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Another most wanted found among Riyadh boomer scraps
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Page 4: Opinion
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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Tsunami toll ticks to 135,000
Posted by: Fred || 01/02/2005 12:06:44 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

Thailand starts sombre new year as PM predicts up to 8,000 dead
Posted by: Fred || 01/02/2005 12:06:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

Important Lessons From The South Asian Tsunami (It's All Allahs Fault)
Posted by: tipper || 01/02/2005 11:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This ayah is for those Muslims left behind in Aceh and elsewhere. Allaah has asked you to stay patient during this time, to continue your struggle to bring back Islam (as a complete ideology) to that part of the world, and has promised you on that patience a great victory, Allaah willing.

Along side the fact that these governments are actively fighting Islam and Muslims on a national and international scale, their peoples are also involved in wide scale Shirk (polytheism - associating partners alongside Allaah in either his names, attributes, or functions). The whole South Asian region is characterized by Shirk (polytheism). In Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Shirk is in the form of setting up rivals (andaad) besides Allaah (in his Ruboobiyyah, Lordship). We see the many Buddhist statues and idols that the people have created out of their own hands as illustration of this fact e.g. the golden statues of Buddha, Hanuman, Ganesh, Gandhi etc etc. In Indonesia, the Shirk is more subtle, and takes the form of setting up laws and constitutions in parliament based on Kufr. The Shirk of ruling by man-made laws as opposed to the Sharee'ah (is in direct contradiction to the Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah).

No matter what the form of Shirk, one thing is certain, the punishment of Allaah (swt) for this crime.

... In conclusion then, the earthquake of South Asia is a warning from Allaah (swt), not only to the people of that region, but rather to the whole of humanity, and to the Muslims in particular, that they may return back to their Lord and their Deen. Many of the Muslims today have gathered many sins, some of those sins are so great (kabaa'ir), that it has taken them outside the fold of Islam, while others are on the verge of the Kufr. We see those who delay and neglect prayers, eat haram foods e.g. food that is stunned before being slaughtered, deal with riba (interest), do not fulfill their trusts (covenants), order the evil (munkar) and forbid the good (ma'roof), rule by Kufr laws, uphold and make excuses for the apostate rulers and their governments in the Muslim lands, associate partners with Allaah in his names, attributes and functions, indulge in free mixing, display their awrah, listen to music and songs, smoke and have abandoned the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. All these exist in our society.

Let us fear Allaah (swt) and take warning from the events of this week. Allaah (swt) gives us a chance but is not neglectful. What has happened to the previous nations and some of the current ones will happen to us (one by one) if we obey the Shaytan and go far from the path of the Most Merciful. These are the sunan of Allaah that will never change.

... Let us pause and ask ourselves what has been the tangible impact on us since we have heard and seen this earthquake. The happy one is one who learns from the calamity of others, and the sad one is by whom these calamities pass while he takes no lesson from them. It is unfortunate that the explanation offered for these events is that they are normal natural disasters, and that they do not link it to what happens to people due to their wrongdoing, both as a nation (collectively) and as individuals. Theirs is clearly an incorrect interpretation.

This wanker gets so close:

"In conclusion then, the earthquake of South Asia is a warning from Allaah (swt), not only to the people of that region, but rather to the whole of humanity, and to the Muslims in particular, that they may return back to their Lord and their Deen.

I'm still waiting for some spittle flecked imam to come out with the usual;

"This disaster is Allah's way of punishing Muslims for insufficiently resisting the evil influences of American secular mentality."

Fear not, it'll be spouted by some fundamentalist goon soon enough.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/02/2005 19:57 Comments || Top||

#2  If there was any justice in the world the hardest areas would be those that are the most fundementalist
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 01/02/2005 20:54 Comments || Top||

Aceh: Rescuers Set to Call Off Survivor Search
With many thousands still missing, rescuers in the part of Southeast Asia that suffered most from last weekend's earthquake and tsunami stood ready to call off their search for survivors. U.S. forces pressed ahead with one of their biggest relief missions ever with the death toll likely to hit 150,000.

Hungry Indonesians welcomed a dozen American Seahawk helicopters as they delivered biscuits, energy drinks and instant noodles to devastated villages on the west coast of Sumatra, closest to the epicenter of the largest earthquake in four decades and the first place hit by the walls of water it sent surging across the Indian Ocean.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 8:31:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think of this in comparison to the German invasion of the Soviet Union, with similar levels of destruction along a 2,000 mile wide front. Someone once figured that roughly 25,000 people died daily for six years during WWII, with the numbers being much higher the last four years. How long did it take the Soviets to rebuild after 25,000,000 dead?
Posted by: Weird Al || 01/02/2005 13:30 Comments || Top||

#2  60 million dead - 5 million a year for 6 years, that's 27,000 per day, all right.
Posted by: Hupereger Clish6229 || 01/02/2005 15:56 Comments || Top||

Bad conditions hamper tsunami aid workers
Aussie ABC report. In addition to all the other badness, now they have torrential rain in many of the locations.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/02/2005 12:49:58 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

3G Phones in Saudi - Immoral Use Will Be Punished
Misuse of 3G Mobiles to Invite Punishment
Saudi Arabia will punish anyone using third generation (3G) mobile phones for purposes deemed immoral, the state telecommunications regulator said yesterday. The warning from the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) came as it officially handed over the Kingdom's first 3G license to mobile phone operator Ettihad Etisalat.

3G mobile phones can access the Internet, which is strictly controlled in Saudi Arabia, and receive high quality video clips from adult sites. "We expect (3G) providers to follow the same rules as Internet providers," said CITC Information Technology General Manager Ahmed Sindi. "The challenge is that this technology is commensurate with our moral values. There will be laws and procedures that govern the use of the technology and people will be punished for its misuse."

A ban was recently overturned on the import and sale of mobile camera phones. Fights have been triggered at weddings and girls' schools after camera phones were used to take and distribute pictures of unveiled women, newspapers have reported.

Ettihad Etisalat, Saudi Arabia's second mobile phone operator, paid around SR750 million ($200 million) for the 3G license. The firm distanced itself from what material the technology could be used to view. "We will be the facilitator but never a pipeline," said Managing Director Khalid Al-Kaf. Kaf said he expected strong demand for 3G services when they are introduced by 2006.

The Kingdom imports around six million mobile phones a year, with 70 percent of consumers regularly changing their mobiles.
In Saudi, everyone has a mobile. It is probably the equivalent of the American teenager's first car or motorcycle. Coming of age. In Al Khobar's Al Rashid Mall there is a 3-story atrium. The girls go up to the 2nd and 3rd floors and drop folded pieces of paper with their phone numbers to the boys on the ground floor. Since they're all MBOs (Moving Black Objects), it's hard to know how a boy knows which bit of paper he wants to collect. Of course, there are watchers - to warn when the mutawas (Allah's Cops) show up. Now, with video capabilities, things should get very interesting in this uniquely Muslim game... If you'll show me yours...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 8:58:39 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In a related story...
Camphone Prices Drop by Half Much to the Delight of Customers
"Prices of camera phones have dropped by more than 50 percent after the Kingdom overturned a ban on the use of such mobile phones."

And there you have it. Though banned, they were readily available - at a price. The removal of the ban prolly just killed some of the profiteers, lol! Why was the ban lifted? Heh, prolly cuz no Royal was getting a cut of the black market proceeds...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 9:03 Comments || Top||

Saudi Family Pardons 2 Killers of Their Son; 3rd in US Prison
The family of a Saudi student murdered in the United States by three compatriots said Saturday they have pardoned the culprits, enabling two of them who were facing execution in this conservative Gulf state to walk free. The family said a Saudi prince had brokered the pardon.

Mishal al-Suwaidi and Tariq al-Dossary confessed to killing Abdulaziz al-Kohaji in Denver in 2001 while he was an engineering student at the Community College of Denver. They were arrested, convicted and sentenced to death in the Saudi Arabia in 2002. But the two were freed Thursday after al-Kohaji's family filed papers with court officials confirming they wanted the pair spared, a police official said. It was unclear what, if any, impact the pardon would have on the third Saudi convicted in the killing, Naif al-Yousif. He is serving a life term in prison in the United States without the possibility of parole after a Colorado court sentenced him last January. A U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Saudi had no immediate comment.

"I gave my pardon for the sake of God (and) we pray to God to give us peace and patience," said the victim's father, Ibrahim al-Kohaji, who lives in the Eastern Province city of Dhahran. "We reached the point that we believed nothing will bring our son back." Death sentences issued by Saudi courts, which follow strict Islamic law, can't be appealed and convicted murders facing execution can only be spared if the family of the victim agrees to forgive and pardon the culprits. Al-Kohaji said the prince of Eastern Province, Mohammed bin Fahd, approached his family to negotiate a pardon. It was unclear if the prince had paid any money to the victim's relatives to secure their forgiveness in line with a tribal custom.

Abdulaziz al-Kohaji, the son of a Saudi oilman, and al-Yousif were both attending the Denver college when friends of the slain engineering student reported him missing in January 2001 after he did not show up for classes. His body was found in a landfill in Erie, 15 miles north of Denver, a month later and police said he had been taped to a chair and strangled before being thrown into a trash bin. Police said all three suspects were acquaintances of al-Kohaji and prosecutors said the motive was robbery. Al-Suwaidi and al-Dossary fled the United States and returned to their homes in the Saudi city of Dammam shortly after the murder. Both confessed in a court there to killing al-Kohaji and they were sentenced to die. A Saudi court also sentenced al-Yousif to death in absentia.

The Associated Press attempted to contact al-Suwaidi and al-Dossary but their relatives did not permit them to comment. However a woman who identified herself as al-Dossary mother's said in a telephone interview that the pardon had thrilled her family. "The pardon lifts from my son and my family a burden of suffering and pain," she said. "I felt that the (victim's) family was willing to pardon my son and I will never forget this all my life."
In case you haven't already guessed, yes - the Al Dossary and Al Suwaidi families have high connections and wield serious power in SaudiLand. In fact, it is likely that they are aligned with Prince Fahd who "brokered" the payoff deal thingy. Who'da thunk it, eh?
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 8:42:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think I'll go take a shower.

One of the great inventions of the civilized world is the distinction between civil and criminal law. In primitive societies, murder (along with rape and robbery) is an offense against the family or clan; in the civilized world it's an offense against public order and the state. The state -- even a libertarian state -- can't "forgive" murder or other felonies, despite the efforts of the warm milk set to harp it into it. Otherwise society breaks down.
Posted by: Fred || 01/02/2005 10:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Fred: The state -- even a libertarian state -- can't "forgive" murder or other felonies, despite the efforts of the warm milk set to harp it into it. Otherwise society breaks down.

From a practical standpoint, letting pardons be negotiable opens up the family of the deceased to threats, if mutually-acceptable compensation cannot be arranged. In many cases, a pardon will have been negotiated via a mixture of threats and offers of compensation. This is unfair to the victims and to the families that want to see justice served without having to fear for their lives.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/02/2005 12:18 Comments || Top||

#3  The family of a Saudi student murdered in the United States by three compatriots said Saturday they have pardoned the culprits, enabling two of them who were facing execution in this conservative Gulf state to walk free. The family said a Saudi prince had brokered the pardon.

Should any more individuals die as a result of this pardon, their blood will be on the hands of all the people that brought it about.

Not that any of them would actually feel any guilt about it...
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/02/2005 16:19 Comments || Top||

#4  The good news is that one of them will never kill again.
Posted by: Dishman || 01/02/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||

Saudi's 58 Marriages Angers Some
In 50 years, he says, he has married 58 women and has forgotten the names of most of them. He knows he has had 10 sons, but ask about daughters and he counts on his fingers: 22. No, no, 28. No, that's too many. He settles on 25. Saleh al-Sayeri, a 64-year-old shepherd-turned-businessman, says his marital adventures have cost him more than $1.6 million in wedding expenses and settlements for divorced wives.
That's about $27,500 apiece...
But the man who remembers being forced into his first marriage at age 14 says he'd do it a million times over. "Marriage doesn't bore me," he said, relaxing on cushions at a carpeted, open-air reception area in his 22-horse stable in Usfan, in the desert 500 miles west of Riyadh. "I'm the happiest man in the world." Al-Sayeri's story might seem a bizarre curiosity, but it touches a nerve in Saudi Arabia, the status of whose women is a matter of international controversy.
Not that it's any of our business, but half their population's breeding stock...
When it surfaced in Saudi media in March, some readers reacted angrily. A woman who identified herself as Maryam, a convert to Islam, wrote to the Arab News, an English-language daily, that al-Sayeri's story "really sent me over the edge."
"Things like this didn't happen when I was a Unitarian!"
"What kind of a family structure is this? What is divorce doing to the psychologies of the ex-wives and children? How can this man devote any quality time to his children — teaching them about Islam and being a constant role model?" She wrote.
That's the important thing Dads do: teach their kiddies all about Islam. Though as a role model, he seems pretty Islamic...
Sayyidaty magazine, which interviewed al-Sayeri, also spoke to psychiatrist Mona al-Sawwaf who said al-Sayeri does not treat a wife as a human being "but as a piece of clothing he can change whenever he pleases or an object."
I'd call it a sperm receptacle, but go on...
"The biggest blame lies with the parents" who let their daughters enter such marriages, she said.
I'd say the biggest blame lies with the guy who uses them, then discards them...
Al-Sayeri dismisses such critics as "crazy," insisting he is not breaching Islamic laws, which permit a man to have four wives at a time. "I have a clear conscience," he said.
"... and all the nookie I want."
None of Al-Sayeri's ex-wives could be reached. He said many have remarried, but to reveal their identity would be a gross violation of Saudi custom. One of his sons said his mother has remarried, but refused to give details.
"I don't have time to talk about it. I'm busy learning all about Islam from my Dad."
Divorce has become quite common in the kingdom, with press reports saying half of all marriages break up. But the fate of a divorced woman depends on her parents' frame of mind. If they oppose the divorce, they likely will confine her to the house and monitor her movements. She will be barred from dating or working without family permission. The notion of a single career woman barely exists here. Women cannot even drive. They cannot get an education, travel or check into a hotel without a male guardian's permission.
They do feed them, and they sweep out the seraglios now and then...
Some parents, on the other hand, are modern-minded enough to let their daughters finish their schooling or go out to work. And although Islamic laws permit a man to have four wives at a time, most Muslim men today take one wife, because it has become the cultural norm and polygamy is costly. Money is not an issue for al-Sayeri, who says he has made a fortune trading in cars and property. He is a dark, medium-built man with black mustache and goatee who heads the Sayer, a southern Bedouin tribe. He also raises camels and horses. He has had 10 sons, one of whom died. Two sons who were at the stable while their father was being interviewed rolled their eyes whenever the subject of marriages came up. They said they had come to accept that their dad is "mizwaj," a man who likes to marry often.
That's Arabic for "old horny bastard."
Fahd al-Sayeri, who inherited his father's passion for horses, recalled a desert hunting trip some 15 years ago in the remote Empty Quarter. He and his friends had gone in search of gasoline when they heard celebratory gunshots coming from a tent. They had come across a wedding. "Out of politeness, we asked who's wedding it was," Fahd said. "The guests responded with my father's name. I was shocked," he added.
"Ohfergawdsake, Dad! Try to control yourself!"
"I can't help it, Son! It's the hydraulic pressure!"
"Cheeze! Why don't you buy a sheep, like I did?"
It's not that the elder al-Sayeri hides his marriages. He just doesn't always bother to spread the word. He said two of his daughters learned they were sisters and two sons they were brothers at school.
Makes you wonder how many of his sons married their sisters. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
Some wives even attend his weddings and bring the bride gifts. But he said he keeps each wife in a separate villa and sometimes even in a different town to keep the peace, and assures each that she's his favorite.
"You're the only one for me, Baby!"
Son Fahd, a 32-year-old bachelor, is adamant he won't follow in his father's footsteps. "No, no, no," he said. "One will be enough for me."
"Maybe Pop doesn't mind looking ridiculous, but I have a bit of dignity."
Al-Sayeri said he has married first cousins and women from about 30 tribes all over the kingdom. "As a leader of a tribe, I can't marry just anybody," he said.
"Every time one of my brothers has a daughter I give 'em a look. I put ear tags on the ones that look like they're gonna be cute."
He said three of his four current wives have been with him 18 to 40 years. The fourth seems to be the one who usually gets replaced. "It's the one for renewal," said al-Sayeri, sipping cardamom-flavored coffee after a dinner of spicy lamb and rice. "I like to change my fourth wife every year."
"One's a good housekeeper, and the other one's a good cook. Fatimah's the one I go to when I feel like a game of cards or some teevee. The fourth one's for making whoopee. They wear out quick."
His latest marriage — and at 10,000 guests his most sumptuous — was to a 14-year-old girl nine months ago. She was the perfect age, he said.
"She has the body of a 9-year-old!"
When he heard about her, he sent his niece to check her out. She came back with a favorable report.
"Honkers out to here, Uncle Saleh! And she's double-jointed!"
Then he visited her family. When the girl came into the living room to offer him refreshments — an excuse for him to see her face — he asked her if she would marry him. "She was shy at first and didn't answer but then she said yes," al-Sayeri recalled. "Now, we're such good friends it feels we've known each other 40 years."
"I'm tellin' ya, she squeals like a... ummm... goat!"
A Saudi woman will usually marry whomever her family chooses, and marriage is considered acceptable from the onset of puberty. Al-Sayeri claims he has never forced a woman to marry him, and has never been turned down. His ex-wives get a divorce settlement set out in a prenuptial agreement and he supports the children, he said. He said all his divorces are documented with court-issued papers that usually follow this declaration to his wife: "You are divorced."
"I have plaster of paris busts made of each wife's... uhhh... bust, and keep 'em on my mantle, like hunting trophies."
He said today's women are "more pleasant to have around. They take better care of themselves, use makeup and do not run away every time I want to touch them."
"Ah, this modern generation! I do love a horny wench!"
Al-Sayeri said he will keep on marrying until the number of wives he has acquired equals the number of years he has lived.
Posted by: tipper || 01/02/2005 6:20:22 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [783 views] Top|| File under:


A woman who identified herself as Maryam, a convert to Islam, wrote to the Arab News, an English-language daily, that al-Sayeri’s story "really sent me over the edge."

"What kind of a family structure is this? What is divorce doing to the psychologies of the ex-wives and children? How can this man devote any quality time to his children — teaching them about Islam and being a constant role model?" She wrote.

Tough shit 'Maryam' - you bought into the whole deal Lady, deal with it...
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 01/02/2005 10:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Saleh al-Sayeri is one crazy bastard.
Posted by: John Q. Citizen || 01/02/2005 17:09 Comments || Top||

#3  "I'm just a boy who can't say no..."
Posted by: mojo || 01/02/2005 22:20 Comments || Top||

2004 a bad year for rights in Yemen
Who could tell?

11:46 AM CST: link fixed. Thanks.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/02/2005 12:39:57 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yemen has rights?

Does this headline imply 2003 was a better year? Somehow I doubt it.

(Steve White - link circles back to Rantburg)
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/02/2005 11:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Does this headline imply 2003 was a better year?

Freedom House's report on Yemen does seem to indicate that there was a small improvement in 2003.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 01/02/2005 17:00 Comments || Top||

UK: Report set to criticise police
Britain's police forces will face severe criticism in a think-tank report to be published next week. The study by right-of-centre group Civitas questions the effectiveness of forces in tackling crime. It says the police spend too much time behind desks instead of fighting crime on the streets. The result, it says, is that crime is "a very low-risk activity for the criminal".

America, France and Germany have suffered similar sharp rises in crime to Britain since the 1960s but have tackled them more effectively, the report says. According to The Sunday Times, unlike their counterparts in other countries, British police have failed to focus on prevention of crime and zero tolerance of low-level disorder and antisocial behaviour. The rise in crime in the UK is "so spectacular" it is "difficult to comprehend", the report argues. Britain is now "a seriously crime-afflicted and disintegrating society". The report says that burglaries have increased more than fivefold from 72,000 in 1964 to 402,000 last year. And there are now 33 robberies of personal property for every one 40 years ago.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), questioned the report's findings. It said the authors had accepted crime in Britain had dropped back to 1981 levels but had failed to give the police any credit for that. Chris Fox, ACPO's president, said the think tank's conclusions did not "reflect the reality" of the police force's achievements in recent years.
I'll leave it to our cousins to wade in on this topic... I do have one little pic...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 9:12:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is useless to have police in the streets arresting criminals if a bleeding heart liberal judge (of the kind who were raiused and live in affluent and secure neighbourhoods) releases them even after tenth reincidence.
Posted by: JFM || 01/02/2005 13:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Nice story at the link, dot. But afterwards the police probably arrested the guy for making false statements.
Posted by: PBMcL || 01/02/2005 14:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Not sure about that PBMcL, the story was in the Sunday Times a few months back and they didn't mention him getting nailed by the police (although I certainly agree with your sentiment).

Seems that zero tolerance works elsewhere in the world - I'm thinking of New York here, so it should work here too...
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 01/02/2005 18:09 Comments || Top||

Croats Vote in Presidential Election
Posted by: Fred || 01/02/2005 2:05:40 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

Annan to Visit Indonesia
Posted by: Fred || 01/02/2005 2:15:02 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Stay the hell home, you worthless credit-grabbing wanker. Leave those poor people in peace.

Better yet, just go to hell.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/02/2005 14:45 Comments || Top||

#2  "I will go to Jakarta to launch the appeal from there and work with the leaders of the region who are also determined to play a role," Annan said...

That would be a little late for a "launch" don't you think? And could we have a list of the leaders in the region who are not "determined to play a role"?
Posted by: Tom || 01/02/2005 14:51 Comments || Top||

#3  "determined to play a role"

In the typically unintended manner of people who think words equate to action, this little phrase says it all, I think.

Translation: I intend to position myself at the front of the parade. Keep up the good work, people. I'll hold a press conference at 4:00 and take credit.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 15:11 Comments || Top||

#4  I am glad to see that he found some time to put down the Russian caviar after the Swiss Alps undeservedvacation, for some self adulation.

Barbara S.,

Your wish will be granted one day. Hopefully, soon.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/02/2005 16:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Please leave him over there.
Posted by: John Q. Citizen || 01/02/2005 18:09 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't you people UNDERSTAND!!! It's a proven FACT that if enough diplomats attend enough parties every thing will work out!
Posted by: bruce || 01/02/2005 18:55 Comments || Top||

#7  Indonesia hits the Trifecta!

Earthquake, Tsunami, Kofi.

It doesn't get much worse than that.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/02/2005 19:08 Comments || Top||

#8  LOL Mrs Davis!

Now we know why Phraoh let the children of Israel go from Egypt way back when! Kofi was going to be the next Plaque!

Posted by: CrazyFool || 01/02/2005 19:22 Comments || Top||

#9  What Barbara said.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/02/2005 19:41 Comments || Top||

al Rooters: Massive UNHCR airlift gets underway for tsunami victims
02 Jan 2005 15:52:10 GMT
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

GENEVA, Jan. 2 (UNHCR) — A giant Antonov 124 cargo plane loaded with 100 tonnes of relief supplies left Denmark early Sunday to spearhead a massive UNHCR airlift operation aimed at providing vital aid to 100,000 people in Indonesia's tsunami-battered Aceh province. In all, the three-day airlift operation will deliver 400 tonnes of aid from UNHCR stockpiles in Denmark and Dubai.

On the ground, meanwhile, UNHCR's logistics and supply teams started setting up advance bases in northern Sumatra to ensure rapid delivery of the incoming aid for Aceh, while the refugee agency continued its round-the-clock relief operations in Sri Lanka.

The UNHCR-chartered Antonov 124 jet freighter and its 100 tonnes of supplies lifted off from Billund airport in Denmark shortly after 8 a.m. local time Sunday. It was the first of five scheduled flights — four from Billund and one from Dubai — carrying shelter materials and basic living supplies for up to 100,000 people in Aceh, nearly a quarter of the affected population.

Sunday's first aircraft from Billund headed for Jakarta packed with plastic sheeting, blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans from UNHCR's central warehouse in Copenhagen, as well as essential telecommunications equipment. Three further flights using Antonov 124s and an Ilyushin 76 are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday from Billund. In all, a total of 20,000 plastic sheets, 100,000 blankets, 20,000 kitchen sets and 20,000 jerry cans from UNHCR's Copenhagen warehouse will be airlifted to Indonesia.

snippy snip
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/02/2005 11:20:20 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lol, Mrs D - thx for posting the actual full "statement" I'd read about at DiploMad and Belmont Club.

Massive Fraud should be in there somewhere, since the UNHCR is very late, the offering quite small - almost insignificant compared with the 4-nation coalition's response, does not include foodstuffs, and they are more interested in PR than aid.

Politicizing this disaster has just begun. It will get very ugly and we can fully expect Massive Disinformation from the usual sources as the tragedy expands. Just wait until the UN stops shipments to repackage food that says USA or USAID into UN labelled bags...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 17:28 Comments || Top||

#2  It took them 5 days to get the first plane airborne, and they're only planning 4 more.
I'm impressed, really.
Posted by: Dishman || 01/02/2005 17:46 Comments || Top||

The Diplomad: UN Death Watch . . .
Well, we're heading into Day 7 of the Asian quake/tsunami crisis. And the UN relief effort? Nowhere to be seen except at some meetings and on CNN and BBC as talking heads. In this corner of the Far Abroad, it's Yanks and Aussies doing the hard, sweaty work of saving lives. Check out this interview (on the UN's official website) with SecGen Annan and Under SecGen Egeland shows,
Mr. Egeland: Our main problems now are in northern Sumatra and Aceh. <...> In Aceh, today 50 trucks of relief supplies are arriving. <...> Tomorrow, we will have eight full airplanes arriving. I discussed today with Washington whether we can draw on some assets on their side, after consultations with the Indonesian Government, to set up what we call an "air-freight handling centre" in Aceh.

Tomorrow, we will have to set up a camp for relief workers — 90 of them —which is fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything, because they have nowhere to stay and we don't want them to be an additional burden on the people there.
I provided this to some USAID colleagues working in Indonesia and their heads nearly exploded. The first paragraph is quite simply a lie. The UN is taking credit for things that hard-working, street savvy USAID folks have done. It was USAID working with their amazing network of local contacts who scrounged up trucks, drivers, and fuel; organized the convoy and sent it off to deliver critical supplies. A UN "air-freight handling centre" in Aceh? Bull! It's the Aussies and the Yanks who are running the air ops into Aceh. We have people working and sleeping on the tarmac in Aceh, surrounded by bugs, mud, stench and death, who every day bring in the US and Aussie C-130s and the US choppers; unload, load, send them off. We have no fancy aid workers' retreat -- notice the priorities of the UN? People are dying and what's the first thing the UN wants to do? Set up "a camp for relief workers" one that would be "fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything." The UN is a sham.
Posted by: tipper || 01/02/2005 6:59:44 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Will it get any air or press play? Nah, didn't think so. I think I'll email FoxNews the DiploMad link - they're the only MSM hope anyone outside the blogosphere will ever understand. Hell, maybe everyone should send the link to their US Rep and Senators. Why not? Couldn't hurt to try and expose the sham. Thanx, tipper!
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 7:42 Comments || Top||

#2  BTW, I think I have a pic of Egeland's imaginary "air freight handling centre" - as if everyone in the US wouldn't know without hesitation what that is without the weenie's explanation... it's only a revelation to UN types. Here's one, right here - and it's obviously rather, um, busy, heh. You won't see any Blue Helmets in the pic and you won't see any in the "UN's centre", either. Wotta fuckwit.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 8:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Geez,looks like that C-5 is going to blow dry thier hair.If I was sitting on that truck I would have go change my underwear.
Posted by: Raptor || 01/02/2005 11:10 Comments || Top||

BBC: 10 pix of the Relief Effort
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 02:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

Kofi: Your Wallet, Please...
Tsunami recovery 'to take years'
Areas hit by the Asian tsunami could take up to 10 years to recover, the UN secretary general has warned. Kofi Annan spoke of the "sheer complexity" of the relief effort, which is spread across a dozen nations. Aid supplies are piling up in regional warehouses but in some places heavy rain has provided an extra obstacle to delivering them to outlying areas.
"It's very complex. Just hand us your wallets - then lie back and enjoy it."
Mr Annan will travel to Indonesia on 6 January to take part in a meeting of world leaders to discuss further aid.
"I am giving up Mickey Mouse in Orlando, y'know."
Survivors are still emerging from the ruins left by the huge quake-triggered waves, which struck a week ago. At least 124,000 people have been confirmed dead around the rim of the Indian Ocean, with Indonesia's Aceh province worst hit. The UN has warned the final death toll is likely to be more than 150,000 - and may never be known.
This will mean that Kofi will fight to stay for his full term... so much money, so little time...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 2:09:03 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Areas hit by the Asian tsunami could take up to 10 years to recover, the UN secretary general has warned."

That's only if the aid is NOT channeled through UN. If it does, then never.
Posted by: gromgorru || 01/02/2005 3:49 Comments || Top||

#2  The only thing Kofi and his organization deserves is a big, fat middle finger right in their faces.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 01/02/2005 4:07 Comments || Top||

#3  I have one thing to say to Mr. Kofi:

"Round Spherical Objects."

Two years: most everything cleaned up.
Five years: wouldn't know it happened, 'cept for the tsunami detectors off the beach.

(This is of course if the 'Party of Four' keep the lead in rebuilding. If the UN gets ahold of it, then what #1 said. Never...
Posted by: Anonymous6035 || 01/02/2005 6:23 Comments || Top||

#4  "UN secretary general has warned. Kofi Annan spoke of the "sheer complexity" of the relief effort"

Sheer complexity is also the same reason that he changed his mind and now puts on his pants, one leg at a time.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/02/2005 16:21 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Tsunami orphans at sexual abuse risk
Save the Children Fund in Sri Lanka said children orphaned by the tsunami are at risk of sexual abuse in camps or being sold to child traffickers. The international children's aid organization said it has evidence that children in a camp have been bought for about $40, the Scotsman.com reported Sunday. "We believe two children were sold to traffickers from Colombo. We don't know why they have taken the children but we fear they will be passed on to pedophiles or sold for some other form of exploitation," said Tahirih Ayn, a child protection officer with Save the Children Fund Sri Lanka.

The number of children orphaned or separated from their parents after the tsunami, which killed nearly 30,000 people in Sri Lanka, is unknown, but in one camp of displaced persons, about 40 percent were children. A Save the Children Fund official said the group feared that children might be sexually exploited by adults in the camps and it recommended children be separated from adults. The group also said some parents who lost children in the disaster have taken orphaned children illegally.
Sometimes the depravity of humanity just takes my breath away.
Posted by: Fred || 01/02/2005 2:03:24 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You said it, Fred. Until I read this, the vulnerability of the orphans to this sort of tragedy had not even occurred to me.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Another reason to keep the UN far away from the rescue & rebuilding efforts. They have rather an ugly history when it comes to the sexually vulnerable (or those who can be made to be so).
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/02/2005 15:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Fred: Sometimes the depravity of humanity just takes my breath away.

Nah - it's just the depravity of the minds of the officials at the Save the Children Fund. (I'm trying to figure out whether they just have dirty minds, or whether they're raising this issue so as to get more attention from their Western donors). Children being sold as household help isn't exactly anything new in the Third World. The prostitution element is pretty unusual, except maybe in countries like Thailand, which have a pretty liberal attitude to all kinds of commercial sex, coerced or not. In many other countries in the region, being caught selling children for sex can mean heavy jail sentences coupled with floggings.* (In China, it means severe beatings from the moment of arrest until the execution date - a period that has been known to encompass many days).

* At the same time, the definition of adult (with respect to the age of consent) varies - in the West, it is usually 16, whereas in Asia, it is often defined as the age of puberty.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/02/2005 17:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Forcible slavery is not just getting a job. Even if it is mere "household help", it could be terrifying -- look at all the stories about "household servants" in Muslim countries.

Moreover, sale for slavery is common. Any Google search proves that. When you take a look at the astounding ratios of males to females in India and China, you find a tremendous market.
Posted by: Chomose Unomoque1553 || 01/02/2005 20:19 Comments || Top||

#5  CU1553: Even if it is mere "household help", it could be terrifying -- look at all the stories about "household servants" in Muslim countries.

What I've described isn't chattel slavery, where slaves are owned like livestock - i.e. their offspring grow up as slaves and can be sold like farm animals. In the version of indentured servitude I'm referring to, once the children reach their majority (typically 21), they're free - like every other citizen. As to household servants in Muslim countries - that's an Arab tradition, not a generically Muslim tradition. Even the Arab version isn't chattel slavery - it's merely mistreatment of domestic help, backed up by official discrimination against foreign workers. In fact, you'll find nothing like chattel slavery in Asia, whether in Arabia or elsewhere.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/02/2005 20:58 Comments || Top||

Cornered Bush ups aid to $350 mn - The Times of India
US President George Bush on Friday announced that he would increase emergency aid to nations hit by the tsunami to $350 million from $35 million. He added that the US would probably add more resources as the scope of the "epic disaster" became clearer. At the UN, Jan Egeland, the emergency aid coordinator, said the new American move had increased the overall amount donated by 40 nations to about $1.2 billion, with new pledges continuing to come in hourly. "I've never, ever seen such an outpouring of international assistance in any international disaster," he said.

Bush's ten-fold increase is the second time this week that the US has committed more money to the effort, coming as it does after criticism that the President, who has stayed on his 1,600-acre ranch all week and spoken publicly about the disaster once, had reacted too slowly. On Wednesday, Bush had reacted angrily to Egeland's suggestion that leading economies of the world had been stingy in providing aid, and Secretary of State Colin Powell spent much of the week defending the speed with which the US was responding to the calamity. In a written statement on Friday, Bush said he had decided on the increase after Powell and director of the Agency for International Development Andrew Natsios told him that the "initial findings of the American assessment teams on the ground indicate that the need for financial and other assistance will steadily increase in the days and weeks ahead."

Powell was visibly annoyed on Thursday when asked about nations with far smaller economies committing more funds than the US. "I don't know yet what the US contribution will be," he shot back, adding, "and what we have to do is make a needs assessment and not just grasp at numbers or think we're in some kind of an auction house where every day somebody has to top someone else."
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/02/2005 6:51:07 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These stupid prigs have no call on the US taxpayers' wallet. For them to feel that we owe them assistance is arrogance beyond belief. We owe them NOTHING. For beggars and beggar nations to adopt an air of condescension towards those nations that choose to help them is absurd. Our help is never appreciated and, with the exception of the Thais, most of these countries are not our friends. In fact, most of these pricks would be dancing in the street if the tsunami had hit the west coast of the US instead of them.
Posted by: RWV || 01/02/2005 13:19 Comments || Top||

#2  These stupid prigs have no call on the US taxpayers' wallet
Congress and the WH appear to think otherwise.
Posted by: joeblow || 01/02/2005 14:08 Comments || Top||

#3  It's particularly cheeky considering that the gov't of India has already announced that it does not need international aid and they have joined the "coalition of the capable" to oversee relief and rebuilding.
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/02/2005 14:42 Comments || Top||

#4  Before anyone gets too angry at the title, look at the very end of the actual article, in italics&parentheses. That explains it all.

"(NYT News Service)"

BTW, Times of India is the NYT of India. Most Indians don't trust the paper. The affected people of India is very appreciative of any help they can get. The Times of India does not speak for its people. The U.S is not the only place with scum sucking elite pig journalists.
Posted by: Poison Reverse || 01/02/2005 16:32 Comments || Top||

#5  most of these pricks would be dancing in the street if the tsunami had hit the west coast of the US instead of them

No, you're not thinking of the right countries. As Powell recently noted, the affected countries are all either friends or allies.
Posted by: cingold || 01/02/2005 16:51 Comments || Top||

#6  Thanks PR. That got cut by the editors, but I thought it pertinent also.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/02/2005 17:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Joeblow, the fact that the US government chooses to help people in no way implies that the US is OBLIGATED to help these people. I have no problem with our government helping prevent a catastrophe from becoming worse, but I do take offense at the mentality that can berate us for not doing enough, with those who choose use the misery of others to score cheap political points. As far as friends in the region, it's a stretch to call India and Indonesia "friends". India had a long history of being on the other side of the Cold War and has been very slow to warm to the US after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As for Indonesia, there's a reason why the aggressor in Aussie wargames always looks strangely like Indonesia.
Posted by: RWV || 01/02/2005 17:33 Comments || Top||

#8  I spoke with tongue in cheek, RWV. I agree with you 100%. I simply noted that Congress and the WH are playing into the obligation game, full tilt, with our tax $. It's not like Thailand or Indonesia are robbing our Daddy Warbucks politicians at gunpoint for aid. Our elected politicians(and some that aren't like Powell) are handliing our taxpayers' $ like it's monopoly $. I wonder how much the Powell or the GWB or the Clinton or the Frist or the Kerry Family Trust Funds have forked over to the tsunami disaster victims?
Posted by: joeblow || 01/02/2005 17:59 Comments || Top||

#9  Joeblow, sorry. I think that my irony and sarcasm meters broke sometime over the holidays, probably due to the extreme cold in the Midwest. They should reset once I get back to San Diego.
Posted by: RWV || 01/02/2005 18:08 Comments || Top||

Miraculous Myanmar Death Toll of 53 A Lie
Junta accused of suppressing tsunami toll
A fisherman in one Burmese village accused the nation's military government of preventing relief aid from reaching disaster zones and attempting to cover up the extent of last week's tragedy. "Our government in Burma is lying when it says just a few people were killed," the fisherman told a reporter for the Telegraph. As he spoke, the Burmese navy was patrolling its territorial waters and looking for interlopers as it sought to preserve the dictatorship's report that only 53 persons had died in last weekend's devastating tsunami.

The splintered remains of a wooden bridge just ahead, on the large island of Palao Ton Ton, told a different story. The fisherman said he saw 50 persons swept to their deaths from this bridge alone. The red-and-white woodwork lay smashed in pieces and a large gap yawned in the middle of the span. "All the people were just swept away," the fisherman, his face shaded by a wide-brimmed, khaki hat, said. He was sheltering at an inlet across the water when the tsunami struck with deadly force. He went to help but there were no survivors. Burma yesterday raised its tsunami death toll to 53 yesterday, leaving disaster experts puzzled over how the nation escaped the massive destruction. The government newspaper Myanma Ahlin, which reported a toll still lower than the United Nations estimate of 90, said most of the deaths, up from the 36 the government reported earlier, were in the Irrawaddy Delta area.

In the aftermath of the tsunami the government in Rangoon sealed off parts of its coastline, fueling concerns that thousands more people died in the disaster than it has been prepared to acknowledge. Other fishermen spoke of a great loss of life farther up the coast at Kra Buri, 50 miles north of the border with Thailand. While aid workers believe that Burma escaped the carnage that was visited on Indonesia, where about 100,000 people are feared to have lost their lives, they say the death toll is certain to be higher than Burmese officials have admitted. "It is in the thousands," estimated one foreign diplomat. Burma is a closed society and the regime is hostile to outside influences. Journalists are banned and tight controls are placed on the movements of aid workers and diplomats. The climate of fear instilled by almost four decades of military dictatorship is such that any Burmese willing to help in exposing suffering and loss of life faces a long jail sentence.

There are many remote islands that no one has yet reached. The fishermen who ply these waters and know them well tell of widespread devastation on the Coco Islands and the Mergui Archipelago. The vast island chains, which belong to Burma, lie in a swath across the Andaman Sea, north of Thailand's Phuket peninsula and south of India's Nicobar island chain — both of which suffered heavy loss of life. Two days after the tsunami, when neighboring governments were gratefully accepting overseas assistance in the mass rescue operation, the Rangoon government brushed aside most offers of help, accepting less than $200,000 from communist China.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 9:34:04 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [252 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If the fisherman that accused the Burmese authorities of a cover up is identified, the death toll will go up to 54.
Posted by: Doc8404 || 01/02/2005 16:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Socialism..... ain't it grand!

Posted by: Wuzzalib || 01/02/2005 22:00 Comments || Top||

US military aid role a first in Indonesia (Loony Alert - Read Down)
American navy helicopters and transport planes have begun ferrying aid supplies to Aceh province six days after a tsunami slammed into the coast killing tens of thousands of people.

In a groundbreaking piece of diplomacy, US soldiers will for the first time touch down on Indonesian soil in an operational capacity. Australian military aircraft have been involved in relief work in Aceh since mid-week, joining small Malaysian, Singaporean and New Zealand contingents.

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is off the north shore of Sumatra where upwards of 80,000 people are believed to have died. "I can confirm that 10 US navy Seahawk helicopters will begin humanitarian operations in Aceh province today," said USAid's Michael Bok. "The helicopters were in Medan on Friday. A joint coordinating meeting between American, Australian and Indonesian military organisations was held at that time to coordinate our efforts."

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: tipper || 01/02/2005 6:30:52 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [421 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Islamic Defenders Front. Right. Perhaps they'll do in Aceh what the Eastern Province Governor did in Saudi when Gulf Shield began, pack up the mutawas (religious police) and the other idiots likely to cause trouble and ship 'em out to some other area - and keep them there muzzled - while the real work is done.

Personally, I would enjoy seeing Almascaty and friends when they get a glimpse of the wymyns in the US Armed Forces... prolly scare the shit out of 'em. Cheesedicks.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 7:26 Comments || Top||

#2  "Praise God, they are coming to help us," said Munajar, a Banda Aceh clerk who like many Indonesians uses only one name. "We have been waiting for the international community to assist us and now they have come."

How come people in Florida never day things like this after 4 serial hurricanes? The educational system in Indonesia must be very impressive for people to be able to remain so articulate and retain their composure.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/02/2005 7:27 Comments || Top||

#3  So let the wealthy arab nations provide them with the help they need. Uh, guys? Anybody? Where's that outpouring of milk of human kindness for suffering fellow Muslims? I thought so.
Posted by: Weird Al || 01/02/2005 14:08 Comments || Top||

#4  "The presence of foreign troops on Indonesian soil is a sensitive issue. The nation with the largest Muslim population on earth... ...public criticism of both the new government and the US has grown."
I dare say it's not an issue to the afflicted right now. The rest be damned.
Posted by: Tom || 01/02/2005 14:36 Comments || Top||

#5  This is naturally our first move in asserting a military hegemony over the Islamic peoples in the Far East. Soon we'll have complete control over their economies, and an endless supply of cheap consumer goods for the American markets, like, um, coconuts.

What a bunch of maroons.
Posted by: Asedwich || 01/02/2005 18:25 Comments || Top||

#6  I will not be surprised to hear about chants of "Death to America!" and RPG's and AK-47's being fired by pitiful victims of the tsunami at US forces trying to help.
Also see "A senior UN official said that the aid operation had been hindered by the fact that foreigners' access to Aceh had been severely restricted for many years because of insurgency in the area. An Australian military officer who arrived with relief supplies at Banda Aceh yesterday said that relations with the Indonesian army had been "difficult" because of Australia's support for East Timor's struggle for independence from Jakarta."
Also "boxes of food are piling up at airports with no means of reaching the people"
"Indonesia's President ...'We can bring in the aid but we need manpower to distribute it.'"
"it was difficult to find people prepared to drive supply lorries because they fear they might be attacked."
"[British] Charities are frustrated by the fact that the Indonesian Embassy is closed until Tuesday [Jan. 4] and volunteers cannot get the necessary visas to travel."
Dec 26 - Mother Nature deals a crushing blow to coastal inhabitants
Jan 2 - Human stupidity finishes off the survivors of Dec 26
Posted by: Hupailet Grereting6218 || 01/02/2005 8:10 Comments || Top||

#7  I will not be surprised to hear about chants of "Death to America!" and RPG's and AK-47's being fired by pitiful victims of the tsunami at US forces trying to help.
Also see "A senior UN official said that the aid operation had been hindered by the fact that foreigners' access to Aceh had been severely restricted for many years because of insurgency in the area. An Australian military officer who arrived with relief supplies at Banda Aceh yesterday said that relations with the Indonesian army had been "difficult" because of Australia's support for East Timor's struggle for independence from Jakarta."
Also "boxes of food are piling up at airports with no means of reaching the people"
"Indonesia's President ...'We can bring in the aid but we need manpower to distribute it.'"
"it was difficult to find people prepared to drive supply lorries because they fear they might be attacked."
"[British] Charities are frustrated by the fact that the Indonesian Embassy is closed until Tuesday [Jan. 4] and volunteers cannot get the necessary visas to travel."
Dec 26 - Mother Nature deals a crushing blow to coastal inhabitants
Jan 2 - Human stupidity finishes off the survivors of Dec 26
Posted by: Hupailet Grereting6218 || 01/02/2005 8:10 Comments || Top||

Elders' Sea Knowledge Spares Some Thais
BANGKOK, Thailand - Knowledge of the ocean and its currents passed down from generation to generation of a group of Thai fishermen known as the Morgan sea gypsies saved an entire village from the Asian tsunami, a newspaper said Saturday. By the time killer waves crashed over southern Thailand last Sunday the entire 181 population of their fishing village had fled to a temple in the mountains of South Surin Island, English language Thai daily The Nation reported. "The elders told us that if the water recedes fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared," 65-year-old village chief Sarmao Kathalay told the paper.
Looks like some elders are in for a whole lotta reverencin'.
So while in some places along the southern coast, Thais headed to the beach when the sea drained out of beaches — the first sign of the impending tsunami — to pick up fish left flapping on the sand, the gypsies headed for the hills. Few people in Thailand have a closer relationship with the sea than the Morgan sea gypsies, who spend each monsoon season on their boats plying the waters of the Andaman Sea from India to Indonesia and back to Thailand. Between April and December, they live in shelters on the shore surviving by catching shrimp and spear fishing. At boat launching festivals each May, they ask the sea for forgiveness.
A ray of light amidst the darkness.
Posted by: Zenster || 01/02/2005 1:29:19 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Article: At boat launching festivals each May, they ask the sea for forgiveness.

Mother Nature stands for Mother****er, and he's a murdering sumbitch. This is why our ancestors used to worship him as a vengeful god. Whackjob environmentalists are just worshippers of this deity by another name, with global-warming as their current religious fetish.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/02/2005 2:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Is this knowlege--- that a sea that recedes so suddenly as to strand fish is the harbinger of a catastrophic return of all that water---so esoteric? I am trying to remember when I was first told about what this sort of occurance meant; possibly my father (the research biologist) taught us about it, amid safety hints about rattlesnakes, earthquakes, large mammals defending their young, and the hazards of crossing busy city streets. It may have been something I picked up when I read James Michener's "Hawaii", or when I was stationed in Japan, at a base approximatly three miles from the sea and elevated from it by one or two feet, but the point is I have always known about this, and I would no more stick around to admire the sand flats and the flopping fish than I would stick my hand in a running garbage disposal! Especially following on an earthquake! I would be running for high ground as fast as I could, screaming all the way, and I am most definatly not a Morgan sea gypsy!Sooooo...I know that the regular Rantburgers are a fairly knowlegeable and well-read (not to say well-experienced bunch)... but wasn't this fairly common knowlege prior to last Sunday morning? It freaks me out to read about all the people who blithely went walking out to look at the damned fish, instead of beating feet in the other direction. Did I just have a rather peculiar upbringing; I thought this knowlege about the warning sign of a tsunami was fairly common!
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 01/02/2005 17:30 Comments || Top||

#3  I just got back from a restaurant & overhead a middle-aged lady (who looked & sounded fairly well educated) saying to a companion that she had no idea that earthquakes caused "tidal waves." She also said she pitied the people on boats out to sea (which, I think, is actually one of the safer places to ride out a tsunami, a basically coastal event). The first time I visited Hawaii, I asked about the presence of the yellow-painted poles along the shore with sirens mounted on them, I didn't think they were for tornado warnings. I was told they were tsunami sirens, & if they sounded, go uphill ASAP! I thought it was a little strange that there were no signs on these poles, and no formal warning was given to first-time visitors. I guess the locals figured the visitors didn't need to know. Never underestimate the power of ignorance.
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 01/02/2005 17:57 Comments || Top||

#4  See this BBC article about what a schoolgirl knew
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 01/02/2005 18:07 Comments || Top||

#5  WT - Cool story, thx!

Lessee... According to my copy of the schedule, Serendipity is set for 8:00 AM tomorrow at the UN...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 18:24 Comments || Top||

#6  Odd an Asian people named after a quaint yet expensive sprots car.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/02/2005 18:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Could be named after a pirate or rum.
Posted by: John Q. Citizen || 01/02/2005 18:31 Comments || Top||

#8  Never thought of that, you're likely right. Course they could have been financed by JP at some point, who knows.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/02/2005 20:07 Comments || Top||

France to send helicopter carrier to Asia
France will send the helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc and the frigate George Leygues to Asia on Monday to provide medical aid to the countries hit by the tsunamis, Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Sunday in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche.
Time for a Rantburg future.
"The urgency is to avoid a health disaster," the minister said, announcing that the two warships as well as an Airbus 310 carrying 12 tonnes of water purifying material and medication would be sent on Monday. The ships would have medical teams (16 doctors on the Jeanne d'Arc), an operating theatre and five helicopters.
That would help.
In the same paper Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin announced the setting up Sunday of a field hospital in Sumatra staffed by 70 paramedics, and a mission to identify victims by specialized teams from the police and gendarmerie in Thailand and Sri Lanka. On European co-ordination, the minister said the French were "the first in Colombo" and "we are the most numerous, that is why the European Union gave us this essential task."
Say 'hi' to the Marines when you arrive.
Posted by: Steve White || 01/02/2005 12:46:35 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Do they have extensive carrier repair facilities somewhere over there? They say "Asia" and that covers a lot of territory, lol! I guess wherever it makes it to will be where they'll claim was intended. Of course getting it back, afterwards, involves my initial question...

Oh, that does include all five (giggle) helicopters, too, right? Big-ass carrier. 5 helos. Oh well, every little bit helps. Who'll provide facilities for keeping the helos up? Lol - there's no end to this, methinks.

Color me impressed!
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 1:11 Comments || Top||

#2  What, no photo .com?

Bon voyage for the frogs. May their prop stay on for the duration.
Posted by: Classical_Liberal || 01/02/2005 1:17 Comments || Top||

#3  And here she is, CL, lol!
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 1:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Bon voyage for the frogs.

Oh, and keep a sharp eye out for that new (*CRUNCH*) reef...
Posted by: Seafarious || 01/02/2005 1:31 Comments || Top||

#5  .com: that's not a helicopter carrier! That's a friggin' destroyer with a landing deck on the back for a few frickin' helicopters!

The friggin French -- must they blow everything out of proportion?
Posted by: Steve White || 01/02/2005 1:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Spont on, Dr Steve, lol! CL asked, so... I aims ta pleeze ya know...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 2:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Traditionally the "Jeanne d'Arc" name has been reserved for the ship of the French Naval Academy who takes aspiring officers in a world around trip for vacation instruction. I don't know if this still holds.
Posted by: JFM || 01/02/2005 4:38 Comments || Top||

#8  It still holds according to http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/jeanne_d-arc.htm
Posted by: JFM || 01/02/2005 4:42 Comments || Top||

France will send ... to Asia on Monday
Well, ain't that special.

Hey, assholes, the disaster is over a week old. If you can't get your shit together any sooner than that, of what use are you?

How do these clowns find their own asses? (Never mind - I know the answer. They feel the top of their necks.)
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 01/02/2005 11:30 Comments || Top||

#10  Sending them on Monday? From France? How long will it be before they get there?
Posted by: Tom || 01/02/2005 14:29 Comments || Top||

#11  Jeanne d'Arc
Salida del servicio: disposicion para servir hasta el 2005. Le dernier voyage.
I have heard that they have very good marine junk yards in India.
Posted by: SwissTex || 01/02/2005 17:22 Comments || Top||

#12  Actually it's a pretty well designed ship, helicopters cruiser plus school ship. It's the right one to send.
Posted by: Shipman || 01/02/2005 18:29 Comments || Top||

#13  Shipman, it might be the only one they have that could stay afloat long enough to get to the Indian Ocean.
Posted by: RWV || 01/02/2005 19:54 Comments || Top||

#14  Is there no one in France that realizes what a self-parody France has become?
Posted by: RWV || 01/02/2005 19:56 Comments || Top||

#15  Only 2, I fear... our own beleagered JFM (whom I would love to drag over here, lol!) and The Dissident Frogman... Maybe a third, if the Pave France blog is still operating, heh.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 19:59 Comments || Top||

#16  Named after a troublesome woman who got burned at the stake? Oh, great. Two tickets, please...
Posted by: mojo || 01/02/2005 22:28 Comments || Top||

Sihanouk: Cambodia Saved from Tsunami by Astrologer
Former Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk says an astrologer warned him that an "ultra-catastrophic cataclysm" would strike, but that his country would be spared if proper rituals were conducted.
And my path was clear...
"My wife and I decided to spend several thousand dollars to organize these ceremonies so our country and our people could be spared such a catastrophe," Sihanouk, who abdicated last year, wrote on his Web site at www.sihanouknorodom.info.
We spent freely of our own money, pilfered from you, Dear Citizens, on the required snake oil and the delicious snake dinner. You're welcome. [Site Link Not Working - at the moment, anyway - Ed]
Cambodia was unscathed by the 10-meter (30-foot) tsunami waves generated by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake under the sea off Indonesia's Sumatra island on Dec.26. The waves rolled through the Indian Ocean, devastating coastal communities and killing more than 126,000 people.
Duh! Because it was hundreds of miles away with substantial physical bodies running intereference...
Sihanouk offered his deepest condolences to the families of the dead and said he would give "a very humble and extremely modest" contribution of $15,000 to international relief efforts for each of the stricken countries.
Glad it was you guys. I saved us with my astrologer. You shoulda tried that... Want his number? Oh yeah, I'll send you some scratch, I promise.
Indonesia was the worst hit along with Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
So I guess the astrologer either moved Sumatra and the Thai-Myanmar-Malay Peninsula in the way - or just moved the earthquake to the Indian Ocean side of Sumatra - probably the easier miracle - causing all those other people to be wiped out, instead. Either way, he's a hero in Phnom Penh - and a villian in Banda Aceh. I wonder, being so powerful and all, why he didn't just cancel the whole show...
I think they have to send a bill to Vietnam, too. They didn't get clobbered, and it musta been the magician who saved them.
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 12:43:34 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey, it worked for the Reagans ...

And remember kids, it's bad luck to be superstitious!
Posted by: Zenster || 01/02/2005 0:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Lol! That was, indeed, a laugh out loud. Good one!
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 1:01 Comments || Top||

#3  With leaders like this, who needs Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge? Forget the astrology - it's amazing that this guy hasn't figured out that his country doesn't have any coastal areas facing the Indian Ocean.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 01/02/2005 2:44 Comments || Top||

#4  ZF, ahm... the boudaries of Pacific Ocean roughly correspond to the Pacific plate--it is flanked by Phillipines on the west. So, for all practical purposes, the Thai Sea is a part of the Indian Ocean, regardless that the whole area that is between Indonesian Archipelago on the south, Malaysian Peninsula on the west, New Guinea on the south east and Phillipines on the north east, has been a land about 12,000 years ago. The average depth there is about 60m.

However, as noted, the Malaysian Peninsula stood in a way of the tidal waves to reach the coastline of Cambodia.
Posted by: Bugaboo || 01/02/2005 6:23 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Tsunami Video
Download wmv format.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/02/2005 9:57:40 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
Junk Science Dubious Awards for 2004
JunkScience.com today announced its list of the Top Ten Most Embarrassing Moments in Health and Environmental Science for 2004. The list spotlights individuals and organizations that -- through exaggerated claims, bad judgment, and/or hidden agendas -- have most egregiously undermined public confidence in the scientific community's capacity to conduct sound and unbiased research.
Posted by: John Q. Citizen || 01/02/2005 5:15:59 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Tech
New England awash in seals
It's a sight New Englanders aren't entirely used to seeing: thousands of seals swimming through Long Island Sound or hauling out to Maine, where they like to have their pups. Seals traditionally have migrated into southern New England waters in the winter. But as their numbers have grown after passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, an increasing number of seals crowded out of Maine and Massachusetts waters have been looking to make southern New England their permanent homes. As many as 100,000 harbor seals can be found in New England waters, and yet what is known about these mammals is very little... In addition to the harbor seals, there are between 5,000 and 7,000 gray seals that usually haul out in the winter to Muskeget Island, located between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, to have their pups. There are also a number of harp and hooded seals that researchers believe are breeding in Canadian waters and only coming down to New England during certain times of the year, said Gordon Waring, a research fisheries biologist at the National Marine Fisheries Service... Maritime Aquarium officials received a handful of calls from residents last winter saying they had a seal on their property...
Just a little pleasant New Year's news, from someone who used to sing duets with the seals of Monteray.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/02/2005 12:52:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This has to mean that the fisheries are also recovering, or the seals would NOT be growing in numbers...... I.E, No food!
Posted by: leaddog2 || 01/02/2005 13:09 Comments || Top||

#2  They need to bring in some polar bears to control the population.
Posted by: RWV || 01/02/2005 13:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Or Canadians with clubs.
Posted by: Pamela Anderson (for PETA) || 01/02/2005 13:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Gosh, you mean to say that GLOBAL WARMING isn't causing Massive Species Extinction???

Sorry. I've got myself under control now. I won't let it happen again.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/02/2005 15:24 Comments || Top||

#5  tw - Lol!
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 15:28 Comments || Top||

#6  The seal oil futures market is now open. What am I bid on 100 contracts due April first?
Posted by: Old Fogey || 01/02/2005 15:28 Comments || Top||

#7  Argh. I have this thing about misspelling "Monterey". But I just cannot imagine *this* many seals doing their thing. I kind of have a mental picture of an olympic swimming pool filled with dozens of swimming giant dachshunds.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 01/02/2005 16:52 Comments || Top||

#8  Does this mean we can club the babies again?
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 01/02/2005 17:09 Comments || Top||

#9  In honor of Pam's post (above)...
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 17:17 Comments || Top||

#10  I've got only one thing for Pamela Anderson.......... interferon.
Posted by: Floting Granter5198 || 01/02/2005 23:54 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks & Islam
Goodbye to all that - Another Ex Muslim's Testimony
This is another in a series of testimony of apostates from Islam (aka murtads, murtadim)

I did all my best to defend Islam and beat the kafirs down. However, from the other side, I was debating on Islamist forums too. In doing this, I had only a pure idea in mind to "save" Islam from the fanatic bastards, who have been speculating with the "great" Islam. I am very tired and sick of this, and I do not want get into details of these debates with the Islamists.

But one thing I can confirm now — HOW STUPID I WAS. This beast with the name "ISLAM" cannot be saved.

The MO here is to engage Moslems who argue that Islam is kind and gentle and show them through the nasty parts of the Koran, Hadiths, etc. and also show them the authoritative legal rulings that abrogate the nice guy verses in favor of the nasty verses.
Posted by: mhw || 01/02/2005 10:20:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The link doesn't work.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 01/02/2005 19:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Must be a U.N. publication.
Posted by: Tom || 01/02/2005 19:58 Comments || Top||

#3  http://www.faithfreedom.org/Testimonials/windfall.htm
Posted by: mhw || 01/02/2005 20:24 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Tech
Cahleefornya: Fines For Spyware (Yes! Go, Ahnold, go!)
Posted by: .com || 01/02/2005 02:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nice gesture, but I doubt very many people will be extradited from Russia.

There are some locals, though, so maybe it will at least inconvenience them a little.
Posted by: jackal || 01/02/2005 11:17 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News

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The Classics
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Gulf War I
The Way We Were

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On Sale now!

A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Scooter McGruder
john frum
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2005-01-02
  Another most wanted found among Riyadh boomer scraps
Sat 2005-01-01
  Algerian deported from San Diego
Fri 2004-12-31
  NKors threaten to cut off contact with Japan
Thu 2004-12-30
  Ugandan officials meet rebel commanders near border with Sudan
Wed 2004-12-29
  43 Iraqis killed in renewed violence
Tue 2004-12-28
  Syria calls on US to produce evidence of involvement in Iraq
Mon 2004-12-27
  Car bomb kills 9, al-Hakim escapes injury
Sun 2004-12-26
  8.5 earthquake rocks Aceh, tsunamis swamp Sri Lanka
Sat 2004-12-25
  Herald Angels Sing
Fri 2004-12-24
  Heavy fighting in Fallujah
Thu 2004-12-23
  Palestinians head to polls in landmark local elections
Wed 2004-12-22
  Pak army purge under way?
Tue 2004-12-21
  Allawi Warns Iraqis of Civil War
Mon 2004-12-20
  At Least 67 killed in Iraq bombings - Shiites Targeted
Sun 2004-12-19
  Fazlur Rehman Khalil sprung

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
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