A Republican Candidate’s Proof that There is Peace in Iraq With a Picture of…

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Downtown Istanbul.

Update:

The photo of peace in Istanbul, Turkey has been replaced on the republican candidate’s website with what may (or may not be) a photo of Baghdad with this caption:

We originally posted a photograph not of Baghdad, Iraq but from Istanbul, Turkey where our delegation traveled on the way home to the United States. We apologize for this mistake. We have corrected it with a photograph we took from Baghdad. We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be.

And here is the picture
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Baghdad sure does look peaceful when you take the picture from a 747.

Update 2:

Daily Kos has more on the new picture. Looks like it was taken from a hotel in the Green Zone back in July of 2005 and one of the buildings in the background has been bombed since then.

The Chinese zombie ships of West Africa

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Astonishing.

We’re in the big African Queen inflatable, cruising alongside an anchored trawler. It’s more rust than metal – the ship is rotting away. The foredeck is covered in broken machinery. The fish deck is littered with frayed cables, and the mast lies horizontally, hanging over the starboard side. A large rusty Chinese character hangs on railings above the bridge, facing forward. It reads ‘happiness’.

Zizi – our Chinese translator – shouts a greeting. A head pokes out from the accommodation, puzzled at this disturbance. A female voice, out here? He picks his way through the debris to the side of the ship. He’s friendly, but a bit perplexed at our presence. Sarah asks questions – Zizi translates. He’s the 2nd mate, and says that he’s been sitting here on his own for five days, awaiting a new crew, He doesn’t know when they’ll arrive. The trawler itself has been anchored here, at this spot, for three months.

“Is this ship ready for fishing?” we ask. “Yes, of course”, he looks around, gestures at the deck. He seems surprised that we would ask. We’re amazed it’s even floating.

Moff turns the boat, taking us to another of the rusting fishing vessels, 70 nautical miles (130km) off the coast of Guinea, West Africa. We had been told this was where old pirate fishing boats were left at anchor, abandoned. We didn’t expect to find living people on board the dying ships.

(via Boing Boing)

Chicago Tribune’s Article about Waiter Rant

One of the most entertaining blogs on the net IMO.

Waiter Rant (waiterrant.net) reads like a sitcom script about life in a busy New York bistro — daffy diners, wisecrackin’ waiters and all. There’s the affable narrator as Everyman, the colorful staff as makeshift family, the customer as comic foil.

Sometimes sarcastic, sometimes poignant, each post is like an episode with a pithy punch line. Unlike Sam from “Cheers,” however, the anonymous scribe of Waiter Rant is real, and so are his sporadically terrible customers. Our man always keeps his cool and delivers service with a smile . . . until he gets to the therapy couch he calls laptop.