Sam Alito was just confirmed as the newest member of the US supreme court by a 58-42 vote, perhaps the closest vote in modern history (as i can recall).
Friday, January 27, 2006
Take a look. a Neat Peanuts curio passed on by a kaustic friend.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Talking Points Memo has the dirt:
But early this afternoon, I decided to take one more go at Reflections. I talked to company president Joanne Amos. We went back and forth over various questions about whether photographs at the site were available to the public and why some had been removed. When she, at length, asked me who it was in the picture with the president. I told her we believed it was Jack Abramoff.oh, FYI...a total of $12,150 was given to Bush and the RNC from various people within the Amos/Reflections Photography group. i guess its in her best interest to clean up after the President.
Amos very straightforwardly told me that the photographs had been removed and that they had been removed because they showed Abramoff and the president in the same picture. The photos were, she told me, "not relevant."
When I asked her who had instructed her to remove the photos, she told me she was the president of the company. She did it. It was "her business decision" to remove the photographs. She told me she had done so within the last month.
Grab your popcorn. a bad idea's about to go down!
President Bush is in a difficult spot. The president has always cheerleadered middle-eastern democracy. what happens now when the people vote to elect Palestinian leaders who are more radical than before? Leaders bush and Israel consider terrorists? does this mean that bush is willing to deal with a corrupt, dictatorial Arafat government, but not a constitutionally elected government? I think he's in bit of a pickle with mid-east relations now.
What's needed is not a "we won't talk to you" position, but rather a dialogue that lets them use the positions we don't like as bargain chip. if we don't talk to them they can't toss away such positions w/o seeming like they're groveling. this may be a sad dance to have to do...but, you know, to pretend like its not necessary is to simply not be paying attention.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Sen. Rick Santorum (R, PA):
And yet we have brave men and women who are willing to step forward because they know what's at stake. They're willing to sacrifice their lives for this great country. What I'm asking all of you tonight is not to put on a uniform. Put on a bumper sticker. Is it that much to ask? Is it that much to ask to step up and serve your country?
The army just increased its maximum recruitment age (again) to 39. if you support this war, get off your ass and enlist. support the war for real. if you don't enlist, then shut the hell up.
It was cold in Russia. People were smearing goose fat on their bodies to stop frostbite, and near Moscow zookeepers fed an Indian elephant a bucket of vodka to keep it warm; the elephant then went on a rampage, tore radiators from a wall, and calmed down only after it was given a hot shower.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 - The White House was told in the hours before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that the city would probably soon be inundated with floodwater, forcing the long-term relocation of hundreds of thousands of people, documents to be released Tuesday by Senate investigators show.
A Homeland Security Department report submitted to the White House at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, hours before the storm hit, said, 'Any storm rated Category 4 or greater will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching.'
The internal department documents, which were forwarded to the White House, contradict statements by President Bush and the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, that no one expected the storm protection system in New Orleans to be breached.
'I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees,' Mr. Bush said in a television interview on Sept. 1. 'Now we're having to deal with it, and will.'
Monday, January 23, 2006
Things appear to be going SO WELL at NBC that they're about to pay the stars of friends $5 Million each to film 4 new episodes of the show which is no longer on the air. it seems the peacock network has been struggling to find shows worth watching.
That being said NBC DOES have a great show in My Name is Earl which i recommend to one and all. just don't go to that abomination of a website NBC has to try and find out about it.
It appears that South Dakota lawmakers may decide to make abortion a crime. the assumption is that there will be a lawsuit over the law's constitutionality. They assume they will lose this case and thus give them an opportunity to appeal. The idea is that the case will be appealed to the newly reshuffled Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v. Wade. Should that happen, abortion would not be outlawed, but rather it will be left up to the states to decide (as it was before Roe).
The likely outcome will be that certain states would put out an absolute ban while others will not. This would, of course, be one of the few medical procedures that could be considered a crime depending on where it is performed. Currently 7 states have laws on the books which would make abortion illegal the instant Roe is overturned. Some Anti-Choice proponents feel that they need another appointee to the court before they can be successful in changing the law. For them, this move may prove to early to be successful. only time will tell.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
My two favorites out of these last playoff games are going to the Super Bowl. Seattle has never been, let alone one. Pittsburg is more of the 'scrappy' bunch and a favorite from my childhood.
I think i'm gonna pull for the Seahawks. I like 'em both, but THEY've never won the thing and that's a big deal. I think i'm pulling for the Seahawks.
I LOVE this site. it's supposed to be christian-oriented sight to guide you though movies, detailing all the stuff you should shoo your kids away from seeing. the part i like about it is that it, while trying to 'tut tut' the 'evil' secular world, reads like some dime novel smut. hell, i don't think sights DEVOTED to the 'dirty scenes' in movies would give this much painstaking detail. Someone over there at Screenit.com is enjoying the hell out of their job.
I never had aspirations to be a rock star. i never wanted a guitar when i was younger. I DID have a drum kit when i was 6, and i got a steel drum a year later (MAN i've always loved that sound). That lasted for a couple years and faded away. I had a roommate that played the drums. i had another roommate that played guitar. it slowly startd to slip into my head, but it didn't really hit me until i got in law school. Danelectro had just relaunched itself with a cool set of retro guitars, amps, and gear.
I was fixated on getting a bass, and it was gonna be a danelectro. I got the Long Horn and LOVED it. It was aqua, retro and felt good in my hands. I quickly learned that playing was harder than it seemed, but somehow learned to play a few songs by ear. Why the hell this happened, i'll never know, but the 2 songs i learned? Just Like Heaven - The Cure & Honkeytonk Heroes - Waylon Jennings. I loved that thing but sacrificed it to the gods (to pay rent).
Now i've got the bug again. God knows it'll likely be about 50 years before I actually have one, but i'm just fiending for a guitar. my head's been wrapped around another Danelectro U2, which makes me think of that early rock sound and the tone of so many beloved SURF Rock tunes. It also helps that its cheap. the other one is the Wildkat. an archtop that screams ROCKABILLY! I think whichever i can find cheap on ebay or at a pawn shop will be what i end up getting..i can't wait to play again.
Friday, January 20, 2006
The Justice Department's lengthy legal analysis also says that if a 1978 law that requires court warrants for domestic eavesdropping is interpreted as blocking the president's powers to protect the country in a time of war, its constitutionality is doubtful and the president's authority supersedes it.Where to start...?
Let me break it down for you even more: there is a 1978 law requiring warrants. if that interferes with the president's powers to protect the country in a time of war, Bush says its unconstitutional and that he doesn't have to follow that law.
The first problem here is that isn't his job. Courts decide what's unconstitutional. he gets himself in deeper because he refuses to ask congress to change the law he doesn't like and he refuses to ASK a court to rule on his assertion (and THAT makes what he's doing a crime. a felony, actually, punishable by jail time).
The next problem is that he says it interferes with his constitutionally prescribed war powers. This is a very thorny issue because this nation has fought wars for the last 50 years without declaring them (declaring a war is what initiates the war powers he asserts). This is a highly debateable issue, but not one i will address here (though if you WANT to debate/discuss it i'll be glad to do that).
Lastly (for now), the law doesn't keep them from doing their searches. it explicitly allows them. they simply don't want to be bothered with the process. that lack of interest in doing what required is not only unlawful, criminal, and unconstitutional...it is literally a violation of the President's oath of office!
One of the all time great soul singers, Wilson Pickett, died today. He was one of my favorites and Played many hits on my beloved Stax Record label. You'll probably best remember him for 'Mustang Sally', but i always loved 'In the Midnight Hour'. He died of a heart attack at 64. He'd been suffering from poor health.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Representative Louise Slaughter (D, NY) stated today that Senate GOP Majority Leader Bill Frist and House GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay BOTH had day traders working out of their offices using insider information from lobbyists and legislators. if this is true, this is truly the most corrupt congress in modern times.
Before 2003, the State of Texas had never hired a private sector lobbyist to advocate its interests in Washington, DC. That year Gov. Rick Perry (R) hired Drew Maloney, a former Chief of Staff for Tom DeLay, on a contract that has since paid him $180,000 in state funds.
According to this article in the Houston Chronicle, prior to being hired, Maloney had made no more than $250 in political campaign contributions.
Since being hired he's contributed $75,000 to various Republican political committees.
Last year the state added former Abramoff associate Todd Boulanger to their lobbying stable. The Maloney and Boulanger contracts will cost the state $1.1 million through August of next year.
Texas Dems say it's money-laundering. What do you call it?
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Currently it looks bad for politicians to use millions in corporate dollars flying around the world on private corporate jets for free. How does the GOP plan to fix it? ONLY allowing that if you fly to a fundraiser. GREAT, you can only give them expensive perks if you give them money too.
PLEASE don't throw me into that briar patch!
They better do better than this if they wanna get that 'taint* offa them.
*Note special TAINT update now that i finally found the video source!
Monday, January 16, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
The image is one of a series captured by Don McClosky, Manager of Entergy's Michoud power plant in New Orleans.This was previously reported to be from St. Stanislaus School on the MS Gulf Coast. Thanks for Dr. Wagner for getting it straight. No Thanks to Dr. Wagner's Cousin and Uncle for getting it wrong! heh.
Click the link above for more info and Photos.
Friday, January 13, 2006
OK, how 'fair and balanced' does this look to you? Judge Sam Alito's wife cried during part of the confirmation hearings this week. I would assume it was in part a reaction to tough questions about Alito's previous self-promotion of a bigoted club he was in as a Princeton Alum. (you know the one that wanted to keep out blacks and women?)...and to that I agree with her Her husband SHOULD have done a better job explaining himself. ;)
Anyway, look at that screenshot and tell me there's no bias at fox news.
While i'm at it, I also find it funny that they've constantly called her Mrs. Alito when she never took her husband's name. is it THAT politically charged today to mention she's kept her own name, or is the news so lazy that they couldn't bother to look up her name? It's Martha-Ann Bomgardner, not Mrs. Alito.
...and finally, outside of all this, Neal Cavuto usually just makes me want to slap him across the face.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Judge Sam Alito's confirmation hearings are in the news. One sticking point is his involvement in an organization called the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP). He was in this organization starting in the mid 70s, well after the civil rights era.
so what's the problem? the organization was dedicated to keeping women and minorities out of Princeton. He was so proud of his involvement that he was putting it on his resume/job applications for the Reagan Administration as late as 1985. today, you'd think that he'd recant his involvement.
He says he doesn't even remember BEING in the organization. the problem is that he was and lauded it for over a decade. to say he doesn't recall is just not credible. Senator Kennedy was pissed.
"If I had received any information at any point regarding any of the matters you referred to ... I would never have had anything to do with it," said Alito, who listed his membership in the group on a 1985 job application for the Reagan administration but now says he does not recall anything about it.Bullshit. (click to read above)
Outside the committee room, Kennedy was scathing.
"He can remember all 67 dissents ... in great details," he said of Alito and his judicial record. "But he can't remember anything about this organization."
Those judicial dissents drew the attention of several Democrats, as did other rulings over the course of Alito's 15-year tenure on the appeals court.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Sunday, January 08, 2006
A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.I saw a Bill Maher special the other day and it had a mock up of an old WW2 style 'homefront' poster. it had a picture of a big SUV with american flag/yellow ribbon stickers on it. the sign read (roughly):
Put a sticker on your car! It's REALLY the very least you can do.The idea being that our country has equated a bumper sticker with supporting the troops. Our nation has been guilty of this from the politicians down to the average joe.
We have been guilty of trying to fight a war on the cheap. We have this belief that our soldiers are somehow supermen. They don’t need armor, do they? They can probably take control and stabilize the whole of
We have supported our troops not by protecting armor, not by belt tightening, and not by giving of our own services in the military. Instead we’ve given them all the support a little yellow bumper sticker can provide. Last week saw the deadliest day of the war so far. If this government is unwilling to properly fight this war after 2+ years, we should get out. Our soldiers deserve more than being some politician’s backdrop for a re-election campaign.
WSJ.com - Ministers Say They Blessed Seats Ahead of Alito Hearing: "WASHINGTON -- Insisting that God 'certainly needs to be involved' in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday."You know, the real problems Alito will have, and this may not be enough to stop him, are his previous statements on Executive power. He's advocated many times for governmental invasion of privacy without warrants. with the NSA scandal going full steam, people may not want to see the Fourth Amendment as a suggestion rather than a rule of government. Alito has a long history of legal writing that he'll have to explain. 1st, he advocated some extreme measures as a Reagan staffer. Now he's tried hard to distance himself from those writings. More recently he's rarely (if ever) sided with the citizen over the state in matters dealing with constitutional protections.
Finally, and this is small but curious, Alito was an active member (And i believe a CHARTER member, but i could be wrong) of a group of Princeton Alumni. They worked to keep women out of the school because the'd 'ruin' it...and we're not talking about the 1950s here.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
This is telling. For a man as power hungry as DeLay to set aside his own ego, one has to expect he REALLY must concentrate on saving his own skin. A petition among Republicans had been passed around to call for new leadership elections. New rumors swirl that more than just DeLay's old job will now be up for grabs.
Friday, January 06, 2006
I think the comment above is sort of a joke as to how Tom DeLay probably feels. 2 dozen or so GOP members of the House of Representatives are calling for new elections for party/House leadership. This would be to block DeLay from returning as House Majority Leader. All of this seems to be likely to go through as the entier House is up for re-election this year and many would like to distance the party from the indicted DeLay.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
You probably heard about the Mine disaster this week. it claimed about a dozen lives after an explosion occured deep within the mine. As it turns out, the mine had been in a hazardous condition and nothing was done about it. Specifically the former director of the National Mnie Academy reported that in the past year there were over 180 reports of violations of federal mine health/safety laws. about 1/2 of those were considered 'serious and substanial'. unfortunately the administration that monitors such things saw no reason to intervene. Thanks to their lack of tenacity, people are dead.
Here's a transcript of the former director on the Fox News show Hannity and Colmes:
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Joining us now on the phone is the former director of the National Mine Safety and Health Academy, Jack Spadaro. In terms of safety, Jack, what do we know about this mine and its relative safety in how it should have been operating?
JACK SPADARO, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL MINE ACADEMY: We know from the record that the mine, in particular in the past year, has been cited over 180 times for violations of federal mine health and safety law and regulations. And about 90 of those violations were called serious and substantial violations of the law. So we know that it was a very unsafe mine and that there were serious problems with mine ventilation and roof control.
COLMES: Are you saying that these men should not have been allowed to go down there?
SPADARO: Yes, sir.
COLMES: You're saying this mine should not have been open?
SPADARO: This mine should have been closed. And there were too many serious violations. And the record is very clear.
COLMES: Why was it open then? If you, as a safety expert, feels it should not have been, why was it open?
SPADARO: I think it's because of the current Bush administration's policies toward mine operators and their reluctance to take the strong enforcement action that's sometimes necessary. And that often involves closing a mine.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Jack, let's not politicize this! I mean, already, what do you want, to blame George Bush with this? Is that where you're headed with this political question? I don't think this is the time to go into that.
There certainly are issues. This mine was cited for over 200 violations, 46 during an 11-week period late in the year. They've been fined thousands of dollars. But I can't see an instance where it was recommended that they close it.
SPADARO: Well, actually, there were three orders to close portions of the mine that were issued in the October to the December period. And there has been a significant change since the Bush administration took over, the enforcement of mine safety and health.
And I can speak to that, because I worked in the agency, and I talk with people every day who tell me that, in recent years, and particularly in recent months, there's been a reluctance on the part of the top management at the Mine Safety and Health Administration...
HANNITY: All right, you've got a political...
SPADARO: ... to enforce the law.
HANNITY: We don't have time tonight to get into this, nor do I think it's appropriate. But you clearly have a political agenda that, if I had enough time, I'm sure I...
SPADARO: No. You called me and asked me to make a comment.
HANNITY: I know, but I'm sure...
SPADARO: And I'm telling you what's...
HANNITY: You want to turn this into a political thing...
SPADARO: No, I'm telling you what the truth is.
HANNITY: ... and we have families that are suffering tonight, sir.
SPADARO: And that's the truth is that there were 180 violations...
HANNITY: You want to blame George Bush...
SPADARO: ... that were serious.
HANNITY: ... like a lot of extreme left-wingers. All right. Go ahead. You got your point out.
COLMES: Mr. Spadaro, I'm not sure that you have a political point of view, but I do thank you very much for coming on the show tonight. Thank you for your time.
if you go to Wal-Mart's website and you select Planet of the Apes: The Complete TV Series, they will direct you to a few other suggested items. Sort of "if you like THIS, you'll LOVE these other Products":
*wait* guess!! what do you think they'd recommend? another SCI-FI Tv show? similar books or movies? of course not. Listed under "similar products" are Biographies of Jack Johnson (first black heavyweight boxing champ), Martain Luther King, Tina Turner, and Dorothy Dandridge.
anyone see an ugly theme here?
Monday, January 02, 2006
Neat. Sorta like a Snopes.com for comic books.
I found this rather facinating. Of couse, this would often apply to other non-black races as well... (thanks to my pay Big Gray)
Daily effects of white privilege
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.
1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.
37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
I know its been over 20 days, but i gotta say something about the passing of Richard Pryor. i remember being a kid listening to him in the dark with friends while the parents were asleep. His records were prized and they were CONTRABAND! back in the old days, comedians made a great deal of their money by selling "Party Records" (you have a party, put on the record, everyone laughs). This is where i learned about richard pryor, the Red Foxx (beyond Sanford and Son), and Dolemite.
I can remember laughing as hard as I can remember listing to the Eulogy on "Is It Something I Said?" or maybe Rumpelstiltskin.
His book PRYOR CONVICTIONS & OTHER LIFE SENTENCES was a remarkable insight on his life. I remember being astounded at what life must have been like for him as a child who's mother was a prostitute and who kept him there AT THE BROTHEL as a child. I recommend that book to anyone with even a passing interest in Richard Pryor. Sadly, he was afflicted with MS. it ravaged his body. about a week before he died there was a special about him on Cable. it consisted of scores of commedians talking about Richard's influence. it was titled "Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$#@!!".
He died the following week.
There has been some news coverage lately about Parents demanding "a la carte" purchasing of cable channels so that they can keep their children from seeing the wrong TV shows.
GOOD GOD, where does this end?
Lets just cast aside the fact that this would likely mean a price increase for cable subscribers, and get to the meat of the issue. This is about parents being too lazy to parent their kids. today our television shows are rated for content and out TV sets are made so that you can block shows according to these ratings. On top of that, virtually every cable box allows you to completely block channels you don't want OR enter a password to get access.
At what point can we quit catering to lazy parents?
The number of people killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami rose to 230,000. A study showed that 310,000 Europeans die from air pollution each year, and the U.N. predicted that 90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025. An international task force of scientists, politicians, and business leaders warned that the world has about 10 years before global warming becomes irreversible. The U.S. Congress officially ratified President George W. Bush's election victory after a two-hour debate over voting irregularities in Ohio. Terri Schiavo, Johnnie Cochran, Frank Perdue, Mitch Hedberg, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, and the pope died, as did the man who wrote the theme song to “Gidget.” An Australian tortoise named Harriet turned 175. General Motors was spending more for health care than for steel, and an increasing number of Americans were heating their homes with corn. El Salvadoran police arrested 21 people for operating a smuggling operation and seized 24 tons of contraband cheese. NASA announced that it wanted to return to the moon.
A study found that the worldwide percentage of land stricken by drought has doubled within the last 30 years. The Jordan River was filled with sewage, and the last of Gaza's Jewish settlers left their homes on armored buses. Terrorists in London set off bombs on three trains and a bus, killing 52 people; President Bush condemned attacks on innocent folks by those with evil in their hearts. A 13-year-old boy in Kalamazoo accidentally burned down the family meth lab. New Orleans flooded after levees broke in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; many evacuees were not allowed to take their pets with them. “Snowball!” cried a little boy after police took away his dog. “Snowball!” At least 42,000 people died in an earthquake in Pakistan. It was announced that Cookie Monster would cut back on cookies. Authorities in Malaysia arrested 58 people who worship a giant teapot. Poor people rioted in France.
In North Carolina Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th prisoner executed since the United States reintroduced the death penalty in 1976. A 1,600-inmate faith-based prison opened in Crawfordville, Florida. Police began random bag checks of subway passengers in New York City. It was revealed that the CIA had set up a secret system of prisons, called “black sites,” around the world; it was also revealed that the National Security Agency was spying on Americans without first obtaining warrants. Journalist Judith Miller was released from jail and said she wanted to hug her dog. U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay was arrested; U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was indicted. The Pentagon admitted to using white phosphorus during the 2004 attack on Fallujah, Iraq, and allocated $127 billion to build a robot army. The total number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war rose to 2,174, while the total number of Iraqi civilians killed rose to 27,636. “We are all waiting for death,” said an Iraqi soldier, “like the moon waiting for sunset.” The U.S. Defense Department, in violation of the federal Privacy Act, was building a database of 30 million 16- to 25-year-olds. The Department of Homeland Security announced that it had wasted a great deal of money and needed much more. Starbucks came to Guantanamo Bay. Scientists began work on a complete, molecule-level computer simulation of the human brain. The project will take at least ten years.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Tropical Storm Zeta, the 27th named storm of a record-breaking hurricane season, drifted westward across the Atlantic on Sunday and forecasters said it might weaken during the day. Zeta had top sustained wind of about 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters said it was not expected to become a hurricane or threaten land.