Archive for November, 2004

Rumsfeld Faces Charges in German Court

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Berlin’s Republican Lawyers’ Association seem to think this will amount to something.

Alleging responsibility for war crimes and torture at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, a human rights group has filed a criminal complaint in Germany against US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top US officials.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Berlin’s Republican Lawyers’ Association said they and five Iraqi citizens mistreated by US soldiers were seeking a probe by German federal prosecutors of leading US policymakers.

They said they had chosen Germany because of its Code of Crimes Against International Law, introduced in 2002, which grants German courts universal jurisdiction in cases involving war crimes or crimes against humanity.

It also makes military or civilian commanders who fail to prevent their subordinates from committing such acts liable.

Me thinks whatever the outcome, it, and 5 or 6 bucks will get you a cup of Joe and a dozen donuts.

Also named in the complaint are former CIA director George Tenet, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Brigadier General Janis L. Karpinski and other military officers who served in Iraq.

Hey it’s Christmas, where’s the partridge in a pear tree? And where in the sam hell are the criminal charges against the jihadist cut throats terrorizing the Sunni Triangle?

Well… I’m waiting….

UPDATE: While we all wait for the jihadists to be charged in this German kangaroo court, here is a description of Germany’s “Code of Crimes Against International Law.” It includes this tasty little morsel:

Prosecution can be dropped in cases where neither the victim nor the perpetrator of a crime are German citizens. If the accused is not in Germany nor can be expected to come to Germany, prosecution can also be dropped.

Germany’s Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries justified these limitations by saying that Germany should not act as a “global policeman” by prosecuting all crimes against international law regardless of where they have been committed.

Why do I get the feeling the Justice Minister, if asked, would agree with my take that this entire charde is a waste of time, energy, and money?

UPDATE II: California Yankee is floating the term treason as an apt description of the CCR’s action. He also inludes an excellent chronology of events in the Abu Ghraib abuse case.

UPDATE III: Will the CCR and Berlin’s Republican Lawyers’ Association also file charges against these soldiers? Their alleged abuse bares a “striking similarity to events reported in the US-run prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.”

UPDATE IV: Rob has joined the chorus lambasting these idiots.

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The 12 Days of Christmas Costs WHAT?

$66.344.46, as much as I would love 12 maids-a-milking around the house, (in the appropriate maid attire of course) over 60 G’s is a bit much.

Looks like another year, another lump of coal.

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The Perfect Gift for Your Dem Friends

Admit it, we all have at least a few Democratic friends that have been despondent of late. Some have even taken to the “couch” to relieve the stress of a resounding defeat on Nov 2nd. Rather than have them spend their hard earned cash on a quack remedy for PEST offer them a gift.

The perfect gift for those that feel they have been screwed, or otherwise cheated out of their destiny to rule via the victimhood doctrine and the furtherence of the “nanny state.” Every Democratic Christmas tree (or “X-mas” tree if they prefer) should find the GloThong under it’s decorated branches come Christmas morn.

For $49.95 you get a thong that lights up the derriere and almost everything around it for at least two hours. It’s water-resistant and comes with a battery wall adapter, or you can buy a car charger similar to those used for cell phones.

…GloThong is the idea of Beau Carpenter, who works at NASA and is an MBA student at Rice University. The avid runner had wanted to create luminescent jogging apparel, but he got sidetracked after finding a slew of thongs on the Internet.

“Why not make a thong that glows in the dark?” he thought.”

Why not indeed, American capitalism at its finest. And may I suggest having your gift autographed by members of the SBVT or Dick “F-Bomb” Cheney.

Remember it’s Christmas and it’s not the value (or “values”) of the gift that matters, it’s the heartfelt sentiment behind it.

UPDATE: California Yankee believes the GloThong is the perfect gift for those that “don’t function well in the dark.”

H/T Kevin

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Despite John Edwards protestations that his future only entails supporting his wife Elizabeth beat her breast cancer, he seems to have turned his eyes further down the road. During a three day “thank you” tour of North Carolina for those he represented as their Senator, he has embraced the current Democratic mantra that “values” cost them the election.

Edwards says Democrats need to make clear they have the same values as the people Edwards grew up with in the Carolinas. Values like family, hard work, personal responsibility and, yes, religious faith.

“I wish we’d had better chances, better opportunities (in the 2004 campaign) for me to talk about what my personal values are,” Edwards said. “How important my relationship with God is, how important my faith is in our day-to-day lives, the struggles my family’s had in the past, plus what Elizabeth is facing now.”

Better chances? Better opportunities?

What the hell can be better than having a couple hundred million dollars (DNC dollars only) at your disposal for the exclusive purpose of highlighting your “personal values.” Plus various and sundry other moonbats, political hacks and anti-tort reformers, all under the guise of 527 organizations that raised well in excess of $200 million to unseat Bush and allow you to regale us (and the world stage) with tales of your father’s trials and tribulations in the coal mines.

I guess nearly half a BILLION dollars wasn’t enough. Let the pandering to the “religious right,” and “values voters” begin.

UPDATE: Rob notes the lip service Edwards has given to God and religious themes and his attempts to “morph himself into some sort of moderate, born-again Christian.” A similar tactic of Hillary of late.

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Bowling for Pesos in Iraq

Dateline MANILA

The Philippine government is willing to negotiate with the kidnappers of a Filipino accountant being held captive in Iraq.

Foreign Under-Secretary Rafael Seguis said Filipino officials in Baghdad had been ordered by President Gloria Arroyo to “double our efforts to secure the release of Robert Tarongoy.”

“And we are exhausting all possible channels to reach out to his abductors,” Seguis said in a statement.

“I am asking his abductors now not to harm him, with the assurance that we are willing to resume talking to them or their intermediaries anytime.”

Choo-Choo – the money train is on schedule and should pull into Bagdhad Station shortly.

Expect a release sometime this week. Followed by a plethora of denials that any cash changed hands.

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No “Freedom Fighters” at the UN?

This is bad news for Palestinians, Iraqi “insurgents,” Kashmiri “rebels,” and al-Qa’eda “militants.”

In a report to be unveiled on Thursday, seen in part by The Telegraph, a panel appointed to reform the UN said it must send “an unequivocal message that terrorism is never an acceptable tactic, even for the most defensible of causes”.

This is a slap in the face for Palestinians, Iraqi insurgents, Kashmiri rebels, al-Qa’eda militants and other groups that claim to be fighting foreign domination. It is also a rebuke to Muslim states that have for years blocked agreement on an all-embracing UN convention on terrorism on the grounds that it should exclude groups fighting “occupation” or “colonialism”.

On the question of “resistance” to occupation, the report declares that “there is nothing in the fact of occupation that justifies the targeting and killing of civilians”.

The UN panel has even offered its own definition of terror.

“any action that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or compel a government or an international organisation to do or to abstain from doing any act”.

Now it will be sit back and wait to see what the UN does with these recommendations. Excuse me if I continue breathing normally in the interim.

In October this year the Security Council passed Resolution 1566 (pdf file) that was mostly toothless. The Council determined that such acts [terroristic] “are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature.” Yet failed to create a global blacklist of terrorist organizations, including Hizb’allah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

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Although not related to this, it’s certainly an example of questionable, if not wasted, tax dollars from a previous Fed budget.

Dateline — Scoopsville . . . Sneed hears Gov. Blagojevich just licked a ticklish situation.

*Translation: The gov, who is the doting father of two girls, quietly but decisively rescinded a Department of Health program where colored and flavored condoms were being distributed free of charge to the public.

*Quoth a top source: “It was a matter of moral values to him.”

*To wit: “The governor first read about the program in the Sun-Times and was aghast and so upset that he immediately called for a halt on the distribution of the condoms, which came in orange, grape, lemon and cherry flavors,” said a top source. (Lemon?)

*Background: Since January, the Public Health Department spent $115,000 in funds provided by the Bush administration for 5-cent condoms for distribution by public health clinics across the state as a tool to combat sexually transmitted disease, particularly in oral sex.

*Foreground: But a number of state lawmakers were shocked by the purchase of 360,000 of the orange, green, red and blue flavored condoms (out of a total of 910,000 colored condoms) … feeling such exotic varieties undercut efforts to promote abstinence.

*Conclusion: The gov got rid of the whole colored and flavored shebang . . . although the remaining hundreds of thousands of regular condoms given by the state will not be rescinded.

I sense a little “flavor discimination” here. Why would only flavored condoms “undercut efforts to promote abstinence?” Wouldn’t the remaining government provided condoms provide the same enticement?

Besides, whoever is in charge of the State’s purchasing department failed to buy the Strawberry flavor.

H/T Double “L” Michelle

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And it’s no surprise where it will take effect, Switzerland.

Swiss voters approved a new law Sunday that will allow research on the stem cells of human embryos. Sunday’s vote marks the first time a country has put the controversial issue to a popular vote. The Swiss law is stricter than in other European countries and will only allow research on cells from embryos less than seven days old that were left over from fertilization treatment and due for destruction anyway.

I can see Nancy and Ron Reagan dancing thru the house now with this resounding support of their position. Personally I don’t object to the use of embryos that would otherwise be tossed into the medical waste bin. But there is another side of this story that may temper any jubilation Ron and Nancy may be feeling. This story out of Korea most certainly provides ammunition for those that oppose the use of fetal embryos.

Paralyzed woman walks again after stem cell therapy.

A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.

Last week her eyes glistened with tears as she walked again with the help of a walking frame at a press conference where South Korea researchers went public for the first time with the results of their stem-cell therapy.

They said it was the world’s first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries had been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

Though they cautioned that more research was needed and verification from international experts was required, the South Korean researchers said Hwang’s case could signal a leap forward in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.

The use of stem cells from cord blood could also point to a way to side-step the ethical dispute over the controversial use of embryos in embryonic stem-cell research.

Despite Ron Reagan’s assertions during his DNC speech, most are of the opinion that positive results from embryonic stem cell research is many years away, if ever. If verified the Korean research may offer much faster results.

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A Valid Case to Arm Santa

If Santa (or his helpers as this case shows) had been allowed to pack a little “heat” this may not have happened.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A gun-wielding robber swiped a red Salvation Army kettle from a collector in front of a supermarket, police said.

Volunteer Jerlene Howard said she was ringing her bell to solicit donations from shoppers Friday night when a man wearing a scarf over his face got out of a car and demanded the kettle. He “had a gun and he told me not to say anything,” she said.

The man then got back into the car, which was driven by an accomplice, police said. Howard was not injured.

Howard said her kettle was “kind of heavy,” but she didn’t know how much money was inside. She has collected up to $135 a day in the past.

The Salvation Army’s trademark motto, “Caring is Sharing,” obviously wasn’t on the minds of these two Grinch’s.

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The Grinch Owns a Glue Gun

Vandals Glue Store Locks on “Black Friday.”

LAFAYETTE, La. – The busiest shopping day of the year turned out to be a sticky affair. Vandals apparently glued the locks on dozens of Lafayette’s biggest retailers, preventing managers from opening up promptly on lucrative “Black Friday.” Hundreds of shoppers, some of whom arrived before dawn, were forced to wait outside Barnes & Noble, Old Navy and other stores while managers summoned locksmiths.

At least 200 locks on dozens of businesses were glued, including main entrances, rear doors and employee entrances, locksmith Garan Wilson said. Wilson’s first job at about 5 a.m. Friday was to make his way to the front door lock at Old Navy — by pushing through about 500 shoppers waiting outside, he said.

“I found about a half a tube of glue stuck inside,” he said.

Kevin Vizena, head locksmith for Pop-A-Lock in Lafayette, said the vandals squirted the glue deep inside the keyholes, forcing him to drill holes and remove the locks from the doors.

“We’ve never run into a day that’s been quite so busy with these particular problems,” Vizena said.

Why do I smell a rat, and not just mindless pranksters?

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