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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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