An encore to one of his concerts. Starts about thirty seconds in.
On Bad Laws...
41 minutes ago
The sun had barely risen when the two sentries spotted a 20-foot-long truck headed toward the gate, weaving with increasing speed through the concrete barriers. Two Iraqi police officers assigned to the gate ran for their lives. So did several Iraqi police on the adjacent street.
Yale and Haerter tried to wave off the truck, but it kept coming. They opened fire, Yale with a machine gun, Haerter with an M-16. Their bullets peppered the radiator and windshield. The truck slowed but kept rolling.
A few dozen feet from the gate, the truck exploded. Investigators found that it was loaded with 2,000 pounds of explosives and that its driver, his hand on a "dead-man switch," was determined to commit suicide and slaughter Marines and Iraqi police.
The thunderous explosion rocked much of Ramadi, interrupting the morning call to prayers from the many mosques. A nearby mosque and a home were flattened. The blast ripped a crater 5 feet deep and 20 feet across into the street.
When Marine technicians restored a damaged security camera, the images were undeniable.
While Iraqi police fled, Haerter and Yale had never flinched and never stopped firing as the Mercedes truck -- the same model used in the Beirut bombing -- sped directly toward them.
Without their steadfastness, the truck would probably have penetrated the compound before it exploded, and 50 or more Marines and Iraqis would have been killed. The incident happened in just six seconds.
"No time to talk it over; no time to call the lieutenant; no time to think about their own lives or even the American and Iraqi lives they were protecting," Kelly said. "More than enough time, however, to do their duty. They never hesitated or tried to escape."
Kelly nominated the two for the Navy Cross, the second-highest award for combat bravery for Marines and sailors. Even by the standards expected of Marine "grunts," their bravery was exceptional, Kelly said.
On board the SS Dignity are three to four tons of urgently needed medical supplies. Dr. Khalid at Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital told the crew on Saturday that the “majority of cases are critical shrapnel wounds from Israeli gunboats and helicopters, with an approximate 80 percent who will not survive.”
Among the Free Gaza organizers is Eliza Ernshire who said, “We have calls for surgeons willing to go into Gaza and work there throughout this crisis. The doctors inside are exhausted and unable to cope with the number of wounded.”
On board the ship expected to set sail on Monday are four physicians. Among them is Dr. Elena Theoharous, a surgeon and member of Cypriot parliament. Former United States Congresswoman and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney will also be making the voyage. And local hero, Al Jazeera correspondent formerly imprisoned in Guantanamo, Sami Al Hajj, is also expected.
A small boat, damaged as it tried to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, has arrived in the Lebanese port of Tyre.
The Dignity started taking on water after it was hit by an Israeli naval vessel as it approached the Israeli coast with its cargo of medical aid.
The Free Gaza Movement, which organised the attempt to reach the territory , said their boat was "rammed" and shots were fired when at least four Israeli vessels confronted them in international waters.
Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, denied there had been any shooting but said that the ships had made "physical contact".
I'm very puzzled by the nexus between the current downturn and concern about global warming. Given that we were told we had to immediately cut back on carbon emissions (even before sustainable alternative energies are in place), largely by curbing our lavish energy-dependent lifestyles, why then all the concern about stimuli and global depression? Surely, the world right now is sort of what the radical Gorists wanted to see, since the current cutback in gasoline usage, and general economic slowdown are radically restricting the burning of fossil fuels in a manner that even the most optimistic green utopian could hardly have envisioned just few years ago? In other words, in the booming 2004-6 years, radical suggested scale-backs would have probably led to something akin to what we are experiencing now? So why the gloom instead of headlines blaring—"The Planet Continues to Green—as Archaic Consumption Practices Erode Further!"
FROM ABC NEWS' SUNLEN MILLER IN HAWAII:
President-elect Obama stopped by the Marine Corps base in Hawaii Kaneche Bay where servicemen and -women were eating Christmas dinner in Kailua Thursday evening.
“Just wanted to say hi, hey guys,” Obama said as he walked into the Anderson dining hall which was decked out in Christmas decorations.
The diners represented seven military units -- Marine and Navy -- some of whom were joined by their families for Christmas dinner.
As Obama entered the room, it was absent of the regular fanfare of cheering and clapping. The diners were polite, staying seated at their respective tables and waited for the president-elect to come to them to stand up.
Paul Bremer, the top US civilian administrator in Iraq, who was on a scheduled visit to the troops, told them he was going to read a message from the president.
But he then announced he would defer to the most senior person present - Mr Bush's cue to appear.
"I was just looking for a warm meal somewhere," Mr Bush said. "Thanks for inviting me to dinner ... I can't think of a finer group of folks to have Thanksgiving dinner with than you all."
Mr Bush told cheering troops he brought a message on behalf of America: "We thank you for your service, we are proud of you and America stands solidly behind you."
LOS ANGELES - The Phoenix Police Department has gotten some high-powered goodies courtesy of actor David Spade.
The one-time Phoenix resident donated $100,000 so that the department can buy approximately 50 AR-15 rifles.
Spade said he wanted to make the donation after seeing a TV news report about Phoenix officers having to buy their own rifles. Spade grew up in the Phoenix area and graduated from Arizona State University
Q: What do you want for Christmas?
The President: What do I want for Christmas? You know what I'm going to say.
The President: Peace.
Q: Well, what do you want in a box?
The President: If you could get it in a box, I'll take it in a box.
Remember Wade Sanders? He was one of the "band of brothers"--Swift Boat veterans who supported John Kerry's presidential campaign and appeared onstage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention before Kerry's "reporting for duty" speech.
On the campaign trail, Sanders was one of Kerry's nastiest surrogates. In August 2004, he likened the president to a "trapped animal." In September, he compared Karl Rove and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth chief John O'Neill to Josef Goebbels. He repeatedly referred to the president and his men as "chicken hawks," an especially nasty term because it is slang for a child molester as well as a derisive term for a nonveteran who favors a strong defense.
Sanders acknowledged in court that he had "possessed computer files containing 600 images of minors, including a 21-minute video that depicted girls engaging in sex acts with an adult man."
this officially marks my move to Pacific Time on the postings.I was under the mistaken impression that the posts were synced to the time on my computer. But, since I see my midnight plus one postings showing up a little after nine here on the Left Coast, I realize the time is synced with the server on the East Coast.
Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.
Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.
Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.
The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans — the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.
“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”
Something similar is true internationally. European countries seem to show more compassion than America in providing safety nets for the poor, and they give far more humanitarian foreign aid per capita than the United States does. But as individuals, Europeans are far less charitable than Americans.
Americans give sums to charity equivalent to 1.67 percent of G.N.P., according to a terrific new book, “Philanthrocapitalism,” by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green. The British are second, with 0.73 percent, while the stingiest people on the list are the French, at 0.14 percent.
Methusaleh ate what they piled on his plate
And never, as people do now,
Did he note the amount of the calorie count,
He ate it because it was chow.
He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat,
Devouring a roast or a pie,
To think it was loaded with granular fat,
Or a couple of vitamins shy.
He joyfully chewed on all kinds of food,
Unmindful of troubles or fears,
Lest his health might be hurt by some fancy dessert.
So he died – after nine hundred years.
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Almighty God, We ask your blessing upon the next President of the United States.
Give him wisdom beyond his years.
Give him the courage to do what is right and not merely that which is expedient.
Grant that he might always speak the truth without guile.
Give him strength, as the leader of the leading democracy on this world, to stand firm against tyranny and oppression.
Grant him humility that he might see that everything he has is a gift from you.
Grant that he might be a champion for justice and righteousness.
Open his eyes to truth and his heart to understanding.
Watch over him and keep him and his family safe from harm.
And in the fullness of time, grant that his two daughters might come to love and marry upstanding, conservative Republican men*. Amen.
Obama needs the prayer and we need the practice!
"America is no stronger than its people - and that means you and me. Well, I believe in you, and I believe that if we work together then one day we will say, ``We fought the good fight. We finished the race We kept the faith.'' And to our children and our children's children we can say, ``We did all that could be done in the brief time that was given to us here on earth."
Ann Coulter to me is someone who says things that I say all the time, but I say them at three in the morning when I’m drunk as a monkey. She says them at three in the afternoon stone sober in bright daylight.
Democrats and the media can no longer rest on the old rationalization that Blago is an exception to the “we’re cleaner than thou” rule. 2008 was the year of Democratic Reps. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson, Charlie “Sweetheart Deals” Rangel, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame “Text Me” Kilpatrick. It was the year Democratic Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson got caught stuffing bribes from an FBI informant down her shirt. It was the year 12 Democratic leaders and staffers in Pennsylvania’s state Capitol were stung in a massive corruption scandal involving cash, sex, and abuse of public office. And it was the year of multimillion-dollar embezzlement scandals at Democratic satellite offices of ACORN and the SEIU.
Blagojevich also was ordered to relinquish his passport and his firearm owner's identification card.
Expensive daily commute
As Governor of Illinois, Blagojevich is entitled to live in the Illinois Executive Mansion, located in the state capital of Springfield. However, he and his family have opted to remain in Chicago. One reason he gave was an unwillingness to move his infant daughter away from home. In the governor's absence, the Illinois Times, a newspaper based in Springfield, held a satirical contest in 2003 for readers to decide how the mansion should be used. Suggestions ranged from using it as a hotel or homeless shelter to converting it to a "house of ill repute." The Blagojevich family has shunned the use of the Mansion even for one-night stays. Past Governors have lived in Springfield or have at least stayed there during legislative session.
During July and part of August 2007, Illinois lawmakers were in a deadlock over approving a state budget. In light of this, Blagojevich came under criticism for choosing to take daily, expensive commutes between his Chicago home and his office in Springfield rather than stay in the Governor's Mansion in Springfield during the budget crisis. The round trip on a state plane costs nearly $6,000, and Blagojevich made the trip nine times between May 22 and June 7, costing Illinois taxpayers more than $75,000 according to state transportation records. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted that a commercial round-trip flight between Springfield and Chicago can be had on short notice for between $500 and $700. State senator Chris Lauzen noted that the cost was more than a teacher's annual salary
In a well-planned attack on iconic Bombay landmarks symbolizing great power and wealth, the “militants” nevertheless found time to divert 20 percent of their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the city’s poor in a nondescript building. If they were just “teenage gunmen” or “militants” in the cause of Kashmir, engaged in a more or less conventional territorial dispute with India, why kill the only rabbi in Bombay?
But if the demand for cork is not maintained there’s a risk the cork oak landscapes of the western Mediterranean will, within a decade, face increased poverty, more forest fires, loss of biodiversity, and faster desertification.
Fox News- Constitution Arms, a small arms manufacturer based in Maplewood, N.J., is taking deposits for what it touts as the world's first ergonomically designed firearm.
Intended for use by the elderly and disabled, the single-shot 9-mm weapon looks like a giant bean grasped in the palm of the hand.
The barrel points out between the user's fingers. You "pull" the trigger by pressing on a thumbed button at the top.
Even better, Constitution Arms says it's had it certified by the FDA as a "Class I Medical Device." That means doctors could prescribe the handgun to qualified patients, who would then have some or all of the cost reimbursed by Medicare or private insurance.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines is the target of a defamation lawsuit by the stepfather of one of three 8-year-old boys slain in 1993.
Maines spoke out for three people convicted of the slayings and alleged the stepfather was instead involved in the killings.
Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Steve Branch, who was killed in 1993 with Christopher Byers and Michael Moore, filed suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Nov. 25. The suit names all three members of the Dixie Chicks, but focuses on Maines.
...Maines attended a Dec. 19 rally in Little Rock, where she claimed Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley — known to sympathizers as the "West Memphis Three" — were innocent and that supposed new evidence pointed to Hobbs. Her comments echoed a Nov. 26, 2007, letter that was still on the Dixie Chicks' Web site on Thursday, in which she claimed that new DNA testing of hair from the crime scene linked Hobbs to the killings and that his behavior after the slayings indicated his guilt.
Dear Natalie: In the future, restrict your public speaking to things that you know personally to be true. Describe your belly button lint collection in excruciating detail, but leave political and social commentary to someone with at least a room temperature IQ. - Sincerely, A Former Fan
AP -NEW YORK – Enough gloom and doom: There’s a prediction from a leading color source that cheerful and sunny yellow will be the influential color of 2009. Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites “mimosa,” a vibrant shade of yellow illustrated by the flowers of some mimosa trees as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail, as its top shade of the new year. In general, Pantone expects the public to embrace many tones of optimistic yellow.
"Location, location, location!"
"Connotation, connotation, connotation!"
"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."