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Sufi Muhammad arrested
Today's Headlines
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Reasonable Consumer Would Know "Crunchberries" Are Not Real
Reasonable consumers (and lawyers) don't sue over something so stupid....
On May 21, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed a complaint filed by a woman who said she had purchased "Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries" because she believed "crunchberries" were real fruit. The plaintiff, Janine Sugawara, alleged that she had only recently learned to her dismay that said "berries" were in fact simply brightly-colored cereal balls, and that although the product did contain some strawberry fruit concentrate, it was not otherwise redeemed by fruit. She sued, on behalf of herself and all similarly situated consumers
So her lawyer she thinks there are other ignorant loons out there somewhere?
who also apparently believed that there are fields somewhere in our land thronged by crunchberry bushes.
"Too stupid to live" really should be a valid diagnosis.
The court, Judge Morrison England, Jr., also pointed out that the plaintiff acknowledged in her opposition to the motion to dismiss that "[c]lose inspection [of the box] reveals that Crunchberries . . . are not really berries." Plaintiff did not explain why she could not reasonably have figured this out at any point during the four years she alleged she bought Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries in reliance on defendant's fraud.
I knew I should have posted this under "Today's Idiot"....
Finally, the court held that while a first-time loser on a motion to dismiss would typically get a chance to amend the complaint, this one wouldn't:

"In this case, . . . it is simply impossible for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint stating a claim based upon these facts. The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense. The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen."
Emphasis added. And in California no less! I think I'm in love.
Case dismissed.

Judge England also noted another federal court had "previously rejected substantially similar claims directed against the packaging of Fruit Loops [sic] cereal, and brought by these same Plaintiff attorneys." He found that their attack on "Crunchberries" should fare no better than their prior claims that "Froot Loops" did not contain real froot.
Methinks sanctions are in order, yer Honor....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/05/2009 14:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The judge noted that the same plaintiffs firm, Hewell Law Firm in San Diego, had filed a similar claim against the packaging of Fruit Loops cereal, which was rejected by another California district court. The Hewell Law Firm is headed by Harold Hewell, identified by the State Bar web site as a graduate of the California Western School of Law in San Diego and admitted to the bar in California in 1994.

I believe some research is in order...
Posted by: tu3031 || 06/05/2009 15:45 Comments || Top||

#2  this is too STUPID to comment on....unbeleivable
Posted by: Jarong de Medici3580 || 06/05/2009 15:48 Comments || Top||

#3  He seems to have a "thing" about cereal...

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A federal class action claims that General Mills pushes Cheerios with false claims that it will lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. laintiffs claim the U.S. FDA warned General Mills in a May 5 letter that the label on its Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal violated the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

According to the complaint, the FDA specifically objected to these claims on the label: "you can Lower Your Cholesterol 4% in 6 weeks"; and "Did you know that in just 6 weeks Cheerios can reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4 percent? Cheerios is ... clinically proven to lower cholesterol. A clinical study showed that eating two 1 1/2 cup servings daily of Cheerios cereal reduced bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol."

The class claims that the label for regular Cheerios makes similar claims, but boasts of "10% in one month!".Plaintiffs seek punitive damages and costs. They are represented by Harold Hewell of San Diego, Howard Rubinstein of Aspen, Colo., and Joe Whatley Jr. with Whatley, Drake & Kallas of New York, N.Y.
Posted by: tu3031 || 06/05/2009 15:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Again with the cereal fetish...

A mom from California is suing three major cereal manufacturers this morning. She says the companies intentionally misled consumers with claims of low-sugar cereals that are replaced by equally fattening carbohydrates. Jennifer Hardee is suing General Mills, Kellogg's and Kraft Foods, the parent company of Post. She joins me now from Sacramento, along with her lawyer, Harold Hewell.

He's out of San Diego. Ever hear of this guy, Frank?
Posted by: tu3031 || 06/05/2009 16:02 Comments || Top||

#5  I've been perusing that website, and it's positively painful to see what greedy fools are suing over.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/05/2009 16:04 Comments || Top||

#6  it's positively painful to see what greedy fools are suing over

A pretty blatant attempt at an early retirement. To me what is disturbing is that there are enough people who believe the system is so fuc&ed up that they feel they stand a reasonable chance to get away with it. Common sense has taken so much of a back seat that too many court cases are decided by side-effects of previous court cases, instead of common sense and law being applied directly to the court case at hand.
Posted by: gorb || 06/05/2009 16:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Frank - you need to make a bypass through Harold Hewell's bedroom while he is asleep........

Calling the D9's and D10's

Posted by: 3dc || 06/05/2009 16:26 Comments || Top||

#8  :-) sorry - don't know the target chap
Posted by: Frank G || 06/05/2009 16:46 Comments || Top||

#9  here's his website and contact info if you want to congratulate him on his loss
Posted by: Frank G || 06/05/2009 16:56 Comments || Top||

#10  As another pundit asked, "what about Grape Nuts???"
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 06/05/2009 17:37 Comments || Top||

#11  I thought Grape Nuts was a Social Disease.
Posted by: Shomosh Protector of the Welsh8366 || 06/05/2009 19:36 Comments || Top||

#12  Shomosh was me something ate my cookie.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/05/2009 19:43 Comments || Top||

#13  "Are NOT real" > Uh, uh, NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....@!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 06/05/2009 19:56 Comments || Top||

#14  Hang the lawyer by his hands and beat the cost to the taxpayers out of him with a belt.
Posted by: OldSpook || 06/05/2009 20:14 Comments || Top||

#15  Phfft. Next thing you know they'll file suit claiming that Count Chocula isn't really a Count.
Posted by: Iblis || 06/05/2009 21:22 Comments || Top||

#16  Delicious cookies are delicious
Posted by: badanv || 06/05/2009 21:45 Comments || Top||

#17  badanv: "I'd like to buy a vowel"
Posted by: Frank G || 06/05/2009 22:00 Comments || Top||

#18  Shoot these morons and let it be known that future stupid lawsuits will result in the same.

Then shoot the lawyers that filed for the morons.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/05/2009 22:12 Comments || Top||

#19  Me too!
Posted by: badanov || 06/05/2009 22:17 Comments || Top||

Washington State May Charge Pirate Downloaders With Tax Evasion
From that, you could easily conclude that anyone in Washington who downloads unauthorized files is now expected to pay a tax based on the "retail selling price" of the files.

And, from there, it's not hard to see how failing to pay such a tax, could eventually be seen as tax evasion. How excited do you think that makes the RIAA?

Remember, this is the same RIAA that suggested that the feds use copyright infringement laws to arrest drug dealers. You can check out the specific text (in Section 304) within the full bill (pdf file), which is basically the same as what's written above.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/05/2009 09:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Excellent. Please, time to dispel the myth that in which many consumers think music and movies come on the cheap and that the music recording / mixing is solely a cottage industry in someones garage?
Posted by: Girlthursday || 06/05/2009 10:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Good luck trying to enforce that. You can mail order merchandise or download software from out of state and avoid sales taxes. First thing to claim is the file server is located out of state.
Posted by: ed || 06/05/2009 11:15 Comments || Top||

#3  are they going count Microsoft Updates?
What about Open Source Downloads?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/05/2009 12:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Ed__ I think that's "evade" not "avoid". According to some tax blogs, and Instapundit, I think, you currently have the obligation to pay local/state taxes on purchases out of state, including inet sales; it's just not enforced. There is a fed bill someplace in Congress that would require all Inet sellers to include sales tax for the home state of the purchaser to close up that little hole.

(PS ignore name - regardless of the message and the name, I am not a socialist)
Posted by: Grerenter Trotsky7648 || 06/05/2009 13:16 Comments || Top||

#5  And yet again, more hypocricy.

These are the guys who cook the books so none of their films ever make a net profit, BUT... the only reason they have problems is because of internet downloaders?

Y'know, they spent the last fifty years preaching a philosophy of disrespect for property, but they never thought the property being disrespected would _ever_ be theirs. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/05/2009 13:35 Comments || Top||

#6  It's not evasion since no laws are broken. While states have the right to ask for taxes on mail order merchandise, how are they going to enforce it w/o a fed mandate or reciprocal protocols between states. Is CA going to bring down their tax police on a TX seller? I don't think so. And if the seller's state is not collecting, what laws are broken? All it will do is migrate internet sales operations (and jobs) to states that do not try to collect sales taxes.

As for software, I used to sell enterprise type SW in the 90's. One of the options on the sales form was receive a SW CD and pay sales tax or download the SW (from outside CA, the company HQ) and sales tax was not charged. 6-8% on a $100-200K order is a good chunk of change. There was some federal law to encourage internet business activity. I'm sure all was on the up and up since the company is still in business.
Posted by: ed || 06/05/2009 13:48 Comments || Top||

#7  The big Chicago Mobster back in the 30's was convicted of Tax Evasion for not paying taxes on his ill-gotten gains. My brain has gone and I can't think of his name.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/05/2009 19:55 Comments || Top||

#8  Al Capone.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/05/2009 19:55 Comments || Top||

Hall Monitor - No Longer Mr. Nice Guy
At Penn Hills High School this morning, Chief Burton said, a student was walking up and down a hallway, using a cell phone. School policy permits students to have cell phones but not to use them during school except in emergencies, Chief Burton said.

A Penn Hills police officer told him to put the phone away and go to class.

"The kid refused to listen," Chief Burton said. "The officer took him by the arm and said, 'You have to go to the office.' The student resisted, pushed the officer. The officer, defending himself, took out his stun gun and did a drive stun."

Chief Burton said a drive stun involves pushing the Taser against a portion of the body and squeezing the trigger, thus immobilizing a portion of the body, such as the leg. He said this affects about a 2- or 3-inch area.

While on the floor, the student was still resisting and was placed in handcuffs, Chief Burton said. The student complained of a headache and dizziness and was taken to Forbes Regional Hospital.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/05/2009 09:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That'll learn 'im.
Posted by: mojo || 06/05/2009 11:45 Comments || Top||

#2  They very pointedly do NOT say what race this kid was, but their non-statement alone, just screams Black.
So what? I could care less the race of either the kid or the hall monitor. You're on dangerous ground here. AoS.

Posted by: Mstrmech || 06/05/2009 12:14 Comments || Top||

#3  Assholes come in all colors, esp when young.
Posted by: ed || 06/05/2009 12:25 Comments || Top||

#4  I pointed out a glaring omission, in effect censorship, and you twist it to racial?
Youre very wrong. AoS
Posted by: Mstrmech || 06/05/2009 12:33 Comments || Top||

#5  And in other Penn Hills news:

By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A loaded 9mm weapon was confiscated from a sixth-grader at Linton Middle School in Penn Hills today.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/05/2009 12:42 Comments || Top||

#6  Hard lessons are best learned when young.
Posted by: tu3031 || 06/05/2009 13:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Sounds like the hall monitors in that school are police officers. What a place1
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 06/05/2009 15:24 Comments || Top||

#8  I don't know about elsewhere, but here in Colorado, all high schools have a police officer on duty in the school, every day the school is open. That took effect right after the Columbine fiasco. I don't know if it did all that much good - the tough kids just took their act elsewhere.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 06/05/2009 18:32 Comments || Top||

#9  Mstrmech, the color of his skin is irrelevent. Your statement is rascist.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/05/2009 19:50 Comments || Top||

#10  I agree entirely that the kid's color is usualy irrelevent, the point is the media deliberately hid, misstated, covered up, censored, etc.
perhaps it was somewhat racist to assume he was black,

Now you name which color youth would Ignore a policeman's orders, show open defiancee and fight to the point of getting tasered, hmmmm?

Chinese, don't think so. Mexican unlikely, Asian, maybe, if he's a dopehead, Amerind, seriously doubt it.

So from the deliberate omission of the kid's race, what would you call it but hiding the truth?

PS When Government says 'None of your business" it's called Censorship, America doesn't hide truth unless race (Black) is involved, that needs to stop.

Our local TV yesterday showed a film taken of an adult basketball game brawl where all participants were deliberately, NOT named, but the video showed all black (Men, not kids) beating the crap out of another (Black) man, and despite the video not a word was mentioned of race.

I want this hiding stopped, whoever it was thsat happened needs saying, they never fail to pointedly mention when a white is involved, and put in the headlines wheneve it's white vwersus black, I call it "Reverse discimination."

Check out the photos at the school website (link). This is a suburban school with good academics and nationally ranked NJROTC program. The lad was a spoiled brat, not an inner city gang banger with an assumed suntan. Or else there was a real emergency and he was too overwrought to respond properly to a man who assumed he was talking to his girlfriend. Next time, gentlemen, do the minimum research (copy, paste into Google, hit return, click on the first school link that matches location to the newspaper the article came from) before making yourself look foolish. Rantburgers are supposed to be smarter than that.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/05/2009 22:21 Comments || Top||

#11  Now you name which color youth would Ignore a policeman's orders, show open defiancee and fight to the point of getting tasered, hmmmm?

Ok, Redneck. Based on personal knowledge....there were quite a few little spoiled pukes who fit that description.

All of them were white.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 06/05/2009 23:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Thank you Cornsilk, the complaint about hiding race still applies.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/05/2009 23:36 Comments || Top||

#13  Living in So Cal, I'm exquisitely sensitive to the local media omitting the "undocumented immigrant illegal alien" on just about each and every DUI or smuggling story. But this stretching into a racial thing - on this one - is embarrassing...for you
Posted by: Frank G || 06/05/2009 23:44 Comments || Top||

#14  BINGO, Frank, you understand exactly what I'm trying to say, without the attempts to twist this into a "Race"(Meaning Black) thing.

What bothers the hell out of me is the censorship, whether self-imposed or not.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/05/2009 23:52 Comments || Top||

Must See: Pvt. Long Father's Interview with Little Rock KATV
I saw Blackfive's post of this the other day, but couldn't watch it --- I did tonight.... Find a quiet place to watch "and now you know the rest of the story"

Blackfive.net says
This is difficult to watch, but you should listen to Daris Long, former Marine and father of Private William Long who was killed taking a break outside of a Little Rock recruiting center. It's important. It's about our family.

I'm not sure this embedded -- so click on link above to view

"He's a broken person."

Posted by: Sherry || 06/05/2009 00:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Some question remain. The shooter was well known to the FBI. The shooter recently trained at the same Yemeni facility as Taliban Johnny. Was he or was he not under surveillance? What exactly was his status at the FBI, BATF, local law enforcement, etc? Where did his weapons and ammunition come from? Has DOJ pulled the Bureau back from surveilling home-grown, Black Muslim terrorists?
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/05/2009 8:26 Comments || Top||

#2  It could be the DoJ, or the WH. Or it's that the FBI has become a risk-averse organization. In any case, law enforcement is a priority over domestic surveillance/intelligence ops.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/05/2009 10:23 Comments || Top||

#3  You're wrong, Pappy.

The federal government is on the job protecting abortion clinics.
Posted by: badanov || 06/05/2009 11:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Part right, they're lawyer shy.
Posted by: Mstrmech || 06/05/2009 12:16 Comments || Top||

#5  I understand it's sarcasm on your part, but I stand by my professional observation.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/05/2009 12:17 Comments || Top||

#6  Something wrong here and we all know it. Its almost as if the ghost or zombie of Jaime Gorelick is in the picture. Bigger question is - how many other Islamaloonies are running around pre-programmed to pick off our guys one at a time like vitamins.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/05/2009 13:44 Comments || Top||

#7  "The very first essential for success," Hitler once said, "is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence."
Posted by: Lionel Whomble5549 || 06/05/2009 15:32 Comments || Top||

#8  The above quote by Hitler was in regards to how to establish and then to cement a totalitarian government's control over the people of a nation.
Posted by: Lionel Whomble5549 || 06/05/2009 15:33 Comments || Top||

#9  Muslims are coddled by LE and the FBI. THe result is things like this.
Posted by: OldSpook || 06/05/2009 20:46 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Zimbabwe defends seizure of black farmerŽs land
[Mail and Globe] Zimbabwe on Thursday urged a regional court not to step into a dispute with a black farmer who has accused the government of wrongly seizing his land. Luke Tembani became one of Zimbabwe's first black commercial farmers shortly after independence in 1980, but faced eviction on May 21 this year after the national agricultural bank sold his farm to recoup a loan.
The land belongs to the Peepul, Mr. Tembani. By accepting ownership of this land, you have taken yourself out of the Peepul. Eviction is the least of your worries.
Tembani has asked the tribunal of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to allow him to keep his land, saying the bank had reneged on a deal to allow him to sell part of his farm to settle the loan.

A lawyer for the government argued that the tribunal should not rule in the case because Tembani still had legal options in Zimbabwe to settle his case. "The applicant did not explore all legal avenues in Zimbabwe before turning to this tribunal," argued Zimbabwe's deputy attorney general Prince Machaya.
It's not like the rule of law exists, which is why all legal avenues are dead ends unless you are a Friend of Mugabe.
Tembani had taken a loan more than a decade ago from the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe (ABZ) to expand his farm operations.

According to court documents, he defaulted on part of his repayments when interest rates soared in 1997 as Zimbabwe's economic crisis unfolded. Documents filed with the tribunal stated that the bank had sold the farm in 2000, without any court hearings, even though Tembani was still living on it.

The tribunal reserved judgement in the case, and set no date for a ruling. But the court ordered the government to allow Tembani to stay on his land until a decision is made.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  But the court ordered the government to allow Tembani to stay on his land until a decision is made.

Finaly some brains pop up in Zim-Bobs-Way.
Posted by: Mstrmech || 06/05/2009 12:20 Comments || Top||

#2  When Bob came for whitey, I said nuthin...
Now who Bob comin for?
Posted by: Farmin B. Hard || 06/05/2009 13:18 Comments || Top||

#3  "First they came for the whites, but since I wasn't while, I didn't care...."
Posted by: Whomotch Dingle3224 || 06/05/2009 13:23 Comments || Top||

#4  Somebody running the show must have thought he was white, I guess.

I wonder how well this guy is running his farm anyway.
Posted by: gorb || 06/05/2009 16:32 Comments || Top||

#5  The guy still has 'legal options...' In Zimbabwe! They have learnt their English well, and that is their status, to be so clever with our own words. Bobland has led the World in so many fields, another first...., maybe not. And, yes, I do have an agenda, (lol), everyone knows they are evil, 5th Brigade, NKor b'stds in places around Bulawayo.

Bob Mugabe and ZANU-PF are leading the way for standards, and most of our guys probs corrupted THEM, truth be told...

If there was ever an argument for carrying, this is it. Tell the wife 2 mags fit in her hand-bag.
Posted by: Rhodesiafever || 06/05/2009 22:30 Comments || Top||

#6  Doesn't say he's farming he land, just that he's living there.

I wouldn't farm it, everything is likely to be taken anyway, give'm bare dirt, overgrown with weeds.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/05/2009 22:31 Comments || Top||

#7  (I will go to my room without being told to) x 20 !
Posted by: Rhodesiafever || 06/05/2009 22:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Hey, Jim, maybe your politians just worth more, and Africa is gone.

You can't say the guy couldn't farm because he was black.
Posted by: Rhodesiafever || 06/05/2009 22:57 Comments || Top||

#9  Correction please, I never said he COLDN'T FARM, I said I WOULDN'T FARM under the circumstances, he can farm if he wants.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 06/05/2009 23:45 Comments || Top||

TariqueŽs firm got dubious waiver of Tk 12cr interest
[Bangla Daily Star] Dandy Dyeing Ltd owned by ex-premier Khaleda ZiaŽs elder son Tarique Rahman got a waiver of interest worth Tk 12 crore on bank loans within a week after the BNP-Jamaat coalition assumed power in 2001.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

Wipeout--Brit Local Elections
From the article, it appears that red and blue mean the opposite of what they mean here.

Historically speaking, the Brits have got it correct.

Posted by: charger || 06/05/2009 16:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Labour is red in more ways than one :-)

This is what happens when a party is in power too long. Ask the Republicans in 2006.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/05/2009 19:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Change you can believe in.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/05/2009 19:18 Comments || Top||

#3  "With results still pouring in yesterday evening, Labour had lost more than 300 councillors and was at risk of disappearing entirely in some southern counties."

I'm so jealous....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/05/2009 19:21 Comments || Top||

#4  More, faster, please. And do it here in the US.
Posted by: OldSpook || 06/05/2009 20:53 Comments || Top||

#5  When you go against the will of the governed and do your best to screw them over.... expect to be voted out.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/05/2009 22:13 Comments || Top||

#6  bogus link.
Posted by: KBK || 06/05/2009 23:59 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Debris 'not from Air France jet'
Debris recovered from the Atlantic by Brazilian search teams is "sea trash" and not from a lost Air France jet, a Brazilian air force official has said. Brig Ramon Borges Cardoso contradicted earlier reports, saying "no material from the plane has been recovered".

The Airbus A330 was not carrying wooden pallets, it was reported, while a large slick spotted in the area most likely spilled from a ship rather than from a downed plane.

Other fuel found in the sea probably did come from the Airbus, he said.

"It has been verified that the material did not belong to the plane, they were wood pallets that were used by ships and sometimes planes, but in this flight to Paris, there were no wood pallets," Brig Cardoso said.

A Spanish pilot flying in the area at the time of the crash was quoted by his airline, Air Comet, as saying he had seen an "intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds".
The plane went down in a thunderstorm. How did the Spanish pilot see it?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/05/2009 09:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The plane went down in a thunderstorm. How did the Spanish pilot see it? The description as publicized reads exactly like a vivid display of multiple lightning flashes in the sky, complete with flashes of white light, descending/vertical trajectory. Maybe it was distorted in translation.

--- Yahoo News "French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, speaking Thursday in Rio de Janeiro where he attended a Mass honoring the crash victims, said experts had not found signs that would back up a "terrorism theory." "But we cannot discard that for now"
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/05/2009 10:25 Comments || Top||

#2  This makes me think it was hijacked and flown away, to resurface repainted as a 9-11 style bomber.

Hunt like hell boys, the stakes have been raised.
Posted by: Mstrmech || 06/05/2009 12:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Huh? I find that hard to believe. It's at the bottom of the ocean, cause as yet unknown...
Posted by: Frank G || 06/05/2009 19:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Seems we have a new Conspiracy Theorist in our midst.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/05/2009 19:52 Comments || Top||

Air France Flight 447: Detailed Meteorological Analysis
Posted by: Grunter || 06/05/2009 07:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You have Tim and then you have all the people commenting in their tin-foil hats. That is one great site, Grunter. His analysis is so far the best we will get until there is a wrap-up or they actually find the boxes which I give as 1 in a million.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/05/2009 13:56 Comments || Top||

#2  I read this on Watt's Up with That? a couple of days ago, but didn't post it here. Until they can find some positive evidence one way or another, no one really knows what happened. It's just another lesson to us that we really DON'T understand everything about nature, as we sometimes think we do.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 06/05/2009 18:40 Comments || Top||

Cuba rejects desire to rejoin OAS
[Iran Press TV Latest] Cuba says it has no intention to rejoin the Organization of American States even though it regards the OAS decision to readmit Havana as a "major victory".

OAS members on Wednesday decided to reintegrate Cuba 47 years after expelling the Caribbean state.

The president of Cuba's National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon, described on Thursday the OAS vote as "a major victory for Latin America and the Caribbean and also for the Cuban people."

Alarcon, however, said that the move "does not alter what Cuba thought yesterday, the day before yesterday and today," AFP reported.

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro, in an article in the state-run press before the vote said that the Organization was marred with "crimes" committed by the United States against the Caribbean island and the rest of Latin America.

"At one time or another, all of the countries of Latin America had been victims of Washington's interventions and political and economic aggression," he wrote.

Venezuela, a regional ally of Cuba, has said that it may quit the Organization to create a different regional group with the help of the island.

The decision comes after Caracas repeatedly criticized the OAS for serving the interests of the West, particularly the United States.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

Ballmer Says Tax Would Move Microsoft Jobs Offshore
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said the world’s largest software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Barack Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said in an interview. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”

Obama on May 4 proposed outlawing or restricting about $190 billion in tax breaks for offshore companies over the next decade. Such business groups as the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have denounced the proposed overhaul.

U.S. tax rules let companies defer paying corporate rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits as long as that money remains invested overseas. Obama says he wants to end such incentives to keep foreign profits tax-deferred so that companies would invest them in the U.S.

Microsoft reported an overall effective tax rate of 26 percent for 2008 in its last annual report. “Our effective tax rates are less than the statutory tax rate due to foreign earnings taxed at lower rates,” the report said.

Barry Bosworth, an economist in Washington at the Brookings Institution research center, said many software companies such as Microsoft have exploited tax and trade rules in the U.S. and other countries to achieve a low overall tax rate.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/05/2009 06:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What Mr. Ballmer seems to fail to understand is that the US government owns ALL resources. They kindly allow companies to keep most of them. However, he should realize that the government can, if it chooses, seize all of Microsoft's and any other company's assets and profits at any time.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 06/05/2009 7:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Microsoft and pretty much all other software companies have been busily moving jobs offshore for years. Not workers, mind you, just the jobs, now filled by Indians and such.
To an amoral pragmatist responsible for maximizing corporate profits such moves are obvious and essential. If the US doesn't want that to happen it needs to offer the companies some reason to stay here. An educated work force used to be a 'hook', but not so much anymore. Safety from criminal attacks is less of one now. Currency and legal stability was always a big one - but that's going fast. Easy access to biggest customer base - if the US is still that, it is not dominantly so. Higher costs - as labor or taxes - have to 'buy' something. What are we bidding?
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/05/2009 8:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Obama might bid Ballmer and Gates and families right to citizenship and life in the US. I could see it.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/05/2009 9:19 Comments || Top||

#4  If the US doesn't want that to happen it needs to offer the companies some reason to stay here.

It's called a tariff. It helped create the most productive, highly paid, and wealthiest society on earth. Sometime after WW2, our betters somehow forgot.
Posted by: ed || 06/05/2009 9:25 Comments || Top||

#5  I'll be very surprised if Ballmer, et al did not also support the election of the marxist One.

Enjoy Mumbai, your new home. Would that I could follow you.
Posted by: N guard || 06/05/2009 9:48 Comments || Top||

#6  He sure did. He also gave $200,000 to Obama's inauguration party (Gates $50,000).
Posted by: ed || 06/05/2009 10:00 Comments || Top||

#7  "the government can, if it chooses, seize all of Microsoft's and any other company's assets and profits at any time.


Are you sure about that last part, Rambler? :-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/05/2009 10:27 Comments || Top||

#8  When you're punished for employing people, you'll employ people where you are no punished.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/05/2009 10:35 Comments || Top||

#9  "To an amoral pragmatist responsible for maximizing corporate profits"

That's a publicly held company's job, Glenmore - to maximize profits for the shareholders.

Who are not all "greedy" rich people but are equally (or more) likely to be ordinary middle-class people, retirees, and pension funds.

I know otherwise sane people who think oil companies, etc., are somehow evil, and won't buy stock in such companies, even for their retirement funds. I have no problem with that as long as they put their money where their mouths are and don't involve my future wealth. Bambi's already damaging that enough.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/05/2009 10:36 Comments || Top||

#10  Ed:

Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (sometimes known as the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act; officially the Tariff Act of 1930) was an act signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels. In the United States 1,028 economists signed a petition against this legislation, and after it was passed, many countries retaliated with their own increased tariffs on U.S. goods, and American exports and imports were reduced by more than half.

As a result of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff and other countries' responses to it, the world after World War II saw a push towards multilateral trading agreements that would prevent a similar situation from unfolding. This led to the Bretton Woods Agreement, in 1944, a great lessening of global tariffs starting in December 1945, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in the 1950s
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/05/2009 11:34 Comments || Top||

#11  Nope. Trade plunged because Europe was relying on American dollars to finance German reparations which then were sent to the Euro victors (primarily France) who then used the money to buy American imports. Which then were recycled back to Europe to keep the trade wheel turning. That stopped with the Crash of '29 and American money stopped flowing into Europe. Trade had already plunged because there were no more dollars to fund it. Smoot-Hawley had little effect on trade flows but makes a convenient target for demonization.

Notice back then the US was in the position of China and got hurt the most. The importer France got hurt the least.

Yhe US suffered greatly during the Depression were we were the world's premier exporter, the Germans did also since they relied on American dollars. Franch much less since the dollars received from Germany bought American goods. The Depression didn't affect the international flow of Francs, therefore the French economy.
Posted by: ed || 06/05/2009 11:53 Comments || Top||

#12  More hypocricy from the rich liberals.

They thought Barry was only gonna screw over all the other industries and then pass the savings on to them?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/05/2009 13:09 Comments || Top||

#13  And how would Ballmer move those jobs offshore?
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 06/05/2009 14:05 Comments || Top||

#14  All too easily given the neglect the US is heaping upon its educational system. Taking things for granted until it's about too late to do anything about it. My kids get six months of school out of every year if you take away all the breaks, weekends, in-service days, holidays, etc.. My wife can't get herself a financially meaningful job because of all the disruption to our schedule that comes from this. Two recesses each day, breaks, and bull$hit global warming curriculum to top it all off.

Look at the school system in the up and coming parts of the world who don't own much more than a pot to pi$$ in and a window to throw it out of. Wonder why they have been spending so much of their energy on education a in simple, old-fashioned and cost-effective manner?

See the difference?

Figure it out.

Of course these folks only cost $100/day, which is pretty tempting to those who are looking for excuses they can wave about to move their jobs overseas, aside from the fact that the US doesn't produce enough of their own. Because the educational system just can't. Partly because it is too busy educating rich or government-funded students from overseas. Who see the value of an education.
Posted by: gorb || 06/05/2009 16:29 Comments || Top||

#15  When I was in India a few years ago, I was shocked to learn that a starting programmer there made Rs 1000/month. That's roughly $3000US per year! Microsoft was paying top graduates of the top universities ten times that. That's still only $30000/year. Compare that to the US where a graduate of MIT or CalTech can pull in at least two or three times that to start.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 06/05/2009 19:11 Comments || Top||

#16  You can't really compare the two, Rambler. The cost of living is much lower in India.

I don't know what the equivalent of $3,000 a year in India is in the US, but it's not $3,000. I suspect it's a decent living there, and anyone making the equivalent of $30,000 while living there would be downright rich.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/05/2009 19:36 Comments || Top||

#17  When I was working non-DOD, you could tell the difference between Indians who graduated there and those who went to US colleges. The US engineering graduates were good. The ones from India were uncreative and barely competent to work, and even then only under close supervision.

That being said, after a couple of years and forcing the US "cowboy" (risk taking) culture into them, some of the ones from India start to catch up.
Posted by: OldSpook || 06/05/2009 20:30 Comments || Top||

#18  Barbara, my point was that from Microsoft's (and many other companies) perspective, they could pay a top Indian graduate a half to a third (or even less) of what they would pay an American.
Old Spook's point is well taken. However, if you can throw 2 or 3 Indians (or possibly even more Chinese) at a problem, you still may come out ahead.
By the way, I don't mean to put Indian programmers down. I have worked with some, both here and in India, who are very, very sharp.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 06/05/2009 21:00 Comments || Top||

Turkey: Police arrest 20 in coup probe
[ADN Kronos] Turkish police detained 20 people, including 10 serving military officers, on Thursday in connection with an investigation into an alleged plot to topple the government, CNN's local Turkish channel said. The arrests were made in five provinces around the country and followed the discovery in April of a cache of weapons outside of Istanbul.

The latest arrests are part of a probe into an ultra-nationalist group known as Ergenekon, accused of planning bomb attacks and assassinations to provoke social unrest and unseat the government of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They are accused of trying to undermine the ruling AK Party because of its suspected Islamist agenda and its bid to make Turkey the first Muslim member of the European Union.

About 140 people are already on trial in the case, including retired military officers, lawyers and journalists.

The 10 officers who were arrested on Thursday work at Ankara's military hospital and anti-terrorism police were searching the homes of some of them. Two civilians who work at a military facility were also detained.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought the "Attaturk" constitution directed the army to protect the country from Islam?
Posted by: Lampedusa Jomoper2588 || 06/05/2009 13:21 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Palin: Government wants to 'control the people'
(CNN) – Alaska governor Sarah Palin let loose Wednesday on the Obama administration for enacting fiscal policies that "fly in the face of principles" and "defy Economics 101."

In a speech introducing Michael Reagan — the son of former President Ronald Reagan — to an audience in Anchorage, Palin warned that the government is planning to "bail out debt ridden states" so it can "get in there and control the people."

"Since when can you get out of huge national debt by creating trillions of dollars of new debt?" Palin asked. "It all really is so backwards and skewed as to sound like absolute nonsense when some of this economic policy is explained."

"We need to be aware of the creation of a fearful population, and fearful lawmakers, being led to believe that big government is the answer, to bail out the private sector, because then government gets to get in there and control it," she said. "And mark my words, this is going to be next, I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states. Then government gets to get in there and control the people."
Posted by: Lionel Whomble5549 || 06/05/2009 15:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "And mark my words, this is going to be next, I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states. Then government gets to get in there and control the people."

Reverting to territorial status in fact if not in name. Just another bureaucratic layer of the Beltway. A generation or two down the road and someone will discover that reducing the number of those territorial administration districts may actually be more efficient.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/05/2009 18:04 Comments || Top||

Obama Set to Appoint Pay Czar
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration plans to appoint a "Special Master for Compensation" to ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines, according to people familiar with the matter.

The administration is expected to name Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw the federal government's compensation fund for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to act as a pay czar for the Treasury Department, these people said.

Feinberg's appointment could be announced as early as next week, when the administration is expected to release executive-compensation guidelines for firms receiving aid from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Those companies, which include banks, insurers and auto makers, are subject to a host of compensation restrictions imposed by the Bush and Obama administrations and by Congress.

Wall Street has been anxiously awaiting more details on how the rules will be applied. "The law is confusing and a bit ambiguous, and so we're looking for certainty as to how to structure pay incentives," said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs for the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade association.

The move comes amid a series of sometimes-overlapping efforts to curb pay at financial firms following perceived industry excesses that led to the lending boom and bust.

The Obama administration earlier this year issued guidelines that include limiting salary for top executives at some firms receiving TARP funds and requiring that additional pay be in the form of restricted stock, vesting only after the company repays its debt, with interest, to the government. Congress then chimed in with even tougher rules curbing bonuses for top earners at firms receiving TARP money. As part of that effort, lawmakers barred those firms from paying top earners bonuses that equal more than a third of their total compensation.

The White House has been wrestling with how to marry those two efforts, which in combination are more punitive than administration officials had intended.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/05/2009 07:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Pay Czar's office will ultimately be responsible for regulating ALL compensation. After all, if a worker gets to keep ANY of his pay he is receiving a bailout from the government and so is subject to government jurisdiction over his compensation. It's not significantly different, Constitutionally, from the concept that Eminent Domain can be applied for the sole reason of increasing tax revenue.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/05/2009 8:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Directive10-289
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/05/2009 8:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Can wage and price controls be far behind?
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/05/2009 8:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh, joy. Can we say "Comparable Worth"?
Wage and price ontrols are just the start. All aboard the social engeneering express. Next stop--Fail!
Posted by: N guard || 06/05/2009 9:42 Comments || Top||

#5  More czars than the Romanovs, and with about the same effect ...
Posted by: Steve White || 06/05/2009 11:09 Comments || Top||

#6  Close Glenmore but the hook that they're either intentionally setting up or will soon recognize is that any firm receiving stimulus funds indirection (e.g., as loans or lines of credit from bailed out financial institutions) is equally in need of oversight as the lenders themselves. After all, we wouldn't want excessive compensation downstream to sour the loan portfolios of TARP recipients and thereby endanger their ability to repay the taxpayer's money now would we?
Posted by: AzCat || 06/05/2009 11:49 Comments || Top||

#7  This is unconstitutional, bypassing Congressional approval for the nominees. Obama has usurped power, abusing his office in unprecedented ways. Aything we can do?
Posted by: Lumpy Elmoluck5091 || 06/05/2009 11:57 Comments || Top||

#8  Aything we can do?

Some golf, some smoke cigars and some yet watch TV.

In a word: no.
Posted by: badanov || 06/05/2009 12:15 Comments || Top||

#9  This is unconstitutional, bypassing Congressional approval for the nominees.

When Bush did it we were told it was wrong ...
Posted by: Steve White || 06/05/2009 12:25 Comments || Top||

#10  One small step towards dictatorship, the correct way, meaning disguised as a positive measure.
Posted by: Mstrmech || 06/05/2009 12:37 Comments || Top||

#11  Great idea - all these Czars.... that really worked out well for the Russians, didn't it?
Posted by: Pearl Cholunter3789 || 06/05/2009 13:18 Comments || Top||

#12  i was wondering when he was gonna start calling himsellf czar
Posted by: funky skunk || 06/05/2009 14:50 Comments || Top||

#13  I think he's hoping for the title 'Caesar' for himself.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/05/2009 16:33 Comments || Top||

#14  As long as they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/05/2009 19:29 Comments || Top||

#15  More Czars? I wish on Obama (and his band of thugs) the same fate as the Romanoffs.
Posted by: OldSpook || 06/05/2009 20:33 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Yudhoyono set to win: poll
[Straits Times] INDONESIAN President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono looks set to win a landslide victory in the first round of elections in July, a poll showed Thursday.
But I think we all saw this coming...

/Doc Steve
Yudhoyono and his running mate, former central bank chief Boediono, received the backing of 71 per cent of the respondents to the Indonesian Survey Institute poll, conducted late last month.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

MŽsia wants dispute calmed
[Straits Times] KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAŽS deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin called for calm Thursday amid reports that Malaysian warships had entered oil-rich waters off northeastern Borneo also claimed by Indonesia. Indonesian media reported that Malaysian warships had entered the disputed Ambalat area in the Sulawesi sea last week, and that an Indonesian navy ship had come within moments of firing at a Malaysian vessel, according to Bernama.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

Ahead of elections, Lebanon finds fake ID cards
[Iran Press TV Latest] Lebanese authorities have discovered thousands of forged identity cards only three days ahead of watershed parliamentary elections in the country. According to a Thursday report by Asharq al-Awsat, Lebanese security agents have confiscated over 4,000 falsified ID cards and have adopted concrete measures to identify those behind the forgery and bring them to justice.
Learned a few tricks from ACORN?
The Al-Hayat newspaper, meanwhile, in a report cited two sorts of forgery regarding the identification cards. According to the report, the perpetrators had resorted to counterfeit ID cards together with ones which carry the names of Lebanese expatriates who have neither acquired Lebanese identity cards nor are expected to cast ballots in the decisive parliamentary elections.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Interior Minister Ziad Baroud have promised to implement necessary measures to lower the chances of voter fraud during the elections. "We have taken strict measures and we will take even more measures to bring the situation under control," Baroud said in an address to a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night.

Lebanon's parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on June 7. The ballot vote is of significant importance as it pits the pro-Western majority against the opposition powerhouse led by Hezbollah.

Former American president Jimmy Carter is set to lead the international delegation tasked with vote observation.
Kiss the Cedar Revolution goodbye ...
Last month, the European Union deployed nearly 90 personnel to Lebanon to keep an eye on the electoral process. Arab monitors are also in the country and will stay there until the election results are officially announced on June 10.
Posted by: || 06/05/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So they can demand ID to vote in Lebanon but not in Georgia, eh Jimmuh?
Posted by: mojo || 06/05/2009 11:47 Comments || Top||

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Thu 2009-06-04
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