Saturday, January 12, 2008
surprisingly enough REPUBLICAN senator charles e. grassley wants to know why some 'ministers' ARE
Senator's Inquiry Into Mega-Church Money Hypocrisy Sparks Church-State Showdown
By Rob Boston, Church and State
The New Testament reports that Jesus rarely used fancy modes of transportation to get around. He walked most of the time, although Matthew and other gospels mention that he once rode a borrowed donkey into Jerusalem, where he burst into a temple and tossed out the money changers.
Nearly 2,000 years later, some who claim to speak in Jesus' name are taking a different view. Consider Bishop Eddie Long, who pastors a mega-church in Lithonia, Ga. With a salary approaching $1 million a year and a nine-bathroom mansion situated on 20 acres, Long's choice of vehicles reflects his opulent lifestyle: He drives a $350,000 Bentley.
Far from casting out money changers, Long is likely to join them. In a 2005 profile in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he defended his high-flying ways, insisting, "I pastor a multimillion dollar congregation. You've got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that's supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering."
Long's lack of humility has probably done him no favors. At the time, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), expressed dismay.
"When I hear about leaders of charities being provided a $300,000 Bentley to drive around in, my fear is that it's the taxpayers who subsidize this charity who are really being taken for a ride," he quipped.......
two people who decided to make a difference
Doctors' Double Duty in Afghanistan
Twins Born in Md. Honored For Their Humanitarian Work
By Avis Thomas-Lester Washington Post Staff Writer
The jet they had leased at their own expense and filled with medical supplies taxied to a stop at Kabul International Airport. On the runway, not 50 yards away, Vance Moss saw black smoke from the charred shell of a burning plane billowing into a blue sky.
He turned to his twin brother, Vince, who was just stirring from a nap. "Welcome to Afghanistan," he said. Later, Vance silently said a prayer: Please let us accomplish this.
The doctors, who are natives of Prince George's County, had decided in late 2005 to go on their own to treat civilians in the war-torn country. As members of the U.S. Army Reserve, they initially sought help from the military and the State Department but found no interest. So they worked connections until they found a military officer and an Afghan doctor willing to set them up.
They secured their visas, purchased medical supplies, found a translator, hired a jet and said goodbye to family and friends.......
yet king george is STILL on the loose and NO ONE is doing a DAMN THING ABOUT IT
Baghdad Embassy Is Called A Fire Risk
'Serious' Problems Were Ignored, Says State Dept. Official
By Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writer
The firefighting system in the massive $736 million embassy complex in Baghdad has potential safety problems that top U.S. officials dismissed in their rush to declare construction largely completed by the end of last year, according to internal State Department documents, e-mails and interviews.
Some officials assert that in the push to complete the long-delayed project, potentially life-threatening problems have been left untouched. "This is serious enough to get someone killed," said a State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation. "The fire systems are the tip of the iceberg. That is the most visible. But no one has ever inspected the electrical system, the power plant" and other parts of the embassy complex, which will house more than 1,000 people and is vulnerable to mortar attacks. ......
Friday, January 11, 2008
who am i talking about? iran? NOT in this case (although i am no fan of the iranian government). i am talking about KING GEORGE AND HIS COURT. THE biggest bunch of lyin' weasels (again, i mean NO offense to weasels) on this goddess' earth
POLITICS-US: Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to UnravelAnalysis by Gareth Porter*
WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (IPS) - Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats.The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video. Also unraveling the story is testimony from a former U.S. naval officer that non-official chatter is common on the channel used to communicate with the Iranian boats and testimony from the commander of the U.S. 5th fleet that the commanding officers of the U.S. warships involved in the incident never felt the need to warn the Iranians of a possible use of force against them. Further undermining the U.S. version of the incident is a video released by Iran Thursday showing an Iranian naval officer on a small boat hailing one of three ships. The Iranian commander is heard to say, "Coalition warship 73, this is Iranian navy patrol boat." He then requests the "side numbers" of the U.S. warships. A voice with a U.S. accent replies, "This is coalition warship 73. I am operating in international waters." The dramatic version of the incident reported by U.S. news media throughout Tuesday and Wednesday suggested that Iranian speedboats, apparently belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard navy, had made moves to attack three U.S. warships entering the Strait and that the U.S. commander had been on the verge of firing at them when they broke off. Typical of the network coverage was a story by ABC's Jonathan Karl quoting a Pentagon official as saying the Iranian boats "were a heartbeat from being blown up". ........
Ashcroft Deal Brings Scrutiny in Justice Dept.
WASHINGTON — When the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey needed to find an outside lawyer to monitor a large corporation willing to settle criminal charges out of court last fall, he turned to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, his onetime boss. With no public notice and no bidding, the company awarded Mr. Ashcroft an 18-month contract worth $28 million to $52 million.
That contract, which Justice Department officials in Washington learned about only several weeks ago, has prompted an internal inquiry into the department’s procedures for selecting outside monitors to police settlements with large companies.
The contract between Mr. Ashcroft’s consulting firm, the Ashcroft Group, and Zimmer Holdings, a medical supply company in Indiana, has also drawn the attention of Congressional investigators.
The New Jersey prosecutor, United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie, directed similar monitoring contracts last year to two other former Justice Department colleagues from the Bush administration, as well as to a former Republican state attorney general in New Jersey.,,,,,,,
FBI wiretaps dropped due to unpaid bills
Lax FBI Money Controls Lead to Shutdown of Surveillance, Justice Department Audit Finds
LARA JAKES JORDAN
Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.
A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. In one office alone, unpaid costs for wiretaps from one phone company totaled $66,000.
In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation "was halted due to untimely payment," the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal and intelligence investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies........
Award stands for man who sued for theft of wife
A law still on the books in Mississippi entitles Johnny Valentine to over $750,000 from the man that his ex-wife Sandra ended up marrying, a judgment made final by the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case, previously upheld on the state level.
After then-named Sandra Valentine and businessman Jerry Fitch Sr. conceived a child during an affair, the Valentines divorced. Johnny then sued Fitch under the state's "alienation of affection" law, which entitles an abandoned spouse legal recourse for loss of companionship, love, and sex.......
Young Feminists Split: Does Gender Matter?
WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The two students walked on the same paths across campus here this week, past the dormitory where Hillary Rodham lived for four years, past two dozen framed portraits of groundbreaking women in Alumnae Hall, past the banners on the quad proclaiming "Wellesley: Women Who Will." But Katie Chanpong and Aubre Carreon Aguilar -- feminists and political activists -- arrived at contradictory conclusions.
"If you're a woman, you vote for Hillary because of what it means to women everywhere," said Chanpong, a sophomore.
Carreon Aguilar, a senior, said: "If I'm supposed to vote for Hillary just because I'm a woman, that's kind of sexist.".......
Thursday, January 10, 2008
to see how you can help both the family of maj andrew olmsted and capt thomas casey. two true american heroes
How To Help
A member of Andy Olmsted's family has just written me to say that if people want to do something in honor of him, they can send donations to a fund that has been set up for the four children of CPT Thomas Casey, who served under Andy and was killed while trying to help him. The address is here:
Capt. Thomas Casey Children’s fund
P.O. Box 1306
Chester, CA 96020
Thanks so much.
Also, below the fold I am going to try to compile a list of the blogs that linked to Andy's final post, so that his friends and family can see some of them without having to go to the trouble of tracking them all down. I'm going to do this gradually -- it will take a while. I've been bookmarking them since Friday, and I think there are nearly 500. However, if anyone notices a blog post that I haven't found by, say, noon tomorrow, just leave it in comments, or email the kitty or me.
I can't tell you how much I've appreciated everyone's willingness to put politics aside on the threads about Andy, and the way this entire community has responded. Special thanks to everyone who has emailed me about comments that need to be taken down -- there were too many comments in the various threads for any one human to keep track of, and it helped a lot. It meant a lot to me, and I think it would have meant a lot to Andy. Thanks to you all.
[Update: Do not click "more" unless you want to see the long and growing list of links to Andy's final post. If you don't, just click "comments".] ...................
my original posting
Download the CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO Toolkit now to find out how you can organize for January 11 at home, in your office, on campus, in your community, and online. Learn More About Guantánamo >> .........
It was about forty yards to the gallows. I watched the bare brown back of the prisoner marching in front of me … And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path. It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. .........
Members of Congress Get $4,000 Pay Raise to $169,300 Per Year that?
cause there sure is shite a delay with 3.5% Pay Raise for 2008 Delayed by Veto of NDAA THIS
While President Bush signed the $459.6 billion FY2008 Defense Appropriations bill into law back in November, ensuring the funds are available for a 3.5% pay raise for active military personnel starting Jan. 1st, just after Christmas he unexpectedly vetoed the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA - see story here), also needed for the pay raise to take effect. While the 3.5% pay raise does not appear to be in any jeopardy, there will be a delay in implementing the full 3.5% raise. It is expected to be made retroactive to Jan. 1st, but the year will start with just a 3% pay raise. The appropriations bill also blocked Pentagon efforts to increase TRICARE fees and co-payments, and outlines spending for all major military spending next year, including $2.6 billion for military family programs. See 2008 Pay Tables here (based on the full 3.5% raise). ........
so what's wrong with THAT picture?
US Senator 'reassured' on Pakistan nukes
A US senator who met President Pervez Musharraf Wednesday said he felt reassured about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, and called for upcoming elections to be "fair and credible."
Senator Joe Lieberman said he had received a "detailed and explicit" briefing by Pakistan's military leadership on the security of the US ally's atomic arsenal.
"I was impressed by the specific explanation I had about the system that is in place here," Lieberman told reporters after the meeting, on a visit planned before the December 27 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.
"There are some who have expressed concerns about the security of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal," he said, referring to doubts expressed by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog and others in recent days.
"Overall I felt reassured... and I will take that message back to Congress," he added.............
The corpse in the chair was a dead giveaway
Pair wheels dead man to store to cash his Social Security check, police say
NEW YORK - Two men wheeled a dead man through the streets in an office chair to a check-cashing store Tuesday and tried to cash his Social Security check before being arrested on fraud charges, police said.
David J. Dalaia and James O'Hare pushed Virgilio Cintron's body from the Manhattan apartment that O'Hare and Cintron shared to Pay-O-Matic, about a block away, spokesman Paul Browne said witnesses told police.
"The witnesses saw the two pushing the chair with Cintron flopping from side to side and the two individuals propping him up and keeping him from flopping from side to side," Browne said.............
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
anyway, to all you unsuspecting admirers of mr paul - all i'm saying is be wary.....
Angry White Man
by James Kirchick
The bigoted past of Ron Paul.
If you are a critic of the Bush administration, chances are that, at some point over the past six months, Ron Paul has said something that appealed to you. Paul describes himself as a libertarian, but, since his presidential campaign took off earlier this year, the Republican congressman has attracted donations and plaudits from across the ideological spectrum. Antiwar conservatives, disaffected centrists, even young liberal activists have all flocked to Paul, hailing him as a throwback to an earlier age, when politicians were less mealy-mouthed and American government was more modest in its ambitions, both at home and abroad. In The New York Times Magazine, conservative writer Christopher Caldwell gushed that Paul is a "formidable stander on constitutional principle," while The Nation praised "his full-throated rejection of the imperial project in Iraq." Former TNR editor Andrew Sullivan endorsed Paul for the GOP nomination, and ABC's Jake Tapper described the candidate as "the one true straight-talker in this race." Even The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper of the elite bankers whom Paul detests, recently advised other Republican presidential contenders not to "dismiss the passion he's tapped."............
Post Date Tuesday, January 08, 2008
i love lightlife smart deli santa fe chick'n style slices. not because they taste like chicken so much but because there is a kick to them. they're spicy hot. very good in a lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo sandwich.
anyway, today's wapo has a little blurb on fake meats. i've never heard of the brands or products they feature. that's odd because i do spend a whole hell of a lot of time in 'natural' or 'health' food markets.
CAN THESE IMITATION PRODUCTS KEEP IT REAL?
A visit to the stocked freezers at Terry's Healthy Food store in Rockville makes a convincing case that the vegetarian meats, seafood and poultry imported from Taiwan and China look more like their real counterparts than ever before. But taste comparison is another matter entirely.
(you're going to have to go to the link to see what's what and how they were rated)
The LA Times offers up an absolutely infuriating profile of "post-abortive men"—which, despite what the name suggests, are not men who were born after being aborted, but MRAs who are getting involved in the anti-choice movement, via the bullshit "post-abortion syndrome" fallacy, by whining about how men are traumatized by abortions, too—which, naturally, means that women shouldn't be allowed to have them.
I could take you point-by-point through this travesty, but one dude's story pretty much sums up the whole movement:
Chris Aubert, a Houston lawyer, felt only indifference in 1985 when a girlfriend told him she was pregnant and planned on an abortion. When she asked if he wanted to come to the clinic, he said he couldn't; he played softball on Saturdays. He stuck a check for $200 in her door and never talked to her again.
Aubert, 50, was equally untroubled when another girlfriend had an abortion in 1991. "It was a complete irrelevancy," he said. But years later, Aubert felt a rising sense of unease. He and his wife were cooing at an ultrasound of their first baby when it struck him -- "from the depths of my belly," he said -- that abortion was wrong.
Yep. It struck him that abortion was wrong. Not his total fucking indifference to the women he impregnated getting abortions, an appalling lack of empathy which any rational person would conclude had to have been indicative of a larger emotional detachment from women with whom he was intimate—that was cool. It was just the women getting the abortions that was the problem. And of course his near-sociopathic apathy toward them and their shared circumstance while pregnant with his spawn obviously had nothing to do with their getting abortions in the first place. Heavens, no. Everyone knows women long to have babies with emotionally unavailable wankstains who slip abortion money under the door. .........
The Chuckabee Show Hits New Hampshire
By Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet
The power of Chuck Norris was on display last Sunday when a heckler interrupted Mike Huckabee at an overflowing event in rural New Hampshire. Seconds after a young baritone in the back of the Windham High School gym began screaming about the candidate's ties to the Council on Foreign Relations, the former governor pointed to the source of disorder and rhetorically tazed him with a threat his rivals can only dream of. "Don't make me send Chuck back there," deadpanned Huckabee.
That was all it took. The capacity crowd responded with sustained, whooping applause. Homemade signs of Norris firing machine guns bounced up and down. The real Norris, sitting onstage with his wife, smiled but did not blush. Along with helping Huckabee draw some of the biggest crowds on the Republican side of the campaign trail, Chuck Norris proved himself the ultimate heckler-neutralizer. The crowd was still applauding when Huckabee issued a gracious pardon, saying, "No, we're not going to beat him up. This is America."
Chuck Norris' America. Norris' viral touch is so golden these days it's a wonder the heckler didn't scream, "Don't Chuck me, bro!" as state troopers manhandled him out of the building...........
how CAN they win these cases? how can a public school dictate what the length of one's hair should be? really, i'm reasonable. i can see rules stating NO disruptive clothing can be worn (no belly shirts and the like. i have a personal aversion to belly shirts, hence their mention). i had all sorts of hair colors during high school. i did (hell, i still DO) wear unusual clothing (NOT disruptive howerver). how can they dictate that? what the hell is wrong with texas? when i visited, i fell in love. i thought the people were open and warm and polite. i guess i was hangin' with the exceptions not the rules
Texas students suspended for refusing haircut
Four Texas teens were suspended from school Tuesday for refusing to get their hair cut over the Christmas break, school officials said.
The students had been warned that the district was cracking down on dress code violators after they repeatedly let their locks loose on school grounds.
"Our policy states that the hair (on male students) cannot extend beyond the collar in the back," said Kevin Stanford, superintendent of the Kerens Independent School District.
"What we were doing is allowing the students to bind their hair, but there was very inconsistent compliance."
After several complaints from parents in the small rural town south of Dallas, school officials decided to eliminate the hair-binding loophole. Students were told to go to the barber over break or face the consequences.
"I don't know exactly what the students are going to - the ball's in their court," Stanford told AFP.
"Persistent insubordination could go as far as a disciplinary alternative school placement. That's the worst case."...........
if a small company (we were small at that time. since then we've been bought out by a HUGE international company. which, by the way, is decent enough) can retrieve those emails, well than.......
White House told to provide e-mail info
Federal Magistrate Orders White House to Say Whether Missing E-Mail Is on Backup Tapes
PETE YOST AP News
A federal magistrate ordered the White House on Tuesday to reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes. The order by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola comes amid an effort by the White House to scuttle two lawsuits that could force the Executive Office of the President to recover any e-mail that has disappeared from computer servers where electronic documents are automatically archived.
Two federal laws require the White House to preserve all records including e-mail.
Facciola gave the White House five business days to report whether computer backup tapes contain e-mails written between 2003 and 2005.
The time period covers the Valerie Plame affair in which at least three presidential aides were found to have leaked Plame's CIA identity to the news media.........
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
i guess not. they're worried about THIS instead.
tell me how f**ked up that is?
(i am so f**king angry. who gives a flying f**k about a FEW and i do mean a FEW grown men, making MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of dollars. who are allegedly sound of mind. making their OWN decisions. not me. that's for sure)
US military deaths in Iraq at 3,911
US Military Deaths in Iraq at 3,911 Monday, According to Count by the Associated Press
Monday, January 07, 2008
(and any person who is AWARE this is happening and does NOTHING - same - IN THE SLAMMER NO MERCY)
Abusing Children in the Name of God
By Shawn F. Peters
A hemophilic boy in Pennsylvania bleeds to death over a period of two days from a small cut on his foot. An Indiana girl dies after a malignant tumor sprouts from her skull and grows so enormous that it’s nearly the size of her head. A boy in Massachusetts succumbs to a bowel obstruction. (His cries of pain are so loud that neighbors are forced to shut their windows to block out the sound.)
None of these children benefit from the readily-available medical treatments that might save their lives, or at least mitigate their suffering. Because the tenets of their parents’ religious faiths mandate it, their ailments are treated by prayer rather than medical science. The results are tragic.
It is difficult to determine precisely how many children in the United States lose their lives every year as the result of the phenomenon that has come to be known as religion-based medical neglect. A landmark study published in the journal Pediatrics uncovered more than 150 reported fatalities over a 10-year period – a tally that one of the study’s authors later said represented only “the tip of the iceberg” of a surprisingly pervasive problem. Assessing whether forms of religion-related child abuse pose a greater risk to children than more widely publicized threats, such as ritual satanic abuse, a wide-ranging study funded by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect concluded that “there are more children actually being abused in the name of God than in the name of Satan.”........
over the past couple of days i've been reading about an iraqi soldier who was on a mission with american soldiers, shooting the americans. the us didn't release that info at first. then they did. then the story changed a bit after that. now, from another source this: some claims the americans were shot by the iraqi soldier because they were attacking a pregnant woman. the iraqi asked them to stop (allegedly. i'm not sure what i believe here. as i said, i am PRAYING THIS VERSION IS NOT TRUE) they didn't so he shot them.
i'm not apt to believe the iraqis but i'm not very apt to believe the americans either. as mulder would say, the truth is out there (and as i'll add, i don't think we will ever really know what it is)
Did An Iraqi Soldier Kill US Troops for Kicking a Pregnant Woman?
Posted by Siun , Firedoglake
Yesterday there were a flurry of reports about an Iraqi soldier shooting and killing two US soldiers during a joint mission. Reported as the first time this has happened, the reports in the American press may tell only half the story.
The rather startled reports repeated assertions that the attack was for "reasons unknown." Iraqi reports say the US soldiers were kicking a pregnant Iraqi woman when shot. Here's what we've been able to learn so far.
On December 26, two American soldiers were killed during a "joint Iraqi-U.S. patrol undertaking security duty in al-Haramat area, western Mosul."..........
...............Aswat Al Iraq provided the initial lead that there was more that was not being reported here:
The U.S. side denied that this Iraqi soldier opened fire at U.S. servicemen because they sexually harassed an Iraqi girl,, affirming that the scene where the incident took place was void of any civilians. (emph added)
Thanks to help from Dubhaltach of GorillasGuides who has looked at the Arabic media for us, we have the following additional information from several sources including Yagen and Al Akhbar (Lebanon):
The reports are that during searching the woman's house the Americans assaulted her and when she was on the ground started to kick. The soldier who is named Caesar Saadi Al-Jibouri asked them to stop beating her and when via interpreter they refused saying that could do as they wished he went to one of the patrol vehicles and opened fire. (via email)
Dubhaltach mentions that the Iraqi soldier's name identifies him as a member of one of the tribes involved in the "awakening" (that oh so successful Petraeus surge tactic of paying $300 per month to members of Sunni tribes to fight on the American occupation side):
Caesar Saadi Al-Jibouri means he is from the al-Jubouri tribe. He is from Al-Qiara which is a very "hot" area. It likely therefore that he is indeed a "concerned citizen" fighter and one moreover who at the very least knows people who have fought Americans.
and that the US Army statement to Aswat Al Iraq that the area was "void of any civilians" is belied by the actual location:
The incident took place during a search operation being carried out in Al-Siha (that is a district where the invaders are unpopular to put it mildly, Al Siha is on the right side of the river bank.) However the report says they were conducting operations prior to establishing a combat outpost. You do not establish combat outposts in unpopulated areas in or around a city you are attempting to subdue. I find it difficult therefore to believe that the area was "void of civilians" (via email).............
For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets
A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.
Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.
She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.
Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.
Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.
The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims. ........
found via the brad blog
.....................While that "well-known senior" State Department official is not named by the paper, Australia's Luke Ryland, who writes at a number of sites as "Lukery", is perhaps the world's foremost expert concerning the Sibel Edmonds story. Ryland has told The BRAD BLOG that the official, unnamed by the Times, is Marc Grossman. .
yeah more ethnic hate and rivalry and ugliness. i must profess my ignorance. i had NO idea.
i don't think we ought to worry about iran and the bomb right now. i think we OUGHT to worry about pakistan FIRST
Strains Intensify in Pakistan's Ethnic Patchwork
By Griff Witte Washington Post Foreign Service
KARACHI, Pakistan -- To Khaled Chema, an unemployed 32-year-old living in a sprawling slum of this mega-city by the sea, Benazir Bhutto wasn't assassinated because she opposed extremism and advocated democracy. She was killed because, like him, she was a Sindhi. And just as her father did before her, Bhutto died a long way from home -- in the back yard of the Punjabi establishment. Her assassination has inflamed long-simmering resentments among ethnic minorities toward the dominant Punjabis.
In Pakistan -- a federation of four provinces, each associated with a different ethnic group -- the issue of ethnic identity has long been troublesome, imperiling the unity of the state.
In Baluchistan, many people are in open revolt. Pashtuns in North-West Frontier Province have joined their clansmen on the Afghan side of the border in a bloody insurgency against both governments. ...........
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Iraqis forced to sell their children
How bad does it have to get? This story is making the rounds today:
Omar Khalif, vice-president of the Iraqi Families Association (IFA), an NGO established in 2004 to register cases of those missing and trafficked, said that at least two children are sold by their parents every week. Another four are reported missing every week.
See how things have improved since we invaded?
He said: "[The] numbers are alarming. There is an increase of 20 per cent in the reported cases of missing children compared to last year."
"In previous years, children were reported missing on their way home from schools or after playing with friends outside their homes. However, police investigations have revealed that many have been sold by their parents to foreign couples or specialised gangs." ........
it is THE best show on television, bar none. the writing is beyond the pale. the writing is REAL. the cast is superb. the storylines amazing. i'll miss it when it's over
'The Wire,' Crackling With Heat
By Tom Shales
Merely facing hopeless truths mitigates hopelessness. Crises become somehow less daunting for having been confronted, and therein lies one of the triumphs of HBO's "The Wire," returning Sunday for its fifth and, sad to say, final season. "The Wire" proves again, and with lacerating brilliance, that blurring the line between fact and fiction can be a very good thing. Good television, good conduct, good news. Set and shot in Baltimore -- although at least one civic leader reportedly had concerns about the show -- "The Wire" started out being mostly about drug traffic in the city, especially the most squalid and impoverished parts of it. But over the years, "The Wire" has grandly expanded in scope. Now it's about everything -- or everything that's likely to have gone wrong in a big American city of the 21st century. Thus another of its accomplishments, one that can be stated simply: It succeeds strikingly at getting what's wrong just right.........
Pakistan President Tells "60 Minutes" His Government Provided All Possible Security
(yeah, she was responsible because she was ALIVE)
i just don't understand why no one is doing anything about king george and his court. they are clearly guilty of so very many things INCLUDING crimes against humanity. what is everyone so afraid of? the good ol' white boy network? well there HAS to be some MORAL good ol' white boys among the gang. there HAS to be dammit
and please note, unlike king george and the big dick, mr mcgovern IS a combat veteran
Why I Believe Bush Must Go
Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse.
By George McGovern
As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.
After the 1972 presidential election, I stood clear of calls to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for his misconduct during the campaign. I thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated me.
Today I have made a different choice.
Of course, there seems to be little bipartisan support for impeachment. The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial partisanship, especially among Republicans, and a lack of courage and statesmanship on the part of too many Democratic politicians. So the chances of a bipartisan impeachment and conviction are not promising.
But what are the facts?
Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard. ...........