January 17,  2004 Weekend Edition


Utility bills skyrocket due to higher oil, gas prices
Port Clinton News Herald, OH - 1-17-04
... Still, the most recent bone-chilling event for many Americans has been opening their monthly utility bill.

"I'm a cold-weather guy, I like the cold. But my budget can't take a true winter," said Jeff Forker, 42, of Overland Park, Kan., who has been unemployed for a year and keeps his thermostat below 65 degrees to save money.

Forker's natural gas bill for December came in at $206.03, compared with $133.90 last year -- a 54 percent increase. "If we get hit with a hard winter like we had two years ago, we're going to get pounded," Forker said...


Halliburton Pricing Probe Deepens
Common Dreams - 1-17-04
... probing possible criminal violations involving fuel shipped to Iraq by Halliburton... On December 19, the corps said Altanmia's prices had been "fair and ...
Gore Vidal: The war against lies
Independent, UK - 1-18-04
... So the feckless Bush has not only given new meaning to the equally feckless ... consciously between imperialists eager for us to seize all of the world's oil ...

Aren't we occupying oil drenched Iraq?  Then why are the prices increasing instead of decreasing?

Their faces say it all

By Gideon Levy -  Haaretz

A regular day at the checkpoints of the West Bank - the sick, the elderly, parents, children, teachers, merchants, truckers. Go home, you can't cross, go to bed, come back tomorrow...

'US lied about deaths of journalists in the Palestine Hotel'
By Kim Sengupta 16 January 2004

The shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad by an American tank, which killed two journalists and injured two others, was an act of "criminal negligence", said a report by an international media watchdog.

"Again, I call on the Senate to stop playing politics with the American judicial system and to give my nominees the up-or-down votes they deserve." -- President Bush in announcing his recess appointment of Mississippi trial judge Charles Pickering to the federal appeals bench.

Joan Crawford's child found!

Moon walking Overruled

"Mr. Jackson, you have started out on the wrong foot here." Judge Rodney Melville to entertainer Michael Jackson, who was 21 minutes late to his arraignment on child molestation charges.

"Yesterday President Bush announced a new plan to colonize the moon and put a man on Mars by 2030. He calls it the intergalactic guest worker program. He feels that space aliens will work for a lot less money than illegal aliens." —Jay Leno


Bush skirts Senate and names Mississippi judge
Newark Star Ledger, NJ - 1-17-04
... Bush invoked his constitutional prerogative to circumvent congressional approval
of ... day after laying a wreath on the grave of Martin Luther King ...


Pentagon Withholds Cold War Medical Data
AP Enterprise: Pentagon Denying Victims Data on Cold War Weapons Tests

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Jan. 16 — The Pentagon is continuing to withhold documents on Cold War chemical and biological weapons tests that used unsuspecting sailors as "human samplers" after telling Congress it had released all medically relevant information....

US to Buy $50M Worth of Orange Juice
Miami Herald, FL - Jan 15, 2004
ORLANDO, Fla. - The federal government has agreed to bail out the struggling citrus industry by buying up to $50 million worth of orange juice.

The news was welcomed by Florida orange growers who are facing shrinking prices caused by their largest crop ever. Florida is the source of most of the nation's orange juice and is the world's second-largest orange producer behind Brazil.

Gee, isn't Katherine Harris an orange juice heiress?  Maybe this is why she didn't run for the Senate? Interesting timing.

What goes around comes around as republicans duke it out in Flor-i-duh...

2004's first election stirs ghosts of past

A special state House election hinges on a slim margin. Officials hash it out as a presidential election looms.

St. Petersburg Times, FL - Jan 9, 2004
By STEVE BOUSQUET, Times Staff Writer. ... Florida's touch screen machines are not required to provide paper receipts...

"Bush said although robots have worked well in space, humans need to touch and feel things. Do you know who told him that? Governor Schwarzenegger." —Jay Leno

NASA to cut off Hubble telescope
Seattle Times, WA - 1-17-04
By Michael Cabbage. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA yesterday announced it no longer
will send shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope, likely ...

Thanks Ron.

For Fox News, Nazi Comparisons are bad only if Republicans target

Common Dreams - 1-16-04

WASHINGTON - January 16 - The controversy over comparisons between George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler in two ads submitted to the anti-Bush ad contest run by the online activist group MoveOn.org says less about the state of left discourse than it does about the double standards at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation...

"I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out."
Steven Wright



The Hubble telescope. Thanks Hubble.