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Archive for May, 2005

Political Backfire

With all the huffing and puffing by the [Dim]ocrats – and Howard the Ducks conviction by fiat – over Tom DeLays alleged travel expenses and who paid for what it comes as no surprise those with the loudest voices have the most to hide. The Associated Press has discovered the DeLay witch hunt has turned into an embarrassment to more Dims than Republicans.

Scrutiny of Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s travel has led to the belated disclosure of at least 198 previously unreported special interest trips by House members and their aides, including eight years of travel by the second-ranking Democrat, an Associated Press review has found.

At least 43 House members and dozens of aides had failed to meet the one-month deadline in ethics rules for disclosing trips financed by organizations outside the U.S. government. …

While most of the previously undisclosed trips occurred in 2004, some date back to the late 1990s. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer recently disclosed 12 trips, the oldest dating back to 1997. … Hoyer’s undisclosed trips were nearly doubled by Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., with 21. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., reported 20 past trips and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. reported 13. … Staff members for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., disclosed 11 prior trips, while staff members for DeLay, R-Texas, had 4. Rep. John Linder of Georgia, a former chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, belatedly filed 9 trips, as did Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Well lookie there, one of the loudest voices, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and her staff compiled nearly 3 times as many ethics violations as did DeLay. Funny how how that works on the “twisted side of the isle.”

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Why is This News ?

I thought every UN function ended without consensus.

A month-long conference at the United Nations to review the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty ended Friday with no consensus. Ambassador Sergio Duarte of Brazil, President of the 2005 NPT Review Conference told a press briefing that although the conference had accomplished very little, there had been some progress “in the ways issues were discussed and the interest that delegations had shown in those discussions and…documents presented.” The conference was aimed at curtailing the spread of nuclear weapons, and was slowed by arguments among the United States, Iran and Egypt in particular. Throughout the conference the United States was criticized for trying to keep the focus on alleged nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. Egypt blocked any progress after its demands that Israel be sanctioned for possessing nuclear weapons and not signing the treaty were rejected.

The LAT has more.

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By his own citizens

Projections by three polling groups based on partial results from the referendum suggested around 55 percent of voters had opposed1 the EU’s first constitution, designed to simplify decision-making following the Union’s enlargement last year.

Up yours Chirac! With the British certain to turn down the EU constitution and the Dutch, who vote this week, offering a questionable result it isn’t looking too good for the “all for one, one for all” EU government.

Too bad… Not really it’s funny actually.

  1. The Jurist reports Political leaders and observers across Europe were staggered late Sunday by the apparently – massive French rejection of the proposed European Constitution [back]

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Where Was Paris Hilton ?

She must have been busy washing cars and deep throating burgers and missed this event.

San Francisco’s Center for Sex and Culture played host on Saturday to the city’s annual “Masturbate-a-thon,” an event its organizers said could draw up to 120 people from across the United States aiming to have a good time with themselves.

The event was organized to help raise funds for the center, and, according to its organizer, provide an outlet for safe sex for those who enjoy pleasuring themselves in a semi-public setting.

Carol Queen, director of the center, acknowledged that the event is unusual — even by San Francisco’s standards. The permissive city, which helped ignite a debate on gay marriage last year, tolerates many sorts of sexual behavior but masturbation seems a topic that is off-limits, she said.

“Even people who are sexually frisky … might have the bias that many Americans do, that it’s second-best sex, that it’s something you do if you can’t figure something else out,” Queen said.

…… Oh, excuse me, I’m still here I was er…. busy. Yea that’s it busy, training for next years event!

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An Interesting Conundrum

You know how it was growing up.

As guys approached that age we were all told that masturbation would lead to “going blind.” For the sake of arguement let’s assume I followed that advice and today can see just fine. Now “X” number of years later some of us are threatened with blindness again. (present company excluded, my “thang” works just fine – ed)

U.S. health regulators on Friday said they have received more than 40 reports of a type of blindness in men taking impotence drugs, mostly involving Pfizer Inc.’s Viagra.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has received about 38 reports of the rare condition among users of Viagra, four reports of blindness among users of Eli Lilly and Co.’s Cialis and one report of the condition in men talking Levitra, made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Interesting isn’t it? At 13 you could go blind. At 73 you could go blind.

I just can’t see my way clear on this one.

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UNITED NATIONS

Syria has arrested more than 1,200 people trying to cross the border into Iraq in recent weeks and sent many back to their home countries because of suspicions they were trying to join the insurgency, Syria’s U.N. ambassador said.

Fayssal Mekdad also denied rumors that terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be seeking shelter in Syria.

Mekdad said Syria suspected that those arrested — mostly foreigners — intended to carry out illegal activities in Iraq. They were sent back to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Libya and other countries, he said.

Color me skeptical, dubious, leery and suspicious. Now why would Syria send them back to their home countries if they were suspected terrorists? Why weren’t they rounded up and placed into detention awaiting further investigation? Or turned over the the US?

Oh wait… STUPID me, my bust! They were “sent back” via the quickest route possible.

Through Iraq, via a 1992 Toyota and “Interstate IED.”

Cross posted On the Third Hand

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Via the Globe and Mail:

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Quebec legislature passed a motion against allowing sharia to be used in the legal system.

“The application of sharia in Canada is part of a strategy to isolate the Muslim community, so it will submit to an archaic vision of Islam,” Fatima Houda-Pepin, a Liberal member of the legislature, said as she introduced the motion against use of the Islamic law.

“These demands are being pushed by groups in the minority that are using the Charter of Rights to attack the foundation of our democratic institutions.”

The debate over sharia surfaced in Canada two years ago when a Muslim group in Ontario proposed the arbitration of family disputes according to Islamic law.

Read the sad tale of Ontario here.

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Am I the only one that thinks it rather odd a shootout occured between police and the perps?

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine police have killed two Dutch brothers suspected of running pornographic Web sites during a shootout in the capital Manila, officials said on Thursday.

Police said their two-storey apartment had been under surveillance for weeks after a pornographic Web site had been traced to the residence.

Reynaldo Jaylo, head of the Presidential Anti-Illegal Recruitment Task Force, said five Philippine women who performed sex acts over the Internet for U.S. customers were also detained during the raid.

Willen Cornelis Van Engelenburg, 44, and his brother Hendrikus, 38, died on Wednesday night while being treated from bullet wounds at a local hospital, he said.

On the other hand the Philippine National Police have been called “The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”

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“Sadly they are dealing with my father as if he were not human. My father has girls, and his girls have children … his grandchildren … so they should consider the human side.”Raghad Hussein, Daughter of Saddam, speaking about her fathers “Fruit of the Loom” photos. And she continues:

“They think that my father has a lack of concern for human rights, but regardless of the details, the Americans should be humanitarian in dealing with his family, because we are human. Saddam has three young ladies and they have children, I have five and Rena has four, and Hala has two … Therefore, our father is very dear to us … His grandchildren love him a lot. Why aren’t humanitarian factors taken into account?

She continued by saying that her son Ali is 20-years-old, and said to her, “Oh mother, this is to be expected. It will be bad for them before it will be bad for us.” As for the rest of the children, Mrs. Hussein said, “their eyes were filled with questions. Why is all this happening to us? Why at this moment, does the whole world is see us as the big enemy.”

She demanded that the Americans consider that Saddam Hussein has daughters and grandsons that are affected by what happens to him. She described her father as having loved the people and his family. “He is a kind father and cared very much about every detail of our lives.”

Can there be a better example of the phrase, “the Devil is in the details?”

Raghad Hussein’s selective memory has forgotten a couple of important details that illustrate Saddam’s care for his family. Raghad and sister Rana are both widows thanks to a brotherly slaughter believed to have been organized by Rana and Raghad’s brothers, Uday and Qusay, at Saddam’s request.

And by the way Raghad, just how is life in Jordanian exile? Have you read the latest Danielle Steele bodice-ripper yet?

This entry stalled Outside the Beltway in the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Cross posted On the Third Hand

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US company admits bribing Philippine airport officials.

An American firm, GE InVision, admitted bribing Philippine officials when it sold explosives detection machines to an airport here, Newsbreak magazine reported in its latest issue, which came off the press Monday.

InVision said that its Filipino sales agent paid US$108,000 “to make gifts or pay cash to influence Filipino government officials to purchase InVision products” in November 2001.

Quoting a US Securities and Exchange Commission report, Newsbreak said InVision sold two airport security devices to the subcontractor responsible for building the airport terminal baggage handling system. At the time of the sale, InVision received repeated requests for a commission from the sale from its agent in the Philippines. But the money was used to pay off officials. InVision recorded the payment in its books as a sales commission.

The US SEC completed its investigation of InVision in February this year and said the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies from bribing foreign government officials. InVision will pay more than $1 million to settle with the US SEC.

The US SEC report does not mention the amount involved in the sale and the names of persons or government agencies in the Philippines. In an interview with Newsbreak, Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo said his office will immediately request the US government for information on the parties involved. “We’re confident we will get it and we will prosecute and file charges against those guilty,” he said.

The Philippines is one of three countries in Asia where InVision made improper payments to government officials. The others are Thailand and China.

Yea riiight, Marcelo, dream on. Even if he gets the names the court case will become a race between a guilty verdict and the perps death by natural causes.

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