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Wazoo tribesmen attack Qaeda bunkers
Today's Headlines
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Woolmer probably accused Pakistani players of gambling
Former South African test player Clive Rice, a longtime friend of Pakistan’s dead cricket coach Bob Woolmer, has said that the late coach probably accused some of Pakistan’s players of being involved with gambling after the team’s World Cup loss to Ireland, and word of his suspicions must have got back to the bookies. According to a report in Washington Post on Saturday, Rice said, “Before it could get out, the bookmakers went and sorted him out.” However, Rice offered no evidence for his suspicions. There have been unconfirmed reports of a fight on the team bus after the match, and that a bookmaker visited Woolmer in the hours before his death.
Posted by: Fred || 04/01/2007 09:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  IIC they said there was a bit of a struggle in the Jamaican Hotel Room where they found Woolmer and that Woolmer had a scratch mark on his neck.

I hope that the Jamaicans inspectors atg least bagged Woolmer's hands and took scrapings. [CSI on T-wee, ima expert now]
Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 14:21 Comments || Top||

Girls, 12, Allegedly Poison Teacher
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND -- The plot hatched as such things often do, in minds made desperate by fear. It involved chemistry, strategy and notions of a clean getaway. The victim? An unsuspecting sixth-grade teacher. The weapon? Strawberry lip gloss.

In a caper worthy of Wile E. Coyote's finest failures, two 12-year-old girls from Bainbridge Island are accused of attempting to elude punishment for a tardy assignment Thursday by poisoning their teacher, Kasey Jeffers, with a flavored lip balm they knew would make her ill.

Jeffers, 58, is violently allergic to strawberries -- common knowledge at Sakai Intermediate School, according to police, who arrested the youths on suspicion of assault after they were accused of coating the rim of their teacher's coffee cup and water bottle with strawberry lip gloss.

"They had discussed using real strawberries but decided that would be fatal and this would just make her sick enough to leave school, which was what they wanted," said Mark Duncan, the island's deputy police chief. "It's 12-year-old thinking at its finest."
More on this Crime of the Century at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is attempted murder with intent to do great bodily harm and nothing else. Treat it as such. Try these cretins as adults. Murder is in a class all by irself.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 0:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Spare the rod...
Posted by: gromgoru || 04/01/2007 6:51 Comments || Top||

#3  This reminds me of an incident in my high school. Two students were laughing about how they had once slipped acid (psych kind) in my science teacher's coffee cup. They were guffawing over how he had said, "I don't think I feel well" and had to sit down.

It was well after the fact and he was still teaching - but I was beyond stunned. I was too young and stupid to have thought about reporting it, especially since he was obviously ok.

Later in life I noticed that he had MS or someother such illness and I always wondered if that incident could have been a factor. It still makes me feel guilty today, though there was nothing I could have said or done to have changed any of it.
Posted by: Angaiger Tojo1904 || 04/01/2007 12:24 Comments || Top||

#4  Bainbridge Island is a wealthy Island and left wingish.

Do you think the teacher Ms Kasey Jeffers is altogether ready to go back to work? She might be rushing to accept the attempt on her life ["the poisoning incident"] and rushing to forgive the perps just to get the whole business behind her.

I'd give her more time myself.

on a brighter note:

Bainbridge Island is a beautiful Island up in Washington State. [try the hybrid and zoom in]

A Great Island to take the Misses up for whatever..to get away for stateside relaxation and do what comes natural. Or 0600 forced marches to sites within 100 miles barely stopping till midnight then nosediving into bed.

Bainbridge Island has WWII history: Fort Ward, were Navy signals personal intercepted Top Secrete Japanese military communications

Fort Ward dedication to the men and women who served.

Near by Seals play at Keyport Naval undersea engineering station

And a few miles West of Keyport there's a little boat harbor place [tried renting one of the underwater ones but they refused.

Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 17:19 Comments || Top||

-Short Attention Span Theater-
Islam Calypso
From Gates of Vienna


Slave-O Slave-O
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
Work all night and I chew de qat
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
Me get skinny while de sheikh get fat
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
Come mister Allah man an’ flog me to pieces
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
Come mister Allah man an’ flog me to pieces
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
He got six wives seven wives eight wives — enough!
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
Six wives seven wives eight wives — enough!
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)
Slave-O Slave-O
(Mohammed come and me wanna go home)

Man Smart (Woman Murdered)

Dey say don’t put man and a woman together
Unless dose two be married
An’ if she don’ listen, den she got to go
De woman get killed by de man you know

There’s a good reason, the people they say
That de man are beating the women always
And in Arabia the women of today
Murdered by the man in every way
That’s right de woman is uh murdered
That’s right de woman is uh murdered
That’s right de woman is uh murdered, that’s right, that’s right
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/01/2007 21:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

"Girls Gone Wild" founder plans restaurant chain
Having made a fortune off bare-breasted women, "Girls Gone Wild" founder is setting his sights on selling another type of breast.

A restaurant chain under the "Girls Gone Wild" brand name is being planned by Joe Francis, whose Mantra Films Inc.'s has built a $100 million business videotaping and selling the DVDs featuring young women exposing their breasts. "This is going to be about fun, lifestyle, youth, sun. It's about everything 'Girls Gone Wild,"' Francis said. "It's going to be sexy without being sexual."

There will be no stripping, topless waitresses or filming in the restaurants, Francis said.

The first two restaurants are expected to open by mid-summer in Mexican beach towns Cabo San Lucas and Cancun. Francis sees franchises popping up mainly in college towns in the United States and around the world.

He said "Girls Gone Wild" restaurants will appeal to women who want to feel sexy, exiting and edgy. Guys will turn out because "guys are always there, panting," he joked.

And he is not stopping at restaurants. Francis and Mantra plan a line of women's apparel including casual wear, lounge wear and swimwear that will be in stores by April 30.

Theme restaurants have been around for years. U.S. restaurant chain Hooters is based on the idea that waitresses in tight T-shirts and short shorts will lure patrons. Theme restaurants, in turn, sell a lot of apparel.

Mantra produces roughly 80 "Girls Gone Wild" DVDs a year, and is expanding to the United Kingdom, Australia and France. Francis said Mantra holds roughly 700 special events and parties each year in bars and restaurants to videotape patrons going wild, drinking alcohol and, of course, exposing breasts.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There will be no stripping, topless waitresses or filming in the restaurants, Francis said.

Damn violating their own reason for being already. I'm not going. How is this different from Chuckee Cheese?
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/01/2007 7:29 Comments || Top||

#2  And he is not stopping at restaurants. Francis and Mantra plan a line of women's apparel including casual wear, lounge wear and swimwear that will be in stores by April 30.

Don't forget the motels.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 04/01/2007 7:34 Comments || Top||

#3  They face numerous suits from girls who signed "consent" forms while thoroughly intoxicated. In cases of which I am aware, the company has no defense. Maybe the Mexican startups, are being built as a hideaway. At least Hooters serves good Pork ribs.
Posted by: Sneaze || 04/01/2007 8:32 Comments || Top||

#4  Francis and Mantra plan a line of women's apparel including casual wear, lounge wear and swimwear

"All merchandise half-off.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 13:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Madam, what's that hair in my soup?
Posted by: Captain America || 04/01/2007 18:22 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Zimbabwe activists taken to hospitals
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Nine opposition activists who were to be arraigned Saturday on charges of attempted murder and illegal weapons possession all required medical attention for injuries sustained since their arrests, doctors said.

One of the activists collapsed in the courthouse and the judge agreed to lawyers' appeals to adjourn the hearing and allow them to get medical treatment, opposition officials told reporters at the Harare magistrates' court.

Doctors and staff at private medical facilities where the detainees were taken under police guard said the nine - who were detained on Tuesday and Wednesday - appeared to have been assaulted while in custody. The medical staff asked not to be identified, saying they feared reprisals.
...as Africa's death spiral continues.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Since we're hearing about it, Zim-Bob's Reign is incomplete.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 13:43 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
You'd be right to smell a rat about Venezuela's favourite 'fish' dish
AS DUSK fell on the tropical wetland crawling with iguanas and small crocodilian caimans, Jose Ismael Jimenez pointed his harpoon at a rodent about the size of a Labrador retriever. With aim that comes from years of hunting, he landed his spear on the back of its head.
Good grief...
But this hunt was not about ridding the country's southern plains of vermin. It was about what's for dinner.
I think I'll stop right there, thank you. More at link...

Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Unlike other South American countries, including Argentina and Brazil, where capybaras are raised mainly for their hides, in Venezuela the rodent's meat is a delicacy, fetching prices almost double those for beef.

Shows what they know. No rat steaks for me, thank you.

That may have something to do with the taste of salted capybara - it resembles a mixture of sardines and pork - and the fact that the animal spends much of its time in the water.

"High in omega-3 acids!"

"Less filling!"

"We're conditioned poorly to think of rodents as rats in sewers and such things,"

Well, yes, at 140 pounds or not, they’re still rodents.

Capybara aficionados include President Hugo Chavez


… never mind that capybaras have some unusual habits, such as eating their own faeces, and that the method used to kill them usually involves clubbing the animal's head.

Yoo hoo, Hugo, we’re looking at you!

"Capybara is an exquisite meat that deserves prominent status."

Unlike Mr. Chavez.

The hunt also poses risks for the hunters: piranhas and small caimans swim in the same waters. And adult capybaras are known to bite when threatened.

Just as with Chavez, I’ll worry more about the piranhas and caimans, thank you.

"Capybara is a product with a bright future ahead of it."

Unlike Hugo Chavez.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 1:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Bah. If I want rats the size of Labrador retrievers I'll hang out in the Philly subway system.
Posted by: Jonathan || 04/01/2007 12:40 Comments || Top||

#3  emmmm! capybara emmmmm!
Posted by: mhw || 04/01/2007 18:22 Comments || Top||

#4  Squirrels and rabbits are also rodents, and lots of people eat them. Uuummmm, squirrel gumbo!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 23:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Squirrels and rabbits are also rodents, and lots of people eat them. Uuummmm, squirrel gumbo!
Posted by: Old Patriot || 04/01/2007 23:28 Comments || Top||

Down Under
Sydney Blacks Out for Global Warming
Severely EFL

SYDNEY, Australia -- The Sydney Opera House's gleaming white-shelled roof was darkened Saturday night along with much of the rest of Australia's largest city, which switched off the lights to register concern about global warming.

..."It's an hour of active, thoughtful darkness, a celebration of our awakening to climate change action," said Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, who attended a harborside function to watch the event.
"Active, thoughtful darkness". Excuse me while I go vomit...
While downtown was significantly darker than normal, the overall effect, as seen in television footage from overhead helicopters, was that the city's patchwork of millions of tiny lights had thinned, not disappeared.
Life's like that sometimes.
"We were expecting a big difference straight away, but it was just a little bit," said Sonja Schollen, who took sons Harry and James to a park to watch the skyline, joining dozens of other families. Children waved glo-sticks and sparklers while parents picnicked and sipped wine.
Know what you need to do, to really make a difference? Turn the electricity COMPLETELY off. For a month. And close down the gas stations, too. THAT will make a difference...
"It was quite sweet, actually, because the kids started chanting `turn them out, turn them out.' You can see now the city's a bit dimmer," she said toward the end of the hour.
Do what I said above and they'll be chanting something else...
"It's absolutely fantastic, there's a mood of enthusiasm and hopefulness and action," Bourne said. "I have never seen Sydney's skyline look so dark."
More eco-feelgood drivel at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  These are the same cultists who will celebrate the aftermath of a nuclear war as a victory for Gaia. I have seen enough crap television sf to be familiar with the type. E Plebnista, etc.
Posted by: Excalibur || 04/01/2007 7:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Tim Blair posted the pic from The Age. The OBVIOUSLY photoshopped the normal "lit" light levels to try and make it look so much different during this hour of stupidity. As Tim noted, vehicles wouldn't need headlights at night if the photos were correct
Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 10:50 Comments || Top||

#3  We were expecting a big difference straight away, but it was just a little bit,"

Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 13:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Idiots.
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 04/01/2007 18:15 Comments || Top||

#5  You can see now the city's a bit dimmer...

Oh, I don't think it's just the city, Sonja...
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/01/2007 21:47 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Obama focuses on war in Iowa visit
Severely EFL

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday it will be difficult to make progress on important domestic issues until the Iraq war has ended. The Illinois senator cited health care, education and other concerns and said most Democratic candidates have similar goals, with differences only in the details. ''None of these things we are going to be able to do effectively until we bring this war in Iraq to a close,'' Obama told about 2,000 people in a town hall-style meeting.
That's DonkSpeak for "We're just DROOLING at all the money being spent on the war. We want it, so we can hand it out potential constituents andbuy their votes." Really. That's what it's all about.
...Obama said he would have voted against the initial $87 billion to pay for the war because it included $20 billion in reconstruction money that was certain to be wasted because of the chaos in Iraq. ''This is a recipe for disaster,'' said Obama. ''How do you send $20 billion to a government that isn't a government?''
I don't follow that "logic"...
...Obama said he is pushing legislation for a gradual troop withdrawal. ''There is no military solution to the problems in Iraq,'' he said. ''There are political problems between the warring factions there.''
I don't follow that logic, either...
...Though Obama is in his first term in the Senate, he rejected suggestions that he needs more experience before running for president. ''I've only been in Washington for a few years, but I've been there long enough to know that Washington needs to change,'' Obama said.
I got news for you, Bub: you don't have to be in Washington to know that. And you especially don't have to live in Washington to know that it needs changed even more since you idiots took over Congress.

Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Female ex-candidate to 'protect' Hillary Clinton
The first woman to run on a US presidential ticket has promised her friend Hillary Clinton that she will help her fight Republican "dirty tricks" in the race for the White House.
Oh, God, not this old bat again...
"The only thing that can stop Hillary becoming the next president would be smears and dirty tricks," said Geraldine Ferraro, the Democrats' losing 1984 vice-presidential candidate. "I've told her I'll go anywhere and speak any time to make sure that doesn't happen."

She outlined her plans for a display of female solidarity with the Democratic presidential frontrunner last week in an interview in her office overlooking Ground Zero, where the World Trade Centre once stood in lower Manhattan.
Female solidarity. Terrific.

Miss Ferraro, 71, now the managing director of a large corporate public relations and consultancy firm, has joined the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and Billie Jean King, the former tennis star, in a "rapid rebuttal force" of well-known women on standby to defend and promote Sen Clinton's candidacy.
The "Butt Brigade". Wonderful...
"We've learned our lessons from 2004," she told The Sunday Telegraph, referring to the so-called Swift Boat campaign when some former Vietnam veterans who served with John Kerry, the Democrats' last White House nominee, questioned the medals he won for valour.

"The Democrats' mistake was to sit back and think nobody would believe this garbage. But some of it stuck and the harm was done. This time we'll be out there fighting back," insisted Miss Ferraro, a feisty New York native who is a regular commentator on Fox News, the conservative television network.
No, the Democrats' mistake was nominating a roaring asshole.
..."Hillary is overwhelmingly the best candidate for 2008," she said. "I am not backing her because she's a woman, but isn't it wonderful that she is a woman?"
Yes, it's wonderful she's a woman. Just thrilling.
Her expectations of a dirty fight are mirrored in the camps of Sen Clinton's opponents. They say that the New York senator's own "war room" staff have already collected extensive background files on her rivals, ready to go "negative" as the battle for 2008 heats up.
I think you can make book on that.
More at link...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  HEy FERRARO........I got your dirty tricks HANGIN'!!!Another one that needs to GO AWAY.
Posted by: ARMYGUY || 04/01/2007 5:23 Comments || Top||

#2  "Menopausal women gone wild.?"
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/01/2007 7:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Dykes on Bikes?
Posted by: Mac || 04/01/2007 8:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Confderation of "Women with Husbands of Suspect Character" except you, of course, Billie Jean...
Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 11:05 Comments || Top||

#5  They can call themselves Sisterhood Reunited to Expose Wickedness.
Posted by: Jonathan || 04/01/2007 12:30 Comments || Top||

#6  Which would be funny if it were complete. How about Sisterhood Hysterically Reunited to Expose Wickedness.
Posted by: Jonathan || 04/01/2007 12:32 Comments || Top||

#7  Broads Against Sanity
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/01/2007 13:50 Comments || Top||

#8  This old hag had Mondale's back and look what happened.
Posted by: regular joe || 04/01/2007 16:37 Comments || Top||

#9  Hey, be nice. She's probably more of a man than Bill.
Posted by: Captain America || 04/01/2007 18:25 Comments || Top||

#10  VH1's Back to the Eighties.
Is Helen Reddy dead or can they still recruit her?
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/01/2007 22:01 Comments || Top||

Rape victim not bound to produce 4 witnesses: CII
wow...how enlightened
ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Saturday unanimously decided that a victim of rape (zina-bil-jabr) should not be required to produce four witnesses to file a complaint. The CII agreed that in rape cases, the affected woman would be a complainant, not a defendant. “In this case, the woman will be a complainant and the state will be bound to investigate, arrest the rapist and punish him if the crime is proved,” a press release of the CII said.

The council also stressed that rape (zina-bil-jabr) and consensual sex with someone other than a spouse (zina-bil-raza) are separate crimes. It observed that a person accused of adultery should be acquitted if the complainant fails to produce four witnesses to prove their point in court. Once acquitted, the accused could not be punished under any other law unless he/she refused to give a statement under oath or confessed to the crime, the council said.

“In cases of ‘lian’ where the accused denies by swearing [an oath], confesses, or the charges are proved, the court will decide such cases under the prevailing circumstances” the CII said.

The council said that only dacoity should not be treated as ‘Fasad fil Arz’ and ‘Haraba’ (schism, violence and chaos on earth). It said that offences like terrorism and rape were also Fasad fil Arz and Haraba, and the perpetrators of these acts should be given such punishments as set out in Sura Maida of the Quran.

It decided that being a Muslim was not mandatory for a judge if the law of the land had been drafted formally. A Hindu judge, Rana Bhagwandas, was recently appointed acting chief justice of Pakistan, though some religious groups have complained that a non-Muslim cannot head the country’s apex court.

The council called upon parliament to legislate to prevent children from removing their elderly parents from their homes. It demanded that the government form a commission of experts to review reforms in agriculture and point out why they were not implemented. It also decided to hold an international conference on ‘Islam and social problems’ in collaboration with the International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Posted by: Frank G || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  amazing, for female victims of rape it is/was impossible to get justice in Pak-Land. Several barriers we can hardly even imagine here in America stood/stand in the way.

#1) supposedly a woman is now a complainant vs defendant etc.

Well we'll see how this shakes out in practice.

The Paki-Waki Wymin of CSI
I can see it all now...

Paki-Waki of Wymin CSI rape squads fanning out through every nook and cranny of Paki-Waki-Land, fearlessly shopping traveling many a mile Eastwards over to the Bangla Upzillas, then West to the Wazoooos and then back taking hair samples from rape perps [ala Clinton/Monica] and matching them with vaginal swabs.

good luck and happy shopping trails Ladies. ;-)
Posted by: RD || 04/01/2007 4:06 Comments || Top||

#2  This displeases allah.
Posted by: Sneaze || 04/01/2007 8:26 Comments || Top||

#3  It really doesn't matter how many witnesses they produce. They're all sluts who need to be stoned.
Posted by: Jackal || 04/01/2007 9:34 Comments || Top||

Science & Technology
Magnificent Pictorial of the Swedish Warship Vassa
This is the stern of the Warship in Stockholm's Vassa Museum. The Vassa Warship is a massive ship built in the 1600's that capsized and sank only minutes into it's maiden voyage. It was recovered from the Baltic in one piece in the 1950's...
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The text at the link doesn't tell the the true story. The Vasa is used as a case study in project management. The original design was good; the architects then gave in and added an extra deck at the Kings request. Scope creep.
Posted by: Thagum the Prolific7285 || 04/01/2007 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  When the Vasa was built in 1628, it was the most powerful warship on earth.

Excepting the story presented by every subsequent sentence. The "most powerful warship on earth" might reasonably be expected to make it to sea. Most powerful aquatic paperweight is another category.
Posted by: Excalibur || 04/01/2007 7:48 Comments || Top||

#3  It's hardly news but this is as good a place as any to post a fantastic story I ran across recently.
In 1893, the battleship HMS Victoria, sank after a collision with HMS Camperdown off Tripoli Lebanon. She took 357 men with her, including Vice Admiral Tryon, CinC Mediteranean, whose confused orders were held to be the cause of the disaster. Camperdown survived, though badly damaged.
Victoria's wreck was discovered and explored by divers in 2005.
The wreck is largely intact and is standing vertically in 450 feet of water, like a giant tombstone, with its bows deeply embedded in the sea floor. It is the only vertical wreck known in the world. There used to be one in the Phillipines but it collapsed a few years ago.
The pictures are downright spooky.

Ocean muck is not my specialty as a geologist, but this situation would seem to require a very special set of conditions; the bottom material would have to be soft enough for the ship to penetrate far enough to gain a good hold, but solid enough to support the great mass for 114 years. It would also have to be fairly thick, to keep the wreck from smashing itself against bedrock before it had lost most of its momentum. The linked article explains some other factors that may have contributed to this extraordinary phenomenon.
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 04/01/2007 9:31 Comments || Top||

#4  the bottom material would have to be soft enough for the ship to penetrate far enough to gain a good hold, but solid enough to support the great mass for 114 years.

You may wish to incorporate the massive load shift that would have occured during the vessel's downward flight and final impact with the sea floor. Additionally, there may have been some atmospheric displacement resulting in a huge slug of downward flowing seawater displacing any trapped air in the ship's prow. While an accommodating degree of seabed permeability is of obvious importance, the other two successive displacements of interior weight and trapped atmosphere might have played an important role as well. Additionally, there is the chance that a breach of the forward hull could have preferentially weighted the ship's nose with inrushing seawater.

As to the Gustav Wasa (original spelling, although Gustav the First's real name was actually Gustav Eriksson), the article failed to mention how, once on dry land, the entire vessel had to be kept under a constant drench of fresh water in order to prevent catastrophic warping of the ship's timbers due to non-uniform drying.

The magnificent hull certainly exhibits more carving than a herd of skateboarders. From what I remember of the original National Geographic article, it was a calm day and the deck cannon were not secured during the Gustav Wasa's launch. Immediately thereafter the ship encountered a freak abeam gust that heeled it straight over. Shifting weight of the rolling cannon capsized the vessel almost instantly.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 22:18 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Vietnam sentences priest to prison
HUE, Vietnam -- A court sentenced a dissident Catholic priest to eight years in prison yesterday for anti-government activities after a dramatic trial in which the defendant shouted denunciations of the ruling Communist Party. A judge at Thua Thien Hue Provincial People's Court in central Vietnam sentenced the Rev. Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly on charges of disseminating anti-government documents and communicating with pro-democracy activists overseas. It was the first time the government has opened a high-profile dissident's trial to reporters.

Authorities said Father Ly, 60 -- who has been jailed twice before for his pro-democracy activities -- was plotting to merge his Vietnam Progression Party with overseas democracy activists. Father Ly was brought handcuffed into the courtroom along with four co-defendants at the start of the trial. He began to shout about Vietnam's Communist Party, but a police officer quickly covered his mouth and removed him to a nearby room where the proceedings were broadcast on a loudspeaker.

Father Ly was later brought back, but he refused to answer prosecutors' charges against him, declaring, "The communists use the law of the jungle" before being removed again.

In sentencing, Judge Bui Quoc Hiep said Father Ly deserved "severe punishment" for masterminding efforts to boycott Vietnam's upcoming legislative elections, establish unsanctioned political parties and overthrow the government. Judge Hiep said the priest and his co-defendants had committed "very serious crimes that harmed national security."

Prosecutors said Father Ly was the mastermind of Bloc 8406, an organization that circulated pro-democracy petitions last year.

Authorities allowed limited press coverage of the trial, a highly unusual move in a country where judicial proceedings against political defendants are typically conducted behind closed doors. About a dozen reporters and foreign diplomats watched the proceedings on a closed-circuit television in a separate room of the courthouse. The sound was cut briefly when Father Ly shouted.

Last month, authorities moved Father Ly from his home in the city of Hue, where he was under virtual house arrest, and took him to a smaller parish outside the city. They seized hundreds of documents, six computers and 136 mobile phone cards, and much of that evidence was on display at the front of the courtroom yesterday.
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
Important Legal Decision About Exclusionary Zoning
Municipalities that want to exclude strip clubs must first consider evidence of potential negative impacts such as rising crime or falling property values, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that, although the U.S. Supreme Court has not "expressly decided the issue," its case law suggests that town officials must provide evidence of "negative secondary effects" before passing an ordinance to ban nude dancing...
If upheld, this could affect a whole range of exclusionary zoning laws, for such things as gun ranges, home based businesses, and might even challenge CCR exclusions.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 04/01/2007 19:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The posturing 'city fathers' like to play this card all the time and demonstrate time and again they're just a bunch of pathetic wannabes.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
Sun Tzu

The prissy city fathers might want to understand the business first. First, its about cash. Second, its about how they set up their business model [organization]. Pass an ordinance that any entertainer working more than x number of hours in a month or x number of hours combined in six months has to be an employee of the establishment. Said employer must comply with all existing laws concerning pay, withholding, and taxes as well as pay their portion thereof as any other business. Said employer is also responsible for their employee's behavior and actions on the job. It can not be contracted out which is the current method most of these establishments use to skirt the laws. That'll put a crunch on their bottom line.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/01/2007 19:58 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
What '07 Corn Rush Means To You
Hoping to cash in high prices, Iowa farmers are using the most land since 1985 to plant corn. But the trend could have profound environmental implications, experts warn.
Oh, ph*que the "experts"...
Washington, D.C. - With grain prices soaring, U.S. farmers are set to seed more land to corn this spring than at any time since 1944, when the government was pressing growers to alleviate wartime food shortages.

Farmers intend to plant 90.5 million acres of corn this spring, a 15 percent increase from 2006, according to a widely anticipated report issued Friday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. Barring bad weather, that's good news for everyone from grocery shoppers to ethanol producers and hog farmers, because the big crop would help moderate prices for corn and food.

U.S. farmers have faced an international backlash over surging grain and food prices, brought on by the nation's booming fuel ethanol industry. Critics, from meatpackers to environmentalists, have warned that the United States cannot fuel the country's cars while keeping food prices affordable to the poor.

Iowa farmers are increasing their plantings of corn by 10 percent, to 13.9 million acres. That's the most in 22 years, though shy of the record 14.4 million acres of corn that Iowa growers planted in 1981 when President Reagan ended the Soviet grain embargo.

"It's good news that the corn industry is stepping up to the plate to fill the demand," said David Nelson, a Belmond corn and soybean grower who is chairman of Global Ethanol LLC, which operates an ethanol plant at Lakota. Nelson and his two brothers will plant about 70 percent of their acreage to corn this year, up from 63 percent last year, he said.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said the report should "help to ease concern about our corn supply." He dropped the idea of letting landowners remove idled acreage without penalty from the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers for taking land out of production and putting it into grass, trees or other soil-conserving uses. The land could have been planted to corn in 2008.

There's still plenty of risk that farmers won't plant as much corn as predicted, if wet weather in April keeps them out of the fields.

The USDA's report, based on an extensive survey of farmers, exceeded analysts' expectations, and corn futures dropped the market limit of 20 cents per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price of corn for May delivery fell to $3.74 a bushel.

But stocks of corn are so tight, down 13 percent from a year ago, that poor growing conditions could send prices soaring later in the year, analysts said. "It's too early to tell whether this crop will be large enough to satisfy demand or not," said Larry Salathe, a USDA economist. "It's pointing in the right direction."

The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, said the increase in corn acreage "should help to address concerns about corn supplies." But he cautioned that "higher production in response to strong prices can also lead to oversupply and lower prices."

The big increase in corn acreage could also raise environmental concerns. Corn generally requires more pesticides and fertilizer to grow than most major crops. Excess nitrates from fertilizer can run off fields into streams and rivers, a concern to Des Moines and other cities that must treat the water for drinking. "Dramatic expansion of corn production for the ethanol industry has profound environmental implications that are being almost entirely ignored in Washington," said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization.

More than ethanol producers, livestock farmers and food processors have been awaiting the USDA report for weeks. Cook even invited readers of his blog to offer their guesses of the survey's outcome.

Friday's numbers were welcome news to livestock producers, although they'll be watching nervously to see if farmers grow as much as they've told the Department of Agriculture they will. Corn is used to feed cattle, hogs and poultry, so higher corn prices mean consumers are likely to pay more for meat and dairy products. It takes about 10 bushels of corn to raise a hog and 50 bushels or so to fatten one steer in a feedlot.

Hog producers are "cautiously optimistic that this (increased corn acreage) will help us in the short term," said Dave Warner, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council.

"Much will depend on the weather and other factors," said Bill Roenigk, chief economist for the National Chicken Council. "And even with the increased acreage, there is little doubt that corn will remain at historically high price levels." The cost of producing a chicken has gone up 40 percent since last summer because of the higher corn prices, he said.

The increase in corn acreage means that farmers will plant less land to soybeans. However, soybean processors got some good news Friday in a USDA report showing that stocks of the commodity are 7 percent higher than they were a year ago. Increased production of soybeans in South America also is expected to help compensate for the reduced U.S. acreage. In Iowa, farmers expect to plant 9.2 million acres of soybeans this year, down from 10.2 million in 2006. Nationally, soybean acreage is expected to fall from 75.5 million last year to 67.1 million in 2007, a drop of 11 percent.

In the South, many farmers are switching from cotton to corn. Cotton acreage is expected to fall by 20 percent. The shift to corn should moderate corn prices, while boosting prices for soybeans and cotton, said Joe Victor, a commodities analyst for Allendale Inc.

Iowa is the No. 1 producer of corn and soybeans. With last year's average yield of 166 bushels per acre, Iowa would produce 2.3 billion bushels of corn this year, surpassing the 2004 record of 2.2 billion bushels. The state's average yield in 2004 was a record 181 bushels per acre.

Farmers in Illinois, Minnesota and North Dakota all intend to plant record amounts of corn this year. Illinois farmers plan to plant 12.9 million acres, up 1.6 million from 2006.
What, you don't wanna see any stories on the 'Burg about corn futures? Tough. It's April 1st...
Posted by: Dave D. || 04/01/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  With a La Nina cranking up, should be an interesting year for agricultural commodities.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/01/2007 9:09 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm not planting any more corn than I did last year. The higher price of feeds doesn't have a big impact on me because I'm not a large-scale farmer. My neighbors who do raise beef and hog heards are feeling the effects as well as the high price for diesel fuel. Maybe this will stem the tide of consumers subsidizing the ethanol industry.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 04/01/2007 11:03 Comments || Top||

#3  I can only hope this works well for everybody and doesn't turn into a major bust.

We could at least sell the extra corn off to Mexico since they have a shortage. Corn for oil type thing.
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/01/2007 11:34 Comments || Top||

#4  Maybe this will finally enable Congress to get rid of the friggin' agriculture subsidies. (And maybe we won't have high fructose corn syrup in every food in the country anymore.)
Posted by: Jonathan || 04/01/2007 12:34 Comments || Top||

#5  (And maybe we won't have high fructose corn syrup in every food in the country anymore.)

That would be nice. HFCS has ruined more than a few classic American food products. It's also suspect in causing a rise in diabetes cases. Give me good old-fashioned refined white cane sugar anytime.
Posted by: Zenster || 04/01/2007 14:53 Comments || Top||

#6  HFCS, if discovered today with what we know it does, would probably be classified a slow poison and not sold to consumers.

I second Zenster's desire for plain old sugar, just brush your teeth afterwards to prevent decay (sucrose's main bad side effect). The bad effects of HFCS are thus avoided.
Posted by: no mo uro || 04/01/2007 19:29 Comments || Top||

#7  I don't even use refined sugar but raw sugar.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 04/01/2007 20:10 Comments || Top||

#8  NO CORN FOR OIL!!! man...
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/01/2007 21:50 Comments || Top||

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Sun 2007-04-01
  Wazoo tribesmen attack Qaeda bunkers
Sat 2007-03-31
  Japan sets up missile defence shield near Tokyo
Fri 2007-03-30
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Thu 2007-03-29
  Arab League unanimously approves Saudi peace plan
Wed 2007-03-28
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Tue 2007-03-27
  Hicks pleads guilty
Mon 2007-03-26
  Release Sufi Muhammad in 72 hours or Else: TNSM
Sun 2007-03-25
  UNSC approves new sanctions on Iran
Sat 2007-03-24
  Iran kidnaps Brit sailors, marines
Fri 2007-03-23
Thu 2007-03-22
  110 killed as Waziristan festivities enter third day
Wed 2007-03-21
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Mon 2007-03-19
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