Saturday, August 24, 2002

Revenge of the Squeegee Guys!
News24 (South Africa) astonishes with Castro, Arafat to protest:
Johannesburg - Cuban President Fidel Castro and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will address about 10 000 people expected to take part in a protest march next weekend, the African National Congress said on Saturday.

ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said organisers of the protest were at the moment trying to secure the participation of United Nations general secretary Kofi Annan.

"We are trying to get Kofi Annan. Otherwise Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat are confirmed to attend. President (Thabo) Mbeki has confirmed," Ngonyama told Sapa on Saturday.

The march, to start from Alexandra and end in Sandton on August 31, would be staged to demand that developed countries adopt a sustainable development programme over the next 10 years.

The ANC, the SA Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA National Civics Organisation and civil society groups would form part of the protest.
You sweet talkers! You know just the right people to get together to convince American citizens to ignore this bilge. And smoochies to the pond scum headlining this event. Ooops, looks like they don't need any!

News the Junketeers Can Use!
More good advice for the 65,000 delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development:
"Talking in terms of the conference, a delegate probably has a greater chance of getting Aids picking up a delegate than picking up a sex worker," she said.
Not surprising considering the cast of characters showing up for the NGO World Forum.
You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up!
The Guardian has their Red knickers in a twist (yet again) over New from McDonald's: the McAfrika burger (don't tell the 12m starving):
McDonald's has been accused of extreme insensitivity after releasing a new sandwich called the "McAfrika" in Norway, one of the world's richest countries, at a time when 12 million people are facing starvation in southern Africa.

The launch of the new hamburger has infuriated the Norwegian equivalent of Christian Aid and the Norwegian Red Cross and generated a storm of bad publicity for the American fast-food giant.
The concoction of beef, cheese, tomatoes and salad in a pitta-style sandwich is said to be based upon an authentic African recipe and is being sold to Norwegian consumers for about £2.80.
Sounds rather pricey. And an "authentic African recipe" would seem to lack obvious appeal.
But aid agencies trying to raise funds to stave off a famine in southern Africa say that the timing of the McAfrika marketing campaign is insensitive, crass and ill-considered and have demanded remedial action from McDonald's.

"It's inappropriate and distasteful to launch a hamburger called McAfrika when large portions of southern Africa are on the verge of starvation," Linn Aas-Hansen of Norwegian Church Aid told the newspaper Aftenposten.

Protesting members of the aid group have been doling out "catastrophe crackers" - the protein-rich biscuits given to starving people in Africa - to fast-food lovers outside the firm's restaurants in Oslo.
Would you like caviar or pate on your catastrophe cracker, Mr. Mugabe?

But disappointing comedy fans, McDonald's has apparently bought off the whiners.
But it has offered to allow aid agencies to leave collection boxes and fundraising posters in its Norwegian restaurants - but only in those selling McAfrika burgers and only for as long as the "special promotional burger" remains on sale.

In a statement issued to the Guardian from its UK head office in East Finchley yesterday, McDonald's said: "All of the involved parties are happy with this solution. We hope this will put a wider focus on the important job that these organisations are doing, and McDonald's in Norway is pleased to be able to support this."
Ah, everybody's happy now because they are all getting paid.

But I have to wonder - what genius thought a "McAfrika" would be a big draw? Africa is not really high on the list of culinary hotspots. Oh I forgot - this is Norway, the home of lutefisk!
Stop the Presses! Earth Summit News Flash!
The Independent (SA) reports, First summit delegate mugged:
Four days before the start of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, a Romanian became the first delegate to be mugged.

The man said he was attacked in Eloff Street and robbed of his watch and $70 (about R750). He had not laid a charge because he believed the muggers were the very people who needed to be helped by the summit, he said.
(emphasis added)
This guy has got a great future as a liberal poster boy! And I like the way he is described as the "first" delegate to be mugged.

And while we are on the subject, Ex-cons get a chance as parking attendants:
Crime-ridden Johannesburg is offering ex-convicts an honest job - as car park security guards.

Visitors to the city during next week's UN Earth Summit may well find their cars watched over by attendants from the National Institute of Crime prevention and Reintegration of Offenders.

"Most of the guys are ex-offenders," said Sibusiso Msomi, supervising the NICRO parking operation at the summit's Ubuntu Village. "They really love it," he said. "It gives them a step back into society."

The NICRO attendants are not paid for their work directly, but get tips from drivers for finding parking spaces and guarding their empty cars.


But car guard Jerome Dahile said the scheme did not bring in enough money to live on. "It is good but not as good as having a real job," he said.
What a confidence builder!

Friday, August 23, 2002

Summit Snooze
Not too much news from the Earth Summit today other than a whine from Ronnie Kasrils, South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry. In case you don't know Ronnie, he bills himself as "a leading figure in the South African Communist Party and a former head of military intelligence in Umkhonto We Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress". In other words, a totalitarian thug in a suit.

Ronnie's emission went like this:
The fact that President George W Bush is planning to boycott the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) is an indication of America's disregard for the world's serious developmental problems, Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, said.
Apparently, Ronnie is understandably concerned that he won't get a new Mercedes this year.
Kasrils said the South African government was "seriously concerned' over America "dragging its feet" regarding Bush's attendance of the summit and the USA's unsympathetic attitude towards critical issues regarding greater access to basic services in developing countries.
"Seriously concerned" - that's right scary! And "dragging its feet"? What part of "will not attend" don't you understand, Ronnie? And Ronnie, no need to keep up pretenses, we all know "greater access to basic services in developing countries" means sending thugs like you a check.
"It is really a grave concern that the USA is dragging its feet as far as the WSSD is concerned. I don't want to make reference to the quality of his (Bush's) leadership, except to say that it is a pity, as we will have more than 100 heads of state here," Kasrils said.

He said America's attitude showed a lack of political will to co-operate constructively with the rest of the world to address critical issues such as access to water and sanitation.
It's bad enough when the squeegee guy spits on your windshield and smears it around, but don't you just hate it when they have a bad attitude?

Squeegee Guy
Come on Down!
Richard Littlejohn lets us know about Welcome to Londonistan, capital of hate. It seems the verminous ones are planning a pro Osama bin Laden rally in Trafalgar Square this Sunday.
So why would any decent Muslim object to the police preventing a rally by disciples of an insane, bloodthirsty, racist mass- murderer?

The answer is: they wouldn't, not according to Inayat Bunglawala, of The Muslim Council of Britain. So why is this disgusting carnival of race hate being allowed to take place?

The Met argue that their hands are tied. The evidence simply isn't there. Have they examined the website of Al-Muhajiroun, the organisation behind the rally?

It celebrates the September 11 attacks and wallows in the blood of the victims.

It peddles hatred against Israel and the West and calls on all Muslims to support jihad - holy war.

What about some of the main players like Captain Hook, from Finsbury Park and self-styled "sheikh" Omar Bakri Mohammed?

They make no secret of their venom against Jews and Christianity. Last week leaders of Al-Muhajiroun warned Britain to expect September 11-style attacks.

If it walks like a terrorist and talks like a terrorist, it's a terrorist.

There is a case for revoking their British citizenships. Yet the police continue to argue that their activities are within the law.

I have some sympathy with Scotland Yard. If they gave Captain Hook a tug or tried to kick Sheik Rattle 'n' Roll out of the country the "human rights" gang would be all over them, no doubt with the Wicked Witch leading the posse with the scent of a legal aid bounty in her nostrils.

But they could have applied to Home Secretary David Blunkett for a banning order. And didn't. Why not? Why is Muslim extremism above the law?

Any half-competent brief could make a case against Captain Hook and his cronies for incitement to racial hatred. What about behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace?

This is, after all, a country in which Annie Robinson can be investigated for taking a mild pop at the Welsh, the editor of a giveaway shopping sheet is threatened with prosecution for racism for re-publishing my spoof "Asylum!" gameshow and a nurses' leader can lose her job over the innocent use of the "N" word.
If you haven't seen Littlejohn's "Asylum" created after some Afghans hijacked a plane to London, demanded asylum, and were given the red carpet treatment, have a look:
Good morning and welcome to a brand new edition of 'ASYLUM'. Today's programme features another chance to take part in our exciting competition: Hijack an airliner and win a council house! We've already given away hundreds of millions of pounds and thousands of dream homes, courtesy of our sponsor the British Taxpayer. And don't forget, we're now the fastest growing game on the planet. Anyone can play, provided they don't already hold a valid British passport, and you only need one word of English: 'ASYLUM'!.

Prizes include all-expenses-paid accommodation, cash benefits starting at £180 a week and a chance to earn thousands more begging, mugging and accosting drivers at traffic lights. This competition is open to everyone buying a ticket or stowing away on one of our partner airlines, ferry companies or Eurostar. No application ever refused reasonable or unreasonable. All you have to do is destroy all your papers and remember the magic password: 'ASYLUM'.


It won't cost you a penny, so play today; it could change your life forever. Iraqi terrorists, Afghan dissidents, Albanian gangsters, pro-Pinochet activists, anti-Pinochet activists, Kosovan drug-smugglers, Tamil tigers, bogus Bosnians, Rwandan mass murderers, Somali guerrillas...COME ON DOWN! Get along to the airport, get along to the lorry park, get along to the ferry terminal. Don't stop in Germany or France. Go straight to Britain. And you are guaranteed to be one of tens of thousands of lucky winners in the softest game on earth. Roll up, roll up my friends for the game that never ends.

Everyone's a winner, when they play 'ASYLUM'.
I wonder when more than a few of the British are going to notice they have a problem?
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Alert!
The NY Post editors put the hammer down on Vivendi Universal's plan to commerate 9/11 with a film "justifying" the terrorists:

It was bad enough that a French book claiming that the 9/11 attacks were in fact a Pentagon plot became a best-seller in the land of brie and baguettes, berets and betrayal.

Now the French film company Studio Canal (a subsidiary of the troubled Vivendi Universal conglomerate) has made a movie that apparently "commemorates" 9/11- by attacking America.

"11"09"01 September 11" is an omnibus film made up of 11 11-minute short films by directors from 11 different countries, inspired by the 9/11 events. The filmmakers were given "total freedom of expression" by the French studio.

All those elevens; how droll.

The Egyptian submission includes material justifying attacks on American and Israeli civilians.

The Iranian one concerns Persian fears of an American nuclear attack.

And the British entry, by lefty lensman Ken Loach, invokes the Chilean coup of Sept. 11, 1973, (oh, look - another 11) in the apparent belief that the event justified the bin Laden attacks.

But however clever this all may have seemed in Paris, here in New York it's not even mildly amusing.
Damn straight!

Sure, a fool has the right to drool. (Though this is worse than foolish drooling.) And these filmmakers are all free to express themselves. (Though whatever would have happened to them if they were making films for viewing in, say, Tehran or Baghdad?)

But no film company is under any obligation to subsidize a repulsive film like this. The fact that Studio Canal's executives chose to do so is shameful.

And Americans should at least be aware, when they make their choices as consumers and shareholders, that these people who so shamelessly mock their dead are funded by the company that presently owns Universal Studios, USA Entertainment, Canal + Group, Universal Music Group, MP3 and the Houghton Mifflin publishers.
And the "chilling effects" crowd can put it where the "sun doesn't shine".
Your Tax Dollars at Work!
The NY Post spills the caviar:
THE best-selling author of "The Corrections," Jonathan Franzen, has blown a taxpayer-funded, $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts on a couple of pricey paintings.

Although it's widely believed that NEA doles out dough on a need basis to starving artists, the bonanza often goes to scribes who are already raking in cash hand over fist. That was the case again this summer when shocked writers everywhere learned that Franzen, this year's National Book Award winner, was taking his turn at the public trough.
But it's OK,
"I used all of it to buy work from a couple of underappreciated visual artists I know," Franzen wrote to ULA head Karl "King" Wenclas, "since visual artists can't get NEAs anymore."

Though some might say that Franzen was at least passing the wealth on to less fortunate artists, Wenclas didn't see it that way. "In other words," he writes on the ULA's Web site,, "Franzen bought two expensive paintings for himself. Not quite someone who needs the funds in order to write!"
Nobody seems to have asked why the taxpayers are funding these grants in the first place.
United Nations Humor
The tin pot dictators of Africa have selected Libya to chair the UN Commission on Human Rights. The US State Department has their striped knickers in a twist, but as the NY Post editorializes:
The State Department reportedly is scrambling to find a way to block Libya from assuming the chairmanship of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights come January.

But why bother? Is there a better way to demonstrate how nonsensical "human rights" has become than by having Libya run the show?
Meanwhile the bureaucrats on the East River want to do a little remodeling. Not surprisingly the tab keeps going up and the current favored proposal now runs $1.3 billion.
For the United Nations, the key question is how to pay for the repairs, which will run to hundreds of millions of dollars no matter which option is chosen.

U.N. officials are hoping - somewhat unrealistically, they acknowledge - that a government, foundation or billionaire will step forward with an interest-free loan as the United States did in 1949 to finance the original construction.

Failing that, they are hoping for a new and separate assessment of dues from governments willing to shoulder the extra expense.
Hmm, it's nice the way that governments have all this money. I wonder where they get it?
A final option is for the organization to seek permission from the General Assembly to float public bonds or borrow the money at commercial interest rates.


Despite its sometimes wobbly financial condition, experts say the United Nations could get a highly favorable AA rating based on the overall financial health of the member governments themselves.

The catch there is that nations would have to agree to service the debt before paying anything else out of the regular budget.
Bwahaha. I really want to sign up for some UN bonds.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

It's Truly a Puzzle!
Declan Walsh of The Independent (UK) shocks with Angolan elite accused of 'squandering oil billions':
As the threat of starvation sweeps across war-ravaged Angola, its secretive government is coming under pressure to explain how billions of pounds in oil revenues have gone missing.

A fresh humanitarian crisis has hit Angola since fighting with Unita rebels ended in April. Three million people are on the edge of famine.

Angola's President, Eduardo dos Santos, has appealed for international help, pleading that his government is broke.

But a swelling chorus of diplomats, campaigners and angry Angolans is asking why he is unable to pay his way out of trouble when his government earns billions of pounds from a burgeoning oil exploration business that will soon rival that of Nigeria as Africa's largest.

And while only a tiny amount is spent on helping suffering Angolans, every year a large chunk of the profits - between 20 and 35 per cent - mysteriously disappears. Last year, for example, the International Monetary Fund estimated the oil revenues at £2bn, of which £750m simply vanished.

Campaigners such as the UK advocacy group Global Witness call it "wholesale state robbery". They say that Angola's vast oil profits are disappearing into the pockets of the Futungo - a secret, powerful élite linked to President dos Santos - on a scale similar to the excesses of the notorious kleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire.


Just where the missing billions have gone is unclear, but the dilapidated streets of Luanda offer some clues. Fleets of the latest BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar cars roar along the sewage-laced roads past the armies of ragged, homeless people on the pavements.

Many are driven by government employees or associates. But it goes deeper. Earlier this year Global Witness published the number of a $1bn bank account in the British Virgin Islands. The money was controlled, it says, by unnamed figures connected to the Futungo.

The Futungo, a cabal of powerful military, business and political figures, is shrouded in mystery. It is thought to consist of about 200 families; analysts refer to it as Angola's "parallel government".

But a glossy magazine called Tropical, sold on Luanda's street corners, offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the exclusive set. Hello!-style photo spreads show designer-clad Angolans enjoying themselves; the latest issue features parties in London, Lisbon and Luanda.

The extravagance contrasts with the lives of most of Angola's 13 million people, who have slim hopes of getting a job, an education or even staying alive for very long; the average life expectancy is 45.
The solution is obviously more foreign aid! But donors are asked not to forget to include handling - the born again Marxists love to handle it.
Notable Quotables
From Mark Steyn's Multiculturalists are the real racists:
Once upon a time we knew what to do. A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband's funeral pyre. He replied that in British culture it was the custom to hang chaps who did that sort of thing. There are many great things about India -- curry, pyjamas, sitars, software engineers -- but suttee was not one of them. What a pity we're no longer capable of being "judgmental" and "discriminating." We're told the old-school imperialists were racists, that they thought of the wogs as inferior. But, if so, they at least considered them capable of improvement. The multiculturalists are just as racist. The only difference is that they think the wogs can never reform: Good heavens, you can't expect a Muslim in Norway not to go about raping the womenfolk! Much better just to get used to it.

As one is always obliged to explain when tiptoeing around this territory, I'm not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture -- rule of law, universal suffrage, etc. -- is preferable to Arab culture: that's why there are millions of Muslims in Scandinavia, and four Scandinavians in Syria. Follow the traffic. I support immigration, but with assimilation. Without it, like a Hindu widow, we're slowly climbing on the funeral pyre of our lost empires. You see it in European foreign policy already: they're scared of their mysterious, swelling, unstoppable Muslim populations.

Islam For All reported the other day that, at present demographic rates, in 20 years' time the majority of Holland's children (the population under 18) will be Muslim. It will be the first Islamic country in western Europe since the loss of Spain. Europe is the colony now.

Or as Charles Johnson, whose excellent "Little Green Footballs" Web site turns up dozens of fascinating Islamic tidbits every day, suggested: "Maybe we should start a betting pool: Which European country will be the first to institute shari'a?"
Little Green Footballs is always worth reading, as is Right Wing News where the following is from John Hawkins' Confessions Of An Isolationist Wannabe:
If you want put it in perspective, it's like we're the guy who ended up being the designated driver for the planet. Sure we'd love to sit back and drink ourselves into a stupor with the rest of the globe but we're responsible for getting as many people home safe and sound as possible. Every so often while we're sitting around wishing we could kill a few beers like the rest of the planet, a sloppy drunk, drooling, Europe comes over to where we're sitting. Then they take another swig of Vodka straight out of the bottle and tell us not to worry about a thing because they'll drive everyone home in their 'international law' van. But we know if we go ahead and drink up that we'll just get a call at 4 am asking us to bring our tow truck and the 'jaws of life' to clean up the bloody mess on dead man's curve. That's the burden of being an American.

So spare me your comparisons to Rome and understand that I don't want to hear about your secret fear that we might try to create a 'Vichy Europe" someday. We wouldn't take over the world if every nation begged us too. Our ancestors came to America in the first place to GET AWAY from everyone else in the world and it's very easy for us in this age of global communications to understand why. You have people protesting in France for shorter mandatory workweeks, Morocco and Spain fighting over a rock outcropping inhabited by goats, and the UN letting Gadaffi get elected as chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. You think we WANT to be forced to deal with those sorts of things any more than absolutely necessary? Take it from a hawkish right-winger who makes George Bush look like a bigger weenie than Jimmy Carter, we're not an 'empire' and we have no desire to become one.
Amen, brother.
Thursday's Earth Summit Roundup
What if they gave a summit and nobody came? Only 60 delegates managed to show up for the kickoff of the World Forum, which is the Non Governmental Organization (NGO) warm up for the big enchilada next week.
The smattering of delegates that did arrive in the giant conference hall with its 8 000 seats on Wednesday were upset because they'd been twiddling their thumbs for two days.

Delays and poor organisation were criticised especially and the groups held a private protest meeting in one of the smaller venues.

At this meeting, they demanded answers from the organisers about the problems and possible solutions. Some delegates were under the impression that the meetings had been scheduled to start on Monday and "have been sitting in the sun, doing nothing for two days".

Sister Bernice, a Catholic nun who does mission work in Kenya, was upset. "The church pays for our tickets and accommodation and now we are wasting their money."

The opening ceremony was later moved to a smaller auditorium without delegates being informed. Pamphlets were stuck to the tar roads at Nasrec to show people the way.
Nice touch!
The 09:00 meeting was to have started in the new venue at 10:00. Half an hour later, however, Lucas Mufumadi, chairperson of the South African coalition of NGOs (Sangoco), announced that the meeting would start onlt at 11:00. At that stage, only about 30 people were present in the auditorium.

This number later grew to about 60. The speakers agreed there was a real danger that this summit and the heads-of-state one in Sandton would not provide solutions to the problems in developing countries.
A rocket scientist convention!
Outside the building, about 100 volunteers were sitting in the sun or playing soccer, while they were waiting to be accredited.
The "ground-breaking decisions" expected at this carnival were apparently in short supply.

Of course, the missing delegates might have wandered off after reading the special summit adverts in the Johannesburg Star:
The back page of The Star's Classified section was taken up with ads offering services ranging from a 23-year-old gay white male (slim, slender, blue eyes, 9 1/2'') to a dungeon and mistress (discreet, upmarket).

Headlined "Summit Adult Entertainment", some of the ads, obviously aimed at delegates to the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, quote in foreign currencies.

Welcome the New Neighbors - II
I really have to stop visiting the web site of the Raleigh News and Observer. While it does get my heart started in the morning, it's probably quite bad for my blood pressure. When last we left them, the Snooze and Deceiver crew were editorializing about welcoming illegal immigrants as our new neighbors and running articles about how bogus foreign government ID cards are really useful if you're "undocumented".

Today's contribution to the canon of heartwarming tales about our "new neighbors" is Born of necessity: Spanish-speaking women help immigrants through childbirth . In a nutshell:
With help from the Duke Endowment, more than 20 women from Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile and Honduras took more than 45 hours of initial training through Chatham Hospital as part of the Immigrant Health Initiative. The Chatham Comadres aren't midwives who deliver babies; their role is to help women navigate the confusing health-care system and prepare for a healthy birth.
Ah, the system! Must make sure that illegal aliens get full benefits from churlish taxpayers.

Time to cut to the tale of Agripina Paredones, one of the "new neighbors" who is expecting:
Paredones had three babies in Mexico, but the birth of her fourth child, 6-year-old Christian, wasn't easy. He was born in North Carolina, and she often couldn't understand what was happening at the doctor's office. At one point she had to stay in the hospital overnight and didn't know why, until a friend came to visit. "It was scary, it was frustrating," she said in Spanish, "because the water broke and I was there not knowing anything."

This time is different.
This time with the help of her trusty "doulas", she fully engages with the medical facilities provided by the taxpayers and delivers Giselle Guadalupe Murillo Paredones.
A little after midnight, Maldonado and Lopez said goodbye to Paredones, who was nursing Giselle, and told her they'd be back the next day.

The nurses at the front desk waved to the doulas. "Bye -- see you for the next one!"
I can hardly wait. The Immigrant (sic) Health Initiative also has a dental plan.

Well, let's add things up: illegal aliens receive benefits they aren't entitled to through the intercession of a large foundation. But that gets glossed over by the emotionalism: spunky mother gets help to give birth to a bouncing baby daughter, another addition to a happy family far away from home in a foreign land. Sniff! I regret to inform all involved that the sheer fact of the matter is that the American taxpayer cannot provide medical care for all 3rd world families. And the language difficulties would be obviated by an immediate return by the patients to the country of origin. Undoubtedly, the Snooze vends this stuff in an ongoing effort to make the illegality and absurdity acceptable. After all, it's for the children!

Finally, the Snooze does occasionally mention the downside of illegal immigration:
Raleigh police have 17 unsolved homicides on the books, plus 11 cases like Nguyen's in which a suspect has been charged but never found. That list includes recent killings: Jose Hernandez, 35, charged with stabbing Raleigh merchant Nguyen Ngoc Truong, 31, earlier this month; Jose Francisco Martinez, 30, charged with shooting Carlos Barron Gomez in his bed in June; Garcia brothers Noel, 32, Orlando, 26, and Thomas, 31, charged with shooting Martin Herrera Sotelo, 27, after a card game in February.

Police think nine of the 11 fugitives are not U.S. citizens, evidence that an immigration explosion in recent years is making Triangle manhunts an international affair.

Cary police have two unsolved homicides and are chasing one fugitive murder suspect: Oscar Espinosa Perez, 29, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Octavio Salinas-Sanchez, 20, in an apartment complex last year.

By contrast, investigators in Durham face four times the number of unsolved homicides in Raleigh, and police have trouble keeping tabs on suspects prone to flee the country before enough evidence is assembled to establish probable cause.

"Before a case gets to the point of issuing a warrant, suspects flee," said Sgt. Brett Hallan, head of the Durham homicide unit.

Fugitives with local connections are easier to find. On Wednesday, Winston-Salem police picked up Marreco Francis Hackney, 23, whom Raleigh police wanted for first-degree murder in this month's shooting of Stephen Maurice Watkins, 30.

Suspects with international contacts are prone to cross not just state lines but the border. Wake County magistrates issued a warrant in June charging Martinez, of Raleigh, in connection with the June 19 shooting death of his neighbor, Gomez, but police have yet to locate the Mexico City native who they say has no known Social Security number and few ties to the community.

"With many members of the Hispanic community, it's very easy for them -- since many are working without proper documentation -- it's very easy for them to leave and go to another city and hide," Morgan said.

Details in fugitive files are sketchy, even more so for suspects with arrest records but without Social Security numbers, which tells investigators they entered the country illegally, Morgan said.
When a nation has no borders, all kinds of refuse show up.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Wednesday's Daily Dose of Earth Summit Hijinks
It seems to have been scare day at the circus. Out on the midway, the Jo'burg cops were warned about the dangers of prostitutes. " 'If, during your working days you get one, please don't just go anywhere,' WSSD security forces chief co-ordinator Scott Landu said." Perhaps he could show some of those old army films?

Up on the high wire, the International Energy Agency astounded the audience with Earth facing electricity crisis. No word yet from Gray Davis.

In the main tent, the World Bank chimed in with a dire warning. It's not entirely clear what specifically they're warning about, but "rich countries" must "take immediate and dramatic action". Somehow, I think retiring Bobby Mugabe wasn't on their list, but anything much short of that kind of dramatic action isn't going to do any good.

Then the car full of clowns rolled up at the pre-summit conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) where speakers "slammed the 'double standards' of developed countries whom they said were chiefly responsible for ravaging the world's resources, and increasing global poverty". The blather was coming from "Lucas Mufumadi, the chief of the South African NGO coalition SANGOCO" who "trenchantly criticised developed countries for shirking their responsibilities". Why do I think that "responsibilities" means transfers to Lucas' bank account?

Sadly, the clowns weren't at full strength, because the EU had not coughed up enough cash for all the other African NGO delegates to travel. "Emad Adby, an African delegation management committee member, said on Tuesday: 'I was on the point of calling a media conference announcing Africa's withdrawal from the conference. If this happens, the summit will fail.' " Zzzzzz.

Finally, the South African president officially opened up the side shows at Ubuntu Village. Nominally an exhibition of sustainable development ideas (see the amazing tin can wall), it sounds more like a flea market: "The Village is also home to the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and the Arts and Craft Imbizo, located at the heart of the village. Here, African culture, arts and crafts will be marketed in the 200 stalls." I wonder if they have corn dogs?
Recurring Nightmare

TV executives are talking with Bill Clinton about a daytime talk/news show, it was reported today.

Syndication powerhouse King World and CBS-owned TV stations are pursuing the idea with Clinton's camp, Daily Variety said.

The show would probably be a cross between "Oprah," which King World distributes, and "Nightline" and air in daytime.


For a show to be ready by fall 2003, Clinton will have to make a decision within the next month whether or not to go ahead.
"Uhhh, tell me again about the starlets?"
She's Toast
Cynthia "Moonbeam" McKinney was shown the garage door by primary voters in the 4th Congressional District in Georgia. Don't let it hit you on the butt on the way out, Cynthia!

In related news, there was a mini-riot at Cynthia's headquarters when "homeless campaign workers" from Rent-A-Mob became afraid that they would not be paid for intimidating voters outside polling places. And even better, Cynthia's racist father, State Rep. "Billy" McKinney was forced into a runoff when he failed to get a majority of the votes in his primary. With any luck, he'll be toast soon too.

And Cynthia, don't worry! I'm sure Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has a spot for you in his harem. Maybe Billy too as one of the eunuchs.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

No Bimbos Bouncing on the Beds
Andrew Gumble opines in the Independent (UK), Lights out at 10pm for Bush party guests:
Since he first ran for president, George Bush has portrayed himself as the "anti-Bill Clinton", and his social life is no exception.

The administration has just published the list of guests invited to spend the night in the White House since Mr Bush assumed the presidency 20 months ago, and the contrast with his predecessor could not be more striking.

Where Mr Clinton -- ever the social climber, even in the most powerful job on earth -- played host to a steady stream of celebrities and power-brokers from the worlds of politics, academia, business, publishing and Hollywood, Mr Bush's circle has been folksy, intimate and almost wilfully devoid of glamour or intellectualism.

Most of the 160 people who have spent the night since inauguration day have been old friends or golfing partners from Texas. Scratch around the list for well-known names, and the best you can do is Ben Crenshaw, the golfer; Kinky Friedman, the Texas singer- songwriter turned author; and a couple of minor-league country music artists. No Barbra Streisand or Warren Beatty ? almost nobody, in fact, that Mr Bush has not known for years and already considers his personal friend.
Hmm, doesn't sound like a proactive contribution generation strategy.
The style of entertainment has undergone a sea change, too. While Mr Clinton enjoyed large, noisy parties, often continuing late into the night with lengthy, impassioned conversation over sandwiches in the kitchen of the White House, Mr Bush has stuck to a simple, no-nonsense schedule: dinner at 7pm, followed by coffee and perhaps one cigar on the White House balcony, then lights out for everyone by 10pm at the latest.

Conversation revolves around common acquaintances and professional sport; any attempt at weighty discussion is immediately frowned on.

"Anyone who puts on airs and tries to get puffed is going to get punctured mighty quickly," said another close friend and regular White House guest, the former Texas state senator David Sibley.
All of which brings to mind this montage.
Meanwhile, back in DeKalb County
Cynthia McKinney's father shares:
Neither McKinney nor her father -- Georgia Rep. Billy McKinney -- had anything to say about strong remarks made by the elder McKinney Monday night regarding Jewish involvement in political campaigns.

The comments followed 11Alive asking Billy McKinney about his daughter using an old endorsement from former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

"That ain't nothing. That's nothing," he said. "Jews have bought everybody. Jews... J-E-W-S."
That reminds me. You may have known that the delusional symptoms of tertiary syphilis are incurable, but did you know that syphilis can be hereditary?
Your Daily Dose of Earth Summit
South African scammers have been selling Summit tickets to the gullible, while the Pretenders have canceled their "SOS Planet" concert appearance. Meanwhile, there is no more accomodation available around the Summit site, so maybe things will look up for the discouraged sex workers. Saving the best for last, the South African Press Association reports:
United States President George W Bush will be notable by his absence at the Johannesburg Earth Summit from August 26 to September 4, leaving the US with the prospect of being branded the scapegoat if the summit fails.
Pretty scary, eh kids?
Cheese, anyone?
The AP astounds with Naked Passenger Forces Plane to Land:
An Air France flight bound for Oslo, Norway, was forced to make an emergency landing in Belgium after a naked passenger tried to storm the cockpit, authorities said Tuesday.

The flight which left Paris shortly before 20.15 local time on Monday was rerouted to Brussels international airport after the 31-year-old stripped off all his clothes at his seat and tried to force his way into the cockpit, officials at the Brussels prosecutor's office said.

The pilot requested help from Belgian air traffic control which allowed the plane to land. The man, a French national of Tunisian origin was removed from the plane and arrested by police. He was later released without being charged.
What a naughty boy! I wonder if they slapped his hand and didn't tell us.
Today's the Big Day for Space Cadet Cynthia
WXIA in Atlanta hits some of the high points, including the bogus automated telephone endorsements from Andy Young, but I liked:
11Alive News received dozens of calls from Fourth District residents Monday night who got the following recorded election message:

"This is an official notice for Republican voters. It is a violation of state and federal law to attempt to vote in a Democratic primary without proper documentation. State and federal enforcement officials will be monitoring polling places closely tomorrow for violations of the law. Do not risk violating the law by trying to vote in a Democratic primary without the proper documents. Go to for information about Georgia voting law."

The race is an open primary and Georgia does not have registration. Therefore, any voter can vote in either the Democratic or the Republican party as long proper identification is available.

11Alive News could not confirm who was responsible for the calls.
Since the McKinney campaign's sleazy arsenal includes a full range of phony telephone messages, you don't need Columbo on this case. But I'm sure the hanky panky will reach its peak today at the polls (and after).
Both campaigns have hired lawyers to protect their prospective constituents for Tuesday's vote. The increased vigilance comes as the result of a controversy two years ago.

In that controversy at DeKalb County's Stoneview Elementary School, the McKinney campaign charged voters were kept out, though they were on line at closing time.

Congresswoman McKinney and her father were accused of campaigning inside the polling place.

They eventually signed a consent order, denying any wrongdoing and no sanctions were imposed. Both sides insist they expect no problems this time but both say they'll protect the right to vote.

"That is something we will be monitoring at every precinct," said McKinney attorney Dwight Thomas.

"We don't want people exerting undue influence over voters or trying to threaten them or harass them," said Michaeleen Crowell, a Majette attorney.

DeKalb County Elections Director Linda Latimore has tried to head-off problems before they happen, "We have hired people to monitor the outside of the precincts for campaign signs and all different things that causes problems in itself right there," she said.

Election officials said they have learned the lessons of Stoneview. The Georgia Secretary of State's office said they will have extra monitors at DeKalb polling places.
Stand by for Cynthia and her dad to raise the dead. Speaking of Dad:
"You have to understand that Cynthia McKinney has done more for Black politics than any person in this country," said, McKinney's father, state Rep. Billy McKinney.
Oddly, Pops didn't explain exactly what that was.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Mrs. Bobby Mugabe Alert!
The Telegraph (UK) enlightens with Mugabe's wife to move into white couple's farm:
Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, has chosen the white-owned farm she wants and has ordered its elderly owners and residents off the land, it emerged yesterday.

Mrs Mugabe has picked the Iron Mask Estate, 30 miles north west of Harare, which belongs to John and Eva Matthews, both in their seventies. The couple abandoned their home at the weekend.

According to residents on the farm, Mrs Mugabe and a high-powered entourage visited the property last week, said she would be moving in shortly and told them to find alternative accommodation.
I wonder what kind of crops she's going to grow?

The AP is carrying this pantload:
Looking to South African example, Palestinian camp to demand divestment from Israel

JERUSALEM - E-mail by e-mail, teach-in by teach-in, students and professors at institutions like the University of California, Harvard, MIT and Princeton are backing the Palestinian cause by campaigning to get U.S. universities out of stocks that do business in Israel.

They are modeling their effort on the divestment movement that helped topple apartheid. ...

Francis A. Boyle, a University of Illinois professor of international law and an early advocate of divestment from Israel, said in a telephone interview: "It worked once to produce peace, justice and reconciliation, and I believe it can work again."
More gag reflex inducing relativism in the article.

While I was visiting the Snooze and Deceiver...
I spotted this little gem in the letters section:
Simply illegal

In just about every article you write on any person or groups of people from south of our lower border you refer to those who are in our country illegally as "undocumented," as you did in your Aug. 12 article about Mexican identification cards.

If you were referring to an individual who was doing electrical work without a license, would you refer to him as an "undocumented electrician," or a person selling investments without a license as an "undocumented securities salesmen"?

Instead, you would refer to them as practicing their profession without a license, and probably state the illegality of their actions.

The reason you seem to want to gloss over the actual definition of "aliens who are in this country illegally" must be to conform with the social agenda your editors are actively promoting. Those parts of the media, government and public that have no respect for the laws of our country are the contributing cause of the problems we face today, and by "soft-selling" illegal immigration as "undocumented" you send the message that it is really no big deal; it is one of those "little laws," like driving in the rain without your lights on when using your wipers, and it is all right to ignore.

As journalists, you should know better and be more factual and honest with the public you serve.

Rex H. Wheatley, Jr.
Rex isn't going to be too pleased when he sees today's editorial:
The new neighbors

Thousands of Hispanics now call North Carolina, and the Triangle in particular, home. Yet the welcome mat isn't fully unrolled.

If North Carolina is a favorite destination for Hispanics coming to the United States -- and at 394 percent, it had one of the greatest rates of increase for Hispanic immigration in the 1990s -- then the Triangle is the bull's-eye. Two non-profit groups, the Pew Hispanic Center and the Brookings Institution, said in a recent report that between 1980 and 2000, the Triangle's Hispanic population was the fastest-growing among any of the country's 100 most populous regions -- from 6,000 to more than 72,000.

As a result, of course, Tar Heels and Triangle residents especially now have a much better understanding of the cultural, social, religious and familial relationships of recent Hispanic immigrants, who largely come from Mexico. That's a considerable change from when people of Hispanic origin tended to be clustered in the big Northeastern cities and western states, or passing through during North Carolina's harvest seasons. And it's squarely within America's melting-pot tradition, which has been a source of national strength.

Yet the state still hasn't taken seriously enough the responsibilities that come with hosting the new residents. Hispanics have been lured to North Carolina by advertisements in their towns that promise good-paying jobs here. In other words, they have been issued invitations, and we shouldn't be surprised that workers' families followed them to the state. Companies that recruited these workers need to provide them with the kind of health and safety protections available to native-born employees. That apparently isn't the rule yet, according to injury and death statistics kept by the state Department of Labor.

The influx puts new burdens on community institutions -- schools, courts and the like -- and most have not managed to catch up.

Public schools struggle with burgeoning numbers of Spanish-speakers. Some community colleges in areas with large Hispanic populations still don't offer enough English as a Second Language courses. Courts, motor vehicle and social services offices lack an adequate number of expert-level interpreters necessary for such critical services. Police and public and mental health officials are similarly behind the curve.

Demographers, for the state or for Triangle-area local governments, perhaps were surprised by the flood of Hispanics. Going forward, however, the General Assembly and city and county governments need to consider how to better accommodate the new neighbors.

Fortunately, they don't have to start from scratch. Governor Easley's Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs may serve as a good resource, as would effective locally based agencies such as Durham's El Centro Hispano and Carrboro's El Centro Latino.

Money -- to hire interpreters, teach civil servants basic Spanish, provide Spanish-language signs and the like -- will be needed as well. That's not a welcome thought in this crisis-driven budget year. But it's the place public officials have to come to sooner or later.
Not even an "undocumented", much less an "illegal" in the whole screed. Now the illegal aliens are "the new neighbors" and the citizens should start laying out the cash "to better accomodate the new neighbors".

How about an alternative solution? Paging INS, cleanup on aisle 7!
Meanwhile, Back in North Carolina
Today's the day the incoming students at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill are supposed to discuss their mandatory summer reading of an Islamic apologist's whitewashed version of the Quran. And according to the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer, they will, because a Federal judge found that
... the university was not forcing students to read the book and was not violating the First Amendment.

In legal arguments, the university has said the program is not mandatory and there is no penalty for not participating. But UNC-CH's Web site says in bold print that the program is "required" for all new students. ...

"Why can't they just be honest?" said Joe Glover, the organization's president. "Why can't they say one thing in court and say the same thing to students?"
Because, Joe, it would be a life changing experience for them. Meanwhile,
On Thursday, a UNC Board of Governors committee is to consider a resolution affirming academic freedom at the university. The board has come under stinging criticism for failing to win a two-thirds majority vote earlier this month for a statement backing academic freedom.
Oh my! Stinging criticism from the N&O's attack poodles! More rational criticism has been over why the hand wringers perpetually try to put a virtuous face on their stupidity by bringing up resolutions confirming the Board of Governor's charter.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Send More Foreign Aid Anyhow
The NY Times service is carrying an article, In Africa, figures aren't precise, they're political, by Norimitsu Onishi that bears notice:
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast - There is never a shortage of statistics about Africa: millions of dead from the war in Congo, hundreds of thousands of refugees, a third of the population HIV-positive in west Africa.

But in sub-Saharan Africa, despite apparent precision and willing acceptance by media, aid agencies and the public, one of the hardest things to find is a reliable number.

Lack of money and expertise, the collapse of roads and railways that has cut off huge swaths of the continent, all make compiling solid statistics nearly impossible.

In many countries, very little is known, statistically speaking, outside the capitals. The latest statistics, or the only ones, are sometimes decades old, from colonial days.
That's because there's been very little civilization since the colonial days.
Consider Nigeria. Everyone agrees it is Africa's most populous nation. But what is its population? The United Nations says 114 million; the U.S. State Department, 120 million. The World Bank says 126.9 million, while the CIA puts it at 126,635,626. The Nigerian government's last estimate, a decade ago, was 105 million. The population of Texas - less than the difference between these last two estimates - may or may not be living in Nigeria.

Because of the scarcity of numbers here, those that do exist tend to be more politicized and less scrutinized than they are elsewhere.

That the figures for refugees in a particular war, or victims from a certain illness, are vastly inflated is an open secret. So what, humanitarian officials argue, privately. With Africa stuck on the world's back burner, it is difficult to draw attention without generous statistics. The cause is good.
But making up numbers leads to all kinds of bogosity:
In Africa, in the absence of any figures at all, imaginary ones take on a life of their own - as they did last year with the charges that child workers were forced to work in Ivory Coast's cocoa plantations.

Many accounts in the British and U.S. news media last year spoke breathlessly of 15,000 child slaves on Ivory Coast's cocoa plantations, producing the chocolate you eat.

The number first appeared in Malian newspapers, citing the UNICEF office in Mali. But UNICEF's Mali office had never researched the issue of forced child laborers in Ivory Coast. The UNICEF office in Ivory Coast, which had, concluded that it was impossible to determine the number.

Still, repeated often enough, the number was gladly accepted by some private organizations, globalization opponents seeking a fight with Nestlé and Hershey, and some journalists.

Some reports incorrectly cited the State Department's annual human-rights report on Ivory Coast as the source of the 15,000 figure. In fact, the State Department report for 2000 said simply that "according to a UNICEF study, approximately 15,000 Malian children were trafficked and sold into indentured servitude on Ivorian plantations in 1999."

The report for 2001 said that "the number is difficult to estimate" because no "thorough survey has been conducted."

This month, the results of the first extensive survey of child labor in cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast and three other African nations were released by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, a nonprofit, multinational research organization that works in Africa.

The survey, financed by the Agency for International Development and the U.S. Labor Department, found that almost all children working in cocoa fields were children of the plantation owners, not forced laborers.

As for child workers unrelated to plantation owners, the study found that brokers had placed 2,100 foreign children, most of them ages 15 to 17, in Ivory Coast's cocoa plantations. Ninety-four percent of the children, the study says, knew the intermediary, or broker who hired them for the plantation work.

"The most frequent reason given for agreeing to leave with the intermediary was the promise of a better life," the report says. It adds: "None reported being forced against their will to leave their home abode. One hundred percent indicated that they had been informed in advance that they were going to work on cocoa farms."

Jim Gockowski, a U.S. agricultural economist who led the study for the Institute of Tropical Agriculture, said, "By and large, the cocoa industry didn't deserve the rap it got."

But politics is sometimes more influential than precision when it comes to numbers in Africa. Since they were released early this month, the institute's findings have received little attention - perhaps only 1 percent of what the 15,000 figure received.
Attention! Anything that spoils the fundraising won't get any.
I've tried to ignore the latest Susan Sarandon flap on general principle, but Tim Blair points to a quote from rocket science Sue that deserves wider notice:
The actress said one of the positive results of the September 11 attacks was that it gave America something in common with other countries who have fallen prey to terrorism.

"Afterwards, I said to my kids: 'We've joined the rest of the world now'," she said.

"You're so lucky in Ireland, England and Spain. Everyone there already knows what it's like to have inexplicable terrorist violence."
Whatever planet this airbrain comes from must be one heck of a weird and scary place. And then there is her "solution":
Sarandon said that she didn't think a military expansion of violence was the solution.

She said: "First you have to ask the right questions and we haven't formed the right questions on what's going on in the world right now.

"No, I don't think I would want to go to war against Iraq."
Thanks Brainiac. Report back later when you get your questions formulated. Much later.
Getcher Latest Earth Summit News Here!
News24 (SouthAfrica) lets us in on the welcoming locals:
Johannesburg - The tripartite alliance will march during the upcoming Earth Summit to demand that the developed countries adopt a 10-year programme of action on sustainable development.

This was announced at a joint African National Congress, SA Communist Party, Congress of SA Trade Unions and SA National Civics Organisation briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Apparently the ability to count is not a requirement for alliance membership. And hey, they have an active Communist party! I didn't know there was going to be an antique show.
The ANC's Gauteng provincial secretary, David Makura, said the mass rally and march would be "a popular expression of our demands to the developed countries... to join the developing world in adopting a 10-year programme of action on sustainable development". ...

"Central to the discussions on sustainable development are the key questions of poverty eradication, human rights, environmental justice, equitable distribution of resources, the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic, women's empowerment, global peace and fair trade between developing and developed nations."
Translation: send cash!

Then there's US frets over security at World Summit:
With just a week to go before the start of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, concern within security and intelligence circles has been expressed over the attitude of the United States administration, reportedly insisting on organising its own security for US officials.
With a South African government that is hard pressed to find its collective butt with a road map, except when it comes to endorsing terrorists, I would tend to fret too. Of course, another article about the exorbitant rents being charged the visitors (e.g. $500 for a night in a slum) mentions a townhouse rented by the US delegation. Yep, real secure.

Why are we sending anybody to this goat rodeo? Besides the futility, why doesn't someone tell 'em about teleconferencing? (But don't mention the mute button.)