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Topics - Freak

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11
Politics and Law-Related News / Congresswomen faces charges
« on: April 04, 2006, 02:51:18 PM »
Well I almost didn't post this article because she is black, but I realized that if any other member of congress faced charges it'd be a hot topic. I don't know what happened besides this article.

http://www.nbc4.com/news/8440218/detail.html

Typically politicians get a free pass from police action until they do something really serious or so damaging to their party that their party won't protect them. It appears the Dems won't support her.

Of course it's not equitable for politicians to avoid charges most citizens would face if they cross a police officer, but most politicians don't have this problem so is it inequitable for her to face charges?

13
General Off-Topic Board / Freak is going to Europe!
« on: January 09, 2006, 02:38:39 PM »
So we plan on spending a week in Europe in July or August 2006 and I would appreciate tips, hints & suggestions. None of us have ever been there before.

Thanks!

14
http://www.slate.com/id/2122364/
Slander
The assassination of Alberto Coll.
By A.L. Bardach
Posted Monday, July 11, 2005, at 11:59 AM ET


Corruption has always been something I hate, now it's personal. Prof. Coll is a scholar and a gentleman and did not and does not deserve the treatment he received. I am honored to have studied under him.

15
Politics and Law-Related News / FDR's Four Freedoms Speech
« on: December 02, 2005, 06:13:00 PM »
The entire speech is here:

http://www.libertynet.org/~edcivic/fdr.html

The following is the relevant part.

  THE FOUR FREEDOMS
delivered by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on January 6, 1941

...
  The basic things expected by our people of their political
  and economic systems are simple.  They are :
  Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
  Jobs for those who can work.
  Security for those who need it.
  The ending of special privilege for the few.
  The preservation of civil liberties for all.
  The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a
  wider and constantly rising standard of living.
  These are the simple, the basic things that must never be
  lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of
  our modern world.  The inner and abiding straight of our
  economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree
  to which they fulfill these expectations.
 
  Many subjects connected with our social economy call for
  immediate improvement.  As examples :
  We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age
  pensions and unemployment insurance.
  We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.
  We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or
  needing gainful employment may obtain it.
  I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of
  the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that
  call.  A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more
  money in taxes.  In my budget message I will recommend that
  a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for
  from taxation than we are paying for today.  No person
  should try, or be allowed to get rich out of the program,
  and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability
  to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our
  legislation.
 
  If the congress maintains these principles the voters,
  putting patriotism ahead pocketbooks, will give you their
  applause.
  In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look
  forward to a world founded upon four essential human
  freedoms.
  The first is freedom of speech and expression --everywhere
  in the world.
 
  The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his
  own way-- everywhere in the world.
  The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world
  terms, means economic understandings which will secure to
  every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants
  --everywhere in the world.
 
  The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into
  world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to
  such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation
  will be in a position to commit an act of physical
  aggression against any neighbor --anywhere in the wold.
  That is no vision of a distant millennium.  It is a definite
  basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and
  generation.  That kind of world is the very antithesis of
  the so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictators
  seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
 
  To that new order we oppose the greater conception --the
  moral order.  A good society is able to face schemes of
  world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.
  Since the beginning of our American history we have been
  engaged in change, in a perpetual, peaceful revolution, a
  revolution which goes on steadily, quietly, adjusting itself
  to changing conditions without the concentration camp or the
  quicklime in the ditch.  The world order which we seek is
  the cooperation of free countries, working together in a
  friendly, civilized society.
 
  This nation has placed its destiny in the hands, heads and
  hearts of its millions of free men and women, and its faith
  in freedom under the guidance of God.  Freedom means the
  supremacy of human rights everywhere.  Our support goes to
  those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them.  Our
  strength is our unity of purpose.
 
  To that high concept there can be no end save victory.
 

16
Politics and Law-Related News / al-qaeda protested in Jordan
« on: November 19, 2005, 10:41:00 AM »
AMMAN, Jordan - The Mideast's most feared terrorist sought Friday to justify a triple suicide bombing on Amman hotels that killed 59 civilians, insisting he did not deliberately target a wedding party and appealing to Muslims to believe that he was not attacking them.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, took an unusually defensive tone in an audiotape posted on the Internet, seeking to shore up support after widespread anger over the civilian deaths, even among sympathizers.

Still, the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi made clear he was not about to stop the bloodshed, warning he will attack more tourist sites in Jordan and threatening to behead King Abdullah II. He said he was targeting Jordan because it is serving as a "protector" for     Israel, helps the U.S. military in Iraq and has become a "swamp of obscenity," with alcohol and prostitution in its tourist sites.

"Your star is fading. You will not escape your fate, you descendant of traitors. We will be able to reach your head and chop it off," al-Zarqawi said, referring to the king.

Al-Zarqawi, who has a $25 million bounty on his head from the U.S., told Jordanians to stay away from bases used by U.S. forces, hotels and tourist sites in Amman, the Dead Sea and the southern resort of Aqaba and embassies of governments participating in the war in Iraq, saying they would be targeted.

"People of Islam in Jordan, we want to assure you that we are extremely careful over your lives ... you are more beloved to us than ourselves," he said.

The authenticity of the audiotape, posted on an Islamic militant Web forum, could not be confirmed independently, but the voice resembled that of al-Zarqawi on previous tapes.

The tape was posted following widespread outrage over the Nov. 9 bombings against three Amman hotels that killed 59 people, 30 of them in a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding party held in a ballroom.

Jordan has seen a series of large demonstrations denouncing the attack, including one on Friday. Thousands marched through downtown Amman, chanting "Al-Zarqawi, you coward," and carrying banners that read "Al-Zarqawi, you are the enemy of God."

Contributors to militant Web forums who generally lionize al-Zarqawi and praise his attacks criticized the bombings. In the militant leader's hometown of Zarqa, east of Amman, many residents denounced him, saying he has lost any sympathy he had there.

In the past, al-Zarqawi has defended Muslim civilian casualties in attacks by his suicide bombers in Iraq, saying they were justified because the attacks are part of a "jihad" against U.S. occupiers and their Iraqi allies. "God ordered us to attack the infidels by all means ... even if armed infidels and unintended victims women and children are killed together," he said in an audiotape released in May.

But he sounded more penitent in Friday's audio.

"People of Jordan, we did not undertake to blow up any wedding parties," he said. "For those Muslims who were killed, we ask God to show them mercy, for they were not targets. We did not and will not think for one moment to target them even if they were people of immorality and debauchery."

In the deadliest of the triple attacks, a bomber set off his explosives belt in the Radisson hotel, killing 30 people at a Jordanian-Palestinian wedding party in a ballroom. Both the bride's parents were among the dead, as was the father of the groom.

But al-Zarqawi insisted that Jordanian officials' accounts that the bomber specifically targeted the wedding were a "lie."

Al-Zarqawi claimed the bomber struck a hall where Israeli and American intelligence officials were meeting at the time. Part of the roof fell in on the wedding hall, either from the blast or even he said from a separate bomb placed in the roof, though not by al-Qaida.

"Our brothers knew their targets with great precision," he said. "God knows we chose these hotels only after more than two months of close observation (that proved) that these hotels had become headquarters for the Israeli and American intelligence," he said.

Al-Zarqawi accused the Jordanian government of hiding casualties among Israeli and American agents.

The Radisson attack involved two bombers an Iraqi husband and wife. Witnesses told Jordanian security officials that the couple talked their way into the wedding, telling hotel employees they wanted to watch, then went to different sides of the hall. When the woman's explosives belt failed to go off, her husband told her to leave, then he jumped on a table in the ballroom and set off his blast, Jordanian officials have said.

Al-Qaida in Iraq issued a claim of responsibility soon after the blasts, saying a husband and wife carried out one of the attacks a statement that appears to have backfired, alerting Jordanian authorities that a woman was involved and leading to her capture four days later.

The woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, later made a televised confession, saying she and her husband entered the wedding party ballroom.

Bassam al-Bana, the spokesman for the Radisson, denied al-Zarqawi's claims about an intelligence meeting. "There were no meetings of Israelis there," he told The Associated Press.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev refused to comment when asked whether Israeli intelligence officers were meeting at the hotel. "This man has the blood of many innocents on his hands, most of them Muslims. To claim that those innocent victims in Jordan were working for Israel is simply ludicrous and deserves ridicule," he said.

The only Israeli killed in the blasts was an Israeli Arab who was attending the wedding. Four Americans were killed in the triple bombings including the Syrian-born moviemaker Mustafa Akkad and his daughter, who were guests at the Radisson wedding reception.

___

Contributing to this report were Associated Press reporters Lee Keath and Salah Nasrawi in Cairo, and Shafika Mattar in Amman

17
Politics and Law-Related News / Oh our wonderful unbiased media.
« on: November 19, 2005, 10:23:33 AM »
from the Chicago Tribune

When journalists cover themselves
Do the right thing--like the president

By Jonathan Zimmerman who teaches history and education at New York University
Published November 18, 2005


On Wednesday we discovered that Bob Woodward of The Washington Post knew about CIA agent Valerie Plame before syndicated columnist Robert Novak disclosed her identity.

And this fact was revealed by reporters inside The Washington Post! That might be the biggest scandal of all. Now that the Post and other news organizations have become such big parts of the CIA leak story, they need to refrain from reporting on their own behavior.

Why? For the same reason that the White House appointed special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the case. You simply can't expect people who work inside an institution to report impartially about mistakes and malfeasance by their friends and co-workers.

Take The New York Times (please!). At first, Times brass rallied around reporter Judith Miller for refusing to testify about who might have leaked Plame's name to her. But after Miller served 85 days in jail--and after new allegations drew her own story into question--the paper shifted gears. Executive editor Bill Keller accused Miller of conducting an inappropriate "entanglement" (whatever that means) with recently indicted vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Times columnist Maureen Dowd called Miller a "woman of mass destruction," a spoiled diva with a weakness for powerful men.

But why were Times editors and reporters investigating Miller in the first place? And why do other news organizations continue to report on their own? At NBC News, the very journalist who is implicated in the CIA leak is still covering it. "Inside the CIA leak indictments, including the role of journalists, including yours truly," announced "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert several Sundays ago, before a commercial break during his program.

Russert would be a crucial witness at a trial against Libby, who maintains he discovered Plame's identity from Russert. Russert says he learned about Plame the way most of us did, from a column by Novak. And now Woodward's testimony suggests that someone else might have leaked Plame's name to him, a month before Novak's piece appeared.

Yet, Russert and his bosses think it's perfectly fine for him to keep reporting on the story. "We have tried to be as open as possible," said NBC News acting president Steve Capus, defending Russert's role. "I'm very comfortable with how Tim has handled himself."

How's that for arrogance? If President Bush had refused to appoint a special prosecutor in the CIA case, promising to remain "as open as possible" to an internal investigation, news organizations would have howled. Conflict of interest! You can't investigate your own! Why should we believe what you tell us?

Why, indeed? If news agencies want us to believe them, they should start playing by the same rules as everyone else. When a news organization becomes the focus of a story, it should bring in a neutral outsider to report on its own activities. The country is full of talented, experienced journalists who don't work for NBC News, The Washington Post or The New York Times. Now is the time to call them.

18
Ha, bet ya'll thought I, the ultra conservative, wouldn't admit this, but it is a real problem.

I personally believe that corruption is the main reason this hasn't been solved in the USA. We have the technology and simply don't apply it. The oil industry receives billions in subsidies. If those same subsidies were given to hydrogen technology development we'd have an affordable hydrogen car/w some infrastructure to support their use.

The possibilities are staggering.
1. Drastic pollution reduction (water in water out)
2. Elimination of all (at least most) gasoline powered vehicles and fuel stations (it may even be possible to convert internal combustion engines to hydrogen).
3. You're own personal gas station (I think the only raw materials req. are distilled water and electricity).
4. The price of oil would drop dramatically and would reverse the trend towards coal burning electrical plants to oil plants which produce fewer pollutants.

19
Politics and Law-Related News / Should Iran lose its UN seat?
« on: October 28, 2005, 01:10:56 PM »
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
32 minutes ago
 


TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's ultraconservative president spurning international outrage over his remarks about  Israel joined more than a million demonstrators who flooded the streets of the capital and other major cities Friday to back his call for the destruction of the Jewish state.
 
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood fast behind his assertion that Israel should be wiped off the map and repeated the call during the nationwide protests Friday, the Muslim day of prayer.

But in an apparent attempt to blunt international outrage over Ahmadinejad's comments, the Iranian Embassy in Moscow issued a statement saying the Iranian leader did not want to "engage in a conflict."

Marching alongside the protesters, the 47-year-old former mayor of Tehran and one-time Republican Guard commander renewed his criticism of the West.

"They become upset when they hear any voice of truth-seeking. They think they are the absolute rulers of the world," he said during the al-Quds or Jerusalem Day protest, which was among the largest since they were first held in 1979 after Shiite Muslim clerics took power in Iran.

His fellow marchers carried placards reading "Death to Israel, death to America." It is not uncommon for an Iraqi president to join marches in the capital. Ahmadinejad was accompanied by five bodyguards, but otherwise security was not out of the ordinary for such an event.

Despite Ahmadinejad's continued harsh attacks on the West, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani tried to dial back the rhetoric, suggesting that Israelis and Palestinians hold a referendum to decide the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

"If Muslims and Palestinians agree (to a referendum), it will be a retreat but let's still hold a referendum," Rafsanjani said in his Friday prayer sermon.

The Iranian Embassy statement in Moscow said Ahmadinejad "did not have any intention to speak in sharp terms and engage in a conflict."

But that was not the message carried by the at least 200,000 Iranians who massed in Tehran to unleashed virulent condemnation against Israel, the United States and the West in general, accusing them of oppressing Palestinians and Iran.

Some demonstrators chanted "Israel is approaching its death" and wore white shrouds in a symbolic gesture expressing readiness to die for their cause.

A resolution was read at the end of the rallies backing "the position declared by the president that the Zionist regime must be wiped out."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki defended his president's comments, saying they represented Iran's long-held policy of not recognizing Israel.

"Unfortunately the Western countries have remained silent on the increasing inhuman activities of Israel," Mottaki said at the Tehran march.

Jerusalem Day protests attracted at least 100,000 in each of Iran's major cities and a total of more than a million nationwide, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Major rallies also were held in other Middle Eastern countries.

In Beirut, the militant Hezbollah group marked the day by staging a parade that saw more than 6,000 guerrillas march in uniform through the streets of the Lebanese capital.

The Shiite group, which supports it Iranian mentors, has sought to strengthen its position in Lebanon after the withdrawal of Syrian troops.

At least 30,000 Bahrainis marched in their capital, Manama, burning Israeli and American flags and demanding their government rescind its recent decision to end its economic embargo of the Jewish state.

The United States said the Iranian leader's remarks have only underscored Washington's concern over Iran's nuclear program. Israel said Iran should be suspended from the     United Nations. U.N. chief      Kofi Annan expressed "dismay" at the comments in a rare rebuke of a U.N. member state.

The     Vatican condemned as "unacceptable" statements denying the right of Israel to exist, although it did not mention Iran by name.

Russia, a key ally of Iran, summoned the Iranian ambassador seeking an explanation for the remarks.

Iran's seven state-run TV stations devoted coverage Friday to programs condemning the Jewish state and praising the Palestinian resistance since the 1948 creation of Israel.

Three stations also showed live coverage of crowds of people gathering Friday in streets throughout Tehran.

After Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini toppled the pro-Western Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979, he declared the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as an international day of struggle against Israel and for the liberation of Jerusalem. The founder of the Islamic regime had also called for Israel's destruction.

20
Washington used the occasion of his 1796 farewell address to decry "the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration," he warned. "It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection...In governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged."



Have you ever been to a party convention where the chant goes up "crush the democrats (or pups)?

I have and the pressure to vote for your party's bills in incredible. Of course now there is nothing we can do about them, but we can decide if they were a good idea.

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