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India wants Pak declared terrorist state
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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Death toll in Aussie fires approaches 100
Our thoughts and prayers are with you down there ....
Posted by: || 02/08/2009 16:34 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  115 degrees, high winds, low humidity. You need to invite the Goracle down there. As lotp said - our thoughts and prayers are with you
Posted by: Frank G || 02/08/2009 18:32 Comments || Top||

Mother's Early Environment Affects Offspring
Two new studies show that the effects of a mother's early environment can be passed on to the next generation.

From the WOT perspective, this paragraph was interesting:

"If the findings can be conveyed to human, it means that girls' education is important not just to their generation but to the next one," says Moshe Szyf of McGill University, in Montreal, who was not involved in the research.
Posted by: Penguin || 02/08/2009 11:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So we can expect that the few months spent under my roof will have a cascade effect on the descendants of formerly temporary daughter? How wonderful!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/08/2009 15:55 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Madagascar radio: Soldiers fire on protesters
Radio reports in Madagascar say soldiers have opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital, killing an unknown number. State-run and independent radio stations said about 30 people were killed. Official figures were not immediately available. The protest was one in a series called by an opposition leader whose challenge of the president sparked deadly violence last month.
Posted by: Fred || 02/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

Over 30 shot dead by presidential commandos in Madagascar
(Xinhua) -- More then 30 anti-government demonstrators, including a journalist from the local Radio Television Analamanga, were shot dead shortly after lunch time on Saturday by foreign commandos who were guarding the presidential palace in downtown area of Madagascar's capital city.

According to a private radio, Antsiva, the military force in Antananarivo were fighting against these foreign troops around the presidential palace. The radio said that many more people were injured while many vehicles were set on fire by the demonstrators.

Earlier, Madagascan opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, also major of Antananarivo proclaimed president of Madagascar and announced the set-up of a transitional government. Rajoelina appointed 43-year-old Zafitsimivalo Monja Roindefo, the son of a well-known Madagascan nationalist Monja Jaona, as prime minister of the transitional government at a mass gathering here at the lunch time on Saturday.

Then he led the demonstrators to the president palace in downtown area to take over the president power.
Posted by: Fred || 02/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can I say something politically incorrect?

I am beginning to think the end of colonial rule in Africa, brought on by the same morons that brought us chaos in the middle east, was a mistake
Posted by: James Carville || 02/08/2009 11:19 Comments || Top||

#2  Rediculous James! Next you'll be telling us that 3.1416 is more than just simply a number. Damn it now, get a grip!
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/08/2009 12:00 Comments || Top||

UK citizen's private info being lost by govt at record rate
Posted by: || 02/08/2009 16:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

Foreign worker row in UK as barge is brought to hold Polish workers
The converted barge is being brought into Kent where a new gas-fired plant is being built at the E.ON power station on the Isle of Grain. Furious local workers say the increasing majority of jobs are being given to Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese men, who they say will be housed on the boat.

Police are preparing for potential trouble at the site on Wednesday when trade union Unite is due to stage a demonstration there.

It follows the problems elsewhere in the country last week when 700 workers went on strike at the Lindsey oil refinery near Grimsby, after contractors brought in non-British labour and housed some of them on a converted prison ship. Some of the Italian workers living on that ship claimed they could not leave it without being attacked by angry locals.

A further 3,000 Britons walked out in sympathy at 14 refineries and power stations.

French engineering firm Alstom, who have been at the centre of the row over foreign labour, are the lead contractor on the Kent power station, which involves 15 sub-contractors including Polish companies Remak and ZRE. Alstom insist they have given British firms and workers a fair opportunity to bid for the contracts and employ mainly British people.

But the unions and local people dispute that. A spokesman for Unite said: "We know of at least two sub-contractors who are not allowing UK workers to apply for jobs at Grain Power Station. "We're not saying foreign workers are taking all of the jobs but there is clear evidence that UK-based labour are being blocked from even trying to get work there. That is why we are staging our demonstration."

Kyle Upton, 20, a labourer who has lived on the Isle of Grain all his life, said: "I was earning really good money with an American steel company on another project involving gas tanks but that finished so I decided to try and get a job at the power station.

"I contacted Alstom about work and was told there was none available, the positions were all taken. But then I found out some Polish labourers who had been working with me on the American project had been given jobs at the power station."

A spokeswoman for Alstom vigorously defended the claims. She said during the peak of the 30-month construction phase of the gas-fired power station up to 2,000 people will be working there, and she said two thirds of them will be British. She said: "We do not and will not discriminate against British workers. We are employing UK sub-contractors and non-UK sub contractors on site at present employing both UK and non-UK labour.

"Today we have around 15 sub contractors working at Grain, the overwhelming majority are British, only two being non-UK companies. We always give British firms and workers an equal chance to bid for work on the project."

Asked if she knew about Unite's claims that the two Polish sub-contractors were not allowing UK workers to apply for jobs, she added: "I am not aware of that."

Meanwhile, Alstom has applied to Medway Council for planning permission to moor an accomodation barge at Damhead Creek, near Grain Power Station, between now and November 2010. Alstom's spokeswoman said: "This is not only to house foreign workers, this is a contingency plan to provide accomodation for anyone of the workers who may need it.

"The Isle of Grain is a remote and isolated location so accomodation is clearly an issue."

The boat will house up to 200 workers but she did not specify when it will be moored there.
Posted by: || 02/08/2009 16:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6490 views] Top|| File under:

Christian foster mother struck off after Muslim girl converts
A local council removed the woman from their register for failing to "respect and preserve" the teenager's faith, even though the girl made her own decision to change religion when she was 16.

The carer, a churchgoer in her 50s who has fostered more than 80 children, is now planning legal action against the council, amid complaints from religious groups that Christians are increasingly becoming victims of discrimination. She claims that she did not pressurise the girl, who was put in care after being assaulted by a family member, to convert, and actually tried to discourage her initial interest in Christianity.
"We had a multicultural household and I had no problems helping the young person maintain her faith of birth," the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Mail on Sunday. "I have always prided myself on being very professional in what I do."

She added: "I offered her alternatives. I offered to find her places to practise her own religion. I offered to take her to friends or family. But she said to me from the word go: 'I am interested and I want to come [to church]'."

The carer claims that social services from the council, which also cannot be named for legal reason, were aware that the girl was attending a Christian church, but her foster manager became "incandescent with rage" when she was baptised.
Did he have a bomb in his turban? I hope not!
Council officials advised the teenager to reconsider her decision,
Is that so? What business is it of theirs to advise her to "reconsider" her decision? Are the council officials Muslims? These are all rhetorical questions, btw.
and in November struck the carer off their register, citing a breakdown of trust.

The girl, who is now 17 and back with her family who are thought to be unaware of her conversion, is supporting the woman's legal action, which is being funded by the Christian Institute.

Mike Judge of the institute said: "I cannot imagine that an atheist foster carer would be struck off if a Christian child in her care stopped believing in God.

"This is the sort of double standard that Christians are facing in Britain."

The council in the north of England declined to comment on "sensitive issues surrounding a child in care".
Posted by: mrp || 02/08/2009 14:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  pressurise

English spelling and all. I don't run across this usage from English (British) natives often. The place I have encountered this the most often is India. They use this in place of pressured. Very amusing.
Posted by: Trader_DFW || 02/08/2009 18:20 Comments || Top||

#2  "Pressurise" is a common expression with my English relatives. They look at me oddly when I say "pressured".
Posted by: Excalibur || 02/08/2009 18:53 Comments || Top||

@#2: Interesting, I've known a number of Brit. expats, and have only heard the term used by them a few times. They must be more Americanized than they realize.

On the other hand, Indians use it quite a bit. I must assume that they got it from the Brits then.
Posted by: Trader_DFW || 02/08/2009 20:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Presurized is quite common in american english, it just doesn't have the same meaning, Tires are "Pressurized", a can of hair spray , is "Pressurized, the compressor pumps air into a Pressurized tank those air lines are Pressurized, etc.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/08/2009 20:53 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Ecuador orders U.S. official expelled
Last week on "Joe Biden, Psychic Politician"
QUITO (Reuters) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa ordered a U.S. Embassy official expelled on Saturday after accusing him of interfering in the country's affairs, a move that will test ties with Washington. Correa, a leftist, has generally kept good relations with the United States as his socialist allies in Bolivia and Venezuela often clash with Washington over what they say is U.S. "imperialism" in Latin America.

"Foreign minister, give this gentleman 48 hours to pack up his suitcases and get out of the country," Correa said during his weekly media address. "We're not going to let anyone treat us as if we were a colony here."

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Quito said the official already left Ecuador last month as part of a regular staff rotation. "We hope to continue cooperation with Ecuador," spokeswoman Marta Youth said. She did not comment on Correa's charges.

Correa said U.S. official Armando Astorga had abruptly ended a financing agreement with local police after authorities rejected his attempts to handpick officers he wanted to manage the U.S. aid projects.
Sounds like a Targeted Spending Stimulus Package to me....
"Mr. Astorga, keep your dirty money. We don't need it. We have dignity in this country," Correa said. "Ecuador doesn't need charity from anyone."

The United States is Ecuador's main trading partner and the destination for much of its petroleum and banana exports.
Now where's the Mighty-O going to get his Banana Oil?
Correa, a U.S.-trained economist who faces re-election in April, has bolstered his strong popularity in the past by taking a tough stance against what he deems to be interference from neighboring governments or multinational companies.

There has been tension with Washington since Correa vowed not to renew a lease ending this year on a coastal air base used by U.S. forces for counter-narcotics missions. Correa said on Saturday he would allow U.S. Coast Guard planes to land there if needed, but only if Ecuador was allowed to approve of the pilots.
Huh? I'm a pilot and even my wife rarely approves of me... Hope they're not at Bingo Fuel when the initial request for approval is made...
The former college professor is known for his quick temper, ejecting a journalist from a live interview and ordering the arrests of people he charged had hurled insults or made offensive gestures at his presidential motorcade. Correa has been tough on foreign companies by repeatedly threatening to expel them over contractual disagreements or legal disputes. Last year, he kicked out Brazilian building firm Odebrecht and sent troops to seize its projects in Ecuador.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a standard-bearer for anti-U.S. sentiment, last year expelled the U.S. ambassador to Caracas and Bolivian President Evo Morales kicked out the U.S. envoy in September after accusing him of fanning civil unrest.
Note to AoS: Better? ;->
Much ;-)
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/08/2009 16:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6520 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wonder what he'd do if the US pulled out every single American or American company, including tourists, and shut down all Ecuadorian exports to the United States. I'd bet senor Correa wouldn't get re-elected.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 02/08/2009 21:45 Comments || Top||

Video Evidence that China's Spacewalk was faked.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/08/2009 16:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

French fighter planes grounded by computer virus
French fighter planes were unable to take off after military computers were infected by a computer virus, an intelligence magazine claims. The aircraft were unable to download their flight plans after databases were infected by a Microsoft virus they had already been warned about several months beforehand. At one point French naval staff were also instructed not to even open their computers.

Microsoft had warned that the "Conficker" virus, transmitted through Windows, was attacking computer systems in October last year, but according to reports the French military ignored the warning and failed to install the necessary security measures. The French newspaper Ouest France said the virus had hit the internal computer network at the French Navy. Jérome Erulin, French navy spokesman told the paper: "It affected exchanges of information but no information was lost. It was a security problem we had already simulated. We cut the communication links that could have transmitted the virus and 99 per cent of the network is safe." However, the French navy admitted that during the time it took to eradicate the virus, it had to return to more traditional forms of communication: telephone, fax and post.

Naval officials said the "infection"' was probably due more to negligence than a deliberate attempt to compromise French national security. It said it suspected someone at the navy had used an infected USB key. The Sicmar Network, on which the most sensitive documents and communications are transmitted was not touched, it said. "The computer virus problem had no effect on the availability of our forces." The virus attacked the non-secured internal French navy network called Intramar and was detected on 21 January. The whole network was affected and military staff were instructed not to start their computers. According to Liberation newspaper, two days later the chiefs of staff decided to isolate Intramar from the military's other computer systems, but certain computers at the Villacoublay air base and in the 8th Transmissions Regiment were infected. Liberation reported that on the 15 and 16 January the Navy's Rafale aircraft were "nailed to the ground" because they were unable to "download their flight plans". The aircraft were eventually activated by "another system".

Liberation also reported that Microsoft had identified the Conficker virus in the autumn of 2008 and had advised users from October last year to update their security patches. IntelligenceOnline reports that "at the heart of the (French) military, the modifications were, for the most part, not done." It was only on the 16 January "three months later" that the navy chiefs of staffs began to act. "At that point, the chiefs of staff and the defence ministry had no idea how many computers or military information systems were vulnerable to having been contaminated by the virus," said Liberation.

The French press also reported that the only consolation for the French Navy was that it was not the only ones to have fallen victim to the virus. It said that a report in the military review Defense Tech revealed that in the first days of January 2009 the British Defence Ministry had been attacked by a hybrid of the virus that had substantially and seriously infected the computer systems of more than 24 RAF bases and 75 per cent of the Royal Navy fleet including the aircraft carrier Ark Royal.
Posted by: Bulldog || 02/08/2009 05:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If you are using Microsoft software for mission critical military applications, you are a moron.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/08/2009 7:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Speechless
Posted by: john frum || 02/08/2009 8:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Flight Sim 1995 updated to Win ME?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/08/2009 8:37 Comments || Top||

#4  ooooo, cold Frank.
Posted by: lotp || 02/08/2009 9:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Whoa. Gives the term "Blue Screen Of Death" a whole new meaning.
Posted by: mrp || 02/08/2009 9:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Having any militarily significant or "secure" network attached to the internet is an act of pure madness.
Posted by: PBMcL || 02/08/2009 11:58 Comments || Top||

#7  "The computer virus problem had no effect on the availability of our forces."

Oui...both of them are safely at the "How To Cope With Not Having A Purpose" conference.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/08/2009 16:06 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Obama says Bush sent economy in tailspin
US President Barack Obama criticizes his Republican predecessor George W. Bush for policies which dragged the country into recession.

"We can't expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led US into this mess in the first place," Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday.
So we're going to double the debt again as a solution?
Obama also poured scorn on Republican critics who said his stimulus economic bill lacked enough tax cutting measures. "We can't rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges."

With a successful Senate vote on the stimulus bill in sight; however, the US president warned that quick action was needed to avoid catastrophe.

Earlier on Friday, Senate Democrats agreed to trim spending proposals and support tax cuts in a roughly $800 billion bill that was to go to a vote on Tuesday. They rolled back an earlier $937 billion proposal by culling what critics, mostly Republicans, called billions of dollars in unwarranted spending.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi predicted Obama would have a finished product to sign by mid-February.
Posted by: Fred || 02/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6530 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Executive summary: massively increasing the nation's debt, nationalizing the nation's economy, and wasting enormous sums on pure pork has never worked before. Lets give it another try!
Posted by: DMFD || 02/08/2009 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Wonder if whoever gave the Republican response, (as if anyone in the Republican party has the guts to stand up anymore) pointed out that the Democratically controlled house and senate of the last two years caused massive damage in only TWO years.

...doubt it.
Posted by: Tyranysaurus Angegum9270 || 02/08/2009 0:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Whoa, Sherry! Fastest mod in Texas ...
Posted by: Steve White || 02/08/2009 2:11 Comments || Top||

#4  Well, he had a huge hand in it. The market itself works well. It's the players that eff it up. Regulate the players. Just need one simple law: Take advantage of people ==> Lose everything and go to jail. A product should be able to stand on its own two feet, and not depend on the ignorance of those who purchase it. Of course, the line is going to be a gray at times, and even if it isn't the lawyers will redefine gray to suit the defense. But big stuff like ACORN, no-doc loans, ponzi schemes, sham loans, Enron, etc. are no-brainers.
Posted by: gorb || 02/08/2009 3:15 Comments || Top||

Posted by: SPM || 02/08/2009 8:21 Comments || Top||

#6  see the button on the left of your keyboard? "Caps Lock"? Use it
Posted by: Frank G || 02/08/2009 8:40 Comments || Top||

#7  The housing crisis started with the creation of the FHA. And don't forget the repeal of Reg Q. This has been a life time in the making, just like its preview, the S & L crisis. Everyone owns it. And I predict now it will happen again in, oh 2090.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/08/2009 8:46 Comments || Top||

#8  The number of unemployed persons (11.6 million) and the unemployment rate (7.6 percent) rose in January. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 4.1 million. The Department of Labor reported today that nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in January (-598,000) and the unemployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6 percent. Payroll employment has declined by 3.6 million since the start of the recession in December 2007, .... most of this mess happening only in past three months! And some wonder Obama is pushing so hard for a stimulus package. The Herbert Hoover approach, do nothing, is all we need, leading us to a twelve year depression ??
Posted by: Suggestions4Obama.com || 02/08/2009 8:51 Comments || Top||

#9  Wut? Hell the only sure cure is a nuclear free-for-all.

Let's target Iran first, a couple of SLBMz at the Norks, a couple of snapshots at the Chinks and viola! Propsperity Roosevelt style!
Posted by: .5MT || 02/08/2009 9:24 Comments || Top||

#10  The Herbert Hoover approach, do nothing, is all we need, leading us to a twelve year depression ??

Ah, the old myth of the Donks.

"Hoover massively expanded government spending and signed into law a horrible protectionist piece of legislation known as Smoot-Hawley. At the same time, he used the bully pulpit to hector businesses into keeping wages and prices high which only made it harder for a puffed-up economy to go through a painful but transitory adjustment."

Ever hear of Hoover Damn [which BTW F.Roosevelt was so petty that during his tenure the name was changed to make sure such a massive public works project would never be tied to his Republican predecessor - the pre-1984 memory hole.]?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/08/2009 9:34 Comments || Top||

#11  SPM what's with the all caps?...nobody will read it.
Posted by: jack salami || 02/08/2009 9:45 Comments || Top||

#12  Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Einstein who defined insanity as repeatedly trying those ideas which have already been shown to be failures? Just askin'; Congress.
Posted by: WolfDog || 02/08/2009 9:45 Comments || Top||

#13  Obama: Blame Bush. Spend our way out of over-spending. More pork, please.

Very shallow. Ignores the lessons of history. Thin-skinned. More to come. I hope we can hang on until 2012.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/08/2009 9:57 Comments || Top||

#14  Obama's weekly radio address was a notable example of pure demagoguery.

"devastating news" "alarming" "lost 3.6 million jobs since this recession began"[how many new gained in that period?]

"economic crisis" "national catastrophe" "Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, their homes, and their health care"

Taking 10% out of 1,000B$ of wasteful spending isn't the answer. The answer is to kill the whole thing and do only what is necessary for the next six months. This just borrows from our children to buy things we don't need. 10% is moderate stimulus, 90% is pork.

The 700B$ TARP package was mostly loans with equity received in return. The taxpayers may even make money on it. This package is pure pork, and our money down the rathole.

One trillion. That's over one million dollars a day since Jesus walked the earth. That's $100M spent for each of those "Maine jobs". Thanks, Collins and Snow. They've fallen for the old game of, "Ask for ten times as much as you need, give one tenth back in 'negotiation'."
Posted by: KBK || 02/08/2009 11:02 Comments || Top||

#15  They will keep blaming Bush as long as they can. It is the only way they can deflect blame.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/08/2009 11:16 Comments || Top||

#16  One of the small things that consoles me in these troubling times is how good President Bush in going to look in about a year -- or , hell at the rate we're going, may be next week. It's like Mark Twain said:

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
Posted by: Matt || 02/08/2009 12:01 Comments || Top||

#17  I'm not sure if it makes sense. Economies go through cycles and recession is part of the cycle. I read the history of cycles at http://www.recessioninfocenter.com
Posted by: Angavimble Brown9043 || 02/08/2009 13:15 Comments || Top||

#18  Government (specifically democrat programs) are to blame for that trillian dollar air bubble YOU democrats put into our bloodstream.

Posted by: newc || 02/08/2009 14:10 Comments || Top||

#19  I also read earlier this week that Commander Zero's administration shut down more oil and gas leases in Utah.

If we're on the edge of a depression, why shut down and contract real productive industries?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/08/2009 15:48 Comments || Top||

#20  LMAO frank g
Posted by: rabid whitetail || 02/08/2009 16:05 Comments || Top||

#21  It was always a delight for the press, when they would throw in, that Bush couldn't read. He did read, voraciously. Even had a contest with Rove, to see who could read the most books in a year.

(As they reported he was dumb, they still reported what books he had with him! I know, that makes no sense.)

Bush won -- and it wasn't fiction he read. The list is impressive and added much, I'm sure, for his respect of the office, and his decisions.

I don't ever remember hearing one press person say or write a word about The One's reading habits, or what he reads. (Of course, his reading was/is probably centered around communism/socialism on what is sure to be a limiting reading list)

I'm thinking he skipped most of the history books, the economic books, and the Making of a President. And, more recently, seemingly has read nothing, even while in the Senate, about the growing problems that Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac were creating, for at least the last seven years.

Posted by: Procopius2k|| 2009-02-07 15:53
As George said farewell to Obama, he handed him three envelopes numbered consecutively 1,2,and 3. George told him to only open each in sequence when the crap hits the fan.

Well, he's opened and used envelope number 1 which read 'blame your predecessor.' How long before he gets around to opening envelope number 2 which will read 'reorganize'?

Oh, number 3 reads 'prepare three envelopes'.
Posted by: Procopius2k|| 2009-02-07 15:53
Posted by: Sherry || 02/08/2009 16:30 Comments || Top||

#22  The issue is governmetn intervention in the markets (Freddy & Fanny, for Barny Frank, as an example), which caused overspending and bad debt that are what gave us this recession.

And these bozo's on the Obama side of things want us to believe that large scale GOVERNMENT wasteful overpending and borrowing will ead us out of this?

Keynesian-ism nearly killed the nation in 1977. None of the stupid kids supporting Obama remember double digit inflation and double digit unemployment, nor do they remember the hard hard steps Reagan had to take to get us out of that.

Obama, you got the "Misery Index" approaching dobule-digits. Lets see you and your follwoers keep bending over to Nancy Pelosi and the liberals in the House and Senate - you'll sso have both sides of that Misery Index above 10%

Saying "Bush did it" might teach you something - Bush & Congress SPENT a lot and ENLARGED government - and that blew things up. Are you so stupid as to learn nothing from the "Bush mess" upon which you blame things?

Damned fools, you'll destroy the nation.

Posted by: OldSpook || 02/08/2009 17:04 Comments || Top||

#23  OS, take heart. As long as folks like you and other Rantburgers exist the nation will never die. This government however may not last the year.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/08/2009 18:00 Comments || Top||

#24  ...threw our economy into a tailspin...

Mmmkay...... In aerodynamics (simplified), a stall (sputtering economy) preceeds a spin.

The spin is caused by inappropriate rudder control (government intervention) at the developed stall.

A "tailspin" is caused by a rearward center of gravity (dead weight feel-good tax-funded government redistribution programs) that prevents the pilot (U.S. of A. Entrepreneurs) from reducing the wing angle of attack to allow spin-thence-stall recovery.

IMHO, the spending stimulus "program" will do little more than push more weight to the rear of our figurative aircraft, and will ultimately (irreparably?) damage the American free-market system's ability to right itself.

Or maybe that's the plan?
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/08/2009 18:37 Comments || Top||

#25  Let's just say that those in power are not huge fans of the current economic system.
Posted by: lotp || 02/08/2009 18:46 Comments || Top||

#26  And maybe they have a point.
Posted by: Thrish Bluetooth8556 || 02/08/2009 21:54 Comments || Top||

#27  I take it you prefer you Canadian economy? How do you feel about the protectionism that is the knee jerk reaction of Democrats in general and this President in particular?
Posted by: lotp || 02/08/2009 22:01 Comments || Top||

#28  I prefer balance in extremes.

I feel that if protectionism will cure your economy, then Canada will benefit anyway because we're joined at the hip any way you look at it.
Posted by: Thrish Bluetooth8556 || 02/08/2009 22:25 Comments || Top||

#29  Unfortunately, so much of the U.S. economy is based on international trade -- in both directions -- that protectionism will harm considerably more than it helps. Consider, for example, the automobile industry (I do hope Rantburg's many experts in macro and micro economics will provide additions and corrections to the following statements made by this little dilettante housewife). The most successful producers of autos within the continental United States are actually Honda and Toyota, which assemble their vehicles in American factories using American workers and a great many American subcontractors. Or consumer products like laundry detergent and toothpaste, made by American Fortune 500 companies Colgate and Procter & Gamble, which garner a significant portion of their profits from the products they produce in factories around the world using local labour and selling into local markets. Or, God forbid, the computer industry where moves by American companies to outsource production to India and China is being offset by Indian companies outsourcing to Silicon Valley to be closer to their American customers, or so I've heard. When one moves beyond local small businesses, it's terribly difficult to determine which of those companies that do business here should be categorized as domestic, and thus deserving protection, and which as truly foreign, to be protected against. But then it isn't fair to expect President Obama to know such things at this stage of his career, as he's never really had dealings with productive businesses that didn't involve accepting donations or leading shakedowns "for the community". But he has been acclaimed a brilliant law lecturer, so I'm sure he'll figure it out as soon as he starts serious discussions on how to implement his cunning plan.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/08/2009 23:15 Comments || Top||

#30  We need protection from China, that's all.

I have a ~40 year old drill made in Sheffield, England. Still works. The rest of the Chinese made crap crapped out after about a year. One didn't make it past 3 months. But I guess that's what it's all about: a perpetual annuity for big corporations, without which we wouldn't have jobs. So this is what it comes down to: do you want a good drill, or a job?
Posted by: Thrish Bluetooth8556 || 02/08/2009 23:51 Comments || Top||

Riots in Kashmir over Koranic inscriptions on Swede's skiing gear
The protests over the inscription of Quranic verses on the skiing gear of a Swedish national reached the city on Sunday with clashes between police and the protesters taking place at several places. In Nowhatta, Maisuma, Zaldagar and Nawabazar localities of the city, scores of angry youth pelted stones at police.

The controversy started on Saturday when some employees of Gulmarg Cable Car Corporation noticed Quranic verses inscribed on the skiing gear of N Patrick. The people caught hold of the foreigner and handed him over to police. They demanded stern action against the skier. Shouting anti-America, anti-Israel and anti-Sweden slogans, the protesters in Srinagar termed it as a deliberate attempt on part of the European tourist.

"Entire Europe and Israel is against Muslims. You can see what Israel is doing in Gaza and Lebanon so such things are very much expected from a Sweden tourist. They should be banned from visiting Kashmir," said a protester in Maisuma Chowk.

In the clashes on Sunday at least five persons received minor injuries. Police resorted to use of teargas shells and cane charging to contain the protests.

Meanwhile, police has shifted the Swedish national from Gulmarg to Srinagar for investigation. Two tourist guides have also been arrested by police for questioning. "We shifted him to Srinagar on the directions of our higher ups who want to investigate the matter," SHO Gulmarg, Muhammad Abdullah said. He said that two tourist guides Abdul Rahim and Mohammad Yasin Khan have also been arrested for questioning.

Meanwhile, Kashmir's Grand Mufti, Mufti Bashir-ud-din said that the foreign skier met him and sought apology for his act. "The skier said that he was not aware about the sensitivity of the matter and maintained that it was his Muslim wife who had suggested him to use such Quranic verses on the skiing gears. He has sought public apology for his act," Bashir-ud-din said.

The Grand Mufti has appealed the government to issue instructions to all foreign tourists about such matters at the time of their arrival in Kashmir.

In Gulmarg on Sunday shopkeepers, hoteliers, horsemen and sledge drivers observed complete shutdown. Shouting anti-America, anti-Sweden and anti-Israel slogans, the protesters blocked Gulmarg-Srinagar road.

Tangmarg also witnessed protests over the issue as people blocked the road and did not allow vehicles to proceed towards Gulmarg. Meanwhile, some people here maintain that it is a tradition in many Islamic countries to take things inscribed with Holy verses along during a journey for warding off evil and danger.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/08/2009 13:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Geez, sorry about the oddball editing. LOL
Posted by: ryuge || 02/08/2009 14:09 Comments || Top||

#2  damn Scandi snowbillys, inciting the rubes
Posted by: Frank G || 02/08/2009 15:14 Comments || Top||

#3  How is it that he, an infidel, is married to a Muslim woman? I thought that only Muslim men could marry infidel women, and the women would be forced to convert to Islam.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/08/2009 15:24 Comments || Top||

#4  "Entire Europe and Israel is against Muslims."

I see you're catching on....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/08/2009 15:29 Comments || Top||

The Eagle Has Landed: In Baghdad
H/T Blackfive & MudvilleGazette

If you go to the site, then click on the pic, and click again, you can get a full-screen view of The Eagle

CAMP LIBERTY -- A new symbol of freedom and appreciation now greets Soldiers and visitors to the headquarters of Multi-National Division -- Baghdad, after an unveiling ceremony in front of division headquarters here, Feb. 5.

Dr. Muayad Muslin Hamid al-Jaburri, an influential Iraqi cardiologist and humanitarian, donated the gold eagle-head statue to all the Soldiers of MND-B in admiration for their sacrifices while working to make Baghdad a safer place to live.

"The Eagle represents a little bit of mixed culture, knowing how important the eagle means to Americans and knowing that in the Arabic culture we have been putting eagles on top of the castles for thousands of years to show power and protection," said Jaburri.

The statue also symbolizes the basic rights Soldiers, Iraqi Security Forces and local civilians have been striving to spread across the nation.

"The eagle is symbol of freedom," said 1st Lt. Hunter Wakeland, a native of Kennebunkport, Maine, who serves as a platoon leader with MND-B.

The eagle is also a token of Jaburri's appreciation to the division and the Soldiers for what they went through to help the Iraqi citizens. He recognized and showed appreciation for the sacrifices that have been made for the citizens of Baghdad, specifically in Doura.

Two years ago, the Doura neighborhood of southern Baghdad was a dangerous place; as an al-Qaida in Iraq stronghold there were numerous murders and violence was a daily occurrence. Today, the citizens of Iraq can visit the bustling Doura Market feeling safe and secure because of the hard work of MND-B Soldiers and the help of local citizens such as Jaburri.

"Now I can walk the streets and see the children playing at the park and going to school," said Jaburri. "My mother can go shopping without fear, and my wife can safely go to work."
Posted by: Sherry || 02/08/2009 16:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Curious - the "Shoe" statue in Tikrit was all over the MSM with pictures, video, etc. Exercise for the reader, try to find an article about this statue ANYWHERE in the MSM.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/08/2009 16:25 Comments || Top||

Last-minute poll surge keeps Livni's election hopes alive
The centrist Israeli politician quietly favoured by Western governments may take Israel's premiership despite trailing her Right-wing rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, in the polls.

The latest figures show Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and leader of the moderate Kadima party, has almost closed the gap on the former prime minister. Surveys published on Friday predicted that she would get about 25 seats in the Knesset, or parliament, compared with 27 for the Likud Party's Netanyahu.

The Right-wing politician, who had enjoyed a strong lead, appears to be losing ground in the final days of the campaign before polling day on Tuesday.

But the kingmaker will almost certainly be Avigdor Lieberman, from the hard-Right Yisrael Beiteinu party, who is likely to win enough seats to be able to choose a prime minister and make or break a coalition.

He may not, however, choose to install his nearest ideological ally, Netanyahu. Instead, Livni's supporters are convinced she could still emerge as premier.

Eyal Arad, the Kadima campaign manager, said: "I believe we're going to win this one by a narrow margin." Between 20 and 30 per cent of Israelis are still undecided and these floating voters tend to be young and female, fitting the usual profile of Kadima supporters.

Keeping "Bibi", as all Israelis know him, out of the premiership means tactically voting for Kadima. Arad said undecided voters understood that "if you don't vote for Tzipi Livini, then you'll get Bibi" and they would respond accordingly.

Arad's personal forecast is that Livni will outperform the polls and come first with 27 to 30 seats. Even so, the block of Right-wing parties in the Knesset will still be larger than Livni's natural allies among the centre-Left.

Posted by: Fred || 02/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  quietly favoured by Western governments

Too bad more Israelis are not aware of the fact.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/08/2009 5:03 Comments || Top||

#2  ACORN is now active in Israel?
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 02/08/2009 15:36 Comments || Top||

Rabbi Yosef: Lieberman voters support Satan
Lieberman under attack: Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosesaid during his weekly Saturday-night sermon at his house that whoever supports Yisrael Beiteinu "supports Satan."

"These are people who do not have Torah, people who want civil marriages, shops that sell pork, and the army enlistment of yeshiva students," Rabbi Yosef said. "My heart is heavy. Heaven forbid people support them. This is completely forbidden. Whoever does so commits an intolerable sin. Whoever does so supports Satan and the evil inclination."
Posted by: Fred || 02/08/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yisrael Beiteinu means "Israel is our home" and it is the name of the political party formed by Avigdor Lieberman. The party attracts a lot of Russian immigrants who are not as observant (some not Jewish).
Posted by: mhw || 02/08/2009 0:20 Comments || Top||

#2  That's, by itself, is almost enough to make me vote Lieberman.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/08/2009 4:38 Comments || Top||

#3  From the headline, I thought he was talking about Joe Lieberman.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/08/2009 12:44 Comments || Top||

Anti-Vaccine Autism Researcher Falsified Data
THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients' data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children's conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children's ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.

Despite involving just a dozen children, the 1998 paper's impact was extraordinary. After its publication, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%. Populations acquire "herd immunity" from measles when more than 95% of people have been vaccinated.

Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.
Nice work, Dr. Wakefield.
With two professors, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, Wakefield is defending himself against allegations of serious professional misconduct brought by the GMC. The charges relate to ethical aspects of the project, not its findings. All three men deny any misconduct.

Through his lawyers, Wakefield this weekend denied the issues raised by our investigation, but declined to comment further.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 02/08/2009 12:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is very interesting, I have two tesn with Aspergers, which is a high functioning form of Autism. One of the largest debates in the Autism community is whether or not these vaccines had a hand in causing Autism. If this story about Wakefield holds true, then emphasis can be put into an area that is more likely, genetics. This is extremely good news, again if it holds true.
Posted by: djh_usmc || 02/08/2009 13:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Lancet strikes again.... :-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/08/2009 13:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Sorry, I meant teens...stupid keyboard.
Posted by: djh_usmc || 02/08/2009 13:56 Comments || Top||

#4  When I lived in the UK this guy was hot news. He singlehandedly prevented thousands of families to forgo mandatory vaccinations for their children. It this turns out to be true then God forgive him if these children end up disastrous medical conditions as a result of not having those vaccinations.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 02/08/2009 14:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Send him to prison
Posted by: newc || 02/08/2009 14:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Slightly OT, but I suspect that Mountains of "Global Warming" data have been cooked as well. Only for our own good, of course...
Posted by: PBMcL || 02/08/2009 14:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Suspect, PBMcL? We know the global warming data has been cooked. Everything from selective choice of data (the famous hockey stick curve, which starts at the depths of the Little Ice Age, ignoring the much warmer climate at the time Jesus of Nazareth lived) to instrument placement (next to heat outlets and on black tar roofs in cities rather than the middle of a field) to flat-out invention (cf Al Gore's little film). But, as you say, for our own good, and the good of Mr. Gore's bank account.

Back on topic, the Lancet really has about as much credibility as the New York Times these days. The researchers ought to be infected with three doses of each of active measles, mumps and rubella cultures, and left to live with the consequences, exactly as the children of those who believed their results did not have their children given the thrice three-fold MMR inoculations. Barring that, which perhaps some might think a bit vindictive, they definitely need to be publicly stripped of their medical licenses, tenure, and all professional accreditations, much as a soldier is stripped of his various patches in front of his regiment.

djh_usmc, for some reason quite a few Rantburgers have offspring with Asperger's Syndrome.... perhaps because it's tied to high intelligence. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/08/2009 15:11 Comments || Top||

#8  After the Lancet article, the manufacturers of MMR had a number of class action lawsuits against them. Subsequently it was discovered that the 'research' was founded by a number of trial lawyers.
Posted by: mhw || 02/08/2009 16:01 Comments || Top||

#9  djh_usmc, for some reason quite a few Rantburgers have offspring with Asperger's Syndrome.... perhaps because it's tied to high intelligence. ;-)

trailing wife, maybe it's just a guy thing.
Posted by: tipper || 02/08/2009 16:45 Comments || Top||

#10  >The idea expands on the “extreme male brain” theory of autism proposed by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge.

Ali-G's Bro'
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/08/2009 18:37 Comments || Top||

#11  The Medical community has fought this for years.I am more inclined to question them as they will profit more. These vaccines are forced on parents and children. I have heard to many times of children that were normal within a short time of injection develop Autism. The AMA is a very powerful group with some good Medical Doctors as well a bad.
This is where the you have 4000% markups and even 45% profits for just the delivery of drugs to the drugstores. Health business is still very good at this time. The more I think about it the more this looks like a smear effort.
Posted by: Dale || 02/08/2009 19:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Alas, Dale, the falsified data have been corroborated multiple times now.

No matter how tempting, it is fatal when a researcher fakes data to force a study to come out the way s/he wants it.
Posted by: lotp || 02/08/2009 19:36 Comments || Top||

#13  falsified data have been corroborated multiple times?

lotp, please clarify.

When people ask me whether I believe in the vaccination theory to account for my kids' Asperger's Syndrome, I point out that my dad, who is 84 now, also has Aspergers; and Austism research pioneers Kanner and Asperger did their research before the invention of the MMR.

The vaccination theory is a classic case of the post hoc fallacy: after this, therefore because of this. Kanner-type autism symptoms (the more obvious manifestation of autism) begin to appear around age 15 months, which is about the time the MMR series of shots begins.

Aspergers is more subtle. We knew something was odd with daughter #3 because she didn't make eye contact from day one, and never slept for more than 90 minutes at a time; but her symptoms were so much different from her older brother's symptoms. We made the connection when we observed that they had the same lopsided gait.
Posted by: mom || 02/08/2009 20:18 Comments || Top||

#14  Wakefield's hypothesis is that MMR vaccine triggers autism via an inflammatory bowl disease. Experts in enterogasteric disorders have pretty much demolished this claim and demonstrated that Wakefield distorted and misrepresented the alleged evidence for such a disease. Relevant papers in the research journal Histopathology are cited here.

Professors Tom MacDonald and Paola Domizio from Barts and the London School of Medicine in London were experts for the defense in the UK MMR litigation against the vaccine manufacturers out of which Wakefield trousered one million dollars. MacDonald is a pre-eminent gut immunologist with an international reputation and was recently awarded the President’s Medal of the British Society for Gastroenterology for his scientific achievements. Domizio is an extremely well known gut pathologist and is also a senior figure in the Royal College of Pathologists in the UK.

The gist of their article (Histopathology. 2007 50:371-9) was that autistic enterocolitis does not exist. In a forensic dissection of the key paper by Wakefield and colleagues in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2000 (Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 95:2285-95), MacDonald and Domizio clearly showed that the so-called enterocolitis was due to Wakefield incorrectly deeming enlarged lymphoid follicles in the gut as pathological abnormalities, and that he had also created new and unsubstantiated pathological abnormalities to give the impression of gut pathology. The image of enterocolitis in an affected child shown in this paper was an extremely highly magnified picture of a small piece of tissue, which may in fact have come from one of the original Lancet 12 (in order to bump up the numbers of patients studied, Wakefield just reported the original Lancet 12 again). This is a familiar Wakefield tactic, his “representative” images are always taken at an extremely high magnification on the microscope, presumably to hide the fact that the rest of the tissue is normal. MacDonald and Domizio also shredded other Wakefield papers of the same ilk in their article.

Key to this piece of detective work by Domizio and MacDonald was a table in the Am J Gastro paper where these invented histological abnormalities were shown

Posted by: lotp || 02/08/2009 20:28 Comments || Top||

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

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

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

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

Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2009-02-08
  India wants Pak declared terrorist state
Sat 2009-02-07
  Russia allows transit of US military supplies
Fri 2009-02-06
  Islamabad High Court frees AQ Khan
Thu 2009-02-05
  Thirty dead in Pakistan blast: hospital
Wed 2009-02-04
  Bridge Attack Severs Afghan Supply Route
Tue 2009-02-03
  Somalia orders recapture of Baidoa
Mon 2009-02-02
  Bomber in police uniform kills 21 Afghan policemen
Sun 2009-02-01
  Sheikh Sharif elected as Somalia's president
Sat 2009-01-31
  Polls Close in Iraq Elections, No Major Violence
Fri 2009-01-30
  'Incompetent' Hamid Karzai's political future in doubt
Thu 2009-01-29
  Pakistan busts suicide bomb gang
Wed 2009-01-28
  Yar! French navy nabs 9 Somali pirates
Tue 2009-01-27
  Al-Shabaab fighters seize Somali parliament headquarters
Mon 2009-01-26
  GSPC founder calls for al-Qaeda surrender in Algeria
Sun 2009-01-25
  Lanka troops enter final Tiger town

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