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Walkout in Iraq parliament over Sunni leader raid
Today's Headlines
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Iconic Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69
Evel Knievel's hard life killed him—it just took longer than he or anyone else might have expected. The hard-living motorcycle daredevil, whose bone-breaking, rocket-powered jumps and stunts made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.
He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs. He had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his many spills. He also suffered two strokes in recent years.

Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundle said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.

Although he dropped off the pop culture radar in the '80s, Knievel enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. He made a good living selling autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte every year as his legend was celebrated during "Evel Knievel Days."

"They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives," Knievel said. "People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner."
Posted by: Fred || 12/02/2007 09:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6482 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...My father used to regularly refer to him as 'Stupid Knupid'...but ya gotta admit, he had a certain style.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 12/02/2007 14:11 Comments || Top||

#2  He certainly inspired imitators. See, for example, Johnny Knoxville (Jackass Movie #2).
Posted by: WTF || 12/02/2007 19:56 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Ending Famine, Simply by Ignoring the Experts
Interesting article on the corn crop in Malawi. Yes, it is indeed interesting, though the NYT bleats its usual nonsense about free enterprise -- bad -- and subsidies -- good. But it shows one way to help a poor country lift itself up, and that in turn is a lesson for us to use as we work to suppress terrorism around the world.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6506 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ignoring "experts" - particularly those involved in tranzi organizations - usually works best.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 12/02/2007 0:20 Comments || Top||

#2  a lesson for us to use as we work to suppress terrorism around the world

Maybe I am dense, can you elaborate in specifics?
Or did I miss the news circa 2002 about Malawi teeming with terrorists?
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 12/02/2007 3:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Another small fact seldom mentioned is that the agricultural industry in Malawi and other regional countries has been aided over the past several years by farmers who have relocated from Zim. The village headman and his how swinging garden club should not be discounted, but they don't export much behond the last hut on the right. Serious farming on a large, multi hector scale produces exports which feed neigbors.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/02/2007 3:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Something to it, Besoerker. Also, Mozambique is doing rather well, partially due to the circumstance that they took an influx of former Zimbabwean farmers with open arms.
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 12/02/2007 3:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Mozambique interesting factoid:
Catholic 23.8%, Muslim 17.8%, Zionist Christian 17.5%, other 17.8%, none 23.1%
Posted by: Spike Uniter || 12/02/2007 3:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Barb is right. Ignore the "experts" and you will do better 90% of the time.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/02/2007 7:29 Comments || Top||

#7  Zionist Christian

Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/02/2007 8:53 Comments || Top||

#8  Agribusiness is as fickle a business as they come.

Malawi is correct in the short term, if they are lucky. But in the long run they face disaster for a simple reason not mentioned in the article: inefficiency.

Europe in the 14th Century was covered with tiny sustenance family farms. When the Black Plague hit, farms were consolidated. This meant that farmers had to hire people to work the land, and grew so many crops that they could sell the excess. Efficiency jumped and everyone became prosperous. Unemployment and prices were low, wages were high, and capital wealth was available for other uses.

Malawi, for its part, is having a bumper crop not just because of fertilizer, but because of rain. Without the rain, their farms are too small to come up with alternative means of watering their crops. Means that would be available to larger farms that could afford them.

So this means that when the unusual rains stop coming, one of two things will happen. Either their government will bankrupt itself trying to provide subsidized water along with the fertilizer; or there will be widespread food shortages again.

Had they listened to the experts, a lot of farmers would have gone out of business. Hard on them in the short term. But farmland would have been consolidated, and they wouldn't be so reliant on rain to water their crops in the future.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/02/2007 10:04 Comments || Top||

#9  Maybe I am dense, can you elaborate in specifics?
Or did I miss the news circa 2002 about Malawi teeming with terrorists?

What the salmon-colored one is saying is that locally-derived measures may work better than programs imposed by outside bureaucracies.

It also might be applicable to fighting terrorism, in that improving local conditions and involving local expertise could be more effective against terrorism and the spread of Islamic radicalism than waiting until the fit hits the shan.

Mold doesn't grow where it's sunny and dry.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/02/2007 10:41 Comments || Top||

#10  I'll elaborate, though Pappy encapsulates my views nicely.

Malawi isn't teeming with terrorists -- today. But a failed state is a state that terrorists can move into, insuinuate themselves, and work to co-opt. Failed states are ripe for the picking.

That Malawi has found a way to succeed is a good thing, not just for them but for us. Perhaps the rain won't come next year, perhaps fertilizer will be too expensive, but while it lasts the success allows Malawi to feed their people and become prosperous. That keeps terrorism away.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/02/2007 12:57 Comments || Top||

#11  Steve, Pappy, you have a point there... prosperity may keep terrs at bay in the Malawian context (or regional context--where terrorism translates into formation of guerilla groups).

However, in MME context and in SE Asia, or within muslim diasporas elsewhere, the trend seems to be the opposite. The more prosperous they become, the more funding gets funneled to terrorism. I know it's a generalization, Iraq may (or may not in the long run) be an exception because of unique circumstances--they've seen the results first hand. But statistically, the trend is apparent.
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/02/2007 14:37 Comments || Top||

#12  Zionist Christian

Is that how they refer to themselves, Spike Uniter?
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/02/2007 22:01 Comments || Top||

#13  Zionist Christian? Well there is a tip off.

According to the CIA fact book:
Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/02/2007 22:46 Comments || Top||

Japan offers to solve (Britain's) 'Union Jack problem'
First time I've been to the UK Telegraph's site in a while. After following the link above, read some of the business stories. Europe looks like it's on the edge of a serious recession.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/02/2007 20:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6515 views] Top|| File under:

#1  BTW, I assume general inter-cultural weirdness is still on topic for the Burg.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/02/2007 21:16 Comments || Top||

#2  How about a crescent with a star, sort of like Turkey? They could use green instead of red, so it would look more like the Saudi flag.
Maybe they should just raise the black flag of Islam.
Posted by: Rambler || 12/02/2007 21:27 Comments || Top||

Mohammed the Mole gets a name change
First there was Mohammed the Mole and Dipak the Dalmatian. Now there is Morgan the Mole and Dipak the Dalmatian. A British children's author who named his fictitious mole Mohammed and the dog Dipak in an attempt to promote multi-culturalism, has backed away from the first for fear of offending Muslims. Author Kes Gray said he changed the mole's name after reading about the fate of British school teacher Gillian Gibbons who is in prison in Sudan for allowing her class to name a teddy bear Mohammed.

Gray told The Sunday Times, London that he "had no idea at all of the sensitivities of the name Mohammed until seeing this case in Sudan" and he added that the Hindu and Muslim names for his animals characters had merely been a way to "embrace other cultures...I had no idea it would backfire like this. I was in Egypt this year and everyone was called Mohammed. I just thought it was a popular name".

Gray's book, an illustrated volume called Who's Poorly Too, has sold 40,000 copies in Britain and abroad over the last eight years it has been in print. But the author says he decided to postpone a re-print and rename the mole to guard against the possibility of trouble from angry Muslims.

Many believe Gray's self-censorship and caution may be political correctness gone mad especially as he has never received any complaints about the mole's name and many British Muslims have robustly attacked the Sudanese hardline on Gibbons as a bad advert for Islam.

The overwhelming British Muslim plea for Gibbons to have been spared by the Sudanese judges came as 10,000 teddies, named Adam the Muslim Prayer Bear, were reportedly bought by Muslim families in Britain to raise money for Sudanese refugees. Adam bear's name is that of another prophet of Islam and at £15 a piece, he recites Assalam-o-alaikum when his paws are pressed. The bears, marketed by the Islamic Society of Britain, to raise funds for charity, have not sparked unease or complaints in the three years they have been sold.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/02/2007 10:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6496 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I notice Dipak's name remains the same.
I'll laugh like hell if some insulted Hindu shows up to cut his throat.
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/02/2007 10:36 Comments || Top||

Shanghai in free fall as oil giant plummets
The newly floated oil giant PetroChina has lost a third of a trillion dollars in nominal value in just three weeks, plummeting to a fresh low yesterday as angst gripped the Shanghai stock market.

PetroChina briefly boasted a paper worth of a trillion dollars when it floated 2.2pc of its shares

The benchmark CSI 300 index of Chinese stocks has dropped 18pc in November, the worst one-month fall in more than a decade. The bourse has tumbled 22pc since peaking in mid-October after a wild speculative boom that saw prices triple in a year - much like the final phase of Japan's Nikkei frenzy in 1989. It now qualifies as an official "bear market".

What began as a bout of profit-taking in Shanghai now risks turning into a serious correction as the government steps up efforts to ration credit and drain liquidity. Beijing is alarmed by 6.5pc inflation and surging food prices, afraid it could set off political unrest amongst China's vast army of footloose urban migrants.

PetroChina briefly boasted a paper worth of a trillion dollars when it floated 2.2pc of its shares on November 5, vaulting ahead of Exxon to become the world's richest corporation by far - in theory.

But US investor Warren Buffett earlier cashed in his minority holding for a 600pc gain of $3.5bn (£1.7bn), warning that the Shanghai boom had become unstable. The Shanghai market still remains expensive with an average price to earnings ratio of 55.

PetroChina's trillion-dollar tag was widely viewed as absurd given the company's struggle to tap new oil reserves around the world.

The share price has since fallen 37pc. Shenhua Energy is down 32pc, a fate shared by a long list of resource, industrial, and trading companies deemed sensitive to the credit cycle.

Among the losers yesterday were: Cosco shipping (down 5.5pc on the day); Harbin Pharmaceutical (-5.65pc); Aluminium Corp of China (-4.9pc); Wuhan Iron & Steel (-4.27pc) and Baoshan Iron & Steel (-3.9pc).

The tumbling stock market may be a warning that the Chinese economy is headed for a sharper slowdown than expected after years of torrid growth, reaching an annual rate of 12pc this autumn.

The country is heavily reliant on exports, which make up 40pc of GDP. Most of the goods are low-margin consumer items shipped to the US and Europe.

A study this month by China's commerce ministry said the fall-out from America's sub-prime crisis posed a serious economic threat. "If demand in the US drops further, Chinese exporters will be devastated by a rapid and continuous fall in orders," it said.

Nouriel Roubini, an economist at New York University, said China lacks sufficient demand at home to withstand a serious US downturn.

China could now pay a heavy price for holding down its currency and relying for too long on a mercantilist export model. Investment is 43pc of GDP, and much of it has gone into factories and plant to produce goods that the world cannot easily absorb. Read
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/02/2007 21:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6523 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Reality rearing its ugly head? How nice. Although perhaps not for China.

Hopefully those on the American end aren't hurt too badly.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/02/2007 22:25 Comments || Top||

#2  My heart bleeds.

No, wait - that's just the chili....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 12/02/2007 22:55 Comments || Top||

France stunned by rioters’ savagery
In retrospect, it was not a good idea to have left his pistol at home. Called to the scene of a traffic accident in the Paris suburbs last Sunday, Jean-François Illy, a regional police chief, came face to face with a mob of immigrant youths armed with baseball bats, iron bars and shotguns. What happened next has sickened the nation. As Illy tried to reassure the gang that there would be an investigation into the deaths of two teenagers whose motorbike had just collided with a police car, he heard a voice shouting: “Somebody must pay for this. Some pigs must die tonight!”

The 43-year-old commissaire realised it was time to leave, but that was not possible: they set his car ablaze. He stood as the mob closed in on him, parrying the first few baseball bat blows with his arms. An iron bar in the face knocked him down. “I tried to roll myself into a ball on the ground,” said Illy from his hospital bed. He was breathing with difficulty because several of his ribs had been broken and one had punctured his lung.

His bruised and bloodied face signalled a worrying new level of barbarity in the mainly Muslim banlieues, where organised gangs of rioters used guns against police in a two-day rampage of looting and burning last week. Not far from where Illy was lying was a policeman who lost his right eye after being hit by pellets from a shotgun. Another policeman displayed a hole the size of a 10p coin in his shoulder where a bullet had passed through his body armour.

Altogether 130 policemen were injured, dozens by shotgun pellets and shells packed with nails that were fired from a homemade bazooka. It prompted talk of urban “guerrilla warfare” being waged on French streets against the forces of law and order.

By the end of the week an extraordinarily heavy police presence in Villiers-le-Bel, where most of the rioting took place, appeared to have halted the violence: on top of public transport strikes and student protests against his reform plans, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, could not afford a repeat of 2005, when a similar incident involving the deaths of two youths provoked the worst French urban unrest in four decades.

Things were so tense in the suburbs, however, that the riots could easily erupt again with the prospect of deaths on either side setting off a much greater explosion and, conceivably, the deployment of the army to keep peace. “Given the weapons being used, it was lucky that nobody was killed,” said a policeman. Nearby were the charred remains of the local constabulary. The nursery school was burnt down. So was the library.

“It felt like they were out to kill us,” said one of the officers in Villiers-le-Bel last week. “We knew that there were weapons in the suburbs, but they have never been turned against us like that. The kids were shooting at us at close range, loading and reloading their weapons. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Sarkozy has ordered a full judicial inquiry into the teenagers’ deaths, even though all the evidence seems to support the police version that the boys were thrown from their unlicensed motorcycle when it accidentally collided with a patrol car. Friends and relatives of the victims dismiss the official account of the incident as fantasy.

As for Illy, he says he is not feeling vengeful but has identified one of his attackers from police photographs. He is certain to be able to pinpoint the rest. “Fortunately,” he said, “I’ve got a very good memory.”
Posted by: ryuge || 12/02/2007 10:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6505 views] Top|| File under:

#1  “Fortunately,” he said, “I’ve got a very good memory.”

But you forgot your sidearm.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/02/2007 10:46 Comments || Top||

#2  This is why my "superslick" and "sticky foam" ideas are good ones. The idea is to capture the entire riot. 100% arrests. This would work more in France because they have a lot stiffer laws for that sort of thing than in the rest of Europe. If they did that two or three times, riots would completely stop as soon as a cop showed up.

A three strikes law for rioting would also help a lot.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/02/2007 10:48 Comments || Top||

#3  France stunned by rioters’ savagery

<Rocket J. Squirrel>Again??</Rocket J. Squirrel>
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 12/02/2007 10:55 Comments || Top||

#4  “It felt like they were out to kill us,” said one of the officers in Villiers-le-Bel last week

Quickly please, the "Order National du Perception" with V device at once!
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/02/2007 11:02 Comments || Top||

#5  No, this is not a demonstration getting out of hand. Non-lethal measures are NOT what is called for here. They should treat this as what it is, an act of rebellion against the government and send in the military to /crush/ the rioters so hard they'll be whispering about it in fear for 100 years.

What's needed here is machineguns and flamethrowers, as well as a spine.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 12/02/2007 11:20 Comments || Top||

#6  "Dont' move I have empty rhetoric and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Jean-Francois: never go to a baseball bat/iron bar/shot gun fight empty handed -- these guys aren't as gracious in accepting your surrender as the Nazis were.
Posted by: regular joe || 12/02/2007 11:41 Comments || Top||

#7  “I tried to roll myself into a ball on the ground,”

Finally, somebody has articulated the Goverments' strategy for dealing with the disaffected youts.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 12/02/2007 11:43 Comments || Top||

#8  "whiff of grapeshot"
Posted by: Angique Gonque2974 || 12/02/2007 11:50 Comments || Top||

#9  This comissaire is a buddhist (richard gere/dalai lam style) and a self-acknowledged pacifist, he was at home with his family when he got the call about the developing situation, and he chose to go there even while he was off duty (brave) and he deliberately let his sidearm at home (stoopid) so things wouldn't get out of hand if he was assaulted. I kid you not.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 12/02/2007 12:19 Comments || Top||

#10  these guys aren't as gracious in accepting your surrender as the Nazis were.

The nazis first had to kill 100 000 french soldiers and suffer more casualties and destroyed tanks than what they would suffer while invading russia later.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 12/02/2007 12:21 Comments || Top||

#11  "They're misunderstood youts, they'll listen to me and sweet reason"
"or not"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/02/2007 12:22 Comments || Top||

#12  What did we do to make them so mad ? (/snrk)

Time to nuke Villiers-le-Bel.
Posted by: wxjames || 12/02/2007 12:44 Comments || Top||

#13  If what a5089 says is true - that the commissaire is a pacifist - then it's just as well the commissaire didn't bring his sidearm with him. The muzzies would have taken the weapon away from him.
Posted by: Mark Z || 12/02/2007 13:25 Comments || Top||

#14  As for Illy, he says he is not feeling vengeful...

And this, is a big part of the problem. These, Youths® need to be on the receiving end of some old fashioned butchery and mayhem.
Posted by: Phavising Panda7852 || 12/02/2007 13:30 Comments || Top||

#15  By the end of the week an extraordinarily heavy police presence in Villiers-le-Bel, where most of the rioting took place, appeared to have halted the violence

What was missing was eventually supplied, and it worked. Thus, any trolls are pre-warned not to make snarky comments about how a forceful presence could not possibly work.

This comissaire is a buddhist (richard gere/dalai lam style) and a self-acknowledged pacifist, he was at home with his family when he got the call about the developing situation, and he chose to go there even while he was off duty (brave) and he deliberately let his sidearm at home (stoopid) so things wouldn't get out of hand if he was assaulted. I kid you not.

I would tend to trust A5068 on this.

Mssr. commissaire thought he could do better than President Teddy Roosevelt. Doubtless, he spoke softly.

But he still needed the big stick.
Posted by: Ptah || 12/02/2007 14:23 Comments || Top||

#16  I would tend to trust A5068 on this.

Source : Le Figaro - Actualités Commissaire courage raconte son lynchage à Villiers-le-Bel

The reference to gere and co is that except the chinese, vietnamese,... buddhist migrants, the vast bulk of the french buddhists, and I mean converts like this commissaire, are following the tibetan diamond vehicle, that is the "hip" tradition of the showbiz people and co.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 12/02/2007 14:39 Comments || Top||

#17  But he still needed the big stick.

To cut him some slack, while I believe this is stooopid from a self-preservation point of view, it actually makes sense... in the french context.

Had he taken his duty gun, what would he had done? Shoot his way to safety? The official policy is to avoid any casualties among the Youths, and I don't mean then, but all the time, I clearly remember reading about cops being chased by mobs, and preferring to be beaten up in a doorway rather than shooting to kill. A Youth killed by gunshot??? The gvt is scared sh*tless, the everyday situation is already simmering, to bring calm back at villiers-le-Bel, they had to bring in 1000 men helicopters, and IIUC, gendarmerie armored vehicles... if TSHTF, and you've got a general flare up because there's a "martyr", then, the situation is out of control.
In 2005, there was something like 300 cities involved, and the police was simply tasked to avoid casualties, and they were already overstretched, actual repression would have been beyond its scope, army would have been to be called, with perhaps some "loyalty" issues (20% and more Youths among the land army personal), and the possibility the Youths up the ante, with war weaponry that is know to be stockpiled at least in some quantity in the 'hoods (nothing like the thousands of AK kept in eastern Europe ambassies to be used by the commie fitfh column during cold war, though, I'm sure).

So, he wouldn't have used his gun anyway, and he would have been beaten AND his gun stolen. So, in context, it was a forethought decision not to take his pistol, silly as it sounds (and is).
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 12/02/2007 14:49 Comments || Top||

#18  Anyway, that guy was courageous, he went to defuse the situation, I take he's an experienced guy with self-assurance (he practices chinese and vietnamese martial arts apparently, he seems to be into the whole asian trip), but he just got his *ss handed to himself by 30+ Youths carrying baseball bats and iron rods - I guess they weren't ready to be defused, heh...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 12/02/2007 14:55 Comments || Top||

#19  So, because of years of appeasement strategy by the govt, w/r/t these "Youths," the mobs and their base have reached a critical mass point, where their size intimidates normal law enforcement.

In other words, if something triggers a major mob action across France, law enforcement will not be able to handle it, which leaves only the military.

Well, Sarkozy, here is the next big challenge to your administration after the train strike. I hope that France can get a handle on this quickly.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 12/02/2007 15:00 Comments || Top||

#20  anonymous5089, defusing is in the eye of beholder.

The flare up is not avoidable, the question is not if but when. French gumint better have contingency plans, and those better be no holds barred contingencies.
Posted by: twobyfour || 12/02/2007 15:02 Comments || Top||

#21  Easy to stop this crap. Post shoot-to-kill orders, publicize those orders and make sure you have a number of well-trained snipers who shoot dead any rioter holding a weapon. Period. EOS.
Posted by: Brett || 12/02/2007 15:26 Comments || Top||

#22  I made a similar argument and was told force would only breed resentment. As if these savages need an excuse to resent us.

Crush their pitiful rebellion.
Posted by: Excalibur || 12/02/2007 17:04 Comments || Top||

#23  Indeed, force would breed resentment, but what the phalk is breeding all the hatred ? Why are cars BQed on a regular basis ? What has forced that ?
Posted by: wxjames || 12/02/2007 17:32 Comments || Top||

#24  was told force would only breed resentment

well, that's a fact, but no reason not to do it. If you smack the lil shitheads downs, it's not because you feel their pain, it's because their behavior is causing societal pain and you wish to focus the consequences on those responsible. Taken to logic, they knew the consequences, and to deliver less is irresponsible and encouraging. Rego, go tougher. Beat heads, kill shooters, maim rioters. Deny medical service or any welfare benefits to rioters and crush them

it's not that hard...just getting a spine is. I recommend Jack Daniels (for indifference to whiners) and Milk (for spine)...oh, yes, and Hydroshock for ammo?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/02/2007 17:35 Comments || Top||

#25  bang bang Maxwell's silver hammer...
Posted by: 3dc || 12/02/2007 18:28 Comments || Top||

#26  From reading this, French cops don't seem like the brightest bulbs on the tree...
Posted by: tu3031 || 12/02/2007 18:39 Comments || Top||

#27  Force would bring Resentment?

What has Dhimmihood brought so far?

The 'youts' have raised the bar again with bringing guns into their 'protest' because France simply gave in (yes - I will say 'surrendered') and paid the Jizya in the form of increased handouts to the orcs. What will they bring next? RPGs?

I think we will see 'teddy-bear' demands and protests like we saw in Sudan in France in a couple of years, in England in 5, in the USA in 10 - 15.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/02/2007 19:24 Comments || Top||

#28  Live rounds into the "youth" rioters would do wonders as well.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/02/2007 19:24 Comments || Top||

#29  A5089 - thanks for providing the perspective of a Rantburger on the scene. Hearing the opinions of people who know more about the subject than the journalists is part of what makes Rantburg so special.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/02/2007 19:42 Comments || Top||

#30  "Two pigs must die tonight!"

And you have a police officer, a Chief at that, who went in unarmed and put himself in position of being not only one of the two police who "must die tonight" per the jihadists (stop calling them "youths"), but as chief, came close to the best possible cop to kill per the fatwa.

Unarmed, what a fool.
Posted by: Pliny Pheath1680 || 12/02/2007 20:11 Comments || Top||

#31  Regards from Chen Keinan.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/02/2007 20:50 Comments || Top||

#32  This comissaire is a buddhist (richard gere/dalai lam style) and a self-acknowledged pacifist

Forgive my ignorance, but does anyone else think that a pacifist policeman is going to be ineffective in the difficult situations policemen can expect to sometimes find themselves in? I would think that in a sane society, pacifists would be required to go for a more peaceful line of work: medicine, perhaps, or carpentry.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/02/2007 22:30 Comments || Top||

#33  to all of you frenchies out there - stay safe. We wish you well and hope that sanity can find it's way back to you soon.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/02/2007 22:49 Comments || Top||

Belgium's survival in question as 'next PM' quits the battle
The last paragraph is classic Guardianista polemic.
Posted by: lotp || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6508 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Buh-bye.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 12/02/2007 0:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Dutch and French speakers do not communicate with one another. They watch different TV stations, read different newspapers and send their children to different schools and universities. There are no national political parties. Leterme is a Christian Democrat but his proposals were rejected by Christian Democrats from the other side of the linguistic divide.

Through almost six months of negotiations, the Flemish side has insisted on further concessions to ethnic and linguistic autonomy as the price for forming a common government, concessions that further down the road will hasten the break-up of the country

You like multi-culti, you got it.
Posted by: Mike N. || 12/02/2007 1:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Rename it the European Disunion, or ED for short.

And we can think of something else known by the letters E.D., can't we?
Posted by: Eohippus Flaviger5399 || 12/02/2007 3:10 Comments || Top||

#4  How will the break up affect Belgian (to my taste, best in the World) beer prices?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/02/2007 8:50 Comments || Top||

#5  Whither Canada? Same basic problem.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/02/2007 9:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Words cannot begin to express the degree to which I simply don't care.
Posted by: DMFD || 12/02/2007 14:35 Comments || Top||

#7  Does anybody have a good sense of whether this conflict is worse than similar ones have been in the past? This has been a long-running quarrel, and newspapers like to make the "same-old same-old" sound like the end of the world. Is it really worse this time?
Posted by: James || 12/02/2007 18:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Never before have they been unable to put together a government, James. Even if it is the same old conflicts. Were I the king I'd call for new elections, and hope a new lot of politicians would work things out. If not, his income may be in jeopardy along with his country; I don't know how willing the Flems would be to finance a French-speaking king, and Wallonia certainly can't afford him. His other option, I suppose, would be to take over direct rule with appointed ministers, which certainly would be amusing to watch from a distance.

I don't think beer production will be affected. Four star restaurants, on the other hand...
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/02/2007 22:40 Comments || Top||

India conducts new missile interceptor test
Balasore: India on Sunday tested a specially developed high-speed interceptor missile, Advanced Air Defence (AAD), over the Bay of Bengal to examine its capability to destroy a missile, defence sources said in Balasore, Orissa.

As a part of its air defence exercise, scientists fired the high-speed interceptor missile a few minutes after an electronics target was blasted off from Chandipur-on-Sea near Balasore. The interceptor missile was fired at 10.44 am IST from Inner Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast. The electronics target, a derivative of Prithvi missile, was fired at 10.42 am from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Chandipur, located about 120 km from Wheeler Island, defence sources said.

Defence sources described the Sunday trial as a mock trial and said a final one would be conducted subsequently after analysing data.

On November 27, 2006, defence scientists had successfully conducted the Prithvi Air Defence exercise similarly in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast, using a modified version of Prithvi to destroy an incoming target missile.

The AAD used on Sunday was a new missile and not a derivative or an update of any existing missile. It was specially designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for this role, the defence sources said. In performance, the AAD is slightly better than US' PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability) in interception, altitude and range against incoming ballistic missiles, the sources said.
Posted by: john frum || 12/02/2007 07:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

Benazir betraying Pakistan by contesting polls: Imran Khan
Posted by: Fred || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

PML-N divided on boycotting polls
Most Central Working Committee members want to contest polls
Posted by: Fred || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Benazir launches election campaign
  • Ex-PM visits Peshawar, seeks Pashtuns’ support in polls
  • Claims govt trying to rig polls by giving pro-govt candidates bogus votes
  • Posted by: Fred || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

    Nawaz-BB meeting on polls boycott tomorrow
    Posted by: Fred || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

    US says it has right to kidnap British citizens
    AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States. A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

    The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

    Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.
    Continued on Page 49
    Posted by: lotp || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  All your dirtbags are belong to us!
    Posted by: Mike N. || 12/02/2007 0:12 Comments || Top||

    #2  Did somebody call for Dog?

    Posted by: 3dc || 12/02/2007 2:46 Comments || Top||

    #3  Ok, Beth, Leland and Duane Lee... remember they are not "Pommies," we simply cannot use the "P" word, in e-mail or while filming.
    Posted by: Duane || 12/02/2007 3:33 Comments || Top||

    #4  Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

    Not Washington. The Supreme Court. That is to say, the United States Constitution.
    Posted by: Excalibur || 12/02/2007 7:27 Comments || Top||

    #5  You break the law, then travel to another country that extradites, expect to be arrested. I would expect and hope the same of Britain, or any western nation.
    Posted by: DarthVader || 12/02/2007 7:51 Comments || Top||

    #6  This coming from the country that arrested Pinochet based on a warrant from a country utterly uninvolved in any of the accusations against him?

    I love ya, Britain, but in this case, fuck off.
    Posted by: Rob Crawford || 12/02/2007 8:20 Comments || Top||

    #7  A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

    I'm sure that wasn't what he said.
    Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/02/2007 8:47 Comments || Top||

    #8  Only Iranian pirates can kidnap British sailors w/impunity.
    Posted by: regular joe || 12/02/2007 11:24 Comments || Top||

    Tight trousers targeted in Iran clothing crackdown
    TEHERAN - Iranian police will crack down on women in Teheran flouting Islamic dress codes with winter fashions deemed immodest, such as tight trousers tucked into long boots, an officer was quoted as saying on Saturday.

    “Considering the start of the cold season and its special way of dressing, police will start early next week a drive against women who wear improper dress,” Teheran police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

    “Tight trousers tucked inside long boots while wearing short overcoats are against Islamic codes,” the police chief said. “Wearing a hat or cap instead of scarves is also against Islamic dress codes.”
    You'll just have to freeze, gals.
    Police regularly clamp down on skimpier clothing and looser headscarves in the summer. Usually this is for just a few weeks but this year the campaign has run into the autumn.
    Posted by: Steve White || 12/02/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  National Dress Code, Islamic Modernity...

    Teheran's winter fashion, full facial beards for the Wimmins worn with Flat Top and Fenders.
    Posted by: Red Dawg || 12/02/2007 0:22 Comments || Top||

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