Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Apparently, Ms. Sheehan has decided to call it quits (or so she says in a letter posted on Daily Kos), because she's no longer considered "the darling of the so-called left." Frankly, I was amazed to hear it, but she claims she's been "trashed on such "liberal blogs" as the Democratic Underground" ever since she "renounced any tie[s]......with the Democratic Party." Being vilified by the "Right" was fine, that just spurred her on, but "being called an "attention whore" and being told "good riddance", by the "Left", seems to have pushed her right over the edge. Betrayed by those who deified her in the past, she is now martyring herself by giving up on the cause that garnered her so much attention to begin with. So, Cindy Sheehan is resigning as "the "face" of the American anti-war movement."
Her disingenuous letter to the American people is so full of platitudes and self flattery, I have to wonder if it was actually motivated by a desire for more attention, or if she is truly resigning herself to the fact that, no matter how hard she tries, she, Cindy Sheehan, is not going to force the American government to do her bidding, just because she demands it.
She also bemoans the fact that she has depleted most of her financial resources: "I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. Sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings." She seems to be blaming the ungrateful people of America for all her woes, as if we asked her to devote all her time, money and energy on 'the cause'. This was her choice. The American people did not ask her to become "the face" of the anti-war movement.
I also find it offensive that rather than placing the blame where it rightfully belongs, on the insurgents in Iraq and their battle against democracy, she speaks of how this country "killed" her son and how "this country" is "slaughtering innocent human beings."
This woman, with her delusions of grandeur ends her letter with: "This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.
Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it. It’s up to you now."
Does this mean she won't be running for Congress? And if she no longer loves this country, maybe she can move to Venezuela. I'm sure her best bud, Hugo, would welcome her with open arms.
(Thanks Pat, for informing me about this letter)
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Originally called Decorations Day, it was initially created to honour the soldiers who died during the Civil War. It now commemorates those who have perished during all the various wars. The traditional day of observance was always May 30th, although it is now observed on the last Monday in May. Many groups are trying to re-instate May 30th as the official day of observance. Understandable, I suppose, considering it was meant to be a national day of mourning and not a day of celebration.
There are several things one can do to observe the true meaning of Memorial Day including flying the U.S. Flag at half mast until noon, and at 3 p.m. (local time), participating in a "National Moment of Remembrance". Take a minute or two to reflect on all the soldiers who have lost their lives in service to their country. USMemorialDay.org has some other ways of honouring the dead:
While you're at it, please take a moment to pray for the fallen soldiers of our allies, without whom we would not prevail.
-by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
-by visiting memorials.
-by flying the 'POW/MIA Flag' as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).
-by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans. [I send donations to freedomalliance.org . They help families of fallen war heroes]
God Bless them all.
Rest in peace warriors of freedom.
beautiful memorial tribute song by Trace Adkins
"I only hope I can make America as proud as our troops today have, and I hope I can honor them in the way they deserve with my videos. I love talking to American military personnel, but it's not very often
that I get the chance. Hope you all have a great day and God bless!
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!"
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The reasoning behind her decision to have children so late in life, other than wanting a playmate for her 6 year-old, was her burning desire to make a statement that older women should be able to have children “without a stigma attached.”
Interviewed for the Today show, from the New Jersey hospital where she delivered the boys by c-section, she told Meredith Vieira that:
Those who believe it is wrong for older women to bear children need to get in step with a society that is living longer. “It's wonderful. It's wonderful.” Birnbaum is believed to be the oldest woman ever to give birth to twins in the U.S. “I think those people need to get ready for what's coming up in our society. Whenever there's anything new, people cannot comprehend or have difficult getting comfortable," she said. "There are a lot of middle-aged women [having babies] — 40s, 50s, now I just turned 60. That's going to be acceptable. They have to just keep up with what's going on with society.”I don't think this story would have bothered me so much if, by some miracle, she just happened to find herself pregnant at the age of 60. But, the fact that she consciously sought medical aid and intervention, thousands of miles away, to help her become pregnant, I find terribly disturbing and incredibly selfish. Even her adult children were not thrilled with the decision. In an interview with the New York Daily News her daughter, Alana, said, “She's youthful for her age but I don't think it's good. She should be going to the gym and taking time for herself — not taking on more stresses and responsibilities ... Am I happy at all about this? No. I'm not." And, no wonder she's not a happy camper, because she (or the older brother) will obviously be saddled with the 3 young 'uns if Ma and Pa croak, and they already have children of their own. It seems monumentally unfair, to me, considering Alana and her brother had no choice in the matter.
In response to her daughter's disapproval, she said “My daughter feels I should be living in Florida having a good life. I hope when she’s older, she’ll see this and understand she has choices. I don’t feel like I’m 60. I don’t know what 60 is meant to be.” Inspired while reading an article about older women and childbirth, Frieda seems to have taken this on as a warped feminist challenge to societal dictates. She told Vieira "It's really basically about women and empowerment." She wanted to let women know they have choices. Because her dad lived to the ripe old age of 92 and her mother until 89, she seems to think that she too will live that long. But there are no guarantees in life, and even if she does live for another 20 plus years, how much energy is she going to have to adequately take care of 3 young children? They'll be in their 70s when the twins start to reach puberty. Is Dad going to play baseball with a walker?
And what about the emotional toll on the twins: having parents that are the age of their peers' grandparents, and knowing they only have a short time to spend with them? What I find most amazing about this whole story is that Frida is a psychologist. You would think she'd know better.
Oh, and she plans on writing a book, with her Obstetrician, about her experience. To inspire other older women to have children at ages they shouldn't be having children.
Friday, May 25, 2007
The latest coming out of France:
France to Pay Immigrants to Return Home
New French President Nicolas Sarkozy made immigration a central issue of his campaign. Now, his new minister for immigration and national identity says its time to start paying immigrants to leave the country. Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin. A similar scheme, which was introduced in 2005 and 2006, was taken up by around 3,000 families.
France is home to an estimated 1.5 million immigrants from mostly Muslim North Africa and 500,000 from sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2004 census.
The new minister voiced concern that the majority of legal immigration into France was that of existing immigrants bringing in relatives, while only a small proportion were granted visas due to their professional skills. "To be integrated, you need language skills and a professional activity," he told RFI, and said he is considering introducing a language test to prospective immigrants.
All of this is voluntary, of course, but what a great idea! If they hate their host country so much, and are unable to integrate, then go home. And, frankly, I think the French are being very generous actually giving them money to leave.
Hat Tip: Weasel Zippers
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The cabbie, the bookstore owner and Shah all pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, and settled for jail sentences ranging from 13 to 15 years, but Sabir's case went to trial, and he was just convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
In spite of evidence to the contrary, he tried to weasel out of a conviction by claiming stupidity. He told the jury he thought he was pledging support to all his Muslim brothers, not Bin Laden, and stated that he had no idea "Sheik Osama" actually meant Osama Bin Laden. Yeah, right. He said the pledge was in Arabic and, as he's not fluent, he wasn't fully aware of what he was pledging about or to. [snort]
And, his testimony was full of contradictions. First of all, he said at one point,
"I am not a member of al-Qaida. It is wrong to kill.......no way I'm going to align myself with al-Qaida. That is just not me.....I never had any thoughts about them whatsoever and all the nasty things they have done around the world, killing people, innocent people mostly and the big atrocities they have done around the world."But at another point, during the trial, under cross-examination, he admitted
to a history of family violence, a fascination with weapons and a belief that good Muslims should engage in armed jihad, or holy war. U.S. Attorney Victor Hou asked Sabir about an audiotape found at his house, in which a religious lecturer said God would "destroy the disbelievers." "That's God's word. I have to believe in it," Sabir said. They also discussed passages from religious books. One said Jews should be expelled from the Arabian peninsula. Another said Muslims are obligated to obey an imam who declares war against nonbelievers. Hou asked Sabir whether he agreed with both passages, and he said yes -- but added that Muslims are only required to follow such instructions from a legitimate religious authority. Hou pressed him further: "You believe that you must participate in armed jihad, if you get a chance to?" "Yes," Sabir answered, but he said only in a legitimate conflict. The prosecutor also brought up writings in which Sabir expressed disgust for American capitalism and his displeasure with the government after it tried to collect tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.So, we have the Doctor, the Jazz Musician, the Cabbie and the Bookstore Owner all guilty of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Seemingly ordinary people with jobs, some with families. Sabir, a Polygamist, had 4 wives, although only 2 at one time. Any of them could have been your next door neighbour. They were someone's next door neighbour. I find that monumentally scary, particularly because they weren't your garden variety, middle-eastern type terrorists. These were ordinary folk. Sabir was a Columbia University-educated doctor. Shah a jazz musician, martial artist expert.
Sabir still insists he was not cognizant of the fact that he was pledging his loyalty to Al-Qaida, but the tape is incontrovertible proof. I don't buy his ignorance. And I've talked before about taking responsibility for our actions. If you're gonna play with fire, then you better be willing to get burned.
And, as the saying goes: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.......
Although in this case... it 'aint AFLAC!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Here we go again, another monumental waste of taxpayers money to further the God-less agenda.
The N.Y. based Council for Secular Humanism (CSH), and 2 of its Florida members, has decided to sue the State of Florida. Why? They don't seem to like the fact that the Leon County Department of Corrections is providing financial support to 2 faith-based drug rehab and housing programmes: the non-profit 'Prisoners of Christ' and the 'Lamb of God Ministries'. You know, the whole separation of church and state babble, though, don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in separation.
The Florida Department of Corrections has contracts with over 20 faith-based substance abuse and transitional housing programmes (FBTH), but I've no idea why the above 2 were singled out. The success rates for all these programmes varies, but any success is better than no success.
CSH has cited Florida State's mandate prohibiting the spending of 'State' monies that "directly or indirectly... aid..any church, sect or religious denomination or .. aid.. any sectarian institution."
I could understand taking offense if people were forced to participate in faith-based programmes against their wills, but, all programmes are strictly voluntary. The contract with Lamb of God Ministries stipulates that "all enrolled program participants shall be required to participate in program activities and abide by program rules," which seems only fair. According to FDOC spokesman, Robby Cunningham, these programmes were created for the "sole purpose of furthering the secular goals of criminal rehabilitation, the successful reintegration of offenders into the community, and the reduction of recidivism." And these groups are specifically not permitted to convert participants to any particular faith, nor are they allowed to prohibit an inmate from entering the programme based on their beliefs. Which also seems fair. A person should not be forced to convert to any religion in order to avail him/herself of social services.
Most successful drug and alcohol rehab treatment programmes, in addition to medical, emotional and psychological help, utilize some form of moral and spiritual counseling to help overcome addictive behaviour. Even Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 Step Programme is God-centered. And if religious organizations have the resources and inclination to help a population that no-one wants to or can deal with, then why shouldn't they get some funding from the Department of Corrections to help offset their costs? I assure you they are not wholly State funded.
The irony of it all, is that in their attempt to stop taxpayers from funding programmes that can and have helped inmates get their lives back on track, they're wasting taxpayers money by forcing the state to defend itself. I'd rather have my taxes pay for programmes that might potentially help someone leave behind a life of crime, regardless of religious affiliation, than pay for the defense of another frivolous lawsuit.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I have now enabled all the post's below if you care to opine.
So, this time, Carter told the Democrat-Arkansas Gazette that President Bush's international relations is the "worst in history". In addition to bashing Bush's environmental policies he criticized the administration's faith-based initiative funding, calling it "quite disturbing." He also had the gall to criticize Tony Blair, when asked by BBC radio what he thought of Blair's support of Bush, saying it was "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient. And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world." Carter also faulted Bush
Perhaps he feels compelled to criticize Bush because he doesn't want to go down as "the" worst President in U.S. history, as so many already maintain. In fact, some have pegged him as "the worst" ex-President ever. Or maybe he's just stupid, or thinks we're stupid. As if claiming someone else is "the worst" will somehow make it so. Regardless of what you think of GW Bush, he's by no means worse than former Prez Jimmah Carter. In fact many of the major tragedies of the world today, can be directly linked to Carter's Presidency. Besides the onus of having the resurgence of Islamic Fundamentalism commence on his watch, let's take a look at a few instances of Carter's brilliance in foreign policy, both during and after his Presidency.
"for having "zero peace talks" in Israel," adding that the current "administration "abandoned or directly refuted" every negotiated nuclear arms agreement....by other Presidents."
A few from CommonDreams.org:
President Carter, who came to office in early 1977, not long after Indonesia invaded and annexed the tiny island nation of East Timor, increased military aid to the Indonesian dictatorship by 80%. This equipment including OV-10 Bronco counter-insurgency aircraft that was crucial in the rounding up of much of the country’s civilian population into concentration camps. Most of the 200,000 East Timorese deaths as a result of Indonesia’s occupation took place during the Carter Administration, in large part as a result of this military aid.
Carter also dramatically increased military aid to the Moroccan government of King Hassan II, whose forces invaded its southern neighbor, the desert nation of Western Sahara, barely a year before the former Georgia governor assumed office. Carter fought Congress to restore military aid to Turkey that had been suspended after their armed forces seized the northern third of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Carter promised that the resumption of aid would give Turkey the flexibility to withdraw. Turkish occupation forces remain there to this day.
Under President Carter, the United States vetoed consecutive UN Security Council resolutions to impose sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Ignoring calls from the democratic South African opposition to impose such pressure, Carter took the line of American corporate interests by claiming U.S. investments – including such items as computers and trucks for the South African police and military – somehow supported the cause of racial justice and majority rule. (Barely five years after Carter left office, the United States imposed sanctions against South Africa by huge bipartisan Congressional majorities and no longer vetoed similar UN efforts.)
Carter sent military aid to the Islamic fundamentalist mujahadeen to fight the leftist government in Afghanistan in the full knowledge that it could prompt a Soviet invasion. According to his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, it was hoped that by forcing the Soviets into such a counter-insurgency war would weaken America’s superpower rival. This decision, however, not only destroyed much of Afghanistan, but the entire world is feeling the ramifications to this day.
As president, Carter opposed Palestinian statehood, refused to even meet with Palestinian leaders, and dramatically increased military aid to the right-wing Israeli government of Menachem Begin. When Israel violated an annex to the Camp David Accords by resuming construction of illegal settlements on the occupied West Bank, Carter refused to enforce the treaty despite being its guarantor. Carter also dramatically increased military aid to the increasingly repressive Egyptian regime of Anwar Sadat.
Carter was also a strong supporter of Philippine dictator Fernando Marcos, Pakistani General Zia al Huq, Saudi King Faud and many other dictators. He blocked human rights legislation initiated by then-Congressman Tom Harkin and others. He increased U.S. military spending, militarized the Indian Ocean, and withdrew the SALT II Treaty from the Senate before they even took a vote.
Besides the dictators mentioned above, Carter has cozied up to a bevy of others from Cuba's Fidel Castro to Venezuela's charmer, Hugo Chavez.
When it comes to the belligerence of North Korea, Carter's past involvement has done considerable damage. In the early 1990s, Carter traveled to North Korea on another of his "peacekeeping missions" and brokered a deal with dictator Kim Il Sung. He did so without the blessing of the Clinton administration, although, at the behest of then-Vice President Al Gore, President Clinton later agreed to adopt Carter's deal. The United States ended up providing aid, oil and, incredibly, material for building light-water nuclear reactors to the North Koreans in exchange for their abandoning their nuclear weapons program. The problem is they didn't abandon their nuclear weapons program; they just said they did. And in 2002, they admitted as much. Still, to this day, Carter claims that his approach was a success and that it was President Bush's inclusion of North Korea in the famous "axis of evil" speech that led to current leader Kim Jong Il's hostility toward America.
The fruits of Carter's history with Iran are even more rotten. Carter's abandonment of the shah in 1977-78 helped lead to the Islamic revolution (and the murder or imprisonment of many of the Iranian leftists who had supported overthrowing the shah), the emboldening of the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan and the rise of radical Islam worldwide. His botched approach to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 inspired Islamic terrorists all over the world, culminating in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Now, let's take a look at the Misery Index, an economic indicator (created by economist Arthur Okun) to assess the nation's economic health. It's the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate. Obviously, the higher the rate, the worse the economy. There also seems to be a correlation between increased crime and a higher Misery Index. So, take a guess, was it higher during Carter or Bush's administration (2001-2005)?
Bush had a 7.98% M.I. average during his first term, and as of April 2007, it was 7.07%! Carter, on the other hand, had the highest M.I. average of all Presidents since Truman, with a whopping 16.27%. More than double Bush's average! So it looks like there was more economic misery under Carter's rule, than Bush's.
And all this venom came spewing out of Jimbo's mouth during a promotional junket for a new audiobook series, "Leading a Worthy Life: Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bible Study with Jimmy Carter." Um, Jimmy, I think you could learn a few things from your own book!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Yup, besides all its other enterprises (and there are plenty) Migros has created a website where you can purchase their Migros brand male and female undies and, if ya like what you see, email the boys and girls modeling the boxers and bras for potential dates. Out of 700 or so applicants from across Switzerland, only 26 men and women were chosen to model the company's summer underwear line, and set up on-line profiles. And they're certainly a varied lot from Sereina, 25 a Comedienne to Mark, 35 a Policeman.
Move over Match.com, on Migros you can actually see your future mate in their skivvies! Sigh.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Move over Al! It seems more and more prominent scientists are beginning to trade in their alarmism for skepticism regarding the whole contentious, man-made Global Warming issue. It should be interesting to see what happens when more of them defect to the 'other side' of the GW "we're gonna fry" doomsday scenario. Many of these scientists are doing so at risk to their careers and reputations. Defectors are never kindly looked upon, so it could get nasty, particularly when there is so much at stake for those who have invested so much in 'climate hysteria'.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (EPW) has compiled a list of scientists who have recently changed positions regarding the man-made Global Warming argument. It's by no means a comprehensive list, and there are other scientists not yet listed, but I have added snippets from some of those scientists that are listed, below. For more comprehensive information and a full list of scientists, go to EPW.
Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, a top geophysicist and French Socialist who has authored more than 100 scientific articles, written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards, converted from climate alarmist to skeptic in 2006. Allegre, who was one of the first scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years ago, now says the cause of climate change is "unknown" and accused the “prophets of doom of global warming” of being motivated by money, noting that "the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!"
Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta was once such a big believer in man-made global warming that he set out to build a “Kyoto house” in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997. Instead, he said he realized global warming theory was full of holes and ‘red flags,’ and became convinced that humans are not responsible for rising temperatures. Noting that the Earth has been warming for 18,000 years, Wiskel told the Canadian newspaper, “If this happened once and we were the cause of it, that would be cause for concern. But glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years." Wiskel also said that global warming has gone "from a science to a religion” and noted that research money is being funneled into promoting climate alarmism instead of funding areas he considers more worthy.
Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, one of Israel's top young award winning scientists, recanted his belief that manmade emissions were driving climate change. "Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media. In fact, there is much more than meets the eye.” According to Shaviv, the C02 temperature link is only “incriminating circumstantial evidence. Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming...it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist.”
Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, a famed UK environmental campaigner, former lecturer at Durham University and host of a popular UK TV series on wildlife, recently converted into a skeptic after reviewing the science and now calls global warming fears "poppycock." According to a May 15, 2005 article in the UK Sunday Times, Bellamy said “global warming is largely a natural phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can’t be fixed. The climate-change people have no proof for their claims. They have computer models which do not prove anything.”
Climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas of The University of Auckland, N.Z., also converted from a believer in man-made global warming to a skeptic. “At first I accepted that increases in human caused additions of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere would trigger changes in water vapor etc. and lead to dangerous ‘global warming,’ But with time and with the results of research, I formed the view that, although it makes for a good story, it is unlikely that the man-made changes are drivers of significant climate variation.”
Meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson, the founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at University of Wisconsin (now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, was pivotal in promoting the coming ice age scare of the 1970’s ( See Time Magazine’s 1974 article “Another Ice Age” citing Bryson: & see Newsweek’s 1975 article “The Cooling World” citing Bryson) has now converted into a leading global warming skeptic. In February 8, 2007 Bryson dismissed what he terms "sky is falling" man-made global warming fears. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?” Bryson told the May 2007 issue of Energy Cooperative News. “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd. Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air,” Bryson said. “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide,”
Global warming author and economist Hans H.J. Labohm was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, “’Climate change is real’ is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural ‘noise.’”
Paleoclimatologist Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor of the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Ottawa, reversed his views on man-made climate change after further examining the evidence. “I used to agree with these dramatic warnings of climate disaster. I taught my students that most of the increase in temperature of the past century was due to human contribution of C02...... However, a few years ago, I decided to look more closely at the science and it astonished me. In fact there is no evidence of humans being the cause. There is, however, overwhelming evidence of natural causes such as changes in the output of the sun. This has completely reversed my views on the Kyoto protocol.”
Test your knowledge on global warming. Take a short test here. I only got 9 out 10. Oops.
For those of you with Windows, here's an option for you. I have been using this for the blog on my personal website, that I post to occasionally, and the great thing about it, is you can compose your posts off-line. The down-side is that unless you have an FTP site for your images, photos etc. it will not upload images to blogger. However, after publishing, you can always access the post on blogger and add images from there.
You might want to check it out.
This is my first post using it, so I'm still experimenting. I'm sure I will also use blogger to compose, but until they get the Auto-Save in gear, think I will continue to use this.
I worked on a Post last night, that I planned on publishing today, when I went to publish it I found a blank page! Zippo. The only thing left was the Title. I even manually saved the sucker.
Very annoying, but be careful about saving drafts until they become aware of the problem, otherwise you will waste precious hours.
I am going to assume that if this gets published, the problem is with saving to draft.
I just tried a test post, and the Autosave got stuck, so it only saved up until it got stuck.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Apparently, Jade Sanders (27) and Lamont Thomas (31) fed their newborn son mostly soy milk and organic apple juice, in addition to the breast feeding and soy formula he was given, which the mother later acknowledged during the trial. The couple seemed totally unaware that their son was malnourished, and had no idea he was on the verge of death until they took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, weighing in at a paltry 3 1/2 pounds. But the parents, who birthed Crown at home, because they feared germs in hospitals, claim he was a tiny baby, born prematurely. Their defense attorney (per The Atlanta Journal Constitution) "said he believes they unintentionally starved their child by feeding him apple juice that may have acted as a diuretic and blocked the absorption of nutrients from the soy milk, soy formula and breast milk." And so do I!
Before you rush to judgement regarding this case, as so many in the blogosphere have done, let me explain why I don't believe they deserved such a harsh sentence.
The jury found the couple guilty of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. I can understand involuntary manslaughter, but malice murder? "Malice murder", as defined by the Georgia State Penal Code, (O.C.G.A. 16-5-1) occurs when an individual unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another person. Malice aforethought is defined as an intention to kill another human being. Therefore, in order to be convicted of malice murder, the state must prove that the defendant had the specific intent to kill the victim. This intent may be found in the defendant’s actions toward the victim (i.e., threats, etc.), in his use of a deadly weapon, or in the defendant’s acts which exhibit a reckless disregard for human life.
If they had truly intended to 'murder' their child, in cold blood, would there not have been other tell-tale signs of abuse? Yes, the child was skinny, but every Vegan I know looks malnourished, so the parents probably thought nothing of it. Ignorance yes, murder, no. And Apple juice is a diuretic? How many of you knew that? I certainly didn't, and I am extremely health conscious. Both grandmothers remember a laughing, smiling grandchild who didn't cry any more than any other baby. And if we are going to hold ignorant parents liable, what about parents with an obese child who feed him/her junk food? That kid is going to eventually have serious health problems, that may or may not contribute to an early death. Should they too be convicted of murder?
A life sentence for 'ignorance' is a gross injustice. And for bloggers to condemn without knowing the absolute truth about these people, is truly hateful. Many people erroneously jump to conclusions about Vegetarians. One blog I came across implied that Vegans were greenies or idle rich. Vegetarianism (in all its various manifestations, including Veganism) is not exclusively the purview of the idle rich. People of all ethnicities, ages, political affiliations etc. embrace vegetarianism for a plethora of reasons, running the gamut from health to spiritual and everything in between. Did Jade and Lamont feed their baby soy milk and apple juice with the express desire of killing Crown Shakur? I think not. We probably will never know why they chose to be Vegans, or to not visit doctors, but those are personal choices, which people often keep hidden, for fear of ridicule. I have no faith in western medicine and for 20 plus years never saw a doctor, until some health issues forced me to, but I still look to alternative medicine for healing. And whether it was right or wrong (and that's debatable) for them to have subjected their child to their dietary limitations, they did not deserve a life sentence.
This case brings to mind a similar one, a few years back. Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn (a raw- foodist Miami couple) who were acquitted of aggravated manslaughter in the death of their 6 month old girl, Woyah. They were, however, convicted of 4 counts of child neglect, for feeding their other children a raw foods diet. Woyah had been diagnosed, at birth, with DiGeorge Syndrome (a rare disease with an 86% infant mortality rate), so the child would probably have died anyway, and no-one can ascertain, one way or another, whether her death was a direct result of her disease or being fed raw foods. The Andressohns were jailed for 99 days, while awaiting sentencing, but a judge, in December 2003, sentenced them to 15 years probation and ordered the parents to keep the children on a nutritionist's approved diet and to immunize them. Formerly home-schooled, they are now being forced to go to public school. There was never any question about the amount of food the children were being fed, they weren't starved, it was just the fact they were being fed raw-foods that the courts took issue with. They felt the children weren't large enough, and although they were first considered malnourished, that notion was quickly disproved and eventually dismissed.
I know many people who have raised their children as Vegans and Vegetarians, and they are healthy and strong. Many illnesses are diet related and though I don't follow a Vegan or Raw Food diet (I'm primarily a Vegetarian), it has been proven to help alleviate many diseases. In fact the AMA, in 2002, published an article claiming that "Adolescents who eat a vegetarian diet are more likely to meet the Healthy People 2010 objectives by, on average, consuming less total fat and saturated fat, and eat more servings of fruits and vegetables than their nonvegetarian counterparts." The AMA journal has also stated that 90 plus % of heart disease can be prevented with a Vegetarian diet. So, naturally, there are parents who feel that a meatless diet is in the best interest of their child. Can you fault them? And we've discussed this issue before, but I still believe parenting classes for parents-to-be should be mandatory, including classes on nutrition. Many first-time-parents have no clue, whatsoever, what to expect. They need to know whether a newborn is thriving or not. How do you know that if you aren't taught?
I think what troubles me most, about the life sentence (besides the whole government dictating how we raise our children and what we feed them issue), is this couple received a far harsher punishment than people who have inadvertently (or not) left their children to die in cars, in 90 plus degrees heat; or pedophiles who have scarred for life the children they have abused, or individuals who have beaten and tortured 3 year olds to death. The average jail sentence for someone who actually punches or stabs a child to death is 11 years! Pedophiles have been released on probation! Compare that with a life sentence for a couple who thought they were doing what was best for their child, and tell me if that is justice!
In an interview, translated by PMW, Al-Sha'arawi said:
"What is being asked, so that the Americans and Zionists will be satisfied with you, is to follow their lead … We [on this program] have a message, and we understood from the beginning that it is a difficult path... But we were sure that we had to go this way, because this [young] generation needs someone to direct it …and this generation is the most worthy of the position of leadership…Let’s ask history: …which time period was good to all communities? The Jews lived in the time of Islam [under Islamic rule] and were happy. The Christians lived in the time of Islam [under Islamic rule] and were happy. Look at the history, the prophet [Muhammad] … ordered the army: ‘Do not kill a monk in his prayer room.’ Even the Caliph Umar Bin Al-Khattab, [Islamic conqueror of Jerusalem in 638] when he came into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he secured the churches and the prayer rooms. Therefore, when we talk [on the program] about the mission of the restoration of Islam to its natural place [of world rule], we [are] calling for justice, and for goodness, and for world love… so that the Christians will live in peace, and that even the Jews will live in peace and security.”"Justice, and goodness and world love?" Excuse me while I laugh.
Justice? Yeah, right. Sharia law is an incredibly just system. And goodness and love? Oh yes, they're a very loving people. They teach their children to hate Jews and Christians and other non-Muslims. They strap bombs on themselves and their offspring. And they can't even live peaceably with their fellow Palestinians. Fighting between Fatah and Hamas continues on a daily basis. Yes, very loving.
I'm not sure what they consider 'love', but it's definitely not killing people, or wanting to dominate all world religions.
Hat/Tip Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)
"I think it's in the interests of everybody. There's every reason to try and assimilate - and I unapologetically use that word 'assimilate' - a section of the community, a tiny minority of whose members have caused concern. After all, once somebody's become a citizen of this country the best thing we can do is to absorb them in the mainstream."Denying that he was advocating assimilation of people's religious beliefs he added that:
"The reason that religion is used as a descriptor is it's a small category of radical Muslims that have adopted attitudes that we think are bad for the country and the most sensible thing to do is try and change those attitudes."This is what I love about John Howard and the Aussies. They have no compunction, whatsoever, about asking immigrants to commit to making the necessary changes needed to become fully integrated members of Aussie society. It's not much to ask, and every country has the right to expect their citizens to adapt to the rules and regulations of that country, not the other way around.
They're not asking the Muslims to give up their religion, they're just asking them to embrace their new homeland and all that entails. Radicalization has the opportunity to grow and flourish in communities that separate themselves from society, because those individuals have no loyalty outside of those 'communities'.
The Australians are very wise and brave to insist that those who wish to live there need to make the effort to assimilate. Hopefully other countries will follow suit. Then, and only then, will there be hope of stopping the spread of radical Islam.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
So, I don't know about you, but every time I'm faced with the question: "paper or plastic?" (in those supermarkets that actually offer the choice) I panic, momentarily, trying to remember which is supposed to be the more 'eco-friendly' choice. I usually settle for plastic, because I seem to remember that plastic is the 'greener choice', but apparently I'm wrong.
So, paper or plastic, which is it? Actually, it depends on where you live! According to Allen Hershkowitz, of the Natural Resources Defense Council:
Plastic bags threaten wildlife along the coasts, so if that's where you call home, Hershkowitz says the choice should be paper. In the heartland, he says it's plastic.There are pros and cons to both:
--Paper bags generate 70 percent more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bagsAs for plastic:
--It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag.
--Paper takes up a lot more landfill space: 2,000 plastic bags weigh 30 pounds, 2,000 paper bags weigh 280 pounds.
--Plastics do NOT biodegrade. Rather, they photodegrade, a process in which sunlight breaks down plastic into smaller and smaller pieces.So what's the solution? Canvas or cloth bags are the greenest option, but choose according to where you live, and try to re-use and recycle whichever one you do choose.
--It can take up to 1,000 years for a high-density polyethylene plastic bag to break down in the environment.
--Plastic bags are on the top 10 list of most common trash items along the American coastline (both on land and in the water).
Monday, May 14, 2007
Remember when Cindy 'anti-war activist, Chavez-is-my-best-bud' Sheehan, considered running for U.S. Senate against Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, last year?
Well, guess what, she's considering running for office, once again, but the U.S. Congress, this time! She told Atlanta Progressive News that
“I’m on the National Board for the Progressive Democrats of America and they’re really trying to talk me into running for a Congressional Seat in 2008. It’s almost getting to the time to make my mind up by now. I do have the name recognition. I still can’t make my mind up on whether it would hurt the movement.”
And yes, Sheehan is still pushing for impeachment of Bush and Cheney. Sigh. At a post Mother's Day Peace rally, scheduled to start in front of Lafayette Park and end with a March to Congress, today, she mentioned that,
“One demand on Monday will be for people to co-sponsor H Res 333 [US Rep. Kucinich’s (D-OH) bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney]. They have to know they have popular support from the grassroots. We also need an effective campaign to target [US House Speaker] Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to put impeachment back on the table where it belongs. The grassroots is coming alive and I think it’s very exciting. I wish our politicians would come alive.”
Can you imagine Kucinich as Prez and Sheehan in Congress. God help us all!
Isn't her 15 minutes of fame up by now?
I've learned from this whole experience, that things aren't always what they appear to be, on the surface. Information spreads across the blogosphere with such lightning fast rapidity, that much is often lost in the translation. Literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, with the obvious 'language barrier' problem, relevant information doesn't always get processed accurately, so we sweep to action or judgement without knowing the full story. Though, in this case, action was warranted, regardless of the truth of the situation.
It turns out that Mikko Ellilä was not summoned to the authorities for his criticism of Islamism (which we all had assumed was the case) but rather for an article (kindly translated into English by Aapo Puhakka), entitled "Society consists of People" . I find the content quite racist, in spite of Mikko's attempts at defending his discourse in an email to Gates of Vienna:
"In Nazi Germany, the first thing that Hitler did when he was given dictatorial powers in March 1933 was to ban all newspapers critical towards Nazism. [Mikko] Puumalainen [the Finnish Ombudsman for Minorities] wants to do the exact same thing. He explicitly says that my blog should not be allowed to exist because I am saying that African immigrants commit more crimes than the Finns do. This is a fact that I have demonstrated by quoting crime statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, but in the opinion of Mikko “Big Brother” Puumalainen, even facts can be “hate speech”."
And although I disagree, wholeheartedly, with his treatise, I want to make it perfectly clear, that in no way should it be considered a hate crime. There is no incitement to violence, nor is he telling people to discriminate against blacks or other ethnic minorities and, therefore, I defend his right to publish it. It's a slippery slope from considering this a crime of "Ethnic Agitation" to similarly considering any criticism of Islam the same thing.
What I find contemptible, is the free 'get out of jail' card the Islamists always receive for their 'hate speech' activity, which is plentiful and frequent. Muslims do it all the time, calling Christians and Jews "Apes and Pigs", and they DO happen to incite violence against non-Muslims. Imams from London to New York are constantly promoting hatred towards infidels and encouraging Islamic jihad, and are they ever prosecuted for hate speech crimes? No. They're allowed to stand there with placards calling for all westerners to be beheaded for insulting Islam, and then allowed to walk away, to protest another day and plan some other 9/11, 7/7 or 3/11. Then you have the Saudi published textbooks that are used in Muslim schools, here in the U.S., teaching kids not to befriend Christians and Jews, because they are enemies of Islam, and "many of the textbooks...... contain passages promoting hatred of non-Muslims. For example, the eleventh-grade text says one sign of the Day of Judgment will be when Muslims fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees that say: "Oh Muslim, oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him." And according to one report : "some Saudi government-funded textbooks used in North American Islamic schools have been found to encourage incitement to violence again non-Muslims." And is there anything being done to stop this? Not that I know of.
The point is, as long as one is not inciting people to violence, or to kill others, or to take over the world, people should be allowed to say whatever they please, regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees, approves or disapproves of what is being said. That should be left to the realm of an individual's conscience.
Freedom of Speech is a gift and a right. Let's keep it that way.
As a side note: If you tell people you hate, say Barry Manilow, then it's just an 'opinion'. If you tell people to go out and kill him, then that's 'hate speech'.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I had a good laugh at this very short video. Nice to see there are those in Iran who are not giving in!!
"A friend in Iran sent me the follow videoclip showing a maverick Iranian girl fighting back against the attempt of a black ninja (Islamist Bassiji and Hezbollah militiawomen) to arrest her over her "non-respect of Islamic dress code".
So, whether you've already celebrated, are celebrating it today, or will celebrate it sometime in the future, I send you my love and good wishes for a Happy Mum's Day!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
She, too, has written about Farfour 'the mouse' and "Tomorrow's Pioneers"- from the Palestinian perspective, of course, which is (surprise, surprise) the polar opposite of how the majority of the world has responded to his message of domination and hate.
"I find it kind of ridicules, if anyone in the media got carried away over the recent Mickey Mouse look-like named "Farfour," that was portrayed on Palestinian television. It is kind of like making a mountain out of a mole hill, the way the global media ran with it as a big deal, when they should be looking at the growing pornography, vulgar language, racism, propaganda and out right slander being more portrayed in every facet of their media."
Making a mountain out of mole hill? Really, Madame Peace4Palestine? Getting carried away? I didn't see massive demonstrations calling for "death to Muslims". No mosques burned down. No people killed. There was a flurry of criticism and outrage, yes, and rightfully so, but nothing more. I don't think there were even calls for its removal. And the media was "looking at" the inherent racism and Islamic propaganda in "Tomorrow's Pioneers". And there's plenty of both!
Yes, let's not forget the violence and chaos that erupted after the publication of the Danish cartoons. The burning down of churches; nuns killed in retaliation; the call to boycott all things Danish; the demonstrations calling for death to those who insult Islam. Yes, let's not forget!
"Myself and I am sure I am not alone, thought the instance of Mickey Mouse being portrayed as a Militant was more of a joke and nothing less; then to have a good laugh and let it go it’s way like most things of this caliber."A joke?? Well, it's a recklessly stupid joke to be sharing with impressionable children. This programme was for kids, not adults. In my humble opinion, your sense of humour stinks. And it hasn't gone away, because it's back on the air, poisoning the minds of Palestinian children, once again.
"If anyone truly wishes to make a big deal about a small thing, they really need to get out and experience what the world is really about or better yet go have a good cup a coffee towards seeing life for it’s beauty and not always it’s grim view."I tell you what, Housewife4Palestine, if you stop making a federal case about things like cartoons that lampoon Muhammad, or forcing people (out of fear) to change the "3 Little Pigs" to the "3 Little Puppies", then I won't make a big deal out of Farfour telling kids to aspire to Islamic world domination. How about that? I am also going to recommend that you take your own advice and look to life for its beauty, through eyes of love not hate.
I find it fascinating how so in denial these people are.
Granted, we have had our fair share of patriot entertainers, but nice to see it happening across the seas.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I figure if they are willing to humanize their doggies by buying clothing for them, they aren't going to end up in their chow mein, some day, so they MUST love them as much as we do.
I figured as much.
(AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- A Hamas-run television channel has defied a Palestinian government request to axe a controversial children's cartoon in which a Mickey Mouse look-alike urges resistance against Israel.
Looks like Farfur 'the fake' is back in business, ready to preach his message of hate (in that squeaky little voice of his) to the kiddies of Palestine. An official at Al-Aqsa TV has said the station will air "Tomorrow's [terrorist] Pioneers" at 4.00 pm, claiming that "Mustafa Barghouti [information minister] misunderstood the issue." Hmm. What issue might that be? That it's okay, after all, to incite violence, and glorify and encourage Islamic world domination, because heck, we're a terrorist organization and we can do whatever we darn well please? And if you don't like it, we'll just blow you up, like we do anyone who happens to disagree with our terrorist agenda?
And the international media is whitewashing the whole issue, according to LGF. You Tube also removed the video, for a while. When I tried to access it earlier this afternoon, a message stated the video had been removed due to terms of usage violation. Same thing happened to LGF. It looks like it's back on, although who knows for how long. It's still accessible at Palestinian Media Watch.
It did seem too good to be true. We're not dealing with reasonable people, after all. I just wonder what's up with the Disney folk! They running scared, as well?
"France will not abandon the women who are condemned to the burqa; France will not abandon the women who do not have liberty. France will be by the side of the oppressed of the world. This is the message of France; this is the identity of France; this is the history of France....My dear compatriots, together we will write a new page of our history. This page of our history, my dear compatriots, I am sure that it will be grand, that it will be beautiful. And from the bottom of the heart, I want to say to you, with the most total sincerity which is mine at the time when I speak to you: Long live the Republic and long live France."
Hopefully a new dawn has arrived. God bless Sarkozy, France and the French people.
He was also interviewed by Radar magazine, recently, after a visit to wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Some very interesting comments!
Do you think it's possible to win the Iraq War?
Here's what I think: this is a real war, extended beyond the borders of Iraq.
As in the more general war on terror?
The war on terror is real. People would have you believe it's not real. This is not Vietnam. This particular situation is not the same wherein we can walk away and just leave destruction behind us. No, we can't. Anyone who has paid attention to what [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad is saying, what all the mullahs are saying in this country and in England, and in all of the Arab world, this is serious—they're calling for the destruction of America and all democracy and that's what's going on. We could lose this war.
Was the Iraq war part of the war on terror before we got there?
I'm interested in talking about this, but it's been so politicized, it's very disturbing, very dangerous. My view of it is this: they say our president lied to us. Well, he didn't lie to us, everybody else had the information he had, and they voted for that tactic.
Even if you disapprove of the war, it seems pretty clear that simply pulling the troops out might not be the best option.
More than that, the war does not end. When we look around and see the evidence of what is being done and the preparations that are being made to disrupt our country and to destroy it. This growing cancer of fanaticism, it's like 1938—it's very, very
To the Third Reich?
Whatever you call it, the things that are being said are very similar. It's a matter of whether we recognize that or go into a cocoon and make our own little drama. Do you know what I'm saying? We're debating things instead of recognizing that the real fundamental aspect is that we're at war with a very vicious, very clever enemy.
Bravo Jon, for speaking out!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
To be honest I could care less. Frankly, a slip of the tongue (which Obama claims it was) is a slip of the tongue. But what I take issue with is the double standards applied to Republicans and Democrats.
Democrats are forgiven for that kind of mistake (oh, he was just tired) and Republicans are not (oh he's just stupid).
Liberal hypocrisy at its finest, folks.
In other words, they can continue to preach hatred and world domination, as long as it's not coming out of Mickey's Mouth. Not sure what he means by 'breaking the law'. Do they even have any, when it comes to vilifying the Israelis? No doubt it refers to criticism of Islam.
the use of the cartoon character in such a role represented a "mistaken approach" to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. In the statement, Barghouti said his ministry "would continue to ensure freedom of expression and freedom of the press, but that media outlets breaking the law would be penalized."
Barghouti complained that the Mickey Mouse story continued to receive attention by "some American television stations" after it was resolved, and that media did not broadcast video of Israeli human rights violations supplied by his ministry in recent weeks.I'd like to think that world outrage influenced their decision, but I have a feeling that Disney legal bigwigs might have made a call or two about trademark infringement. And I sincerely doubt it was a sudden attack of conscience. That doesn't seem to exist in those parts.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Unfortunately, the play is a world premiere so it's not like I could find it at Borders or Samuel French (a Drama Book Shop), so the director/artistic director of the theatre promised to FedEx or messenger a script over last week. Well, it never arrived. I don't know if he assumed (yup that nasty word) that just because I had said I would attend the read-through, it implied I was accepting the job, but I went in cold today and, well... let's put it this way, had I read the script last week I probably would have declined. Graciously, of course. But it's too late now to say no, because word gets around about actors who drop out so close to the beginning of rehearsals, which start in a few weeks, so it's going to be quite a ride, in more ways than one.
The cast is great, though a great cast does not a great production make. I've seen amazing actors in plays that made me want to slit my wrists. So I worry. The subject matter is crude in sections, but my part is workable. Thankfully we are work-shopping the play and they are open to suggestions and cuts, so anything I don't like is going to go bye-bye. Too bad I'm so well known in these parts, otherwise I'd consider an alias.
Apart from the script being somewhat questionable, we were sitting around chatting before we started, and suddenly it turned to politics and what actors love best: the inevitable Republican bash-fest. I think they covered everyone and their mother, including the Queen 'mother' gaffe. Personally, I thought it was funny. They were absolutely horrified.
So, there I was listening to them rail against all things Republican, suffering through a load of rubbish until the talk turned to Sarkozy and that was it. The Director is very sweet, but an old lefty, who laughingly and rather proudly told us he considers himself "left" of Lenin so, needless to say, he started on how unhappy he was that Sarkozy had won. Then, suddenly, everyone joined in, blabbing about how terrible it was and how scared they were for France, bla bla bla. After several minutes and unable to bear it any longer, I finally jumped in. As I have mentioned before, I choose my battles carefully, and this one was worth the effort. Surprisingly, they listened and backed off immediately. They actually agreed, for the most part.
I think what I hate most, is the blanket statements liberals make about conservatives, both American and foreign. Without thinking, they rush to judgement without giving someone a chance to prove themselves. Because Sarkozy is a conservative and is pro-U.S., they immediately jumped to the conclusion that he would become Bush's push-over. I reminded them that Bush was out in 2008, and that Sarkozy has emphatically stated he will not be anybody's poodle. A fact they had conveniently forgotten. I remember having a similar conversation about Schwarzenegger (when he first won the California governorship) with a group of actors and designers, whilst doing a show out of town. I told them they needed to give the man a chance. That he was an amazing business man, because it certainly wasn't his acting abilities that garnered him such success, and that he would probably use that business acumen to straighten out the problems California was having at the time. And he's done a far better job than his predecessor. Plus he won re-election so he must be doing something right. Though I know most here wouldn't consider him a true conservative.
So, this is what I have to look forward to, for 8 weeks. Wish me luck!!