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Cartoon protesters go berserk in Peshawar
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Snowstorm causes Global Warming
(2006-02-12) — A thick blanket of snow that covered much of the northeastern United States this weekend may increase global warming by preventing the heat that radiates from earth’s molten core from escaping into the atmosphere, according to former vice president Al Gore.

Mr. Gore, a noted global warming expert who also once ran for president, dismissed suggestions that the biggest snowstorm in New York City history diminishes his case that the planet is warming at an alarming rate.

“First of all,” Mr. Gore said, “the reason for all of this snow is that greenhouse gasses trap reflected solar heat causing the polar ice caps to melt, increasing the volume of oceanic water that evaporates, then freezes to become snow. The warmer the planet gets, the more massive snow storms we’ll see.”

The former vice president, former senator and founder of the red-hot Current TV Network, said the only solution is to remove the snow, not just from the ground, but from earth’s water cycle.

“We must pack the snow into giant containers and launch it into outer space,” Mr. Gore said. “Every day that George Bush fails to do this, the threat to Mother Earth grows exponentially.”
Posted by: Korora || 02/14/2006 0:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What the ...???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/14/2006 0:29 Comments || Top||

#2  satire...JM... I'd think you would get that, now I'm just scared
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 0:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Heh... time for this, again?

(full-size image)
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 1:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah, but ... this ScrappleFace article makes more sense then Al Gore-me did yesterday...
Posted by: 3dc || 02/14/2006 2:42 Comments || Top||

#5  wow! That's the first time I've fallen hook line and sinker for Scrappleface. (I guess I overlooked that highlighted red print...doh!) I didn't know it was fake until the comments.

hey... it wasn't really that big of a stretch, now was it?
Posted by: 2b || 02/14/2006 3:32 Comments || Top||

#6  its truly fantastic isnt it / scrappleFace never ceases to stop with its classics :)
Posted by: ShepUK || 02/14/2006 5:25 Comments || Top||

#7  I must be tired, or maybe too used to GAIA worshiping idiocy to notice it was Scrappleface.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/14/2006 6:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Best of the Web has an ongoing joke about recent headlines imitating the Onion.

Well the left has sunk so far into self-parody that scrappleface is now just a shade off from the truth.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/14/2006 13:00 Comments || Top||

Africa North
'divine' calf says "no God but Allah"
THOUSANDS of people flocked to southern Egypt today to seek blessing from a calf they believe was born as God's reply to the publication in Europe of cartoons depicting the prophet, police said.

Some 20,000 thousand people had gathered in front of Mohammed Abu Dif's house in the village of Tunis to see the holy mammal, whose skin folds when he was born reportedly formed the words "There is no God but Allah", a police official said on condition of anonymity.

He said the villagers flocked from all over the southern governorate of Sohag to the farmer's house and had to be dispersed by police, who feared the gathering could get out of control.
Witnesses said they believed the calf was "Allah's response to current attacks against Islam", the official said.
He was referring to the publication in a Danish daily five months ago of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which is banned in Islam.

Some of the caricatures portray Mohammed as a terrorist and have since been reprinted in scores of other European newspapers, sparking an unprecedented outcry in Muslim countries.

Tens of thousands of Muslims across the world have held demonstrations to protest against the cartoons, call for a boycott of Danish products and demand their countries sever ties with Denmark.
Posted by: Classer || 02/14/2006 03:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Allan moves in mysterious ways.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/14/2006 7:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Don't tell me -- it's a nice golden brown color.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  That does it! A divine calf? I'm convinced! I'll convert, by gum! How much more proof do you need, kaffirs? Now, I can be part of the Master Race! SUBMIT, HUMANS!
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/14/2006 8:01 Comments || Top||

#4  The important question is: Is a divine calf a sign from Allah or Vishnu?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 8:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Mebbe Arby's?

Sorry, Mucky.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 8:05 Comments || Top||

#6  So that's what "Moooooooo" means....
Posted by: Whutch Threth6418 || 02/14/2006 8:07 Comments || Top||

#7  Who was it that said, "Sacred cows make great hamburgers"?
Posted by: BH || 02/14/2006 10:25 Comments || Top||

#8  Sacred Cowburgers yum!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/14/2006 11:07 Comments || Top||

#9  #7 - I don't know who said that, but my guru Swami Beyondananda always told me, "When you have a sacred cow, milk it for all it's worth."
Posted by: Flerert Whese8274 || 02/14/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#10  20,000 to check on a calf = Egyptian gangbang...
Posted by: Raj || 02/14/2006 11:22 Comments || Top||

#11  Miracle? - Pah.

You can find far more miraculous images underneath the curly tail of any member of that most noble of all species (ham salami yahoo wa'bacon).
Posted by: Admiral Allan Ackbar || 02/14/2006 11:32 Comments || Top||

#12  Oboy. Another golden calf.
Posted by: Fred || 02/14/2006 16:29 Comments || Top||

#13  wheres cecile b demille when you need him?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 02/14/2006 16:35 Comments || Top||

#14  we Catholics have the patent on Jesus-In-A-Muffin or Mary-In-A-Shadow...who the hell do they think they are? Pikers!
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 18:06 Comments || Top||

#15  A farmer. In a tiny village. What are the odds he can't read? And Allan knows cartoons aren't allowed. But this just appeared at birth and is gone when the hordes showed up. But the illiterate insists that's what it looked like.

Egypt - gathering it's jihadis. But a cow?! - I smell Larson at work here.

Want a shot of Taqiiya?
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/14/2006 19:54 Comments || Top||

#16  That was one of my errant brats...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 22:58 Comments || Top||

#17  Such a worldly heifer.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 23:02 Comments || Top||

#18  shouldn't the middle east be located on the cow's ass if we're talking real seething?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 23:15 Comments || Top||

#19  Remember this pic, Frank? Lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 23:20 Comments || Top||

#20  Is that brown horse getting a colonoscopy?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 23:24 Comments || Top||

#21  Hey, ask Frank - it's his pic, lol.

/Cut 'n Run MSM
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 23:41 Comments || Top||

#22  Nancy Pelosi looking for a democratic plank
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 23:51 Comments || Top||

#23  love the pic though
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 23:54 Comments || Top||

#24  LOL! Nice one, heh.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 23:55 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Savin B. Hard -- Zim-Bob-We inflation over 600%
Zimbabwe's annual inflation rose to 613.2 percent in January, near its all time peak, which could fan anger against President Robert Mugabe's government by the millions struggling to survive. The January figure compared with 585.5 percent in December as housing and food prices raced into the stratosphere. It was close to the all time high of 622.8 percent hit during the same period in 2004, official data showed on Monday. Zimbabwe's inflation rate is one of the highest in the world and compares with the average for sub-Saharan Africa of 21.3 percent in 2005, excluding Nigeria and South Africa.

Once a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe has grappled with rampant inflation during six years of recession. Shortages of foreign exchange, fuel and food have been widely blamed on government mismanagement. "With no legitimate avenues of expressing discontent, rising inflation may form the basis of a groundswell of mass discontent," said Eldred Masunungure, chairman of the political science department at Harare's University of Zimbabwe. "We have a very pessimistic situation and people's patience is fast being eroded, which should worry the government as there could be a sudden explosion of mass anger." Mugabe has been accused of using tough security and media laws to silence political dissent.

The central bank has forecast inflation could rise to between 700-800 percent by March before it starts to slow down, although some analysts say Zimbabwe could see four digit inflation this year. On a monthly basis the consumer price index rose by 18.6 percent, according to the Central Statistical Office (CSO).

The CSO said a family of five will now require an average of 20 million Zimbabwe dollars every month to remain above the official poverty line, up 16 percent from December. On average, Zimbabwean workers, who have borne the brunt of the country's economic crisis, earn Z$5.5 million each month. But many people have to get by on far less in a country with an unemplmoyment rate of around 70 percent. "It seems we are going to be stuck with double digit month on month figures which means annual inflation will rise faster," University of Zimbabwe business studies professor Anthony Hawkins told Reuters.

Analysts said annual inflation was likely to quicken at a faster rate in the next two months, pushed by increases in the price of basic commodities and fuel. Price pressures have also been driven by a weakening Zimbabwe dollar, which has boosted the cost of imports. The central bank has since capped its continued slide, a move that has seen a resurgence of the black market. "The underlying problem that needs to be addressed to tackle inflation is to stimulate economic production ... producers have to feel secure to produce, which is not happening," Harare based economist James Jowa said. "Confidence has been severely eroded over time due to lack of a clear policy direction in the economy, especially in agriculture," he said.

Industrial production has fallen to below 30 percent of capacity and commercial agriculture has plummeted 60 percent in the past five years, which critics blame on Mugabe's seizure of land from white commercial farmers for redistribution to blacks. Mugabe denies his policies are responsible for the country's economic woes, maintaining the economy has been sabotaged by Western powers opposed to the seizures.

$1=99,201 Zimbabwe dollars
Today, that is. More tomorrow.
And I used to make fun of the Laos when the kip was at 1:1 with the bobby pin. Maybe Bob should ask Vientiane for financial advice.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My estimate was 913% but close enuff fer Gummermint work.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/14/2006 0:42 Comments || Top||

#2  "...which could fan anger..."

Duh, ya think? ZimBob's headed for that single-bullet (or stiff rope) solution all by hisownself.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 5:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Explains his recent "turnaround" in the land seizure deal. Of course, I wouldn't show myself back in that country if I'd been run off like the whites had there.
Posted by: BA || 02/14/2006 11:37 Comments || Top||

The trumpet will sound.... well, maybe.
Rwandan police are cracking down on noisy churches, confiscating instruments from 11 congregations around the country in recent days. Police spokesman Theos Badege told the BBC this was in line with new laws on noise pollution.

Mosques have also been told to lower the level of their loud speakers when calling for prayer, he said. But some church leaders argue that packed congregations will often mean an increase in volume levels.

Police warned church leaders to worship more quietly after a meeting with them on Saturday. The BBC's Geoffrey Mutagoma in the capital, Kigali, says Rwandan preachers often use microphones for their sermons, with musical instruments connected to the sound systems. Guitars, keyboards and speakers were among the items taken by police officers, he said. Mr Badege said the worshippers could come to police stations to retrieve their instruments, where they would receive a warning.

Under Rwandan law, violations are punishable with fines of between $18 to $180. Nightclubs were targeted when the law when came into force last year, Mr Badege said. They were only allowed to reopen after their premises were sound-proofed.
Those noisy Afro-Amish church people agian. When will they learn common ole genecidal hacking and slashing, tribal genocide like the rest of us?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  WHen NOSTRADAMUS describes people seeing "strange birds" in the skies he's referring to winged ANGELS - no word yet of trumpets or bowls of wrath or Satchmo.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/14/2006 0:31 Comments || Top||

#2  Fred is that the inline illustration you're gonna use on the final dayz? I'll keep an eye out.
Posted by: 6 || 02/14/2006 12:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Are they afraid of walls falling down or something?
Posted by: Xbalanke || 02/14/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

Now Qatar Going (Peaceful) Nuclear
Qatar, one of the richest energy states in the world, is researching and conducting talks on the launch of a nuclear program.

Western diplomatic sources said Qatar has been planning a nuclear research and energy program with foreign assistance. They said Asian and Western countries have been approached.

"It makes no sense for Qatar to have a nuclear energy program," a diplomatic source said. "It makes all the sense in the world for Qatar to start acquiring nuclear expertise."

On Monday, Qatar and South Korea began talks on nuclear energy cooperation. The South Korean Science and Technology Ministry met representatives of Qatar's Supreme Council for the Environmental and Natural Reserves.

The Qatari delegation was scheduled to spend nearly a week in Seoul. The delegation planned to tour South Korean nuclear facilities and discuss nuclear applications in agriculture, medicine and biotechnology.

The diplomatic sources said Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council states have sought to develop nuclear programs to desalinate water. They said Iran's nuclear weapons program has alarmed GCC states, particularly Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the region and biggest energy producer in the world.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 08:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Could Dubai become the most important city on earth?
Gosh, whyever not?
DUBAI - Dubai is growing faster than any city on earth, spending mind-boggling sums on a construction programme that is nothing less than dazzling. But what is truly impressive is the scale of its ambition. Could it become the most important place on the planet?

It looks like a hot Grozny. On the vast invented islands offshore and in the even vaster building sites that stretch in a wide band the whole length of Dubai’s now famous riviera, acre on acre of grey- faced, concrete, hollow-eyed buildings, fenced in with scaffolding and overhung by tower cranes, stare at each other across the sands. Tower blocks look abandoned rather than half-made. It is said that a fifth of the world’s cranes are now at work here. An army of some 250,000 men, largely from India and Pakistan, are labouring to create the new glimmer fantasy, earning on average GBP150 a month, and living in camps, four to a room, 12ft by 12ft, hidden away in the industrial quarters of Al Quoz. One night in one of the luxury hotels would cost six months’ wages of one of the men who built it. Below and around their work sites, the new streets are chaotic with rubble and piles of steel.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Or not. Hell, if they don't stop trying to play both sides of the street at once, it could become the least important smoking hole, too. Has about the same odds, methinks.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 1:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Oil boom town.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/14/2006 1:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Nice double-entendre, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 1:57 Comments || Top||

#4  :-)
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/14/2006 5:46 Comments || Top||

#5  I've been to Dubai. The climate is sheer hell in the summer, which lasts most of the year. All those people investing there, more power to them. I wouldn't invest $0.50 there because I believe 1)oil is on its way out as a primary fuel source; the supply is too uncertain, and 2) the whole south-side Persian Gulf idea is unsustainable because they can't even feed themselves, much less supply anything else. EVERYTHING has to come from someplace else. So until Glenn Reynolds' favorite fantasy, nanotech, arrives with its ability to make anything from anything else, the Gulf will always be a place that produces nothing but sand and oil and with a horribly bad climate to boot. I've always thought that if we in the West could switch to hydrogen tomorrow the Gulf Arabs would never see anyone from the West again. I only went there because someone paid me a hell of a lot of money and it would take more than it cost the first few times for me to consider going back. Dubai the most important city on Earth? Let's try Dubai the latest rendition of the South Sea Bubble tune.
Posted by: mac || 02/14/2006 6:00 Comments || Top||

#6  Sigh! Hydrogen is not a primary energy source. You have to make it by consuming another energy source and wasting more than 50% of the primary energy source in the process. A hydrogen powered vehicle is equivalent to starting with 2 barrels of gaseoline, puting one in your car and setting fire to the other.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/14/2006 7:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Lol, phil_b. Hey, you didn't happen to save off the excellent collection of energy posts from USS Clueless, did you? The site's gone away completely and I can't find 'em, though I thought I had saved them. I miss den Beste like a smarter-than-me best friend. Sigh.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 8:03 Comments || Top||

#8  phil_b you oil analogy only works if oil is used to create the hydrogen in the first place. If you use nuke power the lost energy is the same, but not as costly, pollutant, or used to fund maddrasses.

I still think electric cars have more of a future than the hydrogen cars now that Toshiba has those superbatteries that can recharge up to 80% within a couple of minutes. Battery recharging problems are the only reason people seriously considered hydrogen at all.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/14/2006 11:24 Comments || Top||

#9  Every time someone mentions H2 as a fuel I have to ask myself just how are you going to store, transport and more importantly generate it from H2O or CH4 (methane). Either way it has problems. Myself I would prefer to see sufficently advanced battery tech that increases range and reduces charge times to something similiar to the fueling times for gasoline. Rather than use the electricity to manufacture H2 from water or methane use electrity as the end product itself. But then with our luck the Gulf States and the Saudis will go into the solar energy business
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/14/2006 11:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Isn't Michael Jackson said to be moving there?

I'm not saying, I'm just saying...
Posted by: eLarson || 02/14/2006 14:02 Comments || Top||

#11  As mentioned on another thread, Qatar and maybe Saudi is planning to go peaceful nuclear full steam. It would not surprise me if Dubai did the same. Other than having lots of power for their energy needs, it also means that they can desalinize huge amounts of water.

Extrapolated some years in the future, imagine a "greened" Arabia, and the effect it would have on their regional climate. In worked in the American west.

Other things to look forward to are the building of a massive petro-chemical infrastructure. If the oil is not going for fuel, use it to make all sorts of other synthetic products for export. That alone would keep their shipping docks full.

Last but far from least, some of these oil-wealthy nations have in past very proudly invested in education. They are well-suited to having immense universities for an international clientele, enough so that some poorer countries might subcontract their students to them.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 14:10 Comments || Top||

#12  Speaking of Boom Towns, here is a topical song for the subject of Dubai, courtesy of Greg Brown:


Here come the artists with their intense faces,
with their need for money and quiet spaces.
They leave New York, they leave L.A..
Here they are - who knows how long they'll stay -

It's a Boomtown got another Boomtown
and it'll boom
just as long as boom has room.

Here come the tourists with their blank stares,
with their fanny packs -
they are penny millionaires.
Something interesting happened here long time ago.
Now where people used to live their lives
the restless come and go.
[repeat chorus]

Nice to meet you, nice to see you
in a sheepskin coat made in Korea.
Welcome to the new age, the new century.
Welcome to a town with no real reason to be.
[repeat chorus]

The rich build sensitive houses and pass their staff around.
For the rest of us, it's trailers on the outskirts of town.
We carry them their coffee, wash their shiny cars,
hear all about how lucky we are to be living in a ...
[repeat chorus]

The guy from California moves in and relaxes.
The natives have to move -
they cannot pay the taxes.
Santa Fe has had it.
Sedona has, too.
Maybe you'll be lucky -
maybe your town will be the new...
[repeat chorus]
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/14/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

#13  #7 .com - I think I have den Besten's best saved on my home computer.

E-mail me a reminder and I'll look.

Just for li'l ol' you. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/14/2006 15:18 Comments || Top||

#14  I heard that MJ was too creepy even for the Bahrainis -- he's been invited out of the country, flying business class on a commercial flight, and is now slacking around Europe. He's got a important debt payment due 2/20 or it's off to bankruptcy court for Jacko.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/14/2006 15:26 Comments || Top||

#15  And if anyone sees Steven around anywhere (he is supposedly going to get the server connected again when he settles down in Portland) let me know; I want to send him a copy of the Al Gore "Kamehameha" drawing.
Posted by: Phil || 02/14/2006 15:29 Comments || Top||

#16  Photoshop. Actual photo. Whatever.
Posted by: Phil || 02/14/2006 15:30 Comments || Top||

#17  Hydrogen is not a "green" fuel as people claim. In fact, the only way to make large industrial size batches of it now is to use Natural Gas. Strip the hydrogen atoms off. And what is left over? CO2. Tons and tons of the stuff. More than we are putting out now. Pure fantasy bullshit from the wacko environmental crowd.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/14/2006 15:58 Comments || Top||

#18  Steven den Beste's new web address.

Posted by: SR-71 || 02/14/2006 19:04 Comments || Top||

#19  .com, no I didn't save SDB's posts. Should have. Easily the best big picture analysis I have ever seen on energy. Agreed, the man is brilliant and a real gentleman based on my correspondence with him. Pity he doesn't seem to drop by the Burg any more.

Barb, can you copy me. TIA

rjs, all primary energy sources are over the medium to long term fungible. Any increase in net energy demand, which adoption of hydrogen would certainly cause, will result in an increase in demand for energy from the most elastic supply. That is and will continue to be oil (and to a lesser extent NG). So the argument we could make it from nuclear is irrelevant. It will only be made from nuclear at the expense of other more efficient ways of distributing energy.

Moose, good point about desalination. With the added benefit it might make the luddite greenies, wake up and small the coffee.

Plus, what mmurray said.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/14/2006 19:51 Comments || Top||

#20  I expect a lot of the "new energy" in the future is going to be from bio and nano technologies.

For example, that MIT genius who found an algae that when industrial CO2 is pumped through it, even in weak New England light, it converts to mostly high-quality biodiesel (with some ethanol), at an efficiency rate obscenely higher than with agri-plant matter. Basically turning waste fumes into big money at minimal cost. Corporations like stuff like that, a lot. You can even recycle the water the algae live in, while reducing your CO2 emissions by 60%. Win-win-win-profit.

The nanotech is causing explosive improvement in both solar energy and battery/capacitor/fuel cell tech. And every one of those that improves takes the pressure off less efficient production and storage.

Nuclear has two futures: enormous and large localized energy use. That is, typical large reactors giving massive energy to concentrated industrial consumers; and pebble-bed reactors for smaller industries and regions with little other available energy.

Huge national grids will slowly become antiquated, as decentralized energy production makes more sense. Surprisingly, even in the US, de-salinization will become one of the largest consumers of energy in the future.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 20:11 Comments || Top||

#21  Ummmmmmmmmmm - No

Next question
Posted by: Grinese Whomoling1222 || 02/14/2006 21:23 Comments || Top||

#22  For cars nobody every mentions thermal batts. Too bad! 200lbs of Molten Salt at %15 eff. is equiv to about 20 gals of gas. A good strong thermos around it (and maybe auto ejection in an accident) would be equal to the batteries at much less weight.

The big problem is the injuries in an accident from molten salt burning right through bodies and bone... Again. Solvable.

Posted by: 3dc || 02/14/2006 23:24 Comments || Top||

Saudi advisory body snubs proposal to lift women’s driving ban
RIYADH - A member of Saudi Arabia’s consultative council said on Monday he was hopeful the government would step in to lift the ban on women driving after the appointed advisory body refused to debate his proposal to end the ban. The hope is that the leadership of the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom will look into the matter “because the state is best placed to settle this issue, which is in the interest of society,” Mohammad Al Zalfa told AFP. Zalfa said he was optimistic the government would weigh in ”since the traffic draft legislation approved by the Shura (consultative) Council on Sunday did not specifically stipulate a ban on women’s driving.”

Zalfa introduced his proposal to lift the ban last year as part of wider traffic legislation that was approved by the 150-member Shura Council on Sunday but failed to address the issue of women’s driving. The all-male Shura Council, which is named by the king, has no legislative powers. Its recommendations are referred to the monarch and must be approved by the government. Newspapers on Monday reported a statement by the council’s secretary general saying Zalfa’s proposal, which had sparked a heated debate in the local media, had not been discussed. The statement said women’s driving was skipped over among other reasons because of an official fatwa (religious edict) that had already been issued on the matter.
"The Profit sez women shouldn't drive! You can look it up!"
The reference was to a fatwa issued in 1991 by the then mufti of Saudi Arabia and head of the Council of Senior Ulema (Muslim scholars), Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz, prohibiting women from driving cars. The edict was issued after a group of 47 women defied the ban on driving by roaming the streets of Riyadh in 15 cars on November 6, 1990. They were swiftly rounded up by police and punished harshly, while their male guardians were reprimanded.
"That's a 100 riyal fine for you, citizen. And your wife will be stoned to death."
Zalfa told AFP that the council’s refusal to tackle issues like women’s driving “will reduce the prerogatives of the council and dampen hopes that its powers will be expanded in order to help the state and the citizen introduce reforms.”

Women in the desert kingdom that sits on a quarter of world oil reserves are forced to cover from head to toe in public, and cannot travel without a written permission from their male guardian. They were barred from landmark municipal elections last year. But Information Minister Iyad Madani told an economic forum in the Red Sea city of Jeddah Saturday that there was “nothing in the Saudi legislation that forbids Saudi women to apply for a driving licence.” If such a request was declined, women had the right to resort to justice, he said.
And we all know about Islamic justice.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You don't let your dog drive, do you?

Same same here. They don't let their pets drive either. Which reminds me of this...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 1:16 Comments || Top||

#2  An acquaintance of mine (lets call him maf, to protect his identity) once stopped a Paleo car at a checkpoint. The car had a man, a women, and a sheep in the back seat. When maf demanded documents, the man produced his ID + a certificate establishing his ownership the sheep. Maf asked for the woman's documents, the man replyed "That's my wife---what does she needs documents for?"
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/14/2006 6:05 Comments || Top||

Coastguard scrambled as digital television box sends SOS
When Mary Donaldson arrived home from the cinema she found two officials outside her door. One was holding a large antenna. They told the pensioner and her friend that distress signals from ships at sea had been traced to her house. Lifeboats and air-sea rescue helicopters had been launched on several occasions but coastguards had drawn a blank. Nothing was found ... except that her house was the source of the signals. The two officials identified the source of the radioed SOS calls as Mrs Donaldson’s digital television box.

The “military in distress” mayday signals were picked up by satellite and intercepted by the RAF Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Kinloss, Scotland. They immediately alerted coastguards in the area from which the distress call was coming.

Twice in recent weeks the coastguard at Lee-on-the-Solent launched fullscale search and rescue operations. Two lifeboats and a helicopter were scrambled and for three hours combed 20 miles of coastline around Portsmouth harbour, at a cost of more than £20,000. Then it happened again and a two-hour search was launched. Twice they found nothing amiss and all the rescue crews returned to base.

Last night the cause of all the distress was revealed as Mrs Donaldson’s Freeview digital television receiver. The frequency used by the digital Freeview set-top box was identical to that dedicated to emergency distress beacons. Michael Mulford, an RAF spokesman, said: “This is very unusual. It’s a complete freak, and the odds of a digibox sending out a 121.5 signal must be astronomical.”

A spokesman for Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, said that digital boxes were designed only to receive signals, not to transmit them. “They shouldn’t be sending out signals at all, let alone maydays,” he said.

There are more than ten million Freeview boxes in the country, costing as little as £30 each, but Ofcom officials believe that it may be only a small batch that are faulty and can send out the mayday signals.

At home Mrs Donaldson said: “I still can’t believe that little box sparked all this. I came back from watching a film to find two men holding a massive antenna. My friend thought I hadn’t paid my television licence or something. It was incredible, like a dream.”

She added: “I don’t think I’ll be getting a new one. I’d hate to cause any more bother”.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Lol - tinfoil time.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 5:14 Comments || Top||

#2  My friend thought I hadn’t paid my television licence or..

A "television license".....the imposition of which is a crime in itself, IMO.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/14/2006 11:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey, a DTV box gets lonely sometiems....
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/14/2006 11:20 Comments || Top||

#4  From what I see on network TV most of the time a "save me from TV" signal might not be too far from a correct thing to do.
Posted by: USN, ret. || 02/14/2006 15:07 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Protesters want Preval declared winner of Haiti election
Normally, the election goes to the guy with the most votes, not the one who's hard boyz holler the loudest.
Posted by: Fred || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Preval falls further below 50pc in Haiti vote count
But I think we all saw this coming.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Former Haitian President Rene Preval fell further below the 50 percent he needs to win outright as the counting of ballots continued on Monday in an increasing tense presidential election.

With 89.9 percent of ballots counted, the one-time ally of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide had 48.7 percent of the vote, compared to the 61 percent he was given a few days ago after initial results from Tuesday’s election were posted, the Provisional Electoral Council said on its Web site. He will face another ex-president, Leslie Manigat, who had 11.84 percent, in a runoff election on March 19.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Chinese romantics seek nose jobs
Young lovers in China's largest city, Shanghai, are turning to cosmetic surgery as a Valentine's Day present. Three couples even asked one clinic for matching noses or eye features, the official China Daily reported.

The clinic's director, Liu Chunlong, said business from 20-somethings had risen 30% since 4 February. China has seen a boom in cosmetic operations in recent years, and is now home to a million plastic surgery clinics, according to Xinhua news.

Liu Yan, 24, and her 28-year-old boyfriend had matching nose jobs a fortnight before Valentine's Day, China Daily said. "I suggested it as a way of celebrating our relationship and bringing us closer together with a special kind of bond," the paper quoted Ms Liu as saying. "My boyfriend loved the idea and paid for the whole thing; we're very happy with the results."

Another clinic in the city, the Shanghai ConBio Plastic and Laser Surgery Hospital, is offering a Valentine's Day package featuring reduced prices. It is reported to be seeing twice its normal volume of patients at the moment. The China Consumers Association has warned that there are an average of 20,000 complaints of disfigurement from plastic surgery each year.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is actually Big JuJu across Asia. It's about building up the ridge... so they can wear glasses / sunglasses and appear more Western. I encountered numerous people in Thailand who thought that their lives would be complete - if only they had a nose job. Sigh.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 0:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Hey, fascination with superficial Western cosmetic features is just another way of ensuring Red China's downfall. SUVs, color televisions, condos, Ronco pasta machines, George Foreman grills, thighmasters ... whatever it takes. Whatever they spend on toe implants is less money for bombs. Sure, it'd be nice if more commendable Western aspects were being emphasized here, but we've got to take what we can get. Communist China has got to go. Turning them all into yuppies is a heckuva lot better than turning them all into vapor.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/14/2006 11:53 Comments || Top||

#3  They can have mine.......
Posted by: Omaiting Hupose1650 || 02/14/2006 14:44 Comments || Top||

Down Under
2 Australians sentenced to die by firing squad
DENPASAR, Indonesia - An Indonesian court on Tuesday sentenced two young Australian men to die by firing squad for attempting to smuggle heroin from the resort island of Bali, verdicts that could strain ties with Canberra.

The sentences matched what prosecutors had demanded for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the accused masterminds of a group of nine Australians arrested on Bali last April for trying to smuggle more than 18 lbs. of heroin to Australia.

Activists from an Indonesian anti-narcotics group inside the courtroom shouted “Hooray! Long live the judges!” when the verdicts were read out in separate sessions.

The court also sentenced two drug couriers to life in jail, after giving the same punishment to two others on Monday.

Chan, 22, shook his head, stared at the ceiling and then smirked when the verdict was delivered. Both he and Sukumaran, 24, are from Sydney. “There are no mitigating factors. His statements throughout the trial were convoluted and he did not own up to his actions,” chief judge Arif Supratman said, while handing down Chan’s verdict. “His actions ... tainted Bali’s name as a resort island.”

The death sentences could ignite criticism in Australia, which has abolished the capital punishment.Australia had urged Jakarta not to impose the death penalty on any of the group and will plead for clemency for any condemned to die, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Chan said they would appeal.“Life and death are God’s decisions. If it is made through a court verdict that equals murder,” said lawyer Agus Saputra.
Sounds like Agus is from the ACLU.
Prosecutors had said Chan was the “driving engine” of the operation. He was arrested inside a Sydney-bound flight at Bali’s airport after police had caught the four defendants sentenced to life with packages of heroin strapped to their bodies inside the airport.

Prosecutors had said Sukumaran helped strap the packages on the four couriers and was a planner of the operation. He was arrested at a Bali hotel.

The latest Australians to get life in jail were Michael Czugaj, 20, from Brisbane and Martin Stephens, 29, of Wollongong. Their sentences also matched what prosecutors had demanded. Czugaj appeared tense and stared at a translator sitting beside him as the verdict was read out in the Indonesian language.

Around 20 foreigners, most of them Africans, are on death row in Indonesia for drug offences. The latest foreigners shot by firing squad for drug offences were two Thais in October 2004. They had sat on death row for eight years.

The final stage of an appeal allows inmates on death row to seek clemency from the president.

The verdicts against the Australians have highlighted Indonesia’s zero tolerance for drug offences. Under Indonesian law, a prosecution demand is non-binding for judges but is seen as a strong recommendation.

On Monday, the court jailed Renae Lawrence for life even though prosecutors had asked judges to show leniency by jailing her for 20 years because of her cooperation in the case. Lawrence, 28, from the city of Newcastle, is the only female of the group, dubbed the “Bali Nine” by Australian media.

Among verdicts of recent years, the same court jailed Australian woman Schapelle Corby for 20 years last May after she was found guilty of smuggling marijuana.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/14/2006 06:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  18+ POUNDS?

Um, that could fuck up the lives or kill one hell of alot of people. That "smirk" will disappear, quickly enough, I reckon.

I'm sorry that the Ozzies will spend a lot of goodwill capital trying to save two aspiring murderers. Their lawyer is a fuckwit, of course, but that's his chosen gig, just as trying to be big-time drug lords was theirs. They've lost the gamble. No tears allowed. Buh-bye.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 13:52 Comments || Top||

#2  An Indonesian court chief judge Arif Supratman said, while handing down Chan’s verdict. “His actions ... tainted Bali’s name as a resort island.”

You'd think bombing and islamic splodys might taint Bali's name also.
Posted by: RD || 02/14/2006 14:22 Comments || Top||

#3  Shoot straight you bastards!
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 15:53 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Drudge: Democrat Campaign Strategy: Call Republicans 'Fat'
THE DRUDGE REPORT has obtained an email sent Monday evening by Democratic National Committee (DNC) research director Devorah Adler that contains ten opposition research packets on potential 2008 GOP presidential contenders.

In one packet titled “Newt Gingrich: 08 Watch February 2006” a picture of the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appears with --- him holding two full plates of food!

The quote underneath the Gingrich photo reads “In His Own Words: Gingrich’s Solution To Childhood Obesity: ‘Turn off the TV, cut the fatty diet and get exercise.’ [AP, 2/8/06]”

The ten Republicans picked by the Democrat Party include: Sen. George Allen (R-VA), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), Gingrich, Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) and Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

One Republican strategist who had seen the opposition research packets said: 'We should expect nothing less than name-calling and referring to one’s political opponents as ‘fat’ from Howard Dean’s Democrat Party.'
I'm reminded of the scene from end of the movie "Hot Shots", where Topper loses both wings and the tail of his aircraft and still is trying to land it on the deck of the carrier.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 19:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Guillani fat? Frist fat?

What the hell are these clowns smoking?

Never mind - I really don't want to know.
Posted by: Ebbalet Jeper4167 || 02/14/2006 19:38 Comments || Top||

#2  What the hell...?

How'd I turn into EJ?

I know I saved Rantburg when I cleaned out my cookies last night. :-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/14/2006 19:42 Comments || Top||

#3  The quote underneath the Gingrich photo reads “In His Own Words: Gingrich’s Solution To Childhood Obesity: ‘Turn off the TV, cut the fatty diet and get exercise.’ [AP, 2/8/06]”

Can someone explain to me why this is part of their "opposition research"? That statement's only controversial if you're the kind of person who cannot take responsibility for yourself...

Oh. Wait. I see it now.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 19:47 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm NOT fat, I'm big-boned, dammit! How many times will I have to say it, for Christ's sake!? And besides, I'm not even a republican.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/14/2006 20:32 Comments || Top||

#5  This sounds a lot like some Australian Labour Party ads that ran. Clearly dreamed up by Leftists whose world view consists almost entirely of conspiracies by evil capitalists and neocons. The ads showed quotes from leading Liberals and intended to show them as heartless nasty people.

The rest of us saw politicians prepared to tackle dfficult issues with sensible policies.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/14/2006 20:55 Comments || Top||

#6  RC - lol! Didn't you know - it's the governments responsibility to assure that we are fit. Because we eat too much, we need government funded fitness centers.
Posted by: 2b || 02/14/2006 21:04 Comments || Top||

#7  Carl Levin, Barbara Mikulski, and Ted Kennedy will do the voiceovers
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 21:31 Comments || Top||

#8  Well, it worked on Linda Tripp. With Katherine Harris the problem was her makeup. So yeah, this is certainly their speed.
Posted by: Iblis || 02/14/2006 21:35 Comments || Top||

#9  Sure hope the third grader who comes up with the Democrats campaign strategies is well compensated.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/14/2006 22:56 Comments || Top||

#10  I believe Howard Dean is the lead strategist DMFD. But unfortunately, he's having about as much trouble with his message Ray "Godiva" Nagin.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 23:04 Comments || Top||

Malkin: MSNBC clip of WaPo BirdBrain Dana Milbank
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 04:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Something commented upon here, lol...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 4:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Bonus: It happened in Kenedy County, TX, lol.
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 4:14 Comments || Top||

#3  I object to this on behalf of the birds.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/14/2006 5:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Dick Cheney fired the opening gun for the 2008 election. Shooting a lawyer ought to be worth a few hundred thousand votes....
Posted by: Steve || 02/14/2006 13:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Boy, it all plays into Karl Rove's hands, doesn't it, Steve! Joke going on around here (at a Federal gov't touchy-feely agency):

Hey, did ya hear the latest conspiracy on the Cheney shooting?

Nope, sure didn't

Cheney's approval rating jumped to 93% when it was released that he shot an attorney! Now, what's the bag limit in TX for attorneys, maybe he can hit 100% approval ratings!
Posted by: BA || 02/14/2006 13:29 Comments || Top||

#6  The bumsticker is just a little off. It says, "...than ride with Ted Kennedy". It should say, "...than swim with Ted Kennedy".
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 13:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Good catch, anon! No one can outswim the Swim Team Captain of Chappaquidick High! Of course, Mary Jo Copechne could not be reached for comment.
Posted by: BA || 02/14/2006 13:38 Comments || Top||

#8  Make it shorter and punchier: "I'd Rather Hunt With a Cheney Than Travel With a Kennedy".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 21:10 Comments || Top||

Conservatives Divided on '08 Candidate
For the second straight year, conservatives failed to identify a frontrunner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, according to a poll taken at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

However, Sen. George Allen (R.-Va.) went from a middle-of-the-road presidential candidate one year ago to the favorite among conservatives in the 2006 straw poll, conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates.

The unscientific poll of CPAC attendees gave Allen 22% -- double the 11% he received in last year’s straw poll. Although conservatives remain divided, Allen’s plurality cements his status as one the leading Republicans.

Finishing second was Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) with 20%. One year ago, McCain tied Allen at 11%. McCain’s strong showing came as somewhat of a surprise given his role as a maverick unafraid of bucking his party. McCain has also rankled conservatives for his support of a campaign-finance law strongly opposed by those on the right.

The biggest losers in the 2006 straw poll were two moderates: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who dropped from first place last year (with 19%) to third this year (with 12%); and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who went from second last year (with 18%) to fourth (with 10%).

Here are the results:
Thinking ahead to the 2008 presidential election, who do you think will be the next Republican nominee for President?

George Allen: 22%
John McCain: 20%
Rudy Giuliani: 12%
Condoleezza Rice: 10%
Bill Frist: 6%
Tom Tancredo: 5%
Mitt Romney: 5%
Newt Gingrich: 5%
Rick Santorum: 3%
George Pataki: 3%
Undecided: 4%

*All others tested received 1% or less

When conservatives were polled about Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) maintained her status as the frontrunner among CPAC attendees. With 62% of the vote, Clinton was the clear leader in the straw poll.

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner was the only other Democrat to hit double digits. Warner is considered the moderate alternative to the liberal Clinton. However, he faces an uphill battle against the well-known former first lady.

Somewhat surprisingly, Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.), the 2004 Democrat nominee, pulled in just 2% among CPAC attendees.

Here are the results:
Of the following whom do you believe Democrats will nominate for President in 2008?

Hillary Clinton: 62%
Mark Warner: 10%
John Edwards: 7%
Bill Richardson: 4%
Wesley Clark: 3%
Russ Feingold: 2%
Evan Bayh: 2%
John Kerry: 2%
Tom Vilsack: 1%
Other: 1%
Undecided: 4%

More than 1,200 CPAC attendees participated. An overwhelming number of college students swayed the results of the poll. According to a breakdown by age, those 18-25 made up 81% of respondents.
CPAC strikes me as Short Attention Span Theater. Rudy Giuliani / Sam Johnson 2008...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 02:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In times of war or national emergencies, study after study prove mainstream Americans, be they male or female, GOP Dem or other, want a strong MAN in the WH - Barring any "Amer Hiroshimas" andor Failed US mil actions in Iran andor North Korea-Taiwan, the GOP can still lose in 2008 iff they choose a candidate that makes Hillary = Patton!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/14/2006 2:19 Comments || Top||

#2  It's '06. Nobody cares.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 7:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Rudy and Rice, man that would be a smoker!
Posted by: 49 Pan || 02/14/2006 12:59 Comments || Top||

#4  The poll is deceptive, because there are really two kinds of conservatives. The vast majority are the "real conservatives", who are secular conservatives and just that, "conservative".

The minority are "moral conservatives", who are not true conservatives, in many ways being reactionary. On top of that, wanting a nostalgic return to a religious and mythological, instead of a real, past.

Unfortunately, this minority holds far more sway in the republican party than they should, at least enough to confuse polling results.

They are an embarassment to the real conservatives not because they are religious, but because they wish to incorporate their particular religious beliefs into government.

So who is the candidate most likely to succeed in the next presidential race? It's too early to tell, as anyone who steps forward now will get unrestrained attacks against them from several sides. Only after the mid-term elections will candidates come forward.

Don't bet on a senator winning, however.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 13:41 Comments || Top||

Hindu hardliners issue warning against Valentine
Hardline Hindus burned Valentine’s Day cards on the eve of the year’s most romantic day and warned couples across India against getting too amorous over a ‘foreign’ festival that corrupts traditional values, police said.

Saint Valentine’s Day has become increasingly popular in India in recent years, a trend led by retailers who do healthy business selling heart-shaped balloons and fluffy teddy bears. But the growing popularity of the day in officially secular, but mainly Hindu India has also sparked protests which have sometimes turned violent.

On Monday, dozens of sword-wielding Hindu activists used loudspeakers in the central city of Bhopal to ask couples to stay indoors on Tuesday. “We oppose it (Valentine’s Day) tooth and nail because the concept has come from the West and through it an attempt is being made to spoil Indian culture,” said Devendra Rawat, a spokesman for radical Hindu outfit Bajrang Dal in the city. “Our teams will visit parks frequented by boys and girls and teach them a lesson.” In Mumbai activists of the Shiv Sena, a right-wing pro-Hindu political party, on Sunday vandalised a gift shop. The activists said they would also target hotels and restaurants that offered special romantic deals on Tuesday.
Posted by: Fred || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Guess no cards, jewelry, love notes and chocolats-candies for the Hindu babes this year.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/14/2006 0:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Hindus hate it too, huh? Sheesh. Everybody's against a day dedicated to declarations of love - that financially benefit someone else, that is...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 0:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Jeebus.....Kama Sutra's ours now, I guess...
fine with me
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 1:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Just keeping up with the Muslims.
Posted by: RWV || 02/14/2006 12:25 Comments || Top||

#5  The Hindu's are clever enough to know it's a put up job. A money extrator, but keep an eye on #5 with-a-bullet Secretary's Day.
Posted by: Glaimp Hupung1674 || 02/14/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#6  On Monday, dozens of sword-wielding Hindu activists used loudspeakers in the central city of Bhopal to ask couples to stay indoors on Tuesday.

For once, maybe this isn't religious related, but a long-standing effect of the Bhopal explosion years ago? Just tryin' to give the Hindus the benefit of the doubt and not lump 'em in with the muslims.
Posted by: BA || 02/14/2006 13:02 Comments || Top||

#7  These so called activists are quite small in number.
The press makes a big deal out of this every year in their attmept to equate so called fundamentalist hindus with muslims.

Twenty morons break a few shop windows and it makes international news.

Take a look at some of these protests in India. Cameras right up to the front of the group, because there is basically just one line of people. Twenty people in a nation of one billion

They need to find the nearest cow, collect some crap and throw it at these people.
Tell them cowshit is holy so they can't complain.

I don't fear any hindu hardliner concerned about valentine's day. He is an idiot. But he isn't about to kill me or make me convert to his religion.
I don't fear any so called christian hardliner. Pat Robertson may be an ass, but I'm sure he is basically a decent person. He isn't about to force me into anything.

The muslim hardliner, yes I'm afraid of them.
They don't break shop windows, or hold anti-abortion protests. They fly airplanes full of people into buildings.

Posted by: Flolush Thaimble3956 || 02/14/2006 16:02 Comments || Top||

#8  Just don't tell them that I did up a nice homemade valentine packed with unusual and handmade goodies for me sweetie. No, I did not get her a bowling ball.....
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/14/2006 16:14 Comments || Top||

#9  Police on Tuesday detained 39 members of the Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal when they staged protests and tried to disrupt Valentine's Day celebrations in the national capital.

The activists staged protests at three different places against Valentine's Day celebrations. Five women were among those detained by police.

Police said around 60 Bajrang Dal activists burnt Valentine's Day cards in the Kamla Nagar market in north Delhi. Police detained four Bajrang Dal members who were later released.

In the central commercial hub of Connaught Place, police detained 35 Shiv Saniks including five women when they tried to stage a protest near a restaurant. They were held for almost two hours before being let off.

Love was in the air as twosomes thronged parks, restaurants and malls in major cities to celebrate Valentine's Day with roses, chocolates and sweet nothings under the stern watch of Hindu hardline groups who tried hard to mar the celebrations.

Lovers were everywhere - holding hands and cosying up in parks and open spaces, meeting in lounges, discotheques, pubs and even parking lots - as flower sellers made a killing with a single rose stalk going for as much as Rs 50 in some places.

It looked as if the Indian heart had wholeheartedly adopted this day as its very own.

"For me the day is too special, since I got my girlfriend on February 14 three years ago. It's a kind of love anniversary for both of us," a beaming Moses Phillip, a young executive in the capital, said.

In Mumbai, couples celebrated the day on a low-key keeping the Shiv Sena protests in mind.

Posted by: john || 02/14/2006 16:30 Comments || Top||

Four men kidnap and gang rape a woman in Multan
MULTAN: Sajida Bibi, a 20-year-old woman, was allegedly kidnapped and gang raped by four men. She was kidnapped when she was on her way to fetch water along with her niece at a hand-pump. Sajida's father told reporters that his grand daughter, Shabnam, was tied to the hand pump by Faisal, Shahid and two unidentified men who then kidnapped Sajida and took her to Chak 101/DB in Yazman. The police registered a case after a medical report confirmed that she was gang raped. Arif Zaman, the Bahawalpur district police officer (DPO), said that police was searching for the rapists.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Posted by: Fred || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "she was on her way to fetch water"

Obviously, she was asking for it - the brazen hussy!
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 0:49 Comments || Top||

#2  "slut! Did she have 8 witnesses? No? - case dismissed (ROPma)"
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 1:07 Comments || Top||

#3  When is her hanging scheduled? Will it be shown on al-Jazeera?
Posted by: Flerert Whese8274 || 02/14/2006 11:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Don't they stone rape victims?

My guess is that the police are looking for the rapists to be witnesses at her trial.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/14/2006 18:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Nail each rapist's testicles to the top of a telephone pole. Preferably with the perpetrator still attached.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/14/2006 20:07 Comments || Top||

Young people scoff at clerics on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is becoming popular with Lahore’s young people despite opposition by clerics, who insist the occasion is unislamic.
That could be because they insist everything's un-Islamic...
Mahnoor, a 22-year-old shopping in Gulberg, said typical exchanges of flowers and dating was an insult to the ‘beautiful occasion.’ She said people should express their love without formality on Valentine’s Day and should expect the same from others. Fahad Ahmed, 23, said the day was an opportunity for people waiting for an occasion to express their love. “Men should express their true feelings without concealing them behind formal smiles.”
"Show her you really love her. Don't cut her nose off."
Tanzeel Gillani, buying flowers in Liberty Market, said the expression of one’s love should not be restricted to a single day. “My own experience shows most Valentine’s Day celebrators lack sincerity,” he said. “I can sing and dance for the person I adore but cannot hold a red rose in my hand and wish him a happy Valentines Day,” said Rabia Ahmed, a Defence resident. “Following the calendar to express your feelings is artificial.”
Posted by: Fred || 02/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Thanks for the graphic, Fred -- LOL.
Posted by: GK || 02/14/2006 0:27 Comments || Top||

#2  You can track and verify by checking sales figures for facial-quality acid...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 0:43 Comments || Top||

#3  "buy a medium pH acid to throw in her face" Jeebus! Can they think of any other way to show they don't, and won't, get it?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 0:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Why buy a heart shaped box of chocolate when you can just cut her heart out instead?

I actually had a great-great aunt with a scar along her breastbone that she got on her wedding night when hubby found out she wasn't a virgin. Luckily, he didn't know how to use a knife and she was able to wrestle it away. She then headed north to join her brother (my great grandfather) and never looked back.
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/14/2006 1:05 Comments || Top||

#5  There's a serious disconnect among some men - those stupid enough to buy into the whole virgin thingy - they don't get it: experience is a goooooood thing!

Boggle, 11A5S. Glad your g-g-aunt GTF outta there!
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 1:10 Comments || Top||

#6  I suspect part of the virgin "appeal" is that she won't have the experience to know just how bad a feller is in the sack.

Me, I'll take an experienced gal any day!
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 02/14/2006 1:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Tanzeel Gillani, buying flowers in Liberty Market, said the expression of one’s love should not be restricted to a single day.

Boy, that's gotta be the worst named store ever. My YJCMTSU meter tweeked a lil' at that one! Oh, the irony...."Yeah, Machmoud, I bought these flowers for my girl at the Liberty Market. Don't tell anyone, though, I don't want the Virtue & Vice cops after me!"
Posted by: BA || 02/14/2006 11:44 Comments || Top||

#8  Don't underestimate the sappy lengths a young stud will go to, to impress girls. Anything, un-Islamic or not, that might work, and he will do it.

Heck, I even convinced a classroom of macho Mexican high-school boys to memorize endless verses of romantic poetry. Damndest thing you ever did see.

(One confided in me afterwards that despite misgivings, he was amazed about the effect it had on girls. The girls also liked being recited poetry. Made their hearts go pitter-pat.)
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 13:50 Comments || Top||

#9  The sadder, but wiser girl's the girl for me.
Posted by: Professor Harold Hill || 02/14/2006 14:32 Comments || Top||

Science & Technology
Bird flu spreads to Germany, Austria, Iran, Romania, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkey
Three more countries said on Tuesday they had detected cases of deadly bird flu in wild swans, with Germany, Iran and Austria the latest to find the virus that has killed 91 people worldwide.

Austria and Germany became the third and fourth European Union countries to report H5N1 bird flu, just three days after the bloc's first instances were confirmed by Italy and Greece...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 19:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If bird flu gets cranked up in Iran, it will some interesting fallout (pun intended).
Posted by: phil_b || 02/14/2006 20:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Dick Cheney is doing his part. Not a single case of bird flu in quails has been reported. Ok go ahead and laugh, but quail huntin with Dick in Texas is still safer than driving with Ted in Mass.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 22:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Ima freezin up as many chicken breasts as I can store.....damn
Posted by: Frank G || 02/14/2006 22:23 Comments || Top||

#4  Always been something of a leg man myself Frank.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 22:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Bird Flu in Turkey?


Is this where I admit a secret preference for dark meat? No? Oops, my bad. ;-)
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 22:30 Comments || Top||

#6  I know it's late, but has anyone heard anything about the one flu over the kookoo's nest?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 22:36 Comments || Top||

Missing robot takes a leaf out of sci fi
Back in the olden days when I read lots of books, before I spiralled down to mediocrity, Philip K. Dick was one of my great favorites, this is a nice touch; hope they recover it/him soon.
Philip K Dick is missing.

Not the American science fiction writer whose novels spawned hit films such as Blade Runner and Total Recall - he died more than 20 years ago - but a state-of-the-art robot named after the author.

The quirky android, which made a major splash at Wired Magazine's NextFest in Chicago in June, was lost in early January while en route to California by commercial airliner. "We can't find Phil," said Steve Prilliman of Dallas-based Hanson Robotics, which created the futuristic robot with the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, the Automation and Robotics Research Institute at the University of Texas at Arlington and Dick's friend Paul Williams.

"We're very worried because it's been a few weeks now," said Prilliman. "We're pressing hard to find Phil."

Robotics wizard and lead designer David Hanson built the robot as a memorial to Dick, whose 1968 book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? inspired the 1982 classic Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford.

Short stories by Dick, who died in 1982, served as inspiration for other hit films including the 1990 Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the 2002 Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise. In Blade Runner, set in a Los Angeles of 2019, Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckhard, a Blade Runner or policeman whose job is to track down and terminate escaped human clones known as "replicants."

The irony of the situation - a missing replica of the very author who championed "replicant" freedom - is not lost on Phil's creators.
But they still want him back. "We really need to find him soon because the Smithsonian wants to put him in a travelling collection in the autumn," said Prilliman referring to Washington's Smithsonian Institute, an organisation of museums and art galleries.

Along with an eerie likeness to the author, the robot features award-winning artificial intelligence that mimics the writer's mannerisms and lifelike skin material to affect realistic expressions. Top-of-the-line voice software loaded with data from Dick's vast body of writing allows the robot to carry on natural-sounding conversations, although it does come off as a bit doddering at times.

Biometric-identification software and advanced machine vision allows the robot to recognise people - even in a crowd - read their expressions and body language and talk to them sounding a lot like a normal, albeit slightly senile, author who likes to quote his own books when he gets confused.

Prilliman and others close to Phil baulked at giving too many details about his disappearance including the name of the airline that was transporting the robot when he went missing. Hanson officials said news of Phil's disappearance could hamper the ongoing investigation and search for the robot.

The company officials said they feared ransom demands might be made or Phil could turn up listed for sale on an internet auction house such as eBay.
A spokeswoman, Elaine Hanson, said the company is considering building a new android if the original Phil does not turn up.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/14/2006 06:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He probably caught a flight to the Caribbean and is enjoying himself.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 7:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Look for the oil slick...
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 7:53 Comments || Top||

#3  He may have eloped with Fortune Teller machine from the airport arcade.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/14/2006 10:58 Comments || Top||

#4  LOL!
Posted by: Glaimp Hupung1674 || 02/14/2006 12:19 Comments || Top||

#5  "Fiery the angels fell. Deep thunder rode around their shores... burning with the fires of Orc. . . ."
Posted by: Mike || 02/14/2006 12:40 Comments || Top||

#6  Wouldn't it be ironic that Philip K. Dick might go down in history for being "retired" *after* he died?

/Woo. Deep.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/14/2006 13:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Well, I dunno. If Phil was “fully functional” and “programmed with several pleasing techniques”, it could be years before the Flight Attendant gives him up!
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/14/2006 19:37 Comments || Top||

#8  ROLF, Hup C! :-D
Posted by: Ebbalet Jeper4167 || 02/14/2006 19:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
UW's student senate reject memorial for alumnus "Pappy" Boyington
The University of Washington's student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.

Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government's meeting last week, said she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce."

Ashley Miller, another senator, argued "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Senate member Karl Smith... said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

The senate's decision was reported first by Seattle radio talk-host Kirby Wilbur of KVI, whose listeners were "absolutely incensed," according to producer Matt Haver.

Brent Ludeman, president of the university's College Republicans, told WND in an e-mail the decision "reflects poorly on the university."
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/14/2006 12:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fools! They could've had an F4U Corsair overfly the marching band during the halftime show. . . .
Posted by: Mike || 02/14/2006 13:09 Comments || Top||

#2  "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

I wonder what he thinks wartime service consists of?
Posted by: Thomotle Pheling3804 || 02/14/2006 13:24 Comments || Top||

#3  You got that right Mike. One of the finest planes to grace our airforce.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/14/2006 13:25 Comments || Top||

Did the Air Force ever fly them?? I believer you might be refering to mah beloved Corps
Posted by: macofromoc || 02/14/2006 13:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Maybe she would pefer Pol-Pot, or Stalin, or Kimmie-boy-the-baby-killer? Sounds like they might be her 'hero's.

You know sometimes I think we should spend a few years in a Socialist or Totalitarian system so these people will know what it feels like....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/14/2006 14:40 Comments || Top||

#6  Nah, Stalin was a white guy. But Mao is a definite possibility in her eyes.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 02/14/2006 14:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Mao at least gets the concept of killing one's enemies...
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/14/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

#8  The F4U was a Navy and Marine Corps plane exclusively as far as I know; I think Br'er Rabbit was using the term "airforce" more generically.

(I'm more of a P-51 kinda guy myself, but the Corsair's still one sweet machine.)
Posted by: Mike || 02/14/2006 15:06 Comments || Top||

#9  re # 4: USAF didn't come into being until afte WWII, by then the Coarsair was no longer front page news. And agree w/ #: yes indeedy doo, one of the sweetest aircraft to ever grace a fly-by.
"radial engines in the morning make me horny"
Posted by: USN, ret. || 02/14/2006 15:10 Comments || Top||

#10  Ashley Miller - "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Some how I'm not surprised.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/14/2006 15:17 Comments || Top||

#11  There's nothing sweeter than the sound of an F4U's Pratt & Whitney R-2800 supercharged engine doing a low pass nearby....We had one at the Elmendorf AFB airshow a few years ago. Great airplane. 13-ft+ diameter propeller disc. Serious unit.

On topic of the denial of the memorial...These people are living in a fantisy world. A lot of good people never were able to become successful adults with families because they died defending this country from some nasty homocidal people. Have we as a people become too contented and cosy, resting on the laurels of those that worked their asses off and died so that we would be spared their hell? I have taught my children that freedom is not free --- more freedom, more responsibility. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I don't know if I am more saddened or disgusted by this ignorant and short-sighted behavior.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/14/2006 15:31 Comments || Top||

#12  No surprise here, she is living in the pea and lentil capitol of the world. There are entirely too many insecticides drifting across the area. Dements the mind you know.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 02/14/2006 15:44 Comments || Top||

#13  The University of Washington's student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of "Black Sheep Squadron" fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.

Somehow I think ole Pappy would agree. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps. Go phuech yourselves "student senators."
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/14/2006 15:56 Comments || Top||

#14  Pappy spent the end of the war in a Japanese prison camp outside of Tokyo. The Japanese didn't kill him (as they did so many prisoners).

If the Japanese can forgive him why can't Ms Marxist?
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/14/2006 16:00 Comments || Top||

#15  Yosemite Sam, from the smile I'd say she'd welcome a memorial to Seabiscuit.
Posted by: BH || 02/14/2006 16:12 Comments || Top||

#16  That pic in #10 is exactly what you'd expect if someone asked " you wanna see a real bow-wow leftist bitch?"

She's only got clevage between her two from teeth and ankles.

Pappy doesn't need a memorial at UW. UW is already lost to the left and islam. better to go to hillsdale college in michigan and make the same offer. they'd be proud to put up a memorial to pappy. defense of the homeland will start approx. in the middle and move out from there.
Posted by: Mark Z || 02/14/2006 16:25 Comments || Top||

#17  Pappy Boyington was an American Indian. I am always awed at the courage and patriotism shown by this sector of our great nation.
Posted by: Whaling Unoluth7781 || 02/14/2006 16:34 Comments || Top||

#18  One of the biggest problems with modern universities is that they are populated by drones, useless people take degrees in things that leave them totally unemployable. You notice that the dickwads that make these grand pronouncements are never engineering or science students, always women's studies or pick your ethnicity studies. Just kids wasting their fathers money.
Posted by: RWV || 02/14/2006 17:13 Comments || Top||

#19  BH Ha! Don't you know it!!

RWH You nailed it right on the head. Amen
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/14/2006 17:24 Comments || Top||

#20  Ashley Miller - "many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

Except that Papy Boyngton was an Indian. Look at his features and moe importantly at his biography.

There's nothing sweeter than the sound of an F4U's Pratt & Whitney R-2800 supercharged engine doing a low pass nearby..

I know something sweeter: the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin. The Rolls Royce Merlin was the engine who equipped the Spittfire and the Hurricane during Battle of Britain so it impeded Germany winning the war, later when unescorted 8th Air Force's bombers were being massacred (25% lossesper mission) it made the Mustang a great fighter from one who was only fair (with Allison engine). And it was the Merlin engined Mustangs who swept the Luftwaffe from German skies thus paving the way for D-Day.

(1) The Melins used in 1944 were 60% more powerful than the 1940 models.
Posted by: JFM || 02/14/2006 17:48 Comments || Top||

#21  Ok Ok JFM. Heh. We're talking about a 9.7 vs a 9.5 on the sweet sound scoring system. A R-R Merlin engine was a jewel in itself. I saw one being rebuilt in England. Talk about a packed powerhouse!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 02/14/2006 18:49 Comments || Top||

#22  Folks, odds are the only exposure to Boyington these brats have had is TV-Land reruns of "Blacksheep Squadron". When they think of him, they're thinking of Robert Conrad.

Actually, I doubt they even have that much exposure. Their knowledge of WWII no doubt consists of the socialist talking point that the US went into Europe to secure markets and into the Pacific out of racist hatred of the Japanese.

As for the planes -- I've always loved the P-38 myself. Beautiful, odd-looking planes. Close to the epitome of pre-jet technology, and indespensible in the Pacific.

One book I read about them had a story about a P-38 attacking a convoy in France. The pilot was so low, one wing hit a phone pole. He flew back to England.

THAT'S an airplane.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 19:38 Comments || Top||

#23  ..the decision "reflects poorly on the university."

That's putting it lightly.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 02/14/2006 20:29 Comments || Top||

#24  The government should cut all federal funding, grants and scholarships to the school, any students currently in classes there should be told they need not apply for any government work and the student senators who voted for not having the memorial should be stripped of citizenship thrown out of the country.

Personally I would prefer they be tarred, feathered and set on fire, but it's Valentine's day so I'm restraining myself.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 02/14/2006 21:06 Comments || Top||

#25  Ship'em to the workers paradise of North Korea.

Tell them its a natural, organic, bark and edible clay food diet camp.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/14/2006 21:11 Comments || Top||

#26  I was pretty f***ing stupid at that age. Hopefully, they'll grow out of it.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/14/2006 22:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
The Bush Boom Is Color Blind
Posted by: .com || 02/14/2006 02:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  it just doesn't matter.
Posted by: 2b || 02/14/2006 3:34 Comments || Top||

#2  True, 2b. I don't think I've ever seen a political climate to equal this - certainly not in my lifetime, and I'm older than dirt. On the upside, they keep failing to smear Bush, though not for lack of trying. We need a two (or three) party system for there to be reasonable and rational progress.

Right now we have one party and a circus with all of them fighting to be the Head Clown.
Posted by: Snaish Flaving9011 || 02/14/2006 7:09 Comments || Top||

#3  [loon]Yeah, but all those successful black people are just Uncle Toms![/loon]

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/14/2006 7:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Last August, BuzzCharts pointed out that black unemployment was historically low. Since then, it has fallen even further. In fact, it has dropped from 10.6 percent in November to 9.3 percent in December to 8.9 percent in January. Jeebus, 1.7 percentage points in 3 months? Wonder how this breaks down for us crackers? You have to go all the way back to July 2001 to find lower levels of black unemployment. Uh, wasn't Bush President then too? No credit there, though, eh?

This drop also undercuts the stereotype that the Democratic party is somehow the party that looks out for minorities: Today’s level of black unemployment is lower than the 9.5 percent average realized between 1995 and 2000, supposedly the height of Clinton’s “economic miracle.” So much for America's "first black President," eh?
Posted by: BA || 02/14/2006 13:08 Comments || Top||

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