yo yo yo search it!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

i want to buy christian may a chocolate (soy) milk!

and maurice too! as far as a g gonzales goes, what a LOAD

from rawstory

Attorney General Gonzales defends Iraq war to 6th graders
04/29/2006 @ 2:06 pmFiled by RAW STORY

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faced some tough questions from a couple of 12-year-olds the other day during a sixth grade class tour of the FBI command center, according to an article in Saturday's Washington Post.

Excerpts from the article written by Sari Horwitz:
A 12-year-old at the other end of the table had a question. "What do you think about the war?" he asked.
Gonzales put down his hamburger. "One thing you have to remember is that sometimes people have to die so we can all live in freedom. That's always been the case."
"I think they should end the war," Maurice said.
"You know what, I think everybody wants the war to end as soon as possible," Gonzales said. "I really do. Nobody wants young American soldiers to die, including the president."
"If the president made us go to war with Iraq, why doesn't he go over there and fight the war?" Christian May asked.
"Why doesn't he go do that?" Gonzales responded. "He's sort of the commander in chief. He's kind of leading the troops. That's what happens in wars. You have people making the plans and making the decisions . . . and then you have people who make sure those directives are carried out."............

Friday, April 28, 2006


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in case you ever want to know just where blogtopia! came from

it came from ONLY once place; good ol' skippy

i LIKE poodles. there, i've said it

(self portrait of thurber)

i'm not embarrassed either. my first dog (as a child) was a miniture poodle. i have always to this day, wanted a standard poodle or two. of course they'd have to come from the pound. that is the ONLY place i'd get an animal these days. poodles are incredibly loyal and VERY smart. they're atheltic too (they WERE hunting dogs you know). james thurber wrote about poodles and i like james thurber. i like james thurber A LOT

but i don't like this dude.....

Musharraf insists: I'm not George Bush's poodle (nor king george for that matter)

· General says US air strikes infringe sovereignty· President denies running military dictatorship Declan Walsh and Simon Tisdall in Rawalpindi Friday April 28, 2006 The Guardian
General Pervez Musharraf, facing a surge of anti-American sentiment, yesterday warned that covert US air strikes against al-Qaida inside Pakistan were an infringement of national sovereignty.
Admitting that his popularity was waning, the Pakistani president insisted he was "not a poodle" of George Bush and rejected accusations he was running a military dictatorship.
Speaking to the Guardian at Army House in Rawalpindi weeks after a tense visit by the US president that brought a torrent of domestic criticism, Gen Musharraf insisted he was his own man.
"When you are talking about fighting terrorism or extremism, I'm not doing that for the US or Britain. I'm doing it for Pakistan," he said. "It's not a question of being a poodle. I'm nobody's poodle. I have enough strength of my own to lead."
If necessary he had "teeth" to bite back, he added. "Yes sir, I personally do. A lot of teeth. Sometimes the teeth do not have to be shown. Pragmatism is required in international relations."
Gen Musharraf pledged to hold free and fair elections next year as urged by Mr Bush during his visit to Islamabad last month. Opposition parties fear the poll, which government officials claim will be the most open since Gen Musharraf seized power in 1999, will be rigged..............

detainee abuse

the sad part is, i am CERTAIN the figures in this article are not accurate either. FAR more abuse is going on than even this states.

let's put aside 'real' laws. what about MORAL laws? yes, we must protect our country and it's people. i am ALL for that. do i think the people locked up in these prisons are guilty of being terrorists? well SOME are yes, i sure do think that. i also think some are guilty of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

if captured by an'enemy', how can we expect OUR citizens (in the armed services AND civilians) to be treated with decency and compassion if WE DO NOT DO THE SAME? how can WE think them to be cruel and savages and whatever else we keep in the deep recesses of our minds if WE ARE GUILTY OF DOING THE VERY SAME THINGS?

the geneva convention

Hundreds of detainees abused, report finds

By Drew Brown
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Three human rights groups said Wednesday that they had found credible evidence that U.S. troops and government civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had abused, tortured or killed at least 460 detainees.
The researchers said they had found 330 cases of abuse and that only about half of them had been fully investigated, and one-third never were investigated or remained unresolved. The findings are in a report by New York University's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch.
At least 600 U.S. service members or civilians have been implicated in the cases of abuse. About 400 of them have been investigated, and only one-third of those who have been investigated have faced punishment of any kind, researchers said.
Also Wednesday, Army officials confirmed that criminal charges were being considered against Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan for his role in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Col. Joe Curtin, an Army spokesman, said no decision had been made.
Jordan is the former head of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib. If he's charged, he would be the highest-ranking officer charged in a case of detainee abuse.
The report by the human rights groups is the first full independent accounting of credible allegations of torture and abuse at American detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, according to the researchers.
It shows that detainee abuse has been more widespread that government officials have admitted and the American military and other government agencies have made only limited attempts to investigate and punish those responsible, the rights groups charged.
"Our findings show that the abuses and torture revealed in the Abu Ghraib photos were not the isolated acts of individual soldiers," said Meg Satterwhite, the faculty director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. ............

Thursday, April 27, 2006

i think of 'i shall be released' by dylan

and i want to make them ALL pay for treating women (and GRRRLS this GRRRL IS FOURTEEN EFFING YEARS OLD) like this

a cousin of noor jehan (aged fourteen) asked for her hand in marriage. her father refused, then the cousin accused noor (aged fourteen) of having 'illicit relations' with someone else. the FOURTEEN year old grrrl was SHOT FIVE TIMES and left for dead. no family member has come to visit her. i want to go to her bedside and hold her and sing to her and read to her and tell her it will be all right (when in fact, it most likely will NOT be all right for HER). damn damn damn

'Honour motive' probe over attack

By Aamer Ahmed Khan BBC News, Karachi, Pakistan
Police in Karachi say a 14-year-old girl who survived being shot five times may have been the victim of an attempted "honour killing".
Noor Jehan was allegedly shot by relatives after being declared guilty of adultery under an ancient tribal tradition in southern Pakistan.
She was left in a roadside ditch but she managed to crawl her way to help.
Hundreds of women are killed every year in Pakistan in the name of "honour", usually related to marriages.
In recent years Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has defended his government's record on violence against women and says he has done more for women's empowerment than any previous administration.
But human rights groups in Pakistan say the president's claims are not backed by adequate legislation.
Police say they are anxious to speak to Noor's parents who have not appeared at her bedside or inquired about their missing daughter.
No sign of parents
An officer investigating the case told the BBC News website: "My experience tells me that they were aware of what was going on."
Noor was shot in both legs, the left arm and the stomach.
Doctors treating her at the Jinnah hospital in Karachi say her condition is stable.
They threw me into a ditch and left thinking I was dead Noor Jehan
The attack happened nearly three weeks ago but Noor, whose life was in the balance for two weeks, has only recently been able to talk to police about the incident.
She has not been visited by any members of her family.
Noor Jehan told the BBC News website her cousins had tried to kill her after her father had refused to let her be married to one of them.
Looking terrified despite the three armed guards posted outside her hospital room, Noor said her family used to work for a landowner in her native village of Rato Dero in upper Sindh, 300km (187 miles) from Karachi.
She said one of her cousins had asked for her hand in marriage. On being refused, he claimed she had illicit relations with the landowner's son. .........

I Shall Be Released
Bob Dylan
They say everything can be replaced They say every distance is not near So I
remember every face Of every man who put me here.
I see my light come
shining From the west unto the east Any day now, any day now, I shall be released.
They say every man needs protection They say every man must fall So I swear I
see my reflection Someplace so high above this wall.
I see my light come
shining from the west unto the east Any day now, any day now ,I shall be released.
Standing next to me in this lonely crowd Is a man who swears he's not to
blame All day long I hear him shout so loud Crying out that he was framed.
see my light come shining from the west unto the east Any day now, any day now, I
shall be released.

they (the army) knew about this for WEEKS

update late morning: (and please know i mean NO disrespect. i support our men and women in the armed services, i keep my mouth shut when i correspond and send my care packages to the four service people deployed in iraq i have 'adopted' {keep it shut about my politics and how i feel about them being there. plus, i have not given them the url to my blogs, not that they'd be able to access them anyway……..well i digress}). this entry has been hit about 100 times give or take in the last couple of hours by the military (all branches, all states and several foreign bases). if they can find me and my little old blog(s) why can't they find the flash drives AND prevent further theft? i really AM concerned with the safety of our troops you know. not just there but everywhere.

it has been talked about and written about. flash drives and memories from OUR military computers being sold in the bazaars of afghanistan. memory containing SENSITIVE information not only about OUR soliders but afghan informants. how many MORE lives are now at risk? at any rate, i read this just now. MORE drives showed up at the bazaar this past weekend. ones that had RECENTLY been stolen. WTF are we doing? how is this happening?

see my previous posting on the very same subject

Army Moving to Secure Data at Afghan Base
After reports of thefts, the chief of staff says troops are being trained in the proper use and protection of computer memory drives.
By Julian E. Barnes Times Staff Writer April 27, 2006
WASHINGTON — The Army's chief of staff said Wednesday that he was frustrated by security lapses at Bagram air base in Afghanistan that led to the loss of potentially sensitive data, and that the military must learn how to be more careful with new technology.Weeks after revelations that flash drives carrying sensitive and classified information have turned up for sale in a bazaar outside Bagram, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker said the Army was trying to improve how soldiers used and secured flash drives."We have been working hard to educate the force to develop policies to make sure everyone understands what the vulnerabilities are," he said.A market for used computer memory drives has sprung up outside the Bagram base. On April 10, The Times reported that drives being sold at a marketplace just outside the base gate contained documents and files labeled as secret. Although some of the information had been deleted, it was easily reconstructed with software available on the Internet.Documents on some of the drives appeared to contain the names, photographs and telephone numbers of Afghan informants aiding U.S. forces.After the disclosure, the military began a criminal investigation and tightened security at the base. But last weekend, more drives with sensitive data were again being sold at the Bagram bazaar. One smuggler told The Times that he sold four memory drives to a local shopkeeper after a shift change Sunday afternoon. At the request of military officials, The Times on Wednesday returned the flash drives it had purchased at the Bagram bazaar.U.S. military officials have been vague about the steps they are taking to improve security practices in Afghanistan and throughout the armed forces.The military is "making all attempts to protect the identities of people who are helping us to defeat the enemy," Col. Thomas Collins, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, wrote in an e-mail...........

what you talkin' 'bout willis?

This photo provided by the University of California at San Diego shows an undated photo of a starling, the sturnus vulgaris. According to a study published in the April 27, 2006 journal "Nature" , the songbirds can learn a basic grammar form, and differentiate between a regular bird "sentence" and one interrupted by a clause or a phrase. (AP Photo/University of California at San Diego, Daniel Baleckaitis)

i don't know about birds learning grammar BUT i do know i think starlings are beautiful birds. most don't pay them any attention. however, if one looks closely at them (they don't seem to fly away unless you're right on top of them) it looks like they are wearing a brown spotted coat containing every color of the rainbow underneath the spots.

Songbirds may be able to learn grammar

WASHINGTON -- The simplest grammar, long thought to be one of the skills that separate man from beast, can be taught to a common songbird, new research suggests.
Starlings learned to differentiate between a regular birdsong "sentence" and one containing a clause or another sentence of warbling, according to a study in Thursday's journal Nature. It took University of California at San Diego psychology researcher Tim Gentner a month and about 15,000 training attempts, with food as a reward, to get the birds to recognize the most basic of grammar in their own bird language.
Yet what they learned may shake up the field of linguistics.
While many animals can roar, sing, grunt or otherwise make noise, linguists have contended for years that the key to distinguishing language skills goes back to our elementary school teachers and basic grammar. Sentences that contain an explanatory clause are something that humans can recognize, but not animals, researchers figured............

extraordinary rendition: is that like a sacrament in the catholic church?

sounds like it doesn't it? but NOPE it isn't

we all know EVERYONE has spies. we all know this goes on (we've all been to the movies, no?). but 1,000 flights???? how many of those kidnapped were really terrorists and how many simply were on the wrong side of a set of beliefs? makes one wonder

1,000 secret CIA flights revealed · MEPs' report says member states knew of abductions· Documents show 'strange routes' and stopovers

Richard Norton-Taylor Thursday April 27, 2006 The Guardian
The CIA has operated more than 1,000 secret flights over EU territory in the past five years, some to transfer terror suspects in a practice known as "extraordinary rendition", an investigation by the European parliament said yesterday.
The figure is significantly higher than previously thought. EU parliamentarians who conducted the investigation concluded that incidents when terror suspects were handed over to US agents did not appear to be isolated. They said the suspects were often transported around Europe on the same planes by agents whose names repeatedly came up in their investigation.

They accused the CIA of kidnapping terror suspects and said those responsible for monitoring air safety regulations revealed unusual flight paths to and from European airports. The report's author, Italian MEP Claudio Fava, suggested some EU governments knew about the flights........

i'm working on a few things right now

but i've started on my FIRST pair of socks. i'll keep these for me because they will NOT be perfect (well nothing i do is perfect and that's the point). anyway, i'm using cascade fixation (98.3% cotton and 1.7% elastic). i've never used the tiny double points before and i sure did have to get used to them. i'm planning a little surpise pattern in the socks. we'll see if i get there and i'll post it (or them if i end up making the two) as i go along. oh and the cocktail is one chris made up for me called 'the flaming asshole'

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

had to link to this from skippy the bush kangaroo

posted by r j eskow on skippy one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BLOGS regarding the godfather of soul, mr dynamite, soul brother number one, AND THE HARDEST WORKIN' MAN IN SHOW BID-NEZ.....

Time For An Urgently Needed James Brown Break

i was reading the courant online

(cross posted from my connecticut blog

and found this column by colin mcenroe. i do read his blog but rarely read the columns (of anyone) in the courant. i especially liked this one because one of the things it has to with is one of MY favorite places (in addition to mr mcenroe's mother's favorite place) elizabeth park. i grew up near it. my popi still lives near it. i learned to ice skate there (thank you queeno family). i remember the pond house when it WAS a pond house and NOT a restaurant. i remember summers bringing my dogs and my guitar and sitting down and singing and playing with the animals and my friends. i remember the wild onions in a patch of the park not many ever went to (or know about). i remember the path to the park from fern street that i think of as a secret entrance. after my sister's VERY small wedding we took pictures in the park as so many do. that was YEARS and YEARS ago and you know, i don't think i've been actually IN the park since. i LOVE that park.

anyway, here is mr mcenroe's lovely column. i sure do like what he has to say about his mom, his son AND the people in the park
Sunday In The Park With Jorge

(pictures from the elizabeth park website)

has anyone else had this thought?

and remember, it's JUST a passing thought

the king george court MADE gas prices rise on purpose so the king could make some rulings to bring them back down and once again be our national hero....

just wondering (and i don't think it's THAT far fetched)

oh come on now, a teenaged sex cult?

put DOWN that crack pipe......
just when you think you've heard it all

FDA grilled about Plan B contraceptive

BY KATHLEEN KERR Newsday Staff WriterApril 24, 2006
Attorneys for a New York women's group plan to grill Food and Drug Administration officials this week about their failure to decide whether an emergency contraceptive pill called Plan B may be sold without a prescription.Former FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford, Dr. Janet Woodcock, deputy operations commissioner, and Dr. Steven Galson, director of the FDA's drug evaluation center, are to testify in court-ordered depositions to be taken by attorneys for the Manhattan-based Center for Reproductive Rights on April 26, 27 and 28 in Washington, D.C. and Rockville, Md.The women's group seeks to force approval of over-the-counter sales of Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.Simon Heller, one of the attorneys, plans to quiz Woodcock about a March 23, 2004, staff memo suggesting she was concerned Plan B might lead to teenage promiscuity.The FDA is only supposed to consider the safety and efficacy of drugs.In the memo released by the FDA during the discovery process, Dr. Curtis Rosebraugh, an agency medical officer, wrote: "As an example, she stated that we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an 'urban legend' status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B."............

of course this reminds me of a story

(this is NOT giovanna and saturnino but ti IS at the aqua turf)

Official arrested for chewing gum at ceremony

Apr 25, 8:24 AM (ET)
ANKARA (Reuters) - An official in Turkey's ruling party has been arrested for chewing gum while laying a wreath at a monument to the country's revered founder Kemal Ataturk, the state Anatolian news agency said Monday.
Veysel Dalci, head of the local branch of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Black Sea town of Fatsa, was charged with insulting Ataturk's memory during Sunday's ceremony marking Turkey's National Sovereignty Day.
CNN Turk television quoted Dalci, a 38-year-old pharmacist and father of two, as saying he chewed gum to hide the smell of garlic which he had eaten the previous evening.
"After laying a wreath at the monument, I noticed I had gum in my mouth. I am very sorry," CNN Turk quoted him as saying.
Anatolian said Dalci was arrested after a local army garrison commander complained to state prosecutors. It was not immediately clear what kind of penalty Dalci would face........

a few years ago i went to my dear friend saturnino's wedding (he married the MOST lovely giovanna). the church was somewhere down new haven way and the reception was at the aqua turf in plantsville (hey, i don't know where plantsville is either). a few of us went together and to be on the safe side, we decided to rent motel rooms for the night. it rained and thundered and lightening like i have never seen it rain while on the way to the church but it suddenly (and i must say miraculously stopped JUST as the wedding started). we took our seats and a friend, tom, turned to me and said 'i wish i was italian. i have NEVER seen so much kissing and hugging in my whole life. we didn't do this in our family'. i just smiled and shook my head. of course there is LOTS of that going on but what he didn't know is; when it's good it's good BUT WHEN IT'S BAD IT'S WICKED UGLY. no one can hold a grudge or be as stubborn as an italian (in my most humble opinion). oh but i digress. i begged saturnino to be his best man for MONTHS prior to the wedding. i WOULD have worn a tux, cumberbund AND a bow tie. NO SHIRT of course (gotta dig that cleavage) but i WOULD have worn that tux. he just said to me 'a rose is a rose, you KNOW my parents and giovanna's parents and the rest of our families just wouldn't understand so i've asked my ONLY sibling, my ONLY brother, crescenzo to be my best man'. can you feel the dejection i felt? i still reel when i think of the hurt this brought me (although i never forget the words 'NEVER go against the family fredo'). so the wedding ceremony starts. giovanna is the loveliest bride i have ever seen. saturnino starts welling up as she is being escorted down the aisle by her father. i am getting a warm fuzzy feeling deep inside (even though everyone has moved away from me at this point. something about them being afraid to sit next to me in a church). my attention then turns to crescenzo who's up on the alter lighting a candle or something or other. HE'S EFFING CHEWING GUM. i couldn't believe what i was seeing. the best man was ON THE ALTER OF GOD CHEWING GUM. i got through the service (how, i'll never understand) and exited the church to the receiving line. when i got to saturnino i bent over and whispered in his ear, 'you chose crescenzo over ME to be best man. he has disgraced you AND your family by chewing gum. YOU SHOULD HAVE CHOSEN ME ME ME to be your best man. i would NEVER chew gum. of course i would have had a lit cigarette in one hand and a cocktail in the other but GUM....NEVER NEVER NEVER'.

giovanna and saturnino are now the proud parents of little serafina born 16 months ago. she IS beautiful and i'm not just saying that and every word of this story is true except of course the names

(look for my next wedding story soon. it involves me (of course) vittorino and tiziana PLUS objects from outer space)

my friend azure sent me an email yesterday

something that happened to her and i asked if i could share it on my blog. i've changed locations and names but it warmed me to the bone. i told her if everyone was like this kid, there would be far fewer problems in the whole world.

I had an encounter today that was rather touching. Actually had to fight back tears.
I have a friend who teaches elementary school here in South Beach. Every few weeks or so, I pop in to read to his class. Today was quite fun as I read one of my favourite childhood books.. Where the Wild Things Are.
After the reading I said my goodbyes before departing. One very sweet little boy approached me and told me that I'm a very good reader..good with voices and characters. He then..lol.. asked me if I date black men. I did my best to manage a straight face telling him that I was a bit too old for him. He.. William.. explained that he was inquiring for his father. He continued on to tell me that his mother had passed away a few years ago. His father is raising two children as a single parent. William expressed what a wonderful father he has. How he works very hard, but is always home to prepare meals, help them with classwork, plays basketball and football with them and truly is a loving father. William told me that he believes that his father is a bit lonely and sad and certainly misses his wife. He concluded by telling me that I am very nice and pretty and just thought he would ask his question as he considers me the kind of person who would care for and love his father.
Tears again.. just from attempting to share this. This from a 7 year old...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

here is a 71 year old navy vet (my popi is a navy vet too)

that fema is kicking OUT of the trailer they provided him (THREE MONTHS AFTER katrina). my questions are why (he wants to know why too) and wtf are they planning on DOING with the trailer after they yank it from him? oh, and he has CANCER too. i forget to add that part.

please click on the link in the title cause there are some wicked cool pictures of mr lake AND his eighteen year old cat! i love mr lake's frog tee too!


It wasn't until almost three months after Katrina that Larry Lake finally got
into a FEMA trailer, which he now shares with some of the nine cats he and his
family saved from the hurricane. Now, he says FEMA is threatening to take his
trailer away.
WAVELAND, Miss. – At 28, Larry Lake was among sailors on the USS Tutuila who
stared the Russians down when John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev went
mano-a-mano over Soviet missile sites in Cuba.
He beat cancer once and he’s fighting it again. He rode out the deadly
devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Like the cards he and his buddies ponder in the poker games at their beloved VFW
Hall over in Bay St. Louis, Larry Lake takes what life deals him and makes the
best of it. Yessir, aye-aye.
But he’s having a little trouble these days with some news from the Federal
Emergency Management Agency: FEMA workers will be coming soon to tow away the
30-foot travel trailer where he has lived since a few months after Katrina's
waters overtopped his little house.
“They’re saying I don’t deserve a trailer,” says Lake, a tall, wizened
71-year-old with the rolling, bowlegged gait of a man who spent 23 years below
decks wrenching on engines in Uncle Sam's Navy.
He is far from clear on the reason for that, and FEMA has so far not given its
side of the story, but here’s what Lake and his relatives do know.
When Katrina came, Lake was living in an in-law apartment at his daughter’s
little compound on Wood Street and Central Avenue in Waveland, an easy jump shot
from the CSX railroad tracks.
The family -- Larry, his daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, nine cats, two
kittens and four dogs -- fled to the higher ground of a contractor friend’s
warehouse on Highway 90. “We saved everybody,” Lake says. “We stayed there five
days before anybody even came by to see anything.”..............

.........An inquiry to FEMA on the Lake case at first brought doubt that any information
could be divulged because of privacy concerns. On April 20, an agency spokesman
said he would try to get answers to a list of questions presented by MSNBC. As
of April 24, there had been no response.
Lake and his family have contacted Rep. Gene Taylor’s office and say the staff
of the Bay St. Louis congressman, who lost his own home in Katrina, has been
supportive, promising to get into the act if needed.
But Lake expects to get a letter soon telling him of FEMA’s plans to collect the
trailer. “The man who called said I can appeal,” he says, showing visitors
around the property and slapping black gnats off his neck in the withering heat
of the midday Mississippi sun. In an instant his gentle, grandfatherly patience
is gone and the blood boils to the surface of his well-weathered and finely
veined face and you know Larry Lake isn’t going to fold this hand.
“I said, ‘Look, you SOB, I’m not appealing anything anymore

who's worse than king george?

Megumi Yokota was thirteen yeas old when she was abducted, wearing her junior high school uniform, in Niigata, northern part of Japan, in 1977

some would put their money on kim jong. i was unaware this type of thing happened. how horrifying

New evidence heightens attention to North Korea's abductions
By Tim Johnson
Knight Ridder Newspapers
NIIGATA, Japan - In the annals of bizarre international conduct, little can match the North Korean tactic of deploying body snatchers to Japan to capture people and whisk them away to teach Japanese and train spies in the Hermit Kingdom.
Thirteen-year-old Megumi Yokota was walking home from school, clutching a badminton racket, when she disappeared in 1977.
For more than two decades, police were at a loss over what happened.
"Nobody ever imagined that another country had come and kidnapped this girl," said Yoko Yamada, a politician in this port on the Sea of Japan.
By some counts, nearly two dozen others were snatched in the late 1970s and 1980s, often nabbed while strolling near the sea, stuffed into bags and taken to vessels offshore.
In 2002, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted the practice and apologized. But after allowing a few abductees to return to Japan, he's stonewalled on the rest, saying that the victims, including Megumi Yokota, had died or killed themselves. North Korea now says it won't talk about the abductions anymore.
But recently its assertions have crumbled fast, allowing the Japanese government and a grassroots organization to piece together evidence implicating specific North Koreans as perpetrators or collaborators of the abductions. They've also woven a surprising genetic link that's united families in Japan and South Korea to the offspring of Megumi Yokota and another kidnapping victim.
The evidence is stiffening the Japanese government's resolve toward North Korea and hardening public opinion. Officials recently plastered 200,000 posters at schools, railway stations, airports and city halls across the country. The posters say "Japan Will Not Desert (You)" in block letters and show a lone shoe on a road leading to the ocean..........

six months is better than never

BUT NOT to those people effected by human trafficking during those six months. oh and not to ME either. i actually have a heart and soul

Six Months After 'Trib' Expose, U.S. Orders End To Iraq Contractor Abuse
By Mark Fitzgerald Published: April 24, 2006 1:30 PM ET
CHICAGO Six months after a Chicago Tribune series revealed that some contractors providing support for U.S. forces in Iraq were violating human-trafficking laws and committing other abuses against their employees, the military has quietly ordered sweeping changes to prevent abuses, the newspaper reported Monday.The Tribune story by national correspondent Cam Simpson quoted memos the top U.S. commander in Iraq and other records documenting the crackdown on abuses the Tribune first reported in an Oct. 9-10 series called "Pipeline to Peril."Among other abuses uncovered in that reporting last fall were allegations that contractors and subcontractors illegally confiscated the passports of laborers working on U.S. bases. That practice violates U.S. laws against forced or coerced labor, the Tribune reported.According to the Tribune's Monday story, U.S. Gen. George Casey has ordered that contractors be required to return passports to employees by May 1.Also in October, the Tribune reported on the case of 12 Nepalese laborers -- including some who believed they had been hired to work hotel jobs in Jordan -- who were sent to Iraq, where they were kidnapped and killed........

one of us dropped one too many hits of acid back in the day

and it WASN'T ME

Bush Says He Tried to Avoid War 'To The Max,' Explains How God Shapes His Foreign Policy By E&P Staff Published: April 24, 2006 4:45 PM ET

NEW YORK President Bush today said he had tried to avoid war with Iraq "diplomatically to the max." Speaking to a business group in Irvine, Ca., he admitted mistakes were made in planning for the Iraq invasion, but he defended the troop level, saying "it was the troop level necessary to do the job," (WHAT JOB I ASK, WHAT WHAT WHAT???) and he would commit the same number if given a second chance (IF WE GAVE THIS DUDE A SECOND CHANCE WELL THEN, WE ALL OUGHT TO BE SHIPPED OUT TO GITMO).The remarks came as another former general joined seven others who in recent days have called for the resignation of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld , saying he had mismanaged (MISMANAGED, ISN'T THAT AN UNDERSTATEMENT???)the planning and execution of the war. Bush also explained, in unusually stark terms, how his belief in God influences his foreign policy. "I base a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true," he said. "One, I believe there's an Almighty (WHO ACCORDING TO YOUR BELIEFS SAYS THOU SHALL NOT KILL). And, secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody's soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free (FREE? FREE TO HAVE OUR PHONES TAPPED WITHOUT WARRANTS, OUR EMAILS READ WITHOUT WARRANTS, OUR BODIES SPIED UPON WHEN WE PEACEFULLY PROTEST. FREE? WTF) "I believe liberty is universal. I believe people want to be free. And I know that democracies (DEMOCRACIES? THIS IS A DICTATORSHIP NOW)do not war with each other."A new CNN poll released today shows Bush with his lowest approval rating in any poll so far, at 32%..............

my question is; why would a general (ret) want to cut veterans benefits?

that is strange indeed. unless of course there is some sort of incentive we're not aware of

by the way, who do they think is going to enlist if this keeps up? we have NO idea how the war in iraq is going to effect the soldiers that DO return, sometime down the road. i get a strong feeling they are going to be needing a LOT of care in the future.

Push to cut Benefits for Vets who get VA and Social Security Compensation

Vets’ Commission Chair, General Terry Scott wants to study if vets should get VA compensation and Social Security disability at the same time with the aim of reducing benefits. In an unconstitutional move, he asks Congress to interpret its own law so he would have the power to launch study.
by Larry Scott

The next step in dismantling veterans’ benefits could be a payment reduction, known as an offset, for veterans receiving disability compensation and Social Security.The Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission (VDBC) was established by Public Law 108-136 and signed into being by President Bush in November 2003. The VDBC’s charter states they are to study “whether a veteran’s disability or death should be compensated” and at what level if any.Since the VDBC was first established it was obvious to veterans and veterans’ service organizations (VSOs) that the Commission had one thing in mind and that was cutting veterans’ benefits. The VDBC is made up of 13 political appointees. Four were appointed by Democratic Members of Congress, four more by Republican Members and the other five by President Bush. The VDBC is truly a 9-4 politically-stacked deck even though they like to refer to themselves as bipartisan. The legality of the VDBC has been questioned by some VSOs. As the VDBC’s meetings progressed, veterans began to notice a “secretive” quality to the workings of the Commission. Last fall the VDBC issued a list of questions they would study. They asked for input and gave veterans just a few days, over a Holiday weekend, to respond. The questions signaled the direction of the VDBC. One question was: “Does the disability benefit provided affect a veteran’s incentive to work?”.........

because women don't get their periods when the pope visits

(and tampon ads are FAR from erotic in this country. don't know about poland though)

Polish TV to ban erotic ads during pope's visit

WARSAW (AFP) - Poland's TVP public broadcaster is to ban television adverts containing erotic and violent scenes during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the country next month, officials said.
"Programmes of masses will obviously not be accompanied by publicity," Zbigniew Badziak, the TVP official responsible for publicity, told AFP.
"For other programmes linked to the pope's visit, we will eliminate all advertisements that could hurt religious feelings, particularly those containing violent or erotic scenes."
Badziak also said TVP would avoid transmitting adverts for products such as beer and intimate hygiene items during the pope's visit.
"It was the same during visits to Poland by Pope John Paul II," he added.
Benedict XVI's May 25-28 visit is due to take in Warsaw, Krakow, the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, the shrine of the Black Madonna in Czestochowa, and Wadowice, the birthplace of John Paul II.
Over 90 percent of Poles profess to be Roman Catholic.

Monday, April 24, 2006

from the imdb news today:

the chinese dude (hu's on first) was allowed in but a legitimate actor is not? lucy you got some 'splainin' to do!

'United 93' Actor Refused Visa

The lead actor in 9/11 movie United 93 will miss out on the film's premiere in New York City on Tuesday, because the US Embassy is denying him a visa. London-based Lewis Alsamari plays the main hijacker in the film, which depicts the final hours of the passengers on United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001. But although he was granted asylum in the UK in 1998, American authorities are less keen to welcome him across the Atlantic. He explains, "I was born in Iraq but have lived in Britain since 1995 and am about to apply for British citizenship."

the picture says it all

Iraqis pass evidence of the day's violence — a shoe and a puddle of blood —after a Sunday rocket attack near the heavily fortified green zone in Baghdad, Iraq.

(but if you want the story, click on the title)

mikey this is for YOU (and it's not even cinco yet)

Star Trek film 'turns back time' JJ Abrams, creator of TV show Lost and director of Mission Impossible III, is to produce and direct the 11th Star Trek film, it has been reported.
According to industry newspaper Daily Variety, the film - set for release in 2008 - will focus on the early days of Captain James T Kirk and Mr Spock.
The as-yet-untitled feature will tell of their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer space mission.
The most recent Trek film, Star Trek: Nemesis, was released in 2003.
Abrams will write the film with his Mission Impossible co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
The film will be co-produced by Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk. ......

The Motion Picture (1979)
The Wrath of Khan (1982)
The Search for Spock (1984)
The Voyage Home (1986)
The Final Frontier (1989)
The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Generations (1994)
First Contact (1996)
Insurrection (1998)
Nemesis (2002)

from our friend michael over at thumping the tub

yet another problem in iraq

i knew women were mistreated in iraq (well, they're mistreated EVERYWHERE) but i sure didn't know they were being stolen away and sold into sex slavery. it seems they are sent to other countries in the area. countries that are also muslim. how does this get justified? god doesn't care about young women and grrrls? parents don't report their grrrl-children stolen because there is a stigma? they know their grrrl-children may NOT be 'pure' any longer? is this the fault of the child? is it? if all the girls and young women are being stolen away, i fear there won't be 40 virgins left for you know what...........

Stolen Away

As criminal gangs run amuck in Iraq, hundreds of girls have gone missing. Are they being sold for sex? By BRIAN BENNETT/BAGHDAD

The man on the phone with the 14-year-old Iraqi girl called himself Sa'ad. He was calling long distance from Dubai and telling her wonderful things about the place. He was also about to buy her. Safah, the teenager, was well aware of the impending transaction. In the weeks after she was kidnapped and imprisoned in a dark house in Baghdad's middle-class Karada district, Safah heard her captors haggling with Sa'ad over her price. It was finally settled at $10,000. Staring at a floor strewn with empty whiskey bottles, the orphan listened as Sa'ad described the life awaiting her: a beautiful home, expensive clothes, parties with pop stars. Why, she'd be joining two other very happy teenage Iraqi girls living with Sa'ad in his harem. Safah knew that she was running out of time. A fake passport with her photo and assumed name had already been forged for her. But even if she escaped, she had no family who would take her in. She was even likely to end up in prison. What was she to do?
Safah is part of a seldom-discussed aspect of the epidemic of kidnappings in Iraq: sex trafficking. No one knows how many young women have been kidnapped and sold since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq, based in Baghdad, estimates from anecdotal evidence that more than 2,000 Iraqi women have gone missing in that period. A Western official in Baghdad who monitors the status of women in Iraq thinks that figure may be inflated but admits that sex trafficking, virtually nonexistent under Saddam, has become a serious issue. The collapse of law and order and the absence of a stable government have allowed criminal gangs, alongside terrorists, to run amuck. Meanwhile, some aid workers say, bureaucrats in the ministries have either paralyzed with red tape or frozen the assets of charities that might have provided refuge for these girls. As a result, sex trafficking has been allowed to fester unchecked...............

Sunday, April 23, 2006

i had THE best corn chips i have ever had

this morning.

i purchased a bag of jalapeno chips at whole foods the other day. i bought them because they had a big display and i picked up a bag without even thinking. i sure am glad i did. as it turns out they're made in hartford to boot! the taste is incredible. there's a burst of jalapeno flavor that has a kick YET isn't too strong. it's a clean and light taste leaving you wanting MORE MORE MORE.

they are made by
food should taste good

they also make a whole grain chip which i shall soon taste as well (i'm sure NOT going shopping today. i need to relax)

the fifty worst things that have happened in rock n' roll

from blender magazine (i don't agree with ALL of them but MOST are right on the mark)
here dey be