Thursday, February 12, 2009

Publicity before Rights

Yet another shameful aspect of Bush's war:
As the U.S. was accused of human rights abuses, a State Department official advised the military to delay sending Guantanamo Bay prisoners home in order to avoid more bad publicity.

"We need to definitely think about checking ... to see if we can hold off on return flights for 45 days or so until things die down," according to the 2006 e-mail. "Otherwise we are likely to have hero's welcomes awaiting the detainees when they arrive."


Big Business

If this is true, they should throw away the key on these judges:
For years, the juvenile court system in Wilkes-Barre operated like a conveyor belt: Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses.

The explanation, prosecutors say, was corruption on the bench.

In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.


Happy 100th!

To the NAACP:
The nation's oldest civil rights organization celebrates its 100th birthday today under the reins of a young new leader who wants to expand the group's focus from civil rights for African Americans to human rights for everyone.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded on Feb. 12, 1909, by 60 people, both black and white, gathered in a New York apartment to discuss recent race riots and how to fight discrimination. They signed a proclamation known as "The Call," and the NAACP, initially known as the National Negro Committee, was born.


Classy to the Last

Ah, Blago:
Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich is lashing out at the Illinois lawmakers who removed him from office, calling them drunkards and adulterers who don't know how to do their jobs.

Blagojevich's former colleagues and close associates are laughing off the latest comments as those of a desperate man — but he could make people nervous if he starts naming names as federal prosecutors prepare to indict him on corruption charges.

"At some point he's going to realize how much trouble he's in and the way the federal sentencing works now, the best way to reduce your own sentence is to cooperate against someone else," said Chicago defense attorney John Beal.

Blagojevich, impeached and ousted last month in the wake of federal corruption charges, seems open to spilling in a book at least some of what he saw during his two terms in the state's highest office.

"I've got my crayons ready, I'm ready to write it. I'd like to tell those stories," Blagojevich said during a Wednesday interview on WLS Radio's "The Don and Roma Morning Show."


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's hard work:
The U.S. has been shoveling weapons into the hands of Afghan troops but doesn't have a firm system in place or enough personnel to ensure they don't wind up in the hands of Taliban fighters, according to an independent study.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It is simply pathetic and repulsive that some Christians feel the need to attempt to co-opt a man's death:
[T]he fundamentalist pastor Grant Swank has a new article in which he promotes the long discredited tale of Lady Hope and Darwin's death-bed conversion. Unreal. It is completely false, and doesn't even ring true — those of us who are familiar with Darwin's writings wouldn't recognize the naive Jesus-praiser of Hope's account, and yet still this dishonest clown throws the fraudulent story of an evangelical con-artist as if it were true. He does put in a little disclaimer.

There are those who protest the above with extreme vehemence, concluding it is all fabrication and that Darwin made no Christian profession.

Right. We protest with vehemence because the story is idiotic and transparently false, unsupported by any historical evidence and contradicted by all that we do have. We have accounts of Darwin's death by witnesses…there is no American preacher lady hovering in the wings, no joyful bible readings.


Monday, February 09, 2009


California is moving to alleviate somewhat the cruel and unusual conditions of its prison system:
Tens of thousands of California inmates will have to be released over the next two to three years to relieve overcrowding that has ravaged prison medical and mental health care, a panel of federal judges said Monday.
California's 33 prisons hold nearly 160,000 inmates, about twice their designed capacity. The judges said they were prepared to impose a limit of between 120 and 145 percent of capacity, which would require 37,000 to 58,000 prisoners to be released.



There's stupid all over:

The Catch the Fire Ministries has tried to blame the bushfires disaster on laws decriminalising abortion in Victoria.

The evangelical church's leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with "a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb".


He's Out

At least he lost his position, even if he's still being welcomed back into the church:
The rehabilitated bishop at the heart of a Vatican uproar for denying the Holocaust has been dismissed as the head of an Argentine seminary.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Some Good News

Here's hoping:
The stimulus plan emerging in Washington could offer an unprecedented, multibillion-dollar boost in financial help for college students trying to pursue a degree while they ride out the recession.

It could also hand out billions to the states to kick-start idled campus construction projects and help prevent tuition increases at a time when families can least afford them.