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Final salary victims march for rights .
Jan 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Final salary victims march for rights. Final salary scheme members who have lost up to half of their life savings due to unfair wind-up rules are to hand in a protest in Downing Street. [BBC News | Front Page | UK Edition]

What is are “wind-up rules?” The author of the article didn’t bother to explain.

Japan’s Koizumi: Reforms Need More Time [ AP World News ] Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi insisted Friday the
Jan 31st, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Japan’s Koizumi: Reforms Need More Time [AP World News]

bq. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi insisted Friday there would be no financial crisis in the world’s second-largest economy, promising tax cuts and pleading for time for reforms to work.

At least someone is finally talking about tax cuts, after ten years of repeating the same mistakes. The article doesn’t go into much detail, so I can’t tell if there will be meaningful tax cuts or just the sort of insignificant window dressing that the Republicans like here in the US.

Groove 2.5 is out .
Jan 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Groove 2.5 is out. Paresh Suthar report the release of Groove 2.5 . Just upgraded my main acount and experienced no problems. Finally i can start playing around with some of the exiting stuff Tim has been working on using Groove Web Services. [Jeroen Bekkers’ Groove Weblog]

I’ll give this version a try. Hopefully it will be more reliable than the previous version.

I came across a weblog titled Where is Raed? , run by an Iraqi named Salam.
Jan 30th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

I came across a weblog titled Where is Raed?, run by an Iraqi named Salam. It’s very informative to read the viewpoint of someone who actually lives in Baghdad and compare it to the propaganda (both for and against war) in the US media.

An End to Kosher Pork? .
Jan 29th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

An End to Kosher Pork?. Aside from Likud, the big winner in Tuesday’s Israeli elections was Shinui (“Change”), which went from six Knesset seats to… [Hit & Run]

bq. Shinui, which also supports lower taxes and privatization, describes itself as “a Liberal Party…in the European understanding of the term.” According to the party’s Web site, “Our political and social philosophy can be summed up in our belief that the rights of the individual are supreme, and that all legislation must be measured against that principle.” It adds, “We differ very substantially from the left in that we do not accept their Socialist policies.” An article in The Jerusalem Post calls Shinui’s rise the “revolt of the bourgeoisie.”

I’d never heard of this party before, so this came as a pleasant surprise. I read the Shinui web site, and it looks like they actually do have some Socialist policies of their own, but not nearly as bad as Labour–which now has only four more Knesset seats.

18 Afghan Rebels Die in Clash With U.S. At least 18 rebels were killed in the assault.
Jan 28th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

18 Afghan Rebels Die in Clash With U.S. At least 18 rebels were killed in the assault. The U.S. military believes the fighters are loyal to renegade warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a powerful Pashtun strongman who has vowed to link his forces with remnants of al-Qaida and the ousted Taliban regime.

[…]

While King said evidence pointed to Hekmatyar’s military arm, the Hezb-e-Islami movement, he gave no further details, and a former high-ranking Taliban member questioned that.

Obeidullah, who goes by only one name, told The Associated Press that the fighting was being led by two ex-Taliban — Hafiz Abdul Rahim, the regime’s former chief of the border security, and Sirajuddin, former district chief of Shindand in western Afghanistan.

[…]

Hekmatyar was a key guerrilla commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan. Later, in the civil war that paved the way for the Taliban takeover, Hekmatyar’s men pounded the capital, Kabul, with daily rocket barrages. He lived in exile in Iran during the five years of the Taliban rule, and returned after U.S.-led forces ousted the hardline militia. Western intelligence agencies suspect he is getting money from Iran. [Yahoo! News]

Here’s an example of how much confusion can arise from the media’s refusal to call a terrorist a terrorist. After reading the article, I can’t figure out if the fighting is with actual rebels, or with Taliban leftovers who are being labeled rebels, or what. It seems like the US soldiers involved aren’t even too sure.

Palestinian Killed by Homemade Grenade [ AP World News ] An 18-year-old Palestinian man was killed when Pales
Jan 27th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Palestinian Killed by Homemade Grenade [AP World News]

bq. An 18-year-old Palestinian man was killed when Palestinian militants tossed a homemade grenade at a funeral procession in the southern Gaza Strip (news – web sites) on Monday, hospital officials said.

The youth, Said Mabi, was badly wounded by shrapnel and died before reaching the hospital, said Dr. Ali Moussa at Rafah hospital. Mabi was part of a procession at the funeral of two Palestinians killed Sunday.

During funerals, Palestinian militants routinely fire automatic rifles into the air and call for revenge against Israel. It appeared the grenade was thrown as a show of strength and was not intended to harm anyone, witnesses said.

Although the article doesn’t say so, the Palestinians killed Sunday were also terrorists. This episode highlights the major problem faced by the PLO–no matter how hard they try, they’re just too stupid to win.

Abortion Is the Health of the State .
Jan 25th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Abortion Is the Health of the State. Abortion politics is futile because liberal democracy cannot resolve the kinds of questions involved in the dispute. Those questions are pre-political, having to do with what constitutes membership in the human race and with what rights accompany that status in our society. By subjecting the dispute to the “democratic process,” both sides concede to the State and to the mass of voters the authority to determine who’s human and who isn’t. The problem with this should be immediately apparent. Not only can one very easily imagine the State and the masses making objectively wrong decisions, but also, given the fickle and arbitrary nature of bureaucrats, the masses, and judges, a decision that’s “right” today can be “wrong” tomorrow. Subjecting these kinds of fundamental questions to the democratic process amounts to denying the existence of truth itself, or at least subordinating truth to power. This happens to be the inverse of what the liberal state was originally supposed to do, to uphold certain pre-existing conventional and metaphysical rights. [LewRockwell.com]

A very good article on why the political arguement over abortion is futile.

LewRockwell.com has two articles by Lew Rockwell and Joseph Sobran on how they went fro
Jan 25th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

LewRockwell.com has two articles by Lew Rockwell and Joseph Sobran on how they went from conservatives to libertarians. Both are very interesting, and the Rockwell articles has lots of information on the history behind the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

New powers boost ‘dirty’ cash seizures .
Jan 24th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

New powers boost ‘dirty’ cash seizures. Seizures of crime related cash have risen sharply since tough new powers were introduced, official figures suggest. [BBC News | Front Page | UK Edition]

I’d say this is an ominous sign for the UK. Letting cops take money from people who haven’t been convicted of a crime (or even arrested) just leads to the cops arbitrarily looting anyone they like.

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