Friday, April 29, 2005

'What, Me Worry?'

NY Times Op-Ed: Thomas L. Friedman: "One of America's most important entrepreneurs recently gave a remarkable speech at a summit meeting of our nation's governors. Bill Gates minced no words. "American high schools are obsolete," he told the governors. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that our high schools are broken, flawed and underfunded. ... By obsolete, I mean that our high schools - even when they are working exactly as designed - cannot teach our kids what they need to know today.
"Training the work force of tomorrow with the high schools of today is like trying to teach kids about today's computers on a 50-year-old mainframe. ... Our high schools were designed 50 years ago to meet the needs of another age. Until we design them to meet the needs of the 21st century, we will keep limiting - even ruining - the lives of millions of Americans every year."
Let me translate Mr. Gates's words: "If we don't fix American education, I will not be able to hire your kids." I consider that, well, kind of important. Alas, the media squeezed a few mentions of it between breaks in the Michael Jackson trial. But neither Tom DeLay nor Bill Frist called a late-night session of Congress - or even a daytime one - to discuss what Mr. Gates was saying. They were too busy pandering to those Americans who don't even believe in evolution."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Doomsayers Say Benedict Fits World End Prophecy

"ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's ascent to the papacy took a conclave of 115 cardinals, four rounds of voting and followed a lifetime of service to the Vatican.
But ask Internet doomsayers eyeing a 12th century Catholic prophecy and they'll tell you it was all stitched up more than eight centuries ago and that judgment day is nigh.
The prophecy -- widely dismissed by scholars as a hoax -- is attributed to St. Malachy, an Irish archbishop recognized by members of the Church for his ability to read the future.
Benedict, believers say, fits the description of the second-to-last pope listed under the prophecy before the Last Judgement, when the bible says God separates the wicked from the righteous at the end of time."

Bush in bunker after plane scare

"President Bush was rushed from the Oval Office to an underground bunker after a security alert on Wednesday.
The scare came when it was reported that an unidentified aircraft had entered restricted Washington airspace.
As White House security plans swung into action Vice-President Dick Cheney was also moved to a secure location.
But all of the effort proved needless when it later transpired that the supposed aircraft was in fact nothing more than a blip on a radar screen."

Chile women fight over presidency

"Two women have fought a televised debate for the right to challenge for the presidency of Chile.
Polls suggest that whoever prevails between Michelle Bachelet and Soledad Alvear will go on to become president.
About four million people, or a quarter of Chile's population, tuned in to the first such debate between two women.
Five journalists quizzed the pair for more than an hour over themes ranging from taxes and poverty to gay marriages and human rights."

Farmer convicted of feeding employee to lions

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- A white South African farmer and one of his employees were convicted of feeding his former black worker to lions while still alive in a premeditated murder, a court ruled on Thursday.

Investigators found little more than a skull, a few bones and a finger last year in the enclosure for rare white lions in the northern Limpopo province, where the murder took place.

Judge George Maluleke passed the guilty verdict against farmer Mark Scott-Crossley and worker Simon Mathebula, who had both denied killing 41-year-old former employee Nelson Chisale, the SAPA news agency reported.

The post-mortem gave Chisale's cause of death as "being mauled by lions".

Ebola-like disease kills 253 people

Experts expect containment of record Marburg outbreak

Thursday, April 28, 2005 Posted: 10:34 AM EDT (1434 GMT)
LUANDA, Angola (Reuters) -- The death toll in Angola's Marburg epidemic has topped 250, but medical experts said on Thursday they were confident the world's worst outbreak of the killer virus would soon be reined in.

At least 253 people have died of the rare Ebola-like disease from a total of 273 known cases since late last year, according to a document released late on Wednesday by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO).

All the cases in this outbreak have originated from the northern Uige province, where Angolan authorities, the WHO and non-governmental organizations are trying to trace more than 500 people who are thought to have had contact with the victims.

Some 48 percent of known cases have been among children.

Marburg is a rare hemorrhagic fever which is transmitted through bodily fluids including sweat, saliva and tears. Most people usually die within days after massive bleeding.

From Apple, a Tiger to Put in Your Mac

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From Apple, a Tiger to Put in Your Mac: "IF anyone considers tomorrow a special day at all, it's probably because it's Friday, or because 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' movie opens, or because it's Uma Thurman's birthday. But for one particular group of 25 million computer owners, April 29 is a much bigger deal. It's the day Apple releases Mac OS X 10.4, nicknamed Tiger - the latest version of the software suite that makes up the Macintosh operating system.
Ordinarily, of course, reading about operating systems is about as much fun as a seminar on tax policy. Very few people line up at 5 a.m. to be the first to upgrade the software in their microwaves, cellphones or cars.But Mac OS X has recently become interesting even to people outside the Cult of Macintosh. The more Microsoft Windows is bogged down by viruses, spyware and disruptive security updates, the more miserable life becomes - and the more the long-suffering Windows majority begins to investigate virus-free, spyware-free alternatives like Mac OS X."

Norway woman convicted for rape

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- A Norwegian court has sentenced a woman to nine months in jail for raping a man, the first such conviction in the Scandinavian country that prides itself for its egalitarianism.

The 31-year-old man fell asleep on a sofa at a party in January last year and told the court in the western city of Bergen he woke to find the 23-year-old woman was having oral sex with him.

Under Norwegian law, all sexual acts with someone who is "unconscious or for other reasons unable to oppose the act" are considered rape.

The court sentenced the woman on Wednesday to nine months in jail and ordered her to pay 40,000 Norwegian crowns ($6,355) in compensation.

"This is a very harsh sentence," the woman's lawyer, Per Magne Kristiansen, told the Norwegian news agency NTB. The woman argued the man had been awake and consented.

The prosecutor had sought a 10-month sentence and argued the court should not be more lenient with a woman than a man. It was Norway's first conviction of a woman for rape.

Norway has long traditions of equality -- 40 percent of the cabinet of Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, for instance, are women.

What's that in my ear? Oh, it's maggots - General Health - MSNBC.com

What's that in my ear? Oh, it's maggots - General Health - MSNBC.com

Perkins, Cameron, DeLay, Oh My

Recently we have seen a lot of Tony Perkins on television. Justice Sunday, which was aired nationally, included Perkins, Dobson, Frist- a freaking senator, and many other powerful and influential people. Perkins has been seen on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX, sometimes in the same night, and many other networks as a legitimate and knowledgeable pundit. The Family Research Council, which Perkins is head of, uses studies to 'prove' their 'facts' from a man named Dr. Paul Cameron. A study by Cameron was cited on a CNN report the other day in concern to the Texas law prohibiting gay people from housing foster children. The lady-who is undeserving of a name- cited Cameron's 'study' saying that gay people are 11 times more likely to sexually abuse a foster child. Jon Stewart, on the Daily Show, re-broadcast the segment and criticized the CNN anchors for not checking their sources and information of guests: he did a beautiful job as usual.
If you want to see some of the quotes that Dr. Paul Cameron has said the past view years visit this website
Click Here

CNN.com - 50 maggots removed from ear - Apr 27, 2005

CNN.com - 50 maggots removed from ear - Apr 27, 2005: "BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuters) -- Doctors found around 50 maggots in the ears of an 84-year-old Thai man after he went to hospital complaining of an itch.Wednesday's Nation newspaper said Anan Temtan, who lives in the tsunami-hit southern resort island of Phuket, had used cotton buds to relieve the itching, but had scratched so hard his eardrums ruptured and started bleeding.'We believe flies might have gone inside his ears to lay eggs, which hatched into larvae and caused the itching,' said Somsak Nonthasri, the doctor who treated him.Somsak, who used tweezers and a small suction device to remove the maggots, said Anan would be kept in for observation for a while to make sure no more eggs hatched"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Researchers Say They Achieved Nuclear Fusion in Tabletop Experiment

"LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A tabletop experiment created nuclear fusion -- long seen as a possible clean energy solution -- under lab conditions, scientists reported.
But the amount of energy produced was too little to be seen as a breakthrough in solving the world's energy needs
For years, scientists have sought to harness controllable nuclear fusion, the same power that lights the sun and stars. This latest experiment relied on a tiny crystal to generate a strong electric field. While falling short as a way to produce energy, the method could have potential uses in the oil-drilling industry and homeland security, said Seth Putterman, one of the physicists who did the experiment at the University of California, Los Angeles."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

US 'conceals high terror figures'

BBC: "Data withheld from an annual report on terrorism by the US state department show a sharp increase in attacks in 2004, a top Democratic lawmaker says.
Henry Waxman, citing official briefings given to congressional aides, said the number of "significant" attacks had risen more than three-fold in a year.
The California congressman urged the administration to release the figures.
The state department has said it will stop providing them. It admitted to mistakes in last year's report.
In June 2004 the department was forced to double its original estimate of terror victims in the previous year.
It said 625 people had been killed in attacks worldwide in 2003 - not 307 as stated in the annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report published two months earlier.

US DEFINITION OF TERRORISM
Washington has long defined "terrorism" as politically motivated violence against non-combatants
Attacks targeting US or other forces in Iraq are not included
"Significant" terror attacks result in loss of life, serious injury, or major damage
Last week the department announced that it would no longer publish statistical data, but that the newly created National Counter-Terrorism Centre would do so at a later date. "

Surrogate mother has quintuplets

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- A woman who agreed to be a surrogate mother for a childless couple gave them five babies -- all boys -- for less than the price of one Tuesday.

Teresa Anderson, 25, delivered the quintuplets by Caesarean section. One of the babies was born with a defective heart; the others were said to be doing fine.

Anderson had agreed to carry the couple's child to earn $15,000, and five embryos were implanted to increase the chances that at least one of them would take hold. But after discovering that all five embryos were developing, Anderson declined to accept any payment from the couple because of the expenses they will face.

Laura Bush to be on the Tonight Show

KR Washington Bureau | 04/26/2005 | Laura Bush to be on the Tonight Show: "Laura Bush to be on the Tonight Show

By WILLIAM DOUGLAS

Knight Ridder Newspapers
WACO, Texas %u2014 How do you top your best one-liner?
That's the question First Lady Laura Bush faced today as she prepared for an appearance on NBC's 'Tonight Show.' The first lady visited the show ostensibly to promote her initiative to help at-risk youth and discourage gang activity and talk about her recent visit to Afghanistan."

Honestly, I didn't know where to file this one. Perhaps under the "whaaa?!" category. I can't articulate it right now, but this represents a lot of my problems with politics. Let me start by saying, I miss Hillary. I hate docile housewifes/first ladies who have their pet cause they'll occassionally tout when their man's approval ratings aren't doing so well. But that's the tip of my iceberg of annoyance....

Declaring Cars as Scrap? Customs Makes It True

Reuters.com: "DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladeshi customs officials found luxury cars, large-screen television sets and refrigerators in a container declared to be carrying metal scrap -- so they made it just that at a public ceremony on Monday.
Hundreds of people watched as officials from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) used bulldozers to crush a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota car and other luxury goods at a railway container terminal in Dhaka.
NBR chairman Khairuzzaman Chowdhury said a trading firm had sought to evade customs duties by falsely declaring that the container carried iron scrap.
'They wanted to befool us by saying they brought in scrapped metals...so we are giving them the same. They, or anyone like them, will not forget this,' he told reporters at the site."

Chicago mafia 'takes major hit'

BBC NEWS: "Fourteen alleged mobsters have been charged with crimes including 18 murders, in one of Chicago's biggest ever anti-mafia crackdowns.
One of the suspects was found dead on Monday, while two others were said to have escaped arrest.
Two of those indicted were retired policemen, accused of exposing police informers to other mafia members.
'Today the Outfit takes a hit,' said US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, referring to the branch once run by Al Capone."

Injured skier rescued after a week

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- Charles Horton, a massage therapist and experienced outdoorsman, broke his leg April 17 on what was to have been a one-day ski trip. Eight days later authorities found him frozen, hungry -- and very much alive.

Horton spent the time alone in the wilderness near Steamboat Springs, about 100 miles northwest of Denver, sleeping under snowcapped trees and in rudimentary shelters. On day No. 3, the experienced outdoorsman began using his elbows to drag himself across the frozen ground in an attempt to get to his car 3 miles away.

Oil Kings


Oil Kings
Originally uploaded by riley27.
Oil Prices Slip As Bush Meets Saudi Prince
"Crude oil futures slipped Monday as President Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah met, in part, to discuss possible ways to bring down high oil prices.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery was down 42 cents at $54.97 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Heating oil futures were down nearly a cent at $1.536 a gallon, while unleaded gasoline climbed 2.37 cents to $1.676 a gallon."

So why can't they meet, like, all the time? How about a few times a week so I can afford to take a little road trip next weekend. They're holding hands so they both know the other ain't reaching for his wallet.

Tragedy Strikes Japan

Monday, April 25, 2005

Boldface Name Invites Others to Blog With Her

The New York Times: "LOS ANGELES, April 23 - Get ready for the next level in the blogosphere.
Arianna Huffington, the columnist and onetime candidate for governor of California, is about to move blogging from the realm of the anonymous individual to the realm of the celebrity collective.
She has lined up more than 250 of what she calls 'the most creative minds' in the country to write a group blog that will range over topics from politics and entertainment to sports and religion. It is essentially a nonstop virtual talk show that will be part of a Web site that will also serve up breaking news around the clock. It is to be introduced May 9.
Having prominent people join the blogosphere, Ms. Huffington said in an interview, 'is an affirmation of its success and will only enrich and strengthen its impact on the national conversation.' Among those signed up to contribute are Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman."

Audio Recording Catches Frist and DeLay At Private Conference With (shudder) Dobson and Perkins

PERKINS : "What they're thinking of is not only the fact of just making these courts go away and re-creating them the next day but also defunding them."
""There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe off the bench."

DELAY : ""We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse."

DOBSON: ""This will not be the last thing that you read about that makes me look ridiculous."
----I think that goes without saying.




WASHINGTON — Evangelical Christian leaders, who have been working closely with senior Republican lawmakers to place conservative judges in the federal courts, have also been exploring ways to punish sitting jurists and even entire courts viewed as hostile to their cause.

An audio recording obtained by the Los Angeles Times features two of the nation's most influential evangelical leaders, at a private conference with supporters, laying out strategies to rein in judges, such as stripping funding from their courts in an effort to hinder their work.

The discussion took place during a Washington conference last month that included addresses by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who discussed efforts to bring a more conservative cast to the courts.

Frist and DeLay have not publicly endorsed the evangelical groups' proposed actions. But the taped discussion among evangelical leaders provides a glimpse of the road map they are drafting as they work with congressional Republicans to achieve a judiciary that sides with them on abortion, same-sex marriage and other elements of their agenda.

"There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe off the bench," said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, according to an audiotape of a March 17 session. The tape was provided to The Times by the advocacy group Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

DeLay has spoken generally about one of the ideas the leaders discussed in greater detail: using legislative tactics to withhold money from courts.

"We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse," DeLay said at an April 13 question-and-answer session with reporters.

The leaders present at the March conference, including Perkins and James C. Dobson, founder of the influential group Focus on the Family, have been working with Frist to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations, a legislative tool that has allowed Senate Democrats to stall 10 of President Bush's nominations. Frist is scheduled to appear, via a taped statement, during a satellite broadcast to churches nationwide Sunday that the Family Research Council has organized to build support for the Bush nominees.

The March conference featuring Dobson and Perkins showed that the evangelical leaders, in addition to working to place conservative nominees on the bench, have been trying to find ways to remove certain judges.

Perkins said that he had attended a meeting with congressional leaders a week earlier where the strategy of stripping funding from certain courts was "prominently" discussed. "What they're thinking of is not only the fact of just making these courts go away and re-creating them the next day but also defunding them," Perkins said.

He said that instead of undertaking the long process of trying to impeach judges, Congress could use its appropriations authority to "just take away the bench, all of his staff, and he's just sitting out there with nothing to do."

These curbs on courts are "on the radar screen, especially of conservatives here in Congress," he said.

Dobson, who emerged last year as one of the evangelical movement's most important political leaders, named one potential target: the California-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Very few people know this, that the Congress can simply disenfranchise a court," Dobson said. "They don't have to fire anybody or impeach them or go through that battle. All they have to do is say the 9th Circuit doesn't exist anymore, and it's gone."

Robert Stevenson, a spokesman for Frist, said Thursday that the Senate leader does not agree with the idea of defunding courts or shutting them down, pointing to Frist's comments earlier this month embracing a "fair and independent judiciary." A spokesman for DeLay declined to comment.

The remarks by Perkins and Dobson drew fire from Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who charged that the two leaders were more brazen in such private encounters with supporters than their more genteel public images portray.

"To talk about defunding judges is just about the most bizarre, radical approach to controlling the outcome of court decisions that you can imagine," Lynn said.

Frist is expected to try as early as next week to push the Senate to ban filibusters on judicial nominations — a move so explosive that Democrats are calling it the "nuclear option."

Democrats have been using the filibuster to block 10 of Bush's appeals court nominees who they believe are too extreme in their views, but the skirmishes are considered a preview of a highly anticipated fight over replacing the ailing Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, whose retirement is considered imminent.

"Folks, I am telling you all that it is going to be the mother of all battles," Dobson predicted at the March 17 meeting. "And it's right around the corner. I mean, Justice Rehnquist could resign at any time, and the other side is mobilized to the teeth."

The remarks by Perkins and Dobson reflect the passion felt by Christians who helped fuel Bush's reelection last year with massive turnout in battleground states, and who also spurred Republican gains in the Senate and House.

Claiming a role by the movement in the GOP gains, Dobson concluded: "We've got a right to hold them accountable for what happens here."

Both leaders chastised what Perkins termed "squishy" and "weak" Republican senators who have not wholeheartedly endorsed ending Democrats' power to filibuster judicial nominees. They said these included moderates such as Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. They also grumbled that Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and George Allen of Virginia needed prodding.

"We need to shake these guys up," Perkins said.

Said Dobson: "Sometimes it's just amazing to me that they seem to forget how they got here."

Even Bush was not spared criticism. Dobson and Perkins encouraged their supporters to demand that the president act as aggressively on the judiciary as he has for his Social Security overhaul.

"These are not Bill Frist's nominees; these are President George W. Bush's nominees," Perkins said. "He needs to be out there putting pressure on these senators who are weak on this issue and standing in obstruction to these nominations," he said.

Dobson chided Frist, a likely 2008 presidential contender, for not acting sooner on the filibuster issue, urging "conservatives all over the country" to tell Frist "that he needs to get on with it."

Dobson also said Republicans risked inflicting long-term damage on their party if they failed to seize the moment — a time when Bush still has the momentum of his reelection victory — to transform the courts. He said they had just 18 months to act before Bush becomes a "lame-duck president."

"If we let that 18 months get away from us and then maybe we got Hillary to deal with or who knows what, we absolutely will not recover from that," he said.

Perkins and Dobson laid out a history of court rulings they found offensive, singling out the recent finding by the Supreme Court that executing minors was unconstitutional. They criticized Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion, noting that the Republican appointee had cited the laws of foreign nations that, Dobson said, applied the same standard as "the most liberal countries in Europe."

"What about Latin America, South America, Central America? What about China? What about Africa?" Dobson asked. "They pick and choose the international law that they want and then apply it here as though we're somehow accountable to Europe. I resent that greatly."

DeLay has also criticized Kennedy for citing foreign laws in that opinion, calling the practice "outrageous."

As part of the discussion, Perkins and Dobson referred to remarks by Dobson earlier this year at a congressional dinner in which he singled out the use by one group of the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants in a video that Dobson said promoted a homosexual agenda.

Dobson was ridiculed for his comments, which some critics interpreted to mean the evangelist had determined that the cartoon character was gay.

Dobson said the beating he took in the media, coming after his appearance on the cover of newsmagazines hailing his prominence in Bush's reelection, proved that the press will only seek to tear him down.

"This will not be the last thing that you read about that makes me look ridiculous," he said.

Frist Urges End to Nominee Filibusters

Nation's Inmate Population Increased 2.3 Percent Last YearNation's Inmate Population Increased 2.3 Percent Last Year

The land of freedom has the highest incarceration in the world. One out of every 138 people are incarcerated.

WASHINGTON, April 24 (AP) - The nation's prisons and jails held 2.1 million people in mid-2004, 2.3 percent more than the year before, the government reported on Sunday.

The inmate population increased by slightly more than 48,000 from mid-2003 to mid-2004, a growth of about 900 inmates each week, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The total inmate population has hovered around two million for the last few years: It was 2.1 million on June 30, 2002, and just below that mark a year later.

While the crime rate has fallen over the last decade, the number of people going to prison and jail is outpacing the number of inmates released, said an author of the report, Paige M. Harrison.

Ms. Harrison said the increase could be largely attributed to get-tough policies enacted in the 1980's and 1990's. Among them are mandatory sentences for drug crimes, "three strikes and you're out" laws for repeat offenders and "truth in sentencing" laws that restrict early releases.

"As a whole, most of these policies remain in place," Ms. Harrison said. "These policies were a reaction to the rise in crime in the 80's and early 90's."

Malcolm Young, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which promotes alternatives to prison, said, "We're working under the burden of laws and practices that have developed over 30 years that have focused on punishment and prison as our primary response to crime."

Mr. Young said many of those incarcerated were not serious or violent offenders, but low-level drug offenders. He said ways to help lower that number included introducing drug treatment programs that offer effective ways of changing behavior and providing appropriate assistance for the mentally ill.

The Justice Policy Institute, which advocates a more lenient system of punishment than incarceration, said the United States had the highest rate of incarceration in the world, followed by Britain, China, France, Japan and Nigeria.

According to the government's report, there were 726 inmates for every 100,000 United States residents on June 30, 2004, compared with 716 a year earlier. Put another way, in 2004, one in every 138 residents was in prison or jail; the previous year it was one in every 140.

In 2004, nearly 60 percent of prison and jail inmates were racial or ethnic minorities, the report said. An estimated 12.6 percent of all black men age 25 to 29 were in jails or prisons, compared with 3.6 percent of Hispanic men and 1.7 percent of white men in that age group, the report said.

NBC5.com - News - Man Attacks Officer At Police Station, Kills Self

NBC5.com - News - Man Attacks Officer At Police Station, Kills Self: "Man Attacks Officer At Police Station, Kills SelfSuspect Beat Officer For His GunPOSTED: 8:31 am CDT April 24,

More details for those who care: 2005UPDATED: 8:45 am CDT April 24,

2005CHICAGO -- A police officer was pistol whipped by a man who used the officer's gun to shoot and kill himself.NBC5 ImageRobert Mc FadinThe incident happened Saturday in the small town of Spring Valley, which is more than an hour west of Chicago.Robert Mc Fadin, 31, had been arrested earlier in the day on a DUI charge near his estranged wife's home, NBC5 reported.After posting bond, Mc Fadin was arrested again by another officer for violating her order of protection, officials said.Authorities said Mc Fadin overpowered the officer, beat him and then took his gun in a holding cell at the police station.Police said the suspect then used the gun to shoot himself in the head, NBC5 reported.Mc Fadin's Granville home is now empty, with flowers placed on his doorstep by"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Amy Goodman in Urbana!!

The link is to the tour dates for the promotion of "Exception to the Rulers". Amy will be in Urbana on May 11... very worthwhile for anyone who can make it.

Chicago Tribune | Suspect found dead, officer injured after altercation


SPRING VALLEY --


A man under arrest inside a police station here wrestled away a police officer's gun Saturday, beat the officer with it and was later found dead of a gunshot wound in the building.

Bureau County Corner Janice Wamhoff identified the dead man as Robert S. McFadin, 31, of Grandville. Police confirmed McFadin was the suspect. Authorities would not say whether his wound was self-inflicted.

The injured officer escaped, but was being treated at a hospital for head injuries, Police Chief Douglas Bernabei said at a news conference in this small north central Illinois town."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Samantha Bee On Fake Town Hall Meetings

" Your manipulation is my education explanation"

Myanmar mother breastfeeds tiger cubs - Pets - MSNBC.com

Myanmar mother breastfeeds tiger cubs - Pets - MSNBC.com

PBS To Become More 'Fair and Balanced'

A senior FCC official, who would not speak for attribution because he must rule on issues affecting public broadcasting, went further, saying CPB "is engaged in a systematic effort not just to sanitize the truth, but to impose a right-wing agenda on PBS. It's almost like a right-wing coup. It appears to be orchestrated."

--This is extremely frightening. I will be sleeping under the covers tonight. I guess the CPB's beef is that public broadcasting has a left-wing tilt. Public broadcasting is the ONLY source of informational, factual, and scientific discourse about world issues on television--of the channels I receive anyways. So, please excuse the facts for pointing to global warming, global destruction, and unsustainability. Please excuse science for aging the Earth, the Sun, and the universe. Please excuse the undeniable proof of evolution on the macro and the micro. If discussing factual issues such as these makes the broadcaster liberal than the balancing act the right-wing desires would be to cover, hide, and run from the truth. Sounds conservative to me. But most importantly please excuse conservatives and religious ideologues for their policies, which will balloon populations to catastrophic numbers, murder in the name of god, attempt to eliminate international agencies, ignore the plight of billions, claim the moral highround, deny equal rights to many, and involuntarily destroy diversity, for they know not what they do.--

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure.

Woman who claimed to find finger in chili arrested

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The woman who claimed she found a well-manicured finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili last month was arrested Thursday night in Las Vegas, police said.

Anna Ayala was taken into custody at her home, San Jose police spokesman Enrique Garcia said. He said police would not give any details until a news conference Friday afternoon. Las Vegas police also refused to comment.

The arrest is the latest twist in the bizarre case about how the 11/2-inch fingertip ended up in a bowl of fast-food chili.

Ayala told police she found the finger March 22 while eating at a Wendy's in San Jose. She said she intended to sue but relented, claiming the publicity was too emotionally taxing.

Earlier Thursday, Ohio-based Wendy's International Inc. announced it had ended its internal investigation, saying it could find no credible link between the finger and the restaurant chain.

All the employees at the San Jose store were found to have all their fingers, and no suppliers reported any hand or finger injuries, the company said.

Sales have dropped at franchises in Northern California, forcing layoffs and reduced hours, the company said. Wendy's also has hired private investigators, set up a hot line for tips and offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who provides information leading to the finger's original owner.

Artists Against AIDS- THIS WEEKEND!!!!!

Hey everyone, if you missed the Boneyard Arts Festival last weekend, you'd better not miss this. It's a great chance to get some quality art at rather inexpensively- not to mention that it is for a great cause. Check it out.


Artist Against AIDS

When: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Sunday, April 24th 2005
Where: 112 West Church Street (Gallery Building)
Contact: 217.351.2437

The Greater Community AIDS Project (GCAP) invites you to be part of the 13th annual Artists Against AIDS Art Exhibit and Sale. The exhibit is free for all ages and features over 200 artists who wish to contribute their work in the spirit of a cooperative effort to raise funds for HIV/AIDS education and support services in the Champaign/Urbana area. A wide variety of media will be featured including ceramics, glass, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. For more information call the GCAP office at 217-351-2437 and visit www.gcapnow.com

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Twin stands in for candidate

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Mayoral hopeful Julian Castro really wasn't in two places at once. His twin brother took his place in a parade this week, waving to the crowd of thousands.

Castro told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had a conflicting event and didn't intend to deceive anyone.

"We can't help that we look like each other," said Castro, a City Council member and leading contender in next month's election.

ABC News: Bush Signs Big Rewrite of Bankruptcy Law

ABC News: Bush Signs Big Rewrite of Bankruptcy Law: "WASHINGTONApr 20, 2005 President Bush signed a bill Wednesday that will make it harder for debt-ridden people to wipe clean their financial slates by declaring bankruptcy.
Those who fought against the legislation said the change will hurt low-income working people, single mothers, minorities and the elderly and will remove a safety net for people who have lost their jobs or face major medical bills.
The big winners under the new law will be the special interests that literally wrote it, particularly the credit card industry," said Travis B. Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America. "This is particularly ironic because reckless and abusive lending practices by credit card companies have driven many Americans to the brink of bankruptcy.""

Bush Urges Senate to 'Put Aside Politics' and Confirm Bolton

The New York Times > Washington > Bush Urges Senate to 'Put Aside Politics' and Confirm Bolton: "'I welcome you to the nation's capital, where sometimes politics gets in the way of doing the people's business,' Mr. Bush said early on. 'Take John Bolton, the good man I nominated to represent our country at the United Nations.'John's distinguished career in service to our nation demonstrates that he is the right man at the right time for this important assignment. I urge the Senate to put aside politics and confirm John Bolton to the United Nations.'"

This just boils my blood over. Put aside politics; as if that comment isn't the most crafted political rhetoric in and of itself. Put aside politics; you're politicians, that's what you do. Put aside politics; debate and careful deliberation is not just dirty politics, it is the people's work. Put aside poltics; what so they can just do whatever you tell them to in the time schedule that you give them?
Put aside you're cocky attitude; you're not above politics, you're below it.

Bush Urges Senate Approve Bolton to U.N. Post

WHAT!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush urged the Senate on Thursday to "put aside politics" and confirm embattled John Bolton to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Panel Delays Vote on Bolton Nomination to U.N. (washingtonpost.com)

Panel Delays Vote on Bolton Nomination to U.N. (washingtonpost.com)

BenedictXVI.com owner pledges no porn - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

BenedictXVI.com owner pledges no porn - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

New pope intervened against Kerry

German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican theologian who was elected Pope Benedict XVI, intervened in the 2004 US election campaign ordering bishops to deny communion to abortion rights supporters including presidential candidate John Kerry.

In a June 2004 letter to US bishops enunciating principles of worthiness for communion recipients, Ratzinger specified that strong and open supporters of abortion should be denied the Catholic sacrament, for being guilty of a "grave sin."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Joseph Ratzinger Chosen as New Pope

Click here for the full article.

VATICAN CITY, April 19 -- Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany Tuesday as the new pope to succeed John Paul II, and announced he will take the name of Benedict XVI.

CBS News | Police: 9-Year-Old Kills Mom, Self | April 18, 2005�15:30:07

CBS News | Police: 9-Year-Old Kills Mom, Self | April 18, 2005�15:30:07

TheStar.com - Succeeding in the Bush White House

TheStar.com - Succeeding in the Bush White House: "Succeeding in the Bush White HouseAnalysis: Dishing up wonky intelligence, low-balling troop losses and being a `kiss-up, kick-down' bully are all good ways to get ahead"

Monday, April 18, 2005

Education Working Paper 8 | Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002

"The state with the lowest graduation rate in the nation was South Carolina (53%), followed by Georgia (56%), Tennessee (57%), and Alabama (58%)."


** Coincedence? I think not.

A Radical in the White House

Lucrative degrees for college grads

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – This year's college grads have an edge over the class that preceded them when it comes to that all-important first paycheck.

Employers are paying more in starting salaries overall than they did with the class of 2003-2004.

And there are early indications that employers will be hiring more college grads this year.

Aerospace and aeronautical engineering majors, for instance, are enjoying a 9 percent increase in starting salaries; marketing majors have seen a 6 percent increase in starting salaries; while economics and finance majors are getting paid 5.1 percent more than last year.

Even liberal arts grads as a group – those notoriously low-paid first-timers in the workforce – are enjoying a bump in pay of 4.2 percent, albeit to what is still one of the lowest starting salaries out there -- $30,337.

CNN.com - Bush bares soul with 'iPod One' - Apr 12, 2005

CNN.com - Bush bares soul with 'iPod One' - Apr 12, 2005:
(CNN) -- The music tastes of U.S. President George W. Bush have come under scrutiny after an aide revealed the playlist of his new iPod player.

The portable digital device, given to Bush by his daughters Jenna and Barbara last July, contains much country music, but also songs by Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and the Knack.

The playlist does reveal a rather narrow range of babyboomer tunes. Writing in the London Times, Caitlin Moran noted: 'No black artists, no gay artists, no world music, only one woman, no genre less than 25 years old, and no Beatles.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

CBS News | Flying Cars Ready To Take Off | April 17, 2005 19:26:59

CBS News | Flying Cars Ready To Take Off | April 17, 2005 19:26:59: "(CBS) Have you ever dreamt about the day you can buzz around in your very own flying machine? Well, that day may be sooner than you think.

The folks at NASA have built something called “The Highway in the Sky.” It's a computer system designed to let millions of people fly whenever they please, and take off and land from wherever they please, in their very own vehicles.

And here’s the good news -- a lot of people are building machines you’ll be able to buy.

One of those people is an inventor named Woody Norris. This week, he will receive America’s top prize for invention. It’s called the Lemelson-MIT award -- a half-million dollar cash prize to honor his life’s work, which includes a brand new personal flying machine. It's called the AirScooter, and self-taught inventor Woody Norris says it goes on sale later this year.
Norris, 66, asked one of his test pilots to demonstrate the AirScooter for 60 Minutes on a hilltop outside San Diego, Calif. It can fly for 2 hours at 55 mph, and go up to 10,000 feet above sea level.
"

DeLay avoids ethics controversy in NRA speech

HOUSTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, under fire for alleged ethics violations, accused liberal Democrats and the national media of giving him a hard time in a keynote speech at the National Rifle Association's annual convention Saturday evening.

McDonald's marks its 50th year

DES PLAINES, Ill. - Open a newspaper and find stories about people suing McDonald's because its food supersized them, its coffee burned them and its fries were secretly cooked in beef-
flavored oil.

Turn to the dictionary for a word that means low-paying, low-skill work and find "McJob" - a term that makes McDonald's a bit McAngry.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

In Response To : Study Finds Shortcoming in Education Law

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has changed the scenery of education in Illinois. The act requires that states set goals for achievement. Based on those goals an adequate yearly progress (AYP) report is submitted to see if students are improving. The AYP is based on three criteria. Participation must exceed 95 percent of students, attendance and graduation rates must meet the state’s targets, and reading and math scores must meet standards.

Pursuant to State Law PA 93-0470 failure to meet AYP standards results in the district being placed on a warning. Continued negligence results in the district being placed on a watch list. After several years of failure the school must implement an Improvement Plan, which must be approved by the State Board of Education. Schools that “fail to make reasonable efforts to implement an approved Improvement Plan may suffer loss of State funds by school district, attendance center, or programs as the SBE deems appropriate.”

After three years on a watch list (which comes after 2 years on an ‘early warning list’) the SBE is required to take one of the following actions: the removal of school board members, or the changing of the school’s recognition standard, which may result in the dissolution of the district and realignment with a district that meets standards.

Now, I hate to admit it, but I support this Act. This act is still immature, being in its second year. What it has done so far is made districts aware of the achievement gap. This achievement gap is part of the AYP that determines schools being placed on the 'list'. Subgroups (minority) progress must meet standards in order to comply with the law. Schools will be forced to narrow the achievement or the board members will be without jobs, perhaps the most enticing reason for these people act. Furthermore, newspapers and reporters now have numbers, charts, and figures to look at and report to the public. A difference is being made. Keep in mind that it will be another three years before any punishment is handed out to districts that are not meeting standards. This is better than doing nothing.

Study Finds Shortcoming in New Law on Education

"The academic growth that students experience in a given school year has apparently slowed since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the education law that was intended to achieve just the opposite, a new study has found.
In both reading and math, the study determined, test scores have gone up somewhat, as each class of students outdoes its predecessors. But within grades, students have made less academic progress during the school year than they did before No Child Left Behind went into effect in 2002, the researchers said."

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Brain-Dead From Sports Drinks

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Brain-Dead From Sports Drinks: "For years now, we've been hearing about the importance of hydration to avoid heat stroke during prolonged exercise in hot weather. Now, it turns out, too much hydration can kill you.

A study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine should give weekend warriors reason to rethink the wisdom of quaffing vast amounts of water or sports drinks while exercising vigorously - at least if they are engaging in such endurance tests as a marathon. The study found that a marathon runner could dangerously dilute the blood with an overdose of liquids, risking a coma and even death. The problem has also been detected during long military maneuvers, extended bike rides and blistering hikes through the desert.

An article by Gina Kolata in The Times today describes the slow and belated recognition of the problem. A South African expert who has been warning of the dangers for more than two decades told Ms. Kolata that he had not found a single case when an athlete had died from dehydration in a competitive race, but that some people had sickened and died from drinking too much. Typically, an overdose of water dilutes their blood and reduces the concentration of sodium. Water enters the cells, causing them to swell, and engorged brain cells press into the skull; such pressure can lead to confusion, seizures and a loss of vital functions."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Stop the presses! a hard-right extremist admits he was over the line!!!!!

USATODAY.com - DeLay apologizes for rhetoric in Schiavo case: "DeLay apologizes for rhetoric in Schiavo case
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Tom DeLay apologized Wednesday for using overheated rhetoric on the day Terri Schiavo died, but refused to say whether he supports impeachment of the judges who ruled in her case."
A neo-con apologizes! I thought that was against their scary cult rules: Never admit fault.

Uefa may kick Inter out of Europe

BBC: "Uefa will decide on Friday what action to take after crowd trouble forced the Champions League quarter-final between AC and Inter Milan to be abandoned.
Inter could become the first club to be kicked out of the Champions League after burning flares were thrown on the pitch - one hitting AC Milan's Dida.
Uefa spokesman William Gaillard said: 'The disciplinary body have the full range of sanctions at their disposal.
'There have been shocking incidents recently but this is the worst.'"

UPDATE Fingernail in Chili UPDATE

-- A woman who claimed she scooped up a human finger in her chili at a Wendy's restaurant has decided not to sue the fast-food chain.

Anna Ayala dropped her claim because it "has caused her great emotional distress and continues to be difficult emotionally," said her attorney, Jeffrey Janoff.


Ayala, 39, claimed she found the 1 1/2-inch long fingertip on March 22 while dining at a Wendy's restaurant in San Jose. She later filed a claim with the franchise owner, Fresno-based JEM Management Corp., which her attorney had said was the first step before filing a lawsuit.

Court records show Ayala has a history of making legal claims against corporations, including a former employer, General Motors and a fast-food restaurant. She acknowledged she received a settlement for medical costs several years ago after claiming that her daughter was sickened after eating at a Las Vegas restaurant.

Phone calls to Ayala's house in Las Vegas went unanswered Wednesday. Investigators searched her home last week as part of their probe into how a finger ended up in the chili.

Internet2?

Internet2 apparently heavily used for piracy: "Internet2 apparently heavily used for piracy
by Derek Sooman on Wed 13 Apr 2005, 12:26 PM
Seemingly, sneaky people have been using the ultra-fast Internet2 to swap movies and music. Internet2, which is not publicly available yet, can currently only be accessed by institutions such as leading universities."

EXTRA!-this is your news

FAIR-L
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

April Issue of Extra! Available
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4

Featured articles include:

AMERICA'S BROKEN ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Get over it, says mainstream press
By Miranda Spencer
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2488

ACADEMIC RACISTS MAKE MAINSTREAM INROADS
From National Review to the New York Times
By Steve Rendall
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2487

Fifth Annual Report:
FEAR & FAVOR 2004
How power shapes the news
By Peter Hart and Julie Hollar
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2486


Among the other articles in the current issue, available only to print
subscribers:

-- "THE WORLD LITTLE NOTED"
CBS scandal eclipses missing WMDs
By Jon Whiten

-- AMERICA'S DEBT TO GARY WEBB
Punished for reporting the truth while those who covered it up thrived
By Robert Parry

-- TAKING A DIVE ON CONTRA CRACK
How the Mercury News caved in to the media establishment
By Gary Webb

-- THE RETURN OF DEEP THROAT
Now he's a mainstream journalist, leaking stories to the alternative press
By Dave Lindorff

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Questioning Mr. Bolton

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: Questioning Mr. Bolton: "The longer John Bolton's Senate hearing for the post of United Nations representative went on, the more outrageous it seemed that President Bush could have nominated a man who had made withering disdain for that world body the signature of his career in international affairs. Some fear that the aim is to scuttle the United Nations. It's more likely, but just as disturbing, that this is another example of Mr. Bush's rewarding loyalty rather than holding officials accountable for mistakes, especially those who helped build the case for war with Iraq.

Whatever the explanation, the hearing held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only added reasons for denying the job to Mr. Bolton. It turned up a third incident (we already knew of two) in which Mr. Bolton tried to have an intelligence analyst punished for stopping him from making false claims about a weapons program in another nation, notably Cuba. Trying to tailor intelligence is enough to disqualify Mr. Bolton from this job. But the hearings also provided a detailed indictment of his views on the U.N., multilateral diplomacy and treaties."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | UK trio face US terrorism charges

BBC NEWS | Americas | UK trio face US terrorism charges: "UK trio face US terrorism charges
The US has charged three British men with terrorism offences over alleged surveillance of major financial centres in New York, Newark and Washington."

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The New York Times: "The post-9/11 world involves two competing nightmares. One imagines another terrorist attack that occurs because authorities fail to respond to signs of danger. The other is about innocent people who are arrested by mistake and held indefinitely because authorities are too frightened, or embarrassed, to admit their errors. We have to be equally vigilant against both.
Right now, two New York City girls, both 16, have been detained and accused of plotting to become suicide bombers. If there is a real reason to believe that charge, officials are obviously right to have acted. But so far, they have said little about the evidence against the girls, and the girls' friends and families have offered accounts that suggest the charges could be completely false.
At this point, it's impossible not to worry about a potential miscarriage of justice, given the number of previous incidents in which the government has rushed to make a terrorism arrest that turned out to be baseless."

A New Attack on Women's Sports

The New York Times: "The Bush administration has mounted a surreptitious new attack on Title IX, the 33-year-old law that has exponentially expanded the participation of girls and women in sports.
Last month, a memo went up on an Education Department Web site that was billed as a 'clarification' of Title IX regulations. But the memo amounted to a major weakening of the criteria used to determine compliance with the rule that all schools receiving public funds provide equal sports opportunities for men and women. Under the new guidelines, on campuses where the proportion of female athletes falls notably below the proportion of women in the student body, and sports programs for women are not expanding, a college will still be able to show it is 'fully and effectively' obeying the law by doing an online survey that shows women have no unmet sports interests. The department says that if the rate of response is low - as it is with most such surveys - that will be interpreted as a lack of interest."

Welcome to MichaelMoore.com!

Welcome to MichaelMoore.com!: "April 11th, 2005 6:04 pm
Kerry: Trickery Kept Voters From Polls
By Michael Kunzelman / Associated Press
BOSTON - Many voters in last year's presidential election were denied access to the polls through trickery and intimidation, former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told a voters' group Sunday.  
'Last year too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated,' the Massachusetts senator said at an event sponsored by the state League of Women Voters.
'There is no magic wand. No one person is going to stand up and suddenly say it's going to change tomorrow. You have to do that,' he said.
Kerry supporters have charged that voting irregularities in largely Democratic areas made it difficult for voters to cast ballots in the November election. A lawsuit in Ohio cited long lines and a shortage of voting machines in predominantly minority neighborhoods, but the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the suit.
Kerry also cited examples Sunday of how people were duped into not voting.
'Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote,' he said.
Kerry has never disputed the outcome of election, saying voting irregularities did not involve enough votes to change the result. Bush won the pivotal state of Ohio by 118,000 votes, giving him enough electoral votes to win re-election.
The Republican National Committee dismissed Kerry's comments Sunday.
'While President Bush and members of Congress are working to move our country forward, it's disappointing that some Democrats are focused on rehashing baseless allegations more than five months after the election,' RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said.
Earlier this year, Kerry joined Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., in filing voting reform legislation. The Count Every Vote Act would create a federal holiday for voting, require paper receipts for votes and authorize $500 million to help states upgrade voting systems and equipment.
Congress' investigative agency, the Government Accountability Office, has also begun looking into the handling of provisional ballots and malfunctions of voting machines. The study could lead to changes in the election process.
Kerry, using crutches as he recovers from knee surgery, suggested the United States should spend as much time promoting democracy at home as it does abroad in countries like Iraq.
'We need to go about the business of making our own democracy in America work better,' he said."

Used Prius selling for more than new one

NEW YORK, April 12 (UPI) -- Some used models of Toyota's super-efficient gas-electric Prius hybrid car are selling in the United States for more than they cost new.


Kelly Blue Book and Harris Interactive report buyers who want to avoid the typical two-month wait for a new Prius are paying a premium for a used one, CNN said Tuesday

Senators Grill Bolton on Past UN Comments, Politicizing Intelligence

Barbara Boxer at it again!

*from DemocracyNow! excerpt.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Preacher Bush

Preacher Bush (washingtonpost.com): "Preacher Bush

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Monday, April 11, 2005; 12:38 PM

Uplifted by the pope's funeral, President Bush on Friday called the seven reporters traveling with him on Air Force One into his airborne conference room, sat them around a table and talked to them about Jesus."

Check out the transcript of this interaction:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/04/20050408.html
.weird.

The Man Date

The New York Times > Fashion & Style"What do you call two straight men having dinner face-to-face without the aid of a television or the crutch of sports?"

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Former NFL player Lucas dies in Arena League game

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former NFL defensive lineman Al Lucas died Sunday from a presumed spinal cord injury sustained while trying to make a tackle for the Los Angeles Avengers during an Arena Football League game, the team said.

Lucas, who is from Macon, Ga., was taken to California Hospital and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, team physician Dr. Luga Podesta said in a statement.
A call to a California Hospital spokesman was not returned.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Al Lucas. At this time, the thoughts and prayers of the entire Avenger organization are with his wife and family," team owner and chief executive officer Casey Wasserman said in a statement.

The 26-year-old Lucas was injured during a first-quarter kickoff return against the New York Dragons.

Television replays showed Lucas bending down to make a tackle. The Dragons' ball carrier and a blocker tumbled over his head and back, with the blocker's leg appearing to hit Lucas in the head. Lucas did not move after falling to the ground.

The 6-foot-1, 300-pound lineman played two seasons (2000-01) for the Carolina Panthers, making 49.50 tackles in 20 games. He attended Troy State from 1996-99 and won the Buck Buchanan Award his senior season as the top defensive player in Division I-AA. In 43 games at Troy State he had 255 tackles and 11.50 sacks.

He was selected to the Arena League's All-Rookie team in 2003 while playing for Tampa Bay.
"Al Lucas played arena football with passion and integrity. The entire AFL family extends its deepest sympathies to Al's wife and family as well as his friends, family and teammates," commissioner David Baker said in a statement.

Lucas was married to De-Shonda Lucas and had a daughter, Mariah.
Several NFL players have died shortly after games, though no one has been declared dead on the field.

Detroit Lions receiver Chuck Hughes died of a heart attack during a game on Oct. 24, 1971. Hughes entered the game late in the fourth quarter and ran a deep route over the middle. As he headed back to the huddle, he collapsed. Team doctor Richard Thompson tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Hughes on the field and the game was finished in silence.

In 1963, Kansas City rookie running back Stone Johnson died 10 days after he broke his neck in an exhibition game against the Houston Oilers. In the game played at Wichita, Johnson was hurt while blocking on a kickoff return.

In 1960, New York Titans tackle Howard Glenn injured his neck during a play in the first half and died soon afterward.

Washington Redskins tackle Dave Sparks and Chicago Cardinals tackle Stan Mauldin died of heart attacks after games. Sparks died in 1954 three hours after a game, while Mauldin collapsed in the locker room in 1948.

Two college football players died from neck-related injuries in the past 15 years. Mississippi defensive back Chucky Mullins died from injuries sustained on Oct. 28, 1989. Mullins was paralyzed when he broke his neck tackling Vanderbilt tailback Brad Gaines and died 18 months later on May 6, 1991, in a Memphis, hospital.

Washington defensive back Curtis Williams was injured exactly 11 years later attempting to tackle Stanford running back Kerry Carter. He was paralyzed from the neck down and died May 6, 2002.

Controversial rulings shine spotlight on judiciary

KRT Wire | 04/10/2005 | Controversial rulings shine spotlight on judiciary

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Stores Say Wild Salmon, but Tests Say Farm Bred

NY Times: "Fresh wild salmon from West Coast waters used to have a low profile in New York: it generally migrated eastward in cans. But a growing concern about the safety of farm-raised fish has given fresh wild salmon cachet. It has become the darling of chefs, who praise its texture and flavor as superior to the fatty, neutral-tasting farmed variety, and many shoppers are willing to pay far more for it than for farmed salmon.
Today, 'fresh wild salmon' is abundant, even in the winter when little of it is caught. In fact, it seems a little too abundant to be true.
Tests performed for The New York Times in March on salmon sold as wild by eight New York City stores, going for as much as $29 a pound, showed that the fish at six of the eight were farm raised. Farmed salmon, available year round, sells for $5 to $12 a pound in the city."

Ministry of Truth strikes again

ABC News: Protesters Call for Boycott in Japan: "BEIJING Apr 9, 2005 — About 1,000 protesters threw rocks and broke windows at the Japanese Embassy on Saturday after a noisy march by demanding a boycott of Japanese goods to oppose new textbooks that critics say gloss over Tokyo's wartime atrocities.


Protesters shouted 'Boycott Japan!' as hundreds of police, some with riot helmets and shields, formed a human wall to keep the crowd away from the embassy. Protesters smashed the windows of a guardhouse outside the fenced compound."

New Ratings

Bush Has Lowest Approval Rating in History.
The polling organization Gallup reported this week that President Bush's approval rating has plunged to the lowest level of any president since World War II at this point in his second term. All other presidents who served a second term had approval ratings well above 50% in the March following their election. Bush's current rating is 45%. The next lowest was Reagan with 56% in March 1985.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Lawmakers Want Daylight-Saving Time Change

Reuters.com: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A House committee voted on Wednesday to expand U.S. daylight-saving time by two months to help reduce energy consumption, but rejected a plan to shave total U.S. oil demand by 1 million barrels a day.
Both proposals were offered as amendments to be tacked on to a broad energy bill that was debated by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The panel agreed in a voice vote to move the start of daylight-saving time in the United States -- which occurs when clocks are turned forward by one hour -- one month earlier to the first Sunday in March. The end of daylight time would be moved back one month to the last Sunday in November.
Supporters of the amendment, sponsored by Michigan Republican Fred Upton, said it would save about 10,000 barrels of oil a day because offices and stores would be open while it was still light outside and therefore use less energy."

The Anti-War Pope

During the past couple of days, I think it is interesting how the White House is trying to promote the idea that Bush and Pope John Paul II shared similar "moral" views. For instance, the White House press secretary said that both John Paul II and Bush promoted a "culture of life." When a reporter pointed out that John Paul II was against capital punishment, the White House responded that they were not going to get caught up in the minor discrepancies. Furthermore, Pope John Paul II actively opposed the war in Iraq.

Just another marketing tactic the White House is using to increase Bush's declining ratings.

Finger-in-chili investigation widens - U.S. Business News - MSNBC.com

Finger-in-chili investigation widens - U.S. Business News - MSNBC.com: "Finger-in-chili investigation widens
Authorities search home of woman who made claim
The Associated Press
Updated: 7:21 a.m. ET April 8, 2005


SAN JOSE, Calif. - Investigators searched the Las Vegas home of a woman who claimed she scooped up a mouthful of finger along with her chili at a Wendy’s restaurant last month."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

SMART BOMBS

Chicago Tribune: "Though the blogosphere is gaining in respect and influence, the word 'blogger,' for some, still brings to mind an image of a wild-haired ranter -- a guy in his basement, clad in pajamas, railing at the world from behind the glowing screen of his computer.
Which is why Judge Richard A. Posner and professor Gary S. Becker, world-renowned academics and authors, still encounter the occasional raised eye-brow when the topic of their new blog, www.becker-posner-blog.com, comes up.
'My guess is that some people think it's in somewhat questionable taste,' Posner said in a phone interview. 'I don't think people would be disturbed by what I actually say in these postings, but they might feel it's unusual for a judge to be doing a blog.'
Blogs are increasingly popular in areas in which academia, public policy and law intersect. Yet in some legal circles, they are seen as being a little off-the-beaten path."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pope and Presidency


Pope and Presidency, originally uploaded by ReidAnderes.

Honestly, I am really curious to know what people think of this photo? Post your comments. Should the president/ex-presidents really fly to Rome for this? Is this a marriage of church and state? Or is this the president being respectful to followers? Tell us what you think.

Engadget - www.engadget.com.

Engadget - www.engadget.com.: "The Egg handles last-minute scheduling changes >



No matter how accurately we can tell the time, it doesn’t solve the underlying problem that whatever it is we’re doing right now always ends up taking longer than we planned. Friends are miffed, jobs are lost, and other disastrous outcomes are the end result of this phenomenon. Enter The Egg, a project by students at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, which takes a unique approach to time management. Your egg represents the time left until an impending appointment by glowing with less and less luminosity as the hour draws near. When you (inevitably) need to give yourself a bit of extra time, you turn our egg upside down and shake it to add more light and, consequently, more time. Your egg then notifies the eggs of your friends/contacts that you will be later than expected. Of course, this would be predicated on some ovarian future in which we all have Eggs on our desktops, but then again, many of us have even stranger things there already."

Bad Reporting on US/Nicaragua News

FAIR-L
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2478

ACTION ALERT:
Reviving Cold War Reporting on Nicaragua

April 5, 2005

As the Bush administration carries out what the New York Times (4/5/05)
describes as a "concerted effort" to block the return of the left-wing
Sandinista party to power in Nicaragua, U.S. media are returning to the
kind of distorted reporting on Nicaragua that characterized coverage
during Washington's war against that country in the 1980s. The New York
Times' April 5 article on the administration's anti-Sandinista campaign
provides a prime example of this one-sided and inaccurate media treatment.

The article, by Ginger Thompson, characterized the U.S. attempt to
overthrow the Sandinista government as part of "the global struggle
against Communism"-- though Nicaragua under the Sandinistas had a mixed
economy, multiple opposition parties and a very active opposition press,
features that were not found in actual Communist countries. She refers to
Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, as a "revolutionary
strongman," even though he was elected to the presidency in 1984 with 67
percent of the vote, in balloting that international observers found to be
"free, fair and hotly contested" (Extra!, 10-11/87).

Referring to the Sandinista-led government of the 1980s and the
U.S.-sponsored Contra rebels as opposing "armies," Thompson wrote, "The
armies fought each other to a standstill, until both sides agreed to
elections in 1990, which Mr. Ortega lost." This summary leaves out the
election that Ortega won in 1984, and wrongly suggests that the 1990
elections were held because of Contra pressure, when the Nicaraguan
constitution at that time required elections to be held every six years.
(That sentence also implies that the Contras directed their fight against
the Nicaraguan army, although in fact they chiefly targeted civilians and
civilian infrastructure-- see Nicaragua: The Price of Intervention, Peter
Kornbluh, pp. 39-50.)

Though the article's focus is on the United States' opposition to Ortega,
Ortega is never quoted; the article says that he "did not accept several
requests for an interview." Despite a reference to "extensive talks with
Mr. Ortega's supporters," no members of this group are quoted either. (A
supporter of a Sandinista rival to Ortega is quoted at the end of the
piece, explaining why in his view Ortega is not likely to ever be
re-elected.)

The piece does, however, repeatedly quote an anonymous "senior State
Department official" who makes unsubstantiated charges about Ortega and
the Sandinistas (e.g., "The Sandinista Party that Daniel Ortega represents
is not a democratic party," the Sandinistas are using their influence to
"extort the country.").

New York Times policy supposedly discourages the use of anonymous sources.
"We do not grant anonymity to people who use it as cover for a personal
or partisan attack," a February 25, 2004 statement released by the paper
declared. "If pejorative opinions are worth reporting and cannot be
specifically attributed, they may be paraphrased or described after
thorough discussion between writer and editor." When an anonymous source
is attacking an official enemy, it appears, the rules do not apply.


ACTION: Please contact the New York Times and urge them to correct the
inaccurate history of Nicaragua contained in this article. Encourage the
paper to quote more than one side of a story, even when reporting on
people or parties that are seen as enemies by the U.S. State Department.

CONTACT:
New York Times
Daniel Okrent, Public Editor
mailto:public@nytimes.com
Phone: (212) 556-7652

As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you
maintain a polite tone. Please cc fair@fair.org with your correspondence.

Yushchenko Asks Congress for Economic Aid

WASHINGTON Apr 6, 2005 — Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, seen as living proof of the former Soviet republic's desire for democratic change, told Congress Wednesday that "a civil society has matured in Ukraine" and asked for economic support to spur further progress.

Iraq Parliament Elects Jalal Talabani as President

April 6 (Bloomberg) -- Iraq's National Assembly today named Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as the country's first democratically elected president in more than 50 years, breaking a two-month deadlock on forming a new government.

Jeb Bush backs Florida's 'Kill Bill' - World - Times Online

Jeb Bush backs Florida's 'Kill Bill' - World - Times Online: "Jeb Bush backs Florida's 'Kill Bill'
By Simon Freeman, Times Online

A Bill giving Florida citizens the right to shoot and kill anyone who threatens them in public - without first having to try to escape - is set to be passed into law in a move that critics say could turn the Sunshine State into the Wild West.

Governor Jeb Bush has signalled his intention to sign into statute the 'Stand Your Ground Bill', which allows members of the public to 'meet force with force, including deadly force and defend themselves without fear of prosecution"

Note to self: cancel plans to move to Florida.

Proposed 'Academic Bill of Rights' Limits "Controversial Matter" in Classroom

Selwyn’s Digimemo electronic writing pad - Engadget - www.engadget.com.

Selwyn’s Digimemo electronic writing pad - Engadget - www.engadget.com.: "Posted Apr 6, 2005, 9:48 AM ET by Donald Melanson

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking technology (didn’t IBM do this, like, ten years ago?), but Selwyn’s new Digimemo electronic writing pad will let you take notes on paper and save everything on its internal memory or on a CF card so you can transfer it to another device.  The pad supposedly provides 100 hours of continous use and has a handwriting recognition feature which converts your notes into Word documents.  The good news is that the Digimemo is quite a bit cheaper than those earlier electronic writing pads, and it’s available now for about $150.
"

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial Observer: Some Thoughts on Seeing the Polymerized Remains of Human Cadavers

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial Observer: Some Thoughts on Seeing the Polymerized Remains of Human Cadavers: "Most museums aren't open at 3 a.m. But at 3 a.m. on the final Saturday of a recent exhibition, crowds were still moving through the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where the show, 'Body Worlds 2,' had been on display since July 2. It had already been held over, and it was kept open for 62 hours, nonstop, before closing in the early hours of March 28. Security videotapes show that about 3 a.m. on that Saturday, when no one was nearby, two young women reached into a plexiglass case and stole a preserved 13-week-old fetus - one of a sequence of fetuses in the reproduction section of the exhibition. No one knows whether it was a prank or a protest."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Support the Troops

TruthNews: "Empty Rhetoric for Veterans

Ron Paul, April 4, 2005

Many military veterans were shocked to see that the federal budget for 2006 makes several cuts in veterans benefits and services. Under the proposed budget, the Veterans Administration will increase once again the co-pay cost of prescription drugs, while adding a new annual fee for medical benefits. The budget also calls for the reduction of veterans home funding and limits the number of VA nursing home beds. Some members of Congress have even suggested rewriting the definition of 'veteran' in a way that could deny VA health benefits for millions of retired servicemen"
A vet isn't just the old man selling flowers outside of walmart for veterans day. It's the young men who are coming home from this quagmire with injuries and psychological damage, no job, etc. and our government can't even support them. This new budget is the biggest fuck you. Bush is the worst commander in chief in our history.

Google, Inc.

The Bosh: "Google wants your video
By Editor
Google wants your video

'We're going to start taking video submissions from people,' Page said at the annual cable industry convention in San Francisco.

Google Inc. plans to ask folks for personal video clips as it moves to further expand the reach of its Web search business"

Actors in the Insurgency Are Reluctant TV Stars

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's hottest new television program is a reality show. But the players are not there by choice. And they don't win big bucks, a new spouse or a dream job.


Instead, all the characters on "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" are captured suspected insurgents. And for more than a month, they have been riveting viewers with tales of how they killed, kidnapped, raped or beheaded other Iraqis, usually for a few hundred dollars per victim.


---keep in mind this is produced by a 'state' run tv network, set up by the united states---

Monday, April 04, 2005

US Ambassador to the UN?!

t r u t h o u t - MultiMedia

Jon Bolton is Bush's nomination to be US Ambassador to the UN. Watch this little video. I've never seen a proposedly rational person speak so emotionally since, well, I don't want to draw this comparison out. Make sure and watch the last ten seconds. That's the spitfire that haunts my dreams and keeps me up at night. We've gotta be kidding with this guy.

MSNBC - UNC won’t end Illinois’ dream season

MSNBC - UNC won’t end Illinois’ dream season

ill-ini


ill-ini
Originally uploaded by riley27.
Fans filled the night air with chants of "Number one, number one" and dueling bursts of "I-L-L, I-N-I."
   Some fans were boosted onto the shoulders of friends. Some climbed light poles or scrambled onto rooftops. At one point, a wave of crowd surfing – in which fans were hoisted atop the tightly packed crowd and passed along to others – broke out.
   "It's better than Mardi Gras," said Julie Kotter, a UI junior from Metropolis.
   Police officers closed off Green Street between Goodwin Avenue and Fourth Street as well as parts of Sixth and Wright streets. UI assistant police chief Kris Fitzpatrick said as many as 10,000 partyers were in the area by 8:30 p.m., with as many as 5,000 on the Quad alone.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Scientific Analysis Suggests Presidential Vote Counts May Have Been Altered - Group of University Professors Urges Investigation of 2004 Election

Scientific Analysis Suggests Presidential Vote Counts May Have Been Altered - Group of University Professors Urges Investigation of 2004 Election: " 
Scientific Analysis Suggests Presidential Vote Counts May Have Been Altered - Group of University Professors Urges Investigation of 2004 Election
The absence of any statistically-plausible explanation for the discrepancy between Edison/Mitofsky’s exit poll data and the official presidential vote tally is an unanswered question of vital national importance that needs thorough investigation.

Officially, President Bush won November's election by 2.5%, yet exit polls showed Kerry winning by 3%. According to a report to be released today by a group of university statisticians, the odds of a discrepancy this large between the national exit poll and election results happening by accident are close to 1 in a million.

In other words, by random chance alone, it could not have happened. But it did.
"

Friday, April 01, 2005

Women Speak Out In Saudi Arabia

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about democracy in the Arab world -- most of it coming from President Bush, who has called on one Middle Eastern government after another to give more power to their own people.

That will be difficult for one of the president’s closest allies –- Saudi Arabia, a bastion of conservative Islam that is home to one of the last absolute monarchies in the world -– one that is notorious for keeping a tight grip on political power.

Rituals: Thwack! Whir!... Whir? Segway Polo Is Born

The New York Times : "WHEN Alex Ko and his companions took up polo, they made some subtle changes to the sport once enjoyed by ancient Mongol warriors, who are said to have played with the severed heads of their enemies.
Mr. Ko and his friends opted for a 6-inch-diameter Nerf ball.
And instead of horses, they chose to ride Segways, the self-balancing transportation devices first developed as a short-distance alternative to the automobile.
'It's similar to real polo,' Mr. Ko said, 'but without the manure.'"