Archive for November, 2008

Something Stupid

And speaking of “something stupid”, apparently a South Wales couple are really unhappy about CNN allegedly giving their room number out over the air while they were trying to avoid getting slaughtered in Mumbai. Seems CNN is something that terrorists like to watch.

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Hurricane Season Ends, Fire Season Begins

Hurricane season brings us much-needed moisture, and my pastures have been mighty dry lately. My ryegrass isn’t growing in the dust, and I don’t want to spend $60 per week on hay!

There is supposed to be some rain coming our way later this morning if it doesn’t bypass us to the north. Anybody know the steps to a good rain dance? And would I get points for aerobic exercise for a rain dance?

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Mumbai Photographer Says Police Didn’t Shoot Back at Terrorists

Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor at the Mumbai Mirror, whose offices are just opposite the city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji station, heard the gunfire erupt and ran towards the terminus. “I ran into the first carriage of one of the trains on the platform to try and get a shot but couldn’t get a good angle, so I moved to the second carriage and waited for the gunmen to walk by,” he said. “They were shooting from waist height and fired at anything that moved. I briefly had time to take a couple of frames using a telephoto lens. I think they saw me taking photographs but theydidn’t seem to care.”

The gunmen were terrifyingly professional, making sure at least one of them was able to fire their rifle while the other reloaded. By the time he managed to capture the killer on camera, Mr D’Souza had already seen two gunmen calmly stroll across the station concourse shooting both civilians and policemen, many of whom, he said, were armed but did not fire back. “I first saw the gunmen outside the station,” Mr D’Souza said. “With their rucksacks and Western clothes they looked like backpackers, not terrorists, but they were very heavily armed and clearly knew how to use their rifles.

“Towards the station entrance, there are a number of bookshops and one of the bookstore owners was trying to close his shop,” he recalled. “The gunmen opened fire and the shopkeeper fell down.”

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.” Read the rest at Belfast Telegraph.

I believe the JSO would have shot the shit outta them.

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What Passes For Comedy Then and Now

I saw the promo of the Rosie O’Donnell variety show. I decided to pass. This morning, I was wondering whether people would still be enthralled with the format and watched some Carol Burnett skits on YouTube.

I think it is still funny, even if you do not know who Carol Burnett or Charo is.

Update: My daughter said she watched about 5 minutes of the Rosie O’Donnell variety show, then my 4-year-old grandson said he didn’t like that scary lady, and asked if Mommy would please change the channel.

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Florida Mortgage Fraud

TAMPA — Thousands of miles from the trading floors of global stock markets, an abandoned house in one of Tampa’s poorest neighborhoods is an improbable place to learn about why the world’s financial system is collapsing.

But if you want to understand how we got into this mess, the stucco house at 4809 N 17th St. isn’t a bad place to start.

Beer bottles and shards of glass litter the yard. A blue tarp covers much of the rotting roof. Boards shutter the windows.

This husk sold for $300,000 in 2006 with the help of a no-money-down mortgage from a subsidiary of Washington Mutual Bank. The owner defaulted; WaMu owns it now. Listed for $52,000, the house could be yours for $35,000 cash.

“What we had here was an obvious case of mortgage fraud,” said Josh Parker, a Coldwell Banker Realtor.

Read the rest of this investigative report at TampaBay.com.

Unfortunately, the personnel at agencies created to handle those risky mortgages worked hardest on enriching their corporate officers, not on making sure that their finances were sound.

They need to be shut down.

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No Black Fridays For Me.

I suppose I just don’t want to save money badly enough to engage in eye gouging, foot stomping, and/or knee kicking over a discount item in the electronics department that may not be the exact item I’m looking for anyway but what the hell, it’s on sale!

I read an account online of a person shopping in my area that noted that the prices in some stores were raised just prior to cutting them the week of the sale so that it looked as though the savings were larger than what they actually were. I can’t confirm, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

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Pakistanis Were Told That Mumbai Attack Was Not a Suicide Mission

NEW DELHI: The gang of terrorists who wreaked mayhem in Mumbai for three days were made to believe by their Lashkar bosses that they were not being sent on a suicide mission and that they would be coming back alive.

In a sensational disclosure made by Ajmal, the jihadi nabbed alive by Mumbai cops, the group had planned to sail out on Thursday. Their recruiters had even charted out the return route for them and stored it on the GPS device which they had used to navigate their way to the Mumbai shoreline.

This suggests that the terrorists were willing to undertake a mission which they knew would be very risky, but not necessarily suicidal.

Sources said that the bait of safe return must have been used by the recruiters to convince the wavering among the group to join the audacious plot against Mumbai.

Ajmal made another important disclosure: that all terrorists were trained in marine warfare along with the special course Daura-e-Shifa conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in what at once transforms the nature of the planning from a routine terror strike and into a specialized raid by commandos.

Battle-hardened ATS officials are surprised by the details of the training the terrorists were put through before being despatched for the macabre mission. This was very different from a terrorist attack, and amounted to an offensive from the seam, said a source.

Ajmal has revealed the name of his fellow jihadis all Pakistani citizens as Abu Ali, Fahad, Omar, Shoaib, Umer, Abu Akasha, Ismail, Abdul Rahman (Bara) and Abdul Rahman (Chhota).

The account of Ajmal also strengthens the doubt of the complicity of powerful elements in the Pakistani establishment. According to him, the group set off on November 21 from an isolated creek near Karachi without the deadly cargo of arms and ammunition they were to use against the innocents in Mumbai. The group received arms and ammunition on board a large Pakistani vessel which picked them up the following day. The vessel, whose ownership is now the subject of an international probe, had four Pakistanis apart from the crew.

A day later, they came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which was promptly commandeered on the seas. Four of the fishermen who were on the trawler were killed, but its skipper, or tandel in fishermen lingo, Amarjit Singh, was forced to proceed towards India. Amarjit was killed the next day, and Ismail the terrorist who was killed at Girgaum Chowpaty took the wheel.

A trained sailor, Ismail used the GPS to reach Mumbai coast on November 26. The group, however, slowed down its advance as they had reached during the day time while the landing was planned after dusk. The group shifted to inflatable boats, before disembarking at Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade.

From there, they mandated to kill indiscriminately, particularly white foreign tourists, and spare Muslims split up into five batches. Two of them Ismail and Ajmal took a taxi to Victoria Terminus. Three other batches of two each headed for Oberoi Hotel, Cafe Leopold and Nariman House. The remaining four went to Taj Hotel.

Read the rest in The Times of India.

Qaida in Partnership With Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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