July 30th, 2007

Ted’s home

Ted , house, who paid

Net seems to be closing.

Neighbors said agents showed up between 11 a.m. and noon, and a commercial locksmith was called to open the front door. The agents were still there at 8:30 p.m. Stevens, 83, has long been the most powerful political figure in Alaska, and a major force in Congress. A swarm of federal agents serving a search warrant at his home is unprecedented in Alaska politics, and represents the latest chapter in the corruption investigation that burst into view last August when agents raided the offices of state legislators, the oil field services company Veco and others.

Edit by GreatGrey.

Man, I’ve been over whelmed by what to say about this.

It’s come from the right tards who wanna open up Ted Kennedy’s house to the same scruitny, and the leftys (Yea!) who wanna get more dirt.

What it comes down to is this: This is just the start of the Ted Stevens’ problems, this is only over his house rebuild. The really good news is gonna come from when they finally get to looking at how Ted and Ben set the chess board on the Alaska Fisheries board.

That’s where the millions are, not this dinky couple of hundred thousand dollar deal.

The best part of this has been listening to how Right Wing radio has totally imploded. They knew this was coming, but they looked the other way. Now, they are in total condemnatin mode, “this is not right”…

Eat sticks Dan Fagan.

July 29th, 2007

ADN: are you getting what you pay for?

Anchorage Daily News
Sunday, 2007 July 29

Paper as delivered: 950 grams

Advertising inserts and supplements: 620 grams (65% of total weight)
All other sections: 330 grams (35% of total weight)

Weight by section:

- Front “A section:” 47 grams (5%)
- Alaska “B section:” 30 grams (3%)
- Outdoors & Travel, “K Section:” 21 grams (2%)
- Sports “C section:” 48 grams (5%)
- Ideas & Opinion “J section:” 21 grams (2%)
- Money “H section:” 24 grams (3%)
- Life & Arts “G section:” 30 grams (3%)
- TV News: 50 grams (5%)
- Parade sup: 24 grams (3%)
- Sunday comics: 22 grams (3%)

P.S. 454 grams = 1 pound

July 28th, 2007

The thief and the driver

David sent me this link

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – A woman who fatally crushed a teenager with her car after he snatched her purse will be prosecuted, authorities said Friday.

The early 2005 incident assumed national importance and inflamed tensions with the country’s Moroccan community. The 19-year-old man came from a Moroccan family and the filmmaker Theo van Gogh had been murdered by a Muslim radical just two months earlier.

Some sympathized with the driver, believing she justifiably chased the thief and killed him accidentally. But many in Amsterdam’s Moroccan community said the incident reflected Dutch disdain for them.

The story had many complexities, including the youth’s criminal background and the driver’s record of reckless driving.

The woman, identified as Germaine C., 45, was in her car when the teenager, identified as Ali el Bejjati, grabbed her purse from the back seat and then hopped on a scooter driven by a friend, prosecutors said Friday.

The woman chased them with her car in reverse and hit the scooter, pinning the thief against a tree. He died on the spot. His accomplice fled on foot.

The woman was arrested, interrogated and released several days later.

The prosecution said in a statement that formal charges would be filed later, adding they could range from vehicular homicide to reckless driving.

The national broadcaster, NOS news, reported that the woman had told police she wanted only to “bump” the scooter. It also reported she had previously been cited for driving in reverse on a freeway.

El Bejjati had been convicted before of purse theft and was awaiting trial on armed robbery charges when he died.

The article is pretty on the spot, but for US readers a few things might blur the issue at hand.

  • What is NOT stated, is that the family of the young man pressured the plaintiff A LOT to go ahead and charge the woman. Lots of publicity, lots of “racial” thrown in etc (car robberies like happen a lot and ARE often the work of Moroccan youngsters);
  • A “chase in reverse” is probably not the right wording. I saw a map of the scene. What happened was she was at a stop sign, the guy grabbed her purse from the right seat and fled. She reversed, but the crash happened less than 50 yards from the robbery, it was nothing like a high speed chase or something.
  • One thing to understand which is WAY different than in the States. As far as I understand, in the US you have the right, no, are even morally obliged to protect your property and family, if needed with force. Here and in most European countries, the state has what is called “violence-monopoly”. If you bust a burglar in your house and kill or injure him (instead of waiting for the police), chances are fair you’ll end up in custody much longer than the burglar would have been. I have heard there has been a court case in the US where when a car hijacker was shot and killed by the driver, the driver walked away as the hijacker entered his private property. Won’t go here, ever.

So, this woman is probably in a worser case than she would have been in the US. As a note, I probably would have done the same and claimed temporary insanity.

Added Dec 2007: In an unusual move, the defense formally objected the case being brought forward,  as the chance of conviction was next to nothing. That objection has been disregarded by the court and now, 3 years after the event, Germaine C. will have to go to trial. If she is convicted, it will be best case (for her) for what is called here “death by guilt”, maximum sentence 3 years in prison, worst case maximum 15 years if she convicted of willfully chasing and killing the guy. To be continued.

July 28th, 2007

The untamed world

Absolutely stunning. I want the book.


July 27th, 2007

The free hugs campaign

Now of course when this whole thing started, he was banned by the police.

Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.

So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words “Free Hugs” on both sides.

July 26th, 2007

The gum

We have all seen the scientific commercials, either seriously tried, or rather comical weird professor style. This website is the best I have even seen in the latter category. Very British, hilarious. The flavorization chamber:


Thanks Jondo.

July 26th, 2007

The oil on the ice

Told you about miro the other day. In one of my channels, called TERRA: The nature of our world, it started download the struggle between oil and nature in Alaska. You can play part 1 it here directly from their website but I recommend using miro and use this channel (shortcut: hit Ctrl-N and paste this string: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Terravideos )

Terra 333

July 25th, 2007

The brits in Iraq

Fair use excerpt from the Guardian:

In what will be seen as an assertion of the importance of multilateralism in Mr Brown’s foreign policy, Mr Alexander said: “In the 20th century a country’s might was too often measured in what they could destroy. In the 21st century strength should be measured by what we can build together. And so we must form new alliances, based on common values, ones not just to protect us from the world, but ones which reach out to the world.” He described this as “a new alliance of opportunity”.

He added: “We need to demonstrate by our deeds, words and our actions that we are internationalist, not isolationist, multilateralist, not unilateralist, active and not passive, and driven by core values, consistently applied, not special interests.”

With some neocons in the Bush administration nervous at the direction of Mr Brown’s foreign policy, following the appointment of the former UN deputy secretary Lord Malloch-Brown as foreign minister, Mr Alexander went out of his way to underline the special relationship, but challenged the US and its partners “to recognise the importance of a rules based international system”.

Rumors are growing that even the Brits will leave, now that Blair is gone.

July 25th, 2007

The Danish army left Iraq

The small (400+ troups) Danish contribution to the “liberation” of Iraq has withdrawn, taking around 250 Iraqi’s with them, being translators and their family member, out of fear they would be targeted after they had left. The Iraqi’s will have asylum status in Denmark.

July 25th, 2007