ABC NEWS (link to full article)While it is still up check out this page on Foley's website (link)
Foley Resigns Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors
September 29, 2006 3:02 PM
Brian Ross and Maddy Sauer Report:
Saying he was "deeply sorry," Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned from Congress today, hours after ABC News questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former congressional pages under the age of 18.
A spokesman for Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, said the congressman submitted his resignation in a letter late this afternoon to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
Friday, September 29, 2006
The Washington PostAllen's election to the Senate was once a lock but now is within the margin of error in most major polls:
Group Accuses Allen of Spurning Heritage
By BOB LEWIS
The Associated Press
Thursday, September 28, 2006; 4:20 PM
RICHMOND, Va. -- Sen. George Allen's use of the word "macaca" for a young man of Indian descent forced him to spend the past six weeks disputing claims that his past is littered with racist language and a fondness for Confederate symbols. On Thursday, the furor came full circle when the Sons of Confederate Veterans turned on Allen.
The organization criticized the Republican for saying he had been slow to grasp the pain that Old South symbols like the Confederate flag cause black people.
"The denunciation of the flag to score political points is anathema to our organization," Brag Bowling, immediate past state commander of the SCV, told reporters near the state Capitol, once the Confederacy's seat of government.
Allen campaign manager Dick Wadhams said Allen stands by his comments.....
Since Aug. 11, when Allen singled out Webb campaign volunteer S.R. Sidarth at a mostly white rally and called him "macaca" _ a term considered by some to be a racial slur _ the senator has been beset by damaging claims from his past. Allen's campaign gave conflicting accounts of how he came up with the word.
College-era acquaintances then claimed he used a common racial slur for blacks. Stories about how the Confederate flag he kept in his home and a hangman's noose in his law office have gained new currency. At a debate, Allen was startled and irritated by a question about whether his grandfather was Jewish, then confirmed it a day later.
SurveyUSA 09/24 - 09/26: 628 LV
George Allen (R): 49%
James Webb (D): 44%
MOE: +/- 4%
Zogby Interactive: 09/19 - 09/25 960 LV
George Allen(R): 49%
James Webb (D): 44%
Undecided: 7 %
Rasmussen 09/12 - 09/12 500 LV
George Allen (R): 50%
James Webb (D) 43%
Watching this guy implode is almost as fun as watching Kat Harris's self immolation. However, while Harris is just a nutjob Allen seems to be stuck in an indentity crisis. So we have a question for George Allen.
Killer teddy bear behind deaths of 2,500 fish
Stuffed animal was dropped into trout pool, clogged the flow of oxygen
The Associated Press
Updated: 4:42 p.m. ET Sept 26, 2006
(Click For Full Article)
MILFORD, N.H. - A teddy bear has been implicated in 2,500 deaths. Of trout, that is. State officials say a teddy bear dropped into a pool at a Fish and Game Department hatchery earlier this month clogged a drain. The clog blocked the flow of oxygen to the pool and suffocated the fish.
Hatcheries supervisor Robert Fawcett said the bear — a Paddington Bear dressed in yellow raincoat and hat — is believed to be the first stuffed bear to cause fatalities at the facility.
"We've had pipes get clogged, but it's usually with more naturally occurring things like a frog or even a dead muskrat," he said. "This one turned out to be a teddy bear, and we don't know how it got there."
The deaths prompted Fawcett to release a written warning: "RELEASE OF ANY TEDDY BEARS into the fish hatchery water IS NOT PERMITTED."
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Democracy in America died today after a long illness.
September 28, 2006:
Though it was mourned by a vociferous few, most merely yawned and changed the channel.
"It was time," said Cynical Dictatorship, Democracy's successor, "Democracy meant well, but it got in my way. The old have to make way for the new and all that."
When it was pointed out that Cynical Dictatorship has been around much longer than Democracy and has rarely done much good for more than a few people, Cynical Dictatorship replied with a wink, "That's facts for ya -- always getting in the way. They won't be a problem anymore, believe you me. And as for doing good only for a few -- that's why I'm here."
American Democracy will be interred alongside its brethren, Honor and Integrity. There will be no ceremony.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Transcript and Video:
I could write a pages about what a complete asshat Falwell has, was , and will be; but why state the self-evident.
FALWELL: What I said about Senator Clinton is a true fact. She will energize religious conservatives about all others. Nobody who with a fair mind, open mind heard what you just played did not know that I was speaking tongue in cheek about Lucifer running because there’s no way that Lucifer’s going to run.
MSNBC: Do you believe you were disrespectful?
FALWELL: I do not.
MSNBC: Do I take this to mean that you’re not going to be apologizing to Senator Clinton?
FALWELL: No, I’ll be saying it over and over again.
Two Sago Mine Workers Commit SuicideOur condolences go out to the families and friends of these two tortured souls.
By VICKI SMITH
The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 27, 2006; 8:11 AM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Two miners whose jobs included watching for safety hazards inside the Sago Mine before the deadly explosion last January committed suicide in the past month.
Neither man had been blamed for the disaster that killed 12 of their comrades, and neither one's family has definitively linked the suicides to the accident. But those who knew the men say there is little doubt the tragedy haunted them.....
....John Nelson Boni, whose job that day was to maintain water pumps, shot himself Saturday at his home in Volga, State Police said.
William Lee "Flea" Chisolm, the 47-year-old dispatcher responsible for monitoring carbon monoxide alarms and communicating with crews underground that morning, shot himself at his Belington home Aug. 29, authorities said Tuesday....
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
....The modern institution of civil and human rights, and particularly the writ of habeas corpus, began in June of 1215 when King John was forced by a group of feudal lords to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede.The sad part is only the ending of the current legislative session, will be able to stop this heinous rebuke of American history and liberty from passage. Unless of course moderate Republicans or some Democrat with a spine steps up to the plate..... I am not holding my breath.
Two of the most critical parts of the Magna Carta were articles 38 and 39, which established the foundation for what is now known as "habeas corpus" laws (literally, "produce the body" from the Latin - meaning, broadly, "let this person go free or else give him a trial - you may not hold him forever with charging him with a crime"). The concept of habeas corpus in the Magna Carta led directly to the Fourth through Eighth Amendments of our Constitution, and hundreds of other federal and state due process provisions.
Articles 38 and 39 of the Magna Carta said:
"38 In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.
"39 No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."
This was radical stuff, and over the next four hundred years average people increasingly wanted for themselves these same protections from the abuse of governmental power that the feudal lords had gotten at Runnymede. But from 1215 to 1628, outside of the privileges enjoyed by the feudal lords, the average person could be arrested and imprisoned at the whim of the king with no recourse to the courts....
Monday, September 25, 2006
Hey - Since We're All Going To Hell Find Out What Level!
Dante's Inferno Quiz
As is Written on Rosh Hashanah........
Do I believe that the Big Guy Upstairs in up there writing the fate of the world on Rosh Hashanah (and you thought YOU had a tight deadline) and sealing the book on Yom Kippur - honestly no. However, I do think that as we go through life we are kind of writing that book and then sealing it ourselves, either through good actions or bad actions. Some things cannot be foreseen, such as a violent crime, but how we live up until that point is truly us. How many people entered the World Trade Center on 9/11 angry at their spouses, lacking self-esteem, or basically unhappy. It's not the way to live, but for many people their lives were sealed that day and that is the way they died.
What I think we could all learn from this belief is that every day somehow we are writing our own book - and even though many of us are living in circumstances not under our control how we act or the attitudes we adopt definitely ARE. That is what will make the difference for HOW we live.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The "Keep On Packing In The Free World" Snark Report
President Bush, please note the following - you cannot make up the rules as you go along. That is not only coming from Blue State Senators now, but your own party. Why the fear of a trial? Is it because you're afraid that the innocent will go free? Sorry, but unless Judge Ito is the one presiding over the trial I doubt that the terrorists will ever see daylight again. Or, is it something even more scary to ponder - you don't actually have the guilty and all your talk of a safer nation is nothing but smoke being blown up our asses?
European Countries Demand Truth About CIA Jails
Note to European leaders - do you look tough when you demand to know about CIA prision camps on YOUR OWN SOIL or stupid? I do not doubt that these camps exist, but I also do not doubt that the leaders of these countries knew. What did they think the CIA was building, a really big garage sale???
All of this talk of terrorism and security bring me to my topic for today and the inspiration for this Snark Report's title - packing for a plane trip in 2006. Before 9/11, I never had to think about what went where. Travelling with a child , all I tried to remember was to put enough bottles in the carry on to get through the flight. Then, it was a matter of remembering slip-on shoes and reminding airport security that perhaps YELLING at a toddler to have him walk through the metal detector on his own may not be the best way to go. Still, its nothing like the packing I had to do today.
I know the basics - all sharp objects and liquid/gel like substances had to be put in checked luggage. No liquids on the carry on. Since my children guzzle milk and juice like crazy, I called the airline to see what I could do. Well, they are offering free beverages, but some of the other rules were just out there. One that struck me the most was the rule on liquid medication. Now, that is a NO-NO unless you have a prescription from the doctor. What is the sense in that one? If someone is planning to stage a suicide attack do you think they'll care if they miss their antibiotic dose?
Another story that got me - a woman was asked to leave Toys R Us for breastfeeding in the store. Okey dokey then! The saleswoman told the woman that breastfeeding in the store was inappropriate. Now yes, the store does have a nursing area, but according to the law she was allowed to nurse in the store. I am willing to bet that anyone who complained about this being done around children has no problem with a woman with a plunging neckline flopping her boobs around like flags. I nursed both my children, and while I rarely did this in public there are times the kid is hungry and you have to do what you have to do. As long as I was covered, what was the problem? Why people give strange looks I have no clue and why this happened in a children's store I cannot comprehend.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The Tuesday Snark Report
US Thanks Syria For Foiling Attack On US Embassy
Okay, to any and all wanna to be Muslim Extremists out there, please take note. Waving automatic weapons in the air and screaming threats in front of a US Embassy MAY NOT be the best way to get your mission accomplished. What were these guys thinking? Did they think they were going to get into the Embassy that way? Did they actually think this was going to work?
Also, when reading the article I just found myself getting confused. First, we accuse Syria of supporting terrorism. THEN, we thank them for helping foil a terrorist plot? Hmmm...maybe then the US Government thinks that Syria only supports smart terrorists and not this crew that was as obvious as a Disco Ball in the middle of an Amish Village? Heck, I think that they do qualify as too stupid to live.
New Home For the US Cattle From the Maasai
Really nothing to snark about here - but this was too cute not to put up. The Maasai tribe hold the cattle sacred, and after 9/11 made a gift of 14 of them to the US to help us heal. I love it!
Now, for Bush's speech last night. What I was hoping for was a rememberance of 9/11. A rousing speech memorializing our dead, perhaps mentioning some of our fallen heros. Ultimately, something appropriate and non-Partisian. What in God's name was I thinking?
I was furious at how the events of 9/11 were used to justify the Iraq War. Last night was not about that - save that for the campaign trail. 9/11 is about the worst attacks ever on US soil - NOT a time to campaign. What even makes me more furious was that recently Bush ADMITTED that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 - so why the heck was Iraq even mentioned?
Monday, September 11, 2006
9/11 - What Do We Do Now?
If you look out on the street today, things in the country are running at a steady hum. In my own house this Monday could have been any other Monday - my husband went to work, my son went to school - nothing different. Yet, when you turn on the news you see all of the events commemerating the attacks, and you know that even if your daily schedule did not change today the world did. Now, what do we do?
I do have issue with the fact that today is not a Federal Holiday. Even if you did not personally lose anyone during the attacks, many people here in the tristate area fled the city. Those of us at home were nervous about their fate. The day should be reserved for honoring the dead and thinking about what actually happened - some kind of reflection whether it be attending a religious service or just sitting in front of your house with a cup of coffee to catch your breath. Also, for some today is a day wracked with anxiety - they should have the ability to get out of town if they so chose. Now, I know the danger that this could become a day just the other Federal Holidays like Veteran's Day where people disregard what happened and hunger for that 25% off and no interest until 2010 at Levitz, but I think that 9/11 is too recent and raw for that to happen.
My other issue is - what do we teach our children. My son is old enough to start asking questions, and I honestly don't have answers for him that would satisfy me, let alone a curious six-year-old. How do I explain the hatred that fueled 9/11 without spurring hatred in return? Many adults cannot understand that while Al-Qaeda is a group that claims to be for pious Muslims they are not representative of the religion or the people - how can I expect my son to? If he asks why do they hate us, how do I explain to him the convoluted mess that is Middle Eastern politics and Western policies in a way that he could "get it"? There is an alternative - just give him a simple explanation - people were angry so they attacked us - but wouldn't that just scare him further? I am not sure what to do, and hopefully if he asks questions I'll be able to think of something on my feet because God knows I have nothing planned.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Why Does "Different" Equal Fear?
Today I went to my son's Parent/Teacher Orientation at his school. My son is a beautiful six year-old boy with developmental delays and a focusing problem. However he talks, and he plays, and he is able to learn at a rate equal to if not above the average child. Thanks to the NYC Public Education System, he is getting the special accomodations that he needs to get along in a regular classroom so he can learn at grade level while all his "kinks" as they say, get worked out. However, its not the academics that fill me with fear for my child. It's stupid people.
At this Orientation it seems one of the "General Education" mothers was quite upset that her child was placed in with "Special Education" students. I looked at her face, which was impossible not to do, since she was sitting directly across from me and I saw her anger. Now, part of it was justified, since no one told this woman that her son would be in an Inclusion class, but for the most part it wasn't. I saw how openly she complained to the teacher, and it took every bit of restraint that I had not to verbally mouth off to her. However, I did feel sorry for the teacher and asked her if I could pipe in.
I did my best to explain to her that my son was a happy child, as were the rest of the children on the Special Education side of the wall. They were academically sound and the special provisions that they needed would do nothing to harm her child. She looked unconvinced, and that's when I realized that NOTHING I said would change this situation. My son could have a degree from Harvard and her opinion would not change. Bottomline, my son was different from hers in her eyes.
Why do we fear what is different from ourselves and our own? If I had the inclination, I could have explained to this woman that our sons were most likely quite similar - liked the same shows, played the same games, liked to be praised and hated being punished. However, the assignment of a category made at a beaurocratic level made her see my boy as incompatible. When I think back at this situation, isn't this something that we all do? The visibly handicapped, people of a different religion or color, the list goes on. Every difference that people think is enough to put people into a different category makes the truth of the situation harder and harder to see - we are all people and should be treated the same.
Okay, rant over
Have a good weekend!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
The Met to Go all Techy and Stuff!
Sitting in the Family Circle, the Met's nice way of saying the "cheap seats", may not have brought you front row center, but provided a grand view of the elaborate sets, and I fee a better sense of the story. If you have never treated yourself to the glory and beauty that is opera, go for it, and hell you don't even need to wear a tux. Hell a Saturday performance, of my favorite opera Tosca, costs $42 in the family circle and on a weeknight you can get in for as little as $15!
Met announces plan to simulcast opera
By RONALD BLUM
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
NEW YORK -- The Metropolitan Opera is vastly expanding its broadcast presence, transmitting six live performances to movie theaters in North America and Europe this season and broadcasting more than 100 live over the Internet or on digital radio.
As part of the company's groundbreaking attempt to expand its audience, it announced Wednesday that the six video broadcasts will be followed by telecasts on PBS following 30-day windows. DVD and CD releases could follow. The Met also will make many of its historical broadcasts available on the Internet, some for free but most for a fee.
Larry King, Where Art Thou?
First up for this investigative journalist - talking to the woman from Vanity Fair who spent time with Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise, and their baby Suri. Yes folks, for all of you wondering, the baby does exist. Just for the record, who the heck really thought the kid was fake? I respected Katie and Tom's decision not to have major flashbulbs going off in the baby's face - really an action of responsible parents and not publicity seekers. Yes, I know that the guy jumped on a couch and trashed psych meds (if you look at the whole interview, he did have some decent points that got eclipsed by his trashing of Brooke Shields), but to FAKE A PREGNANCY AND A BABY?? Come on folks!
Also, what the heck is this doing on CNN?? News flash - look at the cute cuddly baby? Wow! That was informative! Suri is an adorable baby, but with Darfur about to blow up (when you're looking to China and Russia to restore order there is a definite problem), Al Qaeda still out there, our troops still in Iraq, the situation in Iran (Yes, Virginia, there was a Holocaust), and elections going on this November, how about we all smile at the cute pictures and move on?
Well, he did move on - to polygomy. Now, this is a topic I don't think about too often, especially since I already have my opinions. I really don't care for the idea of more than one husband - I mean how many people can I really pick up after. As far as my husband having more than one wife - I'm torn between not liking the idea and on some level realizing it would be great to get some help cleaning the house. However, no matter how abhorent some of those stories were (child brides, one guy who had numerous wives and somehow still molested his children (obviously he spiked his water supply with Viagra), etc) I really want to hear the news on Larry King, not listen to the stories from the down low of "Big Love". Yes, I think it is wrong, but there's Oprah for this kind of stuff. Polygamy may be wrong, but they are not a threat to national security. Heck, anyone with ten wives can't be a threat- they'd be too tired to plot.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Although I feel this particular quote Justin Rood uses from Robert Young Pelton's "Licensed to Kill". The quote is from a spec-ops seargent who for obvious reasons remained anonymous.
"We got hit pretty bad two weeks ago," he tells me, adjusting his dirty Jack Daniel's cap. "Six guys in our unit got Purple Hearts. They [the ambushers] were waiting for us--knew exactly where we were. . . . The Pakistanis watched the whole thing and did nothing."
He points to a spot a little over a mile away. "They fire rockets right from that hill on the Pak side. We meet with the Pak officials every month on the border. . . . They smile. We smile. They bullshit us and we bullshit them. Then they watch us get attacked without lifting a finger. This place is fucked." I ask him if the men who attacked him were Taliban, Pakistanis, or Arabs. He looks up at me, squints in the sun, and spits again for effect, admitting, "I have no fucking idea who we are fighting."
This lead them down the road to providing covert, and some say overt aid to the Taliban and by extension Al-Qaida. The acquisition of nuclear weapons constituted a direct deterrent to Indian infringements on their sovereignty, ie Kashmir,Afghanistan was seen as the speed bump to increased Pakistani trade and access to natural gas and oil bypassing Indian and Russian soil. This basic precept in policy has survived longer than most Pakistani administrations. So it is today.
Pakistan Offers Osama Bin Laden A Deal
September 5, 2006 10:43 p.m. EST
Matthew Borghese - All Headline News Staff Writer
Islamabad, Pakistan (AHN) - After signing a truce with pro-Taliban militants on its border with Afghanistan, Pakistan is now extending the olive branch to America's most wanted man; Osama bin Laden. Pakistani officials tell ABC that the leader of the terror group al-Qaida, and the mastermind of the September 11th attacks in the U.S. will not face capture if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life." Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan says that "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen" bin Laden"would not be taken into custody."
Pakistan: Bin Laden Not Safe Under Truce
By DEAN VISSER ,
09.06.2006, 08:58 A
...."Pakistan is committed to its policy on the war on terror, and Osama caught anywhere in Pakistan would be brought to justice," the country's top army spokesman, Gen. Shaukat Sultan, told The Associated Press.
Musharraf Speaks of a 'Common Enemy'
By MUNIR AHMAD
The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 6, 2006; 12:57 PM
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Key U.S. allies Afghanistan and Pakistan must join forces to fight the "common enemy" of terrorism and extremism being fanned by al-Qaida and Taliban militants, Pakistan's president said Wednesday. But visiting President Gen. Pervez Musharraf also said Pakistan would never allow U.S.-led coalition forces _ currently hunting al-Qaida and Taliban fighters on the Afghan side of the border _ into tribal areas on its side. "On our side of the border there will be a total uprising if a foreigner enters that area," he said at a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "It's not possible at all. We will never allow any foreigners into that area. It's against the culture of the people there."
SCHOOL'S IN! Snark Report
Western Policy Is in Dispair In Darfur
The Sudanese government is trying to stop a UN force from coming in to help resolve its current crisis, afraid that Islamic Extremists would then target the currently Islamic-run country as being in danger of "Western Influence" and start fighting over there. True concern, especially since Osama Bin Laden did refer to Darfur as a battleground for Islam. However, this is my question for those extremists that the Sudanese government is rightfully afraid of - why aren't you helping your fellow Muslims? Right now, people are starving and dying due to this conflict - is it not imperative that maybe instead of buying a shiny new gun or bomb you may, oh I don't know, send FOOD AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES?
NASA Postpones Launch of Atlantis
Okey dokey then. A multi-billion dollar space shuttle needs very expensive repair and will get it. Yesterday I looked at my son's school supply list and I had to buy paper towels, tissues, baby wipes, copy paper and other basic supplies that the school cannot afford and cannot get funding for. Heck - who says the government has its priorities out of whack?
Okay folks, we all know school is in and our hopes for the future went through those doors to be educated. We also know that schools are in desperate need of funds, and aren't getting them. Why? That's an excellent question that I want you to ponder when you go to the polls this November. Look at the record of your Congressmen and Congresswomen and Senators as to where they feel the money should be going. Promises of funding and putting education first make wonderful campaign leaflets, but this election more than ever the incumbents should be scrutinized as to their actual record. Our future as a country is in the hands of our children, and we owe it to them to be responsible with our votes so that they can thrive in the future.