Saturday, September 30, 2006

I Think He's Confused

Who needs to forgive whom?
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is willing to forgive but not forget Chris Dodd and others who abandoned him after he lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont and became a petitioning candidate.

In an online interview this week with PajamasMedia, conducted by novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon, Lieberman was asked about the break with his old allies.

"I'm talking specifically about Chris Dodd, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, people like that, none of whom are supporting your campaign," Simon asked. "How do you feel about that? And will you be able to forgive them?

"Oh, I'll forgive them. I probably won't forget, to tell you the truth," Lieberman replied. "And, you know, this is politics. And it's been disappointing."


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What Does A Ten Year Old Know About "The Flesh?"

This is brainwashing and child abuse.
The children at the Kids on Fire summer camp are intent as they pray over a cardboard cutout of President George Bush. They raise their hands in the air and sway, eyes closed, as they join the chant for "righteous judges". Tears stream down their faces as they are told that they are "phonies" and "hypocrites" and must wash their hands in bottled water to drive out the devil.

The documentary film Jesus Camp follows three children at the Kids on Fire Pentecostal summer camp in the small city of Devil's Lake, North Dakota.

Tory, aged 10, tells the camera why she likes "Christian, heavy metal rock and roll", rather than Britney Spears. "When I dance", she says, as she cavorts around her bedroom, "I have to make sure that that's God. People will notice when I'm just dancing for the flesh."

Filmed over a year by two New York-based documentary makers, the film has caused a furore since it opened in the mid-west two weeks ago, setting evangelical Christians against non-believers, and separating Pentecostal from non-Pentecostal evangelicals


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A Disgusting and Repulsive Reality

I don't watch Fox News channel at all anymore - and haven't for over a year. They are just far too slanted and almost every host behaves like a rabid attack dog for Bush. However, every now and then it looks like I may miss a gem or two. Sheppard Smith was great during Katrina when Sean Hannity tried to spin the disaster into something positive while Sheppard was trying to report the exact opposite. Sheppard shouted him down until he shut up. He'd better watch out. He may lose his job over his passionate with Bill Kristol.
Smith: It’s horrifying that you just said we can’t do anything until after the election. We’ve got men and women over there who are dying everyday and you just said that the man that you support (Bush) can’t do anything even though you believe he knows it’s wrong.—What is worse than that Bill Kristol?

I think it’s hard to ask Bush to do something in the middle of this election season…

Smith: That’s a disgusting and repulsive reality Bill, you have to admit that.

Click here to watch the video.


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Bill, You Old Dog You!

Some things will not change.
Ashton Kutcher, star of MTV’s Punk’d, said Clinton, 61, gave Demi, 43, the eye at a recent bash.

Kutcher, 28, told US chat show host Jay Leno that he felt like the invisible man while the three ate together.

He said: “I met Bill Clinton once but he didn’t really talk — he was hitting on my wife.”


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Legless And Sick Of Slogans

Generals retire and they criticize Bush. Soldiers come home and even if they have no legs, they run for office and tell the truth.
An Illinois congressional candidate who lost both her legs during combat in Iraq said Saturday that President Bush has no real strategy for securing the war-ravaged nation, just political talk designed to appeal to voters.

"Instead of a plan or a strategy, we get shallow slogans like 'mission accomplished' and 'stay the course,'" former Army Capt. Tammy Duckworth said in the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Those slogans are calculated to win an election. But they won't help us accomplish our mission in Iraq."

Duckworth's address served as a response to the president's weekly radio talk and gave the Democratic Party a chance to showcase one of its strongest candidates as it seeks to regain control of the House in November's elections.

Duckworth, who copiloted a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed while under a rocket grenade attack almost two years ago, also criticized Bush and others in his administration for accusing anyone who challenges the president's policies of "cutting and running."

"Well, I didn't cut and run, Mr. President. Like so many others, I proudly fought and sacrificed," Duckworth said. "My helicopter was shot down long after you proclaimed 'mission accomplished.'"


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You Know It's Coming

For some reason I was just thinking about this the other day and wondered how long it would be before someone infiltrated the green zone and lauched a massive attack. Turns out that I was right. They stopped this one but you know it's coming sooner or later.
The U.S. military said a captured al-Qaida suspect and members of his cell were "in the final stages" of planning an attack on the Green Zone. An unprecedented curfew prompted by the arrest left millions of Baghdadis stranded at home on Saturday without supplies during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The U.S. military said the suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member was arrested late Friday at the home of senior Sunni Arab political leader Adnan al-Dulaimi, where he was working as a personal bodyguard.

Al-Dulaimi is a member of the Iraqi Accordance Front - the largest Sunni coalition in the 275-member parliament, where it holds 44 seats - and the military was quick to distance the politician from the raid, stressing that he was "not the target."

"This operation in no way implies Dr. al-Dulaimi was associated with any illegal activity," the military said, adding that the suspect was captured in a security trailer at al-Dulaimi's home.


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Heads Must Roll

What did they know and when did they know it? It seems like their are pulling a Catholic Church number with the silence/cover up on this. The Democrats want control of Congress probably had no idea that this would be the way it would happen.

The resignation rocked the Capitol, and especially Foley's GOP colleagues, as lawmakers were rushing to adjourn for at least six weeks. House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

It was not immediately clear what actions Hastert took. His spokesman had said earlier that the speaker did not know of the sexually charged online exchanges between Foley and the boy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took the House floor last night to demand an investigation into the Foley matter. But Boehner headed her off, calling on the House to refer the matter to the ethics committee, which the House promptly voted unanimously to do.

The news of Foley's resignation overshadowed an afternoon Republican ceremony hailing a military commissions bill, and it gave Democrats sudden hopes of winning the Palm Beach-based 16th District. Many lawmakers think Democrats are on the verge of winning control of the House in November, and an unexpected gain could prove crucial.

At the Capitol Hill signing ceremony for the commissions bill, a GOP campaign priority, reporters asked Hastert only about Foley. "He's done the right thing," Hastert replied. "I've asked John Shimkus [R-Ill.], who is head of the Page Board, to look into this issue regarding Congressman Foley. We want to make sure that all of our pages are safe and our page system is safe. None of us are happy about it."

I don't know how this will turn out but the GOP has presented itself as the party of values. Foley's behavior and the silence in the Congress do not reflect those values.


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Rush Limbaugh Remains A Big Fat Idiot

He obviously doesn't watch the program.

On the September 29 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that "[t]here can only be one reason" the producers of the CBS reality TV program Survivor decided to dissolve the show's competing teams, which had been divided into four "tribes" comprised of African-American, white, Asian-American, and Latino members, into two mixed-race groups after only two episodes -- "the white tribe had to be winning." As Media Matters for America noted, Limbaugh originally asserted that saying "blacks can't swim" "is not a racial or racist comment at all" while "handicap[ping]" the new season of Survivor. He also stated that Hispanics have "probably shown the most survival tactics," that they "have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders," and that they can "do it without water for a long time. They don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do."

From the September 29 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Well, it didn't take long for this. After only two episodes, producers at CBS -- the TV show Survivor, you know they -- they segregated all those tribes by race and by ethnicity -- but after only two episodes, the segregation has ended. They have merged the black, white, Asian, and Latino tribes into two mixed-race gangs. There can only be one reason for this, ladies and gentlemen -- that is the white tribe had to be winning. Were -- were it not for that, there would be none of this mixed-gang business going on after only two episodes.

Uh ... people ... The show isn't live. It's taped. I don't think they had any intention of keeping the tribes segregated for more than a couple of eliminations. It was just a gimick to get people hooked into the show. Moreover, the white people weren't winning. The Asians won first place in the first two challenges. The white folks were stealing and trying to hook up in the dirt and sand. Now that they've merged, one of the white girls was seriously macking the lone brotha. So Rush, shut up!


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Friday, September 29, 2006

Sad Blow For Afghan Women

Women voted in Afghanistan, Bush always brags. But of course he is ignoring the fact that the Taliban is all but in charge again and that women and women's rights are among the first to be targeted.
Amid increasing attacks by Taliban militants, Safia Ama Jan, director of Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs in Kandahar, was shot and killed this morning. A local Taliban commander claimed responsibility for the murder, according to the Associated Press, and it's thought that Ama Jan was killed in reprisal for her successful attempts at educating women.

Her death rattled an international community hyperaware of the tenuous situation in Afghanistan, and her funeral today drew hundreds of mourners. A spokesperson for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said the organization "is appalled at the senseless murder of a woman who was simply working to ensure that all Afghan women play a full and equal part in the future of Afghanistan."

Still, some remain confident that escalating attacks will fail to thwart Afghanistan's progress. President Hamid Karzai said, "The enemies of Afghanistan must understand that we have millions of people like (Ama Jan) who will continue to serve this great nation." Similarly, Fariba Ahmedi, a member of Parliament, told the AP, "The enemy of Afghanistan killed her, but they should know it will not derail women from the path we are on. We will continue on our way."

Yet Taliban militants seem increasingly intent on derailing strides toward women's empowerment. Attacks on schools have increased recently, presumably in protest of educating girls. Ama Jan was a fearless champion of women's education; her son said she ran an underground school for girls out of her home during the Taliban's oppressive rule. Through her six vocational schools, Ama Jan also managed to teach nearly 1,000 Afghan women how to use computers and bake and sell goods, according to the AP.

Ultimately, she was more concerned with her work than her own safety. Ama Jan's son told the AP that she would say, "It's my country, I won't quit my job. I want to do this work for our women, for our country. I want women to be able to work just like men."


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How 'Bout That Freedom?

The right says no one ever reports the good stuff. How can they when things are so bad that the government has to shut the city down with a curfew?
Iraq's government shut down the capital with a one-day curfew on Saturday, ordering all cars and pedestrians off the streets, but giving no reason for the measure.

The curfew would remain in place until 6:00 a.m. (0200) on Sunday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office said in a one- line statement. The U.S. military did not comment.

The announcement came after a week of clashes and bombings heralded the start of the holy month of Ramadan. U.S. commanders say the past week saw a record number of suicide bombings and the last two weeks have seen a surge in violence.

Although no explanation was given for the curfew, residents of the Adamiya neighbourhood in the north of the capital said they heard gunfire and explosions near dusk on Friday.


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Queen Latiffah For Excedrin RTH

Yeah, it gets this deep sometimes!


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Doesn't He Watch Dateline?

Okay. I realize it has to be an all consuming compulsion or affliction. I just don't get why these people do this kind of stuff!
Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who suddenly announced this afternoon he is stepping down from Congress after his sex-laced e-mails to a former male page, who was 16, were published, made headlines in May 2003 when he took the unusual step of calling a news conference to denounce a report in a South Florida alternative paper that he is gay.

Foley declined to answer questions about the subject then, saying his sexual orientation had nothing to do with is duties as a lawmaker. New Times had raised the issue.

But Foley accused Democratic activists of spreading the rumor to derail his Senate campaign. That drew a sharp response from Florida Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox, who criticized Foley for responding to one inappropriate accusation with another. Foley later dropped out of the U.S. Senate race.

In the House, Foley was co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Causus.

The House in 2005 passed Foley-sponsored legislation that would subject child sex offenders to stringent monitoring requirements and tough penalties for failing to comply with registration requirements. "We track library books better than we do sexual predators," Foley said.

I turned the channel when they started reading some of this dude's IM chats with some kid. Unbelievable! ICK!


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A Liar, A Failure

He knows Bush better than Bush knows himself.
Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri condemned President Bush in a video statement released Friday, calling him a failure and a liar in the war on terror.

"Can't you be honest at least once in your life, and admit that you are a deceitful liar who intentionally deceived your nation when you drove them to war in Iraq,"
al-Zawahri said in a portion of the video released by the Washington-based SITE Institute.

Al-Zawahri also criticized Bush for continuing to imprison al-Qaida leaders in prisons, including al-Qaida No. 3 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind who was captured in Pakistan in March 2003.

"Bush, you deceitful charlatan, 3 1/2 years have passed since your capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, so how have you found us during this time? Losing and surrendering?"
he said, according to the SITE Institute.

"What you have perpetrated against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Muslim captives in your prisons and the prisons of your slaves in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and elsewhere is not hidden from anyone, and we are a people who do not sleep under oppression and who do not abandon our revenge until our chests have been healed of those who have aggressed against us," the Virginia-based IntelCenter quoted the message as saying. "And we, by the grace of Allah, are seeking to exact revenge on behalf of Islam and Muslims from you and your soldiers and allies."


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Wanted: Mad Scientist

I know this is serious but these folks and these clandestine video tapes are starting to make me laugh. Is he for real?

Al-Qaida in Iraq's leader, in a chilling audiotape released Thursday, called for nuclear scientists to join his group's holy war and urged insurgents to kidnap Westerners so they could be traded for a blind Egyptian sheik who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison.

The fugitive terror chief said experts in the fields of "chemistry, physics, electronics, media and all other sciences - especially nuclear scientists and explosives experts" should join his group's jihad, or holy war, against the West.

"We are in dire need of you," said the speaker, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir - also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri. "The field of jihad can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases (in Iraq) are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them."

The 20-minute audio was posted to a Web site that frequently airs al-Qaida messages. The voice could not be independently identified, but it was thought to be al-Masri's. He is believed to have succeeded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who died in a U.S. airstrike north of Baghdad in June, as head of the al-Qaida-linked organization.


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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Will Chavez Get To The Security Council?

I think we'll probably twist as many arms as we can to try to prevent it. But who knows? Maybe enough countries are so sick of our international bullying that they'll let him in.
When Mr. Chávez called Mr. Bush "the devil himself" before the UN General Assembly last week, his remarks generated giggles, even applause. But can he form an alliance against American power?

The next test of his ambition will come next month, when the General Assembly is to decide if Venezuela will be among the next five countries to hold two-year seats on the United Nations Security Council.

"Chávez wants to be a global player taking a part in the big issues of the day - like Iran's right to a nuclear program - and he realizes the [Council] is the perfect platform for him to play that role," says Michael Shifter, vice president at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

Although UN diplomats and analysts say that other criteria, including regional ties and economic relations, figure in how countries vote for the coveted Security Council seats, they also acknowledge that the Chávez factor will play a role.

One country that supports Venezuela's campaign is China, which is perhaps not enthralled with the Chávez rhetoric but is lured by the idea of more countries holding its worldview on the Council. China has not been shy about its preference to see greater respect in Security Council deliberations for nation-states' rights, and less attention to individuals' universal rights - ideas implicit in Chávez's discourse.

China also wouldn't mind beefing up the bloc of Security Council countries willing to stand up to the United States, analysts say. Others point out that Venezuela's competition for the open Latin American seat is Guatemala, which has opened diplomatic relations with Taiwan - a move China is keen to discourage.

Some "fence-sitting countries" might be "sympathetic to the notion that some counterweight to American power could be a good thing," says one UN diplomat who asked to remain unnamed because his position in dealing with UN members demands neutrality. "But imagine the pressure that could follow a vote for someone who just called the US president the devil."

Of course the Chávez campaign, joined most publicly by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not the first time countries have joined to check American power, as some foreign-policy practitioners note.


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Thich Nhat Hanh's Letter to President Bush

Well, the thought was there. We know Bush doesn't even listen to his own church. But thanks for trying (sigh).
Last night, I saw my brother (who died two weeks ago in the U.S.A.) coming back to me in a dream. He was with all his children. He told me, “let’s go home together.” After a millisecond of hesitation, I told him joyfully, “Ok, let’s go.”

Waking up from that dream at 5 am this morning, I thought of the situation in the Middle East; and for the first time, I was able to cry. I cried for a long time, and I felt much better after about one hour. Then I went to the kitchen and made some tea. While making tea, I realized that what my brother had said is true: our home is large enough for all of us. Let us go home as brothers and sisters.

Mr. President, I think that if you could allow yourself to cry like I did this morning, you will also feel much better. It is our brothers that we kill over there. They are our brothers, God tells us so, and we also know it. They may not see us as brothers because of their anger, their misunderstanding, and their discrimination. But with some awakening, we can see things in a different way, and this will allow us to respond differently to the situation. I trust God in you; I trust Buddha nature in you.

Thank you for reading.

In gratitude and with brotherhood,
Thich Nhat Hanh
Plum Village


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The Senate Buckles To Bush Too

Well, the Dems tried. Barack Obama shined again as one of the voices of the opposition but the Senate passed the bill.
Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, praised the bill. "I am pleased that this legislation before the Senate does not amend, redefine, or modify the Geneva Conventions in any way. The Conventions are preserved intact," he said.

But many opposition Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, disagree, saying the bill falls far short of fair judicial standards and allows for abusive interrogation techniques. "I personally believe this legislation is unconstitutional. It will certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court in the years ahead, and when that happens, we will be back here debating how to bring terrorists to justice," he said.

Human rights groups agree. They note the bill does not allow suspects the right to challenge the legality of their detention in U.S. courts.

A slim majority of Senators rejected an amendment that would have offered detainees that right, arguing that terror suspects are not entitled to the same rights as U.S. soldiers and citizens, and saying such court challenges could hinder detainees' military trials.

Senators also voted down several other amendments that would have, among other things, clarified interrogation tactics and strengthened congressional oversight of military commissions.

Among the other provisions, the overall bill allows for coerced testimony in limited circumstances - if a judge finds it reliable and the statement was taken before a 2005 ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It also allows for hearsay evidence, again if a judge finds it reliable.

The bill allows defendants limited access to classified evidence used to convict them. It also expands the definition of "enemy combatants" to include those who provide weapons, money and other support to terrorist groups.

I think this bill puts our soldiers at further risk. I'm sure the loved ones of soldiers would love to have bodies shipped back in the condition that Iraqi's are finding theirs. We cannot pretend to be the moral authority for the world and then take less than the high ground. I pray this does go to the Supreme Court gets overturned. Unfortunately, this is an election tactic to use against the Democrats and it may fire up the nutty base just enough to send them to the polls in November.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Professor Zero said...

Everyone needs an open casket funeral now. I believe it was Emmett Till's mother who chose one, so people could see what happened.


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Not Losing Afghanistan In The US

I noticed this the other day and meant to post on in. Look at the covers for the Oct 2 edition of Newsweek. All of the international covers show "Losing Afghanistan." The US cover features Annie Leibovitz. Don't Americans need to know this?
Last night on "The Daily Show" Jon Stewart joined the pile-up on Newsweek this week, thanks to the decision to replace its cover on "Losing Afghanistan" — seen on Newsweek's international edition around the world — in favor of a cover story on celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, complete with a gallery of her most famous celebrity pics (OMG look, it's Demi Moore!) ...  Stewart calls them on the, er, carpet for that, as seen in the clip ...


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You Can't Believe The Intelligence

It's funny how we're supposed to believe the intelligence when it benefits them but ignore it when the intelligence goes against their lies.
It is impossible to know with any precision whether the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created more terrorists than they've killed, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday.

In his first extensive remarks about a recent U.S. intelligence report saying the threat of terrorism has risen, Rumsfeld told reporters at a NATO meeting that, in general, the value of intelligence reports can be uneven, and "sometimes it's just flat wrong."

But he added that, "the implication that if you stop killing or capturing people who are trying to kill you, then therefore the world would be a better place, is obviously nonsensical."

In the much-discussed National Intelligence Estimate initially reported last weekend, the government's top analysts concluded that Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for jihadists, who are growing in number and geographic reach. If the trend continues, they said, the risks to the U.S. interests at home and abroad surely will grow.

Rumsfeld did not specifically criticize or address the controversial intelligence report, but instead commented more broadly about the terrorist question that has gripped the political world since the report was disclosed last week.

"Are more terrorists being created in the world? We don't know. The world doesn't know," said Rumsfeld, adding that there are no good ways to measure "The world doesn't know. There aren't good ways to measure how many terrorists are being trained at camps around the world."

Oh, they know! They just won't tell.


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He Didn't Mean Macaca. He Meant Nigger

The hole just keeps getting deeper for George Allen yet he just keeps digging.
Three former college football teammates of Sen. George Allen say that the Virginia Republican repeatedly used an inflammatory racial epithet and demonstrated racist attitudes toward blacks during the early 1970s.

"Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'" said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. "He used the N-word on a regular basis back then."

A second white teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign, separately claimed that Allen used the word "nigger" to describe blacks. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used," the teammate said.

A third white teammate contacted separately, who also spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being attacked by the Virginia senator, said he too remembers Allen using the word "nigger," though he said he could not recall a specific conversation in which Allen used the term. "My impression of him was that he was a racist," the third teammate said.

Shelton also told Salon that the future senator gave him the nickname "Wizard," because he shared a last name with Robert Shelton, who served in the 1960s as the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America, a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. The radiologist said he decided earlier this year that he would go public with his concerns about Allen if a reporter ever called. About four months ago, when he heard that Allen was a possible candidate for president in 2008, Shelton began to write down some of the negative memories of his former teammate. He provided Salon excerpts of those notes last week.

More and more people are speaking up. I know that there are a lot of liars out there but why would they all lie on him? He may be able to pull off his Senate race by a narrow margin, but I think his Presidential dreams are up in smoke.


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This Bill Is Everything We Don't Believe In

We have thousands of soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout a world that is increasingly hostile to the US. No sane person wants to coddle terrorists but when captured they are still suspects, many of whom are innocent. The House passed this bill giving the dumbest President ever the authority to be the decider.

Democrats said they wanted to tone down the powers the bill would give to Bush and the limits it would impose on terror-war suspects' abilities to defend themselves during trials.

Said Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio: "This bill is everything we don't believe in."

Overall, 219 Republicans and 34 Democrats vote for the legislation while 160 Democrats, seven Republicans and one independent voted against it.

During the often partisan debate, some Democrats contended the bill would approve torture.

"All Americans want to hold terrorists accountable, but if we try to redefine the nature of torture, whisk people into secret detention facilities and use secret evidence to convict them in special courts, our actions do in fact embolden our enemies," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.

Others vehemently opposed language that would give the president wide latitude to interpret international standards of prisoner treatment and bar detainees from going to federal court to protest their treatment and detention under the right of habeas corpus. Supporters of the bill have said eliminating habeas corpus was intended to keep detainees from flooding federal courts with appeals.

The bill also gives the president the ability to interpret international standards for prisoner treatment when an act does not fall under the definition of a war crime, such as rape and torture.

"It gives too much leeway to the president," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. "And I think when you tamper with the Geneva Conventions ... you hurt our ability to protect the troops."

This is a sad, sad shame.


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NAFTA Is a Failure For Workers

It worked for the political and economic big-wigs, of course, but is piss poor for workers.
Canadian, American and Mexican workers have lost jobs and seen their spending power erode under a free-trade deal that was promoted as ``win-win-win'' for workers in all three countries, a new economic report says.

``From the point of view of North American working people, NAFTA has thus far largely failed,'' notes the three-country study examining jobs, wages and labour standards after seven years of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The report, to be released today, is authored by economic institutes that focus on labour issues: the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Canada, the Economic Policy Institute in the United States and the Mexican Institute of Labour Studies and Investigation.

The report describes stagnant and falling wages and, in Canada and the U.S., an increase in the ``threat effect'' in collective bargaining, in which companies threaten to move production to Mexico if workers don't make concessions. That applies especially in mobile industries such as manufacturing, communications and wholesale distribution.

Governments of all three countries consistently have argued that there has been a job boom under NAFTA.

But today's study, by groups that have previously criticized the trade deal, argues there has been a net job loss in the United States and Canada. While total employment grew in Mexico by 1.2 per cent according to the report, it says that is insufficient to meet the demand for new jobs.

U.S. economist Robert Scott reports NAFTA has eliminated some 766,000 manufacturing jobs, while Canadian economist Bruce Campbell details a net loss of 276,000 jobs under free trade, beginning with the U.S.-Canada deal in 1989.

Mexican economist Carlos Salas describes the other end of the equation, in which workers labour at foreign-owned duty-free plants, or maquiladoras, for a few dollars daily, and live in shantytowns that hug the U.S. border.

The Mexican study says the only types of investment that have grown since 1994 are the stock market and the maquiladora industry. These plants are increasingly moving south from the border to states with even lower wages and more lax environmental and health standards than Tijuana or Juarez.

``In the last decade, the minimum wage in Mexico lost almost 50 per cent of its purchasing power,'' says the report. ``The decline in real wages and the lack of access to stable, well-paid jobs are critical problems confronting Mexico's workforce.''

In the Canadian segment of the report, called False Promise, Campbell says workers should be concerned NAFTA is the economic model for hemispheric integration in the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).

Next week, 34 leaders from the Americas and the Caribbean meet at the third Summit of the Americas in Quebec city to discuss the expanded free-trade agenda.

``Canada has become a noticeably more unequal society in the free-trade era,'' says the study. ``Real incomes declined for the large majority of Canadians in the 1990s (and) increased only for the top fifth. Employment became more insecure and the social safety net frayed.''


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The United States of North America?

Lou Dobbs has been talking about this. That is why I keep telling folks who are frothing at the mouth about illegals that Bush and his croanies have no intention of cracking down. That cheap labor is vital to their interests.
Government documents released by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the Bush administration is running a "shadow government" with Mexico and Canada in which the U.S. is crafting a broad range of policy in conjunction with its neighbors to the north and south, asserts WND columnist and author Jerome R. Corsi.

The documents, a total of about 1,000 pages, are among the first to be released to Corsi through his FOIA request to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, which describes itself as an initiative "to increase security and to enhance prosperity among the three countries through greater cooperation."

"The documents clearly reveal that SPP, working within the U.S. Department of Commerce, is far advanced in putting together a new regional infrastructure, creating a 'shadow' trilateral bureaucracy with Mexico and Canada that is aggressively rewriting a wide range of U.S. administrative law, all without congressional oversight or public disclosure," Corsi said.

Among the initial discoveries, said Corsi, is the existence of an internal Intranet website that never has been revealed to Congress or the public.

"This private internal website," he claims, "undoubtedly contains a wealth of documentation that the FOIA request has so far intentionally excluded."

Corsi told WND the documents reveal hundreds of internal meetings, memoranda of understanding and other referenced agreements that have not been disclosed.

"We have here the beginnings of a whitewash," he said, "in which SPP evidently thinks the public will be hoodwinked by a 'Myths vs. Facts' document posted for public relations purposes on their public website."

Among the documents is an organizational chart accompanied by a listing of trilateral Mexican, Canadian and U.S. administrative officers who report on multiple cabinet level "working groups."

The government watchdog Judicial Watch announced today it has received some of the same documents, including the organizational chart, which can be seen in this pdf file, on page seven.

"There is no specific authorization for this massive administrative-branch integration with Mexico and Canada other than what amounts to a press conference jointly issued by President Bush, Mexico's President Vicente Fox, and Canada's then-Prime Minister Paul Martin on March 23, 2005, at the end of their summit in Waco, Texas," Corsi said.

Corsi added that even the "Myth vs. Facts" blurb on the website admits the SPP is neither a treaty nor a law.

"The Bush administration is trying to create the infrastructure of a new regional North American government in stealth fashion, under the radar and out of public view," Corsi claims. "Where is Congress, asleep at the wheel?"

The SPP organizational chart Corsi obtained shows 13 working groups covering a wide range of public policy issues, including Manufactured Goods; Energy, Food & Agriculture; Rules of Origin' Health; E-Commerce; Transportation; Environment; Financial Services; Business Facilitation; External Threats to North America; Streamlined & Secured Shared Borders; and Prevention/Response within North America.

U.S. administrative-branch officers participating in these working groups are drawn from the U.S. departments of State, Homeland Security, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy, Health and Human Services, and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The released documents affirm that counterparts from official governmental agencies in Mexico and Canada are combined with the U.S. administrative branch to form new trilateral "working groups" that actively rewrite U.S. administrative law to "harmonize" or "integrate" with administrative law in Mexico and Canada.

"What we have here amounts to an administrative coup d'etat," Corsi told WND. "Where does the Bush administration get the congressional authorization to invite two foreign nations to the table to rewrite U.S. law?"


At 4:30 PM, Blogger PC said...

oh this is some crazy stuff! Oh man!

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there any way that a person could get information about this from the canadain gov? and after nafta is the canadain gov OK with this?

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

holly s*i* this can't be good if the main stream news is not reporting it. we had all beter be careful.


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They Cannot Help Themselves!

Un-frickin' believable!
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), who famously suggested the U.S. wouldn’t have “all these problems” had Strom Thurmond been elected President, said today that the religious differences among Iraqis makes the conflict very difficult for him to understand:

“It’s hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what’s wrong with these people,” he said. “Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli’s and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.

Speaking shortly after a meeting with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Lott added that Iraq wasn’t among the White House’s priorities.

“No, none of that,” Lott told reporters after the session when asked if the Iraq war was discussed. “You’re [the media] the only ones who obsess on that. We don’t and the real people out in the real world don’t for the most part.

He needs to put his sheet back on so I can tell the difference! And it's pretty obvious that Iraq isn't a priority when you stay the course.


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Cut and Run ... Blah Blah Blah

Broken record!
President Bush counterpunched at Democrats on Thursday, saying their criticism of the war in Iraq has turned their party into one of "cut-and-run" obstructionists.

At a GOP fundraiser, Bush accused Democrats of using a new intelligence estimate that ties the war in Iraq to rising extremism to win votes in November.

The National Intelligence Estimate - compiled by leading analysts across 16 U.S. spy agencies - concluded that Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for jihadists, who are growing in number and geographic reach. If the trend continues, the analysts found, risks to U.S. interests at home and abroad will rise.

Party of 'cut-and-run'
The greatest danger to America is not the U.S. military presence in Iraq, but rather a premature withdrawal of U.S. forces from the war-torn nation, Bush said.

With 40 days left before the Nov. 7 elections, Bush is pushing back against Democrats who point to setbacks in Iraq, a resurgence of violence in Afghanistan - and now the new report - as evidence that the nation needs a change in political leadership.

The stakes in the war - and the election - are high, Bush said.

"Five years after 9-11, Democrats offer nothing but criticism, and obstruction and endless second guessing," Bush said. He said the Democratic Party - the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman - has become the "party of cut-and-run."


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Bush At War, Part III

Stunning! It's worse than we thought, it's going to get worse in 2007 and Bush won't budge.
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward is set to release “State of Denial,” the third in his series of books documenting the inner workings of the Bush administration. Woodward will discuss some notable revelations in the book this Sunday on 60 Minutes. Key highlights:

Bush is covering up the extent of violence against U.S. troops in Iraq:

According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. “It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That’s more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,” says Woodward.

Intelligence shows Iraq violence will worsen in 2007:

The situation is getting much worse, says Woodward, despite what the White House and the Pentagon are saying in public. “The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], ‘Oh, no, things are going to get better,‘” he tells Wallace. “Now there’s public, and then there’s private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know,” says Woodward.

Bush will not support withdrawing from Iraq under any circumstances:

President Bush is absolutely certain that he has the U.S. and Iraq on the right course, says Woodward. So certain is the president on this matter, Woodward says, that when Mr. Bush had key Republicans to the White House to discuss Iraq, he told them, “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.”

Does he realize that this war is not about him? He is the President for all of us - though he's never acted like it. If Laura and Barney are the only one's left supporting him, I hope it is because he is behind bars.


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Bush's Church Wants Us Out Of Iraq

Well ... we know Bush talks directly to God himself and no one else's advice matters - not even that of his own church.
US President George W. Bush's own church has called for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and is urging direct action to end the war.

Writes Mark Schoeff Jr: United Methodist Church leaders helped launch a week of protest and civil disobedience against the war in Iraq by signing a declaration of peace in the capital, urging President Bush to pull US troops out of the country.

The Declaration of Peace, signed on 21 September 2006, is described as a call for nonviolent action to end the war in Iraq. The Washington DC event was one of 350 staged nationwide to promote the peace initiative.

More than 500 groups, almost half of them faith organizations, are involved in the declaration of peace effort, which recently retired Bishop Susan Morrison said includes "acts of moral witness to seek a new course for our country."

By signing the peace document in front of the White House, the United Methodists and other protesters also hope to influence congressional races in November 2006 by forcing candidates to outline where they stand on the war.

Speakers at the Washington DC rally accusing the President of lying about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction and launching what they called an illegal offensive.

"Our demand as a movement is to end the war now," said Bishop Morrison. The declaration calls the situation in Iraq "an endless fire consuming lives, resources and the fragile possibilities of peace."

Thirty-four protesters, attempting to deliver the peace statement to Bush in an act of civil disobedience, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. None of the United Methodist protesters participated in that portion of the day's activity.

The Declaration of Peace initiative provides a way for the faithful to vent their anger about Iraq, Morrison said. "There are a lot of frustrated United Methodists out there who don't know where to channel it," she added.

United Methodist clergy attending the recent 2006 International Clergywomen's Consultation in Chicago signed the declaration to "call to end this war" and made a commitment to take action to translate the call into a concrete plan for peace.


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After Hugo Chavez's "devil" remarks at the UN and Harlem, Tucker Carlson had a guest on his show who actually supports Chavez with a fervor. Ultimately it turned into someone of a battle of insults. But, as we saw when Jon Stewart called him a dick, he's not really good at comebacks. He definitely shouldn't have tried to "play the dozens" with NYC Councilman Charles Barron.
CARLSON: ... that it was disgraceful that Hugo Chavez came to this country and attacked the President as the devil. What the hell does that mean, anyway? Speaking of a stupid thing to say.

But what do you make of that? Charlie Rangel, is he a tool of the right wing now?

BARRON: Well, first of all, it was stupid for George Bush to call the “axis of evil.” Just put a “D” on “evil” and you‘ve got “devil”. How come he can call three countries the axis of evil, and how come Ronald Reagan can cause Russia “the evil empire”?

So, if you can use those theological terms, then a man that participates in devilish acts, like bombing Iraq, based upon lies, killing tens of thousands of Iraqis, 2,500 Americans, a man who can play golf while we are dying in New Orleans with Katrina, those are devilish acts. And he‘s earned the title very well.

CARLSON: So you think—you think it‘s fair to call the President of the United States the devil?

BARRON: Most appropriate. This President. Most appropriate.

CARLSON: Boy, that is just—that is deranged.

BARRON: You can call it deranged all you want.

CARLSON: As I‘ve said before, I can‘t imagine—I can‘t imagine who elects you to office. But let‘s get back to Mr. Rangel...

BARRON: Well, I can‘t imagine who would let you on the air with the limited amount of intelligence you have and knowledge you have on foreign policy.

Tucker Carlson should have had enough when Jon Stewart called him a dick a couple of years ago on Crossfire. But he definitely should have known that you DO NOT "play the dozens" with a black person. Here is some more from that verbal exchange:

CARLSON: So let me—let‘s—OK. Let‘s get to the truth of this.

You and others on the international left like anyone who attacks the United States government. That—I mean, this is longstanding tradition going back 45...

BARRON: That is such a...

CARLSON: No, that‘s true.

BARRON: No, that‘s a brainless argument. Do you know why you say that?

CARLSON: No, it‘s true, though.

BARRON: So you don‘t have any intellectual discourse with us around the facts.


BARRON: The reality is—the reality is, Hugo Chavez is a humanitarian. Bush and Blair should follow his lead. A good man.

CARLSON: That‘s so demented, I don‘t know what to say...

BARRON: Good man.

CARLSON: ... other than thank you, Mr. Barron...

BARRON: You‘re welcome.

CARLSON: ... for coming on and making all of us feel reasonable by comparison. I appreciate it.

BARRON: Have a good day. Learn how to dance, Tucker.

Somebody made Tucker take off the bowtie, get a tan and try to look less dorky. But, I don't know what the heck he was doing on Dancing With The Stars. He's got children and I'm not sure how they got here.


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Can We Take A Hint?

They want us GONE!

About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and slightly more than that want their government to ask U.S. troops to leave within a year, according to a poll in that country.

The Iraqis also have negative views of Osama bin Laden, according to the early September poll of 1,150.

The poll, done for University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, found:

_Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.

_About 61 percent approved of the attacks - up from 47 percent in January. A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved of the attacks, according to the poll. The increase came mostly among Shiite Iraqis.

_An overwhelmingly negative opinion of terror chief bin Laden and more than half, 57 percent, disapproving of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

_Three-fourths say they think the United States plans to keep military bases in Iraq permanently.

_A majority of Iraqis, 72 percent, say they think Iraq will be one state five years from now. Shiite Iraqis were most likely to feel that way, though a majority of Sunnis and Kurds also believed that would be the case.


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Laser Fight

This was being discussed on CNN so I decided to look it up. My concern is not only that China has this type of technology, it's that China has friendly and economic ties to so many of the countries that Bush has turned into mortal enemies. What if they sell some of these lasers to Iran or Cuba or, to Bush's nemesis to the south, Hugo Chavez?
The U.S. has revealed that China's developed a powerful, land based laser, that has been fired at American satellites. This has apparently been going on for three years. In theory, a land based laser of sufficient power could damage some types of low orbit photo and radar satellites. No details on the effects of the laser attacks were given, as this would inform the Chinese as to how well, or not well, they were doing. The Chinese may have lasered some of their own satellites, as part of what is apparently a development project. It's long been believed that interceptors (small satellites that can maneuver) would be a better way to take down enemy birds. Electronic jamming can also be used to interfere with communications with a satellite. A laser is also limited to satellites that pass nearby. Moreover, satellites can be modified to make them more difficult for lasers to damage. It is believed the Chinese project is a result of China realizing that a major American vulnerability is its large satellite network. Thus any damage to U.S. satellites would have a larger payoff than if the money were spent on more conventional defense investments.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mona Lisa WasKnocked Up Pregnant?

Not that it matters ...
Researchers using three-dimensional technology to study the "Mona Lisa" say the woman depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's 16th century masterpiece was either pregnant or had recently given birth when she sat for the painting.

That was one of many discoveries found by French and Canadian researchers during one of the most extensive physical examinations ever carried out on the artwork.

"Thanks to laser scanning, we were able to uncover the very fine gauze veil Mona Lisa was wearing on her dress. This was something typical for either soon-to-be or new mothers at the time," Michel Menu, research director of the French Museums' Center for Research and Restoration, said Wednesday on LCI television.

Menu said a number of art historians had suggested that she was pregnant or had just given birth.

Researchers have established that the picture was of Lisa Gherardini, wife of obscure Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocond, and that Leonardo started painting it in 1503.

The name "Mona Lisa" is the equivalent of "Madame Lisa." La Joconde, as the painting is referred to in many countries, is the French version of her married name.


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Of Course They Won't Release It!

That keeping the people safe line is wearing so thin it is almost invisible. It's not like they have to worry. The idiots who are Bush sheeple don't listen to facts. All they do is complain that people want to bash "our President."
The White House says it will not release the full intelligence report that says the situation in Iraq has become a rallying point for jihadists.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday that releasing the entire National Intelligence Estimate would put lives at risk and compromise the independence of intelligence analysts.

The Bush administration released portions of the report Tuesday, after leaked excerpts of the classified document appeared Sunday in American media.

The report calls the Iraq war a "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding resentment against the United States for its involvement in the Muslim world. It says jihadists are increasing in number and geographic reach.

The report, compiled from analysts from 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, also says that if jihadists are perceived to have failed in Iraq, fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

President Bush Tuesday alleged that the report was leaked for political purposes ahead of November's mid-term elections.

He said terrorists are exploiting the situation in Iraq and using it as a recruiting tool, but he said he disagrees with critics who say the war was a mistake.


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Musharraf Has Jokes

Pakistani President had the gumption to have a seat on The Daily Show. He's pretty funny.
Stewart, himself, has also proven deft at balancing both humor and seriousness on "The Daily Show." At one point, he asked Musharraf if he had omitted any mention of the war in Iraq in his memoir because it has "gone so well."

Musharraf again laughed, but said: "It has led certainly to more extremism and terrorism around the world."

To conclude the interview, Stewart put Musharraf on the "Seat of Heat," a new feature for the program in which red lights flash around the studio and the guest is asked a final question.

"George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden -- be truthful -- who would win a popular vote in Pakistan?" asked Stewart.

"I think they'll both lose miserably," replied Musharraf, an answer met with raucous laughter by the "Daily Show" audience.


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What An Absolute Waste!

This just makes me ill! Sixty-six soldiers have been killed thus far this month. It's sad to see a life blown to bits for no good reason and no noble cause.
The first member of West Point's "Class of 9/11" to die in combat was buried at the military academy Tuesday, two weeks after she was killed by a bomb at the head of a convoy in Iraq.

2nd Lt. Emily Perez, 23, was leading a platoon when a roadside bomb exploded Sept. 12 south of Baghdad. She was the first female West Point graduate to die in Iraq and the highest-ranking black and Hispanic woman cadet in the school's history.

"She was like a little superwoman, so full of energy and life," said Meghan Venable-Thomas, a senior who was on the track team and in the gospel choir with Perez.

The academy's Class of 2005 is called the "Class of 9/11" because the 2001 terrorist attacks occurred just weeks into the students' freshman year.


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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ding Dong! Taliban Calling!

The anti-sex people are at it again and they are more ridiculous than ever.

In a frightening article in the Chicago Tribune, Abortion foes’ new rallying point, reporter Judith Graham reveals the escalation of the fundie wars over contraception itself — controlling women’s sexual behavior is clearly the goal. If you read their bleating, birth control is a “gateway drug” to all sorts of social ills.

Emboldened by the anti-abortion movement’s success in restricting access to abortion, an increasingly vocal group of Christian conservatives is arguing that it’s time to mount a concerted attack on contraception.

Their voices were raised in Rosemont on Friday and Saturday at an unusual anti-abortion meeting that drew 250 people from around the nation to condemn artificial birth control. Experts at the gathering assailed contraception on the grounds that it devalues children, harms relationships between men and women, promotes sexual promiscuity and leads to falling birth rates, among social ills.

Contraception is more the root cause of abortion than anything else,” Joseph Scheidler, an anti-abortion veteran whose Pro-Life Action League sponsored the conference, said in an interview.

… “It is clear there is a major rethinking going on among evangelicals on this issue, especially among young people” disenchanted with the sexual revolution, said Rev. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “There is a real push back against the contraceptive culture now.”

It should be noted that these folks are mounting a challenge to this stark reality: according to the Guttmacher Institute, 98% of sexually active women 15 to 44 used at least one method of contraception — almost 40 million women in that age group use birth control. A Harris poll found that 91% of Americans believe couples should “have access to birth-control options.”

What this boils down to is a case for “women and men having sex only within marriage and only for the purpose of procreation,” said Steve Trombley, president of Planned Parenthood of Chicago, and “I don’t think that’s sellable in any corner of America.”

This sounds awfully Talibanish. But what we always find with fundamentalists of most religions is that what they say and what they do don't often match. If they aren't screwing their wife, they are screwing of their children or one of yours ... or they are addicted to porn, or in a secret liaison with a man, or they are paying a prostitute on the low end of town ... There is no other reason to be so completely fixated on the sexual behavior of other people if you aren't having issues with your own.


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The Death Of Your Loved One Is Just A Comma

So now this man, who must be a devil to say something like this, says that all of the carnage in Iraq is just a comma!
BLITZER: Let’s move on and talk a little bit about Iraq. Because this is a huge, huge issue, as you know, for the American public, a lot of concern that perhaps they are on the verge of a civil war, if not already a civil war…. We see these horrible bodies showing up, tortured, mutilation. The Shia and the Sunni, the Iranians apparently having a negative role. Of course, al Qaeda in Iraq is still operating.

Yes, you see — you see it on TV, and that’s the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there’s also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people…. Admittedly, it seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there’s a strong will for democracy. (emphasis added)

7,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in July and August in Iraq. The number of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan now matches the number killed on 9/11. Perhaps this man does not know what a civil war means. The bloodletting is daily. People are afraid to leave their homes. Women have to cloak themselves to feel safe from emerging religious extremists. But all he can talk about is people voting as though it has any relevance when average people don't have the freedom or safety that we promised.


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Maybe He Really Is The Devil

What kind of maniacal scheme is this and am I not surprised that this all boils down to Bush trying to cover his ass for the torturous acts his administration has allowed under the guise of protecting the American people.
Thirty-two years ago, President Gerald Ford created a political firestorm by pardoning former President Richard Nixon of all crimes he may have committed in Watergate -- and lost his election as a result. Now, President Bush, to avoid a similar public outcry, is quietly trying to pardon himself of any crimes connected with the torture and mistreatment of U.S. detainees.

The ''pardon'' is buried in Bush's proposed legislation to create a new kind of military tribunal for cases involving top al-Qaida operatives. The ''pardon'' provision has nothing to do with the tribunals. Instead, it guts the War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal law that makes it a crime, in some cases punishable by death, to mistreat detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions and makes the new, weaker terms of the War Crimes Act retroactive to 9/11.

Press accounts of the provision have described it as providing immunity for CIA interrogators. But its terms cover the president and other top officials because the act applies to any U.S. national.

Avoiding prosecution under the War Crimes Act has been an obsession of this administration since shortly after 9/11. In a January 2002 memorandum to the president, then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales pointed out the problem of prosecution for detainee mistreatment under the War Crimes Act. He notes that given the vague language of the statute, no one could predict what future ''prosecutors and independent counsels'' might do if they decided to bring charges under the act. As an author of the 1978 special prosecutor statute, I know that independent counsels (who used to be called ''special prosecutors'' prior to the statute's reauthorization in 1994) aren't for low-level government officials such as CIA interrogators, but for the president and his Cabinet. It is clear that Gonzales was concerned about top administration officials ...


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Iraq Is A Recruiting Vehicle!

I know there are still folks out there still drinking Bush's blood because he is supposedly protecting Americans in podunk towns from terrrorists who want to destroy their lives in oblivian but let's get a brain and look at the facts.

The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.

"It's a very candid assessment," one intelligence official said yesterday of the estimate, the first formal examination of global terrorist trends written by the National Intelligence Council since the March 2003 invasion. "It's stating the obvious."

The cities and landmarks most likely to be hit are in blue states where people see directly through Bush's lies. Yet, yahoos from places where even average Americans won't ever go, are standing behind the President because he is "protecting" them - from what? The only thing that makes me nervous and afraid is the depth of stupidity of so many Americans.


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No Language Left Behind

It just amazes me that so many Americans would rather deliberately embrace ignorance in order to exclude some people from our society. With the onslaught of globalization, children today need to be ultra prepared to compete with their peers around the world. I agree with this teacher's perspective on bi-lingual education.

“Buenos días, maestro.”

“Good morning Mr. U.”

Most of my Latino students are fluent speakers of both Spanish and English; and not just on the playground. They switch back and forth quickly between languages. Looking at my students, our global economy, and their potential professional success in life, I am asking myself if we shouldn’t take advantage of such a promising base and develop both languages to their fullest potential. Let’s face it: Being bilingual puts our students ahead professionally. Imagine an English only speaker and a bilingual speaker applying for a position at a company that deals with Latin America. Who has more chances getting hired? Not to mention that bilingualism definitely generates some personal perks as well.

However, since No Child Left Behind was implemented ever more emphasis is given to English language arts and math. In his most recent State of the Union address, President Bush brought science back into the discussion of top-notch education and global competitiveness. How about second and third languages? Those have been neglected for the longest time and are getting entirely lost due to the direction of the current political breeze. While talking about giving our children a globally competitive education, we declare English the official language. Don’t dare to speak to second language learners in their native language, the reasoning goes. It prevents them from learning English.

Has anyone argued that the new drive for extensive science in the classroom would prevent students from learning math? No! Of course not, because it doesn’t make sense. Neither does learning another language prevent English language development.

Putting aside the competitive aspect of education, how do we define a well rounded educational program anyway? Well, it depends where you live! In this country the focus seems to be very narrow. In Germany, where I grew up and was educated many moons ago, it was common to learn a second language — English — in fifth grade. It was mandatory and has served me well. I started a third language — French — as an elective in seventh grade. Some of my fellow students even took Latin in seventh grade and some humanistic schools offered ancient Greek starting as early as fifth grade, just for kicks! These days around the world, foreign language learning is starting even earlier. By now, there are countries that pilot second language programs starting as early as pre-school. Researchers and teachers realize that early language learning is beneficial to the intellect rather than damaging or preventive.

Some people argue that developing a language other than English should be a decision left to the family. Students who are interested in that pursuit can do so in college if they wish. And anyway, why should the taxpayer finance an additional language program? Well, I have one political objective in common with Mr. Bush. I also want a top-notch academic program for everyone and languages are just a chapter in my book of how to become an accomplished student.

While so many American politicians are working tirelessly to ban any language but English, countries in Latin America are rushing to learn languages like Mandarin.
Zamora already speaks German and English, but she struggles to learn written Chinese characters and mimic tones unknown in Spanish. She persists for a simple reason: China is voraciously scouring Latin America for everything from oil to lumber, and there is money to be made. That prospect has not only Zamora but business people in much of Latin America flocking to learn the Chinese language, increasingly heard in boardrooms and on executive junkets.

"It's fundamental to communicate in their language when you go there or they come here," said Zamora, 40, a sales executive for the German drugmaker Bayer, which is growing dramatically in China. "If you don't know their language, you're lost."

If we were truly concerned about no child being left behind, we'd prepare them for the global economy. If they aren't ready, America will be left behind as a whole.


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Sick Of Devilspeak

When, where, why and how are people so upset about Hugo Chavez calling George Bush the devil when the far right uses the term to demonize Democratic opponents. Jerry Falwell is at it again and I've had enough!
Nothing will motivate conservative evangelical Christians to vote Republican in the 2008 presidential election more than a Democratic nominee named Hillary Clinton — not even a run by the devil himself.

That was the sentiment expressed by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, longtime evangelical icon and founder of the once-powerful Moral Majority, during private remarks Friday to church pastors and activists as part of the "Values Voter Summit" hosted this weekend by the country's leading Christian conservatives.

A recording of Falwell's comments was obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

"I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate," Falwell said, according to the recording. "She has $300 million so far. But I hope she's the candidate. Because nothing will energize my [constituency] like Hillary Clinton."

Cheers and laughter filled the room as Falwell continued: "If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't."

Falwell's voice is then drowned out by hoots of approval. But two in attendance, including a Falwell staff member, confirmed that Falwell said that even Lucifer, the fallen angel synonymous with Satan in Christian theology, would not mobilize his followers as much as the New York senator and former first lady...


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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Nancy Grace Is A Vapid, Rabid Dog!

It is very plausible that this woman, who'd already been established as fragile and unstable, may have done something to her child's disappearance. BUT, she was not arrested, tried or convicted. I saw the interview where Nancy Grace was yelling at this woman (who'd supposedly gone on the show to get the word out about her son) like some kind of maniac. Nancy was not the judge, jury or prosecutor but I still think she aided in this girl's self-inflicted execution. It may be some time before they find that child. Whether the mother blew her own head off with a shotgun out of guilt, grief or any combination of the two, I'm convinced that her interaction with the vapid and rabid Nancy Grace was a contributing factor.
Anybody who believes Nancy Grace was chastened by the suicide of a young mother following their tough television encounter doesn't know Nancy Grace.

The prime-time prosecutor continues to focus nearly full-time on Melinda Duckett, piling up evidence to point to the Florida woman's guilt in the disappearance of her 2-year-old son, Trenton, all with the support of her bosses at CNN Headline News.

The case points a spotlight on the hard-charging Grace, who has quickly joined Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann among the most polarizing personalities in cable news.

"I remain dedicated to the ongoing fight for crime victims everywhere," Grace said in a statement to The Associated Press. "Right now, our focus is on helping find baby Trenton Duckett safe and sound, and we will pursue the case until there is a resolution."

Since Nancy acts like such an attack dog, they ought to send her out into the woods to try to sniff out that poor baby!


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Walking With Our Coffins In Our Hands

We may have destroyed a brutal regime but we've also destroyed a wonderful way of life for many people. As a fellow book lover, this story hits home for me.
A silence has fallen upon Mutanabi Street.

In the buttery sunlight, faded billboards hang from old buildings. Iron gates seal entrances to bookstores and stationery shops. On this Friday, like the past 13 Fridays, the violence has taken its toll. There is not a customer around, only ghosts.

Perched on a red chair outside a closet-sized bookshop, the only one open, Naim al-Shatri is nearly in tears. Short, with thin gray hair and dark, brooding eyes, his voice is grim. This is normally his busiest day, but he hasn't had a single sale. A curfew is approaching.

Soon, his sobs break the stillness. "Is this Iraq?" he asked no one in particular, pointing at the gritty, trash-covered street as the scent of rotting paper and sewage mingled in the air.

It is a question many of the booksellers on Mutanabi Street are asking. Here, in the intellectual ground zero of Baghdad, they are the guardians of a literary tradition that has survived empire and colonialism, monarchy and dictatorship. In the heady days after the U.S.-led invasion, Mutanabi Street pulsed with the promise of freedom.

Now, in the fourth year of war, it is a shadow of its revered past. Many of the original booksellers have been forced to shut down. Others have been arrested, kidnapped or killed, or have fled Iraq. "We are walking with our coffins in our hands," said Mohammad al-Hayawi, the owner of the Renaissance book store, one of the street's oldest shops. "Nothing in Iraq is guaranteed anymore."

In a city known across the Arab world for its love affair with books, such emotions reflect the decline of a vibrant community. For the residents of Baghdad, Mutanabi Street is a link to their city's past glory, less a place than an extension of their souls.

"It is the lungs that I breathe with," said Zaien Ahmad al-Nakshabandi, another bookseller. "I'm choked now."


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Black-People Hair And Other Issues With Transracial Adoptions

I was orginally planning to post this blurb about Brad Pitt endorsing a line of hair care products by a company owned by a black woman in a humorous manner. I can usually pick a black or bi-racial child who has a white mother out of a crowd because of the state and appearance of the child's hair and skin. I somehow once ended up on this topic with a white co-worker whose sister adopted a black girl (in lily white Iowa no less) and when I mentioned the hair thing, she was like "she just brushes it down." Uh, that's a problem. Depending on the texture of that child's hair, there is no way brushing "it down" will leave that girl looking anywhere close to groomed. She didn't get it but I warned her that in addition to being the constant object of curiosity by whites (which happens regardless of how the hair looks), she was most certainly going to get ridiculed by blacks (once she finally meets some) for not having her hair adequately combed and styled. It's not nice but it is true.

I'm glad that Brad and Angelina got some inside info on "black-person hair." That will be one less thing Zahara will have to endure as she grows up and gets out into the world. (I wonder if that is why he also called MTV and got the DVD of Run's House? Does he think it will help him raise "black-person" children)?

But, while surfing a little later, I came across a link to this article by a Jewish woman who adopted a daughter from India and I found it positively frightening. I almost thought it was a joke but it is every bit of why I think people need to be heavily screened, counseled and examined before being allowed to adopt a child - no matter what the race or nationality.

Back home, after a couple weeks had passed, I stared at Vaishali's naked bottom -- her darkest part -- and tried to ignore the insistent whispers of fear. Instead of brimming with pride, I felt like a trespasser, performing ablutions on this private flesh with color so foreign from my own. It was one thing to swoon over her photographs for months, but now she was in my home; she was my family. How could this be my daughter? I looked at her and tried to find similarities between us, relieved that her hair was straight, her lips not too full. Just thinking these thoughts made me feel horribly ashamed. I tried to sort emotion from fact: was it the dark color of her skin that was making me uncomfortable, or just that she did not look like me? I ached to talk to someone about it, but I was too afraid people would disapprove, would doubt my ability to be a loving mother.

She went to India and adopted a child of color for crying out loud! Why would there be a resemblance? She goes further:

I can't help but worry -- I'm a Jewish mother! -- and yet so far, our non-traditional family has been met with a surfeit of loving acceptance. My fears about disapproval from the Black community for adopting a dark-skin child seem laughable now. Before, riding the subway, I received no special response, but now, Black men and women offer me and Vaishali warm smiles; they give up their seats. Do people just, as a friend hypothesized, love babies? Maybe, but this never happened to me when I toted around my equally adorable niece, nephew and godson, all of them white as snow.

What kind of kook is this lady and why would random black people, or the black community at large, give a rat's ass about her and her Indian baby? Again, do they do mental evaluations of these people? She sounds like a neurotic dingbat and how she is going to raise a healthy child of color escapes me!

I am apprehensive but supportive of transracial adoptions. Children, regardless of race, need good homes. People who want children, as more than accessories or extentions of self, should adopt any kid for whom they think they can provide a good home. BUT, it's more than a notion to adopt a child of a different race if a) you haven't had much exposure to their culture or physical traits b) you are harboring your own biases for or against people outside of your culture. The kids are going to pay in the end.


At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Brad Pitt wants to endorse a haircare company, he should endorse Mixed Chicks Hair products. Their products are amazing. They are on the web. I use them on my biracial child. I have straight hair and had no idea how to deal with my daughter's hair until I found Mixed Chicks.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares about the grooming of the hare. If a white parent wants to adopt a black child who would otherwise grow up in a foster home, more power to them. Hair care can be learned, and purchased. Many times I had my own hair groomed at the salon, to see a white mother bring in her mixed child citing she didn't know what to do with it. So what. I wasn't borned already knowing how to press, and curl, but with time I learned.


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Friday, September 22, 2006

Now Run And Tell That!

Fox News should know better than to invite a real person with a real brain on one of their programs. Unlike our daft reigning President, former President Clinton was nothing if not a clear thinker and strong debater. I'm so sorry that Mike Wallace's son, Chris Wallace, turned out to be such a wanker.
Clinton takes on Fox News bias:

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.


CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t…I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..

WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…


WALLACE: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked: Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole? I want to know how many you asked: Why did you fire Dick Clarke? I want to know…

WALLACE: We asked…


WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday sir?

CLINTON: I don’t believe you ask them that.

WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…

CLINTON: You didn’t ask that did you? Tell the truth.

WALLACE: About the USS Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth.

Read the whole thing. Fox News can't tell the truth because they can't handle the truth and wouldn't know it if it jumped up and bit them.


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Now You Know ... !

Bushco was foaming at the mouth like a pack of wild dogs in the run up to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. They bullied a lot of countries into joining the coalition of the willing. They were rude, condescending and threatening to anyone who hesitated or didn't agree. The exact verbiage may in question but we know the threat was clear and present.
Within days of the Sept. 11 attacks, Armitage met with Pakistan’s intelligence director, Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, seeking cooperation.

Musharraf, in an interview with CBS News’ magazine show “60 Minutes,” to air on Sunday, said Armitage told Ahmad that without cooperation: “Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age."

Armitage told NBC the conversation was a “strong, factual” exchange, but said he made no military threats. He said he told Ahmad “Pakistan would need to be with us or against us. For Americans, this was seen as black or white.”

On the other hand, of course, Musharraf is between a rock and a hard place. He wasn't exactly democratically elected and his people don't like us nor do his foes in Afghanistan. But I still think we twisted his arm.


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The Other Side Of Choice

This is a friendly reminder that pro-choice not only means the the right to adequate birth control and family planning serices, it means the right to carry a pregnancy to term and keep the baby.
But the fact is that the Supreme Court protects Katelyn. The same precedents that protect a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion protect her right to decide not to have an abortion. The state can’t decide, husbands can’t decide, and parents can’t decide. Either way.

Being pro-choice means looking through a long historical lens and understanding that a forced abortion is as much an assault on liberty as a forced pregnancy.

Of course, there is another way that Katelyn Kampf becomes a pro-choice case study. This teenager was 19, no longer a minor. Nevertheless, her family seems an unhappy example of a reality that many prefer to ignore: When some pregnant teenagers say they can’t tell their parents, they’re right.

In July, the Senate passed a bill that would make it a crime for anyone—no grandparent, no aunt, no older sister, no clergy—to take a minor across state lines for an abortion in order to avoid laws that require parental notification. The White House praised the Child Custody Protection Act because it would “protect the rights of parents” and because parents are “best suited to provide her counsel, guidance and support.”

These days, parental involvement laws are the most popular hurdle put before pregnant teenagers. They exist in about 35 states. Both Oregon and California have propositions on the fall ballot. And this week, the Illinois Supreme Court cleared the way for another such law.

Most pregnant teens can and do involve their parents. But we keep forgetting. What if those parents provide “counsel, guidance and support’’ with duct tape, rope and a .22-caliber rifle in the car trunk?

Not long ago, a conservative from Concerned Women for America proclaimed, “It goes without saying parents should have direct and immediate say over their child seeking an abortion.” What about when the parents seek the abortion? Direct and immediate say?


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Never Gonna Give 'Em Up

Can you blame them?
In a speech to thousands of cheering supporters, the leader of Hezbollah vowed Friday the militants never will give up their arms, as called for in the U.N. resolution that ended its 34-day war with Israel last month.

"No army in the world will force us to drop our weapons, force us to surrender our arms, as long as people believe in this resistance," said Hassan Nasrallah, who claimed Hezbollah victorious in the fighting.

But he added, "We do not wish to keep our weapons forever," because they should not be part of domestic life. He assured the crowd, "Those who say the resistance is weak, I want to say it's stronger than ever."

"We were prepared for a long war. What we offered during that war is only a small part of our capability," he said.

"Today the resistance owns more than 25,000 missiles. ... The resistance has been able to regroup and rearm and regain its capability."

Nasrallah, who called for national unity among all Lebanese, spoke in one of the southern Beirut suburbs that was heavily bombed by the Israeli military.


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War Price on U.S. Lives Equal to 9/11

Now it's even and will soon be more.
Now the death toll is 9/11 times two. U.S. military deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan now match those of the most devastating terrorist attack in America's history, the trigger for what came next. Add casualties from chasing terrorists elsewhere in the world, and the total has passed the Sept. 11 figure.

The latest milestone for a country at war comes without commemoration. It also may well come without the precision of knowing who is the 2,973rd man or woman of arms to die in conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, or just when it happens. The terrorist attacks killed 2,973 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.


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Just Plain Bizarre!

This is just so bizarre to me. Who "passes" for non-Jew in 2006? Do his constituents really care about that? I'm befuddled!
In one of the more awkward moments surrounding the disclosure of his Jewish heritage this week, Senator George Allen, Republican of Virginia, volunteered that his background had hardly inspired him to start keeping kosher.

"I still had a ham sandwich for lunch," Mr. Allen told The Richmond Times-Dispatch, referring to rules against eating pork, "and my mother made great pork chops."

The pork reference is bizarre too! I remember a tour guide in Spain telling us that during the crusades, Christians and those who'd been forced to convert made a point to eat pork to prove that they weren't Muslim or Jewish. George Allen is a buffoon and immensely ignorant!


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What's The Use Of Freedom ... ?

This is a sobering look at Iraq from the view of someone who lives there.
I've lived in my neighborhood for 25 years. My daughters went to kindergarten and elementary school here. I'm a Christian. My neighbors are mostly Sunni Arabs. We had always lived in harmony. Before the U.S.-led invasion, we would visit for tea and a chat. On summer afternoons, we would meet on the corner to joke and talk politics.

It used to be a nice upper-middle-class neighborhood, bustling with commerce and traffic. On the main street, ice cream parlors, hamburger stands and take-away restaurants competed for space. We would rent videos and buy household appliances.

Until 2005, we were mostly unaffected by violence. We would hear shootings and explosions now and again, but compared with other places in Baghdad, it was relatively peaceful.

Then, late in 2005, someone blew up three supermarkets in the area. Shops started closing. Most of the small number of Shiite Muslim families moved out. The commercial street became a ghost road.

On Christmas Day last year, we visited — as always — our local church, St. Thomas, in Mansour. It was half-empty. Some members of the congregation had left the country; others feared coming to church after a series of attacks against Christians.

American troops, who patrol the neighborhood in Humvees, have also become edgy. Get too close, and they'll shoot. A colleague — an interpreter and physician — was shot and killed by soldiers last year on his way home from a shopping trip. He hadn't noticed the Humvees parked on the street.

By early this year, living in my neighborhood had become a nightmare. In addition to anti-American graffiti, there were fliers telling women to wear conservative clothes and to cover their hair. Men were told not to wear shorts or jeans.

For me, as a Christian, it was unacceptable that someone would tell my wife and daughters what to wear. What's the use of freedom if someone is telling you what to wear, how to behave or what to do in your life?

But coming home one day, I saw my wife on the street. I didn't recognize her. She had covered up.

What on earth have we done?


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Absolutely, Positively Unbelievable!

I have never even seen an X-Box up close. I have no idea what they really do. I do know that a lot of adults are just as hooked on them as children are. But this takes the attatchment to the game to an all time low.
A 25-year-old North Philadelphia man has been charged with killing his young daughter.

The mother said 17-month-old Alayiah was violently punched by Tyrone Spellman over a video game.

"My baby is gone at the hands of her father," Mia Turman said tearfully. "I have to put her in the ground, I shouldn't have to do this."

As the 21-year-old took a nap inside their row-home on the 1500 block of 29th Street, Turman left Alayiah in the care of Spellman, who also goes by the name Anwar Salahuddin.

Turman said that when she woke, "I asked why my baby not breathing. He says, 'She's breathing.' Her eyes were closed."

Turman phoned police around noon. Medics responded and took Alayiah to Temple University Hospital, where the little girl was pronounced dead at 12:37 p.m.

Police arrested Spellman, who lives on the 1500 block of North 29th Street, over the weekend.

He was charged with murder, endangering the welfare of a child and possessing an instrument of crime.

A medical examiner performed an autopsy on the child.

"His confession was she pulled the cords in the game, the system is -- the box itself -- fell, and he was upset and then responsible for paying for the game, so he hit her in her face twice," Turman said, adding that Spellman also allegedly slung the child over a chair.

... just shaking my head!


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

What Is The Point Of This?

I'm no Nazi sympathizer (and I shouldn't even have to preface that) but what is the point of deporting this old lady?
An elderly German woman who kept secret her role as a Nazi concentration camp guard for more than 60 years has been deported from the US, it has emerged.

Elfriede Rinkel, who was married to a Jewish man, was described as a "nice, sweet lady" by those who knew her.

Mrs Rinkel, 84, never revealed the grim details of her past during the 47 years she lived in San Francisco.

But earlier this month US officials uncovered her role as a guard during WWII, and deported her back to Germany.

Mrs Rinkel's husband Fred was a German Jew who arrived in the US after escaping the Holocaust. He died in 2004, never learning of his wife's secret.

We can't get rid of millions of illegals but we can deport an aged widow over a job she held a lifetime ago. Heck, half the time I don't think it is worth it to prosecute some of these old, disgusting coots who committed heinous crimes against blacks in the 60s (who were never held accountable) so I really don't agree with this punishment.


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Torture Worse Now Than Under Saddam?

How is this possible? 7,000 killed in two months? This is outrageous!
Nearly 7,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in the past two months, according to a UN report just released - a record high that is far greater than initial estimates had suggested. As American generals in Baghdad warned that the violence could worsen in the run up to Ramadan next Monday, the UN spoke of a "grave sectarian crisis" gripping the country.

With known Iraqi deaths running at more than 100 a day because of sectarian murders, al-Qaida and nationalist insurgent attacks, and fatalities inflicted by the multinational forces, the UN said its total was likely to be "on the low side" because of the difficulties of collecting accurate figures. In particular, it said that no deaths were reported from the violent region covering Ramadi and Falluja.

The report from the UN assistance mission in Iraq's human rights office reported evidence of torture, unlawful detentions, the growth of sectarian militias and death squads, and a rise in "honour killings" of women. The increasing incidence of discovery of the bodies of women and teenage girls, shot in the chest rather than in the head, has been attributed to the establishment by both extremist Sunnis and Shias of secretive sharia committees, which locals say carry out killings.

In a separate development, Manfred Nowak, the UN's special investigator, said torture was "totally out of hand" and might even be worse now than under Saddam Hussein. "You have terrorist groups, you have the military, you have police, you have these militias. There are so many people who are abducted, seriously tortured and finally killed," he told reporters at the UN's Geneva headquarters.

The US military had initially claimed a dramatic drop in the Iraqi death toll for August, but the estimate was revised sharply upwards after it revealed that it had inexplicably left out figures for people killed by bombs, mortars, rockets and other mass attacks ...

Sorry folks! This is a civil war! If we cannot stop it, we need to get out!


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The Devil Made Him Do It

I'm not really sure what possessed Hugo Chavez to resort to name calling and making fun of President Bush. I guess since he was on the world stage he couldn't resist putting on a show. But, in the end, it probably detracted from his message because most people have no idea what else he said beyond calling Bush the devil. Here is a portion of his entire address. Some of his points may be valid.
The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house.

And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. [crosses himself] And it smells of sulfur still today.

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.

I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.

An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: "The Devil's Recipe."

As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.

The world parent's statement -- cynical, hypocritical, full of this imperial hypocrisy from the need they have to control everything.

They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.

What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize it or others who are at the root of democracy.

What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?

The surprising thing that came out of this is that Noam Chomsky's book, Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States, soared to the top 10 on after Chavez recommended it.

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Oh Puleeese!!!

When will this man get over himself?
Bill O'Reilly may be the most fervent flag waver on cable—a patriot who believes in torturing terrorists and profiling all Muslims. But is that enough to get him targeted by Al Qaeda?
The loofah-loving Fox News host is raising plenty of eyebrows around the office after telling Barbara Walters in an interview with ABC's 20/20 that, "the FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that Al Qaeda had us on a death list." O'Reilly describes the experience—as well as other violent threats he says he's received from various "kooks"—as "disconcerting."

But the reaction from some of his colleagues sounds more like disbelief. "I've never heard that before," says a correspondent for Fox News, who added that neither he nor anyone he's spoken to at the network has been warned by the FBI. "I do know the government has warned Fox about threats in the past, but I don't think they involved specific people."

A high-level exec at another cable news channel was less circumspect. "That sounds like absolute bullshit to me—it's typical O'Reilly," he says. "We've never received any similar warnings from the FBI or any other government agency, and we've done plenty of reporting to piss off Bin Laden."

What a liar! He is so full of it!


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Cranberry Sauce!

Awww! Come on! She was just chillin' ... making herself a sandwich ... like bro'man from the 5th floor! Is that a crime? LOL!
A hungry wedding guest from New Hampshire is in trouble in Maine after allegedly breaking into the kitchen at an inn to make a late-night meal. Police arrested Abigail Edmund, 23, of Northfield, N.H., on charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief. Police say Edmund was in town for a wedding and apparently drank too much at the Rangeley Inn before breaking into the inn’s kitchen. They say an employee spotted her at about 1:15 Sunday morning with luncheon meats and brownies and heating up some pasta.


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The Neighbors Are Restless

... and rightfully so!
Saudi Arabia and fellow Iraq neighbours Iran and Turkey voiced concern on Monday that Iraqi sectarian and ethnic tensions could spill over into the region, home to a similar ethnic and religious mix.

"What we fear today is that the wise could fall in the traps of the ignorant, in which case Iraq, its unity and people would be victims...," Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef told counterparts from nine countries in a meeting to discuss efforts to help Iraq quash an insurgency and quell sectarian violence.

"The dangers of such a situation, God forbid, are not a jeopardy to Iraq alone, but they will have an impact on the security of the international community and (Iraq's) neighbours," he said.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi and his Turkish counterpart Abdulkadir Aksu echoed similar concerns.

Prince Nayef said Iraqis should ignore "calls that divide Iraq along sectarian or ethnic lines" in an apparent reference to violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim groups and tensions between Arab and Kurdish Iraqis.

"This requires that we all do our utmost to bring Iraq and the Iraqis out of this dark tunnel."


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Dumbest Move Of All Time

I'll buy that!

The mouth of the South is at again.

CNN founder Ted Turner said yesterday the U.S. invasion of Iraq was "one of the dumbest moves that was ever made by anybody," right up there with "the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the German invasion of Russia."

Asked if he was comparing those events, Turner replied: "I'd like to. Why not? The dumbest moves of all time? Yeah."

Turner was interviewed at the Times Square headquarters of Reuters news service on the ninth anniversary of his $1 billion gift to the United Nations.

He said he believed the Iraq war had done "incalculable damage" to how the U.S. is now viewed by many of the UN's member states.

"Before Iraq, we were the most popular nation in the Earth, and now we're one of the most feared and mistrusted," he added.

Turner, now 67, left the Time Warner board last spring and serves as chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which he set up to funnel his $1 billion toward the world organization.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Can't Taint That Gene Pool

Ahhh! Where do I begin?

It's a sad state of affairs because too many folks I know had the "the daddy must be black" response to the news that a couple had kidnapped their daughter in order to force her into an abortion. Jeebus! Look at these people!!!!

They look like old, inbred siblings! Some genes outside of their immediate family would be a God send!
A Maine couple accused of tying up their 19-year-old daughter, throwing her in their car and driving her out of state to get an abortion were upset because the baby's father is black, a Maine sheriff said Tuesday.

Katelyn Kampf, who is white, told Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion that her mother "was pretty irate at the fact that the child's father was black, and she had made a number of disparaging remarks about that," he said.

Katelyn Kampf escaped Friday at a Salem shopping centre and called police, who arrested her parents, Nicholas Kampf, 54, and Lola, 53, both real estate developers from North Yarmouth, Maine.

The Kampfs were apparently taking their daughter to New York to try to force her to get an abortion there, police said.

The parents were arraigned Monday on kidnapping charges. The judge set bail at US$100,000 each and ordered the Kampfs to have no contact with their daughter.

If convicted of kidnapping, the Kampfs face 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison. Dion said he expects to bring charges in Maine also, after investigators consult with the district attorney Wednesday.

What a world! What a world!


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This Is Hecka Wrong!

A little boy explains what he saw while watching a movie with his mom.


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Bush and company aren't stupid or delusional, they think everyone else is. Otherwise there is no way they'd form their mouths to utter something this ridiculous!
Prior to the war, the administration stressed that the United States needed to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs and had connections to al-Qaeda. None of that turned out to be true.

Now, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has introduced a new rationale for the invasion of Iraq, high gas prices. From a radio interview last week:

SECRETARY RUMSFELD: The fact of the matter is - if Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq, he would be rolling in petrol dollars. Think of the price of oil today. He would have so much money. And he would be seeing the Iranians interested in a nuclear program, he would be seeing the North Koreans developing a nuclear program, and he’d say well why shouldn’t he - and he would. So we’re fortunate that he’s gone.

Of course, one of the reason gas prices are high is instability in the Middle East — created, in part, by the invasion of Iraq.


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Canada Has Flawed Logic Too

After one of their own citizens was snatched up, locked up and tortured only to be found totally innocent. While both countries are to blame for faulty intelligence (no surprise) the buck still stops with us for how that man was treated.
A government commission on Monday exonerated a Canadian computer engineer of any ties to terrorism and issued a scathing report that faulted Canada and the United States for his deportation four years ago to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured.

The report on the engineer, Maher Arar, said American officials had apparently acted on inaccurate information from Canadian investigators and then misled Canadian authorities about their plans for Mr. Arar before transporting him to Syria.

“I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constituted a threat to the security of Canada,” Justice Dennis R. O’Connor, head of the commission, said at a news conference.

The report’s findings could reverberate heavily through the leadership of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which handled the initial intelligence on Mr. Arar that led security officials in both Canada and the United States to assume he was a suspected Al Qaeda terrorist.

The report’s criticisms and recommendations are aimed primarily at Canada’s own government and activities, rather than the United States government, which refused to cooperate in the inquiry.

But its conclusions about a case that had emerged as one of the most infamous examples of rendition — the transfer of terrorism suspects to other nations for interrogation — draw new attention to the Bush administration’s handling of detainees. And it comes as the White House and Congress are contesting legislation that would set standards for the treatment and interrogation of prisoners.


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We Won't Get One

Keith Olberman thinks that Bush owes the country an apology. I think so too but I'm sure no one will take bets that we'll get one.
An apology is this President's only hope of regaining the slightest measure of confidence, of what has been, for nearly two years, a clear majority of his people.

Not "confidence" in his policies nor in his designs nor even in something as narrowly focused as which vision of torture shall prevail -- his, or that of the man who has sent him into apoplexy, Colin Powell.

In a larger sense, the President needs to regain our confidence, that he has some basic understanding of what this country represents -- of what it must maintain if we are to defeat not only terrorists, but if we are also to defeat what is ever more increasingly apparent, as an attempt to re-define the way we live here, and what we mean, when we say the word "freedom."

Because it is evident now that, if not its architect, this President intends to be the contractor, for this narrowing of the definition of freedom.

The President revealed this last Friday, as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.

The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

This President's response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one's breath, but within it contained one particularly chilling phrase.

"Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," he was asked by a reporter. "If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?"


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Wow! I'm Semi-Impressed

Graham Nails Geneva Conventions Argument


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Colin Powell Explains

Not that anyone with any realsense needs an explanation but Colin Powell, gives one.
Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he decided to publicly oppose the Bush administration's proposed rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects in part because the plan would add to growing doubts about whether the United States adheres to its own moral code.

"If you just look at how we are perceived in the world and the kind of criticism we have taken over Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and renditions," Powell said in an interview, "whether we believe it or not, people are now starting to question whether we're following our own high standards."

Powell, elaborating on a position first expressed last week in a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), also argued that the administration's plan to "clarify" U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions would set a precedent for other nations that would endanger U.S. troops.

"Suppose North Korea or somebody else wants to redefine or 'clarify' " Geneva Conventions provisions prohibiting "outrages against personal dignity" and "humiliating and degrading treatment" of prisoners, he said.

Powell's opposition marks a rare public breach with the administration he left 20 months ago. As secretary of state, he repeatedly clashed privately with Vice President Cheney and others who had more hard-line foreign policy views. But since leaving office he has declined nearly all opportunities to publicly criticize even those policies he opposed internally.

Powell has said he regrets that the Iraq invasion was launched on the basis of false intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs and Hussein's relationship with al-Qaeda, information that he vouched for in an address before a hostile United Nations. He has also said that he believes the administration should have sent more troops to invade Iraq and provided a better postwar plan.

Powell also allowed his name to be identified among those opposed to Bush's nomination of his former State Department subordinate, John R. Bolton, as Washington's U.N. ambassador.

But he has reserved his strongest opposition for administration efforts to preserve controversial methods for interrogating terrorism suspects, techniques that others have defined as torture. While it is not clear exactly what techniques the White House wishes to keep, sources have said those previously used include nakedness, prolonged sensory assault and deprivation, the imposition of "stress" positions, and water submersion to the verge of drowning. Bush has said none of those amounts to torture.


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Monday, September 18, 2006

When Will The Barbarism Stop?

As we're continuously fed the hype about bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq, let's not forget that Saddam had a secular state that was free of sharia. If majority rules, there is a significant portion of Iraq that would like to incorporate that type of law into the government. The result could be this.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has become an international celebrity, brandishing his nuclear program—and his yearning to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. He is visited by such personages as U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan and Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes. In their conversations with him, neither has asked the swashbuckling leader about "honor killings" by the government of women charged with having committed "adultery."

As human rights lawyer Lily Mazahery, president of the Legal Rights Institute reports, "in 99 percent of these cases, the accused women have received no legal representation because, under the Shariah legal system, their testimony is at best worth only half the value of the testimony of men."

And there is no single executioner. These are mass murders by stone-throwing members of the community, having the kind of festive time common among American mass lynchers of blacks, when the murderers brought their children to join in the fun. In Iran too, kids are present to witness the sinners' redemption.

The capital crime of adultery, Mazahery has explained to World Net Daily, "includes [under Shariah law] any type of intimate relationship between a girl/woman and a man to whom she is not permanently or temporarily married. Such a relationship does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship.

"Further, charges of adultery are routinely issued to women/girls who have been raped—and they are sentenced to death." (Their unpardonable crime is to have been raped.)

During the continuous coverage in this country of Iran's nuclear threat and its crucial support of terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, there has been scarcely any mention of this horrifying dimension of the culture of Iran: sangsar, the stoning to death of women.

Mazahery, the Persian American lawyer whose mission has long been to save Iranian women from this and other brutal treatment, tells me that sangsar, "dating back to the dark ages," was, for a time, suspended by the pre-revolutionary regime due to pressure from international human rights organizations, combined with protests from civilized persons around the world. But when the mullahs took over in the 1979 revolution, they brought back Shariah law, and when this president came to power, he reinstituted public stonings, as a "religious principle," against women


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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Gee! Who Knew?

 Prison Sentencing Study: Whites, Women, Non-Poor, and U.S. Citizens Are Given Lighter Sentences


At 8:10 AM, Blogger Freudian Slip said...

How can people deny facts like this. And people say this country isn't racist anymore. Whatever!
Keep spreading the word.


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Little Richard Translates For Bush...

Despite all of the frustration, we still have to laugh.


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Tantrum Throwing Pissant

Where is Super Nanny when you need her? Dubya threw a temper tantrum in front of the world!
GEORGE BUSH came out fighting yesterday against the senior Republicans, including Senator John McCain and General Colin Powell, who have led a revolt over his latest plans for the treatment and trial of terror suspects.

He said that if legislative proposals to clarify “vague” obligations under the Geneva Conventions were blocked by the Senate, a CIA interrogation programme that had helped to prevent attacks in both the US and Britain would be scrapped.

On occasions during yesterday’s White House press conference, the President appeared to be genuinely angry, interrupting a reporter’s question to shout: “I’m just telling you the bottom line.

“Perhaps some in Congress do not think the programme is important . . . I think it’s vital. The point is that the programme is not going to go forward if our professionals do not have clarity within the law.”

What a big, whiney baby! If they don't approve his wicked plan, the whole program will be scrapped. How incredibly juvenile is this? I don't know what is more absurd, though. Is it his toddler-like attitude or his absolutely hilarious notion that somehow Colin Powell 's expert knowledge can be dismissed as "flawed logic?" George W. Bush is downright delusional at this point:

“The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 [of the Geneva conventions] would add to those doubts,” General Powell wrote in a letter to Mr McCain.

Yesterday Mr Bush described General Powell’s comments as flawed logic
: “It’s unacceptable to think there is any comparison between the behaviour of the USA and the behaviour of terrorists who would kill innocent men, women and children.”

The only thing unacceptable at this point is the fact that we cannot get rid of this moron! Iraq and Afghanistan are on fire as more solidiers are killed everyday and death squads are murdering civilians in record numbers. All this while our so-called nemeses are having a big ole Bush bashing party in Havana.

It has to get better at some point because I am not sure what worse could possibly look like.


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Why Do I Keep Hearing The Music From Jaws?

But I'm still not afraid!

President Bush, yesterday morning:

It's a dangerous world. I wish it wasn't that way. I wish I could tell the American people, don't worry about it, they're not coming again. But they are coming again.

Although I could actually write an entire (and rather lengthy) post on how Bush’s “Terror Rhetoric” is beginning to sound more and more like he’s concerned about an invasion by a hostile race of extraterrestrials, instead I’m going to focus for just a moment on the notion that because another terrorist strike is, quite possibly, inevitable, the president doesn’t feel he can tell the American people not to worry. You see, I believe that it’s eminently possible to both feel despairingly certain that the terrorists “are coming again” and not to worry about it.

At least not actively. There are different ways to “worry” about something. Abstract concern is both healthy and inevitable, not to mention integral to the heightened vigilance that outlines self-preservation. “Worry” in such an abstract form is familiar to all of us; we worry about disease, accidents, aging, the health and safety of our loved ones. That kind of worry generally makes us more careful, less reckless—but it doesn’t debilitate us. In fact, when our worries consume us as individuals and fundamentally alter our lives, when we cease to function normally because of the fear such worry generates, they are no longer worries, but phobias, indicative of an irrationally disproportionate response to a perceived threat. The president wants us all to be actively anxious and, thusly, perpetually fearful—a phobic nation, paralyzed and compliant.


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Don't Date Him Girl!

There are things people do in their youth that can be written off as pranks and things that should be clear indicators of just plain crazy.

A judge on Friday dismissed charges of attempted sexual assault against three men accused of trying to dig up a woman's body to have sex with the corpse, noting that Wisconsin has no law against necrophilia. The men still face lesser charges. Twins Nicholas and Alexander Grunke, 20, and Dustin Radke, 20, were arrested after an alleged attempt to dig up the body of a 20-year-old woman who was killed Aug. 27 in a motorcycle crash. Officials said a caller reported suspicious activity in the cemetery Sept. 2, and deputies found someone had dug down to her vault. Authorities said the three were not acquainted with the woman but had seen an obituary with her photo. Circuit Judge George Curry said that while there was no law that addressed necrophilia, there was enough evidence to continue the case because of criminal damage to property and the alleged attempt to break into a burial vault.

I am not sure how the pickin's are in rural Wisconsin but these three do not need to mate or breed (which may be why they were looking for action with a dead chick).


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Friday, September 15, 2006

Dog Getting Dogged

Okay, so yeah, I'm a reality show junkie and have watched far too many episodes of this series than I care to admit (heck, Dog and that husky wife of his kinda scare me) but this arrest is SO bogus!
TV reality star Duane "Dog" Chapman and two co-stars accused of illegal detention and conspiracy in the bounty hunters' capture of a cosmetics company heir in Mexico posted bail and were released Friday.

Chapman was released on $300,000 bail, while his co-stars on the popular A&E show "Dog The Bounty Hunter" were freed on $100,000 bail each.

Chapman, his son, Leland Chapman, and associate Timothy Chapman, no relation, were arrested Thursday on charges stemming from the capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster on June 18, 2003, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, officials said.

Chapman's capture of Luster, who had fled the country during his trial on charges he raped three women, catapulted the 53-year-old bounty hunter to fame and led to the reality series on A&E. Luster is now serving a 124-year prison term.

Bounty hunting is considered a crime in Mexico, and charges have been pending against the three since local police in Mexico arrested them shortly after they roped in Luster. They posted bail but never returned for their court hearing in July 2003, officials said.

The men are now required to wear electronic monitoring devices until they return to court for extradition hearings to face trial in Mexico. The judge said they were not flight risks.

Reporters and fans packed the courtroom, and several supporters held signs outside the federal courthouse saying, "Let go our hero."

Chapman's son Leland, 29, and Timothy Chapman, 41, assist him in exploits chronicled for the TV show around the Hawaiian Islands. The show focuses on Chapman's family as much as the bounty hunting, which generally involves tracking down bail jumpers, often creating emotional scenes with repentant captives.

He captured a filthy rich, filth monger and rapist. With all the drugs and human traffickers coming out of Mexico, you'd think that they'd have something better to do with their law enforcement resources.


At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Amanda said...

I agree completely. Hey, if you want all the latest info, including a link to a petition that already has over 50,000 signatures, go to

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous kristen said...

i have a question that has dogged me (no pun intended) for a while:

If chapman was arrested for illegally capturing lester, does this negate lester rape convictions? would he be allowed to go free and move back to Mexico? if so, would double jeoporady(sp?) apply?

At 7:54 PM, Blogger Qusan said...

Dog's violation was a crime in Mexico because they don't allow bounty hunters. So, Dog is the criminal there. Luster was still convicted here so our laws apply to him.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger dog lover said...

Dog is only trying to help those who can't seem to help themselves. He knows what its like to be incarcerated and he doesn't pretend to be anything but another soul trying to help someone in need. I think we need to support him and try to help him out with this bogus claim in Mexico. So they don't like bonty hunters. He did a good thing by putting a criminal in jail and preventing a very rich person from doing more harm. No wonder all the people in Mexico are trying to get out of there. They don't really care about their people. Lets help Dog so he can continue to help others.


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It's Like Lysistrata All Over Again

Though I am not sure how well it will work.
This just in over the Lysistrata wire: Dozens of women in Pereira, Colombia, have launched "una huelga de piernas cruzadas" -- a strike of crossed legs -- in order to get their gang-member boyfriends/husbands to quit killing each other. The message: no sex until you renounce violence. The women figured this would be a good way to raise the stakes of a thus-far-ineffective disarmament scheme. (So, I suppose, would leaving these fellows entirely, but a) these can be complicated choices, and b) it's still a good story.)

To be economically fair: Is gang life the only means of breadwinning in Pereira? Apparently not. According to the BBC, Colombian radio reported that "studies found that local gang members were drawn to criminality by the desire for status, power, and sexual attractiveness, not economic necessity."

"This is our way of telling our husbands that we don't want to wind up widows and that our children don't deserve to grow up without a father at their side," one mother of two told El Nuevo Diario (translation by Broadsheet). "Until now they haven't wanted to listen, but we're sure that this way, they'll get it."

(link via feministing)


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That's Exactly What I Said!

I was going to post on this with Steve's exact title.
Iraqi security forces will dig trenches around Baghdad and set up checkpoints along all roads leading into the city to reduce some of the violence plaguing the capital, the Interior Ministry said Friday.

To help halt that bloodshed, more U.S. troops have been shifted to Baghdad from the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province, a senior U.S. commander said.


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

YouTube Must Die!

It must die to save black people in America.


At 8:17 PM, Blogger Professor Zero said...

So who made that, I couldn't figure it out?

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Qusan said...

I don't know who the kooks are that produced that video. I would like to know why they felt the need to though.


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My Girl's Hair Was Always Laid!

She was something else but I suspect that a lot of black women admired her because her hair was always "did."
Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, whose brassy, tough-talking persona and trademark white hair cut an indelible profile in Democratic politics, died Wednesday evening at her home in Austin, surrounded by her family, her spokesman, Bill Maddox said.

She was 73.

Richards, who served as governor of the Lone Star State from 1991 to 1995, announced in March that she was being treated for esophageal cancer. Maddox said Richards had shielded many family members and friends from the extent of her illness.

"It was a shock to a lot of us," he said.

Cecile Richards, the former governor's daughter, announced her death in a note sent to friends at 7:50 p.m. (8:50 p.m. ET), Maddox said.

The quick-witted Richards burst onto the national scene with rhetorical guns blazing at the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, where, in a keynote address, she famously described the syntax-challenged Republican presidential nominee, George H.W. Bush, this way:

"Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

At the time, Richards was Texas state treasurer; two years later, she would be elected governor, only the second woman ever to hold that post.

RIP Miss Ann and I don't want my tombstone mentioning my "clean house" either!

She told an interviewer shortly before leaving office, "I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house.' I think I'd like them to remember me by saying, 'She opened government to everyone.'"


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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This Says It All!

These clowns don't ever seem to know how stupid they sound. We have millions of people without health insurance and senior citizens who have to pick and choose which medicine they can afford to buy. This tool, in his arrogant attempt to defend the indefinite detention of men at Guantanamo, boasts this:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Tuesday his recent trip to the Guantanamo Bay detainee camp showed excellent prison conditions, including "24/7 medical care - better than many Americans" get.


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If Your Friend Jumped Off Of A Bridge ...

If this isn't one of the STUPIDEST things I've ever heard ... What responsible adult and or parent would even conceive of this?
It seems a father’s plan to cure his daughter’s fear of heights missed the mark.

Troy Stewart and his 10-year-old daughter were on their daily bike ride about 7:45 p.m. Monday when Stewart, 31, suggested they jump off a 15-foot bridge. Stewart held his daughter Meagan Stewart’s hand as they jumped off the bridge into the Intracoastal Waterway, authorities said.

“At first he said, ‘Do you want to do it or not?’ ” Meagan said. “I thought, ‘It’s kind of high,’ and then he’s like, ‘Trust me.’ ”

Meagan made the jump safely, but her father ended up with a broken leg. She rode her bike half a mile home and told her mother, Mandy Potter. Potter called authorities who found Stewart waiting on the edge of Lantana Bicentennial Park.

“In his mind, he was playing,” Potter, 32, said of her partner of 10 years. “But I don’t condone his child’s play.”

Stewart was not charged since Meagan jumped willingly. Officials from the state Department of Children & Families planned to interview Potter.

“This is an example of what not to do as a parent,” police Capt. Andy Rundle said. “And let this be a lesson to everybody: Somebody’s tried it, and it’s not a good idea.”
Meagan said she was not upset with her father, but she planned to have a talk with him when he returned home from the hospital.

“I’m going to tell him I don’t think he should have done that and you should have learned your lesson,” she said.

I think the fact that the child plans to scold her dad shows that he doesn't seem to be too grown up.


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It's A Hard Chokes Life!

In the words of Mr. T, I pity the fool!
A nurse returning from work discovered an intruder armed with a hammer in her home and strangled him with her bare hands, police said.

Susan Kuhnhausen, 51, ran to a neighbor's house after the confrontation Wednesday night. Police found the body of Edward Dalton Haffey 59, a convicted felon with a long police record.

Police said there was no obvious sign of forced entry at the house when Kuhnhausen, an emergency room nurse at Providence Portland Medical Center, got home from work shortly after 6 p.m.

Under Oregon law people can use reasonable deadly force when defending themselves against an intruder or burglar in their homes. Kuhnhausen was treated and released for minor injuries at Providence.

Haffey, about 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, had convictions including conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, robbery, drug charges and possession of burglary tools. Neighbors said Kuhnhausen's size -- 5-foot-7 and 260 pounds -- may have given her an advantage.

Dude shoulda asked somebody! LOL!


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So Does This Mean She's Not A Lesbian Now?

I can testify that being single past a certain age does keep people constantly guessing - particularly if you don't have a steady or visible boyfriend. Condi has certainly gotten her share of speculation and accusation regarding her sexuality. Now the pendulum has moved back in the other direction and they are linking her to a Canadian diplomat.

But reporters tend to get bored pretty fast — there is only so much ink anyone can devote to softwood lumber trade spats and overfishing in the North Atlantic. And a bored reporter is a gossipy reporter, as demonstrated by the chatter last year after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld took a dinner cruise up a Norwegian fjord and sipped wine with his counterpart, the Norwegian defense minister, Kristin Krohn Devold. (She gave him a sweater; he gave her a designer bag.)

If you believe the blogs, Mr. MacKay has been sweet on Ms. Rice since their first meeting in Washington last year. “Peter McKay has a crush... ” said a headline on the Web site NowPublic, atop a giant photo of Ms. Rice, “...on Condoleezza Rice.” The subhead continued: “Well, they are both single after all.’’

Ms. Rice and Mr. MacKay even made the “Hot and Not” list in a column in the Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail on Saturday. “Hot: Peter MacKay and Condoleezza Rice,” the column, Ottawa Notebook, read.

The two do keep offering up tantalizing tidbits and comments to take out of context and misconstrue. For instance, after the Rome meeting in July, Ms. Rice gave Mr. McKay a ride aboard her plane to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a conference with Southeast Asian countries. O.K., the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, got a lift, too, but he looks like, well, a diplomat.

On Tuesday morning, Ms. Rice and Mr. MacKay strolled up to their side-by-side daises to talk to the folks here. “I am just delighted to have Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, here in my hometown,” gushed a beaming Mr. MacKay, wearing a pearl gray suit, pink and blue striped tie.

He switched to bad French, even to some American ears, and said something about Longfellow’s poem “Evangeline.” He mentioned Nova Scotia’s rich black history, citing the “black loyalist community, Canada’s oldest community of African heritage.”

Then, he said, “Something else I’ve learned about Secretary Rice is she loves the cool Atlantic breezes here in Nova Scotia, and she left the window open last night.” The audience tittered.

At the end of his speech, he took off his glasses, turned to Ms. Rice and said, “Please come back again.”


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Being Jon Benet

In this over sexualized world filled with pedophiles, WHY???

Breast-enhancing padded bras for girls as young as six are being sold in Victorian shops.

Childhood experts have warned parents they could be baiting pedophiles by dressing their young girls as raunchy women.

Tiny matching lingerie sets of lacy bras and knickers in many children's brands including Bratz, Saddle Club and Barbie, have hit the shelves aimed at girls who are barely old enough for school.

The Herald Sun last week revealed the latest Bratz Babyz range included sexually provocative baby dolls dressed in leather and lingerie.

The padded Bratz "bralettes" were among more than 30 different junior bra styles starting at size six on sale at a city Target store visited by the Herald Sun yesterday.

The Australian Family Association warned parents against sexualising their children. "We have a growing problem with pedophilia and people viewing children as sex objects," spokeswoman Angela Conway said.

"Children do not need these products and I am appalled. It is more than bad taste. The sexual portrayal of children in this country is illegal and these products are pandering to just that."

Australian Childhood Foundation CEO Dr Joe Tucci said padded bras were "the most ridiculous piece of clothing a parent could buy".

Bratz distributor Funtastic defended the range.

"The idea of the padding is for girls to be discreet as they develop," a spokeswoman said.

"It is more about hiding what you have got than showing it off. It is certainly not there to make children look like they have breasts."

Target also stood by the underwear range. It provided "fashionable items that give girls modesty and style as they go through development changes", a spokeswoman said.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Shaking Hands With The Enemy

Our enemy that is. I'm cooked for today on this fiasco we've created in the Middle East. Yes, as neighbors they need to get along but do we really want Iran helping Iraq with security when we claim to know that they are fomenting the insurgency.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Tuesday assessed as "excellent" bilateral ties between the Iranian and Iraqi governments and nations.

Ahmadinejad made the remark at a joint press conference with the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki after the two sides held private talks.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq enjoy deep-rooted historical relations beyond normal ties between the two neighboring states," he said.

He added that Tehran and Baghdad have close relations in cultural and religious fields, saying, "We regard progress, independence and territorial territory of Iraq as our own." He urged all to support the popular government in Iraq, stressing, "A united and independent Iraq will be beneficial to security and progress of the entire region."
The president said a popular government has been established in Iraq based on its nation's will, adding the Iraqi people went through a difficult time to achieve such a big success.

"We completely support the Iraqi government and parliament and will transfer our experience to our Iraqi friends in all fields including reconstruction of the country and economic cooperation.

"Iran will provide assistance to the Iraqi government to establish full security. We believe strengthening the Iraqi government is tantamount to promoting security, peace and friendship in that country."

Pointing to good ties between Tehran and Baghdad, Ahmadinejad said, "The two sides reached good agreements in the fields of trade, transportation and energy. The two governments are determined to implement agreements as soon as possible."
He termed his talks with the Iraqi premier as "very good", saying, "The two sides share common stance on regional and international issues. Both sides are determined to consolidate brotherly ties." Ahmadinejad stated that ministers of the two countries would hold a meeting Tuesday evening to follow up agreements previously reached between the two states and finalize new agreements.

Al-Maliki, for his part, said Iran was an important and friendly country for Iraq, adding the two sides face bright horizons for expansion of bilateral cooperation in the future.

He assessed as fruitful his visit to Tehran, saying it was a turning point in ties between the two sides.

Asked whether Iran and Iraq did not implement previous agreements following allegations raised against Iran about its meddling in Iraq's domestic affairs, al-Maliki stressed the two sides face no obstacle in the way of implementing agreements.

Al-Maliki, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Tehran Tuesday morning for a two-day visit to review issues of mutual interest with senior Iranian officials.

The Iraqi premier is visiting the country for the first time since he took control of the Baghdad government and is here upon an invitation of the Iranian president.

During his two-day stay, Al-Maliki will meet with President Ahmadinejad and several other senior Iranian officials.

Avenues to bolster Tehran-Baghdad relations as well as regional and international developments, particularly the current situation in Iraq, will top the agenda of talks between the two sides.

The Iraqi premier is accompanied by a number of cabinet ministers and National Assembly deputies.

It's comedy, I tell ya! Everyone laugh!


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The "New" Taliban

Wow! Just wow! We supposedly defeated the Taliban and it looks like they are back bigger and better with an entirely new skill set courtesy of al Qaeda.
Even in near-total darkness, the wounded Taliban fighter insists on masking his identity, his head and face covered by a tightly wound white cloth. Only two bright eyes and a confident voice tell how Afghanistan's Islamist militants are ramping up their fight against US and NATO forces.

He speaks a warning, of how the "new" Taliban has become more radical, more sophisticated, and more brutal than the Taliban ousted by US-led forces in 2001 - and of how its jihadist agenda now mirrors that of Al Qaeda, stretching far beyond Afghanistan.

Among the keys to the Taliban resurgence - which is sparking lethal violence on a scale unknown here for almost five years - are crucial lessons drawn from Iraq.

"That's part of our strategy - we are trying to bring [the Iraqi model] to Afghanistan," says the fighter. "Things will get worse here."

Those "things" include suicide attacks, assassinations of government officials, moderate clerics, and civilians, along with guerrilla tactics now in use against Western forces in the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, where NATO claims to have killed more than 500 insurgents in 10 days of intense fighting.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, speaking in Brussels Tuesday, said the Taliban now pose a greater danger than Al Qaeda. "The center of gravity of terrorism has shifted from al Qaeda to the Taliban," he told European lawmakers."

"This is a new element, a more dangerous element, because it [the Taliban] has its roots in the people. Al Qaeda didn't have roots in the people," he said.

This is so f'd up it's funny and I give up!


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The Other Iraq?

WTF? I just saw a television commercial promoting Iraqi Kurdistan. Now, I am definitely glad to see that they are faring so much better than the rest of Iraq but I'm not thinking this is a good sign for those who hope for a unified country.
Have you seen the Other Iraq?

It's spectacular.

It's peaceful.

Welcome to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Where democracy has been practiced for over a decade. It's not a dream.
It's the other Iraq.


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Musharraf Abandons Women

I'm not surprised but I wish we were not allies with this country or this man. Aside from me believing that someone in Pakistan knows darn well where Osama bin Laden is hiding, this is hardly the type of government we need to consider a friend and their consistent disregard for a woman's value is unconscionable.
In a setback for women's rights in Pakistan, the ruling party in Islamabad has caved in to religious conservatives by dropping its plans to reform rape laws.

Statutes known as the Hudood ordinances, based on sharia law, currently operate in Pakistan. They require a female rape victim to produce four male witnesses to corroborate her account, or she risks facing a new charge of adultery.

The ruling party in Islamabad, made up of a coalition of groups allied to President Pervez Musharraf, had hoped the new Protection of Women Bill would place the crime of rape within the country's secular penal code, which works in tandem with sharia.

But the government said rape would remain a crime punished by Islamic law yesterday after conservatives in an opposition group, Muttahida Majlis-I-Amal (MMA), threatened to walk out of parliament in protest if the government pushed ahead with reforms.

"If there are four witnesses it will be tried under [Islamic law], if there are not, it will be tried under the penal code," said the law minister, Mohammad Wasi Zafar. "In the case of both adultery and rape, the judge will decide how to try the case." A new amended bill will now be presented to parliament on Wednesday.

The news is a significant victory for the MMA, which have vehemently opposed any attempts to lessen the influence of sharia.

The Hudood ordinances were enshrined in Pakistani law in 1979 by General Zia ul-Haq in an attempt to appease the country's powerful religious elite following his military coup. They have been routinely criticised by local and international rights groups. Previous governments under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have tried to repeal the laws but failed.

General Musharraf had told rights groups he was willing to back plans for rape to be tried in the secular courts as part of his much trumpeted "enlightened moderation" ideology. The timing of the amended bill will be embarrassing for the President, who is touring Europe and the United States. Pakistan's Western allies have pressured General Musharraf to improve the rights situation in his country, particularly for women.

The failure of the new bill will be also be a bitter disappointment to women's groups in Pakistan, which have campaigned against the Hudood ordinances. Most women refuse to report a rape for fear they will be treated as a criminal. Under current laws, a victim risks courting punishment if she reports a rape allegation as the Hudood ordinances criminalise all extra-marital sex. A woman who fails to prove that she was raped could then be charged with adultery under the same legislation.

According to a 2002 report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a woman is raped every two hours and gang raped every eight hours. However, because of social taboos, discriminatory laws and victimisation of victims by police, campaigners say that the scale of rape is almost certainly higher.

Aside from a gang rape (and who is going to testify against someone else if they are part of the gang too?), who is going to rape a woman in front of four male witnesses? This law is cruel and insane and I cannot believe that our ally, Mr. Musharraf, is allowing this kind of brutality to continue. I cannot believe we are not just as concerned about the human rights of women in Pakistan as we claimed to be about the women in Iraq (who were actually treated much better and were not subject to sharia - and that may change quite soon because of our invasion). Ugh!


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He May As Well Hang It Up

Blair is a joke at home and a joke abroad.
Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain dodged angry demonstrators and endured diplomatic snubs on his first official visit to Lebanon, offering help for the country's army and vowing to renew efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

His message was largely lost on a population outraged at his failure to support demands for an earlier end to the fighting, which killed nearly 1,200 Lebanese, the vast majority of them civilians.

Hundreds of people gathered to protest his visit near Martyrs Square on the edge of central Beirut, which was cordoned off with barbed wire and guarded by hundreds of Lebanese soldiers with tanks.

"Blair, bow your head before the children you have murdered," read one of the placards in the crowd.

Several ministers refused to meet him, including the Parliament speaker, Nabih Berri. The front pages of most of the country's newspapers asserted that he was not welcome in Lebanon.


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Has Al Qaeda Advanced Its Goals Since 9/11

Christian Science Monitor staff writer Dan Murphy asked three experts to assess the organization's progress.

Al Qaeda or "The Base" issued its goals in the mid 1990s:

1. Remove US forces from Saudi Arabia. (In 2001, there were about 4,500 US troops there. Today, about 500 remain.)

2. Remove all foreign armies from all Muslim countries.

3. Destroy Israel and control Jerusalem.

4. Overthrow Arab regimes.

5. Establish a caliphate (a spiritual and secular ruler of the Islamic state.)

Read three expert opinions ...


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Where I Was

So, the current analogy for those old enough to remember is that people recall where they were on 9/11 just as people remember where they were when JFK was shot. I had just turned 3 years old (only a week or so older than John John Kennedy) and I guess the "blogger" in me was alive and well then. I certainly don't remember that historic event but I'm told that when I went to the store with my mom, I was making a point to tell perfect strangers that "President Kennedy got shot."

On September 11, 2001, I was in typical insomniac mode and was awake before dawn. I'd fallen asleep on the couch watching a tape of soaps from the day before. At the same time, I was subject to watching reruns of Cosby and A Different World on TBS (I believe). After that, Little House on The Prarie would air (another favorite I couldn't resist). When, I stopped my VCR, the channel showing was the ABC affiliate. Good Morning America seemed to be on early (I'm on the West Coast) and they had footage of smoke coming from one of the World Trade Center towers. They were not sure what had happened and were talking about a small plane possibly hitting it. After a few minutes of listening to them speculate, I saw that second plane hit the second tower and went into deinal. I actually tilted half of my body off of the sofa and started looking at the TV upside down. Things still weren't clicking so I grabbed the remote and asked myself "What movie is this? How did I get on this channel?" When I "came to" I realized that I hadn't changed channels, I wasn't looking at a movie and I'd really just seen a jet hit a landmark building. That's when I hopped up and started jumping around in my living room screaming "Pearl Harbor! It's Pearl Harbor!" (No, I'm not that old. Yes, I'm that wacky)!

People keep saying that 9/11 was the day that America lost its innocence. I hardly think I was that naive or unaware but, basically, I woke up happy and was about to watch Little House on The Prairie. You cannot get more American than that -- or more innocent.


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Monday, September 11, 2006

I Was Watching Flavor Of Love

There was no way on earth I was going to watch this. I guess others agreed!
ABC went ahead Sunday with its slightly tweaked but still controversial miniseries, The Path to 9/11. And while former Clinton administration officials still seethed at, what former counterterrorism czar and current ABC News consultant Richard Clarke called "an egregious distortion," many of them joined the rest of the country and simply didn't watch.


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Yes, Yes, And Yes!

If I didn't know where to begin to describe the first season of Flavor of Love, I am totally at a loss this time around. I attribute my obsession with this show to having some hidden demented streak because normally I would not let my remote go near this type of cooning and buffoonery. Truly, it is a HOT MESS in every sense.

A bitter 'Flavor': Reality show should make us all cringe

The show is built around Flavor Flav, an aging rapper whose real name is William Drayton. A classically trained pianist, he found stardom as a member of Public Enemy, a rap group that's being honored this week with the Billboard Hip-Hop Founders Award. In the VH1 show, Flavor Flav is searching for the "next great love of his life."

In the program, an interracial group of 20 women vie for Flavor Flav's affection. The competition among them is anything but ladylike. Two of the women fight over a bed, and another loses control of her bowels. When Flavor Flav shows one of the wannabe vixens some affection, another one exclaims: "That bitch is kissing my man." In one episode, to test their willingness to please, Flavor Flav takes six of the women to a Los Angeles soul food restaurant and puts them to work as staff. Once these women were on the job, the stereotypes quickly kicked in.

A white contestant, nicknamed Toastee, looks into the camera and says in her best "valley girl" imitation: "I've never worked in a restaurant before — and I don't know what soul food is."

A black competitor nicknamed Deelishis — whom the camera shoots mostly from the waist down — notices that the attention of several of the restaurant's male customers is fixed squarely on her rear end. "I just want to tell all of these guys that a side order of ass is not on the menu," she proclaims.

Like I said, this show is crass ...

Though it is said to perpetuate the worst kinds of stereotypes, and I am sure many folks will endure the ignorance of those whose only exposure to black people is via TV, I CANNOT HELP MYSELF! Flavor Flav is cartoonish. He has got to be one of the UGLIEST men alive but he is always in costume and that is a distraction from his looks. Most of the women on the show may as well be men in drag. The show is a human comic strip. I can watch it and laugh because it is so far removed from anything in any part of my reality. This reality show is so far removed from anything real that they need a new genre.

There are two kinds of mindsets regarding this show. You are either embarrassed that it is on or you are embarrassed that you watch it. I am embarrassed that I watch it. But I won't stop.


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Mission Not Accomplished in Anbar

What's the mission again? What is winning? It's not happening in Anbar.
Iraq's biggest province has suffered a total breakdown in law and order in which al-Qaida has emerged as the dominant political force, according to descriptions of a classified US military intelligence review reported today.

The report, by the US marine corps colonel Peter Devlin, focuses on the vast, arid region of Anbar in the west, which contains the insurgent-held towns of Fallujah, Ramadi and Haditha.

The Washington Post quoted military officers who had seen the report as saying the area was "beyond repair".

"We haven't been defeated militarily, but we have been defeated politically - and that's where wars are won and lost," was one army officer's summary of the review quoted by the newspaper.

The same officer concluded that there were no functioning Iraqi institutions in the province, and that al-Qaida in Iraq, the insurgent group founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was Anbar's most powerful political force.


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Getting Snitty Over Diddy

I'm not a fan of all of Sean Combs' nicknames to begin with. I thought "Puff Daddy" sounded ridiculous, that P. Diddy was even more ridiculous and that just plain Diddy is a dumb name for a grown ass man who is a multi-millionaire! However, I find it even more ridiculous that someone would battle with him over that kind of name so that he cannot use it in the UK. I say good riddance!
Sean Combs is Diddy no more at least in Britain. The musician and entertainment mogul has agreed to drop the Diddy name as part of an out-of court legal settlement with London-based music producer Richard "Diddy" Dearlove, the law firm representing Dearlove said Monday.

Solicitors Jens Hills & Co. said Combs had agreed to "rebrand his commercial activities" in Britain and would "no longer be able to trade in the U.K. as 'Diddy.'" Combs' lawyer, Nigel Calvert, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Combs formerly known as Puffy and Puff Daddy has used the moniker P. Diddy since 2001, but last year decided to be known solely as Diddy.

Dearlove launched a lawsuit for unfair competition, claiming the name change had caused confusion. The case had been due to go to the High Court next month.

"I started getting e-mails from Puerto Rican girls asking if they could be in my video and people were asking me to look at their clothing line," Dearlove was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.

Combs, 36, whose fortune was last year estimated by Forbes magazine at $250 million, agreed to pay Dearlove's costs, as well as "significant" damages, Dearlove's lawyer said.

Dearlove, 40, best known for his 1990s dance remix of Blondie's "Atomic," told The Guardian he was "happy and relieved."

"It doesn't matter how big people become," he said. "This is my name. I've been successful too. I'm not a global megastar, but what I do is valid."


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Mercenaries in Somalia!

I knew it! I knew we were mixed up in the turmoil in that country!
Dramatic evidence that America is involved in illegal mercenary operations in east Africa has emerged in a string of confidential emails seen by The Observer. The leaked communications between US private military companies suggest the CIA had knowledge of the plans to run covert military operations inside Somalia - against UN rulings - and they hint at involvement of British security firms.

The emails, dated June this year, reveal how US firms have been planning undercover missions in support of President Abdullahi Yusuf's transitional federal government - founded with UN backing in 2004 - against the Supreme Islamic Courts Council - a radical Muslim militia which took control of Mogadishu, the country's capital, also in June promising national unity under Sharia law.

Evidence of foreign involvement in the conflict would not only breach the UN arms embargo but could destabilise the entire region.

Like we actually need yet another region destabalized. The horrible part is that even when George Bush leaves office, whomever takes his place (and the persons after that and after that) will have to deal with the mess he's made all over the world.

(hat tip to P6)


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If They Had To Do It All Again

They'd lie again.
Notable was the trademark Russert "gotcha" moment wherein he played the infamous clip of Cheney saying in August 2002: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." When asked if, knowing that Saddam did NOT have weapons of mass destruction, if Cheney would still have gone into Iraq, he said "Yes" and went on:

"The world is better off because Saddam Hussein is in jail instead of in power in Baghdad. It was the right thing to do and if we had it to do over again, we'd do exactly the same thing."

Note that Cheney dated Saddam's WMD use at 1991.

Russert also called him on his other infamous comment, the old "insurgency in its last throes" comment, which Cheney admitted was — what's that word? — oh yeah, WRONG but with barely a breath spun it as a good thing, based on Iraqis embracing democracy and being willing to "step up and take on the responsibility for their own fate." Cheney also invoked the tough-guy rationale for staying in Iraq ( "My gosh, the United States hasn't got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden's right, al-Qaeda's right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission"), lauded the U.S. "detainee policy", claiming it was Constitutional by citing "the blessing of the lawyers" which, considering that the source of that is Gonzales, is an eyebrow-raise (when Tim asked him about "shady" methods, Cheney said stolidly "We have done everything we could think of to make the nation safe"). He also nimbly sidestepped Russert's question about military intervention in Iran, saying "I don't want to speculate on military options. It's not wise. And Rumsfeld would probably object."

It was positively painful to watch Dick Cheney spend the hour lying on Meet The Press. I swear, this administration should be tried for war crimes and treason.


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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Just What We Need!

Another Taliban!
Islamic militants controlling much of southern Somalia shut down a radio station Sunday for playing love songs and other music, the latest step to impose strict religious rule which has sparked fears of an emerging, Taliban-style regime.

Since sweeping to power over much of southern Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, in June, the Islamists have banned movie viewing, publicly lashed drug users and broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together.

The group closed Radio Jowhar because the programs were un-Islamic, Islamic official Sheik Mohamed Mohamoud Abdirahman said. It was the only radio station in Jowhar, some 55 miles from Mogadishu.

``It is useless to air music and love songs for the people,'' Abdirahman said.

Said Hagaa Ahmed, Radio Jowhar's director, confirmed the station had been closed but declined further comment.

So will we be invading them next? We think they are hooked up with al-Qaida too:
But the United States accuses the Islamic leaders of harboring al-Qaida militants responsible for deadly bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

There's just no end to this in sight and it is getting worse instead of better.


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Now This Is Progress

I'm glad to see that at least someplace in the Americas, women are able to take charge of their own lives and wombs.
Chile just keeps getting cooler. First they elected awesome agnostic socialist Michelle Bachelet their first female president. And now they're making birth control available to all women and girls 14 and older. The especially great news is, "birth control" includes both standard contraceptives and emergency contraception. And when we say "available," we mean available free of charge. Plus, young women will be able to get prescriptions for the pill without parental authorization.

Feminist Daily Newswire reports that "The decision was made by the Chilean Health Ministry after the Chilean Center for the Development of Women asked for greater accessibility to EC." Can you imagine what would happen if someone asked the FDA for greater public access to EC? Ahem.

It's fantastic to see a country letting young women make their own reproductive decisions and making birth control equally available to all women, regardless of income level.


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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Is This Why We Are Hated Across The Globe?

A couple of weeks ago, I did notice a flyer in one of the local Starbuck's (a fairly new one) regarding them not accepting a certain coupon. Since I hadn't received any such coupon, I didn't really give it a second thought. However, it seems that some little 23 year old was so miffed enough by her coupon not being honored that she filed a lawsuit.
Starbucks was sued for $114 million Friday over its recall last week of a coupon that entitled the holder to a free large iced drink being promoted by the giant Seattle coffee retailer.
Peter Sullivan, the lawyer who sued on behalf of a 23-year-old Starbucks regular who felt "betrayed" when her coupon was not honored, accused the company of fraud and said he will request class-action status to include the "thousands who were misled" by the offer.
On Aug. 23, Starbucks e-mailed the coupon for the free grande drink to selected employees with instructions for them to forward the coupon to friends and family. The offer was valid through Sept. 30.
But, Sullivan said, Starbucks got jittery and refused to honor the coupon after the company saw how widely it had been distributed. "I believe they were surprised by how successful the promotion was," the lawyer said.
"The excuse proffered by Starbucks, that they did not believe that an offer released over the Internet would be so widely distributed, is ridiculous," Sullivan said. "Clearly, Starbucks chose to initiate a viral marketing campaign to counteract their slumping sales."
A spokeswoman for Starbucks said company officials had seen Sullivan’s press release but not his court papers and would have not immediate comment.
Sullivan said he saw lines of coupon-carrying caffeine customers outside Starbucks coffee shops in New York in response to the promotion, and when they could not redeem the coupons "they felt let down and angry."

Is this really where we are folks? People are filing multi-million dollar lawsuits because some coffee shop wouldn't give them a free cup of coffee? Puleese!


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Squish, Squash, Kill That Roach

This dude (well, I guess you could call him that) knows he needs to be ashamed of himself.

(BTW, does this fool have a conk)?


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Cover The Cup

I caught the tail end of this report on the news and decided to look it up. Are they kidding? I'll be honest. I've never stared at the logo on a Starbucks cup and I've been drinking that coffee for well over a decade. But, it seems that some folks are offended by the cup because it shows a mermaid's boobies.
Starbucks' decision to revert to its original mermaid logo this month is causing a stir at one local school.

Thirty-five years after the first cup of Starbucks was sold, the java giant is returning to its artistic roots. During September, Starbucks' cups are sporting the original logo, a familiar mermaid. But for some, the sketched depiction clearly showing the mermaid’s breasts is a little too much skin.

A Kent elementary school principal has asked that teachers stopping for a cup on the way to work be sure to get a cup sleeve to cover up the image.

"The principal at that school made a decision that she thought that it could be distracting for students," school district spokeswoman Becky Hanks said.

One student we talked with agreed.

"The kids would talk about it ... like, ‘whoa, it’s the naked lady’,” said Victoria Awiten, 12.

Awiten’s dad, Dave Phelps, wasn’t particularly disturbed.

“I think she’s seen worse in movies,” he said.

Whatever distraction there might be, he said, it doesn't call for a rule.

Other residents say they don't think so either.

"If I had an elementary school kid, I wouldn’t care,” said Uma Ramiah.

Hanks said the cup rule is not a district wide policy, just one request by one principal for the month of September.

Unless they are born of a dead woman, one of the first things babies see are their mother's breasts. I am getting very tired of this bizarre fixation Americans have on a woman's breasts. They exist. They are! So what if a kid sees a drawing of a woman in a logo on a paper coffee cup? How ridiculous is this story?


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Taking A Stand Or Standing Back?

I am always amazed at the reactions to certain things. When I read that Brad Pitt said that he and Angelina would get married when everyone was allowed to marry I thought he was just on another mission of the day since he's become such an activist. However, the minute this hit one of my yahoogroups, the immediate response by most was that he was a non-commital jerk who was looking for an excuse not to marry Angelina.
Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won't be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped. "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.

I don't know if Brad's comments were just a flip response to the interviewer or if he and Angelina have really taken this stand . Whatever the case, I hardly view Angelina as some quivering waif who is waiting on pins and needles for Brad to make an honest woman of her. I'm still amazed that independent, educated, intelligent women still feel that the decision to marry is always up to and determined by the man. I'd take a wild guess that Angelina is probably more resistant to the idea of marriage than Brad. He seems to be following her lead on things not vice versa.


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Friday, September 08, 2006


I am so sick of hearing these stories I don't know what to do! What inspires people to think this is okay or unpunishable? It would be bad enough if it was a college student or full adult but this was a child.
It began with a crush, police said, and turned into one of the most shocking crimes in Milwaukee's long, violent summer: an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by as many as 20 boys while a 16-year-old girl she was romantically interested in watched and coached her.

The 16-year-old and a 15-year-old boy have been charged in juvenile court in the alleged attack, which authorities said took place Monday in a house on the city's north side. The teenage girl's 40-year-old uncle might also be charged, authorities said.

The youth's names were not released because of their ages.

Investigators are still attempting to identify and locate the boys who were in the house.

"We're dealing with a lot of nicknames, so we're trying to track down these people," said prosecutor Matthew Torbenson.

The 11-year-old girl told police she was interested in the teenage girl, who looked and dressed like a boy, authorities said in court records. She and two friends went to the teen's house, where the child performed oral sex on three teenage boys, the court records said.

The teenage girl's 40-year-old uncle admitted he also had sex with the 11-year-old and told police that his niece was coaching the child, the records said.

The 11-year-old told police she then went to the basement, where there were about 15 males and "began to choose who she wanted to perform oral sex on," the records said.

The teenage girl told police that the 11-year-old had told her she wanted to perform oral sex on the boys in the house, according to court records. The 16-year-old denied encouraging her.

The teenage girl and the 15-year-old boy were charged with being a party to sexual assault. Torbenson said he will probably seek to have them tried as adults.

The reported attack punctuated Milwaukee's felonious summer, which started with a Memorial Day weekend in which 28 people were shot. Though homicide numbers are lower than 2005, assaults are up by 22 percent and robberies by 36 percent, Police Chief Nan Hegerty told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett described the alleged crimes as disgusting and deeply troubling.

"When you have people working in concert and no one in the group is showing conscience, that's a real problem," he said.

"It almost leaves me speechless," said Barbara Nuell-Moore, director of the neighborhood-improvement group Project Respect. "It is just senseless acts of violence. It is inhumane. It is embarrassing to the city of Milwaukee and its people. ... There should be outrage."

This was a neighborhood girl. People know how old she was no matter what they say. I don't know about charging the 16 year olds as adults but I think they are out of control children who need counseling, guidance and severe consequences. The 40 year old is going to hell.


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Maxjulian said...

Lawd have mercy!


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Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Kind Of Town, Chicago Is

I keep wanting to be surprised but I'm not.
Black employees at a Chicago Heights dock facility were subjected to racist graffiti, nooses hanging in the workplace and tougher work conditions than whites, a federal agency alleged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The graffiti, left in the men's bathroom at Roadway Express Inc., included such phrases as "Make America safe, kill a n----- today," said Richard J. Mrizek, the lead trial attorney handling the case for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In another instance, a noose was found hanging from a forklift driven by a black worker.

Black employees complained, but it did no good, according to the lawsuit.

A company spokeswoman did not return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

"The working conditions for black employees at the Chicago Heights facility were intolerable," said John Rowe, the EEOC's district director in Chicago.

Work teams were created based on race, and black employees were given more difficult work, the complaint says.

Little has changed since the days of Mayor Daley (Sr).


At 10:24 PM, Blogger skyscraper said...

oh, wow,

that's unbelievable. oh, wait--rather, too believable! and awful.


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Holy Cow!

I am laughing at this only because I've been in so many religious debates lately and someone once brought up gluttony as a sin that many "thumpers" commit while pointing out everyone else's sins. Lord! What a quarrel that caused! Turns out, those of us who pointed out the chub in the pews were right.
On the way to the church picnic, some Christians may not be sidestepping one of the seven deadly sins: gluttony.

A new study surmises that among Christians in the U.S. -- particularly Baptists, Pentecostals and Catholics -- there is a significant relationship between being religious and being obese.

The study tracked about 2,800 religious Americans of various denominations for eight years. Baptists, according to the study, were most likely to be obese, followed by Pentecostals, Catholics, Methodists and members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Denominations that stress physical health, such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventists, show low levels of obesity, according to the study. There is also a very low percentage of obese Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists in the U.S., the study found.


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No, He Has No Sense Of Decency!

Stop asking!
It is to our deep national shame—and ultimately it will be to the President’s deep personal regret—that he has followed his Secretary of Defense down the path of trying to tie those loyal Americans who disagree with his policies—or even question their effectiveness or execution—to the Nazis of the past, and the al Qaeda of the present.

Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 -- without ever actually saying so—the President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, “a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”

Make no mistake here—the intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the “media.”

The President and the Vice President and others have often attacked freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press.

Now, Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle:

The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word—“media”—the honest, patriotic, and indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of Al-Qaeda propaganda.

That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American.

Mr. Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters.

We will not drink again.

And the President’s re-writing and sanitizing of history, so it fits the expediencies of domestic politics, is just as false, and just as scurrilous.

“In the 1920’s a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews,” President Bush said today, “the world ignored Hitler’s words, and paid a terrible price.”

Whatever the true nature of al Qaeda and other international terrorist threats, to ceaselessly compare them to the Nazi State of Germany serves only to embolden them.

More over, Mr. Bush, you are accomplishing in part what Osama Bin Laden and others seek—a fearful American populace, easily manipulated, and willing to throw away any measure of restraint, any loyalty to our own ideals and freedoms, for the comforting illusion of safety.

It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administration’s recent Nazi “kick” is an awful and cynical thing.

And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush:

“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”


At 10:30 PM, Blogger skyscraper said...

“In the 1920’s a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews,” President Bush said today, “the world ignored Hitler’s words, and paid a terrible price.”


At 10:31 PM, Blogger skyscraper said...

i wonder if he knew what it meant tho...

At 10:40 PM, Blogger skyscraper said...

sorry, one more thing--"a fearful American populace" is precisely what the current administration needs, has always aspired for, and the only thing that it's thriving on. even more so, than the so-called al qaeda.

if people weren't deliberately scared to hell, as cattle, who and why do you think would have supported this ape for president in TWO elections, and supported the unjustifiable, and completeely arbitrary wars--one after the other, after the other.

obfuscate, brainwash, mezmorize and mold into whatever gullible and governable material you want--that's what they've been doing with the public's brains. honestly, i don't see any difference between hitler and bush himself--except the latter is more covert and diplomatic of course. but the main elements are all there--proliferation and spewing of hatred, intolerance, prejudice, and white supremacy.


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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No Disrespect Condi

I always used to say that I disagreed with Condi Rice but that I admired her accomplishments and respected her position. However, now I think she has gone over the edge of decency and I can't believe she went here:

Secretary of State Rice compared the Iraq war with the American Civil War, telling a magazine that slavery might have lasted longer in this country if the North had decided to end the fight early.

"I'm sure there are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold," Rice said in the new issue of Essence magazine.

"I know there were people who said, 'Why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?'" Rice said.

Rice also bristled at the notion that the Bush administration's slow response last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was because of the race of the majority of the victims.

"I resented the notion that the President of the United States, this President of the United States, would somehow decide to let people suffer because they were black," Rice told the magazine.

"I found that to be the most corrosive and outrageous claim that anybody could have made, and it was wholly and totally irresponsible."

Asked if she felt personally accountable, Rice said, "The government did its best. People aren't perfect, and this response was not perfect. You know, I do foreign policy, I don't run Homeland Security. I don't run FEMA. I do foreign policy." She added, "I did what I could to coordinate the international response."

I guess she's been a key member of the cast of clowns in the Bush administration all along. The slavery analogy is not only a stretch, it's downright insulting. Does she not read Essence? I cannot wait to see the reader comments on that interview. It might be time for the vaseline and the "fight clothes."

P.S. I love how she totally plays the "my name is Bess, I ain't in this mess" card when it comes to Katrina! That group certainly knows how to assign blame, don't they?


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Letting Crazy Take Over

What? Did I miss this in the American papers? Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is throwing up his hands?
The most influential moderate Shia leader in Iraq has abandoned attempts to restrain his followers, admitting that there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war.

Aides say Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is angry and disappointed that Shias are ignoring his calls for calm and are switching their allegiance in their thousands to more militant groups which promise protection from Sunni violence and revenge for attacks.

"I will not be a political leader any more," he told aides. "I am only happy to receive questions about religious matters."

It is a devastating blow to the remaining hopes for a peaceful solution in Iraq and spells trouble for British forces, who are based in and around the Shia stronghold of Basra.

The cleric is regarded as the most important Shia religious leader in Iraq and has been a moderating influence since the invasion of 2003. He ended the fighting in Najaf between Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi army and American forces in 2004 and was instrumental in persuading the Shia factions to fight the 2005 elections under the single banner of the United Alliance.

However, the extent to which he has become marginalised was demonstrated last week when fighting broke out in Diwaniya between Iraqi soldiers and al-Sadr's Mehdi army. With dozens dead, al-Sistani's appeals for calm were ignored. Instead, the provincial governor had to travel to Najaf to see al-Sadr, who ended the fighting with one telephone call.

Al-Sistani's aides say that he has chosen to stay silent rather than suffer the ignominy of being ignored. Ali al-Jaberi, a spokesman for the cleric in Khadamiyah, said that he was furious that his followers had turned away from him and ignored his calls for moderation.

Asked whether Ayatollah al-Sistani could prevent a civil war, Mr al-Jaberi replied: "Honestly, I think not. He is very angry, very disappointed."

He said a series of snubs had contributed to Ayatollah al-Sistani's decision. "He asked the politicians to ask the Americans to make a timetable for leaving but they disappointed him," he said. "After the war, the politicians were visiting him every month. If they wanted to do something, they visited him. But no one has visited him for two or three months. He is very angry that this is happening now. He sees this as very bad."

That creepy, yuck mouth, nutjob al-Sadr has the power! Oh, well. Let's just call Iraq over!


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How Low Can You Go?

I just saw the video of this on CNN. The man stole $20 bucks right of the hand of a child who was trying to get change at the laundromat!
A Providence man has been arrested for allegedly snatching a $20 bill from a 7-year-old girl.

Police said Luis Negron, 22, grabbed the money from the girl's hand while at a Laundromat.

The girl was with her mother, and was waiting by a change machine.

Police were able to find Negron using a description given by the girl.

What kind of lowlife ... ... ... ? UGH!


At 10:09 PM, Blogger skyscraper said...


i know that's awful, but i thought it was also so fucking funny. seriously, i try to picture the whole story and it just make me crack up!!!!!!!

sorry--i have a sick sense of humor



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Plymouth Rock Landed On Them Too

I really don't want to keep talking about this but I refuse to buy his book and everyone who reads it or sees him on one of his promos points out a different piece from this madness. I bolded a portion that I find laughable because it's the second time he's made some reference to blacks and whites like we are kindred souls. Not so long ago, I seem to recall him using black Americans as a flaming example of "immigrants" (more of his denial) who haven't properly assimilated. Now we're united in the quest of the America he once knew? It positively slays that all of the sudden he seems to be embracing blacks as though the "colors" had a period of bliss. Is he frickin' kidding? Who were "South Side Irish" folks in Chicago throwing rocks at black children during forced integration in the 70s? Who was throwing bricks and bottles at Harold Washington outside of an Irish Catholic church when he ran for mayor in the 80s? Buchanan is just a little more polished but it was exactly that mentality that is being spewed in his book. I may not be "obsessing" about the wrong doings of previous generations but I for damned sure will never forget that which I've seen with my own eyes barely a generation ago.
Patrick Buchanan can seem more like an entertainer than a commentator. The well- known conservative and erstwhile presidential candidate says shocking things on television. He writes provocative books. But he is also peddling dangerous ideas.

"Should America lose her ethnic- cultural core and become a nation of nations, America will not survive," he writes in his new book, "State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America." Buchanan's argument: The United States is losing its Western European identity and being overrun by Mexicans and other immigrant groups.

It's a troubling mix of facts and fear-mongering, with dollops of nostalgia about the 1940s and '50s, when, Buchanan says, black and white Americans did not "obsess over wrongs done by previous generations, for, compared with all other nations, America merited the gratitude of mankind."

Buchanan points to the Census Bureau's estimate that by 2050, non- Hispanic whites will make up only 50 percent of the population. And he argues that while white European immigrants have been able to assimilate successfully, America simply can't absorb millions of immigrants from third world countries who are culturally alien. He points to crime, gang activity, urban riots in America and Europe, and terrorism as evidence that for certain people, assimilation is dangerously unlikely.

His solutions: big fences, a legal crackdown on hiring undocumented workers, a 10-year "time out on immigration" so the United States can assimilate legal immigrants, a preference for Christian immigrants, and denying American citizenship to babies who are born here to undocumented parents.

No one denies that "the West" is undergoing huge demographic change. Cultures and countries must find ways to coexist instead of destroying each other. And the United States does need to address its tide of illegal immigrants. But Buchanan can't resist layering in the toxin of racial animosity, pushing the whole debate to the fringe.

Hiding in a castle of cultural purity is senseless. America has never been such a place. It's a distortion to sow fear about nonwhite or non- Christian immigrants, millions of whom have contributed to the United States.

Yes, the world will be changed by immigration, technology, and other forces. The challenge is to steer that change, not attack it.

I think what offends me the most about some of Buchanan's views is that he suddenly wants to embrace blacks as full Americans now that he sees Mexicans as the new enemy - much in the way the "WASPs" got the Irish to buy into racism as a means of uplifting themselves. Granted, there are some blacks (like this buffoon) who are lapping it right up. But I will not be used in that manner. I find nothing honorable about the way his people gained access and I don't need to cozy up to hate to gain mine.

The cultural identity of American has always been about absorbing the cultures of everyone who comes here. I, too, agree that illegal immigration needs to be halted but only because it is driving down wages, creating a poverty class and making business tycoons richer than they already are (I think they are the real culprits in all of this). But, this wouldn't be the country it is without new immigrants and new cultures. How many places in the world can a person eat the cuisines of so many nations and cultures?

Pat also seems fixated on this idea that Mexicans in the southwest believe that the land really does belong to Mexico. I know I've often joked that they were here first but I don't think there will be any moves toward secession any time soon. However, I think we still have to acknowledge that in many cases they didn't cross the border; the border crossed them."


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Running From Rove In Droves

I guess some folks want to win more than they want to be right - like our deluded President.
Karl Rove, the president’s chief political adviser, is struggling to steer the Republican Party to victory this fall at a time when he appears to have the least political authority since he came to Washington, party officials said.

Mr. Rove remains a dominant adviser to President Bush, administration officials say. But outside the White House, as Mr. Bush’s popularity has waned, and as questions have arisen among Republicans about the White House’s political acumen, the party’s candidates are going their own way in this difficult election season far more than they have in any other campaign Mr. Rove has overseen.

Some are disregarding Mr. Rove’s advice, despite his reputation as the nation’s premier strategist. They are criticizing Mr. Bush or his policies. They are avoiding public events with the president and Mr. Rove.

Influential conservative commentators have openly broken with the White House, calling into question the continued enthusiasm of evangelicals, economic conservatives and other groups that Mr. Rove has counted on to win elections. Some Republicans are ignoring Mr. Rove’s efforts to hold the party together on issues like immigration and Iraq.


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Monday, September 04, 2006

Down Right Scary!

If I were this child I think I'd be stuck with nightmares for life. She was so lucky to have a dad who was able to rescue her before any real damage was done.
A father rescued his nine-year-old daughter from an alleged abductor minutes after a man dragged her from her backyard, police said.

James Stephens, 44, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault. He was being held Saturday for lack of $100,000 bail.

“While in custody, Stephens made statements to investigating officers as to a sexual nature regarding his intentions,” police said in a news release.

Only the suspect’s name has been released. Police said Stephens is a transient who came to Vermont five months ago from Arkansas, police said. He has a South Burlington address.

The alleged attack happened around 7 p.m. Saturday at the South Meadow Apartments off of Home Avenue. The girl was outside playing with friends when Stephens pulled her from a back yard to a hidden place nearby behind the Price Chopper shopping plaza on Shelburne Road, police said.

What on earth is wrong with people?


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A Stingray Got Him!

I ignored this story when I saw one of the earlier headlines. I didn't realize it was this guy until I saw the picture. Man! All those years of wrestling giant crocodiles and he is taken out by a stingray. I'm stunned!
Australian environmentalist and television personality Steve Irwin has died during a diving accident.

Mr Irwin, 44, was killed by a stingray barb to the chest while he was filming an underwater documentary in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

Paramedics from the nearby city of Cairns rushed to treat him at the scene but were unable to save him.

Mr Irwin was known for his television show The Crocodile Hunter and his work with native Australian wildlife.

Police in Queensland confirmed the naturalist's death and said his family had been notified. Mr Irwin was married with two young children.

"It is believed that Mr Irwin collapsed after being stung by a stingray at Batt Reef off Port Douglas at about 11:00 am (0100 GMT)," a police statement quoted by AFP news agency said.

"His crew called for medical treatment and the Queensland medical helicopter responded, however Mr Irwin had died."

Sending up prayers for his wife and two little kids. They must be devastated.


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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pat Is Going Senile

I almost forgot this one. Via Pandagon and Think Progress more dribble - albeit rather scary dribble - from my dear, dear buddy against the war, Pat Buchanan. I think he's going senile. He's longing for the days when the country was only 10-11% minority. I'm still confused about how he would accomplish that ratio today. Do we deport folks? Exterminate them? Imprison them (that seems to be the primary means of getting rid of blacks and browns)? Just how is he going to catch this dream?
COLMES: Would you prefer only white immigrants?

BUCHANAN: No. What I would like is I'd like the country I grew up in. It was a good country. I lived in Washington, D.C., 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, in a country 89 or 90 percent white. I like that country.

We didn't vote to change it. In 1965, in the Immigration Act, Teddy Kennedy said we're going to maintain immigration at about present levels and numbers, and we will not consciously alter the character…


COLMES: All right, but are you saying we should work to keep an 89 percent white country? Is that what you believe we should do?

BUCHANAN: No, no. What I believe is that people should not deliberately alter the character and composition of the country without consulting the American people. If you adopt two children, Alan, you're going to go in and you're going to decide who comes. Who should decide who comes and who doesn't? First, illegals should not come. Secondarily, the American people should be consulted how many immigrants come, what are the criteria. And we haven't been consulted.

COLMES: But it sounds like what you're saying, though, that we should keep the status as it was back then, with the certain percentages of different ethnic groups, meaning 89 percent white, not changing that to any great extent. Is that pretty much what you're saying?

BUCHANAN: That is what 1964, John F. Kennedy’s book was reprinted. You know what he said? He said we should change no higher immigration, and what we should do is the quotas given to Germans, and Irish, and English, and others that are not used should be given to folks from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe. That’s what Kennedy said. I would go along with that. I supported that in a book.

I actually knew a guy who thinks like this. He was also incredibly insecure, dishonest, racist/ignorant (though you couldn't tell him that) and sexist/misogynistic. Everyone else in the world was responsible for his unhappiness and for all of his failures. Whatever he had wasn't enough because he was so busy looking at the phantom advantages he thought that women and minorities were getting. He had one of those "No Irish Allowed" signs yet wouldn't acknowledge the reality of slavery, Jim Crow and institutionalized racism. He was a low budget Pat Buchanan or Bill O'Reilly - whom I'm convinced just plain feel inferior to people of color and genetically threatened. I can recall two instances where I've seen these men unable to close their mouths yet unable to speak.

Simon Cowell of AI fame was on Bill O'Reilly and Bill was doing his usual spiel about the ills of rap and hip hop and, I believe, was bashing Eminem. Simon flipped the script and said: "He is a genius because he understood that white boys want to be black and he totally exploited that fact." With Pat, I believe it was C-Span or some other program where guests call in. He was on one of his rants about minorities too and a final caller basically asked him if his real issue was that he feared that if blacks really had access it would end up like the NBA (whereby if blacks get in, they will excel and take over). Pat couldn't pick his jaw up quick enough to respond. I don't know what these guy's real trip is but it's really getting sad and starting to sound kinda psycho.


At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignorant? The people who live in, and built America, should most definitely have a say in who gets to live in the United States. Why are people no longer even allowed to discuss immigration without hysterical name-calling being used by those who disagree with them? White boys 'want to be black'? I think you need to get your head read.

At 2:22 AM, Blogger denny63 said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


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I Couldn't Take It!

I tried to watch Meet The Press this morning and when Rick Santorum started lying about the morning after pill and WMDs, I had to turn. I tried again when it came on later on MSNBC but Rick was still acting like a nutjob throughout the entire debate. Bob Casey was calm, cool, rational and collected and Rick looked like a temper tantrum throwing little boy. Anyhow, Americablog has a great update.
The first Senate debate between Bob Casey and Rick Santorum wasn't even close - Casey won. Santorum, looking unhinged, offered more of the same while Bob Casey outlined a new direction and made the case for change. Casey went head to head on Santorum's hometurf and got the better of him.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, HERE'S THE QUICK & DIRTY: Santorum called George Bush a "terrific president," admitted to sleeping in Pennsylvania just one month a year, reiterated his support for privatizing Social Security, praised Bush's handling of Iraq and insisted there were WMD in Iraq even though the White House has acknowledged there weren't. Casey laid out a new direction, calling for the Iraqis to take the lead on their own security and detailing specific ways for enhancing the U.S. military. He outlined a plan to balance the budget and spoke about the need for Pennsylvania to have a Senator who will hold George Bush accountable for advancing an ineffective agenda.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Here are video highlights you'll be talking about when you go back to work next week:

Video 1) When asked how much time he spends in his Pennsylvania home since he lives full-time in Virginia, Santorum said: "I probably spend maybe a month a year." When he ran for Congress the first time, he pummeled his opponent for living outside Pennsylvania but now he is guilty of the same offense.

Video 2) When asked whether he thinks George Bush has been a great president, Santorum said: "I think he's been a terrific President. Absolutely." Santorum has voted the way the White House wants 98% of the time that Bush has been president.

Video 3) In response to Santorum insisting that there WMD in Iraq, a claim that even the White House discredits, Casey said: "When you point to the 9/11 question on Saddam Hussein, and you point to this crazy theory that there's still weapons of mass destruction, Tim, I think you've unearthed something. You've unearthed the 2% of the time that Rick Santorum disagrees with President Bush."

Here's more at Crooks and Liars detailing how Santorum had the audacity to bring up Bob Casey's dead father in his erroneous rambling about the morning after pill.

MR. CASEY: Tim, Iopinion.MR science is clear on this. I think it is contraception, and I support it. I think we’ve got to make it widely available, and I think that’s one of the ways, I think, that we reach common ground on the very tough issue of abortion: to reduce the number not just of unwanted pregnancies, but I think emergency contraception can reduce the number of abortions. That’s what we should emphasize.

SEN. SANTORUM: He says the science is clear and it is clear. In fact, it is an abortifacient in certain circuemphasize.SENthe, if the egg has been fertilized and, and the, and the pill is taken, it abortifacient abortion. It’s inconsistent with his previous position. It’s a classic attempt of him, how in a general election, to try and middle and, and, and violate his principles. And I think his father would be very upset if, if he were alive today and, and heard him be supportive of something like this.

Dead babies, dead daddies ... Santorum is just a sick individual who is DESPERATE!


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He's Got To Go!

Rumsfeld's antics last week were positively stupifying and insulting and I was too revolted to say anything. Here's a pretty good summation of my views.

Last week the man who gave us “stuff happens” and “you go to war with the Army you have” outdid himself. In an instantly infamous address to the American Legion, he likened critics of the Iraq debacle to those who “ridiculed or ignored” the rise of the Nazis in the 1930’s and tried to appease Hitler. Such Americans, he said, suffer from a “moral or intellectual confusion” and fail to recognize the “new type of fascism” represented by terrorists. Presumably he was not only describing the usual array of “Defeatocrats” but also the first President Bush, who had already been implicitly tarred as an appeaser by Tony Snow last month for failing to knock out Saddam in 1991.

What made Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech noteworthy wasn’t its toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason. That’s old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld’s performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has now lasted longer than America’s fight against the actual Nazis in World War II.

Here’s how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler’s appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain’s hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?

Mr. Rumsfeld didn’t go to Baghdad in 1983 to tour the museum. Then a private citizen, he had been dispatched as an emissary by the Reagan administration, which sought to align itself with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was already a notorious thug. Well before Mr. Rumsfeld’s trip, Amnesty International had reported the dictator’s use of torture — “beating, burning, sexual abuse and the infliction of electric shocks” — on hundreds of political prisoners. Dozens more had been summarily executed or had “disappeared.” American intelligence agencies knew that Saddam had used chemical weapons to gas both Iraqi Kurds and Iranians.

According to declassified State Department memos detailing Mr. Rumsfeld’s Baghdad meetings, the American visitor never raised the subject of these crimes with his host. (Mr. Rumsfeld has since claimed otherwise, but that is not supported by the documents, which can be viewed online at George Washington University’s National Security Archive.) Within a year of his visit, the American mission was accomplished: Iraq and the United States resumed diplomatic relations for the first time since Iraq had severed them in 1967 in protest of American backing of Israel in the Six-Day War.

In his speech last week, Mr. Rumsfeld paraphrased Winston Churchill: Appeasing tyrants is “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.” He can quote Churchill all he wants, but if he wants to self-righteously use that argument to smear others, the record shows that Mr. Rumsfeld cozied up to the crocodile of Baghdad as smarmily as anyone. To borrow the defense secretary’s own formulation, he suffers from moral confusion about Saddam ...


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Poppy Crop and Poppycock

I think it is down right wicked for the Bush administration to keep lying about our "progress" in Afghanistan. Control is rapidly slipping back into the hands of the Taliban and they are getting their money from a rapidly increasing drug trade!
He said the increase in cultivation was significantly fueled by the resurgence of Taliban rebels in the south, the country’s prime opium growing region. As the insurgents have stepped up attacks, they have also encouraged and profited from the drug trade, promising protection to growers if they expanded their opium operations.

“This year’s harvest will be around 6,100 metric tons of opium — a staggering 92 percent of total world supply. It exceeds global consumption by 30 percent,” Mr. Costa said at a news briefing.

He said the harvest increased by 49 percent from the year before, and it drastically outpaced the previous record of 4,600 metric tons, set in 1999 while the Taliban governed the country. The area cultivated increased by 59 percent, with more than 400,000 acres planted with poppies in 2006 compared with less than 260,000 in 2005.

“It is indeed very bad, you can say it is out of control,” Mr. Costa said Friday in an interview before the announcement.

This isn't something that just impacts Afghanistan and the Middle East. Georgie may be getting a private stash but this can prove destructive the world throughout! What haven't these guys screwed up and why can't they stop lying?


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You Go Gurl!

Too funny!
A 75-year-old woman ran after a man who stole her purse, got it back and gave him a tongue-lashing - and $3.
Betty Horton said the man apologized to her and said he was broke.
“I said, ’Why didn’t you just ask me for some change? I would have helped you. I would have gladly given it to you,”’ Horton said.
Horton was putting groceries in her car Wednesday when she noticed her purse was missing. She saw a man running with the bag under his arm.
“Good thing I had my running shoes on,” Horton said.
She ran past businesses and saw him in a residential area standing over the unzipped purse, she said. She threatened to shoot his ear off, although she didn’t have a gun.
Horton said she put money in his hand and told him, “Now get the heck out of here.” Police arrived, but the thief - whom authorities described as a 40-year-old man - was gone.
“Seventy-five years old and I can still take care of myself,” Horton said.


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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Your Tax Dollars Working For You

Don't we have better crimes to prosecute? I realize he broke "the law" but I just don't get the point of this. Let him pay the fines and save the prisons for people who actually hurt other people.
Isley Brothers lead singer Ronald Isley has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for tax evasion.

Isley was also ordered to pay $3.1 million in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Conte.

He was convicted last year of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return.

During a hearing Friday, defense attorney Anthony Alexander argued that the 65-year-old singer should receive probation instead of prison time because of complications from a stroke and a recent bout with kidney cancer. Isley is expected to be sent to a prison hospital facility.

Alexander also pleaded for leniency because Isley had been attempting to pay down his IRS debt.

But U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson declined to sentence the R&B singer to less time than called for under federal guidelines.

"The term serial tax avoider has been used. I think that's appropriate," Pregerson said.

Alexander argued during trial that "unfortunate circumstances," such as the deaths of two of Isley's accountants, made him unable to get records together and pay taxes during the years that led to the criminal charges.

I think the fines and penalties for filing late are punishment enough.


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Friday, September 01, 2006

What About Abeer?

That Jon Benet "killer" farce was just that. How they managed to give that man more than 15 minutes of fame and rehash the story of a little girl masquerading as a tiny tartlett just blows my mind. I turned the channel (which of course meant all of the cable news channels) everytime I saw that child on TV. I agree with this article. How are we so fixated on the 10 year old cold case of a little blong girl yet want to seemingly ignore the rape and brutal muder of an Iraqi girl - along with her family - at the hands of our own soldiers?
Jon Benet, as almost everyone now knows, was a 6-year-old with blonde, bouncy curls from a white, wealthy family in affluent Boulder, Colorado. Her rape and murder is certainly no less vile than the rape and murder of Abeer, an Arab Muslim girl from a country shredded by war. But the implications in the coverage are alarming. The lack of in-depth coverage of Abeer's murder is, in effect and whatever the final outcome, a pre-pardoning for the six U.S. soldiers whose crimes are deemed unavoidable, if not acceptable, because they occurred during the U.S. occupation of a foreign country, against a dark-skinned child.

Rape and murder against Jon Benet, on the other hand, are reported as a heinous anomaly--bad things like that aren't supposed to happen to little white girls who are safely tucked in their beds.

Ironically, wrong in both cases. Someone is sexually assaulted every two and a half minutes in the U.S. One in six women has been raped (attempted or completed). Of rape victims, 44% are under the age of 18, and 80% are under the age of 30. (For statistics and additional information, see RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.)

Clearly, it needs to be the right kind of bleeding to lead the news. The skin, if not the blood, needs to be the right color. Can there be much doubt about the differences that race, ethnicity, class, and nationality/geography make to media coverage in the U.S. today?

To get to Abeer, her family was murdered. They can no longer ask, "What about Abeer?" So we must.


At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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Day Dreaming And I'm Thinking Of You

Okay, this is kinda jacked up. We all have our hopes and dreams but don't necessarily document them in a film.
A British television network plans to broadcast a dramatic, documentary-style film about a fictional assassination of U.S. President George W. Bush, the network's head said Thursday.

The program uses actors and digital manipulation of real footage to show a fictional account of Bush being gunned down after delivering a speech in Chicago, Peter Dale, the head of More4, told a news conference.

"Death of a President," also scheduled to be shown at the Toronto Film Festival in September, focuses on all those linked to the pretend crime including nearby anti-war protesters, suspects, Secret Service guards and investigators, Dale said.

More4, which is the digital offshoot of Britain's Channel 4 network, plans to show the program on Oct. 9.

The White House declined to comment on the network's announcement, saying it would not dignify the program with a response.

"It's an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back at the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story," Dale told reporters.

"It's a pointed political examination of what the war on terror did to the American body politic," he said.

Dale said he expected the film would upset some, but defended it as a sophisticated piece of work.

"It's not sensationalist, or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, powerful drama," he said. "I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good."

"Death of a President" is directed by Gabriel Range, whose 2003 TV movie "The Day Britain Stopped" showed what might happen if the country's transportation network ground to a halt.

As much as I despise the man and ALL of his policies, I can't say I'd take glee in seeing this movie. But to each his own.


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It's Just Not That Deep

While I think this whole Survivor segregated tribe plot is a tacky ploy for ratings, I can see why it makes some folks a little uneasy. Yet, it's not something that I am outraged about or losing sleep over. I can't say I'll watch but that's what I've said for the past few cycles of Big Brother. I definitely don't think it is a big a deal as all of this, though.
General Motors may be the largest Survivor advertiser to drop its sponsorship of the hit reality show, but it's not the only one to do so.

Among several other advertisers who have said they will not return for the upcoming season of Survivor, which has drawn controversy for dividing tribes along racial lines, are Coca-Cola, Home Depot, United Parcel Service and Campbell Soup, the New York Times writes.

GM announced yesterday that it would not advertise on this season's Survivor, saying that, in spite of the fact that the company announced an expansion of its advertising sponsorship for the show as late as May 12, the decision was made months ago to stop advertising, and was unrelated to the show's new format. A spokeswoman for Campbell Soup also said the decision was made before the company knew about the content of the season.

In 2006, General Motors accounted for $14.7 million, or 18 percent of the $80.7 million spent by the 50 top advertisers of the show, according to figures from TNS Media Intelligence. CBS has said that the show has attracted plenty of other advertisers. It wouldn't name them, despite the fact that in early seasons of the show, CBS issued news releases with the names of sponsoring companies.


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