Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994.
Passed under the administration of President John Adams during tension between the U.S. and France, it was named for Dr. George Logan of Pennsylvania, who engaged in semi-negotiations with France during the Quasi-War. MORE
President Bush has been asking a lot of people what he should do next in Iraq. But he won't be consulting with Travis Patriquin.
Captain Patriquin possessed two qualities most of those offering Mr. Bush advice do not. He'd been in Iraq for a lot more than a couple of days, and he spoke fluent Arabic.
A former Special Forces officer then assigned to the First Armored Division, Capt. Patriquin, 32, was killed in Ramadi Dec. 6. But he left behind an 18-page briefing on "How to Win the War in al Anbar" so simple (with stick figure drawings) that even the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee could understand it. MORE
By John Stossel
New York City has ordered restaurants to stop selling food made with trans fat. "It is a dangerous and unnecessary ingredient," says the health commissioner. Gee, I'm all for good health, but shouldn't it be a matter of individual choice?
A New York Times headline about the ban reads: "A Model for Other Cities."
"A model for what, exactly?" MORE
A Border Patrol agent sentenced to prison along with his partner for shooting and wounding a man smuggling drugs into the U.S. will appear with a congressman tomorrow at a rally asking President Bush to offer a pardon. MORE
Do you remember the excitement and anticipation you felt as a child on Christmas Eve, knowing that only one night stood before you and your Christmas presents? Even if you were raised in a Christian home, you were probably more excited about what Santa would bring than the celebration of Jesus' birthday. As a child it was often more about what we got than what we gave. MORE
This is the most requested Christmas Story that I do. The author says you may freely copy and distribute it.
THAT THINE ALMS MAY BE IN SECRET
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Most folks in Steelville were just a little bit afraid of Big Sam Edwards. Sam had lost his job when the steel plant had cut back, and he hadn't been able to find work during the past six months. He was a proud man; and now, with Christmas coming, he made a few telephone calls to important people telling them that he didn't want any "do-gooders" trying to help his family at Christmas. He gruffly warned, "I'll be staying up on Christmas Eve, and if anybody comes around trying to leave anything at the door, somebody's going to get hurt."
On Christmas Eve, when his wife, Kathryn, and his children had gone to their beds, Sam sat in his small front room with a shotgun draped across his lap. He became so weary that around two o'clock he fell asleep.
The next morning when he awoke, there in front of him he saw a whole pile of toys, a large ham, a small Christmas tree, and an open Bible. For a few seconds, he felt a surge of joy. But then he became angry. To himself he muttered, "I warned them, and somebody will pay for poking their nose into my business." Just then the children came into the room. Seeing the toys, they shouted, "Look, Daddy! See what Santa left us!"
Sam jumped from his chair and quickly stepped between the children and the toys. "Don't touch those things!" he shouted. "This is not our stuff, and somebody is going to pay for sneaking in here and leaving it. That's breaking and entering, and I'm not going to put up with it."
Sam went quickly to the telephone and called his long-time friend Sheriff Walt Durrant. After several rings the sleepy sheriff picked up the phone. Sam blurted out, "Sheriff, you get over here. Somebody broke into my house. I want them arrested." He hung up.
Sam looked over to the corner of the room where his children were standing in a huddle, gazing longingly at the pile of toys. "You kids get back to bed," he said. They didn't move, but fixed yearning eyes on their mother, who stood behind them. She didn't know what to do. During the past few discouraging months, she had more or less given up on helping Sam. If she voiced her thoughts, it always started an argument.
Sam sternly repeated, "I said get back to bed. It's too early for you kids to be up anyway."
The children reluctantly retreated. Kathryn went into the kitchen and started cooking some oatmeal. Breakfast might be the best meal they were going to have that day.
Thirty-five minutes later, Sheriff Walt Durrant knocked on the door. "Come in!" Sam shouted. The sheriff opened the door and said cheerfully, "Merry Christmas." Sam's only reply was a look of disgust.
"Now, what's happened here?" asked the sheriff.
"Somebody broke in last night and left all of this stuff on the floor, and I want them arrested."
"Well, Sam, that looks like pretty good stuff to me. Did they take anything?"
"No, they didn't take nothing, but I'm fed up with all of the do-gooders in this town. I can take care of myself and my family. I don't need help from nobody. Besides, didn't I tell you to keep those meddlers away from here?"
"Were you gone away last night when they did it?"
"No, I was sitting right there in that chair."
"Well, Sam, you know nobody could have come in here without making a big racket."
Sam, more angry than ever, replied, "They might have made a big racket, but I guess I slept right through it."
"I guess you did," the sheriff drawled. "Funny thing is, when I drove down your lane from the road, I could see that nobody else had been down here since the big snow last night."
"Well, somebody drove or walked in here. Now you find out who it was."
"I told you, there's not a track out there. The snow quit falling last night around nine, and nobody has been in here since then."
"Sheriff, there must be some tracks out there."
"Go see for yourself, if you think you're so smart. See if you can see where anybody came in here."
"I'll show you," said Sam. "I don't know why we pay taxes for a blind sheriff like you anyway."
Together the two men went outside. Sam wandered down the lane searching for some tracks other than those left by the sheriff, but there were none.
He returned to where the sheriff stood. "Let's go around the house," he said. "There will be some tracks out back."
Together they circled the house, but all around it the snow was as smooth as a calm lake. Not a mark on it.
Sam, more irritated than ever, shouted, "Somebody's raked over the tracks."
"Nonsense," said the sheriff, "nobody has been here. I don't know where that stuff came from, but I know this--nobody brought it here."
Sam didn't know what else to say or do. The sheriff spoke as kindly as he could. "Look, Sam, I've got Christmas waiting at home. Why don't you just take the stuff and enjoy it. Forget where it came from. Just be grateful."
Sam's voice was choked with emotion as he replied. "Sheriff, I'm not grateful for nothing, except the stuff I provide for my own family."
The sheriff replied, "I know, Sam. But you'll get work soon. Things will get better." He drove away.
Completely mystified by what had happened, Sam came back into the house and sat in his chair. Kathryn spoke softly. "Sam, what does it matter how it got here? It's here."
Sam's only reply was, "I just can't figure out how somebody came here without leaving no tracks."
Little four-year-old Katie, who was standing nearby with the other children, excitedly said, "Daddy, maybe there's some tracks on top of the house."
"I don't think so, honey," Sam replied gently.
Then it hit him like a light. Some troublemaker had actually rented a helicopter and landed on his roof!
A few minutes later Sam propped his old wooden ladder against the side of the house, and to the amazement of Kathryn and the children he almost ran to the top. Up there he looked carefully around. "Nothing," he muttered. Little Katie called up to him, "Are there any reindeer tracks?"
Sam paused and looked down at her and the other children. Then he winked at Kathryn and said with a chuckle, "Yeah, I think I can see some reindeer tracks over by the chimney."
Suddenly Sam had a feeling that he had not had in years. He shouted out, "Well, what are you kids waiting for? Those toys are for you, you know!"
Soon the ham was cooking in the oven. The children were playing with their toys. The miniature Christmas tree was on the table. Unnoticed by his family, Sam picked up the open Bible. A verse was underlined. He softly read: "That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." Never before or since has more joy been packed into one little house or into one father's heart than there was at that moment.
From then on and through the years everybody in town knew that Sam had changed. During the next thirty-six years almost everyone had been touched by one of Sam's kindnesses. He'd done everything from helping Arnold Conder build a house to being the chief cook at the annual old folks' dinner. On his sixty-eighth birthday he was honored as the city's most generous citizen. Sheriff Durrant, his closest friend, was appointed to present him the plaque.
Sam wasn't much of a public speaker. As he accepted the award, he awkwardly said, "I don't do no more stuff for others than anybody else around this here town. I just wish I could do like Jesus said in the Bible. I wished I could do something good and do it in secret so nobody would ever know."
As the years went by, in almost every conversation he had with Sheriff Durrant he would say, "You remember, don't you, Sheriff--that Christmas when there was no tracks nowhere? If I could do something good for someone and leave no tracks, that would be the merriest Christmas of all for me." The sheriff would smile and say, "Maybe someday, Sam."
All in the community mourned when Sam's wife died. By now the children were all grown up and married, and had moved to larger cities to get work. They and their children visited Sam as often as they could, but most of the time he was alone.
Now it was once again Christmas Eve. Tomorrow Sam's house would be filled with his children, his grandchildren, and even his two-week-old great-grandson. It was a family tradition for all the family to come home on Christmas afternoon. But tonight he was alone. He would have gone to visit some friends but his eyesight was such that he could no longer drive, and his arthritis made walking a lot less than pleasurable.
At about five o'clock the Gentrys had come over to sing Sam a Christmas carol. They were a young family who during the past summer had moved into the old Conder home across the hayfield from Sam. Their two young children, five-year-old Lexie and three-year-old Ben, had taken a special liking to Sam, and he to them. The family made it a point to give Sam a ride to church every Sunday. The children loved him to tell them stories about when he was little. They and their mom, Marinda Gentry, came to visit him often.
This Christmas Eve tears moistened his cheeks as first Lexie and then Ben hugged him and said, "We love you, Grandpa Sam. Merry Christmas." Just before they left to go home he gave Lexie a doll and Ben a ball. He had wanted to make each of them something, but his hands were not now his servants as they had once been. Sam watched them through his front window as the little family departed down his driveway toward the country road that led the one block to their home. A heavy snowfall had begun.
Sam, who had difficulty in sleeping anyway, had decided to stay up late this night. As he prepared for bed he looked out of the window and saw that the gentle snow had covered all of the fields in the country neighborhood with a soft smooth whiteness. The snow by then had stopped falling. The winter scene reminded him of that mysterious "trackless" night so long ago. As he let his mind wander in a multitude of memories, he was suddenly jolted back to reality. Looking out across the field toward the Gentry house he saw an orange glow. To his horror he realized that the Gentrys' house was on fire. Hurrying from his chair he scooped up a jacket on his way to the back door. He quickly climbed the wire fence that separated his house from the hayfield. His pains forgotten in his fears for his friends' safety, he hurried toward the burning house. There he found a group of people standing together near the mailbox. The firetruck had just arrived, and the hurrying men were unrolling hoses and exchanging shouted instructions.
No one saw Sam approach, all eyes being on the leaping flames. Mrs. Gentry was screaming, "Bennie is still in there!" The boy's father shouted, "I'll try again!" but two men grabbed him and shouted, "You can't go back! It's no use!" Unnoticed by anyone, Sam ran around and entered through the back door. He couldn't see because of the thick smoke but that didn't matter because he knew the layout of the house, since he had helped build it. Flames were everywhere. He could feel the heat biting against him. The smoke choked his lungs. Suddenly he heard a faint cough. He blindly made his way toward the sound and found little Bennie lying on the floor. He scooped the crying child up in his arms and, running through the flames, made his way to the back door. Once outside he held the boy close to his body and looked heavenward. After coughing violently for several seconds the child began to cry. He placed little Bennie down on the snow and told him to go out front to the mailbox to his mother.
Now for the first time Sam could feel the pain. His lungs seemed to be on fire and his skin felt as though he had been immersed in boiling water. He wanted to be home. Home was where he wanted to die. Without consciously knowing what he was doing, Sam, as if carried by the angels, crossed the snow-covered field, climbed the fence, and staggered into his home.
A fireman found Bennie crying and making his way through the snow. Soon the little boy was in the arms of his mother, who embraced him as she wept with love and gratitude. As she held him, Bennie repeated over and over, "Sam, Sam, Sam." Overwhelmed with emotion, the parents didn't register this, but someone else did. The former Sheriff Durrant, now too old to be a regular lawman, but always a volunteer, stood up straight, and a look of wonder crossed his face. "Sam," he said softly to himself, and he walked back a few yards so that he could see across the field. Just as he did, he saw the light go on in Sam's bedroom window.
The sheriff walked back to where he could watch as Doctor Jones looked at the boy. After just a minute the doctor said: "He looks fine, other than his curly hair is mostly gone. But why don't you drive down to the hospital, and I'll come down and we'll have a good look. Then we'll find a good place for you to stay until the house can be rebuilt."
The sheriff tapped the doctor on the shoulder and said, "You rode out on the firetruck. Why don't you let me give you a lift down to the hospital." As the old sheriff and the doctor pulled out of the Gentry lane, the sheriff said, "Let's just stop in and wish old Sam a Merry Christmas. It will only take a minute." The doctor replied, "He'd be sleeping, wouldn't he?" "No, I don't think so," the sheriff replied. "I think he stays too busy to sleep much."
As they pulled down Sam's lane, the sheriff said softly, "No tracks in or out."
"What's that?" asked the doctor.
The deep new snow on the doorstep was undisturbed. The two men knocked, but there was no response. The door was not locked. The sheriff pushed it open and entered. The doctor said, "Let's go, he's asleep. Let's not wake him."
"Sam," shouted the sheriff, as he moved further into the house. "Let's look back here," he said, as he walked toward the bedroom.
A few seconds later they switched on the light and found Sam lying fully dressed on his bed. He didn't stir as the sheriff said, "Sam! Sam! are you okay?" At the same time, the doctor took Sam's limp wrist in his hand. There was a faint pulse. He put his hand on Sam's forehead. "He looks flushed," he said softly. "Feels like he has the flu that's all over town. He's burning up with fever."
The sheriff moved closer and said, "I can smell smoke, can't you, Doc?"
"Yeah, it must be on our clothes," replied the doctor.
The sheriff spoke again, "Sam, can you hear me?" There was no response. "Sam, have you been over to the Gentrys'?"
"What are you talking about, Sheriff?" the doctor asked. "This man's one of my patients. He can hardly walk."
The sheriff leaned down so his face was only a foot away from his old friend and asked, "Sam, did you go to the Gentrys'?"
"What's wrong with you, Sheriff? I told you he can't walk much, and he's sick, and besides, when we drove in here I noticed that there wasn't a single track out there in the snow."
An almost indistinguishable smile crossed Sam's face. A smile that only someone like the old sheriff could have seen. Then his head fell to the side. Sam Edwards had died. The doctor placed his fingers around Sam's wrist, and after a few seconds he said: "He's gone. The flu didn't do it on its own. My best guess is his old ticker just plain gave out on him."
"Maybe too much strain?" the sheriff asked.
"No, just too much age," the doctor replied.
Near two in the morning, the sheriff had the Gentrys settled in at the local motel. Warren Anderson from the mortuary had come an hour earlier and had taken Sam's body away. Now the sheriff came back to Sam's house. There was something he felt he had to know.
Sheriff Durrant parked his car just in front of the dark and quiet house. In his heart he felt certain that in some miraculous way Sam had gone to the burning house. Soon he would know. Were there tracks out back and across the field? Had Sam saved the boy and brought the greatest joy a family could ever know?
As the old sheriff's boots crunched into the cold snow, he felt for a moment he could hear the angels singing. He paused and looked up at the stars.
He spoke softly as he looked up. "Oh, heck, Sam! You and I both know there ain't no tracks out there. Besides, I need to be home. It's Christmas."
As the sheriff opened his car door, he looked back at Sam's house. He'd miss his old friend. A tear ran down his cheek, and he felt he heard Sam's voice saying, "I finally did it, Sheriff. Merry Christmas."
Already there was a rumor in town that the life of a little child had been saved by a miracle. Sheriff Durrant felt satisfied with that.
Written by George Durrant
"Al, you know I was a draft dodger and antiwar demonstrator."
"That's what I heard, Conroy," Al said. "I have nothing against what you did, but I did what I thought was right."
"Tell me about Vietnam, big Al. Tell me what happened to you," I said.
On his seventh mission as a navigator in an A-6 for Major Leonard Robertson, Al was getting ready to deliver their payload when the fighter-bomber was hit by enemy fire. Though Al has no memory of it, he punched out somewhere in the middle of the ill-fated dive and lost consciousness. He doesn't know if he was unconscious for six hours or six days, nor does he know what happened to Major Robertson (whose name is engraved on the Wall in Washington and on the MIA bracelet Al wears). MORE
Gary Charles, 36, of Stretton, near Alfreton, Derbyshire, admitted a public order offence by threatening a doorman with an imaginary knife. MORE former England footballer has been jailed after he drunkenly threatened a bouncer while serving a suspended sentence for another assault.
In a greeting to the world's Christians for the coming new year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he expects both Jesus and the Shiite messianic figure, Imam Mahdi, to return and "wipe away oppression."
"I wish all the Christians a very happy new year and I wish to ask them a question as well," MORE
The Bush administration has sent signals since last month's elections that the president is prepared to accept some tax increases on upper-income families, worrying congressional Republicans and fiscal conservative watchdogs who say he will compromise with Democrats to win a legacy accomplishment. These moves come even as Democrats have pledged to rein in earmarks, winning praise from the same conservative groups that are criticizing Mr. Bush. MORE
In his book "The Great Crash 1929," John Kenneth Galbraith said: "The worst continued to worsen." The same can be said of the Duke University "rape" case and District Attorney Michael Nifong.
After all this time, it finally came out in court last week that the DNA samples collected from the underwear and private parts of the alleged victim contained DNA from other men -- but none from the Duke lacrosse players who were accused of raping her. MORE
Some social conservatives in the important primary state of South Carolina are expressing skepticism about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney after reports of statements from the Massachusetts governor that were pro-choice, in favor of expansive gay rights, and dismissive of Ronald Reagan. MORE “When it becomes a pattern, that’s what causes people to be fearful,” says Oran Smith, head of the pro-life Palmetto Family Council, who has not committed to any candidate in the race. “The Reagan thing, the abortion thing, the gay thing — if you mix all of that together, is there a pattern?”
Nearly two years ago when a massive tsunami pounded SE Asia, particularly impoverished Indonesia, millions of people gave aid to what was seen as a good cause. Several countries opened up their pocketbooks and gave money to the nations devestated by the waves. I gave money to the cause, though it was a paltry amount. MORE The result, as theory went, would ensure the millions of Indonesians would embrace the so-called West and reject the basic teachings of radical Islam as one core teaching among Islamist circles is that the West is inherently evil.
BLOOMINGTON — Call it the spirit of the season. By the time it was over, about 142 people had spread the Christmas spirit.It all started about 9:20 a.m. when an anonymous woman told the drive-through worker at the restaurant at Veterans Parkway and Washington Street that she wanted to pay for the person behind her in line, said employee Erik Zambrano.“She just wanted to wish the next person a merry Christmas,” Zambrano said. MORE
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman is gravely ill, and authorities are jittery. The mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, whose red-and-white knit cap and white beard give him an eerily Santa-esque appearance, Sheikh Omar has told his Al-Qaeda followers: “My Brothers...If they [the Americans] kill me, which they will certainly do – hold my funeral and send my corpse to my family, but do not let my blood be shed in vain. Rather, extract the most violent revenge, and remember your brother who spoke the truth and died for the will of God...The Mujahid Sheikh Omar Abdel al Rahman. In the name of God the kind and merciful.” MORE
As some Americans' holiday season draws nigh, secular humanists, Christians, and non-Christian believers should all reflect on what will make this season different from any before it. Depending on context, wishing someone "Merry Christmas!" can now function as hate speech. In Religious Right Wonderland, you don't wish "Merry Christmas" any more; you wield it. MORE
British investigators believe that Alexander Litvinenko's killers used more than $10 million of polonium-210 to poison him. Preliminary findings from the post mortem examination on the former KGB spy suggest that he was given more than ten times the lethal dose. MORE
Cost: Free Where: Beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho. When: Year-Round. firstname.lastname@example.org How long: 5-8 days. To qualify: Service members severely injured in OIF/OEF conflicts, and those fighting the Global War on Terrorism. Any permanent functionally limiting injury(s) to include brain and spinal cord injury, extremity amputation or disability, severe burns, or visual impairment. Yes, your spouse, significant other, or a family member may join you. Family: Box 6791 Ketchum, ID 83340 (208) 726-9298 http://www.svasp.org/ email@example.com
1. Russian Siberian Road to Yakutsk This is the official federal-government highway to Yakutsk, and it is also the only one to get there. As there are no other roads, the intrepid motorists are doomed to wallow in this dirt, or wait in week-long 100 km car line-ups (they say women even gave birth there while waiting). This can turn into a major humanitarian disaster during rainy spells, when the usual clay covering of the road turns into impassable mud blanket, swallowing trucks and tractors alike. In the meantime the city has to partly airlift food products.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Joseph Canawati is not looking forward to Christmas.
The expansive lobby of his 77-room Hotel Alexander is empty and he says: “There is no hope for the future of the Christian community.
“We don’t think things are going to get better. For us, it is finished.”
Life for Palestinian Christians such as 50-year-old Joseph has become increasingly difficult in Bethlehem - and many of them are leaving. MORE
Much as been made of the demonstrated ignorance of Silvestre Reyes, the newly named chair of the House Intelligence Committee. But Reyes is far from alone in failing to have learned the most basic facts of the forces arrayed against us. Reyes' position requires that he provide oversight of our intelligence operations, and those in charge of those operations have demonstrated they know little more than Reyes does: MORE
Poor Mrs. Barack Obama! "My income is pretty low compared to my peers" she says.
How much is she scraping by on?
According to a tax return released by the senator this week, the promotion nearly tripled her income from the hospitals to $316,962 in 2005 from $121,910 in 2004.
Her income coincidentally jumped when her husband was elected to the United States Senate. She handles "community outreach" for the University of Chicago Hospitals, which does indeed sound like vital work, right up there with open heart surgery. But wait, there's more, as the late night television commercials assure us. Hubby bashes Wal-Mart, following the union boss catechism: MORE
Friday, December 15, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be taken seriously in his statements calling for Israel's destruction and his attempts to acquire the capability to do so, Washington's outgoing ambassador to the United Nations has urged."Historians often look back after huge tragedies have occurred and say, 'how is it that responsible policy-makers at the time didn't see this coming?' " John Bolton told an international symposium in New York Thursday. >LINK
December 14, 2006 · A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico. In fact, U-S Attorney Carol Lam says as many as a third of the company's 750 workers may have been in the country illegally. >LINK
In this Christmas season, many of us will sing "Joy to the World" without knowing that it is a hymn written by the English preacher Isaac Watts, and several days later, we will follow it up with "Auld Lang Syne," an old Scottish song that was rewritten by the poet Robert Burns. Not only are these songs part of the standard repertoire of American life, they are also part of our legacy from the British Isles. >LINK
CHICAGO — A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected most claims by slave descendants that they deserve reparations from some of the nation's biggest insurers, banks and transportation companies.
The three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that slave descendants have no standing to sue for reparations based on injustices suffered by ancestors and that the statute of limitations ran out more than a century ago. >LINK
WASHINGTON -- "There isn't a thing that's changed," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said yesterday after visiting his stricken colleague, South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson, at the hospital. But Democrats were trying to shake off the nightmare of possibly losing power so quickly after November's elections.
The soft-spoken 59-year-old senator was listed in critical condition after surgery to address bleeding in the brain. >LINK
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who is weighing a White House bid, dismissed criticism that he has flip-flopped on the issues of gay marriage and abortion and reaffirmed his opposition to both.
"Like the vast majority of Americans, I've opposed same-sex marriage, but I've also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference," >LINK
American Muslims making a religious pilgrimage to Mecca are being encouraged to file civil rights complaints if they feel discriminated against by airlines. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), citing what it called the "airport profiling" of six imams removed from a recent flight, yesterday said Muslims traveling this month to the holy site in Saudi Arabia need to be aware of their rights. >LINK
The first thing to remember in trying to evaluate reports that U.S. intelligence services wiretapped Princess Diana is that British press accounts can be notoriously unreliable. We’ll know more about the story on Thursday morning, when results of the Lord Stevens inquiry into Diana’s death are released to the public. But if the reports out now are accurate, the Diana case could raise questions for veterans of the Clinton administration similar to those facing the Bush administration today. >LINK
San Francisco schoolchildren will likely get an extra day off every few years to recognize the Lunar New Year -- a $207,000 holiday the district's school board is expected to approve tonight.
Currently, the city's schools are closed for the holiday only if it falls on a weekday. >LINK
Shell is being forced by the Russian government to hand over its controlling stake in the world's biggest liquefied gas project, provoking fresh fears about the Kremlin's willingness to use the country's growing strength in natural resources as a political weapon. >LINK
Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests. >LINK Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.
There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims they can help fight many diseases.
But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.
NOT enough that a ban on new dams has your gardens and your sports grounds dying?Need still more proof that the green faith strips believers of sense and pity for us humans? Then consider the latest news.
First we had Moreland Council -- dominated by Labor and the Greens -- putting a ban on those gassy refrigerated airconditioners for the Shirley Robertson Children's Centre. >LINK
AFTER 30 years, the word multiculturalism is fading from the Government's vocabulary. The Prime Minister, John Howard, and his parliamentary secretary for immigration, Andrew Robb, say they have little use for the word.
Mr Howard said yesterday he preferred the word integration and that if multiculturalism "means you emphasise diversity rather than unity, then I do have a problem with it". >LINK
Federal agents raided six Swift & Co. processing plants in six states on Tuesday in search of illegal immigrants who stole the identities of lawful U.S. residents and used their Social Security numbers to get jobs at the beef and pork company.
Agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency executed search warrants at Swift's processing facilities in Greeley, Colo.; Grand Island, Neb.; Cactus, Texas; Hyrum, Utah; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Worthington, Minn. >LINK
Monday, December 11, 2006 - truck-driving student is in custody in Boston after raising suspicions when he wasn’t interested in learning how to back up his rig.
WLVI-TV (Ch. 56) reported last night that the would-be trucker is a 28-year-old Muslim from India and had overstayed his visa. An investigation is under way to see whether there is any connection between his unusual behavior and a terrorism plot. Federal authorities were alerted by instructors at the Nationwide Tractor Trailer Driving School in Smithfield, R.I., WLVI reported.
The student was described as a resident of New York, with driver’s licenses from New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. >LINK
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Published: 10 December 2006
Meet the world's top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush: it is the cow.
A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs. >LINK
The American Family should be made the focus and central platform of not only our Democratic Party, but of the American people as well! We often hear experts say that young people today grow up in a tougher world than did previous generations. We also hear in the news about bullies and bullying in our youth. Bullying was the primer in the Columbine High School shootings and in many teen suicides as well (Hazler). But no one seems to know why! To answer this question we have only to look in the mirror. >LINK
Sunday, October 3, 2004
We license plumbers and pilots -- why not parents?
By PEG TITTLEGUEST COLUMNIST
We have successfully cloned a sheep. It is not unreasonable, then, to believe that we may soon be able to create human life. And I'm sure we'll develop carefully considered policies and procedures to regulate the activity, perhaps if only because we have Mary Shelley's Frankenstein lurking in our minds.
For example, I doubt we'll allow someone to create his own private work force or his own little army. And I suspect we'll prohibit cloning oneself for mere ego gratification. >LINK
By James Vicini Sat Dec 9, 11:14 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crime rates have contributed to the United States having the largest prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world, acA U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people -- or one in every 32 American adults cording to criminal justice experts. >LINK
Monday, December 11, 2006
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks. >LINK
By Patrick J. Michaels Published 12/11/2006 12:06:51 AM
What's behind the shameless demagoguery and character assassination being heaped on climate change "deniers"? What's behind the chilling calls for "Nuremberg trials" for dissenting scientists? Why has the green rhetoric escalated to lynch-mob proportions? >LINK