Saturday, September 13, 2008
Five bombs have ripped through busy shopping areas of India's capital, Delhi, within minutes of each other, killing at least 20 people, police say. The explosions, which also injured about 90 people, are not thought to have been very powerful but happened in crowded areas. Four unexploded bombs were also found and defused, police said.
More than 400 people have died since October 2005 in bomb attacks on Indian cities such as Ahmedabad and Bangalore. India has blamed Islamist militant groups for these previous bombings.
CNN-IBN, a local TV news channel, said it had received an e-mail before the blasts from a group calling itself the "Indian Mujahideen".
"Do whatever you can. Stop us if you can," the e-mail reportedly said.
The same group has claimed responsibility for two other recent bombing attacks. The Indian government has put the security agencies on high alert.
Pakistan has joined in official Indian condemnation of the attacks.
The mysterious collapse of numerous bee colonies in Italy has led to growing concerns among beekeepers.
It is thought that climate change may be to blame but the use of some pesticides is also being investigated.
Frances Kennedy reports from Rome. — Full Video BBC Story
Related Review and more of the interview:
McCain skewered on "The View"
Roll your eyes all you want, but I for one will never again underestimate the women of ABC's "The View," who today opened a can of whupass on John McCain, administering an interview that should turn the faces of legitimate press red with shame.
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has canceled plans to appear on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live after his campaign decided this weekend was not a time for humor in light of the expected devastation from Hurricane Ike.
The following videos explore Obama's views of the main issues that are (and should be) the driving force of our President selection and our future:
Friday, September 12, 2008
George Bush with big hair
Sept. 10, 2008 | So the Republicans have decided to run against themselves. The bums have tiptoed out the back door and circled around to the front and started yelling, "Throw the bums out!" They've been running Washington like a well-oiled machine to the point of inviting lobbyists into the back rooms to write the legislation, and now they are anti-establishment reformers dedicated to delivering us from themselves. And Mayor Giuliani is an advocate for small-town America. Bravo.
They are coming out for Small Efficient Government the very week that the feds are taking over Fannie and Freddie, those old cash cows, and in the course of a weekend 20 or 50 (or pick a number) billion go floating out the Treasury door. Hello? Do you see us out here? We are not fruit flies, we are voters, we can read and write, we didn't just fall off the coal truck.
It is a bold move on the Republicans' part -- forget about the past, it's only history, so write a new narrative and be who you want to be -- and if they succeed, I think I might declare myself a 24-year-old virgin named Lance and see what that might lead to. Paste a new face on my Facebook page, maybe become the Dauphin Louie the Thirty-Second, the rightful heir to the Throne of France, put on silk tights and pantaloons and a plumed hat and go on the sawdust circuit and sell souvenir hankies imprinted with the royal fleur-de-lis. They will cure neuralgia and gout and restore marital vigor.
Thanks TF for alerting me to this article.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has called for a new strategy in Afghanistan to deny militants bases across the border in Pakistan.
Speaking on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Admiral Mike Mullen called for a military strategy that covered both sides of the border.
The US must work closely with Pakistan to "eliminate [the enemy's] safe havens", he told Congress.
But Pakistan insists it will not allow foreign forces onto its territory.
"There is no question of any agreement or understanding with the coalition forces whereby they are allowed to conduct operations on our side of the border," Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said.
However, the New York Times newspaper reported on Wednesday that President George Bush had approved orders in July to allow US Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without Pakistani approval.
"The situation in the tribal areas is not tolerable," an unnamed senior US official told the newspaper. "We have to be more assertive. Orders have been given."
A surge of US attacks in Pakistan's border region over the past week has prompted outrage from the government and army.
Memorial services are set to be held to mark the seventh anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed when four planes were hijacked and flown into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
The presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, will attend a ceremony at Ground Zero in New York.
At the Pentagon, a new memorial will be dedicated by President George W Bush for the 184 people who died there. The memorial in Washington was built at a cost of $22m (£12.6m; 15.8m euros) on a 1.9-acre (0.77-hectare) parcel of land within view of the crash site.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Hurricane IKE is at least 3 days away from the Texas/Mexican shore and all Texas counties that have shorelines have already been declared National Disaster Areas.
Seems to me that distinction should be given only when an area really IS a disaster area.
This is yet another example of the authorities jumping the gun. The last was earlier this morning when the order to evacuate the Florida Keys was lifted and people could return before the Hurricane watch was lifted.
A Florida judge has found the state's 31-year ban on gay adoptions to be unconstitutional, reports the Miami Herald. The ruling from Judge David Audlin Jr. will allow an openly gay Key West resident to adopt the teenage boy that he has raised as a foster parent since 2001.
Judge Audlin said that the adoption was in the child's "best interest" and asserted that barring gays from adopting conflicted with the state Constitution since it targets a specific group for punishment. Audlin had appointed the foster father to be the boy's legal guardian in 2006. At a hearing earlier this year, the order says the boy testified that he wanted to the man to be his "forever father... because I love him," the Herald reports.
''Contrary to every child welfare principle,'' Audlin wrote in his opinion, ''the gay adoption ban operates as a conclusive or irrebuttable presumption that . . . it is never in the best interest of any adoptee to be adopted by a homosexual.''
Florida and Mississippi are the only two state that currently forbid gays and lesbians from adopting children.
OPEC has told its members to strictly limit their production to agreed quotas as Brent crude dipped below $100 a barrel for the first time since April.
After talks in Vienna, Opec president Chakib Khelil said the measures to curb over-production amounted to a cut of 520,000 barrels a day within 40 days.
We've got to find other ways to power our lives. This controlled yo-yo by OPEC is not in our interest.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Now I have my proof:
In the 21st Century, the term "flat-earther" is used to describe someone who is spectacularly - and seemingly wilfully - ignorant. But there is a group of people who claim they believe the planet really is flat. Are they really out there or is it all an elaborate prank?
Flat earth theory is still around. On the internet and in small meeting rooms in Britain and the US, flat earth believers get together to challenge the "conspiracy" that the Earth is round.
"People are definitely prejudiced against flat-earthers," says John Davis, a flat earth theorist based in Tennessee, reacting to the new Microsoft commercial.
"Many use the term 'flat-earther' as a term of abuse, and with connotations that imply blind faith, ignorance or even anti-intellectualism."
Well .... Duh!
Full BBC Story
As I have said here before, Palin's religious beliefs should not be superimposed over top of my own beliefs, nor should any of my political representatives. It scares me to death the thought of her being any where near the Oval Office!
Palin has a right to her religious beliefs, as do fundamentalist Muslims who agree with her on so many issues of social policy. None of them has a right, however, to impose their beliefs on others by capturing and deploying the executive power of the state. The most noxious belief that Palin shares with Muslim fundamentalists is her conviction that faith is not a private affair of individuals but rather a moral imperative that believers should import into statecraft wherever they have the opportunity to do so. That is the point of her pledge to shape the judiciary. Such a theocratic impulse is incompatible with the Founding Fathers' commitment to tolerance and democracy, which is why they forbade the government to "establish" or officially support any particular religion or denomination.
McCain once excoriated the Rev. Jerry Falwell and his ilk as "agents of intolerance." That he took such a position gave his opposition to similar intolerance in Islam credibility. In light of his more recent disgraceful kowtowing to the Christian right, McCain's animus against fundamentalist Muslims no longer looks consistent. It looks bigoted and invidious. You can't say you are waging a war on religious extremism if you are trying to put a religious extremist a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Monday, September 8, 2008
As the McCain camp struggles to let their Alaskan bird take flight into the jaws of the news media politics, Barack has finally said ENOUGH!
Barack took his kit gloves off this weekend and started fighting back at the McCain/Palin ticket.
His remarks were regarding the topic of Earmark Spending, a McCain Brag Point, and referred to Palin's documented history of spending earmark money sent to Alaska by her fellow Republican Senator.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Barack Obama made his first direct criticism of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Saturday, saying she pretends to oppose spending earmarks when she actually has embraced them.
Speaking to 800 people at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute, Ind., the Democratic presidential nominee ridiculed John McCain and his running mate, the Alaska governor, for describing themselves as agents of change at this week's GOP convention.
"Don't be fooled," Obama told the crowd surrounding him in a large barn. "John McCain's party, with the help of John McCain, has been in charge" for nearly eight years.
"I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she's change, and that's great," Obama said. "She's a skillful politician. But, you know, when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up."
McCain has vowed to wipe out earmarks, which are targeted funding for specific projects that lawmakers put into spending bills. As governor, Palin originally supported earmarks for a controversial Alaska project dubbed the "bridge to nowhere." But she dropped her support after the state's likely share of the cost rose. She hung onto $27 million to build the approach road to the bridge.
Until Saturday, Obama had refrained from criticizing Palin directly, saying only that she, like McCain, would continue the Bush administration's policies.
Appearing on CNN's Late Edition on Sunday, Sen. Barbara Boxer argued that McCain's hot-streak is a legitimate campaign issue that should dissuade voters from electing him commander in chief.
Full Story — McCain Pushed Woman in a Wheelchair
- An investigative journalist who invoked the ire of the Nixon Administration for his reporting on Watergate in the 1970s, Edwin Guthman was never afraid to pursue a story. In the era of McCarthyism, he made his mark while working for the Seattle Times, where he uncovered the evidence that a professor targeted by the state's Committee on Un-American Activities had been wrongly accused. His investigation not only salvaged the academic's career but also earned Guthman a Pulitzer Prize in 1950. He was 89.
- Jeannette Eyerly, a pioneering author in the genre of young-adult fiction, boldly tackled challenging topics in her work. She delved into issues such as unwanted pregnancy and divorce in a way that her young readers could relate to. Her candid presentation was unprecedented in girls' fiction in the 1960s and helped pave the way for generations of writers to follow her. She was 100.
- Below, a tribute to Del Martin written by Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The photo is of Ms. Martin (right) and her partner of fifty-five years, taken on their wedding day.
A PERSONAL HERO OF MINE and a founding mother of the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-rights movement, Dorothy (Del) Martin died August 27 at the age of 87.
Del's entire life was marked by moments of singular courage, intelligence and insight. She began as a journalist, studying at the University of California, Berkeley. She applied her vision and writing skills to activism, and she can be credited with some of the most transformative changes toward LGBT equality.
Del's contributions include co-founding the nation's first lesbian organization —Daughters of Bilitis — and the first lesbian newspaper, The Ladder.
But perhaps the memory I hold most dear is witnessing her legal marriage to Phyllis Lyon, her partner of 55 years on June 16, 2008. I cannot quite grasp a life and career without Del, and I am heartbroken for Phyllis, who for fifty-five years made a vibrant life with Del. My pledge is to honor her unsurpassed leacy by working every day to keep alive her vision for full equality and justice for all of us.
Looks like I've neglected my blog. Let me see what I can do about that.
It is quite breezy this am with Hurricane Ike traveling through Cuba. I talked to D&D and J this weekend and we all agreed that we have really lucked out so far this hurricane season.