Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This is just too cute...

Now, I've always been a fan of Chelsea Clinton. She's just about the same age as I am, and was going through the awkward teenage stage at the same time I was, but she kept her chin up, stayed out of trouble, and (unlike most kids in her position) didn't cause her parents any grief. She was a tough cookie. Seriously, she was able to sit through 8 years of talking heads calling her ugly, atrocious, awful looking, dog faced, goofy, and a ton of other harsh harsh words, too harsh to lay on a kid who basically was a really good and well behaved. By the way, these same people who called her such names are mainly Republican talking heads and compassionate conservatives.
Chelsea was the roll model for how a First Child should act. She was a role model for young women to look up to. She was confident, well spoken, and as firm a rock as her mother is. She has confidence, integrity, and is successful. And, unlike some First Children, had a job when she left college.
All of that makes this story all the more believable since evidently Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgo, an elected official in Kenya, thinks Chelsea is just the best and wants to marry her.
I'll let you read the story yourself.

Goats, cows offered for Chelsea

Wednesday, July 27, 2005; Posted: 3:38 a.m. EDT (07:38 GMT)


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A Kenyan says he offered Bill Clinton 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter's hand in marriage five years ago -- and is still waiting for an answer.

Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor told the East Africa Standard newspaper last week that he wrote to Clinton asking for Chelsea's hand in 2000 during the then-president's visit to Kenya.

Chepkurgor, a 36-year-old elected city councilor in Nakuru, recounted writing to the U.S president through the Kenyan government.

He described his plans for a grand wedding presided over by South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He named then-President Daniel arap Moi and the president of his university as references.

"Had I succeeded in wooing Chelsea, I would have had a grand wedding," he told the Standard in an interview published Friday during Clinton's recent visit to Kenya.

Chepkurgor said his letter praised Clinton's leadership and commended his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, for standing by her husband "like an African woman" in the face of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The electrical engineering graduate said he promised to pay his would-be father-in-law 20 cows and 40 goats in dowry for his only daughter in accordance with African tradition.

But he said the letter prompted security checks -- on him, his family and his classmates, and he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Nairobi for a meeting that he missed because of his graduation from university.

A National Security Intelligence Service officer told the Standard the letter probably never made it out of the office.

"We gathered that this man was a teetotaler and a staunch Christian who seemed to have been struck by Chelsea, and I thought maybe he just took the joke too far," he said.

Chepkurgor vowed to remain single until he gets an answer to his proposal to marry Chelsea, 25.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Voltron' Morphs to the Big Screen

This really brings me back to memory lane. I remember rushing home from first grade so I could watch Voltron in front of our old school Zenith wood trim TV. I'd get my toys together and transform Voltron into the robot right as the scene happened on my TV. We had the robot, the castle, the bad guy action figures, the good guy actions figures. The only thing I was probably into more than Voltron was Transformers, which is also being made into a movie (thanks to Spielberg).
Now, I don't have a problem with this being given the motion picture treatment. However, unless it's done the right way, I'd prefer for it not to be done at all. For example, Master of the Universe was a movie based on He-Man. At least, that's what the say it is. In reality, it was this piece of crap movie that totally destroyed what He-Man was, a neat cool universe separate from our own and unrestricted by reality. It was the true good versus evil, and good won, at least most of the time, and if they lost it was only because it was one of those rare two part episodes where the good guys ended up winning in the second episode anyway.
Back to my point, Voltron has a special place in my heart, as does Robotech, Thundercats, Transformers, and He-Man. I want to see these movies done right. I want to see them produced by someone who was a fan, someone who remembers the same awe that this show gave me when I was a kid, someone who truly knows the scope and vision this picture needs to be. You can't half ass something like this, it's just too big. Seriously, this robot is Godzilla size, maybe bigger. I'm confident Transformers will be cool since Spielberg is producing it and Michael Bay is directing. Spielberg is just nerdy enough that he "gets" Transformers and will make it work the way it needs to (that and according to his interview he knows this can be a big time franchise for him). I don't know if I can trust Mark Gordon or not. This can be a great adventure that the whole family can love. It's meant for kids but it's so awesome any dad will love it to. This can be a big cash cow for New Line or turn into the next Masters Of the Universe.
Only time will tell.

'Voltron' Morphs to the Big Screen
Tue, Jul 26, 2005, 02:07 PM PT

LOS ANGELES ( - There's been a dearth of giant robots lately, and the folks at New Line are only too happy to remedy that oversight.
Producer Mark Gordon ("The Day After Tomorrow") is making Gen X-ers happy by developing the feature "Voltron: Defender of the Galaxy," based on the primary-colored robot toy line and TV series from the 1980s, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Voltron" will follow in the footsteps of "The Transformers," another '80s series and toy that is being produced for the big screen.
If memory serves, Voltron is a mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. Voltron's legendary prowess spreads peace across the galaxy, until a new threat, the Drule Empire, joins the neighborhood. Now, five maverick explorer-pilots are called upon to learn how to operate the giant mechanical warrior, made up of five smaller robots.
Although there have been several Voltron incarnations, the most popular form (and most familiar to American audiences) is the one composed of five different "lions" manned by pilots. In the transformation sequence, the leader would often dictate what order to assemble the massive robot, ending with "And I'll form the head."
The Voltron phenomenon, which led to hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing, toys and merchandising, is still alive today, with the show in syndication around the world.
The Neptune's Pharrell Williams will executive produce (along with Mark Costa and Ford Oelman) as well as score the film and produce the soundtrack. "The Day After Tomorrow's" Mark Gordon will produce.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Administration and the Fury

This little gem comes from "Hemispheres", the in flight magazine of United Airlines. It's pretty creative if you ask me. For those of you wondering who I am, let me introduce myself. I'm The Big O's girlfriend. Your author likes to refer to me often, so I'm sure most of you feel like you know me. Well, enjoy this one!


The Administration and the Fury
If William Faulkner were writing on the Bush White House

By Sam Apple

Down the hall, under the chandelier, I could see them talking. They were walking toward me and Dick s face was white, and he stopped and gave a piece of paper to Rummy, and Rummy looked at the piece of paper and shook his head. He gave the paper back to Dick and Dick shook his head. They disappeared and then they were standing right next to me.

“Georgie s going to walk down to the Oval Office with me,” Dick said.

“I just hope you got him all good and ready this time,” Rummy said.

“Hush now,” Dick said. “This aint no laughing matter. He know lot more than folks think.” Dick patted me on the back good and hard. “Come on now, Georgie,” Dick said. “Never mind you, Rummy.”

We walked down steps to the office. There were paintings of old people on the walls and the room was round like a circle and Condi was sitting on my desk. Her legs were crossed.

“Did you get him ready for the press conference?” Dick said.

“Dont you worry about him. He ll be ready,” Condi said. Condi stood up from the desk. Her legs were long and she smelled like the Xeroxed copies of the information packets they give me each day.

“Hello Georgie,” Condi said. “Did you come to see Condi?” Condi rubbed my hair and it tickled.

“Dont go messing up his hair,” Dick said. “Hes got a press conference in a few minutes.”

Condi wiped some spit on her hand and patted down my hair. Her hand was soft and she smelled like Xerox copies coming right out of the machine. “He looks just fine,” Condi said.

Fine day, isn t it, Georgie, Daddy said. Daddy was pitching horseshoes. Horseshoes flew through the air and it was hot. Jeb looked at me. Stand back or one of his horseshoes is going to hit you and knock you down real good, Jeb said. Jeb threw the horseshoe and it went right over the stick and Daddy clapped. Run and get me that horseshoe, Georgie, Daddy said. I ran and picked up the horseshoe. The metal was hot in my hands, and I held it for a little bit and then I dropped it. I picked it up. It was hot in my hands and I started running away from Daddy and Jeb. Come back with that horseshoe, Daddy said. I was running as fast as I could. Jeb run after him and get me my horseshoe before he throws another one in the river, Daddy hollered. Jeb was chasing after me fast. Come back with that horseshoe, Georgie, Jeb hollered. But I was fast and I kept running until I got to the river. Dont you dare throw that horseshoe in the river, Jeb said. I threw the horseshoe in the river. Jeb fell on the ground. Jeb kicked and cried and then I cried.

“He needs his makeup,” Dick said.

“I ll do it,” Condi said. She put a little brush on my check and it tickled and I laughed.

Rummy walked into the room. “Jesus, what s he laughing about,” Rummy said.

“Dont you pay attention to him, Georgie,” Dick said. “They re going to be asking you all about Social Security. You just remember what we talked about.”

“He cant remember anything,” Rummy said.

I started to holler. Dick s face was red and he looked at Rummy. “I told you to hush up already,” Dick said. “Now look what you ve gone and done.”

“Go and get him Saddam s gun,” Condi said. “You know how he likes to hold it.”

Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam s gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

“Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?” Rummy said. “Cant you think any better than he can?”

I was hollering and Dick was turning red and then white and the room was tilted.

“You give him that gun back, right this minute,” Condi said. Rummy gave me Saddam s gun back and I held it my hands. It was hot like a horseshoe.

“You got the gun, now you stop that hollering,” Rummy said.

Condi patted me on the back. “It sure is hot in here,” she said. She fanned herself and took off her jacket. She smelled like perfume.

Sam Apple is a graduate of the creative nonfiction MFA program at Columbia University. His first book, Schlepping Through the Alps, was published in March 2005 by Ballantine Books. From 1998–2000, Apple edited New Voices, a national magazine for Jewish students. Apple’s freelance nonfiction work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times,, and the Forward. In 2004, Apple was a finalist for the Koret Award for Young Writers on Jewish Themes. In 2002, he won the Upload $1,500 first place award for short fiction. Apple is currently a contributing book editor at and at work on his second book.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Click and enjoy

Everyone has a time during the week where you just hate the fact that you are at work. You sit, in your chair, at your desk, in your car, on a telephone pole, in a sewer, or wherever you may work, and count the seconds until you can go home. I had one of those moments on Thursday.

The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and wind was blowing, and I sat thinking the same thought that passes through every desk jockey in the world, “I am not supposed to be doing this, this is not what I was created for.” Indeed, I find it hard to imagine that God created man, or man created itself from apes, to sit at a desk typing on a keyboard about crap that really doesn’t mean shit when it all boils down.

Regardless, I sat there, doing whatever stupid task I had to do with less than fifteen percent the effort I should be putting into when this little gem crossed my e-mail box. It was the type of thing I needed to perk up, the childish little window into humiliation that everyone needs to see once in a while.

Here is the link:

I encourage you to click on it and watch. Be patient, it starts off slowly, but about half way through it just sent me on my ass laughing.

I’ve got one thing to say to this woman, if you hadn’t tried to get all fancy and funny for the camera, none of this would have happened to you. The moral of the story, if you got stuck reporting on some stupid grape stomping thing, grit your teeth and bear it, every news person has to pay their dues somewhere.

And as the female anchor says at the end, “Oh dear!”


Friday, July 22, 2005

A very difficult diving position

Stacy Franklin of Team USA Diving demonstrates how to do the "Johansson Face Stand.".
The move, popularized my Sven Johansson in the mid forties, has long been acknowledged as the most difficult starting position in diving due to the extreme stress placed on the forehead.

Do you have guts or balls?

A medical definition of these was sent to me by an MD. The difference
between "guts" and "balls"...

Guts - is arriving home late after a
night out with the guys, being assaulted by your wife with a broom, and
having the guts to ask: "Are you still cleaning, or are you flying

Balls - is coming home late after a night out with the guys, smelling
of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the
ass and having the balls to say, "You're next.

Memo with Plame's name marked secret

Administration officials questioned about State Dept. document

Thursday, July 21, 2005; Posted: 11:20 p.m. EDT (03:20 GMT)

A reporter says he learned a CIA agent's identity from Karl Rove, left, the president's top political aide.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A classified State Department memorandum that has been the subject of questioning in a federal leak probe identifies a CIA agent by name in a paragraph marked "S" for secret, sources told CNN Thursday.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is investigating the revelation of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, which was published by syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Robert Novak in July 2003.

Novak's column came days after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly questioned part of President Bush's justification for invading Iraq.

Plame is mentioned by her married name, Valerie Plame Wilson, in the memo dated June 10, 2003, said two government sources who have seen the document.

The paragraph, they said, did not indicate that she was undercover or that her identity was protected.

Nevertheless, a former homeland security adviser to President Bush said the rules on such matters are clear.

"Anything in a paragraph marked 'secret' needs to be deemed secret, and revealing it to someone without proper security clearance or without a need to know is not authorized and is a violation," said Richard Falkenrath, a CNN security analyst who has not seen the memo.

Disclosure of an undercover intelligence officer's identity can be a federal crime if prosecutors can show the leak was intentional and the person who released the information knew of the officer's secret status.

The memo, which discussed allegations that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa, notes that Plame attended a meeting about sending her husband, a retired career diplomat with a background in African and Iraqi affairs, to look into the claims, according to the government sources. (Joseph Wilson profile)

Other sources familiar with the leak investigation said federal prosecutors asked several senior administration officials testifying before the grand jury if they had seen the memo.

A senior U.S. official said he believed then-Secretary of State Colin Powell took it with him aboard Air Force One July 7, 2003, when he accompanied Bush on a trip to Africa. Investigators subpoenaed records from Air Force One.

The Washington Post, quoting a source who described the memo, said it was written by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. The analyst was not identified.

Wilson contends his wife's identity was released by the White House to retaliate against him for a July 2003 opinion column in The New York Times.

In it, Wilson criticized Bush's claim in that year's State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa, a reference to a British intelligence report.

Wilson said he had been sent to Niger, in central Africa, to investigate the claim in February 2002 and found no evidence that such a transaction occurred and unlikely that it could have.

"I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat," Wilson wrote.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, also had cast doubts on the British report, telling the U.N. Security Council in March 2003 that it was based on forged documents. (Full story)

Days after Wilson's article appeared, CIA Director George Tenet admitted the claim should not have been included in Bush's address. (Full story)

Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper said Sunday that Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told him Wilson's wife worked for the CIA and that Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, confirmed that piece of information.

Time magazine and CNN are owned by Time Warner.

Wilson has called his wife's exposure an act of political retaliation that ended her career.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan denied in 2003 that either Rove or Libby had been involved in the leak, dismissing a reporter's question about Rove as "ridiculous."

More recently, he has refused to answer repeated questions on the matter, deflecting inquiries again Thursday.

"We've said for quite some time that this was an ongoing investigation and that we weren't going to comment on it," he said.

Cooper escaped being sent to jail when he said his source, Rove, had released him from their confidentiality agreement. He testified before a grand jury last week in connection with the probe.

Cooper told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that protecting reporters and their sources is key to the news media's ability to shine light on government wrongdoing. (Full story)

Bush said Monday that if anyone in his administration committed a crime in connection with the public leak of Plame's identity, that person will "no longer work in my administration."

That statement appeared to mark a change in the level of wrongdoing required for Bush to take such action. Earlier, he had said anyone involved in leaking the name of the covert operative would be fired. (Full story)

Two weeks ago, a federal judge sent New York Times reporter Judith Miller to jail for refusing to divulge her sources for a story she researched on the issue but never published.

According to the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, a federal employee with access to classified information who is convicted of making an unauthorized disclosure about a covert agent faces up to 10 years in prison and as much as $50,000 in fines.

CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


18 July 2005


The Honorable Dennis Hastert, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Dr. William Frist, Majority Leader of the Senate
The Honorable Harry Reid, Minority Leader of the Senate

We, the undersigned former U.S. intelligence officers are concerned with the tone and substance of the public debate over the ongoing Department of Justice investigation into who leaked the name of Valerie Plame, wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, to syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other members of the media, which exposed her status as an undercover CIA officer. The disclosure of Ms. Plame’s name was a shameful event in American history and, in our professional judgment, may have damaged U.S. national security and poses a threat to the ability of U.S. intelligence gathering using human sources. Any breach of the code of confidentiality and cover weakens the overall fabric of intelligence, and, directly or indirectly, jeopardizes the work and safety of intelligence workers and their sources.

The Republican National Committee has circulated talking points to supporters to use as part of a coordinated strategy to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. As part of this campaign a common theme is the idea that Ambassador Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame was not undercover and deserved no protection. The following are four recent examples of this “talking point”:

Michael Medved stated on Larry King Live on July 12, 2005, “And let's be honest about this. Mrs. Plame, Mrs. Wilson, had a desk job at Langley. She went back and forth every single day.”

Victoria Toensing stated on a Fox News program with John Gibson on July 12, 2005 that, “Well, they weren't taking affirmative measures to protect that identity. They gave her a desk job in Langley. You don't really have somebody deep undercover going back and forth to Langley, where people can see them.”

Ed Rodgers, Washington Lobbyist and former Republican official, said on July 13, 2005 on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, “And also I think it is now a matter of established fact that Mrs. Plame was not a protected covert agent, and I don't think there's any meaningful investigation about that.”

House majority whip Roy Blunt (R, Mo), on Face the Nation, July 17, 2005, “It certainly wouldn't be the first time that the CIA might have been overzealous in sort of maintaining the kind of topsecret definition on things longer than they needed to. You know, this was a job that the ambassador's wife had that she went to every day. It was a desk job. I think many people in Washington understood that her employment was at the CIA, and she went to that office every day.”

These comments reveal an astonishing ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover. The fact is that there are thousands of U.S. intelligence officers who “work at a desk” in the Washington, D.C. area every day who are undercover. Some have official cover, and some have non-official cover. Both classes of cover must and should be protected. While we are pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation and that the U.S. Attorney General has recused himself, we believe that the partisan attacks against Valerie Plame are sending a deeply discouraging message to the men and women who have agreed to work undercover for their nation’s security. We are not lawyers and are not qualified to determine whether the leakers technically violated the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act. However, we are confident that Valerie Plame was working in a cover status and that our nation’s leaders, regardless of political party, have a duty to protect all intelligence officers. We believe it is appropriate for the President to move proactively to dismiss from office or administratively punish any official who participated in any way in revealing Valerie Plame's status. Such an act by the President would send an unambiguous message that leaks of this nature will not be tolerated and would be consistent with his duties as the Commander-in-Chief.

We also believe it is important that Congress speak with one non-partisan voice on this issue. Intelligence officers should not be used as political footballs. In the case of Valerie Plame, she still works for the CIA and is not in a position to publicly defend her reputation and honor. We stand in her stead and ask that Republicans and Democrats honor her service to her country and stop the campaign of disparagement and innuendo aimed at discrediting Mrs. Wilson and her husband.

Our friends and colleagues have difficult jobs gathering the intelligence, which helps, for example, to prevent terrorist attacks against Americans at home and abroad. They sometimes face great personal risk and must spend long hours away from family and friends. They serve because they love this country and are committed to protecting it from threats from abroad and to defending the principles of liberty and freedom. They do not expect public acknowledgement for their work, but they do expect and deserve their government’s protection of their covert status.

For the good of our country, we ask you to please stand up for every man and woman who works for the U.S. intelligence community and help protect their ability to live their cover.

Sincerely yours,
Larry C. Johnson, former Analyst, CIA

Mr. Brent Cavan, former Analyst, CIA
Mr. Vince Cannistraro, former Case Officer, CIA
Mr. Michael Grimaldi, former Analyst, CIA
Mr. Mel Goodman, former senior Analyst, CIA
Col. W. Patrick Lang (US Army retired), former Director, Defense Humint Services, DIA
Mr. David MacMichael, former senior estimates officer, National Intelligence Council, CIA
Mr. James Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, CIA
Mr. Ray McGovern, former senior Analyst and PDB Briefer, CIA
Mr. Jim Smith, former Case Officer, CIA
Mr. William C. Wagner, former Case Officer, CIA

Canada Passes Gay Marriage Legislation

After years of contentious debate, the Canadian Senate passed by a wide margin a law legalizing gay marriage. The bill had passed the lower house last month. Thus, Canada becomes the 4th country in the world to grant legal status to the unions of same sex couples.
Go Canada!

The Nation's take on John G. Roberts Jr.

I'll have to admit, I was a bit surprised by Bush's nominee last night. First off, it was a he. Second off, that he wasn't Hispanic. Third off, he looked like any other generic white guy lawyer. Fourth, there doesn't seem to be much behind this guy since he's barely fifty, and has only been on the bench for two years. Bush wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to put someone who would "uphold conservative values" for years to come. This guy will be there for at least the vast majority of my adult life, and if he stays on as long as  Rehnquist, he'll probably be there for the rest of the lives of most of the current adults I know.
I kind of have a Love/Hate relationship with The Nation. Some of their writers I find genuinely original and creative. Other writers they have are blah, repetitive, arrogant, and condescending. However, I thought John Nichols offered some good insight into what John G. Roberts Jr. and the reasons for nominating him are all about.

Another Activist Judge


In 1999, when he was trying to appeal to the conservative base that would eventually deliver the Republican presidential nomination to him, Candidate George W. Bush said the Supreme Court justices he most admired were Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The clear intimation was that, given the opportunity, Bush would nominate someone like Scalia and Thomas-- a conservative judicial activist bent on upsetting established law --to the high court.

More recently, as he has finally been faced with the task of naming a nominee to the court, President George W. Bush has attempted to sound more moderate and thoughtful, suggesting that "a nominee to that court must be a person of superb credentials and the highest integrity, a person who will faithfully apply the Constitution and keep our founding promise of equal justice under law." President Bush has said that he prefers nominees who display "respect for the rule of law and for the liberties guaranteed to every citizen" and who "will strictly apply the Constitution and laws, not legislate from the bench."

So which George W. Bush named federal appeals judge John G. Roberts Jr. to fill the opening on the Supreme Court created by the decision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to retire? Is Roberts the Scalia/Thomas clone that Candidate Bush promised or is he the mainstreamer President Bush suggested he was looking for?

Chalk Roberts up as Candidate Bush's pick.

For more than a decade, Scalia and Thomas have campaigned without success to reverse the Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which removed barriers to a woman's right to choose. This is the hottest of the hot-botton issues facing the court. And, on it, all indications are that Roberts will be the clone Scalia and Thomas need to complete their machinations.

When he served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 to 1993--under Solicitor General Ken Starr-- Roberts filed a 1990 brief with the Supreme Court that declared: "Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."[T]he Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion," argued Roberts, "finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

Never mind that Supreme Court justices selected by presidents of both parties had consistently concluded otherwise. Roberts had a different opinion and he did not hestitate to advance it. As the deputy solicitor general, he argued for a "gag rule" that prevented physicians working with family planning programs that were recipients of federal funding from discussing abortion with their patients. He even went so far as to appear before the court to argue in support of Operation Rescue during the period when the group's members were aggressively, sometimes violently, blocking access to health-care clinics that provided abortions.

Roberts was so feverish in his attempts to find a way to overturn Roe that Supreme Court justices openly joked about his over-the-top antics. Once, during an oral argument before the high court, one of the justices asked the deputy solicitor general: "Mr. Roberts, in this case are you asking that Roe v. Wade be overruled?"

Roberts replied, "No, your honor, the issue doesn't even come up."

"Well," the justice responded, "that hasn't prevented the Solicitor General from taking that position in prior cases."

The NARAL Pro-Choice America brief on Roberts, which reviews his aggressively advocacy for anti-choice positions, is blunt. "If Roberts is confirmed to a lifetime appointment, there is little doubt that he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade."

On this point, NARAL Pro-Choice America is in full agreement with Roberts' old pals at Operation Rescue.

The militant anti-choice group was among the first to hail Bush's selection of Roberts to fill the seat being vacated by O'Connor, who was generally a supporter of reproductive rights. "We pray that Roberts will be swiftly confirmed," announced Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

Now, it is said that a president ought to have a great deal of latitude when it comes to making judicial nominations.

But all indications are that Roberts is not the nominee of President Bush, the man who condemns judges who would "legislate from the bench" and undermine "equal justice for all."

Rather, he is the political pick of Candidate Bush, who promised right-wing Republicans that he would give them another Scalia or Thomas. Indeed, Candidate Bush has found a nominee exteme enough to satisfy even Operation Rescue.


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I thought this was interesting

I came across this article on CNN.COM while waiting for something to install at work. I thought the words of the mayor of London were interesting, and to a point, true. The fact is, the West's hand have been dirty in the Middle East for decades, and much of what is being dealt with now is the repercussions for many of these actions. Case in point, we created UBL, and paid the piper dearly for it. We created, to a degree, Saddam, and then decided we didn't want him anymore once he started to do "his own thing." Oh the hypocrisy!

London mayor: West fueled terror

Wednesday, July 20, 2005; Posted: 9:33 a.m. EDT (13:33 GMT)

Livingstone said Western policy in the Middle East was motivated by oil.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- London Mayor Ken Livingstone has said that Western "double standards" in the Middle East have contributed to the growth of Islamic extremism and terrorist groups such as al Qaeda.

Livingstone told BBC radio on Wednesday that Western intervention in the Middle East since the end of World War I had been motivated by a desire to control the flow of oil.

While condemning suicide bombings, Livingstone indicated that he recognized the conditions that had led Palestinians to take that route in Israel.

"Under foreign occupation and denied a right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs ... I suspect that if it had happened here in England we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves," said Livingstone.

"But I don't just denounce suicide bombers. I denounce those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy."

Livingstone's comments were rejected by Downing Street, which said that British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Livingstone had "different views of the world."

"Equally, however, we recognize that Ken Livingstone has provided, as an elected official in London, a lead to the people of London at this tragic time -- at the same time as he expresses views which we fundamentally disagree with," a spokesman told the UK's Press Association.

Blair said on Wednesday he was considering calling a global conference to discuss ways of tackling Islamic extremism following the July 7 London bombings which killed 56 people and injured hundreds more.

"We are looking at the possibility of holding a conference which would bring together some of the main countries who are closely involved in these issues," he told lawmakers.

Blair said the conference would focus on rooting out extremist teaching in religious schools, known as madrassas, and said concerted action was needed across the world.

After meeting Muslim leaders on Tuesday, Blair described extremism as an "evil ideology" that needed to be confronted "by the force of reason." (Full Story)

Blair also praised the work of British intelligence and security officials following a report in the New York Times which claimed the UK's terror alert was lowered prior to the London bombings because no imminent threat was anticipated. (Full Story)

"Though it is terrible that these terrorist attacks took place ... over the past few years our security services and our police have done an immense amount to protect this country also," Blair said.

He said he was satisfied they had done "everything possible" to reduce the terror risk and said the government was moving in the "right direction" to combat the threat of further attacks with new anti-terror legislation.

In a briefing before parliament, Home Secretary Charles Clarke outlined three new criminal offenses at the heart of the government's proposals.

One provision would make the indirect incitement of terrorism an offense, a measure intended to silence radical clerics who have praised terrorist attacks.

Another proposed offense would be acts considered preparatory to terrorism. That would enable security authorities to intervene at an earlier stage to protect the public.

A third would apply a broader definition applied to the giving and receiving of terrorist training.

Clarke said the government also intended to establish a database of extremists around the world who had demonstrated "unacceptable behavior," such as preaching intended to provoke terrorism and running extremist Web sites.

Anyone on the list would face possible exclusion from the UK, or could be refused entry to the country.

"At a series of meetings with the Prime Minister, myself and others, positive proposals are emerging to strengthen our capacity to fight the destructive and nihilist philosophy of those who promoted the London bombing," said Clarke.

"There is unity of purpose. The Government wants to work with other parties to make sure we have the most effective anti-terrorism legislation on our statute book. Similarly we want to work with the Muslim community to isolate and weaken dangerous extremists."

CNN's European Political Editor Robin Oakley said lawmakers would consider the legislation on their return from summer recess in October and could pass the measures by December.

British Muslim leaders said on Wednesday they had called for an independent judicial inquiry into what motivated the London bombings during their talks with Blair at Downing Street.

"The scale of disenchantment amongst Muslim youth is very clear to see," Inayat Bungalwala of the Muslim Council of Britain told the Associated Press.

"Various factors are at play: underachievement in education; a high rate of unemployment; discrimination in the workplace; social exclusion, and also the government's own policies, especially in Iraq.

"The process of how we get four homegrown suicide bombers must be understood and that is why we are calling for an inquiry."

The Home Office said Clarke would decide whether to open an inquiry in September, AP reported.

London's Underground network moved closer to resuming a normal service after one of the bombed trains was lifted out of Edgware Road station late on Tuesday and taken to an undisclosed location for further forensic examination.

Transport police said on Wednesday that sniffer dogs had been deployed at tube stations and on trains for the first time.

"They operate just like dogs who search for drugs except they have been trained to sniff out explosives," a police spokesman told the UK's Press Association. "They have already started patrolling the Tube with their handlers and they will carry on indefinitely."

But Livingstone said the Underground system would still be disrupted for some time and praised Londoners' resilience and solidarity in the aftermath of the attacks.

"London's communities will continue to stand together in condemnation of anyone who attacks the city," he told London Assembly members.

-- European Political Editor Robin Oakley contributed to this report.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Why I was gone...

I got real sick last week. The doc said it looked like I was getting strep but we caught it early enough that it didn't get to severe. After a few days of antibiotics I felt better. Still got a few days of pills left to take but for all intensive purposes I'm pretty okay now.
That's why I wasn't posting, not that there is anyone out there who knew that. You see, you need people to read your blog before in order for anyone to realize it's missing posts.
At any rate, I finished my second draft for The Hypocrisy Rule, one of the two screenplays I'm working on. This is the first draft where I wouldn't mind people reading it. I sent a copy to my friend Ryley out in LA. He's currently working on the remake to this French movie called L'Enfer. It's his "big break" so to speak. Ryley's a good guy, my best friend growing up, and he'll tell me if my stuff sucks or not. Either way, it doesn't matter if it sucks since it's fun to do and a boy can dream, can't he?
The weather has cleared up a bit around here. No rain yesterday and today, which is a nice change of pace. I might go jogging when I get home.
When I get some more free time I'll get back to posting interesting tidbits from around the web.
Until then, stay black America.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This is scary...

This is scary, and it in Spain. Imagine what they could do to a power plant here in the States? I have a bad feeling that power plant safety will only become a priority here after a disaster.

Explosions at Spanish power plant

By CNN's Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

Tuesday, July 12, 2005; Posted: 9:52 a.m. EDT (13:52 GMT)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Four explosions struck a new, soon-to-be-operational electrical power plant in northern Spain on Tuesday, shortly after warning calls were made in the name of the Basque separatist group ETA, a Basque regional police spokesman told CNN.

There was no immediate confirmation of injuries, and damage was being evaluated, the spokesman said.

After the warning calls to the Basque newspaper Gara and to the Basque emergency road service DYA, police rushed to the plant, in the Basque city of Amorebieta, and evacuated the workers.

The explosions occurred in quick succession between 2:05 pm and 2:15 pm local time.

The gas-fired thermal power plant is in a testing phase and not yet on line.

ETA, listed as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, is blamed for more than 800 killings in its 37-year fight for Basque independence in northern Spain.

If often chooses to make warning calls and when it does so, the Gara newspaper typically gets the call

The group has also claimed responsibility, in warning calls, for several car bombings this year in Madrid that caused injuries and caused property damage.

Spanish Parliament recently approved a Socialist government proposal to hold talks with ETA if it would first renounce violence and lay down its arms.

Not feeling very well

I'm sick. Got a sore throat. My nose it stuffed up. I didn't sleep well last night. My head hurts. My body aches. This sucks really bad.
I felt it coming on during the day yesterday but I was hoping that I could stave it off. I was wrong.
This doesn't bode well for everyone else in the office. I rarely get sick. It's always been a point of pride that I can usually go the whole flu season without being hit by it, always being the last one standing when everyone else is sick. However, on the rare occasions I'm hit first by a bug everyone else can rest assured that they too will get hit by it.
I'll probably just stay at home when I go home for lunch. Jump into my PJs and eat, a bunch. I'm always hungry when I'm sick, always. I eat constantly. I'll probably eat a good bunch of pasta, bread, peanut butter, whatever.
Anyone else watch RAW last night?
I really enjoyed the Matt Hardy angle and am curious to see where they take it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Smells like a rat to me....

White House won't comment on Rove and leak investigation

Monday, July 11, 2005; Posted: 2:28 p.m. EDT (18:28 GMT)

But Bush's spokesman wouldn't repeat any of those assertions Monday in the face of Rove's own lawyer saying his client spoke with at least one reporter about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA before she was identified in a newspaper column.

Rove described the woman to a reporter as someone who "apparently works" at the CIA, according to an e-mail obtained by Newsweek magazine.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan refused to discuss the matter at two news briefings Monday. He said he would not comment because the leak is the focus of a federal criminal investigation.

"The prosecutors overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting on it from this podium," McClellan said in response to a barrage of questions about Rove and the previous White House denials.

"I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said," McClellan said. "And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time." He said the appropriate time would be when the investigation is completed.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed unless of course if it's for! Those guys kick ass!

Done raining

It's 3:35, no more rain.

Raining Again

It's 2:55 P.M. and it's raining again.
This sucks.

Weather on the 1's

It stopped raining. More on this story as it progresses.

Still raining

It's 1:29 and it's still raining. Rained my whole drive home for lunch, and my whole drive back from lunch.

Rain, rain go away, come again some other day.

So, it's raining.
I think what makes me mad about this is that I used to live in Orlando, FL, where it rained every day. You could set your watch by it. Three thirty every afternoon is started to storm. The rain lasted a half hour or so, there were a ton of lightening strikes, then it was over.
Now I live in Atlanta and I thought that whole thing was over with. Boy was I wrong. Instead, it rains more often, and not just for thirty minutes. All day rains, all night rains, all weekend rains, the weather here really bites my ass.
And to top it all off, not once in the six years I lived in Orlando did I go through a hurricane. Then, I move to Atlanta, and in the past year and a half I've been through three, including the remnant of Denis as we speak.
I just wanted to listen to the NASCAR race and sit at the pool on Sunday. Instead, I put new wiper blades on my girlfriend's car and on mine as well, started to paint the upstairs bedroom, and sat inside. Man, that sucked.
Oh well....

Friday, July 08, 2005

I've got a headache

Been a pretty crappy day at work. I did however find a link to a horrible, albeit very funny for all the wrong reasons, video that I wanted to share.

I in no way condone what this guy does, and yes, I agree it is said these men can't find honest work, but it is just too funny.

At any rate, I came across a funny article on CNN.COM today about how looks effect your salary and how far you advance in your life. I'm by no means a super model, but have always thought I'm at least above average in the looks department. Evidently, that will get me more money, go me! Also, the article states that taller people get more money too, I'm 6'3" as of my physical last month. Again, go me!

Here's the article if you want to take a look.

In other news, London is still very somber, at least they sound somber on Virgin Radio. I swear, there is just something really neat about listening to a radio station in another country. Just listening to the terms they use, trying to figure out what they are saying, hearing the movie phone guy promote a movie with a British accent. It's all good fun. If you want to check out Virgin radio, that's as in Virgin Music not virgin, go to Check it out, my girlfriend pointed it out to me. You can also stream it through your iTunes, it's in the Pop/Top 40 listed of radio stations.

Looks like Denis is going to slam into Florida. Man, they can't catch any luck. I just hope it doesn't mess with the oil pipelines. I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with 2.25 a gallon gas where I live. I can't deal with 2.50 and up if it comes to that.

Have a good weekend.



Thursday, July 07, 2005

Stay strong

I know the odds of someone from the U.K. coming across my blog is small, but if you do, stay strong. Whether or not you were directly affected by the attacks or not, be vigilant and stay close to your loved ones.
It is times like this where you can take a step back and realize so much in life that we place importance on doesn't matter. Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's ALL small stuff. Keep your friends close, your loved once closer, and remember that each day we are here is special and something that should not be taken for granted.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Back from vacation

I'm back from vacation.
I can tell you that I was not looking forward to coming back to work. As with most people, I don't like my job. I do enjoy the people I work with, or at least most of them, but the job itself offers little rewarding experiences and hostile customers more often than not. I'm constantly feeling like I'm having to clean up messes cause by other people or myself.
It's not exactly the best place to look forward to going to.
At any rate, this mornings drive got me to thinking, I'm not supposed to be doing this. I sat around at home yesterday in an odd mood. I couldn't put my finger on it. Why did I feel weird. Then I realized it, I didn't want to go to work. At the time I didn't want to go to work tomorrow. I wanted to write, I wanted to draw, I wanted to do something for myself.
I think I'm at a turning point in my adult life that I've been ignoring for the past few months. If I don't do something soon, I'm going to be stuck in this rut for the rest of my life. Maybe not here at my current job, but somewhere, and it's going to last a long time. For me, the problem is simple, I enjoy using my brain and making decisions. Unfortunately, my current job has a lot of people who don't like to use their brain or make decisions. It's driving me crazy. But aside from that, my job just sucks.
So, I'm going to put all my time and effort into my screenplays, with a little bit of NASCAR and video games on the side, so that I can get out of this place. It's going to take time and a lot of work, but if anything can get me to a place where I enjoy doing what I do, it's my writing.
Here goes nothing.