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Sunday, November 29, 2009

In the News: November 29, 2009

Most of this stuff isn't terribly recent, but I've been meaning to post them for a while.

Belgian pleads guilty to US-Iran arms sales charges

File photo of Iranian F-5 fighter jet, June 2009
Officials say Jacques Monsieur planned to export parts for F-5 fighter jets

"An alleged Belgian arms dealer has pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally export jet engines and parts from the US to Iran, officials say.

The suspect, Jacques Monsieur, now faces a maximum prison sentence of six years and a $250,000 (£150,000) fine.

Mr Monsieur, a resident of France, was arrested in August in New York."

"They alleged the defendant had wired $110,000 (£68,000) to a bank account in Alabama in July as payment for jet parts and had promised another $300,000 as down payment for two engines. 

The parts could have been used as replacements in the aging military jets sold to Iran by the US before the 1979 Iranian revolution."

I'll admit it, though the case is important because of the potentially deadly outcome had he succeeded, I was more amused by the man's name.
Jacques Monsieur. In France you would have to call him Monsieur Monsieur. I wonder if he gets confused when people are calling out to each other in a polite fashion....

This is pretty awesome.
Federal judge cites Adam Sandler's "Billy Madison" in order

"In what is surely a first for the federal judiciary, a Texas bankruptcy judge has quoted from the Adam Sandler film canon in a recent opinion. Dismissing a motion due to "incomprehensibility," Judge Leif Clark cited a scene from "Billy Madison," Sandler's 1995 comedy, in a footnote to a February 21 court order."

Excerpt from the motion dismissal:

Follow the link for the full order.
(thanks to Nithya)

More news after the break!


One of the many reasons I dislike unions...
Union troubled by Eagle Scout project in Allentown

"In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest municipal union.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council."

Yes, you need to look out for yourself and your job security, but this is just ridiculous...
I agree that unions were necessary at the start of the industrial age when the government didn't protect workers' right, but most modern unions are nothing more than bullying groups that force employers to give irrational concessions. (Think: Union of Auto Workers (UAW) and their clause for lifetime guaranteed jobs).

"Balzano said Saturday the union is still looking into the matter and might cut the city a break.

"We are probably going to let this one go," Balzano said."

What a great guy...
(via Neatorama)

Publisher Would Like You to Buy Sarah Palin's Actual Book, Not the Parody
"There are two books out — Going Rogue, 'written' by Palin. And Going Rouge, a parody. Many, including, CNN, USA Today and Fox News, keep getting confused and picking the wrong one."

Take a look at the covers. I would probably confuse them as well....

(via Gawker)

Glove, other Michael Jackson items fetch $2 million
An auction for 80+ pieces of MJ memorabilia took in $2 million.
Among the items:

 Handwritten lyrics to Billy Jean that sold for $60,00

 MJ's fedora from the 1995 MTV Music Awards ($73,800)

Mold used to make MJ's fangs for Thriller ($10,000)

The '00s: Goodbye (at Last) to the Decade From Hell
Time has proposed the 2000s as the 'Decade from Hell'.
Among the factors that went into this decision:
  • 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • The economic market crashes of 2000 (dot com bubble) and last year
  • Bernie Madoff
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Asian tsunami of 2004
  • Record numbers of bankruptcies (including GM, Chrysler, Circuit City, United Airlines, to name a few
Of course this is just an overview. Read the full article for a more in depth look that I have neither the Time nor the patience to provide.

And I'll end with this gem:

(via Probably Bad News)

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