Happy New Year's Eve!
10:47 PM |
Musings from a Canadian liberal woman on the state of Canadian and US politics.
What? You want to know stuff about me?
10:47 PM |
While neither the media nor the Left will pause to take note, there are a few other numbers we can justifiably project for ourselves on this New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 2006.An estimated 16,692 persons were murdered nationwide in 2005, an increase of 3.4 percent from the 2004 figure.
Murder comprised 1.2 percent of the overall estimated number of violent crimes in 2005. (Based on Table 1.)
There were an estimated 5.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
Based upon the 2005 figures, approximately 46 Americans are killed within our borders every day. The Iraq War officially began on March 20, 2003 - approximately 1,375 days ago. Consequently, one can project that well over 63,000 Americans have died at the hands of other Americans since the beginning of the war.
It might do a person some good to think that our media and our Left cared just that much more about the 3,000 military deaths over the same period because they were proud members of our military ... serving our country with courage, dignity and honor. Unfortunately, given that both the media and the Left seem so quick to ignore the more than 63,000 civilian deaths which have occurred during the same time period, I don't know that I will take much comfort from what will likely be their over-coverage of this particular milestone in the Iraq War.
All they can do, day in and day out, is bash the administration and complain about the war. In some twisted way, even Saddam almost looks more noble compared to the faceless editors of the NY Times. At least he is going to take responsibility and ultimately die for his crimes.
it's unclear if executing Saddam will help Iraq move forward, though a good case can be made that it will. Alas, it will have to do, I suppose. Unfortunately, we can't just up and execute an editor for the Times, instead ... even if eliminating such a profane source of enemy propaganda might actually help Iraq.
Heh! Watch that last bit set the Liberals off! ; )
10:14 PM |
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
- Dalai Lama
We seem to be like flies caught in honey. Because life is sweet we do not want to give it up, and yet the more we become involved in it, the more we are trapped, limited, and frustrated. We love it and hate it at the same time. We fall in love with people and possessions only to be tortured by anxiety for them. The conflict is not only between ourselves and the surrouncing universe; it is between ourselves and ourselves. For intractable nature is both around and within us.
-Alan W Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
3:41 PM |
Science told: hands off gay sheep
Isabel Oakeshott and Chris Gourlay
Experiments that claim to ‘cure’ homosexual rams spark anger
SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.
The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.
It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the “straightening” procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.
The research, at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, has caused an outcry. Martina Navratilova, the lesbian tennis player who won Wimbledon nine times, and scientists and gay rights campaigners in Britain have called for the project to be abandoned.
Navratilova defended the “right” of sheep to be gay. She said: “How can it be that in the year 2006 a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments?” She said gay men and lesbians would be “deeply offended” by the social implications of the tests.
But the researchers argue that the work is valid, shedding light on the “broad question” of what determines sexual orientation. They insist the work is not aimed at “curing” homosexuality.
The scientists have been able to pinpoint the mechanisms influencing the desires of “male-oriented” rams by studying their brains. The animals’ skulls are cut open and electronic sensors are attached to their brains.
By varying the hormone levels, mainly by injecting hormones into the brain, they have had “considerable success” in altering the rams’ sexuality, with some previously gay animals becoming attracted to ewes.
2:09 PM |
11:42 PM |
what is wrong with these filthy subhuman arabs? can not one SINGLE one hold a damn camera properly?? i got seasick watching this video as apparently the cameraman was also swinging by the neck filiming it...
sheesh. so much for a great video.
Posted by: Jeremy Givens at December 30, 2006 08:41 PM
9:46 PM |
Across from the Canuck Kaf-eh eatery is a giant banner from the Petawawa Faith Fest [ed. note: put on by Christian Media]. "God Bless Our Troops" reads the banner, with a Maple Leaf on each side. It quotes Joshua 1:9; "I command you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go."
9:09 PM |
OTTAWA (CP) - Canadian military officials removed four journalists accompanying troops on an Afghanistan operation earlier this year after complaints from allies, newly released documents show.
The abrupt end to the so-called embedding of the reporters, who were extracted by helicopter in early April, suggests the vaunted program is creating friction among Canada's fighting partners.
"Media embedded with Canadian troops conducting operations with coalition forces generate discomfort amongst allies," Maj. Marc Theriault, a public affairs officer in Kandahar, warned Ottawa hours before the journalists' removal.
In a later communication, he added: "Despite our explanations, most allied nations consider our media posture as very progressive and risky."
A defence official later identified the media members as Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford, photographer Louie Palu, Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno and Ontario-based freelance filmmaker Richard Fitoussi.
They were with The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group, which was operating with U.S. Special Forces at the time.
In an interview, Fitoussi said "it's pretty well known that Canada has the best embedding program there, and most of the NATO countries there are giving Canada a hard time about it."
Military officials in Ottawa have indicated that placating Canada's allies will always take precedence over the embedding program.
8:07 PM |
3. Dancing With the Stars
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Shanna Moakler
6. People Magazine
7. Lotto 649
8. Tia Carrere
10. Income trusts
*Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
7:03 PM |
The latest deaths take the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the invasion of March 2003 to 2,998...
For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war.
When the military was feeling most optimistic about the war — in 2004 — 83 percent of poll respondents thought success in Iraq was likely. This year, that number has shrunk to 50 percent.
Only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved. The president’s approval rating among the military is only slightly higher than for the population as a whole.
2:02 PM |
Britain, a staunch U.S. ally in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, reiterated its opposition to the death penalty, but said the sentence rested on Iraqi shoulders.
"We oppose the death penalty in all cases, regardless of the individual or the crime," said Rob Tinline, spokesman for the British Foreign Office. "[But] it's an Iraqi trial, with Iraqi defendants, in an Iraqi court — it's a decision for the Iraqi authorities."
Thomas Steg, spokesman for the German government, said Germany rejects the death penalty, but understands it is allowed under Iraqi law.
"There is no indication that these court proceedings in Iraq, including the appeals process, were not conducted in accordance with the legal principles there," he said.
Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.
Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said due process in accordance with Iraqi law was followed leading up to the execution.
"And I believe there's something quite heroic about a country that's going through the pain and suffering that Iraq is going through, it still extends due process to somebody who was a tyrant and a brutal suppressor and murderer of his people."
11:47 AM |
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
- Mahatma Gandhi
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
9:31 PM |
...I have catalogued his monstrous crimes over the years. I have talked to the Kurdish survivors of Halabja and the Shia who rose up against the dictator at our request in 1991 and who were betrayed by us - and whose comrades, in their tens of thousands, along with their wives, were hanged like thrushes by Saddam's executioners.
I have walked round the execution chamber of Abu Ghraib - only months, it later transpired, after we had been using the same prison for a few tortures and killings of our own - and I have watched Iraqis pull thousands of their dead relatives from the mass graves of Hilla. One of them has a newly-inserted artificial hip and a medical identification number on his arm. He had been taken directly from hospital to his place of execution. Like Donald Rumsfeld, I have even shaken the dictator's soft, damp hand. Yet the old war criminal finished his days in power writing romantic novels.
It was my colleague, Tom Friedman - now a messianic columnist for The New York Times - who perfectly caught Saddam's character just before the 2003 invasion: Saddam was, he wrote, "part Don Corleone, part Donald Duck". And, in this unique definition, Friedman caught the horror of all dictators; their sadistic attraction and the grotesque, unbelievable nature of their barbarity.
But that is not how the Arab world will see him. At first, those who suffered from Saddam's cruelty will welcome his execution. Hundreds wanted to pull the hangman's lever. So will many other Kurds and Shia outside Iraq welcome his end. But they - and millions of other Muslims - will remember how he was informed of his death sentence at the dawn of the Eid al-Adha feast, which recalls the would-be sacrifice by Abraham, of his son, a commemoration which even the ghastly Saddam cynically used to celebrate by releasing prisoners from his jails. "Handed over to the Iraqi authorities," he may have been before his death. But his execution will go down - correctly - as an American affair and time will add its false but lasting gloss to all this - that the West destroyed an Arab leader who no longer obeyed his orders from Washington, that, for all his wrongdoing (and this will be the terrible get-out for Arab historians, this shaving away of his crimes) Saddam died a "martyr" to the will of the new "Crusaders".
When he was captured in November of 2003, the insurgency against American troops increased in ferocity. After his death, it will redouble in intensity again. Freed from the remotest possibility of Saddam's return by his execution, the West's enemies in Iraq have no reason to fear the return of his Baathist regime. Osama bin Laden will certainly rejoice, along with Bush and Blair. And there's a thought. So many crimes avenged.
But we will have got away with it.
7:13 PM |
Critics said the move torpedoes the Canada Emission Reduction Incentives Agency, also called the Climate Fund, and suggested Harper does not intend to soften his opposition to government funding for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
The program is the latest in a series of Kyoto-inspired measures -- including home-energy incentives, wind-energy development and an alternative-fuels program -- to be scuttled by the Conservatives, Liberal MP John Godfrey said.
4:04 PM |
"This afternoon I have a message for the Iraqi people: This is further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever. You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again."
- George W Bush on the capture of Saddam Hussein, December 2003
For those who oppose the death penalty, as we do, any execution is regrettable -- and this one, should it come to pass, will follow highly imperfect judicial proceedings and may in the short term inflame sectarian divisions. But it's hard to imagine the death penalty existing anywhere for any crime and not for Saddam Hussein -- a man who, with the possible exception of Kim Jong Il, has more blood on his hands than anyone else alive. Should the world see his end in the coming days, the justice will be imperfect. But it will still be justice.
The Reagan administration and its special Middle East envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, did little to stop Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction in the 1980s, even though they knew Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons "almost daily" against Iran, it was reported yesterday.
US support for Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq war as a bulwark against Shi'ite militancy has been well known for some time, but using declassified government documents, the Washington Post provided new details yesterday about Mr Rumsfeld's role, and about the extent of the Reagan administration's knowledge of the use of chemical weapons.
The details will embarrass Mr Rumsfeld, who as defence secretary in the Bush administration is one of the leading hawks on Iraq, frequently denouncing it for its past use of such weapons.
The US provided less conventional military equipment than British or German companies but it did allow the export of biological agents, including anthrax; vital ingredients for chemical weapons; and cluster bombs sold by a CIA front organisation in Chile, the report says.
Intelligence on Iranian troop movements was provided, despite detailed knowledge of Iraq's use of nerve gas.
Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
- Martin Luther King Jr
A similar request by the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, Awad Hamed al-Bandar, was denied Thursday and is under appeal. Al-Bandar also faces execution. The Justice Department argued in that case that U.S. courts have no jurisdiction to interfere with the judicial process of another country.
Al-Bandar argued that his trial violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution but Justice countered that foreigners being tried in foreign courts are not protected by the U.S. Constitution.
11:10 AM |
Why We Need More Troops in Iraq
By Joseph Lieberman
Friday, December 29, 2006; Page A27
I've just spent 10 days traveling in the Middle East and speaking to leaders there, all of which has made one thing clearer to me than ever: While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging.
How we end the struggle there will affect not only the region but the worldwide war against the extremists who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001.
Because of the bravery of many Iraqi and coalition military personnel and the recent coming together of moderate political forces in Baghdad, the war is winnable. We and our Iraqi allies must do what is necessary to win it.
The American people are justifiably frustrated by the lack of progress, and the price paid by our heroic troops and their families has been heavy. But what is needed now, especially in Washington and Baghdad, is not despair but decisive action -- and soon.
Rather than engaging in hand-wringing, carping or calls for withdrawal, we must summon the vision, will and courage to take the difficult and decisive steps needed for success and, yes, victory in Iraq. That will greatly advance the cause of moderation and freedom throughout the Middle East and protect our security at home.
11:57 PM |
Iraqi officials also said that Saddam's final moments will be videotaped by the government, reports CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston.
"We will video everything," National Security adviser Mouffak al Rubaie said. "All documentation will be videoed. Taking him from cell to the execution is going to be videoed, and the actual execution will be documented and videoed."
Iraqis, members of the coalition and international representatives will witness the execution, Pinkston reports. It's not clear whether the videotape will be broadcast on Iraqi television.
5:27 PM |
1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
1:11 PM |
Dec. 28, 2006 — Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards has confirmed to ABC News that he will formally announce today he's running for president in 2008.
"Today is the day. I'm announcing I'm a candidate for president of the United States today," Edwards told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America."
Speaking from New Orleans, where he's engaged in rebuilding communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, Edwards says he's running because he wants to encourage young people to take action to change their country.
"I want to engage millions of people into taking responsibility, taking action. … Finding ways for all of us to help," he said.
Edwards also voiced his opinion about the war in Iraq, saying he was against President Bush's plan to increase troop levels there.
"I think it would be a huge mistake to put a surge of troops into Iraq. … Nobody who says we should put 20,000 or 100,000 more troops in Iraq can say that's going to be successful," he said. "The underlying problem is not a military problem, it's a political problem."
Edwards told Stephanopoulos his vote for the Iraq War when he was a senator was a mistake, but says unlike Bush, he is willing to admit a mistake and be open with the American people, something he says is lacking in Washington these days.
10:30 AM |
It says a lot about the character of the new Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he would blow off the state funeral of Gerald Ford, the least partisan of our most recent presidents, in order to get in a little holiday sight seeing and engage in some hobnobbing with South American leftists.
Harry Reid seems to have a dead spot in his soul where empathy usually resides in the rest of us. Blowing off the government of the United States, his colleagues, the Ford family, and history itself is just the latest in series of actions and statements that show Reid to be unfit to follow in the footsteps of giants like Mansfield, LBJ, and the venerable wise man George Mitchell – all of whom would have blanched in horror at the prospect of the Majority Leader of the Senate missing a high affair of state such as a presidential funeral.
9:58 AM |
Disappointing that Ford agreed to attack a sitting president's decisions on condition they not be aired until he is dead, despite the distinct possibility that would be within the sitting president's term. Disappointing that his arguments are so simplistic, at least in this presentation, and fail to address the real threat to U.S. national interest that Saddam presented and the corruption and collapse of 12 years of sanctions that was underway at the time of the invasion. Disgusting that Woodward lacks the decency to sit on this at least until after the funeral.
In a conversation that veered between the current realities of a war in the Middle East and the old complexities of the war in Vietnam whose bitter end he presided over as president, Ford took issue with the notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea of spreading democracy.
"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest." He added: "And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security."
Describing his own preferred policy toward Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Ford said he would not have gone to war, based on the publicly available information at the time, and would have worked harder to find an alternative. "I don't think, if I had been president, on the basis of the facts as I saw them publicly," he said, "I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer."
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official...
12:02 AM |
After months of heated denials, the federal Conservative party has quietly admitted it failed to publicly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donations.
That means at least three party members — including Prime Minister Stephen Harper — donated more than the legal limit last year.
Last Thursday, the party filed a revised financial report for 2005 with Elections Canada, acknowledging that it did not report delegate fees collected for its national convention that year as donations, contrary to political financing laws.
In the revised report, the Conservatives have "reclassified revenue related to the 2005 convention," disclosing an additional $539,915 in previously unreported donations, an extra $913,710 in "other revenue," and an additional $1.45 million in "other expenses."
The report does not explain what constitutes "other revenue" or "other expenses."
Moreover, the party reports almost $700,000 in previously undisclosed transfers from riding associations, presumably accounting for ridings that helped subsidize the cost of attending the Montreal policy convention for their delegates.
Opposition parties say the Conservatives are guilty of either gross ignorance or deliberately flouting the law.
"The reality is it sounds like they broke a lot of laws and they're going to have to be answering for that, no doubt about it," said Liberal MP Mark Holland, who added that the Tories are probably hoping nobody notices their admission over the holidays.
4:23 PM |
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (AP) -- An Army Reservist despondent about being sent to Iraq was killed by police during a 14-hour standoff that began Christmas night when family members told authorities he was armed and threatening to kill himself.
Dean had already served 18 months in Afghanistan and was despondent after learning recently that he would be deployed to Iraq, family members told police.
Bush's "state of denial," as Bob Woodward rightly called it, has officially ended. He actually spoke the words "We're not winning" last week in an interview with The Post, coupling it with the reverse: "We're not losing." But in truth, he cannot abide the possibility that Iraq will not end in victory. So a day after his "not winning" comment, he half took it back, saying: "I believe that we're going to win," and then adding oddly, as if to reassure himself: "I believe that -- and by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you've got to know. We're going to succeed."
Policy debates in this White House are often described as battles between competing advisers -- Dick Cheney wants this; the Joint Chiefs favor that; Condi Rice favors a third outcome. This kind of analysis implies that Bush isn't really master of his own house, but I think it's a big mistake. The truth is that with this president, the only opinion that finally matters is his own. And he's a stubborn man. Military leaders can tell him it's a mistake to surge troops into Baghdad, but that doesn't mean he will listen.
11:32 AM |
4:02 PM |
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi and Iranian authorities slammed the United States on Monday for having arrested several Iranians who were visiting Iraq.
A U.S. official said the Iranians were suspected of involvement in attacks against Iraqi security forces.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini warned that "this action is not justifiable by any international rules or regulations and will have unpleasant consequences," Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
A spokesman for Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Talabani had invited the Iranians to the country, and the president was "unhappy" about the arrests.
The U.S. National Security Council confirmed that the American military arrested at least four Iranians in raids during the past week in Iraq, including two diplomats.
NSC spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the two diplomats were questioned, turned over to the Iraqi government and released.
At least two others, who are members of the Iranian military, remain in U.S. military custody while an investigation is conducted on whether they were involved in attacks on security forces in Iraq, Johndroe said.
The U.S. military has not responded to requests for comment.
Talabani's spokesman said the Iraqi president had invited the Iranian officials during his visit to Tehran. It was done "in the framework of an agreement to improve security in Iraq." The spokesman described the Iranians as "security officials."
Basra City Council has said it will not co-operate from UK forces in southern Iraq after the police's serious crimes unit was disbanded by troops.
More than 1,000 troops blew up a police station run by the unit, which has been blamed for robberies and death squads.
Major Charlie Burbridge said local politics was "complicated" and the actions had been justified.
Mohammed al Abadi, head of the city's council, said the raid was illegal and threatened to stop co-operation.
Basra police commander Brigadier General Ali Ibrahim also expressed similar views.
"This storming operation is illegal and violates human rights," he said. "We think that what the operation sought to achieve is very simple and could have been settled by Iraqi troops."
1:29 AM |
MOGADISHU, Somalia (Reuters) -- Ethiopian warplanes attacked two Islamist-held airfields Monday in Somalia, including in the capital, Mogadishu, in the most dramatic strikes yet of a war threatening to engulf the Horn of Africa.
Witnesses said the attacks came hours after neighboring Ethiopia formally declared war, saying it was protecting its sovereignty against an Islamist movement.
The week of intense fighting between Islamists and the Ethiopian- and Western- backed secular interim government has turned long-running hostilities into open war.
Analysts say Ethiopia seems to have halted the initial Islamist assault and saved the government from being overrun.
Ethiopia officially plunged into war with Somalia’s Islamist forces on Sunday, bombing targets inside Somalia and pushing ground troops deep into Somali territory in a major escalation that could turn Somalia’s internal crisis into a violent religious conflict that engulfs the entire Horn of Africa.
The coordinated assault was the first open admission by Ethiopia’s Christian-led government of its military operations inside Somalia, where — with tacit American support — it has been helping a weak interim government threatened by forces loyal to the Islamic clerics who control the longtime capital, Mogadishu, and much of the country.
According to witnesses, Ethiopian fighter jets bombarded several towns, obliterating an Islamist recruitment center and other targets, while Ethiopian tanks rolled into battle. The attacks set off riots in Mogadishu, Somalia’s battle-scarred seaside capital, and fighting on several fronts in southern Somalia.
8:44 PM |
More than 1,000 British troops carried out a dawn raid on a police station in the southern Iraqi city of Basra after receiving intelligence that dozens of prisoners were being tortured and faced imminent execution.
In the latest violent episode in a city increasingly riven by conflict, the troops, supported by helicopters and Iraqi forces, killed seven gunmen and demolished Jamiat police station, the headquarters of the serious crimes unit. Yesterday's attack, described by Major Charlie Burbridge as a "very significant move", was the climax of a British operation against the unit which had seen the arrests last week of several senior members.
The raid also highlighted the parlous state of the increasingly beleaguered Iraqi police force. Despite the British Ministry of Defence's insistence that Britain's exit strategy from Iraq relies upon building a strong Iraqi police and army, senior officers have begun in recent months to admit that there is a "small rotten core" within the Basra police. This comes as no surprise to locals, who have long claimed that the force is heavily infiltrated by insurgents and is responsible for the vast majority of murders in Iraq's second city.
The Christmas Day operation against Jamiat police station had been planned since July but intelligence that indicated an imminent threat to prisoners forced British military leaders to act more quickly. After British and Iraqi troops surrounded the building after midnight, prisoners were found crowded into a cell, living in "appalling conditions", British forces said. Many had crushed feet or hands and gunshot wounds to the knee, apparently signs of torture. They were given medical assessments and transferred to another police station.
8:02 PM |
SEVERAL POLLS indicate that the term "atheism" has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black, Muslim or homosexual is not). According to a recent Newsweek poll, only 37% of Americans would vote for an otherwise qualified atheist for president.
Atheists are often imagined to be intolerant, immoral, depressed, blind to the beauty of nature and dogmatically closed to evidence of the supernatural.
6:53 PM |
1:39 PM |
Turkey with Giblet Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pumpkin and Pecan Pies
9:19 AM |
1:49 AM |
10:30 PM |
6:21 PM |
4:20 PM |
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Seasons Greetings, and best wishes for a healthy and rewarding New Year.
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all;
2:24 PM |
"You don't need a good reason to have an orgasm," he said. "Even a stupid one is OK."
Queen said the orgasm-challenged shouldn't be discouraged from participating Dec. 22. In fact, knowing their efforts are going toward creating world peace "might actually relieve some of the anxiety they feel around their sexuality that leads to problems in that area."
1:20 PM |
"We live in a society that seems to take care of everything, but in fact gives us nothing," Father Victor Agius told his congregation on a recent Sunday. Later, in an interview, he recounted his belief that "behind every homosexual, I've never found one who did not have a very sad story in their childhood."
Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
11:10 AM |
1:02 AM |
The communications director for Montana's lone congressman solicited the services of two men he falsely believed to be criminally minded hackers-for-hire -- with the expressed goal of jacking up his college GPA -- during an exchange that spanned 22 e-mails over two weeks this past summer.
Todd Shriber, 28-year-old press aide to U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., e-mailed the security Web site attrition.org on Aug. 9, writing: "I need to urgently make contact with a hacker that would be interested in doing a one-time job for me. The pay would be good. I'm not sure what exactly the job would entail with respect to computer jargon, but I can go into rough detail upon making contact with a candidate."
(Update: Shriber fired.)
6:37 PM |
OTTAWA–You can't charge someone you can't name, the Canadian Forces has found out.
A Federal Court judge yesterday rejected a request by the military to proceed with a court martial against a member of Canada's elite Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) because the unit is protected by such secrecy that none of its members can be named.
The officer is alleged to have committed "serious offences of aggravated assault and ill treatment of a subordinate," Justice Judith Snider writes in her 57-page judgment.
Anything to do with those assigned to the JTF2 unit is classified as secret or confidential information – including the name, service number and rank of its personnel – and cannot be disclosed.
The military's director of prosecutions (akin to the Crown attorney's office) has tried but failed so far to pursue the charges.
Snider's ruling that the prosecution could not go ahead is based on the fact the military court system has been unable to draw up an order to convene a court martial because that would involve naming the officer. In her decision, Snider says a military judge could order the name and other information kept secret, but because there's no court martial, there's no judge in place.
"There is nothing in the National Defence Act that allows for the appointment of a military judge to consider preliminary matters such as the sealing of a charge. The parties agree that there is a gap."
It's a big loophole – one that may be soon closed if a bill the Liberals first put before Parliament, and the Conservatives are pursuing, eventually passes.
4:01 PM |
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Selective Service System is planning a comprehensive test of the military draft machinery, which hasn't been run since 1998.
The agency is not gearing up for a draft, an agency official said Thursday. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009.
Meanwhile, the secretary for Veterans Affairs said that "society would benefit" if the U.S. were to bring back the draft and that it shouldn't have any loopholes for anyone who is called to serve. Secretary Jim Nicholson later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft.
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