Thursday, March 03, 2005

Yahoo! News - All members of primitive tribe survived tsunami

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Unbelievable

News: "Las Vegas Weatherman Fired for MLK Slur

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A television weatherman was fired after referring to slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. as ``Martin Luther Coon King'' on the air, station officials said.
Rob Blair, of KTNV-TV, was delivering the extended forecast Saturday morning when he said: ``Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Day, gonna see some temperatures in the mid-60s.''
Jim Prather, vice president and general manager of the ABC affiliate, said Blair stumbled when he uttered the remark, but the excuse was not enough to save his job.
``This kind of incident is not acceptable under any circumstances, and I'm truly sorry that this event occurred,'' Prather said.
Blair, who worked at the station for about three months, apologized during the station's 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts Saturday.
``I in no way intended to offend anyone,'' he said in the apology. ``I'm very sorry.'' "

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Land of Penny Pinchers

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Land of Penny Pinchers: "By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

o is the U.S. 'stingy' about helping poor countries?
That accusation by a U.N. official, in veiled form, provoked indignation here. After all, we're the most generous people on earth ... aren't we?
No, alas, we're not. And the tsunami illustrates the problem: When grieving victims intrude onto our TV screens, we dig into our pockets and provide the massive, heartwarming response that we're now displaying in Asia; the rest of the time, we're tightwads who turn away as people die in far greater numbers.
The 150,000 or so fatalities from the tsunami are well within the margin of error for estimates of the number of deaths every year from malaria. Probably two million people die annually of malaria, most of them children and most in Africa, or maybe it's three million - we don't even know.
But the bottom line is that this month and every month, more people will die of malaria (165,000 or more) and AIDS (240,000) than died in the tsunamis, and almost as many will die because of diarrhea ( 140,000).
And that's where we're stingy.
Americans give 15 cents per day per person in official development assistance to poor countries. The average American spends four times that on soft drinks daily.
In 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, we increased such assistance by one-fifth, for President Bush has actually been much better about helping poor countries than President Clinton was. But as a share of our economy, our contribution still left us ranked dead last among 22 top donor countries.
We gave 15 cents for every $100 of national income to poor countries. Denmark gave 84 cents, the Netherlands gave 80 cents,"

Monday, January 03, 2005

Elephants Help Clear Debris in Thailand

Yahoo! News - Elephants Help Clear Debris in Thailand: "A year ago, they were filming battle scenes for the movie 'Alexander.' Now six elephants are pitching in to help with the massive cleanup from the tsunami that devastated many of Thailand's prime tourist destinations"

While heavy machinery works on the tangled wreckage that used to be posh seafront resorts, some areas are too muddy or hilly for anything other than 4 foot drive.
So the Wang Chang elephant farm in the 17th-century Thai capital of Ayuddhaya offered to send in its best pachyderms. They arrived by truck Sunday in Phang Nga and got to work immediately — after a quick shower to cool off in the tropical heat.
"The six were chosen because they are smart and can act on command," said Romthongsai Meephan, one of the elephant farm's owners.
The elephants, all males, were cast with Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie in "Alexander," recreating their ancient roles as battle tanks. Today, they mostly entertain tourists and give them tours around Ayuddhaya, but they also are experienced at dragging logs through forests.
"They will be assigned to work in towing heavy objects and pulling out debris," said Siriphong Leeprasit, a district official in Phang Nga. "Elephants could work better in pulling out the remains of collapsed buildings and houses, especially in areas flooded with mud or hilly areas."
In Indonesia, another 11 elephants — native to badly hit Sumatra island — have been pressed into similar duty because there were few trucks and other heavy equipment to do the job there. A TV report showed them pulling a sport utility vehicle from a collapsed building.
Cranes and backhoes have been used to open routes to areas cut off in Thailand, but many local residents have complained that assistance has been slow to arrive and some areas have still not been accessed, particularly near Khao Lak beach, another hard-hit tourist zone about 50 miles north of Phuket.

So two of the elephants headed into a rough forested road that was blocked by uprooted palm trees, cement utility poles, cars, motorbikes and TV sets. A gray police patrol boat had washed up on a hill, more than a mile from the beach. The receding waters left behind two murky saltwater lakes.

The beasts were watered down by their trainers, called mahouts, then began using their trunks and tusks to clear the road. One mahout clambered aboard each elephant, with two others on the ground leading them.
The animals made quick work of huge muddy clumps of plant material and didn't need much more time to handle the heavy utility pylons. Then, after a little lunch, they were ready to start the next task.


Dog Rescues 7-Year-Old in India

Yahoo! News - Dog Rescues 7-Year-Old in India
"Run away!" her husband screamed from a rooftop after he spotted the colossal waves. The command was simple but it presented Sangeeta with a dilemma: She had three sons, and only two arms.
She grabbed the youngest two and ran — figuring the oldest, 7-year-old Dinakaran, had the best chance of outrunning the tsunami churning toward her home.
But Dinakaran didn't follow. He headed for the safest place he knew, the small family hut just 40 yards from the seashore.
Sangeeta thought she would never see him again. The family dog saw to it that she did.
While water lapped at Sangeeta's heels as she rushed up the hill, the scruffy yellow dog named Selvakumar ducked into the hut after Dinakaran.
Nipping and nudging, he did everything in his canine power to get the boy up the hill.
Sangeeta, who like many south Indians only uses one name, had no idea of the drama unfolding below. Once she had crossed the main road to safety she collapsed into tears, screaming over the loss of her eldest son.
"I had heard from others that the wall of my house had collapsed, I felt sure that my child had died," said the 24-year-old mother.

Selvakumar looks pretty much like every other dog in the village. He hardly ever barks and lets the three boys climb all over him and pull his tail without protest. At night, he joins the rest of the family and sleeps among them, no matter how may times they throw him out.
Most days, the dog escorts Dinakaran to and from school, spending the rest of the day playing with the other two boys, or begging for food.

Sangeeta's brother-in-law gave her the puppy, following the birth of her second son. When the brother-in-law died in an accident two years ago, they changed the dog's name to his.
Sangeeta's husband, R. Ramakrishnan, had just returned from his early morning fishing with a boat full of fish.
From their home, the view of the ocean was obstructed by a two-story community center. So when they heard a strange noise coming from the sea, Sangeeta's husband went to investigate.
When Ramakrishnan saw the waves, he ran to the roof of the center and shouted down to Sangeeta to flee. That's when she made her agonizing choice.
"He is somewhat older than the other two. I knew he would be able to run, so I grabbed the other two," Sangeeta explained.

Dinakaran credits the dog with saving his life.
"That dog grabbed me by the collar of my shirt," the boy said from under some trees at Pondicherry University, where the family is waiting for relief. "He dragged me out."
Sangeeta said she wept with joy when she saw her son walking up to her, with Selvakumar by his side.
The Tamils of south India believe that talking about the death of a living person can make it so, so Sangeeta didn't want to mull over her decision or speculate how she would have felt had her son not survived.
She did say that she believes some special spirit, perhaps her brother-in-law's, resides in the young yellow dog.
"That dog is my God," said Sangeeta — with Dinakaran sitting on the ground at her feet and Selvakumar sleeping on the warm asphalt next to him.




Thursday, December 30, 2004

Yahoo! News - Tsunami Death Toll Rockets to 114,000

Yahoo! News - Tsunami Death Toll Rockets to 114,000: "BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - The death toll from last weekend's earthquake-tsunami catastrophe rose to more than 114,000 on Thursday as Indonesia uncovered more and more dead from ravaged Sumatra island, where pilots dropped food to remote villages still unreachable by rescue workers. A false alarm that new killer waves were about to hit sparked panic in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. "

Monday, December 13, 2004

Blast Kills 13 Year After Saddam Capture
By PAUL GARWOODAssociated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- An al-Qaida-linked suicide bomber blew up his vehicle Monday near cars waiting to enter the Green Zone, home to the U.S. Embassy and Iraq's interim government, killing 13 Iraqis on the anniversary of Saddam Hussein's capture.
As insurgents continued to step up attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces ahead of next month's elections, the country's interim president said Washington was wrong for dismantling Iraq's security forces, including its 350,000-strong army, after last year's invasion.
"Definitely dissolving the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior was a big mistake," Ghazi al-Yawer told British Broadcasting Corp. radio, saying it would have been more effective to screen out former regime loyalists than to rebuild from scratch.
He added:
"As soon as we have efficient security forces that we can depend on we can see the beginning of the withdrawal of forces from our friends and partners and I think it doesn't take years, it will take months."
U.S. military commanders, however, say American forces will be in Iraq for several years and that troop numbers will rise from 138,000 to 150,000 before the Jan. 30 national elections, which many Iraqis fear could be targeted by militants opposed to the occupation and bent on derailing the political process.

How real is all this? If it wasn't for truthout.com, I wouldn't hear much about Ohio at all. Where's the Today show coverage. Or is it just a lot of wishful thinkers who can't believe the mess we're in?
Protesters Urge Delay for Ohio Electors
Sun Dec 12, 5:49 PM ET
By JOHN McCARTHY, Associated Press Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio - As it has done for 200 years, Ohio's delegation to the Electoral College (news - web sites) is to meet Monday to cast ballots for president and vice president — but this time, there are demands that the electors wait until after a recount. A demonstration was held Sunday as about 100 people gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse to protest the delegation's vote.
The Electoral College's vote in the Ohio Senate chamber is expected to be accompanied by demonstrations outside the Capitol sponsored by groups who don't accept that President Bush (news - web sites) won the key swing state by 119,000 votes, guaranteeing his victory over Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites).
Led by a coalition representing the Green and Libertarian parties, the dissidents are paying for recounts in each of Ohio's 88 counties that will begin this week. The recount is not expected to be complete until next week.
"John Kerry conceded so early in the process that it's maddening," said Kat L'Estrange of We Do Not Concede, an activist group born after the election that believes Kerry was the real winner in Ohio and nationally.
L'Estrange, Susan Truitt of the Columbus-based Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, and others demanded that the electoral vote be put off until the recount is completed.
"In Ohio, there has not been a final determination. Therefore, any meeting of the Electoral College in Ohio prior to a full recount would in fact be an illegitimate gathering," said John Bonifaz of the National Voting Rights Institute.
The dissidents claim there were disparities in vote totals for Democrats, too few voting machines in Democrat-leaning precincts, organized campaigns directing voters to the wrong polling place and confusion over the counting of provisional ballots by voters whose names did not appear in the books at polling places.
The Kerry campaign does not dispute that Bush won the election, but supports the Ohio recount. Kerry issued a statement Wednesday saying reported voting problems should be investigated to ensure there are no doubts in future elections.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Defining VictoryAs Chaos MountsIn Iraq, U.S. ArmyRethinks Its Future
Amid Signs Its Plan Fell Short,Service Sees Ben efits Of Big Tanks, Translators
Mock Raids and Reading Lists
By GREG JAFFE Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNALDecember 8, 2004; Page A1
Shortly after the U.S. deposed Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003, the Army kicked off its annual "war game," a mock battle in which U.S. forces set out to topple another Middle Eastern regime.
Set 10 years in the future, the game featured a force built around a light, fast, armored vehicle that the Army planned to start producing in 2010. The Army attacked from seven dizzying directions and, when the game ended, appeared on the verge of shattering the enemy force.
"We walked out and patted ourselves on the back and said 'marvelous job,' " says retired Lt. Gen. William Carter, who commanded U.S. forces in the game. "We didn't understand that what we were seeing in those games wasn't victory."
Today, the exercise stands as a stark example of how senior Army leaders and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the years leading up to the Iraq invasion were guided by a flawed understanding of how future enemies would fight.
Swift Strikes
The Iraq attack was built on the premise that speed and high-tech equipment could radically change the way war was fought. Short, swift attacks against key targets -- such as communications stations and headquarters -- could confuse enemy forces and isolate them from their commanders, according to both Army and Defense Department doctrine. If you chopped off the enemy's head, the theory went, the whole body would die. Getting to the fight faster became the focus of modernization plans for the Army and all other U.S. armed services.
Now, the escalating insurgency in Iraq is showing that lightning assaults can quickly topple a regime -- but also unleash problems for which small, fast, high-tech U.S. forces are ill-equipped.
"We're realizing strategic victory is about a lot more than annihilating the enemy," says one senior defense official in Mr. Rumsfeld's office. Victory also requires winning the support of locals and tracking down insurgents, who can easily elude advanced surveillance technology and precision strikes. In some cases, a slower, more methodical attack, one that allows U.S. troops to stabilize one area and hold it up as an example of what is possible for the rest of the country, could produce better results, according to emerging Army thinking.
Mr. Rumsfeld acknowledges that the military, which is still organized "to fight big armies, navies and air forces on a conventional basis," must change in order to deal with guerrilla fighters and terrorists. "The department simply has to be much more facile and agile," he says in an interview. "We have got to focus more on the post-combat phase."
But he adds that the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate the "critical importance of speed and precision as opposed to mass or sheer numbers."
New Standards
Before the war began, Middle East experts, along with some Army officials, warned that stabilizing and governing a fractious and ethnically divided Iraq would be much harder than toppling Saddam Hussein.
A recent directive, prepared by Mr. Rumsfeld's office and still in draft form, now yields to that view. It mandates that in the future, units' readiness for war should be judged not only by traditional standards, such as how well they fire their tanks, but by the number of foreign speakers in their ranks, their awareness of the local culture where they will fight, and their ability to train and equip local security forces. It orders the military's four-star regional commanders to "develop and maintain" new plans for battle, hoping to prevent the sort of postwar chaos that engulfed Iraq.
The Army is discarding or delaying big parts of its longstanding plans. It recently announced it has pushed back introduction of its new lightweight fighting vehicle for several years, to 2014, freeing up $9 billion. Earlier plans had called for all of the service's combat units to be built around the light, quick, armored vehicle.
The Army now thinks it will need a mix of slower-to-deploy, heavy tanks as well as light fighting vehicles. This will allow commanders to swing quickly between tasks, the Army says, from handing out emergency rations on one block to conducting an all-out battle with insurgents on another. Commanders in Iraq have found that 70-ton tanks, which literally shake the ground as they move, can help ward off guerrilla attacks simply through intimidation.
"The answer to complexity, volatility and uncertainty is always diversity," says Brig. Gen. David Fastabend, a senior officer in the Army's Futures Center, which does long-range planning.
The service recently canceled its $12.9 billion program for Comanche helicopters. Instead of spending the money on 121 stealthy Comanches -- designed to evade high-tech enemy radar -- the Army is spending the money to buy 825 attack and cargo helicopters and planes of the sort being used daily in Iraq.
It's also investing about $1 billion over the next six years in a new computerized system to speed the flow of intelligence, which today must move up and down a rigid hierarchy. Soon the Army says each of its 800-soldier battalions in Iraq will have immediate access to intelligence reports from units scattered across the country. The system will help intelligence analysts sort through data and identify connections between attacks or terror cells in different parts of the country.
"I've said we are a hierarchy trying to fight a network. I still believe that. But I also believe we are getting better," says Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff.
Perhaps the most striking changes are taking place on Army posts such as Fort Carson, Colo., where the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment is getting ready for an Iraq deployment early next year. Since taking command of the 5,000-soldier regiment this summer, Col. H.R. McMaster, an early critic of the Army's vision of fast, high-tech wars, has put his troops through weeks of mock raids. He has staged convoy ambushes and meetings with role players acting as local Iraqi leaders. Such training is becoming common throughout the Army.
In a training exercise last month, Lt. Doug Armstrong sat down with two fellow soldiers -- both Iraq veterans -- who were pretending to be the mayor and police chief of an Iraqi village. Lt. Armstrong, 23 years old, quickly asked where the insurgents in the town were hiding. The mock mayor shrugged and demanded food and water for the people. He chastised the lieutenant for parking his Humvee in the village wheat field.
About five minutes into the meeting, Col. McMaster cut it short. "Be a little more personable," he told the young officer. "Ask about the mayor's family. Build a relationship before you ask him where the bad guys are."
Col. McMaster then asked the lieutenant if he noticed anything unusual in the room where he was meeting with the mayor. The lieutenant shook his head no.
"Who is that dude on the wall?" Col. McMaster asked, pointing to the only poster tacked to the small office's walls. The lieutenant shrugged. A sergeant standing nearby answered that it was Muqtada al Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric.
"You've got to notice those things," Col. McMaster said.
Trying to win the cooperation of locals is a huge change for a service that until recently saw war primarily as the clash of traditional armies. Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, the top U.S. commander in Iraq during the first months of the war, recently told colleagues he recalls watching Iraqis loot chairs, artillery shells and other weapons. Instead of having his troops intervene, he and his commanders were focused on finding senior military and Baath Party leaders. Gen. Wallace now says those leaders had become largely irrelevant to the chaos breaking out around the country.
"There was a point when the regime was no longer relevant, no longer running the country. We were slow to pick up on that," Gen. Wallace says.
As a result, U.S. commanders missed an opportunity to shift forces to other tasks -- such as policing and reconstruction -- that would have helped win the support of a deeply skeptical population. Some senior officers were simply overwhelmed by the number of tasks facing them as the country came apart.
"The complexity was much greater than what we trained and exercised for prior to this campaign," Gen. Wallace says.
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110246829907493919-email,00.html

Frustrated soldiers give Rumsfeld earful

a>:
"CONFLICT IN IRAQ
Defense chief Donald Rumsfeld found himself on the defensive as troops in Kuwait grilled him about equipment problems and extended tours of duty.
BY ROBERT BURNS
Associated Press
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -In a rare public airing of grievances, disgruntled soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment.
''You go to war with the Army you have,'' Rumsfeld replied, ``not the Army you might want or wish to have.''
Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, ''Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?'' Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.
''We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north,'' Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.
Wilson, an airplane mechanic whose unit, the 278th Regimental Combat Team of the Tennessee Army National Guard, is about to drive north into Iraq for a one-year tour of duty, put his finger on a problem that has bedeviled the Pentagon for more than a year. Rarely, though, is it put so bluntly in a public forum.
Rumsfeld said the Army was sparing no expense or effort to acquire as many Humvees and other vehicles with extra armor as it can. What's more, he said, armor is not the savior some think it is.
''You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can [still] be blown up,'' he said.
U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq are killed or maimed by roadside bombs almost daily. Adding armor protection to Humvees and other vehicles that normally are not used in combat has been a priority for the Army, but manufacturers have not been able to keep up with the demand....
A TOUGH CROWD
In his prepared remarks in Kuwait, Rumsfeld urged the troops -- mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers -- to discount critics of the war and to help ''win the test of wills'' with the insurgents....
EXTENDED TOURS
Yet another soldier asked how much longer the Army would continue using its ''stop loss'' power to prevent soldiers from leaving the service who are otherwise eligible to retire or return to civilian life at the end of their enlistment.
Rumsfeld said this condition was simply a fact of life for soldiers in times of war. Critics, including some in Congress, say it's proof the Army has been stretched too thin by war.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., told Rumsfeld in a letter Wednesday that his response to the question about armored vehicles was ''utterly unacceptable'' and that it was the duty of the government to provide safety equipment.
CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS
The deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Kuwait, Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, said at Camp Buehring that as far as he knew, every vehicle deploying to Iraq from Kuwait had at least ''Level 3'' armor protection. That means it had locally fabricated armor for its side panels, but not bulletproof windows or reinforced floorboards.
Speer said he was unaware that soldiers were searching landfills for scrap metal and discarded glass.
However, Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, the adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard, disputed Speer's remarks. ''I know that members of his staff were aware and assisted the 278th in obtaining these materials,'' he said.
At the Pentagon, spokesman Larry Di Rita said production of armored Humvees had increased from 15 to 450 a month since fall 2003, when commanders in Iraq started asking for them because of insurgents' heavy use of roadside explosives.


"

Frustrated soldiers give Rumsfeld earful

a>:
"CONFLICT IN IRAQ
Defense chief Donald Rumsfeld found himself on the defensive as troops in Kuwait grilled him about equipment problems and extended tours of duty.
BY ROBERT BURNS
Associated Press
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -In a rare public airing of grievances, disgruntled soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment.
''You go to war with the Army you have,'' Rumsfeld replied, ``not the Army you might want or wish to have.''
Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, ''Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?'' Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.
''We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north,'' Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.
Wilson, an airplane mechanic whose unit, the 278th Regimental Combat Team of the Tennessee Army National Guard, is about to drive north into Iraq for a one-year tour of duty, put his finger on a problem that has bedeviled the Pentagon for more than a year. Rarely, though, is it put so bluntly in a public forum.
Rumsfeld said the Army was sparing no expense or effort to acquire as many Humvees and other vehicles with extra armor as it can. What's more, he said, armor is not the savior some think it is.
''You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can [still] be blown up,'' he said.
U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq are killed or maimed by roadside bombs almost daily. Adding armor protection to Humvees and other vehicles that normally are not used in combat has been a priority for the Army, but manufacturers have not been able to keep up with the demand....
A TOUGH CROWD
In his prepared remarks in Kuwait, Rumsfeld urged the troops -- mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers -- to discount critics of the war and to help ''win the test of wills'' with the insurgents....
EXTENDED TOURS
Yet another soldier asked how much longer the Army would continue using its ''stop loss'' power to prevent soldiers from leaving the service who are otherwise eligible to retire or return to civilian life at the end of their enlistment.
Rumsfeld said this condition was simply a fact of life for soldiers in times of war. Critics, including some in Congress, say it's proof the Army has been stretched too thin by war.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., told Rumsfeld in a letter Wednesday that his response to the question about armored vehicles was ''utterly unacceptable'' and that it was the duty of the government to provide safety equipment.
CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS
The deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Kuwait, Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, said at Camp Buehring that as far as he knew, every vehicle deploying to Iraq from Kuwait had at least ''Level 3'' armor protection. That means it had locally fabricated armor for its side panels, but not bulletproof windows or reinforced floorboards.
Speer said he was unaware that soldiers were searching landfills for scrap metal and discarded glass.
However, Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, the adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard, disputed Speer's remarks. ''I know that members of his staff were aware and assisted the 278th in obtaining these materials,'' he said.
At the Pentagon, spokesman Larry Di Rita said production of armored Humvees had increased from 15 to 450 a month since fall 2003, when commanders in Iraq started asking for them because of insurgents' heavy use of roadside explosives.


"

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Yahoo! News - AP: Navy Probes New Iraq Prisoner Photos

Yahoo! News - AP: Navy Probes New Iraq Prisoner Photos: "AP: Navy Probes New Iraq Prisoner Photos

Sat Dec 4, 3:54 PM ET

By SETH HETTENA, Associated Press Writer
CORONADO, Calif. - The U.S. military has launched a criminal investigation into photographs that appear to show Navy SEALs in Iraq (news - web sites) sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees, and photos of what appear to be bloodied prisoners, one with a gun to his head.

AP Photo


AP Photo
Slideshow: Iraq Prisoner Abuse Investigation





Latest headlines:
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AP - 3 minutes ago
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Some of the photos have date stamps suggesting they were taken in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse of prisoners in Iraq. The far more brutal practices photographed in Abu Ghraib prison occurred months later.
An Associated Press reporter found more than 40 of the pictures among hundreds in an album posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them from Iraq after his tour of duty. It is unclear who took the pictures, which the Navy said it was investigating after the AP furnished copies to get comment for this story.
These and other photos found by the AP appear to show the immediate aftermath of raids on civilian homes. One man is lying on his back with a boot on his chest. A mug shot shows a man with an automatic weapon pointed at his head and a gloved thumb jabbed into his throat. In many photos, faces have been blacked out. What appears to be blood"

Friday, December 03, 2004

Yahoo! News - Marines Find Alleged Iraqi Torture Chamber

Yahoo! News - Marines Find Alleged Iraqi Torture Chamber: "FALLUJAH, Iraq - Down a steep staircase littered with glass shards and rubble, U.S. Marines descended Thursday to a dark basement believed to have been one of Fallujah's torture chambers. They found bloodstains and a single bloody hand print on the wall � evidence of the horrors once carried out in this former insurgent stronghold.
'We had sensed that there was a pure streak of evil in this town, ever since the first days of engagement here,' said Maj. Wade Weems.
The basement, discovered while Marines fought fierce battles with Fallujah insurgents last month, is part of the Islamic Resistance Center, a three-story building in the heart of this city 40 miles west of Baghdad.
Maj. Alex Ray, an operations officer with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said all evidence indicates the 15-foot-by-20-foot space was used by insurgents to imprison and torture their captives.
'Based on the evidence we have found here, we believe people were held here and possibly tortured � we have found enough blood to surmise that,' Ray told reporters shown the basement Thursday.
On the wall adjacent to the hand print, human fingernails were found dug deep into the porous gravel around a hole in the wall � evidence, the Marines say, of a tunnel-digging attempt. "

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Houses of Horror and A New Industry

CBSNews.com: Print This Story: "Fallujah's Houses Of Horror
FALLUJAH, Iraq,
Nov. 22, 2004
U.S. commanders say their door to door patrols have uncovered nearly two dozen houses of horror in the back streets of Fallujah, reports CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan.

'The face of Satan was here in Fallujah, and I'm absolutely convinced that that was true,' said Lt. Col. Gareth Brandl, with the U.S. Marines.

The rooms were found by Marines following trails of dried blood, or the smell of death. Some rooms were hidden behind fake walls, or concealed in basements.
Residents told troops they only knew the torture chambers were there because they could hear the screams at night. 'We found numerous houses, also, where people were just chained to a wall for extended periods of time,' said U.S. military intelligence officer Major Jim West.
Marines believe they found the place where British hostage Kenneth Bigley was caged before being beheaded, and others where American hostages could have been held.
Forensics teams are testing blood on the walls and floors to determine who was held there -- and intelligence officials are hoping interviews with those already in U.S. custody can uncover even more.
Between U.S. and Iraqi forces, more than 1400 people have been detained in connection with the Fallujah operation. But already more than 400 have been let go after it was determined they were non-combatants, reports Cowan. Officials concede some of the very people responsible for the abductions could be walking the streets again -- planning to restart what had become Fallujah's most notorious industry. 'We've seen a small business grow out of someone who will do the kidnapping and then sell the person they've kidnapped off to one insurgent group or another, basically give them to the highest bidder, " said West, the U.S. military intelligence officer.

It's a cold reality that will stain this city for generations -- whether the insurgents return here or not.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Dangerous Ignorance Among Bush Voters

Wonderful essay. Scary data.

NYT. Bob Herbert. 11/10/04
I think a case could be made that ignorance played at least as big a role in the election's outcome as values. A recent survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland found that nearly 70 percent of President Bush's supporters believe the U.S. has come up with "clear evidence" that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda. A third of the president's supporters believe weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. And more than a third believe that a substantial majority of world opinion supported the U.S.-led invasion.
This is scary. How do you make a rational political pitch to people who have put that part of their brain on hold? No wonder Bush won.
The survey, and an accompanying report, showed that there's a fair amount of cluelessness in the ranks of the values crowd. The report said, "It is clear that supporters of the president are more likely to have misperceptions than those who oppose him."
I haven't heard any of the postelection commentators talk about ignorance and its effect on the outcome. It's all values, all the time. Traumatized Democrats are wringing their hands and trying to figure out how to appeal to voters who have arrogantly claimed the moral high ground and can't stop babbling about their self-proclaimed superiority. Potential candidates are boning up on new prayers and purchasing time-shares in front-row-center pews.

A more practical approach might be for Democrats to add teach-ins to their outreach efforts. Anything that shrinks the ranks of the clueless would be helpful.
If you don't think this values thing has gotten out of control, consider the lead paragraph of an op-ed article that ran in The LA. Times on Friday. It was written by Frank Pastore, a former major league pitcher who is now a host on the Christian talk-radio station KKLA.
"Christians, in politics as in evangelism," said Mr. Pastore, "are not against people or the world. But we are against false ideas that hold good people captive. On Tuesday, this nation rejected liberalism, primarily because liberalism has been taken captive by the left. Since 1968, the left has taken millions captive, and we must help those Democrats who truly want to be free to actually break free of this evil ideology."
Mr. Pastore goes on to exhort Christian conservatives to reject any and all voices that might urge them "to compromise with the vanquished." How's that for values?
In The New York Times on Thursday, Richard Viguerie, the dean of conservative direct mail, declared, "Now comes the revolution." He said, "Liberals, many in the media and inside the Republican Party, are urging the president to 'unite' the country by discarding the allies that earned him another four years."
Mr. Viguerie, it is clear, will stand four-square against any such dangerous moves toward reconciliation.
You have to be careful when you toss the word values around. All values are not created equal. Some Democrats are casting covetous eyes on voters whose values, in many cases, are frankly repellent. Does it make sense for the progressive elements in our society to undermine their own deeply held beliefs in tolerance, fairness and justice in an effort to embrace those who deliberately seek to divide?
What the Democratic Party needs above all is a clear message and a bold and compelling candidate. The message has to convince Americans that they would be better off following a progressive Democratic vision of the future. The candidate has to be a person of integrity capable of earning the respect and the affection of the American people.
This is doable. Al Gore and John Kerry were less than sparkling candidates, and both came within a hair of defeating Mr. Bush.
What the Democrats don't need is a candidate who is willing to shape his or her values to fit the pundits' probably incorrect analysis of the last election. Values that pivot on a dime were not really values to begin with.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Lame Behavior and Lamer Excuse

Hypocritical behavior at best. But check out the press secretary's unbelievably lame excuses.
Report Probes Gifts to Schwarzenegger Aides
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Top aides to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have skirted state regulations limiting gifts from special interest groups by spreading them around through their families, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. California law allows officials to accept up to $340 in gifts in a year from any one special interest, but state officials have sidestepped the cap in several instances, according to a Times review of lobbying reports. Five of Schwarzenegger's senior aides and their families each accepted more than $340 in tickets to a Sacramento Kings basketball game on one night alone, sitting in luxury boxes supplied by phone company SBC and oil giant BP, the newspaper said. And last May, communications director Rob Stutzman, his wife and son were treated to $767 worth of tickets from SBC. Under state law, gifts handed out directly to relatives rather than the state official aren't counted toward the $340 limit, the Times said.
Schwarzenegger has railed against special interests since before becoming governor in last year's recall election.
``I think any of those kind of real powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them something because like (economist) Milton Friedman said a long time ago, there's no such thing as a free lunch,'' he said during the campaign.
The governor's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said accepting gifts from major corporations that lobby state government fits in with the Schwarzenegger administration's plan to modify the state Capital's political environment.
``One of the things the governor came into Sacramento to do is change the culture,'' Thompson said. ``And one of the things that has to happen to change the culture and create a more bipartisan atmosphere is that people have to talk to each other.''
Thompson also argued that family outings provide leisure time for hardworking staff and that bonds between children at such events can help foster political relationships.
``I've certainly heard of instances where two little boys whose parents are in opposing parties end up hanging out and bonding as children can uniquely do. And suddenly, you have an even deeper tie,'' she said.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Depressed

I am so, so very depressed today.

God, who stole my country?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Impolitic: Redskins' home loss augurs Kerry win

Here's hoping the pattern holds one more time.
ABC News: Impolitic: Redskins' home loss augurs Kerry win: "John Kerry supporters have a welcome omen for their candidate: The Green Bay Packers defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

Associated Press
Nov. 1, 2004 - LANDOVER, Md. -- John Kerry supporters have a welcome omen for their candidate: The Green Bay Packers defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
If history holds, the 28-14 result portends a victory for Kerry
on Tuesday because the result of the Redskins' final home game
before the presidential election has always accurately predicted
the White House winner. If the Redskins win, the incumbent party
wins. If they lose, the incumbent party is ousted.
'Oh, yeah, he's going to win. It's guaranteed,' said Packers
safety Darren Sharper, a Kerry supporter. 'I don't have to vote
now. Don't even have to go to the polls. Saved me a trip on
Tuesday.'
The streak began in 1933, when the Boston Braves were renamed the Redskins. Since then, beginning with Franklin Roosevelt's
re-election in 1936, the trend has held, including a 2000 Redskins
loss to the Tennessee Titans that predicted George W. Bush's win
over Al Gore."

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Votes of the Dead to Count

Appropriate for Halloween...
News

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Musings, Wisdoms and Follies

Musings, Wisdoms and Follies
U.N. Warns of Explosives Missing in Iraq
Mon Oct 25, 7:26 PM ET
By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer
VIENNA, Austria - The U.N. nuclear agency warned Monday that insurgents in Iraq (news - web sites) may have obtained nearly 400 tons of missing explosives that can be used in the kind of car bomb attacks that have targeted U.S.-led coalition forces for months.
The disappearance raised questions about why the United States didn't do more to secure the Al-Qaqaa facility 30 miles south of Baghdad and failed to allow full international inspections to resume after the March 2003 invasion.
The White House played down the significance of the missing weapons, but Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry accused President Bush of "incredible incompetence" and his campaign said the administration "must answer for what may be the most grave and catastrophic mistake in a tragic series of blunders in Iraq."
Al-Qaqaa is near Youssifiyah, an area rife with ambush attacks. An Associated Press Television News crew that drove past the compound Monday saw no visible security at the gates of the site, a jumble of low-slung, yellow-colored storage buildings that appeared deserted.
"The most immediate concern here is that these explosives could have fallen into the wrong hands," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.
The agency first placed a seal over Al-Qaqaa storage bunkers holding the explosives in 1991 as part of U.N. sanctions that ordered the dismantlement of Iraq's nuclear program after the Gulf War.
IAEA inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers, Fleming said. Inspectors visited the site again in March 2003, but didn't view the explosives because the seals were not broken, she said.
Nuclear agency experts pulled out of Iraq just before the U.S.-led invasion later that month, and have not yet been able to return for general inspections despite ElBaradei's repeated urging that they be allowed to finish their work. Although IAEA inspectors have made two trips to Iraq since the war at U.S. requests, Russia and other Security Council have pressed for their full-time return — so far unsuccessfully.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said U.S.-led forces searched the Al-Qaqaa facility after the invasion.
"Coalition forces were present in the vicinity at various times during and after major combat operations," he said. "The forces searched 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings at the facility, but found no indicators of WMD (weapons of mass destruction)."

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Red Sox Nation

BoSox Top Yanks to Win Historic AL Pennant
Sports: "No curses this time. Johnny Damon clubbed two homers, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs as the Boston Red Sox defeated New York 10-3 to win the AL championship series in seven games and complete baseball's most historic comeback Wednesday night.
David Ortiz and Mark Bellhorn also homered as Boston became the first team in baseball history to win a best-of-seven-series after trailing 3-0. Only twice in North American major professional sports had a club come back to win such a series after dropping the first three games, both times in hockey."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Political Trivia: Hustings

stump speech (stump speech) noun

A political speech, delivered on a campaign tour.

[Originally, campaigning politicians often stood on tree stumps when
addressing voters. Today, the stump is used metaphorically in expressions
such as "stump speech" (a campaign speech) or "on the stump" (on the
campaign trail).]

Hustings is the British equivalent of the US word stump. Until 1872
Hustings was the raised platform from which candidates were nominated
for the British Parliament, and where they addressed electors.

Courtesy of AWAD

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Troops Refuse Mission

Man, this is a problem. Sounds like they were right - that their equipment is substandard.
But how can you allow this in a war zone?
How can you allow this anywhere in the militar?

Unit Refused Iraq Mission, Military Says
By JOHN J. LUMPKIN
WASHINGTON (AP) - News: "Relatives of soldiers who refused to deliver supplies in Iraq say the troops considered the mission too dangerous, in part because their vehicles were in poor shape. The Army is investigating up to 19 reservist members of a platoon that is part of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, S.C. The unit delivers food, water and fuel on trucks in combat zones. Convoys in Iraq are frequently subject to ambushes and roadside bombings. Some of the troops' safety concerns were being addressed, military officials said. But a coalition spokesman in Baghdad said ``a small number of the soldiers involved chose to express their concerns in an inappropriate manner, causing a temporary breakdown in discipline.'' The coalition said in a statement Saturday that the troops are ``not being guarded or detained. They are being interviewed. They're taking statements.'' But the relatives said they were told the soldiers had been confined. Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., who said her daughter, Amber McClenny, was among in the platoon, received a phone message from her early Thursday morning saying they had been detained by U.S. military authorities. ``This is a real, real, big emergency,'' McClenny said in her message. ``I need you to contact someone. I mean, raise pure hell.'' "

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Mass Graves of Kurds in Iraq

News:
"Kehoe said the bodies were apparently bulldozed into the graves.

``Unlike bodies that you've seen in many mass graves - they look like cordwood - all lined up,'' he said. ``That didn't happen here. These bodies were just pushed in.''
He said excavators found the body of a mother still clutching her baby. The infant was shot in the back of the head and the mother in the face.
Kehoe said that most mass graves in Bosnia largely contain men of fighting age. Graves near Hatra included many women and children, he said. "

Monday, October 11, 2004

1st Red Sox World Series since 1986 !

Even I didn't realize it had been that long since they were even in the World Series!
Good grief.

I would love it if my dad could live to see the Red Sox win a World Series - He's been longing for it most of his 80+ years.

UN: Iraqi Nuclear-Related Materials Have Vanished

Yahoo! News - UN: Iraqi Nuclear-Related Materials Have Vanished:
" Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons are disappearing from Iraq (news - web sites) but neither Baghdad nor Washington appears to have noticed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported on Monday.

Satellite imagery shows that entire buildings in Iraq have been dismantled. They once housed high-precision equipment that could help a government or terror group make nuclear bombs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to the U.N. Security Council"
equipment -- including high-precision milling and turning machines and electron-beam welders -- and materials -- such as high-strength aluminum -- were tagged by the IAEA years ago, as part of the watchdog agency's shutdown of Iraq's nuclear program. U.N. inspectors then monitored the sites until their evacuation from Iraq just before the war.
The United States barred the inspectors' return after the war, preventing the IAEA from keeping tabs on the equipment and materials up to the present day. ...
The United States also has not publicly commented on earlier U.N. inspectors' reports disclosing the dismantling of a range of key weapons-making sites, raising the question of whether it was unable to monitor the sites.

'WE SIMPLY DON'T KNOW'
"We simply don't know, although we are trying to get the information," said one council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. ...
President Bush (news - web sites), locked in a tough reelection battle with Senator John Kerry (news - web sites) of Massachusetts, justified the war, in part, by saying that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
Both men agreed during a Sept. 30 debate that nuclear proliferation is the most serious threat facing the United States.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Coroner: Markings found on pledge's body

Our kids are never safe from harm, are they?
Frats hazing are inherently dangerous - and stupid. Its a mob mentality that takes over along with a need to push the envelope further and further and big disincentives for anyone, pledge or rational frat member, to holler stop.CNN.com - Coroner: Markings found on pledge's body - Oct 9, 2004:
"Members of a fraternity scrawled racial and other slurs on the body of an 18-year-old pledge who was passed out and died hours later of alcohol poisoning, the young man's father said.
Lynn Gordon Bailey, father of Gordie Bailey, said Thursday the coroner told him markings were found on his son's arms, legs and trunk. Gordie Bailey was white.

Bailey and the other pledges of the University of Colorado chapter of Chi Psi began the evening September 16 blindfolded and abandoned in the woods. Police said the pledges were told to drink large amounts of whiskey and wine.
Later, when they were driven back to the fraternity house after midnight, Bailey had passed out. Fraternity tradition called for members to write on the body of any pledge who passed out without taking his shoes off, a police search warrant said.
The next morning Bailey was found face down on the floor, and could not be revived. His blood-alcohol level was 0.328 percent, four times the legal limit for driving in Colorado.
The national headquarters of Chi Psi has shut down the Boulder chapter."

Janet Leigh, 77, Shower Taker of 'Psycho,' Is Dead

The New York Times > Movies > Janet Leigh, 77, Shower Taker of 'Psycho,' Is Dead: "

Janet Leigh, the demure but sexy blond movie star of the 1950's who will always be remembered for the 45-second shower scene in which she was slashed to death in Hitchcock's 'Psycho' in 1960, died on Sunday at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 77.
The cause was vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, said Heidi Schaeffer, a spokeswoman for the family.
'Psycho' was a landmark in Hollywood moviemaking, both controversial and shocking, partly because of its violence and partly because the director did the unthinkable and killed off his star one-third of the way through the movie.
As Marion Crane, an embezzler on the run with $40,000, Ms. Leigh made the mistake of stopping for the night at the Bates Motel and taking a shower. She was apparently stabbed dozens of times, although the movie never showed the knife touching her flesh. Bernard Herrmann's shrill music underscored the slashes; the scene is beloved of both serious movie scholars and parodists.
'It took us seven days to shoot that scene, and there were 70 camera setups for 45 seconds of footage,' Hitchcock said in 'Hitchcock' by the filmmaker Fran�ois Truffaut.
After 'Psycho,' for which Ms. Leigh received her only Academy Award nomination, was released, Mr. Hitchcock told his star that they could never work together again. In a 1998 interview, Ms. Leigh remembered the director's words: 'Whatever I put you in, the audience would immediately think of 'Psycho.' It wouldn't be fair to the picture or the character.'
In a career with many forgettable films, Ms. Leigh starred in two other classic movies. She was the woman who met Frank Sinatra on a train in John FranFrankenheimer's thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), and Susan Vargas, the threatened American bride of the Mexican narcotics cop Charlton Heston in Orson Welles's film noir "Touch of Evil" (1958).
She was born Jeanette Helen Morrison on July 6, 1927, in the Central Valley town of Merced, Calif. Her parents moved from apartment to apartment and town to town. At the age of 14, Ms. Leigh escaped from home by eloping. The marriage was later annulled, and Ms. Leigh returned to high school, graduating just before her 16th birthday.

The 19-year-old Jeanette Morrison became a movie actress in classical old-Hollywood fashion. The MGM star Norma Shearer saw her photograph at a ski lodge where her parents were working as desk clerk and maid. A screen test at MGM was followed by a contract at $50 a week.
Ms. Leigh's own reaction to "Psycho" was visceral. After she saw the movie, she said many times, she never wanted to take a shower again.

"

Saturday, October 09, 2004

WSJ. Analysis Shows Kerry Building Lead

WSJ.com: "OCTOBER 6, 2004
The presidential debate has lifted John Kerry back to where he was in our battleground analysis before the Republican convention energized the Bush campaign.
The latest Zogby Interactive poll puts Mr. Kerry ahead of President Bush in 13 of the 16 closely contested states -- two more states than the Massachusetts senator led before the debate and the most since August. The latest survey was conducted between last Thursday, after the debate ended, and Tuesday afternoon, before vice-presidential contenders Dick Cheney and John Edwards debated.
Mr. Kerry moved ahead in two states (Ohio and Nevada) and increased his lead in seven others -- though Mr. Kerry's margin over Mr. Bush in Ohio, Arkansas and Florida was negligible -- less than one percentage point. Mr. Bush's lead narrowed in the three states (Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia) that he remains ahead of Mr. Kerry. Overall, seven of Mr. Kerry�s leads are within the margins of error, while all of Mr. Bush�s leads are.
If the results on Election Day matched Zobgy's numbers, Mr. Kerry would win. Here's how:
To analyze Zogby's results, we begin by assuming that the District of Columbia and the 34 states that aren't in the battleground poll will vote for the same political party this November as they did in the 2000 election. Thus, Mr. Bush starts with 189 electoral votes and Mr. Kerry with 172. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.
To those numbers, we add the electoral votes from the latest poll, regardless of the margins of error or the spread between the candidates. Mr. Kerry's 13 states have 150 electoral votes, while Mr. Bush's three have 27 votes. The bottom line: Mr. Kerry would have 322 electoral votes and the president would have 216.
That 106-vote margin is far wider than the last analysis, on Sept. 20, the presidents was just 56 electoral votes behind Mr. Kerry."

....an electoral-college calculation by The Cook Political Report has the race about even. Adding the states that it finds solidly, likely and leaning for each candidate, it puts Mr. Bush ahead 208-207, with 123 electoral votes in the middle. The newsletter, which says it bases its calculations on information provided by both parties, names Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin among toss up states.
A count by Web site Slate, which relies on a variety of polling sources, puts Mr. Bush ahead 321-217. It includes in Mr. Bush's column states such as Arkansas, Florida and Nevada (in which Zogby shows narrow leads for Mr. Kerry) and Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Mexico (which Zogby says the senator leads firmly).
Of course, the timing of polls can play a big role in disparities between Electoral College calculations. Of the six states in the Slate analysis mentioned above, the leanings of only Florida and Nevada were based on polls that were conducted after the debate.
Nevertheless, the Zogby results gibe closely with those from some other state polls that have come out since the presidential debate.

Tickets....I need Tickets!

I can't help myself.
I'm a diehard Red Sox fan from a family, generations really, of Red Sox fans.

Think of that for a moment - No world series since 1918 - why is there still such a loyal and intense base?
Red Sox attendance figures are always among the top for any team, despite having a stadium that seats 37,000 or so - and that's after the stadium expansion a few years ago.

I want to be at those games!
NOTE:
It was only the second playoff sweep for the Red Sox. They also beat Oakland in 1975 to reach the World Series; Boston lost in seven games to the Cincinnati Reds. The Red Sox last clinched a playoff series at home in 1986, when they finished off the Angels to advance to the World Series; Boston lost to the New York Mets in seven games. ... The Angels hadn't been swept in a playoff series before, but it was the third time they lost three straight. Milwaukee won three in a row after falling behind 2-0 in the 1982 ALCS, and the Red Sox won three straight after falling behind 3-1 in the '86 ALCS. ... Timlin had not allowed an earned run in the postseason since 2000, a span of 12 1-3 innings.
10/08/04 21:34
© Copyright The Associated Press.

Red Sox Win Series, 3-0: Red Sox Alter the Same Old Story With a Happy Ending

This article is so right about the tension. It was way too good to be true, being up 2 and 3 to zip...you just new not to trust it.
The resilience the Sox are showing, the ability to hang in there and come from behind is going to keep my hopes kindled.
Course our history will keep my fingers crossed.

The New York Times > Red Sox Win Series, 3-0: Red Sox Alter the Same Old Story With a Happy Ending: " No one came to Fenway Park on Friday to celebrate a victory. They came to ward off a disaster.
There was more tension in attendance than joy. Fans were more pensive than players. For much of the evening, the rickety old stadium sounded as quiet as the Old North Church.
The local anxiety was validated by Vladimir Guerrero's game-tying grand slam and it was broken with David Ortiz's game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th. That final blast beat the Angels, 8-6, clinched a sweep of the division series, 3-0, and put the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, which starts Tuesday in either New York or Minnesota.
'I know everybody wants the Yankees,' said Kevin Millar, the Red Sox first baseman. 'We just want the ring.'
As he spoke, buckets of water were flying around the clubhouse. Ortiz was wearing swimming goggles to keep the Champagne out of his eyes. And Pedro Mart�nez was triumphantly holding a dwarf over his head, Nelson de la Rosa, a friend who has become a good-luck charm.

Only one other time since 1918, the year of Boston's last World Series championship, have the Red Sox clinched a playoff series at home. Fittingly, that year was 1986, when they also beat the Angels, and then lost to the Mets in the World Series. Sensing the significance, many players streamed out of the clubhouse and ran around the field at Fenway Park. 'Tonight we're going to go rock out,' said Johnny Damon, who started the 10th with a single. "

Helplessly Hoping...Savoring a Sweet Victory

Fatal Spider Bite

What a scary thing!
News: "A 5-year-old boy's death was the result of a bite by a poisonous brown recluse spider, the state medical examiner ruled.
Nicholas Robinson was bitten while playing outside his home about 70 miles south of Nashville on July 29.
The child was taken to a doctor, who determined he was suffering from a virus rather than a bite. However, that night the child was rushed to a hospital, where his symptoms included hypersalivation, sweating and neurological problems before he died, according to the medical examiner's report, completed Thursday.
``In about the last 30 or 40 years, I was only able to find about six deaths related to bites proving to be from a brown recluse spider,'' said Dr. Bruce Levy, the medical examiner.

The brown recluse is one of two common spiders in the United States - the other is the black widow - that are considered poisonous, the National Institutes of Health said. The bite can cause a rash, swelling and flu-like symptoms and in rare cases, kidney failure, seizures and coma.
The spider is most common in the South and central United States. "

Friday, October 08, 2004

Blogs Abuzz with Gossip in Caustic U.S. Campaign

BLOGS in the news.
More than 2 million Americans are blogging! Holey Moley; that's a lot.
Yahoo! News - Blogs Abuzz with Gossip in Caustic U.S. Campaign: "The U.S. presidential campaign between George W. Bush and John Kerry (news - web sites) has prompted a frenzy of gossip and conspiracy theories among Internet bloggers, hybrid online sites that blend news, gossip and opinion.
As Bush and the Massachusetts Senator slug it out in a neck-and-neck race ahead of the November 2 election, partisan bloggers have flooded the Internet with alternative views about both candidates, which they hope will help sway voters.
Experts say much of the gossip on the Internet is as loony as supermarket tabloid stories claiming Elvis Presley lives, but that it still has a role to play in the campaign.
'Blogs probably pretty accurately reflect the level of polarization and paranoia and frustration among everyday Americans that the entire campaign reflects,' said Vanity Fair media critic Michael Wolff, characterizing the new form of overtly-biased journalism as 'the voice of the mob.' ...
ahead of Friday's second debate between Bush and Kerry, the Internet was abuzz with gossip that the president wore a listening device during last week's debate allowing an unseen puppet master to whisper cues and tips in his ear.
The Bush campaign said that rumor -- likening the president to Milli Vanilli, the infamous singing duet unveiled as frauds for lip-syncing -- was totally false.
Driving the latest incendiary blogging is a picture posted on the Internet of Bush during the debate in Florida. Shot from behind, the image shows what appears to be a bulge beneath the president's suit jacket below his shoulder blades.
Robert Thompson, pop culture professor at Syracuse University, called the accusation "the biggest conspiracy theory" of the campaign to date. "Until there's a credible source I'm not sure I buy it," he said.

A recent Pew Internet and American Life Project found more than two million Americans have their own blog. Most have few readers but some garner thousands of hits daily as the American public becomes increasingly distrustful of mainstream ore than two million Americans have their own blog. media.


"

Thursday, October 07, 2004

News: "President Bush and his vice president conceded Thursday in the clearest terms yet that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, even as they tried to shift the Iraq war debate to a new issue - whether the invasion was justified because Saddam was abusing a U.N. oil-for-food program.

Ridiculing the Bush administration's evolving rationale for war, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry shot back: ``You don't make up or find reasons to go to war after the fact.'' "

Kerry takes Momentum Lead

I hope and pray Kerry does well tomorrow. If he is strong and consistent, he keeps Bush playing catch-up.
News: " Sen. John Kerry holds a slim lead over President Bush, according to an Associated Press poll that shows the Democrat gaining ground while Bush lost support on personal qualities, the war in Iraq and national security.
Fewer voters than a month ago believe Bush is the best man to protect the country and fight the war.
The AP-Ipsos Public Affairs poll, completed on the eve of the second presidential debate, charted a reversal from a month ago, when the Republican incumbent had the momentum and a minuscule lead. Since then, bloodshed increased in Iraq, Kerry sharpened his attacks and Bush stumbled in their initial debate.
Nearly three-fourths of likely voters said they had watched or listened to the first presidential debate last week, according to the poll. Only 8 percent came away with a more favorable view of Bush while 39 percent said they felt better about Kerry.


Among 944 likely voters, the Democratic ticket of Kerry and Sen. John Edwards led Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney 50 percent to 46 percent. The Oct. 4-6 survey "

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Dead Froma Broken Heart?

News: " A 45-year-old woman collapsed and died days after learning her son had been killed in Iraq, and just hours after seeing his body. Results of an autopsy were not immediately released, but friends of Karen Unruh-Wahrer said she couldn't stop crying over losing her 25-year-old son, Army Spc. Robert Oliver Unruh, who was killed by enemy fire near Baghdad on Sept. 25.
``Her grief was so intense - it seemed it could have harmed her, could have caused a heart attack. Her husband described it as a broken heart,'' said Cheryl Hamilton, manager of respiratory care services at University Medical Center, where Unruh-Wahrer worked as a respiratory therapist.
Unruh, a combat engineer, had been in Iraq less than a month when he was shot during an attack on his unit.
Several days after learning of his death, his mother had gone to the hospital complaining of chest pains, Hamilton said. She was feeling better the next day but saw her son's body Saturday morning and collapsed that night in her kitchen.
Her husband, Dennis Wahrer - also a respiratory therapist - and other family members performed CPR but Unruh-Wahrer was pronounced dead that night. ....
Robert Unruh will be buried Friday at the Southern Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery. His mother's body will accompany her son's in the procession to the cemetery. "

RE:Martha Stewart

Couldn't they have said something earlier?
Money & Business: "The head of the guards union at the federal prison where Martha Stewart will serve her time said Monday that staffing shortages will make it difficult to protect her.

Staffing at the minimum-security women's prison at Alderson has fallen from 60 guards four years ago to 35 because of budget cuts, said Kent Gilkerson, local president of the Council of Prison Locals. The prison houses about 1,000 inmates. "
I don't remember ever hearing this...

ON THIS DAY
On Oct. 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Fox apologizes for Web site gaffe

Finally, they have to own up to one of their misstatements and outright lies!
Fox apologizes for Web site gaffe: "NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Fox News, which has been criticized for catering to right-wing political viewpoints, apologized for posting phony quotations from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on its Web site.
Carl Cameron, a Fox (FOX: news, chart) reporter who covers the Kerry campaign, wrote an item that resembled a news account with made-up Kerry quotes. The item was written in 'jest' and was not supposed to be posted on the site, the network said.
'Carl made a stupid mistake which he regrets,' spokesman Paul Schur told the Associated Press. 'And he has been reprimanded for his lapse in judgment. It was a poor attempt at humor.' "
The Fox gaffe comes on the heels of a media industry furor that surrounded CBS News and anchor Dan Rather. CBS apologized for airing a flawed report on Bush's National Guard service.
Fox has spent substantial time on the Rather issue, in a seeming attempt to keep the story alive after it began to fade from view in other media organizations. (CBS's parent, Viacom is a significant investor in MarketWatch, the publisher of this report.)
Fox has also been criticized at times for seeming to cater to conservative viewers. The network has consistently denied that it favors any particular group of viewers.
At the same time, Fox has benefited greatly from the loyalty of right-wing viewers. During the Republican Convention in New York a month ago, Fox swamped the competition and had the highest TV ratings by far, thanks largely to the loyalty of its base.

Developers Skeptical about Hartford

Bad news for Hartford folks. Sounds like their rose-colored glasses just got smacked off.
ctnow.com -: "Many Saw City's Plan As Too Great A Risk

October 4, 2004
By MIKE SWIFT, Courant Staff Writer
One developer was interested in Adriaen's Landing but didn't like the idea of having to compete with other developers when he was being courted by cities across the United States.
Other developers said they were too busy to bid on the massive development project in Hartford, or were concerned that the state's plan for the entertainment, shopping and housing district at Adriaen's would not leave them enough freedom to create their own vision.
And for yet another developer, Hartford was the problem.
He had been to the empty lot between the new Connecticut Convention Center and city hall where the state has plotted out the retail and entertainment district of Adriaen's Landing. He had checked out downtown and visited the city's neighborhoods. He had duly noted the sophisticated and attractive stores in Glastonbury and West Hartford Center.
Weighing a $70 million subsidy against the risks of building a complex project on a tight urban site in a city still in the early March of its promised economic revival, the developer arrived at a clear decision: The risks outweighed the rewards.
'Everybody we talked to who took a look at it said, `This is tough.' The return is not there - mentally, physically, financially. This is just a tough project,' said the developer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for business reasons. 'There are other ways to make money that are a lot easier than this.'"

Debate Assumes New Importance

This is one debate I may be able to enjoy watching.Yahoo! News - Debate Assumes New Importance: "By Mike Allen and John F. Harris, Washington Post Staff Writers
Tomorrow's vice presidential debate, which both campaigns once presumed would be a sideshow to the presidential race, has assumed critical importance, with Republicans depending on Vice President Cheney to halt the ticket's slide in momentum.

After what Republicans acknowledge was President Bush (news - web sites)'s faltering performance in his televised encounter with Democratic nominee John F. Kerry, GOP strategists said Cheney's aim is to return public attention to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the administration's broader handling of the terrorism threat and away from what they called a 'second-guessing' debate over the decision to invade Iraq (news - web sites).
A Republican official involved in Cheney's preparation for his encounter with Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites) (N.C.) said the vice president will try to bring fresh attention to the themes 'that shoot out of the 9/11 set of memories and issues -- preparedness, safety and homeland security.'
Kerry's aides are hoping that at the debate in Cleveland, Edwards will summon his skills as a trial lawyer to cast Cheney as the architect of the administration's worst policy judgments, as well as a symbol of corporate excess because of his former position as chief executive of Halliburton, which has received huge Iraq contracts but has also faced accusations of improper billing there.

Vice presidential debates historically have not been consequential in presidential contests, but strategists with both parties say the timing and personalities of this one could make it an exception. American politics in recent decades has rarely offered a more vivid stylistic and substantive contrast than Cheney, 63, and Edwards, 51.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

On Bush

Found great quote on blog entitled, 'The Federalist Papers.' ( url below.)

John Stewart's comment on Bush's decisiveness: "He drove us into a wall, but he never blinked."

http://rubley.blogspot.com/

Debate Leads to Shifts in Strategy

A faint pulse of hope begins to beat gently in my heart. But dare I hope?
I'll still pray.

Yahoo! News - Debate Leads to Shifts in Strategy: "Bush advisers were described as stunned by how negative the reviews were of the president's performance, which many of them regarded as not his best but not so bad. Bush was portrayed as upbeat while acknowledging to supporters that he knew he could have done better. His aides indicated they planned some retooling before Friday's debate, but maintained a sense of outward confidence.
Advisers to both candidates predicted the race would tighten when the debates end on Oct. 13, if not before, but Bush strategists say that will have less to do with the debates than on a natural tightening as the election nears. The first poll since Thursday night to measure the debate's impact, taken by Newsweek, showed Kerry leading Bush 49 to 46 percent -- a reversal from a series of polls over the last month.
On Tuesday, Vice President Cheney and Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards (news - web sites) will meet in Cleveland for a 90-minute debate -- a session some Republicans believe may have more relevance as a result of what happened in Florida. On Friday, Bush and Kerry will attend a town hall meeting with voters in St. Louis. The final presidential debate will take place in Tempe, Ariz., on Oct. 13."

U.S., Afghan Forces Attack Taliban Ahead of Vote

I'm glad to see we're paying some attention still.
On the whole, we have done too little to follow through in Afghanistan.

Yahoo! News - U.S., Afghan Forces Attack Taliban Ahead of Vote: "KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan guards backed by U.S. helicopter gunships raided a Taliban safe house, killing one man and arresting 15, to prevent attacks during this week's presidential election, officials said on Sunday.
The raid on Saturday night near the town of Spin Boldak came a day after 60 Taliban guerrillas planning to disrupt the election were intercepted nearby as they slipped across the border from Pakistan.
Local Afghan border guard commander Abdul Raziq said his men raided the house after a strafing run by U.S. helicopter gunships. One man was killed and nine were wounded.
In Kabul, the United Nations (news - web sites) said the election campaign had been marred by intimidation and official partiality, but it expected the vote to be relatively free and fair. "

Rice Says She Knew Iraq Tube Claims Questioned

It's about time her halo slipped in public. She has been a big purveyor of false information on Iraq all along.
The administration is truly a bunch of unrepentant liars, and I don't use the workd lightly. They believe so much in their own righteousness and that of their neo-con cause, that they believe they are justified in using any means necessary to get what they want and to keep the presidency.
They have betrayed our country and all that it stands for.
I hope their reign ends soon and that we can begin to repair our country, begin to abide by the ideals we have longed tried to live by.

Yahoo! News - Rice Says She Knew Iraq Tube Claims Questioned: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. officials were aware some pre-war evidence cited to make the case against Iraq (news - web sites)'s Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) was questionable but U.S. intelligence officials nonetheless deemed the threat of his developing nuclear weapons credible, top White House aides said on Sunday.
President Bush (news - web sites)'s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), one top aide who cited the claims about aluminum tubes seized in Jordan in June 2001 in urging that Saddam was attempting to revive a nuclear program, was responding to a report in The New York Times that Bush officials ignored doubts about the potential other uses of thousands of the high-strength tubes to press the case for war.
Rice claimed in September 2002 that the tubes were 'only really suited for nuclear weapons programs.'
On ABC's 'This Week,' Rice said she was aware of debate over the tubes but that they were part of a larger body of evidence pointing to a nuclear threat.
'What you had was a debate in the intelligence community,' Rice said.
'The tubes were alongside a lot of other evidence about experts being kept together, about balancing equipment being brought in, about how these procurement efforts were being funded,' she said.
Rice added on CNN's 'Late Edition' that objections regarding the purpose of the tubes were raised by the Energy and State Departments more than a year before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
'But I did know at the time that the -- the DCI and the intelligence community had said, the intelligence community as a whole believed that these were for centrifuge parts' involved in nuclear weapon production."

Scalia's Remarks

I react more strongly when someone who self-righteously purports to be the arbiter of morality is out of line like this. The vocal homophobe who turns out to be gay, for example. This is outrageous from any Supreme Court Judge, worse from a prig like Scalia.
News: "Scalia Jokes About Group Sex in Speech
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's recent speeches have ventured into some surprising territory, with the staunch conservative joking about group sex. He raised eyebrows this week, jesting that 'sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.'"

Front Street? Think Small

I think she's right. Make some part of all this people friendly and more 'indigenous' if you will, more of Hartford. And I should definitely find out more about those book readings.
ctnow.com: Front Street? Think Small: "
http://www.ctnow.com/news/yahoo/hc-ubinas1003.artoct03,0,7171104.column?coll=hc-aol-yahoo-nws-hed
Front Street? Think Small
Helen Ubi�as
October 3 2004
I stopped by a little coffeehouse around the corner from The Courant the other day looking for some inspiration in a cup of Caf� Madre Isla. My head was full of development news that grabbed the headlines for most of the week: the selection of an architect for the science center, the high hopes for a new Front Street plan, and then the dismal results - no one, not even Magic Johnson, came up with enough cash for that part of the city's multimillion dollar revitalization dream.
If you haven't already heard, these big, shiny developments are the city's salvation. When they build it, tourists and conventioneers will come. We will no longer be a doorstop between the cooler, more exciting Boston and New York. Life as we know it will be better for everyone ... or at least the people who count.
So, it's no wonder our leaders are a little freaked about the Front Street glitch.
But before they have their meltdowns, they should meet the two little girls who walked into the coffee shop, clothes still first-month-of-school new. I knew them; I read to their third-grade class at Burns Elementary School last year. And suddenly they remembered me and got chatty.
Miracle Nazario discovered La Paloma Sabanera Coffeehouse first, and then she brought Nikia Rankins along. The girls like coming here, they say, because it's close enough to home that their parents let them visit by themselves. In the summer, they used to head straight upstairs to play in the room reserved for children....
But it's not just kids here; college students sit by the windows, noses buried in thick textbooks. Workers from the nearby insurance and government offices claim the bench for a much-needed break from their cubicles. Local artists and teachers pick up books, and everyone from the guys who hang outside the nearby barbershop to the man who runs one of the local art galleries is grabbing a cup of good, strong Spanish coffee.
And then, it hit me: Leaders in this city put too much stock in buildings and not enough in people, too much hope into yet-to-be-built developments, instead of realizing that right there, on the corner of Capitol and Babcock, is exactly what this city needs.

All this glitzy downtown stuff is for outsiders. It's the neighborhood spots that sustain the people who live here. Places like La Paloma and Great Harvest, a bakery on Maple Avenue where kids stop for a free slice of bread on the way to and from school. Places like McGregor's and Rajun Cajun in the North End, where some of the most creative plans for the neighborhoods have been dreamed up while waiting in line for takeout or sitting in corner booths with heaping plates of food.
Before we bet our future on yet another mammoth redevelopment project - have we learned nothing from the past? - we should realize that there are places like this all over the city, places that could benefit with a fraction of the attention that architectural monuments get around here.
Friday night, La Paloma was packed with people there for a book reading. They just started showing independent films. One of the owners wants to get a van, maybe take kids on a little road trip now and then.
It's no six pillars, but it sounds like my kind of revitalization plan.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Iraqi Cartoonist mocks the terrorists

Brutal Iraqi Cartoon

I think the brutal 'humor' of this cartoon says more about the state of affairs in Iraq than many news stories. That this could be considered funny....though mocking and making fun of the terrorists does perhaps lessen their power, de-mystifies them.

Yahoo! News - Lifestyle: "Iraqi cartoonist Muayed Naima, like other artists, intellectuals and writers, worked within tight constraints under Saddam. Naima had to wait 35 years before he could draw what was on his mind. But since Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) was toppled, he has faced new pressure from Islamist militants who have threatened him because his work mocks their violence. He is not put off. In this undated cartoon by Naima, a militant measures the neck of his bound captive and chooses a knife with which to behead him. (Reuters - Handout) "

Friday, October 01, 2004

Mount St. Helens

In 1985, 5 years after the massive eruption of Mt St Helens, I flew over the impacted area by helicopter. It was too foggy to fly into the crater itself, news I met with a mixture of disappointment and relief, but the power of the blast and the massive devastation it wrought was visible for miles. The area was dun colored,with just hints of green here and there, the beginning of the return of life to the area. Trees had blown down and looked like so many toothpicks from the air, blown down in the same direction, blown flat.
I'll never forget it.
I'd love to see a small eruption - it must be spectacular. but I hope we don't experience a massive blast again.

16,000 feet into the air the plumes shot.
(Don't know what's wrong with Hello tonite. I can't get it to publish the pics in the larger size.)

Spectacular!

The Winter Hill Gang and the FBI

You've got to read this whole story. Bizarre story, too bizarre to make up, involving mobsters, the FBI, Jai Alai in CT and FLA, numerous murders and the brother of the former President of the Mass. State Senate and Boston University!


ctnow.com -:
"Flemmi Sentenced In 1981 Murder
October 1, 2004
By EDMUND H. MAHONY, Courant Staff Writer

One of the most unsettling mysteries in Connecticut law enforcement moved closer to a final solution Thursday in an Oklahoma courtroom, when Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi was sentenced to life in prison for the 1981 murder of former World Jai Alai owner Roger Wheeler.
Moments before his sentencing, Flemmi acknowledged in Tulsa District Court that he and other members of Boston's notorious Winter Hill gang, working with corrupt FBI agents in Massachusetts, arranged Wheeler's assassination to protect a gang skimming operation at World Jai Alai frontons in Hartford and south Florida.
Connecticut law enforcement agents, who were investigating the newly legalized state jai alai industry in 1981, concluded within months of Wheeler's death that Boston mobsters and crooked FBI agents were responsible. But the Connecticut investigation met fierce federal resistance: Federal agents leaked confidential information to the killers, and state police detectives even complained of being followed during a trip to Boston.
No one was charged in the Wheeler homicide until nearly two decades later, when a sensational investigation of law enforcement corruption in Boston, ordered by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, led to the arrests on murder charges of Flemmi, other members of the Winter Hill Gang and retired Boston FBI agent H. Paul Rico.
Hours before Flemmi's guilty plea and sentencing Thursday, one of Wheeler's sons, David Wheeler, telephoned The Courant and said he wanted to express his gratitude to Connecticut law enforcement personnel, whose persistence he said kept the investigation of his father's murder from stalling.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Yahoo! News - Merck Halts Vioxx Sales on Health Threats

I've taken Vioxx for 2-3 years now and no doctor ever told me of these possible side effects! Never. So my question is-Do the negative effects diminish when you stop taking it?
Yahoo! News - Merck Halts Vioxx Sales on Health Threats: "Merck & Co. is pulling its blockbuster Vioxx from the market after new data found the arthritis drug doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Merck's stock plunged almost 27 percent as the pharmaceutical giant said the recall will hurt its earnings.
Merck said Thursday the clinical trial data showed an increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications 18 months after patients started taking Vioxx, which also is prescribed for acute pain and disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The three-year study � aimed at showing that Vioxx could prevent the recurrence of polyps, which can turn cancerous, in the colon and rectum � was stopped after Merck discovered participants had double the risk of a heart attack compared to those taking a placebo. During the study, 10 patients died, five who had been taking Vioxx and five who took dummy pills. "

Yahoo! News - Vioxx high-risk warning no surprise in medical circles

Yahoo! News - Arthritis Drug Vioxx Is Taken Off Market

FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Vioxx as its Manufacturer Voluntarily Recalls the Product

Iraq = Disaster

And Kerry shouldn't be afraid to say it either. We are not better off, certainly not safer, now that Saddam has been deposed!

St Louis Post-Dispatch

IRAQ: One word says it all: disaster
By THOMAS F. EAGLETON
09/29/2004
Insurgents run rampant and Rumsfeld grows more stubborn. We're etching a big black mark across American history.
We do not need to recount yet again the history of the war in Iraq. It will go down as one of the most ill-conceived military undertakings in our history.
The recently disclosed July report of the National Intelligence Council to President Bush tells us we are in grave trouble. The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar of Indiana, and another Republican committee member, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, concur. If the failures of former CIA Director George Tenet justified throwing him overboard, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the godfather of this Iraq disaster, should have been chained to Tenet.
President George W. Bush often asks, rhetorically, "Isn't the world better off with Saddam Hussein out of power?" The answer is no, no, no. Saddam, a brutal dictator, is in jail. That's good. But we have paid a bloody, awful price; a price we will be paying for years to come. The Iraq we created now is an international menace, a citadel for terrorism far more dangerous than the declining Saddam regime we deposed. Sometimes, the cure really is worse than the disease.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Yahoo! News - Bush Lead Narrows in ABC News/Washington Post Poll

Dare we hope that our country will wake up and refuse to be snowed by the Bush machine? Say it could be so.

Yahoo! News - Bush Lead Narrows in ABC News/Washington Post Poll: " President Bush (news - web sites)'s lead over Democratic nominee John Kerry (news - web sites) narrowed to six points in an ABC News/Washington Post poll of likely voters released on Monday, compared with a nine-point lead in the poll earlier this month.

The survey showed 51 percent support Bush and 45 percent for Kerry. A similar poll released on Sept. 8 showed Bush with 52 percent compared to Kerry at 43 percent.
Among registered voters, the results were nearly identical with 51 percent supporting the president and 44 percent backing Kerry. There was virtually no change from the earlier poll in early September that had 50 percent of registered voters behind Bush and 44 percent in favor of Kerry. "