December 30, 2004
(President Bush) hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America's initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations "stingy."The remainder of the mainstream media is working overtime to compare and contrast the monies spent by the United States on disaster relief to the amount spent on the War on Terror, as if there was a true comparison.
Mr. Egeland was right on target. We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities.
The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, and is in keeping with the pitiful amount of the United States budget that we allocate for nonmilitary foreign aid.
Bush administration officials help create that perception gap.
Making things worse, we often pledge more money than we actually deliver.
There's not, no matter how much the MSM tries to create one.
December 29, 2004
The episode introduces a Muslim teenager and his parents as terrorists plotting an attack of mass destruction against Americans.
One of the villains is a Walkman-toting, bubble-gum-chewing teenager who fights with his conservative Dad about dating an American girl and talking on the phone.I hate to be politically incorrect, but I don't see the problem here. Do you?
The young man also helps his parents mastermind a plot to kill large numbers of Americans that begins with an attack on a train.
Over the breakfast table, the father tells his son: What we will accomplish today will change the world. We are fortunate that that our family has been chosen to do this.Yes, father, his son replies.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy group, plans to bring their concerns about the episode to Fox, says group spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed.
That group has previously received complaints about the depiction of Muslims on 24, but this episode is particularly egregious, she said.
They are taking everyday American Muslim families and making them suspects. Theyre making it seem like families are co-conspirators in this terrorist plot." In another scene, she says, a terrorist is shown coming out of a mosque. The way the episode depicts Muslims creates an atmosphere in which many Americans look at all Muslims as suspects in the war on terror, she adds. Its very dangerous and very disturbing.
Officials in every country today warned the final number of dead will be even higher as rescue teams reach remote areas.Bottom line? We're talking "Old Testament-Wrath of God" territory.
The UN said there were now strong grounds to believe that the toll in the Sumatran province of Aceh, the worst affected area, would be as high as 80,000.
Aid agencies today warned disease will also cause massive casualties among the survivors as the biggest relief effort in history began.
Please take the time to donate to one of the many relief organizations participating in this, the largest relief effort in history. Some of those organizations include CARE, World Vision International, and the Red Cross. There are certainly others.
Please take the time to give, because our fellow travelers on this planet are in desperate need.
Orbach had left L&O at the end of last season, but was slated to star in the newest franchise spin-off Law & Order: Trial By Jury, set to premiere on NBC in February.
Orbach is expected to appear in early episodes of "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," for which he continued as Briscoe in a secondary role, when the series premieres later this season, Davis said.Orbach won an Emmy nomination for best guest appearance in a comedic series for a guest slot on The Golden Girls in 1990.
"I'm immensely saddened by the passing of not only a friend and colleague, but a legendary figure of 20th Century show business," said Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of the "Law & Order" series, in a statement. "He was one of the most honored performers of his generation. His loss is irreplaceable."
On Broadway, the Bronx-born Orbach starred in hit musicals including "Carnival," "Promises, Promises" (for which he won a Tony Award), "Chicago" and "42nd Street."
Earlier, he was in the original cast of the off-off-Broadway hit "The Fantasticks," playing the narrator. The show went on to run for more than 40 years.
Among his film appearances were roles in "Dirty Dancing," "Prince of the City" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Orbach's song and dance past came into play in his work in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, where as Lumiere, he sang the well-known song "Be Our Guest," with friend and former Murder She Wrote co-star Angela Lansbury.
He has reprised Lumiere in several other animated and video game projects, including the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2.
December 28, 2004
Floyd Elliott, of Independence, told police that on Dec. 14, two subjects attacked him in the parking lot of his apartment complex. He said the attackers cut him in the stomach, branded him with a hot knife, and attempted to carve the word "Fag" on his forehead.D'oh!
Investigators were suspicious about the report because the head carving was backwards, as if done while looking into a mirror.
I don't think that even Homer Simpson could be that dumb.
Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.Egeland backpedaled today, and tried to insist that his words were taken out of context. But considering that his entire speech was archived online for you to see on the UN's site, you can judge foryourself.
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."
This shows the ongoing arrogance of the United Nations and the moonbats that run that particular organization.
The sea and wreckage of coastal towns all around the Indian Ocean yielded up tens of thousands of bodies on Tuesday, pushing the toll from Sunday's tsunami past 50,000.The disaster has directly affected ten nations in five different time zones on the planet.
The apocalyptic destruction caused by the wave dwarfed the efforts of governments and relief agencies as they turned from rescuing survivors to trying to care for millions of homeless, increasingly threatened by disease amid the rotting corpses.
"Why did you do this to us, God?" wailed an old woman in a devastated fishing village in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. "What did we do to upset you? This is worse than death."
Scientists have indicated that the initial quake, measured at a 9.0 on the Richter scale, actually affected the rotation of the planet, actually slowing th eEarth's rotation by a measure of microseconds, an indication of the monumental power expended by the cataclysm.
More pictures of the devestation are beginning to emerge, now that US journalists are beginning to show up in the disaster areas stretching from Indonesia on the east to the Somalian coastline of Africa on the west.
American news networks largely ignored the disaster when it began to unfold, leaving coverage to true global broadcasters like Sky News and BBC World.
BBC World is continuing to air near-wall-to-wall coverage of the disaster both on the air, and online (which is the only way American audiences can see their coverage; in WMP format).
The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami is a blog that has been set up by bloggers in the region affected by this week's tidal wave disaster. It includes links to relief organizations that you can donate to in order to help.
Barring that, World Vision International is one of the largest global relief organizations, and they are accepting donations here.
Having worked for CARE last summer, I've got a soft spot for their efforts, and you can donate to their work here.
Other blogosphere efforts include a continually updated resources at The Command Post.
White created a stir in March 1998 with a speech to the Wisconsin State Assembly. In it, he referred to homosexuality as "one of the biggest sins in the Bible" and used ethnic stereotypes for blacks and whites.You may or may not agree with his words, but those words did not by any means diminish White's greatness.
At the time, White, considering retirement, was on a list of candidates for CBS's N.F.L. studio show, but he did not get the job.
White worked tirelessly with disadvantaged youths. But his image was tarnished when he gave a speech in which he denounced homosexuality and used ethnic stereotypes. White later apologized.
White was a great man; and he certainly was not the kind of thug that has dominiated the sports pages of late, from football to basketball to baseball.
And even though his words weren't politically correct, I applauded him then, and continue to applaud him now for having the courage to speak his own mind over something he truly and strongly believed.
Fare thee well, Reggie. God bless you.
December 27, 2004
The new tape, together with one that appeared online earlier this month, continues a new political slant adopted by the al-Qaida leader, whose past proclamations have been more a call to arms than a promotion of a cause. They appear to back up recent suggestions by Middle East experts that bin Laden may be trying to become more of a political leader than a terrorist.The recorded voice insisted that those that participate in next month's elections for new leadership in Iraq would be considered infidels.
The voice on the tape described al-Zarqawi as the "emir," or prince, of al-Qaida in Iraq and said Muslims there should "listen to him."
The man speaking on the tape also referred to an October statement in which al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, declared allegiance to bin Laden and changed his group's name to al-Qaida in Iraq. The speaker called that "a great step on the path of unifying all the mujahedeen in establishing the state of righteousness and ending the state of injustice."
The voice on the tape broadcast Monday sounded like bin Laden's and the statement used language that appeared to conform with previous statements by the Saudi-born terror mastermind. However, there was no way to independently confirm the speaker's identity.
The speaker condemned those elections.It is well past time that this moron was on the receiving end of "the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch," that "thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy..."
"In the balance of Islam, this constitution is infidel and therefore everyone who participates in this election will be considered infidels," he said. "Beware of henchmen who speak in the name of Islamic parties and groups who urge people to participate in this blatant apostasy."
He apparently was referring to Shiite clerics, particularly Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who have issued edicts saying participating in the election was a "religious duty."
Late Monday, Indonesia's vice president, Yusuf Kalla, was quoted as believing the death toll in his country alone could top 25,000, which would push the overall toll in this tragedy to beyond 42,000 deaths.
Sunday's massive quake of 9.0 magnitude off the Indonesian island of Sumatra sent 500-mph waves surging across the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the deadliest known tsunami since the one that devastated the Portuguese capital of Lisbon in 1755 and killed an estimated 60,000 people.American citizens concerned about loved ones in the region are urged to call (88 407-4747 or to go to the State Department's Crisis Awareness and Preparedness page for more official information.
December 26, 2004
Thousands have died in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and The Maldives, and the death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are discovered.
The 8.9 magnitude quake struck under the sea near Aceh in north Indonesia, generating a wall of water that sped across thousands of kilometres of sea.BBC World has been covering the disaster live, and streamed coverage is available online (WMP).
Exact numbers of people killed, injured or missing in the countries hit, are impossible to confirm.
Hundreds are still thought to be missing from coastal regions and, in Sri Lanka alone, officials say more than a million people have been forced from their homes.
Minister and former Green Bay Packers defensive end Reggie White died this morning after suffering a massive heart attack at his home in Huntersville, NC.
"Today our beloved husband, father and friend passed away," White's wife, Sara, said through a family pastor. "His family appreciates your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Reggie White. We want to thank you in advance for honoring our privacy."A lock for the Hall of Fame, White turned 43 on December 19.
An all around good guy, who took a lot of hits for his conservative stance, White will be remembered being a gentlemen's gentleman, and a powerful player on the field. He retired as NFL all-time sacks leader in 2000.
When I worked at CNN, I recall running into White in passing, and though he was busy, he had time for a quick handshake and hearty hello. I'm sorry he's gone.
I can't ban 'em by IP, because they're using some sort of rotating IP configuration that generates a new IP each time they post.
So, whadda ya think -- good idea?
December 24, 2004
"Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6)May God bless you all.
---Michael, Rachel, Jasmine, Mitchell & Lynese King
The Washington state governor's race is still too close to call, and has gone through two recounts. The most recent recount ended yesterday with Democrat Christine Gregoire winning by a mere 130 votes.
A prior recount gave the victory to Republican Dino Rossi, but this recount included 732 ballots in heavily Democratic King County (which includes the city of Seattle) which Democrats claimed were "mistakenly omitted" from the initial counts. The 732 ballots were permitted thanks to a state supreme court decision.
Rossi won the Election Day count by 261 votes and a subsequent machine recount by 42. Democrats paid for a hand recount, which put Gregoire up 10 votes; that lead widened to 130 after a state Supreme Court decision allowed 732 ballots to be reconsidered in King County, a Democratic stronghold. Those ballots had been mistakenly thrown out because of problems scanning signatures into a computer.Adding to my skepticism are images like the picture of the election worker above -- his latex gloves have "GO DEMS" scrawled across them.
In light of the high court's decision, Republicans want the secretary of state to delay certifying the election so they can seek reconsideration of rejected ballots in other counties.
On Thursday morning, Republicans submitted affidavits to King County elections officials from 96 people who voted for Rossi and believe their ballots were erroneously rejected because of signature problems. They say they have identified about 250 such voters statewide.
"We believe Dino Rossi is the legitimate Governor-elect of the State of Washington and we will continue fighting to protect his election," state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance said.
Dean Logan, King County's elections director and one of three members on its canvassing board, said those ballots would not be re-evaluated, because they had been properly considered and rejected.
"You will continue to hear accusations of fraud, of changing rules, of manufactured votes," Logan said Thursday, addressing rumors flying on the Internet and talk radio. "I believe the record shows most of these allegations, if not all of them, are totally untrue."
We know he's "impartial" in this process, right?
The motion picture adaptation of Sin City is still on course for a summer 2005 release, and the trailer is finally out.
My God, this looks good! Pure noir, pure action, pure Miller, and with an all-star cast.
I simply have GOT to see this movie as soon as it comes out!
December 23, 2004
Well, the NFL has responded with a $75,000 fine against Darius for that "unsportsmanlike" hit.
Say what you will about the NBA, but at least the NFL adjudicates quickly and fairly. Darius had said Sunday night that he would appeal any fine from the league. No comment has come from Darius since the fine was handed down on Tuesday afternoon.
I also blogged poetic about the strange murder of Jennifer Corbin, and the case building against her husband Dr. Barry Corbin in suburban Atlanta. One of the bizarre points in the case I mentioned was the simularities of Jennifer's murder and that of a former girlfriend of Dr. Corbin's in Augusta, GA 14 years ago.
Well, Corbin was arrested on murder charges stemming from that 14 year-old cold case, based on evidence developed in relation to the current Gwinnett County case.
In between fanatical interviews on the Robert Blake case in California, and the heartless bitch who cut a baby out of a pregnant woman's belly in Kansas, I'm sure you'll hear about this one from CourtTV or Greta Van Susteren.
Now, agents can only touch the "perimeter of the chest area" in their searches.
Sources at the Transportation Security Administration confirm they're changing the way they conduct pat-downs. Some women have complained bitterly recently that the more thorough pat-downs to check for explosives just went to far - especially in the breast area.It seems to me that folks are failing to recall that a couple of Russian airliners went down on the same day earlier this year, and investigators have been able to determine with at least relative certainty that the bombs used to down those airliners were smuggled on board tucked in the underwear of Islamic women on board the planes.
So the TSA, in an interest of being sensitive, has politely and not so subtly told the bad guys that if they get a flat-chested woman (or a rather androgynous guy for that matter), and strap said explosives to the chest of that person in what would closely approximate breasts, that they won't be found out. Why? Because the TSA agents doing the searches won't find them!
All hail political correctness! It'll be the death of us all!
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