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Israel storms Jericho prison
Today's Headlines
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Free at last, free at last.......
T.O. be free at last!

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Terrell Owens is free to play for any team willing to have him. The Philadelphia Eagles released the exiled Owens on Tuesday, ending a tumultuous, two-year relationship with the wide receiver. Owens was due a $5 million roster bonus on Wednesday, so the Eagles had to cut him or trade him before then to avoid paying him the money.

The move was a formality because Owens was kicked off the team in November following a series of incidents and infractions, including repeated criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb. The Eagles announced the cut in a one-sentence statement. Team officials said they would not comment.
Thank god the Redskins already picked up Randel El from the Steelers. Now if we only had a quaterback to throw to him..
Posted by: Steve || 03/14/2006 16:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [305 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He's going to Miami so he can bitch at Culpepper.
Posted by: 6 || 03/14/2006 18:33 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm sad we lost Brees - he's a player and a good person - a community asset. Take care of him, New Orleans
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 19:13 Comments || Top||

#3  The Cardinals would have have (true to form), but they just spent big money on a running back.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/14/2006 19:14 Comments || Top||


Afghanistan
Scientists Find Big Afghan Oil Resources
Posted by: SamL || 03/14/2006 20:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good news. Freedom and a thriving economy are possible. If, we can continue to remove the AL Q and Taliban scum. Afghanistan stands to show a wonderful improvement in quality of life with such a firm foundation of income and needed resources.

More hope, and some money to help build.
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 21:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Expecting barking moonbat outcry in 5, 4, 3,...
Posted by: DanNY || 03/14/2006 21:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Yep, I just heard someone shout "Aha! I knew it!" Seemd to come form the direction of the coast.
Posted by: DMFD || 03/14/2006 23:28 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Liberia seeks Taylor's extradition from Nigeria
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has written a letter to Nigeria requesting the extradition of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, an aide to Taylor says. Taylor, who is indicted by a United Nations-backed court in Sierra Leone for war crimes, has been living in Nigeria since 2003 when he was offered asylum as part of a deal to end 14 years of civil war in Liberia.

"It is a fact that she (Johnson-Sirleaf) requested the extradition of the former president," Sylvester Paasewe, an aide to Taylor in Nigeria's south-eastern city of Calabar, told Reuters. "I know that a letter has been transmitted here." It was unclear whether the letter requested Taylor be extradited to Liberia or to the tribunal in Sierra Leone. Mr Paasewe says the rules of Taylor's asylum in Nigeria precluded a trial for Taylor and accused the United States of being behind the extradition request.
Any reason why she can't let a sleeping dog lie? Or just kill him instead?
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [284 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, she has claimed otherwise, and I can't think of any good reason she would be asking for him now. I don't know what to make of Paasewe.
Posted by: James || 03/14/2006 14:06 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
South Korean PM Resigns in Golf Scandal
SEOUL, South Korea — President Roh Moo-hyun accepted the resignation of his prime minister Tuesday after the premier set off a scandal by playing golf during a national railway strike.

Lee Hae-chan came under pressure to leave after his golf outing on a March 1 national holiday that coincided with the start of the walkout. His departure was delayed while Roh was on a trip to Africa, but he offered to step down Tuesday when the president returned.

Roh accepted Lee's resignation after ruling party leaders urged him to defuse the scandal ahead of local elections in May.

It wasn't the first time Lee was caught with clubs in hand when critics said he should have been behind his desk.

He was golfing in April 2005 when a wildfire destroyed a 1,300-year-old Buddhist temple. And he was rounding the greens in July when heavy rains struck southern parts of the country.

Adding to Lee's woes this time were his golfing pals, who included a businessman with a criminal record for rigging stock prices.

The man, who runs a flour mill in the southern port city of Busan, was reportedly ordered the day after the game to pay $3.6 million in fines for fixing flour prices. Some opposition critics suggested the man tried to persuade Lee between holes to bail him out of the mess.

The game also involved $411 in bets, and one of Lee's fellow golfers covered the costs of the round _ a sizable expense in golf-crazy South Korea, which has astronomical greens fees and mandatory caddy charges in the hundreds of dollars.

The main opposition Grand National Party filed a complaint with prosecutors claiming Lee could have received requests for favors from the businessmen. After the resignation announcement Tuesday, the party said the investigation of what it has labeled "Golfgate" should continue.

Lee, who had been in the post since June 2004, repeatedly apologized for the incident before offering to resign.

The uproar came as the opposition sought to divert attention from a scandal of their own: a senior lawmaker's fondling a female reporter's breasts while drunk. Choi Yeon-hee, 61, has since resigned as secretary-general of the Grand National Party. There have been increasing calls for him to also give up his parliament seat.

Lee's departure as prime minister was expected to touch off jockeying for the job inside the ruling Uri Party, which is split internally and has a new head, former Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, who is eager to prove he can one day run the country.

The prime minister's post is a largely ceremonial job with little real power, which is concentrated in the president's office. The president himself has increasingly been viewed as a lame duck: Roh's popularity numbers fell to record lows after a failed attempt to form a grand coalition with the opposition and amid a stall in the country's economy.

Roh took office in 2003 and is constitutionally barred from running again. Last month he suggested that even the single five-year term for the country's presidents might be "a little too long."
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/14/2006 17:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:


Europe
Estonia -- Lennart Meri dies ... why you should care ...
EFL, and not on the Web yet (my girlfriend is close to the preparations to this first State funeral in the 2nd republic of Estonia (K. Päts got buried in Estonia after his trip to the gulag) ...

EFL ...

He has not endeared himself to everyone, however.
Anatol Lieven recounts how in 1992, when Meri was serving as ambassador to Finland, he crashed a meeting between Baltic leaders and then U.S. President George Bush.
"Addressing him as George, Meri informed [the American president] that his administration possessed neither a Russian nor a Baltic policy. In the words of one diplomat, 'before that Bush hardly remembered that the Balts existed. Now, thanks to Meri, he is furious with them.’"
Meri is also said to have an unsettling effect on Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Head-to-head talks on troop withdrawals between the two leaders in Moscow in 1994 were reportedly so lively that by the end of the marathon discussions shattered glass littered the floor beneath their negotiating table. (Meri refused to confirm the reports."I was too busy looking into Yeltsin's eyes to notice what was under the table," he said.)

RIP, Meri.
Posted by: Glomons Snairong5912 || 03/14/2006 01:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:


European press slams war crimes court over Milosevic
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under:

#1  In spite of all this, demands for Saddam to be tried by the very same court will recommence after a suitable "mourning" period for ol' Slobo.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/14/2006 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  The Iraqis will show you some justice in a little bit...

Take note Europe.
Posted by: Danking70 || 03/14/2006 0:21 Comments || Top||

#3  If they ever manage to haul Dubya into Den Haag, I fully expect the trial to take 45 minutes (with lunch), and the firing squad by sunset.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/14/2006 0:22 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Judge tosses DeLay case subpoenas
AUSTIN — A state appeals court today threw out more than 30 subpoenas requested by Travis County prosecutors building a criminal case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, saying the investigation should have stopped in December when a district judge halted proceedings in his court.

District Attorney Ronnie Earle has been issuing the subpoenas ever since Senior District Judge Pat Priest dismissed all or part of three indictments against DeLay, R-Sugar Land. Earle appealed Priest's ruling, and the judge stayed the case pending a ruling by the Third Court of Appeals. Most of the subpoenas involved political fund-raising controversies that have involved DeLay, some dating back to 1996.
Desperately seeking anything that faintly resembles a crime

After Earle subpoenaed records from DeLay's wife, Christine, DeLay's legal team asked Priest to quash the subpoenas. Priest told DeLay lawyer Dick DeGuerin that the case was stayed while on appeal, so he would neither halt Earle from issuing subpoenas nor would he enforce them. DeGuerin then asked the appeals court to intervene. "Because the state has obtained a stay in the proceedings ... we hold that subpoenas may not issue compelling witnesses to testify and produce documents at the stayed proceedings," the order by a three-judge panel said.

The panel, which is scheduled to hear Earle's appeal on March 22, said Earle may not issue any more subpoenas while the stay is in effect; ruled all the ones issued after the stay are "null and void;" and any subpoenas issued before the stay are suspended while the appeal is pending. The unsigned order was issued by Judges Bea A. Smith, David Puryear and Alan Waldrop. Smith is a Democrat. Puryear and Waldrop are Republicans who are up for re-election this year.

DeGuerin was not immediately available for comment, but his law partner Matt Hennessy called it a victory in stopping Earle from running a "political" investigation. "Congressman DeLay doesn't have anything to fear from whatever evidence might have been produced," Hennessy said. "The point here is Ronnie Earle is abusing his office ... to have a court declare that Ronnie Earle was abusing his office, and that is in effect what the Third Court said."

Earle's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Posted by: Steve || 03/14/2006 15:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can some lawyer explain to me if this is SOP? I thought that once you filed charges, the prosecuter had all the "evidence" needed to get a conviction. If this is SOP you could indict anyone and dig until you gound something.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/14/2006 17:32 Comments || Top||

#2  I think the prosecutor only needs to get enough evidence for an indictment. Once discovery begins, though, they can keep asking for as much as they want.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 18:56 Comments || Top||

#3  I read about this today and it seems that since the CONSPIRACY charge was thrown out and the case was on hold on appeal, Earle kept on issuing subpeonas when it is comsidered improper to do so and is almost Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas.
Posted by: Brett || 03/14/2006 19:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Sounds like the mess is getting fuzzier.

Then again this is Texas. Anyone remember when the Texas state rep Democracs when into hiding over the board, 1998?
Posted by: Icerigger || 03/14/2006 19:31 Comments || Top||


Feingold Online to "Listen"
Potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Russ Feingold has become the first in the crowd of candidates to host a national town hall meeting via the Internet.

Through his Web site, Feingold yesterday promoted his independent progressive ideas, taking them to several states during a Web chat with those who signed up on his site.

Not only was it his first try at a national town hall on the Internet; it is also believed to be the first by a national leader this cycle. A review of the chat found Feingold expressive on several serious issues and funny on others, as when one questioner jokingly asked if the National Security Agency was peeping.

Wrote Feingold, "I'd like to say howdy to all my buddies at the NSA. Quite seriously, I admire and support the work they do to stop terrorism. It's not their fault that the president ordered an illegal version of their otherwise legal and appropriate activities."
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/14/2006 14:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [313 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I just finished watching his spew about censure. He is SO FULL OF HIMSELF it isn't funny. What unnerves me is that he sounds rational while spewing LLL Moonbat rants and claims to only wanting to bring the President "back to the law." I hope Hillary picks him as a running mate. BTW is he up for election? Are cheesheads that loony?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/14/2006 15:42 Comments || Top||

#2  If the NSA is listening in, chances are, they'll be among the few...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/14/2006 15:48 Comments || Top||


Judge tosses DeLay case subpoenas
A state appeals court today threw out more than 30 subpoenas requested by Travis County prosecutors building a criminal case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, saying the investigation should have stopped in December when a district judge halted proceedings in his court.

District Attorney Ronnie Earle has been issuing the subpoenas ever since Senior District Judge Pat Priest dismissed all or part of three indictments against DeLay, R-Sugar Land. Earle appealed Priest's ruling, and the judge stayed the case pending a ruling by the Third Court of Appeals.

Most of the subpoenas involved political fund-raising controversies that have involved DeLay, some dating back to 1996.

After Earle subpoenaed records from DeLay's wife, Christine, DeLay's legal team asked Priest to quash the subpoenas. Priest told DeLay lawyer Dick DeGuerin that the case was stayed while on appeal, so he would neither halt Earle from issuing subpoenas nor would he enforce them.

DeGuerin then asked the appeals court to intervene.

"Because the state has obtained a stay in the proceedings ... we hold that subpoenas may not issue compelling witnesses to testify and produce documents at the stayed proceedings," the order by a three-judge panel said.

The panel, which is scheduled to hear Earle's appeal on March 22, said Earle may not issue any more subpoenas while the stay is in effect; ruled all the ones issued after the stay are "null and void;" and any subpoenas issued before the stay are suspended while the appeal is pending.

The unsigned order was issued by Judges Bea A. Smith, David Puryear and Alan Waldrop. Smith is a Democrat. Puryear and Waldrop are Republicans who are up for re-election this year.

DeGuerin was not immediately available for comment, but his law partner Matt Hennessy called it a victory in stopping Earle from running a "political" investigation.

"Congressman DeLay doesn't have anything to fear from whatever evidence might have been produced," Hennessy said. "The point here is Ronnie Earle is abusing his office ... to have a court declare that Ronnie Earle was abusing his office, and that is in effect what the Third Court said."

Earle's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

DeLay originally was indicted last year on charges of conspiring to violate the state's election code in connection with how a political committee he founded raised and spent corporate money.

A second pair of indictments was issued the following week restating the election code conspiracy charge and added charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. DeLay has denied all the charges and accused Earle of conducting an investigation just to knock DeLay out of the U.S. House majority leader's position.

Judge Priest in December dismissed all the charges involving conspiracy to violate the election code. Priest said that was not against the law until 2003, a year after the alleged misconduct by the DeLay-related committee, Texans for a Republican Majority.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/14/2006 07:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [300 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ronnie Earle is legally, insane, lol.
Posted by: Hupeting Slineng3538 || 03/14/2006 8:43 Comments || Top||

#2  out of control prosecutors should lose any legal protection from suit - Delay should take him for everything he and Travis County has
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 9:53 Comments || Top||

#3  Gee, why haven't I seen this on MSM sites?

Oh ya...
Posted by: mmurray821 || 03/14/2006 10:44 Comments || Top||

#4  So when this is over, will DeLay resume his seat in the Senate? If he needs to run again, is it likely he'll win? This could make for very interesting times in his corner of Texas, and in Washington in the near future. :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/14/2006 13:51 Comments || Top||

#5  TW - Delay's a congressman, not a senator.

Also, he still has his seat - he was in DC to vote for renewing the Patriot Act, IIRC.

He just won his primary in Texas by a whopping margin. Makes you think maybe his constituents know a bullshit political witch-hunt when they see it. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/14/2006 14:35 Comments || Top||

#6  be interesting how much this has cost Travis County when all is said an ddone...
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 14:59 Comments || Top||

#7  And Earle will be re-elected.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/14/2006 15:04 Comments || Top||

#8  Fishing expedition cut short, looks like.
Posted by: mojo || 03/14/2006 16:40 Comments || Top||


Sandra Day O'verreaction: US Heading Towards Dictatorship
Supreme Court justices keep many opinions private but Sandra Day O’Connor no longer faces that obligation. Oh joy, here it comes...Yesterday, the retired justice criticized Republicans who criticized the courts. She said they challenge the independence of judges and the freedoms of all Americans. "And they hurt my wittle feewings, too!" O’Connor’s speech at Georgetown University was not available for broadcast but NPR’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg was there.

Nina Totenberg: In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, translation: What she said! O’Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms. O’Connor began by conceding that courts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, as she put it “really, really angry.” But, she continued, if we don’t make them mad some of the time we probably aren’t doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, she said, is premised on the notion that we won’t be subject to answer for really stupid decisions like Kelo retaliation for our judicial acts. The nation’s founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, said O’Connor, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don’t protect judicial independence, people do.

And then she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said O’Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress’ onetime only statute about Schiavo as it was written. Not, said O’Connor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O’Connor, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts. How dare a citizen criticize the Supreme Court!

It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn’t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn’t name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement, after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge’s home. O’Connor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms, recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges, stripping the courts of jurisdiction and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decisions that political leaders disagree with. Thereby demonstrating the sparkling intelligence she has displayed so often over the last few years...

I, said O’Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O’Connor said we must be ever-vigilant against those who would strongarm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings. Remember, if it can happen in Zaire, it can happen here!
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/14/2006 01:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [541 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So unless we accept unlimited rule by the judiciary, we're headed for a dictatorship?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 7:57 Comments || Top||

#2  "I, said O’Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning."

And we, the majority of Americans, are against judicial activism drive by nakedly partisan reasoning. Go figure, huh? Good God, what a blindly self-absorbed asshole. Leaving the court, in light of this Moonbat outburst, is probably the most honorable thing she has ever done.

Only one "honorable" thing left for her to do - commit Seppuku trash her holiness' critics and collect speaking fees for it.

E'ffing parasite.
Posted by: Hupeting Slineng3538 || 03/14/2006 8:09 Comments || Top||

#3  O'Connor was just "window dressing" when she was appointed, now she will fade into obscurity. Not that there aren't qualified female judges out there. If she is soooo concerned about the judicial system, why is she bugging out at the time of it's crisis?
Typical liberal asshole, bitch and whine, but don't be part of the solution.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 03/14/2006 8:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Hey! Lighten up Sandy baby!!!
Posted by: John Riggins || 03/14/2006 8:39 Comments || Top||

#5  driven by nakedly partisan reasoning

An interesting turn of phrase, since it exactly describes Nina Totenberg's "reporting" on the Alito nomination.
Posted by: Matt || 03/14/2006 8:42 Comments || Top||

#6  After some of my dealings with the federal judiciary in relatively simple civil matters, it is not hard to understand that threats against judges are increasing. The courts are doing a lousy job of adjudicating cases on a timely basis. I'm not complaining about the decisions, but the lack thereof and the time it takes to finally get what appears to be one until it is appealed. Cases probably always have taken longer than litigants would like, but now it seems to have become a racket by attorneys and thier judicial enablers to soak clients. I would imagine defendants become even more surly in criminal cases.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/14/2006 8:53 Comments || Top||

#7  Reading about O'Connors recent Georgetown speech only reminded me of the old Larry Kingston, Ed Nix song that Roy Clark made poplular:

"Oh, thank God and Greyhound you're gone
That load on my mind got lighter when you got on
That shiny old bus is a beautiful sight
With the black smoke a rolling up around the tail lights It may sound kinda cruel but I've been silent too long Thank God and Greyhound you're gone. Thank God and Greyhound you're gone..."





Posted by: Visitor || 03/14/2006 9:16 Comments || Top||

#8  Yesterday, the retired justice criticized Republicans who criticized the courts. She said they challenge the independence of judges and the freedoms of all Americans.

Oh, where should I start. First of all, there is no, and can never be a, "Independent Judiciary"[tm] in a republic. We had something close to that with George the III, but decided to do away with independent non-accountable govenment over two hundred years ago. And how in the hell can you have 'checks and balances' if one branch is independent?

Second, Jefferson wrote in that declaration that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed". That is why elected representatives of the people criticize the courts, who may we point out are yet to be held directly accountable by the people.

Third, it has been the court through fiat that has threatened the very foundation of the republic. Laws must have the consent of the governed. They can not be forced upon them without displaying an absolute contempt for the traditional definition of democracy. The powers which the federal judiciary has assumed upon itself since the 60s is something way beyond anything imagined by the founding fathers.

Fourth, before the NEA fealt it necessary to destroy the modern school system, many of us achieved the ability to actually read the Constitution. It was written in contemporary English. How in the hell do you come up with some of your decision when even we can not find justification for your fiats in that document? Either we're equal before the law or we're not. There is no 'gray' area other than through some declaration of authority and power that is not found in said document. And you say others are a threat to freedoms?

Let us indeed preempt the possibility of degenerating the representative republic and its freedoms into a dictatorship. First lets celebrate the 100th anniversary of the direct election of Senators, the XVII Amendment to the Constitution, by making the SCOTUS also a position subject to the direct consent of the governed by Constitutional amendment.
Posted by: Slomorong Shorong4171 || 03/14/2006 9:16 Comments || Top||

#9  Ehh, she'll change her mind tomorrow.
Posted by: BH || 03/14/2006 9:20 Comments || Top||

#10  Linky?
Posted by: RD || 03/14/2006 9:28 Comments || Top||

#11  If she's partisan it makes me wonder why she didn't step down while Clinton was in charge, or hang on a bit longer if she's in decent health. Unless she was sure the Democrats would win in 2000 and 2004 and now she's pretty sure they won't win in 2008 and can't hang on until 2012.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 03/14/2006 9:58 Comments || Top||

#12  The donks inflated ole Sandy's head with donkey gas. Besides, she is "woman" hear her roar.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/14/2006 10:37 Comments || Top||

#13 
Redacted by moderator. Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity. Please correct the condition that applies and try again. Contents may be viewed in the
sinktrap. Further violations may result in
banning.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 03/14/2006 10:50 Comments || Top||

#14  It is the duty of congress to re-arrange the courts so that they function. Right now, this would mean creating far more courts, perhaps whole layers of courts, that currently do not exist; and that is just the short-term solution.

From that point on, they need to set strict limitations on the appealate process, which today is far too open to abuse and leads to cherry-picking which denies justice to deserving cases.

And not just tort reform, but criminal legal reform as well.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/14/2006 11:09 Comments || Top||

#15  correction: former justice
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 11:45 Comments || Top||

#16  The Justices comments certainly do cause you to scratch your head a little. If the court(Judicial Branch) is so mighty and infallible why do we need a Supreme Court?
Posted by: TomAnon || 03/14/2006 12:05 Comments || Top||

#17  Correction: farmer justice
Posted by: 6 || 03/14/2006 12:07 Comments || Top||

#18  LOL, 6!
Posted by: Chetle Omath7541 || 03/14/2006 12:15 Comments || Top||

#19  Maybe former justice S.D. O'Connor is particulary annoyed at right wing conservative
activist groups attempts to force its agenda on the Courts by pressuring the Republican controlled Congress & President Bush to nominate only judges rubberstamped and appproved by them for appointment, with the expectations that they will vote in accordance to their whims on pertinent issues such as abortion.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 12:48 Comments || Top||

#20  Maybe former justice S.D. O'Connor is particulary annoyed at right wing conservative
activist groups attempts to force its agenda on the Courts by pressuring the Republican controlled Congress & President Bush to nominate only judges rubberstamped and appproved by them for appointment, with the expectations that they will vote in accordance to their whims on pertinent issues such as abortion.


Isn't that what we've been saying? She's annoyed about those things called "elections". I mean, how dare the common man have a say in the governance of his home!

It's not that SDO'C doesn't want a dictatorship -- just that she wants it to be wearing black robes and ruling according to her own preferences.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 12:56 Comments || Top||

#21  and she has a point. I mean, the rightwingers are so closed minded they want to limit SCOTUS rulings to the Constitution, ignoring the great insights of international law as evolved by e.g. the UN Human Rights committee.
Posted by: lotp || 03/14/2006 12:57 Comments || Top||

#22  jc said rubberstamped! LOL

surely a rubber drip in his/her own rite from the same tap.
Posted by: RD || 03/14/2006 12:58 Comments || Top||

#23  No, she saying that the right wingers want to take away the choice of a judge to rule on legal matters "independent" of partisan concerns.

Maybe it annoys her that these right wing conservative groups keep pressuring the republican congress & president bush to load the courts with conservative activist judges who have a agenda and are beholding to them for their appointments.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 13:28 Comments || Top||

#24  Unlike, say, the left wing whose agenda has been pretty active for decades?

See JC, the problem is that some of us are old enough to have some perspective on things. We even remember BEFORE the left used the courts to force public policy that the voters rejected again and again.

Hell, some of us used to BE on the left. And left, so to speak, because of this judicial actism.
Posted by: lotp || 03/14/2006 13:32 Comments || Top||

#25  If O'Connor is so concerned about erosion of the judiciary's role, why did she step down and surrender her seat in the court to a replacement who would be appointed by a president she regards as driving this trend? Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Posted by: Zenster || 03/14/2006 13:35 Comments || Top||

#26  So she could escape the bonds of justicehood and speak truth to power.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/14/2006 13:38 Comments || Top||

#27  ltop:

I dont deny that, it works both ways for left and right. I was just commenting on what's bugging O'Connor in the article.

Youre saying you left the democratic party in part because of judicial activism.

So what do you call it when the right does it and why doesnt it bother you then?
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 13:41 Comments || Top||

#28  ltop = let's troll other places. Try it.
Posted by: Ed Grey || 03/14/2006 13:44 Comments || Top||

#29  "So what do you call it when the right does it and why doesnt it bother you then?"

Son, you don't seem to understand what judicial activism is - you've confused it with the mandate given the party in power to choose appointments to the courts. It's in that Constitution thing.

Get your terms and mental processes squared away and make another stab at your inane little game. It's simply fascinating to watch your little gears grind away.
Posted by: Chetle Omath7541 || 03/14/2006 13:47 Comments || Top||

#30  JC: I dont deny that, it works both ways for left and right. I was just commenting on what's bugging O'Connor in the article. Youre saying you left the democratic party in part because of judicial activism. So what do you call it when the right does it and why doesnt it bother you then?

The right hasn't been involved in judicial activism. It is merely trying to reverse six decades of liberal judicial activism. Liberals think that any attempt to reverse liberal judicial activism represents conservative judicial activism. Wrong. It merely represents a return to the status quo ante, before judges took on issues that are no concern of the courts.
Posted by: Slung Hupinemble5748 || 03/14/2006 13:47 Comments || Top||

#31  You guys on the right are too damn funny..

What you are talking about is changing laws on the books to fit your agenda..

That IS judicial activism whether by the right or left. Not only that youre moving the goal post on what IS the status quo..lmao
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 14:11 Comments || Top||

#32  C.O.;

Evidently you have a problem with reading comprehension.

I'm not confused about anything YOU are.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 14:14 Comments || Top||

#33  "What you are talking about is changing laws on the books to fit your agenda..

That IS judicial activism whether by the right or left. Not only that youre moving the goal post on what IS the status quo..lmao"

You still don't get it. Any of it.

Either you're Denser than diamond, common as coal. or you're a inarticulate troll.

Whack another IP, mods. Maybe it's on its last one.
Posted by: Chetle Omath7541 || 03/14/2006 14:20 Comments || Top||

#34  o.k. why dont you explain it to me so that my
dense mind will understand.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 14:23 Comments || Top||

#35  An activist is a militant reformer, Just Curious, and a conservative is one who favors traditional views and values, tending to oppose change. So "conservative activist" is an oxymoron -- as opposed to your type of moron.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/14/2006 14:24 Comments || Top||

#36  Darrell:

I guess "traditional" means:

Segregation of the races in public places

No civil rights laws against discrimination

No womens rights

No legal abortions

No rights for gays..

yes, lets return to the 1950's when everyone
knew their place.

Conservative judicial activism will accomplish that right or wrong?
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 14:33 Comments || Top||

#37  Those examples, except for possibly abortion, are not examples of Judicial Activism but of the Courts making decisions based on Constitutional Law. The judges involved didn't take it upon themselves to read things into the constitution that are not there. The recent Kelo decision is, in my opinion, an example of Judicial Activism in that it seems clear to me the Constitution does not give Municipalities the right to seize private property and give it to another private entity soley for the purpose of generating tax revenue. To her credit, Justice O'conner disagreed with this decision but she is definately, to my mind, way out on a limb if she really believes the Judiciary is completely independant of the people and should not answer to them. That's what this whole thread should be discussing. I also believe there is no Constitutional guarentee to abortion. I believe it is morally wrong but none of the Government's busines what a woman does with her own body.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/14/2006 14:47 Comments || Top||

#38  Cherry-picking "traditional" or anything else in an attempt to prove a point is counterproductive, Just Curious.

The 1950s? Let's return to the Constitution instead of the 1950s. I do believe THAT is the job of the Supreme Court. We have a Bill of Rights, let's use it. We can add new rights if the people choose, but let's have the people choose rather than leftist judicial activists choose. Once the people choose, let's be conservative about their choice until the people decide to choose otherwise.

A court full of leftist judicial activists is little more than dictatorship by committee.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/14/2006 15:12 Comments || Top||

#39  JC, the US Constitution has mandated equal protection under the law since 1868. Unfortunately, the Democrats -- using terrorism committed by the KKK -- imposed and maintained a set of laws mandating racial segregation.

Decisions striking down segregation weren't activism, but rather based on the law of the land. You want an example of judicial activism, look to the courts that uphold race-based preferences under the mealy-mouthed name "Affirmative Action" -- they're clearly in violation of the Constitution, yet judges somehow ignore the 14th Amendment to keep them around.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 15:19 Comments || Top||

#40  Darrell:

I'm not cherry picking. Those are ALL examples of what right wing conservatives call "liberal
judicial activism".

You really need to go back and read how right wing "conservative activst" judges have use the courts to throttle the things I mentioned above and implement their agenda on those and other issues.

btw: here is a recent quote for you from Talk Nation.

"We hear conservatives say that judges should not try to "legislate from the bench" the way
liberal jursist supposedly do. But a recent study
by Gerwitz and Golder of Yale University reveals that conservative justices such as Thomas and Scalia, have a far higher rate of invalidating or reinterpreting Congressional laws than justices more liberal like Byers and Ginsburg.
By this measure, too, the conservatives are more activist.

In sum, the right wing agrrandizers in black robes are neither strict constructionist nor balanced adjudicators. They are unrestrained power hustlers masqerading as as sober defenders of lawful procedure and constitutional intent."

I totally concur: enough said.
Posted by: Just Curious || 03/14/2006 15:36 Comments || Top||

#41  "Thomas and Scalia, have a far higher rate of invalidating or reinterpreting Congressional laws than justices more liberal like Byers and Ginsburg"

Probably some truth there, I mean all they have to do is stay awake and they will have done more than Ginsburg.
Posted by: TomAnon || 03/14/2006 16:00 Comments || Top||

#42  Invalidating a law that violates the Constitution isn't judicial activism. At least, it hasn't been since the early 1800's.

Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 16:29 Comments || Top||

#43  Darrell:

I guess "traditional" means:

Segregation of the races in public places

No civil rights laws against discrimination

No womens rights

No legal abortions

No rights for gays..

yes, lets return to the 1950's when everyone
knew their place.

Conservative judicial activism will accomplish that right or wrong?


JC, you're just as simplistic and stereotyping as any poster you accuse of the same failings. Amusing indeed.
Posted by: Gleper Jaque6309 || 03/14/2006 17:26 Comments || Top||

#44  Just curious: If you're sincere (and not simply trolling), then you wouldn't mind telling us all (as a mere example) exactly WHERE in the US Constitution the (alleged) right to a Federal law protecting abortion exists? My reading of the Constitution finds the term "abortion" nowhere in the text--thus making abortion a states-rights issue rather than a *Federal* one.

(And please stick to the Constitution--its the only document that can be used to defend the FEDERAL right to abortion.)
Posted by: Crusader || 03/14/2006 17:51 Comments || Top||

#45  DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!!!!!!!!!!

It only encourages them and makes them think they actually have something worthwhile to say.

Besides, the stink from the BS is getting unbearable.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 03/14/2006 18:03 Comments || Top||

#46  I'm sure that Ruth Gator Bizzberg misses her female sleepover (while hearing testimony) partner.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/14/2006 18:44 Comments || Top||

#47  "America is a Socialist nation moving towards Communism and OWG, and [God help us all], the Amer Lefties and Commies don't know how to stop it". Guess Clintonian Amerika and its LeftSocialist and Commie mainstream will have to help Mother Cindy to purge American Communist Socialism's unruly arrogant dishonest warmongering Male Brute Fascist fraction-minority, and call in the Motherly Commie Airborne Army Group = OWG US-based UNO Peacekeeping Force to save "occupied" Amerika from itself, again.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/14/2006 22:02 Comments || Top||

#48  Looks like JM nails it again. :)
Posted by: Inspector Clueso || 03/14/2006 23:11 Comments || Top||

#49  Sooo... it is a threat to democracy for certain people to criticize a government body.

In other words, "Free speech for me, but not for thee." and "You can say whatever you want as long as it is the party line."

Fuck off O'Connor. Asshats like you move this country towards dictatorships since you don't want people who disagree with you to be able to voice their opinions. I'll say what I want, when I want, however I want and you can kiss my ass. You try to keep me, or anyone else from that right (including people I disagree with) and I will shoot your ass dead.
Fuck you, fuck the horse you rode in on and thank the gods you aren't on the court anymore.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 03/14/2006 10:50 Comments || Top||


Clooney uses F-word to thrash Democrats
Actor and recent Oscar winner George Clooney � who says he's proud of being a liberal � used the F-word in a column today to blast Democrats who were reticent to criticize President Bush and question his reasons for invading Iraq in the early days of the operation.

Writing on The Huffington Post, Clooney declared: "I am a liberal. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I'm proud of it. Too many people run away from the label. They whisper it like you'd whisper 'I'm a Nazi.' Like it's dirty word."

Taking aim at leading Democrats, Clooney writes, "The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9-11? We knew it was bulls---. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, 'We were misled.' It makes me want to shout, 'F--- you'; you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."

The actor says Americans need to united and find things on which to agree.

"One of the things we absolutely need to agree on is the idea that we're all allowed to question authority," Clooney wrote. "We have to agree that it's not unpatriotic to hold our leaders accountable and to speak out."

There have been hundreds of posts in reply to Clooney, most of them supportive.

"Being liberal only means your beliefs are based in reality, not fantasy," wrote seattlepatriot. "Oh, by the way, the best thing about being liberal is the fact you can argue any point, and you never have to lie."

Shockjock opined: "I love you, man. Thanks for having the stones � and I wish this post gets spread throughout the MSM because your voice has clout, even with those who disagree. And the thing is, the conservatives and Republicans are ON THE ROPES. They have put themselves there and WE MUST finish them off. We have to find some Dems with the stones and we must finish them off."

A poster called EZ challenged Clooney: "So, what are you doing to bring the troops home? It is not enough to simply say, 'I am a liberal.' You need to act."

March 5, Clooney won the Academy Award for best actor in a supporting role for his work in "Syriana."
Posted by: tipper || 03/14/2006 01:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [433 views] Top|| File under:

#1  George Effin' Clooney. Whatta shame. I actually liked Ocean's Twelve.
Posted by: Rafael || 03/14/2006 1:59 Comments || Top||

#2  What I take from this is that George Clooney is unafraid to be called unpatriotic.
Posted by: eLarson || 03/14/2006 9:05 Comments || Top||

#3  I think Clooney is pointing out the obvious fact that most democrats are so moral-relativistic and pragmatic that they don't stand for anything. Nobody is ever going to vote for a blob for whom "everything is negotiable" and "every argument is reasonable".

From his point of view, those democrats who are just so utterly spineless are like fat that needs to be liposuctioned. He may be right in that.

Since Howard Dean has taken the democrat party into a purely defense mode for the off-year races, all are focusing on the next presidential race.

On one side you have Hillary, the queen of the fat. She has not one single issue she will stand up for and be criticized. She stands for nothing but Hillary.

On the other side is anybody and everybody who will at some point refuse to budge on *something*. Call them the "100 issues" candidates, that is, 100 candidates with one issue each, none overlapping, except an aversion to Hillary.

So, for the next two elections, at least, it will be up to the republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, by making some terrible blunder such as nominating an unpopular candidate solely because he has seniority.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/14/2006 9:24 Comments || Top||

#4  what is most interesting here is the admission that liberals are no longer popular.

If you tune into discussions where dems are talking with other dems about how to mobilize and get the word out, this is becoming a common theme: How to deal with the fact that liberal is now a dirty word.
Posted by: 2b || 03/14/2006 15:48 Comments || Top||

#5  So, for the next two elections, at least, it will be up to the republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

I predict that the Repubs will do their best to achieve this by taking this opportunity to push too far to the right - making the mistake that the dems are doing saying, we need to be "more conservative", and move further to the far right. The right's ultra conservative party base will be emboldened by the dems weakness and will demand from the primary candidates a candidate so far to the right that he/she won't be acceptable to the general public in the general election.
Posted by: 2b || 03/14/2006 15:52 Comments || Top||

#6  The actor says Americans need to united and find things on which to agree.

Okay. How about "George Clooney has a very, very, very high opinion of himself"?
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/14/2006 15:53 Comments || Top||

#7  Not to pull punches but I kind of have to wonder if he is as big of a drunk as his aunt was. I kind of doubt it. He may be naturally thick.
Posted by: Icerigger || 03/14/2006 19:41 Comments || Top||

#8 
If you tune into discussions where dems are talking with other dems about how to mobilize and get the word out, this is becoming a common theme: How to deal with the fact that liberal is now a dirty word.


No doubt the most popular solution involves calling themselves "progressives".
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 19:44 Comments || Top||

#9  "Being liberal only means your beliefs are based in reality, not fantasy," wrote seattlepatriot. "Oh, by the way, the best thing about being liberal is the fact you can argue any point, and you never have to lie."

Nah. More likely it's that sense of childlike wonder at being confronted every day with a brand-new world full of new exciting things to discover-- because you're too fucking stupid to remember that you discovered them yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that...

You know, the Democratic Party better do something about idiots like this guy, AND FAST. If it doesn't, it's going to go the way of the dodo in less than a decade.

Posted by: Dave D. || 03/14/2006 19:47 Comments || Top||

#10  Well, George, let's see how good you are at questioning Islamist authority. Hmmmmmm? Like the idea of four chicks. Hmmmmm?
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 20:09 Comments || Top||

#11  Whatta shame. I actually liked Ocean's Twelve

You have more serious problems than George's politics You need to start seeing better movies.
Posted by: Formerly Dan || 03/14/2006 23:19 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Pakistani society looks other way as gay men party
Homosexuality 'thriving' despite strict criminal code
Marriage and cultural factors offer camouflage

A ban on kite-flying failed to dampen the spirits of party-goers in Lahore at the weekend, where hundreds of parties took place to celebrate the age-old Basant festival. But one gathering stood out.

Under a starry sky filled with fireworks, about 150 gay men clambered to the roof of an apartment building for an exuberant party. Bollywood music spilled into the streets as dress-wearing men twisted and whirled flamboyantly.

Some older men with moustaches and wearing traditional shalwar kameez stared silently from the sidelines. But most of the party-goers were in their 20s, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, and looking for a good time. "We just want to have fun," said one of the organisers, known as the "hot boyz".

Homosexuality is taboo in Pakistani society, where sexual orientation is rarely discussed and the gay rights debate is non-existent. Sodomy is punishable by up to life in jail, and religious leaders condemn gay men as an aberration of western corruption.

When President Pervez Musharraf boasted of empowering minorities, during a press conference with George Bush in Islamabad 10 days ago, he was unlikely to have been referring to gay emancipation. Yet many homosexuals say their community is quietly thriving, often with the tacit acceptance of a society which prefers to look the other way. Assaults on gay men are rare; sodomy laws are seldom invoked.

Communities of Hijra - a transsexual group, with roots which stretch back to the Mughal empire - are found in all major cities. "In a bizarre way homosexuality is condemned but not opposed," said a gay man from Karachi. "There is an indulgence here, a cultural ability to live and let live."

Such matters gain little political capital. When Urdu-language newspapers accused a former chief minister of Sindh province of being a cross-dresser two years ago, the storm quickly blew over and the politician kept his job.

The apparent open-mindedness is at odds with Pakistan's austere and socially conservative image abroad. Last year Punjabi authorities briefly banned female participants in marathon races, while sex outside marriage between men and women is punishable by death.

Cultural factors offer one explanation - gay men can easily camouflage their relationships because public displays of affection between men, such as holding hands, are widely accepted. "Western gays are gobsmacked about how easy it is to pick up guys here, how often they are approached," one gay man said.

Nevertheless, homosexuality, like anything related to sex, is practised with great discretion. Internet chat rooms provide a safe and anonymous forum for middle- and upper-class gay men. Cohabiting couples are rare, and most gay men still marry to avoid scandalising their families.

An Afghan refugee sparked controversy in the Khyber tribal agency last September when he was "married" to a 16-year-old boy. A tribal council ordered the pair to leave, or be stoned for breaking religious and tribal values.

And many Pakistanis ignore their existence, seeing homosexuality as an abhorrent, western practice. "It is not allowed in Islam and is surely against the laws of nature; it is one of the signs of the end of the world," a contributor to a BBC Online debate recently wrote.

Unlike vocal gay rights activists in western countries, many Pakistani gay men feel that the lack of debate suits them. "If we were being actively persecuted, then we might fight in public," said a gay man in Islamabad. "But you don't want to pick a fight you can't win."
Posted by: john || 03/14/2006 12:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  just a little Midterm "blowing off steam" at Madrassah U. It's OK, the holy men are there to keep an eye on the cutest boys
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 15:46 Comments || Top||

#2  Actually, a "marriage of convenience" could work very well in this society, gay-wise. The gay man can marry, say, two lesbian couples and everyone's covered (as it were).

He gets the cover of an impressive marriage and the ability to stroll the streets, hand in hand, with his his partner.

And the girls, unable to leave the home without him, are quite happy, hidden, pretending "regular house".
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 19:25 Comments || Top||


'The nazim is strong-arming us out of our land'
Peshawar District Nazim Haji Ghulam Ali put pressure on the local police in order to deprive us of our ancestral lands, Wahid Gul, a resident of Hashtnagri, said on Monday. Addressing a press conference, he alleged that the district nazim had, on a number of occasions, sent proclaimed offenders to force his family members to handover a two-kanal piece of land. He said that the nazim wanted the plot to be handed over to his son in law, who owns a hotel in the vicinity.

Wahid alleged that the Nazim had prepared forged documents of the plot, whereas they possessed the original documents, and appealed to the NWFP chief minister to intervene. He said that the plot belonged to thirteen members of his family and that it was the only asset his family had. He said that Hashtnagri police had raided their house several times in the last week without any court orders, and tried to oust them from the plot. "We raised a commotion, and the residents of the area, who knew the property belonged to us, saved us from the police," he claimed.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:


70-90 percent of Pakistani women suffer domestic violence
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [402 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So, where are the Western feminists on this?
... (crickets) ...
Posted by: DMFD || 03/14/2006 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  I guess the rest of the Pakistani women don't suffer from it, they enjoy their freedom to be treated worse than property under Islamic law.

We must realize that this is "part of their culture" (tm) and must be respected.....
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/14/2006 0:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Only 70-90%?
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/14/2006 8:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Only 70-90%?

Those are the ones that talk about it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 8:38 Comments || Top||

#5  DMFD-right here. I am a feminist, and I denounce what the Pakistanis are doing to their women. I wish I could click my feminist heels together to make Pakistani men stop, but unfortunately, all I can do is fight with words and ideas against the misogyny called Islam.
Posted by: Jules || 03/14/2006 9:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Same here, Jules. But I think what DFMD is referring to are the leadership of the different
"feminist organizations", especially the old guard from the 60's and 70's. They are either silent, or they issue unbelievable apologies for the misogynist behavior that seems to go hand in hand with Islam.

When they care as much about the plight of brown and black women as they do about getting the "right" white woman on a corporate board, maybe they'll stop being so irrelevant.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/14/2006 11:19 Comments || Top||

#7  DB-True enough. Even yesterday, on Bill Mahr (which I watch when I want to increase my blood pressure) had Gloria Steinem announcing a new rule, prefering the actions of a woman-hating, serial philanderer, Bill Clinton, to the actions of our military in Iraq: "Make love, not war." I was disgusted to hear that come out of her mouth. Gloria, you have sunk low.

Back to Pakistan-where does one even begin to fight against domestic violence when the women under Islam submit so easily and even believe they "have it coming"? Remember the story last year (or was it the year before) about Turkish women believing they merited beatings?

Reduction in domestic violence under Islam could come from the women in those societies-there is power in numbers-but I don't believe it will be reduced, because THEY don't believe it SHOULD be reduced. I have been wracking by brain trying to figure out how to encourage them to pressure the "men" in their families to start acting like human beings with hearts, but can't figure out how that could happen when the Koran authorizes the men to beat their wives. No answers yet...
Posted by: Jules || 03/14/2006 11:54 Comments || Top||

#8  This should come as no surprise to anyone who has even lightly studied islam.

From the Quran from chapter 4, called Nisa (Women), verse 34: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah has guarded. As for those from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them...
Posted by: Icerigger || 03/14/2006 19:46 Comments || Top||

#9  Beating of women is not just encouraged under sharia, it is enforced.

Once again, the problem is islam. Women cannot protest or fight back, not yet: the law is against them, every man is against them, every mosque, every muttawa, every vigilante, every teenager with a woody....

Women would simply be killed in large numbers if they protested before some inkling of equal rights can be pounded into the men's brains.

Won't happen with Islam as fast as it did (2,000 years and counting) for christianity. May never come to pass.

And don't smirk. Domestic violence in North America approaches 20%. And keep in mind, 1 in 3 women over the age of 14 has been raped or sexually abused.

You can speak out, but in some cultures, the behaviour is, at worst excused, and at best ignored.
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 20:49 Comments || Top||

#10  Domestic violence in North America approaches 20%. And keep in mind, 1 in 3 women over the age of 14 has been raped or sexually abused.

I call EXTREME BULLSHIT
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 22:18 Comments || Top||

#11  I blame Bush.
Posted by: Angump Slomosing6697 || 03/14/2006 23:27 Comments || Top||


Court sentences three to hand, foot amputation
MULTAN: A sessions court has ordered the amputation of one hand and one foot each of three people for robbing a bank. Khalid Naveed Dar, the Sahiwal additional district and sessions judge, passed the sentence on Ghulam Nabi, Qalandar Bakhsh and Mumtaz Ahmed, for a Rs 60,000 robbery in which no one was injured. According to the prosecution, the accused raided a National Bank branch in Chichawatni, some 75 miles east of Multan, on July 15, 2002 and made off with cash. Police arrested one of the accused for possessing an illegal weapon and his involvement in the bank robbery was ascertained during the interrogation. He revealed the identity of his other two accomplices who were later arrested as well.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't they have jails over there? Oh, yeah, I forgot, their merciful, loving, peaceful prophet decided the sentence, what, 13 or 14 centuries ago...don't ANYBODY argue with Mo.
Posted by: Jules || 03/14/2006 1:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Just another day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Posted by: john || 03/14/2006 5:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Do they dress the wounds after the amputation or is that left to Allan?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/14/2006 7:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Why don't the castrate them? They could still be made to work then.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 03/14/2006 8:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Odd, no mention of anesthesia or a physician involved. That's gonna hurt.

Welcome to the 7th Century of punishment. And
Amnesty International considers the U.S. barbarians with lethel injection.
Posted by: Delphi2005 || 03/14/2006 9:18 Comments || Top||

#6  Coming soon to a demographically overrun area near you!
Posted by: Zenster || 03/14/2006 20:16 Comments || Top||


Earthquake shakes northern Pakistan
A moderate earthquake has shaken parts of northern Pakistan devastated by a catastrophic tremor last October, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The 5.2 magnitude quake had its epicentre in the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan, about 300 kilometres north of the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Pakistan's Meteorological Office says.

The quake was felt in Peshawar, as well as in the towns of Dir, Chitral, Mansehra as well as the capital Islamabad, it says. Mansehra and Islamabad both suffered damage in the catastrophic 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit northern Pakistan on October 8, killing more than 73,000 people. More than 1,750 aftershocks have been recorded since then and meteorological officials expect more will be felt until May. On Friday, an aftershock measuring 5.2 killed one man and injured 16 people in Pakistani Kashmir, one of the regions worst hit by the October disaster.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It would be interesting if this long series of earthquakes and the drift adjustment that caused the tsunami were all do the the Pak-Indian underground nuke dual beginning the release of some stuck slipage spots.

Anyway it would make a great novel plot.... oh wait... Lex Luther did it in Superman 1.
Posted by: 3dc || 03/14/2006 1:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Keep climbing Mr. Mt. Everest
Posted by: RD || 03/14/2006 1:07 Comments || Top||

#3  God is angry at the apostates, and the ground shakes.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 03/14/2006 9:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Allan is really pissed off. Why aren't ya listening?
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 21:16 Comments || Top||


International-UN-NGOs
The Latest Annan Scam
And yep - Claudia Rosett, along with George Russell, has the goods on this corrupt skunk.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has just tabled ostensibly radical proposals for reform, at a proposed cost of more than $510 million, saying he aims to bring efficiency, high ethical standards and above all, transparency to his scandal-tarnished organization.

One part of the plan calls for clearing out deadwood in the U.N. Secretariat with buyouts costing about $100,000 per person — part of a process that Annan calls "investing in change."

Whether Annan's proposals will be adopted by the U.N. General Assembly is far from certain. But the secretary general might be able to make a more inspiring case for change if he started by casting more daylight on the workings and personnel of one of his own pet projects: the Alliance for Civilizations — a new U.N. initiative with a nebulous mandate that is now providing berths for an assortment of Annan's old U.N. associates, including his disgraced former chief of staff, Iqbal Riza.

What is the Alliance?

On the surface, it is simply a rarefied U.N. talking shop, which pays an elite panel of globe-trotting members to meet in comfortable locations around the world and deliver opinions on world peace, especially on frictions between the Islamic world and the West. Launched with relatively little fanfare last fall, the Alliance held its first meeting in November, in the Mediterranean resort of Majorca, Spain, with Riza present to deliver an opening message on Annan's behalf. Its first widely publicized session, however, took place in February when Annan himself — citing a need to "create dialogue" — sped to a meeting of the Alliance in Doha, Qatar, to talk about the Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have been answered by riots among militant Muslims around the world. (Annan had previously issued his views on the cartoon furor during a Middle-East stopover to collect a $500,000 personal prize from the ruler of Dubai.) The resulting statement made no distinction between embassy-burning militants and media cartoonists — calling for restraint from all alike, and promising "concrete suggestions" to come.

Tasked by Annan to convene a series of meetings worldwide, the Alliance fields a staff of about 10, with its own director, working out of a U.N. office in New York. This office supports the part-time intellectual labors of a panel of 20 un-elected "eminent persons," all appointed by the secretary general. Annan has asked the group to come up by late 2006 — just before he is due to retire — with a "plan of practical action" to "bridge divides," again, apparently, as they exist between Islamic countries and the West.

As it happens, however, the U.N.-appointed Alliance is much less grand than its rhetoric would lead outsiders to believe — and much less representative of any international consensus. It is a venture initially generated not by the 191 member states of the U.N. General Assembly, but by just two states, Spain and Turkey, with a handful of other nations — Belgium, Luxembourg, Qatar and Syria — contributing to its $3.7 million in special funding.

The high-profile personnel involved are equally unrepresentative. In choosing the 20 eminences of the Alliance, Annan leaned heavily toward Islamic dignitaries and U.N. has-beens. On the Islamic side, these include a former president of Iran, Mohamed Khatami, and the president of the Alexandria Library, Ismail Serageldin (whose library in 2003 as part of its rotating collection displayed the slanderous anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"). Among the U.N. types are a former president of the Inter-American Development Bank, a former head of UNESCO, and a former head of the United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, now an adviser to Annan.

Most interesting, perhaps, is the man Annan has chosen as his personal conduit to the Alliance. This person designated as a "special adviser" to Annan — with the U.N.'s third-highest rank of undersecretary general — is his own former chief of staff, erstwhile retiree Riza.

This is not auspicious. Riza, a Pakistani who served as Annan's chief-of-staff from 1997-2004 and also worked closely with Annan when he served as head of U.N. peacekeeping during the disaster of Rwanda, has been complicit with the secretary general in some of the U.N.'s worst debacles. In the multibillion-dollar Oil-for-Food scandal, Riza was featured as the shredder-in-chief whose office destroyed three year's worth of Annan's executive-suite documents, which Paul Volcker's inquiry had ordered preserved because they were of "potential relevance" to the investigation.

But that may be the least of it.

During the Oil-for-Food program itself, as Volcker reported in September, 2005, "Mr. Riza played a greater role than he was willing to state." According to Volcker, Riza dealt heavily with the graft-riddled program, meeting with Iraqi officials, and routinely handling important Oil-for-Food documents, some pertaining to corruption in the program. During at least the last two years of Oil-for-Food's seven years in operation, Volcker concluded, Riza — along with Annan and the now departing deputy secretary-general, Louise Frechette — was aware of both the smuggling and kickback schemes of Saddam, but withheld information from the U.N. Security Council.

And in 2003, both Annan and Riza were present at a meeting in which the head of Oil-for-Food, Benon Sevan, suggested — falsely — to the post-Saddam Iraqi Governing Council that the U.N. had only recently learned of Saddam's 10 percent Oil-for-Food kickback scheme. This falsehood, reports Volcker, "went uncorrected" by Annan and Riza, both of whom had known about the graft for at least two years, or so Volcker concluded from "clear reports" conveyed to their offices on the U.N.'s executive 38th floor.

Riza, along with Annan, was also at the epicenter of the U.N.'s failure in 1994 to stop the Rwandan genocide in which more than 800,000 people were murdered. Annan was then the head of U.N. peacekeeping, and Riza was his deputy. Warned of the impending slaughter by the U.N. peacekeepers on the ground, they told the same U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda not to raid the weapons caches of the Hutu killers who were preparing for slaughter. When the killings then took place, Annan and Riza failed to raise the alarm. Asked in a 1999 PBS interview about these horrors, Riza took the heat, saying he had sent the initial non-intervention order under his own signature before briefing his boss, Annan. Asked whether the U.N. Secretariat had withheld important information about this from the Security Council, Riza replied: "Possibly we did not give all the details."

That same pattern of omitted details has been a hallmark of the current Alliance of Civilizations, which was shaped quietly last spring by Riza and another of Annan's special advisers, Giandomenico Picco, who has also been embroiled recently in controversy. A star U.N. diplomat of the 1980s and one of the U.N. negotiators during the early attempts to set up the scandal-riven Oil-for-Food program, Picco left the U.N. in 1992 and went into private business, setting up his own consulting firm, New York-based GDP Associates. Picco was brought back to the U.N. by Annan in 1999 as an undersecretary general to set up and lead the precursor of the Alliance of Civilizations, a U.N. venture called the Dialogue of Civilizations, which had been proposed in 1998 by Iran.

When he began work for Annan on the Dialogue in 1999, Picco apparently neglected to disclose a potentially large conflict of interest: He was also serving as chairman of the board of a private company called IHC Services, which at the time was doing millions in business with the U.N. Procurement Division — the purchasing department that spends about 85 percent of the U.N.'s core budget, plus billions more on peacekeeping. Picco appears to have resigned his IHC post in early 2000. But his role at IHC, with its potential conflict of interest, was never disclosed by the U.N. It came to light only last year, by way of a FOX News investigation that exposed IHC's close ties to a U.N. procurement officer, Alexander Yakovlev, who has since pleaded guilty in federal court to taking hundreds of thousands worth of bribes on at least scores of millions worth of U.N. contracts.

As for the Dialogue project, it served in 2001 as a vehicle for Picco's high-level U.N.-credentialed meetings around the globe, and about the time of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., clocked in with a banal report — which now resides, largely forgotten, in the U.N. library.

Annan continued to retain Picco as a part-time special adviser until early this year, and last spring Picco helped Riza convert the remnants of the Dialogue into the current Alliance. Around the time FOX News broke the U.N. procurement scandal in a story last June mentioning IHC, Picco's direct involvement with the Alliance quietly faded away.

But some interesting ties remain. Among the 20 eminent persons named by Annan to the Alliance is one with close business ties to Picco: former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas. As recently as last fall, when the Alliance was being launched, Picco's consulting firm, GDP Associates, listed Alatas as one of the associates (although Alatas' biography, as provided by the U.N. Alliance, does not mention this connection). Since then, the GDP Web site has vanished from public view. GDP did not return a call from FOX News asking whether Alatas is still one of Picco's consulting associates.

Meanwhile, Riza, according to Annan's office, is working not for a U.N. salary, but at the special rate of $1-per-year. (He already has his full U.N. pension.) If that sounds like a good deal for a U.N. where the secretary general is now trying to invest in change, possibly we have not yet heard all the details. For while Riza is virtually unpaid in his latest responsibilities, what he is actually doing on Annan's behalf remains deeply in the shadows.
Posted by: Chetle Omath7541 || 03/14/2006 13:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One word: Featherbed.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/14/2006 15:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Is New York an at-will state?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/14/2006 15:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Ahhh yes, the Golden Parachute. $100,000 per person would be a bargain, but only if we cleared out the entire staff and demolished the building.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/14/2006 15:17 Comments || Top||

#4  One part of the plan calls for clearing out deadwood in the U.N. Secretariat with buyouts costing about $100,000 per person — part of a process that Annan calls "investing in change."

There's over 30,000 people working for the UN. So at 100G's a whack to get rid of the "deadwood", I figure, what, 3 billion dollars "invested in change" "? No, this does not take Kojo's cut into account.
Of course, this also doesn't factor in what the score would be after they torch the place for the insurance...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/14/2006 15:45 Comments || Top||


Science & Technology
Bird Flu Eek
Robert G. Webster is one of the few bird flu experts confident enough to answer the key question: Will the avian flu switch from posing a terrible hazard to birds to becoming a real threat to humans?

There are "about even odds at this time for the virus to learn how to transmit human to human," he told ABC's "World News Tonight." Webster, the Rosemary Thomas Chair at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., is credited with being the first scientist to find the link between human flu and bird flu.

Webster and his team of scientists are working to find a way to beat the virus if it morphs. He has even been dubbed the Flu Hunter.

Right now, H5N1, a type of avian influenza virus, has confined itself to birds. It can be transmitted from bird to human but only by direct contact with the droppings and excretions of infected birds.

But viruses mutate, and the big fear among the world's scientists is that the bird flu virus will join the human flu virus, change its genetic code and emerge as a new and deadly flu that can spread through the air from human to human.

"I personally believe it will happen and make personal preparations," said Webster, who has stored a three-month supply of food and water at his home in case of an outbreak.

"Society just can't accept the idea that 50 percent of the population could die. And I think we have to face that possibility," Webster said. "I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role."

Most scientists won't put it that bluntly, but many acknowledge that Webster could be right about the flu becoming transmissible among humans, even though they believe the 50 percent figure could be too high.

Researcher Dr. Anne Moscona at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center said that a human form may not mutate this year or next -- or ever -- but it would be foolish to ignore the dire consequences if it did.

"If bird flu becomes not bird flu but mutates into a form that can be transmitted between humans, we could then have a spread like wildfire across the globe," Moscona said.

No one knows how long or how many mutation changes it would take for bird flu to become a direct threat to humans.

"It may not do it. There may just be too many changes. The virus may not be able to be a human virus," Moscona said.

But that hasn't stopped Moscona from searching for new types of anti-viral treatments that both prevent and slow the spread of bird flu.

"I don't think that once we have human-to-human transmission, it's going to be possible to contain it," she said.

That is why nearly every viral scientist in America, perhaps the world, is waiting and watching the avian flu virus to see if it remains just a threat to birds or changes its genetic code and becomes just as deadly to humans.
50% is unrealistically high. First of all, at worst, the disease has a 50% mortality rate among those infected. Typically, only from 5% to 20% of the population catch the flu in the first place. This would make our worst possible theoretical mortality rate 36M people, or 1/10th of our population. This assumes no vaccine or other preventative measures at all. Practically speaking, 1/100th or 3.6M people would be the high end, compared to 30-50,000 who normally die of flu each year.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/14/2006 18:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [475 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I'm not at all conversent with the nuances of flu mutation etc. etc. But I do understand the doom & gloom business.

Given that, can anyone explain why I should be frightened of Avian Flu given the Swine flu scare of 19xx?

I seem to recall all the same "Oh my god we're all gonna die!! Just like in 1919 (or whenever it was)!!!!"

Nothing came of that. How do I know this isn't just more wolf crying?
Posted by: AlanC || 03/14/2006 19:40 Comments || Top||

#2  "Society just can't accept the idea that 50 percent of the population could die. And I think we have to face that possibility," Webster said. "I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role."

Bullshit. Society does quite well knowing that 100% of the population will die.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 19:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Back in 1976, the international infrastructure for tracking and reporting flu was very underdeveloped. Statistically, we were due not only for a serious flu, like the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 (that I personally remember because it laid my parents out for six weeks); but we were overdue for what even then was called "the killer flu".

The US had been horribly traumatized by the Spanish flu in 1918, and these were people inured to many epidemics across the country, as commonplace events. Most people had a mental block to the year or two of the Spanish death. Only after WWII were even our health authorities able to come to grips with what it meant.

The first wake up call we got about the Swine flu were overseas reports that it was serious, but only when a soldier at Ft. Dix died, did the alarm bells go off.

The US was not saved by anything we did, only by the fact that the Swine flu had mutated again to a less virulent strain before it arrived. President Ford and congress had wasted no time in reacting, but they realized after the fact that their reaction time was far too slow to have mattered.

From that point on, it became a national prerogative to do whatever was necessary to track the next "killer flu" before it hit the US. The US has done one heck of a lot in that direction, but only with the minor SARS outbreak, did the rest of the world really catch on to what we were up to.

Their doctors know what an immense disaster avian flu could be in especially Asia, and they have done anything they could to stimulate their local political leaders--most of whom are getting the message.

Right now, we know that "the flu" will continue to hit us during the flu season. We also know for sure that the avian flu has the potential to devastate domestic birds, perhaps pets and livestock--costing tens of billions of dollars if nothing else.

The odds do favor the avian flu turning H2H, while keeping much of its virulence. Recently, it's been noted that its spread in wild birds is far faster than expected.

We shall see.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/14/2006 21:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Exploding Commie BioWar factories and research complexes notwithstanding, it also helps iff farm animals are not allowed to eat andor wallow in pervasive urban, suburban, and agricultural-provincial industrial waste heaps. FTLG, film footage of China's recent chemical spills show local children waving and playing amidst huge piles of wastes and trash. Its no longer how many heaps are in the rivers BUT HOW MANY, AND HOW MANY MORE HEAPS CAN THE RIVERS HOLD!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/14/2006 21:51 Comments || Top||

#5  WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
What do we do in the meantime?
Posted by: Snuns Thromp1484 || 03/14/2006 23:59 Comments || Top||


Shuttle Sendup Scrubbed
(CNN) -- NASA has scrubbed the May launch of the space shuttle Discovery to replace four low-level sensors in the external fuel tank -- a process that will take three weeks, space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale announced Tuesday .

The next launch opportunity lasts from July 1 to July 19.

Low-level sensors or engine cutoff (ECO) sensors, indicate to controllers when fuel is running low.

NASA scrubbed Discovery's launch July 13, 2005, just 2 1/2 hours before liftoff when a pre-launch test showed one of Discovery's four sensors in its hydrogen fuel tank was not working. It lifted off on July 26, 2005.

"Ha Ha! HOLDD (Halliburton Orbital Lift Destabilization Department) strikes again!!"
"You fool! Those are friendlies!!"
Posted by: Chinter Flarong9283 || 03/14/2006 16:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:


The People's Cube / Google Update
Short story: People's Cube got caught for keyword spamming, with tons of hidden text keywords and hidden links. Google no likey keyword spam. If TPC cleans up its pages, Google should relist. Details and screen caps at link.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/14/2006 11:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [553 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gwad keyword spamming is how you get listed in the top of google's list. Mikey unMoored does the same thing and you don't see his site being trashed off the pile.

But that's just my opinion.
Posted by: Icerigger || 03/14/2006 19:36 Comments || Top||

#2  The linked site is run by one of Google's engineers. He's as unbiased as Dan Rather on the subject of CBS reliability.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 19:39 Comments || Top||

#3  I've never seen a more spectacular self-destruction than Google. These guys seem like a bunch of kids in a basement who think they've got it all figured out. Just like all the other .com geniuses from the late 90's. Worked out so well for them too.

Note to Google. If you don't provide people what they want - someone else will. Good luck with China. Hope they don't just take your technology and then throw you out with tomorrows trash. Not that anyone will ever know or even care - seeing as how it will be censored and all.
Posted by: 2b || 03/14/2006 19:48 Comments || Top||

#4  google: if ya got 'em, sell 'em now.
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 21:05 Comments || Top||

#5  LOL - dropping daily with each revelation. Shoulda got in early - sold early, back when Drudge had his kneepads out... damn
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 22:26 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Breaking: 6.8 Quake hits Indonesia
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 09:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  map:

http://tinyurl.com/nhq7f
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/14/2006 10:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Can't find the link for the earthquake. Mind you the "Miss Deaf Texas Struck by Train." did catch my eye. Hint: walk FACING the train traffic.
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 19:55 Comments || Top||


Tens of thousands surround Thai PM's office to demand he quit
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/14/2006 01:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:


Guterres jail term reinstated over East Timor abuses
Indonesia's Supreme Court has reinstated a 10-year jail term imposed on the former leader of one of the most notorious militias that terrorised East Timor prior to the 1999 United Nations-backed referendum on independence. The court confirmed the conviction of Eurico Guterres for human rights abuses. Guterres was originally sentenced to 10 years in jail for crimes against humanity in 2002 by an ad hoc human rights court set up to try military officers and officials for atrocities committed in East Timor.

That was later reduced to five years on appeal and he has remained at liberty pending the current appeal to Indonesia's highest court. Guterres headed the Aitark Militia one of the most notorious groups the UN says were set up and trained by the Indonesian Military and which killed at least 1,400.
Good deal. It's worthless to the people who get killed at his behest, and it's woefully inadequate in light of the East Timor atrocities, but it's a sign that when the dust dies down governments can and sometimes do go after the bad guyz. Maybe it will give some pause to the current crop — though I doubt it. You don't pause when you think you're on the winning side, and the holy men keep telling them they are.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:


Protesters stage all-night vigil against Thai Government
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Meeting: "Constructive interaction" with Iranian expatriates
The first meeting of Supreme Council on Iranians Living Abroad was held here Sunday attended by First Vice President Parviz Davoudi and related ministers. In the meeting, vice-president elucidated the policies of the 9th government concerning establishment of appropriate conditions in the related ministries for constructive interaction with Iranians living abroad.

Vice-President Davoudi emphasized the necessity of strengthening the supreme council's secretariat and said all executive bodies of government are responsible for this aim.

In the meeting, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki clarified activities of Iran's representative offices in foreign countries concerning Iranian expatriates and declared upcoming foreign ministry programs in establishing specialized groups and non-governmental bodies among Iranians living abroad. Ministers of 'Labor and Social Affairs', 'Economics as well as Finance', 'Science, Researches and Technology', 'Foreign Affairs' and representatives of other governmental bodies and ministries expounded their viewpoints on the issue.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/14/2006 00:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I seem to recall a US Embassy sponsored meeting of Iraqi exiles in London, one day in December 2002. I wonder what came out of that?
Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/14/2006 2:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Supreme Council on Iranians Living Abroad

Nice title! Not too much self-importance there!

I can't tell where this is a death squad to hunt down Iranian expats or simply another arm of the Iranian government for exporting terrorism abroad.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/14/2006 12:38 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
A stirring tribute to those who served their country
I'm beginning to believe, that my grandkids and their peers, will bring us out of this 60's & 70's mentality. Our Guard is growing! At least some news folks are seeing the numbers

By Dan K. Thomasson
Scripps Howard News Service
WASHINGTON — At the recent annual spring dinner of the Gridiron Club, the U.S. Marine Band in all its John Philip Sousa magnificence launched into a medley of service anthems, from the Army's "Caissons Go Rolling Along" to the Corps' own "Marines Hymn."

In this room filled with the nation's leaders, including the president, vice president and members of Congress, as well as publishers, movie and television celebrities and others, the red-coated Marines always provide a stirring moment in a night filled with the journalism club's roasting of the political parties in song, dance and speech — a sometimes anachronistic, but hugely necessary, long-running display of irreverence.

There is always a shifting of bodies in the room as the band, after performing one of Sousa's stirring marches — on this night it was the "Gridiron March" — strikes the first chords of the service medley. Proudly, veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard prepare to rise to attention as the trumpets blare and the notes fill the hotel room. Forty years ago, large numbers of the audience stood fiercely proud, perhaps remembering the roll of a ship or the roar of an airplane engine or a landing craft's pitch as it headed for a beach.

As the years have passed, however, the number of those who rise has dwindled steadily, the ranks thinned by natural forces and not refilled, until by this night there were only a handful of gray, balding and often-stooped men throwing back their shoulders to stand tall against the ravages of time in honor of their heritage and their fallen comrades.
More proof that the media doesn't understand the military; they've never served or been around someone who served

This, of course, should surprise no one in this age of a volunteer military. This should not be construed as any criticism of the young men and women who have committed themselves willingly to stand guard over the rest of us. Nor is it an appeal for the return of the draft. It is merely an acknowledgment of the passing of a tradition of shared experience that has linked men and women since the beginning of the Republic, a nod to the citizen warrior whose dedication, whether in peace or combat, through willing enlistment or conscription, has never been found wanting.

As the last drum roll reverberated and the band departed to a thunderous ovation, more than one in the audience expressed a sadness at the waning of a tradition and wondered if it is a loss the nation can truly afford. The answer, of course, is that there still are young men and women who understand the important role of part-time service, those who meld a civilian career while giving up weekends and other time to fill important jobs in the reserves or National Guard.

In fact, as the old gave way to the new on Gridiron night, the Guard was releasing figures showing that its enrollments were up substantially, that the nation's youths were once again responding to swell ranks depleted by the call to active duty in Iraq.

The Guard released figures showing that it signed up more than 26,000 in the first five months of the fiscal year, a 7 percent increase over projections and the best recruiting performance in 13 years. Congress has authorized Guard levels at 350,000, which officials say is now easily attainable. Current numbers are about 336,000, according to press reports, and in the last months the Guard has kept pace with the Army's active-duty recruitment.

One of those noting the diminishing numbers that evening was World War II veteran Alan Cromley of the Daily Oklahoman. As a Kansas youngster he went off to Europe, was wounded and later served for a short time in the occupation forces before launching a distinguished career as a correspondent and bureau chief. The Gridiron member stood straight and tall as the band played.

All eyes should have been on him. There aren't many like him left.

Dan K. Thomasson is former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service.
Posted by: Sherry || 03/14/2006 15:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front Economy
Norwegian oil production continues to fall
Link is a few days old.
Norway's oil production slipped to a preliminary 2.46 million barrels per day on average in February from 2.49 million in January, and the tally is a marked drop from previous years. Even if gas production during the same period has shown a steady rise, the decrease in oil production of 500,000 bpd over two years is dramatic. Oil companies predict that the current situation is likely to last through the year.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/14/2006 01:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [419 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Black gold, Texas tea.
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 03/14/2006 8:28 Comments || Top||

#2  God has cursed them for having the highest priced beer in Europe.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 03/14/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#3  if they didnt have the highest priced beer in Europe they'd be drunk 24-7
Posted by: bk || 03/14/2006 11:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Time for CO2 injection
Posted by: 3dc || 03/14/2006 23:16 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Isaac Hayes quits 'South Park' after spoof on Scientologists
Creator says 'he's cashed plenty of checks with our show making fun of Christians'

Outspoken Scientologist Isaac Hayes, an Oscar-winning singer heard by millions in recent years as the "Chef" character on "South Park," has quit the cartoon four months after an episode spoofing Scientology.

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer said in a statement.

"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued, never mentioning the Scientology episode, but citing the recent controversy over cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad. "As a civil-rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

In an interview with the Associated Press, "South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology. ... He has no problem – and he's cashed plenty of checks – with our show making fun of Christians."

He said he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."


In a previous interview published by ContactMusic.com, Parker said they avoided animated shows about Scientology for years because they didn't wish to upset Hayes, who gained fame in the 1970s with his song, "Shaft," from the movie of the same name.

"To be honest, what kept us from doing it before was Isaac Hayes. We knew he was a Scientologist and he's an awesome guy. We're like, 'Let's just avoid that for now,'" Parker said. "Finally, we just had to tell Isaac, 'Dude, we totally love working with you, and this is nothing personal, it's just we're South Park, and if we don't do this, we're belittling everything else we've ripped on.'"

The episode that focused on Scientology originally aired on Comedy Central in November, and did not include Hayes' name in the end credits.

It featured a cartoon boy on the show being mistaken for L. Ron Hubbard, the science-fiction writer who founded the religion. A portion of the show had Scientologists explaining the basic beliefs of the faith, including aliens populating the Earth, with a statement that flashed on screen reading, "This is what Scientologists actually believe." (Click here to view that portion of the program.)

The faith has been featured prominently in the media in recent years, with high-profile names including John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren members.
Posted by: tipper || 03/14/2006 00:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [560 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Must have gotten some pressure from the Scientology leadership, since I recall him not having a problem with the episode when it first aired.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/14/2006 1:00 Comments || Top||

#2  "To the barricades, Shaft fans! To the barricades! And a fatwa on Cheesy Poofs."
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/14/2006 1:16 Comments || Top||

#3  If they didn't burn any SH down, it doesn't count.
Posted by: Glomons Snairong5912 || 03/14/2006 1:44 Comments || Top||

#4 
He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.
So he's a moslem?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/14/2006 1:51 Comments || Top||

#5  beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored

Makes me wonder if Isaac ever actually watched the show.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/14/2006 1:52 Comments || Top||

#6  The Ads by Goooooogle in this space are all about Scientology. I cost them a few pennies.
Posted by: gromky || 03/14/2006 2:51 Comments || Top||

#7  I couldn't stop laughing about how RIGHT that episode was about Scientology. You can make cases for religions being far-our there, but Scientology is one I half expect to announce a comet as "the mothership". You know what happens next.
Posted by: Charles || 03/14/2006 4:08 Comments || Top||

#8  Happy to lampoon everything and everyone else under the sun, but let the same light shine on his "sacred" (LOL) scientology and he gets his shorts in a bunch. If ever there was an equal-opportunity offender, SP was it.

Sorry, Isaac, you were once treated as cool, now treated as just another looney hypocrit fool. Saved from oblivion by the South Park team, now back you go... Don't let the paystubs hit ya in the ass...
Posted by: Hupeting Slineng3538 || 03/14/2006 4:55 Comments || Top||

#9  this is SUCH a parallel to the cartoon thingie. . .
Posted by: PlanetDan || 03/14/2006 6:51 Comments || Top||

#10  Anyone remember if Chef appeared in the episode about the "Holy Writ of Vatican Law"?

Oh well -- I used to respect Hayes.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 7:20 Comments || Top||

#11  Well, Isaac Hayes is such a dynamic force in television that I doubt the industry can survive his leaving. I submit it to you gentlemen, the television is dead!
Posted by: bigjim-ky || 03/14/2006 8:33 Comments || Top||

#12  Among the four black clergy to be honored at Scientology's annual Ebony Awakening awards ceremony is Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/13696

Surprised?
Posted by: Visitor || 03/14/2006 8:54 Comments || Top||

#13  Surprised?

No.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 8:57 Comments || Top||

#14  Isaac Haze
Posted by: Captain America || 03/14/2006 10:38 Comments || Top||

#15  Heh.. at least no-one's mentioned the episode with Mohammed in... OOOOPS!!
Posted by: Howard UK || 03/14/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#16  Narcanon, the Scientology-affiliated antidrug program, has been tied to some nasty things, like rattlesnakes stuffed into critics' mailboxes.

So no, the NOI link doesn't surprise me at all.
Posted by: lotp || 03/14/2006 12:56 Comments || Top||

#17  Such a lovely faith. Invented by a science fiction writer some time after he's published a short story about an science fiction writer who'd invented a religion for the money, L. Ron Hubbard ended up dieing three times -- twice for tax purposes, the third time for real. Yes indeed, that's the kind of faith that calls to me in my nights of doubt and despair.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/14/2006 13:47 Comments || Top||

#18  ah ... but what does it SAY, tw?? LOL
Posted by: lotp || 03/14/2006 13:49 Comments || Top||

#19  L Ron started out a drug smuggler moving Mary Jane in the BEAT ERA from Mexico to SoCal.
Posted by: 3dc || 03/14/2006 13:53 Comments || Top||

#20  and rumors were (and they might be totally false) that his yacht that stayed in international waters moved heroin.
Posted by: lotp || 03/14/2006 13:55 Comments || Top||

#21  Yoohoo! Mr. F&ckwit. Yes, you, Mr. Hayes. Remember that little thingy called freedom of speech. You know, that niggling little constitutional amendment that let's you, me and everyone else make fun of whoever in he|| we want to? You know, just like you've spent so many years doing at South Park. I guess it's time you learned that:

SACRED COWS MAKE THE BEST HAMBURGERS

As to the Scientologists and Nation of Islam, just one buncha scam artistes cuddling up with another. Mutual admiration society, I'd say.
Posted by: Zenster || 03/14/2006 14:03 Comments || Top||

#22  Good. Let the world see their double standards. Bunch of crybabies.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/14/2006 17:07 Comments || Top||

#23  Yes indeed, that's the kind of faith that calls to me in my nights of doubt and despair.
:>
Posted by: 6 || 03/14/2006 18:35 Comments || Top||

#24  try to leave and they treat you like an apostate from Islam...
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2006 19:15 Comments || Top||

#25  and rumors were (and they might be totally false) that his yacht that stayed in international waters moved heroin.

Perhaps.

More intriguing to me: Would Zimbabwe be in better or worse shape had Cecil Rhodes accepted Hubbard's offer of assistance?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/14/2006 19:47 Comments || Top||

#26  Ah, Isaac, we thought we knew you. You had such fun with every other religion and sacred cow..

I propose that if you can't live with poking fun at the steriotypes that are encompassed in you beliefs, then you belong to a cult.

Healthy cultures and people with beliefs can stand a poking. Indeed, they produce comedians that specialise in just that. It keeps the thinking open to growth.
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 20:26 Comments || Top||

#27  Darn, stereotypes and yours - to correct
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412 || 03/14/2006 20:31 Comments || Top||

#28  www.xenu.net

download the episode here.
Posted by: Some Dude || 03/14/2006 21:36 Comments || Top||


Home Front Economy
N.O. locals not waiting to be told what to do
In which the citizens of New Orleans take matters into their own hands. The Katrina fires will forge some mighty fine steel, in my opinion. Matt and Glenmore are of course free to tell me I am full of it.
Big green spots covering portions of flooded neighborhoods on a map of a rebuilt New Orleans might have discouraged some people. But in the densely built Broadmoor neighborhood, the symbol marking the area for possible new green space lit a fire under its neighborhood group.

"It didn't devastate us; it pissed us off," said Virginia Saussy Bairnsfather, a board member for the Broadmoor Improvement Association.

Within weeks of the map's unveiling in January by Mayor Ray Nagin's Bring New Orleans Back Commission, membership in the neighborhood group jumped 400 percent.

The January rollout of the commission's land-use plan set a clock ticking that gave sections of the city four months to establish their viability. But weeks have passed and the city's formal process for helping about 80 neighborhoods chart a new future has yet to begin. Professional disagreements over differing visions of the city's future are one snag. Another has been a lack of money to finance the planning process, a problem that may have been alleviated Friday with members of the Louisiana Recovery Authority pledging to help find $7.5 million needed to get the process moving.

But Broadmoor residents, like grass-roots community groups all across the city, are moving ahead on their own without waiting for the expert-laced planning exercise promised by Nagin's commission. They are polling residents, creating planning committees and enlisting the help of an unnamed Ivy League university in writing a redevelopment plan.

Fearing they may lose control of what happens to their communities -- especially with some areas at risk of being declared no longer viable, and subject to clearing -- activists in Lakeview, Gentilly and eastern New Orleans are calling meetings, mulling issues, debating what kinds of changes they will favor or oppose. Much of the work is brainstorming and data-gathering. In some cases it has taken a sophisticated turn, involving architects or planners who donate their time. "There has been no direction given (from City Hall), so neighborhoods have to fend for themselves," said Latoya Cantrell, president of the Broadmoor group. "We're on our own."
Snipped the bits about FEMA and state authorities not knowing a** from elbow; we knew that already.
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/14/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:

#1  an unnamed Ivy League university in writing a redevelopment plan

If it involves Sharia and women in burkha's I think we can guess which Ivy Infested university.
Posted by: DMFD || 03/14/2006 0:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Em, thanks for posting. So far the steeliest group to emerge is called "Women of the Storm", an eclectic group of about 150 women that includes Olivia Manning (if you watch professional football you may have heard of her sons.) "Women of the Storm" is to public officials what Jack Bauer is to terrorists.

When you think of New Orleans (or the Missisippi Gulf Coast, which has gotten a lot less publicity, or the coastal parishes of Louisiana) the image you should have is of a couple hundred thousand women working their fingers to the bone day and night to put homes back together for their families. (Osama thinks he's going to put burqas on American women? Good luck with that, pal.)
Posted by: Matt || 03/14/2006 7:24 Comments || Top||

#3  I read that the Vietnameese community is doing their usual bootstrapping number.
Posted by: 6 || 03/14/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#4  "We were sold a bill of goods by the federal government," Manning said."

All due sympathies to the folks on the Gulf coast but at some point they have to realize the Federal government is tertiary behind state and local entities when it comes to solving local issues. FEMA is correct to deny the multi-million dollar request to pay for the extremely ambiguous “technical assistance” program. Hats off to the people that have taken the responsibility to move the process along in lieu of government ineptitude. Government (at all levels) struggles to meet the needs of people even in the best of times, it is delusional to believe it would be otherwise during and after a crisis.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/14/2006 9:14 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2006-03-14
  Israel storms Jericho prison
Mon 2006-03-13
  Mujadadi survives suicide attack, blames Pakistan
Sun 2006-03-12
  Foley Killers Hanged
Sat 2006-03-11
  Clerics announce Sharia in S Waziristan
Fri 2006-03-10
  MILF coup underway?
Thu 2006-03-09
  Qaeda fugitive surrenders in Kuwait
Wed 2006-03-08
  N. Korea Launches Two Missiles
Tue 2006-03-07
  15 Dead, Dozens hurt in blasts in north Indian temple town
Mon 2006-03-06
  Bangla Bhai bangla nabbed
Sun 2006-03-05
  Ayman issues call for more attacks
Sat 2006-03-04
  EU3 Begin To Realize They Were Duped
Fri 2006-03-03
  Leb Army seals Syrian border
Thu 2006-03-02
  JMB chief Abdur Rahman nabbed
Wed 2006-03-01
  US journo trapped in Afghan prison riot
Tue 2006-02-28
  Yemen Executes American Missionaries’ Murderer

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