yo yo yo search it!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

she's so unusual

i was flippling channels just now (must have been a reason, right?) and saw cyndi lauper singing (outside in the cold, mind you) true colors on the today show. not only did she look lovely, she still sings like an angel. she was playing a dulcimer too! how cool is that? i have always loved her (and even have her singing pee wee's playhouse theme). one of my favorites by her is called 'white man's melody'. i don't think it was ever released or at least not here. somehow i got my hands on a copy.

one of the saddest tales i have heard in a long long time

i am always amazed things like this can and do happen in our country

A Baby's Death, Grim as the Life of His Mother
This article was reported by Alan Feuer, Ann Farmer and Leslie Kaufman and written by Mr. Feuer.
Her parents were once homeless. A family member says that her mother and her only sister died of AIDS. Her childhood passed in a dismal drift: housing projects, group homes where others stole her clothes. She lived in drug-infested city shelters; she worked in a fast-food place, a relative said, where bosses found her "slow." She cut school. She cleaned bathrooms. And even in her 20's wet the bed.
Then Tracina Vaughn became a mother. There were many men, and, records show, at least one who hit her and hurt her boy. One man tossed the baby clear across a bedroom, officials said. Later, the child was burned in scalding water and left untreated for at least two days. Emergency medical workers found his little body wet with pus. Counseling followed, and five years' probation; then her children - there was now a second baby - were taken from her.
The case file thickened as they were shuffled from one place to another - with relatives, with strangers. But in March, against her family's wishes, the boys were returned.
Then, last Sunday, the younger boy, Dahquay Gillians, died. Ms. Vaughn, 25, had left him unattended in the bathtub, in an unlighted bathroom, with his 3-year-old half-brother, prosecutors say. She found him floating face-down in the water. For 40 minutes, the authorities said, Ms. Vaughn, who had by then added drug use to her list of problems, had been listening to CD's.
"Tracy should never have had children," said a family member who asked not to be named because of the painfully personal nature of her relative's case. "Tracy didn't like children. She didn't like no one. Tracy wasn't affectionate with nobody." ..........

oh my goddess (so to speak)!!!

i thought all of this crap with the air force was DONE. i thought wrong it appears (and it ain't the first time that has happened and it won't be the last).

Group Trains Air Force Cadets to Proselytize

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 12, 2005; Page A06

A private missionary group has assigned a pair of full-time Christian ministers to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where they are training cadets to evangelize among their peers, according to a confidential letter to supporters.

The letter makes clear that the organized evangelization effort has continued this year despite an outcry over alleged proselytizing at the academy that has prompted a Pentagon investigation, congressional hearings, a civil lawsuit and new Air Force guidelines on religion.

"Praise God that we have been allowed access by the Academy into the cadet areas to minister among the cadets. We have recently been given an unused classroom to meet with cadets at any time during the day," the husband-and-wife team of Darren and Gina Lindblom said in the Oct. 11 letter to their donors.

Following allegations of religious intolerance at the academy, the Air Force issued interim guidelines in late August that caution senior officers against discussing their faith with subordinates. But the guidelines do not limit "voluntary, peer to peer discussions," and they do not say whether Air Force officials can provide office space or other assistance to professional missionaries who train cadets to evangelize among their peers.

The Lindbloms' letter was made public by Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, a 1977 Air Force Academy alumnus who was a White House lawyer in the Reagan administration. He has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Air Force of violating the First Amendment's establishment clause by fostering evangelical Christianity over all faiths...........

you say tomato, i say

lyin' schemin' weasely WAR MONGER

Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument

By Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 12, 2005; Page A01

President Bush and his national security adviser have answered critics of the Iraq war in recent days with a two-pronged argument: that Congress saw the same intelligence the administration did before the war, and that independent commissions have determined that the administration did not misrepresent the intelligence.

Neither assertion is wholly accurate

The administration's overarching point is true: Intelligence agencies overwhelmingly believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and very few members of Congress from either party were skeptical about this belief before the war began in 2003. Indeed, top lawmakers in both parties were emphatic and certain in their public statements.

But Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions............

and what a pair of stones (tiny ones i will say, but stones none the less) on THIS dude!!!

Bush Contends Partisan Critics Hurt War Effort

Published: November 12, 2005
TOBYHANNA, Pa., Nov. 11 - President Bush on Friday sharply criticized Democrats who have accused him of misleading the nation about the threat from Iraq's weapons programs, calling their criticism "deeply irresponsible" and suggesting that they are undermining the war effort.

In a Veterans Day speech at an Army depot here, Mr. Bush made his most aggressive effort to date to counter the charge that he had justified taking the United States to war by twisting or exaggerating prewar intelligence. That line of attack has deepened his political woes by helping to sow doubts about his credibility and integrity at a time when public support for the war is ebbing.
"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges," Mr. Bush said. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."
Mr. Bush's comments, using language far more direct and provocative than in his previous efforts to parry the criticism, brought an angry response from Democratic leaders in Congress, who said questions about his use of prewar intelligence were entirely legitimate and proper...........

Friday, November 11, 2005

happy veterans day!

and happy birthday (yesterday that is) to the marines!

i 'adopted' a soldier on tuesday. all i have to do is write to him and send a care package now and again. sounds fair enough to me. he has to do all of the hard stuff. i don't know anything about him yet (well i know his name and his rank and his apo address), not even where he is deployed. i will anxiously await the answer to my first letter. i do have my first care package made up but i'm supposed to wait for a 'mentor' to contact me before mailing it. if one doesn't by tuesday of next week, OFF IT GOES ANYWAY!

to those that are serving now and to those that have served (including my popi):


a piece on connecticut veterans

(and a special thanks to randy too. #1 for being a marine, #2 for going to iraq #3 for having to GO BACK to iraq perhaps in january and #4 for defending my honor [what little there is of it] yesterday to that asswipe mike who said i was unamerican!)

if jesus debated...........

gives me faith in the clergy

The won't-be-bullied pulpit
A Pasadena cleric cited by the IRS refuses to surrender 'the very soul of our ministry
.'By George Regas,
THE REV. DR. GEORGE REGAS was rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena from 1967 to 1995.

I CAN'T TELL YOU how surprised and shocked I was — and how disappointed — when All Saints Church was informed that the sermon I preached on Oct. 31, 2004, might have constituted an impermissible intervention into a political campaign under the Internal Revenue Code.I gave the sermon on the Sunday before the presidential election. It was called, "If Jesus Debated Sen. Kerry and President Bush." In it, I took great care to say that I did not want to tell people how to vote, but that I was challenging them to go into the voting booth on Tuesday taking with them all that they knew about Jesus, the peacemaker. To take all that Jesus meant to them and then vote their deepest values.
No one from the IRS attended my sermon, to my knowledge. The agency apparently saw an article about it in The Times the following day. The Times described it as "an indictment of the Bush administration's policies on Iraq" and noted that I had criticized the drive to develop more nuclear weapons and described tax cuts that benefited the rich as "inimical to the values of Jesus." Based on that, the IRS made a subjective determination that the sermon implicitly opposed one candidate and endorsed another.During my 28 years as rector of All Saints Church, I often preached sermons that touched upon what some would characterize as "political" issues. So many of the political issues that we confront today coincide with deeply held, core religious beliefs: issues relating to marriage, family, community and yes, even war and foreign policy. ........

it ain't easy being green

or gay in the hartford area. i don't know if the police took a report or not that first day and i don't know if it took 1 1/2 for them to respond or not. you can damn well bet i'm going to try to find out though

Victims tell of hate crime beating in the capital city
HARTFORD-- Hartford detectives are aggressively pursuing leads in a hate crime in the city's south end.
Two gay women claim they were attacked and beaten. Now, the police department is being criticized for a slow response to the attack.
People familiar with the situation say two women left a gay club and were beaten so badly, they were left with broken bones.
The victims say as they walked to their car just a few blocks away, they were surrounded by a group of young men in white bandanas and puffy jackets.
The men knocked the pair to the ground, beat them, yelling names like queer and dyke. Someone called 911.
Sources tell Eyewitness News the attack victims waited an hour and a half and saw no police, no ambulance.
Then some of the young men came back, intimidating the women until they left.
Sources say police did not take a report. A few days later a higher up in the Hartford Police Department learned of the hate crime and got detectives on the case. The department insists though, that a report was taken that day and detectives were assigned to it.
The victims of the attack have been reluctant to talk about what happened. They were so shaken up, they couldn't leave their homes for a week.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

my mom has passed (well a while ago)

and it's a DAMN good thing because i believe she ran afoul of the local library. she had some overdue books out. good thing the patriot act wasn't around then. i'd have to visit her in niantic (connecticut womens prison)

`Doe' Silent In Library Case
November 8, 2005 By LYNNE TUOHY, Courant Staff Writer
"But I can't talk to you."The words are those of George Christian, executive director of the Windsor-based Library Connection, a non-profit that electronically links and searches the collections of 26 Hartford-area libraries.Christian has been identified in news stories as the "John Doe" client of the American Civil Liberties Union who is challenging the FBI's attempted use of a "national security letter" to demand library patron records. Reached at Library Connection Monday, Christian declined to be interviewed.Among other services, Library Connection checks patron's records to see "what they have checked out, on hold or overdue" at all libraries they serve, according to the firm's Internet site.Christian's identity, and that of two others affiliated with him, have been concealed in court documents that are either sealed, heavily redacted or use the "John Doe" pseudonym. The national security letter states that recipients can never reveal to anyone that they have received such a letter........

even a commercial (NON PIRATED) cd has spyware on it

what is safe these days?

Spyware From A CD? Sony's Anti-Piracy `Rootkit' Secretly Monitors CD Use, Can Open Door To Hackers Or Disable Your Hardware
Christian Science Monitor
November 10 2005

Mark Russinovich, a software designer in Austin, Texas, wasn't too surprised to find something ghoulish lurking in his hard drive when he ran a routine virus check on Halloween. When he discovered it was a "rootkit" - a kind of software commonly used by viruses, spyware and other "malware" to mask themselves among normal files - he chalked it up to the usual aggravating tricksters.But when Russinovich, chief software architect for Winternals Software, did a thorough investigation, he was shocked to find the source of the rootkit: a commercially produced music CD from Sony BMG. Not only that, but when he manually tried to erase the program, it disabled his computer's CD drive.Russinovich posted his findings, in excruciating detail, on his weblog at sysinternals.com. His Van Zant album had automatically installed the rootkit to hide custom anti-piracy software when he played the CD on his computer. The blogosphere erupted with invective. They accused Sony of using "hacker ware" and programming computers to spy on their owners - and possibly opening a "backdoor" for hackers.Sony's software was designed by First 4 Internet, a British copyright-protection firm, which acknowledges a "theoretical" security risk posed by the rootkit. According to First 4 Internet CEO Matthew Gilliat-Smith, the rootkit application could create a secret back door for hackers. Sony has hastily posted a patch program to reveal the rootkit, but some say it doesn't go far enough."It definitely hit a nerve with a lot of people," says Russinovich. "I think part of it is the encroachment on our everyday lives, people being afraid that we're losing our right to privacy, our right to control our own property."The discovery highlights the music industry's growing concern, even desperation, in the face of increasing competition from digital music sources and loss of income from piracy."These companies are trying to - in their effort to reduce copying - erode users' control over their own computers," says Ed Felton, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University. "There are other companies that offer other kinds of copy-protection technologies, and there is a danger that they will stray across the line as well, or maybe even already have."Part of Sony's anti-pirating strategy is that some of its music will play only with media software included on the CD. When a user inserts the CD, he or she is asked to consent to an "end user licensing agreement" for a Digital Rights Management application. If the user agrees, the rootkit automatically installs and hides (or "cloaks") a suite of DRM software.........

i've never seen the show

and i was not interested in buying a toyota, now i will NEVER buy a toyota!

from the movie/tv news section of the imdb

Toyota Yanks Spots from 'Nip/Tuck'

Following a letter-writing campaign by the conservative media watchdog group Parents Television Council, Toyota has pulled its commercials from the FX drama Nip/Tuck. The group, a unit of Brent Bozell's conservative Media Research Center, had blasted the show's "graphic sex and violence." In an interview with today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell acknowledged that the show's content was one of the factors responsible for the carmaker's decision.

not sounding too very good for our own honor

uh oh

from the daily kos
seems the army DID (BY THEIR OWN WORDS) use white phosphorous

US Army Admits Use of White Phosphorus as Weapon
by Steven D
Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 02:48:58 PM PDT
(From the diaries. Let's see them deny this shit now -- kos)
That's right. Not from Al Jazheera, or Al Arabiya, but the US fucking Army, in their very own publication, from the (WARNING: pdf file) March edition of Field Artillery Magazine in an article entitled "The Fight for Fallujah": ...........

i DO believe in miracles (finally)!!!

Former FEMA chief Brown off payroll
WASHINGTON - Former FEMA chief Michael Brown is no longer on the agency's payroll, the Homeland Security Department said Wednesday, ending nearly two months of compensation after he resigned under fire.
Brown stepped down as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sept. 12 in the wake of the government's sluggish reaction to Hurricane Katrina and questions about his own disaster response experience. He remained on the FEMA payroll until Nov. 2, Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said.
Initially, Brown was permitted to continue collecting his $148,000 annual salary for 30 days after he resigned. Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he extended Brown's contract for an additional 30 days, until mid-November, to help the agency complete its review of the response to Katrina.
But Brown ended his contract early, said Knocke, responding to an inquiry about House Democratic demands to remove Brown from the payroll.
In a letter to Chertoff on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Brown's contract was "inexplicable and a gross waste of taxpayer dollars."........

"leaving blood and destruction"

Suicide bombers kill at least 57 in Amman blasts
By Suleiman al-Khalidi and Luke Baker
Wed Nov 9, 6:17 PM ET
Three suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up at three international hotels in Jordan's capital on Wednesday, killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, government officials and police said.
Two of the bombs exploded as crowds of people were celebrating weddings, leaving blood and destruction among guests at Amman's luxury Grand Hyatt hotel and the nearby Radisson SAS. A third blast targeted a Days Inn in the city.
Police said the blasts were caused by suspected suicide bombers. Police sources earlier told Reuters the Radisson blast had been caused by a bomb placed in a false ceiling.
"At nine this evening, there were three terrorist explosions in three hotels in Amman. There are a number of dead and wounded," Jordanian police spokesman Captain Bashir al-Da'jeh told Al Jazeera television. in their wake.
Jordan's King Abdullah blamed a "deviant and misled group" for the attacks. "The attacks targeted and killed innocent Jordanian civilians," he said in a statement carried by the country's official news agency, Petra.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but counterterrorism officials pointed the finger at al Qaeda and its leader in Iraq, Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, because of the apparently synchronized attacks -- a hallmark of the militant network.
"The number of dead is 57 and the number of injured is 115 from the three blasts," Deputy Prime Minister Marwan al-Muasher told a news conference. He said most of the victims were Jordanians.
Witnesses at the Hyatt described a flash of fire followed by a thunderous boom that shook the hotel's foundations............


i had a doctor's appointment yesterday. he and i were talking about dogs. it turns out both of us had miniture poodles at one time or another and both of us thought they were the smartest dogs we ever met. we clipped ours in a froo froo cut ONCE. she didn't like it and neither did we. after that, at the beginning of each summer we just shaved her down. she was fine with it as we were. i wish i kept all of her fur. i could have spun the MOST glorious yarn in the world. this was long long long ago when i was a child. still and all, i SHOULD have known.

poodles are NOT who you think they are by the way. they are VERY bright, VERY loyal and VERY athletic. they don't like bows in their hair (i don't like them in mine either by the way).

Hair-do's through the ages
Assuming that grooming practices were pre-tested on people before they were used on our Poodles, here's a quick (and very incomplete) review of the history of our grooming tools:
"Razor, 20,000 years ago, Asia and Africa....archaeologists have evidence that men shaved their faces as far back as twenty thousand years ago. Cave drawings clearly depict bearded and beardless men, and gravesites have yielded sharpened flints and shells that were the first razors. And as soon as man mastered working with iron and bronze, razors were hammered from these metals....
"Safety Razor: 1762, France....
"Electric Razor: 1931, United States....
"Soap: 600 B.C., Phoenicia....
"Shampoo: 1890s, Germany....
"Cosmetics: 8,000 Years Ago, Middle East....
"Hair Styling: 1500 B.C., Assyria....the Assyrians...were the first true hair stylists. Their skills at cutting, curling, layering, and dyeing hair were known throughout the Middle East as nonpareil. Their craft grew out of an obsession with hair....In 303 B.C., the first professional barbers, having formed into guilds, opened shops in Rome....
"Hair Dryer: 1920, [Racine] Wisconsin. The modern electric hair dryer was the offspring of two unrelated inventions, the vacuum cleaner and the blender.... [NB: "The New York Public Library Desk Reference...p. 102...first direct current electric motor dates to 1873, and the first commercial electric fan (a direct ancestor of the electric hair drier, one would think) to 1882. I could find no specific reference to electric hair dryers, but the same source dates the first electric toaster to 1893, so all the technological elements required for an electric-powered hair drier were in place by that date." (KF, 10 Sept. '99)]
"Comb: Pre-4000 B.C., Asia and Africa. The most primitive comb is thought to be the dried backbone of a large fish....the earliest man-made combs were discovered in six-thousand-year-old Egyptian tombs....Archaeologists claim that virtually all early cultures independently developed and made frequent use of combs--all, that is, except the Britons....these early peoples wore their hair unkempt (even during occupation by the Romans, themselves skilled barbers). They are believed to have adopted the comb only after the Danish invasions, in 789." Charles Panati, Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 214-38. (Also of interest: "Knife: 1.5 Million Years Ago, Africa and Asia"; and "Vacuum cleaner, 1901, England." Panati, pp. 80; 138.) ........

you've been a VERY bad elf!

it's ok to sell toy guns to kids BUT it's NOT ok to sell beer to adults? in all of the instances of drunken kids i have ever read about NOT ONE of them involved a BAD ELF. come on connecticut!

State Approves 'Bad Elf' Beer
POSTED: 2:22 pm EST November 8, 2005
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut residents will be able to toast to their health this holiday season with a bottle of Seriously Bad Elf. The state Department of Consumer Protection announced Tuesday it would approve the sale of Seriously Bad Elf ale in Connecticut despite earlier concerns that the beer's label might appeal to children.
The department determined that although state regulations bar alcohol advertising with images that might entice kids, including images associated with Santa Claus, the regulations do not apply to beer labels.
The state had notified Shelton Brothers, the beer's distributor in Belchertown, Mass., that it would reject the labels for Seriously Bad Elf and one for Warm Welcome ale based on the state regulation.
The label for Seriously Bad Elf shows a malevolent elf with a slingshot firing Christmas ornaments at Santa's sleigh as it flies overhead. Warm Welcome's label depicts Santa coming down a chimney into a lit fireplace.
On its Web site, Shelton Brothers took a whimsical view of its difficulty marketing the beer in Connecticut.
"In the case of state of Connecticut vs. Santa Claus, the defendant pleads bewildered. 'I never meant to hurt anybody,' an obviously shaken Claus told reporters after posting bail at a Hartford-area police station," the Web site says........................

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

unfortunately, this is one of MY senators

Lieberman encouraged by meeting with Alito
(Washington-AP, Nov. 8, 2005 11:50 AM ) _ Senator Joe Lieberman sat down for a talk this morning with Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, and says he was encouraged by the meeting.
Lieberman is a member of the so-called "Gang of 14" moderates who helped the Senate avert a contentious showdown over judicial nominations last spring. The bipartisan group of seven Democrats and seven Republicans is widely expected to play a central role in the Alito confirmation drama on Capitol Hill.
Lieberman says Alito was reluctant to discuss his judicial philosophy, but spoke about the need to respect precedent, and referred to Roe vs. Wade as a precedent on which a lot of people rely.
Lieberman says the judge also spoke strongly about the importance of civil-rights legislation.
Lieberman says he still has a lot more questions that need to be answered before he decides whether to support Alito.

good post on the left coaster

Another line of attack on Joseph Wilson

Hesiod sends a note about a Swift Boater "Maj. General Paul Vallely" who, per this World Nut Daily article:
...claimed Wilson revealed wife Valerie Plame's employment with the CIA to him in a casual conversation the year before she allegedly was "outed" by columnist Robert Novak.
That would be this Paul Vallely:
May 8 [2003]: Fox News Military Analyst Major General Paul Vallely states on The O’Reilly Factor that "Middle East agents" have told him that Iraq’s WMDs along with 17 mobile weapons labs (1 of which was captured around May 2) are now buried in the Bakaa [Bekaa] Valley in Syria 30 meters underground. He also claims that France helped Iraqi leaders escape to Europe by providing them with travel papers [a charge that even the Pentagon later denies although it's apparent that's where Vallely got his information]. ...............


this video is NOT easy to watch. i do NOT know if it is true or not. i am in NO WAY saying it is and i am in every way praying it is NOT true

i just found this U.S. denies using white phosphorus on Iraqi civilians

and felt it only fair to link to it

well what do you expect

we ARE second class citizens

Lawsuit against Fox News for sex bias laced with obscenity
11/08/2005 @ 3:02 pmFiled by John Byrne

A suit filed by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission against Fox News reveals that the former employee who made allegations against the network said she was routinely party to obscene language and sexist conversation, RAW STORY has learned.

RAW STORY obtained a copy of the suit Tuesday afternoon. It is viewable by PDF here. The actual suit is far more racy than media reports have revealed.
The suit alleges that Fox News Vice President Joe Chillemi regularly made pejorative remarks about women. In part of the complaint, it is said that Chillemi regularly made "derogatory comments about pregnant women (such as regularly stating that a pregnant woman had "tits" that were "fucking huge" and like "cannons" or "melons" and the on-air talent's breasts needed to be "covered" or not shown when the pregnant woman was being filmed).".......

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

an open letter in reply to a comment i got

the following was posted as a comment to one of my stories. my reply follows at the end.

Hello Lb,As I was reading this story I stopped to look back at the headline you gave it. It's ironic, and very appropriate.I had to ask myself,"What's the real agenda?"As I read the many well presented stories here something resonated in me.It was the voice of memory. I'd heard this before.And so I read previous stories. And postings. And, like a tiger released from his cage, one thing leapt out at me. One queston. One undeniable truism.What... what... WHAT is it that you're SO angry at?The sarcasm; the cynicism and the furiously spoken, vitriolic invective is simply overwhelming. And what does it tell me?That you are a very frightened woman. Why?People love you. There is at least one who loves you. Of that you can be sure, Lb.What is it that has you by the ears?You say, by way of description, that you are a talker and perhaps you will think about it later.That may be a trait of which you might be proud.If you REALLY believe that, and you ARE proud of it, than you MUST learn to expect that there are people who will react to what you say. Some of them may say things you don't like.I may be one of them. If you DO believe in what you say, and that the way you do things is justified; if you're as tough as you SAY you are, then, at least the way we played it in my old neighborhood, as we used to say, "Ya' gotta be willin' ta' take yer shots, pal."So, you ASKED for this. Don't cry "Foul!" Be the dynamic, fair, tough woman you CLAIM you are and LISTEN! You say on this page, at the top of the masthead, "Be well. Dream in colors." And then... and THEN..."Do as you will and it harm none."Well you did as you would. And it really harmed.People want to love you. What is there in trying to push them away?at least there was one who loved you. But you wanted nothing of him.And you say you care. You say it all meant something to you.It's funny, you know. As much as you despise the Catholic church, the two of you have a few things in common.You say one thing... and you do another.You say you care, but your behavior betrays you.You CLAIM to be a progressive thinker.But like those old men in Rome who wear the long scarlet dresses, your liberality extends only to those who think as you do. And when, by pure accident; without any malice whatsoever; someone hurts your feelings; when they, with complete unknowing, tread on a tender and unhealed memory, you scream "ASSASSIN!"What is it, Lb? What could it be?Why... why... WHY?Why ME?Who only wanted to care for you?What... why... who...What is the REAL agenda?You said you weren't done talking to me. Well, OK. If you ARE who you SAY you are, then I am asking you to be that person.If you're NOT, then you never were.

here is my reply:

this is TOTALLY inappropriate for a public forum. totally. i am answering it in this way because i just don’t know what else to do. the REASON everything started to crumble in the first place is because you posted what i thought was an inappropriate piece in your blog. i felt it was something you should have told me yourself. shared with me in PRIVATE. then, if you needed to post it, i would have understood. the way i found out was SHOCKING and i will never recover.

what am i angry at? i am angry we (the citizens of this great land) are being LIED to and we are doing NOTHING about it. i am angry because 2,000 plus of our women and men are dead along with COUNTLESS maimed and wounded FOR NO REASON. i am angry because so many people were displaced in la, ms, tx and fl and NO ONE (in power) seemed to give a flying f**k. i am angry because a covert cia agent was outed most likely by someone high up in our government and i don’t think anyone will be punished (except for the agent and her family) for this treasonous act (even novak is off scott free). i am angry children are starving and being hurt all over this world. i am angry people don’t take care of their animals. i am angry people do not have medical and prescription coverage. i am angry people are out of work.

am i more angry than happy? NO the answer is NO. when i post something political in my blog it makes my blood boil, hence my comments and attitude. when i post other things, i am of a FINE humor (i feel).

frightened? ,me? no. i am not frightened. it is human nature to want to be loved. however, i got over that long ago. i am who i am. one likes me or one doesn’t. one accepts me or one doesn’t. it is THEIR loss if they choose to walk on by.

i harmed you? well i may well have i don’t know. i think you romanticized things that should not have been. i think you may have looked at us through rose colored glasses when all along you should have used the ones covered in fog. you sure as shite harmed me. that much i can attest to. i told you i was willing to start over. it couldn’t be like it was, at least right away but i would try to build it back up again. that wasn’t good enough for you. i gave you my conditions YOU didn’t accept them.

i don’t believe i have ever used the words, ‘i despise the catholic church’. i don’t know where you got that from. i think it a very messed up institution as i do most other religions i am familiar with. i don’t like what it did to me and i don’t like what it did to many others, you included.

i don’t know what your agenda was. i don’t think it was what you led me to believe. i don’t think you are who you said you were either. i had feelings for one person and then another i didn’t know at all took over.

sheree north

died friday. she was MUCH more than cosmo kramer's mother........

hey georgie if we DON'T torture why can't we actually pass laws saying that?

once again, i fear for the safety of our service people deployed in the middle east (or anywhere for that matter). if it's ok for US to torture captured 'soldiers' (and i'm not sure they are ALL soldiers) why isn't it ok for other countries to torture OUR soldiers? turn about being fair play and all. i don't understand the dick or georgie mindsets. i really don't. i know we have to protect our country against those who wish us harm. how did we do that by invading iraq? none of the 9/11 terrorists were FROM iraq or TRAINED IN iraq or SUPPORTED by iraq. anyway, i'm rambling.

Bush Declares: 'We Do Not Torture'

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer on Nov 7,11:39 PM ET
President Bush on Monday defended U.S. interrogation practices and called the treatment of terrorism suspects lawful. "We do not torture," Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.
Bush supported an effort spearheaded by Vice President Dick Cheney to block or modify a proposed Senate-passed ban on torture.
"We're working with Congress to make sure that as we go forward, we make it possible, more possible, to do our job," Bush said. "There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. And so, you bet we will aggressively pursue them. But we will do so under the law."
Cheney is seeking to persuade Congress to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the proposed torture ban if one is passed by both chambers.
Bush spoke at a news conference with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to the administration's military tribunals for foreign terror suspects.
In a case entailing a major test of the government's wartime powers, justices will decide whether Osama bin Laden's former driver can be tried for war crimes before military officers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, U.S. military forces have held hundreds of suspects at known installations outside the United States, including at the Guantanamo Bay naval base.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that five additional terror suspects at Guantanamo will face military trials on various charges including attacking civilians and murder. That brought to nine out of about 500 detainees at the facility who have been charged with criminal offenses.
Bush was asked about reports that the CIA was separately maintaining secret prisons in eastern Europe and Asia to interrogate al-Qaida suspects — and demands by the International Red Cross for access to them.
Without confirming or denying the existence of such prisons, Bush said, "Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people."......

"our" country is at war? i didn't vote for this war. i didn't feel threated by the people of iraq BEFORE this war (i do now. we pissed them off a might). the people of iraq didn't try to invade OUR country or drop bombs on OUR country. yup saddam was (and is) and evil man. he DESERVED to be removed from power. then again many do now and many did. why didn't we take baby doc out or papa doc for that matter or qaddafi or that idiot from romania or on and on.

it's funny. i never use the term 'be a man'

i like to use, 'take your vagina outta your mama's handbag'. meaning of course, women ARE tough. ever see a man bear a child?

Fox News Is Accused in Bias Suit
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against the Fox News network, claiming it harassed and discriminated against its female employees, creating a "hostile work environment because of their sex."
The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, is based on an investigation by the commission, with headquarters in Washington, of a claim brought by a former Fox employee, Kim Weiler.
"We investigated the allegations and charges that were made and found them to be baseless," said Steven Mintz of the New York law firm Mintz & Gold, which represented Fox News in the commission's investigation. "Fox News questions the motivations behind the charges." Mr. Mintz declined to elaborate further yesterday evening.
The commission claims that a Fox vice president, Joe Chillemi, "routinely used gross obscenities and vulgarities when describing women or their body parts," language that it says Mr. Chillemi "did not use with male employees." The suit contends that Mr. Chillemi "routinely cursed at and otherwise denigrated women employees," telling them to "be a man."

this story better NOT be true

i've not seen the documentary and i'm sure i don't want to. i know the horrors of war and i know untruths are told too. this better be one of them (the untruths)

Rome, 7 Nov. (AKI) - A documentary to be aired on Tuesday by Italian state satellite TV channel RAI News 24 alleges that US troops used chemical weapons during their assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in November last year. The documentary - 'Fallujah - the hidden massacre' - uses witness accounts from former US soldiers, Fallujah residents, video footage and photographs, to support its claim that contrary to US State Department denials, white phosphorous was used indiscriminately on the city, causing terrible injuries to civilians, including women and children. "I heard the order being issued to be careful because white phosphorous was being used on Fallujah. In military slang this is known as Willy Pete. Phosphorous burns bodies, melting the flesh right down to the bone," says one former US solider, interviewed by the documentary's director, Sigfrido Ranucci. "I saw the burned bodies of women and children. The phosophorous explodes and forms a plume. Who ever is within a 150 metre radius has no hope," the former soldier adds. "A rain of fire came down on the city, and people targeted by the different coloured substances began to burn. We found people dead, with strange injuries, with their clothes intact," a biologist from Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq al-Deraji tells Ranucci..........

i wouldn't pay a DIME for it!

i'm not even going to link to the book. i just think people are foolish. however, it's not quite as bad as buying o.j. or john wayne gacy crap

Bear Market: Price of Scooter Libby's Novel Soars at Amazon
By E&P Staff Published: November 06, 2005 6:00 PM ET
Who says alleged crime doesn’t pay? I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby may or may not get a nice book sale out of his upcoming trial, but owners of out-pf-print or autographed versions of his sole novel, “The Apprentice,” are looking to make a bundle right now.Since the book, which is set in Japan and features some bizarre sex practices, is out of print, amazon.com is not selling it via the usual channels, but instead offering it for sale from individuals. Some are peddling paperback copies of the 2002 novel for $119 and up, while the hardback (from 1996) is fetching a minimum of $745.One seller, with the apt name “Ameribiz,” seeks $2400 for an edition he describes this way: “Inscribed, mint, PRE-FIRST EDITION. The bound 1996 uncorrected page proofs in Brand New MINT condition with inscription handwritten by Libby, himself. Inscription reads: 'To Bob. I hope you enjoy it. Lewis Libby.' A perfect gift for the ‘Bob’ who has everything.”Let speculation begin on who the original Bob might be. Novak? Woodward?A seller at barnesandnoble.com, named "Igor," wants $1039 for his copy of the hardback edition.One recent citizen-reviewer at Amazon wrote: “I paid $4 plus surface-mail shipping, but the price has skyrocketed since Libby was indicted on five counts by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, and resigned from Vice President Cheney's office. Gee, lucky me.”Another called "The Apprentice" a “solid book. I thoroughly enjoyed Libby's first novel. Now that he's out of politics (unfortunately) I hope he continues to write!”...........

Monday, November 07, 2005

hell NO we don't want him back either!!!

i just HATE cults. HATE HATE HATE them. years ago when i was about 18 or so and spending some time in vermont, i was being 'recruited' to join one (the brotherhood of the spirit to be exact). they were very good at what they did (isolating you, making you feel very loved, filling the empty space up in your soul), but i was BETTER. i have been trying to get some info on the brotherhood of the spirit and not much exists. it says they were in mass only (i could have SWORN i was in vermont, but it WAS long ago) and the founder died. it is still going on (NOT calling itself a cult, but a commune. it very well could be, i don't know about it these days. i DO know the FORMER leader called himself a reincarnation of st peter. i also knew then as i do now, that is a steamin' crock o' scheist)

The head of the church that breaks up families is facing a chorus of calls for his deportation as he arrived in Britain today.
Korean-born businessman Sun Myung Moon, who declares himself to be the messiah, is being allowed into this country for the first time in 27 years by Home Secretary Charles Clarke.
The leader of the Moonie cult is to use his visit to London to make the claim that he is really an 'ambassador for peace' who is concerned with 'the promotion of loving families'. But critics and MPs said he is dangerous and should be sent straight back to his home in the US.

Mr Clarke's decision to overturn a longstanding exclusion order against Moon will allow him to deliver a speech in London aimed at the 'rehabilitation of his reputation'.
Moon's visit is the first since 1978, when the Daily Mail exposed the brainwashing methods by which the Moonies attracted young recruits and kept them separated from their families.
In 1981, a milestone legal victory against the cult established that the Mail was right to condemn it as 'the church that breaks up families'. In 1978 the organisation called itself the Unification Church. But since the mid-1990s, it has been known in Britain as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
Powerbase in US ...........

would YOU buy a used car from this chump?

(i know the answer)

Before Rearming Iraq, He Sold Shoes and Flowers

By Solomon Moore and T. Christian Miller Times Staff Writers
Sun Nov 6, 7:55 AM ET
BAGHDAD — Ziad Cattan was a Polish Iraqi used-car dealer with no weapons-dealing experience until U.S. authorities turned him into one of the most powerful men in Iraq last year — the chief of procurement for the Defense Ministry, responsible for equipping the fledgling Iraqi army.
As U.S. advisors looked on, Cattan embarked on a massive spending spree, paying hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi funds for secret, no-bid contracts, according to interviews with more than a dozen senior American, coalition and Iraqi officials, and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The money flowed, often in bricks of cash, through the hands of middlemen who were friends of Cattan and took a percentage of the proceeds.
Although much of the material purchased has proved useful, U.S. advisors said, the contracts also paid for equipment that was shoddy, overpriced or never delivered. The questionable purchases — including aging Russian helicopters and underpowered Polish transport vehicles — have slowed the development of the Iraqi army and hindered its ability to replace American troops, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.
Cattan, now facing corruption charges leveled by the Iraqi Justice Ministry, insists that he is innocent of any wrongdoing and the victim of a smear campaign. In interviews in Poland, where he now lives, Cattan said he had worked under pressure from U.S. and Iraqi officials to arm the Iraqi forces as quickly as possible.
"Before, I sold water, flowers, shoes, cars — but not weapons," said Cattan, who signed most of the 89 military contracts worth nearly $1.3 billion to equip Iraqi security forces, according to the documents. "We didn't know anything about weapons."
Cattan's improbable rise and fall raises troubling questions about American oversight of the Iraqi army's development, considered the most important mission in reducing the number of U.S. troops in harm's way.
The portrait that emerges from interviews and documents is a Defense Ministry whose members were picked with the care of choosing a pickup basketball team. U.S.-appointed military advisors often selected inexperienced Iraqis and watched as they cut pell-mell weapons deals that eventually totaled one-third of the entire procurement budget..........

jean and cathy and dottie get ready

i have all of the books (except for the last one) and i just haven't gotten around to reading them. i promise i will. after all it IS my favorite genre of literature (science fiction and fantasy). i have seen the movies though and thoroughly enjoyed them! the kids playing harry and hermione and ron are great as alan rickman as snape. the other casting is pretty darn good as well. who can argue with maggie smith and michael gambon?

World premiere for Potter movie T
he stars of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire have attended the film's world premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London.
Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, thanked all the fans who had turned up. "If this doesn't get you exhilarated, nothing else will," he told the BBC.
Emma Watson, who plays Hermione, said the atmosphere was "amazing and completely overwhelming".
The Goblet of Fire is the fourth Potter book to be made into a film.
Some Potter fans had waited patiently outside the West End cinema since Saturday night.
"There were about 100 people when we got here at 9pm last night and there has been a lot of pushing to get to the front," Romina Talamonti from Argentina told the BBC News website.
"We didn't get any sleep at all but I think it will be worth it," she added.
Rupert Grint - who plays Harry and Hermione's friend Ron - also attended the premiere.
He told the BBC he had enjoyed making all the Potter films: "It's five years now and it's been a long time but they're good fun."
Filming on the fifth Potter movie gets under way in February.
Grint added that he would "definitely" like to be part of the sixth and seventh films.
New characters
The cast of the new film includes Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Dame Maggie Smith..................

violence like this is not only unacceptable, it is NOT going to help further understanding between the factions. how tragic this is

French police shot by rioting mob
About 30 policemen have been injured by shots and stones in a Paris suburb - on an 11th night of unrest across France.
They were attacked by some 200 rioters in Grigny, south of Paris. Two policemen were seriously injured.
The incident came hours after President Jacques Chirac said that restoring order was an "absolute priority".
Hundreds of cars were set on fire in different towns on Sunday night, and police had to use tear gas to disperse a club-wielding mob in Toulouse.

Rioters have burnt nearly 4,000 cars and more than 300 arrests have been made since the unrest began, gripping mostly African and Arab communities.
The violence was triggered by the deaths of two youths in the rundown Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, who were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station after reportedly fleeing police.
Targeting police
The two police officers were injured by gunfire in what police described as an "ambush" in Grigny late on Sunday.
They were reportedly taken to hospital with wounds to the leg and throat.
Police chiefs said their men were being deliberately confronted by gangs apparently intent on fighting them.
"They really shot at officers. this is real serious violence - not like the previous nights. I'm very worried because this is mounting," senior police officer in the area, Bernard Franio, said..........

someone with stones!

i never understood why anyone would approve torture. when we see OUR men and women being tortured by other governments we cry foul. think about that. do you want to FURTHER jeopardize the lives of our service women and men by allowing inhumane treatment of our prisoners? well, i for one DO NOT

GOP senator criticizes White House torture stance
Bill would ban inhumane treatment of detainees
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A leading Republican senator said Sunday that the Bush administration is making "a terrible mistake" in opposing a congressional ban on torture and other inhuman treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody.
Sen. Chuck Hagel, considered a potential presidential candidate in 2008, said many Republican senators support the ban proposed by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
The ban was approved by a 90-9 vote last month in the Senate and added to a defense spending bill. The White House has threatened a veto, but the fate of the proposal depends on House-Senate negotiations that will reconcile different versions of the spending measure. The House's does not include the ban.
Vice President Dick Cheney has lobbied Republican senators to allow an exemption for prisoners held by the CIA if preventing an attack is at stake.
"I think the administration is making a terrible mistake in opposing John McCain's amendment on detainees and torture," Hagel, R-Nebraska, said on "This Week" on ABC. "Why in the world they're doing that, I don't know."
McCain, citing the Senate vote as well as support from the public and from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and others with military service, said he will push the issue with the White House "as far as necessary."
"We need to get this issue behind us," McCain said on "Fox News Sunday." "Our image in the world is suffering very badly, and one of the reasons for it is the perception that we abuse people that we take captive."..........

Sunday, November 06, 2005

tofu cutlets

(tofu cutlets, spuds, peas and corn and nutritional yeast gravy)
tofu cutlets

the secret is to pre-freeze your tofu. i do this with ALL of my tofu, unless I’m going to use a blender for something or other like a pie filling. when you defrost the once frozen tofu (freeze for at least a week to get a GOOD result) it changes consistency. it becomes chewy, rather like um chicken (NOT the taste of course). i even break it apart and put it in my spaghetti sauce or on pizza or just about anything.

1 block thawed tofu, extra firm
½ c (give or take) bread crumbs of your choice
3 heaping tablespoons flour of your choice (whole wheat, unbleached white, potato, rice, whatever you use is just fine)
3 to 5 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
½ cup soy or rice milk
3 tablespoons soy mayo or soy sour cream (i use
vegenaise by follow your heart. It is THE best non-egg mayo out there in my humble opinion)
seasonings (salt and pepper and cayenne is always nice) to taste
olive oil or whatever your choice is
fresh lemon

cut tofu into six equal pieces and squeeze out excess water. whisk milk and mayo or sour cream together until fairly smooth. (of course if you eat eggs you can use an egg instead). in a bag (i either use a small lunch-type brown bag or one of those plastic bags you appropriate from the produce section of your grocery store) mix the flour, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast flakes and seasonings. dip the tofu cutlets (or even better, soak them for a few minutes) in the milk mixture making sure all sides are coated. put them in the bag of crumbs and shake gently so they don’t break. fry in a bit of olive oil, turning over when the first side is browned. squeeze lemon juice over the still warm cutlets and serve with yeast gravy or soy mayo or in a sandwich or break apart and put in a salad.

microwave nutritional yeast gravy

1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 ¼ cups of water or plain rice or soy milk
4 tablespoons flour of your choice
1 giant handful (i guess it’s about ¼ cup or so) of yeast flakes
seasonings of your choice (you may not want to add salt if your bouillon cube is already salted). i like to use a good commercial curry powder in my gravy. i use about a teaspoon. you can pre-cook (sauté) some onions and/or mushrooms and add them to the gravy too.

put dry ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. slowly add the water or milk whisking well the whole time. if you want the mushrooms and/or onions now is the time to add them. microwave for 2 minutes on high. stir then put back in for 1 minute. stir and put in another moment or until the flour is cooked.

*note: today i tossed in the leftover milk/mayo/sour cream mixture, to the gravy. i did it when it only had one minute more to cook. i thought it might separate if i cooked it n from the start.

what is the REAL agenda here?

our polling places require a picture id, but honestly, if i had to prove citizenry by tuesday, i don't know if i could. we all know the REAL reason arizona is doing this and it STINKS

Eligible to Vote in Arizona? Prove It
A new law requires evidence of citizenship. Thousands of legal residents are in a bind. By Nicholas Riccardi, Times Staff Writer
PHOENIX — A stringent new voter identification law being put into effect in Arizona — designed to keep illegal immigrants from voting — will also prevent thousands of legitimate voters from casting ballots Tuesday, election officials say.Proposition 200, which voters approved last year, requires Arizonans to prove U.S. citizenship to register to vote and to show a photo ID at the polls.
The law put this border state at the edge of a nationwide push to tighten screening at the polls: fifteen states now require ID at polling places, but no other state requires documentation of citizenship in order to register.It's a movement that advocates say is long overdue to prevent election fraud, but which critics say will decrease voter turnout and has already disenfranchised thousands of Arizona voters.In Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, more than 10,000 people trying to register have been rejected for being unable to prove their citizenship. Yvonne Reed, a spokeswoman for the recorder's office, said Friday that most probably are U.S. citizens whose married names differ from their birth certificates or who have lost documentation.Reed said she hoped the number of rejected voters would shrink as election officials explained the new requirements. But, she said, "there will be an amount of people who we will not be able to get on the rolls because of not being able to find the right documents or just losing interest."In Pima County, home to Tucson, 60% of those who tried to register initially could not. Chris Roads, chief deputy recorder and registrar, said all appeared to be U.S. citizens but many had moved to Arizona recently and couldn't access birth certificates or passports...........

why IS it such a big deal to bare your breasteseseseesess?

i have wondered that from time to time. why do men go absolutely MENTAL when they see a bare breast? what the hell is the big deal?

Sacramento -- A federal judge denied on Friday a request from a group of Mendocino women who wanted to protest topless on the grounds of the state Capitol.
U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell said the group made no compelling argument that showing their breasts constitutes free speech.
"Being topless is not inherently expressive" speech, Burrell said. The group, Breasts Not Bombs, had scheduled a protest for noon Monday. The California Highway Patrol threatened to arrest anyone who went topless.
Sherry Glaser, a leader of the group, said the protest may take place without bare breasts.
"All we really have is the power of ourselves," she said. "Our bodies bring attention."
Group members, whose protest on the west steps of the Capitol is intended to contrast the "indecent" initiatives backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the November ballot with their "natural and decent" breasts, sought a temporary restraining order prohibiting CHP officers from arresting women who protest topless.
The First Amendment protects their right to protest bare breasted, the group argued. "The very act is a dynamic and fully expressive statement worthy of constitutional protection," their brief asserts.
But Burrell didn't buy that argument.
"Do you think the founding fathers had this in mind when they drafted the First Amendment?" he asked Matthew Kumin, the lawyer representing Breasts Not Bombs.

web site of the day

web site of the day: the church of the flying spaghetti monster a very intelligent, funny and BRAVE young man. even though i don't know him, he makes me proud AND smile!

aye aye aye pirates!

1 Hurt in Attack on Luxury Liner
Cruise Ship Eludes Pirates off Somalia

Associated PressSunday, November 6, 2005; Page A03
MIAMI, Nov. 5 -- Pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade and machine guns Saturday in an attack on a luxury cruise liner off the East African coast, the vessel's owners said.
Two armed boats approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the coast of Somalia and fired as the boats' occupants attempted to get onboard, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. The ship outran them and changed course.
"Our suspicion at this time is that the motive was theft," Good said.
The attackers never got close enough to board the Spirit, but one member of the 161-person crew was injured by shrapnel, said Deborah Natansohn, president of the cruise line.
The Press Association, the British news agency, said passengers awoke to the sound of gunfire as two 25-foot inflatable boats approached the liner.
Edith Laird of Seattle, who was traveling on the ship with her daughter and a friend, told British Broadcasting Corp. TV in an e-mail that "at least three rocket-propelled grenades . . . hit the ship."..........
it's not really funny. a person was hurt and i'm guessing EVERYONE was afraid. i'd rather sail than fly but now i'm not even sure about that

this IS america, right?

it's not some cold war communistic land of big brother, right? should we be concerned about the web sites we visit in our own homes? what books we purchase (lately it's just been knitting books but i really WAS thinking of purchasing a copy of the quaran to read. i just want to further understand islam. i am quite ignorant on the subject). The FBI's Secret Scrutiny In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans
By Barton Gellman Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 6, 2005; A01
The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.
Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.
Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public. The Washington Post established their identities -- still under seal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit -- by comparing unsealed portions of the file with public records and information gleaned from people who had no knowledge of the FBI demand.
The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26. "National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.
The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans................