Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Link To Full Text of the President's Press Conference May 31,2005
Here is a link to the full text of this morning's press conference. They actually quote the president in the Disassemble/dissemble" misstep
"THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and
it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a
country that is -- promotes freedom around the world. When there's
accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully
investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.
In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained.
We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It
seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of --
and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who
hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to
disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd
report. It just is. And, you know -- yes, sir."
Read it now! I expect it to disassemble in a few days, err...be corrected, that is.
Bush Calls Abuse Allegations "Absurd" - Claims Detainees Lie, Trained To "Disassemble"
The president had a Rose Garden press conference today. In his usual way, the prez called the Amnesty International claims of abuse at Gitmo "Absurd", and he said these detainees hate America and were Trained to "disassemble", a word he said meant not to tell the truth.
I believe the prez meant to use the word "dissemble" which, according to TheFreeDictionary.com, means 1. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance. See Synonyms at disguise. 2. To make a false show of; feign. To disguise or conceal one's real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance. "Disassemble" means what you and I think it means - 1. To come apart: The unit disassembles easily. 2. To break up in random fashion.
It's nitpicking, I know, but I think the leader of the free world should know the difference. It IS funny! It makes me Disassemble, it's so funny! ROFLMAO!
Friday, May 27, 2005
Delay Fumes Over TV Crime Drama's Sarcasm Using His Name - It Must Be A Conspiracy
U.S. Congressman Tom Delay is fit to be tied over NBC's airing of the Season finale "Law & Order: Criminal Intent". It seems that one of the show's detectives made a sarcastic remark in reference to right-wing extremists who killed some judges on the show. The remark was "Maybe we should put out an APB [all points bulletin] for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt."
Since Tom Delay is a public figure, and he supported action against judges when he uttered those infamous words, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," it looks as if Delay is making mountains out of molehills. He has a lot more to worry about than a trivial piece of sarcasm. Delay said this remark when the judges ruled against Terri Schiavo's parents in the right-to-die case.
Karma! it's a good thing!
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Republican Senator Says History Won't Be Kind To Bush If He Vetoes Stem Cell Bill
Senator Shays (R - Conn.) Said history would look back on Bush unkindly if the president went forward with his plans to veto the stem cell bill. The bill does not seem to have the votes in the House to override a veto, and Sen. Shays urged his fellow senators to override the president if he does veto the stem cell bill.
My mother-in-law suffered for years with Stage 4 Parkinson's, so I am a little biased on this matter. I still believe the bill is a good first step toward sanity in the climate of dogma over science. More on this later.
Texas Judge Decides Delay Group Failed To Report Contributions, Violated Election Law
The group Tom Delay started for campaign contribution solicitation was found to have violated the Texas Election Code when the group of five failed to report monies in excess of $100,000.00. Tom Delay is not involved in the case, he is merely the founder and beneficiary of the group.
Now we wait for the Delay camp to respond. Remember, this decision is only a partial decision in the civil case against the Delay group. The rest of the civil case must await the outcome of the criminal cases filed againstsome of the members of the Delay group. More later.
Texas Still Fighting Over Life-without-Parole Option for Death Penalty Cases - House Passes Measure, Governor Not Sure If He Will Sign
The life-without-parole option for death penalty cases was approved by the Texas house, but only after the life-with-parole option was removed from the bill. If the senate agrees and Governor Perry signs it (a lot of "ifs"), Texas would be on the road to a more enlightened attitude toward death penaly useage. Let's see if it passes. In Texas!?!?!, Yeah, right!!
Publisher Loses Court Battle To Overturn Ohio Mayor's Ban On Employees Speaking To Reporters
The mayor of Youbgstown banned all city employees from speaking to reporters about city business. The Business Journal, a local paper/magazine, sued to overturn the mayor's ban and lost in federal court. The judge decided that the ban does not prevent the press from reporting on the city government's actions. The magazine has not decided whether to appeal the decision, but stated the decision is a blow to Journalism.
If the people of Youngstown really care about their city and uncovering wrong-doing by city officials, they could always use the power of the vote - by voting the mayor out of office. Luck to the Journal on getting stories - you may have to use "unnamed government sources" to report stories. This is a great example of why unnamed sources are used in reporting. They are sometimes the only way to get the story. The reporters don't use just any source; they usually have to know who the source is, and whether they are reliable. So, the next time you hear a government offical crying "it's a lie - they used unnamed sources!" just htink back to the times the governmnet said that and was later proved to be the truth. Gotta watch those gubbermint folks!
Bad Journalism Report: Media Mistakes Perception Surveyed - Results Show Differing Perceptions of Journalists, Readers
This link is to a good story on a survey done on inaccurate reporting and revealing and acknowledging the mistake. It points out the difference in perception of the average newsreader and the journalists. Check it out.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Rumsfeld Uses "Unnamed Sources" Excuse To Deny Missile Authorization In Small Plane Incursion
It was as if a script was handed to the Bush Administration when Rumsfeld pulled out the excuse that the shoot-down orders issued by him in the May 11 small plane incursion were untrue because the reports cited "unnamed sources". The difference between this story and the Newsweek story is that this missile story used at least two reliable senior officals who still stand by their account. The Newsweek story about Toiletgate used one source and another to confirm the story, and the sources later backed down from their story - it was also a preview of a report that was soon to be released stating the info in the story. The report did not include the tioletgate info.
For this administration, it is no stretch of the imagination to see the wheels turning aout how to capitalizing on the unanamed sources dilemma - "hey! We can use that as an excuse to call any story in the press we do not like a lie! How great is that!?!?!" The use of unamed government sources has long been held to be the only way, sometimes, to get the information to the public - especially in an atmosphere genereated by this administration where they tell absolutely nothing about anything to the American people. Let Rumsfeld get away with this and we shall soon have no real press coverage of any meaningful story without written approval from the government. Sheesh!
Runaway Bride Indicted By Special Grand Jury - But Was A Crime Committed?
A special grand jury in Georgia indicted infamous runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks today. She was indicted for misdemeanor false reporting of a crime, and a felony count of making a false statement to a governemnt agency. The phone calls were made in New Mexico to police there, and later the woman called her fiance - the police chief in Duluth got on the phone and questioned her.
I believe if she really wanted to get out of the indictments she could. It is very questionable that the Duluth Police have jurisdiction, and the New Mexico officials stated they would not be pressing charges for anything that occurred in their state. The other question I have is that why should she pay for the search and volunteer time when it was the police that jumped to the erroneous conclusion that a search was needed at all. They figured from the beginning that Ms. Wilbanks may have suffered cold feet prior to her wedding and took off. She had not made a false report prior to showing up in New Mexico, so she definitely committed no crime before the phone call, so why should she have to pay restitution. It is bad precedent to force someone to pay for search efforts because people will be more reluctant to come forward to report a possible crime in the future. The cops spend thousands of dollars to search for missing people with Amber Alerts and they do not charge to missing person when it is discovered that she was spending over at her boyfriend's house without parental permission. I believe the police and the grand jury are out of line this time.
Bush Vows To Veto Stem Cell Funding Bill - It's Life When He Says It's Life, Scientists Don't Count, Prez Says Throw Unused Embryos Away
A Real good article on the reaction of wheelchair patients who are hoping for more funding and research in Stem Cell developments as the ywatched the president stand on his religious soapbox and criticize the use of embyonic stem cell use and funding for more research.
As long as religous zealots try to define where humans begin, and who qualifies to make that determination, people with Parkinson's, spinal injuries and other diseases will have little to look forward to. We will also watch the rest of the world pass us by by leaps and bounds in biotechnology, and science.
This is the problem with the reigious right's stance on where life begins - by their definitions life begins if it is merely potential. By slippery slope standards every sperm is sacred and each one a potential life that should be protected by law. Let'sget serious and remember that a life is still a potential life in the bible if it does not turn into a viable, living birth. That is why Catholics have LImbo. People were a little smarter back when they did not know a lot of science. The live birth rate was atrocious. People understood that fetuses died, and that the mere conception was a life in potentia - not a human being by any classification. Nowadays, we have laws that says if you acidently injure a pregnant woman and the fetus is injured or is no longer viable, then it is murder - that, my friends, is the slippery slope. This fight over wasted embryos is another slide down that slope. If it is not halted it will be as depicted in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" - Every Sperm is sacred. Imagine goingto jail for masturbating instead of knocking boots with a woman. Sorry I am so harsh, but the president and his zealots are being absolutely ridiculous! It is time to tell him so - Science over religion - common sense over dogma - life now instead of merely potential life. Sheesh! What a mess!
Rumsfeld Gave Go-ahead To Shoot Down Small Plane in White House Incursion Incident Last Week
The pilots of the the Cessna 150 small plane came within "15 - 20 seconds" of being shot down by missiles last week in the infamous White House Incursion Incident. Clearly, no-one in the FAA or the military worried about the small plane being a real threat to the White House, but the Administration - without input from the president - acted in the worst-case scenario and cleared some of the buildings in the White House/Capital complex.
I would really like your opinions as to whether or not the White House Overreacted when it cleared the buildings and gave the order to fire, and if they were too self-serving when they did not pass on the evacuation order to other buildings in the near area. The other question I have is: SHould the president have been notified asap instead of 47 minutes later? I MAY HAVE TO ADD A POLL, SO PLEASE ANSWER AND SAVE YOURSELF FROM YET ANOTHER STUPID POLL! Pessimist, OUT!
Monday, May 23, 2005
Journalists Say Newsweek Should Reveal "Unnamed" Gov't Source of Koran Story - Reveal The Liar
The above link takes you to an article that states, first, Newsweek will not fire any reporters who worked on the botched Toiletgate story. A journalist then calls for newsweek to reveal the unnamed source that reneged on his information. It does seem as if the story was actually true, but the process of confirming the story is what went wrong. Every journalist worth his/her salt knows that one source without confirmation or authentication is not yet ready for primetime. The most famous case of modern reporting technique such as this is "All The President's Men", the story of how Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal that brought down a president using "deep throat" - a white House insider. The most crucialpart of the story was when they only had the unnamed source telling them that the president knew about the break-in, but the reporters did not have confirmation. So, our intrepid heroes phoned their other insiders for confirmation or denial - in the form of " If you are still on the phone after i wait, it means the story is confirmed" After a wait, the reporter asks the confirmation source if he is still there- and he is. I believe that is how I remember it, but don't write me to tell me I am wrong - i haven't seen it in many, many years. That is the essence of the crux. Many variations are used by reporters, but only from reliable sources that have a track record of trustworthiness. Evidently, the Newsweek reporters relied on a similar tactic for their confirmation of their source's story, but the flaw was that it was about a report that was due out by the pentagon stating the Pentagon had uncovered the Koran/toilet incident. The Pentagon, days after the story, said the incident never happened, and the rest is history.
If the incident went down this way, and the sotry has any basis in fact, then the sources need to be revealed to see who was manipulating the truth. Sometimes the government lies to us, can you believe that? Perhaps this is one of those times - after all, this whole mess does not pass the smell test - if it stinks, something may be rotten. More later on ToiletGate (my word), or Korangate. I believe ther is more to this story because the White House is in the mist powerful position it has ever been as far as trying to censor any bad press - and they are really good at it, but, ultimately, they always fail in matters involving the press. We shall see. Waiting for the other combat boot to drop.
Maverick Senators Reach Eleventh Hour Agreement on Judicial Nominees - Frist Loses Face
This article lays out the agreement reached by the "maverick" senators. The upshot is: two nominees get stalled in committee, five - including Owens and Brown_ head to the full senate for an up or down vote, and no change to the filibuster rules.
Bush gets what he wants - Owens and Brown on the bench- and senate business goes on as usual. The bad side is that Bush will merely resubmit the names of those stalled in committee, and we start the damed process all over. Did I mention that we get saddled with hardcore religious zealots preaching from the bench, and giving more religious (read that Christian only) inroads to our everyday life? Talk about sad! Oh, well - this is the kind of stuff that I bitch about that I cannot change. Business as usual.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Welcome To The Real World, Mrs. Bush - Tour Turns Tense as Laura Visits Holy Shrines
Laura Bush got a dose of reality as she visited holy sites in Israel over the weekend. Did she learn from the experience? It's doubtful, as the magic eight-ball would say, since she spoke of how important the sites were to her "as a Christian". I did not know we were sponsoring a paid pilgrimage to Christian holy sites, did you? I thought she was there to improve relations and repair the U.S. image. Bringing more religion to the problem in the Middle East is like bringing water to a flood. She did say the sites were important to other religions (muslims, Jews), but she did take into account that keeping her religious convictions to herself would have been the best way to handle the situation. She was sent to represent the U.S., not to represent the Christians. No-one in the Bush Administration gets that message, and more's the shame.
No Compromise In Senate Fight as Leader Frist Shows No National Leadership - Just Partyline Leader
In the fight for control of the judiciary, the senate majority leader has thrown in the towel on showing great leadership for the American people. Instead of placing the welfare of the nation and upholding the separation of powers, Bill Frist has decided to show no leadership skills, and has not risen to the occassion that would have caused normally mediocre politicians to become statesmen, like Harry Truman, Tip O'Neil, and Bob Dole. Instead of figuring the longterm consequences of an action, and using the cooler atmosphere of the conservative senate, Frist has shown that the only thing that matters to him is the republican party right-wingers and kowtowing to the extreme religious right.
A better person would do what was in the best interest of the country. Other politicians, once elected, have shown that they consider the constituency the did not vote for them and show that they are well-represented regardless of party affiliation. Harry Reid is not much better in this aspect either. He could broker a deal on other legislation - but, on the whole, he has stayed true to the constitution. Of course, if the shoe was on the other foot I doubt Reid would rise to the occassion, either. I have enough faith in the system that I think these power grabs and consolidation eventually falter - this one is still a worry. We shall see.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Top U.S. Military Commanders Implicated, not Charged, in Afghan Prisoners Death By Torture
BUT WAIT, LAURA BUSH WILL SAVE US IN WHIRLWIND TOUR OF MIDDLE EAST!
On the heels of the Newsweek Report of Koran desecration to interrogate muslim detainees at Gitmo, a leaked report by military investigators of two prisoner's deaths in Afghanistan implicates top military leaders who condoned and ordered the routine, systematic torture of prisoners prior to shipping them to Guatanemo Bay, Cuba. So far, only lower ranks have been charged in the torture deaths of these two prisoners. The report states that the two men were routinely chained to the ceilings of their cells, and their legs systematically beaten in what is called, and this is a direct quote from the article in reference to the report:
"common peroneal strike", aimed at a point just below the knee and intended to disable. Coroners in the Habibullah case said his legs "had basically been pulpified" and looked as though they had been run over by a bus.
I don't know about you, but, frankly, i am quite tired of being lied to, then having the messengers blamed for causing distrust and causing the credibility issues the U.S. is facing across the globe. And to top it off, the prez sends Laura bush on a image-building mission to the Middle East to show the "more compassionate, kinder side of America." Give me a break! The president wants his family left alone by the harsh media, but then uses her to try to mend our credibility gap. I think it is time to take the gloves off and start using to power of the press to point out the gaffes and simplistic myopia the prez's wife brings to the party. If she is continually inserted into global affairs, it is time to let her take the heat, too. The so-called "liberal media" sure bends over backwards to never utter a harsh word about laura. Perhaps they worry over being made to pay the price for such outrageous conduct. Mr. Bush hates the press already - what more can he do? Oh wait! The president could deny them the privilege of being not answered in person, and be denied the honor of being the butt of the prez's sad, sad attempts at humorous jibes he takes at reporters at every press conference. Let's see who shall be the first to point out the inadequacies of the prez's handpicked PR guru - Laura. bet they don't have the guts.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Who honestly gives a damn about Filibusters? I Do - and I Will Tell You Why
Here is an op/ed piece that gives good info on percentages of judicial nominees confirmed on recent presidents. I then include an open letter to the author on filibusters.
OPEN LETTER TO THE AUTHOR
Good op/ed piece! A little harsh, but well-grounded in facts. One thing i noticed was your use of Sen. Byrd's nazi remark of March, 2005. Did you miss the fact that Sen. Rick Santorum, yesterday, used a comparison to Nazis when referring to the democrats, also?
Check it out on google.
And, as for your premise, you asked "Who cares about filibusters?" I do. Regardless of who is in power, the filibuster is the only minority rights tool available to keep checks and balances on parties who try to consolidate their power too much. Republicans have used it; Democrats have used it. Both sides have said it was wrong when they were in power, and they said it was proper when they were in the minority. It has been used for good and bad reasons. It is still viable. To get rid of it just to confirm a few nominees is not the act of sane people.
As to the percentage numbers quoted in the piece, the numbers are skewed in that other presidents took the hint that there was going to be a fight over some nominee's confirmation and their name was withdrawn by either the president or by the candidate him/herself. Those nominees never faced an up or down vote so they may not be in the numbers. This president has never compromised on anything , and as the leader of both democrat and republican citizens, he owes us all a little common sense and consideration that not all people are for his picks. He has a number of qualified people he could put up for federal posts, people more in keeping with the spirit of representation of the regular folks - not just the extreme right. The president also keeps offering the same candidates after they failed in committee. The normal process is to offer someone else. The upshot is: All sides are guilty of being as partisan as they can possibly be. The tempers are up and it is no time to make rash decisions. Maybe cooler, moderate heads will prevail. Who knows?
Still a good article.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Red Cross Warned Pentagon of Koran Abuses in Gitmo, Cuba Base in 2002, 2003
You knew it would happen. Too many stories out there circulating about Gitmo abuses using the Koran as a torture tool to interrogate prisoners (oops - detainees - excuse me!) for it not to have substantiating bases. The White House has not successfully concealed anything for long, but they only need to distract you for a few days after each new disaster in order to consolidate their agenda and power base. Newsweek caved because of pressure by the White House, and it left the opening by not following well-established procedures for verifying unnamed sources and their material.
Let us see where this will play out - meanwhile the White House will get its way with judicial nominations and the John Bolton deal.
More's the pity that no-one in regular America is paying attention - they are too busy hanging on the Jackson trial and American Idol - Lamers all!
Killing the Messenger - Newsweek Story Not Responsible For Islamic Unrest, American Credibility
Good article on how both sides (I think there are more sides than D&D 16-sided dice) of the political spectrum are trying to use the koran (quran) article to illustrate how bad the other side is. No-one mentions the way the islamic extremists are killing each other in their "justifiable" outrage, and how the Bush administration is bending over backwards to show how sensitive they are to the Islamic world. Look, this administration has committed blunders of world proportions, and has yet to apologize for any of them - including abuses in Abu Graib (not to mention Gitmo). How can newsweek be responsible for world unrest - the damned Middle East has been fighting each other since before their prophets ever conceived the koran. These folks are experts at taking any pretext and running with it - usually at their blood enemies. The Afghans have had tribal wars since the idea of tribes was thought up. They fight their fellow muslims, their women, their friends, their brothers, any new idea, and, especially, the foreigners. The USSR fought the Afgans for years and years. Remember Osama Bin Laden? The man behind the 9/11 debacle? The man we cannot find? Well, you probably don't remember that we are the ones who trained Osama, gave him money, helped him recruit his people, and showed him how to operate a terrorist organization. It is time to quit letting the Bush administration off the hook for its blunders. The U.S. has had a credibilty problem for years now, and to blame a magazine for zealots killing other zealots is ridiculous. They are just using this incident to shunt aside the other allegations of other hot-button problems and blunders. Hold the accountable party accountable for its blunders.
You cannot even find Osam Bin laden, Mr. Bush - how do you expect an apology from Newsweek to mitigate the problems you have exacerbated in the Middle East. You wanted war over there, well - guess what? You got it. I predict that your legacy is looking mighty bleak. And now you want to put weapons in space!?!?! Talk about crazy! I still say people who voted you folks in are suicidally nuts. I think you will start the new cold war to cover your blunders in the middle east, I predict we will never get out of there voluntarily. I also have predicted, and will stand by my prediction, that Iraq will not survive as a true democracy for longer than a year. Even now, the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies are saying Iraq might already be in a civil war. Good luck, and may the force be with you - it's just as likely as god being with you. After all, all the sides involved in the middle east have said that god, allah, etc. is on their side. Bush has done nothing but brought more religion to the problem - oh, and let's not forget the guns we brought to the party. We are being held in check by folks with peashooters, RPGs, and homemade explosives. But according to the White House and Condy Rice, and Rumsfeld, we are winning the war on terror, and the war in Iraq. Who has to duck their heads every time a small plane gets within 30 miles of Washington D.C.? Who has to have their lighters and fingernail clippers consficated in order to board a plane? I bet the president has never had his shoes removed for scanning prior to his boarding a plane - just in case he might be a terrorist? I thought not.
Still Pissed, and I don't care for the religious B.S. in the country right now. I don't like this shoot-the-messenger attitude of the White House, and the Judicial B.S. in the senate, the prez refusing to compromise on anything, and his nominating idiots idealogues for important positions. And then these idjits have the NERVE to slam Newsweek, blame them for all the problems in Afghanistan, and demand they fix the problem?!?!? Get real! You wanted religion mixed with state - you got it, and you deserve it. One curse from the Middle East is: May your wishes be granted. Amen to that!
Bush To Violate Peaceful Space Use, Hunter/Killer Satellites Part Space Weapons Directive
It looks as though the leaders of the world are gearing up to see who dominates this century. And I still say people who vote with their bible are out to lunch when it comes to politics. While they are concerned about judges who might get rid of Roe v. Wade, the real power is trying restart the cold war and Arms Race. Do you feel safer now? Yeah, right! Priorities, folks. Priorities.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Federal Judge OKs Graduation Ceremonies at a Church - Chastizes School Officials for Bad Judgment Error
A federal judge refused to halt 4 graduation ceremonies which are scheduled at a church in Melbourne, Fla.. Citing time contraints, the judge stated that school officals could have picked any other venue to hold the ceremonies for the public schools,and that he would have stopped the ceremonies if there was more time - the graduations are set for Thursday. The church seats 3,700 and has a huge cross set up inside. The officials said the ceremonies would be totally secular, but they also refused to cover the cross because "that is a part of who we are."
This judge had the power to stop this blatant abuse of power under the separation of Church and state, but he did not have the guts in this atmosphere religious zealotry. If the lawyer does not seek an injunction from an appeals court, he needs to have his head examined. The students who filed the suit were, respectively, atheist and buddhist. The easiest way to put this into perspective would to ask yourself how you would feel if the school had decided to hold the ceremonies in an Islamic mosque or a jewish temple. If you are honest with yourself, you would say to yourself "that's not right!" That is why we have the constitution - to avoid this type of bullshit. Maybeso, out!
What's A Bush To Do? The Posada Terrorist Dilemma
here is a concise rundown of what papers across the U.S. and Florida are saying about the Cuban Exile accused of bombing a Cuban airliner, and the dilemma facing the Bush administration if they hand over the suspect to either Cuba or Venezuela, or if they keep him here or offedr him asylum.
A good read.
Retracting Newsweek Story Does Not Mean Info Was Wrong, Just Tough To Prove - White House Outrage False, Political
Here is another good story of the coverage of the Newsweek Quran incident. In the article, Kurtz shows what may have been the thinking behind the Newsweek article in question. In it he also shows that bloggers are jumping on this story more than other stories of the moment, and what bloggers have unearthed are numerous reports and court filings that show the alleged abuses of prisoners have been ongoing since 2003 - just like I said in my earlier blog report. Read the article - it is illuminating as to the process, and into the White House "outrage" at unethical reporting.
What gets lost in this story is the facts: that it was a trusted senior government offical who told Newsweek about the alleged Quran abuse, and another who did not deny it. These officials then did an about face on what they claimed - several days later, coordinated with the White House stance of outrage. Remember, Afghans always have these "spring" riots, and the riot are always about anti-American sentiments, and the Pentagon stated that this time, the riots were about reconstruction and American involvement - then the Newsweek story broke.
The Islamic outrage at the alleged desecration of the Quran (Koran) may be real, but it is never a reason to try to hurt people.
Newsweek Buckles Under Pressure From White House - Quran Abuse Charges Still Apply
I'm not one who nromally uses "The Nation" as a fact giver, but this time it is they who have done their homework. The charges that the U.S. military uses the Quran in disrespecful ways to break prisoners is not a new story. The incidents haved been reported by detainees and prisoners since 2003. Read the story and you, too, might come to the conclusion that the Bush Administration is using this story as a scapegoat. When was the last time you know of the White House publicly telling a publication what it needs to do to correct a situation?
It all smells fishy to me. P-U!
Monday, May 16, 2005
Judge Issues Gag Order To Media in High-profile Florida Case - Media Fights Back, Calls Orders Prior Restraint, Overbroad
For historical background, prior restraint is the doctrine in which the government trys to keep something from being published. The most famous case involved "The Pentagon Papers". In that case the government tried to keep journalist from publishing information - the high court ruled that prior restraint is unconstitutional.
Judges have wide discretion in the management of their courts and over anything that happens in their court, but they must still adhere to constitutional guidelines. The judge can control those who are before the court - witnesses, lawyers, and both sides of the case, the DA, and the defendant. However, a judge does not control other people, especially if the pictures and info are gathered outside the courthouse. Most of the time, the media respects the judges wishes about protection of jurors, but sometimes it becomes too much of a burden and they will fight. This case is important in drawing the line at where judge's power ends, and the media is right to fight this time.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Suggestive Cheerleading Ban Bill Dies a Quiet Death - Yay Team!
What we need are politicians who want to minimize government intrusion and oversight, fix the roads, and solve high tax problems. Let are morals start and end with the family. After all, these same politicians are the ones who claim the family is the most important element in raising a kid (this goes in the DUH column), so the parents are the ones who should decide whether or not their kid's cheerleading is too suggestive. Sheesh! Give us a break from the Morals Police or I might just drop my pants in public and moon the whole lot of you - and it will not be for sexual gratification - I can assure you of that! Don't make me do it! You know I always do what I say.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Rules To Sainthood More Like Guidelines - Late Pope on fast Track to Beatification
This link will take you to the story of the late Pope's fast track to sainthood. The dead pontiff waived the five-year wait before Mother Teresea could be declared a saint, and the new pope has given the go ahead to fast track the former pope toward sainthood. The former pope was known for speeding up the process, which normally took decades or even centuries before making one a saint. Did you know there used to be a Devil's Advocate? It was a position in the church whose holder had the responsibility of trying to unearth flaws in character of those who were candidates for sainthood. Of course, the church got rid of the DA, since it no longer matters if saints have flaws - Devout belief is just that; it is not open to debate - The pope has spaketh! Sheesh.
Microsoft Plans To Sell Security Fixes To Windows Users Instead Of Fixing Operating System Holes
Yet another reason why I don't like Micorsoft. Instead of fixing their Windows OS, the giant software company will sell services to its users to enhance the security of their computers. The service will offer virus blocking and spyware blocking - virii and spyware exploit security holes in the operating system that has plagued the Windows world since its inception.
It just goes to show you - people are stupid - paying the same company to fix its own flawed software is an exercise in stupidity. My ibook almost never goes down, and I haven't used a virus checker in about two years - the spyware out there is just so much fluff to my computer. Of course, hackers are out there right now writing hacks to defeat Apple's system, so I expect to see some in the next few years, but I have had many years of no worries - and THAT is worth the price of the iBook!
Forensics Fingers Friend of Finger Finder's Fellow - or "Dead Digit's DNA Dad Discovered
Okay, we now know who was detached from the finger which ended up in the Wendy's chili. A friend of the chiliwoman's husband had lost the finger in an industrial accident.
Good work, forensic fellows! Let's move on to why the dude didn't come forward weeks ago - was he in on the scam? These and other questions may be answered at another time.
Does the detached digit debacle demand the dastardly duo be detained in detention? Definitely! More later.
What We Know About Bush/Delay Supporters
1. They all seem to be Creationists - this may be explained by the fact that they all are Christians and need no facts to explain anything remotely scientific.
2. They all support the war in Iraq - they even talk the same talk of Saddam was a bad man and the world is a better place without him in power. Forget the fact that the world would be a better place without a lot of other leaders of despotic governments - We do not go taking them down - just Saddam. Remember, these folks all forget why we went to Iraq in the first place; WMDs - Bush even said we are not in the nation-building business. Which brings me to another point of commonality:
3. Short Memories - The past is never remembered by these blogers unless it is in the bible or about Bill Clinton.
4. They all believe that if the prez wants something then the other branches of government should get in line with his thinking - It goes back to short memories again, in that they fail to remember the Constitution and checks and balances.
5. Faith-based organizations receiving tax monies is okay - as long as they are Christian
6. Failure to support the war in Iraq is the same as not supporting the troops, and THAT is treason -Understanding the difference between to two would force them to refute items #2, 3 and 4 mentioned above.
7. The U.N is bad - it needs reformed, and a tough, blunt DIPLOMAT is just what is needed to straighten out that One World Order Organization. Forget the fact that diplomacy means just the opposite of Bolton, and that the U.N. was hardly a blip on their radar screens until the bad Bolton stories started coming out of the woodwork and the White House started mentioning the word "reform" in conjunction with "U.N."
8. All liberal judges are "activists" - all conservative judges are persecuted for their faith.
9. "Liberal" and "ungodly" are interchangeable. "Conservative" and "Christian" are interchangeable. Evidently, there is no such animal as a Christian Liberal or a conservative Atheist
10. Having sex with a grown woman when you are married to another woman is much worse than authorizing torture or sending troops to die on foreign soil through an intelligence mistake. Which brings us to the last point in this list:
11.Never admit to mistakes - it makes you look as if you don't know what you are doing, and besides, we never make mistakes. What mistakes???
If you would care to add to this list please title the comments Bush Bloggers Commonality - I figure it will cut down on lamers because they can't spell commonality, and they would never think of cutting and pasteing anything, now would they!? GRIN
Prez Notified of Plane Scare, Evacuation 47 Minutes Late After Bike Ride - Not Neccesary, Says White House Spokesman
IN yet another, shall we say "faux Pax", the White House felt it did not need to inform the president of the plane scare and evacuation of our nation's capital. Instead, secret service agents informed Bush after he completed his bike ride in the wildlife preserve. Read the editorial - it is good reading.
Sidenote: One comedian said that it could not have been a terrorist attack because all the terrorists know the last place you would find the prez on a workday is the White House. This has little to do with the scare debacle, but I thought it was funny. I believe Leno said it.
Bolton Nominaton Sent To Floor Without Recommendation, Called Poster Boy of Nondiplomacy
A short editorial asking the question: if his own party has so few good things to say about Bolton, then how do we expect him to get along with the other 190 member countries in the U.N?
It's what I've been saying ever sense this bad choice was foisted on us. That is like putting Jeffrey Dalmer on the National School Nutrition Board - because the children need a little tough love. Sheesh!
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Kinky Friedman Launches Bid For Governor of Texas In Houston - Lots of Jokes, But Not About Texas Run
If Arnold can run for governor, the nso can Kinky. The Texas troubleador/ writer has set his black cowboy hat on the governor's manison. He launched his candidacy in Houston, one of the cities where he was raised. Read the article at the link above - it is a good read and gives you some good background on the Kinkster.
Good luck, Kinky - no funding, no party, way in hell, but I would vote for you if you get on the ballot. We could use a change from those stuffed shirts up in Austin.
Man Riding Horse Charged With Drunk Driving - Horse Was Sober
Okay, it happened in Kentucky, so we know that their laws are screwy. I could understand being arrested for Public Intoxication, but driving a vehicle other than a motorized vehicle while drunk is a just silly. Police claim that the charge is not unusual - they have arrested people in the past for driving a bicycle while drunk, and even driving a lawnmower while drunk.
I think as long as the horse wans't drunk he should be let go - after all, horses are smarter than drunk people any day. And they know the way home.
Preacher Resigns Amid Politics Fiasco - Leaves Unapologetic With Turmoil in His Wake
WEll, the pastor who forced Kerry supporters to leave to baptist church where he preach has resigned today. The pastor left without an apology, and about 40 church members left at the same time vowing to resign their membership. One woman even went so far as to say that she refused to attend church with the "ungodly" Others said that some of the newer, younger members who had joined recently had been brainwashed by right-wing supporters of the pastor.
Sure seems to be a lot of Christian goodwill, fellowship, and nonjudging feelings of tolerance going on in that church. Glad I am nonreligious - Had it been in Texas I am sure it would have ended in gunfire. It was only in North Carolina, thank (insert deity of your choice here).
Delay's Homegrown Zealots Vow Fight Over Any Challengers for House Seat
Stiff-neckers of the GOP in Tom Delay home district claim they will support and defend Delay against any challengers for his seat in congress. I always thought that we have primaries to see who gets to run as a party's candidate. These arrogant fools need to be put in their place because it is pure arrogance to think that they will dictate how voters will vote and who runs. Sure, they have all the money in the world - what with Delay raising unethical money, and teh National GOP sending in bucks by the truckload, but by the time the elections roll around chances are good that the majority leader will no longer be the majority leader. His party is spending a lot of political capital to shore up his battle against ethics charges, but they, too, have to decide to bail if it costs them too much.
You peoploe are living in another world! - a quote from The Andy griffith Show
Texas Abortion Bill Would Require Parental Consent For GIrls 17 and Under is On Hold -Clerical Error
Another attempt by State Rep. King to rewrite the Texas Anti-Abortion laws. This misguided attempt at changing the current Parental Notification in Texas would make it still harder for young women to get an abortion should it be necessary. Read This article to get the full facts. This representative has been trying to get this law changed since 1999. Each year it fails and each year he offers it again - it may succeed this year - even though it would be unconstitutional.
What a waste of taxpayer money and time. This has already been decided by the highest court in the land, yet these one-track minds of the far right do not recognize the rule of law that they claim to serve. Let it go and move on to other things that need improvement. Fixing the damned roads would a good place to start.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Breaking news: DNA Swabs Taken From SHSU Students After Dead Baby Found in Dumpster
Whatever happened to probable cause? Just because a baby was found in a dumpster does not mean the authorities have a right to ask these personal questions to these young women in a scattergun approach. They also do not have any reason to ask for DNA samples from these women to "clear their name". DNA samples almost always end up in a database. and can subject the donees to other privacy issue violations. It is a matter of principle to stand up to these DNA roundups - they almost never yield the suspect, and as far as clearing the others- we are presumed innocent from the beginning. Just say "Hell No!" to DNA roundups.
Absurd news: Brothels Ask to be Taxed, Nevada Lawmakers Considering The Idea
THis is too funny! Not only do the brothels in Nevada have an organizantion, they even want to be taxed. The reason? To become more legitimate and more accepted.
Read the story - it's a hoot! The governor has vowed he would veto any bill that increases taxes, but has not commented on a possible brothel tax.
Kenneth Starr The Voice of Reason In Filibuster Fight?
You know the senate judicial filibuster fight has really gone too far when Kenneth Starris the voice of reason in controversy. Starr, the special prosecutor who oversaw the investigation into Clinton's Whitewater scandal and the Monica Lewinsky debacle, says that both sides need to simmer down and open reasoned dialogue instead of "Crossfire" style dialogue. He says the American public is tired of this type of bickering when it comes to the judiciary.
This article link is a good one in that it really breaks down the process in simple terms about what the judicial filibuster is exactly. It also states the pressure special interest groups are trying to bring to bear on politicians, especially hardcore religious right groups who claim they will make politicians pay if they don't play ball with Frist. These groups also claim that Senators like John McCain and Arlen Specter owe them and the prez for getting them re-elected last year.
Let's see if Frist can keep up the fight - I say he does not have the votes, yet, to get rid of the filibuster, but he is likely working on a backroom deal to allow a couple of nominees to quietly go away. His bid for the White House may be shortlived if he cannot solve this problem without resorting to extremes. His kowtowing to the hardline religious right may have worked in the past, but lately these groups have been exposed to the light of day and regular people know them for what they are - out of the mainstream. The only reason why Bush won last time is the people felt they should not change leadership during a war. Polls show that people feel different about the war now.
What a way to run a country! I am constantly amazed we are still around after all these years. Checks and balances are, as Martha Stewart would say, "a good thing."
Monday, May 09, 2005
Conservative Groups Urge GOP Lawmakers To Change Filibuster Rules - Rubber Stamp Those Suckers, They Say
Lesson in Civics and the Separation of Powers: The president nominates; the senate adivises and consents. The normal rule is that anybody who is so smelly to half of the senate judiciary committee is not sent to the floor for a vote. Instead, they usually give the president a heads up on failure of the nominee, and give him a chance to either withraw the name, or let the nominee withdraw his/her own name. That is part of the advise portion of the senate duty as worked out 200 years ago. It saves the president from looking idiotic on some poor choices, and let's the senate off the hook by having had to vote down a presidential nominee. The senate has always had a few nominees that just did not make the grade for one reason or another; it is a shame to act as if this president is losing power - So far, he has had an almost perfect record of dictating to the legislature, but good feelings will soon erode once the senate sees its power erode and crumble by letting a president win all the battles.
Senators and representatives need to remember that the separation of powers doctrine in the Constitution is perhaps the most import doctrine - and to erode it for the sake of rubber stamping a few idealogues for the prez would be, as one pundit put it, a long-term change for a short-term win. It is always a bad deal to have situational rules and ideals. The rules were good enough when the republicans were in the minority; the president and the GOP leaders in congress need to have a reality check. They need to get back to the business of good government instead of trying to change the morals of the people through legislation, for that is really what is behind all these power plays. You folks take care of the government; we'll mind our own morals, thankyouverymuch!
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Delay Claims Humbleness, But No Contrition - Dials Back on Power Ploys
THis is a great article into the inside story on what Delay's Ttactics are and how his staff is handling the agressive bulldog of the congressional republicans.
A good read!
Condoleeza Refuses Senate Requests For Bolton Documents - Claims Chilling Effect Would Occur
Secretary of state Condoleeza Rice refused to release internal documnets relating to intelligent reports that Nominee Bolton used to stretch the truth about foreign affairs. Bolton has been accused of using the intelligence reports to spin his own version of truth about several countrieswhile serving in the State Department.
Way to support the process, Condy! The senate dems want to check these serious matters out before giving the OK on the Bolton nomination, and everyone expects the senate republicans to walk lockstep through the confirmation process - it makes a mockery of the process and of the separation of powers so vital to our form of government. What is being hidden, Condy? Show us the goods - if he is qualified, Bolton should come through this confirmed. What are you hiding? And why is the president fighting for this particular nominee so hard? He could withdraw the name and appoint any of a number of people to that post. Something's rotten in Denmark, methinks! "I smell a rat - and the wind's coming from your direction" quotation by Flip Wilson.
Sen. Lugar Says "Intimidating, abusive" Bolton May be What's Needed in a U.N. Diplomat - Also, Pigs Fly
I think that sometimes people in power ought to listen to themselves. Sometimes they just can't help saying stupid things. For instance: Sen Lugar tried to acknowlege the abusive, intimidating nature of U.N. Ambassadoral nominee Bolton, and then stated that these qualities may be just what are needed in a diplomat at this time. Maybe some of these folks should look up the definition of "diplomat" Where is this candidate's smoothness? Where is his ability to get things done through thoughful presentation? Instead, he is supposed to browbeat the rest of the world into submission? Yeah, right!
Schoolyard bully tactics may be the order of the day at the White House, but it should not be foisted on the rest of the world.
SNL Guest Band Yells Out "F-word" - Crew Failed to Bleep one of Dozens, FCC To Pounce Soon
We need to grow up so this kind of story becomes a nonstory - "Uh oh! Someone said a bad word! (giggle giggle)" See how juvenile it is? I knew you would. Seriously, saying the "f-word" is not equal to saying the "n-word", so why should they both be bad? No sense whatsoever! Sheesh! When someone uses "fuck" in a sentence, one may be offended by the crudity and vulgarity, but when someone says "nigger", we are talking a derogatory for another human. Yet, both still have the power to inflame all because of censorship and political correctness. They should not hidden in plain sight - by using a substitute wording for these words only keeps them powerful. I am sure some of you were offended by my use of both these words, and I intended that you be shocked - it proves my point. Let's defuse the vocab, and grow up a little as a nation. And who knows? Maybe some day the "f-word' will be "fudge" because it is so fattening, and the "n-word" will stand for "nueter" because it is such a painful subject for men to talk about. GRIN
Ousted Church Members Attend Services - With Their Lawyers
Well, the pastor of the church who kicked out the members due to a difference in politics talked about the controversy in his sermon today even though he promised to leave politics and the controversy alone. He called the controversy a misunderstanding, but he had his lawyers attend the services with him. So, both sides are lawyered up and one side is backpedaling.
my understanding of the makeup of the baptist churches is that the members own the church and deacons hire and fire the pastors. Solution? Fire his ass and get a more loving, tolerant pastor - how about this idea? Get a preacher who professes the so-called Christian ideals, love and brotherhood and fellowship. What a novel idea.
FDA Bars Gay Sperm Donors Using "Bad Science" - Heteros Most Likely Carriers of Aids, Not Gay Men
More and more, the Bush Administration is insinuating itself into the very fabric of life in these United States. Slowly, piece by piece, each government agency is clamping down on personal freedoms "for the common good". With each little rule and regulation, this administration is adding more and more government regulation into the private lives of citizens. The religious right has won more silent victories in the last few years than the entire 30 years prior to this insidious attack. The republicans always run on a platform of individual freedoms, smaller government, fiscal responsibility and "religious tolerance". So far, we have bigger government, more debt than we can pay in 20 years, more government intrusion, fewer individual rights, and zero tolerance for anybody not Christian. Now, these same yayhoos want to take foster children away from gay couples, prevent them from contributing their seed to sperm banks, and keep them from having the same rights Christian male/female couples have.
What's next to be eroded? Social Security will be eroded away, the ability to right wrongs done by business giants through sueing is almost gone, and all the problems of the current administration and politicos are blamed on a "liberal" media - the same media that Bush stressed in his ridiculous speech to the Baltics this weekend saying that freedom of the press and freedom of religion were the cornerstones of freedom and democracy.
How about practising some of that over here in the U.S., Mr. President. And quit supporting Delay - drop those 10 overzealous right wing nominees, and get on with the business of making this country a better place. I won't hold my breath.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Republican Hardliners Want To Play the "Nuclear Option" in the Senate - To Bring Minority into Line
A Must Read article! The whole point of this no-holds-barred fight in the senate is that hardliners (read that as religious nuts) want to bring the "liberal, activist" judges into line - and to bend the senate into following the will of the president. That is the whole problem in a nutshell - you see, we have three branches of government, mandated by our constitution. The senate is not to be a rubber stamp for the preseident, and the president and congress are not to try and bring the judiciary into line behind one party. It is called Checks and Balances. The president nominates people he wants on the judiciary; the senate decides if the choice is a good one. It's called "advise and consent" It is not just and up-or-down vote. That is a stupid way to decide who gets a LIFETIME appointment to the high courts of this land. This goround, the dems only blocked 10 of the president's nominees - some 250 + nominees were approved. The president and the republican run senate don't have to win them all. By trying to do so, and by changing the rules to hinder any dissent is just plain bad for the country, and it is against all our contitutional guarantees.
Get with the program, forget your silly control issues and move on to more important issues like the huge deficit, the tax loopholes, the medicare problems and the education of our people. Get Busy - morons!
Delay, World's Greatest Responibility Shirker Calls for Responsibility, Humility - Claims He works on Humility Every Day
And, of course, Mr. delay has taken responisbility for the ethics violations he has committed? Yeah, Right! Mr. "they are out to get me" Delay has yet to even admit to the ethics violations he has already been sanctioned. Don't hold your breath waiting for him to be Humble or responsible.
Democrats Voted Out of Church for being Democrats - They Voted for Kerry
Now Religion is just getting stupid! Hardcore Republican religious idiots are now preaching hate from the pulpit and are kicking out any who vote the wrong way, or don't support the prez. Religion is a deeply personal felling, and each person in this country is allowed to have whatever religious convictions that choose, but churches are not supposed to mix religion and politics (though it is always so in the past!). Ousting those who disagree with the pastor over political convictions flys in the face of "tolerance" I could understand if the ousted members disagreed with the idea that Jesus was the messiah, or something that conflicted with the basic precepts of the church, but this is ridiculous!
THe only way all these religious ideas can survive in this day and age is to separate one's religious life from one's public persona. Trying to exert moral, religious control through politics is a losing proposition - just look at the Middle Eaast, or the Crusades, or the conquest of the Americas by the Spanish (sure they succeeded in converting the "heathen Indians" after they wiped out more than 10 million) or the Spanish Inquisition. if you want to live in turmoil and Religious wars -just keep on this narrow, dogmatic path. Religious beliefs are for you to apply to yourself - not for you to apply to others - "judge not lest you should be judged" -That's from the Bible -Live your life the way you think it should be lived - let others live their own philosophy - it hurst less people that way - idiots!
Scientists Call pseudo-science Presented as evidence in Anti-Darwin Kansas hearings Incorrect - "Deeply Wrong"
This link is a report on the Modern Monkey Hearings in Kansas where a conservative majority on the science subcommittee is trying to put creationism back into the school system. Scientists see these hearings as a farce and a stacked deck where the members have already made up their minds that they want Kansas children to be taught the "intelligent design" theory - that life process are too complex and regular to have been a natural selection process, and that a creator must have had a hand in evolution - in other words: Darwin was wrong.
Give me a break! Teack your children your religious concepts at home and at your church, but don't try to foist your dogmatic superstitions onto other people. Trying to get creationism taught in school by force of law is just plain wrong - morally, ethically, and constitutionally. How many times must we fight this battle. Sheesh! Fanatics!@
Bush Blames WWII Allied Leaders For Soviet Regime, Iron Curtain - Apologizes For U.S.. Involvement
Bush, Talking to Baltic state leaders, apologized for the U.S. and other Allied Countries involved in "carving up" Europe after World War II with the Yalta Agreement. By doing so, the prez is playing Monday morning quarterback to the harsh realities of a post-war Europe. He just rewrites history when it suits him. There were a lot of reasons back then to divide Europe - the main reason was to avoid a prolonged war with the Soviet Union. The world could not take another world war at that time - it had no funds or resources to beat Russia, and it had to recover from the human toll that war took. Shrub does a disservice to the leaders of that time if he would have done it differently. Perhaps his agenda is now bolstering his Iraq War and rewriting the reasons for that war. He keeps forgetting his original reason for launching this war - to stop Iraq from using WMDs - now he claims he launched this "just" war to free the Iraqi people from tyranny and bring democracy to the region.
Talk about rewriting history! The man doesn't even let the ink dry on history before he tries to be a revisionist. Sheesh!
Friday, May 06, 2005
Kansas School Board Committee Still Fighting Evolution - Scientists Boycott Hearings
Board Members State They Never Read The "Intelligent Design Proposal Papers, But they are for it
Kansas Has a committee to oversee what science requirements are taught to school children before they graduate. The committe is holding hearings where no scientist will testify due to a nationwide boycott - scientists claim the board is trying to include intelligent design in the Evolution process. The committee members have stated on record that they have not read all the science standards published and set nationally, but they are against Darwinian ways - and are all for the intelligent design concept regardless of scientific proof.
The scientist boycott of the hearings are because intelligent design advocates use papers that only criticise evolution - they don't offer any hard science to prove their religious based theories.
It is hard to fight something that is couched as a negative. It is like trying to prove that you are right that god is a monkey because there is no evidence that says he isn't. It's the same thing here - these yayhoos try to peddle their half-baked inelligent design theory, couch it as science, and then defy anyone to prove it did not happen the way they say. Kansas now joins Florida, Texas and Arkansas as states run by idiots - four down, 46 to go and it will be official - The U.S. runs on backwards time. Sheesh!
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Prez Approves Reservist General Demotion For Prison Scandal - Other Generals Cleared
The first female general to serve in a command position in a war zone was demoted from Brigadier Genereal to Colonel today with the approval of Bush II. The reservist was in command of prisons in Iraq when the prison abuse scandal broke. None of the other generals in the chain of command were disciplined, and the head honchos at the White House who condoned torture as a viable intelligence tool were promoted and given new responsibilities. Alberto, the white house counsel at the time of the incident, is now the attorney general of the U.S. Others have been nominatied to and succeeded to other positions of authority.
It is a shame that this administration never holds itself accountable - this lady general was the scapegoat along with the 10 enlisted men who face jail time. If the White House had not fostered an atmosphere of condoning torture, none of this would have ever happened. And the torture continues today in Gitmo - where the prisoners are not accorded proper legal status and protections under the Geneva Conventions.
The party of accountability and responsibility my ass!
Evolution Report: Feathered Dinosaur May Be Link To How Birds Evolved as Plant-eaters
This link has a cool artist's rendering of how the Utah bird-like dinosaur may have looked. From Velociraptor to bird, this newly discovered dinosaur may tell scientists part of the story of how a meat-eating dino evolved into a plant/seed-eating bird of today.
One awesome discovery right here in our backyard (Utah).
Texas legislature Superbly Silly - Trys to Curb Cheerleader Sex Appeal, Banning Bump-n-grind
In another attempt to legislate morality, the Texas legislators are trying to bar school cheerleaders from doing any movements that are 'sexually suggestive". Just what that means is not so clear, but that is what this silly attempt is about. They can't define "it", but they know it when they see it. Sound familiar? It should because that is the same type of thinking that occurs whenever the morality police get on their soapbox and try to ban anything having to do with sex, sex appeal, or pornography.These measures should always fail because they cannot pass constitutional scrutiny as they are always too vague, and the definition is always subjective - it depends on who's doing the defining. Sadly, this bill may get passed into law and your daughter or son may end up being kicked out of school and being humiliated by an overzealous religiously moral nutcase who claims he or she swivelled the hips too suggestively. Remember how Elvis was called "too suggestive' in his swivel-hips" trademark dancing? People said the same thing about the Twist, and the Watusi. And any number of dances in the past.
Call your Texas representative and state senator and tell them you are against this poor attempt by religious nuts to legislate YOUR child's hip movements. Sheesh! More Morons per capita than any other state - except Florida.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Runaway Bride Sparks Strange Controversy - When Is a Person Liable For the Acts of Others?
I held off on commenting or reporting on the runaway bride because, frankly, it was a nonstory at first. Now that she has been found, and claimed to have been abducted, it becomes a newsstory. Was there a crime committed by Ms. Willbanks? Only at the end when she called and reported she had been abducted to the Albequerque Police. False reporting is a crime and should not be condoned. Otherwise, all her other actions were bad planning and poor thinking, but were not crimes. A person has a right to disappear, she has a right to buy a ticket prior to disappearing; she has a right to leave behind her wallet, keys and money. She has a right to not show up at her own wedding. They are NOT crimes. If the police want to look for her at that time then it is on their heads and their own expense (even tho it is taxpayer money). I can imagine that Ms. Willbanks was worried once her face was plastered in the national media. She likely heard about how much the police were spending and how many volunteers showed up to look for her. She likely said "oh, no! What do i do now?" And she then concocted the story she gave police to keep her from looking like she caused so much turmoil. This is a case of police overreacting to a situation where it is not clear a crime has been committed. Ms. Willbanks is a grown woman and is capable of answering for her actions. The only people who could file charges for false reporting of a crime would be the Albequerque police and the FBI. The Georgia police have no way of charging her unless they can show probable cause that she intended to defraud somebody - she did not report falsely a crime to them. The planning she did is consistent with running away from her wedding, but not of intent to cause people to think she was abducted. She would have been just another mysterious disappearance - that's all. She is mental, but not a criminal - and not liable for the expenses of the search up to the point she cried "wolf" Then the search was called off, so no expenses. The New Mexican police and the FBI refused to file charges. Get over it and mark this down as a bad episode of bad journalism - A nonstory became a story through the heavy coverage of the nonstory - Had she been black or hispanic and poor, she would have never made the national news in the first place. Just like the laci Peterson story. Many people with babies were brutally murdered by their husbnds or babydaddys - but they were poor and the wrong color - so you did not hear about them on the Nightly News nationally. A regular murder like that or a runaway bride is not national news - unless it affects a lot more people. Period. Get back to good Journalism and folks like me would be able to get some important news that goes unreported due to lack of time on the news shows. Sheesh! Idjits.
Bush Set To Reform Social Security on Backs of Middle Incomers - No New Taxes Implied
President Bush has stated that no new taxes would be needed to solve what he perceives as problems with Social Security, yet his plan calls for Trillions in transition costs. This is equivalent to saying "read my lips - no new taxes." His fathr, Bush I, said that and then signed the largest tax increase in history into law. Bush II (Shrub) has said that he might change the payroll tax to include a higher cap on higher income citizens. It is not a new tax, but it would effectively be a tax hike. He is playing with words - just as he accused Clinton of doing during the Monica lewinsky scandal when Clinton asked for the definition of "is".
Keep your eye on the ball, and you see he intends to shove bad SSI law down our throats before he retires to the talk circuit.
Military Judge Declares Mistrial in Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal - Photos Were For Training
IN an almost unprecedented move, the military judge hearing the England Case involving Iraqi prisoner abuse threw out the the guilty plea because he was not certain the Pfc. England knew her actions were wrong or illegal at the time of the incident. Military law is different than civilian criminal law in that the judge in a military trial must be convinced that the person entering a guilty plea knew what he or she was doing was illegal at the time. SGT. GRANER, another prison scandal involvee, and Pfc. england's lover and father of her 6 month old child, testified that the now-infamous photos taken of England and Iraqi prisoners were taken as training tools to be used to train other guards how to handle prisoners. The judge was concerned that, if true, the evidence would tend to establish that England was just folloowing lawful orders.
Graner had peaded guilty to similar charges and is now serving a 10 year sentence. The item of note in this turn of events is the fact that the defense attorney introduced this evidence which could only queer the deal once heard by the judge. Evidently, they intend to fight the charges if they are brought again. This method now gives the Army an out if they did not want to convict England - a new mother. Let's see what happens.