Muslim Engineer in Kansas sues Boeing Employees Association

❝ A judge has rejected a move by Spirit Boeing Employees Association seeking to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a Muslim aerospace engineer alleging discrimination stemming from a party at a Kansas lake.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled Tuesday that there remains a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Munir Zanial’s rights were violated on the basis of race, religion or national origin.

❝ The Malaysian national of Indian ancestry rented a pavilion at the group’s lake in 2017 to celebrate Malaysian Independence Day. The lawsuit alleges the association suspended his rental privileges and reported him to authorities.

It alleged an American flag had been desecrated by Islamic State group symbols. But the flag was actually a Malaysian flag and the guests included people of Malaysian Indian ancestry, some wearing hijabs.

Ignorance ain’t bliss, folks. In Kansas it apparently means you might suspect someone of being a dangerous conspiratorial terrorist. Not someone who honors the nation of his birth.

Mumbai Maersk sets new world record [Phew!]

The Mumbai Maersk is a 2nd generation Triple-E class vessel with a nominal capacity of 20,568 TEU*. The vessel is the newest to enter the Triple-E fleet in May 2018 and is deployed on the Asia-to-Europe service (AE5). The world record load of 19,038 TEU has raised a new bar for Maersk by surpassing Madison Maersk, a 1st generation Triple-E class vessel, which reached 18,215 TEU in 2015. At the same time, Mumbai Maersk overtakes all other reported record loadings from other carriers.

* TEU = twenty-foot equivalent unit

Navy Officer going to prison for his part in $30 million bribery scandal

daniel dusek
Billion$ floating around the world – why not take a taste?

A federal judge in San Diego has sentenced a U.S. Navy captain caught in a $30 million bribery scandal to 46 months in prison, bringing to a close the case against the highest-ranking officer in the fraud scheme.

Captain Daniel Dusek, 49, pleaded guilty last year to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery after admitting he accepted services from prostitutes, luxury hotel stays, alcohol and other gifts in exchange for giving classified information to the Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

The firm headed by Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis, who has been dubbed “Fat Leonard,” held over $200 million in contracts to clean, stock and maintain U.S. Pacific Fleet ships.

Francis has admitted to obtaining classified ship scheduling in exchange for bribes, which allowed him to make more money on his contracts by knowing when Navy ships would be available for servicing.

U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino in sentencing Dusek to 46 months in prison said his actions could have jeopardized national security…

Francis and Glenn Defense Marine Asia pleaded guilty in January 2015 to bribery and fraud charges. The company overcharged the Navy more than $25 million, according to his plea agreement.

So far, 10 people, including seven naval officers have been charged in the scheme, including a Naval Criminal Investigative Services agent and two commanders. All but one have entered a guilty plea.

Three admirals, who are now retired, were also censured for their improper relationships with Francis and his company.

President Eisenhower knew what he was talking about when he characterized the military-industrial complex as one of the greatest dangers in modern America. This is only one facet of corruption codified by Congress and the federal budget.

Malaysian state official blames nude tourists for earthquake

Seismologists say it is hard to predict earthquakes, but a senior official in the Malaysian state of Sabah claims he had a premonition that “something was not well” a day before the earth shook beneath Mount Kinabalu.

Friday’s 6.0-magnitude quake near one of South East Asia’s highest peaks on Borneo island killed 16 climbers, including several school children. Rescue crews are still looking for two more bodies.

Sabah’s deputy chief minister, Joseph Pairin Kitingan, says this tragedy is connected to a group of Western tourists who recently posed nude on the peak and allegedly cursed at a local guide for trying to prevent them from stripping.

Pictures of the half-dressed group have been widely circulated online. Mr Pairin says the tourists made the spirits of the mountain angry.

“The quake can be taken as a confirmation of what we feared could be the consequence of their actions,” he told local reporters.

“We have to take this tragedy as a reminder that local beliefs and customs cannot be disrespected.”

The day before the quake struck, he said he saw a flock of birds circling for half an hour and took it as a bad sign.

I take governments run by superstitious fools as a bad sign — and generally refrain from vacationing in places run by obnoxious True Believers.

I agree that going out of your way to offend local customs is impolite, not recommended. Still, I’m not about to fear for my life because I offended someone’s imaginary spirit deity.

How many swimming pools to hold all the excess fat in the United States?

How much energy is there in all the excess human fat in the USA?

This paper, about the amount of energy contained in fat people in the USA, can fuel a new level of contentiousness in the nation’s ongoing, highly opinionated debates about energy policy, and perhaps about other things.

“How much energy is locked in the USA? Alternative metrics…The authors, at Monash University in, Selangor, Malaysia and the Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia, report:

“Methods: Behavioural Risk Factors Surveillance System data were used to estimate the weight the US population needed to lose to achieve a BMI\25. The metrics for population level overweight were total weight, total volume, total energy, and energy value.

“Results: About 144 million people in the US need to lose 2.4 million metric tonnes. The volume of fat is 2.6 billion litres—1,038 Olympic size swimming pools. The energy in the fat would power 90,000 households for a year and is worth around 162 million dollars….

Thinking about this is challenging enough. Certainly the authors have derived a useful figure for American medicine to contemplate, both physiological and psychological.

Or just bloody depressing.

Thanks to improbable Research

Malaysia investigates public dog petting

I want to touch a dog
No one was struck down by lightning

Islamic authorities in Malaysia are conducting an investigation into a controversial “dog patting” event aimed at removing the stigma regarding the animal in the multi-ethnic Muslim-majority country.

The event, titled “I want to touch a dog” and held in a park on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, encouraged patting dogs, widely considered to be unclean in Islam, and reportedly drew hundreds of Muslims, raising the ire of religious leaders.

Islamic authorities said they would investigate the event, while a Muslim leader, Nooh Gadut, said it was an attempt to insult clerics…

The organiser, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, who is a Muslim, had said his intention was to help people overcome their fear of dogs and promote compassion towards animals.

Many Malaysians posted positive comments about the event on social media…

Muslims who took part in the event last Sunday performed in a special washing ritual at the end of the event.

The Southeast Asian country generally practises a moderate brand of Islam, but conservative views have gained increasing traction in recent years, with minorities complaining of what they see as Islamisation.

Theocracy is bad enough – in and of itself. It allows no respect for freedom of thought. In particular, the freedom to be perfectly satisfied with material reality as the foundation for philosophy, politics, economics and social life. Education eventually restricts superstition to the ignorant.

Malaysia is joining other nations like Turkey, run by hypocrites, saying one thing about liberty for citizens while gradually imposing theocracy. No more desirable in Asia than in the United States. Fundamentalists of one flavor or another always seem to think they have a cellphone connection with whichever deity they think makes them special – and the rest of us folk should just sit back and obey.

The sillier aspects of most are as concerned with food and pets as they are about stopping equal opportunities for human beings. They deserve opposition – especially from believers who want to bring their beliefs more in line with the time we live in – rather than in the distant past.

US Navy contracts bought with hookers, Lady Gaga concert tickets


Oil change and filters adds up – for a couple of these

Nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” the gregarious Malaysian businessman is well known by U.S. Navy commanders in the Pacific, where his company has serviced warships for 25 years.

But prosecutors in court papers say Leonard Francis worked his connections to obtain military secrets by lining up prostitutes, Lady Gaga tickets and other bribes for a U.S. commander, in a scandal reverberating across the Navy…

Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz passed confidential information on ship routes to Francis’ Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, according to the court documents.

Misiewicz and Francis moved Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where Francis could inflate costs, according to the criminal complaint. The firm overcharged the Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, the prosecution alleges…

So far, authorities have arrested Misiewicz; Francis; his company’s general manager of global government contracts, Alex Wisidagama; and a senior Navy investigator, John Beliveau II. Beliveau is accused of keeping Francis abreast of the probe and advising him on how to respond in exchange for such things as luxury trips and prostitution services. All have pleaded not guilty…

Navy spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby said Navy Criminal Investigative Service agents initiated their probe in 2010, but declined to comment further…

That same year, Misiewicz caught the world’s attention when he made an emotional return as a U.S. Naval commander to his native Cambodia, where he had been rescued as a child from the violence of the Khmer Rouge and adopted by an American woman. His homecoming was widely covered by international media.

Meanwhile, Francis was recruiting him for his scheme, according to court documents.

[Obviously, the relationship grew – ] Misiewicz would refer to Francis as “Big Brother” or “Big Bro” in emails from a personal account, while Francis would call him “Little Brother” or “Little Bro,” according to the complaint.

The company bilked the Navy out of $10 million in just one year in Thailand alone, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said…

The federal government has suspended its contracts with Francis…The defendants face up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery.

RTFA for all the gory details. Corruption and bribery has never disappeared from the heart of capitalism. They’re still referred to euphemistically as “sales aids”. All that changes over time, from company to corporation is a matter of degree.

If you believe that everyone has his price, the truth doesn’t matter. You just need to find the corruptible person who is willing to be bought. The exception that proves the rule.

Malaysian court rules only Muslims may use the word “Allah”

A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word “Allah” to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia’s appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah – as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries.

“The usage of the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity,” chief judge Mohamed Apandi Ali said in the ruling. “The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community.”

The decision coincides with heightened ethnic and religious tension in Malaysia after a polarizing May election, in which the long-ruling coalition was deserted by urban voters that included a large section of minority ethnic Chinese…

A court appointed on the basis of politics makes decisions based on politics. Sound familiar?

Continue reading

Malaysian senator’s hubbie busted for £11 million theft


The loving couple

The husband of a Malaysian minister has been charged with misusing almost £11 million of government funds – allegedly to buy luxury apartments, holidays and a Mercedes – a day after she signalled she would quit.

Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Malaysia’s minister for women, family and community, said she would step down next month when her term as senator ends, though she denied any wrongdoing and said she was acting as a responsible member of the government.

The minister became embroiled in the so-called “Cowgate” scandal when accusations surfaced about the misuse of funds earmarked for a £55 million government cattle project run by her husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, and three children.

The allegations surrounding the fund has been a source of deep embarrassment to the government of prime minister Najib Razak, who is likely to call an election this year, as he had vowed to root out corruption.

Prosecutors on Monday charged Mohamad Salleh, 64, with two counts of criminal breach of trust and two more of embezzlement relating to almost £11 million, allegedly buy luxury property in Malaysia and neighbouring Singapore. He denied the charges.

The project was designed to play to poorer voters, the bedrock of support for the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). But the “Cowgate” scandal has seen the strategy explode in the government’s face at a time when rising corruption and growing income disparity have eroded its popularity.

What always makes me chuckle is how the corrupt demonstrate such confidence in the corruption of the whole society, in the acceptance of corruption – they seem to feel no one will notice how much has gone missing into their pockets. Forever astounding.