The Execution of Private Slovik: War is a brutal business, and people are going to die. But to execute anyone, for simply not wanting to kill or be killed to me is outright murder. I could understand sending him to the stockades for a few months, but to out and out order his murder just to make an example is wrong on so many levels. Personally forcing anyone to kill or be killed is way more cowardly than what Eddie Slovik did. Slovik, at least as far as the way the movie presented him, while not being an angel, was a man of principals after he left the reformatory. He never lied about his intentions, all he wanted was a discharge. He was willing to spend time in the stockades and face contempt most likely when he got back to the states. I liked at the end of the movie after he was pronounced dead where Ned Beatty's charachter said "the bravest man here today was Eddie Slovik". War is a horrible thing that has been going on for around 5000 years, and probably will keep on for another 5000, if we as a people don't kill ourselves and our planet first.  
Robert Fisk: Unflinching, provocative, brilliantly written–a work of major importance for today’s world.  
Tickling the Body Politic: Swami Beyondananda   Swami's hilarious and pertinent live performance DVD, where he manages to touch the body politic -- appropriately -- in all its sensitive spots, and still leave 'em laughing. Perfect for in home parties for voter registration, education and inspiration - and it will still be funny long after Election Day.  
RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, is a technology that uses computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items from a distance. And as this mind-blowing book explains, plans and efforts are being made now by global corporations and the U.S government to turn this advanced technology, these spychips, into a way to track our daily activities-and keep us all on Big Brother's short leash. Compiling massive amounts of research with firsthand knowledge, Spychips explains RFID technology and reveals the history and future of the master planners' strategies to imbed these trackers on everything-from postage stamps to shoes to people themselves-and spy on Americans without our knowledge or consent. It also urgently encourages consumers to take action now-to protect their privacy and civil liberties before it's too late.  
Part family comedy and part horrifying investigative reportage, Blue Vinyl can make one simultaneously laugh and shiver with fear in the same, deceptively low-key moments. Documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand, upset that her parents are re-siding their house with blue vinyl, sets out (with co-director Daniel B. Gold) to discover how vinyl is made and why, according to some scientists, it is the most hazardous of synthetic materials. Along the way, she meets industry representatives who tell her the key chemical ingredient in vinyl, chloride, is no more toxic than table salt. She also travels to Venice, Italy, to meet with families of vinyl factory workers dead or dying from chemical exposure, and she visits an intrepid, Louisiana attorney who has sued American vinyl manufacturers on behalf of severely injured former employees. The tale is grim, yet the often on-screen Helfand's approach is folksy and calm--less so when her skeptical parents reject, in several funny scenes, even empirical data about a product they find so convenient. --Tom Keogh  
The Boy with Green Hair. This movie should be seen by all, young and old, alike. Let There Be Peace!  
Fundamentalism has gotten America into a mess, but religion can once again help the country finds its soul. The Republican version of Jimmy Carter, former Missouri senator John Danforth, started an important national discussion when he criticized right-wing extremists in his party for their certainty that God was on their side. By adding his own voice to the discussion, Carter reminds us of a time when religion was tied to such virtues as humility and to such practices as soul-searching. He may not have been one of our best presidents, but he is undoubtedly one of our finest human beings.  
In their eye-opening, soul-prodding look at the excess of American society, the authors of Affluenza include two quotations that encapsulate much of the book: T.S. Eliot's line "We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men," which opens one of this book's chapters, and a quote from a newspaper article that notes "We are a nation that shouts at a microwave oven to hurry up." If these observations make you grimace at your own ruthless consumption or sigh at the hurried pace of your life, you may already be ill. Read on.  
Although "the purchase of African Americans was outlawed many years ago," ayo writes, "black people are once again a valued and popular commodity." In her view, they appeal especially to whites who rely on their relationships with blacks as evidence of their own progressive politics or simply to inject some sorely needed "cool" into their lives. Ayo has in mind real-life versions of George Costanza, the "Seinfeld" sidekick who spent an entire episode in search of a black person whom he could pass off as his friend.  
"It is a fascinating story and a deeply moving one. And it is a story that should make people pause and think--think not only about the Germans, but also about themselves."--Ernest S. Pisko, Christian Science Monitor  
The most brilliant Action Figure ever! What better way to celebrate the man who is probably the most important thinker of the 20th century than with an action figure? Dressed for intense classroom action, this 5" tall, hard plastic Einstein Action Figure stands with a piece of chalk in his hand, poised to explain relativity or do battle with the forces of entropy. Some quality time with Albert might just inspire you and your other action figures to think a little bit more deeply. Features realistic disheveled hair.  
The basis of human nourishment is obvious: it is raw plant foods. And Nature presents this to us in abundance. Raw plant foods are simple, easy to find, fun to eat, enjoyable, contain thousands of health-giving nutrients, and conform to the biological design of the human digestive system. The sun is the source of all life and raw plant foods represent the purest form of transformed sun energy.  
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. Mark Twain Reality's Bitch, Doomsday's Child: Subscribe to Rb's Newsletter
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Halliburton to Launch New Line of Depleted Uranium Mineral Supplements   19th FEBRUARY 2006

Radiation detectors in Britain recorded a fourfold increase in uranium in the atmosphere after the "shock and awe" bombing campaign against Iraq. Scientists who uncovered the figures through freedom of information laws say it is evidence depleted uranium was carried by wind currents to Britain. Government officials say the sharp rise in uranium was a coincidence and probably came from local sources. Research shows that rather than remaining near the target as claimed by the military, depleted uranium weapons contaminate both locals and whole populations hundreds to thousands of miles away.

American Actions Do Not Coincide with Those of Civilised Nations   19th FEBRUARY 2006

The Archbishop of York has launched a passionate attack on Bush, saying his administration's refusal to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay camp reflected "a society that is heading towards George Orwell's Animal Farm." The Church of England's second in command urged the UNHRC to take legal action against the US through the US courts or the International Court of Justice at The Hague should it fail to respond to a report by UN inspectors advising that Guantanamo Bay should be shut immediately because prisoners there are being tortured. Rummy: "He's just flat wrong. We shouldn't close Guantanamo. We have several hundred terrorists, bad people, people who if they went back out on the field would try to kill Americans. To close that place and pretend that really there's no problem just isn't realistic."

Good Fellas: God's Most Beloved Continue Winning Hearts & Minds   19th FEBRUARY 2006

The gunfight by the Tigris River was over. It was time to retrieve the bodies. Staff Sgt. Cortez Powell looked at the shredded jaw of a dead man whom he'd shot in the face when insurgents ambushed an American patrol in a blind of reeds. Powell's M4 assault rifle had jammed, so he'd grabbed the pump-action shotgun that he kept slung over his shoulders and pulled the trigger. Five other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division scrambled down, pulled two of the insurgents' bodies from the reeds and dragged them through the mud. "Strap those motherf-----s to the hood like a deer," said Staff Sgt. James Robinson, 25, of Hughes, Ark. The soldiers heaved the two bodies onto the hood of a Humvee and tied them down with a cord. The dead insurgents' legs and arms flapped in the air as the Humvee rumbled along. Iraqi families stood in front of the surrounding houses. They watched the corpses ride by and glared at the American soldiers.

Jesus Signs! Verily He Shall Be SpokesModel Unto the GOP   19th FEBRUARY 2006

Republican Party asked members to send church directories to the party, drawing furious protests from local and national religious leaders. "Such a request is completely beyond the pale," said the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of Southern Baptists. During the presidential race, Bush-Cheney sent a similar request to activists across the country. It asked churchgoers not only to furnish church directories to the campaign, but also to use churches for political organizing. The tactic was roundly condemned across the political spectrum, including conservative evangelical Christians. Ten professors of ethics at major seminaries and universities wrote a letter to Bush asking him to "repudiate the actions of your re-election campaign," and calling on both parties to "respect the integrity of all houses of worship."

When Will We Admit That We Have Lost America, America?   19th FEBRUARY 2006

Is preemption a sign of defeat? Is defeat marked by a nation’s moral compass becoming erratic or empire building and theft of lands and resources? What tells us we have lost a battle or a war? Is victory marked by dressing the part of a warrior and declaring "Mission Accomplished." Is "loss" defined by politicians reporting victory? Is "loss" the "beautiful people" hanging onto the "last helicopter out?" Is it "loss" when the most powerful army the world has ever seen can’t travel its own six-mile road from its Baghdad airport to its administrative headquarters? Is defeat an Army’s friendly fire killing its own military hero and then lying for months on end about the circumstances of the event? Does the need to manufacture a heroine like Jessica Lynch mark the end of a blatantly unjust cause and therefore defeat? How does an alleged commander-in-chief wage war when one of his senior generals says, "I don't know if I have the moral authority to send troops into combat anymore. I'm no longer sure I can look a soldier or a Marine in the eye and say: 'This is something worth dying for.'"

America Sends Obedience Trainers to Teach Puerto Ricans a Lesson   18th FEBRUARY 2006

February 10, 2006, agents of the FBI again violently invaded homes and places of employment of respected independentistas activists in Puerto Rico. They terrorized entire communities, assaulted members of the press covering the FBI operation and displayed disregard for the government and police of the island. FBI aggression leaves unequivocally clear at stake now is: Yankees or Puerto Ricans? When the assault troops of the FBI launched this new action, less than five months after the brutal assassination of pro-independence leader Ríos, they proceeded as usual. They did not bother notifying the Governor island or the Chief of Police until finished ransacking houses and offices, arresting people and assaulting the press. Why? Because the Governor and the Chief of Police are Puerto Ricans, and the FBI does not trust them.

Bush Regime Selling der Fuhrer -- Americans Buying   18th FEBRUARY 2006

...even as Bush declares America is at war to bring democracy to the Middle East. Last week's annual Conservative Political Action Conference signaled the transformation of conservatism into brownshirtism. A former Justice Department official got a standing ovation when he told the CPAC audience the rule of law mustn't get in the way of Bush protecting Americans from bin Laden. Republican Bob Barr, who led the impeachment of President Clinton, reminded the audience that our first loyalty is to the Constitution, not to a leader. The question, Barr said, is not one of disloyalty to Bush, but whether America will remain a nation subject to and governed by rule of law or whim of men. The audience preferred Bush. A member of CPAC loudly booed Barr, declaring: "I can't believe I'm in a conservative hall listening to him say Bush is off course." A woman in the audience told Barr the Constitution placed Bush above the law and above non-elected federal judges.

Maid Condi Continues to Spread Joy & Goodwill Wherever She Goes   18th FEBRUARY 2006

The Bush regime has certainly had its problems with its Secretaries of State. The first one, Colin Powell, lied through his teeth at the United Nations Security Council and this one, Condoleezza Rice, has an acute case of chronic insolence where Russia is concerned. Every so often, Condoleezza Rice has an attack of fury, which seems more like a temper tantrum from some spoilt six-year-old brat in need of a good hiding. Yet again she makes some manic and unfounded statements about Russia and democracy – the old cassette we hear from time to time, which these days makes everyone shrug their shoulders, shake their heads and say "there she goes again, poor woman." Did the United States of America invade Iraq, a sovereign nation, without a casus belli? (Yes.) Has the Bush regime broken practically every international law in recent history regarding crisis management? (Yes.) Should you shut the fuck up and grab a mirror? (Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes!)

"Dove-Killing Enthusiasts" Strap Jesus to Hummer   18th FEBRUARY 2006

The more we learn about the Armstrong Ranch, site of the Cheney shooting, the more it feels like the GOP equivalent of Tony Soprano's joint. CNN described the remote 50,000-acre ranch as "a private getaway." It's the kind of place goodfellas of the Republican crew can go to kick back, have a beer (or two), talk a little business, raise a little money, make a few deals, maybe meet a girl. Dick Cheney's been kicking back at Armstrong for over 30 years. Also in the know: Bush and Laura, Bush 41 and Barbara, Karl Rove, and James Baker, all of whom have been frequent guests. The rest of us can get an idea of "what happens there" by piecing together the very cozy connections between the Armstrong Ranch Mafia.

Billion Dollar Heist in Broad Daylight: Treasury Emptied   18th FEBRUARY 2006

The Bush administration spent $1.6 billion to paint a prettier picture of failing policies, even as it cut the social safety net. The public-relations gloss that long wrapped Bush is fast becoming a blemish on the White House, according to lawmakers who uncovered $1.6 billion in federal funds spent promoting administration-sponsored programs. Between 2003 and mid-2005, the administration racked up $1.4 billion in contracts with advertising agencies to broadcast positive messages about its policies and initiatives. Another $200 million went to public-relations companies, and $15 million were spent building connections with media outlets. Individual members of the press received $100,000 in promotional contracts. The money went to push an array of sometimes controversial White House programs, including efforts to research and promote the benefits of marriage. The bulk of the money went toward brightening the image of the military, with the Defense Department spending over $1 billion on media contracts.

Willful Ignorance Could Cost Us Our Remaining Rights   17th FEBRUARY 2006

Ignorance is dragging down democracy. The typical voter fails to comprehend even the basics of government. Barely half recognize the three branches of government, and even fewer know what "separation of powers" means. That goes to the heart of controversies including wiretapping and congressional meddling in the Terri Schiavo case. The number of agencies that can accost, prohibit, tax, impound, impede, detain, subpoena, confiscate, search, indict, fine, audit, interrogate, wiretap, sanction and otherwise harass and subjugate citizens or their property and rights has skyrocketed. Few citizens made a corresponding buildup of knowledge of their rights and government processes.

Supporting the War As An Act of Unpatriotic Cowardice   17th FEBRUARY 2006

Americans have to journey far out of their way to blind themselves to how the country was utterly duped into fighting a completely unnecessary war in Iraq. It’s getting to the point where you have to very badly want to believe whatever the president says in order to do so. It’s getting to the point where you have to actively hide from the evidence in order to keep your faith-based war politics safe from the cognitive dissonance induced by overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary. Tthat is precisely what many conservatives are now choosing to do. They are free to indulge in as much political masturbation as suits them. What I mind is their loudly-proclaimed belief that they are patriots, and that they support the troops in Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth.

America Creates Reality? Remember the Neocons’ Iraq Reality?   17th FEBRUARY 2006

Fact and analysis no longer play a role. The spun reality in which Americans live is insulated against intelligent perception. American "manufacturers" are becoming marketers of foreign made goods. CEOs and shareholders have too short a time to understand that once foreigners control the manufacture-design-innovation process, they will bypass American brand names. US companies will cease to exist. Former CEO of Lockheed Martin says even McDonald's jobs are no longer safe. Why pay an error-prone order-taker minimum wage when McDonald's can have the order transmitted via satellite to the person preparing the order. McDonald’s experiment with this system has cut its error rate by 50% and increased its throughput by 20%. Technology lets the orders be taken in India or China at costs below minimum wage and without the liabilities of US employees.

Our Words Mean Nothing = Our Laws Mean Nothing   17th FEBRUARY 2006

Isn't it fascinating how a clever propagandist can spin any topic to their advantage? Isn't it amazing to watch people fall for the manipulation? Faced with the increasingly invasive/unconstitutional actions of our government, apologists for Soviet style "security" triumphantly ask: "If you haven't done anything wrong, why do you care?" With that question they're making a clear statement: "Only criminals desire (and benefit from) a right to privacy." As is often the case with propaganda, the exact opposite is true. History has demonstrated that only criminals seek (and benefit from) a right to violate the rights of others.  In short, the correct question isn't: "If you haven't done anything wrong, why do you care?" Rather, it is: "If I haven't done anything wrong, what right do you have?"

Mardi Gras Façade Will Hide a Toxic, Rubble-Strewn Wasteland   17th FEBRUARY 2006

Mechanical diggers and dumper-trucks that were clearing streets have been redeployed closer to the party sector in recent days "just so we can give this ‘New Orleans is back’ message to the visitors," complained a community campaign group. "What we have done is build a Hollywood set, like in the old Westerns where you have the fake façade of a storefront and behind it there’s nothing but desert. That’s what New Orleans has become." The Big Easy has removed 6.3 million cubic yards of debris since Hurricane Katrina wrought its devastation. There is another 50 million to go. Vast tracts are still lifeless wasteland, scores of neighbourhoods remain uninhabitable, only a third of the population returned and coffers are bare. More than 700 inhabitants lost their lives.

The Adulation of Ignorance   16th FEBRUARY 2006

After three years of war in Iraq, reporting and debate continue to ignore the key fact: The U.S. invasion was a mistake. Bush himself acknowledges this. He says the war was based on intelligence and the intelligence was wrong. So, what is right about the war? Why is Bush intent on continuing the war? Why is it important to win a war that should not have happened and only happened because U.S. intelligence was mistaken? How can Bush tell Congress and the world that the U.S. is winning in Iraq? Why did Congress stand and applaud? What does it mean to win a war that should not have been started?

"Pro-Life" Tactics Actually Encourage Abortion and Riskier Sex   16th FEBRUARY 2006

Pro-lifers tend to be absolutists. You are either churchgoer or sinner, procreator or contraceptor, for the culture of life or for the culture of death. For the unmarried, the right course is abstinence. And for everyone, single or married, the right course never, ever leads to abortion. Unfortunately, if the goal is to reduce abortion, the pro-lifers' strategies don't work. Criminalizing abortion may be a sacred pro-life goal. But in practice, bans have failed to curb rates of abortions. It's worth noting that the Catholic Church wasn't pro-life until 1869. It supported legalized abortion until quickening, at approximately 19 weeks of pregnancy, which is when it considered the fetus was given a soul.

Military Abandons Veterans with Mental Problems   16th FEBRUARY 2006

Dramatic figures have been released revealing that at least 1,333 servicemen and women - almost 1.5 per cent of those who served in the Iraq war - have returned from the Middle East with serious psychiatric problems. Official statistics identify those diagnosed with mental health problems while on duty. Many Iraq veterans are now receiving little or no treatment for a variety of mental health problems. Questions have also been raised about the level of care being given to regular soldiers, reservists and members of the TA, some of whose symptoms emerged after ending active service. Many are not included in the figure of 1,333. Many claim they have been abandoned by the military establishment.

Dereliction of Duty: High Treason by Low Lifes   16th FEBRUARY 2006

Bush administration "misused" prewar intelligence to justify the decision to go to war, purposefully ignored intelligence analysis that did not fit its preconceived notions (such as the intelligence community's finding that Iraq was years away from developing a nuclear weapon), created an environment in which intelligence analysts did not feel free to reach conclusions that clashed with White House assumptions, and essentially perverted the intelligence process.

NSA Officer Stripped of Clearance for Revealing Patriotism   16th FEBRUARY 2006

A former NSA employee said there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights. He believes it violates the Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the information without breaking classification laws. He is not allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance. Neither could he brief the inspector general of the NSA because that office is not cleared to hear the information.

What Boomers Hath Wrought: Meet Generation Debt   16th FEBRUARY 2006

A growing group of twenty- and thirty-somethings spend much or all of the money they make -- often more -- on travel, clothes, food, drink and hot spots, particularly of the high-end sort. "It seems our generation, we want it all. We have really high expectations." Peers don't let debt or low incomes stop them from spending enthusiastically. They want to enjoy life now, and aren't worried about saving for the future, despite foreboding speculations about economic downturns. The "celebutante" lifestyle of Paris Hilton prevails: live like a young heir, whether or not you are one.

Look Now: It's Fugly, Sad, Stomach-Twisting, Mind-Blowing Reality   15th FEBRUARY 2006

I wish I could tell you a joke about Cheney and a lawyer full of birdshot, because I'd really like to focus on good, clean fun at the vice-resident's expense. But I can't. It would be letting him, Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, and the whole administration off far too easy. Besides, I'm too naseous. Too furious. Too repelled at the moral line crossed by our representatives -- in our name -- at Abu Ghraib. The summary and a link to the photographs and a video that I can't bring myself to see all the way through is here. The images make me wonder why the bowels of the earth don't open and swallow the resident every time he makes reference to us "bringing democracy" anywhere. They make violent resistance in Iraq seem like the only justified response.

Outrageously Off-Target: All the News That's Fit to Orwell   15th FEBRUARY 2006

The release of the photographs will spark violence? No -- U.S. torture of prisoners sparks massive outrage and justifiably so. This outrage should not just be confined to the "Arab world" but should be felt everywhere, particularly in the US. Pentagon lawyers have already tried this in federal court, and a judge ruled that fear of facing the consequences of your actions is not a legitimate defense. They were swiftly put on Arab TV. Is there something devious about that? Is "Arab TV" somehow committing some transgression against freedom and democracy by broadcasting these images that were first put out by Australian TV in a country Bush claims as his ally? All images of torture at Abu Ghraib should be made public, because they are an accurate representation of what has happened and continues to happen in U.S.-run and -supported gulags around the world.

Senegal Rocks: Every Religion Needs Total Respect from Others   15th FEBRUARY 2006

Maria Victoria Correa is a Catholic but she keeps a prayer mat in her house for Muslim visitors, one of the everyday kindnesses which underpin Senegal's religious tolerance. At a time when cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad have triggered violent protests in several Muslim countries, the respect between faiths in Senegal remains unshaken. Although 95% of its people are Muslim, Senegal has a secular constitution and the government celebrates both Christian and Muslim holidays. Authorities assist Muslim pilgrims who make the annual journey to Mecca as well as Catholics traveling to the Vatican. After 35 years of marriage, Ndoye and his wife have grown accustomed to one another's faith. Their Dakar home is adorned with pictures of Jesus Christ and of local Muslim leaders. "Between Muslim and Christians the only thing that should prevail is peace."
Grim Faerie Tale: Laying Foundation for Open & Prosperous Iraq   15th FEBRUARY 2006

A friend wrote from Occupied Iraq that with the elections over Iraq had truly been stolen. I thought perhaps they were referring to the stamp of legitimacy elections would give Iraq’s American-approved government, but they were actually talking about the final pieces falling in to place for those who’ve long coveted Iraq’s oilfields. The "how" begins with Iraq’s new constitution; written largely behind closed doors and with tremendous US influence, it was voted into place during October’s referendum. Cleverly, it gives the impression that Iraq’s oil will remain in the hands of its people by guaranteeing "oil and gas is the property of all the Iraqi people" and that revenues from "current fields" will be fairly distributed across the provinces. The key phrase is "current fields;" in the following section the document then requires all future exploration use "the most modern techniques of market principles and encouraging investment." The modern investment model being promoted in Iraq during these secret meetings is production sharing agreements, or PSAs.
Officials Declare Hamas & BushCo Victories Indistinguishable   14th FEBRUARY 2006

The US and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats. The intention is to starve the Palestinians of money and international connections. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy under Hamas they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement. The officials also argue that a close look at the election results shows that Hamas won a smaller mandate than previously understood.
Freedom of Choice: Do You Want a Paycheck or Rights [and Integrity]   14th FEBRUARY 2006

I would have told Laura Berg that I hadn't heard the word sedition since journalism school. I would have asked her if the guys who took her work computer not only peeped all around it, but maybe left a little something inside it. The VA suspected her of committing an act of sedition. Inciting us rabbling masses to rise up against our government could be just cause for planting a tracking device in the occasional Dell. I would have said all of that and more, but these days, Berg isn't talking. Not after her employer of 15 years, the VA Hospital, took offense at a letter to the editor in which she sharply criticized the Bush administration. Half of America is complaining about the same stuff around the dinner table right now, but when a government worker exercises her free-speech rights, well, we're talking a federal case.
Dickless Cheney Bags a Senior [All Modesty, No Details]   14th FEBRUARY 2006

Several newspapers carried wildly different accounts of the aftermath of the incident in which Cheney shot a hunting companion. The New York Times reports that the local sheriff said the Secret Service called him shortly after the shooting occurred. The Dallas Morning News, at the same time, reports that "questions remain as to why Cheney was not interviewed Saturday." The Washington Post reports: "Local law enforcement officials did not interview Cheney until Sunday morning, about 14 hours after the shooting, in an agreement worked out between the Secret Service and Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon Salinas III. Secret Service spokesman Zahren said at least one deputy was turned away shortly after the shooting because security personnel at the ranch were not aware of the agreement between the sheriff and the Secret Service." Meanwhile, one of the many odd details involves the third hunter. Some outlets, including The AP, did not disclose the name, while others said it was Pam Willeford, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and native Texan.
It's the Latest Craze: OINK OINK BANG BANG KA-CHING!   14th FEBRUARY 2006

From his earliest days in office, Bush talked a good game about transforming the military. He even hired a corporate specialist, Rumsfeld, to accomplish the task. But after Bush proposed a nearly half-trillion dollar defense budget for fiscal 2007 — one that doesn’t include the costs of the Iraq war — even some of the resident’s loyalists were appalled. The untold tale is the wastage and overpricing that continue to lard up the Pentagon budget to the tune of $100 billion, with Congress scarcely paying attention. A GAO report concluded that $8 billion in "incentive fees" given to defense companies over the past three-and-a-half years were a waste of taxpayer dollars. The fees were intended as a reward for faster results and coming in under price. Instead, the GAO says, companies were given incentive fees on 597 contracts for doing nothing.
Democrats, Like Cheney, Are Shooting Their Own   14th FEBRUARY 2006

Cheney can’t tell a quail from a Republican, but Democrat's killing off of progressive candidates is more treacherous: suicide. Party leaders pressured Cindy Sheehan not to mount a campaign against Senator Feinstein, who has betrayed party principles, such as they are, at every turn and deserves to go down to defeat. [Only after Sheehan said she was considering a primary fight did Feinstein announce she would support a filibuster on Alito.] Now they've killed the campaign of Paul Hackett, an Iraq War vet and sharp critic of the war and the resident and a candidate who had a strong shot at snatching a Senate seat for the Democrats. It's pathetic to watch most of the genuine opposition to Bush coming from his own party, from torture policies to NSA spying, while Democrats are lying down, sitting back or just comatose. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is hacking away at what's left of the Constitution, international law, and civil liberties.
BushCo Plan Going Off without a Hitch: General Public Suspects Nothing   13th FEBRUARY 2006

Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth. The US experienced a job loss in goods producing activities. The entire job growth was in service activities -- primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government. US manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17% of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll classification created a single new job. And, now for the bad news!
Book 'em, High: How Sweet It Is!   13th FEBRUARY 2006

A 12-year-old boy who brought powdered sugar to school for a science project has been charged with a felony for possessing a look-alike drug. The sixth-grade student at Waldo Middle School was also suspended for two weeks from school after showing the bag of powdered sugar to his friends. School District officials declined to comment on the case, citing privacy issues. The district issued a written statement, which said: "The dangers of illegal drugs and controlled substances are clear."
Rovesputin Diagnosis: Early-Onset Alzheimers & Liquified Lobes   13th FEBRUARY 2006

Three former associates of Jack Abramoff say the now-convicted lobbyist frequently told them he had strong ties to the White House through presidential confidant Karl Rove. The White House said Monday night that Rove remembers meeting Abramoff at a 1990s political meeting and considered the lobbyist a "casual acquaintance." According to one of the three former associates, frequently Abramoff's cell phone would ring and the lobbyist would tell the associate that the White House was calling. To prove that he wasn't making up what he was telling the associate, Abramoff occasionally would hold up the phone so that the associate could see the incoming call was indeed a White House phone number.
Succinctly Symbolizing Unhappinesss: Call Him Colon [to His Face!]   13th FEBRUARY 2006

Despair filed suit alleging trademark infringement against over 7 million individual Internet users. The company requested separate injunctions granted against each. It is believed to be the largest single trademark dispute in history. Through use of the FBI's controversial "Carnivore" Internet wiretapping system, the company surreptitiously monitored unencrypted email and compiled a list of over 7,000,000 individuals who have used the ":-(" emoticon. Kersten informed reporters he had personally taken Jeff Bezos and his wife to dinner, to congratulate him on his willingness to "take a innovative stand against innovation," and also to inform him that Bezos was amongst the 7,000,000 who had violated Despair's trademark.
A Brand New Bad Idea from BushCo -- The Bad Idea People!  13th FEBRUARY 2006

Whether they believe in the threat or not, it is a convenient cover for their deepening failure in the "war on terror." Raising the menacing specter of another evil empire, Western leaders seem to be saying that failures in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have nothing to do with their shortcomings, lack of imagination or ideological blindness, but with the terribleness of the threat we are facing. The notion that the West faces the extraordinary threat of an evil caliphate provides an excuse for avoiding the very real and difficult problems that the West does need to face in relation to the Muslim world, problems which the West is so far either unwilling or unable to address seriously.


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