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Friday, March 07, 2008

i have a new hero

and her name is jill campbell.

jill and her husband gary worked very hard to document CHILD ABUSE at a swiss run orphanage in ethiopia. terre des hommes-lausanne was it's name. not only did they PROVE the abuse but the orphanage eventually ADMITTED the abuse. however, the campbells were then sued by the 'charity' for defamation (i couldn't believe it either) AND THE 'CHARITY' WON. they demanded an apology from the campbells (or ms campbell would have to serve six months jail time). gary apologized (he said they both couldn't go to jail. one of them needed to care for their children). jill WAS NOT GOING TO APOLOGIZE and she was ready to do the time. at the last minute the 'charity' withdrew it's suit. after exiting court, ms campbell had this to say

"The charity has wasted seven years pursuing us through the courts and chasing and intimidating us.
"These would have been much better spent supporting the victims and apologising to them and seeking compensation for them."

here's the bbc article UK teacher escapes Ethiopia jail

i had never heard her version before

i love the song, i love her so how could one go wrong? (they can't)
hallelujah (by leonard cohen whom i love the most). i still like jeff buckley's just the teeniest tiniest bit more though

here's jeff's version (the video can't be embedded)

in answering a comment

cv rick made to one of my postings yesterday, i said i heard a story on npr on my way home from work. it was about kbr (yes, the former halliburton kbr) and how they avoid paying taxes and social security on the THOUSANDS of people they hire. npr said they got the story from the boston globe. here are both stories. NOTE: it's NOT illegal BUT IT'S F**KING DIRTY
Top Iraq contractor skirts US taxes offshore
Shell companies in Cayman Islands allow KBR to avoid Medicare, Social Security deductions

By Farah Stockman
CAYMAN ISLANDS - Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven. More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.
The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as employees of Cayman Islands shell companies, and officials said the move allowed KBR to perform the work more cheaply, saving Defense dollars........

Major Iraqi Contractor Doesn't Pay Taxes

audio link at the above

you know that package of cookies your moms sent you?

well big brother knows about it as well (no surprises but i keep posting these stories because i am in disbelief. NOT that it's happening BUT BECAUSE IT'S BEING ALLOWED TO HAPPEN WITH NO PROTESTS)
Officials monitor thousands of letters without warrants
John Byrne
The US postal service approves more than 10,000 requests from US law enforcement each year to record names, addresses and other information from the outside of packages, according to information released through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The warrantless surveillance mail program -- as it is known -- requires only the approval of the US Postal Inspection Service Director, and not a judge.
Since 1998, the inspector has approved more than 97% of requests during criminal inquiries, new documents show.
According to USA Today, which filed the request, "In 2004, 2005 and 2006, the most recent year provided, officials granted at least 99.5% of requests."
"The idea of the government tracking that amount of mail is quite alarming," Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's national security project Jameel Jaffer told the paper. "When you realize that (the figure) does not include national security matters, the numbers are even more alarming."..........

Thursday, March 06, 2008

this is EXACTLY

the house i would live in. EXACTLY. i want it

(hat tip to bifurcated rivets)

A Low Impact Woodland Home

house plans are at the site. it's LOVELY and WARM and INVITING and HAPPY

king george damn well better hurry

he may not have too much time left to find someone to kill more people. this time in iran. well, not too much time left in office that is UNLESS HE DECLARES MARTIAL LAW (which is a distinct possiblity)

Bush May Fire CentCom Chief Adm. Fallon, Replace With Commander More ‘Pliable’ To War With Iran
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called CENTCOM commander Adm. William Fallon “one of the best strategic thinkers in uniform today.” Fallon opposed the “surge” in Iraq and has consistently battled the Bush administration to avoid a confrontation with Iran, calling officials’ war-mongering “not helpful.” Privately, he has vowed that an attack on Iran “will not happen on my watch.”
Unfortunately, this level-headed thinking and willingness to stand up to President Bush may cost him his job. According to a new article by Thomas P.M. Barnett in the April issue of
Esquire magazine (on newsstands March 12), Fallon may be prematurely “relieved of his command” as soon as this summer:
[W]ell-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.........

another example of a faux news 'expert'


you know it's one thing to make 'jokes' if you're on letterman or the daily show. it's entirely another story when you're on an alleged NEWS show
Luntz: "Jimmy Carter was the first female president"
During the March 5 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, while discussing the electability of Sen. Hillary Clinton with a focus group of young voters at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, pollster Frank Luntz claimed that "Hillary Clinton would not be the first female president. Jimmy Carter was the first female president."
Media Matters for America has previously highlighted comments Luntz made in front of focus groups he was conducting for Fox. During a March 2 edition of Fox News' America's Election HQ, Luntz
falsely asserted to a focus group that Sen. Barack Obama "doesn't have foreign policy experience." On the February 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, while discussing a debate between Obama and Clinton, he asked a focus group: "[H]ow many of you want them to make love to each other?"
Luntz also reportedly has a
history of reprimand and censure by his peers. In 1997, the American Association for Public Opinion Research reprimanded Luntz for refusing to release documentation in support of comments he made to the media regarding his polling work on the Contract with America, according to a 2000 Salon.com article. Similarly, Washington Post polling director Richard Morin reported in 2000 that the National Council on Public Polls "censured pollster Frank Luntz for allegedly mischaracterizing on MSNBC the results of focus groups he conducted during the [2000] Republican Convention."..........

barf bag material

In Fox interview, Clinton 'thanks' Rove
David Edwards and John Byrne
A jovial Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took to FOX News early Monday to spin their respective performances in Tuesday’s pivotal Democratic primaries – and faced critiques from former Bush ‘architect’ Karl Rove.
Clinton parried a question about her “humanity,” wooing the network she had once decried.
“I have a little secret, which I will only tell Fox, if you promise not to tell anybody else,” she said. “You know what, I really am a human being. I know that’s hard to believe, but it happens to be true.”
Karl Rove “has handed me a note,” added Fox anchor Steve Doocy (the clip takes place at 2:51). “More US presidents have been born in the month of October than any other month. You were born in—?”
“October,” Clinton replied. “Thank you, Karl. I mean the omens are just stacking up. What can I say?”
Asked about a Rush Limbaugh effort to have Republicans vote for Clinton in Texas, Clinton said, “Be careful what you wish for, Rush.”...............


and if you think it ended LAST YEAR like mueller says, you're stupid. it didn't and it won't until every single one of them (king george and his court) are charged with the crimes they've committed and ARE committing to this day. it's a travesty.

i have a question. do the republicans think they are NOT being spied upon like everyone else? does congress and the senate think they are immune (either party)? they're not. why isn't this being stopped IMMEDIATELY. sure you call a few hearings (roger clemens is more important to you than just about anything else though), for what purpose? nothing will happen

FBI Chief Confirms Misuse of Subpoenas
Security Letters Used to Get Personal Data

By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told senators yesterday that agents improperly used a type of administrative subpoena to obtain personal data about Americans until internal reforms were enacted last year.
Mueller said a forthcoming report from the
Justice Department's inspector general will find that abuses recurred in the agency's use of national security letters in 2006, echoing similar problems to those identified in earlier audits.
Inspector General Glenn A. Fine reported a year ago that the FBI used such letters -- which are not subject to a court's review -- to improperly obtain telephone logs, banking records and other personal records of thousands of Americans from 2003 to 2005. An internal FBI audit also found that the bureau potentially violated laws or agency rules more than 1,000 times in such cases. ...............

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

rape in the military

and what isn't being done (lots). we all know it's ALWAYS the women's fault right? it's ESPECIALLY so in the military. the article is long, but worth the read

Raped and Silenced in the Barracks
By Jessica Pupovac, In These Times
When military sexual assault survivors call Susan Avila-Smith, she advises them to keep their mouths shut while she works on getting them home.
“It breaks my heart to do that,” she says, “but I want to get them out alive and that’s my main goal.”
Since she left the Army in 1995, Avila-Smith estimates that she has helped about 1,200 rape survivors separate from the U.S. Armed Forces and claim their Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. As founder of Women Organizing Women, an online support group for survivors of military sexual trauma (MST), Avila-Smith has heard it all. But lately, she’s been more sensitive than usual.
“Maria’s case has triggered something in me,” she says. “I imagine the VAs are filling up right now with women who never even stepped foot in there before.”
“Maria” is 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who disappeared from Camp Lejeune, outside of Jacksonville, N.C., on Dec. 14, 2007, one month before she was expected to give birth. As the local police enlisted the press to help reach out to Lauterbach and solicit information from the local community, it was soon reported that she had recently accused a superior at Camp Lejeune of rape.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent Paul Ciccarelli attempted to quell suspicions that the two might be linked, assuring the Associated Press that the “sexual encounter” was “not criminal.” On Jan. 10, the Marine Corps Times, a weekly newspaper serving military personnel, bolstered this claim, speculating that she may have fled to avoid charges for “making false statements.”
That same day, Lauterbach’s accused assailant, Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, was scheduled to appear at the Onslow County Sheriff’s office for questioning. He never showed up. On Jan. 11, Laurean, who had reported for duty for a full month after Lauterbach’s disappearance, failed to do so. His wife told investigators that she believed he had left for Mexico and gave investigators a note written by Laurean that said Lauterbach had slit her own throat with a knife, and he then buried her. Detectives have rejected that claim, and an autopsy found that Lauterbach died of a blunt force trauma to the head..........

thank you thank you thank you

for ripping up and spitting on our constitution. for destroying our rights. for initiating the destruction of our country. does THAT sound right to you? it sure doesn't to me

i want my constitution back. i want our rights back. I WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK
Bush Says Americans Should "Thank" the Telecoms for Illegally Spying on Them
Posted by Amanda Terkel, Think Progress
The Bush administration has launched an aggressive campaign to pressure the House into passing retroactive immunity for telecoms that participated in the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
Because they complied in illegally wiretapping their customers, telecoms currently face around
40 lawsuits. Yesterday in a speech to the National Association of Attorneys General, Bush sharply criticized Americans who are suing the telecoms:
Now the question is, should these lawsuits be allowed to proceed, or should any company that may have helped save American lives be thanked for performing a patriotic service; should those who stepped forward to say we're going to help defend America have to go to the courthouse to defend themselves, or should the Congress and the President say thank you for doing your patriotic duty? I believe we ought to say thank you.
Bush is implying that Americans who oppose telecom immunity are unpatriotic. But the American people don't owe the telecoms any gratitude. These corporations chose to break the law and profited greatly from doing so. (At least one company
refused to comply with the Bush administration's request because it knew the actions were illegal.).........

brattleboro and marlboro

did issue indictments! (my old, VERY OLD stomping grounds). go vermont!
Vt. towns approve Bush 'indictment'
Residents of Vermont Towns Vote to Support Hypothetical Bush-Cheney Indictment

Voters in two Vermont towns approved measures Tuesday calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for what they consider violations of the Constitution. More symbolic than anything, the items sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere — if they're not impeached first.
In Brattleboro, the vote was 2,012-1,795. In Marlboro, which held a town meeting on the issue, it was 43-25 with three abstentions.
"I hope the one thing that people take from this is, 'Hey, it can be done,'" said Kurt Daims, 54, who organized the petition drive that led to the Brattleboro vote.
The measure in Marlboro isn't binding because it didn't appear on the warning for the meeting, according to Nora Wilson........

Monday, March 03, 2008

another - 'this story speaks for itself'

Bush admin official favored "Jesus" over paying Vet Benefits
by Eternal Hope
That is what Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Daniel Cooper thought; he has resigned under pressure for his extremism.
Another high-ranking George W. Bush administration official has resigned. The Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits Daniel Cooper quit Thursday amid mounting criticism over a backlog of disability claims for injured veterans that runs six months long and an appearance he made in a fundraising video for an evangelical Christian organisation where he said Bible study was more important than doing his job.
Cooper has been under fire for using his office to proselytise for evangelical Christianity ever since he appeared in a 2004 fundraising video for Christian Embassy, which carries out missionary work among the Washington elite as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ.
In the video, Cooper says of his Bible study, "It's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job -- the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not." ..........

this is the comment i made on the article

i am praying....... please tell me this is 'satire'. PLEASE
(that's all i wrote THERE)
and here i am writing:
i am incensed. i'm a woman. i would NEVER vote for hillary in a million years. i don't read 'the star' and i don't effing 'NEED TO BE PLACATED' by the likes of joel stein (or anyone else for that matter). 'a pick of young chicks' indeed. if he's being 'funny' that's one thing. if he's serious he damn well has a f**king LOT TO LEARN. put down the porn joel and open your listening ears.

How To Placate Women If Clinton Loses
You know how ladies, when they don't get what they want, can go a little crazy? Am I right, fellas? Right now, they're pretty upset about losing their first chance at a female president. This would have empowered little girls, shattered sexist beliefs about female incompetence and forced men around the world to view a woman as an agent of power instead of a sex object — all of which, it turns out, are important to women even though they buy Star magazine. Ladies are complicated.Because women do most of the voting, and the shopping and the TV watching and the book reading — porn really must take up a lot of men's time — they need to be placated. Which shouldn't be hard. You know how when your dog dies, your wife wants to get a puppy right away? That's what America has to do. We need a replacement Hillary.Because while women are sad that Hillary Clinton seems poised to lose the Democratic nomination, they're even more dejected that there appear to be no women with enough political stature to run for president next time. That's why Barack Obama and John McCain need to pick female running mates. Either that or we're going to have to find some money in the federal budget for 150 million flower bouquets...........

did king george and his court

push iraq into the arms of iran? it's possible. if it does happen, what will the supporters (of king george and his court) say? will they blame THAT on others? will they not hold king george and his court accountable? this is our WORST nightmare. oh i blame congress and the senate as well. THEY have buried their heads in the sand all along (except for a few)

Ahmadinejad calls Iraq 'brotherly'
Ahmadinejad Says Landmark Visit to Iraq Opens New Chapter in 'Brotherly' Relations

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday his landmark visit to Iraq opened a new chapter in "brotherly" relations between the two countries, which were once bitter enemies. Ahmadinejad is the first Iranian president to visit Iraq. The trip not only highlights his country's growing influence on its Arab neighbor in the post-Saddam Hussein era, but it also serves as an act of defiance toward the U.S., which accuses Iran of training and giving weapons to Shiite extremists in Iraq.
The Iranian leader went from Baghdad's airport to a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who gave him a red-carpet welcome. The two kissed four times on the cheek in the traditional fashion and a band played the two countries' national anthems.
"We had very good talks that were friendly and brotherly. ... We have mutual understandings and views in all fields, and both sides plan to improve relations as much as possible," Ahmadinejad said in a news conference with Talabani at the Iraqi president's residence, located across the Tigris River from the new U.S. Embassy in the fortified Green Zone.........

winter soldiers

first from viet nam, now from iraq and afghanistan. we had best put our listening ears on. we haven't so far.

Winter Soldiers to Testify Against War
By Maya Schenwar
Thirty-seven years ago, in the midst of a bitter-cold Michigan winter, 109 Vietnam veterans gathered at a Howard Johnson Motel auditorium in Detroit to tell their stories. For three days, they told of ransacking undefended villages, attacking civilians, mutilating bodies, torturing Viet Cong suspects, burning houses, destroying Vietnamese property and livestock and killing innocent children. At the conference, entitled Winter Soldier, the veterans accepted responsibility and mourned for their actions. But, taken collectively, their words incriminated a much larger culprit: the war itself.
This year, from March 13 to 16, about 300 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, gathering for a second Winter Soldier conference, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) it will make up the largest gathering ever of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Their mission? To tell the story of the war in the terms of those who have actually lived it.
"This is a moment when veterans won't let anyone else speak for us," said Aaron Hughes, an Iraq veteran who initiated the new Winter Soldier effort. "We hear from the pundits, we hear from the politicians, we hear from the generals, but we don't hear from the soldiers who've walked the streets, who've been there and know what it's about. We're the ones who can bring out the cruelties and dehumanization in US foreign policy."
The event, which will accommodate about 700 veteran advocates, social workers, support staff and members of the media in addition to veterans, will combine soldier testimonies and expert panels. The panels are intended to provide a factual context for the personal stories, according to Perry O'Brien, one of Winter Soldier's organizers. Panels and testimony will be grouped into 12 categories, including killing and wounding noncombatants, mishandling of dead, torture and abuse, sexual assault, discrimination in the military, destruction of civilian property, veterans' benefits issues and GI resistance. ..........

all the news that fit to print

and all the 'news' that's NOT piled on top. what a bunch of asswipes. it just keeps getting worse
(videos at the link below)

Fox uses 'mailbag' to attack Obama
Nick Langewis and David Edwards
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace seems to echo the sentiments of his station's CEO in his reading of a viewer's letter about presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).
The letter reads:
Obama will sit down with anyone, including Iran's Ahmadinejad, who calls for the death of the Great Satan America, but [Fox News Sunday], that's where he draws the line.
Can we seriously believe he can confront America's adversaries when he won't even sit down with you?
"The candidates that can't face Fox, can't face al-Qaeda," Fox News CEO Roger Ailes said, to applause, at a June 2007 awards show he co-hosted with News Corporation head Rupert Murdoch.
Think Progress
opined shortly afterwards that presidential candidates weren't afraid of appearing on Fox News, but rather, they sought not to "legitimize this constant source of partisan misinformation by allowing Fox to claim that it is a real news source that can independently manage a presidential debate."............

Sunday, March 02, 2008

might as well post this too

and i'm just sitting here wondering what NOW thinks of this. they come down on people (in a VERY nasty way) for supporting obama JUST BECAUSE HE HAS A PENIS and hillary has a vagina. well, if they were really serious about being f**king feminists, they'd come down on hillary for this, vagina or no f**king vagina.
Hillary Keeps Funds from Firm Accused of "a Brazen Pattern of Sexual Harassment" and "Sexual Assaults"
Posted by Lucinda Marshall, Feminist Peace Network

I guess this is what we can expect of someone who once served on the board of Walmart:
"Sen. Hillary Clinton has declined to return $170,000 in campaign contributions from individuals at a company accused of widespread sexual harassment, and whose CEO is a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record, federal campaign records show.
"This is by far, hands down, the worst case I've ever experienced," said Diane Smason, one of the EEOC lawyers handling the lawsuit. "Every woman there experienced sex harassment, they were part of a hostile work environment of sex harassment. And this occurred from the top down."
Sen. Clinton's spokesman, Howard Wolfson, told NBC News in a statement that the senator decided to keep the funds because the lawsuit is "ongoing" and because none of the sexual harassment allegations has been proven in court."
The sad thing is, as
Kavita Nandini Ramdas points out in The Nation, throughout this entire campaign, the welfare of women has been off the table as a topic of discussion,
"There is something profoundly wrong when a conversation about qualifications to be President of the most powerful nation in the world ignores the reality facing most of that world's inhabitants. While American pundits debate whether Clinton is being targeted unfairly, for example, thousands of women and children in Gaza are being collectively punished as Israel, a neighboring state and former occupying power, withholds food, fuel and electricity. Yet who is talking about that? In the face of such a travesty of human rights and international law, not one of the presidential candidates, regardless of race or gender, has the gumption to speak out and say this is wrong. Not one has said that he or she will not tolerate such behavior by any ally of the United States.

i was feeling lazy today and not going to do any postings

but this was just too ummmmmmmmm 'interesting' to pass up

The odd details of the IRS’s latest church investigation
Federal tax law, as it relates to tax-exempt religious ministries, is pretty clear — houses of worship may not legally intervene in political campaigns, either in support of or opposition to a candidate or a party. Those who violate the law run the risk of losing their tax-exempt status.
What’s less clear is why the IRS has decided to launch
this specific investigation. The closer one looks, the more unusual this appears.
The Internal Revenue Service is investigating the United Church of Christ, saying the denomination may have threatened its tax-free status by allowing Sen. Barack Obama to speak before thousands of members at a church conference in June.
A lawyer for the church denied that the denomination, or Sen. Obama, who is a UCC member, engaged in any political activity when he and others spoke before an audience of 10,000 at the church’s 50th anniversary celebration in Hartford, Conn.
A spokesman for the Obama campaign, Tommy Vietor, said the candidate “spoke to his church’s convention about his personal spiritual journey…. This was not a campaign event.”
While investigations of individual congregations are not uncommon, for the IRS to go after an entire 1.2 million-member denomination is rather extraordinary.........