“Born To Be Wild”; ‘Steppenwolf‘ (1968)
The First Three News Stories On 02/12/07:
(6pm) BBC World News
1) Iran Responds To American Accusations: Diplomats from the United States and Great Britain have been complaining for years aboot Iranian involvement in Iraq. Over the weekend American intelligence and military officials showed off declassified proof of recently built Iranian weapons found in Iraq. Today Diane Sawyer, a correspondent from ABC News perpetually on the verge of tears, had an exclusive interview with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Clips of the interview were played on BBC, ABC and CBC, in it Ahmadinejad never denies sending weapons into Iraq, but he does a pretty decent job of saying ‘the Americans are stretched to their limit so, no, we don’t fear an attack’ (loose translation of the English translation). There was a BBC reporter in Tehran who reported that Ahmadinejad, in the ABC report, made a veiled threat of intensive suicide bombings against American interests around the world. Ahmadinejad has mentioned in the past that Iran has a Suicide Bomber Unit of aboot 30,000 to 50,000 volunteers called the Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison.
In the past few months Iran has announced a weapons system upgrade for their air defence, which they’ve purchased from the Russian government, and they’ve had a ‘war games’ were they claim to have tested super-fast torpedoes. The Americans, meanwhile, have sent a second Aircraft Carrier Battle Group to the region, which is a much bigger deal than it sounds because one Battle Group has more nuclear weapons than any other country on earth except Russia and — maybe — Great Britain, and more air power than any other country on earth including Russia.
2) North Korea Agreement Rumoured: after spending so much time on Iran the BBC went into “Brief Mode”… apparently the “Six Party Talks” (not nearly as fun as the name suggests) have entered the final phase… at least the final phase not involving nuking North Korea. There have been concessions regarding the amount of food and fuel North Korea will receive for not blowing up South Korea and/or Japan.
3) Clashes Over Israeli Construction Site: Putting shovels into the ground anywhere in or around Jerusalem is a good way of starting a fight. This one’s aboot a bridge that may or may not collapse without some repairs. It just so happens the bridge is pretty close to the Al Aksa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site… seriously, how many fucking holy sites do religions need? There should be a two-site limit, everything after that gets ranked as a “Curiosity”. So there were enough protesters that the cops needed to be called, then a couple of people got arrested. All-in-all it was probably the calmest, most civilized religious confrontation in the region in a decade.
(6.30pm) ABC: World News Tonight
With Charles Gibson
1) North Korea Agreement: “Sign Of Hope”. Four months after North Korea performed an underground nuclear test, and tried to launch a couple of medium-range rockets, the Six Party People (the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and North Korea) have agreed to give North Korea 2million pounds of Fuel, and 2million Kilowatts of power. In return North Korea will shut down its reactors, however there will be no timetable or deadline for dismantling any nuclear weapons already built. Apparently the deal almost collapsed over the weekend but a 16 hour marathon negotiating session yesterday (Sunday) sealed the deal. Most of the fuel and power will be coming from South Korea.
This is very similar to the deal former President Bill Clinton signed off on aboot ten years ago. North Korea broke that deal virtually as it was being signed.
2) Obama & Clinton: Until it becomes clear, after another sixteen months of campaigning, which of these two is going to secure the nomination for the Democrats, they’re going to be compared and contrasted Every. Single. Freaking. Day. Without discounting John Edwards, who will probably win the Iowa Primary, it’s going to be Clinton-Obama versus McCain-Giuliani in 2008. There’s this weird movement on right now in American politics… there are a lot of black-Americans who believe that Obama doesn’t qualify as an “African-American” because his heritage doesn’t go back to the slave days. Basically, Obama isn’t African-American because his father was borne in Africa (Kenya). And this isn’t some fringe thing, a lot of black-American scholars are writing articles aboot this. Right now only 20% of black-Americans plan to vote for Obama. Hillary, on the other hand, is actually attracting female voters, a voting segment that have traditionally never voted for a female candidate.
Then Australian Prime Minister John Howard, on Australian TV, said that al Qaeda would be circling November on their 2008 calendars and praying “several times a day” for an Obama victory. Obama responds by calling Howard Bush’s monkey. Or something. Then Obama refers to the deaths of the 3000+ American soldiers who have died in Iraq as “wasted”, which is not cool if you want to be president and many, many parents of those soldiers happen to believe their sons and daughters died saving lives and, you know, important stuff. Whoops.
3) Golden Mosque Anniversary: This was the one-year Anniversary of the bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, Iraq. The 2006 bombing of the ‘Golden Mosque’ is now considered to be the event which turned the Shiite and Sunni militia’s attention away from the “Coalition” and onto each other. On the Anniversary 88 people were killed and over 250 injured as a result of suicide attacks in Baghdad. The largest explosion occurred while Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was holding a press conference, the explosion could be clearly heard while al-Maliki was speaking but no one seemed to notice. Attacks over the last two months have actually decreased substantially in number, but have increased in ferocity. Instead of a single truck bomb, now it seems as though two or three suicide bombers are being assigned to the same target with larger bombs. The market attack on the Anniversary involved three truck bombs, including one in a parking garage. There was also a short report attached at the end concerning the “troop surge”. The American goal is to have 90,000 mixed Iraqi/American troops in Baghdad, up from 50,000 currently, but it won’t be fully realized until at least the end of the summer.
(7pm) PBS: The News Hour With Jim Lehrer:
1) Baghdad Suicide Bombings: More footage of dead Iraqi’s. The report was from Independent Television News (ITV). The market that was blown up was the last remaining open market in Baghdad. One of the shops was a tailor so maniken torsos were strewn all over and mixed with the dead, human, bodies. The pools of blood were deep and everywhere. The ITV reporter made a point of mentioning al-Maliki’s non-response to the noise of the explosion.
2) Saddam’s VP To Hang: PBS does a news-in-brief segment that lasts aboot ten minutes, then they have four fifteen minute segments on the top stories of the day. The second story during the brief-segment was aboot Saddam’s former Vice President Yassin Ramadan. Ramadan had originally been sentenced to life in prison, but an appeals court has decided that he gets to hang as well. He was convicted for the killing of 148 Shiites in the 1980s.
3) Iran Denies American Claims: Pretty much the same report as ABC, they use some ABC footage of Diane Sawyer interviewing Ahmadinejad, but PBS brings up the fact today (Monday) is the 28th Anniversary of the “Iranian Hostage Crisis” where Iranian Revolutionary Students took over the American embassy in Iran. There was also some talk aboot possible American plans to bomb nuclear and military sites in Iran, but this was dismissed by Presidential Spokesman Tony Snow as “speculation by Democrats being politicians” (or something close to that). Also, the point was made that for the past twenty years Iran has been supplying Iraqi Shiites with money and weapons, so this is really nothing new.
(10pm) CBC: The National With Peter Mansbridge:
1) StatsCan Census Controversy: There have been… “problems” with the latest Census in Canada. Enumerators haven’t been paid, or have been paid up to five months late, and were apparently told to fabricate ‘non-crucial’ information. It’s not really a top story, at least it probably wouldn’t be a top story in any other country, but the CBC does like stories involving government screw ups.
2) Heart Attack Risk Cut By Napping: A study released today from Harvard University shows that people who managed to get “good, quality sleep”, including daily napping, lowered their risk of heart disease by 37%. The study ran over six years and involved 26,000 people. The effects were most noticeable in “working men”, but the reporter said this was probably due to the number of men versus women in the study. The effects should be seen equally across both genders. The report then showed a Canadian company, Intuit Canada, which has several nap rooms available for their employees. They didn’t mention anything aboot bedhead emergencies.
3) Day 80 Of Canadian Prisoners Hunger Strike: After the attacks on September 11th the Government of Canada, then led by The Liberal Party of Canada, wrote up a bunch of new laws kind of similar to the American Patriot Act. The Justice Minister of the time, Anne McLellen, actually said that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not guarantee any of the Rights and Freedoms listed in the Charter. Yes. Really. The way it currently works is the government can hold people it considers to be a grave risk to the security of Canada or Canadians by issuing a “Security Certificate”. These people can be held for as long as the government wishes (up to aboot six years at a time) without showing the evidence to anyone, including the lawyers or the defendants… because they’re not really defendants because they haven’t really been charged with any crime. So… there are three men, Mahmoud Jaballah (2001), Mohammad Mahjoub (2003) and Hassan Almrei (2001), they are all Muslim and all from “Elsewhere” before they got to Canada. The government claims to have evidence tying them to al Qaeda. They are being held in a special facility in Kingston, Ontario, and they have been held without charge. Under the security-certificate process, the government can detain foreign nationals believed to pose a national-security threat and withhold “sensitive evidence” from their lawyers.
So the three men are actually free to leave at any time, as long as they travel back to their “country of origin”, which means Egypt and Syria. The three men claim if they return there they will be arrested and tortured. So… the hunger strike… it’s into it’s 80th day now — the men are surviving on water and juice only — isn’t aboot getting out and not facing any court, but aboot getting access to medical treatment and some exercise time inside the prison. Each of the men has lost an average of 45lbs. Millhaven has been referred to as “Gitmo North.” But, honestly, not by that many people.
(11pm) CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson:
1) Students Cyber-Bully Principal: A school in Ontario banned cellphones from classrooms so nineteen students started a website specifically to leave messages aboot the school principal. Several of the messages were borderline pornographic and attacks on his character, even leaving his phone number. When the site was discovered the students were suspended by the school board for a few days. The students, being morons, were surprised this could happen because, like, it’s free speech man, like, there are laws, you know, that allow citizens to, you know, express their opinions. Fucking tools. There was one interesting question: “Where does the school jurisdiction end?” asked Kevin S*ltana, a tool. Apparently the jurisdiction can and does extend to defending school employees from slanderous punks like Kevin Sult*na. According to the Media Awareness Group, 1 in 4 Canadian students are, or have been, digitally harassed by slanderous punks like that fucking moron, Kevin Sulta*a and his eighteen punk friends. Fucking idiots.
2) Karla Homulka/Teale Has Child: Karla Homulka/Teale is Canada’s third most notorious killer, after Clifford Olsen who murdered a whole lot of children, and Paul Bernardo, Karla’s ex-husband. Paul will be in jail for the rest of his life. Due to a severely broken Ontario Justice System, Karla was released after only twelve years in prison despite having killed at least three girls — including her own younger sister — in a series of bizarre and truly Evil sexually based attacks. And now she has a child of her own. Yippee. At least one nurse refused to take part in the birth. The lawyer for the victim’s families said “she should never have been in a position to have a child.” In response to the nurse refusing to assist, a medical ethicist said “nurses and doctors are not Priests, their role is not to judge their patients.” The baby could not be reached for comment.
3) US Shooting Sprees Leave Six Dead: Crazy people, including one fuck up in a trench coat, shot and killed a lot of people who didn’t deserve to die or to have tragedy in their lives. At least one of the crazy people killed themselves, I think the other was shot dead by police. Which, if true, was probably for the best.
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I’m Canadian, it’s what we do. Off the ice.