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July 31, 2003

Foday Sankoh dies

I mentioned last week that a large number of crazy murderers were dieing lately. Well, there's been another one. Sierra Leone's Foday Sankoh has joined Uday, Qusay & Idi Amin.

Foday Sankoh, the leader of a 10-year terror campaign in Sierra Leone, has died while waiting to be tried for war crimes.

It would seem that I'm going to have to rename July "psychopath-removal month". Maybe we could make it an annual event.

According to the BBC, Sankoh was responsible for some of the most atrocious actions during his leadership of the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone.

Foday Sankoh led a vicious rebel group whose fighters used machetes to hack off the hands, feet, lips and ears of Sierra Leone's civilians and raped thousands of girls and women.

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July 30, 2003

Animal cruelty exposed

A brumby with an untreated shoulder woundThe RSPCA has discovered hundreds of horses on Palm Island have endured torture and neglect at the hands of teenagers in the Aboriginal community on the North Queensland island. The Queensland State Government has reportedly said it refused to get involved and take action despite clear "photographic and anecdotal evidence" and has proposed an 'education program'. RSPCA inspectors are understandably angered by the government's inaction in removing the tortured and neglected animals.

Senior inspectors with decades of experience were reduced to tears at the plight of some animals on the most recent trip to the island three weeks ago.

Veteran inspector Mal Holland said: "This is the worst case on a mass scale of cruelty and neglect we have ever seen in this state and our hands are tied. It is heart-breaking.

"The only way those horses can be saved is if you get them off the island."

When the inspectors pressed the government for action they got little responce:

Mr Holland's frustrated colleagues say they are also battling apathetic and scared bureaucrats who cite "cultural sensitivity".

Continue reading Animal cruelty exposed...

Posted at 01:18 PM in the Australia dept.| Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

July 28, 2003

Challenging the Qur'an

If a German scholar is correct, then Islamic Terrorists have an interesting afterlife ahead of them. In reference to the verses in the Qur'an that talk about the "72 wide-eyed virgins the Qur'an promises to the departed faithful":

Arguing that today's version of the Qur'an has been mistranscribed from the original text, scholar Christoph Luxenberg (a pseudonym) says that what are described as "houris" with "swelling breasts" refer to nothing more than "white raisins" and "juicy fruits."

Posted at 02:36 PM in the Religion dept.| Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

ESV in RSS

If you understood the title of this post then you'll probably be part of the group of people interested in this, i.e. Christians interested in all things technical.

The webmaster of Good News Publishers, the publishers of the English Standard Version of the Bible, emailed me on Saturday to let me know that they now have an RSS feed for the ESV bible. There are two feeds. One is a 'Verse of the day' Feed and the other is a lookup feed.

More details on my techBlog

Posted at 11:12 AM in the Religion, Web/Tech dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

July 26, 2003

Scooby Hussein?

Bernard Slattery has discovered a disturbing connection (Via Free Rebublic) between those meddling kids & everyone's favourite ex-dictator:

If we are going to investigate Arabic names we must therefore use phonetic spellings. Saddam’s sons then become Koosay, Eebay, and Ooday.

Now if we translate those names from Pig Latin back into English we have Skoo Bee Doo. Is this a veiled reference to the cartoon dog from the 1970s, Scooby Doo? Can it be anything but that? Well consider this. Scooby Doo’s final year of first-run shows was 1977. It was also in 1977 that Saddam Hussein came to power in the ruling Baath Party. Coincidence? You decide.

No more Scooby Snacks for you Bernard, I think you've had enough :)

Posted at 11:12 AM in the Weblogs dept.| Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

July 25, 2003

Alternative view of the US military

There seems to be a very negative view that the international media give of the Iraq Occupation force, especially the US military. So it was refreshing to see this article in The Telegraph (UK), written by a journalist who has actually spent time with the GIs in Iraq rather then just repeating the assumed bias against the US.

Though the US Army lacks our regimental system, different American divisions vary greatly in culture and experience. The Third Infantry Division - the unit that reached Baghdad first and took the city in a feat of great boldness - has been kept in Iraq because its soldiers are clearly better than newcomers at the difficult task of winning hearts and minds in a newly conquered country.

You could see this in the way the tank commander, Captain Philip Wolford , broke the rules and walked around the area his company controlled, alone and bare-headed, chatting with the locals and organising food, medical care and even employment. I wish that more British reporters had gone into the streets with 3ID men such as Sgt Darren Swain, a no-nonsense soldier from Alabama who is loved in the Baghdad area his men call "Swainsville" because, off his own bat, he takes humvees out every morning to provide security at local schools.

(Hat tip JohninLondon (LGF comments))

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Defence argues that Staines attack could have been rivals

The Australian has reported that the defence team for Dara Singh and the other men who are accused of killing Australian Missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons in India in January 1999 have taken an interesting tactic to try and acquit them.

AN Australian missionary allegedly murdered by a mob in eastern India could have been killed by a rival pastor, a defence lawyer alleged today in his closing arguments.

There doesn't appear to have been any evidence given as to how this would be, it seems to be just an attempt by the defence to cast doubt on facts. There was also a suggestion that Rolia Soren and other Christians who were there on the night of the murder had not tried to help the Staines

"Those who had accompanied Mr Staines behaved in a peculiar manner ... they had made no attempt to save the missionary," he said.

This is despite eye-witness testimony that Rolia Soren and others tried to put out the fire on the car:

When he returned to the spot he found Rolia Soren, Nimai Hansda and Bayu Hembram trying to douse the flames by throwing buckets of water on the burning vehicles.

Continue reading Defence argues that Staines attack could have been rivals...

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July 23, 2003

New GG is derided by socialists

The New Governor General has finally had some dirt dug up about him. The Socialist Worker outlines it's criticism of Major-General Michael Jeffery

Jeffery was awarded the Victoria Cross for his role in killing Vietnamese freedom fighters. His citation boasts of "the heavy losses inflicted on the enemy" during his time there.

...

"I would strongly suggest that the re-introduction of religious studies into our schools could do much to augment the values component of the new school curricula."

...

He says the "ideal family...is the traditional one-mum, dad and the kids."

...

On drugs, he says, "If we decide to pump heroin into our veins we have to accept responsibility for the outcome."

Funny, there must be something wrong with me, they've just managed to outline why I like the guy. I seem to remember Tom Paine over at Silent Running predicting this earlier this year.

(Hat tip Tex at Whacking Day)

UPDATE: Silent Running has done a rather more sarcastic fisking of the ISO article.

Posted at 01:25 PM in the Australia dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's psychopath-removal week

First Idi Amin falls into a fatal coma, now Uday and Qusay Hussein have been killed in a gun battle in Iraq.

The sons of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein were killed by U.S. troops in the northern city of Mosul after a tipster betrayed their hideout, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq said Tuesday.

The bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein were identified from "multiple sources," Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told reporters in Baghdad. "The bodies are in a condition where you could identify them.

This news is sure to dishearten the resistance in Iraq as a lot of the problems still seem to stem from the fear that people there have that Hussein & his sons could come back. While the job isn't done yet, this is a big step forward. As John Howard said this morning

"It does take out of the picture two totally ruthless, cruel, despotic individuals, who were very much part of the apparatus of fear and torture and murder."

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July 22, 2003

Unexpected Revelation

Here's a headline no-one exepcted: "Saudi link to September 11"

The report contains new evidence suggesting that Omar al-Bayoumi, a key associate of two of the hijackers, Nawaq Alhazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, may have been a Saudi Government agent, sources told Newsweek.

Posted at 04:36 PM in the Not Australia dept.| Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"I wish the real world would just stop hassling me" - Rob Thomas