Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sunday Sign of Hope December 31st 2006

Last Post of the Year

While it's been anything but a Happy "News" Year (sorry, thought that up in the car coming back from the liquor store and thought it was oh so clever, had to use it) it's been one hell of a year for Damnit! Earth and your old pal Mad Man. Let us take a look back at 2006 and remember the few good times and, oh man, the pile of bad that almost broke our backs shall we?

We started 2006 off here in the US with a story of a group of miners trapped in a mine. The riveting story glued us all to our TVs and internet news sources and all of us celebrated when we heard the news that they were alive. Their families were given the great news until that is, it was retracted. All but one of the 12 miners were dead. We watched and read as the families were given the "update". Yes, the US media sure started our year off with a bang. Bastards.

That same month the Israeli people lost Ariel Sharon. While Palestine promised a barrage of rocket attacks to celebrate nature's way of depopulation, the barrage never came. Sharon remained in a coma for, man, I don't even know if he's dead yet. That story kind of just...stopped. It seems he's still in a coma. Makes me a little jealous. Wish I had slept through this year. Israel eventually went with Ehud Olmert as the new Prime Minister.

We dealt with madmen this year. Ahmadinejad and his nuclear plans, Kim Jong Il and his nuclear plans and his nuclear underground test that never really worked. Both men watched as sanctions were imposed on their countries. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez was also crazy, but in a funny sort of way.

We're still hunting for Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri plus the leader of the Taliban, the one-eyed Mullah Omar, who is probably that dude in the Pakistani tribal belt walking in a circle. I would throw Bush into this group but hey, to qualify as a mad man you have to have diabolical schemes. The only scheme Bush seems to have is to make it through the day without making an ass of himself. Never works either.

Hamas won heavily in Palestinian elections. This led to a steady downfall of the region, resulting in the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants. Shortly after, Hezbollah tried the same tactic and was presented with a bombardment and military action by Israel into Lebanon, the outcome of which never really accomplished anything at all. It was a short destructive war which is better than a long, drawn out one.

The Muslim world didn't shut the fuck up this year. First with the fucking cartoons then the Pope's statement and the veil ruling in France and countless other things kept these wonderfully explosive people on the streets more often than hookers. The protesting sign companies reported record profits this year. Really popular was anything that mentioned Islam and beheadings.

We all got to witness the first face transplant this year. Then we spent the rest of the year trying to get the image out of our heads.

The US Vice President shot someone in the face this year. There was a slight scandal about it but not as big as the other scandals this year. How about former-Conresswoman Cynthia McKinney punching a cop at the US capital. That was fun. She eventually lost her re-election bid. Or Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who went into rehab right after crashing his car while being stoned on pain meds. I would have went to prison for that. Bush cursed during the G8 summit while conversing with Tony Blair. But it's cool cause they're friends. And don't get me started on Rep. Mark Foley and his naughty little e-mails.

A big scare over bird flu killed a bunch of birds but few people. The media is steadily looking for the next big scare tactic.

The military took over Thailand in a coup without any violence. Kudos for you.

Iraq edged closer and closer to civil war. Sectarian violence rampaged. Still does. The US closed Abu Gharib prison, handing it over to the Iraqi's. It took all but a week for the inmates to scream for the Americans to return, ending that whole "picture scandal" of abuse. We all learned about the different levels of abuse. You can take someones clothes off and scare them with a dog. That's abuse on, let's say the third or fourth level. Then again, you could beat them severely and kill them. That's more on the second level. First level? Paris Hilton released a music album this year.
Kidnapped reporter Jill Carroll was released by Iraqi insurgents in March after 82 days of being held hostage.

This was not a good year for the ex-ninth planet of the solar system Pluto. It was removed from the solar system and stripped of it's planet statis. Rumor has it that Pluto was behaving inappropriatly at some local bars.

We discovered the Gospel of Judas this year but no one really paid attention because it contradicted the Bible and damned if we could have that.

June 6th 2006 or 06/06/06 or 666 came and went without the destruction of the world by a vile beast.

Some big steps were taken this year in the war on terror. Al-qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq. Al-Qaeda big wig Mustafa Setmarian Nasar was captured. A major terror plot involving blowing up British airliners over US cities was interupted but British police which sort of made up for the one terror raid they conducted on a few innocent men, shooting one in the shoulder. Taliban military commander Mullah Aktar Mohammad Osani had his life interupted by a missile. Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev was killed as well. Al-qaeda leader Omar al-Farouq escaped from an Afghanistan prison and hid in Iraq only to be killed by British troops.

We saw women vote for the first time in Kuwaiti elections.

And although there was a bombing in Mumbai, there was no major terror attack on western civilizations. There's a cause to smile.

Celebrities continued to make asses of themselves. Mel Gibson hates jews, Michael Richards hates black people and Madonna loves African children. And who could forget CNN achor women Kyra Phillip broadcasting live from the ladies restroom? And of course, Tom Cruise is still completely insane. Only now he has a biological child.

A man claimed to have been responsible for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey but he was only kidding.

We lost some people this year. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell. Of course Saddam Hussein was just recently executed in Iraq. Soul master James Brown. Former US Pres. Gerald Ford. And let's not forget the countless troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who laid their lives down this year.

Yes this year was full of surprises, some good, most bad. But we have made it through to see tomorrow, and tomorrow is 2007. Enjoy the rest of this year and next year, lets try to tone down the insanity. Happy New Year all and be good to one another.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein Executed

Like so many circuses, this one ends in death.

Saddam Hussein was hanged at dawn on Saturday for crimes against humanity after Iraq's prime minister rushed through an execution few believed would help stem the sectarian violence tearing the country apart.

This will not stem sectarian violence. If anything it will fuel it. While I do believe that Saddam Hussein was guilty of crimes against humanity and probably did deserve to hang, this is not justice in my eyes. Hussein was a pawn used poorly in a war that should have never been. The rope belongs around the necks of those responisble for 9/11, for the bombings in London, the bombings in Madrid and in India. Those responsible for the terror the world faces. Hussein was a centerpiece. His death changes nothing.

The former president, toppled by the U.S. invasion four years ago, was shown on state television going calmly to his death on the scaffold. He was to be buried within hours near his home city of Tikrit.

I saw the video, if you haven't, it shows Saddam awfully calm for a man having a noose placed around his neck. The video does not show the actually hanging.

"It was very quick. He died right away," an official witness told Reuters, adding that the body was left to hang for 10 minutes and he was pronounced dead at 6:10 a.m.

This execution has left a strange feeling in me I can't truly explain. An era has ended, an uncertain future still lies ahead. I guess what I'm feeling is slight confusion because, while a vicious dictator has died there is an uneasy sense of nothingness about it. You would expect an occurance like this to send shockwaves through the world. It hasn't. An era has ended with a whimper, making me feel that we humans are even more insignificant than we may think.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Lawyers Work to Stop Saddam's Execution

So the man that dared the courts to execute him doesn't really want to be executed. Interesting. It seems that all the guys who promote death and violence turn tail the minute the reaper shows up for them.

Saddam Hussein will be executed no later than Saturday, said an Iraqi judge authorized to attend his hanging. American and Iraqi officials met to set the hour of his death.

That's tomorrow. So it looks like this part of the world's saga will come to a close. And let this be a lesson to all you dictators out there. The US will not stand for a ruler to kill his people, unless of course, you're one of those rulers outside of Iraq, that didn't try to kill Bush's daddy.

Lawyers for Saddam Hussein asked a U.S. judge to block his transfer to the custody of Iraqi officials poised to carry out his execution.

Now they want the US's help. My how the tables have turned.

Hussein's lawyers filed documents Friday afternoon asking for a stay of execution. The 21-page request was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

21 pages of "Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me."

Attorneys argued that because Hussein also faces a civil lawsuit in Washington, he has rights as a civil defendant that would be violated if he is executed. He has not received notice of those rights and the consequences that the lawsuit would have on his estate, his attorneys said.

Okay, we drop the lawsuit.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Afghan Civilian Killed By NATO Forces' Warning Shots

They were trying to show the bad guys what would happen to them if they didn't surrender.

A young Afghan civilian was killed when NATO forces fired warning shots after he failed to stop a vehicle that was approaching a NATO patrol convoy in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Well, consider yourself warned. They do teach aiming in basic training right?

"The patrol fired upon the vehicle, unfortunately killing one Afghan civilian," the statement said, adding that an investigation was underway by Afghan police and ISAF forces.

You see guys, bullets tear through human flesh. This can cause many different injuries, including death. If you want to fire a warning shot, try shooting into the air, or at the ground. It's tough to warn someone after you put a hole to size of a golfball into their forehead.

The vaccine to cure every strain of flu

Except the super-deadly strains that will evolve because of this new vaccine.

British scientists are on the verge of producing a revolutionary flu vaccine that works against all major types of the disease.

On the verge huh. I've been on the verge of many things, many, many things. Luckily for everyone I'm very lazy.

Described as the 'holy grail' of flu vaccines, it would protect against all strains of influenza A - the virus behind both bird flu and the nastiest outbreaks of winter flu.

How about cancer, and AIDS, and diabetes and, you know, the dieases that are killing everyone? It's great that you found a cure for the sniffles. Now, how about that flesh eating bacteria that eats you alive. That's be nice to not have around anymore.

Just a couple of injections could give long-lasting immunity - unlike the current vaccine which has to be given every year.

As long as I don't have to be one of the first test monkeys. Sure, you won't get the flu, but your skin turns purple and your nose bleeds everyday and for some strange reason there's a humming sound in your pants.

The brainchild of scientists at Cambridge biotech firm Acambis, working with Belgian researchers, the vaccine will be tested on humans for the first time in the next few months.

Expect horrific side effects. Like X-Men.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

US Ex-president Gerald Ford dies

Umm...that's what happens when you get old I guess. I really don't have much to say.

Gerald Ford, whose brief U.S. presidency was defined by his controversial pardon of Richard Nixon, was honored on Wednesday as a man who tried to heal the nation's divisions after the Watergate scandal.

Brief but controversial, wish we could say the same about Bush Jr. His is controversial, yes, but oh so fucking long.

The oldest living president at 93, Ford died on Tuesday of undisclosed causes at his home in California.

Well he's not the oldest living President anymore. And at 93, you don't have to disclose the cause of death, at that point a strong breeze could knock you out of play.

Ford was the only U.S. president not elected to either the presidency or vice presidency. He was appointed vice president in 1973 after Nixon's original vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned to avoid prosecution on corruption charges.

President by default. Cool.

In his inaugural address, Ford famously vowed to Americans that "our long national nightmare is over."

Oh no Mr. Ford, it has only just begun.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Islamic forces retreat in Somalia

It's a rough time for Islam. They're just running away everywhere.

Somalian government and Ethiopian troops advanced toward the country’s capital Tuesday as Islamic fighters retreated, bloodied by a week of artillery and mortar attacks but promising a “new phase” in the war, a chilling pronouncement from a movement that has threatened suicide attacks.

One of these days some of these guys are going to wake up and realize that suicide bombing may seem glorified as long as you're not the one with the bomb strapped to your chest. Sure, it seems like it's so surreal, a martyr dying for what he believes in but in time, when they see it accomplishes absolutely nothing in the long run, maybe they'll realize the sensless and tragic loss of it all. Probably not though.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he had been given unconfirmed reports that as many as 1,000 people had died and 3,000 were wounded.

So al-qaeda's idea of moving into the horn of Africa may have hit a wall, a wall called Ethiopians. Weren't those people starving a few years back? Anyway, this may be good news for the war on al-qaeda and Islamic fanatics but again, probably not.

Schwarzenegger has surgery to repair broken leg

If it skies, you can break it.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a leg he broke while skiing with family in Idaho over the weekend, the Republican's office said.

Hasn't anyone learned anything from Sonny Bono?

A team led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Ehrhart performed the 90-minute operation in which cables and screws were used to wire the two main fragments of Schwarzenegger's broken femur bone, in his upper right thigh, back together.

Boy life imitates art don't it? Now he is the Terminator, more machine than man.
"Following the surgery, the governor was awake, alert and talking in the recovery room," Ehrhart said in a statement issued by the governor's office.

"Although we couldn't understand what he was saying, we figured that was normal."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Disclaimer: If you believe in Santa Claus, stop reading.

The night is alive with flickering lights. People are scrambling to and fro. Cars have trees on top of them and we're lying to children. Hurricane season? Nope. It's Christmas. Amid all the holiday songs and the religious persecution lawsuits, today we take a few minutes to say thanks before tearing open our presents and try not to complain as much when we don't get what we want cause we'd look more spoiled than Paris Hilton. It's the time of year when we convince our kids that the laws of space, time and physics don't apply. We teach them that even though the song says you "have to be good cause there's a list", it really doesn't matter, you're getting toys anyway. We spend every other day of the year teaching children not to lie and then, as an entire society, lie our faces off repeatedly about a jolly fat man and flying mammals. We eat more than we should, spend more than we have and smile even though in the back of our minds we know we're digging ourselves a financial grave on a minute by minute basis.

Turn on the radio, oh, it's the rock stars of the 1980's singing about how people in Africa don't know it's Christmas. Well of course they don't, most of them don't celebrate Christmas. We pretend to be sad that they're starving, until we have to get the roast out of the oven and onto the table where we've set enough food to feed the entire town even though there's only four people having dinner.

Aside from seeing family and friends and buying them things because you HAVE too, Christmas was once about the birth of a man they said was the son of God. But now, Christmas is about Jesus as much as St. Patrick's Day is about, well, St. Patrick. 2000 years ago a child was born in a manger and because of this, we exchange presents and watch a story about a boy who wants a BB gun more than anything in the world cause it's on TV over and over and over and over.

We kiss strangers under a poisonous plant and we drink things that, hell, you wouldn't drink if you were dying in the desert. We decorate a pine tree in the living room and pray it won't burn the house down before the 25th. We smile at people a little more, then punch them in the face for the new popular toy of the year. And we're joyous. Not really, but we pretend.

On Christmas we act how we should act every day of the year. But we save it for one day. Maybe that's what makes it special. Maybe it's the one day of the year we realize our potential. It's the one day we are who we should be. Caring, kind, loving and giving. Then we thank our lucky stars that Islamic fanatics didn't bomb our cities over our "cross-worshipping" holiday.

Raise a glass of egg nog, kiss your loved ones and remember, sometime between today and a year from now, you'll probably have to explain why the kids at school say there's no Santa Claus, you'll have to plan gifts to look for at the last minute even though you swear next year you'll start early and you'll have a few birthdays and other holidays to stress you out. Deep breath, it's over for 2006. Merry Christmas all and to all, good night.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday Sign of Hope December 24th 2006

9-11 Hero Still Doing His Part in Iraq


On the morning of September 11, 2001, Pfc. Timothy Bramhall made his way to downtown New York City to officially end his military career. After proudly serving in the Army Reserves, the Bronx native felt he was at a crossroads in life and needed guidance on what to do with his bright future. Bramhall decided it was time for him to exit the military and start anew.

Little did he know, the guidance on what to do with his life, the guidance he was searching for, was about to hit him like a ton of bricks.

Bramhall stepped off the train at Madison Square Garden station to find the world he knew, the world he grew up in, now searching for his help and his guidance.

On September 11, 2001, a day that will never leave Bramhall’s heart, terrorists attacked both towers of the World Trade Center, causing them to fall and end the life of many innocent people.

"I was getting ready to get out of the Army," said Bramhall. "On 9-11, I went downtown to be out-processed, but found myself at the World Trade Center doing search and rescue."

"I just walked out of the Madison Square Garden Train Station, and these Secret Service agents grabbed me and asked if I would help pull security since I was in uniform," he said. "I didn’t think, I just did what I was asked to do."

Bramhall, fighting through the chaos from the citizens of NYC, followed his orders and made his way to the Towers to help secure the area. As he was pulling security, Bramhall was asked to help with one of the biggest missions of his life - go into the Towers to help people exit them before they fell.

"While I was pulling security, I was pulled into a mission to start clearing one of the Towers," he said. "Once again, I followed my orders."

Though he admits he was scared of what might happen to him, Bramhall bravely entered the second Tower, completely fulfilling one of the U.S. Army’s core values, personal courage. Bramhall put the lives of the people stuck in the Towers over his own. He was driven and knew he had to help.

"At first I was really scared," Bramhall admitted. "At the time I went into the Towers, people were jumping out of them. I saw one person jump and hit a fire fighter and kill him. After that, I wanted to turned and run."

"I thought to myself, ‘I’m too young to die,’" he continued. "But then it hit me. These people are scared and what would they think if they saw a guy in uniform run from a situation like this? So I regained my composure and went right back to the mission, not really knowing what would happen next."

Bramhall’s fear hit a new level as soon as he heard the alarm signaling the Tower was about to fall.

"I was inside the building helping everyway I could when I heard the alarm signaling the Tower was falling," he said. "All I remember after that was running out the building and down this ally. I ducked down and cradled myself to protect myself from falling debris. I felt this huge rushing wind that seemed to pull everything by me."

After the second tower fell, Bramhall linked up with another Soldier and two Marines, and went to work searching for people in the wreckage.

"Unfortunately, we mostly were pulling out bodies, but kept up the hope that we would find survivors," said Bramhall.

But seven days later, as Bramhall put it, a miracle happened.

"On day seven of the search and rescue, we found a handicap person who was not in the Towers, but in a building that was near the Towers that was damaged because of the fall," he said. "It was amazing that she was still alive."

Bramhall and his new "brothers" helped the woman out of the wreckage and to a place where she could receive aid.

"That was a great felling," he said. "You lose hope after time that anyone will be alive. You want to keep hope, but it slips after seeing the wreckage. So, to find this woman on the seventh day, it was amazing. We felt so good."

The mission was not yet over for Bramhall. He and his fellow servicemen stayed at the wreckage site until January 2002, working 12-hour clean-up shifts and sleeping in a local high school hallway.

"Times were hard out there but we kept reminding ourselves that we were in the military," Bramhall said. "This is what we were meant to do; this is what Soldiers are meant to do - help people in need."

After his service to the World Trade Center Towers was complete, Bramhall still decided to exit the military. He then went to work for the Rescue 1 Fire Station in NYC, hoping to continue to serve the people of New York. But after some time of reflection, Bramhall decided the best way he could serve the people of New York and his country was to go back into the Army.

Now a member of the 5-73 Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Bramhall says he’s right where he needs to be - serving his country in Iraq.

"This is one of the reasons I am here in Iraq," he said. "I’m here in support of those people in the Towers who didn’t make it out of there. I’m doing this for them. I’m also doing this for another person who worked with me at the Towers."

On the year anniversary of the falling of the Towers, Bramhall met up with those who had helped him and others clear the buildings, trying desperately to save the lives of those inside.

"One of the guys who helped us lost his Uncle, Brother and Father to the crash of the Towers," said Bramhall. "He wasn’t doing so well a year later. He went through some really hard times afterwards, so I’m also doing this for him, too."

Bramhall says he proudly serves his country for all of those out there who want to lend a hand to their country, but can’t.

"I do this for those guys who want to be out here, but can’t be out here," he said.

"This is not about revenge," Bramhall added. "I just think about those who lost so much, and how I can help bring peace to their lives."

Though Bramhall still has a way to go in his year-long deployment with 5-73, he says he’s okay with that. Bramhall said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

"I would not chance anything," he said. "I’m glad I’m here, doing my part."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

US kills top Afghan Taliban leader

Ka-boom...should be a merry Christmas.

US forces said they had killed the Taliban's military chief in southern Afghanistan, who had close links to Osama bin Laden and was heir to the rebel leadership.

While most people tend to look upon the killing of a high-ranking Taliban commander or a top-level al-qaeda terrorist as swatting a honey-bee despite the hive, the removal of a Taliban commander or terrorist always brings a smile to my face. Why? Maybe because I'm a sick bastard. Or maybe it's because, in any network, the exit of someone in power causes waves. It causes complications. It causes problems to the network as a whole. While supreme Taliban leader Mullah Omar is probably tucked away somewhere incapable of making much decisions and acts more as a centerpiece or idol for the movement, it's the commanders that lead the insurgency. Take out the commanders and the insurgency starts getting confused, getting wreckless, getting clumsy. If you take notice to the news on captured or killed terrorist "big wigs", they are almost always followed by the removal of more "big wigs". Make no mistake, while this surely won't destroy the Taliban, they are hindered a little by this lose. And that, well, that makes me smile.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was the most senior leader killed yet and was targeted in a region where the insurgency is at its bloodiest, a military spokesman said. Osmani and two other guerrillas were killed in an air strike on their car on an isolated desert road on Tuesday, spokesman for the US-led coalition force, Colonel Tom Collins, said in Kabul.

Should have gotten a GPS unit.

The Taliban said Osmani, anointed by the group's leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, as his heir in 2001, was alive. "We strongly deny this. He is not present in the area where American forces are claiming to have killed him," commander Mullah Hayat Khan told Reuters by telephone.

Mainly because the missile blew him somewhere into Northeastern Afghanistan.

Security Council Approves Iran Sanctions

Now I guess we'll see if Iran will make good on their threats against being sanctioned. I'm guessing they won't. The dog probably has no bite, but damned if it won't quit barking.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, increasing international pressure on the government to prove that it is not trying to make nuclear weapons. Iran immediately rejected the resolution.

I really don't see what Iran has against sanctions. Look at North Korea. I rest my case.

If Iran refuses to comply, the council warned it would adopt further nonmilitary sanctions, but the resolution emphasized the importance of diplomacy in seeking guarantees "that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes."

Here take this million dollars as long as you promise not to spend it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Case

It's a story most of us in the US know about. Hell, it's a story most of us in the US had already decided the outcome of before we really knew anything about the facts. And herein lies the problem. Media.

The district attorney dropped rape charges Friday against the three Duke University lacrosse players after the stripper who accused them changed her story again. But the men still face kidnapping and sex charges that could bring more than 30 years in prison.

A lawyer for one of the athletes bitterly demanded that District Attorney Mike Nifong drop the remaining counts, accusing him of offering shifting theories of the crime in an attempt to win the case at any cost.

Quick background. A stripper who was "working" a party attended by the players of Duke's lacrosse program accused three players of raping her. The story was all over prime time, every reporter following every little piece of information and then blowing it up to make it look like it may be significant. Remember Natalie Holloway? Same thing. Big build up, big story, big coverage. No outcome. Same with the nutcase who claimed he had murdered Jon Benet Ramsey.
The stripper had more stories than the government during a scandal. And they changed twice as often. Now, I doubt this girl was raped. Obviously she wasn't. The problem here is what occured between the accusing and the outcome, if you can call this an outcome. Three players were treated guilty upon being accused. Faces on TV, names in the paper, reputations ruined, social lives destroyed. Not only were they accused of rape and other horrific crimes, but everyone knew it.
Now it seems to me that this woman engaged in some actions she maybe regretted. And like a lot of people out there, was unable to accept responsiblity for her actions. So who suffers here? Everybody...but the media.

Here's why.
First off, this makes it incredibly scary for woman who really HAVE been raped. Look at the limelight. The accuser in this case remained anonymous, at least, until her picture was leaked to the media. The accused didn't remain anonymous, but before any charges had actually been filed, the media was already discussing whether the rape happened or not and if it did how and why and what would happen in court. I saw more than one person claim to "know the boys were guilty". Shows how much the experts know. I wonder if the world is actually really round?

And secondly, the lawyers in the case are now concerned about their image and reputation. The country is watching, better not fuck this one up. Now the DA is going to scramble to convict the boys of SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Why? Because image the embarassment of him having to admit fault. Plus, he reputation would be ruined. So even though the accuser has now been found to be at least stretching the truth, the DA is still following through with charges. In my experience, once someone has been proved to have lied about one thing, they lose credibility in all things. Not if it's on TV though.

The problem with criminal cases being on TV is that US citizens rights to a fair trial of a jury of their peers that have been uninfluenced by outside sources is now a thing of the past. I predict that in a few decades, some high profile cases will be overturned and the reasoning for the dismissal will be media influencing the jury. But of course, by then, we'll all be dead from something horrible the media doesn't tell us about cause ratings would drop.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Virgin Komodo dragon prepares to give birth

Looks like the second coming was a lot different than everyone expected.

In an evolutionary twist, Flora, the Komodo dragon, has managed to become pregnant without any male help. It would seem the timing is auspicious: seven baby Komodo dragons are due this festive season.

I sure hope human females don't learn this trick.

"We were blown away when we realised what she'd done," said Kevin Buley Wednesday, a reptile expert at Flora's home at the Chester Zoo in northern England. "But we certainly won't be naming any of the hatchlings Jesus."

You guys can't see me shaking my head but trust me, I'm shaking my head.

Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth.

It's Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iraqi soldiers eat frogs, rabbit at handover ceremony

You ever get the feeling that you may be on a completely different page then the people you are talking to?

Iraqi soldiers bit the heads off frogs and ate the heart of a rabbit as signs of courage on Wednesday at a ceremony to transfer Najaf province, home to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines, from U.S. to Iraqi control.

Perhaps after the ceremony we can pray for rain or throw rocks at the sun or something.

A U.S. general called the transfer, under a plan to gradually hand over security and allow the withdrawal of 135,000 American troops, a major step in strengthening the Iraqi government as it seeks to stop sectarian violence.

Yes, it's a major step to hand over control to an army that has so far been able to control nothing. Progress, you gotta love it.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said Iraqis can take control of all Iraq's 18 provinces by June, despite doubts about capabilities and the sectarian loyalties of the army and police.

Another question. You ever get the feeling that you're the only one who sees the tidal wave bearing down on everybody and as much as you want to warn them, sometimes you feel that everything getting washed away might actually be for the best?

Politicians, tribal and religious leaders and soldiers watched displays of military prowess and one demonstration, hailed as a display of courage, in which five soldiers stopped before the grandstand to bite the heads off frogs.

Great, you can kill frogs. Wonderful. You're ready. Oh you're so ready.

A sixth holding a live rabbit slit open its stomach and ate its heart before tossing the carcass to his comrades to chew on.

So the Iraqi army is more a pack of wild dogs than an army. I foresee nothing but happiness.

Bush: U.S. Needs to Increase Army Size

Shit...we'll...better go get packed.

President Bush says the U.S. needs to increase the size of Army and Marines, and says strategy and tactics in Iraq will change to meet the situation on the ground. Bush also said Wednesday that insurgents in Iraq thwarted U.S. efforts at "establishing security and stability throughout the country" in 2006.

I'm not a big fan of the whole "cut and run" option. Maybe it's because I have a hint of national pride or maybe it's because we still haven't really brought any justice to those responsible for Sept. 11th 2001 but at some point we really should just tell the Iraqi's, "Well, good luck, we did our best."

At a year-end news conference, Bush said the United States will "ask more of our Iraqi partners" in 2007, and he pledged to work with the new Democratic Congress, as well.

Oh thanks Mr. President. I'm happy you've decided to work with Congress. Newsflash, you don't get a fucking cookie for doing your job.

Bush sidestepped one question _ whether he would order a so-called surge of troops in Iraq as a first-step toward gaining control of the violent and chaotic situation there. "Nice try," he told a reporter who asked about his plans.

So since when did we stop demanding our government to inform us as to what they are doing FOR us? Nice try? What the fuck does that mean? You were asked a question asshole. ANSWER IT. I didn't ask you what you got me for Christmas. I asked you what you're doing about the WAR!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Miss USA Keeps Job, Heads To Rehab

Miss USA is a drug addict. That seems oddly appropriate.

Donald Trump said Tuesday that Tara Conner, the reigning Miss USA, will get to keep her job - for now.

You may remain attractive...for now. One more slip up and it's plastic surgery for you sweetie.

Trump said he had decided to fire Connor, 20, but changed his mind after meeting with Connor on Tuesday morning.

Gee I wonder what she did to persuade Trump to allow her to keep her job? Bet her knees hurt.

Trump said that Connor will go into rehab for alcohol use, and if she doesn't adhere to the pageant's conduct codes, she will be fired.

You have to be quite the dimwit to get fired from a job that entails pretty much nothing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

'Islamophobia' on the rise in Europe, report says

Not just in Europe by the way.

"Islamophobia" is on the rise across Europe, where many Muslims are menaced and misunderstood — some on a daily basis — the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia said Monday in a new report.

I don't know. Maybe it's the repeated rioting over cartoons or the threats of beheadings for a simple misunderstood statement but sometimes I wonder if Islam may just be a little to edgy for the rest of us. Perhaps that's why some of us have become a little "concerned" about those "misunderstood" bombers.

The Vienna-based center, which tracks ethnic and religious bias across the 25-country European Union, said Muslims routinely suffered problems ranging from physical attacks to discrimination in the job and housing markets.

Although I understand that not all Muslims are fanatical and many do not agree with the al-qaeda/Taliban version of Islam, you just don't hear from those Muslims enough. You so rarely hear them stand up and condemn jihad, speak out FOR the rights of women and AGAINST the traditional suicide bombing. Maybe then we could feel a little safer and until then, Muslims will have to deal with the few million bad apples making them look bad.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many of Europe's nearly 13 million Muslims feel "they have been put under a general suspicion of terrorism," Beate Winkler, director of the group said.

Don't think it was just the September 11th attacks. Maybe it had something to do with the hundreds of attacks after that.

NBA strikes back at Nuggets and Knicks for brawl

When you're making as much money as professional basketball players make, what the fuck could you possibly get angry enough about to fight over?

Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony has been suspended 15 games for his primary role in Saturday's ugly brawl with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Just for the record, had I done what Anthony did, if you've seen the footage, I'd be in prison.

Commissioner David Stern suspended six other players and levied a fine of $500,000 against each team.

Shame that's mainly pocketchange to most of them.

'The NBA and its players represent a game of extraordinary skill, athleticism and grace, and, for good or bad, set an example for the entire basketball world, on and off the court,' Stern said in a statement.

Remember kids, basketball is a team sport that involves friendly competition. Don't do what the pro's do, do as the players trying to make the pros do.

Palestinian Truce Shaken By Fighting

Nothing hurts a truce like breaking the truce.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Monday to press on with early elections as a truce between his security forces and the Hamas government appeared close to collapse in the Gaza Strip.

If you stand back for a moment and try not to take sides in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, one cannot help but imagine the slim chances of Palestine ever becoming a stable country. You don't see Israelis gunning down Israelis. While I never take sides on that conflict, mainly because the line has becomed way too blurred over there as to who is right and who is wrong, one can easily determine the staggeringly different levels of civilized behavior between the two lands.

Gunmen abducted a senior official from Abbas's Fatah faction in Gaza. Fatah blamed the governing Hamas Islamist movement for the seizure of Sufian Abu Zaida, a former cabinet minister.

Kidnapping is against a truce isn't it? Maybe a truce in Palestine is different than a truce anywhere else in the world.

"This ceasefire risks being blown away in the wind," said Fatah spokesman, Tawfiq Abu Khoussa.

I'd say it's blown away already.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sunday Sign of Hope December 17th 2006

Woman wins seat in first-ever UAE election

From ZeeNews:

A woman was elected to an Advisory Council in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday in the first national polls in the Gulf country, in which only a tiny part of the population is taking part.

"This is an honour I will carry... All my life. It is proof that the Emirati people are (politically) aware," Amal Abdullah al-Kubaissi told a news agency after winning one of four seats up for grabs in oil-rich Abu Dhabi.

Kubaissi, a British-educated architect in her mid-30s who teaches at Emirates University, came third with 265 votes, according to official results.

She said her victory showed that "women's participation (in public life) is very important."

Three-stage elections to fill half the 40 seats of the Federal National Council (FNC) began in Abu Dhabi and the smaller emirate of Fujairah, making the UAE the last Gulf Arab monarchy to hold a national poll.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Palestinian president calls for early elections

Might as well get all the violence out of the way as soon as possible.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called for early presidential and parliamentary elections, saying that the Palestinian people must decide their fate.

Decide it for youselves before a bunch of masked gunmen decide it for you. Does anybody think this election will go off without a bunch of people storming into some building and killing some people? Yea, I don't either.

Abbas said he had the authority as president to fire the government headed by the Islamic Hamas movement, and would not allow the situation to deteriorate into a civil war.

My mother once told me she would not allow me to drink alcohol. Guess what. Some things are just inevitable.

Speaking to a crowd made up mostly of high-ranking Fatah officials as well as Muslim and Christian religious leaders, Abbas compared the current state of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to a 'sinking ship.'

Not that he has a negative outlook on things.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Official Says Fla. Execution Was Botched

I'm afriad we're going to have to try this again. We have to wait for the chair to charge back up. you have any MORE last words?

The execution of a convicted killer took 34 minutes - twice as long as normal - because officials botched the insertion of the needles that delivered the lethal chemicals, a medical examiner said Friday.

"I'm sure you'll be dead any minute. Boy this is awkward."

Gov. Jeb Bush responded to the findings by halting the signing of more death warrants until a commission he created to examine the state's lethal injection process completes its final report by March 1.

I'm sure the inmate is breathing a sigh of relief...oh, no he probably isn't. He would though...if he could. Man, sitting in a cell for years waiting to die must suck but not quite as much as waiting for the poison to finally reach the heart.

Dr. William Hamilton, who performed the autopsy, said the needles pierced Angel Nieves Diaz's veins and then went into soft tissue in his arms. The lethal chemicals are supposed to go directly into the veins.

"My bad."

Hamilton refused to say whether he thought Diaz died a painful death.

I'm sure the screaming was just early holiday joy.

"American Pie" actress turns herself in at NY court

Trouble in tinseltown? No, I just can't believe it.

Actress Natasha Lyonne, the star of "American Pie" accused of threatening to sexually molest a dog, turned herself in at a New York court on Friday.

"Mommy, why does that girl from TV want to suck the dog's pee-pee?"
"It's called heroine son."
A bench warrant was issued for her arrest in January after Lyonne, who has also appeared in "Blade," and "Scary Movie 2," missed four court hearings.

It's so hard to get to court when you're busy speed dating at the dog park.
The 27-year-old faced a number of charges including criminal mischief, harassment and trespassing after accusations she threatened to sexually molest her former neighbor's dog and ripped a mirror off the wall during a 2004 argument.

What do you say to someone who threatens to sexually molest your dog? I think movie stars have taken this love for animals thing too far now.
At the Manhattan Criminal Court appearance, drug counselor Heather Hayes said Lyonne had completed an in-patient drug program in February and continued to attend outpatient rehabilitation groups.

Seems to be working well.

Storm Kills 4, Cuts Power in Northwest US

Makes the storm sound like a mass murderer.

Howling windstorms and heavy rains caused at least four deaths, closed bridges and highways and cut power to about 1.5 million homes and businesses in Washington and Oregon, authorities said Friday.

I find it comforting in remembering that at any time, any place, mother nature could just wipe us right off the face of the map.

One of the concourses at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport lost power, and an airport spokesman said some flights were canceled.

Oh the humanity!

A 41-year-old Seattle woman died Thursday after she became trapped in her basement while it flooded. Neighbors had called for help after they heard screaming.

"Yes police, the woman next door to us is making such a racket..."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Russia no longer murders spies: KGB veteran

They call it forced retirement.

The head of an organization of former Russian spies was quoted as saying on Thursday Moscow abandoned its policy of assassinating enemies long ago, and that Alexander Litvinenko was probably murdered by criminals.

Of course, criminals who have the means to obtain a highly radioactive poison that has to be constructed in a nuclear facility. Guess those Meth labs are more hi-tech than we originally anticipated.

Former KGB agent Valentin Velichko said fellow former agent Litvinenko, who died in London on November 23 from radiation poisoning, was a traitor but was not killed by Moscow.

Moscow hired someone to do it.

"That was long ago. It belonged to the days of Stalin," Velichko, head of the Veterans of Foreign Intelligence, told Die Welt newspaper in an interview. Millions died under the rule of dictator Josef Stalin.

If there's one thing I've learned about politics it's that the more time passes, the more everything stays the same. This world hasn't really changed much since the 1940's.

Solar Flare Blasts Earth

See, even the sun is sick of this shit.

A large flare from the sun was observed yesterday, and the resulting expulsion of charged particles is expected to sail past the Earth this afternoon.

Umm...should I wear sunglasses?

Such flares, known as coronal mass ejections, are actually fairly common, experts say. The Earth is well protected by both its atmosphere and its magnetic field.

Oh good. Oh and I've actually had coronal mass ejections. They feel wonderful.

The most visible effect: auroras — the so-called Northern Lights, often seen over Alaska and Canada at night — might be visible tonight over some northerly parts of the lower 48 states.

Neat. No need for the hallucinogenics tonight everybody.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Desperate police admit strangler is out of control

So, how many people do you have to strangle in order to be considered out of control?

There are growing concerns tonight that British police are drawing a blank in the hunt for the Suffolk Strangler.

It's kind of cute that we give serial killers scary little names isn't it? It's like a pet, but a pet that might strangle you in an empty parking lot after a late night at the office.

Officers from the Suffolk force - one of the smallest in the country - have been "overwhelmed" by the discovery of five bodies in 10 days.

When one hears of a new serial killer at work in a small area one almost instinctively assumes it's in the US. Not this time though. Seems there's a busy little beaver with woman issues across the pond this time. Although, I'll admit, between Jack the Ripper and now the Suffolk Strangler, you Brits had a pretty peaceful run going.

One source said: "Even a larger force would have a problem resourcing at this stage. It is six weeks since the first prostitute went missing - and police admit it is a race against time before the killer strikes again."

Prostitution is like the kiddy pool for serial killers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, who is leading the manhunt, went on television to say the serial killer is "out of control". He has murdered five women in six weeks, an unprecedented rate in British criminal history.

Seriously there Suffolk Strangler, you may be losing your grip of reality. You need to slow down and take it easy. The prostitutes aren't going anywhere. At this rate you're going to burn yourself out. Take a week off. Stop to smell the roses before you dump the body.

Some of the prostitutes in Ipswich's red-light area have given police names of their customers and detectives are trying to compile a complete list.

I bet that list is fucking HUGE.

The key to finding him may be held by the small number of prostitutes in Ipswich's red-light district.

Yea I bet small number. Getting smaller as we speak.

The victims are likely to have known their killer. The numbers of sex workers in the area is said to be about 40, but the hardcore is about 15 - five of whom are now dead.

Those are pretty shitty odds in making it through the night. Perhaps you women of the night might want to consider a new line of work. Perhaps something that doesn't involve dark places with strangers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New York Man Accused Of Setting Girlfriend On Fire

Wow, I got my girlfriend a sweater for Christmas.

Mount Vernon police said 20-year-old Master Dobson is being charged with assault. Dobson told police he was playing with matches when his 18-year-old girlfriend was burned.

First of all, what assholes names their kid Master? Secondly, I think we've all learned now that mom wasn't kidding about the playing with matches thing.

Police arrested Dobson, charging him with intentionally setting his girlfriend on fire after he doused her with rubbing alcohol during an argument.P

I'm so mad I'm going to clean you, and clean you good!

Chong said Dobson began flicking matches at her during an argument and one of the matches caught on her clothing, which went up in flames.

Perfect example of not thinking about the possible consequences of your actions. I mean, sure, who has thrown fire during a domestic arguement but hell, I wouldn't douse anyone in flammable liquid before hand. That's just dangerous.

The incident took place Saturday at Dobson's Mount Vernon home on Union Avenue. Police said Dobson accidently cut his girlfriend and had used alcohol to clean out the wound.

"I was simply trying to intensify the pain, not burn her."

He said the fire started because he was playing with matches.

From now on parents, warn your children on the danger of playing with matches. And try to add in the danger of dousing others in flammable chemicals.

Israel Nuke Comment Sparks Controversy

"We'll blow the whole lot of you right off the fucking map..."

A slip of the tongue by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about Israel's nuclear policy ballooned into a domestic crisis Tuesday for the Israeli leader, who came under criticism from across the political spectrum.

"Do you have nuke?"
"Yes...I mean, no. I meant no."

In an interview with a German television station broadcast Monday, Olmert appeared to list Israel among the world's nuclear powers, violating the country's long-standing policy of not officially acknowledging that it has atomic weapons. Asked by the interviewer about Iran's calls for the destruction of Israel, Olmert replied that Israel has never threatened to annihilate anyone.

"We don't make threats. We make promises."

"Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map," Olmert said. "Can you say that this is the same level, when you are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?"

Way to go there Olmert. Explain your way out of that one bud. This is what happens when people who have to repeat first grade twice get into powerful positions. And what's with the whole "acknowledging" thing? Since when was something not true until it's admitted? If you think for a second that Israel doesn't have nuclear weapons than you probably also believe that Iran is going nuclear for peaceful purposes, that the Russians didn't whack Litvinenko and that George Bush actually has America's best interests in heart. And if you're one of those people, you're probably still amazed at indoor plumbing.

Trees Being Returned to SeaTac Airport

Could it be? Could common sense have had a hand in this? Could it be someone read Damnit! Earth and realized the era of their ways? Probably not to both of these.

Pat Davis, president of the Port of Seattle commission, which directs airport operations, said late Monday that maintenance staff would restore the 14 plastic holiday trees, festooned with red ribbons and bows, that were removed over the weekend because of a rabbi's complaint that holiday decor did not include a menorah.

Good, now passengers will have something pretty and shiny to look at while airport security violate them in ways that a person should at least be paid to endure or at least get royalty checks from various porno films.

Airport managers believed that if they allowed the addition of an 8-foot-tall menorah to the display, as Seattle Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky had requested, they would also have to display symbols of other religions and cultures, which was not something airport workers had time for during the busiest travel season of the year, Airport Director Mark Reis said earlier Monday.

No time for menorahs for Chanukah cause then you'd have to display tradition kinara candles for Kwanzaa and then suicide vests for Ramadan. No time for that shit. Just a few trees so people can remember it's Christmas time as they grip their handrests with white knuckles, praying Santa brings them a safe landing.

Port officials received word Monday afternoon that Bogomilsky's organization would not file a lawsuit at this time over the placement of a menorah, Davis said in a statement. "Given that, the holiday trees will be replaced as quickly as possible," he said.

Ah, so it wasn't comment sense or public outcry. It was the lack of lawsuit. Oh well, take it where you can get Christians. You have your trees in Seattles airport. Enjoy them.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Airport Christmas trees removed

They were on the terrorist watch list.

All 15 Christmas trees inside the terminal at Sea-Tac have been removed in response to a complaint by a rabbi.

What, didn't he like the smell of pine?

A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees.

Someone wake me up when the people of America realize that the world doesn't revolve solely around them please. So now because this guy wasn't allowed a 8-foot candle holder no one can't celebrate Christmas as they wait to board their flying deathraps. Thanks bud. Not saying he didn't have a legit argument but man, way to fuck it up for everyone.

Incoming House intelligence chief botches easy intel quiz

Luckily being intelligence is not a prerequisite for working for the US government. In fact, the less you know about your job, the better you seem to do. Look at your boss for a minute. Now, do they have a fucking clue as to what is going on? I just hope the ones doing the ground work have half a decent grasp on the whole War on Terror thing. Sounds important.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Okay Mr. Reyes...spell suicide bomber.

When asked by CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes answered "they are probably both," then ventured "Predominantly -- probably Shiite." That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.

Looks like there will be no bonus round for him. Tune in next week when President Bush attempts to pronounce "specific".

Iran students heckle Ahmadinejad

Heckled? Politicians don't get heckled. They get the truth yelled at them.

Iranian students have disrupted a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a prestigious Tehran university, setting fire to his picture and heckling him.

That's a broad line of disruption. On one hand you have the hecklers, yelling out derogatory statements, telling him he sucks, that they hate him and his policies and what not. And on the other hand, the junior arsonists in training. Can't the Arab world make a statement without lighting anything on fire? You'd think they just discovered the fucking thing.

"Some students chanted radical slogans and inflamed the atmosphere of the meeting" at the Amir Kabir University, said the semi-official Fars news agency on Monday, which is close to Ahmadinejad.

That's a colorful way of saying they lit fires. Bravo to your vocab my friend.
"A small number of students shouted 'death to the dictator' and smashed cameras of state television but they were confronted by a bigger group of students in the hall chanting: 'We support Ahmadinejad'," it said.

West Side Story meets Black Hawk Down.

"A small number of people who claim there is oppression are creating oppression and do not let the majority hear my words," Ahmadinejad said.

Boy we are full of ourself aren't we?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Sign of Hope December 10th 2006

Police seize Turkish Al Qaeda leader

From Daily Times:

Turkish police have detained a lawyer who admitted he was the leader of Al Qaeda in Turkey, Anatolian News Agency reported on Saturday.

Nine other suspects were also held. Police seized bomb-making material and a compact disc set to explode when inserted into a computer - the first time Turkish police had got hold of such a device - the state-run agency said.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saudi King: Arab world waiting to explode

Funny, I thought they've been individually exploding for quite some time now.

Saudi King Abdullah opened the annual summit of Gulf leaders with a warning that the Arab world was on the brink of exploding because of conflicts in the Palestinian territories,Iraq and Lebanon.

The only time the Arab world isn't on the brink of exploding is when they're sleeping. And even then they're dreaming of being on the brink of exploding...and goats.

"Our Arab region is besieged by a number of dangers, as if it was a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode," he told the rulers of the oil-rich monarchies gathered in Riyadh for a two-day meeting to the backdrop of mounting sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq.

The Saudi King also stated that he believed the sun was responsible for sunburns, that the force of gravity may be responsible for falling deaths and papercuts may not be "Allah's way of telling you not to squeeze fresh lemonade", confirming his nickname amongst his closest friends, Captain Obvious.

In Iraq "a brother is still killing his brother," Abdullah said of the tit-for-tat killings between the Sunni Arab former elite and the ruling Shiite majority.

Wow, that's the first time I heard someone refer to secterian murder as tit-for-tat. Makes it sound like they keep fighting during lunch breaks at high school.

Rumsfeld Surprises The Troops In Iraq

Although one would question the idea of jumping out of bushes in the dark at armed soldiers.

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is on a surprise visit to Iraq.

Rumsfeld was quoted as saying, "Well, it looks like one of us is finally out of Iraq."

With only 9 days left in his tenure at the Pentagon, a spokesman said he is using the trip to say farewell to the troops serving overseas.

Farewell? How often was he over there?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Damnit Earth One Year Old (and a few days)

While I was away soaking in the many different experiences the US has to offer, Damnit Earth turned a year old. I thought it appropiate to say a few things about doing this blog for almost a year now.

First off, blogging daily about the news is depressing. Following story after story, watching as the powers that be act oblivious to the obvious is frustrating and fills ones self with a sense of hopelessness. The Iraq war, al-qaeda, the Taliban, numerous government scandals, the horrible acts man is capable to commit on fellow man, the treatment of women across the globe, it's all almost as bad as the purposeful blind-eye to the good the world has to offer. Honestly, the hardest thing about this blog is the Sunday Sign of Hope. Making fun of the world is easy, hell, they practically do it for me. But finding that one gem a week can take me hours. Even then, most of the Sunday Signs of Hope are stretches.

The sad thing is, when one really looks, it can seem so damn easy to turn things around. Taking care of our planet could be so easily accomplished if it was what we really wanted. If people stopped taking a lazy approach to the world they live in, if we stopped worring about the trival things, the things the powers that be WANT us to focus on instead of the real worrisome shit they're doing, maybe a change could be possible. History repeats itself. If you watch, it's pretty much on a three week cycle. But we're more concerned with nudity and profanity on television than the fact that Christian school girls are being beheaded in Southern Asian countries.

I started Damnit Earth as an idea to bring a smile to peoples faces. I thought, hey, this world is so fucked up it's almost comical. It's like one long spoof movie. But some of these things aren't funny, most of it is cause for concern. It's like a marriage that you are watching lead to divorce. You watching things go bad and there's not a damn thing you can do but try to squeeze out a few good moments before it's all over.

I get about 3000 daily hits from different users a day. Most don't post comments and that's okay, I don't mind. Most are returning visitors and that means they either love Damnit Earth or hate it so much they need to refuel that fire everyday. Either way, maybe it makes you think, or maybe it makes you laugh. Hopefully it does both. I will continue Damnit Earth into the new year and beyond, if for no other reason than my own enjoyment and a slight hope that one day, things may get better.

Thank you all for stopping by and sharing a laugh or two. Be good to each other.

Deputy Dresses As Elf To Catch Speeders

So I guess I can't go dashing through the snow now huh.

In Orange County, the problem isn't dashing through the snow. It's cars darting down the street at high speeds. So the Orange County Sheriff's Office is doing something about it, launching Operation ELF: Enforcing Limits and Fining speeders.

Great, now I have to explain to my daughter why Santa's elves tackled that man to the ground, beat him, cuffed him and threw him into the back of a squad car.
"No, no, honey, that man was on the really, really naughty list."

Here's how it works: a sheriff's deputy dressed as an elf clocks cars using a radar gun then dispatches a motorcycle deputy to pull them over and issue the driver a ticket.

Okay everybody, slow down if you see an elf. Thanks for the heads up media.

Some people said using a holiday icon to enforce the law didn't seem right.

This may effect the public's view on the "Santa's undercover prostitution sting" operation.

"That's specifically why we didn't use Santa Claus," Ken Wyne of the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. "We didn't choose a nativity scene. We chose an elf. An elf is known for their impish behavior. If you're going to speed in Orange County, you never know who's going to be on the street corner."

This is why it's important that police officers have some sort of college education.

Tornado families wait to see if they can return home

They're still waiting for their houses to land.

Hundreds of people who were left homeless after a tornado tore through their street in north-west London causing millions of pounds worth of damage were today waiting to see when they could return home.

I didn't know they had tornados in London. Hey, do those people live in trailer parks too cause here in the US tornados seem to absolutely HATE trailer parks.

Surveyors began arriving in Kensal Green at 7.30am to look at around 150 houses that had had their chimneys pulled down, roofs ripped off and windows smashed by flying debris.

Santa's using the front door this year.

Inspector Neil Anderson, from nearby Wembley police station, said assessing the damage to the properties would continue today, adding: "The most badly damaged roads are Crediton Road and Whitmore Gardens.

They can now be found on West End Street and Rose Blvd.

"Public safety is the main concern at the moment."

Tornados are known to return to the scene of the crime.

The council allowed residents back inside their homes today, except those whose properties were the most severely damaged, to collect vital possessions.

"I've got a doorknob, two table legs and a piece of the couch."

A strategy meeting, attended by police, the local authority, residents’ groups and other interested parties, was held today to plan the next move in the clean-up operation.

"You men go right, you men go left. I'll go to Home Depot and get more garbage bags."

Russia Opens Murder Probe in Litvinenko's Death

At first I thought this was an elaborate publicity stunt for the new Bond film Casino Royale. Apparently though, this international spy stuff isn't just for the movies. It really happens. I can feel the line between reality and fantasy blurring already.

Russian police have opened a criminal investigation into the poisoning death in London of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.

Took long enough. You'd think they'd be looking into this a little earlier. But better late than never. I have a funny feeling though that they won't find out much. You see, using a radioactive poison to kill a former spy isn't the kind of thing street criminals use to get your wallet. Someone important wanted this guy dead and if you have the money to access polonium-210 you probably have the money and the power to make sure no one finds out it was you.

Prosecutors in Moscow say they are also expanding their probe to include what they say may be an attempt to kill Russian businessman Dmitri Kovtun. They say Kovtun met Litvinenko on the same day that the former Russian spy became seriously ill.

Oddly enough, the restaurant that Litvinenko dined at the day of his poisoning has taken the "Polonium-tini" off the drink menu.

Russian media Thursday reported that Kovtun was in critical condition, reports denied by his lawyer, who described his health as satisfactory.

He glows in the dark now though.

British authorities say seven staff members at a London hotel Litvinenko visited on November 1, the day he became ill, have tested positive for low levels of radiation poisoning.

Damn cell phones.

The Return of Damnit! Earth

Yes, it was a long holiday but well worth it. To go into a little more depth yours truly drove across the United States, from New Jersey to Florida and then from Florida to California using the southern US border and then back across the northern US border. Along the way I saw things like The Alamo, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, Devils Tower in Wyoming, Deadwood South Dakota where Wild Bill Hickock was shot dead. I explored the Meteorite Crater of New Mexico, the Redwood forests of California, the Badlands of South Dakota. I walked the streets of Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Sante Fe, San Francisco, Reno (where I hit a lucky $1 slot machine and won $300) and Salt Lake City. I even went riding on the roller coasters of Disneyworld. And I'm happy to report that people are just as crazy pretty much everywhere. Next year I'll be off to Europe and hope to find the same results.

So in my absence, lots has happened. Time to jump back into the crazy pool, head first. Make way all.