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16 Dead in Al Khobar Attack
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
N o Chickens Raped... Miss Universe Photos
Posted by: .com || 05/29/2004 17:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No poultry, but plentiful pulchritude.
Posted by: ed || 05/29/2004 17:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Hrowf! Hrowf!
Posted by: Fred || 05/29/2004 21:12 Comments || Top||

#3  tastes like chicken....oops..my bad
Posted by: Frank G || 05/29/2004 21:30 Comments || Top||

Mohammed's Believe It Or Else!
Posted by: .com || 05/29/2004 15:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Now this is a true gem, one for the archives, just in case anyone ever questions what the more strident followers of Allen have in mind for us.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/29/2004 18:01 Comments || Top||

#2  A very good comicbook. The guy who does it should live near a police station and walk around only in public places.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester || 05/30/2004 3:38 Comments || Top||

Darwin Award Nominee Boy used chat room to get himself killed

By Nigel Bunyan, Manchester

May 30, 2004

A 15-year-old British grammar school boy has been convicted of inciting an internet friend to murder him.
He’s a victim! ... He’s a perp! ... Tastes great! ... Less filling!
The boy, who can be identified only by the pseudonym John, invented a cast of characters in a chat room as part of a plan to commission his own murder. Some of his inspiration came from James Bond films and the science-fiction blockbuster Men In Black. He was 14 when he fell in love with Mark, a boy two years older, and adopted the guise of a female secret service agent to order his friend to stab him in an alleyway. Mark was meant to end his life with the words: "I love you, bro."

Mark carried out the stabbing in Altrincham, Cheshire, shortly before 8pm on June 29 last year. He knifed John in the chest and abdomen. The second blow cut into his kidney, liver and gall bladder, nearly killing him. Minutes later, Mark reported the attack on his mobile phone. Police launched a manhunt after both boys told them a stranger in black had dragged John into the alleyway and stabbed him. It was only when officers studied CCTV footage that they realised the boys were lying.

Manchester Crown Court heard detectives studied 58,000 lines of internet text to break down the boys’ account and show that John, who surfed the net for seven hours at a time, had spent six months manipulating Mark until he felt he was ready to commit murder.
"[S]urfed the net for seven hours at a time." Hoookay, where were the parents of this kid while he was glued to the monitor?
It emerged that John had introduced himself to Mark on the internet as a teenage girl. Mark performed sexual acts for the girl on a webcam which John watched. Later John introduced a series of other characters to the chat room, including a second girlfriend, a stalker and two secret service agents modelled on Bond films.

One of the agents, identified as Agent 47695, told Mark she had been assigned to protect John. Later she ordered Mark to kill the boy, promising him a gun, a large sum of money and a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a reward.
And a pony!
John, wearing a checked shirt, pale blue tie and dark trousers, sat crying in the dock as the bizarre story was told. Mark, in a blue and white jumper, sat a few feet away.

John pleaded guilty to inciting someone to murder him - a crime described by Judge David Maddison as "extraordinary" - and perverting the course of justice. John was sentenced to a three-year supervision order. Mark admitted attempted murder and was given a two-year supervision order.
What, no psychiatric confinement? No suicide watch? The kid’s a monster raving loony!
The boys were also banned from contacting each other. John was ordered to use the internet only under supervision and told that he must never go into a chat room again.

Mr Clarke said: "The whole scheme John designed was to bring about his death. He was depressed, having fallen out with friends at school and having problems with his stepfather at home." John’s mother told the court he now had a wider circle of friends, including a girlfriend.
Ya gotta wonder about that girl’s judgement (and that of her parents). What a nutcase to have for a boyfriend.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/29/2004 12:52:04 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

Sri Lankan Maids Told to Respect Saudi Customs
Sri Lankan maids have been urged to abide by the Kingdom’s customs to avoid problems with their employers, their ambassador said yesterday; running away from the workplace should be their last resort. He made the remarks at a meeting organized by the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Sri Lankan Embassy, where around 250 maids got together to discuss their problems. An estimated 150,000 Sri Lankan housemaids are employed throughout the Kingdom.

Inaugurating the first-ever seminar for maids in the Kingdom, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar called on domestic workers to be patient and understanding in the discharge of their duties and not to act in haste. He said the embassy was dealing with some cases that could have been averted if the employees had thought more carefully before making decisions. But he also expressed hope that Saudi employers would respect the rights of their domestic help.

Naleem Izzadeen from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawah and Guidance, pointed out that the problems of Sri Lankan maids are not unique but are shared by their counterparts from Indonesia and the Philippines. “These problems have already drawn the attention of the Saudi government, which has decided that local employers who fail to look after their maids will be penalized and barred from hiring overseas domestic staff in the future,” he said. The ambassador’s wife Nissa Ansar, who is president of the Seva Vanitha Unit, said most of the problems of runaway maids could be attributed to lack of communication between the employer and the employee. “Tolerance, compromise and timely payment of wages will solve 90 percent of the problems,” Nissa Ansar told Arab News.

On the initiative of the mission, she said the Riyadh-based Saudi National Recruitment Committee, in cooperation with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, will put newly recruited maids through an orientation program before their departure for Saudi Arabia. Every month, the embassy repatriates around 125 housemaids who are rescued or run away from their employers. The Sri Lankan mission repatriated 1,037 maids in the first seven months of last year alone.
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/29/2004 4:23:40 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  “Tolerance, compromise and timely payment of wages will solve 90 percent of the problems,” Nissa Ansar told Arab News.

However those qualities are un-Islamic, so back to beatings, humiliation, chattel slavery, and rape.
Posted by: ed || 05/29/2004 16:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Translation: Embrace Dhimmitude.

After all it is perfectly legal there to rob, rape, and murder 'infidels'...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/29/2004 16:51 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Carter Joins Decisive Checks in Venezuela Poll Bid
Yes, when I think "decisive", the first name I think of is Jimmy Carter.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Saturday joined observers monitoring a decisive signature verification stage in an opposition campaign for a referendum against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, whose Carter Center has worked to end Venezuela’s bitter political conflict for more than a year, visited one of the centers where the opposition is trying to reconfirm disputed signatures in their petition for a vote.
I’d feel better if Chicago alderman were down there. At least they know the game.
Opponents of left-winger Chavez say international monitors are their only safeguard against a president they charge has manipulated courts and electoral authorities to block any vote on his rule in the world’s No. 5 oil exporter. "I have not seen any irregularities. I have heard about them, but I don’t know if they are true," Carter told reporters in Spanish at a signature center in a Caracas public school.
Sounds real "decisive" to me.
Electoral authorities are scheduled to announce next week whether the opposition has reached the minimum 2.4 million valid signatures needed to activate an Aug. 8 recall vote against ex-army paratrooper Chavez. The Atlanta-based Carter Center and the Organization of American States have more than 100 observers monitoring the process as part of an accord to end the simmering, often violent political confrontation over Chavez’s five-year rule.
Yeah, I’m convinced.
The United States, the top buyer of Venezuelan crude, has urged the government to allow a fair referendum process. But the firebrand leader accuses Washington of meddling and backing attempts to topple him, a charge denied by U.S. officials. Chavez, elected in 1998 promising to fight poverty, has dismissed the referendum bid as a fraud by enemies who tried to topple him in a failed coup two years ago.
Has no problem with Jimmah being down there though. I wonder why.
The National Electoral Council has so far ruled 1.9 million signatures are valid. They ordered 1.2 million questioned signatures to be reconfirmed by voters in the three days of additional checks that end Sunday. In a signal of possible conflict over the verification results, the council has said it will not accept any ruling by the observers to disqualify the process because of fraud.
So have a nice vacation, Jimmah.
The opposition says pro-Chavez election officials have obstructed all stages of the process, but after another day of checks appeared confident they could reach the minimum target. The second day of the reconfirmation went ahead mostly peacefully, but some voters complained of delays and excessive restrictions imposed by polling center officials. Government supporters have also joined in the verification process to withdraw signatures they say are forgeries. But OAS chief Cesar Gaviria said after meeting with election officials that the problems were not "critical" to the verification process. At a polling station at a run-down public school in central Caracas, bank analyst Pedro Jimenez gave his thumb-print as identification to reconfirm the validity of his signature in the opposition’s petition. "I’ve marched in every march, I’ve signed against Chavez and now I’m signing again to make sure he goes," Jimenez said outside the school guarded by troops. "It’s hard, but we have to try. I’m still optimistic we can still get a referendum."
Don’t worry, Pedro. Jimmy Carter’s got your back.
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/29/2004 7:51:39 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

Ahead of Iraq Deployment, 37 Korean Troops Convert to Islam
"I became a Muslim because I felt Islam was more humanistic and peaceful than other religions. And if you can religiously connect with the locals, I think it could be a big help in carrying out our peace reconstruction mission." So said on Friday those Korean soldiers who converted to Islam ahead of their late July deployment to the Kurdish city of Irbil in northern Iraq. At noon Friday, 37 members of the Iraq-bound "Zaitun Unit," including Lieutenant Son Hyeon-ju of the Special Forces 11th Brigade, made their way to a mosque in Hannam-dong, Seoul and held a conversion ceremony. The soldiers, who cleansed their entire bodies in accordance with Islamic tradition, made their conversion during the Friday group prayers at the mosque, with the assistance of the "imam," or prayer leader.

With the exception of the imam, all the Muslims and the Korean soldiers stood in a straight line to symbolize how all are equal before God and took a profession on faith. They had memorized the Arabic confession, " Ashadu an La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah," which means, "I testify that there is no god but God (Arabic: Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger of God." Moreover, as the faithful face the "Kaaba," the Islamic holy place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, all Muslims confirm that they are brothers. For those Korean soldiers who entered the Islamic faith, recent chances provided by the Zaitun Unit to come into contact with Islam proved decisive.

Taking into consideration the fact that most of the inhabitants of Irbil are Muslims, the unit sent its unreligious members to the Hannam-dong mosque so that they could come to understand Islam. Some of those who participated in the program were entranced by Islam and decided to convert. A unit official said the soldiers were inspired by how important religious homogeneity was considered in the Muslim World; if you share religion, you are treated not as a foreigner, but as a local, and Muslims do not attack Muslim women even in war.

Zaitun Unit Corporal Paek Seong-uk (22) of the Army’s 11th Division said, "I majored in Arabic in college and upon coming across the Quran, I had much interest in Islam, and I made up my mind to become a Muslim during this religious experience period [provided by the Zaitun Unit]." He expressed his aspirations. "If we are sent to Iraq, I want to participate in religious ceremonies with the locals so that they can feel brotherly love and convince them that the Korean troops are not an army of occupation but a force deployed to provide humanitarian support."

Posted by: tipper || 05/29/2004 2:50:13 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I've always known that Koreans really hate the US, but this is the first I've heard of them converting to Islam, just so they can have an excuse to hate Uncle Sam.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 05/29/2004 3:00 Comments || Top||

#2  [Off-topic or abusive comments deleted]
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls TROLL || 05/29/2004 3:54 Comments || Top||

#3  "I became a Muslim because I felt Islam was more humanistic and peaceful than other religions. And if you can religiously connect with the locals, I think it could be a big help in carrying out our peace reconstruction mission."

It will be a big help alright, maybe not to the USA though.

Taking into consideration the fact that most of the inhabitants of Irbil are Muslims, the unit sent its unreligious members to the Hannam-dong mosque so that they could come to understand Islam. Some of those who participated in the program were entranced by Islam and decided to convert.

Good plan, commander. Your unit is full of fifth columnists now.

A unit official said the soldiers were inspired by how important religious homogeneity was considered in the Muslim World;

'Religious homogeneity' That's the nice way of saying, 'Death to the Infidels!'

if you share religion, you are treated not as a foreigner, but as a local, and Muslims do not attack Muslim women even in war.

Is there another Islam being talked about here? What I have read, one of Islam's ideas of religion is to attack women.

He expressed his aspirations. "If we are sent to Iraq, I want to participate in religious ceremonies with the locals so that they can feel brotherly love and convince them that the Korean troops are not an army of occupation but a force deployed to provide humanitarian support."

Keep thinking that going in. I am pretty sure in a few weeks the truth will rear its ugly head, and your unit will be disbanded.
Posted by: badanov || 05/29/2004 4:20 Comments || Top||

#4  I wouldn't read too much into this. Religious affiliation in East Asia seems to be a different concept than in the West and the Muslim world. I have known people who claimed to be Buddhist, Daoist and Christian, and saw nothing unusual in this.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/29/2004 4:35 Comments || Top||

#5  Phil that may be true but Islam is a one-way ticket. I'm not sure about converts but theres a death-sentence for anyone born a moslem who decides to change teams. A few of them might be in for a nasty surprise when they confront the real Islam.
Posted by: ruprecht || 05/29/2004 9:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Maybe they just think they will be more likely to stay alive and not be a target of ambush or beheading if they convert nominally for the period of their tour of duty.

A smart idea, I'd do it myself!
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/29/2004 10:59 Comments || Top||

#7  This is what happens when there is 'sensititvity training' on Islam and it doesn't include the truth about Islam.
Anon1..you will be a target of ambush and beheading unless you join the jihadis, look how many Iraqi Muslims the jihadis have killed...and you will be a target for death if you become an apostate when you get back home too. If one only converts for their tour of duty, they better watch their back when they get back home.
Posted by: TS(vice girl) || 05/29/2004 11:11 Comments || Top||

#8  Anon1 - Maybe they just think they will be more likely to stay alive and not be a target of ambush or beheading if they convert nominally for the period of their tour of duty.

A smart idea, I'd do it myself!

That's just the attitude we need in this hour of peril. Let's do what is thought to be the easy or safe way. This is the attitude which could ultimately bring us down. The Islamonutzoids at least will defend their belief system, no matter how satanic it may be. On the other hand, there are people on "our" side who would change their belief system at the drop of a hat (or head) to save their sorry-ass hides.

Not sure if your on "our" side Anon but your attitude allowed me to vent.
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 05/29/2004 11:16 Comments || Top||

#9  These folks are in for a suprise when they find out that 'arab' muslims are holier then 'non-arab' muslims....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/29/2004 11:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Huh? Who the hell cares if you "convert" to islam purely for the purpose of advancing your goal: being an effective soldier in Iraq and possibly helping you to stay alive!

I'd have no problem with this convenient tactic as a westerner who doesn't believe in gobbledygook religion anyway.

I don't give a rats whether the Iraqis think I'm Islamic or Moronic but if thinking I'm Islamic makes them more willing to co-operate with me as a foreign soldier then I'd consider it a psy-ops tactic to help me achieve my goal.
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/29/2004 13:42 Comments || Top||

#11  I don't give a rats whether the Iraqis think I'm Islamic or Moronic but if thinking I'm Islamic makes them more willing to co-operate with me as a foreign soldier then I'd consider it a psy-ops tactic to help me achieve my goal.

So, a deception is fostered by you in order to maintain cooperation. Once the mission is accomplished, do you think you and the jihadis will go to the local tavern to laugh about the massive deception you fostered on them while you buy them a round?

Remember, we're sposed to be at war, and while deception is a major part of war, one thing you do not do to allies is to deceive them about your views and/or intentions. You do not want them coming to the conclusion that it is also alright if they allow a few Al Qaeda folks in their camp while they make you believe they are not radical.
Posted by: badanov || 05/29/2004 13:47 Comments || Top||

#12  Remember liberal mean submit.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/29/2004 15:41 Comments || Top||

#13  badanov: this is life. that happens already. read daniel pipes on Al Fadl who proposed constitutional amendment in the United States.
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/31/2004 3:12 Comments || Top||

#14  Hizbollah TV commentator sez: al-Sistani is in the jihad game:

"And very importantly, Sistani did not call for a jihad against the occupation forces, as he believes that circumstances are not yet ripe for this."
Let me say it again: Bush-Powell are delivering Iraq to Iran, at US taxpayer expense.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/29/2004 3:54 Comments || Top||

Navajo Indian trackers trail illegal immigrants on Europe’s wild frontier
Forests, mountains, streams and valleys - 325 miles of them: this is the Polish-Ukrainian border. "It’s easy to cross illegally without being watched. And if someone crosses it, the EU is open to them," says Jerzy Ostrowski, a group leader for the Polish border police.

Help, however, in rooting out potential illegal immigrants - or, indeed, would-be terrorists - has arrived in the incongruous form of Indian scouts. Last week, three American-Indian trackers from the Navajo and Tohono O’odham tribes joined a 26-strong group of Polish customs officers around the small town of Huwniki, which lies about 250 miles southeast of Warsaw near the town of Przemysl. They were there to teach the Poles the ancient skills of their tribes: how to interpret messages from crushed leaves, broken branches and old footprints. Their help is needed since Poland and other Eastern European nations joined the EU, prompting a flood of illegal immigration from the Ukraine and other countries to the east.

Bryan Nez, 55, a Navajo Indian whose usual beat is the porous desert border between America and Mexico, learnt his tracking skills at a young age. "We didn’t have any vehicles, running water or gas for fire; our main job back then was to track our horses," he said. "In the evening we’d let them out of the corral, and in the morning we’d have to find them. So when I was nine years old my grandfather kicked me out of bed and said, ’Go tracking.’ I’ve been doing it ever since.

"My grandfather taught me other stuff as well of course, such as the ageing of vegetation, the ageing of foot signs, or how to listen to the weather and use your hearing and your five senses, to be one with the environment." A week’s training for the Polish officers starts with a day of theory. Before the guards head into the woods, Mr Nez shows them how to use a tracking stick to help in estimating the size of a person’s step.

Along with the old technology comes new: Mr Nez is adept in the use of modern electronics such as GPS units. These skills are all part of his work as a "Shadow Wolf", a unit of trackers that has its headquarters in Sells, Arizona, and which usually works with American Customs Patrol Officers (CPOs) along the US-Mexico border tracking drug traffickers.

The trackers are on loan from America to help the European Union to strengthen its new external borders against drug traffickers, arms smugglers and terrorists.

As yet, there has been no sign of people smuggling components for weapons of mass destruction or radioactive material along the border near Huwniki. Usually, the people caught are ill-dressed, without the right equipment for their journey and are exhausted after a long trek through woods and hills. According to the station’s Polish commander, Krzysztof Dyl, however, there were two cases of suspected terrorists last year. The men were better clothed than the usual detainees and had money on them. "Last year we caught two Pakistanis with scorpion tattoos that suggested they belonged to a fundamentalist Islamic group," said Dyl. "They were sent directly from Huwniki to Guantanamo Bay."

In the past 12 months Poland’s border police caught more than 10,000 people illegally crossing into the country, mostly from the east. Along Mr Ostrowski’s beat of just 8.5 miles of southeastern Carpathia, there have been 14 arrests so far this year, compared with 27 for the whole of 2003. The numbers crossing this "green border" usually increase in spring and summer, but now Mr Ostrowski expects numbers to rise even faster.

Located in woodlands and hills, the border near Huwniki is especially hard to patrol. Not only is there no border fence, but the rough terrain is difficult to navigate. Mr Ostrowski said the course has helped his guards to notice things they hadn’t before.

"Of course it’s not that we can’t find anything in our own woods," said Mr Ostrowski. "But with help we can look at the same things with different eyes. Sometimes quite a simple thing can be a very important sign. As the Indians say, a broken branch or even just part of a footprint can tell us where and how many people are going or what they’re doing."

According to Mr Ostrowski, one patrolling station usually covers 12 to 20 miles of border with between 20 and 40 guards, but numbers are increasing. Help from the American Indians has, he said, been "indispensable", even though some have poked fun at the course as a "cowboys and indians" fantasy.

For the American Indians, however, this is not a game. Charmaine Harris, 35, another of the trackers and a Tohono O’odham tribe member, said: "Everyone leaves a trail, no matter how hard they try to conceal it. It’s just a matter of having confidence in yourself, having patience and knowing what you’re looking at and you’ll see it."

Posted by: tipper || 05/29/2004 9:29:42 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

Guest king-hit at Spanish royal wedding punch-up
There’s always one at every wedding - the embarrassing guest who causes a scene. Even, it appears, at the royal marriage of the decade. Italian media reported that last weekend’s wedding of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain ended in a punch-up, which left an Italian aristocrat nursing bruised lips. Leaving a dinner given by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on the evening of their son’s nuptials, the heir to the Italian throne, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, was said to have hit his cousin and royal rival Duke Amedeo on the steps of the Spanish royal residence. One report said the Duke was punched twice in the mouth and would have fallen to the ground had he not been caught by the deposed Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. The daily, La Repubblica, said Duke Amedeo was then helped inside Zarzuela Palace, where an unidentified Arab potentate applied an ice pack to his bruised lips. La Stampa quoted Duke Amedeo as saying it was "an unpleasant business that does not deserve further comment".
Those wacky lovable royals. You can dress them up but you can’t take them out.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/29/2004 1:01:05 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hey, yah gotta do what yah gotta do to keep up with the House of Windsor
Posted by: cheaderhead || 05/29/2004 13:36 Comments || Top||

#2  I am thinking a reality show for these guys that is a combination MTV Cribs, Palace Edition and Celebrity Deathmatch. Might even displace Nick and Jessica.
Posted by: ed || 05/29/2004 16:09 Comments || Top||

#3  When's the duel?
Posted by: tu3031 || 05/29/2004 19:09 Comments || Top||

Pope Worries About Soulless U.S. Life
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II warned several U.S. bishops Friday that American society is in danger of turning against spirituality in favor of materialistic desires, giving way to a "soulless vision of life."...
The rest of the article is significantly less remarkable than the astounding headline. It might be less John Paul and more the news service folks at the AP and Yahoo! News who are to blame. Nevertheless, the headline is pretty offensive - perpetuating a baseless anti-American, elitist stereotype. Rather that fisk the piece myslef, I?fm just going to mix in sections from another article from The Economist. The second article is indented.
Americans are becoming more religious, but not necessarily more censorious...To Europeans, religion is the strangest and most disturbing feature of American exceptionalism. They worry that fundamentalists are hijacking the country....Like the philosophers of the Enlightenment, many Europeans argue that modernisation is the enemy of religion. As countries get richer, organised religion will decline. Secular Europe seems to fit that pattern. America does not ...

The American church "is called to respond to the profound religious needs and aspirations of a society increasingly in danger of forgetting its spiritual roots and yielding to a purely materialistic and soulless vision of the world," John Paul said.
There is no doubt, though, that America is the most religious rich country. Over 80% of Americans say they believe in God.

"Taking up this challenge, however, will require a realistic and comprehensive reading of the ?fsigns of the times,?f in order to develop a persuasive presentation of the Catholic faith and prepare young people especially to dialogue with their contemporaries about the Christian message and its relevance to the building of a more just, humane and peaceful world."
...(Europeans) fear that America will go on a 'crusade' (a term briefly used by Mr Bush himself) in the Muslim world or cut aid to poor countries lest it be used for birth control....But the really distinctive feature of American religion is the area in the middle. Most Americans do not become members of a church to sign up for a crusade or to sit in judgment on miserable sinners. For them, churchgoing is a matter of personal belief, not conservative activism. Their religion is mild.....That must temper the notion that religion is running amok in America, or that it is causing America to run amok in the world

John Paul added: "An effective proclamation of the Gospel in contemporary Western society will need to confront directly the widespread spirit of agnosticism and relativism which has cast doubt on reason?fs ability to know the truth, which alone satisfies the human heart?fs restless quest for meaning."

Hey Europeans! Are Americans religious yahoos or soulless materialistic philistines? Which is it? Make up your G*ddamn minds!!
Posted by: Prince Abdullah || 05/29/2004 5:04:08 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fuck the pope. Who gives a tinker's damn what he says? Sure, he's a decent man. But, a man nonetheless. He is NOT God's "agent". Jesus says; "No man cometh to the Father, but my ME." We are to pray to Jesus, not some other sinner(Pope), for forgiveness.

I/we have a direct line to God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Sure, the virgin Mary was a special woman. But, she can't forgive our sins. The Pope can't forgive our sins. Fred, the drunk down the street, can't forgive our sins. Only Jesus!!
Posted by: Halfass Pete || 05/29/2004 13:41 Comments || Top||

#2  HP, get off the drugs. This may be your last chance.
Posted by: Rafael || 05/29/2004 13:44 Comments || Top||

#3  This is John Paul in denial. The Catholic Church is losing people in droves to the Evangelicals, Mormons, and other faiths. Rather than blaming the losses on the Church, he's blaming it on the flock. "The Church can't be wrong, so it must be the laity."
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/29/2004 13:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Pete> But, she can't forgive our sins. The Pope can't forgive our sins. Fred, the drunk down the street, can't forgive our sins. Only Jesus!!

John 20:22-20:24: Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.


If you believe that kind of thing, ofcourse, which I don't. But this phrase is, I believe, the foundation for the idea of the mystery of confession (and forgiveness by a priesthood) in both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 05/29/2004 13:51 Comments || Top||

#5  21-23, not 22-24
Posted by: Aris Katsaris || 05/29/2004 13:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Prince Abdullah, it depends on who you ask ;)

*marks Halfass Pete for Protestant-vs-Catholic trolling (Mary's not a "co-redemptrix"? Mel Gibson disagrees :P), then remembers too late that this isn't the Freeper board, and therefore should be allowed to stand* (in-joke ;) )

11A5S, is he blaming the laity? That's not what I'm picking up here, so much as a culture conflict ... 'course, I think he may have been watching too much Jerry Springer ...
Posted by: Edward Yee || 05/29/2004 14:03 Comments || Top||

#7  Sigh. ;-)

Perhaps many in the world would be surprised by how many Americans are agnostic or atheist, yet are intelligent enough to reject the asinine generalization that those who have a religious belief system are raving Crusaders bent on domination / subjugation. With the glaring exception of Islam, I am one. I see non-Islamic religion as a good and positive thing which gives purpose, organization, peace of mind, and collective capability to do good works for themselves and others. Rock on, [insert favorite flavor here]! I am particularly impressed with how the Mormons take care of their needy as I saw it up close. I'm sure the same is true for most Christian churches - collectively, and with amazingly few exceptions, they are a very positive force in society and the world. Now as for missionaries, well, that's where things get a little hinky...

BUT... Discussing religion on the Internet is about the stupidest and most pointless thing imaginable. If you can't reach out and strangle the SOB who disagrees with you on some point of faith, then it merely frustrates people. It's so much more satisfying to face adversaries directly when discussing the fine points of an unprovable belief system and kick the living shit out of them when they fail to accept the obvious "truth" of your position, IMO.

Everything else, every other topic, can be discussed profitably by both "sides" of an issue.
Posted by: .com || 05/29/2004 14:10 Comments || Top||

#8  From the Pope's view the US Catholic church is in trouble. It is hemorrhaging members to the Protestant denominations. The priests are cut off from the daily lives of it's flock, losing relevance, and leaving the priesthood. In addition, the funds from the US church to the Vatican (was #1, don't know now) has been reduced. The Boston church is in danger of bankruptcy due to the pederasty lawsuits.

The above can be solved by allowing married priests, like the church originally did and having more participation from the congregation. But, I guess, that would make them Protestants.
Posted by: ed || 05/29/2004 14:15 Comments || Top||

#9  ...(Europeans) fear that America will go on a 'crusade' (a term briefly used by Mr Bush himself)...

I remember Bush's speech using this word, and I didn't associate it with a bunch of Eurotrash off on a joy-ride/land grab. Instead, I recalled its use by someone else, a little more recently.

From Gen. Eisenhower:


Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world....

Guess the Euros are right. No more nasty crusading Americans in their future, I'm sure. That ought to put their fevered little minds to rest.
Posted by: Darth VAda || 05/29/2004 14:47 Comments || Top||

#10  11A5 - You misconstrue the Church. As usual outsiders or uneducated (on the Catechism and the Church) miss the point. The Church does not claim perfection - it merely claims to be the Apostolic continuance of Christ's ministry on earth as put forth in the scriptures - and in the doctrines of the early Church that preceded the scriptures. The only real claim is to act with God's blessings when the entire Church is of one mind on a given item.

The Church will speak out, and believe it or not, unlike many other regligious organizations, the Church is not concerned with being popular, as you seem to imply should be its concern. Its concern is with doing right, doing God's will.

The truth is that people and society have separated themselves from the Church and her teachings. The Church recognizes this, accepts it as reality, but agonizes over it. And the Church speaks out - morally it must speak out, loudly. For to remain silent is a sin in itself in circumstances such as these. Silence can kill.

Recognize the truth in the truism attributed to Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Silence can be deadly - remember what Lutheran Reverand Martin Niemoller said when faulting himself and society: "... Then they came for
the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Like a parent seeing a grown child out doing drugs and sleeping around and ruining their life, the Church has a duty to speak out to society, but not to intevene beyond chastizing, informing and recommending (unless it is a matter of life and death). Free will is vital - you must choose to accept God and choose to submit to God's will. Its like getting married: you choose to give up the things in single life, willingly and gladly pick up the burdens of family, but gain life long love. Its not easy, and being imperfect beings sometimes you drift or disagree, but in the end, its your faith and trust and opening your life to another, completely, that sustains you.

Like a parent with a prodigal son, the Church will never condone the immoral and self destructive behavior society engenders, and will not change to accomodate it (like Protestantism does in some instances); but the Church will always welcome the faithful back when they come to truth and return of their own will.

But you and others do misread things about the Catholic Church. It is not for the Church to conform to society, it is for people to conform themsleves to God. The Church is there as the temporal and present Body of Christ - the Body that acts for God who is immanent and transcendant. The Magisterum, and doctrines that have stood for centuries are of immense value for making your way through this mess we call life.

The Sola Scriptura of Protestantism can lead to grave spiritual dangers, and to errors - witness any number of "Strong Leader" cults like Koresh, based on Sola Scriptura protestanism and how dependant they become on the one person who interprets the Holy Words.

Indeed, this is the big problem with Islam in many places - they are very much a Literalist group with rigid doctrines and strongman leaders, and as such are vulnerable to hideous distortions of what bits of God's wisdom that are contained in their faith. A prime example is the whole "72 Virgins" bit.

So throwing away the Church and its Magisterum and Doctrines smacks of foolishness, and frequently ends very badly for all concerned. The Church does change some things over time, as God wills. The addition of duties of the Extraordainary Eucharistic Ministers, the reinstatement Permanent Diaconte, for example.

But on other issues it will NEVER change - and that is the core doctrine of the Sanctity of Life - as reflected in the doctrine of Human Vitae. Life: That is the wellspring of God from which the Church's stands on Abortion, the Death Penalty, Just War, Social Justice, etc all flow.

Myself, I disagree with the Church leadership on how to best acheive these goals (Eurosocialism they favor versus compassionate Capitalism, group oriented policies versus individualism), but not on the roots of the actions. We share a belief that all life has value, that we should protect life, that we should act to ensure life is protected, and that God, not man, is our ultimate judge.

Given my background in the military and intelligence worlds, this doesnt mean the Shepherd cannot kill the wolves when needed. You recognize the wolf for what it is and keep the flock (those who cannot defend themselves) safe, even at sacrifice to yourself. It also means you do not go shooting the wolves for sport, only necessity.

Recognize that evil exists, and is manifest and active in this world.

Be sure to go beyond the analogy: unlike wolves, people can change. God gives redemption if you but ask, genuinely, and repent.

In Sum, the Church does not claim perfection, but it does claim moral authority to speak and act when it sees wrong.

Remember that the last One that was perfect was nailed to a tree 20 centuries ago to die for those of us who can never be perfect: but we can be forgiven if we only ask.
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/29/2004 15:20 Comments || Top||

#11  "The truth is that people and society have separated themselves from the Church and her teachings. "

FYI - "people" includes the Priesthood and even the Bishops in some cases: witness Cardinal Bernartd Law and the mess he made in Archdiocese of Boston with the pederast in Priests clothing. He covered for them, shuffled papers, and refused to speak out and codmen evil when he saw it. And the people and Church suffered, deservedly, for not doing the right things.

Compare that to the former Archbishop in Denver, for example, - he took action early to find and root out these men, and to console and help the victims. I believe he is now a Cardinal in Rome (Stafford). And the current Archbishop of Denver is quite a good man as well, specking out when he sees evil, but not abbrogating free will of the parishoners.

Perhaps that is why Denver's seminary school is full, and Boston's seminaries are shrinking, why Denver seems to be a growing Church, whiel Boston is shrinking.

Evil extracts a steep price for those who condone it and for the peopel around it, even if its condoning it by inaction or silence.
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/29/2004 15:28 Comments || Top||

#12  Old Spook: I am going to take dotcom's advice and not argue about religion. But for your information, I was baptized, confessed, communed, and confirmed a Catholic. I went to twelve years of parochial and Salesian schools and am very familiar with every one of your arguments. I will be blunt. I have rejected the Church and her teachings. I am a Catholic Kaffir. I still give a lot of money to the Salesians, though.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/29/2004 15:30 Comments || Top||

#13  Preshawar. There I said it.
Posted by: Shipman || 05/29/2004 15:43 Comments || Top||

#14  "Anyone who can't respect another person's religious beliefs is a barbarian."

-- Tom Clancy.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/29/2004 18:14 Comments || Top||

#15  "Any man with a bowling alley in his basement is a barbarian." --me
Posted by: Zpaz || 05/29/2004 18:34 Comments || Top||

#16  allowing married priests The Catholic church does allow married priests. What it doesn't allow is priests to marry. There were a couple of cases in the UK (and for all I know more) of married Anglican priests who converted and became Catholic priests with no requirement for celibacy.
Posted by: Phil B || 05/29/2004 19:09 Comments || Top||

#17  I've heard of that rule, Phil - I know that a senior Anglican cleric (in the wake of the Gene Robinson scandal) in Australia "crossed the Tiber" and linked up with Rome.
Posted by: Edward Yee || 05/29/2004 19:42 Comments || Top||

#18  It seems like the Pope has trouble remembering that were it not for us "soulless Americans," his pretty little Vatican would now be sitting on Nazi soil. We'll struggle to ignore how the Catholic "blood libel" facilitated countless pogroms and the very Holocaust itself. I think the Pope needs to spend more time worrying about why his priests are raping little boys and girls.

All those millions of dollars being paid out came from somewhere. If the Church didn't have insurance coverage, that money must have come from a collection plate. Imagine that, tithes and donations going, not for good works, but instead to pay hush money for kids buggered by priests.

Diverting contributions so as to cover up felonious wrongdoing sounds pretty "soulless" to me.
Posted by: Zenster || 05/29/2004 22:37 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Nebraska Retiree Fights to Hang American Flag
Every morning since 9/11, Donald Lamp has hung his American flag from his apartment balcony. Managers of his retirement community want it gone, citing policy on building appearances.
Yeah! You should know better then to be patriotic! Dont you watch CNN?
The case makes Lamp one of many Americans who, because of housing covenants, are discouraged from flying their flags this Memorial Day weekend. But Lamp is different from the rest. He is the father-in-law of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Donald and Marjorie Lamp, whose daughter Virginia is married to Thomas, said they don’t want to use the connection to influence anybody. "We don’t go around saying my son-in-law is Clarence Thomas," Donald Lamp said. "You don’t do that. He wouldn’t like to have us do that."
I think it is the author of this article who is making a big deal of the relationship..
The couple’s daughter, who works for the Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington, also said she is keeping her husband out of the fray. "I’m just his crazy, activist wife," she said. "It’s just me and my dad pushing this." Still, Lamp is holding his ground on flying the flag. "I’m not about to take it down," the 89-year-old World War II veteran said. Cathy McGrath, the community’s general manager, said Lamp’s stature makes no difference to her. "We have a lot of important people here," she said.
Then why don't you treat them like they're important?
She said the Arboretum’s board set the policy forbidding outdoor hangings such as windsocks, wind chimes, planters and flags when the community opened in 1998. "The board didn’t want this very expensive property to end up looking like a frat house," she said.
Worry about that when Mr. Lamp puts a couple beer kegs on his balcony...
In the end, she concedes, there’s not much she can do if Lamp persists. "We’re not going to go and remove him physically," she said. The Lamps’ next-door neighbor, Grace Hansen, said she supports the couple’s display of their flag. "I can see it out my window, and I look forward to seeing it out there every morning. It means everything’s right in the world," she said.
Great quote!
Another neighbor, Hazel Smith, said she hangs a U.S. flag from her balcony on national holidays.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/29/2004 3:35:58 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

New Yorkers Get It! Letters to the NY Post
One of the Letters to the Editor in response to yesterday’s Podhoretz editorial:
I would have to agree with Podhoretz regarding Gore’s loss of sanity.

I am shocked that a former vice president would ever feel it is appropriate to display so much hatred for a sitting president.

At least this explains Tipper’s interest in mental health.

Stephen Sulecki, Manhattan

Ouch. Read them all at the link.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/29/2004 12:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pretty funny, NY has folks that get it. Gore is quite the loser. May his history be what he has made of it. A no class bore.
Posted by: Lucky || 05/29/2004 1:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Fortunately, NY's conservatives compensate their numbers with loyalty, integrity and often being better than multiple liberals put together -- I was at Fleet Week 2004, and NO ONE was not supportive of the troops and what they're doing overseas for us; and this was crowds and crowds, bigger than those at some Democratic or liberal rallies :D

(Even a Times Square diner has a Fleet Week Special -- uniformed sailors and Marines, until Thursday, get a free beer with their meal.)
Posted by: Edward Yee || 05/29/2004 1:26 Comments || Top||

#3  Rantburgers, your comments and opinions please... I have a new theory that's so way out, that it could only be possible if it were to come from the party of Howard Dean. Here goes....

Up until now, Kerry has been the de facto Dem nominee, and has been so for a couple of months, but before that, Dean was the poster boy with Kerry hardly on the map.

Gore has popped his alpha male wanna-be head above ground several times since he lost the election, but just here and there.

Suddenly, as we get close to the Democratic convention, when Kerry will supposedly get the official nod, Gore shows up again, but this time, he's screaming like Chewbacca in heat - kind of like Howard "kreegah!" Dean.

One of Dean's appeals to democrats was supposedly his refreshing, if not bizarre, departure from the middle of the road approaches his opponents were taking. It didn't matter if they held any water, all that mattered was that someone was moving leftwards, away from the center and, heaven forbid, the right.

Way out theory A: Gore wants to make a run for President, and hopes that if he comes out screaming Dean-like messages, in a Dean-like style, but as Al Gore who we know was 2nd in command during the "golden 90's" when all the world loved us and we all had lots of money, blah, blah, blah....

Way out theory B: At the moment, Kerry seems to be ahead in the polls, but he's not delivering knock-out punches, and the Dems are sending Al Gore out there to see if there are any issues that grab people, and then pass them on to Kerry to strengthen his hand. Kerry doesn't have the liberty to try out wacky things, but if Al Gore tests the waters and they sink, hey, it's just that wacky Al Gore. However, If Al "check out my inflateable Hulk muscles" Gore throws some crap at the wall and it actually sticks, then Kerry would quietly adopt that issue into his campaign.

Okay, to all you more politically savvy folks out there, this might be totally ridiculous theory, but I just wanted to see if anyone thought it could be possible, and if not, what they thought might be the reason the Dem party leaders somehow overlooked a 6 and half foot tall tazmanian devil, who will always represent their party, whether in an official capacity or not.

Watchoo guys t'ink?
Posted by: A theory, and it is mine... || 05/29/2004 10:14 Comments || Top||

#4  I'll take Theory B. for $200, Alex.

I say that even though Kerry came out with a fairly strong speech yesterday (can't find the link right now). This also gives Kerry an opportunity to waffle on yet another issue if / when he 'lurches' leftwards again. It's inevitable, just look at his record, that is when he shows up.
Posted by: Raj || 05/29/2004 10:43 Comments || Top||

#5  I'll take theory B. too.
If Al were going to run, he would have done it with the others.
Al is just as Left as sKerry, make no mistake.
They'll let him scream for the Party and take the heat so sKerry doesn't have to.
Al has nothing to lose but his mind. (Actually, I don't think any of the Dimocrats are anything but losers.
Al's screech is another Dean "YARRRRRRGH" redo.
They are the most consummate bunch of losers and I can't wait to see them all get beat in November like the red-headed stepchildren they are!)
Posted by: Jen || 05/29/2004 10:57 Comments || Top||

#6  I thought exactly the same thing. A stupid looking, extreme acting Gore make Kerry look stateman like. This was clearly a stalking horse job by Gore.
Posted by: Anonymous5041 || 05/29/2004 11:44 Comments || Top||

#7  I'd really, really, really, really like to get my hands around algore's throat. Someone needs to choke the life out of that motherfucker. Then shit in his mouth. Ditto klinton!!....both of 'em.
Posted by: Halfass Pete || 05/29/2004 12:54 Comments || Top||

#8  AlGore's auditioning for a Convention speaking slot as well...
Posted by: Frank G || 05/29/2004 13:03 Comments || Top||

#9  Oh Please God, let Al speak on national TV at the convention.
Posted by: Douglas De Bono || 05/29/2004 13:16 Comments || Top||

#10  It's too bad that Pat Paulsen passed on... I believe he'd qualify as the most sane Donk today.
Posted by: .com || 05/29/2004 13:27 Comments || Top||

#11  ...I'll take Theory B, Variant One - Gore is not only trying on issues for size, he intends to claim a pound of flesh if Kerry should somehow win, i.e.; "I got you elected son, and you OWE me."

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 05/29/2004 18:59 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Détente With Terror
The foreign policy of the Democratic Party is one of deliberate weakness: distrust America, trust the "world," and keep one of Uncle Sam’s arms tied behind his back. Al Gore blurted this policy out in his wild speech this week when he quoted approvingly a liberal Israeli judge’s mindless piety that although "a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand."

Not for long. A party that worries about the rights of terrorists is not up to defeating them. The Democrats sound ready to send the ACLU into Iraq’s prisons alongside the Red Cross.

Photographs seem to bring out the soft-on-crime, soft-on-terrorism instincts of the Democrats. The nation hasn’t seen this much childish, hysterical emoting since the photographs of Rodney King. That obsession led the Democrats to fret more about the rights of criminals than cops. Now the Abu Ghraib photos have the Democrats demanding that the U.S. military operate like a one-armed LAPD.

The party patterns of the Cold War era reappear in this one. The Democrats basically want a policy of detente toward Islamic terrorism. They are no more useful in the war on militant Islam than they were in the war on Soviet communism. At best, many of them fought the war on communism not to win but to tie. They feared American "dominance" under Ronald Reagan. His Star Wars program was out of the question for them because it would eliminate the "parity" between American and the USSR ensured by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. (To this day, they remain opposed to ballistic missile defense lest America gain an "offensive" advantage over the world.) John Kerry talked of a "nuclear freeze," and some Democrats just straightforwardly advocated the solution of surrender -- unilateral disarmament -- invoking the sort of faux-pious solemnities Gore quoted on Wednesday.

What they said about Ronald Reagan -- he was a dangerous Christian with no right to call the Soviet Union "an evil empire," a provoker of communist expansionism, an arrogant and undiplomatic bumpkin burning bridges to the world -- they now say about Bush in this war. The Democrats say they are not drawing a moral equivalence between the terrorists and the Bush administration, but they obviously are. From Gore’s "Bush’s gulag" babble to Teddy Kennedy’s lunge at Bush for reopening Hussein’s torture chambers, the vocabulary of moral equivalence lingers in the language of the Democratic Party.

Gore’s speech exposed another old habit of the Dems from the Cold War years: liberals seeking to understand the most illiberal ideologies on earth while regarding the culture protecting them from tyranny as tyrannical itself. The Joe Wilsons talk about the fascist regime of George Bush while luxuriating and guffawing on Comedy Central’s couch. How long would they survive in the Islamic lands they weep for? Gore managed to blame the Abu Ghraib scandal -- not on the libertine culture that the Clinton ethos accelerated (Bill Clinton evidently applied the Tailhook convention, not Geneva convention, to Kathleen Willey) -- but on evangelical Christian America. Somewhere along the line the abstinence educators in the Bush administration dropped their aversion to sadomasochistic orgies for the sake of indulging their hatred of Islam.

Gore: "One of the Generals in charge of this war policy went on a speaking tour in his spare time to declare before evangelical groups that the U.S. is in a holy war as ’Christian Nation battling Satan.’ This same General Boykin was the person who ordered the officer who was in charge of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay to extend his methods to Iraq detainees, prisoners. The testimony from the prisoners is that they were forced to curse their religion. Bush used the word ’crusade’ early on in the war against Iraq...Ameen Saeed al-Sheikh told the Washington Post that he was tortured and ordered to denounce Islam and after his leg was broken one of his torturers started hitting it while ordering him to curse Islam and then, ’they ordered me to thank Jesus that I’m alive.’ Others reported that they were forced to eat pork and drink alcohol."

(Gore forgot to mention that other act of multicultural insensitivity to Muslim males -- Janis Karpinski serving as their warden. Oh, that’s right: having women guard Muslim men is a Clinton-era policy, so that’s "democracy" Gore will permit Bush to spread.)

Gore’s advanced stage of political dementia is a metaphor for the mindlessness of his party’s defense policies.

Posted by: tipper || 05/29/2004 1:58:37 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6468 views] Top|| File under:

Crude Oil Rises Before Memorial Day Holiday Amid Tensions in the Mideast
I thought it just went down?
Posted by: Mark Espinola || 05/29/2004 12:00:00 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When asked what the stock market would do, J. P. Morgan was said to have replied, "It will fluctuate." The market for oil is no different.
Posted by: Mr. Davis || 05/29/2004 0:11 Comments || Top||

22 Killed in Northern Iran Earthquake
Allen keeps sending messages ...
A strong earthquake shook central and northern Iran on Friday, killing at least 23 people - some buried by landslides on a mountain road - and seriously damaging more than 80 villages, the Interior Ministry and state-run media said. More than 100 others were reported injured by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake, which struck at 5:08 p.m. and was centered about 45 miles north of Tehran, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Eight provinces in central and northern Iran were affected by the temblor, with the worst-damaged villages near Alamout, about 80 miles west of Tehran, Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhah Khanjani told The Associated Press.

In Tehran, the quake broke windows in parts of the city, causing panicked residents to rush outdoors. As midnight approached, many families were still in the streets or parks, planning to spend the night outdoors for fear of aftershocks. Officials at Tehran University's seismological center said Friday's quake had a magnitude of 5.5 and its epicenter was in the village of Baladeh, 43 miles northeast of Tehran, near the Caspian Sea. The center also said there were 12 aftershocks, one with a 4.4 magnitude.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/29/2004 11:57:22 PM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

Iraqi GC tells UN to go bother somebody else
Posted by: Phil B || 05/29/2004 19:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
Miramax buys Michael Moore’s Lies
Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 has moved a step closer to being released in US cinemas after the rights were bought by studio Miramax. The company’s founders, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, personally bought back the rights from parent company Disney, which had refused to distribute it. The film alleges connections between US President George W Bush and top Saudi families, including the Bin Ladens.
and now Moore has manufactured more publicity by claiming he has 20 mins of interview footage with none other than Nick Berg, beheaded by fascist Islamists in Iraq. He allegedly sent the video to the home of Nick’s parents, but Nick’s sister is confused as to why he would have footage, and it cannot be confirmed as his parents are away from home at the moment (LGF).
Miramax had funded Moore’s film, which won this year’s Palme D’Or at Cannes.
It’s simplisme. it bashes america it must be an award-winning doco regardless of fact!
The Weinsteins have said they will arrange for cinema and home video distribution of the film, which could be on screen by mid-summer. Some commentators say the film could influence the November presidential election because of its unflattering portrait of Mr Bush. It criticises his stance on Iraq and his actions before and after the 11 September attacks. Moore had accused Disney of bowing to political pressure from the White House in its decision to block the film. Disney denied the accusation and in turn accused Moore of engineering a dispute about the film’s release to gain maximum publicity for it. Disney said it could still profit if the film did well, but it would donate any proceeds to charity.
Though I like a free press, I say GOOD ON DISNEY because Michael Moore is not a documentary maker of good repute. His credibility has been called into question due to the exposure of lies and errors in his previous documentary, so I am glad Disney is distancing itself from him
Posted by: Anon1 || 05/29/2004 11:48:26 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6510 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Unfortunately the 'average joe' on the street won't know about his lies. Good Morning We Hate America type of shows will be in a more then willing to advertise it as 'the one word of truth' and soddomize the american public with it.

And of course Father Berg, a member of A.N.S.W.E.R. in good standing, will be more then willing to bend over for Moore no matter what it does to his son's image.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/29/2004 12:12 Comments || Top||

#2  The company’s founders, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, personally bought back the rights from parent company Disney, which had refused to distribute it.

Last I heard, Disney owns Miramax along with Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. Its Miramax Film Corp. acquires, produces, and distributes movies under the Miramax and Dimension banners. Disney Pictures has the kid friendly image while Miramax does the grownup films. The Disney-Miramax dichotomy is just a sleight of hand.
Posted by: ed || 05/29/2004 12:32 Comments || Top||

#3  When I was out in the field in Western Alaska a few weeks ago, I saw the Michael Moore bit in Cannes on the NBC Today show, with Katie Couric all over the story. I have not seen the show for over a year and I was shocked. BTW, Katie had some heavy makeup over her lips around the mouth, which looked like it was covering some nasty cold sores. I would not wish that on anybody, but somehow it all fit together in a quasi-cosmic way.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 05/29/2004 12:40 Comments || Top||

#4  karma, AP
Posted by: Frank G || 05/29/2004 12:48 Comments || Top||

#5  Jabba would have to pay ME money to watch his tripe. A LOT of money...
Posted by: PBMcL || 05/29/2004 12:53 Comments || Top||

#6  AP, I saw Katie the other day and thought to myself that she looked like a walking corpse. Ugh! Katie would have been 'all over' the story (and Jabba himself) I'm sure...

Karma's a bitch aint it?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/29/2004 13:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Like the rest of his tripe. Moore's latest won't make its way out of the art houses. Its impact on public, non-elite opinion will be next to zero. Still he's a scumbag.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/29/2004 13:50 Comments || Top||

#8  11A5S - HBO sure has been playing Bowling for Columbine and A Casualty of War a LOT lately... I figure they'll do their ax-grinding LLL best to see to it every piece of shit MMSFF* ever excretes will get plenty of air time.

Katie is the most self-absorbed LLL shill on TV, IMO. She's AlGore minus the spittle, methinks.

* Michael Moore Sick Fat Fuck
Posted by: .com || 05/29/2004 14:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Thanks for setting me straight, dotcom. That's my own blindness showing through. I don't watch much TV. I didn't watch it at all before I got married.
Posted by: 11A5S || 05/29/2004 15:17 Comments || Top||

#10  To the tune of "When I'm a Bad Bart." by Gilbert and Sullivan

Young Michael Moore: When I'm making films I will tell taradiddles
Chorus: He'll tell taradiddles when he's making films
YMM: And truth I will kill and with facts I will fiddle
C: With facts he will fiddle and truth he will kill
YMM: You have to be spaced if you'd be concientious
C: To be concientious you have to be spaced.
YMM: So I spit in the face of all morals sententious
C: All morals sententious he spits in the face.
He spits in the face in the face of all morals sententious.
When he's making films he will tell taradiddles
With facts he will fiddle and truth he will kill.
The truth he will kill and with facts he will fiddle
And tell taradiddles when he's making films
When he's making films he will tell taradiddles
With facts he will fiddle and truth he will kill.
The truth he will kill and with facts he will fiddle
And tell taradiddles when he's making films.
When he's making films he will tell taradiddles
With facts he will fiddle and truth he will kill.
The truth he will kill and with facts he will fiddle
And tell taradiddles when he's making films.

BTW, a taradiddle is a lie.
Posted by: Korora || 05/29/2004 17:41 Comments || Top||

#11  "Hello, this is your God talking to you...."
..."Hold on for a sec.....
HEY JESUS...... can you get me another cold on out of the Fridge!!!..."
"Sorry.....God's allowed to kick back and have a cold one every once and a while...you know"
"Well...where was I????"
"Oh...yeah....As I was saying....I quite agree with you chaps....this michael moore fellow is dangerous." "You know I am the official representative of the United States...and this man poses a threat." Next to Jesus....George Dubbya...been like a second son to me. I know his daddys been a straying back in the 80s....but I saved George Dubbya and I'm mighty proud. Yess'um your God's done some mighty fine work. Well You see this Michael Moore fellow...is a threat...he's done struck a deal with the devil and risks everything George Dubbya stands for.
Say your prayers sons...
Posted by: God...your Ultimate Holyness || 06/22/2004 2:32 Comments || Top||

Al-Jazeera film storms US box office
Posted by: tipper || 05/29/2004 05:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The director denies that Qatar based propaganda agency promotes jihad. Starting with the serial accusations that civilians are deliberately targeted by US and Israeli troops, then think of the labelling of terrorists as insurgents against occupiers, and you get the picture. Al-Jazeera is a jihad propaganda agency, pure and simple. I would pepper their home office with 1000 pounders.
Posted by: Dog Bites Trolls || 05/29/2004 10:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Note that this is from a BBC site...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 05/29/2004 12:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Someone want to repost the article here? The Great Firewall of China blocks the BBC...
Posted by: gromky || 05/30/2004 1:03 Comments || Top||

Posted by: tipper || 05/29/2004 02:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Steyn tells it straight on again!
Posted by: Craig || 05/29/2004 10:38 Comments || Top||

Africa: Subsaharan
Nigerians arrested with fake dollars
The Commercial Bank Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday made a series of raids and arrested three Nigerian nationals, Casmir, Frank and Clifford who were allegedly part of an international counterfeit US currency scam.
The FIA team also seized a large quantity of counterfeit US dollars wrapped in black protective coating and bottles of solution apparently used to remove the protective coating. Also confiscated were bogus certificates purportedly issued by the US Mint and US Embassy.
A few days ago, the accused approached a local businessman in the Blue Area. Prince Kala, who claimed to be the son of a minister in Sierra Leone,
That'd be Frank, no doubt...
tried to convince the businessman that he had $2 million in protective coating. Prince Kala said he needed $200,000 to buy the solution that would remove the protective coating. The FIA raided and apprehended the fraudster. Various bags containing the counterfeit currency and bottles of solution were recovered from a hotel in G-10. At this point, men named Casmir and Clifford were also arrested. US embassy staff were contacted by the FIA and were informed that the US government does not protect currency using a black sealant.
Everybody knows we use orange sealant. Wotta buncha maroons...
The scam was apparently concocted in Nigeria and has been going on for several years in South Asia and Asian Pacific regions. The gangs lure people by offering the chance to get rich quick. They target businessmen and retired military officers. They convince victims to give them the money to buy solution by washing some counterfeit currency with a sample of the solution, the director of the FIA Commercial Banking Circle told Daily Times.
$200,000 for a jug of solution?
He said that the solution is so irritating that becomes difficult for the victim to keep their eyes open. The fraudsters switch the fake currency with real currency that they have hidden in their sleeves and claim that the protective solution washed the coating away.
Takes a mightly long sleeve to conceal $2 million...
This process is so convincing that people usually fall for the story and invest the required money, he said. After receiving money for the solution, the fraudsters vanish. The bag allegedly filled with US currency is found to be full of nothing but black paper cut in the size and shape of dollars and wrapped in plastic. Bogus certificates from the US Mint or US embassy are also in the bag.
One born every minute...
Posted by: Fred || 05/29/2004 12:13:18 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A Nigerian scam? Who wudda thunk it? LOL
Posted by: GK || 05/29/2004 2:00 Comments || Top||

#2  I am stuck in a bit of a bind - If any Rantburgers could send me the bail money, I will lead them to a fortune deposited in an account held by late Father, Casmir Sr.
Posted by: Frank G || 05/29/2004 13:28 Comments || Top||

Event: Rene Gonzalez beaten for Tillman column
Group: General public
Narrative: What are the chances Rene Gonzalez will be beaten on a street corner for the column he wrote about Tillman?
Probability 95% entered by Anonymous on 4/30/2004
Probability 100% entered by Anonymous on 4/30/2004
Overall opinion is Highly Probable (98%)
Current opinion is Highly Probable (100%)
I haven't heard of it happening. Nobody's thumped Ted Rall, either. Put it down to short attention span...
Posted by: Fred || 05/29/2004 12:08:09 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

Afghanistan/South Asia
Blasphemy case: Samuel dies in hospital
Samuel Masih, a blasphemy suspect who was attacked by police constable Faryad on May 22 with a brick cutter in Gulab Devi Hospital, died in the emergency ward of the Lahore General Hospital on Friday. His body has been handed over to the family after an autopsy. The 27-year-old Christian man was facing trial under Section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of up to two years. He was accused of littering the wall of a mosque in Lawrence Gardens on August 23 last year. Samuel was suffering from tuberculosis and had to be admitted to Gulab Devi Hospital reportedly on May 19 after a severe attack in jail. Superintendent of Police Mirza Farhan said constable Faryad had been jailed. Samuel was in police custody in the hospital. His family did not pursue the case because they were reportedly scared of the police. Samuel was in jail since last August and nobody defended his case.
Posted by: Fred || 05/29/2004 12:03:25 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Another innocent victim of that great Religion of Pieces (Allah = Satan)
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist || 05/29/2004 10:55 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Ex-Vietnam POW to Get Comrades' Remains
Great story.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/29/2004 12:01:40 AM || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

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Sat 2004-05-29
  16 Dead in Al Khobar Attack
Fri 2004-05-28
  Iran establishes unit to recruit suicide bombers
Thu 2004-05-27
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Wed 2004-05-26
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Tue 2004-05-25
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Mon 2004-05-24
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Sun 2004-05-23
  Qaeda planning hot summer for USA?
Sat 2004-05-22
  Car Bomb Kills 4, Injures Iraqi Minister
Fri 2004-05-21
  Israeli Troops Pulling Out of Rafah Camp
Thu 2004-05-20
  Troops Hold Guns to Chalabi's Head
Wed 2004-05-19
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Tue 2004-05-18
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Mon 2004-05-17
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