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To: MrLucky who wrote (14221)4/17/2003 5:17:28 PM
From: Emile Vidrine
   of 21612
 
That's $28,500 for each American family of five. I am sure hard working taxpayers have better things to do than to give $2,000,000 (two million dollars) in welfare payments to each Jewish family of five in Israel. AGAIN, THAT WAS TWO MILLION DOLLARS IN WELARE THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS PAID TO EACH JEWISH FAMILY OF FIVE.

And remember, we haven't even counted the $10 billion in the present budget, and the $100 billion for the invasion of Iraq, and the ????Billions for the Sharon's demand that we "take care of Syria and Iran NOW"!

What are these trillion of dollars in Israeli welfare for?
SO THE JEWS CAN ESTABLISH A RACIST JEWISH COLONY IN PALESTINE DIRECTED BY FANATIC ORTHODOX TALMUDIC RABBIS.

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To: Edscharp who wrote (14216)4/17/2003 5:18:40 PM
From: TigerPaw
   of 21612
 
You may have noticed in the picture that the winches were already attached and the pulling was underway. According to the propoganda report the crowd was already trying to pull the statue by hand but couldn't. If that were the case the full crowd had already gathered. Did you see the part where at least some of the crowd consisted of the U.S. operatives which had been flown in from exile.

TP

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To: Emile Vidrine who wrote (14225)4/17/2003 5:34:34 PM
From: Edscharp
   of 21612
 
Emile,

"Do you deny, Edscharp, that you are a Zionist who is trying to advance the Israeli agenda? As a Zionist, do you deny that your posts are self-serving deceptions?"

What can my affiliations possibly have to do with Stauffer's bogus contention that Israel has cost the U.S taxpayer 1.6 trillion wampum?

Stauffer is the person who is slandering an entire nation of people. The onus is on him, and on people like yourself who wish to defend him, to offer some convincing proof that his allegations are fair, reasonable and supported by other authoritative sources.

I'm not slandering anybody. I'm merely asking you to provide some convincing proof that Stauffer is accurate in his allegations. And, instead of doing so, you've decided to indict me as a "Zionist".

Even if I'm Atilla The Hun himself come back from the dead what bearing can my background have on Stauffer's ability or inability to back up his claims. Either I'm right or wrong.

You're trying to engage me in a fallacious argument. In this case, it is called an ad hominem argument. Instead of arguing the facts you are trying to make personal attacks upon me.

I have given you explicit reasons why Stauffers work should be questioned, but you still not have answered them.

I now give you another opportunity to do so.
.

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To: Emile Vidrine who wrote (14224)4/17/2003 5:34:47 PM
From: AK2004
   of 21612
 
why don't you run for a president or, at least, congress to stop those evil jews....
I am sure you'll get a record support and you can double it it if you force your wife to vote for you <ggggg>

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To: TigerPaw who wrote (14227)4/17/2003 5:42:27 PM
From: Edscharp
   of 21612
 
Tigerpaw,

You're obviously not from the USA, or if you are, you didn't have access to cable TV.

I saw nearly the entire thing live from beginning to end. What's interesting to me is that when it was on tv it was a very bright and sunny day.

The pictures in the link you provided us shows an overcast day almost as though the picture was taken much later after the incident. Maybe even a day or two later.

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To: PartyTime who started this subject4/17/2003 5:43:11 PM
From: James Calladine
   of 21612
 
Can The War On Terror Be Used To Fight The War On Deflation?
April 15, 2003
International Perspective, by Marshall Auerback

"As we move towards a new Middle East, over the years, I think, over the decades to come, we will make a lot of people very nervous." – Former CIA Director, James Woolsey

Happily, we were wrong: No Stalingrads, no months spent trying to kill the enemy soldier in the ruin next door, no weeks in trench lines, no dreadful siege in which civilians eat rats, then nothing, then die. To quote the French newspaper, Le Figaro, “The Americans have won the war – in only three weeks. It is a victory for George Bush.” As suddenly as his statue was toppled, Saddam’s regime is finished. Iraq, however, remains a country without a government and without order, another awesome task likely to be financed by the long-suffering American taxpayer, given the oft-expressed distaste for any substantive UN role by the administration’s hawks (whose political fortunes in the space of a week have undergone a reversal as stunning as those of Saddam Hussein).

Unfortunately, the American taxpayer, who already faces record-breaking debt, record-breaking trade deficits, reduced government services, a crumbling and under-funded infrastructure, and three major public-sector programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – expected to double as a share of the economy, is not in an optimal position to fund such largesse. In the words of strategist Chris Sanders of SRA Associates:

“The US Federal government released its Financial Report of the United States Government for 2002 on March 31. This annual document is the result of the government’s attempt in recent years to put its financial reporting on a more practical and businesslike footing. It uses accrual, rather than cash-based accounting, with the express intent of presenting a clearer long-term picture of the government’s actual financial position.

On page four for instance, a clear and simple bar chart shows the dramatic deterioration in the government’s finances in recent years. Although the Treasury Secretary’s terse introductory letter downplays this, making it seem as if it is solely due to the accrual of veteran’s benefits, that is clearly not the case and the bar chart on page 4 shows why. Cash outlays are also increasing rapidly. In any event, the recognition of long-term military benefit liabilities is still a major financial issue. This figure was well over $300 billion in 2001, doubling the cash accounting figure for military spending. That money will have to be raised in the future either by increasing taxes, issuing bonds, or stiffing the veterans. Even the market-challenged economists on Wall Street will have difficulty ignoring the ramifications of using any or all of them. All imply the necessity of raising the national savings rate…

A table on page six called “The Big Picture” puts this matter as starkly as one could imagine. Total government liabilities less assets were more than $31 trillion (that is, over $31 thousand billion) or more than 295% of GDP on September 30, 2002. The report rather coyly says that this does not count the power to tax as an asset, but goes on to point out that discretionary spending aside, the government is obliged to fund a net social security liability of $24 trillion more than anticipated revenue. This is non-discretionary, and makes nonsense of the government’s habitual reporting of its annual deficit gross of the current cash surplus in the social security fund.”

Of course, this has not been the primary focus of the markets recently; the credit markets in particular have loosened markedly and surprisingly of late, and this should not be ignored as it carries the potential to stimulate a short-term spasm of spending growth. That said, mortgage refinancing has fallen off, so it is unlikely that any pickup in spending will come from the consumer sector. If we are going to get a positive spending spasm, it will have to come from the corporate sector, in response to the plunge in high-yield credit spreads and CDS spreads.

How, then, to ensure that growth gets back on track? Can the victory against Saddam be used somehow to jumpstart the war against deflation, proclaimed last November by Fed Governor Benjamin S. Bernanke?

It is worthwhile considering this question in the context of a recent Wall Street Journal article, entitled "Massive Task of Rebuilding Iraq Is Now Confronting U.S.", by Bob Davis. Of particular interest are the two paragraphs at the bottom of the second column of this article:



"Within the U.S. government, a number of agencies are putting together ambitious reconstruction plans. The Treasury is drafting a budget and financial regulation: the Transportation Department is examining highway repairs; the Commerce Department is focusing on a customs service. Even the Federal Communications Commission is getting involved by figuring out what radio spectrum should be allotted for telephone services.

Gen. Garner's group must first tote up the destruction. Estimates of the rebuilding effort vary tremendously - from $20 billion a year for several years to more than $600 billion over a decade..."

The rest of the world doesn't usually think in terms of American electoral timetables, but presidents certainly do (or, at the very least, their advisors like Karl Rove do). And we are now in the second half of this Administration: within six months, the next presidential election campaign will begin in earnest. Yet most American states are living through their worst fiscal crisis ever, as tax revenues plummet well below what they were five years ago. Bush’s recent budget has run into heavy political fire on the domestic front, notwithstanding his foreign policy successes. While this isn't the kind of news that attracts the attention of international news organizations like the BBC, it probably matters more to most Americans than anything being beamed in from the Middle East, as the first President Bush could well advise the current occupant of the White House. Across the country, state and local governments are sacking teachers and police, limiting access to state-funded medical insurance, delaying road repairs. How, then, to parlay the success of the Iraqi operation, so as to ensure that a faltering economy doesn’t sabotage President Bush’s aspirations for a second term?

Whatever estimate is used, the cost of recreating Iraq will be immense, running into billions of dollars. Can this be used to jump start the economy on the home front? Many of those who have opposed this war have done so partly because they haven't trusted the victors to behave well. They express fears that the United States (with Britain tagging along in its wake) will seek to run a colony in Iraq, one which will offer a strategic military base, lucrative contracts to US businesses and the chance for the Americans effectively to run the Iraq oil industry. They anticipate the establishment of a compliant local leadership, made up of Washington stooges.

However well or ill-founded, such suspicions are being fed by the talk of huge contracts accruing to companies such as Halliburton or Bechtel, as well as the administration’s strong links to the oil industry. It is also significant that all of the proposed contracts announced thus far for the reconstruction of Iraq have been granted to American companies (leaving the British Secretary for Industry & Trade, Patricia Hewitt, plaintively lobbying Washington for its share of contracts for British businesses). Such cavalier treatment of an ostensibly loyal ally has left the impression of an administration hell-bent on monopolising the commercial contracts in post-war Iraq - trying hard to make sure French, German and Russian companies, in particular, feel the pain of exclusion from the recent war (even as Russian oil conglomerate Lukoil has threatened years of litigation in the international courts, should its oil concession agreements be ignored by the new regime in Baghdad). Much as it did after the financial crises of 1998, the US could also press hard for changes in global development institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank to make them directly responsive to US foreign policy - all under the guise of a new American model for economic growth around the world, but the country’s own acute economic difficulties might ultimately render this problematic, however superficially just the notion that “to the victors go the spoils of war.”

Presumably, the hope is that such an aggressive assertion of American commercial interests might also have the happy expedient of improving things on the domestic front, where the economy continues to languish. The Fed has tried to remind CNN viewers that it too remains relevant: more articles discussing “unconventional policy measures” are again being openly broached in various press commentaries. Talk of a “Plunge Protection Team” has become deafening, but perhaps not surprising in the current context. That such ideas are being mooted publicly in the immediate aftermath of the war also implies that Mr Greenspan and his colleagues too have battle plans for the War on Deflation should the bounce from the Iraqi phase of the War on Terror prove to have little or no traction.

Keep in mind, for Fed unconventional measures to work, they must be very effective in resetting investor expectations without seeking to panic the public. They must make the unconventional appear as conventional as possible, a logic outgrowth of previous policy (even as the boundaries of moral hazard are further extended). This is clearly easier to achieve during wartime. A war allows Washington to sidestep the usual charge of being hypocritical to its oft expressed free market principles because, after all, unusual measures are usual in war, are they not?

The Fed wants investor and consumers and entrepreneurs to know they are there, ready, willing and able, and they care. They are doing their equivalent of leaflet drops over Basra at the moment to get their message out on the supposition that the more people are primed for unconventional moves, the better they will be received, and the less the Fed will actually have to do. This marks the full fruition of the Fed's expectations management regime that developed over the past decade.

The new trial balloons being floated by publications such as the WSJ are being done so for the very reason that the Fed sees the Fed funds rate as being within 50-75bp of its irreducible minimum (because to go below 50bp would bankrupt the money market mutual fund industry), and Mr Greenspan and his colleagues clearly want people to think they have many arrows left in the quiver. In the words of the WSJ’s Grep Ip, “The Fed has yet to settle on its strategy should it decide the funds rate can't go any lower, although it expects never to get to such a point. But developing and publicizing such a strategy should help prevent excessive pessimism that might lead to severe economic weakness and deflation, which is generally falling prices.”

Of course, one of the paradoxes of the Fed's unconventional approach is that while it is aimed directly at raising final product prices, and therefore aimed at raising nominal incomes and reducing the real burden of servicing existing debt loads, it is also meant to operate on liquidity preferences, expected returns on capital equipment, and consumption propensities in such a way that private sector agents voluntarily and wilfully go into deeper deficit spending mode.

But herein lies a paradox. For monetary and fiscal stimulus to be truly effective, a shift in private sector portfolio preferences toward saving, not consumption is required. We need a return to a net free cash flow position among US firms and households to allow balance sheet deleveraging. For any kind of monetary and fiscal stimulus to be effective, a degree of portfolio readjustment on the part of the private sector is an essential precondition. To get that, we have always been clear that the financial balance equation requires the fiscal balance to go into deficit and the trade balance to head back to surplus. Radical monetization by the Fed does little in a direct sense to produce either of these results. At best, as Governor Bernanke delicately described in his November 21st speech, if the Fed buys foreign government bonds as one of its unconventional measures, they can hope to accelerate the dollar depreciation, which can help improve the trade deficit. More likely, it would just end up exporting deflation to other nations as they stubbornly refuse to adopt pro-growth policies themselves, and so merely loose global market shares.

Of course, if the Fed thought more like America’s pre-eminent civilian military strategist, Vice President Cheney, or some of the other architects of the American war plan in Iraq, as soon as the economy and stock market shows a post-war bounce they would immediately cut 50-75bp and maybe even announce one of the "unconventional measures" they have been pondering, for good measure. They cannot afford to let the post-war bounce fail, so they should use all their ammo to make it stick and stick hard. Instead, though, being the bureaucrats they are, they will sit back and watch whatever modest bounce unfolds, and then they will be forced to use their remaining ammunition in a futile cause after the markets and the economy have started to clearly roll down, and anything they do will smack of panic rather than pushing a rolling train downhill.In an administration conspicuous with so many foreign policy heavyweights, the comparative dearth of any kind of heft on the economics side is striking. Newly appointed Treasury Secretary Jon Snow’s recent comments on the US current account sadly indicate that little has changed since the resignation of Paul O’Neill. There is clearly a crying need for someone to fill that conspicuous void.

Step forward Messrs. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and Perle, the so-called "hawks", or the "neo-cons", or whatever you want to call the group of people in Washington who have long believed in the possibility of democratic transformation of the Middle East. For them, the last few days have brought about as comprehensive a vindication of their views as anyone in politics could dream about.

No longer eccentrics, they now stand at the heart of a successful (so far) foreign policy. Will this be extended to economic policy? The Bob Davis WSJ article cited above suggests that the Rumsfeld/Cheney/Wolfowitz wing might be prepared to fill this void in economic policy making, in effect developing its own Plan B to displace the Fed's more questionable and inflation prone Plan B, and so wrest the engine of economic policy away from the Fed (whose credibility remains at a low ebb) and into the hands of the Department of Defense, particularly should the requisite post war bounce in the macro data fail to get any traction.

We know these individuals want to make Iraq a shining example of democracy and capitalism in the Middle East, with the hope this will point the way to disaffected younger generations in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere that are easily recruited by fundamentalist organizations. We know they do not want the UN to run the show given the American and British sacrifice required to affect this regime change. We know Iraq is estimated to require $25-100b in infrastructure repair just to keep the newly liberated Iraqis from turning on their liberators if the lights don't come back on soon and the water does not start running again. Just getting Iraqi oil wells running again will require substantial new investments. If we take all of these pieces of the puzzle, and we appreciate the fervently held vision driving the neocon wing in the Administration, we could see a Marshall Plan proposal for Iraq and Afghanistan emerge as the new Plan B. The idea here would be to use the US fiscal budget to rebuild Iraqi infrastructure, while tying most of the contracts let out to US multinational firms.

The selling point to Congress would be the sooner we create the basis (namely, sufficient infrastructure) for a 100 entrepreneurial flowers to bloom in the desert, the faster we can get our troops out, so the more money we save from having to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, which is at the end of the day a pretty unproductive US federal government expenditure. The beauty of the plan is not only does it appropriate the spoils of war for Fluor, Bechtel, Halliburton, et al, but it would tend to increase the US budget deficit while reducing the current account deficit, producing exactly the result required to rectify US financial imbalances. All, by the way, ostensibly without begging the inflationary consequences of the Fed's Plan B.

Will this work? The war in Iraq has conclusively demonstrated that for the foreseeable future America no longer faces any limitations in a strictly military sense. But as we have noted before, the country’s Achilles Heel remains its debt (in marked contrast to the country’s position after World War II when it unleashed its last Marshall Plan). However superficially attractive the notion of an aggressive America-first type plan, the country still does need European and Asian support to cushion the inevitable portfolio balance adjustment which must come about domestically. Even liberal internationalists, such as Tony Blair, having seen the use of force come to a decent end in Kosovo and (finally) in Bosnia, who supported this war, express a profound sense of anxiety that the Administration has been recklessly indifferent to the imperfect but irreplaceable structures of international order built over sixty years. They are unlikely to accommodate these aspirations, let alone the so-called “Axis of Irrelevance”, which met last week in St. Petersburg. At the very least, the rest of the world is not going to sit back supinely and allow the world’s largest debtor to gobble up the world’s richest petroleum reserves without a fight. Consequently, economic multilateralism is almost certain to be foisted on the Bush administration, regardless of the aspirations of its hawks. America is dependent on foreign capital and on overseas sources of oil; its companies have extended their supply chains to every corner of the earth; and it badly needs the help of other governments to combat global terrorism. To flex its financial muscles at a time like this would only be counter-productive. However strong the position of the neocons appears to be right now, however superficially attractive their policy aspirations, it is inevitable that their objectives will be frustrated in the absence of broader international support.




prudentbear.com

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To: PartyTime who started this subject4/17/2003 5:52:10 PM
From: James Calladine
   of 21612
 
Nothing Stops Baghdad Zoo Looters, Except Lions
Thu April 17, 2003 08:10 AM ET

By Rosalind Russell

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Even the animals have gone. Baghdad's frenzied looting spree has left nothing untouched, and the city zoo is no exception.

Monkeys, bears, horses, birds and camels have disappeared, carted off by thieves or simply left to roam the streets after their cages were prised open.

More than 300 animals are missing -- only the lions and tigers remain.

The big cats, who were obviously too fearsome for the robbers, have been left neglected and starving in their enclosures.

In the days since U.S. troops entered the Iraqi capital, looters have ruled the amusement park in which Baghdad Zoo stands, roaming the site with rifles and crowbars and making off with anything of value.

"I am frightened to come here," said the zoo's vet Hashim Mohamed Hussein as gunfire crackled from across the park on Thursday. "But I have to see my animals. They are hungry but we have no money to feed them."

FORLORN

Mandor, a 20-year-old Siberian tiger and the personal property of Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, was slumped against the green bars of his cage, his beautifully-marked coat hanging off his bones.

He looked up briefly as the vet approached, only to hang his head again when he realized his keeper was empty-handed.

Next door, Sudqa, a nine-year-old lioness, got to her feet and let out a low moan. The remnants of her last meal lay in the corner, a white bone chewed over and over.

Hussein said in all there were seven lions and two tigers, who each consume some five kilograms of meat a day.

"Five kilograms of meat would cost me 80,000 dinars ($30)," said Hussein. "And there are nine animals. I have nothing like this kind of money."

He said the animals were last fed properly 10 days ago, just before U.S. forces entered Baghdad. Spent casings of shells and bullets outside the zoo and a burned-out Iraqi armored personnel carrier are proof of the invasion.

The Americans quickly swept through the west of the city, said Hussein, leaving the area in the hands of looters, who grabbed chimpanzees, Vervet monkeys, Pekinese dogs, love birds and cockatoos.

Off the main road, one of the zoo's camels grazes on a patch of scrub.

"The bears have gone too, I don't know if they took them or just let them go," said Hussein, who said he was also concerned for the well-being of Uday's even bigger collection of lions and tigers at his Baghdad residence.

With no U.S. presence in the park, would-be looters are on the prowl. One group was trying to uproot a large generator next to the model railway, ignoring Hussein's cries of disgust.

"There is no government, no security, no organization," Hussein said. "We are alone here and without help our animals will die."

asia.reuters.com

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To: PartyTime who started this subject4/17/2003 5:57:57 PM
From: James Calladine
   of 21612
 
Fight over who owns Iraqi oil paralyses exports
By Carola Hoyos
Published: April 17 2003 5:00 | Last Updated: April 17 2003 5:00

In storage tanks at the Turkish port of Ceyhan sit 8m barrels of Iraqi crude oil ready for export. But not a single tanker has arrived to pick up the oil since the start of the US attack on Iraq last month, denying the country a potential $200m (&#65533;127m).

The problem is not the lack of buyers but the absence of a seller. Defining who will be allowed to sell Iraq's most important resource is at the heart of the debate over the country's future.

It is an issue still heavily influenced by the deep division in the United Nations Security Council in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq - a conflict France, Russia and China refused to authorise.

Now those countries may oppose US moves to lift the sanctions the Security Council imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 lest it indicate a retrospective approval of Saddam Hussein's forced removal.

The disagreement will cost Iraq $50m a day if it is unable to export the 2m barrels a day of oil at its disposal.

But for France and Russia, billions of dollars are at stake. Neither Paris nor Moscow wants to hand the management of Iraq's massive oil industry to the US and risk denying their oil companies the opportunity to take part in the $40bn investment Iraq will need.

TotalFinaElf, France's biggest oil company, risks losing two fields for which it agreed a memorandum of understanding with the regime of Mr Hussein.

Several Russian companies, most notably Lukoil, signed deals to develop some of Iraq's biggest oilfields.

No company has been able to begin work because of sanctions and none has vowed to fight harder than Lukoil, as it seeks to retain its interest in the massive west Qurna field, potentially a $20bn investment.

Leonid Fedun, Lukoil's vice-chairman, said recently: "From a legal point of view, those are our reserves. If Lukoil is squeezed out we will go to the arbitration court in Geneva, which will then immediately freeze the reserves."

Such a case could delay the development of Iraq's most important field by four to six years, analysts say.

Thierry Desmarest, TotalFinaElf's chief executive, has taken a less combative stance, saying only that he would fight "in order to have the best chances for participating in the reconstruction of the country's oil industry".

Exxon, BP and Royal Dutch/Shell, the world's largest oil companies, have been careful not to step into the fray but their executives have made clear the importance to them of a "level playing field".

"For the international oil companies Iraq is the best new opportunity in decades in the increasingly difficult challenge of finding new resources of oil in a world where the vast majority of reserves are in countries unwilling to let them in," said Tom Nicholls, editor of Petroleum Economist, the international energy journal.

For now, most of that fighting is being done by diplomats at the Security Council, where Russia and France, together with the US, UK and China, have a permanent seat and therefore also the power to veto any resolution.

In Washington, the administration of President George W. Bush is wasting little time putting together a team that hopes to advise any future Iraqi oil establishment.

While negotiations continue, the US has approached several former oil executives, including Philip Carroll, formerly of Shell's US operations and former president and chief executive of Fluor, the oil services company.

Meanwhile, exiled Iraqi oil experts, such as Muhammad Ali-Zainy, analyst at the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies, have returned to Iraq to begin to rebuild the country's oil ministry.

Under the guidance of the US State Department, prominent exiled Iraqi oil experts agreed in principle at a meeting this month that international oil companies should be allowed into the country to increase production as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, international oil executives are in no mood to rush into a country that has already nationalised its oil industry once and is surrounded by neighbours who have been unwilling, after decades of negotiations, to open their industry to outsiders. Instead they are quietly pushing the US to set up a transparent legal business framework.

"The first thing is transparency - if you don't have transparency, the money will corrupt everything," says Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, the Washington-based consulting group.

"If you have a corrupt oil sector, the western companies can't get in and the winners will be the Russians and the Chinese."

But before the oil companies can fulfil their long-held ambitions and before Iraq can sell one barrel of oil, the Security Council must agree to lift sanctions.

For that, France and Russia will need a better understanding of who will be the seller of Iraq's oil while the vacuum created by the exit of Mr Hussein persists.

Find this article at:
news.ft.com

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To: James Calladine who wrote (14232)4/17/2003 5:59:26 PM
From: Evil Speculator (tm)
   of 21612
 
Horses and camels I can see being stolen for their work (and transportation) value in an underdeveloped Middle Eastern country. Birds as pets, and monkeys for curiosity - it makes sense.

But stealing bears? Jesus.

Good thing we didn't see anything close to that kind of courage in the Republican Guard, huh?

LPS5

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To: Evil Speculator (tm) who wrote (14234)4/17/2003 6:33:23 PM
From: Alan Smithee
   of 21612
 
Message 18854916

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