KABUL, Afghanistan -- Robin Williams and Lance Armstrong took a swipe at the French, Kid Rock strummed "Sweet Home Alabama," comedian Lewis Black grumbled about the falling snow, and Miss USA told the troops to keep "kicking butt."
Some 500 American soldiers watched an all-star USO cast perform under a steady snowstorm at a U.S. base in Kabul late Thursday. The stop was part of a six-day, 14-show tour that saw the entertainers begin their day with a performance in Iraq.
The audience of soldiers - bundled in hooded jackets and warm hats - stood in the snow before a makeshift stage waiting for Williams and company to arrive after the performers were delayed by rough weather.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was traveling with the group, took the microphone first, telling the soldiers it was a tough time to be away from home.
"We brought a few celebrities tonight to try and lift your spirits," he said before introducing Miss USA Rachel Smith, to a burst of cheers.
Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, told the soldiers that the entertainers had gotten stuck in Tikrit, Iraq because of a sandstorm and had to bunk in the same room. Black started snoring 60 seconds after the lights were turned out, Armstrong said.
"Then Robin was above me snoring so all night I was punching the bunk trying to get him to stop," he said.
After winning the world's most prestigious bike race seven times in a row, Armstrong said he was the most hated man in France. He then said he didn't think "there's that many French people around here anyway" - a statement that could be interpreted as a dig at the French military, which is stationed in the relatively peaceful north of Afghanistan.
Armstrong later said he walked offstage and promptly ran into several French soldiers.
Williams, a USO veteran making his fourth trip to Afghanistan, told the soldiers he woke up on Thursday in the desert sands of Iraq and closed out his day with snow in Kabul. "From sand to snow, mother nature is having hot flashes."
Then he, too, took a dig at the French.
"They're the only people who go into combat wearing a chef's hat. It's amazing," he said.
Among the many soldiers in the crowd wearing wide smiles on their faces was Lt. Col. Larry Terranova.
"Afghanistan is sometimes called the forgotten war and we don't get a lot of attention here and conditions are pretty miserable so it means a lot," said Terranova, 48, who is based out of Fort Sill, Okla.
He said he would miss his four children and four grandchildren over the holidays.
Williams, Armstrong and company have already performed in Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan and will perform in Kyrgyzstan and Europe before returning home.
Wayne Newton, head of talent recruitment for the USO, says the USO has had trouble recruiting entertainers for trips overseas. But John Hanson, USO spokesman, said that wasn't the case, noting the all-star cast now on tour. He said there have been 52 USO tours in 2007 that performed more than 300 shows.
"We don't want people to think there aren't people willing to come out here. There are," Hanson said, noting that entertainers must commit 10 days to two weeks for each tour.
Rock, who performed on acoustic guitar and had soldiers sing the chorus to "Sweet Home Alabama," said he volunteers for the sake of the soldiers.
"I'm here for one reason, to entertain these guys," he said in an interview after the show. "To be a source of entertainment, give them a slice of home."
"How can you not come?" he said.
"Especially at Christmas," Williams said, "to let people know they're not forgotten."
Smith, who was born on a military base in Panama, said she wanted to give something back because she knows what the troops are going through. She said the troops' work was invaluable.
"We wouldn't have the opportunities and freedoms that we have back at home if you guys weren't over here kicking butt," Smith said.
Armstrong said he was first introduced to USO tours through Williams, a longtime friend."I feel like it's important for us as entertainers or sports figures to step up and support our troops regardless of what you think or don't think of the conflict," Armstrong said. "The bottom line is that they sign up to defend our country."
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 2:07:07 pm PST
Former Howard University professor Abdelhaleem Ashqar was sentenced today to more than 11 years in prison for refusing to testify to a grand jury in a Hamas funding case.
CHICAGO: A former professor accused of providing money to Hamas terrorists was sentenced Wednesday to more than 11 years in prison and fined $5,000 for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury.
Abdelhaleem Ashqar, a former associate professor of business at Washington’s Howard University, showed no emotion as U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve imposed the sentence. But several relatives wept openly in the courtroom.
Ashqar was convicted earlier this year of criminal contempt and obstruction of justice for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the Palestinian militant movement Hamas on June 25, 2003. But he was acquitted of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at bankrolling the terrorist group Hamas.
Before being sentenced, Ashqar delivered a nearly two-hour passionate statement describing the suffering of Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation and saying he would rather go to prison than divulge the secrets of Palestinian militants.
“The only option was to become a traitor or collaborator and that is something that I can’t do and will never do as long as I live,” he told the court.
This guy was a professor at a US University. Unbelievable. Yet... not... really.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Republican presidential hopeful former Tenn. Sen. Fred Thompson speaks to local residents during a stop at a local bar and grill, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007, in Le Mars, Iowa. Thompson compared his Democratic rivals to race car drivers who only know how to turn left: 'It's like they're all in training for the NASCAR, you know, nothing but a left turn, just steady as she goes, all the way around,' he said in Iowa Tuesday. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Everything is wrong with this story. Sorry I didn't post it on Friday, where it truly belongs.
A Texas woman has escaped being charged with negligent homicide after she killed her husband with a sherry enema. Tammy Jean Warner had been scheduled to go on trial over the death of Michael Warner, 58.
Tammy Jean and Michael WarnerBut Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said the charges had been dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
She said the dead man had had a "severe alcohol issue" and it was not clear his wife had committed a crime.
"Let's say I have lung cancer and I continue to smoke. If you provide cigarettes to me, is that negligent homicide?" Ms Yenne asked.
"I really wrestled with the consent issue and negligence issue. I didn't think it rose to the level of negligent homicide."
Michael Warner, a machine shop operator, died at the couple's Lake Jackson home on May 21, 2004.
According to a post mortem report, Mr Warner had been given an enema containing enough sherry to produce a blood alcohol level six times the legal driving limit.
At the time his wife was indicted, Lake Jackson police detective Robert Turner said Michael Warner was a longtime alcoholic who sometimes used enemas to get drunk because a medical condition made it painful for him to drink.Warner claimed her husband had been addicted to enemas since he was a child. She said he often used alcohol in that manner to get drunk.
Multi-National Forces - Iraq ^ | October 18, 2007 | 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE RELEASE No. 20071018-04 October 18, 2007
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq – A 72-year-old man stopped a suspected suicide bomber from detonating himself at a checkpoint in Arab Jabour Oct. 14.
The man approached a checkpoint where Mudhehr Fayadh Baresh was standing guard, but did not make it very far. Baresh, a tribal commissioner and member of the Arab Jabour Concerned Citizens program, said he ordered the man to lift his shirt - using training received from Coalition Forces - when he did not recognize him as a local villager.
The suspect refused to lift his shirt. Baresh repeated the command again, and the suspect exposed his suicide vest, running toward the checkpoint.
Baresh opened fire which caused the vest to detonate, killing the suspect.“I did it for the honor of my family and the honor of my country,” said Baresh.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bill Maher can add "security guard" to his job description alongside comedian and political commentator.
Maher helped security give the boot to a rowdy protester from the studio of his weekly HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night, and it was all captured on live television.
Maher was talking science during one of his weekly panel discussions when a protester in his audience stood, held up a smuggled-in sign reading "9/11 is a cover up fraud" and shouted comments to the same effect.
The host tried to shout down the audience member, who only became more agitated.
"Do we have some (expletive) security in this building," Maher yelled, "or do I have to come down there and kick his (expletive)?"
When security reached the man's aisle and he resisted leaving, Maher ran into the seats and helped them push him out the door, shouting "Out! Out! Out!"
Several other protesters, sprinkled throughout the audience, then stood up and shouted.
"This isn't the Iowa Caucus, OK, we're not here to debate," Maher shouted with most of his audience cheering him on. "This is the problem with live television."
The incident was shown live on the East Coast, and the network appeared to show the entire affair unedited for the taped-delayed West Coast version.
After the instigators were ejected, Maher told his panelists — MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson — that they often linger outside his studio to share 9/11 conspiracy theories with him and try to get into the show.
"It's the only time I defend Bush," he said.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
EDGEWOOD, Fla. -- A large lizard capable of eating small pets and injuring children spotted in a Central Florida neighborhood tree remains on the loose, keeping homeowners on edge.
PHOTOS: Lizard Hiding In Tree
The lizard, believed to be longer than 4 feet, was spotted Monday apparently trying to get to a nest in a tree near several Edgewood homes.
Neighbors said it is one of at least three dangerous lizards roaming the area.
"As we walk through the neighborhood, we are now looking up into the trees," homeowner Janie Drummond said. An 89-year-old woman has shut herself inside her home because of the lizard invasion.
"She won't come out," daughter of local homeowner Robin Adams said. "They've told her to stay inside so that's what she is going to do." Other homeowners are keeping their children and pets inside because of the possible danger. The reptile is being blamed for biting a large dog on the head.
"I think it's probably not a good thing to have him running around," homeowner Daymon Powell said. "There are kids in the neighborhood that could corner him and it might attack them." Local 6 showed a large crowd of people standing around the homes where the lizard was spotted.
"It is something to see," Powell said. Experts said the lizards can be aggressive and dangerous. They said they think the loose lizards may have been someone's pet and let loose in the area.
Friday, September 21, 2007
New Media Journal ^ | February 1, 2007 | SGT Eddie Jeffers
Hope Rides Alone
USA Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, USA (Iraq) February 1, 2007
Editor's Note: This piece by Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, "Hope Rides Alone", was mentioned in a segment on Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor. Click here to listen to or download the segment.
I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives of others.
I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.
There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own...but that are necessary for survival. I've made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets...who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.
And to think, I volunteered for this...
And I am ignorant to the rest of the world...or so I thought.
But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.
I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that's what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.
People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don't realize its effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's brutality because it's against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward’s war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation's news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes...only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society...and they are becoming our enemy.
Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word "quagmire" around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war.
Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet...and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed...for doing their job.
It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we've done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed? It's all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.
America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It’s not like World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a servicemember, its life as usual...the war doesn't affect you.
But it affects us. And when it is over and the troops come home and they try to piece together what's left of them after their service...where will the detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can't touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.
We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It's supporting our President, our troops and our cause.
Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.
Let's stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop all the bad news and let's stand and fight!
Isn't that what America is about anyway?Sergeant Eddie Jeffers is a US Army Infantryman serving in Ramadi, Iraq.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
LOT OF POKEMON CARDS THAT MY KIDS TRIED TO SNEAK BY ME - (eBay item 130144061675 end time Aug-22-07 12:03:50 PDT)
Click it. EBay. Hysterical.
(They went for over $140!)
Monday, September 17, 2007
We'll just put this into the "You can't make it up" category.
I wonder if they like pina coladas.
A Bosnian couple are getting divorced after finding out they had been secretly chatting each other up online using fake names.
Sana Klaric, 27, and husband Adnan, 32, from Zenica, poured out their hearts to each other over their marriage troubles, and both felt they had found their real soul mate.
The couple had met in an online chat forum while he was at work and she in an internet cafe, and started chatting on under the names Sweetie and Prince of Joy.
The pair eventually decided to meet up - but there was no happy ending when they realised what had happened.Now they are both filing for divorce - with each accusing the other of being unfaithful.
Police Release 9 Threatening Postcards
OCALA, Fla. -- Investigators in Marion County, Fla., are searching for the author of nine postcards sent to different schools on the same day with the words 'Jihad-Boom" and handwritten cartoons of a building apparently exploding with people inside.
Investigators released the postcards with the threatening drawings on them Monday in hopes of generating leads in the case.
Officials said that the postcards are made up of various and traditional themes, and each one has a distinctive hand-drawn cartoon on it. Several of the threats arrived on postcards featuring Walt Disney World.
Detectives said the threat-maker crossed his or her No. 7s and attached a suffix to the address. Six of the nine postcards spell the word "Jihad" correctly, while the others are incorrect.
The U.S. Postal Service said that the postcards were all mailed to the schools from the Ocala-Gainesville mailing district before the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A $10,000 reward has been issued to anyone who provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for using the postal service to mail the threatening postcards to schools.
WARDLAW, Circuit Judge:
Plaintiffs Cynthia and Craig Corrie, Mahmoud Al Sho’bi, Fathiya Muhammad Sulayman Fayed, Fayez Ali Mohammed Abu Hussein, Majeda Radwan Abu Hussein, and Eida Ibrahim Suleiman Khalafallah filed this action after their family members were killed or injured when the Israeli Defense Forces (“IDF”) demolished homes in the Palestinian Territories using bulldozers manufactured by Caterpillar, Inc., a United States corporation. The IDF ordered the bulldozers directly from Caterpillar, but the United States government paid for them.
The district court dismissed the action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), finding it lacked jurisdiction because, inter alia, the political question doctrine precludes decision by an Article III court.
(Excerpt) Read more at ca9.uscourts.gov ...
Saturday, September 15, 2007
My sentiments, pretty much almost exactly.
Blogs for Fred Thompson ^ | September 9, 2007 | brkcmo
"After the speech, local farmer Les Nelson cuts through the crowd. He has a crewcut, wears worn jeans, holds out his thick hands, and says: “Kill the terrorists, secure the border, and give me back my freedom.”
Thompson looks to him, and says, deadeye, “you just summed up my whole speech.”That quote is part of an excellent in-depth article over at The Politico that picks up on the intangible that is taking place out on the campaign trail between Fred Thompson and the people he speaks to.
Jake Tapper at ABC News reported that MoveOn.org paid $65,000 for its full page anti-war advocacy sliming of General David Petraeus. This figure raised the suspicions of attentive blogger Confederate Yankee whose intuition appears to be correct. (h/t Michelle Malkin) While looking up the current New York Times rate book he discovered that MoveOn.org received a $102,000 discount on the standard political advocacy rate that is advertised at $167,157.For a newspaper that pretends to be objective purveyors of news this discount seems a bit steep for the deep pocketed liberal advocacy group. In fact the amount MoveOn paid is less than any rate listed in the New York Times schedule.There’s not much to say about the character of the New York Times that hasn’t been said already. For a paper that has been paying its investors back with lead weighted returns I’d be a little irritated if I had a stake in a venture that puts the subjective political agenda of the editorial staff above the fiduciary duty of the corporation to its investors. Especially considering that MoveOn.org could easily afford the going rate and likely would have run the ad without such a lavish discount. But then again advocacy as a business plan is exactly what the newspaper is about.When trying to explain how the New York Times Co. managed to shave 50% off the bottom line between 2002 and 2006 some analysts felt that editorial content was not the problem. They looked at other indicators such as poor cost control.They were wrong in my eyes. The arrogance of the people running the New York Times Co. is a reflection of the paper and its approach to journalism. I’d consider this an example of how editorial persuasion reflects much of the back room operations at the newspaper if not the company as a whole.Yesterday the New York Times Co. reached a simultaneous low while its crown jewel newspaper reached a new low by running a personal attack ad against a war hero. Their stock reflected their standing in the world of character by ending the day with a five year low of $20.72. What a perfectly deserving reflection of the quality of the product coming out of the nation’s biggest clearing house for advocacy journalism.
DEARBORN - Houssein Zorkot, a 26-year-old Dearborn resident, was arraigned Tuesday in 19th District Court on multiple felony charges, including carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent — a five-year felony.
Zorkot, a third-year medical student at Wayne State University, was allegedly armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and dressed in black clothing with camouflage paint covering his face when he was arrested Saturday in Hemlock Park.
According to police, Zorkot was observed attempting to leave the park in a black SUV after officers had received reports of a man carrying a rifle in the area. He was placed under arrest and is scheduled to undergo a preliminary examination at 9 a.m. Sept. 21 in 19th District Court.
(Excerpt) Read more at pressandguide.com ...
Friday, September 14, 2007
Cpl. Raymond D. Hennagir, 21, who lost both legs and four fingers on his left hand in Iraq on June 16, came home to Deptford tonight to a hero's welcome.
More than a thousand neighbors and strangers lined the roads leading to his house, surprising and humbling the wounded Marine.
Word got out earlier in the week that he was coming home for the first time from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, and the scene resembled a July Fourth parade.
Two fire trucks were parked at the end of his street, a giant American flag hanging between them, and there were bagpipes, several honor guards, and hundreds and hundreds of flags.
Shirley Baals, 49, who lives on Cooper Street, painted her 6-foot wooden "Welcome Home" sign and hung countless flags in her yard.
"I'm more excited than you are," Baals told Donna English, Hennagir's aunt, who has raised him as her own son since he was 9.
Joyce Faye, 90, wore a sash that read "U.S.A. Star-Spangled Banner" given to her by President Reagan. She served in the U.S.O. during World War II.
"I think our troops need all the support they can get," she said.
Marlene MacAfee, 70, standing with a flag, said, "I just wanted to welcome home the boy who was so injured. I wish they were all coming home and staying home."
From the parade route, Hennagir called Jim English, whom he considers his father, who was waiting at home.
He said, "Dad, there are so many motorcycles escorting us, I can't count them all."
English, surveying the growing crowd in front of his house, said: "Good to know people still care."
When Hennagir reached his house, the crowd cheered. Family members lifted him from the back of a Mustang convertible, where he'd been riding as a celebrity, and put him in his wheelchair.
Hennagir sat in his driveway, stunned by all the support, soaking in the scene, as the throng sang "God Bless America."
For lunch in her modest apartment, Madeline Nelson tossed a salad made with shaved carrots and lettuce she dug out of a Whole Foods dumpster.
She flavored the dressing with miso powder she found in a trash bag on a curb in Chinatown. She baked bread made with yeast plucked from the garbage of a Middle Eastern grocery.
Nelson, 51, is a former corporate executive who can afford to dine at upscale restaurants. But she prefers turning garbage into gourmet meals without spending a cent.
On this afternoon, she thawed a slab of pate that she found three days before its expiration date in a trash bin outside a health food store. She made buttery chicken soup from another health food store’s hot buffet leftovers, which she salvaged before they were tossed into the garbage.
Nelson once earned a six-figure income as director of communications at Barnes and Noble. Tired of representing a multimillion-dollar company, she quit in 2005 and became a “freegan” — the word combining “vegan” and “free.” It is a growing subculture of people who have reduced their spending habits and live off consumer waste.
Although many of its pioneers are vegans, people who neither eat nor use any animal-based products, the concept has caught on with Nelson and other meat-eaters who do not want to depend on businesses that they think waste resources, harm the environment or allow unfair labor practices.
“We’re doing something that is really socially unacceptable,” Nelson said. “Not everyone is going to do it, but we hope it leads people to push their own limits and quit spending.”
"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Don't know yet, hon. I'll have to see what the Joneses tossed out."
Actor and husband of Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, offered radio listeners a "Happy 9/11" Tuesday, the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., during a promotional appearance for his new movie "The Hunting Party."
Brolin was being interviewed on the Chaz and AJ Show on WPLR, a New Haven, Conn., radio station.
The transcript follows:
Brolin: So, you know, it's, it's kind of a parody on how come we can't catch war criminals with all our sophisticated stuff, you know.
Chaz: That's something we've been talking about a lot today on the show for obvious reasons, the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Brolin: Right. Oh yeah. Oh, Happy 9/11!
Chaz: Well, that's kind of a weird thing to say.
Brolin: [Laughter] I heard silence.
Brolin: Well ...
Chaz: Well, we're right outside of New York. I mean, I know people ...
Chaz: ... who lost family members so ... I don't know ... we don't say Happy 9/11 around here.
Brolin: Celebrate the day, right?
Chaz: Yeah, well, we kind of commemorate the day by remembering the people who were lost and the families that they left behind.
Brolin: I understand ...
Brolin: It's a horrible situation how they've been left behind, even now, by, uh, anybody who might, uh ...Chaz: I think you'd be better off talking about this movie.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I love a happy ending.
PORTLAND, Ore. (NEWSCHANNEL) -- An Oregon man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after hiring another man to kill his wife.
Susan Kuhnhausen fought off the hit man and actually strangled the attacker with her bare hands killing him.
In September 2006, Susan found an intruder in her southeast Portland home.
"I saw a man step out of the shadows and he began to hit me in the head and the face with a hammer," said Kuhnhausen.
For the first time publicly, she described how, fearing for her life, she fought back.
"I got the hammer and started hitting him with the hammer several times. My father, the carpenter, always taught me a hammer could be used for self defense -- the claw end would work the best," said Kuhnhausen.
The attacker was Ed Haffey, a drug addict who it turned out was hired by Michael Kuhnhausen to kill Susan.
"I yelled: 'who sent you here? Yelled again, 'who sent you here?'" Kuhnhausen said in court.
The plan failed as the emergency room nurse relied on her hospital self-defense training and began to bite, hit and choke Haffey.
"He turned blue as I told him you're not going to kill me." said Kuhnhausen.
Instead, she killed Haffey.
Police later found notes in Haffey's backpack linking him to Michael Kuhnhausen.
Susan called it a cowardly plan.
"If I ever believed you deserved to be dead, I would at least have had the balls to kill you myself," declared Kuhnhausen.
"I hurt a lot of people over the last year and I'm sorry. That's all I can say, I'm sorry," said Michael Kuhnhausen.
After laughing at that statement, Susan Kuhnhausen began to cry.
She was grateful her former husband apologized but she was also happy to know he too is suffering.Michael Kuhnhausen pled guilty to soliciting to commit aggravated murder last month and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I would say that Fred took the gloves off, but of course he never puts those silly things on in the first place.
Fred Thompson is making links where they belong in a press release he issued this afternoon about the shameful full page ad placed in the New York Times today by the left-wing group MoveOn.org. The ad was headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" In the press release below, Fred connects the dots by pointing out that MoveOn.org funds the Democratic Party. He challenges Democrats to repudiate this ad:
Thompson Slams MoveOn.org For Libelous Attack On General Petraeus
Columbia, SC - Fred Thompson released the following statement regarding MoveOn.org's recent advertisement in the New York Times about General David Petraeus:
"MoveOn.org has today, in effect, said that the General leading our brave troops in Iraq is betraying his country. This is the group that funds the Democratic Party. I call upon the Democratic Party and all of the Democratic candidates for President to repudiate the libel of this patriotic American."
Kathy Griffin's Bravo series "My Life on the D-List" won the Emmy for "Best Reality Program (non-competition).
Her speech was memorable, in which she refused to thank Jesus.
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had nothing to do with this," Griffin said. "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now."The comic has won that Emmy she’s long coveted.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
"Old" news, but I've been overwhelmed lately.
ADL Responds To Open Letter From CAIR; Releases Photo Of Group's Leader Speaking Next To Hezbollah Flag
ADL Responds To Open Letter From CAIR; Releases Photo Of Group's Leader Speaking Next To Hezbollah Flag
New York, NY, August 30, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in response to an "open letter" from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) suggesting that their organization has "acted numerous times … to condemn terrorism," today released a photograph of CAIR's executive director speaking at a podium next to a known anti-Semite and the flag of the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, issued the following statement:In the attached photo released by ADL, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad is shown delivering a speech under a Hezbollah flag during a rally on April 20, 2002 in Washington, DC. To his right stands Imam Abdul Alim Musa, the anti-Semitic head of Masjid Al Islam mosque.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has once again squandered an opportunity to unequivocally condemn terrorists – such as Hezbollah and Hamas – by name and to address its past affiliation with the Islamic Association for Palestine, whose ideology is rooted in virulent anti-Semitism.
The August 29, 2007, "Open Letter from CAIR to ADL" is yet another weary tactic by CAIR's leadership to divert attention from its troubling roots and disingenuous record. CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed and Executive Director Nihad Awad continue to willfully ignore legitimate questions. Attacking ADL will not make the real issues go away.
An organization that purportedly seeks to enter into dialogue with ADL should firmly denounce the anti-Semitic rhetoric and support for terror organizations that regularly occur at rallies, instead of sponsoring and joining them.
ADL's 94-year history supporting the civil rights of all in this country, including Muslims, and our record of teaching respect for all religions through interfaith and diversity education programs is unparalleled. Unfortunately, CAIR has shown that it is not a legitimate partner in this vital work.
You better put down your drinks, and make sure there's nothing in your mouths, for the New York Times's David Brooks made a comment on Friday's News Hour that is guaranteed to evoke uncontrollable fits of laughter from those on the right side of the aisle.
*****Updates at end of post include similar opinions from conservative bloggers, as well as a video of a CNN correspondent saying roughly the same thing, and a response from the Kos Kidz.
After introducing regular guests Brooks and Mark Shields, host Jim Lehrer asked their opinions concerning the just-released Osama bin Laden video.
Brooks was second up with this absolutely marvelous observation (final warning to put down your drinks, video available here):
No, ludicrous. I mean, on one hand, he's a malevolent guy who killed 3,000 Americans. But you read this thing, and it's like he's been sitting around reading lefty blogs, and he's one of these childish people posting rants at the bottom the page, you know, Noam Chomsky and all this stuff.
You can't help read it and not laugh at it, occasionally, because it is just absurd. It's flying this way, and that way, weird conspiracy theories, and mortgages, global warming. He throws it all in there.
The one thing that leapt out -- and Bruce Hoffman and the others mentioned this -- was how Western it is. And a friend of mine, Reuel Gerecht, points out that there's this argument that Western ideas never permeated into the Arab world, but in fact it's all -- I mean, a lot of the worst ideas from the West have permeated in, and he's picked up Noam Chomsky, and he's picked up some of the anti-globalization stuff. And that's what infuses this.
Yah gotta love it!
*****Update II: Gateway Pundit chimes in.
*****Update III: CNN correspondent: "At times he comes off like an angry blogger chastising Americans for electing President Bush twice and the Democrats for not doing more to stop the Iraq war." Video available here.
*****Update IV: Charles Johnson finds a comical response from the Netroots: "And of course, this simple, obvious observation about bin Laden’s video (with its references to weird conspiracies, JFK, Marxism, and Noam Chomsky, like just about any lefty blog) has provoked seething from the Kos Kidz: Daily Kos: in defense of NOT firing David Brooks."
*****Update V: Glenn Reynolds has more.
God bless Texas.
(CBS 11 News) FORT WORTH -- A license is no longer required to carry a gun inside a vehicle, as long as that gun is hidden.
This is part of House Bill 1815, which not only allows firearms, but other weapons as well. Swords, clubs, tomahawks and blades over five inches long were once considered illegal. Now, all can be carried inside a vehicle so long as they remain concealed.
Proponents said this law maintained Second Amendment rights, however, police officers worry about what they might face in the future.
"It's unfortunate that we are going to have to, more than likely, deal with those situation," said Det. Sandra Castillo. "But that's our job, and we just have to be ready for it, if it does happen. We don't have a choice."There are some restrictions to the law: you cannot be involved in a gang, you cannot be a convicted felon and you cannot be in the process of committing a crime.
Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday TelegraphLast Updated: 12:44pm BST 09/09/2007
A Californian heavy metal fan, who converted to Islam and became the first American to be charged with treason in half a century, has been fingered as the author of Osama bin Laden's latest video lecture - which left the terror chief sounding like an anti-globalisation protester.
Video: Bin Laden returns
The al-Qaeda leader's first video message for three years featured a bizarre rant against America, with references to global warming, "insane taxes", the US mortgage market meltdown and rising interest rates.
Image conscious: Osama bin Laden appears to have dyed his beard to seem younger
American spy chiefs were quick to name Adam Gadahn, the head of al-Qaeda's English language media operations, as the author of large sections of bin Laden's broadcast.
Last October, the 28-year-old "loner" became the first American charged with treason since 1952, for appearing in a succession of al-Qaeda videos under the guise of "Azzam The American", in which he condemned globalisation and made American cultural references.
He was charged in his absence, as he is thought to be near to bin Laden, almost certainly in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Gadahn, who as teenager reviewed albums for a metal music magazine, moved to Pakistan in 1998 and became an associate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks. In 2004, the FBI named him as one of seven al-Qaeda operatives planning attacks in the US.advertisement
The bin Laden video, timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, shows the terror chief, his beard dyed black, condemning the "unjust" Iraq war and calling on Americans to "embrace Islam".
What surprised analysts was his use of the language of Left-wing protesters, which showed detailed knowledge of the economic travails of middle America.
Bin Laden referred to "the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgage" and blamed "global warming and its woes" on "emissions of the factories the major corporations".
A former senior US intelligence official said: "It has Adam Gadahn written all over it." Mike Baker, a former CIA covert operations officer, said the tape left bin Laden with "the title of biggest gas bag in the terrorist world".
CIA officials said voice analysis of the tape proved it was definitely bin Laden.
References to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president, Gordon Brown's appointment as prime minister and the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing on August 6 led them to conclude it was filmed as recently as four weeks ago.
President Bush used the release of the tape to reinforce his view that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.
He said: "I found it interesting that on the tape Iraq was mentioned, which is a reminder that Iraq is a part of this war against extremists.
If al-Qaeda bothers to mention Iraq, it is because they want to achieve their objectives in Iraq, which is to drive us out and to develop a safe haven."
The tape contained no direct threats, but Michael Hayden, the CIA director, gave a speech on Friday, after he was briefed on its contents, in which he said: "Al-Qaeda is focusing on targets that would produce mass casualties, dramatic destruction, and significant economic aftershocks."
American officials said the US government had obtained a copy of the video even though it had not been posted on Islamist websites - sparking speculation that US intelligence has developed an informant or cracked al-Qaeda's cyber security.
Adam Gadahn,"Azzam The American", is the first American charged with treason since 1952
Mohamed el-Sayed, of the Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, said bin Laden's words are proof the West cannot appease al-Qaeda by withdrawing from Iraq. "The message is much more threatening this time," he said. "It uses iconic language that suggests: 'The only way to get peace is to convert to Islam.' He's in a state of constant, unending war until he Islamises the world."
But other analysts said that the lack of specific threats is evidence that bin Laden cannot direct specific operations from his base in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Peter Bergen, a US journalist who has interviewed bin Laden, said producing the video was a risk, as were previous audio tapes. "Every time he releases tapes he lays himself open to detection," he said.
"They are taken out by couriers from the tribal areas in Pakistan. If you can trace the train of custody of these tapes you can find bin Laden. He's keenly aware of that."
Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright
Saturday, September 08, 2007
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 8, 2007You sick sonufabitch. Bye bye. Somebody please now get the despicable piece of scum who made the video. I could pull the trigger and turn around and bake cookies.
(AP) A man who for 12 years served as president of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was sentenced to seven years in prison for downloading what authorities said was some of the "most abhorrent" child pornography they have ever seen.
The prison term for Charles Rust-Tierney, 52, of Arlington, is one year less than the minimum sentence suggested under federal sentencing guidelines, and more than the five-year term defense attorneys wanted.
Rust-Tierney said depression and "plummeting self-esteem" led him astray.
"I know what I have done is wrong, morally and legally," he said Friday. "My conduct in paying the producers of this material is reprehensible. I am filled with contrition, remorse and shame."
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III gave Rust-Tierney credit for what he said was "an otherwise exemplary life" that included decades of service as a public defender in Washington, D.C., representing the mentally ill. Several dozen people wrote letters to the judge on Rust-Tierney's behalf, and more than 20 people attended Friday's hearing to support him.
Rust-Tierney was president of the ACLU's Virginia chapter from 1993 to 2005 and served as a youth sports coach in Arlington. There is no evidence that he ever had improper contact with children, despite a thorough investigation by Arlington police after his arrest in February.
Ellis said Friday that the pornography downloaded by Rust-Tierney "was of the most abhorrent kind," including torture and sexual assaults on children as young as 6.
Rust-Tierney paid hundreds of dollars to subscribe to multiple illegal child pornography Web sites at least as far back as 2004, authorities said. When he was arrested, police found roughly 850 still images and 36 videos of child pornography.
Prosecutor Edward McAndrew urged Ellis to impose an eight-year sentence, in line with federal sentencing guidelines. He suggested in court papers that many of Rust-Tierney's supporters would be less likely to stand with him had they actually seen the type of pornography that Rust-Tierney was receiving.
"The children of this country are at maximum peril when their guardians exploit them," McAndrew said.
Alexandria, Va. (WUSA) -- A public defender from Arlington now finds that he is the accused. Fifty-one year old Charles Rust-Tierney appeared in United States District Court in Alexandria Wednesday.
He’s accused of receiving and possessing child pornography, and investigators outlined what they say they found after searching his home.
They say Rust-Tierney had video showing, among other things, the sexual torture of infants and toddlers. The judge said she’d never heard of child pornography that vile and said because of that, Rust-Tierney would stay behind bars until his trial.
Rust-Tierney is a father himself and also a coach of Arlington-area youth little league and soccer teams. In court, dozens of his friends and family members voiced support for him. They say they have never suspected him of improper contact with kids.
More from O'Reilly at Human Events. He focuses on the media suppression angle.
One of the images Tierney was in possession of showed a little girl tied up and screaming while being violently raped.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Bail-jumping Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu was busted in Colorado last night after two days on the lam from a California court hearing, authorities said.
FBI agents took Hsu into custody at St.Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, according to FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler.
"San Francisco FBI located him," Schadler said, and Colorado G-men and local cops made the collar.
St. Mary's spokesman Pete Smarr told the Daily News, "Norman Hsu was traveling on an Amtrak train when he became ill. Amtrak personnel called an ambulance when the train stopped in Grand Junction and had him transferred to St. Mary's Hospital. He is currently in the hospital under federal custody. He is in fair condition."
A spokesman for Hsu seemed suprised by news of the arrest last night. "I haven't been in contact with him for a couple of days," said spokesman Jason Booth. "I'm happy he's been found."
Hsu had been scheduled to appear in a San Francisco court Wednesday to turn over his passport and ask a judge to halve the $2 million bail he posted last week. That's when he had finally turned himself in after spending 15 years ducking sentencing on a felony theft conviction. But Hsu failed to show up at the bail reduction hearing and a judge issued an arrest warrant for him.
California attorney general spokesman Gareth Lacy said Hsu's lawyers had told prosecutors Hsu arrived by charter jet at the Oakland airport about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday local time and then vanished.
Ambassadors from Muslim countries have indicated that they intend to present the Swedish prime minister with a list of demands when they meet for talks on Friday.
Fredrik Reinfeldt invited the ambassadors from 20 Muslim countries to government offices on Friday following a wave of protests from Muslim countries after the publication of a caricature of Muhammad in local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda.
Reinfeldt's press secretary Oscar Hållén was unable to say which countries had confirmed their attendance.
Egyptian ambassador Mohamed Sotouhi told news agency TT that he and a group of fellow ambassadors had agreed on a list of measures Sweden needed to take if it was to secure a long-term solution to the Muhammad cartoon controversy.
According to Sotouhi, "comprehensive measures" were required if Sweden was to prevent some "amateur artist" from reawakening tensions every other month.
"We want to see action, not just nice words. We have to push for a change in the law," he said.
"Muslims need legal protection against the desecration of the Prophet Muhammad, maybe something similar to the protection enjoyed by Jews and homosexuals."
While praising the "very constructive steps" taken by Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Egyptian ambassador said that Sweden had much work left to do.
"In the long term the school curriculum has to convince pupils that if they want to express their opinion they should do so in such a way that it doesn't cause offence or hurt. This should also be part of journalism training," said Sotouhi.
"A permanent parliamentary committee also needs to be established to tackle islamophobia," he added.
The ambassador urged Reinfeldt to strive towards "reaching a balance between freedom of speech and taking responsibility to avoid offending Muslims or other religious groups in this society".
"Everybody will compare his wisdom with the situation in Denmark, whose prime minister treated the problem with a sort of arrogance, or at least delayed taking action to prevent the problem from escalating," he said.
Sotouhi described Sweden as a sophisticated country containing talented and creative diplomats.
"They know that proactive measures are necessary and we are ready to cooperate with them," he said.
Algeria's ambassador to Sweden, Merzak Bedjaoui, said the meeting "was an excellent initiative taken in a spirit of appeasement."
"At our level, we are trying to work hand in hand with Swedish authorities to try to create a real bridge between our communities," he said.
"When we speak of a dialogue between civilisations, it can't just be a catchy slogan. I think that the publication of this kind of caricature doesn't help at all," he said.
Earlier in the day the Oscar Hållén said that the meeting would form "part of our dialogue with these countries."
"We want to emphasize the fact that Muslims and Christians live side by side in Sweden in a spirit of mutual respect," he said.
Hållén further added that the government intended to reiterate its earler defence of Swedish laws surrounding freedom of expression.TT/The Local/AFP
Thursday, September 06, 2007
FOXNews.com - New Yorker Finds Roommate Dead, Second Time in a Year - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
I realize it's not Friday yet, but...
NEW YORK — For the second time in a year, a man who lives in downtown Manhattan's trendy SoHo district has discovered a roommate dead in the same bedroom.
Detectives were questioning a suspect on Thursday in the latest case — the stabbing of a woman whose decaying body was found by the man on Wednesday.
Last June, the man, whose name was not released, discovered his previous roommate dead in the third-floor, two-bedroom flat on Crosby Street. Authorities concluded the woman died of a narcotics overdose.
Police said the suspect being questioned Thursday was a former boyfriend of the 36-year-old victim, Denise Deperrie.
The boyfriend had been arrested early this month on charges he assaulted Deperrie in the SoHo apartment on July 30 by punching her and breaking her nose, and using a sword to cut her leg, chin and neck, authorities said. The sword was never recovered.
A judge ordered the suspect held on $10,000 bail and issued a restraining order. But he was released from jail on Aug. 9 because, without the cooperation of the victim, prosecutors had failed to get an indictment.
"We had been trying to get her to come in, but had been unsuccessful," said district attorney spokeswoman Barbara Thompson.
The victim's roommate recalled that the pair had argued in the apartment late last week, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. It was the last time he saw her alive.
This week, after smelling a foul odor, the man tried to make the stench go away by cleaning the apartment, police said. When that did not work, he entered his roommate's bedroom and found the body.
Police said it appeared Deperrie had been stabbed three times in the chest. Results of an autopsy were pending.
Detectives tracked down the suspect after he telephoned the victim's sister and told her he was checking himself into a hospital mental ward, Kelly said.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I can't believe I forgot to blog this thing of beauty!!!
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sought to justify his confidence the United States will not attack Iran, saying the proof comes from his mathematical skills as an engineer and faith in God, the press reported on Monday.
Ahmadinejad told academics in a speech that elements inside Iran were pressing for compromise in the nuclear standoff with the West over fears the United States could launch a military strike.
"In some discussions I told them 'I am an engineer and I am examining the issue. They do not dare wage war against us and I base this on a double proof'," he said in the speech on Sunday, reported by the reformist Etemad Melli and Kargozaran newspapers.
"I tell them: 'I am an engineer and I am a master in calculation and tabulation.
"I draw up tables. For hours, I write out different hypotheses. I reject, I reason. I reason with planning and I make a conclusion. They cannot make problems for Iran.'"
Ahmadinejad has long expressed pride in his academic prowess. He holds a PhD on transport engineering and planning from Tehran's Science and Technology University and is the author several of scientific papers.
The deeply religious president said his second reason was: "I believe in what God says."
"God says that those who walk in the path of righteousness will be victorious. What reason can you have for believing God will not keep this promise."
Washington has never ruled out taking military action against Tehran, and its tone has sharpened again over the past week with President George W. Bush warning that Iran's nuclear programme could lead to a "nuclear holocaust."
Ahmadinejad said that "God willing" one day he would write his memoirs to put the record straight.French President Nicolas Sarkozy has already warned that Iran risks being bombed if the nuclear crisis is not resolved. Ahmadinejad last week brushed off the comments which he said were due to his French counterpart's inexperience.
Schumer is so incredibly disgusting.
Leibowitz's Canticle ^ | September 5, 2007 | Leibowitz
Posted on 09/05/2007 5:37:36 PM CDT by Bob Leibowitz
Chuck Schumer, senior Senator from New York and self-described member of the Democratic leadership team in the Senate, really knows how to make friends and influence people.
This morning, in a speech on the Senate floor, he explicitly told the U. S. Marines in Anbar province that they've failed and are a part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Let me be clear. The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al-Qaeda said to these tribes, "We have to fight al-Qaeda ourselves."
It wasn't that the surge brought peace here, it was that the warlords took peace here, created a temporary peace here and that was because there was no one else there protecting.
I'm not going to hold my breath. That said...
Human Events ^ | 9/5/7 | Rep. John Boehner
As Congress returns this week, Republicans are ready to pick up where we left off when August recess began last month. From fighting for lower taxes to insisting on more restrained federal spending to giving our troops the support they need to wage and win the War on Terrorism, we’re ready to continue working on the most important priorities facing the American people. At the same time, we also return to Washington with some unfinished business leftover from before the August recess: continuing to hold congressional Democrats accountable for the most egregious action of their short-lived majority -- or any House majority for that matter…a stolen vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
For years, congressional Democrats have thrown up obstacle after obstacle to combating illegal immigration. This year alone, they’ve cut funding for the border fence we approved in the last Congress and slowed its construction dramatically. And they’ve passed a costly bill that would force American taxpayers to foot the bill for illegal immigrants’ health insurance. But right before the August recess, they succeeded in thwarting efforts to fight illegal immigration in a way that I never imagined they could. They stole an illegal immigration vote. To refresh your memory, here’s how it happened:
On the night of August 2, the House was voting on a Republican motion to deny taxpayer benefits to illegal immigrants as part of an annual agricultural spending bill. When the chair gaveled the vote, we clearly prevailed 215-213. This was clear on the electronic tally board inside the chamber, and this was clear to those watching on C-SPAN. However, in what I described to my colleagues as “the legislative equivalent of the ‘shot heard ’round the world,’” Democrats strong-armed the House parliamentarians to back down from the initial vote tally and forced several of its own Members to change their votes.
In spite of the fact that the vote clearly showed we won 215-213 as time expired on the vote -- and after the gavel plainly indicated the vote was closed -- the result changed, and our motion to stop the Democratic majority from giving taxpayer dollars to individuals who violate the laws of our country was “defeated.” As if this wasn’t bad enough, all electronic records of the vote have since disappeared. So too did a written account in the Congressional Record of a debate I had with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on the House floor the following evening, in which the Democrats blatantly cut off debate -- a willful disregard for the rules of the House. And mysteriously enough, the day after the stolen vote, the House electronic voting system failed altogether for several hours.
When the eyes of the nation turned to the stolen vote and its fallout, House Democrats began to feel the heat, and eventually, after hours of behind-the-scenes wrangling, they gave in to Republican demands for an evenly-divided, Watergate-style special committee to investigate the entire matter. The reason I felt so strongly about demanding this investigative panel instead of simply making noise about the stolen vote is because I believe if the integrity and accountability of a vote cannot be guaranteed in the House of Representatives, then it simply cannot be guaranteed anywhere. And clearly, under this Democratic majority, it cannot be guaranteed in the House -- so we have no choice but to act. You see, this vote was not just stolen from us, as House Republicans; it was stolen from the American people, who pay billions in taxes each year -- much of which ends up in the hands of illegal immigrants. That is what we were trying to stop, and that is what the Democrats had to steal a vote to keep from happening.
Today, we named our three Republican Members of this six-Member panel: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN.), who will serve as the Ranking Republican Member of the committee, Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), and Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO). Mike, Steve, and Kenny are ideal choices for this panel. They are fair-minded, they are dedicated to doing their jobs with integrity, and most importantly, they will not back down should their Democratic counterparts attempt to slow or obfuscate the work of the committee.
The investigators are tasked with three main duties: (1) to get to the bottom of the fraud we encountered in the well of the House of Representatives; (2) to answer the questions that need to be answered to preserve the integrity of the institution of the House; and (3) to recommend any changes that may be necessary to ensure this never happens again. The committee will make public its preliminary findings by September 30 of this year, so the six Members on the panel will need to get to work very quickly -- and for good reason. We have the obligation to ensure that no such injustice takes place in the House again, and the American people are watching.House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) has introduced a resolution to restore our victory on the agricultural spending bill -- complete with language that would bar taxpayer dollars going to illegal immigrants. He has my complete support. And so too does the select committee’s critical work. Try as they might to sweep this under the rug, House Democrats will not be able to escape the events of August 2. This stolen vote was an assault never before seen in congressional history, and to restore some semblance of trust to our institution, Republicans will hold them responsible for stealing this vote from the American people so it never, ever is allowed to occur again.
CRUISING WHILE REPUBLICAN
September 5, 2007
If you've just returned from your Labor Day vacation and are scanning the headlines from last week's newspapers -- don't panic! America is not threatened by a category 5 hurricane named "Larry Craig."
Despite the 9/11-level coverage, Larry Craig is merely accused of "cruising while Republican." There is nothing liberals love more than gay-baiting, which they disguise as an attack on "hypocrisy."
Chris Matthews opened his "Hardball" program on Aug. 28 by saying Larry Craig had been "exposed as both a sexual deviant and a world-class hypocrite."
Normally, using the word "deviant" in reference to any form of sodomy would be a linguistic crime worse than calling someone a "nappy headed ho." Luckily, Craig is a Republican.
As a backup precaution, Matthews has worked to ensure that there is virtually no audience for "Hardball." I shudder to think of the damage such a remark might have done if uttered about a non-Republican on a TV show with actual viewers.
The New York Times ran 15 articles on Craig's guilty plea to "disorderly conduct" in a bathroom. The Washington Post ran 20 articles on Craig. MSNBC covered it like it was the first moon landing -- Three small taps for a man, one giant leap for public gay sex!
In other news last week, two Egyptian engineering students, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, were indicted in Tampa on charges of carrying pipe bombs across states lines. They were caught with the bombs in their car near a Navy base.
But back to the real news of the week: CNN's Dana Bash reported that the Larry Craig story was "everywhere and it is not going to let up."
If liberals were any happier, they'd be gay.
Just as liberals were reaching a fever-pitch of pretend shock and dismay at Larry Craig, it was announced that Craig was resigning. And there went MSNBC's fall program schedule.
Indignant that Craig had short-circuited their gleeful gay-baiting, liberals quickly switched to a new set of talking points. In the blink of an eye, they went from calling Craig a "deviant" to attacking Republicans for not insisting that Craig stay.
Liberals said the only reason Republicans were not blanketing the airwaves defending Craig -- maybe running him for president -- was because of Republican "homophobia." After howling with rage all week about gay Republicans, to turn around and call Republicans homophobes on Friday was nothing if not audacious.
But last Friday -- or, for short, "the day the two bomb-carrying Egyptian students were indicted and the mainstream media was too busy jeering at Larry Craig to notice" -- The New York Times editorialized:
"Underlying the (Republicans') hurry to disown the senator, of course, is the party's brutal agenda of trumpeting the gay-marriage issue. To the extent Sen. Craig, a stalwart in the family values caucus, might morph into a blatant hypocrite before the voters' eyes, he reflects on the party's record in demonizing homosexuality. The rush to cast him out betrays the party's intolerance, which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness."
Liberals don't even know what they mean by "hypocrite" anymore. It's just a word they throw out in a moment of womanly pique, like "extremist" -- or, come to think of it, "gay." How is Craig a "hypocrite," much less a "blatant hypocrite"?
Assuming the worst about Craig, the Senate has not held a vote on outlawing homosexual impulses. It voted on gay marriage. Craig not only opposes gay marriage, he's in a heterosexual marriage with kids. Talk about walking the walk!
Did Craig propose marriage to the undercover cop? If not, I'm not seeing the "hypocrisy."
And why is it "homophobic" for Senate Republicans to look askance at sex in public bathrooms? Is the Times claiming that sodomy in public bathrooms is the essence of being gay? I thought gays just wanted to get married to one another and settle down in the suburbs so they could visit each other in the hospital.
Liberals have no idea what they think about homosexuality, which is why their arguments are completely contradictory. They gay-bait Republicans with abandon -- and then turn around and complain about homophobia.
They call Larry Craig a "deviant" based on accusations that he attempted to solicit sex in a public bathroom -– and then ferociously attack efforts to prevent people from having sex in public bathrooms.
They say people are born gay -- and then they say it's the celibacy requirement that turns Catholic priests gay.
They tell us gays want nothing more than to get married -- and then say it's homophobic to oppose homosexual sex in public bathrooms.
Unlike liberals, the "family values caucus" that the Times loathes has only one position on homosexuality: Whatever your impulses are, don't engage in homosexual sex. In fact, don't have any sex at all unless it is between a husband and wife.
The Idaho Statesman spent eight months investigating a rumor that Craig was gay. They interviewed 300 people, going back to his college days. They walked around Union Station in Washington, D.C., with a picture of Craig, asking people if they had seen him loitering around the men's bathrooms.
And they produced nothing.
All they had was the original anonymous charge of sodomy in a bathroom at Union Station that started the eight-month investigation in the first place -- and his plea to "disorderly conduct" after an ambiguous encounter in a bathroom in Minneapolis. Even his enemies said they had never seen any inappropriate conduct by Craig.
If the charges against Craig are true -- and that is certainly in doubt -- he's a sinner (and barely that, according to The Idaho Statesman), but he is among the least hypocritical people in America.
COPYRIGHT 2007 ANN COULTER
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
In one of the most hilarious cases of being tripped up by dubious scientific hype, British yachtsman Adrian Flanagan attempted to be the first to sail across the arctic north of Russia. He based his hope on the fact that he believed in the Global Warming propaganda that the arctic is rapidly losing its ice thus making his trip possible. One little problem. Cold cruel reality has crushed the Global Warming hype and now Flanagan's boat is trapped by ice in the arctic. To add to the irony, Flanagan who seems to be destined to go down in history as Wrong Way Flanagan, is now pleading with Russian authorities to provide him with the services of a nuclear powered icebreaker to get him out of his embarrassing situation.
As recently as August 18, Wrong Way Flanagan's hopes were still high that he could sail across the arctic north of Russia. Moscow News announced his trip in an article ironically titled, Global Warming is Here.
A British yachtsman, Adrian Flanagan, is due shortly to head off from Chukotka to attempt the first solo sail through the Northern Sea Route.
While one Chukotka port official described this as "kamikaze," Flanagan too is optimistic. Contacted by AFP he said that the ice looked set to recede at least as far as in 2005, which was a record year. But while some see opportunities, others are already counting the costs of climate change.
Flash forward to today and we can see the sticky situation that Wrong Way Flanagan put himself into by placing his faith in Global Warming to clear his path in the arctic as chronicled by Australia's Herald Sun in an article with the sobering title of Ice blocks British solo sailor:
A BRITISH yachtsman attempting the first solo Arctic sea passage across northern Russia was examining his options after heavier than expected ice blocked his route, his manager said.
Adrian Flanagan is discussing with Russian authorities the possibility of using a nuclear-powered icebreaker to lift his boat out of the water and carry it round the most icebound stretch of Russia's Northern Sea Route.
...He had hoped that his 11m reinforced yacht would be able to get all the way to Europe due to lighter ice conditions observed in recent years, thought to be a result of global warming.
But after making his way through the Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas, Flanagan has been forced to a halt by heavy ice at the most difficult point in the route, the Vilkitsky Strait.
...Flanagan is now anchored by an island just east of the Vilkitsky Strait, still hoping for the ice to clear but working on the backup plan, his manager said.
She described the yachtsman's mood as “pretty fed-up”.
Besides the arctic ice, Wrong Way Flanagan now appears to have another problem. Remember those polar bears that Global Warming activists were warning us were endangered? Well, it now seems that the tables have been turned and those endangered polar bears are now endangering Flanagan:So as Wrong Way Flanagan, who has turned himself into a Global Laughingstock on the altar of Global Warming, remains trapped in the arctic perhaps someone would be kind enough send him a copy of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for him to pass the time while waiting for the ice to melt and for the endangered polar bears to go away.
Ostrov Peschanyy is a bleak, featureless island that is little more than a sand spit rising a few metres above sea level. It's a resting place for walrus and Western Arctic Marine Operations HQ have advised Adrian to keep a careful watch for polar bears hunting walrus there.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Breitbart.tv � Reporter Who Called Bush ‘Idiot’ for Segway Fall Cracks Ribs in Fall from Contraption
Click title for video.
The ex-newspaper editor took great delight in making fun of President Bush for falling off a Segway - the two-wheeled, motorised, gyroscopically balanced scooter that, its makers promise, will never fall over. However, he was bitten by karma and suffered the same fate as Bush.
"Vengeance is mine," says The Lord. "I will repay."
HALAL food and prayer rooms should be adopted at all universities to help Muslim students meet their religious and educational obligations, a conference heard yesterday.
The religious needs of Muslim university students were addressed at an inaugural conference launched by the University of Western Sydney. UWS Director of Equity and Diversity Dr Sev Ozdowski said they wanted to develop national standards for Muslim students which could be incorporated by other universities.
The "Access, Inclusion and Success - Muslim students at Australian universities" two-day conference is covering issues relating to gender, discrimination and how to meet the fundamental religious needs of Muslim students. Dr Ozdowski told The Daily Telegraph the aim of the forum was to raise awareness and to find a way to make sure Muslim students can meet obligations to their religion as well as the university.UWS already has prayer rooms and halal food at a majority of its campuses for its 2000 Muslim students - the largest tertiary Muslim student population in Australia. "There is no model or national standard to guide Australia's universities on how they can best address the varied cultural, ethnic and religious needs of their diverse student populations," Dr Ozdowski said. "It's important that all people, including those from Muslim backgrounds, have the ability to fully participate in higher education so they can gain good employment and strengthen their place in society.
Neat article, neat company.
(CBS News) DALLAS -- Something unusual is going on at Southwest Airlines. Everyone is happy. They all kiss and hug, even President Colleen Barrett and CEO Gary Kelly.
Average Southwest employees like the big bosses. They want to get their picture taken with Kelly. They admire him.
"I think some CEOs have to travel with bodyguards," he told Sunday Morning correspondent Martha Teichner. "So you think about that contrast, it's just something you can't take for granted."
Kelly says the difference between his company and others is simple: "People working together, people lovin' each other, people respecting each other."
Southwest Airlines has been profitable every year since 1973. No other U.S. airline can say that. It's never had a layoff. It's never cut salaries. In fact, it's one of the best-paid, most highly-unionized airlines in the industry. What makes it so successful? A smart business plan, of course, but there is something else that Southwest deems crucial:
"You put your employees first and if you take care of them, then they will take good care of you," Herb Kelleher, the airline's chairman, said. "Then your customers will come back, and your shareholders will like that, so it's really a unity."
Kelleher is legendary in the airline industry for doing things differently than the competition. Before he found himself Southwest's pitchman, Kelleher was a lawyer retained by the airline to get it off the ground - a fight that took him all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It seemed the last thing Southwest's competitors wanted to see was a low-cost upstart doing nothing but flying around Texas in and out of Dallas Love Field.
In 1971, "the love airline" took off. At first, Southwest was known for sexy flight attendants in hot pants, which got it the attention it needed.
"You can have a low-cost carrier and people still don't fly it because they don't know about it," Kelleher said. "And so, the schtick kind of fit in with getting known."
By 1978, Kelleher was running the place. His way of doing that was to bring his affectionate, sometimes outrageous sense of fun to management.
"I enjoy, not the theatricality of it, but the opportunity it gives me to be with our people," he said.
"Malice in Dallas" in 1992 had to have been his goofiest stunt: Instead of going to court over who had the rights to the advertising slogan "Just plane smart" - Southwest or a South Carolina aviation sales company - Kelleher agreed to settle the matter with a charity arm wrestling match.
"We're saying, we're having fun," he said. "We want you to have fun, too."
So on any given day, during the final approach into Dallas from Houston, you might hear flight attendant Cassie Plourd singing you down. Plourd has been with Southwest 18 years, and so has Frannie Oberman, who says the best joke she tells to passengers is that she's addicted to pressurization.
Today, Southwest Airlines has nearly 34,000 employees. It flies to 64 different cities, has more than 500 planes and is the nation's sixth largest airline. But what makes Southwest Southwest is the fact that it turns flights around fast. This came about by accident because in the beginning, when it had only four airplanes, it had to sell one of them just to stay in business.
"And they went out to the ground ops folks and said, 'Guess what? We're gonna maintain the same schedule that we had with four aircraft now with three aircraft,'" said Kevin Freiberg, who co-wrote a book on Southwest with his wife, Jackie. "And of course, everybody said, 'How are you gonna do that?' He said, 'Well, you're gonna have to turn an airplane in 10 minutes' and of course the average turn-around time at that point was more like 45 minutes or an hour."
Here is where the relationship the airline has with its employees comes in. It is what is known as the Southwest culture.
"In the majority of businesses that are truly successful today, they've got a really definitive cause that everybody rallies around and believes in and serves toward, and works hard for. I think that's critical and Southwest got that 34 years ago," Jackie Freiberg said.
Turnarounds now average 23 minutes, but that's still better than half the time it takes other airlines. Customers, as passengers are called, are herded onto planes in three big groups. They don't have assigned seats, but most of the time, they don't seem to mind.
And when he asked his pilots' union to agree to a five-year pay freeze, Kelleher took one, too. He figures it cost him $75 million to $100 million in compensation, but it bought him trust.
"To me, seventy, hundred million - what difference does it make?" Kelleher said. "There's nothing particular I'd like to do that I can't do."
If you walk down any hall in Southwest's Dallas headquarters, there are thousands of pictures - glimpses of what love looks like at the love airline after all these years.
Southwest's culture bears the likeness of Kelleher and Colleen Barrett, who are in the process of retiring. Employees and analysts alike agree that the future of the airline depends on preserving it when Kelleher and Barrett are gone.
"When I first came here I thought, where's the Kool Aid?" Oberman said. "And it was sort of, 'This can't be true.'"
There are some important expectations for every Southwest employee."They have to practice the golden rule every day - first with each other, and then with our passengers," Barrett said. "They have to serve because they want to. They have to smile because they want to, not because they have to."