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Yasser on his deathbed?
Today's Headlines
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
What irresponsible news media?
The Philadelphia Inquirer corrects one of its stories.
In Sunday's Arts & Entertainment section, an article about the film Kill Bill erroneously referred to Ricardo Montalban's character in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as a Klingon. Khan was an evil human bent on universal domination, though he does quote a Klingon proverb.
Posted by: Christopher Johnson || 10/07/2003 3:02:56 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Ah Kirk, my old friend. Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space."
Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 15:13 Comments || Top||

#2  What part of Italy were those Klingons from?
Posted by: Fred || 10/07/2003 15:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Sicily, of course.
Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 15:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Thats odd - I always thought Klingons came from Uranus
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 10/07/2003 15:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Wasn't Khan originally from India?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/07/2003 15:30 Comments || Top||

#6  Khan controlled a third of Central Asia but they never said where he was really from. His last name was Singh which indicates a Sikh. This is from the series, not the books or any other sources, they might have more details that I'm not about to look for.
Posted by: Yank || 10/07/2003 15:38 Comments || Top||

#7  Accessed Federation historical records via wormhole:

Khan Noonien Singh
One of history's most notorious dictators, Khan Noonien Singh was a genetically-bred human "superman" of Earth's India in the late 20th century who died in the 23rd century amid another "experiment" gone wrong. Rising to power among others of his kind, his ambition helped foment the Eugenics Wars that involved much of Earth's Third World. Finally facing defeat, he and dozens of followers escaped in the S.S. Botany Bay, a DY-100 vessel modified as a sleeper ship which drifted in intersteller space for over two centuries, until it was discovered in 2267 by the U.S.S. Enterprise. With his fellow survivors, Khan attempted to seize that starship but failed, and he and his people were sentenced by Captain Kirk to tame the wild M-Class world of Ceti Alpha V. Among those exiled was Lt. Marla McGivers, an Enterprise historian who fell in love with Khan and initially assisted him; ultimately, though, she refused to betray Kirk and her shipmates in the tyrant's abortive takeover.
On Ceti Alpha V, the band of refugees thought their dream of conquering an entire planet would come true, but six months after being left there, the star system's sixth planet exploded, and the shock wave wreaked havoc on planet V's ecosystem, making it a desert wasteland. In 2285, the embittered Khan commandeered the U.S.S. Reliant and hijacked the top-secret Genesis Device in a plan to exact vengeance against James T. Kirk. Khan failed to defeat his old foe, and died when he detonated the cataclysmic matter-reorganizing terraforming device, annihilating the Reliant.

Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 16:35 Comments || Top||

#8  Lt. Marla McGivers was a major babe!
Posted by: Flaming Sword || 10/07/2003 16:51 Comments || Top||

Ted Nugent endorses "Gun Nut" ice cream
Edited for brevity.
Ted Nugent, rock musician, avid outdoorsman and defender of gun rights, has come out in support of "Gun Nut" ice cream, a new flavor unveiled by a company billing itself as "the conservative alternative to liberal Ben & Jerry's." Star Spangled Ice Cream Company announced the new partnership yesterday in a statement. "Star Spangled Ice Cream, the ice cream with a conservative flavor, is proud that Ted Nugent had endorsed our newest politically incorrect flavor, Gun Nut," said company Vice President Richard Lessner. "Ted Nugent is a great defender of the people's right to bear arms. We believe Gun Nut is a perfect complement to the wild-game recipes in Ted's best-selling cookbook, 'Kill It and Grill It.'"
I'll take a double-barreled cone!
Posted by: Dar || 10/07/2003 11:51:12 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is there a five day waiting period?
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 12:06 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm waiting for Lunatic French Vanilla
Posted by: Shipman || 10/07/2003 12:40 Comments || Top||

#3  French Surrender Vanilla.
Posted by: Mike || 10/07/2003 12:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Ted Kennedy Salt-Water Taffy
Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 12:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Blue Liberal Moonbat!
Posted by: Atrus || 10/07/2003 13:29 Comments || Top||

#6  Donkey-Chip Cookie Dough!
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/07/2003 14:03 Comments || Top||

#7  I'ld like to sample the road-apple ripple.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 15:10 Comments || Top||

#8  and Clinton's favorite.......fat chicks & cream.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/07/2003 21:37 Comments || Top||

#9  Dammit Jarhead!

I was drinking tea. Now it's all over the monitor and keyboard.

Posted by: Ed || 10/08/2003 5:37 Comments || Top||

Euro increasingly unpopular in core EU countries
Seven out of ten German voters would reject the euro if they were given the chance, a new poll has shown. Germany never held a referendum on adopting the euro, which became the common currency of 12 European countries on 1 January 2002. And the new poll, by the ICM research company in the UK, shows that only 29 percent of Germans would vote to keep the euro if a vote were held today. In contrast, 70 percent would reject the euro, given the opportunity.
Which is why they won't be given a chance to vote on it.
Maybe surprisingly, it is younger Germans that are the most eurosceptic, with 73 percent of 18-24 year olds saying they would reject the euro.
No surprise, they're the ones with the longer future ahead of them and they don't like the look of where they are going.
The poll also showed that French voters would reject the euro, but by a much more slender margin (approximately 51-49). This has provoked fears that French voters may use a referendum on the Constitution to voice their concerns about the euro.
ICM polled 954 voters in Germany and 957 in France. The poll was conducted for the British eurosceptic tabloid, the Daily Mail.
Which, of course, invalidates it.
Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 11:54:16 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This id due to poor marketing. If they would have done a study before hand they would have known to name it the Happy instead of the Euro.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 12:34 Comments || Top||

#2  The US went to one currency when the Feds absorbed all of the debts of the various states. Perhaps the European Union should consider a similar angle if they are serious about forming a single nation.
Posted by: Yank || 10/07/2003 12:37 Comments || Top||

#3  The poll also showed that French voters would reject the euro, but by a much more slender margin

Not to brite are they? The French are one of the major beneficiaries of Euro economic policy.
Posted by: Shipman || 10/07/2003 12:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Doubtful poll: 29 percent in favor only? I seriously doubt that. Polls conducted in Germany see it rather at a 50:50 level.

Merely asking people: Would you like your Deutschmarks back? just brings out a sentimental answer. You have to tell people what it really means if they get their deutschmarks back. A real vote would look differently, probably a very tight race.
That in Germany Euro acceptance would be lower than in the UK is not credible.

The Euro has a bad image for the following reasons:

1) Except when they travel consumers don't see a real advantage.
2) In the first months there were price hikes which led to people not spending. Because people didn't spend the industry got in trouble. Because the industry got in trouble recession set in. Because recession set in the deficit grew. Deficit is not allowed to grow over 3 percent which means no tax cuts (which are needed). Now Germany and France break the stability pact which may ruin the stability of the Euro in the long run (negative effects currently outweighed by a weak dollar). If France and Germany can't keep the discipline, the smaller countries won't either.
3) When the Euro was introduced, it went on a slippery slope from $1.16 to 84 cents, thus creating the image of a "weak" currency. Now that it is back to initial heights its unwelcome strength is seen to hurt exports. Can't really win on this one.
4) Polls show that most Germans still calculate in DM, which is rather easy to do as one euro is nearly 2 marks. The French have a harder time as one euro is about 6,5 francs.
5) For the French the Euro was invented to check the power of the Bundesbank. With the curent weakness of the German economy that initial fear has largely collapsed. Now they find out that the ECB follows BuBa policies while the Banque Centrale largely followed orders of the French government.

Whether the Euro is good for us or not is hard to say now. We'll know in 10 years or so. If Europe manages to get its political shit together the Euro will be a good thing. If not...
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/07/2003 14:50 Comments || Top||

#5  A common currency requires that a participating state hands over control of its monetary policy to some centralized body. If you don't mind someone else making decisions for you, someone who has to consider the other states' needs as well, then I guess a common currency is ok. It also simplifies trade. But if you consider that a separate monetary policy can be used to "fine-tune" an economy, and that the one-size-fits-all argument simply doesn't hold, than a common currency is not something you should strive for. There have been discussions of creating a common North American currency in 1990s. But nothing has come of it, and for good reason.
Posted by: Rafael || 10/07/2003 15:01 Comments || Top||

Great White North
Izzy dies
Hat tip Little Green Footballs
Canadian media baron Israel 'Izzy' Asper, founder and chairman of CanWest Global Communications Corp., has died. He was 71. A news release issued by the Asper family said he died shortly after being admitted to St. Boniface Hospital Winnipeg at approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
When I get sick, don't take me to St. Boniface, okay?
Asper's wife Babs Asper, sons David and Leonard and daughter Gail were present when he died. Asper retired from his position of Executive Chairman of CanWest in January 2003, to devote more of his time to his many philanthropic pursuits, including in particular the establishment Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg. Asper remained active in the company as Chairman of the Board. "The company feels a sense of profound loss on the passing of our founder, who distinguished himself as a visionary business leader, a caring leader in his encouragement and financial support of worthy causes, and as a champion of Israel," the release said.
I'd never heard of this guy before now, but

Posted by: Atrus || 10/07/2003 1:53:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Politix
From Drudge...


On Fox News, Dems are threatening another recall race in 100 days if Arnold doesn't solve all problems, everywhere...

From Washington Post...
Asked if he thought he would lose the recall section of the ballot, Davis told reporters he was not in the mood to discuss that but added, "There is plenty of time for post-mortems tomorrow."
"After I'm politically dead..."
He went to afternoon mass and told reporters afterward he offered a prayer to St. Jude, who is the patron saint of lost causes.
Kinda late for that...
The California Secretary of State's office said that when voting ends at 8 p.m. PDT (11 p.m. EDT) almost 10 million people will have voted -- 2.3 million more than the last gubernatorial election and the highest number of voters for any governor's race in state history -- about 65 percent of registered voters.

Fox News sez exit polls say The Gray Davis is toast. We're not surprised:
Event: Gray Davis gets recalled
Group: Sane California voters
Narrative: It's like pulling wings off flies, but Gray Davis is getting recalled. Maybe.
Window: 0 Months (10/20/03)
Probability 80% entered by Steve White on 8/21/03
Probability 85% entered by Fred on 8/21/03
Probability 90% entered by Scooter McGruder on 8/21/03
Probability 100% entered by tu3031 on 8/21/03
Probability 100% entered by tu3031 on 8/21/03
Probability 85% entered by Anonymous on 8/22/03
Probability 85% entered by ccas on 8/22/03
Probability 100% entered by Chuck Simmins on 8/22/03
Probability 90% entered by Frank G on 8/24/03
Probability 70% entered by mft on 9/3/03
Probability 50% entered by Super Hose on 9/17/03
Probability 95% entered by Mike on 9/30/03
Probability 95% entered by R. McLeod on 10/1/03
Overall opinion is Probable (87%)
Current opinion is Probable (83%)
There's still a half hour to go before the polls close, but some of us were on the money, too...
Event: Arnold takes it
Group: California
Narrative: The Gray Davis, out. Arnold, in. Lesser probability: Arianna caught nekkid in a parked Mercedes with Ralph Nader.
Window: 1 Months (10/26/03)
Probability 90% entered by Fred on 8/27/03
Probability 75% entered by tu3031 on 8/27/03
Probability 80% entered by Chuck Simmins on 8/28/03
Probability 50% entered by True German Ally on 8/28/03
Probability 75% entered by Alaska Paul on 8/28/03
Probability 33% entered by Steve White on 9/3/03
Probability 40% entered by mft on 9/3/03
Probability 40% entered by Anonymous on 9/5/03
Probability 30% entered by Super Hose on 9/17/03
Probability 85% entered by Mike on 9/30/03
Probability 85% entered by R. McLeod on 10/1/03
Overall opinion is Possible (62%)
Current opinion is Possible (52%)
For once we were wrong. Not that they didn't try...
Event: California GOP shoots itself in the foot.
Group: GOP
Narrative: State GOP backstabs leading candidate (Arnold)
Window: 0 Months (10/19/03)
Probability 75% entered by Anonymous on 8/20/03
Probability 25% entered by Anonymous on 8/20/03
Probability 75% entered by Fred on 8/20/03
Probability 75% entered by Becky on 8/21/03
Probability 90% entered by Steve White on 8/21/03
Probability 75% entered by Chuck Simmins on 8/22/03
Probability 98% entered by mojo on 8/23/03
Probability 98% entered by mojo on 8/23/03
Probability 40% entered by Mike on 8/23/03
Probability 50% entered by Paul Moloney on 8/23/03
Probability 25% entered by Frank G on 8/24/03
Probability 80% entered by Super Hose on 9/17/03
Overall opinion is Probable (67%)
Current opinion is Probable (65%)
McAuliff's on the teevee. He just said it was a short campaign and a lot of people weren't paying attention, but he thinks The Gray Davis is going to pull it off. And he wants criminal investigations of Arnie. He doesn't think this is good news for the Publicans, doesn't think it's good news for George Bush...

11.05 pm... Bustamante HQ is glum... McClintock will make a speech in a half hour or so... Arnie's been working on his acceptance speech... Gary Coleman hasn't conceded yet...

Looks like Arnold over Bustamante 53-33 percent...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/07/2003 22:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "t. Jude, who is the patron saint of lost causes"

and a voice was heard from the heavens: "yeah, right..."
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 22:09 Comments || Top||

#2  7:33 PM Mrs Sarge and I just returned from voting. Davis is gone! Arney is in!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/07/2003 22:32 Comments || Top||

#3  how in the hell did I miss that Future Item?? D'oh!
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 22:37 Comments || Top||

#4  The polling data Fox is showing says that 80% of voters made up their minds weeks ago. Looks like the last minute smear campaign didn't actually hurt Davis like I thought it did. Glad to be wrong on every account.

Haven't been as this surpised by a political election since the Paul Wellstone Wake & PepRally was held.

As for this not being good news for Bush, has anyone heard much about the DNC challengers, WMD or Ambassador Wilson's wife roday. Arnie will suck all the oxygen for a week.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/07/2003 22:50 Comments || Top||

#5  actually I heard Wesley's campaign manager quit today
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 22:55 Comments || Top||

#6  As for the Quislingcrats trying to do ANOTHER recall in 100 days or so...fuhgeddaboudit. The petition-signature threshold needed to get a recall on the ballot is based on the last election's total voter turnout. Since MORE people voted this time than in the '02 election that returned Grayout for his second term, the Q-crats would have to get considerably more than the 800,000-plus that the recall organizers needed.
Posted by: Jeff || 10/08/2003 1:42 Comments || Top||

Home Front
Recall election today
Voters streamed to the polls Tuesday to make an unprecedented decision: whether to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, whose popularity plunged after the downturn in the economy and burst of the high-tech bubble.
Recent polls suggested that a majority of voters favored making Davis the country's second governor to be recalled, and that Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was leading the field of 135 candidates to replace him.
"I'll be back"
Davis' popularity plunged following the economic downturn. Californians face an $8 billion state budget deficit, persistent unemployment and struggling schools.
Not to mention anti-America
The Davis campaign said its internal tracking polls for the past three nights showed voters almost evenly split on the recall issue with just slightly more than 50 percent in favor. Schwarzenegger's campaign, however, said its tracking poll showed the pro-recall side solidly ahead.
Bye-bye, Gray
Both campaign's polls said Schwarzenegger was ahead in the race to select a replacement, leading Lt. Gov. Bustamonte ro'Bustamonte Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, and Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock.
Surprisingly, "I'd rather be right than governor" McClintock, California Publicans' effort to shoot themselves in the foot, doesn't seem to have thrown the race to Cruz or to The Gray Davis...
Although more than 2.2 million people had already voted by absentee ballot, officials were expecting lines throughout the state, especially because polling places were consolidated to accommodate the short time officials had to prepare for the vote.
Honesty in California's Governor's mansion is overdue
Secretary of State Kevin Shelley declined to estimate the turnout because this election has no precedent, but his office reported last week that a record number of voters for a gubernatorial race — 15,380,526 — were registered for Tuesday's vote.
Posted by: Atrus || 10/07/2003 3:26:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Does anyone know what the number of undecided is, in an average election cycle, in the last days before an election? How can you still be undecided? More likely these are decline to comment you liberal pasty-faced media slime type answers.
Posted by: Yank || 10/07/2003 15:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Yank, statistically there are 4% undecided up to the minute they get into the voting booth. Who are they? They are people that take elections very lightly but still participate (for some dumb reason). My wife is undecided as of breakfast this morning and I think she will make her mind when she gets in the voting booth (she always has). I think she secretly wants to vote for Gary Coleman! A side note: My mother (a hardcore Democratic) says that she is leaving the state if Arnold gets elected. I am going to miss her :=(
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/07/2003 16:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I voted: Davis - out! Arnold - in! (and keep the hands off the interns)
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 17:52 Comments || Top||

#4  18% of california is registered independant. 45% Democrat, 35% Republican.
2 million new voters have registered since July. 1.9 million voters signed the Recall petition, well beyond the 15% required to enact the recall election.

3.5 million voted for Gray Davis in November, 3.2 Million for Simon. Out of the 50+ counties in the state, only two counties voted heavily for Gray Davis ( LA and SF) all other counties were within a few hundred votes of each candidate. The actual count wasnt certified for 30 days, and Simon was heavily encoraged to ask for a recount due to the closeness of the vote.

Pat Caddel, (MSNBC analyst) said on election night last november that he had no doubt that there would be a recall, everyone on the panel at that time thought he was out of his mind.

One other note, every single california govenor has undergone a recall effort since the Law was enacted in 1911, but no one has ever gone over 10%, much less the required 15% of voters to qualify. Davis has rang the bell that cannot be unrung.
Posted by: frank martin || 10/07/2003 18:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Actual "big media" facts-n-figures:
Posted by: frank martin || 10/07/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#6  Man if felt good to vote today. Gray "I'm an incompetent, socialist hack" Davis is outta here.....oh but be sure the Donkeys will try once again to subvert the will of the people via their flunkies in the courts - but this time it's not gonna stick.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 10/07/2003 18:56 Comments || Top||

#7  Make that a $38 Billion deficit
Posted by: Tom || 10/07/2003 20:55 Comments || Top||

#8  HaHa Now onto the "next recall" doesn't that law have a repeat recall provision that if they can get X% of voters in THIS reccall election to sign a petition (much smaller number) that this can happen again? Talk about the law of unintended consequences!
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 10/07/2003 21:15 Comments || Top||

#9  Haha? stevey projecting thru NMM? hmmmmm
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 21:51 Comments || Top||

#10  if its close election and arnold wins, I expect their will be yet another recall, if its a blow out, which it is appearing to be, there wont be. the recall was a repulsive way to get this done, and I doubt that it will be taken up as revenge if arnold wins big tonight.

the number arnold has to beat is 3.5 million, if he does that or more, he will be fine, less than that look out. I honestly dont think people have the stomach for another recall for awhile.

This is a referendum on the democratic party leadership of this state. if they get vindictive and take it to court or take off in a second recall,people will see it for what it is.
Posted by: frank martin || 10/07/2003 21:56 Comments || Top||

#11  Now onto the "next recall" doesn't that law have a repeat recall provision that if they can get X% of voters in THIS reccall election to sign a petition (much smaller number) that this can happen again?

What would be the logic in recalling Schwarzenegger if he wins? He hasn't even proved himself yet. On the other hand, Davis already had a couple of years to demonstrate that he couldn't do the job.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 10/07/2003 22:01 Comments || Top||

#12  Fred--please confirm I'm not the psycho known as "Stevey" I was asking a question--and since when has logic had a place in California politics?
If Arnold wins--I don't care he is not a Bush Republican
Posted by: Not Mike Moore || 10/07/2003 22:58 Comments || Top||

#13  I'll vouch for NMM. Most definitely NOT Stevey boy.
Haven't seen him around in awhile so I'm guess his mom has her porn site back up.
Posted by: tu3031 || 10/07/2003 23:17 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Yawn, Another African Coup Attempt
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - The West African country of Burkina Faso said Tuesday it had arrested about a dozen suspected coup plotters accused of scheming with the help of a foreign state. The senior official who announced the arrests did not name the country involved, but tensions have been high with neighboring Ivory Coast, which has accused Burkina Faso of backing rebels holding half of their county.
It's an African Mobius Strip, I plot to overthrow you because you're plotting to overthrow me because...
The impoverished former French colony's military prosecutor, Abdoulaye Barry, said that those arrested in the past few days included two army captains and one civilian -- a Christian pastor who was to give spiritual support to the plotters.
Those damn christians, always plotting
Barry said they had all been detained for suspected crimes against state security, though they were still at the recruitment stage and were awaiting help from a foreign country.
Got their web site up, taking resumes, issuing an IPO, etc..
"Do not ask me which country it is. I will not tell you, but according to the mastermind of this business the money had already arrived from a foreign country and now they were waiting for the weapons," Barry said.
"I can say no more."
The news is likely to fan tensions with neighboring Ivory Coast, which has accused Burkina Faso of backing rebels who failed to seize power in September 2002 but still control the largely Muslim north. Burkina Faso has denied helping the Ivorian rebels but accuses Ivory Coast of mistreating its citizens -- many of whom work on cocoa plantations. Ivory Coast grows 40 percent of the world's cocoa.
"No blood for Herseys!"
President Blaise Compaore has ruled Burkina Faso since seizing power in a coup in 1987 that toppled populist ruler Thomas Sankara, an old friend.
What's a little coup between friends?
Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 3:08:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: Seafarious || 10/07/2003 15:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Ah Burkina Faso, thy name is Onomatapeia...
Posted by: mjh || 10/07/2003 16:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I thought Ghost Who Walks took care of that coup attempt in last months Black Panther.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/07/2003 17:30 Comments || Top||

#4  wasn't this Upper Volta before? I liked that name a lot more
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 17:57 Comments || Top||

#5  Interesting name, boring town. Had the strangly dull experience of spending four days there while working at the US Embassy. The cops carried old Soviet SMGs without ammo clips.

It's just not worth the trouble of staging a coup to take over.
Posted by: OminousWhatever || 10/07/2003 17:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Y'know, I spent years when I was young, trying to find Lower Volta.

It's a poor Volta that has only the uppers.
Posted by: Fred || 10/07/2003 20:35 Comments || Top||

Now a Southern Politician Has Recall Trouble
EFL from Guardian
Oswaldo Payä, a dissident leader, delivered a petition to parliament in Havana demanding a referendum on human and democratic rights. The petition, the second of its kind to be presented in the past two years, carried the signatures, names and addresses of more than 14,000 Cubans. Mr Payä, a devout Christian backed by Cuba's Catholic church, says that under the terms of the country's constitution a referendum is compulsory. When he presented the first petition 17 months ago, Mr Castro's regime responded by organising its own petition calling for a constitutional amendment, later approved by lawmakers, ratifying Cuba's socialist system as "untouchable".
That worked well...
Some 40 organisers of Mr Payä's petition, known as the Varela Project, were arrested in March and given prison sentences of up to 28 years as part of a group of 75 people accused of "serving a foreign power", in this case the US.
Damn. They're gonna be in jug longer than Fidel's got left to live, prob'ly...
Mr Payä's petition refers to a clause in the constitution that allows for a referendum to be held if more than 10,000 people back it.
This is easier than a referendum in California. Fidel why did you draft this provision into your Constitution? Jack Nicholson calls you a genius and then we find out that you let something like this slip. What were you thinking?
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 1:18:23 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hose! Now you given Davis a game plan to beat the recall! He was toying with the idea, but now he will just throw the candidates in jail. I wonder who will be Arnolds cell mate? I hope it's Cruz!
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/07/2003 13:33 Comments || Top||

#2  HE must have put it in to appease his supporters when he first took power. Now, of course, there's no need for a constitution when you have a dictator, so it's obsolete. I hope the people who fought for him a rolling in their graves.
Posted by: Charles || 10/07/2003 13:34 Comments || Top||

#3  You didn't read the fine print: "...that allows for a referendum", not "demands".

Guess who's the one allowing it... or not?
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/07/2003 13:51 Comments || Top||

Home Front
The Times Leaks on Arnold
What did the Democrats know and when did they know it?
by Bill Bradley
Senior Democratic strategists knew the particulars of last Thursday's L.A. Times exposé on Arnold Schwarzenegger well in advance of the story's publication, the Weekly has learned from well-informed sources. This knowledge came not only in advance of publication but also before anyone outside a close circle at the Times knew of the story's timing and particulars.
(Anyone surprised)
While the Times insists that its reporting uncovered the allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Schwarzenegger, there can be no doubt that advance knowledge of the story was very helpful to Governor Gray Davis' efforts to retain his office in the recall election. Meanwhile, Sunday-night tracking polls seem to show the recall and Schwarzenegger running well ahead. Schwarzenegger strategists say their tracking poll shows the recall with a lead in the low double digits, and Schwarzenegger nearly 10 points ahead of Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante on the replacement portion of the ballot.
(Actually the lead INCREASED after the story broke)
Top strategists for the governor were not available, and Davis spokesman Roger Salazar says he knows no Sunday-night polling numbers from the governor's campaign.
(Still in denial)
Back to the blockbuster hit on Schwarzenegger in Thursday's Times. According to a well-informed source at the paper, the story, which hit the political world with a thunderclap, never appeared on the paper's internal or external publication schedules. Indeed, project editor Joel Sappell and the three reporters working on what the Times has described as a seven-week-long investigative mud harvest project were very tight-lipped about both the scheduling of the piece and its contents. They discussed the story only with the paper's senior editors. Although the story did not appear on the schedule, it was reportedly placed in the "write basket," in which other Times editors and reporters can look at upcoming pieces, after hours last Wednesday night, just a few hours before it appeared on the Times Web site. Even with utmost secrecy surrounding the piece, senior Democratic strategists with long-standing ties to Davis knew not only when the story was coming but also the particulars of what was in it. These strategists felt that the story held the possibility of tipping the election away from Schwarzenegger and of defeating the governor's recall.
(A Standard Davis ploy, wait till the last minute to let loose allegations)
I'd call it a standard Dem ploy, though Davis is about the dirtiest I've ever seen...
Calls to Times editors on the internal scheduling and handling of the story were referred to the newspaper's public-relations department. Times spokesman David Garcia said the story was extremely closely held and not shared "with anyone outside the building."
(Which means a Davis man was/is IN the building)
Whether or not the Times received all or part of the story from pro-Davis sources — and the Times continues to vociferously insist that none of the first story, at least, did — the advance knowledge of the story's timing and particulars enabled Davis and the Democrats to design the closing burst of the anti-recall campaign, which we have seen unfold with an uncanny precision.
(hmm all of the women work for Davis people or unions. What do you think?)
I had been very impressed with the alacrity with which Davis and the Democrats seized on the Times story and swiftly pivoted into all-out attack mode. A flurry of press statements and highly coordinated events and advertising involving politicians across the state and in Washington, D.C., ensued. It was remarkably efficient. But if you know what is coming in the news flow and when it is coming, it is much easier to design the close of your campaign. Incidentally, the paper Monday backed off its previous contention that none of the women in subsequent stories came forward at the urging of Schwarzenegger's opponents in the wake of the Weekly's revelation that Jodie Evans, who pushed one of the women to come forward, is not merely the peace activist described by the Times but also a former close colleague of Governor Davis and longtime friend of chief Democratic hit man Bob Mulholland.
(Translation: After caught in a lie they changed the subject)
In another intriguing bit of Times reporting, Schwarzenegger's huge rally Sunday outside the state Capitol was not referenced until the 18th paragraph of Monday's story. The rally was twice as large as the 5,000 people reported by the Times. Of course, observers can vary in crowd estimates. But another element of the reportage was very strange. "Protesters nearly drowned out the early part of Schwarzenegger's nine-minute speech with a steady chorus of boos," the Times reported today. Viewing from the press riser with most of the rest of the press corps, I didn't hear the protesters. They certainly didn't drown out Schwarzenegger.
I asked the question: What comes after sleazy? I asked this to a friend because the Davis camp went well beyond sleazy. The sad part if that the LA Times, SF Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee were willing to be a bitch for the Democratic party. Which kinds of leaves a BIG whole for those of us who want/need a newspaper that speaks the truth. I will not defend Arnolds behavior but the most serious charges come from people that have VERY close ties with the Davis administration. Fortunately the Internet sleuths found out the deception and now the local news had to run the story. One of my female co-workers attended the rally on Sunday and she could not hear any protestors. Also the local news showed security escorted two (2) Code Pink idiots out of the rally. Too bad they didn't crack them with a baton and knock some sense into them. I am voting late today with my wife, we like to vote on the day and with our neighbors. I predict a HUGE Yes vote for the recall and Arnold will replace Davis with more than 50% of the vote.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/07/2003 11:34:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The LA Times will say that they were confirming details up to the last minute, but went to press finally, because if Arnold had lost their investment would in creating the story would have had no value after the election.

Looks like a case where Arnold should sue for libel and use the right of discovery in the civil suit to find E-mail that implicate that the paper held the story for political reasons. This discovery would have no bearing on the suit but could lead to some interesting "blood in the water" activity.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 11:51 Comments || Top||

#2  I heard last night that another 'two' allegations were leveled at Arnold by LA Times and Arnold's team revealed that one of them had a long history of arrests for prositution.

Is this true?

If it is it leads me to beleave that Gray's team is hiring hookers to make these claims......
Posted by: CrazyFool || 10/07/2003 11:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Truth is most of the allegations were made by Premier Magazine two years ago when Arnold was considering a run for Governor. Davis leaked the info to the magazine back then to get Arnold out of the race. Even if the Dems had nothing to do with the latest leak they are still semi-responsible.

Unfortunately for them the fact that the people of California had 2 years to digest the groping charges pretty much nullifies their affect on the decision making process when the charges reappear. The pro-Arnold polls went up because people saw the sleazy tactic for what it was.

I hadn't heard the prostitution line, sounds unlikely. One of the two was married to Arnold's major competitor in the Mr. Olympia competitions back in the late 70s. This is the same competitor that came out with racist misquotes about Arnold a month ago. She was in the gym wearing a loose shirt and no bra so they could see her breast through the armhole. Arnold reached in and copped a feel in front of the other body builders. If he groped her it was to psyche his competitor out, not that that makes it right, but it makes it very possible since Arnold was known for defeating his competition mentally before the matches. That's why Arnold apologized for some of the things that sounded like him.
Posted by: Yank || 10/07/2003 12:14 Comments || Top||

#4  It was bad enough when the waitresses at Hooters started suing for sexual harassment. When the prostitutes start outting the gropers, where will we be?
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 12:23 Comments || Top||

#5  Yank and Crazy, the rap sheet is true for the latest 'tear jerker' to come forward. Also the accusation of 'unwanted' touching seem to fall apart after a make-up artist tells the story of who was teasing who. To recap the three people that are identified: One works for the CAL DNC chairman, one works for a Union, and the third is a liar and a criminal with a LONG rap sheet (including prostituion). Drudge had a link to the rap sheet yesterday but it's gone today.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/07/2003 12:23 Comments || Top||

#6  here it is: KFI's John and Ken were all over it yesterday before 6PM, but the LA Times printed it as fact that she and Allred were the 16th gropee
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 12:25 Comments || Top||

#7  I think the sleazier thing was the Nazi smear. The Jews in Arnold's home town have a different story to tell about him. Frankly I don't know much about Davis except that he bores me to death when I see him on television.
As for the groping: Jeez, this guy worked with hundreds or thousands of women. I couldn't recall whether I accidently touched a female bum 20 years ago or not so I would not deny it just in case...
That's just pathetic.
I wouldn't know whether Arnold is qualified for that job. But if I get my Californian friends right, he just can't be worse than Davis. So good luck to him!
And it was Ronald Reagan who found out the only way how to defeat the Soviets without making the Earth a place for cockroaches only...
Who knows what Arnie might come up with?
Posted by: True German Ally || 10/07/2003 15:14 Comments || Top||

#8  I don't know if Arnold is qualified to run California, but it's pretty obvious The Gray Davis isn't.

If I lived there, I wouldn't have to spend much time deciding how to vote.
Posted by: Fred || 10/07/2003 15:16 Comments || Top||

#9  What IS this fascination California has with electing bad actors to the governors' office? At least Ronnie had Nancy to run the state (and country for him). I'm less enthused about Arnie's squeeze doing the job, since it's unlikely A.S. (his middle initial doesn't happen to be "S", does it) has a clue.
Posted by: Mercutio || 10/07/2003 15:53 Comments || Top||

#10  Mr Mercutio

I saw the same line when Reagan was elected "if at least it had been a good actor like Brando" and I
think it is quite simply despicable. The qualities of actor of Reagan or Schwarzenger are about as relevant than their talent at making apple pie. And for Nancy being the real president
I suggest you read less novels.
Posted by: JFM || 10/07/2003 16:32 Comments || Top||

#11  JFM - quite so. I voted for Arnold today, and if he fails - I'll take the abuse, but we need a shakeup in CA and he's strong-willed and smart enough to do it. I expect the Dem legislature (both houses) to oppose him at every oportunity until he takes it over their heads to the people...watch next year
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 18:15 Comments || Top||

#12  Frank, I am on my way to vote for Arnold. As for the state house opposing him I have three words: Line Item Veto. Ronnie used it often.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge (VRWC CA Chapter) || 10/07/2003 19:07 Comments || Top||

#13  Just tuned in Brit Hume. His panel had Arnold's postive/negative rating among women as 40% to 49% which is better than Bustamante. The analysts were saying that the late smear seemed to have moved McClintock voters into Arnold's camp. Evidently, everyone expected Davis to go negative in the last minute and when the sexual harassment story broke everone assumed that David was responsible. Even those who beleive that Arnold is a RINO (Republican in Name Only,) are willing to except a liberal groper to put the wooden stake through Dais' heart.

Better empty a clip of silver slugs into his ass just to be sure.
Posted by: Super Hose || 10/07/2003 19:30 Comments || Top||

#14  Any logical thinking person knows what the L.A. Slimes & the Californian dem-o-rats are trying to pull here. There's such a thing as a statute of limitations. Plus, if theses girls were so damn offended why didn't they sue the multi-million dollar actor years ago?? Shit, for a hundred thousand he can slap my ass to.....Stupid wenches.
Posted by: Jarhead || 10/07/2003 22:15 Comments || Top||

BBC Revelation: Forign Investers Avoid Corrupt Countries Leading to Poverty
EFL BBC from Worldwire

Corruption remains rife in many of the world's poorest countries and seems to be worsening in several key industrialised states as well, a new report has said.
The annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI), published by anti-corruption group Transparency International (TI), puts Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Haiti at the bottom of the 133-country list. The US has really let Haiti down by contiuing to allow them to cheat themselves into poverty. That's why they hate us now. Haiti should lobby for the creation of a Palestian State to keep them off the bottom in case Bangledesh improves. Does Somalia even qualify as a country?

At the top of the list - which measures the perception of corruption among both locals and expatriates - countries such as Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and New Zealand remain the cleanest places to do business.

TI chairman Peter Eigen told BBC News Online that the failure to improve among the lowest ranked was "disappointing".

He was also disappointed to see that perceptions of countries including the USA, Israel, Luxembourg and even Canada had deteriorated over the past year. Probably the sole reason that this article got published. When will the Big Dig in Boston be complete so that we can raise our score again? Note I don't think we get penalized for NGO shake downs like Rainbow Push attacking NASCAR.

The CPI scores countries out of 10, with higher scores indicating a cleaner image.

More than 70% of the countries listed - and 90% of developing countries - had a score lower than 5, Dr Eigen said. North Korea and Zimbabwe should assigned negative numbers.

Despite the disappointment of continuing corruption, Dr Eigen said the CPI was achieving the aim of raising awareness about the problem.

"People now understand how prevalent - and how damaging - it is," he said. "We have built a massive global coalition."

The coalition's effects, he said, could be seen in the campaigns to force companies in oil and mining to publish the money they pay governments for licences, to stop the money being stolen by government and business elites. Unfortuantely, I'm sure the kickbacks go both ways.

TI, he said, was careful not to get too much into the ethics of corruption, preferring to concentrate on the practical aspects. I agree. Solutions first. Rhetoric once the people have jobs and food.

113: DR Congo, Ecuador, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Uganda
118: Cote d'Ivoire, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Papua New Guinea
122: Indonesia, Kenya
124: Angola, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Georgia, Tajikistan
129: Burma, Paraguay
131: Haiti
132: Nigeria
133: Bangladesh

(Ranking on the Corruption Perception Index 2003 out of 133 countries)
On the one hand it damages economic development and keeps people poor, he said, as many of the poorest countries remain corrupt with little help from outside to reform.
And that presents a direct threat to the security of richer countries - in whose interest it is to alleviate poverty and stamp out corruption.

"Millions are left in misery and poverty, and that provides the breeding ground for hopelessness and for planting the seeds of terrorism," he said. The stew that produces terrorism also requires misinformation usually from a socialist or a government run media that blames the west for a bad economy.

"Fighting corruption is also fighting terrorism. As (former Czech President) Vaclav Havel said in October 2001, without corruption the attacks of 9/11 could not have taken place." He's probably right, but cleaning up the Pakistani Passport Bureau and The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles might be harder than killing everyone in the PKK, Hamas and Al Queda.

'Out with the old'

Among the "pervasive" cases is Kenya, which is at 122 on the list of 133.

The new government of President Mwai Kibaki, which came to power in December last year after two decades of one-party rule, has promised to take action against the nation's dismal reputation for corruption - and has placed the head of TI's Kenya chapter, John Githongo, in charge of the cleanup. In a bold move Mr Githongo has announced a 30% discount on all magistrate bribes for the next quarter.

Dr Eigen said the stubbornly low position was normal in countries which had made a point of trying to improve their act, such as Argentina, which occupies position 92. I bet if Argentina has tried to slide Dr Eigen 100 grand to move them up to 73 on the list.

"Things have to get worse before they get better," he said. Why?

Kenya's efforts, however, have returned it to the good books of organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. But these powerful bodies need to offer more support in the fight against corruption, Dr Eigen said. Now I see.
"The president (of the Bank), James Wolfensohn, is our hero," said Dr Eigen. "But the rest of the Bank is turning round only slowly. NGO's are really fighting corruption. All their internal graft is just an elaborate facade to give them street credibility for sting operations. Would you like to meet Mr. Wolfensohn's wife, Morrrgann Fairrrchild.

"The same is true of huge multinational corporations who for decades have systematically condoned corruption to get contracts. I get it. Sadaam was a creation of large multinational corporations that knew that high graft would operate as a barrier to competition from smaller companies. Dicators are the victim. Why didn't I see this before? Somebody hug Dear Leader. He's getting a bad rap.

"Even if their bosses are on board, it takes a long time for people on the ground to realise their old, corrupt ways of dealmaking are obsolete." Corruption is a tax. Use the supplyside model - backoff a bit and revenue will increase overall.

Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 10:43:59 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is bogus. Louisiana didn't make the bottom 30?
Posted by: Shipman || 10/07/2003 11:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Perceptions of the US has dropped because so many fools believe the war for Haliburton garbage. Note its about perceptions, not realities.

Haiti should be made a UN Trusteeship territory. I'd be willing to let the French or Canadians (french language and all) take care of them and nuture little Haiti into becoming a real state.
Posted by: Yank || 10/07/2003 12:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Yank,
I like that 'historical ties" angle that they tried to play on the US in Liberia.
Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 12:36 Comments || Top||

East Asia
Taiwanese Leader Condemns Beijing, 'One China' Policy
President Chen Shui-bian issued one of his strongest condemnations of China on Monday and ruled out any talks as long as China imposes conditions on Taiwan. In an interview in the presidential palace in central Taipei, the 52-year-old lawyer, who in March 2000 became the first opposition candidate to be elected president, accused China of "hostile intent" toward Taiwan. Chen, who faces a tight race next year, declared that Taiwan would "walk our own road, our own Taiwan road."
That'll spin up the rice bowls in Beijing.
Chen said he would not bow to U.S. pressure to modify recent moves -- including holding a referendum on rewriting the constitution and adding the name Taiwan to its official Republic of China passports -- which Bush administration officials worry could heighten tensions with Beijing. "Taiwan is not a province of one country nor it is a state of another," the Taiwanese president said, referring to China and the United States. "Any kind of democratic reform is our own internal affair. I don't think any democratic country can oppose our democratic ideals." China has said that it will negotiate a series of outstanding issues with Taiwan, such as the possibility of direct flights between the two places, only if Taiwan accepts the "one China" principle, which means that Taiwan is part of China. In the past, Chen had held out hope that he would one day accept it. At one point last year, he even mentioned the possibility of "future political integration" between China and Taiwan.
Which no one really believed would ever happen
On Monday, however, Chen called the "one China" principle "abnormal thinking that should not exist, it should be corrected." He also ruled out accepting a compromise deal reached in 1992 under which China and Taiwan had agreed to disagree about the issue. "The so-called 1992 consensus is still a 'one China' principle," he said. "It's a way to make Taiwan a region. It belittles Taiwan, it marginalizes Taiwan." "The people of Taiwan firmly believe that there is one country on each side of the straits," he said, "One China and one Taiwan."
That's not a phrase China wants to hear.
Weakened by a sluggish economy and record unemployment, Chen currently lags about 10 percentage points behind his challengers for the presidential election set for March 20. His calculation is that a strong reaction by Beijing would help his chances for reelection, according to a broad variety of Taiwanese analysts and senior government officials. "The only way he can win is if he stimulates China to react," said Tim Ting, a leading pollster in Taiwan. "There will be a line somewhere and Chen will cross it." Ting and others say that China's threats -- including then-Premier Zhu Rongji's nationally televised finger-wagging, seen as a warning to Taiwanese not to vote -- on the eve of the last presidential election helped Chen win.
The old foreign threat ploy, better be careful how hard you poke that dragon with the stick.
Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 10:27:48 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Careful considered steps are the way, not a politician's election campaign rhetoric. The co-opting of Hong Kong's constitution and politicians should serve as adequate warning to any Taiwanese considering reunification. No need to poke the dragon, just keep procuring the weapons necessary to defend themselves. We need to take their side on that.
Posted by: Frank G || 10/07/2003 10:47 Comments || Top||

#2  not good timing for a straights crisis from US point of view. With Iraq still hot, issues elsewhere in mideast and GWOT, plus North Korea where Chinese cooperation is really helpful. Understand Taiwanese affection for their democracy, and eagerness not to be subject to PRC thugs, but would help a lot if they could cool it for awhile.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 10/07/2003 11:39 Comments || Top||

Africa: West
Congo massacre claims 23 lives
At least 23 people, most of them women and children, have been hacked and shot to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations has said. The attack reportedly took place early Monday morning in the village of Kachele, some 100km from the regional capital Bunia, said Isabelle Abric, a spokeswoman for the MONUC force charged with keeping the peace in the capital of the Ituri region in the DRC. It is the first reported massacre since international peacekeepers began patrolling the troubled northeast Ituri region last month. The area was the scene of fierce fighting between the Lendu and Hema militias in July and August. Thousands of civilians fled the clashes. "Members of MONUC who went to the area saw 23 bodies, but according to other eyewitness accounts, 32 other bodies had already been buried," Abric said. Abric said the victims were "mostly children, pregnant women or older people killed with machetes or shot."
They're so much easier to kill than men with guns...
Posted by: Fred Pruitt || 10/07/2003 00:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thank God the UN is there! Otherwise thing like this might happen!
Posted by: .com || 10/07/2003 4:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Congo: Guns don't kill people, machetes do.
Posted by: anonymous coward || 10/07/2003 5:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Here are some articles that deal with the different funding methods for assorted rebel groups:
Canadiens called to boycott cell phones.
Tigers funding activities through conscripting child soldiers than turning them over to UNICEF for rehabilitation.

It would be a good to have a list of which products funds which repression and terror. I wouldn't have expected a purchase of a dried flower arrangement to potentially fund North Korea.

Posted by: Superhose || 10/07/2003 12:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Dozens of tribal fighters attacked a village in volatile northeastern Congo with assault rifles and machetes, killing at least 65 people, mainly children, looting property and setting huts on fire, U.N officials said Tuesday. U.N. troops who were sent to investigate the attack, which took place Monday in Katchele, found 23 bodies in a church, others in a mass grave and some in the bush surrounding the village, said Fred Eckhard, a U.N. spokesman in New York. Isabelle Abric, a spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in Congo, said the victims were from the Hema tribe and fighters from the rival Lendu tribe were suspected of carrying out the attack. The victims found in the bush "may have been people who went to die in the bush after being injured in the attack," Abric said. "They also could have been hunted down and attacked while hiding in the bush."

Posted by: Steve || 10/07/2003 14:28 Comments || Top||

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