Saturday, July 15, 2006

DEFENSE MINISTER WILL DECLARE 'SPECIAL SITUATION'

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz is set to delare Saturday the coming into effect of a 'special situation' in the home front. The announcement will enable the security forces to instruct the shutting down of schools, to operate essential industries and to close certain areas for traffic. The declaration is aimed at narrowing the damages of the expanded fighting in the north.
Link includes video of Israel war damage.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3276176,00.html


mirth




REPORT: ISRAEL GIVES SYRIA ULTIMATUM

London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat says Israel gave Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah's activity, bring about release of kidnapped IDF troops. 'Israel will not end military activity until new situation created that will prevent Syria, Iran from using terror organizations to threaten its security,' newspaper quotes Pentagon official as saying.
read more:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3275886,00.html


mirth




MIRTH'S MAGNIFICENT LINKS

Hezbollah Declares War On Israel
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah group, has pledged open war on Israel after it bombed his Beirut home on Friday in a dramatic expansion of the latest Israeli assault.
read more:
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/AF23D116-9B23-4857-AA1A-9EA595F2D4B1.htm

Hezbollah, a primer
President Bush's April 2004 decision to endorse an extremely unpopular Israeli plan to withdraw from Palestinian territories can only inflame Hezbollah further. But in the final analysis, the outcome of the Iraq war will likely determine the organization's future. If the U.S. pulls off an increasingly unlikely "happy ending" in Iraq by installing a democratic West-friendly regime that makes oil plentiful and allows America to base forces on its soil, the "War On Terrorism World Tour" will likely set its gunsights next on Syria and Iran--Hezbollah's primary state sponsors. If that happens, the global network of Hezbollah will almost certainly get its second test in an all-out war on America.
read more:
http://www.rotten.com/library/history/terrorist-organizations/hezbollah/

"Short-Sighted, Ill Informed" Bush Fiddles as Lebanon Burns
Despite growing international calls for restraint from the Europeans and Russians, Israeli military aggression was last night threatening to unleash even more chaos and bloodshed and ratchet up tensions in the region to a dangerous degree. In harrowing scenes reminiscent of the 1982 build-up when it invaded Lebanon for a second time, Israel has been bombing and shelling Lebanese sovereign territory, has smashed the runways of Beirut Airport, and by blasting away bridges has effectively cut off the south of the country. The stage could be set for yet another ground invasion, with all the misery and death that this will bring.
read more:
http://www.watchingamerica.com/arabnews000005.shtml

How To Lose The War On Terror; Bush's Ten Rules
read more:
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_bob_burn_060711_how_to_lose_the_war_.htm

War! Uh! What Is It Good For? Ab-so-lute-ly Nuthin'!


Edwin Starr


mirth




Wall Street: Desperately seeking relief

Soaring oil prices and Mideast violence swamped stocks. Can the onslaught of earnings change the tide?

Alexandra Twin
CNNMoney.com senior writer
July 15 2006: 10:41 AM EDT

Record oil prices. Escalating violence in the Mideast. The nail-biter over interest rates. A consumer trying to hang in despite a slowing economy.

Who needs summer action movies? Wall Street's been serving up more drama than most investors crave.

And the week ahead is about to throw one more element into the mix: the first big surge of second-quarter corporate earnings.

Among the highlights: Citigroup on Monday, IBM and Yahoo! on Tuesday, Apple Computer and Intel on Wednesday and Microsoft on Thursday. (For more details, see the chart).

The good news is the outlook is still healthy for the second quarter - analysts are expecting earnings to grow 12.4 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Financial. The bad news is that the mood on Wall Street may be too gloomy for strong earnings to help.

"The issue is if the market is negative, even if the focus moves to earnings, those earnings will be (seen) through a fairly negative prism," said Douglas Altabef, a money manager at Matrix Asset Advisors.

Altabef isn't optimistic that the onslaught of earnings will be enough to distract Wall Street from its current concerns.

"I can hope we focus on earnings next week," he said. "But that's not what the market has been about lately. It's been about macro, geopolitical anxieties."

And until those worries ease, stocks may not be able to recover much ground.

End of the bull?

Since peaking in the spring, the major stock gauges have been falling, capped by three brutal sessions in the week just ended in which the Dow tumbled nearly 400 points.

The selloff was sparked by intense fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah, record crude oil prices and some lackluster earnings forecasts.

Investors are also still worried about a slowing economy and rising interest rates. Those worries spark the first stage of the selloff, in May.

Since topping out May 10 near its all-time high, the Dow has skidded 8 percent, prompting some investors to say the 3-1/2-year bull market may be over.

Those focused on the threat of a slowing economy will be watching the slew of June economic reports due next week, including consumer and producer prices, housing and regional reads on manufacturing. (For details, see chart).

Investors will also be looking to news from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will give his semi-annual congressional testimony on the economy Wednesday and Thursday. In addition, minutes from Fed's last policy meeting in June will be released Friday.

As is often the case, Bernanke is not expected to say anything too surprising. But his testimony, more than earnings, could be the surprise factor that helps a beaten-down market stabilize next week, said Donald Selkin, director of research at Joseph Stevens.

"If Bernanke hints the Fed is almost done raising rates, that could help," Selkin said.

The central bank has raised its key short-term interest rate 17 straight times, from 1 percent to 5.25 percent. Its next meeting is August 8th.

"Maybe the market is so oversold now that it's set for a bounce, and maybe Bernanke will be the catalyst," Selkin said.

Earnings galore

Ideally, strong earnings and forecasts could also serve as a catalyst for an oversold market, but that may not be in the cards just yet.

The number of companies warning that second-quarter earnings won't meet estimates has been about in line with recent and historic averages, said John Butters, senior research analyst at earnings tracker Thomson Financial.

But there's been a lower-than-usual number of positive pre-announcements - heads-ups from CEOs and other execs that soon-to-be reported earnings are going to beat forecasts.

Yet, it's unclear as to whether that's a bad omen for the earnings, Butters said.

"Usually, companies will only guide higher when they are fairly positive they can make those numbers," he said. "On the other hand, the lack of positive pre-announcements hasn't hurt overall growth expectations so far."

Energy remains the sector poised for the biggest year-over-year quarterly earnings growth - around 34 percent. The energy sector has posted the strongest growth since 2004, reflecting the jump in oil prices.

Next week, 112 companies - or about 22 percent of the S&P 500 index - are due to report, including 11 Dow components.

A number of banks and industrial companies will report, but big names are also due in tech - a sector in particular need of good news, both in terms of earnings and stock performance.

When tech stocks stop getting crushed on mixed-to-bad news, that could mean the market is ready for a bounce, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke.

"If we should see some influential stocks do well, even if their earnings aren't that great, that could be a good sign," he said.


Story Link

-Buck


Buck




British princes slam Diana death photo

BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhuanet) -- Britain's princes William and Harry condemned on Friday an Italian magazine that published a picture of their mother Princess Diana in the wreckage of a Paris car crash that took her life.

Milan-based Chi magazine has published the image of Diana being given oxygen at the scene of the crash in a Paris road tunnel in August 1997.

"We feel deeply saddened that such a low has been reached," William and Harry said in a statement issued by Clarence House, the official London residence of their father Prince Charles on Friday.

Umberto Brindani, Chi's editor, has said the photo comes from a just-published book in France by crime writer Jean-Michel Caradec'h, titled "Lady Diana: The Criminal Investigation".

William and Harry urged other publications to refrain from reprinting the photo.

"We appeal to all forms of media throughout the world to appreciate fully that publishing such material causes great hurt to us, our father, our mothers family and all those who so loved and respected her," they said.

Defending the decision to run the photo, a spokesman for the magazine said: "There is nothing voyeuristic or disrespectful in all this. It is just an attempt to get closer to the truth of a drama that is still wrapped in too much mystery and too many lies."


Story Link

-Buck


Buck




Iran and Syria blamed as violence intensifies


The conflict in the Middle East appeared to be spiralling out of control on Saturday, with a series of bloody airstrikes and missile attacks claiming more Lebanese and Israeli lives.

The third day of savage violence came as Sheikh Hassan Nasralla, the Hizbollah leader, proclaimed that he was ready for "open warfare" with Israel.

Israeli rockets pounded Lebanese targets just inside the country's border with Syria, fuelling fears that the conflict could spread across the region.

George W Bush has called on Syria to do more to control Hizbollah, and Israeli officials have accused Iran of backing missile attacks on its territory.

The major incidents so far today:
# An Israeli missile hit a van on road in southern Lebanon, killing at least 17 civilians.
# Israeli aircraft flattened a nine-storey building where Hizbollah had its main office in Beirut.
# Israeli planes fired rockets at a crossing point between the last Lebanese post and the first Syrian army position on the road from Beirut to Damascus.
# Hizbollah rockets hit the Israeli town of Tiberias, 22 miles from Lebanese border, the deepest penetration since the conflict began.
# At least one Israeli sailor was killed after his warship came under attack. Initial reports said it was hit by a Hizbollah drone plane packed with explosives, but Israel later claimed the damage was done by a Iranian-made missile.
# An Israeli intelligence official warned that Hizbollah was now able to strike Tel Aviv with its long-range missiles.

At least 29 Lebanese civilians have died in today's violence.

President Bush this morning placed the blame on the conflict at the feet of Hizbollah, after rejecting claims that he had promised to rein in Israel.

Speaking at a news conference in Russia alongside Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, ahead of this weekend's G8 summit, he said: "In my judgment, the best way to stop the violence is to understand why the violence occurred in the first place.

"And that's because Hizbollah has been launching rocket attacks out of Lebanon into Israel and because Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers."

He added: "The best way to stop the violence is for Hizbollah to lay down its arms and to stop attacking, and therefore I call on Syria to exert influence over Hizbollah."

Sheikh Nasrallah raised the stakes last night, threatening to attack Israel beyond the city of Haifa, 20 miles from the border, which was hit for the first time on Thursday.

"Surprises will start from now," said the sheikh, who is admired by Arabs for Hizbollah's success in forcing Israel out of Lebanon in 2000.

As the number of deaths mounted, President Jacques Chirac of France yesterday accused the Israelis of trying to "destroy" Lebanon.

"I find honestly, as all Europeans do, that the current reactions are totally disproportionate," he said in an interview to mark France's July 14 national day.

"We are in a very dangerous situation. We must be very, very careful."

The crisis threatens to provoke a major international rift at the G8 summit which opens in St Petersburg today.

Britain is putting together plans to evacuate 15,000 British passport holders from Beirut by sea, all but 1,200 of them with dual nationality.


Story Link

-Buck


Buck




Some ask: Can Katherine Harris' campaign survive?

Jim Stratton
The Orlando Sentinel (MCT)

Katherine Harris faces surgery next week, lost a raft of key staffers this week and in some polls continues to trail Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by as many as 30 points.

All of which begs the question: Can the Longboat Key Republican congresswoman continue in a Senate race that has offered her virtually nothing but turmoil for months?

Harris' remaining staff members were not immediately available for comment Thursday, but her office did issue a news release saying the campaign was "aggressively moving forward."

Meanwhile, Harris' outgoing campaign manager said the candidate has given no indication she will leave the race.

"None whatsoever," said Glenn Hodas, whose resignation becomes effective today. But Hodas said the future of the campaign may be determined by what doctors find when they perform surgery on Harris on Monday.

Last week, Harris announced she would have an ovarian mass removed. After the surgery, a biopsy will be performed to determine if the growth is malignant or benign.

"She really needs to see what the prognosis is and make the determination after that," Hodas said.

The Republican Party of Florida has not suggested publicly that Harris leave the race. But it has offered virtually no significant support for the candidate.

Party spokesman Jeff Sadosky said Thursday the party was "going to wait until September and hope we have a candidate."

He said Harris "has obviously had some issues and they keep cropping back up." The high staff turnover, he said, "definitely affects her ability to gain any traction or momentum."

This week, Harris suffered the second mass defection of staff after losing campaign manager Hodas, communications director Chris Ingram, a grass-roots organizer and four other mid-level employees. In all, Hodas said, seven people were abandoning the campaign.

Harris' news release Thursday put the number at six and said three new people already had been hired. Senior-level staffers, it said, would be named soon.

The campaign workers who left this week lasted only three-and-a-half months. They came aboard in April after another group of top advisers resigned en masse.

Hodas said he left the campaign because he didn't think he could give Harris what she needs.

"It needs a new management team that can see its way to victory against Bill Nelson," he said. "I've lost my enthusiasm for that."

Former staffers complained that Harris is difficult to work for - a micro-manager who sometimes berates her aides for minor lapses such as not having enough signs at campaign stops or for bringing her the wrong coffee. They say she often rejects the advice of her senior staff, surprising them with statements they must later scramble to explain.

Hodas would say only that working for Harris was "very challenging" and, at times, frustrating.

Harris must now try to reassemble a staff with just six weeks to go before the Republican primary. That may be difficult for two reasons: Most veteran political operatives already are working for someone else, and her campaign appears to be stuck under a growing cloud.

Former campaign manager Jamie Miller said Harris will be especially hard-pressed to find anyone from Florida willing to take the job.

"It's a nuclear wasteland in there," said Miller. "Anyone who goes in is going to be tainted."

Miller and other top staff members tried to persuade Harris to leave the race early this year. It was just after her father's death, Harris was going nowhere in the polls and she was being battered by questions about her association with a defense contractor who had pleaded guilty to bribing another member of Congress.

Miller said Harris initially agreed to pull out of the race but changed her mind soon after. Miller later decided to leave the campaign.

"I just saw her heading for political destruction," he said. "And I didn't want to be the one to lead her to Little Big Horn."

Miller said he remains convinced that Harris should seriously consider leaving the race.

"I'm concerned for her health right now," he said. "I don't think the campaign is in her best interest."

University of South Florida political analyst Susan MacManus said Harris may still have time to assemble a staff. But, beyond that, she must find a way to keep one.

Endless news stories about staff defections, she said, have overshadowed any message Harris is trying to deliver to voters.

"When the staff is the story and not the candidate, you're in serious trouble," she said. Harris could turn things around, she said, "but the sun is going down pretty quickly."


Story Link

-Buck


Buck




AP Poll: Republicans in danger of losing Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November.

With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule.

Further complicating the GOP outlook to turn things around is a solid percentage of liberals, moderates and even conservatives who say they'll vote Democratic. The party out of power also holds the edge among persuadable voters, a prospect that doesn't bode well for the Republicans.

The election ultimately will be decided in 435 House districts and 33 Senate contests, in which incumbents typically hold the upper hand. But the survey underscored the difficulty Republicans face in trying to persuade a skeptical public to return them to Washington.
Bush stops freefall

The AP-Ipsos poll of 1,000 adults conducted Monday through Wednesday found that President Bush has stopped his political freefall, with his approval rating of 36 percent basically unchanged from last month. Bush received slightly higher marks for his handling of the Iraq war and the fight against terrorism, weeks after his surprise trip to Baghdad and the killing of Iraqi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. airstrike last month.

But a Democratic takeover of either the House or Senate would be disastrous for the president, leaving both his agenda for the last two years in office and the chairmanship of investigative committees in the hands of the opposition party. To seize control of Congress, the Democrats must displace 15 Republicans from House seats and six Republicans from the Senate.

The AP-Ipsos survey asked 789 registered voters if the election for the House were held today, would they vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in their district. Democrats were favored 51 percent to 40 percent.

Not surprisingly, 81 percent of self-described liberals said they would vote for the Democrat. Among moderates, though, 56 percent backed a Democrat in their district and almost a quarter of conservatives -- 24 percent -- said they will vote Democratic.

Democrats also held the advantage among persuadable voters -- those who are undecided or wouldn't say whom they prefer. A total of 51 percent said they were leaning Democrat, while 41 percent were leaning Republican.

"We still have wind in our face. It's a midterm election in the president's second term," said Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "Today is a little bit better in the atmospherics of Washington than it was maybe a month ago."

The president's party historically has lost seats in the sixth year of his service. Franklin D. Roosevelt lost 72 House seats in 1938; Dwight D. Eisenhower 48 in 1958. The exception was Bill Clinton in 1998.


More HERE

-Buck


Buck




Beirutis brace for battle - begin stockpiling food, fuel

(DPA)
15 July 2006

BEIRUT - Beirutis ventured out of their homes on Saturday and headed to the supermarkets to stock up on supplies in preparation for the “all-out war” with Israeli promised by Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

Most residents of the capital have already fled the city for safer mountain areas to the north- and south-east.

Those who have decided to stay put began preparing for what could be a lengthy siege as Israel tightens its air, road and sea blockade on the country.

“I came to buy food supplies for my children because we decided to stay in Beirut,” Soud Hammoud, a housewife, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.

Panicked residents made a beeline for the petrol pumps to fill up on fuel after Israeli jets bombed several petrol stations across southern Lebanon earlier in the day.

“We have to fill our cars with gas to be ready to evacuate the capital if the situation deteriorates,” said Sabaa Younis.

Many people, mostly women and children, had already sought refuge in hotels in the Cedar mountains, north-east of Beirut.

“I came with the two girls to the Cedars for the weekend because they were scared by the sound of the bombs,” Randa Attaya, a mother of two, told dpa by phone.

Israel pounded Lebanon for the fourth straight day Saturday targeting Hezbollah’s power bases in the south of the country in relentless attacks that have killed 67 people and left world powers scrambling to avert a full-blown war in the region.

“War is coming back to Lebanon,” most people fear in a country that has already endured a civil war from 1975 until the early 1990s.

“This is our fate...we have started to enjoy peace..but now the whole country is in a state of war,” Imad Zeidan, a businessman told dpa.

The latest crisis was triggered when Hezbollah guerrillas seized two Israeli servicemen in a deadly attack on the volatile Lebanese- Israeli border Wednesday, leading to Israel’s first ground incursion into its northern neighbour since it withdrew from the country in 2000.

The panic in Beirut was heightened after Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah announced in a televised statement on Friday that Lebanon was “heading towards an open war with Israel.”

He also threatened that his movement would target areas deep inside Israel with rockets.

The Hezbollah leader’s remarks following an Israeli airstrike Friday that destroyed his home in southern Beirut. Hezbollah forces later retaliated by shelling an Israeli naval vessel off the Lebanese coast.

“Nasrallah’s statement made us take extra precautions and prepare for the worst,” Zeidan said.


Story Link

-Buck


Buck




Bangladesh Benefit : George Harrison & Friends :

Can't sleep.....gonna hit the road early. Conch Republic here I come... lock up the vauluables. :-)


Question Girl




Friday, July 14, 2006

STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS U.S. CITIZENS SHOULD LEAVE LEBANON

Gee, how do you suppose they should do that now that the airport is fucking tore up?????

U.S. Citizens Should Weigh Leaving Lebanon

Saturday July 15, 2006 12:01 AM


WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department said Friday that Americans in Lebanon should consider leaving when it is safe to do so, and officials made contingency plans for the evacuation of people who cannot leave on their own.

``Our best advice is for people to assess their security situation,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. ``Right now ... from the U.S. government perspective, there aren't any reliable ways to get out by air, land or sea.''


Read more here


Question Girl




EUROPE'S RESPONSE TO THE SIEGE OF GAZA IS SHAMEFUL

This is a very good article, but it is the comments to the story that make the page worth a read.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1813521,00.html


mirth




PALESTINIANS STREAM INTO GAZA FROM EGYPT

Can you imagine being stuck in another country and being unable to get home? I just can't in my wildest dreams imagine the pain these people live with on a day to day basis.

Militants forced open a border gate between Egypt and Gaza on Friday, wounding an Egyptian officer and letting hundreds of Palestinians who had been trapped on the Egyptian side of the border to get into Gaza.

Armed militants stood by as people carrying suitcases crossed into Gaza. Some walked through on crutches while others walked or ran through the gate.

Egyptian police Capt. Mohammed Abdel Hadi said masked Palestinian militants firing guns broke into the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, clearing the way for the trapped Gazans


Read more here


Question Girl




take a chance on me

And no you can't borrow my snake skin pumps!!!


Question Girl




the doors-roadhouse blues

It's noon somewhere.....


Question Girl




MIRTH'S MAGNIFICENT LINKS

Another view of illegal immigration.
Since 1990 more than 3,000 migrants from Mexico have died in the arid heat of the southwestern United States. 2005 was a record for migrant deaths at 282. Since January 1 of this year, 77. The dead include men, women, children. Bodies sometimes show evidence of violence. Most often their deaths are related to dehydration. The progression of dehydration, briefly and generally, is: the agony of thirst, severe headache, hypotension, lethargy, muscle pain, hallucinations, seizure, unconsciousness, death. Dying for lack of water is not an easy death.
Two grassroots organizations that offer aid to migrants in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands are The Human Rights Coalition/Indigenous Alliance Without Borders (Coalicion de Derechos Humanos/Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras) and No More Death (No Mas Muertes).
http://www.derechoshumanosaz.net/about_us.php4
http://www.nomoredeaths.org/
In July of 2005 two volunteers with No More Death were arrested for transporting three critically ill male migrants to a medical facility in Tucson. The temperature that day was 105. Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss, both 23, were following procedures accepted by the Border Patrol; officials claim the men were not sick enough. A plea for dismissal of the charges has been denied and a trial date has been set for October 3rd. They face up to 15 years in prison. Support for them has come from, among others, the ACLU and Amnesty International. Interestingly, along the border in 2005 there were 300 active humanitarian volunteers and 68 medical evacuations without arrest.
http://www.aclu.org/immigrants/gen/21241prs20051024.html
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/document.do?id=ENGAMR512012005
The efforts of one to save the life of another should never be a crime.


Say I Love You in 100 languages.
http://www.reitoft.dk/iloveyou.html
Barry White!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXBt-NzmMqY&search=Barry%20White


mirth




India links Pakistan to bombings

Randeep Ramesh, Mumbai
July 15, 2006

THE peace process between India and Pakistan has fallen victim to the Mumbai bombings as talks scheduled for next week were reportedly delayed because New Delhi said it had evidence that its neighbour had a "hand" in the attacks.

Top civil servants of each country's foreign ministries were to have discussed seemingly intractable border disputes. But New Delhi TV reported that the talks would be postponed, although no new dates were mentioned.

Police in Mumbai named the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba as the prime suspect for Tuesday's wave of blasts in India's commercial hub in which almost 200 people were killed.


Photographs of two Muslim suspects, named as Sayyad Zaibuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz, who it was claimed were key operatives in the bombing, were shown on television. The nationalities of the two young bearded men were not given, nor was it clear where the photos — headshots that appeared to have been taken for identification documents — originated.

The news of the delayed talks brought a sharp reaction from Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. He said India should be careful about trying to attribute the attacks to Pakistan-based militants.

"There are attacks in other parts of India. There should not be a knee-jerk reaction that everything happening in India starts in Pakistan," he said.


More HERE

-Buck


Buck




Pa. town passes illegal immigration act

HAZLETON, Pa., July 14 (UPI)

The city council of Hazleton, Pa., has adopted a resolution imposing heavy fines on people who rent property to or hire illegal immigrants.

The council approved the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, proposed by Mayor Louis Barletta, by a 4-1 vote Thursday, the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times Leader reported Friday.

The act, which would also set English as the official language of the city, has sparked controversy in the area.

Members of the Hazleton Area Latino Taskforce, formed to combat the act, called the law "discriminatory, bigoted and racist," the newspaper said

Beaver Meadows, Pa., Mayor Bill Hines has given his support to the ordinance and has said he hopes state and national legislators notice that "Hazleton is stepping up to the plate."

Councilman Robert Nilles, who voted against the act, told the Times Leader he has heard legal opinions "that say we're on dangerous ground."

He said the part of the act that fines landlords for renting to illegal immigrants is in violation of federal programs that mandate housing for mixed families, regardless of legal status.


Story Link

-Buck


Buck




Prospects for Democracy, U.S. Influence, Peace All Seen at Risk

By BOB DEANS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
07/14/2006


Washington --- Israel's two-front conflict with Hezbollah warriors in Lebanon and Hamas Palestinians in the Gaza Strip spotlight how strong a role Syria and Iran play as guerrilla patrons and how weak Lebanon's moderate Western-backed government really is. And, perhaps most ominously, the renewed fighting reveals how fragile democracy is in the Middle East.

President Bush said as much Thursday when speaking about the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, elected 13 months ago amid celebrations on the streets of Beirut.

"My biggest concern is whether or not actions taken will weaken the Siniora government," Bush told reporters traveling with him in Germany. "Democracy in Lebanon is an important part of laying a foundation for peace in that region."

Joshua Landis, assistant professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma, calls the violence a blow to U.S. plans for the region.

"America was counting on Lebanon as a cornerstone for its forward policy in the Middle East --- democracy and winning allies to the U.S. side."


More HERE

-Buck


Buck




House OKs Renewing 1965 Voting Rights Act

Associated Press
By LAURIE KELLMAN , 07.14.2006, 04:34 AM

Passed by the House despite criticism that Southern states were being hounded over their racist past, the 1965 Voting Rights Act now faces similar objections from senators who oppose its federal oversight.

"While we won in the House, the Georgia and Texas senators are going to use the same arguments," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said after watching the House debate from the gallery on Thursday. "In the Senate their power looms larger."

Unlike House members, any senator can hold up passage of a bill by lodging an objection. It wasn't yet clear whether those who want changes to the landmark civil rights legislation would take that hardball approach. But those senators weren't shy about their opposition long before the House passed the bill 390-33 on Thursday.

"I'd like to see some changes," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., noting that the law doesn't expire until next year.

Coburn and other senators have concerns that echo those voiced by conservatives in the House, mostly Southerners, that the renewal as written unfairly punishes states with racist pasts they say have been overcome.


More HERE

-Buck


Buck




LATEST POLL SHOWS AMERICANS WANT DEMOCRATS IN CONTROL AT A CLOSE TO 3/1 MARGIN

By DONNA CASSATA
Associated Press
Posted July 14 2006, 8:59 AM EDT


WASHINGTON -- Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November.

With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule.


Further complicating the GOP outlook to turn things around is a solid percentage of liberals, moderates and even conservatives who say they'll vote Democratic. The party out of power also holds the edge among persuadable voters, a prospect that doesn't bode well for the Republicans.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




IN PALESTINE, COUNTING ON THE U.S. IS COUNTING ON A MIRAGE

The U.S. veto of the U.N. security resolution to stop Israel's violence against the people in the Gaza Strip disgusts me. As I'm sure it disgusts most the world. Too bad Americans don't see what's going on. We are, again, pimping for Israel and allowing them to do whatever they want, be it right or wrong, humane or inhumane. God it makes me sick.


Jerusalem-Ma'an- Palestinian Minister of State for Refugee Affairs, Dr Atef Adwan portrayed the latest American veto in the Security Council against the resolution to stop Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip as shameful and opposed to human values.

Dr Adwan told Ma'an: "This American stance is not new since American support to Israel is a part of the Palestinian problem. Everyone who expects the Americans to solve the Palestinian issue is definitely counting on mirage."

Regarding the Israeli objectives for their aggression, he said: "As the Israelis claim, they want to end resistance both in Gaza and Lebanon in order to pave the way for them to impose their own conditions and interests."


Continue reading here


Question Girl




The Subdudes - Late at Night

Love the dudes.....


Question Girl




Thursday, July 13, 2006

NEWS NEWS NEWS

Hang on to your hats folks....as violence in the Middle East escalates, and the U.S. stands by Israel, no telling what will happen. As the PoetryMan stated When the world is pissed at you they can come from any direction... Hunker down people...the world's coming.



PADILLA CAN VIEW GOVERNMENT SECRETS

So the administration that is so concerned about secrecy has to show a Taco Bell Employee secret documents.


BUSH DEFENDS ISRAEL'S ATTACKS

STOCKS PLUMMET AS OIL NEARS $77 A BARREL

PLAME TO SUE

US VETOES U.N. RESOLUTION TO CONDEMN ISRAEL FOR VIOLENCE

ICRC STATES ISRAEL MUST INSURE BASIC NEEDS FOR PALESTINIANS

Regarding this, isn't there some kind of international law concerning this?

DEMOCRATS CHARGE BUSH'S ASSESSMENT OF SITUATION IN IRAQ DOES NOT MATCH EVENTS ON GROUND


Question Girl




WHAT ABOUT ME

QuestionGirl just sent me this tune from the Quicksilver Messenger Service, and decided to share it here. Have fun!









Buck




JAPAN COURT ORDERS DAMAGES FOR U.S. BASE NOISE

I wonder if the Iraqis know what they're in for with permanent U.S. military bases. Spreading our noise and crime around the world.......Japanese citizens have suffered the consequences of U.S. bases for years and years. And funded it.


Jul 13, 2006 — TOKYO (Reuters) - A Tokyo court on Thursday ordered the Japanese government to pay record damages for aircraft noise pollution to residents around a joint U.S.-Japanese military base southwest of the capital.

The Tokyo High Court ordered the government to pay more than 4 billion yen ($34.70 million) to plaintiffs living around Atsugi base, rejecting an appeal against a lower court's verdict and raising the amount of damages to cover the period of the court battle, Kyodo news agency said.

Noise, pollution and crime associated with U.S. bases make them unpopular with local communities in Japan, which plays host to 50,000 U.S. military personnel.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




FRANCE, RUSSIA CONDEMN ATTACKS ON LEBANON

Why is Isreal so determined to destabilize the Middle East?

Paris and Moscow on Thursday strongly condemned Israel's strikes in Lebanon as a dangerous escalation of the Middle East conflict but Washington, while urging restraint, stated Israel had the right to self defence.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy called Israel's bombardment of Beirut airport "a disproportionate act of war", adding the risk of a regional war "absolutely" existed. On his part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mikhail Kamynin denounced both Israel's attack on Lebanon and its on-going operations against the Palestinian territories.

"The continuing destruction by Israel of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and in Palestinian territory (and) the disproportionate use of force from which civilian populations suffer cannot be understood and justified," he said, according to Reuters.


Read more here


Question Girl




THE ECONOMY IS GREAT.....OR SO THEY SAY

I have a question about these numbers. What about the people who collect unemployment for as long as they can, but still have no job when it runs out? Are these people included in the "continuing jobless claims?" And what about the people who lost higher paying jobs,(i.e., an IT programmer whose job was outsourced) and got new jobs, but are barely surviving on the salary of the new job? So many things not accounted for.....


By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
Last Update: 8:35 AM ET Jul 13, 2006


U.S. weekly jobless claims rise to 332,000
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-time applications for unemployment benefits rose by 19,000 in the latest week to 332,000, the highest since May 27, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The four-week moving average of new claims, meanwhile, rose by 8,750 to 317,250.
Continuing jobless claims fell in the week ending July 1 by 18,000 to 2.4 million. The four-week average of continuing claims rose by 2,000 to 2.4 million, the Labor Department said. It's the highest in three months.


Read the entire article here


Question Girl




MIRTH'S MAGNIFICENT FINDS


In spite of my (almost) atheism, today's picks have a religious flava. One takes beauty and inspiration where they can find it.

The goals of justice and equality and peace and love are unending and the various means of protest to achieve them are as valid today as in our past.
Small actions ripple out to cause larger impact. This is sometimes described as the Butterfly Effect...the notion that the movement of a single butterfly's wing will create a disturbance in the air that becomes amplified as it travels to eventually cause large-scale atmospheric changes. Large actions can become magnificent.

In the summer of 1941 the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters threatened Roosevelt with a 100,000-strong march on Washington to protest the exclusion of Blacks from economic opportunities in the war industry. To prevent it, FDR desegregated defense industries.


Inspired by this earlier event, on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King led the March On Washington. More than 200,000 people protested lack of jobs and freedom. It was at this demonstration that MLK delivered his I Have A Dream speech which still thrills and inspires all people of good heart.

Moved by the march and the speech, a year later Curtis Mayfield wrote the glorious song People Get Ready, sung in this video by Eva Cassidy who died of cancer in her 20s and she spoke of how this song brought her peace during her treatments.

Bob Marley, in turn, was influenced by People Get Ready when he wrote the awesome One Love. If you don't crank this one up and let your eyes fill from the love he had to give you in this music, then today you are not fully alive.

And I am inspired by bravery and marches and speeches and music to give you this:

"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

Now get out there and flap those wings!


Question Girl




Wednesday, July 12, 2006

OPEN THREAD


Going out to the boat to make sure the bilge pump is working....it's been raining cats and dogs here. Tropical wave.... Thought I'd share some pics of the Money Pit. This was when we had her out of the water for some work...and put new engines in. 2 - 5.0 mercruisers. I'll tell you what....a boat yard is a most fascinating place. One good thing about this move.....30 minutes from the sportfishing capital of the world... Islamorada.


Question Girl




IRAQ WAS AWASH IN CASH......


...but little of it was to benefit the Iraqis.

They spend days and days arguing legislation on gays, gambling, flag burning....but none of them give a shit about this.

Morning Edition had a report Tuesday about the investigations that have been opened by the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction where they are looking into the billions of dollars that have just disappeared when handled by Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The story covered how Bremer, who was put in place by the Pentagon, was completely unprepared to manage the post-invasion rebuilding effort and about how many people signed up to volunteer to help but were totally out of their depths as they didn't have the experience needed for this type of reconstruction work. Many only came over for three months or so, worked long hours and then were replace by someone else equally out of their depth. (And, of course, who can forget one of the key "volunteers" for this noble task: Simone Ledeen, the daughter of Michael "Americans Love War" Ledeen, as she and a few of her Heritage Foundation friends struggled to manage the $13 billion dollar budget?)

Within this constantly shifting set of personnel, Bremer had written regulations that were extremely flexible which as we now know were devised to help transform Iraq from a somewhat socialist society to the brave new world of Ayn Rand: the free market unfettered by regulation which would show how the free market creates the best human society.


Read full article here


Question Girl




COMPUTER BREAK INS HIT STATE DEPARTMENT

I'm telling you.....for an administration that has become astute at screening and easedropping and wiretapping.....they sure can't keep their own information safe. They don't even know what was taken in this one. Anyone keeping count on data breaches?

WASHINGTON · The State Department is recovering from large-scale computer break-ins worldwide over the past several weeks that appeared to be aimed at its headquarters and offices dealing with China and North Korea.

Investigators think hackers stole sensitive U.S. information and passwords and implanted backdoors in unclassified government computers to allow them to return at will, said U.S. officials familiar with the hacking.


Read the complete article here


Question Girl




tina turner live in paris 1987 a change is gonna come

A change is gonna come.....please let it come!


Question Girl




U.S. SCOUTS CZECH SITES FOR MISSILE DEFENSE BASE

Whatta ya think?


PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Experts from the United States will arrive in the Czech Republic next week to examine locations for possible U.S. missile-defense base, the Czech Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek said in a statement that a group of experts from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency will arrive in the country on July 18. It did not say how large the delegation would be or where they would visit.

However, the CTK news agency quoted Defense Minister Karel Khuenl as saying that about 20 experts will stay here for a week, and will check sites in three military areas.


Read on here


Question Girl




VIOLENCE STAYS THE COURSE IN IRAQ

BAGHAD, Iraq -- Gunmen stormed a bus station northeast of Baghdad on Wednesday, seizing 24 people and killing all but four of them, authorities said. An Iraqi general said the victims were Shiites, but police said their identities were unclear.

The gunmen arrived in several cars at the bus station in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, about 6 a.m., forced the captives into four vehicles they commandeered at the scene and sped away, officials said.

Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Awad, the commander of the Iraqi army's 5th division, told government television that 20 bodies were later found and the victims were Shiites. He said four people were rescued.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




WEISSMULLER'S FAMILY WANT HIS MEMENTOS

Crazy thing.....I'm a swimmer, this place is right up the road....and I've not been there yet.


FORT LAUDERDALE -- The son of Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller is trying to get his father's medals and other momentous from the International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum.

Johnny Weissmuller Jr., 65, of San Francisco, said his father's will states he should have possession of the items. They include five gold medals, one bronze medal, several photographs, the athlete's swimsuit from the 1928 Olympics and a loin cloth from when Weissmuller played Tarzan on the big screen

Weissmuller Jr.'s wife said they feel the items are not secure at the Hall of Fame.


Read more here


Question Girl




MIRTH'S MAGNIFICENT FINDS


I'm hoping this will be the start of Mirth's daily picks. :-)


WELCOME TO POTTERSVILLE.....MoDo HE LET THE DOGS OUT!

BRADBLOG...ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES

MEXICO ELECTION


Question Girl




Tuesday, July 11, 2006

WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF AFGHANISTAN SUFFERING

Thank you to Mirthy for bringing this article to my attention.


Taliban Use Beheadings and Beatings to Keep Afghanistan's Schools Closed
By Tom Coghlan
The Independent UK

Tuesday 11 July 2006

The letter pinned overnight to the wall of the mosque in Kandahar was succinct. "Girls going to school need to be careful for their safety. If we put acid on their faces or they are murdered then the blame will be on their parents."

Today the local school stands empty, victim of what amounts to a Taliban war on knowledge. The liberal wind of change that swept the country in 2001 is being reversed. By the conservative estimate of the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, 100,000 students have been terrorised out of schools in the past year. The number is certainly far higher and many teachers have been murdered, some beheaded.


Continue reading here


Help Afghan Women


Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan


Question Girl




PINK FLOYD CO-FOUNDER DIES

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Syd Barrett, the troubled founding member of Pink Floyd, has died aged 60, after living the life of a recluse for the last 30 years.

"The band are naturally very upset and sad to learn of Syd Barrett's death," Pink Floyd said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Syd was the guiding light of the early band line-up and leaves a legacy which continues to inspire."


A source close to the band, who did not want to be named, said Barrett died on Friday. Media reports say complications from diabetes were the cause.


Read more here

Also this week, original Commodore's member Milan Williams died.

R.I.P. brothers.....


Question Girl




Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land

Thanks to Zman for bringing this film to my attention.


Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.
Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how--through the use of language, framing and context--the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied terrorities appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one. The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel's PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism, and the relationship between media and politics.


Question Girl




Foo Fighters ft. Chick Corea-Times like these

Taaaaadaaaaaa now I'm done Fat Tony :-)


Question Girl




HUSBAND.....BOOB JOB.....HUSBAND.....BOOB JOB......BOOB JOB WINS OUT

Funny headline, but not a funny story.

By ALLISON HOFFMAN

SAN DIEGO Jul 10, 2006 (AP)— A woman accused of poisoning her Marine husband and using money from his life insurance policy to get her breasts enlarged was a chronic overspender who refused to live within a family budget, witnesses testified Monday.

Cynthia Sommer, 32, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of murdering Sgt. Todd Sommer, 23, in February 2002 for financial gain. Prosecutors haven't decided whether to seek a death sentence.

Read the rest here


Question Girl




PSILOCYBIN......BUSH SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN ON THE STUDY!!!

NEW YORK — People who took an illegal drug made from mushrooms reported profound mystical experiences that led to behavior changes lasting for weeks — all part of an experiment that recalls the psychedelic '60s.

Many of the 36 volunteers rated their reaction to a single dose of the drug, called psilocybin, as one of the most meaningful or spiritually significant experiences of their lives. Some compared it to the birth of a child or the death of a parent.


Read why here


Question Girl




MORE FROM THE GAZA FRONT


Where's the outrage about what's going on in Gaza? Why is the United States media silent about the conflict?

15-month-old baby, critically injured in an Israeli air strike, dies of his wounds
Date: 11 / 07 / 2006 Time: 14:09


Khan Younis- Ma'an – Fifteen month old Khalid Wahbah, who was critically injured in an Israeli air strike on Khan Younis on 21 June, died on Monday in the Israeli hospital where he was receiving treatment.

The infant's body was transferred to his family in Khan Younis on Monday and he will be buried next to his uncle, Zakaria Ahmad, and his aunt, Fatima, who were also killed in the same massacre.

The Israeli air strike targeted the house of the Ahmad family while they were celebrating Zakaria's return from Saudi Arabia after five years of absence.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




AUSTRALIA TO SEND 3.75 MILLION IN AID TO PALESTINE

Where's the rest of the world?

Ma'an- The Australian representative office to the Palestinian Authority has issued the following press release:


$3.75 million to the UNRWA 2006 Emergency Appeal

The Australian Government has announced a package of $3.75 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinian refugees. These funds will be administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) who are currently providing health, education, shelter and food aid to Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza), Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

UNRWA estimate that there are more than four million registered Palestine refugees living in the Middle East including more than one and a half million living in the Palestinian territories.


Read the full article here


Question Girl




IRAN WILL ANSWER WHEN IRAN WANTS TO ANSWER

Jul 11, 2006 — By Parisa Hafezi and Mark John

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator rebuffed Western pressure for an immediate answer to an offer of incentives to suspend uranium enrichment ahead of crucial talks with the European Union on Tuesday.

The United States, which accuses Tehran of secretly working to build nuclear weapons, has demanded a clear Iranian response before next weekend's summit of Group of Eight industrialized nations in Russia or face possible U.N. Security Council action.

But Ali Larijani told reporters before he met EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana for a second round of talks in five days: "We have expressed our view regarding the deadline. We are not used to acting before thinking."


Continue reading here


Question Girl




VAN HIJACKED, 1O KILLED

This is just one little story. There's so many of them out there everyday. You know, I've been reading about the swiftboating of John Murtha. John Murtha said a long time ago that Iraq was entrenched in a civil war and our troops were stuck in the middle of it. Ahhhhh how long before the knuckleheads ruining our country are going to admit he was right and get us the fuck out of there????? It gets worse and worse day by day. The government is in place....our job is done.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen in Baghdad intercepted a minivan carrying a coffin to the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Tuesday, killing all 10 people on board, police said. Another five people were killed in a double bombing at a restaurant near the Green Zone.
The van was attacked in the volatile southern neighborhood of Dora by gunmen in two cars, police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said, providing the casualty toll.

Mahmoud and Capt. Firas Qeiti said those killed were Shiites taking a coffin to be buried in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, a common practice among Shiites.

A parked car bomb followed by a suicide attacker on foot struck a restaurant frequented by police, said Lt. Mohammed Khayoun, giving the casualty toll.


Read the rest here


Question Girl




KYRGYZSTAN TO EXPEL 2 U.S. DIPLOMATS

Tuesday July 11, 2006 12:31 PM


BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) - Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry has decided to expel two U.S. diplomats from this ex-Soviet republic for ``inappropriate'' contacts with nongovernment organizations, an official said Tuesday.

Tursunbek Akun, head of the official Human Rights Commission, said the diplomats remain in the country for now.

A U.S. Embassy official confirmed the expulsion decision on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media. An embassy statement said ``reports'' of the expulsion of its two diplomats were ``simply not true.''

``This can be seen as an attempt to intimidate embassies and silence the voice of civil society,'' the statement said.

The embassy said it would continue to maintain contact with all sectors of Kyrgyz society, including opposition and nongovernmental organizations.

``It is difficult to see how the expulsion of U.S. diplomats without grounds would serve the long-term interest of Kyrgyzstan,'' it said.

The two nations plan a final round of talks starting Wednesday on a payment dispute that threatens the future of the U.S. military base in the impoverished nation of 5 million.

Kyrgyzstan had proposed $200 million - a tenfold increase in annual payments - for use of the base, which has supported U.S.-led operations in nearby Afghanistan since 2001.


Read more about this here


Question Girl




PREJUDICE REARS ITS UGLY HEAD IN FLORIDA GOVERNOR'S RACE

By Gregory Lewis
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted July 10 2006


The Rev. O'Neal Dozier, a controversial member of the Broward Judicial Nominating Committee, has resigned the post after he said Gov. Jeb Bush's office asked him to step down.

Dozier, whose recent comments about Islam in a news release and on a radio talk show sparked outrage among Muslims, said Monday he did not talk to Bush, but he said the governor's office was unhappy with his remarks. The committee, which Dozier has been on since 2001, nominates judges in South Florida.

"I was asked to resign," Dozier said, declining to say who specifically made the request. Dozier said he submitted his letter of resignation Sunday.

Dozier, 57, is a key figure in Republican Charlie Crist's effort to reach black voters in the attorney general's race for governor.


Read the rest of the ugly story here


Question Girl




MEDICARE DRUG PLAN A TOTAL MESS.

By Bob LaMendola
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Health Writer
Posted July 11 2006


Phone counselors for 10 of the nation's large Medicare drug plans gave wrong or incomplete answers in two-thirds of calls to their 800 numbers, a federal watchdog agency reported Monday.

In a slap at Medicare's prescription drug benefit, the Government Accountability Office said erroneous answers by customer-service counselors might have led beneficiaries to choose the wrong coverage and overpay for medicine.


Read more here


Question Girl




Monday, July 10, 2006

McCAIN/BUSH O8.........IT COULD HAPPEN


Jeb Bush dodges question on being McCain's running mate

Associated Press
Posted July 10 2006, 4:46 PM EDT


TALLAHASSEE -- Jeb Bush has frequently said he won't run for president in 2008, but he's never ruled out being on the ticket as someone's running mate.

And he didn't Monday when asked about teaming up with Arizona Sen. John McCain as Republicans hope to come up with a ticket to keep the White House _ now occupied by Bush's older brother, President George W. Bush

``I like Sen. McCain. I think he's a good guy,'' Bush told reporters after returning from a holiday in Maine with his family. Any potential GOP nominee would covet the 27 electoral votes in Florida where Bush enjoys a high job approval rating among voters as he nears the end of his second term.

It was the 25 electoral votes Florida held in 2000 that sent the current president into office _ by a scant 537-vote margin of more than 6 million cast in the state.

Bush, 53, would also provide some age balance on such a ticket. McCain turns 70 next month.

When prodded about the likelihood of a McCain-Bush ticket, Bush hedged just slightly.

``There's all sorts of time to worry about the 2008 election,'' he said.

Bush is prohibited from seeking a third consecutive term as governor by Florida law.


Question Girl




AMERICA'S SAVINGS HOAX EXPOSED

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch



ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- OK, let's stop the charade and admit the truth. Why does America have a zero savings rate? Because America has no savings policy. Period. For more than a decade, Washington, Wall Street and Corporate America have favored a national spending policy at the expense of a national savings policy.
So when these policymakers tell us to "save more," they're happy-face hypocrites hiding their real goals. They really want you to spend, not save!
In pure economic terms, the choice is simple. You can't save and spend too. And especially since the 2000-02 recession, our policymakers have consistently voted in favor of spending, not saving. So read my lips: America's savings policy is a fake, bogus, phony, fraudulent, bankrupt and, oh yes, non-existent. Why? Because our policymakers don't want you to save, they want you to spend, spend no matter how deep you go into debt. Ignore their rhetoric, watch their actions.
No wonder the new Securities Industry Association report on retirement savings stands out like a sore thumb: From the 1950s through the 1980s, Americans were saving over 10% annually. Since then, our spirit of thrift spiraled into a negative savings rate.


Read the full article here


Question Girl




ACLU VS. NSA

Government attorneys continued Monday to argue that state secrets would be breached if a lawsuit challenging President Bush's domestic spying program is heard in federal court.


U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor listened to arguments, but gave no indication of whether she would dismiss the case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the National Security Agency.


It was the second hearing in the case. The two sides faced off for the first time June 12.


The ACLU is asking for an immediate halt to the warrantless domestic surveillance program, arguing that it violates the rights to free speech and privacy. A similar lawsuit has been filed in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights.


The government counters that the program is well within the president's authority, but proving that would require revealing state secrets.


Go here to read the rest.


Question Girl




$80 MILLION FOR A FREE CUBA

I have many thoughts about this.....what are yours?


U.S. government calls for $80 million to hasten change in Cuba

By ANITA SNOW
Associated Press
Posted July 10 2006, 3:55 PM EDT


HAVANA -- A U.S. presidential commission on Monday urged Washington to spend $80 million to help nongovernment groups in Cuba and to break the communist government's ``blockade'' on outside information.

The recommendations by the Presidential Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba come just as Fidel Castro's Cuban government is moving to strengthen its leadership and institutions to ensure the status quo.

U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice released the commission report during a Washington news conference that international journalists in Havana followed by teleconference.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




FIRST KATRINA INSURANCE LAWSUIT OPENS TODAY

My hopes and prayers are with the Leonards. I hope they win this one!!

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
The Associated Press

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A trial set to open here Monday is expected to be the first legal test of the wind-versus-water debate that has pitted thousands of Gulf Coast policyholders against their insurance companies since Hurricane Katrina.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Pascagoula police officer against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. after the insurer refused to cover damage to his home, will be heard by a federal judge, not a jury.

The case is believed to be the first Katrina-related insurance suit to be tried since the storm roared ashore Aug. 29 and destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of Gulf Coast homes.

Police Lt. Paul Leonard and his wife, Julie, claim Nationwide denied their claim without thoroughly investigating whether Katrina's wind or "storm surge" was responsible for the damage to their house, which is several hundred yards from the Mississippi Sound.


Continue reading here


Question Girl




POETIC JUSTICE (other people's videos): Israeli/Palestinian Conflict (documentary)

POETIC JUSTICE (other people's videos): Israeli/Palestinian Conflict (documentary)


Question Girl




SCHEUER CRITICIZES SHUTDOWN OF BIN LADEN UNIT

The man who led America's hunt for Osama bin Laden has said the CIA was wrong to disband the only unit devoted entirely to the terrorist leader's pursuit - just at a time when al-Qaida is reasserting its influence over global jihad.

Shutting down the Bin Laden unit squandered 10 years of expertise in the war on terror, said Michael Scheuer, who founded the unit in 1995 and arguably knows more about Bin Laden than any other western intelligence official. He believes the unit was dismantled because of bureaucratic jealousies within the CIA, and that the closure delivers a further setback to a pursuit that has been squeezed for resources for the past two years.

"What it robs you of is a critical mass of officers who have been working on this together for a decade," he told the Guardian. "We had a breed of specialists rare in an intelligence community that prides itself on generalists. It provided a base from which to build a cadre of people specialising in attacking Sunni extremist operations, who sacrificed promotions and other emoluments in their employment in the clandestine service, where specialists were looked on as nerds."


Continue reading here


Question Girl




VOTERS DON'T PICK CANDIDATES, CANDIDATES PICK VOTERS

Laredo wonders if Cuellar, Bonilla or both will ultimately represent it


By JOHN W. GONZALEZ and R.G. RATCLIFFE
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

LAREDO - The small businesses and low-income neighborhoods along bustling Saunders Street look about the same on either side of the road, but an invisible line up the center stripe puts them in two distinct political realms.

Cakeland Bakery, with its tiers of white wedding cakes gracing its windows, is on the south side of the street in the district of freshman U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, the city's first locally based congressman in 22 years.

North across the street is the Narvaez Beef Store, marked by the life-size black bull that towers over it on a pole. Narvaez is in the territory of U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-San Antonio, an influential, 13-year House member with a district stretching to El Paso.

Webb County had all been in Bonilla's 23rd District until 2003 when Republicans in the Legislature redrew the district to divide Laredo in half to diminish its influence in elections. The result was Bonilla won re-election in 2004, and Cuellar won in a new district dominated by half of Laredo.


Read more here


Question Girl




DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE, DOUBLE YOUR.......

This is bizaare.....


Polish President Lech Kaczynski has appointed his twin brother, Jaroslaw, as prime minister, the president's office has said.
It comes shortly after Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz resigned from the post following reports of a rift.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski will have to be approved by parliament before he can take up his duties.

The development will make the Kaczynski brothers the world's only twins to hold the two highest posts in any country.


Jaroslaw Kaczynski leads the Law and Justice party, which won parliamentary elections last September.

At the time, he said it would not be right for the brothers to take the top two government posts in Poland.

Mr Marcinkiewicz is expected to run for mayor of Warsaw later this year, a job previously held by Lech Kaczynski.

Over recent weeks, there had been frequent reports of a rift between Mr Marcinkiewicz and Jaroslaw Kaczynski over economic policy.


Question Girl




Sunday, July 09, 2006

Taj Mahal Mailbox Blues

Sunday night.....a long damn week.....time for some blues.


Question Girl




AND THIS ISN'T A CIVIL WAR???


Baghdad Erupts in Mob Violence

By KIRK SEMPLE
Published: July 10, 2006
BAGHDAD, July 9 — A mob of gunmen went on a brazen daytime rampage through a predominantly Sunni Arab district of western Baghdad on Sunday, pulling people from their cars and homes and killing them in what officials and residents called a spasm of revenge by Shiite militias for the bombing of a Shiite mosque on Saturday. Hours later, two car bombs exploded beside a Shiite mosque in another Baghdad neighborhood in a deadly act of what appeared to be retaliation
.

Read more about the continuing violence here


Question Girl




WHAT ABOUT GAZA?

A badly injured 12-year-old Palestinian boy described yesterday how his family were barbecuing corn on the cob in the backyard of their home when it was struck by a missile which killed his mother, older brother and six-year-old sister.

The Hajaj household was the first civilian family to suffer such losses since the beginning of the military campaign in Gaza mounted by Israeli forces 12 days ago in response to the capture of a 19-year-old Israeli soldier.


Read he entire article here


Question Girl




INSIDE THE ANTI-US RESISTANCE

Inside the anti-US resistance
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

Osama Bin Laden is ill and invisible, but five years after September 11, 2001, his al-Qaeda movement has become the fulcrum of a global, Islamic resistance against the United States.

Asia Times Online has learned from an operative close to the al-Qaeda leadership that bin Laden languishes on a dialysis machine, in rapidly declining health.

"Sheikh [Osama] was in a poor condition when my father last visited," said the operative, who uses the name "Abdullah". Abdullah's father, known as Sheikh Ibrahim, is number two after Tahir Yuldeshev in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IUM), a
group closely allied with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and operating in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.


Read more here


Question Girl




TWISTS AND TURNS OF RENDITION SCANDAL

On June 1, a senior Italian intelligence official placed a call from a public telephone booth to a fellow spy to discuss an investigation into the alleged kidnapping by the CIA of a radical Egyptian cleric in 2003.

The Italian spies were also under investigation, for complicity in the abduction of the imam, who was seized on a Milan street and sent to his native Egypt to be interrogated and imprisoned.

In a country where police officers and spies tap more than 100,000 phone lines each year, Gustavo Pignero, the former chief of military counterespionage at the Italian intelligence agency, apparently ignored the obvious - that investigators were listening in.

Pignero told his successor at the agency, Marco Mancini, that he had admitted to prosecutors that "Yankee" officers had asked the Italians to "identify and check out" the imam, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr.

Mancini began to fret. The Central Intelligence Agency, both men knew, had not only actually wanted to watch the suspect but also "actually wanted to seize this guy." He insisted, "I told my men that it was an illegal activity, and then I said no to this illegal activity."


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MAURY REID, TUSKEGEE AIRMAN DIES RIP

Reid, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, dies in St. Petersburg at 81

The Associated Press
Posted July 9 2006, 6:39 PM EDT


SARASOTA -- Maury Reid, one of the Tuskegee Airmen who were the nation's first black military pilots, has died. He was 81.

Reid died July 4 at Bay Pines Medical Center in St. Petersburg after a long illness, his son said Sunday.


He was born in Harlem, N.Y., and graduated with the 44G class at the Air Force program for black pilots in Tuskegee, Ala.

``He signed up before he finished high school,'' said Yenwith Whitney, who trained with Reid at Tuskegee.


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WRITE YOUR OWN CAPTION


Question Girl




carole king-so far away

I'm still missing my family. For whatever reason, I'm feeling very alone this week. Maybe the holiday....maybe the move....
Rough week..... a little Carol King.....such a talent.


Question Girl




CLICK CLICK CLICK .....THE NUMBER JUST KEEPS GOING UP


3 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, more sectarian violence in Baghdad

By BUSHRA JUHI
The Associated Press
Posted July 8 2006, 9:52 AM EDT


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Three American soldiers were killed Saturday in fighting in the western province of Anbar, the U.S. military said. They were the first U.S. fatalities reported in Iraq in four days and only the eighth so far this month.

A U.S. statement said the three were assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and died due to ``enemy action'' in the predominantly Sunni Arab province. No further details were released.


Also Saturday, gunmen in two cars stopped a vehicle in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood, forced the two passengers to get out and killed them in front of horrified bystanders, according to police Lt. Maithem Abdel-Razaq.


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Question Girl




FLORIDA BOATING.....ALWAYS INTERESTING


1 dead, 4 injured after go-fast boat rams Coast Guard vessel

By Kelli Kennedy
The Associated Press
Posted July 8 2006, 4:41 PM EDT


MIAMI -- A woman died and four others were injured early Saturday after an overloaded go-fast boat repeatedly rammed a U.S. Coast Guard vessel off the Florida Keys, authorities said.

The Coast Guard attempted to intercept the 36-foot go-fast boat with 31 Cubans and 3 smugglers aboard around 6:30 a.m., Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer James Judge said.

The boat ignored orders to stop about 40 miles south of Key West and rammed into the Coast Guard vessel more than five times, Judge said. Coast Guard officials then fired two shots into the vessel's engine to disable it, he said.


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Question Girl




KATRINA TATOOS

Wonder if anyone has one of a Fema Trailer......oh wait....they just got those in the 9th ward last week....

By Stacey Plaisance
The Associated Press
Posted July 8 2006


NEW ORLEANS · Sean Jeffries never thought he'd feel so strongly about something that he'd permanently mark his body with a tattoo. But that was before he and some friends were trapped in a city that spiraled into chaos after Hurricane Katrina.

Two weeks after being rescued by a caravan of buses led by the National Guard, he and two friends got small matching hurricane symbol tattoos.


"We went through a lot," said Jeffries, a 38-year-old banker whose blue tattoo is on the upper portion of his right arm. "I'll probably never get another tattoo, but this one means something to me."


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Question Girl




CLINTON, POWELL AND KEN LAY

This administration has made a conspiracy theorist out of me......


(CBS/AP) Police say former Secretary of State Colin Powell was briefly hospitalized early Friday after he fell ill at a restaurant where he was dining with a group including former President Clinton.

Aspen police Sgt. Bill Linn said the four-star general told him it appeared to be a combination of altitude sickness and something he ate.

"He is conscious and in very good spirits," Linn said shortly before Powell was released from Aspen Valley Hospital at 1:45 a.m. Linn said Powell asked him to speak with reporters.

Powell's secretary, Peggy Cifrino, said that Powell called her at 2:30am EDT to tell her that he was fine, CBS News' Charlie Wolfson reports.

A nursing supervisor at the hospital, where former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay was rushed to and pronounced dead early Wednesday, refused to comment.

Powell, 69, was in Colorado for the Aspen Ideas Festival, a conference in its second year that invites some of the world's leading thinkers.


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