Monday, February 28, 2005

"Cheeseburger Bill" Aims To Curb Fast Food Lawsuits

Munching on candy, cheese and ice cream, lawmakers on a House panel unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that would prevent overweight people from suing restaurants, food companies or farmers for their health problems. Saying the court system is "as clogged as cholesterol-filled arteries," Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, said his bill would prevent frivolous lawsuits by people seeking damages for their weight problems. He said he expects the legislation to pass the full House. Fourteen states have already enacted similar "cheeseburger bills." In a nod to Minnesota's agricultural background, Urdahl's proposal shields food growers and producers, as well as restaurants, food processors, packers, distributors and marketers. The only opposition came from the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, whose president, Katherine Flom, said the legislation would give food businesses wide-ranging immunity from consumer complaints. "Do you want Burger King to be your king?" she asked. But another trial lawyer, Joe Price from Faegre and Benson, said litigation will entail significant costs without solving the country's weight problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that almost two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. Minnesota has yet to see lawsuits seeking damages from food sellers for obesity and related health problems. Urdahl said he expects such suits to come unless his bill is passed. The legislation isn't intended to prevent consumers from suing food makers for fraud if products are labeled incorrectly, he added. Support for the bill crossed party lines. Both Republicans and Democrats on the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee also relished Urdahl's calorie-packed snacks during the hearing, with chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, asking Urdahl to pass the ice cream. The cheeseburger bill died last year because it was introduced too late for committee hearings. It now heads to the House Civil Law and Elections Committee.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Indian Teen's Fraud NASA Claim.

An Indian teenager from one of the country's most backward states appears to have fooled governments, the media and even the president into believing he had topped the world in a NASA science exam. In a country hungry for international recognition, 17-year-old Saurabh Singh was feted as a national hero after announcing he had won NASA's International Scientist Discovery examination, which he said he took at Oxford University. The Uttar Pradesh state government rewarded him with a 500,000 rupee ($11,500) prize and more than 100 members of the state's upper house each donated a day's salary to him. But as he was at the president's official residence awaiting an audience during the week, his story unravelled. An Indian news portal,, contacted NASA, which denied any knowledge of the exam. "Right now, no one knows where this examination comes from," Rediff quoted NASA education official Dwayne Brown saying. A meeting planned with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was hastily called off and the boy returned to his village of Narhai, where he is now under police investigation. Singh had also said President Abdul Kalam and Indian astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who died in the Columbia shuttle explosion in 2003, had sat the test. Kalam's office denies this. Singh insists he met Kalam, although some Indian newspapers say the meeting was cancelled as he waited to go in. "It was really inspiring," Singh told Reuters by phone. "And let me tell you, he saw my certificate and praised me for the achievement, while you all are asking all kinds of questions and trying to dub me as a fraud." The certificate, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, declared "You are the member of NASA" (sic) and is signed by Singh and "Chief of NASA, Cin K. Kif" -- NASA's former administrator was Sean O'Keefe. It also lists the name of Singh's father, common practice in Indian documents. Singh says he flew to London on Indian Airlines -- which does not fly to the city -- and took a taxi to Oxford University and back every day for the exam from January 4-8, a round trip of about 230 km (140 miles). Singh told Reuters he stayed in a hotel, but told a Hindi language newspaper he stayed at Buckingham Palace. The Indian school where he says he sat the preliminary exam along with 200,000 others does not exist. The Bansal institute, where he says he studied mathematics, has never heard of him. Singh cannot produce his passport to back his claim. That, he says, is with institute director P.K. Bansal. "How can we possess his passport when we don't even know him?" Saturday's The Indian Express quoted Bansal saying.
From being a school idol to a first rate fraud, 17-year-old
Saurabh Singh
has made a long journey.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

No Missile Defense For Canada.

Canada declared on Thursday that it refuses to participate in U.S. missile defense system. The Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin’s rejection was taken by some as a manifestation of personal dislike of Canadians for President Bush and his administration’s project to shoot down missiles headed toward the United States. He had earlier favored signing on to the system. "We are announcing today that Canada will not take part in the proposed ballistic missile defence system," Martin. Martin’s announcement signifies that Canada will not participate in erecting the system, its financing or operating. Although the United States are able to work on the system by themselves, Canada’s refusal is seen as support for U.S. opponents of the project, who have similar concerns about the project’s cost, practicality and scope. "However, BMD (ballistic missile defence) is not where we will concentrate our efforts. Instead, we will act both alone and with our neighbours on defence priorities outlined in yesterday’s budget," said the Canadian Prime Minister. "We will continue to work in partnership with our southern neighbors on the common defense of North America," he added. "However, ballistic missile defense is not where we will concentrate our efforts." "One ramification of this is potentially some added tension on one of the other issues affecting Canada-U.S. relations, especially trade," [John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal] "What this underscores is that there are limits to the fence mending that the president is trying to do with Canada and with countries in the European Union. And for now, this is mainly a political blow for the Americans,” he said. "They want support. They want other countries to be seen as embracing this very controversial system." But Canada refused. Ottawa’s decision marks the second time in recent years that Canada has refused to back U.S. military plans. The Canadian government's decision to opt out of the contentious U.S. missile defence program will freeze Canada out of critical decision-making in its own defence, says Norad's former deputy chief. "Canadians will not have any participation in the actual decision-making or the rules of engagement or anything to do with ballistic missile defence," the former vice-chief of defence staff and now a consultant says.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ward Churchill Has Bad Breath From All The Bull Shit He Spits Out

Isn't it ironic that a man who trampled on the free speech rights of Italian-Americans marching in the Columbus Day parade, now hides behind the First Amendment to save his job at the University of Colorado? Let's make one thing clear: this is not a First Amendment issue. As an American citizen, Ward Churchill can defame the memory of Americans murdered on 9/11 and spew his brand of mindless bile without fear of legal prosecution because the First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws that abridge his freedom of speech. But this isn't a criminal matter; it's an employment issue, and his employer, CU-Boulder, should be free to fire him for his hateful, absurd and grossly insensitive utterances. Liberty is not license. Freedom of speech is not absolute.

In a recent Denver Square strip by Rocky Mountain News editorial cartoonist, Ed Stein, the ever-liberal mom character is complaining about Gov. Bill Owens' criticism of potty-mouthed University of Colorado Indian pretender Ward Churchill. Even though mom is outraged at Churchill's ravings, she thinks it's even worse that government might decide which ideas can come out of our state university. As usual, liberal mom is emoting, not reasoning. The University of Colorado is a government enterprise. What happens there is a legitimate matter of public policy. CU has an elected board of regents accountable, first and foremost, to the citizens who put them in office. The administrators and faculty are employees, not owners. The school belongs to the people of this state. At the heart of the Churchill dispute is the question of accountability. In their supreme arrogance, the tenured-left professoriate wishes to be insulated from outside scrutiny, accountable to no one. They see themselves as philosopher kings, oracles dispensing their great thoughts to the unenlightened masses. If Churchill is any example, lunacy, paranoia, hysteria and hate are now masquerading as wisdom. If they want autonomy, if they want to make their own rules and do their own thing, let them start their own university and acquire their own funding. As long as they suck at the public teat, the public is wholly within its rights to attach strings to such funding. The higher education establishment can't have it both ways. I have no interest in giving such people a blank check, either intellectually or financially. Owens is right to criticize. The inmates simply can't be trusted to run roughshod over the institution. The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. The CU Regents are not Congress. They can and should exercise their authority. And CU's tenure provisions aren't a law; they're policy. Freedom of speech is not absolute and neither is academic freedom. The assertion that CU instructors, as government employees, are free to say whatever they want with impunity stretches the First Amendment out of all recognition. Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein cites Waters v. Churchill and Jeffries v. Harleston as case-law precedents dispelling this notion. In Jeffries, a federal court upheld the demotion of a radical, black studies professor at the City College of New York who repeatedly spewed anti-white and anti-Semitic rants. There are appropriate boundaries of reasoned discourse, propriety, professionalism and decency that justifiably restrict speech in a college environment. When people violate those boundaries, be they teachers or students, there are consequences. Students who have been sentenced to remedial courses of sensitivity or diversity training for politically incorrect speech know this only too well. For leftist administrators and faculty members who have encouraged or countenanced this kind of Maoist reprogramming, ironically, the chickens - in the immortal words of Ward Churchill - have come home to roost. This time, however, with justification. Some Churchill critics have plausibly argued that he shouldn't be fired; that he does more damage to the radical-left cause by staying at CU as an object of scorn and ridicule; that firing him would only make him a martyr. There's some merit to this position. But a martyr to whom? To like-minded sycophants and malcontents? Who cares what they think? I look forward to the day when Churchill's hero, Osama bin Laden, can be promoted from living mass murderer to dead martyr. The problem is that if Churchill isn't fired, he and his apologists can claim that his preposterous ideas have been validated as legitimate academic thought. It would also perpetuate the myth that this kind of speech is protected by the First Amendment, academic freedom or tenure. This is a great opportunity to settle that issue all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. If he's fired, let him sue. I look forward to it. There are those of us who've been fighting the tyranny of the tenured left for years. The best part of this Churchill incident is that it's raised the level of consciousness of a great many Coloradans who hadn't been sufficiently sensitive to this issue in the past. Churchill is just the tip of the iceberg at CU and other state schools. If he's fired, and even more so if he's not, the public mood may now be ripe for tackling the bigger issues like tenure reform; the pruning of frivolous departments such as Churchill's; and the woeful underrepresentation of mainstream conservatives on faculty.
Let's roll!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pope Rushed to Hospital With Relapse

Pope John Paul II was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance Thursday suffering fever and congestion from a relapse of the flu, the Vatican said. The 84-year-old pontiff had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis that sent him to Gemelli Polyclinic on Feb. 1, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, the pope made his longest public appearance since being discharged from the clinic two weeks ago. Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope was taken to the Rome hospital for "necessary specialized assistance and further tests." He was taken by ambulance at 10:45 a.m., officials said. Vatican officials played down the seriousness of the hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope's age is always at risk from the flu. The pope also has Parkinson's disease and crippling knee and hip ailments. But aides said on condition of anonymity that the pope had a fever, congestion and had suffered a relapse of breathing problems. The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the pope arrived conscious at Gemelli in a private ambulance. He was taken inside in a stretcher, the report said, and quoted people who saw him enter the hospital as saying his face looked "quite relaxed." The news agency said he did not need a tube inserted into his windpipe to assist breathing.

The Plot To Assassinate The President

An American man who spent 20 months in a Saudi jail on suspicion of terrorism has been charged with conspiring to kill the US President, George Bush, in an alleged al-Qaeda plot. According to the indictment, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, conspired with al-Qaeda members in Saudi Arabia to carry out the assassination, either by getting "close enough to the President to shoot him on the street" or with a car bomb. The US lawyer leading the prosecution, Paul McNulty, said Ali had "turned his back on America" and "now stands charged with some of the most serious offences our nation can bring against supporters of terrorism". The indictment does not say what evidence the prosecution has against Ali, other than the FBI's discovery of al-Qaeda literature, gun magazines and general information about surveillance and counter-surveillance at his home in Falls Church, a Washington suburb. The charges brought to the US District Court in Washington on Tuesday provoked laughter from more than a hundred of Ali's supporters, and were later rejected by his father, Omar, who said they had been "cooked". One of his lawyers, Ashraf Nubani, said his client had been tortured while in a Saudi prison. "He has the evidence on his back. He was whipped," the Associated Press quoted Mr Nubani as telling the court. Ali, who was born in Texas and came top of his high school class in Virginia, was picked up by the Saudi authorities in Medina in June 2003, a month after a wave of al-Qaeda bomb attacks against residential compounds for foreigners in Riyadh. His family and supporters mounted a lawsuit last July demanding he be released or charged. They claimed his arrest had been initiated by the US and that the US was keeping him in Saudi Arabia "to avoid constitutional scrutiny by US courts". The lawsuit triggered a court battle with the Administration over its use of secret evidence against Ali. Under legal pressure, the US State Department presented a formal request to the Saudi Government last month either to charge Ali, or allow him to be brought back to the US.
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali
A.K.A. Lil' Punk

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Coming Soon To America???

SOBBING 31-stone Chris Leppard was dragged off to a mental hospital against his will by meddling social workers and police. Chris, 23, has been forcibly detained for a month because he cannot stop eating. The authorities used powers normally used to detain mentally ill people who might harm themselves or others. They locked him up despite the fact neither he nor his family wanted him to go. Last night Chris’s furious mother Anne said he has no mental problems and was winning his fight against the rare illness that compels him to eat. Chris’s case was condemned by opponents of a nanny state. They asked whether others with life-threatening addictions could be next. Mum Anne, 49, told of the agonising moment the ambulance came to take Chris — without warning. She said: “Four people turned up and after some questions, said they were taking him away. Chris was really upset, crying, saying he didn’t want to go and that he wasn’t mental. “We didn’t know they were coming to take him. He is being punished for being ill. He has a physical problem. He was working well towards losing weight. “He asked social services to give him six months to prove he could lose weight. They didn't give him six days. I had stopped giving him money for food. For the first time in years we were getting somewhere. We had locked food cupboards, that was a big step.” Chris, of Hastings, East Sussex, suffers from an incurable condition called Prader-Willi Syndrome. It means he can’t tell when his stomach is full and could eat so much that it will kill him. East Sussex social services intervened after Chris appeared in a BBC1 documentary last month.
Chris was dragged
off in tears by authorities

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mother Nature Takes Out More Muslims

A powerful earthquake toppled mud-built homes and flattened villages in central Iran on Tuesday, killing at least 270 people and injuring 950, officials and state-run television said. A senior official said the death toll could top 350. TV footage showed residents frantically digging through piles of debris looking for loved ones following the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, which struck at 5:55 a.m. While homes made of mud collapsed, buildings of cement appeared not to sustain heavy damage. Survivors pleaded for help finding the buried: "What a catastrophe. Please help us," one said. Rain was hampering rescue efforts. The quake's epicenter was on the outskirts of Zarand, a town of about 15,000 people located 35 miles northwest of Kerman, the capital of Kerman province, said the seismological unit of Tehran University's Geophysics Institute. The mountainous area is in the same province but northwest of Bam, where a quake killed 26,000 people in 2003. "All hospitals in Zarand are filled to capacity with the injured. Hospitals in the town cannot receive any more of the injured,"

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bin Laden Arrested?

Iran denied Monday suggestions on some local Internet sites that it arrested Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the Western world's most wanted man, on the border with Pakistan. "This information is wrong and bin Laden has not been arrested by our security forces," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said at a weekly press briefing. Some Iranian Internet sites quoted American officials as saying the Al-Qaeda leader, who has a 25-million-dollar US bounty on his head, had been arrested two weeks ago by Iranian forces. The Saudi-born militant is blamed for the September 11, 2001 terror strikes on the United States and a string of other attacks around the world.

Hunter S. Thompson Commits Suicide

Hunter S. Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Woody Creek on Sunday night. He was 67. Regarded as one of the most legendary writers of the 20th century, Thompson is best known for the 1972 classic "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." He is also credited with pioneering gonzo journalism - a style of writing that breaks tradition rules of news reporting and is purposefully slanted. Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, who is a close personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death. His son, Juan, found him Sunday evening. "On Feb. 20, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson took his life with a gunshot to the head at his fortified compound in Woody Creek, Colorado. The family will shortly provide more information about memorial service and media contacts. Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family," Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the public
Hunter S. Thompson, June 21, 2004

Tax Issues:

Sometimes Politicians can exclaim; "It's just a tax cut for
the rich!", and it is just accepted to be fact. But what does
that really mean? Just in case you are not completely clear on this
issue, we hope the following will help.Tax Cuts - A Simple Lesson In EconomicsThis is how the cookie crumbles. Please read it carefully.Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day,

ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If
they paid

their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh $7.

The eighth $12.

The ninth $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. So, that's what they decided to do.The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite
happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them
a curve."Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm
going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted
to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for
free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could
they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair
share'?The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the
sixth man would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal. So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce
each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to
work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the
men began to compare their savings."I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth
man. He pointed to the tenth man "but he got $10!""Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man "I
only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more
than me!""That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should
he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!""Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison.
"We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the
nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay
the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have
enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is
how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get
the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack
them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table
anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

South Korea Ready for Northern Nukes

Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said Thursday the military had been ready for North Korean nuclear weapons for years, including with operational plans.
But Yoon told reporters at the Ministry of Defense that Pyongyang would have difficulty using the weapons even if it has them because firing them on the peninsula could mean its own destruction. The situation was therefore different from when atomic bombs were dropped on Japan at the end of the Pacific War, he added. Yoon quoted experts as saying that if North Korea were to use nuclear weapons, it would need to use Russian-made IL-28 bombers capable of carrying ordinance weighing up to 3.5 tons. But North Korea’s presumed A-bombs are believed to weigh 4 tons or more, making them too heavy. Asked about South Korea's ability to intercept missiles, Yoon said the U.S. military set up adequate Patriot counter-missile batteries around the country, permanently ready to launch in the event of a North Korean missile attack or other contingencies. The US has deployed some 64 Patriot missiles in Osan, Suwon, Gunsan and Gwangju.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Clergy Call For New Taxes

A Democratic state senator and four of the state's top religious leaders said Thursday that the Legislature should ignore Gov. Tim Pawlenty's oft-stated "no new taxes" pledge and increase state income tax rates. They said the governor's blanket refusal to consider new taxes ignores thousands of poor and vulnerable state residents who will suffer from Pawlenty's proposal to slow down funding for some health care programs. "We believe it is just and proper to raise income taxes justly and equitable based on every individual's ability to pay," said Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. "Minnesotans have always shown great love and compassion for their brothers and sisters in need." Flynn was joined by Bishop Peter Rogness of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rabbi Aaron Brusso of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka; and Imam Hamdy El-Sawaf of the Islamic Center of Minnesota. While none in the group said they were questioning Pawlenty's own morals, they were unequivocal in their condemnation of his refusal to consider tax increases.
O.K. If religious leaders are now political activists, I belive we should grant their wish.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Defense Secretary Makes Case For Funding Missile Defense

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged Thursday that installing a planned missile-defense system would not serve as a deterrent to nations considering such an attack on the United States unless the system works. Until now, Rumsfeld and senior military officers have argued that even if the system is not fully functioning, installing it while continuing to test would convince potential foes not to attempt a strike. "It strikes me as a little odd that we would deploy a system that hasn't succeeded and expect that to serve a deterrent value," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., told Rumsfeld during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I agree with that point, that there's no deterrent if something is known to not work," Rumsfeld said. But Rumsfeld also said the best way to develop a system is to get it into the ground, work out the problems and keep testing so the capability evolves into the early stages of a missile defense. "If you didn't do anything until you could do everything, you probably wouldn't do anything," he said.
The White House wants to spend $8.8 billion on ballistic-missile-defense programs in 2006, down from $9.9 billion authorized for this year. The Bush administration had ordered the system to be deployed by the end of 2004. It has not been, and no new date for deployment has been set. During a test Monday, an interceptor missile that would in theory destroy a missile targeted for the United States failed to launch at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. A similar failure occurred Dec. 15. Before that, the most recent test was conducted in December 2002; it also failed. The last successful test interception was in October 2002. The Armed Services Committee also heard testimony from Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said U.S. military officials in Iraq have determined that insurgents there can conduct up to 60 strikes a day nationwide, with occasional spikes above that. Myers also repeated concerns that some Army Reserve units are not at desirable readiness because of equipment shortages that occur when units leave their gear in Iraq. The shortages, as well as other strains on the military, could compromise the Pentagon's ability to quickly respond to a major crisis elsewhere in the world, he said. Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a committee member, and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said they would introduce legislation to expand the Army by 30,000 troops and the Marines by 3,000. "We don't have the same flexibility and ability to respond to other crises," said Reed, a graduate of West Point. Hagel said the military's capability to deal with another major war has dropped to a point where troops deployed would be underequipped, undertrained and short on manpower. "When you are too thin, you put your troops in further peril," Hagel said. "You further jeopardize an already jeopardized force." Their proposal would increase the size of the Army to 532,400 and the Marines to 181,000.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Vulcan King Accusers Come Forward

The three girls who say the Vulcan King from the St. Paul Winter Carnival sexually assaulted them shared their side of the case. The young bartenders say Tom Trudeau sexually molested them while putting garters on their legs at Alary's Bar in downtown St. Paul. At a brief news conference, the women appeared with their attorney. One was identified as Kate Richardson, 20. The other two women, both 19, did not disclose their names.
Why are children serving alcohol at a saloon?
The girls said they are all still employed by the bar, but did not answer reporter questions. Trudeau continues to maintain his innocence through his lawyer. However, the attorney for the women says the defendant did apologize to his clients.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

HIV Can Kill Cancer

One of the world's greatest killer viruses - HIV - could be used to slay the other great killer - cancer. US scientists have successfully used an "impotent" and reprogrammed version of the HIV virus to hunt down malignant cancer cells in mice. Scientists at the AIDS Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles, first removed the disease-causing components of HIV, then stripped the virus' outer layer and added the coating of another virus called sindbis, which typically infects insects and birds. By this they changed the target of the virus. HIV normally infects immune cells called T-cells. By adding the new outer coat, the scientists directed the HIV virus to hunt down P-glycoproteins, molecules present on many cancer cells. The study, results of which were published in Nature Medicine on February 13, tested mice that had a form of skin cancer, called melanoma, which had spread to the lungs. According to the study, HIV could be modified to treat various kinds of cancer. "P-glycoproteins cause problems by making the cell resistant to chemotherapy," institute director Irvin S Y Chen said in a statement. "They act like soccer goalies and punt therapeutic drugs out of the cancer cell. This allows the tumour to continue growing unchecked. The disarmed AIDS virus acts like a Trojan horse transporting therapeutic agents to a targeted part of the body, such as the lungs, where tumours often spread," he said. "Our approach proves it is possible to develop an effective carrier and reprogramme it to target specific cells," Chen added.
The virus targeted cancer cells

Battle Rages On Philippine Island

The Philippine army is battling Muslim rebels who it says are making a "last stand" after a week of clashes on the southern island of Jolo.
Up to 12,000 people have fled the fighting which has left about 90 soldiers and rebels dead. The rebels are from the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group along with followers of the jailed militant, Nur Misuari. Between 4,000 and 5,000 troops are fighting 800 militants in the heaviest fighting for years. The fighting began last Monday. An Abu Sayyaf leader, Abu Solaiman, told a radio station it had joined forces with the Misuari followers to avenge the death of a couple and their son who were killed by troops. The military says it returned fire after the couple shot at soldiers. The rebels then attacked troops at an army base, killing 30, including the battalion commander, the military says. The government flew in reinforcements, including US-trained counter-terrorist troops, and said the army has killed more than 60 rebels in heavy fighting. Three more soldiers were killed on Sunday as they pursued the militants, the army said. Abu Sayyaf has been involved in a number of kidnappings and bombings. It was blamed for sinking a ferry in Manila Bay last year, killing more than 100 people. Although the Jolo fighting is the worst since Misuari's uprising in 2001, the military has never been able to bring Jolo under full control. The rebels hold much of the island with support from many of the residents.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Minnesota Soldier Dies In Germany

A Minnesota Army National Guard Soldier on a three-week mission to Germany died there of bleeding on the brain Saturday, relatives said. Jacob Pfingsten, 22, of Brainerd, died at a German hospital, said his grandmother, Mary Lou Pfingsten, of Brainerd. Jolene Parks, Pfingsten's sister, said doctors initially thought he suffered a brain aneurysm because of hard coughing. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and whooping cough. But she said the exact cause was still unclear. Jacob Pfingsten was the son of Tom and Beth Pfingsten of Brainerd and LaDonna and Randy Blackorbay of Maple Grove. The 2001 Brainerd High School graduate was a full-time student at St. Cloud State University, where he had been studying aeronautics. Parks said her brother specialized in flight operations and was in Germany to help evaluate the readiness of a helicopter group that was getting ready to fly missions in Kosovo. According to his family, Pfingsten collapsed at his desk in Germany, on Feb. 3. He quit breathing and CPR was administered. He was taken to a civilian hospital off base and placed in a drug-induced coma. His parents flew to Germany. Pfingsten suffered another brain bleed Thursday and died about 4 a.m. Minnesota time Saturday. Pfingsten loved flying and had been a member of the Crow Wing County Civil Air Patrol since he was 13. He received his private pilot's license when he was 17. The family was planning services in both Brooklyn Park and Brainerd, but details were still being decided.
Minnesota Army National Guard Soldier Jacob Pfingsten

Monday, February 14, 2005

Red McCombs Agrees To Sell Vikings To Reggie Fowler And Denny Hecker

Vikings owner Red McCombs has agreed to sell the team to Arizona businessman Reggie Fowler. Sources say that an announcement will come Monday. Those sources say that Fowler has signed a purchase agreement with McCombs, and they will now move forward with approval from the NFL. The deal must be approved by two-thirds of NFL owners. If it is approved, the $625-million-plus deal could be final by April 1st. Fowler would become the first minority owner of an NFL franchise. Twin Cities car dealer Denny Hecker is part of his investment team. Both Fowler and Hecker have said in the past that they plan on keeping the Vikings in Minnesota.

Thank You, Hollywood!

We appeciate your stubborness and inability to comprehend true American values, beliefs, culture and political ideals.

Madrid Skyscraper Close To Collapse

Madrid authorities have warned that one of the city's tallest buildings is close to collapse after the 31-storey office block was engulf by fire. The blaze, believed to be the biggest in the city's history, engulfed the Windsor Building and sent a pall of grey smoke across the Madrid skyline. Officials say the fire is still not under control and that the situation remains critical. Firefighters are continuing to battle to blaze in a bid to prevent flames from spreading to nearby buildings which include a shopping centre. It is predicted that even if the building doesn't collapse, it will have to be demolished because of the damage. One of the building's architects, Genaro Alas, declined to comment on its stability. He said it is not known why a fire alarm system didn't work, preventing the emergency services from arriving until the blaze was well underway..

Sunday, February 13, 2005


HEY EVERY ONE! Here is your chance to get your own KEVIN DOLL
Click Image

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Shiites win Iraqi polls with 48% votes

A Shiite-dominated ticket won the January 30 elections for the National Assembly, winning over 4m votes — 48% — of the ballots cast, officials said Sunday. A Kurdish alliance finished second with 2.2m votes or 26%. Officials said 8.5m votes were distributed among the 111 candidate lists. The results indicate the Shiites will have to form alliances within the National Assembly to push through their agenda and select a president and prime minister. The president and two vice presidents must be elected by a two-thirds majority. Earlier, the head of the Shiite party, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, had predicted his United Iraqi Alliance would win over 60% of the vote. However, the results point to a major victory for the country’s long oppressed Shiite majority, oppressed under Saddam Hussein and deprived of national power since the establishment of the modern Iraqi state after World War I. The figures also indicate that many Sunni Arabs stayed at home on election day, with only 17,893 votes (2%) cast in Anbar province in the National Assembly race, a stronghold of the Sunni Muslim insurgency. In Ninevah province, which includes the third largest city Mosul, only 17% of the voters participated in the National Assembly race and 14% voted in the provincial council contests. A ticket headed by the country’s president Ghazi al-Yawer, a Sunni Arab, won only about 150,000 votes — less than 2%. A list headed by Sunni elder statesman Adnan Pachachi took only 12,000 votes — or 0.1%. The election commission said parties have three days to lodge complaints before the results are considered official.

Iraq's Election Results: Assembly Will Be Dominated By Shi'ites And Kurds

The final results of Iraq's general elections were due to be announced today, two weeks after Iraqis took part in their first free elections in half a century but amid relentless violence. "We will announce the final results tomorrow," electoral commission official Farid Ayar said yesterday. "These will be the uncertified results. We will wait for three days for possible claims by political entities. If there are none, then the results will be certified," he added. Based on partial results previously released by the electoral commission, the final figures should confirm that the 275-member National Assembly will be dominated by Shi'ites and Kurds. The main Shi'ite coalition list which was blessed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani could muster half the seats in parliament, while the ticket grouping the two main Kurdish parties was also poised to make a strong showing. The Iraqi List of current Prime Minister Iyad Allawi looked set to settle for a distant third place, which observers predicted would force him to relinquish his post.

St. Valentine's Day Suicide Party Foiled

A man used an Internet chat room to try to set up a mass suicide on Valentine's Day, involving more than two dozen women across the United States and Canada, authorities in the US state of Oregon said. Gerald Krein, 26, was arrested on Wednesday at his Mother's Mobile Home in Klamath Falls and faces charges of solicitation to commit murder, sheriff's deputies said. Detectives learnt of the plan from a woman in Canada who said she saw the message in a Yahoo chat room that had the words "Suicide Ideology" in the title. The woman told detectives she was going to take part in the suicide but had second thoughts when another chat room participant said she would do it and talked about killing her two children before taking her own life, said the Klamath County Sheriff. A student in Portland, Oregon, who just identified herself as "Jamie" also indicated on Friday that she had had chats with Krein, but had become suspicious. The chat room participants planned to log in on Valentine's Day and commit suicide while keeping in touch over the Internet, the Sheriff said. Krein was looking for women and children to join in the suicide, police said. Investigators believe the total number, including Krein, was 32. Deputies seized Krein's computer and a web cam and investigators are issuing a subpoena on chat room records to try to contact people who may have planned to take part in the suicide. The chat room is no longer active and the suspect is being held without bail. Krein was said to have moved to Klamath Falls from the Sacramento, California, area about a year ago to take care of his ailing father.
Gerald Krien, 26

Friday, February 11, 2005

Moslem Rebels Launch Fresh Attacks On Southern Philippine Island

Armed followers of a jailed Moslem rebel leader launched fresh attacks against government troops on a southern Philippine island on Thursday as the military vowed to crush the militants' rampage.
Eight soldiers, including two army officers, were wounded in the latest attack by loyal supporters of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila. Colonel Pedrito Soledad said the guerrillas strafed an army detachment in Panamao town as the fighting, which has already killed at least 20 soldiers and more than 30 rebels, raged for the fourth straight day. Soledad identified the wounded army officers as Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Villanueva and Captain Joel Jugarap. Lieutenant General Alberto Braganza, chief of the armed forces' Southern Command, vowed no let-up in the operations against Misuari's followers until the group was neutralised. "It's surrender or nothing,'' Braganza said. "I will pursue the group responsible for the death of my soldiers. I will finish what they started.'' Hundreds of additional troops have been dispatched to Jolo to reinforce the beleaguered government troops. Forty-five other soldiers have been wounded in the hostilities, which erupted Monday when Misuari's followers simultaneously attacked army outposts and government installations on Jolo on Monday. Sulu provincial Governor Benjamin Loong has called for a ceasefire in order to start peaceful negotiations as the clashes forced some 3,000 civilians to flee their homes for fear of being caught in the crossfire. Misuari's followers were allegedly angered over the killing of four civilians, including a 14-year-old boy, in a military operation against al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf rebels in the nearby town of Maimbung early last week. Misuari led the decades-old MNLF struggle for independence in the southern region of Mindanao, until he signed a peace pact with the government in 1996 and was elected governor of an autonomous Moslem region there. In 2001, however, Misuari and his followers launched an uprising in Jolo and nearby Zamforcesboanga City after the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did not endorse his re-election bid. Misuari escaped to nearby Sabah, but was arrested in January 2002 by Malaysian authorities who deported him back to the Philippines. He is now detained in a police camp outside Manila while on trial for rebellion.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Contaminated Money

Money that has been contaminated with a virus; it’s a whole new possible direction for bioterrorism. It is a case that the FBI terrorism unit has taken over from state police that involves several cities. In an exclusive investigation, news sorces have obtained documents detailing a bizarre criminal plot involving a virus, suspected drug money, and the Russian mob in Northeast Philadelphia. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania State Troopers intercepted $250,000 dollars during a routine traffic stop. The alleged drug money, which had been sealed in plastic, was being driven from Columbus, Ohio to Northeast Philadelphia. According to law enforcement sources, after counting the seized cash, troopers began feeling ill and one trooper was even hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Sources said that tests on the cash counter revealed the presence of a toxin derived from the bacteria staphylococcus. A local terrorism expert says it may be a new application of terrorism, although this time it was used as a deterrent among thieves: “I am not that surprised, this is the nature of terrorism. By its nature, you have to say we must always be mindful and careful of new applications.”

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Bar Wench Claims The Vulcan King Groped Her

A man who portrayed the Vulcan King for this year's Winter Carnival is charged with sexual assault. Tom Trudeau the Vulcan King is accused of inappropriately touching three scantily clad female bartenders at Alary's Bar during a Annual Saint Paul Winter Carnival Garter Ritual. His attorney said that Trudeau denies everything and will put up a strong fight in court. According to court documents, Trudeau was dressed in his Vulcan costume when he touched the breasts, buttocks and crotches of women during a garter ritual. The Vulcans and Royal Court have been a St. Paul institution for more than 100 years. They participate in parades and visit hospitals and schools. Alary's Bar also has been a St. Paul institution for many years running escort services out of its Downtown St. Paul location.
Tom Trudeau the Vulcan King
In Winter Carnival lore, the Vulcans represent fire and pave the way for summer. They are one of several groups that carry on festival traditions and wear distinctive costumes, which include capes, helmets and goggles.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Credit Cards To be Used In Iraq

Finance Ministry has decided setting the Credit Card system via the Trade Bank of Iraq within a week. In an interview with As-Sabah, Finnance Minister Dr. Adil Abdel Mehdi said that the Credit Card would be used in some restaurants and transporting companies. He added that it is an Iraqi card with new experiment. On the other hand, the central bank of Iraq has accepted requests of selling US dollar with 1460 Iraqi dinars with the same price of the pre-election period. It is worth mentioning that US dollar has deteriorated during the election days down to 1250 Iraqi dinars.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Democrats comment on Presidents Social Security plan

Click The Social Security Administration Logo To Hear The Democratic Plan.

Child Killers Freed

ALMOST 300 convicted murderers, many of them child- killers, could be freed from prison years before their sentences are due to end after a state court ruling that has outraged victims’ families. Four men convicted of killing children have been released this month in Washington State, on the US Pacific coast. Their murder convictions were quashed after a court’s decision that a certain type of murder charge used by prosecutors for more than 30 years was invalid. At least 280 similar cases are likely to be sent back to courts across the state, with defence lawyers arguing that convictions should be overturned and the men released. The ruling, which has outraged prosecutors and relatives of the victims, was made last November, but only this month has it led to early releases. One man, David Crane, was released 40 years early, having served less than one third of a 60-year sentence for killing his three-year-old nephew in 1986. Another, Peter Helb, is scheduled for early release in August after being convicted of killing his girlfriend’s 20- month-old daughter in 1982. The ruling by the state’s Supreme Court concerned Washington State’s felony murder law. Since 1976, prosecutors had been allowed to win a murder conviction if a death was the unintended result of assault. In most other parts of the United States, similar cases would usually bring a manslaughter charge, which carries a lighter sentence. The state Supreme Court ruled that an assault cannot be used as the basis for a second-degree felony murder charge. It upheld a lower court’s ruling to apply the ruling retrospec- tively. Thus all murderers convicted between 1976 and 2003 under the felony murder law can now apply to have their verdicts overturned. “When a court overturns 30 years of precedent to set hundreds of murderers free, that’s a terrible ruling,” Seth Fine, a prosecutor, said. “The court doesn’t seem to recognise the impact this is having on victims’ family members, how wrenching it is to have these cases reopened years or decades after they were closed.” Prosecutors face the option of filing new charges of manslaughter, which carries a lesser penalty; finding another felony on which to base a murder charge; or trying to prove that the killing was intentional, a daunting task years after the fact. In cases where children were shaken to death, intent is especially difficult to prove.

YES! He Was Our Governor

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura made an appearance on late-night television. Ventura was a guest on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live". During the show, he gave away the secret of his unusual beard. He said he got the idea of braiding it from Johnny Depp in the motion pictuer "Pirates of the Caribbean." "I walked into a place called the Hair Police," he told Kimmel. "I took a picture of Johnny, Capt. Jack Sparrow, and I had the big, full beard. And I said, 'can you make my beard look like that?' The girl said, 'no problem.'" Ventura also criticized the news media in the Twin Cities.

"The Minnesota papers are writing now that I'm off my rocker, that's I've lost my mind," he said. "I thought in the year 2005 we wouldn't judge people anymore by how they appear."

Mr. Ventura, Its not your appearance people are judging you by!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Philippines Earthquake Report

Magnitude 7.1 - CELEBES SEA
2005 February 5 12:23:15 UTC
Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver

A major earthquake occurred at 12:23:15 (UTC) on Saturday, February 5, 2005. The magnitude 7.1 event has been located in the CELEBES SEA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 486 km (302 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

Magnitude 7.1
Date-Time Saturday, February 5, 2005 at 12:23:15 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Saturday, February 5, 2005 at 8:23:15 PM
= local time at epicenter
Location 5.363°N, 123.229°E
Depth 486.3 km (302.2 miles)
215 km (130 miles) SE of Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines
230 km (145 miles) WSW of General Santos, Mindanao, Philippines
1050 km (650 miles) SSE of MANILA, Philippines
2220 km (1380 miles) NE of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 11.7 km (7.3 miles); depth +/- 24 km (14.9 miles)
Parameters Nst=154, Nph=154, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.3 sec, Gp= 36°,
M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8

Event ID usuda2


Linda and John Dollar Arrested For Child Torture

Utah authorities have captured a couple accused of torturing five of seven children in their home, including pulling out their toenails with pliers. Florida Sheriff's officials said some of the children, picked up last Thursday, were so malnourished they looked like pictures from Auschwitz, CNN reported. The case against John Dollar, 58, and Linda Dollar, 51, began two weeks ago when a 16-year-old was transported from their Beverly Hills, Fla., home to a hospital. The boy was bleeding from his head and there were red marks on his neck. He weighed 59 pounds and two 14-year-old boys each weighed less than 40 pounds. The couple, who were legal guardians of the children, have been charged with aggravated child abuse/torture of five of the youths, aged 12 to 17. The couple apparently tried to keep them inside the home and each child was home-schooled.
The Dollars were to appear in court Monday but never showed.

The truth about Social Security

What strikes me most about the arguments over Social Security is how many people just don’t get it.
They might understand, in a general way, that the system is in trouble. They might even know that it’s supposed to run out of money someday. What they don’t get is how seriously out of whack our national retirement system has become or how painful the solutions will have to be. Should someone suggest a fix that might remotely affect them, they howl bloody murder -- as if any of us working folk will be able to emerge from this financial debacle unscarred.
There’s a $45-trillion gap, in present value terms, between the future money the government is expected to take in and what it’s promised to pay out, with Social Security and Medicare accounting for virtually all of the shortfall. That’s according to economists Kent Smetters and Jagadeesh Gokhale, who studied the issue for the U.S. Treasury Department. (You can read testimony Smetters gave to Congress on the topic here.)

To put this mind-numbing figure in perspective, the Federal Reserve estimates the total net worth of every person in the U.S. to be around $40 trillion. Our massive U.S. national debt is about $7 trillion.

Net tax rates would have to double to pay for all the benefits promised, Kotlikoff and Burns say. If you think you pay too much now, think about handing over twice as much.

Just dealing with the Social Security deficit would require a 4.5 percentage point increase in payroll taxes, the authors say. Such an increase would take the combined Social Security tax to nearly 17%. (Currently Social Security takes 6.2% of workers’ checks while employers contribute another 6.2%, for a total of 12.4%.)

All these calculations were made before Congress passed the prescription drug benefit for Medicare. That’s expected to add another $6 trillion to the gap.

Waiting to fix the system just makes matters worse. The gap could grow to more than $76 trillion if lawmakers delay reforms another 15 years.

Our kids’ world: higher taxes, inflation, instability
In other words, each year that we stall, we put a bigger burden on the back of today’s children. The world they’ll face, as painted in grisly detail by the authors, features much higher tax rates, stunning deficits, massive inflation and political instability, among other ills. The current transfer of wealth from the young to the old -- and, in some cases, from the poor to the prosperous, as I wrote about in “How Social Security cheats you to pay the rich” -- could reach astounding proportions.

The core of the problem is demographics. Fifty years ago, there were 16 workers to support every person receiving a Social Security check. By 2030, there will only be two.

There aren’t any easy fixes; Kotlikoff and Burns argue persuasively that most of the ones routinely offered -- delayed retirement, increases in productivity due to technology or more immigration -- won’t come anywhere close to realistically solving the problem. (Relying on immigrants to maintain the ratio of workers to beneficiaries, for example, would require an influx of 4 million to 6.5 million immigrants a year, the authors say. That compares with the 825,000 legal immigrants and 400,000 or so illegal ones we get annually now.)

The authors’ solution is to back away from Social Security’s founding premise as a safety net for the elderly. Instead, they want to convert the system into a kind of restricted 401(k), with:

Individual accounts. Workers would get their own accounts, but their mandatory contributions would be invested in a massive global index fund of stocks, bonds and real estate. There would be none of the day trading that some proponents of privatized accounts dream about. The transaction costs of allowing people unfettered access to their money, plus the risk of failure, would be too high, the authors say.

Few guarantees. Your rate of return would depend on market forces and wouldn’t be guaranteed. Your principal would be, however. The least you’d get back is everything you paid in, and your balance could be bequeathed to heirs if you died prematurely.

Annuitized payouts. If you made it to retirement age, you wouldn’t be able to get your benefits in a lump sum. Your account would be converted into an annuity that would pay you a stream of income for the rest of your life. Rather than replacing a certain portion of your working salary, the size of your monthly checks would depend on how much you and your employer contributed, plus how well your investments performed.

Given the world we’re setting up for them, twentysomething workers should be marching on Washington right now with pitchforks and torches. The reason they aren’t is probably because, like most everybody else, they just don’t get it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

New Microwave Weapon

The United States has developed a non-lethal microwave weapon for use in Iraq.
Officials said the vehicle, termed Sheriff, would contain the Active Denial System. The system uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy that can be directed at targets at a range of 1 kilometer.
The ADS system would be downgraded for Iraqi deployment in urban areas, officials said. The ADS causes the skin to burn, causing the people to run away. The Pentagon plans to install the non-lethal, high-powered microwave weapon on a military vehicle. The deployment of the first platforms in Iraq would take place in September 2005. The project is designed to give U.S. troops options to battle hostile crowds without the use of lethal weapons. Officials said in many cases Sunni insurgents fire weapons and rocket-propelled grenades from crowds to prevent U.S. retaliation. The Sheriff would be deployed by the U.S. Army and Marines. The two services will receive up to six platforms, equipped with a system to intercept rocket-propelled grenades. Officials said the military would not design a new vehicle for the Sheriff. Instead, the Army will probably use a Striker or M117 armored security vehicle while the Marines would obtain a Light Armored Vehicle.
The ADS could be expanded to autonomous vehicles or platforms, officials said. This would include the use of the Sheriff at Air Force bases and other military facilities.

The Active Denial System uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy that can be directed at targets at a range of 1 kilometer.

Police Shoot 2 Cows To Death

South Saint Paul Police said they had to shoot two cows to death after the animals escaped from a livestock yard early Thursday morning. At least six cows left a stockyard in South St. Paul. Drivers began calling police to report the loose cattle at around 3:45 a.m. "I came off 494 to Hardman and there was a truck and a cop car following a bunch of cows down the road," said Ron Kish. "At that time they were trying to round it up, it looked like." A news crew saw one cow being shot to death near the corner of Armour and Farwell Avenues. A second cow was killed by police about a mile from there. Other cows were rounded up by authorities, and no animals are believed to be still on the loose. Police said the cows needed to be killed because they became a safety hazard in the morning traffic.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I.R.A. "Standing Tough"

The IRA has warned the British and Irish governments not to play down republican anger at the current setback to the Northern Ireland peace process, following Wednesday's statement saying it was withdrawing its promise to decommission its arms. It said on Thursday: "The two governments are trying to play down the importance of our statement because they are making a mess of the peace process. Do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation." The IRA's comments will increase concerns at a possible possible escalation of street violence. An Irish official said that while the IRA move made it unlikely there would be an early restoration of Northern Ireland's power sharing executive "the real worry is it will play out badly on the ground". The IRA warned on Wednesday: "We do not intend to remain quiescent within this unacceptable and unstable situation." Danny Morrison, a former Sinn Féin publicity officer and IRA member, said that in the unsuccessful November negotiations the IRA had been prepared to "instruct its volunteers that there could be no involvement whatsoever in activities which might endanger that agreement". But Michael McDowell, Irish justice minister and member of the smaller Progressive Democrat partners in the Irish coalition, said: Young men are being taken down alleys in Belfast by IRA volunteers and they're having their legs broken, and they're having bullets fired through their ankle joints and their knee joints and . . . hands. Am I to say that that doesn't endanger the Good Friday agreement? I can't accept that.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Democrat Pre-Buttal

The Democrats gave a prebuttal to President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address.
click the donkey to hear the main points

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Villanova Removes Plaque Honoring Killer Of Disabled Infant

Villanova University, stung by criticism from students, alumni and others, removed a new plaque honoring a history professor who killed herself and her disabled infant daughter. The Roman Catholic university will instead organize a mental-health symposium and other efforts to honor Mine Ener's memory. "We understand the strong sentiments expressed by members of our extended community," the school said in a statement issued Monday. "At no time did the university nor anyone associated with the university intend to devalue the sanctity of life." Ener, 38, killed her 6-month-old daughter, Raya Donagi, by slitting the child's throat on a visit to Ener's parents' home in St. Paul, Minn., in August 2003. Less than a month later, she put a trash bag over her head and committed suicide in a Minnesota jail. Ener, a Middle East scholar who spoke several languages, had been overwhelmed caring for her daughter, who was born with Down syndrome. The history professor did not have the mental capability to be a murderer,said a colleague. You can't ignore that this has happened, but I think that one must be understanding to what motivated her, which was her mental illness.
Obviously, Since she was a university professor, There must of been all kinds of mental illness. Honoring her for being a failure at life is just sad and shameful!