Saturday, April 30, 2005

Spider-Man & Captain America Team With Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld teamed up with two other heroes April 28 to show support for American troops wherever they are stationed. Rumsfeld appeared with Marvel Comics action heroes Captain America and Spiderman, who visited the Pentagon to distribute an issue of “The New Avengers” bearing the logo of the DoD “America Supports You” program, designed to recognize American military members for their service and sacrifice. A throng of fans of Marvel Comics lined the main concourse of the Pentagon for the event. “This is about supporting the troops who are supporting our country all across the world,” Rumsfeld said. “I present to you – Spiderman!” Spiderman and Captain America greeted guests, distributed copies of the new comic book in which they are featured, and had their picture taken with numerous fans of their previous adventures. Rob Steffens, vice president of operations for Marvel Comics, told the crowd he was “humbled” by the opportunity to help American troops. “I work for Marvel Enterprises – I have the privilege of doing something frivolous for a living,” he said. “At Marvel, we create comic books and movies and intellectual properties to entertain people. I’m thankful to live in a country where we have the freedom to produce something frivolous as a means of entertainment.” Steffens said the issue of the “The New Avengers” will be distributed to more than one million U.S. troops. “In addition to that, we’re putting the ‘America Supports You’ logo on three million copies of the issue that we will sell through our normal distributors. The proceeds from those sales will go to the Fisher House, which provides housing for the families of wounded Soldiers,” Steffens said. The story line of the new comic book includes numerous superheroes from the Marvel Pantheon, including the Fantastic Four, Iron man, Wolverine, The Sentry, and Spider woman. Soldiers are featured on its opening pages. The story is complete with the combination of illustrated action and humorous banter for which Marvel Comics are known. Advertising in the issue features Army and Air Force Exchange Service products and other organizations and products and items of interest to uniformed service members. The book’s masthead features a special thanks to AAFES and the Department of Defense.

Hawaii In Range Of North Korean Nuke

A Bush administration official disclosed yesterday that North Korea now has the ability to arm an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.

Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, also told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that a North Korean two-stage missile armed with a nuclear warhead had enough range to hit Hawaii, Alaska and parts of the Northwest. But he did not say whether North Korea had successfully tested its long-range missile capabilities. Jacoby said he thought it was unlikely that North Korea would ever agree to end its nuclear weapons program in "six-party" diplomatic negotiations with the United States, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia. "Our assessment is that the nuclear capability and ambiguities that they have pursued for so many years was a major bargaining chip leverage," Jacoby said. North Korea first tested its Taepo-Dong 2, a two-stage ICBM in 1998 and more recently conducted tests of missile engines. The communist country is believed to have built a few nuclear warheads.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Owner Of Rochester Minnesota Burger Kings Refuses To Close

The owner of the company that runs Rochester's Burger King restaurants is refusing to shut down after the fast-food giant's corporate office ended his contract. Customers at five Burger Kings in Rochester and others in Kasson, Winona and Apple Valley receive hamburgers served in generic wrappers. Girish Dharod is the owner of Road Corporation, the company that owns and runs the five restaurants. He says he won't close them. But a Burger King corporate spokesman says he has no right to operate the restaurants after the end of last year. The dispute is over Dharod's plans to sell eight restaurants. He says Burger King is putting too many restrictions on the sale. Burger King cut off Dharod's supplies of merchandise, which is why he is using generic cups and wrappers. But Burger King signs and menus are still up and customers can still order Whoppers.

Japan Protests North Korea Comments At UN Meeting -Kyodo

Japan has protested to North Korea for raising opposition to Tokyo's bid to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council at an informal meeting with other countries, the Japanese mission to the U.N. said Thursday, according to the Kyodo News agency. The Japanese mission said in a statement that Toshio Ozawa, one of Japanese diplomats at the U.N., expressed grave concerns about North Korea's allusion to bilateral matters at an informal meeting Wednesday dealing with U.N. reform, Kyodo said. Ozawa said at the meeting that eligibility for permanent membership should be judged by a nation's contributions to international peace and security, the Japanese mission to the U.N. said, according to the report. Ozawa also criticized North Korea for pursuing a nuclear arms program, the Japanese mission said. Kyodo reported.

Court Refuses To Hear Limbaugh Appeal

The Florida Supreme Court says it won't consider an appeal from Rush Limbaugh. Today's four-to-three order didn't explain the court's reasoning. Limbaugh's attorney argues that an appeals court misconstrued Florida law when it ruled prosecutors could review the records. Prosecutors seized Limbaugh's medical records in 2003 for an investigation into whether he illegally purchased prescription painkillers. Limbaugh hasn't been charged with any crime. He lost at the appellate court level and wanted the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that would open his medical records and possibly allow prosecutors to build a case against him. Limbaugh has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and argues that the case threatens the privacy rights of all Floridians.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Norway Turns Down North Korean Request for Help

Norway has rejected a request to help North Korea with long-term development because of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. The Norwegian Embassy in Korea and Norway’s state-run radio station NRK said a delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen visited North Korea from Saturday to Tuesday to discuss the reclusive country’s nuclear program with its Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. Pyongyang asked Oslo to help it with long-term development, but the Scandinavian country refused citing the nuclear arms program. Norway has aided North Korea with food and medical supplies. This is the first time a non-EU country refused the North’s request for help. The Norwegian Embassy would not say whether the two nations talked about the North’s boycott of six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.


The red-hot rhetoric over Social Security on liberal talkradio network air america has caught the attention of the Secret Service. Government officials are reviewing a skit which aired on the network Monday evening -- a skit featuring an apparent gunshot warning to the president! The announcer: "A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little bastard. [audio of gun being cocked]." The audio production at the center of the controversy aired during opening minutes of The Randi Rhodes Show. "What is with all the killing?" Rhodes said, laughing, after the clip aired. "Even joking about shooting the president is a crime, let alone doing it on national radio... we are taking this very seriously," a government source explained. An Air America official tells Billboard Radio Monitor that they have no comment and are conducting their own internal investigation.
air america broadcaster

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

We Dont Want The Facts, We Want To Blame America

The Italian hostage shot by US troops after a daring rescue in Baghdad last month has condemned the American investigators for clearing their soldiers of blame for the attack, in which an Italian agent was killed. "This is an unacceptable slap in the face for Italy," Giuliana Sgrena said yesterday. "It is worse than I imagined. "At the beginning, the Americans spoke of an accident, and even apologised. But now they are ruling out any responsibility, saying the soldiers were following the rules of engagement." Ms Sgrena, a journalist with the left-wing newspaper Il Manifesto, was shot and injured by US troops at a military checkpoint outside Baghdad airport on March 4. Italian government agents had just freed her from Iraqi insurgents, who had held her hostage for a month. Ms Sgrena's liberator, Italian agent Nicola Calipari, was shot dead as he shielded her from the US gunfire, and another agent driving the car was injured in the attack. Italy is refusing to endorse the findings of the joint US-Italian inquiry into the shooting, news agencies reported from Washington yesterday. "The US is ready to release the report but Italy has more questions," an official said. He said the US and Italian sides disputed the speed at which the Italian car was approaching the US checkpoint when it was attacked. The US troops have claimed the Toyota Corolla was speeding, but the Italians insist the car was travelling at less than 50km/h. The investigators also disagreed over communications between Italian and US officials before the shooting. A US army official said: "The soldiers were all complying with the standard operating procedures for those checkpoints and therefore were not culpable of dereliction of duty in following their procedures." Bowing to strong protests from the Italian Government, the Pentagon agreed to let two Italian officials take part in its military inquiry into the shooting last month. But news that the Italians are refusing to sign off on the report poses a new diplomatic dilemma for the two allies. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing growing public pressure to withdraw Italy's 3300 troops from Iraq. US ambassador to Italy Mel Sembler was summoned to a crisis meeting last night with the Prime Minister's under-secretary, Gianni Letta, and the director of Italy's Sismi secret service, Niccolo Pollari. Ms Sgrena yesterday insisted the US soldiers had opened fire on the car without warning, aiming at the occupants and not the engine as the Pentagon initially claimed. "I saw the face of the soldier who shot me, but I won't be satisfied to see him punished," she said. "I believe the responsibility must be sought higher up, because they killed one of Italy's best intelligence agents and must be held accountable."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Woman Suing Hospital After One Twin Survives Abortion

A 20-year-old woman from Scotland is suing a hospital for botching her abortion which was performed there in 2001. Stacy Dow was pregnant with twins but the procedure only terminated one pregnancy. Her daughter, Jayde, is now three-years-old and healthy. Dow is raising her with her parents. Her father even took on a second job in order to help pay for the expenses related to the child.(Why didn't she put the un-wanted child up for adoption??) (Could it be because lawsuits pay so well) 'I have got a child now that I wasn't planning to have and I believe the hospital should take some responsibility for that,' Dow said. (This child is going to have a lot of self esteem issues) She is seeking damages in the amount of 250,000 pounds or roughly $500,000. Her lawsuit contends that the hospital in Perth, Scotland failed 'to take reasonable care to establish that the termination had been successful.' Dow was six weeks pregnant when she had the abortion procedure. She was told there was no living material left in her womb. When she found out she was still pregnant with one child, she was shocked. 'After 33 weeks I went to the GP and he told me I was pregnant. I thought he meant I had fallen pregnant again, and I couldn't believe it when I was told that it was one of the original pregnancies.'

Monday, April 25, 2005

It Don't Mean Jack!

The former WXPT-FM replaces format with four decades of Top 40 favorites

There's a new radio format on the Twin Cities FM dial, and it goes by the name of Jack. At 9 a.m. Thursday, 104.1 WXPT-FM ditched its '80s music format for a larger, more eclectic play list. First song: Pink's "Get the Party Started." With marketing slogans like "Playing What We Want" or "Like Your iPod on Shuffle," the new 104.1 JACK-FM and similar radio formats around the country are capitalizing on the current iPod craze. The new format has a playlist of more than 1,000 songs from various genres with a focus on Top 40 alternative, classic rock and pop that spans the past four decades. "We describe it as a playlist that's 10 miles wide and an inch deep," said Mike Henry, CEO of Paragon Media Strategies and one of the masterminds behind the format. The Twin Cities is the ninth U.S. market to get a Jack station, and the number is expected to more than double by the end of the year, radio analysts say. The strategy is to provide listeners with a broad variety of familiar music. "I think it will have a considerable impact in the Twin Cities market," said Mark Ramsey, founder and president of Mercury Radio Research in San Diego. "You'll be looking at a potentially top-ranked station. It will be huge." Low ratings made 104.1 the most "hijackable" of the local FM stations, said radio consultant Steve Moravec of St. Paul, who's skeptical of the format's ability to change the market. "I think there are very few music stations that wouldn't benefit from a higher number of cuts in their rotations," he said. "But I think it's a little too early to be saying it's the greatest thing to happen in a generation." The idea of stations with common male names, playlists up to five times bigger than competitors and a lack of on-air talent began in Canada in 2002, where it quickly took hold. The concept has had success among a coveted demographic, said Henry, who calls the format's ability to attract both male and female 25- to 54-year-olds "unique" among commercial FM radio stations. In addition, clones of the format with names like Ted and Doug have popped up in more than 20 markets. There's also a country version called Hank. "Most music stations have 300 to 400 songs in rotation," said Mary Niemeyer, market manager of Infinity Broadcasting Minneapolis, which owns the station. "We have over 1,200 songs in the rotation." On Thursday afternoon, Twin Cities listeners tuning in to Jack 104.1 heard back-to-back songs by Phil Collins, Uncle Kracker, AC/DC, Head East, Tom Petty, INXS and Lenny Kravitz. In the radio world, a lineup like that — playing two unlikely songs together — is known as a "train wreck." But one station's train wreck has become another's happy accident. "Jack really flies in the face of radio's one commandment that it has lived by for the last 20 years," said Henry, "that every radio station should create an expectation and fulfill it 24/7 — one button for one type of music. The Jack format is a response to the universal complaints that people tend to have toward radio — that's there's not enough variety, and you hear the same songs over and over again." This is the second significant change on the Twin Cities FM dial this year. In January, Minnesota Public Radio launched the Current 89.3 KCMP-FM, another station that boasts large and eclectic playlists. Some local radio insiders say that Jack was brought in to compete against that station. But Henry said the non-commercial Current caters more to the music connoisseur, while Jack appeals to the music window shopper. Another difference is that the Current is DJ-driven; Jack currently has no DJs. Steve Nelson, program director of the Current, said he wishes the Jack folks well. "Anytime there are changes or something that is a little bit different on radio, that can be a good thing," he said.

Vikings Select Williamson In NFL Draft

Less than 30 minutes after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings, Troy Williamson already seemed tired of comparisons to Randy Moss. He better get used to it. The Vikings traded Moss to the Oakland Raiders last month for the No. 7 overall selection, which they used on Saturday to select the speedy Williamson over Southern Cal receiver Mike Williams. "I'm stepping into my own because I'm my own person, so nobody can compare me to Randy Moss," said Williamson, a former South Carolina Gamecock. "I'm Troy Williamson. Believe me, Minnesota will get to know that when I get up there." Heading into the day, many mock drafts had the Vikings selecting Williams, a big target at 6-foot-5 who scored 30 touchdowns in two seasons with the Trojans, and a fan favorite around Winter Park. At a news conference on Thursday, Vikings coach Mike Tice hinted that the team could go another direction, and that's what happened Saturday. "He was the No. 1 receiver on our board. Regardless of who everyone in the country liked, that's who we liked," Tice said. The selection received a mixture of cheers and mild boos from the fans gathered for a party inside the team's practice facility. Dissenters wanted the Vikings to draft Williams, but Tice seemed to sway most of them after a brief radio address. Tice said Williamson was the second-ranked player on Minnesota's entire board and that the Vikings also were interested in Auburn running back Carnell Williams, who went to Tampa Bay at No. 5.
With their second selection in the first round at No. 18, the Vikings selected Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James. It was the third straight season the Vikings have spent a first-round selection on a defensive lineman. The Vikings picked Kenechi Udeze last season and Kevin Williams in 2003. James had eight sacks for the Badgers last season and 18 for his career, instantly upgrading the pass rush for a defensive unit that ranked 29th against the pass last season. James is expected to compete with second-year man Darrion Scott for a starting defensive end position opposite Kenechi Udeze.

Troy Williamson & Erasmus James
The Vikings never got a chance to use their second-round choice on Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent, who went to the New York Jets two picks earlier. Instead, Minnesota selected Mississippi's massive (6-6 1/4, 321-pound) Marcus Johnson, a four-year starter who saw action at both starting guard and tackle spots during his college career. Johnson projects as a guard with the Vikings and could compete with Adam Goldberg for the starting left guard position.

Aaron Rodgers entered the NFL to a standing ovation with hundreds of fans chanting his name. Instead of being the first pick overall to the San Francisco 49ers, where many, including Rodgers, thought not long ago that he might be headed, the Green Bay Packers took the California quarterback with the 24th pick Saturday. the 21-year-old is now the heir apparent to 35-year-old Brett Favre, who has been talking retirement for the last two years.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


A bike messenger whizzing through Midtown traffic miraculously escaped death yesterday when he was squished between a truck and a city bus. Doucoure Adama, 21, was wedged into an 8-inch space between the truck and the M1 bus after the truck suddenly stopped on Madison Avenue near 40th Street at about 10:45 a.m. The immigrant from Mali, whose black Raleigh was turned into a pretzel, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was in stable condition. A CAT-scan revealed no broken bones. "The truck sped up a little bit and then stopped suddenly. When it stopped, it kind of put me in a sandwich," said the messenger, a devout Muslim who prays five times a day. "I didn't see it coming. It just suddenly happened. The truck [driver] wasn't looking in the rearview mirror and I just got stuck." John Gomez, 22, a messenger who got Adama into the business, said his friend's survival is "kind of a miracle. It's a payoff for all the prayers he said." Pinned between the two vehicles, Adama screamed in agony. The bus driver tried to back away, but it only seemed to make matters worse and he screamed even louder, said witness Sidney Morris. Emergency personnel freed Adama after about 20 minutes by deflating the tires of the bus and truck and using inflatable expanders to push the vehicles away from each other. The driver of the truck — registered to RM Inc. of Norwalk, Conn., and bearing the message, "Be a Blood Donor. Thanks" in large letters — was too shaken up to comment. Adama, who lives in The Bronx with a cousin, works for the Cayor Courier Service. Manager Glenn Mann, 42, said Adama is trying to save enough money to build a house in Africa. "I feel really bad. He's a young kid still. He's always smiling and happy." Mann said. After Adama was freed, several bike messengers gathered around the mangled remains of his bike. "It's the street. It's really narrow for an avenue, and then you've got to dodge all these potholes and all these big trucks and buses, too. It's crazy," said messenger Curtis Carr.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

New Public Broadcasting Chief Wants Conservative Viewers

In this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Ken Ferree, the new president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, says he wants PBS, long considered a liberal bastion, to attract more conservative viewers. "Does public television belong to the Democrats?" he asks.
He also says he still has no idea what led to the recent departure of his predecessor, Kathleen Cox, which according to rumors occurred at least partly because of complaints from conservative groups and the "Postcards from Buster" flap. "I don't know what led to what," he says. Asked if he is worried that liberal PBS loyalists may exit, he says: "Well, maybe we can attract some new viewers." More conservative ones? the reporter asks. "Yeah! I would hope that in the long run we can attract new viewers, and we shouldn't limit ourselves to a particular demographic." But he also says: "Believe it or not, we don't discuss politics here." Ferree admits that he doesn't watch a lot of PBS shows, not even "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," which he likens to Shakespeare but is just "slow. ... Sometimes I really just want a People magazine, and often that is in the evening, after a hard day." He also doesn't listen to much NPR, mainly because, he explains, "I commute to work on my motorcycle, and there is no radio access."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Annoy Hanoi Jane

A Vietnam Veteran spat in Jane Fonda's face with tobacco juice during a Kansas City, Mo., book signing in what he called a protest of her Traitoress Anti-American trip three decades ago. Michael Smith, 54, who called Fonda a "traitor," spewed spit at the communist actress and author after patiently waiting on line for 90 minutes to see her Tuesday night. "I consider it a debt of honor," said Smith, who lives in the suburb of Gladstone, Mo. "She spit in our faces for years."
Michael Smith

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Jewish Leaders Criticize Popes Past

Pope Benedict XVI was criticized for a 2000 treatise entitled "Declaration Dominus Iesus" that said non-Catholic religions are "gravely deficient," and Jewish leaders said the statement pushed Pope John Paul II to beatify Pius IX, the 19th century pope who severely restricted the civil and religious rights of Jews. Pope Benedict XVI has also been criticized for membership of the Hitler Youth organization as a teenager in Germany, and for his service in the German Army during World War Two. But biographer John Allen has rejected charges the new Pope was a Nazi, and has said the Ratzinger family was forced to move out of their home as a result of his father's criticism of Hitler.
Pope Benedict XVI has insisted he never took part in combat or fired a shot - adding that his gun was not even loaded - because of a badly infected finger. He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a few weeks in a prisoner of war camp. He has since said that although he was opposed to the Nazi regime, any open resistance would have been futile - comments echoed this weekend by his elder brother Georg, a retired priest ordained along with the Pope in 1951. “Resistance was truly impossible,” Georg Ratzinger said. “Before we were conscripted, one of our teachers said we should fight and become heroic Nazis and another told us not to worry as only one soldier in a thousand was killed. But neither of us ever used a rifle against the enemy.”

At least one Jewish group has dismissed concerns about the new Pope's past as a member of the Hitler Youth. Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Michael Lipshutz said Joseph Ratzinger's childhood should not be a focus. "He was a mere boy at the time, let's look at what he has done in his adult life, not his childhood," Mr Lipshutz said this morning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Germany's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Named Pope Benedict XVI

Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been elected the 265th pontiff today by the College of Cardinals. He was announced as tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square. He has chosen the name Benedict XVI, the Vatican announced. The announcement came shortly after white smoke rose from the Vatican chimney and bells rang to announce that a new pope had been selected. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, has been the Vatican's chief overseer of doctrine since 1981.

Pope Chosen-White Smoke Pores From Vatican

White smoke poured from a chimney at the Vatican and bells tolled on Tuesday evening, announcing to the world that a new pope was elected in the first papal conclave of the new millennium.
Crowds in St. Peter's Square chanted: "Viva il Papa!" or "Long live the pope!" "It's only been 24 hours, surprising how fast he was elected," Vatican Radio said, commenting on how the new pope was elected on the second day of the conclave, after just four or five ballots. More pilgrims streamed into St. Peter's Square, waiting to find out who was selected. Prelates gathered on the roof of the Apostolic Palace. The bells rang 6:04 p.m. (12:04 p.m. EDT) ending confusion over the smoke signal that had risen from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. White smoke is used to announce the election of a new pope, along with the ringing of bells, which was added for this conclave.

My Vote For Pope

His Eminence Desmond Cardinal Connell, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin
Born 1926; ordained priest 19 May 1951;
ordained Archbishop of Dublin 6 March 1988;
created Cardinal 21 February 2001.


His Eminence
Archbishop of Cebu, Philippines

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Japan And China, Points Of Conflict

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has paid annual visits since taking office in 2001 to this Tokyo shrine for war dead, viewed by critics at home and abroad as a symbol of Japan’s state Shinto religion that mobilised the masses for war in the name of a divine emperor. Koizumi, who last visited the shrine a year ago, has repeatedly said his visits are to pray for peace and that Japan should never go to war again, but each visit has prompted anger in China and North and South Korea.

On April 5, Japan approved a new edition of a textbook that critics say whitewashes its militaristic past. The original textbook was first approved by the Education Ministry in 2001 in the face of strong protests from China and South Korea. Only a handful of school boards adopted the book. Critics say it plays down the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China, ignores the sexual slavery of women for Japanese soldiers, and depicts Japanese actions as aimed at liberating other Asian countries. This year, all history textbooks approved by the ministry, not only the most contentious one, deleted the term "comfort women", a euphemism for wartime sex slaves.

Japan and China have long disputed ownership of a group of rocky, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China. The islands are 410km west of Okinawa Island, the largest island in Japan’s southernmost prefecture, and provide access to rich fishing grounds and possible oil deposits in the area. Japan claimed them after defeating imperial China in 1895. The dispute flared up again in February, when Japan’s Coast Guard said it would take over maintenance of a lighthouse built in 1996 by Japanese right-wing activists. Construction of the lighthouse then touched off a flotilla of vessels with protesters from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-biggest oil consumers respectively, have been at odds for months over China’s exploration for natural gas in the East China Sea near an area Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone. Japan considers waters east of the midway point between its coastline and that of China to be its exclusive economic zone, and worries that nearby gas field development by China would draw reserves from geological structures that stretch under the seabed into its economic zone. On April 13, Japan began allocating rights for gas exploration in the disputed area, although the process will take several months and a decision on actual drilling will be made separately by the private firms.

Japan has repeatedly expressed concerns about China’s military buildup, a view that has caused it to oppose the European Union’s moves to lift an embargo against arms sales to China. Ties were further strained in November when a nuclear-powered Chinese submarine intruded into Japanese waters. China later said the vessel had done so by mistake. Japan has also expressed concern over security in the Taiwan Strait.


Two members of Congress are fighting over whether the federal government should ban drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes. Right now it’s up to each state to decide whether to allow drilling. Bart Stupak is a Deomcrat Member of Congress from Michigan whose district touches three of the Great Lakes. After an incident in his district where hydrogen sulfide fumes from a gas well head made residents and emergency workers sick... he’s for banning drilling altogether... “We should just once and for all permanently ban oil and gas drilling in and on the shores of our lakes through a method called directional or slant drilling. There’s so little oil and gas there, it’s not worth it.” Stupak introduced an amendment to ban drilling in the Great Lakes... but another Member of Congress from Michigan, Republican Mike Rogers blocked it. Rogers’ office says taking state control away on drilling could lead to taking state control away on other issues such as water withdrawal. He doesn’t want the more politically powerful arid Southwest states using it as a precedent to take federal control of the Great Lakes

North Korea Nuke Shutdown Raises Concerns

The apparent shutdown of a nuclear reactor in North Korea is raising concerns among Bush administration officials that Pyongyang has completed the task of producing spent fuel rods laced with weapons-grade plutonium. But a U.S. official familiar with the situation said there could be at least two other possibilities, neither of which is troubling: that the reactor has run into mechanical trouble or that North Korea is bluffing in order to raise anxieties. In the past, North Korea has claimed to have taken major steps in its pursuit of a nuclear weapons arsenal and only some of those claims are credited by U.S. analysts as genuine. Even so, North Korea is believed to have already produced at least one atom bomb and the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia are trying to negotiate elimination of the nuclear weapons program. North Korea had agreed to return to the bargaining table last September after a three-month hiatus but since then has refused to resume the so-called six-nation talks. The shutdown of the reactor in North Korea’s main nuclear complex at Yongbyon was detected by what U.S. analysts refer to as “overhead imagery,” which could involve spy satellites, but not always. The idea is to look for cessation of smoke or for significant changes in the readings of thermal or radar counts, said a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity. “This is entirely feasible, but for us to know for sure, we’d have to be physically there ourselves and this is no longer the case,” said Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency. She confirmed that the reactor would have to be shut down for the fuel rods to be extracted. In Seoul, meanwhile, Kim Sook, director-general of North American affairs at South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, told KBS Radio that a shutdown of a nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex had been confirmed. Yongbyon houses a 5-megawatt reactor that generates spent fuel rods laced with plutonium, but they must be removed and reprocessed to extract the plutonium for use in an atomic weapon. They can be removed only if the reactor has been shut down. North Korea restarted the reactor after expelling U.N. monitors at the end of 2002. “We have to wait and see the intentions and the measures North Korea takes in the future,” Kim said. North Korea’s persistent refusal to resume negotiations has provoked behind-the-scenes quibbling among the United States and its partners over bargaining tactics. But there is a consensus on offering North Korea economic incentives and international acceptance if it would agree to stop developing nuclear weapons. A U.S. scholar who recently visited North Korea said earlier this month that officials there told him they were preparing to unload fuel rods from the Yongbyon reactor during the next two months, adding to the urgency of resuming nuclear talks. “They will have more plutonium unless there is a freeze,” Selig Harrison, a Washington-based researcher, told reporters in Beijing after his trip.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Ann Coulter TIME

Ann Coulter epitomizes the way politics is now discussed on the airwaves, where opinions must come violently fast and cause as much friction as possible, TIME’s John Cloud claims in this week’s cover story. No one, right or left, delivers the required apothegmatic commentary on the world with as much glee or effectiveness as Coulter, Cloud writes (on newsstands Monday, April 18). It is almost impossible to watch her and not be sluiced into rage or elation, depending on your views. As a congressional staff member 10 years ago, Coulter used to help write the nation’s laws. Now she is far more powerful: she helps set the nation’s tone. TIME’s Cloud had unprecedented access to Coulter. He goes more than 6,000 words. And he appears to come away liking her. "On TV or in person, you can trust that Coulter will speak from her heart. The officialdom of punditry, so full of phonies and dullards, would suffer without her humor and fire. Which is not to say you don't want to shut her up occasionally," Cloud notes.
Cover Girl: Ann Coulter

Barbara Boxer Cant Count Very Well

Liberal Senator Barbara Boxer seems to enjoy grandstanding at confirmation hearings. It was pointed out earlier this week how "Boxer chose to take three minutes of videotape out of a lifetime of government service, to show Bolton's incompetence vis a vis the UN. Talk about taking things out of context." Now Robert Novak notes Barbara Boxer's fuzzy math in his Inside Report: Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, while claiming her opposition to the confirmation of John Bolton as United Nations ambassador was rare, has actually voted against 11 of President Bush's nominees. "I myself went back to the record," Boxer said at last week's hearing on Bolton's nomination. "I voted no three times out of hundreds that have come through this committee." In fact, she opposed the only two controversial Bush nominees considered by the Foreign Relations Committee: Condoleezza Rice for secretary of state and Bolton for under secretary of state. Boxer has voted against every Bush nominee facing any significant opposition. They include John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales for attorney general, Theodore Olson for solicitor general, Gale Norton for secretary of the interior and Michael Leavitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Good catch by Novak, but Boxer's misleading statements should come as no surprise. The more outrageous Barbara Boxer gets, the more the left cheers her on.
Liberal Senator Barbara Boxer

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Are you A South Park Republican?

Cruel Kev's South Park Character
Much has been made in the last couple of years about so-called South Park Republicans. South Park Republican is a term that was circulated in a few articles and weblogs on the Internet circa 2001 and 2002, to describe what was claimed by the authors as a "new wave" of young adults and teenagers who hold conservative and libertarian political beliefs. The phrase was coined in 2001 by commentator Andrew Sullivan in response to the two principal creators of the television show South Park declaring themselves to be Republicans. The term is meant to be more of a casual indication of beliefs than a strong partisan label. For example Trey Parker is actually a registered member of the United States Libertarian Party, The show’s co-creator, Matt Stone, sums it up: “I hate conservatives, but I really $%^$@#! hate liberals.”
Now you too can be a South Park Republican! Just click here and create your own South Park character

Saturday, April 16, 2005

For All You Nogger Lovers

A Swedish rights group cried foul over advertisements for a liquorice ice-cream, saying the posters for "Nogger Black" were racist. Not only could the name of the ice-cream bar made by GB Glace cause offence, but the posters, with graffiti-style text, lampooned black culture, the Center Against Racism said. "The GB Glace company may not be racist, but the ads they use give new life to racist stereotypes," the campaigning group said in a statement. GB Glace, a part of Anglo-Dutch group Unilever, said it did not believe the ice-cream, or its advertising, was racist. However, it was considering withdrawing another advertising campaign due in May. "Even if the word 'black' in the logo is inspired by graffiti, we don't see anything wrong with that, nor about alluding to black culture or hip-hop," GB Glace spokeswoman Petronella Warg said. "We certainly had no intention that the name, 'Nogger', would be associated with any negative word." A chocolate version of the Nogger ice cream, with a nougat center, has been on sale in Sweden for decades.

Boston Globe Fabricates News

A Boston Globe freelance writer fabricated large chunks of a story published this week, the newspaper said on Friday in the latest incident to embarrass the U.S. media. The Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Co. Said it stopped using writer Barbara Stewart because of a story that ran on Wednesday about a seasonal hunt for baby seals off Newfoundland -- a hunt, it turns out, had not taken place. The story datelined Halifax, Nova Scotia described in graphic detail how the seal hunt began on Tuesday, with water turning red as hunters on some 300 boats shot harp seal cubs "by the hundreds." The problem, however, was that the hunt did not begin on Tuesday; it was delayed by bad weather and was scheduled to start on Friday, weather permitting, the Globe said in an editor's note. Stewart could not immediately be reached for comment. The newspaper, which received a complaint from the Canadian government, said it should not have published the story and should have insisted on attribution for details because the writer was not reporting from the scene. "Details included the number of hunters, a description of the scene, and the approximate age of the cubs. The author's failure to accurately report the status of the hunt and her fabrication of details at the scene are clear violations of the Globe's journalistic standards," it added. Canada is extremely sensitive about the hunt, during which hundreds of thousands of seals are beaten to death or shot for their pelts every year. U.S. activists, who says the seals are killed inhumanely, are urging consumers to shun Canadian seafood until the hunt is stopped. Canadian Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan said his officials had called the paper to point out the error. "We've been trying to get the facts out about the seal harvest, the fact that the herd is very healthy ... that in 98 percent of cases it (the hunt) is done in a humane way," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. Officials with the newspaper were not immediately available for further comment. U.S. media organizations have been hit with a series of high-profile cases involving plagiarism or fabrication. In 2003, The New York Times' top two editors, Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, left the paper after it was disclosed that reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated and plagiarized material. CBS News, The Washington Post, NBC News, CNN, the New Republic magazine and USA Today are among the other media icons caught up in celebrated flaps over inaccurate reporting.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Minnesota State Senator Admits To Being A Cock Sucker

A Minnesota state senator who disrespected his party in voting against a measure to that would bring an amendment to the state’s constitution to prohibit gay marriage to the full Senate has revealed that he is a FAG. The senator, Republican Paul Koering, has also endorsed efforts to expose gay politicians who wield their power to oppose gay rights. Koering, 40, hails from farm country, some 150 miles north of Minneapolis. He says his decision to come out was a complex one, but that the marriage amendment vote—aligned with the two year anniversary of his mother’s death—finally led him to believe the time was right. Since the vote, Koering says he’s been besieged by calls and emails from people wanting to know his orientation. “It’s hampered me from doing the real work that I want to do here,” Koering told reporters. “I just felt that I need to talk to these reporters and say, Yep I take it up the ass, so what? and now that’s done let’s talk about the real issues, good paying jobs with healthcare benefits,” (anything to avoid discussing my passion for ainal penatertion.) As a pretend Republican legislator who stood alone against his party to take a stand against his constituency, Koering’s support for reporting on “hypocritical” fag politicians—including Republicans—is certain to send a shockwave through the Washington sissy community. "Somebody who is possibly in the closet and uses their bully pulpit or their position to bash gay people or to make gay people’s lives difficult... and are in essence leading a double life — people like that need to be exposed for the hypocrite that they are," Koering the sack sucker says. “And I sometimes find that, I feel that the people that you find who are hollering the loudest and who are putting people down the most are the ones that have the most to hide,” he added. “They’re so uncomfortable in their own skin that they have to tear everybody else down to make themselves feel good.” Other prominent gay rights groups disagree. Mark Shields, a spokesman for the gay lobby Human Rights Campaign, said they were glad to hear of the senator’s decision. He added, however, that HRC continues to maintain a policy that politicians who maintain gay private lives should not forced out of the closet based on their public positions on gay issues. “We encourage anyone to come out and take that step and we hope that people will do that on their own time and in their own way,” Shields said. “It’s a brave and bold step.” The Log Cabin Republicans, who also work for gay rights, oppose reporting on gay politicians who oppose gay rights. “Our position on this has been absolutely crystal clear," said Log Cabin political director Chris Barron. "We oppose outing, period. So far this outing campaign has not changed one vote. Every moment spent calling an office to find out whether or not someone is gay is a call not spent encouraging a legislator to support pro-gay legislation or encouraging a legislator not to vote for anti-gay legislation." Koering says that he called the Log Cabin group after seeing their hottie executive director on CSPAN. He says he has spoken with their Washington office, but that ultimately the executive director failed to return his calls. “If I was the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans and you’re trying to promote gay Republicans and some legislator calls and says 'I’m gay,' I guess I would have kept calling every three minutes order to talk to that person,” he said. "I tried his number four or five times and then I just gave up." Barron disagreed with Koering's assessment, saying the Log Cabin's director—a former state legislator himself— had offered to fly out and visit him. Both Koering and Barron stated that they had an amicable conversation a short time ago. As a farmer for fifteen years, Koering worked hard for his Senate seat, and the decision to announce that he is gay could mean he’ll eventually be out of a job. He campaigned for the same seat for seven years, finally defeating a long-term incumbent in 2000. “There were nights that I would finish milking and I would go to bed and I would cramp up – I would almost cry myself to sleep,” he said of his long crusade for his seat. After he lost an earlier election, he says, he “was in every parade with my float, I went to every church dinner, I went to every chamber function, I kissed every baby three times.”(just like Michael Jackson) But the vote against the marriage amendment brought relief, he stated. I actually feel relieved that I voted the way I did, I feel like I made a selfish vote, and I wouldn’t change it, the senator told reporters. “And I feel like I did do the right thing. And if in doing the right thing I get unelected, I guess that’s fine with me. I can live with that.”

Minnesota state senator Paul Koering, With his hand in his pocket pressed lightly against his leg

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Kevin Knocks Up Britney Spears

Britney Spears has revealed what might be Hollywood's worst-kept secret: She's pregnant. In a posting on her Web site, Spears told fans that she and husband, Kevin were expecting their first child together. The couple were married in September. "There are reports that I was in the hospital this weekend, and Kevin and I just want everyone to know that all is well. Magazines have speculated for weeks that the 23-year-old singer was pregnant, noting her expanding waistline. She's previously expressed a desire to start a family. Kevin has two children with his ex-girlfriend.
Every one wants to get their hands on KEVIN!
Here is your chance to get your hands on your very own KEVIN DOLL
Click Image

I have nothing to do with the sale of this item, I just thought it would be neat for some one to have their own little Kevin sitting by their computer when visiting CRUEL KEV'S SCUTTELBUTT

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Sen. John Kerry Blows Cover of CIA Agent

Mr. Smith came to Washington again Monday, as an alias for a Central Intelligence Agency officer who works covertly. Senators, however, may have blown his cover. During questioning on John R. Bolton's nomination to be President Bush's ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton and members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee referred to ``Mr. Smith'' as one official among several who were involved in a dispute over what Democrats asserted was Bolton's inappropriate treatment of an intelligence analyst who disagreed with him. ``We referred to this other analyst at the CIA, whom I'll try and call Mr. Smith here, I hope I can keep that straight,'' Bolton said at one point. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., mentioned a name, Fulton Armstrong, that had not previously come up in public accounts of the intelligence flap. It is not clear whether Armstrong is the undercover officer, but an exchange between Kerry and Bolton suggests that he may be. In questioning Bolton, Kerry read from a transcript of closed-door interviews that committee staffers conducted with State Department officials prior to Monday's hearing. ``Did Otto Reich share his belief that Fulton Armstrong should be removed from his position? The answer is yes,'' Kerry said, characterizing one interview. ``Did John Bolton share that view?'' Kerry said, and then said the answer again was yes. ``As I said, I had lost confidence in Mr. Smith, and I conveyed that,'' Bolton replied evenly. ``I thought that was the honest thing to do.''

Aliens Hide From Minuteman Patrols In Canyons

Several hundred illegal aliens are holed up in the canyons of the Coronado National Memorial here, six miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, unable to meet up with smugglers because of ongoing patrols by Minuteman Project volunteers. Cindy Kolb, who has lived in the area for the past six years, yesterday told The Washington Times that she saw about 300 aliens "huddled in the brush" near her home, waiting to come down the wide, brush-covered washes that cross State Highway 92 to be picked up in vans and trucks headed north. "They're hiding in the bushes, waiting to hook up with the smugglers in the very same area that our children wait for the school bus," said Mrs. Kolb, who waits with her daughter daily, armed with a pistol holstered on her ankle. "Maybe President Bush doesn't care about this, but many of us do," she said. Her comments came as the U.S. Border Patrol rounded up about 30 illegal aliens, who had been spotted and reported by the Minuteman volunteers, on the shoulder of Highway 92 near her home. Mrs. Kolb stood on the highway and applauded the agents and the Minuteman volunteers as the aliens were loaded into a Border Patrol truck. "Thank you, Border Patrol. Thank you, Minuteman volunteers," she shouted across the roadway, jumping with both hands in the air. The Coronado National Memorial is a favorite corridor for alien and drug smugglers, who bring their cargoes over the mountains -- some ranging as high as 9,400 feet high -- from Mexico and down the canyons and washes on the west side to make connections with northbound vehicles. Law-enforcement authorities said many of the drug smugglers also have been stopped by the Minuteman volunteers, who have set up observation posts all along Highway 92 -- focusing on the numerous deep washes and concrete culverts that cross the four-lane road. One member of a civilian reconnaissance patrol team, who asked not to be identified, said that during a patrol in the Coronado mountains this week, he saw some drug smugglers bury their loads, waiting for the Minutemen's departure, scheduled for April 30. He said the drug smugglers had placed spotters in the mountains, armed with two-way radios to report on the Minuteman patrols. He also said the smugglers were trying to jam radio frequencies used by the Minuteman volunteers to contact each other and the Border Patrol. "There's no doubt that they're waiting out the Minutemen," he said. Border Patrol officials here did not return calls yesterday for comment. Chris Simcox, a Tombstone newspaper publisher and founder of the Civil Homeland Defense organization in Arizona, said, "One of the reasons we targeted that area was because of the numerous complaints from homeowners that illegal aliens were overrunning their property. "Since our patrols began, we have received numerous letters, e-mails and personal comments from the residents, thanking us for being in the area," he said. Mr. Simcox said the alien smugglers "have to be under a lot of pressure" to move the migrants out of the canyons, because of a limited supply of food and water. "I would expect to see large numbers of aliens being moved out of the canyons under the cover of darkness over the next several days," he said. "But the Minuteman volunteers will be there to observe and report them to the Border Patrol."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Capitol Bomb Scare

Police on Monday tackled and forcibly dragged away a man dressed in black and carrying two suitcases who had stationed himself in front of the west side of the U.S. Capitol. The Senate side of the building was evacuated. People on the House side were told to stay away from windows facing the west front. A large area around the Capitol also was cleared, including the area where tourists line up for tours. The area, which overlooks the National Mall, including the Washington Monument, had been filled with tourists on a beautiful spring day. Police, some armed with assault rifles, then moved in slowly behind the man, who faced the Capitol from a plaza below its west entrance. They jumped a low wall, rushed the man from behind, threw him to the ground and dragged him away, leaving the suitcases behind. But there are reports the man was Asian or Chinese and did not understand the security guards when they questioned him. There was never any actual threat. (We Don't Know That!) Among the officials whose offices are on the west side of the Capitol looking out upon the National Mall are House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. There was no word on the man's motive, he is 33 years old, from China and carrying no identification. A three-hour investigation of the suitcases, including blasting them with a water cannon, revealed nothing threatening, Gainer said.
Captiol Police approach an unidentified man who stood in front of the U.S. Capitol with two suitcases.

US Troop Withdrawal In 2 Years Says Iraqi President Jalal Talabani

Iraq's new president says U.S. and other allied forces are still needed in his country, but that he hopes a withdrawal of foreign troops will be possible within the next two years. President Jalal Talabani dismissed the possibility of an immediate U.S. troop withdrawal, as demanded by uneducated Shi'ite hillbilly like militants during a recent demonstration in Baghdad. But, Mr. Talabani vowed Iraq will create condition that will eventually allow foreign forces to leave. "We are in great need to have American and other allied forces in Iraq until we will be able to rebuild our military forces. I think within two years we can do it, and we will remain in full consultation and coordination with our American friends who came to liberate our country," he said. The Iraqi president expressed confidence that a constitution will be drafted in the months to come. He said that one of the tasks of the new government will be to put former ruler Saddam Hussein on trial. The president said that extending democracy will promote unity in Iraq, and that no one should be surprised that a one-time Kurdish guerrilla leader was chosen as president. "When we struggle for a democratic Iraq, this must be based on full equality for all Iraqis, and the Kurds are one important part. Of course they have the right to any kind of post they deserve. The new democratic Iraq will be free from discrimination and from religious oppression," he said. Also appearing on Late Edition was the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, who praised the ability of Iraqis of different backgrounds to engage constructively with each other, as demonstrated by the country's new leadership in recent days. "They represent folks in Iraq who have warred with each other since the beginning of the country. So this is an extraordinary turning point, that in a practical, pragmatic way they are sitting down and talking," he said. But the ranking Democrat on the committee, Senator Joe Biden, cautioned that serious hurdles remain in Iraq. "The big outstanding issue here is: how are we going to get the Sunnis to get engaged in this [process], because no constitution that is going to be able to fly [be viable] is going to written between now and August without greater Sunni participation," he said. Mr. Biden predicted U.S. forces will pull out of Iraq within two-to-three years - either because they are no longer needed, or because the American public grows weary of the troop commitment.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Cookie Monster Switches To Pineapple

Cookie Monster, the blue-furred Muppet known for his voracious appetite, will be eating less of his favourite food in the coming season. The change in Cookie Monster's diet is obvously due to Cruel Kev's "The Joy Of Pineapple" influence. Cookie Monster is famous for scarfing down cookies by the plateful. He is so enamoured of cookies that he has been known to burst into song, chanting in his throaty voice, "'C' is for cookie, that's good enough for me." Now that Sesame Street is in its 36th season, which kicked off this week, he will be singing a different tune – called Cookies Are a Sometimes Food. The song will preach restraint, telling children that some foods can be eaten "anytime," while others – like cookies – should be eaten only "sometimes." Each new episode of Sesame Street will also open with a health tip for kids about nutrition or exercise. New characters will be featured, including talking eggplants and carrots. The segment American Fruit Stand will parody American Bandstand.
Hooters the Owl, left, and Pineapple fan Cookie Monster

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Post Office Seeks Higher Stamp Prices

The Postal Service filed a request Friday seeking higher rates, and blames Congress for hike. The agency wants a 2-cent increase in first-class mail, and similar increases for other types of mail, to take effect early next year. "This rate increase is not required or needed for postal operations or postal expenses or postal salaries, or anything like that," Gerry McKiernan, USPS manager of media relations, told reporters. McKiernan said that the Postal Service is seeking the increase, 5.4 percent across the board, only because of a requirement that it establish an escrow fund with a $3.1 billion payment next year. Congress mandated the escrow requirement in 2003 when it passed a law reducing the amount of money the agency has to pay into its retirement system, which auditors said was being overfunded. Instead Congress ordered the money to be put into the escrow fund. Elimination of that fund has been included in bills that would make other changes in postal operations, but Congress has NOT acted on the proposals. "Absent the need to fill the obligation for the pension fund, the Postmaster General has said that we would not be filing the rate increase this year," he said. The agency has sought congressional action to eliminate that requirement. "Quiet conceivably, the Congress could change the law before the year is over, which would then obviate the need for the rate increase and we would rescind it," McKiernan said. The Postal Service is asking the Postal Rate Commission, which is independent, for an expedited ruling by next fall. If it gets its wish, that would mean a rate hike in January. But if the commission takes its usual 9 to 10 months, the increase wouldn't go into effect until the middle of 2006. And the result might not be two cents extra for a letter. "What the Postal Service requests isn't necessarily what it gets," reports de Vries. "The commission is free to modify this request and give the Postal Service none of what it wants, some of what it wants — or even more than it requested." Any increase also doesn't have to be the same across the board, in all classifications and for all rates. The last rate increase was three cents, in 2002
John E. Potter: Postmaster General,United States Postal Service

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Bike Path Pirates

Police are warning people about robbers on a popular bike trail. At least four people have been robbed on the Cedar Lake Trail. The attacks happened while people have been biking or walking on the trail, usually near the Interstate 394 overpass. The latest attack happened around four p-m in the afternoon, during high traffic time. The trail is popular with bikers commuting to and from work. In a couple of incidents, the attackers hid behind some pillars, jumped out, knocked the victims off their bikes, robbed them and then ran off. More police are now patrolling the trail. They're warning bikers and walkers to watch out. And Cruel Kev. Who is a avid user of bike trails is warning "bike path pirates" to get the hell off the trails and crawl back under what ever rock they crawled out from, Or feel the Wrath of Cruel Kev.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

House Votes To Put Marriage Before Voters

After a passionate debate that stretched over three hours, the Minnesota House voted 77-56 to put a gay marriage ban before voters next year. The bill would ask voters to amend the state constitution to define marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. Supporters of the constitutional amendment said it would prevent courts from allowing same-sex marriages, even though state law already prohibits them. "The only way to ensure that activist judges don't circumvent the will of the people is by allowing the people of Minnesota to have their voices heard," said Rep. Dan Severson, R-Sauk Rapids, the bill's sponsor. "That definition may stand in our books." Sixty-four of the 68 House Republicans voted for the ban, which also picked up the votes of 13 DFLers. Three Republicans voted against it, and one was absent.
Democrats who opposed the ban said it would trample the civil rights of a minority without helping troubled heterosexual couples. They criticized the bill for diverting attention from pressing problems facing schools, the health care system and economy. "What single heterosexual marriage that exists today will be saved by the passage of this amendment?" said Rep. Keith Ellison, DFL-Minneapolis. "Nobody thinking about getting divorced today will change their mind based on this amendment." An attempt to remove same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships from the constitutional amendment was defeated. Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, said the ban on gay civil unions would threaten health benefits and legal rights now extended to same-sex partners. "These words harm people," said Clark, a lesbian. "The people of Minnesota have a right to know that you would take away basic benefits from us." The House vote - not quite as lopsided as last year's 88-42 vote - means the effort to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions is halfway to the ballot. All that's needed now is approval from the DFL-controlled Senate, which never voted on the issue last year. Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson warned Republicans that if they push for a gay-marriage vote this session, they'll also have to vote on constitutional amendments on universal health insurance, environmental protections and a ban on state-run casinos. "The real challenge this year will be the Minnesota Senate," said Gary Borgendale, who works for Minnesota for Marriage and held a sign reading "Defend Marriage" outside House chambers.

If the Senate passes the bill, voters would be asked this question: "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that the state and its political subdivisions shall recognize marriage or its legal equivalent as limited to only the union of one man and one woman?" The question would join a crowded ballot in November 2006 - the governor, a U.S. senator, congressional representatives and the entire Legislature are up for election. Minnesota already has the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" requiring marriages to be between members of the opposite sex and preventing the state from recognizing same-sex unions granted by other states. Backers of the constitutional amendment say they need a stronger measure to cement the definition of marriage, lest judges should decide to allow gay unions. Legislators can change laws easily from year to year, but amending the constitution is more difficult and requires direct approval from voters. Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage have been proposed in 18 states, after voters approved them in about a dozen states last November. Marriage amendments will be on ballots in Kansas next week and in Alabama, South Dakota and Tennessee next year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

North Koreans In China For Nuclear Talks

A senior North Korean official is in China for talks with the country's officials over the stalled six-way talks on North Korea's nuclear programs, diplomatic sources said late Sunday. While one of the sources said the official, who apparently arrived Saturday, was First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju, who is in charge of the nuclear issue, another source said it was Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, Pyongyang's chief negotiator for the six-way talks. South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said the visiting official was Kang, and that he met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Chinese Ambassador on Korean Peninsula Affairs Ning Fukui. Kang was being accompanied by four other officials, Yonhap said, adding that it was unclear whether Kang's entourage includes Kim. The trip is the second high-level visit from North Korea following that by Premier Pak Pong Ju, who visited China on March 22-27. Six countries -- China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States -- met for three rounds of talks since August 2003. But a fourth round failed to take place in late September after Pyongyang refused to attend, citing the United States' ''hostile'' attitude against North Korea. China has been working to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.
Washington believes that North Korea may have two crude nuclear devices. Experts say it may have reprocessed enough plutonium for half a dozen more since the standoff erupted and it kicked out international monitors and pulled out of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Islamic Scholar Predicts No USA by 2007

According to the Jerusalem Post, Palestinian scholar Ziad Silwadi claims he has the Koranic proof that the USA will be entirely swamped by a massive Tsunami in 2007.
He gets his calculation by taking certain numbers of verses in the Koran and adding them up and using the verse of the last Sura in the list. His claims are that we will pay a heavy price due to our sinful ways and Allah has already ordained it. What gets me is the statement he made about the USA being judged for its ethnic cleansing of Blacks and American Indians, and its history of enslavement. He also likened the USA to Pharaoh of the Ten Commandments fame. Now this is not the first time I have seen Islamic scholars make claims as such, nor is it the first time I have seen Muslims make absurd claims about Koranic authority in prophetic issues that when read by any other entity outside of Islam, becomes almost laughable if the fact did not exist that those concepts were so widely accepted and acted upon. He states we are similar to Pharaoh due to our arrogance in the aforementioned matters. This too is laughable. What most Muslims refuse to see is their own arrogance when it comes to Koranic Law and Islamic culture. For instance, they deem themselves as better than most due to the fact that they are commanded to exact taxes from non-Mohammedan peoples and lands. They are allowed in Koran to take land and enslave those within. They are allowed to kill non-Mohammedans and those Muslims who leave the faith due simply to the arrogance they have concerning their faith. For a faith that is so peaceful and non-compulsive, it sure seems those who come into contact with it have little choice but to believe, or become enslaved or murdered. Now, what this scholar obviously did not see is that so many Blacks in America who were slaves were captured and sold to the Americans by Muslims. The fact that Islam to this day still enslaves Blacks in the Sudan, takes their land, slaughters them wholesale, and starves them out while raping their women does not seem to be an issue with him or the Muslims who believe his malarkey. It also does not seem to be stated that the Koran in several places also claims that the land of Israel, including the Temple Mount belongs to the Jews. And the fact that ANY Islamic people would kill and commit suicide to steal that land is in total contradiction to their own holy book. Yet most Muslims support them. Yet the Palestinians who sold that land to the Jews early in the 20th century now squat upon it and have slaughtered innocent people all over the land in order to do what this scholar claims the USA has done. Taken land which was not theirs. As they do in Sudan, as the Taliban did in Afghanistan, as they attempt in the Philippines, and other places. So the true arrogance belongs not to the USA as this scholar claims, but to the Muslims who buy into his garbage as well as the scholar himself who obviously thinks that Islamic nations will be immune to the kidnapping, the wholesale slaughter of innocents, the rapes, the poverty, the enslavement, and theft they have inflicted upon so many other cultures and peoples since the inception of Islam. You see, it is OK for them to perpetuate these things, because they believe they are better and more holy than other religions and cultures. They believe they do nothing more than a butcher does with his cattle when they perform their beheadings. They believe the Sudanese are subhuman and therefore it is acceptable to enslave them. They believe that any non-Islamic land can be taken from those who are not believers in Islam. After all, Mohammed himself called blacks “Raisin Heads” and made insinuation they were subhuman and worthy only of slavery. Not that the USA or any other nation on Earth is innocent. We all have our flaws. But if Islam desires justice and if they believe Allah is just in punishing those who perform acts of wickedness, then Islam itself will be judged quite heavily by Allah as well, unless of course, Allah is a hypocrite. You see, when the Tsunami hit Indonesia, it was the Christians and Jews who were blamed. We were blamed due the fact that some scholar had figured out that every time the Christians and Jews had a Holy Day, some catastrophe hit an Islamic area. Of course many of the same events happened during and directly after Ramadan, but that never seems to matter to Muslims who desire an enemy to blame for their own erroneous ways. It became a fact to those in the Islamic world and due to its wide acceptance, bred even more hatred toward those Islam already hates. So perhaps a Tsunami will hit the USA some day. Being surrounded entirely by large oceans, it does not take a rocket scientist to make a claim that could easily happen due to natural circumstances. But if it does, it will not be due to Allah and some laughable calculations from someone who hates the USA. But if I am wrong, and somehow the god of Islam does judge the acts stated by this scholar, the IF the god of Islam is righteous and true in his judgments, Islamic nations will also have to be judged and whatever fate lies for the Infidels, a much greater destruction would await Muslims, as their historic and present nature show much more violence and injustice to their own and others than their acts of those they claim are Infidels. If this is the manner of justice doled out in Islam, I would be building an Ark in the desert if I were living under Islamic influence.
One Tsunami, Two Tsunami, Three Tsunami, Four.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Mexican Military on Standby in Response to Minutemen

Mexico's President Vicente Fox is preparing to respond militarily to a group of U.S volunteers who plan to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, positioning more than a thousand troops nearby, according to an Arizona TV station. "The Mexican military is on standby," reports NBC's Tucson affiliate KVOA. "One unit has about a thousand soldiers. They're located just across the border." Over the last week spokesmen for the border patrol volunteers, who dub themselves Minutemen, have said they will not attempt to detain Mexican illegals, but rather report them to the Border Patrol and track them till they're apprehended. Despite the assurances, Mexican officials met with the mayor of Douglas, Ariz., on Tuesday to discuss how they will handle potential violence, KVOA said. Last week President Fox warned at a Mexico City press conference: "We totally reject the idea of these migrant-hunting groups. We will use the law, international law and even U.S. law to make sure these types of groups, which are a minority, will not have any opportunity to progress."
Minutemen patrol the border