Archive for October, 2003

This is a very extensive article written by Miriam Grace A Go. Very informative and a must read for those interested in the latest Philippine crisis.
Here is a short example…….

As the Philippines’ chief magistrate, impeached last week over alleged malversation of hundreds of millions of pesos in judicial funds, has temporarily prevented his own trial and is being continuously projected by his supporters as a saint who should be spared the venom of politics, there is a story about a controversial businessman-cum-kingmaker worth recalling.

It is the story of tobacco, beer and banking tycoon Lucio Tan with whom Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr, 67, reportedly has a cozy relationship. It is a story that may reveal much about the kind of person Davide is, and what kind of political games he is capable of playing.

Asia Times You can also read what A Sassy Lawyer has to say here

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Can I have a Falafal?

Ramadan dinners go online in Turkey

Turkish women lacking time to prepare the traditionally lavish dinners served during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan can this year count on the services of a website which promises to deliver a movable feast at the exact time of fast-breaking.

“Let us take care of it at iftar time,” says the Istanbul-based company, referring to the dinner which marks the end of the daily-fasting period. The online service, whose menu includes 35,000 items from some 500 restaurants in Istanbul, will take orders throughout the day and deliver them at the exact iftar time, company manager Nevzat Aydin said. Fast-breaking in Turkey is usually an occasion for large family gatherings, with hosts expected to offer an abundant variety of food. Five-star hotels in Istanbul are also preparing for the holy Muslim month, which starts this week, with special menus and entertainment programs.

Middle East Times 2003

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Kick the Limey bum OUT!

Philippines to deport Briton on prostitution allegations
Posted: 5:33 AM (Manila Time) | Oct. 31, 2003
Agence France-Presse

AUTHORITIES are to deport the British operator of a nightclub that allegedly employed minors as prostitutes, the Bureau of Immigration said Thursday.
Richard Douglas Agnew, 43, was arrested in Angeles City, north of Manila, on Aug. 7 in a raid on his club, suspected of employing minors as hostesses and dancers, Immigration Commissioner Andrea Domingo said in a statement.
The raid was prompted by a television show that charged the club was being used as a front for prostitution.
Although Agnew was not charged, the bureau said it was still empowered to deport him as deportations are “a preventive and not a penal process,” allowing the government to expel foreigners it suspects might be harmful to the public.

Did anyone think to check the rest of the sleeze merchants in Angeles? And Makati, Pasay, and Subic City? Not sure what show found this guy, probably Bitag or Nolie’s favorite pulpit, but I feel confident in saying the PNP took part, and with little effort could have found hundreds of other underage girls working. A better headline is “Philippines to deport Briton on prostitution allegations” I guess.
I keep having this repeating and vivid flashback:
Placards reading “no to US troops, no to US bases, US Military=prostitution, its a sea of placards, all with similar sentiments.
Get a clue people. Even the US can’t stop the “Worlds oldest profession”.
I agree this guy needs to go, but he also needs a criminal record. If not charged here the evidence should be turned over to British authorities for further action. Many countries have laws on the books that deal with this type of crime, if the UK does make it work.

And another thing. Look at the byline of this story. Its released by a French news agency. Why? I found the article in the Philippine Inquirer. Why did they depend on a French news wire to file the story?

I’m out…….

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Bad news for the [Dim]ocrats

Despite all the jabbering by the [Dim]ocrats over GWB’S Iraq policy the real issue, as in most U.S. Elections, will be how strong the economy is come springtime. By watching the [Dim]ocratic debates you get the feeling that fact is lost somewhere in the smoke filled rooms where they plot strategy. If they weren’t pounding GWB on Iraq, they were throwing verbal bombs at each other.
Here’s some news for all eight of you….

“The economy grew at a scorching 7.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter in the strongest pace in nearly two decades. Consumers spent with abandon and businesses ramped up investment, compelling new evidence of an economic resurgence.
The increase in gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy’s performance, in the July-September quarter was more than double the 3.3 percent rate registered in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday”.

Oops, could it be that the Bush tax cuts are stimulating economic growth?
Nah, no way! [Dim]ocrats will never believe it. I have faith in the “tax and spend party”.

“Democrats, however, argue that the tax cuts contributed to a record budget deficit in the recently ended 2003 fiscal year and have done little to spur significant job growth.”

My faith is rewarded. Done little they say, hows this for little……

“The 7.2 percent pace marked the best showing since the first quarter of 1984. It exceeded analysts’ forecasts for a 6 percent growth rate for third-quarter GDP”.

Thats almost twenty years! The GDP is soaring, unemployment claims have dropped, and capital spending by businesses has grown by 15%. At this rate the [Dim]ocrats won’t have a platform to run on.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Leaps Ahead

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Breaker, Breaker 19

This guy has been driving in the U.S. for 15 years! I guess Homeland Security needs a little fine tuning. I could use a new Humvee, maybe his next trip will pass thru the Philippines!

On Oct. 3, an illegal-alien truck driver from Canada was caught hauling a shipment of Humvees into northern Maine. They weren’t just any Humvees. They were U.S. military Humvees scheduled for delivery from the Texas Army National Guard in Houston to the Maine National Guard facility in Limestone. Raymond Levesque was driving northbound along the I-95 near Houlton, Maine, when he was stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents.


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Tactics in Wartime

If any story stirs up the bleeding hearts this will. Does this cross the line between Human rights and torture? You be the judge. If I’am in this guy’s place, responsible for the safety of his men, the results would be the same.

The Army has filed a criminal assault charge against an American officer who coerced an Iraqi into providing information that foiled a planned attack on U.S. soldiers.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West says he did not physically abuse the detainee, but used psychological pressure by twice firing his service weapon away from the Iraqi. After the shots were fired, the detainee, an Iraqi police officer, gave up the information on a planned attack around the northern Iraqi town of Saba al Boor.
A military source said an Article 32 hearing has been scheduled in Iraq that could lead to the Army court-martialing Col. West and sending him to prison for a maximum term of eight years.
“I admit that what I did was not right but it was done with the concern of the safety of my soldiers and myself.” Col. West said he informed his superior of his actions. The incident lay dormant until the Army conducted an overall command-climate investigation of the brigade.

The picture is getting a little clearer. He informed his chain of command but, “the incident lay dormant”. No one thought his actions merited a review. At least until a “command climate investigation” was conducted. These investigations are used throughout the U.S. military to gauge attitudes, within each command. They can range from a few servicemen to several hundred dependant upon the size of the command. But do they give a true picture? From my experience the answer is no. Not in all cases. Very often they are used by disgruntled servicemen as a forum to “get even” at some perceived or real injustice. The person who “blew the whistle” in this case may truly believe that an Iraqi’s rights were trampled on. And that is his right. But when dealing with another mans career a decision based on public relations or political correctness is not acceptable. The apparent prevailing attitude on the ground in Iraq should be considered. If the alleged offense is inline with common practice there, should this Officer be punished? Or should the Military as a whole accept blame for contributing to the conditions that allowed this attitude to prevail? All very tough and difficult questions, I will be very interested to see the outcome.
The Washington Times

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Palestine Chronicle

320 Palestinian Children in Israeli Prisons Under Worst Conditions

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To each his own


02:00 AM Oct. 29, 2003 PT The head of the Hebrew Battalion in Israel thinks the guard dogs and men who police Jewish settlements aren’t quite up to snuff. Kuti Ben-Yaakov suggests a legion of “guard pigs” be trained to secure West Bank settlements. Ben-Yaakov praises pigs for their acute sense of smell, insisting porkers could sniff out weapons and identify terrorists. “Moreover, this animal is considered to be dangerous by Islam and, according to the Muslim faith, a terrorist who touches a pig is not eligible for the 70 virgins in heaven,” said Ben-Yaakov. The Yesha Rabbinical Council has approved the swine brigade, but critics dismiss the idea as hogwash. “Spare us from this nonsense,” said one settler spokesman. “It will never happen.”

08:26 AM Oct. 28, 2003 PT If Paul McCartney can marry a woman 26 years his junior and catch no flak for it, why should he be criticized for dating a 32-year-old model, wonders rocker Rod Stewart, 58. But that’s not his only grievance these days. He’s tweaked at being passed over for a Grammy that went to Sting, referring to him snidely as “Mr. Serious who helps the Indians.” And he’s peeved at Elton John, who doesn’t invite him to his parties. Stewart calls John “Sharon” and uses the pronoun “she,” a very subtle reference to his sexual orientation.

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Dying for a McDonald’s in Iraq

There is an interesting article on the Asia Times website concerning the recent Iraqi donors conference held in Madrid Spain. As quoted in the story “this has been deemed the largest post-war rebuilding business opportunity since World War II”.
I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. I can only imagine the under-the-table deals made. The arm twisting, conjoling, and ass kissing must have reached unprecedented levels. Here’s what one U.S. official said, “We’re telling them that this is not just about writing checks or sending troops, but about having a stake in Iraq so their government agencies and humanitarian groups are involved in a sector when a new government is in power in Iraq, It’s a way to get in on the ground floor”.Another words it’s “your with us, or against us” again. Bush apparently has not learned his lessons, but I’am afraid the dollar signs in many eyes suppress much opposition.
How large are the dollar signs they are talking about? Here’s an example, $6000 mobile phone, and $55,000 for a prison bed. For a bed! Wonder how much the “detainees” beds in Cuba cost? These people are beyond belief!

Are you still wondering about GWB’S visit here last week? Here is a clue, “most of those who are being asked to pack their bags and go to Iraq are those who’d give anything and go anywhere for a job. Over the past few weeks, the US has been courting mostly countries from the south, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, the Philippines, Thailand, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, etc” Is this what the DOLE Sec’s. thoughts about OFW’S gaining jobs after the war meant. Capitalism, such a great concept — as long as cheap labor is available.

Then you have the most visable target by critics because of V.P. Cheney’s past associations with the company.
has launched a publicity campaign in an effort to deflect critics. There “asking” employees to start a letter writing drive extolling the virtues of the company and how much help is being given Iraqi’s and troops in the area.
Yea right! If you believe that I have a nice oasis to sell in Antarctica!

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San Migel Corperation (SMC) whose Chairman is Eduardo Cojuangco Jr announced the purchase of a pig farming and feed milling business for $35.5 million (P1.96 billion). Through this transaction, San Miguel now owns 100 percent of TTC (Vietnam) Company Limited.

Certainly his obligation as Chairman is to ensure SMC’S profitablity and growth into future. Here’s the thing that bothers me. Mr. Cojuangco is a possible Candidate for President in the upcoming elections. Many voices have been heard concerned with the illegal importation of pork and other comodities. Has he addressed this issue? Does he have a plan to combat the smuggleing. Somehow his position as Candidate and hog farm owner in Veitnam doesn’t square with me. At the very least the timing of the purchase is a public relations nightmare. Many people including myself may ask if the money would be better invested at home.

The article can be read here

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