An un-apologetic criticism of US foreign policy and The Project for the New American Century. Animation follows the dialogue, giving visual poignancy and weight to Barry’s words. The propoganda-esque style of the motion graphics further re-inforces the message. Is this a conspiracy theory? Far from it.
A court of Iraq’s interim government has brought criminal charges against a prominent politician for attending an antiterrorism conference in Israel and publicly suggesting that Iraq should open talks with Israel.
The indictment and arrest warrant, based on a 1969 law promulgated by the Baath Party that bars Iraqis from having contacts with enemy states, are likely to anger the United States government, which has sponsored Iraq’s new courts and is a close ally of Israel.
“Baathists are still there and they are still thinking in the old way,” he said. “They’re doing this to stop any move in the direction of peace with Israel. They don’t understand the meaning of liberation.”
Now available as a free dowload.
Patents stink. Literally.
The Beastie Boys, David Byrne and Brazilian pop legend Gilberto Gil will appear on a new CD along with 13 other artists next month—not exactly earth-shattering news. But what’s unique about the disc is that diehard fans are not only likely to end up copying, remixing and swapping it online; they’re actively encouraged to do so. The compilation, due out at month’s end, is both a legal experiment and the opening salvo in a war against the music industry’s zero-tolerance policy on file sharing. And if the folks behind it have it their way, both the artists and their fans will come out winners.
Wow. How did they do this?
Sanctions worked. Weapons inspectors worked. That is the bottom line of the long-awaited report on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, written by President Bush’s handpicked investigator.
In the 18 months since President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, justifying the decision by saying that Saddam Hussein was “a gathering threat” to the United States, Americans have come to realize that Iraq had no chemical, nuclear or biological weapons. But the report issued yesterday goes further. It says that Iraq had no factories to produce illicit weapons and that its ability to resume production was growing more feeble every year. While Mr. Hussein retained dreams of someday getting back into the chemical warfare business, his chosen target was Iran, not the United States.
The House ethics committee last night admonished Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for asking federal aviation officials to track an airplane involved in a Texas political spat, and for conduct that suggested political donations might influence legislative action.
The two-pronged rebuke marked the second time in six days — and the third time overall — that the ethics panel has admonished the House’s second-ranking Republican. The back-to-back chastisements are highly unusual for any lawmaker, let alone one who aspires to be speaker, and some watchdog groups called on him to resign his leadership post.
How about “Three strikes and you’re out!”?
Formule 1-verslaggever Olav Mol stapte dit seizoen na 12 jaar RTL over naar SBS. Binnenkort verruilt hij na 43 jaar Nederland voor een leven in Spanje.
Uit ongenoegen. ,,Ik besef dat ik Nederland niet kan veranderen. Dus ga ik zelf maar.”
Als bewijs komt een map met verfrommelde papiertjes tevoorschijn. Allemaal boetes, gericht aan zijn kinderen Stephanie en Martijn. Olav Mol leest hardop voor: ,,Zich zonder duidelijk doel ophouden in een poort, of zitten of liggen tegen een gebouw. Dat is dus de nieuwe wet-Mulder. Een wet die in het leven is geroepen om junks en zwervers te verjagen, maar die in Nederland wordt gebruikt om kinderen te pesten die ergens gezellig met een paar anderen staan te leuteren.”
Mister Formule 1 kijkt quasi-gepijnigd. Hij ergert zich. Zo ontembaar enthousiast als de aanblik van een racecircuit hem maakt, zo ongeremd ook kan hij zich opwinden over het in zijn ogen zo kneuterige Nederland.
After agreeing to his online requests that she sexually abuse a 4-year-old girl and send him pictures via the Internet, a Sylvania woman asked the man she thought was an NFL football player for a favor in return.
“Do u think u can have me come for a game with a friend and get me tickets?” 26-year-old Elissa Schuster asked, said Sylvania police, who released a transcript of an instant messaging conversation yesterday.
“[And] i want a jersey of yours.”
Ms. Schuster of 6504 Cornwall Ct. has been charged with rape, pandering sexually oriented material, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. She was released yesterday on $250,000 bond after her attorneys waived a preliminary examination in Sylvania Municipal Court.
De Amsterdamse officier van justitie J. Tonino heeft een computer vol vertrouwelijke informatie bij zijn huis op straat gezet bij het grof vuil. Een passerende taxichauffeur nam de pc mee naar huis en wist het ding moeiteloos aan de praat te krijgen. Dat zei Peter R. de Vries donderdag in het Radio 1 Journaal.
De VVD wil dat minister Donner (Justitie) nog donderdag in de Tweede Kamer tekst en uitleg geeft in een zogeheten interpellatiedebat. Kamerlid Luchtenveld vindt dat Tonino in elk geval moet worden geschorst. Verder wil hij van Donner weten of officieren van justitie vertrouwelijke informatie thuis op hun pc mogen hebben, en of zij hun computer met die informatie zomaar langs de weg mogen zetten. “Dit kan echt niet”, aldus Luchtenveld.
Misdaadverslaggever De Vries kreeg de computer van de taxichauffeur en printte twee vuistdikke ordners vol informatie uit. Officier van justitie Tonino is gespecialiseerd in de bestrijding van witteboordencriminaliteit.
Onder de vertrouwelijke gegevens zijn volgens De Vries onder meer documenten over de inmiddels vermoorde zakenman Willem Endstra. Zo zou Tonino op het punt hebben gestaan Endstra te laten arresteren en maakte men elkaar binnen justitie over deze zaak onderling verwijten.
De computer bevat volgens De Vries gegevens waar de onderwereld een moord voor zou doen. Hij is verbaasd over de vondst. “Het parket is hermetisch beveiligd, maar deze prominente fraudeofficier heeft allerlei belangrijke informatie thuis op een computer staan en zet hem zo bij het grofvuil. De pc was toen de taxichauffeur hem opstartte niet beveiligd.
De Vries zal donderdagavond in zijn tv-programma “in vogelvlucht en zonder in details te treden” laten zien wat er allemaal op stond. De journalist beraadt zich nog of hij het apparaat aan justitie teruggeeft.
Deze onvoorstelbare klappernoot verdient niet anders dan onmiddelijk ontslag. Ik ben benieuwd wat Donner doet..
update: Ik heb de uitzending gezien, en niet alleen is deze officier aan ontslag toe, heel justitie moet nodig ‘s z’n security de 21e eeuw binnen loodsen. Ik heb er natuurlijk met meer dan gemiddelde security-kennis naar zitten kijken, en heb met grote verbazing naar de voorlichtster zitten luisteren. Misdaadbestreiding is in Nederland kennelijk onvoorstelbaar naief en amateuristisch als er zo met informatiebeveiliging wordt omgesprongen. Hoe kan het dat “de computer is anderhalf jaar niet gebruikt” als excuus wordt gebruikt, en niemand door heeft dat kennelijk betekent dat de wachtwoord-policies zodanig zijn dat mail accounts met anderhalf jaar oude wachtwoorden nog steeds gebruikt kunnen worden? En dat is dan het beginnersfoutje dat ik het gemakkelijkst uit kan leggen aan de lezertjes van dit weblog. Ik weet dat er lezertjes zijn die ook het een en ander van beveiliging weten, en laat ik die lezertjes dan even dit toeroepen:
Dear Mr. President:
As professors of economics and business, we are concerned that U.S. economic policy has taken a dangerous turn under your stewardship. Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated since you took office in January 2001. Real GDP growth during your term is the lowest of any presidential term in recent memory. Total non-farm employment has contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are lower now than at the time of your inauguration. The percentage of Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined, and income inequality has grown.
The data make clear that your policy of slashing taxes – primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution – has not worked. The fiscal reversal that has taken place under your leadership is so extreme that it would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. The federal budget surplus of over $200 billion that we enjoyed in the year 2000 has disappeared, and we are now facing a massive annual deficit of over $400 billion. In fact, if transfers from the Social Security trust fund are excluded, the federal deficit is even worse – well in excess of a half a trillion dollars this year alone. Although some members of your administration have suggested that the mountain of new debt accumulated on your watch is mainly the consequence of 9-11 and the war on terror, budget experts know that this is simply false. Your economic policies have played a significant role in driving this fiscal collapse. And the economic proposals you have suggested for a potential second term – from diverting Social Security contributions into private accounts to making the recent tax cuts permanent – only promise to exacerbate the crisis by further narrowing the federal revenue base.
These sorts of deficits crowd out private investment and are politically addictive. They also place a heavy burden on monetary policy – and create additional pressure for higher interest rates – by stoking inflationary expectations. If your economic advisers are telling you that these deficits can be defeated through further reductions in tax rates, then you need new advisers. More robust economic growth could certainly help, but nearly every one of your administration’s economic forecasts – both before and after 9-11 – has proved overly optimistic. Expenditure cuts could be part of the answer, but your record so far has been one of increasing expenditures, not reducing them.
What is called for, we believe, is a dramatic reorientation of fiscal policy, including substantial reversals of your tax policy. Running a budget deficit in response to a short bout of recession is one thing. But running large structural deficits over a long period is something else entirely. We therefore urge you to consider the fiscal realities we now face and the substantial burden they are placing on our economy.
We also urge you to consider the distributional consequences of your policies. Under your administration, the income gap between the most affluent Americans and everyone else has widened. Although the latest data reveal that real household incomes have dropped across the board since you took office, low and middle income households have experienced steeper declines than upper income households. To be sure, the general phenomenon of mounting inequality preceded your administration, but it has continued (and, by some accounts, intensified) over the past three and a half years.
Some degree of inequality is inherent in any free market economy, creating positive incentives for economic and technological advancement. But when inequality becomes extreme, it can be socially corrosive and economically dysfunctional. Problems of this sort are visible throughout much of the developing world. At the moment, the most commonly accepted measure of inequality – the so-called Gini coefficient – is far higher in the United States than in any other developed country and is continuing to move upward. We don’t know where the breakpoint is for the U.S., but we would rather not find out. With all due respect, we believe your tax policy has exacerbated the problem of inequality in the United States, which has worrisome implications for the economy as a whole. We very much hope you will take this threat to our nation into account as you consider new fiscal approaches to address the nation’s most pressing economic problems.
Sensible and farsighted economic management requires true discipline, compassion, and courage – not just slogans. Given the tenuous state of the American economy, we believe that the time for an honest assessment of the problem and for genuine corrective action is now. Ignoring the fiscal crisis that has taken hold during your presidency may seem politically appealing in the short run, but we fear it could ultimately prove disastrous. From a policy standpoint, the clear message is that more of the same won’t work. The warning signs are already visible, and it is incumbent upon all of us to pay attention.
(click the link to see who signed this open letter)
In a pastoral letter published Friday, Archbishop Raymond Burke tackled one of the stickiest issues he has faced so far as the leader of St. Louis’ Roman Catholics.
The letter and an accompanying question-and-answer addressed the sensitive topic of voting, sin and Holy Communion, and it delved into the moral law that the archbishop says dictates how Catholics in a secular democratic society must choose their leaders using the teachings of the church as their guide.
The letter itself was Burke’s attempt at a final statement on a topic that has dominated his first summer as the city’s prelate. It also was meant as a pastoral guide to clarify the subject that, he has said, has been confusing for St. Louis Catholics.
For reasons that have as much to do with election year presidential politics as Catholic moral teaching, local and national news media gave Burke’s comments on Catholic politicians and voting great attention over the summer, and there was rampant speculation as to why he had – to use a familiar phrase of the summer – flip-flopped by September. While it remains to be seen how politically influential the new St. Louis archbishop will be in next month’s elections, area Catholics could be a key voting bloc, especially in the closely contested races for president and Missouri governor. There are more than 550,000 Catholics in the St. Louis Archdiocese.
In late June, Burke said it was a grave sin for Catholics to vote for a politician who supports abortion rights. Last month, he seemed to soften that stance by saying that only if a Catholic were to vote for a politician who supports abortion rights because of that politician’s position on the issue, would the voter be committing a grave sin.
I am 40 years old and have been Catholic all of my life. I attended Catholic schools. I belong to the Secular Order of the Servants of Mary. I belong to the Knights of Columbus. I teach Rite of Christian Initiation and Baptism classes at my parish. My children have attended Catholic school. I coach and referee CYC sports.
The experiences I’ve had and the relationships I’ve built are an integral part of who I am. Archbishop Raymond Burke has stated that war and the death penalty “are not intrinsically evil,” but abortion and same-sex marriage are. That appears to me a very human judgment from someone people look to for spiritual leadership.
I do not support abortion and I am not gay, but I do know that God creates all life. Is it up to humans to judge and grade the innocence of that life? I voted for George W. Bush in the last presidential election. I am not happy about how he has handled our relationship with the rest of the world and would not consider his actions “pro-life.” I will vote for Sen. John Kerry, hoping that he’ll do a much better job.
Does the act of voting make it a sin, or should I repent now for my intention? I believe that Bush and Burke are good men doing their best to lead their people, but I must disagree with their methods. They throw around words like “evil” to devalue the humanness of those who are different from them. They then use fear and blind patriotism to justify the destruction of humans both physically and emotionally and then discredit those who disagree with them. I want this to end.
The stand that my church’s leadership is taking makes me question what it means to be Catholic. Am I Catholic because I was born into the faith and attend services in a Catholic church? Am I Catholic because I toe the party line?
God’s presence does not end or begin at the doors to the church. It does not end or begin in the womb or on the battlefield or in the bedroom or in prison.
How we live our lives illustrates our respect for life. It does not boil down to where we stand on a couple of issues. My decision to vote for Kerry is based on my faith. I am who I am, and if my beliefs make me “not Catholic,” then so be it.
“Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I’m up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they’re in session.”
He really should learn about this interweb thingy…
Appearing once again on the late-night TV circuit, Laura Bush had an important message for Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of her husband’s political foe — the first lady will be wearing blue when they next meet.
“I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, ‘There goes the neighborhood!'”
Wales has sunk into the Irish Sea on a map published by European Union statisticians to illustrate their official yearbook.
“Obviously we’re embarrassed and we’re sorry,” Tim Allen, a press officer for Luxembourg-based Eurostat, told AFP Tuesday.
Eurostat’s Statistical Compendium 2004, which bills itself as “the statistical guide to Europe,” was published last Friday and has a map on its front cover showing EU member states.
But while it accurately shows the rest of Britain, Wales — which along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland makes up the United Kingdom — has somehow disappeared and been replaced by an enlarged Irish Sea.
The UK Independence Party, which has several members in the European Parliament but which wants Britain to pull out of the EU, welcomed the removal of Wales from the map.
“We’re pleased the EU has recognised our wish to withdraw the UK, but we didn’t expect them to do it one bit at a time,” spokesman Quentin Williamson told AFP.
Vice President Dick Cheney probably did not intend to direct millions of television viewers to a Web site calling for President Bush’s defeat but that’s what a slip of the domain achieved.
Anyone who heeded Cheney’s advice and clicked on “factcheck.com” on Wednesday morning was redirected to the site of anti-Bush billionaire investor George Soros that had a banner message saying “Why we must not reelect President Bush.”
The GeorgeSoros.com site later put up a notice saying that it does not own factcheck.com and was not responsible for directing readers from that site to the Soros message. “We are as surprised as anyone by this turn of events,” it said.
A lawyer for the factcheck.com site was not available for comment.
Defending his record as Halliburton’s chief executive, Cheney said in the Tuesday night debate that Democratic vice-presidential challenger John Edwards was trying to use Halliburton as a smokescreen. Any voter who wanted the facts, Cheney said, should check out factcheck.com — which led to the Soros site.
The Web site Cheney had in mind, factcheck.org, was not amused when the vice president proved that he was not master of the factcheckers’ domain.
Factcheck.org, run by the Annenberg Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said on its site on Wednesday that Cheney not only got the domain name confused, he had mischaracterized its fact-finding.
“Cheney … wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton,” the site said on Wednesday.
“In fact we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn’t profited personally while in office from Halliburton’s Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney’s responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right.”