/ avocado, lime & cilantro.
OK, we'll split it as an appetizer, they decide.
Ceviche, tongue, carnitas, carne asada and guisado, chicharrones, and various hamburgers, sandwiches and breakfasts also fill the menu.
O Conde Pai, ever distrustful of all other cuisines, opts for the safe choice - the steak.
The Count orders the carnitas.
Admiring the plate of pork, tomatoes, pepper, onions, avocado, beans and rice, the Count notes corn tortillas take the place of bread.
When O Conde Pai was young, he says, corn bread - pan de broa - was much more common because wheat was scarce.
"In those years only the biggest growers fed corn to their pigs or cows. Ninety percent was for the people," he says.
Pigs were fed the cobs and sometimes nabos or remolacha, turnips or beets, and more often the tough, yellowed outer leaves from kale or collard green plants.
Cows and oxen, valuable for milk production and labor were slaughtered for meat less often. Pigs also ate table scraps, and in Extremadura and Andalucia are allowed to run free to graze on acorns.
They gave us corn, tomatoes, chocolate, peppers, we gave them pork.
"Pork free, as free as free as the wind blows," the Count quietly hums to the tune of "Born Free."
"I can't do it," he decides. "I can't lead people astray."
He will call Sid, after he has coffee.
"Hay cafe?" he asks Gabriella.
"Si quieres, lo hago."
Fortified, the Count calls Grift to cancel.
"Listen Sid, I can't do it."
"What? Kahn-dee, you're killing me. It's all set up."
"It's against everything I stand for. I like pork more than beef, it costs less and it takes a lot less grain to raise a pig," the Count says. "I have a Linux server in my basement that costs nothing to run. I can't sit here while we try to suck dry people's life savings.
What's next? I smoke the occasional cigar, you'll probably want me to get people to smoke 3 packs of Marlboro Lights a day."
"I've been meaning to talk to you about that" Grift says.
By ALEX DOMINGUEZ
From the fun and sun dept.
SAN DIEGO (JNS) _ ``This Super Bowl’’ is brought to you by ``The CowNT,’’ the TV blares.
On the giant plasma screen, a family is shown watching the big game on an equally mammoth screen, some nibbling summer sausage, others picking from the rest of the beef-laden spread, and some checking game stats on their wireless Pocket PCs.
``Whether you’re upgrading your network, or serving a super spread, Microsoft NT and National Beef Council beef go hand in hand. That’s why the CowNT serves beef!’’
A handsome actor playing the Count is then shown grilling on a massive seaside veranda.
``Heh, what do you think?’’ Sid Grift asks, getting up from the skybox couch.
``Very impressive,’’ the Count replies.
``I just wanted to show you some of the possibilities. You know, you don’t have to be the Count of just Baltimore. You can move out here and live in one of those Spanish-tiled mansions in La Jolla,’’ Grift says.
He was hitting the Count where he lives _ the ritzy suburb north of San Diego is beautiful and reminiscent of Spain, with great weather year round, as opposed to the cold, grey Baltimore or dreary, rainy, foggy Galician winters.
They leave the stadium and drive out to La Jolla for fish tacos at The Spot, a wood-lined, slightly nautical bar/restaurant on Prospect St., the main shopping district in what La Jolla residents call ``the village.’’
Grift tugs at the heartstrings again with espresso overlooking a beach where harbor seals sun themselves.
After the game, the Count thanks Grift, tells him he’ll give him a decision by the end of the week, and heads back to Orange County where he relaxes in the hot tub before going to bed.
``What could be wrong with this,’’ he thinks. ``I’ll do it.’’
By Alex Dominguez
From the Crass Commercialism Dept.
LAS VEGAS (JNS) _ Hispanic consumers are very brand loyal, executives from Microsoft and the National Beef Council tell the Count.
The beautiful thing about their concept is that many Hispanics don’t have computers, and most beef isn’t branded. A targeted combination approach using a spokesman such as ``El Conde’’ could capture both markets, they say.
``We need to reach them while they’re young,’’ one says pulling out life-size cardboard cutouts of the Count in what appears to be a pirate outfit without the hat.
``The CowNT serves beef!’’ reads a parchment scroll in one figure’s left hand. Another screams: ``Beef up your system with NT!’’
Television, cable, magazine ads are planned at first. Depending on the success of the effort, action figures and even a Count-themed Las Vegas hotel are possible.
No wonder I was tailed, El Conde thinks, these two markets are huge.
``Gentlemen, thank you for your time. I’ll have to consider this and get back to you,’’ the Count says.
El Conde as superhero? An impressive platform, he muses as the scrubby desert glides by on the way back to Orange County.
Suddenly everything around him is action-oriented, even the rolling desert _ punctuated by sandy stretches and rocky outcroppings pushed up by the titanic collision of tectonic plates.
``I like the sound of that,’’ El Conde thinks to himself. ``Titillating.’’
By Alex Dominguez
From the Move Over James Bond dept.
Perusing the Internet one day at stately Moreham Manor, the phone rings.
``Kahn-dee?’’ the voice at the other end asks.
``Is this the Count?’’
``Good. Sid Grift from LA here. Listen, I’ve got a co-branding opportunity here I don’t think you want to miss.’’
The proposal sounds interesting enough, and coincides with a trip to California to visit his sister. So, the Count agrees to meet with the as-yet unnamed sponsors in ``Vegas’’ as Grift says.
``Why they want to meet in Las Vegas is beyond me,’’ the Count thinks as he hangs up.
``As close to death as possible while still on this earth,’’ he thinks again while rolling through the desert in a rented Ford F-150 crew cab.
In town, the Count checks into the Frontier _ an Old West-themed place that is now a relic of the strip’s Rat Pack days _ because a home remodeler’s convention has filled all of the more modern hotels.
Getting onto the elevator he is joined by a 20-something Japanese woman and four young Japanese men.
``Kurata,’’ the woman says to the men, who stare blankly ahead.
``Yakuza,’’ the Count thinks.
The Spanish have had a long history with the Japanese, first hiring Samurai as mercenaries aboard merchant ships on the trade route between the Philippines and Peru. Obviously word of the meeting has leaked.
Those suspicions were confirmed later that night when the Count overhears a distinctly Castilian accent slip from two tables down at the Venetian.
When the two walk by the Count asks ``Espanoles?’’
``Si'' replies one of the pair, who had all the tell-tale signs of embassy attaches _ close-cropped hair, stylish yet casual clothing and a sort of comfortable manner.
``De donde,’’ the Count continues, feigning interest.
``De Barcelona,’’ is the reply.
``Aqui de vacaciones?’’
``Yo tambien. Buena suerte’’
``Buen proveche,’’ the second says as the Count returns to his meal.
The reason for the interest in what seems to be an inocuous meeting is unclear, but the Count decides the tail has to be lost before the meeting.
By Clarence Darrow
From the They would if they could dept.
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ Noted attorney Johnnie Cochran says he plans to sue on behalf of jailed dyslexics and their victims, claiming the city’s ``Believe’’ campaign was misread as ``Be Eevil.’’
``If ever the system has failed anyone, it has failed the people of Baltimore,’’ said Cochran. ``For one group to have their disability go undiagnosed, and then to be led to a life of crime, victimizing another group, is a travesty that needs to be rectified.’’
Cochran, who represented O.J. Simpson in his murder trial, pointed to the deaths of the Dawson family. Police say the seven were killed by a Darrell Brooks, 21, who burned their house down to retaliate for their attempts to rid their neighborhood of drugs.
Brooks, who faces federal charges, ``was not born a monster, he was made a monster by this system,’’ Cochran said.
The `Believe' campaign is an effort by city officials to instill civic pride in residents and fight back against drugs and crime using advertisements that feature a stark black rectangle with the word ``BELIEVE'' in white block letters. Some are accompanied by messages such as ``On a jury? Convict the guilty.''
Cochran said he is seeking restitution for the victims of Baltimore crime, training for teachers, social workers, police and others to recognize the symptoms of dyslexia, an immediate end to the ``Believe’’ program, and free cappuccino for life for city residents.
Cochran said he is also considering suing the Vatican on behalf of dyslexic Catholics who have been mistakenly worshipping doG.
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ Making mayonnaise in a copper bowl late one night, mild-mannered reporter Alex Dominguez notices the finished condiment tastes a little metallic.
A little too tipsy to care, he eats his tunafish sandwich and goes to sleep.
He awakes, makes another sandwich and heads to work, where another uneventful day passes... until his walk home.
``Hey, stop… ‘’ he hears while crossing the footbridge across the canal near his home. A half-block away a woman struggles with a dark figure trying to take her purse. His reactions quickened from their normal sluggish pace by the copper pulsing through his veins, the mild-mannered reporter begins running toward the woman, unwittingly becoming ``Mediocre Man.’’
Because of his average speed, he is unable to catch up to the thief, but a jogger nearby notices the chase and yells ``Stop him, he took her purse!’’
Others join in the chase, and ``Mediocre Man,’’ winded after sprinting more than a block, slows to a walk.
The woman catches up, crying. And Mediocre Man begins to run again, catching up to two men who chased the purse snatcher to a busy street.
``Where did he go?’’
``He ran through traffic and went over that fence,’’ they say.
Disappointed, Mediocre Man turns around and walks back.
``He dropped the purse once you started chasing him, and she got it back,’’ another woman approaches and says.
``Thank you,’’ the purse-snatching victim says in a heavy accent.
``De nada,’’ Mediocre Man responds.
And so begins the career of Baltimore’s newest superhero.
Faster than a three-legged terrier, stronger than a middle-aged man, doing whatever the average human can, Mediocre Man fights for common decency.
``Mediocre man, what can we do about Saddam Hussein?’’ he is asked at the produce section at his local supermarket.
``How the fuck do I know, he’s got an entire army,’’ Mediocre Man replies, spying a shoplifter stuffing a banana into his pants.
``Hey, what do you think, they grow on trees?’’ he asks the shoplifter.
``Well, yeah,’’ the shoplifter replies.
``Never mind that, pay for it or put it back.’’
Join us each week, or thereabouts, for the continuing adventures of … …. Mediocre Man!!!!
Posted by Alex Dominguez on Thursday December 19 @10:51AM
from the Please help dept.
Please take a look at the following Powerpoint slideshow from the northwest Spanish coast, and see if there is any way you can think of to help the resident of Galicia deal with the recent oil spill caused by the sinking of the Prestige. Maybe, just passing this along is enough.
The presentation is in Spanish, but there are two websites listed at the end
to donate, or find out how you can volunteer. The coast is the heart of the $330 million annual fishing industry and the province's tourism industry, both vitally important to the economy.
Posted by Alex on Tuesday November 26, @10:52PM
from the he would if he could dept.
Are you a despot eager to keep down a radical minority?
Are you looking to expropriate the land and property of others?
Do you need to strike fear into the populace?
Well, then get down to Baghdad for Saddam's super weapon super sale.
That's right for one week only Saddam is selling his entire inventory.
Everything must go, mustard gas, anthrax, small pox, enriched uranium.
You name, it's on sale.
Cash and bearer bonds only, no questions asked.
< | Friends, Roamers, Countrymen... >
Articles on Evil Schemes
Also by Alex
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
( Reply )
Re: Saddam's Super Sale!
by Greg Toppo on Tuesday November 26, @10:57PM
Can they beat those double coupons at Scud City?
By Emperor Jabalia on Saturday September 22, @07:50PM
from the Slowly, but surely dept.
BALTIMORE (JNS) __Jabali third-quarter net income rose three percent, the global pork, coffee and tobacco purveyor announced Thursday, noting rebel insurgency in the Timor Islands and roast pork shipping delays in Afghanistan kept the empire from setting another earnings record.
Taliban forces stopped three shipments of crispy-skinned, wood-fired oven roasted pork shoulders from reaching stores in Afghanistan, where Jabali forces have been converting the public to the joys of Cuban sandwiches for three years.
Same store sales, or revenues for stores open at least a year _ a closely watched measure of growth _ increased 2 percent, but the shipping delays caused losses or delays in the opening of 10 new Afghani stores.
In East Timor, several shipments of organic Sumatra were delayed by fighting by rebels, hurting empire-wide coffee sales.
``Jabali, being a global empire, is constantly planning for contingencies involving supply chain disruption, and is of course prepared to make adjustments, where necessary, as our shareholders would expect,’’ Jabali spokesman Bert Cerdo said.
Earnings for the quarter were $1.2 billion, or $1.44 a share, up from $1.16 billion, or $1.40 a share, for the same quarter a year earlier.
Sales were $2.45 billion, up from $2.3 billion for the third quarter of 1998.
For the first nine months of the year, earnings were $3.7 billion, or $4.27 a share, up from $3.6 billion, or $4.18 a share.
Jabali operates 5,732 stores worldwide, including two Jabali megastores in La Coruna, Spain and Ulan Batur, Mongolia, selling a variety of vice-related provisions, including coffee, tobacco and pork and pork-related products.
By Alex Dominguez
from the any way you can dept.
TELLADO, Ourense (JNS) _ ``This is where Don Pepe´s parents had a panaderia,´´ O Conde Pai says, mentioning the well-known New Jersey restaurateur as we roll through the small town near Celanova.
“And this is where the fereiro (blacksmith) made me a foscino (sickle). The ones in the store were only for the right hand,´´ he says.
We pull into La Facha, a collection of stone homes set among winding, steep, now paved, paths just big enough for our car to get through. Papa asks for Felicindo, a friend he grew up with.
``Si, esta adentro,´´ the young, burly man says, opening a gate in the wall revealing a tiny courtyard filled with various yard and farm equipment.
Felicindo walks out and I immediately notice he also once used a left-handed sickle because he is missing his right hand, the result of a childhood accident playing with an explosive called formanito.
``Fuhn a dia San Xose, a dia San Xose. Ainda, non se como chego na casa,’’ he said.
(``It was St. Joseph’s Day, St. Joseph’s Day. I still don’t know how I got home.’’)
They took him to Cerdal, where someone with a truck took him to a hospital in Ourense after unloading its cargo of bricks to make the trip faster.
My father says Felicindo learned to work well with the one hand, adding he had never seen anyone stronger using just one hand.
They talk over old times a little while longer, and we head off to seek out Jaime, who chased girls with my dad. We park our car at the end of a thin path, and walk under his grapevines to the house where we are greeted by three German shepherds, two of which are loose and one which is tied to the front door.
We shout for a while for him to come out, to no avail, and tramp off to a relative’s house nearby and ask her to call him on the telephone to get him to go outside.
For our trouble, we find Jaime doesn’t remember my father, or the girl chasing, until we jog his memory a little.
We drive off to visit Elias, and O Conde Pai tells me of the truck driver who once helped him. Even though my father was born in West Virginia, and thus an American citizen, Franco was not keen on letting men who could serve in the military out of the country. The truck driver took my father to the U.S. consulate in Vigo, where it was suggested he escape to Portugal.
That decided, he later went by horse to Tui, across the Rio Mino from Portugal, where he met a man who knew a priest who could get him to Lisboa for 7,000 pesetas. I ask how much that could have bought in those years.
``A cow? Ehhhh! That was enough to buy 100 cows…you could get a cow for 500 pesetas,’’ he says, not bothering to do the math.
A date was set, and in Tui, he met the priest.
``He said he was a priest,'' my father said.
At the border, the driver showed the guard some papers and they drove into Portugal, where they had lechon (suckling pig, leitao in Portugues) near Coimbra.
``Oh, was that good. I was starving,'' my father says.
Before Lisbon, the priest told the driver to pull over and made sure my father paid him.
Then, it was off by boat to America, where his sisters had already gone, and where he received the U.S. passport that allowed him to return once he was married.
By Alex Dominguez
from the you knew it wouldn't be easy dept.
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ The depth to which World Cup refereeing has sunk shows the utter scrambling of the shadow government to discredit in any way possible those who promote the truth, El Conde de Baltimore announced in a statement Saturday.
``Do not be dismayed, the fact that this type of officiating was needed to stop the Spanish team will only serve to reinforce our message in the hearts and minds of the world,'' El Conde said a statement released by Moreham Manor, the English name for his wartime headquarters.
``Remember, the real struggle is not on the soccer field. This game and this tournament, despite its results, have shown the truth.''
Spain was eliminated from the tournament 5-3 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie with host South Korea, which had previously eliminated Italy in a game in which officiating was also questioned.
Egyptian referee Gamal Ghandour disallowed three Spanish goals, including a overtime score by striker Fernando Morientes that television replays clearly showed should have counted.
Ghandour rejected the goal after one of his linesmen said the ball had crossed the endline before Joaquin Sanchez passed it to Morientes, who headed the pass into the goal.
``They can take away goals, they can take away Cuba and the Philippines, diminish the power of Hungary, meddle in South American economies, attack the Catholic church, and discredit pork _ the meat of the masses. They cannot, however, kill the truth, only try to distract us from it,'' El Conde said.
By Alex Dominguez
from the on the road again dept.
VIENNA, Austria (JNS) _ We awake in fear of having to interact with others again without a guide.
But we know we must push on because we fear we are bugging the living, fucking shit out of Andor.
The gracious man that he is, Andor has not given any indication of this, but we can only surmise that he must be getting tired of telling us how to say everything and what everything means.
So, we head to the train station for a day-trip to the city we call Vienna, the Hungarians call Bacs, and the Austrians call Wien _ simple enough.
As we wait on the platform, six conductors with pistols arrive on the platform and we ponder the limits of our annoyance. On the train, the six, wearing Györ armpatches, stamp our passports, as do another group in fatigues, also armed with pistols and a laptop _ which had the name “Richter’’ on it as they pass by. They must be from Austria, we think, because their arm patches say “Bundes.’’
This is the second time in two days we have dealt with the authorities. We were stopped on Saturday for a broken headlight while driving to Lake Balaton. Andor suspected they were searching for a group of bank robbers who killed six near Budapest the week before while stealing less than $20,000, a small sum even by Hungarian standards for such a ghastly crime.
Vienna was refreshingly modern, despite its wealth of history. We took the requisite walking tour of the most impressive sights _ St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Spanish riding school, etc., and stopped in number of small cafes and stands, relieved that most people spoke English.
The most interest food experience was the outdoor bakery stand where all types of pastries and savory items were on sale. I had a wiener schnitzel sandwich _ breaded veal on a roll _ after contemplating whether to get the prosciutto or liver spread.
Aside from that, Bacs-Wien-Vienna seemed like a big city that lacked any of the kookiness we had come to appreciate in Hungary. So, we headed back, planning to go to Bratislavia in neighboring Slovakia (oh joy, another language) on Monday to take a hydrofoil to Budapest on Tuesday.
By Alex Dominguez
from the when in rome dept.
TIHANY, Hungary (JNS) _ As we plan our trip to Lake Balaton over another round of früccs, Andor discusses various modes of transportation he has seen in Hungary.
An old gypsy man he knew once cut a Trabant (a small Soviet-era East German car) in half after the motor died and used a mule to cart the back half around.
Andor said he hasn´t seen the gypsy in a while.
''Maybe the mule died,'' he said.
We decide to take his car to to the lake.
So, Saturday morning we got up earlier than we wanted to and headed to Tihany, a beautiful little lakeside town with traditional homes with whitewashed walls and thatched roofs that have been turned into restaurants and giftshops.
We ate at the Gulyasudvar _ the goulash courtyard _ under an open-air structure with a wood-roof. I had pork csarda, named for a type of informal, home-style restaurant. Two slices of tenderloin under a mountain of onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes sauteed into a paprika-laden stew.
Andor had a goose leg that appeared to have been stewed for a long time and then broiled until brown, extremely tender and delicious. G-Monez had a disappointing steak in mushroom sauce.
As we dined, Andor noted that during Hungary's empire days, ''you could travel to four seas without a passport'' _ the Caspian, the Agean, the Black Sea and the Adriatic.
Lake Balaton is almost an inland sea, long and thin and surrounded by dozens of towns. After eating, we drove down to the lakeside, dipped our feet in the water _ still too cold _ and sat on the grass, watching the sailboats go by on the on the powder-blue water.
On the way home we again passed the castle we stopped at that morning. I asked if it had ever been visited by St. George, remembering a number of towns in the area have the word for dragon _ Sarkany _ in their name.
At home again in Györ, we had a quick dinner of blood sausage, bread and Czech Budweiser beer before heading out on the club circuit, where El Conde was pleased to see Spanish music is extremely popular.
''We are distant cousins, we love the same things _ wine, horses, gypsy music,'' El Conde noted.
By Alex Dominguez
from the en vino veritas dept.
GYÖR, Hungary (JNS) _ The cheapest and best thing to drink here is white wine and seltzer, called fröcs in some places, which means 'splash.' That's because when it's in the 80s (F) beer is too heavy, although that didn't stop me from getting a boiled pigs shank with a nice helping of sauerkrat for lunch in nearby Sopron (Cho-prahn).
Two glasses of the spritzer thingy, adolescent yet effervescent, cost 160 forints (65 cents) at Matroz, a small bar near the river in Györ, where we stood outside and watched people walk by, much cheaper people watching than in Budapest. It's made with a variety of wines such as rizling(riesling), and kekfranks(blue french), and they're all fresh and tasty.
We started drinking them after we rolled out of Budapest on Tuesday at noon on a creaky Soviet -era train (1,000 forints, four dollars) and watched the pastures roll by for two hours, sitting next two smelly old men and commenting on town names such as Tatabanya, where all the big breasted women around here must come from.
In Györ, about halfway to Vienna where four rivers meet, we met Andor 'Paul' Farkas, an expatriate American and the grandson of a former Hungarian diplomat, who now works providing solutions, mostly computer based, for various governmental agencies. About 15 million people speak Hungarian worldwide, about 10 million in Hungary and 5 million in neighboring countries and elsewhere, not surprising for a country that is less than half its former size because of post World War I treaties, he tells us.
"Obviously a plot by the shadow government against a strongly Catholic country," El Conde notes.
On Wednesday, it was off to lunch at the Vaskakas, or the Iron Rooster , an impressive cellar with vaulted brick ceiling and marble floors in the basement of a portion of the wall that used to surround the old city. Even though the place looks too expensive to enter, the daily special is 380 forints ($1.50). We each had vegetable soup out of a large tureen placed in the middle of the table before having one of the three daily choices. Andor and Gibran had beef purkot, a type of country stew, and I, sated on pork for once, had pureed spinach over boiled potatoes with a fried egg on top, and a glass of local white wine made from Italian riesling grapes (virginal but not shy).
Then it was off for more beer and wine, and an attempt at conversation with the Hungarian supermodels _ obviously planted as employee spies at our hotel by Neighborhood Secret Agent Dack McSwain to thwart our plans to rebuild the Hungarian Empire. The two women, despite their looks, seemed happy to serve us beers in the afternoon and omelettes for breakfast, and to help us learn their language, even taking care to place a fresh cucumber garnish and a light sprinkling of paprika on my eggs each morning.
El Conde notes some words are very similar to Spanish, proba, for example, is like prueba, and both mean to try, or test, something. Cukor, sugar, sounds like azucar, also sugar, in Spanish. And the word for train car, kolcsi, is pronounced just like the Spanish word for car, coche, also coach.
But all is not play for the International Playboys. Andor thinks the Soviets might finally be of use to Hungary because of their efforts in Cuba, where many broken down Hungarian-made buses might provide an opportunity for spare parts sales.
The count, meanwhile, thinks Hungary's baths, including some smaller spas in Györ have enormous marketing potential, but must be packaged slightly differently. Treatments at the Hotel Gellert _ such as the tub bath with sudatorium, 4000 forint; carbon acid bath, 1,500 forints; impulse current therapy or interference therapy, both 700 forints; four cells galvanic bath, 500; salt chamber block, 2,500; and gingival shower, 5,000 _ all sound pleasant enough, but might be confusing to some.
By El Conde
from the boris and natasha dept.
BUDAPEST (JNS) _ Looking at what appeared to be a 2-foot by 2-foot apron with three strings coming from it, I thought ''I am not putting this on.''
''G-Money, '' I yelled to Gibran in the next changing booth at the hot baths, ''I'm going to ask theguy how to do this.''
I walked up to the attendant at the Hotel Gellert with a perplexed look on my face, and he said ''Shorts,.... OK."
"Koesenem," - ''Thank you" _ I said and we walked down to the termal furdõ, or hot baths, where men of all shapes and sizes walked around with the aprons on and their butts exposed.
First, we into the 36-degree (celsius) pool, and quickly switched over to the 38-degree water, checking on the tiled walls and arched ceilings, and skylights. Looking at the burly, all male attendants I said to Gibran ''I am not getting a massage here," thinking the conversation would sound something like the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
"Breathe,my pasty friend, breathe in the healthy vapors," I imagined Boris would say as he broke every bone in my body, and then told my family at the hospital. "He is so weak, I hardly touched him."
After switching back and forth between the hot pool, which a tile sign said had 10 percent of something in the water, and cold showers and an even colder third pool, we decided to check out the swimming pool, called something like the Uszsoda furdõ, which we were told was another 500 forints each. The pool was spectacular with huge stone columns on each side and an arched roof with a skylight that rolls opens on sunny days.
After a lap or two, I went into another heated pool just behind the large pool, where a number of Italians were also enjoying the waters. After about an hour, Gibran and Idecided we should leave before we become so relaxed we fall asleep and drown.
So, we dressed and went back to our apartment, to rest from the long day.
We started the day with an excellent breakfast spread in a comfortable wood-paneled salon in the bed-and-breakfast. Bread, yogurt, a mild blue cheese, fresh tomatoes, orange juice and a chilled cherry soup.
After commenting on the size of the dining room, and the house in general, one of our breakfast companions, Reni, said the house had been owned by a single family at one time.
''A century ago. Once the communists took over it was divided into apartments," she said.
A friend of hers recently bought a 90-square meter apartment nearby for 100,000 dollars, she said.
''Yes, a little. Because it is soquiet and so close to the city center," she said.
Fortified by breakfast, we headed off toconquer the Citadella again, this time touring the inside, where we viewed the Soviet-era anti-aircraft artillery. We also learned about Kelt Kor, the age of the Celts, who were the first to settle the hilltop (which was called something like Oppidium at the time. They were followed by the Romans, but the strongest impression was made bz Szent Istvan, Saint Stephen, who converted the country to Christianity, and Saint Gellert, the son of wealthy Venetians, who dedicated his life to God after he fell ill, or something like that. Gellert taught Stephen's son, and the rest is history.
After leaving "a citadella," we walked across the next bridge, Erzebet Hid, Elizabeth's bridge, bought a bottle of wine _ a bottle of Villanyi chardonnay, slightly tart and avuncular, not at all villainous like its name implies _ and headed to the market to buy items for lunch at our apartment before an afternoon swim.
At the market, on the Pest side of the Szabadsag hid (across from the Hotel Gellert), I discovered you can get very far by saying szaz (pronounced sahz) and gram _ 100 grams _and pointing at various cheeses and sausages. We choose a fresh feta flaked with parsley (2 dollars for a half pound), and some paprika sausages similar to Spanish chorizo (a dollar).
The biggest problem was finding bread _ I had to trout out "hol van a kenyer" _ "where is(going?) the bread."
We were pointed to the bread and on the way passed the lady who sells pickled items, and bought 100 grams of sweet gherkins, a red pepper stuffed with slightly sweet sauerkrat and what appeared to be the pickled hearts of onions.
from the Ministry of Home and Away Games dept.
We are following, with great interest, the up to the minute reports, detailing your exploits as you travel across the Old World eating and bathing.
We are following, with great interest, the up to the minute reports, detailing your exploits as you travel across the Old World eating and bathing. Please, do not forget to include any and all information concerning the fair skinned lasses that have been sent to meet the traveling party. The Empire is in a state of eager expectation with the Count so far off. Many of us have our ears and eyes constantly on alert for new news of your travels. Families all over the empire have already begun trying to replicate the pork over peppers recipe as described only yesterday! Travel peacefully and without apprehension, for all is safe and well in the kingdom (although parking this weekend was worse then ever - Sir Karl was seen napping on the hood of his car at midnight, while awaiting a stable for his steed). I've talked to the mailman about any overflowing postage. J. Schwartz, New York
By Alex Dominguez on Wednesday December 05, @06:08PM
from the speak truth to power dept.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (JNS) _ Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat ended his quest for statehood on Friday, ceding the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Israel.
``That’s it, I give up. Fuck a whole bunch of this shit,’’ Arafat said while viewing the smoking remains of his three helicopters in Gaza City via television from his West Bank bunker, where Israeli forces delivered a missile message to their partner in peace.
``Who wants to be a leader if I’m going to be stuck in this hole.’’
Arafat said he now supported Israel’s right to rule the West Bank and Gaza as well as control valuable water resources in the Golan Heights, which are disputed by Lebanon and Syria.
The PLO leader also said he would form a new group called the National Association for the Advancement of Palestinian People to seek suffrage for the 3 million Palestinians living in the two areas. In addition, the group will seek constitutional reforms to ensure Palestinians are afforded the same civil liberties as Israel’s 6 million citizens.
``Residents of this new Israel should not have to live in fear that they will be _ as their ancestors have been so many times in the past _ attacked, expelled, enslaved, or killed,’’ Arafat said. ``Never again should a people be treated as second-class citizens because of their religion.’’
Finally, Arafat said he would meet with the leaders of neighboring countries, including Iraq and Syria, to urge them to aid the new Israel and its large Muslim minority.
By El Conde on Tuesday October 09, @09:22PM
from the Who cares if it's a pipedream? dept.
Some are calling for the U.S. to use the Sept. 11 attacks as an opportunity to take care of terrorist problems once and for all on a variety of fronts.
How long a chain of targets the United States should cobble together is obviously the biggest question when discussing this so-called linkage issue.
Iraq, Syria, Libya, the list could go on and on.
One issue that should be included is a final resolution of the Palestinian conflict, which has provided a convenient excuse for terrorists to attract recruits worldwide, even if their main target is the United States and the so-called decadent Western capitalist system.
The United States should use its influence as Israel's largest benefactor to mandate Palestinian statehood in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Once established, the U.S. should also call for democratic elections, which hopefully will lead to the election of someone else besides Arafat and his followers. Jewish settlers should be given the opportunity to stay in Palestine as Palestinian citizens, much like Israeli Arabs, although they will most likely need UN or U.S. protection.
Immediate elections will provide a democratic government and remove the patina of legitimacy that the Palestinian Liberation Organization has enjoyed. Such a move will also provide Israel with a legitimate reason to close its borders if/when further attacks occur, convincing Palestinians it is in their interest to act peacefully towards their biggest trading partner and employer _ a situation not unlike the United States and Mexico.
Western democracies created Israel and have maintained it, creating a clearly defined Palestinian state can only add stability to the region.
By Alex Dominguez, JNS Special Correspondent on Saturday September 15, @10:21AM
from the Should have let sleeping dogs lie dept.
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ The following is an open letter from the editorial staff of the Jabali News Service.
To the terrorist assholes this may concern:
We woke up in comfortable beds this morning, went downstairs and had some breakfast. The power is still on, the television works, the Internet is running.
You obviously don’t have any troops to attack us with, and you’re not going to get any more planes.
The rescue continues in New York and the stock market is closed for a while, but there’s still plenty of money in the bank and plenty of food at the supermarket. We’re not selling stocks on Monday, we’re probably buying more.
We’re also not going to lash out at our Arab neighbors and give them a reason to join your radical fringe. Worse for you, we’re probably heading to your base of support to get you and win over your followers with capitalism and kindness.
Posted by Alex Dominguez on Friday September 14, @07:26AM
from the Exterminate the vermin dept.
NEW YORK (JNS) _ Kill! Kill, kill, kill, kill!
That’s the mandate in response to Tuesday’s suicide jet attacks on New York and Washington.
``I don’t want to hear any bullshit about justice or finding those responsible. I want every fucking towel-head vaporized,’’ said defense analyst Steven Fragem.
``If innocent women and children are killed so we can eliminate this menace, that’s just the cost of doing business,'' Fragem said. ``Maybe those women and children should have thought of that when Bin Laden was bombing us.’’
Others called for Arab Americans to be put in camps as the Japanese were in World War II.
``How many are there in the U.S., 6 million? We could fit them in Utah,’’ said Daryl Swain, president of America for Americans, a Muncie, Ind. civic group.
``Bombing the federal building in Oklahoma was one thing, those were Americans doing the bombing, but this is something else.’’
America’s staunchest allies also expressed their support for the eradication of the globe’s 1.2 billion Muslims.
``Now, maybe you’ll listen to us,’’ said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Once the nuclear glow cools down, Afghanistan and Pakistan will make excellent mini-storage and warehousing sites for products waiting to be shipped to America, Fragem said.
``Glass parking lots are very easy to plow in the winter,’’ he said.
On another front, the Jabali News Service has learned the hijackers involved in Tuesday’s attacks also used dental floss to tie up the crew and passengers after threatening them with box cutters, unnamed sources said.
The hijackers crashed two of the jets into the twin towers at the World Trade Center, and a third into the Pentagon. The fourth crashed in Pennsylvania.
``As hard as it is to believe, that’s all that was needed,’’ the source said.
< | >
Posted by Alex Dominguez,
JNS Special Correspondent on Saturday August 11, @08:41AM
from the Will Rogers common sense approach dept.
WACO, Texas (JNS) _ President Bush announced new tariffs on Saturday, including new duties on imported Canadian trees and exports of capital to rock-throwing areas.
``I know you reporters would like to be sucking in the salt air, filing copy beachside about a story you hope will never end,’’ Bush said at his ranch near Waco, referring to the ongoing violence in the Middle East.
``Well, I’m not about to sit here and continue to spend taxpayer’s money _ our citizens honest, hard-won currency _ year after year to pay for peace that will never come,’’ Bush said before taking a nap after a morning round of golf.
The president said foreign aid to each side would be cut by $100 million for each suicide bombing, drive-by-shooting, mass violent demonstration, settlement expansion, house leveling, targeted assassination or police station attack.
``Americans have a right to expect peace if they pay for it _ a country without war, without fighting, a peaceful country where people live quietly next to each other and don’t throw rocks,’’ Bush said.
Bush decided to increase the tariffs in the wake of calls for a greater U.S. involvement in the Middle East, where a suicide bomber killed 17 and injured almost 100 this week at a Jerusalem pizzeria.
The U.S. currently provides more than $6 billion a year in foreign aid to the Middle East.
By Xiang Sharon on Friday April 27, @10:02PM
from the You heard it here first dept.
While other news media had to wait to get facts, JNS reported back in November about secret arms deals between Israel and China that were at the heart of the Democrat’s desperate, futile struggle to keep the White House.
Now, the recent spy plane standoff with China has thrown the spotlight on the Israel-China arms connection, The Washington Times reported on Monday.
Heritage Foundation analyst Larry M. Wortzel, a former U.S. military attache in Beijing, said Israel has been selling arms to China arms for a half-century.
"It grew and grew, and the United States just winked at a number of serious transfers," Wortzel told The Times.
"China is benefiting from reverse-engineering American technology provided to Israel," said Wortzel, a retired Army colonel who added he saw evidence of improper transfers while a counterintelligence officer in the 1980s.
JNS reports of frantic efforts by the Gore campaign to keep the White House because of the deals prompted the shadow government to hack the Jabali site late last year, diverting traffic for two days to eBay, the popular online auction site.
Neighborhood secret agent Dack McSwain confirmed the report saying ``Everything isn't always what it seems...''
Jabali systems administrator Halcyon Skinner said the hacker, or hackers, were extremely sophisticated and had been able to plant a backdoor in the Empire's command and control system.
Skinner said the backdoor had been in place for some time, and he was not sure why the site was brought down when it was. The hacking occurred as JNS was preparing to post an article on the Florida recount, reporting the Gore team was desperately seeking to keep the White House in Democratic hands because George W. Bush couldn’t be counted on to keep the secret arms deals under wraps.
The Times reported Monday that Chinese fighters carry Israeli Python 3 heat-seeking missile, which were painstakingly developed based on the U.S. Sidewinder missile sold to Israel. China has paid Israel for the rights to domestically produce the Python 3, a transaction the Pentagon says it learned about after the fact.
"I think we would have preferred to know in advance, but we didn´t get that," said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley.
A 1992 U.S. intelligence report said Israel transferred Patriot anti-missile data to China shortly after the Persian Gulf war. Tel Aviv has denied the report, and several others that it violated agreements by exporting restricted American technology bought with U.S. subsidies, The Times reported.
Vice President Richard Cheney, the defense secretary at the time, said he had ``good reason" to believe the Patriot diversion occurred.
Shortly after the Patriot report, Israel again denied it illegally exported U.S. technology to communist China _ this time the Lavi fighter. Israel spent more than $1 billion in U.S. aid on the aircraft, which was based on the U.S. F-16 Falcon. After Israel killed the program after Washington complained, intelligence reports said Tel Aviv was selling the F-16 avionics technology to China for use in China’s new F-10 ground-attack fighter, The Times reported.
Wortzel said the Reagan Administration approved limited arms sales to China in the past to counter Soviet military buildups. The White House, however, has never condoned the illegal transfer of high-technology items meant for Israel´s use only.
"It didn´t upset the security balance in the region. But now it does," Wortzel said. "I think China´s behavior has changed. China now has the advantage of some of the best American-provided technology that it may use against the United States or certainly against Taiwan."
from the Don't look at me dept.
By ALEX DOMINGUEZ
JNS Special Correspondent
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ Your drug dollars help provide desperately needed news copy worldwide, a new study shows.
Cop shootings in Baltimore, guerilla warfare in Latin America, and presidential pardons are all examples of stories that benefited from the ``sniffle-down'' effect created by a healthy drug economy, said Duke economist Carver Daniel, the study's lead author.
``It may not seem like a lot, but those nickel and dime bags add up,’’ Daniel said. ``Whether it’s bullets in Baltimore, or land mines in Colombia, drug dealers and cartels worldwide need your drug dollars.’’
A $20 coke purchase by one suburban high school student, for example, was used to buy the 45-cent, 9 mm round that killed a 3-year old, the authors reported in the study, which appeared Thursday in the journal Narcotics.
Some of the money from that buy also made it back to the distributor, whose importing activity helped provide slush funds that kept in power a Third World despot _ who used his country’s military to kill off his opposition, providing entertaining reading for millions.
The war against drugs even makes good copy, but Daniel warned against targeting buyers which could dry up the supply of dollars desperately needed to keep the drug pipeline operating.
Drugs also give the country an easy scapegoat, the poor, to blame for its problems, including its addiction to narcotics, Daniel said.
``All around it’s a win-win solution,’’ Daniel said. ``The drug trade provides jobs working inside the industry and against it _ whether in local police forces or the ATF _ and loads of infotainment across the globe.’’
< | >
Posted by Yassar Arafat on Friday March 30, @08:40PM
from the Vengeance is mine! dept.
^By ALEX DOMINGUEZ
^Jabali News Service
RAMALLAH, West Bank (JNS) _ The eye-for-an-eye approach to Middle East peacemaking finally paid off Friday.
``Damn, we give up,’’ said Ibn Fatah Jihad after Israeli forces leveled his entire block. ``Fuck a whole bunch of this shit.’’
``We thought once we blew up two more of their students, they would leave the settlements, but I guess not,’’ Jihad said, tossing down his dusty, tattered day-of-rage banner.
``They really hit us hard this time, and I guess, we just don’t think it’s worth it anymore. They can have the land, we’ll just go back to the refugee camp in the desert and wait for a handout.’’
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rejoiced at the news that his hard-line policies had won over the Palestinians so quickly.
``That’s just like a Palestinian to bring a rock to a tank duel,’’ Sharon said, paraphrasing a line from his favorite movie ``The Untouchables.’’
``Like I always say, `He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. If they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue.’’’
< | >
Posted by Alex Dominguez on Monday February 12, @10:20PM
from the Taste of his own medicine dept.
By ALEX DOMINGUEZ
A JNS News Analysis
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ Mayor Martin O'Malley should shut his God-damn mouth and get back to what the people of this city elected him to do _ lower the crime rate and not bitch at city prosecutors.
If O'Malley doesn't know how to govern, he should get off his ass and get the hell out of office and let someone who knows what to do take over.
O'Malley has inherited a city with two brand-new stadiums, a revitalized Power Plant complex, and a brand-new hotel opening up (all thanks to his predecessor).
Even the Ravens get into the Super Bowl, but does he showcase the city? No, he sticks his God-damn foot in his big mouth at every turn.
His housing commissioner gets arrested for verbally abusing suspected homosexuals the same week the mayor announces the city's murder rate is dropping. So, O'Malley has to spend half the week making mealy-mouthed apologies.
Then he loses lots of air time during Super Bowl week covering up for his verbal abuse of the city's top prosecutor _ a black woman.
That tirade prompts hundreds of black women _ the key demographic group that put him in office over two black candidates despite misgivings by some about his zero-tolerance crime approach _ to turn out at City Hall.
Not exactly, the kind of event a resurgent city trying sell itself as a nice friendly place to live wants to put into the national media spotlight.
I don't give a Goddamn if the mayor wants to be governor, senator, president, whatever. If he can't further his political ambitions without making this city seem like some political backwater he should take a time-out and go see Miss Manners.
Capice? Stunad. How many times do we in the media have to tell you to play nice, and get along. No one believes you're that upset about cleaning up the police.
If you really cared about cleaning up the police force you wouldn't bitch when the prosecutor drops a case against an officer because evidence in the case was stolen from police files.
You would go out and ask the state special prosecutor or the Justice Department, or some other independent prosecutor to look into the case.
Posted by Deep Throat on Friday November 24, @03:53PM
from the keep this under your hat dept.
War Crimes Monitoring Conspiracy Theory Wins 2000 CONNIE Award=
^By ALEX DOMINGUEZ=
^Jabali News Service=
BALTIMORE (JNS) _ An anonymous source who alerted the Jabali News Service to the existence of a joint NSA-CIA ``Avoid War Crimes Tribunal'' mind control program is the winner of the first annual CONNIE Award. The award is the first of a planned annual awards program for the best conspiracy theory brought to the attention of the Jabali News Service.
A memo detailing the NSA-CIA program was faxed to the Baltimore bureau of a prominent wire service, where it was immediately dismissed by editors, who apparently have been co-opted by the shadow government.
The NSA-CIA entry was made just before the Thanksgiving deadline, beating out the Israel-China arms deal conspiracy theory touted by Jabali Emperor Alex Dominguez.
While the Israel-China theory, which details Israeli hush money to the Gore campaign in exchange for turning a blind-eye to the arms deals, is more probable, JNS editors felt the NSA-CIA offer more story-line possibilities.
``This is much fresher, and open to so many more possibilities,'' said one editor, who did not wish to be identified.
Dominguez removed himself from the voting because his theory was one of the frontrunners for the prize.
The secret memo refers to ``mind control and manipulation techniques on subjects of monitor.''
``We do not have authorization from Congress or Senate. The devices are wireless and cannot be detected; the laws and regulations do not apply,'' the memo reads.
The intended recipient of the memo is instructed to keep subjects awake until mental fatigue sets in and then ``schedule a hearing and invite foreign observers,'' who must be from authorized countries that have applied for U.S. foreign aid.
Posted by Wolf Blitzer on Friday September 01, 2000 @10:59PM
from the radical minority dept.
MERA, Oleiros, La Coruna, Espana (JNS) _ Reports indicate that the Count of Baltimore, Alejandro Dominguez, and his traveling companion, Formula One racing driver John Sullivan, were kidnapped today by Basque separatists.
A statement attributed to Andreu Ixtaban, spokesman for the Basque terrorist group, ETA, claimed responsibility for the abduction. The two international playboys were apparently abducted from their beds at a swanky inn near La Coruna, just before noon local time.
The kidnapping was accomplished by 3 or 4 men disguised as a cleaning crew. No demands have been issued to date, but the international community has expressed concern for the safety of the popular pair. Mr. Ixtaban issued his statement from an ETA safe house and has thus been unavailable for further comment.
Real scientists confirm JNS story
From the it could happen, really dept.
WHITE HORSE, Yukon Territory (JNS) _ You heard it here first, Jabali News Service readers.
A British researcher has confirmed what JNS first reported last summer, temperatures could hit -200. The cause? An eruption that could plunge the earth into a volcanic winter, the BBC reports.
Sooner or later, a super volcano will send temperatures plunging, according to the BBC television program ``Horizon.''
One so-called supervolcano at Yellowstone national park is overdue for an eruption.
While the Yellowstone volcano has erupted roughly once every 600,000 years, it last spewed forth 640,000 years ago.
Professor Bill McGuire, of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College, London, told BBC News Online: "We're getting ready for another eruption, unless the system has blown itself out.''
Dr. Ted Nield, of the Geological Society of London, told the BBC that such an eruption could have the same effect as a nuclear winter, or an asteroid strike.
``You can try diverting an asteroid. But there is nothing at all you can do about a supervolcano,'' Nield told the BBC.
"The effects could last four or five years, with crops failing and the whole ecosystem breaking down. And it is going to happen again some day."
The Geological Society is urging more research into the issue, the BBC reported.
BERGBURG, Great Jabalian (JNS)_ Forces of the Jabali Empire today declared a 1,000-square mile iceberg that broke away from Antarctica a sovereign nation fully aligned with the growing empire.
The world should not need anymore proof than the secession of this territory from the Antarctic mainland that the breakaway republic is yearning to become part of the Greater Jabali Empire, the Ministry of Information said. The announcement was made in a statement released by the Jabali News Service and via Radio Free Jabali.
``The people of this sovereign nation, which they have declared shall be called Gran Jabalana, or Great Jabalian in English, have expressed their desire to live in freedom and meet the challenges and responsibilities of that decision,'' the statement said. ``The Greater Jabali Empire will do everything in its power to help them fulfill their destiny.''
Forces were mopping up scattered resistance in the southern Jabalonia region, where troops aligned with the Evil Trout had attempted to establish a puppet Communist regime.
``These enemies of freedom shall not be allowed to prevent the rightful citizens of Great Jabalian from living out their lives in productive peace,'' the Ministry of Information said.
Scientists said the territory was shrinking slightly as it drifted into warmer waters, but were confident a solution could be found to prevent further shrinkage.
The territory is the second giant iceberg that has broken off from Antarctica recently. Jabali forces did not land on the first, which they hope will act as a demilitarized buffer zone for the second.
The new iceberg lies to the north and east of Roosevelt Island and is 80 miles by 12 miles (130 km by 20 km). The larger iceberg is 183 miles by 23 miles (295 km by 37 km), roughly the size of Jamaica.
Large icebergs are breaking off of Antarctica for several reasons, including global warming.
Antarctica consists mainly of ice sheets with no ground underneath. The shrinking of the ice sheets would not only raise ocean levels but could shift ocean circulation and weather patterns.
By Alex Dominguez
Jabali News Service
WHITEHORSE, Yukon Territories (JNS) Temperatures could hit 200 below zero this winter, scientists warn.
Millions would die within the first week, and billions more would follow because many years of substandard construction and design failed to anticipate the possibility.The human race would not be the only casualty because fish, including the evil trout, would find themselves literally frozen out of their homes.
If the cold doesn't kill, scientists say agriculture would come to a halt, slowly starving the planet.
``Only ice lichens and Arctic climendra will survive and you can't make a good salad out of just those two," says Robert Firbenza, a professor of polar research at the Yukon University, Whitehorse campus. Firbenza cautions that this disaster would only occur if the Earth slipped out of its orbit, for example after being hit by an asteroid, but says that the chance of this happening is not zero.
While the exact mechanism of the temperature drop is unclear, Firbenza's new mathematical modeling of upper atmospheric turbulence suggests that a minor change of 10% to 115% in the range of the orbit could create such conditions.
Firbenza and a number of other scientists say that being prepared for this calamity is an important job for governments and funding agencies. Only governments have the ability to create large bureaucracies with the ability and the tenacity to prepare for such devastating events. Many businesses often ignore such possibilities in the race for short-term profits.
Albert Placenski, a researcher for TK Institute, says, ``People must be very ready for this disaster, but they must not panic. If they panic, all of civilization could be lost." Placenski suggests taking simple precautions like maintaining adequate supplies of candles, blankets, canned soups, and wood.
While scientists predict that the temperature plunge would be devastating, some are more sanguine.
``Oil futures would smash the ceiling fixtures," said J. Jay Hong, an analyst for Kabal Securities. He suggested that the temperature dive would hurt the stock prices of swimsuit manufacturers.
Still, no one is looking forward to the possibilty more than Ted Kazcinski. While Mr. Kazcinski could not be reached for comment, he is known to be a strong critic of technology.