Tuesday, November 30, 2004

TheStar.com - Water-for-strippers deal in works with Bush
President George W. Bush begins a two-day visit to Canada tomorrow, his first official state jaunt to this country since becoming president. The first day alone is jam packed with events. Here's the itinerary, subject to change:

11 a.m.: Air Force One touches down at Ottawa International Airport, where the President will be welcomed by Prime Minister Paul Martin and assorted dignitaries. As a token of goodwill regarding trade sanctions on softwood lumber, the Prime Minister will present the president with a B.C. two-by-four.

11:20 a.m.: The Prime Minister will then inform President Bush that he is taking the extraordinary measure of taking him into custody and putting him on trial for war crimes.

11:21 a.m.: Just before presidential aides finish entering codes into the "briefcase" that will see everything north of the 49th parallel obliterated within 10 minutes, Prime Minister Martin tells President Bush he's just messing with him. Everyone knows the President loves a good joke, and there is expected to be much laughing and backslapping for several minutes.

If only!

Yahoo! News - Guantanamo Tactics 'Tantamount to Torture' -NY Times
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Committee of the Red Cross has accused the U.S. military of using tactics "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

An ICRC inspection team that spent most of June at Guantanamo Bay reported the use of psychological and sometimes physical coercion on the prisoners, the newspaper said.

More than 500 people are being held at the U.S. base in Cuba, detained during the 2001 U.S. war to oust al Qaeda and the ruling Taliban from Afghanistan and in other operations in the U.S. war against terror.

The Times said the U.S. government and military officials received the ICRC report in July and rejected its findings.

Asked by the Times about the report, a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement: "The United States operates a safe, humane and professional detention operation at Guantanamo that is providing valuable information in the war on terrorism."

The Times said the Red Cross investigators had found a system devised to break the will of prisoners through "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions."

Disgusting. I am embarrassed and ashamed of my country.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Village Voice: Features: Cast Away: Our Vanished Values by Michael Feingold
For make no mistake, this is the election in which American Christianity destroyed itself. Today the church is no longer a religion but a tacky political lobby, with an obsessive concentration on a minuscule number of social topics so irrelevant to questions of governance that they barely constitute political issues at all. These are the points of contention tied into what are blurrily referred to as "moral values," though they have almost nothing to do with the larger moral question of how one lives one's life, and everything to do with the fundamentally un-Christian and un-American idea of forcing others to live the way you believe they should. The displacement of faith involved is eerie, almost psychotic: Here are people willing to vote against their own well-being and their own children's future, just so they can compel someone else's daughter to bear an unwanted child and deprive someone else's son of the right to file a joint income tax return with his male partner.

Good article.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Yahoo! News - U.S. Holiday Shopping Starts with $8 Billion Day
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans spent more in stores at the start of holiday shopping than a year ago, according to figures released on Saturday, but retailers' hopes for the key season were curbed as titan Wal-Mart cut its November sales forecast.

Early sales data from analyst ShopperTrak showed Black Friday sales rose 10.8 percent from a year ago to $8 billion, while Visa USA said spending on its cards rose 15.5 percent to $4.1 billion with sales up but plastic also more widely used.

Just following the lead of our fearless leaders. I guess people aren't bothering to worry about the rising interest rates on those babies.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Herald Sun: Shelley Long overdoses
CHEERS star Shelley Long is recovering after taking an overdose of pain killers.

The 55-year-old was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after the apparent suicide attempt.
She had become depressed after the end of her 22-year marriage to securities-broker Bruce Tyson, friends said.

Long, best known as waitress Diane Chambers in the 1980s comedy series Cheers, is said to have barely eaten or left her bed for months.

I used to have a wicked crush on Shelley back when I was a teenager. Hope she gets through this.

Yahoo! News - Flu Pandemic Inevitable, Plans Needed Urgently -WHO
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Every country in the world must come up urgently with a plan to deal with an inevitable influenza pandemic likely to be triggered by the bird flu virus that hit Asia this year, a top global health expert said on Friday.

"I believe we are closer now to a pandemic than at any time in recent years," said Shigeru Omi, regional director for the Western Region of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The H5N1 virus, which has already killed 20 Vietnamese and 12 Thais, arrived in Asia about a year ago, probably spread by migrating birds, especially wild fowl heading to warmer climes at the onset of the northern winter.

Experts say a pandemic will emerge from an animal, most probably a pig, which can harbor both flu viruses that affect humans and the avian flu variety. The two would mate and produce a virus to which people have no immunity, they say.

That has not happened yet, but Omi said the geographical spread and the impact of the H5N1 virus was unprecedented and had struck animals such as tigers and domesticated cats not previously known to be susceptible to avian flu viruses.

I always think of "The Stand" when I read stuff like this.

Friday, November 26, 2004

I will flattened by falling piano

How will you die? Take the Exotic Cause of Death Test

Hee hee! I don't know how I find these things...

Yahoo! News - High Court to Weigh Medical Marijuana Laws
OAKLAND, Calif. - Traditional drugs have done little to help 39-year-old Angel Raich. Beset by a list of ailments that includes tumors in her brain, seizures, spasms and nausea, she has found comfort only in the marijuana that is prescribed by her doctor.

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will determine whether Raich and similar patients in California and 10 other states can continue to use marijuana for medical purposes.

At issue is whether states have the right to adopt laws allowing the use of drugs the federal government has banned or whether federal drug agents can arrest individuals for abiding by those medical marijuana laws.

California passed the nation's first so-called medical marijuana law in 1996, allowing patients to smoke and grow marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. The Bush administration maintains those laws violate federal drug rules and asserts that marijuana has no medical value.

For the sake of all those suffering, let's hope they get this one right.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

My street this morning, right before sunrise.

Welcome to Michigan-Winter Weather Causes Road Problems
Kent County - Most people in West Michigan were expecting a few inches of snow. Instead some places saw nearly a foot Wednesday.

The highways were backed up for miles most of the early evening. As nightfall hit, the slick roads and poor visibility forced cars off the road. Tow companies say they had dozens of calls for help all along the highway.

Drivers say the roads were extremely dangerous as the slick roads began to freeze. In other areas, the mounds of snow trapped drivers in the snow. Cars stuck in ditches and accidents on the highways and city roads forced traffic jams around West Michigan.

Snowfall totals- click here.

Damn! There is probably a foot of snow on my car.

Wish I could just hibernate till baseball starts.

The Onion | White House Thanksgiving Turkey Detained Without Counsel
WASHINGTON, DC—Cousin Wattle, the official National Thanksgiving Turkey who was to have been pardoned by President Bush in an annual White House ceremony that dates back to the Truman administration, is currently being held without formal charges or access to legal counsel, White House press secretary Scott McClellan confirmed Tuesday.

McClellan said that Wattle, a 41-pound White Holland tom, is in custody after having been judged a "potential security risk" to the president Monday.

"Cousin Wattle's conduct prior to the pardoning ceremony prompted Justice Department officials to authorize the bird's detention as an enemy combatant," McClellan said. "He exhibited hostile, potentially seditious behavior that could endanger the safety of the president or other government officials."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Yahoo! News - UK Politicians Start Bid to Impeach Blair on Iraq
LONDON (Reuters) - Parliamentarians and celebrity campaigners launched a bid on Wednesday to impeach Tony Blair for "gross misconduct" over his justification for the Iraq war. The impeachment move, a symbolic parliamentary process rather than a realistic proposition in Blair's case, is the first since the mid-19th century.

"This is born out of the frustration of many parliamentarians that we simply cannot hold the prime minister to account in any other way," said Jenny Tonge, member of parliament (MP) for the opposition Liberal Democrats.

"It doesn't matter where it goes. The important thing is to show we're trying," she told a news conference.

The motion calls for a select parliamentary committee to be established to examine Blair's conduct on Iraq and to report back within 48 days on whether there are grounds to impeach him.

Wish we could get the Dems to do the same here.

Yahoo! News - Heart Surgery Performed in Awake Patients
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Heart surgery is a frightening prospect for many people, but now imagine undergoing the operation completely awake! That's what seven patients treated at a hospital in Turkey went though -- in a planned, deliberate study.

This wasn't some anesthesia horror story, but a procedure that was designed by the surgeons. The results indicate that coronary bypass surgery can be safely performed in awake patients, even if they have relatively severe heart disease.

Although the patients did not receive general anesthesia, they felt no pain during the surgery thanks to epidural anesthesia -- the type usually given to pregnant women during labor.

Aiyeeeeee! Thanks, but no thanks.

Yahoo! News - AP: Budget Has Room for Special Projects
WASHINGTON - Austerity in big-ticket government programs hasn't dulled lawmakers' appetite for special interest spending items that curry favor back home.

The spending plan awaiting President Bush's signature is packed with them, doling out $4 million for an Alabama fertilizer development center, $1 million each for a Norwegian American Foundation in Seattle and a "Wild American Shrimp Initiative," and more, much more.

Despite soaring deficits, lawmakers from both parties who approved the $388 billion package last weekend set plenty of money aside for home-district projects like these, knowing they sow goodwill among special interests and voters.

They also raised the ire of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a pork-barrel critic who took to the Senate floor to ask whether shrimp are so unruly and lacking initiative that the government must spend $1 million on them.

"Why does the U.S. taxpayer need to fund this `no shrimp left behind' act?" he asked. McCain's query went unanswered, in part because spending documents don't identify who proposed each item or why.

You so funny, John. Seriously, I would like to see these provisions identified, although it's probably pretty easy to track back to which state is receiving the bucks- for example, mine!

Michigan's two Democratic senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, let it be known they had won $4 million for an environmentally friendly public transportation system in Traverse City.

Which probably consists of some bicycles and cross-country skis. I wonder if Carl and Debbie condemned their own actions like they did last time. "Pork spending is baaaaad, but we're proud to announce that we got some for Michigan!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

For My Best Friend Scott:

...it's been three years as of today, still missing you and wishing you were here. I hope your soul has found peace. I'm at a loss for words on this; as I look around at what has befallen this country since you've been gone, I can't help but think that you were right. It got worse, so much worse. It is a nasty world. Sometimes I'm glad that you didn't have to see what has happened since Nov. 2001.

But, I also know that there is abundant beauty, too, even if it is so very hard to find nowadays. I wish you were here to help me find that beauty; in myself, in others, in the spirit of love and freedom that still exists, however buried and oppressed it might seem at this point.

Someday, my friend, justice and truth will rise again. I have to believe that, and I hope I live to see it.

I miss you Scott. Until we meet again...

Yahoo! News - U.S. Death Toll in Iraq for Nov. Tops 100
WASHINGTON - Three Marines who were wounded in action during the Fallujah offensive later died at American hospitals in Germany and the United States, the Pentagon said Monday, raising the U.S. military death toll in Iraq for November to at least 101.

Since the initial U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the only other month in which U.S. deaths exceeded 100 was last April, when insurgent violence flared and Marines fought fierce battles in Fallujah and Ramadi.

The Marines have suffered most of the Fallujah battle casualties. An exact number is not available because the Marines usually do not specify the city in which a casualty happened. Since Nov. 1, the Marines have had at least 69 deaths throughout Iraq — mostly in Fallujah. That is by far the deadliest month of the war for the Marines; their previous high was 52 last April.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Blue Building.

Thanks Dad.

Dad bought me a new camera, a Fuji s5100, after I dropped and knocked the lens completely off my old one last week. Cheaper to buy a new one than repair. Might super-glue this one to my hands, although that would make bathing hard.

Merry Xmas to me!

Yahoo! News - Investment Tax Cuts Pushed as Bush Eyes Tax Reform
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has promised broad leeway to a panel he will appoint soon to consider an overhaul of the tax code but conservative allies of the White House see tax cuts on investments as crucial to any reform.

Republican economists are floating ways to pay for reforms, which Bush has said must be "revenue neutral," but their proposals are already drawing fire.

One idea would involve eliminating a provision in the federal tax code that allows individuals to write off the cost of state and local taxes.

Another idea favored by some conservatives would be scrapping a deduction businesses can take for employee health expenses.

(This one astounds me. If business can't deduct health, what incentive do they have to offer it? Wouldn't they have to raise prices to cover the rising costs, thus triggering more inflation?)

But amid news reports that quoted White House allies as advocating these ideas, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland called them a potential backdoor effort to ease the tax burden on the rich and shift it onto the middle class.

"The White House seems to be lowering expectations for serious reform, and instead is indicating that it may use this issue as a Trojan horse to shift the overall tax burden to middle-income taxpayers," Hoyer said in a statement.

This is a surprise? You wanted him, you got him, America. Get your wallet out, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Average. You get to fund the rich folks investments, while you lose your local and state tax write-offs, and oh, by the way, you'll need to pay more for health insurance, if you even get it at all. But don't worry, all those cuts for the wealthy will trickle down real soon. We promise.

Yahoo! News - Iraq Sets Election Date But Unrest Threatens Poll
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq chose Jan. 30 for its first democratic election in decades on Sunday, but violence in Sunni Muslim areas underlined the challenge of holding polls on time.

According to Iraq's timetable for democracy, polls must be held by end-January for a transitional parliament that will pick a new government and oversee the writing of a constitution.

"The Electoral Commission set the date of Jan. 30 as the date of the election," spokesman Farid Ayar told Reuters.

Iraq's Shi'ite majority, which was oppressed under Saddam Hussein and hopes the election will cement its influence, is insisting that the polls be held on schedule.

But many Sunni Arabs want the election to be delayed and say they will boycott it if it goes ahead in January. Sunni Arab areas of Iraq have been the main battleground in the conflict between U.S.-led troops and insurgents trying to drive them out.

Never fear folks, the pre-programmed Diebold machines are on the way.

And the winner is......George Bush!

Yahoo! News - Conservatives Urge Closer Look at Marriage
NEW YORK - "Protection of marriage" is now the watchword for many activists fighting to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying. Some conservatives, however, say marriage in America began unraveling long before the latest gay-rights push and are pleading for a fresh, soul-searching look at the institution.

"When you talk about protecting marriage, you need to talk about divorce," said Bryce Christensen, a Southern Utah University professor who writes frequently about family issues.

While Christensen doesn't oppose the campaign to enact state and federal bans on gay marriage, he worries it's distracting from immediate threats to marriage's place in society.

"If those initiatives are part of a broader effort to reaffirm lifetime fidelity in marriage, they're worthwhile," he said. "If they're isolated — if we don't address cohabitation and casual divorce and deliberate childlessness — then I think they're futile and will be brushed aside."

Yes, by all means let's stop people from living together, and let's force them to have children! Quick, pass an amendment!

Yahoo! News - Five Shot Dead in Wis. Hunting Dispute
BIRCHWOOD, Wis. - A dispute among deer hunters over a tree stand in northwestern Wisconsin erupted Sunday in a series of shootings that left five people dead and three others injured, officials said.

The incident happened when two hunters were returning to their rural cabin on private land in Sawyer County and saw the suspect in one of their tree stands, County Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle said. A confrontation and shooting followed.

It's not known who shot first, Zeigle said.

Both men were wounded and one of them radioed back to the cabin. Other hunters responded and were shot, he said. Some of the victims may have shot back at the suspect, Zeigle said.

The suspect was "sniping" at the victims with a SKS assault-style rifle, Zeigle said. He was "chasing after them and killing them," he said.

The dead included four males, including a teenage boy, and a woman, Zeigle said. The man who radioed for help was not fatally wounded. Some of the victims were shot more than once.

America goes mad. What the hell is going on?

Yahoo! News - Artest Banned for Rest of Season After Ugly Brawl
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association suspended All-Star Ron Artest for the rest of the season and Indiana Pacers team mates Stephen Jackson for 30 games and Jermaine O'Neal for 25 following Friday's ugly brawl.

Good. Now arrest these guys and charge them with assault. The more I see that tape the uglier it looks.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Cubs agree to two-year deal with Rusch
CHICAGO (AP) -- Glendon Rusch agreed to a two-year, $4 million contract with the Chicago Cubs on Saturday after becoming a key spot starter last season following a 1-12 record with Milwaukee in 2003.

Rusch will go to spring training as a potential fifth starter. There is a player option for 2006 and the value of the contract could increase to $6.4 million over the two years based on incentives for games started.

Potential fifth? Unless we get Clement back, he might be the fourth starter.

Yahoo! News - NBA Suspends Four Players for Part in Brawl
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association suspended four players on Saturday, one day after one of the worst brawls in North American pro sports history.

Calling Friday night's incident in the final minute of the game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons "shocking, repulsive and inexcusable," NBA commissioner David Stern suspended Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson of Indiana and Detroit's Ben Wallace indefinitely.

The league added it was continuing to investigate the incident and hoped to conclude its findings by Sunday evening, at which time it expected to announce the length of the suspensions. Police have also launched an inquiry with a view to possible arrests.

The brawl started after Artest roughly fouled Wallace with 45.9 seconds to go in the game, which the Pacers were leading 97-82.

Wallace responded by pushing Artest in the face, which led to players pushing and shoving near the scorer's table. It appeared things had calmed down but when Artest had liquid thrown over him he bolted into the stands and was followed by Jackson.

Both players threw punches at spectators and O'Neal also punched a fan who ran on to the court.

Mayhem all over the world in the last few days! From this jaw-dropping incident, to a scuffle that broke out between Secret Service and Chilean security guards, to this fight at the Clemson-South Carolina game....has everyone gone insane?

Yahoo! News - Rebellious Republicans Derail 9/11 Reform
WASHINGTON - In a defeat for President Bush, rebellious House Republicans on Saturday derailed legislation to overhaul the nation's intelligence agencies along lines recommended by the Sept. 11 commission.

A compromise approved by key negotiators, the White House and the bipartisan 9/11 commission would have created a powerful position to oversee the CIA and several other nonmilitary spy agencies. A new national counterterrorism center would coordinate the fight against foreign terrorists.

Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney both contacted congressional negotiators by phone in hopes of nailing down a compromise that could clear Congress in the final hours of a postelection session.

But Reps. Duncan Hunter and Jim Sensenbrenner, chairmen of the Armed Services and Judiciary committees, raised objections. Hunter, R-Calif., worried that provisions of the bill could interfere with the military chain of command and endanger troops in the field.

"In my judgment, this bill, without strongly reaffirming the chain of command, would render that area confused to the detriment of our Americans in combat so I will not support it," Hunter said.

I didn't know Repubs were allowed to disagree with anything. Don't they have to sign an oath or something?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Yahoo! News - U.S. Says Al Qaeda, Iraq Rebel Trying to Communicate
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and the network's ally in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, are trying to communicate with each other even as they continue to elude U.S. forces, a senior U.S. general said on Friday.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance Smith also said U.S. Central Command may ask the Pentagon to raise U.S. troop levels in Iraq by roughly 3,000 to 5,000, mainly by delaying the scheduled departure of some soldiers, to improve security before January elections.

Smith told reporters at the Pentagon that "we know for a fact that there are attempted communications" between bin Laden, thought to be hiding along the Afghan-Pakistani border, and Zarqawi, believed to have escaped the U.S. offensive in his previous suspected base of operations in Falluja. Smith did not provide evidence for these attempted communications.

Uh, guys, the election is over, you can stop this shit now. You also "knew for a fact" there were WMD's, too. And I thought George said we didn't need any more guys? I would go look it up, but I'm too lazy.

Speaking after meetings at CIA headquarters, Smith said it was doubtful whether these attempted communications -- likely couriers carrying computer disks -- had succeeded, considering "the huge distances involved in those lines of communication."

CIA? Well, that explains it. Spin city.

"I'm saying that there is a relationship between al Qaeda senior leadership and Zarqawi. How to characterize that, we don't know yet," Smith said.

"But I cannot tell you right now that al Qaeda has said, 'This is what we want you to do in Iraq.' ... We don't see al Qaeda senior leadership as being a director of tactical level operations."

Smith added, "So I wouldn't characterize it as giving guidance, other than broad philosophy."

Broad philosophy? Computer disks full of philosophy? So, whenever you need to increase troops, or things aren't going so well, you get to scream "al Qaeda" and "broad philosophy"? Aya curumba.

I don't think this administration wants bin Laden caught. They need him around to justify their every move.

Yahoo! News - Anti-Bush Protesters Battle Police at Chile Summit
SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Hooded anti-American marchers protesting an Asia-Pacific summit in Chile on Friday hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police who retaliated with water cannons and tear gas.

A large march against the weekend meeting of 21 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum turned violent when a few dozen youths broke away from the main group to attack police.

About 100 people were arrested and four were injured, police said.

Tens of thousands of people streamed through central Santiago carrying banners and chanting slogans against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, including "Fascist Bush is a terrorist."

Hearts and minds. It makes me sad that we are hated around the world.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Interesting E-mail:

My buddy John Kerry wrote to me tonight with these words:

"And your efforts count now more than ever. Despite the words of cooperation and moderate sounding promises, this administration is planning a right wing assault on values and ideals we hold most deeply. Healthy debate and diverse opinion are being eliminated from the State Department and CIA, and the cabinet is being remade to rubber stamp policies that will undermine Social Security, balloon the deficit, avoid real reforms in health care and education, weaken homeland security, and walk away from critical allies around the world.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration. This is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accommodate extremists on critical principles -- it is a time to stand firm.

I will fight for a national standard for federal elections that has both transparency and accountability in our voting system. It's unacceptable in the United States that people still don't have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process."

Hmmmm. Does he know something about Ohio that we don't? Could all the internet rumors of "fraud" explode into a real recount?

Wouldn't that be FUN?

Or, is he planting the seeds for a run in '08? Wait, there's more-

"I ask you to join me in this cause.

And we must fight not only against George Bush's extreme policies -- we must also uphold our own values. This is why on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance. And, with your help, that legislation will be accompanied by the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

There are more than eight million uninsured children in our nation.

That's eight million reasons for us to stay together and fight for a new direction. It is a disgrace that in the wealthiest nation on earth, eight million children go without health insurance.

Normally, a member of the Senate will first approach other senators and ask them to co-sponsor a bill before it is introduced -- instead, I am turning to you. Imagine the power of a bill co-sponsored by hundreds of thousands of Americans being presented on the floor of the United States Senate. (Is that possible? Is that legal? Has it ever been done before?) You can make it happen. Sign our "Every Child Protected" pledge today and forward it to your family, friends, and neighbors:


This is the beginning of a second term effort to hold the Bush administration accountable and to stand up and fight for our principles and our values. They want you to disappear; they are counting on that. I'm confident you will prove them wrong, and you will rewrite history again."

I don't know about you, but I find this fascinating. The timing is also interesting- a Friday night, when media interest and coverage will be slight. Almost like a "stealth" operation to go directly to his supporters.

Let's see how this turns out. I hope John Kerry remains a thorn in the Republican's side- we need a Democrat that has the balls to challenge these guys, and apparently he is willing to do it.

Go sign the petition. It could be the start of something beautiful.

Yahoo! News - Eyewitness Helps Convict Serial Killer
PONTIAC, Mich. - Their gaze was frozen for mere seconds all those years ago, in a dimly lit alley, at a distance two men might keep were they having a game of catch. But it was seared into Joseph Foy's memory: the face of a serial killer.

"I always see his eyes," Foy said.

Foy's remarkable recall of the 1979 encounter — demonstrated by a sketch he helped an artist create and his immediate recognition of the suspect 2 1/2 years later in TV footage — was the only direct evidence linking Coral Eugene Watts to the killing for which he was convicted Wednesday.

Watts, who was scheduled for release in 2006 by way of a legal technicality, was convicted for the slaying of 36-year-old Helen Dutcher. He now faces life behind bars without parole.

Watts had been apprehended while attempting to kill two women in their apartment. He pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to commit murder and helped authorities solve a string of killings. In exchange, he was given immunity in 12 killings. (Ed note: This was in Texas)

Though many considered the 60-year sentence inadequate, Watts was expected to be in his 80s if he lived to see freedom. Oakland County prosecutors decided it wasn't worth pursuing a murder conviction in the Dutcher case.

However, mandatory release laws and an appeals court ruling lopped more than 35 years off his sentence — and he was due for release in April 2006.

Glad this guy is going to remain locked up. What the hell is wrong with Texas, anyway? Seems like they either execute people or turn them loose.

Yahoo! News - House Backs $800 Billion Debt Limit Increase
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to increase the federal credit limit by $800 billion to $8.184 trillion, a move that will allow the measure to be sent to President Bush for signing into law.

The House voted 208 to 204, largely along party lines, to support the measure, which Democrats say is necessary because of the Bush Administration's irresponsible fiscal policies. The Senate approved the rise, the third in as many years, on Wednesday night.

...and what would have happened had they said "no"? Wish I knew more about economics- but if I'm not mistaken we sell this debt to foreign investors? What if they decide to cash in?

Anyway, the party is on! Spend, spend, spend like there is no tomorrow! That's the American way.

(P.S. having problems with Yahoo news this morning, no more posts for awhile)


Hope you have many, many more! (We will need your vote in '08.)

Make it a great day!

Thursday, November 18, 2004


It was not the Sears Tower that was destroyed in "Category 6- Day of Destruction", it was the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Chicago did take a pretty good hit from the hurricane on Lake Michigan though.

I apologize for any confusion.

Hardees- $1 Off Monster Thick Burger

Want me to print this for you , Pop?

BTW, do we even have a Hardee's around here?

Yahoo! News - Same-sex civil partnerships to become law in Britain
The British House of Lords voted Wednesday to back same-sex civil partnerships. Same-sex couples across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will now be allowed to register their relationship and be legally recognized for the first time.

Scotland is expected to adopt the laws in the near future.

The historic step gives lesbian and gay couples access to the same rights and responsibilities as offered to heterosexual British couples married in a civil ceremony.

Ah! There is intelligent life on this planet after all!

Yahoo! News - Republicans Change Rule to Shield DeLay if Indicted
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House Republicans voted on Wednesday to change their own rules to allow their powerful Majority Leader Tom DeLay to keep his post even if he is indicted in connection with illegal fund-raising activities.

In a closed-door session, House Republicans approved the rule change in a voice vote to allow a leader or chairman to keep his post after an indictment. The leadership would then make recommendations, based on whether the indictment was deemed legitimate or politically-motivated.

DeLay, who has been admonished by the House Ethics Committee three times this year, told reporters he was "not at all" worried about an indictment.

He said the change in party rules was necessary to protect Republicans against the Democrats' "politics of personal destruction."

Well, there was this guy, his name was Bill......

Why do I get the feeling that they could have indicted DeLay for murder and the Pubs still would have said "it was politically motivated"? These people are pond scum.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

In Loving Memory

Elvis Christine, "E.C."- July 1986- November 17, 2004

Goodbye my sweet little friend. I will miss you so.

Yahoo! News - CARE Director Believed Slain in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A British aid worker kidnapped in Iraq has probably been killed, her family and officials said, in what would be the first known female hostage killed in the wave of kidnappings that have beset Iraq.

A video showing a hooded militant shooting a blindfolded woman in the head was aired by Al-Jazeera television, and Margaret Hassan 's family in London said Tuesday they believe she was the victim shown.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw backed that opinion, saying analysis of the video shows that the longtime director of CARE in Iraq has "probably been murdered, although we cannot conclude this with complete certainty."

"To kidnap and kill anyone is inexcusable," Straw said. "But it is repugnant to commit such a crime against a woman who has spent most of her life working for the good of the people of Iraq."

CARE said it was in "mourning" for the 59-year-old Briton who worked for decades providing food, medicine and humanitarian aid to Iraqis. The aid group, which has closed its Iraq operations since the kidnapping, said it was "with profound sadness" that it learned of the video.

So very sad.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tree at Riverside.

Yahoo! News - Post: Man Who Ignited Self at White House an Informant
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man who set himself on fire outside the White House on Monday was a Yemeni federal informant on terrorism upset over how the FBI had managed his case, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Mohamed Alanssi, who had recently discussed his work as an informant in interviews with The Washington Post, told the newspaper by faxed letter and telephone on Monday he intended to "burn my body at unexpected place," the newspaper reported.

Alanssi said he became a major informant for the FBI after the 2001 al Qaeda attacks on the United States. He said he was paid $100,000 in 2003 but had expected much more and had not received the permanent residency status he was promised, the newspaper reported.

Another unhappy customer.

Yahoo! News - Two Top CIA Officials Quit After Clash
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top two officials at the CIA's clandestine unit resigned on Monday after clashing with the new management of the agency at a time when it is fighting terrorism and supporting U.S. operations in Iraq.

The resignations came two months after Goss took charge with a mandate to reform the spy agency which has been under fire for intelligence failures related to the Sept. 11 attacks and flawed prewar reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Intelligence sources said the two officials resigned from the Directorate of Operations, the powerful unit that recruits foreign spies and conducts covert operations overseas, after confrontations with Goss's chief of staff, Patrick Murray.

Some intelligence experts said the problems boil down to the senior officers at the clandestine unit being inexperienced in playing politics and Goss' senior advisers being inexperienced in handling new-found power.

"Politics" should have no business here.

Speaking of weird creepy government things, I have now had a hit from Raytheon, they of the guided missle and other fun stuff, on this blog. This goes along with my hit from the GSA, the General Services Administration. Hey you guys! Get back to work! Or, offer me a job, one of the two! ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Yahoo! News - NBC Says Marine Shot Dead Wounded Iraqi Prisoner
LONDON (Reuters) - A television pool report by U.S. network NBC said on Monday that a U.S. Marine had shot dead an unarmed and wounded Iraqi prisoner in a mosque in Falluja.

The Iraqi was one of five wounded prisoners left in the mosque after Marines had fought their way in on Friday and Saturday. There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon on the report.

A second group of Marines entered the mosque on Saturday after reports it had been reoccupied. Footage from the embedded television crew showed the five still in the mosque, although several appeared to be already close to death, Sites said. He said one Marine noticed one of the prisoners was still breathing.

A Marine can be heard saying on the pool footage provided to Reuters Television: "He's fucking faking he's dead. He faking he's fucking dead."

"The Marine then raises his rifle and fires into the man's head. The pictures are too graphic for us to broadcast," Sites said. No images of the shooting were shown in the footage provided to Reuters.

Chilling footage, even without the shot.

Here is a link to NBC reporter Kevin Sites blog.

I say show it. Show all of it. To hell with the AFA and all those like them who want a squeaky-clean, sanitized version of war.

Show the coffins coming home. Show the dead children in the street. Show the young men missing limbs, their lives forever changed. Show America the horror, every fucking night until we get it through our head that killing is not the answer.

When we will learn?

Yahoo! News - Powell and Three Other Cabinet Members Resign
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell announced his resignation in a letter released on Monday saying it was time for him to return to private life.

The White House also released letters of resignation from Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Education Secretary Rod Paige.

"I believe that now that the election is over the time has come for me to step down as secretary of state and return to private life," Powell said in a letter to President Bush dated Nov. 12.

I guess I never paid attention to the high cabinet turnover that follows an election before this administration. At least we still have Condi and Rummy to kick around. They are always good for a few laughs.
For Those Keeping Score:

I'm now up to 9 downloads for a whopping total of $1.80! No picture has been downloaded twice yet. Wish I knew who took them and what they might be used for.

Damn. Gotta get to work and get more up there.

Yahoo! News - Pro-Choice Senator Must Back Bush -Senate Leader
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican senator who has questioned whether an abortion opponent could win approval to the U.S. Supreme Court must agree to back President Bush's nominees if he is to head the committee acting on those nominations, the Senate's Republican leader said.

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, in line to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has yet to make a persuasive case that he should head the panel, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said on "Fox News Sunday."

"I would expect Chairman Specter ... if it's Chairman Specter ... to have a strong predisposition to supporting that nominee sent over by President Bush," Frist said.

Specter, who supports abortion rights, sparked a conservative furor by saying after the Nov. 2 election that Bush still lacked enough Senate votes to overcome Democratic attempts to block on any nominees who would overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

The start of the fight for power within the Republican Party. I never thought that I would be on this side of Arlen Specter. *shudder* Will there be enough moderates within that Party to stop the "Rabid Right?"
It's All About DPC:

Hi D-

In answer to your question- I don't want to cheat. They have rules to perserve the integrity of the photography; they don't want a "Photoshop" site, and I can't say as I blame them. The more manipulation of photos that you allow, the less it becomes "real" photography and more like digital art.

The funny thing is if I had the full version of Adobe Photoshop I could use a different technique that is legal, and would produce the same results as the method I was using. (it has to do with layers and blending modes, kind of complicated to explain here.)

I only have Photoshop Elements, which is a smaller version of the program. Elements itself is wonderful. I absolutely love it. I just read this morning that version 3.0 is coming out, maybe that will include more "toys" to play with. It shouldn't cost that much to upgrade (I hope) since I already have version 2.0.

One member called for a "level playing field", but life isn't like that, you know? I don't have a fancy camera or the expensive graphics program, so that puts me at a disadvantage. The people who have the expensive stuff and the talent to go with it win the ribbons. But, there are a lot of people who have the stuff and yet no talent.

Life is made easier for those who have money, but yet they have a different set of problems to contend with. I just have to try a little bit harder. Right now I'm a bit "blocked" on my photography, nothing looks good to me. I hope it will pass.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sorry Everybody
Some of us — hopefully most of us — are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us — hopefully most of us — are truly, truly sorry. And we'll say we're sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren't.

Go and check out the gallery. What a great site.
Crappy Disaster Movie Alert!:

Category 6: Day of Destruction

It appears to be a complete and total rip-off of "The Day After Tomorrow", except it destroys the city of Chicago, a town the forementioned horrible movie missed. It might be fun to watch my favorite city destroyed (in the clip it shows the Sears Tower coming down) if I can stomach what is sure to be an overblown, improbable, melodramatic script with yet another Quaid brother.

Check your local listings!


I can't find anything I like. So far the duck is the best one, and I can't use that because of a stupid editing rule at DPC.


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Now They're Knockin' On My Door:

...wanting to share some "comforting words from the Bible."

I'm literally shaking here. It scares me.

I just said "no thanks." While I would have loved to let loose with a tirade about my civil rights followed by a "get the hell off my property", I looked at these two nicely dressed young girls and decided it wouldn't be a good idea. I don't want to fight these people, I just want them to leave me alone.

What to do?

Yahoo! News - CBS News Fires Producer Over Arafat Special Report
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - CBS News has fired the producer responsible for interrupting the last five minutes of a hit crime drama with a special report on the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, a network source said on Friday.

Word of the dismissal came a day after CBS apologized to viewers for breaking into "CSI: NY," one of its top-rated shows, on Wednesday night. According to the source, the producer failed to follow standard procedures that require a senior CBS News executive to be consulted before interrupting regular programming.

The fact Arafat already had been reported near death for several days also figured in the network's decision. The source said the producer disregarded explicit, advance instructions that breaking news of Arafat's death -- if it occurred during prime time -- was to be reported with a news "crawl" at the bottom of the screen.

Perhaps he can find a job where real life matters more than entertainment. Umm.... yeah, good luck with that.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Daily Zen

Come to say goodbye,
We sit for a while
By the sandy creek.
On far roads,
You hold out an empty bowl;
Deep in mountains,
Walk on fallen flowers.
Having no master, you
Puzzle out Zen on your own;
Observing strict prosody,
Your poems merit praise.
This going-away
Has no circumstantial cause;
A solitary cloud
Has no fixed home.

- Chia Tao (779-843)

Thought this was nice.
Sold My First Pic!:

$.20 in my pocket! (very big grin here- they don't pay out till you hit $100)

And the winner is.....

Out of 8 pics reveiwed, 7 were accepted. I have 17 pending review, but I'm sure some of those will be tossed. I had to dig deep because of the sizing issue, I also am throwing some "digital art" ones up there and I'm not sure how much of that they will take.

I could go back to some of my originals and re-do the crops, but that would be an incredible amount of work for .20 at a time.

Wonder if I have to claim this on my unemployment. ;-)

Yahoo! News - School Unit Mandates 'Intelligent Design'
DOVER, Pa. - Last month, this rural south-central Pennsylvania community became first in the nation to mandate the teaching of "intelligent design," which holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by an unspecified higher power.

Last month, the Dover Area School District board voted to overhaul its ninth-grade biology curriculum. It now requires students to learn about alternate theories to evolution, which holds that Earth is billions of years old and that life forms developed over millions of years.

Critics say it's a veiled attempt to require public school children to learn creationism, a biblical-based view that credits the origin of species to God.

The state American Civil Liberties Union chapter is reviewing the matter. Its Georgia counterpart is fighting a suburban Atlanta district's decision to include a warning sticker in biology textbooks that says evolution is "a theory, not a fact."

As long as there is a warning sticker that says that creationism is "a theory, not a fact", I have no problem with it. The problem comes when over-zealous Christians will stick their "spin" on the whole thing, favoring their version of creation over other religions, and perhaps downplaying the role of evolution.

I think that if there is intelligent design, then evolution is part of that design.

I still haven't figured out exactly why the Christians feel the need to force their views on everyone by law. Why the insecurity in the supposedly "Christian" nation?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Onion | Nation's Poor Win Election For Nation's Rich
WASHINGTON, DC—The economically disadvantaged segment of the U.S. population provided the decisive factor in another presidential election last Tuesday, handing control of the government to the rich and powerful once again.

"The Republican party—the party of industrial mega-capitalists, corporate financiers, power brokers, and the moneyed elite—would like to thank the undereducated rural poor, the struggling blue-collar workers in Middle America, and the God-fearing underpriviledged minorities who voted George W. Bush back into office," Karl Rove, senior advisor to Bush, told reporters at a press conference Monday. "You have selflessly sacrificed your well-being and voted against your own economic interest. For this, we humbly thank you."

Added Rove: "You have acted beyond the call of duty—or, for that matter, good sense."

According to Rove, the Republicans found strong support in non-urban areas populated by the people who would have benefited most from the lower-income tax cuts and social-service programs championed by Kerry. Regardless of their own interests, these citizens turned out in record numbers to elect conservatives into office at all levels of the government.

"My family's been suffering ever since I lost my job at the screen-door factory, and I haven't seen a doctor for well on four years now," said father of four Buddy Kaldrin of Eerie, CO. "Shit, I don't even remember what a dentist's chair looks like... Basically, I'd give up if it weren't for God's grace. So it's good to know we have a president who cares about religion, too."

Kaldrin added: "That's why I always vote straight-ticket Republican, just like my daddy did, before he lost the farm and shot himself in the head, and just like his daddy did, before he died of black-lung disease in the company coal mines."

Funny and sad and true all at the same time.

Yahoo! News - Bush Nominates Gonzales to Replace Ashcroft
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush nominated as his new attorney general on Wednesday the top White House lawyer, Alberto Gonzales, a son of migrant workers who rose to become a Bush confidant and helped shape legal opinions about prisoner treatment in the war on terror.

If confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, the Texas-born Gonzales, 49, would be the first Hispanic-American to become the country's top law-enforcement official.

Torture. It's not just for terrorists anymore. I think Bush picked him because he is the only guy who is actually shorter than the President. (ok, short joke there, boooooo....)

On a serious note, I can't wait for the day when people are not defined by "the first Hispanic, woman, African-American, albino", etc. etc. etc., on and on. They're just people, not a race or sex or preference.
It's All About Me:

I'm officially a photo whore. Well, not officially, not yet, they have to be approved first, but at least I'm making attempts to make some money at this. At $.20 a download, I'll be rolling in it soon! (for the humor-impaired, that was a joke.)


If you use me for a reference, I make money on you!

Submit Photos to ShutterStock and make $$$!

Wish me luck. Here is where my camera becomes a problem. The pics have to be at least 2.5 MP's, and because I crop for composition, a lot of my better ones are too small. There goes that cool one of Baby in the leaves. I also can't submit people without a model release, so the guitar guy is out. No baseball pictures because of copyright issues. These things will whittle out a good portion of my "portfolio".

Dear Santa- for Xmas I need a Nikon D70 and a couple of very expensive lenses. Ha.

Yahoo! News - Gay Activists Gather for St. Louis Meeting
ST. LOUIS - Organizers of the first national gay and lesbian conference since last week's presidential election say resounding voter passage of gay marriage bans in 11 states has been hard to bear, leaving members devastated and fearful.

Matt Foreman of New York, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, likened the blow to a death, with soul searching in order.

Last week's presidential election saw 11 more states pass constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Missouri and five other states already had passed similar measures.

It's tough when "the vast majority of citizens in your state not only do not understand you but take hostile steps to change the constitution to take away rights we never even had," Foreman said. "There's no way you can put lipstick on that pig."

Ummm, St. Louis? Why patronize states that have passed these measures? I would like to see boycotts on those states, including my own. Patronize the places that are inclusive, though they are few and far between nowadays.

Yahoo! News - Palestinian Leader Arafat Dies at 75
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Yasser Arafat, the guerrilla leader turned Nobel Peace Prize winner who forced his people's plight into the world spotlight, died Thursday at age 75 — still reviled by many as a terrorist.

He initially improved but then sharply deteriorated as rumors swirled about his illness. Neither doctors nor Palestinian leaders would say what killed Arafat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Just a duck.

Testing my new web at Comcast. Looks like you can have 7 accounts with 25 MB each. WoooHoooo!
It's All About Me:

Hello Portugal! I have had a couple of comments and I just wanted to say "thanks". Sometimes I forget that other people besides myself and my father are reading this blog.

I just wanted to say that most of my comments after the stories I note are extremely sarcastic- I don't know how well that translates to someone that speaks English as a second language. I know it doesn't translate well in English, either, but, so what. The people that know me know what I'm sayin'. I never get too deep; I don't want to be some sort of left-wing spokesperson that has all the answers and therefore comes off as one of those mythical liberal "elitist" types. I'm just doing this for myself, a place where I can vent a little and post my pictures, and go back to the past and laugh at how incredibly wrong I was. (For example: I wanted the Republicans to use the gay issue. I thought it would make them look like bigots, and that would be a bad thing for them. Turns out that America is full of bigots and it backfired on me. Ooops. There goes my civil rights.)

Anyway, hope you enjoy. Don't ever take me too seriously.

Yahoo! News - Falwell Plans for 'Evangelical Revolution'
RICHMOND, Va. - Seeking to take advantage of the momentum from an election where moral values proved important to voters, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced Tuesday he has formed a new coalition to guide an "evangelical revolution."

Falwell, a religious broadcaster based in Lynchburg, Va., said the Faith and Values Coalition will be a "21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority," the organization he founded in 1979.

Lord, save me from your followers. Hey Jerry, that's my word you are using. Bastard.

New York Daily News - Politics - Ashcroft out as attorney general
WASHINGTON - John Ashcroft, one of the most powerful, controversial attorneys general in American history, abruptly and reluctantly quit yesterday. Commerce Secretary Don Evans, an old friend of President Bush, also resigned. The two were the first cabinet officers to step down since Bush won a second term on Nov. 2.

Sources said Ashcroft submitted his handwritten, five-page resignation letter before Election Day but was "energized" after Bush's victory and told the White House through his aides he was willing to stay on indefinitely as the nation's top cop.

The White House said no. Ashcroft will remain in office only until his successor is chosen.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that Democrats "hope the President will choose a less polarizing attorney general as [Ashcroft's] successor."

The deeply religious ex-Missouri senator was dubbed the "Crisco Kid" because his minister dad once anointed him with cooking oil. His farewell letter to Justice Department employees quoted Scripture: "Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."

This perplexes me. Why would the White House care now that he was "polarizing"? Something tells me that there is more to this story than we are being told. Do they have an even bigger Nazi in the wings? Is he a lunatic drunk (my guess), and the White House is afraid of what he might do next? Again, why would they care?

Yahoo! News - 10 US, 2 Iraqi Troops Dead in Falluja -US Military
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ten U.S. troops and two Iraqi troops fighting alongside them have died in the assault to take control of rebel-held Falluja, but senior insurgency leaders probably escaped the city, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

"Enemy casualties, I think, are significantly higher than I expected," Metz said, adding that "a very small number" of enemy fighters had been captured. He declined to provide numbers of insurgents killed or captured.

Metz said he believed 50 percent to 75 percent of the residents of the city of 300,000 had left before the assault. "We have seen very few civilian casualties," he said, without providing any numbers. Residents of the city said scores of civilians have died.

U.S. officials have said senior leaders of the insurgency that rose up after the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein had used Falluja as a safe haven. But Metz said senior leaders of the insurgency and al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi likely got out of Falluja before U.S. Marines stormed into it.

I guess we just go from town to town then, killing the civilians who couldn't get out, destroying homes and businesses, and chase these guys all over Iraq. That will win hearts and minds.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Yahoo! News - White House Wants Suicide Law Blocked
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to block the nation's only law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients die more quickly.

The appeal from Attorney General John Ashcroft had been expected since May, when a lower court ruled the federal government could not punish Oregon doctors who prescribed lethal doses of federally controlled drugs.

While not as prominent as abortion, the issue is an important one for conservative Christians, who helped Bush win a second term last week. The government waited until Tuesday, the final day possible, to file paperwork at the high court.

Oregon's law, known as the Death With Dignity Act, lets patients with less than six months to live request a lethal dose of drugs after two doctors confirm the diagnosis and determine the person's mental competence to make the request.

And so it begins...
A Joke:

Q: What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq?

A: Bush had a successful plan for getting out of Vietnam.

WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8 - Longer response time by firefighters hinders effort to battle Wyoming fire
A garage was destroyed and the attached home was damaged by fire in Wyoming Monday morning, and firefighters say recent budget cuts made the situation worse than it needed to be.

The nearest fire station to the home is on Gezon Parkway, but closed in September due to budget cuts. So fire crews had to come from the central station in order to battle the fire.

Many homeowners in the area say they voted against the millage which would have kept the Gezon Parkway fire station open. However, they say they would have voted differently now.

Uh-huh. NOW they understand. What did they think was going to happen?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Star-Telegram | 11/07/2004 | You can already smell the chicken rotting
Now, you know you cannot keep a dog that kills chickens, no matter how fine a dog it is otherwise. Some people think you cannot break a dog that has got in the habit of killin' chickens, but my friend John Henry always claimed you could.

He said the way to do it is to take one of the chickens the dog has killed and wire the thing around the dog's neck, good and strong. Leave it there until that dead chicken stinks so bad that no other dog or person will even go near that poor beast.

The thing'll smell so bad that the dog won't be able to stand himself. You leave it on there until the last little bit of flesh rots and falls off, and that dog won't kill chickens again.

The Bush administration is going to be wired around the neck of the American people for four more years, long enough for the stench to sicken everybody. It should cure the country of electing Republicans.

I love Molly Ivins. P.S. This site may make you register, but the link I'm using bypasses that for whatever reason.
New Counter:

...on the right shows the cost of the war in Iraq, courtesy of the National Priorities Project. Interesting site, check it out.

Running two java scripts slows the blog (sometimes) so I might have to take it off. If you are having problems let me know.

Yahoo! News - U.S. Soldiers Storm Part of Fallujah
NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. forces stormed into the western outskirts of Fallujah early Monday, seizing the main city hospital and securing two key bridges over the Euphrates river in what appeared to be the first stage of the long-expected assault on the insurgent stronghold.

Two Marines were killed on Monday the U.S. military said, making them the first casualties in the American-led offensive to retake the insurgent-held city.

Several hundred Iraqi troops were sent into Fallujah's main hospital after U.S. forces sealed off the area. The troops detained about 50 men of military age inside the hospital, but about half were later released.

The invaders used special tools, powered by .22 caliber blanks, to break open door locks. A rifle-like crackle echoed through the facility. Many patients were herded into hallways and handcuffed until troops determined whether they were insurgents hiding in the hospital.

And so it begins...

Yahoo! News - Race Against Time to Prevent Nuclear Terror - IAEA
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The world faces a "race against time" to prevent nuclear terror, the United Nation's nuclear watchdog chief said on Monday, citing an extensive illicit market in nuclear and radioactive materials after the Sept. 11 attacks.

More than 24 companies or individuals were engaged in the sale of nuclear materials and more than 60 incidents of trafficking in nuclear or other radioactive material are expected this year, said Mohamed ElBaradei, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The threat of nuclear terrorism is real and current," he told reporters at a Sydney conference on nuclear proliferation and terror.

No time for that now! Must protect marriage from the gays! They are a much bigger threat than, say, a nuclear device going off in the middle of Manhattan. This country has priorities!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Yahoo! News - Man Shoots, Kills Himself at Ground Zero
NEW YORK - A 25-year-old from Georgia who was apparently distraught over President Bush's re-election shot and killed himself at ground zero.

Andrew Veal's body was found Saturday morning inside the off-limits site, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. A shotgun was found nearby, but no suicide note was found, Coleman said.

Newsday, citing a police source it did not identify, reported Sunday that Veal opposed the war in Iraq and was apparently distraught after the election.

I wonder how many others like him. I'm sure there were a few.

Yahoo! News - Iraqi Interim Government Declares Martial Law
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's interim government declared a state of emergency for 60 days on Sunday to quell violence gripping the country ahead of January elections.

The state of emergency, equivalent to martial law, would apply throughout Iraq except the Kurdish north, a spokesman for interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said.

"We have decided to declare a state of emergency in all areas of Iraq, with the exception of the region of Kurdistan for a period of 60 days," spokesman Thaer al-Naqib told reporters.

He said the decision was intended to crush insurgents behind relentless bombings, killings and kidnappings ahead of elections scheduled for the end of January but threatened by the violence.

Lion. Not sure where the male was.

And with this picture, I ran out of room on my current host site. I have to set up another one on Comcast- it will be my third site. Heh. Sure do have lots of pictures. God, I love digital.

One of these days I will get this organized, and when I do old pictures will disappear from this blog. (Not that anyone will be going back that far!)

Lone monkey.

George relaxing after a long, hard campaign.

Pretty Kitty.

More zoo pics to follow. Wandering around there yesterday made me sad that the millage didn't pass. This poor guy is stuck in an enclosure that is smaller than the first floor of my house- same with the lion, leopards, bears, etc. It seems cruel.

A city this size needs a bigger, better zoo. Let's hope we get it solved for the animal's sake.

Nader requests N.H. vote recount
CONCORD - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader requested a hand recount of ballots in New Hampshire after getting seven-tenths of 1 percent of the vote.

“We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire,’’ Nader wrote.

“These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5 percent to 15 percent over what was expected. Problems in these electronic voting machines and optical scanners are being reported in machines in a variety of states.’’

Hmmmm. Wonder if anyone has the guts to investigate these machines from Diebold. Tear it down, read the code. It might be interesting.

I have to laugh at the fact that Ralph Nader is still out there being a pain in the ass. Go get 'em Ralph. :-)

Yahoo! News - Veteran Sues After Being Called to Duty
HONOLULU - A veteran of the first Persian Gulf War is suing the Army after it ordered him to report for duty 13 years after he was honorably discharged from active duty and eight years after he left the reserves.

The Army announced last year that it would involuntarily activate an estimated 5,600 soldiers to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Army officials would be tapping members of the Individual Ready Reserve — military members who have been discharged from the Army, Army Reserve or the Army National Guard, but still have contractual obligations to the military.

Miyasato said he never re-enlisted, signed up for any bonuses or was told that he had been transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve or any other Army Reserve unit.

"I fulfilled my contract," Miyasato said. "I just want to move on from this, and I'm optimistic that I'll be successful."

Digging down deep. Maybe we should start that draft after all, huh? C'mon, Bush supporters, put your money where your mouth is. Send your child off to die to bring "freedom and liberty" to the world! Let's start with Jenna Bush. Bet she'd make a great soldier.

Yahoo! News - Gunmen Kill 22 Iraqi Police, U.S. Hits Falluja
FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Gunmen captured 21 Iraqi policemen and shot them in cold blood on Sunday, a day after attacks on security forces that killed 34 people, police said.

The weekend attacks were a clear riposte to a planned offensive by U.S. forces on the Sunni Muslim rebel strongholds of Falluja and Ramadi as part of the interim government's drive to cripple Iraq's insurgency before elections in January.

On Saturday, bombings and attacks on police stations killed 34 people, mostly police, in the restive city of Samarra, some 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad. Allawi's office said 49 people were also wounded. All the casualties were men. U.S. troops enforced a round-the-clock curfew in Samarra and nearby villages on Sunday, with patrols ordering people by loudspeaker to stay at home or be killed, residents said.

The Samarra violence erupted barely a month after U.S. and Iraqi forces stormed the city to dislodge rebels in what was then seen as a model for similar actions in Falluja and Ramadi.

If Samarra is a "model" then obviously the violence will not end with an assualt on Falluja- I predict it will get worse. And it will move from town to town as we create more insurgents with every Iraqi death.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Cubs agree to one-year deal with SS Perez
CHICAGO (Ticker) - The Chicago Cubs on Friday agreed to terms on a one-year contract with shortstop Neifi Perez, who signed with the team after being released by the San Francisco Giants on August 19.

Perez, 31, batted .371 in 23 games for the Cubs and hit safely in 14 of the final 18 contests. He became the first Chicago player since the advent of division play in 1969 to start his Cubs' career with six straight hits.

Yea! If we don't get Nomar back, I think this guy would do a great job. Very impressive in his short time with the team.

Yahoo! News - Vandals Hit GOP Headquarters in N.Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. - Vandals spray painted vulgar messages on the walls of the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters and left a burned effigy depicting President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, police said.

Authorities detained several suspects early Saturday, hours after the attacks took place Friday night, but had not filed any charges, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

A police officer reported Friday that about 100 people wearing masks and gloves were walking down a street near the headquarters, authorities said.

We might have our own "insurgents" to deal with right here in America. You say you want a revolution?

Yahoo! News - Americans Flock to Canada's Immigration Web Site
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President Bush's election win this week.

"When we looked at the first day after the election, Nov. 3, our Web site hit a new high, almost double the previous record high," immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said on Friday.

On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the Web site, http://www.cic.gc.ca -- a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of U.S. visits settled down to 65,803 on Thursday, still well above the norm.

Tempting, because I am so close, but not realistic. I'm a bit disheartened that these people don't want to stay and fight for our country, but on the other hand I can't say as I blame them. Canada looks really goood right now. I wonder if I could claim "refugee" status due to my being a second class citizen and all. Hey, my great grandfather was French Canadian, does that count?

Friday, November 05, 2004

MLive.com: NewsFlash - Bill requiring Pledge of Allegiance moves to state House
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's K-12 public schools may soon be required to offer a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each school day.

A bill headed for the state House would require school districts to provide an opportunity to say the pledge, but specifies that students can't be forced to participate if they don't want to or their parents object.

An estimated 35 states already have a similar requirement, according to an analysis by the Senate Fiscal Agency.

What? You don't want to participate, little boy? Let's make a note in your permanent school record, shall we?

Welcome to the new improved America, where patriotism is not a choice, it's the law!

Yahoo! News - Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said.

Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. Bush's total should have been recorded as 365.

Bush won the state by more than 136,000 votes, according to unofficial results, and Kerry conceded the election on Wednesday after saying that 155,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted in Ohio would not change the result.

Deducting the erroneous Bush votes from his total could not change the election's outcome, and there were no signs of other errors in Ohio's electronic machines, said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.

If electronic voting ever comes to my precinct, I might vote absentee. Too many stories of glitches such as this makes me think that we are just not ready for electonics yet.

Yahoo! News - Bush Would Be Perfect Kids' Villain -Author Pullman
LONDON (Reuters) - For children's fantasy writer Philip Pullman, George W. Bush would make a perfect villain in his epic sagas of good and evil.

"He would fit right in," said the British author of the trilogy "His Dark Materials" which now looks set to follow in the cinematic footsteps of Harry Potter and The Lord of The Rings as the next blockbuster franchise.

"Bush has this baying certainty and has imposed this fervent zealotry," said Pullman whose books have been condemned by church groups for attacking organized religion.

"The Christian right in America is the mirror image of the Islamic fundamentalists," he added.

Can I get an "Amen" to that? George makes the perfect adult villian, too.

Yahoo! News - Bush 2nd-Term Agenda Would Add Big Costs
WASHINGTON - With federal deficits already running amok, it is unclear how President Bush will pay for his second-term agenda, a potentially multitrillion-dollar smorgasbord that includes overhauling Social Security and revamping the tax system.

Bush laid out lofty goals Thursday at his first news conference since his Election Day triumph. He said he wanted to buttress Social Security, simplify the tax system, strengthen the economy, fight terrorism, bolster education, and battle AIDS and poverty abroad.

"I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it," the president said.

But all the political capital in the world won't pay for his pricey priorities. And unlike four years ago, when his first term began amid projections for $5.6 trillion in federal surpluses over the next decade, the budget's future looks bleak.

You wanted him, you got him America. Now your kids get to pay. And your elderly parents. Battle Aids and poverty abroad? We might have some poverty we have to deal with here first.

WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8 - Betsy DeVos quitting after six years as state GOP chief
LANSING, Mich. Six-year Michigan Republican Chairwoman Betsy DeVos will step down in February.

The 46-year-old DeVos says it always had been her intention to leave the job after leading efforts to re-elect President Bush. The president won a second term Tuesday but lost in Michigan.

During DeVos's tenure, the state G-O-P erased a one-point-two (m) million-dollar debt.

DeVos won't comment on speculation about what she'll do next.

Hey Betsy! Door! Ass! Buh-bye! Let's hope she doesn't run for Governor.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Be Careful What You Say and Do:

...in the land of "free speech". Read this.

Big Brother is watching you. Here's a picture I didn't publish because the light was bad, but when I read this I was reminded of it. A cop filmed the protest at Bush's appearance in GR. Interesting.

Is my foil hat on straight?

Yahoo! News - Aides: Ashcroft Likely to Leave AG Post
WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft is likely to leave his post before the start of President Bush's second term, senior aides said Thursday.

Ashcroft, 62, is described as exhausted from leading the Justice Department in fighting the domestic war on terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Stress was a factor in Ashcroft's health problems earlier this year that resulted in removal of his gall bladder.

Door. Ass. You know the rest. Buh-bye John!

Thanks to Ogie for this one.

(Posted at DPC, don't know where it originated so I can't give credit, but thought it fit the bill...)

Yahoo! News - Cincinnati voters repeal anti-gay law
While Ohio was one of the 11 states that approved bans on same-sex marriage on Election Day, there was one thing LGBT Ohioans could celebrate: Cincinnati voters repealed an amendment to the City Charter which barred the city from offering any protections to gays and lesbians.

Voters approved the repeal of Article XII, Issue 3, by a 54-46 percent margin.

Article XII stated: "The city of Cincinnati and its various Boards and Commissions may not enact, adopt, enforce or administer any ordinance, regulation, rule or policy which provides that homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, status, conduct or relationship constitutes, entitles or otherwise provides a person with a basis to have a claim of minority or protected status, quota preference or other preferential treatment."

The repeal effort had supporters that stretched from the public to private sector.

Along with a majority of city council members, Mayor Charlie Luken supported the repeal. "I am proud of my city tonight," Luken told the Cincinnati Post. "This shows we're ready to welcome all of our citizens."

Several corporations also supported the repeal, including Procter & Gamble and Federated Department Stores.

Why did they do it? I hate to be cynical, but they did it because the amendment was bad for business, not because it was the "right" thing to do. Still, it was a bit of good news on a very bad day for civil rights.

Yahoo! News - Calif. Voters Back $3 Billion Stem Cell Measure
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A controversial California ballot measure that would fund a decade of stem cell research with $3 billion in state money was headed for a resounding victory on Wednesday, initial returns showed.

The initiative, which was endorsed by popular California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a move that put him at odds with his Republican party and the Bush administration, was carrying 59 percent of the vote with about 74 percent of precincts reporting.

Backers of the measure say the funding program would jump start scientific work that could help cure diseases and establish California as a hub for leading-edge research on a par with Singapore and Britain.

A bit of happy news that came out of "Dark Tuesday". Bless the people of California, they may have just saved millions of people from suffering. And, oh man I hate to say it, this has raised my opinion of Arnie quite a bit. He is willing to break from his party of Nasty Nazi's for the good of the people, a move that takes courage. Rock on Arnold.