Progress: Lower incidents of terrorism over the past year The numbers:
last year there were 199 terror attacks worldwide, a drop of 44 percent from the 355 attacks recorded in 2001. One reason:
many potential terrorists have been jailed as a result of their arrests following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and more countries have started paying attention to terrorists in their midst. The list, and another reason:
The United States once again branded seven countries as sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Sudan. As members of the list, the countries are banned from receiving U.S. weapons, barred from U.S. economic aid and effectively prevented from receiving World Bank loans.
Why is Iraq still on the list when Saddam is out?
a government must be in office in Iraq in order for the state to be removed from the list.
Update on Mohammed Odeh Al Rehaief the Iraqi lawyer who helped save former POW Lynch
Mohammed has accepted a job offer from Washington lobbying firm The Livingston Group days after the United States granted him asylum. Also, Mohammed was injured during several risky treks up and down a road that came to be known as "ambush alley," in an effort to transport information on the Nasiriyah hospital were Pfc. Lynch was held to U.S. Marines stationed outside the city. Because of these injuries, Mohammed will be undergoing surgery next week. A surgeon has volunteered to perform the operation at no cost.
Although I'm very impressed with what the U.S. and many of its citizens have done for this wonderful, brave man, I do wonder about the others who helped. According to this article, one was paid for his aid but is still in Iraq. Is that by choice? Is he safe?
More on our favorite Iraqi:
Al-Rehaief is considered a hero by many Americans and the U.S. military for making a series of trips between Saddam Hospital in Nasiriyah, where Lynch was being held, and U.S. forces several miles away. He had to walk through dangerous enemy territory each time he made the trek.
"It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."
This has traveled through e-mail forwards anonymously. If anyone knows who wrote it, please contact me.
Al Rehaief [the Iraqi lawyer who helped find Jessica Lynch - known previously as only Mohammed] was granted asylum Monday in Arlington, Virginia, which allows him to work in this country. He can stay in the U.S. indefinitely and can eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.
Frank is angry, and it's funny In this writing, Frank is the President speaking to the anti-war protestors:
just like you wouldn't want some KKK member's opinion on the subject of race relations, we don't need the input of assclown pacifists on the debate of foreign affairs.
If some of you still don't get the point, then, next time I hear one of you retards complain about your "speech being oppressed," I'll send some thugs to murder your family, burn down your house, and then drag you out in the street cut out your tongue. Then tell me (or, I guess, sign to me) whether you can't tell the difference between that actual suppression of speech and what you thought was oppression before.
President George W. Bush told a cheering, chanting crowd of Arab-Americans today that the United States would stand with the Iraqi people as they rebuild their war-shattered country and create a democratic government.
"America pledged to rid Iraq of an oppressive regime, and we kept our word,” he said. "America now pledges to help Iraqis build a prosperous and peaceful nation, and we will keep our word again.”
When Bush quoted one Iraqi-American as telling him she never believed Hussein would be gone, a member of the audience shouted, "He's gone!” and another cried out, "Because of you, Mr. President!”
One man in the crowd, Mohammed Alshara, showed up draped in a full-size American flag, which he raised high over his head when Bush entered the hall. "This is to show our appreciation to him for making Iraq a free country,” said Alshara, 33, a construction worker who said he emigrated to Dearborn in 1992 after his father was killed in the 1991 Shiite uprising against Hussein.
Bush responded with equal emotion, quoting an Iraqi woman as telling him her family only felt safe talking about Hussein with the windows closed. "The windows are now open in Iraq,” he said. "The days of repression from any source are over. Iraq will be democratic.”
One Iraqi-American at the meeting, lawyer Mark Dickow, told the president he was looking forward to a second Bush term in the White House. "Forget that, please,” Bush responded. "Let's just make sure Iraq works.”
I love news like this. It warms my kind, sweet, little heart. Wouldn't it be lovely if those who have protested the war since its onset paid attention to this? Weighed and considered it? Realized they are so wrong? If you disagree with the war, and you're an intelligent, thinking person with a good basis for you opinion, please contact me (see sidebar) and tell me about it. I'm genuinely curious. Is there a single rational basis for the opposition to the war?
North Korea Update After accusing the U.S. of a hostile attitude, they offer a deal: they get rid of their weapons and the U.S. normalizes relations, gives them economic assistance, etc. Powell says we're considering it. Here's my proposal: We don't bomb beat them like Saddamis, they quit their WMD programs.
western journalists in Baghdad claimed to have discovered documents which provide the first clear evidence of a link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network.
According to files found in the abandoned Iraqi intelligence headquarters, a representative of al-Qaeda visited Iraq in 1998 to set up a meeting between bin Laden and Saddam’s regime. If the discoveries are proved to be genuine, they would support the two key elements in the argument for invading Iraq and help to vindicate President George Bush and his main ally, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
initial reports suggested the weapons site discovered by US special forces east of Bayhi, about 130 miles north of Baghdad, could be the "smoking gun" that proves an Iraqi chemical weapons programme.
Is celebs' eccentric naming of their children cruel? David Koeppel, of Fox News, says yes, and diagnoses such celebrities with Chronically Stupid Name Syndrome -- the growing fondness celebrities have for bestowing unusual, offbeat and downright dumb names on their helpless children.
The worst name: Speck Wildhorse (John Mellencamp's son)
My favorite part:
At The Institute for Naming Children Humanely, Michael Wintry accuses celebrities of a variety of naming transgressions.
Wintry divides offenders into "bad name categories" like "The Scrabble Draw," "Named Him After My Favorite ..." and "I Found It on This Here Map" -- like Ireland Baldwin (daughter of Alec and Kim Basinger), Lourdes Ciccone (Madonna's daughter) and Paris Jackson (Michael's daughter).
"Since American children can't even locate the U.S.A. on a map, the child will feel dejected and angry they had to be the ones saddled with geographical names," writes Wintry.
Other instances of such cruelty are also available from Drake and Zeke of Rock 103. Example entry: The Bad Baby Name for 4/23/03 is: Dorkina Valincia Tart
Welcome new visitors! Since Frank linked me, my visitors have increased exponentially. Thank you for visiting. You adore me. You will return daily.
Also, I'd like to share the love: while browsing, drop in with my brother. He introduced me to Frank, he's almost as cool as I am, and I'm pretty sure he hates monkeys.
Update: The Bovine explanation I mentioned above.
The Bovine Model of Governments (this link in PDF format)
FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.
FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.
DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
MILITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate."
BRITISH DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You feed them sheep brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.
BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.
CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
HONG KONG CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the right to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the tow cows because the fung shui is bad.
EVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.
FEMINISM: You have two cows. They get married and adopt a veal calf.
TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the phallo centric, war mongering, intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.
COUNTER CULTURE: Wow, dude, there's like...these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk.
SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
Some Mormons upset over Santorum's inclusion of polygamy
Owen Allred, 89, head of the United Apostolic Brethen, a polygamist sect in Utah said of Santorum,
"He is absolutely right. The people of the United States are doing whatever they can to do away with the sacred rights of marriage," Allred told The Salt Lake Tribune.
But Allred said Santorum's inclusion of polygamy in his list tarnishes a religious tradition whose roots are traced to biblical figures such as Abraham, Jacob and Moses - defiling them as "immoral and dirty."
As the second day of talks wrapped up, Pyongyang said the situation on the peninsula was "so tense that a war may break out any moment due to the US moves".
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that three-way talks between North Korea, China and the United States had ended a day earlier than expected and warned Pyongyang that Washington would not respond to threats.
Mr Powell said the talks had "concluded" and that while US and Chinese officials might hold talks on Friday, the North Korean involvement was over. Three days of talks, from April 23 to 25 had been scheduled initially.
While announcing the end of the discussions, Mr Powell delivered a strongly worded warning for North Korea not to make threats as Pyongyang ratcheted up its rhetoric.
"They should not leave this series of discussions that have been held in Beijing with the slightest impression that the United States and its partners and the nations in the region will be intimidated by bellicose statements or by threats or actions they think might get them more attention or might force us to make a concession that we would not otherwise make," he said.
"They would be very ill-advised to move in that direction," Mr Powell said after a speech to the US Asia-Pacific Council.
I'll be interested to see what happened exactly. I don't think that information is out yet.
Restoring my faith in humanity Okay, maybe not, but I definitely enjoy Rachel's posts. Like this one in which she explains why it's ok for us to pick on the free-speech-utilizing asshats. Why? Because we have free speech, too.
The latest "I'm offended!" uproar - gays react to the misquotation of Senator Rick Santorum The correct quote:
"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."
The quote that has circulated and caused so much uproar added the word gay so that the quote read:
"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."
Notice that gay is within brackets. In journalism and writing, this means the reporter added the word or phrase, the person did not actually say it. This is often done to keep the message clear without quoting a lengthy passage. This is not the case here. Santorum is concerned because he believes if the Supreme Court allows for complete privacy, beyond traditional, heterosexual relations, it will allow for any consensual activity within the home. This would allow for the practice of polygamy, incest, adultery, bigamy, and, yes, homosexual relations. We have no right to privacy because what you do in your home does effect the society. Consenting adults are not allowed to sell drugs within their home. Would you change that in the name of privacy? Santorum is not a bigot. He is simply concerned about the morality and danger inherent to these issues.
The article from his office further explain his comments.
This guy should become a human shield along with Columbia's Mogadishu-wishing professor
Gary Kamiya, executive editor of the left-leaning Internet journal Salon (www.salon.com), confirms what some Americans have only suspected: Liberals were cheering for the enemy in Iraq.
With that introduction, let's get the message straight from Gary:
"I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong...an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative — four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere"
The Washington Times article noted more specifically that he said "More casualties would have been a preferred alternative to the 'larger moral negative' of a victory that boosted President Bush's chances for re-election." This article, from the Washington Times.
Another article says dear friend Gary wrote this in the April 11 edition of Salon magazine. I think you need a subscription to read it though, as I do not have one and could not find it with the search Salon webtool.
I am both amazed and disgusted by the complete lack of morals among some extremists like Gary. Go become a human shield. Go actually do something about what you believe in, if you actually believe in anything. Better yet, find some humanity within yourself and get back in touch with it. Essentially calling for death to (possibly) prevent the re-election of a poltician you disagree with is despicable. The "great moral negative" is some crock little Gary made up.
Haha PETA News PETA offers the city of Hamburg $15,000 for the schools, paid for in veggie patties, if the city will change their name to Veggieburg. Although PETA spokesman Joe Haptas said his organization is "serious as a heart attack," Hamburg Supervisor Patrick Hoak "immediately declined."
PETA made a similar offer to the city of Fishkill, hoping that the city would change its name to Fishsave.
Update on U.S. plans for military bases in Iraq According to Rumsfeld, the story concerning a long-term use of military bases in Iraq is "flat false."
Rumsfeld said those bases are being used now by coalition forces for humanitarian and stabilization efforts, but he said that was the extent of any plans for the bases.
"The impression that's left around the world is that we plan to occupy the country, we plan to use their bases over the long period of time, and it's flat false," Rumsfeld said at Monday's Pentagon briefing.
Double homicide charges anger the pro-choice nazis of the National Organization for Women Scott Peterson allegedly murdered his wife Laci. Laci was eight months pregnant at the time of her dissapearance, and her body and the body of her unborn child have recently washed up near Scott's fishing spot - the spot he was fishing at when she dissapeared. An important part of this case, is the fact that Scott Peterson is being charged with double-homicide. This means the court is recognizing the eight-month old unborn baby (also called a fetus) as a viable, legally protected human being. Cases such as this one could have a great impact on the legality of partial-birth abortion, a practice with which I vehemently disagree. The National Organization of Women agrees with my opinion of this case's potential effects. What's the big deal? From Rush: What the liberals would ordinarily call an "unviable tissue mass" in the womb has been humanized.
The U.S. plans up to five military bases in Iraq Why? For defense of Iraq, for the reconstruction of Iraq, and to pressure Iran and Syria.
"There will be some kind of a long-term defence relationship with a new Iraq, similar to Afghanistan," a senior Bush administration official said*.
The bases would be used primarily to help with reconstructing Iraq. But their proximity to Syria and Iran could help the US to apply added pressure on those countries.
Israelis kill Palestinians Be careful just reading headlines. The 5 Palestinians killed were all militants. "Hamas flags covered four of the bodies and the flag of another militant group, Islamic Jihad, covered the fifth corpse." Israeli soldiers also killed a teenager, after he threw petrol bombs at Jewish settlers' cars.
Whew! I have been mad crazy busy and I'm just now back to blogging. I did read some interesting news during my down days, and I'd like to post that, even though it's a little outdated and someone somewhere's already blogged it.
Going back to the UN? Maybe. Why? Because the oil revenue needed to rebuild Iraq and improve its economy is legally trapped. The UN controls it.
On the basis of current resolutions, the only legal mechanism by which the Security Council can terminate the binding sanctions regime is if Iraq is certified by UN arms inspectors to be free of weapons of mass destruction. That would require sending Dr. Hans Blix and his team back into post-Saddam Iraq in order to complete their work. Blix, who is scheduled to brief the Security Council on Tuesday, has urged the coalition to allow his team to resume its work, in order to give any findings greater credibility.
The Bush administration has thus far shown no inclination to invite the UN inspectors back into Iraq. Instead, the U.S. military has been sending its own inspection teams to scour the country for banned weapons, and has even reportedly tried to recruit some of Blix's staff to help.
It gets worse and worse. Mass graves in Northern Iraq, the Kurdish area.
Two of the graves have been dug up, and some local officials say they may contain the remains of Kurds killed in the 1980s by Saddam Hussein's regime. Others say the site could be a military cemetary. The article.
Michael Moore's Oscar should be taken back Why? Because he received an award for a documentary. The Academy's rules specify that a documentary must be non-ficition (duh) yet Moore's Bowling for Columbine is full of strategically edited footage and completely fabricated "facts."
Check out the site Revoke the Oscar for information on exactly what Moore did, and exactly how you can contact the Academy about getting his Oscar revoked.
I'm not sure this will actually work because Hollywood and its celebrities have proven that 1. they don't care for public opinion and 2. they don't care for integrity, but I do think it's worth telling them Michael Moore sucks, and they suck for awarding him for being a liar.
The U.S. is lawsuit happy I worked at a horse camp for girls last summer, and I remember the incredulity of our foreign staff during the serious talk of how to and how not to help a girl mount a horse. The talk was in hopes of avoiding law suits, which we did. But isn't that ridiculous?
And now, parents are suing Tommy Lee Jones because their son died at his son's birthday party. He had no lifeguard, and because of that, it must be his fault. Lee was just so careless. These are the parents that didn't even go with their son to the party. They sent him with the nanny. So if anyone should be sued for carelessness it should first be the parents and second the nanny. Since you can't sue yourselves, and the nanny doesn't have as much money as you do, much less more than, you sue the richest guy around instead. Tommy Lee told jurors that adult guests were responsible for watching their own children at the party and laid the blame for Daniel's death with the nanny caring for him that day. Responsible for your own children? That's just ludicrous.
Read the article.
And a black woman is suing Southwest Airlines because the stewardess used the rhyme "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe." She was reminded of the older version of the rhyme, and hearing the rhyme caused her to be bedridden for three days and suffer from "unexplained memory gaps." According to at least one word and phrase historian, the original rhyme using the n-word dates back to about the mid-19th century. The 1850s kids. This isn't the kind of trauma that Jewish Holocaust survivors sometimes experience when they hear German or see Nazi symbols. This is gold-digging induced.
The lawsuit has provided critics of the American legal system more ammunition for their tort reform battle.
"Seems sort of a ridiculous lawsuit, but this is the rise of this litigious culture, where people look to sue at the most insignificant remark," said Steve Lilienthal, spokesman for the Free Congress Foundation (FCF). Read this article.
France kicked directly in the tourism, then karate chopped in the commerce. France is currently in serious condition in the E.U. Brown-nosing is hoped to heal her wounds.
After 14 years in second place, Spain has replaced France as the United Kingdom's favorite holiday destination.
The French president's anti-war stance and the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" factor in the United States has also caused a decline in the number of U.S. tourists.
Protests against France provide further evidence of their growing unpopularity:
"This is not a pro-war rally. Just anti-French," said Gavin Spittle, program director for KXNT-AM radio.
In case you don't know why we're so angry:
"We've bailed them out time after time, but the only time I remember them being there for us was the American Revolution," Tony Sager told the Associated Press.
"The whole thing just mystifies me," said Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J. "When they were in need [in two World Wars], we were there to help. A lot of American blood was lost on French soil defending that country. ... We and other countries should expect help from allies whom we have helped in the past."
One guy did point out that the boycott of French products may harm the people rather than the government. Actually, it will hurt both. The lack of income from trade and tourism will cause loss of jobs and loss of revenue. Also, a Frenchman at France's embassy argued that "Everything's different [than what it was when Americans died for French freedom]." Well, yeah. Now we're asking for your help to guard our freedom. That is different.
Another one bites the dust... Iraqi information minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, known lovingly as "Baghdad Bob" is reported to have committed suicide. This clown has risen to stardom by consistently giving reports so erroneous the French had to pretend to believe them.
The list There is none, officially. There is none of the sort the liberals would tell you exists. They wish to promote the idea that there is a list of "next to attack." Rather there is knowledge of who should be next to work with: Syria, North Korea, Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia.
Two excellent articles from National Review discuss the differences between these countries and Iraq, and the possiblity of diplomacy versus warfare. We know that with Bush in office we won't stop short of military action if it is necessary, but, according to the second article, success for diplomacy is much more likely in other countries than it was in Iraq.
In his first speech after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush said he would not differentiate between terrorists and governments that provide haven to terrorists. Syria’s recent actions place it in both categories, along with Iran and North Korea.
All three support terrorism, seek to develop weapons of mass destruction and practice a foreign-policy belligerent to Washington. All are being urged through diplomatic channels to modify their behavior. The extent to which they do so likely will determine whether they become targets of the U.S. military.
Washington has appealed to the United Nations regarding North Korea, but help seems unlikely. Regional diplomacy, however, may prove more promising.
Help from the U.N. unlikely? No. What is this guy reading? [Blatant sarcasm here.]
Read the article.
Why was military action in Iraq more likely than it is in other countries?
There will be no new target because Iraq was a unique case.
Although most regional regimes have varying records of brutality, Saddam Hussein's regime stood in a category all its own. It was the only regime that tried to wipe a member state of the United Nations off the map. It was also the only regime since the First World War to use chemical weapons not only against adversaries in a war but also against its own people.
The key reason why Saddam's regime was unique, however, lies elsewhere.
His was a regime that could not develop any mechanism for change.
Amir Taheri, the author of this article notes that the possible "nexts" have regimes that allow for changes in policy and leaders. Because of this reality, military action may not be necessary. Saddam could not change his policy, and we could not allow him to keep it. However, these other regimes are organized differently. They allow for change. When threatened by big, mean, evil U.S. [more blatant sarcasm] they very well may make the wise choice to comply.
Mr. Powell sought to quell fears that...Syria might be next on the list for military attention after Iraq.
"There is no list," he said, "there is no war plan right now to attack someone else either for the purpose of overthrowing their leadership or for the purpose of imposing democratic values."
So cool down and shut up folks. Powell, Rumsfeld, Bush and all the other U.S. and coalition officials understand that military action is a last resort. We will probably not need it in many countries because of Iraq. North Korea, for example. Still in shock and awe, they've settled down quite a bit.
We don't want oil and we're not trying to democratize every nation of the world. Shut up and realize there is a reality beyond your cozy, paid for by parents, college life.
Dependable and Honest Congruent with his aim at improving the economy through tax relief expressed in the State of the Union address (“Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best and fairest way to make sure that Americans have that money is not to tax it away in the first place”), Bush is trying to pass, over the next decade, "tax cuts totaling at least $550 billion."
"American workers and American businesses need every bit of that relief now, so that people who want to find a job can find one, so that people looking for work are able to put food on the table for their families."
The difference between democrats and conservatives is that democrats take your money so that the government can provide you with services and make you dependent, while conservatives never take your money in the first place so that you are independent and can pay for the services on your own.
Ed Gernon Dixie Chicked: fired by CBS for Bush:Hitler analogy
CBS officials were said to be upset that Gernon appeared to equate Hitler with Bush by drawing parallels between Germany in the 1930s and contemporary America.
So what exactly did he say?
"It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole world into war. I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now," he was quoted as saying in this week's TV Guide.
The article gives the next quote with less confidence. Did he say it or didn't he? They list it as a direct quote from a Times story, but say that it was exagerrated. Let's just look at the quote, to be sure we don't exaggerate.
Gernon had said Bush should be looked at "through the prism of Germany's psychopath."
Ooh. That does his statement is rather severe. Although I disagree completely with the idea of an official blacklist, stations do have the right to fire those that may harm their ratings, or to fire them for a multitude of other reasons.
How many Peter Arnetts and Dixie Chicks will there be before they learn? Voicing an opinion is perfectably acceptable, but severely attacking an individual or group is not the best career move in our current climate.
Who knew PM Blair was so cool? PM of England Tony Blair is starring in an upcoming episode of "The Simpsons." Oh yeah. The article describes hipster Blair as "a longtime fan of the show." Also in this episode, following th Simpsons as they visit England is "Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and actor Sir Ian McKellen." The article.
In the same spirit of survival as North Korea... Iran thinks, "hmm... maybe we should improve our relations with the U.S." and considers dropping from its club, the Axis of Evil:
The council advises Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader and an opponent of restoring ties with the United States [to restore relations before you die! Please!]* *I noticed after I closed the article that I hadn't copied the entire quote. Please forgive me. As the page will now not open for me, I've completed the quote my own words to give its point in. My words in brackets.
To Memphis locals: What are you doing Tuesday night? Come hang with Adela bonitísima de las pecas - you know you want to. I'm going to be at Kudzu's to see Lindsay, Tommy, and their comedy improv crew perform. The fun starts at 8:00.
Kudzu's is downtown...
603 Monroe Avenue
To France, Germany, and Russia: Shut up and eat a soy burger.
As U.S. and British forces struggled to quell looting in Iraqi cities, French President Chirac said at a conference on international law attended by the three leaders on Friday, "No long term international order can be based on the logic of force." He emphasized that force should only be employed as a last resort and only with the sanction of the United Nations.
When will they admit that the coalition has given up on them and their cheese-eating minds of grape mush?
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder too, highlighted the importance of the U.N. He said it remained "the sole world body based on universal values and legal principles."
"We should use the experience the U.N. has acquired in other areas in rebuilding a democratic Iraq," Schröder said, after receiving an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg's law faculty on Friday.
What exactly entitles you to an honorary doctorate? Just curious here. Would kissing Saddam suffice?
The three leaders all welcomed Saddam Hussein's deposal. They were, however, skeptical that the United States and Britain intended to make room for the United Nations to take on the leading role in rebuilding Iraq, despite statements this week from U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair that that would be the case.
All emphasis mine. Since when have they welcome Saddam's disposal? Since the coalition caught them selling arms to Iraq I'd assume. Now they need to get some of the money they lost in arms sales by helping to rebuild Iraq. My vote on their aid and the U.N.'s aid in Iraq? Screw 'em! If they're not willing to put the lives of their soldiers on the line for the cause, they have no place gaining monetarily or politically from the aftermath.
We asked Saddam quite politely to stop being an asshole for 18 months (or 12 years, however you want to look at it). When he didn't cease and desist in his assholery, we put the international judo chop of freedom on him. While Glorious Leader Kim "Loony Toons" Jong-il might be a fool, he's not so much of a fool that he can't see the handwriting on the wall.
Emphasis mine. When he didn't cease and desist in his assholery, we put the international judo chop of freedom on him. That is too beautiful. That's the kind of line a writer could die after writing. That should go in the America's Best Quotes, or some other geeky book. Wow. And the bar analogy:
This situation reminds me of that scene that goes on in every bar in on every Friday night of any given weekend. The US is sitting quietly at the bar with its drinking buddies Britain and Australia. In comes Iraq, North Korea, and China. While the US, Britain, and Australia are minding their own business, Iraq and North Korea get good and schnockered and start making a big scene while China sits back and watches. Things get so bad that the US, Britain, and Australia finally decide they've had enough and put a hot one into Iraq's chin, knocking him unconcious on the floor. Not getting the hint, North Korea keeps making a big scene, spilling drinks everywhere, being a big nusiance, and poking its pudgy little fingers into the US's chest. When the US pushes its barstool back to finally take care of the North Korea problem, China jumps up and says, "Hey guys, look, I know my diminutive buddy here is being an ass. How 'bout I just buy you guys a round of drinks and get my drunk friend out of here. I'll make sure he doesn't cause anymore trouble tonight."
CNN's chief executive should be sentenced to life under hellish dictatorship.
ATLANTA — Over the last dozen years I [Eason Jordan is chief news executive at CNN.] made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.
I came to know several Iraqi officials well enough that they confided in me that Saddam Hussein was a maniac who had to be removed...An aide to Uday once told me why he had no front teeth: henchmen had ripped them out with pliers and told him never to wear dentures, so he would always remember the price to be paid for upsetting his boss. Again, we could not broadcast anything these men said to us.
Then there were the events that were not unreported but that nonetheless still haunt me.
I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me. Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.
Emphasis mine. There are many more gruesome details in the article, but my purpose here is to reveal the complete lack of any moral fiber in CNN's executive. Over the last dozen years he has known the cruelties and the evils of Saddam and his regime. He knew of the tortures and the wrongs, and he claims he could not report it because it might endanger lives!?! Does anyone else see the utter lack of logic here? In case there's someone who missed it: imagine your neighbor is a serial killer, pedaphile, whatever, and you know, and you've seen proof and you've spoken directly with the victims. What do you do? You have a moral obligation to report the crimes in an effort to stop it. Certainly you might endanger your own life or others' lives, but your action will put actions in motion to stop the terror. It will not stop by itself one day. It will go on until someone stops it. Jordan uses lame excuses and transparent lies to defend actions who took in an effort to keep reporters in an area. For politics, for business, for money he did nothing about the atrocities he knew so well.
UPDATE. This is the best blog commentary I've found:
What should CNN have done? Stopped hiring locals, for one. And if that wasn't possible, CNN should have closed its Baghdad bureau and stopped putting Iraqis at risk by being there. But mostly, CNN should have told the world what is going on. CNN Iraqi staffers were tortured while CNN stayed silent. It's ludicrous after-the-fact corporate ass-covering to suggest the speaking out would have put its Iraqi staffers in danger. They already were in danger. Reporting that to the world might well have pressured the regime to change its ways. But we'll never know because CNN was more interested in keeping its prestigious Baghdad bureau open than in fully reporting the horrors of the regime that hosted them there.
If this is the best they can do, I should decide on all laws from now on
The federal appeals court in Cincinnati has struck down a Michigan statute that required drug testing for parents who apply for or receive welfare benefits.
The law went into effect in 1999 but was quickly blocked by a federal judge. The judge, Victoria A. Roberts, ruled that the testing violated the Constitution because it did not fit into "the closely guarded category of constitutionally permissible suspicionless testing," which generally requires a threat to public safety.
What kind of a lame argument is that? This testing would protect public tax dollars from paying crackheads for selling drugs instead of getting out of bed and working like the rest of us. The court arguments were a little more sophisticated than mine:
1. The need to protect children and to encourage welfare recipients to seek work justified the testing program.
2. Welfare recipients have a diminished expectation of privacy and are free to decline the benefits if they do not wish to be tested.
Precedence that proves Victoria A. Roberts smokes crack and doesn't want her dealers tested:
Earlier cases in other contexts allowed drug testing without particular suspicion if the people involved worked in sensitive jobs.
many students may be tested even though there is no particular reason to suspect them of using drugs.
This is George W. Bush, the president of the United States. At this moment, the regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power and a long era of fear and cruelty is ending. American and coalition forces are now operating inside Baghdad — and we will not stop until Saddam's corrupt gang is gone. The government of Iraq and the future of your country will soon belong to you.
The nightmare that Saddam Hussein has brought to your nation will soon be over. You are a good and gifted people — the heirs of a great civilization that contributes to all humanity. You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers. You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: your nation will soon be free.
They win, we win, France loses. I love my country.
The leaders of France, Russia and Germany -- chief European opponents of the U.S.-led war in Iraq -- will be in St. Petersburg this weekend for meetings on Iraq's reconstruction.
Do they think they'll be a part of it? In the interest of public relations, Bush and Blair might pretend the U.N. is a part of the reconstruction, but really... This is ridiculous. Those who said we shouldn't fight, we shouldn't be there, those who did nothing but try to stop our actions should have no part in reconstruction. They didn't want us to fight because they wanted to continue buying oil and selling arms, now they want to help reconstruct so they can get in on the money. They want their companies to get the jobs. It was about money for them, and it still is about money for them. As long as they're getting money and trade deals, they don't care about morals or politics.
Germantown Barbie - this pretentious bitch Barbie is only sold at the shops of Saddle Creek, she comes with Kenneth Cole 4 inch clunky shoes (actual size), an assortment of real Kate Spade handbags, a take-out box from Yia Yia's and a mini BMW convertible.
Raleigh Barbie - this thick Barbie comes with 4-inch long airbrushed curved nails,a blonde hair weave, excessive gold jewelry and caps, bling-bling, and is also available with the 'Lil Kim SUV with automatic weapons. Miniature Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes house burning lighter set sold separately.
East Memphis Barbie- this Barbie runs her own women's clothing and accessories store in Laurelwood... as a hobby. She graduated from the St. Mary's and Rhodes and was married the next day. Careful with this one, she ceases to function when she finally finds out that Dr. Ken has been boinking one of his surgical assistants since she had her first baby.
Cordova Barbie - this trendy homemaker Barbie is available with the mini-SUV or mini-minivan vehicles, gets lost easily, and has no fulltime occupation or secondary education. Usually confused at any overpriced, low-quality specialty stores in the Wolfchase area. Also available to have discrete affairs with Ken's friends and coworkers. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.
Southaven Barbie - this special white-trash model comes in Wrangler jeans that are 2 sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt, big hair, a mini Coors Light in the can, a Hank Jr. CD set, can spit over 5 feet, and she can kick Ken's ass when she's drunk. A mini pickup is also available with Rebel flag bumper stickers and gun rack.
Cooper Young Barbie - this model features Ken in a sequined cocktail dress, breast implants, press-on nails, and a really really bad wig. Details include a to-go cup from Otherlands, a rainbow scarf, and a CD box set featuring Judy Garland, Billie Holiday and assorted big show tunes.
Midtown Barbie - this Barbie model features 10-inch platforms, over 12 body piercings, 14 tattoos, a purple-green hair color, smells like an athlete, has no occupation, and is waiting on the curb for the Germantown Barbie to return and pick her up. Options include a backpack with various 'zines and a dolls head in case she wants to create a spontaneous work of art
Downtown Loft Barbie - this Barbie was previously a Trailer Trash Barbie, but was recently displaced by a new 25 to 30-year old Barbie that is actually a $80K/year Yuppie masquerading as a down/out artsy Barbie. Comes with a full black wardrobe from second hand stores and a local art collection.
SALEM, Ore. - A homeless man billed for $6 million in taxes by the Internal Revenue Service has been notified it was a mistake.
John Ramer, known as the "six million dollar man" by his buddies at the Union Gospel Mission in Salem, was told Friday that his $5,981,104.02 tax bill was an error and he owed nothing.
Despite wide publicity about the case, Ramer says his financial situation has not improved. He said a television reporter bought him lunch, and someone gave him a T-shirt that says, "I'm not really a bum, but I play one on TV."
I apologize if this post is less articulate than most. I am livid. I am shocked. I am disgusted.
Reporting their beliefs as the "gospel truth" the Westboro Baptist Church claims that God hates fags, and America. "The only lawful sexual connection is the marriage bed. All other sex activity is whoremongery and adultery, which will damn the soul forever in Hell."
I heard about them from my best friend who posted after they picketed her college. Under "Love Crusades" the picketing was listed with this text: WBC to picket fag-infested Webster Univ. Webster Groves, Mo., & all perverts producing the sodomite propaganda play, The Laramie Project -- Stage III, Webster Hall, 6:30 p.m. Sat. April 5
Let's clear something up - these people are not Christians. I don't wish to make any claims as for their after-life, but they do not follow the Bible, the Christians' holy book. I hate that these extremist, hateful, vindictive, Nazis make their claims in the name of God and Christianity. The Bible, and God according to the Bible do not support these beliefs and practices.
WBC has conducted more than 22,000 picketing demonstrations across America and some foreign countries during the past 12 years -- aimed at showing Americans their transgression (Isa. 58:1) and causing America to know her abominations. Ezek. 16:2.
Isaiah 58:1: "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins."
Ezekiel 16:2: "Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices." This verse is the beginning of a passage from the Lord to Ezekiel. God is telling Ezekiel to report the sins of a queen who is a prostitute and sacrifices her children to idols.
In an interview, pastor Fred Phelps said Bush is an "evil and the animus of that insane little monster...I mean you've got a creature walking around with the mentality of a gnat with his hands on all that party."
This guy has been a pastor for 55 years. How did that happen? He claims that God has sent Matthew Sheppard and Mr. Rogers to hell. Also in the April 2nd interview he claims "it's a sin to pray for this country [the U.S.]."
Their main site. This site has links to its other production, God hates America.
Two papers on top of my regular homework load, plus a busy social weekend have left me with no time for anything - not even sleeping. See you Thursday after the papers are turned in, or sooner if you're lucky.
The creator of so many of our favorite superheroes is supporting the anti-war movement through Captain America, the patriotic superhero whose comic-book exploits inspired the nation in World War II, Captain America now feels uncertain about the nation’s cause; in his latest adventures, The Sentinel of Liberty seems disillusioned, embittered, and surprisingly sympathetic to terrorists.
The Democrats may be in the middle of a swift and painful death.
with polls suggesting that as much as 80 percent of the public strongly backs military action in Iraq, some Democrats are increasingly worried that the anti-war sentiment will backfire against the party.
"If a minority of our party can create doubts among the American people about our ability and our willingness to defend the country and keep it safe, we will be in trouble as a party, period," said Al From, president of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council.
Two days before the bombing began, referring to the United Nations' failure to reach a second resolution for war, Daschle said he was "saddened that the president's failure of diplomacy forced us into war."
Is it truly a minority of the party? I'm not sure. Let's just remember which ones not to vote for - Daschel, Dennis Kucinich (a Republican!), Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and others.
Remember the names Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean - they're thinking of running for the presidency.
We should send PETA a prize of Grade A steaks for this one.
PETA is protesting the use of dolphins and sea lions to intercept terrorists and mines, chickens and pigeons to detect the presence of biological and chemicals weapons and dogs to detect weapons and rescue troops "is cruel and may cost lives rather than saving them."
The fools! What the hell? Like the peace protestors, PETA is just making an ass of itself. I say let them do it. It saves me the time of having to make fun of them.
Proof that those who hate Arabs because "they look like terrorists" are fools (in case you actually needed some).
Lynch, a 19-year-old Army supply clerk, was captured in an ambush when she and other members of the 507th Maintenance Company made a wrong turn in Nasiriyah. U.S. commandos rescued her Tuesday in a nighttime raid.
Asked why he decided to help, Mohammed said he simply couldn't watch the mistreatment of a fellow human being without taking action.
"A person is a human being regardless of nationality," he told the Post. "Believe me, I love Americans."
Mohammed, talked to the newspapers after he, his wife and daughter were taken to a U.S. military camp in the Iraqi desert. They were to be flown later to a refugee center in Umm Qasr, Iraq's deepwater Persian Gulf port. He withheld his last name to protect his family.
Mohammed told the newspapers he acted will full knowledge of the risks.
"I am afraid not for me," he said. "I am afraid about my daughter and my wife. ... Because I love much."
Marines said Mohammed's story gave them courage.
"He's sort of an inspiration to all of us," Lt. Col. Rick Long told the Post.
Lynch was flown Wednesday to a U.S. air base in Landstuhl, Germany, where she underwent back surgery at a military hospital. She was said also to have suffered fractures in both legs and a broken arm.
This is the whole article. It was so good, I couldn't choose excerpts.
The U.S. Congress is already taking steps to ensure that if Iraqi treatment of American prisoners of war has violated international law, those responsible will be punished.
If? There is no if. I think they are using if here as when they use "alleged" in court even when everyone knows the accused did it.
"Make no mistake, those who are responsible for this brutality will either be tried as war criminals or will face the wrath of our military force," said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., a member of the Armed Services Committee. "Either way, they will pay."
Salman Pak, a training camp on the Tigris River some 15 miles southeast of Iraq's capital...According to Iraqi defectors and U.S. intelligence analysts, this is where Hussein's agents polished the air-piracy skills of foreign Islamist terrorists.
documents and equipment were found in the rubble of an Ansar facility that had been built into a cliff near Sargat. The material was described as "a cookbook and kitchen" for chemical weapons.
The little black book:
Coalition forces also found a phone book containing numbers of alleged Islamic activists based in the United States and Europe as well as the number of a Kuwaiti cleric and a letter from Yemen's minister of religion.
B found it first, but the archives are in a fritz right now. Check "Ahem" posted today (April 2).
Only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the Americans and British, and that another third desired outright Iraqi victory over “les anglo-saxons”.
Eleven thousand Allied soldiers lie buried in well-tended peace at Etaples, on the Channel coast near Le Touquet, victims of the struggle by Anglo-Saxons to liberate the French from the German invaders during the First World War.
Last week the obelisk raised in their memory was defiled by red-painted insults such as “Rosbeefs go home”; “May Saddam prevail and spill your blood”; and, in a reference to the long-dead casualties beneath the manicured turf, “They are soiling our land”.
Bruce George, Labour chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, said: “Remembering what sacrifice these men made for the liberation of France, I cannot believe any mature, sane person would be so stupid as that.”
French politicians are joining British and Americans in condemning the acts of desecration. Some of those French politicians may be genuine, but let's not forget their past actions and the fact that they're not dictators and must be elected (and re-elected).
The U.S. military says coalition forces have destroyed the Baghdad division of Iraq's elite Republican Guard.
Mr. Rumsfeld also accused the Iraqi government of spreading rumors that U.S. and Iraqi officials have started cease-fire talks. He said the only thing the U.S.-led coalition will discuss with the Iraqi regime is Iraq's unconditional surrender.
"The only thing the U.S.-led coalition will discuss with the Iraqi regime is Iraq's unconditional surrender." I like Rumsfeld.
"We're bombing children! We're bombing homes! They'll have no hospitals!"
Hundreds upon hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles, fired from vertical launch tubes aboard some 30 U.S. and British guided-missile cruisers, frigates, destroyers and nuclear-attack submarines, screamed down on their Iraqi targets while sparing civilian homes, hospitals, stores, electrical and water supplies, and the other necessities of daily life.
The planning was as meticulous as the choreography. U.S. military target-ers, with allied support, painstakingly composed the symphony of shock and awe for months, carefully custom-calibrating the quantities and configurations of warheads for each of some 7,000 planned targets. They took pains to select sides of buildings whose collapse wouldn't harm neighboring civilians and to choose explosives that would destroy targets near Iraq's many archaeological sites while minimizing damage to the cultural treasures themselves. They even brought in specialists from National Geographic to advise them where to take extra care.
To the peaceniks: give me some decent reasons and some real evidence, as I have done for you, or shut up. Or, just keep making your position seem dumber and dumber. That's cool, too.
They used to anger me, and they still do when they're disrespectful and violent, but just expressing their idiotic opinions is actually pretty cool. They make their position seem as stupid as it is, and everyone with an ounce of sense can't help but notice that fact. I think with their degenerate arguments, such as the one about us murdering children and bombing homes, they're actually aiding the pro-war argument by making it blatantly obvious that they're a bunch of 0 celled turds.
Iraq had no hand in 9/11, we're fools for being there, let's bring the troops home.
InkedGirl found the pictures, and they're horribly disturbing. It's a mural of an Iraqi plane flying into one of the World Trade towers. "This is a real picture taken in the military headquarters of Nasiriya, Iraq. U.S. Marines searching Iraqi military headquarters found the mural painted on a wall Wednesday, March 26th."
Affirmative Action update: The alternate solution at work.
The One Florida initiative is designed to level the education playing field for all Floridians by providing rewarding school experiences to all students regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or zip code. Since 1999, we have pursued policies that empower and prepare all of our students while simultaneously targeting assistance to the most needy. The result has been that minority enrollment at our state universities has either risen or held steady under One Florida, including at our flagship universities. Our record of success clearly demonstrates that diversity can be attained through race-neutral means.
In stark contrast, the University of Michigan continues to use race as a determining factor for admissions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. As President Bush pointed out, the Michigan program "amounts to a quota system that unfairly rewards or penalizes prospective students solely on their race."
Today, each of Florida's eleven public universities has established Opportunity Alliances with high schools that have high minority populations, relatively high proportions of dropouts, and relatively low performance on standardized tests. Students in these schools are now being actively recruited while curriculum reform strengthens their high-school experience. In addition, my administration has doubled funding for need-based financial aid over the past four years to help ensure access and the ability to pay for college go hand-in-hand.
In addition, we have entered into a partnership with the College Board to expand AP course opportunities statewide for students in low performing schools, provide free SAT test prep classes for low-income students, and free PSAT or PLAN testing for all tenth graders.
Florida's plan is better in that it no longer accepts the lack of quality in the public schools that serve our underprivileged children; better because it encourages all students regardless of race or economic status to aspire to post-secondary education; and better because it looks forward to a day when racial classifications and separate standards are no longer deemed necessary by anyone.
The problem is that if we do nothing, many minorities are punished for growing up in poor neighborhoods and attending poorly funded schools. Affirmative Action is the simple solution, but it is a lame solution because while offering more opportunities to minorities it insults those minorities by suggesting they are too dumb to do it themselves, and breeds racism, or at the very least resentment, by disadvantaging whites and by supporting ideas some may have about innate racial inequalities. And here we have the alternate solution that I told was possible. Governor Jeb's solution in Florida is a great example of how we may truly provide equal opportuinity. They should try it at the University of Michigan, and they may very well have to. The two cases will be heard today. Let's see what happens.