Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The 8 Habits of Highly Successful Creative People



Dina Zaman just sent me this link to a href="http://www.kerismith.com/WishJarTales/womenwriters.htm"an inspiring piece on writer/illustrator Keri Smith's blog/a.br /br /Smith talks about how at times when she feels low, she finds herself drawn to inspiring books, mainly biographies :br /blockquote style="font-style: italic;"...that speak of survival, triumph over adversity, and the need to create through all else. /blockquote She mentions the journals of women writers including May Sarton, Annie Dillard, Natalie Goldberg, Anais Nin, Maya Angelou and Colette, and asks herself :br /span style="font-style: italic;"/spanblockquotespan style="font-style: italic;"How did these women find the constant courage and confidence to believe in themselves? /span/blockquoteShe believes the answer lies in the many similarities they share, and draws up a list that I think should be useful to the rest of us :br /ulli span style="font-style: italic;"All possess a obvious passion for nature, a connection with something greater than themselves, many of them connect this with memories of childhood. Several bought houses in the country to encourage this./span/lili style="font-style: italic;" There is a deliberate connection to other artists/writers/creators, a sharing of ideas, or a need to be coinspired by someone who is also creating. Creative gatherings, dinners, support groups, cafe meetings, letter writing, afternoon teas./lili style="font-style: italic;" They all seem somewhat “comfortable” with solitude and have a need or at least the ability to spend quality time alone. /lili style="font-style: italic;" There is an capacity for self motivation, all find various ways to shift perception get a fresh perspective on the world and their lives. Inspiring walks, travel to foreign lands, learning new skills, reading, cooking, exploring, /lili style="font-style: italic;" All experience pain, they choose to feel it intensely. They also move triumphantly beyond it creating a well of strength from which they draw from./lili style="font-style: italic;" They possess the ability to see magic in the ordinary, the gift of mindfulness./lili style="font-style: italic;" All have moments of gratefulness and compassion./lili style="font-style: italic;" They all do something decadent to pamper themselves regularly. May Sarton bought fresh flowers for herself every week! That nourishment theme again.br //li/uldiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7912730-4504983880258850700?l=thebookaholic.blogspot.com'//div

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Stop doing your back rows on the upright bench, you fucking asshole



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SkLxGCruhiI/AAAAAAAADzM/_FyTRSYFgpg/s1600-h/p6271699dt.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 200px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SkLxGCruhiI/AAAAAAAADzM/_FyTRSYFgpg/s200/p6271699dt.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5351104393371354658" border="0" //aGym etiquette was at an all-time low Wednesday.br /br /The gym was fucking packed, smelled like the inside of a vagina that had just been shit in and was hotter than a sauna. Bad start.br /br /It's late, I'm tired, I'm in a shitty mood and all I want to do is get in and out of the gym, hassle free.br /br /It's my time for some shoulder press. For that exercise, I (and everybody else on this fucking planet) prefer a bench with a short back, like pictured above. My gym has two of these benches.br /br /I go to the bench and see another dude standing by it, yet it's not marked with a towel or anything. I ask him if he's using it, sort of putting my stuff down as I ask. He says that he is. I ask him how many sets he has and he says he just started. OK, whatever, I'll come back.br /br /Then as I move on with my workout, I see Fuckface doing this:br /br /a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SkLy0atfVqI/AAAAAAAADzc/zTcc8wPwGvg/s1600-h/WFB350_400x400.jpg"img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 200px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SkLy0atfVqI/AAAAAAAADzc/zTcc8wPwGvg/s200/WFB350_400x400.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5351106289606809250" border="0" //abr /You fucking cocksucker. There are like five of those flat benches at my gym, yet this joke decided to do his rows on one of two benches clearly NOT designed for rows. And he did like 10 FUCKING SETS!!! I had to use some shitty bench not designed for shoulder press (but probably perfectly designed for rows).br /br /Go jump off Niagara Falls, you piece of shit.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/19679634-5467292562950408019?l=zachls.blogspot.com'//div

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John Piper on Entertainment



a href="http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2009/4023_Why_I_Dont_Have_a_Television_and_Rarely_Go_to_Movies/"Read John Piper on why he does not watch television or go to many movies. /aI agree with him entirely on this. Too many Christians have made deep compromises with the world in these areas. We need to take the Bible seriously (and its Author) and repent. Is it any wonder the American church is not growing, that worldliness is epidemic, and that few know either the fear or power of God?div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/14410967-2732496449504968921?l=theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com'//div

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Pakistan to get live feed from UAVs looking for Taliban



a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/world/asia/30drone.html?hp"NY Times:/abr /br /blockquote a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/world/asia/16pstan.html" title="Times article"As Pakistan escalates military operations against a top Taliban leader/a, the United States has resumed secret military surveillance a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier" title="More articles about unmanned aerial vehicles."drone/a flights over the country’s tribal areas to provide Pakistani commanders with a wide array of videos and other information on militants, according to American and Pakistani officials. pThe sharing of real-time video feeds, communications intercepts and other information with Pakistan’s military is considered essential in the country’s campaign to help hunt down the a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/taliban/index.html?inline=nyt-org" title="More articles about the Taliban."Taliban/a leader, a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/baitullah_mehsud/index.html?inline=nyt-per" title="More articles about Baitullah Mehsud."Baitullah Mehsud/a, and destroy his hideouts and forces in the country’s northwest, the officials said. /ppThe increased intelligence cooperation comes as the Obama administration is also speeding the delivery of transport helicopters, body armor and other equipment that Pakistan’s military has requested to help combat Mr. Mehsud and to prepare for a major offensive in the militant leader’s stronghold in South Waziristan, a mountainous region abutting the border with Afghanistan. /ppThe noncombat surveillance flights along the border are different from the flights of armed a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/central_intelligence_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org" title="More articles about the Central Intelligence Agency."C.I.A./a-operated drones that have attacked several Taliban targets in recent months and days. Last Tuesday, a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/world/asia/25pstan.html" title="Times article"an American drone strike on a funeral in Pakistan’s tribal areas/a missed Mr. Mehsud by hours, a Pakistani security official said. /ppResponding to Pakistan’s renewed request for sophisticated surveillance information gets around, at least for the moment, the tensions surrounding the administration’s refusal to grant repeated requests by President a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/z/asif_ali_zardari/index.html?inline=nyt-per" title="More articles about Asif Ali Zardari."Asif Ali Zardari/a of Pakistan that his country be given its own armed Predator drones to attack fighters of a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/al_qaeda/index.html?inline=nyt-org" title="More articles about Al Qaeda."Al Qaeda/a and the Taliban in the mountainous tribal areas. /pAmerican intelligence operatives who conduct the armed drone flights inside Pakistan remain opposed to joint operations with Pakistani intelligence services, pointing out that past attempts were failures. Several years ago, American officials gave Pakistan advance word of planned Predator attacks a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/washington/11policy.html" title="Times article on the distrust between military services"but stopped the practice after the information was leaked to militants/a.br /br /...br /br /The agreement allows the Pakistani military to request that the American military drones fly noncombat surveillance missions over certain swaths of territory in South Waziristan where it suspects militant activity, the American official said. Video feeds from the drones are relayed to a joint coordination center at a border crossing at the Khyber Pass, where a Pakistani military team monitors the video and sends it to command centers in Pakistan, the official said.br /br /...br //blockquoteIt makes sense to help Pakistan go after our common enemy, particularly Mehsud who is responsible for mass murder attacks on both sides of the border. I suspect he also has significant ties to al Qaeda.br /br /Pakistan is unlikely to get its own Predators while they are in such short supply for US needs. The plants that make them are working around the clock and still cannot keep up with demand.br /br /The Times makes an interesting distinction between the CIA flights which target specific terrorist and the military intelligence flights. The military is the one that denies involvment in the attacks and the CIA is the one that refuses to comment.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-2334099950604890213?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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Secretary of state's Web site goes on the fritz



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IabUCQmoheQ/SkRYLL84FdI/AAAAAAAAL1c/IMNqk8vv7VM/s1600-h/Herrera,+Mary.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 120px; height: 160px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IabUCQmoheQ/SkRYLL84FdI/AAAAAAAAL1c/IMNqk8vv7VM/s200/Herrera,+Mary.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5351499206432921042" border="0" //ap class="MsoNormal"The secretary of state’s a href="http://www.sos.state.nm.us/" target="_blank"Web site/a has been in various stages of not working right -- and sometimes not working at all -- for several days now./p p class="MsoNormal"On Tuesday, I noticed that the campaign reporting and disclosure databases were down. By Wednesday, the entire Web site had slowed to a snail’s pace./p p class="MsoNormal"This morning, the site was running more smoothly, but the searchable databases were still offline. Tonight, the entire secretary of state’s Web site -- a href="http://www.sos.state.nm.us/" target="_blank"http://www.sos.state.nm.us/a -- is offline./p p class="MsoNormal"I’m not the only person who has noticed it. Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Steve Terrell noted the problems today on a href="http://roundhouseroundup.blogspot.com/2009/06/thursday-morning-meditations.html" target="_blank"his blog/a./p p class="MsoNormal"So what’s up? I asked A.J. Salazar, Secretary of State Mary Herrera’s elections director, earlier today. Here’s how he replied in an e-mail:/p p class="MsoNormal"“Our networks are currently down for maintenance and security,” he wrote./p p class="MsoNormal"I asked for more detail, including how long the Web site will be down./p p class="MsoNormal"“We are addressing issues as revealed and recommended through the security assessment. We are proceeding with this course of action until the issues are fully addressed,” he wrote. “We are working toward this end and will bring all systems up when we are complete.”/pp class="MsoNormal"span style="font-size:130%;"span style="font-weight: bold;"Remember the new database I saw last week?/span/spanbr //p p class="MsoNormal"Salazar first told me about the “security assessment” a href="http://haussamen.blogspot.com/2009/06/previewing-improved-campaign-reporting.html"earlier this week/a. I had been directed by a source to the project to improve the Web site’s campaign reporting and disclosure database. The site was unpublicized but accessible to the public, if you had the Web address./p p class="MsoNormal"I was eager to see the under-construction and long-delayed project, and as I perused it a week ago I was impressed. But on Sunday, that page on the secretary of state’s Web site went down. Salazar told me Monday that the under-construction project was taken offline because the office was going through the security assessment of its entire Web site.span style="" /spanAt the time, he said nothing about the old database or the rest of the secretary of state’s Web site also being taken offline./p p class="MsoNormal"At any rate, Salazar did tell me that the department of information technology was requiring the security assessment, which hadn’t been done in the secretary of state’s office in recent memory. With candidates and others being able to input information about their campaign activity into the site’s database, he said the assessment was important to make sure the data could not be manipulated./p p class="MsoNormal"Salazar told me Monday that he hoped the new site would be ready for testing sometime this summer and ready to go live later this summer or at least before the next candidate reporting deadline in October./p p class="MsoNormal"But now, only three days later, Salazar isn’t even predicting when the old system or the rest of the office’s Web site will be back up, saying only that the office is working to address “issues” revealed during the “security assessment” and will “bring all systems up when we are complete.”/p p class="MsoNormal"Hmm…/pdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23370090-5971795635110843392?l=haussamen.blogspot.com'//div

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Canada “seriously concerned” about Honduran coup – but you’d never know it



A

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Congrats Silverfish



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PddQ8xLinAc/SkWFYFrFfwI/AAAAAAAAG4s/uP34F7GTrbQ/s1600-h/happy_10th_birthday.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 98px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PddQ8xLinAc/SkWFYFrFfwI/AAAAAAAAG4s/uP34F7GTrbQ/s200/happy_10th_birthday.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5351830381085949698" border="0" //aSilverfish Books a href="http://www.silverfishbooks.com/writing.html"celebrates its 10th birthday today with a party for its friends/a today at 5 - 7 p.m. My congrats to Raman and thanks for opening a space for local writers and literature.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7912730-5135253775149533063?l=thebookaholic.blogspot.com'//div

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Obama hypocrisy watch



a href="http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjJjZDViZGNhOWJmMjhlOWJjY2E1NWM0NTNkOGRjNzM="Jim Geraghty:/abr /br /blockquotep class="blog_text"I'm glad that people are noticing that when Obama's chief advisor David Axelrod a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/28/AR2009062802408.html" target="_blank"won't rule out the possibility/a of taxing employer-based health insurance, that's it's a major reversal of Obama's campaign rhetoric. I just wish more folks noted just how much of Obama's campaign message was based on this — a href="http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjAzZjYzNGJmYTM0Y2RlNmUzYjc4ZTFlMDljM2YzYjM=" target="_blank"$44 million on 16 different attack-ad commercials/a ripping McCain for proposing the very same idea./p span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;"When a man won't even stand by his attack ads, he's really without principles/span. (Emphasis added)br /p/pp...br //p/blockquoteI think we will find more of this in Obama. In fact we already have on indefinite detention and military tribunals etc. He is a man willing to change positions without blinking. It just goes to show he is willing to say anything to get elected.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-610590413322484475?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/B/BOOTLEG_DETERGENT?SITE=FLTAMSECTION=US



you'll be amazed... just click itdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/8437766-8033791036335299887?l=columbialibertarians.blogspot.com'//div

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Last day of school....



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nFfOyMtCRys/SjAHelPtDHI/AAAAAAAAA00/zGSfIX7ZqlI/s1600-h/laptop-beach.jpg"img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 221px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_nFfOyMtCRys/SjAHelPtDHI/AAAAAAAAA00/zGSfIX7ZqlI/s320/laptop-beach.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5345780979664227442" //a It's the last day of school and I am trying to be in the moment this summer.br /br /But right now "trying" feels more like a wrestling match. All I can think about is how will I get any work done? I will have to focus my writing energy into fewer hours. Maybe that's a good thing because the effort will have to be more concentrated. br /br /My daughter is old enough to entertain herself, but I am afraid that if I retreat into my office long enough to really write, she'll end up watching a ton of TV.br /br /So I may be signing off until Monday, when day camp starts up and I can more easily carve out my writing time again.br /br /I the meantime, check out my a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Mojo-Mom/36156717891"Mojo Mom page on Facebook/a for links and quick updates, or a href="http://twitter.com/mojo_mom"follow me on Twitter!/adiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/8494775-3397379151592221412?l=mojomom.blogspot.com'//div

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Sotomayor discrimination case overturned



a href="http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/court-reverses-sotomayor-decision-on-firefighters-2009-06-29.html"The Hill:/abr /br /blockquote/blockquoteblockquoteThe Supreme Court on Monday narrowly reversed a controversial decision written by President Obama’s nominee to join the body, giving conservative groups a chance to take issue with Judge Sonia Sotomayor even as her confirmation looks increasingly likely.br /br /Justices reversed the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Ricci v. DeStefano, a case that has been at the heart of conservative opposition to Sotomayor's nomination.br /br /...br /br /Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited a violation of Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion. The Court's conservative wing, including Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, joined Kennedy, who is often the court’s swing vote.br /br /...br /br /However, the fact that the court disagreed with Sotomayor is sure to inflame right-leaning groups that oppose her nomination. The conservative Federalist Society has already scheduled a conference call for reporters for Monday morning, while other groups will use the decision to highlight Sotomayor's so-called reversal rate -- the number of times her opinions have been overturned by the high court.br /br /...br //blockquoteIt will give her some more questions to answer and make some liberals squirm a little, but in the end she will probably be approved despite her poor judgment in this case.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-6683353045356206752?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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Petronas says NO to Omar Ong



a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Az7aX_dORNk/SjIrs0QjKcI/AAAAAAAAD8o/AYQvmerK_Ds/s1600-h/omar+ong+-+eisenhower+foundation.jpg"img style="MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px; WIDTH: 200px; FLOAT: left; HEIGHT: 172px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5346383756584495554" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Az7aX_dORNk/SjIrs0QjKcI/AAAAAAAAD8o/AYQvmerK_Ds/s200/omar+ong+-+eisenhower+foundation.jpg" //abr /divspan style="font-size:180%;"Rejected./span The Board of Petronas has said no a recommendation to appoint Omar Ong as a Director on the Board of the national oil corporation. /divdiv /divdiv/divdivPetronas has a tradition of not taking back a former employee and Omar Ong, the Ethos Consulting boss who is often linked to the so-called 4th Floor operations under the Abdullah administration, is an ex-employee. /divdiv /divdiv/divdivBut given the perception that Omar Ong is close to the current Administration, the decision by the Board of Petronas is quite sensational./divbr /divDr Mahathir Mohamad is Advisor to Petronas. /divbr /divRead my earlier story a href="http://rockybru.com.my/2009/05/ethos-boss-is-petronas-new-director.html"Ethos' boss is Petronas' new director?/a/divdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/28452020-2524248625428540702?l=rockybru.com.my'//div

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Israel Ditches the LCS



It appears that the Israelis have ditched plans to purchase the a href="http://defensenews.com/story.php?i=4160683amp;c=FEAamp;s=CVS"Littoral Combat Ship:/abr /blockquote In a radical revamp of its surface fleet modernization program, the Israel Navy has shelved long-held plans to purchase Lockheed Martin-produced Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), as well as a fallback option involving corvetees built by Northrop Grumman.br /br /Instead, sources say, the Navy is pushing to establish a combat shipbuilding industry through customized, locally built versions of a a href="http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/meko/"German corvette design./a/blockquotebr /The German option is a longer, larger version of the A-100 corvette. This is interesting, because there are multiple potential Israeli motivations. br /br /The central tasks of the Israeli Navy are to prevent infiltration into Israel, prevent smuggling into Gaza, and support IDF land operations in Lebanon and Gaza. There's good reason to think that the LCS would do all three of these jobs better than the A-100. As Galrahn has pointed out repeatedly, the LCS is best understood as a mothership for small boats and UAVs, and not as a surface combatant. These capabilities give it the capability to monitor and act in a substantial portion of Israel's sea space, and also to contribute to operations on land. The LCS was originally envisioned as the Navy's contribution to network-centric warfare, extending surveillance and fire capability across the littoral (which includes both the sea and the coast). This fits in well with the IDF's vision of how war ought to be fought. The LCS was also conceived in response to the threat presented by swarms of small, fast boats, which is exactly the problem that Hezbollah and Hamas might pose in the maritime sphere. The LCS is also some 16 knots faster than the A-100, giving it the ability to respond more quickly to problems, and to evacuate itself more quickly from dangerous situations. Although it's unclear that the Israelis would have much use for the LCS' modular nature, it's fair to say that the LCS is a *much* more capable platform than even a modified A-100. br /br /That said, there are good reasons why the Israelis would prefer the A-100. First, the technology is much more mature, and the design is operationally tested. The first littoral combat ships remain in trials, and won't be used operationally for some time. They might not achieve full operational capacity for quite a while. Second, the cost of the LCS is much higher than the A-100. To this day, no one quite knows how much a fully operational LCS will cost. For a state more focused on its land frontiers than its littoral, the less expensive corvette makes some sense. Third, the LCS isn't necessarily a street fighter. No modern warships can be expected to have a lot of staying power, but the LCS is particularly vulnerable because of its light construction. The LCS also costs more per unit, which means that more Israeli treasure is bound up in a specific ship. This matters, because people occasionally fire surface-to-surface missiles at Israeli ships, and also sometimes blow up small boats next to Israeli vessels. Finally, it appears that the modified A-100s will be built in Israel, and job-creating defense projects are always popular with politicians. br /br /The wild card is this; while the Israeli decision to quit the LCS can be explained purely through military and economic factors, you have to wonder whether there's also a political motivation. Given recent assertions about Israel's capacity to "go it alone," and mildly increasing tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu over settlements, it's possible to read this as a message to US defense contractors (and perhaps more importantly, to US congress-critters) that Israel can say no, and that there are potential economic consequences for playing hardball. Now, just because an action can be read as a message doesn't mean that a message is being sent, and I may well be over-interpreting the Israeli decision on this point. br /br /See a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/%7Er/InformationDissemination/%7E3/JIfIS2YnANo/israel-says-no-thanks-to-lcs.html"also Galrahn. /adiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7163938-1588354418857247560?l=lefarkins.blogspot.com'//div

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WBWJB: What Book Would Jesus Burn?



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_78ZrJuZ3q5g/Sjc8_6zI7CI/AAAAAAAACPI/OjXuvubCoL4/s1600-h/maziarka.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 400px; height: 332px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_78ZrJuZ3q5g/Sjc8_6zI7CI/AAAAAAAACPI/OjXuvubCoL4/s400/maziarka.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5347810151338929186" border="0" //aDemented Christianists, the local Jesus-centered version of Islamists, are on the rampage in Wisconsin. Their antics are clownish and show nothing but contempt for the basic values of American freedom.br /br /Let me try to explain what happened in Wisconsin to rile up these fanatics. The local library carried a book. Christianists aren’t fond of books. I guess them “edecated folks” tend to “stop trusting the Lord” and such. But one particular book horrified these people—a relatively simple feat. The book was span style="font-style: italic;"Baby Be-Bop/span, geared toward high school students. The story is part of a popular series by Francesca Lia Block. The main character in this story is struggling with telling his friends he’s gay. And saying the word “gay” in the presence of fundamentalists is like saying “Jew” to a beer hall full of Nazis.br /br /Since the book does not damn to hell the main character, the Christianists in West Bend created a “group” called “Citizens for Safe Libraries.” They aren’t worried about out-of-control carts full of books, or paper cuts; they are worried that people will get any knowledge that doesn’t first pass muster with the Holy Word of God as interpreted by them. They marched on the library, demanding that the book be moved to the adult section of the library “to protect children from accessing them without their parents knowledge and supervision.”br /br /I hate to say it, but by the time “children” reach high school and can hopefully read on their own, the last people who have any “supervision” over what they read are the parents. It’s far too late by then folks. so get used to it. The kids have minds of their own. I suspect that one thing that bothers the Christian Right about young people today is that most of them think the Religious Right is one heaping pile of bull turds. And in the opinion of this old fart, that’s putting it mildly.br /br /The local politicians, afraid of the Christian lynch mob, told the library board that the members who opposed hiding the book would not have their contracts renewed. Cowards, but then they are typical politicians.br /br /This group, in reality is Ginny Maziarka and her husband, Jim. Ginny loves the Bible, though, if her photo is any indication, not necessarily the verse in Proverbs that says: “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” Every now and then Ginny puts down her doughnuts and pulls herself off the sofa and campaigns for God and morality. Unfortunately, her campaigns mean that she wants political power used on her behalf. So her campaigns are always about using state coercion against others. She doesn’t mind. I suggest she might have a different opinion if Citizens Against Busybodies and Obese, Opinionated Self-righteous Ego-maniacs (or CABOOSE) decided to force her to exercise or give up brownies and cake for breakfast.br /br /When Ginny started cataloguing all the books she wanted placed in a restricted section, she eventually found 82 such books. I bet she could find a lot more if she actually read these books but I suspect she gets lists from other fundamentalists and then merely checks if the books are in her library. She also decided that the library should put warning stickers on the books. I actually like that idea; nothing is more likely to get a teen to read a book than a warning sticker saying it shouldn’t be read by teens. Of course, if one were to restrict books with incest, orgies, murder, rape, and violence then the Bible would be restricted as well. Mark Twain suggested that this book was unfit for any child.br /br /Ginny has the support of another fundamentalist group: Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. They tell parents that a bad book is one with “vivid descriptions of sex, violence, vulgar language or something else objectionable to you.” And when it comes to books like this, they want to protect the “right” of students “not to be exposed to it.” Some of the bad books they list on their website include span style="font-style: italic;"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/span, span style="font-style: italic;"The Power of One/span, span style="font-style: italic;"The Name of the Rose/span, span style="font-style: italic;"The King Must Die/span, span style="font-style: italic;"The Confessions of Nat Turner/span, span style="font-style: italic;"The Color Purple/span, span style="font-style: italic;"The Chocolate War/span, span style="font-style: italic;"Snow Falling on Cedars/span, span style="font-style: italic;"Shogun/span, span style="font-style: italic;"River God/span, span style="font-style: italic;"One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest/span, span style="font-style: italic;"Kaffir Boy/span, span style="font-style: italic;"In Cold Blood/span, span style="font-style: italic;"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings/span, span style="font-style: italic;"Happy Endings are All Alike/span, and span style="font-style: italic;"Exodus/span.br /br /Ginny’s campaign backfired, since other parents immediately formed West Bend Parents for Free Speech because they didn’t feel that this gaggle of fundamentalists had the right to restrict access to books for everyone. Maziarka told the library board that all books with any neutral or positive reference to homosexuality “either not be carried or that they be put in a reference section to protect children….” They did not cite anything specific about books on gay issues, only that all such books be either removed or segregated from public view. In their place, they wanted Christian religious books that promise to “cure” gays through prayer and religion.br /br /In spite of political intimidation, the library board voted unanimously to ignore the demands by Maziarka to hide books that she found offensive. And now things get really batty. A grossly misnamed group, the Christian Civil Liberties Union, a style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);" href="http://activepaper.olivesoftware.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=V0JETi8yMDA5LzA1LzAyI0FyMDAxMDE=amp;Mode=HTMLamp;Locale=english-skin-custom"has filed a law suit/a against the library, claiming that their carrying books that born again lunatics don’t like is a violation of the civil liberties of Christians. This group is seeking $30,000 in compensation for every Christian who is supposedly traumatized because the library has books that they have never read, never intend to read, and possible can’t read. According the CCLU these Christians “say their mental and emotional well-being were damaged” because the library had books contrary to their viewpoints. This is what they call “civil liberties!” They also are asking the City Attorney to call a grand jury to investigate books that “offend the plaintiff’s Christian beliefs.” All such books, they contend, must be removed from public libraries. “We don’t want it put in a section for adults. We’re saying it's inappropriate to have it in the library, and we want it out or destroyed.” Yep, “destroyed,” maybe we can burn a few books. And like all good censors, eventually we might be able to burn a few authors as well. Hell, if we get to burn gay authors it will be like Christmas. Whoopee! Don’t we all just love Jesus?div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23782041-4676623212771176421?l=freestudents.blogspot.com'//div

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Chavez, Correa threaten Honduras



a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE55R1S820090628?sp=true"Reuters:/abr /br /blockquoteVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday put troops on alert after a coup in Honduras and said he would respond militarily if his envoy to the Central American country was kidnapped or killed.span id="midArticle_1"/span pChavez said Honduran soldiers took away the Cuban ambassador and left the Venezuelan ambassador on the side of a road after beating him during the army's coup against his leftist ally, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya./pspan id="midArticle_2"/span pThe Honduran army ousted Zelaya and exiled him in Central America's first military coup since the Cold War, after he upset the army by trying to win re-election./pspan id="midArticle_3"/span pChavez said on state television if his ambassador to Venezuela was killed, or if troops entered the Venezuelan Embassy, "that military junta would be entering a de facto state of war. We would have to act militarily ... I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert."/pspan id="midArticle_4"/span pEcuadorean President Rafael Correa, part of a coalition of leftist governments headed by Chavez that includes Honduras, said he would support military action if Ecuador's diplomats or those of its allies were threatened./pspan id="midArticle_5"/span pThe socialist Chavez has in the past threatened to use his armed forces in the region but never followed through. He said that if a new government is sworn in after the coup it would be defeated./pspan id="midArticle_6"/span p"We will bring them down, we will bring them down, I tell you," he said, while hundreds of red-shirted supporters gathered outside Venezuela's presidential palace in solidarity with Zelaya./pp...br //p/blockquoteIt sounds like the socialist are threatening to interfere in another countries internal affairs. This is happening the day after their socialist allies in Argentina were a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,529353,00.html"decisively defeated/a. It sounds like he is trying to manufacture a pretext for intervention. He might get away with it if he tried, because Hillary's state department appears to be on his side for some strange reason.br /br /In a a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090629/wl_afp/honduraspoliticsmilitarycoup_20090629100154"later report/a AFP said:br /br /blockquote...br /br /In Honduras however, Micheletti brushed off worldwide condemnation of the takeover. p He "had came to the presidency not by a coup d'etat but by a completely legal process as set out in our laws," he said. The curfew would end on Tuesday, he added./p p Micheletti issued a direct warning to Chavez, saying Honduras is determined to "go to war" if case of external interference on the part of "this gentleman."/p p The interim leader said he had information that several batallions of troops were being prepared outside of Honduras for intervention./p p "I would not want anybody to have the courage to do that because our armed forces are ready to defend the country," he argued./pp...br //pbr //blockquoteIt appears that the teachers union are the main supporters of the former President.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-645812630741388869?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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Jesus said, "Pork is OK, but Fags no way!" (Actual quote)



Of course both a href="http://waldolydeckersjournal.blogspot.com/2009/06/somewhere-in-hell-daniel-j-cassidy-is.html"Waldo/a and I are going to hell for this. But at least that means I'll have a drinking buddy with whom I can discuss the French Revolution throughout eternity.br /br /Too large to post here, a href="http://www.geocities.com/patrick_farley/gayMarriageChart-large.png"you bMUST/b visit the flow chart overview on the arguments regarding same-sex marriage/a.br /br /Warning: if you are drinking coffee it may come out through your nose. Or else you may simply cry.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7893272060787897238-281211988535097547?l=delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com'//div

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Literary London



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PddQ8xLinAc/SkTEZUXwlEI/AAAAAAAAG4c/QXLpdVfFJRw/s1600-h/london.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer; width: 192px; height: 200px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PddQ8xLinAc/SkTEZUXwlEI/AAAAAAAAG4c/QXLpdVfFJRw/s200/london.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5351618196467127362" border="0" //aLondon is the literary capital of the world? a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/boyd-tonkin-literary-london-is-dead-good-riddance-1719381.html"Not any more, according to Boyd Tonkin in today's span style="font-style: italic;"Independent/span/a:br /span style="font-style: italic;"blockquoteOur carnival of pluralism rolls merrily on, fit adornment for a global city-state. Yet, a mere generation ago, literary life in London meant something utterly alien to today's cosmopolitan sprawl. In the post-imperial capital that staggered on into the Thatcher era, many aspiring writers still hankered for a single focus of authority. Outsiders might travel hopefully in search of an entrée to this inner sanctum. Look at VS Naipaul's mortifying early career. But few doubted that some secret chamber of wisdom and patronage persisted - if only they could find the door. ... br //blockquote/spandiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7912730-8519209693094762031?l=thebookaholic.blogspot.com'//div

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Bland shined light on housing authority problems



a style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IabUCQmoheQ/SkkvUDSjuXI/AAAAAAAAL2E/3z37qECF80A/s1600-h/Bland,+Gary.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 120px; height: 160px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IabUCQmoheQ/SkkvUDSjuXI/AAAAAAAAL2E/3z37qECF80A/s200/Bland,+Gary.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5352861653633579378" border="0" //ap style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"a href="http://www.sic.state.nm.us/about_SIO.htm" target="_blank"Gary Bland/a may be taking -- and may or may not deserve -- a lot of heat for his role in the state’s a href="http://haussamen.blogspot.com/search/label/Investment%20scandal"investment scandal/a. But he also deserves credit for standing up against a href="http://haussamen.blogspot.com/2009/06/primer-on-housing-authority-scandal.html"shenanigans/a in the state’s housing authority system./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"That’s the conclusion the Albuquerque Journal’s Thomas Cole drew in a href="http://www.abqjournal.com/upfront/27234141upfront06-27-09.htm" target="_blank"an article/a published Saturday in which he wrote that Bland “kept the public light shining on the (Region III Housing Authority) when others would have preferred it be turned off.”/p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"I’ve covered the housing authority scandal since the beginning -- writing my first article on it about two weeks before Cole wrote his in early 2006 -- and I’ve witnessed the same thing./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"Many will say the a href="http://www.sic.state.nm.us/" target="_blank"State Investment Council/a (SIC) and Bland haven’t gone far enough in taking on people tied to the housing authority scandal. Some will point out the fact that the chairman of the state Democratic Party works for the law firm the SIC hired to try to recover bond money lost when most of the system collapsed in 2006./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"Regardless, Bland has taken some strong action despite pressure from powerful people. His office declared Region III in default on $5 million in bonds in 2006, declining a request for an extension because Region III wouldn’t provide requested financial info./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"Then the SIC started an investigation. The agency presented preliminary findings about the widespread misuse of bond money to the Legislative Finance Committee in August 2006./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"From the Journal:/p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"/pblockquote style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"p class="MsoNormal"“Those findings were the beginning of the end at the housing agency. (Former Region III Director Vincent ‘Smiley’) Gallegos resigned the same day they were presented to the LFC./p p class="MsoNormal"“But some legislators -- including pals of Gallegos from his days in the Legislature -- didn’t take kindly to the work of Bland’s office. Gallegos’ defense became their talking points./p p class="MsoNormal"“Some insisted the housing authority would have been able to repay the bonds if just given more time by the State Investment Council. We know today that never would have happened./p p class="MsoNormal"“At the LFC meeting, House Speaker a href="http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legdetails.aspx?SPONCODE=HLUJA" target="_blank"Ben Lujan/a, D-Santa Fe, chided Bland for how his office had contracted the accountants and lawyers to review the housing agency.”/p/blockquotep style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"/p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"Gallegos is a former House member, and he and Lujan are old pals. After Gallegos left office, he became a lobbyist and spent a lot of time in Lujan’s office during legislative sessions./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"In addition to the SIC suing Gallegos and another former Region III official to try to recover the lost bond money, Bland’s office forwarded its probe to prosecutors, who recently a href="http://haussamen.blogspot.com/2009/06/housing-authority-indictments-are.html"indicted Gallegos and others/a./p p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" class="MsoNormal"All that is evidence, Cole writes, that Bland “did right” in the case of the housing authority scandal. I think it’s fair to say that, without the work of Bland and the SIC, we wouldn’t know the full extent of the misuse of public money in the housing authority system./pdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23370090-8682734554822247475?l=haussamen.blogspot.com'//div

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Martin Jacques and Will Hutton on China



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_eYYOIBdveaY/SkFFEK_59gI/AAAAAAAABAs/9LSveCyLhb8/s1600-h/china.jpeg"img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 136px; height: 110px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_eYYOIBdveaY/SkFFEK_59gI/AAAAAAAABAs/9LSveCyLhb8/s320/china.jpeg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5350633770267047426" border="0" //abr /br /Martin Jacques and Will Hutton a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/22/china-asia-west-democracy" had a debate in the Guardian on China /a. Martin Jacques seems to think that China will find its own path to modernity, one that is different from the West. He also argues that the Chinese state is organic to Chinese society, in a way that Western states aren't. Jacques also talks of China as a 'civilization-state' rather than a nation-state. Hutton disagrees with him - he thinks China's political and economic model is dysfunctional and has to change.br /br /I tend to agree with Hutton on this. Although China's economy has grown rapidly in the last 20-30 years, it has done so on the basis of exporting manufactured goods. The room for growth in this direction is limited by the capacity of export markets to absorb Chinese imports. As other developing countries develop their export sectors, China may also lose market share in export markets to countries like Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria, India and so forth.br /br /And, politically, I agree with Hutton that China ought to democratise. Although democracy can take different forms in different societies, the current political set-up in China is not democratic. People can not vote for alternative candidates for president or prime minister. People can not elect a legislature in multi-party elections. Additionally, basic civil liberties often seem to be absent. There are restrictions on freedom of the press, freedom of movement and freedom of association. There are restrictions on the ability of free trade unions to organise.br /br /The key issue to me seems that a way needs to be found for opponents of the government there to get their views across to the public. That is what a free press and free media is about. And, when there is democratic discourse in the public arena, voters can make informed judgements as to who they wish to elect to power. This would be better for China than a rigid, single-party authoritarian set-up.br /br /Jacques talks of China as a 'civilization-state' rather than a nation-state. It is true that China has a long history of unity. It is also through that people often talk of 'Chinese civilization'. However, the countries of the West themselves talk of 'Western civilization'. Just because there are numerous nation-states that lay claim to Western civilization doesn't change the fact that there is a nuanced history of it going back centuries. The difference in China is that political unity has existed for the bulk of the time - whereas this has not been the case in Europe. This is not necessarily a good thing, though. The disunity of European states arguably caused competition between them that spurred innovation in technology and social institutions. Perhaps that did not happen to the same degree in China.br /br /Jacques also makes much of China's homogenity. He says 92% of the population would describe themselves as Han Chinese. It does seem that the historical tradition of being in the same country - and a common written language - has fostered a common ethnic identity among the majority of the inhabitants of China. However, in such a large country as China, there are plenty of national minorities as well. I would argue that, because it considers itself the guardian of a great tradition of Chinese civilization and Chinese culture, the regime is too contemptuous of the rights of national minorities. National minorities are not able to exercise their rights of self-expression and self-determination. This is particularly the case with Tibetans and Uighurs. A more powerful China would not be good news for Tibetans and Uighurs unless the country's government is reformed in such a way as to give them autonomy and a sense of belonging based on civic rather than ethnic nationalism. Jacques contracts himself when he talks of China being 92% homogenous and then talking of its diversity. I think the problem is that the rigid political system does not recognise the diversity of the country.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/38622711-6816177627795150762?l=vinospoliticalblog.blogspot.com'//div

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Forum: RM12.5 billion PKFZ Scandal - Will Heads Roll?



The cost has blasted out of proportions. DAP Parliamentary Leader, Lim Kit Siang exclaims that it is an “astronomical rip-off, a can of worms that has turned out to be a pit of crocodiles and alligators.”br /br /In 2007, the Ministry of Finance extended a RM4.6 billion soft loan at 4% interest rate to PKA to salvage the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project. Now, it appears that they will have to extend an additional RM3.56 billion loan to cover the cashflow deficit over the next 20 years! As projected by PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC), this restructured financing will cost an additional RM5 billion in interest costs over the next 42 years!br /br /The question now is, will heads roll over Malaysia's record bailout scandal, especially with existing Barisan Nasional leaders implicated by the project? Should the government continue to support the project with up to RM8.56 billion in tax payers' monies or should it cut losses and make better use of the funds for the rakyat in other more productive means?br /br /A public forum is being organised on the issue as follows:br /blockquotepVenue : KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jalan Maharajalela, KL (a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=enamp;ie=UTF8amp;oe=UTF8amp;msa=0amp;msid=108708461296726565225.00045c154700d50601761amp;ll=3.137849,101.696438amp;spn=0.009213,0.00809amp;z=17"MAP/a)br /Date : 10 June 2009br /Time : 8.00 pm/p p/p/blockquotepPanelist : /p ullia href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramon_Navaratnam"Tan Sri Dr Ramon Navaratnam/a - Transparency International Malaysia President, prominent Malaysian economist, former Transport Ministry Secretary-General/lilia href="http://cyusof.blogspot.com/"Captain Yusof Ahmad/a - former pilot superintendent of the Klang Port Authority and pioneer general manager of West Port/lilia href="http://www.chichang.net/"Teh Chi Chang/a - Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng/lilia href="http://tonypua.blogspot.com/"Tony Pua/a - DAP Publicity Secretary, MP for PJ Utara/lilia href="http://blog.limkitsiang.com/"Lim Kit Siang/a - DAP Parliamentary Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur/li/ulAll are welcome! Please invite friends.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/37045477-4245299595446072493?l=tonypua.blogspot.com'//div

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Inside the mind of a fundamentalist



embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://foxnews1.a.mms.mavenapps.net/mms/rt/1/site/foxnews1-foxnews-pub01-live/current/videolandingpage/fncLargePlayer/client/embedded/embedded.swf" id="mediumFlashEmbedded" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" bgcolor="#000000" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" quality="high" name="undefined" play="false" scale="noscale" menu="false" salign="LT" scriptaccess="always" wmode="false" flashvars="playerId=videolandingpageamp;playerTemplateId=fncLargePlayeramp;categoryTitle=amp;referralObject=5660812amp;referralPlaylistId=playlist" height="275" width="305"/embedbr /br /This discussion with Southern Baptist minister Wiley Drake is a good example of the sort of warped, hateful thinking that is common in fundamentalist Christian circles. These people are seriously deranged.br /br /Note: The link at Fox news seems not to be working. Until it is fixed allow me to explain the essence of the interview with this member of the American Taliban. Rev. Drake says that he regularly prays that God will kill President——eventually the Rev. will get his wish, of course. No doubt he'll take that as proof of something but since everyone dies eventually it is a safe request. Rev. Drake tells one caller that he's speaking for God and that this is what God wants.br /br /The contradiction are obvious but contradictions don't bother fundamentalists. If a god wants Obama dead then Obama would be dead. If Obama ia not dead, and he isn't, then that either means this god doesn't want him dead right now, contrary to Rev. Drake's absurd claims, or this god exists entirely in Rev. Drake's vicious imagination. This vicious imagination is important as I contend that what these fundamentalists do is project their own petty bigotries and ignorance onto the god they contend exists. People who have a "judgmental god" are themselves judgmental. They god they invent is merely a enlarged version of themselves. In essence these individuals are idolaters who are worshiping a glorified images of themselves.br /br /If the link doesn't work a style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);" href="http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=videolandingpageamp;streamingFormat=FLASHamp;referralObject=5660812amp;referralPlaylistId=playlist"try going here/a.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23782041-6453878036333450571?l=freestudents.blogspot.com'//div

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Kevin Page Suffers From Revisionist History



A

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Sunday Book Review: Second World



This is the fourth installment of a seven part series on the a href="http://www.uky.edu/PattersonSchool/files/SummerReading.pdf"Patterson School's Summer Reading List./abr /br /ollia href="http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2008/08/sunday-book-review-world-of-nations.html"World of Nations, William Keylor/a/lilia href="http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2008/08/sunday-book-review-bottom-billion.html"The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier/a/lilia href="http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2009/06/sunday-book-review-hide-and-seek.html"Hide and Seek, Charles Duelfer/a/liliSecond World, Parag Khannabr //li/olIf you like Tom Friedman, but think that his concepts are too concrete, that he doesn't illustrate his points with enough random conversations with locals, that his conclusions aren't sufficiently sweeping, that he spends way too much time defining key terms, that he doesn't contradict himself enough, that he does too much research, that he could substitute stereotype for analysis a bit more often, that he doesn't have enough contempt for existing work in the field, and that he's insufficiently arrogant, then you'll absolutely frakkingspan style="font-style: italic;" love/span Parag Khanna. a href="http://www.amazon.com/Second-World-Redefining-Competition-Twenty-first/dp/0812979842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8amp;s=booksamp;qid=1246137884amp;sr=8-1"Second World/a is almost certainly the worst book that I've ever read on international politics.br /br /That is all.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7163938-1820852905387919647?l=lefarkins.blogspot.com'//div

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Hillary and Hugo work to undermine Honduras constitution



a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124623220955866301.html"Mary Anastasia O'Grady:/abr /br /blockquotepHugo Chávez's coalition-building efforts suffered a setback yesterday when the Honduran military sent its president packing for abusing the nation's constitution./p pIt seems that President Mel Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking./p pBut Honduras is not out of the Venezuelan woods yet. Yesterday the Central American country was being pressured to restore the authoritarian Mr. Zelaya by the likes of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo himself. The Organization of American States, having ignored Mr. Zelaya's abuses, also wants him back in power. It will be a miracle if Honduran patriots can hold their ground./ppThat Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress./p pBut Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do./p pThe top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused./p pCalculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court's order./p pThe attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica./p pIt remains to be seen what Mr. Zelaya's next move will be. It's not surprising that emchavista/ems throughout the region are claiming that he was victim of a military coup. They want to hide the fact that the military was acting on a court order to defend the rule of law and the constitution, and that the Congress asserted itself for that purpose, too./p pMrs. Clinton has piled on as well. Yesterday she accused Honduras of violating "the precepts of the Interamerican Democratic Charter" and said it "should be condemned by all." Fidel Castro did just that. Mr. Chávez pledged to overthrow the new government./p pHonduras is fighting back by strictly following the constitution. The Honduran Congress met in emergency session yesterday and designated its president as the interim executive as stipulated in Honduran law. It also said that presidential elections set for November will go forward. The Supreme Court later said that the military acted on its orders. It also said that when Mr. Zelaya realized that he was going to be prosecuted for his illegal behavior, he agreed to an offer to resign in exchange for safe passage out of the country. Mr. Zelaya denies it./pp...br //p/blockquoteMany in the liberal media have adopted the language of a "coup" to describe the ouster of a President who tried to ignore the rule of law. But, in this case it was a President who was operating outside the law. Would these same leftist have supported President Bush if he had done the same thing? Of course not. This is about a failed power grab in a country where the other institutions rose up and defended the governing document.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-792155795481690831?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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The Mao Zedong?



Fascinating; the a href="http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/06/22/chinese-want-mao-to-project-power-on-high-seas/"unscientific popular choice/a for the name of China's first aircraft carrier is span style="font-style:italic;"Mao Zedong/span:br /blockquoteBut which was the runaway favorite in two polls conducted earlier this month? Mao Zedong.br /br /He may have been a monster to you and me. The number of Chinese who died as a result of his policies runs into the tens of millions. But to many, if not most people here, Mao remains – for all his faults, even when they are admitted – the father of the nation; his memory is endowed with supernatural powers.br /br /Indeed, his name alone “has deterrent force,” believe some of the respondents, according to the International Herald Leader, a daily paper owned by the official Xinhua news agency, which commissioned one of the polls.br /br /But there could be a drawback. “Aircraft carriers are used in battle, and they could get damaged,” the Herald Leader points out. “If that happened to a carrier named Mao Zedong, it might hurt ordinary people’s feelings.”/blockquotebr /In such a naming scheme, would Mao be followed by Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping? Then maybe Chen Yun and Yang Shangkun? Would an aircraft carrier serve as the ultimate redemption for Liu Shaoqi or (less likely) Lin Biao? Or is Mao singular enough that you could name the rest after cities or provinces? A note of caution to the Chinese; you start out by giving an aircraft carrier the name of a a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Franklin_D._Roosevelt_(CV-42)"legendary leader/a, and you end up with the Carl Vinson and the John C. Stennis. br /br /a href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/InformationDissemination/~3/ev-1ySvgnmw/mao-for-power-projection.html"Via Galrahn./adiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7163938-2841034461145100124?l=lefarkins.blogspot.com'//div

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Forum: New America, One Malaysia



span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"“New America, One Malaysia” Forumbr /A Prelude to the 2009 a href="http://www.asiasociety.org/asia21/"Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit/abr //spanbr /The Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit is an annual active network, since 2006, for some 200 dynamic emerging leaders from the Asia-Pacific and the US, to build relationships and engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and cultural exchange. The summit, is also the highlight of Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, to gather exceptional young leaders of tomorrow from every country in the Asia-Pacific and US region and from various disciplines, and to provide a platform for these young leaders to network across geographic boundaries, develop collaborative approaches to shared challenges, and educating each other in the highest ideals of values-based leadership.br /br /As a prelude to this year’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit 2009, which is hosted by Malaysia, a forum featuring outstanding Malaysian young leaders and Jamie Metzl, the Executive Vice President of Asia Society, will be held as follows:br /br /span style="font-weight:bold;"“New America, One Malaysia:Young Leaders And The Global Agenda for Change”/spanbr /blockquoteDate : 3 Jun 2009 (Wed)br /Time : 8pmbr /Venue : Bintang 1 amp; 2 Conference Rooms,br /Relish Floor, JW Mariott Hotel,br /183 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 55100br //blockquotePanelists:br /ullispan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"Jamie Metzl/span, Executive Vice- President, Asia Societybr //lilispan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"Khairy Jamaluddin/span, Member of Parliament for Rembaubr //lilispan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"Tony Pua/span, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utarabr //lilispan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"Premesh Chandran/span, Founder amp; CEO, Malaysiakinibr //lilispan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"Jacqueline Ann Surin/span, Co-Founder amp; Editor, The NutGraphbr //li/ulModerator:br /ullispan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;"Suryani Senja Alias/span, Senior Vice-President, Khazanah Nasionalbr //li/ulAll are welcome and attendance is free.span class="fullpost"br /br /a href="http://www.asiasociety.org/asia21/presskit/bio-jamiemetzl.do"About Jamie Metzl/abr /br /The feature of the forum is Jamie Metzl, the Executive Vice President of Asia Society. During his government service in the White House, the Department of State and the U.S. Senate, Dr. Metzl has held important appointments including Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs on the National Security Council and Deputy Staff Director and Senior Counselor of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.br /At the White House, he coordinated U.S. government international public information campaigns for Iraq, Kosovo, and other crises. A Khmer speaker, he was a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) from 1991 to 1993, where he helped establish a nation-wide human rights investigation and monitoring unit for Cambodia.br /br /He holds a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history from Oxford University, a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, and is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. Dr. Metzl has completed five ironman triathlons and 20 marathons.br /br /a href="http://asiasociety.com/"About Asia Societybr /br //aAsia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia. We seek to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture.br /br /Asia Society was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd. Initially established to promote greater knowledge of Asia in the U.S., the Society today is a global institution.Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Seoul, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, DC. As economies and cultures have become more interconnected, the Society's programs have expanded to address Asian American issues, the effects of globalization, and pressing concerns in Asia including human rights, the status of women, and environmental and global health issues such as HIV/AIDS./spandiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/37045477-10268417259259526?l=tonypua.blogspot.com'//div

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The iron fist terrorizing Iran



a href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,633144,00.html"Dieter Bednarz:/abr /br /blockquotep class="spIntrotext"strongTehran is in a state of emergency as the government continues its increasingly brutal crackdown against protesters. Hardliners and opposition politicians are searching for a compromise behind the scenes, but Iran's supreme leader is refusing to make any concessions./strong/p script type="text/javascript" !-- OAS_RICH('Middle2'); // -- /script pThe pressure must be great indeed when someone like Abbas Abdi no longer wants to talk. Whether as a revolutionary or a reformer, Abdi, 51, has never lacked courage and a willingness to take risks. During the 1979 occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran, he was one of the first to scale the embassy walls. With his calls to "fight against global arrogance," he became the most famous of the hostage-takers that held more than 50 US citizens captive for 444 days./ppBut Abdi was also on the front lines when it came to criticizing the Iranian theocracy. A few years after the revolution, he sharply attacked the mullahs, accusing them of corruption and nepotism. He knows the inside of Tehran's notorious Evin prison well as a result. And yet Abdi continues to fight for liberalization and democracy./p pBut even Abdi has been left speechless by the brutality with which the regime is currently proceeding against critics of the supposed election victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The veteran politician rejects calls to his mobile phone if he sees a foreign number on the screen. He also politely but firmly declines to take calls on his landline, even when he knows the caller. Speaking in hushed tones, as if this could prevent the Iranian secret police from hearing his words, he reminds the caller of the consequences for Iranians of having contact with foreigners, especially journalists./pp.../ppGiven the charged atmosphere, regime critics like Abdi could very well be accused of committing treason simply for giving an interview -- and the penalty for treason in Iran is death. The pogrom-like mood in Tehran has spread fear, especially now that the dreaded Tehran chief public prosecutor has assumed control over all investigations into "agitators" and has set up a "special court" to deal with such cases./ppWill the so-called "Green Revolution" die at the hands of the Islamist justice system, which, for the past 30 years, has crushed all attempts to deviate from the precepts of the religious scholars who control the country? In the wake of mass protests against election irregularities, the country has been hit by a a href="http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,k-6949,00.html" target="_self" title="wave of arrests and repression"wave of arrests and repression/a not seen in Iran since the bloody early years of the republic..../pp.../ppThe influential Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei considers Khamenei's involvement in the election fraud -- whether he was notified in advance or merely gave his blessing to the fraud after the fact -- to be "iharam/i," or sin. The revolutionary leader's position requires him to remain neutral. Mohsen Kadivar, an imam and religious philosopher, speaks for many scholars when he says, referring to Khamenei: "He reminds me very much of the shah, who, in the end, was only concerned with preserving his regime."/pp...br //p/blockquoteThere is much more. The iron fist appears to be containing the rebellion at this point, but yesterday there was further violence at a demonstration that had been approved by the government. br /br /They may be able to suppress the outward expressions of anger, but as the rebellion goes inward it has the potential to boil over again in ways that the regime cannot predict. The regime would like to blame it on people outside the country, but most of the outsiders are just observers who are appalled by what they see.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-4411537706786117720?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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Charges include fraud and money laundering



p style="font-style: italic;" class="MsoNormal"span style="font-size:130%;"At least some counts against Gallegos and others in the housing authority case relate to a loan made under the guise of purchasing land in Las Cruces/span/p p class="MsoNormal"Former Region III Housing Authority Director Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos is facing a number of felony charges including fraud, embezzlement and money laundering, with at least some of the charges related to a $300,000 loan Region III made to Gallegos in 2005./p p class="MsoNormal"That’s according to a href="http://www.haussamen.com/HousingAuthorityIndictments.pdf" target="_blank"the indictments/a against the four defendants in the case that were publicly released today./p p class="MsoNormal"Gallegos, a former state legislator from Clovis, is charged in two separate indictments with a total of 12 felony counts including fraud, embezzlement, the fraudulent sale of securities and money laundering. He faces a maximum of 72.5 years in prison if convicted on all counts./p p class="MsoNormal"Three other defendants are facing felony charges in the case. Dennis M. Kennedy, the former Region III accountant, is facing the same charges and potential prison time as Gallegos./p p class="MsoNormal"Robert Strumor, the former Region III bond attorney, is facing charges including fraud and money laundering. He faces a maximum of 31.5 years in prison if convicted on all counts./p p class="MsoNormal"Former Region III employee David N. Hernandez is facing one charge of tampering with evidence, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 18 months./p p class="MsoNormal"The scandal first captured headlines in 2006 when Region III defaulted on $5 million in bonds it owed the state. The a href="http://www.haussamen.com/FinalSICReport.pdf" target="_blank"State Investment Council/a (SIC) and a href="http://haussamen.blogspot.com/2009/01/housing-authorities-were-colossal.html"state auditor/a have found widespread misuse of the bond money, which was supposed to be spent on affordable housing./p p class="MsoNormal"The indictments don’t include much information about what prosecutors allege happened, but do indicate that many of the charges relate to the $300,000 loan. According to the SIC’s report on its investigation, Region III purchased the 30 lots in Las Cruces on Oct. 8, 2004 for $138,678./p p class="MsoNormal"But on Jan. 10, 2005, Region III loaned its construction company, Housing Enterprises, Inc., $300,000 and referenced the purchase of the lots in Las Cruces, though they had already been paid for. Housing Enterprises then sent the money to U.S. Title for the purchase of the Las Cruces properties. The title company then wrote a check to “V. Gallegos” for $300,000./p p class="MsoNormal"The next day, the HEI board approved the loan, the SIC report states, citing minutes of a meeting that “cryptically state that just prior to adjournment, ‘Mr. Gallegos discussed a loan agreement on personal property which was approved by the board.’”/p p class="MsoNormal"Gallegos repaid the loan, with 6.25 percent interest, on July 31, 2006, the day before he resigned./pdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23370090-374998008193575183?l=haussamen.blogspot.com'//div

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A job-share success story



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_nFfOyMtCRys/Sju08eygfgI/AAAAAAAAA10/rCYDn_u6-04/s1600-h/annameghan"img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 100px; height: 100px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_nFfOyMtCRys/Sju08eygfgI/AAAAAAAAA10/rCYDn_u6-04/s400/annameghan" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5349067933582654978" //a I am so proud of Mojo Advisory Circle members Meghan Gosk and Anna Millar. They shared the story of their successful job-share position ona href="http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_798_Two_Women_One_Big_Job.mp3/view" span style="font-style:italic;"The Story With Dick Gordon/span/a yesterday, which is broadcast nationally on about 100 stations.br /br /Anna and Meghan worked hard from scratch to write the business plan to convince UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School to allow them to share the position of Associate Director of the MBA Program. As far as we know, they are the first job-share partners in the UNC system. They've shown how valuable a job share team can be to the university: it's key to think of it as a job span style="font-style:italic;"share,/span not a job split. They are both empowered to make decisions, and UNC gets two smart people thinking about every challenge that comes their way. They generally split the time in the office, but can both come in together during busy seasons, such as orientation or special training and conferences. br /br /Meghan and Anna embody the best of what Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write about in their new book a href="http://www.amazon.com/Womenomics-Write-Your-Rules-Success/dp/0061697184/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8s=booksqid=1245427242sr=8-1"span style="font-style:italic;"Womenomics./span/a It can be done by real people! I look forward to the day when job share, with proportional benefits, and ongoing opportunity for promotion, becomes a standard option for employers to consider as a smart way to utilize a smart talent pool.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/8494775-2434443539512571506?l=mojomom.blogspot.com'//div

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Americans care more about pets than people



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SjhjAqIlOEI/AAAAAAAADws/g8-7CNE8k18/s1600-h/michael_vick_dog.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 306px; height: 320px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SjhjAqIlOEI/AAAAAAAADws/g8-7CNE8k18/s320/michael_vick_dog.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5348133420463896642" border="0" //aTorture some dogs, go to jail for 19 months; hit and kill a person while driving drunk, a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4262751"spend 30 days in the clink and get span style="font-style: italic;"probation/span/a.br /br /Seems like the gap between Michael Vick's dog slaying sentence and that of Donte' Stallworth's DUI manslaughter is rather wide.br /br /After all, they were just span style="font-style: italic;"dogs /spanspanhe slaughtered/span (cue the torch-carrying mob) while an innocent 59-year-old man was hit by a drunk driver.br /br /On the surface, it'd seem Stallworth's crime was far more severe, but the sentences would indicate otherwise. We think there are two key reasons for that:br /br /1. Stallworth's was a horrible, unthinkable accident that we wouldn't wish on anyone (how the hell do you live with that?). But he took complete accountability for his mistake. He handled the situation in as responsible a way as he could -- he cooperated with the police, didn't flee the scene after the accident and apologized profusely. As awful as a tragedy as this is, there's sympathy for apology.br /br /Vick tortured dogs. And didn't seem to think twice about it or feel any remorse for doing it. In many ways, it seemed he span style="font-style: italic;"enjoyed/span it. And he certainly wasn't sorry about it.br /br /2. Money. The family of the victim in the Stallworth case wanted their nightmare to end. A settlement helped do that. Vick wasn't afforded the same luxury; there's no number of doggy bones that could bring Buster back (bad joke. Sorry. But fuck you for not laughing. Jerk.).br /br /Maybe we're completely wrong on this (tell us if we are), but this seems like a pretty concrete example of how people have the willingness to forgive if responsibility is taken (this is a good thing. Steroid users, do take note).br /br /And that people fucking love animals. Kill animals and you're all sorts of screwed. Accidentally kill a pedestrian on the other hand while breaking the law...div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/19679634-7889106526797374480?l=zachls.blogspot.com'//div

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Understanding Sin



a href="http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=11961"Charles Colson writes /aof the fall of Governor Sanford and the ways of sin.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/14410967-7397275112704232300?l=theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com'//div

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I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think it Means: GAZPROM Edition



a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8118721.stm"Ahem:/abr /blockquoteRussia's energy giant Gazprom has signed a $2.5bn (£1.53bn) deal with Nigeria's state operated NNPC, to invest in a new joint venture.br /br /span style="font-weight:bold;"The new firm, to be called Nigaz, is set to build refineries, pipelines and gas power stations in Nigeria./span /blockquotebr /H/t Chet, via a href="http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/annals_of_bad_branding.php"TPM./abr /br /...the gods of blogging would strike me down if I failed to include this:br /object width="425" height="344"param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/xGbI87tyr_4hl=enfs=1"/paramparam name="allowFullScreen" value="true"/paramparam name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/paramembed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/xGbI87tyr_4hl=enfs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"/embed/objectbr /a href="http://duckofminerva.blogspot.com/2009/06/bonus-video.html"Via Dan./adiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7163938-5693859432057216034?l=lefarkins.blogspot.com'//div

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Orioles lost 6-6...wait....WHAT?



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SkGboSaYWXI/AAAAAAAADyU/IKLk4ddUFAE/s1600-h/Picture+2.png"img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 242px; height: 400px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SkGboSaYWXI/AAAAAAAADyU/IKLk4ddUFAE/s400/Picture+2.png" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5350728948732418418" border="0" //aHey, nice win for the Fish. Wait...WHAT???br /br /This is what happens when someone at Yahoo! Sports either has some fun or accidentally fucks up (we're leaning towards the fuck up, unfortunately).br /br /Hey, when things are going bad...br /br /(Florida actually won 7-6 in 12. Maybe.)div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/19679634-6690699859151057974?l=zachls.blogspot.com'//div

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WBWJB2: What Billboard Would Jesus Burn?



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_78ZrJuZ3q5g/SjdDLL55iZI/AAAAAAAACPQ/M-Qcj8QSi00/s1600-h/calvin.jpg"img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 400px; height: 291px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_78ZrJuZ3q5g/SjdDLL55iZI/AAAAAAAACPQ/M-Qcj8QSi00/s400/calvin.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5347816941979011474" border="0" //abr /Yet again the Christianists are on the march demanding that a billboard in New York City, for Calvin Klein jeans, be ripped down. One Christianist, who describes herself as a "Christian life coach" says, "what is portrayed on the billboard is highly closely related to child pornography." The headline for a style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);" href="http://www.examiner.com/x-9332-Louisville-Christian-Examiner%7Ey2009m6d16-Child-pornography-displayed-in-new-Calvin-Klein-billboard-ad#fragment-2"her article/a says: "Child pornography displayed in new Calvin Klein billboard ad?" Let's see, we have a "billboard ad" and a photo that is "highly closely related." She may be a life coach but a writer she ain't. But she assures us that her "passion for God comes out of her zany sense of humor, deep compassion, and zest for life." Oh, boy, another zany, zesty fundamentalist. What fun these people would be if they weren't spending their time trying to regulate and control everyone else!br /br /Racy it is, but pornographic? Come on. And if they want to claim these models are "children," then protect us all from these crazies.br /br /Basically, what has been happening in America is that the fundamentalist Right knows that people get terrified if they imagine their children are at risk. So the fundamentalists have slowly been redefining "child" to include people who are far from children. The laws have been made harsher and harsher for offenses that have nothing to do with children on the premise that they "protect the children." Pedophilia once meant a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. It has a style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);" href="http://www.psych.org/MainMenu/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2003NewsReleases/diagnosticcriteriapedophilia.aspx"a precise, clinical definition/a. Yet I have seen the term used in ways contrary to the actual definition. Instead of dealing with prepubescent children, it is now considered pedophilia for two teens to have sex with each other. I've even seen some people claim that pedophilia means any significant (but undefined) age difference between two consenting individuals, even if both are over the age of 21.br /br /The category of "child" is being expanded primarily because it gives a pretense for new laws regulating people. Both the Nanny Left and the Religious Right engage in this activity and for the same reason—they want to control people. This is dangerous, but if you speak against it, then the statists will swear you support abusing children. What sort of bastards use logic like that?div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/23782041-6648656895800834744?l=freestudents.blogspot.com'//div

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FOUL, you fucking idiots



a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SjHkT-advcI/AAAAAAAADv8/S4smI1GLHTs/s1600-h/Picture+1.png"img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer; width: 400px; height: 275px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mTIR6JMpzsI/SjHkT-advcI/AAAAAAAADv8/S4smI1GLHTs/s400/Picture+1.png" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5346305264488136130" border="0" //abr /How many game-tying threes in the final 10 seconds will it take before coaches realize that YOU CAN FUCKING FOUL! IT'S RIGHT THERE IN THE RULEBOOK! IF YOU MAKE CONTACT WITH THE OPPOSING PLAYER, HE GETS TO SHOOT span style="font-weight: bold;"TWO/span -- AS IN ONE FUCKING span style="font-weight: bold;"TWO/span -- FREE THROWS. You can breathe on a guy in the NBA and get called for a foul. Yet, when the game's on the line, let's let 'em take a three! Fuck, five minutes of extra basketball never hurt anyone.br /br /If I'm an Orlando fan, I'm pulling a Tanya Harding on Stan Van Gundy's fucking kneecaps. What a devastating loss. (But strong free throw shooting by Dwight Howard at least kept the Magic in the game.)div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/19679634-8586428349066561676?l=zachls.blogspot.com'//div

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Marine Corps special ops forces



a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2009/06/27/military/z41b8d7fb7951825e882575da00753663.txt"Mark Walker:/abr /br /blockquoteSgt. Graham Jacobs, a team leader with the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Pendleton, struggled for an answer to what he and his men did during a recent deployment to an untamed region of western Afghanistan.br /br /The Wyoming native said he was searching for a "politically correct" response.br /br /He was told that wasn't necessary.br /br /"OK," he said. "We ran around and killed a lot of bad people."br /br /...br //blockquoteThere is much more and it not that simple.br /br /Marines resisted special forces operations for several years because they though all Marines qualified as such. While qualified they did not do much of the behind the enemy lines type of operations that are being done now in Afghanistan. I think they have learned to appreciate the role of these forces in the overall combined arms operations.div class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/5051247-2325941201386670370?l=prairiepundit.blogspot.com'//div

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