Baghdadis say this trend is related to the war because there were few incidents of it under Saddam Hussein since private weapons were outlawed. But today, many households have guns and many men think nothing of shooting into their air.
"We shoot on occasions of celebration to express our happiness," said a police officer, who did not want to be named, insisting that no one ever intends to hit anybody.
After crushing the 1991 uprising, the former regime imposed a two-day curfew on Baghdad and went house-to-house to confiscate all unlicensed weapons. But in the run up to this latest conflict, they distributed guns to everyone to resist the coalition invasion.
A bullet fired in the air during a Ku Klux Klan initiation ceremony came down and struck a participant in the head, critically injuring him, authorities said.
Military officials retracted a report today that two American soldiers had been slashed in their throats in an attack Sunday in the northern city of Mosul.
A military official here, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the two soldiers had died of gunshot wounds to the head and that their bodies had been pulled by Iraqis from their car and robbed of their personal belongings.
The military official said that contrary to some reports, the men had not been beaten by rocks or mutilated in any way.
Mr Dyke drew on research which found that of 840 experts interviewed on US news outlets during the war, only four were opposed to the conflict.
“I have to tell you if that was true in Britain the BBC would have failed in its duty,” he said.
“Telling people what they want to hear is not doing them any favours. It may not be comfortable to challenge governments or even popular opinion, but it’s what we are here to do.
“We have a responsibility to broadcast a range of voices,” he said.
He said there was an appetite for impartial news in the US, judging by the growth in demand there for BBC News.
This is really important stuff. (Link via Today in Iraq.)
I'm not sure how many of you saw David Dimbleby's interview with Donald Rumsfeld shortly before the start of the war. It was a courteous yet tough interview but certainly no tougher than anything British politicians expect on Today or Newsnight.
Donald Rumsfeld was not used to this kind of approach and his people told us afterwards they were shocked by the persistence of the interviewer. ... On American television today politicians don't face that sort of interrogation.
For the health of our democracy, it's vital we don't follow the path of many American networks and lose the will to do this.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it a "1,200-page monstrosity that is chock full of special interest giveaways" from subsidizing corn farmers by doubling the use of ethanol in gasoline to providing favorable financing to a shopping center that will contain a Hooters' restaurant.
Productivity gains have produced steadily more affordable products since the Industrial Revolution, but there have been other factors at work too. In the mid-20th century, thanks in part to vigorous unionization, American businesses steadily paid their workers more, thus creating a growing class of people who could afford the products they made. Wal-Mart, by contrast, pays their workers less, which allows them to cut prices and therefore makes their products affordable to more people.
So which is the better and more sustainable model? Increasing the overall affordability of goods by creating a larger class of people who can afford them? Or increasing the overall affordability of goods by squeezing the blue collar workers who make them and thus lowering prices?
Both models work, but one works by building up the working class and the other works by tearing it down. I'll take Door #1.
When the recently deposed chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court said he'd be making an announcement about his future, there were some who wondered whether Roy Moore might already be thinking about the U.S. Senate or even the presidency. Instead, Moore announced he would be working for the passage of an amendment limiting the power of federal judges, and the Conservative Caucus launched a petition drive urging Bush to appoint Moore to the U.S. Supreme Court.
I have a couple of friends who are pacifists, and I've learned something important from them despite the fact that I am convinced that pacifism in its extreme form is immoral. At any rate, according to my pacifist friends, pacifists believe roughly two things: (1) all violence is wrong and (2) one has an obligation to work to ramp down the ambient level of hostility in the world. Oddly, (1) gets all the attention, but (2) is the reasonable thesis. (1) is rather clearly false, since sometimes respect for persons and for human life requires the use of violence. If pacifism holds that it would be wrong to kill Mohammed Atta as he makes his way to the cockpit, then pacifism is false. But (2) is extremely reasonable, especially given the nature of human psychology. The trick is to work to avoid and diffuse hostility as soon as possible. The farther the conversation degenerates and the madder people get, the harder it is for them to return to reason. And, of course, once the fists (or the bullets) start flying, it's almost impossible to stop them until the people involved are dead or hurt, or until they wear themselves out. But even if we're just talking about words, the farther one progresses down that road, the harder it is to turn back.
One can reasonably hold that marriage is not the only route to human fulfillment without thinking that it is permissible to break solemn promises. In fact, it seems to me that the best way to increase our respect for marriage is to make it clear that it isn't for everyone, and that it should be entered into only after careful consideration. The best way to destroy the institution is to misrepresent it as the only morally permissible venue for love and sex. If you want to decrease the divorce rate, be honest with people about the nature of marriage, and be honest with them about the alternatives.
"What these people are doing now makes Iran-Contra [a Reagan administration national security scandal] look like amateur hour. . . it's worse than Iran-Contra, worse than what happened in Vietnam," said Karen Kwiatkowski, a former air force lieutenant-colonel.Update: Here's a bunch of articles by Kwiatkowski. She worked for four and a half years in the Pentagon.
The Iraq telecom contracts have been handled in a very shady way from the beginning. Batelco, a great little Bahrain telecom company, put $5 mn. into Iraq in May and June and started offering mobile phone service on its own. After a few days, Paul Bremer closed it down, saying telecom companies would have to have licenses. Then it was announced that MCI Worldcom would get the contract. Worldcom is under indictment for fraud and by Federal rules shouldn't have been offered such a contract. Besides, it has no experience in wireless telecom.
Son: Dad, I have to do a special report for school. Can I ask you a question?
Father: Sure son, what's the question?
Son: What is politics?
Father: Well, lets take our home for example. I am the wage earner, so let's call me management. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we'll call her government. We take care of your needs, so let's call you the people. We'll call the Maid the working class and your baby brother we will call Future. Do you understand?
Son: I'm not really sure, dad. I'll have to think about it.
That night, awakened by his baby brother's crying, the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering the baby had seriously soiled his Diaper; the boy went to his parent's room and found his mother sound asleep. He then went to the maid's room where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid.
The boy's knocking went totally unheard by his father and the maid, so the boy returned to his room and went back to bed.
The next morning...
Son: Dad, now I think I understand politics.
Father: That's great son, explain it to me in your own words.
Son: Well, dad, while management is screwing the working class the Government is sound asleep. The people are being completely ignored and
the future is full of shit.
Like dutiful robots, they immediately changed their own language to match Bush's. They too have decided to switch to the "homicide bomber" phrase. Fox News producer Dennis Murray tries to explain that the change is not due to it's rabid conservative slant, but because there was "growing unease about how accurate the [suicide bomber] term" was. Sure there was. If there's one thing that Fox News prizes above all else, it's accuracy. Well, accuracy and smug, condescending grins.Brian Fleming at Blogcritics notes that only a "stupid person would consider credible a news outlet that used the made-up, less-descriptive, purely political term 'homicide bomber' in a straight-news headline." And Juan Non-Volokh asks, "Would it make any sense to refer to a murderer as a 'homicide killer'? Should we have called the D.C. snipers the 'homicide snipers'?"
Lawmakers from both parties condemned the proposal, developed mainly by pro-industry Republicans, for its $31 billion price tag, its subsidies for power companies, a plan to provide legal immunity to producers of a gasoline additive blamed for water pollution, and its failure to promote alternative energy savings plans like better fuel efficiency.Shorter Rush Limbaugh: "I'm rubber and you're glue - whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!"
Democrats can't meet us in the arena of ideas, so they call names and make wild charges hoping something will stick. When these people talk about us, when they accuse us of bad behavior - guess what? They're telling us who they are. It's a beautiful thing, my friends. It's a new way of listening to liberals. When they start telling us what rotten SOBs we are, just remember: they're telling us who they are. They don't know who we are; they only think they do.
'There is just so much money that we can tap into. It's just wonderful to have this opportunity,' one prospective bidder gushed to the Defense Department's director of procurement, Deidre Lee.
The energy bill provides billions of dollars in benefits to companies run by at least 22 executives and their spouses who have qualified as either "Pioneers" or "Rangers," as well as to the clients of at least 15 lobbyists and their spouses who have achieved similar status as fundraisers. At least 24 Rangers and Pioneers could benefit from the Medicare bill as executives of companies or lobbyists working for them, including eight who have clients affected by both bills.
George W. Bush has simply been too cheap to fight the war on terror the right way. We haven't spent the money to secure our ports, we haven't spent the money to actually rebuild Afghanistan, we haven't been willing to help the Palestinians build actual lives, we haven't been willing to actually try to curtail the money flowing from the Saudis to terrorists, we haven't been willing to compromise enough to get the rest of the world to stay on board with the war on Al Qaeda.
The ONLY reason that there hasn't been a terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11 is John Ashcroft. Ashcroft is smart enough to know that Bush refused to do things the right way, so he simply only has one other option to protect American lives; shred the constitution. Round up immigrants spy on and interview Muslims at random, hold people without trial, and all the rest.
John Ashcroft is not in a position to win the war on terror without shredding the constitution. The Bush Administration has put tax cuts, the war in Iraq, and helping out Israel and the Saudis ahead of those priorities. The only way that the Administration has left Ashcroft to do his job is to shred the constitution. Does that make it right? Of course not. But, no matter how bad Ashcroft may be (covering up the goddess of justice, yeesh), I still cannot pin the destruction of the constitution on him. I still put it on the man/overlord at the top. Ashcroft may be bad, but the real problem is the man at the top.
In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."
President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq - also the British government's publicly stated view - or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law.
But Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy board, which advises the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that "international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.
Mr Perle's view is not the official one put forward by the White House. Its main argument has been that the invasion was justified under the UN charter, which guarantees the right of each state to self-defence, including pre-emptive self-defence. On the night bombing began, in March, Mr Bush reiterated America's "sovereign authority to use force" to defeat the threat from Baghdad.
The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, has questioned that justification, arguing that the security council would have to rule on whether the US and its allies were under imminent threat.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A vodka-drinking competition in a southern Russian town ended in tragedy with the winner dead and several runners-up in intensive care.
'The competition lasted 30, perhaps 40 minutes and the winner downed three half-liter bottles. He was taken home by taxi but died within 20 minutes,' said Roman Popov, a prosecutor pursuing the case in the town of Volgodonsk.
'Five contestants ended up in intensive care. Those not in hospital turned up the next day, ostensibly for another drink.'
Popov said the director of the shop organizing this month's contest had been charged with manslaughter. He had offered 10 liters of vodka to the competitor drinking the most in the shortest time.
Russians drink the equivalent of 15 liters of pure alcohol per head annually, one of the highest rates in the world. Some experts estimate one in seven Russians is an alcoholic.
At least 300 non-government employees are expected soon to be working as center contractors, with most coming from universities, companies and private laboratories. [CIA Linguist Everette] Jordan is scouring the country for experts in fields including economics, politics, immunology and metallurgy who also know languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Bahasa Indonesian and Korean.Meanwhile:
Most of them will get a cursory background check and will not receive full security clearances. Those working at this level will not be given secret materials to translate, but they will do more humdrum work, such as translating transcripts of a Chinese biotechnology conference or texts on Iran's oil industry.
The translators won't be informed of the context of the government's interest in the documents.
The idea is to fill in the U.S. government's knowledge of societal trends in those countries, in the same way that the CIA spent years scrutinizing the Soviet bloc's politics and economics during the Cold War.
Nine Army linguists, including six trained to speak Arabic, have been dismissed from the military because they are gay.
Kyiv, November 18 (Interfax-Ukraine) - On Tuesday Captain Olexiy Bondarenko, translator from the Arabic language in the peacekeeping contingent of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Iraq, committed a suicide having shot himself in the head.Captain Bondarenko was drafted into the Ukrainian Armed Forces in August. Back in June, when the Ukrainian parliament voted to send troops to Iraq, the US Embassy in Kyiv said, "This is a significant step to support international efforts to secure Iraq's freedom and provide its people with an opportunity to determine their future themselves." Guess they helped this Ukrainian determine his future himself.
Also, this is in response to K.B. Stone from Dallas, Texas, who thinks I am a snitch. In fact I was exercising my rights that I went to war on two occasions to protect for both he and I. Unfortunately radical liberals use every opportunity to bad mouth President Bush, the military and anyone else who gets in their way. Just go to Mr.Ferriol’s web site, DonFerrioli.com, and see for yourself. As for Hitler’s Third Reich, I spent five years in Germany. Most Germans are outstanding people, (but) they were taken in by Hitler with lies, distortions, hate and discontent. The same hate that radical liberals like you use toward out present government, the president and anyone who supports him. Who is a danger to American lives and freedom I dare ask?Does it even deserve a comment? Okay, just a quickie: Aside from the poor grammar, Mr. Toad (aka Joel Simpson), makes the peculiar attribution of Hitlerish "lies, distortions, hate and discontent" to the left of the political spectrum. Lies. Distortions. Hate. Well, okay, maybe we do have some discontent. What a nitwit.
The Policy Analysis Market in terrorism futures that created such a stir that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency dropped it like a hot potato in July is back. [...] But Net Exchange apparently has decided to launch PAM on its own next spring.
In the months since its initial exposure, 'solid reporting has conveyed that PAM was never intended as a market in terror,' according to an announcement on www.policyanalysismarket.com. 'In addition, many individuals have expressed the wish that PAM be re-established beyond government involvement. PAM will open for trading in March 2004 free of government involvement.'
By giving people a tool for investing in the likelihood of future events, 'PAM will gather the opinions of people from many countries and backgrounds, individuals who are deeply interested in the future of the Middle East,' the announcement noted.
The U.S. military's code name for a crackdown on resistance in Iraq was also used by the Nazis for an aborted operation to damage the Soviet power grid during World War II.Discussing the arrogance and ignorance that lies behind these kinds of blunders, Jesse at Pandagon says:
[E]very time Bush makes a statement that a soldier's death is good news for America's interests, or we name an operation "Fuck A Muslim's Wife", we see the preferred direction of America's policy: action without regards for consequence. I think that may be the central issue of foreign policy debates in 2004 - who can best articulate an understanding of the consequences of American hegemony, and the best method of handling it in a responsible and safe manner.
At least 15 homes have been destroyed in Tikrit as part of what has been dubbed Operation Ivy Cyclone II, including four leveled on Sunday by tanks and Apache helicopters that allegedly belonged to suspects in the Nov. 7 downing of a Black Hawk helicopter that killed six Americans.
Family members at one of the houses, in the village of al Haweda, said they were given five minutes to evacuate before soldiers opened fire. ...
It was unclear whether the decision to destroy the houses was part of an overall strategy approved in Washington. White House spokesman Scott McClellan declined to comment specifically, referring questions about the razings to the Defense Department, but he praised the military's efforts to get tough with Iraqi insurgents.
On Monday, angry residents of al Haweda, where three of the destroyed homes were, said the tactic will spawn more guerrilla fighters and perhaps spark an Iraqi uprising similar to the Palestinian intifada in the West Bank and Gaza.
"This is something Sharon would do," said 41-year-old farmer Jamel Shahab, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon. "What's happening in Iraq is just like Palestine."
Lawmakers have debated such an amendment almost annually since 1989, when the Supreme Court ruled that destroying the American flag amounted to protected free speech.
In June, the Republican-controlled House approved a one-line change to the Constitution "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States" for the fifth time in eight years. The Senate never has passed the proposed amendment.
The amendment, in practice, would be used to punish only unpopular political expression, expression that, though sometimes odious, is today unambiguously protected by American constitutional law -- as it should be.Right, so maybe this wasn't good news... but it really proves the appropriateness of the Idiot-son-of-an-Asshole moniker, eh?
Today's ruling is similar to a 1999 Vermont Supreme Court decision, which led to the state Legislature's approval in 2000 of gay unions that give couples many of the same benefits of marriage. Courts in Hawaii and Alaska have also ruled that the states did not have a right to deny marriage to gay couples, but the decisions were followed by the adoption of constitutional amendments limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
Perle has close business ties with Conrad Black, chairman of Hollinger International Inc., which owns more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers in Canada, the United States, Britain, Israel and Australia. ... Perle uses these papers and others to trumpet his anti-Saddam sentiments and to tangle with political figures [who oppose] the Perle line on Iraq. ... Perle is a top executive of Hollinger Digital Inc., which is the media management and investment arm of Hollinger. Perle is listed on various corporate boards through his association with Hollinger.
For proof that you can back the US even as you oppose Bush, look no further than the tens of millions of Americans who voted against him in 2000 (greater in number, lest we forget, than those who voted for him).So you can be pro-US and anti-war at the same time, but:
Those Americans were not anti-American. They love their country, but they didn't like Bush or where he planned to take America.
Not that suspicion of the current US administration is entirely down to the war.
Long before it, Bush had earned serious, global unpopularity. When he tore up the Kyoto Accord on climate change he seemed to be telling the world to go to hell - if America wanted to pollute, then no bunch of foreigners was going to stop it.
Bush defenders say that was not his fault: the US senate had already blocked Kyoto in Bill Clinton's day. But tone matters in politics and Bush's tone was that of an upright finger directed at the rest of the planet.
I'm sorry we live in such a world that people feel so compelled to silence any view that differs from their own. This country is very divided right now as a result of the actions of one who called himself a "uniter". I wish it were not this way but it is, perhaps next November will give us a change and some hope for the future.And in response to Sgt. Ferriol's fate, a reader of the Item writes:
If Mr. Ferriol hadn't made it clear that it was the United States Marines he had been a member of, I would have thought the events leading up to him leaving the military had occurred in the Soviet Union.Dark days, friends. I've really appreciated Marine's Girl's insights into the war. Guess I'll add this to my list of reasons to hate this evil man, his administration, and everything they stand for.
Since the Mr. Simpson, who wrote to Ferriol's superiors, has clearly checked his brain at the door to the temple of George Bush, it appears that such mindless obeisance to Republican authority is the watchword of the military establishment of today.
Watch out, you all, the feds might come for you some day, too.
Villagers in Fiji's rugged mountain interior wept Thursday as they apologized to descendants of a British missionary killed and eaten by their ancestors more than 130 years ago.
The inhabitants of the tiny settlement of Nubutautau and the descendants of the Reverend Thomas Baker were taking part in a complex reconciliation ritual, which the villagers hope will lift a curse they blame for an extended run of bad luck.
Cannibals killed Baker in 1867 and ate him after a perceived slight against the then village chief, even boiling his leather boots with the local vegetable, bele, in an act which villagers say resulted in the curse.
"The tears were from our hearts deep inside because we have waited for so long for this moment," village spokesman Tomasi Baravilala told Reuters. "That's our belief, we are Christians and today we will be set free from the curse."
One Black Hawk slammed into the roof of a house in Mosul's Bab Sinjar neighborhood. The second hit a school building. Somehow, neither appears to have inflicted civilian casualties in the crowded residential area near the city center.
A U.S. officer at the scene soon after the crashes said a rocket-propelled grenade had hit the tail rotor of one Black Hawk. Witnesses said it then collided with the second.
"I was watching TV when I heard a large explosion," said local man Mohammad Badran. "I looked outside the window and saw two helicopters. One was flying low and was on fire. The other was higher up. The first one climbed and hit the higher one."
Scientists from the United States have created a simple virus from scratch, assembling more than 5,000 DNA building blocks, which they say could eventually lead to genetically-modified organisms able to eat carbon dioxide and clean the environment.
The idea provoked immediate opposition from environmental campaigners who branded it "very dangerous and a bit madcap" and warned that such organisms could run amok.
[Genome maverick Craig Venter's] team has developed a new technique to assemble large pieces of DNA with relative ease and unprecedented speed. The technique, which will not be patented, allowed the complete genome of a small virus to be synthesised in just 14 days, the scientists revealed on Thursday.
But the method equally makes it much simpler to manufacture a deadly virus for use as a bioweapon. The simple precursors needed would be impossible for governments to keep out of the hands of would-be biowarriors.
“If London, around the Queen’s palace anyway, needs to look like the 51st state for a couple of days, then that’s what’s gonna happen.” This was the assured view last week of one US security official in Washington … and what the US wants, it is used to getting.
Queen Elizabeth has rejected a request from President George W. Bush's advisers to boost Buckingham Palace's defences against a terrorist attack during his state visit this week.
"They [the Americans] wanted blast- and bullet-proofed windows and curtains and some strengthening to the walls of the president's suite and other rooms at the palace where he would be spending time. The president's security men seem obsessed with the idea of an airborne attack on the palace," a royal official said.
"Her majesty takes the view that no amount of strengthening of windows and walls could protect the president in such an eventuality and that the work would cause disruption and involve discarding original fixtures and fittings."
"Terror is not thwarted with bombs or helicopters," said Shalom, who asked rhetorically: "Why does this increase terror? Because it is overt, because it carries an element of vindictiveness."
"I don't want to add more fuel to this," said a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "These, of all people, should have known this is the worst time to conduct public debate on these issues."
The official said creating the image that "Israel is falling apart at the seams" could prompt Palestinian organizations to "intensify terrorist activity."
"I believe it is in the forefront in the minds of many soldiers that we were lied to about the reasons for going to war," Macek told the radio audience.
The bulk of Macek's criticism comes over what she said was a lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction. "We have been there for six months now, and we have not found any weapons," said Macek. "If there were weapons it seems we should have found them by now."
She made the mistake of identifying herself and believing that she had a right to free speech. I'll repeat again, soldiers do not have a right to free speech even though they should. If you speak out Pro-Bush, Pro-War nothing will happen to you..it might even advance your career but if your message is the opposite you will be punished.
It was not until the 1960s that the school lifted the rule prohibiting students from going to movies. For generations, students were barred from dancing -- on campus or off -- unless it was with members of the same sex or a square dance.
WE BELIEVE that God directly created Adam and Eve, the historical parents of the entire human race; and that they were created in His own image, distinct from all other living creatures, and in a state of original righteousness. WE BELIEVE in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting punishment of the lost, and the everlasting blessedness of the saved.
Dushuqiang (pronounced doo-shoo-CHIANG') is said to be 100 times deadlier than cyanide. Just 5 milligrams - a dusting - can kill a human being, and it remains widely available despite a ban dating to the mid-1990s.
On Thursday, in the south-central province of Hunan, a man upset because his affair with a married woman was ending tried to poison her children, state media reported.
One died, but not before he shared rat poison-laced popcorn and oranges with his young classmates, killing a second child and sickening 25 others. The man, Wei Entan, 26, tried to kill himself with poison but police stopped him, the Beijing Morning Post reported....
In January, China executed Huang Hu, 29, a kindergarten owner in Guangdong province who sickened 70 children by mixing Dushuqiang into salt at a rival school's kitchen. The students and two teachers suffered spasms and vomiting. Reports said Huang blamed the rival school for the failure of his own kindergarten.
Berlusconi's statement came as a surprise because he has been a staunch ally of the US administration in the conflict and he is one of the few European leaders who has contributed troops to help rebuilding Iraq.
Berlusconi did press for a UN resolution before the war but had not said publicly before that he tried to talk Bush out of the conflict. He did not elaborate.
Womder how many of these stars have head a weapon in the movies and blew some one way.
Talk about hypocrisy, Oh I forgot liberals aren't hypocrites cause they don't have any morals.
Wow, this story was done by the Boston Globe, World Net Daily, and others last week. I guess the BBC had to wait to "research" those articles.
No worries, I was really making a comment on how the BBC took a longer time reporting this and that a number of previous articles sounded very familiar to this one (if you know what I mean).
I am glad you posted this, it makes me wonder (again) how many people at the BBC really work, copy, or make things up.
The joke is on the BBC. Almost all of those people on that list have, at one time or the other, hired armed guards.
They're really not against guns, just the idea that some of their fans might own some.
Yeah, let those stars jump up there and add their names, give them a chance to make 100% of their profits from over seas enemy markets instead of the 75% they make now.
[Quoting from the BBC article:]the NRA says stars like Sean Connery......have all "lent their names and notoriety to anti-gun causes
So guns are fine for Her Majesty's Secret Service but not for the average citizen. ....Very disappointing, Sean.
[Quoting from the BBC article again:]When he was governor of Vermont, a state with a large number of hunters, Howard Dean said he opposed any form of gun control.
He has modified that position and now says he supports the ban on assault weapons, along with all the other candidates.
Who knows for sure what any politician believes, or if it really matters anyway. They are bought and sold whores singing the praises of the highest bidder.
In all major crime categories except for murder and rape (where the figures are unreliable on both sides of the Atlantic), Britain now has higher crime rates. For robbery, assault, burglary, and auto theft, Britain is a worse place than the US. Even the gap in the murder rate has narrowed, falling from 10 times as many murders per head in the US as in Britain, to 6 times as many (due entirely to the fall in the US rate).
Why has this happened? There are many theories, mostly concentrated on American-specific factors such as the role of guns in self-defense. But a recent study, by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics and Britain's Cambridge University, came up with a very interesting suggestion. Referring to serious and violent crimes, the report said: "An offender's risk of being caught, convicted, and incarcerated has been rising in the United States but falling in England."
In other words, if you are a criminal you are more likely to get away with it in the UK than in the US, and the difference in likelihood is getting greater.
This is an important conclusion. In some ways, it shows that the American incarceration experiment has worked - although the study also shows that length of sentence is unimportant, and harsh mandatory sentences for nonviolent, minor drug crimes strike me as bizarre. It also shows that British anticrime efforts that have veered off the road of custodial punishment have had a counterproductive effect.
In the most dramatic action, about a dozen Bradley armored vehicles used 25mm cannons to destroy a warehouse used by anti-U.S. forces in southern Baghdad. A special forces AC-130 Spectre gunship also took part from the air, targeting the warehouse with precise fire.
"The facility is a known meeting, planning, storage and rendezvous point for belligerent elements currently conducting attacks on coalition forces and infrastructure," the Pentagon (search) said in a statement from Washington. "The destruction of this structure will deny enemy forces any use of it in the future."
"The 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, published in June, defines a 'McJob' as 'a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement.'
The fast-food giant's chief executive, Jim Cantalupo, called the definition a 'slap in the face' to the 12 million people who work in the restaurant industry, and demanded that Merriam-Webster dish up something more flattering.
But the dictionary publisher said Tuesday that it 'stands by the accuracy and appropriateness' of its definition."
'The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,' he said. 'We're getting the language into its final shape -- the shape it's going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we've finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words -- scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won't contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.'
More Iraqis are losing faith in the U.S.-led coalition occupying their country and are increasingly likely to support insurgents fighting against it, a CIA report says. ... Increasingly aggressive tactics by U.S. forces, such as last weekend's "show of force" aerial raids and mortar attacks, could backfire by alienating more Iraqis, the CIA officials worry. ...
Senator John McCain, a Republican, told a CBS television program on Wednesday that "time is not on our side." He characterized those recent attacks as "very intelligent moves that bad people are making."
"Insurgents bombed an Italian military police headquarters in the southern town of Nasiriyah Wednesday, killing at least 25 people."...The news jarred Italians, who have not experienced such a lethal attack since World War II. At the White House President Bush offered his sympathy, support and gratitude for Italy's role in the U.S. led Iraqi operation. "Today in Iraq, a member of NATO -- Italy -- lost some proud sons," Bush said. " . . . We appreciate their sacrifice," he said, adding, "I appreciate the steadfast leadership of Prime Minister [Silvio] Berlusconi, who refuses to yield in the face of terrorism." ...
And at a roadblock in Fallujah, a restive city west of the capital, U.S. troops fired on a truck carrying live chickens Tuesday night, killing five civilians. "They went to bring chickens . . . and they came back at 9 or 10 at night and we were waiting for them," Khalid Khalifa Jumaily, whose two nephews were killed on the truck, told the news service. "The Americans fired on them." The U.S. military said it no immediate information on the shootings.
"Rumsfeld said the troop-level question is 'one that I ask almost weekly and every single military leader in Iraq answers that question, 'Yes, we do have a sufficient number of U.S. forces.''
'Needless to say, if at any moment the military commanders indicated that they need more U.S. troops, I would certainly recommend it to the president and we would increase the number of troops but the advice we're getting is just the opposite,' he said.
Rumsfeld noted that the number of Iraqis serving in security forces is rising steadily and may soon exceed the number of U.S. troops on the ground.
Asked if U.S. commanders might be sugarcoating their reports, the defense secretary insisted: 'What I want to hear is the truth. And I hope they're telling the truth and you believe they're telling the truth and if they're not, they're not serve [sic] their country very well because I have no bias one way or the other.'
'I'm perfectly willing to recommend to the president we increase the number of forces if in fact, that is in the best interest of this country,' Rumsfeld said, adding that the numbers of new recruits and re-enlistments have been 'very positive' despite the rigors of war. "
A Fairbanks man was arrested on accusations that he confronted anti-war protesters and kicked a puppy belonging to one of them. ...
The group tried to ignore Atwood even as he aggressively stood in front of them, troopers wrote. He reportedly approached one protester who had a leashed puppy and kicked it, charging documents said.
After that, Tinsley told Atwood that his behavior was unacceptable and Atwood shoved him, according to the affadavit. It said Atwood even confronted troopers and asked one of them, "What have you done for your country?"
“America, under Bush, is a danger to the world,” Soros said. Then he smiled: “And I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.”
Soros believes a “supremacist ideology” guides this White House. He hears echoes in its rhetoric of his childhood in occupied Hungary. “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans.” It conjures up memories, he said, of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (“The enemy is listening”): “My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me,” he said in a soft Hungarian accent.
"The intelligence process is a bit like virginity," says Ray McGovern, who worked as a CIA analyst for 27 years. "Once you prostitute it, it's never the same. Your credibility never recovers.
"Watching what has happened with Iraq over the past several months has been like watching your daughter being raped." ...
Mr McGovern worked near the very top of his profession, giving direct advice to Henry Kissinger during the Nixon era and preparing the President's daily security brief for Ronald Reagan. Now he is co-founder of a group of former CIA employees called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, or Vips for short. ...
"Now we know that no other President of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably ... The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything."
It will, Mr McGovern believes, take a change of president and a change of CIA director to even begin to repair the damage done by what he sees as an overt politicisation of the intelligence business. But even that may not be enough....
A former Fox executive noted that the revelation of staff salaries was likely to cause dissension in the ranks and predicted it would lead to a parade of executives looking to renegotiate their contracts.Newman observes, "It gets harder and harder to seriously refer to Fox as being involved in 'journalism' in any meaningful sense; they betray every serious value of free expression and truth, from lawsuits to internal censorship."
"If a senior vice president at one network finds out his counterpart at another network is making $30,000 more than he is, he's going to march into his boss's office to make up the difference. It will be a huge pain," the former executive said.