Friday, May 26, 2006

Epic Feature on the Life of the Buddha Coming

Indian telecommunications mogul Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi will finance an epic feature on the life of Buddha, based on the best-selling book "Old Path White Clouds" by renowned Buddhist Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh says The Hollywood Reporter."

I, Robot" executive producers Michel Shane and Anthony Romano have signed on to produced the
film which is expected to start shooting in November in the U.S., Japan, China and India.

The $120 million English-language film will be one of the most expensive
films shot in India. It is Modi's first foray into film-making.

James: This from IndieWIRE:

Not only are A-list stars being courted for the lead roles, but the Dalai Lama has given his blessing and will consult on the film. Hanh and Dr. Modi are both in Cannes to finalize their deal. [Kristina Woo/indieWIRE]

James: Also this from NewKerala:

Says Thich Nhat Hanh: "The Buddha has suffered far too much deification over the centuries. This film might help in making him human again. The idea is to make the Buddha relevant to everybody so that the world can become a better place."

James: And this from Rediff India Abroad:

'I've wanted to do this film for several years now,' Modi told Hollywood Reporter. 'I discovered the book two years ago and it changed my life, and I felt it was up to me to share my happiness with the world.'

The film is going to be a spiritual adventure, said Shane. 'We are looking at this as an epic film for the ages -- a Lawrence of Arabia meets Gladiator,' he declared.

James's comment: I'm currently reading, Old Path, White Clouds and am very excited that a film based on this wonderful book is in the works!! Not sure though how a film about the life of the Buddha could be a Lawrence of Abrabia meets Gladiator as they both are quite violent.

Hopefully the Dalai Lama and TNH's inpute will keep the film from getting too "Hollywood."

Anyway, I hope that this movie makes it to the big screen and creates some buzz.

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wrong Turn at Baghdad

So we all know that Bush claims Iraq has turned yet another corner. How many turns does that make now? Question: (In the voice of Dwight from the show, "The Office.") If we keep turning corners then doesn't that mean we are just going in circles??

I think so.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rep. William J. Jefferson Should Resign

RESIGN ALREADY!!!!

(CBS/AP) A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Authorities say agents later found most of the cash hidden in his freezer.


According to the court document, Jefferson - in one audiotaped meeting - chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.

However, instead of the Bush administration following the rules in building a case they stage this questionable raid on his office that pushes the line with the seperation of powers.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert questioned whether the raid of the congressman's office, believed the first in history, overstepped constitutional limitations on executive powers.

"Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years," the Illinois Republican said in a statement.



[...]

A historian with the Senate Historical Office said there is no record of any member's congressional office being searched.


Hastert said he expects "to seek a means to restore the delicate balance of power among the branches of government that the founders intended" after consulting other House leaders and weighing the long-term consequences of the search.



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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Clinton Blows Bush Out of the Water

How bad has it gotten for President Bush? Bad enough that in the eyes of many Americans his predecessor, President Clinton, is looking better.

Our CNN poll, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, asked people to compare the last two Presidents.

Which President do people think did a better job on the economy? The public picked Clinton by a mile -- 63 to 26 percent. For many Americans, the 1990s were boom years. "When he was President," a woman told us, "My business did well and I made a lot of money. I kind of miss that."

Who related better to problems affecting ordinary Americans? No contest -- Clinton over Bush, 62 to 25 percent. Clinton felt your pain. Clinton also raised taxes. Bush cut taxes. Who wins on that one? Surprise! Clinton, 51 to 35 percent on taxes.

After 9/11, national security became Bush's strongest issue. And now? People think Clinton was better on national security by a nose -- 46 to 42 percent. What happened? One word: Iraq.

Now for a tough test -- character. The character issue was crucial for Bush, who campaigned in 2000 on this promise: "When I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear not only to uphold the laws of the land, I will swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the office to which I have been elected."

So which President do Americans now consider more honest and trustworthy -- the man who said, "I misled people, including even my wife," or the man who said, "If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it and we'll take the appropriate action"? A close call, but slightly more people say Clinton -- 46 to 41 percent. That's right, by a narrow margin, the American public now considers Bill Clinton more honest than George W. Bush.

Could Clinton nostalgia be setting in? Many respondents said yes, citing the former president's "agenda for peace" and "more social programs for those in need." Others talked about the "Clinton nightmare," like the man who called Clinton a "womanizing, Elvis-loving, non-inhaling, truth-shading, abortion-protecting, gay-promoting, war-protesting, gun-hating baby boomer."

Clinton divided the country politically. So did Bush. Who do people think divided it more? The answer is Bush, by a big margin -- 59 to 27 percent. The public sees President Bush the same way they once saw President Clinton -- as a divider, not a uniter.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

They Spy, They Lie and We Cry, "Foul."

By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

GOI: I know that many of you have written about this bomb shell story today but I figured I'd still put in my two cents.

We were originally told that the NSA spying program was only collecting information on people calling internationally and focusing on possible terrorists/terrorist cells.

Noooooow of course we hear that they have been amassing information on millions of Americans. So why didn't they tell us that in the first place? Why?? Because they knew that people would rightly come "unglued" as many of us are after this new revelation!!

The President's explaination? Trust me.

The former NSA chief who instituted this program and who is currently being nominated to head the CIA's response?? Trust me.

Uhhh.

No, I don't think so.

They don't have the capital and good will left to demand that ANY of us trust them after everything this administration has mislead and down right lied to us about! Why should believe them???

Then there is the old, but poiniant question of why wouldn't they just go to the FISA court? We are finding now that it was mostly because a FISA court wouldn't have ok'd this!! Even Fundie John Ashcroft didn't want to have ANYTHING to do with this!!

So by who's authority did they use for this kind of operation??

The DOJ claims that they couldn't get the security clearance for an investigation into this matter and so went on without one and yet every major high level investigation mandates some level clearance!! And the other scary part of this is that the intelligence community controls clearances (according to George Washington University Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley speaking on Countdown with Keith Olbermann). They control the ability of people to investigate their own crimes and there is an OBVIOUS problem with that!!! (Again from Turley).

And boy o' boy do I hope that these phone companies are sued over this whole cover-up.

Now I'm off to write a scathing letter to my Senators and Representative. I suggest that you do the same if you are as outraged as I am on this matter.

---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Bill to Extend Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

GOI: Here we go again.The following information and commentary is about the latest bill to extend the tax cuts and comes from CNN's Lou Dobb's program:

HOW MUCH WOULD YOU SAVE?

INCOME AVERAGE SAVINGS
$20k-30k $9.00
$50k-$75k $110.00
$100k-200k $1,388.00
More then $1 million $41,977.00

GOI: Then we hear from Len Burnham from the Tax Policy Institue:

Burnham:You'd expect, of course the tax cut to be bigger for higher income people but even as a share of income, it grows--the higher the income, the larger the tax cut is as a share of income.

John Roberts (Reporter): So are tax cuts good for the economy? Congress has been slicing tax rates for five years. The GDP is humming along, the DOW is flirting with record territories.

Burnham: (laughing) The stock market was last in record territory in the late 1990's when tax rates on capital gains where higher then they are now.

Reporter's voice: But what has even non-partisan observers really ticked off is what they call a "revenue raising gimmick" to keep the cost of the bill below $70 billion dollars. A price tag that that Republicans could pass with a simple majority. It would allow investors to convert traditional IRA's, funded with pre-tax dollars into so-called ROTH IRA's by paying taxes on the accounts investment gains. The bill's supporters say it will raise almost $6.5 billion dollars over the next 10 years. But because ROTH IRA's grow tax free (in the decades after that) critics say it will cost the government some $35 billion.

Steve Ellis from Taxpayers for Common Sense:

Ellis: This is all about taking care of the now and forgetting the future. This is denying future generations some of the revenue that they were anticipating to help pay for the cost of government then.

Roberts: And then there is the spectre of adding another $70 billion dollars to the deficit at a time when the debt is heading toward $9 trillion dollars and competative foreign governments like China hold a lot of it. That is what even non-partisan observers say could be a looming national security threat.

GOI: Yey!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rupert Murdoch Loves Hillary Clinton

(CBS) To call them a political odd couple would be a rash understatement.

Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch will host a fundraiser for liberal New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Financial Times reports.

The mating ritual of the unlikely allies has been under way for months. Clinton set political tongues to wagging last month by attending a Washington party celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fox News, the cable news channel owned by Murdoch.

GOI: Democrats and Liberals should not nominate Hillary Clinton in 2008 unless we want want to loose--big time. She is too polarizing of a figure and carries wayyyy too much baggage.

However, the biggest reason is Republicans and Conservatives WANT to run against her because they know that if they nominate a Rudy or McCain then they will mop up the floor with her.

THIS is why I think that Murdoch is wanting to boost her campaign.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Bush Approval Sinks to a New Low...AGAIN.

By Susan Page,
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.

[...]

Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.

Moderates gave him an approval rating of 28%, liberals of 7%.

[...]

"Historically it's been pretty devastating to presidents at this level," Franklin says. Even Republican members of Congress are "now so worried about their electoral fortunes in November that he has less leverage with them than he normally would with his own party controlling Congress."

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bush: Best Moment in Office Was Catching a Big Fish


BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush told a German newspaper his best moment in more than five years in office was catching a big perch in his own lake.

"You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best," Bush told weekly Bild am Sonntag when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001.

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound (3.402 kilos) perch in my lake," he told the newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

GOI: (sound of crickets chirping).

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Congo's Tragedy: The War the World Forgot PLEASE READ THIS STORY!!!

GOI: If you think Rwanda and Sudan and Iraq were/are bad then you need to read about what was/is going on in Congo.

In a country the size of Western Europe, a war rages that has lasted eight years and cost four million lives. Rival militias inflict appalling suffering on the civilian population, and what passes for political leadership is powerless to stop it. This is Congo, and the reason for the conflict - control of minerals essential to the electronic gadgetry on which the developed world depends - is what makes our blindness to the horror doubly shaming. Johann Hari reports from the killing fields of central Africa.

This is the story of the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler's armies marched across Europe - a war that has not ended. But is also the story of a trail of blood that leads directly to you: to your remote control, to your mobile phone, to your laptop (GOI: Including the very laptop that I'm shamefully writting this to you now). and to your diamond necklace.

This war has been dismissed as an internal African implosion. In reality it is a battle for coltan, diamonds, cassiterite and gold, destined for sale in London, New York and Paris. It is a battle for the metals that make our technological society vibrate and ring and bling, and it has already claimed four million lives in five years (GOI: That's nearly 1 million people a yearfor 5 years!!!) and broken a population the size of Britain's. No, this is not only a story about them. This - the tale of a short journey into the long Congolese war we in the West have fostered, fuelled and funded - is a story about you.

[...]

It starts with a ward full of women who have been gang-raped and then shot in the vagina.

[...]

Even in this small province, South Kivu, the UN estimates that 45,000 women were raped last year alone. "It destroys the morale of the men to rape their women. Crippling their women cripples their society," he explains, shaking his head gently.

[...]

Coltan is a metal that conducts heat unusually brilliantly. It is contained in your mobile, your lap-top, your son's PlayStation - and 80 per cent of the world's supplies sit beneath the Democratic Republic of Congo.

[...]

Ingo Mbale, 51, explains how the West's hunger for coltan is fed. "We were enslaved three years ago," he says. "An RCD captain [from one of the militias] arrived and forced us to mine for them at gunpoint. They gave us no money, it was slave labour.

[...]

Oh, and the reason why this invasion was so profitable? Global demand for coltan was soaring throughout the war because of the massive popularity of coltan-filled Sony PlayStations. While Sony itself does not use Congolese coltan, its sudden need for vast amounts of the metal drove up the price - which intensified the war. As Oona King, one of the few British politicians to notice Congo, explains as we travel together for a few days: "Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms."

[...]

In a country where the war is laughably referred to as "winding down", a World Trade Center-full of people is butchered every two days, and in the lost rural areas I could not reach, bubonic plague has made a triumphant come-back.

[..]

Today, we still buy, and the British Government - along with the rest of the democratic world - obstructs any attempt to introduce legally enforceable regulations to stop corporations trading in Congolese blood.

In Bukavu, a 29-year-old human rights campaigner called Bertrand Bisimwa summarised his country's situation for me with cruel concision. "Since the 19th century, when the world looks at Congo it sees a pile of riches with some black people inconveniently sitting on top of them. They eradicate the Congolese people so they can possess the mines and resources. They destroy us because we are an inconvenience." As he speaks, I picture the raped women with bullets burying through their intestines and try to weigh them against the piles of blood-soaked electronic goods sitting beneath my Christmas tree with their little chunks of Congolese metal whirring inside. Bertrand smiles and says, "Tell me - who are the savages? Us, or you?"

GOI: This is part of the reason that I have never bought my wife (nor has she wanted) a diamond. It also makes me want to throw my old playstation, cell phone and yes this very laptop into the garabage. I Implore you to please, PLEASE read the full article. It is difficult to stomach and quite lengthy but so so very important.

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U.N. Peacekeepers Now Welcome in Sudan



By MOHAMED OSMAN
Associated Press Writer
AP Photo/DAVID KARP

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -- U.N. peacekeepers will be welcome in Darfur now that Sudan's government has reached a peace deal with one of the region's rebel groups, Khartoum spokesman said Saturday.

The invitation, which came a day after the peace accord in Abuja, Nigeria, followed repeated requests by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for Sudan to allow envoys of the world body to replace thousands of African Union peacekeepers in Darfur.

"We heard the appeal of the U.N. secretary general," Bakri Mulah, secretary-general for external affairs in the Information Ministry, told The Associated Press. "Now there is no problem."

[...]

Speaking at U.N. headquarters in New York, Annan urged ordinary people around the world to show the same generosity they did after the December 2004 tsunami to help the millions in Darfur who desperately need food and other humanitarian assistance. He said the United States government "has been very generous" he called on European donors and Gulf states to follow suit.

[...]

Annan said the international community must immediately strengthen the 7,000-strong African Union force in Darfur with logistical support so it can start implementing the deal. He called on Sudan to grant visas to a U.N. assessment team so it can visit Darfur to start planning for a U.N. peacekeeping force to take over.

The American ambassador to the world body, John Bolton, also said U.N. peacekeepers were essential.

In dropping its opposition to a U.N. force, Khartoum cited new conditions created by the peace deal.

"There would be no problem to have the support of the United Nations and other partners, the U.S. and EU, to help in implementation," Mullah told AP.

[...]

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who helped spur peace talks, cautioned that the embattled East African region was far from safe even if the peace agreement were to take hold.

GOI: Allowing the U.N. (and others) in to help boost the African Union troops is another great step. I am still cautiously optimistic, however, as I am thinking that all this good news is almost too good to be true. A peace deal in January of last year though was signed as well and was of course broken. Things are looking good though I must admit. Very good. I hope and am so excited that we might be on the brink of stopping the genocide, starvation and destruction. The key now is to help rebuild and prevent the minor players that refused to sign the peace deal from continuing the slaughter.

He also said that President Bush intervened during the difficult negotiations, sending a letter to Minnawi with assurances that Washington would support implementation of the peace accord, help monitoring compliance, hold accountable those who do not cooperate, and support a donors' conference for Darfur, Zoellick said in a telephone interview from Abuja with reporters in Washington.

GOI: I am pleased that Bush (and must give him some credit) that he has been involved in helping this situation improve for the people of Sudan.

---End of Transmission---

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bush? You're an A$$hole

Here's a good one.

O.k., ready?

Go to google, type in the word asshole and hit the button, "I'm feeling lucky."

Go a head. I'll wait.

Wasn't that the funniest and most sobering thing that you have ever seen/heard? It would be simply funny if it wasn't also the sad truth.

Dude, where's my country???

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Iraqi Troops Protest and Stage a Near Mutiny



GOI: Again a story you will only find from a foreign new agency. This from Reuters:

BAGHDAD, May 3 (Reuters) - The commander of Iraq's ground forces said on Wednesday he would not tolerate soldiers' protests against their deployment orders after a near-mutiny at the weekend by army recruits.

In an embarrassing episode for the U.S.-trained army, hundreds of young Sunni Arabs staged a rowdy protest during a graduation parade in Anbar province on Sunday after learning they would be posted away from their home towns.

"These people joined the army and were assigned to one area but they bypassed the army's conditions. We don't need people who put their conditions above the army's conditions," Lieutenant-General Abdul Qader told reporters.

The incident, broadcast on Arab satellite television stations, illustrated some of the challenges faced by U.S. and Iraqi officials in increasing recruitment and retaining recruits among the Sunni minority to broaden the sectarian and ethnic mix of the army, which is fighting a largely Sunni insurgency.

[...]

Key to U.S. President George W. Bush's plans to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq is building a capable Iraqi army that can fight the insurgency and sectarian violence that have pushed the country close to civil war.

During a ceremony to inaugurate a new command and control centre for the Iraqi army in Baghdad, Qader admitted the army should do a better job recruiting across sectarian lines.


"We need more people to be enlisted in our army. The Iraqi army is for all Iraqis: Kurds, Arabs...It is the army to protect the country," he said.


ARMY BEING REBUILT


Most armies punish soldiers who desert, in some cases with courts martial.

However, the Iraqi army, being rebuilt from scratch since the fall of Saddam, is struggling to attract recruits in the face of unrelenting insurgent attacks and allows soldiers to leave without punishment.

[...]

Iraqi security officials say stricter discipline would discourage recruits, who already risk their lives by standing in line outside recruiting centres, which have become targets of suicide bombers bent on crippling government plans to boost recruitment in Sunni areas.

GOI: They joined the Iraqi army to protect their families from...the Iraqi army!! (as Randi Rhodes said today).

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Why We Won't Prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Others

I celebrate the conviction of Moussaoui as everyone does and especially that we did not give him what he wants--death.

However, Moussaoui is a loser. A failed terrorist. There are several people (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramsi Binalshibh) that were more connected to the September 11th attacks that we have in custody but have yet to prosecute. Chief among them being Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is considered the "mastermind" behind 9/11. These men are in custody in a "third country" for "questioning."

Why won't we prosecute?

Because we tortured them plain and simple is the most likely answer. That is what the Bush administration calls "questioning." Any information that (KSM and RB) could have had they probably have already given or they will never give. At any rate, should we prosecute them then America (and the world) would learn that we tortured them and the government does not want that to happen for obvious reasons.

If that's not the case then let's get them in a court RIGHT NOW.

Former 9/11 commissioner Richard Benveniste has talked about these issues as recently as the other night on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews.

Unfortunately we will probably never know the truth nor see them prosecuted--if they're even still alive.

UPDATE: Experts: Don't Expect New al-Qaida Trials.

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Darfur, Sudan Break Through?

By MICHELLE FAUL
Associated Press Writer
AP Photo/GEORGE OSODI

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Sudan's government and the largest Darfur rebel group agreed Friday to sign a peace plan, a top U.S. envoy said, marking major progress in an internationally backed effort to end the death and destruction in western Sudan.

Two smaller rebel groups maintained their rejection of the treaty, but U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick indicated they could be bypassed. That assessment was bolstered when one of the two split Friday, with dissenters criticizing their leader for not embracing the proposed treaty.

"Today the largest group, Minni Minnawi's, has agreed to sign and the government of Sudan have agreed to sign as well," Zoellick told The Associated Press. "Not all the movements are in accord, but we're already getting phone calls that people with (rebel faction leader) Abdel Wahid (Nur) believe he has made a mistake."

Both the rebels and the government repeatedly have failed to live up to agreements struck over two years of negotiations in the Nigerian capital. A cease-fire they signed in 2004 is in tatters.
Government spokesman Abdulrahman Zuma was buoyant Friday.


"The deal is peace," he said. "I think that the victory today is for Sudan."

GOI: This is a step in the right direction. However, only time will show if this deal is going to be carried out or if the deal isn't worth the paper it is written upon. There have been deals before that have been broken so we shall see. I remain cautiously optimistic.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Rumsfeld Exposed by Former CIA Analyst in Georgia and Caught in a Lie. What a Surprise!!



Have a LISTEN.

Here is the link to the VIDEO.

Rummie DID say that he knew where the WMD were in Iraq. This from ABC's "This Week" sunday talk show from 5/4/03:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven’t found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: …We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Go HERE for the full transcript.

Can we kick his ass out of the administration yet???

When is enough, ENOUGH?!!

DAMN.

---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Colbert Did His Job well and Pissed Off Bush, Aides and Supporters



Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert's biting routine at the White House Correspondents Association dinner won a rare silent protest from Bush aides and supporters Saturday when several independently left before he finished.

"Colbert crossed the line," said one top Bush aide, who rushed out of the hotel as soon as Colbert finished. Another said that the president was visibly angered by the sharp lines that kept coming.

"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry]," said a former top aide. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow."

GOI: How dare anyone say something that would anger our fearless leader?!! Awww poor baby President Bush. Don't you all feel sorry for him? I'm glad that he was ready to blow. Let him blow. The fact that he, his aides and supporters were so pissed off means Colbert did his job and hit close to home and the truth.

To quote a certain president, "Bring it on!!"

Well done Stephen.

Well done (although you might want to watch your back and make sure your taxes are done right).

---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Failed States Index



The failed states index is out from the people over at Foreign Policy and here are some of the results (hope the link works). 11 0f the top 20 were in Africa:

1). Ivory Coast, West Africa: This is the country I lived in for two years in the 90's and it was actually one of the most developed African countries at the time (although it was still quite under-developed and oppressive). However, it now has obviously deteriorated since. Being a neighbor to Liberia is part of it as well. I was surprised though that it took top billing over Sudan and Iraq.

2). Dem. Republic of Congo

3). Sudan

4). Iraq

5). Somalia

---End of Transmission---

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sudan Awareness Rises as Peace Talks Delayed


By Hamil R. Harris and Aruna jain
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, May 1, 2006; Page A08

Thousands of people poured into Washington on trains, in buses and in cars from across the country yesterday. Evangelicals joined Hollywood entertainers, black civil rights leaders joined conservatives, and politicians from both parties spoke in unison on the same stage.

But among the largest contingents at yesterday's "Rally to Stop Genocide" on the Mall were Jewish Americans, who said they were appalled by the violence in Sudan.

Vladimir Vishnevskiy, of the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, came to Washington with two busloads of Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans and youths.

"This is extremely important," he said. "We are Russian Jews, people who know firsthand what hate and the Holocaust and genocide is about."

It is unclear how many Jewish Americans were among those at the rally, but they were among the most visible, wearing shirts or clutching signs that read, "Not On Our Watch" and "Dare to Interfere in Darfur" and "Never Again," the latter a reference to the Holocaust. They came as part of Jewish youth groups, community centers or religious groups; they were teenagers, parents and grandparents.

GOI: It is our duty as human beings to raise awareness of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. We are all One people and standing by without out talking about and raising awareness of this situation is a humanitarian crime in and of itself. We live in a country with great freedoms, rights, protections, peace and stability that we take for granted every day. In having such blessings it is our mantle and mission to help others achieve them.

I am tired of people sitting in their plush houses saying that there is nothing that they can do to help the oppressed people in Darfur. There are many things that we can and must do:

1). Donate money to humanitarian groups working to help end the suffering and genocide 2). Write you Senators and Rep's demanding more money and effort to help end the crisis. 3). Raise awareness. Talk to everyone about the situation and keep the story alive. This is something that costs us nothing and yet is such a powerful tool as it gives strength and volume to the silent voices of the victims in Darfur. 4). Buy a t-shirt that (again) gives voice to the victims of this disaster and forces people to acknowledge and think about it. 5). Buy a bumper sticker that mentions the issue.

In other news on Sudan. Peace talks have been dalyed:

By BASHIR ADIGUNThe Associated PressMonday, May 1, 2006; 7:16 AM
ABUJA, Nigeria -- Under pressure from the United States, rebels in Sudan's Darfur region agreed to continue negotiations with the government after rejecting a peace proposal that would end a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.


Salim Ahmed Salim, a lead mediator for the African Union, said the talks would continue until midnight on Tuesday, pushing back the deadline for negotiations that have gone on for two years.

Earlier Sunday, the Sudanese government had said it was ready to sign the agreement, but only after it became clear the rebels were not ready to reciprocate.

Among other provisions, a draft of the agreement circulated last week called for a cease-fire. Both sides have agreed to a truce before, only to keep fighting, even in the last week. The draft also calls for an infusion of funds into a region the draft document described as "historically deprived."

But one of Sudan's main rebel factions, Justice and Equality Movement, said the proposal does not adequately address implementation nor their key demands for a vice president from Darfur and more autonomy.

"We are not going to sign it as it is," said Hahmed Hussein, spokesman for the group.
The other main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement, had asked for more time.
Salim said the bloc had bowed to requests from the United States and others to continue negotiations.


"The African Union has extended the deadline of the peace talks by 48 hours as requested by the United States and other international partners to allow extensive consultations to go ahead," he said at the talks' site in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

P.S.~HAPPY MISSION ACCOMPLISHED DAY!!!!

Wow, I'm sooo glad that the war has been over for three years. Aren't you?

Whew!! We really dodged a bullet on THAT one.

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