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Current Topic: Current Events

Informed Comment
Topic: Current Events 2:12 pm EST, Jan 21, 2005

The first thing sworn to during a (US) Presidential inauguration is to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This page has linked pictures to the particular interpretations of said Constitution during the first term of Dubya.


Informed Comment

Tsunami Relief
Topic: Current Events 1:24 pm EST, Dec 31, 2004

If you do not recommend this link, you are a jerk!

How could you fail to promote such a worthy cause when it only takes two clicks of your mouse? Don't be a jerk.

Once you have recommended this link, if you do not actually donate some money, you are a jerk.

How could you advocate that other people donate money when you haven't the spine for it yourself?

Don't be a jerk!

Lets put it this way... Did you donate money or time or blood after 9-11? This tragedy impacted far, far more people. Furthermore, this is South East Asia, not NYC. These people don't have effective relief infrastructure, and they don't have big life insurance plans... If the victims of 9-11 deserve your compassion, and they do, then the victims of this Tsunami do as well, and in fact they are even more in need of your help.

Don't be a jerk. Click Recommend.

Tsunami Relief

Lumps of Coal for the RIAA and MPAA
Topic: Current Events 2:32 pm EST, Dec 17, 2004

Ho, ho, ho!!! That's right, it's the time of year when good little boys and girls get presents from Santa in their stockings and bad little boys and girls get lumps of coal. For every $100 donated to EFF, Public Knowledge and IPac in December, Downhill Battle will send one lump of coal to the RIAA and MPAA.

Makes me want to take up a collection at the office, it warms my heart so.

Lumps of Coal for the RIAA and MPAA

Revolt in the ranks in Iraq
Topic: Current Events 11:46 am EDT, Oct 16, 2004

] According to family members, the convoy was being asked
] to go much farther than usual from its southern base --
] on a more than 200-mile trip through and around the
] extremely hostile Baghdad area. The tankers lacked
] bullet-resistant armor and, lumbering along at 40 miles
] an hour, would have made an easy target for insurgents
] lobbing bombs or grenades. The supply trucks are in
] disrepair and prone to breakdown. Many of the soldiers
] hadn't had enough sleep. And %u2013 astonishingly -- no
] armed escort or air protection was to be provided, the
] family members said.
] Most absurdly, though, the jet fuel that these members of
] the 343rd Quartermaster Company were risking life and
] limb to transport wasn't even usable. It was contaminated
] with diesel and had already sensibly been rejected by one
] base and would undoubtedly be rejected again in Taji --
] if the convoy managed to make it to its destination at
] all.

An interesting read and certainly there should be more investigation into the matter, but I don't know how much is hype versus how much is swept under the rug. CNN had a headline about this the other day as well, but I just heard it in the background while working around the house. I'm sure we'll see more about this story next week.

Revolt in the ranks in Iraq

RE: - 'Rape of Nanjing' comic draws ire - Oct 14, 2004
Topic: Current Events 9:23 am EDT, Oct 14, 2004

Jello wrote:
] ] TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- A Japanese publisher will
] ] suspend a comic series in its popular weekly magazine
] ] after receiving angry protests over its characterization
] ] of the 1937 "Rape of Nanjing," in which Japanese soldiers
] ] brutally massacred Chinese civilians.

This has been an area that just slipped by the history books. I had never heard of the Rape of Nanjing in high school history classes. It didn't come up in college during my World History 1500-Present class, either. I first learned about this issue when an idiotic hotel manager and tour company owner booked 200-300 Japanese men on a trip to Nanjing for a weekend of prostitution... on the anniversary weekend of the Rape of Nanjing. The organizers were sentenced to life in prison for pandering and promotion of prostitution. This is in China, where prostitution laws are never enforced - hence the popularity of Karaoke bars. I then read several books on the subject and the photographs printed from Japanese newspapers are compelling enough to convince one that it happened. Two Japanese officers had a beheading competition during the week of siege on Nanjing (the former capitol city of China, for those who don't know the significance) that the Japanese newspapers kept running numbers on, along with pictures of the beheadings.

Anyway, I think it's good that a comic/manga publisher IN JAPAN finally wanted to educate people about their past. It's ridiculous that the local politicians still want to keep it under the rug and claim that it never happened.


RE: - 'Rape of Nanjing' comic draws ire - Oct 14, 2004

Arabic-style writing prompts flight cancellation - Sep 21, 2004
Topic: Current Events 11:12 am EDT, Sep 21, 2004

Midwest Airlines canceled a flight ready to take off for San Francisco after a passenger found Arabic-style handwriting in the company's in-flight magazine and alerted the crew.


How silly can you get? Next thing you know, the Women's Wall Street Journal will be running a 12 part series on how there was a secret concerted effort to throw away some McDonald's bags and assemble a bomb in the lavatory.

Arabic-style writing prompts flight cancellation - Sep 21, 2004

George W. Bush's missing year
Topic: Current Events 9:15 am EDT, Sep  2, 2004

] Before there was Karl Rove, Lee Atwater or even James
] Baker, the Bush family's political guru was a gregarious
] newspaper owner and campaign consultant from Midland,
] Texas, named Jimmy Allison. In the spring of 1972, George
] H.W. Bush phoned his friend and asked a favor: Could
] Allison find a place on the Senate campaign he was
] managing in Alabama for his troublesome eldest son, the
] 25-year-old George W. Bush?
] "The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot
] of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing
] the family, and they just really wanted to get him out of
] Houston and under Jimmy's wing," Allison's widow, Linda,
] told me. "And Jimmy said, 'Sure.' He was so loyal."
] Linda Allison's story, never before published,
] contradicts the Bush campaign's assertion that George W.
] Bush transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the
] Alabama National Guard in 1972 because he received an
] irresistible offer to gain high-level experience on the
] campaign of Bush family friend Winton "Red" Blount. In
] fact, according to what Allison says her late husband
] told her, the younger Bush had become a political
] liability for his father, who was then the United States
] ambassador to the United Nations, and the family wanted
] him out of Texas. "I think they wanted someone they
] trusted to keep an eye on him," Linda Allison said.

A very interesting read but I don't know that those who are polarized for Bush will pay much attention. The crap that the Swift Boat Veterans pulled on Kerry had its effect but for some reason Bush has been able to remain teflon coated when it comes to his National Guard issues. This interview, plus the upcoming "60 Minutes" interview on Wednesday with the former Lt. Governor of Texas that admits he pulled strings to get Dubya in the Guard will probably just work to make more anti-Bush people to actually vote. If it works, great.

George W. Bush's missing year

PhreakNIC Speakers Have to Confirm their Timeslots
Topic: Current Events 8:42 pm EDT, Aug 28, 2004

In an unprecedented move, Dolemite is trying to actually be organized about PhreakNIC. Since some people pay more attention to memes than e-mail *cough* [DECIUS] *cough* I thought I'd put up a meme. If you've been told by me that you're getting a slot for speaking at PhreakNIC, you've gotten an email from me recently. This email has the schedule with your timeslot listed. Make sure it works for you and email me back so that I can know you're cool with that time.



Horrible Irony - Careful what you name your children
Topic: Current Events 8:35 am EDT, Jul 15, 2004

This is a horrible story to hear, but the irony in the naming of the girl involved is something I just had to point out. Make sure you never name your children after tragic plays.

A man doused his girlfriend and three small children with gasoline inside a car and set them on fire early Wednesday as he drove, authorities said. All five died after the car crashed in flames.

Residents reported hearing the crash and seeing two adults engulfed in flames, stumbling across a road near Bonny Lake, a small town east of Tacoma.

Antigone Monique Allen, 18, who had recently filed an assault complaint against the 24-year-old man, survived for about nine hours at a Seattle hospital, sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer said. She managed to tell investigators what happened before she died.

Horrible Irony - Careful what you name your children

Koran rewrite upsets PM
Topic: Current Events 9:37 pm EDT, Jun  5, 2004

Free registration required and all that jazz...

Islamic religious leaders from the Middle East will be invited by the National Security Council to join Thai Muslim religious leaders in scrutinising the Koran for correctness, after a new version turned up including distorted teachings.

Mr Thaksin said he had read the new version of the Koran, which had been translated from the Arabic language into Thai.

Deputy Prime Minister Wan Muhamad Nor Matha gave him a copy. It contained distorted religious teachings.

``It's an adapted version of the Koran being used to deceive Muslims. The one I read is the translated Thai version. The Yawi version has much more violent content.

``Those reading it for seven days in a row could go crazy because it is completely distorted,'' Mr Thaksin said.

The book, written in the Malayu language by Klualatikhor Danohmaeroh, was brought from Kotabaru in the northern state of Kelantan, Malaysia, by Islamic extremists who wanted to use the twisted teachings to indoctrinate local Muslim youths and raise tension and violence in the South.

Chapter 1 of the book encourages ``jihad warriors'' to fight for their religion and Allah for the glory of Pattani state and to form troops to fight ``those outside the religion'', while Chapter 3 tells the warriors to kill all opponents _ even their own parents _ and to sacrifice their lives to be in heaven with Allah.

Chapter 5 alerts the warriors to go to war to seize Pattani state back from religious renegades, and to die for their religion.

Chapter 7 quotes Chapter 123 of the Koran as saying that: ``You must kill all of them, those outside the religion around you, so they will know you, who have faith, are strong as well.''

Not really an issue that many of us in the US have heard about - at least not in the circles that I congregate in. This was the primary reason for the Protestant movement within Christianity. It was the basis behind King James calling for an English translation of The Bible.

The Koran states that it must always be in Arabic. It dictates that the prayer meetings are held in Arabic as well. The logic behind it is that it will ensure correctness, but that would only be the case if the entire world spoke Arabic. Even if one were to learn Arabic as a second language, interpretations will vary from one person to the next, depending on their native language. It seems that the politically slanted factions of Islam are taking advantage of the fact that there's no "Universal Translation Authority" (akin to the Council of Nicaea for determining the contents of The Bible) and playing televangelist. Sure, there are English translations of The Koran, along with many other languages, but there is no central authority for Islam that certifies them for correctness - most likely due to the "Arabic Only" dictate within it.

This brings up a completely different struggle - do you remain true to the original teachings and ignore the need for correct translations or do you "become progressive" and create a certifying authority? Obviously I'm opening a can of worms with this debate.


Koran rewrite upsets PM

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