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Political blog from the radical left, because the Invisible Hand is giving you the finger. rorschach782003 at yahoo dot com
"rorschach, have I told you how good your blog is? You find stories nobody else does." --Echidne of the snakes
An Ohio woman convicted of leaving dozens of kittens in two parks has been ordered by a judge to herself spend a night alone outdoors so that she can experience what if feels like to be abandoned, albeit only for about a dozen hours.
Murray will not be allowed to carry and food or beverages other than water, nor will she be provided with shelter. However, she will be given a "means of communication for emergency purposes only." During the sentencing hearing, Cicconetti said that he wanted Murray to "listen to the coyotes, hear the raccoons in the dark of night."
Is Santa a socialist?
Depends on whom you ask: This winter may be just a tad warmer for some of the poorer residents of Boston and New York City, thanks to the largesse--or political calculation--of Hugo Chavez.
The firebrand leader of Venezuela has committed more than 12 million gallons of home-heating oil at a cost 40% below market prices. Citgo Petroleum, controlled by Chavez' government, will hand the oil over to two U.S. nonprofit organizations, which will then distribute it to low-income people in the East Coast cities.
Worse Than China
Manfred Novak, the UN Human Rights Commission's special rapporteur on torture, said Beijing had offered him freer access to detainees than the United States was prepared to give him on a recently scrapped trip to Guantanamo Bay.
An exhibition celebrating the life of Charles Darwin has failed to find a corporate sponsor because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution.
The entire $3 million (£1.7 million) cost of Darwin, which opened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York yesterday, is instead being borne by wealthy individuals and private charitable donations.
There's Gay, and Then There's Gay
The Vatican says homosexuals who are sexually active or support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless they have overcome their homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.
"Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies," it said.
"If instead it is a case of homosexual tendencies that are merely the expression of a transitory problem, for example as in the case of an unfinished adolescence, they must however have been clearly overcome for at least three years before ordination as a deacon."
Now That's What I Call...
Police accidentally hit a naked man in the genitals with a Taser after he was caught breaking windows and asking women to touch him, authorities said.
Contaminated fruits and vegetables are causing more food-borne illness among Americans than raw chicken or eggs, consumer advocates said a in report released on Monday.
Fair and Speedy
Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for three years as an enemy combatant suspected of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on charges that he conspired to "murder, kidnap and maim" people overseas.
Those "Ex-Gays." They've Got Balls.
Focus on the Family has announced plans to distribute 5,000 balls during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to promote a website it operates that claims homosexuality is a disorder that can be changed through faith.
The balls - called "stress balls" are part of a major effort by FOF reach a wider audience during the holidays. Each ball carries the name of its advice site http://www.troubledwith.com. The Web site also carries faith-based advice on topics ranging from eating disorders to depression.
The balls will be tossed out by volunteers along the route and is not part of the official parade. Because they will be on public property there is little Macy's can do.
Liberation! AKA "The Old Colonial Trap"
Iraqis face the dire prospect of losing up to $200bn (£116bn) of the wealth of their country if an American-inspired plan to hand over development of its oil reserves to US and British multinationals comes into force next year. A report produced by American and British pressure groups warns Iraq will be caught in an "old colonial trap" if it allows foreign companies to take a share of its vast energy reserves. The report is certain to reawaken fears that the real purpose of the 2003 war on Iraq was to ensure its oil came under Western control.
US President George W. Bush planned to bomb pan-Arab television broadcaster al-Jazeera, British newspaper the Daily Mirror said, citing a Downing Street memo marked "Top Secret".
The five-page transcript of a conversation between Bush and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair reveals that Blair talked Bush out of launching a military strike on the station, unnamed sources told the daily which is against the war in Iraq.
The transcript of the pair's talks during Blair's April 16, 2004 visit to Washington allegedly shows Bush wanted to attack the satellite channel's headquarters.
Blair allegedly feared such a strike, in the business district of Doha, the capital of Qatar, a key western ally in the Persian Gulf, would spark revenge attacks.
The Mirror quoted an unnamed British government official as saying Bush's threat was "humorous, not serious".
The First Domino
Michael Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, pleads guilty in conspiracy to bribe public officials.
Happy 39th Birthday...
Bloody Bigoted Idiocy
This was supposed to be Muammar Ali’s year at New Mexico State. “Muammar Ali, who led the team with 561 yards rushing, will get even more opportunities,” predicted SI.com in its NCAA football preview.
But he has no opportunities now. He’s off the team.
On October 9, he “received a message on his phone answering machine at his home that his jersey was being pulled and that he was released,” says a letter from his attorney, George Bach, of the ACLU of New Mexico, to the university.
That letter, dated October 25, alleges that Head Coach Hal Mumme engaged in religious discrimination.
“Coach Mumme questioned Mr. Ali repeatedly about Islam and specifically, its ties to Al-Qaeda,” the letter states. This made Mr. Ali uncomfortable, it says.
There were only two other Muslim players on the team, and they were also released, it says. The letter adds that the coach “regularly has players recite the Lord’s Prayer after each practice and before each game.”
Ali’s father, Mustafa Ali, says the trouble started at a practice over the summer when the coach told the players to pray.
“My son and two other players who were Muslim, they were praying in a different manner, and the coach asked them, ‘What are you doing?’ They said, ‘We’re Muslims. This is how we pray.’ That had a lot to do with how things went south.”
Back in the mid-1990s, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, aggressively delving into alleged misconduct by the Clinton administration, logged 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether former president Bill Clinton had used the White House Christmas card list to identify potential Democratic donors.
In the past two years, a House committee has managed to take only 12 hours of sworn testimony about the abuse of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
The jarring comparison reflects the way Congress has conducted its oversight role during the GOP's era of one-party rule in Washington.
While congressional committees once were leaders in investigating the executive branch and powerful industries, the current Congress has largely spared major corporations and has done only minimal oversight of the Republican administration, according to a review of congressional documents by The Boston Globe.
And I Thought the Codpiece Was Bad
"The flaws in the intelligence are plain enough in hindsight. But any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped or fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false," Cheney said in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.Um, ahem:
The row in America over pre-war intelligence has further intensified, with new revelations that the Bush Administration exaggerated the claims of a key source on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, despite repeated warnings before the invasion that his information was at best dubious, if not downright wrong.
The home secretary, Charles Clarke, said today that he remained "sceptical" about routinely arming police officers, saying there was evidence it encouraged criminals to carry guns.
He promised, however, that the government would learn any necessary lessons over the fatal shooting of PC Sharon Beshenivsky by robbers in Bradford on Friday. Six people are being questioned over the killing.
Mr Clarke said it was his duty to ensure police officers had the "the right equipment and armour".
The lightweight armour worn by PC Beshenivsky was penetrated by a bullet; many officers find the heavier armoured vests too bulky for daily use.
Yesterday, the Home Office rejected calls for arming all officers following the shooting. Currently just under 7,000 officers in England and Wales carry firearms - about 10% of the Metropolitan police in London and 5% elsewhere.
Today, Mr Clarke, writing in the Sun newspaper, said: "All the experience from other countries where the police carry firearms demonstrates that this only encourages the criminals to arm themselves and potentially to turn law enforcers' own weapons on to the police themselves."
If You Can't Beat 'em...
The West should buy up Afghanistan's opium crop and license its use for pain-relief medicines rather than trying to destroy the crop, it is proposed today.
The Senlis Council, an international drug policy think-tank with operations in Afghanistan, says the planned deployment of 3,000 British troops to smash the narcotics trade there is doomed to fail.
Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has once again emerged as the world's leading producer of opium. Almost all the heroin sold on Britain's streets comes from remote farms in the mountains, controlled by tribal warlords out of reach of the central government in Kabul.
The UN last year called Afghanistan a "narco-economy" responsible for 87 per cent of the world's supply of illegal opium, with a harvest of 4,100 metric tonnes.
Some 3.5 million Afghans are involved in the opium trade, which accounts for two thirds of its gross domestic product.