FUBAR

Spearing the Britney

We suppose there was a legitimate reason for putting an overweight, under-prepared Britney Spears on the stage of the stage of the MTV video music awards Sunday night in Las Vegas but we’re sure the producers of the show are now wondering just what the hell it was.

Spears was so unprepared that her lip syncing was out of sync, her so-called dance movement didn’t mesh with the professionals around her and she moved with all the grace of a drunken elephant.

At 25, Spears is clearly past her prime, if indeed she ever had one.

Is bin Laden ‘virtually impotent’

President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser said on Sunday al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is “virtually impotent” and can do little more than send videotaped messages.

Top White House aide Fran Townsend said officials were studying bin Laden’s new video tape for clues to his health or whereabouts, and whether there were any hidden meanings or messages.

But she said there was no sign of an imminent attack.

“This is a man on the run in a cave who is virtually impotent other than his ability to get these messages out,” Townsend said on CNN’s “Late Edition.” “It is propaganda.

Chinese hackers plan cyber attack

Chinese military hackers have drawn up a plan to disable the United States’ battle carrier fleet through a cyber attack, British newspaper The Times said Saturday, citing a Pentagon report.

The blueprint is part of a plan by Beijing to establish “electronic dominance” over its global rivals by 2050, particularly the United States, Britain, Russia and South Korea, said the daily.

The newspaper said two hackers working for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came up with the plan.

Singing the Blackberry blues

A software glitch shut down e-mail service for some BlackBerry users Friday, and delays were still being felt hours after the problem was fixed.

Research in Motion Ltd., the Waterloo, Ontario-based company that makes the ubiquitous mobile device, said no e-mails were lost in the shutdown that affected an unspecified number of customers in North America who subscribe to the BlackBerry Internet Service. Phone service and text messaging were unaffected.

Politics and 9/11

Six years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks united Americans in common cause, the anniversary is itself now treated in many quarters as just another opportunity for political bloodletting.

This year, there’s already been a battle over the role that former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani should play in the commemoration at Ground Zero now that he’s a GOP presidential candidate.

Still out there and still dangerous

Thanks to German-U.S. intelligence cooperation and heads-up German police work, three Islamic militants were arrested in the last stage of what authorities called a “massive” plot aimed at the U.S. military presence there.

Authorities said the trio, two German nationals, converts to Islam, and a Turk, had accumulated military-grade detonators and 200 gallons of a concentrated hydrogen-peroxide solution, the equivalent of 1,200 pounds of TNT. Police said the bombs were similar to but more powerful than the bombs that killed 191 people in Madrid, Spain, and 52 in London.

Why we must never forget 9/11

Let’s quit making a big deal out of 9/11, some are saying as the sixth anniversary rolls around, and maybe you disagree as I do, but hold your arguments. A recent event speaks louder than our words could.

It occurred in Germany, where police arrested three Islamic-fascists who had cruelty up their sleeves. They had their own recognition of 9/11 planned, but no reading of the names of the 3,000 who died in that day’s attacks, no families joining to pray for the victims, no speeches about the need for vigilance.

Feeding the need for praise

Have you gotten an “applause note” recently?

If you are in an office with a lot of “millennials” (twentysomethings), chances are you have. Jeff Zaslow wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal that “companies are celebrating young employees by throwing confetti at them, passing out ‘applause notes’ and giving them kudos just for coming to work on time.”

Hate crime or overreaction?

Germantown, Tenn., officials defended the firing of three theater workers who tied stage-rigging ropes into hangman’s nooses.

City Administrator Patrick Lawton likened the knots left hanging at Germantown Performing Arts Theatre to cross-burnings and swastikas.

“It is the symbol of hatred and bigotry,” he said.

Meanwhile, the city took criticism from people inside and outside the local theater community for either overreacting to or misinterpreting the knots.

Death of diversity?

Forget presidential politics. The real debate might be taking place outside that arena. And a good thing, too. The dumbed-down, lightning-fast, popular vanity answers by presidential aspirants might be irrelevant.

In August, the Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor, Daniel Henninger, brought up an important concern about the times we live in. The header boldly read, “The Death of Diversity.”