Wednesday, August 31, 2005

West Michigan Whitecaps -'Caps clinch playoff berth
Happy happy, joy joy...

COMSTOCK PARK, MI - With a 3-1 victory over the South Bend Silver Hawks, the West Michigan Whitecaps have secured a spot in the 2005 Midwest League Playoffs.

The post season begins September 7 with the defending Midwest League Champion Whitecaps hosting Game One of the first round at Fifth Third Ballpark at 7 p.m. The final second half standings are yet to be determined, which means the 'Caps are not sure which Eastern Division opponent they will face in the first round.

The Silver Hawks won the Eastern Division first half and the Fort Wayne Wizards took the first half wild card spot. Should the Whitecaps remain ahead of the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in the second-half standings they will play the Wizards in the first round.

In the Game: Jeff Hahn improved to 4-1 in his first five starts with the Whitecaps by pitching six innings with four hits and one run allowed against South Bend.

The West Michigan bullpen was perfect over three innings to secure the victory. Freddy Dolsi, Ed Clelland and Kevin Whelan each pitched an inning of relief for the Whitecaps. Whelan struck out two in the ninth to earn his ninth save in nine opportunities.

Matt Walbeck for Cubs manager! Please? Pretty please? - 1.1 million Americans joined ranks of the poor in 2004
Numbers...numbers...the middle class is disappearing by the numbers...

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans living in poverty rose by 1.1 million to 37 million last year, despite a robust economy that created 2.2 million new jobs. It was the fourth consecutive year poverty has risen.

Median household income remained stable at $44,389. But it took more workers to produce that income; median earnings for both men and women did not keep up with inflation.

Inequality between rich and poor remained basically unchanged last year. But for the first time, the wealthiest 20% of Americans accounted for more than half of all household income, up from 49.8% in 2003. And much of their income, such as capital gains, is not measured by the survey.

"It's a pretty classic story of an economy that's leaving middle-income households behind," said Jared Bernstein of the liberal Economic Policy Institute. "The gap between how this economy's doing and the living standards of the median family has never been larger."

The number of people without health insurance rose by 800,000 to 45.8 million. But the number with health insurance also increased by 2 million, to 245.3 million. Employer-based health coverage declined, while more people joined government programs such as Medicaid. As a result, the percentage of uninsured remained basically unchanged at 15.7%.

Better hurry and cut that Medicaid budget. Pretty soon everybody will want to be on it.

Death, damage, chaos strewn in Katrina's path - Yahoo! News

American Red Cross. Or, call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Hellish scenes of death, damage, and chaos wracked the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday as overwhelmed authorities tried to rescue the living and count the dead amid the destruction left by powerful Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans was filling with water after an initial attempt to stop a leaking levee failed, while police fought a losing battle to stop widespread looting in the stricken city.

In Mississippi, officials confirmed that at least 100 people had died in the killer storm and said the death toll was almost certain to go much higher.

"We're just estimating, but the number could go double or triple from what we're talking about now," a civil defense director told the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger.

Biloxi, Mississippi spokesman Vincent Creel earlier told Reuters of the death toll: "It's going to be in the hundreds."

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu told reporters she had heard at least 50 to 100 people were dead in New Orleans, where rescue teams were so busy saving people stranded in flooded homes they had to leave bodies floating in the high waters.

New Orleans at first appeared to have received a glancing blow from the storm, but the raging waters of Lake Pontchartrain tore holes in the levee system that protects the low-lying city, then slowly filled it up.

Mayor Ray Nagin said 80 percent of the city, much of it below sea level, was covered with water that was in places 20 feet deep.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local levee workers tried, but failed on Tuesday to stem the flow from a 200-foot- (60-meter-) long breach near the city center with 3,000-pound 1,360-kg) sandbags brought in by helicopter.

A looming problem for authorities was what to do with the growing number of evacuees who were left homeless by Katrina.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said a plan was being developed to evacuate the Superdome, which had no electricity, and other shelters.

Officials said there were 20,000 to 30,000 people now sheltered in the giant football stadium and they were growing restive because there was no electricity, no air conditioning, growing piles of trash and increasingly unsanitary conditions.

Imagine, if you will, in the face of a loss of a major American city, Bill Clinton grabbing a saxophone yesterday and playing at a speech. What would people's reaction be?

My reaction to this- no comment. The people of New Orleans are better off without his "leadership". He'll just fuck this up, too.

Oh, and just go read this. It will provide you all the facts you need to know about how and why the work that was needed on those levees wasn't completed. No comment on that, either. I think I'll just let history be the judge and jury here.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Army Contract Official Critical of Halliburton Pact Is Demoted - New York Times
Add this one to the growing list entitled "Abuse of Power by BushCo".....

A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday for what the Army called poor job performance.

The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, has worked in military procurement for 20 years and for the past several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.

The demotion removes her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigns her to a lesser job in the corps' civil works division.

Ms. Greenhouse's lawyer, Michael Kohn, called the action an "obvious reprisal" for the strong objections she raised in 2003 to a series of corps decisions involving the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, which has garnered more than $10 billion for work in Iraq.

Dick Cheney led Halliburton, which is based in Texas, before he became vice president.

"She is being demoted because of her strict adherence to procurement requirements and the Army's preference to sidestep them when it suits their needs," Mr. Kohn said Sunday in an interview. He also said the Army had violated a commitment to delay Ms. Greenhouse's dismissal until the completion of an inquiry by the Pentagon's inspector general.

Carol Sanders, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said Sunday that the personnel action against Ms. Greenhouse had been approved by the Department of the Army. And in a memorandum dated June 3, 2005, as the demotion was being arranged, the commander of the corps, Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, said the administrative record "clearly demonstrates that Ms. Greenhouse's removal from the S.E.S. is based on her performance and not in retaliation for any disclosures of alleged improprieties that she may have made."

Known as a stickler for the rules on competition, Ms. Greenhouse initially received stellar performance ratings, Mr. Kohn said. But her reviews became negative at roughly the time she began objecting to decisions she saw as improperly favoring Kellogg Brown & Root, he said. Often she hand-wrote her concerns on the contract documents, a practice that corps leaders called unprofessional and confusing.

Surprised? Not me. And you shouldn't be, either.
It's All About eBay:

I received this last night-

"Hi, I just bid on your item but I live in Baton Rouge Louisiana and we are waiting for hurricane Katrina to hit tonight. We expect to be without electricity for about a week. We do want this piece, so if we win the auction and you do not hear from us for several day, it means we have no electricity. So please understand our situation and know that you will hear from us as soon as we are able. Thanks so much for understanding."

In the face of disaster, consumerism must go on!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Orleans Braces for Powerful Katrina - Yahoo! News
I am very sorry that I never saw New Orleans. Sending big prayers out to all living things that reside there...

NEW ORLEANS - A monstrous Hurricane Katrina barreled toward New Orleans on Sunday with 165-mph wind and a threat of a 28-foot storm surge, forcing a mandatory evacuation of the below-sea-level city and prayers for those who remained to face a doomsday scenario.

Katrina intensified into a Category 5 giant over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday as cars jammed highways leading out of the region.

A direct hit on New Orleans, as expected around sunrise Monday, would be the city's first direct hit in 40 years and the most powerful storm to ever slam the city of 458,000. By early evening, the first squalls and driving rains were lashing its buildings.

A grim Mayor C. Ray Nagin conceded Katrina's storm surge pushing up the Mississippi River would swamp New Orleans' system of levees, flooding the bowl-shaped city and causing potentially months of misery.

"We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared," he said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event."

Forecasters warned that Mississippi and Alabama were also in danger. Because of Katrina's size — its hurricane-force winds extended 105 miles from the center — even areas far from the landfall could be devastated. Beyond the winds, the storm packed the potential for a surge of 18 to 28 feet, 30-foot waves and as much as 15 inches of rain.

"The conditions have to be absolutely perfect to have a hurricane become this strong," said National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield, noting that Katrina may yet be more powerful than 1992's Hurricane Andrew. Andrew, with 165 mph winds, leveled parts of South Florida, killed 43 people and caused $31 billion in damage.

"It's capable of causing catastrophic damage," Mayfield said. "Even well-built structures will have tremendous damage. Of course, what we're really worried about is the loss of lives."

As many as 100,000 inner-city residents didn't have the means to leave, and an untold number of tourists were stranded by the closing of the airport. The city arranged buses to take people to 10 last-resort shelters, including the Superdome.

On a greedier note- if you are reading this on Sunday night/Monday morning- go fill up your gas tank RIGHT NOW. Oil just opened over $70 dollars a barrell on the NYMEX- which begins electronic trading at 7PM Sundays. They are predicting insanity when tomorrow comes.

I got up off my lazy ass, got dressed, and tanked the car at $2.74 mid-grade. Should last me a while.
It's All About Me:

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Televangelist Calls for Chavez' Death - Yahoo! News
HEY KIDS! What time is it? It's time for another edition of "Preacher Pat's HIT LIST!" Yaaaaa! Everyone on your knees, and pray for the death of your enemies!

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club."

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Chavez has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush, accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. U.S. officials have called the accusations ridiculous.

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Seems there are a whole BUNCH of folks Pat wants rubbed out. Supreme Court justices to the whole state of Florida.

I guess it begs the question-Who would Jesus kill?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

ACLU fights for Mich. partner benefits - Yahoo! News
Fingers crossed. Although I wonder what effect a strikedown of this admendment would be- it might serve to rile the bigots up even more, and once again this becomes a burning (non) issue.

Quick, pass another law against the gays!

Meanwhile, jobs keep leaving, the price of healthcare keeps going up, college gets more expensive, city budgets are strained to the max, gas prices, inflation....why cant people see that Republicans use this issue to avoid addressing all the others? Furthermore, why doesn't the Democratic Party point that fact out?

In a Michigan courtroom on Tuesday, the ACLU asked a judge to clarify the state's anti-gay constitutional amendment, "Proposal 2," and its affect on domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian employees.

The provision, passed along with similar ones in 11 states in November of last year, states: "To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose."

After the measure passed, Gov. Jennifer Granholm put a hold on domestic partner provisions that were about to be added to state employment contracts. Granholm said that a court would have to determine whether the amendment allowed the state to offer such benefits.

In March, Attorney General Mike Cox wrote a 16-page opinion, at the request of Kalamazoo city officials, declaring that the language bars local governments from offering domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples. As a result of that legal memo, the city decided to stop its domestic partner program effective next Jan. 1.

The ACLU sued, naming Granholm and Kalamazoo, on behalf of 21 same-sex couples seeking either to retain, or to obtain, domestic partner benefits. But last month, Granholm notified the court that she agreed with the ACLU's interpretation of the amendment, and as such, needed a new attorney.

Attorney General Cox, in turn, petitioned to be named as a defendant in order to make the case for his personal view of the amendment. Now, both Granholm and Cox are using lawyers from the Michigan attorney general's office, where they have erected a firewall in order to keep their legal work separate.

I've heard rumors that DeVos plans to use this in the campaign next year- I hope that the Michigan Democratic Party can find a way to turn the framing on this issue around and use it to our advantage. The issues I've listed above should be far more important to the majority of Michiganders- all it takes is someone (Jennifer?- Don't let me down!) to speak up and make it clear.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

U.S. concedes ground to Islamists on Iraqi law - Yahoo! News
Wonder how the Christian Iraqis are feeling right about now...

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. diplomats have conceded ground to Islamists on the role of religion in Iraq, negotiators said on Saturday as they raced to meet a 48-hour deadline to draft a constitution under intense U.S. pressure.

U.S. diplomats, who have insisted the constitution must enshrine ideals of equal rights and democracy, declined comment.

Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish negotiators all said there was accord on a bigger role for Islamic law than Iraq had before.

But a secular Kurdish politician said Kurds opposed making Islam "the," not "a," main source of law -- changing current wording -- and subjecting all legislation to a religious test.

"We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi'ites," he said. "It's shocking. It doesn't fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state ... I can't believe that's what the Americans really want or what the American people want."

Washington, with 140,000 troops still in Iraq, has insisted Iraqis are free to govern themselves but made clear it will not approve the kind of clerical rule seen in Shi'ite Iran, a state President Bush describes as "evil."

No comment about sums it up. Whaddaya wanna bet that once this constitution is passed, this administration will run around screaming "Look! It's Freedom!" and ignore the facts once again?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

t r u t h o u t - One Mother's Stand
While the MSM has gone silent on this event, truthout has great pictures and updates. This little event happened last night- will we see it on the TV news?

About an hour ago, we got a phone call from our friends up at Camp Casey saying that the line of gravemarkers along the road (Arlington West) had been run over. People there said that as they were talking to a few members of the press, a pick-up truck came down the road and stopped at the fork by the edge of the tents. The driver then jumped out and attached a pipe to the undercarriage with a chain and began to "swerve into the line of crosses," said Tammara Rosenleaf from Montana. "Then we heard the pipe being dragged over the gravemarkers and the pick-up's wheels crushing them."

Out of the 800 crosses, 500 were knocked down and 100 are irreperable. However, the driver was arrested by the local authorities. This is a prime example of how the Crawford sheriff's department has helped to protect us and our freedom of speech over the past week and a half. A big thank you to them!

Regardless of who did this, the fact is that respect for this country's dead is not a partisan issue. Putting up memorials of our country's fallen is not a "liberal" act. It is an American act. Even a group of counter-protestors from Dallas last week draped flags and flowers over many of the gravemarkers, and many were moved to tears at the sight of the long line of dead soldiers. It's too bad that someone else who disagrees with Cindy felt they needed to wipe out the memory of our fallen in such an obscene manner.

Just one man's act? I don't know. After a group of counter-protestors chanted "We don't care" last week, and all the personal smears that they are throwing at Cindy becomes obvious to me that these people will do anything to ignore the issue at hand and bash anyone and everything that stands in the way of their agenda. Rove taught them well.

Funny that the AP decided to make news of her divorce a headline, and writes one little tag line at the end about the cross incident. The mass media has decided to make her personal life the story and ignore the message. Why am I not surprised?

*Update* 7:05- The Today Show just had this story second on their news break, so maybe it will get some attention.

Wash. Post drops sponsorship of Pentagon event - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Washington Post dropped its sponsorship on Monday of a walk organized by the Pentagon to remember victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks and to support U.S. troops, saying it was possible the event would become "politicized."

The newspaper's news employees' union had urged the newspaper to reconsider co-sponsoring the Defense Department's "Freedom Walk," which it said was a political event.

Critics of the war in Iraq gathering for demonstrations in Washington beginning on September 24 also had criticized media outlets for co-sponsoring the Pentagon event. The Washington Post was one of several local media organizations that had signed on to promote the walk.

According to excerpts published on the Editor and Publisher Web site, the resolution said: "Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias. The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard."

The resolution said the prominent participation of country music star Clint Black belies arguments that the walk was not a political activity in support of the war in Iraq.

Black is headlining a concert outside the Pentagon after the walk. The guild unit's resolution said Black was "best known of late for his war-glorifying song 'Iraq and I Roll.' "

Now to go to work on Subway.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wanna See Something Cool?:

Go find my site meter button. (or any site meter button)

Check "visitors by world map". Crank it up to the last hundred visits.

Pretty neat stuff.

The recent visitors list also now tells you what city the hit came from-

Sunday, August 14, 2005

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq
Guess you can go wash that purple off your finger.

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

"Shedding the unreality"??? Are you kidding me? Isn't this a fancy way of saying, "We are going to stop lying"?

OK, let me get this straight. It's about WMD's and "keeping America safe". There weren't any WMD's. (Well, there are now. But that's besides the point, right?) It's about spreading democracy. Now, we no longer expect a "model new democracy". Get ready for a theocracy. It's about freedom. Well, we can't promise freedom anymore, sorry. What's this about a self-supporting oil-industry? Are we saying that it's not even about the oil ?

Well then, WTF is this all about?

And yet, Georgie comes out and says this yesterday- totally contradicting all of the previous statements from his own administration

"Iraqis are taking control of their country, building a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself. And we're helping Iraqis succeed," President Bush said yesterday in his radio address.

Arrrgggh! So George is still lying in his soundbites! (banging my head on the keyboard)

Read on for more of the reality that is Iraq. It's as bad as you think, with "officials" simple declaring that "it can't be done".

Iraqi officials yesterday struggled to agree on a draft constitution by a deadline of tomorrow so the document can be submitted to a vote in October. The political transition would be completed in December by elections for a permanent government.

But the realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.

Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent.

U.S. officials say no turning point forced a reassessment. "It happened rather gradually," said the senior official, triggered by everything from the insurgency to shifting budgets to U.S. personnel changes in Baghdad.

The ferocious debate over a new constitution has particularly driven home the gap between the original U.S. goals and the realities after almost 28 months. The U.S. decision to invade Iraq was justified in part by the goal of establishing a secular and modern Iraq that honors human rights and unites disparate ethnic and religious communities.

But whatever the outcome on specific disputes, the document on which Iraq's future is to be built will require laws to be compliant with Islam. Kurds and Shiites are expecting de facto long-term political privileges. And women's rights will not be as firmly entrenched as Washington has tried to insist, U.S. officials and Iraq analysts say.

"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. "That process is being repeated all over."

Go read the whole article for more. I dare say there will be a religious civil war in Iraq that might engulf the whole region.

Jesus, we have totally screwed this up.

Feeling safer now, America?

I want this fucker impeached. Now.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Going through my visitor list I just noticed that I got a hit from someone at Halliburton.

More scary than getting a hit from

If I disappear you will know what happened!

Bush raises option of using force against Iran - Yahoo! News
BAHAHAHA! You and what army, Georgie? Anyone with half a brain knows that we don't have the troops to do such a thing. Your young little chickenhawk supporters won't go. "Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people."

What now, Mr. Mouth? Oh, and by the way, it's time for the monthly North Korean flapping of the gums, too. Wanna take them on also?

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush said he could consider using force as a last resort to press Iran to give up its nuclear program.

But German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, one of the most prominent European opponents of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, told an election rally on Saturday the threat of force was not acceptable.

In what appeared to be a reference to Bush's remarks that "all options are on the table," Schroeder told the crowd in his home city of Hanover:

" ... let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work."

Iran angered the European Union and the United States by resuming uranium conversion at the Isfahan plant last Monday after rejecting an EU offer of political and economic incentives in return for giving up its nuclear program.

Tehran says it aims only to produce electricity and denies Western accusations it is seeking a nuclear bomb.

The EU -- represented by Britain, France and Germany -- has been trying to find a compromise for two years between arch foes Iran and the United States.

Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, was asked in the interview broadcast on Saturday whether possible options included the use of force.

"As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country," he told state-owned Israel Channel One television.

Draft, anyone?

< crickets chirping >

Didn't think so.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Bush gets first look at anti-war protest near ranch - Yahoo! News
This is growing. There are dozens of stories at Kos of people packing up and heading down there. More mothers that lost children are on the way.

Cindy Sheehan is blogging at Kos when she can.

This is a growing shit-storm that pretty soon the cops in Crawford will be unable to ignore. What happens then?

One person said it best-"Cindy Sheehan is our Rosa Parks". Go get 'em Cindy.

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush got his first look at an anti-war vigil near his ranch on Friday as his motorcade took him by the protest site lined with small white crosses representing fallen American soldiers in Iraq.

When Bush's black sport utility vehicle carried him past the site to a Republican fund-raiser, the protest leader, Cindy Sheehan, whose son was one of the nearly 1,850 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, held up a sign that said: "Why do you make time for donors and not for me?"

Other signs said: "Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam" and "Bring Them Home Now." Some protesters held up white crosses as well.

The protest vigil began last Saturday and is being led by Sheehan, who has been demanding a meeting with Bush to discuss her opposition to the Iraq war.

Two rows of police officers faced the estimated 50 roadside protesters as Bush's 15-vehicle motorcade cruised by without slowing down.

He was headed to Stan and Kathy Hickey's Broken Spoke Ranch for a barbecue and ribs lunch to raise more than $2 million for the Republican National Committee. The 230 people attending were among the party's biggest donors.

Hundreds of small white crosses had been erected along the side of Prairie Chapel Road, each hand-painted with the name of a fallen soldier.

Sheehan's son, Casey, was killed in combat in Iraq in April 2004 and she met with Bush in June 2004, but she wants another meeting. The White House has refused.

With Americans increasingly questioning the U.S. involvement in Iraq, Bush tried to address Sheehan's concerns on Thursday.

"Listen, I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," Bush told reporters. "She feels strongly about her position. And she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America."

He said he has thought "long and hard" about her demand to "get out of Iraq now" and strongly disagreed, saying a premature withdrawal would betray the Iraqis just as they are being trained to defend themselves and allow for a U.S. pullout.

Sheehan's group, Gold Star Families for Peace, released a protest ad that the organization said would run on cable television channels near Bush's ranch during August.

I still think that Bush could have diffused this whole thing by just meeting with her. Now they are going to have to deal with (possibly) thousands of people. Let's hope everyone keeps their heads- could get ugly.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

DefenseLINK News: 'Freedom Walk' to Commemorate 9/11, Celebrate Freedom
This just makes me absolutely fucking sick. A parade and a concert, and yet another attempt to link 9/11 with the Iraq war. Thousands died! Let's put on a show!

Your tax dollars in action. How's that body armor for the troops comin'?

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2005 – The Defense Department today announced the first "America Supports You Freedom Walk" to honor the victims of 9/11 and America's military personnel, as well as to celebrate freedom.

The Freedom Walk will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 in the Pentagon South parking lot, near the site where the airliner crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. The walk route will consist of a two-mile trek through Arlington National Cemetery, over the Potomac River, and will end by the reflecting pool on the National Mall, where a free concert featuring country music star Clint Black will take place.

"I am proud and honored to be part of the America Supports You Freedom Walk to honor the victims of 9/11 and to support our men and women in uniform," Black said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made the announcement today at the Pentagon.

"Every year since the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans have commemorated that anniversary. This year the Department of Defense will initiate an American Supports You Freedom Walk. The walk will begin at the Pentagon and end at the National Mall. It will include many of the major monuments in Washington, D.C., reminding participants of the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation that have so successfully defended our freedoms," Rumsfeld said.

"America Supports You" is a nationwide program launched by the Defense Department with the goal of highlighting how Americans across the country are supporting the men and women of the armed forces.

There will also be a private ceremony for the families of the 9/11 victims prior to the walk.

To avoid long lines, America Supports You Freedom Walk participants are encouraged to arrive at the Pentagon South parking lot between 7 and 8 a.m. According to the Freedom Walk Web site, the first 1,000 people to arrive will receive an official America Supports You campaign lapel pin.

The walk was made possible with the help of several local in-kind supporters, including Stars and Stripes newspaper, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Subway, Washington Post, Lockheed Martin, WTOP, ABC/WJLA-TV Channel 7 and News Channel 8, and the Washington Convention & Tourism Corporation, according to the Freedom Walk Web site.

The goal for next year's walk is to get each state to host its own Freedom Walk to provide an opportunity for as many citizens as possible to reflect on the importance of freedom, according to a DoD press release.

Those wishing to walk in this year's Freedom Walk can register online by visiting and clicking on the Freedom Walk icon. Volunteer opportunities also are available online. Registration is open until 10 a.m. Sept. 9.

By the way, you have to pre-register. That way, they can check you out, make sure you signed that loyalty oath.

Everytime I think I hit bottom with disgust for these people, they find a way to push the floor lower.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Oil hits record $63.99 on security threat - Yahoo! News
OK, why is it that when the price per barrel goes up, the price at the pump instantly goes up? But yet, the next day when the price drops, the excuse is, "well, we had to pay for the more expensive gas yesterday...." If you are going on future prices, wouldn't it follow that the price should instantly drop?

$2.55 regular at my local station in the hood.

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices hit a new record high near $64 on Monday after warnings of militant attacks in the world's biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia and on worries about refinery outages in the United States.

U.S. crude was up $1.49 at $63.80 a barrel at 1725 GMT after peaking at $63.99. London Brent crude was up $1.49 at $62.56 a barrel after touching $62.70.

As the United States shut its diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia in response to threats, Britain warned that militants were in the final stages of planning strikes in the kingdom.

"The latest security threats in Saudi Arabia, even though they're not directed at oil installations per se, and the continuing refinery issues are having a supportive role," said Marshall Steeves, an analyst at Refco Group in New York.

Concerns over the Saudi security situation coincided with news that another U.S. refinery had run into output problems, adding to pressure on gasoline supplies in the world's biggest consumer during peak summer demand.

News that OPEC's second largest producer Iran had resumed its nuclear work, despite European Union warnings of possible United Nations sanctions, further strained nerves.

In real terms, stripping out inflation, oil is still below the $80 a barrel on average for the year after the 1979 Iranian revolution.

But at an average of more than $53 for the year to date for U.S. crude, prices are well above those during the 1974 Arab oil embargo.

I get it. Someone says "boo" and the price will rise.

Boy, I'm sure glad we gave all those tax breaks to the oil companies! Just think where prices would be without them! < /sarcasm >

Sunday, August 07, 2005

ChicagoCubs News :Hendry: Baker's job secure with Cubs
Well, that's a shame. Doesn't pre-season football start next week?

NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Friday that manager Dusty Baker's job is not in jeopardy.

Baker signed a four-year contract with the Cubs in November 2002, and has led the Cubs to back-to-back winning seasons. The team has not performed as well this season as some expected, and Baker has been rumored to be interested in other jobs, most recently the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baker vehementally denied the rumor.

The Cubs entered Friday's game against the New York Mets at 54-54.

"There's still a third of the season to go, and the most exciting part is left," Baker said. "Until you're mathematically eliminated, you're never out. We've still got plenty of action."

Plenty of action? You mean like yesterday, when Greg Maddux was the star of the offense?

Sorry Dusty, this just isn't working. Go to LA. Please. And Hendry, my estimation of you has taken a huge nose-dive. Other teams fire their managers. We just muddle along and make excuses.

Are you ready for some football?