December 30, 2005

Jay Tea: agnostic Zionist WASP

Aside from the fact Jay just identified himself as an agnostic "White Anglo-Saxon PROTESTANT" (yes, I am too much of a literal person), I agree with his analysis: Why this agnostic WASP is a Zionist.

I've lived through and noted numerous cycles of the "Mideast Peace Process." They all seem to go the same way -- the world pressures both sides to talk. Israel makes concessions as "signs of good faith." They talk. A wonderfully intricate process is discussed. At the conclusion, people announce that "peace is at hand" and Israel makes more concessions. Then the Palestinians start backing away from their commitments. They cite numerous reasons why they can't abide by what they just agreed to. Meanwhile, they and the rest of the world press Israel to keep its commitments, and to continue on schedule. Then the terrorist attacks resume. Everyone urges Israel to "show restraint" (a demonstration that is usually measured in dead Israelis). Finally, Israel has enough and hits back, at which point they are blamed for "destroying the peace process" -- no one ever seems to note that every single step was taken by the Israelis, while the Palestinians did absolutely nothing. And those concessions the Israelis made? They're presumed permanent, and merely move the starting point for the next useless cycle.
Tip of the sombrero to: Ace.

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VDH: The Plague of Success

Haven't quite gotten into the whole "VDH" trend yet, but I found this via Charles and thought I'd give it a spin: The Plague of Success.

Our affluent society is at a complete disconnect with hard physical work and appreciation of how tenuous life was for 2,500 years of civilization. Those in our media circus who deliver our truth can’t weld, fix a car, shoot a gun, or do much of anything other than run around looking for scoops about how incompetent things are done daily in Iraq under the most trying of circumstances. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that our technologies and wealth give us a pass on the old obstacles of time and space — as if Iraq 7,000 miles away is no more distant than Washington is from New York. Perhaps soldiers on patrol who go for 20 hours without sleep with 70 pounds on their back are merely like journalists pulling an all-nighter to file a story. Perhaps the next scandal will be the absence of high-definition television in Iraq — and who plotted to keep flat screens out of Baghdad.

The result of this juvenile boredom with good news and success? Few stop to reflect how different a Pakistan is as a neutral rather than as the embryo of the Taliban, or a Libya without a nuclear-weapons program, or a Lebanon with Syrians in it, or an Iraq without Saddam and Afghanistan without Mullah Omar. That someone — mostly soldiers in the field and diplomats under the most trying of circumstances — accomplished all that is either unknown or forgotten as we ready ourselves for the next scandal.


Smart guy.

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Pinochet stripped of immunity on embezzlement charges

Chilean Judge Strips Pinochet of Immunity.

SANTIAGO, Chile - Former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was stripped of his legal immunity Friday to face charges of diverting public funds to personal bank accounts.

Judge Juan Escobar, president of the Santiago Court of Appeals, said his tribunal voted 21-3 to remove the immunity Pinochet enjoys as a former president.

Friday's decision is part of a wider corruption-related legal process in which Pinochet also lost immunity against charges of tax evasion and secret overseas bank accounts totaling as much as $28 million. A person with legal immunity must be stripped of it separately in each case.

At this point, does it really matter?

Now don't misread that statement. I realize the necessity for making this monster stand trial for his crimes --- but you have to admit, there's a certain pressing urgency to try and convict Pinochet soon before his mind detiorates further or before he dies --- thus why all these motions to strip him of various levels of immunity are being pursued. If he dies before before being convicted (at least) and imprisoned formally, there will probably be a denial of closure for countless Chileans who suffered under his regime. (<---Understatement of the year.)

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God's view of embryos?

I love it. God sees embryos as full and complete humans - Pope.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - God sees embryos as "full and complete" humans, Pope Benedict said on Wednesday in an address that firmly underlined the Roman Catholic Church's stance against abortion and scientific research on embryos.

"The loving eyes of God look on the human being, considered full and complete at its beginning," Benedict said in his weekly address to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Quoting Psalm 139, Benedict said the Bible teaches that God already recognises the embryo as a complete human. That view is the basis for the Church teaching that aborting or manipulating these embryos amounts to murder.

In Psalm 139, the psalmist says to God: "Thou didst see my limbs unformed in the womb, and in thy book they are all recorded."

"It is extremely powerful, the idea in this psalm, that in this 'unformed' embryo God already sees the whole future," Benedict said.

"In the Lord's book of life, the days that this creature will live and will fill with works during his time on earth are already written."

[...] The Pontiff also raised the theme in his Christmas Eve mass on Saturday, saying the love of God shines on each child, "even on those still unborn".

Many Pro-Life advocates have cited Scripture before --- but whether you're Catholic or not, when the Pope states such a position based on the Word --- it has more weight with some people and thus garners a bit more attention.

Now I challenge all you cafeteria-Christians out there who think they are free to "pick-and-choose" what they do and do not believe in when it's right there for you in print to refute this.

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December 28, 2005

The Twisted Logic of Mohammed Daod

The beginning of the article (Reuters: "Munich mastermind spurns Spielberg's peace appeal") as a contextualizer:

Mohammed Daoud planned the Munich attack on behalf of PLO splinter group Black September, but did not take part and does not feature in the film.

He voiced outrage at not being consulted for the thriller and accused Spielberg of pandering to the Jewish state.

Now Daoud's wonderfully contradictory explanation for the Black September terrorist action political statement:
"We did not target Israeli civilians," he said.

"Some of them (the athletes) had taken part in wars and killed many Palestinians. Whether a pianist or an athlete, any Israeli is a soldier."

Um...anyone else catch the subtlety here?

Posted by Kyer at 11:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2005

Bloomberg: Thug Life

Oh boy, it was only a matter of time before somebody played the MTA race card: Bloomberg's Word Choice Still Under Fire.

NEW YORK - Four days after the city's transit strike ended, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was still coming under fire for his use of the word "thuggishly" to describe the actions of the leaders of a union that is mostly minority.

"Michael Bloomberg, don't be nasty and mean," attorney Norman Siegel said Monday, standing on the steps of City Hall. "Be positive. Together, we can improve race relations in New York."

The civil rights attorney noted that more than 70 percent of the Transport Workers Union's 33,000 members are "of color." And while he didn't believe Bloomberg's use of the word was in itself racist, Siegel said, "The perception out there is that it is racist. And the reaction has enormous racial overtones."


Basically, you cannot say a darn thing in or out of the public spotlight these days without the P.C. crowd decrying you as a chauvinist, homophobe or a white person bigot etc.

Bloomberg used the word Dec. 20 during a briefing on the first day of the three-day strike that forced millions of riders to spend extra hours commuting. The mayor complained that union leaders had "thuggishly turned their backs on New York City and disgraced the noble concept of public service."

Some criticized him for using the word, saying it was racist in the context of a mostly minority union. A Bloomberg spokesman said it was wrong to bring race into the situation.

Bloomberg mops up:
Bloomberg said he stood by his characterization of the union leadership's actions. A spokesman for Bloomberg, Paul Elliot, said Monday: "It is astonishing that some insist on continuing to divisively inject the subject of race four days after the strike has ended. One has to wonder what their motivations are."

Unions... gotta love 'em!

Update: Ace reminds us who dealt the race card first...

Of course that's how it works. It's really too bad that Bloomberg brought race into this dispute. Unlike, say, one of the leaders of the transit strike, who compared his cause to Rosa Parks'.

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December 23, 2005

Psalmblogging: Psalm 27

Psalm 27 (NIV)

Of David.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.

7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.

8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.

13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

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December 22, 2005

Toledo to Sendero Luminoso: "Bring it on, putos!"

Peruvian Leader: Shining Path 'Will Pay':

LIMA, Peru - Peru's president declared a state of emergency in six jungle provinces and promised to stamp out the nation's remaining Shining Path guerrillas after suspected rebels killed eight police officers in an ambush.

"They will pay. My government is prepared to provide everything that our police and our armed forces need professionally," President Alejandro Toledo said Wednesday in a speech at a police barracks in Lima. "The eight officers fell at the cowardly hands of terrorists who today are in the service of drug trafficking."

Later, Toledo decreed a two-month state of emergency in six coca-producing provinces in the central jungle and said his Cabinet had also approved the creation of an emergency commission to bring urgently needed social development to the area.

Under Peruvian law, a state of emergency suspends civil rights, such as the right to assembly, and gives police and the military sweeping powers to enter homes and conduct searches.

"This supreme decree will allow the armed forces and the police to jointly enter and take action in this zone for 60 days," Toledo said in an address aired on state-run television.

The goal, he said, was to provide "a greater state presence, within the law, respecting human rights."

Let the smacketh downeth begineth.

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December 21, 2005

Russian memory of Stalin... how you say? Not so good.

Russians Observe Stalin's 126th Birthday.

MOSCOW - Residents of a southern Russian town unveiled a statue Wednesday to Josef Stalin, as Communists and others marked the 126th anniversary of the late Soviet dictator's birth.

More three dozen residents of Digora, in the Caucasus region of North Ossetia, laid carnations at the gold bust topping a granite obelisk, while children in Soviet-style red kerchiefs saluted.

"Under Stalin, every year we waited for improvements and every year there were improvements. It's a fact," sculptor Mikhail Dzboyev said in televised comments.

In Moscow's Red Square, several dozen people carrying red flags bearing the face of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin braved wintry weather to visit Stalin's grave.

In the Georgian town of Gori, where Stalin was born, people gathered to toast the Soviet leader.

A growing number of Russian towns in recent years have considered erecting monuments to Stalin, a controversial issue for many Russians who say the dictator was responsible for the deaths of millions of his own people.

Others revere him for the Soviet Union's rapid industrialization and his leadership against Nazi Germany during World War II.

Oh! My beloved Russian friends... how quickly you have forgotten!

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Drudge: Carter & Clinton both authorized invasive measures...

...WITHOUT court orders!

Via Drudge:



Bill Clinton Signed Executive Order that allowed Attorney General to do searches without court approval

Clinton, February 9, 1995: "The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order"

WASH POST, July 15, 1994: Extend not only to searches of the homes of U.S. citizens but also -- in the delicate words of a Justice Department official -- to "places where you wouldn't find or would be unlikely to find information involving a U.S. citizen... would allow the government to use classified electronic surveillance techniques, such as infrared sensors to observe people inside their homes, without a court order."

Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, the Clinton administration believes the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes."

Secret searches and wiretaps of Aldrich Ames's office and home in June and October 1993, both without a federal warrant.

Jimmy Carter Signed Executive Order on May 23, 1979: "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."


So put that in your collective hookah and smoke it.

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December 20, 2005

Just (be)cause.

God rest your soul, SGT. Stokely: "Mike"

[...] Mike didn't die for a "just cause", he died JUST BECAUSE - just because he loved his country enough to want to serve it since the time he was in middle school; just because he loved his family enough to want to protect them; just because he loved his friends enough that he would rather fight a war "there" than here; just because he believed in our order of government whereby the civilian government rules and the military obeys, and when the President, with lawful authority, calls upon soldiers to go and fight, he believed it was not only his duty, but his honor to go; just because he wouldn't let his fellow soldiers - his guys - go it alone; and just because he wanted to do for others - the Iraqi people - what he would do for his own country.
Read it all.

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December 18, 2005

Ninth Delaware Soldier Dies in Iraq

Delaware soldier killed in Iraq.

A career Army soldier who grew up in Delaware was killed in Iraq over the weekend, the ninth Delaware soldier to die in the war there.

Sgt. 1st Class James "Shawn" Moudy, 37, died early Sunday morning after the Humvee he was driving was struck by a roadside bomb, said his mother, Thelma Moudy, of Newark. Two Army officers visited the Moudy home Sunday afternoon to deliver the grim news.

"He was our only son, our only child," said Moudy, who was surrounded by friends and family this morning.

The Department of Defense reported on its Web site today that a Task Force Baghdad soldier was killed south of Baghdad Dec. 11 when his patrol struck an improvised explosive device. The soldier's name had not been released.

Moudy, who was stationed in Watertown, N.Y., has a wife, Myong Sun, and a daughter, Sandra Rebecca, 13. He graduated from Tatnall School in Wilmington in 1986 and joined the Army after attending Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala., for one year.

"He had a love for God and country," his mother said. "He was a very strong man with a very deep sense of purpose and duty."

Funeral arrangements for Moudy are pending.

God bless him and the family he left behind.

H/T: politakid.

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December 15, 2005

Dozens of fetuses found in Romanian ravine

What the hell is going on over there???

Dozens of foetuses found in ravine in Romania.

Police in northeast Romania have found dozens of foetuses abandoned in a ravine, Mediafax news agency reported. "The foetuses seem to have been conserved in formaldehyde since they do not smell like cadavers," police official Georgel Grumeza from the town of Iasi said Thursday.

The foetuses were found near the village of Gropnita.

Fragments of human skulls were also found in the same place.

The macabre discovery was made by a shepherd who said he had seen "cadavers of babies on the ground while others were stuffed in a plastic bag."

Investigators said the foetuses were from 10-40 centimetres (four to 16 inches) long and "seemed to have come from a research laboratory."

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December 13, 2005

2 years ago...

...I was born again by the redeeming blood of Christ, my Lord and Savior.

1 Peter 1:3-4
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you..."

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Job 8:13
"Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless."

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December 10, 2005

Anti-rape condom invented...

...and it will hurt: Anti-rape condom aims to stop sexual assaults.

KLEINMOND, South Africa - A South African inventor unveiled a new anti-rape female condom on Wednesday that hooks onto an attacker's penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time, Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex," a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime.

Police statistics show more than 50,000 rapes are reported every year, while experts say the real figure could be four times that as they say most rapes of acquaintances or children are never reported.

Ehlers said the rapex hooks onto the rapist's skin, allowing the victim time to escape and helping to identify perpetrators.

He will obviously be too pre-occupied at this stage, Ehlers told reporters in Kleinmond, a small village about 60 miles east of Cape Town. I promise you he is going to be too sore. He will go straight to hospital.

The device, made of latex and held firm by shafts of sharp barbs, can only be removed from the man through surgery which will alert hospital staff, and ultimately, the police, she said.

It also reduces the chances of a woman falling pregnant or contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from the attacker by acting in the same way as a female condom.

That's really, um, something else.

But I'm not keen on the name of the condom, "Rapex"...

I think it should be called the "Iron Maiden."

Posted by Kyer at 04:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gates Foundation funding prostitution "union" in India

C-FAM: Gates Foundation Funds Prostitutes' 'Union' in India.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $1 million to an Indian organization that acts as a "labor union" for prostitutes according to federal agency documents obtained by the Friday Fax. The documents also reveal that members of the Gates-funded organization attacked law enforcement officials in India who sought to rescue minors from brothels.

In 2002 the Gates Foundation gave the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) a $1 million grant "to determine the factors contributing to the success of" a particular "HIV/AIDS prevention project in Calcutta, India, and design training materials for use in other settings" according to the foundation's annual report from that year.

But according to the agency document, the DMSC acts as a sort of union for prostitutes and has financial incentives to protect prostitution from government interference and resist efforts to curb human trafficking. The document says many of the members of DMSC are older ex-prostitutes who have paid off their debts to traffickers and brothel owners and are unable to attract new customers. These members become madams or brothel owners themselves and rely on revenues generated by children newly brought into the brothel system. DMSC distributes benefits to older members based on money generated by the profitable underage Indian prostitutes. Thus, DMCS is said to have "a strong incentive to maintain this heinous trade as part of its 'revenue sharing' scheme." Some of the prostitutes are as young as 10-years-old.

Dr. Helene Gayle, director of the Gate's Foundation's HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health program defended DMSC. "It is important to clarify that DMSC has rules and regulatory boards in place to fight trafficking, and has programs to discourage minors from voluntarily becoming sex workers. As a result of these efforts, the number of minors working in [Calcutta's red light district] has dropped dramatically since the project started in 1992 and is much lower than in other red-light districts." The federal agency document disputes those claims saying Calcutta's red light district remains full of minors with one estimate saying that as many as 50 percent of the prostitutes in that neighborhood are underage. The document also cites an article from the Times of India reporting that several members of DMSC attacked police officers trying to rescue a 14-year-old locked in a brothel. Such behavior indicates, according to the document, complicity with trafficking.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of more than $28.8 billion and has given away almost $10 billion since its formation in January of 2000. The foundation identifies reproductive health as among its priorities and has given $60 million to Johns Hopkins University to increase access to "reproductive health programs in the developing world."

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The international effort to end child pornography

Coalition Seeks to End Child Pornography.

By Terry Vanderheyden
Thursday November 10, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, November 10, 2005 ( – Following on yesterday’s report that child pornography has become a multi-billion dollar commercial enterprise, and is among the fastest growing businesses on the Internet, an international group has announced an aggressive plan to put an end to child sexual exploitation.

A 22-country coalition unveiled an action plan that proposes a 17-point plan including creation of a universal three-digit phone number for reporting missing children; the establishment of an expanded database of convicted pedophiles; and the development of a system to track child traffickers across borders.

The action plan also includes measures to eradicate the commercial viability of child pornography by January 1, 2008, by mobilizing banking and financial industry leaders; by developing a uniform system for the reporting of child pornography by Internet Service Providers; by advocating that every country criminalize the possession of child pornography; and by expanding efforts to identify children used in child pornography.

The action plan was adopted last week by the attendees at the first U.S./European Summit on Missing and Exploited Children held in Buonas, Switzerland. Margarida Barroso, wife of the President of the European Commission, said, “More than ever, Americans and Europeans must stay close together in the defense of the most vulnerable. But the task is so urgent and so immense that all actors must mobilize.”

The program will be modeled after the US National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). John Walsh, co-founder of NCMEC, host of “America’s Most Wanted,” and father of an abducted and murdered child, said, “. . . 24 years ago, there was nothing. I never dreamed that a meeting like this was possible, or that we could unite to help children everywhere.”

See the NCMEC web-site devoted to child sexual exploitation:

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Internet Child Porn Business Explodes

Sad, but true: Child Porn Among Fastest Growing Internet Businesses.
Wednesday November 9, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va., November 9, 2005 ( - Within only a few years, child pornography has become a multi-billion dollar commercial enterprise, and is among the fastest growing businesses on the Internet. Through the use of digital and web cameras, child pornography has become easier and less expensive to produce. Distribution on the Internet has facilitated instant access by thousands and possibly millions of individuals throughout the world. The ability to use credit cards to purchase child pornography has made it easier than ever to obtain.

Arrests in the United States for the possession of child pornography, during a one-year period from 2000 to 2001, exposed alarming activities.

According to investigators, the majority of those arrested had images of children who had not yet reached puberty. Specifically, 83% had pornographic material that involved children between ages of 6 and 12; 39% had material involving children between ages 3 and 5; and 19% had images of infants or toddlers under age 3.

"The ease and anonymity of using home computers has revolutionized accessibility as well as the production and distribution of child pornography, especially across international borders," said Ernie Allen, President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). "The fact that child pornography can be purchased using a credit card, or traded at no cost on the Internet, is causing an exploding global problem and an immeasurable impact on the sexual exploitation of children."

The exact number of Web sites is difficult to determine. Since 1997, the number of child pornography images on the Internet is estimated to have increased by 1500%. It is estimated that 100,000 child pornography Web sites exist on the Internet, and that number may be increasing. NCMEC's congressionally mandated CyberTipline received 21,603 reports of child pornography in 2001, and in 2004 it received 106,176 reports -- a 491% increase over a four-year period.

Child pornography is illegal in most countries. The possession and/or distribution of child pornography is a federal crime in the United States. It is estimated that 20% of all pornography on the Internet involves children.

"Traditionally, we have viewed pedophiles as the users and distributors of child pornography," said Allen. "However, we are shocked to learn that the consumer market for child pornography is growing and becoming much broader.

Younger and younger children are being victimized, and the content is becoming more graphic and more violent."


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Flipside Schadenfreude

...Or "when normally rationally behaving individuals act like Moore-onic Moonbats when a leftard's neck is against the sword." Vince Aut Morire: A Bedtime Rant.

[...] The same people who lament the fate of Halliburton employees taken hostage in Iraq, now turn around and rejoice in the fate of 4 leftists taken hostage.

They think they deserve it.

Oh, really.

[...] To think that the CPT hostages are deserving of their fate, to say that you don't give a shit, because they're asshats and traitors, while they languish in the control of their captors, makes you as much a terrorist sympathizer as Michael Moore.

Amen, brother.

Read it all.

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December 09, 2005

Typing Error Screws Up Japanese Stock Market

Sweet merciful crap. Botched Stock Trade Rattles Japan Market.

TOKYO - Japan's government rebuked the Tokyo Stock Exchange and one of the country's biggest brokerage firms Friday after a typing error caused Mizuho Securities Co. to lose at least 27 billion yen ($225 million) on a stock trade.

The glitch roiled the Japanese market, while jitters over the reliability of the exchange's trading system contributing to a 1.95 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index Thursday.

[...] The trouble began Thursday morning, when a trader at Mizuho Securities tried to sell 610,000 shares at 1 yen (less than a penny) apiece in a job recruiting company called J-Com Co., which was having its public debut on the exchange. It had intended to sell 1 share at 610,000 yen ($5,041).

Worse still, the number of shares in Mizuho's order was 41 times that of J-Com's true outstanding amount, but the Tokyo Stock Exchange processed the order anyway.

Mizuho says another trader tried to cancel the order three times, but the exchange said it doesn't cancel transactions even if they are executed on erroneous orders.

By the end of the day, Mizuho Securities — a division of the nation's second-largest bank, Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. — had lost at least 27 billion yen. That total could rise, however, Mizuho Securities spokesman Hideki Sakuma said Friday, adding that the mishap was sparked by human error.

Japan's Financial Services Agency, the country's financial watchdog, began an immediate probe into what went wrong and how to prevent a repeat.

"In order to maintain the credibility of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, I very strongly want this issue to be resolved quickly," Economy and Banking Minister Kaoru Yosano told reporters Friday. "The first thing for the Financial Services Agency to do is to determine what happened in detail. Based on that, we will decide what is needed based on the rules and regulations."

"We need to think more about putting safety measures in place to prevent confusion," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters Friday.

Ya think?

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December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor: 64 Years Later... Have we forgotten?

This rather disturbing headline caught my attention this morning --- let us not confirm their fears: Veterans worry day is being forgotten.

[...] The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese made Dec. 7, 1941, as FDR said in that famous radio broadcast, "a date which will live in infamy."

Fred Hess used to think that was so, but these days he's worried that the president was wrong. He's afraid that the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor soon will go unremarked and unremembered.

"It's mind-boggling to me that so many kids don't even know about Pearl Harbor and what it was and what it meant," said Hess, 78, as he sat in Jack Hanna's Newport barbershop working out the last details for today's annual memorial service.

It's one of the few Pearl Harbor celebrations in Delaware today. In contrast, Americans gather by the thousands on Sept. 11, a tragedy that is fresher in the minds of most. Comparisons with 9/11, though, bother some WWII veterans who point out that the terrorist attacks of 2001 did not thrust the United States into a two-front war for survival.

Pearl Harbor, they argue, was a more seminal moment in U.S. history.

"We have to keep this going. If we give it up, who's going to carry it on? Who's going to take the time to remember that this was a world event, not just one involving the United States?" Hess said. "No young people seem to want to carry this on, to replace us, so we keep doing it. Someone has to do it."

[...] Hanna, who has helped Hess coordinate the Newport Pearl Harbor ceremony for the past 32 years, said he, too, is worried that there will come a day when no one pays tribute to those who died that Sunday morning.

"We can't forget Pearl Harbor, but I'm afraid that we might. At one time we had some young people from some of the schools helping us out with the ceremony, and they didn't even know what Pearl Harbor was," Hanna said. "That's so sad."

[...] Tom Daws, the state president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, said the task of keeping alive the memories of significant events such as Pearl Harbor Day and the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy is becoming one that his generation must now shoulder.

"History dictates that we would never forget Pearl Harbor Day because, today, they don't teach that part of American history in the schools," said Daws, a former Marine.

"We haven't forgotten Pearl Harbor Day and I don't think that the future generations of warriors coming home will either. The general public might not remember, but those who served always will," he said.

Posted by Kyer at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

Iranian military plane crashes into building, scores dead.

I better not find one blogger gloating about this or saying "Now they know what it's like...": Iranian Plane Rips Into Building; 128 Dead.

TEHRAN, Iran - An Iranian military transport plane crashed into a 10-story apartment building as it was trying to make an emergency landing Tuesday, ripping open the top of the structure and igniting a huge fire. At least 128 people were killed — 34 on the ground.

The plane was carrying Iranian journalists to cover military maneuvers in the south, and all 94 people on the aircraft were killed. In addition to the 34 residents of the apartment building who were killed, 90 were injured, Tehran state radio said.

Flames leaped out of windows as panicked residents fled the Towhid residential complex, a series of high-rise apartment buildings for army personnel in the Azadi suburb of Tehran.

Wreckage rained down, hitting a nearby gas station, police said. Cars parked below were smashed by falling debris. At the foot of the blackened building, a pile of wreckage was in flames.

Firefighters managed to put out the fire in the building, which was damaged and charred but still standing. Police cordoned off the area, preventing journalists and a crowd of thousands of people from getting near the site. Many in the crowd were screaming, afraid their relatives had been killed.

"It was like an earthquake," said Reza Sadeqi, a 25-year-old merchant, who saw the plane hit the building and added he was thrown about 9 feet inside his shop by the force of the crash.

"I felt the heat of the fire caused by the crash. It was like being in hell," he said.

Posted by Kyer at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2005

Russian arms sale to Iran strictly "defensive"

Russia Confirms Sale of Missiles to Iran.

MOSCOW - Russia has struck a deal to sell short-range, surface-to-air missiles to Iran, the defense minister said Monday, confirming reports that have raised concern in the United States and Israel.

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov didn't give details. But Russian media have said that Moscow agreed in November to sell $1 billion worth of weapons to Iran, including up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems over the next two years.

"A contract for the delivery of air defense Tor missiles to Iran has indeed been signed," Ivanov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"This unequivocally will not change the balance of forces in the region," Ivanov added. Tor M1 missiles are short-range, surface-to-air missiles already used by several other armed forces, including China.


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Kaare Kristiansen, man of principle, friend of Israel, dies at 85

Kaare Kristiansen, Friend of Israel, Passes Away.

Kaare Kristiansen, who resigned from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in 1994 to protest the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize that year to Yasser Arafat, has passed away.

Kristiansen, 85, who died Saturday morning, was Norway’s Minister of Oil and Energy from 1983 to 1986, and served twice as the leader of the Christian People’s Party, for a total of six years. He was a Member of Parliament for 12 years, finally resigning on the grounds that his party had distanced itself from its original purpose and course. ...

He more than once called upon the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to “publicly deplore” its 1994 decision to grant arch-terrorist Arafat the respected prize. In 1997, four years after the signing of the Oslo Agreement, he said that his “forebodings” about the diplomatic process had come true, citing Palestinian Authority corruption, its continued terrorism, and the Arab killings of compatriot land-dealers who sold land to Jews.

Aryeh Gallin, founder and President of Root & Branch Association, Ltd., said, “In a place where there were few if any men, Kaare Kristiansen was a man.”

Sounds like a man of solid principle to me...

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December 04, 2005

Uh oh! Another democracy rising in Russian's backyard?

US welcomes move on elections by court in Azerbaijan.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States welcomed a court decision in Azerbaijan that annulled some electoral results.

"The United States welcomes the November 30 decision of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan to annul results in five additional constituencies affected by electoral fraud in the November 6 parliamentary elections," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"This latest decision follows earlier actions by the Government of Azerbaijan to address damage caused by elections that did not meet international standards, which included overturning results in two constituencies, canceling results in ten constituencies and hundreds of individual precincts, and indicting some individuals suspected of electoral fraud," he added.

McCormack said "these are positive steps, but more needs to be done to address the serious concerns in the international community about reports of fraud and other irregularities.

[...] The opposition believes it won dozens more seats in last month's parliamentary elections than officials say they did, and official figures were often inconsistent with the results of a US-funded exit poll.

International observers, who characterized 43 percent of the vote's ballot counting as "bad or very bad," were due to issue a final assessment of the election later this month.

Posted by Kyer at 01:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"A Nuclear Iran" or "A weak Ruskie's Best Friend"

Ah, Vlady... such "good friends" with our president, but such a crummy ally to our nation... Reports: Russia to Sell Missiles to Iran.

MOSCOW - Russia has agreed to sell more than $1 billion worth of missiles and other defense systems to Iran, Russian news media reported Friday, a move expected to draw a heated reaction from the United States.

The Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies cited unidentified sources in the Russian military-industrial complex as saying that Russian and Iranian officials had signed contracts in November that would send up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems to Iran over the next two years.

Interfax said the Tor-M1 system could identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 20,000 feet.

The news agency quoted its source as saying the two countries had reached a deal on modernizing Iran’s air force inventory, as well.

The deal was also reported in the Vedomosti newspaper, which cited an unidentified manager at a military-industrial enterprise as saying Russia would provide Iran with 29 Tor missile systems that had originally been manufactured on orders from Greece.

Charles was right on the $$$: "Our pals the Russians are apparently arming and equipping a nuclear proxy state in Iran."

Posted by Kyer at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Now THIS is democracy in action...

From the Ass-ociatedantiAmerican Press:

[...] News of the attack came as Iraq’s interior minister dismissed the senior inspector in charge of human rights on Thursday in connection with a scandal involving the torture of dozens of prisoners at a Baghdad prison, an official close to the minister said.

Nouri al-Nouri, the ministry’s chief inspector for corruption cases and human rights violations, was fired on the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Nouri, a Shiite Muslim, had been in the post since the hand over of sovereignty to Iraqis in June 2004.

This little bit was injected into a story about insurgents attacking Coalition facilities and bases in the capital of western Iraq’s Anbar province.

In one light, it appears the MSM is using prisoner torture story as a stab at the good guys, but to the discerning eye, it is an example of democratic accountability in action.

When public officials in a democracy get out of line, (hopefully) somebody is held responsible.

Don't expect this gem to be discussed by the talking heads of the MSM.

Posted by Kyer at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack