Saturday, April 01, 2006
Three men charged in 'dungeon' castration
Updated: 9:10 p.m. ET March 31, 2006
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three men accused of running a sadomasochistic "dungeon" in rural Haywood County were in custody Friday, charged with performing illegal castrations.
Investigators from the office of Sheriff Tom Alexander said the men admitted performing at least eight surgeries on six consenting clients over the past year, including castrations and testicle replacements.
None of the men — identified as Richard Sciara, 61, Danny Reeves, 49, and Michael Mendez, 60 — is licensed to practice medicine, officials said.............
Welcome back to the BuzzFlash GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
While real circus entertainment may be in decline, we always have Ann Coulter around for a few laughs.Coulter is sort of a mix between caged tigers and dancing bears, the difference being that people pay her for her performance instead of the circus owner.Coulter's expertise is outrageous, terrorist-sounding threats and claims, rapaciously indulging in every sort of stereotype in her arsenal, one of them being racism. For example, she once implied that one reason Al Gore lost the 2000 election was that minority voters in Florida were too stupid to vote correctly.However, it turns out that Ann Coulter is being pursued by the Palm Beach County Election Supervisor for being registered to vote at an address at which she doesn't reside -- and voting using false information about her place of residence. She's been sent a letter, prior to having the incident possibly referred to legal authorities, but it's going to the address at which she doesn't live............
it was out there for ALL of us to use or post if we saw fit
NOW we have this, the photographer WAS FIRED BY THE ARCHDIOCESES OF BOSTON (surprise surprise surprise)
Church fires photog over Scalia picture: Freelancer pays for ‘right thing’
By Jessica Heslam Friday, March 31, 2006 - Updated: 01:24 PM EST
A freelance photographer has been fired by the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper for releasing a picture of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia making a controversial gesture in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday.
Peter Smith, who had freelanced for The Pilot newspaper for a decade, lost the job yesterday after the Herald ran his photo on its front page. Smith said he has no regrets about releasing it.
“I did the right thing. I did the ethical thing,” said Smith, 51, an assistant photojournalism professor at Boston University.
Smith snapped the photo of Scalia flicking his hand under his chin after a Herald reporter asked the conservative jurist his response to people who question his impartiality on matters of church and state.
Smith wouldn’t give up the photo earlier this week but chose to release it when he learned Scalia said his gesture had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald. Smith, who was standing in front of the judge, said the Herald “got the story right.” ..........
i was directed to the website of representative jack kingston’s website
where he seems to get off on calling cindy sheehan a nutcase and other things.
From: Kingston Press Office Kingston.Press.Office@mail.house.gov Date: March 31, 2006 11:44:45 AM EST To: Subject: SHEEHAN IS A NUTCASE//KINGSTON v. LIBERALS
Cindy Sheehan IS A "Nutcase" March 31st, 2006 by Press Staff
In today's CongressDailyAM (full story after the jump due to subscription), Sue Davis reports that Congressman Kingston got into a "discussion" yesterday in a closed-door meeting with two liberal Democrats regarding anti-war beatnik, Cindy Sheehan.
A closed hearing of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee turned contentious Thursday as Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., Subcommittee ranking member Jack Murtha, D-Pa., and others sparred over the meaning of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, heroes and military service.
According to one Democratic source present at the hearing, Kingston commented that Sheehan was "a nutcase" and lamented that too many of the human interest stories coming out of the war in Iraq center on anti-war activists like Sheehan and filmmaker Michael Moore and do not give proper service to heroic tales of U.S. soldiers............
what person in their right mind thinks a lot of GOOD stories come out of war? what person in their right minds think there isn't death and misery and torture and pain and suffering during war? i'm talking ANY war and ALL wars not just this one. i'm not just talking 'our' side either. i'm talking our side, their side and ALL sides. why do you think viet nam vets (most of them) do NOT like to talk about BEING IN VIET NAM? i'm guessing it isn't because they have an abundance of GOOD stories to tell us
Friday, March 31, 2006
Richard Norton-Taylor Thursday March 30, 2006 The Guardian
Schoolchildren have exploited loopholes in Britain's arms controls by importing torture equipment including thumb and wall cuff restraint devices and a Chinese "sting stick" - a metal bar covered with spikes.
All that teenagers from Lord Williams's school in Thame, Oxfordshire, needed was a letterhead, a mobile phone, an email address, and a little money. They also set up a separate company in Ireland to avoid British controls on the sale of small arms.
The government says it is opposed to any trade in torture equipment, but bans only those items mentioned on a published list. The wall cuffs from Poland, thumb cuffs from Taiwan, and sting stick from China do not appear on the list.
The pupils set up two companies, Williams Defence and Williams Defence (Eire). Through their Irish company they arranged deals to destinations covered by British and other national trade embargos, including the sale of Pakistani grenade launchers to Syria, Turkish guns to Mali, and South African rifles to Israel..........
.........The pupils presented Malcolm Wicks, minister responsible for export controls, with the sting stick outside the Commons. He has asked them for a report on how they managed to import the torture equipment so easily................
say it ain't so
Antonin Scalia gestures inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. (Herald exclusive photo by Peter A. Smith)
Photographer: Herald got it right
By Marie SzaniszloThursday, March 30, 2006 - Updated: 09:39 AM EST Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture.
“It’s inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment,” said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.
Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.”
Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ” .........
i'm NOT bas-italia (sicilian) but i AM of italian heritage. one doesn't make that gesture unless one means bid-nez. at least he has a cute lil' smile on his face
First of all, I had more than one topic, but I selected Iraq.
While I appreciate and agree with your positions on the budget AND
national security AND our soldiers, sailors, airmen (and anyone I missed) not
having the proper equipment while deployed in Iraq AND how our service members
are treated when (and if) they return home.........
I am concerned
about you not standing up to censure President Bush (and of course supporting
the position of Senator Feingold). He LIED to get us into the war, he continues
to lie about almost EVERYTHING AND he is spying on his OWN citizens WITHOUT
obtaining proper warrants.
I am also taken aback that you are
supporting Joe Lieberman.
short and sweet. i just had to let senator dodd (once again) know how i feel. oh yes, and forgive me for using caps and calling bushwhacked 'president bush'. i figure you can catch more flies with honey.......
now for this article i originally wanted to post, but got very sidetracked
PREWAR INTELLIGENCE Insulating Bush
By Murray Waas, National Journal© National Journal Group Inc. Thursday, March 30, 2006
Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews.
Hadley was particularly concerned that the public might learn of a classified one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate, specifically written for Bush in October 2002. The summary said that although "most agencies judge" that the aluminum tubes were "related to a uranium enrichment effort," the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Energy Department's intelligence branch "believe that the tubes more likely are intended for conventional weapons."
Three months after receiving that assessment, the president stated without qualification in his January 28, 2003, State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." ...........
what sort of decision is this? was it made because no one's pockets are being lined when dragonskin armor is purchased? i have no more to say (for now), i'm stunned
Army Bans Use of Privately Bought Armor
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer Thu Mar 30, 6:19 PM ET
Soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear body armor other than the protective gear issued by the military, Army officials said Thursday, the latest twist in a running battle over the equipment the Pentagon gives its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army officials told The Associated Press that the order was prompted by concerns that soldiers or their families were buying inadequate or untested commercial armor from private companies — including the popular Dragon Skin gear made by California-based Pinnacle Armor.
"We're very concerned that people are spending their hard-earned money on something that doesn't provide the level of protection that the Army requires people to wear. So they're, frankly, wasting their money on substandard stuff," said Col. Thomas Spoehr, director of materiel for the Army.
Murray Neal, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, said he hadn't seen the directive and wants to review it.
"We know of no reason the Army may have to justify this action," Neal said. "On the surface this looks to be another of many attempts by the Army to cover up the billions of dollars spent on ineffective body armor systems which they continue to try quick fixes on to no avail."
The move was a rare one by the Army. Spoehr said he doesn't recall any similar bans on personal armor or devices. The directives are most often issued when there are problems with aircraft or other large equipment.
Veterans groups immediately denounced the decision. ........
Thursday, March 30, 2006
NOW i can FINALLY enlist in the army! maybe i can be in special forces. whaddya think?
U.S. Army relaxes tattoo rules to attract recruits Soldiers can now have designs on hands, necks, ‘permanent makeup’
Updated: 9:40 p.m. ET March 29, 2006
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army, which missed its recruiting goal last year, has relaxed its policy banning certain types of tattoos in a bid to attract new soldiers who otherwise would have been barred from serving.
The Army will now allow new recruits and all its current soldiers to have tattoos on their hands and back of their necks as long as they are not "extremist, indecent, sexist or racist," Army officials said Wednesday.
The Army said it continues to prohibit tattoos anywhere on the head, face or throat area.
But it will allow women recruits and soldiers to sport "permanent makeup" in the form of indelible eye-liner, eyebrows and lip makeup. The Army said this permanent makeup "should be conservative and complement the uniform and complexion in both style and color, and will not be trendy."
‘America’s sons and daughters are getting tattoos’Officials said the policy change was made because the Army understands that the number of young men and women with tattoos or permanent makeup has grown in recent years.
"The Army is America. We are America's sons and daughters. America's sons and daughters are getting tattoos. That means that American soldiers are getting tattoos," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon..........
A dangerous war makes a staggering shift
With signs of organized crime, attacks on businesses, war enters new phase
Updated: 7:17 p.m. ET March 29, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Fourteen shot at a trading company. At least 90 kidnapped at other businesses. Bodies dumped nightly, bound hand and foot, some tortured. A new brand of violence — a deadly mix of organized crime and sectarian murder — is tearing at Iraq.
Its origins are murky. But the savagery has turned March into a pivotal month in the three-year war — a month of gruesome news, mixed with some good. A sharp decline in American deaths appears to be the payoff for handing more duties to the Iraqi army, leaving U.S. forces less exposed to attack.
At the same time, there has been the rise in the slayings of civilian Iraqis, the reasons for which are hard to find.
Not so many weeks ago, this was a conflict with straightforward, if brutal, terms. Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida terrorists used car bombs, roadside bombs, suicide bomb belts and sniper rifles to target U.S. troops, Iraqi soldiers, police and civilians — mainly Shiites, the newly ascendent majority after years of Saddam Hussein’s oppression.......
AP) The area around Lake Eola has it all _ a sparkling fountain, waterside cafe, swan boat rides and a bevy of bird droppings.The foul smelling white film cakes lamp posts, covers sidewalks and park benches and stains the bushes and trees around a 100-foot stretch of the lake. Drivers who dare park their cars do so at their own risk. Within minutes, a car can turn from black to spotted along "bird poop alley," as residents call it.The problem, triggered when some trees thousands of cormorants used were removed from an island, has gotten so bad city officials posted four signs last week to warn passers-by. But the signs, which read "Caution _ Entering Bird Dropping Area," don't really do the situation justice.Cormorants, which dive into the water to catch fish and migrate south annually, are such prolific poopers that their South American cousins helped create Peru's guano islands.Angie Martinez parked her red Honda Civic under a tree for 20 minutes Tuesday when it was hit by the poopstorm."I went straight to get my car cleaned," she said. "I think it was kind of funny. As soon as a turned away, I saw my car bombed from the birds."..........
(i think i'm going to 'appropriate' the term 'hit by a poopstorm' when i speak of our country under this adminstration)
if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.........IT IS A DUCK. these residents don't NEED scientific approval. they see everyone around them sick and dying. members of their families are sick and dying. why are we allowing this? WHY WHY WHY (love canal anyone?)
Cancer Stalks a 'Toxic Triangle'
Scientists disagree about the risks of TCE. But residents near a former air base are dead certain.
By Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff WriterMarch 30, 2006
SAN ANTONIO — On nearly every block surrounding the former Kelly Air Force Base, small purple crosses sprout from front lawns, marking the homes where cancer has struck.The residents call their neighborhood the "toxic triangle," alleging that the Air Force poisoned it with an industrial solvent, trichloroethylene, or TCE. It was casually dumped at the base for decades and spread for miles through a shallow aquifer under 22,000 nearby houses.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Surgeons Remove Fetuses That Grew Inside Baby
POSTED: 8:44 am EST March 29, 2006
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Surgeons operated on a 2-month-old Pakistani girl Tuesday to remove two fetuses that had grown inside her while she was still in her mother's womb, a doctor said.
The infant, who was identified only as Nazia, was in critical condition following the two-hour operation at The Children's Hospital at Pakistan Institute of Medical Science in the capital, Islamabad, said Zaheer Abbasi, head of pediatric surgery at the hospital.
Abbasi, the chief doctor who led the operation, said the case was the first he was aware of in Pakistan of fetus-in-fetu, where a fetus has grown inside another in the womb.
"It is extremely rare to have two fetuses being discovered inside another," Abbasi told The Associated Press, adding that he did not know what caused the medical abnormality. "Basically, it's a case of triplets, but two of the siblings grew in the other." .......
i posted an article on lewis, HERE yesterday, but since he made NATIONAL news today, i'm posting it on THIS blog as well
Psycho kitty terrorizes Connecticut neighbors
Town orders house arrest on 'Lewis' after he ambushed the Avon lady
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they have been terrorized by a crazy cat named Lewis. Lewis for his part has been uniquely cited, personally issued a restraining order by the town's animal control officer.
BUT DON'T YOU BE DISSIN' MY CHUCK DICKENS!!! (i agree with his hemingway comment though. well not the comment just the sentiment. i never liked hemingway and think him HIGHLY overrated)
from the bbc news
Naipaul attacks literary giants
Novelist Sir VS Naipaul has lambasted literary greats from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to "the worst writer in the world" Henry James.
Naipaul said Thomas Hardy was "an unbearable writer" who "doesn't know how to compose a paragraph".
And Ernest Hemingway "was so busy being an American" he "didn't know where he was", he told the Literary Review.
The Trinidad-born UK writer, who was knighted in 1990, said his own writings had been neglected in his home country.
"England has not appreciated or acknowledged the work I have done," he said.....
....The author slates Dickens for his "repetitiveness" and cites the experience of reading Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey as a revelatory one.........
...In 2001, he accused EM Forster of being a sexual predator and described Irish author James Joyce as incomprehensible. ......
i've never read mr naipaul (and i sure am leaning toward NEVER reading him) but i can tell he sure has a BIG FAT HEAD
Halliburton’s Performance Worsens under Second Iraqi Oil Contract
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 -- Rep. Waxman releases the first analysis of Halliburton's RIO 2 contract to restore Iraq's southern oil fields. The examination of previously undisclosed correspondence, evaluations, and audits reveals that government officials and investigators have harshly criticized Halliburton’s performance under RIO 2. The documents disclose an "overwhelmingly negative" performance, including:
.......Exorbitant Costs: Halliburton was “accruing exorbitant indirect costs at a rapid rate.” Government officials concluded that Halliburton’s “lack of cost containment and funds management is the single biggest detriment to this program.” They found a “lack of cost control … in Houston, Kuwait, and Iraq.” In a partial review of the RIO 2 contract, DCAA auditors challenged $45 million in costs as unreasonable or unsupported. .......
........Refusal to Cooperate: Evaluations described Halliburton as “obstructive” with oversight officials. Despite the billions in taxpayer funds Halliburton has been paid, the company’s “leadership demonstrated minimal cooperative attitude resolving problems.” .........
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM — MINORITY STAFF
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION
MARCH 28, 2006
HALLIBURTON’S PERFORMANCE UNDER THE
RESTORE IRAQI OIL 2 CONTRACT
*the us is you and me NOT the bushwhacked administration. SOMEONE'S POCKETS ARE BEING LINED
Iraq raid photos show weapons caches: senator
Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:08 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has photographs that show Iraqi and U.S. forces were fired on from buildings filled with weapons in an operation that has generated controversy after Shi'ite accounts of a mosque massacre, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, said on Tuesday.
Accusations of a U.S.-led massacre of unarmed worshipers on the weekend have prompted the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government to demand that U.S. forces give up control of security.
U.S. commanders in Iraq have accused Shi'ite groups of moving the corpses of gunmen killed in battle to encourage such accusations.
The U.S. military has said that the raid on Sunday in Baghdad was by about 50 Iraqi special forces troops backed by about 25 American "advisers."
Warner, after a briefing on Iraq at the White House, said the strike was conducted largely by Iraqi forces supported by American forces, and they were fired upon from surrounding buildings..........
and here's a thorough article in the christian science monitor
posted March 28, 2006 at 12:40 p.m.
Iraq raid dispute threatens to draw US into sectarian conflict
Differing accounts of raid come a few days after Pentagon announces investigation into other US attacks.
By Tom Regan csmonitor.com
As relations between US authorities and Shiite leaders in Iraq have gotten increasingly rocky , Shiite officials have suspended negotiations over a new government, The New York Times reports.
The reason for the rift is an outburst of bitterness and mistrust after a hotly-disputed joint Iraqi-US raid on a compound that resulted in the deaths of at least 16 Iraqis, many of whom were followers of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
On one hand, The Washington Post reports that US Lt. Col. Sean Swindell, whose unit participated in the raid, said it was led by Iraqi soldiers and targeted an insurgent group at a compound in northern Baghdad.
Reuters reported that US officials accused "powerful Shiite groups" of moving the bodies of dead gunmen killed in battle into a mosque to make it look like a massacre of peaceful worshippers.
But on the other hand, the Post story quotes Shiite officials, and Baghdad residents who lived near the raid say that US and Iraqi troops targeted a Shiite mosque and gunned down innocent worshipers in the half-light of evening prayers. As the suspension of government talks indicates, the raid has created a precarious situation for the US presence in Iraq. Agence France-Presse reports in a Truthout translation of the French newspaper Le Figaro that several key Shiite officials have said they will cease cooperating with US military officials. The governor of Baghdad, Hussein al-Tahan, said he would "cease all political and logistical cooperation with American forces," and said that the United States embassy and the Iraqi Defense Ministry should conduct an investigation, "but not the American military." The Iraqi interior minister called the event an "unjustified aggression against the faithful as they prayed in a mosque.......
curiouser and curiouser.......who does one believe? our government certainly doesn't have a good track record for telling the truth. however, i will still (try to) keep an open mind on this
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
instead of worrying about swearing on television or spying on peace activists (and vegetarians) or bombing mosques, why don't we WATCH OUR OWN BORDERS?????????
Investigators enter US with 'dirty-bomb' material
Mon Mar 27, 11:35 PM ET
Four years after the September 11 attacks, investigators were able to easily enter the United States with enough radioactive material to make two so-called dirty bombs, according to a report on a government undercover investigation obtained on Monday.
Two teams made simultaneous entries at the U.S.-Mexican border and the border with Canada carrying radioactive material in their vehicles in December 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in the report on its investigation.
The congressional watchdog agency said the test was designed to examine potential weaknesses related to radiation monitors that have been installed at U.S. border ports of entry, the GAO said.
The monitors worked. But the investigators, posing as employees of a fictitious, still got past the border patrol with fake paperwork authorizing them to transport the material, the report said..
"The CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) inspectors never questioned the authenticity of the investigators' counterfeit bill of lading or the counterfeit NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) authorizing them to receive, acquire, possess and transfer radioactive sources," the GAO said in a letter to Sen. Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record), chairman of a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee.
"We believe the amount of radioactive sources that we were able to transport into the United States during our operation would be sufficient to produce two dirty bombs, which could be used as weapons of mass disruption," the letter said.
Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, requested the investigation. His subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday to examine how the United States is guarding against nuclear and radiological threats.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security was not immediately available for comment.......
Radioactive Matter Gets Into U.S. in Test
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 4 minutes ago
Installing radiation detectors at U.S. entry points is taking too long and costing too much, says a congressional watchdog agency whose undercover investigators breached security by slipping nuclear material into the United States.
In a test last year, the small amounts of cesium-137, which is used in industrial gauges, triggered radiation alarms in Texas and Washington state. The material was enough to make two small "dirty bombs," officials said, yet U.S. customs agents permitted the investigators to enter the United States because they were tricked with counterfeit documents.
The Bush administration says that within 45 days it will give U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents the tools they need to verify such documents in the future.
Senators were to grill administration officials on security problems identified during the Government Accounting Office's undercover operation during a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee hearing Tuesday.
In a series of reports, the GAO, which is the investigative arm of Congress, found that the Homeland Security Department's goal of installing 3,034 radiation detectors by September 2009 across the United States — at border crossings, seaports, airports and mail facilities — was "unlikely."
Investigators also said the government probably will spend $342 million more than it expects to complete the job, given its current costs and pace. Between October 2000 and October 2005, they said, the government spent about $286 million installing radiation monitors inside the United States.
"We suffer from a massive 'blind spot' in our cargo security measures," Sen. Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record), R-Minn., said in a statement.........
it's a damn fine essay.
March 28, 2006
The Next Wave: Feminism in the 21st Century, Part IV
By Katherine Brengle
As Women's History Month draws to a close, here are some questions and facts it would do us all good to spend some time seriously considering:Whether I am a woman or a man, how do I treat women? How do I treat them in reality, and how do I treat them in my mind?Whether I am a woman or a man, do I use gender-specific language that is meant to marginalize women and their contribution to society? Do I feel the need to add the qualifiers "woman" or "female" to occupations such as doctor, executive, engineer, professional athlete? Do I use words like "slut" and "whore" to describe women, regardless of whether or not they are promiscuous or accept money in exchange for sex? ........
..........If I am a woman, do I consider my menstrual cycle something to be ashamed of and “discreet” about? Do I always feel the need to dab on makeup before leaving the house, for fear of not looking my “best” for other people? Do I wear clothing that is uncomfortable in order to look “hot” or “sexy” for other people? Do I restrict food consumption when I am eating in public, out of fear of looking “unladylike” or like a pig? ..........
.........If I am a man, do I find myself assuming that my female significant other will do the majority or all of the housework, regardless of whether or not both of us work outside the home or who works more hours?...........
.....There are 14 women currently serving in the United States Senate. There are 86 men currently serving. Female Senators make up 14% of the Senate. The United States population is almost evenly divided between the sexes–but one sex is vastly under-represented in the Senate.There are 67 women currently serving in the United States House of Representatives. There are 368 men currently serving in the House. Female Representatives make up 15.4% of the House.60% of women in relationships work outside the home. Women make up almost half of our nation’s workforce. But women make up only 2.7% of the highest earning bracket.57% of college students in the United States are women. One in five women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Every 2-5 minutes, a woman is raped somewhere in the United States. 90% of rape victims are women. Of the 10% who are male, 70% are raped by men. .........
Woman fights $100 fine for 'Bushit' bumper sticker
RAW STORY Published: Tuesday March 28, 2006
"It was 9:30 on a recent Friday night when Denise Grier saw blue lights in her rearview mirror," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution begins in Thursday editions. Excerpts:
She pulled over on Chamblee-Tucker Road, unaware of her infraction.
"The officer asked if I knew I had a lewd decal on my car and I thought, 'Oh gosh, what did my kids put on my car?' "
As it turns out, the decal was an anti-Bush bumper sticker Grier slapped on her 2001 Chrysler Sebring last summer. The bumper sticker — "I'm Tired Of All The BUSH—" — contains an expletive...................
Muslims see Allah's name on pet fish
LIVERPOOL, England, March 27 (UPI) -- Two fish purchased at an English pet shop by Ali AlWaqedi, 23, appear to have Arabic inscriptions on their scales.
One Oscar fish bearing the name Allah and the other Mohammed are living in a fish tank in Liverpool while drawing crowds of the faithful to witness the "miracle."
Ali said: "This is a message from Allah to me, a reminder, and now my faith is stronger. Everyone is so excited by the discovery," reported the Liverpool Echo. .....
Professor: Society suffers when women work
LONDON, March 27 (UPI) -- The negative effects of women choosing to pursue careers rather than raise children and look after elderly relatives are "enormous," says a British professor.
Alison Wolf, a professor at King's College in London, market expert and government adviser, wrote an article for Prospect magazine, "Welcome to the end of female altruism," which itemizes the losses to society when women choose careers over caring for family and volunteering within communities.
Four million more British women work now than in 1971, and 70 percent of British women now have jobs, the Daily Mail reported.
Monday, March 27, 2006
from the baltimore sun
U.S., Shiite forces clash
Accounts vary on whether gunbattle was in mosque
Originally published March 27, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq // this year if At least 17 Iraqis were killed last night when U.S. and Iraqi special forces stormed a mosque and clashed with Shiite Muslim militiamen, police officials said, further inflaming the country as its leaders struggle to form a new government and stem sectarian violence.
The American military, clearly worried about exacerbating a combustible situation that many Iraqis are already describing as civil war, denied that American forces had entered the mosque. It said in a statement that 16 insurgents were killed and 15 captured in a nearby combat operation against a terrorist cell.
The differing versions of what happened seemed to underscore growing friction between the American-led military forces and the fractious Iraqi government, on a day that was punctuated with rising sectarian tensions, deepening leadership problems and at least 40 mutilated bodies surfacing in the streets - 30 of them beheaded.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, echoing U.S. commanders, said yesterday that the U.S. could withdraw a significant number of troops from Iraq Iraqi forces are able to assume greater control of the country's security...........
Towns, Cities Pass Resolutions Urging Impeachment
by David Swanson http://www.opednews.com/
Brattleboro, Vermont, has joined nine other towns and cities, five state Democratic parties, and 19 local Democratic committees in passing resolutions urging the impeachment of President Bush and -- in most cases -- Vice President Cheney."Hopefully if enough towns start passing these somebody will take action," Brattleboro Town Representative Dora Bouboulis told the Burlington Free Press. "It's about starting a movement and helping them have the courage to act."ImpeachPAC is working with Progressive Democrats of America and local activists to pass similar resolutions around the country, and has created a kit to assist local organizations in the task:http://www.impeachpac.org/resolutions Impeachment has become a live topic in the U.S. media, including the Washington Post, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and the Vermont Guardian Forums are being held around the country on the topic of impeachment, as in this video. BASIC STATISTICSResolutions Urging Impeachment Passed ByTowns and Cities:10State Democratic Parties: 5Local Democratic Committees: 19 Full list Funds raised by ImpeachPAC: $63,316 from 1,656 donorsCandidates Endorsed by ImpeachPAC: 3 List Congress Members sponsoring H Res 635: 33 List Senators Supporting Censure: 3 List Americans Favoring Impeachment: between 26 and 53% Polls.......
Video Catches Hospital 'Dumping' Incident
by Ina Jaffe
All Things Considered, March 23, 2006 · For many months, Los Angeles city officials have complained that regional hospitals are dropping off their indigent patients in the city's tough Skid Row area. On Wednesday, officials at a homeless shelter released a videotape that allegedly catches one hospital in the act. The incident has become part of an ongoing investigation that could result in criminal or civil penalties.
Security cameras outside the Union Rescue Mission, the city's largest homeless shelter, show a taxi pulling a U-turn in front of the building. Several seconds later, an elderly woman in a hospital gown shuffles into view. She appears to have only hospital socks on her feet, and walks in the street for a while before turning back to the mission entrance.
Mission worker Regina Chambers met the woman outside, later identified as Carol Reyes, a homeless resident of the city of Gardena, a dozen miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
"When I first approached her, she was very disoriented, didn't know where she was or what she was doing," Chambers says. "All she knew is that she had been to a hospital."............
Iraqis killed by US troops ‘on rampage’
Hala Jaber and Tony Allen-Mills, New York
Claims of atrocities by soldiers mount
THE villagers of Abu Sifa near the Iraqi town of Balad had become used to the sound of explosions at night as American forces searched the area for suspected insurgents. But one night two weeks ago Issa Harat Khalaf heard a different sound that chilled him to the bone.
Khalaf, a 33-year-old security officer guarding oil pipelines, saw a US helicopter land near his home. American soldiers stormed out of the Chinook and advanced on a house owned by Khalaf’s brother Fayez, firing as they went.
Khalaf ran from his own house and hid in a nearby grove of trees. He saw the soldiers enter his brother’s home and then heard the sound of women and children screaming.
“Then there was a lot of machinegun fire,” he said last week. After that there was the most frightening sound of all — silence, followed by explosions as the soldiers left the house.
Once the troops were gone, Khalaf and his fellow villagers began a frantic search through the ruins of his brother’s home. Abu Sifa was about to join a lengthening list of Iraqi communities claiming to have suffered from American atrocities.
According to Iraqi police, 11 bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the house, among them four women and five children aged between six months and five years. An official police report obtained by a US reporter for Knight Ridder newspapers said: “The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people.” ..............
and from editor and publisher
British Papers Focus on Alleged U.S. 'Massacres' in Iraq
By E&P Staff Published: March 26, 2006 11:45 AM ET
NEW YORK Two leading British newspapers carried new accounts and details on alleged “massacres” of civilians in Iraq in the past four months. Except for an AP article and a Knight Ridder account published by some American papers last week the incidents have gained little exposure in the U.S. press.The most recent incident this month was first brought to light by Time magazine, as it covered another episode last November when U.S. marines killed 15 civilians in their homes in Haditha. The military at first claimed the 15 were killed by a roadside bomb. The British daily The Independent returned to this story today, adding several details, including allegations by villagers that the Americans had allowed one injured man to bleed to death. The March 15 incident took place in the village of Abu Sifa. According to Iraqi police, 11 bodies were pulled from the wreckage of a house, among them four women and five children aged between six months and five years. An official police report obtained by Knight Ridder said: “The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people.” Knight Ridder also related that military spokesman Maj. Tim Keefe had said that while the idea of U.S. troops turning into executioners is "highly unlikely," the military is taking the accusations very seriously.....
FBI casts 'overly broad net' in war against terror
RAW STORY Published: Sunday March 26, 2006
The FBI casts an "overly broad net" by including antiwar and environmental protesters in its investigations "while waging a highly publicized war against terror," according to a story slated for the front page of Monday's edition of the L.A. Times, RAW STORY has learned.
Excerpts from the article written by Nicholas Riccardi:
The FBI, while waging a highly publicized war against terrorism, has spent resources gathering information on antiwar and environmental protesters, and activists who feed vegetarian meals to the homeless, the agency's internal memos show.
For years, the FBI's definition of terrorism has included violence against property, such as the window smashing during the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization. Those activities have led the FBI to investigate the online chat rooms, organizing meetings and demonstrations of a wide range of activist groups. Officials say that international terrorists pose the greatest threat to the nation, but they cannot ignore crimes committed by some activists........
(NOTE: the article is NOT up in the la times yet. once it is i will post a link)
UPDATE: here is the la times story
FBI Keeps Watch on Activists
Antiwar, other groups are monitored to curb violence, not because of ideology, agency says.
By Nicholas Riccardi, Times Staff WriterMarch 27, 2006
.....They don't know where Osama bin Laden is, but they're spending money watching people like me," said environmental activist Kirsten Atkins. Her license plate number showed up in an FBI terrorism file after she attended a protest against the lumber industry in Colorado Springs in 2002.ACLU attorneys acknowledge that the FBI memos are heavily redacted and contain incomplete portraits of some cases. Still, the attorneys say, the documents show that the FBI has monitored groups that were not suspected of any crime."It certainly seems they're casting a net much more widely than would be necessary to thwart something like the blowing up of the Oklahoma City federal building," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU of Colorado.........
Sunday, March 26, 2006
it was just downright STUPID. was it supposed to be horror? it was horrible all right. was it supposed to be a social commentary? the only comment i have is it was SHITE. was it supposed to be a thriller? it missed it's mark by a mile. was it supposed to gross me out? it made me squirm but out of agony at the sheer banality of it all. IT STUNK, save your money (and your mind)
it DID feature beatrice dalle though who was in one of my all time favorite movies, betty blue (the english title. i don't know why she did THIS movie. it's beyond me
Published on Saturday, March 25, 2006 by the International Herald Tribune
Women Go 'Missing' by the Millions
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
As I was preparing for this article, I asked a friend who is Jewish if it was appropriate to use the term "holocaust" to portray the worldwide violence against women. He was startled. But when I read him the figures in a 2004 policy paper published by the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, he said yes, without hesitation.One United Nations estimate says from 113 million to 200 million women around the world are demographically "missing." Every year, from 1.5 million to 3 million women and girls lose their lives as a result of gender-based violence or neglect.How could this possibly be true? Here are some of the factors:In countries where the birth of a boy is considered a gift and the birth of a girl a curse from the gods, selective abortion and infanticide eliminate female babies.Young girls die disproportionately from neglect because food and medical attention is given first to brothers, fathers, husbands and sons.In countries where women are considered the property of men, their fathers and brothers can murder them for choosing their own sexual partners. These are called "honor" killings, though honor has nothing to do with it.Young brides are killed if their fathers do not pay sufficient money to the men who have married them. These are called "dowry deaths," although they are not just deaths, they are murders.The brutal international sex trade in young girls kills uncounted numbers of them.Domestic violence is a major cause of death of women in every country.So little value is placed on women's health that every year roughly 600,000 women die giving birth.Six thousand girls undergo genital mutilation every day, according to the World Health Organization. Many die; others live the rest of their lives in crippling pain.............
In South Dakota it's ''Sanctity of Life,'' so Time for First Execution in 60 Years by A. Alexander, March 25th, 2006
South Dakota has officially joined the surreal world of right-wing hypocritical insanity. Only days ago, the state became the nation's first to unconstitutionally outlaw any and all abortions except for in the case -- well, there weren't any exceptions. This law, the South Dakota Republicans insisted, affirmed their unyielding belief in the "sanctity of life." Fast-forward a week or so, and the same so-called "pro-lifers" are making ready to kill their first person in more than 60 years.Now, in fairness to South Dakota's Republicans, this particular inmate seems to want to die. However, if they were truly "pro-life" GOPers, they'd kindly tell the guy that Republicans care too much about the "sanctity of life" to allow his execution. Sadly, they won't!No, it is more likely that South Dakota Republicans will encourage, trumpet, and demand the inmate be murdered by the State. It is, after all, the Republican way. Oppose abortion based upon some shadowy interpretation of their Christian faith that says all life is sacred, then turn right around and celebrate the murder of people who've murdered people. ............
By Bill Harlan, Journal Staff Writer
Oglala Sioux Tribe President Cecelia Fire Thunder says a clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation could provide abortions if South Dakota’s new abortion ban goes into effect.
“We’re working on it,” Fire Thunder said in a telephone interview Friday. “This is a free-choice issue. If I were in that situation, I’d want somewhere to go where I’d be taken care of.”The new South Dakota law bans all abortions except to save the life of the mother — with no exceptions for rape or incest.Fire Thunder said the state law would not apply to the reservation. “We’re a sovereign nation,” she said.The new law is set to go into effect July 1, but a court challenge almost certainly will delay it, and opponents of the law are already gathering signatures to put it on the ballot in November.Fire Thunder, in fact, is one of 15 co-leaders of the new South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which on Friday announced a statewide campaign to overturn the new law.South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long declined to comment on the proposal, saying he likely would have to write a description of the new law for ballots in November.Long said that major crimes committed on reservations come under state jurisdiction if they are committed by non-Indians against non-Indians. Other major crimes fall under federal law.Rapid City attorney Charlie Abourezk, who has experience in Indian law and who has represented tribes and President Fire Thunder, said Indian doctors might be immune from the new state law if abortions were done on a reservation — whether the woman was Indian or non-Indian.University of South Dakota law professor Frank Pommersheim, an expert in Indian law, agreed that Fire Thunder’s proposal was “potentially workable” — especially if doctors were Indians and if the clinic were on Indian trust land........ and fromwomyn "To me, it is now a question of sovereignty." President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, says "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."
Divine Destruction: Dominion Theology and American Environmental Policy (Melville Manifestos) (Paperback)by Stephenie Hendricks
This is a thought-provoking, insightful exploration of how the Bush Administration developed an anti-environmental policy that is leading us into the destruction of "America the Beautiful," the selling off of our publicly owned national parks and forests, and our continued slouching toward an irreversible global warming meltdown.
In the onslaught of their rapacious assault on our natural resources and natural heritage, much blame has been placed on the corporations who benefit from gaining private wealth from public property. And it is true that these GOP contributors -- epitomized by the king of the natural resource exploiters, Dick Cheney -- now have people placed in key positions of the Bush Administration.
These exploiters see preservation of the environment only as an obstacle to the extraction of natural resources or recreational development that destroys natural settings. Profit trumps nature any day of the week in the Bush Administration.
But, as "Divine Destruction" explains, a key underpinning of the Bush anti-environmental policy is based on extremist religious thinking. This includes the "Dominionists" who claim Biblical justification for the outlook that God gave the earth to men and women to use for their comfort and wealth. In fact, many "Dominionists" regard conservationists as unholy "pantheists" who make the mistake of seeing God in nature.
As an adjunct to the "Dominionist" movement (and we are simplifying this complex fanatical religious overview here for the sake of brevity), many hardcore right wing fundamentalist supporters of Bush believe in the "End Time" theory that Jesus will return to earth and lead the true Christian believers to heaven. The despoiling of the earth (and a world torn apart by war) isn't really anything to be concerned about because the world is nearing "Rapture" (the return of Christ) anyway. ..........
a condom, b b q tongs AND a fish..........
in all seriousness, i thought this an interesting article
Venomous snails aid medical science
By Louise Yeoman BBC producer
Dr Jon-Paul Bingham, of Clarkson University, has an unusual note on his file at the local hospital in New York State.
If he is admitted unconscious, they are to check to see whether he's been harpooned by a deadly snail.
Every week, he milks lethal marine molluscs called cone snails for their venom, using a condom, barbecue tongs and a fish. If anything goes wrong, though, it's no laughing matter.
Cone shells look like a seaside souvenir from the tropics. You find them in places like the Great Barrier Reef or Hawaii.
They're basically seashells, sometimes two to three inches long, often with striking patterns which make them collectable. ..........
.........That's where Jon-Paul Bingham's work has been important. By developing his way of milking the snails, Jon-Paul keeps the animals alive in his lab and learns more about them.
He doesn't need to dissect the "goose that lays the golden egg" to study its venom. He analyses their venoms and then synthesises the compounds he finds for further work.
His hope is to set up a library of venoms to help other researchers get access to this field. He sees potential for snail toxins to be used in everything from agriculture to anti-fouling paints against marine worms. .......................
now we can all move to kansas and start creating half human half clam (or any bi-valve of your choice) or half human half pygmy hippo creatures. yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Kansas House Rejects 'Hybrid' Cloning Ban
Last Updated:03-25-06 at 11:59AM
A proposed ban on human-animal hybrids died Friday when the House cut the heart out of a bill and ended debate early on the issue.The vote was 63-52 against the proposal from Rep. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, to make it a felony to create or attempt to create a hybrid embryo or "non-human life form" with human brain tissue. A first offense would be punished by up to five years and one month in prison and a fine of $1 million.Concerns about such hybrids, or "chimeras," are part of a larger debate over human cloning and medical research with embryonic stem cells. Pilcher Cook offered her ban as a substitute for a bill creating a new legislative committee on biosciences.Some House members questioned whether any such research is being conducted in Kansas, but Pilcher Cook said her review of medical literature suggests it's happening elsewhere. A chimera, mentioned in her amendment, is a mythical Greek creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and snake's tail..........