Saturday, October 22, 2005
(a government who lies to get us into a war? a government who names covert cia operatives? a government who doesn't provide enough assistance to natural disaster victims? a government who doesn't listen to the parents of dead service people? a government who doesn't provide enough protection to our troops who are currently deployed? i'm going to stop now. there is just too much to list) there are pedophiles out there, there are evil people out in the world. there are people who sexually abuse others. THEY should be prosecuted. those who practice alternative 'lifestyles' IF consensual and IF adult, SHOULD BE LEFT THE HELL ALONE. (and i'm not talking about the bestiality part either. animals ARE NOT ADULTS AND THEY CANNOT CONSENT. i am ONLY talking about the s&m part)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Contact: Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson (917) 848-6544
Wave of Obscenity Prosecutions Leads to Closure and Self-Censorship of SM Websites October 20, 2005 - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has announced that his office will specifically target "bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior" in pursuing new obscenity prosecutions. The Department of Justice began recruiting in late July for a new anti-obscenity squad to pursue obscenity prosecutions, and the FBI announced in September that it was forming an anti-obscenity task force to crack down on pornography. Any website that has content containing "bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior" should be forewarned that prosecution is possible. Additionally, Federal sentencing guidelines state that any obscenity-related punishment should be "enhanced for sadomasochistic material." Forty people and businesses have been convicted of obscenity since 2001, and 20 additional indictments are pending according to Andrew Oosterbaan, chief of the Justice Department's child exploitation and obscenity section. There were only four obscenity prosecutions during the eight years of the Clinton administration. Though adult content is, in theory, protected by the First Amendment, only a jury can determine if a work is obscene or not under the subjective set of standards that vary from one community to the next established in the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, Miller v. California. Text is not inherently more protected than images when it comes to obscenity charges. The erotic fiction website Red Rose Stories is facing obscenity charges after federal agents raided the owner's home on October 3rd, taking computer equipment and diskettes that contained all of their files and site information.The Department of Justice is clearly hoping that websites will self-censor or remove their content entirely. Midori, a fetish model and SM educator who teaches classes on bondage, has removed her website, BeautyBound.com, citing fear of obscenity prosecution. The owner of three SM websites, known as GrandPa DeSade, removed his websites from the Internet. SuicideGirls.com also announced they are self-censoring their materials over concerns about a possible obscenity crackdown. Recent prosecutions of obscenity on websites include: A former police officer in Lakeland, Florida, was arrested on October 7th on over 300 obscenity-related charges for the sexual content posted on his website. The same day, webmaster Chris Wilson, owner of amateur website NowThatsFuckedUp.com, was raided on charges of obscenity by a local Sheriff’s office. "I think it's crucial for us to stand up for consensual sadomasochism and other alternative sexual practices," says Barbara Nitke, fetish photographer. "This is a battle worth fighting, and I hope everyone who can will just censor out the most provocative material from their websites, but keep them up. I also appeal to the lawyers in our community to help us find ways to keep people's websites up." Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) have proactively challenged federal obscenity laws as applied to the Internet, arguing that obscenity laws based on "local community standards" are too vague and their existence burdens protected speech, resulting in self-censorship due to the fear of prosecution. A district court three-judge panel in New York ruled that while Nitke and the NCSF members were at risk, more proof was needed that obscenity laws cause otherwise protected speech to be restrained through acts of self-censorship. The case is currently on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. "The effect of silencing alternative lifestyle speech was exactly why we brought the lawsuit," says attorney John Wirenius, lead counsel for NCSF. "The self-censorship we are seeing underscores the importance of supporting our ongoing obscenity challenge."To contribute to the appeal of the CDA lawsuit, go to: www.ncsfreedom.org/donations.htm National Coalition for Sexual Freedom - http://www.ncs/
A project of NCSF The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.National Coalition for Sexual Freedom 822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127 Baltimore, MD 21202-3707 410-539-4824 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please cross post
Inside Walter Reed Army Hospital is the horrible reality of the Iraq War, a reality that few Americans see, and fewer want to see. By Stewart Nusbaumer
Washington, DC -- In the dining hall is a family of three. The mother’s shirt says “Thank a Soldier,” the father’s hat says “Vietnam Veteran,” and the son’s T-shirt says “Seattle Sonics.” A normal family, except the son has no legs.The tough talking lions of the Bush Administration proclaimed “shock and awe” would destroy the Iraqi will to fight and then it would be a simple “cakewalk.” So the cocky civilians unleashed the “mother” of all air assaults on Baghdad and then our strutting commander in chief -- decked out in a fine flight suit -- proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished.” But the flight-suit President dodged the Vietnam War, hiding in the Air National Guard’s “Champagne Unit,” strongly supporting the war from Texas. The Vice-President “had other options,” although he insisted other Americans had no option but to fight the war. The Secretary of Defense enrolled in Princeton University instead of the Korean War; after the war he enrolled in the Navy. All the hawkish Neocons were too busy arguing for the Vietnam War to actually fight in that war. Shame, they missed their “noble” causes. So when it came to Iraq, none of these men had a clue about the will to fight.I see in the halls of Walter Reed hospital soldiers with leg braces and neck supports, soldiers with faces slashed by bombs and stitched up by doctors. Soldiers with legs terribly mangled, soldiers with no legs -- amputees with short stumps, with long stumps, without any stumps since entire limbs are missing. A man walks by without an arm. I suddenly travel back in time to another war, to another hospital when I was one of those young men without a limb. But the human carnage and waste in Walter Reed is too overwhelming to escape for more than a flash of time. At the Army’s flagship medical facility, where thousands of wounded soldiers pass through, there is no political spin, no media filter, no presidential lies, and no patriotism without cost as there is in America. There are only the wounded and mangled from Iraq. There is the ground zero for ugly war reality. For these men and women there was no safe “Champagne Unit,” no other options, no Ivy League hiding, no just talking while others did the fighting. At Walter Reed there are not Chickenhawks. ..........
Brown is still on FEMA's payroll as a consultant, [FEMA spokeswoman Nicol] Andrews confirmed. He works from home, where he is "pulling all the documentation together" for the investigations into Katrina response, she said, and his original 30-day contract was recently extended for another 30 days....read on Michael Petrelis filed an FOIA on his contracts.
Let's face it. Poor Mr. Brown still needs to eat.
don't ask me i don't give a damn..........the next stop is viet nam. o'reilly at it again. his factoids all effed up as usual. i know someone who did one too many hits of acid in the 60s billy bob boy............ (click the link to find audio of o'reilly)
O'Reilly on Navy vet Country Joe as Veterans Day chairman: "[W]hy don't you ask Fidel Castro?"
In remarking on a controversy surrounding upcoming Veterans Day activities in Berkeley, California, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly blasted singer-songwriter and Berkeley Veterans Day Committee chairman Country Joe McDonald for his involvement. On the October 19 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, O'Reilly said that "pinheads" in Berkeley named McDonald as chairman; he then quipped, "[W]hy don't you ask Fidel Castro?" But O'Reilly's comments misconstrue the controversy and misleadingly smear McDonald, the original event organizer.
The Berkeley controversy resulted from a proposal by McDonald to invite Bill Mitchell, a co-founder of anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan's Gold Star Families for Peace, to speak at a Veterans Day ceremony, according to Knight Ridder news service. Some city council members and veterans' groups raised objections, saying that Veterans Day is "neither the time nor place" for an "antiwar rally." Divisions over McDonald's proposal have prompted the apparent cancellation of the ceremony.
While the proposal of Mitchell did instigate the controversy, O'Reilly's understanding of McDonald's involvement in Veterans Day is inaccurate. O'Reilly misleadingly implied that McDonald had somehow hijacked Berkeley's Veterans Day, questioning the "pinheads" who would say, "[Y]eah, let's get Country Joe to be the Veterans Day guy." But as the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, Berkeley avoided celebrating Veterans Day for years, and it was, in fact, McDonald who reinstated observance of Veterans Day in Berkeley and spearheaded several other efforts to honor veterans. McDonald, a noted peace activist and Vietnam War protester who wrote the antiwar song "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag," is a Navy veteran.
'LA Times': Libby Monitored Newspapers For Info On Wilson
By E&P Staff Published: October 21, 2005 5:55 PM ET
While President Bush is famous for not reading newspapers, a story in Friday's Los Angeles Times reveals that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, keeps a close eye on all forms of media.The revelations, coming in a story written by staff writers Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger, show that Libby went to great lengths to monitor news accounts of Joseph Wilson, one of the Bush administration's fiercest critics.Libby, along with White House special advisor Karl Rove, is currently at the center of a federal investigation into whether Bush administration officials illegally leaked the name of Wilson's wife, a covert CIA operative, to newspaper columnist Bob Novak.Wallsten and Hamburger write, "new interviews and documents obtained by The Times provide a more detailed view of the depth and duration of Libby's interest in Wilson. They also show that the vice president's office closely monitored news coverage."On one occasion, the office prohibited a reporter from traveling with Cheney aboard Air Force Two, because the vice president's daughter said Cheney was unhappy with that newspaper's coverage."Libby 'would see something had appeared in the newspaper or on television and wanted to use the White House operation to counter it,' one former official said."Wallsten and Hamburger write that Libby became consumed with what he felt were Wilson's distortions and unfair attacks on Cheney.After Wilson published a book critical of the administration and its case for war in Iraq, Libby put together a packet of press clips and television transcripts of Wilson's statements.The reporters say that "when it came to monitoring media coverage of Wilson and other issues affecting the vice president's reputation, Libby was meticulous. Staffers were instructed to use Nexis and Google to watch even the most obscure publications."They note that one of the paper's cited in Libby's notes is the Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa student newspaper, which quoted Wilson as calling Cheney "a lying son of a bitch."The report in the Los Angeles Times concludes with an exchange between Liz Cheney, the vice president's daughter and an advisor to the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign, and a reporter from The New York Times...........
Friday, October 21, 2005
Md. Marine, a Newlywed, Is Killed in Iraq
Married After Afghanistan Tour, Lance Corporal Had Delayed Honeymoon
By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff WriterFriday, October 21, 2005; Page B08
In August, Lance Cpl. Norman W. Anderson III got married in Baltimore County. Days later, the 21-year-old Marine was off to Iraq. His honeymoon would wait.
"He didn't seem too happy; he didn't know why he was there," said Dillon Sullivan, a close childhood friend who attended Anderson's wedding. "But he figured people get through it. They get over there, then they're done and they come back and start their life."
Anderson, of Parkton, Md., was killed Wednesday by a suicide bomber in a vehicle while he was on patrol in Karabilah, the Defense Department said. His unit, the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, was out to prevent insurgents from crossing into Iraq.
Anderson played running back for the Hereford High School football team.
"He was really a dedicated player," said Ed Darney, a teammate who now plays football at the University of Richmond. "On the field, we always joked around. He always had a smile. He never seemed to be in a bad mood."
After graduating in 2002, Anderson enlisted in the Marines. He was based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and did a tour in Afghanistan.
This summer he returned home to marry a high school classmate at a church wedding in Hunt Valley, outside of Baltimore.
Not long after the reception, Anderson went to Iraq.
Underneath the joy, Anderson harbored doubt about his mission overseas, Sullivan said.
"He didn't totally understand why he was over there," Sullivan said.
Last night, Sullivan said he was grieving and angry. He said the war never seemed real -- "until yesterday."
James Moore Bio
If special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald delivers indictments of a few functionaries of the vice president’s office or the White House, we are likely to have on our hands a constitutional crisis. The evidence of widespread wrongdoing and conspiracy is before every American with a cheap laptop and a cable television subscription. And we do not have the same powers of subpoena granted to Fitzgerald. We know, however, based upon what we have read and seen and heard that someone created fake documents related to Niger and Iraq and used them as a false pretense to launch America into an invasion of Iraq. And when a former diplomat made an honest effort to find out the facts, a plan was hatched to both discredit and punish him by revealing the identity of his undercover CIA agent wife.
from the brad blog
EXCLUSIVE: CONSERVATIVE GROUP DENOUNCES ANN COULTER!
Anti-Coulter Documentary in Production, Release to Coincide with Rightwing Gadfly's Next Book!
ALSO: PowerPoint Presentation Exposing Coulter's Religious Hypocrisy, Opportunism, Flip-Flops Released Exclusively to BRAD BLOG! While the recent nomination of Hariet Miers for the Supreme Court by George W. Bush may have revealed more than a few cracks in the usually lockstepped Conservative Movement in America, Daniel Borchers has been calling out "fake Conservativism" -- as we refer here at The BRAD BLOG to those who use the tenets of the true Conservative Movement merely for cynical, opportunistic political gain -- for years.Borchers' organization, Citizens for Principled Conservatism (CPC) is currently in-production of a documentary named The Truth About Ann which aims squarely at political and religious hypocrisy of Rightwing commentator and author, Ann Coulter.As well, Borchers has created and released exclusively to BRAD BLOG, a PowerPoint presentation entitled "The Gospel of Ann".The presentation, which we've converted into downloadable streaming video, excoriates the controversial Coulter's religious opportunism. It was inspired, according to Borchers, "by Ann Coulter's 'jaw-dropping' expression of faith in God, a faith which otherwise seems so empty in everything Coulter does."Indeed, Coulter's "faith" may be as empty and phony as her self-proclaimed "conservative" beliefs. The presentation points out the recent TIME Magazine profile of Coulter which implies that she is a member of Redeemer Presbyterian, an evangelical Christian church in New York, and yet the ministry at the church never seems to have heard of her!The Redeemer church, "whose non-political stance is well-known, disavows all hateful and hostile speech," according to Borchers' presentation, had to "Google" her name to figure out who she was! Apparently Coulter is not a member of that church at all!The complete "Gospel of Ann" video, along with selected excerpts and screenshots is available at the end of this article......
Insider Condemns FEMA Response
Its lone representative in New Orleans as Katrina hit, he tells senators of maddening neglect.
By Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The only FEMA employee to ride out Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans painted a grim portrait Thursday of an agency led by officials who were unprepared for the scope of the disaster and failed to respond to his increasingly desperate pleas for help. Marty Bahamonde's emotional testimony, backed by e-mails he sent from New Orleans as floodwaters engulfed much of the city, was the most detailed eyewitness account yet from a FEMA official of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's handling of the disaster.
A veteran public affairs officer, Bahamonde was FEMA's only representative in the city from Saturday, Aug. 27, until early Tuesday, Aug. 30. Katrina made landfall Monday morning, Aug. 29. Bahamonde contested former FEMA director Michael D. Brown's late-September testimony to a House committee, including Brown's account of the number of FEMA staffers sent to the city before the storm — "I was the only one," Bahamonde said. He was testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is investigating federal response. He portrayed Brown, who resigned Sept. 12, as having failed to grasp the enormity of the catastrophe. In an Aug. 31 e-mail that Bahamonde sent a co-worker, his frustration with Brown burst through. Bahamonde had just learned, as he huddled in New Orleans' Superdome with evacuees, that Brown's press secretary was fretting about blocking out time for the director to eat dinner at one of Baton Rouge's busy restaurants that night."OH MY GOD!!!!!!!" Bahamonde messaged the co-worker. "I just ate an MRE" — military rations — "and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome along with 30,000 other close friends so I understand her concern about busy restaurants."............
Thursday, October 20, 2005
senate members - only to APPROVE the bio-tch in the future. take your vaginas outta your mamma's handbags and JUST EFFING SAY NO (now). geeze the woman was never a judge. geeze she was a lotto commissioner (nothing wrong with that BUT it is NO basis for a supreme court justice). doesn't a former thoroughbred horse association officer who was appointed to a certain government position WAY OVER HIS HEAD ring any bells?
Miers Is Asked to Redo Reply to Questions
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: October 20, 2005
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 - The Supreme Court nomination of Harriet E. Miers suffered another setback on Wednesday when the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked her to resubmit parts of her judicial questionnaire, saying various members had found her responses "inadequate," "insufficient" and "insulting." Senators Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the committee chairman, and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the senior Democrat, sent Ms. Miers a letter faulting what they called incomplete responses about her legal career, her work in the White House, her potential conflicts on cases involving the administration and the suspension of her license by the District of Columbia Bar.
Their letter also asked her to provide detailed accounts of private reassurances about her views given by the White House or its allies to some conservative supporters who have been anxious about her positions on abortion and other social issues.
The letter asked Ms. Miers to respond within a week. Mr. Specter said he had scheduled hearings on her confirmation to begin Nov. 7, overruling Democratic objections that they did not have enough information to evaluate her because of her scant record on constitutional issues before joining the White House. Both Mr. Specter and Mr. Leahy said they would not set any deadline for the conclusion of the hearings.
"If the questions are not answered or their answer is incomplete, as they have been, then it's going to be a long hearing indeed," Mr. Leahy said..........
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, testifing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, painted an ambitious vision of a Middle East that is “modernizing, progressive, where women’s rights are assured, where Islam finds its place alongside democracy.”
it's NOT OURS to transform! hey baby don't you understand that?
WASHINGTON - For a much-anticipated performance by a fiercely disciplined, utterly loyal Bush appointee, who also happens to be a never-married woman, you didn’t need to wait for the Harriet Miers testimony.
By Edward Alden in Washington Published: October 20 2005 00:00 Last updated: October 20 2005 00:19
Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.
In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.
“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”
Transcript: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson Click here
Mr Wilkerson said such secret decision-making was responsible for mistakes such as the long refusal to engage with North Korea or to back European efforts on Iran.
It also resulted in bitter battles in the administration among those excluded from the decisions.
“If you're not prepared to stop the feuding elements in the bureaucracy as they carry out your decisions, you are courting disaster. And I would say that we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran.”
The comments, made at the New America Foundation, a Washington think-tank, were the harshest attack on the administration by a former senior official since criticisms by Richard Clarke, former White House terrorism czar, and Paul O'Neill, former Treasury secretary, early last year..............
Malkin not convinced that Bush's video conference with troops was "staged"
In her October 19 syndicated column, Michelle Malkin took to task "[t]he Associated Press, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell and others in the Bush-bashing press corps" for "accus[ing] the White House and 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division of 'staging' " an October 13 video conference in which President Bush spoke with soldiers stationed in Iraq. Malkin also criticized NBC News for "indulging in its Bush-deranged feeding frenzy over the 'staged' talk with the troops." But the very same NBC Nightly News report specifically referenced by Malkin included extended video of preparations for the event making it abundantly clear that it was, in fact, "staged."
Malkin's comments echoed those of The Washington Times, which had similarly expressed skepticism that "some of the soldiers who appeared had supposedly been coached by White House aides."
On the October 13 broadcast of NBC's Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported on the video conference, the advance preparations for which were inadvertantly transmitted to reporters via a live satellite feed. In the words of Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, the feed "showed a full-blown rehearsal of the president's questions, in advance, along with the soldiers' answers and coaching from the administration," although the live video event was billed as a spontaneous exchange between the president and the troops. Mitchell's report included video footage of Allison Barber, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications, coaching the soldiers on delivering their answers and at one point referring to some of the questions as "scripted.".................
Cindy Sheehan Pledges Civil Disobedience Campaign
Peace mom plans more arrests in D.C. and Thanksgiving in Crawford
by Sarah Ferguson
October 19th, 2005 9:52 PM
Cindy Sheehan made a return visit to the streets of New York Wednesday, joining the weekly vigil of Grandmothers Against the War outside Rockefeller Center.
In contrast to the scene in Union Square last month, when the police stormed the podium and cut off Sheehan’s mic, this time the NYPD went out of its way to be gracious to America’s leading peace mom.
Police politely urged the jostling camera crews and passing tourists to “please clear the sidewalk,” overseen by the NYPD’s top spokesperson Paul J. Browne, who said he was there to prevent any rush-hour snafus. “It’s the hometown of NBC, so it’s a big TV area,” Browne said, with a shrug.
But if the event was less a protest than a love fest between Sheehan and her elderly fans, who lined up for autographs and snapshots with the celebrity activist and plied her with heart-shaped sugar cookies, Sheehan still had plenty of fighting words for President Bush and New York’s pro-war senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, who’s widely said to be mulling a bid for the White House.
“I think that if anybody wants to run for president in 2008, then they have to come out against the war, and if they don’t then we don’t support them, whether it’s Hillary or whoever it is that’s going to run for president,” charged Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in Baghdad's Sadr City last year.........
Times Does Duty And So Does Judy–But It’s A Hash
By Tom Scocca, Gabriel Sherman
“What kind of reporter are you?” Judith Miller asked Don Van Natta Jr. at the third-floor elevator bank of the New York Times Building.
It was Oct. 14, and Ms. Miller was meeting—and confronting—Mr. Van Natta, one of the co-workers assigned to write about her, just off the Times newsroom at the West 43rd Street headquarters. She was upset, according to a source familiar with the interchange, because Mr. Van Natta had not yet called two of her friends to discuss her case.
But Mr. Van Natta and his colleagues were grappling with the flip side of that question: What kind of reporter is Judith Miller?
And the larger one that followed from it: What kind of newspaper is The New York Times?
But, in many ways, Judith Miller is still reporting her own version of the story: “I think I understand why people are upset,” she told The Observer on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
“They’re upset about many things. They’re upset about the war in Iraq, about the Bush administration; they want to know whether they were misled into this war. They’re upset about W.M.D. coverage. But let’s try and separate out this case from these questions. I’m doing the best I can do to focus on the issue that is paramount here, and that is protecting journalists.”
That is Ms. Miller’s take on the story, but it’s probably fair to say that it’s a minority take on the saga unfolding at The Times. She’s weary—fair for a reporter who spent 85 days in jail. And she’s got to be dispirited by the lack of support she’s received from querulous co-workers within a split newspaper.
Ms. Miller said she does plan to return to the paper, after a recovery period. “Right now, I am exhausted,” she said. “I need to put on some weight, and I need to listen to my doctors and my lawyers. I need to chill out.”
When will she be back? “I don’t know,” she said. “Next year. I want to take a couple of months off.” Sag Harbor, she said, “is exactly where I want to be. And I’ll be doing whatever the paper wants to do on the issue of a federal shield law.”
As the newspaper rushed to cover its own crisis this past Sunday, its editors had to do so without knowing whether their own reporter and cause célèbre would be on board. Ms. Miller—apparently struggling with her editors and the advice of her lawyers—agreed to cooperate and publish her own story only after considerable pressure by Mr. Keller.
That reluctance helped make Ms. Miller suspect to her co-workers at The Times, some of whom say that Ms. Miller’s passion to find the big questions led her to into the clutches of sources who—her colleagues said—piped information into the most influential newspaper in the United States.
Those feelings have notched a perforation down the very center of the newspaper, the very scars that have been left at the paper by events of the previous two years: the Jayson Blair affair, the switches in management from executive editor Howell Raines to Joseph Lelyveld to Bill Keller. .............
By MATT BURGARD
Courant Staff Writer
October 19, 2005
A convicted rapist who has angered prosecutors and victim advocates by repeatedly harassing his victim through lawsuits and other legal channels was hit with a restraining order Tuesday designed to keep him from learning his victim's whereabouts.Allen Adgers, 41, smiled and waved Tuesday at people in the courtroom at Superior Court in Hartford, even as Judge Thomas P. Miano was granting a request to issue an order that will prevent Adgers from learning his victim's whereabouts by filing subpoenas and other legal actions against her.The request was made by Barbara Ruhe, an attorney representing the victim in the case, and by Hartford State's Attorney James Thomas, who both told the judge they were trying to limit Adgers' ability to continue a campaign of legal intimidation and harassment.Adgers was convicted in 2001 of kidnapping and raping his former wife at knifepoint, and sentenced to serve 13 years in prison. Since then, Ruhe told the judge Tuesday, Adgers has abused the legal system by filing at least 25 lawsuits claiming he was wrongfully convicted while naming more than 50 defendants, including Gov. M. Jodi Rell, former Gov. John G. Rowland and other top state officials.Adgers' ex-wife, identified in court papers as "Isabelle," has been named in at least 15 of those lawsuits, which Adgers has filed on his own behalf claiming that she betrayed their marriage vows. The lawsuits have allowed Adgers to issue legal documents forcing Isabelle to appear in court, where Adgers has confronted her directly.Earlier this year, Adgers was able to question Isabelle about the rape while acting as his own attorney in a hearing in New London. When she objected and told the court she didn't want to answer any more questions, Adgers barked at her that she had to remain sitting until he was finished with his inquiry, then proceeded to insult her appearance.The restraining order is designed to keep Adgers from learning Isabelle's whereabouts, which, in the past, would be included in mailings returned to him.Since Adgers' conviction, Isabelle said, she has been forced to move six times. Adgers has had four years tacked onto his original sentence for repeatedly harassing her.Reached at home Tuesday, Isabelle said she was grateful to Ruhe, Thomas and James F. Papillo, the chief state's victims advocate. "That's the good news of the day," she said. "This has been such a nightmare, you can't imagine. But it looks like it might be coming to an end."..
and from wfsb, channel 3 news Convicted rapist continues to harass his victim
HARTFORD-- A restraining order has been issued against a convicted rapist, accused of repeatedly harassing his victim.
The woman's husband was sentenced at Hartford Superior Court for rape, assault, and kidnapping. But that was only the beginning. Since he has been in prison, he has filed nearly two dozen lawsuits, making his wife a victim over and over.
She has had to change her name and move five times because she is afraid. "Isabelle" says it started when she tried to leave her husband after he had beaten her several times.
"He had a hammer to my head, he hit my head and I blacked out and when I woke up I saw there was blood", says Isabelle.
She was scared. Then her husband, Allan Adgers, took her to a Hartford park and raped her with a knife pointed at her head. Adgers was arrested, tried, and convicted, and is now serving an eighteen year sentence. But the harassment continues.
He filed twenty-three lawsuits against his ex-wife, forcing her to re-live that brutal night.
The victims advocate is trying to stop any lawsuits from being filed against Isabelle. The attorney general wants him to have to get permission for any types of lawsuits filed.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
i was STUNNED when he said this; 'i support harriet miers because i trust our president, george w bush'.
oh my goddess. i got chest pains AGAIN when i typed that. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww
his second guest (well i assume second. i didn't see if anyone was on before dr land) was the former episcopal bishop john shelby spong. he didn't seem the crackpot type at all. he stated when he was a child, the bible was used as a tool for preaching racism, homophobia, misogyny, hatred of other religions and all sorts of other things. as a young man, he grew to know that was not true (unlike dr land who still uses the bible to preach hate). anyway, i feel the bible is a great book BUT it was WRITTEN BY MAN FOR MAN. it was written long ago in different times. it was written in a time when eating pigmeat and shellfish (i eat neither, i'm vegan and NOT for religious purposes) was dangerous (hence the prohibitions). i had to dash off at that point and put my face on. perhaps i'll catch a re-run and watch the rest of mr spong's interview.
(i'm NOT pro-abortion. i am PRO CHOICE. i feel the lack of education is the root of the problem by the way. teach KIDS about contraception. don't keep them in the dark and only preach abstinance. IT DOESN'T WORK. anyway, i digress........) (oh and wtf are 'traditional missouri values' anyway?)
Court Won't Block Mo. Inmate Abortion
Monday October 17, 2005 10:01 PM
By GINA HOLLAND
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Missouri officials must let a pregnant inmate have an abortion, the Supreme Court said Monday, rejecting an appeal by anti-abortion Gov. Matt Blunt.
Missouri, which has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, argued taxpayers should not have to pick up the tab for transporting the woman to an abortion clinic.
The unanimous order declining to intervene comes as the Senate prepares for the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, during which lawmakers are sure to press her on abortion. She was picked to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a key swing voter in abortion cases who is retiring.
``I don't think the justices have ever wanted to have this fight under the bright glare of a political spotlight,'' said Stephen Wermiel, an American University law professor.
Blunt criticized the court, saying its decision ``is highly offensive to traditional Missouri values and is contrary to state law, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being spent to facilitate abortions.''
The Republican governor earlier had denounced what he called ``an outrageous order from an activist federal judge'' who sided with the inmate. He called a special session this fall to pass new restrictions on abortion and has promised to work with abortion foes on more laws.
The inmate, known only as Jane Roe, is at least four months pregnant and her lawyers told justices that she is anxious and depressed. She found out she was pregnant after being arrested on a parole violation and sued the state after her attempts to get an abortion were rebuffed. ...........
Bush's job rating continues to drop
Poll shows president's performance approval at low point
Monday, October 17, 2005; Posted: 7:44 p.m. EDT (23:44 GMT)
(CNN) -- President Bush's job approval rating continues to plummet, with 39 percent of Americans surveyed in the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll supporting his performance, compared to 58 percent expressing disapproval.
The approval rating was lowest the poll has recorded during Bush's presidency, down from 45 percent in a survey taken September 26-28, and the disapproval rating was up from 50 percent.
The latest poll results, released Monday, were based on interviews with 1,012 adult Americans conducted by telephone October 13-16. In both surveys, the questions on approval ratings had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Bush has seen his approval rating steadily decline since he was sworn in for a second term in January, when 57 percent approved of his handling of the job and 40 percent disapproved.
The rating in the September 26-28 poll was an uptick that reflected the public's generally favorable view of the way Bush handled Hurricane Rita. (Full story)...............
Intrepid MediaCitizen reader "lebkuchen" Googled some of the soldiers who were used as stooges before Bush and the cameras on Thursday and found another GI who didn't pass the smell test. I've dug further into the history of First Lieutenant Gregg Murphy of the 278th Regimental Combat Team and found that there's more to Murphy than meets the lens. His pro-Bush rhetoric is sprinkled throughout the media in articles dating back to 2003. This begs the question: how could one soldier get so much face time? Was Murphy like other soldiers, giving Americans a "sincere" assesment from the field -- as Scott McClellan claimed at his White House press briefing Thursday? Or could he be part of a larger scheme -- involving already outed Seargent-cum-shill Corine Lombardo -- to covertly stack the media deck with pro-war, pro-Bush propagandists?
FARMINGTON (AP) -- The state medical examiner has ruled the death of former Saturday Night Live comedian Charles Rocket a suicide.
Rocket, whose real name was Charles Calervie, was found dead in a field near his home in Canterbury on Oct 7. His throat had been cut. He was 56.
"An investigation determined there was no criminal aspect to this case," said State Police Sgt. J. Paul Vance.
Rocket was a cast member on Saturday Night Live during the 1980-81 season. He gained notoriety when he was fired from SNL after swearing on the air.
He went on to appear in numerous TV shows and movies including "Earth Girls are Easy," and "Dances With Wolves."
JUDITH MILLER Plame and Simple
By John Steinberg RAW STORY COLUMNIST
While Judith Miller racked up her frequent liar miles in the Alexandria Detention Facility, not much seemed to be happening in the Plame investigation. However, her release seems to have pushed the cosmic fast-forward button; stunning revelations and developments have become almost daily events.
The ensuing cacophony of rumors, spin and positioning has created a level of FUD that would make Bill Gates proud. We all hope that one of the products of Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation will be a bit of clarity. But there is one essential matter, intentionally obfuscated by most voices now shouting into the Plamegate wind, that can and should be cleared up now, without waiting for the special counsel’s providence.
The utterly self-serving drumbeat that continues to issue from the New York Times is the claim that Miller’s status as a reporter conveys privilege, which elevates her jailing to a secular martyrdom. And the Times seems intent on treating that privilege as absolute – if Miller says her source is confidential, then no earthly force should be able to compel her to reveal it. They seem to think that with sufficient repetition they will convince someone – perhaps themselves – that it is true merely because they wish it so. But their circular reasoning seems intended to preclude meaningful discussion of the real issues at stake............
Monday, October 17, 2005
but if this opens in one, i WILL go. if you've read my blog before you will know i am a johnny cash (and june carter cash) fan. i always liked him but never became a die-hard admirer until i heard american iii; solitary man on the juke at the half door (thanks shawn). i listened to it over and over. then they put american iv; the man comes around, in the juke. i was in heaven.
i didn't pay much attention to the love story aspect of johnny and june or his early on drug problems. what fascinated me was his relationship with rick rubin and the way he and june reached out to other artists from all musical styles.
The Secrets That Lie Beyond the Ring of Fire By SHARON WAXMAN
Published: October 16, 2005
IT was late at night in May 2003, and Johnny Cash, the legendary country singer, was bedridden and ill at his home in Hendersonville, Tenn.
James Mangold, a film director visiting the singer that night, felt desperate. For four years he had struggled to make a movie that told the story of Mr. Cash and his wife, the singer June Carter Cash. And as he watched Mr. Cash grow thin and weak, Mr. Mangold felt it all slipping through his fingers.
That night in Mr. Cash's bedroom, as June looked on, he put it to them straight.
"I don't believe you never touched each other in all those years," he told them, referring to their courtship. "I don't believe you never kissed."
Mr. Mangold saw the couple - devout Christians who had fallen in love while Mr. Cash was married to another woman - exchange a look. June finally said: "Vegas. The Mint."
Then, as Mr. Mangold recently recalled, "she told us about doing a show, and that one night they got together. How afterward she put an end to it, and John went downhill from there, with the drugs. And she gave up on him."
The director sighed, recalling the relief of unlocking that final door. "They'd told that story 100 times, without the part of their sleeping together," he said.
The film that has emerged from the Cashes' hard-won revelations, "Walk the Line," may surprise even their long-time fans. Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as the lead characters, the movie burrows deep into painful territory that Mr. Cash barely explored in two autobiographies, "Man in Black," and "Cash: The Autobiography," which were both optioned for Mr. Mangold's screenplay...........
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: October 17, 2005
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 - For most of the 30 months since American-led forces ousted Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration has argued that as democracy took hold in Iraq, the insurgency would lose steam because Al Qaeda and the opponents of the country's interim government had nothing to offer Iraqis or the people of the Middle East.
Over time, President Bush told troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., this spring, "the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits, and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world."
But inside the administration, that belief provides less solace than it once did. Senior officials say the intelligence reports flowing over their desks in recent months argue that even if democratic institutions take hold, the insurgency may strengthen. And that possibility has created a quandary for an administration that desperately wants to equate democracy-building with winning the war, but so far has not been able to match the two.
That internal struggle was evident this weekend, as Mr. Bush returned to Washington sounding less celebratory about Iraq's constitutional referendum - whose outcome is suspected but still unknown - than he did after Iraq's elections last January. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking from London on "Fox News Sunday," was somewhat more definitive: "The Sunnis are joining the base of this broad political process," she said. "That will ultimately undo this insurgency. But of course, they can still pull off violent and spectacular attacks." .............
manolo's shoe blog. VERY funny indeed. if you need something to lighten your mood, please do take a look. i especially like the gallery of horrors.
To quote The Manolo, AYYYYYYYY!
I have this image in my mind of a crowded space full of guests. The organist begins playing the bridal march and a hush falls over the crowd. The bride slowly makes her way onto the aisle. Before the guests ever see her, however, they hear her…FWAP! FWAP! FWAP! go her dainty feet as she makes her way toward marital bliss. Does the groom run like hell? Do the older ladies cluck their tongues? Maybe. Maybe not. But what bride wants to run that risk?
Russert, Gigot and Infomercial News
by John Kelley
Watching the Sunday pundit shows is always an exercise that most of the time varies from me making corrections of fact out loud to the TV set to out right hollering, but today was like watching an alternate universe. I tuned in to Meet the Press with Tim Russert interviewing Louis Freeh, Clinton FBI Director. This is the man who was in charge of internal security when Saudi terrorists were taking flight lessons in the U.S. but lived in a world where he reputedly refused to have a computer in his office. This is a man who in his book seems to indicate that he still thinks there is something to Whitewater. Given Freeh’s somewhat questionable success as an FBI director and obvious prejudices, the whole tone of the show was, well quite incredible. If memory serves me right, last week the President set new lows for public support, his top advisor and that of his vice president were both close to indictment for revealing classified information, the House Majority Leader is under indictment and the Senate Majority Leader is under investigation. It has become accepted fact that the President lied to put us into a quagmire, that his generals are saying it will take another eight years to win, the economy is hanging by a thread, the Republicans are gutting the environment and the President is arguing for right to torture people. On top of that there is the potential for a catastrophic pandemic that the president seems to be as prepared for as Katrina (which by the way is still an ongoing disaster), except he proposes sending in the troops to, I guess shoot people who violate the quarantine. So, back to Russert who has Freeh on, the man who quit just two months before 9-11. What does he ask? What did Bush know, how much information was given to Bush by the FBI, what was the administration’s reaction? No, he focuses on an allegation that Freeh makes in his book that President Clinton hit up the Saudi’s for a contribution for his presidential library. The two of them go on to focus on whether this is a crime............
-- Senior Pastor Keenan Roberts of Destiny Church, and author and creator of The Hell House Outreach KitThe Destiny Church, based in Broomfield, Colorado, has a special, seasonal outreach program -- it builds a haunted house that stages dramatic and timely messages on homosexuality, abortion, satanism and all the other wages of sin. And when you come out at the end, you can receive pastoral counseling if you want to be saved.What's really neat-o is how this church has built it all into a little enterprise, creating DVDs and materials for other churches ($299, with documentation of course), so they can scare the be-Jeebus into all comers on Oct. 31. I had to keep digging through this web site to be sure that it wasn't a parody, because it is so off-the-hook, but I found articles on this nonsense in mainstream media publications, and other churches have picked up on this (see links at the end). This church really has the packaging down pat...........
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Is Louis Farrakhan a Hal Turner Fan?
By posting this today, I have no intention of insinuating criticism of the Millions More March, which I consider to be a productive event. But this question has to be asked: what is Louis Farrakhan doing citing Hal Turner, an avowed neo-Nazi hate radio host, as a legitimate source for his levee conspiracy theory? Does Farrakhan regularly listen to neo-Nazi shortwave radio, or visit Hal Turner's insane website, and if so, why?From CNN's Situation Room on Wednesday:
FOREMAN: You had to be very disturbed by what you saw out of New Orleans, as a great many Americans were disturbed by what they saw out of New Orleans. When you watched what happened there, the flooding, which happened largely in very poor neighborhoods, substantial numbers of people there who are black people, what did you think?FARRAKHAN: Well, first, many of us saw race raise its ugly face again. The ugly specter of poverty and want in the midst of plenty was shown, not only to the American people, but to America's hurt. In foreign capitals, the news was negative against America.FOREMAN: I want to interrupt you on this question of negative news here, because there has been the suggestion out there, people have written about this notion, that they say that you said at some point, you believe the levees were bombed or purposely breached to flood black neighborhoods. Is that true?FARRAKHAN: Well, yes, I did say that, but I didn't say it in a vacuum.FOREMAN: What do you mean? Explain it.FARRAKHAN: I spoke along with members of the executive committee of the Millions More Movement to Mayor Nagin after he told us many things that he felt we could do to help. He did mention that there was a 25-foot crater under the levee.Then we heard from the Hal Turner Show that someone under the rubric of anonymity said to Mr. Turner that he was a member of the Army Corps of Engineers, went down in his diving suit, and he saw burn marks on the concrete, and he spirited some of it away and sent it to his friend in the Army forensic laboratory. And they sent back to him saying that there were two types of explosives that they named, I can't recall, but let me just say this. Whether it is a rumor or truth, whenever there's a rumor that is believed by many, it becomes the duty and the obligation to take that rumor to those who have the knowledge to search the truth of it out.FOREMAN: Do you believe this rumor? Do you believe the levees were bombed down there, or do you not believe that?FARRAKHAN: I would like to know the truth of it. In John Barry's book "The Rising Tide," he said that in 1927, whites in New Orleans purposely bombed that levee. If it happened once, could it happen again? You know, we need to know the truth. The American people need to note truth.And there are those who can search out the truth of this to either dispel it as nothing more than a rumor, or show that it is the truth............
By Wendy Orent
Sunday, October 16, 2005; B01
For two years, a deadly strain of chicken flu known as H5N1 has been killing birds in Asia. While slightly more than 100 people are known to have contracted the disease, and 60 of them have died, there is still no sign that the flu has begun to spread from person to person.
That hasn't prevented a recent outbreak of apocalyptic warnings from health officials and experts about the specter of a worldwide pandemic. In Hurricane Katrina's wake, health officials in the United States are talking more and more about pandemic preparation. Some of these ideas -- such as stockpiling vaccines -- are sensible, whether or not bird flu turns into a human disease and begins to spread rapidly.
But other ideas aren't. A few scientists have suggested "priming" people with a dose of the new vaccine against H5N1 before we even know whether a pandemic is coming. Vaccinating large numbers of people against a disease that may never appear carries its own risks. Remember the swine flu debacle of 1976? At least 25 people died from vaccine complications and no epidemic ever erupted. That should be warning enough.
Another dangerous idea for pandemic preparation has come from President Bush. Earlier this month, he suggested using the military to enforce a quarantine. "Who [is] best to be able to effect a quarantine?" he asked rhetorically at a press conference. "One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move."
The very term quarantine can be misunderstood (not to mention the military's role). Did the president mean gathering those exposed to flu in a single location and forcing them to stay there? Did he mean isolating them in their homes? Cordoning off whole communities where cases crop up? Not all quarantines are alike; each carries its own risks and benefits.
If this were idle presidential speculation, it wouldn't be worrisome. But he isn't the only one talking about quarantines and calling in the troops. In an Oct. 5 interview on "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also wondered whether the government would need to turn to "containment" or "quarantine the people who are exposed." She too remarked that the military or the National Guard might be summoned "to maintain civil order, in the context of scarce resources or an overwhelming epidemic. . . . It would be foolish not to at least consider it and plan for that as a possibility."
This is an example of a cure that is as frightening as the disease. It is hard to imagine how the military would oversee a quarantined area. If a health worker, drug addict or teenager attempted to break the quarantine, what would soldiers do? Shoot on sight? Teenagers and health workers were the people who most often violated quarantine rules in Toronto during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) scare in 2003. Moreover, the use of a quarantine to control a flu pandemic isn't only a potential threat to life and civil liberties; it's also a waste of money, resources and time. The reason: There isn't any kind of quarantine that will do any good -- at least not for a pandemic influenza.............
Sunday, October 16, 2005
afterward, i just read about all the idiotic things he says in the papers. here are two of my PERSONAL favorite robertson quotes:
The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.
God's pattern is for men to be the leaders, both in the church and in the family... "Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them."
for more quotes: Positive Atheism's Big Scary List Of Pat RobertsonQuotations
Preaching With a Vengeance
Pat Robertson's Fierce Rhetoric May Have Diminished His Political Clout
By Lynne Duke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 15, 2005; Page C01
What do Hugo Chavez and Harriet Miers have in common?
Pat Robertson: The rhetorical hit man who opined several weeks ago that Chavez, the Venezuelan president, should be assassinated now has thrown down the gauntlet for senators who oppose Miers's nomination for the Supreme Court.
"Now they're going to turn against a Christian who is a conservative picked by a conservative president and they're going to vote against her for confirmation?" he said Thursday on "The 700 Club," his voice sarcastic with disbelief. "Not on your sweet life, if they want to stay in office."
It's becoming almost routine, this strident talk. Indeed, Robertson, 75, has a long history of controversial statements, dating at least to his infamous 1991 conspiracist tract, "The New World Order." And he shows no sign of slowing down.........
.............So just who listens to Robertson (other than Chavez and the news media), and does he matter in politics? Depending on whom you talk to, Robertson is an embarrassment to the conservative movement who has yet to realize his own irrelevance, or he is a valuable Christian leader of millions, a man still capable of marshaling votes and influencing politics.............
By John Podesta
Sunday, October 16, 2005; Page B07
During his tenure as director of the FBI, Louis Freeh presided over a series of blunders and failures that brought the bureau to a low point in its history. From the embarrassment of the Russian mole Robert Hanssen to the bungling of the Wen Ho Lee investigation to the wasting of hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to build a modern, computerized case management system, the bureau under Freeh's leadership stumbled from one blunder to the next, with little or no accountability. The nadir, as the nation knows too well, was reached in the astonishing string of failures that helped leave America vulnerable to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In the face of this record, Freeh has now published "My FBI," a book distinguished by its shameless buck-passing. Nothing, it seems, was ever Louis Freeh's fault.
Who was to blame for the fact that there weren't enough FBI agents working on counterterrorism? According to Freeh, it was Congress. But in testimony three years ago, Freeh declared that "Congress has shown great foresight in strengthening" counterterrorism efforts, tripling the FBI's counterterrorism budget from $97 million in 1996 to more than $300 million in 1999. Whose fault was it that the FBI remained incapable of basic file management? Congress's, Freeh contends -- it underfunded the bureau's technology program. But as the report of the Sept. 11 commission points out, Congress did not meet FBI requests in the late 1990s because the bureau had squandered so much money already. Equally appalling is Freeh's recent claim on "60 Minutes" that the bureau was too distracted by the many "scandals" in the Clinton White House to attend to the terrorist threat. Of course, none of those politically motivated witch hunts, in which Freeh did the bidding of his congressional patrons on the partisan right, resulted in a conviction. And never mind that Freeh's FBI ought to have been able to protect the American people while pursuing other investigations at the same time............
Teacher Fired For His Beliefs
October 15, 2005 By LYNNE TUOHY, Courant Staff Writer
Stephen Kobasa has taught English in parochial schools for 25 years, always with a deep religious conviction and without an American flag in his classroom.It was never an issue until this school year began.
Kobasa was fired from his job at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport Thursday, in the face of a new diocesan policy that he says he's never seen in writing and hours after turning in his classroom flag to Principal Jo-Anne Jakab."I had come to the end of all the procedures of appeal available to me," Kobasa, 57, said Friday. He said his deep-seated religious belief, not un-American sentiments, was at the core of his opposition to having the flag in the classroom. "The crucifix cancels all flags," said Kobasa, a longtime peace activist. "Christ speaks of compassion without boundaries. ...Flags are about separation, assertions of superiority and aggression. The whole notion that loyalty to country is connected to one's religious faith is totally bizarre and unjustified."A statement posted on the Diocese of Bridgeport's website, attributed to spokesman Joseph McAleer, confirmed that Kobasa "is no longer a member of the faculty at Kolbe Cathedral High School. It is not our policy to comment on any internal personnel matter."The statement makes cryptic reference to the flag issue, without direct reference to Kobasa."Our Catholic schools provide a dynamic learning environment in which respect for the opinions of others, as well as respect for school property, are both key components," it says. "The Diocese of Bridgeport has long believed that the American flag is an important fixture in its Catholic school classrooms."When asked if Kobasa's opinions had been respected, McAleer declined to comment..............