March 31, 2006

News -- March 31, 2006

Atrocities By Any Other Name... - "Recent reports from Iraq indicate beyond doubt that the U.S. occupation army has embarked on a new "tactic" from its menu of atrocities, in an attempt to counter the burgeoning Iraqi resistance attacks against its soldiers. "Old-style" massacres of Iraqis have become so commonplace lately that even Iraqi "allies" of the U.S. were forced to unreservedly condemn them."

Iran To Stage Massive Gulf Military Maneuver - " Thousands of Iranian troops will on Friday start a week-long military maneuver in the Gulf to ready armed forces for warding off "threats", a senior commander announced on state television."

Iran Tests Missile Able to Avoid Radar - "Iran on Friday successfully test-fired a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously, the airforce chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards said."

The US Secretary of State released a coarse anti-Russian statement. This is because she is a single woman who has no children - "Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, openly criticized the Russian government in connection with the gas conflict with Ukraine. Ms. Rice used quite a trivial technique of psychological pressure, which is mostly practiced in the field of education. According to Condoleezza Rice, Russia's actions towards Ukraine did not characterize it as a respectable member of the Group of Eight. The statement from the high-ranking US official sounded like a reprimand from a strict babysitter that was teaching its baby to behave."

"WE HAVE GOT TO ELIMINATE THE GRINGOS" - "The words above were spoken by Jose Angel Gutierrez, professor, University of Texas, Arlington and founder of the La Raza Unida political party. His full comment was: "We have an aging white America ... They are dying ...We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him.""

Mexican flag burned at Apache Junction HS - "Tensions over immigration reform heightened in the Phoenix area's East Valley Thursday when students raised a Mexican flag over Apache Junction High School — and then other students yanked it down and burned it. "I know (they) shouldn't have burned the Mexican flag," said Jacob Stewart, a 16-year-old sophomore. "I heard it was raised above the American flag and that just irked me."" -- Is someone pushing a race war?

Dobbs: President, Congress defying people's will - "The United States is challenged as never before in the global war on radical Islamist terror. And yet, our borders and ports remain insecure four and a half years after the 9/11 attacks. Our lack of border and port security is nothing less than a failure of the U.S. government and its policies. While we spend hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the war in Iraq, we spend next to nothing to protect our own borders." -- Which tells me that the "War on Terror" might be a little blown out of proportion.

Fox pledges more border control - "Mexican President Vicente Fox yesterday promised President Bush that his country will do more to control the U.S.-Mexico border and will strengthen its own southern border to reduce the number of aliens crossing into Mexico to reach the United States."

Canadians happy to have ‘big fence’ between them and US - "Their regard for Americans has become progressively more negative over the past half-decade, with 48 per cent now saying their friendship has degenerated, while only seven percent expressed a more positive view of the United States. "We share a lot of real estate. We share a lot of common interests. We probably share a lot of common tastes, but we're also pretty glad that we have a big fence," pollster Allen Gregg told the Globe and Mail. The actions of the US government are mostly to blame for the sour feelings, according to the poll."

Plans for Massive Blast in Nev. Draw Fire - "Plans for a Pentagon-led experiment that involves detonating 700 tons of explosives in the desert drew criticism from state leaders and a disarmament activist. The explosion scheduled for June 2 at the Nevada Test Site is part of an effort to design a weapon that can penetrate solid rock formations in which a country might store nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. "I am concerned that tests of this magnitude have been planned without providing Nevadans with any information about the possible impact on their health or safety," said Demcratic Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid in a statement Thursday."

9/11 -- Eliminating the Impossible - ""Of course it was an inside job," Bernie snorted. "Anyone who can connect even two dots without ramming one up his nose and the other into his forehead knows that. And anyone who's ever flown a Cessna 172 is roaring with laughter at the thought of those Muslim guys Bush fingered emerging from a dusty Florida airport, climbing into the cockpit of a Boeing 757, looking at the flashing lights, bells and whistles on its control panel, and know which button to push to even talk to the passengers, let alone get that 100-ton beast in the air. HAW HAW..."

Actor & Director Ed Asner Shares 9/11 Concerns - "Award winning director, producer and actor Ed Asner is the latest high profile public figure to voice his support for Charlie Sheen's stance on 9/11 and share his own concerns about 9/11, the war in Iraq and the Neo-Cons."

Long mobile phone use raises brain tumor risk - "Last year, the Dutch Health Council, in an overview of research from around the world, found no evidence that radiation from mobile phones and TV towers was harmful. A four-year British survey in January also showed no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and the most common type of tumor. But researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life looked at mobile phone use of 2,200 cancer patients and an equal number of healthy control cases. Of the cancer patients, aged between 20 and 80, 905 had a malignant brain tumor and about a tenth of them were also heavy users of mobile phones."

Study fails to show healing power of prayer - "A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said on Thursday. In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for -- though those who did the study said they could not explain why."

Church fires photog over Scalia picture: Freelancer pays for ‘right thing’ - "A freelance photographer has been fired by the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper for releasing a picture of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia making a controversial gesture in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday." -- Such a Christian thing to do and all.

Wash. Website Owner Wins Free Speech Case - "The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday a trial judge overreached his authority when he restricted a man from posting information on a Web site. Paul Trummel was jailed for more than three months in 2002 in his free-speech standoff with the judge over the Web site he used as a forum for attacking the Council House, a federally subsidized retirement home where he once lived. Trummel posted the phone numbers and addresses of Council House staff, directors and residents - something that King County Superior Court Judge James Doerty characterized as harassment."

U.S. Demands Files From ISPs, Tech Firms - "The Justice Department is demanding internal files from dozens of Internet service providers and other technology firms as it seeks to defend a controversial Internet child protection law."

Senators: Schools program doesn't require selling public lands - "Two Democratic senators said Thursday they have found a way to pay for a program to fund rural schools without selling 300,000 acres of national forests, as the Bush administration has proposed." -- Ah, trying to use "education" to make his buddies richer. Nice.

Most say they're better off than 4 years ago - "Ahead of mid-term elections this fall, most Americans believe they are better off today than they were four years ago, according to a new poll."

Antarctic air is warming faster than rest of world - "AIR temperatures above the entire frozen continent of Antarctica have risen three times faster than the rest of the world during the past 30 years."

Casual sex is a turn-off for the modern woman - "The portrayal of complete female sexual liberation in television shows such as Sex and the City could be a myth, according to research suggesting that many women regard one-night stands and casual sex as wrong. The idea that women might seek to have a one-off sexual encounter purely in the pursuit of pleasure is simply not believed by most women, who regard others who have one-night stands as desperate, pitiful or extremely needy."

Device warns you if you're boring or irritating - "A DEVICE that can pick up on people's emotions is being developed to help people with autism relate to those around them. It will alert its autistic user if the person they are talking to starts showing signs of getting bored or annoyed." -- I am concerned with future applications and uses of this technology.

Quote of the Day
"Your failure to be informed, does not make me a wacko."
~ John Loeffler

March 30, 2006

News (Page 2) -- March 30, 2006

US severs all ties with Hamas - "The United States cut all diplomatic ties with the newly-sworn in Hamas government this evening as it pushed the Palestinian Authority further towards isolation."

Venezuelan Government To Launch International 9/11 Investigation - "Billionaire philanthropist Jimmy Walter and WTC survivor William Rodriguez this week embarked on a groundbreaking trip to Caracas Venezuela in which they met with with the President of the Assembly and will soon meet with Venezuelan President himself Hugo Chavez in anticipation of an official Venezuelan government investigation into 9/11."

Race Riots Could Lead to Camps For Americans and Illegals - ""For English-speaking America, the mass protests in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities over the past few days have been surprising for their size and seeming spontaneity." "But they were organized, promoted or publicized for weeks by Spanish-language radio hosts and TV anchors as a demonstration of Hispanic pride and power.""

Drone aircraft may prowl U.S. skies - "Unmanned aerial vehicles have soared the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq for years, spotting enemy encampments, protecting military bases, and even launching missile attacks against suspected terrorists. Now UAVs may be landing in the United States. A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday heard testimony from police agencies that envision using UAVs for everything from border security to domestic surveillance high above American cities. Private companies also hope to use UAVs for tasks such as aerial photography and pipeline monitoring. ... In a scene that could have been inspired by the movie "Minority Report," one North Carolina county is using a UAV equipped with low-light and infrared cameras to keep watch on its citizens. The aircraft has been dispatched to monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air--close enough to identify faces--and many more uses, such as the aerial detection of marijuana fields, are planned."

Murderers, Video and Academic Freedom - "Video of Pat Robertson and a new report out of Florida have set off the latest skirmishes over the Academic Bill of Rights. ... On the 700 Club this week, Pat Robertson said that the 101 professors in Horowitz’s new book are only a “short list” of the 30 to 40 thousand” professors whom he called “termites that have worked into the woodwork of our academic society.” Robertson referred to professors as “murderers” (as well as sexual deviants and terrorist supporters) and later said that some of them are “killers.”"

Community stands up for students' rights - "When the Young Democrats at South Whidbey High School wore T-shirts last week to mark the third anniversary of the war in Iraq, the club's adviser told a student she had to cover up a few words and symbols on her shirt if she wanted to participate. So she put blue tape over the following items on her shirt: a peace symbol, the word "war" with a slash through it, "$247,000,000,000" (one estimate of U.S. expenditures on the war), and the question "How many more?" With those four strips of tape, what started as a school-sanctioned effort to raise awareness of the war's toll backfired in a First Amendment controversy. The flap culminated Monday when more than 100 angry parents and Vietnam-era peace activists packed a South Whidbey School Board meeting to denounce what they viewed as a challenge to students' civil rights."

Iraqi girl tells of US attack - "If Iman's story is true - and it has been disputed by the US military - human rights workers say it is the worst massacre of civilians by US troops in the country. Iman tells of screaming soldiers entering her house in the Iraqi town of Haditha spraying bullets in every direction. Fifteen people in all were killed, including her parents and grandparents. Her account has been corroborated by other eyewitnesses who say it was a revenge attack after a roadside bomb killed a marine."

War deserter tells of atrocities - "A "trigger-happy" U.S. army squad leader shot the foot off an unarmed Iraqi man and soldiers kicked a severed head around like a soccer ball, a U.S. war deserter told an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing Thursday. Joshua Key, the first U.S. deserter with combat experience in Iraq to apply for refugee status in Canada, told the board he witnessed numerous atrocities committed by U.S. forces while serving eight months as a combat engineer. Key, 27, said he was never trained on the Geneva Convention and was told in Iraq by superior officers that the international law guiding humanitarian standards was just a "guideline." "It's shoot first, ask questions later," Key said of his squad's guiding principles. "Everything's justified." Key is one of five members of the U.S. armed forces asking for asylum in Canada."

Insulating Bush - "Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews."

Photographer: Herald got it right - "Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.” Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ”" -- Check out the picture.

Is the Mainstream Media finally getting half the rigged voting machine story? - "The fact that electronic voting machines don't work may finally be sinking into a segment of the mainstream media. The fact that e-voting machines can, have been, and will be used to steal elections, continues to go unreported."

Mississippi abortion bill dies this session - "A bill to ban most abortions in Mississippi died tonight after House and Senate negotiators failed to reach a compromise before a deadline. The lawmakers were trying to reach common ground on a House-passed bill that would ban abortions in the state except when a woman's life is at risk or she is the victim of rape or incest."

Evolutionary theory, science needed to vaccinate irrational beliefs - " Why do creationists fight to inject their religious beliefs into public school evolution curriculum? They claim they're interested in "teaching the controversy." However, within the scientific community, there is no controversy over the reality of Darwin's brilliant insight; evolutionary theory has never been stronger and more demonstrably obvious than it is today. In reality, their fight against evolution, instead of the equally unbiblical sciences of geology or astronomy, is merely a strategic choice in a bigger battle against science in general."

Survey: U.S. trust lowest for atheists - "Based on a telephone survey of more than 2,000 households and in-depth interviews with more than 140 people, researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, homosexuals and other groups as “sharing their vision of American society.” Americans are also least willing to let their children marry atheists." -- You have got to love that Godly tolerance now, don't you?

TV networks reject ad from church Say spot welcoming gays is controversial - "The nation's major television networks have rejected an ad that shows a gay couple and others being banished from a church, saying it violates their rules against controversial or religious advertising. ... Text on the screen reads, "God doesn't reject people. Neither do we," and a voiceover says, "The United Church of Christ. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here.""

MANN TALK: The Mess the Myth Has Made - "Once upon a time in the dawn of civilization somewhere at the crossroads of his world, a human with a poetic imagination decided to describe fancifully how he and all his brethren and sisters and all organic and inorganic things came to be. A God, he imagined, created man in His image and woman from a rib of man and enjoined man to multiply and subdue the earth and have dominion over it and every living thing that moved on it. The poet had no notion of what an impact his poetry would have on following generations and on God’s creation. Centuries later a human who suspected that the poetic myth wasn’t what really happened took ship and sailed to many lands with his notebook; and after years of scientific scrutiny of nature concluded that man wasn’t created in a day but that man evolved over millions of years from a simple-celled something to a complex animal with sense and conscience. And that he was not created in the image of a God but in the image of nature. The scientist had a notion of the impact of his study and the controversy it would engender. But he told the truth as he saw it. Today, more people believe the poet’s myth than believe the scientist’s evolutionary theory. And thus more people believe that the earth was made primarily for man’s consumption and convenience regardless of whether such a belief is to the detriment of all else or not. As a result one species, namely, man has made and is making a mess out of the good earth that God put him on or on which he evolved. He is not only jeopardizing his very existence by carving out of the earth what he wants instead of just what he needs but endangering the existence of all other species most of which are content to get just what they need from earth and are circumspect in the quantities that they store up."

THE GOD PROJECT - "Scientists have championed an astonishing variety of views on religion, ranging from the outright hostile to the deeply devout. Even among evolutionary biologists, whose views might seem the most predictable, matters have been surprisingly complex. Richard Dawkins, the author of “The Selfish Gene” and many other popular books on evolution, has in recent years become something of a professional atheist, arguing that “faith is one of the world’s great evils.” The late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, on the other hand, argued in his book “Rocks of Ages” that science and religion can and should coexist. Science has its proper domain of activity, religion has its domain, and each must refrain from interfering with the other."

American Theocracy Here We Come? - "An ignorant, ill-willed and intimidating resolution endorsing Christianity as a state religion, recently approved by the Missouri House Rules Committee, shows the willingness of some American religious extremists to embrace theocracy. Introduced by State Rep. David Sater, R-Cassville, House Concurrent Resolution 13 falsely claims that U.S. founders "recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation." The resolution ominously states that elected officials should "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs." In a self-contradictory afterthought, it adds that officials should show "respect for those who object.""

Second Quote of the Day
"Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were, of course, exterminated."
~ Voltaire

News -- March 30, 2006

Iran Defiantly Rejects New U.N. Demands - "Rice said the Berlin meeting sends "a very strong signal to Iran that the international community is united."" -- So, once again the strong countries (those with nuclear weapons) tell a weaker country (one without nuclear weapons) to shut up, sit down, and do as you're told. No wonder there's defiance.

'If you start looking at them as humans, then how are you gonna kill them?' - "They are a publicity nightmare for the US military: an ever-growing number of veterans of the Iraq conflict who are campaigning against the war."

Wrapping your mind around the death - "It is so hard to keep in mind the real human costs of the war in Iraq. Efforts to break through the mind numbing routine of it all, to bring us face to face the ongoing horror, to make its impact more palpable, are critical in underlining the urgency of ending the war as soon as possible. This time lapse map of the ongoing fatalities among coalition forces makes a significant contribution."

Talking with the 'terrorists' - "We have reached a much more fundamental and alarming conclusion: Western governments are frighteningly out of touch with the principal political currents in the Middle East. The US and its allies overestimated Ayad Allawi's strength, were "stunned" by Hamas' win, and were surprised by the Aoun-Nasrallah agreement because they don't have a clue about what's really going on in the region. But why? With the exception of Israel (where a US and European appreciation of realities is critical to the formulation of policy), there are, inter alia, five political movements and governments in the Middle East of undeniable importance: Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood. The governments of the West don't talk to any of them."

The Israel Lobby Must Be Contained - "The initial hurt reaction of such pro-Israel personalities as Alan Dershowitz and journalist Marvin Kalb could be described as inelegant outrage. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), one of Israel's strongest congressional supporters, weighed in noisly, calling the study "the same old anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist drivel." In the New York Sun, he was quoted as saying,"Given what happened in the Holocaust, it's shameful that people would write reports like this." This is typical of what any objective critic of Israel receives from the Israel lobby and its supporters. It deliberately obfuscates and generally does not deal with factual analysis."

US Navy prepares aircraft carrier strike group for "major training exercise" - "Some defense analysts suggested that the unusual two-month-long deployment, set to begin in early April, could be interpreted as a show of force by anti-American governments in Venezuela and Cuba."

Top U.S. court asked to curb Bush's wartime powers - "The Supreme Court of the United States was set to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that may determine what limits, if any, should be placed on the wartime powers of an American president." -- "War" should not give the President unlimited powers. We should not be having this debate.

Bush Tells Iraqis to 'Get Governing' - "President Bush expressed frustration Wednesday that Iraqis have so far failed to form a unity government, but he said withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq too early would damage U.S. security." -- Uh huh.

Bush spends heavily to get message out - ""The extent of the Bush administration's propaganda effort is unprecedented and disturbing," said Rep. George Miller, California Democrat."

You cannot be serious - "When is an election not considered free and fair by the west? Answer: when it delivers victory to a government that rejects neoliberal orthodoxy and refuses to orientate its foreign policy towards Washington or Brussels. There is no other conclusion one can come to after both the US and the EU announced swingeing sanctions on Belarus after the re-election of President Lukashenko."

Saddam Better for Women - "Women were far better off under former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein, a women's group has found after an extensive survey in Iraq. ''Under the previous dictator regime, the basic rights for women were enshrined in the constitution,'' Houzan Mahmoud from the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq told IPS in an interview. The group is a sister organization of MADRE, an international women's rights group. Under Saddam, she said, ''women could go out to work, university and get married or divorced in civil courts. But at the moment women have lost almost all their rights and are being pushed back into the corner of their house.''"

Creation vs. evolution - "Students share their own views and tell how schools handle debate."

Opinions split over red, white and green - "Reagan High School Principal Robert Pambello was ordered to remove a Mexican flag Wednesday morning that he had hoisted below the U.S. and Texas flags that typically fly in front of his school — a symbol he agreed to fly to show support for his predominantly Hispanic student body."

School's 'Holocaust' Experiment Upsets Parents - "Local 6 News reported that eighth-graders with last names beginning with L through Z at Apopka Memorial Middle School were given yellow five-pointed stars for Holocaust Remembrance Day. Other students were privileged, the report said. Father John Tinnelly said his son was forced to stand in the back of the classroom and not allowed to sit because he was wearing the yellow star. "He was forced to go to the back of the lunch line four times by an administrator," Tinnelly said. Tinnelly said the experiment upset his child. "He was crying," Tinnelly said. "I said, 'What are you crying about?' He said, 'Daddy, I was a Jew today.'" ... "I tried to talk to my son and I asked all of these questions and the only thing he said is, 'Daddy, the only thing I found out today is I don't want to be Jewish,'" Tinnelly said."

Proposals would ban abortions - "Two Alabama legislators have introduced bills that would ban almost all abortions in the state, except those performed to save women's lives. ... "I thought if South Dakota can do it, Alabama ought to do it because we are a family-friendly state," said state Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, who has introduced a bill in the Senate that would even ban abortions in cases where a woman became pregnant because of rape or incest." -- Stop using that "family-friendly" crap.

Fed Cripples Working Americans with Rate Hikes - "If we were chattel slaves (not just the debt slaves we are) and every quarter our masters added a heavier ball to our chain, but expected us to get the same amount of work done, eventually we would revolt."

'Asia must prepare for dollar collapse' - "East Asian economies need to prepare for a possible collapse of the US dollar, the Asian Development Bank says. The warning comes as the US trade deficit reaches a record high and global interest rates continue to rise."

Doctor offered deals to abort unwanted girls - "A doctor and his assistant have each been jailed for two years in India for using ultrasound scans for sex-selective abortions."

Court: Gays Can't Come to Mass. to Marry - "Same-sex couples from states where gay marriage is banned cannot legally marry in Massachusetts, the state's highest court ruled Thursday."

Jet May Be 10X Faster Than Other Planes - "The so-called Supersonic Combustion Ramjet - or scramjet - engine was designed to travel at speeds of up to 5,000 mph, or 10 times the speed of conventional aircraft, the University of Queensland said in a statement."

Fox, NASCAR blasted for S-bomb during race - "Family advocates rev into attack mode as car called 'piece of s---' in broadcast."

To Ease Traffic, Mo. May Drive on Left - "Traffic engineers trying to ease congestion and reduce accidents in Kansas City have come up with an audacious idea for this side of the Atlantic: making people drive on the left side of the road. Missouri Transportation Department officials considered a number of plans for the downtown Front Street approach to Interstate 435. But the one they settled on appears to be a national first. It involves briefly crisscrossing lanes and putting drivers on the left."

Quote of the Day
"The government's had a wish list of things that they would like to change, like to clarify. They've got it now. They now have very wide-ranging powers to engage in unchecked fishing expeditions with very little judicial review."
~ Gerald Weber, Legal Director, ACLU Georgia and professor of law at Emory

March 29, 2006

News (Page 2) -- March 29, 2006

Five U.N. Members Agree on Iran Statement - "The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council agreed on a statement Wednesday demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, setting the stage for the first action by the powerful body over fears that Tehran wants a nuclear weapon."

The war in Iraq is about to escalate - "With the American raid on the Mustafa mosque, the occupation of Iraq is rapidly reaching a point at which it is no longer tenable: as the Shi'ite giant awakens, the country is about to become a battleground in a much larger war, one that will envelop much of the Middle East."

Shiites Say US Is Pressuring Iraqi Leader to Step Aside - "Senior Shiite politicians said today that the American ambassador has told Shiite officials to inform the Iraqi prime minister that President Bush does not want him to remain the country's leader in the next government. It is the first time the Americans have directly intervened in the furious debate over the country's top job, the politicians said, and it is inflaming tensions between the Americans and some Shiite leaders." -- And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call democracy.

Bush Blames Saddam for Iraq Instability - "President Bush said Wednesday that Saddam Hussein, not continued U.S. involvement in Iraq, is responsible for ongoing sectarian violence that is threatening the formation of a democratic government." -- Pathetic.

'Saudi secretly working with Pak experts' - "Saudi Arabia is working secretly on a nuclear programme, with help from Pakistani experts, the German magazine Cicero reports in its latest edition, citing western security sources."

Is deception the best way to serve one's country? - ""You know I was one of the ones who advised Kennedy to stay away from Texas," Connally said. "Lyndon (Johnson) was being a real asshole about the whole thing and insisted." Connally's mood darkened as he talked about Dallas. When the bullet hit him, he said he felt like he had been kicked in the ribs and couldn't breathe. He spoke kindly of Jackie Kennedy and said he admired both her bravery and composure. I had to ask. Did he think Lee Harvey Oswald fired the gun that killed Kennedy? "Absolutely not," Connally said. "I do not, for one second, believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission." So why not speak out?"Because I love this country and we needed closure at the time. I will never speak out publicly about what I believe." ... Had Connally spoken out, as a high-ranking political figure with doubts about the "official" version of what happened, it might have sent a signal that Americans deserve the truth from their government, even when that truth hurts."

Ivins: Enough of the D.C. Dems - "Every Democrat I talk to is appalled at the sheer gutlessness and spinelessness of the Democratic performance. The party is still cringing at the thought of being called, ooh-ooh, “unpatriotic” by a bunch of rightwingers. Take “unpatriotic” and shove it. ... This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass." -- I'll do it.

U.S. firm offers 'private armies' for low-intensity conflicts - "A leading U.S. security firm has offered to provide forces for any counter-insurgency mission around the world. J. Cofer Black, vice chairman of Blackwater USA told the Special Operations Forces Exhibition (Sofex-2006), that his company could supply private soldiers to any country. Black, a former U.S. State Department counter-terrorism coordinator, said Blackwater has been marketing the concept of private armies for low-intensity conflicts." -- Because that's what we humans enjoy: conflict.

DeLay says he sees war on Christianity in U.S. - "American society looks down on Christianity, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay asserted Tuesday at a conference of religious conservatives, but God and Jesus Christ have chosen Christians to stand up for faith. ... DeLay made no mention of his own political troubles, including a looming trial on state charges of campaign money-laundering. The indictment in Travis County last fall forced DeLay to step down as House majority leader, a position that had cemented his power in Washington. DeLay has denied wrongdoing."

Study: Death rates drop after air cleanup - "When air pollution in a city declines, the city benefits with a directly proportional drop in death rates, a new study has found. For each decrease of 1 microgram of soot per cubic meter of air, death rates from cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness and lung cancer decrease by 3 percent -- extending the lives of 75,000 people a year in the United States. The association held even after controlling for smoking and body-mass index."

XL Ambulances Brought Into Service For XL Patients - "A Las Vegas company is putting a new extra-large ambulance into service to handle extra-large patients."

News -- March 29, 2006

Fox: Should We Torture People To Prevent Terror Attacks? - "Fox News continued their efforts to make jackbooted tyranny seem as normal as drinking a cup of coffee yesterday when it aired a segment asking if Zacarias Moussaoui should have been tortured in order to prevent 9/11. ... It is important to clarify the context of even having a debate on this issue. Just asking the question itself gives the argument a legitimacy and normalizes it. It's like asking yourself, should I put my head into this meat grinder? The pretense is so bizarre that the debate is not necessary. The agenda in even making the issue into a debate is to incrementally condition Americans to accept torture as a reasonable tool of anti-terrorism and ultimately law enforcement, until we end up with the Chinese model of torture extracted confessions for most crimes. By that point our legal system will resemble Uzbekistan, with a perfect 100% arrest to conviction rate." -- The entire debate over using torture disgusts me. It is further proof that we humans are nothing but a vile species on this planet. Like ants, we only comprehend violence as our main tool for survival.

Are Israel’s Interests In Americas’ Interests? - ""Most recipients of aid given for military purposes are required to spend all of it in the US, but Israel is allowed to use roughly 25 per cent of its allocation to subsidise its own defence industry. It is the only recipient that does not have to account for how the aid is spent, which makes it virtually impossible to prevent the money from being used for purposes the US opposes, such as building settlements on the West Bank", write Mearsheimer and Walt. "Moreover, the US has provided Israel with nearly $3 billion to develop weapons systems, and given it access to such top-drawer weaponry as Blackhawk helicopters and F-16 jets. Finally, the US gives Israel access to intelligence it denies to its NATO allies and has turned a blind eye to Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons", add the authors. Furthermore, the US provides Israel with strong political backing – even though Israel is in violations of International Law and countless UN Resolutions –, in particular using its veto’s power at the UN against the world community to veto any criticism of Israel and increases the misery of the Palestinian people. "The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized not only U.S. security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the U.S. been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state?" question Walt and Mearsheimer."

The Iraq War is Going Very Well - For Israel - "Though I agree with Jeff Blankfort in his critique of Noam Chomsky as well-intentioned but basically a functioning Zionist, there is one point Jeff makes in the Chomsky/Blankfort Polemic on which I differ. Jeff believes as I do that the USA got into Iraq because of Israel. Where we differ is that Jeff states as most people do that the war is going very badly. As an individual sympathetic with the people of Iraq, concerned for our troops and the trillions of dollars of debt America is liable for as a result of our misadventure, I agree. But from the position of the Bush-NeoCon-Israeli perspective, I disagree. When George Bush is upbeat about the war, he should be. George works on behalf of Israeli not American interests and from an Israeli perspective, the war is going extremely well and as planned."

Colonial divide-and-conquer strategy - "The outbreak of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite communities in Iraq in late February has only added to that sentiment—and for good reason. The reality, ignored by the corporate media propaganda machine here, is that U.S. policy for many years has been to promote conflict between different national and religious groups in Iraq."

Uncertainty... - "I sat late last night switching between Iraqi channels (the half dozen or so I sometimes try to watch). It’s a late-night tradition for me when there’s electricity- to see what the Iraqi channels are showing. ... I was reading the little scrolling news headlines on the bottom of the page. The usual- mortar fire on an area in Baghdad, an American soldier killed here, another one wounded there… 12 Iraqi corpses found in an area in Baghdad, etc. Suddenly, one of them caught my attention and I sat up straight on the sofa, wondering if I had read it correctly. ... “The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area.”That’s how messed up the country is at this point."

The Media and Iraq: What's Wrong With This Picture? - " Mr. Bush wants to know why the media don't publish more "success stories" about Iraq. I want to know the opposite: why the media don't publish photos and videos that -- in no uncertain terms -- show the blood-drenched truth." -- Seems to me the media is doing Bush a favor by not publishing these photos and videos.

Democrats Offer National Security Platform - "Eyeing House and Senate elections this fall, Democrats are stepping up their effort to cut into the public perception that Republicans are stronger on national security." -- Is this the best they can come up with?

Head of Arab League Pushes Nuke Programs - "The head of the Arab League called on Arab states Tuesday to work toward "entering the nuclear club" by developing atomic energy - a new concern for a Western world already trying to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions and fretting about a possible Mideast arms race." -- Countries without nuclear capability are at the mercy of those countries that have it.

Marchers say gringos, not illegals, have to go - "While debates about guest-worker programs for illegal aliens take place in the corridors of power, in the streets of America's big cities no amnesty is being offered by activists calling for the expulsion of most U.S. citizens from their own country. While politicians debate the fate of some 12 million people residing in the U.S. illegally, the Mexica Movement, one of the organizers of the mass protest in Los Angeles this week, has already decided it is the "non-indigenous," white, English-speaking U.S. citizens of European descent who have to leave what they call "our continent." ... The only solution, says the Mexica Movement, is to expel the invaders of the last 500 years, force them to pay reparations and return the continent to its rightful heirs." -- Humanity is an embarrassment to this planet.

Who are the illegal immigrants? - "The Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization in Washington, estimates there are as many as 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, though researchers acknowledge they are difficult to count. Other organizations have put the number at 11 million, but all agree the total is rising quickly. Illegal immigrants are more likely than American citizens to hold jobs but less likely to have high school diplomas. They tend to be younger, and many have children who were born in the U.S., making the kids citizens."

Law Enforcement Agencies To Cite Truant Students - ""It's one thing to have a spontaneous demonstration of free speech, but it's another to have continued absences," Romer said during a City Hall news conference Tuesday afternoon. "A parent has a legal obligation to have their youngsters in school.""

Working class fight war while well-off defend it - "Ah, but they volunteered, you say. Yes, they did. All the more reason to honor their commitment by making sure they aren't cannon fodder in a dubious cause. They took to heart the shopworn platitudes and easy slogans about duty and honor and service while many who are wealthier did not. Soldiers shouldn't be ill-used simply because they believed in their country and its leaders. And they have been ill-used. They were sent to war on a pretext — that Saddam was linked to Sept. 11 — by civilian leaders who refused to plan for anything but quick and certain victory."

80 Eyes on 2,400 People - "If terrorists come to tiny Dillingham, Alaska, security cameras will be ready. But privacy concerns have residents up in arms."

Some Gay Couples Adopt to Molest, State Rep Says - " Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville, said she still believes homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt children. In fact, in addition to e-mail correspondence with a master’s student at Vanderbilt publicized recently, in which she said as much, she has also said homosexual couples may molest the children they adopt. "We also have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have, in some instances, adopted them in order to have unfretted access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse," she said." -- And that can't happen with heterosexual couples that adopt? Nice blanket statement you moron.

Peeps make a quiet stand - "The Easter Bunny's expulsion prompts a marshmallow defense."

Quote of the Day
"Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people."
~ Richard M. Nixon

March 28, 2006

News (Page 2) -- March 28, 2006

Imperial overreach is accelerating the global decline of America - "The disastrous foreign policies of the US have left it more isolated than ever, and China is standing by to take over. ... That the world will be very different within the next two decades, if not rather sooner, is clear; yet there is scant recognition of this fact and what it might mean - not least in our own increasingly provincial country. The overwhelming preoccupation of the Bush administration (and Blair for that matter) with Iraq, the Middle East and Islam, speaks of a failure to understand the deeper forces that are reshaping the world and an overriding obsession with realising and exploiting the US's temporary status as the sole global superpower. Such a myopic view can only hasten the decline of the US as a global power, a process that has already started."

RUSSIAN NUKE TRACED TO TEXAS - "During the summer of 2005 it was decided go ahead with plans for America’s second 9/11. The decision was not made in a torch-lit cave in Afghanistan, nor in a nondescript safe-house in Iraq. Implementing the plan would involve the highest officials of the United States government. The centerpiece of the plan is a portable nuclear weapon manufactured in the former Soviet Union. A tame “terrorist”, destined no doubt to be an eventual patsy, arranged for the bomb’s transport by sea, and the ship carrying it entered Galveston Bay on January 25, 2006. At this time the device remains hidden on board the ship that brought it, a freighter docked in or near the port of Texas City, about thirty minutes south of Houston, and only ten miles from the island city of Galveston."

'Immigration Protests' Cover For Racist Ethnic Cleansing Movement - "t the height of last year's French riots, Voz de Aztlan leader Ernesto Cienfuegos stated that similar scenes of chaos would be witnessed on the streets of America. As reports of violence begin to filter through, a deliberately fomented race war hiding behind an immigration debate creeps ever closer. ... Aztlan's goal, known as la reconquista, is to cede and take over the entirety of the southern states by any means necessary and impose a Communist militant dictatorship."

Protests Bring France to Standstill - "Juveniles have participated in the latest series of protests in the downtown Paris, and violent clashes between youths and riot police took place in the outskirts of Paris yesterday. Police are concerned about a possible replay of last year’s violent youth riots."

Top Ten Mistakes the Bush Administration Is Repeating from Vietnam - "Because the Bush administration, almost from the start, has eschewed any comparison of Iraq with Vietnam, officials apparently never read the history of the nation’s heretofore worst war and have made the same 10 major mistakes:"

Soldiers flee to Canada to avoid Iraq duty - "Hundreds of deserters from the US armed forces have crossed into Canada and are now seeking political refugee status there, arguing that violations of the rules of war in Iraq by the US entitle them to asylum."

News Flash: The Dam is Breaking on the 9/11 Cover-Up - "More Stars Go Public with Demands for 9/11 Investigation, Others to Follow."

U.S. Willing to Deploy Combat Troops to Colombia - "While the U.S. mainstream media widely-reported the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent indictment of 50 rebel leaders belonging to the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), an announcement by the State Department the next day received surprisingly little coverage. On March 24, Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson told Colombia’s Radio Caracol that, while the United States would not initiate any unilateral military action to capture FARC leaders, it would intervene if invited by the Colombian government. Given that the U.S. government’s intervention in Colombia already involves everything but the deployment of U.S. combat troops, it is clear that Patterson’s comments were intended to illustrate the Bush administration’s willingness to deploy U.S. troops to Colombia to combat FARC guerrillas."

The Revolution Will Not Be American - "The simple fact of the matter is that the politicians (voiced with extreme venom and malice) have the single greatest weapon against conscious revolution ever discovered and, as strong as the internet is, as widespread as the memes have been sown, as loud as the song of liberty rings and as shrilly the howls of outrage echo across the digital plain, it is not enough to overcome apathy. And no, I'm not talking about "get out the vote" apathy, everyone reading this should at least have an inkling of the futility of that exercise, but the "butts off the couch" apathy; the kind where blue-collar folks give up the six-pack of beer to stand down a storm trooper aiming an electric torture device at their wives and kids; real action versus real apathy."

Earth Is at The Tipping Point - "The climate is crashing and global warming is to blame. Why the crisis hit so soon -- and what we can do about it."

The liberal baby bust - "What's the difference between Seattle and Salt Lake City? There are many differences, of course, but here's one you might not know. In Seattle, there are nearly 45% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more kids than dogs. This curious fact might at first seem trivial, but it reflects a much broader and little-noticed demographic trend that has deep implications for the future of global culture and politics. It's not that people in a progressive city such as Seattle are so much fonder of dogs than are people in a conservative city such as Salt Lake City. It's that progressives are so much less likely to have children."

There Is No Liberal Baby Bust - ""Conservatives will rule the world" because they have more babies than liberals. So says Phillip Longman in Foreign Affairs. Longman belongs to the conservative school of perpetual optimism, which holds that population trends guarantee the enduring triumph of the Republican Party. Longman dishes lots of statistics to "prove" his case. They're baloney, of course."

Poll: Americans See, Hear More Profanity - "Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned last week - 74 percent - said they encounter profanity in public frequently or occasionally, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Two-thirds said they think people swear more than they did 20 years ago. And as for, well, the gold standard of foul words, a healthy 64 percent said they use the F-word - ranging from several times a day (8 percent) to a few times a year (15 percent)."

Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip - "The line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot blurrier. European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together."

News -- March 28, 2006

'We're on the eve of World War III' - "Global civilization is on the verge of "World War III," a massive conflict in which the Islamic world will attempt to impose its ideology on Western nations, according to Meir Amit, a former director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency. Amit, one of the most esteemed figures in the international defense establishment, warned Islamic nations and global Islamist groups will continue launching "all kinds of attacks" against Western states. He urged the international community to immediately unite and coordinate a strategy to fight against the "Islamic war.""

US asked to cede Iraq control - "IRAQ'S ruling parties have demanded US forces cede control of security as the government investigated a raid on a Shiite mosque complex that ministers said involved "cold blooded" killings by US-led troops. US commanders rejected the charges and said their accusers faked evidence by moving bodies of gunmen killed fighting Iraqi troops in an office compound. It was not a mosque, they said."

Moussaoui cites 5th jetliner plot - "Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified yesterday that he and would-be shoe bomber Richard C. Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on September 11 and fly it into the White House."

MSNBC VIDEO: Moussaoui wore 'stun belt' for new testimony - "f you're looking for a reason why Zacarias Moussaoui suddenly testified today to a version of the 9/11 plotline that sounds more like the Official story than even the official Whitewash Commission report, this video may have the answer. ... WILLIAMS: The old outbursts were gone... He was very docile today... We believe that he's wearing one of those stun belts, and it may be that he was very worried about doing anything that would cause those Marshals to press the button.... ABRAMS: A stun belt? They literally have sOmething around his waist? That they can push a button and? WILLIAMS: [Pause] Well... "

The Evil Men Do - "Naturally DC has been lying about the danger all along, but the unexamined issue is why did they decide to use these weapons at all? Why did we need armor piercing ordinance against "enemies" who had no armor? Were we up against tanks and battleships in the Balkans and Afghanistan? Were Iraqi tanks impervious to conventional weapons? Are mud-brick buildings really that tough? What is the point of seeding a region with radioactive aerosols and dust that will kill for generations to come? Only one comes to mind: Depopulate the region."

Terrorist Surveillance Act Introduced in Senate - "A bill recently introduced in the Senate would legalize warrantless wiretapping at the President's discretion. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) introduced the bill, popularly named the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006, on March 16, 2006."

National Security or National Scare-You-Ity? I Want to Opt Out! - "I do not want the Unites States to protect me from international terrorists. There, I said it. Keep your protection. Forgive me if my logic does not exactly fall in line with the nation’s illogic but I am tired of watching virtually every resource in our nation be diverted to protecting us from a threat that is not only mathematically improbable but may actually be self inflicted."

Aztlan Arising: 700,000+ March in Los Angeles - "We thank the many marchers for the sacrifice they made on Saturday. Many came from as far as San Diego and San Francisco. They came in on buses, trains, trucks, RV's , motorcycles and autos. Some came the night before and slept in their vehicles. Entire families arrived from Fresno, San Jose and Coachella. One family of eight included a grandmother, father, mother, daughters, and sons. One section in the march consisted of at least 20 on wheel chairs. They all came to Los Angeles and made history. This great city will never be the same!"

Some troops headed back to Iraq are mentally ill - "The redeployments are legal, and the service members are often eager to go. But veterans groups, lawmakers and mental-health professionals fear that the practice lacks adequate civilian oversight. They also worry that such redeployments are becoming more frequent as multiple combat tours become the norm and traumatized service members are retained out of loyalty or wartime pressures to maintain troop numbers."

Scalia's Recusal Sought in Key Detainee Case - "On the eve of oral argument in a key Supreme Court case on the rights of alleged terrorists, a group of retired U.S. generals and admirals has asked Justice Antonin Scalia to recuse himself, arguing that his recent public comments on the subject make it impossible for him to appear impartial."

Iraqi documents are put on Web, and search is on - "American intelligence agencies and presidential commissions long ago concluded that Saddam Hussein had no unconventional weapons and no substantive ties to Al Qaeda before the 2003 invasion. But now, an unusual experiment in public access is giving anyone with a computer a chance to play intelligence analyst and second-guess the government."

Government investigators smuggled radioactive materials into U.S. - "Two teams of government investigators using fake documents were able to enter the United States with enough radioactive sources to make two dirty bombs, according to a federal report made available Monday."

Virginia Training Manual Lists Property Rights Activists As Terrorists - "A Virginia training manual used to help state employees recognize terrorists lists anti-government and property rights activists as terrorists and includes binoculars, video cameras, pads and notebooks in a compendium of terrorist tools."

White House chief of staff resigns - "Amid calls to inject fresh blood into his White House staff, President Bush announced Tuesday that his chief of staff, Andrew Card, has resigned and will be replaced by budget director Josh Bolten."

Promising AIDS drugs tested on humans - "Scientists have long believed that a vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of AIDS, but efforts to invent one have miserably flopped. Now they may have found something already on pharmacy shelves that seems to prevent infection. It's a combination of two drugs that have shown such promise in early experiments in monkeys that officials just expanded tests of them in people around the world."

Safer birth control pill 'within five years' - "A CONTRACEPTIVE pill with the potential to reduce the risk of breast cancer could be available to British women within five years, researchers have said."

Scan My Guest List, Not My Genes - "Should I get my DNA scanned, even though it might reveal that I'm fated to suffer some incurable disease like Parkinson's?"

Nixing the Need for the Needle - "New technology for delivering drugs is doing away with one of the most feared, yet enduring, symbols of modern medicine -- the hypodermic needle."

Woman fights $100 fine for 'Bushit' bumper sticker - ""This is all about free speech," Grier said in a telephone interview Monday. "The officer pulled me over because he didn't agree with my politics. That's what this is about, not whether I support Bush, not because of the war in Iraq, but about my right to free speech.""

Demands Make for a Roller Coaster Year - "No single grade in the K-12 system produces more reports of anxiety and stress than 11th grade. Parents await it with despair, teachers with resignation and students with an odd mix of excitement and distress."

Communities march against 'McMansions' - "Communities across the country are grappling with the issue in a mad dash to save character. From Delaware to Georgia to California and Florida, historic homes are being demolished and replaced with 6,000-square-foot palatial properties."

Quote of the Day
"The battlefield is a great place for liars."
~ Stonewall Jackson

March 27, 2006

News (Page 2) -- March 27, 2006

War of Words Over Paper on Israel - "Critics — led at Harvard by Alan Dershowitz and elsewhere by The New York Sun — are lobbing criticism after criticism at the paper, saying that it is bigoted, ignorant, stereotypical, uses material out of context, and borrows from hate-oriented Web sites. Defenders of the article, meanwhile, say that it is bringing attention to an important issue and that the reaction to the article demonstrates one of its key themes, which questions the logic of close ties between the United States and Israel and argues that a powerful pro-Israel lobby make its difficult to deviate from its views."

Scientists study revived 1918 flu virus - "In October, Tumpey and a team led by Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology announced they had achieved a remarkable feat. Not only did they discover the virus' entire genetic code, they brought it back to life in a tightly controlled laboratory at CDC offices in Atlanta. The virus that had swept the globe, infecting more than one-fourth of the world's population, existed on earth once again. Scientists hope to use the virus to discover how to prevent new pandemics, or at least lessen their devastation." -- Will the military/governments use it as a new weapon?

The Perils of Economic Ignorance - "I believe one of the greatest threats facing this nation is the willful economic ignorance of the political class. Many of our elected officials at every level have no understanding of economics whatsoever, yet they wield tremendous power over our economy through taxes, regulations, and countless other costs associated with government. They spend your money with little or no thought given to the economic consequences of their actions. It is indeed a tribute to the American entrepreneurial spirit that we have enjoyed such prosperity over the decades; clearly it is in spite of government policies rather than because of them. I certainly have seen firsthand a great deal of economic ignorance in Congress over the years. Few members pay any attention whatsoever to the Federal Reserve Bank, despite the tremendous impact Fed policy has on their constituents. Even many members of the banking and finance committees have little or no knowledge of monetary policy. Perhaps this is why so many in Congress seem to believe we can all become rich by printing new dollars, or that we can make 2+2=5 by taking money from some people and giving it to others."

The Founders Never Imagined a Bush Administration - "George W. Bush and his most trusted advisers, Richard B. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, entered office determined to restore the authority of the presidency. Five years and many decisions later, they've pushed the expansion of presidential power so far that we now confront a constitutional crisis. ... President Bush has given Commander-in-Chief Bush unlimited wartime authority. But the "war on terror" is more a metaphor than a fact. Terrorism is a method, not an ideology; terrorists are criminals, not warriors. No peace treaty can possibly bring an end to the fight against far-flung terrorists. The emergency powers of the president during this "war" can now extend indefinitely, at the pleasure of the president and at great threat to the liberties and rights guaranteed us under the Constitution."

Immigration - "You want to protect America's future by protecting America's borders? Help address the cause that brings immigrants here. Stop assisting the government of Mexico oppress it's people, and help empower the people of Mexico so that they could form a truly representative government. The structure is already in place, there is just the need to fill it with decent people."

Senate Panel Approves Immigration Bill - "The Senate Judiciary Committee approved sweeping election-year immigration legislation Monday that clears the way for 11 million illegal aliens to seek U.S. citizenship without having to first leave the country."

America's Debt Wish - "So it's not just the Bush Administration. Here's the ugly truth: those party animals in the White House are reflective of a national psyche that spends as if there is no day of reckoning. If you're one of those apocalyptic Christians who believe that the rapture is going to occur momentarily, then this may make sense. But, for the rest of us, it's a problem. When the day of reckoning comes then, at the least, we're going to have to pay more for everything because all interest rates will jump up. Meanwhile, government services will be dramatically reduced. We'll experience America's morning after that will go on for a painfully long time. In the meantime, America has to compete with other countries like India and China, and the European Community who have national mottos somewhat different from "Let's party" and "Let's kick some butt with our military." These countries have mottos like "Let's have the most advanced manufacturing capability in the world," "Let's become the world leader in telecommunications," and "Lets have the most skilled work force." Remember, they can see us on TV. They're all watching. Marveling at our collective debt wish. Party on, you crazy gringos."

'Herald' Says Justice Scalia Gives the Press the Finger, He Denies It - "A photographer with The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper, caught the moment. "Don't publish that," Scalia told the photographer, the Herald said.The Herald today called it "conduct unbecoming a 20-year veteran of the country’s highest court - and just feet from the Mother Church’s altar.""

Judge Rules Teachers Have No Free Speech Rights in Class - "The students were reading an article in Time for Kids about peace protests. She responded to the student’s question by saying she sometimes honks for peace and that it’s important to seek out peaceful solutions both on the playground and in society. Afterwards, the parents of one of the students got angry and insisted that she not speak about peace again in the classroom. Mayer’s principal so ordered her. ... But beyond that, Judge Barker ruled that “teachers, including Ms. Mayer, do not have a right under the First Amendment to express their opinions with their students during the instructional period.”

Author argues elections bigger gamble than slots - "An academic researcher has concluded that Las Vegas slot machines are more trustworthy than electronic voting machines. Steven F. Freeman, a University of Pennsylvania professor working on a book about elections, "has assembled comparisons that suggest Americans protect their vices more than they guard their rights," according to the Washington Post."

What You'll Wear in 10 Years - "However, Cohen says wearable technology will eventually become a basic commodity, much like bluejeans. "Why buy a basic pair of khakis when future ones will be able to keep your legs warm with heating coils built into the lining? The future of technology in fiber and products is only a few years away.""

News -- March 27, 2006

Bush Makes Iraq the Vital Reason for His Impeachment and Removal - "George W. Bush has clarified the most vital reason why he must be impeached and removed from office as soon as possible: the slaughter in Iraq, and his clear statement that it will not end while he is in the White House."

Bush Was Set on Path to War, Memo by British Adviser Says - "But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times. "Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides."

Wave of violence kills at least 81 Iraqis - "Police found 30 more victims of the sectarian slaughter ravaging Iraq -- most of them beheaded -- dumped on a village road north of Baghdad on Sunday. At least 16 other Iraqis were killed in a U.S.-backed raid in a Shiite neighborhood of the capital."

The Game Plan on Iran is becoming clearer - "The reason the U.S. is keen to bring in Chapter VII is because it would like to provoke Iran into walking out of the NPT. If Iran were ever to commit this folly, the U.S. regime change plan will move swiftly into high gear. As and when force is used, it would likely be a Yugoslav-style prolonged air war aimed at targeting civilian and industrial infrastructure rather than an Iraq-style invasion. So fluid is the situation that the Iranians need to carefully consider all their legal and political options and build a strategy aimed at widening the circle of countries opposed to confrontation and in favour of dialogue and diplomacy."

No one’s laughing at this deja vu all over again - "What may be the buildup to an attack on Iran, the new breeding ground of terrorists according to the U.S. lexicon of evil nations, appears to be in high gear. It’s a ritual now of recognizable parts: ... The only question now is whether or not the public, the Congress, the world will risk another frightening U.S. fiasco in the name of freedom. Whose freedom, we’re never told. To what end, no one knows. With what success, given our present record, is anyone’s guess. The problem is that this time we are being asked not only to be afraid but also to be nonsensical, absurd, fatuous, inane. ... Have we, in all our power, forgotten all of our ideals? Are ideals only for the poor and the powerless? Is power the only foreign policy the powerful need to apply? And is it really working in Iraq -- a country on the verge of civil war, crippled physically, full of anger, and unsafe -- both for us and for them? From where I stand, these are the questions real patriots ask. But are we?"

Charlie Sheen's Statement to the London Guardian - "Like so many other mainstream outlets, domestically and abroad, no attention whatsoever is given to the questions I raise or the evidence that stimulated those very questions."

Saddam, Al Qaeda Did Collaborate, Documents Show - "In an interview yesterday, the current president of the New School University, Bob Kerrey, was careful to say that new documents translated last night by ABC News did not prove Saddam Hussein played a role in any way in plotting the attacks of September 11, 2001."

Mass Murder or Genocide? - "Everybody makes mistakes. That is a given. But it takes a big person to admit they have made a mistake. And it takes a very small person to deny they made a mistake and lie about the consequences. Such is the case with President Bush."

Bush does not equal Hitler: The 17 Points - "In the United States a controversy rumbles with increasing intensity: are comparisons claiming that George Bush and Adolf Hitler have much in common valid? I would like to weigh in on the side that holds such comparisons indeed are not valid, for the following 17 reasons. 1. Bush had two Time covers, Hitler only one. ... So, there are obviously significant differences between Bush and Hitler. Indeed, based on the examples in this list, Bush is not Hitler. In fact, compared with Hitler, Bush is something of a piker. Yes, one must conclude that such comparisons are totally unfair -- to Hitler."

"Food Not Bombs" on "terrorist watch list" - "What is the thinking in the minds of those who brand peace groups and pacifists as terrorists? The following article describes an FBI presentation at a Texas law school, where some organizations were on the FBI "terrorist watch lists". Isn't the use of violence a necessary component of "terrorist" activity?"

Radio still uneasy with Dixie Chicks - "Not all big cities are playing it, though. WIL-FM in St. Louis, which hasn't had the Chicks in rotation since 2003, gave "Not Ready to Make Nice" a trial run and decided against adding it to the playlist after listeners complained with calls and e-mails. ... In Denver, KYGO program director Joel Burke also was bothered by the lyrics. KYGO tested the song, and while Burke said listeners reacted favorably, he isn't ready to add it to the playlist."

America's Worst Enemy - "I was right. The ad did say "EVERYBODY STEALS." And the African-American man it portrays is the principal culprit in the series - a professional bank robber, co-starring with another African-American male, an Italian mobster, a Chinese assassin, and a White mastermind. Every role carefully plotted. Each character designed to feed into stereotypes of each race.And then it occurred to me, who created these stereotypes to begin with? The Media. Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Italians, Irish, Whites, Indians - no one is immune from their brush. But, why? Is it all by chance? When was the last time you produced a movie, commercial, or billboard ad by chance? Nothing gets produced in the media by chance. Every image - and its outcome - is produced by design. Their aim is to divide and control."

Yeah, That'll Keep the Terrorists Away - "Phew! Good to know we have a strong terrorist deterrent here. Seen just outside of Iowa City: ... You just can't make this stuff up..." -- It's a picture, and it's pretty funny.

A 15-cent-a-gallon pump up at the pump - "Gas prices shot up nearly 15 cents over the past two weeks to a national average of $2.50 per gallon of self-serve regular, according to a survey released Sunday."

Oil Prices Slip Below $64 Per Barrel - "Crude prices slipped under $64 a barrel Monday after the release of three foreign hostages by Nigerian militants eased concerns about supplies from the oil-rich African nation."

Child drugs linked to heart attack - "CHILDREN as young as five have suffered strokes, heart attacks, hallucinations and convulsions after taking drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."

Are birds trying to tell us things? - "So what are budgies saying? "This is going to sound crazy, but they talk about spiritual things: God, the afterlife, a better world for them," Reynolds says."

Illinois Man Fined For Piggybacking On Wi-Fi Service - "We just want to get the word out that it is a crime."

Look who's more likely to have risky sex - "Young men who feel good about their looks are more likely than their peers with a less positive body image to engage in risky sexual behavior, a new study of college students shows. ... Among young women, in contrast, those with a more positive body image were less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, Lefkowitz and her team found."

Quote of the Day
"Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens you can be sure it was planned that way."
~ Franklin D.Roosevelt

March 26, 2006

News -- March 26, 2006

Time to Leave Iraq - "Well, since I'm proud of my consistent opposition to this war, I will freely admit that I don't know how to fix Iraq. I do, however, know how to fix our involvement in Iraq. That is for the American people and their elected government to recognize the truth: We, the United States, cannot fix Iraq now or ever. We can pay bribes and cajole and threaten, but in the end, the fate of Iraq is now in the hands of the Iraqis, and there is nothing we can do about it."

Professor Says American Publisher Turned Him Down - "Most scholars, policymakers and journalists know that "the whole subject of the Israel lobby and American foreign policy is a third-rail issue," he said. "Publishers understand that if they publish a piece like ours it would cause them all sorts of problems.""

A balance sheet for America's Iraq - "Three years after the war, one should ask, who has benefited most from the fall of Saddam? Ironically, the answers prove the exact opposite of what the Americans believed in 2002-03. The first and ultimate victor is the Islamic Republic of Iran. What more could Iran want than the downfall of a dictator against whom it had fought for eight years in the 1980s, and his replacement with Shi'ite politicians who had been created by and in Iran in the 1980s? The mullahs of Iran once viewed Iraq as a dangerous and aggressive neighboring country, ruled by a hostile and brutal dictatorship. Today, Iraq is viewed as a friendly neighbor, ruled by loyal allies who want to advance Shi'ite nationalism, export the Islamic revolution and strengthen Iranian-Iraqi relations. ... Third on the victory list - much to the surprise of the Americans - are some of the Arab regimes that neighbor Iraq. These countries were expected to collapse, according to the domino theory, once the Iraqi Ba'athists were toppled and replaced by a true democracy. Had democracy been successful in Iraq, then these regimes would have faced the wrath of their own people, who would have aspired to create similar democracies in their own countries. But Iraq today is an ultimate failure, giving ammunition to Arab regimes that are telling activists in their own countries: "Look at what the Americans achieved in Iraq. Is this the democracy you want? It is a democracy where 30,000 people have been killed, by war and sectarian violence.""

Bound, Blindfolded and Dead: The Face of Atrocity in Baghdad - "In the last month, hundreds of men have been kidnapped, tortured and executed in Baghdad. As Iraqi and American leaders struggle to avert a civil war, the bodies keep piling up. The city's homicide rate has tripled from 11 to 33 a day, military officials said. The period from March 7 to March 21 was typically brutal: at least 191 corpses, many mutilated, surfaced in garbage bins, drainage ditches, minibuses and pickup trucks. ... What frightens Iraqis most about these gangland-style killings is the impunity. According to reports filed by family members and more than a dozen interviews, many men were taken in daylight, in public, with witnesses all around. Few cases, if any, have been investigated. Part of the reason may be that most victims are Sunnis, and there is growing suspicion that they were killed by Shiite death squads backed by government forces in a cycle of sectarian revenge. This allegation has been circulating in Baghdad for months, and as more Sunnis turn up dead, more people are inclined to believe it." -- Ethnic cleansing?

Supreme Court justice said to slam detainee rights - ""War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," Scalia said in the talk at the University of Freiberg, according to Newsweek. "Give me a break.""

Matthews: "They don't want the whole truth out and that's the fact." - "By the way, the president said this week that he wants the whole truth about what is going on in Iraq, the whole truth and that the media isn't telling the whole story. I'll tell you what we are not telling. We are not showing pictures of the twenty five hundred bodies coming back because they won't let us show the pictures. They don't want the whole truth out and that's the fact."

Pentagon stays the course with laser weapon - "The threat of cancellation no longer looms over the Pentagon's Airborne Laser effort, but senior program officials say they are taking nothing for granted as they prepare for a missile-intercept demonstration in 2008."

Be worried, be very worried - "No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us. ... So much environmental collapse has at last awakened much of the world, particularly the 141 nations that have ratified the Kyoto treaty to reduce emissions. The Bush administration, however, has shown no willingness to address the warming crisis in a serious way and Congress has not been much more encouraging."

Rising seas raising alarms - "Roiling oceans would redraw coastlines from Cape Cod to New Orleans, threatening low-lying cities with rising sea levels. Arizona and the West would grow hotter and drier, with shorter winters that would produce less runoff and further stress water supplies."

Size of L.A. March Surprises Authorities - " More than 500,000 protesters _ demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make illegal immigration a felony and to build more walls along the border _ surprised police who estimated the crowd size using aerial photographs and other techniques, police Cmdr. Louis Gray Jr. said."

Colo. Police Use MySpace to ID Suspects - "Detectives used profiles posted on the MySpace social networking Web site to identify six suspects in a rape and robbery that began when a party turned violent, leaving blood "in almost every room of the house," officials said."

Scientists Find Skull of Human Ancestor - "Scientists in northeastern Ethiopia said Saturday that they have discovered the skull of a small human ancestor that could be a missing link between the extinct Homo erectus and modern man."

Lawmakers try to accommodate consensual teen sex - "A Senate committee has taken up a House-passed bill that seeks to decriminalize sex between consenting teenagers, so long as they're both at least 15 and within three years in age."

Gas tax on miles, not gallons, tested - "Oregon is testing the idea of collecting highway funds through a tax on miles driven, rather than gasoline consumed. ... The test program uses a global positioning system to track miles driven, using a black box to calculate how many miles are clocked in-state, out of state and during rush hour."

U.S. Planning Base on Moon To Prepare for Trip to Mars - "For the first time since 1972, the United States is planning to fly to the moon, but instead of a quick, Apollo-like visit, astronauts intend to build a permanent base and live there while they prepare what may be the most ambitious undertaking in history -- putting human beings on Mars."

Quote of the Day
"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated."
~ Alec Bourne, A Doctor's Creed