March 29,  2004 Monday

The Christian Taliban

By Stephen Pizzo, AlterNet
March 28, 2004

...Susan A. Crockett: The third Christian fundamentalist appointed to the same FDA committee. Crockett served as a board member of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She co-authored, "Using Hormone Contraceptives is a Decision Involving Science, Scripture, and Conscience" ...

Bush lacks remorse for 9/11
Indianapolis Star, IN - By E. J. Dionne 3-29-04
... Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism expert now best known for his new book, made the Bush administration look bad last week. He did so not by making new accusations, but by offering a sentiment President Bush would have a lot of trouble expressing: I'm sorry. ...

Shifts from bin Laden hunt evoke questions

By Dave Moniz and Steven Komarow, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — In 2002, troops from the 5th Special Forces Group who specialize in the Middle East were pulled out of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for their next assignment: Iraq. ..

When the Christian Taliban completely takes over this country, I wonder if I will have to wear a burqua.

Bush Spokesman Says White House Will Resist Rice Testimony
Bloomberg - 3-29-04
March 29 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush's spokesman said the administration will continue resisting appeals to let National Security Adviser ...

Condi Rice and republicans have been saying all over the airwaves that it is unprecedented for a national security advisor to testify in a hearing.  I guess Condi never watched Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's national security advisor testify.  See story and link below.

Sen. Thompson Questions NSA Sandy Berger

Aired September 11, 1997 - 11:30 a.m. ET CNN

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, just a moment ago the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee got under way and resumed hearings. Today the witness is the highest-ranking official of the Clinton administration yet to testify before this committee. He is Sandy Berger, the president's national security adviser. As you can see, he has just taken the oath and seated himself at the witness table. Let's listen.

SEN. FRED THOMPSON (R), GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS CHMN.: Thank you very much. Mr. Berger, we do appreciate your being with us this morning. I know that it's not unprecedented for a person in your position to come to the Hill and testify, but it's not an every day occurrence, to say the least. It is appreciated by this committee. We, of course, will avoid any matters that have to do with national security matters. Any thing that we might get into in that area can be taken up in closed session. But it will not be necessary to get into that in open session....

Disturbing News


Rules Still Hinder Intelligence Sharing

AP - Sun Mar 28,12:11 PM ET

More than two years after the Bush administration won pledges of support from dozens of countries eager to join the war on terrorism, Washington and its allies still keep a jealous hold on intelligence — snarling the information sharing needed to shut down al-Qaida.

Poll: Clarke Doubted; Bush Support Ebbs

AP - Sat Mar 27,10:55 PM ET

Two-thirds of Americans say the testimony of Richard Clarke, the former terrorism adviser who has been critical of the Bush administration, hasn't affected their view of the president, says a poll released Saturday.

Peace Corps Lacks Money to Expand

AP - Mon Mar 29, 3:39 AM ET

The Peace Corps is trying to carry out President Bush's goal of doubling the number of volunteers it sends abroad by 2007, but it lacks the money to do it.

Tyco Corruption Trial Turns Raucous

Reuters - Sun Mar 28, 8:48 PM ET

The outing of a juror who used a mysterious hand gesture during the corruption trial of two former Tyco International Ltd. executives not only broke a sacred covenant of American journalism, but will likely cinch a mistrial, legal and journalism experts said on Sunday.

A Town's Future Is Leaving the Country

Los Angeles Times - Sun Mar 28, 7:55 AM ET

The 1,500 residents of Clintwood learn the meaning of outsourcing the hard way.

Backlog of Immigrant Paperwork Growing

Los Angeles Times - 3-29-04

WASHINGTON — Four years ago, as a presidential candidate hoping to draw Latino votes, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush vowed to slash the backlog of applications for legal immigration. No one would have to wait longer than six months, he promised.

Shiites Organize to Block U.S. Plan - Mon Mar 29, 1:30 AM ET

BAGHDAD -- With the turban of the clergy and the talk of a politician, Hashem Awadi, a young Shiite Muslim cleric, thumbed through papers that described the latest challenge to Washington's political blueprint for Iraq.


New bloodshed in Iraq as council member is said to face US probe

AFP - Mon Mar 29, 1:52 AM ET

A British and a Canadian were killed while an Iraqi minister escaped assassination amid ongoing violence, as the US Congress reportedly launched an investigation into activities of a prominent member of the Iraqi Governing Council.

Iraqi Defector's Tales Bolstered U.S. Case for War

Los Angeles Times - Sun Mar 28, 7:55 AM ET

Colin Powell presented the U.N. with details on mobile germ factories, which came from a now-discredited source known as 'Curveball.'


Israeli Secret Services Faulted for Iraq Forecasts

Reuters - Sun Mar 28, 4:16 PM ET

Israel overestimated Iraq's military capabilities but the miscalculation in no way influenced the U.S. decision to topple Saddam Hussein, a parliamentary inquiry found Sunday.


U.S. Gas Prices Hit New Record High

AP - 3-29-04

There is little chance that gas prices, which have reached a record high, will fall significantly in the near future, a national analyst says.


AP: Accused Cadet Was Kept on at Academy

AP - Mon Mar 29, 1:15 AM ET

An Air Force Academy cadet who had been accused of rape and threatened to crash a glider into a classroom building was allowed to remain at the school for several more months, during which he was arrested for sodomizing a woman in a wheelchair and accused of raping another cadet, according to files obtained by The Associated Press.

Sea 'dead zones' threaten planet
ABC Online, Australia - 3-29-04
Environmental experts in South Korea say the spread of oxygen starved 'dead zones' in oceans are emerging as a threat to the health of the entire planet. ...


Calif. Home Power Bill Prompts Pot Probe


I guess Ann Coulter and Robert Novak received their "play the race card" memo:

"[Richard Clarke] is, you know, a career chair-warmer who is upset a black woman took his job."  -- Ann Coulter on MSNBC Friday

"Do you believe that Dick Clarke has a problem with this African American woman Condoleezza Rice?" -Robert Novak on CNN Thursday


Graphic by OZ

Click below for an excellent video clip from the Daily Show

Richard Clarke: 30 year political veteran or jealous, bitter piece of pond scum- Jon Stewart video clip

Assorted News

Tokyo Rejects Extradition of Alleged Spy

AP - Mon Mar 29,12:38 AM ET

A Japanese court rejected a request Monday to extradite a medical researcher to the United States on charges of industrial espionage, the first time a court here has turned down an extradition sought by American authorities.

U.S.-Led Coalition Shuts Down Iraq Paper

AP - Sun Mar 28, 4:30 PM ET

The U.S.-led coalition on Sunday shut down a weekly newspaper run by followers of a hardline Shiite Muslim cleric, saying its articles were increasing the threat of violence against occupation forces.

Spain to Double Afghanistan Contingent

AP -3-29-04

Spain's incoming government, under pressure over its plans to withdraw its troops from Iraq, has agreed to double the country's contingent in Afghanistan to 250 soldiers this summer, an aide to the future defense minister said Monday.
Merchants Find Problems With Google

AP - Sat Mar 27, 1:00 PM ET

Once among the top results when using common search terms like "Seattle hotels," the hotel reservation site has all but disappeared from the Internet.

Oil prices ease amid confusion over OPEC cut
Forbes - 3-29-04
By Sujata Rao. LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - World oil prices fell back on Monday, adding to last week's retreat and to confusion ...

Pakistan Says Al Qaeda Spy Chief Killed
Reuters, United States - 3-29-04
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - An intelligence chief in Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network was killed during a 12-day offensive against militants on the Afghan border ...

Nader, Kerry to Discuss Defeating Bush

AP - Sun Mar 28, 7:43 PM ET

Ralph Nader said Sunday he will meet with John Kerry next month to discuss the effort to defeat President Bush in the November election.

Ex-treasury chief Rubin warns US not to use dollar as trade policy tool

AFP - Sun Mar 28,11:05 AM ET

The United States should not use the dollar as an instrument of trade policy but should address its current account deficit by bringing down its budget deficit, former US treasury secretary Robert Rubin said here.


Bush flips, Cheney flops and both tell whoppers - Arizona Republic-3-29-04



Daddy looms large in the US presidency
The Straits Times, Singapore - -3-29-04
... the NBC correspondent who died in Iraq, probably would not have been there without the hyped claims of WMD. ... Bush officials accuse him of playing fast and loose ...

Text of Remarks by John Kerry at New Northside Baptist Church in St. Louis March 28

Sun Mar 28, 4:16 PM ET

Following is the text of remarks by John Kerry as prepared for delivery today at the New Northside Baptist Church in St. Louis:

Clarke Urges Terrorism Testimony to Be Made Public

Reuters - Sun Mar 28,12:50 PM ET

Former U.S. counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke on Sunday called on the White House to make public his own testimony to Congress as well as other statements, e-mails and documents about how the Bush administration handled the threat of terror.
Bush Campaign Blasts Kerry's Bible Quote

AP - Sun Mar 28,11:36 PM ET

John Kerry cited a Bible verse Sunday to criticize leaders who have "faith but has no deeds," prompting President Bush's spokesman to accuse Kerry of exploiting Scripture for a political attack.

Campaign's Negative Tone Takes Early Toll

Reuters - Sun Mar 28, 1:14 PM ET

The early campaign skirmishes between President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry have taken a toll on public attitudes toward both men, pollsters say, with many voters already growing weary of the race's negative tone.

It's a Fib Thing - Thu Mar 25, 6:33 PM ET

U.S. Attorney David Kelley, victorious, declared the Martha Stewart case was "all about lies." But it also was about a controversial law and how selectively it can be applied. In Stewart's case the prosecution took five lies about one deception--made in untaped and unsworn interviews with federal agents--and wove them into five criminal counts, winning four guilty verdicts (the fifth was thrown out). For two counts, prosecutors used the false statements statute (United States Code, Section 1001), which criminalizes lies made not under oath. ...


Why Bush should be sending Richard A. Clarke another “thank you” note for his scathing accusations.

Polar explorer Ann Bancroft suggested that national leaders accused of using same-sex marriage, as a wedge issue should focus on more important concerns, at one point offering a suggestion to President Bush.

"If he really wants to stimulate the economy he should let gay men marry," she said.

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on
the same night.
2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has
not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be
3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness,"
4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want
you to share yours with them.
5. You should not confuse your career with your life.
6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
7. Never lick a steak knife.
8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.
9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling
reason why we observe daylight savings time.
10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests
that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging
from her at that moment.
11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a
big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.
12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender,
religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside,
we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice
person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
14. Your friends love you anyway.
15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built
the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
FINAL Thought for the day:

Men are like a fine wine. They start out as grapes, and it's up to women to
stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have
dinner with.


Hi Lisa,

I feel that people need to reminded about House bill HR.163 and it's companion Senate bill S.89 which would reinstate the draft. They were introduced in January, 2003 and are quietly being prepared for passage in 2005, conveniently after the election. If the Bushites are allowed to maintain their illegal seizure of power, the draft is almost a certainty. Fresh cannon fodder will be needed to maintain their state of perpetual warfare. However, the US does not need the draft to successfully fight terrorism!

These bills call for both males and females to serve, with few exceptions. If it's true that young people today are the most apathetic when it comes to voting, perhaps awareness of this will cause many of them change their minds, register to vote and then vote for John Kerry. Granted, a vote for Kerry does not automatically assure that a draft will not occur, but it definitely decreases that chance.

Lord knows that in a close election (which this is shaping up to be), Kerry will need all the votes he can get to offset the neocon smear tactics, potential voting fraud and other chicanery yet to come. Hope this helps to spread the word. Thanks.


Here is a link to the text of HR.163:

Thanks for writing Ron. If the draft is brought back maybe all politician's children should be put at the head of the line, eh?

Price of gas today in Menlo Park, California



On Laura Schlesinger's radio show recently, she said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination, according to Leviticus
18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response
is an open letter to Dr.Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on
the Internet. It's funny, as well as thought-provoking.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have
learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with
as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual
lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly
states it to be an abomination... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of
God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female,
provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus
21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I
tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They
claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2.
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him
myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I
don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around
their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How
should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of
getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just
burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who
sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable
expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again
for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.


An adoring fan


Graphic by OZ

DON KING GETS POLITICAL: Promoter joins race.
Eurweb, UK - 3-29-04
... Literally. King will be lending his voice in a Republican Internet game designed to attack Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. ...

Iraqi newspaper closed, sparking huge protest

Coalition says that Muslim cleric incited violence on troops with his publication.

By Ken Dilanian

Knight Ridder Newspapers

March 29, 2004


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The U.S.-led occupation authority dispatched soldiers to shut down the newspaper of an extremist Shiite Muslim cleric Sunday, charging that the paper repeatedly published misinformation designed to incite violence against U.S. troops….


Graphic By Brad


Military News

Iraq 'Friendly Fire' Tragedy Blamed on U.S. Marine

Reuters - Sun Mar 28, 4:28 PM ET

The worst U.S. "friendly fire" incident of the Iraq war has been blamed on a Marine captain who called fighter jets to strike suspected Iraqi positions last March, unaware that dozens of Marines were fighting in the area, defense officials said on Sunday.

Veteran ’ s affairs budget faces major obstacles
Middletown Press, CT - 3-29-04
... Asserting that veterans benefits, particularly VA health care, are among the delayed costs of national security, The American Legion will fight on three tracks ...


American Legion celebrates 85th birthday
Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune, WV - 3-29-04
... for treatment in VA hospitals; work with elected representatives to enable the VA to shorten the processing time of claims for veterans' benefits; and fight ...



A Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

AP - Sun Mar 28, 5:37 PM ET

As of Friday, March 26, 585 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq a year ago, according to the Department of Defense. Of those, 395 died as a result of hostile action and 190 died of non-hostile causes, the department said.

Army spouses expect reenlistment
MSNBC - Mar 28, 2004
... on the adventure of Army life and more on financial incentives, such as education benefits. ... re seeing a harder Army come out of this," full of veterans of Iraq

Untangling the VA computer crash
St. Petersburg Times, FL - Mar 28, 2004
... to bring order and efficiency to the sprawling Department of Veterans Affairs ... officials in Washington settled on three: Bay Pines, the benefits regional office ...

Bush's Odd Warfare State - 3-29-04
... Maybe those turkeys Bush passed out to the troops at Thanksgiving were supposed to substitute for decent military pay and veterans' benefits. ...

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,

who has given us freedom of religion.


It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.


It is the VETERAN, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.


It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,

who has given us freedom to assemble.


It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,

who has given us the right to a fair trial.


It is the VETERAN, not the politician,

Who has given us the right to vote.


It is the VETERAN,

who salutes the Flag,

It is the veteran,

who serves under the Flag,



Sent in by Doc


Hello everyone,

I just finished setting out my tattered old Ensign from PCF 98 and tying yellow ribbons on the mail box and a couple aspen trees to welcome home from Afghanistan, my next door neighbor.
Steve has been deployed for 8 months with the Marines.
We're are all very grateful for his service to our country, that his two teenage children still have their daddy, and Susan has her husband home safe and sound.
A big JOB WELL DONE !!! to Colonel Steve and his family!!


Thanks for writing Darrell, it is always nice to hear good news!


Odd News

Kerry too 'French' to sway 'adolescent' Americans: consultant

AFP - Sat Mar 27, 6:52 PM ET

US presidential hopeful John Kerry needs to stop acting so French if he wants to win the race for the White House, a French-born, US-based consultant and "medical anthropologist" says.

Vermont Probes Man With 70 Goats in House

Sun Mar 28,10:03 PM ET

State officials are investigating a man whose goats and his religious convictions against killing them have collided in a possibly inhumane and definitely stinky way.
Man Sells Lunar Plots for $19.99 an Acre

Sun Mar 28, 9:47 PM ET

On U.S. Highway 395, which cuts straight through this little town, Dennis Hope sells undeveloped land for the bargain price of $19.99 an acre. There are spacious lots near grand locales: The Sea of Tranquility. The Sea of Serenity.

Streaker Interrupts Skating Championships

Sat Mar 27, 3:16 PM ET

A streaker bypassed security at the world championships, skated onto the ice and put on a tutu as defending champion Michelle Kwan was about to perform in Saturday's final.



Cambodian cuts off penis to feed spirits

Mon Mar 29, 3:01 AM ET

A Cambodian man cut off his penis when he said he was visited by four hungry spirits in a dream and he had no chicken or duck to offer them.


Girl threatens mum with knife for taking mobile


A 14-year-old Hong Kong girl flew into a rage and chased her mother around their flat with a knife and wooden pole after she confiscated the teenager's mobile phone.

Killer forgiven seconds from death

Sun Mar 28, 8:04 PM ET

A convicted Saudi murderer escaped death by seconds when he was forgiven by his victim's father as he knelt down before the executioner's sword, a Saudi newspaper has reported.


Fire Ant Attacks Up in Nursing Homes

AP - Sun Mar 28, 3:11 PM ET

South American fire ants are becoming an increasing danger for nursing home residents, as the aggressive non-native pests spread throughout the country and the U.S. population ages, according to University of Mississippi researchers.




Good News

Talk radio's dial will get a turn to the left
USA Today -3-2904
By Gino Domenico, AP. "Over the past 30 years the American people have been conned into thinking 'liberal' is a dirty word," the Saturday Night Live alum says. ...

NASA Scores Success in Space Travel 'Holy Grail'

Reuters - Sat Mar 27,10:26 PM ET A revolutionary jet engine flew faster than seven times the speed of sound in a high altitude test over the Pacific on Saturday, marking what NASA scientists hailed as a milestone in developing the "Holy Grail" of space travel.

More Evidence Found of How Vitamins Prevent Cancer

Reuters - Sun Mar 28, 7:09 PM ET Vitamin E protects against at least two common forms of cancer -- prostate and bladder -- but popping supplements is probably not the best way to get the vital nutrient, researchers said on Sunday.



This composite image was taken by the navigation camera of NASA's Stardust spacecraft during its Jan 2, 2004 flyby of comet Wild 2. To create this image, a short exposure image showing tremendous surface detail was overlain on a long exposure image taken just 10 seconds later showing jets. Together, the images show an intensely active surface, jetting dust and gas streams into space and leaving a trail millions of kilometers long.

"This spectacular composite image shows a surface feature unlike any other planetary surface see to date in our solar system", says Prof. Donald Brownlee, the Stardust Principal Investigator from the University of Washington. "Other than our Sun, this is currently the most active planetary surface in our solar system."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL