Earthquake survivors in the town of Balakot, Pakistan, offering prayers.
Life is filled with choices, and many are financial. Fancy restaurant or peanut buter sandwich and money for a new roof repair. Affordable TV or all-out HD LCD for the Super Bowl followed by years of credit card debt. But here’e one most of us won’t be wrestling over: 39 megapixel Hasselblad digital camera or new BMW.
translation of the Welsh: “Look left”
Society is like a stew. If you don’t keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.
- Edward Abbey
A surveillance video that captured images of a homeless man being savagely beaten helped police track down the two South Florida teenage suspects, officials said.
More than 100 tips were generated from the video and photographs of the Thursday beating, and investigators and made contact with the families of the suspects within a day, investigators said.
Family members and their attorneys negotiated the Sunday surrender of Brian Hooks, 18, and Thomas S. Daugherty, 17, who had fled the state.
Both will be charged with the murder of Norris Gaynor and aggravated battery for the videotaped beating of Jacques Pierre, police Capt. Michael Gregory said.
The teens are also suspects in the beating of a third man, Raymond Perez, 49, whose case remains under investigation, Gregory said.
So what’s it like to spend several days as a Guantanamo Bay visitor? Nothing I write will come close to capturing the experience. The Guantanamo of my imagination was a thin strip of beach on the edge of Cuba, with a small military community organized around a detention facility. So it was disorienting to arrive in a place of beauty, with mountain views and lush vegetation, and to realize that it would be possible to spend months in this 45-square-mile base without once encountering any direct evidence of the detainees’ presence here.
I’ll close this post with an observation: Even in a terribly flawed legal system like this one, a skilled and dedicated defense lawyer can transform the nature of the proceeding. That’s why the Administration attempted for so long to keep any lawyers from coming here. All of the defense lawyers who participated this week, military and civilian, are fighters, and they won’t just throw up their hands at the injustice of the rules. The Administration may yet get the outcomes it wants – after all, it selects the Commission members and makes the rules – but it won’t get the trials that it wants. The defense lawyers will make sure of that.
Ralph Reed, candidate for lieutenant governor, had just finished his opening statement to the Dawson County Republican Party when retired pulp paper executive Gary Pichon sprang from his seat with a question that cut to the chase:
“Did you accept any gifts, commissions or other payments of any kind from Mr. Abramoff, and are you likely to be a party in the unfolding investigation?”
Silence enveloped the 60 or so Republicans in the auditorium, and Reed’s cheerful manner turned tense. “No,” he replied. “No to all these.”
At age 44, he still has the choirboy looks that have been noted in dozens of profiles over the past 20 years. But the first major dent in Reed’s carefully cultivated image came with the disclosure in the summer of 2004 that his public relations and lobbying companies had received at least $4.2 million from Abramoff to mobilize Christian voters to fight Indian casinos competing with Abramoff’s casino clients.
Similarly damaging has been a torrent of e-mails revealed during the investigation that shows a side of Reed that some former supporters say cannot be reconciled with his professed Christian values.
“After reading the e-mail, it became pretty obvious he was putting money before God,” said Phil Dacosta, a Georgia Christian Coalition member who had initially backed Reed. “We are righteously casting him out.”
In 1999, Reed e-mailed Abramoff after submitting a bill for $120,000 and warning that he would need as much as $300,000 more: “We are opening the bomb bays and holding nothing back.”
In 2004, when the casino payments to Reed were disclosed, Reed issued a statement declaring “no direct knowledge of their [Abramoff's law firm's] clients or interests.” In 2005, however, Senate investigators released a 1999 e-mail from Abramoff to Reed explicitly citing the client: “It would be really helpful if you could get me invoices [for services performed] as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks ASAP.”
One of the most damaging e-mails was sent by Abramoff to partner Michael Scanlon, complaining about Reed’s billing practices and expenditure claims: “He is a bad version of us! No more money for him.” Scanlon and Abramoff have pleaded guilty to defrauding clients.
Some speeches deserve to be quoted far and wide.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. I’m not going to talk about same-sex marriage. I’m no fool — although others might make a different judgement about a freshman delegate rising in this chamber on the third day of session. But I understand that on the issue of marriage, I’m in the minority, perhaps even in my own caucus. I also sleep very well at night knowing that at some point in the future of this great Commonwealth, those of us of my opinion will be judged to have been on the right side of history. But let’s for a moment forget about the question of same-sex marriage, because this amendment addresses much more than that. We need to be clear and honest: This amendment also outlaws civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar private legal arrangements.
We have heard from the other side that this constitutional amendment is necessary to protect conventional marriage. I am blessed with a beautiful and brilliant wife who is the love of my life. In June, Shayna and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and I would fight with every ounce of my strength anything that would threaten my marriage. So I would like to know, how exactly civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar arrangements threaten my marriage?
We have heard from the other side that this amendment will protect families. Shayna and I are blessed with a strong and bright six-year-old son, Caleb, and we have a strong family. My friend the gentleman from Rockingham County, Delegate Lohr, and I have discussed how we come from different backgrounds and different parts of this great Commonwealth, yet we share a deep and abiding commitment to our families. I want nothing more than to protect my family. I spent 12 years wearing the uniform of the United States Air Force to protect my family. I’ve been in harm’s way to protect my family. So I would like to know, how exactly do civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar arrangements threaten my family? Because if they do, I will be the first one to stand up and fight, because nobody better threaten my family.
Moreover, we have heard from the other side that this amendment must pass sooner rather than later, as if there is some kind of crisis that is more important than issues like transportation or education or health care. Why else would this be our first order of business? Yet Virginia law already makes same-sex marriage and civil unions and domestic partnerships illegal.
So if this amendment doesn’t help protect my marriage, and doesn’t help protect my family, and if it doesn’t even change the status of same-sex marriage and civil unions and domestic partnership contracts, then what exactly does this amendment do? I submit to my fair-minded colleagues that this amendment sends a message. And that message is, if you are gay, or lesbian, or even a man and a woman living together and committed to each other who are not married, you are not welcome in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
And who are these people whom we are shutting out in the cold? They are my dear friends Karen and Sue, who have been together for years and are as loving and committed to each other as any husband and wife. They are my friend Lou, who served with me at the Pentagon, and continues to serve our country today. They are Father Mychal Judge, the gay priest who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 while ministering to fallen firefighters. They are Mark Bingham, a gay passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, who fought back against Al Queda hijackers and sacrificed his life to save others. They are Ronald Gamboa and his partner Dan Brandhorst, who, along with their 3 year old son David, were killed when Al Quaeda flew United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center. They are David Charlebois, the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon when Al Qaeda tried to kill me and my comrades who were on duty inside the Pentagon at the time. They are friends and neighbors and teachers and doctors and soldiers and loving parents who want nothing more than to live life without fear that the government will tear their families apart.
I’m a student of history, and I find our Founding Fathers to be a great source of wisdom on many matters, so I want to close my remarks by reading from a letter that great Virginian named George Washington wrote more than two centuries ago:
“The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind . . . a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.
May the Children of the Stock of Abraham who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you, be strong and of good courage and vote down this resolution.
When Lance Cpl. Edward Voumard, 20, signs off after his shift early Sunday morning guarding an entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy, he will be one of a handful of Marines who close the book on a 155-year tradition.
Voumard, who has been stationed at the academy since completing initial training after enlistment, said he would miss Annapolis very much. As for the shift:
“It’s just another day,” he said yesterday.
Since just a few years after the Naval Academy’s founding in 1845, Marines have guarded the military college and performed ceremonial duties. They were initially quartered on ships stationed at the sea wall off the Severn River.
The 48 Marines of the U.S. Naval Academy Company, Marine Barracks, Washington, are being reassigned to installations at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Twentynine Palms, Calif. They will be replaced by enlisted Navy personnel and possibly additional federal security forces if a threat level is raised, officials said. A ceremony marking their departure will be held this morning at the academy.
In case you can’t read between the lines, they are sent to Iraq.
The Pentagon is apparently desperate enough for 48 more able bodies that they’re willing to toss out a century and a half of tradition.
De CDA-fractie in de Tweede Kamer pleit voor een hardere aanpak van mensen, organisaties en politieke partijen die oproepen tot haat en terreur. Zo moeten imams en anderen die haat zaaien, direct uit hun functie kunnen worden gezet en zouden ze hun paspoort en rijbewijs moeten inleveren.
De grootste coalitiepartij vindt verder dat justitie terroristische organisaties eerder moet kunnen verbieden. Hun bijeenkomsten of demonstraties moeten worden verhinderd. Ook zouden politieke partijen sneller ontbonden moeten kunnen worden.
Als politieke partijen die op religieuze grondslag grote bevolkingsgroepen willen uitsluiten van de Nederlandse democratie verboden kunnen worden, lijkt het SGP mij de eerste partij die verboden kan worden…