Saturday, December 06, 2003

Maybe "terror socks of death" would be more frightening. Or not.

I’m sorry, Daily Telegraph, it is impossible to take this headline seriously: “Terror Socks Seized.”

An article elsewhere in the Telegraph on Nigerian fraudsters says that their business is, sadly, declining. It confirms something I’d always suspected, that the spelling and grammar mistakes were mostly deliberate, to convince people they were dealing with uneducated Africans.

How big is the illegal trafficking in human organs? An Israeli was just fined c.$750 in South Africa, with no jail time, for having an illegal kidney transplant there. Basically just sales tax. Israelis are big in this market, in part because their insurance companies, unlike those in any other country, are allowed to pay for black market organs.

NY Times article on the Israeli methods now being used by US forces in Iraq: villages sealed off, punishment house demolitions, kidnappings of relatives of suspected guerillas, etc. I like this detail: the i.d. cards those in the sealed villages have to carry are in English only. And this priceless quote: “"With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them," Colonel Sassaman said.”

The NY Times catches up to an overlooked detail in the Medicare bill: private Medicap policies covering drugs will be banned. Because they believe that old sick people must be forced to pay something when they are stupid enough to be both old and sick, so that they won’t overuse medical services. Nor will they be allowed to have a policy that will pay for drugs not on the government list of favored drugs.

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