Saturday, November 25, 2006

NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

I'm a winner *blush* awww, shucks. Ain't that little ribbon added to my Brain icon cute? And gold stars on my NanoIcon. Ooooh...ahhhh.

So even though it looks like I stopped writing for 3 days, it was only one day. I just didn't upload a word count for 3 days--and no, I didn't write 6000 words in a day--well, I did on Nov 2nd but that was just exuberance out of the gate :)

I'm still tweaking around with the last 6k-8k I've written but my current word count (verified) is 62,230 and I might or might not bother to upload anymore since I am now "purple-barred and banner-laced" on the NaNoWriMo site. I'm also listed under the winners' page for Romance genre.

Yeah, I went ahead and logged this in as Romance genre, though it's definitely mainstream Romantic Suspense (or Chiller-Suspense, at times).

So this was new and fun and interesting. What's next? Oh yeah, I need to finish this book first *grin* I'm still thinking the end count will be in the 110-120k range but my NanoBot predictors are all saying I'll hit only 77k by the end of November. Ah well.

They're probably right. I doubt I'll finish it in December either if I don't get myself gainfully employed RSN. Real life is too distracting to keep writing (or writing well). But this was a fun and inspiring distraction for the month of November. Happy birthday to me (DOB 7 Nov). Good present to have given myself. Oh, and I got this nifty keen PDF certificate, too! Woo-hoo! *groan*

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sore Losers--Racists Always Are

First of all, this was an awesome game!! See the excitement at UEFA Cup web site. Okay, now why is this football game news since Americans don't even know what "football" really is?

On the surface, this is being widely reported as "violence broke out at a football match, and the local police shot the rioting fans." Uhh, no, not quite.

As found on the lesser-known (lesser but more factual than AP News) Expatica site, there's a bit more going on. Let's take a closer look.
PARIS - A plainclothes police officer shot and killed a fan of Paris Saint-Germain late Thursday night and wounded another in disorder around the team's stadium after it lost to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA Cup, according to the police.

Early indications suggested that the officer had gone to the rescue of a French supporter of the Israeli team who was attacked by PSG fans outside the stadium. A group of up to 150 fans then turned on the officer.

At first he let off a tear gas canister to try to disperse the mob, then fired his gun, killing one man immediately and seriously wounding another.

Okay, we have the "rioting fans" part and yes, after trying tear gas, the cop did, indeed, shoot into the crowd and kill one man. But wait! There's more!
The violence came after PSG was upset by the Tel Aviv team's win (4-2). Hapoel climbed to second in Group G as Salim Toema scored twice within the first four minutes and Elyaniv Barda scored the winner in the 57th minute.

That's right, the violence was initiated because the PSG fans were "incensed" that the "dirty Jews" (Hapoel-Tel Aviv) would "dare" to win the game. And so their answer? First riot and then...
"They were shouting 'filthy Jew' and when they saw our colleague, who comes from the Caribbean, they also yelled, 'filthy black, we're going to get you," said a police union official, Luc Poignant.
Isn't that interesting? But wait! It didn't stop with yelling racial slurs at a law enforcement officer doing his job. Oh no. It got worse.
The [policeman and Hapoel fan] sought to take refuge in a McDonald's restaurant "to avoid being lynched." Outside the restaurant, "there is a movement of the crowd as if the 'fugitive' has been caught by his attackers ... Several people shout, 'He's got a gun,' and then suddenly a shot rings out," Broussard wrote.

When they realised the man was a police officer, several in the crowd began chanting, "Dirty nigger" and "France for the French," according to Broussard's account.

"One thing is sure: several dozen people were rushing towards him and wanted to attack him because of the colour of his skin," Broussard wrote.

Police reinforcements arrived after several minutes, by which time all the windows of the McDonald's had been smashed.

So not only were they flinging verbal slurs of a racist and violent nature, they were flinging fists and objects to smash all the windows.

But here's the worst irony of it all: the police officer is in custody. Yeah, the cop, doing his job--and having his life threatened for it, as well as being subjected to racial slurs on his personage--is being held in custody. Unbelieveable.

Only in France. Oh, but Chirac says he's "appalled." Okay. If you say so--because you never lie just to do spin control, do you Mr. Chirac? Of course not!

Germans Foil El-Al Airline Hijacking

I'm behind on my news, so this is from a few days ago, seen on Arutz Sheva (Ch 7) News (see also AP News coverage):

Six suspects are under investigation by German authorities for plotting to blow up an El Al passenger flight out of the Frankfurt airport. The attack was foiled when an airport employee backed out.

The would-be terrorists, mostly Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs, were reportedly negotiating with a worker who held security clearance at the airport, located in the state of Hesse. The airport serves as the hub for Lufthansa Airlines and is one of the busiest in Europe.

The airport employee initially agreed to load a bag containing explosives into the belly of the plane, but refused at the end due to a disagreement over how much he would be paid.

The six, in addition to other unidentified conspirators, were backed by a “so far unknown” terror organization, according to a statement issued Monday by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

They were picked up last Friday by German authorities and held overnight for questioning. All were released, except one who was wanted on charges stemming from a different crime.

German law, like Israeli law, mandates that suspects cannot be held for longer than 48 hours unless sufficient evidence is shown to prove otherwise.

Aside from the statement by the federal prosecutors, government and airline authorities across the board refused comment on the case and were unwilling to provide any further information.

Exploding Grannies Now?

A grandmother became the oldest Palestinian suicide bomber yesterday when she blew herself up in Gaza and slightly wounded two Israeli soldiers, according to the London Times

Fatma Omar An-Najar was the first suicide bomber to be claimed by Hamas for nearly two years. Its armed wing said that she was aged 57, but her family said that she was 68.

Israel said that its soldiers had spotted her and threw a stun grenade, causing her to set off the explosives early.

Women suicide bombers are rare but by far not unheard of in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (or anywhere else the RIFs are operating - see Rusty Shackelford's great little ditty "Jihadis Take Pride in Murdering Their Women").

In fact, there have been two female suicide bombers just this month (the latest this past Friday). Perhaps there's a connection to the fact that (also this month), Hamas organized a march of Palestinian women across an Israeli cordon to end a mosque siege in Beit Hanoun (one of the bloodiest conflicts of the past several months, btw).

Yeah, Hamas organized women to march because they are such strong, brave and valorious men, right? No, it's just the RIFs hiding behind a woman's skirts again.

Not that I don't think women can't fight on the front line--they can, and do! just look at the US Military and more so, the IDF, not to mention the Canadian Forces, the latter two of which have women in combat roles routinely.

But Hamas knows the IDF soldiers (male or female) will hesitate before firing on a female civilian, whereas a 25 year old male won't receive the same (critical) period of hesitation from the armed IDF'ers. Talk about "using" a woman's skirts to infiltrate the enemy. Oh wait, I forgot, the RIFs also like to cross-dress and wear Burqas to evade capture. Duh. Where's my memory gone?

Russian Arming Iran Now--erm, Again? Still?

With a H/T to LGF, I have to be confused, disheartened and yes, a little appalled that it's come to this.
MOSCOW -- Russia has begun delivery of Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran, a Defense Ministry official said Friday, confirming that Moscow would proceed with arms deals with Tehran in spite of Western criticism.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue, declined to specify when the deliveries had been made and how many systems had been delivered.
The United States called on all countries last spring to stop all arms exports to Iran, as well as ending all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities. Israel, too, has severely criticized arms deals with Iran.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States and its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop weapons.

The U.N. Security Council, where Russia is a veto-wielding permanent member, is currently stalemated on the severity of sanctions on Iran for defying its demand to cease enrichment.

The Tor-M1 deal, involving conventional weapons, does not violate any international agreements.
I guess what I have to ask is why does this deal not violate any international agreements? Arming Iran is okay so long as the warheads aren't nukes? Hmmm, something seems "off" about this rationale. Is Putin that hard up for some quick cash?

Maybe. Or maybe it's just the oil--again. Still. According to Jane's Intelligence Digest (waaay back in 2000--yeah, years ago this started) "Moscow defence analysts [said] of the $5 billion worth of orders Russia's military-industrial complex fulfiled for Iran, just $1 billion was settled in cash. Iran had to settle its bills through a series of much less attractive deals which included Soviet-era debt write-offs and oil barter contracts."

And oh, here it is again, over at Arms Control Assn back in March of 2001, including a sampling (list) of what arms Russia has already provided--besides the current, new shipment of Tor-M1's:
Russia has become in the past decade Iran’s main source of advanced conventional arms, an ‘alleged’ supplier of know-how and technology for its ballistic missiles and chemical and biological warfare programmes. Russia is also the sole source of Iran’s civilian nuclear technology.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Choudhury Update - Bangladesh & Around the World

Back in September, I blogged about Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, the Muslim journalist and editor of the largest tabloid English-language weekly in Bangladesh, The Weekly Blitz.

Dr. Richard Benkin of The Asian Tribune has been advocating Choudhury worldwide for some time now and he notes the following recent activities (H/T Jihad Watch and Michelle Malkin for the note that "new news" had occured):

On Tue 14 Nov 06: After he pled "Not Guilty" and attacked the legality of the proceedings, the court set the next date as January 22, 2007—a move intended to avoid taking any action under the tenure of the current government; but a move that also gave world opinion time to work.
When his younger brother, Sohail Choudhury, went to the police to complain that he was beaten, they responded that it was the Choudhurys' fault for their "alliance with the Jews." Even after we were successful in getting him released from prison, Choudhury faced continued harassment from the Bangladeshi government and Islamist radicals.

On Wed 15 Nov 06: Canada and Australia: After an article in one of Australia's largest dailies, as well as articles and radio shows about Choudhury in Canada, Members of Parliament and other officials from both countries began expressing concern over the Bangladeshi government's action in the Choudhury case.

On Thurs 16 Nov 06: Austria - The European Parliament passed three resolutions expressing concern about human rights in Ethiopia, Iran, and Bangladesh. Point seven of the resolution on Bangladesh "Calls for...the acquittal, of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, the charging of whom runs counter to all the standards of international law and the conventions against violations of press freedom."

Spread the word to your corner of the world (or your local news agency). Since Bangladesh is waiting to "hear" the world's report, go shout from the walls to free Choudhury and absolve him of the charges.

All he did was TRY to tell the truth - in a world gone mad. He's a shining example of what Islam *could* be if the RIFs didn't control the Muslim heart.

Thanksgiving @Home, Christmas in Darfur

Really hard to read the dark grey on black text at the title-linked Christmas in Darfur web site, but highlight all and you can see what's up.

Bascially, the guys over at MyPetJawa are heading off to Darfur to be "feet on the ground" over Christmas--and hey, while they're there, sure would be nice to meet some of the uniforms behind the "incidents" getting reported in the blogosphere daily. The footage collected will be incorporated into the documentary film, Christmas in Darfur.

Although Pajamas Media is supporting the effort with a base push, they are in need of monetary or other (tangible) contributions (see the pic for some ideas on gear they anticipate needing for this trip). If you can contribute gear, money or even frequent flyer miles (to save them the cost of airfare), please click through.

Maybe It's a Language Translation Problem?)

The Jerusalem Post reported overnight that the French have received authorization to fire at IAF overflights in Lebanon's airspace. This, it is claimed, rationalized, and purported, is because "Israel's overflights are in clear violation of the cease-fire" (referring to UN Security Council Resolution 1701). I guess the French words for "cease fire" don't translate the same way we thought they did. I have a good OED dictionary here if they want to borrow it.

I've said this multiple times before, you have to have a cease fire before you can demand its enforcement.

That is, the terrorists have to stop firing rockets into Israel before you can say there's been a "cease fire" to be violated. I haven't yet seen a cessation. Did I miss it? Aren't Israelis still dying from rocket attacks from both the north and the south? I know I've been busy with NaNoWriMo, but did peace break out in the Middle East and I just missed it completely??!!

Wow. World peace and I missed it.

Oh, no, wait, there's still a war going on in Lebanon. And in Iraq (150 KIA, 238 WIA). And in Afghanistan (217 KIA to date, but the poppy trade saw a 60% increase on 2005 levels -- 6,100 tonnes which is 90% of the world's supply so A-stan is doing just fine by the war economy, and what's a few hundred dead civilians when you control the world's supply of opiates?)

Heck, the RIFs are even killing people in India (2 KIA, 10 WIA). As a matter of fact the death toll worldwide due to RIF terrorist actions for the last 48 hours is well over 200 non-combatants, close to 300. But that's not war, right? Just an "insurgency" or "incident" for the news fodder.

Oh, and of course, the "Palestinian" terrorists (Hamas and Fatah) continue to kill each other and any Israelis they can manage in between, but well, who cares about innocent Israelis being slaughtered by in-fighting terrorists, right? Oh yeah *slaps forehead* Israelis care and I'm an American-Israeli. Duh!!

Whew! Thought I'd missed world peace by holing up with a good book.

Black Magic of Tuckerizations

I've been asked how I'm going about the Tuckerizations I've done to date. More to the point, two recent Tuckerizations I've done (John Hardesty / redshirted and Ed Stalker / still alive) have each replied in astonishment at how well I've interpreted them in real life. Astonishment because I've never met either one of these people and only started speaking to them online in the last several months. The common remark was "You got me to a Tee."

So how do I get a total stranger "nailed" so well while also making the character seamlessly "right" for that point of the story? Black magic...and a lot of careful thought...and some reading. In both John and Ed's cases, I've read their personality through their words on totally different topics--posts in the Tavern or chit-chat on the side. I tried to infuse what I knew was inherent into the real person into the fictional character. But the character was destined for his scene regardless of what kind of person he was, is or could be. The art comes first.

In the case of two earlier Tuckerizations (Lisa L. Satterlund / still alive and Steven "Steffan" Stewart / redshirted), I had already-conceived characters and just slapped the names onto them. Actually, the "Lisa" character was fully-conceived and the Steffan character was created to "match" her.

While I'm still hopeful that I'll develop the "Lisa" character into a better Tuckerization of the real Lisa, as the book continues to unfold, I know the "Steffan" character is nothing like the real Steffan Stewart--or nothing like the one whose personality I've been reading in the Tavern for the past year. Such is life. The art comes first. And I like the fictional Steffan. I like the real Steffan, he's a very nice guy and has lots of interesting things to say (he's not the airhead his fictional self seems to be, trust me!) but I like the Steffan in this story. He'

The John Hardesty and Ed Stalker characters were easier to Tuckerize because I just needed "a guy who works for Charlie" in each slot. I was free to use whomever I wished and the Barflies generously offered themselves up in large numbers. This meant (continues to mean) that when I needed such a "stock character," all I had to do was open up the Excel file and check for "convenient" character traits, then pluck the most-likely name for use. I'd promised to do the Tuckerizations on a "first come, first serve" basis, so I had to go in order of request, to some extent, but I have skipped around a little, I'll admit.

I'm definitely going to try to get to everyone's deaths in the order in which their requests were received. Except maybe Sean Gartlan. The Sean character has really blossomed into a full-fledged minor character, so I can't just redshirt him now without some motivation and justification first. Getting lots of good backstory out of the Sean character's appearance and need to die (I promised the real Sean he'd be redshirted, so the fictional Sean must way or another).

A couple of the volunteers were just perfect for the situations in the story that were arising, so I'm skipping out of order--again, to serve the art first. Forex, George Grosskopf, due to his military background has been slated out of order of request for a specific appearance that will further the plot. Allan McBain is another out of order request--perfect for a "quick switch" of Lacey's Scots spotter. Robert "Mitch" Mitchell is going to lose some weight and also add to the confusion of the switcheroo of Lacey's spotter. The actual spotter, MacCallum, who is mentioned only after his death, is just a name I plucked out of thin air. Okay, out of a random-name generator but close enough.

Richard Hartman was useful as "the older, wiser guy" with the two youngsters, Ryan Pridgeon and Mark Driscoll). Neither Mark nor Ryan told me much of anything about themselves, so I am pretty much making it all up as I go. Richard Hartman is chatty on the Bar so I had a feel for his "tone" and hopefully have captured it reasonably well. He hasn't had much stage time yet. More coming, Richard!

Generally, the more the person has chatted around the Bar (or with me, privately), the more of their personality I can "perceive" and infuse into their Tuckerization. The physical stats folks gave (like for a dating service) were fine but not what I was looking for and not what I can use in a Tuckerization. I'm notorious for not giving physical descriptions of any of my characters--whether wholly-fabricated by my imagination or Tuckerized--though I do usually have a visual in my head when I write about someone.

So. If you're still waiting to be Tuckerized, my best advice for improving the "accuracy" of your Tuckerization is talk. Talk to me, talk to others on the Bar, show yourself, let your personality shine through your Bar posts and I'll see it, pick up on it, infuse it into your Tuckerization. Or umm, die trying? Oh wait, the AuthorGod can't get Redshirted, can she? :)

Hidden Messages

American Spectator reported a story seen in the News & Observer Tuesday:
A message embedded in a Spanish assignment that included the words "destroy America" has led a teacher to resign and sparked concerns among parents at a Johnston County high school.

[Students solving the extra-credit word-search puzzle] started seeing other words such as "destroy" and "terrorist" and eventually put together a few sentences that decry violence against Palestinians and appear to condemn the United States for its involvement in the conflict.

Ultimately, the following paragraph was assembled and a student faxed a copy of the offending word puzzle to Paul Chesser of the American Spectator for the world to see, as well (H/T sophomore Chris McDaniels for noticing it):
(Ariel) Sharon killed a lot of innocent people in Palestine. Hamas is not a terrorist group. They have the right to defend their country. This is something that forms part of our freedom and dignity. Allah help destroy this body of evil that is making human life so miserable. Destroy America, a country where evil is sponsored."
When reached by phone Monday, Muslim Spanish-language teacher, Khalid Chahhou, confirmed this account but refused to comment further on the incident.

"I don't want to talk about this dark page in my life any more," Chahhou said.

I'll betcha' don't!! You got caught. Score one for the Good Guys--or in the words of one of my favorite Bible quotes (and title of one of my books) And The Children Shall Lead.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Myths of Genocide

I'm not going back to my "regularly scheduled blogging" program here but this one was too good to pass up. Or too bad, I should say. If you want to see a powerful piece in the Propaganda War component of the RIF's War on Peace, click here--it's an entry for the good guys. Not quite "pro-Israel" but certainly being fair and unbiased.

Israel pays with an image. Muslims pay with blood.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

More Comics To Distract You

Because I'm not the only Nano'er reading online comic strips (okay, no stripping but close!!) as a means of distraction that can be called "research" or "input for my funny bone" we are all lucky enough to get to read a perfectly clean and somewhat amusing little strip by Overdue Media (one of the authors, Gene Ambaum, is friends with Tuckerized-in-my-story and Nano'er herself, Lisa Satterlund).

Click through the Overdue Media archives for Nov 6 through 11th for NanoParodies. And yes, they are parody. No, we Nano'ers don't really behave that way!

Had to update this for one more keeper: Will Write for Chocolate cartoonist/author has it down - oh, yeeeesssss!! Read InkyGirl's strip "Alphabet Soup" too - fight to save the semi-colons!!