Thursday, December 23, 2010
NICOSIA (Reuters Life!) – She may be the ancient Greek Goddess of Love, but a picture of a nude Aphrodite on the new passport of Cyprus has set more than hearts racing.
Cypriot diplomats are furious with the interior ministry for failing to consult with the foreign ministry before issuing passports with a depiction of a naked immortal that might offend conservative foreign cultures.
"They are worried that civilians and diplomats could get into trouble, particularly traveling to very conservative Islamic countries," the authoritative Phileleftheros daily newspaper wrote on Thursday.
The interior ministry said it was too late to change them, the newspaper said.
Local legend says Aphrodite (also known as Venus to the ancient Romans) emerged from the sea on a crest of foam just off the Mediterranean island.
The image on the new biometric passports is modeled on a Greek marble statue of a completely naked Aphrodite in the Cyprus Museum located in the capital Nicosia.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
...The Obama administration is preparing an executive order to allow indefinite detention at the prison at Guantanamo Bay—and administration officials insist this is part of the plan to close the prison forever. The White House has long supported creating prolonged detention for some of Gitmo detainees—preferably in a facility in the U.S.—but the plan could be crippled this week if Congress bans the transfer of the detainees for trial. An administration task force considers 48 of the 174 detainees too dangerous to be released... more it at The Washington Post
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The Department of Homeland Security is working “24/7, 364 days a year,” Napolitano said Monday in an apparent gaffe. Or was it? Hmmm...
“We are thousands of people are working 24/7, 364 days a year to keep the American people safe,” the former Arizona governor said on ABC News.
In other news the President's 8th vacation has been postponed.
It's OK, Amelie's Gnome went to London.
Monday, December 20, 2010
...And my pipes are froze up too!
WOODY MARSHALL/THE TELEGRAPH,
Showing her Georgia Power bills in the one warm room of her home, Raymeica Kelly explains how her mother, sister and herself were turned away from the Energy Assistance Program on Wednesday morning after standing in line for four hours. All three complained that the system the Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council uses to give out the assistance needs improving.
This image shows Earhart standing in front of the Lockheed Electra in which she disappeared in July 1937. Born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897, Earhart did not begin flying until after her move to California in 1920. After taking lessons from aviation pioneer Neta Snook in a Curtiss Jenny, Earhart set out to break flying records, breaking the women altitude records in 1922.
By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press Sean Murphy, Associated Press – Sat Dec 18, 12:47 am ET
NORMAN, Okla. – The three bone fragments turned up on a deserted South Pacific island that lay along the course Amelia Earhart was following when she vanished. Nearby were several tantalizing artifacts: some old makeup, some glass bottles and shells that had been cut open.
Now scientists at the University of Oklahoma hope to extract DNA from the tiny bone chips in tests that could prove Earhart died as a castaway after failing in her 1937 quest to become the first woman to fly around the world.
"There's no guarantee," said Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a group of aviation enthusiasts in Delaware that found the pieces of bone this year while on an expedition to Nikumaroro Island, about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii.
"You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart's DNA, that's pretty good."
It could be months before scientists know for sure — and it could turn out the bones are from a turtle. The fragments were found near a hollowed-out turtle shell that might have been used to collect rain water, but there were no other turtle parts nearby.
Earhart's disappearance on July 2, 1937, remains one of the 20th century's most enduring mysteries. Did she run out of fuel and crash at sea? Did her Lockheed Electra develop engine trouble? Did she spot the island from the sky and attempt to land on a nearby reef?
"What were her last moments like? What was she doing? What happened?" asked Robin Jensen, an associate professor of communications at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., who has studied Earhart's writings and speeches.
Since 1989, Gillespie's group has made 10 trips to the island, trying each time to find clues that might help determine the fate of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.
Last spring, volunteers working at what seemed to be an abandoned campsite found one piece of bone that appeared to be from a neck and another unknown fragment dissimilar to bird or fish bones. A third fragment might be from a finger. The largest of the pieces is just over an inch long.
The area was near a site where native work crews found skeletal remains in 1940. Bird and fish carcasses suggested Westerners had prepared meals there.
"This site tells the story of how someone or some people attempted to live as castaways," Gillespie said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press. "These fish weren't eaten like Pacific Islanders" eat fish.
Millions of dollars have been spent in failed attempts to learn what happened to Earhart, a Kansas native declared dead by a California court in early 1939.
The official version says Earhart and Noonan ran out of fuel and crashed at sea while flying from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island, which had a landing strip and fuel.
Gillespie's book "Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance," and "Amelia Earhart's Shoes," written by four volunteers from the aircraft group, suggest the pair landed on the reef and survived, perhaps for months, on scant food and rainwater.
Gillespie, a pilot, said the aviator would have needed only about 700 feet of unobstructed space to land because her plane would have been traveling only about 55 mph at touchdown.
"It looks like she could have landed successfully on the reef surrounding the island. It's very flat and smooth," Gillespie said. "At low tide, it looks like this place is surrounded by a parking lot."
However, Gillespie said, the plane, even if it landed safely, would have been slowly dragged into the sea by the tides. The waters off the reef are 1,000 to 2,000 feet deep. His group needs $3 million to $5 million for a deep-sea dive.
The island is on the course Earhart planned to follow from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island, which had a landing strip and fuel. Over the last seven decades, searches of the remote atoll have been inconclusive.
After the latest find, anthropologists who had previously worked with Gillespie's group suggested that he send the bones to the University of Oklahoma's Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, which has experience extracting genetic material from old bones. Gillespie's group also has a genetic sample from an Earhart female relative for comparison with the bones.
The lab is looking for mitochondrial DNA, which is passed along only through females, so there is no need to have a Noonan sample.
Cecil Lewis, an assistant professor of anthropology at the lab, said the university received a little more than a gram of bone fragments about two weeks ago. If researchers are able to extract DNA and link it to Earhart, a sample would be sent to another lab for verification.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That's why we're trying to downplay a lot of the media attention right now," Lewis said. "For all we know, this is just a turtle bone, and a lot of people are going to be very disheartened."
Under the best circumstances, the analysis would take two weeks. If scientists have trouble with the sample, that time frame could stretch into months, Lewis said.
"Ancient DNA is incredibly unpredictable," he said.
Other material recovered this year also suggested the presence of Westerners at the isolated island site:
• Someone carried shells ashore before cutting them open and slicing out the meat. Islanders cut the meat out at sea.
• Bottles found nearby were melted on the bottom, suggesting they had been put into a fire, possibly to boil water. (A Coast Guard unit on the island during World War II would have had no need to boil water.)
• Bits of makeup were found. The group is checking to see which products Earhart endorsed and whether an inventory lists specific types of makeup carried on her final trip.
• A glass bottle with remnants of lanolin and oil, possibly hand lotion.
In 2007, the group found a piece of a pocket knife but didn't know whether it was left by the Coast Guard or castaways. This year, it found the shattered remains of the knife, suggesting someone had smashed it to extract the blades. Gillespie speculated a castaway used a blade to make a spear to stab shallow-water fish like those found at the campsite.
Following Earhart's disappearance, distress signals picked up by distant ships pointed back to the area of Nikumaroro Island, but while pilots passing over saw signs of recent habitation, the island was crossed off the list as having been searched, Gillespie said.
In 1940, a British overseer on the island recovered a partial human skeleton, a woman's shoe and an empty sextant box at what appeared to be a former campsite, littered with turtle, clamshell and bird remains.
Thinking of Earhart, the overseer sent the items to Fiji, where a British doctor decided they belonged to a stocky European or mixed-blood male, ruling out any Earhart connection.
The bones later vanished, but in 1998, Gillespie's group located the doctor's notes in London. Two other forensic specialists reviewed the doctor's bone measurements and agreed they were more "consistent with" a female of northern European descent, about Earhart's age and height.
On their own visits to the island, volunteers recovered an aluminum panel that could be from an Electra, another piece of a woman's shoe and a "cat's paw" heel dating from the 1930s; another shoe heel, possibly a man's, and an oddly cut piece of clear Plexiglas.
The sextant box might have been Noonan's. The woman's shoe and heel resemble a blucher-style oxford seen in a pre-takeoff photo of Earhart. The plastic shard is the exact thickness and curvature of an Electra's side window.
The body of evidence is intriguing, but Gillespie insists the team is "constantly agonizing over whether we are being dragged down a path that isn't right."
Hmmm the games a foot!
Friday, December 17, 2010
WikiLeaker Bradley Manning ‘Very Annoyed’ With ‘Torturous’ Solitary Confinement
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm by Meredith Jessup
Is Pfc. Bradley Manning actually being tortured?
According to left-leaning Salon.com, yes. But according to most reasonable people, absolutely not.
As you may know, Army Private Bradley Manning stands accused of leaking tens of thousands of classified national security documents to WikiLeaks to publish on the internet. The 22-year-old has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Va., for five months after being arrested and held in a military jail in Kuwait.
According to Fox News, Manning was exposed after bragging he was the one who leaked classified videos and hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables.
Pfc. Manning was charged on July 5 with four specifications under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for violating Army Regulation 25-2 (Information Assurance Policy), and eight specifications under Article 134 for violating federal statutes related to the receipt of classified information (18 U.S.C. 793) and wrongful access of a government computer (18 U.S.C. 1030).
But while he remains in military custody, some of Mannings’ sympathizers are supporting him from outside his jail cell.
On Wednesday, Salon’s Greg Greenwald wrote about the “inhumane conditions” of Manning’s detention, claiming the detainee’s solitary confinement and inability to read newspaper or surf the internet amount to “torture.”
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs.
In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation… Just by itself, the type of prolonged solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected for many months is widely viewed around the world as highly injurious, inhumane, punitive, and arguably even a form of torture.
An organization founded to provide funding for Manning’s legal defense calls his detention “unjust” and has even set up a campaign to send the imprisoned Private holiday greetings. Meanwhile, Huffington Post reports that Manning himself is “very annoyed” with his current situation.
“We were aware of those situations and we were hoping that they would improve without applying public pressure through the media,” Jeff Paterson, who runs Manning’s legal defense fund, told The Huffington Post. “His attorney and supporters were hoping that this could be taken care of through the appropriate channels.”
Paterson says that Manning is “very annoyed” at the conditions of his confinement, adding that he is primarily upset at his inability to exercise. “He sits in this small box, for the most part only to take a shower – he just sits and eats and four months have gone by.”
Manning may face additional charges and his trial date will be set after the military conducts a thorough assessment of his mental state and ability to stand trial.
Gee that is too bad. I feel for you, no really...
A legacy of Islamic women...
God save them.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
...Right now, there is some consideration being put into the creation of a local currency for El Paso County in Colorado. It would operate in a similar manner to Berkshares, the Plenty, The Lewes Pound, and The Icatha Hour... more...
...Dowling Duncan — a graphic design firm with offices in San Francisco and Newark, England — thinks that American currency needs a new look, so its designers have submitted an entry in the "Dollar Rede$ign Project," which bills itself as a movement to "rebuild financial confidence and revive our failing economy" by rebranding the U.S. dollar... more...
It just gets worse and worse...
...Obama aside, Dowling Duncan eschews the traditional presidential portrait in favor of higher-concept graphic images on the bills. The firm envisions an American Indian teepee on the $5 bill, the Bill of Rights on the $10, a mashup of American ingenuity on the $20, a bald eagle and 50 stars on the $50, and FDR's image and a list of his accomplishments in his first 100 days as president on the C-note...
Does that mean the Obama note will have his only accomplishments on his 1 dollar note? If there is only one is that a list?
Because of a problem with the presses, the federal government has shut down production of its flashy new $100 bills, and has quarantined more than 1 billion of them -- more than 10 percent of all existing U.S. cash -- in a vault in Fort Worth, Texas, reports CNBC.
"There is something drastically wrong here," one source told CNBC. "The frustration level is off the charts."
Officials with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve had touted the new bills' sophisticated security features that were 10 years in the making, including a 3-D security strip and a color-shifting image of a bell, designed to foil counterfeiters. But it turns out the bills are so high-tech that the presses can't handle the printing job.
More than 1 billion unusable bills have been printed. Some of the bills creased during production, creating a blank space on the paper, one official told CNBC. Because correctly printed bills are mixed in with the flawed ones, even the ones printed to the correct design specs can't be used until they 're sorted. It would take an estimated 20 to 30 years to weed out the defective bills by hand, but a mechanized system is expected to get the job done in about a year.
Combined, the quarantined bills add up to $110 billion -- more than 10 percent of the entire U.S. cash supply, which now stands at around $930 billion.
The flawed bills, which cost around $120 million to print, will have to be burned.
The new bills are the first to include Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's signature. In order to prevent a shortfall,the government has ordered production of the old design, which includes the signature of Bush administration Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. That, surely, is not the only respect in which the nation's lead economic officials would like to turn back the clock to sometime before the 2008 financial crisis.
So let me see if I get this right. It cost 120 million to print, it will take a computer a year to sort the bad bills from the good bills, and because it has to be redone the old plates will have to be used with George Bush's signature and George Bush's Treasury Secretarys signature on them. Ok I got it. Giethner just resign and bring back the old SecTres. It will cost us less. This is the buffon administration.
Monday, November 29, 2010
01. Can’t see London , can’t see France … unless we see your underpants
02. We’re the creepy uncle of federal agencies
03. You’re in good hands with TSA
04. Pants on the ground
05. 2-4-6-8, we grab your junk or you’ll be late
06. Under Obamacare, this counts as your annual physical
07. It’s not a grope, it’s a “freedom pat”
08. Don’t worry, my hands are still warm from the last guy
09. No shirt, no shoes, no pants… Have a nice flight
10. You can’t spell molestation without TSA
11. If we said you body was a security risk, would you hold it against us?
12. Consult a physician if pat-downs last more than 4 hours
13. Sometimes you feel like a grope, sometimes you don’t
14. We’d offer you a cigarette, but this is a smoke free facility
15. TSA Club Card: with every 12 pat-downs, you get a free reach-around
16. The Few. The perverts. The TSA
17. Putting the T & A in TSA
18. Grope and change! Yes, we can!
19. We put our right hand in, we pull our right hand out, we put our left hand in and we shake it all about!
20. We are the people your mother warned you about
21. TSA: If we guarded the border, there would be no illegal aliens
22. TSA: Or as it’s known in the industry, “second base”
23. We feel your anger
24. We handle more nuts than a squirrel
25. We palm more balls than the NBA
26. ALL YOUR JUNK ARE BELONG TO US
27. If we don’t get off, you don’t get on
28. Don’t grope me, Bro!
29. We wear the glove, you bear the love!
30. Before you fly the friendly skies, I want to feel your silky thighs
31. Hickory , dickory dock, give us a chance we’ll grab your… well, you get the idea
32. Who’s your Daddy?
33. No need to pee in a cup, we just want to feel you up
Thanks to Genevieve,
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Expert Pauline Rose said April 29 2011 is a "good day" to tie the knot.
"To start with you have two 11s in the date because two and nine make 11.
Hmmm, Isn't that the same wedding date chosen by that crazy couple Dolph and Eva in 1945? Running a marriage by the numbers.
Two South Korean marines were killed and 17 others injured, as well as three civilians, after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow sea, 50 miles off the South's northwest coast in an area close to a disputed sea border. Sky News
The attack, which comes days after it emerged that North Korea was pressing ahead with its illegal nuclear programme, marks a serious further escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
A presidential statement said the shelling “constitutes a clear armed provocation.”
“Furthermore, its reckless shelling of civilian targets is unpardonable.
“North Korean authorities must take responsibility.”
The incident is believed to have been sparked by South Korean military exercises in the area, which the North had objected to.
Officials said “dozens” of artillery rounds had landed on Yeonpyeong. Other reports suggested around 200 shells could have been fired in the attack which began at 2.34pm local time (7.34am GMT).
F-16 fighter jets were scrambled and South Korean land-based forces returned fire on the North as civilians were evacuated to emergency bunkers, according to witnesses quoted by the Seoul-based cable news television channel YTN.
Pictures from the channel showed plumes of smoke rising from the island, which is the largest in a clutch of smaller islands, with a population of less than 1,300 people.
“Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can't see very well because of plumes of smoke," a witness on the island told YTN. “People are frightened to death and shelling continues as we speak," the witness added.
The US issued a statement saying it "strongly condemns" the attack, urging it to halt its "belligerent action".
Naoto Kan, Japan's prime minister, said he had ordered his ministers to prepare for any eventuality.
"I ordered (ministers) to make preparations so that we can react firmly, should any unexpected event occur," Mr Kan said.
"We will make preparations so that whatever happens, we will be able to deal with it."
Russia called for both sides to avoid any escalation of violence, while China, the North’s closest international ally, said it was “concerned” over the situation.
“We hope the relevant parties do more to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, adding that China was still seeking information on the clash. "The situation needs to be verified," he said.
The islands were the scene of three skirmishes between the navies of North and South Korea in 1999, 2002 and most recently in 2009 when a North Korean patrol ship was set on fire by South Korean gunfire.
The attack comes after nearly two years of deteriorating relations between the two Koreas, which reached a nadir last March after the sinking of a South Korean corvette, the Cheonan, with the loss of 46 lives.
South Korea has since cut off almost all humanitarian aid to the North, a near bankrupt-state that has been under tight international sanctions since conducting a second nuclear bomb test in 2009 in defiance of UN agreements.
The North has also been facing a degree of political turmoil this year as their ailing leader Kim Jong-il prepares the ground for a dynastic succession that will see power being handed to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un. By Peter Foster, Beijing 9:41AM GMT 23 Nov 2010
N. Korea threatens additional attacks, accuses S. Korea of provocation By Sam Kim
SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korea threatened to continue "merciless" strikes on South Korea on Tuesday after the communist state launched a deadly artillery attack across their western sea border.
In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, the North's top military command accused the South Korean military of initiating the exchange by shooting toward its side.
The President was woke up and told. Obama delivered a strong message to the North Koreans. I am sure that the message has made an impression on Kim.
"Teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, fewer courses and less help for struggling students are some of the consequences if North Carolina's public school funding is cut by 5 or 10 percent, according to information released last week. The Office of State Budget and Management required government agencies to identify budget cuts at these two levels in anticipation of the 2011-12 fiscal year. To read more about how these potential cuts will impact public schools, please visit the NCDPI website at http://www.blogger.com/www.ncpublicschools.org and click on the appropriate link under “News.”"
From the NC State Education Llottery web site...
Where the Money Goes
In August 2005, the North Carolina State Lottery Act (H. 1023) and the 2005 Appropriations Act (S. 622) was signed into law, which established the North Carolina Education Lottery. View Legislation.
The State Lottery Act, in order to increase and maximize the available revenues for education purposes, prescribes the following guidelines as to how each lottery dollar will be spent which are to be adhered to the extent practicable. Retailers receive a 7% commission for selling tickets. Up to 8% may be spent on administration. At least 50% will be paid out in prizes and as nearly as practicable 35% will be transferred to the Education Lottery Fund at the Office of State Budget and Management. 100% of the net proceeds of the North Carolina Education Lottery go to education programs.
5 percent goes to the Education Lottery Reserve Fund to be used when lottery proceeds fall short of target. The Reserve Fund may not exceed $50 million.
The commission shall distribute the remaining net revenue of the Education Lottery Fund in accordance with the Lottery Act. The Office of State Budget and Management will then distribute the proceeds as follows:
50 percent of the total remainder shall be used for reduction of class size ratios in early grades to 18 children per teacher and for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four year olds who would not otherwise be served in high-quality settings.
40 percent of the total remainder shall be used for school construction. Roughly 65 percent of this total shall be distributed to each county based on total school enrollment. The remaining 35 percent of this total shall be distributed to each county with average effective county property tax rates above the state average based on total school enrollment.
10 percent of the total remainder shall be used for college scholarships for students who qualify for the federal Pell Grant. These scholarships can be used at North Carolina public and private universities and community colleges.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Pope: condoms can be justified in some cases
AP – Pope Benedict XVI holds the pastoral staff during a consistory inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, …
By NICOLE WINFIELD and FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press Nicole Winfield And Frances D'emilio, Associated Press – Sat Nov 20, 1:51 pm ET
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that condoms can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to stop the spread of HIV, a stunning comment for a church criticized for its opposition to condoms and for a pontiff who has blamed them for making the AIDS crisis worse.
The pope made the comments in a book-length interview with a German journalist, "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times," which is being released Tuesday. The Vatican newspaper ran excerpts on Saturday.
Church teaching has long opposed condoms because they are a form of artificial contraception, although it has never released an explicit policy about condoms and HIV. The Vatican has been harshly criticized for its opposition.
Benedict said that condoms are not a moral solution. But he said in some cases, such as for male prostitutes, they could be justified "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection."
Benedict called it "a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way of living sexuality."
He used as an example male prostitutes, for whom contraception is not an issue, as opposed to married couples where one spouse is infected. The Vatican has come under pressure from even some church officials in Africa to condone condom use for monogamous married couples to protect the uninfected spouse from getting infected.
Benedict drew the wrath of the United Nations, European governments and AIDS activisits when he told reporters en route to Africa in 2009 that the AIDS problem on the continent couldn't be resolved by distributing condoms.
"On the contrary, it increases the problem," he said then.
Journalist Peter Seewald, who interviewed Benedict over the course of six days this summer, raised the Africa condom comments and asked Benedict if it wasn't "madness" for the Vatican to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.
"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility," Benedict said.
But he stressed that it wasn't the way to deal with the evil of HIV, and elsewhere in the book reaffirmed church teaching on contraception and abortion, saying: "How many children are killed who might one day have been geniuses, who could have given humanity something new, who could have given us a new Mozart or some new technical discovery?"
He reiterated the church's position that abstinence and marital fidelity is the only sure way to prevent HIV.
Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, the Vatican's longtime top official on bioethics and sexuality, elaborated on the pontiff's comments, stressing that it was imperative to "make certain that this is the only way to save a life." Sgreccia told the Italian news agency ANSA that that is why the pope on the condom issue "dealt with it in the realm of ecceptionality."
The condom question was one that "needed an answer for a long time," Sgreccia was quoted as saying. "If Benedict XVI raised the question of exceptions, this expection must be accepted ... and it must be verified that this is the only way to save life. This must be demonstrated," Sgreccia said.
Christian Weisner, of the pro-reform group We Are Church in the pope's native Germany, said the pope's comments were "surprising, and if that's the case one can be happy about the pope's ability to learn."
William Portier, a Catholic theologian at the University of Dayton, a Marianist school in Ohio, said he had not read the report in the Vatican newspaper, but he said it would be wrong to conclude that the comments mean the pope has made a fundamental, broad change in church teaching on artificial contraception.
"He's not going to do that in an offhand remark to a journalist in an interview," Portier said.
In other comments, Benedict said:
• If a pope is no longer physically, psychologically or spiritually capable of doing his job, then he has the "right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign."
• On Islam, in Europe, he declined to endorse such moves as France's banning the burqa or Switzerland's citizen referendum to forbid topping mosques with minarets.
"Christians are tolerant, and in that respect they also allow others to have their self-image," Benedict replied when asked if Christians should be "glad" about such initiatives. "As for the burqa, I can see no reason for a general ban."
• He was surprised by the scale of clerical sex abuse in his native Germany and acknowledged that the Vatican could have better communicated its response. "One can always wonder whether the pope should not speak more often."
• On Pope Pius XII, the wartime pontiff accused by some Jewish groups of staying publicly silent on the Holocaust: Some historians have asked the Vatican to put Pius' sainthood process on hold until the Holy See opens up its archives from his papacy. But Benedict said an internal "inspection" of those unpublished documents failed to support "negative" allegations against Pius.
"It is perfectly clear that as soon as he protested publicly, the Germans would have ceased to respect" Vatican extraterritoriality of convents and monasteries who were sheltering Jews from the Nazi occupiers in Rome. "The thousands who had found a safe haven ... would have been surely deported," Benedict argued.
In the book, Benedict also offers insights into his private life, saying he enjoys watching TV at home in the evenings with his secretaries and the four women who take care of his apartment, preferring the evening news and an Italian TV show from decades ago "Don Camillo and Peppone" about a parish priest and his bumbling assistant.
He said he always wears his white cassock, never a sweater, and wears an old Junghans watch that was left to him by his sister when she died. When he prays, he said, he prays to the Lord as well as the saints and considers himself good friends with Sts. Augustine, Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas.
So more comments when I find out the whole story.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Traveling with Pets
Our security procedures do not prohibit you from bringing a pet on your flight. You should contact your airline or travel agent, however, before arriving at the airport to determine your airline's policy on traveling with pets.
You will need to present the animal to the Security Officers at the checkpoint. You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection by our Security Officers.
Your animal will NEVER be placed through an X-ray machine. However, you may be asked to remove your animal from its carrier so that the carrier can be placed on the X-Ray machine.
Everyone needs to show up to a flight with a dog or a cat.
What if a blind Nun shows up with her seeing eye dog.
First (non)conviction unlikely to help Obama shut Gitmo.
Ghailani Verdict: Guilty on Only 1 Count
FOX News By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Matt Apuzzo, AP – Thu Nov 18, 6:10 am ET
WASHINGTON – The first court conviction of a Guantanamo Bay detainee did little to push President Barack Obama closer to shuttering the island prison, making it increasingly likely his campaign promise will remain unmet by the time his current term expires.
Jurors in New York City on Wednesday convicted Ahmed Ghailani of conspiracy to blow up government buildings in the al-Qaida attacks on two U.S. embassies in 1998, but they acquitted him on more than 280 other charges. He is the only person transferred from Guantanamo Bay for trial since the U.S. began filling the military prison in Cuba eight years ago.
In some ways, the conviction was a vindication for an administration that believes the judicial system established by the Constitution has proved itself capable of handling terrorism cases.
Predictions of new terrorist attacks and huge police expenses surrounding the trial never materialized. Ghailani now faces 20 years to life in prison, longer than three of the four sentences handed down by military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.
Despite the acquittals, which included murder counts for each of the 224 people killed in the bombings, the Justice Department said it was pleased Ghailani faces up to life in prison and said it would seek that sentence.
But senior officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions, conceded that the one-count conviction, combined with big electoral wins for Republicans this month, will make it harder to close the prison.
The administration had hoped for an overwhelming conviction to help ease congressional opposition to Obama's long-stymied plan for moving the detainees to U.S. soil. The administration must notify Congress before any transfer, and Republicans have said they would block such efforts.
"They couldn't come close to getting that done when the Democrats were in charge," said Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who is expected to be the next chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "There's no way they're going to get it now that Republicans are in charge."
Administration officials believe there are only a handful of options for closing Guantanamo Bay:
• Prosecute the detainees. Some, like Ghailani, could face criminal trials. Others could face military commissions. Regardless, the administration wants those trials in the U.S., not at Guantanamo.
• Transfer some prisoners to other countries. Many already have been cleared for release. But Yemeni citizens make up the largest contingent, and the U.S. doesn't trust Yemen to monitor them if they are released. Two failed airline bombings originating in Yemen in the past year have made such release efforts even more difficult.
• Hold prisoners indefinitely. Top administration officials have said they don't like the idea but would consider it in some form, if the detainees were held inside the U.S. with some review by courts.
Ghailani's conviction does not make any of those options easier. When Obama announced, days after his election, that he would close Guantanamo within a year, he had hoped to move detainees to a refurbished old prison in Thomson, Ill.
Even if, somehow, that plan were to get resurrected early next year, much of 2011 would be spent renovating the facility. Actually transferring detainees would get pushed back to 2012, a presidential election year in which political differences are amplified and compromises are rare.
The Ghailani case also did little to resolve the question of what will happen to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks.
The Justice Department had planned to prosecute those cases in civilian courts, but the administration reversed course amid political opposition. The move left a sour taste with some prosecutors, who felt the White House was letting political considerations influence the department, a criticism Democrats often lobbed at President George W. Bush.
Ghailani, like Mohammed, was held for years in a secret CIA prison overseas and subjected to some of the harshest interrogation tactics. His trial was seen as a test of whether those actions would sink the case or whether prosecutors could salvage a conviction. Prosecutors could face the same challenge in the 9/11 trials.
A federal judge prohibited prosecutors from calling a key witness in the Ghailani case, saying the witness had been identified while Ghailani was interrogated at the CIA prison.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is seen as key to any deal to close Guantanamo, said late Wednesday that he was disappointed with the Ghailani verdict and said the government was endangering the nation "by criminalizing the war."
"We are at war with al-Qaida," Graham said. "Members of the organization and their associates should be treated as warriors, not common criminals."
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
In truth, I and many people know that this sort of search and the place where it is conducted really do not solve the problem. All terrorists know that they will get searched. How many terrorists have we caught in the TSA line? We have caught terrorist in the plane, lighting his underwair, lighting his shoes, or carrying a couple of bottles of explosive.
All a terrorist need do is go into the check-in counter and detonate himself or herself.
Stop the terrorists before they get into the airport. Profile! Profile! Profile!
This video was shown to me by my daugther Genevieve, who through no fault of her own looks middle eastern, named by me with a name which is almost unpronounceable by everyone except Frenchmen, and who can not go into an airport with out being searched.
Here is another story...
TSA pats down a screaming toddler
You might think a 3-year-old would whiz through security. A child is non-threatening, wears slip-on shoes, and carries little luggage.
Mandy Simon suffered through a TSA pat down.
Not the case for Mandy Simon who was passing through security with her dad at the airport in Chattanooga, Tenn.
A TSA employee gave Mandy the pat down and she started screaming and kicking her legs. Her dad, Steve, happens to be a TV reporter and caught 17 seconds of the ordeal on his cell phone (watch video).
Why was Mandy searched in the first place? She started crying when she was asked to put her teddy bear through the X-ray machine. This made it difficult for her to walk calmly through the metal detector and she set the machine off twice, which meant she "must be hand-searched."
If the TSA is going to search kids, maybe they need a little training on how to do it--or at least employees should have a few lollipops or stickers in their pockets.
A picture may be found here...
I'm done talking about this now.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
San Francisco bans most Happy Meals
The city's board of supervisors votes to forbid restaurants from giving away toys with meals with high levels of calories, sugar and fat
Santa Clara By Sharon Bernstein, Tribune Newspapers
7:27 p.m. CDT, November 2, 2010
San Francisco's board of supervisors has voted, by a veto-proof margin, to ban most of McDonald's Happy Meals as they are now served in the restaurants.
The measure will make San Francisco the first major city in the country to forbid restaurants from offering a free toy with meals that contain more than set levels of calories, sugar and fat.
The ordinance also would require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.
"We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice," said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure. "From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate. It's a survival issue and a day-to-day issue."
Just after the vote, McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said, "We are extremely disappointed with today's decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for."
The ban, already enacted in a similar measure by Santa Clara County, was opposed by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was vying to be lieutenant governor in Tuesday's election. But because the measure was passed by eight votes — one more than needed to override a veto — his opposition doesn't matter unless one of the supervisors changes his or her mind after the promised veto.
Under the ordinance, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, restaurants may include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain fewer than 600 calories, and if less than 35 percent of the calories come from fat.
Over the last few weeks, the proposed ban caused a stir online and on cable television, with supporters arguing that it would help protect children from obesity, and opponents seeing it as the latest example of the nanny state gone wild.
Supervisor Bevan Dufty, whose swing vote provided the veto-proof majority, said critics should not dismiss the legislation as a nutty effort by San Franciscans. "I do believe the industry is going to take note of this. I don't care how much they say, 'It's San Francisco, they're wacked out there.'"
Proud, the McDonald's spokeswoman, said the city was out of step with the mainstream on the issue.
"Public opinion continues to be overwhelmingly against this misguided legislation," she said. "Parents tell us it's their right and responsibility — not the government's — to make their own decisions and to choose what's right for their children."
Oak Brook-based McDonald's is not the only fast-food chain to offer toys with children's meals, but because it is so prominent the company has become a key face of opposition to the ban.
Daniel Conway, spokesman for the California Restaurant Association, bemoaned the ordinance's passage and contrasted it with San Franciscans' exuberant feelings after the Giants won the World Series on Monday night.
"One day you're world champions, and the next day, no toys for you," Conway said.
He said the industry could respond in a number of ways to the ordinance. Some might continue to include toys but charge separately for them. Others might reformulate their meals so that they comply with the law. Restaurants might also simply stop offering children's meals altogether, he said.
Proud said the company does offer more healthful menu options, including apple slices that can be ordered with kids' meals instead of french fries.
The vote was held the same day that McDonald's reintroduced nationwide its McRib sandwich, a pressed pork patty that gets half its calories from fat and has a cultlike legion of fans.
Mar said it would lead the fast-food giant and other restaurants to provide more healthful food for kids. The ban, he said, was crucial to the fight against childhood obesity and the illnesses that go along with it, including diabetes and the risk of heart problems and stroke. The cost of fighting those diseases, he said, will be in the billions.
"It's astronomical how much it's going to cost if we don't address it," Mar said. "It's incredible the crisis that's going to hit us."
Spain may upend name game in gender equality push
MADRID – A name in Spain might not stay the same.
Spain's Socialist government has found a new place to push for gender equality, seeking to erase all vestiges of male bias from the country's double-barreled last names.
Spaniards have two surnames, and under current law for registering babies, either the father's or the mother's can come first. Traditionally, however, it is the dad's and in cases of disagreement among the parents, the father's name automatically takes priority.
But under a bill presented to Parliament, if a couple does not specify an order or cannot agree on one, a child's last names would be assigned in alphabetical order.
"I think this is good and also much more egalitarian," Jose Antonio Alonso, a Socialist Party spokesman in the lower chamber of Parliament, said Thursday.
Opposition conservatives called the change unnecessary and vowed to fight it.
Most Spaniards use both last names, such as Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, although some use just one, like the singer Julio Iglesias. In some Latin American countries, people are also legally obliged to have two last names.
Zapatero prides himself on being a defender of gender equality and women's rights.
Also on this date, in 1755, Marie-Antoinette, the Reine-martyr is baptised...
Lastly today in 1911, Charles I of Austria marries Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.
Monday, November 1, 2010
October 29, 2010 5:17 PM
Calling it a “credible terrorist threat against our country,” that the administration is taking “very seriously,” President Obama came to the briefing room of the White House today to brief press on the terror threat.
The president confirmed that the two suspicious packages were bound specifically for two places of Jewish worship in Chicago – located in Dubai and East Midlands Airport in the United Kingdom.
“An initial examination of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive m material,” he said.
The president said he was alerted last night by his top counterterrorism advisors, John Brennan.
“I directed the Department of Homeland Security and all our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to take whatever steps are necessary to protect our citizens from this type of attack,” the president said noting that the measures led to additional screening of some planes in Newark and Philadelphia and DHS also taking steps to enhance the safety of air travel, including additional cargo screening.
“We will continue to pursue additional protective measures for as long as it takes to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. I have also directed that we spare no effort in investigating the origins of these suspicious packages and their connection to any additional terrorist plotting.”
The president said they are still pursuing the fact, but they do know the packages originated in Yemen.
“We also know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist group based in Yemen, continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens and our friends and allies.”
Noting that John Brennan spoke with President Saleh of Yemen today he said the Yemeni government has pledged their full cooperation to an investigation.
“The events of the past 24 hours underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism,” Obama said, “As we obtain more information, we'll keep the public fully informed. But at this stage, the American people should know that the counterterrorism professionals are taking this threat very seriously and are taking all necessary and prudent steps to ensure our security.”
The White House says the president’s schedule, at this time, will not change, He is due to appear at a rally this evening in Charlottesville Virginia and spend most of the weekend campaigning in the lead up to the midterm elections, hitting stops in Chicago and Philadelphia, among others.
-Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller
I thought we weren't going to call them terrorists anymore. So is the leader of the regime saying we are threatened by terrorists?
We don’t use the word terrorist anymore….
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Juan Williams: Going Rogue.
by Sarah Palin on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 1:45pm.
At a time when our country is dangerously in debt and looking for areas of federal spending to cut, I think we’ve found a good candidate for defunding. National Public Radio is a public institution that directly or indirectly exists because the taxpayers fund it. And what do we, the taxpayers, get for this? We get to witness Juan Williams being fired from NPR for merely speaking frankly about the very real threat this country faces from radical Islam.
We have to have an honest discussion about the jihadist threat. Are we not allowed to say that Muslim terrorists have killed thousands of Americans and continue to plot the deaths of thousands more? Are we not allowed to say that there are Muslim states that aid and abet these fanatics? Are we not allowed to even debate the role that radical Islam plays in inciting this violence?
I don’t expect Juan Williams to support me (he’s said some tough things about me in the past) – but I will always support his right and the right of all Americans to speak honestly about the threats this country faces. And for Juan, speaking honestly about these issues isn’t just his right, it’s his job. Up until yesterday, he was doing that job at NPR. Firing him is their loss.
If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it’s time for “National Public Radio” to become “National Private Radio.” It’s time for Congress to defund this organization.
NPR says its mission is “to create a more informed public,” but by stifling debate on these issues, NPR is doing exactly the opposite. President Obama should make clear his commitment to free and honest discussion of the jihadist threat in our public debates – and Congress should make clear that unless NPR provides that public service, not one more dime.
Mr. President, what say you?
Wikileaks proves WMD found in Iraq
This is not surprising news to anyone not predisposed to call President Bush a liar about WMD.
In this case, the surprise isn't the data but the source. Wikileaks' new release from purloined files of the Department of Defense may help remind people that, contrary to popular opinion and media memes, the US did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and in significant quantities. While the invasion of Iraq didn't find huge stockpiles of new WMDs, it did uncover stockpiles that the UN had demanded destroyed as a condition of the 1991 truce that Saddam Hussein abrogated for twelve years.
I SAID BEFORE THAT WIKILEAKS' JULIAN ASSANGE WAS CLEARLY A TOOL, BUT WHOSE? Well, so far the two biggest scoops from the latest document dump are that the infamous Lancet study was bogus, and that WMDs were found in Iraq in quantity. Neither of these stories is actually news to people who were paying attention, but now - conveniently enough just before an election, and even nicely timed for George W. Bush's new book release - these stories are getting a fresh round of play. . . .
The Lancet studies on Iraqi deaths, one released the weekend before the 2004 election, the second released less than a week before the 2006 election, not only wildly overestimated Iraqi deaths from the war, they smeared the US military. The civilian casualties were horrific but nowhere near what those two bogus studies purported to show.
As for WMD, no new weapons were found but the fact that there was so much of it still in Iraq after the UN was supposed to have gotten rid of it is significant. Don't expect any apologies from the rest of the world or even any acknowledgment that they were wrong. The narrative is set and nothing will change it.
WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results
Thursday, October 21, 2010
NPR terminated the contract of Juan Williams on Wednesday after comments the veteran journalist and news analyst made about Muslims on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor."
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly stirred up controversy last week on "The View" after making the blanket statement that "Muslims killed us on 9/11," a comment that led to co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off the set.
On Monday, O'Reilly asked Williams if there is a "Muslim dilemma" in the United States. The NPR analyst and longtime Fox News contributor agreed with O'Reilly that such a thing exists, and added that "political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality."
"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot," Williams continued. "You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Some commentators and a leading Muslim civil rights organization took issue with Williams' comments.
The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan wrote Wednesday morning that Williams' statement about fearing Muslims on planes is an example of bigotry. "What if someone said that they saw a black man walking down the street in classic thug get-up," Sullivan wrote. "Would a white person be a bigot [if] he assumed he was going to mug him?'
The Council for American-Islamic Relations sent out a press release Wednesday afternoon calling on NPR to address the matter. Nihad Awad, the organization's national executive director, called the comments "irresponsible and inflammatory" and said they "should not pass without action by NPR."
They certainly didn't. NPR took action Wednesday night and put out a statement regarding the severing of Williams' contract: "His remarks on 'The O'Reilly Factor' this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."
You can watch Williams' comments below:
Williams often appears on Fox as the liberal counterpart to one of the network's conservative hosts or guests. But some NPR listeners -- an audience certainly more left-leaning than Fox's conservative one -- don't see Williams as an advocate for progressive politics when he appears on the cable news network.
Last year, NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard wrote that Williams had become a "lightning rod" among NPR's staff and noted many complaints from listeners after an appearance on O'Reilly's show.
Williams had described First Lady Michelle Obama as having a "Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going," a reference to the militant African-American activist. After those comments, NPR executives asked that NPR's logo be removed when he appears on Fox News.
It can be expected that Fox hosts, especially O'Reilly, will have something to say about NPR's decision.
CNN host Rick Sanchez fired over on-air remarks
Bernie Goldberg, a Fox News contributor and author of several books on what he describes as liberal media bias, offered his take Thursday morning in an email to The Upshot.
"So Juan Williams is fired for saying something the liberals at NPR find controversial?" Goldberg said. "One more piece of evidence that liberals have forgotten how to be liberal."
Goldberg continued: "These are the kind of people who brag about how open-minded they are -- as long as you agree with them. And here's the dirty little secret: lots and lots of liberals feel the same way Juan does when they get on an airplane. And a lot of those liberals work at NPR. Juan's 'crime' was saying it out loud."
Weekly Standard Editor and Fox contributor Bill Kristol also had some choice words for NPR, which he dubbed "National Politically-correct Radio." Kristol concluded a post about the firing by saying: "NPR -- unfair, unbalanced ... and afraid."
By Michael Calderone
$26.2 Trillion: Projected Federal Debt In 2020 Due To Obama’s Binge Spending. (OMB, 7/23/10)
$13.6 Trillion: Current National Debt. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)
$8.5 Trillion: Cumulative Deficits Caused By President Obama’s Proposed Budget, FY2011-2020. (OMB, 7/23/10)
$3.9 Trillion: Total Cost Of The Democrats’ Tax Hike To Taxpayers. (Joint Committee On Taxation, 8/6/10)
$3.0 Trillion: Amount Added To The National Debt Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)
$2.5 Trillion: True Cost Of ObamaCare Once Fully Implemented. (Sen. Max Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/2/09)
$1.42 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2009 – Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)
$1.29 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2010 – Second Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)
$868.4 Billion: American Debt Held By China. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)
$831 Billion: Net Interest Payment On Our National Debt In 2020 Due To Obama’s Budget. (OMB, 7/23/10)
$814 Billion: Price Tag Of Obama’s Failed Stimulus. (Bloomberg, 8/20/10)
$575 Billion: Amount Of Medicare Cuts In ObamaCare. (CMS Chief Actuary Richard S. Foster, Memo, 4/22/10)
$569.2 Billion: Amount Of Taxes In ObamaCare. (Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10)
$10 Billion: The Cost Of The Teacher Union Bailout. (The Washington Post, 10/8/10)
$54 Million: Amount Of Stimulus Funds Spent On A Napa Valley Wine Train. (ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” 2/2/10)
41.8 Million: Number Of Americans Receiving Food Stamps. (Bloomberg, 10/5/10)
40 Million: Number Of Businesses That Will Be Burdened By The Onerous IRS 1099 Requirement. (The Washington Post, 8/29/10)
$18 Million: Cost Of The Stimulus Website Recovery.org. (ABC News’ “The Note“ Blog, 7/8/09)
14.8 Million: Unemployed Americans. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
9.5 Million: Americans Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
6.1 Million: Americans Unemployed For Longer Than 27 Weeks. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
5.4 Million: Number Of Properties Receiving Foreclosure Filings Since Obama Took Office. (RealtyTrac, Accessed 10/19/10)
3.8 Million: Increase In the Number Of People Who Were In Poverty In 2009 Over 2008. (NPR, 9/16/10)
2.6 Million: Jobs Lost Since Stimulus Was Passed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
2.3 Million: Private Sector Jobs Lost Since Stimulus Was Passed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
1.2 Million: Americans That Have Given Up Looking For Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
964,900: Number Of Jobs That Could Be Lost Per Year Under Cap And Trade. (Tax Foundation, 3/09)
89,000: The Number Of Stimulus Checks Sent to Dead Or Incarcerated People. (The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire" Blog, 10/7/10)
$43,000: Your Share Of The National Debt. (“The Daily History Of The Debt Results,” TreasuryDirect, Accessed 10/19/10; U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov, Accessed 10/19/10)
23,000: The Number Of Jobs Obama Knew His Drilling Moratorium Could Kill. (The Wall Street Journal, 8/21/10)
22,000: Number Of Seniors In MA, NH And ME That Will Lose Their Medicare Advantage Plans As A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Boston Globe, 9/28/10)
$1,761: Cost To American Families Per Year As A Result Of Cap And Trade. (CBS News' "Taking Liberties" Blog, 9/16/09)
$1,540: The Amount Of The Tax Hike The Average Middle Class Family Will See As A Result Of The Dems’ Tax Hike. (Tax Foundation, 8/1/10)
1099: The IRS Form Every Business Will Have To File After Doing $600 Worth Of Business With A Vendor. (CNNMoney.com, 5/5/10)
100: Percent Of GDP That Our National Debt Will Rise To In 2012. (Office Of Management And Budget, 7/23/10)
83: Number Of Fundraisers Obama Has Attended As Of 10/12/10. (CBS News' Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10; CBS News, 8/16/10)
80: Percent Of Small Businesses That Could Be Forced To Change Health Care Plans As A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Washington Post, 6/15/10)
79: Percent Of Stimulus Funds For Wind, Solar And Geothermal Energy Projects That Went To Foreign Firms. (Investigating Reporting Workshop/ABC’s World News Tonight/Watchdog Institute, 2/8/10)
68: Percent Of Americans Who Think The Stimulus Was A Waste. (The Hill's “Briefing Room” Blog, 10/5/10)
60: Percent Of Young Voters Who Are “More Cynical About Politics” Now Than When Obama Was Elected. (The Huffington Post, 9/15/10)
58: Percent Of Ohioans Who Say Obama’s Frequent Visits To The State Make No Difference In How They’ll Vote. (The Hill, 10/19/10)
53: Rounds Of Golf Played By President Obama Since Taking Office. (CBS News' Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10; CBS News' Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10 )
49: Visits To The White House By Andy Stern, Former President Of SEIU. (WhiteHouse.gov, Accessed 10/19/10)
37: Number Of Town Halls Obama Has Done Since Taking Office. (CBS News’ Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10)
33.3: Average Number Of Weeks It Takes An Unemployed Worker To Find A Job. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
30: Number Of Waivers Granted To Businesses So That The White House Could Avoid Admitting ObamaCare Was Making People Lose Their Health Care Plans. (USA Today, 10/7/10)
27: Percent Increase In Premiums By Some Insurers In Colorado As A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Denver Post, 9/20/10)
25: DVDs Given To The UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown On His First Visit. (The Daily Mail (UK), 3/9/10)
20: Straight Months That Food Stamp Participation Has Hit A Record. (Bloomberg, 10/5/10)
17.1: Percent Of Americans Either Unemployed Or Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
14: Straight Months With Unemployment Above 9.5%. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)
9: Number Of Vacations Taken By President Obama. (CBS News, 8/19/10)
4: Out Of 10 Likely Voters Who Once Backed Obama But Are Less Supportive Or No Longer Support Obama. (Bloomberg, 10/12/10)
2: Place In The Line Of Succession That Joe Biden Believes He Is In (Hint: He’s #1). (CBS News’ Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10)
2: Visits To The White House By Actor George Clooney. (E! Online, 10/12/10)
1: Number Of White House Investigations. (CBS News, 10/6/10)
1: Teacher Union Bailout To Motivate Teacher Unions For Midterm Elections. (The Washington Post, 10/8/10)
0: Other People Obama Will Have Left To Blame For His Failures In 2012. (The American People, 11/6/12)
Statistics at GOP
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Yosef: Gentiles exist only to serve Jews
By JONAH MANDEL 10/18/10
According to Rabbi, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.
The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.
“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.
According to Yosef, the lives of non-Jews in Israel are safeguarded by divinity, to prevent losses to Jews.
“In Israel, death has no dominion over them... With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money.
This is his servant... That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew,” Yosef said.
“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.
That is why gentiles were created,” he added.
Yosef’s Saturday night sermons have seen many controversial statements from the 90-year-old rabbi. In August, Yosef caused a diplomatic uproar when he wished a plague upon the Palestinian people and their leaders, a curse he retracted a few weeks later, when he blessed them along with all of Israel’s other peace-seeking neighbors.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – "The Simpsons" just got a blessing from the Vatican.
The official Vatican newspaper has declared that beer-swilling, doughnut-loving Homer Simpson and son Bart are Catholics -- and what's more, it says that parents should not be afraid to let their children watch "the adventures of the little guys in yellow."
"Few people know it, and he does everything to hide it. But it's true: Homer J. Simpson is Catholic", the Osservatore Romano newspaper said in an article on Sunday headlined "Homer and Bart are Catholics."
The newspaper cited a study by a Jesuit priest of a 2005 episode of the show called "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star". That study concludes that "The Simpsons" is "among the few TV programs for kids in which Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurrent themes."
The Simpsons pray before meals, and "in its own way, believes in the beyond," the newspaper quoted the Jesuit study as saying.
It's the second time the animated U.S. TV series, which is broadcast in 90 countries, has been praised by the Vatican.
But executive producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly on Monday he was in "shock and awe" at the latest assertion, adding that the Simpsons attend the "Presbylutheran" First Church of Springfield.
"We've pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic," Jean said. "I really don't think he could go without eating meat on Fridays -- for even an hour."
In December 2009, the Osservatore Romano described the show as "tender and irreverent, scandalous and ironic, boisterous and profound, philosophical and sometimes even theological, nutty synthesis of pop culture and of the lukewarm and nihilistic American middle class."
"The Simpsons", which introduced the catch-phrase "D'oh", is the longest-running prime-time TV series in the United States and is now in its 22nd season.
As if the protestants don't think the Church is a cartoon in itself.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
It appears to have been a simple mistake gone horribly and hilariously wrong. And, in fairness, the two flags are mighty similar. Both are red, white, and blue, and feature a large white star on the left side.
Nobody even noticed the mistake until Tony Knudson, an absentee voter in Japan, caught on. After seeing the error, the astute voter remarked to the Austin American-Statesman, "I guess it's funny in some way, but my initial reaction was more disbelief that no one had noticed." See the difference below.
Election officials have since fixed the mistake, but not before the searches went through the roof. Online lookups for "texas flag vs chile flag" are soaring as are queries on "texas flag pictures" and "what does the chile flag look like."
Bloggers across the Web are chiming in the gaffe. The story has been picked up by everyone from the Washington Post to the San Francisco Chronicle. Even the UK's Telegraph is having a bit of fun.
But this is hardly the first ballot error in the good ol' USA. In 2008, some absentee voters in New York were given ballots that said "Barack Osama." And earlier this month, a postal union election had to be delayed because — you guessed it — too many ballots were lost in the mail.
Democracy — it's not as easy as it looks.
Not to be the least here is my entry. Can't say that North Carolinians are any different, working at a state agency the NC flag and American Flag have both been run up the flag poles upside down. Maybe if the emphasis was not on diversity and more on history we would know what the flag looks like.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
By Brett Michael Dykes
Vladimir Lenin, King Tut and the McDonald's Happy Meal: What do they all have in common? A shocking resistance to Mother Nature's cycle of decomposition and biodegradability, apparently.
That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.
The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock," Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.
She proceeded to photograph the Happy Meal each week and posted the pictures to Flickr to record the results of her experiment. Now, just over six months later, the Happy Meal has yet to even grow mold. She told the Daily Mail that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it."
Davies -- whose art has been featured in numerous films and television shows and is collected by several celebrities -- told The Upshot that she initiated the project to prove a friend wrong. He believed that any burger would mold or rot within two or three days of being left on a counter. Thus began what's become known as "The Happy Meal Art Project."
"I told my friend about a schoolteacher who's kept a McDonald's burger for 12 years that hasn't changed at all, and he didn't believe me when I told him about it," Davies told us. "He thought I was crazy and said I shouldn't believe everything that I read, so I decided to try it myself."
Davies' friend was the person who should have done the additional research. Wellness and nutrition educator Karen Hanrahan has indeed kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to show clients and students how resistant fast food can be to decomposition.
As for Davies, she said that she might just keep her burger and fries hanging around for a while as well.
"It's sitting on a bookshelf right now, so it's not really taking up any space, so why not?" she said. It ceased giving off any sort of odor after 24 hours, she said, adding: "You have to see this thing."
In response to Davies' project, McDonald's spokeswoman Theresa Riley emailed The Upshot a statement defending the quality of the chain's food. Riley's email also blasted Davies' "completely unsubstantiated" work as something out of "the realm of urban legends."
"McDonald's hamburger patties in the United States are made with 100% USDA-inspected ground beef," Riley wrote. "Our hamburgers are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else -- no preservatives, no fillers. Our hamburger buns are baked locally, are made from North American-grown wheat flour and include common government-approved ingredients designed to assure food quality and safety. ... According to Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, 'From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald's hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen.'"
The question is so what? If I want to et a happy meal or treat my grandchildren to eat a happy meal that is my business. It is not the business of some government official, some long haired Harvard grad, or the First Lady, (who should really stop being phootgrahed with an ice cream cone). For a bunch of liberals who shout "stay ut of my bedroom!" I retort, "Stay out-o-ma belly!"...
In Inspire - an English-language magazine produced by Al Qaeda supporters on the Arabian Peninsula - Samir Khan mocks the U.S. intelligence agencies and pledges his support to the terrorist group.
U.S. officials believe the 24-year-old from from North Carolina is the driving force behind the magazine, which includes articles on conducting attacks and features messages from terrorist leaders. More...
Monday, October 11, 2010 Les Femmes, the Truth...
It's really interesting. Liberals fight to prevent conscience laws to protect Christian medical personnel and pharmacists who refuse to participate in killing babies, but they let Muslims censor innocuous speech and even violate the rights of others. Can you imagine the outcry if a Christian cab driver refused to drive to an abortion mill? We've already seen the outcry against pharmacists at Walmart and other chains who refuse to dispense drugs to kill babies. Obviously refusing to handle pork is a more serious issue and more deserving of protection than refusing to kill babies.
In a related matter, the Washington Post last Sunday refused to run the "Non Sequitur" comic strip by Wiley Miller because it spoofed the controversy over the Danish cartoon strips that caused riots by depicting Muhammad. The cartoonist actually didn't portray Muhammad at all, but imitated the children's Where's Waldo series with a busy page of pictures. The Post's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, responding to critics in this morning's Post wrote:
Miller is fuming. The award-winning cartoonist, who lives in Maine, told me the cartoon was meant to satirize "the insanity of an entire group of people rioting and putting out a hit list over cartoons," as well as "media cowering in fear of printing any cartoon that contains the work 'Muhammad.'"
"The wonderful irony [is that] great newspapers like The Washington Post, that took on Nixon...run in fear of this very tame cartoon, thus validating the accuracy of the satire," he said by e-mail.
Well, this is the Twilight Zone world of America today. Sharia Law today in Minnesota, tomorrow in Washington,D.C. Demographically, the world is becoming Muslim. Study this table from the late 90s showing the growth of Islam relative to other religions. Minnesota illustrates the demographics on a small scale, but it's happening all over the world with devastating results for many cultures. The Christian west is going the way of the dodo bird and every country in Europe is showing the stress of democracy trying to coexist peacefully with a fundamentalist theocracy. Islam is unwilling to coexist. Either our culture succumbs to their demands or else. As the Muslim population grows, we will be seeing more and more dramatically the impossibility of our Republic surviving.
La mort à islam