16 July 2004

Don't ask for poisoned fruit


Iraq ’s interim prime minister has issued a plea for help from countries with large Muslim populations, after a bloody spate of suicide bombings, hostage-takings and beheadings in Iraq rocked the U.S.-led coalition.

Yeah, I’m sure the Ummah will help Iraq just as much as they’ve helped the Palestinians.

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Last one out is a rotten Arafat!


Two top Palestinian security chiefs resigned Friday after a series of kidnappings of security officers and French civilians in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said.

A bit more evidence for the “PA is collapsing” theory.

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Palestinians decide they can, in fact, have too many friends


Masked Palestinian gunmen kidnapped three French civilians in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis Friday and were holding them hostage in a Red Crescent building, Palestinian witnesses and security officials said.

So, the Palestinians are threatening to kill the UN envoy to the Middle East even though the UN is an ardent backer of the Palestinians. Now they’re also kidnapping citizens of the country run by ‘Jacques “I’ve never met a dictator I didn’t want as a buddy” Chirac’:http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/nm/20040716/wl_nm/mideast_gaza_kidnapping_dc? Have the years of absolutely no accountability finally led the Palestinians to believe they can do absolutely anything without losing any support from their allies?

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The annual UN Human Development Report for the first time placed Ireland among the top 10 developed countries in an annual list based on each country’s average income, educational levels and life expectancy.

But a parallel finding, measuring the level of poverty in the world’s 17 most highly developed countries, placed Ireland second from the bottom - just above its primary economic role model, the United States.


The UN Poverty Index has consistently rated Ireland as having the highest percentage of poor people in Western Europe, some 15.3 per cent of the country’s 3.9 million residents. The United States came in at 15.8 per cent.

Of course, “poverty” is defined in a rather bizarre way:

Dan McLaughlin, chief economist at the Bank of Ireland, said he agrees with the government’s view that real poverty in Ireland today is at a historic low of around five per cent.

“I’ve never understood the poverty thing coming from the UN and other sources,” McLaughlin said. “They say poverty when they mean relative incomes, and, of course, the relative gap between the richest and poorest is growing. But by their logic, in a land where the average wage-earner is a millionaire, then somebody on 500,000 a year would supposedly be poor.”

On the other hand, if everyone was broke and living in caves, there’d be no poverty. Is that the UN’s plan?

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Free the north!

[source, source]

I have been in Canada for just two weeks and already I feel at home. I feel at home not because of the landscape or climate. Nor do I have any family here. But public policy in Canada reminds me of growing up under a communist regime in Hungary during the 1970s.

Maybe, if Canadians are lucky, they’ll be liberated through the rhetoric and actions of an American president as Hungary was.

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Running in to a burning house


Germany renewed its call for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council on Friday and dismissed a newspaper report that the United States was blocking its bid.

I say let them on. The UN is a decaying, dysfunctional organization. If Germany wants on a sinking ship why should we stop them?

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No escape


An American Airlines’ plane circling over Dallas yesterday was scheduled to play host to the first purpose-built system to handle air-to-ground [cell phone] calls using a standard mobile handset.


Rigging up the MD80 jet to take cellphone calls didn’t take much technological wizardry. It involved little more than a cell site crammed into a laptop computer, two or three antennas dotted around the passenger cabin and a link to the Globalstar satellite system to carry the calls back to earth.

I’ve been wondering why this wasn’t done before. I expect a rapid proliferation of this capability once it is available anywhere.

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So embarassing he has to do it in another country


The new U.N. envoy to Iraq said Wednesday he accepted the potentially dangerous job because of the challenge of helping the country complete its transition to democratic elections under a new constitution.

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, now Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, was at U.N. headquarters for meetings with senior officials after being chosen to replace Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was killed in last August’s bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

I guess it’s OK at long as he doesn’t try that “democracy” thing at home.

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