Sunday, August 31, 2008

Final Thoughts As Gustav Approaches......................

Life is just bullshit. I don't understand. I am so angry. My entire existence has been bullshit. I survived one of the biggest disasters in my city to see a even possible bigger disaster?

I barely slept. I am so tired right now because I have been watching the storm. It will not move to the east nor just keeps up that path directly at New Orleans. It feels like this storm wants to finish what Katrina did not.

As if New Orleans has not been through enough. As if the people have not been through enough. It just makes no sense why this is happening again!

I am thinking of moving after this out west. I rather earthquakes than this every few years. The storms are more frequent and stronger than they used to be. I grew up here and you can Google hurricanes from the 80's & 90's and see that we have not ever seen seasons like this.

Climate change? I think so, but many people believe in no such thing. Even though weather is setting precedents all over the world, people still deny that something is wrong with our world. There is even weathermen who report this messed up weather everyday and they do not see anything is wrong.

I have lived in New Orleans my whole life. We have seen many things that show something is wrong. Just a year or so ago, we had a tornado go from the west bank of the river to the east. It traveled for miles and jumped over the river. It went across town, across two parishes. I have been here my whole life and NEVER seen a tornado touch down. So how did we have one move across the town? I ask locals after that thunderstorm, "You are from here, when was the last time you saw a tornado wreck havoc from one side of the river to the other?". Their answer is always, "never".....

I am not worried about storm surge. I am in a high area. I live by the river, but the wind is worrying me. 150 mph sustained winds will rip my roof off. My house was built like almost 60 to 80 years ago.....I will be taking refuge in a school that is next to my home. Its 2 story brick building and very safe. So my safety will be ok. It is the aftermath that is gonna be so horrible.

I am so angry at our politicians in this country. The Republicans actually are still going to be having a party for John McCain this week while some of it's own people are being tested in the country. Then what blows my mind is he picked a VP that does not believe in climate change, That is why these storms are more frequent and stronger than ever? Every storm almost sets records. Not every hurricane is suppose to set records. Something is terribly wrong.

Not only does his VP not believe in climate change, but she is the Governor of Alaska. Where have the big oil companies who are part of the problem with climate change been wanting to drill for years? Alaska! You think that is coincidence that she was chosen? Big oil chose her for McCain. McCain probably had no say on the choice since big oil has donated millions to his campaign.

On a side note about McCain's VP pick, she does not believe the polar bears are endangered. This is not true. They are very endangered. The ice they use to land on during long swims is melting away. They are finding many who are drowning to death b/c they have no ice to climb on to.

So back to the storm. I have food, got water, filled my jugs, have my kerosene burners to cook and am now picking up anything that may become a projectile. Wish me luck......

I will lose power. The last time we were without power for 21 days. So no one will prob hear from me for a minute. Truthfully, lately I have been living in a depressed state. I have been real bitter and aggravated a lot. I haven't really felt creative with my music either. Maybe this is what I need. Something like Katrina to make me realize that there's more to live for then these moods where I drown in my own self pity.

Be safe...

Dan the Man

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Thoughts on Gustav

New Orleans wants the world to think we are storng and that we are ready for Gustav. We are not. Like everything in this world. We lost balance. For Katrina, not enough was done, so this time they are starting way early to prepare for something that they do not even know where it is going.

If you think they can predict these storms, time for some reminders. They were hundreds of miles off for Katrina. It was suppose to hit the pan handle of Florida. George in 99, turned at the last minute on our coast and hit MS. Ivan turned and hit MS.

Every storm they have told us to leave for turns. I guess you can say better safe than sorry right? No, what about the people here who do not have money to evacuate for every storm? State evacuation?

You do know that if you allow the state to evacuate you, you have no say where you are going and they do not supply a ride back? Right? So how many you think are leaving? I know I would not, cuz they will take your things out your home and let someone else move in. So how is that even helping the community and I know this b/c it is what they did last time. There is still people who can't come home b/c there is nothing to come home too. And this is not from Katrina. This is from officials moving people out of town, then they lose their home b/c they have no way back. It is more of a plan to just get the poor people out of town for good! Wake the fuck up!

They cried wolf many times, and this time they claiming they know. They do not. So while they show the world New Orleans is ready, just remember a lot of this is just show after what they did last time.

Remember, New Orleans survived the storm. It was man's mistake that let those levees fail and destroyed our great city. So fuck them people and their authority. They do not know shit............

Obama's Acceptance Speech

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the briefu nion between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know.
Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Federal Evacuation Plan for New Orleans

1. We know you are low income and treasure what little things you do own. So please leave it all behind when you leave. We will make sure to protect your property like we did last time.

2. Any low income families who need a ride out of town; we will supply you with a way out of town. You will not have a say where you go, nor will we provide a way back for you. Hopefully you will not come back, b/c you are poor and spend no money in our ever growing tourist industry.

3. Any low income families who have pets. Please leave your pets in your home. We will pick them up and adopt them out to new families. You are poor, why do you have animals anyways?

4. If you do not leave and we find you when we begin our door to door search of homes, we will arrest you, take any weapons you have and place you on a bus out of town.

5. We will provide no shelters of last resort. You are screwed if your house floods. We will come and rescue you, but you will have no say where we send you. Just sit on your roof for 5 days. We will be along shortly.

This is a message from FEMA and the Federal Government..........

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Official Nomination of Barack Obama

Obama's Dream for America

Following a dramatic appearance by Hillary Clinton on the packed floor of the Democratic Convention, Barack Obama, the Hawaiian-born son of a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya, was finally and officially named the party's presidential candidate last night.

Mrs Clinton swept on to the convention floor just as her home state, New York, was being called upon to cast its vote during a raucous roll-call of the delegates of all states. In a striking gesture of unity after all the months of bitterness, Mrs Clinton took the microphone to formally ask that the vote be suspended and that the convention approve the Obama nomination by acclamation.

"With eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity... let's declare together in one voice, right here right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president," she said, reading from a script.

"I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by the convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party" she added, lifting the roof of the convention hall. Her request was instantly accepted by Nancy Pelosi, the convention's presiding officer.

Mrs Pelosi then announced that Barack Obama had accepted the nomination.

The stage is now set for Denver's vast outdoor arena where tonight, on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, Mr Obama will deliver an address upon which hangs the outcome of November's American presidential election, and the hopes of the first black man with a real shot at the White House.

Eight years ago, such a scenario would have been laughable. Obama was broke and without political friends of any consequence. He had to gatecrash the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles after arriving on a cheap flight at the last minute. A rental car company rejected his maxed-out American Express card and he watched Al Gore accept the party's nomination on television screens at the perimeter of the convention centre.

Tonight will seem a millennium away. This time, it will be Gore in the audience lending support to the candidate on whose slender shoulders the Democrats' hopes lie. The psychodramas surrounding Hillary Clinton have also been dealt with following the rapturous reception for her barnstorming speech to the convention on Tuesday.

Senator Obama's acceptance of the nomination before 70,000 people is set to be an extraordinary political event. The task at hand is to energise the party and reconnect Obama's "colourblind" vision for the country with those Republicans who were briefly enthralled by his electrifying promise to unify America's angry and divided politics.

Back in 2000, at the age of 39 and with his career crashing around him, his hopes seemed to have flamed out after he had been trounced while trying to unseat a well-liked black Congressman. He recalls being terrified that for all his dreams he was about to disappear from public life – just as his talented Kenyan father had done before him.

Last night, he arrived in Denver on a private Boeing 757 with his name emblazoned on the side. It was yet another giant step in the remarkable journey from ambitious local politician to global political superstar, who may from January be President of the world's troubled superpower.

Tonight, millions of Americans – and millions more around the world – will hang on his every word. But John McCain, whose campaign is ratcheting up the attacks on Obama's inexperience with every hour, will be watching too. Even Obama's decision to choose the experienced political warhorse Joe Biden as his running mate has not given him the hoped-for "bounce" in the polls.

Yet, during the past eight years, it is Obama's extraordinary ability to rise to the occasion that has marked him out from the crowd. Campaigning this week in four battleground states – Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Montana – he has worked late into the night with a pen and yellow pad, crafting in longhand what is expected to be the speech of his lifetime.

Mr Obama has given hundreds of stump speeches over the past two years, some of them inspiring, many of them repetitious. But it is an address delivered in 2002 to a group of war protesters in which he flatly stated his opposition to the invasion of Iraq that he considers his best.

Just a year after 11 September 2001, with Mr Bush riding high and polls supporting an invasion – and just as he was preparing to run for the US Senate – he committed what many thought to be political suicide.

"I don't oppose all wars," he said. "What I am opposed to is... a war based not on reason, but on passion, not on principle but on politics." That seemingly foolhardy, if prescient, statement made him the only top-tier presidential candidate flatly to oppose the war before it was launched. Until 2004, he languished in the backwaters of Chicago, an obscure state senator – the lowest form of pond life in national politics. Then he was noticed by John Kerry, the Democratic candidate of that election year. Wooden and uninspiring, Kerry was on the lookout for a talented black politician. After seeing Obama skilfully work a room of white voters, he soon invited him to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

It was just 17 minutes long but the speech captured America's attention. The speech, which Obama insisted on writing himself, was hailed as a classic by the political world and earned him comparisons to John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

It has become part of the myth of Obama's effortless rise as a political phenomenon. But behind the legend lies a cunning, an extraordinary ambition and an unrivalled attention to detail that he learnt going door to door as a community organiser in Chicago's South Side.

That trademark micro-management was in evidence again yesterday as his campaign succeeded in short cutting the roll-call of states – thereby avoiding the embarrassment of the biggest states declaring for Hillary Clinton. The Obama camp ensured that long before most Americans switched on their TVs last night – Barack Obama was already the Democratic nominee to become the 44th US president.

King's dream and the road to Denver

1870: Hiram Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is the first African American elected to the US Senate.

1954: Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), successfully argues for the end of school segregation before the US Supreme Court. In 1967, he becomes the first African American to serve on the court.

1955: Rosa Parks, a seamstress and civil rights activist in Alabama, refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. Her act propels the Civil Rights movement forward.

1963: Martin Luther King, pictured, leads the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that brings 250,000 to the capital on 28 August – 45 years ago. The event culminates with his "I Have a Dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial. (King is assassinated in April 1968.)

1968: Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress. In 1972, she runs for the Democratic presidential nomination.

1984: The Rev Jesse Jackson makes the first viable bid by an African American for his party's presidential nomination. He wins more than three million votes in the primaries, but eventually comes third.

2001: Colin Powell, a four-star general, is chosen by George Bush as Secretary of State, the first time an African American has served in that position. He was also the first black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military rank in the US, in 1999.

New Orleans Makes Evacuation Plan As Storm Nears

Reporter Arrested for Shooting on Public Sidewalk

Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel.

Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.

A cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant, accompanied by a team of five other officers, first put his hands on Eslocker's neck, then twisted the producers arm behind him to put on handcuffs.

A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel.

Suicide is Painless

Senator Hillary Clinton at the DNC

Time to unite and vote for Obama. If you were for Hillary and now want to vote for McCain b/c your candidate did not get the nomination, you are out of your mind. Why would you vote for someone that will be more of the same shit we have seen the last 8 years? Why would you vote for someone that holds none of your interests close to their platform? Has the last 8 years not been bad enough? Maybe gas isn't high enough yet for ya. Or maybe you got 7 houses like McCain you can just mortgage........

If you are basing your vote on the color of skin of this man, then your mind is small and narrow! Just a reminder though for ya, you are being racist toward your own race b/c Obama is half white. So you are being a racist not only toward black people, but white people also. Because his white mother chose to have a child with a black man, you will hold it against him? Like you can control you were born fully white. You could have been born a black person just as easy and be one of the ones judged based on their color of skin, and not the content of your character.

If you want to lose more rights, spend more money you don't have on gas and medical expenses and possibly lose your home, then vote for McCain. You will get exactly what you deserve.

To me, it really does not matter who wins. I cannot even vote. I lost that right b/c I committed the crime of possessing marijuana. I do not take part in your moronic society. I do not own a car or buy gas. I do not have a cell phone. I live on bare necessities. I do not even work, so I pay no taxes. But, I care enough about this country to try and educate you to make the right decision. I endure pain almost everyday of my life from the ignorance in this country. Something most Americans would never do....."You mean worry about the place I live?"

Maybe you should look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and ask yourself what really matters to you...

No Charges Over 'Obama Death Plot'

The men were arrested in Denver, Colorado, in connection with drugs and weapons offences.

Sky News political editor Adam Boulton, in Denver, said one of the group is reported to have made comments alerting police to a potential assassination plot against the leader of the Democrats.

But speaking at a press conference, police said the men were drug addicts.

They said they were keeping an open mind about the investigation.

US Attorney Troy Eid said: "There is insufficient evidence that there was any kind of a plot or a threat but we'll keep an open mind as we look.

Tharin Gartrell, 28, was arrested following a traffic stop for erratic driving early on Sunday by police in the eastern Denver suburb of Aurora.

In his truck was a bullet-proof vest, two rifles, ammunition, walkie-talkies and drugs.

Police alerted federal authorities, who used additional information to arrest Nathan Johnson, 32, in Aurora.

A third man, Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, was arrested at an Aurora hotel.

Police said that when they knocked on the door of the hotel room, he jumped out of a sixth-floor window, landed on an awning and ran off.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If You Own It, You Should Be Able to Sell It

Mystery Virus Kills 160 in India

In related news, in PA, there is 3 counties that are seeing the rise of a rare illness.

Rural Kanpur is fighting its most frightening scourge — a mystery disease that has left a long line of bodies in its trail and doesn’t seem anywhere finished.

What started from one village two weeks ago has now spread to 350 and has so far claimed 160 lives. Thousands more are bed-ridden. On an average, 15 to 20 people have been dying every day; Saturday saw the highest toll in a day: 24.

The district’s health department is somewhat confused about the nature of the disease that has struck. At the beginning, the diagnosis was viral fever. Then doctors concluded that it was falciparum malaria. But after two weeks, they have ruled out both but still don’t have an exact answer.

“We really don’t know what exactly it is; we are depending on the finding of a team of specialists from New Delhi,” said Dr RC Agarwal, the district’s new chief medical officer.

Specialists from the Infectious Disease and Surveillance Programme, New Delhi, have collected the blood samples of a few patients. The team will make its findings known in a few days.

But the fear of the unknown has resulted in a mass exodus of villagers. Pulandar and Dhar villages under Malasa block are
the worst affected. About 1,000 people in these two villages alone are battling the disease. Dhar has taken the maximum number of casualties. The village has lost about 30 people but only one doctor has visited it so far. That was 15 days ago.

Kuldeep Singh and Ram Avtaar of Dhar break down screaming: “A lot of people can still be saved; we need doctors.” Rajesh (38) of Pulandar village says: “Everyone here is waiting for doctors to come and examine people; but they aren’t coming and we are counting our dead.” On Sunday morning, the mystery fever claimed Tilak Singh (35) and his nephew Vikas Singh (11).

Dhar still remains a perfect picture of neglect and apathy. Heaps of garbage continue to be littered all over. Houses are surrounded by stinking filth and roads are waterlogged — perfect breeding grounds for diseases like malaria. The village’s secondary school has been shut down for an indefinite period. Children would wade through knee-deep water to reach the school.

Santosh Prajapati is struggling to cope with looking after eight family members who have been afflicted by the disease. He has hired a tractor to shift them to a hospital in Kanpur city. “I have borrowed money from my relatives… if they remain here they will die,” he says.

13 Year Old Female Suicide Bomber

Your Right to Free Speech & Protesting in America

Grow House Found In Mall Of The Americas

The Drug Enforcement Administration discovered something unexpected in the Mall of the Americas.

DEA agents found a hydroponics lab with more than 200 marijuana plants, standing 3 to 6 feet tall in the air and worth millions of dollars, in a storage area on the second floor of the mall.

Authorities said the electricity that powered the lab was diverted from the mall's main power supply.

No arrests have been made. Authorities said officials with the Mall of the Americas are cooperating with the investigation.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Some Thoughts.........

We know from the medical community that everyone of us is different. Each of our bodies chemistry is uniquely different. What may not hurt one person, may kill the next. It is why there is so many side effects listed in these drug commercials.

So if we have a basic understanding that each one of us is different. Why do we expect everyone to think and behave the same?

Or better yet, why has the medical community ignored this basic fact and pumped your children with mind altering drugs to make them all act and think the same?

Why as parents do you allow it?

I was one of those children. I could not sit still (what child can?). I was different. I did not appreciate authority ever. I hated being forced to do things I did not want to do. I did not understand the world and what I was being taught as reality. I questioned everything, which in our society, you soon find out is a bad thing. I wanted to know how it all worked and if I could take it apart and see how it worked.

Now, is this the mind of a crazy child or a curious one wanting to learn about the world he lives in?

Well those around me (parent figures) thought something was wrong with me. So much so that my mother placed in me in a psychiatric hospital. I spent 2 years of my teen-hood in this hospital.

For years, instead of knowing I was just different, they tried to fix me. They tried what seemed like a hundred different counselors and doctors. They even tried medication which I never took. Instead of just seeing that maybe I thought different for a reason, they tried to make me like everyone else.

What is funny, is today I am even more of an outcast from society. I have done nothing that society expects of you, like a job and marriage. I just don't believe in all that crap. I know I am an individual and don't need all the human traditions to tell me I am human.

All I ever have wanted was the truth, but the older I get, the more I learned I got everything but the truth about the world I lived in. Most of life is filled with lies. Lies of what other people want you to believe the world is about. It is why they wanted to change me. I was not falling for their lies. I knew there was more facts that I had to find on my own.

So here I am at 37 wondering wtf is wrong with the world. Still to this day I question everything and know that the world is falling to shit because most people do not question everything. They except life "as is". Considering you were not asked if you wanted to be born, I do not understand why you would live how they expect. Most of the rules, what they claim is real and the such is just bullshit someone made up in their own human mind. These people have ulterior motives for what they expect you to believe. All of them do.....there is nothing different from them and you. You both have the same fears. They just arrived before you and feel they have the right to control you.

It is up to you to resist...

Fox News Reporter Gets Owned

Dollar on 6 Month High

Hard to tell. The dollar traded near a six-month against the euro on speculation a 20 percent drop in crude oil prices from its record high will support economic growth of the world's largest energy consumer.

Crude oil for October delivery fell the most in more than three years on Aug. 22. The euro fell against the yen before a survey tomorrow forecast to show business confidence in Germany dropped to the lowest level since 2005.

`The decline of oil prices took some pressure off the dollar,' said David Watt, senior currency strategist in Toronto at RBC Capital Markets Inc., a unit of Canada's biggest bank by assets. `The dollar bull market is in place.'

The dollar traded at $1.4795 per euro at 8:45 a.m. in New York, compared with $1.4793 on Aug. 22. The U.S. currency fell 0.4 percent to 109.62 yen, from 110.07 at the end of last week. The euro declined 0.4 percent to 162.20 yen, from 162.83.

Crude oil has fallen almost 20 percent since reaching the all-time high of $147.27 on July 11. It tumbled 5.4 percent on Aug. 22, the biggest drop since December 2004. Crude oil for October delivery rose 0.5 percent today to $115.37 a barrel in New York after touching $114.03, the lowest since Aug. 20. The euro-dollar exchange rate and oil have had a correlation of 0.9 in the past year, according to Bloomberg calculations. A reading of 1 would mean they moved in lockstep.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Criminals Dumping Weak US Dollar for Euro

The weakened US dollar has fallen out of favor with organized crime groups to pay for drug shipments or to settle scores, a Canadian government report said Friday.

And if the greenback continues its slide in 2008, as expected, more and more criminals are likely to exchange euros for illicit goods, said Criminal Intelligence Service Canada in its annual report.

"The US dollar weakened significantly against other major currencies in 2007 and according to some economists, is expected to depreciate further in 2008," said the report.

"As a consequence, other currencies -- particularly the euro -- are poised to weaken the US dollar's dominance as the currency of choice for international remittances and payments," it said.

"This trend could also drive an increase in observed instances of bulk-cash transfers denominated in currencies other than Canadian and US dollars," the report added.

Organized criminal groups, topping 900 in Canada, are primarily focused on the illicit drug trade, but have also expanded into credit card fraud, organ trafficking, identity theft and even illegal logging of Canada's vast forests, said the report.

"The illicit drug market remains the largest criminal market in terms of extent, scope, and the degree of involvement by the majority of organized crime groups," many of them operating across international borders, it said.

Marijuana remains one of the most trafficked illicit drugs in Canada, and crops harvested here supply much of Canada and the United States.

Methamphetamine production in Canada, meanwhile, has risen to meet expanding international demand with several "super labs" set up for foreign distribution of late.

As well, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium are now the primary source of ecstasy to the world, said the report.

Canadian forests, representing one tenth of the world's forested area, are vulnerable to illegal harvesting "due to their relative abundance, isolation, and the large number of logging access roads," it explained.

Terrorist Watch List Woes

There is a third grader on the list...

Feds Shut Down Another Bank

Columbian Bank and Trust Co. of Topeka, Kansas, was closed by U.S. regulators, the nation's ninth bank to collapse this year amid bad real-estate loans and writedowns stemming from a drop in home prices.

The bank, with $752 million in assets and $622 million in total deposits, was shuttered by the Kansas state bank commissioner's office and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the FDIC said yesterday in a statement.

Citizens Bank and Trust will assume the failed bank's insured deposits. Columbian Bank's nine branches will open Aug. 25 as Citizens Bank and Trust offices, the FDIC said. Customers can access their accounts over the weekend by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards.

``There is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage,'' the FDIC said.

The pace of bank closings is accelerating as financial firms have reported more than $500 billion in writedowns and credit losses since 2007. The FDIC's ``problem'' bank list grew by 18 percent in the first quarter from the fourth, to 90 banks with combined assets of $26.3 billion.

Prior to yesterday, the FDIC had closed 36 banks since October 2000, according to a list at The U.S. shut 12 banks in 2002, the highest in the period, and 2005 and 2006 had no closures.

U.S. bank regulators closed Florida's First Priority Bank on Aug. 1; Reno-based First National Bank of Nevada, Newport Beach, California-based First Heritage Bank, and Pasadena-based IndyMac Bancorp Inc. in July; Staples, Minnesota-based First Integrity Bank and ANB Financial in Bentonville, Arkansas, in May; Hume Bank in Hume, Missouri, in March; and Douglass National Bank in Kansas City, Missouri, in January

Saturday, August 23, 2008

America, America....

America is just one party disguising as 2 parties. The democrats have done everything to make sure John McCain wins this year. I am starting to think the democrats are fake. Just there to scare you into voting for these right wing religious nuts.

The main issue they will use is abortion. In this country, if you are pro choice b/c you feel a woman should have the right to make her own mind up about what she should do with her body because we supposedly live in a "free" country, you are labeled pro abortion. The religious freaks have been brainwashed to believe we must protect every unborn life, all the while we allow thousands of babies and children to die everyday all over the world. We are all pro life except once the babies are born. Then they must fend for themselves. Most starve to death. Can you imagine what it is like to starve to death? Why do unborn children have more rights than those already here on the planet?

And while we are on a question for you Jesus fanatics. Don't you think if God gave out "God given" rights that they would be things like the right to food, or the right to shelter or the right to have health care so you don't get sick and die? God would not give you the right to own a fuckin' gun. How dumb are you religious people? Rights are imaginary!

Amazing how these religious nuts cannot see the forest for the trees.....

Obama picking Biden was a mistake. I like Biden, but out of all the candidates, we was not his best pick for a win. All I do know, is that McCain will destroy what is left from Bush and when it happens, I will be one of the ones laughing in your faces.

I imagine Americans like paying 5 bucks a gallon of gas. I guess they like having our troops killed in wars that have nothing to do with the security of the country. I imagine people like getting sick and hoping it is not too bad cause they can't afford a doctor. I imagine that Americans enjoy the losing of rights established by our forefathers......

Ha, Like Lennon, I just imagine........

Bush Blames Dems for High Gas Prices

An oil man blaming others for high gas prices....pretty sad. It is not coincidence that gas has almost tripled in price since an oil man became president. Remember, Cheney was CEO of Haliburton.

Friday, August 22, 2008

No Lawyers Allowed at Make Shift DNC Jail

If there are mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention, it is where the arrested people will go before bonding out or being taken to jail.

It's being called the Arrestee Processing Site, or APS. It sits in an old city warehouse on the northeast side near 38th and Steele.

9NEWS' cameras were allowed inside the site for the first time on Wednesday.

However, the city of Denver says the APS will also be used for arrests that have nothing to do with the convention.

Some chain-link cells there will hold about 400 people at a time. The city says it will be able to process 60 people an hour.

"I think we will be able to keep up with the pace. I think our capacity is more than enough," said Denver County Undersheriff Bill Lovingier.

The APS is built to replicate what you'd normally see at the city jail. There is a place where they can take mug shots and fingerprints. There is also a doctor on staff and next to the doctor's office is the bonding office.

Lovingier invited the cameras inside on Wednesday to counter activists' claims that the city was trying to hide a secret jail.

Lovingier says he is not worried about people arrested for peaceful civil disobedience.

"We don't anticipate problems with those people, but anytime you plan for an event like this there are also groups out there who may be more violent," he said.

No lawyers are permitted inside the APS. The city says the arrestees can meet with their attorneys when they go to court.

However, the ACLU says that's illegal. The civil rights group also wants assurances that once people post bond, they won't be held for several more hours.

"What's important is that the processing is efficient enough that people aren't unreasonably delayed in their right to post bond, get out of there and answer those questions in court," said ACLU Director Mark Silverstein.

The city may have some legal leeway because it is a temporary facility and will only be there for a week. After that, the warehouse turns into a warehouse again.

"It's actually being sold to somebody, so all this goes away," said Lovingier.

An out-of-state real estate investment firm is buying the property.

The Denver County Sheriff's Department received $500,000 federal tax dollars for DNC security. They are not saying how much of that went into the APS.

The sheriff's department has taken down the razor wire it was using to top off the cells in response to concerns raised by community members and the mayor when the images of the site first went public.

East vs West at the UN

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mom of Missing Fla. Girl Released on Bail

She is free while her daughter is still missing. She gets her freedom and her little girl gets nothing...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oprah Speaks Some Truth

And some of her audience has a narrow mind and cannot fathom what she is saying. Just weak small minds. Look how desperate they are to defend this religion, not out of love, but the fear of being sent to hell for all of eternity.

Oprah is right. There is not just one path anymore. We live in a diverse world of colors and you cannot just see the world in black & white anymore. If both paths are morally the same, and the end result is good, no matter what you call it, then that is fine.

Now if you believe that you must step in to the darkness or act evil to get across your belief in what God wants, then you have lost the battle already. Your deed will have consequences even if you are doing it for some greater good.

This entire world is built on balance. We lose sight of this constantly. All drugs are bad, no discussion. All gays are evil, no discussion. All those who speak out against the government are know the story...

I love how Obama killed the Pastor Saturday night when he was asked about abortion. He said, "I am pro choice, but that does not mean I am pro abortion. He did not allow that judgemental thought process of seeing the issue in black & white even fall on his lap. You can be reasonable with issues if you open your mind and see all the facts.

You have the Internet. Google what you are after and then read ALL sides of the subject. Do not form your opinion on such grave matters as our existence on things taught to you by other sheep.

It is time for people to wake up to the control that religion and governments have been exerting on the people for thousands of years.....

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

The God Who Wasn't There

Iran Ready to Put Muslim Countries' Satellite in Orbit

Gee, I really want to see these fanatics have this in space so they can spread that hate and murder even farther beyond our world. I wish aliens would blow us out the sky for being so ignorant.

Iran said on Monday it was ready to help fellow Muslim states launch satellites into orbit after it successfully put a dummy satellite into orbit -- a move that may increase Western suspicions over its atomic ambitions.

Iran said on Sunday it had put the home-grown dummy satellite into orbit on a domestically made rocket for the first time. The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into space can also be used for launching weapons.

Iran says has no intention to do so.

Head of Iran's Aerospace Organization, Reza Taghipour, said Iran wanted to help Muslim countries to launch satellites.

"I am announcing now that Iran is ready to launch satellites of friendly Islamic countries into space," Taghipour told state television.

Embroiled in a standoff with the West over its nuclear ambitions, Iran in February tested another domestically made rocket as part of its satellite program.

Washington, accusing Iran of aiming to equip missiles with nuclear warheads, called the February test 'unfortunate'. It cites Iran's missile potential, among others, as the reason why it needs to install an anti-missile defense system in eastern Europe.

France and Russia both said the February test raised the suspicion that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

The United states and its European allies fear Iran is trying to obtain nuclear arms under cover of a civilian program. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog body in a report in May expressed "serious concern" over alleged Iranian research into nuclear warheads and said Iran should provide more explanation of questionable missile-related activities.

Iran has so far said it was not the agency's business "to delve into those allegations."

Iran says it has home-grown missiles with a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), meaning it could hit Israel or U.S. military bases in the Gulf.

Western experts say Iran rarely provides enough details for them to determine the extent of its technological advances, but that much Iranian technology consists of modifications of equipment supplied by China, North Korea and other countries.

Iran has been hit by three rounds of U.N. sanctions for defying demands that it suspend its uranium enrichment program. Six major powers are working on another one.

Taghipour said Iran was planning to build and launch more satellites by 2010.

"We are working on these satellites and gradually they will be put into orbit," he told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

More of our Infrastructure Falls Apart

Yea, Iraq needs those billions, not the citizens of America, who's money it actually is. We can have more bridges falling down and levees break. Why not?

City Defends "Secret Jail" Built for DNC

The makeshift holding center, dubbed "Gitmo on the Platte" by activists, is located on city-owned property near Steele Street and 38th Avenue. Newly-installed security cameras guard the exterior, chain-link fences and barbed wire form cells inside.

"We feel the city should be ashamed of this secret prison they've set up," said Re-create '68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo.

Spagnuolo and other activists gathered outside the formerly-secret facility on Friday to protest the city's plan to use it as a processing center for all those arrested outside the DNC.

"The public was never going to view this place, it was just found out," Spagnuolo said. "They got caught with this place. They told our lawyers in negotiations that this place didn't even exist."

"This was never a secret site," said Undersheriff Bill Lovingier, the city's director of corrections.

Lovingier said the city had long planned to build a new holding facility for the DNC, which triples the processing speed of the city jail. Lovingier said the Steele Street warehouse will be able to process 60 arrestees an hour.

"This center is designed as an arrest processing site," Lovinger said. "There will be no housing or long-term detentions."

Activists said that claim was doubtful.

"What's going to happen here is police are going to detain people for an inordinate amount of time," said Unconventional Denver organizer Ben Yager. "They're going to use this as an excuse to keep people out of the courts and off of the streets."

Protest groups questioned whether the makeshift facility would be suitable for inhabitation after years as a storage facility.

Lovinger said air-conditioning has been installed and the Denver Fire Department has certified it meets fire codes.

"We've provided for restroom facilities, water, medical assistance," Lovingier said. "We tried to mirror in this facility what we do every day in our city jail."

Female Suicide Bombers

"Cross Us & We Will Crush You"

President Dimitry Medvedev delivered his most hawkish statement yet in the current Georgian crisis today when he warned that any further aggression against Russian citizens would prompt a "crushing response".

Mr Medvedev, the former technocrat who is generally seen as the more conciliatory voice of the Kremlin duumvirate, told Second World War veterans in the Russian city of Kursk that Russia had the power to counter any threat against its citizens.

His statement came as Russia appeared to be dragging its heels in withdrawing its troops from Georgia amid growing international demands that it implements a ceasefire deal signed last week.

Vladimir Putin's mastery checkmates the West
Michael Binyon says Russia has been biding its time - but its victory in Georgia has been brutal and brilliant

“If anyone thinks that they can kill our citizens and escape unpunished, we will never allow this. If anyone tries this again, we will come out with a crushing response,” Mr Medvedev said, according to Reuters.

“We have all the necessary resources, political, economic and military. If anyone had any illusions about this, they have to abandon them."

Fighting erupted in South Ossetia after Georgia mounted an offensive ten days ago to regain control of the breakaway Russian-backed region.

The move prompted Russia's biggest military deployment outside its borders since the collapse of the Soviet Union and saw Georgian forces routed as the Russian army moved into Georgia proper.

Under the terms of a French-brokered ceasefire, both sides have to withdraw to their positions before the conflict.

However Tony Halpin, a Times correspondent, said that Russian troops were still manning checkpoints on the road from Tbilisi to the strategic town of Gori near the border with the disputed enclave of South Ossetia, where the conflict erupted 10 days ago.

Mr Medvedev's statement will be seen as a warning not just to Georgia against any further military action in South Ossetia or breakaway Abkhazia but other former Soviet republics including the Baltic states, which have large and restive Russian minorities.

Mr Medvedev, facing his first international crisis since taking over the Kremlin’s top job in May from Vladimir Putin, said that Russia did not want to spoil relations with anyone but demanded respect.

“We do not want a deterioration of international relations, we want to be respected. We want our people, our values to be respected,” he said.

“We have always been a peace-loving state. Practically there is not a single occasion in the history of the Russian or Soviet state when we first started military actions. We have not attacked anyone, we only secured the rights and dignity of people as peacekeepers.”

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How Long Will Americans Stay Apathetic To The Reality

Musharraf Resigns As President

Pakistan's president has resigned to avoid impeachment charges, he told the nation during a televised speech.

"After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign," Pervez Musharraf said.

But he insisted that accusations against him "won't stand".

The ruling coalition has prepared charges against him, focusing on violation of the constitution and misconduct.

Mr Musharraf rejected the accusations saying: "Not a single charge in the impeachment can stand against me.

"No charge can be proved against me because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cease Fire Disputed

Ancient Atomic War

flying a swift and powerful vimana
hurled a single projectile
Charged with all the power of the Universe.
An incandescent column of smoke and flame
As bright as the thousand suns
Rose in all its splendour...
a perpendicular explosion
with its billowing smoke clouds...
...the cloud of smoke
rising after its first explosion
formed into expanding round circles
like the opening of giant parasols... was an unknown weapon,
An iron thunderbolt,
A gigantic messenger of death,
Which reduced to ashes
The entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
...The corpses were so burned
As to be unrecognizable.
The hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
And the birds turned white.
After a few hours
All foodstuffs were infected... escape from this fire
The soldiers threw themselves in streams
To wash themselves and their equipment.

Ancient verses from the Mahabharata: (6500 B.C.?)

Money Minute: Netflix Back Online, Walmart, Northwestern

Breaking Up Big Banks Questioned as Losses Mount

America's biggest banks have suffered unprecedented losses from the ongoing credit crisis, and that's made some investors question whether the big financial conglomerates should be broken up in order to survive.

Break-up advocates, who for months have been clamoring for Citigroup Inc. (C) to be dismantled, got some validation of their viewpoint this past week. Europe's UBS AG (UBS) - created through the combination of Swiss Bank Corp. and Union Bank of Switzerland in 1997 - on Wednesday laid the groundwork to tear up its business model after another quarter of steep losses.

Though the UBS announcement was expected, it was nonetheless a departure from what executives promised during a wave of big bank deals that began in the late 1990s. The creators of global banks like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) had promised customers and shareholders that a diverse set of businesses would shield them from economic volatility.

But, those models haven't sheltered the banks from the subprime mortgage crisis that turned into a dislocation of the credit markets. Major global banks have taken more than $300 billion in asset write-downs, and organizations like the International Monetary Fund believe that amount could reach $1 trillion.

"The whole idea was, 'let's be so unbelievably diversified that we won't be affected,' but when the credit markets seize up, no matter what kind of financial company you are, everything seizes up," said William Smith, president of New York-based Smith Asset Management. "The UBS statement basically shows the model is a failure."

That's not what former Citigroup Chief Executive Sanford Weill envisioned when the company was created in 1998 by the combination of Citicorp and Travelers Group. He maintained that offering a mix of financial products - such as investment banking at Salomon Brothers, brokerage services through Smith Barney, and Citibank's retail and consumer banking - would protect the company.

Critics like Smith believe that Citigroup is worth more split up. Current CEO Vikram Pandit has rejected the idea, believing the company should come through the credit crisis in one piece.

But, John Reed, who as head of Citicorp forged the deal with Weill's Travelers Group, commented recently that the universal bank model didn't work. That's only been highlighted by Citigroup's stock price, down 71 percent from its 52-week high of $49.

Talk about how Citigroup and others should be structured will only intensify now that UBS appears to have turned its back on its "one bank" strategy. Switzerland's largest bank posted a hefty $5.1 billion write-down for the second quarter, and disclosed plans to separate its ailing investment bank from healthier businesses.

And, concerns about the execution of the business model are spreading, even among those who support the idea of financial conglomerates.

Ladenburg Thalmann's Richard X. Bove, one of the most outspoken banking analysts since the credit crisis began last year, wrote in a note that the "concept behind the creation of JPMorgan Chase has broken down."

Bove said JPMorgan's acquisition of Chicago's Bank One in 2004 was intended to beef up its consumer business, including banking and credit cards. That would help offset problems if the capital markets, like investment banking and related areas, were to falter. The problem is that both markets are currently weak.

He said JPMorgan's exposure was hurt further by the acquisition of crippled Bear Stearns in March. Still, despite all this, Bove feels the model is viable - and that JPMorgan can work through the troubles over a number of years by cutting costs and refining its businesses.

"No steel company can sell steel when auto manufacturers aren't selling cars, and no bank can make big profits when there's a weakness in the housing and credit markets," he said. "They have to ride out the cycle, minimize the losses, and maximize profits when the cycle returns. You can't restructure a company to avoid that cycle."

"In 1985, there were 14,500 banks in the U.S. - and now there's 7,200," he said. "For the past 23 years, six of them went away each week. The big universal banks might get hit, but they stay in business and come out with a bigger share of the market than they had before."

Fay is on the Way!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Moscow Issues Nuclear Warning to Poland

Moscow lashed out at Washington and Warsaw on Friday, saying the plan to site a US anti-missile defence shield in Poland would undermine the global balance of power and put Poland at risk of nuclear attack.

Washington and Warsaw reached a preliminary agreement on Thursday to build part of the missile defence shield in Poland, station US Patriot missiles there and bolster the two countries’ military co-operation.

Missile talks with Poles gain urgency - Aug-13Regional leaders signal Georgian solidarity - Aug-12Polish PM fails to deliver promised reforms - Jul-31Kroes doubts Polish shipyards’ survival - Jul-10Fakro to file complaint against Danish rival - Jul-06Polish heirs pose fiscal threat - Jul-05The US claims the shield in Poland, as well as a radar tracking base to be located in the Czech Republic, is designed to defend against “rogue states” such as Iran.

The timing of this week’s agreement, as relations between Russia and the US deteriorated over the Georgia crisis, has strengthened Moscow’s conviction that the move is anti-Russian.

“The deployment of new anti-missile forces in Europe has the Russian federation as its aim,” said Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, at a press conference with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Friday.

Dmitri Rogozin, Russia’s Nato envoy, said the fact the agreement “was signed at a time of a very difficult crisis in relations between Russia and the US over the situation in Georgia shows that, of course, the missile defence system will be deployed not against Iran, but against the strategic potential of Russia.”

Anatoly Nogovitsin, the deputy head of the Russian armed forces, warned Poland that by hosting the shield it could become the target of a nuclear attack in war time. “The US is concerned with its own anti-missile defence, not Poland’s. But Poland, by deploying [the shield], will be exposed to attack.”

Dollar Heads for Fifth Weekly Gain

The dollar headed for a fifth weekly gain against the euro, its longest winning streak in more than two years, as crude oil prices declined and economies from Germany to Japan contracted.

The U.S. currency rose to the strongest level in almost six months against the euro and a seven-month high versus the yen. The pound dropped for an 11th day against the dollar, the longest run of declines in at least 37 years, on speculation a recession will force the Bank of England to cut interest rates.

"The world is finding the dollar is very, very cheap,'' said Steven Englander, a currency strategist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York. ``There's significant revision of growth outlook and monetary policies outside the U.S. Changing global sentiment is bringing down commodity prices, which is helping the dollar."

Against the euro, the dollar rose 0.8 percent to $1.4713 at 10:31 a.m. in New York, from $1.4826 yesterday. It earlier touched $1.4678, the strongest level since Feb. 20. The U.S. currency increased 0.5 percent to 110.32 yen, from 109.74. It earlier rose to 110.66, the strongest since Jan. 2. The euro fell 0.2 percent to 162.29 yen, from 162.68.

The dollar has risen 1.8 percent against the euro this week in its longest stretch of weekly gains since February 2006. The U.S. currency has increased 8.3 percent after reaching the record low of $1.6038 on July 15. The dollar is headed for a 0.3 percent advance versus the yen, its second straight weekly increase. The euro is poised for a fourth weekly decline against the yen, dropping 1.6 percent.

The dollar's 5.9 percent rally against the euro this month has led banks to raise their forecasts for the U.S. currency.

Mixing Business and Facebook or MySpace

Russia Seizes Arsenal Of US Weapons In Georgia

Russian forces have seized a "large arsenal" of U.S.-made weapons in the western Georgian city of Senaki including hundreds of assault rifles, a military spokesman said Friday.

"In Senaki, we seized a large arsenal of weapons including 664 U.S.-made M-16 rifles" and a number of M-40 sniper rifles, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow. "There were 1,728 weapons total."

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Russia: U.S. Missile Deal 'Cannot Go Unpunished'

An agreement that will allow the United States to install a missile defense battery in Poland exposes the ex-communist nation to an attack, a Russian general said Friday.

Poland and the United States struck a deal on Thursday to deepen military ties and place a missile interceptor base in Poland.

Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian general staff told reporters Friday that the agreement exacerbates U.S.-Russian relations that are already tense because of fighting between Georgian and Russian forces. He said the deal “cannot go unpunished.”

And in the strongest threat Russia has issued in reaction to plans to put elements of a missile defense system in former Soviet satellite nations, the Interfax news agency quoted Nogovitsyn as saying Poland was risking attack.

“Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent,” Interfax quoted Nogovitsyn as saying.

Moscow had previously threatened to redirect missiles toward Poland if the country agreed to host elements of the missile shield.

Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed “rogue states” like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at weakening Russia’s missile force.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Margaret Cho on Religion

911 Famlies Lawsuit Thrown Out

An ambitious lawsuit by the Philadelphia firm of Cozen O'Connor blaming the government of Saudi Arabia for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was dealt a sharp setback yesterday when a federal appeals court ruled that the desert kingdom could not be sued for acts of terrorism.

The ruling followed years of hard-fought litigation in which lawyers for Cozen and other firms representing Sept. 11 victims traveled the globe tracking down witnesses with information about how Saudi money found its way to al Qaeda.

Yet, in a stinging setback for Cozen and other plaintiffs' lawyers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said U.S. law bars such lawsuits unless the State Department has found that a government provided material support for terrorist groups.

The State Department has made no such finding regarding Saudi Arabia.

The law does not "delegate to the victims, their counsel or the courts the responsibility of the executive branch to make America's foreign-policy response to acts of terrorism," said the opinion, written by Dennis Jacobs, chief judge of the Second Circuit, based in Manhattan.

The court made no finding on facts included in the lawsuits that the law firms have contended tie the Saudi government to funding for al Qaeda.

The ruling came in an appeal of a lower-court opinion filed by Cozen O'Connor on behalf of insurers that paid out billions in claims to businesses at ground zero. Cozen was joined in the legal action by law firms representing hundreds of individual victims and survivors and various other commercial interests that suffered losses.

Cozen and other law firms have spent millions in the high-profile action and have been working on the case almost from the day the attacks were carried out.

They alleged that the Saudi government funded Islamic charities that in turn became money-laundering conduits for al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in advance of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Absent that funding, the lawsuits said, al Qaeda never would have emerged as a global threat.

The Saudi Arabian Embassy and members of its legal team declined to comment on the ruling yesterday, citing the possibility of further legal action.

In legal papers, lawyers for the kingdom argued that there was no credible evidence that senior Saudi officials had any knowledge of terrorism activities by the charities nor that they intended for the charities to finance al Qaeda.

But lawyers for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks reacted sharply to the decision.

"I have great respect for this panel, but I could not disagree more with their analysis or reasoning," said a clearly frustrated Stephen Cozen, who had argued the case in January before the Second Circuit. "It just seems to be totally wrong to us to have a decision be made on who gets immunity and who does or does not get immunity, based not on law but because of political decisions made by the diplomatic corps."

Cozen said he was recommending to his insurance-industry clients that they appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. But such appeals typically are uphill battles; the Supreme Court traditionally has accorded great deference to circuit court decisions.

The plaintiffs have 90 days to file an appeal. They also have the option of asking for a rehearing of the case by the Second Circuit.

"We believe that the court was wrong in its interpretation of the law," said Jerry S. Goldman, a lawyer for Anderson, Kill & Olick P.C. Goldman is representing the estate of John O'Neill Sr., a former Atlantic City resident and top antiterrorism official with the FBI who was serving as head of security at the World Trade Center and died in the attacks.

"Under the court's rationale, were a New Yorker to be sideswiped by a car driven by an employee of the Saudi Embassy, they could sue for bumps and bruises. Yet nearly 3,000 families of those innocents who were brutally killed in Lower Manhattan cannot pursue their claims."

The Second Circuit ruling upheld two lower-court decisions in 2005 by late federal District Judge Richard Conway Casey, saying that the government of Saudi Arabia, senior Saudi royals - Princes Naif, Sultan, Salman, Turki and Mohamed - could not be sued because they were protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Casey also ruled that the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina, established by the Saudi government in 1993 to provide aid to Muslim refugees caught up in the Balkans war and accused by the plaintiffs of being a money-laundering conduit for al Qaeda, also was immune.

In finding that the royals and the government were immune from suit, the Second Circuit pointed to a 1996 amendment to the sovereign-immunities act, written by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), permitting U.S. citizens to file suit against foreign governments for terrorists acts that occur overseas.

Called the Flatow Amendment, after a 20-year-old New Jersey woman named Alisa Flatow who was killed in a suicide bombing in 1995 in Gaza, the law restricted terrorism lawsuits to governments that had been designated as state sponsors of terrorism.

White House and State Department officials, fearing that a flood of lawsuits from U.S. citizens might interfere with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, had insisted on that restriction in return for their support.

Yet lawyers for the plaintiffs insisted yesterday that the designation requirement was intended only to establish one avenue for suing foreign governments. They said the Second Circuit, by failing to acknowledge other legal options provided by the act, had turned back the clock to an era when executive branch officials alone made the decision on whether U.S. citizens could sue foreign governments.

"This puts us back into the 1950s," Cozen said.

In their lawsuits, Cozen and other law firms allege that over a period of a decade or more, officials of the government of Saudi Arabia had financed Islamic charities that in turn had become the sources of funding for Islamic terrorists, first in Afghanistan and the Sudan and then later in the Bosnia-Herzegovina, and ultimately in the Sept. 11 attacks.