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Current Events Archive            Date Archived:  February 21st 2006

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Libertarian Coalition helps Stop Gas Tax Rise

Libertarian Coalition helps Stop Gas Tax Rise

Libertarians Stop the Gas Tax

St Petersburg, Florida--As if gas costs weren't high enough, officials in Pinellas county, Florida wanted to add more gas taxes, some feared as a prelude to a general tax rise. It looked like they would get it too, with a barrage of favorable media on the need to stop gas gouging and fund public services.

Not so fast, said the local Libertarian Party, headquartered in St. Petersburg. They held a public meeting, e-mailed and phoned aliies, contacted officials, and quickly cobbled an informal  coalition with the motto: "Why Are Taxes Your Major Cost?"

The Libertarians had already attracted attention by posting a link that gave the cheapest gas station at their site, and distributing thousands of flyers inviting people to check it out. Libertarian Coalition helps Stop Gas Tax Rise


How Libertarian Affiliate makes steady Gains

How Libetarian  Affiliate makes steady Gains

Every Drop Counts

St Petersburg, FL--As Libertarian Party affiliates go, the Pinellas, Florida affiliate will admit it's a little special--mostly from consistently doing the humdrum basics in its party and movement manuals.

Says affiliate Secretary Julie Chorgo, "They say get people to be members and take the LP pledge, so we get people to be members. They say never compromise, so we never compromise. They say know how to explain and present Libertarian alternatives from limited government to classical anarchism, to form coalitions with lots of voter-driven transitional proposals, so that's what we do. They say be bottom-up organizers, praise creativity, so we encourage that. They say get out and make phone calls, have book clubs, talk to students and knock on doors, so we do that.  How Libertarian Affiliate makes steady Gains


Libertarian Best Seller Dave  Bergland on Radio Show

Libertarian Best Seller Dave  Bergland on Radio Show

David Bergland

St Petersburg, Fl--Author David Bergland, whose best selling  "Libertarianism in One Lesson" has been the foundation of courses and citizen workshops in hundreds of cities around the world, will be a guest on FreedomWorks!, the popular Libertarian radio call-in show.

The show, based in Pinellas, Florida, showcases activists and opinion leaders interested in Libertarian alternatives every week at 9 PM Tuesdays, EST. The show is internet simulcast at http://www.TheFreedomWorks.org and may be called in with a national toll free number available at the site.

Mr. Bergland, a human rights attorney, has released a new edition of his book, which explores how the Libertarian principle of self-ownership--in effect the basic principle of traditional natural and common law, "cuius eio", or to each his own--provides powerful solutions to social and political puzzles if consistently applied. Libertarian Best Seller Dave  Bergland on Radio Show


Solar Energy Initiative – California approves $2.9 Billion Program

Solar Energy Initiative – California approves $2.9 Billion Program

Solar Panel Shingles

A new program has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) called the California Solar Initiative.  This is a 10 year program that will pay out $2.9 billion on rebates for solar power systems installed on rooftops.  It will further expand to solar hot water and solar heating and cooling systems after time.

With shortages of power available to California residents, solar power is just another method to help make power for its residents.  By the year of 2017, it is hoped that the state will increase the states power by 3,000 megawatts.  Solar Energy Initiative – California approves $2.9 Billion Program


Florida Libertarians: Voucher Decision "New Jim Crow"

Florida Libertarians: Voucher Decision "New Jim Crow"

Michael Gilson-De Lemos

St Petersburg, Fl--Some Florida Libertarians and concerned parents involved in education characterized a Florida Supreme Court ruling against vouchers as "institutionalizing ignorance" and "bizarre, unrealistic, and a new form of Jim Crow to keep the poor out of private schools."
 
So said attendees and e-participants for a workshop for parents concerned about the decision hosted by Libertarians. Michael Gilson-De Lemos, who serves on a local schooling board in Pinellas county and is a frequent speaker to schools and educators on Libertarian alternatives, hosted the forum.
 
The Florida court ruled against the Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who led a coalition that brought about what observers felt was one of the most successful voucher plans in the US.  Florida Libertarians: Voucher Decision "New Jim Crow"

The President and States Step in As Confusion Occurs with New Medicare Part D Program

The President and States Step in As Confusion Occurs with New Medicare Part D Program

Trouble getting medications

It has been reported that tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been unable to get their medication under the new Part D program.  The Bush administration has stepped in telling insurers that they must provide a 30-day supply of any drug their beneficiary has been taking.  Also, if a beneficiary is poor, they may not be charged more than $5 for brand named drugs and $2 for generics. 

Some states have declared public health emergencies. Certain states have even stepped up to the plate saying they would pay for prescriptions that should be covered by the federal Medicare program.

The program has been frustrating for many pharmacists.  The vast majority of beneficiaries have been covered, but there have been glitches.  There are reports of insurance companies being swamped with phone calls.  The President and States Step in As Confusion Occurs with New Medicare Part D Program


A Religion of Peace and Tolerance!

A RELIGION OF PEACE AND TOLERANCE!

Islamic symbol

Ibrahim Hoopercrit of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) says Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, says Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. John Esposito, Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, says Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. Could they be wrong: these Three Wise Men? Okay, maybe they are not so wise, but there are three of them. How about Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, the Three Islmo-teers; or better yet, in the absence of incense and myrrh but not smoke and mirrors—Larry, Moe and Curly? A Religion of Peace and Tolerance!


Bird Flu Mixed Messages From Turkey - WHO and United Nations Conflict

Bird Flu Mixed Messages From Turkey - WHO and United Nations

Turkey

There are mixed messages coming out of Turkey concerning the Bird Flu situation.  The World Health Organization (WHO) expects bird flu cases to decline in Turkey. They do expect more cases but the numbers are likely to decline.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the bird flu could become a major endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to its neighbors.  According to an FAO statement "The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 could become endemic in Turkey."  Reuters reported that Juan Lubroth, senior animal health officer said the virus could spread despite the control measures taken. . "Far more human and animal exposure to the virus will occur if strict containment does not isolate all known and unknown locations where the bird flu virus is currently present," Lubroth said.  Bird Flu Mixed Messages From Turkey - WHO and United Nations Conflict


19 Brands of Dog Food Recalled - killed at least 100 Dogs

Toxic Dog Food kills at least 100 Dogs

Country Value Dog Food

A recall has been issued for Diamond, Country Value and Professional brand dog food because it contains highly toxic and deadly aflatoxins.  With at least 100 dogs dead in the last few weeks Cornell University veterinarians are very concerned that more people do not know of the recall and continue to feed their dogs this lethal dog food.

Cornell veterinarians have developed a test for dogs to test of the aflatoxin poisoning, this will help to diagnose and treat the ill dog before it is too late.  The report released from these veterinarians say that about two-thirds of the dogs that ingest enough of the toxic food die.

"Entire kennels have been wiped out, and because of the holiday these past few weeks, the dispersal of recall information was disrupted," said Sharon Center, a professor of veterinary medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.
19 Brands of Dog Food Recalled - killed at least 100 Dogs


U.S. Postal Service mailing rate increase starts January 8th

U.S. Postal Service mailing rate increase starts January 8th

39 cent Lady Liberty Stamp

The new mailing rate increase will be raised from 37 cents up to 39 cents for first class mail and postcards will go up from 23 cents to 24 cents.  The rates were approved back on November 14th for approximately a 5.4 percent increase.

If your mail is over 1 ounce the rate was 60 cents and now is 63 cents.  Priority mail has increased as well with 1 pound that was $3.85 is now going to be $4.05.  The Priority mail flat rate box was $7.70 and will be $8.10.  Many other rates have increased included delivery confirmation services, as well as the cost to purchase a Postal money order. 

The U.S. Postal Service is not the only rate raise.  Fedex has increased their ground shipping rates starting on January 1st; UPS will likely increase their rates soon too.  One potential cause to the price increase may be related to higher fuel costs.  U.S. Postal Service mailing rate increase starts January 8th


TV 'Law and Order" Actor on Why He Likes Libertarians

TV 'Law and Order" Actor Michael Moriarty on Why He Likes Libertarians

Michael Moriarty

St Petersburg, Florida--Libertarians have a lot to say about improving society, says Michael Moriarty, former star of TV's 'Law & Order' and distinguished actor of numerous films.

Mr. Moriarty will be giving a special rare interview on the Call-In Libertarian Radio Show 'FreedomWorks!' at 9 PM EST, on Tuesday, January 3, 2006.  The show can be heard via internet at its site at http://www.TheFreedomWorks.org and welcomes call in comments at 1-866-TAN-1340.

The popular actor has been a hit with critics as well, and won two Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and a Golden Globe Award. His movies include "Bang the Drum Slowly" and "Pale Rider."  TV Law and Order Actor on Why He Likes Libertarians


Arial Sharon Heart Surgery Condition is Common But Very Serious

Arial Sharon Heart Surgery Condition is Common But Very Serious

Dacron patches / seals

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will undergo a catheterization procedure within the next couple weeks to repair a hole between the atrial chambers of his heart.  This is relatively common birth defect that affects 15 to 25 percent of the population. 

The hole was discovered by doctors when Mr. Sharon was treated for a minor stroke last week.  It was a tiny hole measuring just 1 or 2 millimeters. 

Sharon is lucky.  There was a time when this condition required open heart surgery, where the chest is cut open and the sternum is opened up.  Patients used to be hooked up to a heart lung machine that took over heart and lung functions while the surgeons operated on the heart.  Arial Sharon Heart Surgery Condition is Common But Very Serious


Tackling Medicare Part D Insurance Lingo

Tackling Medicare Part D Insurance Lingo

Medicare

Part D is an insurance policy; it is purchased from an insurance company, pure and simple! Although the government created the guidelines of the plan and pays the insurer about three times the amount that you pay, insurers are to follow the minimum rules or their actuarially equivalent.

Here are the terms that you need to understand. These terms may not be included in all plans, but many.

Insurer: The insurance companies that you will purchase your prescription drug plan from.  Tackling Medicare Part D Insurance Lingo


Students File Class-Action Lawsuit for Unfair Tuition

Students File Class-Action Lawsuit for Unfair Tuition

Tuition Fees Challenged

A group of 42 students and parents filed a class-action lawsuit against California’s public university and community college organization because they are illegally charging more for out-of-state students than illegal immigrants.

The lawsuit was filed in Yolo County Superior Court this past Wednesday. They are challenging California legislation made in 2001 which made provisions for illegal immigrants to pay the California resident fees instead of out-of state fees.  Students File Class-Action Lawsuit for Unfair Tuition


Home Schooled 16 year old Boy wins $100,000 college Scholarship

Home Schooled 16 year old Boy wins $100,000 college Scholarship

Siemens Foundation

Michael Viscardi, who is a homeschooled student from San Diego, California, won a prestigious high school science competition this Monday.  He won for the novel idea to solving an old math problem in the design of airplane wings. 

Viscardi, who is only 16 years old, won the top individual prize for the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology.   The prize is a $100,000 college scholarship.

The judges at the competition were very impressed with Viscardi’s knowledge on math.  Constance Atwell, a lead judge and former research director at the National Institutes of Health stated, “He is a super-duper mathematics student.  It was almost impossible for our judges to figure out the limits of his understanding during our questioning.  And he’s only 16 years old.”  Home Schooled 16 year old Boy wins $100,000 college Scholarship


Vioxx Lawsuit - Merck & Company Trial Beginning in Heart Attack Case

Vioxx Lawsuit - Merck & Company Trial Beginning in Heart Attack Case

Vioxx

The case was brought by the widow of the 53 year old Richard “Dicky” Irvin who took Vioxx for a month to alleviate back pain.  Originally the case venue was New Orleans but has been moved to Houston because of the damage from Hurricane Katrina. 

The goal of the lawyers representing Evelyn Plunkett is to prove that Vioxx led to the death of her husband in May of 2001.  The defense claims that Dicky was in very good health before taking Vioxx.  Vioxx Lawsuit - Merck & Company Trial Beginning in Heart Attack Case


Florida Libertarians in Wikipedia

Florida Libertarians in Wikipedia

Wikipedia

St Petersburg, Florida--The Libertarian Party of Florida, or LPF, is now in Wikipedia, the increasingly popular Web Encyclopedia driven by reader suggestions.
 
The article  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian
_Party_Florida details the State Party's unusual history both as a political group and in the national Libertarian Party.
 
The LPF has attracted considerable attention moving from a struggling group of 22 activists a few years ago to a serious movement with people in government all over the state and the Governor's office.

The article is based on interviews with key members of the LPF and a review of media articles. It provides a valuable list of key article links on its activities and successes for students, media, political leaders, and the general public; and intriguing inside perspectives. Florida Libertarians in Wikipedia

Ford to Eliminate 4,000 more Jobs

Ford to Eliminate 4,000 more Jobs

Ford SUV

Ford announced on Friday, November 18th, that they plan to lay off 4,000 salaried jobs.  The financial strain that the Ford Motor Co. is experiencing, has forced the job cuts of around 10% in the US for the white collar workers.

This is an attempt to restructure their company to pull out of the financial crisis.  They announced by email that they will make the cuts in the first quarter of 2006.  Ford to Eliminate 4,000 more Jobs


Florida Libertarians Help Foil National Eminent Domain

Florida Libertarians Help Foil National Eminent Domain

Florida Libertarians

Orlando, FL--When the Supreme Court recently ruled that seizing people's property for the profit of local developers was not only Constitutional but actually a core purpose of government, many Libertarians sprang into action, coordinated by the Florida Libertarian Party, which has a long history of fighting Eminent Domain in Florida.  Florida Libertarians Help Foil National Eminent Domain


Suicide Bombings kills 82 People in Dual Terrorist Attacks in Iraq

Suicide Bombings kills 82 People in Duel Terrorist Attacks in Iraq

Explosion

Suicide Bombers killed 74 people at two mosques in eastern Iraq and at the same time in Baghdad two car bombs targeting a westerner’s hotel killing eight Iraqis.

The mosques that were attacked were the Sheik Murad and the Khaniqin Grand.  They are both Shi’ite Muslims in Khanaqin.  The attack happened during Friday prayers.  Authorities stated that 74 people were killed with 75 people being injured.  Suicide Bombings kills 82 People in Duel Terrorist Attacks in Iraq


Pat Robertson TV Evangelist warns Pennsylvania Town God won't help them in a Disaster

Pat Robertson TV Evangelist warns Pennsylvania Town God won't help them in a Disaster

Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson who is host to the TV show The 700 Club, has told people in a Pennsylvania town, that God will not help if a disaster strikes because of a vote to not teach evolution with intelligent design.

Pat said on his TV show that the people of Dover have turned their back on God.  The Tuesday vote was proposed to implement the idea of intelligent design into the story of evolution.  Pat Robertson TV Evangelist warns Pennsylvania Town God won't help them in a Disaster


Three Hotels in Amman Jordan hit by Suicide Bombers

Three Hotels in Amman Jordan hit by Suicide Bombers

Days Inn in Amman

Sets of suicide bombers carried out simultaneous attacks in Amman Jordan just before 9 p.m. GMT Wednesday.   It has been reported that at least 57 people were killed and at least 115 people were injured. 

Three hotels were hit: The Grand Hyatt, the Radisson and the Days Inn.  The hotels are frequently used by American and European businessmen and diplomats. This area has become a base for those flying in and out of Iraq.  Since the blasts occurred almost simultaneously some have speculated that al-Qaida might have been behind it. Three Hotels in Amman Jordan hit by Suicide Bombers


Florida Libertarians Launch Campaign for Congress to Actually Read Laws It Passes

Florida Libertarians Launch Campaign for Congress to Actually Read Laws It Passes

Should Congress Read the Bills they Pass?

Washington, D.C.--Should Congressmen get a pay-raise for actually reading the laws they pass?

So wonder tongue-in-cheek Florida newspapers reporting that those plucky Florida Libertarians, joined with non-profit policy groups such as DownSizeDC, have launched another wild-eyed Libertarian initiative: That legislators actually read the laws they vote upon.

"Citizens are automatically held accountable in law to have carefully read and to completely know every jot and tittle of the 50 feet of bookshelves occupied by US law-books and their state's legal statutes. We propose that legislators be nice, and meet the same burden," said Michael Gilson-De Lemos, a movement spokesman and Libertarian affiliate chair in St Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Why should it be the actual standard for 'creating' law?"  Florida Libertarians Launch Campaign for Congress to Actually Read Laws It Passes


Costa Rica Libertarians Control many of the Country's Provinces

Costa Rica Libertarians Control many of the Country's Provinces

Costa Rica

St Petersburg FL--The growing Costa Rican Libertarian movement, which controls some 10% of the country's Congress, has announced it is the main party in 13 of the country's 81 counties.

The Movement also is doing well in Presidential polls, with 10% of the prospective vote. While the Presidential vote is considered a foregone conclusion with the personally popular former President Arias, the fact that they are doing this well is a platform for continued influence, say observers.

The Movement's new website features detailed expositions on Libertarian philosophy, legislative proposals, and promotional items, and features a new motto, "Forward. Don't go backwards even to move forward!" Costa Rica Libertarians Control many of the Country's Provinces


Hurricane Wilma Gathers Strength over Gulf and Heads toward Florida and Cuba

Hurricane Wilma Gathers Strength over Gulf and Heads toward Florida and Cuba

 Wilma 5 day Projected Path

Hurricane Wilma has been downgraded to a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with sustained winds of 100 mph (160 km/hr.  The weather service expects Wilma to strengthen today and tonight over the warm gulf waters and has already accelerated northeastward. 

Hurricane warnings are still in effect for the Florida Keys including Dry Tortugas, Florida Bay and along the west coast of Florida north to Longboat Key.  The East Coast of Florida should prepare as well.  A hurricane warning is in effect from Titusville southward including Okeechobee. 

Tropical storm warnings are in effect northward of Longboat Key to Steinhatchee River. Storm warnings remain in effect along Florida’s East Coast north of Titusville to Flager Beach.  A watch means conditions are expected within 24 hours and a warning means the conditions are likely within 36 hours.  Hurricane Wilma Gathers Strength over Gulf and Heads toward Florida and Cuba


Melting Ice Floods Land in the Arctic Region

Melting Ice Floods Land in the Arctic Region

Arctic Ice melting

The Arctic thawing threatens Russian village as water rise.  The village of Bykovsky population 457 is seeing the northeast coast being sucked into the ocean at the rate of 15 to 18 feet a year.

It is predicted at this rate that homes will be lost and possibly Bykovsky will be submerged underwater in time.

There are approximately four million people that live in the Arctic Circle region.  The changing climate offers new opportunities with warmer weather, but at the same time they are under watch for the ocean waters rising.  This will not only affect the homes but also the wilderness and way of life that this culture has known. Melting Ice Floods Land in the Arctic Region


Hurricane Wilma Ranks as Most Intense Storm in History Heads Towards Florida

Hurricane Wilma Ranks as Most Intense Storm in History Heads Towards Florida

5 Day Path of hurricane Wilma

Tropical storm Wilma became the most intense hurricane ever recorded.  Currently sustained winds are 155mph but they had reached 175mph earlier in the day.  The storm is massive with hurricane winds extending out 70 miles and tropical storm force winds extending out 230 miles from the center.

Currently Wilma is about 215 miles southeast of Cozumel Mexico in the Carribean.  She is headed northward into the Gulf of Mexico and may hit Florida perpendicular similar to the way hurricane Charlie did last year. 

With winds of 155 mph hurricane Wilma is a category 4 hurricane on the Safir-Simpson scale.  Earlier in the day Wilma was a category 5 hurricane setting a record for the most category 5 hurricanes in one season since records were kept.  In 1961 there were two category 4 and two category 5 hurricanes. Hurricane Wilma Ranks as Most Intense Storm in History Heads Towards Florida


Tropical Storm Wilma expected to become Hurricane by this Weekend

Tropical Storm Wilma expected to become Hurricane by this Weekend

Projected 5 day path of Wilma

Tropical Storm Wilma is the 21st named storm of the storm / hurricane season of 2005.  The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning for Honduras and a hurricane watch for the Cayman Islands. 

Wilma has become nearly stationary off the coast of Central America but is expected to move westward within the next 24 hours. The maximum sustained winds are 50 mph (85kmh) with higher gusts.  Tropical storm force winds extend out 70 miles from the center of the storm.

The Weather Service says “Wilma could become a hurricane on Tuesday”.  Wilma is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 4 to 6 inches over the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti and southeastern Cuba.  Wilma could hit the Gulf coast by the end of the week.   Tropical Storm Wilma expected to become Hurricane by this Weekend


Karl Rove Investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald

Karl Rove Investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald

Karl Rove

The grand jury heard several hours of testimony from President Bush’s chief political advisor Karl Rove on Friday.  Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the circumstances around the leaking of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame’s identity, "affirmed that he has made no decision concerning charges."   

Fitzgerald has spent months on the case and with the grand jury set to expire on October 28th, he could either indict Rove or just close up shop.  If he decides not to prosecute the matter further he could present a special report.  It is at his discretion since the expiration of the independent council law. 

Some Democrats on Capitol Hill have been pressing Fitzgerald to present a public report on the matter. Karl Rove Investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald


Earthquake hits Pakistan and India with Epicenter near Islamabad

Earthquake hits Pakistan and India with Epicenter near Islamabad

Earthquake Epicenter

The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit northern Pakistan on Saturday October 8th at 8:50AM local time (or 8:50 PDT).  The tumbler rocked both India and Pakistan. 

According to the survey the center of the earthquake was approximately 60 miles (95km) NE of Islamabad and was 6.2 miles (10km) deep. The quake collapsed a 19 story building in the Pakistan Capital of Islamabad, according to The Hindu online. Earthquake hits Pakistan and India with Epicenter near Islamabad


Two Alleged Spies for the Philippines Arrested in White House Spy Ring

Two Alleged Spies for the Philippines Arrested in White House Spy Ring

Whitehouse Spy Ring

Michael Ray Aquino, former Philippines national Police officer, was indicted today for conspiring with a former FBI intelligence analyst.  He passed classified information to current and former officials in the Philippines.  The indictments include one count of conspiracy with a maximum of five years incarceration and one count of acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign official which carries a ten year sentence.

The 39 year old Aquino was arrested on September 10th at his residence in Queens N.Y. according to Fox News.  He is suspected of being the “go between” for the illegal activity.  The Filipino national had an expired visa and remains in federal custody at the Passaic County jail.  Two Alleged Spies for the Philippines Arrested in White House Spy Ring


President Bush Nominates White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court

President Bush Nominates White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court

President Bush & Miers

President Bush nominated his personal counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.  She is reported to be a born again Christian who opposes abortion.  Some conservatives including Michael Savage, George Will and US senators have complained that the nominee lacks experience and the credentials to serve on the Supreme Court.

John Roberts was first nominated to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  But after the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist Roberts become that replacement nominee.  Roberts was confirmed and is now the Chief Justice. President Bush Nominates White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court


Lynndie England Convicted in Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse Scandal  

Lynndie England Convicted in Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse Scandal

President Bush

Lynndie England has been convicted on six of the seven criminal counts in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse case.  Monday 22 year old Army pfc England was found guilt of one count of conspiracy, four counts of maltreating detainees and one count of committing an indecent act. She was acquitted on one of the conspiracy counts.

The jury of five male Army officers took about two hours to reach its verdict according to the Associated Press news service.  She will begin the sentencing phase Tuesday. 

The prison abuse scandal damaged the United States’ image in the Muslim world.  The scandal was caught on film.  One of the photos showed England holding one of the detainees by a leash.  Other photos showed England pointing at the prisoners while they were in humiliating poses. Lynndie England Convicted in Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse Scandal


Senate Hearing concerning Pentagon Able Danger Operation

Senate Hearing concerning Pentagon Able Danger Operation

Senator Arlen Specter

The Pentagon has reversed its decision and will allow five witnesses to testify at a new public Senate committee hearing concerning operation Able Danger. The hearing is scheduled for October 5th.  On Wednesday the Pentagon had prohibited these witnesses, including members of the secret military intelligence team code-named Able Danger.  

Able Danger, a shut down data-mining operation, was highly classified and used powerful computers to sift through public data looking for clues on a variety of topics.  The Able Danger team had identified Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers as al Qaeda cell members a full year before the September 11th 2001 attacks. Senate Hearing concerning Pentagon Able Danger Operation   


Hurricane Rita Forecast to hit Oil and Chemical Centers 75 miles from Houston

Hurricane Rita Forecast to hit Oil and Chemical Centers 75 miles from Houston

3 Day Hurricane Rita Projection

Traffic was at a standstill leaving the Houston area Thursday night but the freeways were all clear Friday morning.   Texas is preparing for hurricane Rita which is about 190 miles southeast of Galveston. 

Rita is now a category three hurricane on the Safir-Simpson as the winds have dropped to 125 mph with higher gusts. It is possible the storm will weaken further before landfall.  The hurricane force winds extend 85 miles outward from the center and Rita is moving northwest at about 10 mph.

The hurricane will probably not hit Houston or Galveston directly according to ABC News. The agency reported that Rita will likely hit the oil and chemical centers of Beaumont and Port Arthur about 75 miles east of Houston. Hurricane Rita Forecast to hit Oil and Chemical Centers 75 miles from Houston


Hurricane Rita with 175 mph Winds is Forecast to Hit Texas

Hurricane Rita with 175 mph Winds is Forecast to Hit Texas

Rita 5 day Forecast

Evacuations have been ordered in Texas and Louisiana as Hurricane Rita approaches the Texas Coast.  Rita is expected to hit Texas somewhere between Galveston and Corpus Christi sometime before Saturday. 

Galveston, low-lying parts of Corpus Christi and Houston, and New Orleans are under mandatory evacuation according to the Associated Press. More than 1.3 million people have been evacuated.  Government officials have jumped into action after the sluggish response given to Katrina. 

Rita’s wind speeds have reached Category 5 strength on the Safir-Simpson scale at 175 mph as calculated by an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter plane.  Forecasters speculate that Rita could be the most intense hurricane on record to ever hit Texas.  It will be one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the US mainland. Hurricane Rita with 175 mph Winds is Forecast to Hit Texas 


Hurricane Rita Enters the Gulf of Mexico Expected Path Texas or Louisiana

Hurricane Rita Enters the Gulf of Mexico Expected Path Texas or Louisiana

Hurricane Rita Expected path

The storm warnings for the Florida Keys have been discontinued now that the hurricane has moved in the Gulf.  The Keys were saved from the brunt of the storm as it passed through the Florida Straits between the Keys and Cuba.  It gathered strength attaining wind speeds of 115 mph making Rita a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Rita is expected to reach category 4 by the time she makes landfall probably in Texas.  Louisiana and Mexico are other possible destinations. According to the National Weather Service, Rita is currently 145 miles west-southwest of Key West Florida and about 130 miles northwest of Havana Cuba.  Hurricane Rita Enters the Gulf of Mexico Expected Path Texas or Louisiana

 

As Storm Rita Strengthens New Orleans Mayor Suspends Resettlement

As Storm Rita Strengthens New Orleans Mayor Suspends Resettlement

Rita Projected 5 day Path

As Rita moves towards the Florida Keys residents there board up their windows and evacuate.  Rita has picked up steam in the Bahamas and is expected to have hurricane strength by the time it hits the keys.

About 80,000 people were ordered to evacuate the Keys according to CTV news.  There has been a voluntary evacuation of Miami-Dade residents accounting for 134,000 costal residents and those living in Miami Beach and Key Biscayne.  As Storm Rita Strengthens New Orleans Mayor Suspends Resettlement

 

Florid Keys in Tropical Storm / Hurricane Rita Expected Path

Florid Keys in Tropical Storm  Hurricane Rita Expected Path

Expected Path Of Rita & Philippe

Tropical storm Rita is centered approximately 295 miles east-southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas Islands and is moving west-northwest at about 10 MPH as of 11PM EDT Sunday night. 

Currently Rita is considered a topical storm with sustained winds of 50 MPH but is expected to strengthen becoming a hurricane by the time she hits the US possibly sometime late Monday.  According to the National Weather Service, the winds could increase to a category 1 hurricane within the next twenty four hours.  A category one hurricane has winds in excess of 74 MPH.  Florid Keys in Tropical Storm / Hurricane Rita Expected Path

 

President Give Out Phone Numbers for Those Searching for Lost Relatives

President Give Out Phone Numbers for Those Searching for Lost Relatives

Bush in New Orleans

President Bush spoke to the nation Thursday at an outdoor lectern for a packed audience at the national Cathedral in New Orleans.  He called the storm “wasteful” and told the audience that his administration has provided immediate assistance to “more than 500,000 evacuee families”. 

According to the President the evacuated families received help to pay for food, clothing and other essentials, and he urged evacuees who have not yet registered to contact FEMA or the Red Cross. 

Many families have been separated during the evacuation so the President gave a number to aid those searching for loved ones. “Please call this number: 1-877-568-3317 …   President Give Out Phone Numbers for Those Searching for Lost Relatives

 

Hurricane Ophelia Expected Path North Along Atlantic Coast from North and South Carolina

Hurricane Ophelia Expected Path North Along Atlantic Coast from North and South Carolina

Ophelia Expected Path

Hurricane Ophelia is moving towards North Carolina with 85 MPH sustained winds. A hurricane warning is in effect from the Little River Inlet northward to the North Carolina / Virginia Border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. A warning means the hurricane is expected to hit within 24 hours. 

A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remain in effect north of the North Carolina / Virginia border to Cape Charles Light Virginia, including the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.  A topical storm warning means a tropical storm is expected within 36 hours.  Hurricane Ophelia Expected Path North Along Atlantic Coast from North and South Carolina


Abortion will be an Important Issue in the Roberts Supreme Court Hearings

Abortion will be an Important Issue in the Roberts Supreme Court Hearings

Roberts and the President

Hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee opened today to deliberate the next chief justice of the Supreme Court.  Judge John Roberts was nominated last month by President Bush to fill the vacancy for retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  After Chief Justice Rehnquist died last week Roberts is now being considered for that top post. 

It is expected that Roberts will receive strong support from the committee.  The agenda includes opening remarks by all 18 committee members followed by introductory remarks by only three of the senators.  After Roberts is introduced he will give his own opening remarks.  He will need to answer a litany of questions from the 18 member panel. Abortion will be an Important Issue in the Roberts Supreme Court Hearings  


Democrats and Libertarians at Cutting Edge

Democrats and Libertarians at Cutting Edge

Libertarian Party

St Petersburg, FL--Slow but sure, an innovative local coalition of Libertarians, Democrats, Greens and 14 community groups is attracting attention and even changing attitudes nationwide--not only about elections, but inter-party action.

"We basically looked at what we could agree on, held public forums on election problems, and went from there," said Michael Gilson-De Lemos, chair of the Pinellas Libertarian Party and a coalition spokesman.

Articles in local papers such as the St Petersburg Post and a lengthy piece in the alternative Weekly Planet are among those following the coalition, noting that other Supervisors of Elections in Florida are opening up public review of electronic voting procedures, a coalition recommendation. Among other recommendations are reduced ballot requirements and a more participative citizen process with an advisory board.  Democrats and Libertarians at Cutting Edge


Hurricane Ophelia Projected Path: North and South Carolina Coast

Hurricane Ophelia Projected Path North and South Carolina Coast

Hurricane Ophelia

Hurricane Ophelia is about 245 miles east-south-east of Charleston South Carolina is slowly drifting westward.  A hurricane watch is in effect from just north of Edisto Beach South Carolina northward to Cape Lookout North Carolina. Ophelia is expected to hit land within 36 hours (or until about 8 AM Tuesday). 

The National Weather Service has also issued a tropical storm warning for the southeast coast from the South Santee River Northeastward to Cape Lookout North Carolina.  This means you can expect tropical storm conditions within the next 24 hour.  Both the watches and warnings are expected to move northward over the night.  Hurricane Ophelia Projected Path: North and South Carolina Coast


Democrat National Chair Howard Dean says Racism Played Role is New Orleans Disaster

Democrat National Chair Howard Dean says Racism Played Role is New Orleans Disaster

Howard Dean

Former Democrat Presidential candidate Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday that race played a major role in the death toll from hurricane Katrina.  The National Baptist Convention is a black religious group with roughly 3.5 million members in 3000 churches. 

"We must … come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not," Dean said.  He made the comments to the Baptists’ Political and Social Justice Commission.  Democrat National Chair Howard Dean says Racism Played Role is New Orleans Disaster


High Gas Prices along with Shortages cause Consumers to Save Money and Use Less Gas

High Gas Prices along with Shortages cause Consumers to Look to Save Money and Use Less Gas

Gas Prices Soar

Gas prices are on the rise with prices around $3 a gallon across the country as President Bush taps into reserves and some southeast and Midwest gas stations close stations to minimize losses.

The prices of gas has soured enough that gas stations are sometimes opting to close the pumps or not restocking because they would not be able to compete and are not willing to lose on sales at the pump.  Some wholesale gasoline distributors have been limiting the amount a station can purchase to prevent hoarding in the retail market.

Customers have become more concerned about not being able to get gas due to the closures of the gas pumps.  Despite the high prices and the financial crunch the gas prices have on people, they still are willing to buy the gas out of necessity.

Places were there has been reports of gas stations not restocking gas were in Atlanta, parts of North Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona. High Gas Prices along with Shortages cause Consumers to save money and use less gas


All Feared Killed in Plane Crash in Medan Indonesia

All Feared Killed in Plane Crash in Medan Indonesia

Anticipated Route

An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 117 people has crashed in Medan Indonesia soon after takeoff.  Mandala Airlines flight RI091 was in route to Jakarta from Medan carrying business people and possibly tourists.  It appears to be a “failed takeoff”.  The plane crashed about a minute after takeoff. 

The plane was a Boeing 737-200 and was partially owned and controlled by the Indonesian Military, according to Bloomberg.  Reports indicate that it is likely that all on board perished in the crash that took place in residential area about 2 km from the center of the city. 

Syahrial Anas, a doctor who was overseeing the removal of charred bodies told CNN that at least 60 people have been killed.  Medan is the largest city in the Sumatra Islands with a dense residential population near the center.  It is unknown how many people on the ground have been killed.   All Feared Killed in Plane Crash in Medan Indonesia 


Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies of Thyroid Cancer

Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies of Thyroid Cancer

Chief Justice Rehnquist

Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Saturday after losing his battle with thyroid cancer.  He was diagnosed with cancer in October but kept working until the final days of his life.  He died at his home in Arlington Virginia surrounded by his three children.  Born October 1st 1924; he was 80 years old.

Rehnquist was the 16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and was considered stern on the bench and had a deep laugh. He would sometimes snap at lawyers raising his eyebrows to an exaggerated comical arch at their responses.   Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies of Thyroid Cancer


How to Check on Family Members in Flood Louisiana and Mississippi

How to Check on Family Members in Flood Louisiana and Mississippi

Flooding in New Orleans Area

On Wednesday New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said Hurricane Katrina may have killed thousands of people in the city. "We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Nagin told reporters. When asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

The mayor estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people had remained in the city during the Hurricane.  . Between 15,000 and 20,000 people sought refuge in the Superdome, where broken toilets and the humidity made life miserable. He said that 14,000 to 15,000 could be evacuated per day. How to Check on Family Members in Flood Louisiana and Mississippi


President Begins Tour in Support of his Foreign Policy

President Begins Tour in Support of his Foreign Policy

President Bush

The President compared the current war on terror with World War II (WWII) at the 60th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory of Japan).  In a speech at the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego California, he President said "As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war. Once again war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood,"

With our newest aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan in the background, the President told veterans “As we look into your faces, we see the same quiet resolve that defeated our enemies.” “As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war. Once again, war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood. Once again, we face determined enemies who follow a ruthless ideology that despises everything America stands for. Once again, America and our allies are waging a global campaign with forces deployed on virtually every continent. And once again, we will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure.”  President Begins Tour in Support of his Foreign Policy


Katrina Storm Track and Damage in Mississippi, LA and Alabama

Katrina Storm Track and Damage in Mississippi, LA and Alabama

Katrina Storm Track

Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Monday with 145 MPH winds.  The center hit just outside New Orleans, flooding entire neighborhoods up to the roofs.  The storm has killed at least 55 people. 

New Orleans is particularly vulnerable because it sits below sea level.  Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said rescuers have plucked hundreds of people off rooftops and from the water.  ``We pray that the loss of life is very limited, but we fear that is not the case,'' Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said.   

Lucky for New Orleans, Mississippi took the brunt of the Hurricane.  The storm took a last minute turn from New Orleans, hitting Mississippi with the maximum impact.  According to Reuters, the storm sent a “powerful wall of water towards Mississippi”   Katrina Storm Track and Damage in Mississippi, LA and Alabama


New Orleans Evacuated and in Path Category 5 Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans Evacuated as Category 5 Hurricane Katrina Approaches Path

120 hour projection

Hurricane Katrina has developed into a category 5 hurricane and is now located about 150 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.  The National Weather Service says this could be “potentially catastrophic”. 

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for New Orleans.  Much of New Orleans is below sea level.  This could be New Orleans first direct hit of a hurricane in 40 years.  The Superdome has been designated as a “place of last resort”.  The Washington Post reports that the hurricane could leave one million people homeless.  New Orleans Evacuated and in Path Category 5 Hurricane Katrina


Hurricane Katrina Projected Path may hit New Orleans Louisiana

Hurricane Katrina Projected Path may hit New Orleans Louisiana

Projected Path of Katrina

Hurricane Katrina is headed for Louisiana after killing seven people in southern Florida last week. Katrina is expected to hit land as early as Sunday afternoon.  Hurricane watches and warnings have been posted for parts of the Louisiana coast.  Most at risk are low-lying parishes.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, the hurricane was 405 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Katrina is moving west at about 7 miles per hour (MPH).  The projected path could see Katrina coming ashore anywhere between the Florida Panhandle and the Louisiana Coast west of New Orleans / Baton Rouge.  Hurricane Katrina Projected Path may hit New Orleans Louisiana


Hurricane Katrina Path may hit the Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Katrina Path may hit the Florida Panhandle

President Bush

Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Florida with wind gusts of 92 mph centering just south of Fort Lauderdale.  The storm slowed and slightly weakened after hitting land dumping 12 inches of rain.  It is expected to re-strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico’s warm water and could swing back up hitting the Florida Panhandle.  This area was hit in July by Hurricane Dennis and last September by Hurricane Ivan.

"This is going to be a long night for Miami-Dade and Broward counties," hurricane centre director Max Mayfield told CNN.  There are an estimated 2 million people without power at this time. Hurricane Katrina Path may be the Florida Panhandle


Tropical Storm Katrina moves towards Florida Coast

Tropical Storm Hurricane Katrina moves towards the Florida Coast

Projected Path of Katrina

Tropical Storm Katrina is moving towards South East Florida and is expected to churn hurricane winds by the time it reaches the state.  It is expected to hit Florida before dawn on Friday or possibly late Thursday.  Right now the storm is producing 50 mph sustained winds and is over the Northwest Bahamas, approximately 135 miles east of the Florida Coast. On Wednesday night forecasters issued a hurricane warning for the 170 mile stretch of coastline between Vero Beach and Florida City.

A hurricane watch will be in effect for the Central Coast between Vero Beach north to Titusville including Merritt Island.  A watch will be in effect for the Florida Keys from the Seven Mile Bridge to Florida City.  This means a tropical storm is expected within 36 hours.  Tropical Storm Katrina moves towards Florida Coast


President Bush tells Veterans he is Resolute on Iraq Policy

President Bush tells Veterans he is Resolute on Iraq Policy

President at Convention

The President promised to stay the course with regards to Iraq Monday.  Speaking to the 106th Veterans of Foreign Wars’ National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah he said his resolve is unchanged.  President Bush told the 15,000 gathered there concerning those that have died in the war “We will honor their sacrifice by finishing the task they gave their lives for.”

In a radio address he said "Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy.”  He believes the safety and security of ever American is at stake in this war.  President Bush tells Veterans he is Resolute on Iraq Policy


Israeli Settlers moved from Gaza Strip

Israeli pulls Jewish Settlers from the Gaza and West bank

Gaza Map

Israeli settlers were forcibly removed from Kfar Darom Thursday, a town in Central Gaza.  Kfar Darom is one of 21 settlements to be evacuated by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Road Map to peace plan of withdraw.  Israeli riot police fought with settlers that barricaded themselves in a Neve Dekalim synagogue. The town has been a flash point for uprisings.

President Bush praised the Israeli pullout characterizing it as a bold move that will strengthen ties between Israel and the United States.  According to Reuters the administration sympathized with the Israeli settlers, and according to administration spokesperson Dana Perino, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was "very courageous" to carry out the withdrawal.  Israeli Settlers moved from Gaza Strip  


Mother of Slain Soldier Seeks Audience of the President

Cindy lost her son Casey Sheehan in Iraq and wants to speak to the president

President Bush

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Casey Sheehan, has staged a peace vigil outside the Presidents Ranch in Texas.  She has demanded to meet the President to ask why the US went to war in Iraq. 

Her son Casey was killed in Iraq after volunteering for a rescue mission where he and six others were killed last year after he re-enlisted.  Casey was the first of four children born to Cindy and Patrick Sheehan.  According to Cindy her son lived a typical suburban experience.  He loved Nintendo, G.I. Joes, watching Wrestlemania and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His decision to sign up surprised his family, according to the Washington Post.  “One night he came home after running some errands and "announced that we were looking at the newest recruit in the U.S. Army," Patrick Sheehan recalled a few days after Casey's death.”  Casey had dreams of working as an Army Chaplain’s Assistant.  Mother of Slain Soldier Seeks Audience of the President


Hijackers were Tracked in US One Year Before 9-11

Curt Weldon looks into Able Danger operation prior to September 9-11 hijackings and terror attacks

Rep. Curt Weldon

Government officials allege that US defense intelligence officials identified ringleader Mohammed Atta and three other September 11th hijackers. Republican Congressional Representative Curt Weldon of the 7th district of Pennsylvania and chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees said the al-Qaida cell was identified back in 1999 but military intelligence did not pass the information along to law enforcement agencies.

A year before the 2001 terror attacks the Pentagon was using a data-mining operation called Able Danger to identify potential threats.  This week detailed accounts of this were offered by Representative Weldon.  This is the first assertion by any government officials that Mr. Atta was identified as a potential threat.  Hijackers Identified by ABLE DANGER


U.S. Taxpayer support for the World Economy

Taxpayer funding of projects all around the world

Taxpayer funding

Leaders in the American government have shown that they have a high priority for using tax revenues to benefit people in other countries around the world.

American soldiers and revenues have been devoted by the Bush Administration to ridding the world of terror and tyranny. American soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice to assure that Iraqis can have a new form of government.

The Bush Administration has also single-handedly decided to double the level of American taxpayer aid to Africa. Supposedly the beneficence of American wage earners will help to develop industrialization on the African continent so another labor market can be accessed by transnational businesses competing for profits by shaving labor costs. Taxpayer support for the World Economy


Cause of Space Shuttle Damage May Be Resolved

NASA studies methods to repair broken tile on Space Shuttle

Thermal Protection System repair sample box

Engineers have been investigating the possible causes for the “foam shedding” incident that has led to a temporary grounding of future space shuttle flights.  The fleet is grounded until a solution can be formulated for preventing future foam detachment.

Reports indicate the foam dropped away from the location where a small repair was made to a half-inch dent on Discovery’s enormous external fuel tank.  A .9 pound piece of insulating foam became dislodged right at the point two minutes after lift-off. 

Although this piece did not hit the Space Shuttle, this could solve the mystery behind the images caught on tape July 26th.  Cameras showed the large dislodged chunk of foam narrowly missing the Space Shuttle. Space Shuttle


Pinellas Libertarians lead Coalitions in Florida

Pinellas Libertarians lead Coalitions in Florida

President Bush

Tampa, Fl, -As people seem to like Libertarians more and more, perhaps the simply most unnerving evidence of Libertarian appeal is this: 98% of the people who vote for their candidates aren't even formal members of the Libertarian Party.

Libertarians turn pre-conception of government, and politics, upside down. One reason might be in their ability to do politics by ideas, listening, and legwork at a time when it seems nothing can be done without glitzy ads and vast finances. . Despite their advocacy of individualism, Libertarians have in fact long had a reputation in sophisticated political circles as savvy coalition builders and diverse community leaders able to quietly build consensus, find common areas, and get things done.  Pinellas Libertarians lead Coalitions in Florida


Bush appoints John Bolton to the UN during Congressional Recess

President Bush appoints John Bolton to the United Nations during Congressional Recess

John Bolton

President George Bush appointed John Bolton, longtime Dick Cheney protégé, as US ambassador to the United Nations (UN) following a recent passage of legislation cutting US financial support for the UN.  Support is contingent on major changes at the UN..  Bush’s recess appointment can be seen as a message to UN Secretary General Koi Annan that the Bush Administration is serious about reform.

The appointment came in Monday right after Congress went into recess for a month long summer break.  After five months of debate in the Senate over the Presidents choice of ambassador, the appointment came as no surprise.  This is the first time in history that a recess appointment has been made for US Ambassador to the UN. Bush appoints John Bolton


Prince Abdullah Will Take Throne after Saudi King's Death

Image of King Fahd of Sudia Arabia who died Monday August 1st 2005

King Fahd

King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia died early Monday. King Fahd, who was born in 1923 in Riyadh, has been in poor health for 10 years following a debilitating stroke in 1995.  Fahd entered a Saudi Hospital on May 27th of this year with acute pneumonia.  He died at 6 am local time.

Fahd came to the throne in 1982 at the height of the oil boom.  He reigned for 23 years, holding the Kingdom together through three regional wars.  For the past two years the Kingdom has faced violent attacks by al-Qaeda sympathizers.  Many al-Qaeda followers desire an end to the seven decades of Royal Family’s rule. King Fahd's Death


Three Suspects arrested in London in Connection with Terror Attack

London Bombing Suspect Image Released by Scotland Yard

Suspect Image - Scotland Yard

Police have a total of three people in custody in connection with the latest failed terror bombings in London.  The third suspect was led away in a white forensic jumpsuit from the Notting Hill scene by two officers also wearing white jumpsuits.  The suspect is still unidentified and police shielded his face from cameras.

Police in chemical suits and gas masks were seen on a story aired by Fox News securing the scene.  The latest suspect is believed to be involved in an attempt to detonate a bomb near the Oval Station in South London on July 21st.  The first attack in London occurred on July 7th killing 57 people.  London Suspects Arrested


Terror in Egypt
Appeal to the Democrats


John Roberts Supreme Court Nomination

President Bush and Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts

Roberts and Bush

President Bushes Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts is making his rounds among senators.   His goal is to secure their vote and become a Supreme Court Justice replacing retiring Sandra Day O’Connor.  At age 50, Roberts will be replacing O’Connor, who is usually the decisive vote on the nine member court.  The court has been closely divided between conservatives and liberals. 

According to the Spokesman-Review, Sandra is quoted as saying of Roberts "He's good in every way, except he's not a woman." She went on to praise his "brilliant legal mind," and predicted he would not have trouble being confirmed. Bush Nominates John Roberts


Taxes for the Middle Class 
Florida Election Reform
Valerie Plame Scandal - Fiasco
Governor Schwarzenegger Declines pay for Weightlifting Magazines

Was a crime committed in the Rove / Plame scandal
Israeli Raid into West Bank and Violence in Gaza


Violent Weather and Global Warming

Apollo 8 picture of the Earth Rise

Earthrise from the Apollo 8

It is said that if the earth was an apple, the thickness of our air envelope would correspond with the thickness of an apple’s skin. The need for pressurized airplane cabins illustrates the weakness of gravity to hold gas and evaporated water just a few miles up from the surface.

It is logical to ask if, “From the rarified margin of the air envelope, are we losing to outer space the water we drink and the air we breathe?” The answer is “Yes”. We have been doing so since the planet was formed. And in fact, in a few billion or million years we could expect a completely dry and desolate planet. Complete Article


Florida Elections Accountability Plan

Supreme Eminent Domain Decision


Hugh Downs to Speak at Libertarian Function

Hugh Downs 2020 Host Libertarian

Hugh Downs

Hugh Downs the former ABC News 20/20 co-host has been confirmed as a speaker at the Advocates for Self-Government's 20th Anniversary Celebration.  Advocates is a Libertarian Organization.  Hugh has won a place in the hearts of libertarians when he said they had “all the good ideas”. 

The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971 in the home of David Nolan.  The Libertarian Party is the third largest party.  The last Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik received nearly 400,000 votes in 2004.  Libertarians believe in a small limited government with much fewer laws and regulations.

The event will be held in Atlanta October 14th -16th Complete Article


Tropical Storm Emily Upgraded to Hurricane  Complete Article


Tropical Storm Emily Predicted Path  Complete Article


London Bombing Suspects Identified  Complete Article


The game of political correctness
June 30th 2005

Rugby Ball

I am not the biggest fan of political correctness, but I do understand that some things can be hurtful. Take the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

Now, you can spin that any way you like, but it’s still just wrong.  Because it is a team name, however, Washington is able to keep it, using the excuse that it’s tradition and that they are honoring Native Americans. It’s just a game after all.

I am no stranger to games. We had a game sort of like rugby in grade school. At least, it was sort of like rugby as far as I can tell.  Complete Article


Supreme Court Nomination Nears Senate as
Battles are staged to protect the status quo
 

Sandra Day O'Connor

On the day that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement, Rush Limbaugh tutored his audience, with one of his notable rhetorical flourishes, on limits of judicial power. His address contained his full complement of caustic accusations against liberals who seek to use the courts to achieve political goals.

Mr. Limbaugh’s recognition of the constitutional limits on the powers of the judiciary is certainly appreciated here. His sentiments would have been more appreciated and more timely had they been voiced aggressively and repeatedly during August 2002.

At that time political candidates were preparing to mount their campaigns for elected offices. Money was being collected from contributors. Media plans were being set and, oh yes, the Ninth Federal District Court in California ruled in Elk Grove Unified School Dist. v. Newdow that a school near San Francisco could not require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.   Complete Article


A quiz on the decline of newspapers

Antique Printing Press

To understand why newspapers are losing readers and credibility, please answer the following questions.

1.  Which of the following two newspaper stories do you think would be more interesting and sell more newspapers?

a) A 75 column-inch story about how a technical change to a city's minority contracting program (i.e., affirmative action and set-asides) has concerned some racial groups.

b) A 75 column-inch story about how the program institutionalizes racial discrimination and is based on double standards, a statistical sleight of hand, legal mumbo jumbo, and a consultant's study of questionable validity. Complete Article


Terror attacks in London: Experts Disagree

London Underground
Click the map to enlarge

Public Internet Forums in London are ablaze with anger as a result of yesterday’s bombing in London. Some posters demand deporting Muslims or even banning Mosques.

Here in the US the 9/11 attacks gave us an understanding of the hostility toward the “Enemy”. But not all experts agree on the best course of action. Experts in the Bush Administration feel a strong, tough approach is best, but professor Grosscup at California State University in Chico recommends a different approach in fighting these desperate, and unidentifiable enemies.

He tells Best Syndication “Only time will tell if a pure military solution that depends a great deal on dropping bombs from the sky on civilians will not work or will only exacerbate the 'problem.' “.  In talk shows and in his book, “The Newest Explosions of Terrorism: Latest Sites of Terrorism in the 1990’s and Beyond (New Horizon Press), he makes a strong case against what he labels as the neo-conservative approach.  Complete Story


Eminent domain decision was small potatoes

Eminent Domain Decision

If a thief stole small potatoes from your cupboard and a big-screen TV from your family room, would you be more upset about the loss of the potatoes or the loss of the TV?  Well, judging by the reaction to the Supreme Court's eminent domain decision in the Kelo case, most Americans would be more concerned about the small potatoes.

Pundits, politicians and the public are rightly saying that it is theft for the government to take someone's home and sell it to private developers for the stated purpose of economic development, at a price determined by the government and the developers, not by the owner.  Strangely, they are quiet about a much more egregious theft of property that has been going on for decades.  Complete Article 


Conservatives voting Republican might become the new definition of insanity
 

President Bush

There are many adversities facing the nation that have arisen over the decade that Republicans have dominated government.

Republicans have presided over spending deficits that are nearly double those of the last Democrat-controlled federal government. These government deficits have been funded by loans from other regimes--mainly China--which makes our country an economic slave to other governments. This is no small fact when Chinese corporations make bids to buy an American oil company and consumer appliance manufacturer.  Complete Article


Is the American Press Afraid?

Iraq

There has been a myriad of pictures from Iraq in recent years.  Many of the images depict the horror of war, and others have depicted the compassion of our troops.  Analysts have reported that very few of the horrific pictures have made it to our eyes.  Why is that?

There may be some reasonable non-sinister reasons for this.  Editors want to be absolutely certain they understand the context with which the pictures were taken.  Recently there was a shocking picture that made it to the press, supposedly depicting an atrocity in Iraq.  As it turned out, to some of the editor’s chagrin, the pictures were not from Iraq at all.  They were from Afghanistan, and the context was in error.  Complete Article


Supreme Court Ruling on Medical Marijuana

Marijuana Plants

The Supreme Court came out recently and said that in the case of Medical Marijuana federal law trumps state law, so even if you have a prescription for the pot, you can get busted by the feds.  Why, though, should I need a prescription in the first place?

In this country, most of the really good drugs require a prescription, supposedly so that only a doctor, who knows what is and isn’t good for you, can give you the permission and prescription necessary to take it.  That sounds pretty good, in theory, but in practice it’s a load of manure. Complete Article


President Bush says he would like to double US aid to Africa

President Bush

President Bush is proposing spending 1.2 Billion dollars to fight Malaria in Tanzania, Uganda and Angola.  In addition the President is proposing to spend 400 million dollars in an effort to educate African Child and reduce sexual violence. 

It is believed Bush is under pressure to increase the aid to Africa after having turned down a proposal by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to give the continent 50 billion dollars a year.  This would have been done by making long-term aid commitments that would allow poor countries to raise money on global capital markets.  The President is under pressure to provide more money to Africa.  The Group of Eight (G8) summit next week in Scotland has proposed Washington take a greater role in combating malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chad Dobson, US policy director for the anti-poverty organization Oxfam, said Bush's pledge will mean an extra 900 million dollars a year for Africa and would be a welcome first step.  Complete Story


World War II is widely considered to be a good war
 

Yalta

It is often presented as the moment that the industrial might and ambitions of global domination of the world’s most horrible evil, Nazi Germany, was confronted by little more than the noble words of Winston Churchill and the hardworking devotion of Rosie the Riveter supplying GI Joe with the materiel to save the world for freedom and democracy.

Nazi German was defeated, but is it unreasonable to wonder if the world was made safe for freedom and democracy? The record of history also shows that the American government, after WW II, gave up all pretense of operating under the limits of constitutional law. The usurpation of power and wealth that came with the war effort continued, largely unabated, after the victory. Dollar diplomacy firmly established an American foreign policy tradition of purchasing allies at the expense of working wages. The courts became more assertive in social matters as politicians shied from taking controversial stands under the harsh glare of the growing influence of the emerging national media.  Complete Article


Where is Charles Dickens when you really need him? 
 

Charles Dickens

"Oh! if (sic) those who rule the destinies of nations would but remember this --if they would but think how hard it is for the very poor to have engendered in their hearts, that love of home from which all domestic virtues spring, when they live in dense and squalid masses where social decency is lost, or rather never found--if they would but turn aside from the wide thorough-fares and great houses, and strive to improve the wretched dwellings in byways where only Poverty (sic) may walk--many low roofs would point more truly to the sky, than the loftiest steeple that now rears proudly from the midst of guilt, and crime, and horrible disease, to mock them by its contrast....In love of home, the love of country has its rise; and who are the truer patriots or the better in time of need--those who venerate the land, owning its wood, and stream, and earth, and all they produce? Or those who love their country boasting not a foot of ground in all its wide domain?" Charles Dickens in Chapter 38 of The Old Curiosity Shop, 1841

Reading Dickens is laborious, tedious and time consuming. He gets frustratingly embroiled in minutiae and, in the case of the book quoted above, leaves the reader to wonder where the story is going. Coming upon such a passage above, however, makes all the drudgery worthwhile. 
Complete Article


American manipulation credited to monosyllabic thought

January 13th 2003

George Orwell

"’Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meanings rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.’" Syme, from George Orwell’s 1984, on the ultimate goal of the Ministry of Truth through refinements to Newspeak.

If you read that passage to someone today, they might be inspired to grunt, "Cool."

Or, "Kewl."

Or, "Kuhl."

Or, if they were unusually articulate, an adulatory, "sweet," might burst forth from their rhetorical repertoir.  Complete Article


Bring back the good ol' days when political corruption was homegrown
 

Tom Delay

This column is written in Orlando, Florida. Therefore there is no interest here for the real or imagined corruption of an elected official from another state. This columnist is more concerned with a certain pudgy, slow witted, congressman whose only real use to the GOP is his mother’s connection with a well-known Christian radio psychologist.

Written more precisely, the accusations of corruption flying at Tom Delay should be of little interest to anyone except the voters in the congressional district in Texas that Delay represents. Delay is hardly the first American elected official accused of selling his influence to the highest bidder, nor will he be the last. The cold hard fact of human government is that anytime anyone can profit from swaying the scales of justice, the opportunity will be taken. Elected officials, like Delay, are in the position of adjusting that balance, so it should be of no surprise that there have been people attempt to persuade his influence.

 
 
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:17 AM