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Lebanon arrests 40 Fatah al-Islam gunnies
Today's Headlines
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Lobbyists helping Dubai company to seal $1.8 billion deal - The Carlyle Group involved
Learning from the mistakes of last year's flubbed Dubai Ports World (DPW) deal, lobbyists and PR consultants are helping to engineer a smooth transaction for another Dubai government majority-owned company.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) is leaving nothing to chance on its $1.8 billion purchase of two aviation companies, Standard Aero Holdings Inc. and Landmark Aviation, from investment firm The Carlyle Group. At least four leading firms have registered to advocate on DAE's behalf, both on Capitol Hill and with the administration.

Two firms, the Glover Park Group and Quinn Gillespie & Associates, disclosed they each could earn more than $200,000, plus expenses, starting this March, according to contracts filed with the Justice Department. The other firms, the MWW Group and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, have not disclosed their potential earnings, according to public records.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 01:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The UAE has adopted a see no evil policy towards those jihadis who direct their terror elsewhere. In any case, their oil fields are projected to run dry in 2015. Post insolvency scenarios don't present the UAE as a country to which we should want to transfer high technology.
Posted by: McZoid || 06/27/2007 5:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I wasn't wearing my glasses when I read the headline and thought it said:
"Lobbyists helping Dubai company to steal $1.8 billion deal - The Carlyle Group involved."
I suppose it could be right either way.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/27/2007 8:52 Comments || Top||

#3  Lipstick on a pig....

However once these lobbyists and PR functionaries throw some money into lawmaker's PACs, those that had previously disparaged the Dubai Ports deal will come around on this one.
Posted by: danking_70 || 06/27/2007 11:14 Comments || Top||

Gunshot ends home-invasion terror (shooter arrested!)
A man has been charged after allegedly firing a shot through the front door of his home to deter would-be intruders terrorising the occupants. Police said the man, 43, fired one shot from a rifle through the front door of the home in McNeil Avenue, Geelong East, about 10pm last night.

The would-be intruders had thrown rocks through the front window and cut the home's power supply before trying to jemmy open the front door. They fled after the man, who was inside with a woman and young girl, opened fire.

Police recovered the rifle and charged the man with conduct endangering life and firearm offences. He has been bailed to appear at the Geelong Magistrates Court on August 9.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 06/27/2007 01:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The would-be intruders had thrown rocks through the front window and cut the home's power supply before trying to jemmy open the front door.

"The boys were just having a bit of fun, that's all. There was no need to shoot. They always smash the windows, cut off the power and pry at the doors of people they like."
Posted by: Zenster || 06/27/2007 6:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Doesn't matter what they do to the guy, I don't figure he'd prefer the alternative. This will get thrown out in jury, but it is still bullshit, and will cost him some $$AU.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 06/27/2007 9:27 Comments || Top||

#3  I think this incident occurred in Australia. Not too long ago, Australia implemented draconian gun laws. I don't think citizens have the protection of the 2nd Amendment.

In the U.S. there is a saying: "Better to be tried by 12 than carried by six."

I think this shooter would have trouble in the U.S. shooting "through" the door. Suppose someone was banging on the door and this had nothing to do with your phone not working? You might shoot an innocent person. The incident indicates that it might be a good idea to keep a working cell phone nearby. You could call 911 and they might or might not arrive soon enough. Good to keep a good firearm handy and be proficient with it.

The NRA publishes the American Rifleman each month which contains a column "The Armed Citizen." The column contains true stories whereby citizens have defended themselves with a firearm from thugs. The stories give an idea of the breadth of situations where people have defended themselves.
Posted by: Firearms Instructor || 06/27/2007 11:05 Comments || Top||

#4  The headline links to The Age, an Australian newspaper. Some of Rantburg's Australian correspondents have said there are still a lot of guns over there, and they're used as necessary. I suspect the jury will vote the use was justified. Especially if it turns out the youths are "Lebanese", the term they use for Muslim immigrants.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 12:15 Comments || Top||

#5  As far as I am concerned, he did the would-be intruders a favor. The alternative would have left at least one of them dead.
Posted by: gorb || 06/27/2007 14:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Yep, I would've maintained better fire discipline; waited until one of the assailants crossed the threshold of my domicile before sending rounds down range. However, if they had a cro-bar and were trying to pry their way in I don't see that he needed to wait - that cro-bar becoming a deadly weapons itself - hopefully the jury throws this one out.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 18:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Unless he had a glass door he was not able to see what he was shooting at. He really should not shoot without knowing that, and what/who was downrange, especially with a rifle. He'd have been well advised to use a shotgun instead, and wait until he could see his target. And kill it.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/27/2007 19:35 Comments || Top||

-Short Attention Span Theater-
4 Alarm Fire Tests Firefighters
Rochester N.Y. city firefighters are at the scene of a 4 alarm fire on the city’s northeast side this afternoon. Heavy smoke covers the area as a paper and cardboard recycling plant complex burns. The fire is at at J C Fibers, 315 Hollenbeck Street.

Many suburban fire companies have been brought in the fill in city firehouses. Others are standing by in their quarters.

The Red Cross is assisting many families evacuated from their homes. Streets in the area are closed.

On scene interviews of firefighters indicated that initial interior entry was forced to fall back. The fire is currently being fought from the exterior due to heat and heavy smoke. Pics at link
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 06/27/2007 16:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under:

Michael Moore wants iPhone launch delayed, Attacks Steve Jobs
Cupertino, CA (HLN) – Controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is accusing Apple Inc. and AT&T of using the iPhone to distract attention from his new movie “Sicko”, which opens in US theaters on the same day the hyped phone goes on sale.

“This is an appalling display of greed and jealousy,” said Moore after a recent screening of his new movie. “Apple and AT&T obviously don’t care about fixing America’s healthcare system. They only care about how many iPhones they’re going to sell.”

Moore’s film criticizes the American medical establishment and suggests that it’s time for the country to consider a universal health system such as those in Cuba, France and Britain.

In a speech to reporters, Michael Moore blasted Apple CEO and longtime Democrat Steve Jobs for not postponing the iPhone’s launch until after his movie is released.

“I don’t see how Steve Jobs can call himself a ‘liberal’ and then try to silence my film,” said Moore. “Americans should be learning about our corrupt healthcare system on Friday, but instead they’re going to be lining up for a silly $600 dollar gadget.”

Apple may sell as many as 200,000 iPhones in the product's first two days on the market after sales begin at 6 p.m. Friday and as many as 3 million in the second half of the year, according to the most optimistic analyst estimates.

The “Sicko” director also accused former Vice President Al Gore, who sits on the board of directors at Apple Inc., of trying to steer people away from the film.

"Al Gore has a vested self-interest in making sure my film isn’t seen by the public,” said Moore.” Not only will he profit if people spend their money on iPhones instead of my film, he also doesn’t want my documentary to overshadow his crusade against global warming.”
Posted by: Delphi || 06/27/2007 13:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I wonder what's gonna happen to Mr. I'm-a-champion-of-the-working-class Moore when he finally figures out which specific class is gonna be thrown under the bus in the quest to fix global warming.
Posted by: Abdominal Snowman || 06/27/2007 14:33 Comments || Top||

#2  This isn't Scrappleface or the Onion?
Posted by: Mike || 06/27/2007 14:48 Comments || Top||

#3  "It's all about meeeeeeeee!!"

Could it be that ticket sales are not going well?
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 14:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Jeez, Mikey, why didn't you have them check out that humongously swollen ego when you were down in Cuba? They might've been able to do something to help cure it, like...make you live in Cuba.
Posted by: tu3031 || 06/27/2007 14:57 Comments || Top||

#5  This is from REASON:
Sicko also introduces us to Diane, whose brain tumor operation was initially denied by Horizon BlueCross because it didn't consider her condition "life threatening." She eventually received treatment, but "not without battling the insurance companies," Moore says.
Jack Szmyt found himself in a similar situation. After waiting two months for his initial diagnosis—he too had a brain tumor—Szmyt was told that it would be another month until doctors could start the necessary treatment. Rather than wait in a queue, he borrowed $30,000 from a friend, and flew to a private clinic in Germany. Had he not sought private treatment abroad, his German doctor said, he would likely have died. When contacted by the media, his insurer, again the Swedish government, said it didn't consider the assigned waiting period "unreasonable."
Such examples suggest that Moore's depiction of European-style medicine as an easy panacea for America's problems is rather more complicated than presented. Massive queues and cash shortages have plagued all of the systems profiled—and celebrated—in Sicko. In the case of Cuba, whose system Moore also praises, this includes shortage of basic medical materials and medicine. And the credulous audience member is none the wiser.

Posted by: Deacon Blues || 06/27/2007 15:02 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, Mikey, as a disgruntled shareholder, those bastards at AT&T had better be obsessed about how many of those damn phones they sell.....
Posted by: Swamp Blondie || 06/27/2007 15:20 Comments || Top||

#7  "Attention Whore, party of one, your table is ready..."
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 17:10 Comments || Top||

#8  He is just mad his fat finger doesn't work on the IPod screen.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 17:20 Comments || Top||

#9  Deacon Blues is on the money. Here in Oz we have socialized medicine, and it's medicine by Bureaucratic fiat and you can't sue the government.
Posted by: phil_b || 06/27/2007 18:20 Comments || Top||

#10  I thought this was scrappleface or the onion as well. If not, then Moore is a bigger ego-maniac then I could've ever imagined.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 19:19 Comments || Top||

#11  He's just pissed because he can't eat an ifone or 20.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/27/2007 20:13 Comments || Top||

#12  Aha, I knew the main cause (narcissism) of the mental illness known as leftism would rear it's head soon enough.

narcissism + projection + envy = Leftism
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/27/2007 20:44 Comments || Top||

#13  socialized medicine is really extortion funded treatment rationing.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/27/2007 20:45 Comments || Top||

#14  I wonder if he stays fact because he has no discipline or if it's some way to gain credibility by substitution - Everytime some conservative pundit takes a pot shot at his weight he says "see, they're just mean & nasty and distract from the issue."
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 20:46 Comments || Top||

#15  This page is satire. All the links on it go to www.liquidgeneration.com
Posted by: markwark || 06/27/2007 21:24 Comments || Top||

Interns carried state data home nightly
A state office had been sending backup data tapes home with interns for two or three years before a tape with sensitive information was stolen from an intern's car last week, The Dispatch has learned.

In fact, it appears that the former technical manager for the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System didn't use regular state employees -- only two or three interns besides himself -- to take the data home on a rotating basis for safekeeping, said Ron Sylvester, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

"On its face, with what we know today, this seems like a questionable decision," Sylvester said.

State Rep. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, was more blunt.

"Not since Monica Lewinsky have we seen an intern with such access," Hottinger said yesterday after voting with the rest of the state Controlling Board to spend more than $700,000 to deal with the fallout so far from the June 10 theft of the backup tape.

The manager, Carl Miller, retired May 31, Sylvester said. Miller, who records show was hired by the state in 1977 and earned $116,063 last year, couldn't be reached. His pay worked out to $54.10 an hour; the intern made $10.50.

Gov. Ted Strickland has confirmed that the tape stolen from intern Jared A. Ilovar's car holds myriad crucial data, including Social Security numbers of state employees and their dependents, identities of welfare recipients plus banking information for school districts, local governments and others.

According to a state policy that officials said was last updated in April 2002, two backup copies were to be made each day of the data in the state's $158 million payroll and accounting system, known as OAKS. The current day's backup tape was to be maintained on site in the network administrator's office, and the previous day's backup tapes were to be taken to the network administrator's home in case of a fire or other disaster at the office.

But as the project became more active and resources became stretched, Miller started assigning interns for a week at a time to take a backup copy home every day, Sylvester said.

Yesterday, the bipartisan Controlling Board voted unanimously to spend as much as $731,000 for the initial response to the data theft, after complaining about what Hottinger called the "mind-boggling" policy of sending sensitive data home with a 22-year-old intern.

The spending includes up to $631,000 for Texas-based Debix Inc. to provide free-to-employees identity-theft protection and prevention services for non-university state workers and their dependents who are enrolled in the state's benefits program.

The cost to the state is $9.75 for each of about 140,000 eligible employees and dependents who sign up for the service. But Strickland said he doesn't expect all state workers to use the service because only about a quarter of those eligible in such situations elsewhere have signed up.

About 11,000 state employees and dependents had requested the service as of yesterday, Sylvester said.

The panel also earmarked up to $100,000 for Interhack Corp. of Columbus to assess the security of the new state accounting setup and to verify that state officials have identified all important data that have been stolen.

Meanwhile, the investigation of the theft and search for the missing tape continued yesterday. Nearly 50 State Highway Patrol cadets searched the area where the theft was reported in Hilliard, and a toll-free tip line has received five calls, Lt. Tony Bradshaw said.

Budget Director J. Pari Sabety said the administration is considering offering a reward for the tape.

Strickland has said that there is no evidence the data have been accessed and that it would take specialized knowledge and equipment to do so.

But experts have said because the sensitive data were not encrypted -- a step Strickland has now ordered -- it may be possible for the right person to read the tape.

Curtin, the founder of Interhack, said it would take time, expertise and money for someone to read the tape. Because the state has notified those whose personal data may be affected, it would be difficult for a thief to use the information, he argued.

"So at this point now, if somebody tries to use the data, they're going to be found out pretty quickly," he said.

School districts and Medicaid providers that potentially could have their bank accounts revealed were cautious but not overly concerned yesterday.

As they were encouraged to do by state officials, many school treasurers notified their banks about the potential exposure.

"The bank account and routing number is on every check we issue so it's not as much concern as the tax identification number of the district," said Bexley Schools Treasurer Chris Essman.

Sylvester has said other entities in state government also have been sending backup data home with employees, but that the practice was not widespread and has been stopped.

The backup OAKS tape now is sent daily to a second state facility to be stored securely.

Curtin said the practice of sending backup data home with employees is fairly common because of the cost involved in hiring a company to do it or using another facility.

Dispatch Senior Editor Joe Hallett and reporters James Nash and Catherine Candisky contributed to this story.


"Not since Monica Lewinsky have we seen an intern with such access."

State Rep. Jay Hottinger
For additional health information, visit OhioHealth
Posted by: Delphi || 06/27/2007 11:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Not since Monica Lewinsky have we seen an intern with such access."

Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark. :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/27/2007 20:18 Comments || Top||

-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Oh the horror - gene-modified tomatoes taste better
Shoppers who miss the taste of farm-grown tomatoes may find solace in a new technology that puts back what generations of breeding for hardiness and shelf life have taken out. A new variety of tomato has been genetically modified (GM) to produce geraniol, a rose-smelling compound found in fruits and flowers. In a blind taste test, 60 percent of 37 testers preferred the flavor of the GM tomato, according to a study published online this week in Nature Biotechnology.
The result proves that genetic modification can potentially restore some of the flavor and aroma lost as breeders have created more durable strains of tomatoes and other crops ...
more at the link
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pleaaaaaaaase! The people who tasted the tomatoes were Americans. Given how vegetables in America are comerecialized (supermarket chains buying not to producers or even to local non-retial salers but tio nationwide chains, Americans have no chance at all to know how a tomato tastes.

I will take the study seriously when the sam:ple is formed of Italians or Spaniards. Preferrrently when it is formed of peoplle from small cities in tomazto producing regions.
Posted by: JFM || 06/27/2007 4:39 Comments || Top||

#2  A great many people here grow their own tomatoes, JFM, precisely because the Holland-grown hothouse ones are so dreadful. There's no dearth of Americans who are very clear about what tomatoes are supposed to taste like.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 5:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Heck, when I was stationed in Greece, I had friends who swore up and down they had always hated tomatoes... and then they came to Greece, and got to taste real tomatoes, and then it was a different story.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 06/27/2007 8:04 Comments || Top||

#4  We used to grow heritage varieties, a few plants each year. Baskets of tomatoes. Couldn't possibly transport them more than a few miles to market, but oh were they sweet and delicious!

I have seeds that are viable, just no time this year to have a garden. Next year, tho ...
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 8:38 Comments || Top||

#5  It's the same with carrots, there are crossbreeds that taste great, but the supermarkets don't handle them. Shop at the farm markets.
Posted by: wxjames || 06/27/2007 9:29 Comments || Top||

#6  The farmer's market is the best way to go for good tasting veggies. Oletha corn.... Best in the world.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/27/2007 10:34 Comments || Top||

#7  Cross tomatoes with cucumbers.
Posted by: KBK || 06/27/2007 10:55 Comments || Top||

#8  Surely that's haram, KBK.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 12:03 Comments || Top||

#9  Cross tomatoes with cucumbers.

It has been already done in Holland. They look like tomatoes but taste like cucumbers.
Posted by: JFM || 06/27/2007 12:32 Comments || Top||

#10  This smacks of fixing past broken seed stock.

We grow stickily heirlooms. Screw the perfect hybrid's. I could care less if the tomatoes have spots and legs, just as long as they are real and not some poor tasting perfect skinned hollow shells.

Posted by: Icerigger || 06/27/2007 14:15 Comments || Top||

#11  #9 JFM - When they invent a crossbreed that looks like a cucumber but tastes like a tomato, get back to me. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/27/2007 20:16 Comments || Top||

Kuwait: The 99 - Super Heroes of the Muslim world
This was on Frontline last night on PBS. Rather interesting. The cartoon creator wanted a alternative to Pokemon cartoons in his own country of Kuwait. He was a graduate of Columbia University in New York. I was surprised that the more fundamentalist's clerics weren't too happy with this writers interpretation of of Mohammed's 99 attributes and was actively trying to get this cartoon banned despite it's popularity. The cartoon creator attempted to create a image of Islam in a more moderate perspective and not one of suicide bombers commonly associated as hero's in the Muslim world.

Q: How did you get started on The 99?

A: I had just finished business school, and I was in a London cab going from Edgware Road to Harris. It was the summer. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. And my sister turned to me and said, “Naif, do you remember that you told me after school you’d go back to writing?” I said, “[Selma], for me to go back now it’s got to have the potential of Pokemon. Otherwise it just doesn’t make sense.”

And this is where luck or fate first struck my project, because, had I said Superman or Batman or Spider-Man or any man, The 99 would not have been born, because what happened in my mind was the following. I said Pokemon. My next thought was there had been a fatwah issued against Pokemon in this region. My next thought was, my god, who are these people? And who appointed them to be spokespeople for Islam? My next thought was of Allah: how disappointed he must be. My next thought was that Allah had 99 attributes. And that brought me full circle back to Pokemon, which is a concept of 300 attributes. Now at the end of that cab ride, I turned to my sister and I said, “What do you think of this?” And she liked the idea and, from there, it just captured my mind.

Q: What did you set out to do with The 99?

A:In today’s world, you know, we’re inundated with comics or cartoons on TV and satellite. It’s not like 30 years ago, when there wasn’t much of that around. So I would hope that, for some kids, it’s giving their parents a reason to allow [them to see] this material versus something else, because I know a lot of people who don’t let their kids read Spider-Man and Batman. And I know a lot of people who don’t let their kids watch TV. But this is something that’s fun but safe, you know, because in The 99, there won’t be stories about dating. There’s not going to be any alcohol. There’s not going to be any sex. But we’re not going to preach about the non-use of these things. We’re just going keep away. It’s also culturally acceptable. You know, you don’t have to worry about the bad guy ending up with an Arab name or Muslim identity.

More at link including a video of the broadcast that will posted June 28th.
Posted by: Delphi || 06/27/2007 11:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Mohammed's 99 attributes" Child rapist, murderer, terrorist, common caravan thief, cult leader... Oh ya, real good kid stuff.
Posted by: Icerigger || 06/27/2007 14:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Thank God! I was sick of all the dating, sex and alcohol in DC and Marvel comics, too!
Posted by: Swamp Blondie || 06/27/2007 15:15 Comments || Top||

#3  But this is something that’s fun but safe, you know, because in The 99, there won’t be stories about dating. There’s not going to be any alcohol. There’s not going to be any sex.

Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
It'a a plane!
No...wait... nah, it's just some Muslim guy.
Posted by: tu3031 || 06/27/2007 16:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Okay I want a piece of this action, where's that trademark stamp at. I got dibs on these alternate identities:

Acid Boy
Mr. Fatwa
Johnny Jihadi
The Flying Turban

sample dialogue:
"holy mohammad's beard Pedophilerman! I heard your sister has just been raped; and there's the men who did the act, whatever shall we do?" "Not to fear Acid Boy, check your utility bomb belt and get the extra-strength industrial chloric acid, that should take care of that dishonorable harlot...."

the possibilities are endless
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 19:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Come to think of it - sense the whole koran is basically a comic book without the pictures and with about the same amount of realism as a normal X-Men issue I'd say he's got something there.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 06/27/2007 19:31 Comments || Top||

#6  PBS writer is culturally illiterate.

It's Allah that has 99 attributes, not Mohammed. And Muslims are quite clear that the Prophet is not God.
Posted by: lotp || 06/27/2007 19:40 Comments || Top||

Imams put fatwa on carp caught in Tigris
For centuries Iraqi fishermen have plied the waters of the Tigris, netting giant freshwater fish and preparing them for the traditional masgouf dinner, served on Baghdad’s palm-fringed river banks.

But in a gruesome twist to the war, the country’s national dish is under threat because even the most devoted fish-lovers are concerned about what else lurks beneath the green waters of the ancient river.

Abu Ayyad, 55, comes from a family of Tigris fishermen. His father fished the waters in Baghdad, as did his grandfather and, he believes, generations before that. Now, though, he is reduced to preparing and serving farmed carp because the public refuses to eat fish taken from the river.

“Personally, I still think the river fish is the best, but because of the situation few of my customers will touch it,” said the masgouf seller, who runs a grotty roadside stall in the Jadriyeh neighbourhood of Baghdad.

By the “situation” he means that so many bodies have been dumped in the river during the sectarian bloodletting that has divided the capital that residents do not go near the water. They would certainly not consume what comes out of it, particularly the large fish that feed off the Tigris riverbed.

Some Islamic religious leaders have even issued fatwas, declaring that fish caught in the river are unclean and unfit for human consumption.

“I still like to eat fish once a week, but it is not quite the same as before,” said Ali, a regular customer, who stopped by Abu Ayyad’s stall yesterday to select a fish for cooking and then returned later to pick it up for his family’s lunch. “We have only been eating farmed fish for the past year.”

The traditional recipe has been prepared in Baghdad for centuries. In happier times the fishermen would bring their boats up along the banks and prepare brushwood fires. The fish would be cleaned, gutted and cut down the back to form a circle and then grilled upright against an open fire.

Whole families would sit out in the cool of the evening and consume masgouf with bread and salads. To this day masgouf is still prepared by Iraqi exiles, including members of the once-vibrant Jewish community, who were forced out of the country half a century ago.

But, like in so many parts of modern Iraq, the conflict has destroyed the old traditions. The once-popular stretch of river, known as Abu Nawas, where masgouf restaurants were open late into the night is a no-go area these days for vehicles and most pedestrians.

Located directly opposite Baghdad’s heavily protected green zone, where the American and British embassies are, it is a dangerous place to visit, particularly after dark, when insurgents have been known to use the area as a firing point for mortars and rockets.

Instead, masgouf lovers have to resort to buying their fish on the grubby roadside amid swarms of flies and car exhaust fumes. A good-sized fish can still feed a family, but the magic of the meal has been lost.

“Hopefully, one day we can go back to the old ways and have our masgouf as it should be beside the Tigris,” said Ali, grabbing his takeaway fish and rushing back home. “Until then this is the best we can do.”

National dish

— Abu Ayyad’s masgouf recipe:

— Take large freshwater fish, preferably carp caught in Tigris or Euphrates

— Scale, gut and clean

— Cut along back and open up so that fish is flat and round

— Season with salt

— Place in barbecue grill

— Cook upright beside open wood fire

— Season with lemon

— Serve with bread and salads. Eat with fingers, ideally in the evening in the open air along river bank
Posted by: Delphi || 06/27/2007 13:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

#1  carp eat grass and algae not meat.
Posted by: 3dc || 06/27/2007 14:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Quit yer carping, Mullah! You're gill-ty of publishing silly fatwas that would not lure even the most gill-able of your followers. Enough of this back-baiting nonsense, chum!
Posted by: Mike || 06/27/2007 17:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Carp eat amphipods. Amphipods clean the carcasses of dead bodies. I think I will just have a glass of sterilized mammalian milk tonight. I'm not hungry anymore.
Posted by: JohnnieBartlett || 06/27/2007 19:51 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Indonesian VP OKs Marijuana As Spice
Marijuana possession should remain a crime in Indonesia, but chefs who use the herb as a traditional way to season curries should not be arrested, the country's vice president told local reporters.

Cooks in parts of Indonesia _ a nation that executes drug traffickers _ say they use tiny amounts of crushed marijuana leaves or seeds as a spice in certain dishes.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Vice President Yusuf Kalla said there was "no way" Indonesia would legalize or decriminalize marijuana as some countries in western Europe have done.

"It is all right to use it as a food seasoning, but it should not be fully legalized," Kalla was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.

Kalla did not address the problems such a stance might pose to police tasked with arresting marijuana users. Officers have never previously cracked down on the use of marijuana in the kitchen or said the practice was a particular problem.

Kalla and the police chief both reiterated their support for the death penalty for drug traffickers, noting that neighboring Malaysia and Singapore also execute offenders.
Posted by: Delphi || 06/27/2007 14:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [349 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I used it in college to spice up brownies. They taste great. So good you almost couldn't stop eating them after a while.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 06/27/2007 17:13 Comments || Top||

#2  He who controls the spice...controls the universe!
That, and it turns your eyes into that real cool all blue.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 06/27/2007 17:36 Comments || Top||

#3  At least he was smart enough not to mention his cocaine foot powder.
Posted by: ryuge || 06/27/2007 23:14 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Father & Son Try To Kidnap Daughter's Fiancé
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A Bucks County father was accused of going to extremes to break-up his daughter's romance. Police said the father and his son tried to kidnap her fiancé by beating him up and tossing him into a sport utility vehicle.

"The victim advised me that his fiancée's family was trying to kill him, drag him into a car and take him somewhere, where he believed he was going to be killed," Middletown Township police officer Robert Webber said. Webber added, the alleged victim told him his fiancée's family was upset the two had moved in together. He said there were cultural differences and that's why 48-year-old Mohd Nasher and his son 20-year-old Mohammed Nasher were allegedly gunning for the fiancé.

Webber said, "The father and son came in, grabbed our victim, pulled him outside, began choking and beating him. Drug him into the back of a Ford Explorer and that's where they advised him that they were going to take him somewhere. He jumped out the other side window in fear for his life and as he went to run away the father told him, 'I'm going to find you and I'm going to shoot you.' The son went and grabbed a bat and went to chase after him."

Both Nashers were charged with assault and kidnapping. They both posted $20,000 cash bail and were released. NBC 10 left several voicemails asking for comment and when a call was returned, a woman who did not identify herself said this was not a criminal case but a family matter between them and their daughter's boyfriend. The woman NBC 10 spoke with also said she would sue if NBC 10 did the story, saying, "That's the problem with this country, we put everything on TV."

"It's a little more than a family matter. Once you touch somebody or put your hands on somebody and try to harm them, that's when we come into the situation," Webber said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 14:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whoops! That was supposed to be posted to p.5 Local. My abject apologies to the moderator who fixes this.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/27/2007 14:12 Comments || Top||

#2  And they're not named Smith or Jones (or even Nillsen or Schwartz).

Why am I not surprised?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/27/2007 14:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Christ, they're not even named Hatfield or McCoy...
Posted by: imoyaro || 06/27/2007 14:19 Comments || Top||

#4  "That's the problem with this country, we put everything on TV."

Oh, yeah - and lady (and I use the term very loosely), if you don't like the way we do things in this country, LEAVE.

I hear Gaza approves of this crap is lovely this time of year.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/27/2007 14:20 Comments || Top||

#5  I suspect they were just trying to scare the guy. The standard for honor killings is they take out the woman. The fact that they're only threatening the fiance simply shows that they've assimilated. Somewhat.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 06/27/2007 14:35 Comments || Top||

#6  Been to Bucks County, 'tis real pretty there...
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/27/2007 14:38 Comments || Top||

#7  Mohammed Nasher

Posted by: gromky || 06/27/2007 15:52 Comments || Top||

#8  Problem is Zhang...he's khaffir, while she's property - kinda throws a wrench into it. Most honor killings are green-on-green. Someone says they're gonna kill ya, you're a fool not to take em at their word.
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 06/27/2007 17:31 Comments || Top||

#9  Until I saw the names I was wondering if this was just a shivaree gone too far.
Posted by: xbalanke || 06/27/2007 18:09 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2007-06-27
  Lebanon arrests 40 Fatah al-Islam gunnies
Tue 2007-06-26
  Tony Blair to be confirmed as Middle East envoy
Mon 2007-06-25
  Boomer kills 6 UN soldiers in south Lebanon
Sun 2007-06-24
  Lal Masjid Students Free Chinese Women
Sat 2007-06-23
  Larijani admits Iran financing Hamas
Fri 2007-06-22
  Paks post reward for murdering Rushdie
Thu 2007-06-21
  Leb Army takes over Nahr al-Bared
Wed 2007-06-20
  Boom kills 78 in Baghdad
Tue 2007-06-19
  Pakistan: U.S. Missile Kills 32 Hard Boyz
Mon 2007-06-18
  Abbas' new PM outlaws Hamas
Sun 2007-06-17
  Looters raid Arafat's house, steal his Nobel Peace Prize
Sat 2007-06-16
  US launches new offensive around Baghdad
Fri 2007-06-15
  Abbas dissolves unity govt
Thu 2007-06-14
  Beirut boom kills another anti-Syrian lawmaker
Wed 2007-06-13
  Qaeda emir in Mosul banged

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