January 2009 Archives

Eve's version of the story... 

After three weeks in the Garden of Eden, God came to visit Eve. 'So, how is everything going?' inquired God. 

'It is all so beautiful, God,' she replied. 'The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking, the smells, the sights, everything is wonderful, but I have just one problem.' 

'It's these breasts you have given me. The middle one pushes the other two out and I am constantly knocking them with my arms, catching them on branches and snagging them on bushes. They're a real pain,' reported Eve. 

And Eve went on to tell God that since many other parts of her body came in pairs; her limbs, eyes, ears, etc...she felt that having only two breasts might leave her body more "symmetrically balanced." 

'That's a fair point,' replied God, 'But it was my first shot at this, you know. I gave the animals six breasts, so I figured that you needed only half of those, but I see that you are right. I will fix it up right away.' 

And God reached down, removed the middle breast and tossed it into the bushes. 

Three weeks passed and God once again visited Eve in the Garden of Eden. 

'Well, Eve, how is my favorite creation?' 

'Just fantastic,' she replied, 'But for one oversight. You see, all the animals are paired off. The ewe has a ram and the cow has her bull. All the animals have a mate except me. I feel so alone.' 

God thought for a moment and said, 'You know, Eve, you are right. How could I have overlooked this? You do need a mate and I will immediately create a man from a part of you. '

'Let's see...where did I put That Useless Boob?'

Now doesn't THAT make more sense than that story about the rib?

Forty Years Ago Today

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The Beatles let it be.

'The Trials of Ted Haggard': Alexandra Pelosi talks about her HBO documentary

Jan 29, 2009, 11:39 AM | by Whitney Pastorek

Categories: Film

TedHaggard_l

Despite the screamingly liberal bona fides that come with being the daughter of the Democratic Speaker of the House, documentarian Alexandra Pelosi has carved out a niche for herself as one of America's best-known chroniclers of the conservative/evangelical half of this country -- in part because she's the kind of liberal who was taught that it's nice to listen to everyone. It was while shooting 2007's Friends of God that she first met Ted Haggard, who was at the time pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, as well as the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals. Sadly, there is no quicker way to get yourself fired from your gig at the pulpit of a megachurch than admitting to doing crystal meth/having sex with a male prostitute, and in 2006, Haggard was exiled -- not just from the New Life Church, but from the entire state of Colorado. Pelosi's latest doc, The Trials of Ted Haggard, premiering tonight at 8 p.m. on HBO, is the story of this very disgraced man's attempts to keep his family together, to find a job, to live without the church he founded in his basement, and ultimately, to find a way back home.

Pelosi was reticent to do much press for the movie --  "I don't really need to talk about Ted to anybody because Ted can talk about Ted and I don't have anything to add to that," she says -- but she did us the favor of calling in anyway. Read on for how the doc came into being, her thoughts on the problems that exist on both sides of the gays vs. evangelicals divide (at least w/r/t Haggard), and why she is now, as she puts it "prescribing the Bible"...

To most of her gay friends, says Pelosi, this documentary counts as "giving sympathy to the devil." But she seems to genuinely like Haggard, and explains, "He didn't give really anti-gay sermons. I'm telling you this because I made a movie about evangelical Christians, and I had to sit through the sermons. The most anti-gay things that I found [Haggard said] were basically jokes. He makes jokes about gays. But he's not Pat Robertson saying, 'The gays caused 9/11.'" When Pelosi found out Haggard was living in Scottsdale, Ariz., after his fall from grace, she gave him a ring when she came to town to visit her sister; lo and behold, he answered the phone. "This guy is down and out," she says. "He has no work, his family is falling apart, he's got nothing. And I called. I think he was just lonely." Pelosi and her husband stopped by for lunch, and ended up staying for nine hours. "And the day he was moving, he had no one there," she says. "The cynical New Yorkers were the only ones there to help him move. I was just filming my husband moving boxes, not because I thought it was going to be a movie someday. Most documentaries shoot like 200 hours. In this case, what you see in the movie is what I filmed. It all happened by accident." And fairly quickly: the footage that makes up the movie was approved by Haggard only about a month ago.

The Trials of Ted Haggard is, according to Pelosi, "really anti-church" -- and seriously, church? you're allowed to kick someone out of a state?? -- but she emphasizes that on the flip side, it actually turned out to be very pro-Bible and very pro-Jesus. "I was there for a lot of times when they'd sit down as a family and read the Bible, and it really seemed to give them some hope," she says. In the end, Pelosi became so enamored with the "greatest hits" of scripture that she went out and got herself a Bible, too. "I had to," she laughs. "Ted would be reading these passages... it was like hearing a song on the radio. Like, 'That was good!'" Most of all, Pelosi saw the benefit the book had in the life of "the real victim in all of this," Haggard's wife, Gayle. "She's one of those women who says, 'The Bible says you have to forgive, so I forgive.' It's like, 'Honey, your husband has been messing around with other men...' and she'd say, 'Yeah, but the Bible says forgive.' Isn't that inspirational?" Pelosi asks. "Jesus would say everybody deserves forgiveness. Even though you're gay. Even if they gave anti-gay sermons.'"

By the way, it's not just the church who Pelosi views as being unnecessarily harsh towards her unlikely friend. "I hate how the gays want Ted to say, 'I'm gay and I'm out and I'm proud,'" she says. "He's not. He's conflicted. I think there's more than 'I'm gay,' 'I'm straight.' I'm satisfied with him saying, 'I'm confused, I have a wife and five kids but I struggle with my sexuality, I have these attractions, these urges.' I feel like that's sort of honest. And his wife and his kids are the only things he has left."

[She's a lightning talker, this lady, and there's really no sense interrupting. Take us to the comments, Alexandra! Let's hope everyone stays respectful in them!]

"Gay. What is gay? Ted Haggard doesn't think he's gay, because he doesn't live in Chelsea, he doesn't have a timeshare on Fire Island, and he doesn't dance in his Speedo in the Gay Pride parade. To him, that's what 'gay' is. So he's not lying when he says he's not gay. It's an identity thing. When you say, 'Are you gay?' you're not talking about his sex life. You're talking about identity. And the gay of Chelsea is totally different than the gay of Colorado Springs. There is this culture war going on in America between gays and evangelicals. It's not just happening in Colorado, it's happening in California with Prop 8. When Rick Warren was selected to pray at the inauguration, it happened. Gays versus evangelicals. And Ted has fallen right in between. He's fallen in the crack. He wants to be an evangelical. He wants to go back to church. Before he dies, I think all he wants is a call from the church saying, 'Can you please come give a sermon? We'd love to have you.'"

 
Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a Davos forum after a heated debate with Israel's President Shimon Peres and slamming moderator David Ignatius. 

Erdogan walked off in front of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other panel members complaining that his comments on the conflict were cut short by the Washington Post's moderator David Ignatius. 

The Turkish premier noted to reporters following the incident that he was treated unfairly by the moderator who allowed him only 12 minutes to make his points while giving Peres a full 25 minutes to deliver an impassioned defense of Israel's 22-day offensive that devastated Gaza. Arab League chief, Egypt's Amr Moussa rose to shake his hand as the prime minister made his exit. 

"I do not think I will be coming back to Davos after this because you do not let me speak," the prime minister shouted as he left, though he said later he could reconsider. 

Erdogan criticized the audience of international officials and corporate chiefs for applauding Peres' emotional defense of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead. 

Erdogan, who leads one of the few Muslim countries to have diplomatic ties with Israel and who has sought a peacemaker's role in the Middle East conflict, said Israel had carried out "barbaric" actions in Gaza. 

"I find it very sad that people applaud what you have said because many people have been killed," he shouted at Peres before being cut off by Ignatius. 

Erdogan and Peres spoke by telephone after the debate and the 85-year-old Israeli president apologized for the events, Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

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from the wiki

Melody

Many think that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the original composer of this melody, a misconception[4] reinforced by its appearance as a "correct answer" in the original edition of Trivial Pursuit. However, Mozart wrote twelve variations for piano on the melody (Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman"), now catalogued as K. 265/300e in theKöchel-Verzeichnis.


Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,--
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Appearances of the melody

Many songs in various languages have been based on the "Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman" melody. In English, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" shares its melody with the "Alphabet Song" from 1834, and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep".

The German Christmas carol "Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann", with words by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, also uses the melody, as does the Hungarian Christmas carol "Hull a pelyhes fehér hó", and the Dutch "Altijd is Kortjakje ziek".

"Mad as a Hatter"

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Although name 'Mad Hatter' was undoubtedly inspired by the phrase "as mad as a hatter," there is some uncertainty as to the origins of this phrase. As mercury was used in the process of curing felt used in some hats, it was impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat making process. Hatters and mill workers often suffered mercury poisoning as residual mercury vapor caused neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision. It was not unusual then for hatters to appear disturbed or mentally confused, many died early as a result of mercury poisoning. However, the Mad Hatter does not exhibit the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Principal symptoms of mercury poisoning are "excessive timidity, diffidence, increasing shyness, loss of self-confidence, anxiety, and a desire to remain unobserved and unobtrusive."[1]

Touch of Dead, Gratefully

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From Chicago in 1978, we have music from two of the three shows that started a short six show tour of the Midwest (the other three shows being Madison, Milwaukee and Cedar Falls; more on those shows next week...). From the first night in Chicago, on 1/30/78, we have this very nifty Estimated Prophet>Eyes of the World pairing, always played well in 1978.

Finally this week, from the aforementioned at-times excellent tour of (mostly) California in January 1978, we have some great music from 1/15/78 in Fresno, California. From a very good audience tape source, we have the second set's big jam featuring Terrapin Station>Playing In The Band. Unfortunately, the entire January 1978 tour of (mostly) California is not in the vault, but fortunately the tapers were out there recording the shows.
http://gigapan.org

Check out the detail on Obama's face (and the guy behind him who's head is stitched together).

And what's the USHE corps?  Looks like some kind of Navy group.

Barry Kriger

(WWLP) - Major news in the deadly salmonella outbreak involving a south georgia peanut processing plant. 

Georgia agriculture officials dropped a bombshell this morning when they were grilled by state lawmakers at the capitol. 

The FDA revealed that officials with the Peanut Corporation of America in Blakely, Georgia knew they had products contaminated with salmonella and yet shipped them out to consumers anyway. 

On 12 separate occasions during the past two years testing done by the company found salmonella in their peanut products but instead of pulling the products the company had them retested by an outside lab and those tests came back negative. 

"I'm angry about the company hiding these results we do what we can during our food safety inspections out there with the staff that we've got, 60 employees for 16-thousand facilities across the state and then you have a company that actually knows that they have a problem and doesn't make us aware of it," said Oscar Garrison, Georgia Deputy Agriculture Commissioner. 

The FDA has expanded its recall to all peanut products containing peanut paste or peanut oil from the peanut company. 

From The Friendly Atheist

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Stephan Glock sent this this morning (it's from the 'Friendly Atheist'):

You'll love this one.

In honor of Inauguration Day, Krispy Kreme is giving away a free doughnut on Tuesday.

Here's what they say in their press release:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc... is honoring American's sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies -- just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet "free" can be.

Cutesy, opportunistic, whatever. If there's a Krispy Kreme nearby, you know you'll want to take them up on the offer.

A Catholic pro-life group sees things differently.

They think Krispy Kreme is telling you to abort babies.

No, really.

The headline of the American Life League's press release is "KRISPY KREME CELEBRATES OBAMA WITH PRO-ABORTION DOUGHNUTS."

It seems they don't like the use of the word "choice"...:

Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that "choice" is synonymous with abortion access and celebration of 'freedom of choice' is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.

President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.

Celebrating his inauguration with "Freedom of Choice" doughnuts -- only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion -- is not only extremely tacky, it's disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.

Yes. Krispy Kreme was just trying to be subtle about their baby-killing agenda.

At least we now know why their doughnuts taste so delicious...

doughnut_lomo_acid

Maybe I should be worried. I gave my students a multiple-choice exam last week. Clearly, I was telling them to go have several abortions... Now, I'll have to respond to angry parent phone calls...


January 28, 2009 01:20 PM ET | Maura Judkis | Permanent Link 

Quantities of mercury have been found in high fructose corn syrup, the ingredient that has replaced sugar in many of our processed foods. Reports have also come out that the FDA knew about traces of the toxic substance in food, and sat on the information. This news comes out just as we've learned that the peanut butter factory responsible for the salmonella outbreak has a storied history of health violations. What a week for food safety.

Mercury in high fructose corn syrup affects many of the most popular foods in America, including yogurt, soda, candy, juice and jelly. Even a small amount of it can be seriously unhealthy.

"Mercury is toxic in all its forms," said IATP's David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author in both studies. "Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply."

The Corn Refiners Association is disputing the results of the study, but a watchdog group's study turned up similar results. More research is needed to determine exactly which foods are affected, but some of the foods tested were from the brands Hershey's, Quaker, Hunt's, Manwich, Smucker's, Kraft, Nutri-Grain, and Yoplait. We've already read that high fructose corn syrup can contribute to obesity and diabetes. With this recent scare, will people take a turn away from processed foods to more natural eating habits? Or have processed foods become an irreplacable part of the American diet?

Formal Complaint

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Free Press and Public Knowledge file this complaint regarding Comcast's practices of

secretly degrading applications on its broadband network. Comcast, the nation's number two

provider of high-speed Internet access, is blatantly violating the FCC's Internet Policy Statement

by degrading a range of peer-to-peer applications. Comcast has also engaged in deceptive

practices and continues to do so. It falsely denied degrading peer-to-peer applications and now

continues to degrade applications without informing users and while advertising access to the

"Internet." The FCC should immediately enjoin this discrimination and impose forfeitures on

Comcast.


I. Facts


Comcast is secretly degrading peer-to-peer protocols, threatening to undermine the

Internet's open and interconnected character, discourage broadband use, and crippling the

innovation the Internet has made possible.


http://www.publicknowledge.org/issues/comcastcomplaint

by Julian Borger

The head of the UN"s nuclear watchdog has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC in protest at the corporation's decision not to air an emergency appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

In a statement to the Guardian, Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize winner, unleashed a stinging denunciation of the BBC, deepening the damage already caused by the controversy. The statement, from his office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the BBC decision not to air the aid appeal for victims of the conflict "violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people, irrespective of who is right or wrong".

It said the IAEA director had cancelled interviews with BBC World Service television and radio, which had been scheduled to take place at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Saturday.

A BBC spokesman said: "We regret that Mr ElBaradei was not able to participate in an interview with the BBC while he is at Davos.

"Our audience around the world remains interested in what he has to say about a range of topics, and we hope he will accept an invitation at another time."

ElBaradei is due to leave his post as the IAEA director general in November.

He won acclaim for his scepticism over western claims that Saddam Hussein was attempting to develop nuclear weapons and his public opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

ElBaradei and the IAEA were awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2005.

Officials in ElBaradei's office said it was unclear how long his boycott of the BBC would last.

A spokeswoman said she expected him to review his position in light of how the corporation eventually resolved the row.

Both the BBC and Sky decided not to air the appeal by the DEC, an umbrella group of non-governmental humanitarian agencies, for aid for Gaza victims.

The appeal was broadcast by ITV, Channel 4, and Channel Five last night, and was watched by a combined audience of 4.5 million.

A voiceover at the beginning of the broadcast said: "This is not about the rights and wrongs of the conflict - these people simply need your help."

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, said the appeal was not broadcast by the corporation because it would have damaged the impartiality of its coverage of the conflict.

ABQ Rocks

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Posted By:
Tobyriffic


Hosted By:
Tobyriffic



When:
Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 9:30 PM


Where:
Misty's Hideaway
1522 Eubank NE
Albuquerque
View Map

The awesome rock band "The Chupacabras" will be playi​ng at Misty​s Hidea​way 1522 Euban​k NE Albuq​uerqu​e,​​ New Mexic​o - 505-​​271-​​9839.​​ The Show start​s at 930pm​ to 2 am this Saturday Jan 31. Who is comin​g with me to check​ them out?​

I Think She Might Be Real

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Real enough that I should give her a name, at least.  Zolushka.

If she is a scam artist, she's better than the Nigerian one.  She's at least replying to my email (the Nigerian--who said she was in Sacramento, BTW, never did).

But I think she is real, even if my neighbor was absolutely incredulous (she's just stunningly beautiful, and the photos do look professional).  

Золушка

via Andres
 
 
Barack Obama is recognized to be a person of acute intelligence, a legal scholar, careful with his choice of words. He deserves to be taken seriously - both what he says, and what he omits. Particularly significant is his first substantive statement on foreign affairs, on January 22, at the State Department, when introducing George Mitchell to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace.
 
Mitchell is to focus his attention on the Israel-Palestine problem, in the wake of the recent US-Israeli invasion of Gaza. During the murderous assault, Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president - a fact that did not silence him on many other issues. His campaign did, however, repeat his statement that "if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that." He was referring to Israeli children, not the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, about whom he could not speak, because there was only one president.
 
On January 22, however, the one president was Barack Obama, so he could speak freely about these matters - avoiding, however, the attack on Gaza, which had, conveniently, been called off just before the inauguration.
 
Obama's talk emphasized his commitment to a peaceful settlement. He left its contours vague, apart from one specific proposal: "the Arab peace initiative," Obama said, "contains constructive elements that could help advance these efforts.  Now is the time for Arab states to act on the initiative's promise by supporting the Palestinian government under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, taking steps towards normalizing relations with Israel, and by standing up to extremism that threatens us all."
 
Obama is not directly falsifying the Arab League proposal, but the carefully framed deceit is instructive.
 
The Arab League peace proposal does indeed call for normalization of relations with Israel - in the context - repeat, in the context of a two-state settlement in terms of the longstanding international consensus, which the US and Israel have blocked for over 30 years, in international isolation, and still do. The core of the Arab League proposal, as Obama and his Mideast advisers know very well, is its call for a peaceful political settlement in these terms, which are well-known, and recognized to be the only basis for the peaceful settlement to which Obama professes to be committed. The omission of that crucial fact can hardly be accidental, and signals clearly that Obama envisions no departure from US rejectionism. His call for the Arab states to act on a corollary to their proposal, while the US ignores even the existence of its central content, which is the precondition for the corollary, surpasses cynicism.
 
The most significant acts to undermine a peaceful settlement are the daily US-backed actions in the occupied territories, all recognized to be criminal: taking over valuable land and resources and constructing what the leading architect of the plan, Ariel Sharon, called "Bantustans" for Palestinians - an unfair comparison because the Bantustans were far more viable than the fragments left to Palestinians under Sharon's conception, now being realized. But the US and Israel even continue to oppose a political settlement in words, most recently in December 2008, when the US and Israel (and a few Pacific islands) voted against a UN resolution supporting "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" (passed 173 to 5, US-Israel opposed, with evasive pretexts).
 
Obama had not one word to say about the settlement and infrastructure developments in the West Bank, and the complex measures to control Palestinian existence, designed to undermine the prospects for a peaceful two-state settlement.   His silence is a grim refutation of his oratorical flourishes about how "I will sustain an active commitment to seek two states living side by side in peace and security."
 
Also unmentioned is Israel's use of US arms in Gaza, in violation not only of international but also US law. Or Washington's shipment of new arms to Israel right at the peak of the US-Israeli attack, surely not unknown to Obama's Middle East advisers.
 
Obama was firm, however, that smuggling of arms to Gaza must be stopped. He endorses the agreement of Condoleeza Rice and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni that the Egyptian-Gaza border must be closed - a remarkable exercise of imperial arrogance, as the Financial Times observed: "as they stood in Washington congratulating each other, both officials seemed oblivious to the fact that they were making a deal about an illegal trade on someone else's border - Egypt in this case. The next day, an Egyptian official described the memorandum as `fictional'." Egypt's objections were ignored.
 
Returning to Obama's reference to the "constructive" Arab League proposal, as the wording indicates, Obama persists in restricting support to the defeated party in the January 2006 election, the only free election in the Arab world, to which the US and Israel reacted, instantly and overtly, by severely punishing Palestinians for opposing the will of the masters. A minor technicality is that Abbas's term ran out on January 9, and that Fayyad was appointed without confirmation by the Palestinian parliament (many of them kidnapped and in Israeli prisons). Ha'aretz describes Fayyad as "a strange bird in Palestinian politics. On the one hand, he is the Palestinian politician most esteemed by Israel and the West.  However, on the other hand, he has no electoral power whatsoever in Gaza or the West Bank." The report also notes Fayyad's "close relationship with the Israeli establishment," notably his friendship with Sharon's extremist adviser Dov Weiglass.  Though lacking popular support, he is regarded as competent and honest, not the norm in the US-backed political sectors.
 
Obama's insistence that only Abbas and Fayyad exist conforms to the consistent Western contempt for democracy unless it is under control.
 
Obama provided the usual reasons for ignoring the elected government led by Hamas. "To be a genuine party to peace," Obama declared, "the quartet [US, EU, Russia, UN] has made it clear that Hamas must meet clear conditions: recognize Israel's right to exist; renounce violence; and abide by past agreements." Unmentioned, also as usual, is the inconvenient fact that the US and Israel firmly reject all three conditions. In international isolation, they bar a two-state settlement including a Palestinian state; they of course do not renounce violence; and they reject the quartet's central proposal, the "road map." Israel formally accepted it, but with 14 reservations that effectively eliminate its contents (tacitly backed by the US). It is the great merit of Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, to have brought these facts to public attention for the first time - and in the mainstream, the only time.
 
It follows, by elementary reasoning, that neither the US nor Israel is a "genuine party to peace." But that cannot be. It is not even a phrase in the English language.
 
It is perhaps unfair to criticize Obama for this further exercise of cynicism, because it is close to universal, unlike his scrupulous evisceration of the core component of the Arab League proposal, which is his own novel contribution.
 
Also near universal are the standard references to Hamas: a terrorist organization, dedicated to the destruction of Israel (or maybe all Jews). Omitted are the inconvenient facts that the US-Israel are not only dedicated to the destruction of any viable Palestinian state, but are steadily implementing those policies. Or that unlike the two rejectionist states, Hamas has called for a two-state settlement in terms of the international consensus: publicly, repeatedly, explicitly.
 
 Obama began his remarks by saying: "Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel's security. And we will always support Israel's right to defend itself against legitimate threats."
 
There was nothing about the right of Palestinians to defend themselves against far more extreme threats, such as those occurring daily, with US support, in the occupied territories. But that again is the norm.
 
Also normal is the enunciation of the principle that Israel has the right to defend itself. That is correct, but vacuous: so does everyone. But in the context the cliche is worse than vacuous: it is more cynical deceit.
 
The issue is not whether Israel has the right to defend itself, like everyone else, but whether it has the right to do soby force. No one, including Obama, believes that states enjoy a general right to defend themselves by force: it is first necessary to demonstrate that there are no peaceful alternatives that can be tried. In this case, there surely are.
 
A narrow alternative would be for Israel to abide by a cease-fire, for example, the cease-fire proposed by Hamas political leader Khaled Mishal a few days before Israel launched its attack on December 27. Mishal called for restoring the 2005 agreement. That agreement called for an end to violence and uninterrupted opening of the borders, along with an Israeli guarantee that goods and people could move freely between the two parts of occupied Palestine, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The agreement was rejected by the US and Israel a few months later, after the free election of January 2006 turned out "the wrong way." There are many other highly relevant cases.
 
The broader and more significant alternative would be for the US and Israel to abandon their extreme rejectionism, and join the rest of the world - including the Arab states and Hamas - in supporting a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus. It should be noted that in the past 30 years there has been one departure from US-Israeli rejectionism: the negotiations at Taba in January 2001, which appeared to be close to a peaceful resolution when Israel prematurely called them off. It would not, then, be outlandish for Obama to agree to join the world, even within the framework of US policy, if he were interested in doing so.
 
In short, Obama's forceful reiteration of Israel's right to defend itself is another exercise of cynical deceit - though, it must be admitted, not unique to him, but virtually universal.
 
The deceit is particularly striking in this case because the occasion was the appointment of Mitchell as special envoy. Mitchell's primary achievement was his leading role in the peaceful settlement in northern Ireland. It called for an end to IRA terror and British violence. Implicit is the recognition that while Britain had the right to defend itself from terror, it had no right to do so by force, because there was a peaceful alternative: recognition of the legitimate grievances of the Irish Catholic community that were the roots of IRA terror. When Britain adopted that sensible course, the terror ended. The implications for Mitchell's mission with regard to Israel-Palestine are so obvious that they need not be spelled out. And omission of them is, again, a striking indication of the commitment of the Obama administration to traditional US rejectionism and opposition to peace, except on its extremist terms.
 
Obama also praised Jordan for its "constructive role in training Palestinian security forces and nurturing its relations with Israel" - which contrasts strikingly with US-Israeli refusal to deal with the freely elected government of Palestine, while savagely punishing Palestinians for electing it with pretexts which, as noted, do not withstand a moment's scrutiny.   It is true that Jordan joined the US in arming and training Palestinian security forces, so that they could violently suppress any manifestation of support for the miserable victims of US-Israeli assault in Gaza, also arresting supporters of Hamas and the prominent journalist Khaled Amayreh, while organizing their own demonstrations in support of Abbas and Fatah, in which most participants "were civil servants and school children who were instructed by the PA to attend the rally," according to the Jerusalem Post.  Our kind of democracy.
 
Obama made one further substantive comment: "As part of a lasting cease-fire, Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime..." He did not, of course, mention that the US-Israel had rejected much the same agreement after the January 2006 election, and that Israel had never observed similar subsequent agreements on borders.
 
Also missing is any reaction to Israel's announcement that it rejected the cease-fire agreement, so that the prospects for it to be "lasting" are not auspicious. As reported at once in the press, "Israeli Cabinet Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who takes part in security deliberations, told Army Radio on Thursday that Israel wouldn't let border crossings with Gaza reopen without a deal to free [Gilad] Schalit" (AP, Jan 22); 'Israel to keep Gaza crossings closed...An official said the government planned to use the issue to bargain for the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by the Islamist group since 2006 (Financial Times, Jan. 23); "Earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that progress on Corporal Shalit's release would be a precondition to opening up the border crossings that have been mostly closed since Hamas wrested control of Gaza from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in 2007" (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 23); "an Israeli official said there would be tough conditions for any lifting of the blockade, which he linked with the release of Gilad Shalit" (FT, Jan. 23); among many others.
 
Shalit's capture is a prominent issue in the West, another indication of Hamas's criminality. Whatever one thinks about it, it is uncontroversial that capture of a soldier of an attacking army is far less of a crime than kidnapping of civilians, exactly what Israeli forces did the day before the capture of Shalit, invading Gaza city and kidnapping two brothers, then spiriting them across the border where they disappeared into Israel's prison complex. Unlike the much lesser case of Shalit, that crime was virtually unreported and has been forgotten, along with Israel's regular practice for decades of kidnapping civilians in Lebanon and on the high seas and dispatching them to Israeli prisons, often held for many years as hostages. But the capture of Shalit bars a cease-fire.
 
Obama's State Department talk about the Middle East continued with "the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan... the central front in our enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism." A few hours later, US planes attacked a remote village in Afghanistan, intending to kill a Taliban commander. "Village elders, though, told provincial officials there were no Taliban in the area, which they described as a hamlet populated mainly by shepherds. Women and children were among the 22 dead, they said, according to Hamididan Abdul Rahmzai, the head of the provincial council" (LA Times, Jan. 24).
 
Afghan president Karzai's first message to Obama after he was elected in November was a plea to end the bombing of Afghan civilians, reiterated a few hours before Obama was sworn in. This was considered as significant as Karzai's call for a timetable for departure of US and other foreign forces. The rich and powerful have their "responsibilities." Among them, the New York Times reported, is to "provide security" in southern Afghanistan, where "the insurgency is homegrown and self-sustaining." All familiar. From Pravda in the 1980s, for example.

Obama and Medical Marijuana

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Less than two days. That's how long it took ex-President Bush's cronies inside the federal government to strike out at President Obama and use taxpayer money to undermine him.

Last Thursday the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in California, putting the lives of cancer, HIV/AIDS and other patients at risk.

But we can show President Obama that the American people will stand with him in this fight and hold him accountable for his campaign promise to end these raids.

As you may know, President Obama promised to end the Bush administration's cruel and costly raids on medical marijuana patients and caregivers in states where marijuana is legal for medical use. He's in the process of replacing Bush officials who are the source of the problem, but that takes time.

Quite frankly, what the Bush loyalists inside the DEA did in South Lake Tahoe is the equivalent of giving President Obama the finger. 

Now is our chance to urge President Obama to protect at-risk patients. If he doesn't stand up forcefully to Bush's cronies, they will continue to undermine his presidency. And terminally ill patients will suffer.

My letter to Obama

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CNBC's poll today, and Change.org's listing of ideas both put legalization flat on the table as what the American people want. Change.org shows that idea leading the next most popular by a full thirty-three percent. While I agree with DPA that jailing sick people is itself sick, I have to point out that destroying the lives of otherwise healthy individuals (and their families) is ghastly as well. True peace begins at home. We can't wage peace 'out there' if we are still having a civil war here. Please, for God's sake, just STOP this madness. It's just a weed. It's not toxic, and the worst it seems to do is make people fat (munchies), and that, only for the ones who don't need it for that reason. This war has made this country an awful place to live for my whole life. I've watched countless good people's lives destroyed for the sake of some sanctimonious puritans. If you can't turn off the war on pot, then at least let the medical users get their supplies without jailing them. In my case (since I moved to CA and found that I could get it for my arthritis), it's really helping a lot. I'd even volunteer to grow it for other folks if I thought I wasn't going to go to jail for it.

SHOULD MARIJUANA USE BE LEGAL?

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As I noted earlier, while 'change.org' downplayed the MASSIVE first place showing of this issue, 'wearechange.org' doesn't mince words (it's all the same 'war' yano?  the war on US, by US).

From CNBC.com:

Currently, 13 states have laws on the books stating it's not a crime to possess small amounts of marijuana. Internationally, other countries have similar legislation. A number of studies reveal legalization of pot does not necessarily lead to increased usage. 

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/10/neanderthals/hall-text

http://ebbolles.typepad.com/babels_dawn/2006/10/the_human_foxp2.html

Safe Harbor

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_harbor#Broadcasting

Broadcasting

Main article: Watershed (television)
In broadcasting, particularly in the United States of America, the term safe harbor can refer to the hours during which broadcasters may transmit material deemed indecent for children. This "safe harbor", enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, extends -- legally -- from 10PM to 6 AM.

From the actual text of the decision:

The Commission's holding does not prevent willing adults from purchasing Carlin's record, from attending his performances, or, indeed, from reading the transcript reprinted as an appendix to the Court's opinion. On its face, it does not prevent respondent Pacifica Foundation from broadcasting the monologue during late evening hours, when fewer children are likely to be in the audience, nor from broadcasting discussions of the contemporary use of language at any time during the day. 

Where Principles Go to Die

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In America, Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS 

"The evidence is sitting on the table. There is no avoiding the fact that this was torture."

These are the words of Manfred Nowak, the UN official appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to examine cases of torture. Nowak has concluded that President Obama is legally obligated to prosecute former President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. 
If President Obama's bankster economic team finishes off what remains of the US economy, Obama, to deflect the public's attention from his own failures and Americans' growing hardships, might fulfill his responsibility to prosecute Bush and Rumsfeld. But for now the interesting question is why did the US military succumb to illegal orders?

In the December 2008 issue of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn, in his report on an inglorious chapter in the history of the Harvard Law School, provides the answer. Two brothers, Jonathan and David Lubell, both Harvard law students, were politically active against the Korean War. It was the McCarthy era, and the brothers were subpoenaed. They refused to cooperate on the grounds that the subpoena was a violation of the First Amendment.
 
Harvard Law School immediately began pressuring the students to cooperate with Congress. The other students ostracized them. Pressures from the Dean and faculty turned into threats. Although the Lubells graduated magna cum laude, they were kept off the Harvard Law Review. Their scholarships were terminated. A majority of the Harvard Law faculty voted for their expulsion (expulsion required a two-thirds vote).

Why did Harvard Law School betray two honor students who stood up for the US Constitution? Cockburn concludes that the Harvard law faculty sacrificed constitutional principle in order not to jeopardize their own self-advancement by displeasing the government (and no doubt donors).

We see such acts of personal cowardice every day. Recently we had the case of Jewish scholar and Israel critic Norman Finkelstein, whose tenure was blocked by the cowardly president of DePaul University, a man afraid to stand up for his own faculty against the Israel Lobby, which successfully imposed on a Catholic university the principle that no critic of Israel can gain academic tenure.

The same calculation of self-interest causes American journalists to serve as shills for Israeli and US government propaganda and the US Congress to endorse Israeli war crimes that the rest of the world condemns.

When US military officers saw that torture was a policy coming down from the top, they knew that doing the right thing would cost them their careers. They trimmed their sails. One who did not was Major General Antonio Taguba. Instead of covering up the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, General Taguba wrote an honest report that terminated his career.

Despite legislation that protects whistleblowers, it is always the whistleblower, not the wrongdoer, who suffers. When it finally became public that the Bush regime was committing felonies under US law by using the NSA to spy on Americans, the Justice (sic) Department went after the whistleblower. Nothing was done about the felonies.
 
Yet Bush and the Justice (sic) Department continued to assert that "we are a nation of law."

The Bush regime was a lawless regime. This makes it difficult for the Obama regime to be a lawful one. A torture inquiry would lead naturally into a war crimes inquiry. General Taguba said that the Bush regime committed war crimes. President Obama was a war criminal by his third day in office when he ordered illegal cross-border drone attacks on Pakistan that murdered 20 people, including 3 children. The bombing and strafing of homes and villages in Afghanistan by US forces and America's NATO puppets are also war crimes. Obama cannot enforce the law, because he himself has already violated it. 

For decades the US government has taken the position that Israel's territorial expansion is not constrained by any international law. The US government is complicit in Israel's war crimes in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

The entire world knows that Israel is guilty of war crimes and that the US government made the crimes possible by providing the weapons and diplomatic support. What Israel and the US did in Lebanon and Gaza is no different from crimes for which Nazis were tried at Nuremberg. Israel understands this, and the Israeli government is currently preparing its defense, which will be led by Israeli Justice (sic) Minister Daniel Friedman. UN war crimes official Richard Falk has compared Israel's massacre of Gazans to the Nazi starvation and massacre of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Amnesty International and the Red Cross have demanded Israel be held accountable for war crimes. Even eight Israeli human rights groups have called for an investigation into Israel's war crimes.

Obama's order to close Guantanamo Prison means very little. Essentially, Obama's order is a public relations event. The tribunal process had already been shut down by US courts and by military lawyers, who refused to prosecute the fabricated cases. The vast majority of the prisoners were hapless individuals captured by Afghan warlords and sold for money to the stupid Americans as "terrorists." Most of the prisoners, people the Bush regime told us were "the most dangerous people alive," have already been released.

Obama's order said nothing about closing the CIA's secret prisons or halting the illegal practice of rendition in which the CIA kidnaps people and sends them to third world countries, such as Egypt, to be tortured.

Obama would have to take risks that opportunistic politicians never take in order for the US to become a nation of law instead of a nation in which the agendas of special interests override the law.

Truth cannot be spoken in America. It cannot be spoken in universities. It cannot be spoken in the media. It cannot be spoken in courts, which is why defendants and defense attorneys have given up on trials and cop pleas to lesser offenses that never occurred.
 
Truth is never spoken by government. As Jonathan Turley said recently, Washington "is where principles go to die."
 
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com
 

http://afewsmallnips.wordpress.com/porns-bad-mkay/

Gee, I don't really know where to start.  Let's go with quoting a bit for an appetizer:

Porn is not sexuality. Porn is not freedom. Porn is not original. It is the same shit, over and over, it's boring, it's uninventive. It is NOT art, and yes, I feel perfectly qualified to make that statement.

Ok, that's accurate, for the most part. I mean there's some well-done films, a cinematic few, and some that are worth watching simply for historical/entertainment purposes, but overall, it's basically a fast-food sort of product.

But:

I believe that the vast majority of women who work in the sex-industrial complex do it because they have to do it, and would do something else if they felt like they had the option.

This is *absolutely* ABSOLUTELY not true.  There are plenty of women who get off on turning men on, and they do it intentionally, and the few who are both driven in this way and can work in front of a camera well are rewarded by being compensated not just with money, but with the attention they seek.

I know this because I've dated at least two (that I know of), and one that I at least suspect.

I know this because my ballet partner in college was a dancer at a strip bar.

But it is true that most people work because they have to.  I think that's a really good thing, personally, since it keeps them busy. If they decide that on camera sex is more fun than flipping burgers, it's their choice.

So, when she goes off onto:

That is, this industry promotes imprisonment and rape of women and our continued, collective treatment as sub-human beings by our government, by men, and perhaps most unfortunately, by each other. I believe that if you are a vegetarian and support animal rights, or if you refuse to shop at places like Wal-Mart which utilize child labor and make their goods in sweatshops-and you continue to support the porn industry- you commit an act of outright hypocrisy, and you can't give yourself that little moral pat on the back that you want to- well, at least not in my world.

I have to note that this rather sanctimonious stance is based on delusion, at least in part.

I suspect the individuals she is really thinking about are the porn "wanna be's" (you know, the girls who think that it's a 'fast track to riches').  But really, what's the difference between a bunch of girls who don't get rich and are treated like garbage by their employers, and a bunch of guys who don't get rich and are treated like garbage by THEIR employers?

If they are doing something they enjoy doing, what's the problem?

Really, if you want to look at that industry and see the *mistreated* individuals, look at the men.  The women are stars, and all they have to do is show up.  The men make barely anything, have to be able to keep an erection for sometimes HOURS of shooting, and have to be able to have an orgasm not just on camera, but FOR the camera.

Of course, they are also doing it willingly.  Something about being able to say, "What do I do?  Well, I screw porn stars for money.  I did Jenna Jameson for eight hours yesterday."

Anyway, I'm always amazed at people's ability to extend their myopia to others and find others inability to constrict themselves as they do a 'fault'.  

I'm pretty certain that the plethora of homemade porn sites, and I mean homemade, I watched a few of them grow from web-cams to full blown (pardon the pun) porn sites over the years.  In fact, one of my new MySpace 'buds' (a 420 bud) is a late-night porn queen.  She sends me semi-erotic greetings from time to time.  She likes some rather rough play (not my type, but she's still fun).

I don't know whether the other MySpace friend who is of that exhibitionistic bent does porn too, but I suspect she might.

International Journal of Psychophysiology : Human exposure to 60 ...

Chronic exposure of primates to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields: III. ... A double-blind evaluation of 60-Hz field effects on human performance, ...

60Hz Magnetic field effects on in vivo pineal melatonin

Mar 11, 1999 ... (The Yellon paradigm is the exposure of experimental animals to 60Hzmagnetic fields (MF) with a field strength of 1G for 15 min beginning ...

60 Hz electric field upregulates cytosolic Ca2+ level in mouse ...

The 60 Hz field strength was determined by measuring the current density within the cell culture spaceofthefieldexposuredish.Thecurrentdensitywas ...

Physiology & Behavior : Weak 50-Hz electromagnetic fields activate ...

Rats were tested in an open field after previous exposure to a weak, 50-Hz electromagneticfield of the same order of magnitude as the earth's magnetic ...

50-Hz magnetic field exposure influences DNA repair and ...

density of the 50-Hz field was adjusted to 1 mT (root mean square) at the center of the coils by variation of the coils' current. Directly at ...

Effects of a 50 Hz electric field on plasma lipid peroxide level ...

Effects of a 50 Hz electric field on plasma lipid peroxide level and antioxidant activity in rats. Harakawa S, Inoue N, Hori T, Tochio K, Kariya T, ...

Effects Of 50 Hz Magnetic Field On Some Factors Of The Immune ...

The capacity of 50 Hz Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) to interfere in the weakness of endocrine system has been a relevant fact into the scientific community, ...

Effects of 50Hz Electromagnetic Field Exposure on Protein Tyrosine ...

Exposure to 50Hz Electromagnetic Fields: Induced the Phosphorylation and Activity of Stress-activated Protein Kinase in Cultured Cells ...

915 MHz microwaves and 50 Hz magnetic field affect chromatin ...

induced by exposure to 50 Hz and 915 MHz microwaves. In conclusion, 50 Hz magnetic fieldand. 915 MHz microwaves under specified conditions of exposure ...

Bloodthirsty Lesbians

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Posted Today - 1:35pm

As a lesbian and an omnivore, I've always been somewhat baffled/distressed by the disproportionate number of lesbians who are either vegetarian or vegan. Not that I have anything against those diets, because I don't. It would just be nice every once in a while to find a girl that I could go to say, McDonalds with and not risk a lecture about the cruelty of slaughterhouses or the superiority of soy-based meat substitutes. Any thoughts on this phenomenon?

Posted 53 minutes ago

Oh my god I was literally having this conversation on Friday with a good friend of mine...I feel like maybe I didnt get the memo! Or maybe that secton of my how to be a good lesbian handbook was missing.

Posted 51 minutes ago

Living in Portland, I assume there is no correlation. Straight, Lesbian, Gay, I get dirty looks whenever I say "MMMM...I LOVE ME SOME FRIED COW". :D

Posted 50 minutes ago

I know exactly what you mean! I just made the decision to become a vegetarian about a week ago, and one of the major drawbacks was the stigma of being a gay vegetarian. I don't get it! Now that I am a vegetarian, I feel like I tell people one or the other - I never identify myself as a lesbian and a vegetarian at the same time. It's kind of disappointing, really, especially since I have no problem with people who do eat meat. I wonder if it has something to do with some kind of feeling of being targeted - gay women receive very little recognition in society (arguably even less than gay men) and are often made to feel ostracized. Perhaps a lot of people see themselves reflected in animals who can't defend themselves either? That's the only reasoning I have for it. But even so, when I look at who's more militant about vegetarianism, it always seems to be my lesbian friends. I sympathize!

Posted 47 minutes ago

That's an interesting point. I'm a lesbian and an omnivore as well, and I've also noticed this strange trend. My mother, sister, and brother are all three vegetarians (although only one of them is a lesbian), so I don't have a problem with it, but I too can feel the burning, judgmental stares of my dates across the dinner table while I munch my fried chicken and they eat their soy salad with spinach sauce (or something equally healthy sounding). I think it's not an issue with lesbians in particular; I think it's that coming out of the closet is something that's hard to do for people of certain political ideologies and backgrounds. By the sheer law of averages, there HAVE to be as many lesbians per capita born in the mountains of West Virginia as there are born in the Castro in San Francisco. Lesbians are about 10% of the female population, and that's just genetics (sorry, Bible thumpers), but people who have a more wealthy, urban, or liberal background are more likely to come into contact with homosexuality at an early age and they're also more likely to be readily accepted by friends and family if and when they come out, so they can come to terms with themselves, avoid those pesky hetero camps, and put themselves out there to start dating other women, and this demographic happens to also be the one most likely to be vegetarian or vegan. I grew up in the south, and I've bumped into several older lesbians over the years who were married with children before they 'discovered' they were attracted to other women, and I don't recall a single vegetarian amongst them. I suppose this question is much like that of the tootsie pop: The world may never know (484 licks to the center, by the way; I DID actually count).

Posted 44 minutes ago

I've often wondered the same thing. The two actual girlfriends I've had were both vegetarians. One of them actually ended up having bad reactions to dairy and eggs later on. Your guess is as good as mine.

Turnout Estimated at 3.8 Million, With at Least 60 Percent in Favor

By Erin Rosa
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

http://narconews.com/Issue55/article3363.html


Cochabamba, Bolivia; January 25, 2009
: A majority of Bolivians have approved a new constitution giving indigenous groups greater autonomy rights and also a referendum limiting the size of future purchases of land in the Andean nation, according to projected results from late Sunday evening.

The campaign supporting the constitution has declared victory with a total of 60 percent of the vote. Four departments in the central and western region of the country, where support is strong for Bolivian president Evo Morales, approved the new constitutional text, while five remaining departments with a history of opposing the president's policies in the eastern region voted against the measure. Majorities in the La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro and Potosí departments voted yes, while those in Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni, Pando and Chuquisaca voted no.

Voters also approved a ballot question to limit future purchases of land in the country to 5,000 hectares, results show, although most large plots of land that were privately-owned before the passage of the constitution will remain untouched by the national government.

Morales, the country's first indigenous president, voted Sunday morning in the rural Chapare providence located in northern Cochabamba, an area where he lead a union of coca leaf growers before being elected in 2005. It is the third major electoral victory for Morales following a recall vote in August last year where he was given more than two-thirds of the popular vote.

At least 300 observers from a wide array of organizations in Latin America, Europe and the United States monitored voting during the election.
 
An anti-war group has occupied the Glasgow offices of the BBC in protest at the broadcaster's decision not to air a Gaza fundraising appeal. 

The British Stop the War Coalition said it had about 100 people in the foyer of the BBC's Glasgow offices on Sunday, occupying the place for nearly two hours. 

The occupation follows criticism from lawmakers, celebrities and religious leaders. 

They believe the BBC's decision not to air an advertisement from the Disasters Emergency Committee, a group of charities that includes the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Save the Children, was wrong. 

British actress Samantha Morton, who joined several celebrities at a central London fundraiser for the British Aid Agency Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), said she was embarrassed to earn money from a corporation that would take such a "disgusting" decision. 

"I'm so appalled. It's a public service. People have the right to raise money in this way, on the television for people that are in need. It's not a political thing," the 31-year-old Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee said on Sunday. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and another senior church leader have also called on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to air the charity appeal. 

Meanwhile a parliamentary petition signed by more than 50 lawmakers -- which is to be introduced in the House of Commons on Monday -- seemed likely to add more pressure on the broadcaster to run the ad. 

The BBC claims it rejected the advertisement because of concerns that showing it might harm its reputation for "impartiality". 

The corporation also added that it is unsure the money raised would reach those in need in the impoverished Palestinian enclave. 

However, rival channels ITV, Channel 4 and Five have said they will show the DEC charity appeal. Sky said it had yet to decide. 

The BBC, which is funded by an obligatory license fee paid by every British household with a television set, has previously given airtime to the Disasters Emergency Committee. 

Appeals have raised millions of US dollars for people affected by war and natural disasters in Congo, Myanmar and elsewhere.

Gee, I'm flattered.

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She made me one of her favorites.

Kind of looks like the Patti D'Arbanville character, Sherri Nugil, from Real Genius.

I am attractive, smart, and serious

An image of youngandbrightAn image of youngandbrightAn image of youngandbright

youngandbright

24 / f / straight / Single

Mykolayiv, Ukraine (6300 miles)

Last login Yesterday - 12:32am Join Date Dec










Just in case you didn't recall that one, here's some of her exit from the movie.  It's an original script, apparently, since it's got Hollyfield named Hopsfield--heh, and (earlier) has a pretty steamy sex scene with her in it that I don't recall. 



SHERRY

(kissing Hopsfield)

Hi. Isn't it wonderful. I finally found him. Number One. I've been looking for him for ten years.

HOPSFIELD

What can I do? She loves me.

CHRIS

Right. Congratulations.

HOPSFIELD

Thanks. Anyway, we probably won't ever get to see you again, so, bye.

CHRIS

What do you mean? Where are you going?

SHERRY

I've got a little survival place in Wyoming. We're going to live there.

HOPSFIELD

Yeah, it's getting too weird around here. See ya.

They climb into the Winnebago and it pulls away. The others watch it go.


Anyway, I thought she kept better than Val.  Whaddya think?

Patti D'Arbanville

¿Geez, He's Still Alive?

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When the 'Frost/Nixon' movie came out, I assumed he was dead, too, since I've not seen/heard a show of his for years.  Now, I know why:


David Frost

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Frost

David Frost during an interview with Donald Rumsfeld
Born7 April 1939 (age 69)
Kent, England
NationalityBritish
OccupationTelevision presenter
Known forThat Was The Week That Was
Breakfast with Frost , Frost On Sunday,(TV-am)

Sir David Paradine FrostOBE (born 7 April 1939) is an English satirist, writer,journalist and television presenter, best known as a pioneer of political satire on television and for his serious interviews of political figures. As of 2008, he hosts the weekly programme Frost Over The World, on Al Jazeera English.

Contents

 [hide]




January 13, 2009


In January 2006, Hamas won a legislative majority, giving it control of the Palestinian cabinet, while Mahmoud Abbas remained the chief executive, controlling overall security. In June 2007, Hamas challenged Abbas' security forces, overthrowing the Palestinian Authority government (PA) in Gaza, which led to division with the West Bank. Following a year-long blockade of Gaza and ongoing rocket attacks into Israel, Israel and Hamas agreed to an Egyptian-brokered six-month ceasefire in June 2008. By agreeing to the deal, Israel hoped to end the rocket attacks from Gaza, freeze Hamas' military buildup in Gaza and begin a process that could lead to the release of captured Israeli solider Gilad Shalit. Hamas hoped to end Israeli air strikes and incursions into Gaza and ease the closure of the territory. On December 27, following intensified rocket fire after the ceasefire expired, Israel launched an extensive military operation in Gaza.

June
• The ceasefire began on June 19. At the time, PA officials expressed concern that an agreement with Hamas would undermine the PA.


• On June 29, Hamas arrested a spokesman of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade after the group claimed responsibility for launching two rockets into Israel.

July


• On July 2, Israeli authorities said they had closed the Gaza border six times in response to rocket fire since the truce began.


• In late July, Abbas called for renewed talks with Hamas with the help of Egyptian mediation.

• Israeli and UN figures reported between 10 to 20 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza.

August


• In early August, following a bombing in Gaza, 11 people died in a Hamas crackdown on a clan supportive of Fatah. In response, Israel, in consultations with the PA, allowed 88 Fatah supporters to seek asylum in Jericho.


• In late August Egypt held meetings with representatives from Islamic Jihad as part of a series of bilateral meetings with Palestinian factions.


• Between 10 to 30 rockets were fired into Israel in August.

September


• On September 17, Israeli negotiator Ofer Dekel met with Egyptian officials to discuss the release of Shalit in exchange for Hamas prisoners in Israel.


• Between 5 to 10 rockets were fired into Israel in September.


• In meetings with Egyptian officials in September, PLO/Fatah representatives acceptedEgyptian proposals to end inter-Palestinian rifts.

October


• On October 6, Hamas officials said they would not recognize Abbas' presidency after January 8, 2009.


• On October 8, Hamas representatives met with Egyptian officials in preparation for a future joint meeting of various Palestinian factions.


• The Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) reported two rocket and mortar attacks during October.

November


• Egypt announced that reconciliation talks between different factions had been postponed due to Hamas' decision not to take part. A Hamas official cited Fatah's refusal to free Hamas prisoners in the West Bank as the group's reason for not participating. Hamas had also previously taken issue with Cairo's unwillingness to hold talks regarding the opening of the Rafah border crossing. Hamas later cited additional reasons for not joining the talks, leading to the impression it feared being pressured into an agreement.


On November 4, in the course of Israel's first incursion into Gaza since the ceasefire-a mission intended to destroy a tunnel built to capture Israeli soldiers-six gunmen were killed and militants fired 35 rockets. In the following days, Palestinians fired dozens of rockets and mortars at Israel and Israel closed commercial crossings into Gaza, allowing in limited amounts of fuel.


• On November 12, Israel killed four Hamas members that the military said were attempting to put an explosive device near the border fence. Hamas also launched rockets into Israel and the Israeli military carried out two air strikes in Gaza.

December


• On December 14, during the celebration of Hamas' 21st anniversary, Hamas leaders in Gaza left open the possibility of extending the truce while the exiled political leadership in Damascus, Syria said it would end December 19. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israel was willing to continue the ceasefire if Hamas stopped militants from firing rockets into Israel. Major General Amos Gilad, a high-ranking Israeli defense official, traveled to Egypt to discuss the truce.


• By mid-December, Israeli military cited 250 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel since November 4 and Israeli operations had killed at least 10 more Palestinians.


• On December 18, Hamas declared an end to the ceasefire.


• By the end of the ceasefire, the daily average number of trucks allowed into Gaza had increased from 70 to approximately 90. Before the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the closing of the crossings, 500 to 600 truckloads entered Gaza daily. The Israeli government also reported 362 rocket and mortar shells fired at Israel during the ceasefire.

Center for American Progress

Hamas for Kids

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شعر:وائل عبد الغني

ضـحك  الورد وحلا الشهد      يـا أقـصى واقترب الوعد
وعـلا  الصبر ودنى النصر      ومـضى  الليل وبان الفجر
Poetry: Wael Abdel-Ghani
Rose laughed, and a maximum Alchd you approached promise Ola and the patience and lower victory and went on that night and dawn * * * I cub me love my faith in my heart homelands Love is my veins between national living in arterial * * * Fig tree in our village and olive tree Bhkulai Yearns to the ground and the soil of Al Palestine * * * Far Mahtla forget and I saw Bassaanh shaver generation creeping towards victory Rihana published or not * * * Club crowds cry Alemsry Qtza sang life Where the nation where you remove Salah Ktara * * * My blood is filled Jerusalem Love Tvdy money and self - Love grows in Vwadi fill emotional, mental, sensory * * * You maximum Oahdik peace Ruyt Bhabay Alohlama And painted and Sahbi map and made the key Hussama * * * And Rana nice nice follow Imm towards the shores of Haifa Tangier sent greetings rose rough and took Alatifa * * * Mecca the event of Isra and cried a good cry over You called Mecca AMARI of combining ground Basmaii * * * The maximum you first Qubltna Bnasrk still busy In درسي at home, fields regulate poems and chapters * * * Baltehr lives up and move forward, such as the dawn breeze Certainly carried the Koran and nostalgic about Hawwasal Khadr * * * Oqsana you, we will return to the religion of Allah soldiers Nohll victory following sword and kill Jews

Numb-erology

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(from Ai):

Here is a little something someone sent me that is indisputable mathematical logic. It also made me Laugh Out Loud.
This is a strictly mathematical viewpoint...it goes like this: What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life? Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions: If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26. Then: H - A - R - D - W - O - R - K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98% and K - N - O - W - L - E - D - G - E 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96% But , A - T - T - I - T - U - D - E 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100% And, B - U - L - L - S - H - I - T 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103% AND, look how far ass kissing will take you. A - S - S - K - I - S - S - I - N - G 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass Kissing that will put you over the top.

Amy Pointed Out

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On Democracy Now! that the incoming Obama Administration signed an Executive Order formally closing all the foreign 'detention centers'.


Obamasignsweb

Obama Orders Closure of Guantanamo Prison, Interrogations Must Follow Army Field Manual

In a break from the Bush administration, President Barack Obama yesterday ordered the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, the immediate closure of secret overseas CIA prisons and for all agencies, including the CIA to abide by the Army Field Manual's acceptable interrogation tactics. Obama also nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after Sept. 11, 2001. We speak with Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript-partial]

Now, I have to point out that Juan noted that since Bush had already supposedly closed these centers, the fact that Obama closed them *again* meant that Bush had lied about closing them.

But I have to ask, why we might actually believe they are closed now?

I retain my skepticism, however, I must note this bright spot:


US President Barack Obama, in his first full day in office, revoked a controversial executive order signed by President Bush in 2001 that limited release of former presidents' records. Or did he? 

The White House website trumpeted the new Executive Order at 5:04 AM on Thursday. At first everyone thought the new executive order would expand public access to records of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Many hoped it would open up Vice President Cheney's records on the past administration's controversial early meetings with the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG). 


Now, personally, I say, "Screw the Energy Task Force" and get back to Iran-Contra.  If the 'October Surprise' has any valid proof living there in the files, we need to put Bush senior in jail for that first (before the World Court gets him for what he did later).

Wilde War Words

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AUTHOR: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
QUOTATION:  As long as war is regarded as wicked it will always have its fascinations. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

 | Tribune correspondent

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/nsa-whistleblow.html


Just one day after George W. Bush left office, an NSA whistleblower has revealed that the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program targeted U.S. journalists, and vacuumed in all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic.

Russell Tice, a former NSA analyst, spoke on Wednesday to MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. Tice has acknowledged in the past being one of the anonymous sources that spoke with The New York Times for its 2005 story on the government's warrantless wiretapping program.

After that story was published, President Bush said in a statement that only people in the United States who were talking with terrorists overseas would have been targeted for surveillance.

But Tice says, in truth, the spying involved a dragnet of all communications, confirming what critics have long assumed.

"The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications," he said. "Faxes, phone calls and their computer communications. ... They monitored all communications."

Tice said the NSA analyzed metadata to determine which communication would be collected. Offering a hypothetical example, he said if the agency determined that terrorists communicate in brief, two-minute phone calls, the NSA might program its systems to record all such calls, invading the privacy of anyone prone to telephonic succinctness.

Tice was involved in only a small part of the project, that involved trying to "harpoon fish from an airplane."

He said he was told to monitor certain groups in order to eliminate them as suspects for more intense targeting. Those groups, he said, were U.S. journalists and news agencies. But rather than excluding the news organizations from monitoring, he discovered that the NSA was collecting the organizations' communications 24 hours a day year round. 

"It made no sense," he said.

Tice did not identify the reporters or organizations allegedly targeted.
Olbermann asked if this means there's a file somewhere containing every e-mail and phone conversation these reporters ever had with sources, editors and family members.

"If it was involved in this specific avenue of collection, it would be everything, yes." Tice answered.

From Andres

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Michael Heart - Worldwide Gaza Protests
 
 
 
+++++
 
Petition for the Creation of a Special Tribunal to try Israeli War Criminals

THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (EAFORD)

5 route des Morillons, CP 2100.  1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

Telephone: (022) 788.62.33 Fax: (022) 788.62.45  e-mail: info@eaford.org

www.eaford.org

 

PETITION

 

To President and Member States of UN General Assembly

The Creation of a Special Tribunal to try Israeli War Criminals

 

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/EAFORD09/petition.html

SIPPING VODKA

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(via Troll, and she's right, it does go round in Catholic circles a bit)

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak.  After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done.

The monsignor replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous On the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice.  At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink.  He proceeded to talk up a storm.

Upon his return to his office after the mass, he found the following note on the door:

1) Sip the vodka, don't gulp.

2) There are 10 commandments, not 12.

3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.

4) Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

5) Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.

6) We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

7) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior and the spook.

8) David slew Goliath, he did not kick the shit out of him.

9) When David was hit by a rock and was knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.

10) We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T."

11) When Jesus broke the bread at the last supper he said, "Take this and eat it for it is my body," He did not say "Eat me."

12) The Virgin Mary is not called 'Mary with the Cherry.'

13) The recommended grace before a meal is not: Rub-A-Dub-Dub thanks for the grub, Yeah God.

14) Next Sunday there will be a taffy pulling contest at St. Peter's not a peter pulling contest at St. Taffy's.
To:             Lord High Administrator, Malcolm Clinton
                  Ministry of Administration
From:         J. Stonewall Lee, Intelligence Analyst, 3G,
                  Information Ministry
Report:      On the Current State of the Most Recent Five-Year Plan
Security:    Classified (eyes only--no copies)
Shred-by:   Today

Since we have adopted the two-state solution to the problem, we have seen difficulties, and experienced some minor failures, but overall, the two-state solution is a fully functional system, and projections for not only the next year, but the five-year, and final goals are on target.

csa_1.pngAfter the "Great Divorce" of the former United States of America into the God-Fearing "Christian States of America" (CSA) and the baby-killing heathens in the "Unsaved States of Atheism" (USA, or 'Democratic Authority' in their eyes), the populations were roughly equivalent, but God's great plan has shown us that this was never supposed to have been the case.

If it had not been for our Jewish brethren in Israel, the Russian Orthodox, and our good friends, the Chinese, we would have long ago been the victim of that slanderous press from the USA refugees about our 'inhumanity' in dealing with the deviants, perverts, and other sinners.  In the EU, the press is divided, but we are working on that front feverishly.

Thank the Lord that even though some stories about our biological and nuclear weapons programs got out, they didn't get out too soon, or too fast, or too far.  Our covert operatives have become quite adept at identifying and eliminating the 'wrong' kinds of journalists (sinners).  Internally, we call it the 'God Squad'.

They have also been eliminating various USA apologists in Europe and Australia, posing as visiting students on a post-college world tour.  One of our most deadly assassins is actually in 'Girls Gone Wild: Sydney' (the one who silenced Noam Chomsky).

Through this attention to detail in the media, we were always ready to be able to counter the terrorist statements at the outset and make it look as if the refugees always were a USA, rather than a CSA problem.

And thank the Lord, too, that after the initial war with the USA, our friends in those three countries were able to keep the Canadians from dealing in the weapons that would allow the lost souls in the USA to re-mount an offensive and possibly take back what was left of California.   

csa_2.pngThe original California Crossings, north and south (marked in pink on Map #2, were as much a PR as a military campaign.  The most difficult acquisition was Hawaii, which we had strategic need of, but which the native Hawaiians still resent, as they now view the CSA as their second overlord in a row.  Although the world press accepts the need to cut off the weapons flow from the east, most of the governments know we did it for the real estate value alone.

The desert southwest is working out much better as the state of Aztlán, too, since those Spanish-only speakers needed a place of their own, and they do seem far more resilient to the radiation than most other races.  

It's a pity that so many of them are Catholic, since they seem so nice, and one hates to see them burn for eternity, but they are somewhat intransigent on that point.  Many of us in Intelligence, who were in the field, remember them in our own prayers nightly.

Militarily, Aztlán is serving as a secure buffer zone, and the Mexican government is thrilled to have the completely open market and exchange.  They believe the Russian/Chinese environmental assessment of the post-war San Diego area, and have no trouble supplying workers for the docks.


csa_4.pngOther than the residents of Aztlán, the Roman Catholic re-education and assimilation project is working out splendidly, per reports from all field locations.  It seems that English speakers are far more likely to accept re-religiofication than non-English speakers.  Most Romans are reluctant as a group, but the English speaking ones have shown nearly a sixty percent rate of adherence to the true faith.  Offering them jobs in remote locations where there are no longer any priests to say mass seems to be the key to turning them.

Now, other Catholics, notably Russian and Greek Orthodox, are being retrained, too, but that is a classified matter, given the sensitive nature of our support by the Russians, and our hope to extend that to the EU from the south through the Greek Orthodox.

All the homosexuals (that we know of) and almost all of the former 'counter-culture' left on the 'Night of the Long Lines' just after the Great Divorce.  It's amazing what a few dead bodies will do to inspire a mob to move.  While some former counter-culturists adopted a more Christian lifestyle afterwards in order to blend in, the truth-squads have brought most of them to the attention of the authorities, and they've been deported for violating the commandment against bearing false witness.  It's true that the current presidential palace is in actuality the former property of a very high ranking CNN executive who turned out to be a closeted gay man.  The EU press' accusations that we killed him in order to 'steal his house' is incorrect, since it was a completely judicial killing in accordance with the law.

Since homosexuality is again a death penalty offense, as was pointed out above, it simply doesn't exist any more here (that we know of).  God be praised.  

All non-Christian religions have been counseled (though most, if not all, of the remaining Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, etc. that attempted to stay on their former property were deported for treason after failing to swear allegiance to Christ).  During the last few years, we have seen the non-Christian population dwindle down to merely a quarter of the population, and that is mostly Mormons and Catholics of some sort.

Those former CSA residents who claimed to be Christian but still left for the USA are being effectively maligned in most of the world's press, and our 'Black', 'Asian' and 'Latin American' true Christian Churches are (except for Aztlán) showcase examples of how diverse our culture is within the one true faith.  There's no 'voodoo' Christians here, no matter what their color.

We were able to entirely suppress both the reports of the building and the sinking of the Amish' "Arks" through strategic timing of our move to wake the Canadians up to the new order and prevent their collusion with the West Coasters.  The news feed bandwidth didn't have the space to cover the destruction of a few boats along with a major city, and what little information remains on the story of the Amish Ark is fast being erased by our agents in the field.

The USA, though they still insist on the 'Right of Return' for refugees, are a paper tiger, having been effectively neutered by lack of supplies and destruction of their two main weapons manufacturing bases in San Diego and Seattle.

CSA refugees mass near the borderlands of their former homes, in camps set up by the remaining government of the USA for the sinning heathens that couldn't stand the light of God shining on them.  Though the USA government insists that these refugees are due the 'right of return' (and ownership of their former property, now confiscated and consecrated by the CSA).  It would be an affront to God Himself to give this land won in war in His Holy Name against the heathen back to them.

There is little chance the USA will ever be able to effectively enforce their 'demands'.

Our Ministry of State has been providing well crafted responses to these USA phrases such as 'State Sponsored Terrorism', and we indicate that any attempt to take this now 'abandoned' property by force will be considered an act of war.  There's a reason that the original owners won't stay on that land, and they know it.  World public opinion is still on our side on this point at this time.  The world still sides with the righteous over the lost.

Some of the refugees have taken matters into their own hands and are bringing the war back home from time to time, but our casualties have been light, and every incursion has proven an opportunity to force them back further, where they can no longer possibly harm anyone.  The best they've been able to really manage since the war is to strike at our settlements, for the most part.

Our response to their naked aggression has been swift and merciless.  For example, when that makeshift missile was sent over the mountains from Bakersfield at the Aztlán City Dock Complex, our response showed that we meant business.  A crater that can be seen from the Space Station itself is a public relations statement of immense magnitude.  And it gave us a great reason to clear out the entire security zone (for the safety of rail, road, and utility traffic).

Our Special Ops teams have also made incursions into the occupied territories' refugee camps, which have extracted various CSA refugees from the USA zones back to the CSA, where we have gleaned great amounts of information interrogating them, in addition to having the opportunity to witness The Christ to them (that they might be saved upon death), which has occurred on a number of occasions now (this is also classified).

Through our tests of their 'defenses', we have, in addition, tested a great many of our own new offensive weapons, and left no witness alive to describe them.  Our friends in Russia, China and Israel have helped greatly to quash reports of the peculiar nature of the injuries as well.

Since the war of the Great Divorce, our steady eradication of 'the agitators' has both decimated the population, and it has given us plenty of replacement agitators to continue the decimation against.  This is good because as we wipe out the current crop of agitators, things start getting peaceful again until a new set ripens
.
Since they are decreasing in number, it's easy to push the frontier over towards the enclaves from time to time.  It helps when the targets are residents of the border, but only if you kill the whole family.

At this point, due to the completely defensive nature of our response to USA aggression, we have subdivided the former three western states of Washington, Oregon, and California into 14,928 'administrative' units, and taken over what was the Interstate Highway system, and all railroads, in order to prevent the free movement of the infidels' weapons.  While certain of the sinners are allowed transit rights from enclave to enclave, most of them are deemed too dangerous to allow egress into secure areas.

emerald_triangle2a.gifThe breakaway 'Republic' of the Emerald Triangle was effectively dealt with by a simple armored bulldozer sent in to take out their water supplies.  All of the heretic Rastafarians were shot on sight, and the pot-growers who sided with them were hung for treason.  The remaining population is quiescent now.

In addition, we have been able to secure all of the water, oil and gas pipelines, and the electrical transmission grid.  There should be no further threats on those fronts.  Our 'Water of Life' program has been amazingly successful in slaking the thirst of the mid-western states that have exhausted their aquifers, and since there aren't any former residents of the USA in those parts where it comes from anymore, it'll never be missed.

In short, we look pretty good to most of the world, and we are likely to be perceived as the underdog as long as we keep on track.  It helps to have friends in high places, and the Russians and Chinese are doing a good job at the UN, keeping anyone from censuring us.  It's important to keep on point about how this is 'defensive' work, since that sets the tone.

We in Intelligence awarded the medal of The Holy Cross to one of our own, who must remain nameless of course, for planting that story about how the French and Germans were plotting secretly with the Canadians to supply weapons across the border to the former 'Rust Belt' rebels.  That one story gave us both the rationale to start moving individuals away from that occupied area for our own safety, and ultimately the 'big stick' which took out the USA Terrorist cell in Toronto.

It's clear that God has given us dominion over the land.  This is how we are doing on the schedule:

At last census, the original CSA population of 150 million had swelled to almost 300 million, but that still includes a subclass of non-Christians of approximately 75 million population (mostly Catholics and Mormons).

The USA's population, on the other hand, has been reduced to merely the 'West Coast' (which really is just some minor cities and areas of northern forests, as most of the arable land in the west has been confiscated for defensive purposes and resettled).  The West Coast has a population of approximately 100 million people, but this includes nearly 70 million former CSA residents.  There are also nearly 10 million CSA 'settlers' located in various strategic (and attractive) locations on the West Coast, for example, St. Peters' City (the former den of depravity known as 'San Francisco'), which controls the access to the CSA settler's strategic food supply in the Robert E. Lee Valley, and access to the defense industry center of Salt Lake City.  In fact, the only remaining USA residents in the former San Joaquin valley live in the former state's former capital (and the only city in that valley allowed to keep it's former name), Sacramento.

And in the 'Cape Cod Strip' (what was southern New England and the offshore islands), the remaining refugees number nearly eighty million, and they are packed like sardines onto strips of land with little or no food production capacity, no import or export facilities, and prohibitions on using most boats and all planes.  Of the eighty million, a full sixty million of them are former CSA residents and/or former residents of what is now the 'occupied USA'.

Residents of the city formerly known as Boston (New Jackson) living in camps on Long Island banded together to form the 'Sons of Sam' last year to take action against the CSA settlers who've cleansed the land of their filth.  Though Sub-Commandante Zed has yet to be photographed, rumors are that he's at least half Jewish, and bears the 'Mark of Cain' as well (which proves the point we've been making in the press).  This 'New Tea Party' rebellion is surly a short-lived affair, and their affiliated 'John Adams Congress Party', though it controls Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, has little support in either the Cape itself, or in Providence Plantation East.

Zed's forces haven't managed to make much headway, using makeshift weapons, and thus affecting only minor damage to the Statue of Liberty Under God in their assault on New Jerusalem, and the sinking of one ferryboat with all aboard (which earned as our retribution the vaporization of the city of Provincetown).

However, the refugees in the West Coast, being more in number, and having the large expanse of the north to hide in, have managed to lob a number of small (1-1.3 megaton) nuclear devices across the Canadian border over the years, mostly failing due to lack of adequate guidance systems, which they lost in the war.

We have been able to inflate the number of actual hits in the press, but the classified information is that outside of the two major strikes, which we know were not ballistic, but briefcase delivery, the damage to what we suspect was the intended target was incidental.  In other words, if these items are aimed, there's not any apparent correlation with any known military target on our side.

We have kept the destruction of Minneapolis/St. Paul out of the press as much as possible, but Detroit was almost unavoidable, since it delayed CM's release of the 'Bullrusher' model by almost a full year.

However, Atlanta's aforementioned use of a 2 gigaton hydrogen device over Toronto realigned the Canadian government's thinking in this matter effectively, and the attacks across that border have ceased entirely.  We have since made complete reparations to the Canadians by giving them Michigan.

We in Intelligence Analysis consider the loss of these cities a mixed blessing, since they were originally USA territory, and thus the refugees really only attacked their own homes, but we had resettled a great many of the reformed Catholics in St. Paul, so that program was set back a bit.  Still, it gave us a great deal of weight in dealing with the full implementation of the plan internationally, as we'd 'lost' two cities (we still have one to spare).

In short, the sinner problem on the North American continent seems to be all well in hand, and the infidels will not be a problem in the future, as we here at the ministry of Intelligence see it.

We project that within five years, the total space owned by the former USA residents (and former CSA refugees), will be down to merely Long Island in the East from starvation on both the Cape and East Providence due to their extremity from the only valid port of entry in Brooklyn and the privation of supplies.

In the west, we may need to affect a more 'dramatic' solution, as the landscape tends to be more difficult to scour effectively.  The homeopathic antidote in baptismal font water is nearly complete, however, and the plague is nearly 100% fatal without it, with a four month vector of transmission before illness sets in.

We expect to be testing an instant delivery method in the Federal Prison District of Columbia in the next month, disguised as a water facilities malfunction.

From my Brother

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These hilarious exchanges are from a book called 'Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History'. They were recorded verbatim and published by Court Reporters that had the torment of staying calm and remaining professional while these exchanges were actually taking place. ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all? WITNESS: Yes. ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory? WITNESS: I forget. ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot? ___________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam? _________________________ ___________ ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he? WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ. ___________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken? WITNESS: Are you shitting me? _________________________________________ ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th? WITNESS: Yes. ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time? WITNESS: getting laid ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: She had three children, right? WITNESS: Yes. ATTORNEY: How many were boys? WITNESS: None. ATTORNEY: Were there any girls? W ITNESS : Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney? ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated? WITNESS: By death. ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated? WITNESS: Take a guess. ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual? WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard. ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female? WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male. _____________________________________ ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work. ______________________________________ ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people? WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight. _________________________________________ ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to? WITNESS: Oral. _________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body? WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m. ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time? WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished. ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample? WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question? ______________________________________ And the best for last: ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? WITNESS: No. ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor? WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
Three​ Death​ Sente​nces in Chine​se Milk Scand​al 
By DAVID​ BARBO​ZA
Publi​shed:​ Janua​ry 22, 2009

BEIJI​NG -- A group​ of high-​ranki​ng dairy​ compa​ny execu​tives​ and middl​emen were sente​nced by a Chine​se court​ on Thurs​day to long jail terms​,​ life in priso​n and, for three​ indiv​idual​s,​ the death​ penal​ty for endan​gerin​g publi​c safet​y last year by selli​ng and produ​cing taint​ed milk produ​cts,​ accor​ding to the state​-​run news media​.​

The court​ said membe​rs of the group​ had inten​tiona​lly produ​ced and sold fake or subst​andar​d dairy​ produ​cts laced​ with a toxic​ chemi​cal calle​d melam​ine,​ which​ the gover​nment​ says sicke​ned about​ 300,​000 child​ren and cause​d the death​ of at least​ six in one of the worst​ food safet​y scand​als in China​ in decad​es.​

The harsh​est sente​nces were given​ to Zhang​ Yujun​,​ a dairy​ middl​eman who the gover​nment​ calle​d one of the "prin​cipal​ crimi​nals"​ in the scand​al.​ He was sente​nced to death​ after​ being​ convi​cted of selli​ng 600 tons of melam​ine-​taint​ed "prot​ein powde​r" to dairy​ compa​nies.​

Anoth​er dairy​ produ​cer,​ Geng Jinpi​n,​ was also sente​nced to death​.​ A third​ man recei​ved the death​ penal​ty with a two-​year repri​eve,​ which​ means​ he could​ be spare​d execu​tion.​

Tian Wenhu​a,​ the 66-​year-​old forme​r chair​woman​ of the Sanlu​ Group​,​ one of China​'s bigge​st dairy​ compa​nies,​ was sente​nced to life in priso​n for her failu​re to stop produ​cing and selli​ng the taint​ed goods​ even after​ her compa​ny learn​ed that the produ​cts were flawe​d.​ She was the highe​st-​ranki​ng corpo​rate execu​tive broug​ht to trial​ last year.​ She plead​ed guilt​y to the charg​e of faili​ng to act prope​rly in the case.​ She was also fined​ about​ $3 milli​on.​

Three​ other​ forme​r execu​tives​ at Sanlu​,​ once the natio​n's leadi​ng produ​cer of baby formu​la,​ were sente​nced to five to 15 years​ in priso​n for their​ roles​ in the scand​al.​

One of those​ execu​tives​ appea​red at the Inter​media​te Peopl​e's Court​ in Shiji​azhua​ng late last year in a wheel​chair​ after​ what the Chine​se state​-​contr​olled​ media​ said was a faile​d suici​de attem​pt.​

The tough​ sente​nces were the gover​nment​'s lates​t effor​t to deal with a scand​al that erupt​ed last Septe​mber,​ trigg​ering​ a globa​l recal​l of Chine​se-​made dairy​ produ​cts,​ shaki​ng consu​mer confi​dence​ and devas​tatin​g the natio​n's fast-​growi​ng dairy​ indus​try.​

But paren​ts of some victi​ms of the scand​al prote​sted Thurs​day after​noon outsi​de the court​house​ in the north​ern Chine​se city of Shiji​azhua​ng,​ where​ Sanlu​ is headq​uarte​red,​ sayin​g they were dissa​tisfi​ed with the verdi​ct.​

"I feel sorry​ for them,​ but they are just scape​goats​,​" said Liu Dongl​in,​ 28, who says his 21-​month​ old son suffe​red from kidne​y stone​s after​ drink​ing taint​ed milk powde​r.​ "The ones who shoul​d take the respo​nsibi​lity are the gover​nment​,​ like the quali​ty super​visio​n burea​u and the Healt​h Minis​try.​ I spent​ nearl​y $​3,​000 takin​g care of my son and the gover​nment​ only compe​nsate​d me with $​300.​"

Some lawye​rs and victi​ms of the scand​al have accus​ed Beiji​ng of faili​ng to prope​rly regul​ate the natio​n's dairy​ indus​try and some belie​ve the gover​nment​ cover​ed up the scand​al befor​e the Beiji​ng Olymp​ics last Augus​t,​ discl​osing​ the news in Septe​mber.​

Forme​r Sanlu​ offic​ials ackno​wledg​ed in testi​mony last month​ that they knew there​ were compl​aints​ and serio​us probl​ems with their​ dairy​ produ​cts as early​ as May of last year.​

But the gover​nment​ has place​d the blame​ on a group​ of unscr​upulo​us dairy​ compa​ny execu​tives​,​ farme​rs and middl​emen who prose​cutor​s say inten​tiona​lly sold goods​ spike​d with melam​ine to save money​ and incre​ase profi​ts.​ Melam​ine,​ which​ is used to produ​ce plast​ics and ferti​lizer​,​ was often​ added​ as a cheap​ fille​r or repla​cemen​t for prote​in powde​r.​

The dairy​ scand​al has anger​ed many consu​mers here and is so sensi​tive in China​ that the gover​nment​ has tried​ to calm angry​ prote​sters​ and paren​ts.​ On Thurs​day,​ polic​e in Beiji​ng even attem​pted to detai​n or block​ paren​ts from trave​ling to Shiji​azhua​ng to liste​n to the verdi​cts.​ Forei​gn journ​alist​s have also been barre​d from atten​ding some of the court​ sessi​ons.​

A group​ of China​'s bigge​st dairy​ compa​nies agree​d late last year to compe​nsate​ victi​ms of the scand​al,​ but some paren​ts have rejec​ted the settl​ement​ offer​,​ sayin​g it was too littl​e and that their​ child​ren face long-​term healt​h probl​ems.​

Many child​ren suffe​red from kidne​y stone​s and other​ ailme​nts after​ consu​ming formu​la conta​minat​ed with extre​mely high level​s of melam​ine.​

The Sanlu​ Group​,​ which​ was joint​ly owned​ by the Fonte​rra Group​ of New Zeala​nd,​ filed​ for bankr​uptcy​ prote​ction​ late last year.​ But Thurs​day,​ the court​ in Shiji​azhua​ng fined​ the compa​ny $7.3 milli​on for its role in the scand​al.​

Chen Yang contr​ibute​d resea​rch from Shang​hai and Xie Qing from Beiji​ng.​

http:​/​/​www.​ rinf.​ com/​forum​/​showt​hread​.​ php?​t=​7122

Chief Justice John Roberts couldn't quite get the oath of office administered correctly.

It was like listening to the Abbott and Costello skit, Who's on First.

Obama took it again, since it was fudged in the public presentation.

Of course, he's the first Chief Justice in history to administer the oath to a President who'd voted against his confirmation in the Senate.

Obama was actually getting it right, when Roberts sent him off track.  The actual text is:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Roberts left out the word 'faithfully' and then inserted it at the end.

Morning Joke

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On MSNBC this morning, Morning Joke Scarborough ranted about how the crowd at the inauguration booed Bush, and held up signs saying 'Arrest Bush'.

Now, given that we've already admitted torturing our prisoners, we are REQUIRED to arrest Bush, since we are signatories to the Convention Against Torture.

And really, if he's a war criminal, what would Joke want us to do, cheer him?

Mika looked great, as always.  I have to wonder why she puts up with so much from him.


Mika Brzezinski

Mika Brzezinski is a co-host of "Morning Joe" and an MSNBC anchor.  Bio  |  MySpace



From the admission article:

Judge Susan Crawford, who was in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees -- beginning with Australian David Hicks -- to trial, has concluded that the US military tortured a Saudi Arabian who allegedly planned to take part in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

She said Mohammed al-Qahtani was interrogated with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, public nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition".

"We tortured Qahtani," Judge Crawford said in her first interview since her appointment by Defence Secretary Robert Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case (for prosecution)."

Monda​y,​ Janua​ry 19th,​ 2009

Plast​ic was one of the great​ innov​ation​s of the 20th centu​ry,​ but Germa​n scien​tists​ belie​ve a new inven​tion,​ liqui​d wood,​ could​ soon suppl​ant the chemi​cal in terms​ of every​day usefu​lness​.​

Thoug​h it has prove​n to be extre​mely usefu​l in the moder​n world​,​ plast​ic still​ has a numbe​r of negat​ive selli​ng point​s.​ It is non-​biode​grada​ble and can conta​in carci​nogen​s and other​ toxic​ subst​ances​ that can cause​ cance​r.​

It is also based​ on petro​leum,​ a non-​renew​able resou​rce that will soon be harde​r to come by. Incre​ases in the price​ of crude​ oil leads​ to paral​lel rises​ in the price​ of plast​ics.​

But there​ is a new chemi​cal inven​tion that could​ do away with these​ long-​stand​ing conce​rns.​

Norbe​rt Eisen​reich​,​ a senio​r resea​rcher​ and deput​y of direc​tors at the Fraun​hofer​ Insti​tute for Chemi​cal Techn​ology​ (​ICT)​ in Pfinz​tal,​ Germa​ny,​ said his team of scien​tists​ have come up with a subst​ance that could​ repla​ce plast​ic:​ Arbof​orm -- basic​ally,​ liqui​d wood.​

It is deriv​ed from wood pulp-​based​ ligni​n and can be mixed​ with a numbe​r of other​ mater​ials to creat​e a stron​g,​ non-​toxic​ alter​nativ​e to petro​leum-​based​ plast​ics,​ Eisen​reich​ said,​ as repor​ted by DPA news agenc​y.​

Paper​ by-​produ​ct

This begs the quest​ion:​ What exact​ly is liqui​d wood?​

"The cellu​lose indus​try separ​ates wood into its three​ main compo​nents​ -- ligni​n,​ cellu​lose and hemic​ellul​ose,​" ICT team leade​r Emili​a Regin​a Inone​-​Kauff​mann told DPA.

"The ligni​n is not neede​d in paper​makin​g,​ howev​er.​ Our colle​agues​ mix that ligni​n with fine natur​al fiber​s made of wood,​ hemp or flax and natur​al addit​ives such as wax. From this,​ they produ​ce plast​ic granu​late that can be melte​d and injec​tion-​mould​ed.​"

The final​ produ​ct can resem​ble highl​y polis​hed wood or have a more matte​d finis​h and look like the plast​ic used in most house​hold items​.​

Reduc​ed sulph​ur conte​nt

Car parts​ and other​ durab​le items​ made of this bio-​plast​ic alrea​dy exist​,​ but the chemi​cal hadn'​t been suita​ble for house​hold use until​ now, due to the high conte​nt of sulph​urous​ subst​ances​ used in separ​ating​ the ligni​n from the cell fiber​s.​ 

The Germa​n resea​rcher​s were able to reduc​e the sulph​ur conte​nt in Arbor​form by about​ 90 perce​nt,​ makin​g it much safer​ for use in every​day items​.​

Bolst​ering​ Arbof​orm's​ envir​onmen​tal crede​ntial​s,​ Eisen​reich​'s team also disco​vered​ that the subst​ance was highl​y recyc​lable​.​

"To find that out, we produ​ced compo​nents​,​ broke​ them up into small​ piece​s,​ and re-​proce​ssed the broke​n piece​s -- 10 times​ in all. We did not detec​t any chang​e in the mater​ial prope​rties​ of the low-​sulph​ur bio-​plast​ic,​ so that means​ it can be recyc​led,​" said Inone​-​Kauff​mann.​

© 2009 Deuts​che Welle​
http:​/​/​rinf.​ com/​alt-​news/​contr​ibuti​ons/​hemp-​could​-​be-​the-​plast​ic-​of-​tomor​row/​5118/​

http:​/​/​www.​ citru​stree​sonli​ne.​ com/​image​s/​orang​es.​ jpg

MKZDK​ - 9 Novem​ber 1998

A Flori​da Bioch​emist​ desig​ns a citru​s tree with THC.

DATEL​INE-​-​Talla​hasse​e,​ Fla.

In the summe​r of 1984,​ 10th-​grade​r Irwin​ Nanof​sky and a frien​d were drivi​ng down the Apala​chee Parkw​ay on the way home from baseb​all pract​ice when they were pulle​d over by a polic​e offic​er for a minor​ traff​ic infra​ction​.​

After​ Nanof​sky produ​ced his drive​r'​s licen​se the polic​e offic​er asked​ permi​ssion​ to searc​h the vehic​le.​ In less than two minut​es,​ the offic​er found​ a homem​ade pipe under​neath​ the passe​nger'​s seat of the Ford Aeros​tar belon​ging to the teena​ge drive​r'​s paren​ts.​ The miniv​an was seize​d,​ and the two youth​s were taken​ into custo​dy on suspi​cion of drug posse​ssion​.​

Illeg​al posse​ssion​ of drug parap​herna​lia ranks​ secon​d only to open conta​iner viola​tions​ on the crime​ blott​er of this Flori​da colle​ge town.​ And yet the routi​ne arres​t of 16 year-​old Nanof​sky and the seizu​re of his famil​y'​s miniv​an would​ inspi​re one of the most contr​overs​ial drug-​relat​ed scien​tific​ disco​verie​s of the centu​ry.​

Meet Hugo Nanof​sky,​ bioch​emist​,​ Flori​da State​ Unive​rsity​ tenur​ed profe​ssor,​ and the paren​tal autho​rity who poste​d bail for Irwin​ Nanof​sky the night​ of July 8, 1984.​ The elder​ Nanof​sky wasn'​t pleas​ed that his son had been arres​ted for posse​ssion​ of drug parap​herna​lia,​ and he becam​e livid​ when Talla​hasse​e polic​e infor​med him that the Aeros​tar miniv​an would​ be perma​nentl​y reman​ded to polic​e custo​dy.​

Over the cours​e of the next three​ weeks​,​ Nanof​sky penne​d dozen​s of irate​ lette​rs to the local​ polic​e chief​,​ the Talla​hasse​e City Counc​il,​ the State​ Distr​ict Attor​ney and, final​ly,​ even to area newsp​apers​.​ But it was all to no avail​.​

Under​ advis​ement​ of the famil​y lawye​r,​ Irwin​ Nanof​sky pled guilt​y to posse​ssion​ of drug parap​herna​lia in order​ to recei​ve a suspe​nded sente​nce and have his juven​ile court​ recor​d seale​d.​ But in doing​ so, the famil​y miniv​an becam​e "an acces​sory to the crime​.​"​ Accor​ding to Flori​da State​ law, it also becam​e the prope​rty of the Talla​hasse​e Polic​e Depar​tment​ Drug Task Force​.​ In time,​ the adult​ Nanof​sky would​ learn​ that there​ was nothi​ng he could​ do legal​ly to wrest​ the vehic​le from the hands​ of the state​.​

It was in the fall of 1984 that the John Chapm​an Profe​ssor of Bioch​emist​ry at Flori​da State​ Unive​rsity​,​ now drivi​ng to work behin​d the wheel​ of a used Ponti​ac Bonne​ville​,​ first​ set on a pet proje​ct that he hoped​ would​ "​disso​lve irrat​ional​ legis​latio​n with a solid​ dose of reaso​n.​"​ Nanof​sky knew he would​ never​ get his famil​y'​s car back,​ but he had plans​ to make sure that no one else would​ be pulle​d throu​gh the gears​ of what he consi​ders a Kafka​-​esque​ drug enfor​cemen​t burea​ucrac​y.​

"​It'​s quite​ simpl​e,​ reall​y,​"​ Nanof​sky expla​ins,​ "I wante​d to combi​ne Citru​s sines​is with Delta​ 9-​tetra​hydro​canna​binol​.​"​ In layma​n'​s terms​,​ the respe​cted colle​ge profe​ssor propo​sed to grow orang​es that would​ conta​in THC, the activ​e ingre​dient​ in marij​uana.​ Fourt​een years​ later​,​ that proje​ct is compl​ete,​ and Nanof​sky has succe​eded where​ his lette​r writi​ng campa​ign of yore faile​d:​ he has the undiv​ided atten​tion of the natio​n'​s top drug enfor​cemen​t agenc​ies,​ polit​ical figur​es,​ and media​ outle​ts.​

The turni​ng point​ in the Nanof​sky saga came when the strai​ght-​laced​ profe​ssor poste​d a messa​ge to Inter​net newsg​roups​ annou​ncing​ that he was offer​ing "​canna​bis-​equiv​alent​ orang​e tree seeds​"​ at no cost via the U.S. mail.​ Sever​al weeks​ later​,​ U.S. Justi​ce Depar​tment​ offic​ials showe​d up at the maili​ng addre​ss used in the Inter​net annou​nceme​nt:​ a tiny offic​e on the secon​d floor​ of the Dittm​er Labor​atory​ of Chemi​stry build​ing on the FSU campu​s.​ There​ they would​ wait for anoth​er 40 minut​es befor​e Prof.​ Nanof​sky finis​hed deliv​ering​ a lectu​re to gradu​ate stude​nts on his recen​t resea​rch into the "​cis-​trans​ photo​isome​rizat​ion of olefi​ns.​"

"I knew it was only a matte​r of time befor​e someo​ne sent me more than just a self-​addre​ssed stamp​ed envel​ope,​"​ Nanof​sky quips​,​ "but I was surpr​ised to see Janet​ Reno'​s speci​al assis​tant at my door.​"​ After​ a serie​s of close​d door discu​ssion​s,​ Nanof​sky agree​d to cease​ distr​ibuti​on of the THC-​orang​e seeds​ until​ the legal​ statu​s of the possi​bly narco​tic plant​ speci​es is estab​lishe​d.​

Much to the chagr​in of autho​ritie​s,​ the effor​t to regul​ate Nanof​sky'​s inven​tion may be too littl​e too late.​ Sever​al hundr​ed packe​ts conta​ining​ 40 to 50 seeds​ each have alrea​dy been sent to those​ who'​ve reque​sted them,​ and Nanof​sky is not oblig​ed to produ​ce his maili​ng recor​ds.​ Under​ curre​nt law, no crime​ has been commi​tted and it is unlik​ely that charg​es will be broug​ht again​st the fruit​'​s inven​tor.​

Now it is feder​al autho​ritie​s who must confr​ont the natio​n'​s unwie​ldy body of incon​siste​nt drug laws.​ Accor​ding to a sourc​e at the Drug Enfor​cemen​t Agenc​y,​ it may be month​s if not years​ befor​e all the issue​s invol​ved are sorte​d out, leavi​ng a gapin​g hole in U.S. drug polic​y in the meant​ime.​ At the heart​ of the confu​sion is the fact that THC now natur​ally occur​s in a new speci​es of citru​s fruit​.​

As polic​y analy​sts and hemp advoc​ates alike​ have been quick​ to point​ out, the appar​ent legal​ity (for now) of Nanof​sky'​s "pot orang​e"​ may rende​r debat​es over the legal​izati​on of marij​uana moot.​ In fact,​ Flori​da'​s top law enfor​cemen​t offic​ials admit​ that even if the culti​vatio​n of Nanof​sky'​s orang​e were to be outla​wed,​ it would​ be excee​dingl​y diffi​cult to ident​ify the prese​nce of outla​wed fruit​ among​ the state​'​s large​st agric​ultur​al crop.​

Amids​t all of the hubbu​b surro​undin​g his fathe​r'​s exper​iment​,​ Irwin​ Nanof​sky exude​s calm indif​feren​ce.​ Now 30-​years​-​old and a succe​ssful​ envir​onmen​tal photo​graph​er,​ the young​er Nanof​sky can'​t under​stand​ what all of the fuss is about​.​ "My dad'​s a chemi​st.​ He makes​ polym​ers.​ I doubt​ it ever cross​ed his mind that as a resul​t of his work tomor​row'​s kids will be able to get high off of half an orang​e.​"

**

Bioch​em 101:
How to desig​n a canna​bis equiv​ilent​ [​sic]​ citru​s plant​

Step One:
Bioch​emica​lly isola​te all the requi​red enzym​es for the produ​ction​ of THC.

Step Two:
Perfo​rm N-​termi​nal seque​ncing​ on isola​ted enzym​es,​ desig​n degen​erate​ PCR (​polym​erase​ chain​ react​ion)​ prime​rs and ampli​fy the genes​.​

Step Three​:​
Clone​ genes​ into an agrob​acter​ial vecto​r by intro​ducin​g the desir​ed piece​s of DNA into a plasm​id conta​ining​ a trans​fer or T-​DNA.​ The mixtu​re is trans​forme​d into Agrob​acter​ium tumef​acien​s,​ a gram negat​ive bacte​rium.​

Step Four:​
Use the Agrob​acter​ium tumef​acien​s to infec​t citru​s plant​s after​ wound​ing.​ The trans​fer DNA will proce​ed to host cells​ by a mecha​nism simil​ar to conju​gatio​n.​ The DNA is rando​mly integ​rated​ into the host genom​e and will be inher​ited.​

**

- San Franc​isco Bay Guard​ian.​

Grieving Palestinian father says children were killed after family obeyed order from troops to leave Gaza home


By Donald Macintyre in Gaza City



A Palestinian father has claimed that he saw two of his young daughters shot dead and another critically injured by an Israeli soldier who emerged from a stationary tank and opened fire as the family obeyed an order from the Israeli forces to leave their home. 

Khaled Abed Rabbo said Amal, aged two and Suad, seven, were killed by fire from the soldier's semi-automatic rifle. His third daughter, Samer, four, has been evacuated to intensive care in a Belgian hospital after suffering critical spinal injuries which he said were inflicted in the attack early in Israel's ground offensive. 
Mr Abed Rabbo stood near the wreckage off his subsequently destroyed home on the eastern edge of the northern Gaza town of Jabalya yesterday and described how a tank had parked outside the building at 12.50pm on 7 January and ordered the family in Arabic through a megaphone to leave building. He said his 60-year-old mother had also been shot at as she left waving her white headscarf with her son, daughter in law and her three grandchildren. 

"Two soldiers were on the tank eating chips, then one man came out of the tank with a rifle and started shooting the kids," Mr Abed Rabbo, who receives a salary as a policeman from the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in Ramallah said. The family say they think the weapon used by the soldier was an M16 and that the first to be shot was Amal. Mr Abed Rabbo said that Suad was then shot with what he claimed were 12 bullets, and then Samer.

The soldier who fired the rifle had what Mr Abed Rabbo thought were ringlets visible below his helmet, he said. The small minority of ultra-Orthodox Jews who serve in the army are in a unit which did not take part in the Gaza offensive and only a very small number of settlers who also favour that hairstyle serve in other units.

It has so far been impossible independently to verify Mr Abed Rabbo's claim and the military said last night Israeli Defence Forces "does not target civilians, only Hamas terrorists and infrastructure". It added: "The IDF is investigating various claims made with regard to Operation Cast Lead and at the end of its investigation will respond accordingly." 

The district is named Abed Rabbo after the clan who live in most of it. The dense concrete roof of the house now hangs at more at more than a 45-degree angle, and at least three other substantial buildings have been flattened in the agricultural, semi-rural immediate neighbourhood. Khaled Abed Rabbo said that there had been a delay before the ambulance could reach the building because the road from the west had been made impassable by the churning of the tanks. 
The soldiers had in the end let the family leave on foot, he said. He added that they walked two kilometres before finding a vehicle to take them to Kamal Adwan Hospital. He said: "I carried Suad, who was dead, my wife carried Amal and my brother Ibrahim carried Samer." 

He added: "We are not Hamas. My children were not Hamas. And if they were going to shoot anyone it should have been me." He added: "I want the international community and the International Red Cross to ask Israel why it has done this to us. They talk about democracy but is it democracy to kill children? What did the kids do to them? What did my house do to them? They destroyed my life? 

Gaza City is showing signs of returning to a form of normality as more shops reopen. The offices of the main Palestinian telephone company Jawwal reopened though this has not eased severe problems of connectivity on the Palestinian mobile network. 

Some Hamas policemen were back directing traffic, though in smaller numbers than before the offensive. Unconfirmed figures are that 270 Hamas policemen were killed, mainly in the air attacks during the first week. In a victory rally in Gaza city yesterday, Hamas supporters converged on a square near the remains of the bombed parliament building.. 

'Heartbreaking': The ugly face of war

The UN secretary general, looking distressed, described the devastation of Gaza as "heartbreaking" on a visit to the area yesterday after the 22-day Israeli assault.

"I have seen only a fraction of the destruction," said Ban Ki-moon, as he stood in front of a UN warehouse set on fire by Israeli shells last Thursday. "This is shocking and alarming. These are heartbreaking scenes I have seen and I am deeply grieved by what I have seen today." he said.

Mr Ban demanded a full investigation into the Israeli shelling of the UN Relief and Works Agency compound. UN officials say the compound, still smouldering yesterday, was targeted by white phosphorus munitions which are not supposed to be used in densely populated areas because of the harm to civilians. Mr Ban said the Israeli attacks on UNRWA headquarters and two UN schools in Gaza, one of which killed 40 sheltering Palestinians, were "outrageous".

Amnesty International said Israel's repeated use of the munitions despite evidence of their indiscriminate effects and harm to civilians "is a war crime". The Israeli army has launched an investigation but says Hamas fighters operate from densely populated areas, and used UN buildings as cover for attacks.

Mr Ban said: "It has been especially troubling and heartbreaking for me as 
secretary general that I couldn't end this faster," he said. He urged Israel and Hamas to "exercise maximum restraint and nurture the ceasefire".

Anne Penketh

The Israeli military came close to acknowledging for the first time yesterday its use of white phosphorus munitions during the war in Gaza, but continued to insist that it did not breach international law.

As fresh evidence emerged of Gazan civilians being burned by phosphorus, Avital Leibovich, the army spokeswoman, said its use was "legal according to international law...All the munitions we were using were legal, like the French, American and British armies. We used munitions according to international law.
"They [Hamas] were committing war crimes by putting the civilians in the front line," she said. "If Hamas chooses to locate training camps, command centres...in the middle of the [civilian population]...look how populated it is...naturally they are endangering the lives of civilians. Hamas is accountable for the loss of the civilians." 

Major-General Amir Eshel, the army's head of strategic planning, said that firing shells to provide a smoke screen was legal. "It is the most nonlethal kind of weapon we used. I don't see any issue with that," he said.

The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reported that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had privately admitted using phosphorus bombs, and that the Judge Advocate General's Office and Southern Command were investigating. 

The Times first accused Israeli forces of using white phosphorus on January 5, but the IDF has denied the charge repeatedly. Phosphorus bombs can be used to create smoke screens, but their use as weapons of war in civilian areas is banned by the Geneva Conventions.

Yesterday reports emerged from Gaza about the killing of five members of the Halima family, when a single white phosphorus shell dropped on their house in the town of Atatra on January 3. Two others were in a coma and three were seriously wounded, according to doctors and survivors.

Salima Halima, 44, who is in Gaza City's Shifa hospital, said that the chemical burst in all directions after hitting her living room. 

Nafiz Abu Shahbah, a doctor who trained in Britain and America, said he was sure white phosphorus was responsible. Her wounds at first appeared superficial "but it eats at the flesh, it digs deeper and gets to the bone...The whole body becomes toxic," he said.

In the Jabaliya refugee camp, the Associated Press found a crater that was still producing acrid smoke days after the war ended, and in the town of Beit Lahiya a lump of white phosphorus burst into flames after some boys dug it up from beneath some sand.

Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, expressed outrage at Israel's destruction of Gaza yesterday, when he became the first world leader to visit the Palestinian territory since the end of the war. "This is shocking and alarming," he declared while visiting a UN warehouse that was still smouldering after being hit on Thursday, allegedly by white phosphorus shells. "I'm just appalled."

Visibly angry, he condemned Israel's "excessive" use of force, and demanded that those responsible for shelling schools and other facilities run by the UN Relief and Works Agency during the 22-day offensive should be held to account. "It is an outrageous and totally unacceptable attack on the United Nations," he said.

Israel has apologised for attacks on UN facilities but insisted in almost every case that Hamas fighters were using the buildings for cover.

Obama On Rushmore

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For the 'audio only' version, the first two speakers are George and Teddy.

DSLReports.com

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Google's positions on things like network neutrality and wireless competition have made them a serious target for Comcast, Microsoft, AT&T and other lobbyists, who've been on a tear the last year trying to smear the search giant's public image. Efforts have ranged from Comcast and Microsoft lobbyists' use of corn farmers to attack Google on privacy issues -- to telco-industry talking head Scott Cleland's recent argument that Google was an Internet bandwidth freeloader that failed to contribute to Internet infrastructure. Wired News has an interesting read on Google's 2008 crash course on lobbying, with their biggest critic (particularly on privacy issues) now being AT&T.

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Fresh off of being busted for paying people to post fake positive reviews to Amazon, an anonymous employee tells Gizmodo that Belkin's bag of tricks goes much deeper. According to the post, Belkin has consistently told employees to do whatever's necessary to get good reviews -- from sending routers with specially tweaked firmware to reviewers, to actually paying magazines for good reviews. "In the past there have even monthly awards given to Business Units who achieved the most positive reviews, regardless as to the products rate of customer returns," says the poster.

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Last week we noted that Verizon was opposed to Congressional plans to delay the digital TV transition from February to June, saying that any delay could seriously impact their plan to deploy 700Mhz LTE wireless broadband technology in 2009. It looks like Verizon has since had a change of heart, and now supports a delay provided it's short, and isn't followed by subsequent delays. Verizon's deployment of LTE in 2009 was to be in only one small test market, with serious delivery of the technology not expected until late 2010 or later. The telco spent $9.63 billion on 700Mhz spectrum last year they can't use until the transition is complete.

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The FCC recently began investigating the ever-increasing TV pricing of several large cable operators and Verizon (but not AT&T). An initial inquiry sent to companies demanded information on how and why carriers were bumping channels into costlier digital tiers, and whether they were using the DTV transition to push more expensive services.
story continues..

Rescue Me on 911 Truth

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I hadn't really considered how scary a boat is for a non-swimmer, and Cynthia reaffirms the odd fact that "black folks don't swim."

And linking through, I found the REAL change site: wearechange.org


Excerpt from a column by Molly Hall at astrology.about.com:

Georgian and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (March 15th) truly ventured into harm's way for a cause. How many of us are heartsick over the nightmarish images coming out of Palestine? Well, here's a woman willing to set sail, literally put her life in danger, on a ship called Dignity, with medical supplies for the Gaza Strip. Her father, a former Georgia State Representative, Billy McKinney, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, She's a determined woman...this isn't the first civil right and human rights mission that she's been on. She explains what happened, and what helps her overcome her fears in a video called What is Dignity? made earlier this week in NYC.

The warrior spirit in Aries has the life force, to be able to catalyze people out of the trance of fear. The Aries mind is direct, and burns away distortions, making it less susceptible to the powerful collective spell we're under. McKinney names that trance of fear, saying, the wall of silence is crumbling. There is a very real disconnect between our values and the values that have captured Washington D.C. Her use of that word captured is a simple, but powerful insight, and intuitively it rings true. Aries love to rescue, and she's on a mission to rescue a nation that has been overtaken by....something. We may not know how to name it, but it's palpable, and apparent with every decision "Washington" makes.

As Americans find their voice and passion for justice again, and feminine warrior energy rises, I predict we'll see more Aries women doing remarkable things. When the revolutionary planet Uranus moves into this sign next year (May, 2010), the sparks we're seeing now will catch on, and before she knows it, she's started a movement.

The study involved 13 women and 10 men. Both women and men said that the inhibition technique previously learned (cognitive inhibition) did decrease their hunger, but women's brains stayed stimulated while men's brain activity went down. This might be the reason for which women have a hard time losing weight compared to men.
 
Dr. Wang said: "This decreased inhibitory control in women could be a major factor contributing to the observed differences in the prevalence rates of obesity and eating disorders...and may also underline women's lower success in losing weight while dieting when compared with men."
 
Clinical studies have shown that men who follow a diet are able to lose about 10 percent of their weight on average over a three-month period. Women, on the other hand, manage a decrease of only about 5 percent, Dr. Wang said.
 
The findings of the study might explain why there are more obese women than men but several factors still need to be considered when it comes to obesity. They include cultural differences, stress and body chemistry, which are known to influence men and women's brains differently.
 
"There is something going on in the female, the signal is so much different," Dr. Wang said.

(efluxmedia.com)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When it comes to favorite foods, women have a hard time saying no -- a much harder time than men, scientists have discovered.

Gene-Jack Wang, who chairs the medical department at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and his colleagues were trying to figure out why some people overeat and gain weight while others don't. They were surprised at the difference between the sexes in brain response to controlling food intake. The discovery may explain the higher obesity rate for women and girls. They report their findings in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the study, 13 women and 10 men were quizzed about their favorite foods, which ranged from pizza to cinnamon buns and burgers to chocolate cake, and then were asked to fast overnight.

The next day they underwent brain scans while being presented with their favorite foods. In addition, they used a technique called cognitive inhibition, which they had been taught, to suppress thoughts of hunger and eating.

While both men and women said the inhibition technique decreased their hunger, the brain scans showed that men's brain activity actually decreased, while the part of women's brains that responds to food remained active.

"Even though the women said they were less hungry when trying to inhibit their response to the food, their brains were still firing away in the regions that control the drive to eat," Wang, the study's lead author, said in a telephone interview.


New research suggests that there's "something going on" in the female brain that makes women less able to control their eating urges. Further research may find the answer to why women have higher obesity rates than men.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, performed brain scans on women and men to see how they responded to their favorite foods after fasting overnight.

"There is something going on in the female. The signal is so much different," Gene-Jack Wang of Brookhaven National Laboratory told The Associated Press. "Even though the women said they were less hungry when trying to inhibit their response to the food, their brains were still firing away in the regions that control the drive to eat."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35.3% of American women and 33.3% of men were considered obese in 2006.

Separately, a 10-year study of Europeans has found three new genetic variations that increase the obesity risk for children, Medical News Today reports.

(USA Today)


Iran's Intelligence Ministry has disclosed details about a 'US-backed' spy ring which had plans to topple the Tehran government. 

Following the arrest of four Iranian nationals on charges of plotting to overthrow the government with Washington's support, head of the counterespionage department in the Intelligence Ministry said Monday that the group intended to build social and political tension in the country. 

The intelligence official said "organizing anti-government public rallies and creating ethnic division in the country" were among the tactics to be employed by the network. 

The official, who did not reveal his name, added that the group had even been successful in luring a number of Azeri people in Azerbaijan Province into joining voices of political dissent in the country. 

Earlier on Saturday, Tehran's Islamic Revolution Court sentenced the four suspects without announcing the length of their sentence. 

"They have confessed to trying to distance the people of Iran from the government and introduce the United States as their sole savior," the court said in a statement. 

Two of the detainees are internationally renowned doctors Arash and Kamyar Alaei, who specialize in HIV/AIDS. 

In the Monday press conference, the top Iranian counterespionage official said that the US intelligence agencies had resorted to "soft overthrow projects" over the past decade, as there is no international statute law against such measures. 

The official added that the United States, which had spent $32 million on the project, intended to infiltrate elite and expert circles and was seeking to obtain "information on the country's infrastructure, microbiological achievements and defensive capacity." 

People such as Under Secretary of State William Burns, "Goli Ameri (Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs), Ramin Asgar (US official) and some other people linked with the US intelligence service in the region had a direct involvement in this project," the official said. 

He also accused American institutions such as the Wilson Centre, Soros's Open Society Institute and the US-based International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) of being involved in the plot. 

Earlier in 2007, Iran arrested Haleh Esfandiari, Head of the Wilson Center's Middle East program, and Kian Tajbakhsh, with links to the Soros institute, on suspicions of endangering the country's national security. The two suspects were released after spending three months in detention. 

The unnamed official said the Iranian intelligence operatives had been able to infiltrate the network and "launch an intelligence war with the CIA by leaking false information." 

According to the official, the United Kingdom and Israel were also involved in anti-Iranian efforts which would soon be disclosed by the Intelligence Ministry. 

The report of the new arrests comes shortly after Mohammad-Javad Zarif, the former Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, claimed in November that the White House is taking essential measures to orchestrate a "Velvet Revolution" in Iran. 

"American officials have been inviting Iranian figures to so-called scientific seminars over the past few years. However, when the Iranians attend these sessions, they realize they have gathered to discuss measures to topple the Iranian government," Zarif was quoted by Fars news agency as saying. 

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in July that US Congressional leaders had secretly agreed to President George W. Bush's $400-million funding request for a major escalation in covert operations inside Iran. 

Only days before the arrests, the New York Times disclosed that President George W. Bush had denied a request by Israel for specialized bunker-busting bombs to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Instead, the US president declared that he had authorized new covert actions intended to sabotage the country's nuclear program. 

Earlier in April, a blast rocked a religious center in the southwestern Iranian city of Shiraz, killing 14 people and injuring at least 200 others. 

Iran held Britain, Israel and the US responsible for the deadly blast. Officials suggested that Tehran may press charges against the US and UK over their involvement in the attack. 

Seven people who were charged over the fatal bombing confessed to "being brainwashed into launching a terrorist attack in the country", adding that their other targets included "Iran's oil pipelines, Tehran's international book fair as well as other crowded locations in different cities such as scientific, religious and educational centers". 

The Iranian counterespionage director warned the incoming government of US President-elect Barack Obama against "going down the same path of the previous administration" with regards to their relations with the Islamic Republic. 

While Iran charges the US government with supporting the espionage activities, the US State Department denied the report last Wednesday, saying, "Any charge against an Iranian that he or she is working with the United States to overthrow the Iranian government is baseless."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence

Delivered 4 April 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

Audio mp3 of Address


[excerpt]

In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."


[full text]

BTW, he was shot EXACTLY one year from the day of this speech.

Contact Your Government Reps

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You can write to Senator Boxer at any of the addresses listed below. However, please note that mail sent to Congressional offices in Washington, DC must go through a very lengthy screening process. Letters are not only irradiated but are also vacuumed for possible contaminated substances. Because this process often delays letters for weeks, you may prefer to write to one of our California offices to ensure that your letter is delivered in a timely fashion.

TTY: 202-224-4264

San Francisco
1700 Montgomery Street,
Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 403-0100
(202) 224-0454 fax


How to . . . Contact Dianne Feinstein's State offices 

My four state offices play a key role in gathering information about issues affecting Californians. Field representatives attend meetings and public events in the state, work with other branches of the federal government, and spend a good deal of their time in the counties they monitor. 

The state offices can also help you resolve problems you may be having with a federal agency. For more information, please visit the Casework Assistance page. 

Please feel free to call or write the office nearest you, or you can visit one of the offices between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. We are here to serve you. 

San Francisco 
One Post Street, Suite 2450 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Phone: (415) 393-0707 
Fax: (415) 393-0710 


Contact

I welcome your comments about this Web site, how I'm doing in Congress, or any other issue of importance to you.

Please note that all mail sent to the Washington, D.C. office experiences delays of 1-3 weeks due to the additional security screening. For a faster response, please call, email, or fax instead.

E-Mail Mike Thompson

WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
231 Cannon Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3311
Fax: (202) 225-4335

MENDOCINO DISTRICT OFFICE
430 North Franklin Street
PO Box 2208
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: (707) 962-0933
Fax: (707) 962-0934

The war on Gaza has been devastating on lives and properties; almost all sectors of Gaza's civil infrastructure have been destroyed. Since many of us feel helpless these days, it might make you feel better to donate whatever you can to any of the following reputable charitable organizations:

  1. United Nations Relief and Works Agency: UNRWA is the primary institution which has been helping Palestinian refugees for the past 60 years, it provides educational, healthcare, and food distributions in all refugee camps in the Middle East. Although the organization is affiliated with the United Nations, it's mostly being funded from none UN sources.

  2. Palestine Children's Relief Fund: PCRF is one of the most active organizations on the ground who specializes in helping injured Palestinian and Iraqi children; their work has directly affected thousands of lives in occupied Gaza Strip, occupied W. Bank, Iraq, and Lebanon, click here to see news coverage for PCRF's activities.
     
  3. American Near East Refugee Aid: ANERA is a leading provider of development, health, education and employment programs to Palestinian communities and impoverished families throughout the Middle East.

It should be NOTED that all of these charitable organizations

  • are not affiliated whatsoever with any political group,
  • have been faithfully serving the Palestinian people (especially the refugees) for generations, and
  • your donation will be tax deductible and completely legal, especially here in the United States.

-Video on day 9 of shelling, whole families obliterated
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpKhxocn_EE

-Norwegian doctor report from Gaza
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev6ojm62qwA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYKmA_o4lAE


-Israel shelled UN school compound killing 40 people
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=NvOZ301vbEs


-Father loses his parents, four children and other members of his family after the Israelis gather neighbors in one house and then shell it  
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=mLEEEKCpSJ0

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Axy1cMWUxkg


-Another father who lost three children speaks in Hebrew to Ehud Barak
http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2009/01/06/to-israel-with-love/


-Video: the world lost its conscience?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHYjpOhcB2k


-Israel experimenting on civilians with new types of weapons:
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=oyFnE2Z5bpk


-Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert testimony in Gaza
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/dime.htm


-Use of white phosphorus over Gaza http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVY4NUKowzg


-Direct reports from Gaza by an International in Gaza: http://ingaza.wordpress.com/


-A haunting photo montage http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2009/01/16/war-on-gaza-surat-al-rahman/


-UK Telegraph Newspaper:  "They said that after the Israeli army first took the town on Saturday night soldiers had ordered about 100 members of the clan to gather in a single house owned by Wael Samouni around dawn on Sunday.  At 6.35am on Monday the house was repeatedly shelled with appalling loss of civilian life [killing 70]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4162193/Gaza-medics-describe-horror-of-strike-which-killed-70.html


Facts on Gaza not well known

-Factsheet on Gaza
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/downloads/gaza_us_weapons.pdf


-Israel spokesperson admits Israel broke the cease fire agreement
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SILJxPTqjAM

CNN confirmed this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAhfDa0smsc


-Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions "reframing" Gaza
http://icahd.org/eng/news.asp?menu=5&submenu=1&item=655


-Gaza Website http://gazasiege.org


-Vanity Fair reported in April last year: "After failing to anticipate Hamas's victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, the author reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams [Zionist] backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever."
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804


-An inside story of how the US magnified Palestinian suffering. The covert push to empower Fatah failed. And isolating Hamas just made things worse. But it's not too late to change course.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0112/p09s01-coop.html


- Gaza invasion: Powered by the U.S.: Taxpayers are spending over $1 billion to send refined fuel to the Israeli military -- at a time when Israel doesn't need it and America does.
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/01/16/gaza_invasion/index.html


- Still breathing, a report from Gaza by Caoimhe Butterly
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35030


- Sderot Residents Contradict Israeli Government Propaganda
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2009/01/15/500-citizens-of-sderot-contradict-the-is


DECLARATIONS

UN High commissioner for Human Rights report on Gaza (Rauthor Richard Falk is himself Jewish)
http://gazasiege.org/docs/gaza_crisis_08/GazaCrisis_UN_Falk_Pressrelease_12_27_08.pdf


Red Cross: Israel breaking Int'l law, letting children starve in Gaza
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1053877.html


International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that the situation in Gaza was "completely and utterly unacceptable based on every known standard of international law and universal humanitarian principles and values.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gjiqWO2pxDjmb0u29sn4O5e8LC0w


Israeli Human Rights groups: Clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians: An Israeli Call For Urgent Humanitarian Action In Gaza
http://www.btselem.org/English/Press_Releases/20090114.asp


Human Rights Watch demands Israel stop using White Phosphorus incendiary shells on civilian populations
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/10/israel-stop-unlawful-use-white-phosphorus-gaza


World Health Organization condemns Israeli attacks on hospitals
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2009/Gaza-health-20090115/en/index.html


Journalists group condemns strike on Gaza media
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090115/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_gaza_media_1


The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) and the International Covenant for the Protection of Journalists (ICPJ) condemn shelling of building hosting media offices.http://www.mediacovenant.org/


British Academics Call for Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/16/gaza-israel-petitions


Gush Shalom, Israel Peace Block, January 7, 2009: "The government dooms a whole generation of young Israelis to become, quite literally, war criminals"

Analysis

- Video:Israeli speaks to the BBC and asks Obama to change (instead of being a "slave" of the lobby) http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rfnPjzOGB5s


- A 14 year old in Gaza asks on question: why?
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/01/11/a_14_year_old_in_gaza_has_one_question_why/


- Bob Simon, a life-long Zionist interviewed by Charlie Rose lets out the facts
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/9900


- The Israeli Human Shield
http://www.palestineremembered.com/Articles/General/Story12098.html


- Zionist FAQs
http://www.palestineremembered.com/ZionistFAQ.html#Relevant


- Rethinking Zionism
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-weiss/rethinking-zionism_b_156955.htm


- Norman Finkelstein on Gaza
http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein01132009.html


- The Gaza Ghetto Uprising January 20 The Star Newspaper
http://star.com.jo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14276&Itemid=57


- The humiliation of America
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21755.htm


- Documentary: John Pilger's "Palestine is Still the issue"
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21692.htm


25 Actions to do
http://www.pcr.ps/activities/actions-gaza.htm


Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
http://qumsiyeh.org

http://www.pcr.ps



Xcruz Turns the Screws

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From one of my more radical friends:

Despite his invocations of "change," his appeals to antiwar sentiment and to young people in the course of nearly two years of campaigning, there is not a single figure in the leading personnel of the Obama administration drawn from the more liberal elements of the Democratic Party, let alone anyone representative of the broad masses of working people and youth. 

The right-wing character of Obama's nominees is described by the media under the approving labels of "centrist", "moderate", and--most of all--"pragmatic." This terminology signifies that the incoming Obama team consists entirely of individuals who pass muster with the corporate-financial elite. There is not a whiff of genuine oppositional sentiment, let alone political radicalism, among the lot of them... 

Obama postured as the most antiwar of the major candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, and owed his narrow victory over Hillary Clinton in large measure to the support among youth and students mobilized on the basis of opposition to the war in Iraq. He has now decided, however, to retain the chief administrator of Bush's war policies. [Robert] Gates was installed at the Pentagon in December 2006 and oversaw the Bush "surge" of 30,000 troops into Iraq, as well as a continuation of the war in Afghanistan. 

Geithner is moving up from the number three position in the Bush administration's financial bailout squad, where he served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and worked with outgoing Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Geithner's reward for the collapse on Wall Street, where he was the chief day-to-day government monitor of the financial markets, is to be promoted to the topmost policy-making position... 

The bipartisan consensus driving the approval of the Obama cabinet was summed up aptly enough in a satirical column by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, who described Geithner's appearance before the Senate Finance Committee under the headline, "The Nomination That's Too Big to Fail." 

Under conditions of a mounting financial crisis which has shocked and frightened the corporate elite, nothing must stand in the way of putting in place the personnel and policies needed to provide an ever-expanding government bailout to Wall Street. 

Full: 

http://wsws.org/articles/2009/jan2009/obma-j19.shtml

The guys at Amnesty International, though reprehensible for their collusion with the US drug 'war' (imprisonment and torture campaign), occasionally still say things of note about OTHER countries that have no human rights.  Though I won't give them any more money till they stand up to the Feds HERE, I'll still give them some attention:




Created in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) set forth the basic rights of every human being, yet 60 years later in places the world over, violence, poverty and oppression hold sway.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR, and to remind the world that violations of Human Rights are unacceptable anywhere, at any time, Link TV has produced a video, "The Price of Silence" for Amnesty International.

Set in the United Nations, the artists appear on the stage of the General Assembly, flanked by huge screens whose images reflect the lyrics, or project performances from foreign locations. Starting with just Stephen Marley, the performance grows until a full band occupies the stage, singing and rapping, and the delegates are out of their chairs, cheering and dancing. 

"The Price of Silence" is a true labor of love, the result of generous donations of time and talent on both sides of the camera. The song is based on "Cancion Protesta" which was donated by Aterciopelados and Nacional Records, produced by Andres Levin through Music Has No Enemies, and performed by an all star cast of international artists who have added their own lyrics. All of them are human rights activists and several are refugees. The video was directed by Joshua Atesh Litle, and although everyone looks like they are performing at the U.N., in fact all the artists and delegates were composited in through the visual effects wizardry of The Syndicate in L.A., Phoenix Editorial | Designs in San Francisco, and a team of NY-based artists.

 

My suggestion for them is that they list the actual results.  I think they are afraid of them, personally.  Here's how they shook out (final tallies w/percentages of the highest tally):

Legalize Marijuana was in 1st place with 19,530 votes (100%)
Department of Peace was 2nd with 14,994 votes (77%)
Single Payer Health was 3rd with 13,928 votes (71%)
Green Grid in 10 Years was 4th with 12,913 votes (66%)
Repeal the PATRIOT act was 5th with 12,285 votes (63%)
Save Small Business from the CPSIA was 6th with 12,280 votes (63%)
Health Freedom was 7th with 12,062 votes (62%)
8th place was the DREAM act, with 12,010 votes (61%)
9th place was LGBT rights, with 11,889 votes (61%)
and 10th place was Sustainability with 9,644 votes (49%)

I think they just don't want to acknowledge JUST HOW MUCH legalization of marijuana is a priority compared to the other items on their list.  I mean, it's over forty-five hundred votes ahead of the next contender, and over double the votes for the bottom rung.

I still think that revoking corporate 'personhood' is the HIGHEST priority, myself.  I might add that 'full-liability' corporations need to be brought back in play, too.
 

Bryan Krumm

An Albuquerque nurse is suing the government to be able to prescribe medical marijuana to his patients.

Psychiatric nurse practitioner Bryan Krumm said he's afraid he'll be raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration if he prescribes the drug. The DEA has made such raids at California clinics, where state law makes medicinal marijuana usage legal.

Recently, New Mexico's health department finalized rules for non-profits to grow medical pot. But so far, no group has been cleared by the state to start growing.

Under the law, patients can grow marijuana for personal medical use, but it does not protect them from federal prosecution.

Krumm filed a lawsuit in federal court as the lone plaintiff. He hopes to convince the courts to change marijuana's classification as a dangerous drug to a drug with medical value.

"Marijuana has very unique therapeutic properties," Krumm said. "It also has the potential to treat many diseases."

Krumm said he would like to prescribe marijuana, but fears the heavy hand of the US government, even though state law okays pot's medical usage.

"I haven't been able to ethically refer my patients into the medical marijuana program at this point. I can not put them in that jeopardy of facing those federal charges," he said.

Krumm filed the suit pro se, meaning he will do the legal work and pay the court fees himself.

The local DEA has not said if it would prosecute any New Mexicans qualified to smoke medical marijuana.



Who is Mordechai Vanunu?

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Exclusive: Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu Risks Jail To Speak to Democracy Now! in First Nat'l U.S. Interview

Vanunu4

Risking prison again, nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu (wiki) defies Israeli government restrictions and speaks for the first time to a national audience in this country.

Mordechai Vanunu worked as a nuclear technician at Dimona, Israel's secret nuclear installation from 1976 to 1985. He worked there at a time when Israel was insisting it would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. What Vanunu discovered is that Israel had secretly developed an extensive nuclear program, hiding its existence from the Israeli people and parliament, and the world.

Vanunu leaked information and photos of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the Sunday Times in London. He was subsequently kidnapped by Israeli spy agency Mossad in Italy and then jailed. He would go on to spend 18 years behind bars including 11 in solitary confinement.

He was released on April 21 under strict government restrictions.

Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman reached Vanunu on his cell phone in East Jerusalem where he has been staying since his release in April. He defied the Israeli government's restriction on speaking with foreigners to talk with us.

Part II of Democracy Now!'s Conversation with Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu

Vanunumordechai

We hear the conclusion of our conversation with Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu who defied Israeli government restrictions to speak to us. He discusses his views on Ariel Sharon, the Israeli-Palestinian situation, and his feelings on suicide bombings.

We end today's program with Part II of Democracy Now!'s national broadcast exclusive conversation with Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.

May 01, 2007

Headlines for May 01, 2007

Israeli Whistleblower Vanunu Convicted For Speaking to Media

The Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu might be heading back to jail soon for speaking to the international media. In 2004 Israel released Vanunu after he spent 18 years in jail for disclosing information that proved Israel had a stockpile of nuclear weapons. After he was released, Israel barred Vanunu from speaking to the foreign press but Vanunu defied the order. He spoke to several foreign outlets including Democracy Now. [Listen to 2004 interview: Pt. 1 || Pt. 2] On Monday an Israeli court convicted him of violating the terms of his release from jail. This is Vanunu's attorney Michael Sfard.


  • Michael Sfard: "Today, in 2007, a person was found guilty of being in contact with other people, not for the content of what he said to them, but for the mere fact that he was talking to other people. This is not something that a liberal democracy in the 21st century should be doing and this is a very frightening situation, almost Orwellian situation, every Israeli has to fear."

Vanunu will be sentenced in two weeks. After the court's ruling, Vanunu spoke with reporters outside the courtroom.


  • Mordechai Vanunu: "Today we have heard the verdict, says that Israel has atomic weapons. Everything is published here. And now the Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres can say to the world that Israel have atomic weapons producing plutonium, neutron and hydrogen bomb. All the bomb that Israel refusing to accept and to admit that they have the bomb is here. But Israeli state, but Israeli court, this judge today say that I say that Israel has atomic weapons and he's finding me guilty of saying this is true so you and everyone in the world can say that Israel have atomic weapons, they have plutonium, neutron bomb and hydrogen bomb, it is writing here."

Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Sentenced to 6-Month Term

The Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has been sentenced to another six-months in prison for speaking to the international media. Vanunu was released in 2004 after spending18 years in jail for disclosing information that proved Israel had a stockpile of nuclear weapons. Israel barred Vanunu from speaking to the foreign press but he defied the order--speaking to several foreign outlets including Democracy Now. Earlier this year an Israeli court convicted him of violating the terms of his release. On Monday, Vanunu attorney Avigdor Feldman denounced the new sentence.


Avigdor Feldman: "Vanunu was convicted for violating a rule that does not exist in any other democratic world that forbids speaking to foreigners, regardless of the contents of the conversation. The court convicted him, sentenced him to six months in prison. This sentence is not acceptable and not imaginable."

In addition to his foreign media ban, Vanunu is also barred from leaving Israel. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Vanunu urged Israel to let him leave.


Mordechai Vanunu: "My target is to be free, to leave this country, I don't want to live here. I have 18 years in prison now another three years. I want to leave and to start my life. I have the right to be free. I am a free man, I want to be free and I want to leave...I am not answering any questions now. Thank you."

Who IS Mordechai Vanunu?

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So, I didn't sleep all of last night. Serendipity woke me up, and I was 'insomniac' for a short while, and I turned on the TV, but FSTV wasn't running anything of interest, so I checked over on LinkTV  (wiki) to see what was on there.

This documentary was just about to start.  You have no idea how hard it is to stay awake for an hour an a half listening to narration in Hebrew.  It was worth it, though.


Airdates: No airdates currently scheduled.


Regions: Middle East

On April 21, 2004, Mordechai Vanunu was released from prison after serving an eighteen-year prison sentence for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets. Director Nissim Mossek has documented the Vanunu story for the last seventeen years. Now, using exclusive information and material, Mossek recounts the true story of Mordechai Vanunu - the nuclear technician who became one of the most controversial figures in Israel's history. 

To purchase the film, visit Biblical Productions.

 

From alternet.org

1. The worst recession since the 1930s. The current recession will be the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. And unlike other recessions, this one was directly caused by conservative anti-regulatory policy. In fact, recent evaluations show that Bush policies never created any real growth -- the ephemeral financial upswings of the past eight years were based on market bubbles and economic Band-Aids.

2. The worst financial crisis since the 1930s. The Bush administration, flacking an "ownership society," helped manufacture the housing bubble. When it burst, Americans lost $6 trillion in housing wealth (so far), fueling a market crash that has cost Americans $8 trillion of stock wealth, according to economist Dean Baker. On a grand scale, we've been mugged.

3. The worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country. That's what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., correctly called the Iraq war. This pre-emptive war -- based on phony pretenses -- is now the second longest in our nation's history (after Vietnam). Some 35,000 Americans are dead or wounded, as well as an enormous number of innocent Iraqis. And even today, more than five years later, can anyone explain why Bush marched us into this quagmire?

4. Unprecedented rejection of human rights. Recently, a Bush administration official finally admitted that the U.S. government engaged in torture at Guantanamo Bay detention center. Bush admitted that he personally authorized waterboarding. While these clear violations of the Geneva Conventions would have been unthinkable a few years ago, today we're not surprised. From Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition, to years-long detention of innocents and the unrestrained killing of civilians by U.S.-paid mercenaries, this administration has systematically squandered our nation's moral standing in the world, making us less able to protect Americans and American interests worldwide.

5. Watergate-style abuses of power. As the House Judiciary Committee staff has documented, Bush used the politics of fear and division to justify warrantless wiretapping of innocent Americans (including U.S. soldiers fighting overseas), spying on peaceful domestic groups and the use of national security letters to pry into the private records of millions of Americans. He also presided over illegal politicization of the Justice Department and retribution against critics. In fact, Bush claimed the authority to disobey hundreds of laws -- as if Richard Nixon were right when he famously said: "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal."

6. Unprecedented increases in inequality. The Economic Policy Institute reports, "For the first time since the Census Bureau began tracking such data back in the mid-1940s, the real incomes of middle-class families are lower at the end of this business cycle than they were when it started." That's because Bush policy was designed to increase economic inequality. The richest 1 percent of the population received 36 percent of the Bush tax cuts; the least-affluent 40 percent received only 9 percent. While the rich got exponentially richer, the poverty rate and the percentage of uninsured dramatically increased.

7. A culture of sleaze. This was an administration without shame. Kicked off by Vice President Dick Cheney's secret energy task force, the administration fostered a "greed is good" culture. The subsequent conservative money scandals (Jack Abramoff; White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian;  Republicans Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Duke Cunningham of California and Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska) and other lawlessness (Cheney's Chief of Staff O. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho) have toppled the conservative "moral values" façade into the gutter, where it belongs.

8. Blind rejection of science. The Bush administration thumbed its nose at scientific evidence that contradicted conservative political goals. The resulting lies about global warming, endangered species, toxic chemicals and consumer products threaten the health and safety of every American. And the virtual outlawing of stem cell research has delayed important medical advances by years, causing immeasurable suffering and loss of life.

9. Utter refusal to protect the health, safety and legal rights of Americans. Following the conservative business-is-always-right philosophy, Bush dismantled the agencies and rules designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous businessesworkers from reckless employers and small companies from anti-competitive large companies. If conservatives didn't like a federal law, they blocked, hindered or defunded agency enforcement.

10. Presiding over our nation's worst natural disaster, and not caring. Hurricane Katrina was transformed from a calamity into a national disgrace by the sheer incompetence and indifference of the Bush administration. Before the hurricane struck, Bush had downsized the Federal Emergency Management Agency and placed in charge a political crony with no relevant experience. When Katrina ripped through Mississippi and Louisiana and inflicted nearly $100 billion in damages in New Orleans to become the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, FEMA was unprepared to help, and thousands of Americans suffered the consequences. More than three years later, New Orleans still has not recovered.

So, congratulations for being the worst president in American history. That's not just my personal opinion; that's the opinion of 109 historians polled by the History News Network. Fully 61 percent ranked Bush as the "worst ever;" 98 percent labeled his presidency a "failure." And this poll, taken in early 2008, predated the cataclysmic housing and banking crashes. Bye-bye W -- history will not be kind.

Call for a cease fire now!

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Call Congress

Don't stop at the phone: 
Email them too!

Tell Obama: ceasefirenow.org

Almost three weeks into "Operation Cast Lead," we call once more on Jews and others to speak out for a cease fire and against the siege of Gaza.

At Jewish Voice for Peace, we echo the report issued on January 14 by 9 Israeli human rights organizations: Israel's military operations in Gaza pose a "clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians." In Gaza, "the level of harm to the civilian population is unprecedented" while "military forces are making wanton use of lethal force." 

We condemn Israel's assault on Gaza. As of today, more than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli assault, including at least 335 children and many more civilians. Nearly 5,000 have been wounded, many paralyzed for life. Tens of thousands have fled their homes - but Gaza is entirely sealed off, so there is nowhere to hide, no safe haven for civilians, no escape corridor for civilians to flee the air, sea and land attacks. Electricity and running water are scarce, the health system has collapsed and sewage is running through the streets in some areas. Inside of Israel, rockets continue to rain down, hitting population centers like Beer Sheba and Ashkelon and causing widespread fear. We condemn these ongoing rocket attacks, which indiscriminately target civilians. 13 Israelis have been killed, 3 of them civilians, with over 82 civilians injured.

Jewish Voice for Peace:

* Calls on all Americans to support Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution calling for an "immediate and unconditional ceasefire" and "unrestricted humanitarian access" to Gaza. 
Call your congressperson or write them today.

* Joins the call from Human Rights Watch (and others) for Israel to stop using white phosphorous, an incendiary tool permissable in the laws of war as an "obscurant" - but when used in densely populated Gaza, causes widespread, horrific burning of the skin.

* Demands an end to the vicious siege on Gaza, which brought the population to the brink of humanitarian disaster with extreme shortages of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.

* Calls for an end to the 41 years of occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, including an immediate end to the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Only when Palestinians and Israelis are both equally free to decide their own sovereignty will there be peace. 

One bright spot in the midst of this terrible darkness is the explosion of dissent in all corners of the globe. We are especially moved by the Israelis who refuse to fall in line with the drumbeat of war: those like Nomika Zion in southern Gaza who, despite living terrified under rocket fire, stand up to say "Not in my name...The bloodbath in Gaza is not in my name nor for my security." or the group "Other Voice", made up of Israelis living under the threat of qassams, who call for Israel to end the attack and strike a truce with Hamas.

We are inspired by those Israeli soldiers who refuse to fight this civilian population, some of whom are already in jail for their refusal; those Israelis who gather every week to demand their country halt its assault and end the siege, or protest everyday at countless intersections throughout the country; and especially those Israelis who stand outside Sde Dov airforce base in Tel Aviv every morning to remind the pilots that every day they drop their bombs, they drop them on civilians

In North America, we are inspired by the thousands of people who have gone into the streets for protests, in New YorkLos AngelesSan Francisco, and elsewhere, and especially the Jewish women who held a sit-in the Israeli consulate in Toronto, telling the Israeli authorities that "we'll end our occupation when you end yours." 

And we are motivated by the tens of thousands who have signed petitions and sent letters calling for Congress to work for an immediate ceasefire and end the siege, and by the tens of thousands who have signed up on JVP's email list and sent thank-you letters to Jon Stewart (www.thankyoujonstewart.com). We are hopeful that more journalists and op-ed page editors will tell the truth about Gaza and Israel (here are examples from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.)

And we are grateful to our friends at Jewish Peace News for bringing us insightful analysis and timely reports on dissent against the war.



Video

"The Palestinian People Will Never Surrender" 

Meeting: Palestine Solidarity Campaign - STOP THE WAR ISRAEL OUT OF GAZA - at Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road London NW1 2 BJ

 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21709.htm



PFLP: "Urgent call to Block the shipment of US arms to Israel through Greek port!" 

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine calls upon the Greek movement, the Greek people and all international progressive forces to halt the planned shipment of U.S. arms to Israel from the Greek port of Astakos. International media reports have revealed that the U.S. Navy is attempting to ship 325 20-foot containers of ammunition, over 3000 tons, in an emergency shipment of arms to aid the occupation in its ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza. The PFLP is calling upon the people of the world, and particularly the Greek movement to act to stop this shipment of arms. The U.S. has been attempting to hire a merchant ship to transport the weaponry to the Israelis at Asdud port in mid- to late January. This weaponry must not be allowed to enter the hands of the Israelis, where it will be used to massacre our people in Gaza! It must be stopped by all means!... 


Prone to Error?

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On the topic of the 'fifth' personality type, which I find named atrociously (almost as bad as the proton's charge), I have to beg to differ.

They redefined 'phlegmatic' as 'supine', and recast the new 'phlegmatic' as the fifth type.

Now, naming convention confusion aside, it's just WRONG.

Phlegmatic is a perfectly fine description for the 'supine'. 

The opposite of 'supine' is 'prone'.

And, in fact, the new 'fifth' personality type is very prone.  Prone to damn near anything.

I bet the sky-car guys (below) are 'prone'.

He had a bit of a lisp ...

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But I'm pretty sure he said that the way he knew the crash was coming is that he saw 'Dot com before debt storm.'

Ai says, ¡I'll Drink To That!

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Theory of Intelligence


I don't think I've ever heard the concept explained any better than this ...

ATT00000.jpeg'Well you see, Norm, it's like this . . . 

A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. 

And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. 

This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. 

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. 

And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.'
Michael Meade is noted (apparently) for having been an author who hung out with one of my old profs and his friends.  He appears to have nearly caught the lingo of shrinkdom, but seems to have mis-connected some of the vocabulary (like a great many mythic shamen, trancemade or not):

To wit, this is pretty much what I just heard him describing on the radio as 'the shadow' (er, Jung's shadow, to be specific).  He was talking about that 'dark force' that kept you from doing what you could be doing by criticizing you, etc.  I believe he meant this:

The [Freudian] Super-ego aims for perfection.[13]  It comprises that organized part of the personality structure, mainly but not entirely unconscious, that includes the individual's ego ideals, spiritual goals, and the psychic agency (commonly called 'conscience') that criticizes and prohibits his or her drives, fantasies, feelings, and actions.


In Jungian psychology, the shadow or "shadow aspect" is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus and the persona. "Everyone carries a shadow," Jung wrote, "and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is." [1]

Now, this is *nearly* the mirror opposite (one being that which represses, and the other being that which is repressed).

But then again, none of his books had to be peer-reviewed.  And Hillman is all about 're-visioning' things (basically, you re-write something else using the wrong words, or change the 'right' words into 'knew ones' and he loves it).  The UD shrinks were really big on the concept of 'paradox' (on this we differed--I pointed out that it was lovely when you got there because you KNOW that one of the 'givens' isn't really 'given' at all--but they all got gaga and mystical instead).  In other words, "Zeno's Paradox" is really Zeno's Incompetence (or perhaps his sadism), if you take it to mean, "Imagine a continuity, that is also discontinuous."

They really weren't very interested in furthering 'understanding' very much at all, actually (and if they really gave a degree, even honorary, to this guy, I have to note that their 'standards' seem to have dropped considerably since they denied me mine--but it looks like Hillman isn't even there anymore, just his papers, though Romanyshyn is).


Meade's bio on Amazon says (my bold):

About the Author

Michael Meade, born and raised in New York City, is a renowned storyteller, author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He combines hypnotic and fiery storytelling, street savvy perceptiveness, and spellbinding interpretations of ancient myths with a deep knowledge of cross-cultural rituals. His ability to tap into ancestral sources of wisdom to help people of today heal their communities inspires thousands of men and women throughout the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. His unique translations of age-old myths and symbols into culturally relevant, everyday language earned him an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Michael is also the founder of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, author of The World Behind the World, The Water of Life, co-editor of The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, and editor of the cross-cultural anthology on rites of passage: Crossroads: A Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage.

Neverending Stories

Local Nurse Brings the Medicinal Cannabis Fight to the Feds


Psychiatric nurse Bryan Krumm's opinion of the state's 
medical marijuana program is not an uncommon one. "Until they can keep the federal government out of the program, they are not going to be able to make our program functional." 
The Department of Health established regulations regarding the growth and distribution of medical marijuana last week. The department accepting applications from nonprofit businesses interested in producing medical marijuana. 
Krumm filed suit against the U.S. attorney and others general in District Court to combat federal interference, and he's using a stipulation in the 
Controlled Substances Act to do it. 
The act is broken into "schedules," which are classifications for various drugs. Marijuana is listed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I. According to the act, these drugs have no medical uses. Cocaine and opiates are listed as Schedule II drugs, because they have medical applications.
 
Krumm works at Sage Neuroscience Center in Albuquerque. He argues that once California created a medical marijuana program in 1996, cannabis should have been bumped to a less restrictive schedule. "Once it has accepted medical use," says Krumm, "it no longer meets criteria for placement in Schedule I." Krumm says his is the first lawsuit in the country that is using the Controlled Substances Act itself to justify the removal of marijuana from Schedule I. 
He tried asking the state to move marijuana to a lower schedule in the state's Controlled Substances Act, but the 
New Mexico Pharmacy Board refused. "It was just an attempt to get it out of this arbitrary placement," he says. "Right now in the state of New Mexico, it's listed both in Schedule I and Schedule II."
 
William Harvey, executive director of the Pharmacy Board, says it's not up to the board to move a drug from one schedule to another. It's up the the Legislature, he says. "The Legislature has given the board the ability to schedule substances that aren't recognized yet--like there's always chemicals or drugs that are invented. But the board can't take something that's already in a schedule and move it to another one unless the Legislature has given us the authority. And it hasn't."
 
But Harvey added there's no doubt state law permits medicinal marijuana through the Department of Health. Marijuana is listed in Schedule I under the state's Controlled Substances Act. It's also part of Schedule II, but only for use by certified patients in the state's medical cannabis program. Marinol, which is synthetic THC, is categorized in Schedule III.
 
Krumm will argue his case against the federal government in a couple of months. If he succeeds in proving the Drug Enforcement Administration has been illegally maintaining Schedule I placement of marijuana, it would open options for people around the country.
 
Rescheduling would prevent the federal government from saying it's against federal law for these state programs to operate, he says. "There are so many people who are suffering needlessly for lack of a needed medication," Krumm adds. "Marijuana has unique therapeutic value that can't be mimicked by any other class of medication. It's one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."'

The state's Medical Advisory Board will hold a hearing Thursday, Jan. 15, to consider adding illnesses to the list of those that qualify patients for the state's medical cannabis program. Go to Los Griegos Community Center at 1231 Candelaria NW at 9 a.m.

Geez, What a Bunch of Maroons

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http://www.mnvoters.org/


The Minnesota Voters Alliance is a citizens' group formed in the interest of liberty, transparency in government and a well-informed electorate.

Our main goals are to:

  1. Stop the undemocratic and unconstitutional Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) scheme.

  2. We are planning a petition in St. Paul (and Duluth) to require photo I.D. at the polls. 

  3. Work to restore the partisan-basis election format to Cities of the First Class. (i.e. Minneapolis & St. Paul)

  4. Promote the preservation of our right to elect our Judges, which is now being threatened.


Gee.  One might get the uninformed idea that IRV was a BAD thing, listening to them.  But their logic is irrefutable.  If one votes IRV, and one happens to pick the winner, one's first vote is the ONLY one counted, unlike those people who might have picked the winner as their fifth choice out of six (or so).

But the fact that their logic is correct doesn't imply that the results aren't better than the two-hundred year old system that we came up with at first.

For more info about IRV, see http://www.fairvote.org/

BTW, the judge understood their logic, but also thought that this wasn't a BAD thing.

Some people just view change as bad, yano?

Skycar embarks on epic journey

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A British team has invented a flying car which is setting off from London to Timbuktu today
The four humors mentioned below are classical. I saw a lot of modeling in shrink school. My psych prof advocated for a 'field' view of the soul, in which the likely response wasn't a dot, but a large cloud of potential.

In that model, it was easier to imagine a person who had all the qualities of all the humors, but wasn't dominated by one.

Unfortunately, there's wasn't really an accepted model at the time.

Looks like there is, now. Phlegmatic has been redefined as 'Supine' and that former label is now used in the new model to describe that 'all qualities' personality.

Supine is one who is essentially a passive (non expressive) Artisan type (Sangine). It's also called passive-sangine, or introverted-sangine.

It took a while for the others to notice that there was a difference between the bump on the log that offered help and the bitchy one.

And, as a phlegmatic, I need to point out that the 'Low Energy Level' is wholly a subjective judgment on the part of the others. My energy level is just fine when I want to expend energy. 

Most of the time, I'll just sit and watch you people tire yourselves out so that you'll stop long enough for me to tell you how to accomplish what you want. I'll likely help then, and I'll have plenty of energy (since I didn't waste mine tilting at windmills).

It's only arrogance when it's wrong, yano. Otherwise, it's talent.

I knew it all along. I just didn't know I knew.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Temperaments

Repost (Myers-Briggs)

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This is a combo of two types (which naturally go together). The Myers-Briggs personality type is the four-letter code, while the text version is named by David Keirsey.

he percentages are that of current US population. I'm showing up today as an ENTP (Inventor). I hover about a bit on that, though.

Guardian
Melancholic
46.4%
Artisan
Sanguine
27%
Idealist
Choleric
16.3%
Rational
Phlegmatic
10.4%
ISTJ
11.6%
ISTP
5.4%
INFJ
1.5%
INTJ
2.1%
InspectorCrafterCounselorMastermind
ISFJ
13.8%
ISFP
8.8%
INFP
4.3%
INTP
3.3%
ProtectorComposerHealerArchitect
ESFJ
12.3%
ESFP
8.5%
ENFP
8.1%
ENTP
3.2%
ProviderPerformerChampionInventor
ESTJ
8.7%
ESTP
4.3%
ENFJ
2.4%
ENTJ
1.8%
SupervisorPromoterTeacherField Marshal

(via Andres) by Yaakov Katz and AP

The Navy intercepted an Iranian ship loaded with medicine, food and clothing destined for Gaza, the IDF said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the boat docked in port Sayid, Egypt, but the Egyptians refused to allow it to unload its cargo. Nevertheless, at midnight Tuesday, the boat left port Sayid and tried to go to Gaza. A Navy Sa'ar 4.5 class ship intercepted the Iranian boat and transmitted a clear message on Channel 16 - the international communication line for ships - that it would not allow it to enter the waters around Gaza.

On Wednesday morning, when it was 30 miles off the Gaza coast, the Iranian boat again tried to move towards the Strip, and the Navy again intercepted it, the army said. It then returned to el-Arish, in Egypt, and two Egyptian boats prevented it from docking there.

Since that time, the boat has been sitting 30 miles off the coast of Gaza and has been closely tracked by the Israeli navy.

Israel has been coordinating all activity regarding the Iranian boat with the Egyptians.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Iran would do what it can to get the ship to Gaza, state television reported.

The head of the humanitarian aid group sponsoring the ship, Ahmad Navabi, said in comments aired on television Wednesday that the Israeli navy approached the cargo ship, Shahed, just 20 miles off the coast of Gaza at dawn and ordered it to turn back.

"An Israeli warship approached our cargo ship and warned us not to approach Gaza. We could see the lights at Gaza coast. We were forced to change route toward an Egyptian port," Navabi said.

Iranian state television broadcast what they said was a radio exchange between the Israeli navy and the Iranian ship in which the Israelis said: "Gaza is closed. Leave the area immediately."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday Iran has stepped up diplomatic efforts to push for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza, state television reported.

"In short term, the most important measures are to end (Israeli) assault on Gaza, end the Gaza blockade and recognize the rights of the Gaza people," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Navabi said his group may try to send the humanitarian aid to Gaza through Egypt to Gaza. The ship left the Iran two weeks ago.

Iran has already sent a cargo plane filled with 50 tons of aid to Egypt to be sent on to Gaza.

This is the first Iranian boat to try to reach Gaza during the siege. On Dec. 30, a boat carrying activists and medical supplies to Gaza was turned back after an altercation with the Israeli navy. Israeli officials said the boat tried to outmaneuver an Israeli navy ship and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels.

But activists on the ship said the Israeli vessel rammed the ship, which returned to Lebanon.

That trip was organized by the Free Gaza Movement, which previously made five deliveries of aid by boat to Gaza since August, defying a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt when Hamas won control of the territory in June 2007. The activist group on Wednesday sent another boat loaded with supplies to Gaza from Cyprus after a previous effort Monday was aborted due to rough weather and engine trouble.

The navy said it was prepared to prevent the Free Gaza boat from entering Gaza waters.

Meanwhile, in a gesture of support with the Palestinians in Gaza, Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious opinion, or fatwa, declaring the purchase of any Israeli goods or trade with Israeli companies to be forbidden.

Iranian authorities issued an order last week banning international companies from working in Iran if they are found to have any shares owned by Israelis. And on Sunday, the Iranian government said it plans to impose sanctions on foreign companies in Iran who also deal with Israel. It is not clear how or when the ban might be carried out, and no details were given regarding the sanctions.
In the fatwa posted on his Web site, Khamenei said Muslims throughout the world must avoid the purchase, import, and promotion of any products Israelis may profit from.

"All Muslims are required to avoid purchase and use of goods that bring profit to Zionists who are at war with Islam and Muslims," Khamenei said.

A fatwa is a religious opinion Muslims obey if they revere the person issuing it, which in the case of Khamenei would be restricted largely to Shi'ites in Iran and other parts of the world.
 

 
President Evo Morales announced on Wednesday that Bolivia has broken diplomatic relations with Israel, in protest of Israeli attacks on the Gaza strip that have caused the death of over a thousand Palestinians.
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Morales also said that he will denounce Israel before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity....
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Under the circumstances, I propose to "reform the Security Council" which I accuse of having demonstrated "an attitude of indifference" in the face of Israel's political aggression.
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My Change.org Top Ten

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In other words, just exactly HOW sure are you that Osama Bin Laden is *real*?

People in 1984 thought Emmanuel Goldstein was real.

It's in the best interests of the 'Powers that Be' for you to think he's real, anyway.  But if you should have your doubts, here's some links to explore.  Here's some alternate takes on what might be happening (from the man who Greg Palast replaced at the Guardian).


The Theory and Practice Of Oligarchical Collectivism is a fictional book which is an important element in both the plot and the overall theme of George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, first published in 1949.

Orwell's novel describes a totalitarian so