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At least 27 dead in Afghanistan mosque suicide blast
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 3: Non-WoT
3 00:00 Silentbrick [410] 
2 00:00 Throluth Clush3562 [277] 
1 00:00 Raj [285] 
20 00:00 2b [416] 
6 00:00 Frank G [314] 
8 00:00 Captain America [413] 
18 00:00 too true [268] 
2 00:00 rhodesiafever [270] 
14 00:00 Angie Schultz [305] 
7 00:00 mhw [273] 
7 00:00 Super Hose [404] 
4 00:00 Alaska Paul [266] 
11 00:00 Grunter [399] 
15 00:00 Phil Fraering [292] 
14 00:00 phil_b [850] 
1 00:00 Omeper Slumble4385 [305] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
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3 00:00 Jack is Back! [294]
2 00:00 thibaud (aka lex) [310]
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Page 2: WoT Background
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9 00:00 Pappy [287]
1 00:00 .com [293]
6 00:00 Dr Scholls [279]
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12 00:00 Frank G [273]
7 00:00 Shipman [268]
2 00:00 Barbara Skolaut [426]
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Page 4: Opinion
4 00:00 mojo [277]
-Short Attention Span Theater-
At least! A serious contender for islam! Now, where did I put my lightsaber? Oh, the star wars kid would be so proud!...
Those adorable Wookiees are coming again to a theater near you. Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith, projected to be the final Star Wars film, was released in theaters nationwide on May 18. It has been exactly three years since the last film in the series, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (May 2002), and 28 years to the month since the first film, now titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (May 1977), were released. What is startling about the George Lucas-inspired Star Wars phenomenon is not the advent of another movie, but the real ways in which people around the world appear to be forming a religion out of the Zen-like, Tao-like words and actions of the characters.

The Anglican Digest reported in its Lent 2005 issue that the first school to teach Jedi was recently opened in Romania. “Courses at the Star Wars Academy include the correct use of light saber swords, and lessons on how to speak Wookiee, the language of violent furry creatures in the films. The academy’s founder, Adrian Pavel, said he decided to open the school in response to requests from fans,” wrote The Anglican Digest editors.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Greretle Shuger3573 || 06/01/2005 08:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sad they are, yesss, rost and ronery, yesss. Direction they need, yesss.

Worse, it could be.
Posted by: .com || 06/01/2005 9:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Jedi: Because kids who work at 7-11 can't afford Scientology.
Posted by: BH || 06/01/2005 9:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I wonder how many of those who entered "Jedi" for religion also entered "yes" for sex?
Posted by: VAMark || 06/01/2005 10:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Damn, it has happened again! It should be "anon5089", dammit! I do care, i do have an ego. Apparently, each time I post from the main site and not the aach one, I'm given an another nick (note the preview sez "anon5089"). Plus, I distinctly remember putting the whole title, not just "jedi". Dark forces are at work against me, I can feel it...
Posted by: anonymous5089 aka "the gallic star wars kid" || 06/01/2005 11:19 Comments || Top||

#5  The BBC reported three years ago...that at least 70,000 people in Australia declared themselves as followers of the Jedi “faith” in the last Australian census.

Those first three words should give us all pause. Here's the Snopes entry on the subject. It sounds more as if some pranksters/fans wanted to mess with the census, than a serious attempt to get "Jedi" recognized as a religion.

Methinks Mr. Sweeney is a rather gullible fellow.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 06/01/2005 11:23 Comments || Top||

#6  Mrs Schultz, of course this is not too serious, especially given the linked site; I reckon the main point of this is to make fun of the "Star Wars"(Tm) afficionados ("Get a life, dammit!").
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 06/01/2005 11:46 Comments || Top||

#7  Initiate order 66.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 06/01/2005 11:48 Comments || Top||

more than 390,000 people in England declared themselves Jedi in their census of the same year—a shocking number when you consider that only 260,000 people in England declared themselves to be Jewish
What's so shocking about it?

There could be overlap - no reason there can't be Jewish Jedi (except perhaps education and common sense ;-p).
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/01/2005 12:14 Comments || Top||

#9  ...I reckon the main point of this is to make fun of the "Star Wars"(Tm) afficionados...

I reckon, too. But he's making fun of them for (in that case) a joke they're playing on someone else. Seems a bit dense.

Better he should make fun of Lucas for saying he put the Force in the story to get young people to think about God. I detect the aroma of bovine by-product. He put it into the stories so some of his characters could have kewl powers. And why not? But, no, now he has to read his own press releases, and invest his tales with Deep Meaning. Feh.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 06/01/2005 12:36 Comments || Top||

#10  I for one like to sample the cornucopia of the gray side of the force on suitable occasions.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 13:40 Comments || Top||

Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 15:28 Comments || Top||

#12  Link
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 15:30 Comments || Top||

#13  never mind
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 15:30 Comments || Top||

#14  I for one like to sample the cornucopia of the gray side of the force on suitable occasions.

Hey, did you know duct tape is like the Force? It has a bright side and a dark side and binds the Universe together.

Oh, you did know that, huh? Sorry.
slinks away
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 06/01/2005 16:22 Comments || Top||

I got some good laughs out of these video's...... you might also ?

Video #1 : Short news report on "Prophet Yahweh" aka Ramon Watkins calling down UFO'.

Here's the site .

I like video LA5, doesn't it look so so so um colorful. And then came along this picture.

Here's his offical site . "I felt compelled to go outside, with my students, and ask YAHWEH, in the exact same manner prophets in the bible summoned sightings, to send a UFO for us to see."

Prophet Yahweh to call UFOs over Las Vegas

"For only 45 days, starting June 1st until July 15, 2005, Prophet Yahweh, Seer of Yahweh, will be calling down UFOs and spaceships for the news media to film and photograph. During this time, a spaceship will descend, on Prophet's signal, and sit in the skies over Las Vegas, Nevada for almost two days."
Posted by: Spavirt Pheng6042 || 06/01/2005 07:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [273 views] Top|| File under:

#1  well lol, that didn't quite work - so heres some links to copy n paste into your browswer address bar.

* Has video's prophet yahweh has taken of these so called U.F.O's + radio interviews.

* Video News story

* Pictures of "Prophet Yahweh" with some balloons - LoL

* His official wacky site
"I felt compelled to go outside, with my students, and ask YAHWEH, in the exact same manner prophets in the bible summoned sightings, to send a UFO for us to see."

sorry about the screw up, i did use the 'link' button to add the URL's
Posted by: Spavirt Pheng6042 || 06/01/2005 9:45 Comments || Top||

#2  You forgot to highlight (select) the text you want to make "hot" before you hit the link button - which "wraps" the highlighted text with the link tags. All of your links (they're there - just invisible cuz they) encompass null strings.

This should prove entertaining. I presume the excuses are all in place and ready to roll to explain away the lack of appearances. Somehow, I'm sure they'll find a way to blame Bush. It's all the rage.
Posted by: .com || 06/01/2005 9:52 Comments || Top||

#3  The link i posted for the video's is actually directed to the audio interviews.

Here's the link to the video archive

Posted by: Spavirt Pheng6042 || 06/01/2005 10:46 Comments || Top||

#4  Balloon scam.
Posted by: Black Bozo || 06/01/2005 13:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Preparing the Black French WarKite of Death for launch on 10 minutes notice. Damn, wait a second, I still need to trade off the christmas lights for LEDs.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 13:43 Comments || Top||

#6  "Calling occupants of interplanetary craft . . . "
Posted by: Mike || 06/01/2005 14:43 Comments || Top||

#7  I'll be in LVegas June 3-7.

If I see any UFOs, I'll report back.
Posted by: mhw || 06/01/2005 15:53 Comments || Top||

First Major Grass-Burning Power Station Planned For Britain This Year
Posted by: Spavirt Pheng6042 || 06/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [399 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I was expecting the Cheech & Chong picture here.
Posted by: Jackal || 06/01/2005 0:10 Comments || Top||

#2  You mean a power station burning marijuana? Does that mean the British have found a use for Galloway and similare leftists ? (connecting them to the grid)
Posted by: JFM || 06/01/2005 1:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Which way does the wind blow?
Posted by: Cynic || 06/01/2005 6:54 Comments || Top||

#4  "Burning elephant grass would only release the carbon dioxide that the plants soaked up anyway while they were growing, she said in the newspaper."
Same is true for gas and oil, which derive from plants.
Posted by: Tom || 06/01/2005 8:07 Comments || Top||

#5  More Kyoto inspired and funded idiocy, consuming far more cheap energy than it produces. Planting Oak and Pine trees would be much more ecological friendly, but then people would get upset when they were cut down to burn in a power station, hence Elephant Grass an abomination everyone will hate.
Posted by: phil_b || 06/01/2005 8:13 Comments || Top||

#6  The Guardian said the plant could be a key element in the quest to tackle climate change - one of Blair's priorities this year as Britain holds the presidency of the Group of Eight powers and prepares to take on that of the European Union from July 1.

Yes, as we all know, Blair paying attention to this for 1 year will solve ALL of Kyoto's problems, eh? And, I thought the EU was dead..so Blair's taking the Presidency of a non-functioning union on July 1?
Posted by: BA || 06/01/2005 8:25 Comments || Top||

#7  The Guardian said the plant could be a key element in the quest to tackle climate change - one of Blair's priorities this year as Britain holds the presidency of the Group of Eight powers and prepares to take on that of the European Union from July 1.

Yes, as we all know, Blair paying attention to this for 1 year will solve ALL of Kyoto's problems, eh? And, I thought the EU was dead..so Blair's taking the Presidency of a non-functioning union on July 1?
Posted by: BA || 06/01/2005 8:25 Comments || Top||

#8  Sorry! Double post.
Posted by: BA || 06/01/2005 8:26 Comments || Top||

#9  HEY! The Norks NEED that grass to eat!
Posted by: Korora || 06/01/2005 17:08 Comments || Top||

#10  elephant grass?

like for the world really biggest bong?

im always on lookout for elephant mushrooms myself
Posted by: half || 06/01/2005 18:11 Comments || Top||

#11  To anyone who has ever tried to burn a pile of lawn clippings, this looks like a scam. How do they plan to get grass dry enough to burn efficiently? And imagine the amount of smoke it would produce.
Posted by: Grunter || 06/01/2005 22:25 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
A year into UN mission, new unrest erupts in Haiti
Boy howdy, wonder how the crack Rantburg editorial staff missed that prediction.
PORT-AU-PRINCE- Fresh unrest erupted in Haiti Tuesday, a year after 6,000 UN troops and 1,400 police arrived here and as the UN Security Council and as the UN failed to extend their stay through elections in a matter of months.

In the latest violence, the French embassy here said Paris' honorary counsel for the northern city of Cap Haitien had been badly wounded by gunshots fired at his car en route to the capital. And at least two people were killed by gunfire earlier Tuesday in the Haitian capital where a market was also burned down, witnesses said.
At some point there just isn't anything left in Haiti to burn.
An AFP photographer saw the bodies of two people killed by gunshots, as well as a wounded man rushed to a nearby hospital in a vehicle. According to market vendors several people were killed and wounded. There was also much property damage.

The violence, blamed on backers of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, occurred near Cite Soleil, one of Port-au-Prince's largest shantytowns and home to 300,000 persons.

Eric Bosc, a spokesman for the French embassy, said honorary counsel Paul-Henri Mourral was badly wounded by gunshots. "Mr. Mourral took several bullets around his abdomen while travelling in his car near the airport, en route from Cap Haitien to the capital," Bosc told AFP. The French representative, who owns a hotel in Cap Haitien, was rushed to the Saint-Joseph hospital here, where his condition is said to be serious, according to Bosc.

As the unrest flared, Port-au-Prince Mayor Carline Simon called for calm and denounced the acts, which she said "will not resolve the country's problems."
Not that the thug-boys really care, Carline.
Simon sought help from the Red Cross and police to rescue people threatened by the incidents. According to Haitian radio Tropic FM, blue-helmeted UN stabilization force soldiers and Haitian police took up positions after midday around the presidential palace. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in that area.

More than 620 people have been killed by gunfire in the past seven months, most in the capital, human rights groups say. Some Port-Au-Prince neighborhoods remain under the thumb of armed Aristide supporters, who continue to press for his return to power.

In New York meanwhile, the UN Security Council on Tuesday renewed its stabilization mission to Haiti for only 24 days, after failing to agree a longer deployment. The United States wants congressional approval before agreeing to field more troops, and China wants only a six-month extension because Haiti recognizes its rival, Taiwan. However, diplomats said it is unlikely that China, which holds a veto on the council, would scuttle the mission on the eve of Haiti's elections.
The question, and remember, death is not an option: what's more worthless, Haiti's diplomatic recognition of another country or Haiti's presidential election?
Last month Aristide said he would not run in the presidential election scheduled for later this year in his Caribbean homeland, the Americas' poorest country. Aristide, who has been living in exile in South Africa for almost a year, said he was barred by the constitution from seeking a third term.
The office of dicator, however, interests him keenly.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/01/2005 00:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Where's the MSM's daily and repetative reporting on the UN's failed mission in Haiti? Am I missing something here? Wonder why the silence from the 24 hour news services and al-Reuters?
Posted by: Throluth Clush3562 || 06/01/2005 7:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Why do you think TC3562?
Couldn't possibly have anything to do with not being an American failure could it?
Remember, no matter how big a failure, how many kids get raped, how much money disappears, Utopian Tranzi bullshit gets a pass each and everytime.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 06/01/2005 9:12 Comments || Top||

#3  no good hotels with bars left in Haiti
Posted by: Frank G || 06/01/2005 9:37 Comments || Top||

[Lone individual forcebly removed from UN press conference by angry blue-helmeted security personnel, who have had their lunch interrupted by an urgent call from Kofi.]
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 06/01/2005 10:05 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Khodorkovsky sentenced to nine years
RUSSIAN oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed for nine years by a Moscow court, yesterday, in a sentence that provoked a storm of international criticism. Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, was sentenced at the end of a marathon 12-day reading of a guilty verdict on six charges of fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion in Moscow's tiny Meschansky Court. George Bush, the United States president, led the criticism yesterday, saying "it looked like he had been judged guilty prior to having a fair trial". Supporters of the Russian tycoon insist he is the victim of a political prosecution, ordered by the Kremlin after Khodorkovsky began backing opposition parties. As the sentence was read Khodorkovsky, sitting in a steel cage flanked by armed policemen, sat looking straight ahead. Asked by one of the three-strong panel of judges if he understood, he said "no sane person" could understand the verdict.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have no sympathy for this parasitical oligarch who made his fortune by buying Russian national enterprises for pennies on the dollar when the Gorbachev privitization process took place. He's a pal of George Soros and Marc Rich, slimeballs par excellence, need I say more? Putty Putt Putin is no angel, but Putin is small potatoes evil as compared to the 15 oligarchs who rule Russia - one less oligarch is good for Russia's future.
Posted by: Omeper Slumble4385 || 06/01/2005 4:36 Comments || Top||

S. Korean, Japanese Patrol Boats Lock Horns Over Fishing EEZ
South Korean and Japanese maritime patrol boats were locked in an hours-long confrontation off the coast of the southeastern port city of Ulsan Wednesday over a South Korean fishing boat that Japanese police claim had crossed into Japanese waters.

The Japanese patrol boats sought to tow away a South Korean fishing boat as Japan claimed that the boat was fishing in the EEZ under its jurisdiction. But the South Korean Maritime Police also attempted to take away the boat to the port off Ulsan.

The 77-ton boat, named ``Shinpung-ho'' was allegedly spotted inside the EEZ under the Japanese jurisdiction early Wednesday morning. But the boat fled to the Korean side EEZ with two Japanese maritime policemen who boarded the ship to arrest them.

As the boat moved into the Korean's EEZ, the maritime patrol boats of the two countries vied for claiming their jurisdictional rights over the boat.

It also said that a struggle ensued as the Japanese police sought to arrest the South Korean fishermen. Two Japanese police officers fell into the water before they were rescued during the scuffle, and a South Korean fisherman suffered a head injury inflicted by the Japanese police.

The 39-year-old fisherman, named Hwang, was rushed to a hospital after he suffered an injury during a scuffle with two Japanese policemen who smashed windows of the pilothouse of the boat to arrest him.


The South Korean police said it could not punish the fishermen unless there is concrete evidence that they illegally fished inside the Japanese EEZ.

Of course not. Any reason to stand up to the Japanese aggressors.
Posted by: gromky || 06/01/2005 16:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ``Shinpung-ho''

Sounds like a sister to "Evoiks Away"
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 18:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Pass me the popcorn. This could be interesting. While the S.Koreans have forebodings about their northern cousin and the student population is in their late spring 'Yankee Go Home' runt, they really, really have a deep hard one for the Japanese and the less than quaint occupation of forty years from 1905-45.
Posted by: Throluth Clush3562 || 06/01/2005 18:45 Comments || Top||

StrategyPage: Kilos Headed for China in a Hurry
Russia is sending China the second of eight new Kilo class submarines this month. All eight boats are expected to be in service by next year. This is somewhat faster than expected. The Kilo is the best diesel-electric submarine the Russians have ever produced. Developed at the end of the Cold War (the 1980s), the design has undergone improvements since then. The Kilo is a 2,300 ton (surface displacement) boat with six torpedo tubes and a crew of 57. It is very quiet, and can travel about 700 kilometers under water at a quiet speed of about five kilometers an hour. Kilos carry 18 torpedoes or SS-N-27 anti-ship missiles (with a range of 300 kilometers and launched underwater from the torpedo tubes.) The combination of quietness and cruise missiles makes Kilo very dangerous to American carriers. The SS-N-27 has a half ton warhead, which won't sink a carrier, but could easily shut down aircraft operations for a while.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2005 07:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [404 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't buy that the Kilo is a huge threat to US carriers. I wouldn't throw them away against a US task force.

I would scatter them in packs as a threat to US/Taiwan/Japan shipping worldwide to help convince said powers that it's too expensive to fight for Taiwan.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 06/01/2005 10:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Diesel subs can be very deadly. They operate best in "Brown Water" environments where they can lay in wait for a ship to come by. Our sonar systems can not detect them very well and so the US navy tries to keep their "Blue Water" fleet in the deep where the diesels don't work very well.
Last I heard, the US was developing more fast attack boats to hunt diesel subs and provide assistance to special forces operations.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 06/01/2005 11:03 Comments || Top||

#3  That'n that spooky mobile sosus thingy.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 13:46 Comments || Top||

#4  We have some pretty effective anti-sub stuff in our carrier battlegroups. We have nuke boats which are even quieter, we have destroyers, planes, helicopters and sonar bouys.

I just don't think a Kilos gonna get a killshot on a carrier. They'd be far more productive as a threat to shipping than a reality as crushed metal on the seafloor.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 06/01/2005 18:18 Comments || Top||

#5  The Aussies have gotten kill shots on CVNs with diesel boats in blue water exercises. With time the Chinese will learn how to also.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 06/01/2005 18:33 Comments || Top||

#6  after a lot of dead first line experienced chinese submariners...who's the second line? you don't get good by just saying so...
Posted by: Frank G || 06/01/2005 20:06 Comments || Top||

#7  A submarine of any sort is a potent weapon only if the crew is trained through constant operational activity. Attacking a carrier battlegroup with an attached submarine asset and hordes of heliocopters isn't the same as blowing a bugle and swarming out of the Rat's Nest to rush the Pork Chop. The Chinese submariners will take up permanent residence in Bikini Bottom before they arrive within 200NM of a carrier task force.
Posted by: Super Hose || 06/01/2005 22:13 Comments || Top||

Now the Dutch say no
The Netherlands dealt an apparent death blow to the European Union constitution last night, with 63 per cent of the electorate rejecting the treaty, computer projections predicted.
Posted by: Fred || 06/01/2005 20:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [410 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Euro at an 8 month low. There are rumours in the financial press that a number of leveraged hedge funds are getting killed. Otherwise oil back up to just under $55/b.
Posted by: phil_b || 06/01/2005 22:04 Comments || Top||

#2  We are the Knetherlanders who say nee!
Posted by: Jackal || 06/01/2005 22:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Pardon me while I laugh hysterically! Apparently even the most wobbly Euro's can't stomach that horrid creation they tried to foist off on them. 450 pages? That's not a constition, it's a death sentence.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 06/01/2005 23:14 Comments || Top||

Via Bros. Judd, someone is getting it.

My father's generation used to talk about Britain and the empire, the United States of America and Europe. They never talked about "the West" because such an idea had no meaning.


He said: "Russia and America are both alien influences in Europe and eventually they'll both withdraw from it. Then we can return to our historic destiny." Of course I was intrigued to know what this historic destiny was (what, WWI and II didn't give him an inkling?) and eventually he blurted it out.

It wasn't particularly shocking, it was that he wanted European political union to be close and produce a state called Europe. What I hadn't realised was the sheer intensity of this man's desire for it and his near hatred of the superpowers who he thought were preventing it.

Today there's only one superpower - America. Perhaps the US deserves much gratitude for what it's done to preserve European freedom. In practice it doesn't get it. Its influence and culture are resented for reasons very close to those my tipsy German friend gave me all those years ago.


We didn't mean to take England's birthright away and we certainly don't want it.

Nothing but pain.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/01/2005 13:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [416 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oops on the yellow.

Let's also look at their "historic destiny."

Spain was muslim, they were stopped in France in 976(?). And at the gates of Vienna September 11, 1683.

Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/01/2005 13:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Ohhh, and there's comments, is this too over-the-top?

Winston Churchill on his retirement said, "Never let yourselves be separated from the Americans."

We didn't mean to take your birthright away, most Americans wouldn't understand what was meant by that if one did.

But - we also are getting weary of fixing Mother's problems.

And I'll offer a trade, all our blue-nanny-state peasants who've sold their beliefs for "free" health and dental care for your scrappy independent entrepreneurs.

You're comfortable w/monarchs whether an unelected 1 or unelected brusselsprouts, you haven't changed.

My country's people, blood and treasure for what? So you willing prostrate yourself to Frankenreich. I was raised that at the end, there will be 4 kings - the kings of the card deck and the King of England. 1000 years of history down the tubes. It means something to be English. Other than being against America, what does it mean to be European?
Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/01/2005 14:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Yup, we need to go our separate ways. Hell, I don't even feel kinship with the blue-nanny-staters that a2u mentions, and have even started to question lately why I'm still so angry about an attack that targeted Blue New York. I am angry. But if something similar happens in LA tomorrow, I honestly don't if I would care.
Posted by: BH || 06/01/2005 14:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Americans have always been chastised and thought of as the bastard child of Europe anyway. I agree with anonymous2u, we'll trade the blue staters for their independent minds.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 06/01/2005 15:37 Comments || Top||

#5  Asian Century now. Americans, look west. Japan + Australia + India + US: an alliance that matters.
Posted by: thibaud (aka lex) || 06/01/2005 15:39 Comments || Top||

#6  It's rather ironic that the same Europeans that whine about America's power are the ones directly responsible for that power in todays world. Since the "superior" Europeans were unable to help themselves from destroying themselves twice in one century, thus dragging the US into the problems of their own creation, they are the ones that have helped us become a stronger nation. Then for 50+ years we footed the vast majority of the bill for THEIR defense. What they saved they poured into their bloated social systems. Now they really expect to raise a EU Defense Force? How? By raising already outrageous taxes? No. By cutting their over bloated and often abused social programs? Never. Then how? They know deep down though that the next time their asses are hanging out in the wind, their bastard cousins will help pull it back inside to safety. That nameless politician was absolutlety right:

"They're petty, they're envious and in their guts they hate us."

The only things he forgot were that they are arrogant and ignorant of their own ignorance.
Posted by: 98zulu || 06/01/2005 15:43 Comments || Top||

#7  lex - i think you'll find that Australia also has national health insurance, and that its politics are closer to blue state than red state.

So Aussie probably isnt good enough for someone whos so angry he doesnt care about 9/11 cause it targeted New Yorkers. Dont imagine he'll find India too comfortable either, apart from the Hindu fundies (and wait till they get started talking about Christian missionaries).

Nah, Lex, theres no point even discussing this stuff with folks with the haters. Any US policy that can reach out to Australia and India can also reach out to large numbers of friendly people in Europe.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 15:46 Comments || Top||

#8  Does anyone get the beebee-jeebees when a German talks about historic destiny?

No offense TGA, but.....

Does give one pause at minimum.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/01/2005 15:47 Comments || Top||

#9  The Germans can KEEP France this time.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 06/01/2005 15:49 Comments || Top||

#10  the economic differences between America and Europe are vastly exaggerated. Theyre not socialist in any meaningful way. They dont beleive in state ownership of the means of production. A greater or lesser welfare state is a matter of day to day politics, and NOT a reason for us to cooperate internationally. The lefties in Europe who say so are using that as a cover for other agendas. I suspect some on the right here are too.

Theyre less religious? So? America is a country that has included religious people of all stripes, some pretty nominal christians and Jews, a Deist who was our 3rd president, and "free thinkers" as well. We are quite capable of being allied with secularists. Though some dont much like it.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 15:53 Comments || Top||

#11  and yeah, we've got lots we need to do together with Europe. Sometimes working with them will be difficult. Thats why foreign policy takes maturity.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 15:54 Comments || Top||

#12  Liberalhawk, it may come as a surprise to you that I have dual US-EU citizenship, a European wife, a child about to enter a French-English bilingual school, a French employer and dreams of owning a house in France someday. Also that I strongly support national health insurance as the #1 domestic priority for this country and consider it a scandal that so many hardworking Americans lack affordable insurance.

FWIW, I don't care much for Asia and have no desire to work or travel there. But I refuse to let my heart rule my head. As foreign policy goes, I'm a realist above all. I love Europe and would fight to the death for TGA, Bulldog and the rest, but the simple fact is, as a Chinese senior official said yesterday, Europe does not matter significantly any more. All the action - all the threats and all the opportunities - is in the near and far east, two regions where the Europeans cannot significantly help or hurt us. It does not help us to ignore the overwhelmingly obvious fact of our age. Our pretending that the Atlantic Alliance is critical in this age would be like trying to prop up the Holy Alliance in 1910.

Posted by: thibaud (aka lex) || 06/01/2005 16:13 Comments || Top||

#13  All the action - all the threats and all the opportunities - is in the near and far east, two regions where the Europeans cannot significantly help or hurt us.

I would argue that they CAN hurt us, and VERY significantly, by giving the Chinese advanced weapons technology.
Posted by: docob || 06/01/2005 16:16 Comments || Top||

#14  LH-
IIUC, there quite a few state-owned businesses in France. France IS pretty damn socialist. But since it's their country, they can piss it down the drain if they want.
Posted by: Spot || 06/01/2005 16:21 Comments || Top||

#15  lex: Also that I strongly support national health insurance as the #1 domestic priority for this country and consider it a scandal that so many hardworking Americans lack affordable insurance.

Aha! Now I've figured out why Hill is your candidate.

And I consider it a scandal that so many hardworking Americans lack affordable housing, education, et al. This is why these hardworking Americans need to be given these things using money taken from other hardworking Americans. It's only fair that Americans who have earned their money be forced to hand it over to people who haven't.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 06/01/2005 18:10 Comments || Top||

#16  Theyre not socialist in any meaningful way

LOL! Come on LH. They just haven't started to collectivise the farms.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 18:17 Comments || Top||

#17  I consider it a scandal that so many hardworking Americans lack affordable housing, education, et al. This is why these hardworking Americans need to be given these things using money taken from other hardworking Americans. It's only fair that Americans who have earned their money be forced to hand it over to people who haven't.

Pretty silly response from somebody who's normally more intelligent. Health insurance is not a normal market. In fact, in many ways market forces don't operate at all regarding health insurance. For starters, the consumers don't pay the providers, and the payors don't compete for individual consumers' business in any meaningful way.

No one with any expertise on the matter will stand up for our ridiculously inefficient, grossly unfair, absurdly distorted pseudo-market in health insurance. Note that ~15% of total US healthcare spend goes to paperwork/claims processing, which is more than twice the % spent on paperwork by ... Sweden. Yep, Sweden's socialist system is twice as efficient as ours.

Also consider that this system is so screwed-up that at least one, perhaps both, of the remaining US auto majors will likely go bankrupt by 2015 solely because of health insurance costs. And that nearly every major US industrial giant - from GM and Ford to IBM and Caterpillar and Motorola and all the telcos and many energy companies - has screwed or is contemplating screwing its retirees out of their health insurance benefits. Is that your idea of fairness?

Finally, ZF, I'd like to start a business. However, the cost of health insurance is a serious deterrent. Could you please explain to me why one of Mikey Moore's UAW slacker heroes should be given an extremely generous, gold-plated health insurance plan, while an entrepreneur is stuck with screwing his employees out of health insurance or else paying many thousands of $$$$$ per month for a second-rate plan? Why should the quality of one's insurance depend on one's employer?

This system is broken. It's absurdly wasteful, it's driving major employers out of business, and it's grossly unfair. I don't give a f*** which party fixes it. I just want it fixed, period. It's utterly ridiculous that we as a nation have allowed this gaping sore to go unaddressed for so many decades.

The system is broken. It's driving is twice as inefficient as Sweden's heat
Posted by: thibaud (aka lex) || 06/01/2005 18:46 Comments || Top||

#18  Note that ~15% of total US healthcare spend goes to paperwork/claims processing, which is more than twice the % spent on paperwork by ... Sweden.

Apparently you've never experienced the joys of Medicaid, MediCal, or the VA health system.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/01/2005 19:40 Comments || Top||

#19  Could you please explain to me why one of Mikey Moore's UAW slacker heroes should be given an extremely generous, gold-plated health insurance plan, while an entrepreneur is stuck with screwing his employees out of health insurance or else paying many thousands of $$$$$ per month for a second-rate plan?

Nobody held a gun to the automakers' heads and forced them to agree to the insurance plans.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/01/2005 19:46 Comments || Top||

#20  sure, our health care system needs reform, and if we had a more civilized society - everyone would have some sort of coverage. But anyone who thinks free or too easy health coverage is a good thing has never, as Pappy said, "experienced the joys of Medicaid, MediCal, or the VA health system"

Just cause it's broke, doesn't mean that giving it away free is going to fix it.
Posted by: 2b || 06/01/2005 21:40 Comments || Top||

Airbus confirms A380 superjumbo delay
PARIS, June 1 (AFP) - The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on Wednesday that it would be two to six months late in delivering its new superjumbo A380 airliner to airlines. The delay raises the risk of financial penalties on the European consortium for late delivery, but Airbus declined to comment on any such penalty clauses in its contracts. The aircraft, the biggest airliner ever built with capacity for 550 to 840 passengers, successfully made its maiden test flight at the end of April.
Airbus spokeswoman Barbara Kracht told AFP that the airliners would be delivered with a delay of "two to six months depending on the case" and that: "We are in the process of reviewing the timetable. We are informing all of our customers."
Airbus has taken 144 orders, and 10 options, from 15 airlines at a catalogue price of USD 263-286 million (EUR 213.8 million — EUR 232.5 million) each. The EADS aerospace group owns 80 percent of Airbus which generates most of its sales. The prices of shares in EADS was showing a fall of 1.66 percent to EUR 23.63 at mid-day.
In Dubai, the Emirates airline said it was waiting for a confirmation Airbus of a possible delay in delivery of 43 A380 aircraft. "We are awaiting for a confirmation from Airbus of a delay in the delivery of A-380s," spokesman John Tome told AFP. Emirates has placed the biggest order for the long-haul airliner. "We are expecting a word from Airbus within the next one to two weeks about the plant's delivery schedule," Tome said citing earlier remarks by Emirates' president Tim Clark.
Clark was not surprised about a delay "which he described as a common occurance in aircraft industry," Tome said. "A delay of few months will not be a huge problem for Emirates if it is known of in advance," he added.
In Paris, Air France said on Wednesday that Airbus had told it that A380 airliners it had ordered would be delivered late. It was to have received the first of the airliners in April of 2007. An Air France spokeswoman said: "Airbus has told us of a delay in delivery of the A380. We are talking to Airbus to work out the delay." Air France has ordered 10 of the airliners and has an option for four more. The Australian airline Qantas had said earlier on Wednesday that deliveries to it of A380 airliners would be delayed by at least six months.
Qantas head Geoff Dixon said that the first of the 12 superjumbo aircraft ordered by the airline had been delayed from October 2006 to April 2007, and said that his company would seek damages in accordance with terms in its contract. Qantas was the second airline to have reported a delay of deliveries after Singapore Airlines, the first company to order the new aircraft. Singapore Airlines had said at the beginning of May that that the first of its planes would now be delivered in the second half of 2006 instead of in the first half. It now expects delivery in the last quarter of 2006.
Posted by: Steve || 06/01/2005 12:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [314 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Interesting in that no reason was given for the delays.
Posted by: Bomb-a-rama || 06/01/2005 12:43 Comments || Top||

#2  Here is my baseless speculation: The smaller Airbus' have been plagued by rear vertical stabalizer troubles, maybe that problem made its way up to this big boy.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 06/01/2005 13:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Airbus Software Feud Lands in Court
Posted by: Silence Kills || 06/01/2005 13:16 Comments || Top||

#4  Who wants to buy an even larger more fuel carrying potential flying bomb?
Posted by: Craig || 06/01/2005 14:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Wouldn't read too much into this.....
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 18:18 Comments || Top||

#6  by that time, one or two runways will be modified to accomodate this beast
Posted by: Frank G || 06/01/2005 20:07 Comments || Top||

Dutch vote on Europe constitution
EFL: People in the Netherlands are voting on the European Union constitution, just three days after a "No" vote plunged France into crisis. Early reports suggest voting has been brisk so far among the country's 11.6 million voters. The Dutch prime minister appealed to the nation to back the treaty but polls predict 60% of voters will oppose it.
Many who intend to vote "No" share their European neighbour's fears about EU expansion and a loss of identity. The result is non-binding, but PM Jan Peter Balkenende has agreed to abide by it.

Posted by: Steve || 06/01/2005 09:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He's agreed to abide by it IF turnout is at least 30% and the "no" vote tops 55%. Sort of like cloture, I guess
Posted by: VAMark || 06/01/2005 10:52 Comments || Top||

#2  From Expatica: AMSTERDAM — Voter turnout for the Dutch referendum on the EU Constitution was at 24 percent by 2pm on Wednesday, 9 percent more than the European Parliament (EP) elections last year. The high turnout figure was compiled by research bureau Interview/NSS at 23 polling booths. The voter turnout rate for the elections last year was 39.1 percent.

Should make that 30% easily.

Utrecht City Council said a "considerable turnout" is expected for the referendum, which could determine the fate of the EU treaty. Based on a random test, it estimated turnout will be higher than the EP elections. However, voters were also casting their ballots in two referendums in Utrecht on Wednesday: firstly for or against the EU constitution and a proposal to increase the number of Sundays shops are allowed to open. The turnout for the referendum over the constitution in The Hague was estimated at 23.67 percent at 2pm, compared with 14.74 percent at the EP elections last year, the city council said. In the Dutch capital Amsterdam, the turnout figure was 18 percent at midday, double the amount of voters who had shown up at the same time last year.
Polling booths will be open until 9pm, when the first exit polls are expected. Pre-referendum polls have indicated a majority of Dutch voters will reject the constitution.
Posted by: Steve || 06/01/2005 12:46 Comments || Top||

#3  THE HAGUE (AFX) - Turnout in the Netherlands' referendum on the European constitution soared to 31 pct by 4.00 pm (1400 GMT) today, according to polling firm Interview-NSS. The 30-pct threshold is the level above which the main political parties said they would listen to the decision by the Dutch to approve or -- far more likely -- turn down the constitutional treaty.
The Dutch referendum is not binding but a majority of the parliament has promised to follow the will of the people when the treaty comes up for parliamentary ratification.
The turnout calculated at 4.00 pm by Interview-NSS based on counts at 23 voting stations was 10 percentage points higher than at the same time during the European elections last year.
Pollsters have predicted that between 45-50 pct of eligible voters would turn out in the Dutch referendum, compared to 39.1 pct in the European parliament vote.
Posted by: Steve || 06/01/2005 13:02 Comments || Top||

#4  Should come to 58% Nee
Posted by: True German Ally || 06/01/2005 13:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Argh! It's the Knights Who Say Nee!
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 06/01/2005 13:55 Comments || Top||

#6  So if I've got this straight, if more than 30% of the Dutch vote "No", they each get a shrubbery? Or is it the other way 'round?
Posted by: Matt || 06/01/2005 14:14 Comments || Top||

#7  I think they are all guaranteed at least two shrubberies, actually, so they can go for that "bi-level" effect.
Posted by: docob || 06/01/2005 14:18 Comments || Top||

#8  63% NEE..... wow
Posted by: True German Ally || 06/01/2005 14:58 Comments || Top||

#9  Radio Netherlands Website

Breaking news: Dutch reject EU constitution

Exit polls indicate the Dutch electorate has overwhelmingly rejected the EU constitution in today's referendum: 63 percent voted against the document with 37 percent voting for it. The turnout was 62 percent.


Those Dutch are, "Mad as hell and they're not gonna take it anymore!"

Heh heh heh

Posted by: BigEd || 06/01/2005 15:18 Comments || Top||

#10  http://www2.rnw.nl/rnw/en/currentaffairs/region/netherlands/ned050601b?view=Standard

More info...
Posted by: BigEd || 06/01/2005 15:20 Comments || Top||

Posted by: BigEd || 06/01/2005 15:20 Comments || Top||

#12  More Info
Posted by: BigEd || 06/01/2005 15:21 Comments || Top||

#13  63% No and 63% turnout?! Wow indeed.

This is beginning to get a little scary. The margin should be a lot closer. The huge gap indicates that the EU has very little legitimacy, which means that Dutch politics, and probably French and Belgian, maybe Austrian politics as well, are going to get a lot more extremist in a hurry. Note the very close harmonization, to use an EU word, between the views of the virulently anti-foreigner French right and the virulently anti-Turk and anti-Polish French left.

Red-brown Xenophobic Alliance next?
Posted by: thibaud (aka lex) || 06/01/2005 15:34 Comments || Top||

#14  Ohh, some tidbits in the comment section of EU Referendum, where's Aris when you need him?

Hew_BG: normally the Gov of Gibraltar is consulted - by the UK Gov - on EU stuff that affects them, but unless they have an exemption (negotiated by the UK Gov on their behalf) there is not much they can do about it.

Elaib: plenty of like-minded fellows in the EU Institutions. It is by no means a closed house.

I was recently at a meeting of Greek Socialists who work in the EU Institutions with the former Commissioner Diamandopoulou. When she argued that her Party (the main opposition in Greece) wanted a referendum but also a "Yes" vote - you should have heard the hostility in the Question and Answer session!

Something must really be rotten in the state of … when the leadership can't even get Greek Socialist bureaucrats on board for a 'Yes'.

I have spotted similar shafts of light peaking out all over and in the wierdest places. The institutions may be monoliths, but within them some of the drones still think and breath (and, like me, get paid quite well).

Posted by: anonymous2u || 06/01/2005 16:38 Comments || Top||

#15  From a live blogging. Hat tip Michelle Malkin.

Coincidental or not, the European Commission TODAY put some pressure on the Dutch government to scrap one of the country's holiest cows: the deductability of interest paid on home mortgages. If the Dutch voter needed some further confirmation as to how the Brussels bureaucracy might adversely impact the cherished Dutch way of life then this is surely it.--http://www.peaktalk.com/archives/001344.php
Posted by: SwissTex || 06/01/2005 17:08 Comments || Top||

#16  So what happens next? Long columns of dusty EUrocrats fleeing Brussels to seek employment in the private sector?

Posted by: Matt || 06/01/2005 17:36 Comments || Top||

#17  The EU has concluded that the reason for the rejection is that the serfs people don't really understand the new constitution. Every voter will be sent to a re-education re-training familiarization session in Russia where they will be forced to copy the constitution by hand acquainted with the major concepts of the new constitution. Completion will be indicated by the submission of a ballot voting yes in the referendum for citizen's nation.
Posted by: Mrs. Davis || 06/01/2005 18:55 Comments || Top||

#18  Too much work, Mrs. D. They'll bypass the referenda and work with the parliaments until they have "representation of over 50% of the European population" and declare it accepted.
Posted by: too true || 06/01/2005 19:44 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Repubs press House advantage thanks to support from "Purple Democrats"
Despite the partisan saber- rattling on Capitol Hill, a significant number of votes in the GOP-controlled House are passing with broad Democratic support. It's a trend that surprises analysts who have noticed the numbers, and it hints at a structural advantage for the GOP as it presses its agenda heading into 2006 elections.

Although Republican control of the House of Representatives is narrow - a margin of just 30 seats out of 435 total - some 20 percent of House Democrats come from districts that President Bush carried in 2004. Only 8 percent of Republicans come from districts carried by Sen. John Kerry in the presidential vote. In a landscape where most districts are clearly red (Republican) or blue (Democrat), these purple areas represent seats that could be vulnerable.

That looming reality, analysts say, is one of the factors that explains why some Democrats have crossed over to vote with the GOP on issues from tax cuts to abortion.

The recent votes with Democratic support include issues backed by pro-business lobbyists: $70 billion in tax-cut provisions in the fiscal 2006 budget resolution, tightening rules for people who file for bankruptcy protection, and limiting class-action lawsuits. Democrats have also lined up with Republicans on some issues important to social conservatives: strict requirements for the use of driver's licenses as IDs and for parental notification when a minor crosses state lines to get an abortion.

On a bankruptcy bill that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi said would create "modern-day indentured servants," 73 Democrats voted with the Republican majority. Fifty Democrats voted with GOP leaders on class-action reform; 42 on tightening requirements for driver's licenses, 42 for a permanent repeal of the estate tax, 41 on the energy bill, 71 on a gang deterrence bill that some Democrats said unfairly targeted immigrants, and 54 on abortion notification.

For many of these votes, about half of the Democratic swing support came from the so-called purple-district Democrats, who may be positioning themselves for the 2006 elections. Support is also coming from some members of the congressional black caucus, which traditionally has given Democrats the strongest party-line voting records in the House.
Posted by: Unerelet Phiter7230 || 06/01/2005 15:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whew! For a minute there, I thought we were getting Barney the Dinosaur and some late round draft picks...
Posted by: Raj || 06/01/2005 16:28 Comments || Top||

Bill Clinton Takes Spot On Global Stage
More of a stain than a spot. EFL:In 2001, in the opening months of his ex-presidency, Bill Clinton confided to an aide that he had decided on his dream job for the next chapter of his life: secretary general of the United Nations.
The goal may not be realistic, he acknowledged, but he then went on to analyze all the factors in minute detail, as though he were preparing for a political campaign: whether a U.S. president would ever see fit to back him, for one, and what it would take to persuade other nations to bend the long-standing tradition that the top job does not go to someone from a country with permanent status on the U.N. Security Council.
His ambition, as the aide described it, was both breathtaking and entirely logical for a natural-born politician who had reached the top of the American political ladder: "president of the world."
More at the link, if you have the stomach for it.
Posted by: Steve || 06/01/2005 10:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [413 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought it said Makes Spot.

Never mind.
Posted by: Emily Litella || 06/01/2005 11:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Dry cleaning works, too...
Posted by: Raj || 06/01/2005 11:54 Comments || Top||

#3  You beat me to it, Emily. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/01/2005 12:10 Comments || Top||

#4  For some reason I thought that no member of the Security Council could field a Secretary General. Reckon I was mistaken since all I hear about is how Billybob wants to be SecGen (course, if I recall correctly, he wanted another go at the Presidency, too...gah)
Posted by: Quana || 06/01/2005 13:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Secretary for Life Clinton.
I like it.

Maybe it will keep his Betty Crockercrat wife and heir aparent LadyBugCLinton in power long enough for the failleft.; never mind... I can't do it rite.
Posted by: Shipman || 06/01/2005 13:51 Comments || Top||

#6  He'll never take me alive!
Posted by: Spot || 06/01/2005 15:22 Comments || Top||

#7  WJC watched the Miss Universe pagent and decided that there were new worlds to conquer and a vast pool of international interns as yet untapped.
Posted by: RWV || 06/01/2005 17:56 Comments || Top||

#8  He understands, of course, that there are many intern aged skirts to chase after on the global scene. With no Ken Starr.

He's a nature for secretary general.
Posted by: Captain America || 06/01/2005 22:18 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
Thousands held in Zimbabwe blitz
More than 22,000 people have been arrested in the recent crackdown on Zimbabwe's shantytowns, a police spokesman has told state media. He said some of those made homeless when their shacks were demolished in the capital, Harare, were being sent back to their rural homes. Residents and riot police clashed overnight in the second city, Bulawayo.
Meanwhile, the head of the World Food Programme has discussed Zimbabwe's food needs with President Robert Mugabe. Millions of people are suffering from food shortages and Mr Mugabe told James Morris he would "welcome" food aid, Mr Morris said. Last year, Mr Mugabe asked the WFP to scale down its operations, saying Zimbabweans had so much food, "they were choking".
"Choking, gasping in pain, same thing"
Mr Mugabe's critics say the shortages have been caused by his seizure of white-owned land.
He denies this, blaming the weather and a Western plot to remove him from power.
Next, the Western plot that changed the weather
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said that the crackdown had created overnight, "a massive internal refugee population in its urban areas." "Property worth millions of dollars has gone up in flames. Families are out in the open - without jobs, without income, without shelter without support," said the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, which gets most of its support from urban areas.
Which why Bob is clearing the urban areas and forcing them to the bush. Perhaps Bob is trying a "Cambodian" solution.

Market vendors and local residents fought with police for more than two hours in Bulawayo's Makholkhoba suburb on Tuesday night, after their stalls had been demolished. Scores of people were injured.
The crackdown on illegal settlements in Harare and other cities has led to a huge increase in rents of up to 300%, reports the state-run Herald newspaper. Market stalls have been set on fire and shacks knocked down with sledgehammers. "We have so far arrested a total of 22,735 people and recovered 33.5kg of gold from 47 illegal gold panners and 26,000 litres of fuel," said Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena.
Hundreds of thousands of people are reported to be homeless following a police operation in several cities that began last week. But fuel shortages are making it difficult for people to travel to rural areas and escape the crackdown. The National Pastors' Conference called on the government to "engage in a war against poverty and not against the poor".
Posted by: Steve || 06/01/2005 09:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  starving teh people in the jungle keeps Grace mollified whilst she tries on her new shoes....
Posted by: Frank G || 06/01/2005 9:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Word is that this is going on in order to make room for Chinese traders instead of the povo, (masses).
A tribal situation, enabling lebensraum for the Chi-coms who funded Bob's war, (and they're not there for the weather whilst they loot the raw materials).
Time to park a sub off the Mocambique coast with direct co-ordinates for Independence House, no kidding. The Zimbos aren't going to do it without some help, and they, ZANU-PF, got to go.
BTW, good to see Bob's finally made it to Page 1 in the WOT. No less than he deserves.

Posted by: rhodesiafever || 06/01/2005 15:08 Comments || Top||

Afghanistan/South Asia
Prophet's curly-toed slippers stolen
LAHORE: Senior police and provincial administrative officers were probably involved in the theft of the 'holy slippers', believed to have belonged to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), according to a report of a joint investigation team (JIT) forwarded to the higher authorities a week ago. The Punjab government has recently announced a reward of two million rupees for information leading to the recovery of the holy slippers, which were stolen from the Badshahi mosque's archives gallery on July 31, 2002.
"They're just now getting around to it? Those're holy relics, man! No wonder the infidels have been doing so well! Whoever's got them can make powerful ju-ju!"
Security sources said that the JIT, consisting of senior investigators of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), city police and Intelligence Bureau (IB), had investigated the case with help from Javed Awan, former Punjab auqaf secretary. They said the bungling of the initial police investigation made the JIT investigators to conclude that senior police and administrative officers were involved in the theft.
"Ahah! An inside job! Chief! Line up your men! I want to examine their shoes!"
They said that another investigation team of the Chief Minister's Inspection Team (CMIT), headed by Khawaja Tariq, also inquired into the matter and forwarded a report to the chief minister two weeks ago. The sources claimed that the CMIT and JIT investigations had not found any clues to the whereabouts of the holy relics because city police had bungled the initial investigation at the time of the incident. They said that the city police's investigation team reached the mosque late on July 31, 2002. The police found the glass rack containing the relics shattered in places and cut with a diamond-tipped pen.
"Hmmm... Professionals, huh? Mahmoud, round up all the professional curly-toed slipper thieves in the city!"
"Inspector, why'd they shatter the glass rack into pieces if they had a diamond-tipped pen?"
The city police found an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the Punjab police, who regularly visited the gallery, and a family of four, including an old man and three women who were wearing burqas at the scene of the crime. The fingerprints taken from the glass were damaged. Sources said that the five people informed the gallery caretakers about the theft. Police took them into custody but released them an hour later. They recorded their statements but, apart from the ASI, did not take down their addresses, they said.
Posted by: Fred || 06/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  AFAIK Mohammed never went to Pakistan... and why his relics would wind up there is beyond me.

SO... it makes me wonder what these slippers really are, if they aren't the prophet's slippers, what are they, really?

Blessed Erodeproof +1 Boots of Speed?

Jumping boots?

Cursed rusted -1 Boots of Fumbling?

Well, in that case, at least the thief's in Lahore, which should have a lot of holy men available to bless them so he can take them off. Unless, of course, he trips and falls and hits his head before he can get there. Meanwhile, the Kops are in hot pursuit, and armed with pies.

I just realized: he's going to need to find an aligned priest and/or altar. Lahore probably isn't the best town in the world to try to convert a non-co-aligned altar.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 06/01/2005 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  "You'll never see you slippers again! Never, my pretty! BWAHAHAhahahaha!"
Posted by: mojo || 06/01/2005 0:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Mark Twain was a seasoned traveler who learned to be skeptical of the many, many wonders of the world, many of which were not wonderful at all. For example, Twain said, "In a museum in Havana there are two skulls of Christopher Columbus, 'one when he was a young boy and one when he was a man.'"

And, I'd wager, there you have it.
Posted by: .com || 06/01/2005 1:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Check the toilets chief.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2005 1:13 Comments || Top||

#5  Boots of Striding +2
No you can't have tham back a female elf has them now.
Posted by: Sock Puppet 0’ Doom || 06/01/2005 2:24 Comments || Top||

#6  More idolatry from those who claim to be the ultimate in eschewing idols.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 06/01/2005 8:11 Comments || Top||

#7  Maxed out your Platinum Yendorian Express Card again, Phil? Are there any 'c' corpses around?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 06/01/2005 8:15 Comments || Top||

#8  It's not funny -- these were the third holiest slippers of Islam and were only slightly worn.
Posted by: Tom || 06/01/2005 8:18 Comments || Top||

#9  I've found it's best to stay away from the rubber chickens, especially if you're within a couple hundred miles of boots of fumbling... the authorities tend to not like it very much if people get stoned these days, y'know?
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 06/01/2005 8:35 Comments || Top||

#10  It's like this. I ran out of toilet paper...
Posted by: BillH || 06/01/2005 9:13 Comments || Top||

#11  RC, don't forget that the Wahabis are the ultra-austere group (even tried to destroy Muhammad's tomb because it was a kind of shrine). Traditional Pakistani Muhammadanism seems to have lots of saints, relics, shrines, etc. Except where the Wahabis get involved...
Posted by: James || 06/01/2005 11:19 Comments || Top||

#12  wasnt it said that in medieval europe there were so many fragments of the "true cross" that it must have been made from an entire forest? And relics of saints from one place were regularly "found" thousands of miles away?
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 11:22 Comments || Top||

#13  Nice D&D references guys.
Posted by: Secret Master || 06/01/2005 13:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Feets, don't fail me now!
Posted by: Xbalanke || 06/01/2005 14:37 Comments || Top||

#15  Well, Secret Master, they're sort-of nethack references. Find out more at http://nethack.org.
Posted by: Phil Fraering || 06/01/2005 19:09 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Noted statesman Bob Geldof urges G8 protests
BOB GELDOF was yesterday accused of being "irresponsible" by a senior police officer after he invited hundreds of thousands of protesters to the G8 summit in Edinburgh. The prospect of "up to a million people" descending on the capital for an event that has already prompted security fears has infuriated local authorities and Lothian and Borders Police, who warned that such a massive influx could "end in tragedy".
Especially if ANSWER and the WWP are there, and they will be.
At a press conference to launch Live 8, Geldof urged every man, woman and child in Britain to give up work and school and march in their thousands to a rally in Edinburgh on 6 July, in an attempt to influence the G8 summit of world leaders. Geldof said Britain had an opportunity "to do something unparalleled in the world, and especially at the beginning of the 21st century, and that is to tilt the world a little bit on its axis in favour of the poor". Eradicating poverty in Africa could be momentous work for the leaders of the world's richest nations, he said. "It is intellectually absurd that people die of want in a world of surplus."
Seems intellectually absurd that a continent — an entire continent — remains mired in poverty and ignorance due to the near uniform ineptitude and rapacity of its native ruling classes. It's not the civilized world's fault that Zim-Bob-we, formerly the breadbasket of Africa, has managed to reintroduce starvation. It's not the civilized world's fault that the Congo, chock full of diamonds, gold, and other riches, has never managed to make it out of internecine warfare, hereditary rule, and even cannibalism. It's not the fault of the civilized world that Somalia can't even set up a blasted government, fergawdsake.
He had been reluctant to repeat the Live Aid of 1985, but said that this time the aim was "political justice".
The vast amounts of money raised by Live Aid '85 went missing, right into the bank accounts and armories of the Ethiopian klepto-thugocrats.
Whence it was recycled to Switzerland the the Caymans.
Instead of asking for cash for charities, he was asking people to "get to Edinburgh, get up there". He continued: "Give up two days of work and there is a chance that maybe, just maybe, you can change things. What's better - two days of work? Two days of geometry? Or participating in something you will remember all your life?"
Bringing the UK economy to a grinding halt for two days is a good way to destroy the resources the Western countries can provide to Africa, dingbat. Are you giving away your concert tickets for free? Didn't think so.
In his inimitable style, the singer warned the G8 leaders that they should sit up and take notice. "If you're not prepared to do that, you're not welcome in my country," he said. "If anyone won't come to our party, they can f*** off." Midge Ure, fellow Live Aid founder and organiser of Live 8 in Scotland, predicted "tens of thousands" of dupes fools rubes dingbats people would turn up in the capital.
They always do for G8 conferences, don't they?
He called for the protests to take the shape of the Ban The Bomb demos in the Sixties: "Go there, be part of it. This is something special. We may never have the opportunity of having these people on our shores again." There was talk of "planes, trains, buses" and even a flotilla of boats to transport protesters north of the Border, but few details had been worked though, Ure admitted.
Not real big on oraganization, are they -- that's why ANSWER is able to pull off their stunts.
He acknowledged that the local authorities were "scared", but he called on the people of Scotland to open their doors to the protesters. "We want every church, synagogue, mosque to open their doors and let people in. Scotland has an amazing history of being big-hearted, we are big-hearted and we mean well. Let these people into your spare room, garage, your garden."
So that they can trash the place and leave you big-hearted people holding the bag.
When asked if Edinburgh could handle a million protesters, Geldof said he didn't see a problem if people were well-behaved. "You will get a few looney toons, but, as Midge Ure says, it will be a party. But how disgraceful to behave like a twat in the face of such poverty. Let's calm down and let's get things done." However, a senior officer at Lothian and Borders Police said that the city's accommodation was fully booked during the summit and would not cope with a surge of protesters.
"Sorry, old man! We're all booked up!"
"Try the French Riviera. It's warmer and you won't stand out as much."
When asked if Geldof had been "irresponsible" with his invitation, the officer said he had. Yesterday, Assistant Chief Constable Ian Dickenson, head of G8-related events in the Lothian and Borders Police area, warned: "We cannot allow the policing capability or any infrastructure to be overwhelmed and compromise the safety of those involved." In a statement issued after the Live 8 launch, Mr Dickenson said: "We were already planning for more than 100,000 people to take part in the Make Poverty History march, which would have been the biggest event ever in Scotland. Now there has been talk of up to a million people coming to Edinburgh but, frankly, it is difficult to conceive how they could all get to this area in the first place and where they could assemble in safety. Crowds of this size are potentially hazardous. No-one wants tragedy to distract world attention from the real aims of the campaigners." He added: "It is one thing to mobilise tens of thousands of compassionate people with good intentions in an organised event. It is something else to manage such numbers without organisation, accommodation or support." Donald Anderson, the leader of Edinburgh City Council, said the council would have to "go back to the drawing board to ensure there is sufficient campsite space in the city". He also warned that people intending to come to Edinburgh "need to ensure they have made arrangements to stay". At the launch of Live 8 in the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, which was also attended by Sir Elton John, one of the original Live Aid acts, Geldof said he hoped the concert would put pressure on world leaders at the G8 summit into dropping Third World debt. The concerts, featuring Madonna, Paul McCartney, REM, Elton John, Robbie Williams, The Cure and Razorlight, will be held in five cities - London, Berlin, Rome, Paris and Philadelphia. They have been organised in support of the Make Poverty History campaign, an alliance of UK charities, trade unions and other organisations. The Pope, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama are due to be asked by Geldof to address the audience during the main concert, possibly by satellite link. The campaign focuses on three areas: debt, aid and trade. Organisers believe Western governments should cancel the debt of the poorest countries, increase international aid by at least $50 billion (£27 billion) per year and end export subsidies which would stop big businesses from profiting at the expense of poor communities.
Sigh. Big businesses give poor families jobs, at least in those areas where there's such a thing as property rights. In the areas where there aren't property rights, the poor go right on being poor...
Let's cancel the debt for Somalia, Zim-bob-we and the Congo. Should clear things right up ...
Richard Curtis, the director of Four Weddings and a Funeral, who is a spokesman for the campaign, said: "World poverty is sustained not by chance or nature, but by a combination of factors: injustice in global trade, the huge burden of debt, and insufficient and ineffective aid. Each of these is exacerbated by inappropriate economic policies imposed by rich countries."
I can remember when Japan was a bombed out hulk of a nation, noted for its export of cheap knock-offs, when "Made in Japan" meant cheesy. I can remember when South Korea was a war-ravaged mostly agricultural backwater. I can remember when Taiwan was no great shakes, mainly notable for its seemingly never-ending crisis over Quemoy and Matsu. The Thailand I remember was a land of agriculture, with water buffaloes and occasionally elephants roaming the streets. I can remember when Malaysia was poor and backwards, and I can remember being admonished to eat all my dinner and to think of the starving children in India. Somehow all of them managed to overcome those injustices in global trade, their own loads of debt, and the inefficiencies of aid programs. Bob missed all that, I guess. Maybe he wasn't paying attention back then.
Each day 50,000 people die as a result of extreme poverty, he said. Curtis added: "If 50,000 people died in London on Monday, in Rome on Tuesday, in Berlin on Wednesday, in New York on Thursday and in Paris on Friday, the G8 leaders in Gleneagles would find the money and the solution to the problem as they walked from the front door to the reception desk."
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/01/2005 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [850 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Debt cancellation sounds like it's worth a try. Let's start with, oh, Iraq.
Posted by: Jackal || 06/01/2005 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Each day 50,000 people die as a result of extreme poverty, he said. Curtis added: "If 50,000 people died in London on Monday, in Rome on Tuesday, in Berlin on Wednesday, in New York on Thursday and in Paris on Friday, the G8 leaders in Gleneagles would find the money and the solution to the problem as they walked from the front door to the reception desk."

Oh how clever! A snarky reference to race. Such a clever boy. Isn't he clever?

Shame you skipped economics classes, but I can tell you were awake during the bong parties.

And let's switch on the tear ducts while we're at it.

Oh and make sure we set the debate not to real solutions, but to "white guilt."

Oh and I almost forget. I almost forgot because I was drying my eyes at what a terrible white person I am, but shouldn't we consider not only not aiding Africa's starving, but also to ensure we actively deny them food aid and water.

After all, I have determined their lives are not worth living and starvation is the only way to go. After all, we know now from MSM account that it is a good way to die, especially if a third party ( in this case, me ) determines it to not be worth living.

So, if we give food aid we are not being good humanitarians.

** Dismounts Shiavo highhorse **

That is the only reference to the Shiavo murder I will make on this forum... today...
Posted by: badanov || 06/01/2005 0:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Edinburgh? Please. Not on a bet.
Posted by: mojo || 06/01/2005 0:44 Comments || Top||

#4  I'm thinking payback by the Entertainer Elites Union for stiffing Bono.

They're so, um, sensitive and touchy-feely / artsy-fartsy... And so brave, too. Why, when it comes to spending someone else's money to help them sleep well at night, they know no bounds. Kinda gets ya, y'know? Right in your socialista bleeding heart... my left ventricle is in simpatico syncopation.

*wipes tear*
Posted by: .com || 06/01/2005 0:58 Comments || Top||

#5  I believe that the EU (France?) bans imports from African countries using genetically modified crops to feed their people.
But that I suppose is to knee it to the US.
Posted by: Cynic || 06/01/2005 7:05 Comments || Top||

#6  Okay, check this out: what if we took Bob Geldof, Dick Curtis, Midge Ure, Madonna, and their brethren and rendered them into a sort of meat pattie with which to feed the po? Come on, be a part of the solution, Bob!
Posted by: BH || 06/01/2005 9:31 Comments || Top||

#7  Good thing rich, idle celebrities constantly remind us how smart they are.
I nearly forgot.
Posted by: JerseyMike || 06/01/2005 10:06 Comments || Top||

#8  The problems in Africa are entirely self-created. The solution is good government. Is Bob Geldof really trying to rally all these people in support of regime change continent wide? A new Imperialism for the UK is not something I would have figured Bob would be for but it's bold and it's probably the only short term answer. Go Bob! Very bold, and I thought you were a half-baked Marxist fool obsessed with western guilt and filled with stary eyed dreams of the digniticy of third world poverty.

At last Bono is realistic.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 06/01/2005 10:11 Comments || Top||

#9  ...rendered them into a sort of meat pattie

Aigh! Soylent Green, it's made of...Bob Geldof!
Posted by: Dreadnought || 06/01/2005 13:51 Comments || Top||

#10  Im not sure what the point of debating the basis of Africas problems is. Some of it comes from deep historical reasons - a late start on the development of civilization (for reasons you can read about in "Guns, Germs, and Steel" Some is the slave trade BOTH the European slave trade AND the muslim slave trade. Some is later colonialism. Some is the post war decision to give Africans independence based on existing artificial colonial boundaries, which accentuated problems of tribalism, and thus bad leadership. Some of it was Marxism, and otehr forms of socialism, which infected the continent and led to poor economic policies.

Theres blame enough to go around.

What matters is DOING something for Africans.

Im not sure if the tactics Geldof suggests are the correct ones. But lots of folk other than Geldof agree on the need to do something about this.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 06/01/2005 14:56 Comments || Top||

#11  Two days of geometry?

So now he's corrupting 14 year-olds as well? Or is geometry now the preferred subject of study by 30 year-old perpetual students in the UK?
Posted by: thibaud (aka lex) || 06/01/2005 15:37 Comments || Top||

#12  Could someone explain again the purpose of these G8 summits? Also, why a third-rate, minor-league kleptocracy like Russia's included and China and India are not?
Posted by: thibaud (aka lex) || 06/01/2005 15:38 Comments || Top||

#13  Im not sure what the point of debating the basis of Africas problems is. ... What matters is DOING something for Africans.

If you misdiagnose the problem, your remedy isn't likely to be effective. LOTS has been done for Africans - little of it has made much of a difference, precisely due to indigenous reasons as well as historical ones.
Posted by: too true || 06/01/2005 16:16 Comments || Top||

#14  The issue at hand is whether more aid will do any good. And specifically will more aid in the aggregate do sufficient good relative to other things the money could be spent on. The evidence to date is that more aid correlates with worse outcomes - poorer health, shorter life expectancy and lower per capita GDP. The argument that its becuase most aid goes to the most deserving doesn't wash, becuase if aid worked then over time the larger aid recipients should do better. There are multiple reasons for this, not least government corruption and welfarism where money goes to the most needy giving people an economic incentive to be needy. The aid that does work tends to go through motivated individuals and groups who have a well defined objective - Medicin Sans Frontiers and the groups that feed and educate children come to mind. Money is often not the problem with these groups as MSF recently handing back donations shows. Of the 3 'solutions' they are pushing. Cancelling debt is largely unrelated to the net amount of money recieved and just sends the signal that its OK to waste the money because it doesn't need to be paid back. I actually agree with them on removing trade barriers, but to blame such barriers on evil capitalists is silly. The main beneficiaries are farmers and (unionized) workers - remove export subsidies which would stop big businesses from profiting at the expense of poor communities.
Posted by: phil_b || 06/01/2005 16:57 Comments || Top||

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