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Bakri sez he'll be back
Today's Headlines
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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22 00:00 Robert Crawford [548] 
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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23 00:00 Doug "Dugout" Bakri [408]
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Page 2: WoT Background
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3 00:00 Frank G [268]
3 00:00 Alaska Paul [271]
3 00:00 Captain America [334]
1 00:00 Bulldog [278]
12 00:00 Tony (UK) [275]
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1 00:00 Captain America [295]
8 00:00 Jackal [273]
2 00:00 Poison Reverse [270]
3 00:00 john [278]
17 00:00 Frank G [410]
3 00:00 tu3031 [256]
14 00:00 xbalanke [431]
15 00:00 BA [275]
18 00:00 Secret Master [259]
9 00:00 Tony (UK) [291]
6 00:00 MunkarKat [285]
1 00:00 The five-strong team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) [271]
Page 4: Opinion
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5 00:00 Chris W. [361]
2 00:00 DMFD [266]
-Short Attention Span Theater-
Vaginas 'R Us - Picture Of Billboard
Via Defamer.
Posted by: Raj || 08/09/2005 15:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:


Medieval sword, mallet, armor no match for ye olde Taser
Snip, did this a few days ago.
Posted by: muck4doo || 08/09/2005 12:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [357 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Memo to Bob. Armor is an excellent conductor of electricity. But, you know that...now.
Posted by: Steve || 08/09/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#2  "There can be only one..."

Posted by: Raj || 08/09/2005 15:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Some guy in Seattle held off the entire Seattle Police Department for about 6-8 hours (this is during rush hour - Downtown Seattle street) with only a sword a while back. Finally the Fire Department manged to hold him down with a ladder so the cops could rush him.....

But that was 'sensitive' seattle....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 08/09/2005 15:38 Comments || Top||

#4 

"I'm gonna crush your f****** skulls, I have a thousand years of power!" B>

{Buzz---Ker Zap!}

Make that a thousand milliseconds.
Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 16:10 Comments || Top||

#5  After reading the statement, he was wearing mail, that's a mesh of chain.
The Taser barbs went through the links and into skin. That works well, there's no shorting when the metal is not touching both contacts.

Plate armor would have been a good defense, no penetration, and solid plate would short the taser's current.

That said, what an idiot, this jerk must have been high on something.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 08/09/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||

#6  Last week a drug dealer in Kenosha WI got Pepper Sprayed and Tazered at the same time. The jolt from the Tazer set the pepper spray on fire. Lets hear it for the Law of Unintended Consequences
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 17:55 Comments || Top||

#7  The jolt from the Tazer set the pepper spray on fire.

New German BBQ dish - Selbst Kebab.
Posted by: Raj || 08/09/2005 19:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Spicy wings!
Posted by: Sock Puppet 0’ Doom || 08/09/2005 22:56 Comments || Top||

#9  Which brings us to my next point: Dont smoke crack.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 08/09/2005 23:43 Comments || Top||


You can’t compare me to a freaking cow (Peta: Blacks = Livestock)
hat tip: Michelle Malkin
NEW HAVEN — A two-hour animal rights demonstration on the Green Monday sparked outrage instead of sympathy from the public. "This is the most racist thing I’ve ever seen on the Green. How dare you," roared Philip Goldson, 43, of New Haven at the protest organizers at Church and Chapel streets.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a national animal rights group, posted giant photographs of people, mostly black Americans, being tortured, sold and killed, next to photographs of animals, including cattle and sheep, being tortured, sold and killed. "I think it is an apt comparison," said Josh Warchol, 26, of Wallingford, president of the Southern Connecticut Vegetarian Society, which is aligned with PETA.

PETA officials said they had hoped to generate dialogue with the shocking photographs.
'cause everyone knows that shocking people is the best way to talk with 'em ...
"We realize these images are hurtful. It’s hard for me to imagine the hurt the animals go through. We should be treating animals according to their own best interests, not to the best interests of people," said Dawn Carr, PETA’s director of special projects.
Special Project: Piss off the NAACP...
PETA wants people to stop eating animals, stop using them for clothing, stop forcing animals to entertain people (as in a circus) and stop animal experimentation. Carr said she doesn’t want animals sold or treated as property either.
I wonder what she thinks of that horse in Seattle....
The controversial display, which is on a national tour, is intended to drive home PETA’s point.

However, critics said the organization’s demonstration backfired. One man demanded that the NAACP get involved immediately. Five minutes later, Scot X. Esdaile, president of the state and Greater New Haven chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, arrived at the scene, surveyed the photos and blasted the organizers. "Once again, black people are being pimped. You used us. You have used us enough," Esdaile said. "Take it down immediately."
I would have paid money to watch this ...
"I am a black man! I can’t compare the suffering of these black human beings to the suffering of this cow," said Michael Perkins, 47, of New Haven. He stood in front of a photo of butchered livestock hung next to the photo of two lynched black men dangling before a white mob.

"You can’t compare me to a freaking cow," shouted John Darryl Thompson, 46, of New Haven, inches from Carr’s face. "We don’t care about PETA. You are playing a dangerous game."

Paul Tomaselli, 46, of North Branford took exception to an exhibit that included a photo of a black man being beaten to the ground by a white man with a stick while a white mob gathers. Next to that photo was one of a man chasing a seal across the snow with a club. "I think he’s right," said Tomaselli, who is white, in support of Thompson. "To compare people to animals is an unfairness to people."

The display, "Are Animals the New Slaves?" is on a 10-week, 42-city tour that started in early July. Today’s stop: Scranton, Pa., then on to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. "This is the most hostile audience we’ve had," said PETA volunteer Ben Godwin.
Light slowly dawns in the east ...
At one point, police hovered at the edge of the Green, across from the demonstration.

Eight of the 12 banners compared the suffering of black Americans to the suffering of cattle, sheep, an elephant, a seal and a rooster. Other banners showed Native Americans exiled from their homes, children in a factory and men in a counter-demonstration against women’s rights.

A photo showing a concentration camp inmate with a number tattooed across his emaciated chest was juxtaposed against a shot of a monkey in a laboratory with a number branded across its chest. "I have relatives who were in concentration camps," said Alex Reznikoff, 47, of Newtown. "I think this detracts from PETA’s message. It doesn’t make me think about animals at all."
One might say Peta screwed the pooch on this one.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 08/09/2005 13:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...I wonder what she thinks of that horse in Seattle....
LMAO
Posted by: Penguin || 08/09/2005 14:04 Comments || Top||

#2  bak to teh drawinbord
Posted by: muck4doo || 08/09/2005 14:09 Comments || Top||

#3  This is about par for these freaks. They have absolutely no sense.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 08/09/2005 14:15 Comments || Top||

#4  My grandfather was one of the last whites to leave the Newhallville area of New Haven. That after two firebombings and an attempt to strangle him. These PETA morons should know better then to wander into the hood. (most of NewHaven is that). Real idiots.
Posted by: 3dc || 08/09/2005 14:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Hey, the PETAns have a "winning streak". Remember last week the noodle who wore a chicken suit in front of KFC, and that KFC's business increased because many folks thought the chicken suited protestor was an advertising gimmick?...
Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 15:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Hey, no hiefer ever called me honky...
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/09/2005 15:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Today’s stop: Scranton, Pa., then on to Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Special Project: Getting F**cking Killed is what they mean. Man, I've lived in those places. Being dumb and well meaning is not going to save these people in Baltimore.
Posted by: Secret Master || 08/09/2005 15:50 Comments || Top||

#8  We can only hope, SM.
Posted by: leader of the pack || 08/09/2005 15:53 Comments || Top||

#9  That is definately what the world needs less of: PETA members.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 08/09/2005 16:11 Comments || Top||

#10  Guess this is why PETA enjoys overwhelming public support across the nation and the world.
Posted by: MunkarKat || 08/09/2005 16:44 Comments || Top||

#11  Can we render them into food? (Peta, I mean)

"Soylent Hemp is hippies, man!!!"
Posted by: BH || 08/09/2005 16:58 Comments || Top||

#12  Maybe if they occasionally had a ham sandwich, they'd be able to think straight.....
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 08/09/2005 17:12 Comments || Top||

#13  Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/09/2005 17:31 Comments || Top||

#14  These idiots are definately pushing their luck, they lost any sympathy from me with their "Jesus was a Vegitarian" lies.

Wonder how many PETA idiots are alive today from these "Horrifying" animal biology experiments, such as the discovery of insulin, etc.

Sounds like the herd is about to be culled slightly.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 08/09/2005 17:41 Comments || Top||

#15  PETA & NAACP = Black on Black violence. MSM won't pick it up.

Oh! now it's on, like neckbone.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/09/2005 17:48 Comments || Top||

#16  I'd like them to take their "show" to Fort Worth - the same weekend the Texans hold their annual longhorn drive through town. I'm sure there would be some "bonding" taking place.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 08/09/2005 21:23 Comments || Top||

#17  We need video of the comming debacle.
PETA on the barbie...
Posted by: 3dc || 08/09/2005 23:09 Comments || Top||

#18  Don't forget, catching a fish is like lynching a black man. Shooting a deer is like raping a black woman. Shooting a turkey is like, like, well, I don't know, but pretty bad.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 08/09/2005 23:49 Comments || Top||


Ancient Christian monk cell unearthed in Egypt
Posted by: Oztralian [AKA] God Save The World || 08/09/2005 11:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What kind of cell phone was it?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 08/09/2005 12:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Thanks, Chuck. Now the mooselimbs are going to claim they "invented" the cell phone back in the 7th century during the "enlightenment" period of Moooohamad.
Posted by: BA || 08/09/2005 13:12 Comments || Top||

#3  And this is the main flaw in the Islamist "victimhood" about the crusades: The crusades were there to TAKE BACK land that Mohammed stole by force of the sword from Christianity. Islam destroyed the Church of the "Desert Fathers" by killing the holy men and womne, burning their churches (and setting up thiers on the site), and "converting" the worshipers at the point of a sword.

Islam: the religion of bandits and thieves.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/09/2005 17:16 Comments || Top||

#4  "...one of Christianity's most influential hermits."

You don't hear a sentence like that every day.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/09/2005 17:34 Comments || Top||


Study: Sabertooths were no pussy cats
Posted by: Oztralian [AKA] God Save The World || 08/09/2005 11:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gee no big suprise here. Actually the saber tooth characteristic has shown up a number of times in the fossil record not just in Smilidon
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Studies have found that lions eat meat.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/09/2005 12:24 Comments || Top||

#3  PR: I've found that some lions don't. May I have some grant money now to study this in-depth?
Posted by: BA || 08/09/2005 13:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Duh!
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 08/09/2005 14:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Diego from "Ice Age"


Smiley Don -- State Fossil of California!

Russian Movie - "Bremya Smilodonya"
"Smilodon's Era"
Sabre-tooth depicted as a tiger with sabre teeth, and the requisite blonde cave girl!


Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 14:34 Comments || Top||

#6  Smiley Don -- State Fossil of California!

No way! When did they change it? I thought this was our state fossil:

Posted by: AzCat || 08/09/2005 17:17 Comments || Top||

#7  lol! Azcat The liberal = dinosaur fossils.
Posted by: 2b || 08/09/2005 21:37 Comments || Top||


Invading our cities
CHICAGO, IL, United States (UPI) -- Normally content in woods and forest preserves, wild raccoons are seeking food and water in Illinois cities and villages because of the Midwest drought.

Conservationists say a combination of an early spring frost that killed buds on wild fruit trees and drought now in its fourth month has stressed raccoons, forcing more of them into inhabited areas to live off garbage, worms, turtles and stolen cat and dog food.

Some have become dependent on food and water left by immigrant rights groups discarded fast-food leftovers, Robert Frazee, a natural resources educator at the University of Illinois Extension Service told the Chicago Tribune Monday.

The nocturnal critters gravitate to permanent water sources such as water sprinklers on lawns during drought. The raccoons also compete for habitat with their more urban cousins who live around humans year-round.

Animal control officials in northeastern Illinois relocate only a fraction of thousands of animals considered nuisance wildlife. Most are euthanized. Humans - why do they hate us?
Posted by: Jackal || 08/09/2005 10:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [548 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Harvest them, rename them Chilean Wild Goat, price it at $30 a plate, and watch the Chicagoans eat them into extinction.
Posted by: BH || 08/09/2005 11:33 Comments || Top||

#2  LOL - well, they really are "free range."
Posted by: Matt || 08/09/2005 11:39 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't have a problem with raccoons her at the Palace, I have a problem with coyotes. They walk within 40 or 50 feet of me and aren't the least bit afraid. They ate my ducks, the bastards.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 08/09/2005 12:16 Comments || Top||

#4  Coyotes do make excellent targets though and are always in season. Good hunting, Deacon.
Posted by: PsychoHillbilly || 08/09/2005 12:34 Comments || Top||

#5  Matt, you remind me of the last time I was down on the farm (chicken). The farmer cracked me up as he was describing what "'em city folk" want for "free range." Said the FDA/Dept. of Ag. defined free range in such a way that all the local farmers allowed their chickens to be put in big pens for a set amount of time before putting them into the houses for feeding/growth. That "definition" allowed for it and the city folk now pay $2-3 more per pound for "free range" chicken.
Posted by: BA || 08/09/2005 13:08 Comments || Top||

#6  reminds me of the Far Side cartoon: Boneless Chicken Ranch...
Posted by: Frank G || 08/09/2005 14:24 Comments || Top||

#7  lol, Frank. Even better. I really love the time I was talking to an environmental guy down in Florida. He said they'd had a public meeting about some dairies moving in to north central FL. Locals showed up, and 1 woman even said "We don't need any dairies here! I can get my milk at the grocery store!" Those city folk, I tell ya.
Posted by: BA || 08/09/2005 14:29 Comments || Top||

#8  BA, Frank, LOL - that's about what I expect when I see "free range" chicken next to the Chilean sea bass on the menu.

Posted by: Matt || 08/09/2005 14:29 Comments || Top||

#9 

"PETA is worried about cows in Connecticut, and here we are in Chicago, and we are the ones really suffering! More liberal B S."


Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 15:26 Comments || Top||

#10  lol, Ed! On a roll, are we?
Posted by: BA || 08/09/2005 15:34 Comments || Top||

#11  Raccons are adapting fast to the surburan system. I saw one little SOB trying to rip off my spinners.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/09/2005 15:42 Comments || Top||

#12  I captured 40 one summer in the hills of California. They are mean little critters. They are not nearly as big as they look, either. I would spray them with water first thing in the morning before animal control picked them up for relocation. They shrank to nothing as the fur got wet. They also went crazy. I was hoping that would discourage them from returning.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/09/2005 15:55 Comments || Top||

#13  AAAAAWWWwwwwwww.....

#9 is CUTE! Wuddent you just luv to take him/her home?
Posted by: Bobby || 08/09/2005 16:25 Comments || Top||

#14  For nearly a year I had a healthy live and let live relationship with one of them at my new home. Yes, I tagged him with the hose a few times and verbally demeaned his species numerous times. One morning I walked outside to find the little thugeen had chewed through the tops of a few heavy duty garbage cans he couldn't tumble over because I had put about 35 lbs of old mortar in each to spite him. That day I declared jeeehad on old nasty furball and caged him only 2 hours after dark with a little peanut butter. Had two Jamison's to celebrate then went out to interrogate and digiphoto him for identification purposes (well, on second thought I was probably just torturing him). He was a hateful little guy once trapped. Summary execution was considered but I didn't want to be bothered cleaning up afterward. Animal control was called to do with him as they saw fit but when they came to transport him they found their racoon cage wasn't big enough for my badboy! When the control guys returned with the big cage one of them actually reached into my cage and transferred old nasty by grabbing him by the scruff of the neck! Don't try that one at home.
Posted by: MunkarKat || 08/09/2005 16:36 Comments || Top||

#15  LOL!
What a thread - keep it coming people!

Sorry to hear about the ducks Deacon ;)
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 08/09/2005 16:51 Comments || Top||

#16  My first wife had a racoon brought to her as a baby in a rural area outside Toronto. Man, was that thing cute. It loved to climb on people and sit on their shoulder or even head. We used to take it down to the creek behind the house, where it would scamper through the water turning over rocks to see what it could find. Its hands were incredibly human like. It got pretty big (I think they get bigger the further north you go) and a bit aggressive. Her (big) dog was afraid of it. Released it into the wild at 4 or 5 months and it succesfully adapted and even had a litter.
Posted by: phil_b || 08/09/2005 17:41 Comments || Top||

#17  The best raccoon story I've heard concerned this couple who noticed them rooting through their garbage. "How cute!" said the wife, and told her husband to buy and give them some cat food. It didn't take much, and soon they had a "gaze" (large herd) of raccoons. They then decided they had better stop, before things got out of hand. But things had already gotten out of hand. The husband, the giver of cat food, soon had the eerie feeling of being watched any time he went outside. "Stalked" would be a better word for it. Unlucky for him, he only lived a few blocks from the store where he worked, a store soon visited by raccoons. Lots of them. All at the same time. The last tale was of how they were attending Sunday mass at their nearby church, when a great hue and cry came up from the rear pews. "Raccoons! Eek!" (I have no idea whatever happened after that, though.)
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/09/2005 17:51 Comments || Top||

#18  My grandmother had one has a house pet. They do have opposable somethings.... sucker could open up a jar of preserves.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/09/2005 17:58 Comments || Top||

#19  What, Tony, no raccoons in London?
Posted by: Matt || 08/09/2005 18:31 Comments || Top||

#20  Lived around them all my life and I have this to say: if one out of every ten of them had a little tool belt filled withy tiny tools, we would have much bigger probelms than the ROP.
Posted by: Secret Master || 08/09/2005 18:37 Comments || Top||

#21  We're infested with them here in Colorado Springs. There are at least ten or twelve that live near my home. The only problem I have with them is they eat my cat and dog food, and have been known to kill a kitten or two. My next-door neighbor has a fish pond. He loses two or three of his goldfish every year to the marauders. They're not as bad a threat as the blue heron that found his pond a couple of years ago. Luckily a slingshot does a good job of 'dispersuading' all animals from staying around - except the fox that visits about twice a month.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 08/09/2005 21:37 Comments || Top||

#22  Lived around them all my life and I have this to say: if one out of every ten of them had a little tool belt filled withy tiny tools, we would have much bigger probelms than the ROP.

Damned Moties.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 08/09/2005 21:55 Comments || Top||


Man dies after playing computer games for 50 hours
SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) -- A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet cafe, authorities said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old man, identified only by his family name Lee, had been playing online battle simulation games at the cybercafe in the southeastern city of Taegu, police said. Lee had planted himself in front of a computer monitor to play on-line games on August 3. He only left the spot over the next three days to go to the toilet and take brief naps on a makeshift bed, they said. "We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion," a Taegu provincial police official said by telephone.

Lee had recently quit his job to spend more time playing games, the daily JoongAng Ilbo reported after interviewing former work colleagues and staff at the Internet cafe. After he failed to return home, Lee's mother asked his former colleagues to find him. When they reached the cafe, Lee said he would finish the game and then go home, the paper reported. He died a few minutes later, it said.

South Korea, one of the most wired countries in the world, has a large and highly developed game industry.
Posted by: Oztralian [AKA] God Save The World || 08/09/2005 11:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lee had recently quit his job to spend more time playing games, the daily JoongAng Ilbo reported after interviewing former work colleagues and staff at the Internet cafe.

Now somebody will blame games, but people that are this messed up would have found something else to be a lunatic over.
Posted by: Laurence of the Rats || 08/09/2005 11:24 Comments || Top||

#2  I heard of a similar case some time back. They really need to start teaching kids at school to be wary of computer games just as they are of drugs, alcohol, gambling and some of the other vices out there. The guy's parents must be mortified.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 08/09/2005 12:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Computer games. Why do they.......?
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 08/09/2005 12:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Wow--I want to thank this brave pioneer for his contributions to society! From now on, I'll know to take a break when I reach the 40-hour mark.

Yep, that's me--standing on the shoulders of giants!
Posted by: Dar || 08/09/2005 13:28 Comments || Top||

#5  What would Noam Chomsky do??
Posted by: MACOFROMOC || 08/09/2005 13:50 Comments || Top||

#6  ...Lee had been playing online battle simulation games at the cybercafe...

Of course, 50 hours of Lara Croft could wear a man out...




Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 15:40 Comments || Top||

#7  Come back here you little weasel!
Posted by: Kim || 08/09/2005 15:43 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Bosnian Serb war suspect arrested in Argentina
A Bosnian Serb fugitive sentenced for crimes committed during the Bosnian war and wanted by a UN war crimes court has been arrested in Argentina. Police say Milan Lukic, who has been on the run for more than five years, was arrested in Buenos Aires.
Gee, what a familiar theme, European Fascists scuttling off to Argentina ...
He was indicted by the UN's war crimes tribunal for crimes said to have been carried out during the Bosnian war. He is also wanted in Serbia, where he was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for war crimes.

In 2003, a court in Belgrade found Lukic and three other men guilty of torturing and murdering 16 Muslim civilians whom they abducted from a bus travelling from Serbia to Bosnia in 1992. Yugoslav officials say Lukic headed a paramilitary group believed to be responsible for abducting, torturing and killing the victims, all Yugoslav nationals. The incident - known as the Sjeverin case after the town where the victims were kidnapped - was the most serious crime to take place on Serbian territory during the Balkan wars in the early 1990s.

In the indictment from the tribunal at The Hague, Lukic is accused of forming a paramilitary group in 1992 which worked with local police and military units to exact a "reign of terror" against Bosnian Muslims in the Bosnian city of Visegrad.

Lukic is being held in a Buenos Aires jail and is expected to appear in court for questioning before a federal judge in the coming days.
If he's extradited he goes to somewhere in Europe for a trial before the Euro Court of Summthin' or Other and at most fifteen years, with time off for good behavior and sporting holidays. Wonder if he could have an accident instead?
Posted by: Steve White || 08/09/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought that war ended after Clinton left office.
Posted by: Captain America || 08/09/2005 1:21 Comments || Top||

#2  What Mucki said yesterday, hoping it was California. LOL
Posted by: Shipman || 08/09/2005 3:30 Comments || Top||


Down Under
Australian/Asian relations at all-time high
Australia's Foreign Minister says the diplomatic relationship with South-East Asia is at an historic high.

Alexander Downer says the invitation to attend the East Asia Summit in December means Australia will be present at the birth of a dynamic East Asia community.

Mr Downer has told Parliament the summit will involve China, Japan, South Korea, the 10 ASEAN countries, India, Australia and New Zealand.

"This East Asia Summit brings together the most dynamic economies in the world - 49 per cent of the world's population and 21 per cent of global trade," he said.

"So it is an enormous step forward for this country."

Mr Downer says Australia will use the opportunity to upgrade its links with the region.

" I know the Government as a whole is particularly delighted that Australia has been invited by ASEAN to participate in the East Asia summit," he said.

He says negotiations are under way for a free trade agreement linking Australia and New Zealand with the 10 countries of ASEAN.
Posted by: God Save The World || 08/09/2005 02:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:


Mystery kangaroo beheadings
THERE is growing concern about the mysterious beheading of more than a dozen kangaroos in Melbourne's northeast in the past three weeks. The decapitated carcases of 15 kangaroos have been found in the suburbs of Yarrambat, Research and Hurstbridge since the middle of July, but authorities are at a loss as to who or what is the culprit. The lack of intact remains – most have been badly decomposed or burnt – has hampered investigations by the RSPCA, Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Twelve of the deaths have been on the Yarrambat Park golf course, which has a kangaroo population of between 200 and 300, while three have been found along the side of roads in Research and Hurstbridge.

Nillumbik Shire official Deb Ganderton said all of the kangaroos had been decapitated – but none of the heads had been found. She said both mature and young roos had been killed, with the most recent report last week. "We're calling on the public and neighbours to keep their eye out," Ms Ganderton said. "We need a carcass so we can take it to the RSPCA or a vet so we can find out more about the decapitations.

"Is it dogs, or is it someone shooting them?"

There have been no reports by neighbours of gun shots near where any of the dead kangaroos have been found.

RSPCA senior inspector Catherine Smith appealed for anyone with information about the decapitations to come forward. She said the bodies of the dead kangaroos had been destroyed each time before they could be inspected for evidence gathering.

Ms Smith said anyone who killed kangaroos without a licence could be prosecuted under the Wildlife Act or Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which each have maximum penalties of $12,000 and 12 months imprisonment.
Posted by: God Save The World || 08/09/2005 04:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have to wonder if this is just practice on somebodies part for when Sharia becomes the Law of the Land in Oz
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 8:08 Comments || Top||

#2  That was my first thought as well. They might even start before sharia is officially installed, as a means to speed the process.
Posted by: docob || 08/09/2005 8:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Maybe the dingoes have converted to Mohammedanism!
Posted by: Jeff || 08/09/2005 8:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Those BASTARDS!

There goes the dingo vote.

Posted by: docob || 08/09/2005 9:01 Comments || Top||

#5  Twelve of the deaths have been on the Yarrambat Park golf course

Big bouncing varmints they were.

Posted by: abu Carl Spackler || 08/09/2005 10:40 Comments || Top||

#6  sorry..haven't u heard,


Kangaroo head soup, spicy.
Posted by: Gourmando Downunder || 08/09/2005 12:23 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm thinking the cattle mutilation guys are branching out.
Posted by: Xbalanke || 08/09/2005 12:25 Comments || Top||

#8  Twelve of the deaths have been on the Yarrambat Park golf course


"Wasn't me!"


"Wasn't Me!"


"Wasn't me!"


"I didn't hurt any kangaroos..."


"Who'd behead a kangaroo during a round. Very distracting..."
Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 15:00 Comments || Top||

#9  Maybe OJs there working on his slice?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 08/09/2005 15:05 Comments || Top||

#10  On the spot fiewd guidance! They scwew up my wye! Almost shoot nineteen!
Posted by: K. Jong Il || 08/09/2005 15:15 Comments || Top||

#11  Lol! That's truly Wicked, RC, lol!
Posted by: .com || 08/09/2005 15:15 Comments || Top||

#12  Kangaroos, why do we hate them?
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 08/09/2005 16:10 Comments || Top||

#13  Waiting for the PETA Golf Pro in 5...4...3
Posted by: john || 08/09/2005 16:29 Comments || Top||


Australia in uranium talks with China
The Federal Government has announced Australia will formally open negotiations on a nuclear cooperation agreement with China. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says the agreement will establish safeguards to ensure Australian uranium supplied to China is used "exclusively for peaceful purposes".

Mr Downer says Australian and Chinese officials have already held exploratory talks on the issue. He says China's rapidly growing demand for energy will see a four-fold increase in nuclear energy production by 2020. "Diversifying from fossil fuels will result in lower greenhouse gas and particulate emissions," Mr Downer said in a statement.

But Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has condemned the Government's decision to begin talks. Senator Nettle says the international community still has not been able to develop satisfactory ways to dispose of nuclear waste and Australia should export uranium at all. "The Australian Government is not looking at the concerns in Australia and elsewhere that we need to remove ourselves from this destructive industry," she said.

"It doesn't provide any answers to greenhouse gas emissions, it simply creates another problem."
That's pretty darned dumb. Generate electricity with a nuclear generating plant and you don't burn the requisite amount of coal or oil. I don't know what's difficult about understanding that, but then I'm not a Green.
Posted by: God Save The World || 08/09/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says the agreement will establish safeguards to ensure Australian uranium supplied to China is used "exclusively for peaceful purposes".

Unless the Aussies intend to have their people involved in all aspects of the material's use and full control of its handling, there's no guarantees the Commies won't divert some of it into "non-peaceful" uses.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 08/09/2005 0:29 Comments || Top||

#2  You said it Bomb-a-rama! Chinese hegemony will require the Russians to "grab the ankles" in the future; I hope that doesn't frighten the Aussies into anything hasty. China knows It can't take Indonesia without subduing Australia and it's influences (US) in their strategic designs on the region.
Posted by: smn || 08/09/2005 5:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Actually can be EXTREMELY difficult if accurate auditing is done and you taint the uranium mixture. Weaponized enriched uranium is 98-99% pure U-235 (or plutonium which is a whole nother ball game). For generating electricity this rarely goes over 7% purity. Anyway all I'm saying is the main problem occurs in successful auditing and making sure the other guys (china in this case) return the spent uranium rather than try to process it.
Posted by: Valentine || 08/09/2005 5:39 Comments || Top||


Ruddock takes control of foreign troop cases
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says he will personally consider any requests to stop foreign soldiers being prosecuted in Australian courts. Two US marines recently escaped prosecution for stabbing a man in north Queensland when their case was transferred to the United States. A bureaucratic delegation approved the transfer on the condition the men would be vigorously pursued in American courts.

Mr Ruddock says he stands by that decision but has since disbanded the panel of bureaucrats that approved the transfer and will make future rulings himself. He says it is unfortunate the Australian victim was unable to give evidence but it would not have changed the outcome. "He was not called because it was believed the evidence was not helpful," Mr Ruddock said. "He has been debriefed by the American officials since then. My concern was it didn't happen in a timely way."
Posted by: God Save The World || 08/09/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Usually it means the boys were before a courts martial, not the most enjoyable experience in one's military career and usually the last, just after Leavenworth. So does the piece say what the CM outcome was? Or is this another case of ignoring that process cause it doesn't fit the 'evil American military' bias of MSM?
Posted by: Flash Hupomoling8954 || 08/09/2005 8:46 Comments || Top||


Europe
Two people die as 'deliberate' forest fires ravage Spain
Two people have died in the struggle to put out forest fires which are ravaging parts of Spain. Francisco Javier Tirado Rodriguez, 29, died on Saturday helping to fight a blaze started that day in Casavieja in Ávila. Rodriguez, who is well-known in his home town for his work protecting the environment, was hit by rocks which became loose during the fire.

On Monday, officials said the fire had destroyed an estimated 800 hectares of forest and was believed to have been started deliberately.

On Sunday, in Galicia, in Orense, Antonio Diaz, 50, died as he piloted a plane spraying water over an area engulfed in flames.

On Monday, more than 27 fires were still burning throughout the country, many started during the weekend which experts had warned would be especially hot and dry.

Fire fighters in the province Castilla y Leon were tackling 11 fires which had destroyed some 4,100 hectares, with the most serious being highlighted as that at Avila and a second in La Cabrera in Leon, which had destroyed 3,100 hectares. The farming and fishing minister Elena Espinosa, who visited the family of Rodriguez to give her condolences, called for people to behave responsibly. She pointed out that the vast majority of the forest fires this summer have been started deliberately and stressed "the majority of the burnt woods will be difficult to restore".
"C'mon guys, quit it! I'm serious!"
For her part, the environment minister Cristina Narbora admitted that the government needed to do more to tackle forest fires. "The government isn't satisfied with how it has acted," she said. "However, it isn't resigned; it's committed."

There were "many faults to be addressed," she added. However, the minister said the conservatives were wrong to accuse the socialist government of "letting people die" and "little short of involuntary homicide".

"There hasn't been a single year in history when there has been so little rain," she said, adding that those circumstances made exceptional measures necessary. The minister said she would consider vetting local festivals which used fireworks and bonfires, in addition to the ban the government has already introduced on smoking and lighting bonfires in certain zones.

Narbora said she still felt bitterness, anxiety and powerlessness when she thought of the 11 volunteer firefighters who lost their lives in the Guadalajara fire last month. She pointed out that during the conservative PP government's eight years in power, more than a million hectares were destroyed in forest fires and 32 people died.
Posted by: leader of the pack || 08/09/2005 07:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There are many fires each year in France too, and most of them are deliberate.

I'm certainly bigoted in thinking that, but I can't help having the (probably at least partially unjustified) impression that a disproportionnate part of theses fires are lighted by yobs of north-african background.
Some of the arsonist caught are voluntary firefighters of farmers, but from last year I recall having a few infos about for example a serial arsonist near Marseilles who was a "youth" (coded word for muslim "juvenile", up to 35 years old and counting), or how firebombs were used to set several fires at once in several locations.

There seems to be a tropism of such "youths" with fire, from church, school, gymnasium,... arsons to garbage cans, cars (tens of thousand each years, over 400 in Paris area on this 14th july alone) fire... not to mention horrific cases of people being assaulted with flammable materials, like this nurse set on fire by a "maniac" on Xmas day two years ago IIRC (she lost her two hands), to a young muslim girl being burnt alive for refusing herself to a suitor (who was hailed as a hero by the crowd of his pals when police brang him back for re-enactement), or to that mall cop disfigured and maimed by a firebomb when the mall was swarmed by an aggressive revenge-seeking gang of homeboys.

I can't help thinking perhaps there is a quasi-terrorist touch to this, a bit like the forest arsons in Israel (wasn't there a claim about Us fires being terrorist too?), probably not even organized by a "mastermind", but as a general symptom of contempt and hatred for the country, or sheer badness.
But then again, I'm probably just paranoid.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 08/09/2005 8:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Yes, last year several groups boasted that they had set some of the wildfires in the US southwest. Difficult to verify, since there are large tracts of undeveloped land there and lightening strikes are common.

As I recall they were al-Qaeda affiliates and boasted that Allah was giving them helpful conditions (a relative drought) for the 'attacks'.
Posted by: leader of the pack || 08/09/2005 9:33 Comments || Top||

#3  I won't absolutely rule it out, but we've had local idiots starting fires out here for decades.

Worse, our area is becoming more susceptable to fire, as non-native invasive species come in. The Sonoran desert never used to burn, as there was too little fuel spaced too far apart. Now things like African Bufflegrass (thanks, Mexico) in filling in the areas, so it can burn, killing the native vegetation (Saguaros explode like a jihadi), and being the only thing that grows back after a fire.
Posted by: Jackal || 08/09/2005 10:30 Comments || Top||


French no longer bon vivants
The French now have so much free time that they cannot afford to enjoy it, tourism professionals said yesterday, blaming a sharp fall in summer hotel and restaurant revenues on the average Gallic tourist's newfound parsimony.
35 hour work week, 11% unemployment, private sector hasn't grown in 20 years, yep, some belt-tightening just might be in order ...
With many employees entitled to up to 11 weeks annual leave, thanks to the 35-hour-week laws introduced four years ago, the French are taking more breaks. However, they tend to be shorter and holidaymakers have less cash to spend when they are away.

The Union of Hotel and Restaurant Owners said its members have complained that holidaymakers now rarely take aperitifs, that they drink water rather than wine, eat sandwiches at lunchtime, order just one course at dinner and refuse even a post-prandial coffee.
Barbarians!
Overall, it estimates that takings this summer are down by 15-20%. "One of the effects of so much more time off is that people are spending so much more through the year on planes and trains that that they have to economise when they are actually away," said Brigitte Lenfant of the tourist office at Meditterranean resort of La Grande Motte.
Next year they'll stay home and putter 'round the house ...
Official statistics appear to confirm the trend away from the traditional month-long summer vacation. A French government agency said last week that the average summer break now lasted a fortnight.

France's faltering economy and unemployment rate is not helping either. A recent survey by Ipsos polling group found that 52% of French people planned to spend less than €1,500 (£1,038) of their budget on holidays this year. The proportion taking at least one break away from home is also falling. Nearly 16% of the population have never been away and half of all French holidaymakers now stay with friends or family.

The trend is being particularly keenly felt along the Mediterranean and south-western Atlantic coast, where most of the year's income is earned in July and August. "It's really getting problematic," said one Nice hotelier and restaurateur. "People are having a snack at lunchtime and avoiding anything that resembles a restuarant.

"Often they'll go out for a full three-course meal in a decent establishment just once in their whole holiday. We're no longer a nation of bon vivants, it seems."
Posted by: Steve White || 08/09/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like a cheap spot to vacation.
Posted by: Spinelet Wheasing6888 || 08/09/2005 1:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, and with the American tourist trade down....
Posted by: Flash Hupomoling8954 || 08/09/2005 8:43 Comments || Top||

#3  used to be, Merkins were 25% of the French tourist revenues

Can't imagine why that changed ..... heh
Posted by: leader of the pack || 08/09/2005 9:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Maybe they're staying home to make sure Granny and Gramps don't get vaporized in the next heat wave???
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/09/2005 10:05 Comments || Top||

#5  In fact low wage people were/are against the 35 hour week. They wanted to work longer work and toget higher pay. It was the syndicates (very weak in France, except unfortunately at a couple key chokepoints like train and electricity) and specially the bobos (I think the american term is yuppies) who were for it
Posted by: JFM || 08/09/2005 11:12 Comments || Top||

#6  "bobos" = "bourgeois bohemian" (or vice versa) -- same term in Merkin, JFM.

By the way JFM, do they have any online resources in French or English confirming, for example, latest stats for tourism, like LotP mentioned in #3 ?

Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 08/09/2005 12:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Cheer up, Frenchies. You may no longer be bon vivants, but you're still snotty a$$holes. And nobody can take that away from you.
Posted by: BH || 08/09/2005 15:18 Comments || Top||

#8  Yup, JFM has hit it right on the head - the poor sods that really need the money and are willing to work for it, are not allowed to because the bobos (brilliant term by the way) find it reprehensible that people have to work for a living.

I'm currently reading a fascinating book 'The Power of Productivity' by William Lewis that is very illuminating - one key point;


Most people consider 'social objectives' to be 'good.' Import tariffs, subsidized loans for small businesses, government disallowance of layoffs, and high minimum wages are all examples of economic policies designed to achieve social objectives. We can't have it both ways. These measures distort markets severely and limit productivity growth, slow overall economic growth, and cause unemployment. Rather than support these measures, it is better to level the playing field, create a bigger economic pie, and manage the distribution of that pie through the tax code for individuals.


And one other key point on productivity;


It is tempting to conclude that if productivity increases, then employment must go down. After all, if the workforce works more efficiently, then fewer workers are needed. This line of thought stops too soon. It fails to consider what happens after productivity is improved and workers are available to be redeployed somewhere else in the economy. It assumes incorrectly that the amount of business activity in an economy is fixed. In fact, if workers are available, entrepreneurs can match them with new business ideas and investment capital and thus increase the total amount of business activity in an economy. The production of goods and services thus increases, along with the productivity increase, and employment levels do not have to decrease.


Which is one of the most succinct descriptions I've read of the benefits of increased productivity.

I'm hardly a third of the way through it and finding nuggets on every page - great book!
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 08/09/2005 16:45 Comments || Top||

#9  Carl in NH asked for online resources about tourism in France.

The French statistsics institution is the insee but you could also have to look at the French ministry of Tourism website
Posted by: JFM || 08/09/2005 17:18 Comments || Top||

#10  My Sax Legume!

This line of thought stops too soon. It fails to consider what happens after productivity is improved and workers are available to be redeployed somewhere else in the economy

So simple, yet SO HARD FOR HAMMERHEADS TO UNDERSTAND, IT'S SIMPLE. Help me Joe.
Posted by: Shipman || 08/09/2005 18:08 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
4-Star Commander TRADOC Relieved For Sexual Misconduct
The four-star general who headed the U.S. Army's training program has been fired after an investigation into sexual misconduct, officials said on Tuesday.
In a rare punishment of a four-star officer -- the highest rank in the military -- Gen. Kevin Byrnes was fired as commanding general of the Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe in Virginia, the Army said in a statement.
Army officials did not rule out the possibility of criminal charges or additional administration discipline.
"The investigation upon which this relief is based is undergoing further review to determine the appropriate final disposition of this matter," the Army said.
"He was relieved for matters of personal conduct," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.
An Army official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the disciplinary action followed an investigation by the Defense Department inspector general's office into "allegations of personal misconduct of a sexual nature."
The official offered no further details of the allegations against Byrnes, who is married.
As head of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, Byrnes was in charge of Army training programs, creating war-fighting guidelines and recruiting new soldiers. He oversaw 50,000 people in 33 schools and centers at 16 Army installations.
Byrnes, a New York native who held the post since 2002, was relieved of his duties on Monday, Army spokesman Paul Boyce said.
Lt. Gen. Anthony Jones has been installed as acting head of the Army Training and Doctrine Command commander, Boyce said. The Defense Department in April announced Lt. Gen. William Wallace was nominated to become a four-star general to head the command, but the Senate has not yet confirmed him to the post.
Boyce said the investigation into Byrnes had been going on for "a couple of months" but could not say whether it began before Wallace was nominated to replace him. Boyce said he knew of no one else who was investigated for possible misconduct along with Byrnes, adding that any potential further action against Byrnes would be taken by Army officials.
"He has not been charged with anything," Boyce said, adding that Byrnes already had been expected to retire from the military at the time of the investigation.
"Obviously any time there is an allegation against a general officer of personal conduct, it's taken very seriously. It is looked into and examined and acted upon as appropriate," Boyce said.
Cases in which four-star U.S. military officers are relieved of their duties are extremely unusual, and the Army was not immediately able to cite another recent example within that branch of the military.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/09/2005 20:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [319 views] Top|| File under:


Senior general is relieved of duties
The Army, in a rare disciplinary act against a four-star officer, said Tuesday it relieved Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes of his command in the midst of an investigation into unspecified "personal conduct."

Byrnes, a native of New York City, was relieved as commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command on Monday by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, according to a brief statement issued by Army headquarters at the Pentagon. In that post, Byrnes oversaw all Army training programs and the development of war-fighting guidelines. It operates 33 training schools and centers on 16 Army installations and is headquartered at Fort Monroe, Va. Adultery or gay?
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 08/09/2005 11:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [342 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Everytime I saw a higher up diciplined, it always had something to do with alcohol. My money is on a 'DUI'.

Fred, put me down for $50 on DUI to win, and $10 on Fraternization to show!
Posted by: JackAssFestival || 08/09/2005 13:14 Comments || Top||

#2  JackA., I guess you also have the "got-drunk-and-went-cruising-the-rest-stops-for-gay-adultery" angle covered...
Posted by: Carl in N.H. || 08/09/2005 13:21 Comments || Top||

#3  As an aside, it took the new CNO, Admiral Mullen, less than 24 hours to dump one of the most disliked officers among the Navy's top brass. Vice-Admiral Joe Sestak, an arrogant and obnoxious "bully-boy," who delighted in being rude and unreasonable and getting away with it, found he was expendable the minute his mentor went out the door.
Posted by: anymouse || 08/09/2005 13:21 Comments || Top||

#4  The officer, Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, was forced into retirement about two months before he was to step down as head of the Training and Doctrine Command.

It must be bad if they are busting him with only two months to go.

A spokesman for Mr. Rumsfeld, Bryan Whitman, told The Associated Press that the investigation involved "matters of personal conduct," but he declined to elaborate. A question yet to be answered is whether General Byrnes will be allowed to retire at full rank, or be demoted and reprimanded as well.

Really, really bad. A DUI you could sweep under the rug for two months. Maybe a sexual harrassment case, maybe he suppressed charges or claims by female soldiers at one of the training commands. That would do it after the AF Academy fiasco.
Posted by: Steve || 08/09/2005 15:08 Comments || Top||

#5  More: An Army official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the disciplinary action followed an investigation by the Defense Department inspector general's office into "allegations of personal misconduct of a sexual nature." The official offered no further details of the allegations against Byrnes, who is married.

Boyce said the investigation into Byrnes had been going on for "a couple of months" but could not say whether it began before Wallace was nominated to replace him. Boyce said he knew of no one else who was investigated for possible misconduct along with Byrnes, adding that any potential further action against Byrnes would be taken by Army officials. "He has not been charged with anything," Boyce said, adding that Byrnes already had been expected to retire from the military at the time of the investigation.


No charges yet may mean nothing illegal, just bad press for the Army.

"Obviously any time there is an allegation against a general officer of personal conduct, it's taken very seriously. It is looked into and examined and acted upon as appropriate," Boyce said. Cases in which four-star U.S. military officers are relieved of their duties are extremely unusual, and the Army was not immediately able to cite another recent example within that branch of the military.

In 1995, Navy Adm. Richard Macke was replaced as the head of U.S. Pacific Command after making an offensive remark about the rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl, suggesting to reporters that Marines charged in the case would have been better off spending their money on a prostitute.


Searched, but can't find a hint of anything.
Posted by: Steve || 08/09/2005 15:19 Comments || Top||

#6  Sure hope this guy weasn't with the Cavalry in Seattle.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 08/09/2005 15:29 Comments || Top||

#7  Its probably either sexual misconduct with a subordinate [how many female peers are there at that rank?] or with someone's spouse. The Gay community doesn't like you to know that hetros are prosecuted for their sexual behavior as well [remember Kelly Flynn - oh, and her lawyer tried to play the 'victim' card as well only to be shot down by real info days later on the number of male officers who'd face courts martial charges for adultry in the prior year]. And yes it does effect discipline and morale when 'team' members screw other members' spouses and significant others. People stop looking out for their buddy's back, thus putting everyone in more danger than is necessary. The gays want to have immunity for their behavior while straights will continue to be disciplined and separated from the service for their sexual activity.
Posted by: Flash Hupomoling8954 || 08/09/2005 16:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Byrnes, a native of New York City, was relieved as commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Ummm, didn't I read something about deaths in "Boot Camp" a few months ago, bunch of DI"s and their Officers cashiered, and so on?

"Training Command" is Militariese for "Boot"
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 08/09/2005 17:54 Comments || Top||

#9  Sestak may have been unpopular because he overworked everyone, but he had done lots of good work towards modernizing the Navy for the future. The guy was extremely smart and he didn't just shoot from the hip - he did his homework. His work, and the hard work of others approved by the previous CNO, was just dumped out with the trash to "improve moral".
Posted by: 2b || 08/09/2005 21:26 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Garuda pilot faces poison trial
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- A pilot for national airline Garuda Indonesia went on trial Tuesday over the alleged murder of a prominent human rights activist who was poisoned last year on a flight to Amsterdam. The high-profile case is seen as a crucial test of the government's willingness to crack down on rogue elements within Indonesia's powerful security forces, who for years have operated with impunity. Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, 44, has been identified by government-appointed prosecutors as the sole suspect in Munir Said Thalib's murder -- despite a fact-finding team's report that intelligence agency officials may have been involved.

Prosecutor Domu Sihite told judges at the Central Jakarta District Court the off-duty pilot arranged for Munir to be upgraded from economy to business class on the Sept. 7, 2004, flight, and then ordered two flight attendants to put arsenic into his orange juice.
"Coffee, tea, poison?"

Pollycarpus, who has denied the charge, faces the death sentence if convicted. The trial was adjourned until Aug. 16, when he will be given a chance to respond.

Munir's supporters chanted "Killer! Killer! Killer!" as Pollycarpus entered and left the small but crowded courtroom. But they insisted the Garuda pilot did not act alone and accused the government of failing to look for the masterminds. Munir was Indonesia's top human rights campaigner and regularly spoke out for justice in the face of intimidation, including death threats. He was an especially vocal critic of Indonesia's military, accusing it of numerous human rights violations in East Timor and the troubled provinces of Papua and Aceh. The 38-year-old activist also accused them of running a criminal network involved in illegal logging and drug smuggling. Analysts said the case shows that Indonesia's security forces -- which were used by ex-dictator Suharto to silence critics -- remain powerful today.

A government-authorized fact-finding team in June said the intelligence agency may have been involved in Munir's death -- but prosecutors made no effort to investigate that link, said Asmara Nababan, one of the team's members. "According to our investigation, Pollycarpus was part of the plot -- but he wasn't the mastermind," he said. "It looks like the government thinks 'if we get Pollycarpus that's enough, we've done our job'," he said.
That's what it looks like from here.
A Dutch police report said Munir consumed more than 500 milligrams of arsenic -- four times the lethal dose -- while on a flight to the Netherlands, where he was about to begin a master's program in law.
Posted by: Steve || 08/09/2005 09:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [267 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought you couldn't take enough arsenic in a single dose to kill you, that you had to take smaller amounts over a period of time. Can any of you MD or scientist types give an answer to that?
Posted by: Jackal || 08/09/2005 10:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Smaller doses over long periods of time builds up a tolerance to it. Happens all the time in poisoning cases ( or so CSI tells me). One massive dose will do the trick. Arsenic is one of the more easily detected poisons, this sounds like a amature operation. Giving it to him on the plane cut down on the number of possible suspects. I'd have taken him out after he'd been in the Netherlands for awhile. Botched "mugging" or a car accident.
Posted by: Steve || 08/09/2005 11:21 Comments || Top||


High Speed Vessel (HSV-XI) Makes Port Visit to Malaysia
KOTA KINABALU, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- The joint venture High Speed Vessel (HSV-XI), a leased commercial ship, arrived in Labuan, Monday for a three-day port visit, followed by a three-day visit to the state capital.

According to a statement issued by the press office of the US Embassy, the US Pacific Command was testing the HSV-XI as a military support vessel designed to transport personnel and equipment. It said the vessel was the sister ship of HVS-2 Swift. The Swift was part of the US Navy emergency relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the aftermath of the tsunami catastrophe. It played an important role in helping to transport supplies to isolated areas in the tsunami-devastated province.

The vessel is scheduled for a variety of exercises, security cooperation events and port visits in the region.

The statement said US vessels routinely transit through international waters, participated in bilateral exercises and stopped at ports for friendly visits, rest and resupply.
Posted by: Pappy || 08/09/2005 00:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One sexy! looking ship.
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 08/09/2005 15:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Yes Tony it is. I remember hearing about this earlier this year. All it needs is a couple of warp nacelles (just kidding)
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 17:51 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Tech
Discovery lands safely for the last time
EFL

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The Space Shuttle Discovery touched down safely in California Tuesday after spending two weeks in space, making it the first and final successful shuttle landing since Columbia broke apart over two-and-a-half years ago.

The shuttle landed as scheduled at 8:12 a.m. EDT, which was 5:12 a.m. PDT — well before sunrise in California. A friend said the booms woke her up and got all the dogs barking. A NASA news conference to ask for more money to accomplish nothing is expected later today.

After thunderstorms in Florida prevented the spacecraft from returning to its home base, NASA officials rerouted the shuttle to Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert.

Mission managers said they were confident that the thermal protection system would protect the orbitor during re-entry and anticipated a smooth landing.

The inherently dangerous ride down through the atmosphere — more anxiety-ridden than normal because of what happened to Columbia 21/2 years ago — skipped most of the continental United States this time.

Discovery followed a course that took it over the Pacific and into Southern California. NASA officials had said they would adjust the flight path so the shuttle would skirt Los Angeles, because of new public safety considerations by NASA in the wake of the Columbia accident.

"It's going to be a new beginning for the space shuttle program," NASA's spaceflight chief, Bill Readdy, said from the Cape Canaveral landing strip. Some religions say death is a New Beginning.

With its launch on July 26, Discovery became the first shuttle to fly since Columbia's catastrophic re-entry in 2003. But its flight to the international space station could be the last ever for a long while.

NASA grounded the shuttle fleet after a nearly 1-pound chunk of insulating foam after the original kind was rejected by the Clinton administration's political appointees broke off Discovery's external fuel tank during liftoff — the very thing that doomed Columbia and was supposed to have been corrected.

Discovery spent nine days hitched to the space station, where astronauts resupplied the orbiting lab and removed broken equipment and trash — one of the main goals of the mission. That included an extra day that was added following the cancellation suspension of future flights, so the astronauts could do more work at the station. Discovery was the first shuttle to visit the orbiting outpost since 2002.

As a result of Columbia, Discovery's crew performed intense inspections of their ship on five different days. Astronauts also did a spacewalk to test new repair techniques and replaced a failed gyroscope on the station during another spacewalk.

In a third, unprecedented spacewalk, two protruding thermal tile fillers were removed from Discovery's belly. Engineers feared the material could cause dangerous overheating during re-entry.

Shut down NASA and RIF every single employee, down to the janitors. Then start over.
Posted by: Jackal || 08/09/2005 09:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [387 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Or outsource to USAF. Or the USMC.
Posted by: Edward Yee || 08/09/2005 12:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Consolidate the funding and instead offer it as a 'prize' to independent developers and businesses which will accomplished specially achieved goals. Only need a small committee to validate the accomplishment before presenting the award monies.
Posted by: Flash Hupomoling8954 || 08/09/2005 12:32 Comments || Top||

#3  Regardless of the future, I'm grateful the Discovry landed safely. Welcome home.
Posted by: Seafarious || 08/09/2005 12:42 Comments || Top||

#4  If we have to rely on NASA the future in space is I think bleak at best. The ISS is in an orbit that was chosen more to make the Russians happy than anything else. It's high inclination severely reduces the payload the shuttle can carry to orbit if it is headed there. For transporting crews to and from orbit a simpler vehicle is needed but I don't think we should throw the baby out with the bath water. The shuttle launch stack holds the core of an extremely capable Heavy Lift Vehicle that with expansion could be capable of placing up to 200 tons in LEO. The loss of Challenger can be traced directly to the forced decesion of NASA to go with the low bidder for the original SRB design (thanks to Congress). The original field joints of the casings on the Thiokol SRB desigh had the recieving portion of the joint on the bottom casing. Water could collet and freeze in the field joint causing the joint to unseat. The brittleness of the original O-Ring material at low temps didn't help either. The re-design featured joints that had both casings nesting inside deep groves cut into each section. The foam problem that caused Columbias loss can be traced to several issues IMO. One is the CFC foam issue. The other is the whole issue of using foam on a surface being subjected to high speed airflow in the first goddamn place. This is something that never would of been allowed in a comercial application. Some of this foam is hand applied for Chrit's sake. Take a look at films of the Saturn V being launched. Large amounts of ice are falling off the vehicle at launch. If you are going to use cyrogenic fuels and oxidizers then you are going to a) either put up with debris at launch and allow for it or b) insulate the tanks better. If I were king I'd remove the shuttle operations from NASA'a control and transfer the responsibility to either the Air Force or the Navy. The shuttle itself would only be flown when the mission required it. The operating budget of NASA for the shuttle would be tranfered to either the DARPA or a similiar organization for the development of X-type vehicles as envisioned by people such as Dr. Jerry Pournelle who helped the SDI office get funding for the DC-X test vehicle that flew sucessfully until NASA took it over and they crashed first time out. There have been too damn many studies of how to do it cheaper and easier. What has been lacking is the will in Washington to see that we do it. And don't rely on privte investment to do the job for you. The only way that will work is if you offer a contract to operate supply and ferrying services to say the ISS or something similiar. And while such an operation may not be government run it would be government funded
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 13:27 Comments || Top||

#5  If we have to rely on NASA the future in space is I think bleak at best. The ISS is in an orbit that was chosen more to make the Russians happy than anything else. It's high inclination severely reduces the payload the shuttle can carry to orbit if it is headed there. For transporting crews to and from orbit a simpler vehicle is needed but I don't think we should throw the baby out with the bath water. The shuttle launch stack holds the core of an extremely capable Heavy Lift Vehicle that with expansion could be capable of placing up to 200 tons in LEO. The loss of Challenger can be traced directly to the forced decesion of NASA to go with the low bidder for the original SRB design (thanks to Congress). The original field joints of the casings on the Thiokol SRB desigh had the recieving portion of the joint on the bottom casing. Water could collet and freeze in the field joint causing the joint to unseat. The brittleness of the original O-Ring material at low temps didn't help either. The re-design featured joints that had both casings nesting inside deep groves cut into each section. The foam problem that caused Columbias loss can be traced to several issues IMO. One is the CFC foam issue. The other is the whole issue of using foam on a surface being subjected to high speed airflow in the first goddamn place. This is something that never would of been allowed in a comercial application. Some of this foam is hand applied for Chrit's sake. Take a look at films of the Saturn V being launched. Large amounts of ice are falling off the vehicle at launch. If you are going to use cyrogenic fuels and oxidizers then you are going to a) either put up with debris at launch and allow for it or b) insulate the tanks better. If I were king I'd remove the shuttle operations from NASA'a control and transfer the responsibility to either the Air Force or the Navy. The shuttle itself would only be flown when the mission required it. The operating budget of NASA for the shuttle would be tranfered to either the DARPA or a similiar organization for the development of X-type vehicles as envisioned by people such as Dr. Jerry Pournelle who helped the SDI office get funding for the DC-X test vehicle that flew sucessfully until NASA took it over and they crashed first time out. There have been too damn many studies of how to do it cheaper and easier. What has been lacking is the will in Washington to see that we do it. And don't rely on privte investment to do the job for you. The only way that will work is if you offer a contract to operate supply and ferrying services to say the ISS or something similiar. And while such an operation may not be government run it would be government funded
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 13:30 Comments || Top||

#6  Interesting post, Cheaderhead. Do you have any recommended reading with respect to Pournelle's concepts? (Yeah, I could Google it, but...)
Posted by: eLarson || 08/09/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Simplest solution is to re-explore the methods fo getting manned craft to orbit - and make them passenger-only craft. Let this out for bid and do it liek we do fighter aircraft. Get 2-3 competitive consortiums, have a bake-off, and whoever loses gets to subcontract form the winners. And unlike military programs, have the contractors bid out the launch and recovery systems, and bid out operations as well. All NASA would be is a management arm - set the direction, put out hte specs, accept bids, and manage how the winners work with the government. Put profit there and we will get humans into space.

As for the big satellites (that DoD needs): Leave the heavy lift to a purpose designed lifter. Be easy enough to use the SRBs, and the Shuttle main engines and control systems and come up with a reliable booster system for heavy throw weights to LEO, and be easy to implement quickly since it need not be man-rated.


As for an immediate manned solution: Go with Soyuz type system (Russians will sell it cheap) to get the crew on station until we can come up with a better one ourselves.

In the meanwhile for heavy lift, you could go back and restart the production lines for the one-shot launch vehicles the USAF was using to loft spy satellites: big fragile loads, lifted to wierd orbits = bigger loads lifted to more normal orbits. FYI, the orbit required dominates the energy needed which sets the amount of payload available. Spy satellite LEOs are at unusual inclinations and perogee/apogee, so take a lot more to loft into orbit.

Pretty simple eh? But NASA as it exists now will not go for it; not enough pork in it for Congress to pass it.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/09/2005 17:28 Comments || Top||

#8  Just Google Chaos Manor. I'd post the link but it is about a gazillion characters long and I can never remember that trick to shrink 'em down. Claims to be the original Blog and might be. Some interesting commentary that pops up from time to time about everything from education to space to Iraq. In the last year I saw someone else using his system to map out just where a person stands in the political spectrum something I first saw in the late '70s or early '80s
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 17:31 Comments || Top||

#9  Cheaderhead, tinyurl.com is probably what you're looking for.

Posted by: Tony (UK) || 08/09/2005 17:35 Comments || Top||

#10  Thanks Tony. One reason the address was so long is I was working off of a Netscape search. DUH! Try this

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 17:47 Comments || Top||

#11  I very much like the "Spaceship One" piggyback concept, it's not as "New" as folks think, the idea was bypassed when the concept of a "Shuttle" was first being designed, it's much cheaper when you start from 30 angels and up than from a dead stop on the ground and straight up from there.

But the idea fell by the wayside in favor of the "Brute Force" concept, poor decision in light of the results.

Another workable concept was to use helium gasbags to lift as high as possible, then light 'er off, several experiments proved the idea workable, including shooting the rocket directly through the lifting gasbag at max altitude.

Maybe next generation?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 08/09/2005 18:05 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan/South Asia
Artist to (virtually) restore Buddhas
Afghanistan's famous Bamiyan Buddhas are due to be recreated by multicoloured laser images projected onto the cliffs where they once stood. The 1,600-year-old statues, which stood on the Silk Road in the Bamiyan Valley, were destroyed by the Taleban in 2001.

Artist Hiro Yamagata will use solar and wind power to project a series of images onto four miles of clay cliffs.
So, will the Islamic terrorists blow them up as "idols," or will environmental terrorists blow up the windmills because they kill birds?
Afghan government officials, who approached the Japanese artist in 2003, are awaiting approval from Unesco. Fourteen laser systems would project 140 faceless images, standing up to 175ft tall, onto the cliff-face for four hours every Sunday night.

United Nations cultural organisation Unesco must assess whether the laser beams could damage the cliffs more than the Taliban's dynamite did.

Yamagata estimated the project would cost $9m and that it would be completed by June 2007.
Afghan Airways is planning a tourist package.
The California-based artist, who visited Bamiyan in 2003, hoped his artwork would give something back to the war-torn region by using the imported windmills to provide power for surrounding villages.
Good. A little electricity and perhaps some clean water would do wonders for child mortality.
He also planned to employ local workers to build the foundations for the windmills. "Many people say, 'My art will heal the people,'" said Yamagata. "Of course I help people, but it's more about not harming people."

"I'm doing a fine art piece. That's my purpose - not for human rights, or for supporting religion or a political statement."

Zahir Aziz, Afghan ambassador to Unesco, confirmed that an earlier Swiss plan to rebuild the Buddhas at the cost of $30m per statue had been discarded.
Seriously, I like it.
Posted by: Jackal || 08/09/2005 10:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe he can make them the Buddhas talk.
"You blew us up, you Islamic assholes!"
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/09/2005 15:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Actually, a ghostly voice should come from the projection.... "Woooooo Mullah Omar wooooooo we are coming for youuuuuu woooooooooooooo....."

If his one good eye sees that, while sitting in his Tora Bora cave, he will deficate, leaving a large stain in the rear of his schmock....


Click me
Posted by: BigEd || 08/09/2005 16:20 Comments || Top||


Africa: Subsaharan
Mugabe rules out opposition talks
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has ruled out holding talks with the main opposition party despite international pressure to do so.

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has reportedly offered to help Zimbabwe repay some of its foreign debts on condition that talks are held. Mr Mugabe said he would rather talk with the UK than the opposition MDC. "Today we tell all those calling for such ill-conceived talks to please stop their misdirected efforts," Mr Mugabe said in a speech in the capital, Harare, to remember those who died in Zimbabwe's 1970s war of independence on Heroes Day.

"The man who needs to be spoken to in order to see reason resides at No 10 Downing Street [UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's residence]... That's the man to speak to," he said. "Those in Harvest House, Harare, [headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)] are no more than his stooges and puppets. We would rather speak to the principal who manipulates the puppets."
I think he's getting political advice from North Korea ...
Mr Mugabe has blamed Zimbabwe's problems on a UK-led Western plot designed to oust him because of his seizure of white-owned land. His critics say the land reform programme has ruined what used to be one of Africa's most productive economies.

"Only someone with his head firmly buried in the sand would not understand why there are calls for dialogue," said MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.

Separately, South African and Zimbabwean officials have started talks over a possible loan - Zimbabwe needs $300m or it faces expulsion from the IMF. Mr Mbeki reportedly wants to use the loan to get Zimbabwe's rival politicians to talk to each other and possibly form a government of national unity to resolve the country's economic and political problems.
So Mbeki wants to do the right thing, he's just acting .. European ....

In his Heroes Day speech, Mr Mugabe also justified the demolition of thousands of homes, which the government says were built without planning permission. "Let those loud hypocrites who speak in defence of slums that brutalise our people tell us what they have done for our people in the area of housing," he said.
Um, they haven't flattened any lately?
A recent United Nations report said 700,000 Zimbabweans had been left homeless by Operation Drive Out Rubbish.

Meanwhile, a consignment of 37 tonnes of food aid sent by South African church groups to Zimbabwe is being held up at the border because Zimbabwe officials want proof that it is not genetically modified.
Turn the trucks around, I'm sure there are folks in South Africa who are hungry.
"We just wanted to get the food there as fast as possible. But we are appealing to everyone to speed up the process so that the food can arrive in Zimbabwe in the next couple of days," said South Africa Council of Churches spokesman Ron Steel.

After visiting Zimbabwe, the SACC said those left homeless were living in "shocking conditions". Mr Mugabe says new houses will be built for those made homeless.
Just as soon as that Chinese loan comes through.
Posted by: Steve White || 08/09/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pretty soon he won't have to worry about talks with the opposition as they will all be dead.
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 12:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Or he will.
Posted by: tu3031 || 08/09/2005 15:04 Comments || Top||

#3  That has to considered too.
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 08/09/2005 17:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Not likely, unless it comes from outside the country.
Posted by: Pappy || 08/09/2005 23:22 Comments || Top||



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Tue 2005-08-09
  Bakri sez he'll be back
Mon 2005-08-08
  Zambia extradites Aswad to UK
Sun 2005-08-07
  UK terrorists got cash from Saudi Arabia before 7/7
Sat 2005-08-06
  Blair Announces Measures to Combat Terrorism
Fri 2005-08-05
  Binori Town students going home. Really.
Thu 2005-08-04
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  First Suspect in July 21 Bombings Charged
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