March 16, 2004 Tuesday
Spain's new PM slams Blair and Bush 'lies'
Dowd: Bush super-sizes his whoppers, but says he didn't place
Salt Lake Tribune, UT - 3-16-04
... backers of the legislation scolded Americans, saying the fault lies not in their ... Marc Racicot, Bush's campaign chairman, accused Kerry of "unbecoming ...
Blair's office brushes aside "lies" comment
WTVO, IL - 3-16-04
... brushing aside comments by Spain's incoming leader that the Iraq war was built "on lies.". An official spokesman says despite the comment, Tony Blair is looking ...
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"John Kerry is claiming that leaders of other countries have told him they hope he defeats President Bush in November. President Bush is now challenging John Kerry to name those foreign leaders. That's a first, Bush challenging anyone to name a foreign leader." -Jay Leno
frees 26 more from terror camp
David Teather in New York
Tuesday March 16, 2004
The United States last night said it had freed another 26 prisoners held at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in one of the largest single releases yet undertaken.
A US defence spokesman said the men, 23 from Afghanistan and three from Pakistan, had been flown out of the base over the weekend. The Pentagon did not say why they had been released. They had been held without charge or legal representation. "We make a determination about the detention and release of a detainee based on the best information and evidence we have at the time," the Pentagon said in a statement...
War Is Kind
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.
Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them,
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom --
A field where a thousand corpses lie.
Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.
Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die.
Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie.
Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.
Forwarded to AHNC by John Grant – Japan
``I did not understand the interim constitution. Most people don't. It was America who wrote the constitution. It was America who nominated those to write it.'' - Amir Ali, a university official in Baghdad commenting Tuesday on Iraq's new interim constitution.
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Officials Worry of Pre-Election Attack
AP - Mon Mar 15, 6:11 PM ET
Even before the
bombings in Madrid, White House officials were worrying that terrorists might
strike the United States before the November elections.
Texas grimly efficient in executions
Chicago Tribune - Mon Mar 15, 9:40 AM ET
321 convicts put to death since '76
Three American Baptists Gunned Down in Iraq -Report
Reuters - Tue Mar 16, 3:51 AM ET
Three Americans -- in Iraq under the auspices of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board -- were killed in Mosul on Monday, according to a report on the board's Web site.
D.C. Lead Issue Was Debated for Months
washingtonpost.com - 3-16-04
Federal authorities responsible for ensuring the safety of Washington's water knew about the toxic levels of lead and the likely solution more than a year ago but took no action, according to records and interviews.
New Leader In Spain Cites Iraq 'Disaster'
washingtonpost.com - Tue Mar 16, 1:06 AM ET
MADRID, March 15 -- Spain's incoming prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, offered sharp criticism Monday of the Iraq war and the U.S. occupation and reaffirmed a campaign pledge to withdraw Spanish peacekeeping troops unless the United Nations takes control of the operation by the end of June.
Army Erred in Seeking Civilians' Names
AP - Mon Mar 15, 7:34 PM ET
counterintelligence agents improperly tried to gather information on civilian
participants at a University of Texas conference on Islam, the Army acknowledged
Will Wal-Mart Track You?
PC World - Thu Mar 11, 3:00 AM ET
Radio tags appearing on products.
N.Y. Ministers Charged for Marrying Gays
Unitarian Universalist ministers have been performing ceremonies for gay couples long since before the issue entered the national debate.
PayPal Warns Its Customers To Safeguard Personal Data
washingtonpost.com - Tue Mar 16,12:00 AM ET
Online payment giant PayPal warned users yesterday that scam artists have obtained select customer aliases, mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and transaction data by using phony e-mails to fool retailers into revealing the information.
"The march to war hurt the economy. Laura reminded me a while ago that remember what was on the TV screens — she calls me, 'George W.' — 'George W.' I call her, 'First Lady.' No, anyway — she said, we said, march to war on our TV screen." —George W. Bush, Bay Shore, New York, Mar. 11, 2004 from about.com
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I just have an idea for your website. Why not have a forum where people can talk? I can tell by your website that you get too much email to answer everyone. So some people don't get to say what they want. However, with a forum you won't be bogged down with email, and everyone will get to say what they want. I hope you seriously consider this idea.
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Concerning bagpipes: The Irish invented them and gave them to the Scots as a joke, and the Scots haven't seen the joke yet.
WAG THE OSAMA
By Margie Burns
To try to comprehend the administration, one must apply a little
rhetorical analysis. For example, official sources tend to mention publicly
only “Al Qaeda” among terrorist organizations, although Al Qaeda is not
the only Islamist partisan group, nor the only one that has engaged in
violence against Westerners or against the US. Hypothesis? Either the
speakers don’t know much about their topic, or the administration is
simplifying for the American people, or they’re declaiming against a
rhetorically safe target rather than briefing about genuine national
security issues. Probably the correct answer is all of the above, but the
administration’s negligent security in US aviation, nuclear and energy
sectors, ports, and cyberspace highlights the last.
It is in this light that the upcoming “push against Bin Laden,” which
we’re hearing about through major media outlets, should be evaluated.
One word cluster, to use a linguisticians’ phrase, early in the new
spate of stories about Bin Laden, was “concentric rings.” Several news
reports transmitted speculation that Bin Laden was holed up in mountains
near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, protected by concentric rings of
local tribesmen, partisans, and bodyguards.
For whatever reasons, we’re not hearing the concentric-rings
description now, a few weeks later. Newer descriptions instead describe Bin
Laden, still near the border, as “shuttling” between Pakistan and
Afghanistan. There must be a number of superhumanly non-money-hungry border
patrols, tribesmen, and others in that area, not to turn in a constantly
shuttling creature with a bounty of $25 million on his head: Osama bin
Laden is up on the FBI’s ten most wanted list
( http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/topten/fugitives/laden.htm ). Incidentally,
he is not wanted for “masterminding” 9-11.
Another typical locution now has it that Bin Laden is under increasing
pressure, and it’s only a matter of time till we “get” him.
What is not said is that we’ll capture him; media reports sometimes
say that, but US officials don’t. Nor do they say that OBL’s people are
being pressured to hand him over, or that we want him for questioning
because we want to find out much, much more about the plotting behind
those attacks. Indeed, since September, 2001, no administration official
has said, “We desperately want to pull in Bin Laden. We want to know
everything he could tell us.” Instead, Bush started making little “dead
or alive” noises; a good slogan for a t-shirt, but not exactly Intel.
What does all this add up to? Most probably, Bin Laden was killed in
late 2001, by the concerted, massive attacks in the vicinity of Bora
Bora, Afhanistan. Global news reports at the time quoted the FBI, the
Pentagon, and the military head of Pakistan, General Musharraf,
separately as saying that Bin Laden had been killed, either directly in the
bombing attacks, or indirectly by being kept from essential life-support
for kidney disease. The last known video of Bin Laden showed a pale,
gaunt, feeble man with an immobile left arm. He has not been seen or
heard since, in any videotape or audiotape whose date and content could be
attested by independent experts.
Unfortunately, those saying “we got him” were frowned down by the White
House. Perhaps Team Bush didn’t want the Afghanistan “war” over
quickly, or preferred to avoid questions about why they didn’t compel the
Taliban to hand him over, or wanted OBL as a shadow opponent in what
another writer has aptly termed “Cold War II.” If this seems far-fetched,
it should not. The sad and sorry buildup to invading Iraq indicates
that many in corporate media outlets would take a “Bin Laden tape” at face
value, even if they turned it over and it had “From the desk of Paul
Wolfowitz” stamped on the back.
So, what do we face, as the conclusion to today’s intensified hunt for
Bin Laden? Regarding that “concentric rings” description, it seems
only too likely that the upshot of this hunt will be, not capture, but
intensive bombing of one spot, said by unnamed sources to be Bin Laden’s
last hiding place. Then, of course, there will be the inevitable
military briefing of the press, with reporters allowed to hear or to quote
only material selected by authorities, and held at a place where they
will not be able to corroborate or check it. At the briefing, some
grizzled combat veteran will joke that OBL’s “concentric circles” of
protection turned out to be a “bull’s-eye.” [laughter]
Sadly, we also face more loss of life. This is a plea: if anyone out
there can stop this, please try.
Margie Burns, a freelance writer in the Washington, DC, area, can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
What do you get when you cross Mexico with Texas?
Oil of Ole.
JonBenet Ramsey's Dad May Run for Office
AP - Mon Mar 15, 8:52 PM ET
JonBenet Ramsey's father said Monday he is seriously considering running for the Michigan House and hopes voters will focus on his ideas and experience rather than the unsolved murder of his daughter.
Stinky Flower Sets New Height Record
Mon Mar 15, 6:55 PM ET
A rare flower that smells like rotting flesh and grows nearly 9.8 feet tall has bloomed in Indonesia, setting a new record for the species' height, officials said Saturday.
Donkey Visits Neb. Nursing Homes
Mon Mar 15, 5:23 PM ET
A local nursing home didn't have a dog or a cat visit recently as part of pet therapy — it had a donkey.
Calif. Officials Nearly Fall for H2O Hoax
Mon Mar 15, 8:02 AM ET
City officials were so concerned about the potentially dangerous properties of dihydrogen monoxide that they considered banning foam cups after they learned the chemical was used in their production.
Army chief does speak English
Tue Mar 16, 2:21 AM ET
Army Chief Michael Jackson was asked an unexpected question as he sat down for his first ever meeting with Vietnam's legendary military strategist General Vo Nguyen Giap
Chinese vets give American-born panda crash course in reproduction: report
Tue Mar 16, 2:28 AM ET
BEIJING (AP) - Chinese veterinarians have begun showing American-born panda Hua Mei sex-education videos featuring pandas mating to prepare her for "blind dates" with Chinese suitors, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.
March 16, 2004
Police in Jacksonville, Fla., arrested a man who believed he was a 'vampire slayer' after he allegedly shot his Domino's Pizza co-worker twice in the face because he thought he was a vampire, according to Local 6 News.
"It is not raining. Madrid is crying." - Jorge Mendez, 20, one of the estimated 2.3 million marchers who braved a drizzle in Madrid to protest Spain's worst terrorist attack ever.
Out with the old
Guardian, UK - 3-16-04
... He racked up 3,400 votes here, as compared to an average of 400 in other districts. Republicans and sceptics blamed it on doddery eyesight and ignorance. ...
Fifteen Candidates Seek Ill. Senate Seat
AP - 3-16-04
For weeks, the candidates for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat have been repeating the old adage that the only poll that matters is the one held on election day.
Dow Finishes Down 137; Nasdaq Drops 46
AP - Mon Mar 15, 9:02 PM ET
The election of an anti-war government in Spain further unnerved the stock market Monday, propelling the Dow Jones industrial average more than 130 points lower on fears that terrorists, emboldened by the events in Spain, would strike again.
Government Expands Mad Cow Testing
The Agriculture Department is planning a 10-fold increase in the number of cattle tested for mad cow disease in response to discovery of the nation's first case of the disease last December.
Beatles to Sue Apple Computers
FOX News - 3-16-04
By Roger Friedman. The big news out of last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dinner at the Waldorf? (I mean, besides the fact that ...
N.M. Rancher Arrested in Grazing Fight
AP - Tue Mar 16,12:55 AM ET
"John Kerry says that foreign leaders want him to be president, but that he can't name the foreign leaders. That's all right, President Bush can't name them either." David Letterman
"The presidential campaign is really heating up. George Bush, his campaign is really doing much, much better, and he's shot right up in the polls since he captured Martha Stewart." -David Letterman
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Republican Shenanigans in the News
Taxpayers May Pay Janklow's Civil Damages
AP - Mon Mar 15, 6:37 PM ET
Bill Janklow was on duty as South Dakota's congressman when his speeding car collided with a motorcycle last summer, meaning federal taxpayers would pay any civil damages arising from the fatal crash, a prosecutor has concluded.
White House to Kerry: Prove Assertion
AP - Mon Mar 15, 3:31 PM ET
The White House, seeking to raise credibility questions about Democrat John Kerry, suggested Monday that the presumptive nominee had lied when he said some foreign leaders privately back his candidacy.
Interior Dept's Internet Connections Shut
AP - Mon Mar 15, 5:54 PM ET
A federal judge on Monday once again ordered the Interior Department to pull the plug on most of its Internet connections, finding that the department still hasn't fixed computer security problems that could jeopardize millions of dollars in royalties for American ...
"President Bush was out touting his economic record in Ohio last week. Now this is a state that lost 225,000 jobs since Bush took office. If Bush wants to tout his record he should do it somewhere where the Bush economy has actually created jobs, like India or Thailand or China." -Jay Leno
Group: Probe Rumsfeld Over 9/11 Items
AP - Mon Mar 15, 6:57 PM ET
Law enforcement agencies should investigate Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and FBI agents for possessing mementos from the sites of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a group of attorneys said Monday.
Liberals Help Kerry Match Bush Ads on Air
AP - Tue Mar 16, 2:11 AM ET
Democrat John Kerry is spending only one-third of the money that President Bush is pouring into television advertising this week, but viewers in such cities as Cleveland, Milwaukee and Las Vegas likely will see more anti-Bush commercials than the other way around.
AARP Backs Drug Imports From Canada
AP - Mon Mar 15, 8:11 PM ET
Wash. Lets Women Get the Pill From Store
AP - Mon Mar 15, 9:10 PM ET
Step right up to the pharmacy counter, answer 23 questions and walk out with birth control pills. That's all it takes for women enrolled in a study that is believed to be the first effort in the nation to offer hormonal contraceptives at drugstores without a doctor's prescription
"John Kerry said today he wants to debate President Bush once a month. Hey good luck, if Bush couldn't make it to the National Guard once a month, he's not going to show up for this." -Jay Leno
"I don't think we know the solution to global warming yet and I don't think we've got all the facts," said Bush during his second presidential debate.
Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina.
Tourists watch as the 70-meter (220 feet) front wall of the glacier Perito Moreno breaks down Sunday, March 14, 2004 for the first time in 16 years in Lago Argentino, some 3,200 kilometers, (2,000 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina.( AP/HO)