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Shi'ite shrine destroyed in Samarra
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Holy Shocking Slugs, Batman! New non-lethal shotgun shell--
Edited for brevity.
Stun-gun maker Taser International of Scottsdale, Ariz., is developing a shotgun shell that will be far more powerful than current ones, a report said. Taser's eXtended Range Electro-Muscular Projectile, or XREP, is meant to combine the blunt-force trauma of a fast-moving baseball with the electrical current of a stun gun, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. The product, expected to be available next year, was funded by the Office of Naval Research.

Taser's stun guns largely are used by law enforcement agencies but also have been used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, [company spokesman Steve] Tuttle said. The new product is designed to hit targets from a distance of up to 300 feet, compared to 25 feet for a Taser.
Posted by: Dar || 02/22/2006 13:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Could you use them for duck hunting?
Posted by: Dick Cheney || 02/22/2006 14:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Perhaps hunting and barbecuing in a single shot! Be sure to pack napkins and condiments. Yum
Posted by: Emeril LeGasse || 02/22/2006 15:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Was this a rush job for the VP?
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/22/2006 17:26 Comments || Top||

Another Holiday for D.C.?
Legal public holidays:

- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Inauguration Day (every four years)
- Washington's Birthday
- D.C. Emancipation Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
The D.C. Council is considering whether to add the Lunar New Year
say, what?
to a growing list of public holidays that shutter schools, give local government employees a day off and cost the city more than $1 million.

While many jurisdictions across the United States recognize the Lunar New Year - a holiday celebrated by the Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and other Asian cultures - only San Francisco goes so far as to close schools.

But Ward 2 Council Member Jack Evans, who represents Chinatown and much of the District's Asian population, recently introduced legislation that would take D.C. to another level, closing government offices and emptying classrooms. With a strong and vibrant Asian community in Washington, it is "appropriate to honor the celebration of their new year," Evans said when he introduced the bill, co-sponsored by 10 of his colleagues.
Would he get the day off, too?
"There are hundreds of millions of people who celebrate this every year and we don't," Evans said Tuesday.
Most of them don't live in D.C.
"We don't even recognize it." Roughly 3 percent of the District's population, or about 17,000 people, are Asian, according to the U.S. Census.

Like Emancipation Day, added last year to the D.C. calendar as an annual April holiday, the new day off would cost District taxpayers $1.1 million. Evans said the holiday is worth the money, but one local budget watchdog disagreed.

"It seems we could find a way to honor the Chinese New Year and other important days to District residents without making it a costly holiday for the District," said Ed Lazere, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. "Every time you give every D.C. government worker a day off, it costs that much more to run the D.C. government." The Lunar New Year generally falls between the end of January and the first two weeks of February. The holiday in Washington would open many young eyes to a growing minority community, said Jeanny Ho, vice chairman of the District-based Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, a Chinese American advocacy group.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/22/2006 08:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [433 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oh, and don't forget Cinco de Mayo while you're at it. Shsssssssh, its becoming a Euro enclave with lots and lots of holidays. Here's an idea. Since we move a number of holidays around to fit calendars, lets start moving them to Sunday. You can have as many as you want, just on Sunday. Maybe Saturday if its Superbowl weekend.
Posted by: Choluger Chose4650 || 02/22/2006 13:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Right. You want a commenration, or a day off?

Short answer: day off.

I worked this Monday, when the Feds were off.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/22/2006 17:20 Comments || Top||

#3  As a Chef I work six days a week, 8.75 an hr, and work my ass off. Fed holidays mean nothing to me. I get no holidays off.

Now some chump who makes 3x as much as me for a 1/100th of the effort wants to add another paid day off that I as a taxpayer pay? I love my work dont get me wrong, but i hate for my day of work to pay for them to sit.

Dont think so Bub.. Get off your ass and do some work. Days off are for the faint of heart.lol

Democratic party = Whigs
Posted by: SCpatriot || 02/22/2006 19:01 Comments || Top||

#4  What about St. Swithins Day??
Posted by: DMFD || 02/22/2006 20:20 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm hoping Geranium Retreat day comes about. (A little Pogo aside).
Posted by: davemac || 02/22/2006 20:42 Comments || Top||

#6  I used to hate Cinco de Mayo until I learned it involved the defeat of a French army.
Posted by: Raj || 02/22/2006 20:51 Comments || Top||

#7  Whahahhahahahaaa
Posted by: Besoeker TROLL || 02/22/2006 20:53 Comments || Top||

#8  Geranium Retreat Day... good day to get potted.
Posted by: BesoekerTROLL || 02/22/2006 20:44 Comments || Top||

G'day, Amigo ...
Two female wallabies were found in a pickup truck bound for Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday. The wallabies, which are native to Australia and protected by the Endangered Species Act, were discovered Monday during an outbound inspection at the remote Falcon Dam International Bridge. They are 28 to 30 inches tall, weigh six to eight pounds each, and are believed to be about a year old. Their value is estimated at about $1,400 each, CBP spokesman Rick Pauza said. They were turned over to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. No arrests had been made as of today but an investigation was ongoing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates wildlife smuggling at $4.2 billion a year, second only to illegal drugs.
Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2006 07:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [264 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yippee! A chance to tell one of my stories.

Wallabies are incredibly hardy animals. Believe it or not a herd established itself in the English Peak District, a very forbidding place of mists and bogs. I used to live (25 years ago) on the edge of the Peak District and regularly hiked through the High Peak. On one particular day I was trudging across a bog with the mist blowing intermittently, and was absolutely amazed to see a dozen wallabies bounding out of the mist toward me.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#2  and was absolutely amazed to see a dozen wallabies bounding out of the mist toward me.

HUMAN FLESH-EATER WALLABIES! Run, run for your life!
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 8:36 Comments || Top||

#3  They didn't knock you over?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/22/2006 8:36 Comments || Top||

#4  And steal your wallet?
Posted by: mojo || 02/22/2006 15:46 Comments || Top||

The Blob attacks Downtown L.A.!
So, it was not a movie, but a documentary, as I suspected all along...
Los Angeles officials were still scratching their heads today over what caused a mysterious black goo to burble from streets downtown, forcing the evacuation hundreds of apartment dwellers.
A Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said investigators had yet to identify the ``black tarry substance'' more than 24 hours after it erupted at Olive Street and Pico Boulevard.

But he said there might be ``a correlation'' with a petroleum company drilling operation nearby. ``The samples we have taken _ this was determined to be (a) nontoxin, nonflammable, nonhazard,'' said fire Capt. Ernie Bobadilla. ``We're looking to I.D. the scope of the problem.

``This problem is not a simple fix.''
That's why it requires his expertise.
About 200 residents were forced to flee as a hazardous materials team and dozens of firefighters worked throughout the day to identify what was first deemed "a black tarry substance" and later morphed into a "watery mud."

While outside temperatures struggled to break 60, sidewalks in the vicinity steamed at 103 degrees, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Ron Myers said. "It's worrisome in the fact that it will keep the street closed and residents will be evacuated till the building is considered safe," Myers said.

Firefighters were alerted at 3 a.m. by complaints of a sewer-like smell at an apartment house at 1220 S. Olive St. near Pico Boulevard, but found nothing. They returned at 1 p.m. to find a Slimer-like ooze lurking beneath central Los Angeles. "We were called back because there was a gooey substance, a tarry-type substance, coming out the underground electrical vaults, out of manhole covers in the street, through the sidewalks and possibly in one older apartment building," Myers said.

A 120-foot stretch of Olive buckled 1 1/2 feet, he said. The pre-1933 unreinforced masonry apartment building shifted one foot from its foundation. Sidewalks were as hot as Jacuzzis. And a pressurized liquid shot from every street orifice located above what used to be a historic oil field downtown.

No one was injured in what amounted to a black lagoon. Hazmat and Urban Search and Rescue crews determined that the mysterious substance wasn't flammable, Myers said. "Incident commanders are evaluating some form of drilling operation one or two blocks away as the possible cause," he added.

"They told us to get out from the building, because, probably, I don't know, anything could happen. The basement was flooding," resident Mary Robles told KABC-TV, Channel 7.

By late afternoon, the American Red Cross had set up an evacuation center for the 150 adults and 50 children forced to flee the stuff of nightmares. "We're opening a shelter," said Nick Samaniego, spokesman for the Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles. "We're looking for a place to put them."
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 04:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [359 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gee. It's an old oil field? Probably not too far from the La Brea tar pits? Shifting tectonic plates or global warming? Inquiring minds want to know!
Posted by: Bobby || 02/22/2006 7:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Eerily like the plot of the movie "Volcano", which is *not* the worst volcano movie of all time.

That honor goes to the movie "Dante's Peak", for the scene in which Pierce Brosnan is escaping by driving the family pickup with the family in it over a river of lava and, with four burning tires, they see the family dog, Scruffy, trapped on an island in the middle of the river of lava, and shout to him:

"Jump! Scruffy! Jump!"

A scene so bad that it was known to have caused hundreds of spontaneous nosebleeds in the hundreds of people who actually went and saw the movie in the theater.

Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2006 8:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Kellog, Idaho's day in the sun though...
Posted by: bk || 02/22/2006 8:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Hallelujah! It's a sign! The Lord is sending more oil.
Posted by: Oracle Jones || 02/22/2006 8:30 Comments || Top||

#5  I told them! Los Angeles is melting! Tipper! To the Global Warming Mobile!
Posted by: Al Gore || 02/22/2006 8:31 Comments || Top||

#6  Next thing you know, ol' Jeb's a millionaire,
Kinfold said, "Jeb, move away from there!"
Said, "California's the place you oughta be"
So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly.

Hills, that is. Swimming Pools. Movie Stars ...
Posted by: too true || 02/22/2006 9:01 Comments || Top||

#7  lol, OJ! Maybe the Lord is shining upon us! Now, about those oil derricks in downtown LA!
Posted by: BA || 02/22/2006 10:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Eerily like the plot of the movie "Volcano"...

Just what I was thinking! "MacArthur Park is melting in the dark!"

...which is *not* the worst volcano movie of all time. That honor goes to the movie "Dante's Peak"...

Dante's Peak may well be buried under twenty feet of ash by the upcoming Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York. A Sci Fi Channel (un)original, I think. We saw previews for it the other day and couldn't stop laughing.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 02/22/2006 11:59 Comments || Top||

#9  Gee, "watery mud" near a drilling operation?
Posted by: mojo || 02/22/2006 12:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Steve McQueen is Dead. WE ARE DOOMED!
Posted by: BigEd || 02/22/2006 16:23 Comments || Top||

#11  The remake was better.
Posted by: mojo || 02/22/2006 17:24 Comments || Top||

#12  Cloning has improved that much? Better than the real McQueen?
Posted by: 6 || 02/22/2006 21:00 Comments || Top||

#13  Anonymoose - not to mention outracing a pyroclastic cloud in said pickup truck.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/22/2006 23:42 Comments || Top||

Australian Army hunting 'Donkey Dong'
From the YCMTSU file.
AUSTRALIAN military police are hunting for a well endowed serial flasher nicknamed "Donkey Dong" who is terrorising underwear salespeople. The supposedly well-endowed flasher, who wears army uniform, has been labelled "Donkey Dong" by some city retailers.

Several clothing and sporting retail outlets in the Mitchell Centre have been targeted over the past six months by the unidentified pervert, who calls shop assistants into the change room to see if his tight underwear "fits". MPs have obtained surveillance footage from several businesses to see if they can determine the identity of the culprit or rule out that he belongs to the military.

The most recent retail outlet to be targeted by the mysterious flasher received a visit on Valentine's Day. "I thought it was one of my mates having a joke on me because we sometimes send each other fat-o-grams or something on Valentine's Day when he called me in to the changing room and I saw it," the shop assistant said. "He has been in here four times and apparently he always tries on the same pair of red undies. I didn't really know what to say when he asked me if I thought they fitted him.

"It looks real and it's so big, it winds all the way down his leg and I wasn't sure what to do so I just went and got him a bigger pair.

"He got really nervous and was peeking out from the curtain.

"We call him Donkey Dong in here. He never buys anything and walks out saying that everything in the shop is too small for him."

Another favourite form of clothing for the serial flasher is bicycle pants, which reveal him in all his glory. One retailer who outfitted the man with a pair of bicycle pants recently said he revealed himself to her. After getting a good look, she believes the serial flasher may be using a stocking to fake his credentials. "It fell out of his pants and he said, `That's so embarrassing, it happens all the time'," she said.

A Department of Defence spokesman yesterday confirmed military police have spoken to retailers and are analysing surveillance footage to try to identify the man.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 00:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [258 views] Top|| File under:

#1  he revealed himself to her. After getting a good look, she believes the serial flasher may be using a stocking to fake his credentials

Posted by: too true || 02/22/2006 7:31 Comments || Top||

#2  If I had the same remarkable physical characteristics as that man... well, I wouldn't bother underwear salespeople... no... I would strip myself buttnaked, cover my body with olive oil, and then run wildly in the streets of the nearest big city, chazing terrified wimmen of all ages around, while screaming madly :

Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 7:34 Comments || Top||

#3  Jeez. Every time I go underwear shopping, it becomes national news.
Posted by: ed || 02/22/2006 7:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Definitely a candidate for the point and laugh maneuver.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/22/2006 9:33 Comments || Top||

#5  A5089, you might have missed my observation of yesterday.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 9:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Damn, Mr. Phil_b, don't twist the blade in the wound, will ya!? ;-)
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 9:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Just remember it's not the size of the wand that pulls the rabbit out of the hat, but the magic that it performs.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/22/2006 10:02 Comments || Top||

#8  My hometown police were terribly frustrated by a flasher they knew solely as "HIM!" For six months the guy had been regularly exposing himself, and the only description the still gape-jawed witnesses could give an hour later was that HE was "...a white male, about 40 years old."

Nobody ever looked up.

One day, a little girl called the police and said she knew where the flasher lived. Perhaps 15 police cars raced to the scene of some condos, only to annoyingly find that HE wasn't home. So two uniforms and two plainclothes cops remained behind in HIS condo to await HIS return.

Later that day, John Q. Smith came home after a hard day at the office, only wanting to crap out in front of his teevee, with a can of beer and a teevee dinner. Little did he know that his evening was instead going to be filled with much highly charged entertainment.

Late that evening, the police discovered that the little girl happened to know Mr Smith, and that he was a white man about 40 years old, leading her to assume, incorrectly, that he was the flasher. By then, this information was of little use to Mr Smith. However, they did then grudgingly see fit to release him to the custody of his sofa, with only a philosophical warning, half-mumbled under their breath, on general principals.

Perhaps two years later, a policeman confessed that they never did capture HIM, that HIS merciless and brutal assaults on societies' underappreciation for grotesquely enlarged body parts has spontaneously ended, and that HE had never been heard from again.

He speculated that HE, who he had informally renamed "Sabu, the elephant boy", had eventually returned to India, to be reunited with his elephantine bretheren, in a place where his trunk could dangle wild and free, as nature intended.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2006 11:23 Comments || Top||

Man kills roommate over lack of toilet paper
A man accused of fatally beating his roommate with a sledgehammer and a claw hammer because there was no toilet paper in their home has been arrested.

Franklin Paul Crow, 56, was charged Monday with homicide in the death of Kenneth Matthews, 58, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Capt. Thomas Bibb said Crow initially denied his involvement, but confessed during questioning.

Crow told investigators that the men were fighting about the toilet paper over the weekend when Matthews pulled out a rifle. Crow said he then began beating Matthews with the sledgehammer and claw hammer, according to an affidavit. Matthews was beaten so badly he had to be identified through his fingerprints, detectives said.

Crow was being held at the Marion County jail without bond. It was not immediately known whether he had an attorney.
Posted by: Jackal || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Insanity knows no borders; this was Florida.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/22/2006 7:04 Comments || Top||

#2  But... why didn't he use his left hand? If it was good enough for The Prophet(tm), then it could have been just fine for him.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 7:19 Comments || Top||

#3  why didn't he use his left hand?
Because it was holding a beer?
Posted by: ed || 02/22/2006 7:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Eastern Ocala trailer park I'll wager.
Posted by: 6 || 02/22/2006 8:32 Comments || Top||

#5  I guess its too late to paper over their disagreements.

Posted by: Spoter Unatle4689 || 02/22/2006 22:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Some shit's just too important, y'know?
Posted by: .com || 02/22/2006 22:58 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Police arrest 15 people after Muslim-Christian clashes
Police have arrested 15 people after clashes between Muslims and Christians in a village south of the capital, police officials said Tuesday. Police cordoned off Ezzbat Wassif on Tuesday and mounted patrols in the village, searching for people involved in Monday's fighting as well as ensuring calm, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Villagers fought with sticks and stones, leaving at least 11 people wounded, one seriously, said residents who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. Police, however, said only six people were injured but confirmed that one was in serious condition in hospital. Rioters managed to set three houses on fire before police restored order. The clashes apparently began when Muslims objected to a community hall that Christians were building, taking it to be a church. Under Egyptian law, government permission is required to build a church. Police are questioning the 15 detainees about the clashes.

Last month, an attempt to turn a guest house into an informal church in a southern Egyptian town provoked clashes among Coptic Christians, Muslims and police in which one person was killed and at least 11 wounded.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Hey, you Christians can't just slap up a church! It's illegal!"

"Yeah? How about if we just slap your ass around instead, big mouth?"
Posted by: mojo || 02/22/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

Saudi Consultative Council Refuses to Discuss Female Driving
A member of Majlis al Shura (Consultative Council) in Saudi Arabia objected on Sunday against the Council General Committee's refusal to discuss the recommendation by a member to allow women to drive in the Kingdom. Dr. Khalil al Khalil said the Council's latest decision meant it was dissociating itself from its requirements to develop society and respond to its needs. He saw no reason why the discussion of an issue which has deeply divided Saudi society should not take place. He also pointed out that the General Committee could not decide on behalf of all Council members. In the end, he said, it was the entire Council who would have to take the appropriate decision.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  As you can see this article is a little old, but women drivers seem to be good news for the roads. The argument is that they are less competitive (or testosterone driven). In Arab countries, where women don't drive they have higher traffic-related death rates, whereas in places like the UAE they are much lower. Generally God doesn't seem to be looking after Muslems on the roads.

Speeders blamed for up to 3,000 traffic deaths every month
Most Popular

Updated: 6:56 p.m. ET Dec. 13, 2005
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - On urban highways in the Middle East, cars pinball across lanes at over 100 mph and wrecks are so gory and damage so great one might think the mangled vehicles were destroyed by a bomb.

The region is plagued by some of the world’s highest accident rates, with reckless drivers and speeders blamed for some 3,000 traffic deaths per month in Arab nations.

The carnage has emerged as a public health crisis — the second-leading cause of death, after heart disease, in wealthy Persian Gulf countries — and a chief cause of gridlock gripping many of the Middle East’s fast-growing cities.

World Health Organization statistics show the “Eastern Mediterranean region” — including most Arab countries, Israel, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan — has a rate of 26.3 deaths from traffic accidents per 100,000 population. Only Africa’s rate is higher, at 28.3. In North and South America, the rate is 15.7; the rate in Europe is 14.5.
In Arab nations, it amounts to 3,000 deaths a month, according to a study by the Tunis-based Arab Road Safety Organization.

“That’s equivalent to the number of Sept. 11 victims,” Riadh Dabbou, chief of the organization, told the Gulf Traffic Convention in Dubai Monday.

Car accidents every three minutes
Gulf nations are the worst offenders in the Arab world. Dubai police say a traffic crash occurs in the city every three minutes — every two minutes during the rush home for the evening meal during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“It’s horrifying,” said Glenn Havinoviski, a traffic technology expert with Virginia-based consultancy Wilbur Smith Associates. “You have a tremendous safety problem. More traffic means more and more accidents.”

Boomtown Dubai has mushroomed to 1.5 million people from about 20,000 in the 1950s. The number of registered cars in the city is projected to reach 800,000 next year — doubling from 2001, said Baher Abdulhai, director of the University of Toronto’s Intelligent Traffic System Center.

“You are a victim of your own success,” Abdulhai told those at the convention. “You will lose business if you don’t tackle this problem.”

In the United Arab Emirates, there are 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 15 in the United States and around six in Britain. Saudi Arabia has a rate as high as 30 deaths according to some figures.

Posted by: incredulous || 02/22/2006 0:29 Comments || Top||

#2  .com can probably confirm this but I know a few Saudi Arabians who ignore traffic lights. They told me if Allah wants them to live then nothing will happen if they run a red light. If they die in an accident then it's Allah's will. The concept of, "Gee, if I don't run the red light then I won't be killed" doesn't seem to register. It's not their fault, you see, it's Allah's will. Hopless.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/22/2006 10:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Traffic lights, stop signs, road stripes, speed limits (lol) - these are "suggestions" - it depends upon the area and traffic level what bits are actually accepted.

Most Saudis just tap their horn when approaching an intersection in town (where you can't see anything until you actually get to it) if they have a stop sign. If no responding honk is heard - then the stop sign is irrelevant. If they do hear a honk, then it's too late. Lol.

It's much more complex at traffic lights, left turns from the right lane, right turns from the left lane - you have to see it to believe it. Even then, you may fail to comprehend what you just saw, lol.

Light-Bulb Anecdote: I was stopped at a red light, in the middle lane, at a fairly busy intersection in al Khobar back in '92. A guy in a Mercedes came up from behind me in the left lane. He slowed down, but kept rolling, slowly, through the light. He was a "somebody" I guess and trusted that no one would impede his important ass. And you know what? They didn't. I took my cue from him, thereafter. Act like you are somebody, like you own the road, like you will NOT give way, that you don't fucking care - and they get the fuck outta your way. Yes, you can (and should) draw many conclusions from this little insight. I sure did - and it was a valuable lesson in Arab-think.

Hood ornaments are aiming reticles. That stuff on the pavement is just paint, after all. Use it as you see fit.

A fair percentage of the cars and trucks on the roads in Saudi are, literally, falling apart. Rust-buckets that are not even remotely road-worthy. You learn to ID them and keep clear, just in case. I dodged a bumper, once, which fell off of a truck in front of me on the highway. Jean Paul Killey woulda been proud of my slalom work.

Saudi street intersections are often blocked off with those portable concrete barriers. Why? The Funnel. With a remarkably small number of roadblocks, they can literally shut down an entire city. The Magik Kingdom is where paranoia was perfected. This happens periodically when a manhunt is on. Or a Royal comes through town.

Speed limits are moot. Once I got the hang of it, I drove as fast as I could everywhere I went. Topped 160kph (100mph) on the highways everyday going to work and coming home. One of my favorite memories was tearing by a cop car parked on the side of the highway under and overpass. Guy was having a nap - a very common sight there. I decided to give him a thrill and moved over to the right-hand lane before I went by - rocking his car with the bow-wave of wind. Lol, watching in my rear-view as I passed, sure 'nuff, a head popped up and watched me disappear up the road.

You do learn, however, which places might be dangerous - hills, for example, where you might top it at 165kmh and find a forklift of one of those small toy vans you see in India and PakiWakiLand in your lane doing 10-40 kmh. Those, plus people backing up on the highway because they missed an exit are the two things which would really spike the pucker factor.

They used to leave wrecked cars on the side of the road all over the place. Rusting mangled hulks. Sometimes they dragged them to the cop-shop in al Khobar and parked them on a lot in front so they were clearly visible from Dhahran Blvd - the main drag. You could have a close look if you wanted, and I did, of course, and it was right out of the Arlo Guthrie song, "teeth, hair, and eyes" splattered all over the interior. That was back in the '90s. Somewhere between then and 2000, they stopped doing this and the hulks were dragged away somewhere.

Nothing will ever cure the idiocy of their wearing kaffiyehs and, thus, having a field of view about half that of a non-moron. They go to a lot of trouble to look "cool" - they won't muss 'em up by turning their heads or, gasp, not wearing them.

On topic... wymyns? Driving cars? Out there on the streets? In Saudi? ROLF! Of course not. Ignore the fact that they go to Bahrain and elsewhere and see wymyns driving everywhere - quite safely, too, thank you - this is The Land of the Two Holy Moskkks, fer crying out loud! Not happenin, insh'allah.

Funny thing is, reading this over before hitting submit, I realize I miss it. All these polite law-abiding people back here in The World really piss me off.

I guess I prefer Darwinian environments.
Posted by: .com || 02/22/2006 11:02 Comments || Top||

#4  lol! Great read, thanks.
Posted by: 2b || 02/22/2006 11:04 Comments || Top||

#5  Vroooom!
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/22/2006 11:13 Comments || Top||

#6  As I recall, in 87 when I drove a rental car in Israel, there were 3 lanes on many roads: north, south and "chicken" in the middle.
Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2006 11:17 Comments || Top||

#7  "Act like you are somebody, like you own the road, like you will NOT give way, that you don't fucking care - and they get the fuck outta your way."

Ah, the Boston Method...

Posted by: Dave D. || 02/22/2006 11:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Works in south-central LA too - or did in the 90s, anyway. Don't know about now, but I'm not sure what would have changed except the desire of low-riders to be seen at the stops.
Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2006 11:22 Comments || Top||

#9  I pulled up to an intersection once with a crusty old man riding as a passenger in my car. When a low-rider pulled up next to us and they looked over, crusty started to loudly mumble all sorts of unkind things about their parents, ancestors, personal hygiene, etc.

Just about loudly enough for them to hear, which made me more than a tad nervous. However, instead of overreacting, they started to jump their car howsoever that is done, making it bounce off the pavement.

Suddenly, something went dreadfully wrong with their shocks. Clunk! One of them went completely out, as in sheared, followed shortly thereafter by Clunk! Clunk! Clunk! as the other three either did the same or failed catastrophically in some way.

This left the body of their car sitting directly on the asphalt, unhinged from the frame.

Seeing this, crusty old man damn near had a stroke he was laughing so hard, and I thanked my lucky stars that the light had turned green.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2006 11:33 Comments || Top||

#10  Who did you say it was brother?
Who was it fell by the way?
When Nissans and camels run together
Did you hear anyone pray?

I didn't hear nobody pray, dear brother
I didn't hear nobody pray
I heard the crash on the highway
But, I didn't hear nobody pray.

When I heard the crash on the highway
I knew what it was from the start
I went to the scene of destruction
And a picture was stamped on my heart.

There was fatwas and blood all together
Mixed with fur where they lay
Death played her hand in destruction
But I didn't hear nobody pray.

Posted by: abu Roy A Kuff || 02/22/2006 14:16 Comments || Top||

Saudi Human Rights Authority Prepares to Tackle Incest
The Chairman of the Saudi Human Rights Authority, a governmental organization, revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the association has already prepared an in depth study concerning incest in Saudi Arabia.
Going after the root causes of terrorism, are they? Good idea.
According to the authority's chairman, the study was prepared by the King Khaled Charitable Foundation in cooperation with Dr Osama Al Damegh for the Human Rights Authority. The study will aim to end this phenomenon and will be presented to the Authority's Council.
I wonder what they're defining it as? My definition would include first cousins marrying or otherwise jumping first cousins.
Turki Bin Khaled Al Suderi, chairman of the Human Rights Authority Council, stated that this study was very important and should be presented to the Shura Council as soon as possible.
"Oh, yasss! Very important!"
He clarified that a social phenomena as serious as incest has to be dealt with quickly and decisively by the Authority's Council.
"Quickly and decisively"? The civilized world dealt with it thousands of years ago.
He noted that the Authority's Council would include intellectuals of legal and religious affairs and former members of the Shura Council. Al Suderi noted that the delaying of the Council of the Human Rights Authority was procedural, in addition to the withdrawal of some candidates.
"But, really, we're working on it at top speed!"
Al-Suderi clarified that most of the reported cases to the Authority have been individual so far and have been related to complaints of ill treatment of citizens by some government agencies.
So it doesn't have anything to do with marrying Cousin Fatimah, or a half sister, or something like that...
He noted that he had received a large number of citizens with issues with the government emphasizing, "We in the committee inform the relevant agencies of what we feel is important and ask them at the same time to tell us what it sees in these issues."
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IIRC there was a RB article many, many moons ago about the soddies passing law to prevent, or at least lessen, the frequency of marriage between relatives.
In the magic kingdom, about 70% of weddings involve blood relatives, I think, against 50% in Jordania (from another article), I take it must be more or less the average for the arabo-muslim world.

Inbreeding at it finest...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 7:15 Comments || Top||

#2  5089..The research was done in Turkey. Kinda makes you question which religion is really decendant from monkeys.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/22/2006 8:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Every time I hear a Blue Grass song on the radio I think of a cold beer and a First Cousin.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/22/2006 10:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Hey..good for them but last time I checked it was the 21st century. Do you really need an in-depth study and a committe to decide if incest a bad thing?
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/22/2006 11:20 Comments || Top||

#5  I hadn't realized that in some places incest was considered a human right......
Posted by: Snoluck Cruling7737 || 02/22/2006 15:50 Comments || Top||

Charles 'sees himself as a dissident in a political fight'
Funny, I just think of him as a moron. It's weird how people have different perspectives.SPAN>
Posted by: Ol Dirty American || 02/22/2006 06:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is not stricto senso the point of this article, but I've posted some links in a comment a while ago (Daniel Pipes, among others) who suggested Chuck was possibly a muslim convert.

There is actually a rumor he converted to sufism while sejourning in Turkey, and IMHO this is a wee bit more credible than the PCT about the crown of England ruling the world and/or secretly owning the USA... anyway, he's a classical case of inbreeding and elitist liberalism/progressism.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 7:25 Comments || Top||

#2  The only hope for William & Henry is that Diana was their mother...
Posted by: BigEd || 02/22/2006 16:21 Comments || Top||

Now China Is Getting Excited About Cartoons
Jessica Rabbit isn't welcome in China -- and Michael Jordan shouldn't show up with any of his Looney Toons pals.

In one of the more bizarre orders from China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, TV shows and films featuring human thesps with animated companions will be banned.

"These human live-action, so-called animation pieces will not receive distribution or distribution licenses," read the order, issued Feb. 15. However, films and shows that have already received permits will continue to air.

CGI and 2-D characters alongside human actors jeopardize "the broadcast order of homemade animation and mislead their development," according to a report from the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Order comes as the Chinese government attempts to increase local production of Mandarin-language toons and cut the amount of foreign animated programming appearing on Chinese television.

However, national and provincial children's channels are struggling to acquire enough content to meet demand or even fill their own programming schedules.

"Sarft's notice is a clear indicator that, despite government support, the local animation industry is still struggling," said David Wolf, CEO of Beijing-based consultancy Wolf Group Asia. "Unfortunately, simply clearing more airtime isn't going to make the product any better or more competitive."

Chinese regulatory authorities are notoriously skittish regarding broadcast and film themes that include the supernatural or fantasy, including talking animals. "Babe" was banned on the basis that animals can't talk and some viewers would be confused.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2006 17:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Super powers? No Anime then but there are other reason for that too.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/22/2006 17:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Chinese government attempts to increase local production of Mandarin-language toons and cut the amount of foreign animated programming appearing on Chinese television.

How French. And we know how well it has turned out for them too. I know I can't wait till the next government subsidized film comes to our local cineplex.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/22/2006 17:51 Comments || Top||

#3  I get a strong feeling this is aimed at the mountain of Japanese animation currently swamping most of the rest of East Asia (and, for that matter, the US. I don't know about Europe).
Posted by: Phil || 02/22/2006 17:54 Comments || Top||

#4  Five or ten years ago, anime was sweeping East Asia. Nowadays? Pfft. If the Koreans and Chinese could ever muster an ounce of originality or style, they could blow the current Japanese animation industry into the central Pacific. All the good writers & most of the talented animators went into video games years ago. About the only damn thing coming out of Japan these days is harem anime & bad pretty-boy girlbait.

The Japanese outsourced their animation gruntwork to the rest of East Asia ten-fifteen years ago, anyways. If the locals could just figure out how to write & manage a production, they could produce locally. The fact that they mostly haven't is a real shame.

Me, I just read manga these days. Nothing too spectacular going on *there*, either, but at least there's a respectable backlog of coolness from prior decades that's new to me, if not to those folks who can read the original Japanese.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 02/22/2006 18:15 Comments || Top||

#5  I'm always behind the times.

Yeah, I know, all this stuff travels across the internet at the speed of light, but once it crosses the border into Louisiana the speed of light drops precipitously.
Posted by: Phil || 02/22/2006 18:20 Comments || Top||

#6  check out where the Simpsons are animated....you'll be saying "D'oh!", then get over it...
Posted by: Frank G || 02/22/2006 18:38 Comments || Top||

#7  LOL Phil. The speed of Yat!
Posted by: 6 || 02/22/2006 21:03 Comments || Top||

#8  And yes, I do know lots of Japanese and American animation is outsourced to Korea.
Posted by: Phil || 02/22/2006 21:38 Comments || Top||

Serbia denies Mladic found or negotiating surrender
The Serbian government sought Tuesday to quash news reports suggesting that the leading Balkan war crimes suspect, Ratko Mladic, had been located and that his surrender was being negotiated.

Independent news and radio stations in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina issued conflicting reports Tuesday afternoon stating that General Mladic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb army, had been arrested or was engaged in talks to convince him to surrender for trial for crimes committed during the war in Bosnia, from 1992 to 1995. B92, a Belgrade television and radio news network, reported that he had been located in Bosnia and would be taken to Tuzla, the site of a European Union military base and airport, from where he could be flown to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. It quoted unidentified sources.

The Associated Press, also quoting an unnamed security official, said that General Mladic had been located and that negotiations were under way to secure his surrender.

But a spokesman for the Serbian government, Srdjan Djuric, strongly denied the reports, stating that claims of General Mladic's arrest appeared intended to undermine the government's intention "to fully cooperate with The Hague."

Western diplomats and an analyst said that while there was no evidence General Mladic had been arrested, there were signs that Serbia was close to tracking him down. "Everybody who is involved in this process is on standby," said a diplomat who is close to police and legal officials assigned to help find the general. "They possibly have his location, but are not yet moving in," said the official, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Bratislav Grubacic, the editor of VIP, a news service, said, "There are some indications that they are using back channels" to negotiate with the general. He said the government wanted to avoid having the general go before a Serbian court, which could prove politically embarrassing because the Serbian electorate remains highly nationalistic. "They would like to have a solution that would be face-saving for them, in which he could be transferred somehow to Bosnia," Mr. Grubacic said. He said members of the security services had denied any operation to arrest the general or negotiate his surrender.

Numerous inaccurate reports of the former general's arrest have surfaced in the 11 years since he was indicted by the tribunal on charges of leading the massacre of at least 8,000 Muslim men and boys in around Srebrenica in July 1995.

But the speculation Tuesday was the most intense in years, and came as Serbia was facing possible suspension of political and trade talks with the European Union. European governments have warned that the talks, a potential step toward eventual membership, could be suspended if Serbia failed to arrest General Mladic. The European Union's foreign ministers are due to discuss the issue on Monday.

Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor at The Hague, urged the European Union to suspend the talks until General Mladic was arrested. She has complained that cooperation with Belgrade had ground to a halt and recently demanded that the general be handed over this month.
This month? What's the hurry, Carla? You haven't been a ball of fire yourself.
Officials at tribunal said she had contacted Belgrade late Tuesday and was told that General Mladic had not been located or arrested, and that the press reports were false.

In New York, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for Secretary General Kofi Annan, said officials at the United Nations headquarters "have checked with the tribunal in The Hague, and we've been told that there is absolutely no information that Mladic has been arrested or located." But he did say Milan Lukic, a Bosnian Serb paramilitary leader indicted in 1998, had been handed over to the tribunal by Argentina, where he was arrested in August 2005 after nearly seven years on the run. He has been charged with murdering, severely beating, unlawfully detaining and terrorizing Bosnian Muslim and other non-Serb civilians and looting and destroying their property.
Posted by: Dan Darling || 02/22/2006 02:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:

Mandatory Abortion/Contraception Proposed In Netherlands For Arubans and Antilleans
A health official in the Netherlands has called for a debate on the idea of forced abortion and contraception to deal with what she sees as a crisis of unwanted children. Alderman Marianne van den Anker of the Leefbaar Rotterdam Party wants specifically to target communities of Antilleans and Arubans where she sees the biggest problems of unwanted children.

Her comments have stirred protest by a health foundation working with those communities in Rotterdam. The group, which called the comments degrading, is asking Mayor Ivo Opstelten and other politicians to distance themselves from Van den Anker's views.

Van den Anker is a mother of two children and the official in charge of Rotterdam's health and security portfolios. In an interview in a newspaper Saturday, she said she had tried everything to prevent child abuse. "I fail, I fail," she told the interviewer as she outlined her controversial idea for a debate on compulsory abortion and contraception.

The target groups for her program are Antillean teenage mothers; drug addicts and people with mental handicaps, she said, according to a report in Expatica.

According to the report, Van den Anker said children from these groups run an "unacceptable risk" of growing up without love and with "violence, neglect, mistreatment and sexual abuse."

"The exceptions," she said, "and there are some, can be counted on a pair of hands."
Thank you Margaret Sanger ...
Van den Anker pointed to the growing number of Antillean youth gangs in Rotterdam whose members come from loveless homes.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [386 views] Top|| File under:

#1  How statist of her.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/22/2006 1:09 Comments || Top||

#2  Well what did everybody expect from a country where infanticide is legal?
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/22/2006 1:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Mmmm! I don't think you grasp the significance of this. She is advocating Eugenics, a taboo subject since WW2. I happen to think Eugenics in one form or another will come back into fashion as a way out of Europe's demographic death spiral.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 4:35 Comments || Top||

#4  Mmmm! I don't think you grasp the significance of this. She is advocating Eugenics, a taboo subject since WW2. I happen to think Eugenics in one form or another will come back into fashion as a way out of Europe's demographic death spiral.

They'll fix their birth deficit by terminating more pregnancies?
Posted by: Abdominal Snowman || 02/22/2006 12:19 Comments || Top||

#5  It's also the same country where it's legal to snuff Grandma to save on the nursing home bill.

Culture of death, you know.
Posted by: Mike || 02/22/2006 13:31 Comments || Top||

#6  When you grow up wearing wooden shoes, it will have its effect sooner or later.
Posted by: BigEd || 02/22/2006 16:25 Comments || Top||

#7  LOL BigE!
Posted by: 6 || 02/22/2006 17:27 Comments || Top||

#8  The wooden shoes are certainly a contributing factor, but I place the blame squarely on the dikes.
Posted by: Besoeker TROLL || 02/22/2006 21:09 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Dem Site: Secret Service agents say Cheney was drunk when he shot lawyer
I never heard of this site before but saw it and thought I'd get all of your input. I'm pretty sure hes looney though.

Feb 22, 2006, 07:35
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A written report from Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago says Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.

Agents observed several members of the hunting party, including the Vice President, consuming alcohol before and during the hunting expedition, the report notes, and Cheney exhibited "visible signs" of impairment, including slurred speech and erratic actions, the report said.
According to those who have read the report and talked with others present at the outing, Cheney was drunk when he gunned down his friend and the day-and-a-half delay in allowing Texas law enforcement officials on the ranch where the shooting occurred gave all members of the hunting party time to sober up.

We talked with a number of administration officials who are privy to inside information on the Vice President's shooting "accident" and all admit Secret Service agents and others saw Cheney consume far more than the "one beer' he claimed he drank at lunch earlier that day.

"This was a South Texas hunt," says one White House aide. "Of course there was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it."

Cheney has a long history of alcohol abuse, including two convictions of driving under the influence when he was younger. Doctors tell me that someone like Cheney, who is taking blood thinners because of his history of heart attacks, could get legally drunk now after consuming just one drink.

If Cheney was legally drunk at the time of the shooting, he could be guilty of a felony under Texas law and the shooting, ruled an accident by a compliant Kenedy County Sheriff, would be a prosecutable offense.

But we will never know for sure because the owners of the Armstrong Ranch, where the shooting occurred, barred the sheriff's department from the property on the day of the shooting and Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon Salinas III agreed to wait until the next day to send deputies in to talk to those involved.

Sheriff's Captain Charles Kirk says he went to the Armstrong Ranch immediately after the shooting was reported on Saturday, February 11 but both he and a game warden were not allowed on the 50,000-acre property. He called Salinas who told him to forget about it and return to the station.

"I told him don't worry about it. I'll make a call," Salinas said. The sheriff claims he called another deputy who moonlights at the Armstrong ranch, said he was told it was "just an accident" and made the decision to wait until Sunday to investigate.

"We've known these people for years. They are honest and wouldn't call us, telling us a lie," Salinas said.

Like all elected officials in Kenedy County, Salinas owes his job to the backing and financial support of Katherine Armstrong, owner of the ranch and the county's largest employer.

"The Armstrongs rule Kenedy County like a fiefdom," says a former employee.

Secret Service officials also took possession of all tests on Whittington's blood at the hospitals where he was treated for his wounds. When asked if a blood alcohol test had been performed on Whittington, the doctors who treated him at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial in Corpus Christi or the hospital in Kingsville refused to answer. One admits privately he was ordered by the Secret Service to "never discuss the case with the press."

It's a sure bet that is a private doctor who treated the victim of Cheney's reckless and drunken actions can't talk to the public then the memo that shows the Vice President was drunk as a skunk will never see the light of day.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/22/2006 15:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You can bet there was a babe involved too.
Posted by: Ted Kennedy || 02/22/2006 16:00 Comments || Top||

#2  secret service agents, you just cant trust em.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/22/2006 16:02 Comments || Top||

#3  Doctors tell me that someone like Cheney, who is taking blood thinners because of his history of heart attacks, could get legally drunk now after consuming just one drink.

Sounds like the "lawyers" that Lawrence O'Donnell allegedly talked to.

A written report from Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago says Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.
One might wonder how Doug Thompson managed to get his hands on that briefing...

"This was a South Texas hunt," says one White House aide. "Of course there was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it."
And who talked to him in the White House?
Posted by: eLarson || 02/22/2006 16:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Lol. I can't remember which SnarkMeister posted it, but they parodied the Skeery event where he blamed the SecSvc guy for knocking him down on the ski slopes.

Toss that in here for humor and derision of the conspiracy idjits and Bush-haters.
Posted by: .com || 02/22/2006 16:21 Comments || Top||

#5  I call bullshit. The secret service would never let drunk folks run around with guns near their charge.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/22/2006 16:25 Comments || Top||

#6  "Capitol Hill Blue" is moonbat country. This is the same clown that was peddling a story that President Bush was "erratic" and mentally unstable back in the 2004 campaign. (Check the comment thread here for more detail.) So far out there that even the NYT and DU and Kos don't believe it.
Posted by: Mike || 02/22/2006 16:49 Comments || Top||

#7  Apparently that ranch is basically the whole county.

I totally want to take the tour: "Here is our barn, here is our vegetable garden, here is our Grand Jury..."
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/22/2006 16:51 Comments || Top||

#8  I get from a semi-reliable source (er, me), according to the reports (ok, hallucinations) that the ranch itself was blotto drunk, causing the ground to lurch and be "wavy", resulting in misunderaiming and the dischargification of the VPs' nug.

Now blow some holes in THAT reality... go ahead... I dare ya...
Posted by: Hyper || 02/22/2006 17:22 Comments || Top||

#9  (sniff, sniff)

Is that bullshit I smell?
Posted by: mojo || 02/22/2006 17:23 Comments || Top||

#10  Did Cheney wait longer than Teddy?

Was Whittington bleeding the whole time?
Posted by: Bobby || 02/22/2006 17:24 Comments || Top||

#11  Anyway, I thought the problem with that incident is that Cheney was hunting lawyers *outside* of season. Drunk or not, I want him to be fined, lawyers may not be endangered, especially in the USA, I simply can't admit that kind of reckless hunting during reproductive season.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 17:27 Comments || Top||

#12  so what if he was drinking? Good grief. The liberals are for liberalizing drugs - but think it's a capital crime if Cheney gets drunk. Get a life.
Posted by: 2b || 02/22/2006 23:19 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Anthrax in NYC
A case of anthrax discovered at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. Traced back to New York City.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 02/22/2006 16:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under:

India Needs Pilots
India's airlines bought billions of dollars worth of planes and engines this week, but the lightning-paced expansion of the country's aviation sector has triggered a shortfall of pilots, officials warned Wednesday.

This year's Asian Aerospace, the region's largest air show that began Tuesday in Singapore, is buzzing over a string of purchases that several Indian airlines finalized over the past three days with Boeing, Airbus and General Electric.

The buying spree illustrates a remarkable boom in India's aviation sector, which has charted a passenger growth rate of between 25-30 percent in recent years, thanks partly to rising incomes in India's 300 million-strong middle class.

However, pilots are not being trained fast enough to meet the soaring need for their services, said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Co.'s senior vice president for commercial aircraft sales.

"There is a tremendous shortage of pilots in India," Keskar said, stressing that the country will likely require between 4,000 and 5,000 new pilots in the next five years.

India and China are among the customers most sought after by more than 930 exhibitors from 43 countries participating in the Asian Aerospace show, which concludes Sunday.

"We think that this new order reflects the rapid growth in the Indian market, most of which is captured by low-cost carriers," said Ajay Singh, SpiceJet's director.

Meanwhile, India's air force is expected to seek proposals soon from manufacturers to buy 126 new fighter jets that could be worth at least $8 billion.

India is believed to be looking at Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornets, U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-16 Fighting Falcons, French Mirages, Swedish Gripens and Russia's Sukhoi fighters.

The aerospace show moves next year to Hong Kong, which organizers have called a gateway to China, a country expected to buy 100 planes a year over the next five years.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/22/2006 08:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [261 views] Top|| File under:

#1  India's airlines bought billions of dollars worth of planes and engines this week, but the lightning-paced expansion of the country's aviation sector has triggered a shortfall of pilots, officials warned Wednesday.

With various American airlines in trouble and cutting back, there appears to be a surplus of pilots overhere. Sounds like an outsourcing opportunity to me. Wonder if India has a couple hundred thousand 1HB visas available.
Posted by: Flaigum Thoque6606 || 02/22/2006 9:54 Comments || Top||

#2  Hopefully they won't use the trademarked Saudi "Quick Pilot Training" course. It teaches pilots to fly, just not how to land.
Posted by: RWV || 02/22/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#3  "Mars Needs Women!"
Posted by: mojo || 02/22/2006 12:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Correction Earthling!

Mars needs cheap, yet wholesome womens.
Posted by: Octo || 02/22/2006 17:30 Comments || Top||

#5  I've seen pictures of trains loaded to overflowing (Literaly hanging on the outside as many as can) and I sincerely hope that the airlines are not going to cram folks inside like sardines in a can.(Obviously they can't hang on the outside)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/22/2006 21:58 Comments || Top||

No, we will just duct tape ourselves to the top of the aeroplane.
Posted by: Vinkat Bala Subrumanian || 02/22/2006 23:33 Comments || Top||

U.N. Guard Reprimanded for Swastikas
The United Nations has reprimanded a security guard for drawing swastikas on a log sheet later seen by a guard from Israel, a U.N. spokesman said Tuesday. The guard who drew the swastikas was issued a letter of reprimand and was asked to attend sensitivity training for the September incident, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Dujarric would not identify the guard who was reprimanded. The Israeli guard also was not identified.

The United Nations in recent years has tried to live down an infamous 1975 resolution that equated Zionism with racism, which was repealed in the 1990s. Some critics still accuse the world body of being anti- Semitic because a bloc of Middle Eastern, African and Asian states have in the past used the General Assembly to broadcast their opposition to Israel.
Posted by: Snaque Whuper4337 || 02/22/2006 09:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nope. The UN is not corrupt and racist. Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along.
(Death to Israel! - UN)
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/22/2006 12:21 Comments || Top||

Scandal-hit Vatican banker dies
Cue Conspiracy Theory, preferably involving the masons... oh, wait, he didn't die by hanging from under a bridge, with bricks in his pockets? My bad.
Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, who was involved in one of the biggest financial scandals to hit the Vatican, has died, church officials say. The 84-year-old American had been living in Sun City, Arizona. Marcinkus was head of the Vatican Bank at the time of the fraudulent collapse of Banco Ambrosiano in 1982, with which it had close ties. He denied any wrongdoing. Although he was sought for questioning, he was granted immunity as a Vatican employee.

Archbishop Marcinkus was found dead at his home on Monday evening, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, in Arizona, said. The cause is unclear. He retired in 1990, but had remained active in the local ministry. Born in 1922 in a suburb of Chicago, he was ordained as a priest in 1947 and then as an archbishop in 1969. An imposing 1.9m (6ft 4in) tall, he acted as a bodyguard to Pope John Paul II during his early foreign travels.
And thus probably was the real-life model for the zombie-killing kickboxer priest in Peter Jackson's "Braindead", at least that's what I believe...
Archbishop Marcinkus was appointed to the Institute for Religious Works, known as the Vatican Bank, in 1971 and worked there until 1989. The bank was the main shareholder in Banco Ambrosiano. The head of Banco Ambrosiano, Roberto Calvi, was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London shortly after the bank's collapse with debts of $1.3bn (£750m). The missing money was traced to loans made to 10 dummy companies in Latin America, and the speculation was that the Mafia were involved. Five people are currently on trial in Italy for Calvi's murder.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 08:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

UN condemns German school system
Posted by: Slort Angolutle4463 || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kids from middle class homes, do better in school. This is shocking news. Forgot about Darfur, Iranian Nukes and tens of millions dying from Malaria, the UN is right to focus on the real issues we face.

Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 0:08 Comments || Top||

#2  what we need is universal preschool...whether the parents want it or not. Follow me, said the piper!
Posted by: Rob Reiner || 02/22/2006 0:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Mr Munoz said the problems were caused by the structure of the education system, which usually selects children at the age of 10 to go to either a grammar school or a vocational one.

This is actually a point that I've been making here for years. And this is how it works throughout Europe and the industrialized Far East. Between the age of ten and fourteen, the _state_ tells you that you are going to be working on an assembly line at Volkswagen for the rest of your freakin life. And there are no second chances. No junior college. No University of Phoenix. The stupid statists want to control everything. If this isn't the root of everything that is wrong with Europe -- the elitism, the herd mentality of the masses, high unemployment the low birth rates -- then it's pretty damn close. Policies like this are just evil. Put yourself back in the playground in fifth grade. Congratulations! Hans, you're a blue collar worker and you Dieter, you lucky little devil, are going to university! Are Hans and Dieter ever going to play together in the future? Will their parents ever meet at PTA? And what if the state guesses wrong and ten years later there are too many blue collar blokes and not enough white collar stiffs. This crap is just plain wrong. For the first time here at Rantburg, I side with the UN.
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/22/2006 1:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Whilst, I agree the state shouldn't select children into academic and non-academic streams as early as 10. There are several powerful counter-arguments in favor of streaming. I'll note that in Germany being a tradesman is more prestigous than somewhere like the USA. And streaming encourages people to go into manual occupations rather than struggle with academic subjects that have no interest to them and take them in the direction of unproductive lightweight 'academic' subjects.

The UK had a similar system of selecting at age 11. I was one of the earliest kids to go into a non streaming system (known as Comprehensive schools), so I speak from personal experience. The two main consequences of Comprehensive schools were;

1. Academic standards plunged. In large part, this was because kids of that age are incredibly influenced by their peers and mixing relatively small numbers of academically capable kids into a larger population of less academically capable kids, turns the academically capable kids into less academically capable kids as they follow the crowd.

2. Over time, there was a huge increase in the number of people going into university level education mostly into lightweight subjects, which in turn resulted in a large number of under-employed graduates. I am sure we all know someone who graduated in the history of art or similar and now works part time as a filing clerk.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 4:02 Comments || Top||

#5  Well, this is a bit overdone. Of course it might be early at this age to offer a selection to a "Gymnasium, Realschule etc" (leading to an exam "Abitur" = entrance to university).On the other hand I have read articles here, where university staff complained about the educational standards of new students coming from comprehensive schools !!
Also, it is always possible (later in life when
you discover the society might be lost without your personal academic contribution) to change to a so called "Schule des zweiter Bildungsweges"
that leads to an "Abitur" exam.
Your are NOT confine to be a blue collar worker all your life( if you dislike this).But be warned, he might make more money in a tradesman area than your mentioned academic "elitist" !!
Posted by: GSL || 02/22/2006 7:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Phil_b-
Your points are well taken (#2 describes the US pretty well, unfortunately). In the US a very high percentage of kids go to university which results in a university education being dumbed-down. I remember being criticized by students for using "big words" on my exams! The number of students who were mathematically illiterate was astounding.
My grandfather, who had an eighth-grade education, retired (around 1960) as the chief accountant for a mid-sized steel company. His education was probably equivalent to that of a university grad today.
Posted by: Spot || 02/22/2006 8:43 Comments || Top||

#7  Phil_b: I've known a lot of those liberal arts university grads who then go to a junior college and learn to be a mechanic or a fireman and make more money than they could have with a degree. At least they had the freedom to try and weren't streamed one way or the other.

Nobody here addresses the social or political costs of "streaming." What happens when you separate the "smart" kids from the "dumb" ones at age ten? IMO, you end up with De Villepin and Fischer -- elitists that haven't a clue about who the "masses" are and how to lead them.

When I was in high school, I used to bitch about how the unmotivated kids used to screw it all up for the rest of us. Boo hoo hoo. Looking back, I am glad that I had the opportunity to grow up with them and be friends with some of them. I learned more from those experiences than I would have in a college prep track.

My anecdotal experiences just don't line up with any of yours. I've known plenty of old timers who were illiterate or innumerate. My experiences in grad school and business, up against lycee, Realschule, and whatever the equivalent of those are in Japan and Taiwan demonstrated to me that the US comprehensive school grads could run rings around the others when it came to math, analysis, synthesis, research, and study habits. The non-Americans were better rote memorizers and that's about it.

The proof of the pudding is the eating. If American schools are so damn bad, then why do we dominate the worlds of finance, science, technology, military art, etc? Yeah we coopt some talent from the rest of the world, but that doesn't explain more than a small fraction of the difference. Here is the secret. American schools offer choice. You can be a PhD and run a garage or be a votech washout and graduate from university. You can _choose_ to be illiterate or to be a polymath. There is little to no stigma attached to any of these choices. To the statist, this seems like a great waste of talent. To a Hayekian free market type like me, it is the most efficient use of human capital.
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/22/2006 9:23 Comments || Top||

#8  What happens when you separate the "smart" kids from the "dumb" ones at age ten? IMO, you end up with De Villepin and Fischer -- elitists that haven't a clue about who the "masses" are and how to lead them.

OK, point taken (and I'm pretty militant in opposing all kinds of elitism).
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 9:38 Comments || Top||

#9  If American schools are so damn bad, then why do we dominate the worlds of finance, science, technology, military art, etc?

Finance, cause the rest of the world bankrupted itself in WWI & WWII. We had all the money that was left. Our financial position will start to deteriorate if we don't get the China deficit under control.

Science and Technology? We reward scientists and technologists better than any other country. Ever notice all those funny accents? We also fund it very generously through the federal government primarily for defence purposes.

Military? I'm nopt sure that pound for pound we are the best military in the world. But we are most of the po8unds in the world.

Automobiles, steel, shipbuilding, manufacturing anything? We suck.

Bottom line is that our schools do a good job of educating the top layer but the others do a better job of educating the middle.

Our lower schools are expensive and produce very little for all the inputs they get. But what do you expect from a socialized enterprise. Our colleges and universities are competitive and generously funded but they do produce good value for the money,even if we do have to import half the students in science and engineering.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/22/2006 10:00 Comments || Top||

#10  American business would be better off if all MBAs and lawyers were suddenly to just disappear never to return. Things started to go downhill for manufacturing in this country when MBAs started "optimizing" things to make this quarter's numbers for the street. Continuing the rant, Michael Milken should be consigned to the deepest depths of Hell for creating the leveraged buyout.
Posted by: RWV || 02/22/2006 10:22 Comments || Top||

#11  It is clear that the U.N. clowns have never read the Coleman Report.

What did that magnificent, massive study prove was the leading factor in educational attainment and performance? Factors outside of the classroom. In other words, parents, family, neighborhood, community, and *cough*, *ahem*, *let me clear my throat*, culture
Posted by: Happy 88mm || 02/22/2006 13:46 Comments || Top||

#12  11A58: Just for the record: Fischer holds no university degree.( and Schröder came from a poor family and managed to finish successfully a law study)
Posted by: GSL || 02/22/2006 18:13 Comments || Top||

#13  Thanks for the correction, GSL. Seriously. How many kids from the VoTech schools take that exam to transfer to college prep? What percentage pass?
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/22/2006 23:15 Comments || Top||

#14  Finance, cause the rest of the world bankrupted itself in WWI & WWII. We had all the money that was left. Our financial position will start to deteriorate if we dont get the China deficit under control.

***The standard economic trade models have been predicting the collapse of the American economy since the early 1970's. Yet we keep cruising along. Maybe the models are wrong, being based upon specie-backed currencies that haven't been traded in decades? Why doesn't Louisiana have a trade deficit with California? Chew on that for a while and you might begin to understand.

Science and Technology? We reward scientists and technologists better than any other country. Ever notice all those funny accents? We also fund it very generously through the federal government primarily for defence purposes.

***Most of the propeller heads I've worked over the years came from the US. Maybe I worked in the wrong companies.

Military? Im nopt sure that pound for pound we are the best military in the world. But we are most of the po8unds in the world.

***Come on! An armored cav _troop_ almost destroyed an Iraqi division in the first Gulf War! Anyway, its a combined arms _team_. If other countries don't have the same amount of combat multipliers that we do, it's fallacious to say that they have tougher infantry or better armor. All it takes is one E-5 with a radio...

Automobiles, steel, shipbuilding, manufacturing anything? We suck.

*** Intel's, AMD's and IBM's waferfabs? Advanced ceramics? Advanced composite materials? Software? Servers? Fiber optics? Switch infrasructure? You know what the difference between the industries you named and I named? Yours are all have low rates of return. Mine all have high rates of return.

Bottom line is that our schools do a good job of educating the top layer but the others do a better job of educating the middle.

*** Question: Do those standardized tests that the press are always harping about compare our high schoolers to their high schoolers or our high schoolers to their Gymnasium and Lycee students? The answer is not pretty.

Our lower schools are expensive and produce very little for all the inputs they get. But what do you expect from a socialized enterprise.

*** I agree that they are too expensive. I interview high school kids all the time. I'm always impressed. They're a lot smarter than me and my peers were. But then I'm a glass half full type of person.
Posted by: 11A5S || 02/22/2006 23:34 Comments || Top||

"Hamas" beer to be marketed
Like any good entrepreneur, Palestinian beermaker Nadim Khoury knew that adaptation would be key to his brewery's survival under a government led by the Islamists of Hamas. So anticipating the hardliners' rise to power in January's general election, Khoury decided to develop a new product -- a non-alcoholic microbrew brandished with a label that coordinates perfectly with Hamas's trademark color. "I figured why not have a green label so it will match?" said Khoury, who runs the Taybeh Brewing Company, the only brewery in the Palestinian territories. "All customers will notice the green for the Hamas flag."

The alcohol-free version of Taybeh beer, with a label inscribed only in Arabic and whose name means "delicious," is to be released this summer and will target the "local market," he said. Non-alcoholic beer is already popular in a number of conservative Gulf Arab countries which officially ban booze sales. The lucrative market potential was highlighted by a deal four years ago which saw Egypt's largest brewer of "near-beer," Al-Ahram Beverages, bought by Heineken for 280 million dollars.

Khoury says he will start small with his new beer, maybe only a few hundred bottles at first, but he has big dreams for his brewing factory in the hilltop village of Taybeh, a historically Christian town of about 1,300 people near Ramallah in the West Bank. A sense of homeland pride and the family's ability to invest more than one million dollars spurred Nadim, who was born in Taybeh, to return after two decades in the United States in order to build the brewery shortly after the signing of the Oslo peace accords in 1993. Now in its 11th year of business, Khoury said the brewery sells the equivalent of about 1.2 million pints per year, though its peak output was more than twice that in 2000 prior to the outbreak of the second intifada against Israeli existence occupation.

Violence was bad for business, and the intifada brought a wave of harsher regulations in many Palestinian cities. Khoury hasn't been able to sell his beer in the Gaza Strip for years, since militants torched the home of one of his distribution outlets and radical Islamists effectively made selling alcohol impossible throughout the crowded territory.

But Khoury hopes attitudes will change with his new non-alcoholic beer. "I don't want to smuggle my beer in Palestine. I believe I have a right to sell mine (in the Gaza Strip)," said Khoury, an unabashed nationalist who touts his beer factory as a boon to the Palestinian people and their economy. "Every time we sell a bottle of beer it goes toward building the state of Palestine," said Khoury.

Khoury says his first name Nadim means "your friend who sits at the bar with you, your drinking buddy," and his chief product is Taybeh Golden beer, though he also makes a light version and a dark beer.

The Taybeh brews are concocted from four natural ingredients -- malted barley, hops, yeast and pure spring water. Each bottle sells for around one dollar. The gentle, amber-colored Taybeh Golden is sold in parts of Israel, the West Bank, Britain and Germany.

However, among secular Muslims in the area who do drink alcohol, not all are devoted fans of its mellow taste. "It's okay. It's good," shrugged one Arab-Israeli taxi driver in Jerusalem, who admitted he hadn't drunk any Taybeh in at least two years. A waiter at a bar in occupied East Jerusalem said: "I prefer Irish whiskey. Jameson."

Hamas leaders, who now dominate parliament, have not made clear whether or not they will seek to impose conservative sharia law which would impose a wider ban on alcohol.

Khoury remains optimistic. "I think they (Hamas) are very smart, very educated. I believe they will think twice before they do anything to hurt our business."
Posted by: Jackal || 02/22/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [332 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "I think they (Hamas) are very smart, very educated. I believe they will think twice before they do anything to hurt our business."
Oh, my, he is the optimist.
Myself, I never underestimate the Palestinian ability to be their own worst enemy, or at least, shoot themselves painfully in their own foot.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 02/22/2006 8:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Mmmmmmmmmm...non alcoholic beer. Eliminates that annoying buzz.
I wonder if the cans explode before you even shake them up?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/22/2006 8:11 Comments || Top||

#3  prepare for the next step :
OSAMA's Single Malt -Black Label
(a.k.a gihadi whiskey)
I also expect the "Seventy Virgins" Root beer brand to appear soon in the ramallah market
Posted by: Elder of Zion || 02/22/2006 8:20 Comments || Top||

#4  interesting (or not) sidenote re: beer - for many centuries in many places (including Europe) it was a primary way to save the calories of grain for human use when they couldn't prevent rats from getting into silos and spoil it. IIRC in the lowlands of 16th century Germany, kids would go around drunk because it was what their poor parents could afford.

another strange sidenote: the Swiss, who had pastures for dairy goats, didn't rely on grain and looked down on the drunken lowlanders.

Calvin was from Switzerland .... ;-)
Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2006 8:25 Comments || Top||

#5  The reason beer was drunk was that the alcohol killed bacteria. It was a way to have drinkable fluids.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 8:41 Comments || Top||

#6  yes, that's true. But Braudel's extensive research into source documents of the time explicitly demonstrates that the beer was seen as a way to preserve much-needed calories from grain, as well. c.f. Structures of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible (Civilization and Capitalism : 15th-18th Century) .

The 3 volumes of which that is the first is fascinating, a good read with excellent scholarly evidence behind it. Want to know how much of their budget people spent for food in different places and at different times? or what mix of foods were eaten, what types of cloth made up their clothes (and where it came from), how people learned trades ... it's all in there. An old favorite of mine.

slipping quietly to the back of the crowd again ...
Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2006 8:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Actually, lotp, Calvin was French.
Born to an upper middle class family in France, John Calvin (the Latinized form of his birth name, Jean Cauvin)...
Calvin's ideas...forced him to flee for his own safety. During the next few years, he sought refuge in various cities, most notably Basel, Switzerland.
Posted by: Spot || 02/22/2006 8:49 Comments || Top||

#8  True enough - I took liberties with that one and you're right. But it certainly was not a coincidence that his message found a receptive audience in Switzerland. (full disclosure - one part of my mother's family were Swiss)

BTW, for those who might dismiss Braudel because he's also French, this might be of interest:

Braudel explains that capitalism - and this is important - rose from the individual to the group, not top down. He traces an incredible path of changing habits, personal practices, slowly emerging markets and how the whole became greater than the sum of its parts. What is unique about this economic revolution is that it was NOT directed according to the dictates of academic theory or the musings of an economic prophet. It rose because it fit with the emerging modern civilization that was beginning in Europe (and would soon conquer the world).

One of the things I love about his work is that he shows how this happened and how it led to greater freedom and prosperity.

Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2006 8:55 Comments || Top||

#9  Beer is also a diuretic. I'm not sure it is a net supplier of fluids. Perhaps Dr.Steve can make a House call on this one.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/22/2006 9:43 Comments || Top||

#10  Beer is also a diuretic.

"You don't drink beer, you borrow it".
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/22/2006 9:46 Comments || Top||

#11  lotp, that's why the most vicious of Islamist attacks are directed at the middle class...the shopkeepers, rubber plantation workers, people commuting to work, teachers, police. They are the true threat to the ideal of the Caliphate, in which there is only one ruler (and appropriate numbers of well-fed, bejewelled henchmen and toadies of course) and an empire of groveling slaves.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/22/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#12  Beer was mixed with water to create 'small beer' (in England) which everyone drank. If you read contemporary texts from the 14/17th century, you will find references to schoolboys having small beer for breakfast/lunch/dinner. And yes it was an important source of carbohydrates.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/22/2006 9:55 Comments || Top||

#13  alcohol is a diuretic. Beer is the convenient beverage it comes in. Mmmmmmm beer
Posted by: Frank G || 02/22/2006 10:26 Comments || Top||

#14  I've just come back from China and while I was there I pondered the fact that tea drinking was ubiquitous, whereas in Europe beer drinking is.
Well the reality is that both need water to be boiled, therby killing germs.
A lot of Chinese are intolerent? to alcohol
"Some patients will experience intense facial flushing after having even small amounts of alcohol. These symptoms are most common in those with an oriental / Asian background. Other side-effects include fluttering of the heart (palpitations, tachycardia), sensation of heat, headache, abdominal discomfort or a drop in blood pressure (hypotension) are related to high blood acetaldehyde levels. Patients with these problems appear to be partially deficient in aldehyde dehydrogenase, resulting in high levels of accumulated acetaldehyde"
But there are a lot of areas in China where beer is drunk with meals.
While I was there I discvered Harbin, one of the best beers I've tried.
The point i want to make is that families in China who served tea and families in Europe who served beer would find that their children did not die of water bourne diseases.
With todays water systems being reasonably pure, that cultural advantage may no longer be important.
Posted by: tipper || 02/22/2006 11:07 Comments || Top||

#15  The beer yeast is chock full of B vitamins. Which kept people healthier when the suppy of red meat was not available.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/22/2006 12:29 Comments || Top||

#16  Used beer on Hamas.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/22/2006 13:56 Comments || Top||

#17  Personally, I would enjoy reading more stories about average guys who want to "beat the Jews" by creating and marketing a nice boring product or providing a useful service. The more of a functioning, capitalist economy the Palestinians have, the more peaceful things are likely to become.
Posted by: Secret Master || 02/22/2006 14:05 Comments || Top||

#18  I thought Khoury had a restaurant in Long Beach
Posted by: BigEd || 02/22/2006 16:30 Comments || Top||

#19  The lucrative market potential was highlighted by a deal four years ago which saw Egypts largest brewer of "near-beer," Al-Ahram Beverages, bought by Heineken for 280 million dollars.

Now that goes a long way to explain why Heineken tastes like crap now.
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/22/2006 17:38 Comments || Top||

#20  I have not read this book, The Empire of Tea, but know the author and have read favorable reviews. Anyone interested in the impact of the transition from beer to tea on England in the nineteenth century should find it worthwhile.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/22/2006 17:47 Comments || Top||

#21  I'd rather have a Ham asandwich with cheese.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/22/2006 22:35 Comments || Top||

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