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Archive for January, 2005

According to George Soros, who spent that much to elect John Kerry, you get a “flawed candidate.”

Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, spent $26 million in last year’s campaign that he said was undermined by the candidate he supported.

“Kerry did not, actually, offer a credible and coherent alternative,” Soros, 74, said yesterday in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “That had a lot to do with Bush being re-elected.”

The Kerry campaign “tried to emphasize his role as a Vietnam War hero and downplay his role as an anti-Vietnam War hero, which he was,” said Soros. “Had he admitted, owned up to it, I think actually the outcome could have been different.”

Let’s see if I understand Soros’ reasoning. If Kerry would have sold himself as an anti-war candidate, during a time of war, he would have been sitting fat dumb and happy in the White House. And as an added bonus, Ta-ray-sa would never again have to darken the doorstep of a Wendy’s

It’s plain to see Soros hasn’t wasted any intellect on politics, or understanding American society. Soros goes on to be critical of the Bush administration and said it was “conspicuous by its absence” at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. The fact the forum has “succumbed to star power” and the movers and shakers in attendence “were pushed to one side,” hasn’t dampened Soros’ vision of world government by committee. To be honest, who really cares, what normaly could be classified as a charade has turned into a farce:

“A dinner designed to promote dialogue between Iran and the United States on Friday night (look George, the US actually is in Davos) began with a comic strip series of diplomatic and gastronomic blunders, and ended with a sharp exchange over nuclear weapons.

“With Iran’s vice-president and foreign minister in the room, the organizers began by announcing they had disinvited Swiss cartoonist Patrick Chappatte, one of the listed panelists, because the issues were too serious.

“The star guest, U.S. Senator Joe Biden, ranking Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, was missing. The organizers kept saying he was on his way.

“Moderator David Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist, apologized for the fact that wine had been served, upsetting the Muslim guests. Waiters cleared the offending glasses.

“They also removed the menus since the hotel had planned to serve non-hallal meat, breaching Islamic dietary rules. Even the soup spoons were withdrawn — erroneously, it transpired.”

A comedy of errors, isn’t that the way most “committees” operate? Didn’t VP Cheney catch hell for the “inappropriate” parka he wore during one photo shoot? Bet there won’t be a wimper heard about Biden and his wife.

Biden finally arrived an hour and 20 minutes late, having gone to the wrong hotel. His wife’s figure-hugging leather pants and a top that left her arms bare from the shoulders were in stark contrast to Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar’s all-enveloping chador, although both wore black.

Well… at least her choice of colors matched the deportment of the event.

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Stupid Criminal File

Over 3 billion served:

NEW YORK – A teenage McDonald’s worker was arrested for assault after allegedly hiding bits of glass in a burger served to a police officer, authorities said Sunday.

The officer, who is assigned to the canine unit, suffered cuts to his throat and mouth while eating a Big Mac he bought from the McDonald’s on Garrison Avenue in the Bronx late Saturday. He was treated at a hospital and released.

An investigation led police to Albert Garcia Jr., an 18-year-old Bronx man who works at the restaurant, according to Sgt. Mary Christine Doherty, a police department spokeswoman.

Police said they were charging Garcia with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. He was not immediately available for comment.

Hold the pickle and the mayo. Ya got Glass? Yes… gimme a side of glass… stained if ya got it!

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Best Read of the Day

Today’s read comes courtesy of This Blog is Full of Crap, and the story of “The Donald’s” wedding, lipstick cams, and a Chatty Katie Doll.

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Sometime Senator, full time equivocator, John Kerry appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday. In a wide rangeing interview, his first since the election, it touched on the Iraqi elections, the presidential campaign, abortion and future DNC leadership. Once again he has shown his tenuous grasp on reality. Cap’n Ed has the full run down on Kerry’s comments relative to the Iraqi elections and the “bitter-loser strategy” he has so aptly embarked on.

What caught my eye was a shocking revelation by Kerry, he plans to sign a form SF180 to release all his military records! Shocking, if true, but he then he doffs his “Agent Equivocator hat.”

MR. RUSSERT: Many people who’ve been criticizing you have said: Senator, if you would just do one thing and that is sign Form 180, which would allow historians and journalists complete access to all your military records. Thus far, you have gotten the records, released them through your campaign. They say you should not be the filter. Sign Form 180 and let the historians…

SEN. KERRY: I’d be happy to put the records out. We put all the records out that I had been sent by the military. Then at the last moment, they sent some more stuff, which had some things that weren’t even relevant to the record. So when we get–I’m going to sit down with them and make sure that they are clear and I am clear as to what is in the record and what isn’t in the record and we’ll put it out. I have no problem with that.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: But everything, Tim…

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will. But everything that we put in it, Tim–everything we put in–I mean, everything that was out was a full documentation of all of the medical records, all of the fitness reports. And I’d call on those who have challenged me, let’s see their records. I want to see the records of each of those people who have put up a challenge, because some of them have some serious questions in them, and it hasn’t been appropriate…

“I’d be happy to put the records out. We put all the records out that I had been sent by the military.”

First he is happy to put them out, but then on second thought, he put them all out. John Kerry – “Agent Equivocator” til the bitter end.

Excuse me while I resume normal respiration, holding my breath waiting for a signed SF180 is fruitless at this point and an effort in joining the “blue faced brigade.”

And not to put too fine a point of it, but Russert is a nutless hack. Without an SF180 in hand he should have never bothered questioning Kerry. By placing the form in his hand live, on a national broadcast, it would have forced Kerry to either shit, or get off the pot. He signs on air, or he demonstrates for all to see the duplicitous, opportunistic bastard he truely is.

If you have the stomach to read the transcript pay close attention for the reappearence of his lucky “CIA hat.” A new detail has been added, he now claims while in Cambodia he delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge. That would be the communist backed Khmer Rouge and the very same communists we were fighting in Vietnam! which begs the question, if what he states is true, which side was Kerry fighting for?

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Is Kojo Coming Clean?

Kojo Annan, son of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has been under scrutiny for alleged shady deals while employed by Cotecna. The company operated under a contract awarded to monitor humanitarian supplies imported into Iraq under the auspicies of the UN’s Oil for Food Program.

Kojo has previously labeled the accusations and the ongoing Volcker investigation a U.S. Republican “witchhunt,” and said: “I have never participated directly or indirectly in any business related to the United Nations.” Several American prosecutors have launched criminal inquiries into the oil for food program. In addition John Ashcroft, the US attorney-general, last week refused to reveal whether Kojo would be subpoenaed when questioned.

As the London Times reports this morning, Kojo’s tongue is loosening a bit.

Kojo Annan has told a close friend he became involved in negotiations to sell 2m barrels of Iraqi oil to a Moroccan company in 2001. He is understood to be co-operating with UN investigators probing the discredited oil for food programme.

The alleged admission will increase pressure on Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, who is already facing calls for his resignation over the management of the humanitarian programme.

The question now becomes just how much cooperation is forthcoming. Kojo was employed by Cotecna from 1995-1997, as well as during Kojo’s 10-month consultancy with Cotecna, which ended on December 31, 1998 – the day Cotecna signed the U.N. contract with Iraq. It has since come to light that he continued collecting Cotecna payments, in the sum of $2.500 per month, until February 26, 2004. A fact that prompted his father to express “disappointment and surprise.”

Kojo has remained close lipped until now and one can hope that the soon to be published Volcker report, ongoing criminal inquiries and rumors of DOJ issued subpoenas will prompt a more cooperative response in the future.

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Iraqi Elections via Blog

Cyberjournalist.net has provided an extensive list of blogs that are covering this important event, both for Iraq, and the Middle East. One blog I have been following, and the best as rated by cyberjournalsit, is Friends of Democracy.

As I write this it is 0330am (730am EST) in Iraq and the polls should be open a a few hours.

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Sub title: Only in the Philippines.

The true:

Armed with a search warrant, operatives of the Western Metro Manila Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (WMMCIDT) raided a four-story building in Quiapo, Manila yesterday, resulting in the arrest of two persons.

The suspects, identified as Cardie Guzman, 22, and Aldin Batugan, 18, of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, were caught in the act of duplicating pornographic video compact discs (VCDs).
[…]
The raid resulted in the seizure of nine replicating machines with CD writers, 10 boxes of assorted pornographic VCDs with 300 CDs per box, two boxes of blank CDs with 300 CDs per box, one sack of assorted VCDs, and one sack of printed VCD covers.

The sad as provided by Superintendent Nelson Yabut:

“More suspects were in our custody, but they were snatched by relatives as they were being led out of the building,” Yabut lamented.

Lawmen were forced to draw their guns to protect themselves from the mob, he added.

Only in the Philippines! Maybe I need to start a new category.

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Leave it to the French

The title and first two paragraphs say it all:

French Deliver Tsunami Aid With Panache

ABOARD JEANNE D’ARC – The naval ship’s pantry is stocked with wines, baguettes and pate, and its casual dress code is shorts and sandals. There’s even an artist – a painter to keep an illustrated record of the trip. With a panache all its own, France’s military is delivering aid to tsunami-battered Indonesia – and showing how a small force can make a difference.

A month after killer waves struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the French are part of an international relief operation that includes forces from more than a dozen nations, including Japan, Russia and Switzerland.

Isn’t that nice, the French Porte-hélicoptères sits off the coast of Sumatra with a modern version of Monet or perhaps Renoir aboard while just inland resides a living hell of devastation. Thanks France, surely the homeless and hungry appreciate your display of “panache.” And it wouldn’t be the French without taking a shot at the Americans. Spokeswoman Cmdr. Anne Cullerre:

“The feeling we had in France was that, as usual, the Americans were rushing in force to Indonesia and boasting about it,” said flotilla spokeswoman Cmdr. Anne Cullerre. “For some people, it seemed outrageous.”

“How can you really boast of doing something from this tragedy? People were saying, ‘They are doing it again. They are showing off.'”

As the article points out the French arrived two weeks ago, a full two weeks after the Americans. I wish she had named names, just who was boasting? Damm sure wasn’t anyone in an official capacity that I recall. Cullerre must base her thoughts on what she reads in Le Monde. Who without doubt has quoted many “boasting” Americans since the US relief efforts commenced. All interviewed on French soil partaking of French cuisine, served with French “panache.”

I would be remiss if I failed to direct attention to Associated Press writer Michael Casey who penned this line: “… the French are part of an international relief operation that includes forces from more than a dozen nations, including Japan, Russia and Switzerland.” Admittedly this piece is about the French, but doesn’t that line demand the inclusion of the Americans? Obviously not for Casey, despite the fact the US forces on the ground have been first, with the best, and have left the UN standing around with nothing to do.

If stating unalloyed facts is “boasting,” so be it, with “American panache.” And for those that take pleasure in the occasional wager, I’m accepting all bets that this guy made his Indonesian flights in a French helicopter.

Cross posted @ On the Third Hand

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Cat Stevens’ tours Indonesia’s tsunami zone.

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (AFP): Yusuf Islam, the British singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, flew into the tsunami-hit Indonesian province of Aceh on Saturday on a tour aimed at encouraging more aid for disaster victims.

Islam, who turned his back on showbusiness in 1977 when he became a Muslim convert, took a helicopter flight over some of the most devastated areas.

He said he has decided to briefly step back into the spotlight — recording a charity record “Indian Ocean” and headlining a benefit concert in Jakarta on Monday — because of the scale of the calamity.

“When we heard, when we saw what had happened we were also moved and because I already run some charities looking after orphans we decided to come to Aceh as soon as possible,” he told reporters on arrival at Banda Aceh airport.

Islam praised “fantastic” relief efforts but said more needed to be done in the devoutly Muslim province, home to most of the 230,000 Indonesians presumed dead after the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunamis.

“It also needs to be continued so we just don’t give (charity to) them in a flash for one month and then it’s gone. This is going to be a long-term problem,” he told reporters.

When last heard from Islam had been denied entry to the US because of alleged terrorist ties. Israeli officials also have denied him entry into their country in recent years. There is some question whether he was rightfully denied access, and he has made attempts to clear his name, what goes without question is the impropriety of fliting about a devastated area badly in need of a helo for relief efforts. Banda Ache and the surrounding areas don’t need celebraties in search of a publicy stunt.

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A Personal Bookmark

The following is a reprint of an article in the 29 Jan issue of Slate. Rather than excerpt the piece it is reproduced in it’s entirety for future reference:

How Islam Got to the Philippines

The Philippine military has stepped up its campaign against the nation’s Muslim separatist movement, bombing a suspected hideout on the southern island of Mindanao. The primary targets of the raid were members of Abu Sayyaf, which is seeking to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state on Mindanao. How did Islam originally get to the predominately Catholic Philippines?

The faith was first brought over by Arab traders in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, at least 200 years before Spanish explorers first introduced Christianity to the 7,107-island archipelago. These Muslim merchants came from present-day Malaysia and Indonesia to the southernmost points in the Philippines, namely the Sulu islands and Mindanao. At the time, the inhabitants there were animists who lived in small, autonomous communities. The Arab newcomers quickly converted the indigenous population to Islam, building the Philippines’ first mosque in the town of Simunul in the mid-14th century.

The Muslim settlers didn’t just bring their religion and architecture, however—they also brought their political system, establishing a series of sultanates in the southern Philippines. The most celebrated of these rulers was the Sultan of Sulu, whose capital was Jolo. The first official Sultan of Sulu was an Arab from Sumatra named Abu Bakr, who crowned himself around 1450. (He gained power in part by marrying the daughter of a Malaysian trader named Rajah Baguinda, who held sway over Sulu although he never gave himself the title of sultan.) Like many other Arab rulers, he established his dynasty’s legitimacy by claiming to be a direct descendent of Muhammad.

(more…)

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