Saturday, July 26, 2003

Pakistan Bans Latest Issue of Newsweek:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan has banned the latest issue of Newsweek's international edition, saying an article on new interpretations of the Quran offends Islam.

The information minister said Thursday that customs authorities have been ordered to seize copies of the edition.

"The article is insulting to the Quran," the minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, told The Associated Press. He said officials fear the article could incite violence in a nation wracked by feuding between militant members of the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam.

"The decision was taken to prevent religious violence and control law and order situation."
So what offended the perpetually offended this time?
Ahmed said it was headlined: "Challenging the Quran."

An article with that title on Newsweek's Web site deals with a new interpretation of Islam's holy book by a German scholar of Semitic languages, who uses the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg.

He argues that the language of the Quran has been misinterpreted and that in verses detailing the rewards of heaven the text's original word, meaning "white raisins," was mistaken for the word "houris," or dark-eyed virgins, the article says. He also questions Islamic rulings that women cover themselves and says the Quran was originally a Christian document, the article says.
Well, getting a box of raisins instead of the camels, er, virgins certainly puts a damper on the martyr business. Dig right in, wingnuts!

Here's your reward, asshats!

UPDATE: The Newsweek article (hey guys, your site sux) elaborates:
In a note of encouragement to his fellow hijackers, September 11 ringleader Muhammad Atta cheered their impending “marriage in Paradise” to the 72 wide-eyed virgins the Qur’an promises to the departed faithful. Palestinian newspapers have been known to describe the death of a suicide bomber as a “wedding to the black-eyed in eternal Paradise.” But if a German expert on Middle Eastern languages is correct, these hopes of sexual reward in the afterlife are based on a terrible misunderstanding.

ARGUING THAT TODAY’S version of the Qur’an has been mistranscribed from the original text, scholar Christoph Luxenberg says that what are described as “houris” with “swelling breasts” refer to nothing more than “white raisins” and “juicy fruits.”
Juicy fruits sums it up nicely.
Boob Tube Alert!
(Via FR with translation by poster longjack) Jeder Zweite weiß nicht, dass Schröder Kanzler ist:
One out of two doesn't know that Schröder is Chancellor

A new online interview method has brought to light some amazing results: Hardly half of the Germans know what Gerhard Schröder, Joschka Fisher, or Angela Merkel do professionally.

Indeed, 99 per cent of the people asked by the polling institute Forsa in the until now unpublished survey recognized Schröder in a photo, but only 51 per cent correctly answered which office he holds.

For the survey of 1630 citizens the opinion researchers used so-called set top boxes, with whose help the participants answer by remote control questions presented on the TV screen. Forsa boss Manfred Güllner expects to achieve a higher objectivity from his invention because the people asked are not influenced by interviewers.
Maybe they thought the snap of Gerhard was another Grecian Formula commercial.
Surely you jest!
(Via Gweilo Diaries) BBC chief intervenes on Gilligan health fears:
The publication of evidence from the BBC journalist at the heart of the David Kelly affair was delayed yesterday following a personal plea from the corporation's chairman that publication might affect the journalist's health.

In a surprise move, the Commons foreign affairs select committee said it would not publish the transcript of last Thursday's evidence session with BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan that ended with the committee expressing serious doubts about his reliability as a witness.

Although the committee had pledged to publish the evidence this week, it reluctantly decided not to do so after Gavyn Davies, the BBC chairman, privately contacted Donald Anderson, the committee's chairman.
A venomous shit sack gets the vapors, so the transcript won't be published. Hmmm, that's a new one!
In case you've forgotten who's responsible for the Liberia mess
Kenneth Timmerman has all the details:
The current crisis was in part the creation of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Democratic Party activist who claims to champion the rights of Africans to self-governance. As special envoy for democracy and human rights in Africa, starting in October 1997, Jackson was President Bill Clinton's point man for Africa. It was Jackson who spearheaded Clinton's 10-day African safari in March 1998, at a cost to taxpayers of $42.8 million. And it was Jackson who legitimated Liberian strongman Charles Taylor and his protégé, the machete-wielding militia leader in neighboring Sierra Leone, Cpl. Foday Sankoh. Without Jackson's active intervention, both leaders were headed toward international isolation and sanction. Thanks to Jackson, both retained power to murder another day.
"During his 24 hours in Liberia, the Rev. Jackson met several times privately with President Taylor and appeared to establish a strong personal bond with him," the April 29, 1998, memo from the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia reads.
Jackson said in an interview that he considered Sankoh and Taylor to be like the gang leaders in Chicago, who could be "redeemed" by his careful ministrations. Rather than confront them, Jackson befriended them, over the howls of the State Department professionals.
"Secretary [of State Madeleine] Albright delegated Africa policy to [U.S. Rep. Donald] Payne [of New Jersey] and the Congressional Black Caucus," Sierra Leone's outspoken ambassador to Washington, John Ernest Leigh, told this reporter. A House International Affairs Committee staffer who followed Jackson's meetings with Taylor put it more bluntly: "The whole effort under Clinton was to mainstream Charles Taylor, and Jesse Jackson had a lot to do with it."
"If there are any adversaries who are not ready to reconcile, please leave the room," Jackson told the auditorium. He then demanded that Liberians stop using the Internet to publish information on Taylor's atrocities. "The international community frequents the Internet and takes note of whatever information is disseminated on the information superhighway," he said. "So, please stay off the Net."
Then Jackson made a blunder that would make him an object of ridicule and scorn across Africa: He compared Sankoh to former African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, who went on to become president of South Africa. On May 16, Jackson was all set to take off for Sierra Leone when an urgent message came into the State Department, warning that Jackson could be assaulted physically should he attempt to land. Foreign Minister Sama Banya even went on state radio in Freetown, urging Jackson to stay away. "When people in Freetown heard Jesse Jackson's statement comparing Foday Sankoh to Nelson Mandela, they were up in arms," recalls Sierra Leone Ambassador Leigh. "Comparing Nelson Mandela to a guy who was ripping arms off of babies was the biggest insult to Africa you could think of.
Much more by following the link. I guess the Clinton plan of sending a thug to deal with thugs had a few bugs.

And what is Jesse saying these days? Predictably, Jackson says racism explains U.S. inaction in Liberia. I don't know the tune, but the words are familiar.

Friday, July 25, 2003

It's those artistes again!
(Via Give War A Chance) Salzburg statue not fit for a prince:
A giant statue of a naked man with a two-foot erection has caused a row in Salzburg after being exposed on the eve of a visit by Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne.
If he's going to be scandalized by that, he's a bigger wuss than I thought. But the royal fuss obscures the question of why, besides being modern artistes, the perps put this deal together:
The artwork was described as a tribute to Viagra
Nothing like the eternal verities! You can click through for a photo, but let's just say that the relevant part is cropped.
Someone pick up the Clue Phone
Well here's a shocker - Mercenaries given go-ahead to abduct Liberian leader:
The internationally backed War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone has given the green light for mercenaries to arrest the Liberian President, Charles Taylor - if they can raise their own funds for the operation and deliver him across the border.

"We would not turn down anybody legitimate - whether government, international organisation or private company - who can deliver Charles Taylor or any other fugitive of justice," Alan White, the court's chief of investigation, said on Thursday.
Saddle up the horses! But wait:
But while encouraging bounty-hunters, Mr White made it clear he was not offering a payout. "We won't pay anybody. We're not in a financial position to do that and would not engage in that anyway."
What a grasp on reality! Sounds like they want the Salvation Army to do it.

It's the United Nations confirming its reputation every day.
Big Food Alert!
Joe Soucheray in the St. Paul Pioneer Press - Big Food lawsuits mean the end of our way of life:
Even sooner than expected, the big push is on to make sure that kids blame somebody else for being fat, namely large corporations, which can be sued. I was sent the front page from the Duluth News Tribune the other day, a front page from July 6, when the main story advanced the idea that being fat is not your fault.

No, being fat is the fault of urban sprawl, global food policies, frenetic lifestyles and whatever else the trained journalism professional allowed herself to believe. I read the story, sighed heavily and made a mental note to dump anything in the old 401k that has to do with food.

Because they're coming to get you, Big Food. They learned how to do it against Big Tobacco, and now they are licking their chops at another billion-dollar payday.
And wait'll they discover Big Hair!
Perils of inflation alert!
Yet another weird twist to the City Hall killer story - HIV Assassin was fueled by Fear of 'Gay' Blackmail :
The City Hall killer was an HIV-positive man who made meticulous preparations for his own death before setting out to assassinate a political rival who he believed was blackmailing him because he was gay, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.
But aside from that, the real eye opener is the lucrative nature of being a mere NY City Councilman:
Law-enforcement sources said that hours before he gunned down Davis, Askew told the FBI the councilman had offered him $45,000 to give up a primary election challenge and threatened to hurt his family if he did not.

Askew also claimed Davis offered him an additional $15,000 annually and a no-show staff job.
Pretty good payoff to just get rid of a dubious primary challenge. Those City Councilmen must have more taxpayer loot on hand than one would think!
Smooth career move alert!
Jayson Blair's got a gig! Actually two of them as Keith Kelly relates in the NY Post:
Jayson Blair is getting back into the journalism game already.

The disgraced former New York Times reporter has landed two plum assignments, one from Esquire and another from Jane.

He'll be reviewing the new Stephen Glass movie for Esquire and writing about workplace pressures for Jane.
I can see it now - "Oooooo! The pressure was so intense I made up about a hundred stories!" Nice to see that the folks at Esquire and Jane run high class operations and don't try to bring in the readers with mere freak shows. How long before they start featuring Bat Boy?

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Today's Hoot!
From the latest Bleat:
After Prager came one of the more amusing, and painful, interviews I’ve ever heard. Medved interviewed the actor Eric Roberts, he of Star 80 fame. Apparently Mr. Roberts had issued some political manifesto; apparently Medved had treated it with less than boundless respect; apparently Roberts fired back an email to Medved that contained many provocative contentions. The only one I heard was this: Republican budget cuts were responsible for that old man who plowed his car into the Santa Monica farmer’s market.

As I understood Mr. Robert’s explanation, we spend too much money on the military, which is “killing people all over the world,” and not enough on programs that would drive seniors to the grocery store or the doctor. Medved - who sounded as though he was doing the interview with a big, silly, incredulous grin - asked what that had to do with the old man, who was well-off and had no need of any such program. Roberts - by then desperately out of his league - insisted that the lack of such a program to stop seniors from driving when they were past the age of 77 and provide state-funded chauffeurs was “a crime against humanity.” I am not making this up, as a certain fellow says.

Then came the break. I thought: does Eric Roberts realize that he can just hang up the phone? Sometimes it’s best just to realize that you are being disemboweled, and give up. What’s the worst the show can do - call you back with that extra-angry ring? don’t answer. Take the dog for a walk. Have a smoke.

Back from the break. Medved asks a question about these budget cuts, and to everyone’s surprise he’s answered by a female voice. It’s Eric Roberts’ wife. He couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t want to be “soundbited.” So he gives the phone to his wife and says you do it. The entire nation gets the image of Eric Roberts in the next room curled up in a beanbag talking to Mr. Teddy.
That's mostly how I think of Eric Roberts anyhow. Oh yeah, Eric is backing Ku Ku in the Democrat presidential scrum.

Which reminds me, did you know Kucinich was a ventriloquist? Sheesh, he looks more like the puppet!
Here's a laugh

Another Greek hustler
The present budget crisis and partisan gridlock make a progressive champion necessary.

The likely rules governing a California recall make a progressive victory possible.

And Arianna Huffington's courage and wit would make her candidacy irresistible!
They're coming out of the woodwork! I foresee hijinks ahead!

As for Arianna, it's like voting for a Gabor without the brains or looks.
There's a new contender!
(Via Tim Blair's Love you Myong time) There's been a shortage of fresh international wingnuttery lately. I mean, how many times can you observe that Bobby Mugabe is a delusional asshat? So it's quite a relief that North Korean apologist Kim Myong-Chol floated to the top of the bowl. Exultate Justi has the skinny:
It's time once again for a briefing on the world of Everyone's Favorite Crack-Smokin' Commie, Kim Myong-Chol!

Kim Myong-Chol is the author of such insightful essays as N. Korea Makes Public Threat to Blow Up US Mainland, N. Korea Ready to Take Their Bloody Revenge on the Americans, and, let's not forget that literary classic, US Will End Up In Shotgun Marriage With DPRK. In the "Shotgun Marriage" piece, Kim Myong includes the following dazzler of a statement:
Most Americans deny that they are in love with the North Korean regime of Kim Jong Il. However, sooner or later Uncle Sam will find himself left with no other option than to accept a shot-gun marriage with the North Korean girl and eventually desert his long-standing South Korean mistress. Once married, the American man will be totally fascinated by the feudalisticly loyal, sexy North Korean wife. No additional extramarital relationships will be tolerated.
Wow. I mean, The rest of the piece is similarly fascinating and, um, challenging.
Woohoo! As the kids say these days, he seems to have issues. Or as Tim Blair opines, "Not even a holiday fling with Cuba? Jeez ...".

Much more by visiting Exaltuate Justi, including some steaming hot links. And it's interesting how most recent stories of NKOR wackiness seem to lead back to this doof.
The inmates really are in charge!
(Via the Gweilo) Over in the UK, they were worried about letting farmer Tony Martin out of jail because he might pose a danger to burglars. Now we find out that Criminals Could Avoid Court by Saying Sorry:
Criminals could avoid being taken to court if they agree to apologize personally to their victims, under plans outlined by the UK government Tuesday.

The proposals -- dubbed "restorative justice" -- could see offenders held to account by their victims, in some cases by-passing the court system, Home Secretary David Blunkett said.

"Supporting victims and witnesses better is not just about what happens in the courtroom, it is also about the impact that crime has on their lives," he added in a statement.

"Being a victim of crime can be a harrowing and traumatic experience...Restorative justice means victims can get an apology from their offender.
"I'm sorry, guv" (But not as sorry as you're going to be when they let me off after this drivel.)
"It (also) provides the victim with an explanation of why the crime was committed."
"I needed a pack of smokes and bashing you on the head and grabbing your purse seemed like the thing to do." (I could use a cigarette right now.)
The scheme brings victims and offenders into contact, either face-to-face or through a mediator. As well as helping victims, restorative justice "forces offenders to understand the damaging effect their crimes have on their victims," the spokesman said.
"Would you prefer to meet your mugger face-to-face or with a social worker? Sorry, but Tony Martin and members of the SAS are not social workers."
As well as helping victims, restorative justice "forces offenders to understand the damaging effect their crimes have on their victims," the spokesman said.
"Next time you'll just give up the loot before I ask, won't you?"
The Chief Executive of charity Victim Support, Dame Helen Reeves, said the strategy was good news for victims of crime.
I'm sure they're just jumping up and down with glee.
"This strategy brings the promise of statutory rights for victims...which should bring substantial benefits for people whose needs have too often been overlooked in the past," she said.
Better check the chicken entrails for more auguries, Helen. This one's a little blurry.
And speaking of the Athens Olympics, here are some travel tips
From AndyRG at
Be careful!

We seem to have a confuse about the green and the red colour... When you see the green traffic light for the pedestrians, that doesn't mean that you can walk immediately to the other side! What a claim you have! The drivers almost never respect the right of way, which belongs to the pedestrians. So, look very carefully at any direction before your next step...


There are innumerable demonstrations all the time at the centre of Athens, against... everything (many strikes through the year too). Even a few persons who protest are able to make the traffic tangle more chaotic (if it isn't already the worst it can be...)

Sexually transmitted disease

After the collapse of communism in eastern european countries (since 1990 and so on), many women from these countries were forced to be prostitutes in Athens too...

Their exact number is difficult to be counted, but it is considered to be enough thousands of them. Almost none of these women has a lisence for this job and you can't be sure about the right conditions of hygiene...
Woohoo! Let the games begin!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Tempest in a teapot alert!
The BBC astounds with Anger over Greek Olympic brothels.
Gender equality ministers from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania issued a joint statement expressing their "abhorrence" at an alleged request by Athens City Council to boost permits for brothels to meet demand during the Games.
Hey, the host country gets to include some local sports! And "Gender Equality Minister"? One hesitates to ask.

And while you're there, catch the "mascots" for the games:

Welcome to the planet Nimnull!

Where's that guy who hits mascots with a bat?
No prostate cancer worries for The Bloviator!
Alec Baldwin wants you to "Meet Your Meat." Hmm, I guess it's a suggestion to keep the audience awake during one of his films.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

It's a boohoofest for the Hussein tykes! And all the usual suspects are showing up.

Spotted on FR: Bill Press (MSNBC) refers to their demise as murder, but then corrects himself.

Also on FR: Guy Raz (NPR)
said that despite the "killing of Uday and Qusay" by American military forces in Mosul, "their deaths are a hollow victory." He went on to list how the US-led forces have not found their father, failed to bring order and basic human needs to the Iraqi people etc.
Paul Begala (CNN) says President Bush is gloating over their demise.

Howard Dean (Moonbat):
Presidential candidate Howard Dean, a staunch opponent of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, shrugged off the deaths of Saddam Hussein's two sons Tuesday, saying "the ends do not justify the means."
Presumably Howie would have made them stand in the corner, but only in a peaceful, non-threatening way.

Stay tuned for more!
Tomorrow's headlines today!
A Free Republic poster, Texas Federalist, is predicting how the usual suspects will react:
New York Times:



LA Times:

Weekly World News:
What was Bat Boy doing in Iraq?
Hey, where are all the virgins? And who set the thermostat so high?
A Press Release from US Central Command:
July 22, 2003
Release Number: 03-07-68



Statement from US Central Command:

On Tuesday, July 22, forces associated with the 101st Airborne Division and Special Operations Forces conducted an operation against suspected regime figures at a residence in Mosul, Iraq. The site is currently being exploited. Four Iraqis were killed in the operation. We have confirmed that two of the dead were Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay.
It's very good news, but you know who will have a big sad on. Stand by for the whine about "due process".
Talking Hairdo Alert!
NY Post reader Stan Strauss notices something odd about Peter Jennings coverage of Tony Blair's speech to Congress - Why is Jennings Rooting Aginst U.S. Troops?
Tony Blair's speech to the Congress was as inspiring as it was encouraging. You'd never know it to listen to ABC News' Peter Jennings ("Jennings' War," Opinion, William F. Buckley Jr., July 21).

Instead of focusing on the speech and how well it was received, Jennings went right to clips of past Parliament sessions during which Blair was assailed as a "liar."

The newscast then showed man-on-the-street "interviews" of Brits denouncing Blair for England's role in Iraq. Not one supporting voice was heard.

Even when reporting on our presence in Iraq, ABC News seems to take special pains to collect negative news and air it daily: disgruntled troops whining to "go home"; vehicular accidents; a bloodied soldier, accidentally shot in the arm, receiving medical treatment; Iraqi civilians decrying our presence; water and sewage problems.

Why Jennings ever chose to become an American citizen is as mystifying as the "why" behind the editorializing that permeates this segment of "World News Tonight's" news reports.
It's not mystifying at all, Stan. To be a newsreader on a major US broadcast network, you have to prove your leftoid bias every day. Dan Ratherbiased and Petey tend to take the cake, but there is even a boomlet by the usual suspects to get Tom Brokaw to run for President. As a Democrat, natch. Of course for all time leftoid winguttery, there is always Crazy Uncle Wally.

Monday, July 21, 2003

It had to happen!
Alcoholics to sue drink makers:
GLASGOW, Scotland, July 20 (UPI) -- A dozen alcoholics ranging in age from 18 to 60 are going to sue drink makers for not warning them about the dangers of alcohol.

The suit will be filed in Edinburgh next month, marking the first case of its kind in Britain, The Sunday Times reported.

In the suit, the plaintiffs will argue addiction to alcohol has ruined their lives and the alcohol industry failed to warn them of the risks involved in drinking, the newspaper said.

Attorneys representing the group said they will employ tactics used by attorneys representing cancer victims in suits against tobacco companies in the United States.
The only surprise is that it is in the UK and not the USA.
The Party of Sabotage
David Horowitz in Front Page Magazine:
From September to March, the Democratic Party played the classic role of appeasers, seeking every excuse possible not to call Saddam Hussein's bluff or call him to account for his defiance of international agreements. This was no different from the role Neville Chamberlain carved out in the 1930s as Hitler defied one international arms control agreement after another on his march to war. Their appeasement threatened to undermine the international security order, and would have done so if George Bush had buckled to their pressures.
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has followed suit in its own timid way, shedding the mantle of appeasement to become the party of sabotage. Not a day has gone by since American forces liberated Iraq that Democrats have not attempted to undermine the leadership that brought about the victory. The greatest triumph of American policy since the end of the Cold War has become the unending target of Democratic snipers -- among them all its presidential nominees and its chief congressional spokesmen .
It is a national tragedy that in this hour of national crisis the Democratic Party does not have a single statesman who might follow the example of Tony Blair and stand up to the saboteurs and speak out for a bi-partisan front against those who have sworn to destroy us. That Democrats are not rallying around the President in its efforts to carry on the work of peace is an unforgiveable betrayal.

This is the final destructive legacy of the narcissistic and feckless leadership of Carter, Clinton and Gore. It is they who set the bad example in the first place. And it is they who have never really shed the McGovern delusion that in the final analysis America is the root cause of all the root causes that inspire our enemies to attack us.
There ought to be a proper scientific name for the delusion that everything is always your countrymen's fault. Besides asshat.
Caught with their pants down
Tom Baldwin in the UK Times - Statement shows BBC may have 'sexed up' its coverage:
The BBC yesterday ended an epic 52-day pretence about its source for claims that Downing Street deliberately deceived the British people by “sexing up” a dossier on Iraq to strengthen the case for war.

But it is now the BBC that appears to have deliberately deceived viewers, listeners, its Board of Governors and Parliament about the origins of this extraordinary battle with the Government.

The apparent suicide of David Kelly has changed the rules of engagement. By confirming that the Ministry of Defence adviser was the source, the BBC yesterday laid itself open to charges that it had “sexed up” the allegations.

Andrew Gilligan, the BBC defence correspondent who met Dr Kelly at the Charing Cross Hotel, first broadcast the allegations on Radio 4’s Today programme on May 29. He described his source as “one of the senior officials in charge of drawing up the dossier” about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. But Dr Kelly was not one of the senior officials in charge of last September’s dossier. After helping to draft a background section on UN weapons inspections in May or June last year, he had nothing more to do with it.
So when's a reporter going to ask the BBC honchos if they have "blood on their hands"?

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Today's hoot!
(Via FR) If you are unfamiliar with, it is a vastly popular discussion forum for geeks. While the techno content sometimes gets a tad obscure, they often have items of general interest. Anyhow, on Friday they had a post on a Russian guy who built his own "Gauss Gun". Amongst the usual chatter, a gun rights debate soon developed, in the course of which poster pi_rules delivered the following riposte:
I wish all you gun-toting fucktards would just go create your own nation

We did. Who the hell let you in here?
And speaking of Canada
Paul Stanway observes in the Edmonton Sun that Kazemi's death felt in Tehran, not Ottawa:
Of all the questions raised by the death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in Iran, not least is the practical one of how far Ottawa ought to go in demanding a thorough investigation and punishment of any wrongdoing? What does Canada owe a 10-year resident with dual nationality?
Not much apparently.
Legally, Canada's obligations to Kazemi are no different than for a second-, third- or fourth-generation Canadian. Ottawa is obliged to do everything it can to establish the facts surrounding her death and to demand that any wrongdoing is punished. Morally, too, it seems to me that Kazemi and her son deserve no less. There is no suggestion that her Canadian citizenship was a "flag of convenience." She had lived in Montreal for a decade and had been a citizen since the mid-'90s.

But the possibility of divided loyalty, not surprisingly, makes people uneasy. I also have two passports, Canadian and British, and when I became a Canadian (a very long time ago) several friends and relatives wondered why I didn't renounce my British citizenship - although there is no easy way to do that.
As a foreign correspondent in the Middle East a dozen years ago, I learned to rely on my British passport more than the Canadian. It offered better theoretical and practical protection.

I quickly found that Britain had a reputation for making a fuss in defence of its citizens. Canadian diplomats were friendly and helpful, but not inclined to make waves.
How nice.
Just another puppeteer fighting for justice!
David Crary at the AP amuses with Discontent Americans Consider Canada:
For all they share economically and culturally, Canada and the United States are increasingly at odds on basic social policies — to the point that at least a few discontented Americans are planning to move north and try their neighbors' way of life.
Ok, I'll bite - tell me more!
"For me, it's a no-brainer," said Mollie Ingebrand, a puppeteer from Minneapolis who plans to go to Vancouver with her lawyer husband and 2-year-old son.

"It's the most amazing opportunity I can imagine. To live in a society where there are different priorities in caring for your fellow citizens."
Good thing for Mollie it's a "no-brainer".
Conversely, Mollie Ingebrand says some of her friends — people who share her left-of-center views — argue that she should stay at home to battle for changes here.

"I've been there and done that," Molly [sic] said. "I don't want to stay and fight anymore. I can have that bittersweet love for my country from somewhere else."
I just hope she can get some mimes to go with her! Not to mention the horde of illegal aliens.

Check out the full article for the details of the other would-be emigrants. The NYC "executive" worried about his boyfriend here on a student visa is cool too.

Uh Oh!
Kevin Poulsen reports on the Kinko's Keystroke Caper:
If you used a computer at a Kinko's in New York City last year, or the year before, there's a good chance that JuJu Jiang was watching.

The 25-year-old Queens resident pleaded guilty in federal court in New York last week to two counts of computer fraud and one charge of unauthorized possession of access codes for a scheme in which he planted a copy of the commercial keyboard sniffing program Invisible KeyLogger Stealth on computers at thirteen Kinko's stores sprinkled around Manhattan.

For nearly two years ending last December, Jiang's makeshift surveillance net raked in over 450 online banking passwords and user names from hapless Kinko's customers, according to the plea. He would use victims' financial information to open new accounts under their names, and then siphon money from their legitimate accounts into the new, fraudulent ones.

According to court records, the caper began unraveling last October, when Jiang had the bad luck to use a stolen GoToMyPC account to remotely control a victim's home computer while the victim was sitting in front of it. The victim, unnamed in court filings, watched as the PC's cursor began moving of its own accord, riffling through files, opening a browser window, and then establishing an account with online money transfer site under the victim's name. The victim had logged into the machine through GoToMyPC from a Kinko's on Seventh Avenue a few days earlier.
That would make you a tad suspicious.
The Real Iraq
Amir Taheri writes from Baghdad:
'THE Iraqi Intifada!" This is the cover story offered by Al- Watan Al-Arabi, a pro-Saddam Hussein weekly published in Paris. It finds an echo in the latest issue of America's Time magazine, which paints a bleak prospect for the newly liberated country. The daily Al Quds, another pro-Saddam paper, quotes from The Washington Post in support of its claim that "a popular war of resistance" is growing in Iraq. Some newspapers in the United States, Britain and "old Europe" go further by claiming that Iraq has become a "quagmire" or "another Vietnam." The Parisian daily Le Monde prefers the term "engrenage," which is both more chic and French.

This chorus wants us to believe that most Iraqis regret the ancien regime, and are ready to kill and die to expel their liberators.

Sorry, guys, this is not the case.
But the Saddamites and the Western press peanut gallery can dream, can't they?
Neither the wishful thinking of part of the Arab media, long in the pay of Saddam, nor the visceral dislike of part of the Western media for George W. Bush and Tony Blair changes the facts on the ground in Iraq.

ONE fact is that a visitor to Iraq these days never finds anyone who wants Saddam back.

There are many complaints, mostly in Baghdad, about lack of security and power cuts. There is anxiety about the future at a time that middle-class unemployment is estimated at 40 percent. Iraqis also wonder why it is that the coalition does not communicate with them more effectively. That does not mean that there is popular support for violent action against the coalition.

Another fact is that the violence we have witnessed, especially against American troops, in the past six weeks is limited to less than 1 percent of the Iraqi territory, in the so-called "Sunni Triangle," which includes parts of Baghdad.
And it's time to go through the Sunni Triangle with a fine tooth comb.
Elsewhere, the coalition presence is either accepted as a fact of life or welcomed. On the 4th of July some shops and private homes in various parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish areas and cities in the Shiite heartland, put up the star-spangled flag as a show of gratitude to the United States.

"We see our liberation as the start of a friendship with the U.S. and the U.K. that should last a thousand years," says Khalid Kishtaini, one of Iraq's leading novelists. "The U.S. and the U.K. showed that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Nothing can change that."

In the early days of the liberation, some mosque preachers tested the waters by speaking against "occupation." They soon realized that their congregations had a different idea. Today, the main theme in sermons at the mosques is about a partnership between the Iraqi people and the coalition to rebuild the war-shattered country and put it on the path of democracy.

Even the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr now says that "some good" could come out of the coalition's presence in Iraq. "The coalition must help us stabilize the situation," he says. "The healing period that we need would not be possible if we are suddenly left alone."
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